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I completely missed Rabbits, Rabbits, Rabbits today. Clearly, I was aware it was the start of a new month, Halloween really makes it difficult to miss. But I was still mostly asleep when I came back into the bedroom and said good morning to himself. So does that mean it is going to be a bad month, or just not quite as good a month as it could have been? I didn't grow up with the "tradition" so I don't really understand how it works, and the Interwebz haven't been as informative on this tradition as I might have liked.
Not really understanding what she did, I had very low expectations for the meeting this morning. After doing the verbal dance to establish our individual creds, she began to lay out her plan. I did my usual color commentary on the state of things, and she got fired up. The universe has presented me with an opportunity to get out of managing software development projects; I am so ready to do something else. She seemed immediately (unreasonably?) quite certain I was the one to help develop and execute the plan. What will the corner office will think of this idea?
Tonight's the night. I have the house to myself so I ditch knit nite so that I can sit in the prime spot in front of the TV and sprawl, however I am comfortable. I command the remote. I should have figured out a better dinner option, one that required no cooking or cleanup, just so I could savor the time alone. Alone in my own house - not in a hotel or airport or car. One day is just a tease, really, but I will enjoy tonight and tomorrow. Perhaps especially since on Monday I leave on a business trip.
Tonight, in the full moon light, we smashed pumpkins. This is my own tradition: to fill them with the thing you want to get rid of, then heave them into the wilds while wishing for the thing you want - the replacement or opposite of the thing you want to get rid of. You must wish for the replacement, because as the natural world abhors a void, the thing you wished to get rid of might immediately return to you, or something worse might take up residence in the empty space. It is more an act of meditation than anything else.
Another blank day. But, by consulting my calendar, my email, my various postings, I found a trace. I decided to take the plunge and join in the holiday card swap this year - a large, international affair. I hope by sending and receiving cards the holiday spirit will be a bit more enveloping. Earlier. Today: I ordered the cards I'll use in the swap. One that is both very much in my personal tradition and about NY. The other is one that I love, but would probably never send. It has glitter on it. It is truly perfect for this swap.
This is how business travel should be: being picked up at a reasonable hour and driven to the airport, curbside check in, whisked through security from TSA Pre-Check, and a first class seat. If all my business trips started and ended this way, would I still dislike traveling as much? Probably. The food is generally not great, I don't trust the water, the rooms are often noisy and I still am working late at night trying to make up for what I missed during the day. And then there's the reality of the time not being with your family.
If only I didn't have to travel for all these conferences, they'd be more enjoyable. I really do enjoy learning what others are up to in their presentations. Many times different groups are tacking the same problems - sometimes even in different ways. Sometimes the regional differences are startling. It gets the juices flowing and I get ideas, I can see options. If only I could convince a quarter of the people I talked to today to actually evaluate our approach. But I don't think these folks have actual curriculum content themselves. Finding people with content is the real, thorny, issue.
How many times have I been in Dayton over the last eight years? It seems incomprehensible that we had never before found the Pine Club: a very old school steakhouse. The food is very simple: the salad had iceberg lettuce and grated carrots, period, but perfectly dressed, which is a dying art. If only I could have had a vodka martini to start, it would have been a perfectly old school meal. Nevertheless, it was a great end to a pretty good conference. Staying over the extra night was absolutely the right decision. I am nearly broken as it is.
Home sweet home at last. Although the new owners of the party house behind us have continued their clean up of the property - they have now removed every tree from the backyard. Which means we have lost even more privacy; G is beyond furious. He is right when he says that if the property had been like this when we first saw it, we wouldn't have bought the house. We are here now, though - and there really isn't an alternative locally that would give us more property to ensure privacy. At least, not in our price range and tax budget.
The last year has been difficult and beggared belief, even when you had a cynical, sarcastic and New Yorker point of view on the proceedings. I held out for as long as I could amidst the spectacle that our politics have become, and earlier this month I finally gave in. I am re-watching West Wing. And finding it astonishing in how well it captures what we (I? - late to the party?) now understand about the Beltway, and the news cycle that is constant. It feels current, though nearly 20 years old. I want to live in President Bartlet's America.
It shouldn't have been a surprise that my left leg is weaker than my right. But the degree to which it is weaker was very surprising, and discouraging. I left with a better understanding of how the weakness is contributing, like a bad feedback loop, to the problems and pain I've been having. Time to buck up and find the discipline to do the daily exercises. My schedule for the next month is now wrecked with twice weekly appointments; their office is in a very inconvenient location. To console myself, I finally bought a new phone, after months of consideration.
If only I had a few ditties stored away for a rainy day. This is another day when I have no idea what really happened - G wasn't feeling well, and beyond that, I don't know. Why is it that I can't - or don't - take control of my life so that I can actually write for ten minutes, just for me, every single day? No matter where I am, no matter what is going on. Ten minutes is all it takes. Sounds like some commercial for an exercise machine. But this is my mental and spiritual exercise, these little daily ponderings.
The solution has been staring me in the face, almost literally. After the conference last week, I proved I can adapt to the little keyboard for the ipad. If I would just take ten minutes at the end of each day, I would have no problems keeping current with my words.Last month I was trying to use the recorder on my phone to capture thoughts on the drive to work. Right now, I have bits and pieces stashed in various notepads, some snippets saved in various draft emails, but almost no words actually completed, logged in to the system.
After just the first session, my leg feels better. I still canít do the calf lifts without steadying myself on something, but the therapist was able to do something to the knot behind my left knee that has been my steady companion for months. Iíd really rather forgotten what it feels like to be without that pain. I donít remember what it is like to sleep without that pain, without using the drugs that leave me sleepy and thirsty in the morning. So I forgive the chaos the poorly scheduled appointments will cause in the near future.
Two years ago. I didnít comment on it to anyone, but it was there. Fionnbhear. I still miss him madly, the curmudgeon. He had so much personality, more than our current three put together. I miss having a cat that will cuddle with me, just lay down and claim me. Boo is gorgeous and mellow and not mine, though that was the plan. It was difficult to realize that I will not get another cat to be mine until I retire, because I am not home enough to override the bond that will be made with my retired husband.
Yazooís Only You has been a favorite for many years. But until today, I had no idea it was so popular with others, or was recently covered by Selena Gomez of all people. After listening to the new mix for Bootsí TV ad, Iím going to reserve judgement until I see the video. It isnít what I would have imagined, and thatís not entirely bad. Why Twitter actually showed me that tweet tonight, I will never know, but I had fun doing down that rabbit hole. And of course I missed her NY show in September.
It is hard not to get excited. I like the idea, although I am not exactly sure how anyone else will be able to contribute. It seems unlikely I would be able to do it all myself - or that the corner offices would actually support that prospect. I am supposed to be the big idea person, generating work for everyone else. The problem is I don't want to manage that work anymore, but we don't have anyone who can manage it. I've made one last attempt to salvage the current candidate, and Boss Lady seems to agree on the issues.
King Crimson at The Beacon. There is no doubt they are all fabulous musicians, really quite spectacular. I just don't particularly like this configuration: three drummers? Really? And yet: Bruford by himself released more controlled pandemonium on Starless... So maybe the choice to have drummers up front doesn't work with the Beacon. I found the overall sound to be quite muddy, a real disappointment for an orchestra seats at $131. I had to watch players hands to pick out what sound was theirs. But they played Moonchild, Epitaph, 21st Century Schizoid Man and others I never thought I'd hear live.
Having gone to bed at 2:15 AM last night, the fact that I got anything at all done today was a major victory. I really want a pajama day but today is not the day: by definition, a pajama day does not include dealing with litterboxes and that is a must-do today. One of these days soon -although when is a mystery, the next few weekends are now otherwise booked- I will make a pajama day out of it: lounging, reading, knitting, watching girly movies, napping, whatever I want to do at home. No chores or running errands.
Thirty years ago, I was in Bonn, settling in to the dorm, not quite understanding the fuss at me living on ground floor. Having lunch with Molly (I still have fond memories of the green bean soup!) or meeting with her somewhere for coffee. Twenty years ago, I was just beginning my official role in IT, having been given the choice to move to IT or leave the company; since that was essentially what I'd lobbied for, I didn't view it as an onerous choice. Ten years ago? I was on the verge of leaving that company - seems longer ago.
He asks me to take special care of myself, to slow way down, think of being in the moment, to dwell in peace and silence to help stay sane and centered. Agreed: I know I need this. Fears are departing. Be exempt from pressure to perform. He continues, asking me to appreciate the body I have, which is quite a bit easier than it would have been two weeks ago. Then he asks me to be free of desires for the future. And that's when I fall down. Take a deep breath, and try again. This is a perfect moment.
Physical therapy doesn't have to be hard on the recipient. The Feldenkreis method proved that to me. But the guy I saw today seems to think otherwise. Today it was revealed (to me, at least) just how my ongoing issue in my left leg is related to the sciatic nerve. And just how sensitive the nerve is. I am lucky that the next few days are not work days. Or at least, they're not "go to the office" days, but I have a long list of things to accomplish. I should be feeling much better by Monday at the latest.
What am I thankful for this year? Aside from the usual stuff? After pie, Boo jumped up onto the couch, then the chair, and just plopped down on my legs. No prompting, no bribing with treats. He snuggled down and accepted some chin scritches, and then put his head down and went to sleep. For an hour. I haven't had a cat sprawl in my lap, sleeping on me in the chair for two years. The last time was the day Fionn died. My heart still breaks, but I am thankful for a new kitty that sleeps on my lap.
Considering this is Black Friday, the streets were all but empty this afternoon. And again in the evening when I drove home. Two years ago, these same streets -at the same times of day- were chaos and the place bustled non-stop. This year, everything was quiet, almost tranquil, inside and out. Was everyone still spending at the mall? Are they all already home after being at the early sales? It was actually quite nice to have such empty roads on a day that is reknown for masses of traffic. Particularly given my recent experiences with traffic out of control.
Twenty-five years ago where was I? Living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, going to grad school and working for the Germans, working an odd schedule so I could take classes during business hours. Fifteen years ago, I was recovering from back surgery; by now Dad had gone home, and I was figuring out new ways to do all sorts of things. Danny, the twelve year old from across the street, was helping me bring in groceries, and the litterboxes. Five years ago we were settling into the house and I was planting hundreds of bulbs for spring.
Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we've had a number of good rain and wind storms.. and still, there are leaves on the trees. Not all of them, but a goodly number. And yet, last year at the beginning of the month, Kansas City had no leaves anywhere - and locals said that was normal. Why do we still have leaves - again? Is this normal? Don't get me wrong, I'm not asking for snow and windchills just yet. But it is hard to think of it being the holiday season when it is this warm and the trees still have leaves.
Every time I have deadlines, the same thing happens. It doesn't matter how much advance planning I have done, something - or things - goes off the rails. Right now, it is rather a take-your-pick situation of so many things going off the rails in different ways. And in the midst of all this. . . stupidity. . . in today's mail was the first card from the holiday swap. She must have posted it on Wednesday for it to get here from California over the holiday weekend. I posted my international cards this morning. I hope the swap helps find the holiday spirit.
What does home feel like? Would I recognize it? If he meant where I sleep at night, yes. It is not as I want it right now, but I've mostly made peace with that. If this home is about my life's work - quite literally, my work - then no, I don't know what it feels like. I need my own space, that much I do know, but that isn't what was meant by the question. I felt at home at Fox, both with people and the work. Where I am now is a no on both counts. Would I recognize it?
Family comes first. Not work. I do know this. So rather than doing my homework tonight, as I really, really need to do, I spent a few hours sorting out mom's connectivity. The answer was relatively easy although somewhat distasteful in principle - because it is not about solving the real problem, the device not accurately reporting usage, but by making usage a non-issue. How I am now going to get everything done in the next 72 hours, I have no idea. The proposal must come first. Then the slide deck. And yes, I'll be knitting the cowl in Nashville.
Not feeling the love, not at all today. I want to run away and hide so that I can get some actual work done, but that doesn't seem to be possible: when your boss calls, emails and texts you, you have to drop whatever you're doing. I really feel like my brain is melting. I have no earthly idea how I am going to get all this crap done. I feel the whirlwind gathering and I absolutely hate it. For the last three years --at least-- the pot has been boiling over constantly and I am so done with it.
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