new year

It's me J!!!

Doing a little virtual housekeeping today. Okay a major spring cleaning is in order. I don't know why I downloaded this LJ app to phone during WisCon, but now that I've reminded myself of password, this is way friendlier than the last iteration I tried.
Although picking out letters with my forefinger is, sigh, what we have come to, here in the future.
I was at WisCon last weekend, and am not going to write about those adventures with my forefinger.
I have a couple pages of list, detailing all the stuff I could do to wheel my ancient tech engines into place. Lists are a thing I like to make. I have got over thinking I am going to do all those things. I am at the Cargo cafe now but when I get back to a bigger interface, I mean to post a new user photo here, of the new me.
I have been full of ideas lately, and that is good.

It's me again

I've been fooling around on Facebook for the last however many months. Good for short attention span. You guys are just so interesting and newsy tho. Hey, where's the Like button?

They say I have to update my Friends Page display but, ya know, way less interesting than solitaire IMHO. Still haven't updated my Google page either. Yeah yeah
new year

How to Make Delicious Rice 'n' Stuff

Dice small red onion, celery stalk, and half a tomato.
In large saute pan, saute these in 2 T corn oil on high heat.
Assemble from leftovers in fridge:
1/2 cup diced chicken breast
1/4 cup cooked ground beef
2 hot dogs thinly sliced (leaving one (1) in packet for kitty, who likes them lately)
1 cup meat chili with beans
Add these to pan, mix together, lower heat. Cover to warm. Then add
3 cups cooked brown & wild rice (prepared with beef stock)
1-1/2 cup white rice from takeout box
1/2 cup water
Cover closely and steam 10 minutes.
Turn & stir so it browns but not burns until water is taken up.
Drizzle with fanciest olive oil available.

Next time I might start with bacon.
Or add an egg.
Some kind of nuts?
new year

Still walking, in spite of myself

So I should be sleeping, clearly, it being the wee hours, and yoga class bright and early tomorrow morning. Fortunately my driver is getting plenty of sleep. Kitty is sitting next to me on sofa trying to show me how it's done. Unfortunately my stomach has gone way bad and I don't seem to be able to get enough ginger to fix that. Maybe tums. Next step is to try the lying-on-floor-with-legs-up-the-wall inverted pose which Susie (the yoga teacher) has recommended for calming the body and nerves.

It is horrible that by the time I start feeling generally okay, it is evening and I am sitting on the sofa. Watching CSI, or whatever. Then when I get up in the morning feeling stiff and sore again it takes hours for my body to start feeling reasonably human, after the various drugs I am taking get carefully balanced. And damn I am just takin my prescriptions and then taking more until I am actually functional again. I'd complain about the weather rolling through except it's so lovely, eighty degrees every day while the squill and snowdrops and crocusses and early daffodils cautiously get to blooming. And what is anyone going to to about it anyway.

Walking every day is not a total piece of cake under these conditions (have I told you about My Condition?), so I'd like some martyr points for keeping up with that too. Like, at least I haven't started seriously considering a wheelchair or scooter, although having a comfy chair available at all times would be awfully nice. I've cut back on the pace a bit, just to be comfortable. In general I like the adventures I have every day on my walk. Like seeing where the groundhog lit off for across the back alley, which is under a shed a couple houses down. The canada goose catching up with his fellows at surprising speed as they call back and forth across the neighborhood. Whistling to the cardinals, even though some of them seem to have new versions of the old traditional calls. I've planted some seeds in pots under the cold frame, so we'll see what comes of that.

Some pretty good stuff lately

To start out with the bad news, I woke up this morning feeling so lousy that the long road trip we were ARE planning seemed like a really bad idea. Have I told you about my condition? (that would be a search term were I properly indexed) Mr S has refrained from pointing out more than twice that not getting out of the house until noon or later would seem to contraindicate a more strenuous schedule. Many hotels require checkout before noon, I note. But he hates traveling, so how am I supposed to go anywhere for the rest of my life? Alone?? as if. That's why I'm supposedly trying out other traveling companions. Once I get up I can be out in ten minutes if necessary, although it is seldom necessary. But I have lately worked out that I am trying to learn to exercise some control over the travel: not to just go along with someone else's program, and not to have to plan every meal and stop myself with the other people's possible pleasure in mind, which is like a job rather than a vacation.

Now I'm back from my walk, it seems more reasonable. Maybe that's just the drugs kicking in.

I found a book in the Little Free Library on Colby St, The Friday Night Knitting Club, which I brought home since I didn't have a book in my bag and the general concept seems strangely familiar, like the Jane Austen Book Club (both the book, and the club) (and there was the movie too). (Hey, we could be a movie.)

Today I started reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Yesterday I read The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog by the doctor (Perry) who is a source and character in one of Andrew Vachss' books (where I got the reference), all about neurodevelopmental therapy for traumatized children, and despite the title pretty upbeat -- that kid actually came out of it okay. Fascinating stuff.

In January I read very nearly all of Andrew Vachss' work. Now waiting for the last to arrive from Powell's (Free Shipping!) so I can read that one, that isn't in the library system, and then the sequels again and get the rest of them back to the library already. I might re-read Pain Management again which is the one I started with, from the library sale, which attracted my attention for obvious reasons. Obvious around here anyhoo.

The new barista at Cargo, Max (who was won over by my Wild Rumpus coin purse), told me about his winter camping trip. Actually he said "stay warm" and I said "wool" and then he told me about going out to pick fallen branches for firewood out of the snow in the dark with a headlamp and a German shepherd puppy following him. Good times.

Yesterday's yoga class was as usual excellent. For that matter Monday's T'ai Chi class was excellent, and friendly, and I touted the Yoga for Chronic Pain class to a couple of new people there who are never going to do any other kind of yoga.

Then yesterday's walk was also excellent. I saw a big hawk land in a tree right by the bike path, and we stood around for ten minutes or so watching each other, until it took off to pounce on something in the grass without success and then glided up the creek to another tree. All photos with my iPhone were terrible.

It was a wonderful sunny day hitting 50 yesterday. I walked out to the Arboretum boardwalk, and started kicking all the melting packed ice off the boards, instead of tippytoeing over it. This was Range Of Motion exercise for adductors/abductors with a little weight added, plus balance work on slippery boards; also if I were a kid called Playing In The Snow. You know when you kick a big slab and it breaks loose, yay! Except I felt so socially useful as well. Mr S says I should bill the Arb for snow removal. Cleared the whole stretch from the entrance out to the lake platform, which should be dry today, but none of the side trails.

The papermaking session Tuesday afternoon was also enjoyable, although four people is really too many in my basement, very close quarters. I gave random lectures on papermaking history and techniques, without charging a dime, with hands-on demonstrations. Made some more pulp paintings myself, and JJ brought non-dairy chocolate pudding for our tea break. My outrageous stockpile of used art papers and junk mail is slowly being processed, with a little help from my friends, every Saturday afternoon, and some of the doo-dad supplies too.

Personally I still think the rafters in the basement should be painted white, just for the visual lift, down there in the Short People's Basement. Mr S always points out what an insane amount of work this would be, but this time I gave him the Kirby manual for setting it up to apply paint and also implied he might not be the one doing all the work, or all at once.

Cloudy today, (and still above freezing) so the local groundhog could NOT see his shadow, at whatever time they roused him, unless from klieg lights brought in for photo op. According to ancient northern European folklore this should mean early spring, except in this neck of the woods another six weeks of winter WOULD be an early spring. Maybe ours has been shipped by jet stream a quarter of the way around the world. From what I hear.

Been watching the Daily Show regularly, which is far more entertaining than the straight news, although Jon Stewart doesn't actually have to do anything with the Republican circus except play clips and make funny faces. La commedia es stupenda
new year

Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope

A couple Fridays ago I was sitting in Zuzu's cafe, the one right across from the zoo. A group of parents were talking outside, and little after three in the afternoon a bunch of kids got off a schoolbus, met and came inside. Zuzu's is a very child-friendly cafe, with toys and games and ice cream and excellent chocolate chip cookies, as well as a selection of beers for the amusement of their elders. Also comfy chairs and a sofa. Only a mile from my house.

The small table where I sat was at the end of a row of small tables next to a long upholstered bench, where I was reading. As their orders were filled, parental units and seven- or eight-year-olds began to sit in a group at the tables next to me. I gathered that this Friday meeting is a regular event. But it was a long weekend coming up, with Martin Luther King Jr Day on Monday. The kids knew all about the holiday.

One little girl began explaining who King was. A boy put in that he had been killed, maybe in an explosion, but was quickly corrected. Then Rosa Parks came up. They were not too sure whether she had sat at the back of the bus, or the front of the bus, but they knew it had been important. The adults provided answers as needed. Our eyes met, and we smiled at each other. What the man called a table of brotherhood. These Madison children didn't know what the back of the bus meant. Thank God Almighty.

It reminded me of when I was that age, when I lived in the Boston area, in the lily-white suburb of Newton, far out on the MTA line. At that time I was hardly aware of the events in Boston proper, although I heard of desegregation, and the news about forced bussing, the issue of school integration, and something about riots, whatever those might be. Later I read more about it. It doesn't seem that long ago. Fifty years.
new year

How I made dinner

Prepare all sliced materials etc mis en place

Saute 1 yellow papper sliced
1 lg sweet onion sliced
3 garlic cloves pressed
1/2 tomato sliced
in 2 T butter & schloop of olive oil
cover to reduce, stir & brown
Add 1 pound shelled and cleaned jumbo shrimp (16-20 ct)
with tsp (schloop) of hot sauce
sea salt & ground pepper
Stir fry
Add 1/2 cup chardonnay
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp capers
1/4 tsp ground ginger (or you could grate fresh and cook with onion &c)
and 2 cups cooked mostaciolli
Partially cover to heat pasta & reduce liquid
Sprinkle heavily with grated romano
stir & add more romano

A nice fresh bread would have been good with this too. But. Do I know how to cook now.
new year

I read the news today, oh boy

Cat has done faceplant in my lap. This restricts my mobility but at least she squeezed in with the laptop.

I realized I have not been keeping my minimal diary-type calendar thingy, the list of my tiny accomplishments generally in single words. Walk. Read. Laundry. Made jelly. That kind of thing. The result is that I've been feeling useless again. So while I plan to change my carry bag (once this cat gets off my lap) and include that teeny notebook, here is today.

Read. Walked to KB's and back. Swept front steps there. Put potting stuff away. Put dried herbs away.

Maybe more slicing apples for dehydrator a little later. After take out.
new year

Cause this is where I put these things

A squirrel that leaps across crackling leaves
is not the old one you saw here last year.
Time passes so dependably. We grieve
as each remembrance interrupts you here.

The university students are not
the students you remember from before
or friends who fell away, you see again in thought,
but souvenirs of those you see no more.

These fallen leaves are not those you collected
in your youth, but were just new last spring.
So whirls the world, before you have reflected,
but after leaves a timeless pause to cling

and still recall those dear ones lost to time
while breathless moments on the path you climb.

(Yeah, yeah, its kinda strained at the end, but I've only been working on it two days. My way of coping. Mr S' friend and shop partner Uncle Mat has been in an ICU for a couple months, in Hawaii, and yesterday they finally pulled the plug on the ventilator. It took a few hours after that. Mr S is busy taking care of the shop and house and phone calls.)
new year

I'm at WisCon. Are you at WisCon too?

And if so, Dear Reader, we are both apparently sitting in our rooms with our computers instead of enjoying the giddy social whirl, or the highly stimulating intellectual discourse. Me, I just don't have enough spoons to engage with conventions in the round-the-clock fashion I used to do. Ah I was younger once.

I expected this to be more of a hotel vacation than previous cons. But I have done pretty well with my primary goal of having some actual sit-down conversations with individual friends, instead of all hit-and-run in the hall on the way to something else more important. Also, went to the couple of Class Panels and added to my comprehensive stash of notes on the subject. Succumbing to brain freeze on my own time, with the usual teevee.

I spent quite some time this afternoon lying down, and making more notes on how All Hell Broke Loose here in Madison, right under my personal nose. It appears I can talk about that pretty much any time, even though I haven't written much about it since the first week the Hellmouth broke out.

But it's nice to know you're all out there. Now I am going to the Guest Of Honor speeches. Maybe I'll even wear a dress.