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boot to the head!

2012, I look to you for improvement.

2011 has been a year of, "oh, it could be worse..." and then the worse happens. The broken wrist which is in the process of repair w/ pins and plates I received on Dec 9th is a case in point. Only a few days before I had remarked in regards to household items falling apart or going missing that it could be worse, I was still intact. Guess I didn't knock on wood hard enough. Typing is slow and annoying, but I will put this one resolution out there.

2012 is the year of it will get better and thinking of where I want to go instead of where I don't. When I took my motorcycle safety class the instructor said "look at where you want to go, not at what you want to avoid or you'll hit the object you are trying not to hit" and this is very true. So optimism instead of it could be worse thinking for 2012.

I hope all my LJ peeps have a grand NYE and 2012.
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I am having a great deal of trouble finding the beginnings of things and being able to concentrate lately. In spite of being "at liberty" aka unemployed I have a bagillion projects and skill improvement/creation goals that need doing. Its like a train wreck of task lists, my old little nested to do lists annotated with A,B,C priority/difficulty labels are failing me at the moment, which is shocking.

Anyone have any recs for project organizing software for PC that is free? Le sigh.

I have been running regularly at least. I am very nearly at my goal of running a 5k without stopping to walk in under 24 minutes. I walked for only about a 1/4 of the time today and finished in 25 minutes. After I make the 24 minute goal I'll try for 21, and then switch to swimming for a while, if I can afford it.

A two-day research working group meeting (the geologists are coming from out of town) is set for this weekend. For not getting any funding, and not having much by way of university affiliation, we get shit done, yo. I expect we'll have two articles out of this meeting. I should probably review my talks, and review some ideas I want to suggest regarding comparing data via ratios, but I think I'm set pretty much. Oh, and I need to clean the coffee pot out, as I've been tasked with providing coffee. That'll be two days where I am focused on one thing which will be nice.

This is a very journal-like lj entry. I have been thinking lots of dire thoughts about over population and the future of work, too. Maybe I'll make a more essay like lj entry about that at some point.
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if I make it through the next three weeks without failing to get something important done. If I could get by with less sleep and not have it provoke headaches there might be a chance. I will have to do a couple of 24 hour days to finish grading, I expect. Trying to remember my old tricks... sticking my feet in ice water worked well to keep me awake and studying as an undergrad, I may need to try it again.

Time to hit the data entry, these grades won't make themselves, even though that's how its supposed to work. Someday I'll give an online exam that will dump the results into a spreadsheet and it'll be easy peezy lemon squeezy. Until then, difficult lemon difficult!

And I have no time for proper LJ posting. I have garden updates, and migraine musings, and all kinds of things I'd like to chat about. But it will not happen until my personal independence day, May 11, when all the big tasks will be over and my schedule is sensible again.

Art

Dec. 24th, 2010 12:12 pm
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Having a migraine, its not a horrible one but its the auxiliary symptoms that are getting me- weakness, nausea (really bad), and visual disturbances. Suffice to say my plans for the day are being scaled back. But progress is being made on building a new bookshelf. Once I finish it I'll post about it as the design the hubby found online for me (thanks hubby!) is pretty spiff. The bookshelf has spurred me to consider painting the walls before setting it up, which is a large kettle of fish I was not intending to mess with, but here we are. I'll make soup.

Oh right, I titled this art did I not? I get kind of cranky sometimes about the local art situation, we are kind of in the boonies. But honestly, everywhere is kind of the boonies if its not NY or LA, so I shouldn't get too cranky. And the Nasher has really picked things up. The art of the record exhibit that we visited last month was neat, if a bit uneven.

I really want to go see this, in NY but obviously that will not happen for scores of reasons. The wee little Ackland is actually pretty good with Asian art occasionally, but its wee and the exhibits are also necessarily wee. Seeing something on that scale would be lovely.

There is a painting hanging in the library on campus which I adore, but I could never find the artist or his stuff online. It looks like some older things of his (Eric Karpeles) are up now. I really like his work because he evokes landscapes and the textures of landscape to my eye. I doubt that's what he is going for but that's what I see (except in the piece that I like, which is entitled Horizons and is an abstract view from a car window, according to the blurb).

I haven't yet been to the refurbished and expanded North Carolina art museum, it is on the agenda (if anyone else wants to go, pipe up we could make an outing of it). The problem is that they never seem to have much there for a special exhibit that isn't "impressionists redux dejour" and their permanent collection never spoke to me. They do have an Anselm Kiefer painting though, who is another favorite of mine. He had a recent thing up in the NYT, here (be warned, grim!). Unfortunately it rather depicts my mood as of late rather melodramatically well. Hmm... anyway.

Off to fight the crowds in search of paint and 8 more threaded rods for this darn bookshelf (I totally cleaned Home Despair out- the dudes there are really nice and helpful, I'm starting to have preferred helper guys, the fellow from millwork is especially good, if a bit hard of hearing). Off to Lows.
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My hubby just put on a swinging 60's salsa record for me. It makes me feel like I should have a bouffant, a martini, and a delighted demeanor. I am delighted by the tunes so at least number three is covered. Hubby is sweetly putting up with it, even though he doesn't like the chachacha ala 60s cheeserific orchestra.

Oh, as a follow on to my mention of the collapsed bookshelf in the last post- the day after the shelf fell I opened my medicine cabinet and a shelf in it collapsed, two of the little tabs holding it in popped out. Yes, you are very funny ol' Universe. Now quit with the jokes please. I did in fact check all the kitchen cabinet shelves for stability. Just in case.

We are cleaning like mad cleaning fiends in preparation for our cookie party. I finally purchased a new cheapo vacuum to replace our dear departed "Boss" who became unstable at the end (that's what it was called, the Boss, it was even labeled by the manufacturer as such) throwing sparks is exciting, but I don't really want exciting while vacuuming. The new bagless "Powerforce Easy Vac" was a frivolous purchase given the Car-apocalypse that is happening to our household- 400 bucks or my ancient VW won't pass inspection. I have a huge ol' rant about inspections in NC but I'll stow it. Suffice to say, its making some folks money and costing a lot more folks money, like many things in the world.

But all of that isn't what I came to write about. Everyone has something that makes them a little nervous and uncomfortable. Some people its heights, some its blood, or ghosts or dogs or whathaveyou. Me, its the shape of the universe. Thinking about the shape of the universe, its qualities (finite or infinite) the space between universes, all of that just makes me a little squicked out. My brain reacts in a "here there be dragons" sort of way. Occasionally I'll ponder the topic just to kind of spook myself a bit, like looking over a very high cliff and imagining falling. Anyway, this headline here, about how our Universe has been "bruised" by bumping into other universes= yikes! yikes! yikes! Watch where you are going, Universe! Pretty squicky.
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Yesterday I unearthed my desk, cleared out papers to be recycled, took a large box of books back to the library, and put a bunch of books back on the shelves above my desk. I could finally grade at my desk instead of on the couch for the first time in months. I took a break from grading and there was a rumble. Hubby thought maybe it was a break in, but no. The bookshelf above my desk had fallen, scattering books and my seed collection everywhere. One of the Breyer horse models I want to get around to selling had a leg snapped off, and I'm not sure about the lamp and my external back up hard drive, but it could have been worse. I could have been sitting at the desk and been injured. This little incident of yesterday evening is very indicative of how my life is- I make a little progress and it is almost instantly negated and then some. This state of affairs has been the case for a year and a half, ever since I graduated. I don't want to wallow too much so I won't list all the incidents and areas which provide examples of the phenomena, they aren't limited to any one part of my life, either, it permeates. But I do wonder if I've been hexed. Nothing has been moved forward without being negated.

I know things could always be worse. And all my problems are ultimately first world problems, I'm not starving and if we lose the house we can go live with my folks however uncomfortably. But good googly moogly I'd like to catch a positive break for a change. Really.

A good thing: I am happy about frog populations showing signs of rebounding. Excellent frogs! Evolution in action! I will attempt to emulate the frogs.
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I should be finishing my lecture on biodiversity, but I am getting a headache.

The headache is likely a result of my indulgence in a cheddar and apple grilled cheese sandwich for lunch and weather changes. I really need to just give up on cheese. Its on the do not eat list but sometimes I get cocky. That is a mistake. And really, unlike yummy yummy meat (sorry vegans/veggies) having given it up for the most part, when I do eat it my socks are not knocked off. My socks are still knocked off by meat and I started eating it again two years ago now. Its really not much of a deprivation to not eat cheese very often. Or chocolate. Actually, giving up on chocolate except for the occasional square has given me a new appreciation for vanilla. Vanilla is very underrated as a flavor.

Today I saw some art hanging at my gym. They have children's programs and its a community center, more or less. There was a charming painting, abstract with really nice flow of color and a focal point created by use of color, it looked like an abstracted fall landscape. At first I thought- hey, that kid is really good. Then I saw that it had been done by a 17 month old. I doubt his visual acuity was up to making that deliberately. But it was still a darn nice picture, for happenstance and tasteful cropping by an adult.

I have three academic job applications and one private sector job application due this week. I seriously need more research opportunities to beef up my research statement with. It is a frustrating catch 22, without a permanent institution it is hard to get research monies and opportunities, and without research monies and opportunities it is hard to find permanent work at a Uni. Oh well.

Now I will take some Advil, drink more water, take a shower and get back to work.
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For some reason, I'm tense and crabby. Absolutely no reason beyond the usual house/job stress that I should be tense and crabby. And this is a pattern. I tend to have mentally trying times on Saturdays more often than other days.

I think its because with the hubby home my loose schedule falls apart. And I usually don't get food when I need it, because the other person in the picture needs to be taken into account (who never needs to eat, it seems) and we DJ right over the dinner hours (tonight, www.wxdu.org 4-5 EST). Oh, and it occurs to me I tend to eat more sugar, as there are often pastries for breakfast and snacks. And the dab of coffee I don't usually drink. And the fact that I'm tremendously annoyed when hubby doesn't help around the house on weekends, since he actually has time, whereas during the week I cut him more slack because his work is difficult. Huh. Thinking about this enough to write down speculation is actually helpful.

This home (found on the Selby via a link in the NYT, but of course) is really tantalizing to me, so organically opulent. It'd be a bit much for 24/7 living, but dang, so pretty.

It makes me sad that my house isn't more together. I totally thought after nearly a year of living here we'd have a nice cozy house. Instead its still a mess, the walls are white, and it feels like we could move out at any moment, so more like an apartment than a house. Oh well. Everything could be much, much worse. We have a place to live and are in no risk of eviction. And I do enjoy arranging the paint chips on the walls.
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Hubby has the worst food poisoning ever. He is finally managing to keep down food, but dang. If it goes on much past tonight I'm going to demand he go to the doctor for anti-nausea meds and to make sure he's not dangerously dehydrated.

My sleep, as a consequence, was not great last night and today was a medication day to keep back a headache.

Could we just be well please? Yeesh.

And my research group got our NSF turned down. NEH here we come, but I'm not holding out a ton of hope here. Oh well, we will just go more slowly with the research, its a hobby at this point for most of us.

Today has been a gloomy, get nothing done day. I'm climbing out from under the house cleaning, slowly. At least there has been progress on that front. I do not like being a nursemaid, however, it is very distracting.

I wish grad school hadn't utterly killed my interest in reading. I have a bunch of must do reading for a chapter I'm writing and course prep and I have zippo interest in reading anything, let alone academic articles. If you'd asked me as a young adult/child if I'd ever hate reading I would have said "no never!" and given you a funny look. Being sick of reading is a strange place to be. I'm resorting to timing my reading so I get at least some of it done. 45 minutes a day to be upped to an hour and a half next week (I giving myself a little post-semester break). Ugh. Though I am engrossed in Fire Emblem for the DS, and I can use that as a carrot. Carrots are good.

All right, time to take the recycling to the curb and then make supper. Plain noodles for the hubby and curry noodles with peas for me.
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I haven't been posting much because I've been ill. So has Jj, lately. I think this weekend we finally beat it back and I feel back to "normal." Sort of. I'm still nauseous, which makes me worried. I hope this is not a new symptom for which nothing can be done and no explanation can be found. I have enough of those. On the other hand, I don't want it to be anything bad either- much better inexplicable than possibly terminal.

I started acupuncture for chronic migraines. There are a passel of peer reviewed studies out there that show it is better than a placebo or sham acupuncture for reducing headaches. And the drug options I have left for prevention (Topamax, Depakote) are pretty grim as far as side effects. So acupuncture it is. And I have to say, it hurts. Anyone who is like, oh, it doesn't really hurt is just fibbing. All I've noticed so far is I'm getting better sleep, which is nice. Still getting the headaches though. But I'm willing to give it time, I just started this week.

I haven't finished the garden beds, or the fence, the compost bins, getting the gutter up, or removing the poison ivy. The house needs a complete cleaning. I have a ton of academic related stuff to do. Being down for the count for nearly two weeks has really thrown me off. I'm scared to really do up a to do list because I know its going to be a multi-page nested list nightmare at this juncture. Ugh. But my schedule is pretty flexible, so I have some room to be social, which is nice.

There were little outings into the world here and there, after which I'd go home and fall over again. But one of note was visiting this place and its gardens: http://www.plantdelights.com/
The plants there are kind of pricey, but I've never seen so many interesting varieties of hellebores before. I got a few sweet williams and and interesting white salvia from Texas. I enjoyed that outing.

Now... must resist temptation to go out to brunch... ooooh I want biscuits. And I don't have the makings of them here. I also really want to try Watts Grocery. That would be really naughty, however, as we had out to eat at the Indian Food Truck (its a bus, with Indian food, near Duke) last night.
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I'm playing way too many online games (curse you Xplorers!) and noodling around. I need to be productive.

A second car may be in the offing, as I discovered yesterday that my commute for the next month will be 130 miles a day. If the hubinators work was not in the opposite direction of where I need to be we might have a more viable car sharing situation. As is... I don't know. I am really loathe to get a second car, but it would really make life easier. If we do I think we'll get one that requires a car payment and is newer.

I had a dream this morning that all the home organizing I was planning on doing today was for naught because we were going to have to move abruptly. This is adding an odd flavor to getting going on the house tasks today.

I did have something interesting I was going to post and now its gone. Darn. What was it? If it comes back to me I'll post again.
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Still in a bit of a funk. Nothing from my list of complaints has really resolved itself, but at least my TA claimed I was taking his comments the wrong way. Fine. Any way he wants to back off is fine. As long as he backs off. Which he has seemed to.

And I got back from a short run before it rained, which is a blessing counted. I'm running again. I am defying my pained hips. It actually doesn't seem to be making them worse, so what the hell.

I need to write a lecture on colonialism this evening. I have about half of it done and am completely uninspired. Bleh.

Feeling a bit sad about Jeanne-Claude's death. She was 74, lived a very full life and it sounds like she died quickly. Its about as much as one could hope for, really. Still, its sad. I love her and Christo's art, in spite of having negative feelings about their reaction to the person being killed by one of their installations, overall I think its nothing short of brilliant.

And now...

Oct. 13th, 2009 01:57 pm
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I have lost my keys. And its pledge drive week on public radio. The loss of the keys is worse, obviously, but damn, insult to injury there NPR.

The only thing redeeming this day are the kittens playing across the street in view of my window.

I may lock myself out of the house and go on a walk anyway. Provided the hubby comes home, he can let me in. And he wonders why I've been so negative lately... its because I'm buried under an avalanche of petty problems. Like losing my keys.

Bleh.

So pretty out. Thank goodness my computer is still working. Blessings counted.

I just did the "Tony Tony Help Us Now!" evocation. I'm not Catholic, but I like that one. We'll see if it helps.
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My brain is a bit scattered at the moment. I'm considering trying out twitter, just for the heck of it, as it seems to match the brain waves...

Why would folks installing a washer dryer closet use a cooking range outlet? Because at my new house, they did. Which led to yet another trip to Ace Hardware (much much more useful than Lowe's, with the added bonus that the employees actually respond to me as if they understand the language I'm speaking). And will lead to more afternoon fun with washer/dryer installation.

I have no underwear left and my only pair of reasonable summer pants has a hole in the ass. Prepared to be mooned, Weaver St. shoppers! I need detergent.

Trader Joe's is my savior. I'm glad I waited 20 minutes for them to open this morning. My kitchen is not set up and so I will be microwaving meals in the coming days till it comes together. The single serve microwavable mac n' cheese is not something I would normally eat, but dang, if it was around when I was eight I'd have lived off of it. Easy to prepare and it turns out like boxed mac n' cheese. We will see if it has hidden migraine trigger ingredients.

I also must figure out where the Walmart is, because that's the place in town that seemed the most reasonable for prescription filling. Not my preferred choice, but hey, they are cheap.

Living in a furniture tumbled abode is not good. Much work must be done this weekend for my sanity, and poor hubby is away on a work trip. Onward!
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Haven't posted in a while. Been busy with teaching crap.

I feel like I'm being nibbled to death by ducks. An email here, an email there and all the sudden the whole day is gone.

I'm not getting paid a whole lot for this gig either. Less than the TAs, in fact. So I really need to figure out how to be more efficient about it or it really is going to be minimum wage. And I don't do minimum wage anymore. Not that desperate.

At least the first topic out of the gate is evolution. That's my favorite thing to teach.

I hope it cools down soon. That would help my mood enormously. Fall cannot arrive fast enough.

Okay, this is boring. But I felt like breaking radio silence, just for the heck of it.
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Okay, I don't meme that often. The prompt of writing down one nice thing that happened each day in the last seven is appealing to me. I need to practice looking on the bright side a little more.

1) Went out on a nice jaunt with the hubinator... specific nice thing: taking pictures of each other behind the art museum.

2) Went on a run. I like runs.

3) Met our nice new Realtor

4) Had nice dinner at Tupalo's, DJed a reasonably okay set

5) Tues was bad. It just was... um. I guess I appreciate painkillers. Yay for painkillers. Even when they don't work well.

6) Offer accepted on house, even if it was higher than we wanted

7) Yesterday was another dumb day. To top it off, I burned dinner. Oh wait, this isn't the what sucked every day meme. Let's try again... Oh, my headache finally receded after 4 days. A very good thing. And I remembered to water the plants for once this week. I'm grateful for that and I'm sure the plants are too.

Good gravy I lead a dull existence. Well, such is life. And life is okay.
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I have so much to do that I feel nauseous just thinking about it. I will make a list of tasks to tackle today, so I don't have to think about the full lot of things. Though I ought to get to diagramming (yes, I'm afraid the amount of disparate tasks has reached the point of not really fitting in a list- its more like a cloud- and therefore needs diagramming). I really haven't had this many different tasks on my plate for... years? Eeep.

The sad part is I'm not getting paid, per ce, for the bulk of it. Professional development ahoy! And stupid household tasks. Though most of the household stuff could fall under the heading of "pulling myself together post-graduate school." My house must have order and the unnecessary must leave the premises. As quickly as possible.

While the idea of putting together a portfolio for application to NC State's Landscape Architecture program is fun, given all the other crap crowding my plate its being annoying. But at least I have some classes at the Botanical Gardens coming up that will hopefully help with producing something for it. And I need to call them and beg off re-taking the GRE. I mean, for pity's sake, I have a PhD. Can we just say that is adequate as a substitute? Please?

And there is house hunting news, but the hubinator has asked me to remain mum on the subject for fear of jinxing it. Which I kind of agree with. So I will merely mention that there has been movement on that front. Which has its own crazy sets of tasks associated with it.

Okay, sorry for babbling peeps. And sadly, now I'm just more panicked. Greeeat. Time for a list.
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Something we often pondered while driving in France: Why do they have signs that say "All directions" and "Other directions" right next to each other? It seems odd.

I miss the narrow roads all ready. They didn't make driving that much harder, yet being a pedestrian was far easier. I felt like a scurrying animal on my way home with groceries yesterday on foot dodging traffic.

On our five hour drive to Chuck D (my new nick name for Charles De Gaulle airport- somehow it helps me like it more- as do the free luggage carts) we stopped at a gas station etc. and I saw an appalling newspaper headline. It was a cartoon of Michael Jackson as a skeleton and a caption to the effect of "Now he really is white." Whoa. Most offensive thing I've ever seen in France I think.

Its good to be back with my hubinator and my kitties. Engels slept next to me today when I was crashed out after an awful medical procedure (which, for the sake of us all, I won't describe).

Housework is overwhelming. I did a lot of housework over in France (we stay for free at my advisers house, but we pay for it in being housekeepers, cooks, etc.) and now I'm doing a lot of housework here when I should be finishing my Anth 101 syllabus for Fall. Dammit. No more internet noodlings for me. Back to work.
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The hubinator has been gone more than he has been home for the last few weeks (first DC, now Kenya). I'm noticing default patterns emerging that haven't been seen for a while that make me grateful that my solo status is a temporary condition.

I have eaten nachos (chips, cheese, nuke, apply salsa and sour cream, eat) for dinner the last 4 days. Eating the same thing day after day is something I do when I'm not cooking for someone other than me, I've noticed. But when I'm eating solo I almost can't help but fall into the habit. Not a good thing. I need more veggies.

Its really nice being relieved from the chore of making a decent dinner every night. And feeling no pressure over the laundry. Hmm...

With the hubby gone, I have a car. If I have a car, the world is my oyster (well, not quite, but I at least feel more like it is). I have purchased a few things I wouldn't have sans car. Some quasi necessities, like a new scratching post for the kitties, but nonetheless, more than I would have.

My sleep habits have been getting weird again. I go to bed at 1, wake up at 6 or 7, take a nap from 4-7 at night. Must reign that in by not napping.

One good thing is I have been making an effort to be more social. BPAL meet and sniff today, coffee with a friend Thursday, and DJing with Kim Monday. This is good. The BPALers gave me email addresses so I can invite them to a board game night when I have one (probably in about a month and some change...).

This is not the most exciting post ever, but I sort of wanted a record of my habits sans hubinator, so I can think about it. I do miss him bunches and its nice to calculate the good impacts (eating more veggies, keeping me on a sane schedule, etc.) he has in addition to the emotional positives of having him around.

The poor kitties want out door time and I haven't wanted to sit out with them. I should give them a bit of time to eat grass and roll on the sidewalk. They will be really glad when the hubinator comes home.
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Not support anti-bullying legislation?

From the WaPo:

"Anti-Bullying Law Debated in N.C.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A fight is brewing in the North Carolina legislature over protecting schoolchildren from bullies. Supporters of an anti-bullying proposal on Wednesday introduced a bill that would require school districts to adopt policies protecting students from violence and harassment. A similar proposal got hung up last year on the issue of identifying gay students as potential bullying targets. The House passed a bill that included them, but the Senate balked after social conservatives who opposed the measure flooded their offices with phone calls and e-mails. "

Now, why are "social conservatives" opposed? Because they claim that gay students are unfairly favored under the bill. Because everyone who gets bullied is gay, right? And gays who are being bullied don't deserve protection, right? These sorts of Christians aren't Christians. They are just evil. I wish everyone would wake up and recognize that they are as evil and insidious as Nazis.

I will now go and hit my head against a wall in frustration (gently and respectfully towards my head). Then fire off an email to my rep and see if I can find anything else to do in support of the bill.

If the mortgage guy and the dean that's (supposedly) hiring me to teach at Elon next winter would call back, that'd be spiffy. I'm starting to freak out about those loose ends.

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