daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
A week or so ago I came across an ad for pottery classes here in town, and ever since I've been wanting to sign up for them. The money is not trivial and until spring bike riding-weather arrives transportation is going to be a problem, but still.

I took my first pottery class when I was in my late elementary school years, at the community center of the local park. I no longer remember what attracted me to them in the first place, but I really enjoyed them and did them several years running. Both my junior high and high school offered ceramics classes, which I gleefully signed up for. (I managed to get a D in my high school ceramics class, which looked odd next to my B+ in Advanced Physics. I could never do anything right...) It was in high school that I first heard how uranium compounds make really lovely yellow glazes, a fact I've managed to work into conversations about once a decade.

I took the intro to ceramics class in college to fill my art requirement and then had to stop, because unless you were an art major you weren't allowed to sign up for higher level classes. (I suppose they allowed art minors as well, but I was already minoring in math and English so that never occurred to me.) I never bothered to look for opportunities after college because I Am Not An Artist and Have No Artistic Talent, which closed off all the possibilies I could imagine. But the classes being offered are specifically geared towards people in the community who want to work in clay, and they sound non-stressful.

I have still have a number of the things I made--the very, very large vase inspired by a pine cone, three non-identical mugs, a few bowls, and a drinking horn with incised elvish lettering. (I know one side says "I am Nancy Sauer's" because I can recognize my name, but I'll need to dig out my copy of the Return of the King to translate the other side.) I've started a list of things I could make in the future, just in case I make this work--I don't want to spend the first week trying to figure out what I want to do!


Oct. 4th, 2016 11:34 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I should have been in bed more than an hour ago; work was hard today and it's going to be worse tomorrow. I just don't feel like going to bed. Part of it is I suspect I fell asleep briefly before dinner, and part of it is that I have so many things I think I ought to be doing I feel guilty going to be without doing something. Of course, as I am running on short sleep I've been spending a lot of time just staring into space which, as you might imagine, is not helpful.

Bad things so far this week: I tried to donate platelets at the blood bank Monday and was rejected because my iron was too low, something that has never happened before. I rescheduled for next Monday and had started a campaign to bring up my iron stores--beef, leafy green vegetables, multivitamin plus iron, etc. I was only slightly under, so this should be fixable.

It's Tuesady already and I've gotten nothing done.

I finished N.K. Jemisin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and it was so wonderful I think Inshould give up trying to write a novel.

Good things so far this week: I think that physical therapy is fixing the pinched nerve in my neck. Imhave jot yet managed to do all the assigned exercises twice a day, but I do as much as I can and the tingling in my arm is definitely decreasing.

I'm still on track to meet my October bicycling goal. I want to get to 300 miles on my odometer by the end of the month, and I can do it if I can manage to average 4 miles a day. I had been afraid I would fall behind today because of the weather, but it cleared up a little after 3 and I was able to get a long ride in.


May. 27th, 2016 09:55 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
It's rained almost every day this week and it's starting to get me down. I am trying to not get sucked down, but I don't think I'm doing well. It's raining, the person ordering bakery supplies at work isn't ordering us enough white flour (we've run out twice this week already and I don't know if we are going to make it through the weekend), I haven't written anything in over a week, and I was reminded yesterday that it really doesn't matter because if you want to make money with writing you write romances, and I can't write romances.

No, really, I can't write them. I can write stories where the characters have romances, but that's not the same. Romance, the genre, is defined by the Happily Ever After, the payoff, the fantasy that there is Someone Out There who loves you and wants to be your life-partner and after a series of suitably scripted problems the two of you get your denouement and ride blissfully off into the sunset. I can't write that. It's too painful to be reminded that I'm not going to get a HEA, I'm not even going to get dates, I'm not going to ever get someone to tag-team with me through life, and I'm going to die as I have lived, alone. Which sounds incredibly melodramatic when I put it down in text, but it's still true.

I need to shake this off. I have a stack of short stories in various stages of completion, there's an anthology I want to submit something too, and I still need to humiliate myself with a draft of a novel. (I still want to write what I want to write because I'm stupid. And because I have stories inside of me.) This is Nebraska so the rain can't really last forever, and sunshine will help.
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
I'm behind on posting here, for various reasons. One of them is that in mid-April I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. It's currently mild enough that my doctor thinks we can control it with healthy eating and exercise, and since I'm highly invested in not having to take a pill every day I'm trying hard to make this happen. But doing this means that I'm having to think a lot about my food: I have a maximum number of carbs per meal (and snack) that I need to aim for, and any time I have a carb-rich food I need to eat something protein-rich to go with it. I am telling myself that this is temporary, after a while I'll be familiar with everything and it won't seem like so much work--but I'm feeling flashes of overwhelmed. This makes me feel slightly cranky, which in turn makes me feel guilty, because I know of people who are managing far worse health problems than this. I don't deserve to be able to feel bad about it.

As a corollary to my healthy eating campaign I have been losing weight. This is all good, because this will make managing my diabetes easier. I've lost 13 pounds so far, apparently all of it from my neck, as that's the only measurement that seems to be changing. I am assuming that eventually I'll run out of fat in my neck and other parts of me will get smaller, but this is only an assumption on my part.

I'm otherwise conflicted about my weight loss. On one hand, improved diabetes control and the chance to buy clothes in the Petite Misses section, which might have slacks short enough to fit me. On the other hand, I don't think I'm going to hate myself less. My current dream-weight is roughly the same weight I was in college, and I hated myself then. I've always hated myself over my weight, and this is unlikely to change. I'm never going to be a single-digit dress size, which means I'll always be unacceptable.
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
The problem with being sick--aside from the obvious that I am sick--is that I live alone, and when I'm home being sick I lack even the minimal social contact that work provides. I came home early on Thursday, and missed work Friday and Satuday. Sunday and Monday are days off, which is good for sleeping more and getting better and bad for my loneliness. I have friends, but I seem to lack friends in town who consider me part of their lives. Or maybe I'm just too demanding. Or maybe, probably, this is all somehow my fault.

Someday I will die, and no one will notice until I fail to show up for my work shift.


Mar. 2nd, 2015 09:56 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I'm trying out my free sample of BPAL's Vixen. It's making a bid to be one of the very, very few patchouli-note perfumes that I don't hate with the hate of a million fangirls. I'm intrigued!

I am trying to get ready for my trip this weekend. I had to work today, which is normally my day off, but I went grocery shopping, washed dishes, and cooked. I should have done laundry as well, but I wussed out. :(

I wrote a page of a new story, but I'm thinking of tossing it all out. I don't like how it opens, but can't think of what to do better. It so frustrating. I wish I could find an idea that amused me, the way DA amused me. (DA was never supposed to be a real story, it was my effort to master first-person POV. Maybe that's why I felt free to stuff cool things into it.) At this rate I might as well go back to studying Latin; it would keep my brain limber and give me an excuse to play with my pens and ink.

The larger of my two orchids is blooming with great enthusiasm. I need to come up with a way to support the bloom spike before it tips the pot over. It's safe for now, as I have it leaning up against the lemon tree, but I can't see it well from that perspective.


Feb. 16th, 2015 08:52 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
Got half the dishes washed, along with enough laundry to get through the week. I desperately need to wash some towels, but that will have to wait. Watered plants, took out trash, fed myself, had nap.

Did not get any letters written or food made for tomorrow, so I'll have to buy lunch at work. I hate doing that when I have so much food at home, but all that food is ingredients and turning it into food to eat takes time and energy.

Dropped two pens today, my Pelikan 200 and a Lamy 2K. The 200 was capped and fell onto a pile of papers, so it's fine. The 2K was uncapped and fell on to the tile floor of my bathroom. The drop was only a couple,of feet and I don't think it hit nib-first, so I'm hoping for the best. I'll know tomorrow when I ink it up.

At some point this week I have my annual eval. So not looking forward to this.

Loser me

Feb. 15th, 2015 07:40 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
I don't know what is wrong with me, or even if there is something wrong with me.

In January I decided that there were areas of my life I wanted to improve. I made some lists, decided what to change first (I'm old enough to know I can't change everything at once), and started it. For a few weeks all seemed to be going well, but I've hit a snag. These last two weeks I've been pretty useless; I've managed to get myself to work and that's about it. I'm behind on everything--dish-washing, laundry, housework, gardening, crochet, writing, EVERYTHING.

I got up late this morning and frittered away the day reading the Internet and taking cat-naps. :(

I hate the state of my apartment but when I look at it all I want to do is crawl into bed and hide. I'm running out of clothes, my kitchen is a wreck, my pens and crochet hooks are giving me reproachful looks.

In summary

Feb. 13th, 2015 04:07 pm
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
I don't believe in astrology, but I must admit that most of this week could be summed up as "Mercury is in retrograde".
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
I didn't go to work today, having woke up with a sore throat and sinus pain. This was frustrating all around, because I could look around at all the housework that needed to be done but couldn't summon up the energy to do anything about it. My brain was frizzy as well, so I could neither write nor read anything needing concentration. It's been frustrating.

I did get a pen flushed out, the M200. I have decided that for my NaNo first draft I am going to use my Iroshizoku samples, so tomorrow when it is dry I'll choose the first one and load it up. Whee!
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
Still feeling down.

It's raining now, which I have mixed feelings over. Still, it was sunny when I walked home and the clouds didn't start rolling in until close to sundown so there is that. After dinner I hung out with my friend V. Neither of us had any pressing errands, so I suggested going down to Trader Joes for a scouting expedition. TJ really isn't my kind of a store--it's the kind of place where all the frozen food directions assume you have a microwave--but I'm planning to give some food gifts this Christmas and I decided now was a good time to explore my options.

I ended up buying a few food things to try out. More importantly, I bought myself a miniature rose in bloom in hopes that flowers would help cheer me up. They haven't done anything yet, but I've only had them a few hours. It's a bicolored rose, red with white splashes. I would have preferred a pure red but none was available. In the symbolism of roses red is for knowledge or passion, and white is for innocence, making this a somewhat confused plant. Maybe that is why I am starting to warm to it.


Oct. 21st, 2014 06:28 am
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
I woke up this morning in the same frame of mind that I went to bed with. The outline was a waste of time better spent cleaning. Even accepting that I could write a non-horrible novel, I can't write to the popular taste. I should stick to crochet: at least then I'm making something useful.

Goings on

Sep. 15th, 2014 05:44 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I've been bad about journaling this past year, and it's gotten really bad since my laptop died. My iPad gives me internet access, but two-finger typing on the screen keyboard gets discouraging fast. (And I don't always catch autocorrect's oh-so-helpful improvements, either.) But I was recently reminded of how nice it is to dip into old memories, so I am going to try to do better.

The big thing I'm thinking about now is taking a Vacation next year. This sounds kind of odd, because I generally take two vacations a year-- one to visit my best friend, and the other to go to Gencon (which happily allows me to see my other best friend, and lots of other friends, and play games, all at the same time). I still want to do that next year, but I think I need to take another kind of Vacation, one where I go someplace I've never been before and do things I've never done.

I've had this lurking in the back of my head for some time now, but the realization that I'm turning 50 this year has made it more of a priority. If I'm going to avoid turning into my mother as I age, I have to keep looking for ways to challenge myself. Taking up Latin and flailing around trying to write is a good start, but I am not going to stop there. I need to keep trying new things.

So I'm thinking of going to California. As a Vacation destination this has a lot of pluses. I've never been west of the Rockies, so everything there will be new to me. The Pacific Ocean is there, and I would like to see it. (Being a Nebraska girl, I was in my 30s before I saw the Atlantic.) I know a few people there, so I could do some visiting. And best of all, I could take the train: the California Zephyr goes right through town all the way out to the Bay Area. It means that getting there would take two days, but that's two days of seeing landscapes I've never seen before, which is part of the plan anyway.

This plan needs a lot of work, I need to come up with what I would want to do and how much it will all cost and how many days time off I plan to spend. But if I start now I can break the whole thing down into non-traumatic parts. And even if that Vacation doesn't happen, I'll have learned skills I can apply to some other Vacation. I think that's a good plan.
daidoji_gisei: (Cooking)
For many months I've been stressed out by things that were going on in my life and one of my reactions to this has been making bad food choices which leads to weight gain which makes me unhappy for various reasons which raises my stress level which...you see the pattern, right?

However some things have shifted around in my life this month and I had an awesomely fun and refreshing vacation trip with friends and so this past weekend I decided it was time to change some things. Improving my general health was near the top of the list, and since it had the side benefit of helping my clothes fit better I decided I now had lots of incentive. (Got to go clothes shopping with my best friend and spent lots of money on pretty and non-work-useful clothes. It was a blast.).

With that in mind, I opened up the MyFitnessPal app I had downloaded after getting my iPad. It had been recommended as a good fitness app, and it was free, so. It has two basic functions: tracking what you eat and what you do as exercise. As you put in your foods eaten it maintains a running count of calories, carbs, fats, proteins, iron, etc. When you log your exercise it deducts the calories you expended from the total. It also provides nutritional breakdowns by the day and by the week, which I think will be useful.

The first thing I've learned is that I have not been eating enough protein. (This seems downright unAmerican, but there you have it.) It seems that all these years I've been eating enough for the weight I wanted to be, and not the weight I really am. Oops. Even worse, I'm not eating enough sodium. This doesn't seem like a huge deal until one considers that live in a place with hot summers and I don't use air conditioning--on really hot days I can sweat a lot, and I need to make sure I replace that lost salt.

The app will calculate eating plans based on your goals, whether it be to gain, maintain, or lose weight. It won't calculate a plan to make you lose more than two pounds a week (and it's set up to *strongly* suggest only one pound a week), which I think is very responsible of the developers. I am currently following the plan to lose one pound a week, but if I can get my eating habits under control I might try for a more ambitious goal. We'll see.


May. 19th, 2014 06:54 pm
daidoji_gisei: "Because I'm worth it" (L'oreal)
I didn't get as much work done this weekend but I am feeling almost rested and relaxed. I washed some dishes today and did enough laundry to keep myself decently clothed for a few days, also finally deposited my paycheck. Spent the afternoon having a lovely, lovely phone call and I don't regret a moment of it. :-)

And now a meme from [personal profile] yhlee:

What are the, say, top 5 things you associate with me?
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I worked slightly over 10 hours today; it's my second 10 hour day this week. The next two days aren't looking good either: We have a big sale going on this weekend, two coffeehouses have placed big orders for the end of the week, and I'm short-staffed. It's an exciting life.

I'm sitting at my desk playing on the internet and gathering the energy to walk home and embark on the effort of feeding myself. I have some food already cooked at home, but I need to think of something to do for a vegetable or two. Buying something on the way out of the store is sounding too tempting!

On the happy news front, today I was surprise-gifted a Pilot Metropolitan pen (F nib, lizard colorway) and a bottle of ink (De At's Lavender) by a friend. I'm excited to try it out--I have a M-nibbed Metro that I really like, and I've been curious about the F nib ever since it was announced. I shall ink up the new pen with the new ink tonight and the first thing I'll do is write out a thank-you note.

Monday night while taking a bath I had the radio on to a station that played music from the past three decades or so (how did the 70s and 80s become so far back in time?) and they played Jackson Browne's "You Love the Thunder". This is a song I've always liked but hearing it now I was struck by how perfect it would be as a writing-soundtrack-song for the Fire Saint novel because it describes a large number of relationships going on in in it. In fact, not only can you reverse the genders in the song and still have it work, I suspect that you could use any combination of genders and it would still apply somewhere. I'm trying to decide if I want to get a CD of the album it is from or just buy the song. I'm in no rush because until I get my computer situation under control I have no way of putting a playlist together.
daidoji_gisei: Rukia being her normal delicate self (Delicate)
A few years back my workplace was targeted for protests by the local IWW chapter because I had fired someone who was a member of said chapter. (This astonished me, because I hadn't even realized that the IWW still existed.) The weeks that followed were full of stress, but looking back (and yes, I realize how memories distort things) the times I am going through now at work are even more stressful. It's ridiculous; I don't even want to come to work most days. Yesterday on FB some people on my feed were sharing around a meme that had the phrase "Complaining about a situation without offering solutions is called WHINING", and my reaction to this was "F YOU". If I knew a solution for my problem I wouldn't be sitting here hoping to come down with food poisoning Monday night; I'd be doing something to make my situation better.

In other news, my garden is in desperate need of weeding. I managed to catch up on laundry big-time last week, so I have some hopes of progress here. Also, I got an email from Robinette Farms this week and my CSA pickup starts at the end of the month. Veggies!

I've been trying to write every night and not getting a lot done. I feel so strung out and tired it's hard to rally my brain into the challenge of getting words lined up in sentences. Also, I lack conviction that it matters. I'm trying to seduce my brain by pointing out that if I use up ink faster I'll have an excuse to buy more colors, but so far that idea lacks traction.

I'm not sure if I'll get to play L5R Monday night. I still haven't found time to sort my cards, and it seems pointless to show up without a new deck. I'm also now wavering about going to KC for the Kotei. It seems like a waste to spend the money to rent a car if I don't have anything decent to play at the tournament. Granted it is an excuse to take two days off of work, but still.
daidoji_gisei: loaves of bread (bread)
Dragged myself out of bed sometime before 8 and after breakfast and two pots of tea (my normal intake is one) I got myself to work. Having to work that overnight on Monday really messed me up, and tomorrow I need to be at work at the regular time, alas.

My original plan was to be starting to write LwtL this week; so far that has not happened. I can't write when my sleep patterns are messed up; the brain won't focus. On the one hand this irritates me; I can't demonstrate how horrible a writer I am if I can't write. On the hand it is a relief that I can put off being reminded what a horrible writer I am.

The weather turned cold again so I haven't gotten any more work done in the garden. I really, really need to get my pepper and main-season tomatoes started this week; they need to be ready to go in the ground at the end of May.

I, ah, may have bought another fountain pen. I got it with an italic nib, so I can at least say that it fills a hole in my collection. Also it was shiny and I'd worked the night shift and this is why I don't store my credit card info on the Goulet site because otherwise this would be a far more frequent happening. As it is, I need to swear off new pens for the foreseeable future because I need to save money for a new computer.


Mar. 11th, 2014 06:02 pm
daidoji_gisei: "Because I'm worth it" (L'oreal)
Stressed-out and tired. Feeling like I want to buy something to cheer myself up, which is bad for several reasons. First, objects can't really make you happy. Second, I sent off a deposit check for a CSA subscription this summer which takes care of most of my discretionary cash for this fortnight. Third, Kotei season is upon me and if I really want to go anywhere I need to pinch pennies!

But I am tired and I like shiny things. Happily, I'm too tired to decide what shiny thing I want. I declare, indecision has saved me from so many bad choices it isn't even funny.

Good things

Mar. 6th, 2014 05:23 pm
daidoji_gisei: blooming tree branches against blue sky (Color of Sky)
Today someone posted a really nice message on my FB wall, thanking me for raising their interest in fountain pens. Due to work requirements they had ended up trying a Jinhao x750 and have been delighted with the writing quality. I was touched by the note! Now I'm wondering if I should try the Jinhao myself. I've shied away because it's metal-bodied and I like light pens, but according to Goulet it is only slightly heavier than the Pilot Metropolitan and I have no problems with that.

Speaking of Goulet, I got my first Ink Drop today. Such fun! The theme is "Lasting Impressions"--permanent inks--and none of them were orange, so I was happy. (Seriously, I can't deal with orange and I had a minor fear that Orange would be this month's theme.) Two of them are inks I already have, but I like them, so that's ok. I'm looking forward to trying the other three, after I figure out what pens to put them in. Seriously, how did I end up with most of my collection inked up?

Last Saturday I had D, a friend who I haven't seen in a few years (despite living in the same town) over for a small tea party. It was a really great afternoon; we talked for about three hours and time just flew by. If I were the kind of person who tried to justify dumb things I had said by saying, "I can't be anti-[X], I have a friend who is [X]!" then D would be my lesbian, African-American, radical-feminist, anarchist friend. I am sometimes confused as to how we could be friends, but I guess that it proves that people are more important than labels. So we drank tea and nibbled on the food I'd made and it was like we hadn't been separated at all.

The weather forecast for this weekend is sunny and (relatively) warmer; I think I'll be able to get out and start prepping my garden for spring.


daidoji_gisei: (Default)

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