Sigh of relief

We’ve had a contractor repairing the siding on our house, and he just finished yesterday. It’s that class action suit* compressed oatmeal, or whatever it’s called. Some kind of masonite, and if it gets wet, it dissolves. Yeah, great choice for a building material! Although we can’t afford to redo the entire house, he replaced a goodly amount. I guess my plan is to have him take a look every year until eventually it’s all hardiplank.

*Which we didn’t qualify for, because reasons.

The floor upstairs is almost done. That is, the floor itself is done and now we’re doing the molding. We’ve got about half of it cut. There are a lot of coped corners, and that’s slow work. This week I hope to get them all painted, doing it after work, so that we will be ready for nailing as soon as they’re all cut. We’re undecided whether to rent a nailer or buy one. It’s $70 to rent, approximately $250 to buy (with compressor and battery). According to my calculations, if we did 4 rooms we’d save money. And we are planning to do 4 rooms. So there’s that.

I’ve been very patient with this process (we started on July 2), but man am I ready for it to be done! So ready.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 6.07.10 AMIn other news, I found that the yoga poses are available on my desktop, just not my tablet. Don’t know why. I’d been doing them in the office in front of the computer, but then the other night I wanted to do them in the living room. So today I made some notes, in case I want to do them sans electronic guidance.

Walked to the farmers market yesterday and got zucchini, red peppers, peaches, and garlic. The temperature change was wonderful. That will end soon enough, but I did have a walk around the block in the afternoon, and will have a bit of a hike today. I’m going to a training session and will be walking, because it’s about 5 blocks and no where to park. I guess I could do an Uber, but for that distance, meh. So that will be a little bonus bit of activity.

Feeling optimistic. I know I haven’t been making any long, boo-hoo-I’m-so-depressed blog posts, because it’s been nothing that dramatic. Just sort of “tired of everything.” I’ve been cutting myself some slack, because a new job is always stressful, and maybe it will help to just be kind to myself for a while. Which I have been, and now it’s time to get a little stern with myself🙂

The universe messes with me

As usual.

Finally did a little workout last night. Yep. I’m not sure how long it’s been. June? I don’t know. But the temperatures dropped drastically, and it was only 87° yesterday. I felt so energized that as soon as I got home I did some of Hrodebert’s PT knee exercises, then some bodyweight stuff: pushups, squats, lunges. Wanted to do those yoga for desk sitters moves after, and then found the videos are now premium content. Dang. Which is fair, I guess, but I’m sad to lose them. Will have to do some research and find my own. Or someone could recommend some moves/postures, because I don’t remember what those were.

As reward for my efforts, I slept terribly last night. Was awake 2-3 hours, then slept fitfully after that. Anxiety dreams. This morning I feel like shit on a shingle. Weird phrase, won’t delve into it right now.

It’s supposed to be cool again today, so I’ll be walking to the farmer’s market, for only the second time this year. It’s four blocks away, and I’m in so many constant meetings I rarely can find the opportunity on a Tuesday or Thursday. Today I have a glorious 3-hour window with no meetings.

Also planned some camping trips for every month through the end of the year. So excited!!

Change is coming

This has been such a bumpy year, of starts and stops and delays. It was to be the Year of Hiking, and then Hrodebert was out of commission for months. It was to be the Year of Camping, and weather ruined our plans every single time.

Carpe diem, people. You don’t know when you’ll get the opportunity again.

At least I’ve stopped fighting against my own personality, for the most part. I’m just more accepting now that I’m not a “people person,” I’m bad at IRL friendships, I don’t like social events or going places. I mean, I like going to museums and parks and different cities, but I don’t like parties, conferences, movie theaters, crowded restaurants. I’m feeling less compelled to force myself to do things I don’t like, because it’s somehow salubrious.

Much of that acceptance is because one of the guys at work is practically my identical twin in temperament and attitude. And he’s just fine with himself the way he is.

This is leading up to a Fresh New Start, Gingerzingi Style. I’ve been so very sedentary lately that I’m starting to feel gross. The heat has discouraged me from doing much—that and The Floor—and it’s time to start taking action. ’Drea posted a link to some great yoga movements for people who sit a lot, and I’m doing those every day. I’m working into starting a program of some sort in early September. Something weights-based, but hopefully broader than that. I almost want to do P90X again, because it’s so nice to have DVDs to follow along mindlessly. Sadly, I’m not in good enough shape to do P90X. So I’ll need an interim program.

This is hilarious: I took secret photos of her and will look at them when I need a self-esteem boost. And clearly written about me. The best line: “I hope her doctor reminds her of that every time she has a checkup.”

Alone

by Bruce Kiskaddon

The hills git awful quiet, when you have to camp alone.
It’s mighty apt to set a feller thinkin’.
You always half way waken when a hoss shoe hits a stone,
Or you hear the sound of hobble chains a clinkin’.

It is then you know the idees that you really have in mind.
You think about the things you’ve done and said.
And you sometimes change the records that you nearly always find
In the back of almost every cow boy’s head.

It gives a man a sorter different feelin’ in his heart.
And he sometimes gits a little touch of shame,
When he minds the times and places that he didn’t act so smart,
And he knows himself he played a sorry game.

It kinda makes you see yourself through other people’s eyes.
And mebby so yore pride gits quite a fall.
When yore all alone and thinkin’, well, you come to realize
You’re a mighty common feller after all.


Did you know there is a thing called Cowboy Poetry? I didn’t.

The first verse kind of irritated me, because I don’t like things written in dialect. It seemed like fakey dialect, too, and I didn’t like the greeting card cadence. Changed my mind by the second verse. The dialect is to get you hearing the cowboy’s head in your voice, to hear how he sounds as he thinks to himself. The first verse also sets the scene; in just a few sentences you have a pretty complete picture. It’s all about the sounds—quiet hills, the horse shoe, the clinking. Again leading you into hearing the poet’s voice. Well done.

My favorite line is “And you sometimes change the records.” I don’t know how often I’ve ruminated over some incident, as though it’s going to end differently if I think about it a million times.

I don’t know if the cowboy is someone arrogant or not prone to self-examination, who only finds these humbling moments of self-reflection rarely, or whether he’s someone like me who agonizes during sleepless nights about what a horrible person I am. I think it’s likely the former, but I’m not placing any bets.

Everything That’s Wrong of Raccoons

by Mallory Ortberg

Is this poetry or not? I dunno. It doesn’t rhyme, it doesn’t have metered verses. But I can’t see it as just “writing.” So I’m going to take a chance on this one, and next week I’ll have a more poetry-like poem.

Background: I found The Toast about a month before they shut down. ARRRGGGGHHH. But at least there are plenty of archives. You remember my second Poem of the Week, I linked to The Toast version of it.

Everything on The Toast is the funniest thing I’ve read in years. You know, I’m very old, and I was using the internet before the web, back in the days when it was a command-line interface through usenet or whatever. When the web came out, there were some really creative and funny sites. Not that there aren’t now, but the web did go through a very bad period where everyone sounded exactly the same. There was A Voice for writing for the web, and while there’s nothing wrong with that voice, it’s just objectionable that ALL voices sounded like it.

Anyway, I find so much of The Toast to be hilarious and unique and it makes me smile. This “article” about raccoons is such a wonderful use of language. My favorite part, besides ALL of it, is in the title: Everything That’s Wrong OF Raccoons. That tiny bit of off-ness is superb. Also “scrubblement.”


Too many people want you to dismiss a raccoon’s deal of “Oh they’re mischievous cat-dogs with friendly washed hands and a jewel-thief face” when it’s really an ALL-HANDS NO-FEET TRASH-CAT WITH A DOG’S STOMACH AND A POSSUM’S HEART.

It can put itself up in trees but it waddles on the ground, I can’t be in trustment of a beast that clambers and waddles both; either be graceful and lithe all of times, or be clumsy and relatable on the ground. Seals can barely pull off “limber in the water, silly on a rock” and raccoons, you are not seals, you do not have their wise old laugh-faces, you just seem creepy and duplicitous.

Once when my dog died a passel of raccoons showed up in the backyard as if to say “Now that he’s gone, we own the night,” and they didn’t flinch when I yelled at them, and I found it disrespectful to 1) me personally and 2) the entire flow of the food chain. Don’t disrespect me if you can’t eat me, you false-night-dogs.

YOU SCRUBBLEMENT UP YOUR WITCH HANDS AND I DON’T TRUST IT, THAT IS A HUMAN ATTRIBUTE AND I WANT YOU TO LEAVE THAT TO US, STOP BEFORE-WASHING AND RUBBLE-SCRITCHING YOUR FUR-FINGERS, YOU MASHED-DOWN SMALLBEAR

They’re a dense badger lie

THEY CAN POINT THEIR FEET BACKWARDS TO CLIMB DOWN TREES, THEY CAN SWIM, THEY CAN SWEAT LIKE A YOU OR ME, A PERSON OR PANT LIKE A DOG TO COOL DOWN AS THEY CHOOSE, THEY IDLY AND INSOLENTLY SLIDE BETWEEN THE ANIMAL AND THE HUMAN WORLD AND IF THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU TAUGHT ME NOTHING ELSE IT’S THAT THAT IS FUCKED UPWARDLY

I don’t like the word “chittering” and that is the only sound a raccoon makes

MAYBE THEY ARE AN ASSEMBLAGE OF VERY CONDENSED SQUIRRELS THAT POWERED UP INTO A MEDIUM-SIZED BEASTIE AND THAT WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE, IF SQUIRRELS HAD DEVELOPED POWER-RANGER-LIKE ABILITIES

I hate the way they wobble-squample across the street at night when you see a shadowy mass under a streetlight and then it turns out to be like seven fur-children

A raccoon is the child of a cat and a wizard and it walks in too many worlds for it to be allowed to stay in this one

STOP LOOKING AT ME, YOU RIVER-DABBLER

You want to see photos of my vacation, right?

Hope so.

If you click on them, there are captions.

It was a wonderful trip, we had a lovely time, Richmond is very cool and much groovier than I was expecting. The weather was quite tolerable for this time of year. There were only a few times when the heat and/or humidity was deathly. I feel much refreshed from the break.

8/10, would do again.

Mehlympics

I have zero interest in the Olympics this year. Partly because I feel so much tsuris and angst about having it in Brazil. That’s just a super bad idea. Then the lousy TV coverage, the doping scandals, the corruption in the IOC… this should be about the athletes, and it isn’t, at all.

I’m not a child who expects unmarred purity, that’s just not going to happen in any human endeavor. But I feel I’ve reached my shittiness limit with the Olympics.

I’m not the first person to suggest that we need a permanent location for both summer and winter Olympics, which is maintained and operated by contributions from all nations. That doesn’t solve everything, but at least a different country doesn’t get fucked over every four years. The economic benefits of hosting the Olympics are nonexistent, so it’s not like the countries are losing an opportunity. There could still be a different “host” country each time, but all they’d have to do is organize and fund the opening ceremony and remember to order matching tablecloths and napkins.