multipurposegoddess: (goats)
Hey, got an e-mail that the EDX Science and Cooking class has started. I haven't summoned up the energy to click on any of the links to look at the syllabus and whatnot. I suspect  there is auditing in my future. But it does sound super interesting, even if finding the time for it will be a little tricky.

Custard!

Oct. 7th, 2013 06:01 pm
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
I have found a food obsession to temporarily and partially fill the void in my kitchen that eating low carb has created by disallowing dumplings. Chawanmushi! I've already been toying with making custards out of soup stock and found it delightful, and now that I know there is an actual culinary tradition out in the world that has been refining this idea I am all over it.

So far I have not come close to making anything authentic, just steamed some miso custard in tea cups (why don't my lidded tea cups fit in my bamboo steamer? WHY?!) and that is freaking delicious. I don't know if I'll get quite as far as hunting down gingko nuts or, you know, following actual recipes but I am all kinds of excited to marry my long standing love of soup with my newly discovered appreciation of custard's texture and already have a list of 31 combinations of flavors to try...I am halfway serious about eating custard for every meal for a while. It would be pretty easy, although a dozen eggs would not get me through two weeks anymore...

multipurposegoddess: (Default)
So, my parents are coming over today to help me build an arbor for my volunteer grapes (did I mention the grapes here? Random grapevine came up in my backyard, in amongst the wild oats and blackberries and assorted weeds. I discovered it because the spot of purple caught my eye when a bunch fully ripened. They are quite tasty and I got at least 4 bunches this year with no watering or pruning or anything, quite the score!), which seemed like a great idea a month ago, and is still a pretty good idea, really, but well overlaid with my house shame. It's bad, y'all, no one should see how I live, not even family.

It doesn't help that I don't feel like my job is secure right now Due to changes in the business environment, not my performance, but still, it's troubling.

Generally, I feel like any progress I have made in becoming a responsible adult is totally illusory. And if that is true I should be having a lot more fun.

Edited at 8;30pm to update:

I have a grape arbor! It's an unorthodox design using some stuff I had lying around, but I think it will work. We moved around a few of the stepping stones and bricks that I had put down as a sort of patio to give the vine some more room - turns out there is only one rootstock and it was coming up from in between the stones. Pretty nifty. Then we watched the end of the 49ers game which was less nifty, kinda made us all glad we didn't watch the whole thing (we saw the first quarter while we were out to brunch, which was apparently the only part that wasn't disheartening for SF). And the Saints remain undefeated with a well-played game, so, good day.

Although now my face hurts. Stupid sinuses.
multipurposegoddess: (Default)
Man, between Saints football and Breaking Bad, Sunday's are not very relaxing.

I finally took my wedding and engagement rings in to get soldered together. Only been meaning to do that for about 9 years. My left hand feels all weird and naked.

So tired. Ill be going to bed pretty soon after it gets dark tonight, I think.
multipurposegoddess: (j'accuse)
So, Yom Kippur. I'm not spending a lot of energy on atoning, as such,this year. If I've wronged you, let me know because otherwise I will have no idea and I don't want to go around wronging people without at least trying to make it right. But I'm not trying contemplating my past actions or anything. Generally in a more forward- than backward-looking mood lately.

But I am fasting. It's pretty much like my usual Saturdays, in that taking that Day of Rest thing seriously makes the fasting easier, but every time I think, maybe it's time for a glass of water/cup of coffee/piece of chocolate/lunch/whatever, I have to remember no, not 'til sundown. But it's not too bad.

Coincidentally, today is also one year since I started actively trying to lose weight. Official weight loss = 69.7 pounds, which seems okay for a year, squarely in that 1-2 lbs/week that is supposedly okay. Kinda flattened off this past month, I think my body's gotten used to my normal level of activity and I need to think about adding exercise for the sake of exercise. Probably a good idea to get my bike tuned up and make use of my gym membership. I don't think I need to narrow down my goal weight, yet, plenty of time for that once I get my Body Fat % into something like the normal range and don't have  boxes of clothes that used to fit me that I'd like to fit me again. When the personal trainer providers at my gym tried to sign me up, they said I had to have a goal, but I don't think I do. I might be doing better without one, really. Having a routine is more what I want, even if it periodically changes.

I'm eligible for the "salary reduction plan" at work, which sounds like a terrible idea but is just automatic pre-tax payments into the 401K. So that's triggering more what-kind-of-life-do-I-want thinking (because that's kind of the angle of financial planning, you know?). I still don't have any kind of answer. I don't know, maybe just trying to get my work done and making my mortgage payments and trying to live within my means is okay for now and I don't need to worry about the why of it all for a bit longer.
multipurposegoddess: (Default)
My Fall seasonal allergies are just kicking in. I was all proactive and got the Nasalcrom over Labor Day weekend when I'm supposed to, and it seemed like it was taking less than a week to be effective at reducing the symptoms. Unfortunately, I went and left it at home one day when I went to work, so that's a couple of missed doses. And today I went and left it at work when I came home and I'm already feeling the congestion coming back a little. Rats. Shoulda got two bottles.

ION, I occasionally get people coming to the door saying they are upgrading alarm systems or wanting to install one for free for some reason, some spiel like that. It creeps me out so much. Don't ask me about my security, strangers!
multipurposegoddess: (Simpsons)
Not immediately, you understand. Tomorrow. But I have successfully put together my new natural spectrum lamp with attached magnifying lens for an easier time working on my cross-stitch during the game, and the semi-traditional El Pollo Loco leftovers (usually it's Popeye's, I'm branching out in an effort to maintain my low carb diet) in honor of the dirty birds. Whee!
multipurposegoddess: (bees)
Hm, I thought I had a better bee picture. Anyway, a sweet coming year for everyone.

It's been a long week for being short week after a long weekend. Too tired to make much sense, but I wanted to post, so here it is.
multipurposegoddess: (Me)
So, I figured out, I think, that a lot of my general sluggishness and unexplained weepiness (unexplained in that it had no immediately apparent proximate cause)  is due to my seasonal allergies coming back (itchy eyes -> tears -> sadness rather than the other way around is my theory). Yay, because I know what to do about that! I managed to get through the work day and get myself to the grocery store for frozen meals for the rest of the week AND allergy meds, so I am practically on top of things.
multipurposegoddess: (Aruba)
Hi Dreamwidth/Livejournal!

Been a while. Like, all year. Whoops.

Hey, this ended up being a lot of words )

So, anyway, I hope to be able to post more often. I know I'll be able to read more often, so that's something - I feel like I missed out on a lot that I can't figure out how to make my "Reading Page" or whatever go back far enough to get, but I'm here now!
multipurposegoddess: (Default)
I met my sweetie. Or possibly we had our first date. We fudged with what we were anniversarizing in the early days, but this is the date we celebrated. We were going to make it our wedding date so we could keep it as our anniversary, but after his father died we moved the wedding. And then DH's funeral was on our wedding anniversary. What I'm saying is, significant dates, they are hard in multiple ways and today is one.

Miss you, pookie. 
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
...when wrapping kitchen scraps in newspaper inspires me to sing "Feed the Wo-o-orms (Do They Know It's Christmastime)" to myself. I usually think that, no, how could they know? They are worms, for one thing, and I don't celebrate Christmas so they don't get a lot of clues. They might know it's colder and wetter than it used to be, but they live in the garage so they might not even know that. But I am currently drinking gingerbread flavored coffee with the spices in the grounds, so my compost is extra festive. Joyeaux Noel, red wigglers!
multipurposegoddess: Troy and Abed (and Annie) in the Morning (Community)
So, it got cold enough last night/today that it became really apparent that my furnace is not working right. I've suspected for a while that my ducts and vents might have gotten clogged, so I climbed up and took off the vent covers and checked them out and that actually looks okay. So I set about fiddling with the furnace itself and discovered that the glow that I thought meant it was basically worming was actually the electric igniter which seems not be igniting anything. I think the knob inside the cover that is supposed to control the gas flow is busted and has failed to closed. Which is not something I can fix myself. Which is pretty discouraging, especially as the idea of having a repairperson come into my house to fix it makes me cry (I have strangers coming into my house issues, apparently).

But the gas fireplace in the living room can keep that room plenty warm, and between the quilts and comforter I think I can get warm enough to sleep comfortably in the bedroom until I can get myself prepared to deal with an actual repair. And I've already got a space heater in teh bathroom, because the central heating never got it warm enough in there. So I'll manage all right.

And though I felt like I was accomplishing nothing all day, now I actually feel pretty good about what I did get done. I've started packing up H's clothes (which sounds more momentous than it is - I'm not deciding what to keep or what to do with whatever i'm not keeping, I'm just dumping everything into plastic boxes to go out into the shed (hey, it's good enough for dinosaur bones. This is what I learn from reading the Smithsonian magazine) - but is still kind of a big deal, I guess) and I did okay with today's Due Today stuff, so not too shabby. I am just aware of how damn much I have to do in all aspects of my life and it continues to be a whole freaking lot. But that's okay. It'll get done or it won't, won't change the way mustard tastes.

I talked to my sister and she will take my Volvo but not until next May, probably, so I should probably go ahead and replace the battery and blah blah blah little repairs that will make it pleasanter to drive occasionally meanwhile. And she's officially becoming a Buddhist, first vows today. Our family is so interfaith. 
multipurposegoddess: (Default)
 I"m in a bad mood and have a lousy attitude. When I woke up and let the cats out this morning (Walter likes to go to the back door, but when he sees that it's still dark and cold out there, he decides to come back inside and lounge in the living room for a while), I was still tired enough that I went ahead and crawled back into bed. And, as usually happens when I do that, I had icky dreams. Most notably, I dreamed that I was woken up by someone pounding on the front door because they needed me to sign for a package - a huge package that I couldn't remember ordering or imagine what it contained - and only after I had wrestled that inside did I realize that all my stuff from the front rooms was gone. Even my porch swing (I don't have a porch swing, but in the dream I knew there was supposed to be one in front of the kitchen window and I think a chain still dangled from the rafter). As I was wandering around in a daze trying to figure out what happened and exactly what was missing (my rose bush! Dug up!) I actually woke up and nothing was actually missing, but it put me in a foul mood.

And then I ate the wrong breakfast, which is actually fine because now I can have that frittata for dinner, but it threw me off, and I forgot to make coffee until after ten and I just don't want to do anything. Bah.

So I mostly haven't, but I will, as usual, remind myself that doing just what absolutely has to be done is still more than I was doing on days I didn't want to do anything in the past, so progress has been made in its fitful and backslidey way. And I got a long way through the week before hitting the wall, and was unusually active and productive M-W, so that's pretty good, really.

Also, crab salad in an avocado for lunch, which generally makes things better. Yum.
multipurposegoddess: (goats)
Yesterday was my mom's 70th birthday.  She wanted to celebrate by getting a second piercing in her ears, which she mentioned a while back so I looked up piercers on Yelp and found a tattoo parlor with good reviews in Concord. My dad mentioned it to his personal trainer, and (the trainer, who is in his 60s, I think) recommended the place where he'd gotten his tattoo of Jesus carrying his cross and doing pushups (I have not seen this tattoo but it sounds kind of awesome). Dad couldn't remember the name, but he remembered the directions to it, and when we went there it was the same place that I had found on Yelp, so it was definitely the place we were meant to go to.

The piercer was super nice and got Mom set up while Dad and I perused the sample tattoos. He said he was thinking about getting one, but I'm not sure how serious he was. I'm still deciding on the placement of my next one - I don't have the design per se, but I have a pretty good idea what I want and expect to work with an artist to get it right, but I was originally thinking of getting it on my back and now I feel like I want it somewhere where I can see it easily, but also cover it up easily, so, I don't know. Anyway, Mom got little opal studs that she'll keep in until my birthday, and then she can wear her multitude of sparkly studs that she was pretty much never wearing because she has lots of dangly earrings she likes (she can always wear fun earrings that are suitable for the occasion whether it's a holiday or a trip to a historic monument or time to work in the garden) but now she can wear both. So yay!

Then we went to dinner at a pretty great Mediterranean place that gave us all free soup and brought Mom a free piece of baklava with a candle in it, which she said she was going to share but then ate all of, so it must have been pretty good! Then I made Chocolate Chantilly out of a couple of  Valhrona Extra Noir bars, and that was a big hit.

My sister suggested that at some point (which looks like it will be next May, maybe) The four of us (Mom, me, my sister and my niece) have a Girl's Weekend at a cabin somewhere, Lassen or Shasta or wherever ends up working out. My dad loved that idea, so that became part of his birthday present to my mom, too. That will be a lot of fun when it happens.

So, good day. And I was actually productive on my own stuff before doing all that - my To Do list for yesterday is completely cleared! I think I might be a bit of a slug today, though, I'm kind of tired and it's supposed to rain and I have a lot of TV to watch...
multipurposegoddess: (goats)
I have a shiny new resumé thanks to Erin, it's very pretty and makes me sound like a competent person (historically, I have always been a competent employee, but I do not feel like a competent human being in my own day-to-day life, so the resumé making me sound good is a bit of a wonder to me), so I need to get it out there in front of hiring types.

i have a specific company or two to hit up, and craigslist. Reactivating and updating my old monster.com and careerbuilder. I suppose there are probably newer and better sites out there to look at. And this is more or less what linked-in is for, right? So I should get on that. And find that e-mail from the staffing person with an opening I wasn't suited for and send them my resumé in case they have an opening I am better suited for.

That is starting to sound like a lot. Well, it doesn't all have to be done today.
multipurposegoddess: (Aruba)
OK, let's see, Vegas with Lee was superfantastic. Our first night there we went to Sage for an amazing meal that included Fois Gras Creme Brûlée and ended with flaming absinthe. Lee had made us reservations at the spa for the next day, and I ended up spending the whole day enjoying the steam room, heated pools, stone beds, and salt room, except for the time we had smaller but still fabulous meals at a couple of the other restaurants in Aria. Before I had to get to the airport on my last day there, we had time to see the Chihuly exhibit and wander the shops and ride the tram. Such a nice couple of days of vacation.

i must have picked up a bug either there or on the way back - I fought it for a while thinking I could just soldier through, but after eating about a quart of chicken soup at Soul Food Farms Stone Soup Event on Saturday and still feeling bad on Sunday, I had to admit I was actually sick. I ended up losing most of the next week to feeling really crummy and not being able to do anything. 

But that passed and I a nice bounce from being healthy and I've been really quite productive for the past week. Among my usual catching up on household chores, I got my hair cut on Monday www.flickr.com/photos/8313730@N07/sets/72157631883241527/with/8136358869/ and bought a large portion of a business-appropriate wardrobe on Wednesday (I bought candy for trick-or-treaters, but by the time I got home they were pretty much done with my street and then it was raining, so that candy will just have to go in the freezer for next year).

I've avoided the news and storm coverage pretty assiduously, and that was the right call because just watching TDS and Colbert was almost more than I could take. At least my lingering Katrina issues don't come out that often. Except for my irrational resentment that FEMA underwrites my flood insurance, but I'm trying to get over that and it doesn't make any practical difference, really.

So, yeah, that's about it. I'll be job seeking in earnest starting Monday, and I am actually kind of looking forward to it, which is an unexpected development.
multipurposegoddess: (Aruba)
...with my informal Torah Study on Saturday project. I've got the Alter Five Books of Moses I read last year, but I read a different edition of Genesis, so I am going ahead and stick with this edition until I get through Genesis again just for, I don't know, consistency? Seems like the thing to do. I also picked up Everett Fox's translation because Alter mentions it in his introduction as being a very atypical version, and it is. So that's a nice contrast. And I decided to do a Harvard course through iTunes U that uses The Jewish Study Bible from JPS, so getting that seemed like a good idea (and it's the full Tanakh, not just the Pentateuch, and I kind of need that in some form that is not biblical Hebrew (if I even still have that, I think some of it was destroyed by Katrina (that was a good cue for an existential crisis! Didn't last long, though), but in any case, I can't read Hebrew). Haven't cracked that one yet, because I also got a wee bit behind because last Saturday instead of studying I went out to Celebrate Chicken Soup, which also seemed like an appropriate Shabbos thing to do, really. And was delicious and fun, so, no regrets, but today my intellectual curiosity is proving kind of exhausting. The iTunes course is only 26 lectures or whatever, so I don't feel bad about getting behind on that.

Not to mention that I am taking breaks from reading Torah by reading old issues of Smithsonian Magazine, which is kind of too interesting and mentally stimulating for the purpose. Maybe I should watch cartoons or something instead. Or meditate - a good solid session of reminding myself that these are just thoughts arising in my mind would probably do me good...

I have other stuff to talk about (Vegas! mostly, but more about the chicken soup thing, and also looking for work (!), but that will have to wait.

Update

Oct. 14th, 2012 09:27 am
multipurposegoddess: (bees)
I haven't posted in a bit, I guess I've been busy. Not with anything terrifically interesting, though, just plugging away at the great number of things that always need doing. Making pretty good progress, too, visible progress even, which I always appreciate. The last couple of Saturdays I have really needed that day of rest, let me tell you.

Of course, yesterday instead of resting I went on the Martinez Home Tour, which was a good time. For once Mom didn't docent, and we were able to get to all the houses and "points of interest" including the doll hospital (which was fascinating), two houses that we have admired while driving by (which were really nice on the inside, also, and had great gardens), and John Muir's house and the Martinez Adobe (which I haven't been to since they installed all the interpretive materials - so informative, really well put together!). But it took pretty much all day and between walking between houses and walking to find lunch, pretty tiring. Today I just want to hunker down and not do much, but I leave for Vegas tomorrow with [livejournal.com profile] la_perkins and I need to at least do enough laundry to be able to pack for that. But I can do it slowly. And the Saints have a bye this week, so I don't have to worry about football schedules. Everything that is not yet done by the time I get back  will get done eventually, I'm sure.
multipurposegoddess: Troy and Abed (and Annie) in the Morning (Community)
 So, I'm thinking about going to Grad School. Again. This time for a Master's in Eastern Classics. Because I know just barely enough about Chinese history to think I ought to know a lot more, basically. And a little because of the ending of Louie's season finale - my subconscious was very convincing as I was waking up this morning that that made perfect sense.

All my other degrees, including the ones I didn't finish, I went after because they were in some way practical, and this would absolutely not be, and that feels right. Practicality has not really worked out for me, historically.

The main difficulty would be what to do about the house while I'm away doing this (the program is in Santa Fe). I realize I have owned this house for 5 years which is an eternity to be in one place for me and if H was alive we would be talking about moving. Probably deciding we couldn't because the house lost so much value in 2008, but it would have been a conversation. I could try to rent it - it's a year-long program, so getting a tenant with a one-year lease would make sense. I bet I could fit all my stuff in the shed if I really tried, and got rid of the things I don't need to keep. I doubt I could rent it for enough to cover the mortgage, so, the finances probably work out bad with any option.

This particular program only starts in the fall, so lots of time to think about it.

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