Do something else

Things I should be doing:

  1. Working, because that’s what I get paid to do and it’s the middle of the day (or it was when I wrote this).

Things I should be doing that will make me feel better:

  1. Looking for a new job.
  2. Reading my book. Sadly, this one doesn’t belong on this list right now.  Reading this particular book does NOT make me feel better.  It’s depressing, which is sometimes okay (memoir, sucky childhood), but it’s also not written very well.  I should probably put it down.
  3. Re-learning how to play my ukulele.
  4. Taking a walk.

More harm than good

Today’s yoga class was terrible.  Maybe I should rephrase that.  I was terrible in today’s yoga class.  It was a relax and restore class, which mostly involved lying down and breathing, and I sucked at it. It’s not like I haven’t had plenty of practice lately.  I’ve gone to seven yoga classes in the last twelve days, and each one has been really great except for today’s.

I couldn’t get comfortable.  I was always aware of some muscle strain or of the side of my foot pressing too hard into the mat, and I couldn’t turn my brain off.  I’m hungry, I have to pee, ooh there’s a train, I’m cold, I’m hot, that guy over there is breathing really loudly, I don’t see the point of doing tree pose while lying down, how do people sit cross-legged for this long, I hope no one heard my stomach grumble just now, seriously why is that guy vocalizing his exhale?

I actually considered leaving about halfway through because I didn’t feel like I was getting anything out of it, and in fact, it was stressing me out a bit.

I’m counting on this being a fluke and getting my yoga groove back next time I go.

Women’s March

Over 7,000 people marched in Eugene today, me and John and Christina included, in solidarity with people all over the country and the world. There was chanting (“This is what democracy looks like” and “My body, my choice, her body, her choice” and others), a drumline, lots of signs, and a ton of rain.  Supposedly there were speakers, too, but we didn’t see or hear any of them.  Just a lot of friendly people walking together, bumping into each other and apologizing constantly.  No violence, no threats, no crime. (Okay, the newspaper said there was one graffiti incident.)

I don’t have anything profound to say here, not least because it would be in violation of my mission statement.  I’m just glad we went.

NOPE

No.  Uh uh.  Not gonna do it.

Look, a puppy cam! Gosh, they’re cute. But now they’re napping.

Ooh! Donkey cam! That’s fun, but they’re not really doing anything.

Holy shit, penguin cam!

Maybe today’s not so bad after all.  For those of you not into live-streaming animals, have some random adorable pictures from the internet instead:

You’re welcome.

Moving on up

Guys, I jumped over 2 feet today! Well, the horse did, but I stayed on! Things are progressing on that front.

The jump looked like this, but not as fancy (there’s not much fancy at this place):

I have no idea if Tigger and I look like that horse and girl. We probably don’t look that cool. And actually, that might be higher than 2 feet, so you know? I probably don’t look anything like that.

I got a glimpse of my future today, too. I shared my lesson with Daisy, a 14-year-old who has been riding for half her life. (I don’t think becoming a 14-year-old is in my future.) We were basically doing the same things, but she was doing them better, faster, and then Wendy had her jump the same course WITHOUT STIRRUPS. What kind of leg muscles do you have to have to canter a course of eight 2-feet jumps without anything to brace your feet?

Someday.

Utter nonsense

Dove Promises: cute little bites of chocolate with messages hidden for you inside the wrappers. Usually, I like the messages. “Why not?” “Build a bridge…with chocolate.” “Ignore the clock.” At worst, they’re dumb. (At best, they’re dumb, but I take amusement where I can get it.)

Today, though, I read one that went too far.

“Read the last page first.”

What? Why? What kind of monster would do that? Do you watch the end of movies first? Watch the series finale of a show with no context? Listen to the last 10 seconds of a song and then go back to the beginning?  You’re probably the type of person who finds all of your hidden birthday presents before they’re wrapped, steals candy from babies, and reads spoilers for movies and shows and SHARES THEM WITH OTHERS.

Not cool, bro.

I did it!

I finished The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry this morning, and I am ready to go to my new book club tomorrow evening.  It was a nice book, sweet, about nice people and a bookshop.  What’s not to like?  After I finished that, I finished Abaddon’s Gate (the book I kept putting aside, through no fault of its own – it was very good), and then I started Court of Fives.  I did all of that before noon today (while hanging out at a coffee shop I can walk to from the house), and then I went to the grocery store, read a bit more at home, ran outside for the first time in 5 weeks, and now I’m making a sweet potato pie to take to Wendy (riding instructor) like I promised I would back at the holiday party.

It has been a very productive day off.

Read like the wind

I saw a flyer today for a book club called Eugene Book Talk that meets once a month.  The flyer was old (the books were for October and November), but I’ve read one of them (The Snow Child) and liked it, so that’s a good sign.  On impulse, I emailed them right then and there, and the person running the account (no name except for the name of the book club) responded right away. S/He said they’re still active, and since they couldn’t meet in December, they’re meeting this Tuesday to discuss The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.

I looked it up, downloaded the sample, enjoyed the first couple of pages, and now I have a mission.  I put aside the book I’m in the middle of (again – I put it aside for Temeraire book 8 when the library e-book became available), and now I have 49.5 hours (from right now) to read the whole thing.

It’s a good thing I don’t have to work tomorrow.  If it’s interesting enough, I think I’ll make it.  THEN we’ll see how I feel about joining a book club again.

Robin McKinley’s blog takes work to read and I love it

I love Robin McKinley.  I’ve read 90% of what she’s written, and the only book I didn’t love without reservation was Sherwood, her take on Robin Hood.  Mostly, she writes her own versions of fairy tales (she’s written two very different versions of Beauty and the Beast) and folk tales, but she’s written non-fairy tale books (still fantasy) and short stories and it’s all so good!

Then I found out she has a blog!  How wonderful!  And…it is, but I’m pretty sure I only think so because I already love her.  For someone who likes her okay or is more indifferent than that, I think the way she formats her blog posts would come across less whimsically challenging and more hell-no-what-a-pain-in-the-ass-I’m-not-reading-this. Of course, that person probably wouldn’t be interested in her blog regardless of her footnote formatting, so it doesn’t really matter.

See for yourself.  Footnotes within footnotes within footnotes.  Because I love her already, and I like puzzles, and I like footnotes, I think it’s great.  And I get sentences like “There are some vaguely luminescent white stripes in approximately the area where you might have expected a tab, but these are a snare and a delusion.” in a funny post about trying to open a package.

I need to find a way to work “but these are a snare and a delusion” into normal conversations.

Not even going to try full wheel

I think I wrote before about trying the yoga class my gym offers and not being all that crazy about it.  I decided this week (after that stressful interlude with a coworker that didn’t last more than an hour but STILL – it was stressful) that I need to find a yoga class I like.  Luckily for me, we live three and a half blocks from a yoga studio with reasonably priced classes.

The assumption for last night’s class was that I had some yoga experience, which I do, even if it’s several years in the past.  I figured I’d just do what I could and rest when I needed to.  I was mostly able to keep up, but HOO BOY am I sore now.  I am hyper-aware of every muscle in my back, but I liked it, I felt comfortable there, and I will go back.

We arranged our mats in a circle, facing in, which was different for me.  The other major difference was the total lack of mirrors.  Want to check your position in the mirror?  No, sorry.  See if stretching all the way out in Warrior II makes you look thinner?  Assume it does and move on, please.  Surreptitiously stare at the amazingly flexible lady across the room?  NOPE. You have to actually stare at her because she’s across the circle staring at YOU, probably judging you for not being able to hold Half Moon for more than two seconds without falling over.  Good thing she doesn’t know you can’t even touch your toes…

Acclimating

Things I don’t think of as weird anymore:

  • Hitchhikers.  I rarely saw hitchhikers on the east coast, but since we came out here, I see them everywhere (including one today).
  • I nodded hello to the turkey when I got out of the car after my riding lesson and then threatened to smack him with the broom if he poops on our porch again (today).  Mixed messages, I know.
  • Train whistles at all hours of the day and night (including as I was typing this just now).
  • The smell of pot that appears EVERYWHERE and at random times (like on my walk back from a yoga class today).

I probably wouldn’t have thought to even mention any of that, except I had a conversation today with a coworker about where we live now and wow, that must be different, and hey, is everybody high all the time?  Differences were on my mind.

All you need is a book return

I learned a super exciting thing about our library today: it has a drive-thru book return in the alley!

Seriously, it made my day.  My books were due today, I was trying to get to an appointment on time, there was no parking in front of the library, and it was raining.  A drive-thru book return was exactly what I needed.

Day saved.

My mantra

I am not going to let work get to me.

I am not going to let work get to me.

I am not going to let –

Good news!  Someone at work who I like but was having a problem with (the reason for the mantra) also thought she and I might be having a problem, but she responded to my olive branch (which was being ignored when I started this post), and it turns out we don’t have a problem.  Communication is a wonderful thing, although it helps that she and I are both eminently reasonable people* who agree on most things because if it had been someone else, that person and I probably would still have a problem.

But we don’t!  All is well.

*Modest, too.

Coincidentally (or not, since maybe that’s why mantras are on the brain), I’m thinking about trying a new yoga class.  Maybe tomorrow.

Faulty memory

John and I started watching The Man in the High Castle (Amazon Prime) a few days ago.  We got hooked fast, and we basically binged it all weekend.  We started Season 2 today.

The thing is, I know I read the book, and I know I didn’t particularly like it (I’ve felt that way about every Philip K. Dick book I’ve read), but I don’t remember enough about the plot to have any idea just how much the TV show differs from the book.  I imagine it’s quite a bit different, but in what ways?  I have no idea.  And now that we’re hooked on the show, I don’t want to re-read the book (or even google a plot summary) because I want to avoid spoilers.

Maybe I do read too fast (as I have been accused).  Or maybe I just don’t remember details of books I don’t love.  Of course, since I’m so spoiler-conscious, maybe it’s just as well I don’t remember the book much.

My future as a hobo. Almost.

It snowed most of today and then sleeted the rest of the day.  John and I did NOT go to the grocery store yesterday (which should surprise no one who knows us), so we had to venture out for dinner.  We got all bundled up (temps were in the high 20s) and headed for downtown and the nearest food, but we got stalled at the train tracks by the SLOWEST TRAIN EVER.

Aaaaannnnndddd then it stopped, right where it was. That building on the other side is where we were trying to go. So close! We waited. Waited some more. Waited a little longer. Watched a guy in a sweatshirt with no coat swing himself over the linkage between two cars. Meanwhile, the train hadn’t budged. We could see the end of it maybe 100 yards away to the left, so we eventually gave up waiting and followed the train to its end (no caboose!) and crossed behind it.

Then we had sushi because who doesn’t deserve sushi after contemplating climbing over a train?

All for me!

It’s a beautiful day and the presents I bought for myself arrived!  Both packages were delayed because of the weather, but they came today and the sun is shining!

First, as you can see, is a little TARDIS backpack.  Bigger on the inside, naturally, big enough to hold my laptop (which is in there in that picture). I love my Bag of Holding, but it’s a little bulky if all I want to do is take my laptop and a book to Allan Bros.

Makes a good carry-on.

Then my Athleta stuff came!  Athleta is in the middle of their end/beginning of the year sale, which is pretty much the best time to shop with them.  I got a lightweight long-sleeve top, my favorite pants in gray, and new running tights, which I will wear when I got to the gym this afternoon because they came today!

Sorry about all the !!! but I’m very excited about my purchases.  Plus it’s Friday and the work day is over and the work week is over and I don’t have to get up before the sun for two whole days.

The only bad thing about today is that my riding lesson was cancelled.  The snow on Wednesday plus lack of melting yesterday plus below freezing temps for three days equals too much work on a horse farm to make time for teaching lessons (which I totally get).  Somehow I’ll make it to next Wednesday.

Still strange

It occurred to me today that I haven’t posted a “something weird happened in Eugene” post lately, and that occurred to me today because I saw something weird in Eugene.  Funny how that works.

We got about 3 inches of snow yesterday, it tried to melt for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon, clearing the streets and sidewalks part of the way and turning the slow into slush, but then the temperature dropped below freezing overnight and stayed below freezing all day today, so the snow and slush turned into ice and is still around.  I was driving along 5th Ave this afternoon, slowly, carefully, with the 4-wheel drive on, when I saw a guy with ski poles making his way to the corner.  Turned to John: “Is that guy skiing?”

Yes, he was.

Actors and accents and quirks and other fascinating things I’m not going to write about

I am fascinated by actors and accents, probably because I am terrible at both.  Like, really really bad. So, since I can’t think straight while the band practices in the basement, I’m going to cheat and give you videos about those fascinating things that I find fascinating (because they are fascinating and how many times can I use the word fascinating before you become fascinated by how I’ve managed to spell fascinating correctly every single time I’ve typed it?).  Yes, the videos are kind of long, but really – they’re fascinating.

Mixing genres

I finished a book on Sunday set in the early 1800s, and about halfway through a scene about Napoleon coming back from exile, I caught myself expecting a mention of the British Aerial Corps and how Temeraire and Capt. Laurence were going to swoop in and defeat him.  The novel I was reading does NOT have dragons, but dragons will be forever linked with Napoleon now.

Dragons make history fun.