Good morning, internet!
  • Lesson from a holiday following a work weekend: even if I'm very tired, it is still better and ultimately less tiring to get up early and get going. All-day sweatpants are not my friend.
  • I really like the new department lab set up. There are excellent chairs that are huge and comfy, and are proving to be an ideal place to hang out in the morning. I actually get some writing done! Often. Sometimes.
  • Along the same lines, I've been getting up at 6 with the Roommate and leaving the house when he does. This has improved my day immeasurably. I haven't quite adjusted to the need to get to bed by ideally 9:30, 10 at a stretch, but the mornings are lovely. This morning, Roommate decided that it was a great morning to stretch! So there was stretching, and lo, it was good.
  • I also really like the idea of sorting through one's possessions and only keeping the ones that give one joy. (as here) Unfortunately, I'm having a difficult time distinguishing between for instance clothing that does not bring me joy, and anhedonia. Curse you, depression.
And now, homework.
  1. Hi internet! I think there isn't very much internet reading this right now, but there is maybe a little bit?
  2. I have bronchitis. This is exactly as much fun as it sounds.
  3. I did change my journal name. Just cause.
  4. I got sent home from my internship this morning because apparently hospitals prefer that you not come to work when you have bronchitis.
  5. That's all I got. Just wanted to say hey.
Hi interwebs!

Kinda sorta testing posting from my new Kindle Fire. A list of happy things:


  • The company with whom I've been doing filming at ballroom competitions is interested in hiring me more. This means that I get a free trip to work City Lights in San Jose at the end of the month, and possibly to other comps in the future. It's not super consistent work, maybe one comp a month, but the pay doesn't suck and it's twelve-hour days, so it will be a welcome infusion of cash.
  • The holidays did not suck. This was only moderately shocking -- with parents splitting, home seemed like a bad place to be, so I stayed here in Claremont. Hung out with people, went dancing on Christmas Day and New Year's weekend, baked things and ate tasty food, and generally behaved like a grown up.
  • My room is clean enough that I can vacuum it with little additional effort. No having to pick tons of stuff up off the floor.
  • Neil and I are no longer on a break. We are slowly building our relationship back up, with hopes that going slow-like will help in the building a stronger, longer-lasting relationship that's healthier and more supportive for both of us. We're going on a date tomorrow! And I am excited.


So those are some things. There are other, more mixed things going on, but I'm opting to focus on the positive at this moment.
So I'm going to be unemployed after June 1. My parents will likely be looking to sell their house, so I kind of want to go back and take care of my stuff. I could fly to North Carolina, but I was sort of thinking that taking a road trip would be more awesome, and it's unlikely that I'll have a month free in the nearish future to do this sort of thing. I think it could be a really cool opportunity to see interesting bits of the country, and also to do a shit ton of self-reflection.

The stops I'm currently thinking of hitting go something like:

Pasadena
Grand Canyon (via Vegas)
Atlanta (via Albuquerque, Amarillo, Tulsa, Memphis)
NC
Charlottesville
Cincinnati (via Charleston, WV?)
Chicago
Jackson, WY (probably, depending on whether my cousin is around; via vast expanses of not a whole lot)
Seattle (via same, plus potatoes)
San Francisco (via Portland, something else in Oregon?)
Pasadena

It would take about a month. I would probably leave mid-June. There would be much couch surfing, and probably camping, depending on how stupid an idea that would end up being. I haven't really asked around to see when/if people will be where I expect them to be, but I'm obviously quite flexible. I would probably want to budget an extra day in San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, maaaybe Charlottesville -- there are a couple of short drives on either side, but I don't want to short that visit -- Chicago, and possibly Portland, and three or four days in NC. Chicago is potentially unnecessary; the last time I was there was when I was about eight, but I'm sure there will be other opportunities to visit it. Weather obviously a problem, but there's not much I can do about summer break being during the summer.

Comments on feasibility, esp. from people like [personal profile] quartzpebble and [livejournal.com profile] avhn who've done the drivey thing before, most welcome. I've done the Cary-Charlottesville and Pasadena-San Francisco legs before with minimal issue. Pasadena-San Francisco took me about 7.5 hours (total, not just driving), and I felt like I probably had another hour or so in me. My car is comfy and awesome, and I just discovered that it has ninja cup holders. With the right music, pushing for mileage is not a problem. Is car camping a bad idea? I'll be broke. I mean, not broke, but living on savings, which is sort of the same thing.

So yeah. Thoughts?

  • The dance show went really well (WCS routine with Neil). Practice was... excruciating, and Thursday dress was only okay, but the performances were great, and people really enjoyed it. We survived!
  • Standard practice was really good yesterday. We took some of the things from our lesson last Tuesday and actually applied them to our routines, and made our lines sections a lot better. I am going to miss having this particular partner when he leaves at the end of the year, but I'm really glad we've been able to work together as we have. I'm such a better dancer than I was when we started it's not even funny.
  • Then I went bouldering. I'm not feeling it in my forearms or fingers as much as I was right after, but my shoulders are sore and opening doors is hard. I may have tripped and bought a monthly membership to Hangar 18. It was only 26 dollars! If I go twice during April it will be worth it! Bouldering is difficult, but still new enough to not be frustrating, so I can focus on learning this New Thing without wanting to bite something.
  • I like my outfit today, which is slightly shocking because I thought I was out of work clothes as of last Friday, and I forgot to do laundry yesterday. Bottom line, I feel super cute, and I blame it mostly on these shoes.


Apparently deciding to quit my job makes everything better!
A happy post!

It was very laundry day today -- no clean jeans, or undershirts, or bras that I like. Problematic. I decided to be a little experimental, and wear a skirt that I haven't worn forever with a pair of tights that I haven't worn at all (I may be OD'ing on fashion blogs a little...). Sports bra, threadless t-shirt, good to go.

But then! I went on a bit of closet cleaning spree. Skirts that I didn't see myself wearing ever went, and a few other shirts. There's an H&M vest that I got at some point that I liked, but stopped wearing because I thought it felt too tight, or something. I tried it on to see if it was in fact too tight...

... and realized that I was wearing an outfit.

IMG_9091


I will probably never make an outfit post ever again, but felt the need to let the internet know that I can wear clothes that make me feel awesome.
Look, it's a procrastinatory impulse!

  • I would very much like to be a pet owner again. I miss having a furry being around. If I had a dog, we could do obedience classes! Which I think would be awesome. And if I had a cat, I would have something to sit on me while I'm on the couch and look at me disdainfully when I fail to be sufficiently interesting. Boo, roommate allergies. Boo, habits that mean I'm not home all that often.
  • This is probably (hopefully?) going to be my last cycle with the office. I'm not good enough at this to not be choosing between self-care and getting my job done, which is Not On. I haven't given notice or anything, but am definitely anticipating not drawing a paycheck after this summer.
  • I really, really want my own place. I'm so tired of living in other people's places. I don't want to feel like I have to clean several pots and the stove if I want to make bloody macaroni and cheese. I don't want to live with someone who has to be told to not leave food out on the counter or how to properly operate the garbage disposal. I am done. I will also likely not be drawing a paycheck soon, see above, so these two are probably not compatible.
  • Am slowly adjusting to the idea that it's probably better for me right now if I don't talk to my parents all that often. It is exhausting, and means that I'm capable of doing much less than otherwise, and that's not a good thing when I'm running so far behind at work. This does not make me a bad daughter. I think.
  • I really want to downsize all my stuff. There's something very attractive about the idea of all of my possessions potentially fitting into my car. This will probably never happen because I am excessively sentimental, but I'm working on getting rid of some clothing, at least. It's a start! And I'm forming tentative plans for a t-shirt quilt, so I can have some of the shirts that I never wear but don't want to throw away take up less space.
  • Right now, I'm massively burnt out on doing anything. I have very little in the way of extra resources to deal with parts of life that aren't immediate and need to be dealt with now. This is part of what's making me bad at my job at the moment. This is part of why I think I need some time to be unemployed for a while, to relearn what makes me happy. I went straight from Mudd to an admissions office, and have thus far spent most of my time there being stressed. I would like to stop feeling like I am terrible at everything I try to do. It would be nice.

Bonus: what sort of academic program would deal most with studying people? Partly in the psychology sense, let's poke people and/or their brains and see why things twitch and why we do what we do, but also in the sense of examining how we interact with each other and our communities, and how those communities interact. I think? Something like that. It's difficult to pin down, which makes it harder to figure out what sorts of directions I might want to be looking in. I did not study any of this in school, which is problematic. I frequently think I might have been happier as oh, say, a Pomona student.

Anyway, back to the salt mines file reading. I'm actually doing pretty okay, I'm just ready to be done.
Life is much better when I do moving stuff. Like today, for instance: it sucked. Then I dragged myself to the "Fitness Center," did Week 1, Day 1 of the Couch to 5K program, and it is suddenly better. And I have energy! Although of an extremely undirected sort. I will attempt to use it to be productive.

This has been one of the most difficult weeks of ever. I won't say worst; I've been collecting a lot of useful lessons to meditate on in a useful way. Said lessons have been obtained in rather painful ways, though. Overall, I'm really glad that I took this job, and I think I will be a better person for it. Mudd's Admission Office will probably even survive. *ahem*

In other news, Firehouse Subs appears to put honey-baked ham on their Italian subs. It tastes a little sweet, and I'm guessing that's why.
It's shocking how much better I feel when I have a little unstructured free time to myself. I ended up leaving work after lunch, because I was being aggressively unproductive in the morning despite a couple of deadlines that I know I have to work on and I could feel my mental state going downhill. I believe the phrase I used was "a couple of days from hysterical laughter."

At home, I:

  • watched three episodes of Castle
  • knitted some
  • finally unpacked my suitcase that has been sitting in the middle of my floor since a week and a half ago OMG
  • took a three-hour nap
  • finally put the shirt that has been sitting downstairs for over a month in the laundry


I actually feel awake and wanting to do things for the first time in a while. Inconvenient, at 12:30 am, but I'm hoping some of this feeling will transfer to tomorrow, at which point I need to schedule all the travel for my Florida trip that I'm leaving for on Saturday and should have finished last week sometime ahahaha.


  • Have started using Chrome because of 1) HTML5 on YouTube, and 2) Firefox is a giant memory hog. I leave my browser up for extended periods of time, and it's not uncommon for me to see 500,000 K of memory usage. I decided that was maybe not ideal.

  • Awesome weekend. I did dumb things with my schedule, but I think they were worth it, and I'm almost at 100 files anyway. I need to count to make super sure, but I'm at near 60 2nds and just over 30 1sts. I think. I need to start bringing more files home.

  • Life doesn't suck. Work is hard, but it's a job I'm enjoying a lot, and that is making me reconsider my goals for the next few years. Neil is kind of awesome, in many awesome ways. I'm getting to dance an amount that seems to be appropriate to my schedule right now. I wish I had a little more free time, so that I could unpack my stuff, but this is pretty good.

  • Have to take bus in the morning. Have gotten very spoiled with carpool. Not looking forward to it.

Job search:

  • Haven't heard a thing from either of the places who wanted research assistants. Honestly, not really holding my breath on those. It would be an awesome job, but I'm not sure if they're going to think I'm qualified. I am in fact not sure if I am qualified. I think I could be, if given the opportunity, though.
  • Had first technical screening with Proteus today. I think it went well? The other guy started talking more as the conversation went on, which I feel like is a good sign. The company sounds like it could be a neat place to work. I'm feeling somewhat more enthusiastic about it now than I did beforehand, honestly.
  • New Thing tentatively on the horizon. Apparently there's going to be an opening in the admissions office as an admissions counselor that the deans are willing to recommend me for. I don't have many details about that, but am going to try to hunt down Dean Guy this afternoon. He is elusive. :p


Classes going okay. The final paper that I wrote for abnormal that was supposed to be ten pages turned out to be four and a half, but it is a paper, albeit a shitty one. I asked if I could revise it and turn in a better version during finals week. Here's hoping. This weekend: AI final project. Also, ballroom comp. Also also, Rudy will be here for the ballroom comp and stuff surrounding it. I have back up, so I think it will be okay. Papers due next week are just rough drafts, technically, but the more I get done for next week, the less I have to do after that, and the more time I'll have to pack up my shit. Any recommendations for storage places near campus?
I am such a radically different person than I was a year ago. Just now, I actually had the thought that I am basically a happy person, and that being tired and stressed is a deviation from that. And I actually realized that I should be tired, after having stressed out my body this weekend with about 15 hours of blues dancing and lots of late nights, instead of wondering why I'm not working right.

In general, life is good. I'm still working out what I'm going to do next year, but I have a resume and a couple of professors who are willing to give me advice and networking opportunities. I have a lead on an apartment in Pasadena, if there end up being jobs in SoCal (please please please). I have an awesome boyfriend who cares about me a lot, and figured out on his own that misdirection is the best approach when I'm being depressed and self-pitying. I don't think I quite figured that out, even. I don't have tons of friends, but the ones I have are good ones who care about me, too. I have little bits of time to knit, and little bits of time to read, and even though I've done next to no schoolwork over the past couple of weekends (yay Pasadena), I'm staying on top of my classes.

I'm really, really lucky. There's no way I ever would have thought that, a year ago. Being happy is a nice change.
I'ma complain about knitting, so if you don't care about knitting, or about complaining, this is one to skip for you.

I started a laceweight scarf as a present for my mom yesterday, my first lace project. The pattern is Halcyon on Knitty. The beginning bits were a bit frustrating because there were a couple of rows designed to make holes so that a ribbon could go through the scarf, the knitting of which involved the instruction "tbl," which I had not encountered previously. It's not that scary ("through back loop," for any non-knitter who might be reading), but was new. So that was entertaining. The first lace repeat didn't go too badly until I picked it up again this evening, to see if multitasking knitting and psych reading was doable. The answer is sort of. WS rows? Totally doable while reading. The trick is to make sure that you put them in the right place. I failed at this slightly. Apparently I hadn't properly marked where I was in the pattern, so I ended up with two WS rows in a row. I didn't notice because I was reading. I did three rows, up to the end of the repeat, before I did in fact notice, at which point I cried a little inside. I'm not a super speedy knitter at this point, and I don't have lots of time, so having to undo and reknit three rows takes me a bit.

I tried ripping out those rows, and realized that while I am quite capable of tinking back yarnovers, knits, and purls, decreases are more difficult to keep track of. I lost stitches that I could not find, and decided that perhaps ripping out the repeat was the proper action to take, so I didn't waste more time and frustration on trying to figure it out.

I still need to put the scarf back on needles. Right now it's sitting on a stitch holder that I stole from home. I'm more grumpy that I don't really have time to work on it more tonight than anything else, because I really want to get a repeat done and see how the pattern comes together.

Also I have had no dinner, because there is no food. Except carrot cake. Which I ate.
Respond to my complaint that nothing like a particular thing exists for Linux with the comment that another thing exists that is in fact nothing like the thing I want. Yes, thank you, I just said that.

In other news, still awake. I'm attempting to write a better board score function for mancala, which involves brainstorming about what makes a good mancala layout. It would be more fun if it weren't four in the morning.

Ben and Jerry are keeping me company.
Rethinking the grad school for next fall thing a bit. I'm feeling really unmotivated to do grad school searching. That isn't necessarily a good reason to rethink, but that and the fact that I still don't feel super prepared in the field I would likely want to be going into, and am in fact still unsure as to what that field would be makes me think that maybe holding off would be a good plan. I can pursue learning things that I think are interesting for a little while on my own, and figure out what I actually want to do next before I do it.

That means I have to figure out what I am actually doing next, if not grad school. Ick.
Have had a super fantastic awesome weekend thus far. It has involved seeing Up, getting an unofficial tour of CalTech's campus (three weddings taking pictures! a very heavy cannon!), being applauded by anonymous protesting at the Church of Scientology near Neil's house after our impromptu WCS performance to a Rickroll, and late night Carl's Jr., followed by a brief appearance at Third Saturday Swing.

I'm really enjoying this whole beginning of relationship with someone who's goofy and fun to be around and actually likes me as a person thing. Been a while.
Bullet points time!


  • I'm having a civil exchange on Facebook with Hunter. About audiobooks. What. I'm not sure if I'm more confused by the "civil" or the "audiobooks."

  • This is my second massively long Facebook thread this week. I had no idea that people were so interested in ants and audiobooks. Maybe it's just interest in giving advice.

  • Having a really, really good summer.

  • Almost done with dishes. I hate doing dishes. After tonight, though, should be done, and then I can progress to tidying up other bits of the suite. Now that I'm the only one in it and all. Someone wiped down my kitchen counter, and I really, really want to give them a hug. I think it was the awesome F&M person who's cleaning here this summer.

  • Getting bad at food again. Have very little in pantry, but it should be enough for this week until Saturday. Turns out, scrambled eggs are super easy to make, and are at least edible regardless of their cook's proficiency, especially when eaten with toast. Also, how long do I have after milk's expiration before I can't drink it anymore?

  • I think I'm getting a little tired of people. That possibly contributed to my sleeping for twelve solid hours last night. Twelve. I went down for a nap after work, and didn't actually wake up until the next morning. I had a very nice conversation with Braly, who is currently on the other side of the world, and made myself breakfast. I should be up at 7 every morning.

  • Almost done with first fingerless mitten. Realized the reason they're good first projects is that they're basically fancy tubes with a hole in the side. Don't mind terribly; I really like the cabling pattern on these, because it's really easy and it looks cool, and I had enough challenge in figuring out how to make the hole in the side. (Which I did on the plane, and thus with no internet and no reference. I win.) I'm finished with the cabling pattern, and have only about an inch of ribbing left. Then I will be halfway done with my first project.

  • While I was home, I bonded a little bit with my mom over knitting. She gave me a ball of sock yarn. That means I have to knit socks now. Also we went to a yarn store, where I petted everything, and also where I saw a really cool shawl that they had hanging as a sample piece, from a free pattern (http://christine.typepad.com/knitting/easy-drop-stitch-scarf-pa.html), which I have decided that I'm going to knit for Mom for Christmas. Shh, don't tell. Means I'll probably be placing a KnitPicks order soon. The piece at the yarn store used larger needles (and possibly finer yarn) than the one on the pattern, and was a little wider. I liked the look of it, so will probably be doing the same. Attempting to do the same, at least.


Dishes, possibly another row or two, bed. Good Plan.
Breakfast for dinner! Turns out both french toast and scrambled eggs are ridiculously easy to make, and scale down very well. One egg gets you about two slices of french toast.

I'm not going to bother posting recipes for my own or anyone else's edification, because both consist of approximately three ingredients.

French Toast:
-- Next time, a little more vanilla and a little more cinnamon. I didn't want to add too much of either, and I think I went the other way. Wheat bread is really boring, so more flavor would have been excellent.
-- Also, try with powdered sugar and jam, instead of syrup. I anticipate great things.
-- I really dislike soggy french toast. It just occurred to me why that happens: the egg soaks into the center of the bread, and never quite cooks all the way through. At least, that's my theory. Thus I conclude that when the recipe says to hold bread in egg mixture for several seconds to soak, it is not talking about my bread, which is like a slightly-more-edible sponge. If I'm using this kind of sandwich bread, I really don't need to do more than make sure that egg has stuck to the whole bread.

Eggs:
-- Three was maybe too much. Accordingly, need to use less than a whole sausage. The pepper and onion was probably about right.
-- I can think of nothing else to say other than yum.

Also, it's nice that if I make dinner, I can feel perfectly justified and not at all guilty when I throw things away that I do not want to eat, like soggy french toast, especially when there are more eggs in the pan.
My knitting is now approximately four inches long. I estimated, and then I measured, and I win at estimating. I did stockinette for a while, and then I got tired of purling so I switched back to garter stitch. It'll be good practice at not making my knitting too tight, which appears to be an issue currently. I love how the texture of the knitting feels, and the yarn is fuzzy and soft. Possibly I have been hooked. Third time's the charm? I keep thinking of projects I want to do. A penguin for my dad for Christmas, which requires that I think of projects for other family members as well; legwarmers; a laptop cozy (which I will continue to think of as a sweater for my laptop); fingerless gloves. Some things easier than others. When I get the whole knitting and purling thing down a little more solidly, I'm going to experiment with different methods of increasing and decreasing. [livejournal.com profile] avhn sent me a site with videos of knitting things, which seems like it will be useful, so I'll have things to play with on Sunday.

I really like mint tea, incidentally. I have that and these white chocolate caramel nut cluster things that I got on sale at Sprout's, and my knitting. It's being a very peaceful evening. I was going to do laundry, but I'm thinking I might just attempt to get to bed by 10:30 and do it in the morning instead. I have practice hours in the LAC 1-3, but I should have plenty of time to do laundry before that and shopping after.

What should I make for dinner this week? I should plan shopping before I actually do it... Cornbread, definitely -- I have so much cornmeal it's a bit ridiculous.

Not going out and doing things makes me feel a little restless. I've been so busy the past few weeks with dance stuff and trips and people visiting, I haven't had much time just around the suite. It's nice, but it's weird. I need to find a book to read.
Something I'm finding helpful in the process of learning to knit is treating it like An Adventure! Adventures aren't supposed to be perfect. In fact, there really isn't a right way to go about having an adventure -- you just sort of keep going until you run out of adventure. Considering the issues I've had with perfectionism and how much that got in the way of me learning to knit, it's a useful way to think about the process.

I should post a picture of my practice knitting when I finish with it. There's a lovely hole right in the middle where I did something weird, and it randomly started increasing and I'm not sure why, so I tried stiching things together at the ends (which worked, incidentally), and right now it's about an inch of garter stich and an inch of stockinette. But it looks like knitting! Which is exciting.

bullet points about Alaska! )
There are things to say about Alaska, and how different it is from anywhere else I've been, but I have to go make dinner, and go to Lindy Groove! I'm planning on bringing my knitting, which makes me... something, I haven't decided yet. Yeah...

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