random


This has been a strange week. A fast week that seemed slow. A routine week that was not.

I had Monday off. I had big plans to clear out my cave, which I did only to a small degree. It’s this odd space, carved out of the bedroom. It was either a walk in closet at one point, or simply part of the bedroom, and it was walled off. There’s a doorway with no door, and you can only get to it through my bedroom. No windows, hence “The Cave”. It’s a frustrating space, becomes the destination for all the flotsam I haven’t sorted through. I’ve lived here four years, and I want to finish this space off, so it’s organized, instead of jumbled.

Big plans in that regard last weekend, but all I really did was take the empty boxes out to be recycled.

Then there was the weather – finally we had seasonal temperatures! It felt like spring, we even had a day that hit 50 degrees! Today, and this weekend, completely different story.

Work was boring, right up until the last couple hours today. Finally finally finally I have some consistent work to pass the time. It’s not that interesting on the surface – refactoring existing code to switch from a proprietary framework to an open source commonly used framework. But it’s work, and it’s work I find mostly satisfying, and it’s always good for learning.

Jake is a character, has dominated our shared 700 square feet pretty much from the moment I brought him home. He is such a goofball, but an extremely agile, athletic, curious one, he’s constantly exploring every nook and cranny (and the higher the better), so he gets into things, and I take pictures. So when I say he has dominated, I think I really mean he’s dominated my camera and my facebook stream. I often feel that in the real day-to-day workings of my life with my three cats, that I end up focusing on the other two almost to the exclusion of Jake…except of course when he’s getting into stuff. Which, when he is awake, is a lot.

But anyway, some of my favorite pictures of him are of him sleeping. All of his fans on the internet love, of course, when he’s doing something risky. Playing with his tail on top of the closet door. Climbing into a cabinet full of glassware. Hanging out in the dishwasher. He’s a challenge.

The other day I posted one of my favorite pictures of him, and got no feedback. This doesn’t bother me, I mention it only because I find it interesting. He’s sleeping in the picture, and what I love about it is the light. It’s sort of delicate and stark all at the same time. It’s a simple picture, yet there are lots of details. There’s not much of a mystery to it, but it’s one I like to go back and look at again and again, which is one of the criteria of a successful picture, for me. Maybe no one else feels that way about the picture – that’s okay, I take them for myself.

Maybe no one else feels that way about the picture because they don’t realize how precious those sleeping moments are for someone living with a troublemaker like Jake! Jake is not especially affectionate. He doesn’t want to be held, though if I hold him in a specific position, he’ll tolerate it for short periods of time. I have trained him, in a way, to rub up against my leg when he wants something, as opposed to going in the kitchen and breaking something. He sleeps curled up between my legs about half the time, otherwise he’s in the living room.

What am I saying? He’s easier to love in pictures, I think, than in reality. He gets into so much trouble! He’s endearing, but manipulative, and our interactions are very often me trying to stop him from doing something. When he’s sleeping, everything is softer, and I can feel all of the love for him that I really do have, but which is usually masked by the immediacy of trying to keep him from “helping” bake cookies, or eat my dinner or break this or that, or get into this or that…

So, all that to say, here’s one of my favorite pictures of Jake:

Now, the 3 things:
1. Having some warmish weather this week was so nice! I’d forgotten how nice that felt.
2. I got my brakes fixed up on the beater bike, the old mountain bike turned alternate commuter that I stuck the studded tires on, and so on Tuesday when we had some sketchy weather (sleet mostly), I was able to ride the studded tire bike and it felt incredibly freeing. Bikes expand my horizons, pure and simple, and something about it being on my own steam makes it mean something…turning the key in the ignition of a car never had that feeling, at least not for me.
3. I really love that picture of Jake!

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Wasn’t there a song by that title?

I’ve had such a great weekend; great weather, great things at the sanctuary, a meal at a great restaurant called Great Sage…

And I’m feeling an odd kind of built-up frustration.

I’m just so tired of crappy communication. I’m tired of things going to shit at work because people aren’t paying enough attention, or aren’t bothering to read emails, or when they do read emails they aren’t actually reading them, if you know what I mean.

It’s common in my personal life too though. The friends who communicate in such a way that it just makes it obvious that they weren’t really listening/reading what I was saying. They were maybe reading my email while having a conversation with someone else, or maybe they were talking to me while reading an email from someone else. (Okay, that’s not really true, because mostly when I talk to someone I’m at the sanctuary, and we’re all face to face with no computers in sight.) I really really hope that no one is *shudder* texting and driving, not reading texts/emails, and not writing them themselves. I ride alongside people like that, or drive behind people like that, and you can always tell. There is no such thing a a good enough driver to both drive and read/text. There just isn’t. I don’t care who you are and how awesome you think you are at “multi-tasking”, you are not good enough, and you are putting everyone around you in danger.

Okay, sorry about that side rant, or the rant within a rant.

I even feel like ranting about the fact that I’m ranting about this. Why does it get to me, suddenly, right now, when my weekend has been so fantastic, and I’m actually in a great mood, if I manage to ignore the bubbling seething frustration that’s percolating under the surface?

Clearly I need a long bike ride.

And as much as I want to cry at the knowledge that tomorrow is Monday and I have 5 more days until I get to have *my* life again, there is a certain amount of relief in knowing that because tomorrow is Monday, I’ll be pedaling these frustrations right out of me.

But it will come back. People will still suck at communication, and it will continue to bother me.

Not that I don’t fail in exactly the same way sometimes. And in different ways. After all, what bothers us the most in others are the traits we like the least in ourselves. Or something like that.

For instance, I neglected to share a rather momentous event in my life. A little feral kitten came to live with me 3 weeks ago. He hasn’t been hard to socialize, so easy in fact I couldn’t help but to doubt whether he had actually been feral. (I did see a picture of where he was rescued from…no doubt after seeing that picture that he had been a feral kitten! Plus it took them 3 days to trap him.) I’m pretty sure that he’ll play the part of the temporary disappearing cat if I ever have company, but that’s normal cat behavior, if I use Tempest as a baseline.

Anyway, here’s the funny looking little darling, Tristan:
tristan, in the sun

On the bike, head nods are an important communication tool. When people are across several lanes of traffic and you need your hands on the bars, a head nod is a greeting. It has variations. The acknowledgment and return greeting nod. The hey how are you nod. And, to drivers of cars, there are the I’m here nod and the thanks for letting me in nod.

I find myself using nods with coworkers though, and that startles me even though I do it automatically. That’s just a plain greeting nod.

I thought about this on the way home from the grocery store yesterday, because as I approached the checkout lanes, I caught the eye of one of the employees and he gave me a come on over nod. I smiled and gave an acknowledgment nod.

Leaving the grocery store, waiting for traffic to clear to make a left turn, I caught the eye of a pedestrian approaching the street I was on. I gave him a go ahead and cross, I see you and acknowledge your right of way nod, and he gave me a hey thanks nod in return.

Did I always communicate with nods? I don’t know. I don’t remember making such good use of them in the past.

I like the language of nods. I don’t always feel like speaking, and it’s nice to know that I can communicate just as well, silently.

This has bugged me, on a low level, for a couple weeks. A coworker sometimes emails me with questions about health and specific foods, things like that. He’s changing his diet for health reasons, so he’s researching a lot, and my Bike Commuting Vegan status (aka, Office Freak) has firmly embedded in everyone’s mind that I’m the go-to person for health.

That’s okay with me. I don’t mind answering the questions, or sharing resources that have helped me research things in the past.

What bugged me was that in one of these emails he made some off the wall comment about people who don’t know how to spell their own names. A bit of a weirdness there, since in that email he spelled my name incorrectly. Something that’s an annoyance of its own, given that the way work email systems work, you have the name right there in the “to” box, which should theoretically make a misspelling impossible.

Given what he said in the email about people who don’t know how to spell their own names, it made me think that he was directing this comment to me. It confuses me. Does he think I’m misspelling my name? What kind of arrogance does it take to tell someone that they misspell their name, since whatever we have on our legal documents is, technically, the correct spelling of our names?

My name, my full name, is not spelled in the most common way. It is, oddly, the Latin spelling, though, so it is arguably the most correct of all the spellings, simply as the oldest (I believe) spelling. If that actually matters!

When I responded to his email I made sure to sign with my name. My correctly, if not commonly, spelled name.

He has since then spelled my name correctly in his emails to me, but once in a while he’ll include a “(sic)” after my name.

What the hell is that about?

It makes me want to call him Joe in some future email. Not his name. Not even close. But if I’m “Debora (sic)”, then he can be Joe.

I’d been thinking about it more and more in the past couple of months. I have been feeling steady, and good, and ready.

I talked to my therapist today, and we discussed where I was at when I started, and where I’m at now. We discussed the goal I’d set for graduation, and whether I had reached it, and whether I had other goals in mind to pursue. We agreed that I was ready to fly free.

Today was my last Friday appointment. The last Friday I’d have to drive to work. The last week I’d have to work extra to make up time for the Friday appointment. The last Friday I’d have what felt like a half day extra to myself.

I’m flying free. Two and one quarter years after I started going to therapy to deal with my essentially lifelong depression, I’m flying free.

I’m thrilled. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m a little bit sad.

After two and one quarter years, it is going to be a bit strange to not see my therapist on Friday afternoons. I didn’t realize it until afterward. Until after I’d gone to the bookstore for my final Friday splurge, until after I was home again. I’m going to miss her, though that’s not really the right word. It isn’t the same as a friend you talk to periodically. It isn’t the same as a relative. It is both more and less than that. It is the safety net, a structure, a person who I wanted to live up to and yet never needed to worry about acceptance. She is a person who had what seemed like an unending kind regard, who helped pull me from a depression that I was so deep in I couldn’t even see how much it had consumed me. She is the person who held the hope and confidence that I could someday be without depression, even before I could conceive of such a thing for myself.

It is so strange, to say goodbye to a person who I never saw outside of those 50 minute sessions every Friday. To say goodbye to a person who helped me so much over these past couple of years.

I’m flying free, and if there are tears falling in counterpoint to my giddy laughter, it feels right.

I just got off the phone after an amazingly annoying argument with a man who I don’t even know.

“Hi, I got a call from this number and I wanted to know why you called me.”

“I didn’t call you.”

“Yes, you did. This number was on my phone.”

“I haven’t dialed my phone in a week or more, I didn’t call you.”

“Then how did your number get on my phone? If it was a mistake, just admit it, what is the point of trying to pretend you didn’t call my number?”

“I have no idea how my number would have gotten on your phone, all I can tell you is that my phone has not been used in at least a week, so I did not call you.”

“Then how did I get your number?”

“Perhaps you misdialed it!”

He continued his rant, clearly thinking I was some confused dishonest woman.

I hung up.

What the fuck? I mean, seriously, first of all, why did I let myself get drawn into that, and second of all, why was he so determined to know why someone dialed his precious number and apparently didn’t leave a message?

I seriously have not used my phone in a week. I checked my messages last Monday, and have had the nagging thought ever since that I need to remember to call my parents back. In fact, that’s why I dug my phone out of it’s hiding places in my pannier when I heard it ring, I thought it might be my parents! It was a Phoenix number, which wouldn’t be my parents, but they are not that far from Phoenix, and there is always the worry that it is the police, that there has been an accident.

So I answered and got sucked into that pointless waste of breath!

If I had called that jerk’s number, realized I had the wrong number and hung up, I’d have been just as annoyed to get his call. What, should we leave messages “hi, wrong number, sorry!” I’d personally want to throttle someone who did that, because I detest having to actually listen to my voice mail. Send me a text message!

Gah.

I hate phones!

Randomability mentioned that she is going to do Nablomopo in November and asked if anyone was going to join her. I decided I would.

I’m not much of a planner, so though I know it is helpful for many people to make a sort of schedule or list of the posts or types of posts they’ll make, I can’t seem to think that way. I did decide to make this a specific kind of challenge for myself, though.

I’ve been in a real slump with my photography for months now. I could go on about this, and all my theories about why we get in these slumps, along with things that wise people have said about how to get out of them, but I don’t feel like talking about it!

I will merely mention that among the things that wise people say is that inspiration can only find you while you’re doing “it”. Whether “it” is photography, painting, writing, or I imagine anything else like bike riding, singing…maybe even reading a book. If you’re looking for inspiration for something, get out there and do it!

So, to get myself “doing”, my challenge for myself in November is to post a picture every day, and my self-imposed constraint is that it must be a picture taken that very day.

Like posting every day wasn’t a challenge enough!

So, that’s my goal. We’ll see how it goes.

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