metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
It has been forever since I did a good/blah entry. Life is pretty good, really. Way back when, I did these every 20 entries, so that there would always be one on the first page of my entries. Maybe I'll get back up to that pace again.

  • We're within a payment of being done with the mortgage — we lucked out on interest rates and help and nice stable professional employment, and now we're looking at owning our place outright. It feels good.
  • Everyone here (human and cat) is currently pretty healthy (even my leg is feeling progressively better)!
  • Both kids are learning fun and exciting new skills.
  • I feel like I'm doing pretty well on my year list, including the long-term stuff.
  • Taxes are more or less done, and look to be in good shape: a refund but not a gigantic one.
  • I took my wedding band to the ring shop, and now it fits (my fingers have gotten more slender since 2008) and it got a complimentary shine as well.
  • I'm happily married to one awesome and beautiful person, and happily dating another.
  • Less than two months of parental leave left. Work will be kind of exciting, but the transition back could be rough.
  • World Vision keeps sending increasingly over-the-top fundraising pules. We got a great big envelope containing an bubble envelope containing a spoon and a measuring tape that they would like us to mail back to them (with a donation) for them to ship to Africa. I gave to World Vision in honour of my Christian relatives who are fans of them. Next in-honour donation will be to MSF or the Canadian Red Cross — close enough in the useful stuff they do, and at least their fundraising stuff is flat.
  • Feeling a bit sciatic-y, a little creaky in the knees and occasionally elsewhere, I think due to moving over winter footing with kids and groceries and stuff. I hope it clears up with better conditions.
  • There are always cool things I'd like to do, and don't make time for. Getting one or both kids to sleep and/or securing babysitting makes this one a little harder.
metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
Last night, with the kids in the care of my parents-in-law, Elizabeth and I went to Atelier Denu at UQO. She brought her drawing supplies and I brought a bathrobe and sandals (for the break, so I wouldn't get cold).

There were about half a dozen people drawing, which is a small crowd for Denu, probably due to the brutally cold weather. The platform had chairs on all sides, but people clustered up at and near the tables, putting them in something like a 120° arc. Shawn had given me a quick training on Monday and I'd tried a couple of timed poses to see what my legs were willing to do for me ahead of time, but I was planning on mostly making things up as I went along. In addition to the platform with its mat, pillows and sheet, there were easels, a ball, a broomstick and a little promotional beer pail at my disposal.

The poses started at two minutes, and worked their way up to seventeen. I did my best to vary facing and level, and mix props and propless poses. I think I got in a good variety, and managed to hold still even in ones that turned out to be physically difficult. It wasn't always obvious which ones would be: I did a supine pose with one arm off the platform that turned out to be quite tiring, and a long prone one, almost going-to-sleep, that had so many points of contact with myself that I felt like a big mess of pins and needles by the end. Climbing the easel, a big open pose with the broomstick, and some modified yoga poses were all easier than I'd thought they would be.

Mentally, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Once I was up there, I was thinking about position, stability, breath and keeping my focus on that bit of debris or architectural feature to keep my gaze and position stable, mixed in with wandering thoughts about life outside the studio. It was very much my yoga-space, as far as my thoughts were concerned, which shows both that I'm something of a technically-oriented yoga person (to the detriment of all the noble stuff my mind could be doing while in a pose), and that maybe the time and money I've spent on yoga classes can have tangible benefits — two modelling sessions would pay for one semester of weekly yoga at work! I think I felt most naked right after taking off my clothes, after that everything else was more pressing. It didn't hurt that the room was at a comfortable temperature, the doors were closed and the air was still.

It was also a notable night in that for the first time, we left both kids in the care of others. When we got back, Oscar was basically asleep: a little wibbly and fussy still, but in his room in the dark and easy to cover, calm and leave to doze off. Vivien was a bit distraught but happy to get Mama back, and Elizabeth's parents didn't seem particularly frazzled by two and a half hours of both kids. I think we all knew this was about what would happen, but it was still good to get the proof that Elizabeth and I can escape for a bit together. It took until eight months with Oscar for us to get a date in, so evidently we're something like 50% more confident by some measure this time around. A two and a half hour date isn't long, but not bad for parents with a baby who's still not into complementary foods.

I think I could definitely be a nude drawing model again. I didn't have any epiphanies or crises up there: it was a pretty relaxing and satisfying gig (although my muscles were a bit sore afterward). I'd recommend giving it a try to anyone considering it, and Denu feels like it might be a better-than-average place to give it a try.
metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
On my way home from picking up some vacuum-cleaner parts, I ran into Shawn, who runs Atelier Denu. I'd already talked to him a bit about trying out modelling in a session, and now I'm booked to pose next Tuesday. It'll be my first time posing naked to be drawn by people who don't otherwise see me naked. Five dollars gets you in (bring your own supplies) and it's free for high school students. If you come, be nice — the regulars all are.

I once posed in various states of dress and undress for a friend's art project. I don't know if the project ever saw the light of day. It was photography of people in their clothes, her neutral-looking overalls, and naked, to investigate the role of clothing in identity if I remember right. My Google skills aren't turning anything up; I don't know if all those rolls of film even got developed (last time I asked, I don't think they had been). A couple of years ago, I looked into posing at the Ottawa School of Art, but there was lots of paperwork and it felt like they wanted you to prove that you were serious: I'm not particularly serious, just looking to try out modelling and see how it feels. I'm feeling this should be an interesting experience and a good match for that. Elizabeth has often remarked on my “shamelessness,” referring to a quality that should make me reasonably confident and natural at getting up in front of people without clothes, we'll see if it manifests on the 22nd.

Year List

Oct. 26th, 2012 03:55 pm
metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)

I've been carrying around a list in my head of things to do while I'm 32 years old; now I'm committing it to the Internet. I've seen bucket lists and life lists, but the time horizon doesn't speak to my procrastination-prone and tactical nature, and I of course see New Year's resolutions, but I think going by my years rather than calendar years is more personal, and protects me a little from the list elements being fresh when the invariable collapse of many resolutions happens in late January. Also, some elements of the list were really dear and salient to me in the summer, so it made sense to hang them on my birthday (even if it's taken months to post them here). So, here are the things I would like to do or improve significantly this year:

  • Floss more days than not.
  • Make a conscious and courageous-when-necessary effort to improve my relationships in ways that make me happy.
  • Make deeper use of this journal, as part of trying to be less guarded with people that I trust.
  • Wear through multiple massage bars.
  • Get the deposit back on beer bottles at smaller intervals and more reliably.
  • Wipe out the mortgage and direct the resulting savings to a mix of responsible and fun things.
  • Replace the chain-link fence with a durable, attractive, Oscar-resistant one.
  • Get a check-up this year and renew my vaccinations; it's been too long on both counts.

In general, I think I have more guiding values than long-term specific goals, but here are some things (somewhere between values and goals) on a longer time scale.

  • Have fewer secrets.
  • Be entrusted with more secrets.
  • Raise competent, well-adjusted kids. Do so with good humour, love and trust in them.
  • Make our house more comfortable, energy-efficient and adjusted to us.
  • Take care of my body and try and make my list of aches and pains not increase monotonically.
  • Get family doctors for all of us in the household.
  • Continue to like my job, be good at it, and be worthy of the respect of my co-workers.
  • Keep learning new things, and consolidate dabbling into competent in new areas from time to time.
metawidget: Co-sleeping kid taking up as much space as possible between co-awake parents. (co-sleep)

Vivien is a little over four weeks old now. She's filling out, both visually and weight-wise (almost three kilograms now), and keen to look around and see the world. We've been out and about with her on foot in buses and in cars; she can be a bit fussy at the beginning and end of the trip but she travels pretty well in general. I've been out alone with the two of them successfully, walking and bussing: Elizabeth can practice better for her upcoming gig in an empty house, Vivien mostly naps and Oscar enjoys the moving scenery and interacting with the neighbours. A dad during the day with two under-twos gets a lot of positive attention, too, which is nice :)

Oscar seems a bit fragile and jealous sometimes; he's very keen to claim Vivien-associated things and people: Elizabeth (including breastfeeding), the diaper cream (!), our attention generally (when she fusses, he often fusses). He does also still seem excited and want to help and hold her (he also wants to hold the cat, we have to supervise and intervene in both cases). He's picked up jumping-on-the-bed skills, and his vocabulary is expanding — he picked up “rainbow” just in time for Pride (he had a blast at the parade: lights, music, candy, people smiling at him — he was dancing on my shoulders for the whole thing, more or less), too many food terms to count, “happy” and ”eat” for his internal state. His first (and so far, only) three-word sentence is “I like it!”. He's on track to be my height if the double-your-height-at-two rule is to believed; I looked up his height and weight on the WHO curves and he remains ninety-something on height and median on weight, just like when he was born. I hope he enjoys turning two!

Here are some pictures from the beginning of last month of the two of them, including a cute size comparison:

some pictures from the early days )
metawidget: My full geek code.  Too long for DW alt tag, please see profile if interested. (geek)

I've wanted to write a little about how I handle financial matters, and how our household money situation works — I like reading about other people's ways of doing stuff on LJ, and thought I'd throw my thoughts into the mix.

money and the pipes it flows through )


metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
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