metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
It feels like the new year has shaken lots of things up for me, largely in
a good way. It's surprising -- the very end of last year felt quietly
dire, and the beginning of this one, despite Oscar having just fought off a
week's worth of gastro and the weather having had us gone to ground much of
the time, has felt good. I'm starting a new position, with some staff and
some of my favorite technical matter, in Justice statistics -- it's acting,
maybe six months to a year, and an exciting challenge. I already feel a
big difference in how I interact with my chief as well as the pace and
choppiness of my day -- I like the new interaction style and the
big-picture duties, but the task-switching pace will be a challenge.

In at-work-but-not-work news, there are a couple of good things. First, I
am on a tear at lunchtime Scrabble -- a couple of convincing wins have me
sitting higher in the standings than I ever have. Probably more meaningful
to my well-being is that I stopped waffling and signed back up for yoga.
My old instructor had retired, so a new class with a new instructor: it's
"hip opening yoga" according to the title, but it feels more or less like
the very first class I attended way back in 2005 at Concordia, but with
extra blocks and balls. The instructor, Janice, is a bit tougher and has a
drier sense of humour than either of my previous instructors, which on
balance I think I will appreciate.

The home life is feeling more connected -- maybe things just settled better
after an exhausting late 2013, maybe it's a slowly improving sleep
schedule, or both of us just developing good patterns, but I feel like
we're managing to carve out more and better couple time. I'm finding Oscar
easier to have fun with, too -- he chimes in when we're reading a familiar
book, he comes up with extensive justifications for me spinning him around
(although he calls it "sponging", hence "this is sponging music, papa!"),
and his playing-with-others skills are improving. I'm looking forward to
milder weather soon, because I think the bitter cold is cramping his style
-- him tearing around outside more will be good for us all.
metawidget: Oscar and Vivien on a couch (Oscar 2.25 years, Vivien 4 mos) (kids)
Woo! Two kids with a pediatrician! It's like we have universal health care for kids or something in Quebec.

Also, I managed to beat the top-ranked player at Scrabble yesterday — most memorable plays were "WEES" (I wasn't sure it took an "S") and "MATUREd" across a triple and emptying my rack.

ETA: Our dishwasher is also working thanks to some help from [personal profile] dianora, and I replaced our toilet flapper (I think the term "univesal flapper" has a nice ring to it). Yay, fixed things!
metawidget: Oscar and Vivien on a couch (Oscar 2.25 years, Vivien 4 mos) (kids)

Vivien in May Queen paper crown
Vivien came with all of us to the Beltaine/May Day ritual at Judith's, wearing this paper May Queenish crown. We put it in with the offering bowl.

more Vivien ) work )
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
I'm writing from the couch with Pixel the Relatively New Cat lying on my legs. She's kind of the Ernie to Noisette's Bert: sociable, talkative, stripey and drives Noisette a little crazy. They're getting along a bit better than they did at first, though.

I'm in my second week of a two-week vacation: Elizabeth's music school shuts down for two weeks in the summer, and my projects are all long-term enough that two weeks in the summer without me won't kill them, so we co-ordinated. Happily, Kaleioscope Gathering was also on, and so we hopped on our (fully-loaded with panniers and a trailer full of gear) bikes and went out to Planatagenet or thereabouts to camp under soft pines, participate in a communal camp kitchen, learn about partner yoga, thai massage, herbs, relationships, vocal techniques and esoteric stuff, hang out with fun pagans and pagan-friendly people, acquire a thumb piano, and attract most of the security on duty to our campsite — with rumours of chocolate fondue. Like [livejournal.com profile] teinm_laida was reporting, people there for the most part have their guard down and are their genuine, enjoyably weird selves.

The garden is doing really, really well. The exciting bits lately are red Russian kale coming up where the spinach was, and a zucchini patch that wants to take over the world. Also of note are the beginnings of a blackberry patch behind the compost!

I commented with "words" over at [livejournal.com profile] stateofwonder's journal, and she gave me five words to riff on:

biking • Quebec • Scrabble • Mathematics/Statistics • home cooking )

Well, it seems that this time last year is still on the first page of my Livejournal — I guess I'm a little uncommunicative on here. I hope a few more meaty updates will be in the near future, as well as the traditional good/blah table for all your point-form needs…
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Elizabeth and I read really differently. Whether it's a book or a magazine, I tend to read stuff straight through; I at least have to take a crack at a chapter or article and give up on it before moving on to the next one. She moves around the volume and picks out what appeals to her. With good books, we both read the same amount of stuff.

good/blah )
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Sunday, I did a little housecleaning in the vermicomposter. It's amazing how easy it is to chase worms into a little squirming ball with some sunlight and steal their compost. The ecosystem in there seems to be working great!

I'm feeling a little slow and drifty these days. I'm sure I'll be back at my usual required frantic productivity soon.

I lost a Scrabble game by one point to [livejournal.com profile] diatribein tonight.

My recently-repaired camera is hard at work, however:

video from Elizabeth's regular Dépanneur show )

Mondays, 7 PM, Café Dépanneur (206 Bernard O.)!
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Feeling a bit whomped with work and school of late. I'll get what I can get done done, and try to do enough sanity maintenance in there too. Going to Ottawa Friday night can't come soon enough. Travel Scrabble, talk and "reasonably priced snacks" on the train are calling to me.

I've been putting in some time helping out with a paper on shape grammars as design tools, marking, and not doing quite enough problem sets. Tonight, babysitting a roast in the oven (some people I know do turkeys, I have beef from home to keep me up all night), and alternating procrastinating with stuff I need to be doing.

The weekend involved a bunch of communal time with [livejournal.com profile] rottenfruit: Saturday Dim Sum with her and my folks, gaming with her and the usual suspects, and on Sunday we went to monthly Scrabble as thrown by [livejournal.com profile] feygele (in nifty rainbow kippah) and [livejournal.com profile] vierge_en_trop (who made said nifty rainbow kippah). Saw the kippah in question through a basement window today at Concordia, debated pressing my nose up against the glass and gesturing "hi", but I was late and the head under it looked to be concentrating on something deep. I had fun, and got some stuff done — not as much as I should have, but there was progress. Today was long, and isn't over.

I think I'm slowly growing up.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Things seem to be working in the getting-me-paid department. I have a loan to call in a chunk of that I still don't know about, but I think the paperwork's all done and settled for everything else on my plate. Things should all be caught up by mid-February (well, chances are I'll still have some chunks to go on the loan-which-won't-die, but everything will be rolling along).

Scrabble yesterday was a bit of a flop... things were slow in coming together with bookings and materials, so we pretty much called it off (but hung around the site to see if anyone turned up)... another contributing factor was that it turns out we were in competition with a literacy conference over at UdeM, so they were probably drawing the literacy crowd as well as not coming down to play with us. More communication next time.

Candide last night at Pollack hall with [livejournal.com profile] rottenfruit was fun, we were whacked over the head with symbolism and general ribald humour. Voltaire and Bernstein's work was done well by Opera McGill. Go see it if it might be your cup of tea.

Today, people from the CBC and some of our partner organizations came by work for a quick look at us all. I hope they liked it — it felt kind of rushed, though.

two down

Nov. 17th, 2005 01:05 pm
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Last midterm: done Tuesday. Class presentation: rocked today. I was the Tuftefied presenter with low-text slides done up in marker and a hopefully clear and engaging presentation involving "staunching bleeding vertices" and "good enough" data transmission without redundant bits (it was about optimal numbering of graphs, coding theory and the wirelength problem, if you're curious). I've officially had a good week, school-wise.

Add in a pleasant loss at Scrabble to [livejournal.com profile] rottenfruit and breakfast with her and [livejournal.com profile] red_sneakers, as well as eating well, doing errands, birthdayosity and the love of an amazing woman when I felt a little run over by it all (and when I'm not!)... it's been a good week so far!
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
So, we've been spending a lot of time talking about organizational changes and learner retention.

But, we've been eating well, getting to know our counterparts in other cities and...

it's not all serious stuff... )
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
OK, you've done the huge MIT survey, now help [livejournal.com profile] almond_tiger in her lower-fi quest for enlightenment:

http://www.livejournal.com/users/almond_tiger/608843.html

I spent last week getting installed and setting up the apartment. The place is pretty much under control... bookcases to rebuild, extension cords to lay out, but it's starting to look more habitable.

My Dad's birthday was on Thursday... us siblings got him a bright yellow ukelele and songbook, and Mum painted him a big watercolour card and repaired his favourite necklace.

Last week, Elizabeth was in Ottawa and Toronto. I missed her like crazy, but kept busy with apartment stuff, Frontier, D&D, talking art, and heading home briefly. Now she's back, and we had a chance to catch up, play some Scrabble and bring [livejournal.com profile] feygele some stiff opposition at the get-together at l'Utopik yesterday. One game each for him and me... the rivalry continues! One of these days, I'll meet Pumpkin the cat, who I'll be adopting for a couple of weeks while [livejournal.com profile] feygele is out of town.

In fiscal news, got started on recovering that account of rent and bills I've been chasing after. It feels good to see that number go down and know that I'll probably be able to get it to zero amicably.

The next couple of weekends are on the road for me: first a weekend camping trip with Elizabeth, then my cousin's wedding. Looking forward to both of those!

Life is good, looking forward to camping and writing and seeing more of people I like.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Moving day today, [livejournal.com profile] grammargirl in, my sister out...

Yesterday, went to the monthly Scrabble thing organized by [livejournal.com profile] feygele and [livejournal.com profile] vierge_en_trop, had fun, learned an anagram game with tiles and took down the mighty [livejournal.com profile] feygele in one-on-one in a very slow, gridlocked match (after getting destroyed by a 7-letter play on his last turn in a four-way game).

After that, scarfed some supper and headed over to Azin's flat for a belated birthday incident. Met some neat people, talked, wandered the roofs of most of the block and took some photos (to come, maybe). Good conversation, good cookies (courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] emjayne and Provigo) and an interesting bathroom guard duty moment.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
There's this know-your-friends'-eccentricities-better meme going around, where you list ten things you've done that your LJ friends are unlikely to have done too.

I have:
the ten uncommon things I've done list )

Other than that, I've had a nice past little while. Had a nice meal of spicy refried beans followed by Scrabble with [livejournal.com profile] rottenfruit and [livejournal.com profile] dzuunmod (with some suggestions that I drink more beer to reduce my word-placing chops), did some marking (any of my students that is reading this... you're doing just fine, it's just taking me a while) and some reporting to the profs, and got Fire 1.5.1 up and running on my machine, which I'm quite liking now that I've had a chance to work out some of its idiosyncracies. It's a multi-protocol IRC program for Mac that is configurable-to-death, GNU licensed and quite solid and responsive to boot. Looking forward to a quiet day with more marking, some studying and a homework date. Gotta love studenthood.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Had a potluck last night, filled the kitchen up just about brimming. Good food, nice people, not entirely a high-school reunion, but CVR people are so much more likely to turn up, creatures of habit that they are. Running a potluck when there’s one spot on the couch where I’d really like to be all night is a bit of a different experience... but I had fun and did get a little time to relax in addition to being the food and traffic maestro. Fiona and Anna were there and seem to get along well with everyone... and cooking ahead of time with them was lots of fun.

Before that, I had some good consult-and-catch-up time with one of the cooler professors in Communications (and that’s a strong compliment given the general quality level)... helped beat iPhoto backups into submission, did Carbon Copy on the hard drive, made Academy Awards winner picks (Go Johnny Depp and Pirates of the Carribbean, go Pearl Earring!)... all in all a good afternoon.

The night before was meetup night, wherein I was rather late, dinner and photography with Fiona and her friend Anna-from-Edmonton having taken a little longer than expected (but having been wonderfully fun)... but arriving, I had the chance to hang out with some old and new people... got faces associated with usernames, caught up, chatted, tried out the Amazing Plutonium Apple Muffin... a good time was had by me, and I think by all.

I was in a good mood at meetup parly due to a doctor’s appointment wherein I found out that my twice-dislocated shoulder was in good enough shape yet that 6 weeks of being extra-nice to it would probably suffice (as opposed to drugs, surgery or a goofy looking brace). Yay for flexibility!

Another reason which may have contributed to my good mood was a two-day visit home... barely won a game of Scrabble, snapped some photos of the family, set up the new used computer, ate some good food and saw my Dad’s going-away present from the nurses at the Royal Vic -- a dictionary, a “Waldo” bear (homemade) with red striped cap and sweater, plus glasses, a matching outfit for Dad, some milk cartons with “Have you seen this doctor” panels in the public service area... it was my first time back in over a month, it was a good thing. Saw _Hilary and Jackie_ on video too... difficult but good.

So, that’s the news from Lake Wobegon...

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