metawidget: (hand points up) "this!" (this)
Ada is now over two months old! She has been camping, is starting to stick her hands in her mouth, babbles a bit and still sleeps pretty well.

lots of entry )

I feel pretty content lately and settled into the new normal of three little ones and parental leave. I hope the next few months continue this!


Apr. 24th, 2013 08:40 am
metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
I put my shoulder out this morning... Oscar had broken the coffee press, and I was looking for the last bit of glass, crouched at counter top level, and I reached to move a dish the wrong way. Ugh. I got it back in pretty quickly and eventually found the bit of glass. I felt it was a little crunchy lately, maybe due to being tired and maybe a bit stressed about the return to work and life in general. Getting Oscar to sleep continues to be a bit of a crapshoot these days, and we're doing it in shifts more and more. He doesn't tend to sleep in after long battles to get him to sleep, either. On the good side, he's getting more range and some more focus when walking places; I took him on foot and Vivien strapped to me to the grocery store yesterday, about 1.5 km, and he didn't need carrying until I popped him in the cart. We took the bus home and he sat patiently in his seat until it was time to get off.

This time next week, I should be somewhat re-oriented at work. I don't have a clear vision as to how I'll get back up to speed, but there'll probably be meetings with HR to straighten out stuff arising from parental leave and make sure I get paid, a supervisor meeting about expectations and learning plans this year, and I hope there'll be some introductions and orientation with the new clients. There'll probably be some re-connecting with the confidentiality people, too, and with friends who I don't work with directly (or don't work with anymore), and figuring out what organized activities and committees I want to take part in. I'll be getting used to a very different structure of day, aside from the content of the work — coming home and shifting into high parent/cook gear right away (and helping Elizabeth get out of high parent gear), and generally being more focued when I am around home, I hope. I'll have to make a point of relaxing (but moving quickly) on the bike or bus ride home! Even with the extra responsibilities, I suspect that the increased contrast between adult-land and parent-land in my life will be a net reduction in stress.
metawidget: Drawing of a prone nude woman (drawing)

Friday, inspired by [ profile] sassy_red_head, I went to the Ottawa sitting of Atelier Denu, a life drawing workshop where for two hours, a dozen or so people sit in a circle around a nude model and draw them (her in this case). No pedagogy, bring your own materials, Shawn the organizer just books the room, arranges for a model, keeps time and collects your $5. It's been over a decade since I've drawn a nude model, and perhaps it has been too long.

I found the place in the upper reaches of a (the?) fine art building at the university of Ottawa by following someone who looked like she knew where she was going (and asked if I was looking for the life drawing workshop). I got oriented pretty quickly, found out that a “donkey” is a bench that you straddle that holds your drawing surface at a nice angle, and made my way over to a spot near [ profile] sassy_red_head, only to realize about halfway across the room that carrying a somewhat heavy bench in one hand with your wonky arm isn't a good idea. I got a couple of people to take the things I'd been carrying so I didn't drop them, and got myself straightened out and re-socketed. After that, the night went much better. As an aside, naproxen is my new favourite post-dislocation painkiller.

The actual drawing was in poses of increasing lengths, going from two minutes up to twenty. I'd brought a big 18-by-24 newsprint pad, a smaller sketchbook, compressed charcoal, conté pencil and drawing pencils, but wound up working exclusively big and with the chunkier charcoal and conté: it felt good and I find it's easier to work fast in big movements. I did a lot of contours and work with negative space, some shading and lots of nice dense markmaking. It felt really good, and I think it was pretty different from what everyone else was doing (that I saw, at least). My faces and proportions were hit-and-miss, but I didn't feel like I was starting from zero. I'm going to try and make it to more of these.

I'm not shy to share some drawings, but I'm on my parents' computer in dialup-land while we are visiting them, so I will post them in a few days.

metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
So, this evening on the way home with Oscar strapped to me and laden down with bags, my shoulder popped out (this is a chronic thing that just happens to me sometimes). I was talking with some friendly woodgie-ing people on the #2 a little before 6, and reached to put up his sleeping hood and felt it go. It wasn't too bad, so I thought I'd see if it just slipped back in if I relaxed it as much as possible. No such luck, and so at the end of the route, I told the driver my shoulder had popped out and I might need a little time and maybe a hand with my stuff while I put myself back together.

The driver pulled over to the time-stop around the corner, called in, offered an ambulance (I wasn't quite ready for one), asked if I could stand (I managed), and was sort of reluctant to do any sort of manual intervention (there must be a "don't touch the rider" policy, which is probably a good thing most of the time). He phoned in again to tell someone he would be running a little late, and helped me get buckles and straps undone on a messenger bag, a backpack, a coat and a baby, stood around and talked to me while I popped my shoulder back in (it's a lot easier when I'm a little distracted and when I'm not wearing 50 pounds of gear and baby). Oscar slept through the whole thing — pop out around Preston, ride to the end of the line, chat, unload, sleep on the cooperative seating, let me pop in, put him and everything back on. The driver was patient, methodical and friendly through it all, and fended off a possibly grumpy dispatcher all the while. So, for all the unhappy or odd OC stories out there, I thought I'd add this to the Internet. Thanks, Mr. Driver, and happy holidays!
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
We had a long weekend!

Thursday to Saturday we had some guests in from Waterloo — a colleague of mine from Concordia and his wife. Catching up was fun, and eating well was fun, too: they took us out to Haveli in the market, which was excellent, and we cooked up a couple of breakfasts and an egg-free vegetarian supper (it turns out that Indian vegetarians tend to shy away from eggs but not dairy products — although the danish blue cheese had them shying away for un-philosophical reasons).

We got supplies for a few improvements around the property on Saturday and used them on Monday: our back stairs are now much less disconcertingly springy, and we have an outdoor compost bin set up with a bunch of yard waste already in there.

Sunday, Elizabeth and I went to see the 1930s exhibit and a bit of the permanent collection at the National Gallery. It's only around one more weekend if you haven't seen it; it was worth a look — disconcerting at times, but it seemed intent on showing the variety of competing viewpoints and currents, and on connecting the art to the history. It was a bit more crowded than I would've liked in there, though. There were some really engaging portraits in the show, both photographic and painted. In the permanent collection, I was thoroughly happy to see Rapide et Dangereux by BGL, after seeing a piece under the stairs to the modern collection by them that was sort of like a sculpture of a storeroom.

The low point of the weekend was wonking my shoulder on Sunday before heading out to the museum — I thought I was done with that!

Now, it's back to work for a short week, and possibly a real piano in the near future...
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Managed to wonk my shoulder again (first time in five months or so) in the supermarket. It wasn't too painful, but it still sucks. I did it in front of a guy who also had recurring shoulder dislocations. He stood there and talked to me, and winced when I popped it back in. My forearm aches now.

I just realized that if Noisette has a full cat lifetime, she'll be with me into my thirties or even early forties. How's that for life-changing decisons? And feeling old?

I think, all things going more or less as I predict, I'll be financially stable on paper (as well as in reality) in a couple of weeks, delinquent roommate contributions or no. That could be very good.


metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
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