Requiem: Fan, CD player

After I graduated from high school, I went through all my things and discarded large swaths of my childhood. I donated a big box to my friend’s father’s favorite cause.  They had a fundraising garage sale every year.  I also renovated an antique trunk to store all my important childhood things in.  I prepared to leave home, but I don’t remember doing much to prepare myself for college.

My mother did a lot of that.  The college sent a list, and that summer I would come home from work to discover things had been purchased. I still have the stapler she bought me, and I probably haven’t yet gone through the box of staples that came with it.

One of the things that we did buy was a fan.  I was thinking this was bought in Boise, but it might have been one of the items we waited to purchase when we got to school.  If that was the case, it came from Walmart, which was the only shopping option in Nevada, Missouri.  If not, I think it came from K-Mart.

And this was my fan, for years and years afterward.  When the weather cooled off, I disassembled it and put it back in its original box.  It was mailed back to Boise when I finished up at Cottey, and I mailed it from Boise to Amherst when I went to UMass.  Then it traveled back across the country in the moving truck when I left Somerville.
I haven’t used it the last few years. Matt brought home an oscillating fan from work that is in better shape, so I haven’t gone through the ritual unboxing and assembling.   We were cleaning out one of the sheds and I decided it was time to let it go.  Thanks fan, for keeping me cool all those hot and humid summers.  And thanks, Mom, for making sure I had what I needed for college.

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I was very resistant to the compact disk.  I loved records, particularly loved 45s, and hated how CDs took over and the 45s disappeared from the stores.  I hated that they were more expensive than records or cassettes and it drove me crazy that everyone made the switch. They didn’t sound THAT much better.  I didn’t start buying CDs until 1997, when my college boyfriend was getting rid of his old boom box (we might have still been calling them ghetto blasters then?) and asked me if I wanted it.  I said yes, and bought a few CDS.  One of them was “Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Soundtrack Volume 1,” another was The Brian Setzer Orchestra, “Dirty Boogie.”To this day, I can’t listen to either of those CDs. I played them too often to ever hear them again.  (Though I still enjoy certain songs of Ella Fitzgerald’s from that album.)

I can’t say I loved this boom box, it was more of  a means to an end. But for the past decade I’ve felt warm feelings while looking at it, remembering the things I liked about the college boyfriend, remembering being young in the big city of Boston, cooking dinner and listening to my CDs.  There are so many things I don’t miss about that time in my life, but it was the time I was young, and I’m happy I got to be young, living in an old town, trying to figure my post-college life out.

There is an imagined parallel life that is running constantly in my mind. One where I got married and had kids when my mom did.  If I’d replicated her life, my daughter would be 12 now, and my son 10.  I remember being 12 and that things in my childhood that had always been there started to wear out and be replaced.  It felt weird to have new dishes when we’d always had the white ones that were wedding presents.  I think about how maybe that imaginary daughter would be astounded to see something leave that had always been there, something that she had spent her childhood playing CDs, before she discovered streaming.

Or maybe she wouldn’t have noticed.

Dead Relatives Tour 2017: snowball bush

The snowball bush didn’t do so well during the hard winter, it’s being propped up here and there. My grandmother loved snowballs, and when it’s in bloom and also Memorial Day, she gets a bunch on her gravestone.

We made the tour as usual this year, despite my Aunt Pat being under the weather.  Basil and Basiliki and George and Helen were visited, and then Matt met up with us at Verde Cocina for a delicious lunch.

The Art of the Lego @OMSI

Free passes for this exhibit were available and so Matt and I spent a sunny Friday afternoon taking in the Art of the Brick.

Before we got started, we found out how tall we were in LEGO bricks.

Matt nearly reaches Albert Einstein’s 184 bricks.

I am a less-impressive 153 bricks.

Note that I am MUCH taller than a Minifig.

All of the LEGO art we are going to see was created by Nathan Sawaya, a former corporate lawyer who now is a full-time artist.  The first  part of the exhibit was Sawaya’s recreations of famous art works, in LEGO.  I liked this, because most of them were in a 1:1 scale, which let me get a sense of size that the internet does not allow.

This was my favorite creation, which is not a 1:1, but rather 1:6 scale.  I liked how they had it hanging so that you could see the light shining through the window.

Favorite part of this?  The use of minifigs.

The next portion of the exhibit was Sawaya’s original art.  You can see how he fashioned even the frames out of LEGOs.

I found much of Sawaya’s original creations, especially when paired with the artist statement of each piece, to be art that it would seem like a motivational speaker would create.  Matt pointed out that Sawaya is a motivational speaker.

I liked better this reproduction of a T-Rex.

Matt has a chat.

The third part of the exhibit had a mashup of photography that included LEGO figures, such as the tree in this photo.

You could see the tree in person.

I also enjoyed our PDX carpet corner of the exhibit.  Sawaya was raised in the area.

One of the last items were these hugging figures, which Sawaya leaves in parks in different cities.

Things that were missing from this exhibit?  Process.  How does Sawaya create his art?  Sketches? Computer modeling? Trial and error? Does he purchase his LEGOs, or are they supplied by the company?  Since the exhibits dates overlap, does he have multiples of each thing, or does each city get their own special items?  Does he have assistants?  How long does it take him to make things?  So many questions!

My 100 Days Post #8. Week 3 review, Week 4 plan

Here is the week 3 plan [and here is how I did]

5/15 Monday–Swim [Walked instead of swam.  Metronome @43]
5/16 Tuesday–Walk in the morning, tap dance [No walk, yes tap dance]
5/17 Wednesday–Swim, Square dance [Walked instead of swam. No square dance]
5/18 Thursday–Walk in the morning [yes, metronome 43]
5/19 Friday–Swim [nothing]
5/20 Saturday–AM yoga [nothing]
5/21 Sunday–walk to meet a friend for an event we have planned. [nothing]

Meditate:
According to the new plan and my calendar I should meditate in the morning on Monday, Thursday and Friday.  I should be able to meditate in the evening on Tuesday and Wednesday. Weekends I will meditate when I feel kind of exhausted.

[It turns out I don’t really feel comfortable meditating on the train.  So that won’t be a solution. Meditation was fairly successful this week, because I wasn’t doing much else]

Food habits:
I’m experimenting with getting 800 grams of produce per day.  Let’s see if that ends up to be triggering in any way.  Also I need to put my food books on hold at the library.  I can’t afford to buy my own copies right now.

[I did put the food books on hold.  There is a long wait.  The produce thing worked well on the weekend, when I’m eating all meals at home, but not so much on the weekdays, when I’m dragging my food around to work and such.]

Soooooooo.

What happened this week is that I got sick.  I lost my voice on Monday and Tuesday and I had a cough.  It wasn’t the kind of cough where I could swim. Then, instead of getting better as the week went on, I got worse.  I had pink eye on the weekend, and some stomach issues.  I write this from the end of week 4, when my cough became a killer cough and the stomach issues stuck around.

The Saturday and Sunday of Week 3 had me hanging out on the couch for most of the weekend.  I cancelled plans.  I put off going to the store.  This turned out to be a good thing, because I lost my appetite on Sunday and it didn’t come back for the rest of the week.

This gave me a lot of time to think.  I’ve been feeling overly busy in the last month or so, in a way I don’t like and don’t want to be sustainable.  I’m worried about the summer, when I’m taking an online class that supposedly will take me 13 hours of work per week.  I find that those estimates tend to be generous, but even at half the amount, that’s still 6.5 extra hours to find.

I looked for things to drop from my schedule.  I had the happy realization that on busy weeks, I don’t need to cook five or six separate and different meals.  I can make one or two things and eat them all week.  I don’t need new kinds of food every day.

And maybe, I thought, I need to ratchet back the blog. Maybe it needs to be book and movie reviews only this summer.  That seemed like a good plan.  The next day I remembered this project.

There was a time in my life when I would gut through with stuff like this.  I said I was going to do it, and by gum, it was going to get done, no matter how complicated my life was because of it.

But I’m older now, and I have left that tension behind me.  This is not going to be my 100 Days summer.  I’m setting aside this project for now, or possibly forever.  If I do pick it up again, I would rather do it in the cold and dark winter, than the glorious summer.  And I would like to come at it from an angle of motivation.  John Green must have partially been motivated by the fact that people with cameras were going to be at his gym, so he had better be there too.  I don’t have that particular motivation.  So how do I get myself going on days I don’t want to?

This has been a good trail month.  I’m glad I built it in.

My 100 days post #7. Week 2 review, week 3 plan

Week 2 plan [and what happened]

Basically, I have rough transitions when I come back from vacation.  Because I get up very early (4:45 in my normal routine) I never want to maintain that when I go on vacation.  Then it’s tough to slide back into the routine when I return.

5/8 Monday–Swim [Didn’t swim.  Slept in. Did walk before work.]
5/9 Tuesday–Walk before work; tap dance [yes and yes]
5/10 Wednesday–Swim; square dance [No swim.  Slept in again. Had bad attitude  Did walk across the bridge, did square dance.]
5/11 Thursday–Walk before work [Did it]
5/12 Friday–Swim [The triumphant return to the pool!]
5/13 Saturday–Yoga; square dance [The other occupant in the house is sick and woke me up with his coughing.  I was awake for a long time, so slept in and skipped yoga.  I did go to the square dance.]
5/14 Sunday–Walk that is more than an hour in duration. [Also awoken due to coughing by another, also slept in, also did not go on a walk of any duration.]

Total planned activities:  10
Total activities done: 8
Number of activities subbed: 2

Meditate:
Wednesday and Thursday might be tough due to after-work commitments.  Will aim for the other days.  [I did meditate on Monday and Tuesday.  I did not meditate on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Saturday I did, though.  What happens on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night was that I came home from work, and had the choice of eating, or meditation.  I could not do both.  There was no time.  I will be proactive and meditate on the train in the morning on days that have quick transitions.  I didn’t meditate on Sunday, because weekends have no routine and tend to be busy, so the meditation gets forgotten.  Weekends are going to be an area of focus during 100 days, I can tell.]

Food habits:
Continue to track food habits.
Last week I noticed the following things (that were not at all new for me to notice) 1. I eat while cooking, which I don’t really like doing, but also don’t like stopping.  2. I sometime don’t eat dinner because I’m “not hungry” and then eat snacks instead.

This week I noticed I never have a food plan for the weekend.  I’d like to have a slight bit more structure built into my weekends around food.

The plan for the week of 5/15

As mentioned, the boyfriend has had a cough and a cold.  As of Sunday night I’ve got some laryngitis stuff going on.  I’m hoping that’s the extent of illness that will invade my body, but there’s a chance this plan will go south.  Though I hope not.  It’s a really busy week.

5/15 Monday–Swim
5/16 Tuesday–Walk in the morning, tap dance
5/17 Wednesday–Swim, Square dance
5/18 Thursday–Walk in the morning
5/19 Friday–Swim
5/20 Saturday–AM yoga
5/21 Sunday–walk to meet a friend for an event we have planned.

Meditate:
According to the new plan and my calendar I should meditate in the morning on Monday, Thursday and Friday.  I should be able to meditate in the evening on Tuesday and Wednesday. Weekends I will meditate when I feel kind of exhausted.

Food habits:
I’m experimenting with getting 800 grams of produce per day.  Let’s see if that ends up to be triggering in any way.  Also I need to put my food books on hold at the library.  I can’t afford to buy my own copies right now.

Best snack for Family Book Group

The bar code is obscuring the full title, but we read I am Princess X for Family Book Group. Danielle came up with this most excellent snack item.

She also posted many images of Princess X around the room, sneaking them into normal displays.  This was very fitting to the story, and was a delightful bonus.

Librarians are so fun.

Filmspotting Massacre Theater Prize

My favorite film podcast Filmspotting has a regular feature in which the two hosts perform a scene from a movie and people write in guessing the movie. As the two hosts are terrible actors, this can be a very hard game.  I’m not very good at it, and rarely enter.  Thus, I was quite happy to hear my name read as the ultimate winner when they massacred Crazy Stupid Love.

My prize was this t-shirt with their logo.  Thanks, Filmspotting.

My 100 Days Post #6. The first tracking week.

Here was my plan [Here’s how I did with my plan]

Exercise:
5/1 Monday–Swim [Did it]
5/2 Tuesday–Tap [I forgot that I was going to an author reading instead of going to tap class.  But I also forgot to list my usual Tuesday morning walk of approximately 25 minutes.  I did that, and took a 10 minute walk to the bus stop after work, and then a 15 minute walk after the reading.  There was no intense tap dance class, but I still got 50 minutes of walking in.]
5/3 Wednesday–Swim, Square Dance [Did the swim, went to square dancing]
5/4 Thursday–Hike? [We did have a short, 30 minute hike]
5/5 Friday–Hike? [We drove a very long way to a short 20 minute hike.  It was cool, but not a lot of activity]
5/6 Saturday–Hike? [We did a long hike, somewhere around 2 hours.]
5/7 Sunday–Hike? [No hike.  We took a long drive home.]

Mediation:
Can do on M, T.  Wednesday might be tight.  T-Sun.  Vacation probably hard to work in. I will see if I can. [Did meditate on Monday.  Did not meditate any other day this week.]

Food habits:
Note three food habits that could be modified. [Have noted them, will do a summary at the end of the trail month.]

Plan for next week:
5/8 Monday–Swim
5/9 Tuesday–Walk before work; tap dance
5/10 Wednesday–Swim; square dance
5/11 Thursday–Walk before work
5/12 Friday–Swim
5/13 Saturday–Yoga; square dance
5/14 Sunday–Walk that is more than an hour in duration.

Meditate:
Wednesday and Thursday might be tough due to after-work commitments.  Will aim for the other days.

Food habits:
Continue to track food habits.

Bend Anniversary: Hike

We met up with one of my high school friend and his partner for coffee and then set out for a hike.

Here is Benham Falls.

After visiting the falls, we hiked part of the Deschutes River Trail, which was pretty. You can see it by looking past our grinning faces in the following self-portraits.

Two timer photos on this trip!  

After that, we got some linner and hung out at the hotel.  The next day involved driving to Roseburg, Eugene and Corvallis to get more stamps.  No photos exist of this day.

It was a lovely anniversary trip.