Spirit Day

Originally posted by neo_prodigy at Spirit Day

It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes at at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.

RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)

REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.

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I realized one night that I wasn't doing ANY kind of journalling any more, either here or on paper. And I love paper journals. The problem was mostly that I don't have a convenient and comfy place to write at home, and I'm usually tired by the end of the day, so I'd think about writing but never get around to it. So now, I've cleaned up my dried fountain pen and carry my paper journal with me, so I've been writing a lot during lunch. Everything's still fresh in my head then and I'm usually chewing actively on something during the day anyhow. My handwriting still bites, especially when I try to keep up with my thoughts.

Fountain pens are a lot different than ball points - you never really apply pressure, the pen just glides over the paper and leaves ink behind. If you try to apply regular writing pressure, you'll mess up your nib. Last time I was shopping for pens, I came across a neat article about how your fountain pen gets personalized as you use it, that the way you handle it shapes the nib to your use and you shouldn't loan out fountain pens. I knew that just from seeing people mash the nib into the paper, but I didn't know it was a more subtle thing as well. Neat.

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Heh, I need to get a bird bath heater - I went outside today to refill the ground feeder and the water was just a big chunk of ice.

I've got quite the backyard wildlife feeding thing going on now. I originally wanted to attract squirrels, because hand-feeding the local squirrel population has long been a family tradition. I have one regular and a couple drive-by squirrels, in addition to a small flock of cardinals, mourning doves, a bazillion sparrows and a budgie. I think that one escaped from a nearby home, although apparently escaped budgies do live in the wild quite well, so I hope my feeder is helping this one make it through winter.

I also have a couple birds I haven't identified yet. I bought an Audubon field guide and found the Dark-eyed Junco, but the big grackley, starlingy birds that fight noisily over the squirrel feed still need to be identified.

I'm buying the feed by the 20# bag now, stored in five-gallon buckets in the living room - now if I can just find bulk peanuts. Half of squirrel feed is corn, and my squirrels don't seem to be big corn fans. At least, there's a lot of it left over after the rest is picked out, and it never gets eaten. I'm trying to tailor my feeds to the exact prefs of my visitors. The cardinals love the black-oil sunflower and the safflower, as do the squirrels, so the bird feed is heavily weighted towards that. I'd make it ALL that, but the sparrows and mourning doves like the lighter stuff in the general wild bird mix, so I'm not cutting it out altogether. I have a ground frame, for the ground feeders, a small hanging feeder for the cardinals, and a dog bowl for the squirrels. Dad's making me a 'fly-through platform' feeder - like the bin feeders you usually see, except there's a large screen bottom and just a roof over it, so the birds can fly in and out and enjoy the open space. Not many of the local birds seem to be big on the close perch feeding of your average feeder.

The way I have my computer set up, it's kind of annoying to get in and out of the patio door, so I'm thinking of redoing the room to create a little area for coming in and out of the patio behind the couch. A spot I can put a rug to wipe my feet and the buckets of feed, with enough room to get in and out without worrying about tripping over something. I wish I knew what to do with my L-shaped room. I suppose I can make the far end more of an office/desk area, but the room still seems oddly off balance. Maybe moving the sofa will give me some more ideas about space planning.

I've been coming up with decorating ideas for my rooms - a sage green/taupe Asian look for the dining room, a rich red/gold look for the library/craft room, a light old ivory/blue color scheme for my bedroom. Now I just have to declutter and clean the house so I can even think of trying to paint. The dining room is still my best bet, since there's very little furniture in it, although the bedroom with its door that can be closed wouldn't be a bad place to start (cats, fur, terrible curiousity...). The library's really empty -- except for the bazillion books I just finished putting up and organizing.*whimper* But it's fun coming up with ideas.

Starting off on the right foot

I'm trying to start this year off well, work on some new habits to get my life and house in order. When I stopped by my shrink for my quarterly med check, I mentioned that I was kinda in a funk, mostly about how I felt I was sliding, losing that ability to follow through with household chores. Then I started talking about what I *had* accomplished and by the time I was done, I was pretty excited about that and realized that maybe I wasn't a complete mess after all. The bills got paid by the 5th, I'd made some progress on long-term projects, even if it had taken way long than originally planned.

So I'm tracking all my expenditures in Quicken so I know where my money goes. Then I want to figure out how much I can start auto-deducting into savings from my paycheck, bump up my 401K deductions, maybe see a financial planner to come up with an investment plan. I've been pretty good about tracking my money so far - it takes 21-28 repetitions to learn a new habit, so I should be set by the end of the month.

I've also finally gotten my library in order! The extra bookcase really helped and I figured out a sorting trick with the paperbacks that let me finish it up in an evening. Looks like everything's going to fit on the shelves, with a little elbow room. And the floor creaks again! (I was starting to worry that I was overloading the floor when it stopped after I loaded all the books into that room) I still have work to do on the other half (the craft side) of the room, but the library is ready to go!

Of course, just as I'm getting the upstairs in order, the rest of the living space is a mess. At least the Container Store is having their seasonal elfa sale so I can build a mail/shoes/keys/recharger station in that odd nook I have at the entrance. That spot is such a disaster area right now....

In the spirit of maigrey's flylady enthusiasm, I'm taking a second look at everything that I keep around here and deciding whether I need it and whether I'm using it the best possible way. For instance, I have scissors in every room, because I got tired of wondering where I'd left them *this* time. The kitchen scissors were in the junk drawer, which means they're behind me when I'm opening things at the counter - so now I've moved them up to the corner cabinet, where I'd already done the same with the can opener. :) (My utensil drawer is also on the "wrong" side of the kitchen, although the silverware and knives are handy.)

It's not until you really think about stuff like that that you make real headway, in decluttering or in managing your ADD. The grief I used to go through because I was always playing "hunt the scissors/nail clippers/pen/tape measure"... It's not important that I remember where I used one of these things last! It's important that I have them accessible when I need them, without wasting time or effort! And if the proper storage place for something is right at hand, you'll actually return it to that spot, as opposed to needing to walk downstairs or to another room to do so.

So that's what I'm doing right now - everything is completely and utterly unpacked, and needs to get a permanent home or get tossed. Baby steps, to be sure, but I'm really going to try and keep this going until I feel I can sustain a certain level of organization and cleanliness.
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Gah. Okay, okay, I know it's a good thing that the lady who mans the snack alcove downstairs knows what I get every morning and wants to make sure it's stocked. But goddamn, I didn't intend to make her my new best friend. If I change my mind in the morning, she wants to chat about it and discuss it and I have to justify it (or at least explain it) to her and I'm not INTERESTED in conversation that early in the morning. Brain no make words yet, and she won't just shut the hell up and ring me up so I can be on my half-conscious way.

"So, do you like the grapefruit juice?"
*ungh* *need food* *take payment, let me go*
"Because I know we were kinda low earlier..."
"...And I wanted to be sure that...."

This is the Breakfast Lady. I don't ever *want* to talk to her. Because I don't want to talk to ANYONE at that time of day. If it were lunch, sure, I'd give in to her demands for rapport, so I'd know there'd always be a piece of german chocolate cake left, but this is breakfast. If she's out of my usual food, I'll track down a vending machine or soldier on without. That's less work and less disruptive to me than trying to form conversation or answers to her questions.
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So it's been about a year since I was diagnosed with ADD - I had a routine maintenance appt with my doc last night and it always reminds me how much better it's been, how much more stable I feel since I became aware of and treated the ADD.

One of the things I told him was how my life seemed to be in one of those weird times of confluence, where everything falls into place. I've been puttering around with the unpacking of the house (I've been there a year and the 35 book boxes are still taking up half my living room) and replacing / fixing my computer for forever and finally, it all just clicked. The slow wearing away at the library unpacking and IKEA bookshelf installs has paid off with a nice clean, open library awaiting my books. When an "extra" paycheck came up, I took about a day to decide to order a new computer so that I could load the library database software I wanted, so I can scan the books in downstairs before hauling them upstairs to the library. The new computer came this past weekend and it's beyooooutiful. This coming weekend, I'm going to split my time between processing the books into the library and re-genning my old machine.

The old box will be my mom's birthday present - it's a nice little machine, still speedy and roomy. I just outgrew it. But Mom and Dad have been thinking about getting a computer for a while and I think this will ease them into the notion. And I know Mom will enjoy being online. I can see her getting into the online communities and meeting new people.

maigrey helped set up my boxen for file sharing so we could dump the old into the new (and oooh it just rattles around its big new home!). Took several hours, but it finished before I had to go to bed. I owe her a batch of (healthy, fat free?) baked goods for that! (And shush, maigrey, I have spoken!)

Bitter Mike called late Sunday night and promises to get back to me about a good weekend for visiting. We both got busy right after our last volley of emails, and I'm glad his life is settling down again into something less crazy. Looking forward to seeing him again before the year is out.

I should start writing here again. I keep thinking of things I'd like to write, as they happen, but until they hook to interface directly into my thoughts, I'll probably always be a little sketchy with the updates.

Oh, and the new Krispy Kreme is still under construction.

(no subject)

Friday, maigrey called me out for some sushi and I showed off the new GPSr. Turns out the sushi place wasn't far from one of the geocaches and we decided to swing by, just to see how using the GPSr features worked out. Turns out that it was this partial coordinate set - when you joined the local geocachers' Yahoo group, you got the rest. And I hadn't added that modification in yet, so we were still going off the partial coordinates, which put the cache in the middle of someone's home, most likely. I think we'll give it another try soon, with the real waypoint. Still, it was kinda fun just driving around looking for it.

I think I'm going to research a good handful of sites for Saturday and make a day of it. I'm already assembling a "geocaching pack" and I'm all excited. :)


Woot! I had a delightful little impulse moment yesterday - went out and bought a GPS so I can take up geocaching. There are a ton of sites in the Chicago area, probably because we have non-Federal forest preserves up the ying-yang out here. Can't swing a dead cat without hitting one. So I think I'll try to find one of the easy ones closest to my home, and maybe take the guys out to it Saturday if they're interested.
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Helpful Hint #12931 : Don't have your gynecologist fax the results of your gonorrhea and herpes tests to your work fax machine.

Or at least be there to pick it up when it comes in.

(Heh, the things you find out about people as you wait for a printout.)

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I talked to SoilGuy yesterday for the first time in two months. He's a guy I met on match.com - we talked on the phone a few times, went out twice. For some reason, I decided I *did* want to open up that can of worms again and got in touch with him.

Turns out he's dated (and broken up with) someone in the interim and he now has a correspondence going with another woman and it's going well. It's not as bad as I thought, though. The call kinda cemented the feeling that it wouldn't have worked out with us anyhow. He's a decent guy, but I guess I really do need to feel a serious spark there before I'll let someone in. And there really wasn't one there right off the bat. Besides, our conversations are still awkward, and that's not a good sign.

But he was the only bite I've gotten since breaking up with the Deek a couple years ago. I guess I just wanted to make sure I was giving him a fair shake.
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