Saturday, April 14, 2018

That Which We Persist in Doing

Went to eat hotpot today.  My friend and I convinced four other innocent friends to come eat with us, spinning tales of comfort food and good conversation while you cook and eat your food.

The restaurant was all-you-can-eat and somehow the waiter didn't quite explain portion sizes because he brought our food out on the largest plates I've ever seen.  It was about that time that we started getting nervous about the food waste tax called out on the menu for excessive leftover food.  As a result, we all dug in, eating as though our lives depended on it.

It stopped being delicious heaven about halfway through but I kept on pushing myself to eat more.  I can report, I left very little left on the plate.  It was only after we left, when my friend and I were bemoaning our overstuffed bellies and impending food comas, that we contemplated whether it would have been just better to actually enjoy the meal, even if it meant paying the extra fee.

In other news, I'm still working on doing a new thing every week.  Here is the report:

Last week: I wrote a violin descant and harmony to a piece of music.   I like the result.  Not sure how it will play out (pun intended).

This week: I attended a training seminar for what to do in an armed violent encounter.  As a rule, I don't like guns or violence or watching guns or violence so it was one of those "face my biggest fears" kind of experiences.  I also got to practice throwing a few punches - also a first.  Along with contemplating my mortality, I'm also contemplating getting some more training. 

Spring decided to have a first this week, too.  Weather got up into the 70s yesterday!

And a work first: One of the new hires at work smiled yesterday.  This was his first smile in the two months he's worked with us.  We were so excited, my coworker and I applauded and cheered.  And then he blushed AND smiled.  :)
Kirtland, Apr 2018

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Sleep Less, Do More

Last week, I attended a Women in Leadership symposium.   The panelist speakers were excellent.  One gave this advice: Stop watching mindless TV.  Sleep less, do more.

That was my mantra and my new experience for the week.  Rather than curl up to a good book or a good movie during my evenings, I pushed myself to get work done.

As a result, I hand-drew and colored a bunny for a pin-the-ears on the Easter bunny game and dyed a dozen Easter eggs.  I worked an evening from home and wrote checksheets for work.  I even cooked a beef brisket on the stove in an attempt to make Dduk Guk, which turned out merely edible.

I'd say this new experience was something I'll keep doing.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Something New

New goal this week: try something new every week (until further notice)

This week?  Vegan Lemon Tart.

The result? Eh.  I apologize in advance to the people who are eating it for our refreshments tomorrow.

I probably shouldn't have used raw almonds in place of raw cashews (but they were so much cheaper!) 

I probably should have also gotten a much stronger food processor (also new this week!) that could have creamed everything more.

I probably should have used a different recipe with not so much coconut oil.

In other news, I just realized this week that a plant that I inherited from a coworker when he changed jobs is still alive!  It's been at least 3 months.

Its name is Jade

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Hi, It's Me

Turns out I still have a blog.

I think my brain is broken.  It saddens me.  But at least it's not a broken heart or a broken soul, or maybe it's all of those.

In any case, it's sometimes quite easy to forget about my broken brain.

I don't remember it when I'm watching the cryoceiling at work get lifted 45 feet into the air.
I don't remember it when the sun is shining and when the deer watch me cautiously as I walk to my car.
I certainly don't remember it when I'm at the library, trying to find an appropriately "intellectual" movie to borrow along with the guilty pleasure Hallmark movie in my hand.

I really only think about it when I'm driving home and thinking back on my day and realizing, "Hey, you, those negative thoughts, those despairing thoughts?  Those aren't the thoughts of a normal brain."

So I try to be kinder.  "It's okay, brain.  You worked really hard today and no one thinks you should quit your job or that you aren't smart enough to handle it."

I pray that the kind words are the true ones.
Gulf of Mexico + Me, Mar 2018

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Weeder Course: Are You Serious about Living In Boston?

I have a friend who heartily dislikes February.  I congratulated her when she survived it this year, mostly because I was also congratulating myself for surviving it.

The hardest thing about February wasn't the snow or the shoveling or the long commutes or even the long walks when the public transportation wasn't running - it was the exhaustion from dealing with all of these things and then getting up the next day and facing it all over again.  

Here are some of the month's highlights:

(1) Sledding in the park and walking across a frozen solid pond.
(2) Having some nice people on the subway make room for me.  (One nice lady even pulled me onto the subway with her after we had waited through three previously full trains)
(3) Visiting the Longfellow House in honor of George Washington's Birthday (the Longfellow House was GW's war headquarters when he was in Boston)
(4) Visiting the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (for free) and deciding that :
      (a) I kind of wish Isabella and I could have been friends
      (b) I want her house
      (c) I am very upset that someone stole a lot of artwork from there in 1990
      (d) I want Ally Carter to write a fictional story in the Heist Society series solving the heist.
(5) Shoveling snow one weekend for 8 hours and then rejoicing by jumping around in the snow
(6) Finding a good doughnut shop near my house
(7) Walking in the snow back from the temple
(8) Going to Dallas (for work training) and finding boots for Boston.  (Since Boston is sold out and back-ordered until June)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

No Man is an Island

I was riding the green line back towards the red line, the line that would take me home.  My mind was on the book I was reading, the bread and eggs and milk I would be buying, on the wonderful weekend I would be spending in my house, doing lazy snow day activities for the first time since the snow hit.
When I went to switch trains, I noticed a cop was standing guard over the inbound train entrance, his arms outstretched.  "No one is allowed down here"  and he turned and looked over his shoulder with a glance that told me not everything was normal.

When I got to my train entrance, there were three security guard standing entrance and another couple guards directing everyone outside, quickly and brusquely with little to no explanation beyond, "Shuttle buses will be coming."  The red line train was down...again.  I sighed.  With all this snow in Boston, the red line seems to be shut down more often than it's operating normally.  This didn't seem like a disabled train but no one looked stricken or in shock.

I followed the group of people outside but paused when I noticed a few cops questioning people in the entryway, "Did you touch her?  Did you try to stop her?"

I looked at the passengers being questioned.  Again, no shock.

With a heave the doors were flung open as I followed the masses out the doors, past the interrogations and into the outside where we blinked in shock to see the entire street in front of the station blocked with at least a dozen emergency vehicles and sirens announcing the arrival of more.

Annoyance at being left in the cold, high and dry without a way home; those were the emotions I heard and saw expressed.  Did anyone around me know what was happening?

My mind spun through worst-case scenarios and I prayed that none of those were true.

Curiosity wanted to know what the incident was that shut down the entire red line and stopped up all downtown  traffic.  Another part was too afraid to face the reality that perhaps someone(s) had died.  I turned around and walked away.

It took me and hour and a half to walk through Boston, over to Cambridge and then on to Harvard Square. As I stumbled, slid through the snowy streets, the snow covering my hat and coat, I continued to pray for those involved. As I passed red line stops, I wondered if the people milling outside, calling friends and family to pick them up, realized that an accident rather the weather had caused the confusion.  I wondered if it would be on the news, on the national news.  "An already overtaxed and weary subway line halted by another kind of emergency"  I could see the headlines, even if I didn't know the details.  

No one around me in the grocery store said a thing.  No one on Facebook mentions it.  So I state it here: Something tragic and sad happened today on the red line.

"Ask not for whom the bell tolls.  It tolls for thee."

Friday, January 30, 2015


Things I've done this month:

Read eleven books
Become a member of the Museum of Fine Arts
Hiked around Arnold Arboretum
Had Boston Cream Pie from the place it originated
Survived and shoveled through my first blizzard (nor'easter)
Given a 10 minute talk in Chinese
Set a goal for the year

Things I haven't done:
Written any stories
Played an Instrument
Studied Chinese or Japanese
Opened a textbook

I'm not sure where that puts me.  But I'm not regretting it.