eUMa A0p

Doing work at work! Yay

I've had this big ol' tasks hanging over my head at work for weeks and I finally sacked up and did the first half of it, and now the second half is looking way less scary.

The Ugh Field surrounding this task was mostly built up of "wah, it's already overdue, I can't even stand to think about how overdue it is, I am ashamed and I suck, and when I turn it in the recipient will totally be disappointed and excoriate me for taking so long". Which, okay. The delay is a problem, but it's not the damn end of the world, and the recipient may be quite annoyed at me taking so long for no good reason, but goddamn it, my group is doing them a favor by doing this task at all, and I'm doing a damn good job on it.

Because of this (sending an email and not getting immediately chewed out for tardiness), it is perhaps unsurprising that the Ugh Field surrounding the second half of the task just suddenly shrank by a lot.

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming :)
eUMa A0p

Doing things doing things doing things

Somehow, despite being pretty depressed over the last couple of weeks, I managed to fall into a doing-things frenzy this evening. Work! Emails! Scheduling things! Dealing with accumulated mail! Watering plants! Etc etc. (This does not match up with symptoms of bipolar, at least not to the point of needing treatment; I've never had a manic episode that was actually a problem.) Anyway, I want to try journaling more, because as helpful as it is to discuss my issues with public zephyr sometimes, that's not the right venue for everything.

Most of the depression talk beyond the superficial will be filtered; if you DON'T want to see it, let me know and I will take that into account (and in no way think less of you).

Also want to establish good routines. Because yay good habits and because if I make them routine, then eventually I won't have to spend willpower points deciding to do them every time, and in theory I'll have more left over for forcing myself to do work, hmm? :) I've been told (and to some extent discovered myself) that part of adopting a habit or routine is pre-deciding what is to be done if it fails in various likely ways.

I love you all. :)
eUMa A0p

Dear lazyjournal

I have had strep throat and two colds in quick succession. I've been sick for most of the month. This sucks and is sad.

To cheer everyone up, and because sometimes I get cold, I invite you to suggest ideas for nerdy crochet blankets! Here are some to start with:

- granny square pixel art (fun patterns? minecraft? something?)
- periodic table
- something with hexagonal tiling?
- giant electrophoresis gel
- fibonacci spiral with accumulating larger and larger squares thing
- SOMETHING involving turtles. I don't want to just do hundreds of iterations of That Turtle Square...
- square Sierpinski gasket
eUMa A0p

Throw open your doors, and throw open your arms, and sing with me.

Members of something like thirty choirs packed Kresge Auditorium last night to sing the Brahms Requiem. It was quickly but beautifully thrown together: lighting and A/V equipment, soloists, brilliant pair of pianists, four or five different conductors, and enough singers to nearly fill the lower/main level of Kresge audience seating (no way they were getting us all on stage). Paraphrasing Leonard Bernstein: our response to violence shall be to make more music louder and better than before.

May the fallen find their way to the place of their ancestors. May the wounded be healed.

This sort of fellowship strikes me as exactly the right thing to do in the face of senseless violence (and, according to Bill Cutter, almost exactly the same thing happened shortly after 9/11 in NYC). More importantly, though, the best thing we can do is to strengthen our communities and the links between them. If you feel called to act, donate to The One Boston Fund, bake cookies for your roommates, give blood, write to your representatives, resolve to get First Aid or even EMT training -- but meet your neighbors too. Find someone(s) outside your usual social circles and get to know them. I will be singing with some of these people again this summer, assuming logistics work out (Harvard Summer Chorus).

The blood of Boston's genius loci is as much in friendships as it is in the waters of the Charles and the Mystic, the rails and electric lines of the MBTA, the games of the Red Sox, or the dust of illustrious history.

[reposted from Facebook with modifications]
eUMa A0p

Whoops

There are one or two really horribly racist/classist things that I remember saying on this journal, but I can't find them to edit them out. I suppose that's just as well, though, since anyone who bothers to backread years of posts (not likely) will see that I used to be worse at kyriarchal shit and that now I'm trying to suck less. It's a process. Just today I said a pretty ableist and victim-blaming thing and didn't even realize it until called out by two people in quick succession. Alas. Remember the mistake, figure out why it was made, apologize, try to do better, educate self, don't kick self unnecessarily.
eUMa A0p

Be it resolved

Be it resolved, in the congress of my five wits and my billion-odd brain cells assembled, that:

1. Running is better than optimized.
2. Done is better than perfect.
eUMa A0p

Corvids?

I was outside around sunrise this morning and two corvids (I think) flew over me at one point. They were both largish (much bigger than a jay) and black, and made calls that sounded like generic cawing to my uneducated ears. Based on preliminary googling, I suppose they were either American Crow or Common Raven (I'm in SFBA at the moment). Alas, I saw them through thick foliage and far too briefly to photograph.

One of these days I'm going to learn some birds. But I'll probably learn some trees first. They're easier to spot :)
eUMa A0p

I'm allowed to talk about Christmas now, right?

So, religiously, I'm somewhere between atheist, Pagan, and "whatever dude just give me some rituals and songs". But lately I've been making rather a meal of Christmas, and it's not for the family togetherness -- it's for the religious themes and the music. I was amused to note, as I was watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade earlier, that my internal monologue of "fuck your secularized consumerism and give me Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band singing about Jesus" probably sounded a lot like the Jesus Is The Reason For The Season Fight Back Against The War On Christmas people.

I find beauty and value in the story and teachings of Jesus, even though I disagree strongly with things like the concept of original sin or the existence of a heavenly afterlife / immortal souls. Partly, this is because it's a good story, and I have the privilege of not having been traumatized by a strict Christian upbringing. Partly, this is because Christianity dominates classical choral music, and so I've spent a lot of time forcing my intellectual belief into a separate compartment from my ability to sing expressively about something and to appreciate the resulting beauty. And partly, this is because there is real beauty and value to be found! I find it very telling that when God chose to LARP[*], he incarnated into poverty, and the resulting public-policy recommendations were along the lines of camels through the eyes of needles.


Lo, within a manger lies
He who built the starry skies

---

Sleep, my dear; thy food and raiment,
Home and hearth thy friends provide;
All without thy care or payment,
All thy wants are well supplied.

How much better thou art tended
Than the Son of God could be,
When from heaven he descended
And became a child like thee!

---

To-day he makes his entrance here
But not as monarchs do.


[*] Alas, this phrasing is geofft's, not mine.
eUMa A0p

Hi

I haven't written anything on here in almost a year. Wow.

Just putting this out there because I seem to be meeting a lot of new people who have LJ accounts. Hi there.