As 2016 ends, so does this round of Project 365. I am relieved on both counts, although I will miss how the act of sharing a daily photo kept me connected with faraway loved ones. Thank you for being here; your presence meant a lot to me during this very challenging year.
I’m excited to refocus my creative energies on my writing in 2017, but I’ll keep sharing here from time to time. Stick around.
I hope that your 2017 is filled with enough light to see through the darkness.
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Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: the Song Exploder episode about Justin Hurwitz’s “La La Land”.
2016 had one last stomach bug to throw my way. Earlier this afternoon I was feeling dizzy so I went outside for some fresh air and saw this lichen-spotted sign.
A tiny tree sits next to a pine-scented candle, and it is drizzling outside. Zen wanders through the house, pausing to express her displeasure at all of the chilly corners that lack FunkyPlaid’s presence. But soon he will be coming home, and we’ll all be warmer.
You have noticed by now that despite being Day 364 of this project, there are two more days left in 2016. Leap year granted me a bonus Day 366 photo! No pressure …
Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: the rain. Happy it’s not snow!
Tonight I turned the page to peek at 2017. It looks so clean and new from here. I am sure 2016 looked much the same, last December 28th. Is it foolish to look forward to a symbolic fresh start? Are these merely the first few hours of our darker days?
Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: Carrie Fisher being interviewed in 1977 about “Star Wars”. In French. She really was awesome.
Here is my first Kaweco, a Liliput Fireblue, which is one of the smallest fountain pens – less than four inches long when capped! Each pen is hand-torched by Kaweco CEO Michael Gutberlet to give it the distinctively mottled steel finish. I’m looking forward to putting it through its paces in future ink tests!
Hopping into my time machine to catch up with some posts from the weekend! Yes, I am wearing a bat onesie pajamas (kigurumi), a most excellent gift from FunkyPlaid.
Hopping into my time machine to catch up with some posts from the weekend! FunkyPlaid and I were together on Christmas Day for the first time in too long, and it was wonderful.
I’m reading Patricia Highsmith’s “The Price of Salt” and enjoying the new fireplace in my inlaws’ living-room. Not pictured but very close by: FunkyPlaid. 💕
Writing from: a cozy home in Marin County, California. Listening to: the quiet whir of the fireplace.
Zen didn’t get up to say goodbye as I was heading to the airport, but that’s okay. She has a new hiding place: right in front of the register, underneath the nesting tables.
I tried to move the tables and put her bed there, but she just folded herself up underneath the tables and looked disappointed. Message received. I’ll miss this little weirdo but I’m looking so forward to seeing FunkyPlaid for a few days!
I had lofty goals to come home and get all of my chores done and pack and take a nice hot bath with custom-made bath salts that a friend gave me … and then I was delayed at work, and all that melted like so much Portland snow. I’m still packing! But in twenty-four hours I’ll be reunited with FunkyPlaid.
When I arrived home, this confused camellia bud greeted me. Happy Solstice!
Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: a podcast called “LifeAfter” that I am not quite enjoying.
Gift-giving makes me incredibly anxious. I’m not certain where it comes from, but it is pervasive at this time of year, especially when I don’t have my very best shopping pal at my side to talk me out of talking myself out of choices.
I do like giving people things, but I’m always convinced I’ve given the wrong thing. And it sucks, doubly so in a new workplace where I am still unsure of the gift-giving protocol.
It will be a miracle if I can get to sleep tonight.
Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: my internal monologue.
My immune system collapsed in the wee hours this morning, when I woke up to a coughing fit and severe sinus pain. I haven’t done much today except sleep, but I did manage to put a meal in the slow-cooker so I will have home-cooked lunches this week. I love this recipe for barbecued chicken and cornbread because the cornbread bakes on top of the barbecued chicken like some sort of food sorcery. This is my first attempt with my new favorite gluten-free store-bought barbecue sauce.
Now that I have a car, I sing (badly) all the time, but I was definitely overdue for some fun karaoke times with friends. Courtney, V, and I went to Voicebox and sang our hearts out. About ducks.
Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: Zen’s snores … making me so sleepy.
Some friends of mine get together regularly to watch romantic comedies and good-naturedly snark about them. Living thousands of miles apart doesn’t stop them: they meet online and sync up their various media players so everyone is experiencing it in real-time. I joined in the fun today and it was exactly the low-key social distraction I needed.
In related news, “While You Were Sleeping” is an incredibly stressful romantic comedy to watch, since it is all based on a ridiculous lie. This is likely true of most romantic comedies, which is why I tend to avoid them.
Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: only the taps of the keyboard.
After a wearying week of winter weather, bouts of insomnia, and seasonal ennui, I found myself on this path near the end of my morning commute.
I would like to say that I was 100% thrilled to be going to work this morning, but I was not. I was exhausted and irritated and overwhelmed and pretty daunted by all the slipperiness pictured. I can be pretty idealistic about my profession, but I wasn’t feeling so hot about the logistics, not today.
I started to walk anyway, and as I did I heard the satisfying crunch underfoot and saw the glimmer of the sunrise on the slick outlines of footprints. I moved forward. I did it slowly, but I did move forward.
And it was worth it.
Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: cars skidding out around the corner.
A beautiful box of Christmas cheer from my dad and stepmom was waiting for me when I arrived home. It could not have come at a better time; with FunkyPlaid away I haven’t felt much holiday spirit this year, and last week’s weather foiled two of my planned holiday outings. Then this week’s weather caused the worst commute ever. Today’s drive home was less horrible but still harrowing, and I won’t be taking my car back out on Portland roads in even vaguely snowy conditions without chains. And maybe a cowcatcher.
Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: some holiday music. I’m trying!
Here’s how my evening commute went today:
Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: a loud explosion. Uh-oh, power outages are on the way …
Each year my mom sends a thoughtful and creative advent calendar around a theme of her own devising. This year it is a picnic basket with assorted picnic-themed goodies, one to unwrap each day! When FunkyPlaid comes home (and the weather clears up) we will be all set to explore Oregon, one picnic at a time.
Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: odd creaks and bumps that are probably nothing but are still creeping me out. I’ve been watching too much TV.
Box: check. Crinkly paper: check. Proximity to me: check. Yep, Zen’s happy.
Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: an episode of “Broadchurch”.
The seasons are changing in Second Life! Here is a glimpse of my wee home all ready for the winter months. When I get irritated by the news – which is often, these days – I spend some downtime wandering through a virtual world. Not that virtual worlds are free of racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia, mind you. But sometimes escapism is my only coping mechanism.
Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: the sound of a virtual blizzard.
Today was a mess in Portland, downed power lines everywhere, huge branches from trees in the middle of the roads, and chunks of ice melting and dropping. The power was out from just past midnight until nearly sundown. Zen and I huddled together for warmth, when she could tolerate me. And the work party I was looking forward to was canceled due to burst pipes. What a Saturday.
Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: my own cranky grumblings.
Freezing rain continued to fall overnight, and I couldn’t get my car defrosted enough to drive in this morning. The roads and sidewalks were so icy that it took me twice as long to walk to and from the bus. But look at how photogenic the ice-covered trees are!
The power has flickered twice this evening already, so I’m going to bed. I hope we all thaw out in the morning.
Writing from: my study in icy Portland, Oregon. Listening to: still more freezing rain.
I survived! It was a bit painful waking up at a terribly early time this morning just to catch the bus, but come quitting time I was very glad that I wasn’t driving myself home. Trimet to the rescue! The bus couldn’t go faster than 25 miles an hour due to the chains on the tires, but it got me home safely.
Writing from: my study in snowy Portland, Oregon. Listening to: ice pellets hitting the window.