Day 14 of Project 365: Be ready.


On the way to the Writers’ Bloc meeting tonight, Gav pointed out this pair of boots stranded on Princes Street. I’d like to make up a story about how they came to be stranded on Princes Street, but I know the truth.

The person last seen wearing these boots was walking down Princes Street, minding her own business, humming a tuneless tune to herself. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw someone approach, and her heart immediately sank; she knew the types in brightly-coloured jackets who lunged cheerfully into one’s path and asked for donations to good causes. She walked faster but could not shake the figure who now loomed into her space. Before she could beg off the donation with mumbled appeasements, a piece of paper was thrust into her hands. She squinted after the hastily retreating figure and then back to what it had given her.

“If you want to fly, jump now,” the paper read. She turned the paper over in her hands, looking for any distinguishing marks, or caveats, or disclaimers. Fly? For how long? To where? And jump? A big jump or a little jump or straight up or to the side or …?

She stopped walking then. She folded the piece of paper once and put it into her pocket. And then she looked up, way up until her eyes unfocused, and she jumped. The boots couldn’t go where she was going, so they stayed behind.

When you encounter an opportunity that scares you, be ready.

Adore yourself.…

There was a recent spate of graffiti near one of my work sites. I liked this one. The sentiment is good, of course, but if you’ve watched more than a half-hour of television here lately you have also seen this particular advertisement often. And it is as insipid as only a perfume advert can be. I like Charlize Theron’s acting but I’m not sad about this graffito at all.

Random moments, catching up on the past eleven days (whoops) of Holidailies:

  • It is really boring to hear about how ill someone has been, so I will save you that part of the update. But I can assure you of one thing: it is even more boring to be the person living it.
  • The fireplace gets fixed tomorrow! Lately I have deep appreciation for my hot-water bottle, electric blanket, ratty old bathrobe, fleece infinity scarf, and cats, especially at bedtime.
  • Suddenly getting choked up in the Tesco Metro upon hearing "I'll Be Home for Christmas" is one way to make a new friend, or at least to test the customer service abilities of a patient cashier.
  • Never underestimate the restorative power of Skype calls.
  • I finally get why you are all raving about Serial. But do you get why I continue to rave about Judge John Hodgman? (Note: these two podcasts are about as different as podcasts get, but they're both outstanding.)
  • Adore yourself for exactly one minute today, no more and no less. Then you can go back to self-loathing and crippling doubt about your place in the world.
  • Never mention the referendum at a work holiday party, not even in passing, not even as a side comment you were making about something else. "Too soon" doesn't even begin to cover it. I surprised myself at the mistake, and it went quickly from "oops" to "o god what have I done" to "please someone set off the fire alarm so I have an excuse to run out of here". And then the fire alarm went off. But it was only a drill, and we all stayed seated, and it never got any better.
  • To settle my roiling stomach, I drank an entire can of ginger ale. It was weird, but not entirely unpleasant, and I think I have finally gotten over my distaste of carbonation. Also, that trick really works!

And a teaser for next post, mostly to tease myself into actually writing it: I found treasure for only £7 in the Grassmarket on Saturday.


Once I overheard someone talking about eating great fruit, with the accent on “great”. I realized a few sentences in that he said “grapefruit” but it never tasted like grapes to me, so greatfruit it is.

Today’s surprise treat from a coworker is a greatfruit and prawn salad with peanuts, almonds, onions, dried baby shrimp, Vietnamese mint, and cassava chips on the side. It is sweet, tangy, spicy, and every bit as delicious as it sounds.  I am once again indebted to this very good cook who knows so many gluten-free dishes.

I am bouncing back from the stomach bug, and bouncing indeed as I catch up with work that crouches in wait around every corner. Boing, boing, boing. I love being busy.

The rest of it is a disorganized crowd. People dissatisfied this soon with Obama as President should ask themselves how long it has taken them to acclimate to a new job. I wonder if Prop 8 will be overturned. I read that the 38-Geary spends more time stopped than it does in transit. We are almost done watching the third season of “Battlestar Galactica” and I have no idea where it is going. I won a goldfish at a fair once and named him Fred. I still haven’t finished that short story because I don’t know what happens next. Anything could happen.

Today the light in the library is subdued silver.

I like the word “microfiche” too much.

Lunch has ended.

25 random things

This is that “25 random things about me” meme. I cannot imagine that after 11 years of an online journal there is more to know about me, but here goes.

  1. I overuse the words “love” and “favorite” and “awesome”, according to cynical people. According to me, I love my awesome favorite things.
  2. My schedule is very important to me. If I do something that isn’t on my schedule, I put it on my schedule after the fact.  If I do not do something that is on my schedule, I remove it from my schedule. Spontaneity is not one of my strong suits, but I don’t mind.
  3. I love bad jokes.  The worse, the better.  One of my favorites starts: “Where did Napoleon keep his armies?“  Another starts: “What is brown and sticky?” I know lots of these.
  4. My myriad, mysterious health problems have been resolved by a strict adherence to a gluten-free diet with vitamin supplements.
  5. I am engaged to my best friend, and we are getting married! But don’t ask us for details because we have no idea yet. Wedding planning is difficult.
  6. I can make a sound like a train whistle. It disturbs FunkyPlaid.
  7. You can sing my full name to the tune of “Follow the Yellow Brick Road”.  (Thanks, Tony.)
  8. I own at least one copy of every book that Iain Banks has published to date.
  9. My first library job was in 1996. It was not an intentional career choice, but I am happy with the results.
  10. I once tried out for “The World Series of Pop Culture”.  My team didn’t make it, but we had fun in Austin anyway.
  11. Although my latest projects are prose, I am more comfortable writing poetry, especially fixed forms.
  12. I like to guess where people are from based on their accents. When I am right, it freaks people out. This pleases me.
  13. My steadfastness and loyalty have caused me to stick with things (habits, people, jobs, places) I should have given up.
  14. I love magic tricks, surprises of all kinds, and not knowing what happens next. Spoilers are stupid.
  15. If I hear or say the word “moist” I think it or say it to myself three times.  It is incomplete without three more: moist, moist, moist. It is a high-maintenance word, and my least favorite.
  16. Oddly enough, another word containing the same diphthong is my very favorite: “foible”. It is quite laid-back and charming, not high-maintenance at all.
  17. Fountain pens thrill and cheer me. My current favorite is my limited edition Namiki Vanishing Point. FunkyPlaid gave it to me for Christmas. It is purple and writes perfectly every time.
  18. My greatest weakness is becoming sidetracked by perfectionism.
  19. My sweet tooth is the size of my entire head. I especially love chocolate-hazelnut things like Nutella and Nutella-based treats. Please send them to me.
  20. When I heard the news that Stacey’s, my favorite bookstore in San Francisco, will be closing this spring, I decided not to purchase books from Amazon anymore in favor of supporting local, independent bookstores. Not that I have any business buying books in the first place!
  21. Online, I delete much more than I publish. Offline, I write without crossing much out.
  22. I still avoid sidewalk cracks because of that rhyme, “Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.” Ugh!
  23. I do certain things well, but I do not pretend to know everything there is to know about those things. I am always learning, and never bored.
  24. Crying comes very easily to me. I used to feel embarrassed about my tears, but now I know they are just the way I express my wordless world.
  25. Chance has opened many wonderful doors for me; I endeavor to have the intelligence and strength to walk through the right ones.

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I acknowledge that I live and work on stolen Cowlitz, Clackamas, Atfalati, and Kalapuya land.
I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.