jazzfish: book and quill and keyboard and mouse (Media Log)
The Great Big Dragaera Reread, part 3

The Ace books have decidedly Aged Well, which is always a pleasant surprise. The treatement of Easterners feels remarkably relevant and contemporary (at least, so saith this white dude), and the sense of having wandered into someone's high-powered D&D game doesn't persist past Jhereg, or maybe Yendi. I'd definitely recommend them.

Athyra, Orca, FHYA, Dragon )

back again

Sep. 11th, 2017 02:37 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
I've fallen out of practice at journaling, which is never a good sign. Time to pull myself back into it. Part of the problem's that I've been running around mentally in crisis-management mode for about a month, for reasons that I am actively choosing to not get into instead of just sort of ignoring.

Today feels kind of bleh... but I did sleep pretty well last night, well enough for the light-alarm to wake me instead of waking up at random at four-thirty and not getting back to sleep. Though I did want to sleep longer. Which is unusual for me, I'm generally pretty good about getting up and moving after about five or ten minutes. More sleep tonight, I think.

Feeling a strong urge to hole up in my room or the bathtub and (re)read and do other distractionary things. July was lost to a haze of emotional overwhelm and also packing/moving, and August has been rough for mostly unrelated reasons. The Great Big Dragaera Reread has been a balm.

I went camping about a month ago for the first time since we moved, and I miss it. Thinking tentatively about going out backpacking over Canucksgiving. No idea where, or who with, though the answer to that one is likely "nobody, because I hate coordinating with people."

Still doing yoga though more erratically, still biking pretty consistently. The lovely bike basket I bought online doesn't fit over the handlebars of this bike, so I'm still looking for a better solution there. At least I've finally got a couple of bungee cords so I can pack things on the rear rack. I also need a better pannier: this one sticks up over the top of the rack, making it difficult to bungee things on properly.

Things like an Instant Pot, which I've purchased on the grounds that a) I wanted a rice cooker anyway, b) everyone I know who has one has sung its praises to the heavens, and c) being able to make more food and easier is almost certainly a Good Thing for me. I haven't yet figured out what I'm going to do with it other than "cook more meat faster," or even what sorts of meat-type things. Need to spend some time poking at crockpot-type recipes, perhaps.
jazzfish: Owly, reading (Owly)
The worst part of transitory housing is not having access to my books.

For instance: Maggie Ronald posts that her presumably adorable daughter is singing "It All Goes Around", which of course gets it stuck in my head. And now I badly want to reread the Radch books, particularly since Ann Leckie has another coming out late this month.

Bah.
jazzfish: book and quill and keyboard and mouse (Media Log)
The Great Big Dragaera Reread, part 2

Aha, the Ace collected editions do have the Cycle poem, just at the beginning before even the title page.

I miss the original covers. Next time I'm reading my mass-market paperbacks.

(I am aware that I am not really posting, and am in fact engaging in some serious escapism. I'm overcommitted and somewhat burnt out right now, but I don't think I'm depressed.)

Palace, Taltos, Phoenix, Phoenix Guards )
jazzfish: book and quill and keyboard and mouse (Media Log)
The Great Big Dragarea Reread, part 1

I'm rereading all of Steven Brust's Dragaera books, more or less in publication order: thirteen mainline novels, five Paarfi romances, one side story, and two short stories.

Sparked by the impending release of Vallista and the realisation that I've not read the Ace volumes in, oh, probably not since Issola came out, despite having read them to exhaustion in the decade previous.

My mass-markets are packed up so I'm reading the Ace books in the SFBC collected editions. As far as I know the main changes are some terminology around pre-Empire sorcery ("raw chaos" to "raw amorphia" etc), and the removal of the Cycle poem at the front of Jhereg. I liked the poem, and it made the chapter headings make sense, but I seem to be in the minority.



The Book of Jhereg )
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Currently reading Freedom and Necessity, and enjoying it, as expected. One thing I hadn't expected: the print feels tiny. Unsure if this is just a natural result of Getting Old or if it's actually small. There doesn't appear to have been an ebook release, which makes me a little sad.

Gonna be a busy fall, bookwise. Just preordered new books from Kat Howard, Ann Leckie, eBear, and Steve Brust. Need to get on with that Great Big Dragarea Reread prior to late October. At least the eBear won't demand my immediate attention: reading Book One Of A Trilogy is a mistake I try to avoid making when the author is known to write bound book-fragments.

I biked for an hour and a half yesterday, going to a small get-together that may be the kind of thing I'm looking for. Mostly, a good ride, if overly sweaty, and tough going uphill. There's an exhilaration in a steep downhill, though, and a long gentle decline makes for a pleasant coast.

It occurred to me last week that my hip problem likely isn't just from wallet-induced sciatica. It's also possibly a result of babying my right ankle (and hence leg) for several months after I twisted it pretty sharply (CW: depiction of trauma, neither graphic nor permanent). So there's that.

Erin pointed out awhile ago that I do a lot of railing against the Confederacy (sometimes on FB, sometimes in person). I grew up hating everything about the South: the weather, the people, the history, the culture. I've mellowed on that a lot in the last decade or so, but Treason In Defence Of Slavery still gets me wound up. I think it's that it's a reminder of everything I hated about the South. Or maybe just that it's a part of my upbringing that's still acceptable to hate.

And in actual significant news, I've lost a friend over the breakup. One that I know of, I mean. I'd hoped for some compassion and understanding but it was not to be. I'm sad, and a little surprised, but only a little: she's prickly, far more invested in Emily's emotional state, and I suspect skeptical of the whole poly thing anyhow. (A conclusion I draw from sentences like "Since November I've watched you break up with Emily in slow motion.") Losing friends I care about doesn't get any easier. Especially not when they've been good friends and sources of support in the past. Oh well. She's not quite burned the bridge, I guess. She's poured gasoline on the bridge, offered me a book of matches, and walked away. Best I can do is not actually light the fire and be here if and when she changes her mind.

Overall? Still flailing around, still trying to sort out what I want my life to look like and how to make it look like that.
jazzfish: a whole bunch of the aliens from Toy Story (Aliens)
The guy at MEC (Canadian for "REI") suggested a specific brand of bike basket (Wald), one that bolted onto the front fork in addition to hanging from the handlebars, so it had more support and didn't interfere with the cables.

I ordered one from Amazon last week and it arrived today.

I rode home awkwardly clutching the box with one hand because I had nowhere on the bike to carry it, which seems ironic.

Looks like it'll require specialised tools to attach, though, since my front wheel is 'quick release.' Also since I have basically no tools at this point in time. Guess I'm taking it into MEC on Friday. Maybe they can fix the shifter indicator that they broke a couple of weeks ago when it was in for a tuneup.

I /like/ having a bike. Very curious to see if I continue to like it when it gets cold and/or wet.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Tattoo photo (warning: fb), taken on Friday shortly after the autostick-saran-wrap came off. The background isn't finished and the whole wants another going-over, but it's there.

I'm reasonably happy with it. I'd been thinking of the background as much more line-art sketched-in, but I like the detail work. And I'm exceptionally pleased with how the hawk came out.

It doesn't yet feel like a part of me. Probably gonna take awhile for that to settle in.
jazzfish: artist painting a bird, looking at an egg for reference (Clairvoyance)
Erin's staying with me for the week, which is lovely. She got in on Friday afternoon, and we've spent the extended-weekend snuggling and cooking and talking and running errands. It's been well over a decade since I've had a partner come to stay with me for longer than an afternoon, excepting Emily for the couple of years we were in DC and not living together. (And this past Xmas, I guess, though that was its own kettle of awkwardfish.) It's worked out rather well.

We went and got most of the Cargo furniture on Saturday, and it fits into the space pretty well though not quite as easily as I'd hoped. Gonna take a bit more rearranging to get it the way I want. Also, I'd like to get some art hung up sooner than later, in the hope that that'll help it feel more ... more real, more mine, something. I'm really good at getting my space about 80% of the way there, and then just not bothering with that last 20%.

Trips to the old condo are now most definitely Difficult, emotionally. Emily's solidly settled in and she's made the space her own. It's good to see her doing well. It's also rough to surround myself with... with how effectively I've been removed from something that used to be shared. There are still a couple more things that I need to do there: sorting artwork, for one. Maybe if I know / admit in advance that it's gonna be rough it'll be easier. Maybe.



I said "extended weekend" and I meant it. I took yesterday off work to get my second tattoo.

I've gone into extended detail about my first. This one took much less dithering and deliberating. A couple of weeks ago I went in and spoke with Rachel Lige, an artist that Erin recommended, and tried to describe the idea I'd had in my head. She made approving noises and asked a few questions and used words like "negative space" that I hadn't had the vocabulary to put into my description and quickly sketched something that looked like it might conceivably approximate what I was thinking of. I put down a deposit and made a tentative appointment for, well, yesterday, and emailed her some reference material that afternoon (a few silhouettes, plus the Le Guin and the Richard Siken poems), and tried to think no more about it.

Until last week when she sent me a preliminary design, and it was just about perfect. As an added bonus, seeing it, rather than trying to visualise, gave me the ability to describe it. "On my left pec, a silhouette of a hawk in flight, dark purple and filled with stars, over a dark grey sketched-in landscape." I wrote back to her with a couple of minor suggestions and confirmed Tuesday.

The whole experience was markedly more pleasant than the previous one. Some of that's having Erin there for much of the time (she ducked out for an hour or so to run a few errands), some of it's feeling more comfortable with Rachel than with Gilda, some of it's just having been here before and knowing a bit better what to expect. It took, mm, somewhere between three and four hours. Much of it was painful but not so bad: bits directly over ribs or sternum pinched unpleasantly, and the area down towards my armpit was just plain more sensitive. Then the last half-hour to forty-five minutes, in a combination of 'going over parts that have already been poked raw two or three times' and 'body is just Done', were sheer unpleasant agony. So we got most of it done, and I'll be back in a month or so for touchup and to finish some of the outside bits.

It looks lovely, though right now it's more red than I'd like. One expects that that will improve as it heals. The landscape's more detailed than I'd expected, and maybe darker, but I'm happy with it. I'm particularly pleased with how the stars in the hawk came out.

I was distinctly lightheaded when I sat up: not just a standard low-blood-pressure thing, but a very specific floatiness and absence of conscious thought. It's neat. I'm glad Erin was there: she fed me half a litre of chocolate milk and guided me to the Ethiopian place on the Drive where we ate raw cow and spicy lentils, and then took me home and generally kept track of me. So that was lovely, too.

I've already got vague ideas for next/additional pieces. The first tattoo I ever considered, back when I was still in engineering, was an electrical ground symbol on my Achilles tendon, and I still (or maybe again?) think that's relevant. I've recently kicked around the idea of a tiny orange, though that might be a passing fancy. And I've a mental image of a larger, brighter, piece on my right shoulder and upper arm. No sense of what it is, just that it... ought to be there, somehow.

In the meantime, I can focus on healing up from this one.
jazzfish: Owly, reading (Owly)
I'm reading again. I like that, a lot.

What are you reading right now?

Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee, sequel to last year's Ninefox Gambit. Complex space opera, based around the idea that consensus belief ("the calendar") can shape quantum physics to allow for sufficiently advanced technology. Twisty and moves fast. It's labeled as "Book Two of 'Machineries of Empire'" but Ninefox functioned as a standalone, so I'm hoping Raven will as well. (The 'bound book-fragment' mode of SF/F publishing cannot die fast enough.)

Also, in ebook when I've not got a hardcopy with me, Full Fathom Five, the third of Max Gladstone's Craft novels. I think it was about midway through the second that I recognised that these are basically detective novels or films noir set in an industrial/urbanized fantasy world. I'm enjoying them.

What did you just finish reading?

First reread of the aforementioned Ninefox Gambit, in the hope that it will stick in my head a little better this time. I remembered most of the high points, but not really how the ending shook out.

And last night I reread Le Guin's Very Far Away From Anywhere Else, because it's always a gut-punch. It's about being lonely, and feeling stuck, and the sheer crushing despair that comes when you get what you've needed and then lose it again through what's clearly your own fault. Now that I'm mostly out the other side I can empathise a lot with Owen's depiction of "the fog". Also, I'd forgotten that Natalie plays the viola.

The book's not perfect: it's stuck in its characters' and culture's notions of sex, and the ending (the very ending) doesn't quite work for me. But it does so much so well for me that I can forgive it all of that. I would dearly love to acquire a first edition: my flimsy early-2000s paperback is perfectly functional but the people on the cover bear absolutely no resemblance to Owen and Natalie.

(Oh, Tucker. 2013: "I seem to have a very strong internal prohibition against talking about Very Far, about the things in it that spoke to me." Well. I understand that better now, at least.)

Before that, Martha Wells's final Raksura duology, The Edge of Worlds / Harbors of the Sun. Good but not great? I wanted more Raksura, mostly, and less of the groundlings. To the left, the half-Fell swarm were easily worth the price of admission all by themselves; I sniffled a bit every time Consolation was onscreen, I think. The foundation builders' artifact came across as sufficiently creepy, as well. The pacing felt a little off at the ending, in the same way that The March North did the first time I read it: "we have finished dealing with the Major Threat but there's still a quarter of the book left in which we talk about the aftermath."

What do you think you'll read next?

Freedom and Necessity, I think. Then, who knows? I may start in on the Great Big Dragaera Reread, I've not reread most of those since Issola came out.
jazzfish: Pig from "Pearls Before Swine" standing next to a Ball O'Splendid Isolation (Ball O'Splendid Isolation)
So.

Last week I went up north with Erin, and promptly fell into a depressive slump. Reasons/triggers include: being Not In My Space, and being aware that My Space didn't exist and hadn't for at least a month, or maybe years; being fairly well isolated physically from most other people; not having had a safe space to begin processing the breakup, without feeling like I needed to Hold Together for someone else; and needing to be halfway functional for some unpleasant stress that Erin was dealing with.

Also I tore another contact on Monday morning. This is becoming a problem. I don't know if it's the dryness up north, or the hard water getting into the contact case, or my bad habit of napping without taking them out, or just a bad batch. Whatever it is it needs to stop.

I didn't fully recognise the depressive episode until last Friday afternoon, when I realised that I'd been meaning to email some folks, or journal about what was going on, all week, and hadn't done that. And I had also only barely kept up with the work I was meant to be doing. That part shocked me into realising that there was something seriously wrong. Shades of the year before I got laid off. Which, I mean. One of my driving principles right now is "I do not ever want to go back to where I was in 2014."

Anyway, that got sorted, though it was more symptom-treating than disease-curing. And instead of going to a weekend-long music festival three hours away I spent the weekend sobbing at random intervals, because I was finally feeling my way through the breakup. That was ... I wouldn't call it good, but it's a good thing to have done. Everything hurts all the time, but a little less now.



Then I came back on Monday morning and moved into my new place.

The move went swimmingly and I continue to recommend Tranquility Movers for all your metro-Vancouver moving needs. I put the stupid Ikea bed's headboard back on the stupid Ikea bed by myself, with assistance from a multitool that I'd borrowed from Erin's storage locker the time I had to let the movers in to take a look at it and see how much stuff there was. (Putting together the stupid Ikea bed requires a Phillips screwdriver, a star-head screwdriver, and a flathead screwdriver.) I'd expected this to be much more of a production: the couple of times I've assisted Emily in rebuilding it, it's taken both of us and a lot of swearing. Yay?

I've put books (roughly 10% of the total library) and DVDs on shelves, and tonight James and Julianne are coming over for a bit to be sociable at me while I shelve the games, and then I can start scooting furniture again. The room is huge, something like 15'x15'. I've got a queen bed and four bookcases in there, and I could have my computer desk set up and it would still feel huge and emptyish. I may see about retrieving my Cargo furniture after all, it will certainly fit.

I don't think it's a long-term place. It's got a tiny galley kitchen with no dishwasher and less counter space than the tiny kitchen in the condo. This is unlikely to do well with two people who aren't both conscientious about doing their dishes immediately and putting them away as soon as they're dry. It's in a good location, but not ideal: far from James and Holly, and not real convenient to anyone else I know. And either I'll get over my living-with-someone-else weirdness, or it will prove too much and I'll spend most of the next several months hiding in my room.

But it's an excellent short-term place. And maybe it's good enough for the medium term, while we try to figure out what we're doing with the condo. And maybe, maybe, it will get me out to some other social-type things of the variety I'm looking for.

"Maybe" is at least better than staring into a blank unknowable wall, which is what the last month has felt like.

impostors

Jul. 19th, 2017 09:37 am
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
"Impostors" are what the cookbook I pulled the recipe out of called them. I guess it's because they look like chocolate bars until you cut into the pan and discover the peanut buttery deliciousness underneath. I started making them in high school, when I needed a dessert to take to forensics potlucks and such. I've not made them in ages, though.

Last week I was going through the recipe box taking photos of the ones I wanted to save, and the impostors recipe was one of those. I transcribed it from the photo on the plane out here. And then in the grocery store I saw the boxes of Baker's chocolate and remembered that Erin, who doesn't normally like sweet things, likes Reeses's cups, and said "Hey, I could make impostors!"

The nice thing about this recipe is that it is basically impossible to screw up sugar, butter, and peanut butter. It's possible to ruin the chocolate, either by scorching it or apparently by allowing even a single drop of water to come in contact with it, but taking it slowly reduces the likelihood of that as well.

recipe )
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
Thirty boxes of games. I mean, technically twenty-seven, but three of those are overlong boxes, and there's some odds and ends that didn't make it into a box yet. Like Gram's Mahjongg set which doesn't easily fit into anything. Speaking of, I'd ought to take the go set as well.

Expect I could cull it down to two bookcases worth of games. Likely worth doing.

Plan is to take four bookcases with me; if two are games, that leaves two for books. Which means I need to figure out which books come with me and which get to live in boxes for the foreseeable.

The last of Martha Wells's Raksura books should be here on Wednesday, and I'll take that north with me for next week. Other than that, probably some comfort reading. The complete Mike Ford certainly, maybe Freedom & Necessity (s'what I read after Kelly dumped me), hell, maybe it's time to carry on with that full Dragaera reread I've been threatening for awhile. If I had early Misty Lackey books (specifically Arrows and Herald-Mage) I'd read those, they're the kind of displaced trauma I'm looking for. Maybe something by eBear. Etc.

Anyway, books are tomorrow's problem.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
And I'm still here.



Way back in the mists of time my then-girlfriend Steph made me a mix tape with, among other things, David Mallett's sublime folksong "Arthur". And Arthur, where are you now, we need you / We've been much too long without a leader. It took me an unconscionably long time to get around to picking up anything more by him.

I always thought of "Inches and Miles" as the quintessential Dave Mallett breakup song, and I guess it still is. And all things have endings, and beggars have their pride. For my money, though, "Fire" captures the end of a long relationship perfectly. But time here is frozen, the clock ticks no more / Just the ashes and cinders and smell.



Still biking, still getting out to yoga between four and six mornings a week when I'm in town. Prayer-twists are now absolute hell on my upper thighs, likely as a result of biking uphill to yoga. On the bright side I'm enough of a regular now that the teachers think it's worth their time to offer corrections. My flows and backbends seem to be working better. (It's hard to think of it as "worth correcting" when my traitor brain insists on interpreting it as "having been noticed doing something wrong." Always more internal work to be done, I expect.)

I'm still enjoying biking. I'm slower than most of the cyclists I encounter, which is okay with me, and I'm nervous on busy roads. But I like the wind on my face and I like getting where I want to go faster than waiting for a bus and faster than walking. I don't like overheating and feeling like I'm swimming in my shirt. July and more so August are going to be awful for that, I expect. But then it'll be fall again and things will be better.

I went to see a physiotherapist about my weird hip problem while biking. It seems to be a natural consequence of having favoured my right leg for ages, due to a long-standing hip ... "injury" isn't really right, but it's close enough, I guess. So I'm finally getting that taken care of, all manner of fun stretches and pokings and proddings and foldings.



Been starting to think more seriously about tattoos, again. Two data points doth not a trend make but this does seem to towards the end of a significant relationship. I think this time it's more to do with seeing all the gorgeously inked folks at yoga every day.

I can't remember how old I was when I visited Grandmother Taylor's old hometown, and the house on top of Crow Mountain where she grew up and, more relevantly, the cemetary. Must have been high school, but I remember it as being summer weather, which doesn't track with any time in high school. Maybe it was just winter in the south being as bright and warm as it is. Anyway, I've got a distinct memory of looking at gravestones of people I'm distantly related to and deciding simultaneously: that I wanted to be cremated and not left behind; and if I was going to have a markerstone I wanted it to have the epitaph from Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea on it:
Only in silence the word,
only in dark the light,
only in dying life:
bright the hawk's flight
on the empty sky.
That and bits of Richard Siken's Love Song of the Square Root of Minus One (especially blackbird over the dark field but I am invisible) have been rattling around in my head for months. I suspect they signify. I've got what might be an image in my mind, but no ability to describe it yet. Contacted one highly-recommended local artist; not yet heard back from her.



Taking a look at a potential place this evening. It's a shared basement, but it's in a great location (Cambie and King Ed), and it's cheap-ish and supposedly big-ish. The roommate seems alright if a bit more social/talkative than I like. She's also connected with several of the local communities that I'd like to tap into. It is possible that this will be exactly what I need and have been looking for.

It's much more likely that it will drive me nuts and I'll desperately need to find my own place in short order, but this will give me a couple of months to catch my breath anyhow. Not that there's likely to be anything findable. This fucken town.

endings

Jul. 2nd, 2017 08:02 pm
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
PSA: [personal profile] uilos and I have split up.

We still love each other a lot, and it's gonna be pretty rough for both of us for awhile. That said, if you feel like you need to choose between Team Tucker and Team Emily, I suspect Team Emily will need the support.

Doubt I'll be replying to comments, but we'll see.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Today I am reminded why it is that I should get new glasses, no matter how much I hate getting glasses and no matter how pricey they are:

I tore a contact this morning.

This is less of a huge world-ending problem than it would have been the last time I wore contacts, because those were more or less eternal and cost several hundred bucks a pair. These are specifically designed to give out after a month, so I've got a bunch of them.

I just don't have them here, while I'm in the far north. (Not actually all that far, by one measure. Maybe fifty km north of the centre of British Columbia. Then again it's a twelve-hour drive to get here from Vancouver, so maybe it's just that BC is Way Too Big.) So I'm wearing my four-year-old glasses.

There's a mild but definite difference in my vision. Far-away things get fuzzier sooner than I expect them to. Not to mention the lack of peripheral vision, which I'd gotten to the point of taking for granted.

And I seem to be getting a headache. There's any number of environmental factors that could be causing that, but "minor change in vision prescription" seems to be the most likely culprit.

Might be time to start carrying a spare set of contacts with me when I travel.

(I've not gotten new glasses partly because they're expensive, and partly because I hate getting frames fitted to my face. It always involves several trips back to the optometrist and complaints of an earpiece that's rubbing weird right in front of my ear, or pushing into my skull behind my ear, or something like that.)
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
"But Tucker, if it's not a forever place, why are you spending high-four-figures redoing the kitchen?"

Three reasons:

1) The stupid cabinets that are too small for the plates to fit in are seriously annoying. It is worth spending money to rectify this, even on a short timescale.

2) It will Increase Resale Value, at least nominally. I'm skeptical as to how much effect home renovations actually have on resale value, but hey, maybe I'm wrong. It will certainly look much nicer, which may have an intangible effect on saleability.

3) It's not that big a kitchen. Any actual homeowners reading this are scratching their heads trying to figure out how we're renovating an entire kitchen for under ten grand. The answer is that this is a tiny 80s condo kitchen, where you can't open the dishwasher and the fridge at the same time, and where two people can technically do separate food-related tasks but they'd better be VERY comfortable in each others' personal space.

And, related to that last one, if I'm gonna be A Homeowner who's not interested in DIYing the heck out of everything, I'd like to have a sense of what goes into a reno project like this. Redoing the tiny kitchen seems like a safeish way to get my feet wet.

Emily stayed home yesterday while the new cabinets got delivered and the old ones got torn out. I stayed home today while the new cabinets got installed. Based on what I've seen so far, IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT TO PAY A PROFESSIONAL TO INSTALL THE DAMN CABINETS. Nobody's kitchen is "cabinet-sized" and things will have to be tweaked to fit, plus there may be, um, "interesting choices" made by previous owners. Like the way there are two different kinds of ceiling drywall in the kitchen over the cabinets, and making them line up is a pain in the neck. I have SO MUCH respect for the guys putting the cabinets in, and occasionally hauling things out to the porch to trim them and hauling them back in.

The wiring in here is substandard enough that the electrician couldn't finish up yesterday, so he'll be back at some point. And Emily's convinced that she can re-hook-up the sink and the dishwasher, at least good enough for a couple of weeks, so the plumber won't be back today either.

So, soon we'll have cabinets, and a temporary sink and counter. Next week the counter-measurer comes to measure exactly how much counter we need, and that ought to arrive in a couple of weeks.

So far, relatively painless. We'll see how it goes once everything is in place and hooked up, and then we'll also need to put in some kind of backsplash. (We had them tear out the HIDEOUS PAINTED-OVER TILE but haven't come up with anything to replace it yet.)
jazzfish: A small grey Totoro, turning around. (Totoro)
Feeling distant from everything. This is a known side effect of trying to get in touch with new people, especially in this city. It's still kind of alienating. And it comes on top of some other stuff that's sloshing around in my head.

Y'all still like me, right?
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
I'm mostly adapted to being a one-cat household now. It feels like learning to live with and work around a missing tooth: it mostly doesn't matter, except when something slips and you realise that it's not quite right and hasn't been for awhile.

Kai is lonely, as expected. She's taken over the duty of sitting with anyone who's on the couch, and round midnight she complains that there's no one else in the cat-bed.

I don't know how I grieve, not really. I know how to hold together and I know how to be a sympathetic shoulder.



Other than that.

Viola: there is a marked difference between knowing what you're doing wrong, and knowing how to do it right. At my lesson on Tuesday I think (hope) that I've finally figured out how to hold my left hand properly and in a more natural / less tense position. Gonna have to drill that into me for actual playing of things other than scales, but it felt right enough that I couldn't go back to holding it the way I'd been at the start of the year. Progress, maybe. I'm also gonna have to learn how to play a close second finger: my hand doesn't seem to want to move like that in that angle. Carnegie Hall.

Also sometime in the last year I developed the ability to tune by fifths rather than by harmonics, which is neat. Harmonics: if you rest your finger halfway up one string, not pressing down to the fingerboard, you get a neat ringing tone that's an octave above the open string. If you rest your finger a quarter of the way up the next lower string, it makes the same tone. You can tune your instrument by making sure these tones are the same. Alternately, if you can hear perfect fifths, you can just play both open strings simultaneously and tune one until the chord sounds right. This is the 'normal' way to tune a stringed instrument, and I couldn't do it until recently. So that's neat.

Work: The act of deciding that I want to look for a new job has been remarkably freeing. Work is still stupid and slow but that bothers me way less. Partly that's because the awful IT guy is gone; partly it's because not caring and not feeling trapped makes the idiocies far more bearable. We're still not getting bonuses, we still haven't gotten raises in coming on two years, but, eh. Whatever. If it gets bad enough I can leave, and meanwhile there's breathing room here to work out some stuff.

Condo: Emily's put in a raised bed on the patio, using leftover 4x4s from when they redid the fencing in February. The kitchen cabinets are being put in late next week, and hopefully the counter will go in early the week after.

I am more and more convinced that this is an acceptable stop-gap place, and a fine place to make money on for no reason (we bought for $480 in October; a somewhat-nicer unit in this building sold in February for $600, and an only-slightly-nicer one in March for $570), and unsuitable long-term. I'd thought/hoped that it was just barely big enough; it turns out that it's a little too small. The lack of insuite laundry is getting to me, as expected. Etc. Oh well. Something else will turn up.

I'm also becoming less and less certain that I want to stay in Vancouver, but that's a whole different fishkettle.

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Tucker McKinnon

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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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