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.
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
ETA: To clarify: as things stand, I seem to be on an upswing. I can tell it's not permanent, there are things that need to reassess and change. But it's not as bad as it may seem. You can tell by how I'm willing to talk about it, for instance.

cw: suicide talk )
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
I don't really think of the new year as much of a new anything. Nothing changes, except on the calendar. No real external markers. To the left, it's as convenient a "where i'm at" marker as anything is.

hence, where i'm at. )
jazzfish: Pig from "Pearls Before Swine" standing next to a Ball O'Splendid Isolation (Ball O'Splendid Isolation)
Usually when I'm not writing here it's because I'm depressed. This time it's because I am running myself at the ragged edge of exhaustion again, and "time to write introspective journal entries" has been one of the casualties of that. Along with "much other writing," and "most boardgaming and roleplaying," and "quiet evenings at home." Viola too has dropped off to what I consider an absolute bare minimum, sometimes beyond that.

So, I mean, that's still not a good thing, but at least I'm not crushingly depressed. \o/

The current state is nonsustainable. Yay me for recognising that now, after a month and a half, rather than waiting, o, three years to figure it out. Thing is, I can sustain an unsustainable state indefinitely, I've proved that plenty of times before. I just crash pretty hard once I don't need to sustain it any more.

I've not been sleeping well since we turned the heat on, around 1 October. I genuinely don't know what's going on with that, staying asleep has rarely been a problem in the past. Lot of stuff rattling around in my head that I haven't had a chance to sort through, maybe. Not bad stuff, I don't think, just ... stuff.

In another month (ack) we'll be moved in to the new place, which will relieve a lot of the temporary stress. The scheduling stress is substantially less tractable but perhaps next year will be easier on that. Family will ... either sort itself out or not. The current round of my stupid personal issues are at least identified so that I know which buttons are being hit this time. ("Everything is connected. That's why it shorts out so often." --JMF)

And, you know. I can tell that a lot of the things the inside of my head is telling me are bullshit. Doesn't make them any quieter but I do recognise that they're the product of stress and ongoing sleep-dep, and not reflective of the actual outside world.

jazzfish: Pig from "Pearls Before Swine" standing next to a Ball O'Splendid Isolation (Ball O'Splendid Isolation)
Last week (from Monday) was just kinda unpleasantly grey and heavy. I started the morning spacey and forgetting things, and then Bowie.

(Interlude: the setlist from the 1997 concert, courtesy Megan H-- from high school who I met up with there. Holy cats that was an amazing show. Now that I see the list I remember "I'm Waiting for the Man" and "White Light / White Heat," plus "Scary Monsters" and his weird spoken intro to "Hallo Spaceboy" and "Earthlings on Fire" and and. Yowza. Interlude over.)

That pushed me down into a pretty blah place overall, with no real chance to recover during the week. News of Alan Rickman didn't help any but that was more numbing shock than an actual emotional blow: I don't have as much connection to Rickman's work. And then the weekend was decent: among other things we picked up the first three seasons of Futurama and are working through that. It's aged surprisingly well, and so far every episode has had multiple not-just-heh-but-genuinely-funny moments. Sold some games, had barbecue from the amazing barbecue joint across the tracks, mostly hung around the house and worked on getting back up to speed.

But for whatever reason I haven't been reading LJ/DW. (Or twitter, but no surprise there.) I'm slowly catching back up: I've started reading at work now, for one thing.

Anyway, if you're wondering: I'm doing alright, but I miss you.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
A fallow year. Havi, who may be the wisest person I know, has been writing extensively about her shmita, from the one year in seven that the Israelites would let their fields lie fallow to rejuvenate and refresh. That's more or less where I was in 2015: recovering from somewhere between three and ten years of ongoing pressure and stress.

in more detail )
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
For the first time in a long time, I feel not-terrible about the year that's gone.

a report )
jazzfish: Randall Munroe, xkcd180 ("If you die in Canada, you die in Real Life!") (Canada)
ABOUT fourteen years ago I fell into a career path of software testing and tech writing. I'm good at both those things and they paid well (better than minimum wage, anyhow), so I kept doing them.

It took me a long time to realise that being good at something that pays well doesn't automatically translate into enjoying it.

long, historical, and of limited interest )

I'VE BEEN out of work for coming on four months now. I've spent the time trying to figure out who I am when there's nothing I have to do.

I still have very little idea.

long, introspective, and of limited interest )
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
The weather outside is about the greyest I've ever seen Rain City get. Perfect for some introspection and retrospection.

where i've been, what i've done )
jazzfish: Randall Munroe, xkcd180 ("If you die in Canada, you die in Real Life!") (Canada)
A lot of people I know had a pretty rotten 2012. Mine wasn't awful, not really... just a sort of ongoing grind.

Could be worse. Could be raining. )
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
At Readercon (trip report forthcoming) I had people ask me tough questions like "so, how have you been?" and want a real response, not just "oh, fine." Which was harder to come up with than it could have been.

My current answer is something like: I made it through the grey and gloom of my first Pac-NW winter and it wasn't so bad. Then spring was no better than winter: the days got longer but the sunlight didn't increase. That seems to have kicked off something that looks an awful lot like undiagnosed SAD. So now I'm picking up the pieces from that.

At least, that's what it looks like from here. I dunno. Writing and meeting-new-people effectively stopped after Rainforest at the beginning of March, which was also when workstress started getting to me in earnest. I can't say from inside what was going on. I don't know that I'm even entirely out of it yet. I'm doing more things, and planning to do more things, and keeping up better with the things I'm doing, is about all I can see.
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
What a year. I mean, I got married, and that was about the least interesting of the three Interesting Things I did.

interesting... )
jazzfish: Barnaby from "Bone," text "Stupid, stupid rat meme!" (Rat Meme)
Jeez. I first saw this in [livejournal.com profile] honeychurch's back entries; apparently she does this every year, or at least has up 'til now. This year, though, it's sprouted up all over my flist. I feel so trendy, or something.

Another year come and gone )
jazzfish: A cartoon guy with his hands in the air saying "Woot." (Woot.)
There's a really long year-in-review thing that I've got about 1/3 finished on the laptop. But I'm at work now, so I'll just hit some highlights. The short version is that, as with last year and the year before, the purpose of the forward passage of time remains "to get us as far away from 2005 as possible." Life improves more the further I get from that year and from the first half of 2006. Which I guess means that as my time in Blacksburg gets smaller in the rearview mirror, I start enjoying the trip more. Onward.

People. . . met a handful of folk from OKC in person, which since I'm a guy I'm going to count as a win even if nothing comes of it. I (re?)connected with [livejournal.com profile] darkfyre_muse and [livejournal.com profile] babushek. Plus, you know, that whole engagement thing. No new "friends," no new "close friends," but after New Year's a slightly better idea of what I'm looking for. (Though, still, no clear idea of how to find it.) I keep hoping I'll meet someone who just clicks, you know?

Between savings and student loan paydowns, my net worth is now positive (if barely) for the first time. That alone is worth a "win" in the finances category. Combine it with "my emergency fund is nearly where I want it to be" and I'm quite pleased with how the money's gone. The job's well worth keeping for now. Starting to wonder whether this is what I want to do for the next thirty-plus years.

Travel: San Diego, Chincoteague, Seattle/Bellingham, Columbus OH, the Outer Banks x2, and several shorter, more local excursions. More camping, and more varied destinations, for next year. A March trip to Vancouver is already in the planning stages, which is a good omen.

Last year I wrote I learned a lot about myself and why I do some of the things I don't even think about. So that's success. This year I can focus more on actually changing some of those. (Done a bit of that already, I think.) Still accurate this year. I can see places where I've made improvement, where I'm happier with how I handle things. Nature of the beast that I can see a lot more places where I know exactly how I'm broken and want to fix it NOOOOW.

To be done: more writing (on and off LJ), more people, more travel, and possibly more role-playing.

You thought nobody cared but we did, we could tell
And This is your year
And It always starts here
And, oh, You're aging well
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
An improvement over '06, which was in its turn an order of magnitude better than '05. (The purpose of the forward passage of time remains "to get us as far away from 2005 as possible.")

Breakdown )

Thinking that we're getting older and wiser
When we're just getting old


jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
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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