flexagon: (evolve-fish)
The new LJ Terms of Service, though it claims to be legally non-binding, forbids breaking Russian law:

"User shall be liable for breaching the terms and conditions hereof, including the requirements to Registration and Content posting, as well as for violation of applicable laws committed by User, including the laws of the Russian Federation". Also, "Mark Content estimated by Russian legislation as inappropriate for children (0 −18) as “adult material”". I can't promise to do those things -- I don't know Russian law, though I'm told it forbids pictures of Putin as a gay clown.

It's been a good 14 years and I'm as change-averse as anyone. I'll miss giving monthly virtual gifts to [livejournal.com profile] norwoodbridge. But the import is done, and I won't be cross-posting. My username there is the same as here.

Here is a FAQ entry on moving from LJ to Dreamwidth (it works).
Here is a good post on "How to move to DreamWidth and Like It".

I've found as many of my LJ friends there as I can, and my plan is to basically subscribe/grant on DW and at the same time unfriend on LJ; that will let me keep track of who hasn't migrated or created an account there, and encourage me to read DW first.
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
Really interesting lunch conversation today with a Zillianaire who's been there for a few years. I knew (though it's not widely known) that he actually came out of an early retirement to take this job, and for weeks we'd been planning to have lunch so that he could talk to me about early retirement and the pitfalls he encountered there. In the kitchen earlier this week I couldn't help noticing out loud that now he's got a hard-driving job and an infant -- he is, I said undiplomatically, like the kid who beat Super Mario Bros and is now playing through it again, starting over on the way harder mode where all the easily stompable Goombas have turned into fast-moving metal-coated beetles.

So we had lunch. Apparently he retired even earlier than I'd realized: in his "mid or early thirties". After this he drifted for a few years. He learned to make jewelry, which was super cool (and oh, I just realized this is why he has an awesome wedding ring. He probably made that). He got a masters degree in CS for fun. He took writing classes, but learned he wasn't a writer. He traveled around seeing friends, hoping to hang out with them as he'd done in college, but found out that the friends had jobs and kids and it wasn't the same.

He also got depressed. And when he did try to get back into the workforce, he found that most companies didn't want to hire him because of the gap on his resume. (Zillian didn't care: he spent four weeks practicing coding questions and then he interviewed well, and that's all we wanted to see.) Which turned into kind of a silly mistake on his part, since he'd intended initially to get a lower-stress job than this one, but so it goes.

He lost a lot of his social life -- even more the loose connections that a person says hi to, then any especially close work friends.

He lost something good to say when people said "so what do you do?" Our culture revolves strongly around work, and he never identified enough with his hobbies to feel comfortable answering like that.

He felt disconnected from the culture he'd been part of. It's more fun to be in it than be observing it, he said.

He got bored. A feeling I can only vaguely remember.

And he felt useless and not needed, with no particular reason to persist at anything that got annoying.

Any early retirement of mine would be almost 15 years later than his, it sounds like -- so I'll be that much older and tireder -- and maybe my heavy involvement in acrobatics and fitness would give me an obvious non-work place to keep belonging and keep trying to achieve things. Maybe. That bit about having trouble getting back into the workforce after time off, though, would probably be much worse for an older woman than for the man he was at the time. So it's definitely worth thinking through the psychology of the whole thing, before pulling any triggers; it's likely to be a one-way trip.
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
Just finished reading The Boys in the Boat, a gift from my biography-loving father-in-law about a 1936 rowing team. It's not my usual kind of thing, but turned out to be a nice read this long weekend as I lay around like a zombie trying to recover from work. I suppose my FiL thought the athleticism would interest me, as well as the childhood poverty and neglect faced by the most closely followed character, Joe Rantz.

As often happens with stories like this, I was sobered by (what appeared as) the sudden acceleration of time as the author flashed past the rest of the boys' post-Olympic lives in just a few pages. The 20th anniversary row, the 30th anniversary row... the 50th... and the deaths. It invites the obvious question: if anyone were to write my biography, what parts would get a gloss like that, and what would get the closeup? Thus far, the most statistically unusual part of my life has still been my childhood, a span of time I don't want to romanticize. Maybe I can beat that by doing something awesome when I'm old, or maybe I can escape the biographer altogether. (As some of you know, my dream is the anti-legacy... living contentedly, and, in the end, slipping away without leaving a void. Maybe it's possible, maybe it's not.)

It's funny but, sitting here thinking about it, some of what impressed and disturbed me about the book was the sheer detail it pulled from so long ago from interviews, newspapers, photos. I still have family photo albums of my own, stuff bequeathed to me by my mom after she finally divorced my dad... so sticky and family-saga-esque. I don't know for sure why I haven't shredded it all, but "just in case" and "waiting for more people in the pictures to die, so they can't be hurt" seem like the most plausible answers.

Note to self: biographies make you morbid! Knock it off and go to the gym.
flexagon: (catnip)
This week hit its apex yesterday with a thousand-dollar vet visit followed by a ten-plus-hour workday to a hard deadline. Everyone's self-assessment was due, including for me and for my three reports who are up for promotion.

The amusing crossover between the two: I'm realizing that backing assertions up with numbers and evidence works in nearly every area of life.

Me: I really love my cat...
Person: Aw, of course you do.
Me: Yes, she turns 19 in a month, and I've had her since she was 8 weeks old.
Person: WOW.

So as for that vet visit, it was at the New England Veterinary Oncology Group, and it was a follow-up to Nala's surgery six weeks ago (we'd found out after that successful surgery that the lump removed was indeed cancerous). The vet clearly came in with the assumption that my cat was dying, and soon; he told me a lot about the terrible odds before even doing any tests, and how this usually kills cats within three months. How it spreads (locally, but early and fast), the high odds that it had spread before surgery even though the surgery went well, how our various options for aggressive care are limited by Nala's age and kidney issues. Also how nobody knows a whole lot about treating anal sac carcinomas in cats, because they're very rare; they're more of a dog thing.

Off he went to do tests, anyway, his respect for me bolstered by my use of the phrase "palliative care". Ultrasounds, X-rays, a rectal exam, and kidney panels... I waited in the room and read a book that [livejournal.com profile] apfelsingail recommended I buy last Christmas, and the badass lady character did rather cheer me under the circumstances.

The know-it-all vet came back looking about an inch taller. Want to guess what he found? The rectal exam revealed no palpable growths or bumps, only a scar from surgery. The kidney numbers are better than they were at surgery time. The ultrasound showed... smaller-than-usual kidneys, which is in line with known kidney troubles... and nothing else. The X-ray showed ribs and lungs and the body of a fine, durable feline. HELL YES.

So my cat is an odds-beating BAMF, even if she is now an elder stateswoman, and she went away from the oncologist with no follow-up visits planned. Perhaps that vet will test first and talk later, next time.
flexagon: (putt putt putt)
Most of my thoughts lately have been about work. I took a class a week ago that basically hit me like a truck, about managing larger teams and how managing a 15-person team or bigger is fundamentally different from managing a 5-person one. It was useful, and actionable, and deadly depressing. I've been getting more unhappy feedback from people who report to me in the last year than I ever have before, always been one person at a time, and the class pounded into my head that in some ways that's working as intended. The group is now too large to lead purely by consensus, and that means somebody will be unhappy with nearly every decision I make. There will also always be somebody unhappy enough to affect the group, just because life. (And, apparently, someone always out on baby leave -- my reports are nothing if not fertile.)

The class had good advice: deal with the reality that your job is not what it once was; learn new skills; stop having a standup status meeting with way too many people trying to go around the room; don't succumb to the temptation to regress to what you're good at, or to fill all the gaps in your team with yourself. (cough. I totally do that.) But damn it, I'm still reeling from the realization that my team is never all going to like me anymore. To be clear, I'm no fragile flower; I've been disliked plenty and I can deal with it pretty well in general, but, sigh... it was so nice to be the non-asshole manager for a while. Must those days really be over, so soon, and just when things were otherwise going well? I'm not sure I want to move forward in this direction.

Then there's the creeping burnout. This is easier to deal with -- I mostly need vacation, or at least more disconnected time. I've been doing work, sometimes tiny bits of work, on both weekend days for a while now. So guess what I just did? I went over to my work window and requested next Friday off. Yeah. And two days for my birthday while I was at it.

On this note, birthday. It's coming up, it's my 40th, I probably ought to do something to celebrate. Nothing felt right, until last Friday when I started asking myself if I had any childhood dreams left unattended to. A lightbulb went off: of course! I need to go to hang gliding camp! Probably this one, a weekend thing in New Hampshire, though it would be rather wonderful to work toward a Hang 1 certification. I can do a fancy view-of-Boston-skyline dinner on the day of, but the gliding will be the real celebration. :D
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
Despite everything else in life, I'm thrilled by how well it's working to focus on maintenance in my own workouts (while still trying to learn new things in circus). I have my list of 10 skills to maintain, and have done nine of them so far this year, and every single one of them feels good every time I do the thing, and in each case I've granted myself this whole year to get comfortable at a level and enjoy it and not push beyond (unless of course I feel like it, and I have felt like it sometimes on Turkish get-ups, and I hope I feel like it soon on my splits). It's fun to go to the gym and try to tick a bunch of them off, and know I can write that day's date down on the relevant sheet of paper when I get home.

For the curious, the one I haven't done yet is a backbend kickover, which I was doing in late '16 but lost the hang of over my break. I'll give those another serious try tomorrow. And I did another for the first time just today: two 5-rep sets of pistols on each side, which I've been able to do for years but recently had to pause because of hip annoyance. Less of an athletic victory, that one, and more "yay, I'm getting better".

(The one that feels most magical is touching my cheekbones to my shin bones in a pike. It takes some warmup, but it's soooooo worthwhile. Truly I am the envy of my 25-year-old self.)
flexagon: (emily)
This is a good article on how to stay outraged / politically active without losing one's mind (or being shamed into stopping entirely).

Here's some information I found about MA members of congress, and executive orders. )

If this sounds like I'm still a mewling newbie, in the phase of learning to gather information, you're right. What I have actually done this week: paid for 6 months of digital access to the Wall Street Journal (I was already a paying subscriber to The Atlantic). Joined Twitter specifically so that I could subscribe to my members of Congress: @SenWarren, @RepMikeCapuano, @SenMarkey. Subscribed to that newsletter. Did my reading about executive orders.
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
I did really well in Monday's handstand class and it felt nice. I held a handstand for over a minute (according to the teacher's timer), and also kicked up and did five "tick-tocks", which are side to side weight shifts, without my spotter touching me. That all felt really good. Wednesday didn't go as well, handstandwise, but on Wednesday I nailed a standing reverse h2h with [livejournal.com profile] soong and I'm sure not complaining about that.

As I have not told you yet, the growth removed from Nala's rear end last week did turn out to be a carcinoma. This validates my surgery decision, but means a follow-up appointment with an oncologist, which I sincerely hope results in "no more treatment necessary". For now, I go on helping her recover from surgery; this mostly means keeping her in one room, and feeding her a mix of metamucil and baby food to encourage her little system to poop. She is still a conehead, and very sleepy.

Most of the rest is work: I just can't catch up, though it's improved. Last week I found out that one of my team's efforts has basically been a waste of time for the last year but nobody remembered to tell us things had changed, so I'm going around flipping tables and winding the project down. (Curiously, when people find out that we've been doing work for them all this time, they suddenly become interested in us continuing, even though we've been working based on the wrong metric).

Politics is a continual and horrifying distraction.

[livejournal.com profile] norwoodbridge went on a successful first date last night (basically ALL of his first dates are successful), bringing his sexy-creature count to three, and I didn't really jitter at all. Partly because of recent poly successes, partly because if Four-Leaf didn't kill us then this more sane-sounding person who lives a couple of hours away is seriously not going to. And also, let's be honest, I was working too hard to feel much of anything. A potential problem. :-/
flexagon: (putt putt putt)
Yesterday I marched in the Boston Women's March! Estimates are now that 125,000 people were there. It was my first such event ever, which is why I'm posting about it -- so I can tag it with my "firsts" tag -- and I did in fact find it worthwhile and uplifting. I went out because I knew attendance would be counted (at least estimated) worldwide, and I wanted to be in the count, in the Inauguration-attendance-crushing count. It was a "show up and be counted" kind of day, in a more literal way than any since Nov 8 of last year. And some of the signs were excellent.

Today, already, the internet is full of scolding, scowling reminders: to people who marched about not sitting on self-congratulatory laurels now, to white women who marched about how white women voted for Trump, to everyone everywhere (or so it feels) about how we haven't yet done ENOUGH.

Okay, internet, but my house needs cleaning now because of the march yesterday. Can we have just a minute to breathe, here? Preferably without an accusation of "white tears"? I need to fold my laundry. Then do some work. Then I will do some other political thing.
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
Nala is home again! She has an Elizabethan collar (Cone of Shame), and is bumbling around the bedroom bumping it on stuff. Well, right now she's purring on sleeping [livejournal.com profile] heisenbug; she's alternating between angsty bumbling and very aggressive snuggling. To my unspeakable relief, her surgery went well on Monday, and pre-surgical scans did not show any masses or growths in her body besides the one we had removed (still being analyzed). So we get some time together, still. <3

It's a surreal evening here; we had a power outage more than an hour ago, and I've been working in the dark thanks to laptop battery, phone battery + tethering. The batteries and my own energy level are running out, though. Time to set the phone alarm clock, turn off the light switch in here and succumb gracefully.
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
It's been a strange day. Bad news in the morning, as posted, but then in the afternoon I saw a new coach for an assessment of my press handstand work -- someone I know from the Toledo world but hadn't worked with professionally before. He's completely confident that I'll get my press, and also gave me a drill that's new to me and feels like a missing link. We're going to work together in a project-based way: I go at my own pace, I do his drills, and when I've improved the critical drill by an inch (that's an inch of hand placement away from the wall, likely to be a several-week project) I go back for round 2. This seems very very good, and non-intrusive in terms of not messing up my existing training.

I also made a lovely sheet of paper with columns for all the fitness benchmarks in this post that I am putting in maintenance mode. I've only fully done one of those things this year so far, but expect I can cross off a couple more tomorrow, and I feel good about that approach too.

Have I mentioned not being able to QUITE shake this horrid virus? Yes, I've been sleeping extra, and I'm happy to be having a low-key weekend of (mostly) catching up on work and stuff. But I'm oddly aware of it being a Big Big Weekend for many people and, in fact, if [livejournal.com profile] norwoodbridge were not on a cruise with his family, I'd be at a giant weekend-long party right now... with him, and also seeing the only two people I met in 2016 who I'd actually like to know better. Sigh. I'm know I'm not up for that right now, or the giant science fiction con either, but the contrast between what I could be doing and what I actually, given real life and limits, am doing, is stark just now. I suppose this is minor FOMO.
flexagon: (catnip)
It's surgery time for my Nala, as she again has an enlarged anal gland and this time flushing didn't help. It feels to the vet like there's a mass. An irregular mass -- that word is always, always bad in a health context. So we're being referred to a specialist, who will see her for a surgical consultation on Monday at 9AM. That's about as soon as we could possibly hope for. Under the knife she will go, my 18.5-year-old kitty, at some point after that, and probably only then will I find out if the gland contained an abscess, a benign growth or a cancerous tumor.

Watching her jump around between the giant bean bag and the cat condo we recently sprung for, it sure doesn't seem like she's very close to checking out. Surgery is scary though. General anesthesia is bad enough, and surgery can so easily lead to "we didn't get it all" or "we found something else while we were in there".
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
Re-entry to work has, thus far, been pretty brutal. Who are all these people (oh, they're my team) and why are they looking at me like I'm going to do something for them? (Fuck, I'm their manager.)

In a spasm of self-defense, the one thing I did on my first day back was to move three of my people under another one of my people. In one stroke this made him a manager, and gave me three indirect reports.

I'm a boss's boss!
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
You guys, sometimes I don't know what I'm doing with fitness and athletic stuff anymore. I just put together a little montage of things I did in 2016 and, well, it's fun but kinda random. With no flexibility work in it. :(


Here's what my friend Chelsey has to say, and I love it:


Have you thought about what needs you’re trying to satisfy by training in your sport? Does it make you feel special? Are you looking for a challenge? Does it help you connect better with your peer group? To get the gears turning, here are a few reasons (in no particular order) why I am so serious about my training:

  • I love the way my body looks when it’s muscular and lean. To be a sexy, sculpted, goddess is a non-negotiable standard I’ve set for myself.

  • I demand a high quality of life for as long as possible, and having strong muscles and bones mitigate the effects of aging.

  • I feel happiest when I’m active, in some way, shape or form.

  • My body and brain crave physical challenges because they help me grow, and this growth brings fulfillment to my life.

Be dirt honest with yourself. The better you understand what makes you tick, the more effective you will be...


She's talking about injury recovery, but she had me at the part I quoted, and sometime on the airplane I decided doing the same (and, in fact, writing most of this post) would be a worthy exercise. I can't quite use the word "goddess" non-snarkily as Chelsey does, alas... but here is my own attempt.

  • I love using time to my advantage, being better today than I was last year. When I do this, I feel like a growing being; it makes me feel hope for the future and satisfaction in my life choices.

  • Workouts give me an entirely separate venue from work (two venues!) in which to belong, get positive external feedback and experience community.

  • I also demand a high quality of life for as long as possible. I want a pain-free old age, and I want to become only more badass (in comparison to my peer group) over time. I may be slightly unusual for 39, but my goal is to be an outright freak at 60.

  • Training gives me mountains to climb and, importantly, an venue for achievement that feels meaningful and isn't tied to work.

  • The focus and catharsis of working out is the only way I keep my shit together most weeks.


Yeah. That's a lot. And with that in mind, it's clear that maintaining a good level of personal strength and flexibility is key for me. If I let those things go in the service of partner skills, I'll stop feeling like a growing being, and I'll lose some of my joy. At the same time, I do want mad skillz, you know some of the ones, and I want to put video of them on the Book of Faces.


So for '17 I'm leaning toward setting some minimum benchmarks for myself, ones that I will make a commitment to maintain no matter what additional skillsy stuff I may put most of my time into. (Some of these I have right now, others I need to gain or regain.) My plan is to physically put a piece of paper on my office wall with a column for each, and write down what day I last did the thing; if it's ever more than a couple of weeks between doings of any one, then I'll know I need to focus on not losing it. All these are things I'd love to improve on someday, but certainly don't want to lose.

Current ideas include:

  • Splits: 30s in a touched-down position on both sides.

  • Pancake: Belly to floor (briefly during reps).

  • Pike: cheekbones to shins, if only briefly.

  • Squats: My body weight, six reps on a bar.

  • Pistol squats: 2 sets of five on each side.

  • Chin-ups: a set of five from a dead hang OR 30 sets of Ido style 2x2 in 30 min.

  • Backbend: chest touching wall OR a back kickover or walkover.

  • Backbend: drop back, stand up.

  • TGUs: 50lb or maybe 55lb each side.

I wonder what I'm missing, and if I should add some prehab/rehab stuff in there. Cuban rotations for my rotator cuffs at 18 or 24lb, for instance, and knee circles, maybe?

The routine(s) I'll need in order to keep these things are yet to be discovered. Pancakes take 2x/week but I already do that; I need to get better at splits practice as well in order to hit this bench mark on the right side, and some of the others are currently iffy. Still, I think this might be a good adaptable approach.
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
What does your 16-year-old self think of your life? This came up in a comment on [livejournal.com profile] nevers' journal and turned into a thing I've asked a few people since then. Here's mine.

--------------------------------------
My sixteen-year-old self, who we will call F16 from now on, is only somewhat disappointed.

It's important to get back in her head, and remember how single-minded she really was. So the first and important thing is that this older lady, still shockingly recognizable around the face and hair area, went to MIT! She really did! It's a little odd that she settled in Boston, but this "Boston" place seems a nice enough city, and oh so very far from Montana. This older lady never went back! She really got away!

F16 also is happy about this capacity to do the splits: eeeeee, oh wow, I really did it. Though... it took me how long? What!? Ugh. Also, that was supposed to happen in pursuit of a black belt, what happened? What happened to the black belt!? It is surprising and discouraging that martial arts turned out to be a less-than-two-year thing, at which I did not excel or even persevere exceptionally; though yoga and circus are not disappointing, and in fact this handstand stuff is very cool and fascinating to her already. (Check out those acro pictures, too. Older lady appears to have friends, with whom she has fun!)

F16 is horrified at my still getting zits. Like, ever -- she is not appeased by the drastic reduction brought about by cutting out dairy. She really thought that such blemishes were things a person didn't have to deal with beyond age 22 or thereabouts.
Never had kids. Oh interesting.  F16 is unsure whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, having not come to strong conclusions yet on that matter. But having donated eggs to E and V, that makes her laugh out loud in sheer delight: what a story! Amazing! The way she liked E last year (he was in fact her first date), and the way all the hurt disappeared when he came out to her, this is all fresh in the mind of F16 and she is pleased to find this character reappearing later.

The biggest disappointment is surely around money and career and stuff, though this is all messed up and contradictory: the older lady, she sees, earns far more than she thought possible on a yearly basis, and yet does not live in an oceanfront house, nor did she make a fortune in the stock market, nor does she have a particularly exalted position in a company. F16 (in good company, frankly, along with F21) thought that advancing through a career would be easy, that she would excel as she did in school, that it would be like advancing through a series of empty rooms (that's how it was for Dagny Taggart in Atlas Shrugged, after all). But this, it seems, was not the case. Why not the case, older lady? Why do you have only a dozen-person group at work, instead of an empire? What happened?

(Working in software is clean, though. So clean. Older lady never has grease under her nails, and wears reasonably nice clothes, and the condo she lives in is spare and open and not at all built out of fenceposts. It's very good, too, that she owns it outright.)

That cat looks like a little snow leopard! What is that thing? Ooooh. :D


Polyamory is a strange concept for F16. It's important to note that she's wildly hormonal, so she gets that part -- and she has been introduced to some challenging concepts in this area -- but she's overly in love with Tomcat and therefore currently unable to imagine being attracted to multiple people. (In fact, oh, heartbreak: learning that something goes wrong with Tomcat, that F17 will go off to MIT with tears in her eyes and there will be no inter-college sex visits, this is going to be a very difficult thing for F16 to get past.) Taking the long view, though, F16 is pleased to have gotten married and to have gotten the chance to -- in real life! -- act out many of her kinky fantasies. Being tied up and whipped in front of a roomful of strange people in NYC while some random person held her feet? That's going to, I mean, that did, that really happened? F16 laughs in awe. This is good enough to overcome the weird, she thinks. And it's quite okay with her to have slept with a couple of ladies on the way.

These seem to be the big things. It's not as bad as I thought it might be. There's disappointment around martial arts, not living in a tremendously fancy house, and -- almost inconceivably -- not staying with Tomcat. But it doesn't seem like a bad life overall. There are good surprises in it, and my MIT dreams came true.
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
Today's been a good day. All I really had to do was pack up for my week-long vacation to Zurich (now en route to the airport).

Through sheer luck, I also hatched a Chansey in Pokemon Go while on my way to LCS. That's it for me -- I'm 143/143 for Gen 1, perfectly ready to go to Europe to catch a Mr. Mime. :-)

Then I helped someone who is new to LCS test into my acro class, successfully -- my good deed for the week, me standing in for his more usual flyer who has an injury right now. Only after all that did I get excited for the trip. I could say a whole lot about the acro community and its schisms at this point, but at this point I'm just glad LCS remains a welcoming place.

And now, time for the other kind of flying!
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
Oh, hey, y'all... merry whatever-you-celebrate. I am slightly drunk.

I was working, and then [livejournal.com profile] apfelsingail came to visit and we had a fabulous time buying socks and graphic novels together... swapping books, talking life. Work stopped happening, I did some acro and now I am lazily doing Christmas with [livejournal.com profile] heisenbug.

I'm not ready for year-in-review, but here are some things I did for the first time this year:
  • Tried blacksmithing

  • Had sex with a guy with one ball

  • Started seeing a therapist (not related to previous entry)

  • Spent money on a F2P mobile game

  • Maxed out my contributions to a political campaign

  • Voted for a lady for president (very related to previous entry)

  • Joined the ACLU

  • Traveled to Jamaica

  • Went scuba diving

  • Got someone else promoted to level 6 at work

  • Wrote a promo appeal at work

  • Did equity planning at work

  • Traveled to Zurich (OK, not yet, but scheduled for the 28th)

  • Piked up to handstand once on my own, along with other random handstand progress

  • Studied an artificial human language

flexagon: (racing-turtle)
I have ideas for posts, and I haven't been writing them, because instead I've been working quite a bit. It's been a far busier December than usual. At least it's been satisfying, for the most part: getting things done, including launching something to production (okay, only at 10%) at the last possible minute by bending some rules. Drama and success go so very well together. ;-) And as I face the last, short workweek of the year, it finally begins to feel like there will be a pause. I know that I could use it. Despite recent inclinations to work my ass off -- I feel, in fact, jittery about it and don't feel like stopping -- I'm still trying to get over the last lingering symptom or two of a cold, and I really want to mentally rest.

Circus school is over already -- I had a private lesson tonight and have another on Wednesday, but those will each be one-class nights.
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
This year goes right on being its awful self. Yesterday brought ALL the following news: John Glenn is dead, giraffes are considered 'vulnerable' to extinction, life expectancy in the US dropped in 2015 for the first time in decades, and (smaller, closer to home) Zillianaires aren't getting a holiday gift from work this year. Sigh. Morale problems on my team due to stuff that is not my fault is so frustrating.

[livejournal.com profile] norwoodbridge points out that 2017 is causally connected to 2016, so there's no point being superstitious about the turn of the year. Sigh. Even so, I'm looking forward to the illusory clean slate and the new calendars.

Random handstand and acro progress lately: learned that I can kick up on blocks and catch myself with no spot, which is a good step and may get me over my hatred of blocks eventually. I flew some good pitch half-twists to foot-to-hand out of lines with my base recently, and I based a one-foot contra f2h this morning. I've had an injured hip, but it's getting a lot better, and I returned to my backbend kickovers this Wednesday with no ill effect. Still thinking through how I want to handle training while LCS is closed, and while I'm traveling over New Year's.
flexagon: (racing-turtle)
Anyone who liked the last post, on moral foundations, might be interested in these pieces: The Politics of Disgust (cute 12-minute animated video) and Purity, Disgust and Donald Trump (from January, innocent time that that was). I've taken some tests at yourmorals.org and, unsurprisingly, I test pretty low on how disgusted I am with a variety of things... [livejournal.com profile] heisenbug could've told you that. Of course, that doesn't make me a liberal in itself. It seems like luck of the draw, whether life squicks you out or does not. What I can't figure out is: why do some people steadfastly hold that their feelings of disgust, such as they might be, have nothing to do with right and wrong, while others can't or won't dissociate those things?

I remember a conversation with my dad on that topic from when I was a teenager, ferfucksake, talking about some particular soft-rock song after picking apart the lyrics and message carefully: "okay, you don't like the singing style, but that doesn't make it WRONG". I wish I could remember his answer; I think the point was conceded.

On, at any rate, with life: I mailed off Christmas packages to the parental units today. I have a rant/essay stored up in my head about being an atheist who likes Christmas, and taking that as a chance to lead into my thoughts on cultural appropriation. But I don't have the time or spoons to handle that right now. (As a side note, I'd really like to take an essay-writing class someday, and CCAE always offers one, but for next session they are on my acro nights. Again.) In the meantime, packages, and quietly looking forward to taking some more time off work.

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