rhiannonstone: (the real me)
Last night my coworkers took me to a place that had jalapeno popper cheeseburgers (with half a brick of deep-fried cream cheese on top) and key lime cheesecake milkshakes (with an actual chunk of cheesecake inside). Last weekend, we got hot dogs topped with grilled onions and cream cheese, and fried mac-and-cheese sticks on the side. Denver is very good at stoner food. (But today I think I will have a salad.)
rhiannonstone: (the real me)
Happy Leap Year Day! Have I not made you watch today's ridiculously adorable Google Doodle yet? Here you go!

leap-year-2016-5690429188079616-hp
rhiannonstone: (pancake on my head)
I have fed
the cats
that were circling my feet
and mewing

and which
you probably fed
like
half an hour ago

Forgive me
they were adorable
and trying
to kill me
rhiannonstone: (california)
Bye Bye Fog see you later
Tell the egrets wait for me
Give my love to shoreline breezes
So long ocean view
We’ll be back beside the bay
Sure as tides and sunset

--Poem found at a shellmound
rhiannonstone: (halloween)
Serious life updates soon, I promise. For now, here's this year's Halloween costume, which was the first in awhile to come together exactly as I'd envisioned, as well as the most comfortable costume I've ever worn for any purpose ever.

Sneak peek:

sneakpeek


If you need me I'll be in my room eating garbage )
rhiannonstone: (the real me)
“Human beings took our animal need for palatable food … and turned it into chocolate souffles with salted caramel cream. We took our ability to co-operate as a social species … and turned it into craft circles and bowling leagues and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We took our capacity to make and use tools … and turned it into the Apollo moon landing. We took our uniquely precise ability to communicate through language … and turned it into King Lear.

None of these things are necessary for survival and reproduction. That is exactly what makes them so splendid. When we take our basic evolutionary wiring and transform it into something far beyond any prosaic matters of survival and reproduction … that’s when humanity is at its best. That’s when we show ourselves to be capable of creating meaning and joy, for ourselves and for one another. That’s when we’re most uniquely human.

And the same is true for sex. Human beings have a deep, hard-wired urge to replicate our DNA, instilled in us by millions of years of evolution. And we’ve turned it into an intense and delightful form of communication, intimacy, creativity, community, personal expression, transcendence, joy, pleasure, and love. Regardless of whether any DNA gets replicated in the process.

Why should we see this as sinful? What makes this any different from chocolate souffles and King Lear?”

— Greta Christina, Sex and the Off-Label Use of Our Bodies
rhiannonstone: (the real me)
Sex Without Love
Sharon Olds

How do they do it, the ones who make love
without love? Beautiful as dancers,
gliding over each other like ice-skaters
over the ice, fingers hooked
inside each other's bodies, faces
red as steak, wine, wet as the
children at birth whose mothers are going to
give them away. How do they come to the
come to the come to the God come to the
still waters, and not love
the one who came there with them, light
rising slowly as steam off their joined
skin? These are the true religious,
the purists, the pros, the ones who will not
accept a false Messiah, love the
priest instead of the God. They do not
mistake the lover for their own pleasure,
they are like great runners: they know they are alone
with the road surface, the cold, the wind,
the fit of their shoes, their over-all cardio-
vascular health--just factors, like the partner
in the bed, and not the truth, which is the
single body alone in the universe
against its own best time.

Yup.

Apr. 30th, 2014 10:15 am
rhiannonstone: (lj)


Alt text: Oh, because Facebook has worked out SO WELL for everyone.
rhiannonstone: (the real me)
This, so very much:
We need to move away from this constant need of coming across as calm, cool and collected. We weren’t built to be calm, cool, and collected. If we were, it wouldn’t feel so fucking exhausting all the time. It would, you know, come naturally to us. You know what comes naturally to human beings though? Being open, being messy, being raw, being unfiltered, having lots of feelings. Why should we have to stifle our true nature? Let’s go after the things we want, let’s love each other brutally and honestly, and not worry about the consequences. Let’s release the feelings inside of us and let them land somewhere special. Otherwise, we might have a lifetime of longing in front of us.

—Ryan O’Connell, You Need To Go After The Things You Want
rhiannonstone: (the real me)
No matter what plans you make,
no matter what you acquire,
the thief will enter from the unguarded side.

Be occupied, then, with what you really value
and let the thief take something less.

--Rumi, Masnavi II, 1505-07
rhiannonstone: (Default)
I woke up in the middle of the night to a strange noise that sounded almost like water dripping or electricity crackling (or something worse I refuse to think about) inside one of the walls. I never figured out what it was--I shuffled some stuff near that wall around, and when the noise stopped I was able to convince myself it must have been something innocuous and I fixed it--and it took me awhile to settle down and get back to sleep. When I finally did, I had a vivid and unsettling dream about my landlord hiring professional pranksters to set up an elaborate trick that made us think the bedroom ceiling was disintegrating and letting all manner of terrifying creatures from the attic crawl in, while pretending he didn't see any of the things we were seeing. In the dream he didn't understand why we were so upset with him once we'd discovered he was fucking with us. I woke up as I was telling him, "I'm sorry, but we've got to get out of here."

It doesn't take a psychology degree to understand where that came from.

********************************
Miscellany:
  • I have completely fallen in love with Welcome to Night Vale. It's kind of difficult to describe without resorting to comparisons like "It's like A Prairie Home Companion set in Arkham" (which it totally is, but it's also so much more!) but this trailer for an imaginary Night Vale TV series captures the feel quite well.
  • The UK department store Debenhams has released what is probably the first ever lookbook to include plus-sized, elderly, and disabled models, and the results are stunning. Everyone's been recommending Debenham's bras to me but I've been putting off the overseas order, but now I think I don't mind spending a little extra money with them.
  • I haven't tried the new Bay Area Bike Share yet, but I'm excited to. I don't think I'll be able to have quite as much fun with it as this guy, though.
  • I love this photography project showcasing the variety of bikes and bodies found among Toronto cyclists (mildly NSFW on account of some ladies in bras). Cycle Style Boston is a similar, less-NSFW one.
  • The difference between bluegrass, Old Time, and Celtic bands now finally explained. Being a fan rather than a musician I only get about a third of the jokes, but I'm posting mostly for this one:
    Old Time and Celtic songs are about whiskey, food and struggle. Bluegrass songs are about God, mother and the girl who did me wrong. If the girl isn’t dead by the third verse, it ain’t Bluegrass. If everyone dies, it’s Celtic.
rhiannonstone: (Default)
Some days are for napping lazily in sunbeams. Today is not one of those days. Today is a day for finding the darkest, coolest corner of the apartment and sprawling out on the floor, in your underwear, with the fan aimed directly at you and your laptop far enough away so that you don't feel its heat but close enough that you can shop online for sundresses because you never want to wear pants ever again.

It's hot as hell, is what I am trying to say. And like the amazing krissychula, I do not approve.

rhiannonstone: (bike)
I am way overdue on a writeup of last month's Tour de Cure. It was a good ride! I sort of met my goal of finishing faster than last year--my average speed and moving time was about the same, but my elapsed time was shorter--and I felt great afterward.

I'd been really worried about the heat, but it turned out to be a blissfully overcast day, with a few light rainshowers, even. The hills that had so surprised me last year were much more manageable, and while there were plenty of headwinds, there was nothing like last year's home-stretch slog. I rode most of the way with [livejournal.com profile] gayathri, and we met up with [livejournal.com profile] byronium where the final rest stop for his route and ours overlapped, so we all got to cross the finish line together.

The one thing that went wrong: I managed to forget my sports bra, and there was nowhere around that sold bras of any sort in my size, so I did the ride in the one bra I did have with me--a very pretty but not very supportive molded half-cup. It wasn't pleasant, but I survived. The bra did not. RIP, Curvy Kate Daily Boost! "Sports bra" is now at the top of every packing list ever.

Since I joined a team this year, I got to go chill in the team tent for awhile afterward. Team tents are awesome. [livejournal.com profile] llamaeyes, [livejournal.com profile] gayathri, and all the other Team Red volunteers did an excellent job making it a fun, comfortable, and welcoming place to recover. There was massage! And recovery beverages! And tasty things to nibble on so I didn't have to go wait in the food line! Thanks, Team Red.

And huge thanks to everyone who supported me through donations and encouraging words. My friends, family, and community are amazing! If you donated to me, keep an eye out for something in the mail in the next couple weeks (if I don't have your address, I'll be contacting you soon to get it).

********************************


Paul came up to Napa with me so we could spend the rest of the weekend winin' and dinin'. It started off poorly, with a dinner at Morimoto so comically bad I had to write a Yelp review, but the rest of it was great. A fantastic dinner at Bouchon Bistro, coffee and ridiculously decadent pastries at Bouchon Bakery, and (of course) a lovely meal at Ad Hoc. Clearly Thomas Keller holds the keys to our hearts. Or stomachs.
rhiannonstone: (Default)
I am way overdue on a writeup of last month's Tour de Cure. It was a good ride! I sort of met my goal of finishing faster than last year--my average speed and moving time was about the same, but my elapsed time was shorter--and I felt great afterward.

I'd been really worried about the heat, but it turned out to be a blissfully overcast day, with a few light rainshowers, even. The hills that had so surprised me last year were much more manageable, and while there were plenty of headwinds, there was nothing like last year's home-stretch slog. I rode most of the way with [personal profile] gayathri, and we met up with [profile] byronium where the final rest stop for his route and ours overlapped, so we all got to cross the finish line together.

The one thing that went wrong: I managed to forget my sports bra, and there was nowhere around that sold bras of any sort in my size, so I did the ride in the one bra I did have with me--a very pretty but not very supportive molded half-cup. It wasn't pleasant, but I survived. The bra did not. RIP, Curvy Kate Daily Boost! "Sports bra" is now at the top of every packing list ever.

Since I joined a team this year, I got to go chill in the team tent for awhile afterward. Team tents are awesome. [profile] llamaeyes, [personal profile] gayathri, and all the other Team Red volunteers did an excellent job making it a fun, comfortable, and welcoming place to recover. There was massage! And recovery beverages! And tasty things to nibble on so I didn't have to go wait in the food line! Thanks, Team Red.

And huge thanks to everyone who supported me through donations and encouraging words. My friends, family, and community are amazing! If you donated to me, keep an eye out for something in the mail in the next couple weeks (if I don't have your address, I'll be contacting you soon to get it).

********************************


Paul came up to Napa with me so we could spend the rest of the weekend winin' and dinin'. It started off poorly, with a dinner at Morimoto so comically bad I had to <a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/mori
rhiannonstone: (bike)
I'm not very good at trying something I know I'm going to fail at. I'm (kindasortamostly) okay with failing something I tried my best at, because that's how we learn, but if there's something I'm reasonably certain is beyond my abilities, I just won't do it, at least not until I've gained the skills to try.

Which all seems very reasonable, but at some point last year I'd decided that 2013 was the year I was going to try for a metric century, and I registered for the Cinderella Classic. I hadn't done much riding between November and January due to weather, travel, and illness, but I put together a nice training schedule, and between that and having conquered a 50-miler last year, I had no doubt that I'd be able to ride 65 miles by the beginning of April.

And then there were many weeks of rain, and more illness, and lots of distractions.

I still managed to get in a bunch of riding, but not nearly as much as I needed to, and certainly none approaching the distance I was hoping for. I joined a fun-sounding ride with a local cycling meetup a few weeks ago because sometimes I ride better when I'm chasing others and thought it would help me get in some miles, but between a mechanical and tactical error at the beginning of the ride I never quite recovered from (toughing out a steep hill climb without the ability to shift into the lowest gear? Really dumb!) and much of the rest of it being hillier than anything I'd done since the fall, it did not go well, and I trailed way behind everyone else. I was determined to try to finish anyway, but after waiting for me to catch up on a challenging-for-me climb that wasn't nearly as challenging as the one coming up, the ride leader kindly and firmly directed me to the bail-out point. On what was supposed to be a no-drop ride.

After that disheartening experience, and with only couple weeks to go before the Cinderella, I was ready to call it off. Not even trying would suck, but I wasn't even close to the shape I was in last year, and there was no possible way I could get there in time for the ride. So why do it and embarrass myself? What's the point of starting a ride I know I can't finish?

I talked with my partners about it, who said they'd support me no matter what. I angsted on AskMetafilter about it and got a resounding chorus of "go for it!" Most helpfully, though, I talked with [personal profile] gayathri, who was also registered and also hadn't gotten in the training she'd wanted to yet. We both recognized we might not be quite prepared for the full metric century, but after chatting decided we'd go to just have fun and go for a ride, and let the SAG wagons take us back whenever we decided we were done.

So I rode, and had a great time. There was a little bit of struggling on the hills, and some annoying headwinds, and a minor injury that turned out to need more attention than I gave it, but there were also some really fun descents and I kept up a great pace in the flats. And at the halfway point, ~32 miles into the ride, G & I both decided we were done. And it was okay! I did think Real Hard about trying to go farther, and mayyyybe I could have done it (just 13 miles to the next rest stop!), but I knew I'd feel awful, physically, if I pushed myself that hard. And since I biked to and from BART as well, I ended up getting in a bit over 40 miles all told. So I feel pretty good about it. I'm really glad I didn't quit before I'd even tried, and I'm looking forward to trying again next year--with considerably more training and preparation. :) And a costume! Everyone was dressed up all girly and princessy--with all the plastic tiaras, pink dresses, and feather boas it looked like a giant bachelorette party on wheels--but I didn't really bother (other than a failed attempt to attach my tiara to my helmet without damaging either) because I wanted to focus on the ride. Next year, though, I'm thinking superheroine.

********************************

I've still got plenty of 2013 left in which to complete a metric century. The Rapha Women's 100 looks interesting, especially since it's a thing where everyone rides on the same day rather than a big group event with a set course, and once I'm done with the 50-mile Tour de Cure next month, I may start planning for that. In between a few short tours, that is, because I am super-excited about putting my rack back on my bike and heading off for more bike camping.
rhiannonstone: (Default)
On the way to a very early breakfast this morning we saw a downed cyclist in the middle of the road, not moving. We immediately pulled over and Paul called 911 while I went to see how she was doing. She was conscious and breathing but not responding to my questions Are you OK? What happened? Can you tell me your name?) with anything but moans, and had a head wound and possibly an arm injury, with a fair amount of blood on the pavement. We relayed these details to the 911 operator and answered their questions about what she looked like and what she was wearing. While we waited for a response team to arrive, we secured the scene (keeping an eye out for cars), assured her someone was on the way, kept a close eye on her consciousness and breathing, and encouraged her to stay where she was, since she kept trying and failing to get up and move away. A police car arrived in about 4 minutes, about the same time that a fireman ran over from the fire station a block down the street and immediately stabilized her head and began to asses the situation (ungloved! I was impressed), and a fire truck and paramedic unit arrived about a minute later.

I was impressed by the response time and they all quickly had the situation well in hand, but I'm wondering if there was anything we should have done differently. Especially after I heard the first fireman on the scene determine that she was more comfortable with Spanish, which may have been part of the reason she wasn't responding to my questions.

First responder types, any advice? What questions should I have asked her, if she'd been able to understand and respond? Is there anything else that I (with decent first aid skills and lots of CPR training but not a trained first responder or medical professional) should have done for her while we waited?
rhiannonstone: (the real me)
A Softer World 944
rhiannonstone: (Default)
After weeks of unusually persistent rain and chill the weather has once again started delivering the gorgeous crisp sunny days it's supposed to this time of year. Perfect bike-riding days! Except that I am STILL sick, and dealing with vicious cramps, to boot. I'm trying not to be all whiny about it, but it's haaaaard.

I'd started feeling a lot better last week, and was well enough to go out over the weekend and again Monday night, though I was still coughing a bit and never quite got to 100% better. Wednesday morning I woke up feeling most unwell again, and I've been down since. I did go to the doctor yesterday, and she ruled out strep, flu, and bronchial woes, and says it's likely just a very stubborn cold virus and/or a sinus infection. I've got antibiotics for the sinusitis (since it's recurred so soon, it's a safe bet it's bacterial) and codeine for the coughing, and I'm resting as much as I can.

I guess it works out that the vicious cramps have come while I'm already curled up on the couch and can get all the misery out of the way at once, but damn. I'm glad regular exercise over the past year has made my cycle more regular again, but I could really do without two days a month of feeling like I'm being repeatedly kicked in the abdomen. (I am so, so sorry for quietly doubting people who claimed their cramps were debilitating back when I didn't get them. If you believe in karma, you can count this as my punishment.)

The upside of all this enforced downtime is that I'm getting to do the things I often have a hard time letting myself indulge in, either out of weird guilt (I should be doing something productive! Or training for the next ride!) or simple inertia: reading, writing, and playing video games. It feels nice to be away from screens for awhile each day--or at least doing something brain-stimulating in front of them like reading, puzzle-solving, and kicking bad guy ass.
rhiannonstone: (body)
Various virii have been knocking over my friends and loved ones left and right, so it was inevitable I'd eventually get hit, too. Monday night I was feeling a bit out of it, and I woke up Tuesday with full-blown ick. I thought it was just a head cold at first, but then the fever and achiness and chills soon joined forces with the sneezing, hacking, and snorfling to knock me flat. I've pretty much just been camped out on the couch for the past 3 days, half-watching Daria and Avengers prequels between naps and forcing myself to eat soup and drink juice. I don't have much of an appetite when I can't breathe well.

I started getting a little energy back today, so I got some groceries delivered (hooray for TaskRabbit!) and made a pot of chicken and stars with enough garlic to keep Sunnydale vamp-free for years. It was awesome. I ate three bowls, and then made some bittersweet chocolate ganache which I had over a huge bowl of ice cream. I guess I'm starting to get better.

*******************************


Making the ganache I thought, Man, if I'd known how easy this was as a kid I'd have gotten fat a lot earlier than I did. But thinking about it more, I'm not so sure. The poor eating habits that contributed to my weight gain in early adulthood can all be traced back to thoughtlessness--eating what was put in front of me because that's just what you do, eating out of boredom or sadness or social obligation, eating junky convenience foods because they were what was at hand--and I think being actively involved in the preparation of what I'm eating makes me more mindful about it, and therefore less likely to reflexively make poor choices. Not that I don't still make poor choices these days, but they're few and far between, and almost always involve grabbing something packaged or pre-made to quickly satisfy a craving. And when I feel the desire to eat because I'm sad or bored, if I cook rather than just grabbing a convenience food the cooking process itself is generally enough to make me less sad or bored because I enjoy the creativity and craft of it so much. I still enjoy the hell out of food for sure, but it's a deliberate and mindful enjoyment. Those three bowls of soup tonight were on purpose, whereas the increasingly rare occasion of suddenly finding myself at the bottom of a bag of chips or on my fourth soda of the day never is.

*******************************

Things that have been keeping me from going insane with boredom:
rhiannonstone: (Default)
I really, really like this list of resolutions.

It's funny how we often cycle from doing something because it's just the thing everyone does, to scorning it because it's too mainstream or meaningless, and then coming back around to realizing that there's some use in it after all. This is me with new year resolutions. While they can be empty and silly, and I believe you should make change whenever you decide change needs to be made, I do find value in taking the calendar flip as an opportunity to set goals and make plans. Even though I accomplished some really cool things and had a lot of great experiences in 2012 I also spent much of it feeling aimless and unmotivated, and I know I will be happier and get more done with goals to help keep me focused this year.

Goals for 2013
  • Declutter. Organize, sell, donate, dispose of, or otherwise take care of at least two Units of Stuff a week until my living space is liveable again. Accept the fact that there are parts of my living space I have no control over.

  • Reach out more. Over the past couple years I've gotten a lot better about saying yes more and accepting more invitations, and now it's time to start making those invitations myself. I've been feeling pretty down about how challenging this is, because I'm not able to have people over often or host parties at all, and scheduling and logistics can be difficult in general. But even if I can't invite people over, I can and will find other ways to proactively reach out to the people I like and let them know I enjoy their company.

  • Take every opportunity to ride my bike. I have two specific bike-related goals as well--complete a metric century in April, and do more bike touring in the Summer and Fall--but over the past year, every single time I passed up the opportunity to ride my bike I regretted it. So even beyond training for the century and planning for tours, I will make a deliberate effort to say "Yes" every time I wonder if I should take the bike. Even in the rain and cold.

  • Take more photos, more mindfully.

  • Stretch more. Doing yoga and my PT stretches regularly keeps me pain-free, makes my knees happier, and makes me a lot more comfortable in my body. I slacked off both during the past few months and I've been feeling it, and getting back to it feels like starting from zero. I don't plan to get to a place where I have to start over again.

  • Write more (and LJ more).

  • Spend some time each day not staring at a screen. (Unless the screen is displaying a book, because I'd also like to read more).

  • Learn Spanish. The next two goals will be difficult without this. I've already signed up for a class at BCC, as my efforts to teach myself haven't been going well (I pick up languages quickly, but need the structure and motivation of a class).

  • Find a new job. I'd kinda been hoping that things at work would be stable enough that I could hang on to the reliable paycheck and flexible hours at least until starting grad school, but the paycheck is no longer reliable and the hours are only flexible until there is a crisis, and there's a crisis more often than not. So once the current one has passed, I'll be polishing my resume and starting the hunt.

  • Apply to grad school. I can't start grad school until I get in to grad school, which I can't do until I apply!

Profile

rhiannonstone: (Default)
rhiannonstone

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 24th, 2017 04:43 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios