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"Did you walk up to Volunteer Park to watch the eclipse?" was the first thing Ricki said to Priscilla when she came by her apartment Monday noon.
"Nope. Didn't make it outdoors," said Priscilla, yawning.
"You watched it on TV then?"
"No, I didn't."
"You didn't see it
at all?"
"I listened to it," said Priscilla. "I listened to it on the radio. It sounded like bacon frying."

--Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

I mostly missed yesterday's eclipse. I had vague notions of finding somewhere to go watch it, but when Sunday evening rolled around and the #eclipse tweets started rolling in I was home in my jammies trying to have a relaxing rest of the weekend. I threw together a simple pinhole projector and ran outside a couple times to try to see it, but we don't have a very good line of sight to the sun during that time of day. I finally caught the tiniest sliver of a shadow at the very end. It did not sound like bacon frying.

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

I'd been looking forward to having my weekends back now that the big ride is over and I no longer feel like I have to devote the weekends to training, but the weekends have still been pretty packed and over much too soon. Last weekend I spent Saturday running errands and trying to catch up on a couple weeks of neglected housework, and all day Sunday getting the rest of my tattoo outlined (oh, how I love it! Pictures soon). This past weekend I co-presented an all-day training on Saturday that was fun but a little draining, and yesterday there was brunch and coffee and The Avengers and more errands and then somehow the day was nearly gone.

(I really, really enjoyed Avengers. It was just a ridiculous amount of fun, with a lot of the things I love about comic books, and just enough Joss Whedon to warm my fangirl heart and give the movie more brains then these things usually have, but not so much that it took away from the 'splodey action goodness.)

I don't really know what I mean by "having my weekends back." I need time to take care of the cooking and errands and housework and all the other things I don't have time to take care of during the week. But I also really want a couple of days that are relatively unscheduled and free of obligations, where I can just relax and enjoy spending time with my loved ones. And I want to be able to go out and do fun stuff, too: hang out with friends, take short trips, go for bike rides, and enjoy the gorgeous spring weather. Lacking a TARDIS or a time-turner I can't fit all that into one weekend, especially not on top of all the other things (important, enriching, fun, and useful things) I find myself committing to. Maybe what I really want is a vacation. I'm certainly looking forward to the three-day weekend coming up.
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I had a post-in-progress that started off wondering how March is almost over already--and of course now we're more than halfway through April, and I have no idea how. I have got to stop letting time slip through my fingers like this. It's not like I'm not having novel experiences or making full use of my time, it's just that I don't give myself much time to sit down and process. So one day it's the end of March and then life happens and the next time I sit down to write it's already mid-April.

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

March was a very rollercoastery month. It started off with an awesome birthday, which involved an extended week of celebrations with friends and loved ones and culminated with a wonderful oceanside BBQ at Crissy Field with stunningly gorgeous weather where I got all my (local) people together in the same place for the first time ever, and nothing went horribly wrong. We feasted on crab and oysters and other delicious noms, and played in the sunshine, and just generally had a blast.

And I got a new bike! Not for my birthday, it's something I'd been thinking about and researching for awhile. My first big-girl bike served me very well, but after spending more and more time riding it became clear that I needed something better geared (literally and figuratively) for long, often hilly road rides and better fit to my body. I did a bunch of reasearch and test riding and eventually settled on a Jamis Coda Comp Femme. She is purple and beautiful and, especially now that I've swapped out the handlebars, grips, saddle, and pedals for ones that work better for me, I love her. Her name is Leela--not after Turanga Leela, though it's fitting, but after the 4th Doctor's companion, and the Sanskrit word for "divine play."

The day after I brought her home, it started raining. And raining. And raining. In March! It's not supposed to rain here in March! It was frustrating not being able to ride my shiny new bike, especially since I'm training for a 50-mile ride in early May. When the rain showed no signs of letting up I ordered a bunch of rain gear, found out some of it sucked (rain capes are a great idea in theory, but in practice they are essentially water-collecting wind-resistance-increasing sails), ordered some more, and made myself do a few wet rides. In light rains it's no problem--it's actually kinda fun, once I got used to the reduced braking power, and I barely even need the waterproof outerwear--but in heavy downpours it's just miserable. I'm glad I've got a good rain jacket, helmet cover, and rain pants now, but I'm hoping I don't have to use them much.

Life on the bike has been almost entirely about training lately--racking up miles and saddle time, working on my form, trying to get to the point where riding 50 miles in a reasonable amount of time seems like a doable thing. I'm definitely getting there, despite the obstacles the universe keeps presenting me: the rain, knee problems, and a crash weekend before last. The rain seems to have finally stopped, I'm getting the knee problems under control with proper cycling form and lots of ice (and I have an appointment with a sports doc next week), and the crash was not nearly as bad as it could have been. I still don't know exactly what happened (and I hate that part), but I discovered that I'd stocked my first-aid kit well, and both the bike and I escaped with only minor cosmetic damages. There will be scars, but chicks dig scars, right?

I had some more work done on my tattoo, but it didn't go very well. The plan had been to finish coloring the bunny-and-flowers entirely and maybe start outlining the rest of the piece, but due to various factors I was extra-bleedy, which made it difficult for the artist to work, so we stopped after an hour and a half. I didn't mind so much, because it was also extra-painful. The next session, just last weekend, went much better--no crazy bleeding, much more bearable pain, and now the bunny is completely finished! I have the next session scheduled for after the Tour de Cure, so I don't have to factor healing time into the rest of my training, and I can't wait to see the rest of it start to take shape.

Work has been alternately frustrating and gratifying, and I don't expect that to change anytime soon. I have come to accept that the nature of the beast that is our small, dysfunctional company is a chaotic one, and I can work with that for now. Esepcially when I get to work with it in my pajamas at home most days.

My personal life has been equally chaotic, but I'm feeling a little less Zen about that.

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

So far April's been a rollercoaster ride, too. I'm trying to remember to hang on loosely and relax into the curves.
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Last week I woke up to an email from LiveJournal telling me that an account I'd never heard of was going to be purged. I assumed it was a phish until I saw other people posting about receiving purge notices, so I logged in to check it out--and managed to delete this account. Oops. Luckily I was able to re-instate it immediately. I know I haven't been posting much, but LJ has been a part of my life for so long--long enough for me to have created accounts I have no memory of, apparently!--that it's difficult to imagine life without it.

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

Apropos of nothing else, I present to you the OMG-AR15 Unicorn Zombie Gun.


You know, I've got a birthday coming up...

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

Speaking of my upcoming birthday, this year my present to myself is going to be ink, and lots of it. I seem to be making an every-other-year habit of it, which is kind of funny since I've never really considered myself a tattoo sort of person. But I've been wanting to improve/expand upon the magnolia on my upper back for awhile, and I've been sketching the same idea over and over again for much of the past year, so I decided to go ahead and do it.

I met with the artist last week to start planning it out for real, and it was a really fun process--she loves working with the specific elements of the design, and seems to get exactly what I want with regard to style and color and how I want it to work with the landscape of my body. It's going to take multiple sessions, which is new for me. I'm a little worried about going around feeling unfinished for awhile, but it'll be worth it to get it just right. My first appointment, to finalize the first part of the design and start inking, is next week! I'm excited.

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March 2016

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