April 2017

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Monday, August 14th, 2017 05:49 pm
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.
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Monday, August 14th, 2017 01:10 pm
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.
Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 03:40 pm
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.
Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 08:21 pm
I am enjoying this top albums made by women list for it's diversity of genres, cultures and decades - I'm discovering new music from different countries and different decades, with fascinating summaries of the history. I'm sure you could argue the order and what should and shouldn't have been included, but if I mentally retitle it "150 great albums made by women" instead of "150 greatest albums made by women", it's really enjoyable.
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