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[personal profile] noelfigart

Originally published at Noel Lynne Figart. You can comment here or there.

“Why is it called a Bullet Journal and not a To-Do list?”

When a friend of mine online asked me this, it stopped me short. As a teacher, I love questions like this. They force you to analyze what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and distill it down to an easily-digestible essence.

I would say that 80% of what I record in my Bullet Journal is, indeed, a to-do list in some sort or another. Another 15% of it is a time-planner. But that other 5%?

There are times when it makes me feel like Margaret Beaufort and her Book of Hours.

A Book of Hours is essentially a prayer-book and calendar. Lady Margaret, Mother to Henry VII, was in the habit of writing marginal notes for the great happenings of her life, though the casualness of the dating is enough to send medieval scholars to distraction when using it as primary source material. She recorded births and deaths in it, as well as other great happenings of the day.

This book with its notes in it also make me think of my own grandmother. Nanny did word puzzles when she was on the throne in the morning. She made lots of marginal notes – about the weather, who was due to visit that day, births of grandchildren… We sometimes look through them to try to reconstruct family happenings.

And this is where the “Journal” part of the Bullet Journal comes in. It’s not necessarily journaling like writing a diary entry, or spending a lot of time writing out your feelings. It’s merely meant to record things that have happened – dates and times, if you want to. But the idea is that you record what happened, not necessarily what you feel about it.

I don’t do it a lot – mostly for dates and times on The Big Stuff. It records my granddaughter’s birth.

It recorded my granddaughter’s death.

It was a tool I used to stay organized in the face of that, too. Lady Margaret might have spent her time kneeling in prayer during the great tragedies of her life. Not having servants to take care of my needs, I need reminders to take care of myself. So, my Book of Hours is quite short on Compline and much longer on lists of things to do, meals to make, and reminders to space the activity out with rest.

I know it’s Thursday, my usual day to post a piece on the US Constitution. As you can imagine I haven’t been writing much on the US Constitution in the past few weeks. It’ll start back up next week, but one’s granddaughter passing away does throw your cognitive capacity for a loop. I chose to spend what ability I had to think on things closer and more immediate to home.

Wednesday Media Consumption thingy

Mar. 22nd, 2017 07:41 pm
serene: we're having hot lesbian sex. and by lesbian sex, we mean tea. but it's hot. (lesbian tea)
[personal profile] serene
I didn't get the job. I don't really mind. Changing jobs is stressful.

This post has some spoilers for The Hate U Give and Lincoln in the Bardo.

Reading )

Watching )

Listening )

Playing )

(no subject)

Mar. 22nd, 2017 07:34 am
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
[personal profile] elainegrey
A private premier of Christine's sister's film was held Monday night. She rented the Varsity in Chapel Hill and there was quite a crush of friends, associates, neighbors. Christine's brother & my parents as well. Their other sister isn't able to travel as easily and will see it at its public premier in Winston-Salem at the River Run Festival. My sister was returning from a work trip to England.

In general, folks really appreciated the film. A filmmaker mentor & friend said she nailed the memoir format; Christine & D's hairdresser confirmed that D succeeded in making the film about their family and not about Christine's transition. I think it does a lovely job of communicating that a difference like being transgendered can be accepted by bible based faith family members, and that it provides some help in being compassionate. (Left unanswered, given the initial filmed responses, what if a son had come out as gay in their family. The cognitive dissonance of Christine & i remaining together is expressed in a few comments.)

There was appreciation for our willingness to be vulnerable, and that awareness of vulnerability -- seeing yourself on the big screen with a hundred or so mostly strangers -- is bouncing around in both my & Christine's emotions. The next year will be festivals and some point the NC PBS station. I know there are some Texas festivals D's applied to.

--== ∞ ==--

Meanwhile, Christine's aunt died, the last member of her mother's generation. We drove up to the little country town for the graveside service yesterday. It was simple, which i appreciated but perhaps not Christine. The closing reading was of the rapture as described in Revelations. We were the city cousins, particularly with D's Fluevog high heels in pink and black, her grey tights with black flowers and birds, her fit-and-flare black dress, and her capelet with pink chenille embellished on the black net. (I'm forgetting what that textile work is called.)

--== ∞ ==--

I'm sick, although pine trees are entering into the pollen season.

Looking for a reliable news source?

Mar. 21st, 2017 12:49 pm
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
I've been reading The Skimm for about a month now. It's a nice "first look" at the day's news, and it catches some things that I don't get in my Early Bird updates. If that's something that looks interesting to you, give it a try.

http://www.theskimm.com/?r=eea78a80

Photobucket

Mar. 17th, 2017 02:41 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
Thanks to everyone who let us know that Photobucket images were not loading properly on some pages. The problem seemed to be mostly limited to HTTPS requests; Dreamwidth maintains a list of known high-traffic image sites that support HTTPS, so that our secure content proxy service doesn't cache them unnecessarily. Unfortunately Photobucket seems to have recently changed their site configuration such that HTTPS requests aren't being served as expected, and we've now taken it out of our list of "proxy-exempt" sites.

If you continue to have issues, make sure you're not using HTTPS Photobucket links. It's a bit counterintuitive, but if you use HTTP instead, it will be automatically transformed on our end to an HTTPS link that uses p.dreamwidth.org.

Hope that clears everything up for now! Let us know if it doesn't...

(no subject)

Mar. 16th, 2017 03:28 pm
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)
[personal profile] julian
In Things I Did Not Know, [identity profile] rivka.livejournal.com, of Usenet fame and of the former blog Respectful of Otters, is going to be on Jeopardy tomorrow. (And, for all I know, possibly on succeeding days.)

Coooooooool.
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[personal profile] pantryslut
I read I Miss the World by Violet LeVoit on the (non-personal) recommendation of [livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid. While I didn't find it as mind-bendy as all the review quotes pumped it up to be, I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it highly. It's a short read, almost all dialogue (held in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery), and if you like unreliable narrators you will love this book forever.

Since it's a small-press book, here's a link for more info:

http://www.kingshotpress.com/product/i-miss-the-world-by-violet-levoit

Now I am reading The Lost-Time Accidents by John Wray. I have no idea who recommended this book to me or why I picked it up, but so far I like it. It might have something to do with having a tiny hard-on for stuff set in what would become "Eastern Europe" (really Mitteleuropa) roughly between the Franco-Prussian War and World War II. It seems so uncharacteristic of me overall, and really overly specific to boot, and yet here we are. P.S. do not talk to me of steampunk. Not my thing. See what I mean?

I feel like I'm missing another book in here somewhere. Well, I re-read Maus once my kids started poking at it in the bookshelf. I read Shannon Creech's Moo to the kids -- despite my current suspicion of middle-grade novels-in-verse, in this case the broken-up prose works well to indicate how to read it aloud most effectively. Listening to your parent go "MOOOOOOO" a lot at bedtime is apparently highly entertaining to all.
rosefox: Me laughing joyfully. (joyous)
[personal profile] rosefox
Five things make a post.

1) First, the ending. Long Hidden goes out of print on May 9th. *sob* The last copies are being sold at a steep discount, with proceeds partially benefiting We Need Diverse Books. You can get discounted copies of Hidden Youth while you're there. Go help Bart and Kay clean out their warehouse while they're still allowed to sell the books! All details at that link.

2) Now, the beginnings. J has a new job! He got laid off at the end of last year and the last few months have been challenging. We are all very super excited that his nonstop hustle has landed him an excellent gig doing work he enjoys at a company he likes for good money.

3) X got a bonus and a raise! They inch ever closer to being paid what they deserve.

4) I joined a Slack for queer writers (if you want to join, let me know! All I need is your email address and i can add you) and it's been amaaaaazing for my productivity. People do 20-minute productivity sprints and then share snippets of their work and praise/critique one another in very supportive ways. Sometimes I use the sprints for day job work and sometimes for writing. I've outlined both my novels and passed the 10k mark on Valour Advances the Man (though a good chunk of that is in scenes that probably won't make it into the book but shhhhh), which is my current focus project. I haven't forgotten the Persuasion retelling but it's on the back burner right now. They'll inevitably swap at some point. I'm just so pleased to be writing! And it feels so good!

5) I reworked my Story Hospital Patreon tiers and got more people into Story Hospital Slack, hooray! Now to figure out how to keep conversations going in there. For some reason they just don't catch fire. I will probably be better at that once I'm over this rotten stinking head cold.

6) Bonus sixth thing: the DST changeover happened and I didn't hate it nearly as much as I usually do, probably because I slept 11 hours that night to try to shake the cold. (Didn't work, alas.) Kit's body clock is on the same schedule, of course, so now they're going to sleep at 9 and waking up at 7 and it's WONDERFUL. They have dinner with us! J gets to sleep in instead of waking up at 5! Not sure what we'll do in the fall when the clocks go back but for now we're just enjoying this.
kshandra: long-haired woman silhouetted against a stormy sky (Bad)
[personal profile] kshandra
[personal profile] gridlore took my car to the shop this morning; we had a coupon for 90K service, and as Bailey just hit 100K last month, she was certainly due.

They gave Doug a list of follow-up work (prioritized, at least) that, at a glance, is probably going to be over a grand in parts and labor.

Doug's actually thinking about registering Bailey as non-operational and being a single-car household for now; I've got a month to mull that over, yet. And I'd already been thinking that next year's tax refund was going toward a new-to-us car; this news has basically made that a certainty.

But I'm so far behind at work I think I'm first, and I don't have time to think about this right now.

Monday was a wet dog

Mar. 14th, 2017 11:44 am
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
[personal profile] elainegrey
Carrie seems terrified of towels. Unlike drought era California, we do have rain here and she has no choice but to get wet. Not sure how to solve this: manhandling her so that i can dry her doesn't seem likely to help. Must remember to have treats at hand. Maybe some treats while holding towels, etc.

Winteresque weather has returned. We're due some solid lows (22°F). The peony has emerged, and i think i need to keep it protected. It out grew the cover i had for it on the first day -- i need something else. Maybe a sheet or towel over an old tomato cage?

Christine gave me a game camera/camera trap for my birthday, and i think i have ruined it by leaving it in "aim" mode all day on the very first day. Eventually i need to call them for support. Not happy about the fuss.

This morning a near catastrophe occurred. My teapot's handle gave way: it is bamboo held on with wire hooks through the ceramic, one of which finally slipped through the loop. I had a heavy robe on, protecting me from a serious scald. I was able to have a controlled drop of the tea pot, right side up, on to the empty dog bed below, so there was still tea. The thought of that failure occurring at some other more vulnerable moment is daunting.

I can't remember if it was my Silver or Cadmium year resolution that was about habits, but i think that this year is going to be about habits again. I've dropped so many. Some drops may be just fine, but i think others need to come back.

Goals Check-In )

flotsam and a meme

Mar. 13th, 2017 10:35 pm
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)
[personal profile] julian
Finally saw Hidden Figures. That was fun, although somewhat Insert Historical Thing A Into Storytelling Slot B. But fun (and occasionally powerful) acting, and good music, and it made me want to finally see The Right Stuff. Also, it had a power walk involving 30 Black women, so I'm all for that. (And, more seriously, it’s always good to see dramas about determined people who are not The Kick-Ass Macho Heroes, particularly ones that reasonably depict institutional racism.)

Also, I didn’t realize that was Janelle Monae. Yum.

Am all spring-restless, somewhat too early, so am exercising vaguely regularly, for an admittedly short (yet tiring) period of time, increasing in small-but-relevant amounts. (In an unheated basement, which is nonetheless still better than outside.) Hopefully once the blizzard (or anyway, snow storm) happens, actual factual spring will be coming on more and I can actually take walks without getting a sore throat. Walks good. Also, for future use, the Cambridge YMCA is on the way to school.

Which is to say, got into Cambridge, am now procrastinating on the FAFSA. Or, well, rather, got myself a gummint log-in, and then spent the weekend doing other things, much of it sleep, if one wants to be accurate. Will work on it this week. Also have to figure out how to get an ID number (since one needs an ID number to log into the multitudinously useful intranet.) I am going to assume that once they process my acceptance, they’ll email me one. If that proves untrue by Friday, I shall call them. (Ah, it's in my paper acceptance letter, says a paper letter that arrived before my acceptance. NONETHELESS, I will call Friday if etc.)

And now, James Nicoll is trying to start a Thing. I memeified it, because I felt like it. Bolded means I own it, italicized means I’ve even read the damn thing, underlined means I want to.

20 SF books James says everyone should own, with comments. )
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
[personal profile] elainegrey
Apparently, when you boil the violets (Viola sororia) with the sugar to make a violet simple syrup, the color turns out emerald-y -- or as Christine put it "yellow striving towards blue." Recipes indicate i would have had more success had i steeped the violets in hot water, strained them out, then made the simple syrup.

Speaking of V sororia, there's no violet flavor to speak of.

We had snow! Started Sunday morning, we were able to gaze at it, go for a walk in it, make pancakes & hot cocoa watching it, and it was gone after lunch.

Sick on Thursday. Meh.

Took Wednesday off, in solidarity. Wasn't very productive (probably due to onset of cold). Drove to a historical oyster bar with my Dad & Christine and had a little bit more birthday celebration with a peck of lightly steamed oysters.

Didn't do much adulting on Saturday. Read two of "The Sharing Knife" series by Lois McMaster Bujold. I feel it misses the strength of the Chalion series, but it's an admirable series. Most of the demerits for the November-April relationship are redeemed by a comment about laundry in the second book.

(no subject)

Mar. 13th, 2017 02:00 pm
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
[personal profile] elainegrey
Weekend flew by << this was the FIRST weekend in March. I've been dragging on this post.

We had dinner up at Christine's sister's, and i split a bottle of sparkling wine with her. We were home late for me, and so Saturday morning was a very slow start. Mower had the blade replaced with assistance from the local shop (they undid the bolt for me), and then i mowed. The back yard had long grass; everywhere else was just tidied.

Spring onions are the main "culprit" of an untidy appearance: it turns out that the best way to get rid of them will be to dig them all out. (Or some annoying pattern of poisoning.) Since they are theoretic deer detractants, i ponder waiting until i have plantings of fruit trees, etc, that could use a circle of onions (as ground cover?). They are attractive plants, just a good bit taller than anything else out in the yard at this point.

The main reason i mowed was to minimize bittercress going to seed.

--== ∞ ==--

I have discovered sudoku. The NYTimes website puzzle interface for sudoku is just as appealing as for crosswords. I never found these attractive diversions with paper and pencil: with the efficient interfaces i am much more engaged. Also, i seem to be not so stressed out by work that puzzles are unattractive.

--== ∞ ==--

I AM SO DIFFERENT from me a year ago.

There. I had often wondered if i would really have time for a yard. Well, i do. I just don't have time for anything else. Yesterday evening i just wandered around outside, appreciating the fading light, looking at the state of various plants, worrying about the freeze coming....

I am also very happy to sit an watch the dog or cats or just sit.

Contentment? Maybe. There's an edge of procrastination/avoidance going on hinting at dysthymia.

I've dropped so many habits that used to anchor me: some just since the election, some since the move. I know i need to reinitiate them.

--== ∞ ==--
[personal profile] owlmoose tagged me for the ten random facts meme. I decided it needed to be an acrostic, for some unfathomable reason, so there's that.

Also, i need to tag some folks, so : [livejournal.com profile] amaebi, [livejournal.com profile] gurdonark, [personal profile] zlabya.

Training has included hunt seat riding (not much jumping though), how to handle radioactive materials, andhow to record the location of weeds.

Environmental preference is currently on the cool and shaded. While I have SAD and like the sun, i wilt pretty quickly.

Arithmetic is a weakness of mine. Manipulate symbols? No problem. Actually add? Let me get my fingers.


Shopping is not a delight of mine. I was a catalog shopper before the internet. I imagine that had the internet not come along, i'd have file cabinets or bookshelves full of catalogs.

Tea was one of those shop-by-mail items, although i don't know if i found out about the company i've used for the past 30+ years by USENET. That's Upton Tea by the way. I know there are many different tea companies out there, but novelty in my tea isn't something i've desired.

A glimpse of me without the internet is offered by my mother, with her files and files of paper and all her books. I'm thankful to have been raised by someone so interested in information, and i appreciate the cautionary lesson she offers as she now goes through all her clippings. I was just referencing USENET "clippings" from the 1990s, but i have full text indexing.

I can still remember, shortly after Christine and I were married, explaining the internet to Christine and having her ask, "How will you find anything?" I can't remember when Yahoo started its directory of information. I do recall the "what's new" page where new websites were announced.

Novelty isn't a driver for me. I don't really care for rereading novels or rewatching videos, but given the narrow  genres i choose, i'm not sure I can claim a delight in novelty there. At one point, i would have claimed delight in novel restaurants, but.... Well, if a Noma-esque restaurant opens nearby, i'll save my pennies. I guess i've eaten widely enough that novelty in dining is now pricy. Milk snow at the Umstead!

Eating, while i do enjoy trying new things, is more often very mundane. The fairly basic meal planning we have reflects an amount of depression and overwhelm on my or Christine's part. Christine is not a very adventurous diner, either, so i tend to be the one to cook things that go outside the usual dishes. Part of my delight in getting a garden is the hope that surplus will lead to creativity.

During one summer i lived in New Mexico and ate fruit salads day in and day out. The produce choices just seemed better than what i had seen in NC near my college, and it delighted me. Again, it was very simple -- fresh or steamed (in the microwave). I didn't seem to have the desire for a carb or fat to be added along. I also dropped in weight -- i hadn't realized what constant cream sodas and Pepperidge farm cookies while studying was doing to me.
kshandra: "DONE!" written in purple stencil-font lettering at a 45 degree angle (Done!)
[personal profile] kshandra
Saw my doctor this week about changing my diabetes medication. The one I was originally prescribed, while it had worked beautifully for me when I was first on it four years ago, had done nothing but cause me severe gastrointestinal distress (leaving-work-early severe on more than one occasion), and it never went away. If I tried taking it during my meal, I had massive bloating; if I took it more than X minutes after I ate, it was cramps and worse. One of my fellow coworkers is a diabetic himself and had been telling me for several weeks "Look, it's none of my damn business, but you need to get off of that stuff," and I finally did something about it.

Of course, me being me, and compliance being something I struggle with on the best of occasions, having one of my meds revolt on me meant that taking any of the rest of them rapidly went out the window, as well. So the labwork I had done this weekend is going to be a mess, but I'm braced for it.

Anyway, tonight I took my first dose of Januvia; I've got four weeks worth of free samples, and we'll see if my insurance will cover the script outright or if I'm gonna have to fight for it. (It looks like the manufacturer has a copay card for it, as well, so I've got options if it comes down to that.)

Four Messier planetary nebulae

Mar. 12th, 2017 02:43 pm
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
Here are the four planetary nebulae in Charles Messier's catalog.

Click here )

The six Messier emission nebulae

Mar. 12th, 2017 02:14 pm
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
Having now collected all the emission nebulae in Charles Messier's catalog, I thought you might like to see all six in one post.
Here they are! )

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