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Gone But Never Forgotten Mar. 16th, 2012 @ 04:38 pm
As most of you probably know, today is the anniversary of Jennifer's death. I've been trying to figure out what I wanted to say about this for quit a while, and now that the date is here I 'm still wondering. Maybe that in itself is something: for me it has been an interesting year full of change. Getting used to not having Jennifer with me is obviously the biggest thing, but it isn't the same only one either.

Rambling.Collapse )

And last but not least remember that Only change will bring you out of the darkness; In this moment everything is born again Reach Up for the Sunrise: http://youtu.be/9d0R4hSYsI8
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: "Sunrise" by Duran Duran

Music of My Life, pt. 3 Feb. 3rd, 2012 @ 12:17 pm
Part 2 can be found here: http://masahide.livejournal.com/171517.html

I lived in Norway for about two years when I was around 9. I didn't listen to much music during this period, mostly because it was in a language I didn't understand. One group that I did get exposed to was ABBA, which is understandable, given they were Swedish and sang most of their songs in English. I went to a British school my second year there and ABBA was quite the rage with all the kids. The school contracted the bussing of students to a tour company, so instead of having normal school busses, we had tour busses and we would get the bus driver to play cassette tapes of our choice over the sound system.

I really enjoyed the music at the time, as well as just having fun with all the other kids. I ended up collecting several tapes, and would listen to them occasionally as the years went by. Jennifer used to poke fun at me for still listening to and enjoying ABBA even when we were married. It was kind of my music shame in our house, but I think she enjoyed some of the songs too, and just liked to tease me about it.

I'm not certain, but I believe that ABBA was much bigger in Europe, even today, than it ever was in the US. I find it humorous to see their music show up in movies like Muriel's Wedding and of course the entire film & play Mamma Mia!. So as much "secret shame" as I have, it seems to be echoed by a lot of people.

In any case, while their music is pretty dated, it is still catchy and fun.

Current Location: work
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: "Never Mind Me" by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

4th Quarter and 45 days to go Jan. 31st, 2012 @ 10:43 am
I've started writing this post several times and I kept not finishing for various reasons. Most recently I had put down a lot, but then lost it in an autosave debacle. I think I'm going to just try to break this down into a couple of smaller posts to just try and get it out.

It is getting close to the anniversary of Jennifer's (elanurel) death, and that has been on my mind a lot. Discussion of grief, mourning, and associated topics. You have been warned.Collapse )

I haven't really decided what to do, but I'm thinking about it. One thing I'm thinking about is getting the memorial tattoo I've been working on. I had always planned to get it, but I was thinking it would be nice to do it on the anniversary of her death. I need to do a little bit of cleanup on the design, and find the right artist, but I still have time to make that happen. I've arranged my blood donation time line to ensure I can get in one more donation before that date and have to go on a one year donation deferral. Beyond that, I don't know. I don't want to have a sad day remembering all that has changed, but I don't want to do some kind of "Oh, YaY" party either. I don't know. Maybe a get together with friends and just spend some time with my extended family.

Anyone have any suggestions?
Current Location: Auto shop
Current Music: "Some Rival" by Steeleye Span

Music of My Life, pt. 2 Jan. 30th, 2012 @ 04:31 pm
Part 1 can be found here: http://masahide.livejournal.com/170828.html

Growing up in my house, classical was the standard music heard. My parents were both active in classical choirs for as long as I could remember, and I never really got a "taste" of other types of music until I got my own radio years later. I actually think I was around 11 or so before I started listening to music myself, and then it was classic rock. I never was a top 40 kind of person.

In any case, Classical was always around me. One of the first composers I really enjoyed was Vivaldi, and specifically his Gloria. Eventually however, I found his Four Seasons. That to me is one of the best works I know of. Sure I enjoy other works and other composers, but there is something about the Four Seasons that really speaks to me. I think it has to do with his use of strings. The voices of the violins generate such a sweet sound in my ears that they reach out to my heart and really give me a lot of joy. Even today, I believe this is my favorite classical piece.

Current Location: work
Current Music: "The Four Seasons" by Vivaldi

Sometimes insomnia? Jan. 30th, 2012 @ 11:26 am
I woke up about two hours early this morning. I tried to get back to sleep, but after tossing around for a half hour with feeling nearly wide awake, and no expectation of getting to sleep, I gave up. Instead, I chose to set down the things that were banging away in my head and keeping me from sleeping. So, I stayed in bed, whipped out the phone, and took down all the notes jumbling my brain.

The weekend was good overall. I got pretty much all things done that that I wanted to. I did lots of gaming, got in a run on Saturday (given that Friday was just too cold to go out for a run then), continued to do pushups as I can, and generally enjoyed the time. I ate a little too much, but that's ok.

Saturday was my Serenity game, and various 'splody things happened. Most of which were unexpected leaving my character (and me to a certain extent) very upset about the whole situation. Basically we had another crew meltdown, with bodies on the floor. My character knows they can get out of the situation, but he is really running up against several of his moral views by not wanting to leave the innocents out to hang. This is the thing that ended up waking me up and keeping me up this morning. Now, however, I think I have a workable plan to get us out. I just need a bit of research, and figuring out how to sell it to everyone. This may also end up being the parting of at least one of the PCs from the crew, possibly two or three. Yeah, there are some trust and "work well together" issues with this group.

Sunday was the Pathfinder game, and I took back the reigns and started up the Heroes' Guild game again. It has been a couple of years and we had a bunch of housekeeping to do. Getting existing players back into the stories and remembering what was going on, getting the new players into the group, and dealing with the characters no longer in the game. Mostly it was an RP/story review session, but I think it was pretty good. I didn't have much prepared in the way of really advancing the storyline or getting the party into combat, as I wasn't really sure where the group was going to go. They have also changed levels slightly, adjusted power (as we modified rules again), and traded out characters. So I am really unsure of how powerful the group is right now or appropriate challenges for them. Well, now I have three weeks to get things a little more in shape and prepped to my liking.

I got my oven splatter screens built on Saturday, and they worked pretty darn well for the bacon on Sunday. There is still splatter in the oven, but nothing nearly as bad as in the past. This should be easy to clean up tonight/tomorrow. In other home improvement projects, I'm moving forward with buttoning up the wall in the upstairs bathroom, and will get the first round of mud on the walls this week. This mud job should be much faster than the last one, as there are less corners and "picky" areas to deal with. It's basically just a corner and a single straight panel patch line. I do think I'm going to improve and touch up an area where previous owners cut out the wall to get at the back of the shower head. In the living room I've taken the shadow/printer boxes off the wall, as well as my wall drape decoration, in preparation of swapping their places. This is a quick job, and really just requires me to get some more molly bolts of the right size, measure out screw placement, and put the things back up. This will let me shift a bookcase down the wall, and open more space around the dining room. That puts me closer to my "new tabletop" project, as well as having a space setup for doing ebay/craig's list photos for getting rid of a variety of things.

And that was my weekend. Right now? Now I'm feeling a little tired for having woken up two hours early. yay.
Current Location: work
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: "Message in a Bottle" by The Police
Other entries
» The Music of My Life, pt. 1
Some friends and I were talking music recently, and so I thought I would share some of my favorite songs and music with you. I'll probably add another one each weekday for the near future, and see how it goes.

Learning to Fly by Pink Floyd is probably the most influential song in my life. It really is what could be called my favorite song (and I generally avoid "single favorites") and has remained that way for decades. This came out when I was in High School, but I think it really connected with me when I was in college. Both the music and lyrics really talk to me; both my love of flight and the idea of flight, as well as the overall perspective of metaphorically striving and pushing for more in life and existence. To a certain extent, it is the anthem of my life.

» I just flew in from Chicago...
I've been thinking about more exercise, and Monday or Tuesday I tried something novel: pushups. I never could really do pushups in the past, at least not more than one or two at a time. So, I figured with the weight I've lost and how I'm getting more active, I should give it a try again. I was actually able to do pushups!

I can only do about 10 in a set, but I can do those ten well with good form. I looked around on the web for info on good ways to do them, how many to do, etc, and came across some info on doing pushups every day as a fitness technique taken from SEAL training. See, most stuff you see out there says you should work different muscle groups or body parts on different days, to let the body recover and grow, but in SEAL training they do pushups constantly and every day and the participants seem to get stronger regardless of the constant activity with no rest days between workouts. So they were running an informal study to see if it could apply to normal people outside of intense training, and they saw success there too.

I like this idea, because it is something I can fit into my daily routine very easily. They were recommending 200 pushups a day, spaced out insets of 20 to 25, based on what you could fit in, and how many you could manage in a set.

Well, I can't do 200 yet, and can only manage set's of 10 right now, but that gives me a goal to work forward to. So I started thisyesterday (kind of) on Tuesday night with a set before bedtime, but really started yesterday. I got in 5 sets of 10, which ended up being pretty much all I could handle. When I got up this morning I tried to start, and I could only manage one pushup! My arms are really tired!

I'm going to try to make today a "down" day, and get in a couple of sets if I can, but not try to go for 50 today. Anyway, I think it would be really cool if I could get to the point of doing 200 pushups a day.
» Being Strange in a Car
Last night was kind of weird on the way home from work.

'I'll be very shook up about it... There could be tears!' - Captain Mal ReynoldsCollapse )
I keep finding myself wanting to start these posts with "So..." Perhaps that is my conversational opener....

In any case, over the weekend I really got things done on the bathroom, and finished up the shower! I couldn't use it this morning as the last of the silicone was still curing. Priming was done during the week, and I painted on Friday night and Saturday morning. Saturday was spent shopping for various final parts, and the installation of the shower doors. Biggest issue with the whole project ended up being the caulking/sealing of the doors. I would have been able to use it this morning, but I forgot to seal around the shower spigot, controls, and shower head at the wall. I ended up doing that last night, so I want to give it plenty of time to cure before use.

I initially tried installing the shower door simply with silicone and no screws, but that didn't really work well. Mostly I was just trying to avoid putting holes in the corian surround, but there was no getting around it. Then I used their recommended pilot hole size, which was actually a little small for corian. This resulted in breaking off one screw, and all the drama that entailed. Frustration mounted a bit when I couldn't find my tools for backing out screws, so I ran to the store and bought a new set for $20, only later to find my original set among the tools in the bathroom already (yeah, I really need to organize the garage and get stuff put away). After the frame was in, the silicone caulk was just driving me up a wall, going everywhere and looking like crap. I decided to switch to clear, instead of white around the door, so another trip to the store. By then it was getting on to 6pm, and I decided that hunger might be making me even more frustrated at the whole thing, so I stopped to eat. I eventually got the silicone on, and I of course got better as time went by. Most of it looks pretty good, but there are a couple of places I may redo, mostly because I rubbed up against it while it was curing and it left a bubbly opaque smeared look, where everywhere else is nice an clear/smoothish.

Sunday was cooks guild, so I shopped and cleaned in the morning, with people and cooking during the afternoon. khittee made the most awesome meatball & cabbage soup, and of course there was Bao! Oh, Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

After cooking was over, I got back to working on the shower. I did the seal on the shower parts, and then cleaned the tub really well. I figured that would be the time to do it, before I got the doors in place. Most of the rest went together without much problem. Adjusting the doors to hang right was a bit of a pain without an extra pair of hands, but I managed. The only other screw up was when I used the wrong size screws on the towel bar, and had to get some more screws from the hardware store and then grind them down to the right length. Yeah, sometimes I don't make it easy on myself, but I'm actually getting pretty good at "making" my own screws and bolts when the store doesn't have the specialty stuff I need. I do have all the tools for it.

So, just for the record:
* Probably a half dozen runs to the hardware store for the final push/finish.
* Two semi-large screw ups, with lots of minor caulking annoyance.

Now I'm looking at the rest of the bathroom.... NO! not right now. I can look, but not do until I get ALL the rest of the bits of the project done. I probably will get a bathroom fan for the room and get that installed in the next month. I've also been thinking about hardware for the room, but I think I'm going to wait on most of that until I decide on the floor and counter, etc. I got this brushed nickel for the shower fixtures, but then got a normal aluminum/chrome style shower door. This is mostly due to two things: 1) I didn't really think about it until after the fact, 2) brushed nickel to look like the fixtures would probably have been a custom door and would likely have been MUCH more expensive. Ah, well, changing out the door in a couple of years if it really bothers me won't be a big deal.

Anyway, I've been trying to decide about the hardware, like towel bars, sink faucets, etc. My two thoughts are: 1) find what I like, and buy everything I think I'll need and store until I change the rest of the room, or 2) wait until you are actually going to put the bathroom together, buying just the one piece you need now in a cheaper generic version. I'm probably going to go with #2, simply because it might be a year or more before I really am ready to do the floor and cabinetry, etc, and even then I might have forgotten something I need until I need it. Cheaper now, too. :-)

Regardless, I'm looking forward to using my re-worked shower upstairs!
» Feeling pretty good
I've been kind of going up and down, over the last couple of days, but in general I think I'm feeling pretty good this week.

projects, and stuff....Collapse )
In other areas things have kind of been hanging out, or not really moving. I think I'll leave those ruminations for another post.
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