my monkied brain (katekat1010) wrote,
my monkied brain

resisting the temptation to make daily lists

Because really, life is a little bit like a list but then again... no it's not.  I could talk about how every day now I have a series of check boxes that are getting checked - many of them have to do with the dog: feeding, walking, caring, petting, training.  And right now we're quite low maintenance - eventually when my ankle actually heals I'm hoping our long walk be longer than a half an hour every day, but that's about all I'm up to at this point, even with new tennis shoes.  I could list all the things I've bought for the new place, because no matter how much you prepare or you hope you have everything you need, you find that the toilet paper is running out and you want to buy spices to cook with and somehow you need a dish drainer and  then you've lost five hours at Ikea and come home with some light bulbs and an entirely new bed that you were able to pack into your own car (and then put together).  Or at least, that's what happened to me.

It went fast until it slowed waaaaay waaaaay down.  I did 20 boxes on Sunday day, 15 on Monday, and then ran out of books to unpack.  And ended up with the boxes that usually you shove in the closet and try and forget about until the next time you move ... only my closet already has boxes in it.  Boxes of knick knacks; boxes of old paperwork; boxes of old old old photos.  My plan now is to go through them one at a time and clear them out slowly, hopefully getting rid of half of the stuff as I unpack it.  I did four on Sunday, so I figure I'm only slightly behind this week.  But my bedroom now looks more like a room someone lives in with some boxes in the corner and less like a room full of boxes, so I think I'm still ahead of the curve.

  • I went to the LA County Fair with Amanda (new grad student friend) on Saturday.  Basically it was a day to walk and talk and eat really bad food.  Yes, I did specifically seek out the fried oreos (and ate them, and they made my stomach upset).  But it was kind of awesome anyway - we rode the double decker carousel, and the ferris wheel, and looked at technology gadgets and sat in massage chairs (which, quite frankly, are getting really really detailed with their massages - laser guided back massage was strangely like sitting in a chair with human hands - hello sci fi... or kink meme response).  I think we had a really good time, and there were plans to do all kinds of other things in the future and explore LA together
  • Went out to dinner with Maija as a kind of pre-birthday birthday present on Monday night (which was fabulous since we tried a restaurant in the neighborhood ... i had a blackened chicken spinach salad with goat cheese walnuts & grapes).  And we saw Resident Evil 3D, which was atrocious (and I mean atrocious - not in a fun way but just BAAAAAD) but still fun because we could complain about it afterwards.  Sadly not for too long since I had homework, but it was worth the sleep I missed out on to spend time with my girl.
  • Met Vettie for happy hour, who I hadn't seen in four years and yet it was like time hadn't passed at all.  I'm pretty sure we actually spent four hours at the little restaurant/bar, drinking mojitos and telling stories and just being reminded that women rock
  • Hung out with Charisse at her diversity mixer today - meeting men and women in a bunch of different departments who are all geeky and wonderful in their own right.  We did introductions like four different times just to reintroduce ourselves to the new people who showed up, which was good because I finally was able to remember some of the names of people I'd just met.  Now if only I can get people to do that on a regular basis, that would be awesome.  I wonder if people would think I was weird if I asked them to say their names four times?

I am rediscovering how to cook for my own tastes. 

It's weird.  I went shopping on Sunday and grabbed "staples" and then looked at what I had in the basket and had to put it all back because it wasn't filled with things I would want as staples, but things I had been compromising on and considering staples for the last 15 or so years.  I don't eat english muffins every couple of days.  I don't make myself sandwiches so I didn't need that loaf of cut bread.  I want to get out of the habit of buying soda.   So instead I bought myself some brie and raspberries and spinach dip and sourdough to celebrate my tastebud liberation and then sat down with my cookbooks to try and plan a week of meals.

Things I discovered?  It's very hard to cook for just one person.  That I really like cooking for myself, but I'm not as fond of leftovers three days in a row.  That I almost always cook too much food, no matter what I'm making.  That I make food I like the taste of.

For my first meal made at my new place I did cinnamon spiced pork loin chops with granny smith apple over the top and a wild rice with mushrooms and walnuts.  My new housmate asked me (since I was talking about how picky Neil is/was with his food) what part of my new meal he wouldn't have liked, and my answer?  All of it.  Next night was a veggie (and wild rice and sharp cheddar) stuffed pepper and a fresh tomato/basil salad.  Next night was pork burrito (gotta use the pork somehow!) with cabbage slaw.  I still have a lot of food in the fridge and I'm heading away from the weekend, but I'm kind of proud of myself for making things that actually tasted yummy, that looked beautiful, and that were fun to eat.

I pretty much tried to avoid the television last week, just to see if I could, and it pretty much worked.  Oh, not to say I didn't watch a movie on my computer, but I didn't turn it on as sound or as background, didn't make it the device I came home and switched on.  I'd been doing that for a while in the old life, probably to drown out the noise of things slowly going wrong.  Sadly, while that's good for my television consumption, my online consumption has been way up even if it hasn't seemed like it.  I've been here, lurking in the corners, rereading fic, for most of the week... when I wasn't walking the dog or making myself dinner, etc. 

I gave myself last week to get used to the new place, and the idea that I am making my own time tables and deciding my own pace and ... well, doing it all on my own.  The one thing I haven't thrown myself into is studying, but it will come.  I'm starting to get that itch in the back of my head that means I want to start thinking and doing and being interested in academic things - and some days I'm better at it than others.  

Case in point: I've restarted the east asian grad student organization (and this is what I call "being lazy about school work"), we've had our first meeting, set out the semester's agenda, and are getting together in a little over a week to do more.  I've applied to get a Japanese conversation partner.  I've taken a quiz in one class and done a presentation in another.  Course there's always more work - it's the nature of being a grad student - there is ALWAYS more work.

I'm not necessarily taking it day by day - there are moments when I've been sad but it isn't the crying sad it's just the ... empty kind of sad.  There are moments I've been angry and annoyed and those generally seem pretty healthy even if there is smoking involved.  There have been a LOT of moments where I've been smiling, because there's a lot in the world to smile about, even if it's just that my dog looks silly or I make it to school in 20 minutes and find decent parking or that I find out my newest housemate lived in Japan for a year and speaks Japanese too (which is true, and it's awesome, even if we haven't talked in Japanese yet), or that I get woken up by the sun every morning streaming through my open window, or that the bush outside our front door / my bedroom window has huge purple flowers that draw butterflies the size of my hand.

also posted to dreamwidth | you can reply here or there | um, but don't worry, i'm still an lj girl
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