Archive for the ‘life’ Category

No photography please

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Wicked me. This is the ceiling of The Orpheum theater. Photography was not allowed there. It was my first time seeing Wicked. It wasn’t Wicked good, but nor was it Misérable(s).

Logo-gical

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

I haven’t really updated the look of this site much since I launched the domain. Tweaked the words in the sidebar, here and there, but that’s it.

Back in 2009, while watching a documentary about the font Helvetica, the idea for a hizknits logo came to me. I sketched it out for a friend and designer at work, and within less than an hour, I had my own visual identity! Mark is responsible for adding in the “bathroom” guy and making the whole thing look amazing.

Just as my knitting has progressed from my first 2×2 chunky hat back in 2004, it was time to remove the old photo-based banner (which was a detail of that first hat). I’ve finally changed the header to “my” logo. If you view the non-mobile version of this site (not in an RSS feed), you can see what I’m talking about in the upper right corner.

Never would I have predicted where knitting has taken me, who it’s brought into my life and whether I’d be still doing it after starting in 2004. But I’m sure glad it done all that and more.

Here’s to at least eight more years!

Third year’s a charm?

Monday, January 28th, 2013

See, here’s the problem with sharing an idea. If you say aloud, you’re giving it one more atom of realness. Willing it into existence. Pulling it from the sterile confines of the theoretical into this world, and breathing life into it, such that it may take root and become something, either to you or the person to whom you mentioned it.

Twelve12s has not yet happened as conceived. To be honest, it’s barely happened at all. I haven’t even finished defining my original twelve projects to pursue, let alone gotten going on them, taking pictures of them, making notes about them. That said, a little bit of the inspiration has been with me since I started making gestures toward the larger goal.

At its essence, tweve12s is simply culling down the overwhelming of world of possibility, desires, dreams and demands into specific actions, quantifying them, and ultimately doing them. Over the past year I’ve successfully added a few habits to my life, such as flossing, running, weaving in ends and finishing lingering knitting projects, posting more regularly here. I’m pretty darn proud of myself for them. They are proof of my NOT being an utter and complete failure. Of my agency against the tide of the easy way out or the stress of the day-to-day. A glimmer of hope that I can set out to accomplish SOMETHING. A little bit is better than none, and eventually they add up.

I shared my theory behind the twelve12s project with Kristine, an inspirational friend over the year-end winter break. She is a kindred spirit in an overachieving, driven, artistic kind of way. We both want to leave a mark on the world and live creative lives and grow and give back and be mindful and all that good stuff.

On twitter today, she mentioned she had been using my “12 x 12 methodology” and loved it. (Mind you, there is no methodology, nor have I been “doing” it myself, rather lamenting I haven’t given it a proper go.) She said, “It’s really helping my perfectionism.” I totally get that, in the same way the kernel of the idea has helped me embrace baby steps of my own. That was kick enough in the pants for me to dust it off once again, try the motor and see if I can get it to run this year.

Mention an idea, and it just may happen. Learn more at twelve12s.com.

Sunday ingredients

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

My day was made up of:

  • baking bread
  • laundry
  • knitting
  • a long run
  • doggie playtime
  • ballet in Berkeley (watching, not taking a class)
  • homemade soup and dinner with a friend
  • falling asleep on the couch with a pup on my chest

Pretty much a perfect day in my book.

Words escape me

Friday, January 25th, 2013

I’ve been in and out of my work’s blog so often today that I find myself at a loss for things to type here. I was going to post a cute dog photo with a caption that I was all ears, but that felt a bit lazy. (Would still love to hear from anyone!) What to share?

If you don’t have anything to say… there’s nothing I could say about the speaker on happiness I saw this morning. As much as I scoff at it, I’ve seen a few gems coming out of Alt Summit that make me feel, I’ll say it, inspired. But I’m not there, and sharing 140 characters of hearsay doesn’t seem worthwhile. Although I’m pretty sure Sagmeister’s happiness chat may have been more focused and useful.

Last night’s late night writing annual goals (for work—you think I’m anywhere near that organized in my personal life?) is taking its toll. I need to join the snoring masses upstairs. Bread dough prep and deeper thoughts will just have to wait until tomorrow.

52 weeks of happy

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

I saw IrishGirlie’s (re)tweet this morning about little birdie’s 52 weeks of happiness. Now that’s something I could get into.

Here goes:

  1. running hills, or, more accurately, the feeling after said scamper.
  2. not being called in to report for jury duty.
  3. a nod and a “hi” while passing the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen guy on the street.
  4. a wee dram of whisky at a work Burns supper celebration (no haggis, thank you).

(1/52)

Note: Apropos to yesterday’s VisitScotland’s pony pics I posted, I didn’t realize Jen of Little Birdie was also a glaswegian lassie, so it’s a lovely coincidence that we had a Scottish shindig at work today, in honor of poet Robert “Rabbie” Burns. I am not intimate with Mr. Burns’ oeuvre, but I look forward to learning more before next year. Scotland remains on my list of places I’d like to visit one day.

Mini mindfulness

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

No deep thoughts here. Just a scribble of insight that came to me while listening to a City Arts & Lectures broadcast with Jon Kabat-Zinn, who developed Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction. He was talking about mindfulness and yoga. Mind you, I had never heard of him before, but I had run across the concept of MBSR.

Now, I don’t pretend to be a yogi or meditator, but I wouldn’t mind having more of either in my life. It struck me, as mindfulness-less as I sometimes feel my life is, I’m no stranger to the pursuit of presence. Some of my favorite things in this world involve being aware.

  • knitting
  • running
  • writing
  • drawing
  • dancing
  • reading

Like yoga and meditation, each one of these activities can transport me into a calmer state of mind. They demand full focus and are made up of a series of little nows. They make life better and have a worth and benefit simply by their doing, not necessarily their end product or output.

Alas, it seems like running is the only one that’s happening with any regularity lately, but that’s ok. It’s a first step, if not several. I may not have enough hours in the day to pursue all of them to mastery, but any time spent doing any one of them is a means to access a more pure, more true me.

And that’s a journey I want to take.

From President Obama’s inauguration speech

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Growing up as an awkward and frightened gay child and fighting as an impassioned activist in college, never in my wildest dreams did I believe we’d hear words such as these coming from the leader of our nation:

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.

This is how I understand the values of America. This makes me feel patriotism and pride for a change.

This is a world I want to live in.

Shaping up

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

It was as if a hex(-agon) shaped my day. I was going to try an angled picture of pizza I made for this post. Then, type into this box about how all I ate today were round, circular foods. But I didn’t want to fall into the trapezoid of geometric word games.

No, that would be square.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Again, I find myself at the end of the day hurriedly thumb typing into my phone (was autocorrected to oboe a second ago). So sorry that this is another drivel post, as opposed to something more composed.

Enough whining. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about a friend’s motto, “You get more of what you pay attention to.” On one hand it’s a great parenting technique. On the other, it’s the basis of the practice of keeping a gratitude journal. The end result is re-wiring the brain to be happier. It speaks volumes of the vicious cycle of stress and depression.

Tonight, I’ve laughed. A lot. I finally finished the last handful of episodes of Portlandia’s second season, which apparently I had not previously seen. Then I caught the premiere of The Kroll Show. My apologies for the lack of a link, but I invite you to use your Google-fu and look up them both up. (Please note: humor is subjective, so it’s fine if you don’t share my high regard.) It’s always reassuring to recognize your humor in others, eh?

And it just plain feels good.