Beginning 2021

Kindly imagine me in a small bubble. To the right, there is a window out of which I can see trees. One floor down is a birdfeeder that the birds are persistantly ignoring (I don’t think I’ve seen anything in at least a month, although I’ve heard crows), but that the squirrels are excited about.

All the squirrels around here are black, statistically speaking (I think I see a grey or a red one maybe once or twice a year). It is something I am very used to, and I am always kind of delighted when visitors call them ninja squirrels or goth squirrels.

It’s kind of quiet in this bubble. And while I recognize that there is currently a lot going on and some of it I need to deal with and some of it I just need to keep up with, it is a good place to be able to stop and breathe for a moment.

The last weekend of 2020

I mean, the last weekend is also sixteen days long due to personal circumstances, but the calendar is a powerful framing tool.

It’s been a very quiet Christmas. I sent a lot of winter holiday cards and got… I think slightly more than usual? I have the impression people are kind of going out of their way to reach out a little. I also spent nearly an hour on the phone with people Christmas morning, which was definitely longer than usual.

Beyond that, I put up a bird feeder (after dark the day before Christmas Eve), and nothing has visited it yet. Not even squirrels. I mostly picked it up because the birds had stopped going to the ground-level next-t0-the-fence birdfeeder in our back yard, and I was vaguely thinking that perhaps it had started to rust badly enough that the smell of metal was putting them off, or a cat had started using it as a hunting spot, or the suet in it was off. (It has been moderately badly damaged by chewing squirrels, but there doesn’t appear to actually be rust on it.)

Anyway. I have scattered birdseed around the new feeder on the advice of someone much more invested in bird feeding than I am, and I live in slightly anxious hope.

With the end in sight.

I can’t believe it’s nearly 2021.

The last week was a bit intense–some things came up at work, and also at home, and really, I am mostly glad they are doing being sorted out. Yesterday was a lot of unwinding and today was a lot of catch-up, and I’m hoping the week going forward will run a little more smoothly.

I improvised a recipe for dinner tonight (which I am actually ridiculously proud of, I dislike cooking as a rule and without instructions it tends to stress me out quite a lot), and am managing to clear some time to read again. All my holiday cards are out. I realized that the dog is waking me up not (just) because she needs to go out, but because she thinks it’s important for me to have a routine, and honestly, she is such a good dog. Taking care of her thumb-monkeys like she does.

Overall a nice weekend, although I do wish it had been a little longer.

Edging out of 2020

It doesn’t feel like I’m a quarter of the way through December of 2020. Honestly, it feels like…

Well. The light of my life reminded me today that “I can haz cheezburger?” is thirteen years old, and I said something very rude. I have niephlets younger than that meme. I feel old. I’m not allowed to feel old when I’m comparing relatives with whom I’ve had an actual conversation to memes.

So that’s what it feels like, mostly. A kind of hectic rush that leaves me wondering how on earth I didn’t get more done.

Still, there’s a small vacation coming up, and words are happening, and the cat spent this morning moving onto my slippers and purring smugly. Things aren’t so bad, I just need to clear time to appreciate them a little better.

In which both change and the lack thereof are unwanted

With regards to unwanted change: the kitchen sink broke, the dishwasher broke, someone is coming into the house to fix the former, and the default WordPress posting interface has changed. I have no idea exactly how much these things will cost (well, the WP change is free, but the others are guaranteed to not be so).

With regards to unwanted stasis: I’m going to be spending most of the next five months in the house, as it’s not as if I’m going to be visiting establishments (or people) any more than an absolute bare minimum, and the weather is going to make it a lot more difficult to convince myself to go out for walks to nowhere. I am gloomily worrying about cabin fever (which admittedly also involves mental notes to myself to rewatch The Shining and check out #Alive, so not all terrible).

Oh well. Five more weeks and the days start getting longer again, so there’s that. And I have a lot of podcasts and books to get through.

Into November

Today was dim and gray and blustery with ice specks, and I only made it outdoors half an hour before sundown. The sun was already out of sight.

I very much feel that I did not get a summer or a fall. I don’t think I particularly got a spring, either, but that was long enough ago that it’s gotten blurry. Mostly I’ve been thinking a lot about going out for a walk early in the lockdown when everything was still snowy; it feels like I’m coming back around to that without ever really getting out of it.

(I also didn’t sleep well, with the time change, so part of it is probably just the mood. I am coping through the time-tested method of topically applying a cat, it helps.)

Best of luck to everyone, I guess.

Quiet night

This is the first Hallowe’en in thirteen years I haven’t carved a jack o’lantern. (I realize that I could, but it seems a little pointless; while holiday decorations are fine for inside, I’ve always thought of jack o’lanterns as something you do to set outside so that people know they can come to your house to trick-or-treat. That was definitely not happening this year.)

It’s mostly a quiet poke-at-words-and-watch-TV sort of night, and it’s not bad. But I hope next year is a more traditional Hallowe’en.

Pleasant fall

I confess to preferring grey weather, but today is cool and pleasant enough that I am not minding the lack of cloud cover. I raked a lot of the back yard (I have no idea what I’m going to do about getting the violets out; they are absolutely brutally stubborn, and I would like a back yard that is not-them), I went out for a walk, and I’m making progress on both my current sweater and my tsundoku pile.

I’ve got *mumble* revisions on the burner and two stories in progress, so that’s going to be keeping me busy probably until the end of the year. I’m trying to make sure that I clear out time to just be not-productive; it seems to help. (Video games and horror TV, yay; I keep getting recommendations for a couple of things, so I’m bumping them up the list.)

Sent a withdrawal to what I’m pretty sure is a dead market this morning, which is never a particularly cheerful event. Still, I got two stories out today, and am going to be aiming for more.

Touching base

Well, seven months into lockdown. That feels a lot less weighty than six months – unsurprising, given that it’s not an especially neat fraction of a year – but I do kind of miss summer.

We went to a drive-in over the weekend! Apparently one opened up ten minutes from home, and I missed hearing about it until the season was nearly over. The screen wasn’t quite as large as the drive-in we went to last year (my first time ever), but… hours spent out of the house. For fun. It was kind of lovely.

Managed to pick up Wasteland 3 again over the weekend (I ended up putting it down for nearly a month), and it’s… I mean, part of it may be that I was forgetting to specifically schedule leisure as a thing that had to get done, but it’s really a lot of fun. It’s also one of the few longer games where I feel like I really want to play through again and try substantially different choices.

(Nothing that supports slavers, though. There are lines beyond which fun is not had, dammit, at least not for me.)