a left-eyed girl

living in a 2 dimensional world

Archive for December 2009

Separate vacations and bread baking day

with 3 comments

So you may or may not know that Mister is out of town this weekend. The very strange thing is that I told someone this on Friday night and he cocked his head at me and said that it was very weird for that Frank went away without me. Now, this person doesn’t really know me at all (I went to a Strangers Party, which is what I like to call mixers where I don’t know anyone), so I guess it would sound weird to someone I just met if I mentioned that me and the Mister go on separate vacations sometimes.

But hey, why is this strange? It makes a lot of sense to me since Mister and I have different hobbies and we like different things. He needs to take his little hockey trip once a year or so so he can do his manly man things without me. Honestly, as much as I love my Mister, I do not want to stay in a hotel room with his hockey gear (have you EVER been in a room with freshly used hockey gear before??), so it makes sense to me that if he wants to go on a hockey trip somewhere, I will not be going with him.

I guess most couples take vacations together and wouldn’t dream of going somewhere awesome without the other person, but maybe this is just how me and my Mister work. We like to do separate activities (photography, biking, hockey), but we also do our share of things together to make sure we don’t end up acting like roommates. It’s so important to retain your own identity in a realtionship and keep doing what interests you, but also to balance it out and remember to lose yourself with the other person too.

But anyway, what am I doing this weekend while he’s gone? Yesterday I reorganised our entryway with new shoe storage, something that has needed to get done for months. The best thing about Mister being gone is that I get stuff done at home without him. It keeps me busy and happy. When he’s home, we usually end up doing other stuff like going to brunch or sitting on our butts watching films.

I replaced our tall, skinny bookcase-like shoe storage with these two shorter, shallower shelves. We now have more shoe storage than before, and it looks nicer and provides a nice countertop area where we can put keys and mail when we come in. Plus, since the shelves are shallower, I think it feels more open than when we had the very tall bookcase looming at the entryway. I do with the little bench could go up against the wall, but it seems to be just fine sticking out a little in the little corner made by my desk.

As for social engagements, when Mister’s out of town, I usually book myself up and go go go non-stop, but this time I decided to take it easy and spend some quality time by myself (and with Cat). I did go out Friday night with some friends to see another friend’s photo exhibit in downtown and then went to the Strangers Party, where I got to meet a ton of people who were really fun, but also pretty drunk. A guy has resultingly asked me out to dinner, but I’m not sure if it’s a date-date or a friend-date, and I do not know if it’s okay to ask or if I should just ignore it altogether (how do these things work these days anyway?).

Other than the Strangers Party and a photog-party tonight, I spent most of the weekend alone. It has been so nice to just do whatever I want and not make a ton of social engagements, only to start dreading them an hour before they start.

To be sure, I usually have a ton of fun when I’m out with people, but I often dread going out right before I meet them. Yes, I know it doesn’t make much sense, but it’s just a little social anxiety I suppose. As long as I don’t let myself cancel, I will go out and have a super fun time.

This morning I am baking some bread. I bought bread from the store last week, but I was thoroughly unimpressed by it and ended up deciding to bake my own this weekend, and Sunday morning felt like a perfect time to get it done. I’m sure it won’t be as good as bread from the the farmer’s market bread bakers, but I do enjoy the process of making bread and the pride of having made it myself.

Oh sorry, but the bread looks thoroughly unexciting at this moment. This is during the first rise. If you don’t make your own bread, the main steps are:

  • Mixing and kneading the bread together until the surface looks shiny like this
  • Let it rise in a warm place for anywhere from 1-4 hours until the yeast has made the dough puff up
  • Knead the dough back down again to redistribute the ingredients
  • Form the bread into a loaf or into buns, etc and let it rise a second time until puffy
  • Bake
  • Let cool, slice, and eat yummy bread you made all on your own

Right now I am doing the first rise, so this is why the dough looks like Jabba the Hut melted in my mixing bowl. Trust me, it will be tasty later on. Yum!

Mid-baking update: I finished both rises and stuck the loaf into the oven for baking. I can’t wait for it to finish!

Written by Reese

December 6, 2009 at 11:27 am

Posted in eating, just life

Should I put pants on?

with 5 comments

Last night, when the train was nearing San Jose, the guy sitting behind asked me if he should bother putting pants on and I just id not know how to answer him. Oh wait, maybe I should back up a little bit… He was wearing shorts and going to ride his bike, so he wanted to know if it was really cold outside, in which case, he would put pants on so his legs weren’t too cold.

For the most part, bike attire depends on a number of factors that influence a rider’s comfort:

Distance
How far are you going to be riding? If you’re going more than a few miles, your body will warm up and you won’t need to put too many clothes on, or you may have to take them off as you heat up.

Tolerance
Exactly how cold is cold? Sometimes when I am freezing with a sweater on, Mister is just fine and happy without a jacket. Cold is definitely relative, and it can be hard to judge if someone else will be cold at a certain temperature.

Traffic
In general, I’ve found that the more traffic there is, the harder it is for me to warm up because I need to keep stopping at lights or generally go slow around cars. For a segment of my commute in downtown SJ there are lights on every block and I end up hitting a lot of the lights. Once I pass that area, I can typically warm up more easily because my legs are constantly moving.

I hope you can see why I didn’t exactly know what to tell this guy who asked me about the weather. So what did I tell him? Well, I said, "Oh, it is better out than this morning!"

What an unbelievably unhelpful answer. I don’t know what time he headed out that morning for work so his morning temperature might be different from mine, depending on when he heads out in the morning. That night, it was definitely warmer than 7:20 in the morning, but might be considered colder than 9:00 that morning.

Of course, we both acted like my answer made total sense and went on our merry ways. He did not end up putting the pants on. I hope he didn’t freeze.

Written by Reese

December 3, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Posted in just life

Personal Promises

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I have been making personal promises to myself to help make my life more positive and enriching (not that my life is terribly negative and not rewarding right now, but hey a little self-improvement never hurt anyone).

Find more local friends
I seem to make good friends with people who live across the world from me, or even just out of state. Heck, I make friends with people who live in SF and then find that we can only see each other so often. I tend to get up to SF only 2-4 times a month, depending on what kinds of events are planned and my "hot date" schedule with Mister (more on that later). What I really need to do is find more friends who live close to me, hopefully within biking distance so that we can hang out on a somewhat regular basis.

Well actually, I already have some friends like this that I keep in touch with on a very regular basis, so maybe it’s not that I need more local friends but that I need to…

Find more local girlfriends

For some reason, finding girlfriends is tougher for me than finding guy friends. I don’t exactly know why this is, but it is what it is, and I need to get out and find more lady friends that I can do girlie things with, like go shopping and meet for coffee and have dinner dates. It would be super awesome if I could find another bikey girlfriend to hang out with in San Jose, but I’m not going to hold my breath. Seems that a lot of the cool bikey girls I’ve met so far are still in college, or just recently out of college, and I feel like we’re in such different stages of our lives that maybe it’s tough to make it work. Well, maybe I’m losing sight of the big picture if I’m only looking for female companionship, so maybe I should just…

Surround myself with positive people
This is sort of a no-brainer, but I really like being around upbeat people. Not the people who think that Everything is Awesome and Good. No, I’m talking about people who don’t suck the life force out of those around them, and who have a generally positive outlook on life. Sure, anyone gets down once in a while, but negative people are so freakin’ draining and difficult to be around and I just cannot handle this for any extended period of time.

Ah positivity is great. It makes you feel good about life, it makes everyone around you feel good about life. Heck, it might even temporarily cheer up a perma-grump for a nanosecond or two. People who are positive are the ones who go out, actually DO things, learn about stuff, and generally are the ones in motion. I have really never met a positive person who was stuck in a rut and just happy with sitting there. It seems to me that positive people are constantly moving along in their own little stream, just bopping along and turning left and right as they see fit. When they run into an obstacle, they seem to just bounce off and try another way around instead of sitting there and staring at it.

Yes, this is what I am aiming for in my own life, so it only makes sense to get out and surround myself with other similar people so we can push each other along our little paths. Which leads me to the next topic…

Get out and meet strangers already
I can’t really do any of this stuff without going out and meeting strangers. I’ve been to a few parties this year alone where I didn’t know anyone else there, and you know what? It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. Talking to strangers is a little bit nerve-wracking, but it’s pretty freakin’ awesome when you randomly meet someone and you get along with practically no connection at all other than being at the same party.

Later this week I will actually be going to another party where I don’t know anyone else and I am really looking forward to it! I hope to find more friends that live close to me and have similar interests, but if I don’t find any, then that’s ok too. I’ll just keep plugging at it until I do.

And all of this going out and meeting new people is great, but everything starts at home so it’s important to…

Spend quality time with Mister
My Mister and I love each other, but damn if our schedules aren’t already so ridiculously packed with activities that it’s actually hard to find time to spend with each other. Our solution is actually to share an online calendar where we can see what the other person is up to and somehow work on being home together at least once a week. In addition to this, we’ve also introduced the idea of "hot dates" where we go to see a movie, or do some other activity we do together. And we get to hold hands. Yes, it is lovely and it reminds us to enjoy our lives together instead of constantly being on the go.

It’s good to be so busy, but sometimes it’s just good to spend an occasional evening on the sofa with your love next to you and the cat warming your lap.

Written by Reese

December 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Posted in just life

just stuff.

with 2 comments

Kuro goma mochi, a favourite snack

I haven’t posted here lately, but I’ve had plenty of ideas of what to write about. Somehow, I’ve just never gotten the chance to sit down and do anything about them, so here is a quick update on what I’ve been up to lately.

Knitting.

I’ve been knitting like a crazy mofo. The good thing is that it keep my hands busy and I feel very productive. The bad thing is that I like to knit with wool, which is a fiber that I am sensitive to and cannot wear, so I am planning to give these away to people as gifts sometime in the future, including this nice green hat.

Green hat

Photography.

I haven’t been doing much photography at all, but I did finally scan in the slide film that Jan sent me from Germany and I finally realise that slide film is pretty freakin’ awesome.

Also, I’ve thought about going back to just doing simple photos of food and stuff again because that simple stuff just makes me happy and I was starting to pressure myself too much to make “good” photos and not just upload all the crap that I shoot all the time. Oh, and I’ve realised that I shoot a whole lot of crap most of the time. Wow. I think my photos need a little bit less editing, and lot more FUN.

Bikey things.

I got a new bike and I haven’t ridden poor Dennis ever since. I am a huge fan of gears, now that I finally have them! Love… I continue to ride my bike every day and completely adore it. Riding my bike makes me happy.

Also, I made it to one of the SJ Fixed sprints and it was super fun meeting other bike people and watching the boys race. Boys on bikes make me so happy.

Written by Reese

December 1, 2009 at 10:35 pm

Posted in eating, shooting