a left-eyed girl

living in a 2 dimensional world

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Tonight I cuddled with E as she lay on my shoulder. Her hair brushed against my cheek. Those soft waves of dark brown, almost black hair. We’d already turned off the lights so I couldn’t see her, but I felt her contentedly burrowed into me, her steady breathing whispering in the darkness.

As I waited for her to fall asleep, I thought about how both kids had inherited my soft, slightly wavy hair instead of their father’s stiff straight hair. I already knew all the struggles they’d have with their hair, our hair. The grass is always greener, or something like that. I’d gone through many years of curling or straightening it, dyeing it any color I thought might work, trying all different hairstyles before I’d found something that worked for me. They’d probably go through similar stages, trying all kinds of looks. Girls can be chameleons in a way.

I also thought about all the other struggles they’d have in their lives. And all the issues I’d have to watch them going through, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to help. Many would be ones they’d need to work out themselves. Learning to love others and themselves, finding a place where they fit and were accepted.

Maybe that’s one of the harder bits of parenting. I haven’t done it before either, so all I can do is roll with the punches as they come.

Written by Reese

May 28, 2017 at 5:10 am

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I’m sat in a small room with one window, three television screens, and about 20 pink chairs. There is a mother and her daughter sitting at the opposite end of the room. The large ice cream vending machine behind me has been making various whirring sounds for the past 25 minutes. I’ve tried to find a pattern but it’s near impossible.

One of the three video screens is showing my daughter L’s swimming class. The seventh floor gallery was too full of people today so I am here on the third floor, watching from a television. 

The vending machine suddenly stops.

The room is quiet except for the kid doing her homework; she’s quietly reading the questions to herself.

The sound is off on the televisions so I continue to watch the swimming class in near silence, only the distant sound of a train chugging by every few minutes.

I always think to spend this time doing something constructive like reading or knitting, but instead I often spend it browsing social media sites on my phone or napping. My younger daughter, E, is always with me too. She spends most swimming practices sleeping but sometimes she is awake and I’m not allowed to sit still. Instead we walk around and go up and down the stairs until the class is over.

Two more women have come to the waiting room. They are chatting quite loudly and I hope they won’t wake up E from her nap. The vending machine hasn’t turned back on so I think about all the ice cream slowly getting warm deep inside the machine. I know it’ll kick on as soon as the ice cream warms past a certain point. Or at least I hope it will.

Written by Reese

May 22, 2017 at 1:28 am

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Unsure where my creative feelings have gone. Mostly I spend my time knitting or sewing small things when I feel like making something.

Oh and cooking too. Always cooking with me.

But here is a handbag I made lately. It still needs a proper liner in.

Written by Reese

November 21, 2015 at 4:10 pm

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I recently got to try a Chinese pastry called 老婆饼, also known as sweetheart cake or wife cake. It’s a flaky baked pastry filled with a mixture of candied wintermelon, sesame seeds, coconut shreds, and almond paste. The texture is flaky on the outside, as expected, and slightly chewy on the inside. The coconut flavour is pretty distinct, and it’s pretty much all I could taste for the filling, but I’ll go ahead and believe that there is probably wintermelon in there too.

The whole thing kinda reminds me of hopia, a filipino pastry with the same flaky outside, but usually filled with sweetened bean pastes. My favourite fillings are mungo (mung bean) and ube (purple yam).

Written by Reese

February 13, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Posted in just life

How 2012 has been doing so far

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I don’t know how 2012 has been treating you, but so far it’s been a wonderful year. Some of my friends have started new adventures, some are planning for some big changes, and it seems that all around 2012 is going to be a good one.

At least I’m really hoping so!

I don’t make new year resolutions because I think they’re tacky and, let’s face it, everyone else does them, so why should I do it too? I know, I am such a lame little rebel. So even though, I prefer not to call them my resolutions, of course I’ve sat and thought what kinds of goals I’d like to accomplish this year in my life. I don’t think I’ll be successful at all of them, but it’s nice to dream, right?

My short list 2012 goals:

  • Continue to ride my bike as much as I can
  • Remember to get in touch with friends that I don’t see very often
  • Spend time with Fran
  • Re-learn Bach’s Italian Concerto in its entirety. Memorization possible, but optional.
  • Meet and become moderate friends with at least two new people

I don’t think I’m asking for too much here, so it should be achievable. The only one I’d worry about is that last goal of making two new friends. Even though I’m quite sociable, I find it difficult to make friends past the acquaintance level. I could say that it’s just harder at my age, but that’s honestly just an excuse. It’s true that a lot of people I met already have full social schedules, but that’s not why I have trouble getting past acquaintances. It’s more of a personal problem of not giving myself over more fully to friends to let us become closer. There’s always that slight wall to climb, eh?

But anyway, I’m going to try my best to allow myself to get in situations where I can meet new people. Maybe the hardest part is simply getting out there and opening up. After that, things usually quite fall into place once you find common interests.

Written by Reese

February 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm

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Update from the Bike Lane

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Every morning, I take the long way to work. It takes me about 45 minutes going that way, compared to about 25 minutes going the most direct way. Along this longer path, I pass by a couple schools, which means that I pass by the same crossing guards every morning that school is in session.

This morning, I approached one such intersection, complete with traffic light, all-way walk signal, and crossing guard that always greets me with a very hearty, "Good morning miss!!" I usually wait for the light and then zip across with car traffic, but this morning I got to the light with 24 seconds still left on the countdown, so I dismounted and walked across the intersection.

I passed by the crossing guard and we greeted each other with the usual "good mornings," but then he said to me, as I was getting back on my bike, "I want to tell you something. You are really gorgeous!"

Oh my, it’s amazing how a random compliment really made my morning. I smiled the entire rest of the way to work.

Written by Reese

October 13, 2011 at 10:43 am

Posted in just life

It’s just a number

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Each and every morning I weigh myself on a scale that I bought about 4-5 years ago. It’s one of those semi-fancy scales that also measures your body fat based on your conductivity. "The experts" say that weighing yourself everyday doesn’t help you lose weight because it can be demoralizing and inaccurate. I know that when I see a number higher than yesterday’s number, I do get a little peeved at myself for letting the number go up. It’s completely irrational, but I can’t seem to help myself. It’s an automatic self-judgement.

Body weight fluctuates from day to day, based on a number of outside factors like hydration, the status of your bowels, when you last ate or worked out, etc. Over the years of daily weigh-ins, I know that my weight typically fluctuates within a range of 5 pounds. My weight probably ranges about 3-4 pounds in the course of a single day. After you add in the fluctuations due to the menstrual cycle, it’s pretty clear that the weight number isn’t very dependable.

On top of this, measuring body fat via conductivity is not exactly the most accurate method since it does not take hydration into account. The more hydrated you are, the more conductive you are, and this will decrease the body fat percent the scale tells you. If you could be similarly hydrated everyday, then this method might work well for you, but it’s hard to tell exactly how hydrated you are each day. This number obviously fluctuates.

So even knowing all of this, and understanding that what happens on the scale is (relatively) within my control, why does it still bother me to see my weight fluctuate to the top end of my acceptable limit? It doesn’t ruin my day, but I usually silently call myself fat and will sometimes withhold food from myself based solely on the day’s numbers.

Isn’t this such a "girl" thing to do?

But wait, athletes get obsessed with their weight and how much they workout and consume, don’t they? Back in the day (when I was heavier) I used to think they were so crazy. The wrestlers in my high school seemed to be more obsessed than any other athlete because your weight dictated which weight class you were allowed to fight in. I remember one guy weight one pound too much before his weigh-in, and he put on sweatpants and a heavy pullover and ran around the building in the heat until he’d sweated the pound off. Now that’s crazy.

I’m thankful that I’m not so crazy that the bathroom scale would bring me to tears. I try not to obsess about it, but sometimes when I’m in a crappy mood already, it does make me feel even crappier and I wish it wasn’t like that. Just a number, just a data point, right? It doesn’t make me less valuable if I’m up a pound from last week, and it doesn’t make me cooler/prettier/etc if I’m down a pound. But sometimes, it’s tough to tell myself that.

After all, it’s just a number, and it only has power over me if I let it.

Written by Reese

September 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Posted in just life

Seeking something inside the emulsion

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I recently received a camera from a friend who found it at a flea market. He didn’t know how well it worked, but he bought it anyway and gave it to me. I changed out the seals and ran a couple rolls through to see how well it worked. It takes an outdated battery, so I took it out and just used it without a lightmeter. Luckily, the camera is full mechanical, so it doesn’t need a battery in order to make photos.

Cleaning up my act

Oddly enough the first roll I finished was of colour film, which takes me forever to develop. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I quickly loaded up a roll of black and white and developed the roll a day or two after I finished it. My developing is pretty shoddy, but I managed to get a few photos out of it that I was pleased with.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep Thank you. I love you.

So yes, thank you, friend for the new camera.

Since I only had one roll of from this film and my canister takes two 35mm rolls, I magically found another roll of the same film, exposed at the same speed, so I developed them together. Turns out these photos were a bit older, from February 2011. Really reminded me of how much I missed shooting film, how much I liked seeing how the photos turned out a few weeks (or months) later. Again, I was pretty happy with these photos, which really pleases me.

Part 1 Part 2 Just the half

Obviously, now I think I have to start shooting more.

Written by Reese

September 13, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Posted in just life

Where I’ve Been Lately

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The blog has been quiet, and it’s because the headspace has been a little bit too confusing to even start to lay anything out in writing. Writing is how I get myself sorted from time to time, but I haven’t been able to even get hold of anything to start trying to unwind, so my thoughts have become more and more tangled to the point where nothing I wrote made any sense.

I started a lot of entries; obviously, I didn’t finish any of them.

So this is where I decide to start figuring everything out, or at least to wipe it all clean and start all over again, because I’m not even sure where to start.

I guess I’ll just start. And I’ll use "we" because it really does encompass the two of us, not just me and my own life.

We spent a lot of our energy working towards something, but then it dropped out of our reach, and now we’re figuring out how to fill the void, how to finish the mourning period. It sounds a lot more dramatic than it is, but it really is a kind of mourning. No one died, but it was the death of possibility that is what we’ve been working through. Throughout it all, we’re trying to remember that we have each other, that no matter what happens or doesn’t happen in the future, we have each other to lean on. We don’t both have to be strong all the time. We can let ourselves be weak if we need to be.

We’ve learned a lot about our relationship and about ourselves. That being open and honest, even if what you’re saying is disagreeable, is still the best way to go. That letting another person see your weakness is not a bad thing. That feelings don’t have to have reasons, and that sometimes it’s most important just to feel them and let them work their way through your system instead of ignoring them.

All that anger, fear, hopelessness… it has to go somewhere right? You can’t just let it sit and sit, while you smile on the outside and push it all aside to get on with your day. That’s definitely not the best policy because it only seems to hurt more later on when you do finally face things.

And so I’m wiping the slate. It’s my birthday today, and I’m going to look at the upcoming months as a new time. I could have picked any upcoming day to make meaningful. It didn’t have to be on my birthday, but as it is, my birthday falls fortuitously and therefore I will give it some gravity. Well, some gravity, and some lightness as well.

I still feel empty inside. For months, I’d put so much of my energy into something that I no longer have, so it only makes sense to feel sad about it, to mourn what could have been. I’m not silly enough to think that emotions go away so quickly, that feelings just disappear like wisps of smoke. It’s going to take some time to fill that void back up again, to figure out that the future is endless and just because one door closed doesn’t mean I’ll be stuck standing out in the hallway forever. There’s a path out there somewhere. I probably can’t see it now, but it’s there.

We’ll figure it out.

Written by Reese

September 12, 2011 at 11:12 am

Posted in just life

5onFriday: EverGrateful Edition

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The last few weeks have been somewhat emotionally rough for me. I’ve been feeling generally unhappy. I know I’m not supposed to be happy all the time (jeez, what kind of empty life would that be?), but I know I’m not supposed to feel so down in the dumps that everything feels like I’m seeing it through a haze either.

(I’ve tried to write about this several times, but I haven’t been able to. It may be that I’m finally feeling stable enough that I can without degenerating into hopeless blathering and a general woe-is-me-so-feel-sorry-for-me.)

But yes, I’m feeling especially grateful today, on this last Friday in July. Time hurtles forward, with or without my consent, and I’ve had a bit of a hard time accepting this recently. O-bla-di, o-bla-da, life goes on, brahhhh. We just have to live and learn and maybe figure out how to handle things a bit better the next time. Always forward, yes?

This past week, I’ve been grateful that:

1. I was able to donate blood this week
I’ve donated (or attempted to donate) blood steadily over the past 2 years. About half the time, I get rejected, usually for low-iron. I’m very happy to say that I marginally passed all the tests this past week and was able to donate a nice pint.

2. The Presidio makes for a great evening bike ride
Had a chance to finally take a mostly solo ride through the Presidio this week. It’s been a while since I’ve had the time and energy to take a ride there. A little solitude in a quiet place is good for me.

3. Frannie and I continue to consciously make time to be together
The past week has been busy for both of us and we’ve not had much time together in the evenings or the mornings. I typically leave for work when he’s still sleeping, and sometimes I’ll go to bed before he comes home at night if he has a late hockey game. We’re both aware that we haven’t spent much time catching up with each other, so we both make an effort to have a dedicated date night where we have dinner together and maybe do something fun. Sometimes I want to spend all my free time with him, but I know that our relationship is better when our lives are balanced, when we’re spending a good chunk of our time apart developing our individual lives. We love each other and love to be together, but we also know how to stand on our own two feet.

4. I’ve been able to enjoy some time alone
When I’m feeling down in the dumps, all I want is to not spread my doom and gloom around my friends or have to deal with trying to be socially acceptable. Also, listening to whiny friends is extra draining when I’m not feeling so hot myself, so I tend to cut myself off for a little bit while I work on feeling better. It’s been so great that I haven’t had to attend many social events these past few weeks, and the ones I’ve chosen to attend have been nothing but good for me and everyone else. I feel so grateful for having the option to choose to spend my time with people who are positive, fun, and supportive. I don’t always have the option to make choices like that (obligations to family and friends), so I am especially grateful that I’ve had that freedom these past few weeks.

5. Creative outlets have become enjoyable again
For me, being depressed means not enjoying my usual creative outlets, namely reading, writing, and photography. I don’t sit around and bemoan, "If only I spent more of my time doing such-and-such." Instead, I just sit around and not do it, and then when I feel like doing it, I make time and do it. No use complaining about not having time to do something, when you obviously have other more pressing concerns that are taking priority. I’m finally starting to feel more excited about making photographs, reading books, and writing my own short vignettes again. Basically, I have enough surplus energy to do these things, instead of all the energy being taken up by feeling depressed or anxious (and yes, it’s a serious energy-suck), and I am so very grateful to feel more even-tempered.

Well that wraps it up for me. What have you been happy about this past week?

Written by Reese

July 29, 2011 at 10:49 am

Posted in just life