I am so unbelievably tired today. I’m on coffee number 3 and I just spilled about 1/4 of that when I slammed my shoulder in to the door jam of my office on the way back from the coffee machine.
I started out for a walk at lunch, thinking it would wake me up but it was cold and I didn’t have the right jacket, so circled right back around to my office and pulled out the super light weight thermarest that I bought for backpacking but I actually use for sleeping under my desk in moments of exhausted desperation. (Only on lunch breaks… don’t get the wrong idea.)
I tried to nap. Unfortunately, earlier I had listened to “lecture one” of Storytelling for Business, trying to decide if I want to do the course. (Really I just want to take the storytelling workshop but since I don’t live in NYC this seemed like a cheap alternative and maybe it’d be good for my communication skills anyway.) At the end of the video he asks you to think of all the most extreme emotional moments in your life.
So I’m trying to fall asleep, laying under my desk, deep breathing, and cataloging all the most extreme emotional moments in my life. That last thing is not really conducive to sleep.
I finally managed to detach from my thinking and had just started to drift into the hypnagogic hallucination space when my alarm went off. So maybe I’m a little better than this morning. Maybe. I don’t really think so though.
Onward into the battle of the endless task list. I will be triumphant.
I have this little lump on my neck. I’ve had it for a long time, maybe 20 years. It’s really slow growing. It’s not super noticeable (at least, I like to think it’s not super noticeable) but since it’s going to keep growing slowly my doctor suggested I go to a plastic surgeon and get it removed. I’ve had it cat scanned and they told me it was a lipoma. The plastic surgeon today looked at it and told me four different things it could be. I don’t remember what they were but one of them, the least likely one, sounded like it could be a tiny Jonas Venture Junior.
She seemed to disagree with the lipoma diagnosis for some reason but suggested it was probably some other benign slow growing lump. I guess it makes no difference but I wish I’d been recording audio or taking notes or something because I can’t remember the specifics of what she said.
Because it’s closer to grape than pea size she wants to do it in a real operating room with someone to help. Probably also because there are a lot of important blood conduits and swallowing tubes in the area too. She says I don’t have to be totally sedated… in fact it’s up to me to decide. For some reason I don’t like the idea of going under. When I got my appendix out I remember trying really hard to stay awake. Good idea. I don’t want to fall asleep… no please, let me be awake while you stick a knife in my gut and fish around for some little infected wormy piece of intestine.
I like to think of myself as rational but I know I’m human, and broken just like everybody else. I’m sure I should choose to be sedated.
The first couple times I got wisdom teeth out it was just with local anesthetic and it was really no big deal. Kind of weird feeling your head getting wrenched around from inside but no big deal. Then my big fear was dry socket. I still smoked so I had good reason to be afraid, but my fear kept me vigilant and I avoided it. So the most recent time I needed to get a wisdom tooth removed I thought… what the hell, even if it sucks, it only takes about 30 seconds. What’s 30 seconds? Suffer and move on. This tooth was more complicatedand for some reason I really felt like I was in a horror movie even though I really thought I was going in to it in the right frame of mind. They had to shatter the tooth to get it out, the tooth bits flying all over the room. I heard some of them hit the wall. I still think it was only 30 seconds but it was a very long 30 seconds.
So I’ll have about a 1″ scar right across my throat. I need to come up with a more interesting story than “I had a lump removed.”
One of my favorite moments in life is when you suddenly learn to see a new thing. This happened to me recently with Beech Drops.
A few months ago I was making an inaturalist list of Plants of Zurich Bog based on a little booklet from the 50s or 60s. The project turned out to be far more difficult and time consuming than I expected due to changes in scientific names but I didn’t realize this until I was way to deep in to turn back. As a human being I’m just not very good at knowing when to quit.
Somewhere near the bottom of the list I stumbled on Beech Drops, which I’d never heard of. We have a beech woods on our property and so that seemed like a habitat I should be familiar with. Suddenly I remembered seeing them, but not seeing them, thinking they were just a dead plant as much as you think about something that you aren’t really noticing.
Walking in the woods last week I saw them and recognized them. It’s like learning a new word and now I see them everywhere.
Don’t worry. I’m sure I’ll get bored with these soon. Going to Niagara Falls next weekend though so who knows what I’ll feel compelled to do there.
I got really sucked in to making tiny planets, pretty much the whole weekend. A lot of them didn’t work very well. I’d run out, take a set of pictures, run back in… madly try to turn them into cool planets, and discover that the trees were too tall or the ground was too detailed or it just looked less interesting that I’d hoped. So, I’d think of someplace else I should try it and run back out again. I even climbed up on the roof of the house, discovered I left the memory card in the computer, climbed down, climbed back up again, and then failed to produce a good planet-worthy panorama.
I downloaded an open source panorama stitching program called Hugin – Panorama Photo stitcher and that made many more things possible. It took me some messing around to get it working right but it was totally worth it.
The planet above is made from a panorama I made out of more than 26 photos. My camera’s stitch assist stops counting at 26.
I decided to start playing with making tiny planets yesterday. This is my first one. It’s our neighbor’s barn.
I took German in high school but I wouldn’t say I gave it my best effort at the time. They asked what languages we wanted to learn in junior high. I selected French or Spanish, so of course, I ended up in German once I landed in high school. I don’t think my lack of effort was exactly a protest against this twist of fate. Really it was a generalized protest against everything. I didn’t really put my full effort into much of anything during that phase of my life.
Despite 2 or 3 years of high school German (whichever amount was required by Regents in the early 90s), I don’t remember much beyond a few nouns, verbs, and adjectives. I remember a chart that Mr. Thomas had that was supposed to help us figure out when to use der and when to use den and all the other crazy conjugations. It was a mystery to me then. I wish I had that chart now.
I downloaded DuoLingo for my phone a few weeks ago and I’m pretty addicted. I’m very motivated by badges and little positive dinging sounds when I get things right. Maybe I’ll magically be a fluent German speaker someday after all. It’s worth a shot.
Maybe this is kind of like the time I read 1/3 of Jude the Obscure in high school and gave up because I was lazy and it was depressing. I went back and read it as an adult out of guilt and I really liked it. The book was a pit of despair but a really good one.
Hopefully my brain will thank me for putting it through it’s paces. I thought just doing DuoLingo wouldn’t really be enough, so I found a podcast called Coffee Break German. I’ve been listening to it in the car on my way to work, I’m only up to episode 9 but I’m absorbing some of it. I’m managing to dream about German a few nights a week which I take as a good sign that I’m working hard enough on it that my brain is paying attention.
Youtube is a fun place to look for foreign language videos with subtitles. I found a German Language cooking show, hosted by a dude with a pug dog named Rudy. The subtitles are pretty handy too.
Today I learned Rhubarb is Rhabarber in German. I have also learned that Orange Fanta can be a cake ingedient. I’m not sure Pizza mit Spragel is pizza. I don’t think that’s cheese on there. I think it’s something called Schmand which is… sour cream? I’m not sure I can get behind sour cream as a replacement for cheese on pizza. Maybe. Who knows.
But if I was, everything could end in hugs.
My driver’s side front tire was completely flat after work today. I stood staring at it for a while wondering if maybe there was just enough air in it to drive to the closest gas station. A coworker happened by and suggested I check with security to see if they could help.
I feel that I should paint the scene of the inside of my car a little here.
It looks a little (or a lot) like something from hoarders. It’s always a mess. There’s been a rubber unicorn mask, a pair of hulk hands, a bike helmet, and a pair of cowboy boots rolling around in the hatchback since maybe… last Halloween. A couple of shopping bags with returnable cans joined the junk show a few months ago, and about a month ago Brian put the junk from his trunk in the back seat as a quick way to clear out his car so we could pack it for vacation (2 garbage bags full of can returns).
I’ve been meaning to drop them in the collection bin for the Midlakes wrestling team ever since but it is 4 miles out of my way.
Anyway despite my embarrassing hoarder car, I march over to security to request assistance. They were happy to help.
The first air tank they brought was empty but they just thought the gauge was broken at first. One of them left and came with another tank. I shouldn’t have told them I’d had valve stem problems in the past. After they freed all the air from the tank without my tire inflating they decided that my valve was the problem suggested I call for a tow.
While I was rooting around in hoarder land trying to get access to my donut without dumping junk all over the parking lot, I discovered that our air compressor was actually in my car. I didn’t have total faith that the security guys were right so I hooked it up about 10 minutes later my tire was full. The whole time I was hoping they wouldn’t drive by and see, partly because I had the air compressor and hadn’t needed to waste their time, and partly because I appreciated their willingness to help even though they hadn’t managed to fix the situation.
I made it all the way home with no problems, though I stopped to check the tire a couple of times.
When I got home I found that a can of shaving cream had “exploded” in the shower. Unrelated except for the theme of lost air pressure.
This is just a camping prelude post. We’re camping with good friends at Taughannock Falls this weekend. The weather looks like it’ll be pretty nice, unlike last year’s weekend at Buttermilk Falls in the middle of a terrible heat wave. We’re actually staying 2 nights which should be nice. I really don’t like staying just one night most of the time, then it’s all about set up and less about just relaxing and enjoying your surroundings.
Hopefully it’ll be warm enough to appreciate swimming in Cayuga Lake. I’m pretty sure that’s a cold lake.
The next weekend we’re headed to the Adirondacks for a week. I’m 15lbs lighter than I was last year so hopefully that’ll make up for the actual lack of fitness training. I think we’re going to stay in the same place though I’ve toyed with trying out Wilmington Notch. Next year, when Brian is done with school, maybe we’ll try for something more adventurous.
I need to pick some nice hikes. Maybe we can try for Big Slide. We did the Brothers a few years ago and it was awesome. I think it’s been long enough that it wouldn’t feel repetitive to try for that again. anyhoo… I really should get off my butt and make some campground reservations, but then we wouldn’t end up in site 37 again. We always end up there because it’s the walk in site and I don’t make reservations because like to pretend I might mix it up and go someplace different, but I never do.