Dinah - preferences Archives
So now you know how it goes... 2012
Today's happy place: Watching Arlo's theme song again after all these years "A, a, a is for Arlo…" Hello!
recharging with routine 2012
After an an intensely social/eventful (& lovely) weekend, falling gratefully into mundane routines. Ready for comfort of order restoration.
still great 2012
Another great day of D&D and delicious food with my awesome pals @thelancearthur, @george08, @somethingmodern, & @someben. Happy Dinah!
Not by any stretch actually an early morning person 2012
Mercifully, "morning of Joe's 5am alarm" & "morning of pre-6am start of helicopter noise" coinciding. Wouldn't want this for days in a row.
Training a night owl 2012
My new habit of going to bed earlier (Joe time) is starting to work. Sleepy at 11pm. Part of me thinks that's just sad, but [at least I made the bed today]: Clean sheets!
New researcher gear for Dinah! 2012
Thanks to @thelancearthur's sharp eyes and insider info, I now have a lightweight mug and a new backpack for books/laptop.
See the fine researcher-friendly features of my swanky new Timbuk2 Q backpack ($99):
- Easy access separate front pocket for empty lightweight mug (Delta Insulmug, bought at REI, $16). I can stroll out of the house with my morning tea, finish it before I go in a library, shake or wipe it dry, and then have it out of my way until the next morning.
- Separate pocket for laptop power cable. Love!
- The usual nice organizer found in Timbuk2 bags. I've stocked this bag with its basics (pens, pencil, good eraser, library and museum membership cards, business cards, a few little scraps of paper for noting call numbers, iPhone cable and earbuds, tissues in case of poorly serviced bathrooms, hand sanitizer, handkerchief, a few cough drops, a Luna Bar).
- Big space for books, including a mesh pocket for large supplies like my bookweight.
- Side-access padded laptop pocket.
This will be my third Timbuk2 bag, I believe, plus I've made good use of Joe's smaller messenger bag. Great products—and so pleasing to be able to buy locally.
And a photo (taken by Deanna) for our Flickr friend Peter thousands of miles away.
And a photo by Uncle Larry:
Weeding through old bits of paper... 2011
One of my Discardian goals is to have nothing which I have not consciously looked at in the past two years and said "Yes. I still want this." Every possession's 'service contract' is up for renewal or I'm canceling it.
Now this is a big undertaking. I have not suffered a big loss of stuff. There has been no fire or tornado or other disaster to destroy any home I've ever lived in. I have stuff that dates back through my entire life, and I've got some things from my parents, grandparents, and ancestors further back. I have made big moves – to college, to a year abroad, to Hawaii for six months – but all of those took place when my childhood home was still owned by my folks. That big old Victorian house had plenty of room for me to tuck things away while I was gone. It was not until they sold that house in the late 1990s that I really had to start winnowing down. Even so, I lived in big enough places (or had kindly friends with basement storage to spare) that I was able to keep a lot of stuff.
The first really stern paring down of my belongings happened in 2002, when I moved to San Francisco, with all the self-focus and self-reinvention that that move usually implies. This is a city which encourages you to be true to yourself and shed your old snakeskins. It was at the end of that year that I invented Discardia. Since then, I've been very consciously evaluating what I have and letting go of what isn't bringing me utility and pleasure.
There are still boxes to go through, however. Not many, but some. Today I sorted through a box of papers and put them into the recycling bin or one of a very small number of piles: shred, scan and toss the original, file (almost entirely health and taxes stuff, all of which I plan to re-evaluate and pare down in a subsequent project), and "capture into blog or contacts or something else digital" (the scan stuff actually is destined for that category after it's digitized as a picture).
So what are these bits and bobs that I am not ready to just toss? Ideas, memories, contact information, and personal history data that tells when I was where doing what. Here are the bits that don't fit in somewhere else, put into my blog where I can easily search for them.
- books I'm glad I read a long time ago (that helped shape my thinking): Kevin A. Lynch's Good City Form (which I think was assigned in a class as an undergrad at UCSC).
- on my first visit to New York City I planned a walk for myself with these notes: "St. Pat's -> Park Ave downtown to maybe duck in at Waldorf Astoria at E 49th, continue on Park, Grand Central Terminal, west exit, 42nd, Madison, "Library Way", 5th, downtown, pass Empire State Building". On that first trip Joe and I went to the Campbell Apartments, WD-50 (appetizers, Rye & Quince cocktail, and a happy introduction to Amaro Montenegro), and Pegu Club.
- The Rye & Quince led us to seek out quince syrup which we found at Kalamala.com, "The Online Iranian Grocery Store". Along with that essential ingredient for a very tasty cocktail, we got a bunch of wacky stuff from them including willow water which is basically a refreshing-ish aspirin beverage. They currently only have quince lemon syrup which looks different from what we bought before, so I'm going to keep questing. Been craving a Rye & Quince again.
- Why the hell isn't Bill Irwin's brilliant show The Regard of Flight available on DVD? Grrr. Use the device, people!
It has just occurred to me that I can make my contact lists a lot easier to work with if I put zzz in front of the names of those I no longer am in regular contact with but for whom I want to keep the last known contact info. (I know, I know, I should use tagging or something, but this method will sync between any system I've got. Sometimes crude is more compatible.)
reading on the porch 2010
Significant repeated themes & motifs in my life 2009
I'm reading Sarah Susanka's The Not So Big Life and while some of it gets a little woo-woo new agey for me, I'm generally enjoying it. The pieces which are more tightly connected to her brilliant work as an architect and thinker on how we can occupy spaces that keep us happier are better than the generic spiritualism, I find.
Along the way there are various self-exploration exercises. Here's the list I brainstormed up about what are the significant and/or recurring themes/motifs/objects in my life.
- checkerboard spheres
- little whimsical things (but non-obviously so)
- approximately Edwardian things and art
- unexpected angles (thinking here of the ceilings of my room as a kid, of a little table I have from the club I used to work at)
- public transit (and I was writing this brainstormed list on the MTA originally)
- fresh produce
- simple, practical, sturdy, beautiful objects (e.g. a wool blanket I bought in Scotland the summer after high school and still use regularly)
- Japanese art and design
- sleeping enough (or more than enough)
- dark bedrooms
- practical shoes
- The Web
- Macs and iPhones
- music usually playing
- sounds of the world
- San Francisco
- places where redwoods grow
- sourdough French bread
- British humor
- dictionaries and encyclopedias
- spring green
- all natural greens, really
- guitar music
- The Beatles
- Vince Guaraldi
- fresh-cooked meals
- uncomplicated starts to the day
- naturalness (e.g. no makeup, honesty)
- dark chocolate
- the feel of clean sheets
- being warm enough
- noticing details
- old houses and new houses with a sense of time and detail
- Victorian houses
- Craftsman furniture
- Craftsman aesthetics
- trying out new foods
- perpetual upgrade
Dinah offers Joe some delicious peel 2008
Detox/Recharge project 2007
step 1: reduce visual clutter
Gotta get the bedroom nice so I wake up to a non-stressful environment.
clutter reduction continued
Someday we'll get a coat rack instead of piling our hoodies on the library stair/chair, but it works for now.
step 2: stage things for next activities
step 3: optimize for relaxed housemate
windowseat primed with New York Times, Wired & New Yorker for Joe to recline with when he gets back from day 2 (of 3) of his class for work
step 4: get clean
I even shaved my legs, a hassle I confess to frequently putting off...
step 5: good dinner & scratch some things off the general shopping list
Step 6 not photographed: Sleep as long as I want, which turned out to be over 10 hours.
At Imperial Tea Court 2006
Um, so yes, Joe returned from his big trip where he went around the world and drank lots of good tea and walked in urban areas and sat in coffeehouses and uh went walking around SF with me to coffeehouses and tea shops. We have our shared tastes.
Oddly, the cupboard door fell off this morning 2006
No harm done. I opened the cupboard and the top hinge & top screw of the bottom hinge completely disengaged. I held it shut with my left hand, not wanting to strip the bottom screw hole, reached to the drawer with my right hand, pulled out my convertable screwdriver, swapped to a standard head, and unscrewed the screw all one-handed. Felt very studly about the whole maneuver, primarily because my kitchen drawer was pleasingly in order with the screwdriver right there where it should be.
at Golden Gate Antiques 2006
Alphabetizing therapy 2006
When I'm stressed (yesterday was a crappy day; it's bad enough to have someone leap to unfounded conclusions, worse when they blog it as fact) I find it very soothing to put something in order. Since my life is actually pretty great right now and things are ticking over well at work, the CDs got the attention.
There's a big stack of soundtracks/cast recordings, compilations, jazz, and classical out of frame to the left.
These CDs now represent my real iTunes collection. The stuff I've wound up not liking - rating it lower & lower and then deleting it - is listed on lala.com and in a box in the living room ready to be shipped out when someone wants it.
Aptly brand-named skirt 2006
Original price well over $200.
Even Halcyon wouldn't look good in this.
Green! GREEN! Man, I love the green hills of spring. 2006
I like the rear view mirror image as well. This came out pretty well considering I hadn't even looked while I took it.
Rain & green grass in Sonoma/Marin
I love spring.
I love brussels sprouts. 2006
No, really, I could stop any time.
(I do like that I now have a pair for every day of the week).
A tour of Dinah's cube 2006
Why do that? (NYPL online style guide to XHTML) Here's why. (Jeff Veen's The Business Value of Web Standards)
JJG and Peter Morville Information Architecture principles. S.R. Ranganathan quote "To be literate is to possess the cow of plenty"
(obscurely positioned where most do not see it: )
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
- George Bernard Shaw
I've had this quote up at work for at least the last two jobs.
New improved bedroom! 2006
On the left, The Cheap Pillow. Ikea. $7. And I like it better than the pricy one.
On the right, Joe says, "The Good Pillow". a.k.a. the $125 pillow. a.k.a. the After You've Spent Over $2K On A Bed You're Shell-Shocked Enough To Be A Sucker pillow.
43 things worth doing 2005
My part-time housemate Shannon just introduced me to 43 Things. It's a wonderful site for talking about your goals and dreams. Very cool, very encouraging.
I've already added 20 things to my list.
Things that annoy me: 2004
Web sites that insist on your selecting a title - Mr. Mrs. Ms. - before you can submit your registration (e.g. Audible.com).
I am as offended by a requirement to state my gender as I would be by one to state my race.