"We are all of us living in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." ~Oscar Wilde
"Adventure is worthwhile in itself." ~Amelia Earhart

November 8, 2015

The Haunted Pond

There's a park near here with a small pond and walking trails called Wood Lake Nature Center. Occasionally, I'll go walking down there. It's almost always during the daytime. Well, a few weeks ago, I went very early in the morning. The sun hadn't even come up yet. And as I started walking down the paths, it was a little hard to see. While there's no lighting along the paths, a tiny bit of light from the surrounding city illuminates everything just enough that you know you're not going to trip over anything. Or at least you would hope that's true. At that hour of the morning, a light mist also covers everything. So, even though I'm the hugest atheist and really don't believe in anything spooky, everything looks a little, well.. spooky at that time of the day.

It wasn't too bad until suddenly I let my imagination get away from me. I glanced at one of the many benches that line the paths and thought, 'Gee, I hope the woman memorialized on that bench's plaque doesn't haunt these trails, walking them forever and ever.' And now I can't walk there at dusk or dawn anymore. And I've renamed it The Haunted Pond.

November 7, 2015

New Chromebook

About a week or two ago, I bought a new Chromebook. It was only $150 and I didn't really expect much from it. If it was nothing more than a word processor, I would've been totally happy. Well, I've had it for a week and it's been more than I could've expected. Not only can I use Google Docs (both online and offline) but I can stream from Spotify and Netflix, surf the web, (It even plays Facebook games! I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad.), update this blog, and do some very basic photo editing. I'm sure it'll do even more. I usually read e-books on my phone or my Kindle but I'm sure I can do that here as well.

There are things that it can't do, of course. I'll never be able to install The Sims or any standalone PC games like that. But that's no big deal. I also need to be connected to wi-fi for most of these things to function. It's not very difficult to find wifi these days, though. And I can always edit documents offline in Google Docs.

This'll be great for when I travel basically. And if I'm travelling, I don't really want to sit around playing computer games.  I used to have a Kindle Fire but I strongly prefer this since it has a full keyboard. And I always hated surfing the web in that tablet's Silk browser.

November 6, 2015

Boots The Cat

So, what new news shall I talk about? Ah, yes, the most important one! We got a cat. His name is Boots and he arrived the day before yesterday. His first night here, he stayed on the first floor. But as soon as I showed him the basement, he got skittish and scared about the first floor. Now, it's nearly impossible to lure him out of that level. Light and sound terrify him now.

Last night, I stayed down there with my Chromebook, trying to make him more comfortable. It seems to have worked a little. At least now he's not hiding behind a desk in the back room. He sleeps on the couch. Occasionally, we can lure him upstairs and he'll eat a bit. There's a litter box and water for him down there. He spooks at every sound. I guess it's a new environment and, of course, some cats are going to be frightened. I'm sure it'll just take time for him to get braver.

It probably doesn't help that The Cat Whose Name Shall Not Be Spoken is not happy about his presence. Though she hasn't actually attacked him, if he gets too close, she hisses. Boots really just wants to be friends but TCWNSNBS isn't having any of it. I don't think there'll actually be any problem but I doubt they will ever be friends.

Anyway, Boots was formerly a barn cat that lived with my mother's friends out in rural Minnesota. He kept killing birds so she wanted him out of her garden. And we were people she trusted so she didn't feel guilty about giving him away.

November 5, 2015

Should I Get Back Into Blogging?

Note: Sorry about the length of this post. It feels like it's much too long for a personal journal post. I totally do not blame anybody who looks at it and mutters "Too long, didn't read".

I've been thinking about getting back into blogging. As you can see, I'm obviously here and I'm obviously doing it. There were a few things that started this off. First of all, an old name came back to me from the days when I blogged. I used to read her blog on the regular and it made me curious about what she was doing these days. So I looked her up on Google and discovered her YouTube channel and text blog. She's REALLY into journalling and her posts kind of intrigued me and made me think about blogging again. I've decided not to publish her name just because it's probably a little weird that her name pops into my head out of the blue years after I've read or even commented on her blogs. Haha, I don't want her to think it's weird or stalkerish (which it totally is not). Again, the only reason I mention it is to explain why I decided to blog again.

A second thing that spurred it on was coming across an article mentioning morning pages. Morning pages are a technique recommended by the author of "The Artist's Way", Julie Cameron. I was a little surprised to come across it because, many years ago, I borrowed that book from the library. I then moved cross-country and never returned it. It's been sitting on my bookshelf ever since. (Just for the record, the library system realized who I was when I returned to Minnesota and got a new library card. So I did pay for it eventually! ...Way too much actually.) Anyway, the morning pages technique is to basically write out three pages longhand of stream of consciousness every day in a 8X11 notebook. I don't know why I started doing this but, about a week ago, I did. I think it was the looming start date of Nanowrimo, which I always intend to do but never do. In my Google Docs folder, there's a 12,000 word manuscript of a terrible unfinished novel. So obviously I started doing it one year and got distracted. Anyway I'm rambling. Back to the topic! Like I said, I started doing the morning pages and, at first, I was painfully slow at it. For one, I'd get distracted because honestly it's damn difficult to think about three pages worth of topics to write about, especially when you first start  And two, it was actually physically difficult to write longhand for that many pages. I rarely do it anymore so my hand would be exhausted by the end of the first page. Since I started, it's become quicker. I can get the three pages done in 45 minutes or less. It would be faster on the computer but I'm choosing to "follow the rules". Besides, it's building up my handwriting, a possibly archaic skill these days.

And the morning pages really have helped. This is a terrible thing to admit to but I really don't have to think about anything these days. Everything in my life can be done in a very monotonous and robotic manner. It forces me to think up subjects, I guess.

If you're reading this blog, you might notice that I had a bunch of video blogs posted before this. I tried to get into the whole YouTube thing but I am the exact opposite of somebody who takes selfies all day. I'm really not fond of looking at myself all day. I can't do it. While I COULD simply tape a webcam monologue and throw it on YouTube (and I may do that on occasion in the future), I tend to think they should be edited together with at least a little bit of professionalism most of the time. I hate doing YouTube videos.

So I'm going to challenge myself and attempt to write a blog post every day. And I think this blog post is more than long enough for today even though I've basically said very little.

June 5, 2015

Wandering around the Minneapolis Institute of Arts