joie de vivre

some sort of postmodern reënactment

1/1/10 11:01 pm - hi out there.

April 2006 - many of my previous posts are friends-locked because I'm shy, but most of this journal is open now so I can keep in touch with various contacts and stalkers like you.
May-September 2006 - travelling.  Not much internet access.
Fall 2006 - recovering from an injury, can't sit in front of computer.
December 2006-May 2007 - no computer. 
June 2007-present - bought a laptop, haven't felt especially motivated to spend much time in front of it.  Every couple months I try to get back into blogging again, but then get distracted by life. 

H
ope you'll check back every now and again, and feel free to leave a greeting or other commentary, if you'd like. I make no attempt to fashion this journal as an accurate or balanced reflection of/on my life, but it can be an interesting diversion.

5/9/09 07:09 pm - so whatever happened to _kli_?

I've been pretty busy lately.  Now I'm trying to get caught up with things, but the problem is that takes motivation, which I don't really have.  Anyway, here are some of the things that have happened to me lately:
 
I had one of those days where you get older.  To commemorate my quarter century of existence, I now have a really sweet sleeping bag.  It's so lightweight, it barely seems to exist at all.  After having gone through a bunch of synthetic sleeping bags over the years, I went for down.  While it's not vegan, I expect it to be a better choice in the long run because it should last many times as long.  I'm excited to use it but I don't have any trips planned yet.  

Homegrown happened to me.  For those of you not from Duluth, Homegrown is a weeklong festival where, if you were blessed with omnipresence, you could hear 140 local bands for $20.  Being a mere mortal, and one who works a job that involves getting up early in the morning, I made it out on five of the seven nights and heard the following, in chronological order:

Thumbs Up:
Erth (Best Show of the Week award, also notable for being cute)
The Rez
Clyde Iron (Shortest Set Ever award)
Tangier 57 (I would like Red Star to be like this always, plznty)
Yeltzi (Unfortunate Wardrobe Choices award)
The Toasted Roosters (best show runner up)
James & Younger

Thumbs Down:
Poetry readings on Ancillary Arts Night/Cosmic Pit Orchestra
The Antmen
Big Country & the Up North 33 (not bad, but blah)

Too Tired, Can't Remember:
Bended Oak
Rory James (we're going to pretend I was tired, rather than inebriated, here)
Two Beat Band (I know I was present at this show, but I literally remember nothing about it.  Evidently I was too absorbed in eating my mediocre burrito.)

No Idea, Couldn't Hear:
Three Song Sunday (what is it about the Brewhouse that makes everyone want to have conversations in YELLING?  Seriously, remember your Inside Voices, people!) 

Awesome crap like this is why I moved to Duluth.

In other news, last week at work was awful.  Too many ill-advised changes, short-staffing, lots of overtime, having to be there at 6:45 in the morning...not good.  Also, the People Who Know How to Do Things keep leaving, which is scary.  More or less by process of elimination, I'm officially full-time now and am being trained in some supervisory duties.  Everything is basically in the food processor right now getting spun around and chopped to pieces; check back in a month or so to see what we end up with. 

One time I had a day off--that was kinda cool.  I walked all over Endion and the East Hillside, including the Lakewalk and Chester Creek.  Found a free dish drainer, one of the ones with wooden slats like I've been wanting for a while.  Ate at Taco John's because I thought it would be a fun and unusual thing for me to get fast food.  

In April, I bought twice as much food as I should in one month, so in May I'm living off my surplus.  I'm trying to practice grocery-shopping abstinence but I discovered there is a gray area in what is really grocery shopping and what's just "buying food"...  See, I don't spend very much money each month eating out, so that's still allowed.  So if I'm allowed to go to Quizno's, it seems reasonable that I'm still allowed to get food from the deli at the coöp.  But then am I allowed to buy a yogurt to go with it?  For the most part, I've been answering that question as no--but who knew grocery shopping was so open to interpretation?  Either way, I haven't run the numbers but I'm sure my expenses for the month are looking great so far, plus, I'm reducing the amount of food I'll have to pack up and move at the end of the month. 

The $15 bike from Goodwill is fantastic, except for when I have to go uphill--but that's my problem, not the bike's.  I had my dad weld a homemade rack on the back, so now I have a basket for the first time.  This is like the most convenient thing ever.  For example, it gives me one of the main advantages of having a car: that you can leave warm clothing, food, or whatever in it, rather than having to carry everything you want for the next several hours with you into a bar or store.  As long as it's not anything of any real value, I can just stuff it in the basket, problem solved. 

Rearranged the furniture in my room to accommodate big flats of seed starts.  The new configuration is so simple and white and calming; LOVE it.  

I swear, updating Livejournal and using up my iTunes giftcard are the most important things for me to be doing right now.  Ehhh, maybe I'll go get a load of laundry going.  Peace to you all.

4/4/09 11:27 pm - musings on my fitness "plan"

I am finally making some progress with my fitness goals, although it is depressingly little and slow in coming.  I have gained weight (muscle, presumably), but the waistbands of my pants are getting loose.  Tonight I was looking over the exercise-related section at the bookstore where I work, but it was kind of silly.

We stock a lot of cookbooks on how to eat healthy, but I feel like I have a pretty solid grasp on that.  I'm vegan, I eat mainly whole foods, and I know a lot about nutrition and cooking in general.  Right now I'm just struggling to get enough food prepared, packed into little containers, and eaten.  I am hungry a lot.  I keep pretty busy and when I'm home, I tend to be totally brain-dead so I don't want to do anything.  I need to learn how to make food (and motivate myself to do so) when I'm brain-dead. 

The other books they had were mainly on really basic things.  There was a nice pictorial guide to various things to do with free weights or just your body's weight, almost all of which I'm already doing.  Most of the rest were books on finding time and motivation to walk for fitness.  Ummmmm...  Dude: I live in a city that is built on a v. steep hill.  I walk (briskly) to both of my jobs, one of which is significantly uphill from my apartment, and I do most of my errands on foot.  It's a little bit of a workout for me, but not much.  My calves are kind of grossly muscular, but I'm still not in great shape overall, esp. in terms of cardio, and you won't see me in Sports Illustrated anytime soon.  Lately I've started walking home for lunch occasionally, so I can do the hill twice in the day.  Yes, I could definitely tire myself out by going straight up the whole hill all at once, but my main opinion on that is "why?"  I know several people who do that, but IMO that's just a cruel way to exercise.  

So I guess I'll just stick with the elliptical, a ton of crunches, and the random other little exercises I do.  

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In other news, I was among the less than 10 people who enjoyed a great show by Art Vandalay out at Beaner's Central last night.  Counting the staff of the coffeehouse/bar and the band that opened, I think we could have made it up to ca. 16 brave souls.  Duluth, what were you thinking?  Where were you? 

In spite of sometimes having embarrassingly small turnouts for things and often having quiet audiences, Duluth really does have a great live music scene, which I've been trying to take advantage of as time permits.  I've been to a lot of great shows recently, and the best part is most range from free to $5. 

2/28/09 06:16 pm - in which i rant about the duluth transit authority.

I thought I was going to have a busy week, what with church on Wednesday and at least one show that interested me Thursday through Saturday.  Now I'm annoyed, though, because this is the second night in a row I've discovered that I actually can't go where I wanted to without a car.  On Thursday I borrowed a vehicle from my parents to go over to Superior to hear the Rose Ensemble and Voces8 sing Byrd in a snowstorm.  Last night I stayed home because of poor planning--I had intended to go to another show in Superior, which I knew was on a bus route...only to find out that there aren't any more busses back to Duluth after 7pm.  By that time the play that was my back-up event had already started, so I had a quiet evening at home, which was okay b/c I was tired. 

Tonight I had been planning to go up to UMD.  I thought this would be easy since there are two bus routes near me that go up there and a lot of students live in my neighborhood.  FALSE.  Those busses don't run after 7pm on Saturdays either.  It would be about two miles downhill to walk home, which I should be able to do easily in the summer, but I've already walked nearly that distance today and it's supposed to be below zero again tonight.  I'm too sick of the cold to dress properly for it anymore, so I just wear my khakis and my leg muscles go numb.  <--That is entirely my own fault for being lazy and foolish.  But is it unreasonable to expect that the city's major transit hubs might have bus service on Saturday nights? 

Same story with busses to Canal Park, where I like to go to shows at Amazing Grace.  I've walked before, but it's a long walk, especially late at night.  Likewise, I couldn't ever attend a Saturday show out at at Beaner's Central without mooching a ride from a friend with a car. 

For all their talk (comparing the price of a bus pass to fuel prices, being one of the early adopters for Google Transit, offering real-time updates on bus statuses, etc.) the Duluth Transit Authority comes out as a complete failure because they don't make it possible for people to live normal lives without a car.  I live in a great neighborhood where the majority of venues I frequent are within a short walk, and when the temperature is above 20 degrees, I would be glad to bus up the hill and just walk the two miles home.  But that solidly rules out 3-4 months of the year, and you can't walk to Superior or West Duluth. 

Guess I'll just stick with the Brewhouse, which, by the way, needs to learn how a RSS feed works.  Hint: it's not very useful if you make twenty or so posts all at once of all your music for the next month, then ignore it for the next two months.  At least Charlie Parr is going to be back this week. 

Okay, I think I've gotten most of my rage out now. 
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1/27/09 10:22 pm - happy things meme from sarmonster

10 things that recently made me happy:

I used all things I've thought about today, just in the order that they came to mind.  It's kind of an embarrassingly Duluth-y selection, but hey, there are a lot of things to be happy about here. 

1. Having a good workout tonight
2. Pizza Luce
3. Bob Dylan
4 & 5. Charlie Parr at the Brewhouse - last week & I'm going again tomorrow
6. Sleeping in
7. New necklaces
8. My red bandana
9. Basil
10. The hat that keeps my brain from freezing

I'm not tagging anyone in particular since I'm not sure who all is out there anymore. 
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1/23/09 07:01 pm - thought of the day / on heirloom seeds

We have more brands of shoes than we have of carrots or broccoli.

- Jules Dervaes, of Path to Freedom, the urban homestead in LA

1/12/09 09:44 pm - i don't understand people.

Everyone's like, "oh, our gosh, it's going to get COLD!"  We already had a cold snap a couple weeks ago and this is forecast to be only 5 degrees colder, so I don't know what the big deal is.  I will be walking to work tomorrow, but I have a good set of warm clothes, my collection recently augmented with a bomber hat (synthetic fur inside, tweed outside, for the utmost in irony and dorkiness), the world's ugliest boots, and the awesomest wool socks ever.  I traded my Smartwool socks for these, and my sister and I both think we got the better part of that deal.  They are old and don't have any brand or logo on them, but they're magical: I can wear them with my running shoes that are half-mesh, walk through snow, go inside and let the snow melt on the socks, and my feet STILL stay warm.  HAH.  _kli_: 1, Winter: 0.

Now, back to another lovely evening of Chilling The Eff Out.  This is what I do, & it is sweet.  

EDIT 01.13.09 11:15pm: I did three walks outside today; it was fine.  It's only 12 below right now and it's not windy.  It was definitely colder a couple weeks ago.  I like the new hat b/c it keeps my ears from going numb, which none of my other hats could do.  The insides of your ears freezing is *really painful.*  Thank you, Ragstock, for my new hat.

1/4/09 09:13 pm - cool things that happen to me when i am not in music school.

Gnawing question: wtf am I going to do about the fact that I have a degree and a half in music.

I am mostly happy to leave this question unanswered at this point, but other folks keep asking me, so it won't really die and occasionally I worry about it. 

Today's answer: I bought a cheap harmonica and am learning to play it. 

12/30/08 10:35 pm - i am so fascinating i blog about grocery shopping.

1. It is sweet to live 2 blocks from a grocery store that is open till midnight...
2. ...Even if it is the Plaza Jubilee. 
3. I'm grateful it was only a couple blocks, b/c it's 4 below. 
4. They have two flavors of Tofutti cream cheese!  With my food allergies diet thingy, I can't actually eat it right now, but I used to like that stuff (even though most vegans turn up their noses at it).  
5. I was proud of myself for buying only fruit!  (Okay, one thing was a bit of a stretch--the orange Zevia, which is one of my current vices.) 
6. Now that I have so much lovely fruit, I'm excited about food again.  I had been eating too much cooked food lately and was feeling very blah.  Fruit is lovely and tasty and energizing.  

12/27/08 09:11 pm

I was going to go see Mary Bue tonight, but I discovered none of the busses near me run Saturday nights.  Normally, I would just walk (it's kind of a trek, but not bad), except I failed to plan my day in a logical fashion, meaning I already did that entire walk and then some, so my legs are tired from walking gingerly on snow and ice.  

Am trying to buy boots.  Since I walk a lot and have crappy ligaments, I need boots that are as shoe-like as possible, while retaining all the advantages of boots (namely warmth, waterproofing, and good traction).  I am getting the impression that I would have been better off shopping at the beginning of winter.  I feel bad b/c I just got hiking boots last winter that were supposed to serve as winter boots, but they're only ankle-high, slippery on ice, and slightly crappy.  Maybe I should just get some gaiters and shut up.  Or some big clunky Neos.  I had somehow imagined that  after work today I could just walk down the hall to Trailfitters, find something in stock, and put my Fitger's gift certificate towards it.  Clearly, I was delusional.  

All that said, it is pretty awesome to commute to both of my jobs by walking.

The girls I am living with seem to be used to heating the place a lot warmer than I'm used to.  At first I was worried that it would be hard to convince them to turn down the thermostat and remember to always adjust it appropriately.  Instead, I have decided that living in a warm apartment will be my luxury this winter.  I work so much, I might as well be cozy and comfortable during my down time at home.  

A few weeks ago I used some of my parents' credit card points to buy a Best Buy gift card to buy a digital camera.  I am still learning how to use it, and probably will be for some time yet.  
photographic evidenceCollapse )

I think I shall now go fasten some stuff to my walls.  

11/2/08 12:08 am - this deluge of deer.

Let's discuss this problem of deer overpopulation.  On my way into town tonight, I was being a somewhat inattentive driver and I saw only one deer.  On my way home, I saw either four or five (I lost count somewhere in there).  These were all within a 3-4 mile section of the road, and I think this is actually a NORMAL amount of deer to encounter on North Shore Drive at night.  For those of us who DON'T want to insert a deer through our grill or our windshield, driving around here is kinda scary.  It seems people cope by becoming oblivious and refusing to see any deer other than those that are in a driving lane. 
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10/31/08 09:39 pm - another update in whych i fail to locate my thoughts.

Fun fact: I am still alive. 
Fact that is not so fun: I'm still working on getting everything set up for this new chapter of my life.  Things are still good, though.  Despite a few bumps in the road, I feel pretty good about being here and am considering staying a while.  I miss a few people, but I don't miss Mass. a bit. 

The good news is that I do have a part-time job; it's at an independent bookstore.  So far, it seems pretty good, but I don't get very many hours a week.  This is only bad in the short term, because in the long term I anticipate being able to work this job in addition to a 30-40 hr/wk full-time job.  However, I'm still trying to land such a job.  The job market here is ridiculous.  I have been getting interviews, but I don't have any offers yet.  I am currently waiting to hear back on three positions: one I'm not optimistic about, one that I know I am among the final few candidates for, and one that I'm a little hopeful for b/c it sounds like a good fit and I think I interviewed well.  I have fallen into a tragic mindset where applying for jobs has sort of become my career.  I want out!

Even though I'm eager to be in my own place, I haven't toured any apartments yet, because I'm waiting until I get a full-time job.  Luckily I can stay with my parents in the mean time, so I have the luxury of not owing rent during my job search.  The disadvantage is that they live a ways out of town, so I have been doing what feels to me like a *lot* of driving.  Really, it isn't, but driving makes me feel like an awful person, and, petty as it is, I *hate* having to pay for parking.  I've still been trying to carpool, bike, and bus when I can, but bus routes don't come this far out of town and my knee maxes out on distance it can bike at about 6 miles.  Dear patella femoral syndrome, we need to talk. 

In general, I am pretty happy to be here.  There are a few challenges...I need a trip to Whole Foods in the worst way...also, it's very weird to not have stuff like Walgreen's and ATMs everywhere, available 24/7.  It is steadily getting colder, but I am doing well with it so far.  Keep strong. 

For a long time I have suspected that I might have food allergies of some kind.  I've finally started making a serious effort to eat differently, which is an endless source of frustration.  Right now I'm trying to avoid corn in all its forms.  Officially, I'm trying to eat no corn and little sugarcane, but it's *relatively* easy to avoid the sugarcane products and I still can't get the hang of eliminating all the corn.  The worst part is that because I can't get rid of it 100% for a week or two, I haven't been able to determine if corn is actually the culprit.  I would like to at least reach the point where I can figure that out and then decide where to go, but I'm on the verge of giving up.  Somehow a weird thing happens where I always eat differently when I'm cooking in my mother's kitchen than when I'm in my own, so maybe I'll give this another try some other time...like during the summer when good produce is more affordable.  

Really, I have no interesting news.  I'm just trying to fulfill my duty to the interwebs.  I will try to remember the interesting things and make a post about them. 

There were no trick-or-treaters tonight.  This is not entirely a bad thing, since there's a wasp nest by the door. 

9/19/08 01:37 pm

I'm having some pretty severe time management issues lately, so I've had no time to read any of your stories :( 

Today I just logged in because I felt the need to share my amazement at how fall suddenly began last night, apparently.  Up through yesterday, most everything was still green (it's been *really* rainy) and there were just a few yellow trees scattered around.  Now, everywhere I look there are yellow trees, a number of orange ones, and some red, and the wind is scattering leaves all over the yard.  I can't figure out how all that happened overnight, but it's kinda cool.  

8/18/08 03:03 pm - i begin all of my posts this way.

 Wow, I've been awful about posting lately.  I've been working various temporary office jobs of the 9-5 nature, which has given me the opportunity to plan lots of great weekends, including:

- various daytrips to explore Boston neighborhoods I hadn't been to yet.  There are pictures, but I haven't developed them yet, much less scanned them. 

- attending part of the Lowell Folk Festival, which was all kinds of awesome...until the rain started and everything had to shut down early.  The festival was free, but the caliber of the musicians and dancers there was quite high.  Quebecois folk music is my new interest.  

- going to Providence and Newport, RI.  This trip turned out to be a little more of an adventure than I bargained for, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  I wandered about a lot, gawking at buildings and boats and landscaping.  I did not manage to find good food.  I rode a ferry the length of the bay.  I narrowly escaped arousing the ire of two skunks and getting attacked by a third, whose ire seemed quite well roused already.  The skunk attack freaked me out a bit, so I slept fitfully.  I also got a ton of mosquito bites because, as it turns out, using my screen tent without a sleeping bag is a bad, bad idea.  Spent a half hour sitting on a trolley listening to an old man cussing out everybody.  Walked along Providence's canals while they were setting up for Waterfire in the rain--saw gondoliers lounging under the bridge smoking and enjoyed how the music echoed all around off the water and the canal walls so it sounded like it was coming from everywhere underground at once.  Enjoyed seeing all the sailboats, sun on water, fieldstone structures, and silly summer vacation ambience.  

- trying to go to New York, but I had to cancel.  If I can get my personal effects packed in time, I'll try again this weekend.

- spending a day out on one of the Boston Harbor Islands helping control exotic species.  The islands are cool, got a good harbor tour on the boat ride out, and sat in the harbor spinning in circles for a half hour waiting for a tanker ship to pass.  Being on the islands and working in the sun was pleasant, but it was also fascinating to see the way the native ecosystems were responding to these exotic plants.  

In the damp meadow, there was a smallish area where the dominant species appeared to be the exotic we were working to eradicate.  It also appeared sporadically around the rest of the peninsula, but it was spotted with insect damage all over the plant (on almost all the leaves and even the stem!), while there was next to no insect damage visible on the native plants surrounding it.  There was also a parasitic plant that climbed a number of these exotic ones, but it also climbed a few of the native plants in that area and it wasn't clear if this plant was strong enough to do significant damage to the host plant.  

Similarly, in the wooded area where we worked in the afternoon, the aspen trees, which were exotic to this island, were in really rough shape.  Only about 65-75% of the branches had leafed out this season, and many of the other leaves were either black and withered or had black spots on them.  I assume it was fungus damage, but I don't know enough about trees to tell for sure.  Either way, they didn't look like they would be around for many more years.  It's not all good news on the island, because bittersweet, the other exotic we were working to control, didn't appear to be encountering any major problems yet.

There is more to these stories; details by request.  Stay tuned for New York v.2, Vermont Mountains immediately following that, and Caravan to Minnesota immediately thereafter.  Hi, I'm insane sometimes. 

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8/4/08 09:31 pm - eek!

I ate a pear & it's trying to kill me.  Halfway through I stopped eating it b/c my throat was closing off and my sinuses & nose are out of control.  Thank goodness I have tomorrow morning off.  Turning in early tonight, as well.  My mom has had this happen to her a lot, but I don't usually buy conventional pears.  Probably won't again for a while...
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