Hope and Rebirth?

I was at a conference a couple of weeks ago, where I got to hang out with a friend that I don’t see very often (like, every two years or so), but when we do, it’s like time hasn’t passed. He’s ridiculously easy to talk to, which we did for hours, and he’s very good at pointing out things that hadn’t occurred to me, and motivating me when I’ve given up on stuff (for example, he’s the one that convinced me to see another doctor two years ago about my knee–the doctor who then discovered the torn meniscus and need for surgery). This time was no exception.

I’ve been in a rut for a long time. I’ve known it, I blogged about it, but haven’t really done anything to get out of it–and no, picking up the hook and needles again doesn’t really count. The key, of course, is getting the hell out of the house. I spend waaaay too much time alone–sure, I have no problem with my own company, but eventually it does become too much. He gave me some suggestions to move me in the right direction, which may or may not stick for the long term, but for now at least it seems to be working.

So I’m going to San Fran soon for a weekend, to attend some WordPress seminars and to see another dear friend that I don’t see nearly enough. It was totally a whim decision, which I need to do more of.

And I’ve planned some camping trips–or rather, I’m tagging along with my almost-always camping friend on a couple of her outtings. Joshua Tree should be a good place to explore with my bicycle, and Big Bear will be great for the hiking and the smell of trees, which I really miss.

I have more friends visiting in May and June, and my work on other people’s websites will be ending very soon, so maybe, hopefully, if I stay motivated, I’ll finally take my bike out to the beach once or twice in the coming months.

And totally unexpectedly, but I’m excited so I’m putting it here anyway, one of my little brothers is in town, so I’ll be seeing him this week for the first time in four years. Yay!

Which is all well and good, but the second part is, I really need to meet new people, and that’s the hard part. I suck at meeting new people. Really, truly, please don’t make me do it, suck at it. I am weird and awkward and stay stupid stuff all the freakin’ time, and my friends love me anyway, but I hate to inflict that on strangers. I haven’t really figured this part out yet, but it’s on the List.

I also really need to move out of my apartment, but that one may be the hardest task of all–I hate change, I hate moving, I hate new situations that run the risk of sucking more than the old situation. And there are a couple of other steps on the to do list, that I may or may not do, but those are the key points.

So that’s the state of me. Time will tell if I can rock as Captain of my own Destiny, or if I wind up sitting on a reef somewhere. Again.

hopeAnd since I hate imageless posts, here’s a tattoo design I’m considering (no final decisions yet, either on design or even if I’ll definitely get one). It symbolizes rebirth encircled by hope.

New blog

I’ve been working on a new project at work, and it’s making me crazy. I’m working with a team (of two) to create a Flash application using the Google Map API for a multitouch table. Not many people seem to be developing for this specific platform, and I can’t find much help online in the various Flash forums, so I created a new blog (http://flashtouch.wordpress.com) where I can document what I’m doing and the issues that I’m having, with the hope that maybe someone else is out there having similar issues, or better yet, someone who has already solved my issues.

If you’re interested in Flash AS3, Google maps, and multi-touch gesture events, drop on by! I could use all the help I can get!

cruising to drupal camp on the feathery wind of the hill (how's that for nonsense?)

I suck, I know. Moving on….

19 days away from my birthday cruise, and I can hardly wait. I’m spending way too much on accessorizing my trip (two new cameras, six new tops, three new bathing suits, two pairs of sandals…), and I’m not finished yet, if my list is any indication. Good thing I have one freelance project in progress and another waiting in the wings. I’ll be travelling with nine others, and yes, in case you were wondering, we’re going to have a BLAST.

I’m going to Drupal Camp L.A. this weekend. I hope. I’m planning on it, but new situations sometimes trigger panic attacks. We’ll see. My two projects are both in Drupal, so it would be very helpful to learn some of the basics, and network with the experts so I’ll have someone to beg for help when I break something.

ION, my department moved from one building to another last month, so that’s been an adjustment. Like any change, there are pros and cons, and one of the pros is getting so many opportunities to wander the campus when there are no museum visitors–in the morning before the museum opens, in the evening when the visitors all leave, all day Monday when we’re closed to the public. This place is so quiet, peaceful, serene, and a dozen other words that all mean the same thing. Walking across the plaza after work and not seeing another soul, hearing only birds and maybe the soft whisper of the wind? It’s a special moment that I cherish every night it happens.

And speaking of, I should get going. It’s supposed to be a gym night, but I’m sooo not in the mood. I’ll go Thursday, and make up for tonight by walking down the hill to the parking garage (another perk, although it’s hell on my bad knee and hip).

 

Less knitting, more variety

I’m thinking of changing the name/focus of this blog. Sadly I’m not longer as obsessed with needlework as I was when I first started Polgara Knits. I still knit and crochet, but not nearly as often, and yarn purchasing is no longer an irresistable force for me.

Right now my focus is more on two other things–JuNoWriMo and learning PHP/MySQL.

The JuNoWriMo is my mid-life crisis, I think. I’m turning 40 in three months, and want to have something tangible to show that I’ve accomplished something. I don’t have a family (and have never really wanted one), I don’t own anything (except debt) and while I have wonderful friends and a wonderful job and two wonderful cats, I feel I’ve lived a life of stasis. A 50,000 word novel, crappy though I promise it’ll be, is at least something I can hold forth and say, I made this. It’ll probably take me longer than the month of June, unfortunately (see next paragraph), but I should be able to do it in three months.

The PHP (and the sudden division of my focus from must JuNoWriMo) is due to two opportunities that look to be headed my way (one more likely than the other) for freelance web development this summer. Both projects will pay well, and both will require back-end database management, so I’m studying up on the PHP so I’ll be ready to hit the ground running when things are more definite.

So yes, knitting and crocheting is no longer all I think about or all I do with my spare time. I’m a little sad about it, but new things are good (and are the opposite of static!), so I’m choosing to think positively. And I haven’t turned my back on the needles and hooks, they’re just no longer the center of my life. It’s all good.

Now if only I had time for a site redesign…

Missed it by *that* much

I just realized I missed my blog’s two year anniversary last month. Oops? That’s what I get for neglecting it so.

Also celebrating her two year anniversary is Miss Gracie (as well as her brother Noah). Unlike my stale and boring blog, Grace grows more adorable and engaging every day. Unfortunately I’ve been neglecting her too, which is even more shameful than ignoring this blog. This is my note to myself to go visit her next weekend.

In related news (related to the blog, that is), I’ve been working on updating JaneEspenson.com this weekend. It’s been languishing in the very outdated Greymatter that it first started in, so yesterday I just up and ported it over to WordPress. (Yes, it was that easy!) Now comes the hard part–the design. Man, I suck at design. I’ve gone through bazillions of free theme templates and downloaded a bunch that I like, but I don’t want a cookie-cutter design for Jane’s site, which means actually doing some work on my part. Yay? I found one template I thought I loved, but really I just love the colors (not the layout or the font), so now I’m looking for the right layout that I can then edit with the pretty colors. Someday I will learn the ins and outs of CSS enough to build one from scratch, but that day is not today.

But because of this quest for improving Jane’s site, I now look at this site and think, Booooor-ing, and yawn in its face, so it’s very likely that this site will be getting a facelift soon. I have to finish JaneEspenson.com first, though, as it’s been stagnant for far longer than this site has.