I used to be a champ at both falling asleep AND waking up[1], but lately I seem to have lost the ability to fall asleep. Road noise, unpredictable nighttime temperature, mind noise, whatever — after another day cut short due to sleeping badly, I decided to do something about it. Continue reading


Sunday morning

“Oh how bleary the day,” she thought. “At least I slept through a lot of it.”

She rolled out of her soft padded cave, rubbing her face in the softblanket one more time for good measure. Into the entryway, she extended and reached up for the canister of coffee beans to the right, and the filters, to the left.

“Whshdhshshsh” went the faucet, for six cups worth. “Fwwwwp fwwwwp fwwwwp” went the grinder. “Pwap pwap pwap” she persuaded the grounds into the filter.

Now, time for the oatmeal, made by an unmeasured swipe of oats and whoosh of water, plus three prods at the microwave for 1:30.

The coffee was finishing, and as she poured her cup, the oatmeal was nearly done too, ready for flavoring. “These green beans will do. Also, I am the best at pipelining.”

She ate the oatmeal and drank the coffee, and on top of it, a good measure of water. Mildly she sniffed at the prospect of the day and listened to the twittering of the birds. Nope, there was nothing to do but plomp back in, back with the softblanket and other downy friends. There she could pretend to be a soft quadruped in peace.

[comment: “it’s like the metamorphosis, but more apathetic and fewer legs. also she is only pretending to be soft and furry; she is not particularly furry.”]

more newcomer thoughts on biking

If someone tries to attack me at the top of a hill that I’ve just climbed, not only do I have to get off the bike (clumsy, if you’ve ever seen me try to get on or off a bike), but I also will also sprint at decreased capacity because I’ve just been working oppositional muscles, and the ridiculous helmet will be bobbing in my face. I am not a triathlete.

Basically, I don’t think I like it when my transport time is a time of increased alarm. It’s supposed to be a break.

(also how do I know if there will be a place to lock it? In Redmond I could just lock it against any sapling as a formality.)

One like and one dislike

I dislike:

Overzealous automatic soap dispensers. When was the last time you wasted soap because you left the soap running? Never! Once in a while you get a really well-tuned automatic soap dispenser that gives you a reasonable blob of foam, and then doesn’t bother you for the rest of your hand washing, but most of them see a pair of hands and keep squirting and squirting and squirting.

I like:

Round things! Dopey large dogs, sheep, round hills (gasworks: A+), neatly trimmed shrubs — all make me grin.

I think it’s because I think they’d be fun to pet.

bonus like:

Jumbo eggs. They’re so much bigger than regular eggs (thanks, cubic relation!) and most have a double yolk. More luck and more cluck and eggs are delicious, etc. etc.


You know how some people wear a tiny purse and carry a larger handbag / briefcase?

I usually carry one large tote bag (magicbag [*]).

Today, I realized that I was tired of larger items (laptop, gym clothes) in magicbag crushing or eating the other items (phone, wallet, sunglasses).

And I realized —

I needed L1 cache.

[*] magicbag is magic because it is of many colors, and at least one of them is bound to match my outfit. The alternative is to have a neutral-colored bag, but then you’re in danger of looking like you’re perpetually stage crew of some production (a my coat is black too).

[**] magicbag is always Le Sportsac, which i like because it can carry a lot, but has little mass on its own. The tradeoff is that there’s not a ton of structure, and things like sunglasses get eaten (groping through the entire bag is O(n)). Compare to a highly structured leather bag, which weights 1lb on its own but gives O(1) access to your junk.

suggestions for Bell Street Park

For non-Seattle readers: Bell Street Park is a new public space in the middle of Belltown. Belltown is a lot of residential towers and social services (non-enticing combination), and the city and community groups are trying to make the neighborhood a pleasant place to spend time. One way they’re doing this is with changes to Bell street — a bit confusingly, as it’s a bus thoroughfare by location, but now a human space by intent / paving / colorful patio furniture that every city seems to have ordered for their public lawns.

Anyway, they had an open meeting for ideas (that I missed) and an email address to send comments to. Unfortunately, the email address is misconfigured and rejects mail, so I’ll just post my letter here. Slightly better because you, reader, can add your thoughts, though I encourage you to send them in to directly (when that email gets fixed).

Hi folks,
I’m Lu — I’ve lived in Capitol Hill for about 2.5 years, but spend a good portion of my leisure time in Belltown, whether at Belltown Dance Studio, shopping / dining, or at friends’ apartments.
Here are some of my thoughts and suggestions re: Bell Street Park — I hope they are helpful for your consideration.

* Bring in more social dance / exercise opportunities. (a la Bryant park: get the women and everyone else will come) I see that there are already classes at Belltown CC and Belltown Dance Studio’s outdoor salsa nights — these are a great start, and I’d like there to be more. Perhaps the Olympic Sculpture Park’s outdoor yoga series could be expanded to use BSP. I wonder if local contradance groups could also be encouraged to have dances outside — the long space is ideal, and indoor spaces get too hot in summer.

* Encourage whimsy — Perry Church + friends used rain-resistant ground paint (not sure of exact composition, cost, or half-life) to paint uplifting messages visible only when it rained. (link) Similarly, people love the witty, current events-driven humor at City Market.
Bell Street could be part of this by having an artist / volunteer with decent writing to rain-write quirky messages; these messages could be from government agencies (“service changes 2/14”) or user-submitted, via twitter / facebook.
* Enable play — My favorite place in the world is Louisiana Museum of Modern Art just north of Copenhagen. I love it for the giant slides, fascinating treehouses, and interactive exhibits, which encourage adults and children alike to create and imagine.
BSP could give the same opportunity to Seattlites simply by putting out boxes of chalk during high-use times. Chalk is cheap and temporary, without technological barrier, but a few boxes drawn and you have hopscotch game.
People also love to be heard without risk: BSP could be a place for confessions and encouragement, jokes and puns, thereby building community among strangers.
* Create comfort — Portland Loo (club-goers and transit users will all thank you)? Is there already a water fountain? Shade from the sun / protection from the rain?
Huh. It appears that I’ve put my name homophonically into these suggestions quite a bit.

Don’t worry, you’re in the right place.

I’ve changed the theme to one that’s better for mobile. I’ve also re-made public two ‘about me’ pages. They were written 3-4 years ago but are mostly still true.

Also, if you’ve come here from Facebook, welcome; I finally fixed the publishing connection.