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from Latin, literally: from the latter (that is, from effect to cause)

-adj: derived from or requiring evidence for its validation or support; empirical; open to revision

[sticky post]New Journal
I used to be deana_in_texas, but as I'm not in Texas anymore, I decided a new account was in order for a new phase in my life. I'm going to try to keep this one as public as possible, but already annoyed by spam posts.

On Cooking (or not cooking, as the case may be...)
A few friends here do thefridayfive each week, so I joined a bit ago. This is the first one that spoke to me, although they didn't ask the questions until Sunday this time around for some reason.

1. How do you feel about cooking?
I hate it. I love home cooked meals, but I don't want to do the cooking. It takes too much time, and I don't have the patience to sit around and watch things cook. Even stuff like canned soup, I ruin, because I put it on the stove and then get bored, and wander off to do something, and remember it an hour later when I smell something odd and it's all burned off...

2. How often do you cook a meal (from mostly fresh ingredients, not something ready-assembled that you just heat)?
Very rarely. I'd say I do it 3-4 times a year, when I get ambitious. My husband does it once or twice a week, and I love when he does. We go out to eat a lot. But to be honest, this is as much a function of our taste in food as it is our laziness... my husband eats like a toddler and would only eat the same 3 brown foods every day forever if he could. I need variety! And no one wants to cook two different meals... so we go out to eat, and he can order a burger and I can get... something yummy!

3. How many people do you usually cook for, when you cook?
Two, I suppose. Though I make enough for four, or sometimes six. If I'm actually going to put the effort in, we damn well better have leftovers to make it worth my while. Maybe someday our son will eat real food instead of Cheerios for every meal, and then I'll cook for him, too.

4. Do you have a favourite recipe book or chef?
One with slow cooker recipes? Not really. I own The Joy of Cooking and it has lots of sticky notes marking recipes that I "want to try". I also have lots of online recipes I've saved that look delicious and I hope my husband will cook someday.

5. Kitchen tools: use the fewest possible or gadgets are your friend?
No gadgets. You have to wash them if you use them. And washing things sucks.

Doing Things
Back at the beginning of the year, I made a List of Things I want to do. And in the last week (ok, 8 days) I've done THREE of them. Not too shabby!

take bb to an aquarium
Last Sunday morning - we decided on a whim to take our son to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. It's absolutely one of my favorite places to go -- I love aquariums anyway, the ones in Boston and Dallas are also pretty freaking sweet. Better than a zoo, if you ask me, because you don't have to worry that you won't see any fish because it's too hot, or too cold, or they are sleeping or something.

He loved it. He was pressed up against the glass pointing and dancing. So fun :)


Afterward, we got lunch at Chipotle (because it was super close) and then walked about a mile to see a coworker and meet his family -- their baby is 2 months old now. Was a good day all around. In fact, even this morning my husband suggested we do it again, but we relaxed a bit more today. Maybe next week.

do one of those painting night things
At the beginning of the month I got brave and asked a friend if she'd be willing to try doing one of these. We looked at the pictures, selected one that we liked and worked with our schedules, and signed up. It was this past Thursday at TGIFridays. Not impressed with the food or staff, but the painting was a lot of fun. The teacher was pretty awesome, although it's difficult with a large group and I am slow and kept falling behind on the instructions.

I'm generally happy with my painting, I'd say I was about middle of the pack in terms of "goodness" of the painting. I'm bad at random, so my flower petals turned out to basically be in straight diagonal lines as they fly through the air (I really did try to be random, and I thought I did well at it until I got home and my husband pointed it out). And my flowers are very pointy. Plus, I wanted to do a little white on the petals like the teacher did, his looked nice that way... mine... not so much. I stopped after only a few before I ruined the rest :P


attend at least two ASL meetups/events
I learned through my ASL class at work that CCBC would be performing Romeo and Juliet in an accessible performance with ASL, put on in part by their interpreter training program.


I was a little bit fascinated with the idea of doing Shakespeare in ASL because ... I mean, it's not even really English the way we think about English today. "Wherefore art thou Romeo?" and all that. And I didn't expect them to have ASL signs for all these words, and certainly they weren't going to SPELL the whole dang play. There was a paper on display explaining some of this, with artistic signing, and translating the meaning rather than the exact words. Additionally, although they used the original Shakespearean wording for the English parts, the director had placed the characters in modern times, with a MacBook Pro, cell phones, and lots of popular music that was woven into the performance beautifully.

The ASL didn't end up happening the way I expected, either. I'd thought that the entire play would be in both English and ASL, with all the characters doing both. However, some actors only used ASL, some only used spoken English, and some used both (but rarely at the same time). Some parts of the play were entire silent, others were very loud! Captions were displayed at all times, so hearing people could read captions during the signed parts, and deaf people could read captions during the spoken parts.

Not only were some of the performers deaf (and Juliet, who was played by a deaf performer, was amazing and the best one there if you ask me), but Juliet's parents were hearing and didn't know sign language, spoke to their daughter through the nurse as interpreter. And Romeo's parents were both deaf, but Romeo was hearing (CODA!) so he knew sign language, which allowed him to talk to Juliet. Paris, on the other hand, did not know sign language and had to resort to sending her text messages :P

Additionally, it was an amazing display of diversity! The casting was done without regard to race, white parents had black children, and vice versa. Romeo and Juliet were not of the same race (and this made for some beautiful scenes). Tybalt and Benvolio were played by women (who did an amazing job of it, especially Benvolio). And the apothecary in Mantua was also a woman (she also played a few bit parts), who was in a wheelchair with obviously limited mobility and did an excellent job with the role. Yeah, it was obviously community theatre and it showed occasionally, but I was seriously impressed with the entire performance. Would do again!

Additionally, I "made friends" with the guy next to me, who was deaf. I noticed him signing as we were getting seated, so when he was looking over the cast list and pointing at a few of the names, I asked him if he knew any of the performers. We struck up a conversation, he wondered why I was learning sign language, we talked about the area, he introduced me to some of his family. It was great practice.

Day one and I've already failed, came home tonight after 9pm. I've recruited my entire team to carry me out of the building at 5:30 tomorrow if necessary. Wish me luck.

Swimming lessons
Ever since my son was 8 months old we have taken him to "swimming lessons" on the weekends. I put it in quotes because he's not really swimming, of course. Although I swear that my now 10-year-old niece was able to keep her head above water before she could form real sentences... but I'm looking for proof of that. I'm sure there is a video somewhere. But she wasn't "swimming" either, just ... thrashing.

Anyway. He absolutely loves it. He wasn't a big fan of going under water at first, but now he's learned to anticipate it and does fine. Almost never comes up coughing, and if he does, it's usually my fault for timing it badly. He's very comfortable in the water, he kicks and pulls when he's asked to, he stands on the ledge and walks off into my arms, he goes on the float device without me holding on. He'll even lie on his back with his head on my shoulder and float a bit (but heaven forbid I hold him in that position with only my arms under him for support).

Each lesson is the same routine, the same order, with a different fun activity at the end (floating devices, a water slide, a boat to be pushed around in...). He knows the pattern, it's pretty impressive.

However... the more I think about it, the more I worry that this is actually making it LESS safe for him to be around water. He loves it! He jumps in! On purpose! And ... can't swim.

I know he's learning valuable skills for when he can swim later, and he'll be much more comfortable and confident in the water at that time... but. Yeah. Is it actually WORSE for his (current) safety that we are doing this? Hm.

Adulting is hard
It is so much more difficult to be active on LiveJournal than it was when I was in college. I keep meaning to get on here and write a post, but it doesn't end up happening. I had good intentions tonight... but my brain just wasn't in it. I brought the laptop to bed. But instead of writing, I cuddled my kitty, did puzzles, and then when I did get the laptop out I ended up linking family members on Ancestry.com and find-a-grave... yeah, you can tell I'm getting old when that's what I do with my time.

During the day, it's difficult. Especially this weekend, because the baby is sick (awful sinus infection, green mucus coming out his noes AND eyes... ugh) so he is grumpy and wants to cuddle and whimper a lot. Last week we were on "vacation" but baby and husband had the vomiting virus, so it wasn't much of a vacation. Somehow I've managed to avoid all this sickness (knock on wood) but it just means that I'm taking care of them and listening to the whining.

During the free time I do get, I've started training for the half marathon in May. I did a 70 minute long run today, it went reasonably well. Next weekend, husband signed us up for a half marathon, a local one on the trails here. Of course, then it turns out he will be having surgery and can't run, so it's just me. He and baby are volunteering at one of the water stops. Part of me wanted to just cancel -- I should only be doing an 80 minute long run next weekend, this will be more like 2h 20min.. but eh. I also splurged and got a barbell and a few plates for the exercise room in the basement. Who knows if I'll really use them.

Sleep now. Maybe (hopefully) something more substantial soon.

Condom on the side of the road
This morning, we were all finally feeling well enough to get out of the house. We packed up the baby in his stroller to walk about a mile to CVS to pick up more tissues. On the way back, I noticed a condom in the grass between the sidewalk and the road. This is not the first time I've seen this.

How does this happen? Where were people having sex that made this possible?

This is a 6 lane road, with a median in the middle.

My husband and I debated it a bit. I mean, I guess the only thing that remotely makes sense to me is that they were in the backseat of a moving vehicle, and when they finished they just tossed it out the window. Because if they were in the woods off the side of the road, I'd imagine they'd just leave it there. And I doubt they were actually having sex on the sidewalk, or in the grass between it and the road... too visible. (I mean, yes, some people like the thrill of possibly getting caught, but this road is very heavily traveled, there is no chance you wouldn't be caught!</i>

We also considered the idea that maybe the driver had previously had sex and the condom was just left on the floor of the car. And then when they went to pick up someone (a friend? a parent?) who wouldn't approve, they tossed it out the window. But then, it would make more sense to toss it out the driver side window... in which case, it'd be in the median (or on the road), rather than the side with the sidewalk.

I also speculated that maybe it got blown there in the wind from somewhere else, but my husband thinks they wouldn't blow around easily, they are "surprisingly heavy" for their size, and tend to bunch up so not a lot of surface area.

Have you ever thrown a condom on the side of the road? Please explain, if so.

Doing Everything.
Only four days in and I've already missed a post. Well, it's ok. My goal isn't 100%. It's just to do it "more often". And the best way to do that is to make a habit of it. They say doing something 7 times in a row is enough to make it a habit. We'll see if I get there.

I actually thought about writing this post last night while I was in the shower, but by the time I got out and dry and into bed, I'd completely forgotten about it. Thus is my life.

On New Year's Eve, my husband and I went ice skating with a friend of ours. Each year, her church rents out the local ice rink for 2 hours on NYE. We went with her two years ago and had a great time. Last year, our son was too young for us to do that, and we hadn't left him alone with the neighbors yet. But this year, we asked the neighbors if they would watch him for a few hours, and they happily obliged. We had a great time :)

We were really enjoying ourselves, but it had been two years since we had been ice skating. And before that, I'm not sure we'd gone at all since moving to Maryland in 2011. Hm, maybe that's not true... I have a vague memory of renting skates somewhere and seeing the tail end of a pick up game? But maybe that was Texas too... Eh.

We had paid for ice skating lessons (or well, I paid for them as a Christmas gift) for the two of us when we were in grad school, and after about 30 minutes on the ice it was all sort of coming back to me. By the end, the three of us were practicing our crossovers around the circle at one end of the rink as others skated around us.

I made some comment to the effect of "we should do this more often". And I meant it!

But my husband says "we can't do everything."

:( :( :(

WHY NOT. I want to do everything!

My friend tells me I don't really want to do everything. There must be things I am not interested in doing. The subject of why her husband wasn't there with us had come up, he believes he is inept at skating, and I'd made a comment about the only way to become "ept" is to do it more often. She brought this up again - he just isn't interested in becoming better at it. Where my thing is, if I'm not good at something, that is reason for me to want to do it so I can BECOME good at it.

But again, she says that isn't really true. There are plenty of things I am not good at, and I don't care that I'm not good at it. She gave the example that for herself, she is not good at making a layup in basketball. But she feels no need to get better at it, practice a lot, pay for a coach, etc. She just ... is ok with it.

And I concede, yeah, fine, that's true. My husband says that what I really want is to not miss out on fun things with friends, and I think I agree with that. If I had a group of friends who was really into basketball, and that meant that I spent time sitting around watching them while they were all making layups, then I'd want to learn that, too.

But I still contend that I want to do EVERYTHING. Or at least, more things. I used to do "everything". People were always impressed/surprised by the number of things I do. And even now, when I talk about running, and dancing, and the number of books I read in a year, people are still impressed, especially considering I have a one-year-old now. But I'm still sad about all the things I am NOT doing.

For the last little while, I have been considering getting a tattoo. Yes, really.

Specifically, of the RAGNAR logo on my right calf. Ever since we did the ultra Ragnar race back in September, when they handed out temporary tattoos to do this with, I've been toying with the idea in my head. And then over the weekend while I was running, the audio book I was listening to had a long section that took place in a tattoo parlor. Maybe it was a sign. Probably not. But it still got me thinking about it again.

And then I am making that new list of stuff to do, and I think hmmmm... Should I put this on the list or not?

So today I mentioned it to my husband. Telling him of course he can't really disallow me from getting it, it's my body, blah etc, but I was curious how he'd react. Better than I expected, but...

He said although he isn't necessarily opposed to a tattoo in principle, especially one like what I described that is small and in an unobtrusive area, easy to hide in formal situations if necessary, etc... He said he just didn't think Ragnar was worthy of a tattoo! Not a hard enough challenge.

As if doing an ultra Ragnar less than a year after having a baby isn't hardcore enough or something!

I said what? Tell that to all the people who didn't do it, and thought we were crazy for doing it!

And he was like, yeah, but they aren't runners, they don't know... Now, if it were an iron Man, I'd totally get the tattoo, definitely worth it.

Le sigh. Anyway. I might do it.

New year, new attempt
Once again, I want to try to post more. To try and do that, I wanted to do another Mission 101. But it's hard for me to come up with 101 things. Then I thought, maybe I'll just do a year's worth of things... but then I'd have to remove a few of the things from this list because they are more than a year out.

Anyway, here's a list of some things I want to do. I will probably make the list longer as I think of more things.

If we actually consider it a Mission 101, I have until September 29, 2019 to complete all this stuff.

1. Run a half marathon in under 2 hours.
2. Run a “location” ragnar
3. Run a race at Disney with Kristy
4. Do the obstacle course thing next to lake elkhorn or lake kitti
5. Go to finland
6. Do a mediterranean cruise
7. update all passwords to be random
8. contribute meaningfully to open source
9. publish the hashing paper
10. Go through the stacks of newspapers so they can be recycled
11. attend at least two ASL meetups/events (3/25/17 - Romeo and Juliet)
12. all US stamps in album or catalogued
13. Finish photographing and uploading whitneyville cemetery
14. Fully photograph two additional cemeteries
15. Fix the beads on the black and white shirt
16. Make tank tops out of the t-shirts I saved
17. Do another new baby cross-stitch
18. Win nanowrimo
19. Do some of the cross stitch Christmas ornaments
20. Do one of those escape rooms
21. Find a primary care physician I like
22. Find a new family dentist we like
23. Go to the eye doctor
24. Go to the dermatologist
25. See the northern lights with my family
26. Go somewhere in the southern hemisphere
27. Drive north from Machias on rt. 1 until I get to the end
28. Visit PEI/Newfoundland
29. Try one of those dinner delivery services
30. Try stitch-fix
31. Be able to do 5 chin ups in a row by the end of the challenge.
32. Spirit cruise in baltimore inner harbor
33. take bb to an aquarium (3/19/17)
34. participate in another formal dance event
35. do one of those painting night things (3/23/17)

repetitive goals:
see more movies in theatre. maybe once a month? every other month?
average one book a week (only read 41 in 2016. it's hard with a toddler!)
read one hour a week journal/conference papers in my field
take a photo/screenshot every day of something that makes me happy
something about the DC walks cards
something about going dancing sometimes