May 14th, 2005

Progress at long last

Almost 6 months ago, I built this bookshelf in the unused bedroom I think of as the library (although junk room would be a much better description), only to discover after I'd finished it that I spaced the shelves just a hair too close together, so that a tall book couldn't slide freely under the brackets.

Yesterday, I finally got off my fat ass and cut some pieces of 2x4, and today I unmounted the bottom shelf from its brackets and attached the pieces of 2x4 so that it can rest on the floor.  Then I got started moving the 6 shelves above it to distribute the ~3.5" of extra space amongst all the shelves so they can all hold books.  I got through 6 out of 8 brackets on the bottom shelf, and the batteries gave out in the drill/driver, so I'm taking an LJ break.

This project has been hanging over me all these months; knowing that I'm blowing it off has contributed in a small way to my depression, but every time I looked at it it was such a daunting task that I couldn't get started.

This time, at least, I made sure that a tall book sitting on the bottom shelf (now on the floor) clears the newly positioned brackets for the next shelf up before finishing the whole project, because if I did the whole thing and it was still useless I would probaby set fire to the house or something.  Only a few more hours (of actual working) and I'll actually be ahead of the game on bookshelves.

5 Questions from filkerdave

Dave asked me questions a while back, and I lost track of them, but in looking back through, I found them, so now I will answer them.

1) What's one thing about your musical performance you'd really like to improve?

What I really want to improve (or maybe I should say, discover) is connecting with the audience.  While there are plenty of things I want to get better at technically, as long as I keep myself practicing and keep myself from trying things that I haven't practiced enough recently  or I'm too tired for, I'm usually fairly happy with what I play, but I hardly ever feel that I've really succeeded in connecting with the audience, to get them to really pay attention and appreciate the song.

2) Have you ever found yourself attracted to religious beliefs other than the ones you grew up with?

I have found the religions invented by authors in some fantasy novels rather attractive -- not so much that I felt myself believing them, but that I felt that if I did find myself believing, I would be happy about it.  ("The trouble with believing is you can't decide you do / Not like how you decide you're gonna paint your kitchen blue" -- Lou & Peter)  Perhaps the best example of this is the religion in Bujold's The Curse of Chalion.

I have such a tremedous distrust of organized religion, and a profound belief that organized religion becomes perhaps the greatest evil in all of human society when it lets people trade in their minds for obedience to religious dogma, that I've never looked for a religion.

3) What's the best breakfast you can think of and how often do you have it?

I'm not a fan of traditional breakfast food.  When I do have traditional breakfast food, the thing I probably most enjoy is probably a good omelet.  I get one a few times a year, when I'm at a con hotel where there's a breakfast buffet including an omelet station and I actually get up in time for it.  But even when I am up then, if I could get a good *lunch* equally conveniently (i.e., without giving up being with friends, having to go a lot farther, or pay a lot more), I'd almost always choose lunch.

4) What was the single best thing about your recent trip?

The sense of wonder and the thrill of seeing a really beautiful sight.  There were so many times I just had to mentally pause and go *wow*.  I guess the best single place was a place well up the river from the lodge, a "rock cathedral" where the river had cut into a cliff to form a shallow cave.  We got out of the boat, and everywhere I turned, whether I looked up close or as far as I could see, was all stunning.

5) If you could go back and change careers from the get-go, what would you like to be doing now?

Somehow, I'd want to be working hands-on with tigers.  I'd like to be making a halfway decent living (nothing extravagant -- I just want health care, a house in the country, and enough free time and money that I can occasionally travel to cons or beautiful places) working at a facility that allowed a lot of people have the experience of being close to a tiger, the kind of experience that can turn people from seeing the plight of the tiger and other wild animals as just one of many problems that "somebody should do something about that someday" into something they care about personally and passionately.  Unfortunately, the availability of such positions is such that I might as well aspire to being President.