Day 35 of Project 365: Really got a hold on me.

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Today I visited the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library. I enjoyed a warm welcome from former coworkers and it was wonderful to be back in their company. But after an hour, the tenor of the reunion changed: I became desperately sad, missing it all so much, then overcome with the knowledge that the library and all the lives it contains exist separately from my memories of working there. The two are not the same. It’s easy to pretend they are from a distance.

After descending the magnificent central staircase so that I could snap today’s photo, I crossed the street and ducked into the Civic Center transit station. Two women on the Muni platform were singing “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me”:

I don’t like you, but I love you
Seems that I’m always thinkin’ of you
Though you treat me badly, I love you madly
You’ve really got a hold on me

Writing from: a nostalgic room in Marin. Listening to: The Bobs’ cover of “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me”.

Day 34 of Project 365: Emerald.

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The day I feared has arrived: one of the three fountain pens I filled right before Day 20 ran out of ink. (This photo-a-day project is handy because now I know how much ink my Conklin All-American holds, in days, which is more useful to me than milliliters.)

Luckily for me, I married a man who stashes ink in other countries.

Kind friends gave us a bottle of J. Herbin’s Emerald of Chivor, one of their 1670 Anniversary inks renowned for its crazy sheen. I did my best with a Rhodia No. 16 6 x 8 1⁄4″ Spiral Dot Grid notepad, some amateurish calligraphy, and the camera on my phone, but you should see a master in action.

Not much cheers me up faster than writing with a nice pen filled with beautiful ink.

Writing from: a quiet home in Marin. Listening to: Zen “zip-lining” (what we call her tiny squeezebox snores).

Day 33 of Project 365: Paper lotus.

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During any transition, there are days that don’t fit right, days filled with restless energy that rattle the wishbone and scour the brainpan. My morning pages were filled with the images from a nightmare in which I lost my prized possessions and when I tried to retrieve them, could only carry one at a time.

My subconscious has never been terribly subtle.

Job hunting stressed me out a bit so I did some origami tonight to relax. I chose the lotus flower I failed the last time. This black-and-white paper is not the paper I should be using to practice with, but I love the patterns.

Writing from: sickbed central in Marin. Listening to: warm air coming up through the vent, right before Zen goes to sit on it.

Day 32 of Project 365: Puzzled.

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There’s something going on in Iowa right now, I think. Is anyone running on the “improve Cygnoir’s immune system” ticket? I could use it. FunkyPlaid, too, has succumbed to the creeping crud. We’re having a quiet evening together, he with his puzzle of various beiges, and me with my notebook.

I’m not kidding about the beiges. Here’s another view:

Zen lounges on the rug near us, finally comfortable enough to let her guard down outside her inner sanctum.

Writing from: somewhere far away from Iowa. Listening to: the soft thwick of puzzle pieces on a plastic mat.

Day 31 of Project 365: Cooking for the family.

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Tonight I cooked dinner for the family. I had help: they subscribe to a service that delivers ingredients and recipes right to the door, all conveniently packed in a refrigerated box. The recipe for sloppy joes was very easy to follow — even though I went off-book with the spices because I believe in cumin and cinnamon and cayenne — and I liked the oven-baked potato wedges. The star of the meal for me was the salad of Tuscan kale, carrots, shallots, white wine vinegar, and mayonnaise.

It was a joy to cook with a nice hob and oven. Our flats in Edinburgh had temperamental kitchen appliances, and it was a challenge to replicate results from meal to meal.

Zen ventured out more today, and had a few run-ins with Jack. Despite hissing and paw-waving, no one was harmed. There was even a brief Zen/Cinnamon meeting, although Zen’s back was turned. Cinnamon looked horrified and will probably hide for the rest of the time we’re here.

Writing from: a drowsy guest-room in Marin. Listening to: frantic wind-chimes in the courtyard.