This week.

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Life

That was quite a week, wasn’t it? Someone’s been busy. All I did was go to work, get a haircut, and try not to lose my damned mind over every New York Times app notification. Even my trusty Lamy 2000 fell apart.

At least Zen has had a great week. In between “spa treatments” (read: subcutaneous fluids) she’s been hand-fed baby food and otherwise fussed over pretty much non-stop.

Work

For every task I completed, I added three more to my to-do list. And next week begins with catalog upgrades, which means downtime, which means falling even further behind. January: snowed under on both metaphorical and literal levels.

Media

I started reading again! Currently I’m alternating between Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me and Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass.

FunkyPlaid and I watched an episode of Daredevil, but were too bored to continue. We moved on to Black Mirror, which is terrific but probably not the best thing to be watching at the moment.

Aurally, it’s mostly movie soundtracks and Jelly Roll Morton for me.

On the Internet

Ink o’ the Week

Noodler’s Ottoman Azure: deep sapphire blue with plenty of shading for capturing the nuances of melancholy.

Featured photo: the sign we put up in our yard.

This week.

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Life

If my life could be summed up in one emoji this week, it’d be 💩. I have been on hyper-vigilant poop watch for Zen, fretting over her lack of bowel movements, convinced that she would land back in the hospital. But Friday was a breakthrough day for Zen’s health, and as I write this she is back to her old, weird, snuggly, cantankerous, deeply loved self.

I do not have illusions about what all of this means in the long term; I realize that an elderly cat with chronic kidney disease has already gone through most of her nine lives. But for now, it is a reprieve, and in a darkened world it shines even brighter.

As for the rest … well, you read the news so you already know the “alternative facts”.

Work

As the snow piled up, so did my task list. Both melted a bit this week: RescueTime says I was 71% productive. It wasn’t a gratifying workweek, but I kept moving forward.

Media

It has been so long since I picked up a book that I may have forgotten how to read. Kind of ridiculous for someone who works in a library, but that’s how distracted and dismayed I have been.

TV is much easier to consume. FunkyPlaid and I finished watching Luke Cage and I’m already looking forward to the next season. We then watched Season 4 of Sherlock. Ugh, how disappointing! I don’t know what I wanted out of the last season but it wasn’t that.

I enjoyed two new albums, Violent Femmes’ We Can Do Anything and Austra’s Future Politics. Got a favorite Spotify playlist? Link it in the comments.

On the Internet

Stuck on a shop window in Northeast Portland.

A post shared by Halsted Mencotti Bernard (@cygnoir) on

Ink o’ the Week

Noodler’s Apache Sunset: Red, orange, and yellow crackling flames of a fire on a chilly January night.

This Week

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Life

So many things were disrupted this week that I don’t know where to start. I’ll start with the most important: despite a health scare, Zen is okay.

On Thursday morning, Zen started to show signs of discomfort due to constipation, and by the early afternoon her health appeared to have deteriorated rather quickly. Despite our vet being closed due to the weather, we managed to get her an appointment with an emergency vet six miles away. But neither FunkyPlaid nor I could drive due to the state of the roads. Portland’s largest cab company had just stopped answering the phone, and another cab company let me schedule a cab ride hours in advance but then never called to tell me that they were running 30-45 minutes behind schedule. Thank goodness for Lyft drivers with chains and 4-wheel drive.

48 hours of hospitalization later, Zen is starting to approach her old self. She is still worn out from the procedures, but she is eating and drinking and purring and cuddling. Right now she is happily curled up in her favorite cardboard box. Her prognosis is good, especially for a cat about to turn twenty, and I am so grateful.

Of course, I have been a total wreck over this, plus I came down with my own illness on Thursday morning (a standard yet persistent head-cold), so it has not been the greatest of weeks on record.

And then there’s the snowpocalypse. Portland pretty much shut down on Tuesday evening and started to open back up again on Friday morning, but as of this writing the roads in our neighborhood are still packed with snow and ice. FunkyPlaid has been an expert forager, but I’m really, really, really tired of not being able to do basic things like drive to work or even walk to the bus stop safely.

Work

I only had a two-day work week, and although I tried to enjoy the enforced downtime I am fairly stressed about everything that has piled up and is waiting for me tomorrow morning. RescueTime tells me that I have been 50% productive this week, which seems high for being snowed in and having a sick cat and the lurgy.

Media

I was too restless to spend much time reading, but Mini Metro has been an exceptionally good distraction in times of stress. It’s a subway layout game; what’s not to love?

Spotify’s Winter Classical playlist is a treat, especially on snow days.

As a side note, I upgraded my car’s software so it now has CarPlay, which means I can listen to Spotify on the way to work! If I ever get to drive my car again.

FunkyPlaid and I are almost finished with Luke Cage and are loving the soundtrack too. I also have a lot of reading to do.

On the Internet

Standing room only. #snowpocalypse #pdxtst

A post shared by Halsted Mencotti Bernard (@cygnoir) on

Ink o’ the Week

Kaweco Summer Purple: a muted, calming purple. Breathe. Visualize the snow melting away … there, that’s better.

This Week

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Life

Hello from the midst of another Portland ice-pocalypse! FunkyPlaid and I have a fire going in the fireplace and still have power, but the sidewalks and roads are covered with ice. Now that I have somewhat recovered from last year’s Project 365, I thought I’d attempt this weekly review again.

To combat the winter doldrums, I’ve restarted my daily mood tracking with Exist, which also integrates data from various other services I use to find trends and correlations. Some of the correlations will be obvious — like a better mood on weekends — but I am looking forward to the less obvious ones.

One of the services that Exist integrates is RescueTime, which I use to track how I’m using my computer time. It tells me that I have been 65% productive, which is a 10.2% increase from last week. (That is an overall productivity score, not only during work hours, so it also includes how much faffing off I do online during nights and weekends. This is intentional.)

Work

Three big deadlines hit all at once, which means that I spent too long in my office and felt pretty disconnected from my team. When I got home each night after work, I was too drained to do anything useful. But somehow I managed to begin a new short story draft!

Media

I finished reading Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt which is a gorgeous novel. It perfectly captures that free-fall of a passionate love affair and all the ennui-ridden rumination that accompanies it. I’m looking forward to watching Carol now that I have read the source material.

I started reading You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life because that seems like a good plan for 2017.

This week I have been listening to a lot of Real Jazz on SiriusXM. I also listened to the La La Land soundtrack a couple of times and finally listened to the newest Dinosaur Jr. album, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not. Hearing Dinosaur Jr. again prompted me to once again attempt to reconstruct one of the best mixtapes I have ever received. (Adam, if you’re reading this, that mixtape haunts my dreams.)

FunkyPlaid and I saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and enjoyed it quite a bit. We also finished watching Westworld, which was ultimately a disappointment. I loved the first few episodes, at least. Then we started watching Luke Cage which I like so much more than Jessica Jones!

On the Internet

[ more tweets & retweets, etc. ._.-. this section will be better in the future ]

Ink o’ the Week

I gave Rohrer & Klingner’s Verdigris another go, but it is too dark for me. I’m still enamored with the cool greenish-grey of De Atramentis Charles Dickens. Maybe I should look for an ice-blue to go with all of this wintry weather … recommendations?

Day 366 of Project 365: Last snap.

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As 2016 ends, so does this round of Project 365. I am relieved on both counts, although I will miss how the act of sharing a daily photo kept me connected with faraway loved ones. Thank you for being here; your presence meant a lot to me during this very challenging year.

I’m excited to refocus my creative energies on my writing in 2017, but I’ll keep sharing here from time to time. Stick around.

I hope that your 2017 is filled with enough light to see through the darkness.

via Instagram http://ift.tt/2hYnrrm

Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: the Song Exploder episode about Justin Hurwitz’s “La La Land”.