LEGO, life, Uncategorized

LEGO and Other Distractions

This month’s reflection question in Unravel Your Year was about the challenges you have overcome so far this year. Well Susannah, I’ve now spent 2 1/2 straight months in a 1200 sq ft apartment with four other people, and I haven’t lost my mind or even my temper (much). I can’t say I’ve gotten much accomplished in that time, but I have loads of company in this, and I’m going to take whatever I can get: we’re alive, not sick (allergy season aside), and getting along fairly well. We are extremely fortunate in many ways.

The weather this week has been unseasonably hot, and while my nascent container garden seems to be enjoying it, the rest of us not so much. I took the opportunity to open my ludicrous self-indulgence for the month, which came in the form of a 2,200-piece LEGO set, the Destiny’s Bounty from the LEGO Ninjago movie. I am indifferent to the property, but I do like ships, and LEGO, and it gave me and the teen something to do with our afternoons for an entire week. She appointed herself assistant and sorted all of the pieces as we opened each of the 15 bags and worked our way through hundreds of detailed instructions.

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It is honestly an amazing set. There’s a couple of fragile points to be aware of if you intend it for active play; most notably the mobile bits at the rear tend to come off, but they are easy to reattach. It is also, as you can see, large when assembled, and I’m not entirely sure where it’s going to live going forward.

There are three removable sections, one at midship, and yes, that’s a little LEGO bathroom facility for the ninjas below, along with mementos from vanquished enemies. The anchors raise and lower on an ingenious little pulley system.

That bit of decking is a bit tricky to remove, being right between the masts, and there’s a lack of good grip points, but again it’s simple to put things back where they should go if something does come off. The stern has three layers:

There’s the wheel uppermost, and an adorable LEGO sextant and map. Under that is a training area, and under that a bedroom. It all terribly cute, and I consider it money well spent, although my 12yo son will almost certainly end up taking ownership of it in the future.

Other than that, I have spent most of the week playing with sourdough starter, having gotten some dried from a kind acquaintance. It has been revived and was used to make its first loaf yesterday.

Tomorrow it’s June; another month that lasted twelve years falls behind us.


Waiting Game

Short update this week, as we all alternate between watching news feeds and roaming the streets in search of paper goods. Schools are closed for at least two weeks, and my company has us working from home. It’s difficult to imagine getting much done under the circumstances, but I suppose we’ll try. (Writing? Maybe.)

And of course it’s impossible not to do that writer thing and take notes on how people are behaving. Anxiety, bravado, caring, avarice all come out in plain sight when something moves as slowly as this does.

Meanwhile, it’s a beautiful spring afternoon. Birds will sing, no matter what happens.


A Mandoline for Time

I could use one, if you happen to have one lying about — yesterday I sat down and wrote out A List of the major projects I happen to have going on these days. The result was daunting, and I found myself annoyed. Am I supposed to be a nearly-expert in this time/task management/workflow stuff or what? Project manager, manage thyself. Because trying to slice your days into ever-thinner bits in order to make Zeno-like progress on everything at the same time is not the way.

Remember last year, when I was all about leaving space for things to happen in? Well, things have certainly happened. It might be just about time to do some weeding. Job hunting in particular takes up a fair amount of energy, and it might be sensible to push off a few other things until something there lands. I could be making better use of my bullet journal, too, in order to keep on top of the major projects while still pecking away at daily habits.

And I ought to celebrate more — when there’s so much going on, it’s easy for wins to get swamped in “that’s great, but what about all of this other stuff,” which is no way to treat a win. In that spirit, a few of the week’s wins:

  • The novel draft is at 54,000 words.
  • I increased my run speed by 1/10 of a MPH.
  • I finished reading a book that has taken me a while to get through, bringing my total to six for the year.
  • A meeting of the professional group I co-organize went so well last week that I had to gently evict a couple of people 45 minutes after it was supposed to end.

Not too shabby. The week ahead is packed with activities, so I’m not going to beat myself up about missing Duolingo a few times.


In Search of Adequacy

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An adequate amount of seed stitch blanket border

It’s not a new disease, although social media certainly hasn’t helped any–this persistent feeling that whatever you’re doing, is not enough. It doesn’t matter that flipping through my bullet journal provides evidence that I did in fact do quite a few things this past week; it wasn’t enough things, or it was the wrong things, or….

Of course, there is no such thing as “enough,” and we know that, which makes it particularly annoying, on the lines of forgetting the thing we not only wrote down on the grocery list but circled to ensure that we would definitely not forget it. Really, brain? What in the world do I carry you around for, if this is all the use you’re going to be?

Thus far this weekend, I have been coping by means of buying food, making soup, and knitting. (I talked myself out of going to the yarn store; Farm & Fiber is coming up in a few weeks, and I will need my stash space then.) For today, that is enough.



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My mother is visiting, so there isn’t much else going on this week. This picture was taken on a gorgeous calm afternoon at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. We walked on the beach (and in the water — brr) and kept saying, “Wow!”