wlotus: (Happy)
Well, hello LJ! So nice of you to still be here!

Right now I have nothing deep to say. I am here. I am happy. I am healthy, thank goodness. I am also reading you folks' posts with much interest. I read some very interesting folks here in LJ-land. If you are looking for new blogs to read, feel free to peruse my reading list.

I do have photos to share...I need to finish sorting the photos I made at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Races a couple of weekends ago.

But right now I have a house music podcast streaming from my PowerBook to my stereo, lavender essential oil in the diffuser, and work to do.

Oh, I've one thing to share before I end this post. Ms. T's birthday is at the end of the month, so I'd been looking for birthday idea that fit my budget. Last week she emphatically expressed her dislike for mismatched towels; the only matched set she has is the one I bought her two Christmases ago. She said she could hardly wait to throw out her old, random pieces in favor of new, fully matched sets. I just happened to have my PowerBook in my lap while she talked, just happened to find my way to JC Penny's website, and just happened to find an awesome sale on their towel sets. I bought her two sets in burnt orange, one of her favorite colors. When she came through the door from class last night, I was standing there holding a professionally gift-wrapped box with the explanation, "I couldn't think of anywhere to hide it that wouldn't squash the bow. Happy birthday."

She was positively thrilled when she unwrapped the gift and saw the towel sets. Judging by her reaction, you would have thought I had bought her something far more complex/expensive than towels. I like that she is so easy to please.

There are photos. She says I can post them on her birthday. That isn't for another ten days, so you'll have to wait.
wlotus: (Temper...)
The management of our apartment building mailed us notices detailing the electrical work they intend to do to the building as soon as the proposal is approved by the city. They finally plan to upgrade the wiring and install circuit breakers, which is GREAT and long overdue.

But...

This will most likely mean an increase in rent to cover the cost of the work (just like when they installed a new boiler a couple of years ago).

AND...

Instead of electricity being included in our rent as it is now, they will begin charging each apartment individually for its electricity usage.

Now I am stressed about the effect this will have on my already tight budget. That could spell out the end of being able to put money into savings each month, not to mention losing the modest $20 a week I have for spending money.

I dislike feeling stress over money. I like being calm and knowing I have enough. My brain comes up with the worst case scenario, however.

What if I considered a more positive set of possibilities?

What if I continue to have enough, even though I don't know how that will be possible? (I don't have to know how, just like I don't know for sure the worst case will happen.)

What if we are able to make everything be alright?


Wednesday, 18 August 2010, 4:17 PM

Now that I am calmer, I have re-read the documentation. They are not proposing an increase in the rent (yet); they are simply detailing the work to be done and asking for our comments. I wrote that I approve and asked, "Now that electricity will not be included in our rent, by how much will our rent be reduced?"

Ha ha, I know. But at least I am putting it out there, instead of hoping they will think about that on their own.
wlotus: (Photography II)
Did I mention today was a great day to ride a bike? Ms. T and I joined some buddies for a jaunt through Brooklyn and lower Manhattan.

Twyla the Bike
Twyla the Bike

View from the Brooklyn Bridge
A View from the Brooklyn Bridge

FDNY Ladder Company 20
FDNY Ladder Company 20

Feet
Hard-working Ms. T Feet
wlotus: (Blackberry)
A while back I took a wicked fall off Twyla after a sneak attack by a pothole. My helmet saved me from a nasty head injury, if the hefty crack in the padding was any indication. Until then Ms. T insisted she didn't need a bike helmet. Seeing me take that fall and walk away from it changed her mind.

IMG00606-20100814-1608.jpg

wlotus: (Atlas Shrugged)
[livejournal.com profile] sophiaserpentia has written an eye-opening (to me, anyway) description of why the political situation in this country is much worse than I imagined it was.

In spite of my surprise at the seriousness of the problem, it is no surprise to me that the Democratic Party is wasting a hard-won opportunity to turn this country around. If they keep it up, we are looking at another 8-16 years of Conservative Republican control over the country (and the fiscal and social nightmare that will accompany it) once Obama's term is up.
wlotus: (Face)
On Friday, I...

Hung out in a local Starbucks for several hours with Ms. T and LB, a fellow photographer. We shared work war stories (past job for me, hallelujah, as the current job still suits me just fine), teased one another, and had an uproariously good time.

There is more...a LOT more! )
wlotus: (Photography II)

Look Deep Inside, originally uploaded by wlotus.

wlotus: (Etsy)
House of Six Cats and I have collaborated to present some of my art on ceramic coasters! The coasters are a functional and fun way for me to present my art. They make excellent gifts, too.

Brooklyn Bridge coaster set Freedom Tower coaster set


Click on the image to go its Etsy listing in my shoppe.

If you would like to see specific images of mine on a coaster set, let me know, and I'll do my best to post a listing in short order!
wlotus: (Eyes Wide Open)
Bullying in the workplace is an ongoing problem America has failed to address, which puts us 20 years behind some European countries on the issue. Right now workplace bullying is, in most cases, completely LEGAL in America. We need to work to change that fact. The Workplace Bullying Institute is promoting legislation that will bring about that change.



I need to keep abreast of this issue in New York State and do what I can to help get this legislation passed. I am grateful I have not encountered bullying in my current workplace, but I have encountered it in the past. I wish I had known then what I am learning now from reading The Bully at Work: What You Can Do to Stop the Hurt and Reclaim Your Dignity on the Job, a book I bought while dealing with a toxic workplace that actively protected bullies. I would have gotten out much, much sooner than I did.
wlotus: (Blackberry)
It's the weekend! Time to go out and play!

This shot doesn't show the brown cropped leggings or the wooden bracelet, but they are there.

Ciao!

IMG00592-20100806-1738.jpg

wlotus: (Blackberry)
"Rosemary's Baby" is showing at Bryant Park, tonight. I've never seen the movie, so I'm sitting under the open sky waiting to take in the film. It should be a fun way to start the week.

IMG00583-20100802-2024.jpg

Paradox

Aug. 1st, 2010 09:11 am
wlotus: (Introspection)
I do not appreciate criticism of any person, place, or thing I like. Unless I perform intense mental acrobatics, I take such criticisms as deeply personal attacks.

At the same time I have no trouble criticizing people, places, and things I do not like or understand.

As someone who usually does a good job of seeing both sides of an issue and putting herself in others' shoes, I am fascinated and confused and embarrassed by this paradox. I may never understand it.


Post from mobile portal m.livejournal.com
wlotus: (Blackberry)
I have been reading the NY Times. (T bought a weekend subscription.) What started out as a delightful intellectual exercise eventually devolved into disgust over protests against a mosque near the site of the World Trade Center (blaming all Muslims for the attack on NYC is as ridiculous as blaming all men of betraying their marriage vows a la Tiger Woods) and angry disbelief over multi-million dollar apartment prices in the city (push us average people right on out of here, why don't you). I wish Chelsea Clinton well, but the fuss over her wedding is pushing my buttons, too. (No reflection on her in the least, especially since I am a big fan of her parents. I just have issues with fairy tales of that sort coming true for others.) Time for me to retreat into a book.

IMG00581-20100731-2341.jpg

wlotus: (Fountain Pen)
A review of a book [livejournal.com profile] slave2tehtink and anyone else interested in early American history may find fascinating.

In the decades before the Declaration of Independence, thousands of American colonists visited London. Wealthy Southern plantation owners and New England merchants, husbands and wives, children and slaves all arrived in what was thought to be the most exciting city in the world. Some went shopping for exquisite silver, fashionable furniture and the latest books; others traded their goods and engaged in political arguments in noisy coffee houses. A sojourn in London was part of the education of the sons (and sometimes daughters) of wealthy colonial families because, as one contemporary observed, “more is learnt of mankind here in a month than can be in a year in any other part of the world.”

~ From a NY Times Book Review by Andrea Wulf. When London was Capital of America, by Julie Favell.

Read the rest on the NY Times website.

I particularly like the tale of the slave who got himself arrested (deliberately?) just before his master was set to return to America, served his time, and was released a free man who remained in Britain.
wlotus: (Tending the Flame)
My conscience is my guide. In fact, honoring my conscience is very important, because that is how I honor and respect myself. When I do not follow my conscience, I am dishonoring myself just as surely as everyone who ever disrespected me in any way has dishonored me. If I should be able to trust anyone to honor me, it should be myself.
wlotus: (Deep Thoughts)
There is a lot of angst and sadness and anger in the world, and I seem to be able to easily, instinctively absorb those feelings from others. I wonder why I do not internalize others' happiness in that way. Their happiness, while real to me, is always separate from my own feelings. In contrast, I feel their sadness as though it is my own.

Scooter

Jul. 28th, 2010 08:59 am
wlotus: (Photography II)
black and white dog


Scooter is the real boss of Cranberry Inn. He is six years old, and he takes his hosting duties seriously. "He'll bark you out and bark you in," our hostess explained. He does this with much wagging of his tail and a voice far bigger than his little body. But he isn't a yippy dog; other than barking you in and out, you'd never know he's there, he's so quiet.

He's also a social butterfly. By dinner time he was bringing me his toys, so I could play tug of war with him.

*yawns* Is it Friday evening, yet? I am ready for the weekend.
wlotus: (Photography II)

Painting with (Head) Light, originally uploaded by wlotus.

Two-second exposure at ISO 1600 of a bridge over the west branch of the Delaware River. Hancock, NY.

wlotus: (Blackberry)
We drove down Rt. 97 on our way to I84. Rt. 97 is a scenic road along the Delaware River. At the Hawk's Nest overlook we stopped to marvel at nature's beauty.

IMG00570-20100725-1511.jpg

wlotus: (Blackberry)
Hello, from Hancock, NY! T and I decided to go away for two days and one night upstate. A former coworker and her husband own The Cranberry Inn Bed and Breakfast, where we are staying, tonight. We have a comfy room upstairs, complete with A/C. I can hardly wait to kick back there and relax with my wine coolers and book.

Hancock is a fairly small town. So far we are the only splash of color we've seen, *winkwinknudgenudge*. The people seem nice enough, though.

Time for dinner!

IMG00569-20100724-1909.jpg

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