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posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 09:59pm on 09/03/2010 under
I have an eclectic list of interests, I've found. I discovered this in my last trip through college where I took pre-calculus, history, physics and chemistry for fun. Of those classes, only one of the chemistry classes I took was *required* for my degree, but. Well, the others were interesting, so I took them. It seems to be the story of my life. I become interested in a subject matter, find a way to apply myself and my life to it, and become absorbed.

I discovered something the other night. A new discovery! While Steve was rambling at me (admittedly, I only half-listen at best most of the time), I realized I actually understood what he was talking about. I paused, and turned to look at him in confusion. I don't think he was actually expecting me to be listening to him (in truth, I don't think I was, either), and I mentioned that I actually understood that. He paused, possibly carefully treading on this new development. I further ventured that it's ... frustrating ... that I can understand these things (at a basic level), but it seems to do me no good in my professional or personal life (I do believe my words were: I can't make money on this.) After some chuckles, Steve pointed out that I could, in fact, learn more about, what I lovingly refer to as, his world.

So, he pointed me towards Upstart, Ubuntu's beloved initialization ... ah, software. After a crash course of what does this do, "Oh, I never realized people actually *code* those things, I just thought that just happened. You know, fairy dust." "Dear, I work on the platform team. My *job* is to do fairy dust." and so forth, I started prodding further into the depths of "Well, geez, this is actually kind of fascinating." and Steve, being ever so helpful, pointed me to the manpage.

Now, it is said that a journey of a thousand miles starts but with one step. This step of mine included staring blearily at a black background with white text, much of which was almost incomprehensible, and then stumbling, if you will, over lack of subject/verb agreement. This offended me! I couldn't even comprehend the line I was reading because of the distraction of, "Oh my god. This was written by an Englishman - what the hell!" I take a deep breath, scroll down so the noun/verb agreement no longer plagues my attention span, and come across a missing verb in another paragraph. Again, the distraction is just too much. I pointed out to Steve I can't do this. I need a red pen or something. So, Steve handed me the red pen.

The red pen is called bzr. I got a new crash course; this one in submitting patches, as they're much kinder to the developer than IRC conversations or emails (or so I'm told). After 1/2 hour or so of fiddling with logins, ssh keys, accounts and setups, I successfully submitted my very first patch EVER! (Ok, 2 grammar fixes, BUT THIS IS BIG, PEOPLE. This is my FIRST ADDITION TO THE COMMUNITY! Honestly, I feel like I should get a ribbon or a plaque or something for this.)

The pride of my success was dashed, however. To be able to submit this glorious patch for a noun/verb disagreement and a wayward verb, I must read and submit my agreement to Copyright Assignment (where I've found further grammar errors). For grammar. For the Queen's language. For a fixed manpage that I can actually read (or at least have no excuses why my eyes are glazing over and I'm not retaining what I've just read).

All joking aside, I'm still quite baffled by this requirement. If I were employed by a company who actually cared about such a thing, would my contributions be ignored? I can understand being careful with copyright law, but is there a point where we're overzealous? Is there seriously concern that I will attempt to claim copyright to a noun/verb agreement and missing verb? I mean, as ridiculously funny as that sounds to me, I sincerely doubt that any protections need to be in place for that. Is there a similar requirement in Debian? Were I to submit a patch to correct a typo in a manpage, would I be required to agree to their Social Contract?

It seems to me that this is losing sight of community focus, a general concern of mine as of late.
Mood:: 'puzzled' puzzled
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posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 08:20am on 16/05/2009 under
The flute player quit. She sent her resignation in on Tuesday. We all stared at it in disbelief. It was... a good thing, really, considering she was practically nothing but blatent hostility over the last few months, but it was so unexpected. On Wednesday, our french horn player sent in her resignation via email. Still no word from our oboe player and we were scheduled to rehearse on Friday. The bassoon player's response was similar to mine: Holy crap. What do we say? What do we do? I chose silence as the best and safest option.

By Wednesday night/Thursday morning, I felt the quintet had imploded. I'd have no musical outlet (other than the clarinet quartet gig in June and Midsummer Musical Retreat in August) until orchestra started back up in September. It was... a very depressing thought. And the feeling kinda surprised me. I haven't been back into music so long that it should be terribly riveting, but there you have it. The idea of a summer without music was *extremely* bleak to me.

Then the oboe player sent a message on Thursday night. She'd found a flute player and a horn player. We could meet at her house on Friday evening, get together and play. I knew the horn player and knew he was good - that sounded like fun.

Last night we rehearsed. Before I trekked out to Hillsboro, I grabbed the music from the old horn player and found out exactly how bitter the flute player is. Though her resignation letter was .. cordial .. she apparently is very angry and bitter and spiteful towards us. It made me snicker, but I just went on to rehearsal, looking forward to what our oboe player had in store for us. Oh my GOD. The new horn player is beyond good. He was AMAZING. And the new flute player was bemoaning her sight reading skills. But she was excellent! We played some music the bassoon, oboe and I knew already, and even we were caught with such surprise at how .... wonderfully ... we balanced, and how *gorgeous* everything sounded (ESPECIALLY THE HORN!!) that we missed notes, screwed up rhythms, got lost, etc. It was amusing. And amazing.

I left rehearsal last night completely energized - excited and happy to be a part of something so wonderful again. There was no stress. There was no hostility. Everyone was laughing. We played good music. CHALLENGING music. And we played it well.

I'm looking forward to quintet again. I haven't felt this way in probably a good year. Eeeeee!
Mood:: 'cheerful' cheerful
harmoney: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 01:37am on 10/05/2009 under
According to Steve, dreamwidth is open sourcey and acceptable in his eyes because Russ is involved.

And he was mildly surprised that I managed to find my way here without going through Debian or Ubuntu circles.

Yay 6 degrees connections!

Hmm. I wonder if Kevin Bacon will open an account here.
Mood:: 'tired' tired
harmoney: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 01:07am on 10/05/2009 under
I'm.. really unsure what I will do with a second blog site, as I seem to have fallen behind on my first, but I'll have to admit, I was worried about the LJ buy-outs. Multiple buyouts that quickly usually lead to bad, bad situations. I'm convinced my data there isn't safe, but then again, I've never been convinced that data online is safe in any way. Any way I look at it, I'm trusting my thoughts and opinions to be stored electronically on someone else's servers, and must trust their security and ability to maintain their hardware and software. Blahblahblah, yakkity schmakkity.

I have arrived. Safe and sound.
Mood:: 'tired' tired
harmoney: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 08:10pm on 30/04/2009 under , , , , ,
I've been stressed lately. At work, there are concerns and worries, and I'm not getting along as splendidly with one of the doctors as I wish I could. I come home, and my husband and I haven't been getting along as well either. I try to hide, tending to either have my clarinet at ready, or play on an online game that keeps me sufficiently distracted enough to not really care that my husband and I aren't getting along. Except, it doesn't work. If you hide from the problems, they still exist when you come out of hiding, sometimes much larger and much worse off than when you hid from them originally. I know this - I've known this for years. It, however, doesn't stop me from sticking my head in the sand.

So, I requested a mental health day from work and went for a walk.

I thought about where I would go on my walk for awhile, then decided I'd drive over to Tualatin Hills Nature Park, because it's one of my favorites, and it's fairly flat, which means less huffing and puffing and more thinking.

And then I spent the first 10 minutes of my walk silently arguing with myself. I had no idea what I was supposed to do, or why I was taking off of work to go on a walk. I was trying to figure out how in the world I was going to find any answers to anything just walking and not talking. And who I was asking the questions to? The trees were certainly not going to answer. Nor were the birds singing at me. I wasn't going to have any clearer answers walking than standing at work, holding a dog, drawing blood, setting a catheter, etc. But, I kept walking anyway.

That's about when I came to my first fork in the path. And I looked at my options. I had no idea where I wanted to go. No idea what I wanted to see. Where I needed to be. I didn't know which way to go. So, I chose the path that I don't often take when I'm there just because, well, I thought maybe the change of scenery would help. Shortly afterwards, I came to another fork. I paused a little briefer this time. I tried to figure out which way I wanted to go. Which way I *should* go, then decided it didn't matter. The idea was to walk, not to choose paths. So, I just turned and kept going. I came along another fork in the path and simply went a direction. I chose by virtue that I kept moving, but I didn't justify my choice to anyone - especially myself.

As I walked, I started questioning myself. And debating with myself. And arguing with myself. I feel stressed constantly. I'm finally back in music, and I think that's the one thing keeping me sane and grounded. Well, at least as sane and grounded as I have been. But, I never seem to be content or happy. I'm lazy. I'm reinvolved in ATS and seem to hide behind that shield as much as I can. It doesn't make me *happy*, but it certainly uses time and keeps me occupied. I continued walking. I started asking myself what the questions were at heart. And trying to find meaning. Searching for meaning, and not finding ANYTHING, but trying.

I came along a path that would take me to a pond. So, I took it. And I sat down and watched the pond for awhile. At this point, I'd been walking and taking random forks for the last 20 minutes or so. So, I started watching the water (I love water) and listening to the birds. After a few minutes, I decided I should move on, and started getting antsy over it. But, I was comfortable. And it was a beautiful day, and the pond was gorgeous - everything was green, the sun was out. Why should I move on? Because, came the voice in my head, you're sitting idle. You should keep moving. At that point, I told myself that I was there FOR ME. Not for other people, and I didn't have to worry about anyone declaring me idle or lazy.

So, I sat there for as long as I wanted. And, I saw movement on the other side of the pond. I stood up to look closer, and it was a blue heron. He paused and watched me. I stood still and watched him. Eventually, he waded out into the pond and started fishing. I could *feel* when he was about to jab at a fish after a couple of times. I could anticipate when he was about to lower his head. He was so beautiful. I simply watched him. I tried to take a picture with my camera phone, but it's not an iPhone so it sucked. That's ok, though. At the moment, it was the most beautiful thing ever. I turned and left the heron to his fishing.

Back up the path I wandered, pleased to have seen the heron. I came across a bridge. I love water, as I mentioned, so I paused on the bridge to watch the stream. A jogger passed by. I ensured I wasn't in his way and he paused after he passed me on the bridge. He pointed behind me, further downstream, and told me of the nutria that lives in the general area. He said that he likes to come out and forage for food occassionally. And then the jogger smiled kindly and wished me a good day. I wished him one as well, thanked him and started watching for the critter. He didn't come out, but that was fine. I decided to move on when I wanted to.

I continued across the bridge and down the path, following the stream. I was thinking about the nutria, and how I wasn't terribly disappointed that I didn't get to see him; afterall, I got to watch the heron, and that was cool. The path led me to a dead-end. I looked around for a little while, then turned around and walked back the way I came. I didn't feel frustrated. I didn't feel like I'd wasted time, even though I ended up nowhere. I didn't feel pressured to find a destination. I simply continued on, even though I had to backtrack. I also noticed that seeing the trees and stream from a different angle completely changed the perspective and the .. tone .. of the walk. It looked .. different. Still nice, just different. I got back to the bridge, wished Mr. Nutria farewell, and continued up the path. At this point, I decided maybe it was time to get back to my car.

So, I continued on, pausing to look at the path directional signs and following the signs back to the parking lot. The day was beautiful - very seriously beautiful. Not too warm, not too cool, light clouds dotting the sky. Gorgeous. I started thinking. You know, I've had low self-esteem most of my life (read: all), and I used to think that I was so lucky that Steve chose ME. Of everyone he could have chosen, why ME? Why not someone better? Prettier? Thinner? Smarter? More confident? More active? More influential? More ANYTHING ELSE? But despite this, I realized that I chose him, too. I had boyfriends in college. And I left most of them - a couple left me, but you know. That happens. For the most part, I left them, for one reason or another, some good reasons, some bad reasons, but regardless. I chose HIM every bit as he chose ME. It was then about love. And I do still love him, despite how much of an ass he can be. I don't want to leave him, and though we may be approaching an impass where something will have to give for us to be happy together, we're not there yet.

I continued walking. While walking, I looked around. I decided that even though I wasn't seeing everything on my walk, I wasn't missing a thing. Everything I saw was beautiful. Each trillium was different, unique, beautiful. And even if I didn't see them ALL, the ones I did see made me smile. I continued walking on. I discovered that even if I didn't have a destination chosen, I was still content with the path I was taking. It's cliche - that you should be happy with the journey. But, that's honestly how I felt. I walked, and I arrived. I could choose my path, or I could simply allow myself to be taken along the paths. Either way, I still arrived. I let myself get lost, and I allowed myself to find the path leading back to my car - back to the real world. Origin didn't matter that day. Destination didn't matter. Only the journey. Only refocusing and recentering. Finding balance within myself again.

One of the latest fights I've had with Steve is that I don't have goals for myself. I don't have ambitions. Let me explain something. When I set a goal - I go above and beyond to meet it. I become very focused. Very tunnel-visioned. I will see that goal, or I will die trying. I can't possibly focus on other things - I become almost OBSESSED with realizing the goal. Goals and ambitions are VERY stressful for me. If I want something, I want it NOW. I don't want to wait - I don't have the patience to wait. I never have. That's when I realized I'm an EXTREMELY lucky person. I don't mean as in 'fortunate at this point in life', I mean, I have some sort of luck charm on me that works in OVERTIME. Things fall in my lap. I tend to be in the right place at the right time. I look at people and simply know to remember them, that I'm going to need something from them later, or to remember minor details that seem insignificant at the time, but months later are incredibly important. When something bad is about to happen to me, something completely unexpected intervenes. I'll be doing something I shouldn't be (like maybe driving a little faster than is expected) and decide that I should slow down (very randomly) and end up finding a speed trap a mile down the road. The strangest strokes of luck - once or twice, can be coincidence, but I seem to LIVE in it. And I don't even appreciate it. There are people who are SO good to me, and I often times forget about them. I don't appreciate everything I have, and instead focus on what I want; where I want to be; what I want to do - even without setting goals, I know I do this.

And that's when I let go, as I turned the corner to take me back to the parking lot. It wasn't in view yet, but it would be soon. I let go. For a few moments, then, I was happy with who I was, grateful for those around me, knowing that I'm lucky beyond belief, in love even if not completely content, but most of all, pleased with my journey. The destination will be there whether I set it for myself or not. The origin has already been there, whether I'm happy about it or not. My journey is the only appreciable thing I have that I can affect, that I can tangibly enjoy, that I can for sure appreciate.

And my journey, though it made my legs hurt, brought me back into a peaceful harmony. Which is much more than I could have ever asked for.
Mood:: 'contemplative' contemplative
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posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 12:30am on 23/04/2009 under ,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, [livejournal.com profile] ngeran
Mood:: 'happy and loving' happy and loving
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posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 05:34pm on 05/04/2009 under
I loves my Sunnie, I do.
Mood:: 'sleepy' sleepy
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posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 11:32pm on 13/03/2009 under ,
I haven't had one of these for awhile!

First concert went.. amazingly well. I love it. I've been invited to stay permanently with the orchestra. Yay!

And, one of the oboe players shared this funny funny joke - it made me think of you, Sunnie!

Why were the viola players standing outside?

Because they couldn't find the key and didn't know when to come in!

*slap knee, giggle insanely*

Mood:: 'post-performance high' post-performance high
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posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 01:15pm on 13/01/2009 under ,
I started orchestra yesterday. No, really. I packed up my clarinet, drove myself over to Hillsboro, sat down, and played for a couple of hours with a group of people who sound much more amazing than I had assumed they did. At first, it was rough. Sight reading has never been my ... strong point .. and that's what I was doing, all the while thinking, "What the HELL am I DOING here? I don't hold a candle next to many of these people!" After awhile, I stopped thinking and started playing and felt a lot better.

At one point, one of the flute players turned around and introduced herself, then exclaimed, "You sound SO WONDERFUL!" I stared at her and wondered just what was in that water bottle she brought with her. We talked for awhile, and she was surprised to find out I have only been back to playing for about 1.5 years. Come to think of it, so am I.

But, now I'm playing where I'm supposed to be playing again. Symphony Orchestra. That is where I belong. It just took me awhile to get there.

Now, to get my sight reading while transposing music back up to par.

I'm in orchestra! Hurray me!
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
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posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 09:51pm on 27/12/2008 under , , , ,
Portland got snow. Like, wow, snow. Like, impressive even for an Iowan snowfall snow. 13 inches, in fact, measured on our upper deck (I hope it's still there - the deck, not the snow) before we left for Iowa. We were required to buy chains for our car. No shit. This is something that's... strange... for us. 27 years of living in Iowa, 11 of it driving in awful winters, and not once did I ever think chains were even necessary. Apparently, when you have hills/mountains and a metro area that does not get snow regularly (read: in decades), and thus doesn't have the infrastructure to handle safely clearing the roads, chains become necessary.

I could detail the number of adventures in driving a chained up Prius I've had over the last week or so, but. I'm sure you can find similar adventures by finding anyone's blog from Portland. For the record, even with chains, you still need to know how to drive in winter conditions - which Portlanders by and large DO NOT. Trips to the grocery stores, shopping mall, Fred's and work were all accomplished with a minimal amount of stress, but, still - FOUR WHEEL DRIVE DOES NOT MAKE YOU INVINCIBLE, PEOPLE NOR DO TIRE CHAINS.

We somehow miraculously made it to Iowa - after a 3-hour delay at PDX to get *into* MSP. We, naturally, missed our connecting flight into CID, but managed to get on one that left late that night, getting to my aunt's house around midnight and eventually Davenport (Steve's parent's house) around 2am. I can't even begin to describe how awful it was, but, we made it. And spent Christmas with Steve's dad, brother and sister-in-law. All-in-all, good. I refused to get up for church the next morning, and nobody seemed to be put-out with it. Apparently, it was understandable that I was tired. ;)

Yesterday was spent hanging out, then we came back to Cedar Rapids to spend time with my family. I cannot even begin to describe the amount of steam created from suddenly melting several inches of ice within the span of a few hours. The temperature rose to 51F, which led to ... extreme... foggy conditions to drive through. We made it, but I have to wonder if that was an act of God in of itself.

Today, the cousin (brother) and his wife made it out and we had a great time opening presents, watching movies, shopping and generally catching up on friend gossip. My cousin has a corvette now. Which is, um, ok. Right. Sure. =D

Today's quote of the day, for those playing along at home is: Wait... wait wait wait. Are you telling me that my mother sells ... sex toys?

Sadly, the answer to that was 'yes'.

Christmas has been good to me so far.
Mood:: 'tired' tired
location: Iowa


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