I often think in written words. I often discover how my brain is turning by putting my hands to a keyboard and seeing what comes out, and sometimes when I'm walking through life, long portions of poems or books will unfurl in my head. Some of then unfurl over and over again.

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn… “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world around you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then – to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you.”

Cooking good food is also wonderfully... nourishing, in a literal as well as a spiritual sense. Tonight: heating olive oil in a (no longer nonstick - I should seriously get cast iron) wok, tossing in a little turmeric and some whole cumin seeds so that they fried, then a thinly sliced summer squash, sauteeing until it softened, pouring in some miso soup to unstick the little bits at the bottom of the pan and also give it some salt, and reducing until the soup had all boiled into the squash. I'd like to actually bike to the farmers' market this week like I said I would a month ago; if my bike isn't perfectly cleaned and aligned, that's okay. (Also, I have a lone zucchini in the fridge and some tomatoes - need more fresh things.) I still agree with what I wrote during an earlier improvisation with chard, though.

I wish I could share the results of my good improvisations with others, though. That there were more people in the house to call over when I’ve found a way to cook something delicious, or when I’ve hit a musical groove, or drawn something cool, or made something shiny.

I'll use the contents of my spice cabinet more. I'd like to learn what to do with fresh herbs, too. And you can never really go wrong with freshly sliced strawberries and bananas on a bowl of cereal with (soy) milk poured on top, or blueberries or chocolate chips sprinkled into pancake batter. Someday I want to take cooking classes again; the basics let you learn to improvise. Someday I want to take cooking classes in Italy, and to learn how to enjoy large, bold portions of good food and red wine and fresh air. The first I'm pretty good at; the second I don't have much in the way of experience with, and the third I really could use quite a bit more often. Someday I'd like to get the Indian cookbook that Matt Jadud has and learn about the way they balance spices... $5, though. Not now. Perhaps another day.

The desk provided with this apartment is inadequate in size for my monitor + laptop + assorted technological implements; I don't even write with pen and paper on it - there's no surface left to do that on. So I pulled two blue bins, stacked them on each other, and made a secondary desk off to the right side, atop which my new subnetbook (hullo, shrike!) is merrily playing the Across the Universe soundtrack from a little portable disk drive. Someday, I'll dual-boot it with rawhide (and KDE!); someday I'll get a headset so I don't have to use a tangle of headphones and a mic stuck awkwardly into a tissue box as an impromptu stand (even worse: balancing it atop my water bottle). But not tonight. I don't have to fill all my days and nights with frenzied activity; breathing is good. Learning about that quite a bit these days.

I am appreciating little things right now. The SM Tuna Fish can (saved from recycling!) that now serves as a earbud holder on my desk. The pile of instruments leaning against the air conditioner. The small ways I've settled into this place, even temporarily, with gaps for travel - my toothbrush goes here, I pile dishes in the sink like so, this corner is for laundry, the contrast of my new filing bin in the closet next to the ragged cardboard boxes I've been hauling mementos in since high school, knowing that I occasionally need to reach through the wires on the floor to reboot my (cheap, terrible) wireless router. It's not that life is easy, but it's worthwhile, and I don't actually feel restless right now, which is... different. Nice, though. I appreciate those moments.

This week will be a tough one; it is the calm before the storm, and the difficult part will lie in keeping it calm. I have a 6-week blizzard of work travel coming up which I am very much looking forward to; there are a bunch of pressures and priorities (none bad - all very good, full of potential) that will be hitting me this week before I leave. Stepping back from that, making sure I keep a clear and level head, making sure I know what's important and what just looks shiny, making sure I am aware of the capacity and energy I have and don't just snap into oh my god work work work burnout wheeee mode as I am wont to do (one of my biggest dangers is that my reaction to being tired is to work harder until I'm too tired to realize I'm tired) - that's going to be the struggle. Fortunately, I'm not doing this alone.