Dinah - preferences Archives

So now you know how it goes... 2012

Today's happy place: Watching Arlo's theme song again after all these years "A, a, a is for Arlo…" Hello!

Posted on June 8, 2012 at 01:01 PM in creativity, Dinah - preferences, linky goodness, music | Permalink | Comments (0)

recharging with routine 2012

After an an intensely social/eventful (& lovely) weekend, falling gratefully into mundane routines. Ready for comfort of order restoration.

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 07:58 AM in Dinah - preferences, mundania, tweets | Permalink | Comments (0)

still great 2012

Another great day of D&D and delicious food with my awesome pals @thelancearthur, @george08, @somethingmodern, & @someben. Happy Dinah!

Posted on May 28, 2012 at 10:08 PM in Dinah - preferences, friends & family, games, tweets | Permalink | Comments (0)

Not by any stretch actually an early morning person 2012

Mercifully, "morning of Joe's 5am alarm" & "morning of pre-6am start of helicopter noise" coinciding. Wouldn't want this for days in a row.

Posted on May 2, 2012 at 06:16 AM in Dinah - preferences, mundania, tweets, warnings & kvetches | Permalink | Comments (0)

Training a night owl 2012

My new habit of going to bed earlier (Joe time) is starting to work. Sleepy at 11pm. Part of me thinks that's just sad, but [at least I made the bed today]: Clean sheets!

Posted on April 28, 2012 at 11:16 PM in Dinah - preferences, tweets | Permalink | Comments (0)

New researcher gear for Dinah! 2012

Thanks to @thelancearthur's sharp eyes and insider info, I now have a lightweight mug and a new backpack for books/laptop.


See the fine researcher-friendly features of my swanky new Timbuk2 Q backpack ($99):

  • Easy access separate front pocket for empty lightweight mug (Delta Insulmug, bought at REI, $16). I can stroll out of the house with my morning tea, finish it before I go in a library, shake or wipe it dry, and then have it out of my way until the next morning.
  • Separate pocket for laptop power cable. Love!
  • The usual nice organizer found in Timbuk2 bags. I've stocked this bag with its basics (pens, pencil, good eraser, library and museum membership cards, business cards, a few little scraps of paper for noting call numbers, iPhone cable and earbuds, tissues in case of poorly serviced bathrooms, hand sanitizer, handkerchief, a few cough drops, a Luna Bar).
  • Big space for books, including a mesh pocket for large supplies like my bookweight.
  • Side-access padded laptop pocket.

This will be my third Timbuk2 bag, I believe, plus I've made good use of Joe's smaller messenger bag. Great products—and so pleasing to be able to buy locally.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 04:12 PM in Dinah - preferences, tools | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thanksgiving 2011

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And a photo (taken by Deanna) for our Flickr friend Peter thousands of miles away.

Jinx writes:
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And a photo by Uncle Larry:

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Posted on November 24, 2011 at 12:00 PM in Dinah - preferences, Food and Drink, friends & family, holidays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weeding through old bits of paper... 2011

One of my Discardian goals is to have nothing which I have not consciously looked at in the past two years and said "Yes. I still want this." Every possession's 'service contract' is up for renewal or I'm canceling it.

Now this is a big undertaking. I have not suffered a big loss of stuff. There has been no fire or tornado or other disaster to destroy any home I've ever lived in. I have stuff that dates back through my entire life, and I've got some things from my parents, grandparents, and ancestors further back. I have made big moves – to college, to a year abroad, to Hawaii for six months – but all of those took place when my childhood home was still owned by my folks. That big old Victorian house had plenty of room for me to tuck things away while I was gone. It was not until they sold that house in the late 1990s that I really had to start winnowing down. Even so, I lived in big enough places (or had kindly friends with basement storage to spare) that I was able to keep a lot of stuff.

The first really stern paring down of my belongings happened in 2002, when I moved to San Francisco, with all the self-focus and self-reinvention that that move usually implies. This is a city which encourages you to be true to yourself and shed your old snakeskins. It was at the end of that year that I invented Discardia. Since then, I've been very consciously evaluating what I have and letting go of what isn't bringing me utility and pleasure.

There are still boxes to go through, however. Not many, but some. Today I sorted through a box of papers and put them into the recycling bin or one of a very small number of piles: shred, scan and toss the original, file (almost entirely health and taxes stuff, all of which I plan to re-evaluate and pare down in a subsequent project), and "capture into blog or contacts or something else digital" (the scan stuff actually is destined for that category after it's digitized as a picture).

So what are these bits and bobs that I am not ready to just toss? Ideas, memories, contact information, and personal history data that tells when I was where doing what. Here are the bits that don't fit in somewhere else, put into my blog where I can easily search for them.

- books I'm glad I read a long time ago (that helped shape my thinking): Kevin A. Lynch's Good City Form (which I think was assigned in a class as an undergrad at UCSC).

- on my first visit to New York City I planned a walk for myself with these notes: "St. Pat's -> Park Ave downtown to maybe duck in at Waldorf Astoria at E 49th, continue on Park, Grand Central Terminal, west exit, 42nd, Madison, "Library Way", 5th, downtown, pass Empire State Building". On that first trip Joe and I went to the Campbell Apartments, WD-50 (appetizers, Rye & Quince cocktail, and a happy introduction to Amaro Montenegro), and Pegu Club.

- The Rye & Quince led us to seek out quince syrup which we found at Kalamala.com, "The Online Iranian Grocery Store". Along with that essential ingredient for a very tasty cocktail, we got a bunch of wacky stuff from them including willow water which is basically a refreshing-ish aspirin beverage. They currently only have quince lemon syrup which looks different from what we bought before, so I'm going to keep questing. Been craving a Rye & Quince again.

- Why the hell isn't Bill Irwin's brilliant show The Regard of Flight available on DVD? Grrr. Use the device, people!


It has just occurred to me that I can make my contact lists a lot easier to work with if I put zzz in front of the names of those I no longer am in regular contact with but for whom I want to keep the last known contact info. (I know, I know, I should use tagging or something, but this method will sync between any system I've got. Sometimes crude is more compatible.)

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 12:41 PM in Dinah - preferences, Discardia | Permalink | Comments (2)

green 2011


Posted on April 13, 2011 at 11:42 AM in Dinah - preferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

reading on the porch 2010

Photo by Mum Jinx.

Posted on July 24, 2010 at 12:01 PM in Dinah - preferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Significant repeated themes & motifs in my life 2009

I'm reading Sarah Susanka's The Not So Big Life and while some of it gets a little woo-woo new agey for me, I'm generally enjoying it. The pieces which are more tightly connected to her brilliant work as an architect and thinker on how we can occupy spaces that keep us happier are better than the generic spiritualism, I find.

Along the way there are various self-exploration exercises. Here's the list I brainstormed up about what are the significant and/or recurring themes/motifs/objects in my life.

  • books
  • checkerboard spheres
  • little whimsical things (but non-obviously so)
  • approximately Edwardian things and art
  • wood
  • unexpected angles (thinking here of the ceilings of my room as a kid, of a little table I have from the club I used to work at)
  • walking
  • libraries
  • public transit (and I was writing this brainstormed list on the MTA originally)
  • fresh produce
  • spices
  • alphabetization
  • simple, practical, sturdy, beautiful objects (e.g. a wool blanket I bought in Scotland the summer after high school and still use regularly)
  • Japanese art and design
  • writing
  • sleeping enough (or more than enough)
  • dark bedrooms
  • practical shoes
  • The Web
  • Macs and iPhones
  • music usually playing
  • sounds of the world
  • lists
  • showers
  • reading
  • kindness
  • San Francisco
  • London
  • places where redwoods grow
  • sourdough French bread
  • British humor
  • wit
  • wordplay
  • dictionaries and encyclopedias
  • curiousity
  • spring green
  • all natural greens, really
  • guitar music
  • The Beatles
  • Vince Guaraldi
  • smiling
  • fresh-cooked meals
  • uncomplicated starts to the day
  • naturalness (e.g. no makeup, honesty)
  • dark chocolate
  • cheese
  • the feel of clean sheets
  • being warm enough
  • noticing details
  • old houses and new houses with a sense of time and detail
  • Victorian houses
  • Craftsman furniture
  • Craftsman aesthetics
  • trying out new foods
  • perpetual upgrade

Posted on October 26, 2009 at 06:28 PM in Dinah - preferences | Permalink | Comments (4)

Dinah offers Joe some delicious peel 2008

Dinah likes chewing on lemon peels :)
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Photo by our friend Ann Larie.

Posted on November 22, 2008 at 12:00 PM in Dinah - preferences, warnings & kvetches | Permalink | Comments (0)

Detox/Recharge project 2007

step 1: reduce visual clutter


Gotta get the bedroom nice so I wake up to a non-stressful environment.

clutter reduction continued



Someday we'll get a coat rack instead of piling our hoodies on the library stair/chair, but it works for now.


step 2: stage things for next activities


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step 3: optimize for relaxed housemate


windowseat primed with New York Times, Wired & New Yorker for Joe to recline with when he gets back from day 2 (of 3) of his class for work

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step 4: get clean


I even shaved my legs, a hassle I confess to frequently putting off...

step 5: good dinner & scratch some things off the general shopping list



Step 6 not photographed: Sleep as long as I want, which turned out to be over 10 hours.

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Posted on October 13, 2007 at 12:00 PM in Dinah - preferences, Discardia, health, mundania, worry vs. clarity | Permalink | Comments (0)

At Imperial Tea Court 2006



Um, so yes, Joe returned from his big trip where he went around the world and drank lots of good tea and walked in urban areas and sat in coffeehouses and uh went walking around SF with me to coffeehouses and tea shops. We have our shared tastes.

Posted on November 17, 2006 at 12:01 PM in Dinah - preferences, Food and Drink, San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oddly, the cupboard door fell off this morning 2006


No harm done. I opened the cupboard and the top hinge & top screw of the bottom hinge completely disengaged. I held it shut with my left hand, not wanting to strip the bottom screw hole, reached to the drawer with my right hand, pulled out my convertable screwdriver, swapped to a standard head, and unscrewed the screw all one-handed. Felt very studly about the whole maneuver, primarily because my kitchen drawer was pleasingly in order with the screwdriver right there where it should be.

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Posted on November 3, 2006 at 12:00 PM in Dinah - preferences, Discardia, tools | Permalink | Comments (0)

at Golden Gate Antiques 2006

Nice side-by-side

Lovely old bar at Golden Gate Antiques

Another nice piece in this style in the front window, but a bit more 50's in the decor

Posted on July 16, 2006 at 12:07 PM in Dinah - preferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Alphabetizing therapy 2006


When I'm stressed (yesterday was a crappy day; it's bad enough to have someone leap to unfounded conclusions, worse when they blog it as fact) I find it very soothing to put something in order. Since my life is actually pretty great right now and things are ticking over well at work, the CDs got the attention.
There's a big stack of soundtracks/cast recordings, compilations, jazz, and classical out of frame to the left.

These CDs now represent my real iTunes collection. The stuff I've wound up not liking - rating it lower & lower and then deleting it - is listed on lala.com and in a box in the living room ready to be shipped out when someone wants it.

Posted on June 21, 2006 at 07:27 AM in Dinah - preferences, worry vs. clarity | Permalink | Comments (0)

Aptly brand-named skirt 2006


Original price well over $200.

Even Halcyon wouldn't look good in this.

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Posted on April 15, 2006 at 05:55 PM in Dinah - preferences, friends & family | Permalink | Comments (0)

Green! GREEN! Man, I love the green hills of spring. 2006


I like the rear view mirror image as well. This came out pretty well considering I hadn't even looked while I took it.


Rain & green grass in Sonoma/Marin


I love spring.

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Posted on April 15, 2006 at 11:28 AM in Dinah - preferences, the big room with the blue ceiling | Permalink | Comments (0)

I love brussels sprouts. 2006

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Posted on March 6, 2006 at 12:00 PM in Dinah - preferences, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0)

habit? 2006

No, really, I could stop any time.


(I do like that I now have a pair for every day of the week).

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Posted on March 5, 2006 at 12:02 PM in creativity, Dinah - preferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

A tour of Dinah's cube 2006


Why do that? (NYPL online style guide to XHTML) Here's why. (Jeff Veen's The Business Value of Web Standards)



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JJG and Peter Morville Information Architecture principles. S.R. Ranganathan quote "To be literate is to possess the cow of plenty"


(obscurely positioned where most do not see it:   )

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
- George Bernard Shaw


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I've had this quote up at work for at least the last two jobs.


Posted on March 4, 2006 at 12:00 PM in creativity, Dinah - preferences, librarianship, web design & documentation, work | Permalink | Comments (0)

New improved bedroom! 2006

clean sheets & pillowcases, freshly made bed, drawers full of clean clothes.


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On the left, The Cheap Pillow.  Ikea.  $7. And I like it better than the pricy one.
On the right, Joe says, "The Good Pillow". a.k.a. the $125 pillow. a.k.a. the After You've Spent Over $2K On A Bed You're Shell-Shocked Enough To Be A Sucker pillow.

Posted on February 19, 2006 at 12:01 PM in Dinah - preferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

43 things worth doing 2005

My part-time housemate Shannon just introduced me to 43 Things. It's a wonderful site for talking about your goals and dreams. Very cool, very encouraging.

I've already added 20 things to my list.

Posted on January 22, 2005 at 11:09 AM in Dinah - preferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Things that annoy me: 2004

Web sites that insist on your selecting a title - Mr. Mrs. Ms. - before you can submit your registration (e.g. Audible.com).

I am as offended by a requirement to state my gender as I would be by one to state my race.

Posted on July 31, 2004 at 05:57 PM in Dinah - preferences | Permalink | Comments (10)

Blog (noun) A weblog or similar brief journal usually containing links and commentary thereon. Term coined by Peter Merholz.

Visit Typepad or Blogger to start your own. (I began with hand coding, then switched to Blogger when it first became available, then to Movable Type when I wanted more control over my weblog and to have it hosted at a place of my choosing (Hurricane Electric). Since 06/2003 I've used Typepad, a hosted service built by the same folks who made Movable Type, which I love because I don't have to maintain the underlying system).

You may write to Dinah @ this domain.

Except where otherwise noted all content is copyright 1965-2018 Dinah Sanders. Please do not repost my writing or other creations elsewhere. Instead, copy a tiny bit and link to the rest. Thanks! Images are copyright of their original creators. MetaGrrrl logo and photos by Dinah are copyright 1965-2018 Dinah Sanders. Inkspot Books and the Inkspot logo have been Service Marks of Dinah Sanders since 1993.