neadods: (contemplative)
This is where I belatedly look at last year's resolutions and tot up what I've accomplished. This is where I put a new list of what I plan on doing.

This is where neither of those are going to happen. My life took several sharp turns last year, including a major derail in the last quarter that only got back on the rails just in time to head full steam into the holidays and that, in conjunction with still dealing with my friend's brother's unexpected death almost a year ago now makes me a little less interested in making a list and checking it twice and a little more interested in spending time sitting sideways on the couch, cat in lap and book in hand.

(My involvement in social media is... going to be variable. At the moment, it depends on how well I conquer the urge to reach out and punch people over the Sherlock Special, which I enjoyed and others didn't. Both of which are fine, until people start using phrases like "an important voice in fandom says..." and "the real Holmes..." etc. I haven't seen "true fans..." yet, but it's been heavily implied and I've got 30 years of handing people who gatekeep fandom their own asses rising to the boil.)

As for this year, yes of course I have things to do. If nothing else, the final, final, final stages of the renovations started years ago are so damn close I can taste them. One big final push redoing my closet and going through my clothing and it's all over except rehanging art I took down over 5 years ago.

And there are things I want to do, to learn, to have in my life. Doubtless I will be talking about them as they arise.

In the meantime, this is enough.
- All but one room on the first floor is organized and decluttered enough
- I earned the "Perfect Prefect" pin and Dumbledore's Army galleon from Hogwarts Running Club
- There is significant improvement in the overall amount of sheer STUFF piled around
neadods: (busy)
So. Been a busy week, and meant to be a busy weekend, what with that extra day. Unfortunately for my productivity, all the ex-fundamentalist blogs I read have blown up with the Josh Duggar news, especially when the post about the police report on Love, Joy Feminism went viral. So that's been an interesting mix of conversation and whack-a-troll. All 2200 comments of it.

Also, as you can tell from the last few posts, the creature has found a new mad enthusiasm. And I got really excited about it. Really, REALLY excited. That, combined with weekend sale at MoonJoggers & Virtual Events, means that my current virtual racing schedule looks like this:

Today/tomorrow/end of week: Live Long and Prosper Memorial Mile, Geek Day 5K
June: Voldemort V-mile
July: Independence Day 5K NOTE TO SELF: Sign up for Run You Clever Nerd
August: , Summer SoleMate Fun Run, ET Phone Home 5K
???: upon completion of The Walk, I'm buying myself She turned her can'ts into cans and her dreams into plans
September: Smile Run
October: Support Our Girls NOTE TO SELF: Sign up for Up to No Good
???: upon completion of Zombies Run! Couch to 5K (scroll down), I'm buying myself She believed she could, so she did
November: Hug a Runner
December: Ugly Sweater virtual race, wrap up Meet Me on Mars (goal: Space Ranger)

This doesn't count upcoming not-yet-announced Flex it Pink and Hogwarts Running Club events.

Yes, at an average of $20 a race and $50 for Mars I did just drop a few hundred dollars. But what would a gym membership cost me for the next 8 months?

Still considering if I'm entering Happy Birthday USA this weekend to run on the 4th specifically. Also, MoonJoggers is selling old medals. I'm pondering if it "counts" to really, REALLY belatedly run a couple of those races. If I actually run 5K and throw a fiver at the charity, I've legitimately earned it, yes?

I would also like to do the live halloween 5K at Congressional Cemetery, and the next town over has a "Gobble Wobble" on Thanksgiving morning. I'd also rather like to run one of the real-world ugly sweater races, although I need to make the sweater.

The only time Run Like a Diva is in my area is an awkward date for me, but I'm keeping an eye on them for the 2016 go around.

Obviously, there's a new "Christmas Wish"/resolution: one v5K a month. In 2016, I'd like to up that to 3 5Ks of any description every 2 months. There's a shoe store here that runs timed ones on weeknights if there isn't a fun run or v5K around.
neadods: (sherdoc)
I. Have. GOT. To. Finish. Cleaning. The library and bedroom. Because they are the last two bits of clutter standing between my original renovation project and being able to move on with the life I have now, which is not the life I had when I started the project.

I also have to deal with my health. The indicators that I am tipping ever closer to diabetes are clustering, and only a fool would let them last as long as I have already.

So. I haven't done much decluttering yet, but it's my firm goal for the next couple of months. There is no reason why a concentrated, consistent, effort would fail. I just need to apply myself.

Healthwise, I have started applying myself. I've rejoined Weight Watchers and will give it the first quarter (although I'm not particularly pleased with the leader.) Although I'm not actually counting points yet, I am putting much more thought into my food choices.

More than that, I'm working on the rest of my physicality. One of my goals is to run 2 5K fun runs later in the year. To get there, I have started walking regularly - on my own during the week, but with a group on the weekend. A group that I set up, so I have the accountability of texting people, and meeting them, to keep me honest.

I'm not sure that I agree with the mileage listed in Map My Hike, but if it's accurate, I've walked 6 miles starting last Sunday.

Also, I attended a special New Year's Eve yoga class. I sucked like a hoover, but I liked the teacher enough to consider her Thursday classes. I also need to work in work with arm weights and daily stretches.

Some of my first goals have already been adjusted. Both handsewing the heavy twill and knitting the plied cotton hurts my hands, so I'm buying a new shortgown and just knitting another two potholders, then moving on.

I've also stopped just saving off the Knit and Purl mystery washcloth instructions and started knitting along. I don't need washcloths, but I do want a warm blanket, and what I use these blocks for is only determined by the yarn I use.
neadods: (contemplative)
My only comment on the season finale of Doctor Who: I enjoyed it, but I also admit that it is extremely problematic internally, racially, and logically and all of that has to be handwaved in order to enjoy it. Expecting "Permission to squee!" to be the new wibbly-wobbly quote; anyone who made lanyards/t-shirts/iron-ons with that quote could make a mint selling it across fandoms.

Okay. Resolutions. I'm hardly giving them up - over the years they've served me well - but I'm initiating one of the changes I talked about in the last resolution post.

As you know, last year I tried to treat resolutions as agile software development sprints, with extremely poor results. I'm trying again, with a different angle and a whole lot of pollyana positive thinking.

As before, each thing I want to accomplish is getting a page in my calendar so I can track what I have done/need to do. However, rather than labeling it "Resolution x" I'm retitling them "By [time frame] I wish to have X." Less a goal than an agile "user story" ("As a user of software x, I want to be able to y.")

I feel like 5 kinds of dork admitting that, but the point is to try to focus on the outcome and why I want to have it in my life rather than the work to get there. This has two advantages: keeping my eyes on the prize and allowing for creative problem solutions.

For instance: the previous post had the line " all knitting needs to be potholders for the Kitchen Guild."

The reframe is "By fall of 2015, I wish to have used up all the Sublime cotton yard making items for the Kitchen Guild." Concrete goal 1: to use up an underused and now little-wanted yarn. Concrete goal 2: to create useful items for the Kitchen Guild.

With the reframe, the path to those goals opens up wide. I was already looking up nice, thick knitting stitches to try. But I'm no longer limited to knitting: I've got a table loom in the basement; there's nothing stopping me from doing a bit of weaving with that yarn. Also, because I'm knitting double-stranded, why not consider this the perfect project to learn basic yarn-plying on? After all, if I screw up, this is going to be used for open hearth cooking; beauty is not the main desire here. All these interesting options for learning and stretching... and still in service of two specific goals: to use up a certain yarn and to create a certain item.

Y'all will doubtless hear of how it goes.
neadods: (contemplative)
My resolution year, like the federal fiscal year, doesn't really run from January to December. Here it is, just barely the beginning of November, and I'm already pretty much booked every weekend through Christmas - and my parents are talking about going out to eat on Christmas and thus I wouldn't have to do a lot of planning/precooking for that.

Assuming that I can talk them out of going to the cafeteria of their retirement community - I absolutely put my foot down on having a big holiday family meal at a cafeteria!! - I think I'm all for the idea. I'm so tapped out that I haven't even suggested panels for ChicagoTARDIS or 221BCon - and I only signed up for one panel at TARDIS as well.

The bad news is, this means that my "I will get the last two rooms cleaned and all artwork up in 2014" is... not going to happen.

The good news is, I got pretty darned close. And looking at my "you done good" list of the year has got enough really solid accomplishments on it that on the whole I don't feel like a loser.

(Speaking of which, even though two rooms are still an utter disaster, I need to tighten up my "Nea, you suck" speech, because in all but 2 occasions I barely got started on it before I found whatever it was that I was looking for.)

Anyway, time to wind down 2014 and start work on 2015, for which there are several major resolutions:

1) Stop thinking about cleaning up as "unfucking my over cluttered environment" and start thinking of it as "What do I need to do to make my life at this point in time easier?" (Long-time readers will remember how I agonized over putting away things that used to be important to me. But this year, I was able to start switching over to the healthier point of view that it wasn't MY fault that the pirate feasts are a thing in the past, so it's simply logical to put away the feast gear and put the open hearth cooking gear in its place.

Slightly harder, 2) All of my handiwork projects will be specifically tied to completing a project that will materially benefit some other project in my life. For instance, no knitting scarves or afghan blocks just to have something on needles - all knitting needs to be potholders for the Kitchen Guild or lace for caps and chemises. I will also be switching between knitting and sewing. Mandatory goal: all mending; multiple caps and pockets for Kitchen Guild garb. Desired goal: 1 handsewn 1790s servant garb & 1 handsewn 1812 servant garb.

The Being A Grownup Sucks resolution: 3) do not even consider planning an overseas trip until the garage is fixed and paid for. And the garage needs a LOT of work. On the up side, I am planning on indulging all of my this-continent fandoms: 221Bcon, JASNA's big meeting, Stratford theater trip, ChicagoTARDIS. This very likely means no England at all, although I'm not entirely ruling out a Christmas market/panto trip.

And finally, the "It's Good For You" resolution: 4) Join Parkrun with the goal of running the Congressional Cemetery Halloween 5K in 45 minutes or less. (I walked their Flee the British 5K in 58 minutes, so I think knocking a quarter hour off my time in 11 months is not an unreasonable goal.) Along the way I plan to complete all missions of The Walk app and do the Zombies, Run! Couch to 5K app.
neadods: (sherdoc)
People seem to be interested in reading some of the systems I've created, and today a very old one is absolutely saving my ass.

On my computer, in the same folder with my resumes, is a Word table titled "career data." It has the month/year that each job started and ended, the name of the company, and the name(s) of my supervisors. It also has the resume writeup I used when that job was fresh and new.

Setting it up was a pain in the patoot; maintaining it literally only takes a couple of minutes, because when I write the resume I just copy/paste over and fill in the names of any new people I work for.

So here I am, working on a brand new federalized resume, and just when I'm thinking "fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck, I can't remember what I did in 1999" I've got this lovely database holding my job description when it was fresh and new and I was trying to make it sound sexy. It's not doing the rewrite work for me, but it's sure making the rewrite go a lot easier than if I had to reconstruct the problem-action-outcome-keywords from a now-shrunken blurb from 6 jobs ago.
neadods: (contemplative)
I am near, but not at, where I want to be, either in the renovations or the budget. But... I'm getting awfully close. So close that I have been startled in the last week to realize that when I want information, I know where to go lay my hand on it. That despite the mess in the library and the bedroom (and, at the moment, the living room) I am finding things when I need to find them.

I was even more startled today to realize that, although I still have debt and my savings are not where I'd like them, money is there when I want it. I can, in fact, go to the store next Friday and buy the new iphone outright. No contracts.

No DEBT.

Yeah, afterwards I need to take the Little VISA out of my wallet until the end of October, but that's to let the account attached to it recover up to the level where I want it, not to actually earn back the $$ to pay down the phone. I know it sounds kind of the same, but the difference, although subtle, is profound - it's not that I won't have the money I need, it's that I won't have as much of the money that I want.

Damn, this shit really works. I'm... actually starting to get my fingers around the life I want in my grasp.
neadods: (contemplative)
Yeah, 2015. I'm actually within sight of completing the main 2014 resolutions - heck, of completing the entire house renovation. Have to work hard enough to actually *reach* the goal, but I can see it from here.

I already had one resolution for next year - getting a grip on my life and priorities so I don't stare wild-eyed at people when they remind me what I said I'd do. (It still gets done, mostly, but it's more stress on me and everyone else than it needs to be.)

Tonight I add a second, more frivolous goal. Congressional Cemetery, the location of Flee The British, has another 5K coming up - Dead Man's Run, which starts with a funeral knell and will include ghosts popping up. This is too much fun - and my time at Flee the British was so bad I got trampled by the British. So 2015 resolution #2 - Couch to 5K. (I have also joined Tombs and Tomes, the Congressional Cemetery book club. All the books have titles that have something to do with death. This month is The Skeleton Crew: How Amateurs Are Solving America's Coldest Cases by Halber.)

When things are over, it won't just be the house that is permanently changed...
neadods: (sherdoc)
True, I have not done Sunday wrapups for the last two weeks.

For the last two weeks I have:
1) Driven to Colonial Williamsburg/Quiltfest Hampden
2) Saw Night Vale Live (SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE)
3) Driven to the Philadelphia Flower Show
4) Gone to Benfest

There was something I did last Sunday too, but bugger if I remember what it was now. Oh, yeah, saw a moderately amusing The Importance of Being Earnest. (The women were good, the men were shouty, Lady Bracknell did not have the requisite force of personality.)

I also got the notice that I'm on 4 panels for 221B Con:
- Russian Holmes
- Canon 101
- Theater of the Imagination (audio Holmes)
- Doctor Who

I am aware of the symmetry that I'm on a Who panel at a Holmes con and was on a Holmes panel at a Who con.

I also really wanted to make a bunch of little printouts of a story or two to hand out, but am not sure I will have the time/$$ to get them done in time now.

This week, I'm trying to get back into the "sprint" saddle. As chemises and skirts can overlap from the Kitchen Guild to the Rennfaire, I have gone through my rennie closet and dumped whatever was too small (a depressing lot of it) and told my friends I'll sell it cheap. We'll see who, if anyone, nibbles.

The rest of my sprint is Kitchen Guild setup. The tasks are:
- Go through rennie closet; get rid of unworn garb to make room. (Done, although I kept three of my favorites in case of lost weight)

- Wash & iron new kitchen guild garb (I bought a fair amount of it at Colonial Williamsburg; caps, stockings, and short gowns did not change much in 70 years) Washing happening now.

- Run elastic through the drawstrings of the Jas Townsend chemise sleeves and waists. (I don't care if it's not period; I'm literally playing with fire and will not be constrained by my sleeves!) Ditto the drawstring waist of a linen skirt.

- Go through my rennfaire basket/feast gear/accessories. part of the wardrobe. Cull as necessary, group into new bins as necessary, and make a space for the kitchen guild gear and accessories.

- Finish reading/highlighting book on open hearth cooking.

I feel reasonably certain that I can accomplish all these tasks by Sunday morning, although I'll probably be running elastic rather than knitting at knit night.

Also, I'm going to start doing a lot of unfollowing on Facebook. It's not that I don't care, it's that I'm spending far too much time online. I'm not unfriending; I can ramp back up when the house is done. And the house MUST be done this year. I'm so close there's really no excuse.
neadods: (sherdoc)
There is something completely out of whack when it seems like reckless abandonment to flip through magazines for half an hour.

That said, I am doing *slightly* better on the chore-life balancing. Slightly. I'm certainly glad that I made time to go to Chort's last annual privateer feast. I'm even gladder that I put an antique candle mold on the flea market table - that went fast and I hope it brought in good money. It was a bittersweet time last night, knowing that this was the last, and knowing that this year we were donating money not for Team Wench's generic cancer fundraiser but for our hostess' medical bills.

I've sold an essay. I don't actually know for how much, though, which is hardly the grownup way to be a writer.

Although I'm not using the kanban board I built on the fridge, the idea of splitting all my chores into agile sprints appears to be a good one. However, I'm already having to fight the idea that "oh, yeah, I need to work on that eventually" is an appropriate way of dealing with the chore du sprint, and the fact that some important things are falling through the cracks because I haven't thought to write them up as a sprint. So the bones are good, but I need a little more discipline.

Don't I always! You may start getting a Sunday 7 list from me. Boring, I know, but the public name-and-shame of it has always helped me keep on track.

However, I can also point to a couple of little victories. Finances, for one. I'm one of those people who just threw everything - receipts, statements, bills, ATM slips, etc., into a bin and then stuffed the contents of said bin into a holding box for the legal 7 years. Just tossing things places was quick, but inconvenient to dig anything up.

So two months ago I sat down and took an old bunch of large envelopes. On the front is a list of each monthly bill I have to pay, so I can see when I did and how much. Clipped to the back of the current month's envelope is a tally sheet so I can write down how much I pay the credit cards (all but 1 are paid off and the last one will be done soon, but I still want to know how much I use them for over a year), a tally sheet so I can track the status of the furlough loan, and the rent slip for M. In the upcoming months are blank rent slips, a deposit slip, and the appropriate pages out of the mortgage and furlough loan books so I can pull them out when they're due.

There's a differently colored envelope for tax stuff, with its own check list.

I'm still basically throwing things in a bin... but it's a bin sorted by month that makes it very easy for me to leave notes for myself, organizes my paperwork where I'll need it and when I'll need it, and lets me keep track of everything at a glance. Not bad.

What's even better is that sniffing around my piles of "This may be useful someday" stuff has coughed up enough envelopes for me to have another 5 years of this system before I have to purchase anything for it. I also found yet a third set of envelopes good for using for investment mailings.

... and to give you some idea of how much of a packrat I am, they're labelled with various months in 1994.
neadods: (sherdoc)
Tomorrow I'm going to be mailining Sherlock. And on Monday I can finally go back on tumblr again; I've been avoiding even the Night Vale-specific ones for fear of spoilers.

In my personal life, the agile/kanban thing is working REALLY well. Oh, I don't think I go a week without rejuggling what the next "sprint" will be, BUT I'm noticing some really great benefits:

1) This is fabulous for focus. Instead of thoughts of racing "you should x, you should y, you should z" I can tell myself "I should work on THIS sprint this week and then I can think about x, and then I'll think about y..."

2) By specifically stating "what will success look like/what do I need to achieve it" I've been able to clearly define what I need to do and how I need to go about it. For instance, instead of "clean up Christmas stuff" it was "I want to clean up the Christmas stuff so that everything is sorted together, easily accessible, and safe from cats. That would require... bins? Bins would work, but you don't consider them accessible. How else could they be sorted? Oh, look, see that unused barrister bookshelf? Is that long enough to hold rolls of paper? Yes? Where could it be put up?

... and so instead of having my Christmas stuff strewn all over a couple of floors, it was tidy, organized, and accessible with materials on hand in about 90 minutes.

3) Early success has made me determined to keep up the winning streak. This means that this week's sprint was a task I've been putting off and putting off and putting off, but yet I could still convince myself "look, it's just one week. One week and then it's all over and done. That's not so bad." And indeed, the job is done.

4) There's a built-in reward system for finishing the task early. Rather than look around for the next thing I "have" to do, I am using the rest of this week's sprint time to just relax. Read. Putter around online.


And the systems I'm bringing online are all combining to make some part of my life easier. Nicer. Less effort on my part. And that is REALLY encouraging that I can actually achieve my goal of reaching the point where I can focus most of my life energy on what I want to do, not what I have to clean up or clear out or organize.

If nothing else, I am getting a better balance in this young year. I've done a clinic shift and a Book Thing run and still had time to throw a party, attend a party, and get to this Sherlock shindig while still clearing up the clutter steadily, working on some professional goals, cleaning up my iTunes, creating my "if I'm hit by a bus" book, cleaning up my Christmas crap, and hanging shelves in the bathroom. Not a bad mix of activity and recreation in less than a fortnight!

Resolutions

Jan. 1st, 2014 11:18 am
neadods: (christmas_elf)
I'm not even going to look up last year's resolutions; I know the general parameters and I know how little I fit them.

Maybe the problem was that the parameters were so vague. So this year, there's an agile board and a series of specific tasks with definable goals:

BEDROOM:
- declutter to the point that the floor is clear and there are no piles on flat surfaces
- clothes to be gone through; off-season to be stored in basement and non-fitting to be donated

KITCHEN:
- cabinets to be painted, items within to be gone through, organizing bins/shelves/etc. to be added. New hardware
- "dining area" - remove current furniture, add buffet and shelving
- Hang shelves by refrigerator

BATHROOM:
- vanity repaint, add drawer pulls, restore missing door
- touch up wall paint where assd other work has scuffed/pulled it away

LIBRARY:
- winnow books in shelves
- organize book collections
- declutter floor
- put console table in; move desktop from bedroom to library

LITTLE FREE LIBRARY
- set up far more organized system for moving books in and out and collecting them for the Book Thing

LIVING ROOM:
- Cookbook shelves: paint fronts with blackboard paint, winnow collection

PERSONAL:
- accomplish "The Walk" exercise program
- clinic minimum 6 times
- reduce debt by 3/4 if not pay off

KITCHEN GUILD:
- attend minimum 6 times
- assemble basic wardrobe

FANDOM:
- help run Scintillation of Scions
- help run Watson's Tin Box formal dinner
- Attend/panelist at 221BCon, ChicagoTARDIS
- deliver minimum 3 essays (1 written and needing typed ASAP, 1 due mid-Feb, 1 due August)


Those are the goals within my power to achieve. I believe that they are achievable within a single calendar year.

... and if this time I have the discipline to do it, I can FINALLY turn back to spending more time in 2015 on what I WANT do do and not what I HAVE to get done!
neadods: (contemplative)
First, it's been a while since Father Corleone showed up at the clinic. However, the newer, younger priest - the one who was calling "they won't help you, they'll only hurt you!" as women went in and then shouted "You need to ask forgiveness!" when they came out -- well, he named himself when he told a black man walking in "Come talk to me! Bro, I'm chill!" Out with Father Corleone. In with Father Chill. (The other escort simply called him "ChillBro.")


Second, the laptop my dad gave me just crashed for the third time in two months. So I wailed on facebook that I'd have to buy a Windows 8 laptop after all (as I had sort of planned before furlough frelled everything) and found out about a decently priced reliable computer reseller in the neighborhood. It's going to take me the rest of the afternoon to transfer files from the one I'm typing on and get the new one all set up the way I want, but out with the unreliable secondhand laptop and in with the one with a year's warrenty.


And finally, I have decided to start a new New Year's tradition. As I tootle around the house, I'm taking things that are perfectly useful but have no use to *me* - the backpack with the tags still on it, the handsets and answering machine from the now-defunct landline, presents that have languished in the present drawer for years waiting for The Right Person - and I'm putting them into a basket. As people come for parties or just to hang out through January, they may poke through and take what they please. Out with the stuff I don't need, into the hands of people who want it!
neadods: (sherlock)
And accomplished I have been! Last night I returned to the scion society The Red Circle of DC for the first time in what is likely 20 (25?) years. Jeremy Brett was Holmes at the time.

Today I:
Cleaned up after the big bowl broken by the kittens. Since I had to sweep and mop the hall anyway, I might as well go on to steam mop it... and sweep & steam mop the kitchen... and scrub the kitchen counters... and scrub the bathroom counter & toilet... and sweep and steam clean in there, and once all *that* was done, there was no point in not wet-swiffering the living room and calling it a day.

Only I couldn't call it a day, because that was all before I stood a clinic shift. )

We also had an ex-military guy approach us and ask about escort training. Fearless Escort Leader is also ex-mil, so they had a grand old time swapping stories.

I topped off my gas tank on the way back, and was approached by Bobby The Pop-Up Body Guy. That sounds a little rude, but what he was actually doing was approaching people in the gas station to see if his team could take our cars around back and knock out the dings. Now, I've been mellow enough about the duct tape holding on the bumper to leave it on since September 2011 but it bothers my father SO MUCH that my main Christmas present this year was his offer to pay for all the body work *and* the rental car... which is time that I don't want to deal with. So I thought whatthehell, and let them work on it.

I got back with just barely enough time to take a desperately needed shower before rushing off to the Jane Austen Cafe at Riversdale mansion. I'll give a fuller description if people want, but basically we were discussing Pride and Prejudice and changes in women's lives (via the changes in what is considered "an accomplished woman" from then to now). I met a woman who writes Regency romances and another who is a mover and shaker of the Jane Austen Society of North America, which I have flirted with joining before and most likely will do now.

Then it was back to Bobby the Pop-Up Body Guy to clear my throat loudly and point out that while all traces of duct tape and dent have been removed, the bumper cover was still pulling loose. So I watched while the lower corner of it was screwed in... I don't quite understand how that worked but it's holding on now, so who cares?

I have three loads of laundry to do and then I shall feel I will have completely earned an agenda for tomorrow that reads, in its entirety:
1) Wear flannel PJs all day
2) Finish reading Pride and Prejudice
3) Read magazines.

For the Little Free Library fans, I wish I'd written down the books I'd put out after Snowmageddon, because a good third of them have vanished - quite likely via the local dogwalker who has requested cookbooks and the Verizon people who, although they couldn't sell me FIOS, did ask if they could take books. It turns out, though, that the door has warped, allowing the wind to whip it open - which means that during a windy rain, the books inside are in trouble. I need to come up with a catch that will hold up to wind and yet not confound the people who want books.
neadods: (Default)
This is supposed to be the space where I do my weekly wrap-up. However, my fingers were still in the peeling/fortheloveofGodSTOPITCHINGSTOPSTOP stage when I caught a rather nasty cold, so all I've really been good for is flopping on the couch like a fish, watching Too Cute (occasionally interspersed with Hoarders. Now there's a combo that'll fuck with your head.)

BUT! I've been praised online recently a couple of times for being the type who Gets Things Done, which has the encouraging result of making me look for things I can Get Done even when "keep breathing" is high on the list of major efforts. And I do have things I want to share.

App Recs )

BENTO INFO
If you have ever been interested in bento, or just need some help figuring out packable meals, justbento.com has kicked off an online class "Bento 101: Getting into the Bento Habit." Classes "What Can I Eat?" (with vegetarian/vegan option) and "What Do I Put It In?" have been posted.


MURDER PARTY
I peeled myself out of my deathbed to see someone get offed at Riversdale mansion in their second murder party. This was as much fun as the first (or would have been if the decongestants hadn't worn off right as Mr. Foster came into the room shouting "Colonel Barclay has been murdered!" (In the study with a poker, y'all.) Because there is a lot of local history dealing with the War of 1812, this one was war-centered, dealing with subplots of politics, smuggling, and embargoes and partially using real people. "Tommy Jeff* did refer to me as a virago," Mrs. Merry said smugly at one point. The killer went into a lovely meltdown when accused - all the more impressive when we were told that she had stepped into the role barely 6 hours before the show started.

Technically, I did not deserve the 25% off your next ticket coupon awarded to our team for figuring out killer and motive because I thought it was someone else but was overruled. Practically speaking, I've already bought the tickets for the Jane Austen cafe (desserts and dish over Pride and Prejudice) anyway.

In a combination of access, "may I please" and, okay, one snatch, I have collected the entire "you may have copies of these clues" set. I've been pleased with how I turned the art and info from SherlockNYC's museum treasure hunt into a thing, so I'm planning on turning all of this into a collage, which I'll frame & hang. I always intended to turn one of the hallways into an art gallery, but filling it with framed mementos of adventures will be much cooler, don't you think? And more accessible than scrapbooking, because then what do you do with the books?


*aka President Thos. Jefferson, proving that loathing the President isn't new.


KNITTING BRAG
My one really BIG accomplishment this week is conquering icord binding. This took a couple of rip-outs, questions at the fading knit night, needles one size up, and about 12-14 inches of ass-ugly work that I'm not redoing, but now I know the rhythm, can turn a corner, and can weave the ends inside the cord as I work. THAT is one for the "important things I've learned this year," in my opinion.


Coffee maker question
If you're still reading, I've got a question for y'all. I've recently scored a one-cup coffee maker for the office - not that I like coffee, but that there are many, many things that you can do with 8-14 ounces of boiling water. Instant cocoa and oatmeal, of course, but what else do y'all do with hot water? Anyone try making pasta in one? Poaching small-diced foods?
neadods: (Default)
So far this year, I've been picking off the simple to do things from the "52 Organizing Missions" - stuff I've already done for the most part - and checked that off the resolutions list. Problem: I'm not then actually doing anything about the actual mess in the actual house.

Time to get serious. And to try not to be spittingly jealous of M, because *she* did all her work in advance so she could award herself a "spa day" - which we define as hanging around with nothing to do but eat, read, watch TV and maybe knit. Not even cook, because food's ready. I have NOT done my work in advance, and after I've had breakfast, I need to clean (including inaugurate the new steam mop), pay all the bills, update the iphone and ipad with new apps and fic, and pull my shit together for the upcoming week (make lunches & set out clothing.)

Little Free Library
One of my neighbors donated two grocery bags full of books, mostly paranormal romance. She says there's more to come.

RETURNED: Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Dog Gone It
GIVEN: 2 bags, Chic and Slim Encore
LEFT: Farm City, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Gone, Guards Guards, I Don't Know How She Does It, Insane City, Ms. Hargraves, Pasta Sauces, The Human The Orchid and the Octopus, Who Says Elephants Can't Dance

House Renovation
Talked with my father on how to engineer radiator cover on opposite side of living room (between two bookcases) took measurements. Looked into some interesting Ikea hacks for kitchen.

52 Organizing Missions (still goldbricking)
Clearing Out Your Mind (to my amusement, this was a potted version of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)


52 Weight Loss Missions (name and shame: up 1 lb)
Detox Your Space. I need to throw out some old ice cream; other than that, we've done it the way you're not supposed to by eating up all the goodies we brought home from the Mycroft.

There's been too much chocolate and too many meals bought at work. I need to start bringing in my own breakfast and lunch, and I need to start replacing chocolate with clementines. (This works fairly well if I'm just craving a generic sweet)

New Recipe
I've looked up the potato soup one, and I'm looking seriously into a single-serve peanut butter soup that's really more of a peanut butter latte. I'm working up the nerve to try that as today's breakfast to see how it goes.


7 items donated/trashed
See below

Other Accomplishments
I went through three massive piles of paper and dealt with them - the backed up "I'll go through this later" mail piles on the kitchen table, the overflowing box where I store mail to go through once a week, and the "I'll get to this someday" pile on the shelf where I drop my work bag. I created a file system for what needed to be filed, put papers where they belonged, pulled out all the bills, set aside the legal paperwork & contracts for the fire safe I need to buy, and tossed or shredded what needed tossed or shredded.

I also went through the glut of personal organizers. Long story short: I'm fond of an undated organizer page that you can only get in the Dayrunner Harmony* Starter set, which was listed as being discontinued a year or so ago. So I went out and bought up every one I could find. (You can find them easily now; I may have single-handedly brought them back into print.) Yesterday I went through them and sorted the bits so that I can pull out weekly or monthly pages, note pages, to-do pages, etc., etc. as needed. I don't use the little plastic holder pouch that comes with each one; I think an upcoming week's organization is going to include turning them into circular needle holders.

Anyone want a 5 x 8-inch 7-ring notebook? Or unused address pages? I've got a few spare... (yeah, yeah, I've got first-world problems)


*The ONLY pages where the spaces for Saturday and Sunday are the same size as every other day. Considering my weekends are fuller than my weekdays, I loathe the calendars that give you half an afterthought to write all the weekend stuff down.
neadods: (Default)
My love affair with Goal Happy lasted less than a week; it wasn't as easy to use as I'd hoped and it won't give you extra credit for extra goals. I think it's still a good tool, but not the one I want for this task.

Little Free Library
The only thing gone since last time is a Bon Appetit magazine (I forgot that I just started a subscription and bought the latest. D'oh!) I've done a dozen-book shakeout; we'll see what happens.

House Renovation
Went to Community Forklift and bought 20 bricks to throw down the hole created by a rotting treestump. The idea is to throw bricks/rocks into the biggest parts of the hole to discourage insects from settling in, then to dump soil over the rest and turn it into an herb spiral.

I also seriously have considered buying enough bricks to make a brick path where the roses used to be, but after the trouble it took me to get 20, I think I'd rather pay someone to deliver directly.

52 Organizing Missions (still goldbricking)
Secrets to communicating in emails and voice mails
4 steps to getting rid of debt (that one? Pretty sure I know all there is to know. 20 grand to go.)

52 Weight Loss Missions (name and shame: up .4 lb)
Flick on the Action Switch
Choose Smart Diet Actions

I'm not using the "log everything you eat" book to actually log everything that goes into my mouth. Someday I will, but right now I'm focusing on metrics that are more immediately important to me: how much sleep am I getting? Does that affect how I eat? (hoo boy. Yeah.) Not just what do I eat during the day, but *when*? Important part, that... I knew I had a little boredom nosh in the early afternoon, but I didn't realize that it was inevitably within a 15-minute window. Fortunately, fruit seems to hit the spot.

Also, if I use the Lunch Blox with green veg in the big container, vegetable soup in the medium container (even veg soup with starch in it), I don't get post-lunch coma (which I've also tracked). So vegetarian/vegan recipes have just rocketed to the top of my To Be Learned list. There's only so often one can face brussel sprouts or broccoli.

New Recipe
I haven't actually tried one, but I've looked up single-serve peanut butter soup and homemade ketchup. I'm going to try the rice-pudding-without-custard recipe with oat bran.

And having satisfied myself that I've learned a good basic bread stuffing recipe, I'm turning next to finding a good basic potato soup recipe, in the hopes of being able to leverage that into everything from peanut butter soup through tomato bisque.

Oh, and I'm still looking for a baked bean recipe. No, I'm not, but I'm obviously needing to do a better cut-and-paste job on my Sunday wrapups.


7 items donated/trashed
I suppose I really can't count the LFL rejects I just took back to the Book Thing. Well, one of the things to do today is to do a serious cleanup/purge of my bedroom.

Other Accomplishments
- Got quotes from a key Elementary episode.

Yeah, that's a lame list, but I don't talk about work online and the majority of this week's energy was caught up in a big thing at work.
neadods: (Default)
Lifehacker pointed at an interesting set of questions to do your year-in-review -- not what have you accomplished per se, but:

What went well for me last year?
What accomplishments did I have?
How did I improve my life?
How did I improve my relationships?
What did I remove from my life that is now making me happier?
What do I wish I had taken more time for?

It's not a bad set of questions.

I'm also thinking that I'm going to move the Sunday achievements/goals to Goal Happy. It's a web-based goal and achievement counter, which means there will be less paperwork and typing than the current method, which is, well, paper and typing. I don't know if it'll output anything I can post to LJ, or if anyone is going to feel particularly bereft if I stop posting that stuff here. Sign up is free, and you can set your goals to daily, weekly, or monthly.

I'll keep up with the Little Free Library posts. I'm looking into library apps so that I can scan books in and out - any recs?
neadods: (Default)
Little Free Library
I used to swap the books out every week, but then I came back from having ignored the thing for 3 weeks over the Christmas break and all but 6 books were gone. (It holds about 35.) Also, some books stayed a week and then were taken on day 10. So I'm going for slow churn now rather than fast turnover.

GIVEN: A couple of Lee Child novels

LEFT & RETURNED: Under the Tuscan Sun, 102 Minutes (then left again)

LEFT: La Vera Cucina cookbook, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sudoku, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The Wishbones, The World According to Clarkson, Time to Run

House Renovation
After complaints of not enough seats in the living room during the 12th night get-together, I've moved a large armchair from the library to the living room and given it a slipcover to make it match. It makes the living room a tad cramped, but it certainly did a lot to declutter the library!

Also, I got new silverware (another complaint, as the former new silverware was unbalanced and kept falling off plates) and new wire racks to put it in.

52 Organizing Missions
How to Have More Personal Time
3 Things to Immediately Strike Off Your To-Do List

52 Weight Loss Missions
Observe Your Behavior in a Log, Blog, or Journal
Keep a Food Diary

... I realize this looks like a lot, but I'm actually knocking off all the really easy ones to accomplish up front, which is probably cheating.

New Recipe
By the way, I've taken a good look at the Cook's Illustrated Science of Cooking book and realized that at least half the chapters I either already know the lesson, aren't interested in any of the recipes, or do not eat that food. So I'm taking it off the resolutions list. I do intend to try a new recipe every week... although I'm kinda goldbricking by having tried a new nuke-a-food instead of actually cooking something this week. Eh, I tried two recipes last week.

Oh, and I'm still looking for a baked bean recipe.


7 items donated/trashed
Still haven't done that. Am doubtless going to have to do a whole lot some week to make up for it. Unfortunately, considering the clutter around here, that's not going to be hard.

Other Accomplishments
- Attended going out of business sale of local yarn store
- Clinic shift
- Negotiated Stratford vacation w/M and got B&B accommodations. (We're going up the last week in August, with a return just before Labor Day.)
- Caught up 4 out of 11 Elementary episodes for article (I know there are 12 episodes, but I'm not rewatching the pedophile/child murder one again for any reason, essays be damned)

Today I'm going to contact the people running 221BCon to see if I can get on a couple of the panels. There's one Elementary that I seriously need to grab quotes from, and I also need to wrap up the 2012 financial records and put them away. There's other paperwork I'd like to do, but I also just started reading Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookshop and there's some question of whether I'll be able to put it down.
neadods: (Default)
Little Free Library
Returned: Little Bee, Slay Belles, The Headless Cupid

Given: The Way of Zen, The Year's Best Fantasy (2007)

Left: Little Bee, Night in the Lonesome October, The Weird Sisters, The Zeroes,

House Renovation
Went through all decorating/handyman magazines; selected articles to keep & recycled rest of magazine

52 Organizing Missions
Never Forget to Pay Another Bill
Calculate The True Cost of Freebies

52 Weight Loss Missions
Unlock Your True Motivation
Take a Reality Check

Science of Cooking
none

New Recipe
Will be trying a new variation on stuffing later today (dehydrated onion, seedy bread mixed with white, homemade stock/broth)

Will be trying gravy from scratch later today

7 items donated/trashed
Not dealt with this week, although I suppose I could count the magazines

Other Accomplishments
nothing earthshattering

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