Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Resolutions, 2007

In no particular order:

  1. Earn a Private Pilot Certificate.
  2. Learn to drive a stick shift.
  3. Blog.
  4. Finish my Road Trip scrapbook.
  5. Talk to/ email/ spend time with family.
  6. Read the entire Old Testament (not counting geneaology) by the end of the year.
  7. Be on time.
  8. Be sociable.
  9. Pray.
  10. Write something every week.
  11. Regular TaeKwonDo practice & conditioning. Be ready to test for Black Belt by early 2008.
  12. Serve & Witness.
  13. Eat healthful food.
  14. Get enough sleep.
  15. Regain and maintain the size and fitness that makes me happy with my body.
  16. Continue cleaning out and organizing the Stuff in my house.
  17. Get control of the paper.
  18. Get my "affairs in order" - financial planning, insurance, will & medical stuff, disaster planning, etc...
  19. Listen before speaking.
  20. Improve on guitar: learn to transpose sheet music into Tab, play melody & chords together, and play some storytime & other sing-along songs. Learn to play "Greensleeves" by next Christmas.
  21. Learn to make balloon animals and hats.
  22. Learn more ways to cook fish.
  23. Find/develop a good recipe for butter chicken.
  24. Dress professionally.
  25. Cultivate peace.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Resolution '06 Review

A mixed bag this year. All in all, not terrible. Plus, the flying is something super-cool that wasn't even on the list!

  1. Blog. - Ok, you can see how well I didn't do with this one. But I tried, and I started the Flight Blog too, even if I didn't keep that one up much better than this one.

  2. Talk to/ spend time with family - Not so hot either. Although I did talk to them more on the phone, which is something. And over the holidays I spent time with everyone.

  3. Read the Bible. - Yes and no. I read the entire New Testament in pretty steady daily sessions during the first part of the year. Usually at lunchtime- the getting up early thing didn't work out so hot. And I downloaded the entire New International Version onto my Palm, which was a great help in finding bits of time to read it. I tried to look up and read the daily Mass reading every day, but never made it more than a few days in a row before forgetting for several more days. So, this one was hot and cold.

  4. Be on time. - Much better. I'm rarely late for work anymore, and often a few minutes early. I've only been late for one flight lesson. I'm still always late for church, but less late, and always before the greeter is finished.

  5. Be sociable. - Better, as much as the hectic schedule that developed this year would allow. Helped Mindy host a really-truly fancy sit-down dinner party for grown-ups.

  6. Pray. - Same partial success as Bible reading. I do okay for a while, and lapse for a while. I tend to remember while driving to work that I meant to pray in the morning before leaving for work, and end up praying in the car, often the same or very much the same prayer each time. But I do pray!

  7. Write. - Not so much. In fact, hardly at all. I just didn't make/find the time.

  8. Daily TaeKwonDo practice/ conditioning. - Pardon me while I snort with rueful laughter. Again, not so much. Although I did nevertheless do well in 2 tournaments and advance to Brown Belt.

  9. Witness. - Not much, except for quietly praying before meals even when others could see me.

  10. Eat healthful food. - Oh, dear. Did well for short stretches here and there, but mostly succumbed to crazy schedule and fatigue, and ate what was fast and available, which is seldom healthful. Gained weight, bigger jeans. Gotta do better.

  11. Clean. Out. Everything. - Major progress on this front. Played "Clean Sweep" in multiple waves. Angie and Virginia helped me. Held a joint yard sale with Mom & Aunt Nancy, and got rid of tons of stuff. Still a ways to go to the orderly life I crave, but definitely major progress.

  12. Listen before speaking. - Again, noticeable progress. Still a chatterbox. Probably always will be, but continuing to cultivate thoughtfulness.

  13. Less TV. - Check! Rarely watch anything but occasional FoodTV, and sometimes Survivor for companionship with Mindy.

  14. Learn to play the guitar. - Check! Stuck with the lessons, although Michele had to drop out, and by Christmas, the 3 of us remaining could play 'Silent Night,' and anyone listening knew it was 'Silent Night.' Lessons to continue in the New Year.

  15. Make a whole quilt. - Nope. I cancelled this goal in favor of other pursuits. I did replace my worthless sewing machine, though.

  16. Learn to cook fish. - Well, I did learn to cook Tilapia fillets very well, 2 ways. And I perfected steamed shrimp. More branching out would be good.

  17. Learn to cook Indian food. - Not really. I just didn't have time for much kitchen work this year, alas.

  18. Take a real vacation. Check! I went to Grand Canyon and Sedona, AZ with Virginia. We hiked and strolled and saw sunrises and sunsets and ate everything, at our own pace. It was lovely.

  19. Dress professionally. - Did well for a good while, then slipped somewhat when the weather got cold and I had fewer wardrobe options and less time. Also, I gained weight, further limiting the wardrobe. But overall better this year!

  20. Be less hard on me. - Yes, I really did do better on this one. Also on the related area of stress management. I have focused on this and really learned to take a deep breath and let go, rather than dwell on things. I am much more able to simply do or give the best I can with what I have, and then let things be what they will be with that. Sometimes I have to consciously unclench the vise in my chest to do this, but that doesn't take away from the fact that I can do it. Yay me! Happy New Year.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Call Me a Thingamabrarian

LibraryThing is the coolest Thing ever. Long have I longed for a card-catalog of my personal library (ok, you already knew I was a bookwormy geek). Now comes, which has quickly become my favorite new time sink. You make up a user name and start building your bookshelf. All you do is enter the title or the ISBN (I like the ISBN's b/c I can do 'em fast), and LibraryThing links to Amazon & the Library of Congress to fill in all the rest for you. It even puts up pictures of the covers. I did 6 of my bookshelves in and evening- only 3 shelves to go!

Then comes the extra fun part: LibraryThing does lots of stuff with your book list. You can rate your books, tag them with notes and keywords, and write reviews. LibraryThing shows you how many other Thing-ers have the same book as you, and how many of those have the same edition. There are discussion circles for titles, authors, genres, and subjects, and you can start a new one anytime. Then there are the recommendations. Oh, never have I seen such spot-on recommendations! You have to check this Thing out.

By the way, if you want to see my book collection, it's here.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Plane Go Zoom

I flew a plane! It was so cool!
Mr. B, who is in the library almost every day & the the dad of one of my favorite storytime kids, is a private pilot and has a little plane that he keeps at the St. Mary's airport. We were chatting a while ago while I helped him pick out some books for his son, Harry, and when I told him how I had taken ground school in Baltimore but never got to flight lessons b/c of moving down here, he said "Why don't I take you up in my plane sometime?" And sure enough, yesterday he dropped by my desk and said today looked like a good day to fly, and if the morning weather report was good, we'd fly. It was, and we did!

I helped with the preflight, then we got in the plane. I was too small for the seat, but so are his wife and son, so he keeps pillows handy. We got the engine going and he made his radio calls, and then Mr. B said, "Ok, let's taxi to the runway." And then he sat there with his hands in his lap and looked at me. So I taxied us to the runway and into the run-up turnaround at the end. Mr. B took back over and did the runup, telling me all the while what he was doing and the why and how of everything. He took off and took us out of the airport pattern, then he grinned at me and took his hands off the controls and said "Ok, you fly now."

I took the controls and he coached me to finish our climbout and turn the plane towards Leonardtown. We circled over Leonardtown and Hollywood and then over the Patuxent to Calvert County. He pointed out different landmarks on the ground below & had me use them to fly the plane on different headings. Pointed out landmarks for staying out of the Washington D.C no-fly zone and the Pax River & Dalgren military airspaces. We crossed the Bay from Calvert Cliffs to Cambridge and located the Cambridge airport from the air before circling back and re-crossing the Bay.

He he had me make different kinds of turns and a few other maneuvers while maintaining airspeed & altitude. It was hard but so cool! There were so many things to juggle in my attention. I mostly did fine, but if I let my speed or altitude vary slightly too much he would gently call my attention to it.

Then Mr. B took the controls back over Leonardtown and took us through a few more advanced maneuvers to let me experience them, and then he took us in to land. I was so excited (& busy concentrating!) that I forgot to take any pictures or anything! We landed and did the post-flight just about time for me to eat in the car on my way to work, where I grinned like a fool the whole day. When I thanked him (profusely!), I told Mr. B he had just cost me a lot of time and money, because today has definitely re-awakened my old obsession with flying. Now I really want flight lessons again! Mr. B says he knows all the Flight Instructors and would be glad to introduce me...

Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday the 13th

I don't belive in Friday the 13th. And yet...

The beans I put in the crock pot overnight were scorched beyond recognition this morning. NetLibrary's customer support says there's no software that works for their audiobooks on the Mac, so all that downloading last night was for naught. The server at the library (where I work) crashed 3 times, shutting down all public and staff computers each time. I got 2 paper cuts and dropped a heavy box on my toe. Oh, well, I'm home now. I'm going to make some pasta and a salad and clean house for the weekend, then sit and knit to some nice soothing music (not an audiobook, alas), until I feel sleepy enough for bed. Oh, and make some lunches for tomorrow. It's gonna be a busy one for me & Mindy.

The New Man in My Life

I have been adopted by a cat. His name is Stoney. He is big, orange, and very soft. Sweet, but not too bright. Very affectionate. In theory, he has come to live with my roommate, as her sister can no longer keep him. But Stoney has decided that he wants to be my kitty. He runs to meet me when I come in the door, or even when I enter a room. He twines between my legs when I am standing (or attempting to walk), and climbs into my lap when I am sitting.

He is determined to move into my bedroom. (I keep him and Ashley, the diabetic cat mentioned in "Danger to Self" below, out of my room because I am moderately allergic. I can live with them, but they can't sleep on my pillow. Which, being cats, they would.)

If my person is unavalable to him, he contents himself with one or another of my possesions. I found him in my tote bag this morning, snuggled up with my library books and (formerly clean) sweater. The other day he was lying across several of my shoes.

It is good to be loved, but what do I do about how bad I feel when it's time to go to bed, and he gets up to come too, and I shut the door in his sweet, bewildered face? Night after night, it's the same. I explained to him about allgergies, and how he is a very nice cat but has a great deal of dander along with his nice soft fur, but I could tell from his expression that he just didn't understand. He's a cat of great personal loyalty, but limited intellect.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A wish for hi-speed...

All I wanted to do was listen to an audiobook. I wanted to go on the library website, download an audiobook, and play it over the computer speakers while I puttered around Getting Stuff Done. So I picked a book, a short one.

"Estimated time 12 minutes @ 28.8". Ok, I'll go have a snack and it'll be ready when I get back.

"Windows Media Player 9 or above is required to playback NetLibrary Audiobooks". Ok, I'll download that. I just have to do it once and then I can play these whenever...

"Estimated time 33 minutes @ 28.8". Sigh. Ok, I'll go finish cleaning out the fridge and it'll be ready when I get back.

"Installation of this software product requires Mac OS 10.3.9. Please use the Software Update Control Panel to update your OS before continuing". This isn't funny anymore. But I guess I oughta update anyway, it's been a long time...

"Estimated time unknown @28.8" How big is this file anyway? 117MB?! &##@(*!#@^&!!!!!!

At least once a week, Verizon sends us an ad for DSL. They do this to mock us. DSL, or indeed a cable modem, is not available in this neighborhood. 2 streets over, yes. Here, no. No hi-speed for denizens of a half-completed development. Wait we must, until every building is finished and they feel like laying lines.

I'm going to have to let this download go all night. Hope no one's trying to call.

Progress Report

These resolutions are hard. Progress reports:

#1- Got my computer at home re-connected to the Internet. This also falls under cleaning out (#11), because I had to sort thru lots of papers to find the sheet w/my ISP settings.

Made a plan for 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, & 10: Get up early at 6am. On days w/out Tae Kwon Do class: snack, do my devotional (bible reading and prayer combo), do a TKD workout, get showered and dressed and fix my hair, and have breakfast while planning my day, then leave in time to be on time. On the mornings of days when I have TKD class, I skip the workout except for a little stretching and forms practice, and use the time to do a little writing and fix my dinner (things I won't have time for in the evening). It's a great plan. I've done it once this week. The other mornings I was overtired for various reasons including 3am fire alarms and a particularly vicious "cardio night" at TKD class. Tomorrow morning I shall try again.

#10-Today I made a cooking plan for the rest of the week & the weekend, the went to the store.

#14-Made arrangements with guitar teacher for me & 3 of the girls who want to learn together. Lessons will be on Tuesday night. We still have to pick a start date and I need to replace some of my strings. Lew says I can get them at Target. You really can get anything there!

#16- I bought tilapia fillets at the store. VA is going to show me how she fixes them this weekend.

#7- I found my favorite purple fountain pen and several pretty blank books to inspire me while cleaning (#11). Ok, so I didn't actually write anything yet...
#19- I am wearing panty hose, my skirt matches my shell matches my sweater, my hair is fixed, and I'm wearing a dress watch, not a sport watch. My shoes have heels.

#5- Accepted an invitation to the Melting Pot this Friday, despite not knowing most of the people going. I can be sociable and get to know them.

Further resolution updates as events warrant...

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Danger to Self

Blood! I slashed my thumb open while trying to get the blade to go into the food processor. That's what I get for trying to keep my resolutions (#10- "Eat healthful food"). Oh, well, at least I get to wear a Big Bird bandaid.

I seem to be a danger to myself today. This slashing-open happened less than an hour after I stuck my finger with the USED NEEDLE after giving my roommate's diabetic CAT her shot. YUCK! EW! 911! Will I die now? Will my finger rot and fall off? My hand? My arm? Will I get feline lukemia? Gangrene? Pfisteria? Plague?

Actually, I am pretty sure it'll be ok. What happened was, I was putting the cap back on the syringe and the needle tip bent and poked thru the side of the little plastic cap, but only about a millimeter, and it poked me just enough to feel it and freak out. I don't think it broke the skin really, so I won't get a scary cat disease. But still! Yuck!

I would make resolution #21 something like "Hurt self less" or "be less klutzy," but either of those would be almost impossible to keep. I could go with "Wear bubble wrap every waking moment," but that would contradict resolution #19- "Dress professionally." Sigh...

The Resolutions

In no particular order:

  1. Blog.
  2. Talk to/ spend time with family.
  3. Read the Bible.
  4. Be on time.
  5. Be sociable.
  6. Pray.
  7. Write.
  8. Daily TaeKwonDo practice/ conditioning.
  9. Witness.
  10. Eat healthful food.
  11. Clean. Out. Everything.
  12. Listen before speaking.
  13. Less TV.
  14. Learn to play the guitar.
  15. Make a whole quilt.
  16. Learn to cook fish.
  17. Learn to cook Indian food.
  18. Take a real vacation.
  19. Dress professionally.
  20. Be less hard on me.