Only keep a balance on one credit card
> this is going well, haven't had a balance on more than one card at all this year
Lower credit card balance to at least $x by January 1, 2010
> I'm on track to complete this goal and successfully pay off all credit card debt before July 2010
Pay off Student Loan 1 by January 1, 2010
> this loan was paid off in October 2009
Contribute monthly to savings account to cover non-monthly budgetary expenses
> I've been doing this, and have had to tap into it for some unforeseen repairs and other expenses
> I need to up my vigilance on this one. Since my "promotion" at work I've been putting in more hours and haven't been as good about eating at home when picking up carry-out is oh so easy. However, I have been good about my coupon usage
> Due to the amount of hours going in at work, this is no longer feasible
Continue taking advantage of all applicable training sessions
> not many trainings offered lately, but I have attended all opportunities
Build and maintain professional network
> not much has been done to further build my network, but I have continued to maintain what I already have
Apply myself to outperform in current role - be indispensable
> this is going well, and I contingue to take on more work, which is good for the employer, not so good for my social life and relationship. Now the key is to find some sort of balance
> this is coming along in spurts.
Do not interrupt, over-share, or compare experiences
> I remind myself of this goal on a daily basis, I'm not sure I'm completely reformed yet
Be supportive, but also share caution when necessary
> this still requires daily concentration, but I think the man and I are on the same page on a lot more issues now
Spend more time w/, or communicate more w/ family and friends
> Another area where work has been screwing my my time and or desire to spend time away from home. Need to work on this as holidays are fast approaching
Reach out to others more
> blood donation on a 6-week rotation is going pretty well and the man and I have been spendign more time helping out his grandma (who is recovering from surgery)
Keep a tidy house
> a constant battle, but I never feel like the house is "dirty." More work is being done on weekends than during the week, but that's okay
Make time for fun, don't schedule life to the minute
> Not doing well here
Make physical and mental health a priority
> This is fabulous - I joined a gym and have been making progress in regard to lessening some of my daily pain. Also, have been working on ways to lower daily mental stress, though I'm not entirely pleased with the way that is going right now
> Still not going as well as it could/should be
> eh...not sure I have a whole lot of energy for this one and I haven't felt like I've had many successes lately
Don't be over-critical or take myself too seriously
> Judging from my answer immediately above, this isn't going so well
Live in the present - don't fret about those things outside of my control
> somehow have bypassed the present and am more interested in living for the future right now
Train myself to sustain myself
> it seems harder to do things locally when I'm as busy as I've been, but I'm still making an effort in any way I can
Also, I've crossed a couple things off my goals for the age of 28:
Throw a big party
> I had a birthday party/Halloween party for the man (who just turned 39 on Friday)
Fix the ding in my windshield before it cracks
> done and done
Make at least one home-cooked meal per week...
> I've been doing this quite well and even more frequently than once per week
Commit to cardio 3 times each week
> I've bettered this and am doing 30 min. per day, a minimum of 5 days per week
Read at least 10 books...
> This is going well, though most of the books are about adopting retired racing greyhounds
All in all, I'm happy with my progress and now that winter is knocking on my door I know I need to buckle down and get some shit done!
I cannot say that I have ever really had a full-fledged obsession before, now that I actually think about it. I have really liked and or wanted things before, but never have I felt some sort of compulsion toward action that has been a daily consideration. Now, however, I have one (as you will see by what promises to be an extremely long post).
I am obsessed with the thought of adopting a retired greyhound. Not necessarily a widespread obsession, I realize. However, since visiting Dubuque with the man’s family and seeing the racetrack at the casino where we had lunch, I can’t seem to get the idea out of my mind.
It isn’t that I necessarily am disgusted by the concept of dog racing. I understand that it is a sport that doesn’t intend for dogs to be mistreated or harmed. These dogs are bred to run, built to run, love to run. However, they are sprinters and only run in very short bursts and then often spend the rest of their time in crates. After they’ve reached their retirement age or are no longer able to run up to the demands of their “profession,” they are either sent to an adoption center or sometimes euthanized.
The part of the racing industry that I despise is the treatment of these dogs as commodities. They are not “pets.” They are professional athletes, but without all the bling and casual sex. They are trained to race and not given attention that would interfere with that training. When they are washed up, they don’t retire and buy a few car dealerships or restaurant franchises like many professional athletes do, they are left homeless and without purpose. Agencies have been around for decades that seek to find these retired racers new homes where they can live out their retirement with a “family.” In my research of greyhounds and greyhound racing, I’ve been in contact with an area chapter of the GPA (Greyhound Pets of America) and have had the opportunity to speak with foster “parents” and “parents” of some of these dogs, and have even met a couple of these retired dogs (shout out to Pirate Pete and Queenie).
These interactions with the GPA and the dogs have further cemented in my mind that this type of dog would be good for us, and we would also be benefiting a cause and helping an animal that needs us. If you have read about our cats and how we came to “find” them (or how they came to find us, rather), you know that we are suckers for animals that need homes.
I don't just want another dog because of a desire to help animals. I have a feeling that something positive can come out of us adding to the family. Jammer is fully the man's dog. I have the cats, but they could ultimately take or leave us and let's face it, they're cats and can't be companions outside the house. I want a dog that is my dog, that will bond with me and that I'll be able to take on walks. (Note: Jammer hates going on walks where a leash is required, and thus our "walks" take place around the yard.) That is a selfish reason, but I don't care. Unselfishly, I do think that the addition of another dog to the household would be helpful in treating Jammer’s separation anxiety while we are at work (even though I have reservations about how she'll react).
We've talked about different breeds of dogs for a couple years and what type of dog we'd like. After mulling over options, we had decided to go with a rescue dog or a dog from the shelter. Personally, I’ve always had an affinity toward hounds. I grew up with a bluetick hound (Chance) and a redbone hound (Hondo) and have been in love with all types of hounds for years. Unfortunately, there are many reasons why a number of the hunting breeds would not work for me or my lifestyle. I thought the greyhound would be another breed of dog to add to that category until I conducted more research. The breed is not hyperactive and is often referred to as the 40 mile per hour couch potato. This means that while the dogs are super-fast, they prefer to lounge and can sleep up to 18 hours per day. They shed very little and can be left alone while their people are at work without problem. Many of them have no problem with cats and/or other dogs. They love to go on leashed walks (and have already been leash-trained during their racing days). All in all, this is a breed that would definitely work with our lifestyle.
The man hasn’t come with me to visit the dogs or to speak with the agency. This is not because he doesn’t support the idea of adoption, but rather he knows that he would fall in love with the idea and that we are not yet prepared to take the next step (applying for adoption). I, too, understand that we aren’t ready for this and that it may be quite some time before we can take that next step.
One of my major concerns (that no amount of research can put to rest) is that Jammer (our Australian Shepherd) would be the reason why we could not bring another dog into the family. She is going on 9 years old and is not a fan of us bringing other dogs into the house, even for a visit. She enjoys the company of other dogs outside of our home, but is quite territorial about dogs invading what she considers to be her space. With her aggressive behavior toward other dogs in those situations, I’m not sure a home visit (which is a required phase of the adoption process) would be successful. It may end up that we can help to mellow Jammer out via spaying, but if that doesn’t work we may have to wait until she’s no longer with us to adopt a greyhound. This could be between 3 and 8 years, given the life expectancy of Australian Shepherds. (It saddens me to even think about not having her around and even to type the words 'life expectancy.')
To make this long post even longer, I’m not sure that this is going to be a short-term goal, but I’m doing everything I can to make sure that it is a possibility.
The best-case scenario would play out as follows: I’ve become very solid in my belief that the roommate will be moving out next summer. If this were to occur, we would have more space in the house and could ultimately have enough room to have an additional dog. In addition, we wouldn’t have to worry about him being a dickbag about a new pet. Secondly, if Jammer calms down after we get her spayed, the concern about her reaction would be alleviated. Given the first two things happening according to plan, we would make a few modifications around the house (like the addition of a fenced in area of the yard) and then begin the adoption process.
I’ve not come into this obsession in a fly-by-night fashion. I’ve been reading books and doing research on the greyhound breed and have read about what to expect from adopting a retired racing greyhound. Two more books on this subject are on reserve at the library and I plan to read them over the weekend. I’ve spoken with other people who've adopted greyhounds about the good, bad, and ugly parts of adopting. I’ve mulled this over for over 4 months and have still come to the conclusion that this is a good step for us.
In what has seemed like a dismal and depressing few months in terms of my career and an overall feeling of fatigue in regard to my social life, this interest in greyhounds has kind of pulled me out of my funk and has given me something to look forward to. I am not holding my breath, but I am keeping my fingers crossed.
- join a gym - I've been a member since September 1, and I love it
- whole-heartedly commit to daily exercise (work out at least 4 days a week - no ifs, ands, or buts) - this has been difficult, especially the getting up and going at 4:45 am, but I've done it a minimum of 5 times per week...and I even exercised while in Michigan visiting my brother and his family
- go to Ikea - I did this while visiting family in Michigan, oh how I love the Swedes and their clean lines
- visit my nephews and the new baby at least twice - I did this once already
- go to some sort of professional development that I actually find useful - I've signed up for 2 professional development conferences, though I'm only confident that one will be useful
- make a calendar for our family members - it will be funny, the man and I have discussed it for a couple years - the process has begun, I've already begun w/ the photos
- send/give thank-you cards for each gift given - so far, so good
- make the transition away from having a roommate - I have already broached the topic w/ dickbag roommate and looks like the one-year deadline will be manageable (keep in mind that dickbag roommate is a pathological liar and the laziest person I've ever encountered)
For example, I would like to stop picking at my fingernails when I'm bored/nervous/etc. - that is not what I'm asking. I want to know what habit you want to start and keep going.
The habit I've picked up is exercise. I've been exercising with some semblance of regularity for the past 6 or so months. However, I am not an evening/night person and exercise after work just feels like more damned work to me. With the additional hours going in at my real job, looking at the weights and exercise videos/equipment after I get home and make us dinner is not really tempting at all. Then, I feel guilty for not having worked out. No more.
I've now gone to the gym 7 of the past 8 days and am well on my way to establishing this as a habitual action. Getting up at 4:45 AM is not at all pleasant, but it is a lot better than trying to sneak in a workout after I'm already exhausted. So far so good. I've committed to going to the gym for at least 45 minutes each day Monday through Friday. Weekends are optional. If I do decide to extend my one-month free trial into an actual full-blown membership, I'll be able to go to a closer gym on the weekends free of charge.
In addition to the trial period, I was also able to get a free session with a personal trainer. This was eye-opening for me and I wish I had done this all much sooner. I now have a weekly exercise plan and have come to the realization that I can do this and I can do it without a whole lot of pain.
I feel like my stress levels are more manageable and that I have more energy throughout the day. I'm going to admit that I'm sore, but not so much so that it is affecting my life any more than on an average day before I took on this habit.
Much of the issue is that I somehow completely forgot about my birthday until about two weeks ago. Even my 10-year high school reunion didn't seem to cement the thought in my head...other than, "wow, all of those poor people are at least 28 if not older, ha!" Well, less than a month later, I'm on the verge of joining them in their (gulp) late twenties.
If I could go back to my early twenties, there are definitely a handful of things I would do differently. I'd be more diligent. I wouldn't procrastinate. I would re-think that one guy and maybe a couple years of wasted time. However, those things got me to where I am now. Ultimately, despite the suck of my job from time-to-time (aka most of the time), I'm happy. I am head over heels (still) with my boyfriend, who feels the same way. We have three pets, even though I'd like to toss one of them out the window at least once each day, I love them and am lucky they have chosen to keep us company. I have a lazy-ass, worthless, dickbag piece-0f-shit roommate +1, but they give us something to gripe about, so that is something. I'm making progress in my career, even though I'm not sure I'm going the right direction. I have my health, for the most part, a new haircut, and a brighter outlook than I did when I was in my mid-twenties. Things are good. Yet, 28 is still 28.
So, in an effort to push clear my thoughts, to push out the uglies and to get down to the optimism, I've come up with a list of 28 things I will do while I'm 28. These are not things I want to do, these are things I will do between August 30, 2009 and August 30, 2010. I am going to double-up on some of my new year's goals and my life list, but hey, I am realistic and 28 things is a lot, I might as well multitask. I make the rules. That is very adult of me, don't you think?
Here goes (in no particular order):
- paint the living/dining room
- throw a big party
- read 10 books of my own choosing
- bake an apple pie from scratch, including the crust
- plant that big ol' vegetable garden I keep pining for
- finally hang the curtains in the living/dining room
- take a "family" photo in a snowstorm
- get another tattoo (or two)
- join a gym
- whole-heartedly commit to daily exercise (work out at least 4 days a week - no ifs, ands, or buts)
- pay off my credit card debt
- go to Ikea
- finish my thesis, get it conferred, shut the book on that damned project
- visit Kristen in Door County (before she finds a fabulous new job and leaves)
- fix the ding in my windshield before it cracks
- make at least one home-cooked meal each week, regardless of the roommate's whereabouts
- get new tires for the car
- visit my nephews and the new baby at least twice
- go to some sort of professional development that I actually find useful
- cardio - even though I despise it, I will do cardio at least 3 days per week (my cardiologist and my physical therapist will finally be happy)
- complete the landscaping around the perimeter of the house
- make a calendar for our family members - it will be funny, the man and I have discussed it for a couple years
- take another college class
- send/give thank-you cards for each gift given
- six-pack abs, or something close to that without being too manly
- write to my grandmother at least once per month
- make the transition away from having a roommate
- complete three NaBloPoMo month-long blog runs
Whew, looks like I'll be busy. Goals are fun!
To celebrate our togetherness after over two weeks of barely having time to nod in one another's direction, the man and I went out last night for the first time in a very long time. We went to a movie, hit up a couple local bars and didn't come home until bar time. All in all, we welcomed the 4th of July with a ton of merriment and then crashed, sleeping in until 10 am. And...another wonderful thing...no hangovers. I'd say the night was a success.
We've taken advantage of the new patio chairs I just purchased from St. Vincent de Paul's (6 for $33.00), two of which are on our balcony and already have new cushions. The other four still need cushions, which I'm adding to my to-do list for the week. I'd like to get them done before we have company over next weekend. Here's hoping that I won't have a bunch of late work nights this week so that I have time to prep the house for the "mother-in-law's" arrival mid-week.
Now, back to the balcony. Have a safe and happy Independence Day.
I love the 60s architecture, the furniture, the paint colors, the accessories, the kitchen. It was hard to find good screen shots, because most of the house scenes are at night, and obviously most of them are just background shots for the actions of the characters. There are enough to note that every piece was intentional.
What about you? What is your cinematic dream home?
As promised, here's my list of goals for July 2009:
- finish coffee table project (leftover from June)
- reorganize paper files (leftover from June)
- exercise (in some form) every single day in June - I want to be active on a daily basis, as I know work will be stressful with added responsibilities and home will be less homey with multiple visitors and the man working most weekends. I need an outlet to get rid of my negativity, and I am thinking amping up my exercise again will help.
- reorganize closets/storage - I'm doing this in a continued effort to simplify my life.
- go through the house and donate items to charity - clearing out the closets will make this easier.
- read a few books on feng shui and institute some of the practices in my home - see, all the goals are coming together.
- plan a weekend trip with the man - maybe camping, maybe a B&B somewhere, I'm not sure yet.
- buy a wedding gift for my friend Pam
- enjoy some sort of cultural outing (Concerts on the Square, a museum, a play, etc.)
- redo my budget
And there you have it, my list of goals for July. Nothing too heavy, but enough to keep me busy. I'm sort of bummed out that the man has to work most of the weekends this month, but I keep reminding myself that I have plenty to do on my own. Here's hoping that all of the extra hours we've been putting in lately creates some good karma. I'm just throwing this out into the universe: we could definitely use a little more cash and one fewer roommate. Take that as a hint, universe.
- get a library card - DONE
- read at least one new book - DONE
- finish my coffee table project - I made absolutely no progress on this due to the hot, humid weather. I couldn't stain the coffee table out of fear that it would not dry
- prepare the guest bedroom for the "mother-in-law" - DONE
- paint the kitchen - DONE
- plant vegetables and finish my flower beds - DONE. I even went so far as to make new beds and mulch all of the existing beds
- take all of my use-or-lose vacation time - DONE. I have a little time left, but I am not concerned about it
- go to the farmer's market at least three times - DONE
- reorganize my paper files - not even attempted
- find/purchase a bridesmaid dress - DONE. I bought not one, but two dresses that could be worn to the wedding.
All in all, 80% isn't bad. It is above average, a passing grade. Still, there is room for improvemtn. I'll add the two remaining goals to my July list and we'll go from there. I'll be back tomorrow with my goals for July. Now, I'm off to watch The Cleaner and then it is bedtime. I'll have my 40 hours in by Thursday at 12:30 pm. This is proving to be a long and demanding week, despite the fact that I have Thursday afternoon (potentially) and Friday off due to the Fourth of July holiday.
I'll post more tomorrow about my goals for July and how I've done in terms of accomplishing my June goals. Unless I can add another 50 hours to tomorrow, I won't be able to get everything done. Still, I'm pretty happy with what I've accomplished this month, given all of the stuff going on at work and at home.
I'm going to go to bed now. An 11-hour day at work today and two 12+ hour days tomorrow and Wednesday are already making me tired, irritable, and on edge. Not enough beauty sleep in the world to remedy that combination, I'm afraid.
I am also excited to pick up Better Than Ezra's new album, now in stores. I have liked this band since high school and they haven't had a hit in a few years, but I still like them nonetheless.
Here's their latest video, for the song "Absolutely Still." I'm not too impressed with the production value, but the song is good. It fits their formula and isn't too much different than their other music. I find their music comforting and it always seems to fit my mood, whether I'm happy or sad. I guess the concept is, if it isn't broken, don't fix it. I'm sure they'd be happy with another hit though.
This doesn't need to be a physical trait, but could be one. It could also be an aspect of your personality or something else that makes you who you are. This isn't what your other, your parents, your workmates, or your friends would change about you: it is the thing about yourself that if you changed, you would be happier as a whole.
I know what mine would be right off the bat. It isn't looks-related, doesn't have to deal with money or relationships, and isn't even about work. It is about my debilitating fear of failure. If I could change one aspect of my Trishness, it would be to stop worrying and being so damned afraid of not living up to my potential all of the time.
My fear of failure sometimes keeps me from trying new things because I'm petrified of not doing well. This fear is what often leads to my procrastination. It is also tied to my fear of commitment. I'm afraid of committing to something and not having it work out.
I've been trying to push out of my comfort zone, and in many ways this new position at work is making me do that even more than I want to with all of the added responsibility. Of course, with that added responsibility leads to more fear and worry, worry about how it will affect my relationship with the man for example. I need to stop this cycle of worry.
Exercising more has helped stave off the worrying a bit. It allows me to turn off my brain for long enough to experience some semblance of much-needed calm.
Now that you know what I'd change, think about yourself...what would you change about yourself?
Pour rum, cream of coconut and pineapple juice into a blender with one cup of crushed ice. Blend until smooth, and pour into a collins glass. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and a maraschino cherry, and serve. Be sure to add a paper umbrella and possibly wear a lei...or get laid, I suppose.
I'm also grateful that I am able to type this message and not worry about my internet connection disconnecting mid-post. As I write this I am sitting on my couch working quickly on the internet thanks to the aid of my lovely new provider. It is wonderful. Now that I can work on my computer without being tethered to my office I get to take in various views around the house. Right now I have the scenic view of the Cat Named Jack lying on his back, baring his no-longer-existent balls to the air conditioning being circulated by the ceiling fan directly above him.
What a wonderful way to spend a steamy June evening.
All in all, however, everyone is doomed to get to a point where some of the shine wears off newly-found love and we have to accept that most things don't end in "happily ever after" and that relationships take work. Sometimes the work isn't worth it, sometimes it is. I am one of the happily coupled people amongst my friend base, but I'm also a realist. The man and I have had our share of ups and downs, and we are in a pretty steady upward trend right now. All I know is that both he and I are happy with one another and are willing to do whatever we must to stay together. We have similar goals and we are realistic: we know that our relationship isn't always going to be all sunshine and rainbows.
I came across this article/photo project that features princesses from a number of Disney stories. The photos show what our favorite fairy tales look like when "The '...happily ever after' is replaced with a realistic outcome and addresses current issues." I've decided to post my favorite:
Go here to check out the rest.
In optimistic news, my Cricket broadband modem etc. is supposed to arrive sometime today. The bad news is that a signature is required and I am doubtful that anyone will be home by the time it shows up. My hope is that the man will get home early to receive the package from FedEx, but if my morning was any indicator of my luck for the day, I would sooner expect the apocalypse than anything going my way.
Count this as post #1 of my guilt-induced triple play.
Last night I came home from work (late, for the upteenth time in a row) to find this beauty waiting for me in my garage space:
It is a convertible garden cart that can be pulled with the handle like a wagon, or can be converted to be pulled behind the lawnmower. It is wonderful and glorious and one of the best (if not the best) anniversary gifts I've ever gotten. No, it isn't conventional, but we are not conventional people.
The man's friend went along with him to get a present for me. His friend asked where, and was more than a little surprised to hear "Farm and Fleet" as the response to the question. This friend went so far as to try to convince the man to buy something different, something that I might actually like. The man knows me well enough to know that at this point in our financial lives, a usable gift is much more appreciated than something unimportant (like jewelry, for example). I spend at least ten hours a weekend outside puttering around the yard, so this is a most thoughtful gift. This cart is going to be much more Trish-friendly than my current wheelbarrow.
The timing is sort of funny, because although we had talked about getting Cricket wireless internet a while back, it hasn't entered conversation in quite some time. I was planning on it being an anniversary surprise for the man, but he got me first.
I love my gift and I love my boyfriend. I can't wait for the next anniversary.
Anyway, in honor of this particular personality trait I am instituting "random question thursdays." When I post on a Thursday, the post title will be a question, to which...
- I will research and attempt to provide an answer with the post,
- I will ask hoping that someone will comment with an answer or link to an answer
- my readers (hello to my few readers! holla!) will find the question interesting to ponder
- the question will spark an interest in my readers to ask others.
Today's question fits into the second, third, or fourth category listed above. Feel free to comment - I won't bite!
If you could only take with you the amount of items that would fit in the trunk of a car, what would they be? (The rest would be gone forever.)
Here's my list (thank god my little Fifi is a hatchback):
- the pets (Jack [cat], Jammer [dog], Rue [cat])
- my grandmother's class ring
- the little, thimble-sized doll my neighbor gave to me and asked me to keep forever
- my laptop (a lot of stuff stored on there!)
- my fire-proof box (includes backup drive with all of my photos, passport, other vital information)
- a change or two of clothes
- my favorite sandals in the world - which I believe have been discontinued
That's all I've got for now, pretty much everything else could be replaced and most of my stuff doesn't have any sentimental value.
I've been using my cell phone as a modem for the past few months and it is very slightly better than dial-up, but drops the connection a lot and doesn't allow me to use my phone while online. Also, it drains my phone battery quite quickly so the most I can hope for is 45 minutes of online use before my full battery is drained. 45 minutes isn't very long when you consider the amount of time it takes for a page to load. Working from home is next to impossible.
After reviewing my finances for the billionth time, I've decided to bite the bullet and upgrade to Cricket broadband, which boasts a stellar signal in my area. I made the purchase last night and hope to be reaping the benefits of the service by early next week. It should only cost me about $10 extra each month and I think I can move around some expenditures and trim enough that this is feasible. Plus, if things work out as hoped, the man has agreed to purchase a wireless router so that we can both utilize the Internet access at the same time (he's hoping he can use his Xbox 360 online with the router).
Oh, to be able to speedily do anything online from home. That would be a joyous event.
- read at least one book (pending)
- finish my coffee table project (haven't really begun yet)
- plant vegetables and finish my flower beds (pending)
- prepare the guest bedroom for the "mother-in-law" (pending - it is pretty close)
- go to the farmer's market at least three times (haven't gone at all yet)
- reorganize my paper files (kind of scared to start this unless I have a few solid hours to complete it)
I still think I can get everything finished before the end of the month and undoubtedly will add additional projects along the way. I'm getting kind of interested in feng shui, but have not pursued that yet. I'll be picking up a book about it tonight at the library. It's safe to assume that this will spur additional projects.
Go here for the video for "Hang Me Up To Dry" by the Cold War Kids. I can't embed the video because it is the "official" version and the folks at Universal are apparently bastards.
Next weekend is my town's summer festival, which the man and I always attend (I'm looking forward to the pancake breakfast more than the beer tents, to be honest). My parents are visiting in two weeks, but only for a couple days maximum. Two weekends in July will be spent at weddings. The man's mother is visiting for three weeks in July. I am looking forward to seeing her, but the prospect of sharing our space with another person for three whole weeks is making my blood pressure raise every time I think about it. I'm sure it will be fine, and I'm trying not to add it to the stress bucket right now.
As for my time off, I was pretty productive. I can't say that I accomplished everything I had hoped over the past few days, but I did catch up with some friends and get a better grasp on a few things.
I'll post more about my project/goals status tomorrow. Right now I'm pretty exhausted after spending half the day enlarging (doubling) one of the flowerbeds next to the house and moving plants around. I'm off to get a good night's sleep [knock on wood] before facing work tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Folding fitted sheets has always sucked for me. I could never seem to get the folded product to look like anything but a mangled ball of wrinkles. This video has made my linen closet let out a huge sigh of relief.
I spent the day yesterday at the mall with my friend Pam, window shopping and making a half-assed attempt to find shoes for her wedding. It was a nice, laid back, do nothing kind of day. Today was once again much of the same. I spent the majority of the day with my friend Kristen, had lunch, spent most of the day outside with her dog, nothing serious or too intense. Tomorrow I plan on waking up early to hit a few garage sales with a couple of friends, then I hope to mow the lawn (if the man hasn’t already finished by the time I get back), and then cook up a couple steaks for dinner.
Thank God it is finally summer.
I really don't like the roommate...at all. I think he is a worthless, over-sized carcass who takes up space and has been set on this earth to annoy the fuck out of me and my man. I have recently noticed that I don't even look at the roommate anymore. The sight of him annoys me and if I were to make eye contact, a conversation might ensue and I surely don't have the intestinal fortitude to deal with all the bullshit he would try to feed me. Also, it is difficult to make eye contact with someone whose gaze so rarely shifts from either his feed bag or the television.
Anyway, I don't like him and now he has a girlfriend. They've seemingly bonded over their shared abilities to not speak to one another and to be slovenly, couch-lounging, thick-bodied sloths. Okay, she's not terribly over-wide, but when you never get off the fucking couch it is difficult for me to distinguish between cushion and your ass. I've heard them speak to one another only a couple times, always about food, funny enough. Yes, they've been dating for just over a month and she is at the house ever single night without fail. And they only leave to feed themselves then it is back to the couch to watch yet another Deadliest Catch marathon or another Food network program. I have the sneaking suspicion that the girlfriend is annoyed by the dickbag roommate's proclivity to laziness and that she doesn't care to be a fatbody who lays around staring at the tv screen. She has recently taken to sitting next to him on these marathons but instead does crossword puzzles and doesn't stare blindly into Emeril's huge face like the roommate chooses to do.
Why do we still keep him around? Because we are still only thisclose to not needing his rent check. The man's answer to everything roommate related is, "tell him to move out if he doesn't like it." I hope that this means his finances are getting very close to the point that we would be able to live alone. Thus, I'm hoping and praying that the man will soon be the one telling Mr. Lazyballs to move the fuck out and to take his girlfriend and massive load of ugly-ass belongings with him. Personally, my goal is to be able to kick in his portion of the rent by the end of the year, and that we'll be okay to kick his ass to the curb shortly thereafter (this is all independent of what the man can pitch in). Until that time, I'll bide my time and continue to avoid looking in the roommate's general direction as not to be drawn into the vortex of yuck. The vortex has gotten even stronger now that his female counterpart has joined in the sucking worthlessness.
So far I've only switched over to the eyeliner (color: cocoa) and blush (color: lolita). Yes, there were multiple jokes made at my expense because the color of blush that best matches my fair complexion is Lolita. Even though it has the name Lolita, I don't look like a hooker or a drag queen when I wear it. I have never in my life used blush before, but I think I like it. It makes me look like I have actual cheekbones. Who knew? I like the eyeliner because it doesn't make me look like a raccoon halfway through the day by smearing and bleeding and melting all around my eye holes.
I had my doubts about a vegan product staying put all day and being as effective as my normal products, but I have been quite pleasantly surprised. The prices are a little higher than you'd pay at the nearest Walgreens for beauty products, but are definitely on par with the department store brands. I'm impressed by the company's socially responsible business practices: from eco-friendly packaging to generous contributions to various charities. For more information about Stript makeup and where you can buy their products, click here.
It sports a fun and flirty, girly cover. It has stars and glitter. It is non-fiction, but filled with celebrity gossip. It even has a glowing endorsement from none other than Dolly Parton. It must be good.
I didn't know anything about the book before I picked it up, but I just looked it up on Amazon and the reviews are strikingly positive. Here's a link if you'd like to learn more.
I'll keep you posted.
- get a library card
- paint the kitchen
- find/purchase a bridesmaid dress
I've done some other things that I've been meaning to do for a long time as well:
- bundle my home and auto insurance, saving a buttload of money (I'm a lazy moron for not doing this sooner, particularly since I at one time held a property/casualty insurance licensure)
- reconnect with some family/friends with whom I've lost touch (however, there is still more to do with this one)
- continue exploring professional development and potential career enhancing moves
- step outside of my comfort zone and attend gatherings I normally would avoid
- upgrade more of my projects to natural and eco-friendly alternatives
Some of these are small things, others have more impact, but all of them are making me extremely happy to add to my list of accomplishments. I'm happy with all that I've done this summer and am looking forward to doing a lot more this upcoming week to get toward polishing off the rest of my June goals.
And, this is day seven of a successful NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). Woo hoo.
No, I'm not all about self-enlightenment and improvement these days. There is a pent-up rant about the roommate about to boil over and you will reap all of the juicy benefits.
The color isn't really showing true to form - I hope that the weather cooperates better soon so that I can get some better natural light in the office. The teal is close, but the background is really a lime color with a bit of a cold in the sheen. A better picture will follow. The flash on my moderately priced Canon is not painting a very good picture of my office as a whole today, so full shots will have to wait as well.
More to come.
- two, count them, TWO potential dresses for the wedding
- fabric matching the kitchen paint color (to be made into pillows or cushions for the adjoining living room)
- brocade pinch-pleat drapes for the office - the perfect score (posting pics tomorrow)
- a new shower curtain and liner
- two pairs of heels
- a cute denim jacket
- a yellow and orange, three-piece Pyrex mixing bowl set
- two microfiber pillow shams
- a matte white, faux bois pot
I believe there may have been a couple other little things thrown in the mix, but that's most of it. Yes, I was the bargain bandit. Can't believe what a steal the dresses were. I'll have to get pics after the man gets home so I can post them. Now I'm out for a night of merriment.
Anyway, Pam has chosen a very nice J. Crew cotton dress to wear as her wedding gear. I'm now hunting for a cotton something-or-other dress that will be more casual than Pam's dress (which I have never physically seen with my own eyes). Preferably not too brightly colored, and preferably something reasonably priced that I will wear again. Yes, that is a lot of pressure, as dress shopping is a wretched, not fun event in my opinion.
Here are some reasons why dress shopping is not an acceptable form of entertainment and why I am very oft not successful in finding a dress:
- my torso appears to be the inappropriate length for dresses - don't know if this is too long or too short
- my boobs are not big enough to fill out dresses that require boobage to hold them up
- I don't like to try things on
- wearing appropriate undergarments for dress shopping is next to impossible
- I am in the in-between stage - not a junior, not an old lady, not a hooker - very difficult to find a dress that isn't tethered to one of those categories
- When I finally find something that I really like, then look at the price tag and realize I would have to get knocked up, deliver, then sell the baby to pay for the dress
Despite all of these factors working against me, I still need to have something appropriate to wear to the wedding/party. I just need to put on my big girl panties (as my friend Cheri would say) and rise to the challenge.My friend Kristen has agreed to help me find said dress. She had a similar task when she stood up as her sister's maid of honor last month in Mexico. I'll be in Milwaukee, nowhere near as tropical, but less likely that I'll be getting murdered or come down with the next case of swine flu. Then again, it is Milwaukee, so I'd better limit it to "nowhere near as tropical," the other two are still possible.
I digress, the dress hunt commences next week Friday when I am taking another vacation day off from work. I am hoping that the dress finding adventure takes very little time so that we can also get a fast and friendly Culver's meal and maybe take in a movie as well. Of course I am also hoping that Pam blesses the dress and that I will not be mocked as the "what the fuck was she thinking wearing that to the wedding" attendee of the party. I'll post pics of said dress, when it has been procured, which will likely be accompanied by lovely tan lines, brought to you courtesy of Trish Taunts Skin Cancer.
- get a library card
- read at least one new book
- finish my coffee table project
- prepare the guest bedroom for the "mother-in-law"
- paint the kitchen (not the cabinets, just the walls - yes, it is the same color as my office. the office was a trial run to see if I would like it in the kitchen)
- plant vegetables and finish my flower beds
- take all of my use-or-lose vacation time
- go to the farmer's market at least three times
- reorganize my paper files
- find/purchase a bridesmaid dress
Hello, long time no write. I've been quite busy as of late, and I need a bit of a kick in the ass to jumpstart my blog writing again. As you can see from the badge to the left, I'll be participating in NaBlogPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) again to try to get a post in each of the next 30 days.
Time to recap my goals for the year and to see how I've been doing:
- Only keep a balance on one credit card
> this is going well, haven't had a balance on more than one card at all this year
- Lower credit card balance to at least $x by January 1, 2010
> also going well - I'm on track to complete this goal and successfully pay off all credit card debt within the next 12 months
- Pay off Student Loan 1 by January 1, 2010
> this loan will be paid off by October, 2009
- Contribute monthly to savings account to cover non-monthly budgetary expenses
> I've been doing this, thankfully, as I had to use a good portion of it to pay for my laptop repairs
- Cut expenses
> still going well, though there isn't much left to trim at this point. I have been waning a bit on my coupon usage, but I'm committed to picking that back up
- Raise income
> I've taken on some side projects, but not a second job. There seems to be potential for an increase at work, but I'm not holding my breath. I need to seek out additional possibilities for this goal
- Continue taking advantage of all applicable training sessions
> not many trainings offered lately, but I have attended all opportunities
- Build and maintain professional network
> not much has been done to further build my network, but I have continued to maintain what I already have
- Apply myself to outperform in current role - be indispensable
> this is going well, I suppose, as I have taken on additional responsibilities. I do, however, feel more confined than ever
- Complete thesis
> now that my laptop is finally fixed, I should be able to make more headway. Any additional income will be put toward a higher-speed internet connection so that I can do more from home
- Do not interrupt, over-share, or compare experiences
> I remind myself of this goal on a daily basis, I hope that I've made progress in this area
- Be supportive, but also share caution when necessary
> this also requires daily concentration, sometimes the man has some pretty out-there ideas that are hard to support though, but I've been doing my best to not gravitate toward the role of Devil's advocate all of the time
- Spend more time w/, or communicate more w/ family and friends
> I think this has been successful. I just spent the Memorial Day weekend visiting my hometown and was able to see a lot of people while there. I've also been pretty good regarding my monthly correspondence
- Reach out to others more
> not much has been done in terms of volunteer work, I have committed to donating blood on a six-week cycle though
- Keep a tidy house
> not so hot on this one, I must admit that the more I am able to do toward reaching other goals leaves something to be desired in terms of household chores. The outdoor spaces (garden) is looking pretty good though
- Make time for fun, don't schedule life to the minute
> I have done this, but it seems that I wait until I can't barely stand myself before it happens. I need to make a more conscious effort to get out there more
- Make physical and mental health a priority
> I am happy to admit that I have stopped wearing the belt (most of the time). More on this to come later in the month
- Minimize stress
> working out and eating better has helped this, all other factors are kicking this goal in the belly repeatedly though. in other words, this needs work
- Celebrate success
> not a whole lot of success to celebrate, guess this needs more work too
- Don't be over-critical or take myself too seriously
> I'd say this one is only so-so
- Live in the present - don't fret about those things outside of my control
> my worry level is down, so that is a good thing
- Train myself to sustain myself
> I've stopped using anything but reusable shopping bags and have continued trying to buy local. Cooking at home has suffered since I've started putting in a lot more hours at work - this needs to be revisited. I'll write more about growing vegetables and herbs later in the month
My coworkers are also stressed; you can see it on their faces. I'm worried that we are all just one misstep away from devolving into crazed lunatics. We've absorbed the work of yet another person who has left the office. The details of how and why the person left are unimportant. What is important is that we are once again having to pick up the slack.
I'm an honest person, and I don't believe in letting things fester. I speak to management about my concerns and don't try to pretend everything is okay. Now for the rhetorical questions. How do you walk the line between giving constructive criticism and giving a person a rude wake-up call? How do you do this when the person is above you in the hierarchy? When do you say enough is enough and just cut your losses and get the hell out? When does responsibility, integrity, and loyalty become plain-old stupidity? These are the things that run through my brain multiple times per day and keep me up at night.
All I want to do is have a job I enjoy doing something that will make a positive difference in the lives of others. I would hope that that job would allow me to live comfortably and to have enough extra money to do something fun every once in a while. I fear that this is simply too much to ask right now. In a time when the economy and job market have gone down the toilet, money is tight, and things are not looking to improve anytime soon, how much should a person take and how much imbalance can you withstand before your home life suffers at the hands of your work life?
I leave you with this little token of remembrance from two of the girls.
So, despite all the e-mails I receive daily about wanting to add inches to a member, beast, or otherwise named male extension, I've been losing inches. I've cut two inches off my waist since I started this whole thing and an inch from thighs. Apparently my ass hasn't gotten the memo yet because there hasn't been any visible progress there, but I'm sure it'll happen eventually. I am happy because I'm operating under the assumption that the decrease in inches means that I'm firming and toning, making the stuff that was already there tighter and now more streamlined. Either that or my tape measure reading skills are lacking. My physical therapist is happy with my progress, but is also trying to pull on the reigns to keep me from going overboard. My core strength is improving, but my wonky pelvis is still unstable. At least it isn't my mental state.
I'll keep you posted and will throw some pictures from the trip up here this weekend.
Openness to Experience
|You are a calm person who is considered almost fearless by some, however you do not feel nervous in social situations, and have a good impression of what others think of you. You get overwhelmed by too much noise and commotion and do not like thrill-seeking activities. You prefer facts over fantasy and are more interested in what is happening in the real word. You do not enjoy confrontation, but you will stand up for yourself or push your point if you feel it is important, however you feel superior to those around you and sometimes tend to be seen as arrogant by other people. You take your time when making decisions and will deliberate on all the possible consequences and alternatives.|