Monday, November 14, 2011

NaBloWriMo - Day 14

Well, I missed day 13 (it was unlucky, you might say). But after a beyond delightful day of working on SSP (well, that was only ok), shopping with my mom, skating, Chinese food, and hanging out with my parents, I didn't have the energy at 11:58 to whip out the iTouch to get in an entry. Still, I'm back, so that's progress. I'm also afraid to say the wheels have fallen off NaNoWriMo once again, and I think it may be too late to catch up. I've got two more weeks of intensive work on SSP and then that will be done, at which point I can free up some mental energy and time for my novel. It pushed me to get the start on paper though, and previous to that it had just been marinating in my brain whilst I was on the treadmill.

I have some things to say about ice skating and the brain waves I had whilst doing it, but I'm going to have to save those for another day. For now I'm re-acclimatizing to my regular life and sleep is unfortunately not for the weak.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

NaBloWriMo- Day 11

I am where I belong, but without some of the people who belong with me. I wish I knew what the hell to do, or was brave enough to leap without worrying about the consequences.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

NaBloWriMo - Day Seven

Major excitement, there is finally a Blogger app (which is to say, I just discovered it). This means NaBloWriMo will be easier because I can blog without my laptop. That said, one fingered typing is annoying and slow.

I've called it another early night and am breaking one of my cardinal rules which is no working in bed. We're still recovering from yesterday's drama though and we both need to keep calm. I didn't go to the gym either, because I felt intensely that I just needed to go home.

I'm overscheduled. D says I need to give things up, but that's just not my way. It seems that the NaNoWriMo is suffering. Still, three more weeks until SSP is done and a few days after that will be the finish of NaNo and NaBlo. As they say, I'll sleep in December.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

NaBloWriMo - Day Six

This week has been a piece of crap. It is a testament to how much I've changed lately, in terms of stick-to-it-iveness, that I'm even here today bitching about it.

I suffered a serious setback in my SSP, I got yelled at by a psychotic neighbour and spent most of the afternoon feeling bad about it, and I realized I missed the final episode last year of a favorite show. On the other hand, a friend I'd like to be friendlier with dropped by, D stuck up for me with the crazy guy, and I'm healthy, safe, and warm. Maybe life isn't so bad.

But just to make sure the week ends soothingly, I'm heading to bed with the laptop, D, and a couple of episodes of Big Bang Theory. Maybe the cats will come. And we'll start a new (better!) week tomorrow.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

NaBloWriMo - Day Five

Since I got rid of cable and have been working on SSP, I'm wondering what the hell I did with my weekends. I must have just beached myself on the couch on Friday night and not gotten up until Sunday. (Oh wait, ahhhh, yes I remember now). These days, life is consumed with work, the gym, and the SSP. I'm barely even keeping on top of my shows online. Which is all to say, I can't wait until SSP is done and I can get back to relaxing a bit. I have not finished a book in several weeks!

I guess it's not quite true that I haven't been relaxing at all, but they've all been such stolen moments that I feel guilty for taking. And I guess because I feel I ought not to be relaxing, I don't actually take the time to do something worthwhile and instead end up falling down various nostalgic rabbit holes.

I think I've got to call day 5 a day. No more SSP, no work on the NaNoWriMo, just a shower, bed, and my stories.

Friday, November 4, 2011

NaBloWriMo - Day Four

Ahem. As it happens, Thursdays are not historically the best day of the week for me. I'm tired, I'm burnt out, and I've worked myself up into a fine lather. Last night, thoroughly discouraged with life and the Super Secret Project, I stomped down to bed to do more work on SSP (you know, because I'm a martyr), despite that I have a no work in bed policy. A few minutes later I realized I was being ridiculous and (surprise!) a martyr, so I shook it off, downloaded a show off iTunes I like but isn't available on the internet legally for free, and relaxed.

That's actually something else you should probably know about me. I only download music (and for the first time last night, a TV show) legally through iTunes. None of this Bit Torrent blah blah business for me. It's too much trouble. And it seems to me, if I'm willing to spend $5 on a chai latte a couple of times a week, I should be willing to spend $1.29 on a song that I'm going to listen to a bunch of times (hopefully). But yeah, that's me, too lazy to break the law (I make not comment on whether it's a well advised law or not).

It never ceases to amaze me how much longer (in a good way) how time seems so much slower on Friday night. Somehow on a Friday, there's time to relax, make dinner, and still be ready to enjoy a whole evening ahead of you at 7:30pm. This evening has been spent working on SSP, but also recovering from an amazing fettuccine alfredo dinner, so it's maybe been less productive than hoped. Still, at 9:40, I feel like I can working on my NaNoWriMo for a bit and still do a little more work on SSP. Cheers to day four!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NaBloWriMo - Day Three

Two steps forward, one step back.

I have not the energy to blog, because I am so exhausted dealing with all the moving parts that are my life. This isn't one of those situations where it's the thought that counts. If I'm asking for help, it means I need help, not that it will be just as helpful to intend to help, but not follow through.

Also, between Asthma Man and the guys upstairs' big screen TV, I cannot get a moments peace.

More better tomorrow. At least I was here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NaBloWriMo - Day Two

I'm generally trying to be a better all-round person as the countdown to 30 begins. Eating better, moving more, being a better friend and family member, etc. All of this improvement has led to it's share of introspection, and I recently had the realization that if I want to take better care of other people, I need to take better care of me. From the blogs I read, it's clear that this is a problem many women have, increasingly as they become mothers with a family to take care of. I don't have kids yet, so I figure now is the time to get into the habit.

I have a weird quirk (well, I have lots of weird quirks, but specifically for this example I have this one weird quirk...). I can't deal with the sound of people eating or drinking loudly. It's actually a real thing, I recently discovered, that other people have too. Anyways, as it happens, D is a very loud chewer and slurper. Instead of waiting for his tea to cool, for example, he'll sit there and slurp it back slowly and painfully. Usually, I would either snappily tell him to knock it off (which would lead to a fight) or I'd sit here and stew while he slurped until I snapped and (surprise!) we got in a fight. But tonight? I calmly explained that whilst he was enjoying his tea (which I genuinely don't begrudge him), I was going to go have my shower. I needed to shower at some point this evening anyways, so there was no time like the present. And? Fight averted and my sanity saved.

Being a martyr comes naturally to me, but it's not healthy or helpful. I need to continue to find ways to voice my frustrations without being unreasonable and find solutions that make everyone happy (or at least, don't make anyone actively unhappy). And now, on to NaNoWriMo-ing!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaBloWriMo - Day One

Because I'm insane, I've decided that I want to complete not only NaNoWriMo, but also NaBloWriMo. You know, because I have such copious amounts of free time. I will admit that cutting off cable has really opened my evenings up, and shocked me at how much TV I must have been watching before. But what with the gym and Super Secret Project, I'm still finding the evenings too short. I think I accomplish more under pressure, and the more I have to do, the more I do do, so here I am. Consider this short introduction my contribution for day one, and I hope that the rest of the month is more fruitful.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Reluctant Lover of the Digital Age

I've been putting rather a lot of effort this weekend into trying to be a little more present and not just be hypnotized by the television. I've watched some TV, to be sure, but less than usual certainly and I've spent more time sitting and reading. The nice thing about the TV not being on is that if I'm sitting and reading on one couch in the living room, now D. can come and sit on another couch and read too. In this kind of heat and humidity, the living room is the coolest room in the house with the blinds shut and the fan on. It's been really peaceful.

I started (and finished) a book (SUCCUBUS BLUES) I bought yesterday at my local used bookstore. He was having a half off sale for his Twitter followers, and while I didn't really intend to buy anything much, I ended up leaving with the first five books in Richelle Mead's 'Georgina Kincaid' series (his argument being that I would certainly like the first book, and when I came back to buy the rest they would be gone and if they weren't they would certainly not be half price). Once I finished that I had a yen to read the third book in another series I've been reading, Deanna Raybourn's 'Lady Julia Grey' series, but I couldn't find it at the bookstore or the library branch we visited. In my search of the library website though, I discovered the e-book of SILENT ON THE MOOR was available for borrowing. A few downloads later and I was reading the book via Adobe Digital Editions and Overdrive on my laptop. I was able to settle on the deck outside and read for several hours, until the sky opened and outdoor reading became less prudent.

I'm a reluctant e-book reader. I work in publishing (in an area that depends on physical books) and my parents own a bookstore (who require physical books to make a living). And beyond those selfishly financial considerations, I just can't seem to part with the idea of a printed book in my hands. I want it sitting on the shelf, where I can see it and touch it, until I've read it and then onwards after. I can't argue with the convenience of e-books, and certainly I can think of instances in my life where a reader full of books would have been invaluable (our summer in Germany, for instance, or three weeks in India). Those were occasions where English books were dear and our luggage could simply not accommodate the number of books I would likely blow through. Curling up in an armchair with a warm e-reader certainly holds little appeal for me, but I'm beginning to accept it as a necessary (and convenient) evil. I wanted to read SILENT ON THE MOOR, I didn't want to go out and buy it, my library didn't have it available, but the e-book was there to instantly gratify me. All the same, I can't help but feel something of a traitor.

Friday, July 1, 2011

My 30th Year - T-minus 83 Days

I'm sitting here on my couch on July 1st (aka Canada Day). It should have been a supremely relaxing day. I don't get very many opportunities to relax, at home, without having to get up early or go out in the evening or have to do SOMETHING for SOMEONE. And I did get a good night's sleep, I had a nice sleep-in, we had Eggs Benny for breakfast, and I lounged on the couch for a few hours. But then the whole thing went downhill. Without going into all the details, now I'm feeling stressed, chubby, and like a lazy blob.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I have an endless ability to envision self-improvement but very little will to see it through. I realized that I have less than 90 days until I turn 29 and when I turn 29 I will be in my 30th year. I think the time has come to suck it up, buckle down, and make a little time for some badly needed changes.

My first act on this countdown to my 30th year was to cancel our cable and home phone. I only talk to my parents on the home phone (and screen telemarketers), and I've got free long distance to them on my cell phone, so it seemed a waste. The cable cancellation is partly a financial savings but also a lifestyle choice. The amount of time I spend sitting on my ass watching syndicated sitcoms I've seen a zillion times before is truly shocking. The number of things I could be doing instead is endless. So I've made a decision to cut the cord, literally, and try to make my TV viewing a little more intentional. Once I've paid the last bill, we'll get a big TV, an HDMI cable, and I'll start watching new shows through the internet.

I'm proud of myself, actually, because this is a big step for me. There are a lot more steps to take though, to improve my body, mind, spirit, and pocketbook. I'm trying not to set crazy goals, but I'm trying to have faith in my capacity for change.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Have the way, Missing the will

Here's the most heartbreaking thing about my current difficulties getting into the swing of Project Bananas and, to a less extent, The Happiness Project: I know what I need to do to feel happier and more content, I just can't get up the energy to actually DO it.

There are no magic wands in this life, I know this. In order to feel better about my body, I need to eat better (and less) and exercise more. To write a book, I need to make time everyday to write some words. To improve at the violin, I need to practice. To read more, I need to turn off the TV and open a book.

None of this is brain surgery. All of it would make me happier. But somehow, at the end of each and every day, I have the energy only to make dinner, and then collapse on the couch in a heap of sweatpants.

There will never be a better time than this moment to achieve any of these goals, so I somehow have to remember that in 60 years, god willing, I will never wish that I'd watched more re-runs of Friends or How I Met Your Mother. Life is for the living, and reruns are for sick days and heartbreak.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Reinventing the Wheel

In a certain sense, I've already failed. My goal for this week was to blog every day and I failed on day two. I have an excuse, of course, which was that I had an office social obligation after work, had a couple of beers, and got home later than usual. I was also exhausted, thanks to the car pushing the night before. But honestly, I think I was also mentally exhausted from all the thinking I've been doing thanks to reading The Happiness Project.

I'm not quite finished, but I honestly think that it's already changed me a bit. All my spare moments have been devoted to thinking up what my personal commandments might be. All I've got so far is "Love thy neighbour, or find explanations in charity", but given the amount I rage about both my actual neighbours and just other people out in the world, it's an excellent first step.

Where I keep getting stuck is Gretchen Rubin's first commandment, "Be Gretchen". She uses it as a reminder that at the end of the day, she can't completely subvert her personality (I think). So I keep coming up with possible commandments (Don't take it so personally), but then I wonder if that's just who I am, a person who takes relationships of all kinds very seriously. Needless to say, I have another 11 commandments to obsess over in the coming days.

Anyways, it's Friday night, I've got a weekend of potential creativity and reinvention ahead of me, as long as I can manage not to sleep it away. I'd like to come up with a few more commandments and also work on some resolutions and secrets of adulthood. Wish me luck...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


It's probably not escaped anyone's notice that it is now February. You would think that the ideal time for picking up Project Bananas again after an extended hiatus would be January, but you would be wrong. That would be too predictable. I had it all planned out in my head...

I'm lying, of course. January passed by in a blur of social engagements, trying to go to the gym, work, Super Mario Galaxy, and some vague promises to myself to eat better. But the more I think of it, February is actually a MUCH better time to start such a project up again. It helps that my months old hold at the library for a book called THE HAPPINESS PROJECT by Gretchen Rubin finally arrived.

I picked up the book last week, but once I started reading it last night I could barely put it down. By the end of this morning's bus trip to work I was halfway through and by noon I'd already signed up for an account at The Happiness Project Toolbox. I realized that between The Happiness Project and Project Bananas, I think I can really truly get my ass in gear and get some goals accomplished.

Here's how it's going to go down: I'm going to (try to) post a new Project Bananas project every week. I'm also going to post regular updates on how my progress on my Happiness Project projects are going. In the short term, that's going to involve ironing out my Personal Commandments and Secrets of Adulthood. Once I've got those figured out, I can move on to working out some more concrete resolutions to go with my Bananas Projects. I think the difference is that while the resolutions will be speak to changing behaviour and mindset in the grander scheme, the Bananas Projects will focus on short term goals and achievements. So, being a more patient girlfriend vs. practicing my violin every day.

It's barely been 24 hours since I started THE HAPPINESS PROJECT (the book), but already I'm seeing a difference in my attitude. I shoveled the walk this morning while I was waiting for the bus, as a nice surprise to D and the next door neighbours (we seem to have a nice back and forth with them in terms of shoveling). I was logical and realistic about a disappointment at work and didn't let it derail my day. I went to the gym even though I didn't want to (and felt better for it, damn it). I was more patient during a conversation with D where I might have lost my temper. And I was resolved to have a good attitude about an email that I received regarding a work event.

Anyways, between THE HAPPINESS PROJECT and Project Bananas, I'm feeling totally and completely inspired.

So, to start (again) at the very beginning (again), this week's Project Bananas is Be a Famous Blogger (again). That'll mean blogging every day for the next week. As yet, I forsee no impediments to prevent me from succeeding at this goal. I'll also be working on getting my Happiness Project elements going.

It's good to be back, if only I can keep it up.