Wednesday, March 31, 2010

2010 Resolutions: 1st Quarter

Well, three months of this new year have gone by. Can you even believe how quickly time passes? It seems like it moves so slowly when you're a kid, and the older you get the faster is starts to fly by. I've done so-so on the resolutions so far. Admittedly I think I might have to rethink a few things. Some of my priorities have definitely shifted since I've made the decision I want to go to school. But for now let's see what I've been able to get done.

.Read 20 books- I've read one book complete, listened to one audiobook complete, and have half-read 4 books, ha. Not a lot of progress, but progress nonetheless I suppose.
.Exercise at least twice a week- Now that the weather is warmer I'm really making progress here, although it's most just walking. Walking however is my favorite form of exercise and I'm taking 3 to 4 walks a week now. And our bicycles were delivered today!
.Improve my eating habits- Sadly not doing a whole lot better here. But I've been putting a lot of thought lately into what changes I can make here.
.Be a better listener- Think I'm not doing well at this one at all, unfortunately.
.Learn to drive- I drove around the neighborhood a month or so ago, and last week I drove myself to work with Josh's help. This was in other people's cars though, since I can't yet manage the standard VW. I've got a defensive driving DVD that I've watched some of, and we think we've found a good parking lot where I can try to learn to use our car's stick shift.
.Get a full physical/gyno/bloodwork- I've had my full physical and gyno exam. My bloodwork came back great, we've been able to identify some of my quirky little problems, and I have to decide what I want to do about my endometriosis. I also got my eyes checked and I have to take a glaucoma test at the end of April.
.Learn some tactics for handling stress- I'm trying to push through the urge to stress eat and panic when I get stressed. I'll probably be finding a therapist through my insurance agency that can hopefully help me with this resolution.
.Start a vegetable garden in back yard and container herb garden in side yard- Now that we've likely had our last freeze I'm hoping to get these plans underway
.Learn how to develop my own black & white film- I've made no progress on this whatsoever, but I got one of the chemicals I need to develop for my birthday so part of the puzzle is there. I just have to get the other pieces.
.Have clothes hemmed- nada
.Finish family photos for the hallway- pathetic
.Get my Beatles tattoo- Well, I ended up getting my Conan tattoo first, but still plan on getting this one.
.Be more like Diane Keaton, Jane Birkin, Linda McCartney, Katharine Hepburn, and Audrey Hepburn- Pretty pathetically not managed to be as awesome as these ladies yet.
.Rent a cabin- We haven't had an opportunity with as busy as we've been. Josh and I are looking at our calendar though because we could definitely use a break. Might end up going camping before we rent a cabin, but there's still 9 months left, right?
.Finish organizing my office- More or less done. Could be better, but it's looking pretty good.
.Cross 2 things off my Life List- nada.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Weekend Roundup

I took yesterday off instead of my typical Friday so that I could be home when Josh got in and so I could finish up some of my spring cleaning; that's why the weekend roundup is appearing a day later than usual.

-Say goodbye to Josh
-Work, blech
-Order bikes
-Pick up transcript from high school
-Pick up Chipotle
-Put food up and change clothes
-Eat dinner while watching What Not To Wear
-Start on organizing the DVDs while watching Pride & Prejudice part 1

-Sleep in
-Coffee while I put together my playlist
-Empty and clean vacuum
-Work on fixing the back door- prying, sanding, hammering
-Start laundry
-Clean outside windows and sweep cobwebs off eaves
-Lunch while watching first half of The Ghost & Mrs. Muir
-Inside windows
-Clean bathrooms, bedroom, dust headboard and ceiling fan
-Clean living room, dust bookcase, move chair and couch and sweep under
-Sweep cobwebs off porch
-Sweep and dust office, dust ceiling fan
-Finish laundry
-Make bed with spring sheets and duvet
-Order veggie pizza
-Eat and watch 2001 SNL hosted by Conan
-Hit the hay

-Rise and shine
-Coffee and breakfast in bed while reading some of The Happiness Project with Coltrane and Bechet playing and the windows open, aka heaven
-Get ready
-Target, IKEA, and Central Market with Holly, more or less strike out on my shopping
-Leftover pizza and Broadcast News
-Remember how much I love Albert Brooks and watch Mother in bed
-Late night texting with Josh so he could tell me he met Billy Corgan at the WWE show

-Sleep in
-More laundry
-Finish organizing DVDs
-Dishes, clean counters, sweep
-Make menu and grocery list
-Read a little Happiness Project while waiting for Josh
-Josh is home, yay, fills me in on trip stories
-Chadra's for dinner, mmmm falafel
-Grocery shopping
-Put up groceries, make salads, get ready for bed
-Watch some Simpsons
-Finally fall asleep

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday ConeZone #9

It's finally Friday! Has this week dragged on for anyone else? Clearly from my last post I've been having a rough one. But I'm feeling a bit better and ready to have a good weekend filled with spring cleaning and a trip to IKEA. Part of the reason I'm feeling better is I made some progress on my college preparations. We ordered our bikes this morning and I picked up my transcript from my old high school this afternoon. That's two things I can check off my to-do list. And with the purchase of our bikes in mind I thought a good choice for today's ConeZone would be Conan's adventure as a New York City bike messenger. I try to keep it topical to what I've got going on, when I can. I don't know if anybody cares, but it helps me whittle down the clip options, ha. Enjoy and happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What is "Good Enough"?

I am having a busy week at work and at home. I've been paying bills, moving money around for retirement, and to pay for Conan tickets and our taxes. The other office person has been out sick, so that means more work for me. I'm trying to keep forging ahead on re-learning math skills before I take a college placement test. Our eating habits have been not so great lately, so I've been working a lot on that. I'm gearing up for spring cleaning this weekend, since Josh will be on the road. I haven't been doing anything with photography lately. I'm not keeping up with my Newsweek subscription very well. I've become a total slacker when it comes to Small Time Cooks. I've got several partly read books on my bedside table. I've made very little progress on my resolutions. There are a lot of unfinished projects around the house. My insomnia is totally getting the better of me. And I'm slowly realizing that I can't do everything, especially when I'll be adding school to my plate.

Lately the phrase "The perfect is the enemy of the good" has been popping up around me. I've read it on other blogs, in some of those half-finished bedside books, and I keep coming back to it. It makes sense to me, but I can't even begin to figure out how to actually apply it. I don't know how you figure out what is "good enough". Everytime I think of my long list of to-do's they all seem necessary. I was talking about stuff with a friend over coffee this weekend and she was somewhat amazed at my ability to connect whether or not I peel and chop my own carrots to whether or not I'm succeeding or failing in life. I have to prepare good food for us because it's important for my health and Josh's. I have to make sure I'm eating the right things to help keep my health problems in check. So how do I measure "good enough" when it comes to feeding us?

Keeping a clean house is very important to me, especially because I'm actually the messy one of the two of us. I've been teased that I could rent my house out to build micro-chips in. Let me just tell you that isn't the case because dusting is one cleaning duty that I am actually very lax on. I'm lax on a lot of them, but if I don't clean house often enough I feel like I'm failing. Sometimes Josh will do some cleaning and I will feel awful about it. I feel differently when he offers to help, but when I can hear him from the other room cleaning, unprompted, I feel guilty, like I've let him down. I have a shelf of books about cleaning and housekeeping in my office. I cleaned house last weekend in anticipation of spring cleaning this weekend. Cleaning your house so you can be ready to clean your house? Seems a bit much. But how can I hope to be at peace if my house is in chaos?

I hate that I don't always get to ironing Josh's shirts and that he will wear them anyways. I feel like his wrinkled clothes are a public display of my laziness. Everytime we buy prepared things at the store I say to myself "I should be making this." I should be making the bread. I should be making the salad dressing. I should be making the graham crackers. Do you know how time consuming it is to make graham crackers? Rolling, scoring, baking in batches. And do you also know how inexpensive graham crackers are? And yet it bothers me. Josh came back from staying with friends in Austin this weekend and told me how the wife made migas and bacon for everyone, and I apologized for not doing that too. His response was "You're always making good breakfasts." I almost NEVER make breakfast on the weekends. If he doesn't seem to even notice, why do I still feel the need to apologize?

I have this quote taped to my work monitor: "Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein."- H. Jackson Brown. I think I'm going to take it down though because every time I look at it I say to myself "Yeah, but they didn't have to do the laundry and clean the toilets."

How do I figure out what's "good enough"?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weekend Roundup

-Sleep in
-Say bye to Josh, off to SXSW
-Appointment with Dr. Evans
-Labcorp for blood work
-Grab lunch
-Work for half day
-Stop by Central Market for dinner fixings
-Watch a couple of What Not To Wears with big salad for dinner
-Best coconut cupcake ever!
-A little computer time while watching Andy Barker P.I.
-Bed time

-Sleep in
-Coffee, cereal, banana, and BIG fruit smoothie
-Clean house
-Josh gets home from SXSW
-Tidy and organize my office
-A little math work
-Dinner of cheese, crackers, pepperoni and olives with popcorn and Monty Python and the Holy Grail
-Hit the hay

-Sleep in, wake up to a hilarious tweet from Conan
-Menu planning and grocery listing
-Start laundry
-Grocery shopping
-Melanie comes by to talk school and life in general over coffee and pumpkin bread
-Clean and prep veggies for the week
-Big, yummy salad for dinner
-Finish laundry
-Read some of The Happiness Project
-A bit of insomnia, finally fall asleep

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Dress

I was finally able to order this dress I'd been pining for from Anthropologie. I showed it here once before. I ordered it Monday night and it arrived yesterday! Wrapped in adorable tissue paper and my invoice had it's own little linen bag. This was, sadly, the first item I've purchased from Anthropologie and they have wooed me well, as you can tell. Not to mention the dress itself is fabulous; just what I was hoping it would be. It is the perfect shade of green and fits wonderfully. Think this is what I'm going to wear when we go to MEET CONAN O'BRIEN. Sorry, I really am still that excited about it. I gotta get some shoes, maybe a belt and, maybemaybe a necklace. But I love the dress as is and can't wait to wear it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

She & Him, Volume Two

Just in case you don't already know, you can hear the new She & Him Album Volume Two in it's entirety here, thanks to NPR. I've already taken full advantage.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

ConeZone #8*: Special St. Patrick's Day Edition

Well folks, it's St. Patrick's Day. As some of you may know I am indeed Irish. Feel free to blow a couple kisses my way for good luck. And as all of you should know, a certain someone is also Irish. Far more Irish than me, too. That would be one Conan Christopher O'Brien. So in honor of this son of Ireland we're entering the ConeZone a bit early this week. I've got my green on and my fridge is stocked with Guinness and Harp. How 'bout you? For this special edition of the weekly ConeZone we'll take a look at Conan's visit to the old country. Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all! Erin Go Braugh!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weekend Roundup

-Rise and shine
-Shower, get ready, and coffee
-Ob/Gyn appointment, likely diagnosis of endometriosis
-Work, blech
-Home, watch some What Not To Wear while waiting for Josh
-Grab some Chipotle
-Start and finish a chapter in algebra workbook
-Hit the hay

-Sleep in
-Run to post office to pick up new purse
-Empty the dishwasher
-Late breakfast on the deck followed by lots of reading on the lounger
-Hide out inside watching an American Experience on Dolley Madison while Josh mows the yard
-Return to my deck lounger for more reading with a glass of lemonade
-Shower and slowly get ready
-Girls night out with Steph and Tricia (and Rodney) for a little bit
-Cheese fries and free drinks at Snookie's
-Meet Vicki and Holly for Descender and Dove Hunter at Lola's
-Homemade karaoke back at the house until the early hours of the morning
-Crash into bed

-Sleep way in
-Coffee, menu planning, grocery listing
-Get ready
-Fate Lions at The Grotto for anti-human trafficking benefit
-Grocery shopping
-Late lunch
-Start laundry
-Empty rain barrel
-Clean and prep salad veggies
-Finish up laundry and late night chips & salsa while watching As Time Goes By

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday ConeZone #7

This is a VERY special Friday ConeZone people. Yesterday Conan announced his 30 city tour of North America. I promptly went straight to the Ticketmaster website and refreshed the page until tickets went on sale. And then I lost my mind. I bit the bullet. Spent the big bucks. And....I'M GOING TO MEET CONAN O'BRIEN! I raided one of our many savings funds, one which actually had a rather ambiguous purpose and was just sitting there, so I could buy the ridiculously expensive Meet & Greet package. I have been on cloud nine pretty much since I clicked "Purchase". May 13th he'll be at McFarlin Auditorium in Dallas and I'll be there to see him and his hair up close and in person. We have what must be the greatest seats in the house, front row, dead center. This show is said to be a mix of comedy sketches, music, and lots of fun. So today's ConeZone clip has all of that in it. Enjoy ConeZone #7- Conan singing "He's Gone" for LaBamba.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

In The Sun


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What Makes Life Worth Living?

I was thinking about cinematographer Gordon Willis this morning, which sent me to youtube in search of any interesting interviews with him. And after listening to him talk about working with Woody Allen, I of course had the inclination to search for him. Which lead me to a clip from my favorite Allen movie Manhattan. This clip comes at the end of the movie and Woody's character Isaac is laying on his couch working on writing ideas. He starts to list some of the things that make life worth living for him. That made me think about what might be on my list. Here is my list, in no particular order, and definitely incomplete. What would be on your list?

.Sarah Vaughan singing Gershwin
.holding Josh's hand
.black and white photography
.pepperoni pizza
.Bonjour Tristesse by Francois Sagan
.a cold beer
.Keith Jarrett's version of I Loves You Porgy
.green zinnias
.The Beatles
.cheese fries
.Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks
.making people laugh
.walking in Central Park
.Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers
.good cup of coffee
.John Coltrane's My Favorite Things
.a really nice breeze on a sunny day
.Woody Allen

Monday, March 8, 2010

Weekend Roundup

I'm alone in the office, it's pouring rain outside, and I have a headache so gonna make this short and sweet.

-Make chili that turned out awful
-Grab Chick-fil-a for dinner
-Play Beatles Rockband
-Chris comes by and hangs out
-Few episodes of Andy Barker

-Sleep in
-Shower, coffee, and get ready
-Eye exam
-To mall for glasses, lenses have to be ordered
-Post office
-Schlotzsky's for lunch
-Eat and watch Simpsons
-Lay out on the deck for some reading time
-Freshen up and head to Ashley & Matt's
-Wine and popcorn with Ashley while guys play
-Brow wax
-Hit Whataburger up on the way home
-Eat and watch more Simpsons
-Hit the hay

-Sleep in
-Menu planning and grocery list
-Get ready
-Grocery shopping
-Gumbo for lunch
-Clean house and start laundry
-Watch the Oscars with popcorn while finishing laundry
-Make the bed

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday ConeZone #6

Welcome to another Friday ConeZone! With all the thoughts about and discussion of transportation I've had this week I thought today we'd take a look at a great remote that Conan did during a New York transit strike in 2005. I can only imagine what fun it must have been to get to go along for the ride as one of Conan's passengers. Also, word is that some news will be dropping on the live tour that has been mentioned to be in the works, after a few leaks have sprung today mentioning possible shows in San Diego, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. Keeping my fingers crossed he comes this way, and my eyes and ears peeled for any more leaks! Enjoy this week's ConeZone.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


In my last post I mentioned the difficulties of coming up with a way to get to school without buying a second car yet. After doing some research with Google Maps and a tracking program, I've established that the bike path that runs right by my office building along the river can take me directly to the school and it's only a distance of about 3 miles. That is pretty darn convenient, right? There are two bus lines that run either directly by or near my office as well. Their schedules don't mesh really well for transfers, but it's workable. So I think my current plan is to get a bike and ride to class that way. It will depend on the class schedule I'll have to work with, but I know my boss would generally be happy to let me adjust my work schedule to help me go to school. As long as it isn't a drastic overhaul. Which, with online and weekend courses, it hopefully won't be. From our house to the school is about 8 miles. I'm not sure if that's too much for me, as I'll be a beginner cyclist, or not. But I can ride my bike to the best bus stop to get to school too, so I wouldn't necessarily have to bike the whole way there from home. And my friend LeAnn has offered to let me use her work bus pass; I could use the bus in inclement weather, or when the distance is too great, for free. I think this is going to be a really fun adventure! I also think it's a great time to invest in a bicycle because our City Council recently approved a massive plan to upgrade and expand the city's biking infrastructure. I'll get to pretend I'm like all those stylish gals that pop up on Sartorialist and other places in the blogosphere! Here's the bike I'm currently digging and a couple of cute biker chics to inspire me.

*1st pic from Sartorialist

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

School Daze

After lots of thinking and discussion I have decided that I want to go to college. I have never seriously considered this before, because there was never anything in particular that I wanted to do. I've spent a good chunk of the past few years trying to figure out a purpose for myself. It's generally been an exercise in futility until I recently had a very minor epiphany. After some conversations with Josh, and talking to a few friends, I've settled on the idea of getting a bachelor's degree in Radio, Film and Television. I haven't decided what area within that category I would really like to focus on yet. I'm leaning towards production, but also like the idea of cinematography or screenwriting.

Trying to figure out how to go to school for the first time at the age of 29 is very overwhelming for me. I'll be starting off at the community college, and then hopefully moving on to a public university. There are so many obstacles to work my way around to be able to start going; the first one is transportation. We are a one car household since I currently don't drive. I'm working on learning, but even once I have my license we can't just go out and buy a car. The city bus doesn't seem to have any routes that really work well for getting me to the school either. There are some options, but nothing that seems to be anything less than inconvenient. Some combination of bus, bike, and something else that has yet to occur to me may be in order. Then by the time I'm ready to go to university we should have enough in the car fund for a new car.

In addition to the transportation problem is the job/money problem. We probably make too much for me to get financial aid for my community college tuition. I'm still going to apply, it just isn't likely I'll get any. And even with any possible financial aid for university tuition we will still need to take out some student loans, so my community college years need to be paid for without resorting to debt. Which means I can't reduce my work hours by much. I have yet to figure out how this is going to work. Our community college offers weekend courses at several campuses and the option of some online courses, so this should help. More thinking to be done.

Then there's the actual classes and learning. I'll have to take the THEA test before I can register and I know that I'm not going to pass the math part. (Really, I know. I took a practice version and missed almost half the math questions.) Which means despite there being only one math requirement in the degree plan, I'll have to take some remedial classes before I can get it out of the way. More time, more money, and for the love of God, more math. I hate math.

Sorry for the grumpy rambling, but this is all the junk that I'm busy thinking about these days. Needed to vent it somewhere, and that's what blogs are for, right? On the plus side my old doctor's are now on my insurance plan, so I'm going to both the ob/gyn and my internist this month for full physical. And I'm going for an eye exam on Saturday. If I'm going to be driving and in a classroom I definitely need to update my woefully old eyeglasses. That's a big check mark on the resolutions list.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Weekend Roundup

-Work, yuck
-Home to do some thinking, research, Simpsons watching
-Josh gets home from errands with Chick-fil-a for dinner
-More TV and hanging out with Josh

-Sleep in
-See Josh off to Houston to play at BBQ Championships
-Long walk around the neighborhood
-Breakfast and a little reading out on the deck
-Talk to Ann
-Shower and get ready
-More Simpsons while thinking over budget
-Shopping with Holly
-Sonic for dinner
-Watch Andy Barker, P.I.
-Run to store for cheap booze and ice cream
-Watch Extract
-See Holly off
-Hit the hay

-Sleep in
-Tidy bedroom and bathroom
-Clean kitchen
-Clean out fridge and pantry
-Take out trash and recycling
-Sit out on the deck for a bit
-Josh gets home
-Make meal plan and grocery list
-Grocery shopping
-Put groceries up and start laundry
-Chipotle for dinner
-Clean and prep salad veggies for week
-Finish laundry
-More research while watching Pride & Prejudice part 2
-Try to sleep
-Bad insomnia, wander house, lay on couch, back to bed finally