January 27, 2012 – Friday 5

I actually filled this out and am posting late, but I’m still applying it as a Friday post for the sake of my timeline.
Did I mention I finished my taxes on Friday? I guess the blessing and curse of a modest W2 income is that there isn’t a huge paper trail to account for. But, I got a refund, and for the first year in a row, I’m looking forward to putting it all to savings, and not paying down any debt. My days of consumer debt (as small as it was) are over!
I still don’t think I’m going to get a Kindle. I’m actually holding out for an iPad, because I’m now doing some freelance work where having the iPad will be pretty instrumental. But, that’s down to road.
All the same? Glad to have some extra dough in my pockets.
Onwards, to the Friday5!
  1. What are your favorite storage containers like?
    I like sturdy plastic ones with snap-on lids. This and this are both great examples of my favorites. You can see through to the contents, and they aren’t so large that you can’t lift them once they are filled, yet have enough room for differing-sized items.
  2. What seems to require more time and energy to store than it’s worth?
    I can just say that I can’t stand rotating in and out my summer and winter wardrobes. I’m getting to the point where I do have a lot of year-round-ready clothes that are in my closet, but it’s inevitable that a particular piece of clothing I want to wear got packed into storage two weeks earlier.
    Part of this comes from the most beloved/behatred Space Bags, which are great in theory, but pretty much every one I own has a micro tear in it (my fault, not the manufacturer’s). You should see my bags: I spent two hours one afternoon trying to duct tape the holes in them. Mostly, to small avail: I have a few space bags that slid under my bed just fine, but have now re-puffed and I can’t get them back out again without damn-near-destroying the bags.
  3. What unusual container are you storing something in?
    I currently have an empty Trader Joe’s feta cheese container that is keeping my smaller binder clips together in a drawer in my office. I also have a jar my brother hand-threw in ceramics in college that keeps my pop tabs together on my bookshelf.
  4. What packaged product has a container you really like?
    I’m really digging glass jars with metal lids right now. They’re sturdy and handy for various storage around the house. Usually, I use them to contain my salad toppings, leftover spaghetti sauce, salad dressing, whatnot.
  5. If you suddenly had some new storage space in your home, what would likely go there?
    Right now, I have a bunch of books, notebooks, house furnishings that don’t have anywhere to go and are sitting in the upper shelves of my closet, taking up room. I’d love to have a dedicated space for them.

Source: f.riday5.com

January 25, 2012

I’m dragging pretty hard today after a long day yesterday. We were doing introductions/networking in my capstone class last night and that ran until 10:30. I didn’t get home until 11:15, and didn’t fall asleep until midnight. I still got up at my regular time of 5:45 though.
I’ve uncomfortably noticed how awkward I feel/am when I’m talking to large groups of people. One-on-one, meeting new people is no problem: I’m pretty good at controlling the word vomit. When I’m giving large presentations, I’m fine: the focus isn’t on me, but on the subject I’m presenting, so there’s no room for over-sharing. But when I get up in front of large groups and have to talk about myself, it’s just this awkward diarrhea of the mouth that I can’t control while at the same time knowing that I’m not controlling it and wanting so bad to STFU.
That was last night, during our classroom networking/introductions; it was so painful. I’m still trying to not obsess over it, but we all know how good I am about not vortexing through negative self-talk…
Quite simply, between reliving every awkward moment from last night in my head several times over, and the lack of sleep, I can’t wait to be unconscious.

But there are definitely some things I am grateful for:
  1. Fresh haircut: it actually has shape again!
  2. Being able to grocery shop in a small town in a small store at 8:00 at night. I had the whole place to myself, practically!
  3. I did a Sun Salutation after my workout today, and good gravy, did that ever feel good!
  4. I had a raspberry Life Saver today, which was a nice little treat.
  5. My mini herb garden in my office: I nearly dried them right in their pots, but I’ve moved them around and am trying to save them. Keep your fingers crossed.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in Grace in Small Things.

January 20, 2012 – Friday 5

Well, as far as I’m aware, tonight was supposed to be an epic snowstorm, such that we canceled Date Night tonight. Even by the time I got home from work/errands, there was nary a flake to be found. Watch, because I’ve said that, when I get up tomorrow to go to my hair appointment, I’m going to have to dig myself from under 3 feet of snow.
Since I have a hair appointment anyway, I think I’m going to have my hairdresser take off a few inches. The style is great, but the length is getting to the point where the style won’t hold because there’s just too much hair. I’m getting tired of keeping it in a ponytail for most of the day, anyway. I also need to check to see why my hair isn’t holding dye anymore. I switched from red to brown later last year, but the brown keeps fading out to red. I’m wondering if I need to have it stripped. We’ll see: I’m curious to know, too. I want to go back to this:
Anyway, onward to the Friday5!
  1. What was your first wristwatch like?
    The first one I remember wearing was something akin to a kid’s Swiss Army watch. The face looked high-tech, but was utilitarian, the strap was a nylon mesh with leather accents. I don’t know if it was waterproof, but I know the dye in the leather ran out onto my arm whenever I took care of the dishes.
    Today, I  wear a classic-looking Timex with a round face and bracelet band. I like that I can wear it all the time, including in the shower, and not have to worry about performance. If I do buy another watch, it will be as a major reward to myself (this Bulova, perhaps), or because this one became destroyed.
    My dream watch would be the Cartier Tank watch, it’s such a classic, and a timepiece I would treasure forever. That watch comes, however, only I fall into some “f*ck you” money.
    My non-negotiable for watches is that they are waterproof. Yes, I may take it off when I shower or go swimming, but I’d rather not ruin an expensive watch because I wasn’t vigilant. By proxy, this also means I rarely ever wear a leather-strap watch.
  2. What lately seems to have been a thief of time?
    Recently, I’ve  fallen off of my process orientation, and fretting about trying to figure out the next thing I’m going to do eats away at the minutes.
  3. What were yesterday’s quietest five minutes like?
    Right after Charlie and I got off the phone, when I’d turned out the light to go to bed and waited for sleep to come. That is when the darkness feels like a blanket, and the only sound is the fuzz of my brain.
  4. In what way have you lately been saving time?
    I pack my lunch and my gym bag the night before, and put together the next day’s outfit.
  5. We are often charged hourly rates for labor, but we never get to reciprocate in kind when promised completion times don’t match actual completion. If you could bill people for the time you spend waiting, what would be a reasonable amount?
    I prefer to bill for wasted time, as I need to learn patience and not everything can happen immediately, and one never knows all the mitigating circumstances for being made to wait (had to wait at the doctors? The person ahead of you could have just learned they had cancer and needed some support.)
    So, for wasted time, I would charge $100 an hour. Time it vital, and we already have a finite amount of it. I value my time, so please do not squander it.

Thanks for participating, and have a wonderful weekend!

Source: f.riday5.com

January 18, 2012

My first day of class was on Tuesday, and I am taking the “capstone” early (before I finish my electives) so that I can get it out of the way in the beginning of the year, and not have to try to cram it into a shortened summer semester.
I assume that this highly-integrated class is going to be just like a thesis defense, except I don’t have a year to finish it, only a semester. And it’s a group project. Which, given my track record with group work through my MBA, this could be bad news.
That said, I’m very committed to learning as much as I can in this class, and starting work early, and working on it often. I will not get caught with my pants down as far as learning the material is concerned, which is exactly how I felt at the end of last semester.
Here’s some other things I’m feeling grateful for, in addition to not proverbially mooning anyone:
  1. My hand-blown drinking glass I got from Hale Farm. I’ve put a lot of gallons through it.
  2. New pants from the Ann Taylor Factory Outlet. I now have more than two pairs of pants in my wardrobe that fit!
  3. Taco night. Good god-particle, I love me some tacos.
  4. Audiobooks that I can listen to while pedaling nowhere on the recumbent bike at the gym.
  5. The feeling you get when you pull the covers up to your chin when it’s cold out. So snug!

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in Grace in Small Things.

January 16, 2012

I’ve culled away the vast majority of this Day Zero Project and created this small list of things I would like to do this year.
As noble as it was to try and do 101 things across 3.5 years, there was just no way I would be able to come up with 101 things, much less be able to do them all across 1001 days. I think this smaller list is much more manageable.
Over time, I might add a few more items to this list, but I certainly don’t think it’s going to be an expansive tome of idealistic goals that I will feel bad for not completing later. But these are things that I really want to get done, and there is no time like the present to do them.
  1. Take a ballroom dance class.
  2. Donate blood.
  3. Organize an Operation Happy Sock initiative.
  4. Finish my 4th of July quilt by the 4th of July.
  5. Save $5,000.
  6. Learn to drive stick shift.
  7. Get my concealed carry license.
  8. Get my passport.
  9. Go to Niagara Falls.
  10. Go whitewater rafting.
  11. Take more photographs.
  12. Read 25 books (fiction, non-fiction, memoir, whatever).
  13. Have 170 blog entries for 2012.