Thursday, April 30, 2009

30 Days of Blogging--Getting Things Done

It's a beautiful Thursday outside. Rain this morning has turned into an afternoon of sunshine. My husband would complain it's too humid, but it's still cool enough to be comfortable with a bit of breeze--natural or machine-made.

I'm inside. Watching. Puttering. We've made friends with a dove* who likes to sit right where we crack open our bedroom window. He came to the deck today so it's nice to know he's flexible. At least, I assume it's the same one. I suppose there could be more than one dove flying around Cincinnati. And no, I haven't fed him yet. I want to, but I DON'T want to encourage the squirrel.

Anyway, with this puttering has come much distraction. Bopping from email to facebook to Getting Things Done to remember things I HAVE TO GET DONE to losing things. It's been nearly frenetic--except in a very relaxed, "right I don't really have deadlines" sort of way. It's been a day where I've done a lot of things and still feel like I haven't gotten things done--kind of like how it was sort of raining and then not and then...

So in summary, my day has been much like this blog. I very much wish that I had something important and awe-inspiring to say, but I do not. Just the randomness of my life, which is very nice, but a bit anti-climactic to mark the end of BEDA. Alas, good thing this blog isn't ending. ;-) As it is, my plan moving forward is to continue posting more regularly (roughly 4 times a week), but probably not on weekends and to use the publish in the future option as necessary to alleviate some of the urgency. I think it's a good habit and a worthy one especially since I do see a future for myself in professional-ish blogging, just not any time soon.

Thanks for sticking with me these 30 days!

*Dove is so much nicer than pigeon.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Two More Days until I don't have to blog daily...

Not that it hasn't been fun. It's just been a commitment. And now for "Bits of Randomness":

Rural King (as in the store) is now following me on Twitter. I think it must be from my blog, which is amazingly tech saavy of them. Go Rural King. That prompted me to find the nearest Rural King to me. Sadly I think the nearest one is Columbus, IN. Something to add to my Seymour trips, I guess.

I've just finished my first Ohio District Youth Ministry Team thing. I've participated in phone interviews of new youth team members. I'm not sure that I blogged about this before (I did it was in an update), but the same week all my grad school applications were due, my application for the Ohio District Youth Ministry Team was due as well. The YMT is a group of adults and juniors and seniors in high school who plan and lead the district-wide youth gatherings for junior high and senior high youth groups. I was involved in a similar group in high school for the Missouri District and loved it. So I'm super-excited to be involved with this team as an adult. I interviewed at the Junior High Gathering in March and will participate in my first meeting in June. I love helping people become leaders. And it's kind of nice to hang out with people who don't know what the next several years will look like for them.

It's Wednesday--Anti-procrastination day at Flylady.net and I'm procrastinating. But fortunately I am not procrastinating writing my blog, and I did not procrastinate exercising (like I have for the whole of April). I did procrastinate any hint of a morning routine until 11am and I am currently procrastinating my weekly home blessing which is super easy in our small apartment. I just don't wanna. Whine. I think if I can get it done in the next half hour I can watch Castle... Bribery, even self-bribery often works wonders. Oh wait, not bribery--it's a reward. Semantics are such fun.

Randomness complete...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rural King has Rain-boots!

So yesterday was fun, right? I thought using just nouns would be a nice little challenge for my weekend update. So except for "in", "the" and "of" I managed to use just nouns. Mike however argues that titles like CHI contain adjectives and thus should not be considered nouns, but I maintain the whole makes a noun. I will concede that "Boo!" is more of an interjection than a noun. Describing how you feel about a week without adjectives is hard! Might need to find a different format, because obviously I'm getting bored with it.

One of my fun things of the weekend was visiting this store called "Rural King" with my mom. See, we were visiting my brother who lives at a Lutheran Camp near a small town in Illinois and so they have fun things like home and farm stores. And Mom LOVES these kinds of stores. Okay... I enjoy them too. They have little baby turkeys! What's not to love? Maybe the fact that those turkeys are being raised for food. Sad.

Anyway, Mom and I had a great time. We have the same overly dramatic reactions to cool/funny/crazy/Why didn't I know I NEED that RIGHT NOW!!! things. One of those things was a pair of rain boots. Technically I think they were muck boots. But I've been needing a good of rain boots for walking in Cincinnati so they work as rain boots. However, Rural King didn't just have one pair of muck/rain boots. Oh no! This is a home and farm store. They had 6 different styles of muck/rain boots from the very practical black to pretty pink stripes to a blue cow pattern to this:

Yes, I am the proud owner of Honey Bee rain boots. And guess what? It's raining today (see the drops on the deck) and I have to walk up to UC. Yay!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend Update Apr 24-26--All Nouns!

The Weekend That Was: Friday--I-70! CHI! Sem Library! Camp! Katie! Margaritas! Babes in Arms! Ted Drewes! Saturday--Vacuums! Rural King! Rainboots! Sem Library. Taco Bell! Dollhouse! Sunday--Confirmation! Chicken Dinner! Chai Latte! Bugs! Sleep!

Where I Am at the Moment: Library

On My To-Do List: Cincinnati Lutheranism research, Pentecost stole, phone calls.

Procrastinating About: To-Do List.

Books I'm Reading: The Sea of Monsters; ChiRunning

Music I Can't Shake: Woods Comma Elle

Next Place I'm Going: Home!

How I'm Feeling about the Week: Allergies... boo!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Insight from the Road

You know it's Spring when driving on the highway at twilight, you think it must be beginning to rain but soon realize it's just the sound of bugs splattering against your windshield.

Lovely...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Unmarked Events...

So I totally meant to dye eggs for Easter, but instead I took this picture Easter Monday morning to commemorate:
And then I procrastinated in posting it. Yeah, those eggs are still raw. (Don't worry they went straight back into the fridge after the picture was taken. And some became cookies!)

I've been negligent in several things. For instance, March 1st marked my blogaversary. I did not celebrate. Sometime in September I published my 100th post--totally missed it. I hit the year of reading the Bible blog and missed that (because I was too behind in the readings :-/). I'm blaming it on life, but reflecting back, they're all pretty significant milestones. I never thought I'd figure out exactly what I wanted to say on this blog and there are definitely days when I don't say things well on this blog, but I have greatly enjoyed having a space in the blogging world and giving back just a tad of what the internet gives me. During BEDA and because of a couple podcasts and another April blog marathon which I haven't been participating in as heavily, I've been thinking a lot about the purpose of this blog. Currently it's just a space to hang out and I love that, but I'd like to see this blog really become an avenue of presenting myself to the world in a way that goes beyond a resume or an application. So we'll see. It'll be a gradual process; heck, it will be dependent on what I'm going to do with the next several years of my life. But I really hope that you blog readers enjoy the ride...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Favorite Library

It's no secret that I love libraries in general. I like big, extensive libraries and small, quaint ones (that order all the books I need). I like public libraries and institutional libraries. I'm not really picky. Give me a map and I'll go find the BS or HQ section and I will happily wile away several hours. (Do not however give me a Dewey Decimal System call number...)

However, there is one library that will always hold a special place in my heart. Concordia Seminary Library does still retain most of its original furniture from when it moved into its current building in 1962. It does have a tendency to flood in the basement where the majority of the collection is. I am still lobbying for a giant sky light to be placed in the atrium. But this was the first library where I looked up every cited work in an article or commentary, and it had 90% of those works. After living so long on Ebscohost and Inter-Library Loan at Seward, it was so nice to just have the books I needed right there. Ah, it still makes me sigh. So that's where I am today. I'm in St. Louis for the weekend, and I have to make a stop, ostensibly to do research, but I will be soaking up the aura as well.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pre-Travel Crafting

Another late night post. Sigh. However, the wait is worth it--I promise. May I present Carmen the Garmin.*For my birthday, Mike gave me a GPS navigation system. I've used it to get to work. Find my way home. Go places I've never gone by popping the address in the Carman and just trusting it to get me there. But until now, I've had no way to protect my Garmin.

But tonight instead of packing or planning or whatever else, I watched Slumdog Millionaire.

But after that I turned on Grey's Anatomy and made up this cover. Simple pouchy design without the sides sewn up. Secured with a couple velcro buttons. These velcro buttons are amazing, they just stick where you want them to go. And you can sewing them down if you want (though it totally gunks up your needle), but you don't have to. Thus far I've decided not to sew these. I can change my mind if there's any sign of peeling. I put one on the back of the Garmin to help keep it in the pouch.
Overall very easy, and I love the polka-dotted flannel lining!

*Note: The spelling of Carman varies based on which voice I'm using. Carmen if it's a woman's voice in honor of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? It is Carman if it's a male voice as in car-man. (Horrible pun I know...)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oops!

Okay so 22 days into blogging every day in April, I nearly forget to blog. That would be sad. So much for the idea that 21 days makes a habit. Though Flylady says that for SHEs (that's Side-tracked Home Executives for the layperson) it takes 28 days. I think that's just an excuse for months of making a habit instead of 3 weeks of making a habit (much easier to implement).

Actually today was a decidedly non-internet sort of day. And I really like days like that. I finished two books, baked cookies, and talked to one of my best friends who lives way too far away. I also got an oil change, but evidently I did that wrong and didn't demand our discount. Boo!

Book Recommendation: So the first book I finished today was The Bourne Supremacy--good, no complaints except that it's very long. The second book I finished today was The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Good book. It's young adult lit, obviously a quick read, and first in a series of 5 books. The protagonist is a 6th grader who manages to get into trouble even though he doesn't really mean to. But when he and his mom get attacked by a minataur then things get really exciting. He ends up at a camp for demi-god kids like himself and then gets a quest. My only real complaint is that it had a long ending. It took like 50-75 pages to wrap up which was a bit annoying. Otherwise it's really cool introduction to Greek Mythology though I did get a little annoyed that they basically treated Greek and Latin as the same thing (mostly because kids take Latin in school and hardly anyone takes Classical Greek), but it was a little shady. And it's being made into a movie too. Chris Columbus, the director of the first two Harry Potter films, is directing it. And it comes out near my birthday next year. Yay!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Weather Woes

Oh Cincinnati!* Your mornings are sunny and beautiful if a bit cloudy. You promise a crisp, cool day befitting the early Spring I hold so dear. I treasure the brisk walk while making sure I carry an umbrella to ward off whatever those clouds may hold. Yes, there a bursts of light sprinkles. Yes, that wind can nip. But you are delightful...

That is, until I have no possibility of cover. Then the sky holds nothing but clouds. Those clouds hold rain, hard rain, and hail. Hail! I ask you, Cincinnati, is this how you treat one of your most ardent fans? Hail and strong wind that not only blows precipitation under my umbrella but also flips my umbrella inside out.

Seriously. I am not pleased. The only benefit is that now I have an excuse to curl up, drink tea, and finish my book.

*Fill in your own city as appropriate.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend Update Apr 17-19

The Weekend That Was: Friday--More wait list news, this time from UC. Frustration and distraction ensue leading to the fact that I don't change out of my pjs until about 3pm. Bridal showers for some of my wonderful 2nd cousins who are getting married this summer. Silly me--I don't realize that this meant lots of family whose names I should have brushed up on before the event. Sorry, it's a different branch of the tree; I caught up pretty quickly Debut of the IKEA skirt. Rave reviews. (PS thanks for your compliments!) Saturday--Church meetings in the morning lead me to believe its actually Sunday, relief when I realize my weekend was not inexplicably short. Saturday afternoon at Mt. Storm Park reading in the beautiful Spring weather. Saturday evening watch my first UFC fight--real purpose to keep friend company by playing trivia at BW3s while a boyfriend watches the fight. Sunday--the real Sunday--church and Bible class, Bride and Prejudice, long nap, plan Bible study for the next day.

Where I Am at the Moment: At Sue's. Home, Sweet Home-away-from-home.

On My To-Do List: Blog, mail Emily's present, figure out where my life is going (sadly I think this will remain on my to-do list until June...)

Procrastinating About: Things that I'm not willing to put on my to-do list...

Books I'm Reading: Still reading The Bourne Supremacy. Read The Great Emergence about the next big change in Christianity (happening now).

Music I Can't Shake: Currently I have "Let it Rock" going through my head, but I have no clue when I last heard it. (NPR is currently on in my car.)

Next Place I'm Going: St. Louis!!! Woo hoo!

How I'm Feeling about the Week: Eh. It will be better once it gets started...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rainy Days, Lazy Days

It's been raining steadily all day today--a fact that I noted between very long nap sessions. Sure I started out all productive and stuff, but then I settled down to read and fell asleep, despite the light shining in my eyes which meant that I was very tired. The combination of rain, early mornings, late evenings, and Sunday afternoons proved too irresistible.

Someday I'll tell you a couple big highlights--the possibility of writing an article, the random stuff I find myself committed to at church, but dinner's almost ready and I'm still in the heavy nap fog so I'll let it slide until later.

Hope your Sunday afternoon was just as pleasant.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mixing It Up--Bible Style

I have a confession. I've gushed and fawned over my Bible blog, but for the past two to four weeks, I've been languishing. At first I was just a week behind and then I caught up and then I got a week and a half behind and did some reading to catch up and now I'm 2 weeks behind. Well, I was two weeks behind. Obviously the massive amounts of Bible reading is not working any more. As of like February, I had officially read all of the Bible in less than a year (finished up Exodus) and so my goal-oriented psyche kind of flipped off. Plus, I've been watching E-DiBS (8 min. devos by a Lutheran pastor--awesome), leading a Bible study and attending one to two others a week. Not that those are any replacement for straight up Bible reading, but it gets to be a lot. But I don't believe that reading the Bible or any spiritual discipline should be motivated by guilt from unread blog counts.

So a new plan has been instituted. For several years, I've lamented the fact that all the Bible verses I memorized in my 14 years of parochial education are now gone; the neural pathways have become overgrown. This fact was particularly driven home over Christmas when we busted out Psalty the Singing Songbook and the Kids' Praise tapes and sung along with "I'm gonna hide God's Word in my heart; it's a lamp unto my feet. Ba-dum-bum!" ESV.org has a verse of the week feed so I've now subscribed to that. It's simple 7 daily feeds, each listing the same verse. Hopefully, I'll remember to write it down, say it over a couple times several times a day and work on this habit of memorizing Scripture again. If I get really adventurous, maybe I'll even learn it in Hebrew (or Greek).

This week (of which this is the last day) the verse is from Habakkuk 2:14 "For the earth is filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as water covers the sea." Okay that was types from memory, here's the real verse "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea." (Future tense, water=the waters--not bad, technically I could probably make a case for my, ahem, translation.)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Gifty Crafting & Crafty Gifting

Gifty crafting: crafting with the intent to give. My niece turns 4 in 10 days. She's a bubbly little girl who loves to play and sing and jabber, but not necessarily when there's a phone in front of her--which makes keeping in touch with her sometimes difficult since she lives in the Great North known at Minnesota. Mike and I haven't been totally good with birthday gifts (or baptism birthday gifts since we're also her godparents), but this year will rock. Emily doesn't have many dress up clothes so we're rectifying that situation. Princess gear and jewelry, a farmer cap and bandana in homage to her grandpa, and this:
A SuperEmily cape! I wish I could wear a cape around all the time. This is made from the linen leftover from Mike's stole and a wrap from a bridesmaid's dress. It billows lovely and feels really nice. Lining was probably unnecessary, but it saved me from hemming. I made it to tie (just once not knotted), but conceded a velcro button for safety concerns.

As I was musing away during my gifty crafting, I thought about the farmer's cap that I pulled from Emily's great-grandpa's stash that inspired on the dress-up present. Great-grandpa died last month, and while it's not my immediate family relations (these are all on my husband's side), I appreciate the sentimentality that comes with gifts that pay homage to those special people. And it led me to a spoonerism.

Crafty giving: giving with crafty intentions. Do you remember the Friends episode where Monica tries to craft a speech for her parents' anniversary that would make everyone cry? I confess I sometimes gift with that intent. Several Christmases ago, I contacted all the supervisors my dad worked with through his 25 years of ministry for letters and mounted them all in a frame. He cried. Just recently, I sent Mike up to Minnesota with a photo album of his ordination which contained the last picture of him, his dad, and his dad's dad before Grandpa Hanel passed away. Mike's parents cried. I routinely give gifts to my mother that make her cry (but she's an easy mark). I understand that it's slightly twisted to give gifts this way, but then again I like putting the thought into things that make them significant to the receiver, that move them. So yes, I like gifty crafting and crafty giving.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Before and After: Flylady Style

My husband and I share an office--desks on opposite walls, but since he really prefers a desktop and absolute silence and I prefer a laptop, a couch, and tv/music, I do a lot of computer-related office-y things in the living room. That is to say those things happen in between blog-reading, youtube-watching, facebook-stalking, and tweeting... or maybe those ARE the office-y things that happen. Anyway, the result is that my desk becomes more of a place to put things that don't really belong in the Living Room but that I pulled out while I lived my life there or to represent it photographically:
Let's see fabric stash under the desk, old purse that never got cleaning out, sewing stuff, Kirsten and her accoutrements, mail, filing, mail, a sewing machine I can't get to oh and an easter outfit of the chair. Sigh. Big mess. Big time commitment. So I tackle it Flylady style--15 minutes work, 5 minutes play (accomplished by setting my laptop up on Mike's desk). 15 minutes results in progress but a blurry photo I have already discarded. Twenty minutes after that, this is the result:
A little bit of filing later and I do my office-y thing on my laptop at my desk. Yay!!! Several days later I still have a desktop, but my fabric stash is a little messy from figuring out various projects. So though I have never sent Flylady a testimonial, I am a huge fan of the 15 minute way of cutting through projects you really don't like to do. That coupled with the maintenance guy (who came in to look at a leaking ceiling!) complimenting my bathtub which had just been cleaned because it's Bathroom week in Flylady land really makes me appreciate the very purple website and slightly excessive emails.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Back to the Sewing Machine

I finally busted out my sewing machine this weekend after a too long hiatus. Back in December, I found this duvet cover in the As-is section at IKEA which I absolutely loved. If it wasn't a complete change for the bedroom I've already spent much time and thought decorating I would totally switch to this one. But alas, the closest it will get to being part of my bedding is this staging picture:
Eh it's probably too white anyway. However, I loved the crossed-stitched border and thought it would make a great summer dress or skirt. Lovely plans, but I have yet to totally venture into the realm of sewing clothes for myself. I alter clothes just fine, but most of my clothes sewing has amounted to printing off patterns from BurdaStyle and letting them languish in my pattern box. Then last week, Sew Mama Sew! did a whole blogpost on skirt tutorials and I found my inspiration. Lisa Clarke made a quick easy skirt out of a twin bedsheet (that's a twin duvet up there) and elastic.

"Okay I can do this," I thought, "but I don't like the whole idea of a bunch of gathering at my waist." I just happen to have a white gauzy skirt with an elastic waist which used double inverted pleats to move much of the flare down just past my hips (which I had to alter to get to do that--why didn't I think of it before). So I set off pulling the fabric back into square (first time I had to do that...), cutting straight (thank God for rotory cutters), realizing that IKEA cheap does not mean IKEA straight...yeah, plotting hem lines and seam allowances, and spacing and size of pleats, and then realizing that I'd need a lining. Yuck, I've never made a lining, but a trapzoid should work, right? Um, no that's why sewers invented darts. Ugh. Well I know that for next time. In the mean time, I fiddled with the lining so it didn't peak out from underneath. And called it good enough. Actually no, I call it pretty gosh darn cute! I think I'm in love with this skirt:
I almost bumped my super cute blue silk skirt that I got on awesome sale for Easter Sunday for this skirt because I loved it so much. As it is, I think it will be great for a bridal shower that I'm going to on Friday. Yay! I may have to make more clothes like this. BTW, my favorite thing about this skirt is that it doesn't look like it's an elastic waist skirt. In general I think elastic waists should stay on workout clothes and pajamas, but they are so easy to make that it's hard to avoid them. The pleats and the long tee cover the evidence lovely.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah

We currently attend the smallest church I've ever been a member of. Most of the time I don't notice, but there are times like on Easter (and probably Christmas if we ever stayed in town) when I miss the 40 person choir and myriad of instrumentalists. There's very little Handel or Bach so this utterly delights me and I think it will utterly delight you too even if you don't miss big churches:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Weekend Update: Apr 10-12--EASTER

The Weekend that Was: Good Friday--should have meditated on Christ's suffering, did do some sewing and working on my meditation for the Good Friday service a tad, but it was public speaking so I kind of ignored it hoping it would go away? But the Good Friday service went well despite the leaky roof... Oh and watched Dollhouse with Kristina; Saturday--should have meditated on Christ's death, did watch Taking the Stage the MTV show produced by Nick Lache that follows Cincy teens at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, did more sewing; Sunday--got up very early for Sunrise service, breakfast at church and then official Easter Service, enjoyed lunch with Kristina and her rents, watched the 10 Cs as previous indicated.

Where I Am at the Moment: Ah-ha! At Lori's not Sue's, but still doing laundry. :-)

On My To-Do List: Some birthday crafting, bridal shower shopping, OOH and I need to get hangers at IKEA!!! (It's a certifiable need too. Really!)

Procrastinating About: Doing anything that resembles work...

Books I'm Reading: Still rockin' the Bourne trilogy. Feeling okay about the slower pace though, I'm doing a lot of other stuff.

Music I Can't Shake: This is an annoying one. Chris Brown's Kiss Me through the Phone... Na na nanana na na. It was on the Weekly Top 40 on Sunday.

Next Place I'm Going: Oh oh oh St. Louis!!! Yay!!!

How I'm Feeling about the Week: Working for the weekend.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Tradition--The 10 Commandments

When Mike and I were dating, I invited him to our house for Easter and asked if he had any Easter traditions, knowing that my holidays are made easier when we do my traditions even without my family nearby. He said, "Yes, I always watch The 10 Commandments on Easter afternoon."

... Uh, right. Not, you know, Jesus Christ Superstar? Or some other Easter-like story? Nope, The 10 Commandments it is. And so for the past 6 years, every Easter Sunday afternoon we've sat down for 4 hours and watched Moses grow, development of a morality, discovery of the God with no name, and his return to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. It's easier now that I bought Mike the 50th anniversary DVD. Granted I normally sleep through the 2nd hour of the movie. I might sleep through this 3rd hour. (Sunrise service was very early this morning.) But I love having this little tradition with Mike that will hopefully grow into more traditions through our relationship.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Blogging Every Day?? Really??

Okay so here's the problem with blogging everyday. I run out of ideas. I'd really like to not blog today, but I might let Maureen Johnson down. Do I know Maureen Johnson? Am I sure that she will come to Cincinnati and berate me for not blogging every day? Well no, she lives in New York, and there are over 400 people participating in BEDA so I'm quite confident I could slide under the radar and just skip today. But I've always been a very conscientious person and just because I probably won't get caught doesn't mean I can slack off. I would know.

Ooh but I know! I have potential posts in mind just none that are ready to be published! Coming up this week on The Dimly Seen:
  • Our Easter Tradition
  • The Return of the Sewing Machine (aka My First Adventure with Clothing--Ooh!)
  • The Dimly Seen Guide to TV You Should Clearly Watch
  • Weekend Update (obviously)
  • Missed Anniversaries
Okay yeah, that's it. I'm going to either go out in this BEAUTIFUL weather right now or return to my sewing machine.

Hope you all are having a blessed Easter weekend!

Friday, April 10, 2009

T&C: Step 4 It is Finished

...for now anyway. But I couldn't resist a Good Friday reference. ;-)

Four chairs, one table. No silver paint. I just couldn't do it. After three coats on one leg of the table, the silver was still looking pretty horrible--bubbly and pale and dull. Not what I had in mind at all. That coupled with no idea of what do for the chairs settled my decision to put the silver on hold for the foreseeable future. Plus mentally I'm done with the project. The striking impact of the paint transformation only lasts so long. I was really happy to fold it up only to go outside and think how nice it would be to spray paint my deck chairs. LOL

But can I tell you how glad I am that I painted the chairs white? I'm really glad. It's so nice to see the table and chairs as a set instead of as hand-me-downs and sale items.

And I still love those placemats. Anyway, now that my table is cleared I think its time to get out the sewing machine. That guy hasn't been used in a long time.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Listing

I was reading The Bourne Supremacy yesterday and poor Jason's wife has been taken and he is freaking out so what does he do? He makes a huge, long list. "Lists calmed him; they were preliminaries to necessary activity and forced him to concentrate on specific items rather than on the reasons for selecting them."

I don't have the CIA manipulating me into taking on an assassin who has co-opted my alter ego which I'd rather forget, but I totally get Jason in this instance. Saturday night, when it was way too late (okay it was 11:15, not way too late normally, but way too late after three nights of post-midnight bedtimes), I found myself puttering and not getting done what I was staying up to do and so I made a list. This list in fact:
The blue pen made me happy. (It always makes me happy much like Diet Coke and convertibles.) And I was able to go to sleep with my normal brain-turn-offer, Pottercast. I've been relying heavily on lists recently. Lists in notebooks, lists on pads, lists in cute little booklets. Sometimes they help me decide what's next. Sometimes they just provide a place to dump my worry.

But here's the thing. Despite my compulsive list making, I have yet to set up a Getting Things Done system. For those who don't know, Getting Things Done (or GTD for the cool kids) is the ultimate in list making. You put everything in an inbox and then daily-ish you process it. Get the 2 minute tasks done and put everything else on lists--lists for phonecalls, lists for work, lists for home, lists for errands, etc. etc. And then you just go down the list checking things off depending on where you're at (by a phone, in a car). It sounds really cool. I mean to. I want to. It just feels so massive that I don't know how to start. Maybe I need to make a list to help me. ;-)

Okay so part of me wants to end on that quippy note, the other part of me feels the need to be honest. I'm not sure my collection methods would work well for GTD. There are ways to use your palmpilot/scraps of paper/voice recorder to record things and then put that into your inbox and process it with all the other notes you have, but I never just write down reminders I put reminders in lists. And then I very rarely look at lists to remember what to do next. AND all this would probably be solved if I used my desk as a desk instead of as a handy dandy shelf and the couch as a couch instead of as my laptop stand. I don't really want to set up a processing station at the couch because that would be weird, but I'm also just not much of a desk person. Anyway, I totally veered off course from Jason Bourne because I'm pretty sure HE doesn't do GTD either, but I have a lot of thoughts about lists.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Whoops!

So evidently my declaration of Spring came a bit too soon. The past two days have been cold and windy with snow flurries. I even had to dig out my coat and hat. I haven't put on my coat and hat for weeks!!! Today promises to be better, but it will be a slow recovery. It's alright though; it's just the way Spring goes. Man I really want to live in Florida...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Time flies

Do you ever feel like you've lost a month? I decided to look back on the books I've read in 2009 today. So I opened my book list in Google Docs, and the first thing I noticed was that I hadn't opened the document since March 14th. And then more alarming, I hadn't finished a book in nearly a month (30 days)! I was logging the couple books that I did recently finish so that helped calm me a bit. But it doesn't take me a month to read a book?!? It shouldn't take me a month to read a political thriller. It's a beach book for crying out loud!

So I thought back through the month, hoping that I had overlooked some aspect of book reading that had slipped my mind. Then I remembered my weekend updates that list the books I'm reading or had read! Certainly something was in those posts that I have just forgotten. Uh... nope. Nada. No finished books.

So what happened? Well, I eschewed academic reading. War and Peace languishes on my bedside table. The University of Google has returned to its spot on the shelf under my coffee table. As the prospects of doing graduate work waned, those books seemed to mock me with every page. My self confidence can only take so much. (Plus Tolstoy killed off my favorite character.) I feel myself coming out of that funk a bit. I'm cautiously ready to figure out what intellectual pursuit looks like outside the realm of university life, or on the fringes of it, as my case may be. I want to read Hebrew again. I want get through my BBC list. I want to wrap my brain around big thoughts. Kind of. Like I said I'm getting there.

What else happened? Well, the stole, the table, the chairs which are still not finished. Particularly the table and chairs project seems never ending. I know I just have a bit more to go, but really. I'm getting tired of stepping over a drop cloth. AND this morning I discovered that my bare feet had been picking up dried paint from the drop cloth and depositing it on the hardwood floors!!! Aak!

What else has happened? Very social weekends. A recommitment to Flylady routines. Several different bible studies. Lots and lots of blog reading... Yeah. I do keep trying to add things into my day and there's only so much time a day can hold. The month hasn't been empty by any stretch of the imagination, but it hasn't yielded many read books. It makes me sad, because I love reading. But I just I've got to get a new yard stick to measure productivity.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Weekend Update Apr 3-5

The Weekend that Was: It was social. Mike was gone for five days so I spent a lot of time trying to ignore that fact. I visited Lindsey in Seymour and played with make-up and watched Twilight while drinking the Vampire wine Alli mentioned for her Twilight night. (Very good btw and seriously just in the nick of time.) Saturday I drove back to Cincy to have lunch with my cousin who will be getting married this summer and leaving the city. We've been savoring these last few get-togethers. Then I went home, ostensibly to get some of the projects I've been ignoring while I've been being social, but I hung out online and took a little nap instead. Then I went to another friend's house to play Rockband. I am awesome at the vocals. My guitar and drums still need work. Sunday was church and Bible class and then picking up Mike from the airport. I'm so glad he's home, and I can feel comfortable in our apartment again. I never thought I'd be one of those people, but I so totally am at least for this stage in our relationship.

Where I Am at the Moment: On my couch surrounded by projects.

On My To-Do List: Finish chairs! Blog every day! (6 days in a row, not too shabby.) Write stuff not for blogs. ;-) Schedule a hair cut. And let's totally be honest, I want to be at level 35 on Sorority Life by next week.

Procrastinating About: Nothing in particular. But this week is Kitchen week in the Flylady routines and I would really like to clean my oven like I've been meaning to do for months now.

Books I'm Reading: The Bourne Supremacy.

Music I Can't Shake: "Chillin' out, Maxin', Relaxin', All cool"... mostly because I REALLY want this tshirt.

Next Place I'm Going: Hmm good question.

How I'm Feeling about the Week: Really hoping that I can go back to being productive.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cincy Spring

"Spring has sprung" here in Cincy. We've had several beautiful days in the 60s; nice rain storms at night, and pollen counts are climbing. One new way I found to observe the signs of Spring is to watch people's facebook statuses and count the number of people mowing lawns or celebrating the warm weather.
But just today I open the blinds to our deck to catch a bit of the lovely sun peaking out from the clouds and noticed a new sign of Spring. All over Cincinnati, Bradford Pear trees and Magonolia trees are blooming while all our normal trees are very dull. But this little berry-ish tree grows right up to the height of our deck and I never noticed how beautiful its hot pink blossoms are. I wonder where I was last year that I don't remember this.
This little tree also is the main thing that attracts squirrels to our deck. So I'll have to remember these gorgeous blossoms the next time I'm mourning the lost of herbs or pumpkins.

Happy Spring everyone!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Como se dice Spanish Class?

I trekked to the land of John "Cougar" Mellencamp to visit my friend Lindsey yesterday. Such a trip usually includes time in her Spanish classroom with many rambuncious high schoolers. A good time is had by all, but it reminds me that I really am an introvert. Those kids are loud.

It also reminds me that despite the several languages I do know. I don't know Spanish. I'm very good at guessing. I think anyone who has studied at least a second language and definitely a third knows how easy it is to guess languages based on cognates and parts of speech and knowledge of the inherent structure of grammar. (I love you, Noam Chomsky.) I certainly rock Mike's Latin exams because of those things. But cognates and parts of speech and knowledge of the inherent structure of grammar do not help when you play games that require you to pull words out of thin air. So I inevitably fail at the Spanish games Senora plays.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Second Thoughts on a Second Coat

Yesterday as I was working on figuring out the color of my parachute (which I still don't know btw), I shared with my friend Kristina my "Principle of the Second Coat." Obviously I've blogged on this before, but I'm beginning to think it is more far reaching than one would first anticipate.

The Principle of the Second Coat is more than try, try, try again. Try, try, try again anticipates failure. You've tried and failed so you try again until you do not fail. The Principle of the Second Coat assumes a high level of competence the first time. I do wonderful first coats. It's just that as wonderful as that first experience might be it won't do the job. And the next time you do whatever, things will go much more smoothly and just in general better. You know what to anticipate. You know what landmines lie in wait. You know what order to best approach things. You just generally do better. The first time wasn't bad. It was just like all other first times.

In a different direction, the second coat is not about you. The second coat does not necessarily require you to change your thinking or action--just to go through that thought process or action again. No matter how lovely you apply that first coat, more than likely you'll need a second coat. You didn't paint badly. That's just the way it is. As such, there are many things in life that just need to be experienced a second time. You should always teach a second year. The second year of grad school goes much better than the first. The second time you cook things turn out better.

I don't know if everyone should live by The Principle of the Second Coat but I highly recommend it for competent people who just don't see immediate results and perfectionists, in other words me.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

T&C: Step 3 Chairs

Chairs are intricate, pesky things. They have all sorts of tops, sides and bottoms that they'd love for you to forget about until you realize at an inopportune moment (like right after you've cleaned your brushes) that there's just one more section to do. Also white paint... not cool. I thought red was supposed to be the hard color to paint or black. But no, these chairs take three coats to lose their streakiness and start looking decent. They might even technically need four, but I just can't do it. :-( However, the result is phenomenal.
I actually applied the aqua with a flat watercolor brush for a bit more control. I still had several places to touch up, but most of that was underneath the lip and thus technically unnoticeable. I still cleaned it up though. ;-) I'm really digging the brown, white, aqua layering. I kind of wish I had made it pink so I can be reminded of neapolitan ice cream every time I pass by our dining table. Not really. I LOVE, love, love the aqua.

I have silver paint and just barely started the grooves on the table. It totally needs another coat or three. I'm not quite sure what I'll do with the silver on the chairs. My hand isn't incredible steady so I have to figure how to deal with that. Currently I just need to finish up the chairs so I can remove the dropcloth that's been in our dining room/entrance way for 10 days...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Weekend Update Mar 27-29: The Belated Edition

First off: One of my favorite young adult authors, Maureen Johnson, has by defaulted started of movement called BEDA, Blog Every Day in April. Because I am not above peer pressure, especially peer pressure from people I don't really know in real life, (Seriously how did I make it through adolescence without getting into serious trouble???) I will be blogging every day in April, or until I get tired of it.

So Happy April Fools Day! And on with our regularly scheduled program...

The Weekend that Was: Seems very far away. I'm going to have to work backwards. Sunday I talked to Mom and Lindsey, baked cookies with my KitchenAid Standing Mixer (AWESOME!!), went to Coco Keys waterpark as a church outing, and did the Sunday morning church thing (but I didn't have to lead Bible study--YES!!!). Saturday--night I went karaoking with some of the young adults from church. I really don't know how Barracuda goes, but we rocked Genie in a Bottle. Before that I watched the total demise of my NCAA bracket, before that I went to a seminar on Christianity and the Competition by this Lutheran pastor/professor Paul Maier, whom usually I love, but this time I realized there's a huge generation gap between me and this 70 year old man. His rhetoric is not the rhetoric needed in today's world. Friday we went out to dinner and a movie with Sue and her husband Don. Last Chance Harvey was really cute and inspiring for a person who doesn't know where life is going next and the tuna was excellent. Friday day I rocked my errands having only a net loss of $1 due to selling books at Half Price Books and gift cards.

Where I Am at the Moment: Sitting on my couch enjoying open windows.

On My To-Do List: Still need to finish the chairs. Get my apartment organized. Listen to Typical Mac User Podcasts and learn how to use my Mac more efficiently. Implement "Getting Things Done." Figure out next steps. Lunch with Kristina, visit Lindsey, lunch with Kristen, Rockband with Natalie. Pick up Mike from the airport.

Procrastinating About: Getting the apartment organized. :-( But I'm really feeling the urge to Spring clean.

Books I'm Reading: Finished The Bourne Identity. Now I'm reading What Color is my Parachute? It doesn't have a colored parachute personality test though. That makes me sad...

Music I Can't Shake: Back to Legally Blonde the Musical and Better Than Ezra

Next Place I'm Going: To Seymour on Friday!

How I'm Feeling about the Week: Well it's half over. But I really hope things will get a bit less busy soon.