Saturday, December 30, 2006

Not so new resolutions. . .

I figure if you try to change yourself before New Year's Eve, you say that your goals are not resolutions. Resolutions tend to suggest that you'll be serious about something for January and then give up by February. At least that's been my experience with resolutions in the past.

However, I think if you decide you want to change your life before New Year's and you start acting before New Year's, you can classify your goals as goals. I also figure if I write them on my blog and have my friends, family members and strangers, I'd be held more accountable, as well. At the very least more people can give me shit if I don't meet them.

So, here goes. Here's what I want to do for 2006-2007:
  1. In January, I am going to participate in my own little writing boot camp with two of my writing group friends. I have a goal to write 30,000 words by the end of the month. That's 1,000 words or about 4 pages per day. It all started with a group that already participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Apparently it's November and I missed it, but I liked the idea of committing to writing a set amount of words in a month. My friend Terry loaned me Bird by Bird, a great book on writing by Anne Lamont. One of her first goals is writing a shitty first draft. I always start to censor myself about 5 pages into something and then lose interest, so I figure the word count will at least get me to power through it. Plus at the end of the month, I can say that I have my novel, even if it is in a shitty form. Besides, writing makes me happy and being held accountable for it would actually give me no excuses not to do it.
  2. I need to lose 60 pounds. There's a personal side to this challenge that is to remain my own motivation, but the less personal side is that I have a weight problem. However, I love food and have decided that I'm going to tackle the exercise portion of this goal before I hit the food portion. So, I'm back to walking every day and have started listing my times for my usual route as to increase the walking to a quicker pace and eventually to a semi-jog. I'm also going to tackle a beast that I've given up a long time ago: the scale. My friend Lara said that she needed the scale to see her progress and while I hid from the scale in the past, I know that I'm the same way. I need to see cold hard numbers. Of course, that's going to require buying a scale and I won't really be able to do that until mid-month. Hopefully by then, I'll have dropped a pound or so.
  3. I'm going to be happy with my career. This is a little ambiguous and will remain so until I figure out what I want to do professionally. However, I will take steps to do so every week.
Mostly, I just want to live life and realize that my life is not in front of the TV (unless the Colts or Hoosiers are playing). I'll give updates but with my word count quota for January, expect them to be less. And wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It's Killing Me Slowly

Christmas that is. Or the Holidays. Hannukah. Channukah. Kwaanza. Whatever the hell you call it. It's draining me. I'm had to stuff Christmas cards, got ot Christmas parties, go to business dinners, buy the last of the gifts that people are sure to either hate or not really care about, wrap aforementioned gifts, ship aforementioned gifts as Chef's family is out of state, make cookies for a party, have two lunches for business, pick up forgotten gifts, pull hair out.

Now we're all really just ready for the long ass weekend. Everyone left my office about 30 minutes ago. I'm contemplating taking Friday off for no other reason than I just don't need or want to be here. Of course, I'm sure something will come up tomorrow to prevent me from doing one of the two things that I need to get done to get out of here.

Besides waiting for work to let out, I'm also dying a little each day waiting to open Patrick's present. He brought it home yesterday and laid it in plain sight (wrapped up, of course). He told me that I could open it before Christmas if I wanted. Of course I want to. However, if I open it up, I'll have nothing to open on Christmas. The various arms of my family have become so accommodating to everyone's schedule that we celebrate Christmas on the 23rd and 24th and have nothing to do on the actual day. It's insane.

So in the name of holiday propriety, I'm not going to open it. At least tonight. I can't make any promises about tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

To appease Presh. . .

Here's my third blog of the month, presh. It may not live up to the standard of the rest, but remember that you asked for it.

Today I bought wine completely for the kitsch factor. I've bought alcohol in the past because it had candy in the bottom or because it was the "in" drink (my one and only mojito) or because it was flavored funny. I have never bought WINE on the kitsch factor until today. You can't really get too kitschy with wine because it's grapes. That's pretty much it.


But today, I bought Bitch wine for my writing group party tonight. It would generally be a conversation starter, but if anyone reads this between now and 6:30, I'm sure I just ruined the surprise. Since only about 5 people visit this site a day, I think I might be safe.

So I'll bring Bitch, drink Bitch, and start to bitch. It's the circle of life. Kind of like pooping. Except verbally.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Four days and counting. . .

While Christmas is a week away, I choose to count down until something far more important to me: my last day of work for 2006. One of the perks of my job is a lot of time off and our time off this year goes from 3:30 on Friday until 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 2nd. And don't think I'm not excited.

I've actually taken two vacations in 2006, up from my normal 0 vacations. I think this has wet my appetite for more time off. I find myself and my 6 weeks acrued time off having a hard time getting up on Mondays. Then I begin to think that with all my time off, I could theoretically take off every Monday for 30 weeks of the year. With holidays, that would be almost like having a 4 day week every week. How cool would that be? Plus I acrue 2 more vacation days every month, so really I'd only be using half of my paid time off. This is sounding like a better plan every second I rationalize it.

My shopping is done and I'm preparing mentally for the big day. Hope you all have gotten shitty Dirty Santa gifts like I have!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Can you be "ticked on"?

One of our local neighborhood newspapers runs a section called "Ticked off!". This section allows people to write in and comment on something that makes them mad. Then the paper publishes their rant without attaching a name to it. That kind of anonymity makes for the worst kind of airing of prejudices. Luckily, that makes for the BEST kind of reading.

Please read my new favorite letter of all time and make a note of how many factual mistakes there are in it.

Okay, I'm not even going to comment on the person's opinion because everyone can have an opinion. I'm just going to comment on the factual mistakes. My favorite being that Mexicans are pole valuting into the country. I've never seen a Mexican pole vaulting champion, but if you know of one, please let me know.

Naturally my favorite comment is the line about English, "If it was good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for them." Lord knows that English was Jesus's first language. I mean, come on. Phonetically, the words just sound the same. Jesus. English. It's God's will.

Obviously I'm hoping this is a joke. Swampy likes to go on the Internet message boards and spew the most racist and backwards things to rile up the public. It's good reading and good fun. I sincerely hope this is the efforts of someone with the same kind of humor. However, I'm really doubting this is meant as a joke.

Again, opinions aside, its people like these that make me so glad we have free speech in this country.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I wouldn't say I "missed it", Bob

Before I get to my usual rantings, I have another career related one: I got passed over for a promotion. My organization is merging with another and with it more positions were created. Instead of firing anyone they created a whole new level of confusing middle management positions, of which I was told we could apply for. However, yesterday I got the call that not only was I not applying for one, I wasn't getting one.

It was one of those "I understand why this person got the position, but I don't agree with it" scenarios. We've had three positions in our office where seniority had NOTHING to do with the promotion. The less senior person got the position in all three cases. Yet in my department, I was told that seniority was the deciding factor and the person who was chosen had 12 months more time in his job. This despite the fact that I had helped him achieve more than 30 percent of his goals AND served as his leader on three separate projects, all over the last year. He did not step up to lead once.

I really have nothing against the guy. He said all the right things when I talked to him today, but its just awkward knowing that now I have to REPORT to him. I'm disappointed and my ego is hurt because this is the FIRST opportunity in 3 years that our department has had for promotion. I really don't want to have to wait around until 2009-2010 to get another chance to advance.

On a brighter note, the organization did admit to underpaying me by 11 percent for the last two years. So I got an 11 percent raise today. Yesterday I was worth 11 percent less. Although I'm very happy, its still hard to swallow that I've been THAT much underpaid for the last twoyears. My raise is retroactive, but not two years retroactive.

So, that's what's going on in my life. My unappreciation for the good things that happen.

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