Monthly Goal recap/April Goals

So, I decided not to do WWTK today because my Easter answers are boring. We don’t have any cool traditions and the meal we had when I was home was always just ham. These days, I hide plastic eggs for the kids and they do baskets but otherwise, just another day.

So I’ll recap my March monthly goals and see how many I accomplished, as indicated by a strikethrough.

  • Get my ass to the gym I previously blogged about for TRX training
  • Lose at least 2-3 pounds
  • Set money aside for my tattoo
  • Cut out sweets entirely (after I finish these Thin Mints :) )
  • Finish the Photo A Day challenge that began today
  • Get more organized by writing things down in a notebook I’ll *actually* look at
  • Don’t nag my children as much

My boss and I were talking about just how quickly March flew by. It’s amazing how fast it goes when everything is jam-packed. I had so many papers to grade in March that I honestly don’t know how I didn’t pass out from sheer exhaustion. I felt up against a deadline for weeks in a row, struggling to get everything into each 24 hour day. And I was stressed out. I’m OK now and want to set forth some April goals, but be a little more reasonable. What was I thinking trying to lose 2 pounds?!? Anyway, April goals:

  • Successfully execute Isaac’s second birthday
  • Get tattoo
  • Fertilize the yard
  • Build back up to 6 or 7 miles on weekends
  • Get a bit of a tan

See now, these seem like reasonable goals!

Monthly Goals – Maybe making them will make me do them

I ran across this little gem over at My So-Called Chaos and thought I might set forth some monthly goals. I am feeling pretty organized today so I am in the right frame of mind.

Goal for March:

  • Get my ass to the gym I previously blogged about for TRX training
  • Lose at least 2-3 pounds
  • Set money aside for my tattoo
  • Cut out sweets entirely (after I finish these Thin Mints :) )
  • Finish the Photo A Day challenge that began today
  • Get more organized by writing things down in a notebook I’ll *actually* look at
  • Don’t nag my children as much

A New Perspective

 

I always used to think that I was one to stand up for the things I believed in or thought were wrong. But truth be told, I really like to avoid confrontation. Sure, I’ll get really angry and frustrated by certain situations and I *may* run off at the mouth but I don’t really like to get into it with people.

On Wednesday morning, I went into Ell’s daycare and after he was set up with his breakfast, I went in to see the director – who is leaving this week to go back to school – to make sure we were still on track for getting Isaac into the one year old room come mid-April. I put him on the wait list seven months ago and he has priority since Ell is already there. Previously, she let me know it might not be April 15th, maybe a couple weeks after. I was OK with it because his current care-taker said she’d hold him until the end of the month if need be. So I walk in there and she blatantly tells me that she told me August. Um… does this 22 year old girl think I’m THAT stupid? Come now, had she *actually* told me August, I would have been searching for a new place. I was… furious. I told her that she needed to get it worked out because, well, all the stuff I just said. She admitted she didn’t yet have a working April spreadsheet (Um, April is NOT that far away sweetie. Get yer ass on it.) In not so many words, I told her she best get her shit together and I’d be checking in on her soon.

Hoo boy was I angry. And slightly freaking out. So imagine my dismay when I got to work and – God, now I can’t even remember how it got started – I was chatting with a co-worker and the issue of salary came up. So, coupled with my existing money issues and the daycare crisis, I was beyond furious when I found out that two people in the department who are the same job description as myself make more. AND, one of them is getting a raise. And she is sucking at her job! SO, I gathered myself and went to my office to think. I was in that right mood and it was the perfect storm of events. I made up my mind to talk to my office manager about my problems. I shut the door and told her everything about making not enough money and feeling like my co-workers have been dropping the ball lately (I have been picking up A LOT of their slack the past few weeks). I was pleasantly surprised to see that she was on my side and said she’d support me in asking Arts and Sciences for a raise.

Part two of this deal is that I made an appointment to speak with our department chair, who really makes that call in terms of petitioning A&S. That conversation took place yesterday and again, I was surprised. I don’t think he realized a.) the things that TAs were saying about the other employees (i.e. not going to them for answers b/c they just don’t have them, etc.) or b.) my low pay. SO, he said he’d help me get the raise and in the meantime, I have been given clearance to teach two sections per semester. I already teach one on top of my 40 hour a week job; that’s the only reason I can even make bills as it is!

So this just goes to show you have to get tough sometimes. Squeaky wheel gets the oil and all that. My Wednesday was so productive because I was fired up. I even called Dir.ecTV and got our bill lowered. AND I got us out of having to pay a 65 dollar charge to get a regular receiver instead of this POS DVR one.

Let’s just say that the second half of this week has been uplifting and successful. As I stare down 32 (9 days, people. NINE.) I am feeling really good about things. The immediate problem of summer money isn’t yet solved but I am one step closer. And when things even out with the two sections, I will make enough money to not be so tight AND possibly save some. Amazing! I just feel so proud of myself, not to pat my own back. Finally, I have taken steps to improve our situation and they’ve gone in my favor.

Now, I just have to hang in there until the new money starts coming in and cross my fingers that A&S approves the raise. Things are looking up!

Happy Friday, my dear readers. I hope it’s a good one.

Goals and objectives

I was reading a friend’s (psuedo-anonymous) blog and it seemed a good idea to round up some of my recent goals as well. As mentioned, maternity leave is a strange limbo time that can afford one the time to accomplish many tasks or break down their will to go on and render them useless unto the late afternoon HGTV programming. So, here’s a semi-complete list of shit I gots to get done.

  • Mow the damn lawn. And trim the hedges.
  • Find and organize all “important documents”. They’re in a file folder now but I think I can do better. (Have you renewed your driver’s license lately? In Florida at least, they want about 6 documents from you.)
  • Finish Isaac’s baby book. I got it pretty much near complete but it needs a few birth pics.
  • Acquire and read the next installment in the Sookie Stackhouse series (May 4th!)
  • Begin an exercise routine. If nothing else, walk with Isaac at least once a day for 15 minutes. Build up to running.
  • Make coffee at home. Stop spending 3 dollars a day after dropping Elliot off at school.
  • Take at least one picture a day, no matter what of, but preferably the baby :)
  • Watch Carnivale, which I got on DVD for Christmas.
  • Wear the baby more; he appears to like being upright.
  • Write, write, write!

Lose it!

While bored last Friday afternoon, I logged onto my iTouch and browsed the free apps. I stumbled across a calorie counter program that allows you to track your food every day, set weight loss goals, etc. Of course I am not trying to lose weight right now, in the midst of a pregnancy. I am, however, trying to eat better and more well-rounded meals. It’s been really helpful in getting a good amount of calories in me and for tracking my exercise. In fact, it’s made me want to exercise more because it subtracts those burned calories form my overall count. Something about seeing that number go down is really motivating.

The best thing about it is that I set my weight loss goal for 1 pound a week, which put my daily intake at about 1500. I obviously need between two and three hundred extra calories at this point in the pregnancy so when I hit my daily goal, I try to make those last 300 really matter: fruits and vegetables mainly. Also, I sort of plan my day around it. I will search for foods I think I want, add them in, and then I feel obligated to stick to them. It’s funny how this simple program has kicked my ass into gear about being healthier and more conscious about this.

Catching up

It’s funny; I haven’t actually been busy and yet, I haven’t managed to blog. Mostly, I have been unwinding after the craziness of the semester. I finished grading all my students’ papers (which, by the way, grades came out today so the complaint emails ought to be rolling in any time now) and I have almost finished my Spring syllabus. All relatively loose ends are tied around the office so I am, well bored. This doesn’t explain my lack of blogging. Maybe I just don’t have the willpower to write anything down.

But I’ve been up to stuff, certainly. I mailed my Christmas cards yesterday, which is a relief. Somehow, there’s only 9 days until Christmas and um, YEAH, that caught me off-guard. December usually feels a LITTLE longer but this year, it’s flying by at rapid speeds. We have half of our outside decorations up. The process had to begin with getting all those GD pine needles off the roof. (Ash’s job, not mine.) So he got that done last night but with the early sunset, our outdoor lighting is limited. With a kid, it’s pretty impossible for both parents to work on the roof before the sun sets.

Also, I started a Tumblr page. I figure with my lack of good blog posts lately, maybe being able to post little things here and there will give me the impetus to THINK. Maybe my tumblr posts will spark more in-depth blog topics. Who knows? You can check it out here: Scriptor tumbles. I really like the layout I chose but it doesn’t have the ability to receive comments. Do you think I ought to change it to a layout that does?

I may have also mentioned the project I was doing for my boss. As a professor, the department expects and requires her to publish books. She co-authored a book about multiple literacies and, to avoid stock photo fees, asked if I could take some content appropriate photographs. I obliged but was nervous, I admit. What if I didn’t do a good enough job? So I took this very seriously. Using this tutorial, (thanks, Brenna!) I constructed my own lightbox. It’s not perfect but it works. I used a copier paper box – 11×17 – and bought some real tracing paper for the sides. Using a work light that we usually have in our rock wall, the photos came out decent. I thought they could be better but my boss and her co-author were super impressed. Now I just have to get a couple more out in the field and I should be done. I used a Canon EOS 40D for the majority of the lightbox work but since it was a device on loan, the outdoor photos needed to be handles by my Canon SD 850. It’s a good little camera but nothing like the SLR.

Also, as you may have seen on my flickr page, Dave and I visited the Florida caverns, finally. If you’ll head to his site you can get the full story. We’d been planning and replanning and rescheduling for some time and even though we went for it on a particularly dreary and cold day, it really worked out in our favor. Some observations about the caves: thought it would feel colder inside, though it was a mere 65 in there, it was a heck of a lot more comfortable than outside. I didn’t realize how slowly the stalagmites/-tites grew: a cubic inch per 100 years! The area was larger than I suspected but being in there just the three of us was an exceptional experience. If we’d gotten there any later and been on the normal tour, all the other people would have crowded us out. All in all, I am super glad that we went.

So that’s what we’ve been doing. Coming soon: holiday lunch at Ash’s office (for which I leave in ten minutes to go home and bake an apple crisp), Santa pictures for Elliot, and house cleaning in preparation for my parents’ arrival on the 23rd. Busy times but fun times!

Collecting dork, table of one!

DC comics, originally uploaded by Allstarme. (Link has notes.)

These pics are for Strange Gypsy, who onetime asked to see my collection. It doesn’t seem like a lot when I lay them out like that but believe it or not, that right there is 107 issues. That’s how many I have purchased since about February/March.

In the next post down, you will see the Marvel collection. I was about 13 when I started getting into comics and Xmen so what I got was whatever was new and what looked cool. I didn’t care as much about continuity. Though, I did get every issue of that Maximum Carnage and I was proud. Though, my friend’s cousin somehow stole the final issue and I damn near beat his face in. Ahem.

Here’s a picture of all my TPBs and then some:
Graphic Novels
ANYway, I just wanted to put these up there. It’s kind of nice to take stock now and then. Honestly, I didn’t even realize how many Marvel comics I owned. Kind of nice to know anyway.

Momentum

Monday afternoon, when I was running out of steam and decided to close all my Word documents and stop grading papers, I did a search on my blog for the phrase “night rain”, because I know I once wrote about it.

March 2, 2007:

I have always liked the words “night rain” together. They sound so poetic. We were surrounded by horrific storms all last night as they swept across the panhandle of Florida and lower regions of Alabama and Georgia. Around 12:30, the wind began to pick up, sending various bits of loose tree branches across our wooden deck and crashing down onto our roof. Soon after, the booming thunder began to rumble.

I remember this time; I was newly pregnant – just about 2 months – and my life was simpler and I felt more poetic about things like storms and such. I often wrote what I was thinking in an actual journal. In fact, up until about maybe five months ago, I still occasionally did. I’ve drifted from this lately, due in part to the lack of desire and my carpal tunnel.

**************

When I woke this morning and was driving Elliot to school, “Only Time Will Tell” by Asia came on the 80s on 8 xm station. The sound of the song – Asia has a tendency to play big, epic sounds – made me think of my past in a sort of warm fuzzy way. As always, I go in cycles of feeling this way and I embrace them; picturing brief moments, like snapshots.

On my way back from lunch, I saw various kids in the neighbourhood outside, in their yards and driveways, lazily shooting hoops or trying tricks on boards, and I remember those summers when I could do just that: nothing.

All this is leading up to me actually feeling compelled to write, and not just saying in my blog that I want to. Because I have done that numerous times! I opened a Word document today and stared at it a while, actually getting some really good ideas. But then work caught up with me and I have been busy ever since. I am jealous of people who actually carve out time in their days to write. I could do this, surely, after Elliot is in bed. But I am usually busy with: laundry, dishes, working out, TV (ok, you gotta give me some veg out time), and/or other various things that don’t include sitting at a computer, which I happened to have done ALL DAY. And now, since Ash’s motherboard died and my processor is on the outs, we’re sharing the one backup machine and my god, I don’t know how other folks do it. I think we’re spoiled.

And as I bring this post to a close, I begin to type the first few sentences of this new document… that will hopefully turn into something. Wish me luck…

I can has motivation?

The light buzzed to life and I squinted, splashed a bit of water on my face. The shower steamed as I began my morning. My brain began kicking and I had some really good thoughts about this project I am working on. I felt conscious of my plan and aware of what needs to be done. I was excited and nearly brimming with excitement to start my day. So what then, you ask, killed this all for me? I don’t know. I got into my office and ate my pineapple yogurt and a handful of Wheat Thins (which, by the way, are apparently very popular. I learned this by using them as a status update and got numerous responses.) and opened my email and Firefox.

First, I checked my normal sites: Facebook, Twitter, DC message boards, Hotmail, and my blog. I opened Word. I opened Blackboard. This took up about 20 – 25 minutes and then I was there, at the edge of the cliff, needing to jump, and I couldn’t. There are about fifty OTHER things I would rather be doing right now: eating, sleeping, sunbathing, reading comics, writing, shopping, playing dinosaurs with Elliot – hell, I’d rather be getting teeth pulled over the excruciating reality of being on the cusp of a lot of work that I so very much do NOT want to do. And really, THAT’S the most painful part: the build-up, the part right before the work. The actual work isn’t so bad, once I’m on a roll and going with it.

So I am jumping and doing it. Do it to it. Gotta accomplish something in the next 25 minutes. It’s my goal. And then I shall reward myself with comics and a Diet Dr. Pepper. What do you reward yourself with?

Of Zur-En-Arhh

What’s your job like? Are you busy all day? Are there down times when you can browse the web or read a book? Do people need you constantly or is it hit or miss? Mine is definitely up and down as the semester comes and goes, waxes and wanes. Beginning in August, the Fall semester is usually crazy for at least a month as students get accustomed to FSU and college life. Since I work in the English department and *most* freshmen have to take at least one of our basic courses, I see a lot of students. And a lot of issues arise. I am slammed, usually unable to even take lunch in those first two weeks of the semester. By about late September/ early October, it’s leveled off and I can relax a little. Though things come up all day like canceled classes and sundry other tasks that are part of my job. My position is sort of a catch-all.

Spring semester is more chill but no less full of tasks, especially since I am on a few committees and we have meetings and projects. Now, as the semester ends, I am heading into the Big Lull called Summer B Session. We only offer 3 English courses (as opposed to something like 150-200). I have a few small things to do, like email the 40-50 incoming grad students about completing their employment paperwork and getting books sent off to them. But for the most part, it is very quiet in my office. A little too quiet. I admit, I go a wee bit crazy during this time. Once I reach the end of the internet and get sick of whatever books I have gotten from the library (in the summer of ’07, I read 6 James Bond novels in about two weeks) I start to lose my mind.

In the recent Batman series, R.I.P, we learn that when children have to go through a traumatic time, they sometimes create an alternate self or reality to make sense of their current situation. In Batman’s case – and it’s far more complicated then what I am about to say – but he created the Batman of Zur-en-Arhh, which helped him deal with the death of his parents. He reverts to this when poisoned by the Black Glove and it almost functions like a backup operating system on a computer. Now, I am not comparing my extreme boredom to something as horrifying as becoming an orphan. What I am trying to connect is the state of mind I prepare myself for when this very slow period of the summer comes around. Nine hours in an office with little to do might be one person’s dream job but for me, I seriously think I lose a little sanity.

Things I could do during this time:

  • Write the Great American Novel :)
  • Organize
  • Apply for online jobs
  • Work an online job
  • Read

And yet, I do these only sparingly and allow my brain to rot and fall into this void-like place. I usually leave in the afternoon feeling numb, eyes glassy and extremely exhausted. But don’t get me wrong: I do love my job for the most part. In fact, there are so many pluses to this position it’s not even funny. They offer great benefits, I can pretty much up and leave when I need to (like for a sick kiddo) and I like the people in the department (for the most part.) It’s also very comfortable. I get an office with a window and web browsing isn’t limited. Right now, I am listening to music and it’s not bothering anyone. Really, if I got paid more, this would be a dream job. And the summer thing could be the one big downfall.

But I plan on hitting up the library when the students have finally filtered out to their respective homes and jobs and vacations and look into all the suggestions you guys sent me (all four of you!). I am thinking about starting a new, different blog soon and focus on something specific. It might give me something to do that is on a polar opposite. Change things up a little. If I do, I’ll let you know.

Happy Friday you guys.