Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In Which Reality Punches Me In The Face

But first, updates!

Long-term Stuff:
-- Make healthier eating choices. Much fail. On the bright side, a lot of the unhealthy stuff is being eaten or purged from the house, so now I'll have more room to buy and store healthy stuff.
-- Plan / outline / brainstorm at least one complete novel. Will pluck one of the ideas out of my head to use by the 1st.
-- Write said planned novel in three months. Pending previous goal.
-- Be active at least three days out of the week. Currently failing, but due more to omgbusy than laziness (mostly). I haven't given up on this one.
-- Stick to the budget. Well, friend that came to visit paid for damn near everything this weekend (we will get you for that, sir!), so we saved a ton of money there and are on track so far.
-- Find a second renter. Still actively searching. Anyone need to rent a room in the greater Denver area??
-- Finish one of two bathrooms. Still not high on the list of priorities, although I want to at least get the curved shower rod up so we can use the upstairs bathroom again.
-- Take a two week vacation. July vacation approved at work. huzzah! Now, what to do with those other 3 weeks...?
-- Read 30 books. I read Kelly Meding's As Lie The Dead and Carla Harker's Lethal Lies. Two down, 28 more to go!

January Stuff:
-- Beta Project, first five pages x3 entries (due by Jan 24) DONE. /win
-- crit Kelly Medding's book 2 DONE. /win
-- crit DA's Lethal Lies DONE. /win
-- get to level 80 (no, I'm not there yet) DING on 01-15. /win
-- clean up my work file down to 20 days past due Working on this. Looks ossim so far.
-- purge one box of basement junk a week Still debating on whether I want to pay double the price for a shelf that doesn't look like someone's used furniture, so those 7 boxes of books are still in the box. Might try to grab hubby and go through 4 non-book boxes this weekend.

Surprisingly on track so far. Dis makes me happy.

On the not so happy side, I feel like I'm going to be butting heads with my new supervisor on a regular basis. Department reorganized itself, I've been put on a new team, and new super has an entirely different leadership style than my current one. The new teams don't take effect until Feb 2nd and already I've annoyed her. Huzzah. (She's a strong personality. I'm a strong personality. She likes to micro manage. I have issues with authority. We don't meet well in the middle. Heh.) Already I was not happy to come into work this morning after my 4 day weekend of happiness and joy, so the headbutting didn't improve the mood.

Also, I have vowed to fix the fact that I have very few really fun weekends, because it sucks realizing how little I actually get them on days like today when ending said fun weekend feels like I just chopped off an appendage. It actually made me kind of cranky to start my work week. While I dislike my current carrier path, I don't normally walk into work snarling simply because I have to be in the office, and that's what happened this morning, hence the title of this post. Over the weekend I put everything aside to have fun and as payback reality pulled an ambush and bitch slap maneuver. Then my homework went RAR STABBY and let me know it was still there, too, and why wasn't I doing it, GDI?

Reality sucks sometimes. Good thing I'm a writer, eh? All this emotion stuff is good fuel for the writing fire. Maybe I can use it to power myself through planning and first draftness.

Today's nostalgic "Good Idea, Bad Idea":

Good Idea: Ordering a chili dog to go.
Bad Idea: Ordering a chili dog that makes you go.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Skool and Updates

Time for me to start a new semester today. (I'm doing night classes, for those who don't know. Gotta keep up this whole day job thing to pay the bills!) My brain actually decided I needed to start the semester on Monday. I showed up at the right room at the right time... on the wrong day. Somehow I got it into my head that my classes met on Mondays, not Thursdays, and I was appropriately facepalming my own behavior. So basically I spent the whole day fretting over nothing (because I didn't have my first night assignment done)(three days later I still don't have it done, actually, but I didn't tell you that and you didn't read it. kk?).

In other news, I've tried my hand at Colleen Lindsay's query contest. 140 characters including spaces, which is damn hard, I have to say. I'm entry #12.
Things get hairy for a college student when she has rebound sex with a werewolf and becomes the first alpha female in... well, ever.

Looking back on it, I probably should have shortened it and put things like "UF 82k" at the end or some such other query-like thing. I took it more as a pitch request and did my best to cast the line and hope I hooked her interest. I was pretty confident when there were less than 20 entries. Now there's over 200 and I'm going holy shit there's some good stuff in there! At this point I'll just have to say good luck to the contestants and an early congrats to the winners, whoever they'll be! (And thanks Colleen for hosting the contest! It was fun!)

Gotta keep the post a bit short today 'coz I'm supposed to be working. Or something. So, real quick, I'll update yoos guys on my goal progress! (So exciting!)

Long-term Stuff:
-- Make healthier eating choices. Um... I'll get back to you on that one when there isn't leftover pizza sitting out on our counter. I mean what?
-- Plan / outline / brainstorm at least one complete novel. Brainstorming is happening. No notes yet though.
-- Write said planned novel in three months. Pending previous goal.
-- Be active at least three days out of the week. I have today, tomorrow, and Saturday. There's still time!
-- Stick to the budget. $20 a piece to come out of mine and hubby's paychecks tomorrow for the saving of money and things. Short term, we're good. Long term, however...
-- Find a second renter. Actively searching. Anyone need to rent a room in the greater Denver area??
-- Finish one of two bathrooms. Not high on the priorities atm.
-- Take a two week vacation. 7 day Alaska cruise in July has been BOOKED! (Yes, I know, that pretty much destroys the budget goal. But hey, hubby has 2 months off paid due to severance and you only live once. Plus, OMG, we paid $569 a person for the MIDDLE OF JULY on an Alaskan cruise. Hellooooo discounts!)
-- Read 30 books. I've read Kelly Meding's second book. Does that count? Why yes, yes it does! One down, 29 more to go!

January Stuff:
-- Beta Project, first five pages x3 entries (due by Jan 24) Not started yet. Will tomorrow (tonight is class from 6-10pm).
-- crit Kelly Medding's book 2 DONE. /win
-- crit DA's Lethal Lies Tomorrow along with the 3 entries. (I still owe you cookies, DA, coz I suck)
-- get to level 80 (no, I'm not there yet) Play time? What play time?
-- clean up my work file down to 20 days past due Working on this. Pwnt a bunch of purchase orders the other day. Significantly reduced overdue stuff.
-- purge one box of basement junk a week We can purge 7 if we buy some damn bookshelves, but the ones that don't look like ass are [relatively] expensive!

What about you guys? You sticking to your guns? Gave up already? How's the writing going? Spill!


Monday, January 12, 2009

Stuff I'd Like To Do

So here's what I'd like to try this year. These are NOT new year's resolutions. Why? Because if I make them new year's resolutions, they won't get done. I did, however, include some non-optional stuff on this list just to kind of throw it out there and make myself accountable to the intarwebz at large. We'll see if it works.

For 2009 I want to:

Make healthier eating choices. Note that this does not translate into "Diet"... while I love organizing things and figuring out schedules, planning meals, etc, I tend not to follow them once I've worked them out. Me and schedules, we don't keep up with each other. Also, if I eat a completely unhealthy meal or six I can't beat myself up for breaking my "Diet" and therefore can't feel defeated and give up on it. Instead I can simply shrug it off and do better on the next meals. (Yes, I actually do have to play these mind games with myself. It works though... with the exception of Christmas I did really well on this "plan" the last two months or so.)

Plan / outline / brainstorm at least one complete novel. I originally set this as my three month plan (to start in December and be complete by beginning of March) but seeing as December fell under that holy-shit-busy category I didn't get it started. I don't want to give up on it though, so I'm going to shift that goal up a bit and shoot for Feb / Mar / Apr as my plan time. Which will be followed by...

Write said planned novel in three months. Combined with the previous plan this means have a completed draft zero in about six months. For some of you this seems easy, however I'm a lazy ass that moves at about turtle speed when it comes to writing, so for me this is pretty ambitious. I'm really gonna try not to beat myself up if I don't make this goal. I mean, if it takes me seven months then it takes me seven months. I don't meet the goal but hey I finished it, right?

Be active at least three days out of the week. Notice I didn't say "go to the gym" or "do a few sessions of Tae Bo." I decided not to be specific after having spent an entire week painting our house and moving major pieces of furniture around (in prep for and after the carpet install). It feels like I spent too long at the gym, and my back muscles are now tight enough that my lower back and hips are screaming at me to stretch something. This, I think, counts as being "active" since it was at least an hour of movement / lifting / whatever each day. For future weeks I'll try to find something else to do such as go for a walk or try my hand at one of the classes our gym offers (yoga, pilates, etc). It'll be easier when summer comes -- we love to hike on the weekends.

Stick to the budget. We've made one... now we need to follow it. We've also made an agreement that come hell or high water we want to put aside $20 a week for savings (to later have for either play money or emergencies if current savings somehow runs out). Doing it in small increments like that means it doesn't seem so overwhelming, and if hubby and I each do it, that means we can save $40 a week, or roughly $160 a month, which translates into about $960 by the time he gets laid off (hubby was given like 9 months notice that his last day would be July 1, 2009. Hooray company buyouts and reorgs.)

Find a second renter. We didn't want to do this, especially with a newly finished basement that we want to use as an entertainment room (hello home theatre and/or game night room!). However, do to the looming layoff and some extra bills that need to be paid down or paid off by then, we have to say goodbye to our extra room and stick another renter in it. Hubby is going back to school and can't hold a full time job during that time period (nursing school) so we need the extra income. Not even "want." We need it. Sigh.

Finish one of two bathrooms. Because having two crappy 1980s bathrooms with the hubby and 1-3 renters is just not going to cut it. The downstairs bathroom hasn't been updated since the house was built in 1978 and the upstairs one has carpet (with the original brown and orange 1978 laminate under it) and unpainted walls (because one of the very first things we did was rip off all the wallpaper and slap some mud on there. Yes really, there was carpet and wallpaper in the upstairs bathroom. WTF).

Take a two week vacation. Technically, I get three weeks a year plus 10 holiday days, a floating holiday, and 5 sick days. Also, since we were bought out by Staples, all of our accumulated sick/holiday time will be converted to vacation days as of July 1 because Staples doesn't allow year-to-year rollover. Use it or lose it by Dec 31. Since I've never before taken a consecutive two week vacation, I want to do it this year.

Read 30 books. This seems pretty easy on the outset -- I mean, I'm a bookworm. I read a book a night if given the chance. But then I take into account the fact that last year I only read like 10-15 books (not counting school related ones) and suddenly that 30 books looks a little more challenging (especially when I remember that we're now on a choke-hold budget).

So yeah. That's what I want to do this year. I'm sure I'll think of more things I want to do but for now I'll stick with that. I'll start putting a little counter at the end of my posts once I start the writing stuff to let you all know where I'm at with this whole goal thing.

And, real quicklike, here's the stuff I want (or have) to do this month:
-- Beta Project, first five pages x3 entries (due by Jan 24)
-- crit Kelly Medding's book 2
-- crit DA's Lethal Lies
-- get to level 80 (no, I'm not there yet)
-- clean up my work file down to 20 days past due
-- purge one box of basement junk a week

What are you guys up to this year? This month? Is anyone else as busy as I am?


Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Week In LOLs

Porn Industry Seeks Federal Bailout
While this is actually a serious article, and I love the statement they're sending to DC, it still gives me much lulz.
Flynt and Francis concede the industry itself is in no financial danger — DVD sales have slipped over the past year, but Web traffic has continued to grow.

But the industry leaders said the issue is a nation in need. "People are too depressed to be sexually active," Flynt said in the statement. "This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex."

Customer reviews "The Secret"
Prisoner finds answers in a self help book... but not in the way you think!

Hair Spray Goes Where?
Yeah. Really. This happened... and there's an x-ray pic to prove it.
"She was very embarrassed. She was clearly in a lot of pain, however it got there."

"This was not just a little can of deodorant, this was a massive can of hairspray," said one hospital worker.

Do You Know How Fast You Were Driving, Son?
Sometimes this shit just can't be made up. Most of the lulz come from the fact that he was driving to a city named Darwin in a fashion that could have resulted in him earning a Darwin Award.
Brenton Alan Erhardt, 39, pleaded guilty in the Darwin Magistrates Court to dangerous driving.

He was pulled over by police on the Stuart Highway in July speeding at 147 kilometres per hour, south of Daly Waters.

He admitted to officers he filmed himself masturbating while driving from Adelaide to Darwin.

He also pleaded guilty to driving unlicensed, carrying two cannabis smoking pipes, administering the drug and carrying a loaded rifle.

Scalzi Discovers the Wii
And much laughter ensues.
3. Wii Sports also makes me intensely competitive, I think largely because I hate to lose to anything that looks like the armless dudes that come in Tonka trucks. When I’m playing the tennis game after a long volley which I finally win, I flip off the computerized opponets during the slow motion replay. Take that, Tonka dude.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Been There, Done That, Blew It Up

Buh-bye, 2008!

Everyone else is doing a /reflection post for 2008, so I suppose I need to get my butt in gear and do one for myself, too. So what happened this last year, and did it suck major arse or did it rock my world beyond belief?

Both, actually. Let's go have a look-see!

January - Two blizzards. One dinky car trying to drive in them. A visit from the folks. Over 20 houses toured in the search for the Bioche residence. Lots of noise about "omgrecession!" and what that means for us 'mairkins (doesn't look like that's changed much, does it?). Now that I look at it, that was a great big sign from the heavens that 2008 was going to be friggin' crazy.

February - We bought a house! Holyshitweboughtahouse. Let me tell you, buying a house is a great big reality check. We learned very quickly what we could and could not afford. And we didn't realize exactly how much stuff we needed for the house until we went to go do things like mow the lawn and oh yeah we don't have a lawn mower. Also, we have too much shit (and it's STILL sitting in the basement).

March - I don't remember March, and that's probably a good thing. I think we unpacked some stuff and made a list of all the things we wanted to do with the house. Heh. Oh wait! We bought our kickass bed that month. It's totally an old person's bed with the adjusting of the head and feet and the vibrating massage stuff. Srsly, you need to get yourself one of these beds. My sleep, it has improved.

April - I dove into revisions on my draft zero / one (however you like to count that) and actually managed to revise chapter 1. Yes -- it did, in fact, take me all month long to revise that damn thing. The frustration levels were high. It was rather discouraging.

May - I started this blog! Poor thing is still in it's infancy, but hey, I'm working on it. I think this was also the start of the really weird weather. Lotta tornados, earthquakes, and coldness abounded throughout the northern hemisphere. Like I said, 2008 was gonna be crazy, and as of that point it lived up to that prediction.

June - The beginning of "wtf is this election over yet?" The media went crazy with things like Obama's fist bump and Rachel Ray's scarf. It was a pretty ridonkulous time in the media. We also had two of our friends get hitched (MWAH Kevin and Caroline!) and I managed to offend the entirety of my in-laws, which still makes me wince. (Note: do not blog about your family's drama.)

July - Gamer friend had his appendix out. Five days later the hubby had his appendix out. Friggin everyone had their appendix out. We also had a huge hot streak (20+ days without moisture I think) and we found out exactly how much it sucks to not have air conditioning. We do have a swamp cooler from the previous owners, but it isn't mounted on anything and we sure as hell weren't sticking it up against a window in the den to moisturize all of our electronics. That was also when our poor backyard turned into a jungle. (Now it's a winter-dead jungle.)

August - I swear to God, it damn near snowed. I have never in my life experienced such cold weather in what is supposed to be the hottest month of the year. The hell happened to global warming, anyway? This was also the month that I bit the bullet and enrolled to go back to skool, and also the month that everyone was like "under-aged Chinese gymnasts? wtf?" and much outrage ensued. Also... Sarah Palin? Really? I think, seriously, that 2008 was the year of drama.

September - The stock market crashed like an alcoholic on a bender. Back then that was shocking. Onoes, the banks are gonna implode on themselves! Onoes, there goes all our money! Quick, let's bail out those banks because it wasn't their fault they were idiots about lending and let's not hold them accountable for any of their spending with our tax money! Onoes onoes onoes! Yeah, I'm not bitter. Like I said, 2008: Year of Drama.

October - I turned 25 and became uber stressed with time management. Honestly, that's about it. I think the stock market crashed some more and some other banks went under but we didn't bail them out... I think they were bought up by bigger, healthier banks. The republican party continued to nosedive in the election. Husband was informed he was being laid off and his last day will be July 1, 2009 (with appropriate retention bonus and severance package, of course). Oh wait, that's when I got my super cute haircut! See, I knew there was something positive in there. (And I still love this haircut!)

November - Started and puttered out in NaNoWriMo. Didn't have the energy, creativity, or time to pursue the goal. My mind was a creative dust bowl. Owens Corning continued to be teh suck but at least our basement was finished. We did, however, finally put an end to 1.5 years of intense election coverage (and 8 years of leading the nation by "gut feelings" instead of logic)! Woo hoo! By this point the stock markets were fluctuating like a bipolar roller coaster and we considered hundreds of points in drops or rises "the norm." Go go apathy.

December - Stress. Seriously, that was most of December. And as predicted, once the banks got a bailout everyone else wanted one too, including the 'tards in the auto industry that felt they needed to fly out on their private jets to ask for money to save their businesses. Ya rly. On a happier note, my little sis got engaged! GRATZ SHESHNEE! (Stephanie) I've got until summer 2010 to whip my butt into shape for the wedding. Gotta look good for pictures, yannow.

And what did I do for new years? Hung out with my husband and sister and watched Pirates of the Caribbean. We paused the movie long enough to watch the ball drop and then we went back to the movie. Mucho relaxation.

Now that it's 2009, however, it looks like the year is going to be holy shit busy. Not crazy, not so far, but busy, yes. I hardly have time to breathe these days. We've got a plan to pay down the bills before the hubby gets laid off, we've got a plan to get stuff done to the house, we've got a plan (or at least good intentions) to get healthier, I've got a plan to tackle my total lack of writing, I've got a plan to get caught up at work now that half our team has been dismissed due to layoffs... busy, busy, busy.

I've also got a plan to deal with stress management, because I don't know if you all have noticed but I've been on emotional and hormonal ups and downs throughout the year and I'm tired of it. In the last couple of months my coping skills have started to fail me. The Sass does not like to fail when she can help it, so she's going to be all over that stress management thing like gamers at a LAN party and emerge victorious in the land of personal well-being.

I will pwn 2009. Oh yes, I will.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

I'm alive!

I swears it!

Short post. Just wanted to let you guys know I didn't fall off the face of the earth or anything. Moar posts coming when I'm not busy doing things like painting every room in the house this weekend.

Hope you guys had a happy new year! BBS!