Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year-End Repetitive Navel-Gazing Thingie

I've been using this inventory for the past few years or so. a lot of these things don't seem to apply to me very well anymore, but I'm always loathe to give up anything that might be *tradition* so here it is:

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?

  • Saw a Grizzly Bear!
  • Went Kayaking
  • Visited the Lost Coast
  • Took up "running"

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Seems unlikely... let's see, shall we? Here's what I said:

  • apply for PMP, see if they'll accept my application to take the test
  • develop a plan for career. When people ask me what I want to do in the future, I should have some sort of answer. Right now, I have no idea, and it is sort of embarrassing.

  • I've decided to do the 100 pushup challenge! Because, why not? And I need trackable goals, as I don't do well with things like "lose weight" or "gain muscle"
  • My main concern this year is getting my heart in shape. I need to talk with my doctor to be able to figure out exactly what this goal is, though.

  • Max my 401K
  • Save more cash for the shit economy
  • Sew and craft more, and specifically: sew more and start making my own shampoo, etc. (the chemicals they use in body care products are really fucked up)
  • Get Things Done.
Yikes, no career goals were met, probably because, as illustrated by #2, I'm not very career-goal oriented. I thought I'd get my PMP app squared away in the last two weeks which I was told would be quiet at work, but instead I was hammered by incessant "emergencies"
The 100 pushup challenge was going OK until it gave me severe back pain, at which time I switched to chest presses, which got lost in the move around August.
Oh, here's one! I DID improve my cardiac health-- I think I'm doing really well on that front! yays.

The "other" goals were met... maxed my 401k and stashed some more cash besides, despite a challenging financial year for us. It just goes to show that anyone can save, even someone living in one of the most expensive areas of the country with only one income for two people.
I did ok on "more crafts" especially now that I have a sewing room. We did make a lot for Christmas, which I'll divulge after Christmas is over (after Epiphany!)
I Got Things Done. Other Things, I did not Get Done.

So how about 2010 goals?

  • Keep my job.
  • Grow my responsibilities and cross-functional work
  • Do my damn PMP thing
  • Continue "running," specifically continue improving my cardiovascular health
  • Max out my 401K
  • Meet the cash savings goals Paul and I are finalizing tonight
  • Have monthly crafting day at my house with family and friends
  • See my friends more

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I don't remember anything like that...

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
hmmm, a second income? oh! A GOAT! and renter's insurance

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
September 27th, 2009! Our first wedding anniversary, and we spent it with my entire family. How... romantic. :/

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I had some successes at work in a correcting an abandoned cross-functional project. That was relatively successful despite the complete abandonment from its previous owner.

More importantly, I handmade many of my Christmas gifts!

And, I stuck with "running" in spite of my inherent physical unfitness.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I still have not submitted my PMP application, despite my boss' not-always-gentle nagging

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
just little things like needing physical therapy after taking up "running"

11. What was the best thing you bought?
tickets to the South. Savannah and Charleston and surrounding swamps were beautiful.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I am so proud of Paul for deciding to go back to school, and persevering through all the red tape bullshit getting transcripts transferred (and opened) and all of that.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Teabaggers. Michelle Bachmann. OMG, Glenn Beck-- holy crap if I see him cry on TeeVee one more time I may jump through the TeeVee and strangle him.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Savings and rent.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Moving out of our shithole in Mountain View. It had been so depressing and we were so happy to leave.

16. What songs/bands will always remind you of 2009?

Is it sick that I really like Lady Gaga's videos, which I only know about because they occasionally have them playing at breakfast in the cafe I eat in at work?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

ii. thinner or fatter?

iii. richer or poorer?

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Reading books, crafting, adventuring, learning

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
I try to read the whole internet. It is to much, and I wish I could figure out how to stay so informed with less time. Without giving up all the cool blogs I read (yay Scienceblogs!)

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent Christmas with family as always. This year, Paul and I finally had a house to put lights on and next year we hope to do more more more! I also spent quite a bit of time crafting for Christmas, with mostly good, and a few "uh, ok, that will have to do," results.

22. Did you fall in love in 2009?
I still fall! Every day!

23. How many one night stands?
No. I decided last year I'd change this question going forward to "What's on your night stand?"

  • credit card from buying airline tickets last night
  • glass of water, almost exactly half full, from drinking water in my sleep last night
  • alarm clock-- truly alarming. I got it for Christmas and still have not gotten used to it
  • Glasses-because I'm legally bind in one eye
  • two red pens
  • a piece of thread left from sewing in bed (what, I don't know)
  • an fancy phone which I also am not yet used to
  • The case for my NTI nightguard, which I still love

24. What were your favorite TV programs?
We still don't have TV but we still watch The Daily Show and Colbert Report on the internet for free, though lately we've been too busy

(what happened to 25?)

26. What was the best book you read?
Confederates in the Attic

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
89.1 FM KCEA. It is THE BEST.

28. What did you want and get?
I desperately wanted to move from the shithole in Mountain View, and I am so happy with the place we live now. It is a boring place, but at least we don't have tweakers on our roof anymore.

Also, very importantly, a clean bill of health for my mother-in-law after some particularly nasty cancer treatment.

29. What did you want and not get?
ahem, have I mentioned A GOAT?
OK, what I really wanted and did not get was a Mission Motors electric bike hottness. I know they do not exist for reals yet, but the proof-of-concept bike was SO much fun to ride.
Really... I guess there are few crafty buildy projects around the house I'd like.. like the glass display table and the ribbon/notions rack in the sewing room.

30. What was your favorite film(s) of this year?
We didn't go to the movies this year a single time. It's a total ripoff.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
My parents were out of town, so we totally had a party at their house! It was nice: Paul BBQ'd, people brought their kids over to swim, and a nice mellow time was had by us old farts. I turned 32.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
My grandfather. I think of him every day, and James too.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
I can't afford fancy new clothes, and they are all made in China anyway.
I do like little bits of handmade jewelry though, and Paul got me several cute necklaces. And I got nice accessories from Etsy and my knitting mother... handmade FTW!

34. What kept you sane?
My dear patient husband... who watches me blow up on a regular basis and supports me when I take on too much. My job, which I love, and all the supporting stuff around that that removes roadblocks in my life (I don't have to cook! or join a gym! or have a cold butt when I got to the bathroom!)

35. Which celebrity/public figure(s) did you fancy the most?
Jon Stewart? Rachel Maddow?

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Healthcare reform. We need a public option!

37. Who did you miss?
My grandfather and James, who are gone

My friends, who are all too far away or busy

38. Who was the best new person you met?
New person? There are new people out there?

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

As Colbert noted the other night when talking with Tom Brokaw, a few hundred noisy people can become the majority in this country just by making a scene.

Also, don't count on there being jobs available-- you need savings, and a lot of it

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I don't know... something about being poor but in love. We don't need money really.

First sentence of the month. And! A picture from each month!

oooh it's been a lazy year in blogging. I didn't even have a first sentence of blogging for each month. How embarrassing!

I've been using this inventory for the past few years or so. a lot of these things don't seem to apply to me very well anymore, but I'm always loathe to give up anything that might be *tradition* so here it is:
From 2009.01.30 Kansas Trip

(no photos)

Paul and I have had an eye on the real estate markets for a couple of years now, and like to visit houses for sale when we can.
From 2009.03 Trip to the South

Homeopathy and all manner of stoopid pseudoscience crap bugs me.
From 2009

(no sentences.)
From 2009.05.23-25 Westport

We decided to go for a ride today.
From 2009

When I lived in downtown San Francisco, there was a little building crammed in amongst the others that always caught my eye.
From 2009

Keys to the new place!!!!!!
From 2009

(no blogs.)
From 2009.09 Canada

(no blogs.)
From 2009.09 Canada

I kept thinking that if I just had a chunk of quiet time, I would finally catch up on my blog.
From 2009

I've been sick the past two weeks, and you'd think staying at home would have given me time to update, but you'd be wrong.
From 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

All Is Calm (finally!)

I slept for 12 hours last night. Incredible.

Work was insane for the past few days. Hopes that I'd use the quiet week to catch up on overdue projects were dashed and bashed repeatedly and violently by the demands of sales teams making the end of quarter work around the holidays. Glad to be of help, but gave me an insane headache yesterday, which I slept off for a luxurious 12 hours.

Not to say I didn't work a little today, but! I woke up so refreshed, I finally moved some money around and made some year-end donations to a few charities: ACLU, Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, Donors Choose, and SPCA East Bay. Got a few bucks extra at the end of the year? The ACLU and PPGG are being matched by outside donors if you donate by the end of this year. Donors Choose has a lot of projects which are being matched by corporate donors too.

I tried this year to do a lot of handmade, with mixed results. Today I had a few projects left, which, if I'd run errands last night or this morning, I totally could have finished. However, I would have been a mess of stress and I really don't think Paul deserves much more of me being like that. So I decided to accept where I was and take it easy today. From cards and cookies to gifts and (half-finished) decorations, it's been fun, but it's time to accept our flaws and move on to the "peace" part of the holiday!

I love you all and hope you are having a wonderful holiday of choice, or if you choose no holiday at all, a merry merry Thursday!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Craft Day

We've set a date for our next stitch and bitch craft day thingie -- Saturday, January 16th
I've sent a calendar invite if I knew you were interested. If you are interested and didn't get an invite, please send me a message!
Nothing major, just sitting around doing crafty stuff and talking smack.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Solstice!

I'm a Christmas girl, through and through.
"Happy Holidays" is fine, and so is "Season's Greetings," but for me it's "Merry Christmas!"

Still, today is Winter Solstice, and it's basically the same mixed-up business. (religions have been "borrowing" gods, holidays, and myths from each other forever, and this is no exception.) From darkness to light! Hope is born! And the cycle continues.

I came across this short article at Scienceblogs with a quick explanation of the astronomy, and, more importantly, pretty pictures of the sun in its various phases. oooooh, purty!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What's that outside my office window?

It's SNEW, eh?!??

From 2009


And what's that in the grass next to the snow?


From 2009

That must mean it's Christmas and time for celebrating! As soon as I saw the snow shoveling in, I was shamed into finally hanging our office Christmas lights, then...

From 2009

From 2009

From 2009


I've been sick the past two weeks, and you'd think staying at home would have given me time to update, but you'd be wrong. I've been really busy! It is Christmas after all...

The weekend before Thanksgiving, one of my best friends from my tortured early teenage years came up from LA to visit. We had fun catching up, and spent Saturday in the East Bay. Lunch at Lanesplitters gave me the chance to catch up some pints of beer from the exquisite Moonlight Brewing, which is unavailable in our new suburban hell. Then we went to Takara Sake for a tasty and informative sake tasting, followed by a quick visit to the Albany Bulb while the sun threatened to go down. Ever adventurous, we rocekted through Alameda at an illicit 26 mph to go see Kevy and Jonathon for dinner and tiki and good conversation. It was a blast, and I hope they visit again.

Then Thanksgiving came, and we got to bring Paul's mom and her incredibly sweet doggy with us:
From 2009

But unfortunately, I got the plague and had to try to keep her away from me. We still managed to get out for high tea, including tiaras and pinkies-out tea drinking.

Then I was sick for a really long time and the only thing that could cheer me up was getting a Christmas tree!

From 2009

And then decorating the heck out of the house. Our lights are awesome and the Christmas music is on repeat (Paul is a real trooper).

My mom and sister came over this past Sunday for a hastily "planned" craft day, which I used as an excuse to play with glitter. It was nice to have stitch and bitch craft time, and we'll try to do it monthly, maybe others will come and bring their projects! Or at least their latent glitter tendencies. I've been keeping pretty busy with lots of crafty stuff, but mostly it is stuff I can't share because it is Christmas gifts... so there.