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Posts tagged ‘books’

To Do: Almost There, Yet Not Quite There

We are *SO* close to Spring, and the relative freedom that comes with summer, and yet so.far.away. Not quite close to that freedom, or that carefree-ish life.

Sun and warmth has crept in, and the cold is slowly creeping back to it’s perch. But it’s still here. My walk from the metro just now was, uhhh, brisk. Ankle pants and a pair of flats might have something to do with that, but up here (::points to head::) it’s a balmy 60F and the wind is dead and the sun shines, even at 8:30pm.

But we’re not quite there, are we? We are still practicing the same rote calisthenics of winter–the coat, the warm pants, the sleeves–and huddling inside unless the sun shines brightly and warmly on a convenient day. We still have obligations and un-fun to-do lists to plow through, sowing the seeds for carefree-ish fun times. We are trying, at least.

I’m looking at a work calendar that is, to be frank, not so great looking. I have a complicated or involved program to shepherd each week from now ’til the last week of April, then a week-long trip for work then. And then, like that, with a poof, the students (and their excitement, energy, and optimism) will be off taking finals and leaving for internships or graduation. But I look forward to the break, and the excitement of my “kids” getting on with their lives.

And then, so too will I. I’ll be outside, in the sun, in or near the pool, sipping grapefruit crushes or white wine, with friends and loved ones, and planning for more trips and fun. I’m celebrating my birthday at the end of May. A friend happens to be coming to town the long weekend before, and it looks like Steve and I will be celebrating with an extravagant (!) dinner out the weekend after at MiniBar.

I just have to get there, and enjoy the ride until then.

  • Mail the taxes. I’m ashamed that this took me so long. Last Wednesday morning, I hit the Post Office before work and mailed those suckers off. Man, doing legit errands before work makes you feel great. Invigorated. Whatever, the taxes are done.
  • Again, move the phone from my bedside table. Done, and I’m using the iPad more to read and watch Golden Girls before bed, and nothing else. It’s helped keep the tv off, and the more-advanced phone at bay.
  • Drink more water. I think I drank six 12-oz cups of cold water at work alone, both yesterday and today. And last week. And I hit up the ladies’ room a lot.
  • Meal Planning, with a twist. The planning plus the flexibility? Working out. Having some flexible plans has helped keep things organized but loose.
  • Make a scooter plan. The first step in any solid scooter plan is telling people about said scooter plan (it’s very unlike fight club). I’ve told like 4 people I love about this plan, and they support it. Why haven’t I begun to plan the plan? Well, the roads are still shit, so I’m not going to start before they are ready.
  • CHAPEAU WEEKEND! Hat: arrived! Brunch: booked! Friends: IN! Can’t wait for Chapeau/Meatster 2015!
  • Stop focusing on what to get rid of, focus on what to enjoy. I read the zeitgeisty The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo on Sunday (in 2.5 hours, over 2 cups of coffee) and while I feel pretty good about our clutter/”stuff control” situation, I learned that I should focus on what to keep and what brings me joy rather than what I can purge. Focusing on what to keep and cherish–in stuff and in life–keeps you moving forward, rather than looking back and what you don’t have or don’t want. Very interesting.
  •  Get a pedicure. My feet have also been in hibernation. And they are some ugly ass bears.

Not a lot to do, but a long way to go. I think that I’m at the point in the season where I realize there’s nothing more I can do to egg the change on: I can sit back, do my thing, let it come, and enjoy watching the daffodils crack out of their green shells. Come on, Spring.


To Do: The Longest Haul

So here it is, the longest haul. The stretch between Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend and Memorial Day. No time off, five day work weeks, work work work. It’s always a slog. And a bummer.

This year, I have a few little things breaking up the time. A day off in February to get admitted to the United States Supreme Court bar, some hours off in April (hopefully!) for Chapeau Weekend and some days off for a work trip, and then it’s May. May, I can do. By May, school is winding down (therefore work is shifting), the weather cooperates, and I can see Memorial Day weekend–and my birthday!–in sight. But still, it’s a long time.

And so I break up the time into little chunks–I think we call them “weeks”–and just deal with those, one unit–“day,” I believe–at a time. Snark aside, I have to look at it that way. I’m baffled enough as to what day and month it is…EXHIBIT A: the absence of last week’s To Do post. Oops, I had no idea it was Monday (also, work was insane). So today–Tuesday, not Monday–I’ll catch you up, and we can look forward.

  • Renew our passports. We got photos yesterday–Monday–before heading downtown for brunch, so I can finally send everything off! I’ll cross this off when the applications are mailed.
  • Menu plan for this week, with a focus on vegetarian mainsThe menu I planned here a few weeks back was a hit. Well, I think that’s a generous over statement with regard to the tofu (Steve ate it but asked me to please not serve it to him again. Fair!). Last week was a mostly-vegetarian dinner and lunch week, too, and it’s easier than I thought it would be. Because I “allow” eggs, fish, or a touch (1oz or less) of salami or bacon, it’s working out. Not missing much. This week? Simple mushroom udon soup and salad for dinner tonight, maybe some broccoli cheese pasta later in the week…then I probably need to go shopping. I’m trying to only make pasta once a week; I don’t want to load up on worse-for-you simple carbs just because I can’t have a slab of meat (…which we wouldn’t do anyway).
  • Hit the gym twice a week. We did this Week One, ellipticalling (yes, it’s a word…now) and tread milling and biking our way to Jan Plan success. Week Two, our schedules kept us from getting together twice, so we met once and worked out on our own the other day. This week, two nights in the gym! On the days when I go to the gym, my FitBit steps are double my usual goal (modestly set at 7500).
  • Keep up with my Cook’s One Line a Day diary. This has been a fun one. While I don’t always remember to make an entry at the end of each day, I’m finding that the reflection and awareness of what I’ve eaten, who with, where, etc. has been nice.
  • Cull even more household goods. I’m not planning anything, I swear. I know this time last year, we knew we’d end up leaving our house–not sure where to at that point–for an apartment somewhere, so I began a massive purge. And I suppose I never got over it! It’s refreshing to pare down and pick only the things that we love, that make us happy, and that we need or would need to replace/would be more expensive to replace. I have a stack of things on my dining room table right now that can go: drapes that I swore I’d hang here (…I love not having drapes here with these big windows!); a random set of sheets that has seen whiter, squarer days; four placemats that, while lovely, are not really our style anymore and can serve someone else better; a few books that I read and seriously don’t need to keep. I’ll probably go through the kitchen soon and see what’s bogging me down in there (honestly, probably won’t be much).
  • Assess closet…again. As I posted a while back, my wardrobe is also in perpetual cull mode. There are some things that are easy: I hate it (it goes), I love it (it stays), it doesn’t fit and never will (it goes), it’s so far out of style, despite my feelings toward it (it goes), I haven’t worn it in forever (it goes). But what about the stuff that I simply like, that fits or is close, and/or the style status of the piece is undetermined? Enter: the honest best friend. I’m too close to the problem, as I like to say, to make a judgment, so I need Hala to come and say Yay or Nay and let it be final. In order to do that, I really need to corral the middling pieces. I have a feeling that I’m going to have fewer shoes at the end of this…!
  • Make a visible list of what we need/want for the apartment. Don’t get me wrong: just because I’m in cull mode doesn’t mean that I don’t want to or need to shop. Some of the things getting culled need replacements. Somethings, too, just need a refresh. I want to re-pillow the living room (old pillows will probably be moved to my office) in a new color scheme, I’m considering new dining room chairs…nothing is decided.

This is a short week (well, it’s the regular length but I’m all kerbobbled with time) so I have to make it count. Aside from a short work obligation on Saturday, I’m plan-less this weekend. I foresee a lot of time in my closet then…!

#JanPhotoADay Project, Week Two

This week of the #JanPhotoADay Project has seen me getting obvious, getting creative, and getting looked at funny (that’s normal, though). Still posting to Instagram (follow me at @knobleg529), and there should be a feed at the bottom of the blog with my most recent IG posts.

I was crazy busy on Monday and my weekly To Do post slipped my mind–I’ll skip this week (mini-update: still doing ok!) and come back next Monday with more. Thanks for being patient!

Without further ado, le photos from Week Two.

image1Day 8: Your Sky. So, I work on the “ground level” of a building, backed into the side of a hill. So, underground. No sky. No sun. It’s where I spend eight hours a day, Monday through Friday, and this, friends, is my “sky” at work. A bank of fluorescent lights and drop ceiling tiles. Bucolic.


Day 9: Your Routine. My built in closets have afforded me the luxury to have a non-bathroom staging area for a minimal hair and make up routine. That’s it.


Day 10: Your Childhood. The tenth day saw me having dinner and drinks (…and more drinks) with two friends from my youth. One, from when we were two, the other from middle school onward. It was a blast.


Day 11: Where You Sleep. Meet Agnes, Snuffleupagus, and Harry the Hippo. Did I mention that I’m a grown up? So hard to get outta bed (Edith sleeps with us too, but as soon as we’re up for the day, she does her sleeping in her bed or on the couch).


Day 12: Close Up. On Monday, we had a two-hour delay (for….? I have no idea. It was cold-ish?) so I was able to stay home and make myself breakfast. One perfectly runny sunnyside egg, a slice of cheddar, and some leftover hoisin pork belly from the night before, served over some sautéed tortilla. It was just so gorgeous I had to share.


Day 13: In My Bag. Ha! This is my Stella and Dot How Does She Do It bag, comfortably containing the following: one pair of Cole Haan pumps, one umbrella, three reusable shopping bags (grocery shopped after work), two pairs of gloves, an Ann Taintor coin purse, my Ray Ban Clubmasters, my keys/Wmata pass, and another bag, the Stella and Dot Tia Crossbody. I love this big bag so much I have two–this one in black and white, and one in a canvas/metallic ikat pattern. Both are sold out, but they have a few other great patterns in this style, as well as a larger expandable bag called The Getaway (true story: a friend was able to pack for a two week trip to London, Scotland, and the rest of the UK, solely in The Getaway). The Tia is sold out, too (it is amazing!), but they just debuted a new crossbody style that I’m eyeing, the Waverly in navy stripe linen.


Day 14: What I’m Reading. So, I read for pleasure when I can or when I remember. And I usually read on my Kindle App for the iPad, or on my iPhone. Right now, my Library in the app has many options, mostly food writing, food/travel memoirs, a bestselling thriller I haven’t gotten around to, and yes, the Five Love Languages. I’m presently reading the Lonely Planet food essays book in the top left corner.

On to Week Three!