Archive for January, 2009

beginning (year)

(gratuitous pretty photo, sunset in Hawaii in October 2008)

There are plenty of reminders all throughout the year of time passing. I have a running list of anniversaries of random and unimportant events in my head, maybe not tied to specific dates, but to the passing of different seasons and emotions. Why is it that the New Year is the one annual event that we strongly associate retrospection with? I’ve been living on the academic calendar so long that it no longer seems like the break between years belongs in January.

Nevertheless, I suppose the turning over of the calendar is as good a time as any for evaluating ones life, taking stock of where one stands and in what direction one is heading. On that note, I have a few things I plan to try out in the time going forward from now. Call them resolutions if you want, but I prefer not to.

1. I would like to be less stressed.
The holidays have been relaxing for me. I feel like I’m coming down from months of stress. Maybe years? I’m having trouble remembering the last time I felt relaxed for an extended period of time. Being a scientist (or, more accurately, trying to be a scientist) is an entirely self-motivated profession. With freedom comes responsibility, namely responsibility for your own success. I know that those with a normal desk job will balk at me for complaining (though please note I make poverty level wages for the bay area) but despite all the freedom and flexibility, or maybe because of it, there is a lot of guilt and stress associated with work. Anyone who is self employed must have an idea of this feeling. I do no one any good when I’m stressed out. I’m no fun for n or anyone else, especially me.

I have a few ideas about how I will accomplish this. Somehow I need to be productive at work, come home to make dinner and still have a little time for crafting. I know at least this last fall I let the crafting get the better of me by over committing myself to too many projects with deadlines. The quilt was hanging over me while I was trying to sew for the bazaar bizarre and all the while I was working until late and feeling stressed about dinner (n used to do most of the cooking but his new job includes with it a 1-2 hour commute and he rarely gets home before 8pm). I think this leads nicely to:

2. Do more meal planning (including grocery shopping) ahead of time.
It is the planning that I find harder than the actual cooking. If I know what I’m going to make I can just go into auto-cooking mode and make food. Ideas for what to make are the precious commodity around here. I think I need to spend some time studying our shelf of cookbooks (we got some new ones for xmas) and get more ideas about what I can make.

3. Have more fun crafting and make fewer commitments.
I think I will stay off the craft fairs for a while. I’m happy to go and help others, but I think I’ll stick to other ways of selling my wallets and bags. I want to make another quilt, but I think this one will be for us and won’t have a deadline.

4. Make a plan for the next two years. I need to really figure out what I need to do to finish my PhD and where that is going to leave me when I am done.

There they are, my thoughts for how to look forward into the next year. Did anyone else make resolutions? What kind of things to do you include on your list?

fini 2 (year)

A few photos and notes to remember the last year. The photo above is me and Marie taken by Snake Oil.

Last January we moved. I think I’m still recovering and getting the apartment organized. Just yesterday I finally put all of the cookbooks on the same shelf! I miss the light in the old apartment, but otherwise the new place is really nice.

We went to see elephant seals at Año Nuevo State Park but saw no fights and no blood (sorry Luis!). We also discovered (or re-discovered) the coconut ice cream at Mary Anne’s in Santa Cruz.

We went to two Jens Lekman concerts in two nights. I loved it. (all I can give you is the wikipedia page, his own site seems to have disappeared)

We “ran” the bay 2 breakers this year. N spent the whole time being amazed that such an event is allowed to happen every year.

We went backpacking in King’s Canyon National Park with friends.

One of my best childhood friends got married and all of us were there. I had a lot of fun and even survived the next day.

Bean! She is still loud, demanding and adorable as ever. A perfect match!

I visited friends and fish in Seattle. I always seem to visit the Ballard locks when I’m in Seattle. It might be because I know how to get there, but the fish have something to do with it too. I’m looking forward to seeing them (friends at least) again in April.

I helped tear apart a house in Alaska. Hearty Alaskan folk that they are, they survived 4 months with no stove and just put it back in the week before Thanksgiving.

I finally vacationed with an old friend’s family at a lake up in the Sierra Nevada Mountians. I’ve been meaning to go for so many years.

The annual department camping trip. This year we went to Lassen NP. An active volcano is always a good place for earth scientists.

N’s band played at the Lebowski Fest. You have never seen so many people dressed as Walter Sobchak.

Then there was the marathon:
The Wedding (with it’s associated quilt)
Bazaar Bizarre

Finally to end it all off, a little Christmas Travel

and some hello/farewell freezing cold New Years Even warehouse fun.

I’ll leave you with my most viewed photo (on flickr) from last year, the Mel-o-dee wallpaper. This year saw the bar change hands but the wallpaper stayed. Hooray! Happy New Year everyone!