I love my new oven!

April 4, 2012

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I actually accomplished half of my move-to-London-sometime-before-I-die action plan involving this year’s income tax refund. I got a new stove and I love it! (I’ll get the refrigerator next year.)

Now I admit, it wouldn’t be hard to improve on the old one. It probably dated back twenty-plus years to when my building was redone in the condominiums it is today. The guy from whom I bought my place did a nice job getting it in shape, but during my tenure the old stove did nothing to promote itself. It had two interrelated issues. The oven door handle kept coming unscrewed on one end and falling off, but to resecure it tightly enough, the inside panel of the door got misaligned.

The stove burners seemed a little floppy in their wells and I’d always have to poke at the edge to level my pan for symmetrical egg-cooking.

No longer so. Happy days are here again.

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The new appliance’s initial selling point (other than its very newness) was its flat top. It seems like such a duh for an electric stove. But now that it’s delivered, installed, and in use—oh boy! The bonus of the flat stovetop is that it’s a much more practical staging area for putting the groceries away.

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It’s true, it’s just the most basic, least expensive Kenmore model, but by golly, it’s awesome! I’ve been trying to restrict myself to synonyms of awesome, unless something truly warrants that adjective, because it is quite overused these days. I know a lot of what I’m experiencing is, again, by sheer virtue of its newness and the improvements in technology in the ensuing years, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable!

Though the delivery guys arrived at the very last moment of the stated delivery window, they were very professional and competent. I didn’t actually have any cooking planned until twenty-four hours later, so for the first while I merely gazed lovingly at the flat top. But since then, I’ve had several private moments of joy.

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The oven door has a window. The oven has a light inside it. Not only does the light go on when I open the door, but there is a switch with which to turn it on if I simply want to watch the paint of my baking item dry.

The burners operate with traditional physical dials, but the oven is controlled by beepy electronic buttons. Baking temperature, check. Preheated indicator, check. But wait! THERE ARE TWO SPEEDS OF BROILER! You read that right. There is HI broil and LO broil! And as if that weren’t enough, there is an on-board timer. How did it know that I was about fed up with my crappy wind-up egg timer? My new stove is the captain’s chair of the Starship Enterprise!

By now, some of you Californians with fancy houses and, by extension, fancy kitchens, are probably sitting there thinking, aww, isn’t that cute. Well, as the NBC television network used to say a few years ago, “If you haven’t seen it, then it’s new to you!”

I haven’t seen it. It’s new to me.

And it’s AWESOME!

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In what I suppose was a subconscious avoidance technique against my parents’ impending Christmas visit on my last free evening (bowling tomorrow night and parental arrival for supper Friday), I fully honored the winter solstice. I did it not with a pagan, sway-y dance around large stones on the Salisbury Plain, but rather by participating in MacKenzie Pub’s “longest dark day” stout, porter, and black IPA takeover of their taps. #longestdarkday

I’m not a fan of stouts, but I do alright with a lot of porters. Black IPAs are usually just fine.

I started with the Upstairs Bar Flight. I was very glad they were doing flights. I quite enjoyed the Bell’s Java and Southern Tier Choklat. Then I had the Black IPA and Stout #1 flights.

I still haven’t gone to work out. In order to get three in yet this week, I must get up tomorrow morning. I work best under pressure.

I suppose that’s why I frittered away this evening and will now have to cram all of the housework in to about six hours on Friday. Six hours if I’m lucky to have so long, after I don’t set my alarm, do get up and go work out, then come home to shower and eat. Stay tuned.

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I’m not sure I’d exactly call it progress on the moving-to-London dream, but I did do something useful last night. I looked at rents over there for the first time. I can’t believe I never did that before.

I was pleased to learn that it’s not as outrageously expensive as I had been psyching myself up for all this time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not exactly cheap, and I don’t imagine home ownership will really be an option. But in the area where I stayed during my last visit in summer 2010, I could find a 1-bedroom place comparable to the apartment I lived in for eleven years before I bought my condo for maybe twenty percent more than I’d pay here. And anyway, London’s a big town. There will be something somewhere that’s within my budget.

So that part of the plan is going well.

Action taken: checked out rent prices.

Then I looked around my place. The stuff. Then I checked in on another unit in my building that has been for sale for well over a year, probably closer to two. The mortgage. The diminished selling price.

Depression. 

Action taken: I engaged in one of my known coping mechanisms for restlessness and “depression.” I just cut off all of my hair.

The other unit is currently listed for eighty percent of what I paid for mine. And she’s got it looking a whole lot better than mine not least because she has about ten percent of the possessions that I have. My decision to purchase was rash. If I had shown interest but not acted, I probably could have waited out a reduction in price, because I think the guy had been trying to sell for a while before I showed up. But me being me, I forged right ahead. This was right at the end of the housing boom. Double whammy to me.

It was right at the end of the housing boom. Within six months the bottom had fallen out of housing prices. The market, like me, is still depressed. So part of my procrastination about London has necessarily been a waiting game for selling prices to climb a little. They haven’t. I had currently been figuring that if I put it on the market today, I’d be able to get around what my neighbor has dropped her price to. I’m not thinking that any more. Like I said, hers is nicer. The only disadvantage it has over mine is that the main water shut-off for the entire building is in that unit. Maybe that’s a deal-breaker.

Action taken: I just emailed a different neighbor who also put his place up for sale. Difference is, his sold in weeks. I want to consult with his agent.

Regardless of any issues about price, I know that I need to do a lot of spiffing up in here. The first thing to do would be to replace the carpet that I have hated since Day One. Sure, it was brand new but it wasn’t very good quality, I don’t think, and in the intervening years, the animals have kind of had their way with it, not that most of that couldn’t be cleaned, but I hate the carpet. I’ve always thought that installing that fake hardwood stuff would be the way to go. But I wonder how that would work with my ground floor floor that is always sinking and cracking because things are always shifting and settling. I’ll probably end up just putting in new carpet again.

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Actually the first thing to do will be to get rid of most of my worldly possessions, because I never even glance at most of them. I mean, look at all these books. When was the last time I touched one of them? It’s been a lo-o-o-ong time. I suppose I’d keep the ones I’ve written and some of the ones I’ve designed. But all the others? I’ll get a Kindle, motherfuckers.

Actions required: 1) Figure out where to eco-dispose of books. There probably aren’t that many that would interest the used book store. 2) Re-rip all of my music CDs at a higher bitrate, then jettison their asses, too. 3) Be realistic. Even if I could fit into all those clothes again some day in the distant future, I’m not going to want to wear them. And if it’s the distant future, I’ll be in London and it will have been cheaper to buy new stuff than move old stuff overseas. Donate, donate, donate.

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There are a few large items I would take with me—my cuckoo clock, Grandma Doudna’s embroidered map of my grandparents’ travels, Grandma Hetzel’s platform rocking chair, and my rabbit lamp. All other bets are off.

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In addition to things, there are two cats and a rabbit. The cats are young, they’ll be fine getting their pet passports stamped. But my rabbit is almost nine, which is up there for a bun. The unofficial influence on my London timeline has been waiting out my rabbit’s life. At first blush that sounds cold, I know, but I’m only thinking of him. Rabbits are not as sturdy as cats or dogs and though I would take him along in a heartbeat if he were young, he is not and at this point I’d never subject him to the stress of air travel. He’s still going strong, bless him (though his diminished litterbox habits are part of the new carpet equation). 

Eventually we must address the legal aspect to all of this. The general information that I have learned is that I must have a job lined up in advance so that my employer can get my work visa, or something like that. But artistic types such as musicians and authors seem to have plenty of wiggle room. Authors, you say? Why, I do have many author credits in the U.S. Library of Congress! It would just be too much to hope for that my kind of authoring would be the sort that would allow my to circumvent the usual employment requirements. I haven’t investigated in a number of years.

Action required: look at immigration rules again. See if I can take my US work self in a direction that allows me to take advantage of any UK immigration “other” options.

Then there’s the whole money part. I’m certain I would have enough cash to finance the move once I sold my place, even with a crummy selling price because a couple of years ago there was a significant pay-down on my principal. But before that, I’d have to pay for the improvements. To that end, I’m thinking that I ought not to spend my next tax refund on another visit to London like I would like to do. Rather, I ought to mostly put it toward the improvements. In addition to the carpet, I’m quite sure I’d be advised to get new appliances. And that’s something that would benefit me anyway. So even if I didn’t end up selling for a while, I’d be happy about that.

In addition, I was already thinking about not returning to bowling next year. That is, until I recently got a lesson and am more interested in it again. But if I didn’t bowl, I could instead put at least some of that $2700 for a year’s worth into the London Fund.

The same could be said for the money I’d save if I cancelled my cable television subscription. The added benefit would be that I wouldn’t be watching TV all the time and could concentrate on more useful activities, such as throwing out stuff or doing extra work to steer myself in the right immigration direction.

 

I think that about sums it up. The one thing I have the power to start doing now is getting rid of stuff. And that would be a good idea regardless.

 

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To read my previous bemoaning on this topic, please refer to Inertia, part 1 (history of the dream in which I compare myself to a large, brick building), Inertia, part 2 (I am lazy like a potato sitting on the couch), and Inertia, part 3 (nothing’s changed for me but the large, brick building is making progress).

The large, brick building is now open for business as the Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts. It got off its ass and did something.

Predicting the future

January 5, 2011

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Today I will ponder the other subject that people do around the turn of the year, the future. I will travel to the future and imagine what might be going on.

Fantasy future

Anyone who’s been reading along knows that my ideal future would be the one in which I’m living happily in London. I’d find an affordable flat somewhere in central London. I liked the Camden area a lot, a neighborhood that has diversity and all types. Maybe I’d find a place above a neighborhood pub like the Spread Eagle. I’d tappy-tap-tap on my MacBook, writing all day and earning enough to keep it going. Or maybe I’d have to go to my office job in central London, walking a few blocks to the nearest Underground station for my ride. If I did go to an office, there’d be a nice little pub like the Cheshire Cheese at which to stop for a pint with my mates after work. It would be a Bridget Jones existance, minus the halfwits, fuckwits, perverts, alcoholics, workaholics, etc. 

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I guess this has already gone from prediction to fantasy. Oh well, I’ll run with it.

If I had to live a slightly further out, maybe I’d live in a terraced house like the one my friend Dan lives in. No, that probably wouldn’t be the case because I’m sure that the only way I’d afford a place like that would be to have roommates, which will never happen. Well, whatever it ended up being, I’d love it because I’d be in London and that would be good enough for me, because for ten years I’ve been convinced that my life’s happiness is dependent upon my being in London, however it happens.

Realistic future

Now we shall return to reality. I probably won’t make it out in time. 

My rabbit will live just a little too long (I’ve noted before that he’s getting a little older, and although he’s in good health, I wouldn’t want to subject him to trans-continental stress), and I’ll spend a year or two too many waiting for the housing market to recover before I try to sell my place for only a moderate loss rather than the large loss I’d take today. That will give one or both of my parents just enough time to have some fluke deterioration in their health (they, too, are getting a little older and are in quite good shape), and then I, as their only child, will be wracked with guilt at the notion of leaving them, country, and continent behind in order to pursue my own selfish happiness and fulfillment. In fact, I will probably have to move back to their small city in Wisconsin to be closer to them. (That’s how we ended up there thirty years ago–for one set of grandparents.) If it ended up being the case that I had to look after them, maybe, just maybe, I could get them to come here to Minneapolis instead. They like it here and there’s a lot more going on, though as small towns go, theirs (ours) really is quite nice.

 

Well, it is the new year. If ever there were a time to pretend to be motivated about making my London future happen, now would be it. Stay tuned.

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Get off my lawn

December 30, 2010

 

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Somewhere along the line, I became a curmudgeon. I did and I didn’t. I’m pretty sure I don’t act my age, but at the same time I’m pretty crusty about a lot of stuff. I don’t exactly mean to be. Does that just come with getting older?

I almost climbed a tree tonight. If it hadn’t been winter with a foot and a half of snow hanging around I would have. Maybe. The kids across the street do, why shouldn’t I? When I was a kid, I spent a notable amount of time in trees. There was a woods at the end of our street, and as I recall, there was one old, large tree that we climbed. Sometimes I went with a friend or two, sometimes I went by myself with a book.

My parents visited for the Christmas weekend. I always find it challenging when people—yes, even my loving mother and father—invade my space. I’ve been concluding recently that I’m an actual introvert, especially after reading this article (via mstori). I used to say that deep down I was shy, though anyone who’s spent any amount of time around me knows that I can get chit-chatty with the best of them—if I’m in the right mood and/or have enjoyed my favorite libation. 

Now I realize that the reason that I can talk to people quite comfortably—even complete strangers under the right circumstances—all hail the m-dash—is because I’m not actually shy. I just choose not to want to be around other people quite a lot of the time. (Sorry, friends, nothing personal. I know some of you understand.)

My choosing to want to be by myself, aka not deal with other people—even my loving mother and father—I’m sure is perceived by outsiders as being curmudgeonly. And perhaps so even by my mother. My dad’s the quiet one.

A few posts ago I wrote about three of my favorite movies, whose characters I could identify with. One of those was “Under the Tuscan Sun.” In the other context, I was admiring the main character, Frances, because she just up and stayed in a place where she was traveling for a random reason. I would like to do that. But that’s not where the similarities end, if I’m honest.

In this context, I must note that Frances is kind of uptight—sort of like me! Here again, I am and I’m not. In addition to the spontaneous geographical change she experiences, Frances receives several sage wisdoms from a woman who befriends her, Katherine. One by one, Frances embraces those wisdoms and her life gradually turns around.

One of the wisdoms Katherine expounds (not a particularly original one) is to never lose your childlike enthusiasm. For a number of reasons (this is not one of them), I always weep like a baby for much of this movie. Tonight I did not weep but I did get ever so slightly choked up when I was perusing a London map, when I realized how much I was enjoying this Lily Allen album, and when I was moved to tell my online friends how I feel about them—and I do!

But I digress.

With regard to the childlike enthusiasm, being around my mom this weekend made me think about that. She’s always chattering about something, she’s always asking 3,000 questions about whatever’s going on at the time. I mostly find it annoying. But why? Well, I think it might be just a little bit because she still has that childlike enthusiasm that I seem to have mostly lost.

And, for a third time tonight, I have and I haven’t. I am crustier than I used to be, it’s true. But these days I give myself permission not to fake it if I’m not really into it. Do you allow yourself to admit that you might not want to do what everyone else expects you should? Do you allow yourself to sit tight on that lack of desire to conform?

I do. I’m not trying to be superior. In fact, I feel rather inferior tonight. And I’m not pleased that I’m envious of my mom about something. Nobody wants to be like their parent, do they? And you really don’t want to admit that they seem younger than you—their offspring—in some ways.

My mom wouldn’t have climbed the tree tonight because she has two fake knees and one fake hip. I was just worried about what the neighbors would think, so I only stood below it. There’s a difference, not in my favor.

Take What You Take” © Lily Allen

Characters??? lives welcome

December 15, 2010

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I am always open to ideas that would let me escape my current life and start a new circumstance. Sure I go on trips, but I haven’t uprooted myself since 1994. So while I work out a plan for moving to London (as friends and longtime readers will know I want to do), I instead like to lose myself in a good flick. There are three whose characters’ situations I empathize with the most.

(The latest: my plan for getting to London has basically become to wait out the crap economy until I can sell my condo and lose less than the 25% that I estimate would be the case in the near future. That, and my rabbit is becoming elderly and though he’s very spunky and healthy, I wouldn’t want to subject him to the stress. I know, convenient excuses for inaction. But I digress.)

It should come as a surprise to no one that I love Bridget Jones. I read the books, I watch the movies over and over and over. I want her life because she is a single career girl (sort of) in London surrounded by good friends. It’s mostly the London part that I want, and I know I’d have three good friends to start (hello, M, S, and D!). I’m a graphic designer and writer, and those skills are pretty portable. Though unlike Bridget, the singleton aspect of my life wouldn’t bother me very much at all.

In that regard, I might be a little more like Frances in “Under the Tuscan Sun.” That character lives out the ultimate version of my fantasy. She sees and she stays. Other than the unacknowledged dissatisfaction with her circumstances after her divorce, there is no preplanning to her hopping off the tour bus and not looking back. If I had the cash, I’d absolutely embrace that kind of spontaneity. I get weepy every time that bird poops on her head and the old woman decides to sell the house to her.

Frances worries that she’ll never find love again, but it isn’t until she stops looking so hard that it comes her way. That’s what I always say. I am quite happy being on my own and am not looking to get hitched (unlike Bridget), but figure someday love might find me in its own time (as Frances eventually accepts).

And why is it that I think I need to go somewhere else to be happy? Just ask Arthur Dent. I suppose to an outsider, my life looks just fine, but I want more. Not in a greedy, materialistic way, but in a way in which I could feel more fulfilled. Because I don’t. And like Arthur, I can’t quite muster the ambition to be better than my just-gettiing-by self. I want better, but good enough is good enough. So why wouldn’t it be fun to have your life/world/universe turned upside down in the space of an hour? I’m sure that in a new situation I would, for a while anyway, be able to become greater than I currently am.

But for now, I settle for feeling it vicariously through these movies.

 

Inertia, part 3

September 16, 2010

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Well, it’s been a little over ten months since I berated myself and bemoaned my apparent lack of motivation to accomplish my life’s big goal, moving to London, England. The Shubert Theater managed to get off its ass and begin restoration. Let’s take a look at how I’m doing.

As a result of making new friends in the Tweak Today community, some of whom live in London, I resolved during the winter that after I got my (U.S.) income tax refund in February or March, one of the things I’d do with the cash was book a trip across the pond. 

Although I have previously lamented that in this down market, my mortgage traps me unless I want to take quite a hit in selling price, one positive is that the mortgage interest credit on my tax return provides for a sizable refund. Once a year, I clear up all my outstanding financial obligations (including paying my friend who floats me for Minnesota Twins baseball season tickets for the previous summer) and take my three pets in for checkups.

This year, I took care of myself first. I spent a lovely nine days in London the end of June beginning of July and hung out with my new friends. It was a good trip.They both live “in town” and I got a lot of time walking around on my own during the work day and going about the business of locals in the evenings. It gave me a good opportunity for a better-informed evaluation of how I might actually like living there. I was not dissuaded from my desires.

I figure it would still be at least a couple of years before I could make anything happen. The notion that I’ve had in my head since London won the 2012 Summer Olympics is that if I planned my arrival for soon thereafter, there might be ample more-reasonably priced living accommodations. On the other hand, if I somehow got myself there, you know, soon, maybe it would be easier for me to find a graphic design job or otherwise in the run-up.

It’s me. It will be later rather than sooner. And so far this entry is idle chat about my vacation, not a change in behavior.

What I have started doing is going through stuff around the house with an eye to downsizing before a cross-ocean move. Or because I simply have too much crap and I had houseguests. The casual observer would be hard-pressed to notice any difference, but I know the progress I made. A couple of my neighbors have much less stuff than I and have brought out the potential in their units. I want mine to be like that when I sell.

I did pass my 15-year anniversary at work and have no doubt that I’ll make it to 16 and beyond. Changing jobs wasn’t really the point of any of this, at least not until I’m looking for a job in London.

For a while I had been watching less television and doing more writing, reading, anything, but that bloom mostly faded. I still haven’t finished The Stuff of Thought, but I did manage to breeze through a romance novel in less than 24 hours this past weekend.

I don’t think there are obvious outward signs that my state of being is any different. About the best I can say is that I am quite certain that I’ll book another jaunt to London this winter when airfare is at its cheapest and I could accomplish the trip from a couple of paychecks rather than shooting my wad on high-season summer prices. I don’t need warm weather to have a good time.

On the indisputably positive side, a year and a half later I am still working out at Curves regularly. And, after the aforementioned ten months, still writing this blog.

 

The links, except the one about the Shubert, are all to previous blog entries which are related to one degree or another.

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There you have it. This is where my life happens. From this one chair, I waste time at the computer and I waste time watching television. ???Happens??? might imply a bit too much proaction on my part. From this one chair, my life passes before my very eyes in the form of RGB pixels.

This would be an appropriate time to make one of my periodic declarations that I???m on the verge of canceling my cable tv subscription. We all know that will never happen. It???s not because I???m too lazy to get shows online or join NetFlix. No, it???s because the Comcast machine makes it really easy from a financial standpoint to stay. The last time I attempted to leave, I was informed/coerced that if I unbundled, the price of my internet service would go up and that I???d be saving less than $15 per month. One could stand on principle and go ahead and cancel. I caved.

The internet doesn???t help either. Unlike the television, I don???t see spending time with it to be as much of a waste, thought it certainly does chew up time.

I got this chair, this comfy chair, from IKEA. I had previously sat a cast-off old desk chair from my office, but because of the amount of time I spend sitting in this one location doing both computer and television, I decided I wanted a better one. It was only about $80, but it???s a whole lot more comfortable than my fancy desk chair at the office which I know they paid over $200 for. Oh, and the cushion for a little extra lower back support? That???s the bottom pillow from the cat bed I got for my sweeties a couple of years ago. I didn???t really understand its purpose in its original application.

So this is the location from which I conduct a large part of my life. On a typical night I would be writing my blog entry from there; tonight I am in a hotel room in Schaumburg, Illinois, where I will be bowling in a tournament tomorrow.

It???s a little strange, because due to not having packed any long pants, such as sweat pants for lounging, and having the air conditioning on at full blast because it???s very humid outside and will be warm tomorrow, I was cold, so I pulled the comforter off the bed and wrapped myself in it while sitting in the desk chair with my feet up in a second chair.

At home, I never wrap up in a blanket because I can just add more clothing layers. Here, burritoed as I am, all I can think of is how movie characters wrap themselves in a sheet or blanket when they get out of bed after sex. That???s my mental image, but it turns out it???s a really cozy, comfortable setup.

But I digress.

I have two mottos

March 8, 2010

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I don’t hold myself to very strict standards in most areas of my life, but I do seem to embrace two credos. From my parents, I get “it doesn’t hurt to ask.” From bowling, I get “it’s only fun if you make it fun.”

It doesn’t hurt to ask

This is a philosophy that was instilled in me by my parents from an early age. In my young life, I was made to practice this by having to make my own requests about things. When I was eight or nine, I had come across a science activity to make my own bouncy ball by mixing certain chemicals together. I don’t remember what the substances were, but I do remember that it was very convenient that one of my best friends’ dad was, in fact, a chemist. As much as I wanted my mom to make the phone call for me, I had to do it. He was more than willing to bring me a little of what I needed. What still stands out in my memory though, is that, having never really directly addressed the dad before, I just went ahead and called him by his first name. Nowadays it’s common for kids to call adults by their first names, but back then, there was a brief hesitation from Mrs. H on the other end of the line as well as the suggestion from my mom to call him Mr. H in the future. I also remember that the ball did not turn out very round.

More recently, just asking is how I got Lagunitas Brewing to sponsor one of my bowling teams, even though they’re in California and I’m in Minnesota. I had the opportunity to meet the owner and brewer toward the end of last summer, and the idea hit me like a lightning bolt. So when it was my turn for a few minutes of conversation with him and I had finished gushing about how I absolutely love his beer, especially the India Pale Ale, I said, “Hey, I’ve got a promotional opportunity for you!” And his answer was, “Sure, we love doing things like that.”

It doesn’t hurt to ask.

It’s only fun if you make it fun

This one has developed in the last few years as a result of bowling with better bowlers in better leagues. Everybody wants to be good, including me, and there are some really intense people in these leagues. I always try to do my best and even when I’m having a game like the one pictured above, I try not to give up or get crabby. Being upset doesn’t benefit me or my game. But a lot of people don’t see it that way. They throw their towels or smack the scoring console or swear loudly at the foul line. I don’t believe that those things make them feel any better or help them figure out how they could adjust to improve their shot. It probably only raises their blood pressure a little. If we were that good, we’d be out on the PBA tour with a sponsor. We are good, but it’s still just a game and not a matter of life and death. We should enjoy ourselves while we’re out recreating.

It’s only fun if you make it fun.

 

And now I will refill my glass, even though it’s still half full.

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The to-do list. It seems innocuous enough. Yet at the end of the day, you curse it. If you’re like me, your ambition always outweighs your actual accomplishment. Yet today, I did okay.

√ Items 1 and 2

Things to do to finish the fifth out of six manuscripts for a book series I’m writing about simple science activities. Topic number 5 is water. The little projects were written, but I had to organize the materials list, as well as write the two- to four-sentence long book specific introduction and conclusion.

(√) Item 3

I’m working on a new text design for a grammar-related series. The author is very organized. All of a sudden, about forty-five minutes before quitting time (which turned into an hour and a half and me leaving another forty-five minutes after quitting time, which isn’t any specific time as long as we get our eight hours in and the work done), I found my design muse. Yesterday I remarked that I wish my whole day could be shifted about four hours to the later, because that’s when I shift into being productive.

√ Item 4

These are tiny little pre-final changes. They didn’t take very long. No problem.

(-) Item 5

I’ll address that tomorrow evening. I try to write at the office, but I’m easily distracted and there’s usually plenty going on. I’m much more efficient if I bite the bullet and write at home.

(-) Item 6

Well, if Item 3 hadn’t been going so well, I would have gotten to Item 6. I have to arrive t my Curves by 6:00, so I have to leave the office by 5:45 at the latest. Tonight I did not. But I went last night, so it is not yet a big deal that I didn’t make it there today

√ Item 7

I had to pick up a few items for the photoshoot for the simple science book on water. On the list: marbles (displacement), rubber tubing (siphon), cheesecloth (surface tension), clear straws (density), and wooden matches (surface tension). Marbles are hard to find these days. I imagine that’s for two reasons: they are a choking hazard which today’s paranoid parent doesn’t want to deal with, and they are not a video game which today’s youngster does not know how to deal with.

So all in all, today was pretty productive. And I drank some tasty beer and wrote a couple of blog entries, which was personally satisfying. And the temperature reached 40°F for the first time in what seems like years. It’s probably just been since November.