Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My 2009 Goals

As I've explained in previous entries, I have found that making resolutions for the New Year is just begging me to get mad at myself by mid-February. A couple of years ago, I was given the idea of making a list of goals and seeing if I can live up to them. Here's what I have for 2009:

1. Finish at least three pieces of writing in at least two different genres. I can write. It’s the finishing the writing that can kill me! It’s time to follow through with my work a lot more carefully. Also, I want to make sure I don’t get lost in one form of writing and forget that I can do poetry as well as prose.
2. Spend time actually talking with my husband rather than sitting side-by-side on our respective laptops. Right now, half of our conversations revolve around what we’re reading on Columbus Underground. This could stand some improvement.
3. Get to know my students as more than data on my computer. This wouldn’t be difficult in a lot of classrooms, but I don’t get to meet a majority of my kids in person. Almost everything I get is through the phone or email. I have to find ways to make them three-dimensional; the way I hope they view me.
4. Get my blood pressure / pulse rate under control. I’ll need a lot of outside help with this, but right now I’m scared about what’s happening with my health. This needs to be fixed or I will be useless to the people around me.
5. Sing in public again. Sadly, one of the downsides of last year’s goals was that my Opera Columbus audition rendered me terrified of being heard. Let me qualify this. I’m not afraid of singing at the top of my lungs in a crowd, but being singled out by a solo or (heaven forbid) a microphone is plain scary. Time to deal with this. Any song suggestions?
6. Take at least one trip by myself. It’s been so long since I’ve traveled alone. Well, I have the whole summer to myself as my salary has been spread out over the entire year. I need a ME vacation like the kind Laurali takes (I was always a little jealous of her ability to do so).
7. Improve my cooking skills. In particular, I need to improve my knife skills. My amazing stepmother-in-law (we’ll call her Smom) has offered to take me in for a week and get me completely comfy in the kitchen. I love this lady to death and will probably take her up on it.
8. Be able to walk a 5K by the end of 2009. Considering Goal 3, I have to be a little careful with this one until my heart issues are handled. However, my mother walks this amount every day and has similar issues AND two replaced knees. Considering how much weight she’s lost, I have to look to her for inspiration.
9. Host at least two “girls nights”. That’s right. I actually have some good gal pals. It’s time to be as good as them as they have been to me. I wish I could throw a big bash for everyone who made 2008 a great year for me, but there’s not a lot of room, which leads me to…
10. Find a new home for the Rockhubby and myself. No, I have no intentions of leaving Columbus. I like it here! However, our place is not only too small to entertain our friends, it’s also on the wrong side of town from his new office. We’re not ready to buy anything yet, but renting something roomy in a new neighborhood sounds like a good plan to me!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 Goals List

Instead of making a bunch of resolutions that I'll never keep, the last two years have been a list of ten goals I hope to attain in the New Year. This was a list of the top ten goals I set for myself at the beginning of this year. Well, it's only a few more days until 2009 so it's time to see how I did...

1. Audition for Opera Columbus. This I managed. I bombed it, but I showed up and made an attempt. Notice that I didn't pledge to get in to the company, just try out for it.

2. Write a little every day.
It wasn't always much more than a little journal writing, but I followed through with this one. I've even completed a couple of creative pieces.

3. Get at least two interviews for a full time teaching job.
This year I landed more than two with an actual job offer, so this one is definitely an attained goal.

4. Pay at least a third off my credit card.
Ack, not so much with this one. I had planned to use a third of my salary for this but Rockhubby's temporary unemployment at the end of the year put this on hold.

5. Get some quality time with my niece.
I only was able to see the little one once this year, but I had a ball with her during that weekend. It depends on your definition of quality.

6. Write a will. Didn't get to this one at all. Mostly we didn't feel like we had anything to save.

7. Take better care of Pandora.
She isn't thrilled with the "care" she's getting, but she's getting healthier.

8. Cook with my husband.
I still hate knives. I still hate cooking. However, I did a decent amount of prep work this year. My stepmother in law has offered to have me stay with her for a week to learn the basics and get some decent knife skills so I don't constant feel like I'm about to draw my own blood.

9. Restart my training schedule.
This I did until my health forced me to stop, so I'll put this in the yes category. I'm hoping to go back once I know what's going on.

10. Go out with friends at least one night a month.
This is definitely happening now that I've gotten off my butt and have made a bunch of new friends and acquaintances. There's empty whining that I don't get out and then there's doing something about it.

How did I do? 7.5 by my reasoning (I give half points on the "quality time" since it was largely out of my control). That isn't too bad! I'll have to come with a whole new list for 2009 next week.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Catching up

* My students have kept me on my toes. One had a bad house fire and had no electricity as of last week. Another's family cannot afford their cable or phone bills and hasn't been reachable to discuss the school covering their internet tab. Yet another is currently homeless. Not sure when I have time to actually educate them.
* Thanksgiving weekend was cool as hell with the Rockhubby's family. Dinner was great and the side visit to the Newseum was an adventure all of its own. His stepmother Elyse is an amazing hostess and a killer cook. She has invited me to come out on my own this summer for an immersion in practical cooking. I just felt terrible for Elyse's daughter (my stepsister-in-law) who got stuck in the middle of horrible DRAMA with her father's family. It was ugly.
* I love train rides. I could have done without the 2 1/2 hour delay on the way home that got us home at 5:30am today. Most of the morning found me still feeling like I was on the train with all the shakiness.
* Pandora survived a stay with the vet. I requested they give her a "sanitary grooming". What a shock to find out they gave the poor cat a Brazilian butt wax. No wonder she was in a bad mood!
* It's looking like we will be back to the DINK lifestyle within a few weeks. Details will be forthcoming as I have them!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Down but not out writing-wise

Got the news from my friend Kit that my play didn't make the final cut for production at Madlab, but that it was damn close. After an initial teensy wave of "CRAPITY CRAP" (but not that nice), I realized that if I made it this far after not writing an original play in fifteen years, I can do better next time. This is what I'm supposed to be doing with my creative energy. Just like my brother is writing screenplays, his wife is making amazing jewelry and my childhood friend Rich is... well, he's writing in every genre but Italian sonnet (but he probably could). I've always loved writing plays!

Now, what do I write about next? I have an idea based on my own marriage called "Rocket Science", but I would need a LOT of help from the Rockhubby for the technical jargon I'd want to write into the script. Otherwise it would come off as lame as the Professor on Gilligan's Island. I wonder how many playwrights try to tackle relationships, astrophysics and farting in the bedroom in one script?

Monday, November 03, 2008


Welcome to the new 2008 edition of getting to know your family and friends. Here is what you are supposed to do, and try not to be lame and spoil the fun. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Have fun and be truthful!

1. What is your occupation right now?
Title I teacher at an online charter school.

2. What color are your socks right now?
I'm barefoot at the moment until I'm ready to go to the gym.

3. What are you listening to right now?
Judge Judy because Rockhubby has it on.

4. What was the last thing that you ate?
Really good chicken stir-fry courtesy of Rockhubby

5. Can you drive a stick shift?
Not very well and not in traffic.

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone?
My mother to find out about Dad's broken ankle.

7. Do you like the person who sent this to you?
Laurali is a lovely gal, what's not to like?

8. How old are you today?

9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV?

10. What is your favorite drink?
Red table wine

11. Have you ever et iced teadyed your hair?
Never heard of this before

12. Favorite food?
Gnocchi bolognese, which I rarely get to eat

13. What is the last movie you watched?
I have no idea, to be honest.

14. Favorite day of the year?
New Year's Eve. It's a fun time of year

15. How do you vent anger?
Venting if I can, writing if I cannot

16. What was your favorite toy as a child?
A plush Big Bird

17. What is your favorite season?

18. Cherries or Blueberries?
Neither, to be honest

19. When was the last time you cried?
When I got an email from a student thanking me for being her favorite teacher.

20. What is on the floor of your closet?
Sweaters that have fallen on the floor, a couple of boxes

21. What did you do last night
Went to a beer tasting in Athens, OH and out to dinner with friends.

22. What are you most afraid of?
Being broke.

23. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers?
Cheese burger

24. Favorite dog breed?
Sheepdog or clever mutt

25. Favorite day of the week?
Thursdays because of the anticipation of Friday

26. How many states have you lived in?

28. Diamonds or pearls?
Diamonds with opals

29. What is your favorite flower?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hurricanes in the Midwest?!?

In case you didn't hear it, we were whacked with hurricane force winds here on Sunday that took out power across the state, although we were absolutely fine the whole time. Repairs were further delays because most of Ohio's emergency electricians were deployed to Texas. Friday was my first day with full school capacity, but many of my students are still unable to use their phones or computers. We're hoping the governor will add an extra week of "contingency" days onto the state school year.

Monday, September 15, 2008