Archive for the ‘goals’ Category

My boss put a word in with a manager of an AcronymCo group over in Massachusetts, letting him know that I was interested in making the move back East, and to keep me in mind for any forthcoming openings. It barely registers as a preliminary step in our goal to move closer to my home state, but the thought of it generated in me a little bit of excitement nonetheless. I immediately hopped onto the internet and started researching towns close to the campus. Bedford caught my eye, but I pretty much immediately ruled it out entirely as a candidate for our future home. Holy hell, is that one exclusive little town. According to its Citi-Data, the median income for a family is $112,000, in a population of 13,800. The median family income for the town we live in now is $68,000, and we’ve got a population of 255,000.

Housing prices drop dramatically over the New Hampshire border (not to mention the non-existence of sales tax), and certain towns in and around Nashua are within a 50-minute drive to the AcronymCo plant, and a two-hour drive to Portland Maine/J’s Oysters/the Old Port/every place I hold dear in this life/HOMEHOMEHOME.

The upshot of all of this being that if I can’t actually be IN Maine, I’ll settle for being CLOSE TO Maine. 120 miles away beats 2,771 miles away, HANDS DOWN. Transferring to the Massachusetts AcronymCo has the added benefit of, you know, not having to JOB HUNT. Hello, tenure. Hello, sabbatical #3 in 2016.

Ih, we’ll see. It’s a long-ish shot. But stranger things, and longer shots, have happened.

———-

Bill and I are working on resurrecting our MojoVation (that’s mojo and motivation). Gradually over the last few years, we’ve let the upkeep of our home slide a little. And as that upkeep slid, so did our positive attitude about, well, pretty much everything. We’re always happier when we’re busy, when we’re productive, when we have projects that we can work on together. So in 2011 we’re going to address ALL THE THINGS. Painting things and drywall things and fixing things and maintenance things and whatnot things. Which will make us happier. Which will, in turn, motivate us. Which will, in turn, inspire us to do MORE WITH THE THINGS.

The upshot of all of that being that when we’re ready to make the Big Move, the house will be in good order to sell, or rent, or sit idle. And if the Big Move doesn’t happen (but OH it will!), we’ll still have a house that we’re happy with. And people can come over and we won’t relegate them to just a few rooms. And we’ll have a guest room in which to put up the people that we really like.

Like you.

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It’s January of the calendar, which means that I have begun considering vacation destinations for this year. August’s trip to MotoGP in Indianapolis is already arranged but for the flights, but that only covers a few days and I have a full 21 days to schedule. THAT is a happy lunchtime occupation, let me tell you. That we’re going to Maine is a given – I was going to try to go for my cousin’s baby shower, but my aunt just called me two days ago to say it was being held the last Sunday of THIS month, which is too short of a notice to give my boss. So! Bill and I are probably going to go in the first part of June, when the weather is nice but the tourists aren’t overwhelming and we can meet the baby in person. I have made it clear to my uncle that he has to sit down with me for a couple of solid days, while I scan all of our old family photographs. Someone has to be there to tell me who the hell all the people in them are.

And then I got to thinking… it’s only a five hour drive from Portland to Montreal, and Montreal has this little race that’s held in the first couple of weeks of June every year. You might have heard of it… Formula One? So I thought, how COOL would it be to fly into Portland, hang there for a day or two, drive up to Canada for three or four days for the race, then back down to Maine to finish our vacation? Fast on the heels of that tentative plan was a G-chat message to my good (and handily-located) friend Sherry, who not only LIVES in the Montreal area, but has also been to that F1 race and has all the inside deets!

I swear to God, I don’t know how any of us got anything done, let alone had any FRIENDS, before the Internet.

Anyway, no plans are set in stone yet, but usually once we have a thought like this, for a vacation that we can get very enthusiastic about, we tend to run with it. Case in point.

———-

So! I get to wrap this day up by going over to Discount Tire to get the two rear tires replaced on the truck. Bill had to rescue me from the AcronymCo parking lot a couple of days ago, when I discovered upon trying to leave for the day that the rear driver’s side tire was flat. I called him, he did his Man Thing involving jacks and cursing and whatnot, and I was on my way again in a little more than half an hour. Beat THAT, AAA! We took the tire to Discount Tire, where it was discovered that the hunk of metal was embedded to close to the sidewall to be able to fix. They placed an order for new tires, which came in today, and that’s what I’m doing after work instead of drinking BEER. THEN we have to drop the truck off early tomorrow morning at the dealership for some scheduled maintenance, which may interfere with our plans to go up to Prescott for the day. Though if we can secure a rental car we might be okay.

Ain’t it grand to be a grown-up? $450 bucks that we didn’t anticipate having to spend and there goes my new flash. Thanks a lot, LIFE.

So, you guys have any grandiose plans for the weekend? Dish!

Hello, friends! Happy New Year!

A non-zero number of you have asked about my writing schedule for 2011. I think this was spurred by the fact that you (they) saw less of me over at UpTake and Beyond Megapixels in November and December. The special project I was working on at UpTake occupied my writing quota – if you follow me on Facebook you may have seen the “playlists” I was publishing for a while (like this one). Now that the project is wrapped up, I’ll be going back to my regular posting schedule of two vacation blog posts per week. As for Beyond Megapixels, I’ve decreased my writing quota over there a bit (7 per month at the moment, plus the contributions of a very excellent guest writer), but we’re hoping that will pick back up in the new year (oh, and I know I pimped it on Twitter and Facebook, but if you haven’t read my latest article, you should! I’m proud of it, and it’s been getting really positive feedback! Which was the point.). Finally, I’m still writing for Demand Studios, to the tune of about three or four articles a week.

It strikes me, as I peruse the job boards for more freelance work, that I’m much more optimistic about being able to one day support our family on my writing income. It also strikes me that, as much as I love photography, it is to my writing that I continue to turn to pursue my ambitions. I guess one’s first love is always one’s strongest love. Plus, of course, it’s easier to freelance in writing when one has a full-time job – I can write at night and on weekends and only have to contend with my own schedule. It’s harder to line up photography gigs around a full-time job.

Not that I plan on backing off on my photography goals. Quite the opposite is true – I am now a card carrying member of NAPP and I bought a subscription to Kelby Training just last week (both tax write-offs!). I’ve only watched a few training videos so far, but the very first one, a photo walk of New York City with Jay Maisel, was worth EVERY PENNY of that subscription. If you’re serious about learning photography, and you’re looking for a great alternative to formal education, consider signing up for Kelby Training! It’s a truly excellent resource. And I’m totally plugging them for free – I seriously doubt that anyone at Kelby Media Group even knows that I exist.

Bill continues to encourage me on the photography front – he got some overtime over the holidays and wants me to spend it on gear. That was a supremely generous gesture, wasn’t it? So I’m looking at a 580 EXII Speedlite. Further along on the gear-purchasing front, I still have plans to turn Amanda’s bedroom into a small studio eventually, and now that I have Kelby’s “10 Essential Studio Techniques Every Photographer Needs to Know” training under my belt, I know exactly what I need. A wide roll of white paper on a rod and stand to serve as a simple yet effective background, this Elinchrom strobe kit, this Elinchrom softbox, and this Westcott strip bank. For $1600 and an understanding of how lighting works, I can do professional work that rivals, well, the professionals! So, that’s my next big purchase to be worked for over the coming months.

Then I’m going to get this 70-300 telephoto (there’s a much more expensive L-series of the same focal range and speed, but I’m not convinced the extra GRAND is worth it, and reviewers agree with me). This macro lens and this wide angle lens will wrap up all the lens purchases I wish to make. I hold no expectation that I’ll be able to purchase all of these within the next year, or even within the next two years. A wish list is named thus for a reason.

When I worked with my friend Karen’s daughter and her friends back in October, I found that I really enjoyed the experience. I think my niche just might be that sort of assignment. I like going to client’s homes or working on location (as my work with Sandstone attests to). My friends have asked my why I don’t want to be a wedding photographer – to which I respond that I don’t want that kind responsibility. I don’t want the responsibility of capturing the details of the most important day of a person’s life. I work much better in a less formal atmosphere. Hence wanting to develop my own studio, and enjoying location work that doesn’t involve gowns and cake and nerves. I would much rather attend a wedding and gift the bride and groom with the shots that I took as a guest.

I also like shooting a variety of subjects – people, sure, but also products and architecture and landscapes and food and sports. I guess I liken it to being a General Practitioner, rather than specializing in a particular service. One of my goals for this year is to further formalize my portfolio, which demonstrates examples of all of these types of photography. I have a portfolio on my media site, but it needs to be updated and re-vamped. Plus, it provides access to ALL of my photos on Flickr, and, well, many of them are NOT portfolio-worthy.

Finally, there will be a total overhaul of Snerkology, its domain, and its off-shoots. Snerkology (including the original site), World Famous Nosh, Snerkology Media, and Photos by Tiffany will all finally be under one roof, and hosted on Dreamhost. I am very excited about this in particular, as the site redesign has been a long time coming. Details are just about finalized (yes, I’m hiring someone, and she comes highly recommended), so rest assured you guys will be receiving regular updates. For now, I’ve just finished my own About.me page which helps to summarize my Internet domination. I think it needs a better picture on it still, but for now that one will do.

I think that’s quite enough ambition for one year, don’t you? AcronymCo continues to find me employable for some unfathomable reason, we have a trip to Maine and a trip to Indy planned this year, I have grand plans for debt payoff and eventual solvency (mostly), tax season is upon us so I have to get all of THAT crap together in the next few weeks, I have a workout schedule that I think finally jives with my level of ambition (snort) and my schedule… and I don’t understand what it is within myself that disallows even one SECOND of laziness.

I’ve been reading everyone else’s blogs on the subject of the coming year, so I know I’m not alone.

BRING IT, 2011!

I can finally say we’ll be in Maine “next week”. We’re close enough now that I can start seeing the extended forecast for the days we’ll be there – as of right this second, the day of our arrival should be sunny and 80 degrees. Of course, that also means I’m a bit over halfway through my Sabbatical, but that’s okay. I have a good feeling about life. We’re going to experience a positive change in the near future, one that will make us very happy about the direction our life is going in. I know this to be true.

You’ve gotta be upbeat about these things, you know? I’ve suspended my goal-tending for the duration of this vacation, but I’m a goal-oriented girl at heart, and I enjoy forward progress. So it will actually be good, in a way, to get back to the grind. Buckle down on the debt. Figure out how I’m going to finish my degree. Manage my fitness goals. Take the next step in my career. I have thoughts and vague notions about the achievement all of these subjects, but I have told myself not to worry about any of them until August. So that’s what I’m going to do.

My goal for the next month is not to make goals.

I applied for a new writing gig, and was accepted. It’s for the folks that manage the articles for such sites as eHow and AnswerBag (and thanks very much to Sherry for pointing me in their direction!). It’s a much more structured format than I’m used to, and much more heavily managed by editors. It’s good experience for me. Our articles are even graded, after a fashion, with a rating system. I’m delighted to be able to continue to pad my writing resume – eventually, some day, I hope to become a full-time writer, and these types of writing gigs that I’ve collected can follow me wherever I happen to live. Which jives quite nicely with our wish to move back to Maine.

Oops, there I go, goal-tending again. See? I can barely help myself.

I have my follow-up appointment with the OB-GYN this morning, to make sure everything is kosher after the Essure procedure. I feel mostly back to normal, perhaps less energy than usual but I can just as easily chalk that up to Aunt Flo, who stopped by a few days ago for her usual visit. I can also chalk it up to my deplorable eating over the past several days – I keep saying I’m going to give up bread, then keep eating sandwiches and hot dogs and hamburgers. Oh, it is to laugh. I’ve been gently getting myself back into the exercise routine – I hope by the end of this week to be back up to the pre-procedure levels of cardio and weight training.

I have a little over a week to finish and pre-schedule all of my writing obligations to take me through to the other side of our Maine vacation – nine more total as of this morning, which would have been less had I not slacked off completely yesterday. And this it the part where I shamefully confess something to you all.

See, up until this point I have snobbishly refused to read Nora Roberts, because she’s so prolific and supermarket check-out-ish that I figured she would hardly meet my (vague) standards for authorship. Laws, how I was wrong. I loved her Irish Trilogy so much that I personally rated the first two a coveted score of 10/10, and the last one a 9/10 (just because it didn’t hold my attention to quite the same degree). I loved ’em. So that’s what I was doing instead of writing. Fortunately I got a bunch done on Saturday and Sunday, otherwise that nine article obligation would have been closer to fifteen.

I think I mentioned on Twitter or something that following our anniversary dinner at The Keg last week, Bill ordered a glass of port to enjoy in lieu of dessert. It was absolutely fantastically delicious, and after we got home we got to thinking that we needed to buy us a bottle of our own. So I called the restaurant to find out the name – Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Tawny Port. I got my butt down to BevMo and secured a bottle. We have been enjoying a wee dram every now and then with a bit of raspberry-infused dark chocolate, or these frozen chocolate lava cakes that I discovered at the grocery store, microwaved per instructions, sampled, and deemed OH MY FREAKING GOD GOOD.

And, of course, as you saw a few days ago, I had to take pictures of the bottle. Because it’s cool.

It’s a measure of how well Bill accepts the inevitable that he didn’t even blink when I started hauling out my little mini photo studio getup. It’s what I do, people, and he knows better than anyone else that I take pictures of, and write about, just about everything. Case in point (the bastid).

So! Yeah. I’m kicking off the start of one busy-ass week by procrastinating. You expect nothing less and nothing more of me, my beloved readers. And that’s why I love you.

Happy Fun Math

Posted: January 12, 2010 in 3P, goals, Maine, vacation

I’m doing math again, but in a happy fun way. I just did all of the budgeting and planning, and estimated everything very conservatively. After I checked, re-checked, and re-re-checked the numbers, I couldn’t be anything but shocked, and excited, and disbelieving. So I checked the numbers again. And now I’m convinced that I did the math right, and it’s not too good to be true.

It looks like I’ll be able to pay off FIVE accounts by the middle of April. Only slightly depending on this is the result of our tax return this year, but even if it comes in way less than we’re anticipating, we’ll still be able to pay off FIVE accounts. Only two of those FIVE accounts have a current balance of under $3000. Once those FIVE accounts are paid off, we will have a grand total of ONE account of unsecured debt that we will have left to pay off. Because all of those aforementioned FIVE accounts will be CLOSED after being paid off, thereby preventing us from racking them up again.

Man, it has been a long, hard road toward solvency. But we’ve managed to not ADD to our debt, pay a bit more than the minimums every month, save judiciously, and are benefited by the AcronymCo thrice-yearly bonus system. Plus a rad tax guy that makes good with the deductions. MAN, this will all be such a load off my shoulders, you have no idea. Well, yeah, probably you DO have an idea. Our circumstances are hardly unique in this day and age.

Bill’s gonna read this and instantly think, “Woo! New motorcycle!” I guar-an-tee.

What this all means is that I’ll be able to go into my sabbatical in a VERY relaxed frame of mind. I’ll have time enough to save up the funds needed for our vacation to Maine without adding anything to the credit card. I’ll only have to concentrate on writing and photography gigs for two months (maybe a little longer – I’m playing with the idea of tacking a week of vacation onto the sabbatical). We’ll be in terrific form going into August for Moto GP. Things, knock wood, are looking very up for 2010.

Bill’s gonna read this and instantly think, “Great, you just jinxed it!” I guar-an-tee.

———-
Positive: Everything that I wrote up there.

Productive: Tonight’s cleaning project – the bathroom. I cleaned the bedroom yesterday! The cleaning kick continues apace. What the hell is going on with me, lately? I’ve secretly been replaced with Folger’s Crystals!

Plan: T-bones for supper tonight, preceded by a bout on the elliptical and smacking myself in the head with free weights.

I’ve seen this going around (the latest from Crisitunity), so I figured, eh, what the heck.

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

Took a 3,026 mile road trip to Wyoming (by way of Utah and Idaho, guest starring Colorado).

Started writing professionally.

Got paid to take pictures.

I started blogging under my real name.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t make any resolutions last year! I’m not making any resolutions this year! It’s very liberating.

3. How did you spend New Year’s Eve?

Vodka = ow.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thank goodness!

5. What countries did you visit?

My own. Hopefully by this time next year I’ll be able to say, “Canada!”

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

50% less unsecured debt.

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

November 14th. Bill and I had a fight that was monumentally awful at the time, but the after-effects caused us to re-evaluate how we treat one another and I believe we came out the other side stronger than we were before.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Going professional with my writing and photography. I’m particularly proud of the latter.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not having the handle on our debt that I wanted to have by the end of the year. I’m hoping this year will be better!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had a long and sucky bout with plantar faciitis early on in the year. And I had a cold or some such thing that prevented me from being there for Oliver’s birth.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The leather jacket Bill picked out for me in Cody, Wyoming. Also, Moto GP tickets.

12. Where did most of your money go?

The mortgage, followed closely by the credit cards.

13. What song will always remind you of 2009?

It’s a toss-up between these two (really, the whole Voices album):

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends better. Written letters, made phone calls, and let them know I was thinking of them.

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Being depressed and anxious and sleeping a lot because of it and being lazy and sitting on my fat ass getting fatter.

16. What was your favourite TV program?

Big Bang Theory, Bones, Supernatural, Castle, Fringe, Criminal Minds, Californication (more or less in order)

17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Don’t hate anybody!

18. What was the best book you read?

The Charlaine Harris “Sookie” series (True Blood), and Patricia Briggs’ “Mercy” series.

19. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Intervision. (Website has sound.)

20. What was your favorite film of this year?

Star Trek!!!!!

21. What did you do on your birthday?

Bill and I cooked a steak dinner together, and I made THE Pie(tm).

22. What kept you sane?

I don’t think anything did. I think I’m just now starting to realize just how BAD 2009 was, mentally speaking.

23. Who did you miss?

Grandma, Heather (though I got to see her!), and the grandbabies.

24. Who was the best new person you met?

I don’t think that I really made any new friends (IRL) in ’09. Lots of fun folks at Sandstone, I guess, but the “old” people I know are still the nearest and dearest to my heart!

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:

To let go of the things I can’t control and just believe that everything will work out in the end.

———-
Today’s 3P:

Positive: I did get to Trader Joe’s yesterday, and I’m having a truly yummy breakfast of TJ’s nonfat vanilla yogurt with TJ’s lowfat mixed berry granola. I love breakfast.

Productive: Dig up my bike lock and pump up the tires on my bike – I want to start riding my bike to work some day soon.

Plan: Put together a writing schedule for the next week.

Two Bits

Posted: January 3, 2010 in goals, meme

First off:

moi

Here I am! New haircut and color, which you can’t really tell by this picture. Highlights and lowlights, in “caramel” and “coffee”, per my food-oriented colorist. I told her she could lick my hair if she was so inclined. She wasn’t.

You’d never know by this photo that I have stick-straight hair. I use Foxy Curls to achieve this look. I apply a dab about the size of a quarter to towel-dried hair after my shower, then when I’m ready to blow dry I flip it upside down and scrunch it while drying on high heat/low speed until it’s dry (or mostly dry, sometimes I leave a tiny bit of moisture to prevent frizz). Then I apply a palmful of mousse to help the curls last – and they do, all day long. The thing I like about Foxy Curls is that it doesn’t make my hair crunchy and doesn’t build up.

Thus endeth your styling lesson for the day.

———-

Today’s 3P:

Positive: I got up at 7:00 and stayed up, which means I won’t/didn’t sleep the day away like I did yesterday (when I got up at NOON).

Productive: I have work to do, but I’ll be best pleased with myself today if I get to Trader Joe’s for some diet-worthy foods.

Plan: I am getting out into the fresh air today – perhaps I’ll take Portia for a walk. Poor dog has been neglected for the past two weeks while Amanda has been hanging out with her boyfriend.

I don’t really have a whole hell of a lot to write about, but I figured I ought to put something between the sticky and that last drama-queenie post I did. LESS THAN THREE HUNDRED HITS TO GO, PEOPLE, watch the stats and All This Could Be Yours! (All what? Well, I dunno. I’m not picking out the gifts until I know who wins.)

———-

I think we actually have A Plan, you guys. A Plan to get the hell out of Arizona and get back to the East Coast. A Plan to simplify and downsize and regain day-to-day happiness in our lives. The Plan is thus:

1. Pay down our debt, a chunk of which is happening right off the bat within the first few months of the new year. The remainder is scheduled to be decreased in steady succession throughout 2010, so that at this time next year we should be doing grand. If we stick to the plan. WE ARE STICKING TO THE PLAN.

2. Secure positions in our current companies for the branches that exist in Massachusetts. Handily enough, both AcronymCo and Bill’s company have branches that are within 40 miles of each other in MA. If we can get jobs there we can keep the tenure and pay scale that we currently enjoy. It would make it SO much easier to move if we can stay with our current jobs. I’ve put a bug in my boss’ ear for him to start making inquiries, and I’ve asked Bill to do the same.

3. Make a decision on the house in Arizona. Sell it, or rent it out? I say sell – the money would come in handy (assuming the housing market is turned around by the time we want to pull the trigger on all of this), and I don’t particularly want any ties left in Arizona (except for the kids, assuming they don’t follow us back east). Bill would feel more comfortable keeping the house, though. Fortunately it’s a decision that can wait a while.

Three steps seems overly simple to uproot our lives and move across the country. But you know, I believe that it CAN be as simple as that, if we have a little faith and put forth the effort one day at a time. Massachusetts isn’t Maine, but it’s practically Maine, and I’d feel a whole lot better being a two hour car drive from home, rather than an eight-hour-and-two-layover plane ride home. I’ve always loved Boston (except for driving in it, which I suspect I’ll get used to) and would thoroughly enjoy exploring all over the state – the Freedom Trail and Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard… plus, just the sheer number of historical sites throughout the state is enough to get me all excited. Then there’s the proximity to New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, the ocean, Canada. Yep, Massachusetts will do me juuuuust fine.

———-

Bill and I found ourselves with the lack of desire to watch football yesterday (Cardinals won, but in the process pissed us both off so badly that we declared a moratorium on football for the rest of the day). It being Sunday afternoon, there wasn’t much of nuthin’ on, so I decided not to wait until Christmas to give “us” the joint-present I picked out, which is the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume One and Volume Two. We watched all of Disc One and part of Disc Two of Volume One and enjoyed such classics as:

And:

And:

If you don’t have the sets I highly recommend them. The restoration is excellent and there’s some really cool special features.

———-

Bwuff. I’m still full from yesterday. I made Bill (and myself) an Extra! Special! Sunday! Morning! Breakfast! consisting of scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, biscuits and gravy, and bacon. Then at lunchtime we snacked on Buffalo Chicken Dip with tortilla chips and celery sticks. Then for dinner we each had a heaping bowl of Crock Pot Chili with shredded cheddar and sour cream and potato rolls. We’ve both decided that we’re going to take control of our eating habits (in the way of improving them, that is) after the holidays are over. Which means we have twelve days left to not worry a damned thing about what we’re stuffing into our pie-holes. New Year’s Day is the traditional Munchies Extravaganza in which I prepare a bunch of finger foods and snacks to set out and pick at all the live-long day. Then it will be back to figuring out how to fit, you know, actual fruits and vegetables back into our meals. Bill’s high blood pressure aint’ doing that great, and my waist is expanding at a rate faster than the universe. Fortunately, it won’t take that long to get back into the habit of taking better care of ourselves.

In somewhat related news (and prompted by TB’s 15 Seconds of LOL), has anyone tried out those new Reebok Easy Tone sneakers, or the similar Shape Up shoes offered by Sketchers? Also, I want one of these.

Still. It’s NOT a New Year’s Resolution, DAMMIT. Our renewed interest in improving our health just happens to coincide with the calendar flip.

Start/Stop/Continue

Posted: November 19, 2009 in Calvin, Drama, goals, Headspace

Calvin and I had the fight to end all fights last weekend. Not a disagreement, not a discussion, not an argument. A. Fight. It will henceforth be referred to as THE Fight, because it has eclipsed all other fights that we’ve had during our relationship. Kind of like how WWI was “The Great War” until WWII came along, then that became THE War that everyone referred to in their vernacular.

The what’s, how’s, and why’s of the fight don’t really matter. What does matter is how we go on from here.

Also, before anyone worries, we’re fine. We had a fight. Every married couple fights, some more than others. We don’t, very often. But when we do, it causes us to sit up and pay attention.

I’m paying attention. So is Calvin. But, since this is MY journal, I’m going to write about what I’m going to do (not an all-inclusive list, but a start):

I’m going to Start:
– Getting out of my own head, and pay attention when Calvin has a complaint. I fuss at him when he doesn’t validate my feelings, and yet I seem to have gotten into the habit of doing the same to him.
– Better organizing my time. I’m not “spending time” with Calvin if I’m just sitting on the couch next to him, working. I can’t pay attention to what he’s saying, and what we’re talking about, and how well I’m communicating, if I’m distracted.
– Making sure I am heard and understood, clearly and accurately.
– Bringing back “the little things” that seem to have fallen on the wayside, lately.

I’m going to Stop:
– Assuming his feelings can’t get hurt.
– Formulating my own response in my head, while Calvin is talking, thereby missing what he’s actually saying.
– Interrupting.
– Stressing when we don’t finish the discussion by agreeing 100%. Understanding and consideration (and the permission we give each other to disagree) is more important than complete agreement.
– Ignoring and/or avoiding problems.

I’m going to Continue:
– Making a positive effort.
– Being patient, and having confidence in our relationship.
– Communicating my needs, while considering his needs as well.
– Doing the best I can.
– Holding myself accountable for the fault that is mine.
– Being myself, and loving Calvin for who he is.

Tally… hoo boy.

Posted: November 11, 2009 in Friends, goals, Headspace, Inner Geek, photography

1iconphotoI’ve taken a leap. Kind of. More like a step. A short bounce? A movement forward whose small increments are way out of proportion to the level of excitement/anxiety I’m feeling at the moment.

I filed a Trade Name Application for “Snerkology Media”.

And I bought snerkologymedia.com. Site design is currently underway.

And I applied for an upcoming Photoshop seminar in Phoenix, hosted by Kelby Training.

And I’m designing and ordering business cards.

Eep.

Last night, I took my camera with me to Joss’ benefit party. Of COURSE I took my camera with me. I take my camera EVERYWHERE, all the time. Whether I’m shooting in an “official” capacity or not.

Anyway, seems the photographer they’d arranged for the evening actually FORGOT HIS CAMERA at home (it boggles the mind), and since I had my “fancy camera” (their term, not mine), I was thereby elected to take the official photos for the event. Which was fine and dandy with me, seeing as I was planning on taking a million pictures anyway.

So I chased Joss around for the entire evening and took a whole LOT of pictures (final count to be determined, I haven’t had a chance to get them off of the card yet). The woman mingled non-stop and totally wore me out with the amount of energy she had. I love her SO MUCH and I’m so glad she had such a fantastic turn-out. You’ll be regaled with pictures soon, rest assured.

Anyway (again), the owner of the establishment offered to pay me for my night’s work, but I pished at him, “Of course you don’t need to pay me, it’s for Joss!” To which the man replied, “Well, I’d love to hire you sometime for the stuff we’ve got going on around here.” To which I responded, “OKAY!”

Two more people asked me over the course of the evening if I was “for hire”. To which I responded, “Well, SURE!”

Nothing specific is lined up yet, but I did come to the glaring realization that, hey, if I’m actually going to, you know, do this thing, I need to be able to represent myself in an official capacity. No more directing folks to my blog and/or Flickr account, then trying to explain why I blog under a nom-de-net. No more jotting my name and number down on a cocktail napkin. Nope, I need a professional website, and BUSINESS CARDS, b’gawd.

So. That’s my current project.

I’m excited about the seminar I’m attending – I’m a total fangirl for All Things Kelby (though he won’t be the instructor – that’ll be Dave Cross, who is equally awesome). Attending this seminar will do two things for me – further enhance my Mad Photoshop Skillz (TM), and give me a great networking opportunity.

Looks like I’m still going to have to explain where “Snerkology” came from, though. “The guy” from Go Daddy called me yesterday to confirm some details about my domain purchase, and he was all, “What the heck is a snerk?” So I said, “A cross between a snort and a smirk.” And he totally got it. The reason I originally spelled it “snerk” instead of “snirk” was purely aesthetic. “SNERKOLOGY” just looks better than “SNIRKOLOGY.”

Am I wrong?

My very, very, VERY FIRST tagline to explain the origin of the name was, “An uttered noise which denotes amusement/disgust/derision/disbelief.” With, of course, the “ology” at the end referring to the study of those things which cause amusement, disgust, derision, or disbelief.

I think that sums it up nicely. I think I’ll use that tagline again for a while.

So… yeah. Things are starting to get interesting!

Real quick like

Posted: November 10, 2009 in Friends, goals, Health/Fitness, Holiday, Journal

jensencarA quota entry!

Going to Jersey’s tonight for Joss’ benefit party. I really hope we have a great turnout! Well, I’m sure we will, Joss is well-known and loved by a TON of people. The bar and restaurant industry, she is incestuous, and they’ve all worked with each other multiple times, at multiple establishments. I’ll bring the camera, of course, and have a ton of pictures to share soon. Because I know y’all can’t get enough of my pictures. Admit it.

Is it weird that I’m more looking forward to Thanksgiving than to Christmas? I think Marie is going to have the expectation that we decorate, since she’s home with us this year, and I SO don’t want to do it. I guess I could tell her that if she wants it, she has to do it. But I know come, oh, January 17th, the stuff will still be up and I’ll be the one who has to drag it all back down again. Meh. I ADORED Christmas when Calvin and I first got together, it waned a bit when the kids got older and Michael moved out, surged to the forefront again with the grandbabies were born, and now I’d like to just skip it altogether.

I’m such a bad, bad Christian.

I am pretty much over being sick, which means I have no more excuse to not work out and eat right again. It’s kind of nice to put everything else on hold but the goal of just feeling better, when you’re sick. I didn’t give a good god damn about my appearance or my weight, didn’t feel guilty that I wasn’t eating right (kind of because I wasn’t eating much at all!), and it didn’t cross my mind once that I should flop around on the elliptical. Now, all of those “gotsta do’s” have come right on back. Phooey.

Uh, okay. That’s all I got today, folks!

(Today’s icon = just because.)