Monday, December 31, 2007

Bringing you deep, though-provoking content

You are Barefoot!

You're a total free spirit, go with the flow girl
You can't be restricted by shoes for very long
And unsuprisingly, the same goes for men
Your match is out there - and he's as carefree as you are

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Just F.Y.I.

Just because you've discovered a much-enjoyed martial art again, and did it a few years ago, does not mean you should launch yourself into it full-throttle again because you're horribly obsessive and/or enthusiastic. You might wind up with, say, bruises in places you didn't know it was possible to bruise, interesting wrist pains, and the complete inability to get out of bed.

While it might be fun, restraint is a good thing.

And, in case it isn't clear, this lesson is one I still have to learn - owie!

Friday, November 30, 2007

The last post

Well, of NaBloPoMo, anyway.

It's been a long and busy month and I've by no means managed to post every day. But I gave it a shot, posted more than I normally would, and that pleases me.

In all of this, I think I've learned that it's often difficult for me to find something to write about on a daily basis. I don't know what the reason for this is - privacy? boring life? too much other stuff going on? who knows? - but it's made it difficult not only to write things, but also to shove stuff out into the world of cyberspace that I think is at least not too me-centric, if not somehow worthwhile of being read.

And so, I'm going to keep posting. And I'm going to keep wrestling about what I want to do here, and how I can make this more interesting for me, and hopefully for other people too. I have visions of a better design. More photos. A wider variety of topics (preferably some arising from me having more things to talk about simply because I'm doing more.) And hopefully this space will evolve as I go. I suppose it's come a ways already, and it's just hard for me to see, given all the time that's passed. But I have high hopes that as I keep going, it'll turn more and more into the vision I have in my head, as amorphous and undefined as that might be right now. But it's been an interesting road, and I look forward to seeing what comes next.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A fine line

There are lots of fine lines in my world. Today, I dicovered a new one.

Today, I have learned that there is a fine line between enthusiasm and stupidity. It is enthusiatic to want to bike to and from campus the day after an hour long walk and an hour and a half of aikido. Apparently, it is stupid to actually attempt it, though.

This distinction is based on the fact that I was so tired on campus that I was forced to walk my bike home, and am now almost incapable of moving. My plans for tonight? No movement, except for maybe to the tub for an epsom salt bath. Despite the pain, it actually sounds rather lovely.

I did it!

No...not posted everyday. It's probably pretty obvious by now that I fell off that particular bandwagon when things started getting crazy. But, given how much I have posted after all, I'm happy with the results of NaBloPoMo.

However, out of the post I wrote a little while ago, I managed to in touch with the campus aikido people, and went to my first club meeting last night. I'm feeling it today (those poor shoulders!), but it feels so good to get back to it, and to actually be using my body for something other than sitting and writing. Plus, everyone was really nice and friendly.

I'm rather pleased at how easily a fairly large portion of what I already knew came back to me, especially in terms of falling and rolling. To be fair, part of this pleasure is derived from the fact that remembering all of this is likely to save me from a variety of the injuries that tend to come from repeatedly being thrown to the ground. I walked into the class, fully expecting to do a bloody face plant at some point during the evening but, happily, that wasnt to be, and I got to walk out almost as intact as I walked in.

There are only two more classes this semester, but I imagine I'll be keeping this up when they start back again at the beginning of next semester, and possibly adding in some adult swim lessons too to keep me moving and out of the apartment a bit more than I have been. Hello, healthier lifestyle...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

While I'm not American and actually celebrated Thanksgiving in October, I hope everyone celebrating today has a lovely day, and plenty of things to be thankful for in their lives.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm tired...

...which apparently has made this ranking thing make me feel way happier than it should.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

In recent news...

I'm happy to report that I got into Really Big City (RBC) only an hour behind schedule, and have been laying low here ever since. And, really, by laying low I mean running around, eating yummy food, seeing new friends, and generally enjoying myself after a month of crazy work.

There's still work to do, but I felt like I pretty much arrived and, minus the immediate stressed of home, collapsed into a little puddle of needs-a-break, and therefore responded to my body's (admittedly overt) signals in the best way I knew how.

So, now that I'm caught back up on my need to do things like lie on the couch, watch TV, and wander aimlessly through parks doggie-watching, what's the plan of attack for this week? Happily, I finished off a whole bunch of work before packing myself up and loading myself onto the plane, which leaves me with only a few things to work on at the moment.

- edit the parts of my dissertation proposal that are already drafted
- send those aforementioned bits of my proposal to my supervisor for leisurely reading on his end
- create a draft of the methodology for the same proposal, which is obviously taking up an obscene amount of thought and energy right now
- prep some syllabus readings for next year
- make up for the few blog posts that I left out due to travel and other engagements for NaBloPoMo
- have a lovely Thanksgiving with the not-yet-family-but-close-enough
- see some more friends
- eat some of the food groups that I have yet to get my hot little hands on, specifically Mexican, Thai, and the good sushi place
- take an afternoon to wander some more parks in the sun and the cold, rather like the first time that I came to visit

While there's certainly some work that needs to be done, nothing on that list is all that painful and that last four aren't even work at all, which is probably the most lovely way to set up a to-do list. While this visit isn't entirely a vacation, it does feel like a nice break, at the very least, and I'm going to enjoy it as much as I possibly can. In the meantime, I hope everyone else is having as nice a weekend as I am.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

First to fall

Well, I'm just too busy to post. Between class, meetings, packing, and catching a flight tomorrow, I just don't have the time or the energy to do a post, and it's possible that tomorrow will be a wash. But, I've posted more in the last few days than I have in ages, and that's something that I can live with.

Monday, November 12, 2007

An easy out after a crazy day

William Shakespeare

Never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet, and her Dailyethnography.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Oh, the excitement!

Given yesterday's rather dour post, and the onset of weather that has prevented me from running yet again, I decided to kill the getting out of the house bird and the fitness bird in one fell swoop, and started looking for campus clubs that do activities and somesuch.

Now, many years ago, in a land far, far away, yours truly did some training in the modern but quite interesting martial art of aikido. Not enough to be good, mind you, just good enough to not dislocate her shoulder every time she did a faceplant-avoiding front roll when someone managed to throw her properly.

For awhile, I looked for a new dojo in my university town, but the only ones around that I found are in a different style of aikido than I'm used to, and one that's militaristic and not really my cup of tea (really, I like a lot of explanation and hand-holding, especially when trusting people to throw me headfirst towards the floor). However, it turns out there is an aikido club on campus. Now, I don't know what they're style is, but it's incredibly cheap, and could be just the thing I'm looking for to get me out of the apartment a bit more, and to help me maintain some semblance of fitness through the winter.

Happily, if campus aikido falls through, there's also karate, tae kwon do, jiu jitsu, kendo and a variety of other hybrid approaches that I could get into (by the way, I'm not toally wedded to the martial arts thing, it's just that they make up most of the offerings and, admittedly, I also have the uniform already, so no big outputs of cash for gear necessarily.) But, any way you slice it, I'm happy to have at least the bginnings of a plan in place to get me through the winter just a bit more easily.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Day 10 Revelations

My life is boring.

That's pretty much the only conclusion I can draw, especially based on the last few days of posts, and the fact that I am offically out of things to write. (Although, to be fair, perhaps going from monthly posting to daily was not the best way to ease back into this blogging thing.)

Life's busy right now. I spend most of my time locked down to my desk working on some form of grad work, be it TAing, funding or scholarship applications, syallabi, or my slow-coming dissertation proposal. Sometimes I break the monotony by going for a run, or doing some yoga. Or, in the case of this week, getting a ready made lasagna.

I don't go out. I don't knit, I don't sew. I don't often see friends, in part because most of them are in the same situation as I am right now. It's an exciting weekend if there's a movie that I like on the TV.

So, it seems to me that despite all the work that I have to do, I need to do at least something that goes a little beyond my desk and my yoga mat. Happily, I'm taking off for a little trip on Wednesday, which is at least something, and maybe out of that will come a bit more excitement, a bit more activity and, with any luck, a bit more to write about.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Finished Object

It's rare that I get to show off finished objects, possibly because it's so rare that I actually finish them. Big ones almost never get done, but even little ones take me forever to do.

But, this little guy did get finished, probably because I love knitting them, and was a present last year for my sweetie, who's a programmer - he likes that it looks rather like the Linux penguin.

Happily, he finished up quickly, especially since I knit him out of lamb's pride wool on smaller-than-recommended 4.5mm needles from the Pasha pattern on Knitty. The colours are a bit muddy, but I rather like them that way. In addition, his head looks really big compared to his body here, but that's an effect of the angle of the picture, and not the stuffy itself.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Thursday love

I love Thursdays. I suppose it's not the most unusal day to love, being that it's both close to the weekend, and that it's not Monday. But it's probably not the most usual either.

Mondays I work from home, then Tuesday I'm on campus late for office hours and class, followed by frantic preparation that night and the next morning for Wednesday afternoon's tutorial. It's certainly not horrible by anyone's standards, but things tend to get pushed aside for those days, and in addition to more working from home, Thursdays afford me a bit of time to clean and straighten things up, and to cook some more of those bulk meals (with copious amounts of leftovers!) that I eat through the end of the week and the weekend.

Also, Thursday night is one of the best night's for TV in my world. Despite the fact that I work and teach in communications, I don't have cable (feel free to gasp if you need to - my friends and colleagues do on a regular basis when I mention that little fact.) But, Thursday night offers me not only my regular Law and Order fare, but also Ugly Betty and new Scrubs episodes.

So, after a day of working (well, usually - sometimes the work bit is purely theoretical, as it was today, since I spent four solid days grading exams at the end of last week and the beginning of this, and just needed a bit of time to not think) it's nice to make a good dinner, curl up under a duvet (since, baby, it's cold inside!), and relax and watch some TV and have a bit of online time with my sweetie. Which is, I think, what I'll get back to now, in preparation for work tomorrow, and through the weekend.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Message for the boy on the bus

I know how much cooler you look when your hands are in your pockets. Really, it just adds to the whole look, especially when they're stuffed into the pockets in something the resembles a fur-lined embossed hefty bag. However, I think you'd maintain a bit more of your coolness if you took your hands out of your pockets to steady yourself when the bus took a corner, rather than stubling and banging both shoulders and your head into the poles because you were too cool to take them out.

Just somethin' to think about.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Work, work, work

It's been another day of work over here. Grading got finished off, but even after that was done, I spent a significant chink of the afternoon plugging away at my dissertation proposal.

This proposal's been giving me grief for a few reasons. First, a lot of my literature review and theoretical frameworks were overlapping, which made the whole thing feel super-redundant, and therefore neither useful nor good. In addition, I do research that is different from a lot of my department in that I deal with people - I survey them, interact with them, watch them, talk to them, and ask for their thoughts and experiences and stories. Setting up a methodology without a lot of guidance, especially in terms of a lot of the nitty gritty detail stuff is intimidating me quite a bit.

Finally, the biggest issue is that that the whole thing just feels so...well...big. There needs to be a lot in there, and there's a lot that could and should go in there, as well as a lot that I want to get in there. Just sorting it all out in my head and then on the page is proving to be difficult, especially since everything works together in multiple ways, could be organized in multiple sequences, and just generally presents an awful lot of options to deal with at once.

Now, none of this is insurmountable, and it'll all get done eventually, but I'm finding the work process to be especially painful. Every time I do this, I have a few hours of frustration with little writing, and then little breakthroughs that let me get a bit of writing down. I'm grateful for these periods of productivity, but they just feel so few and far between when I'm sitting down to it. And all the frustration in between? It doesn't leave me feeling all that confident or productive,

I can see the possibilities in my topic, and I think there are some really great ideas in there that I'm looking forward to investigating further? But getting to the point where I can actually do some work? That's going to take...well...some work.

And now, back to it...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Baby, It's Cold Inside!

To go with the end of daylight savings time, apparently we've also been subjected to a significant drop in temperature. We've now officially gone below zero (celsius, for anyone who shivered just reading that) in this neck of the woods, and I can feel it, even though I haven't been outside yet today.

Part of the problem is that my apartment isn't all that well insulated, especially given the large bank of windows against one wall, and the fact that there are two outside doors, neither of which is sealed well at all. While it never gets unbearable in the cold months, it does tend to stay at a relatively low temperature. And, while there are two heaters for which I can turn on the fans, they're right in front of the windows, and don't even come close to heating. It's very rare that I even turn them on.

I deal with the cold here using every tactic I can think of (many of them taken from environmental action web sites.) I wear socks inside almost all of the time (and I'm a bare feet kinda girl, as much as possible.) I have an electric blanket that I use when it gets really cold, and the rest of the time I sleep under two down duvets and two quits (sometimes with socks on then too.) I shut the door when I shower to keep in the heat, and get dressed in the bathroom to avoid getting too cold.

I was considering joining Crunchy Chicken's Freeze Yer Buns challenge, but it felt a bit like I'd be cheating, since I never bother to turn on the heat anyway. But, challenge or not, I'm happy to live my chilly little life up here, and do what I can to keep myself warm until the spring starts to come.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Productive weekend

I have to admit that I love a good, relaxing weekend as much as the next person - sleeping in late (hopefully after staying up late to read old Nancy Drew books in a hot bath), involved cooking and baking of yummy things, afternoon movies that evolve into afternoon naps.

However, in times where I have a lot on my plate, I actually find productive weekends to be much more useful in the long run. While I could have gotten by without working this weekend, doing so meant that I'll have a bit less to do over the course of this week, which is probably better and less stressful for all concerned. It also meant that I wasn't ruining my relaxation time worrying about all of the things that I wasn't doing while I was "relaxing."

I'm still not inclined to go all-out on the weekend to get work done, but I managed to get over half of the exam that I need to grade all done and out of the way. Happily, the average is right where it should be, so hopefully I won't have to do much more than actually grade the remaining ones. I also worked a little bit on my slow-coming dissertation proposal. There's still rather a lot to do there, but at least it's coming, and I have a sense of where it's going, and how to approach the rest of the work on it. All in all, not to shabby for a weekend.

Thankfully, the rest of my weeend "work" wasn't as much of a trial as grading and writing. I straightened and aired out my apartment bit (so much nicer to work in now), and cooked some simple but yummy food for tonight and the next few days. And, now that that's all done, after I change the sheets on the bed I plan to take the rest of the evening off to actually relax a little bit, quite possibly in a tub full of hot water and bubbles.

I hope evryone else had a relaxing, or at least a productive weekend!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Return to Normalcy, Part the Second

After a few weeks of dealing with the mould in the apartment, and then a few more weeks of embracing my newfound ability to get rid of stuff and amassing large bags of things to be dropped off at the local thrift store, I simply ran into a few weeks of one little-but-still-annoying-and-distracting thing after another.

First I got sick, and spent a few days in bed recovering from a body flu - from the mould or the stress of dealing with the mould, I really don't know. Then, I hurt my back, and spent a few more days lying down in bed while it fixed itself. Shortly thereafter, my account with the online game that I play for research (okay...and fun) was hacked, which sent me into a week of alternately dealing with the game reps and frantically searching my computer for all manner of virus and trojan horse nasties (which, thankfully, came up negative.) Finally, after all of this, my computer required yet another trip to the repair shop to replace its trackpad. And then, really finally, while it was in the shop I learned that there were issues with a scholarship application that I submitted that needed dealing with (through a computer, of course.)

I waited over a week for my computer - much longer than they originally told me that the repair would take - and they wouldn't let me have it back in the meantime. I dealt with scholarship issues by throwing money at them rather rapidly, and they got resolved, although for awhile, whether everything was going to come out okay was uncertain. My game account was restored, although I never got any details on what exactly happened. And, everything was just about back to normal.

Thankfully, I had a lovely visit from my sweetie in there, as well as a car on loan from my folks, and we had two weeks of eating sushi and thai, dropping off my Goodwill donations, and stocking up on groceries and all manner of fun things (why yes, I do lead a very exciting life - why do you ask?) And, since he's gone home, I've taken the time to get back into a work-regular exercise-healthy eating groove that's kept me stable enough to get some real work done. And I suppose that's where I am now - lots of work left to do, but finally in a place where I feel like I can do it after the quasi-craziness of the last two months.

(Please note that I didn't say that I necessarily want to do any of the work, just that I can - exercise and healthy eating do not make the student work comprising the Mount Grade-More sitting on my dining table any more appealing to tackle, but tackle it I will.)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Return to Normalcy, Part One

Or, I suppose it's really more of a return to what passes for normalcy in my world.

I came back from vacation rested and well-fed and looking forward to settling back into my little apartment and really getting started into a routine of eating well, working out, and getting lots of work done on my dissertation. My folks, who had never visited my place before, decided to drive me back and stay the night at a nice hotel, since the day of returning was also their thirtieth wedding anniversary. After a not-too-early morning drive, we arrived at my place, and the first thing I thought after stepping in the door was, "what on earth is that smell?"

It turns out that, "what on earth is that smell?" is not a question that tends to bode well for the following weeks, especially when it is strong and clearly deeply bound up with the place that you live.

I didn't notice much other than the smell until a bit later, and wrote it off as a particularly bad case of mustiness after being closed up for two months in the summer. But then, in preparation for heading out for lunch, I went to the bedroom to pull on a skirt and some nice shoes. I opened the closet, looked in, and wondered why all my shoes looked...different.

It turns out that all of my shoes looked different because they were eaten through with mould. It also turns out that nice shoes made of nice materials also get eating all the faster and better because of it. To add to the fun, the carpet was also damp and thick with the slippery black stuff.

(The closet, after they took out the carpet and tore through the wall - yes, this really was the after shot.)

The rest of the day was spent throwing out bag after bag of shoes and bedding and baskets and clothing, and dealing with the super. That night was spent sharing my folks' hotel room. You remember? The nice one? The one they got for their anniversary?

Yeah. It was fun times. And totally not completely awkward at all.

For the next two weeks, I slept on my living room floor, out of the bedroom where all of the toxic mould was growing. I went to bed early and got up early because I never knew when workmen were going to show up, and I didn't feel like being walked in on while I was still in the shower. For the first few days, every time I left my apartment and came back there was a new hole in one or another of my walls. A few days in, I found more mould and soggy drywall in the kitchen. A week in, I found more mould in the work area that used to be a dining room. Although I was home a lot, I really didn't get much done between the need for lots of sleep, the constant disruptions to my life and schedule, and the need to be here to explain to the workmen that filling only half of the holes really wasn't going to work for me.

(The hole in my kitchen wall - one of five large holes in my apartment.)

Now, this all sounds rather dreadful, and it wasn't what I'd call a lot of fun, but it's actually reasonably funny now that it's all taken care of, and I no longer have headaches from the cleaner and adhesive fumes from the repairs. Everything is almost back to loveliness here (although, to be fair, it's now almost two months later.) But, it did prompt me to clean up a lot, and also to clean out, too. When I realised how much stuff I had, and how easy it was to get rid of without missing it, I pulled together eight large garbage bags and three boxes of to donate to the local thrift store, in addition to the more than eight bags of mould-ruined stuff and six bags of donations that went out that day. This is something I've been meaning to do for awhile, and although this probably isn't the ideal way to go about it, the mess really helped me to get a bunch of things taken care of, which is a pretty good feeling.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Or, yet another thing to do in November.

I like the idea of NaBloPoMo. I like the idea of posting everyday, and I certainly appreciate the push to do so, given how sporadic (at best) my blogging tends to be. But this month is to be the Month of the Big Push. I've done a lot of work in the last few weeks, but I still have a lot of things left to do, which may not lend my time to daily blogging.

But, at the same time, I certainly have things to talk about - stories to tell from the last few months, the things I've been thinking, work stuff, fun stuff, cleaning stuff, play stuff - really, lots of stuff. And so, while I may not exactly make the "daily" part of Daily Ethnography true, I'm going to give posting again a go, and see how it turns out.

Part of my trouble with this blog, I think, is that I have two many interests, and somehow the freedom to write about all of them in one place is overwhelming. It feels rather like writing about everything that I could possibly write about would produce a big, garbled mess were it all introduced within the confines of this one little space. But I suppose there's no way to know until I try, and I'm never going to post regularly at all if I keep holding back because of this. And so, here goes nothing...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Return to the land of internet access

After having significantly less internet access than originally anticipated while away, I'm back in the land of DSL connections and wireless networks. I certianly miss the relaxation of the cottage, but not the feeling of being in someone else's space and being somewhat unwillingly disconnected from the rest of the world.

Some of the highlights of vacation:

- my sweetie arriving at the airport

- getting pounced on for a good 15 minutes every morning by Annie, dad's cousin's dalmation, while we were staying at his place

- discovering that the rather ancient and slow computer we were attempting to use was running Windows Professionelle, requiring me to press my questionable french into service in the name of getting high speed up and running (which we didn't, but not as a result of my lack of quality french)

- encountering a deer on the road while driving back to the hotel one night

- so much good, local food from the farmer's market and the couple of tomato plants at the cottage:

- lots of low-key, hangout time here:

- visiting old haunts for what may well be the last time:

(The marina just down the road.)

(The lock down the river.)

(The monuments we always called "the shapes park" - such a great place for hide and go seek, and this photo only required a bit of trespassing to take.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Summer (non-?) break

Despite the fact that this is supposed to be a bit of a break for me, after all of the work of the last goodness-knows-how-many months, I actually seem to be getting some things done. Not a huge number, mind you, but enough that I feel fairly proud of myself.

After a fit of inspiration yesterday, I finally got the draft of a report done for my summer research assistantship done and sent off to my supervisor. I'm not entirely happy with it, and am waiting for his comments, but a draft is a draft and I'm pleased with myself for sitting down and working through the problem areas of it to get it done.

I've also kicked up my fitness a bit (although, to be fair, that means going from doig virtually nothing to something.) I started out the summer running a fair deal, especially after I got orthotics to protect my ankle and was actually allowed to run again, but dropped off for over a month around comps. Despite the heat these days, I've run twice this week. It certainly helps that I've been able to run with a nice view of the river that also happens to be a bit cooler than other parts of Big City, and I feel good about getting back into shape, even if just a little.

(This is not my photo, since camera batteries need a recharge, but this is where I run.)

And, even better, Sweetie and I are headed out this afternoon to pick up a bike that I'm borrowing from his sister so I can ride over the summer, which I enjoy and is somewhat gentler on the damamged parts of me.

As for the rest of the summer, I'm off to the cottage with my folks next week, and Sweetie will be joining us just a week after that for a family reunion. There's more work to be done in terms of research and paper revisions and the truly terrifying prospect of writing a proposal for my dissertation, but one project out of the way gives me hope that the others will come together too, while still giving me some time to enjoy myself.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Hot time, summer in the city

After 15 or so hours on the train, I've arrived in Big City safe and sound. The trip was good, if a bit long, and I'm happy to be here and to be settling in a bit. Hopefully soon there will be a bit of routine of sorts, too - some exercise (since I very desperately need it), some groceries, some hanging out, and some weekend trips involving a few not-too-touristy destinations.

Sadly, it won't all be fun and games. I have some RA work I want to do, and a few papers that I want to get in shape (or even to write in the first place!) for publication. I also have a dissertation proposal to get to get started on and, for that matter, as dissertation to think about writing (eep!). However, I have every intention of taking as much downtime as I can and enjoying this visit as much as possible. I have knitting and novels and all manner of other pleasant things that I just haven't seemed to have had any time for over the last while as I've fought to get all this work done. And, most importantly, my sweetie is here, and we're going to have a good long visit together. He's even managed to arrange to spend a lot more time working from home, and I'm looking forward to just hanging out while we both work.

For now, I think perhaps I'll head out for some groceries and maybe a bit of a walk. There may be more exciting things to report later, and photos to share, but for now I'm happy for a low-key lack of news.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Great quote

From a friend, after seeing my apartment for the first time.

" you go shopping with a time machine or something?"

Sunday, June 24, 2007

"It's time, time, time that you love"

(Title borrowed from the wonderful Mr. Tom Waits.)

Now that comps are done, I actually have some time, which feels like a new and lovely thing after all these many months of doing little but reading and exam prep. There is still work to be done, and more projects to get started on, but nothing feels as overwhelming and oppressive and monolithic as comps did. I'm looking forward to smaller projects and a choice of what I work on every day. Perhaps there will even be a little break in there as well to just kick back, take it easy, and read all those novels I've been holding onto. Perhaps there will even be regular blog posts, with photos.

Oh, isn't it exciting!

I feel as though I'm just now getting back into some kind of a groove. The first day post-comps was spent in bed, watching TV, which I actually enjoyed less than I thought that I would. So, now I'm trying to do more enjoyable things, and really try to figure out what's going to make me feel good and more like myself again. In the days since, there's been a lot of apartment stuff done in terms of cleaning and purging and really just making everything lovely. There's also been a small amount of sewing and a large amount of plotting new projects that I'd like to work on over the summer. I've been cooking again, and eating healthy food, and listening to lots of music - Tom Waits, Emmylou Harris, Rosanne Cash, John Hiatt. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and it's been so wonderful to really be able to listen and appreciate again.

And soon (very soon, I hope!), I'll be heading out to Big City to see my sweetie (who, sweet as he is, may need a less saccharine pseudonym) and to enjoy a bit of downtime.

After which we will both be heading off to the soon-to-be-sold (so sad!) family cottage for a possible family reunion and a bit of relaxation on the river.

I am so ready for a bit of a break, or at least a chance to get away, that it almost hurts, and this is going to be a fantastic summer. I hope you're looking forward to or enjoying yours as much as I am.

Not-so-recent thrift finds

I've been hanging onto these for awhile now, but haven't had much of a chance to play with photos or post them here. But, here are a few older but favourite selections from the local thrift store.

Four lovely silver rimmed something-or-others that I'm using as coasters to replace the two and half sets of yucky old ones that I didn't really like so much and are now on their way to Goodwill (it's like trading...)

A china cup and (large) saucer set, with a small place to set the cup so it won't slide around. So wonderful for tea and cookies in the afternoon.

And finally this nifty little odd-shaped leather case, which holds...

Three small metal shot glasses. I think the case and the glasses together are fabulous, and I like to imagine them being taken on a camping expedition or somesuch. (The bowl in the back was also thrifted, and is intended for mom.)

I haven't really felt the desire to go thrifting all that much recently, since right now it feels a lot better to just hang around and get my over-full apartment in better shape than it has been. In part, this shaping up has involved getting rid of a lot of stuff, and I don't want to use that as an excuse to just keep bringing more stuff in, especially since I have some specific reasons why I'm decluttering above and beyond the fact that the sheer amount of stuff is quite possibly driving me mad (or, at least more mad than I already was.) I'm sure there will be more in the future, but for now I'm focusing on the stuff that I already have and enjoying that.

Of course, it's also easier to not thrift so much when your mother has suddenly started buying you lovely vintage things on a regular basis. Right now the tally seems to be at somewhere around 15 pieces of pyrex, two tableclothes, an apron, and a plaid thermos, but that's probably another post for another time, both because of the quasi-story behind it, and the fact that the loot hasn't made its way to my place yet, and so I have no pictures. But thanks, mom!


I suck at code. Even the automated blogger stuff trips me up (which is why I have "Daily Ethnography" twice at the top of this page, which annoys me no end.)

I'm trying to make some changes around here, and really make this blog more my own, more the way I want it.

Thus far, all I've managed to pull off is adding links to some of my favourite the side, and even that took a lot more swearing than I'd care to admit.

Does anyone out there happen to know of a good online guide to make blogger work for those of us who are not so competent with the code? I suppose it could just be that I need some more practice, but helpful info would be very much appreciated, if you have any to share.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Well, after a long week of writing and an oral defense of my essays this morning, I'm now officially considered to be All But Dissertation (ABD). After months and months of dealing with this, I don't feel like it's really sunk in that it's all over yet, but I'm rather looking forward to when it does.

I'd like to say that I'm really enjoying it, and I kind of am, but mostly right now I'm very, very tired. This has been a long time coming, and it feels like the weight of the last year has all come down on me at once. I had high hopes for doing something really enjoyable, without the worries of comps over my head, but right now it's looking like the most enjoyable thing in the world is going to be curling up in bed and sleeping.

So that's what I shall do.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Comps, The End of Part One

By the end of yesterday I had one paper all but finished, and the other in a complete draft. I woke up this morning at 4:45 (no alarm, other than stress), edited the last one, made a few changes, read them both over, had sweetie read both of them, and had them submitted at 2 this afternoon.

I'm done the writing. I still have to defend the written potion next week, but this bit is done, and I feel okay about it.

It was a hard week - not a lot of sleep, lots of stress, and way too much in the way of Chinese leftovers. There were moments of panic as well as moments of, "wow - look at all the stuff I know." But right now all I feel is relief and...well...tired. So it's off to bed I go.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Comps, Day 3

Super-early wake-up (not by choice), 11 hours of work, three mugs of green tea, one hard-boiled egg, two apples, two servings of leftover Chinese (apparently I ordered more than I though), I bag of cheddar crispy minis, a very sore back, and a good paper-related conversation with my sweetie.

And apparently I'm depending on food an awful lot.

Word count, essay one: 5045
Word count, essay two: 4057

Total word count: 9102

Happily, essay two is now a full, complete draft. It needs a few good edits, but that's a load off my mind that actually allowed me to sleep relatively well last night for the first time in days.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Comps, Day 2

One seven a.m. wake up, 13 hours of work, two pots of green tea, one hardboiled egg, too much cheese, one bag crispy minis, two servings leftover Chinese, one twix bar, one hot shower, still no self-inflicted injuries, and one very exhausted girl.

Word count, essay one: 3795
Word count, essay two: 4565

Total word count: 8360

Monday, June 11, 2007

Comps, Day 1

11 hours of work, one pot of tea, one coke, one V8, one order of Chinese, no self-inflicted wounds, one sleepy girl.

Word count, essay one: 3280
Word count, essay two: 1355

Total word count: 4635

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

It's not easy being green, Part 1

I have some lovely kerosene lamps - a tiny little one from my Grandmother's, and a bigger silver one that I thrifted. I like them very much and so, in order to create a romantic mood one even, I bought some kerosene for them to use in place of candles.

Well, the romance lasted for about 3 seconds before I realised that kerosene reeks. It reeks especially badly when used inside. So, I emptied the lamps, washed them out, and resolved to get ostensibly less offensive lamp oil (which I kind of slacked on, and never did.)

So, now I have a bottle of kerosene kicking around that I can't use. I'm also in the midst of spring cleaning and very, very much want to get rid of this bottle of kerosene somehow. But, after checking around for the local toxic waste depot, found that it's 5 km out of town (after going many more than 5 km just to get to the edge of town), only open for limited hours on Saturday, and not at all accessible by bus.

Now I, being somewhat environmentally friends (well, and student-issue poor) don't have a car. I therefore have no way to get to the depot to drop off this now-much-despised bottle of kerosene, and now officially have no idea what to do with it. I suppose I could keep it around, but it would depress me to do so. My only other option seems to be to find another way to get down there (not going to happen any time soon), find someone to take it for me (very few of my friends have vehicles), or set it outside and hope someone takes it and uses it (rather than just tossing it in the garbage.)

Sadly, no option really seems all that great, which is probably why I've resisted buying the lamp oil - I don't want to get stuck with something else that doesn't work so well and then having to dispose of it, especially if it's considered to be hazardous waste. Yet another reason to consider what I'm buying and bringing home with me.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Long time, no post

It's been ages, again, since my last post. There have been months of studying, and in just over a week now I start writing my comprehensive exam. As such, there really hasn't been much to tell here - little exciting things, little news, really very little done at all, other than long hours of reading on the couch, and moaning and whining about the whole process.

But, always, there are things that get me through. This time they seem to include,

- frequent long phone and online conversations with my wonderfully reassuring and calming sweetie
- dram after dram of hot green tea, in my cute and nearly perfect cast-iron tea pot (a gift from my sweetie's mom)
- small but consistent cleaning of the apartment, until there are large piled of largely unused stuff ready to go out the door, and more room for me to live and breathe and stretch out in this space a bit more
- daily exercise, usually involving running on the lovely new train near home, or yoga practice in my living room with the windows open and the breezes blowing warm air through
- easy but healthy meals of multi-grain breads, big salads, soft sandwiches, and homemade soups
- treats used as bribes for getting work done - chocolate, soft drinks, and now some delicious peach-mango gelato found somewhat hidden away at the local supermarket on my last jaunt
- soft and comfy clothes for curling up on the couch and in bed while I get yet another book read
- understanding emails from friends who, in this mess of academia, I've been quite shamefully ignoring
- dreaming about what I'll get to do when all of this is done - really clean (out) my place, sew some lovely new things with vintage patterns and lovely materials, cook yummy and complex meals, have more time with friends, and, best of all, travel to the big city (BC) and have some much needed time with my sweetie relaxing a lot and working a bit and taking in all sorts of small amusements while on vacation

But, for now I will likely remain boring and tense and mostly glued to my couch with a book in one hand and a pen and a pad of paper in the other, and I'll keep going at this. And then, someday soon, it will be done and little traces of life will start coming to the fore again, which feels very lovely indeed.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Colour Patterns

Athough I'm sure they've been around for awhile, it's only recently that I've started noticing colour patterns around my apartment. Blue bits in the bathroom. Red bits in the living room. Aqua bits in the bedroom.

Aqua has never really been my colour, but I see it cropping up more and more, and keep bringing bits of it home with me.

First, it was this piece of vintage hobnail.

When we cleaned out my grandmother's house, I found this in the very back of one of her top kitchen cupboards, dusty and with beer mugs and pickle dishes stacked in front of it. I fell in love with immediately, and home it came with me (along with a car full of other things.)

Then, came this Avon cream jar.

From the local Goodwill, this was in with someone's excessive collection of vintage Avon perfume and cream jars. It came with a horrible gold plastic top, that has since been tossed. Now, it holds votive candles.

Not long after, I came across these pressed glass candle holders, also from a local thrift store.

They love on my nightstand, and throw some lovely, refracted light.

In more thrifty goodness, iust recently I also picked up a lidded glass jar that now lives in my bathroom.

It's use? Still undecided. I pictured it holding something like cotton balls in the bathroom, but it's a wee bit..well...wee for that, so we'll see.

And, finally, also fed by my thrifting habit, came these second and third bits of hobnail, to live with grandma's bowl.

They don't really have a purpose right now, other than the odd bit of ring and earring holding, but I find myself quite enamoured with them, and also with the entirety of my growing collection of aqua.

Does anyone else have unintentional colour trends surfacing around their homes?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Time for sleep

It's been a crazy week, but it's so nice to come home and fall into bed when the craziness is all over (or almost all over), and actually realise that it's over. There's still work to do - lots and lots of works...months of it, in fact - but tonight there will be reading and early bedtime and, blissfully, sleep.

Happily, when I came home tonight a favourite catalogue was sitting in my mailbox. I'm not really one to catalogue shop, or even to look at them much, but I love thecatalogue from Toast...well...probably a little more than one should love a catalogue. The clothes are lovely and simple and very well made, and reading their catalogue is lovely, almost like reading a story.

Unfortunately, I can't seem to publish pictures tonight, but perhaps I'll share some of my favourites in the morning.

The Purge: The Beginning

Spring has snuck up on me again and, with it, the desire to get some spring cleaning done, and a bunch of stuff out my apartment at the same time.

I'm not afraid to admit I have a little...erm...thrift store habit. And by little, I mean more like a big ginormous one. I really like an awful lot of things that the thriftstore tends to have a lot of - vintage dishes, linens, cookbooks, craft supplies, novels, costume jewelery - and I really like the prices that they have too. There are photos of a bunch of my finds in the works, now that there's some natural light coming in after a very grey winter but, suffice it to say, I have a lot of stuff around.

I'm also not afraid to admit that I have a lot of interests. I cook a lot, knit a reasonable amount and crochet a bit, read, write, sew, exercise, run, dance. I'm trying to learn how to draw and paint a bit as well. In addition, I do the vast majority of my work here, since my campus office is not so great. As a result, I have a lot of stuff.

This isn't a blame game - it's all my stuff, and I take ownership of it, often quite proudly. But I'm not so proud of the sheer amount of it sometimes, and the fact that although my apartment is never in a shambles, it is frequently in some kind of disarray, and it's difficult to clean because of the amount of stuff that I have, especially in the limited amount of time that I have.

So, I'm on a bigger mission than spring cleaning this year. I'm purging since I haven't purged in...well, a while, I suppose. I can't actually remember, which is not such a good sign. Although there have been little purges here and there along the way, I'm aiming high this time.

How high?

I don't really know yet. Thus far I have two boxes, three large garbage bags, and five medium sized bags, plus a full bundle buggy (yes, the bundle buggy goes too), and a dressmaker's dummy (which still leaves me with two more of them - oops.) Other than the fact that the piles of stuff further increase the difficulty of cleaning up, I'm pretty proud of myself for what I've accomplished thus far. But it's not done yet. There's a lot more left to do, a lot more left to simplify, and I'm hoping that posting about it here occasionally will keep me noth motivated and accountable to finally get rid of a bunch of the stuff that's cluttering up my apartment and weighing me down.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Good news

Just as I was on my way out the door tonight, my email pinged at me. Upon checking it, I found that I've been accepted to present at a conference this summer after submitting an abstract almost two months ago now.

I'm feeling pretty proud. I've presented at some big name conferences before, but in more student-oriented capacities, or by invitation of someone I knew. I'm really proud of those conferences, and the work I did for them, but this one I feel especially proud of because it feels, moreso than the others, like this one was all me. I did the work and was accepted into a full fleged academic conference all by myself, on the merits of what I do, how I write, and how well I fit with what the organizers wanted. And, really, it feels pretty damn good.

But, given the supposedly serious academic nature of it all, perhaps I should stop referring to this as my "Big Girl Conference" soon.


I'm a sporadic blogger, and that's probably being really, really nice about it. When the academic stuff takes over, pretty much everything else winds up out the window. As such, my posting is rare, at best, and tends to be devoid of logic, theme, continuity, or (most importantly) images. I'd like to say I can change this, but I don't really know that I can right now - there's just too much that needs to be done now, and it seems like this space is one of the first bits to go by the wayside.

It saddens me sometimes, to see how little I do around here, and how few people are probably actually looking my way. But I have to admit, the fact that I've had two recent comments has made me very happy. I don't really think I should blog exclusively for other people, but knowing that someone was out there (38 or so posts into the life of this blog, yipes!) may have given me a bit of a shot of inspiration. Who knows...maybe I'll actually do something with this space one of these days, and reply to the nice people who said hi to me, once my email is once again functional.

Truthfully, I'd really like to.

So...where do I go from here?

Monday, February 19, 2007


September 18, 1996- February 19, 2007

Annie died this morning just after 9 am. She had a quiet night, was calm in the morning, and went quietly and peacefully with people who loved her and who she loved nearby.

I am not so quiet and peaceful, and there's a damn huge hole in my heart right now.

I know this too will pass, but for now there's a lot of hurting and crying to get through. Soon, perhapd I'll post some memories of her. Until then, I've started to knit some blankets to send to shelter dogs - I can't take care of my munchkin anymore, but at least I can try to take care of some other animals in need.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Goodbye, Sweet Girl

Last night, I got the call. The call. Not a call.

Tommorow morning, first thing, my puppy dog is going to be put down.

There were many tears last night. There will probably be more today (okay, not probably - I started again a few lines down, and they show no signs of letting up). Despite some of the semi-good over-the-counter drugs, I got all of 5 not very good hours of sleep last night, and here I am now with crap on the TV and a laptop in bed because sleep is just No Good and Not Coming right now, and possibly won't tonight either.

Now, I have to decide if I want to be there or not when it happens. My parents, who adore her and take care of her will be there with her, so she absolutely won't be alone at the end, and hopefully won't be too distressed or upset immediately before it happens. My brother likely won't. But I still find myself scared that if I'm not there, she won't know how much I love her. But, really, no one seems to think it's necessary that I be there, and my parents have suggested that I not make the trek so that my last memories of her will only be the good and happy ones. Really, I know that she knows that I love her, and that she loves me back with all of her big, open, unconditional doggie heart. I also know that as much as my heart is breaking right now, going back and coming in the door to see her for the last time, and then having a last night with her, and finally watching her rest her head on her paws for the last time would probably tear it completely asunder. I would absolutely do it to ensure that she wasn't alone at the end. But she won't be, and I just don't know. Logically, I know that being there is probably not the best thing for me and, given that my folks will be there, my presence won't drastically improve anything for her, given the situation. Mostly, I think I'm just torn apart that even if I go home, this will be the last time I see her. There's a last time, and it's not in some far flung future - the last time is either going to be the time I saw her a few weeks ago or tomorrow, and there won't be any other times now - no visits in between, no stops home to see her, no wagging at the door, no walks, no sharing the bed, no chin scratched or belly rubs. No more Annie. But still, I feel torn.

I know this is the right thing to do. She's been sick for years, even though she's only eight and a half years old. Her kidneys are shut down, there's all manner or tocix crap coursing through her, it's physically painful for her to eat, and she doesn't go for walks or even get off the bed when dad gets home from work any more. She's still as loving as ever, but that's about all that she's got left, and it's just not fair to leave her like this, especially when the end will come in the next few weeks and, if it's not at the hands of the vet, it will be the result of toxicity or starvation, which is far worse. We won't let that happen, and it's not fair for her to suffer just so we can have a few more days with her.

Of course, knowing this doesn't make it any easier on me right now, and even though I've been expecting this for quite some time, I still feel as though death has come up, kicked me in the ass and tweaked my nose. I think grief is highly personal, and don't really know about the stages of grief model as a whole, but I've been through a few of them already. Denial's been going on for months now, with me hoping and hoping that she'd get better through changed diets, love and all the positive energy we could send her. I've been bargaining for a few weeks now, since some of the first signs that the end might be coming showed up. I'd hoped I could trade something I loved - barring my sweetie, family, and friends - and for awhile I hoped the loss of the TV remote counted as a trade off, but apparently that was a no-go and I found it again later (and yes, that was a weak attempt at a joke-through-tears, and not one of my better efforts.) Grief I've now got in spades - just tears and tears and tears, interrupted by the occasional bit of weeping and gasping for breath. Even when I'm not actively crying, I sit here and the tears just roll down my face, one after the other.

There are no pictures for this post. Some may come later, when I'm up to it, but for now I can't bear to look through them long enough to pick one, or to get it up here.

I'll be fine. I know I'll be fine, in weeks, or months. This too will pass, and there will be good memories, and great relief that my sweet girl isn't itchy or in pain or unable to have a life anymore. Soon, I hope, there will be some posts where I remember some good times and some funny times, the ones that will mark our time with you much more than this terrible time will. But right now, this second, this hurts like hell, and makes me want to alternately tear out my hair, scream, and throw up at the sheer awfulness of it all.

Goodbye, Little Girl, my Munchkin, my Annie. I hope you've had a good life, in spite of it all, and that you know how completely you are loved, and how we would have done (and did do) everything possible to have more time with you and to keep you as healthy and happy and comfortable as we possibly could. You will always, always be remembered, and loved, and treasured. I love you more than I can possibly say.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A taxonomy of tics

Since it's been circulating and a few people have put out general invites to talk about six weird (I prefer "interesting" or "unusual" things about yourself, I thought I'd give it a go. Turned out this was harder than I thought, though...

1. I love alliteration, almost to the point of pain (please see the post title above for confirmation of this fact). I think something insane like 90% (or more) of the papers that I've written academically have involved intentional alliteration in the title. It just sounds better to me. In case you were wondering, my titles also tend to be a comprised of a short alliteration, followed by a colon and then a more specific elaboration of the title. Of course, now that I write this I feel completely stuck in some sort of academic rut and feel the need to rethink my whole academic strategy.

2. I cannot stand to have my belly button touched. I can barely stand to touch it myself, and it's worse when other people try. It totally skeeves me out - I don't know why, but it feels increibly weird and gross and I just can't deal. Even the though of having it touched kinda makes me shudder. *shudder*

3. I absolutely love the taste of herb and garlic cream cheese on cinnamon raisin bagels. I totally cannot explain this, but I find it to be yummy.

4. I am petrified of anything to do with my eyes. It's lessened enough over the past few years that I can deal with gel eyedrops if I can put them in myself, but really, that's about as good as it gets. When I was three, I went to the eye doctor, and they needed to put in eye drops. I freaked, and dad had to haul me into the exam room by my legs, while I was clinging, cartoon-fashion, to the edge of the door. In subsequent years, I recall them sedating me a few times before taking me in for the annual appointment. I really am better about it now (or, honestly, probably just better at hiding it, so long as no one checks out my blood pressure when I'm there), but anything to do with eyes in general - my own, or those on TV or in books or whatever - is just plain old no good.

5. I can't watch horror or suspense films (oh, heck, I can't even read Agatha Christie books right before bed). I have a hugely overactive imagination and, if I do, it goes haywire, especially at night. Once, in undergrad, I watched a scary movie with friends. Despite the fact that my matress was on the floor at the time, when I went up to bed I had to jump onto the mattress from a few feet away so that anything that was underneath wouldn't be able to get me. I was 22. I don't think it was until the next year that I had to get someone to take me to the bathroom after another scary movie. I think it was at that point that I learned my lesson, and just stopped. While it might be incredibly amusing for the people around me, the ensuing stress is just not so much fun.

6. I can't deal with crowds of people. Or shopping malls. Or, worse yet, both. In the middle of crowds, even small ones, I start to freak out and really need to keep myself focused just to get out in one piece without losing it. Once, when I happened to have my sweetie's cell phone with me, I got caught in a massive crowd of people near his office and I called him. I sounded so distressed on the phone, just from the crowd, that he could hear it in my voice and was worried about me (such a sweetie!) I avoid malls like the plague now, and the few times that I actually make it into one only serve to remind me how much I dislike them and crowds of people.

I'm not really one for tagging people, but go wild, if you want to.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Ups and downs

It's been an up and down sort of day, the kind that leaves you ready to keel over on the couch at the end of the day you're so tired.

After a pretty good sleep-in, I got up and, in a show of getting the new year off to a good academic start, finished off some revisions on a paper right off and sent them into the journal. This was followed by a healthy veggie lunch, a nice walk, a visit to the local dog run, and... email that I didn't get the big scholarship that I applied for.

This isn't a big surprise, and this certainly isn't the first time I've been rejected. The chances of getting it are slim, and even slimmer given some of the elements of my research (it's new, a lot of people don't know/trust the field, it's a new department, really, all kind of things.) But I found myself sitting here, whining to my sweetie about how it feels so much like I'm battling my way upstream most of the time in my academic life, despite promises of yummy sushi and lots of hugs.

I know that I don't always feel this way, and part of it is the fact that I don't always take the easy route to do my work, because I really do like to push myself and learn a lot, but there are so many times when it's insanely frustrating. There are few people in my department who "get" my research, and fewer who do anything similar enough to offer me help. Heck, although the field is growing, there just aren't that many of us doing it period. Getting in with the group that are working on it frequently feels like fighting my way into an old boy's club. It's hard to get funding, especially since I need really general awards because there aren't any available that are specific to my field, and everyone's fighting for the general ones anyway.

That reads like a sob story, which is likely at least in part because I'm pretty damn tired and having a sugar crash right now. And I know that everyone goes through this sometimes, no matter what it is that they do. It's just that this is one of those up and down days (made worse because it started at the up bit, and came significantly down later. But, tomorrow's another day, and hopefully there will be more work done, and emails sent, and reading finished that will help keep me on this track a little better, and in a way that's a little less frustrated and frustrating.

Here's hoping.

New Year's non-resolutions

Or, any day can be a new year, if you want it to be.

I'd be lying if I said that I didn't make resolutions - I do - but I've never really held with making them on New Year's necessarily. Sure, I have some things in mind that I'd like for this year. I'd like to be a bit healthier, and to eat a bit better and to exercise a bit more. I'd like to be a bit more productive, and write a few more papers, present at a few more conferences, and maybe get something published. I'd like some more time with friends, some more time with me, and some other personal stuff. But these are things that I want all the time, and things that I'm willing to renew my committment too on a regular basis, not just on the first day of the year.

And so that's what I do - if I've been lax in something, I renew my committment to it. That doesn't mean I won't slip again (we all do, at some point), or pull it off perfectly the first go around. But it does allow me a lot of chances to make things better. I know we all do this anyway, and we don't rely on New Year's, and that the particular day is largely symbolic more than anything else. But I think it's important at this time of year to be reminded that we have all kinds of chances, and not just this one, to think about our lives, think about the changes that we want, and to put them into play.

This year, I guess you could say I'm going to allow any day that I want to be New Year's, and I'm going to work on whatever I want to, whenever I want to, and just keep trying to make things better.

Happy New Year's, all!