Archives for December 2012

Non-Resolutions for 2013

I don’t really believe in the idea of New Year’s resolutions. Goal-setting and self-evaluation don’t need to be limited by a calendar date and just stating your intentions of doing something isn’t really actively changing anything. However, like prior years I do have some things I plan for the coming year. Specifically I have three things I am going to attempt to do each day:

  1. Practice yoga for roughly an hour.
  2. Post on this blog and/or write something.
  3. Take a photograph.

I will confess that I don’t intend to force myself through any of those because that just might be crazy. My goal is to have a habit of doing each of these and both being accountable for and the actual act of daily repetition will hopefully work towards doing that.

All of these things are important to me in different ways and to varying degrees I’ve let all of them fall by the wayside. I’m striving to be more comfortable about my abilities as a photographer and get more creative with things that I would like to shoot, which has been something I’ve already started working on but not to the frequency I’m proposing. My writing has taken a supreme backseat to lots of other things over the last year and thinking about it the last time I really felt like writing was when I was blogging daily throughout 2011. Of course, the issue with that was I had less desire to blog, so I’m incorporating the two together and we’ll see where it goes. The yoga is the most disconcerting of this list because I was actually doing really well with practicing daily. I managed to spend a week at my father’s even and not miss a day and yet throughout this past month I’ve been very sporadic and lazy about it. Considering it’s the only thing that’s been of any help with my pain issues this is something that is totally unacceptable.

As luck would have it, there are a few relevant challenges to help kick start my 2013 plans. I’ll natter on those more specifically if/when I decide to officially participate, though I have already confirmed one I plan to partake in that isn’t specific to the things listed here. I am very intrigued by all of the challenges because essentially it’s providing a support system and by extension another layer of accountability. However, there’s been a few events over the last several days that have dampened my enthusiasm for one specific challenge I was thinking about and I’m feeling more than a little conflicted about participating.

In any case, 2013 is looking to be an interesting year!

2013 TBR Pile Challenge

EDIT: Please see the 2014 TBR Challenge post for further updates.

My to-be-read shelf is ridiculous. According to Goodreads it currently stands at 396 books. Which means even if I read only the books on that shelf at the same average speed I generally read it would take me more than two years to get through. And the last time I worked at whittling it down was in 2010 when I got it down into the double digits.

So, seems I came across the annual TBR Pile Challenge at the perfect time. Below is my list for the year. The rules specify only twelve books and two alternates and that they each must be published prior to 2012. My hope is to get through more than just those dozen books especially since I also have several books on my shelf that are outside of the scope of the challenge rules. We’ll see how this goes and I’ll update this post as I read through the books and link to the applicable reviews.

A sampling of my to-be-read shelf messily piled up1. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (2009) — completed August 23, 2013

2. Lucky You by Carl Hiaasen (1997)

3. Just a Geek by Wil Wheaton (2004)

4. The Art of Racing the Rain by Garth Stein (2008) — completed August 9, 2013

5. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (2004)

6. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt (1996)

7. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (1976)

8. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult (2004)

9. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (1998)

10. Touch the Top of the World by Erik Weihemmayer (2001)

11. Watership Down by Richard Adams (1972)

12. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (2003)

Alternates: I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (1954) and Goliath by Scott Westerfeld (2011)

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

I had already planned to do a photo recap post before seeing this week’s photo challenge as I’d done something similar last year. Except that I didn’t exclusively use my personal photographs last time since I went a few months with little or no pictures taken. (And, let’s face it, that one of Uschi standing on her head had to be on the list!) Anyway, let’s get on to a smattering of my favorite photos from the last year:

The last year was much the same in terms of photographic activity, though, the last few months I have been striving to be more proactive with my camera. I won’t go so far as to boast about my skills as a photographer because I still very much think of myself as a beginner. However, I do admit that there have been more than a handful I’ve taken over the last year that I am not only quite fond of but actually have some pride in and I have learned a great deal more about the technical aspects of taking photos. I’m still debating which specifically I think is the absolute best photo to submit to BorrowLenses’ Best of 2012 project.

In any case, I expect I’ll be nattering on about photography more in the new year as I work my way through some projects I intend to participate in and learn more about that shiny red camera pictured above.

Dead Mouse

Yesterday I caught a mouse. It’s the first sign of a mouse since Monday’s horrible discovery. I’ve been utterly terrified about the eventual mouse catching. Not because of the dead mouse, though I wasn’t looking forward to that either, but because everyone I know seems to have a LIVE mouse story. One friend had a flipped trap and thought the nasty rodent was dead only to pick it up and have the mouse reach around to bite her! Another told me about a mouse that strolled out of his closet and casually planted himself in the middle of his bedroom with him sitting a few feet away at the computer. Yet another friend told me about a mouse hanging out on her dresser one day that she only noticed when she reached down to pick up her jewelry; the mouse was not even three inches from her hand. And if the mouse stories weren’t horrific enough I heard my fair share of rat stories, too.

Anyway, my traumas aside this particular mouse was very dead and I still had the requisite freak out, but somehow I managed to dispose of it without having a complete meltdown. I would like to thank my boss for her gift of this stretched canvas print of Uschi because it is incredibly awesome and also came wrapped in the thickest plastic bag known to man which I subsequently used in the retrieval of the mouse and trap.

I replaced the sprung trap afterward which was near where I heard chewing a few days ago. I did a quick check around the kitchen for droppings and only found a small bit near the spice rack over the radiator. The assumption being that it belongs to the now dead mouse even though it’s not the trap closest to the droppings and the small amount seems to be in opposition to the mouse’s large size. Then again there wasn’t any evidence that he ate anything aside from the peanut butter bait so lest I sound like I’m complaining about the lack of mouse crap let me move on.

It’s highly unlikely there was just the one mouse so for the time being the traps remain set. I’m still more than a little disgusted by the entire thing. I want to catch all the mice and be rid of them, but I’m equally okay with them living their disease-infested lives elsewhere so long as they completely avoid shitting throughout my house. Mostly I’m consumed with terror about the possibility of coming across a live mouse. Probably I’ll have a heart attack or something.

In the long-term I’ve given serious thought to getting a cat. Even though I’m rather allergic, but I’m halfway sure I would rather deal with the hives than having to ever deal with another mouse. I sound like a wimp and I don’t care. I really am beyond bothered by this entire ordeal. Of course after voicing this idea one of my friends made a joke that I’d probably end up with the one cat afraid of mice and you know my history with animals is so ridiculous this is honestly more likely than not.

Also, I have now succeeded in ruining any appetite I might have had for breakfast. Sorry if I unintentionally did the same for you.


Uschi with her head burried in snow as she digs through it

Uschi had quite the day today. First we had a storm that dumped nearly a foot of snow on us, which you can see is clearly for digging. And she also received a box of goodies from Brooke.

Me? I’m still waiting. . . .