A New Year

While I like the concept of personal improvement through self-evaluation and goal-setting, I find New Year’s resolutions to be entirely pointless. But having said that, I have a somewhat lengthy list of goals that I intend to work on throughout this year. And since one of those is essentially to blog more1 I’ll be chronicling all of that right here. Of course, I fully intend to continue my normal posting of whatever strikes my fancy because I’m the first to admit my life is hardly thrilling and a daily account of such is going to be mighty with the boring. Nevertheless, I figure this is as good a venue as any to hold myself accountable for the goals I’ve laid out for myself. Which is not to say I’m going to be rigid about this and expecting to accomplish every darn thing by year’s end. I’m thinking of all this as more a road map for stuff I want to do and, well, I’ll take stock as time goes on.

So, here goes:

Job — I need a new job and that’s all I’m saying on that. :-p

Fitness — Since the pain issues are behind me2 I’ve let my yoga fall by the wayside. I would like to get back to some yoga each day, but for now I’m striving for a few times a week at the very least. Especially on days where Uschi and I don’t get out for our marathon walking.

Photography — I’ve had my shiny red Nikon D3100 for over a year now and even though I’ve learned a lot I still feel like a total newb with it. I’d also like to invest in at least one new lens for it because I’m really lacking in zoom and macro features. Really, I just want to get more comfortable with my camera and continue to improve on my own photography skills (or lack thereof).

Food — Believe it or not I went almost all of last year without baking anything. There were a bunch of reasons for this, but it still surprises me because not only do I really enjoy baking, I find it a great stress reliever and I’m sure that first goal alone will require that in spades. Plus, I have so many cupcake designs I’ve been wanting to make! But even more than that I’d really like to make an effort to make more diverse dishes. Cooking for one tends to lead me to be lazy because it seems like so much effort for just me and since I don’t eat meat I find that I fall back on the same meals again and again even though I can make something else.

Writing — Academic writing is now a thing of the past3 which means from a creative standpoint I should be writing almost nonstop and instead I’ve found myself doing very much the opposite. Even blogging seems beyond me. And I would like this to change.

Books — No school means more reading!

Websites — Enough procrastinating! Either I get the sites updated (or off the ground!) or I’m letting domains expire and making space for hostees. Also, I think this place needs a bit of a facelift.

Gaming — Okay, truth is this is just to ensure my list had some fun in it, but also I got Animal Crossing: New Leaf for Christmas and I figure I’ll be playing that a bit almost every day for quite awhile.

Uschi — In an effort to work more with Uschi on her one major distraction, I’m hoping to get her enrolled in some training classes. I’m thinking eventually we could do rally obedience or even get her certified as a therapy dog. At any rate, I almost always have something to report on the shepherd so she deserves a goal catergory all her own. ;-)

Now this is not an exhaustive list by any means, but these are the big ones I’ve had in mind. I’m sure I’ll tweak this as the year goes, but for now I’ll see how these all pan out.

  1. At the least I hope to blog more than I did last year!
  2. Well, there is still pain, but certainly not as extreme.
  3.   At least not a thing of the foreseeable future!

Penguins!

Seemingly out of nowhere, I have a cold. Let me tell you, it takes a long time to do anything when you have to stop every minute or so to blow your nose. Especially when it’s baking and decorating cupcakes because that requires the extra step of hand-washing before getting back into the project. Anyway, my snot-filled head aside, yesterday after three trips to the grocery store, I finally started my holiday baking. Today, I made these:

These little penguins will be joined shortly by yet more cupcakes — including noms for the shepherd who is currently nosing her head under my arm. For now I have presents to wrap and box up for tomorrow’s post.

Unrelated, remember how I moved my site back to my web server for the umpteenth time and subsequently broke most of the images here? Well, as of yesterday they’re all fixed!1 Yes, you read that correctly. It took me almost this entire year. I didn’t work on this every single day, but it was a very long process and it was possibly one of the most tedious tasks I have ever voluntarily undertaken.

There are, however, still a few related tasks to this that I haven’t yet finished. One is setting up a hub for the galleries I’ve created. I have a gallery that isn’t fully alt-tagged and another that isn’t organized or alt-tagged yet. And as I want to create a page for each of my guide dogs, I also have galleries to set up for them.2 Now that the brunt of the tedious work is behind me, though, I am hopeful that this all won’t take yet another year to finish. Especially because I have other sites I want to work on. Like maybe this one. *ahem*

EDIT: Wouldn’t it just be that in the same post that I proclaim all the images across the site are fixed the images IN THE POST are broken. *facepalms* Anyway, after some minor plugin tweaking, I believe everything is working as intended. Sorry about that, guys.

  1. Cue barrage of emails/comments alerting me to all the images I missed that are still broken. *groans*
  2. Well, Dolly’s is set up, but there’s no actual page yet.

Yoga Cupcakes

I may have to take some inspiration from these confections:

Cupcakes topped with gingerbread men in yoga poses

Yoga cookie cutters are available here. And there are more yoga cupcakes here.

Mickey & Friends

The good news is that I found absolutely no mouse droppings this morning nor any signs of things being chewed on. The bad news is that I found absolutely no mice caught in any traps. Well, I suppose the bad news is debatable because half of me was downright terrified to find a dead mouse. Or a live one for that matter.

I’m guessing that it’s likely I merely repelled them by my physical presence in the kitchen baking cupcakes until the wee hours this morning since it doesn’t appear that any of the traps were touched let along sprung, but I did hear sounds of chewing coming from the vicinity of under the sink. After I screamed like a little girl and had the obligatory freak out, which seemed to clue the mice in to stop gnawing on my house and promptly stopped the sounds, I summed the courage to take a look in the cabinet and found neither a mouse nor any signs of a hole being created. So, the little rat bastards are either chewing behind it or below it, but I can’t quite determine where since I can’t exactly move my kitchen sink. No, I don’t have a trap in there because I only put the traps where I found droppings yesterday morning and the cabinets were free of such filth.

What I did notice was that my mother has her trash sitting on what we call the back porch, but is less a porch and more the enclosed, uninsulated back of the house that leads to the basement and the back entrance to her part of the house. Her theory is that I’m a filthy slob who leaves food out and doesn’t clean her stove well enough and that’s what attracted the mice; I’m thinking it’s her stinky garbage sitting two feet from my back door. Either way I’d be ever so happy if I’ve managed to scare them off to parts unknown. As it is I hold them responsible for a dozen cupcakes being ruined. I set the timer but forgot to hit start and much as I hoped they were just very browned, the bottoms were completely burnt. Sadly, I don’t have enough ingredients to whip up another batch, so let’s hope decorating today goes perfectly or I won’t be bringing any noms to my grandparents’ tomorrow.

Anyway, I’m headed to my father’s sometime today so the little pests will have free reign to get their necks snapped by their desire for some peanut butter.

#Firefly10th – “Objects in Space” & “Serenity”

#Firefly10th - "Objects in Space"#Firefly10th‘s rewatch is winding down with today, though, I anticipate some plan will be unveiled regarding the three unaired episodes. Ten years ago today the last episode of Firefly aired . . . or rather the first episode aired because FOX is baffling sometimes. A week before the show had been officially canceled, which also was the day that “Objects in Space” — the episode intended as a season finale — aired.

I’ll reserve a more in-depth rambling on about all that for a post of its own because I am just far too preoccupied by the other one million and twelve things going on. The most pressing of which I can’t really go into here as of yet, but for serious guys you don’t even know how much I want to. I’m halfway convinced I may explode from either nervousness or sheer excitement because it is seriously that awesome.1

#Firefly10th - "Serenity"Instead I have been obsessively working at distracting myself. This has been good in that I finished holiday shopping and even wrapped everything needing to be wrapped and with the exception of one gift I have yet to mail and one gift on backorder I am done with all holiday preparations that do not involve baking. And, yes, there will be baking. I would say it was stress baking because I totally do that, but I guess it’s more neurotic, excess energy baking and, um, the fact that it is the holiday season and all. I need to find some pink jelly beans, though.

I’ve also been devoting a lot of time to learning my new, and only completely intimidating, camera. I’m not seeing any specific improvement in my good vs. “throw this blurry thing out” photographs, but the good ones are actually something I am deeply proud of and I just about never say that. I’m trying to decide on my best photo to submit to BorrowLenses.com’s contest thingy. I’m finding myself a bit torn, which I never thought I would ever say about my photography.

Flickr recently updated their long overdue app and I may have thrown a bit of a shitfit that it was totally inaccessible thanks to the captcha attached to the login screen. I’ve been dabbling with Instagram for awhile now and I thought that was probably the thing that would push me straight over to them . . . and then they went all banoonoos with their policies. Right after Flickr sent me an email that didn’t address any of the accessibility issues I was whinging on about, but I saw that there was another quick update to the app and lo did it not require me to solve an impossible captcha. So, even though Instagram seems to have recanted their policy change, I’ll be sticking with Flickr for the time being. I think what I really will do in the longrun, though, is watermark my images and just upload them to my own webspace. I already do that for work, but I haven’t before thought it necessary with my own photos. The original images aren’t accessible to anyone but me and I figured that was enough. Perhaps not.

Work is absolutely crazypants. First, of course, it’s the holiday season so things are insane simply because of that. But mostly we’ve been on a redesign kick. It started with me reworking the website and from there we came up with a new logo and that required redoing all of our promotional materials. And then due to some recent events we’ve been revising all of our contracts, which is possibly the most complicated thing in the history of ever. Not to mention boring and time consuming. We’re almost done with all that, though, and then we can have fun working on new promo designs. One we have planned coming up is going to be super fun, I think, and hopefully will be as successful as I anticipate.

Anyway, enough of my random babblings. Need to find something productive to distract myself with.

  1. ASDFGHJKL!!!!!!!!!!