Friday, December 28, 2007

Number Crunching 107

Hopefully, this is the beginning of only sticking to this subject once a week. The way I had originally intended. *rolls eyes* Yeah, I think we have established if I was any good at guessing I wouldn't be in a financial mess, haven't we?

Cash Flow Total = -75.49

At this point, I think I have accounted for everything in NetWorthIQ. I'm crossing my fingers that the budget for January comes close to working. What I'm afraid will throw it off is taking care of leftover mess from December. To a certain degree, it can't be helped. The biggest issue is some how almost all my auto bills are due in the first half of the month.

Financial Projects to do
  • Finish setting up Financial Notebook
  • Call Liberty Mutual about moving bill date
  • Call First Access and see if they have a copy of house appraisal.
  • Research date for school money and add to calendar.
  • Set date to start Ebay garage sales.
  • Set date to start using online surveys for money.
  • Set a date to start using Project Wonderful ads
  • Sell Aluminum cans
  • Do paperwork to get Citizens refund
  • Fix Dfrd. Comp. entries in Quicken.
  • Research into selling writing online
  • See Capital One about hold on account - Saturday


Read Free!
The BookWorm



There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Philosophical thought of the day

To be human means the inability to constantly do what is best for oneself.

Not that I can share what caused that poignant observation, but trust me when I say it's amusing in a karmic way. I don't mean to be cruel or laugh at anyone or lord over with superiority (Lord and Lady KNOWS I've been guilty of the same thing in the past), but it's still amusing to see people not stick to the one sentence that would allow them to walk away with dignity. Hence the observation and the resolve to learn from someone else's mistakes.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Holiday Catch-Up

So I slacked off the diet and the Iron Experiment, but I totally made up for it by gutting and reorganizing the back bedroom. I know why I felt compelled to work on it; that's the money point of my house according to Feng Shui. Stuff to sell is all one location. And bonus, I cleared out one of the closet that when in use prevented me from tearing out an ugly drywall partition.

Trying out an idea for size: research to see if Ikea has a bathroom storage unit that will fit in the closet space. Buy and knockout shelves of closet to put unit inside. Then I have unit when ready to remodel bathroom.

Cleaning house isn't what I had planned to do, but house and me is happier for it. Now if only I could settle into a happy routine. I was going to move chores to when after I got home. I keep accidentally doing them in the morning. Which would work if I came home and wrote, but I come home and play computer games. And tonight I'm exhausted, I think I over did carbs between lunch and supper. So hopefully everything will make better sense in the morning.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Best Superhero girlfriend EVER!

Super Stupor: Dec. 27, 2007

How I cackled.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

So totally called this one

Mark's Daily Apple: Medieval Serfs Ate Better Than We Eat

and my post from way back when: August 31st Thoughts on Food

I love being right! Especially when going with gut instincts for most of the data.

I'll have to do catch-up posts later though. We are swamped at work.

Week 27 = 182.7
Week 26 = 185.3
Week 25 = 188.2
Week 24 = 188
Week 23 = 186.7
Week 22 = 187.4
Week 21 = 186.9
Week 20 = 186.2
Week 19 = 186.4
Week 18 = 186.3
Week 17 = 186.5
Week 16 = 187.2
Week 15 = 188.6
Week 14 = 188.8
Week 13 = 189
Week 12 = 187.6
Week 11 = 187.8
Week 10 = 189.6
Week 9 = 188.9
Week 8 = 193.4
Week 7 = 194.5
Week 6 = 194.5
Week 5 = 195.5
Week 2 = 199
Week 1 = 205

What really makes me feel skinny? My choker Tiger Eye no longer chokes me. :D

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Iron Experiment: Slack off

No excuses for it, but luckily change in eating habits seem to be helping. I'm going to ramp up the exercise frequency during the holidays, because I agree with Crabby. Holidays are supposed to be a different kind of eating than the other days of the year. In other words, indulge in pie and bread but don't gorge.

Week 26 = 185.3
Week 25 = 188.2
Week 24 = 188
Week 23 = 186.7
Week 22 = 187.4
Week 21 = 186.9
Week 20 = 186.2
Week 19 = 186.4
Week 18 = 186.3
Week 17 = 186.5
Week 16 = 187.2
Week 15 = 188.6
Week 14 = 188.8
Week 13 = 189
Week 12 = 187.6
Week 11 = 187.8
Week 10 = 189.6
Week 9 = 188.9
Week 8 = 193.4
Week 7 = 194.5
Week 6 = 194.5
Week 5 = 195.5
Week 2 = 199
Week 1 = 205

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Friday, December 21, 2007

Number Crunching 106

I didn't really expect to have a whole week of nothing but numbers. But if I was any good at guesstimating, would I be in the financial trouble I'm in?

Showing net worth, why do I hate the idea?

Because there is no other fault besides my own stupid incompetence and I hate looking incompetent. At the same time, there is no improvements without being brutally honest. Women in Red post their financial standings. But I'm not going to lie and say it doesn't feel easier without saying numbers. I pull band-aids off me slowly too; try it if you don't see the connection.

After fighting with Quicken most of the night, I decided to take the plunge at NetWorthIQ. It's still not completely right; I didn't pack all my records (and I think I found more stuff to add to Quicken tracking). But that's been every day dealing with this money stuff. I may actually understand Quicken by the time I can buy a new version.

Dec. 23rd: I put in guesses for student loans and the mortgage and corrected those today. So my net worth went up, but not out of negative category.

Read Free!
The BookWorm



There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Number Crunching 105

So I have budget, I have resolve, I have this series on blogs to keep me on the straight and narrow, and feeling mentally the equivalent of too-tight-but-still-zip up jeans. And I haven't even made it to January yet.

Since I don't see a way to reduce the bills, which is where the eat-up of money is stemming from, I have to get more income. The first method of that is to get a second job.

Though honestly it would be a third job for me, since I already have Faire and school/writing on the plate. And I am feeling better about my chances of getting paid back for Faire but it'll be years before I can count on that money. I could fit one in that is part time and with just weekend hours for a couple of months (pizza delivery maybe, hospital phone bank), but I'd prefer to try everything else first.

Next option that popped up is hocking something at a pawnbrokers. I'm already leery of this option due to my past financial history. I see me very easily losing something I didn't want to lose. And what I wouldn't consider a big loss if lost, pawnbrokers don't want any more of.

Next option is selling stuff. I had already weeded out some unused decorations and comics I didn't want to keep any more with the object to put them up for bid on Ebay. To this list I'm going to read through my book collection and sell what I don't use. I usually give that stuff to Mom to sell at her shop, but she doesn't get much for little items. It's better to let her have furniture, kitchen gadgets, or clothes. I also have artwork I saved in college. Most of it is decades old and the literary magazine was going to throw it away. I don't know what I can do with it that earns money. I just have to set up the Ebay storefront and figure out how to advertise for the sells.

Final option is setting up the websites to at least earn their keep. It only costs $9.00 a month each for the Library and Alt. BM Site, but it's paid out in two year increments and that's a lot of dough at once. If I could earn that much in ad revenue, I wouldn't have to worry about them. At least, this idea is a little more thought out than the "sell your fiction through your website" idea. Money and fanfiction can lead to legal issues, which I'd rather avoid. But my own stuff...

Maybe that's the way to bring back writing tutorials. People actually paying me to write them. Still needs thinking.

Oh, I forgot I signed up for some online survey stuff that's supposed to pay. I haven't had time to check into that more.

Displaying net worth? Some personal finance sites do it. And while I didn't have any pangs posting my weight numbers and progress pictures, I just had my brain go to a skidding halt over posting numbers dealing with money.

Spock says, "Fascinating." I'm going to have to think about this some more.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Number Crunching 104

Yesterday while I was tracking down insurance premiums, I ran across this blog: Getting Finances Done. Some days it feels like I've tried every financial plan under the sun and they all have one result: I forget about following them either out of anger or tiredness and ka-boom go the finances.

The more I read of sjpeer's system and ideas, the more I think I can do this. First off, he is using GTD principles. Overall, GTD is working for me (though I'm bad about emptying the InBasket) but I haven't applied the thought processes to money yet. I'm already trying to get to a zero-based budget and didn't even know it.

Suze Orman is good for getting to the roots of financial problems and the emotional ties. The Women in Red are good at making me not feel alone with financial goof-ups. But I think this is a system I can actually use instead of always being in the theoretical category over a budget.

First step is to set-up the zero-based budget and accounting.

Well, that took forever. But I have it. Retirement ends up at 10%, emergency savings at 2.5%, fun money at 0.4%, and everything else is 87.1%. BUT... everything else isn't as big as it should be. I took the garbage bill off the table. I'm ticked with them over 2007's service and I don't think it's my fault so they can damn well waiting for their money. I can buy some groceries and eat supper in Baton Rouge some days, can buy gasoline to get to work.

Not adding school money was deliberate. I have specific plans for it that will hopefully free money for other monthly purchases.
  1. Fully fund the STEF. The hard part will be making sure I don’t spend it because I have it available. What I eventually want to do is be able to start buying the 6-month CDs and create a ladder of out-of-reach-but-still-available emergency funds.
  2. Pay off what I owe my parents.
  3. Buy a dishwasher. Yes, there are smarter uses for the money, like decreasing my debt load or saving it, so just call it my “snap” purchase. I’ve been promising myself a dishwasher every year for going on nine years now and let the money fritter away and this year I just snapped.
  4. Pay garbage for the whole year. I’m still trying to back track what went wrong in 2007, but I think the safest way to make sure it doesn’t happen again with this company is to pay ahead. I have the same theory about the electric company, but I will wait to see if they reestablish levelizied billing and automatic payments onto my account before making it a plan.
  5. Whatever is left is allocated to long-term savings for a new laptop or a trip.


I have very simple goal for the month of January: get through it without letting the checking account go negative.

The second goal is to follow the principle of weekly review. Only with finances and the state I’m in now, I need to start with a daily review of everything I’ve spent. That way I keep Quicken updated and nothing broadsides me.

It has to work. I have other options, but getting a second job isn’t something I really want to do.

Projects: Change Deferred Compensation.
Get the house appraised.
Clean out the InBasket.
Find the rest of Waste Management invoices.
Review the home insurance policy.
See when I can expect school money to be in.
Set-up Ebay/Half.com store.


Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Number Crunching 103

Sumofabitch. This can be depressing. i asked Mustard if he was willing to give up eating if I gave up groceries. He buried his head in his food dish.

My parents won't let me starve, but they will make me stray from weight loss. So buying groceries is still a necessity.

I got the Quicken breakdown onto three versions of the 2008 monthly budget breakdown--trying to snag where the money goes. The macro breakdown is now at 10% retirement, 5% emergency, 5% fun, and 80% everything else. Then I ranked my categories into monthly expenses I have to pay, what I should pay, debt, and stuff I can pay cash for (i.e. the stuff I can control spending on but usually don't).

Spreadsheet #1 Breakdown with current bills: I run out of money at line 22 the car note.

Spreadsheet #2 Breakdown with house refinanced: The refinance deal I was given to think about means I would have to add home insurance out of pocket instead of lumped into the mortgage note. While trying to find a quote for premiums, I realized I'm probably underinsured and wouldn't be able to rebuild in worst case scenario. My numbers on the spreadsheet are woefully inadequate according to the quotes I got later and I still run out of money at line 22 which is now the mortgage.

Spreadsheet #3 Breakdown with no debt: Just for anyone who claims the problem is what I owe. i still have a ridiculous estimate for home insurance premiums and run out of money at line 37--entertainment. And I cut back on all the what I can control spending categories already.

So while owing money for the house, car, personal loans, borrowed from parents, and medical bills my insurance didn't cover is not great and not helping the financial picture, I can't blame the non-balancing numbers on it alone. And yes, I have deliberately left off school loans because I figure at best I have another year and a half before having to start dealing with them.

Going back to Spreadsheet #1. What are the biggest monthly payouts? Fuel, mortgage, car note, federal taxes, car insurance, household = all over $200.00.

Nope, not going that route. I have 22 months of Quicken number crunching to back me on these amounts. I need to look at it a different way.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Monday, December 17, 2007

Number Crunching 102

Okay, Richard Jenkins said his percentages might not work for everybody. Plus I didn't organize my list very well. Mortgage and car note belong under the debt column.

Retirement funds I don't have a choice about. 7.5% of my gross paycheck goes to LASERs, which will hopefully pay me a damn good percentage of my final salary when I retire. Every state worker pays into that. 2.0% is already going into Deferred Compensation to buy stocks, so I'm already not depending on it. I might as well add the .5% to make those amounts an even 10%. I don't want to freeze payments because I'm 30 and I already can't afford inflation. And I come from a line of long-lived with lots of health problems people. I need the compound interest.

I can't do anything about taxes or my insurance premiums, and not paying them isn't an option. I can use the Flexible Spending Account to at least pay for medical expenses with pre-tax dollars, but that is also unchangeable until May.

In fact, every category I feel I have control over what I spend I don't have any money to spend in it.

Maybe I should go for the accounting degree. Because the numbers just aren't making sense with the math skills I've got. On one level they do, expenses exceed income, equals me living paycheck to paycheck. It's when I ask "how do I make the numbers meet?" that my brain can only answer "Gee, George, I don't know. Math is hard."

Things start to go wonky at the mortgage. By changing the percentages to 10%, 5%, 5%, and 80%, I can pay all reoccurring monthly expenses, the mortgage and the car note before running out of cash. But that only leaves the 5% fun money to buy groceries and run the house on.

I've tried deprivation. I resent it and to rebel against the resentment, I blow a wad of cash on stuff exactly when I don't need to blow a wad of cash. I work hard for this money that doesn't go very far and I want to do fun things with it. I have to budget it in or I have another budget explosion.

I need savings because I have nothing to fall back on in an emergency, except making a loan and that never helps financial matters.

So let me get the latest expenses breakdown out of Quicken, because I doubt that part of my figures is even close to reality.

And I have options. I just haven't wrapped my head enough around the figures to figure out which option is the best.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Topsy-turvy world

Chad and his mother resigned from the board of Acadiana Medieval Faire.

Wade has stepped in as President. I'm still on the board, and we'll be adding more in.

Either, we have been given the bestest Christmas gift in the world or the gift from Hell. But all I know is somewhere in the world, the Irony Fairy is laughing his ass off while pointing at me.

I heartened by the rally of people we have. Having been on the side of "we're all grown-ups here, treat everybody like that," I'm glad to see the group stepping up to the plate.

It's still a bit overwhelming. Plus I'm going to have to work on website updates sooner than anticipated since I've just been handed a new one.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Friday, December 14, 2007

Number Crunching 101

It's Friday, time for a financial check-up. Despite having an InBasket full of items to enter into Quicken, I know I'm broke until payday. What I don't know is if I'm broke after I get paid and I think the answer is probably yes.

It's been six months and nothing has improved. My laptop is dying and I'll need a new one, gasoline will soon be $4 a gallon, emergencies have nothing, I want a dishwasher and a bathroom shower, and pretty soon I will have to start paying off the student loans and get myself out of debt. I'd love to be like the couple having a difference of opinion on the money show I found on the radio last night: she wants to pay off their house, he doesn't but they do have the money to do it. I want to be in a fantastic position to buy the rest of the family land. Hell, sometimes I pass a property for sale around SLU or closer to me and I would love to invest in it. There's a gorgeous Victorian farmhouse on Hwy. 22 surrounded by live oak trees. It'll probably be bought and torn down by a subdivision developer asshole. Hell, I want to have money in the checking account between paychecks.

So it's time for a new approach. I'm not throwing out Quicken and micromanaging receipts into what I spend money on. It's too damn useful to get the yearly estimates for the bills. But it doesn't work for day-to-day.

So when the article 5 steps to fix a broken budget showed up Wednesday, I could SO relate.

Step 1: Understand your motivation. I want to control my overspending so all my bills are paid, but I don't want to feel deprived. I want to having savings I can access for big sorta planned things and emergencies. I want to know that I have a good start on retirement. Have enough money to not worry about running out of gas.

Bills, gasoline, and savings are the biggies. I am buying a dishwasher no matter what in January, so I'm not counting it in the equation. I can buy a laptop by the month, but I don't want to do that until I get the gasoline and savings squared away. I don't want to get my school money in January and be barely living from paycheck to paycheck in March.

There's a good summation: I don't want to live paycheck to paycheck. That means having savings and everything else covered.

Step 2: Know your numbers. Alright, have nearly 18 months worth of that data. But you need to have what you can spend right in front of you. In other words, balancing the checkbook. *Shudder* I suck at it! I never write stuff down, hence moving to the enter everything into Quicken once a week. But that doesn't do me any good when I'm in the store and have no idea what to spend.

New solution: cash in hand. All purchases that are not a bill or otherwise automatic will be made with cash. Now I just have to remember to get the cash budget out before going to the store.

Step 3: Get real. "Your budget is more likely to implode if you tighten your belt to quickly." I feel like I spend too much on groceries for one adult. And I probably spend way too much on luxuries.

Damn, now I hear back from Centennial and I'll have to change my phone in order to use the TomTom. Double-damn.

That's two places to start trimming back in 2008.

Step 4: Find a system that works for you. This is where I fall down. I keep flopping on micro versions of budgeting; I'm going to try a macro system: The 60% solution.

60% of gross income should be spent on committed expenses.
10% of gross income should be spent on retirement savings.
10% of gross income should be spent on long-term savings/emergency fund.
10% of gross income should be spent on anything you like.

I'm ignoring the school money in the calculations right now, and I already know I spend over 60% on committed expenses. 10% in retirement is only off by 1.12 a month, and that can be easily fixed for next month.

Now what I'm worried about is the 10% for long-term savings/emergency fund. First, where do I save that much money? Second, where can I put it so I can't touch it BUT it's not tied up in rules and regulations when an emergency happens? I made that mistake with the Roth IRA. Everybody says how good they are and you need one, but I didn't need to start one yet. In fact, the summer I opened it, I had to go withdraw most of it with a penalty.

Long-term savings/emergency fund needs to be able to be direct deposited. If it depends on me remembering to do it, I won't save. *Starts researching* Okay, all the options seem to tie the money up for too long or take too much money to start with. I'm going to have to stick it in the second savings account until it builds up.

CRAP! Made a really stupid decimal mistake. Let me fix before I get boggled. The math is mostly right, I think. Math is right, *whew* I just forgot to move decimal over when going back to percentages.

Now to figure up the 60%. *TWITCH* Okay, even adding together the 60% and 10% fun money, I need almost $1000 a month to get to the monthly trimmed amounts I worked out in August."That's okay, you have the school money." But I left it off for a reason, namely, I need to have a working budget without counting on it completely.

Well, that was a fun number crunching. The imaginary Fun Money is still sitting on the table, but the 60% ran out in the Debt Bills categories (loans to pay back), not even reaching Discretionary Commitments like groceries. And Debt Bills doesn't even contain school loans payback yet. Hell, left off the car loan too.

Okay, fixed it in Excel and... run out of money in Gasoline. So not only do I not have any food or home maintenance stuff or luxuries, I'm also unable to pay off any debt, nor go to work for a full month.

Well, now I feel like a big fraud. A lying sack of shit. No wonder I hate dealing with a budget, if I feel this way.

MONEY PROJECTS
  1. January: Change Deferred Compensation to 2.5% of every paycheck
  2. Research switching to the managed accounts under Deferred Compensation. Would like to start in January, afraid I will have to wait until April.
  3. Set up direct deposit second savings account for 10% of paycheck.
  4. Get my refund on Citizens Fair Plan bail out. I need that money



Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

What's Wrong With Me

It occurred to me that I have neglected to say what I'm seeing the chiro other than pain and neck stuff. Neck stuff will be lifelong, I'm afraid, from all the whiplashes I have had.

The shoulder was messed up by trying to shake a cat off my arm in the middle of a bench press. It's better now.

Thoracic spine problems can be traced to bad posture at the computer desk. Need to air up the ab ball this weekend.

I don't know what causes the issues with the lumbar spine, but my hip flexor muscles have shortened due to too much sitting. Right leg really hurts when I drive, but it's getting better.

End of progress report, back to the regularly schedule blog.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Posted here for any stragglers

This is a copy of a message posted at the KLCtheBookWorm's Readers yahoo Group, but I'm cross posting so not to miss anyone who may have changed email address and don't get those messages anymore.

The Yahoo Group for KLCtheBookWorm's Readers hasn't done what I wanted
it to do.

The fault is mine. I don't have the time or energy to manage an email
group and make it a lively, happening, thriving place. It's too far
removed from the homesite. So it's time to change tactics. Just in
time for 2008.

But what to replace it with? I've come up with a few ideas and I'm
open to suggestions, so please respond to the poll and suggest away in
response.

http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/KLCtheBookWorm_Readers/surveys?id=2310006

I'm not going away and I'm still writing but it's so long between
updates, I want to keep my readers in the loop. So here's a further
explanation of the choices I came up with.

Forum: Our very own virtual clubhouse (which is what I saw this place
as at first)! Pros: I host it and I shouldn't forget about it quite
as badly. Cons: Potentially redundant since a lot of us hang out at
the same forums already.

Email Newsletter: I'm subscribed to a few for website updates, and I
like that it only goes out when I have an update. It still give
Readers (those who take the extra step and subscribe) first crack at
new stories.

Announcement Blog: I'm good with updating blogs. People can comment
and get a conversation going on blogs. And new stories could be
posted to it first. Cons: I already have lots of blogs, probably too
many.

So what would you like to see happen?

Responses are welcome in the comment section.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holding my breath

Course, the very fact I come to my blog to do the happy dance means they'll stop production forever and a day again. Been burned before.

Gaming Guardians is returning in January!

Elf Life has started after the wedding that I think sent the artist to padded-room-ville. I hope it sticks around this time.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Iron Experiment Day 24

Back again!

With almost zero weight. *Sigh* I'm still not full released from the chiro so I don't want to push the healing to the point of hurting, but I have to do something. So I started over with the routine Mistress Krista listed in her article "No Fat Chicks" (And she's not my sister, but the only one I've found that spells the name the same way.) just using the bars. That's 15 and 5 pounds and insanely light, but I'm reestablishing my routine.

Week 25 = 188.2
Week 24 = 188
Week 23 = 186.7
Week 22 = 187.4
Week 21 = 186.9
Week 20 = 186.2
Week 19 = 186.4
Week 18 = 186.3
Week 17 = 186.5
Week 16 = 187.2
Week 15 = 188.6
Week 14 = 188.8
Week 13 = 189
Week 12 = 187.6
Week 11 = 187.8
Week 10 = 189.6
Week 9 = 188.9
Week 8 = 193.4
Week 7 = 194.5
Week 6 = 194.5
Week 5 = 195.5
Week 2 = 199
Week 1 = 205

In other health news, I think my period and pills are now in sync. Hooray, I'm back to a normal period and no more worrying if the PCOS is flaring up. At the same time, Boo! I'm back to a normal period.

South Beach Diet has morphed into following Phase 1 mostly while allowing some Phase 2 stuff. Namely, there are more Phase 2 & 3 frozen dinners than Phases 1, 2 & 3. I did flub up with the onset of the period and had too much sugar, but since I didn't finish off the entire bag of chocolate chips I think I did pretty good.

Today is much better than yesterday. I think I slept off the rest of the melatonin. And I can still do downward dog, even though I haven't been able to go to yoga in a couple of months.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Wheel of Time second author announced

GalleyCat: The Wheel of Time Will Have Its Ending. I wish Brandon Sanderson lots of luck. He's got some pretty big shoes to fill.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Monday, December 10, 2007

Revenue or selling-out?

Ever so often, ad revenue ideas float around my brain, usually revolving around the websites. J.A. Konrath has some interesting idea with his ebooks. I would like to support Project Wonderful. I really like the idea of never having to worry about renewals on the websites, that much is covered at least. It's not about making a profit.

So this is here for research purposes. I have other projects to finish up before starting on websites tweaking.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Friday, December 07, 2007

Traffic woes

I think my writing time just got longer. After taking thirty minutes to leave Baton Rouge from College Drive last night, I decided to do some searching today to see just how long the night commute is taking. Currently: 3pm to 7pm.

*headdesk*

Now, I'm worried about my budget. And my blood sugar. I have food for supper, at home. I should eat around 5pm. 9pm after travel and cooking time is pushing it. So either I eat out those days and I'm trying to cut back on the spending or I pack breakfast, lunch, and supper and hope Starbucks lets me pack in food and just buy a drink. Somehow I doubt it.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Thursday, December 06, 2007

DONE with the semester!

Turned in my last final last night. Now I need to get the thesis question settled, but I am aware it may not get settled until the beginning of next semester. :p

Of course as soon as I have gotten the major deadline stressor over and done with, I start brainstorming website changes. Right now I'm blaming that on commuting fog. I want to get some other projects around the house finished off the projects list before starting that.

I haven't been sticking to the diet as well as I should, though I can say that my stress-induced sugar cravings were limited to one piece of chocolate cake Tuesday and one candy bar Wednesday. And I'm only officially on Day 3 and sick of salads already. While making the grocery list, I found a couple of soup recipes for Phase One in the SBD Quick & Easy Cookbook. So my plan is to get the stuff for the next couple of days, plus soup makings, and frozen dinners and breakfasts. That way when I'm packing my lunch and snacks and can't face salad again, I have some other choices. I'm also going to see about substituting the suppers for lunches. Recipe wise, almost everything is for serving four people. I'm following the portion controls and freezing the rest, but the meal plan doesn't really cover leftovers.

I also missed my eye exam last Saturday, so I need to reschedule that. What makes me feel so stupid is I spent that whole Saturday going "I'm forgetting something." And it was my own fault since I mis-filed the note to remind me about it.

That's about it. I have some writing stuff but that will go up at DUF.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Monday, December 03, 2007

Doctor Who: The Ten Doctors

About the only way you could do this storyline without massive CGI editing work on footage that I'm not sure even exists any more for the first two Doctors is a webcomic.

Fan-TAS-tic!

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Let it not be said I was inflexible

First, I read the chapter "The Ticking Clock--Fitting It In" from Jerry Cleaver's Immediate Fiction. His time management is to start off with 5 minutes carved out of the day for just writing. How that works is a post by itself, but I started it today.

Also decided to follow the principle with the workout morning time. It will probably be Saturday before I get to the actual workout, but I'm preparing myself by carving out the time and working on fitness stuff.

Then I had to fix lunch. Since a lot of the South Beach Diet is salads, I can't prepare food ahead five days and expect it to stay good. I'm going to have to fix it practically daily. I only hope supper isn't going to be as bad as it would be while in classes.

Then it was time to get ready for work. So it looks like I'm going to have to shove chores to after I come home from work time. I just worry about that I won't actually get it done. The problem is I never feel like doing anything by the time I get home. :p

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Iron Experiment: End of 24 Weeks

Despite slacking off for the last few weeks, I have made it to the end of 24 weeks since starting the weight loss quest. So it's time to tally the progress and see what I need to do in the next 12 weeks.

Week 24 = 188
Week 23 = 186.7
Week 22 = 187.4
Week 21 = 186.9
Week 20 = 186.2
Week 19 = 186.4
Week 18 = 186.3
Week 17 = 186.5
Week 16 = 187.2
Week 15 = 188.6
Week 14 = 188.8
Week 13 = 189
Week 12 = 187.6
Week 11 = 187.8
Week 10 = 189.6
Week 9 = 188.9
Week 8 = 193.4
Week 7 = 194.5
Week 6 = 194.5
Week 5 = 195.5
Week 2 = 199
Week 1 = 205

So I have lost a total of 17 pounds over 24 weeks.

Starting set of tape measurements
height: 62.25 in/158.1 cm
weight: 194.5 lb/88.2 kg
neck: 37.5 cm
bust: 119.2 cm
waist: 102.2 cm
hips: 118.3 cm
thigh: 55.1 cm
calf: 40.6 cm
upper arm: 30.3 cm
lower arm: 25 cm

End of 12 Weeks Measurements
height: 62.25 in/158.1 cm
weight: 187.6 lb/85.1 kg
neck: 37.5 cm
bust: 115.1 cm
waist: 102.3 cm
hips: 118.5 cm
thigh: 63.2 cm
calf: 40.5 cm
upper arm: 32.1 cm
lower arm: 26 cm

End of 24 Weeks Measurements
height: 62.25 in/158.1 cm
weight: 188 lb/85.3 kg
neck: 37.5 cm
bust: 115.4 cm
waist: 102.5 cm
hips: 117.2 cm
thigh: 63.6 cm
calf: 40.3 cm
upper arm: 30.5 cm
lower arm: 26.2 cm

Starting BMI Measurements

Height is 62.25 inches/158.1 cm.
Weight is 194.5 pounds/88.4 kg.
Body Mass Index is 35.3 kg/m2.

According to Better Ideal Weight Body Calculators, I should be:
between 105 - 138 pounds/47 - 62 kg
with a BMI between 19 and 25.

I want to weigh 120 lb/54.4 kg with a BMI of 20 kg/m2.

End of 12 Weeks BMI Measurements

Height is 62.25 inches/158.1 cm.
Weight is 187.6 pounds/85.1 kg.
Body Mass Index is 34 kg/m2.

End of 24 Weeks BMI Measurements
Height is 62.25 inches/158.1 cm.
Weight is 188 lb/85.3 kg
Body Mass Index is 34.1 kg/m2.

How far to go:
Weight: 188 - 120 = 68 lb/30.84 kg
BMI: 34.1 - 20 = 14.1 kg/m2.

Picture comparison time.



Now the first two Biggest Loser poses I did were on August 11 weighing 193 lbs. during Week 8.




There is only a five pound difference between the two sets. The short change is because the spandex died in the bike shorts after the 12 week progress pictures. But just a five pound difference and minuscule measurement changes didn't cause any dramatic weight loss could be seen by overlaying the pictures.

So what improvements do I see for the next twelve weeks?
  • Getting back into my routine of medicine taking. I got off-schedule a bit with the holiday week and the week after.
  • Starting South Beach Diet on Monday. I've gone over my reasoning why South Beach Diet. I just hope my supplies bought pre-Thanksgiving trip are still good because I can't buy groceries until the weekend coming up.
  • Restart the exercise routines even though I can't use my max weights.


Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Friday, November 30, 2007

Rose on the Other Side

So one of the Christmas presents I bought with Dad's gift money is a soundtrack of Doctor Who scores, specifically Nine and Ten with Rose. Since I've been listening to it non-stop for the commute four days now, I've been having fun Doctor Who thoughts.

As the "Doomsday" track played for the upteenth time, my muse popped up with the following observation. "Rose is working for airship world's Torchwood, maybe even running it like Capt. Jack. But for the world to have a Torchwood, they have to have a Doctor to inspire its creation. But it wouldn't be our Doctor, the one Rose fell in love with, and wouldn't have had a relationship with her because Rose didn't exist on that world. Oh the possibilities!"

I wish I knew a Doctor Who fanficer to give it to, since I probably won't do anything with it. A dozen probably already have used the idea; I'm slow with seeing these things. Hell, might even be an official spin-off book dealing with the idea as far as I know. (If there is, tell me, I REALLY want to read it now.)

That was yesterday around lunch. After lunch, I came across a news article that Doctor Who wants to get Tom Cruise and some other celebs into the blockbuster episodes that will air in 2009, David Tennent's last. I kept reading while reeling from that to find out that Billie Piper will be reprising her role as Rose soon. And today I found this article catching up with Billie Piper taking a break on the set of Doctor Who.

Damn, will they use that? Two copies of David Tennent breaking a dimensional barrier?

*Head 'splodes*

If I'm having a psychic connection with someone in production, why won't it answer my Titanic question? (How the hell is the Doctor going to get the TARDIS off the ship or the ship out of the TARDIS? I'm not exactly sure which is the proper way to phrase the idea.) I want to know for Christmas--not the middle of summer! Stupid Sci-Fi Channel delay.

And make the Agatha Christie episode! I love the Dickens one and the Shakespeare one. Maybe her two week disappearance for a story start? And put Torchwood on DVD. I can't work it into my schedule when it shows on BBC America. And I want more Capt. Jack sexyness.

So to sum up, a YouTube fanvid "Doctor Who - The Other Side - Scissor Sisters."



Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Holiday Roundup

Now that it's been a whole week, I can finally talk about the trip. I promise the next vacation I have I will not have a massive paper that I must do and will be able to blog more regularly. Or at least when things happen so I don't have to depend on my fuzzy brain.

Mom and I left Wednesday morning November 21st. The drive wasn't that bad despite not leaving as early as I wanted to, the day before Thanksgiving, and a 55-mile stretch of I-10 closed due to an exploded gas well. (No snarky comments about how my stupid state puts Interstate highway systems over or very close still-working gas and oil wells. I made enough of them until I'm sick of the topic and it's all fixed now.) We found a Paulito's an Italian grill and pizzeria that has the absolute best chicken Caesar salad on the planet. I could eat it every single day.

Atticus and I invented a new game now dubbed Up-Down. We were dancing during Hairspray's credits (and Christopher Walken can sing and it's not scary). Neither one of us could do the twist--me the carpet, Atticus is only 16-months-old--so I showed him how to do the squat to music. Then Thursday morning Elmo covered up and down on Sesame Street, and when Atticus would squat, the grown-ups chorused "up down." Now he says "up" squatting down and "down" coming up. Unfortunately, we never got it on camera.

Pictures I am proud of getting will go here as soon as I get them off my camera.

However the baby caught the crud and passed it to me. Mom blames the forty-degree weather that hit. There was frozen rain where we were in Austin and snow just west of the city. But we didn't get to leave until Monday morning because the nasty rain and cold was heading to Louisiana.

It worked out well. I kept Atticus and they got to shop. I got to go to Best Buy, Ikea, and Half-Price Books (I would seriously consider opening a franchise in Louisiana if I had the capital.) and got the stuff on my list and then some.

Books: all the South Beach Diet stuff, couple of medieval Britain reference books, the Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr first edition in hardback, a book on Celtic mythology, and a couple of historical mystery anthologies that had been on my list for a while.

Ikea: replacement lamp that I forgot to find lightbulbs to fit it in the store (HINT: if buying lamps at Ikea turn around and find the lightbulbs to fit. Found the lamp on clearance and luckily Mom had the bulbs to fit it at home since they didn't work for something else), spotlight lamp for the computer desk with green spotlight bulbs that had very confusing labeling, present for Kay depend on if I see her at Christmas or closer to her birthday, and another set of Benno shelves. I love those shelves, no deeper than a DVD case and much taller than any selves I can get locally so it matches better with the entertainment center, and I can fit more of them into the space I have available. I think after this purchase I will be buying more for free shelves instead of replacing what I'm currently using to hold the DVD collection.

Best Buy: Dad gave us Christmas gift money early, I actually went to their Black Friday sale, and got a TOMTOM! WOOT! Course, I haven't had time yet to set it up and use it yet. I'm hoping this weekend. Also bought Hot Fuzz (hyseterical) and Who Framed Roger Rabbit on DVD, Van Halen 2 disk collection, Harry Potter 3 Soundtrack and Doctor Who soundtrack (more about this one later) on CD.

Beyond that, I kept Atticus occupied and my crud at home while Mom and Kai had fun in the stores. Atticus also totally got into the live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Either he's fascinated with Jim Carrey in green make-up or Cindy Lou reminds him of his big sister, Lauren.

Got home safely and plunged into finishing school work for the semester. I haven't even really started unpacking yet. Need to do that tonight.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What's My Name Again?

Damn big honking Elizabeth cross-dressing, warrior women paper finished. Not due until Friday at 10pm. They are getting it tonight.

Frost paper looks miniscule in comparison, but it hangs together nicely once I reread it. Presentation and it's due tonight.

Have left to do: 4 - 6 page paper final for Queen Elizabeth and final test of some sort for Frost. Both due next Wednesday.

Thursday and Friday will be recovery time. I should be able to crank out paper on Saturday. Once I figure out my thesis for it. Till then my brain is FRIED!

UPDATE: Frost final changed to the presentation, so that class is finished! Now I just have to find out if I have to show up to the class on Monday night and write that paper.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Home from Texas

Yeap, I'm back. I will report on the trip and other stuff when I don't have a looming deadline hanging over my head. Play with baby or write paper, which would you chose?

Also need to think about this and answer: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2007/11/nanowrimo-day-25-on-goals.html

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New focus for accountability

Noting that this summer, fall, and now moving into winter has been big into self-reflection and trying to make positive changes in my life.
  • Started using GTD
  • Ended a stalled relationship
  • Losing weight weight through healthy eating and exercise
  • Figuring out my financial screw-ups and stopping doing them
  • Finishing school work and thus obtaining my Masters
I think that covers the list.

This isn't a woe-I'm-so-busy post. Most of the self-improvement has been spiraling out-of-control in a good way. But writing has been inconsistent. Just stating a fact. Some ideas on how to improve that I have already started to have. Changing writing habits is inspired by traffic woes more than anything else (brain not off until after the drive). Writing and eating supper in Baton Rouge while waiting for traffic to clear makes sense.

Then there's another vote for the Writing Tutorials to return. Which validates writing them in the first place, though honestly, I don't see how I have the time or energy to bring them back.

That train of thought jumped tracks to what about the grand plans for the writing life blog? Writing life barren equals lack of material. So how come other stuff isn't barren?

Leading to accountability.

The seed had already been planted by a Half of Me post recognizing the power of the nameless Internet mass has for keeping you to your goals. I'm doing better with watching weight knowing I have to report it. Exercise not so good on accountability and neither is money. So I need a way of accounting for them better than what I have now.

And then I started thinking about writing accountability.

The writing tutorials were a type of accountability as I worked on a story to prepare the next topic. I lost my way with them when I had finished the story and had a horrible time with sleep deprivation. And then I had the thought: could I do it again?

I over plan everything, which usually ends up meaning I can't stick to the plan, eventually, despite intentions. The fear I have of this is I'll get caught up in accountability and won't do what I need to account. Valid concern, I think. But here's my plans for accounting better on various topics.

Weight and exercise I need to post every day I do them, and the post should concentrate on health concerns.

Budget accounting should be a once-a-week post each Friday, the day I'm supposed to update Quicken and make sure everything is shinny. However, I don't think posting all the nickels and dimes is a good idea. So I will list the accounts in red or black type depending on its state, along with other financial news.

Writing accountability should use metrics and the word count graphs and writing life/tutorial posts.

It's a plan. The true test will come when I'm exhausted, have too much at home to do, but still need to write.

Just like tonight :P

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Why I hate deadlines

A topic I'm fascinated with, a wealth of images and stuff to read about it, and working on it most of the day...

And I still don't have a blasted thing to say on the topic.

The closest I have gotten to is: warrior women or modern interpretations of cross-dressing. "Warrior women" match the images I have concentrated on, and "modern interpretations of cross-dressing" seem to lean only the queer or feminist theory camps. And while I'm as fascinated with asking questions on just how homosexually subversive is "As You Like It" and tying the Armada attack to a rape of Queen Elizabeth, I don't know what to do with the information. Or how to tie it all back to Spenser. I got scolded for my last paper that didn't use the texts, the grade only saved by me apparently finding an interesting interpretation of heterosexuality in the 1998 Elizabeth movie.

So I have to go back through and reread everything I have found.

Maybe there is something to the rape of England motif. The Faeire Queen was written at first in 1590 and then revised in 1596 featuring Britomart, a fictional woman ancestress of Queen Elizabeth who dons armor and becomes the knight of Chastity before finding her true love and thus beginning a long line of royalty culminating in Elizabeth. With me so far? One of her adventures--specifically in the part we read for class--features her rescue of a damsel in distress whose plight has some symbolism of a type of rape (trying to magic love out of someone by cutting their heart out doesn't sound consensual to me). Anyways all that was written after Tilbury, which has been mythologized into Elizabeth as warrior queen protecting her honor.

So now to go reread the stuff specifically on Britomart, and come up with a way to present for tomorrow night even if I don't get the whole paper done. I'd rather have the paper done before the trip though.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sugar hangover

I think I have a sugar hangover today. I feel like shit and want to stay in bed until the world ends. Unfortunately, I have made it to work instead.

I don't remember what I ate yesterday, except I think I was using sugar and caffeine to get me through that damn paper, which I find out I don't have to turn in until after Thanksgiving. Still, cross-dressing presentation and paper comes before editing. But not today. Today brain not on.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Robert Frost long paper

Progress Bar from Writertopia

I think I need to tweak the number formula again for Times New Roman. But it's finished. I have no idea if what I wrote finishing it is even English, but I made the page count.

Now he's talking like the final will be questions, probably essay. okay. So that leaves the Elizabethan cross-dressing paper to write and the Queen Elizabeth final which is a paper.

Not worry about those until tomorrow. Brain hurts now. Will go to class, will turn it, will get out way too early, will eat supper, and go take a shower at the gym because damnit I deserve it!

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Might enjoy this movie

Ye Old Times

I'd like to know if the director or writers has any Renaissance Faire experience. There's nothing like hands-on research. It's like reading Sharyn McCrumb's Bimbos of the Death Sun. If you're a geek that has done cons, you recognize the truth in the novel.

But even if it's Hollywood balderdash, if it's funny, I'll still go see it.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

fans4writers.com

Because good TV depends on the writers

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Can I go back to bed now?

For a three-day weekend, I feel the only thing I accomplished was screwing up my sleep schedule. It could be PMS fatigue though. Or it could be the diet cream soda I thought was decaffeinated really isn't. Add a foggy day and having to drive into work before the sun is really up, my bed is calling me right now.

I did learn that my mother and my shopping habits are completely incompatible. I make a list and may browse the store once I'm in it, but I try to stick to the list and not overspend. I do not select a store just to browse for ideas because another store I need isn't open yet. My mother views shopping/browsing as entertainment. Two hours and my lower back that got out of whack by Sunday was killing me and I was annoyed, especially since I had no money to spend and she never lingered on the stuff I want to look at.

And she wants me to go with Kai for the after Thanksgiving sales. I'm now thinking the only way I'm doing that is if I get promised a bookstore for a few hours.

Besides that excursion and fighting with a paper that does not want to get wrote, I got the house work on the schedule done but very little else. Though I think I know what one of the problems is. The get-budget-worked-out project was broken into smaller steps, but those steps are still too big for me to get a grasp on them. So I shove the whole damn thing aside for three days, but still worry about it. Nope, not what I'm supposed to do. So tonight in between paper fights, I'll break them down into smaller steps.

Professor said no. :p So now I need to go email the next ball rolling.

Vox Populi: Reasons to Quit: want to keep an eye on this thread.

And I finally got the South Beach Diet out of the library. I want an eating plan menu where I don't have to really plan what I'm going to eat for the next few months, and the companion book I checked out is the South Beach Diet 30-minute Recipes, which is about all the time I have to cook right now regardless.

I'm tired of planning what to cook and then trying to find freezer space for it and basically not cooking a lot of what I have bought because it takes too long to cook. I'm tired of juggling through all my cookbooks to find creative dishes that I want to eat and won't screw up my blood sugar and weight loss, and then ending up having to juggled through five cookbooks for all the recipes I'm using. It has become an exercise in too much think and I need a break to put the brain on other things.

Another idea I ran across to combat this type of fatigue is to only cook out of one cookbook until you've cooked all the recipes rather than buying a bunch of new cookbooks. And while I think this is a good idea and one worth doing once I don't have school pressure over my head, too many of my cookbooks are too specialized or just the typical catering-the-obesity-issue for me to use until after I've lost the weight. For example, how long do you think I could exist on Star War themed snack food? (It was a gift.) Or if I don't know what the ingredient in the Greek cookbook is, how can I cook it? Less think please.

South Beach Diet has sample meal plans and recipes for them. No think, just buy groceries and cook.

That's all I've got for this update in this blog.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Friday, November 09, 2007

Why Do I Plan Anything?

So I can be disappointed. :p

While I'm not one to willfully destroy someone else's property, I think I understand the whole toss-his-shit-into-the-yard scenario better. Only my motivation isn't anger. We aren't living together any more and it's in my way and he's putting off dealing with it. It's supposed to happen tomorrow now. Sheesh, you'd think he would know I'm not going to do anything that would land me in jail and if I was tempted my weak moment would be when in all that horrible non-resolution mess. To put another way, when I want a straight answer, that's when I feel like beating the shit out of someone and everyone.

Got the emails done, the thesis plea just now. I think I was concise and nice, but not grovelingly. I'm not against begging as a tactic, I just like to save it.

So the crossroads are such: a) he says "no" and we find another solution or b) he says "yes" and proceeds to send my stories through copy-edit hell according to rules I can't find in my MLA Handbook (and no they haven't published a new edition since the one I own). Which may give him something else to look at beside the fact that I am a genre writer and I will not be writing the pretentious bullshit that is usually the results of MFAs. Oh well, have to wait for the ball to come down in order to run with it.

In other weirdness, while doing Google image search on Elizabethan cross dressing not only did random pics come up from Eric Burn's proposal to Wednesday White from Websnark but also the Ideal BookWorm from this blog. I had Moderate Safe Search on because I was at work, but still? I figured mine because I have been talking about that topic for the paper, but I don't remember anything about cross dressing in the proposal.

Weekend plans are tentative: I need to get the prescription filled and since the doctor changed the amount again, I better talk to them in person about it. :p I also have been trying to get two specific books out of the library for two weeks now. Need to get that off my list. And the money stuff. But it's a long weekend! I just have to go to school on Monday. But in all likelihood that doesn't help me since the money people I would need to talk to will be at home too. *headdesk*

And finish up the Frost paper. Any projects beyond that, I need to consult the lists. But that agenda is already feeling ready to roll. So I'm off to bed.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Star Trek: Time Warp

You know I just had to. :D

Starbuck, Legends Never Die

Because it is a great display of the sheer awesomeness of Starbuck. And I love the "March of Cambreadth."

Random update

Yeap, I'm procrastinating. I will get to all the fun stuff I have to do but right this second I'm taking some me time.

In three months, I managed to completely derail the budget. I'm not surprised because this is what I always do. Now I have proof in black, white, and red. I have options (I won't end up starving and on the street), but I'm going to wait until I get home to further break apart my numbers. Plus I think I did some math wrong somewhere or set up the categories wrong or set up the spreadsheet wrong; and I'd rather spread everything out on the desk at home and make it match. Though from a glance, I had not budgeted in an emergency which of course happened. I know I'm being anal-retentive and all accountancy but if it comes down to me having to borrow money for hopefully the last time for consumer debt, low-balling it on a guess keeps me in the screwed-up-finances column.

On the other hand, maybe going back for an accounting bachelor's makes sense. :p

Kai is hosting Thanksgiving this year, so I will be out of town for at least a week. Course, this also means I should go find Atticus's Christmas gift. I'm the book-aunt and my mother has toys and movies covered. But I was thinking of waiting until his second birthday in July before getting him first readers (the nearly indestructible books you first give kids that they can chew on), so this Christmas would probably be adding to the classic to keep pile (which will get added to regardless, though I do need to get a list from Kai so I don't duplicate myself).

Now I'm worried that I'm not encouraging Atticus or giving him the thrill of having his first book that he can hold as opposed to Mommy has to read it. Parents, any thoughts?

Tonight is cleaning out the house of Chad's stuff night, provided they get through Baton Rouge. That based on my own traffic experiences is getting worse. I want a Tomtom now.

Things that must happen today: emailing one professor with my Elizabeth source for the long paper, emailing the other professor about the thesis issue (see Thesis Quest Part 1), and then shoving it all aside for Piper world-building which has been woefully neglected since I started getting my back fixed. Much like the Iron Experiment. This week has been insane, but Saturday I'm getting back into the workout groove. I have to decrease the amount of weight I've been working with though to keep the shoulder that is starting to get better from messing up again.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Thesis Quest Part 1

So Wednesday seventh of November, I got to see my adviser and shocked him with the news that I had finished my curriculum... almost. I still need the Intermediate Fiction Workshop, which probably won't be offered again until Fall 2008 and when it is offered it will be in the middle of the day since it is a dual undergrad and grad course. Why the little darlings can't take a night class is a question I wisely avoid asking.

The light in the tunnel is taking the class as an independent study and starting on my thesis hours next semester. But I need the director of Creative Writing to sign off on that idea or come up with a better one.

"And why didn't you start this process back in September?"
"Nobody told me this was going to be complicated."

Thursday eighth of November (more missing office time), I go see the director of Creative Writing. Next semester no good for him; he's running a writing conference. The fiction writer professors are in short supply (i.e. the department needs to hire another one), so that leaves the professor I'm taking the Robert Frost class under who possibly doesn't like me and will probably say no to the whole plan since he would also need to be my thesis adviser. He was/is in Atlanta at a conference, so I have to email him. But if he says no, I can sign up for another writing course and will substitute it in for the class and beg somebody else to be my thesis adviser.

"This wouldn't be a problem if you were doing a poetry thesis. We've got poets on top of poets around here."
"Just the problem of I'm not a poet."
"Right. The eggheads should have hired another fiction writer. You guys are the ones suffering. But they wanted the film guy. Nice guy, nothing against him, but Communication teaches the film classes. He doesn't have anything to do."
"And I'm not doing a film for a thesis."

So now I'm at the point of having to come up with a nice business-like email to ask for something. And I hate having to ask people for things, especially when I feel they don't like me. I know I have to grit my teeth and just do it, but I'd rather bury myself in a house project going "la-la-la-can't-hear-you!"

Technically, I don't even have a thesis yet and the procrastination has already started.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Friday, November 02, 2007

YES, YES, EXACTLY

The Atlantic.com: Goodbye to All That READ IT!

This is why if Obama doesn't win the nomination I will write his name in. At least I will be able to say with a clear conscious next year, I voted to end the Boomer stupidity.

And Obama if you do get in, give McCain the Pentagon to clean up. And put Ron Paul in the Cabinet or make him Vice-President or the power to run the lobbyists out of Washington.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Babs and Dick shipper!

And I'm not ashamed to admit it. Even though this is probably the closest continuity comes to it. *Sigh*

I guess I'll stick with the fan-universes then.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hey computer gurus!

I have a second internal hard drive that I can't remember how big the space is, and I'm thinking about getting an external hard drive. The issue: I would like a program that automates updates to dump to either the internal or a potential hard drive.

Burning CDs doesn't work because when I get to the files in use on the C drive, it throws an error. I never understood Windows XP's backup system but as near as I can tell it does nothing for actual file content just saves your setting of Windows XP.

I'd prefer to have something that I can give a time to (every Friday at 10am, for example) and everything is saved without me having to do anything. Opensource is great but if I have to pay for a program, a sane price would be nice (under $100).

Is there anything out there?

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Monday, October 29, 2007

Big oops on spaghetti squash

I had run across mentions of spaghetti squash and how you can substitute it for pasta, but never sought it out. Perhaps if I had, I would have cooked it better. But it's moments like this that make me marvel that I'm not a bigger culinary klutz than I am. I haven't given myself food poisoning yet. That has to count for something.

I found spaghetti squash for 98 cents at Wal-Mart on Saturday. I had to cook it on Sunday or it would go bad in the fridge. Pull up the latest post I saw about spaghetti squash, then went to All Recipes. One of the comments at All Recipes said to bake it whole, so I did. Then I cut it open and found seeds. Nobody said anything about seeds.

I ended up baking it for a little longer after I cut it open, the scooped out the stringy center with the seeds. Everybody said scoop out the strings, but nobody said anything about seeds. So I scooped out the strings and the seeds and threw the inch-thick rind away.

Dad didn't like it but he accidentally ate a seed. Mom said I probably needed to cook it longer, but my sauce was great. I was really annoyed because I would have to buy 15 of them in order to get enough to go with the amount of sauce I make. And what the hell was up with the seeds! Wal-mart getting mutant squashes or something? Luckily I had Barilla pasta to cook so the sauce wouldn't go to waste.

When I got back to the computer I read all the comments attached to the blog. And one of those commenters said that you scooped out the stringy center and seeds and bake and THEN scoop out the rinds for the noodle squash bits.

I threw away the part you eat.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Iron Experiment Day 23

Week 19 = 186.4
Week 18 = 186.3
Week 17 = 186.5
Week 16 = 187.2
Week 15 = 188.6
Week 14 = 188.8
Week 13 = 189
Week 12 = 187.6
Week 11 = 187.8
Week 10 = 189.6
Week 9 = 188.9
Week 8 = 193.4
Week 7 = 194.5
Week 6 = 194.5
Week 5 = 195.5
Week 2 = 199
Week 1 = 205

According to FitDay.com, I need to lose 1.67 pounds per week in order to be at 120 lbs. for July 31st. That should be doable, but I may have to look into new recipes. I pout when even the decimal point goes up.

And Day One of the new porch gym. I wasn't too cold with athletic pants and a sweatshirt. I got most of the workout done despite having to change the weights. According to the periodization workout I'm using, I go up to 35 lbs. on the barbell and 17 lbs. on the dumbbells this week. I didn't get to finish the dumbbell exercises because my left shoulder was starting to feel fatigued. I still have to figure out how to do the push-ups, but I need to get some furniture I'm going to sell off the rest of the porch.

And I got one set of 25 crunches done. I didn't unroll the yoga mat because of furniture in the way and I want to hose off the porch (okay, I don't sweep out there at all). Feet did the slide thing until I jammed one against the weight tub. That got me through my first set. So for the second set, I repositioned with both feet against the tub and my back to the wide open yard. As you can see in the first picture yesterday, I don't have railings or screens on my front porch. Mustard came up beside me to see what I was doing.

I curled up for the first crunch. The ball grabbed up porch dirt, lost all traction, and shot out behind me. I still have plenty of cushioning on my ass because landing on it should have hurt a lot more than it did. I turned around. The planter and steps to the porch successfully caught the Swissball, so I don't have to chase after it. And Mustard is halfway across the front yard, puffed up and staring at me and the Swissball, waiting for one of us to head at him.

Wisely, I just talked to my cat and put away the Swissball and Mustard finally decided to come back to the porch since the dumbbells were not going to injure his kitty pride.

So if hosing off the porch and keeping it swept clean doesn't help, I may be in the market for a rug of indoor/outdoor carpet. I will give the yoga mat another chance before that though. Rugs are expensive.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Weekend with an Action Plan

So with 17 projects (3 more got added I will explain) and at least 71 actions with all of them, I got 4 projects and 24 actions completed.

I forgot to list shopping and bloodwork as projects both finished on Saturday. Organizing the sewing patterns got added Saturday night when I realized I was halfway through with doing that project.

I got both AB cards done (unless the professor decides we need to have another group one), finished reading the bio, and figured out the Frost long paper topic. While it only counts as two finished projects, I still feel pretty good about the state of things. I'd have a lot more on the finished list except that one or two actions haven't been finished yet.

For example: relocating the gym.


Yeap, I decided on the front porch. If it doesn't work out temperature-wise, it will go in the back bedroom somehow.



Here you can see one of the two actions that haven't been done yet, so the project isn't done. The boards sticking out of the purple box on the left need to be covered still. I also need to add more air to the Swissballs, though the one in the picture needs less than the one in my office.



And it unwittingly sent me to the store. I thought I could use some leftover wood to make a storage unit for the weights, dumbbells, and Swissball. Free-style carpenter, I ain't. I had to go to Wal-Mart for spaghetti sauce I forgot yesterday, and found the tub just when I thought I'd have to spend 50 to 100 dollars at Lowe's for something that would hold up the weight. I still want a weight stand, but now the need isn't as pressing.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Saturday, October 27, 2007

One of the funniest It's Joyce and Walky EVER

http://www.joyceandwalky.com/comics/20071027davidwillis.gif

I don't expect anyone who doesn't read the David Willis's webcomics to get this, but I howled.

Second funniest thing ever: radio ad for the Crew of Boo. They are Mardi Gras people who made a haunted house attraction in New Orleans as a fundraiser for first responders. The haunted house part has been rated 2nd scariest by the Travel Channel. Funny part: they are having some type of party/ball thing that you must buy tickets for. Featuring a whole lot of local bands and Jon Goodman as Lestat. Yes, Anne Rice's Lestat. *GIGGLE*

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Friday, October 26, 2007

Weekend blahs

I don't want to work on homework this weekend.
I'd rather clean my InBasket.
I'd rather clean my kitchen.
I'd rather ... *sigh.*

But I realize I need to do homework and this is just the Procrastinator talking. But having grown up in an environment of half-finished projects, I have no desire to live that way yet still manage to duplicate it. Which gives fuel to the Procrastinator. "You hate tripping over the stuff for the back porch. Install it this weekend. Forget about that class you hate and you're going to flunk anyway so why bother with it."

At the same time the Procrastinator is trying to get me in a deadline pinch, it has a point. The messy house is dangerous and I don't like it. And I need to spend all weekend on it so I don't have to spend another weekend on it again.

I should get sponsorship for these displays of circular logic. I'd get paid and then I could add the disclaimer: "This display of circular logic was brought to you by Tire Kingdom. Because it is round and so are your tires."

Then added to the mix is the Evil Optimist. "You can do it all! Just do it and don't sleep! You will finish it all!"

Yes, listening to the Evil Optimist is hazardous to your health. And I'm trying not to give into it. Too many times I have and it never ends well. Not this time.

This is where GTD help with rewiring your brain. I need to pick out a couple of projects along with homework and create next action lists for them. Then when I'm ready to beat my brains out with a reference book, I have something that is not homework ready to do.

Now that sounds like a sane plan. Wow, sometimes I surprise myself.

The list of things to do by project and next actions:
  • AB #9 = 310 words
    1. Download article that fits parameters.
    2. Read article and take notes with highlighter. Find thesis.
    3. Write AB card.
  • AB #10 = 310 words
    1. Download article that fits parameters.
    2. Read article and take notes with highlighter. Find thesis.
    3. Write AB card.
  • Frost bio review = 500 words
    1. Finish reading Robert Frost: The Years of Triumph.
    2. Articulate Laurence Thompson's bias/slant in one sentence.
    3. Declare my thesis statement.
    4. Write bio review.
  • Frost long paper = 1250 words
    1. Figure out what subject to write on.
    2. Research on the subject.
    3. Declare my thesis statement.
    4. Write paper.
  • Queen Elizabeth long paper/project: crossdressing = ? words
    1. Declare my thesis statement.
    2. Write paper.
  • AMF Educator's Guide = 250 words
    1. Add Wade's notes to Knights section.
    2. Write the Canterbury Cathedral section.
  • Collecting Chad's stuff into boxes
    1. Move stuff in laundry basket into box.
    2. Move lamp and magazines out of office.
    3. Pull his patterns out of the pattern files.
    4. Find blankets and sheets in back bedroom.
    5. Did he leave any luggage? Check the luggage pile in back bedroom.
    6. Pack clothes out of dresser into luggage or plastic bags before putting into box.
    7. Get his stuff out from behind the couch.
    8. Try to get him to take the slide projector and screen. I don't need it. If he doesn't want them, give-away box.
  • Relocate home gym
    1. Decided where it is going: front porch or back bedroom.
    2. Clean the area.
    3. Cover the exercise boards in something to present splinters and slipping.
    4. Move the weights, weight bench, yoga mat, boards, and Swissball.
  • Hang stuff on back porch
    1. Charge up cordless drill.
    2. If screws were not included, find screws that will keep them up.
    3. T-hangers go on the rafters. See if they will hold the stuff without leveling.
    4. If not, add wood to the rafters to level the T-hangers.
    5. Screw in all the T-hangers.
    6. Put pipes up on T-hangers.
    7. Hang up hose support near the ladder.
    8. Get sawhorses back from Mom.
    9. Put sawhorses on hose support.
  • Finish processing InBasket
    1. Take out top item and process it.
    2. Repeat until basket is empty.
  • Clean fridge and mop kitchen
    1. Pick up all items that can't get wet and move them somewhere else.
    2. Throw out bad food.
    3. Wipe out fridge shelves with vinegar and baking soda.
    4. Reload good food.
    5. Move stuff out of mini fridge to big fridge.
    6. Wipe out mini fridge with vinegar and baking soda
    7. Unplug mini fridge and put a towel in freezer section to mop up water.
    8. Use steamer on floor and outside of appliances and cabinet doors.
    9. Use mop to dry floor.
  • Clean carpets
    1. Wash red bedroom rugs in washer.
    2. Hang red bedroom rugs out to dry.
    3. Use carpet cleaning spray on red living room rug.
    4. Vacuum red living room rug.
  • Clean out emails and reconfigure Outlook
    1. Make sure I have Outlook 2003 and it is installed
    2. Delete all accounts that I no longer use, or set up accounts I am using.
    3. Set up folders: Archive, Respond, and Action. Archive can have other folders by subject if necessary.
    4. Get BackUp Tiger for Outlook
    5. Set up filters for mailing lists to go automatically to folders for them. (This may be a Gmail only fix.)
    6. Make sure popup alerts are off.
    7. Set up template answers for the common questions.
    8. Try for three months. If the Outlook set up doesn't work, switch to Thunderbird.

Most of the homework HAS to be done. The rest of it will be handled during the day between homework assignments. And I'm crossing my fingers that I can finish homework on Saturday and have Sunday for housework.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Metabolic Syndrome Update

Went in yesterday for my roughly three month check-up. My doctor was really pleased with my numbers and weight loss so far. Saturday I have to go in for more blood work, the fasting variety. We are changing the metformin amount I'm taking though, up to three pills a day. I just hope my pharmacy will understand the new prescription because I sure can't read it.

Bought a new cervical pillow from the chiropractor because mine totally sucked, even though it is made of memory foam and shaped to cradle your head and support your neck. It was too soft and not the right size to hold my neck up. I don't know if that is due to having a fat neck, memory foam not strong enough to force a curve in my straight neck, or if my neck/shoulder space is oddly-sized. I woke up on my side Thursday with my shoulder in my ear. The new pillow is similar to a waterbed, but there is pillow stuff between your head and the water pouch. Didn't wake up in pain this morning, but it was a lot more pillowy softness than I'm used to. (Before giving the memory foam pillow a while, I used a pillow filled with barley husks.) I put more water in it this morning to make it firmer, and I may have to repeat that.

Oh, also found a nifty exercise journal at GNC, but I'm waiting for the Gold card discounts at the beginning of the month before buying. One part I really liked about it was a spot to list the amount of supplements you're taking. Since I never can remember numbers whenever I have to fill out paperwork (or correct spelling of names), I'd like a neat easy way to reference it.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Today's word counts

YES! All homework finished! Maybe I can get #9 and #10 done Thursday and Friday and then have the weekend for the longer papers! Also I think I should spend the long Robert Frost paper on giving new criticism to a poem, since the professor wants a survey of existing criticism when you do that.

Anyways, I'm putting stuff here to add to Backpack later.

Robert Frost short paper with whinning notes

Progress Bar from Writertopia

Robert Frost short paper

Progress Bar from Writertopia

AB #7

Progress Bar from Writertopia

AB #8

Progress Bar from Writertopia

Need to remember: AB cards have a word count of 310. A page for a double-spaced paper is 250 words.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at: http://www.acadianafaire.org/