Monday, March 31, 2008

My Goals This Year...

I know that March 31st != January 1st, but I figure that there is nothing special about the first of the year, goal-wise. In fact, spring seems like a much more appropriate time for goals than the depths of winter. In January, my list of goals looked something like this:

-Perfect down-blanket-and-pillow cocoon

-Finish watching all available episodes of "Good Eats" on You Tube

-Complete research project entitled "Interactions between conflicting cracks in the ceiling above my bed"

March, on the other hand, is when Michigan transitions from more than 12 hours of dark to more than 12 hours of light. The crocuses and daffodils are peeking out of the ground, and my goals turn to something slightly more ambitious than finding a service willing to deliver me cookies in bed. So here, in no particular order, are my goals for the year:

run/swim/bike a triathlon: I just learned to run this last year (as an aside: was anyone else aware that you had to learn to run? isn't that one of those bipedal things that should come naturally? apparently not) and I have transitioned from an initial, burning hatred of it to something bordering on enjoyment. Since my basic failure at bipedal locomotion was all that was standing between me and completing a triathlon, I should get my butt in gear and do it. The goal is a sprint triathlon. Bonus points for something longer.

take all of my (important) pills: I've been really good (read: less stupid) about this lately, but it bears repeating. Some pills are more important than others. I had a painful lesson recently in what happens when I don't take my pills. I will strive to be even less stupid this year than last year. I don't know how to quantify this--maybe Ross will have to award me an appropriate number of points.

take care of my back: Hyper-mobility of the lower back (aka "noodle spine") runs in my family. Last summer/fall I got it under control via a strict regime of core strengthening exercises, but this winter's blobification (it turns out that hibernation leaves remarkably little time for weight-bearing exercise) has left me basically back where I started. Since I do much better when I have a routine, my goal will be a core-strengthening session every morning before work. Hopefully, the routine will be enough to carry me through my final (!) Michigan winter. Goal is something (anything) every morning and a full set of reps at least once a week. Bonus points if I start doing a full set more than once a week.

bike a century: I've done this before, but this is really representative of a recommitment to cycling. My bike has been in bad shape, and without my usual goal of RAGBRAI, I rode less than 100 miles total last summer! Subgoals include: fix my bike (replace the cassette, rear dérailleur, chain, cables, tape), attend at least one race clinic, and start riding at least once a week. Options include One Helluva Ride, The Apple Cider Century, Evanston Century, or The Holland Hundred.

climb a 5.10: For the non-climbers in the audience, in the US, climbing routes are rated according to a universal (though basically subjective) system. Any route below a 5.0 is (supposedly) "walkable", but most people (myself included) would feel uncomfortable climbing a 4.x route without a rope. Almost all routes that I climb are a 5.x. I can currently "flash" (climb without falling) all 5.7 routes, and almost all 5.8 routes. I can climb all 5.9 routes (and flash some of them). Five months ago, I was starting to climb 5.10 routes (note that it isn't exactly a decimal...5.10>5.9) but hurt my shoulder. Goal is ability to climb most 5.10a and b routes (the rankings start subdividing into a/b/c around 5.10). Bonus points for climbing a 5.10c.

show my photos in a gallery in Ann Arbor: Currently, I'm showing at a coffee shop around the corner from me. I like the place, but it is probably doomed (I'll probably write about their often-hilarious business plan later). The goal is Sweetwaters Gallery, which is attached to the ritzy coffee shop in town. Bonus points for a gallery not attached to a coffee shop. Double bonus points if I actually sell something.

finish a second paper: I have 3 candidate papers in the works. The goal is to finish one this summer. Bonus points for finishing two. Unfortunately, I need at least one more paper to...

go on the job market: Not really so much a goal as a necessity.

get married: If I don't manage this one, then I am so screwed.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I've always wondered what to call those packets of saltines...

I'm sick today. I started to feel sick last night, but chalked it up to insomnia-related stomach upset. Nope. I have a bona-fide stomach bug.

This morning was awful, but this afternoon, I'm not actually feeling that bad--mostly because I've been keeping my stomach half full of food since lunch (so far today, I've consumed a bowl of cereal, yogurt, a bagel with cream cheese, half a salad (with Ross) a packet of cheese crackers, an entire package of sugar wafers, and one of those rectangular prisms of saltine crackers.) This method has effectively taken care of the stomach problems--leaving me to deal with the flu-like headache, aches, and associated nastiness.

But it does raise a question. Why is it that some stomachaches are solved by eating, and others are made worse? Does anyone else feel like this is some kind of a cruel trick?

You can't read this, cuz blogger thinks I'm a robot.

Apparently, I'm a little too clever for my own good...blogger took a look at my blog title and decided that no human could possibly be that silly. Either that, or my last two posts were "irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical"

Let us hope that it's the former.

Classified as a spam-bot, I wait in blog-o-tube limbo until blogger decides to release me. Of course, if you can read this, I'm already free baby!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Weddin'in--aka: Lovefest 2008

So Ross and I are getting married this May. We were engaged last August, which qualifies us as having a "short" engagement. However, on this end, it seems to have dragged on for-freaking-ever. I've officially crossed "wedding planner" off of my list of potential careers when I grow up. 8 months ago, Ross told me that he wanted a real wedding. 4 months ago, he decided that maybe a trip to Vegas might have been more fun.

But we have reached the home stretch, and it is starting to feel almost "fun" (not so much that I feel like removing the quotation marks, but more fun than it has been). Six months ago, everything was far far away and entirely hypothetical, so it was difficult to really get excited about preparing for it. But now that the time line is measured in weeks (5 of them) rather than months, it is much easier to think of the endless errands in terms of planning a party (a big party...with beer...and tamales) rather than an abstract THING that sucks up big chunks of time with no reward. That is not to say that life is all skittles and beer--I spent most of the day Thursday driving to a dress fitting on the other side of Detroit (those words make me shudder, truly), and last night was spent cutting, gluing, and tying teeny-tiny pieces of ribbon (more on that later). But the end is in sight--and it looks like a rockin' good time.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

In which I enter the so-called "blogo-tubes"

Hi all! Welcome to my blog.

First things first--why moot point tango? Well, it is a combination of words that is infrequently taken, and thus it is my default for many titles--including my photography "business" (so-called, because I have a tax number, not because it actually makes money). I also happen to like the way it sounds--so there.

I intended this blog as a way for my friends and family (most of whom live far from me) to find out what I'm up to. Thus, I'm probably just going to run the gambit topic-wise. Some entries will be work-related--things that I'm thinking about, research problems I'm having, and interesting bits of things that I've read. But hopefully those will be liberally interspersed with the other parts of my life. At the beginning, I'll probably write quite a lot about impending wedding items--because that has taken over my life like a bad b-movie monster--but in a month or so that will be over, and we'll be back to my regular life, full of fast cars, cat acrobatics, and secret ninja-stuff.

Or maybe I made that last part up.

I'm not particularly good at this informal writing thing--so I expect that this will be a rough start. But bear with me! Hopefully, it will get better as I go along. And if not--well, I apologize in advance. Oh--you should also be aware of my affinity for the double-dash, ellipses, and lengthy parenthetical. I'll try to rein that in, but it will be very difficult. Also, I'm not nearly as funny as certain other people we all know--so I won't try!