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A Day of "Don'ts"

on January 10, 2008 - 7:04pm

So... on the list of top 10 things you probably shouldn't do when it comes time for one's yearly review with their manager: leave the draft of your development goals until 4:00 the night before its due and write out 4 goals that are all essentially politically correct ways of saying "get me off my current project".

Ah well, it's my first goal meeting with my manager (I've only been a full time employee since October :P) She can scold me Tuesday.

Other things I did today I probably shouldn't have... heh. A few. Not really expecting my weekly weigh-in to go real great tomorrow: normally I don't eat my flex points (yes, I do WW for those who asked) but this week it's been all I can do to not inhale everything. I blame running through my program 5-10 times an hour at skating all this week. So I've been earning more APs, but also eating way more with the FPs. At least though I've written everything down! I have honestly kept track of everything that passed through my lips this past week (so go me!) I have pretty well cut back on my soda intake and tried to guzzle the water to help get rid of the residual holiday sugar-weight. *fingers crossed* We'll see how it goes tomorrow!

...One more "don't" for the day: cranky, muddy, wet puppies shouldn't be left to run amuck over recently steam cleaned carpets- even if they are cute Australian Shepherds (or Wheaton Terriers named Sweeney... but that wouldn't some one else's problem ;)). *sigh* Oh well. I still love my Spectre. Wonder how many APs one can earn steam cleaning carpets and moving furniture?

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Odd little day of breakthroughs

on January 9, 2008 - 7:56pm

Today was wierd - good, but weird.

It's amazing what a little practice will do. I had spent most of Monday doing program run throughs so today when I got together with my coach, I could actually get through my program without (too much) mishap. But afterwards, all I wanted to to was drag my sorry self off the ice and back into bed and veg out for the day. If I coudln't do that, I wanted to huddle up on the couch and write (still suffering from brain warp).

Needless to say, neither happened. I get to work in time to find out I'm a half hour late for a meeting with my bosses (kind of them to send me the invite and hour before I was scheduled to be in this morning). So I spend the mornign running from one meeting to another getting maybe a half hour here and there to actually get my code in some semblance of a deliverable form. But whatever I managed to do, it worked! We'd had some massive memory leak problems this morning, and they were fixed by the time I delivered my code at the end of the day (for those of you wondering, memory leaks ARE in fact related to us programmers loosing our motivation and will to code ;) ) So Yay! For the first time ina long time, I left work feeling accomplished (and thoroughly enjoyed YAL all the way home).

Had to take Spectre to the vet today though (she had some sort of tummy sore :( ). It's weird to me to watch other people around my dog. I see her all the time so while I still gush over how cute she is (I have the cutest puppy ever! Sorry Sweeney, if it make syou feel better though, your human ain't too bad ;) ), I'm used to her behavior (and sometimes lack thereof - we used to have lattice around the back deck, Destructor-The-Terrible apparently didn't like it). It cracks me up when other people are amazed at her: there was one guy at the vet who just about fell off his chair when I told her to lay down and she did. He said he'd pay good money to see his dog mind him like that (the poor man was holding a Pekinsese) I saw a guy on TV who was a dog trainer and his joke was that it was actually false advertising: he was really a people trainer who helped dogs understand their humans. I guess I either lucked out and my puppy really is as smart as I say she is, or my semesters of Skinner and Watson had paid off.

So now I finally get to sit down and do what I've been trying to do- write! I had some major mental plot breakthroughs the other night, lets see if I can make use of them!

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Brain burst impending

on January 7, 2008 - 7:46pm

Well, I did it! Went to the New Year's party Saturday and totally rocked it! I noshed a little, but mostly on the veggie tray. I did sample one or two of ther other goodies, but I stayed away from the store bought brownies and the cheese-cake (I could get those anywhere so they werne't special enough to eat then).

So to celebrate, I went shopping at Barnes & Noble. I originally thought I'd be spending by giftcard on fiction books but when I got there I got stricken with the same bizzarrely compeling force that held me hostage most of high school: I wanted to write.

I felt this part of me coming back over Thanksgiving actually- something about Christmas music I think brings out this side of me. But this time, it's feels a little different. I have this sudden almost irrepresible urge to start plugging away at the story idea I came up with way back when. I'm exhausted from work, I have a million other little errands I need to be running and doing, but I'm suffering from an almost Frankensteinian obsession: those characters that fascinated me years ago feel like they're about to burst out of my little brain at any moment. I suddenly get them! I know the whos and the whys, I just need the time to let them all come out.

So I took my gift card and invested in research. Instead of yet more stories to sit on my shelf, I found some style guides and some rather focused "how tos" written by authors of books I've read and enoyed and I found some writing magazines. I may have the urge to get the story out, but if I'm going to make anything out of it, I need to understand the business better.

And honestly, I want something to come of it. I had another somewhat life-changing ephiphany today when I was in the middle of the morning scramble between skating and work: I really don't want to work full time at a computer job. I like my job just fine, but really, if I could have one wish, I think right now I'd wish to be able to "work-work" part time and write (and I'd skate in there too, but not as a career obviously!) Who knows? Maybe someday you'll be able to find a Grobanite in the sci-fi section!

So here I go! I'm never going to have a better opportunity to start like the present- I am employed, I don't have any outstanding debts really... I'm quite fortunate! I can pursue my writing urge and not starve (though as my dad once laughed, our family could probably stand to waste away to normal ;)) It will be a few months before I can really worry and work at getting into grad school in earnest so in the meanwhile, I think I need to fill some pages... and fill them quickly... before these characters running around in my head cause my brain to burst.

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Game Face On!

on January 5, 2008 - 6:29pm

I almost wused out of Pilates this mornings. Boy, am I glad I didn't. It was sadistic. I have never sweated that much in a Pilates class (heck, I don't think I've ever sweated at all in Pilates!) There is no way I'll be wanting to move at all tomorrow. But the instructor said try it and I pushed and I did it. It was GLORIOUS.

Have delivered smack down in Pilates stance. Go me.

Speaking of game faces, where the heck did my Seahwaks go in the middle fo the game? Make me scream myself hoarse. Bloody heck. No more of that please, boys.

Went out for Mongolian to celebrate afterwards (oooohhhhh soooooo nummmmmy...) and made a rather amuesing discovery:

Dad still has Noel playing in his car.

Yeah. It's January and my Dad is still listening to Josh's Christmas album. ("What? You mean we have to put Midnight Clear and Panis Angelicus away? Why?") Sometimes I think we should be sharing this fan club membership... Maybe I'll get him his own for his birthday :).

But the real point of this rambling as that tonight I face my first challange of '08: a belated New Year's Party.

So far today, I've been perfectly on plan: went to Pilates and got my APs (and HOW), ate light but filling for breakfast and lunch and went out and had a full dinner before I go. I'm taking a Weight Watcher's recipe (some lovely one point breadsticks) and I'm bringing a party game that I like to play that will keep my hands busy. Normally when I go to these sorts of things, I end up being the painfully shy wallflower and unfortunatly, the open walls tend to be near the food. So I'm going to have to battle both the shyness AND my noshing tendancies. I haven't touched my flex points yet this week (not too hard... my "week" started yesterday) but as of this moment as I'm writing, I don't feel like eating any more- so I don't need to! I'm going to go and get to know my office mates better in an environment that doesn't involve code and meetings and email. And did I mention the not feeling guilty tomorrow? Looking forward to that! I won't look back and think about what a little piggy I was and how my officemate probably snickered at it afterwards. And I think I'm going to reward myself tomorrow for doing things right tonight- I think a nice stroll around Barnes & Noble while I look for things to spend my Christmas giftcard on... Maybe something from the FOJG store too (that cute little "You are Loved" t-shirt springs to my splurgy mind ;) )

Okay... Time to go print off directions and get myself ready. Tonight I'm going to score one major play-off level non-scale victory! Game face on!

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Back to the Grind

on January 4, 2008 - 10:29pm

I distinctly remember having a lutz and salchow before Christmas and I would love to know why they get a longer holiday break than I do!

5AM came bloody early- early enough my dog didn't want to get out of her kennel! I opened it up and she laid there looking at me with eyes that said "Human, you are out of your f------ mind." (I don't get sad puppy eyes from Spectre, I get "you're crazy") To be fair, I was out of it too: I couldn't make Jell-O to save my life last night and cooking eggs this morning was almost too much.

Yay for morning rituals.

On the upside though, I did start the year off right WW wise and busted out a 1.5lb loss this week! I officially carried through with my '07 resolution to weigh less at the end of '07 than I did at the end of '06 (by about 10 whole lbs!) Certainly doesn't hurt the confidence to set a goal and acheive it ;)

Then I get to the rink and my coach tells me that she'd made a miscalcultion: the next USFSA test is at the end of February instead of closer to Spring like we'd planned which means I have only a handful of weeks to get my test program ready.

So instead of the casual refresher session I'd planned on I spent a solid hour skating this morning at full speed. Seriously. I had about 20 minutes to myself to warm up in the beginning and remind myself of MITF patterns, and from then out it was skate my 1:40 program, rest for half a minute or so while my coach retweaked choreography she wasn't happy with, reskate, repeat. By the end I'm so twizzled around my bunny hops aren't even happening (but dang it, my flip still works!)

So by 8:00AM when I drag my exhausted little bod off the ice I'd earned a whopping 6 activity points. Then I got to go to work and sit while my muscles tightened themselves up. Yay!

Work wasn't so bad but for whatever reason, the 8 hours just started dragging by 2:00. I churned code all day, even made what could losely be described as "progress" and then at 4:30 the emails start. We'll just say I have a new pet peeve: bosses who arbitrarily change their minds and then deny their own inconsistency! My spiteful side wanted to resend an email discussion I'd had over the summer where my boss kicked and screamed to get things to work the way they are now- today they suddenly decided it'd be handy if they worked that other way (that was so repulsive over the summer, *sigh*)

Oh well. I guess the new kid in the office still has to learn how detect the phases of the moon.

... worked my butt off skating (oh, and did I mention the spectacular tumble I had in the upright spin? My aching knee hasn't let me forget it all day...), pounded code, dealt with bosses, watched the clocks drag in the afternoon. Yep, '08 is picking up right where '07 left off! I know today was a Friday... but really it felt like some one shouting "Back to the grind!" to me!

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