Archive for July, 2010

July 31, 2010

getting things done

This is really ridiculous, but I totally love Getting Things Done.

I am obviously not the first person to make this particular assertion (read here, here & here to start), but it’s still ridiculous. For me.

I am not a CEO.

I am not a businesslady.

I am not a business student.

I have never taken a business class.

I don’t have any particular Life Responsibilities other than Do School, Housekeep, and Keep Cat Alive.

What I do have is needless, systemic stress that follows me from job to job, from state to state, from day to day, and a burning desire to categorize and compartmentalize every fifteen minutes of my life. So Getting Things Done is really perfect for me, even if I don’t have any high-priority business interests to manage.

The execution of the GTD system is almost wildly complicated, but quite intuitive. I’m not going to attempt to explain the mechanics, but, for me, the magic step is this:

1) Everything that enters your head leaves your head as immediately as possible, to a list. I like lists.

2) Regularly, the contents of that list are “handled” predictably. Some things are done immediately: do all two-minute tasks right away (what a great habit) Some things are recorded elsewhere (appointments on the calendar, notes for something in the future, phone numbers in the address book). Other things are tossed immediately (why did I write that down?) Other things are given the respect for thoughtful consideration they require.

Unlike the more traditional to-do list, this list doesn’t write your marching orders, your ‘Do This or Face The Wrath of Your Wrathful, Perfect, Imaginary Self’ stigma. Not everything can be done right away, or should be done right away. Your time does not belong to the list – the list is just the contents of your everyday brain, somewhere you can look at it, and make informed decisions instead of those dictated by guilt, procrastination, or haste.

3) And you still get to cross everything off in the end.

David Allen calls this a “trusted system,” and this is what my brain wants. My brain, rightfully so, does not trust itself to be it’s best self all the time, and actually remember to do everything I need to/want to do, or to always choose to do those things over the easier, more pleasant things. Like The Ocarina of Time. My brain currently gravitates to a Nintendo 64 controller more often than a schoolbook. And that’s okay, as long as my system is there to catch me back up when I’m done beating the mother-fraisfmoeining gdwatertemple.

If you trust your system, you can relax and enjoy relaxing, which is so peaceful I want to cry.

You get to play with lists without feeling the press of futility, knowing your beautiful, useful to-do list will most likely go ignored and be tossed, uncrossed, into next week’s garbage.

I’ll let you know how the Creative Productivity thing works out later.

July 27, 2010

crazy and crazy

Coming closer to a year living in Boston, a year post-move, and I am feeling waves of urgency pulling me here to write some things about it, about my life now, about my life before, about this crazy, crazy year of my life.

But then I can’t decide what to write.

For now, a poorly told anecdote. Showing is better than telling. Just take this story and multiply it by my life.

On Sunday night, I turned off the light for bed and moaned until Lance came in the room to see what my problem was. “What is your problem?” he asked. I told him I didn’t know if I should get up early or sleep in. I told him I didn’t want to go to sleep because I wasn’t tired and I’d just have to wake up again. I told him I didn’t want to go to my internship.

“I thought you liked your internship,” he said. “Why don’t you want to go?’

“Because I have to wake up.” I said. “And get dressed. And make food. And then eat it.”

He laughed at me.

I did go to sleep and I did wake up. There was a note on the TV. It said: “Wake me up before you leave I have something to ask you.”

So I did. In his underwear, half asleep, Lance explained this hare-brained scheme to buy a car in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and not just any car, but THE EXACT SAME CAR WE HAVE only with 30,000 less miles and a blue paint job.

Being that I didn’t know we were LOOKING for a car, I continued to make food, go to Somerville, eat my food, and come home.

I walked in the door more than prepared to be tired. Lance was waiting for me in the kitchen.

“Look what I got today!”

It wasn’t a blue Saturn, but a window air conditioning unit half the size of our four-door sedan, blocking all the sunlight and leaving a gaping opening in the window where my cat might find a deathly escape.

“We already have one of those.” I pointed to the bedroom.

“It was free!” he said. “I drove twenty miles to go get it. It was really heavy. But I can’t plug it in! I have to go to Home Depot and get an adapter. I’m going to sell it. I think I’ll make some espresso now, so I won’t stay up so late again tonight. Where should I put this air conditioner?


Not everything changes in a year.

July 23, 2010

Summer Reading 2010 – Update

Books read since June 21: 18

4 manuscripts

2 middle grade novels

7 young adult novels

3 adult novels

2 memoirs

Books read on vacation:

Books read since returning from vacation:

Books left to read before September 1 to meet my totally arbitrary goal: 8
July 22, 2010


Alert! I used to have a mullet.

Well, now that we’ve got that out of the way…

Bulletin #1: Until September 1, I only have two responsibilities – Show up to Work, Show up to Internship. It’s pretty much 9 to 5, five days a week, but really, the hard part is Showing Up.

Bulletin #2: I’m dropping down to two classes next semester, and neither of which will be cataloging. After receiving a friendly, introductory email from the prof that included the phrase “maybe you should drop the class” more than three times, I took the hint.

Bulletin #3: I will be back in Michigan in late August, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Bulletin #4: My cat went into heat for about three days. I couldn’t be more excited to drive her back to Michigan and get her fixed.

Bulletin #5: I have friends from home, 1, 2 and 3. Friend 1 is due in December. Friend 2 is due in January. Friend 3 is due in February.

Bulletin #6: We are getting out of the city on Sunday. I promise you this! I just don’t know where we are going…

July 19, 2010

said and done

So I guess now that my endless stream of vacation nonsense has come to a close, I must return to blogging about other things. Things not from a few weeks ago.

Maybe something about What I Did Today?

I made a smoothie for breakfast but it wasn’t that good. When you take the time to make a smoothie for breakfast, you expect it to be awesome, right? Right. It wasn’t. But now I have four more chopped up frozen bananas to eat up…

Something from the future?

I am woefully confused about my future career again. Maybe I never want to do another storytime. Would that be so wrong? Maybe I don’t care about my job that much, as long as I can make okay money and do it wherever I roam. Even if I have to do storytimes…

Or something from the past? Farther than two weeks past?

When I was twelve, I owned a short sleeved, mock-turtle neck minidress, made of royal blue crushed velvet. Hot.

Something insightful?

I can’t even pretend to have insights in italics right now.

Something witty?

That’s what she said.


oh I give up.

July 17, 2010

jamaica plain

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Boston, Massachusetts

Jamaica Plain

On the last official day of vacation,

I decided to go to work.


But then I took to the T home at noon, and found myself at the Sam Adams Brewing Company, taking my third brewery tour in twelve months.

Tour number two for those two guys.

I didn’t have time for lunch, except for a quarter of an Ula’s sandwich, shoved in my mouth while we walked across the brewery complex.

This resulted in the following consquences:

1. Lance fell madly in love with Sam Summer, and our fridge might be stocked religiously for the rest of the season

2. I got drunk at 1 p.m.

Me being drunk at 1 p.m. resulted in a few more consequences:

1. Following a text message tip, we walked to Boing! to buy cat-shaped silly bands.

2. I spent a long time contemplating the books at Goodwill.

Which one did I buy?

And to round out a Vacation-In-My-Own-Neighborhood, I ate my favorite sandwich at City Feed & Supply, and then had a drink and played Scrabble at the Brendan Behan Pub, aka “The Dog Bar.”

No dogs were sighted.

The next day,

vacation was over.

July 16, 2010


Monday, July 5, 2010

Gloucester, Massachusetts

Whale Watching Tour

You guys ever heard of Groupon?

Oh, you guys.

I Grouponed some tickets for a four-hour whale watching tour, 25 bucks a head.

We drove madly through Boston to make our appointment,

and by 1:00, we were on board,

and cans of beer were only 2.75! Who knew?

How many whales would we see?

We took bets.

Lance said 3.

Frank said 4.

I said 7.

We saw like, 20.

But first, we saw a fin.

The tour lady said it was a floating flat sunfish or something. Common to the area.

But she was wrong.


Oh. Snap.

It was so much fun.

July 15, 2010

country superstar fireworks

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Boston, MA

The Esplanade

On Saturday, Lance and I had to leave.

I forgot to tell my Grandpa until I was going to bed the night before.

He was shocked.

I was shocked!

But we had places to go,

people to pick up from D.C,

and fireworks to watch.

And boy, did we get a choice location.

Highlights included:

  • high schoolers on hallucinogens hosting a guitar sing-along circle
  • some old-fashioned, Midwestern parenting: screaming parents, Burger King for dinner, and projectile glowsticks landing on my stomach
  • a far too epic adventure to acquire pizza
  • active members of the Toby Keith Fan Club who, as our companion Alesa put it so succinctly, were obviously caught in a Rad Bromance. And who did push-ups during the chorus.
  • A guy busted by the cops for stripping off his shirt and swimming across a pond. Sakes alive!

Oh, and the fireworks.

They were pretty.

July 14, 2010


Friday, July 2, 2010

Sunset Beach

The Ocean

We returned, this time with SPF 30.

Lotion, not a spray can.

The waves were awesome,

they had a Rumba at the gas station on the way in,

and we made fun of Dorothy’s cross-country tan a lot.

I promise you, the sunburn looked a lot better in person.

Although now I look like I’m a freakin’ shedding snake…

July 13, 2010

get your ankles wet

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sunset Beach, North Carolina

The Ocean

On Tuesday, we went to the beach.

On Tuesday night, we all developed sunburns.

On Wednesday, we settled for a walk. A clothed walk. On an overcast day.

Lance said, “Let’s come back for a swim tonight! A night swim!”

We forgot, and went to see Toy Story 3 instead.

But it was still a nice afternoon.