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02 January 2006

2006: Phase I

I dropped R off at the airport earlier this morning. The great thing about early morning flights is that you're too tired to be emotional about anything, which makes stuff like this easier.

We had a terrific holiday season, and we're both looking forward to this next step in our lives, although this first year will have trials of the intercontinental variety. At least we're in the same time zone. That will make things easier.

We found an online Scrabble site, and we tested it while using Skype, so we think that our exciting nightlife might not have to change too much despite the 1700 miles between us, as we can virtually play Scrabble at 10 pm every night as normal. From what we can gather, phone rates are outrageous. Even SpeedyPin, the cheapest phone cards available, can't give us anything lower than $0.55/minute. Ouch! For those of you who want to talk to R for free (or at all), download Skype today!

We didn't really do the gift thing over the holidays, as we decided we didn't want anything else to pack and ship, so we pooled what we would have spent on gifts and went out to eat a few times. It was fun. I am quite the sushi connoisseur now, eating things like unagi (eel) and sashimi (raw fish, no rice). Mind you, this was stuff that made me want to barf just a year ago. Unfortunately, when you eat more energy than you spend, you pack on the pounds, and this is true even with sushi. The weather has been rainy and generally unpleasant, and we had planned to do several winter hikes before her departure, but Mother Nature didn't make that possible.

That brings me to my next topic:

New Year's Resolutions

On New Year's Eve, our friend Garrick was asking everyone about NY resolutions. I was surprised to hear that most of our friends don't put much stock into them. I, on the other hand, am a resolution junkie. I think that they are the greatest thing in the world if one wants to really make a change. Sure, they can be predictable, but that just means that some struggles in life are more common than others. I'll share ours with you.

1. Lose Winter Weight before Winter Ends

This one falls under the "predictable" category. Anyone who saw us over the summer or fall knows that we were looking slim and trim and toned. However, when times got really tough in the financial arena, we had to say goodbye to our $230 monthly bill to our yoga studio. We had rationalized spending the money for it for so long, arguing that by staying healthy we were saving money down the road in preventing illness. However, after one 3 week Ramen noodle bout, we cracked! And we said goodbye to yoga, along with Netflix, bottled water, store-bought bread, and organic vegetables (we stayed with organic meat all the way b/c that also involves humane animal treatment). In the early fall, the weather was great and we were able to take long walks and still go on hikes, but as the semester progressed, so did my grading workload, and time was as scarce as cash! We still maintained our waistlines, though, because we were fairly active (running here and there and not being able to afford to go out to eat. However, once the job offer came, we went a little overboard. I guess you could say that we over-indulged. Now it needs to come off again. Because my knees got so messed up this year while doing yoga (I don't blame yoga, but I'm not anxious to find a reason to), I'm not going to go back to the studio. My plan is simple: keep healthy eating habits, walk 4 miles a day with one of the dogs around the back cove, daily stretching and weight training routine, and my favorite - intermittent dance breaks (crank the stereo 4 times a day and dance for 10 minutes. Raf is unsure what her routine will be (although we are going to do one of the dance breaks together over Skype), but she hopes it includes snorkeling, beach walking, and volcano climbing.


This is for R. She doesn't know it's a resolution yet, but she will when she reads this! She needs to quit. She's cut down dramatically, but she needs to stop altogether. It's gross. It stinks. It's costly. It looks stupid. It causes wrinkles and stained teeth. It can lead to cancer and stroke and heart disease and asthma. It's socially un-hip. It does not make one live longer. It does not make one more likeable. It does not increase intelligence. It does not improve memory. It does not make one more productive. It does not make one thinner. It does not lead to wealth and fortune. It has no redeeming qualities. Please quit, R!

3. Continuing Education Syllabus

This one if more for me than R, although she does it in her own way. I did this one last year, and it was a great success. I wrote a year-long syllabus to help me relearn (or in some cases, just learn) world history. I didn't stick to the syllabus I created for myself, but I stuck to the basic plan. Originally, I was focusing on eras and places all over the boards. Eventually, I began to focus on the last 100 years in Latin America, which is funny because my focus shifted even before R applied for the West Indies gig. I just finished a book on Venezueala before Christmas, in fact. So I am going to do a repeat of this resolution, and I'll try to remember that flexibility is a good thing. One thing I want to learn more about this year is the Caribbean (that's a no-brainer), and I want to continue studying marine biology, specificially tidal zone ecology. I am also renewing my committment to German and Italian, which was going very strong in 2004, but waned in 2005.

4. Learn New Skills

This year, I want to learn Dreamweaver and Final Draft and Flash. We both want to learn Final Cut Pro. I want to explore the boundaries of podcasting, especially in relation to my teaching. I want to design better web pages.

5. Make Revision and Editing a Priority

We've gotten pretty good at being prolific when it comes to art and writing, but now we need to get better at the next stage: getting it ready to send out.

6. Send Out at Least One Piece a Month

This can be plays, scripts, query letters, articles, academic abstracts, animation shorts, whatever. I'm sending out a play today, so January is taken care of, at least. Raf did one yesterday for January, so she's good to go, too. I need to scour the web for deadlines and submissions, and line up projects for the rest of the year.

7. Moisturize and Find Other Ways to Slow the Ageing Process

This is the year we both turned gray. It is disgruntling. R is light, so her hair dyes nicely, but my hair doesn't. I'm salt and pepper, even after dyeing. It's time for drastic measures. Perhaps henna? It's also time to deal with the sad fact that the texture of my hair has changed with age, and there's no reason to keep it long anymore. Alas. One needs to deal with these realities.

8. Stop Biting My Nails

This has been on the list every year since I was old enough to make resolutions (1976?). Sometimes I have periods of fantastic success (1992-1994; June-August 2005), but mainly I am a biter. So is R. It's gross. It looks stupid. No redeeming qualities. Time to quit. This could be the year. I'm going to treat myself to a manicure this week to help me get started.

9. Continue with the Bread Baking

...and other money-saving techniques. We won't be broke anymore, but maintaining two households will be pricey, so now is not the time to splurge. Also, I enjoyed many of the cost-efficient habits we developed, as many were also ecologically sound. However, NO MORE RAMEN! (Unless I really have a craving for it.)

10. Be a Better Human Being

Like #8, this goes on the list every year, and like anyone else, sometimes I do better than other times. Of course, if this weren't the ultimate noble goal of all of us, then there would be no reason for writing resolutions out every January, would there?

What are your resolutions, gentle reader? Please post them here and inspire us all!


Blogger JAK said...

Hey gals,

I have the same resolution that I always have - lose weight and get in shape! I imagine myself on a high mountain slope, standing next to my tent looking down on a gorgeous alpine meadow valley. The vision is entering my conscious mind more frequently - I think because I'm getting older and I realize that my time is running out. I want to backpack in the Brooks Range (Alaska) and Rocky Mountains (North America). I always resolve to be more patient and a better person. I succeed on occasion.

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