Friday, September 30, 2011

Operation Awesomepants: Month 1 Results & Reflections

Hi, y'all!

Today is September 30th, which makes tomorrow October 1st, which means that the first month of Operation Awesomepants, whose theme was energy, is coming to a close.  So, did I keep my resolutions?  Did keeping them dramatically improve my life and make me a happier non-camper?  It was a mixed bag with a positive result, like when your Starburst packet contains a disproportionate number of orange ones, but then you decide that you actually really like orange ones.  Yeah.  Just like that.

Wait?  What the what is this?  Do you think it rumbles with Sunny D?  Does orange juice look down on it with disdain?  Fascinating.  Let's table this discussion and get back to business, shall we?

1.  Go to sleep earlier.  

I opted to ignore this resolution so many times that the first row in my OA log looks like it's been hit with some 90's-era crop circles.  I managed to go to sleep earlier exactly 6 nights out of the last 29, and will likely stay up tonight, too.  That's a whopping 20% completion rate, friends, not something I'm proud of.  The siren song of just a few more minutes of reading in bed, or watching TV with SLB, or surfing the stupid web in an obsessive quest for Halloween decorations was just too strong to resist.  Still, I'll persist (Did I mention that I'm an amateur rapper?) into next month and the rest of the year.  The strange thing is that, even though I didn't get more sleep than previous months, especially with big transitions in Livy's life that kept her up some nights, I seemed to have more energy during the days.  My self-exhortation to "make the effort" rang through my days loudly and really did give me the verve that I expected more sleep to impart.  But more on that later.  And, hopefully, more early nights next month.

2.  Use energy honestly.

All right, this one is a 27/29, clearly a success, but, again, unexpectedly so.  I had anticipated that this resolution would prompt more rest in my days - more naps when I'd been up the previous night with Livy, more quiet reading time - but the exact opposite was true.  I know that I have a tendency to try to quell the ants that seem to permanently reside in my pants, sometimes to the extent that I'll force myself into quiet activities simply because I think I should save energy or maintain a calm home during Livy's rest times, a habit left over from our previous house that was half the size of the new house.  So, when I examined my energy level during the past month, I found more often that I really wanted to be doing more activity, not less.  That meant less reading, napping, and screen time, and more cleaning, weeding, exercising, puttering and cooking, all of which are good things.  This is also reflected in a surprise weight loss of 3 pounds for the month, too, which is also a great unexpected blessing.  Who knew I had it in me?

3.  Exercise Better.

This one was a toughie to maintain because I'm generally leery of new physical activity, but I managed an 18/30, or 60% of my workouts consisting of more than just pounding away at an elliptical trainer.  I've also been brave about attending an evening yoga class at the gym with great results.  I'm already improving in my flexibility and strength and can do poses now that I couldn't do when I was at my peak fitness before Livy.  Liv and I have also been attending a mommy-toddler dance class, and I'm counting that as flexibility training because of all the stretches we do.  One thing I still need to confront is my reluctance to lift weights at the gym.  It smells like raw ass in the weight room, like post-Katrina flooding and old sweat mingled together, and I hate to take up valuable cardio time when at the gym is my only opportunity to really work up a sweat (Livy hates it when I run with the stroller).  But, I recognize that this is a next step in exercising better and will find a solution.

4.  Plug Leaks

22/30, or 73%.  Leak-plugging has been easy this month, mainly because we have so many to plug.  We may have moved in in March, but we've also been so busy and complacent that we never really settled in and began nesting in the new house.  There was a lot of low-hanging fruit to pick, and we picked a bushel in the last month.  And I say "we," uncharacteristically, not in the royal sense.  Once we sat down and took a room-by-room inventory of changes we want to make and things we want to do in the house, SLB got on board with feverish activity.  Livy has even begun cleaning up her toys at the end of the day - a couple of times without my having to ask.  The leak-plugging has also spread to car maintenance, self-care, parenting (Oh, hi big girl bed and potty training!) and all manner of nagging "undones" on my to-do list.  This forward motion feels great, and the sense that we're tackling these projects as a team is even better.

5.  Make the Effort.

This one is tricky.  I've got a perfect 100% here, no zeroes in any square in that row.  I should celebrate, but I feel like I sometimes make the wrong effort.  I may work and hustle all day long doing things, but often at the end of the day I feel like I've accomplished nothing of importance.  Sure, I may have cleaned the kitchen, but did I do any writing that day?  Yes, I may have run around hauling Livy from errand to errand, but did we have any meaningful floor time together?  I know this is normal for a lot of people, particularly stay-at-home parents, but I'd like to focus on not just making any old effort, but on making the RIGHT effort.  So please consider this resolution duly changed to Make the Right Effort.  The days during which I did make the right effort, particularly when doing art projects with Livy or taking her to a play at the Seattle Children's Theater (she talks about painting on her feet to make footprint art and "Hawold and da Puhple Cwayon" ALL. THE. TIME.) I consider my most successful of the month.  That kind of effort is where good memories come from, and that's the kind of work I want to do under this resolution.  So, a result, a reflection, and a revision.  That's parallelism at its best as I launch tomorrow into Month 2.

I Need A Date! And A Therapist!

Two things:

1.  Will someone go to "Can't Look Away: The Lure of Horror exhibit at the EMP with me when it opens?

Please don't let it get me, please don't let it get me, please OH, GOD, WHAT'S THAT SOUND?  Please don't let it get me...

2.  And then will someone please sit up with me and hold my hand while I don't sleep for the following 3 days?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Community Property Is A Cruel Mistress

Because SLB can't divorce me without losing a lot of money, I'll be buying this dress for Olivia immediately.

I will, of course, be getting a matching shirt for myself.  And SLB?  Well, there's a bottle of bourbon with his name on it, provided that he's changed his name to "Mark."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

House Rules

It's been safely established that, in addition to being a gorgeous genius with a rapier wit, I am also an idiot when it comes to common sense.  But I'm excellent at respecting established rules and guidelines and have been since I was a kid when I worried constantly about breaking the law (Instead of repeating "Why?" like a normal child would, I would repeatedly ask "Is that illegal?  Is that illegal?").  Thus to protect me from myself, we have house rules that I obey religiously.  Such rules include:



This rule used to simply read "No more than 10 cherries a day" until the great Nectarine Incident of 2010, when it was broadened to the above.  Now one medium peach, nectarine, or plum, or 10 cherries count as a serving.  We are all happier about my adherence to this guideline.  And by "we all," I mean the whole world.


Although I love a menaced Shelly Duvall second only to a menaced Gwyneth Paltrow.  It's not misogyny; it's just good sense.

I used to be a film student which, unexpectedly, sometimes makes me feel brave.  It convinces me that I can watch scary movies because of my advanced intellect and appreciation for the cinematic form.  It's not a horror movie, see?  It's Kubrick.  And even if it is a horror movie - excuse me, horror film - I've studied the structure, conventions, and cultural history of the genre and am impervious to the fear it expects to inspire because of these academic endeavors - excuse me, endeavours.  The only problem with this rationale is that it's all a huge stinking lie and I'm a huge stinking weenie - excuse me, weenie.  And the problem with The Shining in particular, aside from how much I love the movie in spite of its spookiness, is that cable programmers delight in torturing me and always seem to run it when SLB is either 1) out of town, or 2) working late every night because he is so Mighty and Important.  So, time and time again I find myself watching those damned ghost girls who want to play with me forever and ever and ever, and time and time again I do not sleep all night because of them.  So, technically I am allowed to watch The Shining, but not after dark or when I'll have to go to bed alone.  Even then it's not such a good idea.  Just writing about it now I had to pause and 1) turn on the lights on the whole first floor of the house, and 2) move so that my chair was against a wall instead of backed toward the whole, open, ghost-ridden living room.  No joke.


Because the only thing more embarrassing than watching this and weeping about not being able to see Joe Strummer in this life in front of our closest friends at our going-away-from-NYC party is having subsequently wept about not being able to see Joe Strummer in this life in front of my husband.  Or by myself.  Again and again and again.  Tipsy Christina is drawn to this video like most tipsy people are drawn to contacting their exes.  I know I shouldn't, and I know it'll just make me cry, but WHY DIDN'T HE STAY?  WHY CAN'T I SEE HIM ONE LAST [or first] TIME?  Tragic.  Just tragic.

And, finally, thanks to last weekend's sleepless debacle, we have a new house rule:


Because, even though Sharon Angela's rambling and nasally tale of a ghost that held her pinned to a metaphysical shop floor for 5-10 minutes in order to save her from being murdered in central park is hilariously told, it took an additional hour of reading first person accounts of the Great Depression in bed in order to cleanse my palate enough to turn out the light.  And you know it's bad when the destitution and starvation of a nation is considered the "light" bedtime story alternative.

The house rules:  Learn them.  Live them.  Pity my weakness that requires them.

*Seriously?  "Embed removed due to request" AND the video is preceded by a commercial?  That's almost as bad as the "London Calling" Jaguar commercial that used to make me yell, sweat, and lose minor bladder control.  Very minor.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Next Year's Pride Parade Is Going To Be AWESOME!

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of cephalopods, squid in particular.  It is also no secret that I am a friend and fellow traveler of the, how shall we call them?  Gays.  Yes.  The gays.  8 arms; two penises; four boobies:  I like those combinations (and how spectacular would a combination of all three of those be?).

So, this article, which describes a new discovery of homosexual activity among a 5 1/2 inch deep-sea squid tickled my fancy.  Technically, the squid have no sexual orientation, but that does not stop males from mating with both females and males down within the briny deep.  When a squid inseminates a female, it is called reproduction.  When a squid aims its liquid gold at a male, it is called - wait for it - "traumatic insemination."  And, boy howdy, if I ever see the inside of a birthing class again, I'll eagerly use this phrase at least a dozen times before ceasing to find it funny and leaving in search of a large snack.

Here's a description of the process.  Technically, it's safe for work since science knows no impropriety.  But if you don't snicker at this at least a little bit then you're as dead to me as your soul is to you.

"The way the squid mate is something else. Little is known about the details but it seems that the male ejaculates a packet of sperm at the mating partner, and the packet turns inside out, essentially shooting the sperm contained in a membrane into the flesh of the partner, where they stay embedded until the female (if the shooter has been lucky) is ready to fertilize its eggs. If males are the recipient of these rocket sperm, they are just stuck with them. It is the kind of mating that would make a good video game."

Now, I'm not a gamer, but I'd invest in any system for which this game was created.  Also delightful is the name of the scientific article first reporting same-sex squid behavior - "A Shot in the Dark: Same-sex Sexual Behavior in Deep-sea Squid."  Brilliant, I say!  BRILLIANT!

Relatedly, I bought Livy an octopus costume for Halloween.  I wonder how long it would take to dye it rainbow?  Hmmmmmmm...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thank Goodness Tuition At Small, Liberal Arts Colleges Is Reasonable

Here are two examples of Livy's following in her mother's occupationally impoverished footsteps from today's conversations.  That sobbing you hear is SLB calculating the overall cost of my humanities-laden education plus inflation minus the grants I got for being poor and the 2+ jobs I held at any given time during school to get a rough estimate of Livy's upcoming education expenses.

1.  Olivia Lee (babbling loudly in the back seat of the car):  "DON'T BE RACIST, GOAT!"

Seriously, Goat.  You have to chill on the goat power talk in front of the kid.

Olivia Lee (playing with toy hippos in the bathtub):  Hippo is going for a walk.
Mama:  Where is hippo going?
Olivia Lee:  Hippo walking to the cafe.
Mama:  What is hippo going to do there?
Olivia Lee (gleeful, grinning):  Hippo likes to hang out!  Hang out at the cafe!

Oh, please.  It took them 9 seasons to cast a Black woman.  Like they'd ever let a hippo hang out there.  Goat and Friends: Rivaling one another for racist supremacy since 1994.

So, to encourage her to pursue her dreams, she is definitely wearing this for Halloween:

Bring on the Karo syrup, Elmer's glue, and patchouli.  We've got us another novitiate!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


In The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution Shulamith Firestone famously compared giving birth to "shitting a pumpkin."

Well, Ms. Firestone, it looks as if your work's influence has finally trickled down to the sweatshops of Oriental Trading/Terry's Village (Tagline: "Where your child's toys are made by a child his or her own age!).  Congratulations, and behold!

For the most feminist/festive of "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" subjects.

That there is a jack-o-lantern toilet set, and boy is it scary!  Now choose a pumpkin-shaped focal point and get to work!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Movin' On Up

Once upon a time there was an expectant mother who looked like this:

Rock out with your bellybutton out.

And an expectant father who, seeing his wife's increasingly gargantuan belly, decided that the time was ripe to assemble a crib for his growing baby girl.  That process looked a lot like this:

He's just pretending to hammer.  Our crew of crib-building elves is just out of frame.

And this crib worked for a long, long time.  Like when that baby looked like this:

Yes, I know I was supposed to take the bib off before her nap.  I can't go back in time, so don't nag.

or like this:

Cat always was, cat always is, and cat always will be Livy's snuggly little nighttime pal.

But now that that baby has started looking more like this, it was time to think about transitioning the crib into a toddler bed.

She never climbed out, but she could have.  It just never occurred to her to do it when yelling for us to get her out was so much more efficient.

And so now she sleeps in a Big Girl Bed that looks exactly like this:

Why is it that pretending to go to bed is always more fun than actually going to bed?  Why would you play at something you apparently don't like much anyway?

The transition to a Big Girl Bed wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, but I can't say it was easy given how much sleep we've lost in the last week or so now that the crib is gone.  Livy stays in it well enough, but she has a hard time getting herself back to sleep when she wakes up in the night in her new bed.  This means, of course, that we have to help her settle down and then settle down ourselves, often to just have to get up again and calm her down again.  She loves playing in it, though, and just hanging out in her bed with her toys and books keeps her occupied for whole dozens of minutes.  That alone makes the switch worth it.

We celebrated her first day with her Big Girl Bed with another first: Mama's first attempt at making a Mickey Mouse pancake.  While I would never post a photo of what it wound up looking like, it started off looking like this:

A little misshapen, but delicious nonetheless.

And, in the spirit of "out with the old and in with the new," SLB finally replaced his old collegiate printer with one from this millennium.  The old one, an Okidata (???), looked like this:

It printed at maximum 3 pages before it would jam, and sometimes it had to be hand-fed paper.  My blood pressure is spiking just thinking about it.

We also finally man-,woman-,and childed-up and said goodbye to Livy's cardboard clubhouse, which we've had in our "formal" (HA!) living room since we bought our new range back in April.  She misses it, but it was starting to stink and collapse.  So getting rid of it was good practice for when she shoves us off onto an ice floe when we start to stink and collapse too much, too.  You know, like in the next year.  That fetid, structurally unsound hideaway looked like this:

Yes, we remembered to take the toys and daughter out before hauling it to the dump.

So, as we're upgrading and improving around these parts (this leak-plugging has become a real family affair), I'm just grateful that there's one old thing we aren't tossing out yet.  And that looks like this:

Because, DANG, I don't want to find a real job.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

We Took The Long Way

Last Tuesday was SLB's and my 8th wedding anniversary.  He surprised me with tickets to tonight's Rhett Miller show at the Triple Door, where we were certain to hear our wedding song, "Question."  You know, just like you're certain to hear it now.

Happy belated anniversary, SLB.  I'd say O.K. all over again every day, all the time, forever.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Convergence of Greatness

I love Jason Reid (who does not love me back, but that's probably because of what I did to the roof of his car).

I love Blue Scholars (who do not love me back, but that's just because they haven't met me yet).

I used to love the Sonics (who do not love me back, but that's because they're in Oklahoma).  It's a little-known fact about me that I once was unwholesomely obsessed with the 1996-1997 Seattle SuperSonics, to the extent that I 1) saw my grades drop that year during basketball season and, 2) insanely attended the midnight homecoming of the team after they won the Pacific Division title with a long-time boyfriend I had broken up with over the phone only hours earlier.  That's right.  That level of discomfort was worth it to get a ride to Boeing Field to see my Sonics come home.  I had to quit watching basketball cold-turkey at the end of that season so that I could have my life back.  I've never returned to basketball fanaticism, and I'm grateful for that.

So, here's what's making me happy this sunny autumn morning:  A convergence of Jason Reid, the Blue Scholars, and the Sonics.  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Don't Tell CPS

Livy likes to play Peek-a-boo a lot.  She's 2, so that's about the extent of her tolerance of anticipation and excitement.  It's thrilling - THRILLING! - every time I act surprised and say "peek-a-boo!," which at this point is about 8,487,999 times a day.  Naturally, my thoughts turn to Siouxsie and the Banshees after about the 8,487,899th repetition, and so she hears me sing the chorus of "Peek-a-Boo" 100 times a day.  It was only a matter of time before she started belting it back to me, which was cute until about 10 minutes ago when, on a lark, I decided to remind myself of what the other lyrics of the song are.

Not good, people.  Not good.

We are now in the market for a new Peek-a-boo song.  Please let me know what else is out there before I get an ominous knock on the door.

Friday, September 02, 2011

OA, Month 1: Resolutions

Hiya!  I'm currently sitting in the dead silent lounge of a local Honda dealer getting our car serviced.  It's dark and dismal here, and I've already disrupted my fellow patrons' desperate attempts to escape this purgatory via the internet, books, or knitting by 1) sneezing loudly, and 2) making some loud, weird, involuntary throat noise when I was recovering from the sneeze.  Oh, yeah.  I'm THAT lady - the weird one in the corner who makes strangely wet bodily noises to the discomfiture of all within earshot.  I'm tempted to start laughing loudly at random intervals or grunting and talking to my computer screen in a low, guttural voice just to keep in character. I've got 4 hours to kill here, so it may actually come to that.  I'm just planning ahead.

Anyhow, I promised explanations of this month's resolutions, and I always keep my promises [to you].  So here you go.

1.  Go to sleep earlier.
If you need explanation of this resolution, then you really are deserving of the pap I churn out on these here interwebs.  I have a great habit of starting to go to bed at a reasonable time, and then I either find piddly little tasks to complete before actually sleeping (Last night's task = joining my undergrad alumni society.  I got a 0 for yesterday's first resolution), and/or I stay up late reading in bed.  Then I wake up to the sound of my gleeful daughter's pounding footsteps and whisper-shouted "MAMA'S STILL SWEEPING!  MAMA'S TI-YUHD!" and curse myself for not just having gone to bed at a reasonable hour.  It makes me grumpy, slow, and resentful in the morning, and this is no way to begin any day.  So, early to bed because, thanks to a certain little blonde beast, I'm guaranteed to be early to rise.

2.  Use energy honestly.
This is both a tough one and an easy one to explain.  In short, if I need rest, then I should rest.  If I need to move and get things done, then I should move and get things done.  Perhaps it's a manifestation of my desperate need to control everything, but I have a tendency to try to force my body to do things it's blatantly telling me it doesn't need to do - like stay up late reading when I'm tired or avoid exercise even when I have ants in my pants and need to get the wiggles out.  So, I'm going to try to stop doing that.  If I need to have some downtime and that's available, then I'm going to take it.  If I need to be a woman of action, even during Liv's nap time or after her bed time (usually times of forced solitude on the whole house - a habit leftover from our old, teeny house), then I'm going to do something physical.  It makes so much sense that it's embarrassing to have to articulate a resolution to do this, but there it is.  Fight crazy with reason, I always say.

3.  Exercise Better.
I am a total champ of doing the same old damn thing at the gym 3-5 days a week (elliptical for 45 - 60 min at various resistances and speeds).  This works out great for improving sleep and mood, but it's not developing my strength or flexibility, something that this week's 4-day-long tension headache illustrated dramatically.  So I'm going to go to the Thursday night yoga class at the gym and incorporate strength training into my usual routine.  I'm also going to add "pockets" of exercise during the day.  There's no reason I can't do 15 - 20 minutes of strength, flexibility, and balance training into the day when Livy's napping, playing, or watching her stories.  Shoot, that biscuit loves it when I do yoga while she's playing and can already do adorable renditions of downward dog and plank, so why not put in a yoga video to do with her?  Win-win!  Bendy mama, bendy baby!  (Somewhat related thought:  Is there a Gumby yoga DVD?  If not, then there should be.  Get on that, would you?)

4.  Plug leaks.
No, not my own personal leaks, you perv, but rather energy leaks in my environment and circumstances.  Christine Kane calls all of the little, distracting, undone things in your life and environment "leaks", and that imagery has stuck with me over the years.  Her Uplevel Your Life program that I completed this year includes a full-on Leak List that I, uh, well, I thought about completing.  So, I'm going to finish that list this month, and since we've moved into a new house it's going to be loooooooooong.  But plugging those leaks, one at a time, will keep my energy focused rather than dispersed among dozens of tiny distractions.  It puts me in mind of a small pile of collected recipes I had meant to put into plastic sleeves and into a binder for about 2 years.  When I finally stopped thinking about it every day and putting it on my to-do list over and over and over again, it took about 15 minutes total to complete.  The amount of time I spent worrying and thinking about this task so far outstripped the actual amount of time it took to just do the damn thing that it's sadly comical.  What a waste of time and energy!  Had I just plugged the leak immediately I could have used all of that time for useful things like napping or Googling my own name.  Plug the leaks, save the time, live the life.  It'd make a great plumbing slogan in addition to a great life plan.

5.  Make the effort.
I'm a great one for making excellent plans in my head and then never executing them because one of my common and commonly false heuristics is that "I don't have time for that," whatever "that" is.  So I resolve this month to invest energy into making the effort to execute my excellent plans.  I did this last week with a bag of fresh blueberries from a friend's garden.  In the time it took Livy to watch her usual morning episode of "Yo Gabba Gabba" I was able to whip up fresh blueberry muffins for breakfast instead of poring over Facebook and then pouring cereal.  Totally worth the effort.  Next, I'm putting this huge new house to good use by hosting 2 Halloween parties for 2 different parents/kids' groups this October.  Again, seeing our old friends and their 2-year-olds in costumes will be completely worth the effort.  If the first four resolutions are about gaining, nurturing, and amplifying my energy, then the fifth is about spending it generously and wisely.

If you're wondering, yesterday's resolutions were a mixed bag.  I was getting over that damned headache, so I had to fudge on the exercise (headache + movement = nausea), and I wound up staying up late as the headache waned in the evening and I was finally able to get some things done.  But the others were all successes!  I rested when my body told me to, finally joined the alumni association so I could have library privileges (NERD!  Also, it's in service of another writing project I'm launching.), and made a healthy dinner even though every fiber of my being was calling out for the speedy delivery of a Hawaiian pizza.  Not bad for a beginning.  And now onward!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Operation Awesomepants: Inception

It's September!  Hurrah!  AYOOOOGAH!

Prior to Livy's birth, for me this time of year meant optimistic planning and detailed forethought of how I was going to improve the minds and lives of occasionally deserving young people.  Since I left my job for an extended maternity leave and subsequently was laid off, back-to-school time has been difficult around these parts.  I miss teaching less bitterly now that I've made my peace with staying home and the climate for teachers has become increasingly desperate and hostile, and I know that I'm lucky to be able to stay home with our daughter and still live a comfortable and fulfilling life.  I do intend to jump back into the classroom when Olivia's older (shoot, I still write curriculum for fun), but for now September has to mean something else.  And so I've taken my teacherly planning skills and pointed them in the direction of improving the mind and life of one occasionally deserving decreasingly-young person.

Oh, yeah.  It's ME, bitches.

Either you saw it coming, or you should have.

This summer, in addition to gobbling up dystopian young adult literature and horny vampire novels like they were Raisinets, I read Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project twice.  I'd followed her blog of the same name for a while when I was pregnant and teaching and then forgot all about it when I was a harried parent of a newborn.  I rediscovered the blog last year as the book shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller list.  The blog was born of the book's subject - a year of Rubin's life during which she exhaustively researched theories and practices of happiness and applied them to her own life.  The book is right up my alley: an intelligent and well-researched self-help book minus the New Age business that I'm simultaneously attracted to and repelled by (It's complicated, and it drives SLB nuts.  Go on!  Ask him about the secret caches of tarot cards and woo-woo books he pretends not to find among our intellectually prestigious artifacts!).  The Happiness Project is a smart book about personal development that's filled with hard analytical, rather than dreamily spiritual, wisdom.  It was a great read both times.

In emulation of this book and blog, and in recognition of my autumnal urge to embark on a new project, I give you my own project.  Gretchen Rubin, an accomplished woman with dignity to spare (she clerked for Sandra Day O'Connor, for goodness sake), calls hers The Happiness Project.  I, an accomplished woman with no dignity left to lose nor much inclination to develop much, call mine


That's right.  Go on, bask in it.  It's glorious, no?  The name alone is miraculous.  People talk about putting their big girl or big boy pants to do hard work.  But why would you limit yourself to size and gender when you could just put on your awesomepants?  Am I right?  Of course.  Of course I am.

Rubin broke her happiness project down into monthly themes with corresponding resolutions, and she measured her daily successes of such resolutions (Ben Franklin style!) on a chart.  If it's good enough for her, it's probably way too good for me.  Because old habits die hard and I love buying new school supplies, I created teacher-infused version of her computerized chart.

That's Lee Canter's Record Book Plus.  Plus what, you ask?  Plus MeShow!

Now plus detail shot!

Stop squinting or you'll get crows' feet.  I'll tell you what this says in a minute.  This month's theme is energy, again a copy of Rubin's first month's theme, but a smart one.  Undertaking a project of this size requires stamina, and stamina is born of energy.  So it makes sense to harness and amplify the fuel of the project as the project's first step. 

This month's resolutions, intended to boost, save, and make the best use of energy are:

1.  Go to sleep earlier.
2.  Use energy honestly.
3.  Exercise better.
4.  Plug leaks.
5.  Make the effort.

Cryptic, no?  I'll have more to write about this tomorrow, and I promise to explain the details and context of each resolution.  Until then I hope you'll make the effort to come up with enough jokes about my plugging leaks to choke a horse.  Because, you know, I freaking HATE horses.

Oh, calm yourself.  It was a joke, you stupidly literal horse.