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One of the things that vexes me continually is my love of starting new projects, because I end up with more projects than I can reasonably finish, and then I end up feeling like a failure even though I'm doing productive, exciting, good things a lot of the time. I just can't keep up with all the things I want to do, and I haven't developed the impulse control to either stop starting new things, or to finish what I've started.

I want to improve in this area.

I'm open to suggestions.

Right now, I think what I need to do is do some thinking and planning about which things will get my attention for now. School, certainly. But the magazine has languished, and I probably need to let it go, at least for now. Ditto the food blog. I have seventeen weeks left of school. Maybe I can just resolve to do nothing but school and work for that seventeen weeks and then revisit it.

I get so excited about things. I want to do ALL the things! But I have such limited energy, so it's really unrealistic.



May. 2nd, 2012 05:21 pm
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It's 5:08pm right now. My next class starts at 6:30 (usually a few minutes later than that, actually), and I've already eaten and done all my homework. That means I genuinely have an hour and change to just hang out and do what I please. This is limited a little by the fact that the library computers don't offer any privacy, so I won't be typing up any posts I wouldn't want strangers seeing over my shoulder or anything, but oh, my. An hour to myself, with nothing pressing on me! (I have essays due Monday; I don't count that as having homework to do, because they're already in good-second-draft form or better. Likewise a little reading I need to do before Monday, but the book's at home and it's short, anyway.)


And speaking of school... )
About my mom )
Call for submissions )
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Not ready to talk too much about my new blog project yet, but it's combining some of my lifelong passions: Food, hospitality, writing, family, and embarrassingly amateurish photography. (No, wait, that last one is a lifelong apathy; I may have to work on that.)

(In order to work on this, I have to push through some shame about not working on reviving the magazine, but I'll just have to sit with that for a while. I'm not ready to pick that back up, but I want to do SOMETHING creative, so this is what I've settled on for now.)
serene: serene (mustard field)
1) I am facing my finances without flinching, at long last, and it's less painful every day. My net worth is in the red right now by approximately $10k ($4k in student loans; a few thousand in medical bills from when I was uninsured; a few thousand in loans from family members -- I'll know more accurately when I've gathered up all those long-ignored medical bills and start answering the phone when creditors call -- but thankfully, no high-interest debt like credit cards or car payments); I hope to go into the black by this time next year. More later if I feel up for it, but that's my basic goal, and we'll see how it goes. It won't be easy, seeing as how I made around $16K this year (and mom sent me another $5K or so to help with child-rearing expenses), but I think it could be doable, especially if I pursue freelance work more diligently and/or get a raise, which is a possibility.

2) The kid has been playing the piano on and off for a couple hours. I love it.

3) Summer hit Berkeley yesterday. It's actually been hot here. I wish I could ship some of this to my friends who are still in winter.

4) Is it silly that the thing I'm most excited about re: the tax refund is that [ profile] someotherguy and I can get our dental work done?

5) Today is the birthday of both [ profile] sogwife and my baby brother. They're a year apart, and as different as two people can be, but I love them both. Tomorrow night is the traditional birthday corned-beef-and-cabbage dinner. :-)

6) My dad friended me on Facebook, and minutes later someone posted this, which I had to share, but I will confess to having paused for a minute before hitting send. :-)

7) The magazine lost $632 in 2009. That feels like a respectable first year to me. It puts the thing squarely where I said it was, which was "moderately expensive hobby". I know people who spend more than that on yarn and beads in a year, so I don't feel too bad about it. If I revive the magazine, and I hope I will be able to, I will have to be a LOT better about keeping records, though, and not just dumping receipts into a file drawer. Taxes took way too long this year. Normally, I've got them done by the first week of February.

8) And speaking of recordkeeping, I found an excellent piece of money-tracking software for linux called GnuCash, and I love it! I actually had to brush up on double-entry bookkeeping before using the software, but the documentation is so good that I was able to do that in an afternoon, and the software is very robust and does everything I need it to. Suck that,

9) Tomorrow is medical-stuff day: EKG, echocardiogram, and thyroid blood tests. I tell you, if I keel over, it won't be because doctors weren't trying to figure out how to keep me alive.

10) I really love our Farm Fresh To You CSA. I had to scale back on the size of the box (back to regular from one size bigger), but that's because I've been busy and not cooking as much. That'll probably change now that Disability Awareness Week and the taxes are over.


Jan. 23rd, 2010 12:29 pm
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Take one week. Add driving rain and hail. Stir in the first week of college, a mom in the hospital, chest pains, lack of sleep, a death in my community at work, tragedies in Haiti, and a street closed off because of a shootout, and you get a really stressed Serene.


Mix in the love and support of a big family, the Best Job Ever, and the potential for a substantial tax refund, and things don't look quite as gloomy.

That's the short-and-sweet version; this is the detailed version, which you're forgiven if you don't feel like reading. The important parts first: Mom is fine. I am fine. The kid likes school. )
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Days of busybusy (magazine, family stuff, social stuff, housekeeping stuff) has fried my brain. I'm broke, but my pantries (typo: panties) are full (eww!) and the magazine will start wending its way to people tomorrow, after which the next issue goes to the printer at the end of the month (oy!). Been really enjoying reading The Graveyard Book to the Munchkin, and catching up with TV shows while I do clerical stuff for the magazine.

Haven't talked much about my new hobby, which is couponing, because I'm strangely embarrassed to be having so much fun doing it. I got $22 worth of stuff at CVS today for $.89 plus tax, and I immediately called my mom to brag. It's a game, and I'm having a blast (and feeding my family for less than $80 most weeks). Also, I think I will never again run out of cereal, toothpaste, mayonnaise, spaghetti sauce, or canned soup. Those things are always on sale.

And now, surveys from micheinnz because that's all I'm up for. )


Oct. 11th, 2009 02:44 am
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I have to print more magazines; they sold out!

(Yes, yes, I could look at this as poor planning on my part, but I prefer to look at it as a triumph of both word-of-mouth marketing and small-batch printing. :-)
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Me, to [personal profile] someotherguy: "Listen to this: just for fun, I listed all the countries where the contributors in this issue live: Canada (but from Europe), US, Tajikstan, US, US, UK, Canada, US (from Canada), UK (from Ireland), US, Greece, US, UK, Germany..."

Him: "Cool. And the really cool thing is you didn't do it on purpose, or even know where most of them were from when you got their stuff."

Me: "Exactly."


Sep. 19th, 2009 07:24 am
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1) A one of a kind steampunk piece was stolen from its creator at DragonCon. There's a cash reward for return, no questions asked, and more if the person is caught instead. Take a minute and look at the pictures, please, and signal boost if you're so inclined.

2) I saw a Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) ad on the bus yesterday, and was happy. It was this one, but you can see them all here.

3) The skin I had removed for biopsy was/is clear of anything to worry about. (I half-jokingly told the doctor that I knew it wouldn't be cancer, because my family has already had its share of cancer, so we have no room for more. Still, good to know I'm just good at growing suspicious moles, and not at growing skin cancer.)

4) I bet you already knew that incision sites itch like a mofo when they're healing, huh? Since these stitches represent a very small percentage of the ones I've had in my life, this should not surprise me, but man, is it ever annoying.

5) Tomorrow is my 43rd birthday. I have been asked if I'm changing the name of the magazine. No. My getting older doesn't change the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

6) Yesterday, I FINALLY got the check from the Bar for the work I did for them back in late July. This is the check I am using to pay the printer. You can imagine my joy. There will be an Issue 2 soon! Finally!


Aug. 20th, 2009 11:19 am
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I am taking a sick day.

mildly icky, not-too-detailed details: )
Meanwhile, I will work on the magazine and go through bags of clutter. May just call the whole weekend a wash. I really feel the need to rest.

What are your weekend plans?
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Best line on my reading page today:

"...wash my dick for me, m'kay?"

Sunday, I managed (with [ profile] someotherguy's help) to transform the house from a health hazard to just a pit. Today and tomorrow, I hope to get it a little more habitable, because my mom is going to be here tomorrow night! She will totally not care if it's a mess, but I can relax more when things are clean and tidy.

Also on Sunday, had a blast with [personal profile] aquenigmatic. I basically just read school scenarios and watched [profile] aquenimatic work out the answers with giantbrainpower, but it was fun. And we ate cherries and warm bread and butter, and gathered plums from [ profile] inflectionpoint and [ profile] worthyadvisor's tree (well, it's their neighbor's tree, but a lot of it hangs over their fence) and held them in our shirts. I love having cool people in my neighborhood.

Had a nice time at [personal profile] stonebender's yesterday, watching Buffy and eating watermelon. Had a little fight with the teenager -- yelled at her for the first time since she came to live here, which of course made me feel awful about myself, but really did impress her about the strength of that particular boundary that she crossed. She apologized. We had pizza. All is well. (I know several of you, including [ profile] simplykimberly, will understand the thought process I went through, which progressed from "Damn, that was sucky parenting" to "Not as sucky as her actual parents would do -- hey, I wasn't even tempted to hit her" to "Okay, time to stop comparing myself to the Mommymonster and just do my best to relate to this kid as a person, with love.")

And today, I get to read lots of magazine submissions, reject most of them, and accept some really lovely work. I'm already working on filling up Winter. This is the fun part.

Mom gets here tomorrow night and leaves Sunday morning. I've missed her so much!
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First, the trivial stuff:

1) Maker Faire is lots of fun, especially if you go with someone who is laid-back, moves at roughly the same pace as you through fair-like things, and doesn't mind crowds. Was mildly surprised that we only saw two people we knew the whole time we were there. Had much fun, saw MANY MANY hot geeks, and saved our fair-food money for a nice Greek-fast-food lunch after we left. My joints are FURIOUS with me for some reason, but I had a blast, and I even remembered to buy/use sunscreen.

2) Also, bought crocheted poo for the teenager.

Then, non-trivial:

I am having some trouble holding it together, though so far I have only melted down for a few minutes at a time here and there. The Munchkin who doesn't live with me is having serious troubles, which means my mom (with whom he lives) is having serious troubles along with him. Between that, my upcoming three-week furlough, and my health stuff (more about which under the cut), it's hard to push through the day some days.

I've made some adjustments that will help:

A) Quit my volunteer job at the WCRC for the foreseeable future
B) Decided that the summer issue of the magazine will come out in August, not June (August is still summer, right?)
C) Encouraged [personal profile] someotherguy to remind me, every time I start to make some fun plan or other, that I am pretty overloaded right now and might want to rest instead. (He normally doesn't parent me, and wouldn't do so now except that I've asked him to, which took some effort on my part.)

Health stuff: no penalty for not reading )
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[posted here and at [community profile] 42magazine]

You have my permission to thwap me if I make a post today anywhere except for [community profile] 42magazine, the new community for the magazine. I will be chronicling the magazine process, along with adding posts there that say something about either the magazine or its ten key themes: Peace :: Justice :: Ecology :: Economy :: Self-reliance :: Simplicity :: Reason :: Joy :: Love :: Art

I've already added a few of the magazine's contributors to that community, but I encourage you to join it if you have any interest in either the magazine itself or its themes.

Now, back to work. I had 495 emails in my magazine inbox this morning. I'm down to 462, and I really really want to get it down under 200 today. In addition, I hope to pick a cover image, finish layout, streamline the contract language, and mail out everyone's contracts. Wish me luck!


May. 22nd, 2009 12:28 am
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Good: I have a job I love.
Good: I mean really love.
Good: I work part-time for a decent wage.
Bad: This means I don't make very much money total, but
Good: I get lots of time off
Good/Bad: It's also a ten-month-a-year job, so I get two months off every year,
Bad: Unpaid.
Good: My boss found money in the budget to cut my furlough to one month.
Good/Bad: That month starts next week.
Good: So I get a whole. month. off!
Bad: And my June 1 paycheck gets to stretch until August 1.

It's not going to be a real problem, but it's going to be tight around here, and I may have to do some fancy footwork or borrowing in order to get the magazine out on time. Won't be able to do anything that costs money for at least a couple of months, but I'm becoming such a hermit lately that that's unlikely to be a problem, and I have been to the movies THREE times in the past month, so I'm not feeling deprived or anything.

And I have a job I love. I can't go forgetting that.


Apr. 14th, 2009 10:11 pm
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1) Home from San Diego. Miss my mom already. Still, really happy to be in my home.

2) Ate non-stop while there. Had real Mexican food. Am satiated.

3) I have one Dreamwidth invitation to give out to the fifth one who asks for it in screened comments (I'll unscreen after 5 people ask), and am very excited about being (thanks to [ profile] waywardcats)! I have a feeling that's where all the LJ-ers I know will end up, but we'll see. I intend to sit and mull over its place in my blogging life for a while, and then start using it in earnest.

4) I go back to work tomorrow, and file my amended tax return, and then I have my first personal trainer appointment the next day, as well as magazine-deadline stuff to catch up on, so yeah, gonna be really busy.

5) My heart breaks for Sandra Cantu's family.

6) Alt.poly exploded while I was gone, and I don't feel much of an urge to ignite any of the embers.
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I can't stop looking at the magazine. I show it to everyone who stands still long enough. I've sold a few copies at work, but that's not really why I'm showing it off -- I'm just so happy about it that I can barely contain myself. And I keep thinking about how much better (or at least bigger and more diverse) the next one will be. I'll also have more time to savor the next one, now that all my Big Life Stuff(tm) is done with.

I think we're going to have enough multimedia content to do the CD in summer instead of fall, too.



Apr. 7th, 2009 12:19 am
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Magazines are packed up, addressed, and ready to mail. Tomorrow, I will mail them, and I will also send electronic copies to those who are getting those (I'd send them tonight, but I'm going to do a few things to reduce the file size some tomorrow -- it's still really too big to be emailing).

I'm very, very happy. The first issue is imperfect -- some of the trimming is less than ideal, and I would have loved to have had a bigger magazine and more art -- but it's beautiful, and I love it.

And now I'm going to go be silly and read myself to sleep with a magazine I've already read a dozen times.

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What an eventful day I've had!

I worked a longer-than-usual day.

I picked up the magazines, which are beautiful.

I walked into the OB/GYN's office to talk about getting the Essure and walked out with an IUD.

So I'm a little spent. I really really really don't like OB/GYN procedures, especially when they hurt -- they make me feel violated. So I'm gonna go buy something easy to throw into the oven for dinner, and then I'm gonna soothe myself by stuffing magazines into envelopes.

And I can't have sex for two weeks!


Apr. 6th, 2009 10:18 am
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I can barely contain myself, because the magazine is due today at the printer. I will be disappointed if it's not PERFECT IN EVERY WAY, but come what may, I expect to get it ready for mailing tonight and mail it out tomorrow. So excited.
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When last we left our heroine, there were 202 gems of emaily goodness in her inbox. Right now, there are 225, and I'm gonna try to get down to 100 tonight, if I can. I have the house to myself at the moment, so I like my chances, but we'll see. I think I'll turn on some Sarah Harmer and get cracking.


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