Friday, September 27, 2013

Sustained Silent Reading

So!  Progress continues on the novel reading.  I'm currently about halfway through Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence and I'm enjoying it though I keep saying to myself, "Ugh, Paul is SUCH a momma's boy!" because he totally is.  Previously I read Darkness at Noon  by Arthur Koestler.  It was so out of my normal realm of fiction but I found myself really into it and not wanting to set it down.  It was about a man who had risen rather high up in the Party (communist, to be sure) and then fell to the bottom as he became disillusioned with the Party ideals and tactics.  Very interesting.  Before that was The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner and I'll admit I checked out the Wikipedia page on this one to get a better idea of the plot because the way it is written in the first part was a bit confusing.  I just realized that I skipped over Catch-22 because thus far I've been reading everything on my Nook but I knew the Mister had a physical copy of that so I didn't want to buy it.  Note to self: read Catch-22.

Basically, skipping James Joyce has made me a much happier reader.  If I have time and the inclination, I'll circle back around and give him another try.  But for now, I'm enjoying reading outside my comfort level.

Let's see, what else?  I've been diligently tracking my food on My Fitness Pal and I've been running pretty consistently, so that's good.  I think I'm noticing a difference in my body but the scale was kind of refusing the budge there for a while and then it did so who knows.  I'm sort of obsessive about weighing myself every day when I am home (even though I know I'm not supposed to) but I don't think I let the number have much effect on the way I got about my day.  I just keep trying to stay under my calorie goals.  Most days I do.

I did get a new phone, which is very exciting!  It's a rather sexy Samsung Galaxy S4.  I overthought the whole process waaaay too much, but I've had the phone for almost a week now and I'm quite pleased with it.  I've been setting up all the pages and widgets and downloading apps and figuring out settings and features and really geeking out over it.  I've also found myself using the Nook app on it instead of my Simple Touch just for the convenience of it.  So that's pretty cool.  I'm still working out what kind of case I want to get for it.  I originally ordered two wallet-style cases (this in pink and this in white) and while I enjoy not having to carry a purse while running errands, I think I'd prefer something a little less bulky for everyday use.  So I'm still looking.

Work is still work.  I applied for a four-month leave of absence they are offering for the fall.  The leaves are awarded in order of seniority and I have no idea if I'm senior enough to hold one, but it would be really great to have four months to actually Get Shit Done around here.  I'm only ever home for three or four days at a time anymore which is my own doing because I don't want to work weekends and I don't want my trips to back up to each other.  But still.  I'll find out sometime next week if I was awarded one of the leaves.  They are also offering single-month leaves for November, so maybe if I don't get the multi-month leave I might still get the single month leave.  I'll keep you posted.

That's about all that's new around here.  How are you?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Good morning!

I woke up very excited this morning because the cats were cuddling. I am determined to have BFF cats but so far that hasn't been working out so well for me.  But this morning, the cats were cuddling, literally behind my back. So I woke up the Mister & hissed at him, "Look!  Behind me!" I'm pretty sure this freaked him out a little, but he dutifully looked, mumbled something about how cute it was and rolled over back to sleep.  But I was too excited to sleep. The cats were cuddling!  So close to total BFF-dom.  And Amy was even letting Rory groom her.  And grooming is Rory's jam.  He tongue-bathes us like it is his job until he gets really intense and into it and then he tends to get a little bitey.  So then I became concerned, because Amy never allows Rory to go that long with the grooming.  And I panicked because I thought maybe he had killed her and was now grooming her tiny kitten corpse.  I can be a little morbid at times.  But at the same time, if she wasn't dead and they really WERE cuddling like old pals, I didn't want to disturb them.  So I rolled over as sloooooowly as possible.  But I didn't have my glasses on and it was hard to tell if her eyes were open and I suppose her eyes could be open even if he had killed her.  So then I started groping at her belly to see if I could tell if she was breathing.  And she was.  However, Rory totally had his front paws around her tiny neck, which was probably why she was allowing the intense grooming.  Once I loosened his little paws, she shimmied away.

Anyway, that was my morning.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Someone was very insistent on sitting in my lap.  Miss Amy has proven herself to be aggressively affectionate.  We had been under the impression that Rory was a super affectionate cat, a real cuddler.  Ha.  Compared to Amy, Rory is as anti-social as they come.  If you are still for even the briefest of moments, Amy will launch herself at you and demand to be petted.  It's rather sweet really.

I'm also happy to report that, while they are still not BFFs, Rory & Amy seem to be tolerating each other much more these days.  It just that Rory really wants to be dominant and will ferociously groom her until she gets fed up and then she bites him and then he bites her and then she runs and he chases and she hisses.  Sigh.  But the other good news is that Rory is back to his old personality.  For a few weeks there, he seemed really depressed and not himself at all.  We were worried it was a permanent change, but hooray it was not!

Not much else new to report around here.  I've been flying a lot.  Or at least it feels that way.  I basically work one 3-day trip every week, usually leaving on Sunday or Monday and getting home Wednesday or Thursday.  And the first day I am home is always a write-off because I'm just so happy to be home that I don't feel like getting my butt off the couch.  Thursday nights I've been going to a free Zumba class that a guy who lives in the complex teaches.  It's a lot of a fun, but he's cutting it down to twice a month next month and is stopping all together after that, which is a bummer.  After the class is over, I might look into joining a gym again.

Today, in an effort to just get out of the house, I took a trip to Target.  So as a special treat, there's an outfit photo taken in the mirror of a Target dressing room.  It's been AGES since I've posted one of those, y'all.

I ordered those shorts from Anthropologie a few months ago because they were $11 and then they sat in my drawer because I was convinced I shouldn't actually wear them out of the house.  But I've lost about 8 pounds recently, so I decided to try them on again and the Mister gave me the thumbs up on wearing them in public.  So I paired them with my Anthro shirt that is stupidly unflattering but gets me a million compliments every time I wear it because the print is awesome and with the sweater that the Mister hates.  You can almost see how long my hair is getting.  I really need to get it cut b/c it has been driving me nuts all summer.

My main reason for going to Target was to check out the Philip Lim collab they have right now.  My Target had a sort of sad selection and they didn't even have the tuxedo jacket & pants that I was most interested in trying on.  I did try on a super cute sleeveless navy blouse that I liked, but not for $26.  If it goes on sale though, it is going in my closet.  I also tried on a sweater dress that I thought was cute when I saw it online.  But it sort of doesn't.

 On the left here is the way it actually seems to fit.  On the right is the way I think it ought to fit but doesn't.  And there is no way to wear it the way I think it ought to fit because, y'all, that skirt layer is SHEER.  So that was disappointing.

The only other exciting thing is that I get to upgrade my phone tomorrow and I have agonized and over-thought it so much that the Mister is seriously sick of hearing me talk about it.  And it is a good thing I have new co-workers every time I go to work because I've been analyzing it on every trip as well as making trips to various Verizon stores across the country to debate the pros & cons of the Samsung Galaxy S4 & the HTC One.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Quick Update

So, just a quick update on my reading situation.  It felt stupidly freeing to give up on Ulysses.  I'd been trying to stick it out just so I could say I read it because that's what I did with War and Peace and I actually ended up enjoying that book a lot.  But with Ulysses, I just can't.

Continuing down the list, I read The Great Gatsby in a single day and it was glorious.  Compared to Ulysses, it was like coming out of the hot sun into the shade and taking a long cool drink of water.  I seriously felt refreshed.  And now I'm two-thirds of the way through Lolita and am enjoying that as well, despite the subject matter making me feel squirmy.

I don't think I'm even going to bother with Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.  I think I'm just going to skip on down the line and start Brave New World next.

That's all for now.

Monday, September 2, 2013

September Check-In

So in the month of August, I made a list of goals.  I don't think I really addressed my list on the blog because if I make a list public, I feel like I really have to do the things on that list.  Like my 30-Before-30.  And if I don't do the things I said I would do, then I feel like a failure.  So I made this list in August and I didn't tell anyone about it except the Mister.  I was hoping I would be able to achieve all my items and then be like, "Hey guys, look at everything I did!"  But this is me we are talking about and sometimes I'm a little over-optimistic.  However, I'm still really proud of the things I did accomplish and am okay with the things that didn't pan out.  To note:

Do something nice for the Mister every day that I am home
~  I'm not sure if I managed this one EVERY day, but it was pretty close.  The Mister does SO MANY nice things for me all the time.  And I worry sometimes that I don't keep up my end of that.  So I'm continuing to make a conscious effort to be good to him and to spoil him.

Read the first five novels on the list
~  You guys?  Ulysses sucks.  Like, a lot.  I'm almost halfway through and I still don't even understand what is going on half the time.  I kept trying to force myself to stick it out.  And I even readdressed this goal and changed it to just finishing Ulysses by the end of August.  But I had zero desire to ever pick it up and read it.  So, I'm calling it a loss and moving on to The Great Gatsby, which I am in fact looking forward to reading.

Recommit to fitness goals, focus more on strength training & lost 5 pounds
~  This one sounds like a lot, but is actually the one I am most proud of.  I did in fact lose 5 pounds in August and even that little bit has made a HUGE difference in how I feel and how I look in my clothes.  My uniform dress finally doesn't feel too tight.  I'm comfortable in all my pairs of jeans.  And I feel like I'm starting to get stronger.  I've been pushing myself to lift a little heavier than I usually do.  I bought Rachel Cosgrove's book The Female Body Breakthrough and while I don't buy into everything she says (I'm not giving up my is too important to me), I've started incorporating some of her philosophies and techniques into my own workouts and I think I'm starting to see results!

Update the blog at least once per week
~  Ahahahaha ,whoops.  I don't know why it is so difficult for me to keep up with the blog sometimes.  I think about it pretty often and think of things I want to share with my readers or stories I want to tell.  But then I just never get around to opening up that "new post" page to start typing.  This is something I'll continue to work on.

So!  Those were some of my goals for August.  For September, I'm going to read the next four novels on the list (though, fair warning, I may just skip Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man if I hate it as much as I hate Ulysses).  I'm going to run at least 50 total miles and drop another 5 pounds.  I'm going to go to Zumba every Thursday (more on that another day!).  For the "knit a sweater" item on my 30-Before-30 list, I have decided that a baby sweater totally counts and I have one in the works to be done before the end of the month.  My hair is stupid long so this month I am going to get it cut and donate at least 1 foot of hair!  I put together a Family Finances binder and during September, I'm going to focus on getting our money right.  The Mister & I are lucky in that we don't have any financial problems, but we definitely eat out too much and overspend on groceries.  So in September, we're going to focus on how & where we are spending our money and then work on reorganizing and re-prioritizing our funds!  Doesn't that sound fun?  I'll tell you what though.  The best way to get me excited about something boring like a budget?  Let me buy a bunch of new office supplies (binders! dividers! three-hole punch!) and also let me turn it into an art project.  Because I WILL get excited!

And, because, you know.  Here's a photo of me in yet another airport lounge.  These are sort of like the old "Drinking Coffee in my Hotel Room" posts except they are me blogging in flight attendant lounges.