progress report

February 5, 2008

As I have mentioned in the last few posts, I have been super busy these last few weeks.  It is a bit premature to announce the reason for said busyness but all will be revealed in a few weeks.  Anyway, I wanted to report on on the state of my resolutions at the end of January but that is when this whirlwind started.  So I figure I can do it now.  the following is more of a  confessional than a progress report.   so here goes:

Academic 

Finish dissertation  – Not much progress here.  After working on One chapter for about a week I hit a wall and had to order some books from interlibrary loan.  Most of them have not come in yet so I have been at a bit of a standstill.  Of course this is no excuse for the self induced dissertation paralysis I have been suffering due to recent distractions.  * * 

Apply to/attend two conferences  – I started to search the H-net site for some upcoming conferences and I have a few that I be applying to this month.  ***

Send out an article for publication – It is really a bit to early to do this.  I have to get a suitable chapter written and then find some time to edit it for publication.  I’m putting this on hold until next Fall.   

Go on the job market – This is also postponed until next Fall. 

Legal/Financial  

Legally change name – Yeah this never happened.  the damn passport is the main problem.  I have t go to Canada to get it done and that requires taking our shitty car across the border to Windsor.  not to mention finding a guarantor in a  city that I have not lived in for over ten years.  A big hassle.  The US stuff could happen easily but the Canadian paperwork is a huge hassle.  Excuses Excuses  – I know!!  It really has to get done so I can go about applying for my green card.  

Get immigration papers in order  – See Above.  I did find out that I can do it while I am still a student and there are a few forms we can add the get the ball moving a little more quickly.  The OISS at MSU said that wee could do it ourselves but that it would be best to hire a lawyer.  Who has money for a lawyer.  Getting this done is such a priority so that if I need to take a little extra time and finish in the Fall Dan and I don’t have to come up with proof that we have 27, 000 in savings to support me for the year.  

Reduce consumption – I’d say I did alright on this but I have been far from perfect.  Probably the biggest failure has been eating out and getting coffees.  There have also been a few indiscretions with magazines and books.  As best as I can remember these are the nonessentials I bought in January: 6 magazines (two on the necessity list, 1 for pleasure, 3 for medical “condition”), 9 books (2 from a gift card, 2 for teaching, 2 for medical “condition”, 2 for pleasure), one 5-year diary, 4 towels, 1 package hair clips, 1 package hair ties, 6 baggus,  XL soft moleskine planner (which will not come until April so I am thinking of canceling the order),  a pack of pens, a huge package of post-its, a small black notebook (bought on the fly on the way to a meeting – I hate it and will probably never use it again), two large storage bins, a slipcover for loveseat (on clearance for $30 – yeah).  I think that’s it.  Except for the eating out (which has been way too frequent) and the stops for coffee and drinks, I think I have done alright this month.  I still have to cancel the NYTimes (I am doing that as soon as this post is finished).  ***

Pay off credit cards – Paid off HSBC ~ $400.  Planning on paying off the Citibank ~ $1400 with our tax returns.  that leaves the Lane Bryant ~$650 still to go and the massive HFC loan (aka ghetto loan) the amount is too embarrassing to mention.  **

Household

Simplify and Organize  – Since I had already simplified the house down to the basics this was not a difficult thing to do.  We took down the christmas stuff (a little late), reorganized the storage closet,  I simplified and organized the entry closet, hung some hooks for our coats at the entryway, and just generally spiffed up and de-cluttered drawers and closets.  More could be done and I intend on tackling some of these projects in the months to come because we will be preparing to move in the summer (hopefully).  I’m taking it one room at a time.  *****

Live Green – this has turned out to be the hardest of them all.  it is really hard to break wasteful habits.  With the  exception of using the reusable bags when I remember to bring them, we have not really done much to live green.  We continue to use mostly green products for the home, we have switched to organic milk products but we really have not concentrated on the rest of it.  I want to make this a priority this month.  I am going to check out the local health food stores and the EL Coop this month.  I am also going to find a solution to the apartment recycling issue.  when the spring comes I am going to try and convince Dan to embark on a (mostly) 100 mile diet.  *

Creative
Use up craft stash  – Although I have been tempted I have not bought any new craft materials.  Mostly this is because I have not done any crafts this month.  I may have to modify this goal due to the nature of the crafts I will be creating in the coming months.  *****

Make one project per month – craft production screeched to a halt this month.  I made nothing.  I am hoping that I can get 2 projects done in Feb.  using the current stash.  

Create a life scrapbook – I am putting this off until the fall when  will have more time to complete it.  I did manage to corral the ephemera in some bins so it is less cluttered in the storage closet 

Keep a one sentence journal – I have been doing this since my 5 year diary arrived in mid January.  so far so good.  I have not missed a day.  if I do forget to write something before bed I usually fill it in the day after.  I’m not sure how I fell about this project because it is more daily report and and less reflective than I imagine a journal should be.  *****

Start and maintain a blog – Well I did a pretty good job in January.  i did not post everyday but I managed at least once a week.  I feel good about the start of  it so far.   At times I think it is a little boring and it is definitely unfocussed but for now i am just trying to get in the habit of writing on a regular basis. ****

fucking matt damon

February 2, 2008

It has been a long week and this was a welcome release from the stress.  Brilliant!