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Archive for February, 2010

New Month’s Resolutions

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, mostly because I get all big with my ideas and decide I’ll run a half-marathon or take up watercolor or start a band. Those big ones go as well as you might expect – right into the “meh” bin. I even thought that challenging myself by telling the blog about them would kick my ass a little bit more, but alas. Not even the power of the blog is strong enough to dislodge my ass from the couch when I do not wish to be moved.

And that’s the thing, I have to want to do it (whatever it is) and not feel like I should aspire to something just because it’s January first. Duh, right? I seem to be a slow learner when it comes to really really simple stuff like that.

So what I’ve decided to do for 2010, my thirtieth year (I’m feeling very into proclaiming my thirty-ness at every opportunity), is to set a goal for each month and see what happens with it. Ideally, yes, I’ll reach the goal and triumph over my laziness, but I’ve failed so many times that the “let’s see what happens with the goal” feels so much more comfortable.

January’s goal was to complete my doula certification portfolio on time, without asking for an extension. And I totally kicked that goal’s ass, you guys. I cranked out all five essays and completed all the paperwork and sent it off within the deadline (thanks to Margaret, who let me hang out with her and her daughter while I wrote parts of it). JANUARY GOAL: ACCOMPLISHED

What I intend to do in February is go to the gym three times a week for the whole month. Who hasn’t heard this song before? But seriously, three times a week for the month of February – that’s only twelve times. I have all kinds of reasons to do this, my health being the biggest one, and it’s just time to do it. I’m not deluded enough to think that I’ll get my 17-year-old high school trackstar body back, but I do want to see what I can do with myself at 30 (THIRTY!).

The rest of the goals for each month are a mystery. I don’t want to set a goal now, in February, for myself in July; I’d rather see where I am and what sounds good to me. Maybe in March I’ll clear out my office and install some shelving. Maybe one month I’ll knit myself a sweater. I know that travel will be part of my plan in the early summer. I’ll just see where the year takes me and set myself a goal for a month, hopefully reaching it but ideally I’ll learn something from it.

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A leftover picture from January. Me and Ayden. Maybe one month’s goal will be to see this sweet baby before he turns two years old.

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Project 48: 1-4

I loved my Project 365 experience. I loved it tons and tons, and am both happy and sad that I’m not doing it this year. It’s seriously hard work to remember a picture every day, and to make those pictures interesting because of course you’re putting it out there for the internet to see. It is also seriously awesome to see your skills and your eye develop.

Referring to yourself in the second person is such a weird thing, don’t you think?

I realized that I can’t put the camera down, not even a little bit, and have decided to put up four pictures for each month of 2010. I don’t want to bog myself down in taking a picture every week, so just four pictures every month hopefully in chronological order, because having a photographic and semi-journalistic record of 2009 has been so valuable.

Here you are, then. January’s bit of Project 48.

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January 1st, 2010 – Ypsilanti MI
Amy alerted me to the amazing patterns Jack Frost had left on the office windows on New Year’s Day. I used the last of the camera’s battery and the last of my ability to stand (my hangover was epic, and boy those don’t get better with age) to take this picture.

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January 6th, 2010 – DeKalb IL
My friend Christine and her son came to visit, and after dinner we drove around town because Ayden likes to look at the Christmas lights, and I thought I’d show Christine where I work. Ayden loved the toys in the children’s section, and I loved playing with him.

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January 13th, 2010 – Madison WI
Elena is singing! Or at least that’s what I’m calling it. Margaret invited me to stay with her in the second week of January and I had such a good time hanging out with her and Lainie (Margaret, are you spelling it like that, or like Laney? I’m sorry!). I learned that Wee Miss loves her swing, that chocolate should be had once a day, and that American Idol is crazypants.

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January 18th, 2010 – DeKalb IL
We had a stretch of “freezing fog” for a few days, which made NinjaHusband think of fog that just crystalizes and falls to the ground. I don’t remember if I had ever experienced freezing fog before, but it made the whole area really pretty. This is a twig that got encrystallated (what? like you don’t make up words), in front of the NB&T building on 3rd and Locust in DeKalb. I love the way the ice piled on top of itself to make this pretty picture.

…….
Okay, one-twelfth of the way there. Woohoo!

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all ignorance toboggans into know
and trudges up to ignorance again:
but winter’s not forever,even snow
melts;and if spring should spoil the game,what then?

all history’s a winter sport or three:
but were it five,i’d still insist that all
history is too small for even me;
for me and you,exceedingly too small.

Swoop(shrill collective myth)into thy grave
merely to toil the scale to shrillerness
per every madge and mabel dick and dave
–tomorrow is our permanent address

and there they’ll scarecely find us(if they do,
we’ll move away still further:into now

by e.e. cummings


I discovered e.e. cummings in high school, just when I was bubbling up with angsty ridiculousness and writing my own (bad) poetry. I wrote a term paper on him and his poems and learned a ton, and never stopped enjoying his work. The typographical experiments, the use of dialect in his poems — it was all really exciting and new to me and really struck a chord, apparently.

I own at least four volumes of his work but haven’t read them in a long time, and when the Silent Poetry Reading came up again I went looking for this one poem of his that of course has no title and of which I only remember half a line. Awesome. Naturally, I couldn’t find the poem I was looking for, so I went through one of the volumes (that a friend in high school gave me as a birthday gift) in search of something to add to this event. There are so many great poems of his that I love and had forgotten, and re-reading them put me in a bit of a pickle: which one do I choose? Humanity i love you, and “next to god of course america i are brilliant, but I didn’t want to put a bunch of grumble up today. This poem feels like this moment to me, and there you have it. I hope you enjoy the Silent Poetry Reading happening all over blogs near you.

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I appear to have turned Thirty

Huh. I went and got older while the blog wasn’t looking.

Some observations on being thirty years old:

1. My metabolism seems to have run off somewhere far away from here.
2. New grey hairs are bringing their power to the party.
3. My Mom now has a 30-year-old daughter. HA!
4. I’m starting to care less about those spooky and ubiquitous societal expectations.
5. I feel much more comfortable swearing in public.
6. I catch myself grumbling about “kids these days” and instead of horrifying me, it cracks me up.
7. The acne! Why do I still have it! Argh!
8. I’m oddly more mellow and more likely to start a fight now. It’s a weird mix.
9. I feel the need to read all the classics of American and world literature that I have never read.
10. My ability to keep my houseplants alive astonishes me, and gives me hope.

Happy February, everyone. Next time: I give you more pictures.

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