Janet (j4) wrote,

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A word in your year

While typing the words "if I don't post this now I never will" I had a sudden sense of déjà vu. Earlier this year than last year, then!

This is becoming something of a tradition (that is, a well-formed lack of imagination).

Last year's resolutions

 Get AND KEEP work, chiark, earth.li and freecycle inboxes under 100

Chiark and earth.li, mostly, yes. Work email, no. Freecycle, I gave up. I think on the whole that's a success, honest. :-}

 Sort out chiark mail to cope with spam

I made SAUCE a bit stricter and whitelisted the stuff I want. It's still not perfect but it's more under control.

? slim my LJ friendslist

No idea. I certainly didn't mean to slim it by offending two people so much that they stormed off after telling me to FOAD. I've taken the really high-traffic blogs off my flist, though.

 Buy no more flatpack furniture after January

Yes! Though I have now bought more just this last week, in desperation at the storage situation. But definitely no more after this January, either. I have blisters already.

 Fix back light and (if possible) lock on bike

I have a flashy LED for the back, and a working lock.

 No caffeine after 8pm on schoolnights

I have really diligently stuck to this; unfortunately I seem to have compensated by drinking more coffee during the day. Um. HOWEVER, I have given up Coke. For the slightly-win?

 Find a choir

I totally win at this. I am now singing with Pembroke College Choir, and was instrumental (ha ha) in starting an a cappella singing group at work, which sang for two leaving presentations (comedy words to well-known tunes, always good) and did a selection of carols etc at the Christmas Party and is still rehearsing now. FOR THE WIN.

X Find an orchestra or ensemble in which to play violin

On the other hand, I lose at this.

X Leave work on time unless I'm actually busy
X Switch computer off every night


On the other hand, different job, all work-related resolutions null and void. Maybe.

 Try to convert every work-related whinge into a positive thing

Hmmm. I think overall I am winning at this. I have certainly done a lot of positive-thinking pep-talk at work for other people recently. On the other hand I have been feeling quite negative about my own role, & thus feeling like a bit of a hypocrite. However (as I have told other pessimists, & as I really do believe) constantly whinging that everything at work is rubbish a) makes you feel worse about your own work, and b) destroys other people's morale, which c) feeds back in and makes everything more rubbish. Basically, there are three (not mutually exclusive) sensible solutions to work-related doom: 1) work to fix the problems, 2) put up with them quietly [perhaps for the sake of other benefits which outweigh the problems, eg cushy hours/salary/location/perks] or 3) look for a better job elsewhere, while bearing in mind that all jobs require you to do things you'd rather not do.


This year's resolutions

The usual mixed bag of one-off tasks and vague directionless self-betterment.


Freecycle a) car, b) vacuum cleaner

The car went from being a Bone Of Contention to an Albatross when it, like the previous car, stopped being worth fixing. I have already phoned a scrap company who have a) promised faithfully that they will phone me back, and b) claimed that we will be fined £50 if we try to cancel after they have made this promise. Re the former, I don't believe them, and re the latter, I think they have less legs to stand on than an actual albatross. WHY does nobody want an old car which doesn't work... ah.

(The vacuum cleaner is fine, but we have two, and only need one.)

Get eyes tested

I suppose it's cheating to post this when I've actually already done it but I did put it on the list long before I got round to posting it! Admittedly I was rather pushed into action by my glasses breaking: a week of wearing the old prescription was quite enough to motivate me to find out about eye-test vouchers from work and book an appointment. I now a) have nice new glasses (designer glasses! from Diesel!), b) have prescription sunglasses, for the first time ever, and c) would like to recommend P B Conway on George Street, Oxford, who were professional, efficient, helpful and friendly.

Reactivate Oxford Union card

Oh, whatever, but, you know, I paid them loads of money back in 1996, and I probably should get round to being able to use the services to which I am entitled, since it won't cost me any more money now.

Get piano tuned

It has been through two house-moves since the last time it was tuned, over 2 years ago. To be fair, it is still in tune with itself (apart from the topmost couple of notes) and only a nano-tone off concert! I have booked an appointment already.

Sort out ISA and/or Find out about overpaying Student Loan

Trying to turn "SORT OUT MONEY" into a SMART resolution, there. I find myself with Enough Money. Clearly the sensible thing to do is save frantically in the hope of being able to afford to buy a house so that when the icecaps melt and we all end up underwater we have more to lose we can feel like proper middle-class grownups and spend all our lives saying 'blah blah mortgage' ... you know, I can't remember why we're supposed to want to swap our four-bedroom house, 20 minutes' walk from the station, for a 1-bedroom flat in Murder Central, Rose Hill (which is all we'd be able to afford). But basically either a) we can save enough to buy something worth buying, or b) we will have loads of savings to spend on, er, pie, or something. Either way, win.

Deal with all remaining change-of-address stuff (!)

Jesus Christ on a bike I mean I moved house over a year ago and some of this stuff is COA from two houses ago. Come on.

Tag my LiveJournal to date

Ha ha! Rebirth of a resolution from 2005!

Two other LiveJournal-related resolutions

This too! But I still haven't done them, and at least one of them is still possibly interesting/relevant/possible, though the username-of-choice has gone now, curses.

Catalogue the rest of our books

On LibraryThing, which goes from strength to strength in terms of usability. We have now catalogued over 1,300 books, and that's probably about ⅓ of the total.

Knit a thing that uses increasing and decreasing
Crochet something
Keep remembering how to make paper-folding stars

I am knitting 1 x dinosaur! It needs lots of increasing and decreasing and suchlike. I am also knitting a scarf, which is non-challenging and is something I want. My mum taught me (again) to crochet over Christmas, and I want to do something with that before I forget how to do it.

The paper-folding stars are a thing my mum learnt from Auntie Mila -- oh look, I already mentioned this -- and I really, really want to preserve that knowledge. It may be that my sole purpose in life is to be a carrier of memes. Ask me how to make paper stars! (In real life, I mean. I don't think I could write instructions down. Nor could my mum.)

Read War & Peace and Ulysses

Before I'm 30. Really. I am 200-odd pages through W&P.

(Incidentally, all other suggestions of Things To Do Before I'm 30 gratefully received. I have less than 5 months.)


Go running at least once a week

I have done more running than I ever thought I would do in my life (given that I never thought I'd do any): a lovely route near parents' home on Boxing Day, a surprisingly hilly route from here on New Year's Day, our usual work route last Thursday, a new work route on Friday. It's strangely addictive, in a kind of masochistic way; and it's doing me a lot of good in terms of general fitness, fresh air, and sociableness with colleagues.

I and some of said colleagues are thinking of going for the Oxford Town & Gown 10k charity fun run in May, but I'm not going to make that a resolution; it's just something to aim for.

Get up in the mornings
Morning pages

Har har. Since writing these resolutions I have revised them slightly to make them a bit more likely:

- get up early enough to have breakfast every day for at least one (working) week
- do morning pages every day for at least one (calendar) week

and added one more to make the whole thing more possible:

- get to bed before midnight on 'schoolnights'.

Basically I am hopeless at mornings. I get into work on time, but I'm basically asleep until about 10am. Getting woken up by noise outside from 6:30am REALLY DOESN'T HELP, but if I got to bed at 11 or even earlier it wouldn't matter so much. I am hoping that trying to keep slightly-more-sensible hours all year, and actually-normal-grown-up hours for two fixed-term periods, might make me a bit less useless.

Stop biting fingers, ffs!

I MEAN FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE WOMAN YOU ARE NEARLY 30 and if you can't find it in yourself to control what you put in your mouth then you really shouldn't be allowed out without a chaperone.

I am always saying that it's just a decision, that one doesn't have to have this mystical quality of "willpower" before doing things like this. Time to walk the talk.

I have actually stuck to this so far.

Spend 4 hours per week (not at work) working at programming

I work with lots of talented and dedicated programmers, some of whom are total fucking geniuses. I am at best a hacky scripter. Basically I have teh 1337 bluffing skillz, am quick to pick up the buzzwords, can Google quickly & intelligently, and have enough basic clue to get me far enough to avoid falling on my arse too often. I don't think I'm ever going to be a great programmer (fortunately there are other aspects to my job!). However I am determined to try to learn things properly rather than just constantly saying "oh yeah JS/AJAX/PHP/XSLT/whatever how hard can it be" and cutting and pasting and filing the numbers off and changing variables and guessing. So: a time-related goal, rather than a goal-related goal, because I think the goalposts are more likely to move with the latter than the former.

Less fruitless faffing on the internet (quantify somehow!)

Har har, verbatim from original NYR notes. Any suggestions (bear in mind that "faffing on the internet" is basically part of my job description, and take the above into account)? What I want to avoid is the soul-draining refresh—alt-tab—refresh—alt-tab—refresh—rinse—repeat.

And so to bed BEFORE MIDNIGHT. Ha. Fear my resolve.

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  • Just like starting over

    Hello! Does anybody still read this? I am basically declaring LJ bankruptcy: I haven't read my friends feed for so long that there's just no way I…

  • Running for the wide open spaces

    So I tried to explain this to someone face-to-face, or at least side-by-side, but there are some things you can only say in the small hours of the…

  • My insect life

    Red wall, red chair Red chair. A boot. Still life or love in all its banality as how he sits, or she removes her shoes, or he crosses his ankles,…