Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Years Eve and December Review

new years eve

We're going to Problem's tomorrow for New Years Day, so we're having hoppin john tonight. The lads are ready to party. Happy New Year!!

It feels mostly like December has been a Winterval production, which is as it should be. Quiet on the people front, busy on the me front.

December's picks:


3. Cleaning is on hold under after the holiday!

The thing that has to be done during Winterval, I decided, is putting the plastic on the windows. Preparing for winter, right? DONE.


4. Structural integration ten series to finish!
5. But the big thing this month is my holiday, Winterval.

Not quite done with either, Winterval's not over obviously and I missed a bodywork appointment because I had to have, wait for it, a root canal. Remember, my toothache. Yay.

Annd, I got a smartphone. Ahhh. I hate it.


6. Figure out a weekly/monthly time to work on admin/business development stuff.

Ooh, done! I have implemented new best practices: set times to email clients to confirm appointments, prep before appointments, and post—i.e., take notes—after appointments. I'm also taking a trainer holiday between Xmas and New Years, ever striving to be a good example of self care. Maybe I'll take one in summer, too? And I have a set time to do a little thing every week for business development, let's see what comes out of that.



7. Figure out a plan or schematic for how this is supposed to go...

Ooh, also done. I have this set up in my timetracker, what's alla Poppy and what's Nomnomnomicon (my new blog) and when I have time to work on them? What I've been doing for Nom is getting together all my photo assets, FINALLY done with that, omg that took forever.


December ended up being pretty OFF people, which I sorely needed. No offense, people.

8. Breakfast with Sparty
9. Wine Party chez Trouble
10. Lunch and Christmas concert with family
11. King Spa with A-Bomb

I did have breakfast with Sparty, that was nice. We went to Whisk, it was good. (I am the worst food reviewer ever.) I cancelled on wine party, that was the day after my root canal and I was on antibiotics. We did go to my niece's concert, that was nice. And King Spa was cancelled, A-Bomb was sick.

Oh, I did go to this Logan Square Skate Night on a whim, it was fun to do something on a whim. I ran into Riley and Mangle and skated around with them a bit. Still know how.

Oh and just last night, I met Jen from my Power 30 group. Weee.


0. Cosmos
1. Idk, I'm running out of stuff again...
2. Theory of Everything, A Beautiful Mind

Type 0: Cosmos got me through most of December, but oh noesss I finished it. I tried NDT's Inexplicable Universe, too shouty, and also David Attenborough's Planet Earth and Life, really kind of the opposite of what I want: what like about Cosmos is it zooms me out, the planet shows zoom in, nice closeup of all the suffering on the little blue dot :(

For Type 1, I think all I did was finish off that season of Hawaii Five-0. Until I started Arrow, oy vey.

Der schweetums and I watched lots of good Type 2 stuff this month: we finished season four of Longmire (srsly wtf), and we did watch The Theory of Everything and A Beautiful Mind, and also Birdman and Pawn Sacrifice, and we stuck our toe in The Flash, which is what got me stuck on Arrow. But we put The Flash on hold and have been watching Ash Vs. Evil Dead, which der schweetums loves. Then we finished up with the original Star Wars movies, Empire and Jedi, so then we went out to see The Force Awakens. Weee.

January Picks

I have this mapped out on my power grid, do a little bit of cleaning every week or every month at least, a little bit of admin, a little bit of business development, a little bit of blogging... these are the things I want to get work on this year.


3. 2016 means ASSAULT ON THE FRONT ROOM. Make it nice :|


4. Aagh get up to speed with this phone...


5. TBD.



6. Whatever gets written for aP...
7. Start writing Nom!


8. New Years Day chez Problem, maybe I will take pictures with my phonnne
9. Reschedule King Spa?


0. Find something to replace Cosmos, or start from the top...
1. Eeeegh I guess I'm watching Arrow
2. Ash vs Evil Dead to finish, after that TBD

Eh, these aren't the pickiest picks. Not the planniest plan, but sometimes that's the way to go.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Boxing Days
 set up agenda

In all seriousness, Winterval has a purpose. Winter is hard for me, I get SAD. Which I guess I can talk about now that I'm out as a person with depression. An obvious function of all the winter holidays is to get folks through goddamn winter, and Winterval certainly is a child and thief of all those traditions. And probably the best way to deal with winter, or with just life in general, is to see and accept it for what it is. Actually the first thing I did to help myself with winter was to unstick myself from thinking that winter is at the end of the year, that OND is winter. Listen, winter is not at the end of the year; it's at the beginning of the year: JFM is winter. OND is fall, look at the calendar! Because if you start slouching toward winter pretty much after Halloween, the real horror is that it's still moving its slow thighs in March, or sometimes in Chicago you get a surprise blizzard in April and I feel like maybe once there was one in May though I think I might be getting a little dramz there. But anyway, that still leaves you feeling winter is SIX MONTHS LONG. Which is why my first internet handle was Persephone, by the by.

More recently I've unstuck myself from the thought that winter starts in November because that's when it starts to get cold and sometimes snows. It's still fall! If that's not your idea of fall, what's easier to change: your idea of fall or how fall actually is and has been every year of your life. Change. Your idea. Of fall. It's stupid to be angry that what actually is doesn't conform to the idea of it in your head. ONLY OCTOBER is crisp piles of brightly colored leaves and pumpkin spice lattes and all that. Yes, that's fall, everybody's favorite season, but the rest of fall is the dying of the light; that's fall, too. It just occurs to me, do you know what fall is? It's like on Season 9 of Grey's Anatomy when McSteamy is cheerful and talking after the horrible plane crash, but ::spoiler:: it's just the surge and he knows it, and then he totally dies. Yeah, that. Fall is the surge, and then everything dies. That is fall, in its entirety. I am going to accept that. And deal with fall as it is, in addition to winter.

But, winter. This here winter. I love this quote from Groundhog Day, I'm sure I've quoted it before:

When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.
and have resolved to try this Norwegian secret to enjoying a long winter. Which is getting back to where I started, the purpose of Winterval, to prepare me for winter. Or really to prepare me for the new year, for a good start on the next leg of my life trek, and it just so happens that this next leg is through winter. So I'm preparing for both those things, the trek and the weather.

(Other times I start new legs: my birthday, and Labor Day; you can take the Asian out of school, but you can't take school out of the Asian. The weather is fine for both of those, though.)

For the trek I need:

  • primarily, my agenda for new year
  • as well as various other systems that I am continually updating, my timetracker and my powergrid
  • and a thing to put into those things, which is to say, a plan
  • maybe a review, I like how Chris Guillebeau does his annual review

Idk about the plan or the review, the days between Xmas and New Year are when all this is supposed to happen but I've been sort of depressed this week. Haha. But look, I made the agenda:


All stamped in gold and shit.

Should I post an agenda-making tutorial? I'm getting pretty good at this.

coloring pages inside agenda

Look, I put coloring pages in the middle.

To make the number of pages work out, finally figured that out.

charging station

Look at what der schweetums made!!!

Ahhhhh, it's so good. It floats! It's a leftover IKEA shelf from nevermind that long story, it's been laying around and MJ glued—not nailed, to preserve the floating effect—two pieces of trim underneath to make room for the cables to snake underneath. OMG, GAMECHANGER. I've been so bad with charging my phone, but now I put it right on the station when I get home and plug it right in. I do inordinately love a place for everything.

From left to right, that's my tablet (hand-me-down from MJ, I only use it for listening to music or watching type 1 TV), my phone, this box of cards with quotes from the Dalai Lama, and MJ made that little stand that the card's propped on for the tablet actually, he chiseled out that angled slot with a chisel, which made him so attractive to me. What, I am not good at making physical things and he is; it's attractive. The little package is a present I made for somebody for New Years Day. The round thing is a bluetooth speaker that I need to mend with sugru, MJ's phone and tablet go here too and in the back is his tiny drone that I got him between his birthday and xmas, because that's how I do presents. Those are not doilies, by the way, for under our phones. I finally learned how to cut six-sided snowflakes, so they have been laying around. I'm making giant ones for the bedroom!

For the weather I need:

  • warmth
  • and light
  • and just get hygge with it
Haha I didn't make that up, I heard that from Freddie R. Knott. I have no specific plans for this either, just the idea of the warmth and the light—and holding in my head that actually winter is when the days get longer— and the hygge. When I get sad I will come back to these ideas, and try to come up with stuff.

I'm also supposed to throw shit out over boxing days, but I have a pretty full boat for the rest of this week. I threw out my stupid ideas of fall and winter though, how's that for a start.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Xmas Day
 orangenwaffle breakfast
 open presents

spaceship of the imagination

Santa brought Odie and Kevin a spaceship of the imagination!

hypnotic waffle

"Bah, I'll just make a giant waffle with the rest of this batter."

I've made a lot of progress on my trust issues this year, though. This is the first year I did not butter this nonstick waffle iron (I've had it for nine years, it was a housewarming gift from my darlingest friend Sarvi) and guess what. It doesn't stick!

club soda and OJ with orange bitters

Fill a glass with mostly club soda, add a big splash of orange juice, and a few dashes of orange bitters.

orangenwaffles with blueberries and duck bacon

Orangenwaffles with blueberries and duck bacon.

pluto: never forget

Der schweetums is really getting the hang of this present thing.

it actually opens

It's a working spaceship, obvi.

ninja in space

Ninja in space!!!

dancing monkey

His card game is getting pretty strong, too.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Xmas Eve
 chinese takeout

xmas eve waiting for santa

Waiting for Santa.

Important things to remember about Xmas Eve chinese takeout:

  • order almond cookies as a special treat
  • definitely order enough food so that you can eat leftover chinese on Xmas Day
  • suggested order: hot and sour soup, potstickers, pork lo mein, mon lung chicken, mongolian beef, almond cookies, plus rice and fortune cookies
  • milky Tazo zen (green and lemongrass) tea is very good for dunking almond cookies in

I love this, in so many ways this is what Winterval is all about:

The only thing scarier to me than something ending is a new thing just beginning, which means I’ve been on edge since November. If you’re like me, you’re balancing holiday planning with wrapping up year-end business, while getting extremely introspective about where you are and where you want to be.
THE WORLD IS YOUR CARB. I hope Santa brings you everything that you asked for!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Winterval Day
 potato pancake dinner

winterval day potato pancake dinner

Okey doke, I got my act together for my potato pancake dinner. I made the applesauce when I got home last night from lights, and I made the potato pancakes when I got home tonight from work. I'm not vegan anymore, not that I wasn't a pretty poor vegan, so here again are deveganized potato pancakes, which is to say, potato pancakes. And they're not paleo either, if you keep track of such things.

For the applesauce:
2 apples, this time I used Jonagold
2 Tbsp sugar or to taste
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Peel, core, and cut up the apples into chunks. Put the apples into a saucepan with just enough water to cover and cook uncovered over medium high heat until the apples are soft. Mash the apples, add the sugar and lemon juice, and refrigerate until needed.

For the potato pancakes:
3 russet potatoes
1 small onion
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup matzo meal
1 tsp salt or to taste

Peel and cut up the potatoes and onion into chunks. Grind them together in a food processor, in batches, until fairly fine. Transfer to a large bowl and add egg, matzo meal, and salt to taste.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over high heat. Drop heaping tablespoons of potatoes into the hot oil, fry for about two minutes per side, and drain on paper towels.

Eat potato pancakes topped with sour cream, or in this case greek yogurt, and applesauce.

Winterval Day
 eight presents 2015

hairdryer baby oilfrank o'hara poems sheet masktiny chapstick chalk lettering booknight cream lotion

OH MY GAHHD around Halloween I had a PLAN, I was going to finally get a smartphone and my first eight apps were going to be my eight presents this year... but then I starting buying things, nothing huge, I have less than no money right now, which also kept me from pulling the trigger on getting the smartphone. Which facebook memories reminds me, I have been talking about since 2013. I WILL, I will get one! I have a plan. A new plan.

Also I edited the schedule of Winterval a little bit, so now Eight Presents is happening on Winterval Day. Which is today:

  1. Conair Infinit Pro hairdryer - My old hairdryer finally gave up the ghost while der schweetums was putting the plastic on his windows, Shanna's friends just happened to be talking about hairdryers and this was the winner. It was on sale and everything, seems decent. My plastic is TIGHT.
  2. Travel size Johnson & Johnson baby oil - Weirdly I have wanted a little baby oil for a while, because I want to try this thing with the witch hazel and the baby oil, though I see that was in August. Well, I will be ready next August >:|
  3. Two volumes of Frank O'Hara poems - I came to these because I take that little pause at lunch, remember, and then mein wifey posted this thing about how to read poetry, and that made me want to read poems and I didn't know where to start, and then I remembered that I love Frank O'Hara, and I read a bit about him and, yes, I do love him. I feel like if I wrote poems, I would write poems like Frank O'Hara, if that's not too douchey to say. The thing I read said not to start with the whole collected works, I picked Lunch Poems because lunch and Meditations in an Emergency because meditation.
  4. O'Three Waterising Mask - Sheet mask authentically sourced from Korean mom! Because Ronnie and I were talking about skincare, now that I actually talk to the people at work, and she got one from her mom for me, "makes your skin moisturizing & vitalizing," lol. This is what I'm doing for Xmas day!
  5. ChapIce tiny chapstick - I don't think I've appreciated anything more this year than I did this tiny chapstick that the dental assistant handed to me during the break between my root canal and my crown. Well I hope I appreciate it, I paid $1500 for it. (JK, that's not why I appreciate it.)
  6. The Complete Book of Chalkboard Lettering - EEEEE! I have plans.
  7. Aveeno Active Naturals Ultra Calming Nourishing Night Cream - Astonishingly I used up the jar of night cream that I started this summer. I have not historically been good about nighttime, well, hygiene in general, and skincare in particular. But I guess I am at that time of my life when it seems serious, and now I'm good as gold. Or maybe I finally set up a habit stack that works for me. Or maybe I'm less depressed. Who can say! I specially found the Ultra Calming night cream to match my other ultra calming products, which I've used for years and years and love them; but I must say, this ultra calming night cream sits up on my skin in a way that the positively radiant night cream didn't and I'm not sure that I like that. Idk, maybe I will switch to all Positively Radiant stuff for the next round. Maybe I'm done being ultra calm, time to be positively radiant?
  8. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 15 - Astonishingly also, I used up my body lotion! So serious about moisturizing, Munt. Good job.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Erev Winterval


Win-ter-vaaal is here...

It's supposed to be potato pancake dinner tonight, but I didn't plan my day right and was doing the week's cooking right up until there was this Walk on the 606 with Light that I wanted to observe for my own festival of light; nice of the city to arrange that for me. And ironically I was out of cooking oil, I was thinking out of the box that we could stop by the Jewel on our way back from lights. But then as long as I was out of the box, I thought we could just stop by The Hat for gyros tonight and do potato pancakes tomorrow. The Hat does really good gyros, so we did that and when we got back we lit the first candle for Winterval.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Catalogue of a Friendship
 volume 2

chapter 287 - in the gap without a helmet
chapter 286 - imma rip off your arm and use it to scratch my head!!!
Chapter 285: adventures with the Mewkaroo!
chapter 284 beautiful gut biome
chapter 283 - the usual numbing agents
christmas present for zombea <--haha sekrit thread
chapter 282 a squid among clams
chapter 281 - and now our watch begins, winterval is coming!
chapter 280 - happy thanksgiving shoalies
chapter 279 - freiheitangst
chapter 278 - crockpot intervention
chapter 277 - sheesh
chapter 276 - eight apps!
chapter 275 - judgy cat cucumbers
Chapter 274: Maybe a tiny Buddha, Maybe not
chapter 273 thanksgiving sans food
chapter 272 - a whole new ruleset
chapter 271 - winner winner chicken dinner
chapter 270 - spilt boners
chapter 269 - drone adventures
chapter 268 - shemar moore problems
Chapter 267: Space problems
chapter 266 - suncatcher
chapter 265 - the friday at 6pm dance
chapter 264 - retraction
chapter 263 - in the gap the air is so thin
chapter 262 - the trouble with trouble
chapter 261 - i came in like a firewall
chapter 260 - fallin' friday
chapter 259 - womp womp wednesday
chapter 258 - fresh start monday
chapter 257 - math
chapter 256 - stuffed things
chapter 255 - a shocking lack of clams and squids
chapter 254 - DON'T LOOK
chapter 253 - charmed i'm sure
chapter 252 - thank god his hair is back to normal
chapter 251 - a dog basking in the sun
chapter 250 - married life!
chapter 249 - i came in like a melon ball
chapter 248 - rinsibgt
chapter 247 - oatmeal chum
chapter 246 - ziva david's bridal

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Winterval Advent
 and now our watch begins

and now our watch begins

EEEEE I thought maybe I was stuck in an endless groundhog day of wanting an advent calendar every year at this time of year, but this year the stars have aligned, albeit four days late for this year, because I of course am counting down to Winterval and not Christmas. Idk if the number of drawers will always work or not, I am not good enough at abstract math to figure that out and by abstract math I may mean counting. Shanna scouted this out, and Biggie and I both got it; but whereas I obediently numbered the drawers like the good little Asian I am, Biggie drew an amazing design on hers literally outside the box(es). She also has a brilliant use for hers, which I shan't steal her thunder and let her tell you herself if she wants.