Sunday, August 31, 2008

One Summer Down, Two to Go

For a while there I didn't think Goal 63 was going to come to fruition, but the weather warmed up finally. ScottieDog and I went down to the pool this afternoon. It was GREAT!!!! The water was perfect!

The thing is, we pay a lot of money in rent, and it has recently occurred to me that we pay for a lot of things we don't use, like the pool and the gym. I've only swum in this pool twice in the ten years I've lived here. How silly is that?

ScottieDog got a lot of pictures of me looking like a white whale, but I'm not going to post them here now. Maybe later, if I reach Goal 45. They're definitely good "before" pictures!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

From ScottieDog!!!

Here is my beloved husband, who has something to say:

Hi All,

Melissa has always encouraged me to sing. Since she has taken up the gauntlet of 101 in 1001, I have been stupefied by her dedication and determination. ( I have to live with her for God's sake.) She talks incessantly about where she is on her goals and what is the next task. I have never been so impressed nor inspired. I have found her more energetic, happy and I sure love going on a date with her (goal # 85). I wonder if there is a dream I have left to live.

My father died shortly after I got divorced in the early 90's and my mother and I healed some together. I told my Mom to write down 10 dreams she wanted to live (she took up painting, as one, in a big way and is very good). Shortly thereafter I realized I should do the same. I wanted to sing a solo of any kind of music anywhere anyone would listen. (I was told in high school I couldn't sing--very important point here). I did my solo 8 years later at St. Michael's church in Lexington, KY. and was asked afterward where I had studied music (I never studied music, I'm a Social Worker).

I have sung rarely since I moved here 9 years ago after Melissa and I got married. I still get reasonable reviews when I do. Melissa has now encouraged me to start singing again and I am willing to make the commitment. Under her tutelage I pledge to take her as my voice teacher, practice and audition for any NYC chorus that will hear me.

My dream is now to sing in a major venue in NYC in any capacity. Part of my fear is I may end up in an emergency room with a nice psychiatrist who tells me I might need to be hospitalized "for just a few days" in order to assess my delusional condition.

If Melissa is willing to live her dreams I am willing to try too.



Sarah Palin???

I have to say I can think of,000 women I'd rather see as vice president. (Not to mention the men.) WTF???? (Not that I would consider voting Red in the first place.)

BTW, does anybody think it's weird (especially given the heating up of the old Cold War adversaries) that the Republican Party is Red??? (Apologies to any Reps that read my blog!)

Goal 52 - Walk home from the Library every work day for a week Get off at the Library bus stop instead of at home (habit)

My new bus stop - Main Street, across from the Library

This turned out to be such an unchallenging goal that I changed it! I was so tired and weak back when I was making my list, it seemed like a lot, I guess. Now that I'm exercising regularly, well, pfft.

The Library stop is like a block and a half away, and there's a zone change between that stop and the one in front of my building, so it costs 75 cents just to turn the corner onto my street. I started getting off at the Library last week, and so much enjoyed stretching my legs on the way home, even though I was really tired and it's uphill. Also it was really hot in the bus, and it's been quite cool outside here lately.

I decided to make it my default m.o. instead! Why not save 75 cents a trip? Especially since they keep raising the fares. (I should also make it a habit every week to count up the days and put that amount in savings.)

I would only break the rule for really bad weather, sickness, or late night. Or being in a mad rush to get home.

Speaking of being cool here lately--hey, it's August!!! Where's the heat??? I'm trying my best to get down to the pool (Goal 63 Swim in the pool every summer), but I can't swim in this weather; I can't stand being cold and wet. Fortunately the forecast is for it to warm up this weekend. Should be 87 on Sunday. That's going to have to be the day, because they close the pool after Labor Day. (My luck it will get suffocatingly hot then.)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Goal 59 - Write a Blog

Today is my one-month anniversary (mensiversary?). On July 28th I put up my first post, outlining my 101 Goals project. Being now qualified, I applied to be listed in the BlogHer directory.

Today I'm counting this goal as accomplished! It's been up for a month, I'm practically addicted to posting and bumming around with my favorite bloggers, and that's not likely to go away any time soon.

The blog also helps me so much keeping track of my goals! I'm so much more motivated to get things done, and it helps so much that people keep checking in on me! Thanks to all!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Goal Cloud

I thought it might be interesting to make a word cloud of my goals list. And it was!!!

Goal 45 - Weigh ≤130


I must be doing something right! Today I weighed 142.2, down from 146 last week. I've been very good about my exercise goal, so no doubt that helps, but I can't believe I paid no attention to food whatsoever--I remember having a Snickers at work on Friday, because I was severely disappointed with my lunch, and on Saturday having some of the greasiest Quiche Lorraine I've ever eaten.

Usually when I first start exercising my weight goes up--I think maybe because of muscle soreness or something, or maybe even a little muscle building. It must be the intervals!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Goal 54 - Visit the Dentist

Arrggghhh!! I buckled down and researched dentists today, and ended up with a dental appointment next week. One week from today!

I must explain: I have severe dentalphobia. One afternoon in the gym when I was eight I broke one of my front teeth on account of a girl I never liked very much barreling into me during a game of Flying Dutchman and knocking me down. What ensued during the following twelve hours was right out of your worst nightmare. And back then, dental science was not nearly as advanced as it is today. I know they knew about gas back then--they called it "laughing gas"--nobody thought about using it on me, probably because I was a very stoic youngster who had a mortal dread of making a scene. (I internalize everything.) I ended up (after what seemed like hours of drilling without benefit of anesthetic if I remember right) with an ugly metal cap on my front tooth, which some of my peers thought was way cool (though even "cool" was a word they didn't yet know in that definition). And then eventually with a more real-looking temporary crown that stayed on through my teens. Never will I forget that night at the dentist.

Anyway, I cannot now undergo even a routine cleaning without being gassed into oblivion.

It takes me a long time to "break in" a dentist. I had a really nice one in KY--I even got to the point where I could have a cleaning without gas, but then I moved to NYC. Then I almost had another one broken in, but he moved away, probably because of me. I had a habit of spouting copious tears while under treatment, and he found it a bit unnerving.

It's been way too long, so today I called around, and the first dentist I chose I made sure to ask about the gas, and they said "No way." What's up with that? I asked the receptionist if there was some reason for this, and she said I'd have to talk to the dentist, so I said, "Well, I'll get back to you." I found another dentist on the second call who had no problem with the nitrous, so I have an appointment in SEVEN DAYS! If it weren't for my Goals List I would never have called. And without the support of all you blog people I would probably chicken out. But I am going to be staunch about this. Don't want dentures! Vanity trumps dentalphobia.

Goal Management

So I finally got two goals in the green.

It occurred to me to wonder how I'm going to keep track of my progress. Let's see: 101 into 1001 math always makes me nervous)...9.91. That means I have to accomplish a goal every nine or ten days, on average. (Is that right?)

Anyway, I was finding the spreadsheet I used to set up my goals very unwieldy when trying to sort out categories and progress, so I ended up constructing another database for it instead. I love building databases! Now I can pull up reports and stuff.

I've been at this 29 days, and I have 2 goals finished, with one due to mature in two days and another in five days. That' goals in 33 days. Let's see, four into 33, carry the two, add the square root of 33, that's one every eight days. So not bad!!!!

I need to add an automatic calculation to my database. Strange how I can do expressions and operators and calculations in Access just fine, but I have a real hard time just doing long division with pencil and paper. I tell myself it's just because I don't practice.

And I really need to replace that stupid piece of clip art with something of my own, don't I?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

2 Down, 99 To Go!

Goal 23 - Clean out underneath kitchen sink

Before and After

Well, this took all of about twenty minutes!!! Max. Including taking the "After" picture. I was amazed. I know it doesn't look that much different, but I did throw out a bunch of stuff. Not as much as the bathroom vanity, but I guess I don't collect as many cleaning supplies as I do extraneous cosmetics.

For some reason we had a lot of insecticide that we have never needed, so I pitched it. I also found a roll of white curly gift wrap ribbon. ?? And a lot of crud. It's now clean, organized, and I can see what's there. We had about five scrubby sponges still wrapped in cellophane (well excuse me, they don't make cellophane any more) plastic wrap--and we keep buying new ones!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

1 Down, 100 To Go!!!

Goal Number 22 is FINISHED. I stupidly didn't take a "before" picture, but here is the after picture. Hey, I didn't say it would look good!

You know, undersink areas are just grody. But that's what vanity doors are for.

I need to get some nice basket/bin thingies. And I need to stop saving all the bottles of Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion that come in the free gifts. You wouldn't believe how many I threw out. In fact I threw out two medium garbage bags of stuff altogether.

I am also amazed at how many slings we owned. I threw out a couple, but there are plenty left. Which is probably stupid since they're going to give me a bunch more here pretty soon. There are two containers under the sink (pushed toward the back left) that are full of first aid items. I guess this goes to show how accident prone I am.

I should make it clear that accomplishing this goal also means that I will maintain this area and not let it get to where I have to make it another goal to clean it out. I hereby commit to that.

Suing the pants off the City

This is me in the office of the
City's attorney. For some odd reason the plastic flowers in the vase were additionally adorned with several rubber bands draped artistically. Too bad they don't show up in the picture.

Yesterday ScottieDog and I had to go give a deposition to the attorney for the City about my accident. It was a little weird.

Yes, I know, the country is going to the dogs because of too much litigation. Spare me. When I was a property owner, I sweated bullets over the (miniscule) cracks in my sidewalk and wondered if I should fix them. And paid for liability insurance too, even though nobody ever tripped. (The reason the City is liable as well as the property owner is that there was a street tree involved. I believe it was a young gingko.)

I have lost so much money because of this accident! And will lose a lot more. Not to mention my right hand being all messed up. You can kind of see in the photo that it's not right.

During the deposition, the most important question seemed to be, "Did you see the crack in the sidewalk before you tripped?" WTF kind of question is that? If I had seen the crack, wouldn't I have stepped over it? And if I didn't see it, would I remember NOT seeing it? I couldn't answer that one at all. ScottieDog said during the preparation with my lawyer, "Just say you didn't see it." But, being a stickler for accuracy, I just came out with, "I don't recollect seeing it." Which just about covers it, I guess. And calling it a "crack," well, it was more of a complex obstruction.

My lawyer said to expect much longer and more detailed depositions coming up. So what, I say. I know what happened. I tell myself, "Just stick to the facts, ma'am."

Friday, August 22, 2008


Re: Goals List

I realized yesterday that my ambition to visit MOMA got lost in the shuffle somehow. So I substituted it for "55 Reduce waist by 2 inches," which is a dumb goal since the weight loss goal would probably take care of that, wouldn't you think?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Random Thoughts and Updates

Ha-HA! I have gone and done it--exercised three times this week already. This morning I did three intervals instead of two, but I found I couldn't do the 4mph. Had to notch it down to 3.8mph. Hey, I'm an old lady. My shins were hurting.

I also have NOT ONCE put my makeup on outside the house since my last post on the subject. This made me slightly late to work today, but I don't care.

I guess I really need to pay attention to the "get up by 6:30" goal. Especially if I'm going to be working out and making up before I leave the house.

Hey! Everyone needs to read our progressive novelette (a cliffhanger!) at the Bag Lady's blog. It is the most amazing hoot.

Anybody want to try a limerick???

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Goal 45 - Weigh ≤130 and Goal 56 - Exercise 3 times a week

I guess I'm started on these...

So I weigh 146 lbs. (What's it to ya??) That means I have 16 pounds to lose. :-P No doubt having the hand surgery will take it down somewhat, but I'm hoping to lose most of it by making intelligent lifestyle decisions.

I'd been procrastinating on the exercise goal because of the upcoming surgery, but then I had to ask myself why, exactly. No doubt the surgery will slow me down for a bit, but that doesn't mean I have to put off exercising for over a month, now, does it?

This morning I thought I would capitalize on already having had a good hike on Sunday. So I went down and did some S.H.I.I.T. on the treadmill. (If you don't know what S.H.I.I.T. is, be sure to click the link.)

I did sort of a lame interval thing, I'm only walking a mile at a time to start off with, and I just bumped it up to 4mph for a couple of minutes a couple of times. Felt good, though. I sure hope my knees cooperate. It seems like every time I start exercising again some body part gives out. My plan is to go back to doing the physical therapy exercises for my various weak links along with the general fitness things.

By the by, speaking of therapy exercises, I made myself a mini-goal toward the major goal 57 (get right hand back into shape). I plan to hit the hand exercises hard, hoping that the tendon will in fact break loose from the scar tissue before the surgery on September 23rd. Right now I can't bend my pinkie more than a little bit. I slacked off my hand therapy there for a bit, but now I think I should rev that back up.

And no, I'm not counting this picture toward the 10 pictures. The other nine have to be of other subjects, I decided.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Goal 3 -- Paint 5 pictures

Taking one last ride in ScottieDog's car.

Ah the Bard festival is coming to a close! And I did bestir myself here toward the end to accomplish some things: I went on a hike with my friend Eileen and my ScottieDog, and took some nice scenic shots that I might paint from later on. Also the hike was very invigorating, which goes toward my long term goal of getting more fit.

Lots of my friends here have been looking at my goals list, and a couple have started on their own lists! I feel so proud and influential!

The Bard Festival is always so great. We have a ball. Note the incredible Frank Gehry "Space Turtle" concert hall behind the car.

The last concert is tonight!

Here's a chorister eye view of the rehearsals:

Sopranos are always right in the middle of the percussion instruments. Well, right behind, anyway. And boy is it LOUD. Interesting, though.

This is a BIG orchestra. You'll note we can hardly see the players in the front of the orchestra. We have to look for the conductor with binoculars.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Goal 81 -- Get rid of one bad habit

Everyone will be very glad to know that I have become a fanatic about not leaving my shoes in inappropriate places. Isn't blogging great?

I'm not going to put this down as "done" yet; if I keep it up for a month, then I'll consider it a bad habit broken.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Goal 74 - Listen to a CD every week

I'm discovering that you have to keep reviewing your goals list. My mind tends to revert to general goals that I've been thinking about for years, like get thinner, get fitter, and I forget about all the other things I could be doing.

I just read over my list again and realized I have been working on a goal that I forgot about, i.e. listen to CDs. I should explain. I'm a professional musician, and I am surrounded by music. Like here at this festival: we're singing six-plus hours a day...when I get back to my room I want peace and quiet. But even on a regular basis, I'd rather have quiet than be listening to a recording. Don't listen in the car, don't have an iPod.... But I think this is a bad idea. For one thing, on the occasions when I DO listen to a CD, it makes me happy, usually. I have a bunch of CDs that I never listen to, and this seems like wasting to me.

The CDs I was listening to are my own performances, but since they're recordings of my ex-husband's works that I've been putting off reviewing because of emotional considerations, and it was hard to make myself listen, I'm counting them! I'll count them both as one CD.

It actually made me feel better. The music is really, really good, and it made me feel better about the time I spent in the marriage. (Other than my really great children!!! They always make me feel better.)

I thought I'd post a song here for the edification of my readers. All five of them. (The player should appear in the sidebar, if I'm doing this right.)

This is the lyric:

Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935). Collected Poems. 1921.

VII. The Three Taverns
5. The Dark Hills

DARK hills at evening in the west,
Where sunset hovers like a sound
Of golden horns that sang to rest
Old bones of warriors under ground,
Far now from all the bannered ways
Where flash the legions of the sun,
You fade—as if the last of days
Were fading, and all wars were done.

UPDATE: Well, drat! Didn't do it right. If you want to hear it you have to paste the URL into your URL thingy. Here's the URL:

If I figure out how to embed it properly I will certainly do so.


Well, I'm being a total slug about my goals. This festival is a lot of hard work!

To make matters worse my ScottieDog let me drive his new convertible up here, and instead of walking around this beautiful campus, I've been spending my meager free time swanning around in the car with friends. My bad.

Never had a convertible before--and I'm here to tell you, they are FUN.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Goal 85 - Have a date with Scott once a month

I'm off and running on this one, anyway! Dinner and a movie last Friday. We saw The Dark Knight which was scary but interesting. And loud.

This is a picture of my ScottieDog, taken at dinner. Just to prove we were there! (He's actually handsomer than in this photo.)

(This goal is going to be fun.)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

This Week

I'm off to the Bard Festival in Annandale-on-Hudson for the week. I'll be posting from there. It's a beautiful place, so maybe I can get some good pictures to post. Hope I don't slack off my goals too much!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Goal 2 -- Draw 10 Pictures

I drew a picture!!

(I wonder why I can still draw okay but can't write cursive very well at all.)

Goal 57 -- Get Right Hand Back into Shape

Poor little hand.

I saw the new surgeon this morning. ScottieDog (husband) went with me for moral support and also because he doesn't trust me to stand up for myself. (humph)

I like the doctor a lot, and we scheduled the operation for September the 23rd. A month and a half of pain-free two-handedness is ahead of me, so I have to really whack away at some of these goals. I'm trying to save the easy ones, liking drinking pomegranate juice, for when I'm laid up.

I should explain that the bone of my pinkie will be sawed through and the finger turned around the right way and pins put in. (Yes, I know it doesn't look crooked in the photo, but it wasn't crooked then, only broken. It got turned around wrong in the first surgery. Which is why I now have a new surgeon.) I will be in a cast for four weeks. If you've never had your dominant hand restrained for any length of time, you have no idea how claustrophobic it is. You can't do ANYTHING.

"Back into shape" is going to be kind of a moving target, because the hand won't ever be the same as before the accident. What I'm hoping for is reasonable flexibility so that I can play octave chords on the piano again. I will consider that "in shape."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Care and Feeding of Habits: Goals 80 & 81

80. Develop 5 virtuous habits

Five habits may be way ambitious. Whatever, the one I’m currently working on (and to understand why this is a virtuous habit you may have to be a Southern Belle) is to get all my makeup on before I leave the house.

All my life, up until I moved to the NYC area, I have never left the house without being as ready as I was going to be for where I was going. I’ve always had an aversion even to applying lipstick and powder in public.

I do think it’s a little odd to haul out your lipstick at a restaurant table and swab some on. For one thing, I don’t like putting on lipstick unless I’ve brushed my teeth. (I know, I sound OCD, but I’m really not.) For another, I have narrow lips and a not-very-defined lipline, so if I were to apply lipstick blind like that, I’d run the risk of looking like a crazy person afterwards. Putting on lipstick is a complicated matter for me, requiring liner pencil, up to two tubes of lip color, and, of course, a mirror. I’d sure hate to haul all that out in front of God and everybody at a dinner-date. It requires a trip to the powder room.

However, one’s standards tend to relax in the face of New York City's challenges. Time is at a premium here; that’s why everybody looks so stressed and why tourists get dirty looks on the sidewalk. It takes me an hour and fifteen minutes to get to my day job. One way. (Longer if tourists are ambling along four abreast and I have to jump off into the gutter to go around, risking life and limb.) Fifteen minutes that I don’t have to spend making up before I leave the house is fifteen more minutes of sleep.

I have to confess that I once found myself flagging down a bus with my mascara wand. Lately, though, I’ve been confining my cosmetic sessions to the rear of the bus—my concession to Southern Belle propriety. It doesn’t do much for my execution, though. Those buses are not smooth rides.

(I didn’t do so well today—but I did get foundation and eyeshadow on at home. I had to be at work early.)

Okay, it probably is not that virtuous a habit, but I think I need to start small.

81. Get rid of one bad habit.

I had a hard time thinking of bad habits that I hadn’t already covered with the positive goals—like overdoing the Chardonnay—but eventually I settled on not leaving my shoes all over the house. This is actually a good habit for me to break, because I have been really accident-prone the last year or so, and I need to Melissa-proof the house. Stumbling over shoes all the time I do NOT need. Also do not need to be wasting time looking for the pair of shoes I want.

So I forgot one time this week and left my bum-around shoes in front of the couch, but I’m still motivated.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Goal 14--Home Inventory

Well hey!

I set up a database for my inventory. That was the easy part. I expect it's going to take all of 1001 days to get it complete, though. I'm planning on doing data entry from purchase receipts as I go through all the paper filing. But I have a lot of stuff that we just acquired somehow, in some instances out of the trash (my husband is a dumpster diver--but only because our high-rise has really high quality trash, like working computers and big solid cherry entertainment centers) and trying to figure out how much all this stuff is worth is a huge pain in the neck.

When I get it all entered in, a report will give us the current value of everything, and I suppose our complete net worth calculation will have to wait on that...

Goal 31--Get All Papers Filed

Aargh! This isn't even all of it. The dining room table is stacked full too.  And there are about seven or eight boxes of stuff under the table.  Two huge moving boxes of files belong to my mother-in-law who just moved up here in March into an assisted living facility.  I haven't even opened those yet.

How did I get into this mess?

One thing is that I am simply not used to non-academia.  All my life the prevailing rhythm has been nine months of school and/or work, 3 months off to do whatever, year in and year out.  

This business of working every week of the year, with just a few exceptions, has really cramped my style.  I always so looked forward to the end of spring release, when I had a chance to breathe and to get things under control.

I'm now looking at about seven years accumulation.  I quit teaching full-time in the mid-90s but began a full-time work week on the Regular People's Schedule around 1999.  I didn't do so badly keeping things under control until 2001, when 9/11 sort of put us all into a six-month paralysis.  It's been gradually downhill from there.  

Anybody else miss school??

I've been doing pretty well on Goal 31.  It looked worse than this a week ago.  I had a brainwave:  I figured I would take a stack of papers to work in my backpack, and if I had downtime I would sort through.  Best idea I ever had!  I have loaded up my day job waste basket with so much trash.  I brought home a big envelope full of things to be shredded, which I did today.  Other than getting a bad stiff neck from trying to carry too much stuff, things are progressing pretty well.  I filed for two hours this afternoon.  I can't believe it doesn't look any better than this.

(I'm also working on Goals 16 and 57.)