Wednesday, January 28, 2009


One of my goals for the next few weeks is to do my own taxes. This is mostly a money-saving measure ... I am happy to pay the $50 for the accountant when I have it, but the fact is that I don't. So I am planning to do them myself. There is a reason I've never done them -- it's the same reason I was an English major. I don't do math well, and I don't enjoy it. But in the interests of self-improvement and money saving, I was going to o my own taxes. I rent, I only have one income, it shouldn't be that tough.

Then the other night I was tutoring. The building often advertises various social services. And one of the services the advertised the other night was free tax help for low-income folk. Their definition of low-income happens to be, in my estimation, pretty generous, and it's well above what I make (the threshold is $45,000, which I suppose is tight for a family, but in my opinion plenty for a single person such as me).

So now, do I do my own taxes, or do I have them done at the clinic? Or do I attempt to do them and have them checked at the clinic? It's sad that this was easier when it was just about math.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just Outside of Your Front Door

So lately I've been unexplainably tired and generally down. Not sad necessarily, but certainly not happy. And I was thinking about how it was about a year ago that I briefly went back on antidepressants. And how I generally lose it at my review, which occurs in January or February. Generally I tend to lose it pretty easily, especially around now.

And then it occurred to me: I live in Minnesota. Outside time right now occurs to brief spurts between my car and a building, and when I absolutely must take the garbage out. General malaise probably at least somewhat attributable to lack of sunshine and fresh air and overall outsideness. I wouldn't describe myself as outdoorsy, but during the summer I generally walk and bike and read and hang out outside. Minnesota is great in the summer.

So tonight I made it a point to come home before dark, put on my boots and my hat, and go for a walk. My regular aerobics class got cancelled, and it turns out that walkin through snow is great exercise. It's a small step, but an important one. And one I will make it a point to repeat as the weather allows.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


So lately I've been thinking about getting a master's degree. And I've come to the conclusion that that's not really for me. I can't bring myself to take out more student loans (and ultimately I don't think it would pay off), and I'm not really focused enough to give it the time it needs. But more than that, I don't think that in my career path and in the information society that it will get me where I want to go. I think some type of certification or a one-off class is more for me.

So now the question is what class to take. Work will pay for half of it (pro). I live in Alexandria, which is not exactly filled with institutions of higher learning (challenge). I have good Internet connection and I love to read, etc. I'm mostly focused on internal communications, but general communications will be seriously considered. It's probably too late to get in this semester, but I can start in the summer or fall (or anytime if it's some type of self-directed class).

Next action step: serious research.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Victory 1

Knoephla soup was tasty! Turned out exactly like it was supposed to, so that was awesome. Knoephlas were originally a little big, but it turns out you can just cut them in half even when they are partially cooked. I am pretty excited about this progress. Cut my finger on a can of tomatoes last night, but still happy. Ripped out several recipes for consideration this weekend.

Shoulder continues to heal. The exercise class I usually attend is cancelled all week, so trying a new one Thursday and determined to work out on my own tomorrow (volleyball tonight counted in my world).

Need to narrow down the professional development. Now. At the point in the year where my job is a little dull, so I need to make some progress there. Just need the specifics on that.

Purchased a spiffy new laptop over the weekend, so the blog can now be cooler. For some reason my camera wouldn't start just now, but I assume that's just the battery. But keeping with the blog so far.

One of my yearly goals is to see all th Oscar nominated movies. I never meet this goal, and this year seems to be no exception. At this point it's a geography issue ... most of them never come to a theater near me. But I have made peace with that, and I am doing OK so far this year. Side note, but there you go.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Still Here

No, I'm not one of those bloggers who blogs twice and gives up. Give me at least 10 posts before giving up. And I'm not one of those bloggers who whines about poor progress. But I am one of those bloggers who takes time off over the holidays and was tired. So here's the LD (which I think is a stupid thing to say, by the way).

Christmas was good. New Year's Eve was good. Parents kicked in a generous amount to the laptop fund, so that will blogging even cooler. Scary drive home, but as I was driving from North Dakota to Minnesota in January that's really not surprising.

Goal updates:
  • Lose weight/bike race: I am back in the gym. Good volleyball game tonight - sweat and the whole thing. No progress on the actual biking, but the overall objective is coming along.
  • Professional development: No progress. 2009 is still young, though.
  • Practical fun skills: FAILED attempt at gravy (which I love) last weekend. Attempting knoephla soup (North Dakota girl at heart) this weekend ... updates as events warrant. Dug out some knitting patterns and signing up for a class. Maybe it's because this goal is "fun," but I have made most progress here.
  • Connections: Christmas cards not out. That's pretty indicative of the progress there.
  • Other: All visible vermin killed (there was a mouse problem). Shoulder has been looked at -- probably bursitis, which it turns out is much easier to fix than I could have hoped. So I am declaring success.
Since blog is still secret from Boyfriend (who occupies all weekends) and my weeknights are redonkulously busy, hope for an update soon but don't hold your breath.