Bits and Pieces

Cleanliness is next to Godliness
  • Okay, how cute is my cat? Seriously. If I was that adorable, I’m pretty sure I could conquer the world while everyone was busy being spellbound by my charm.
  • On Monday, Nick and I started what will be a very busy 90 days: we started the P90X program. The workout schedule requires an hour every day, and that’s not so bad. I did the plyometrics workout yesterday, and it was actually easy compared to Jillian’s. Or, maybe my cardiovascular health is pretty darn awesome after eight months of regular running. (I guess that’s a valid reason, too…but I usually cry during Jillian’s workout because she takes me to the end of my energy reserves until I have nothing left). One thing that really impresses me about Tony Horton’s instruction is that he seems to care a bit more about good form, telling the viewer to do as many reps as they can with good form and then stop. My knees thank him most graciously.
  • My Nike+ Sportband ate my 10-mile run last Wednesday. I was really bummed out. I worked with the support techs at Nike who were excellent with customer service, but sadly unable to get my run to transfer to my Nike+ account. 10 has become my easy long distance, as long as I have 80 minutes or so to give to it. But losing this run was particularly rough because I knew I would have to cut down on the long runs with the P90X program. Two days later, I ran 15 miles which thankfully tracked. This was the LONGEST I have ever run, and I was so impressed that I was able to do it that I almost cried. I am running 3 miles a day to keep up with my mileage goal for the year while doing the P90X program.
  • Nine weeks! I only have NINE WEEKS of school left. My last professor was really nit-picky, the kind that didn’t like to give full points on anything. We’ve all had them. I was psyched to see my final grade, and that I scored 100% on all of my final week assignments. Go me. I am now in a pretty fun class on advertising and creative strategy, which is right up my alley. Even so, these nine weeks are going to go very slowly. I know this because it seems like I’ve been celebrating 10 weeks left for the last month (when it has only been seven days).
  • I’m a little impressed with myself that I remembered how to do unordered lists in HTML without looking it up…what has it been since I’ve used one? Eight years? It’s the little things…

    Too bad my brain doesn’t store more useful information than UL and LI codes.

Need to let off steam…

I need to vent, and then I’ll go back to school work.

As an adult, I have come to believe that if a person sets out to do something, they should do it to the best of their ability or it isn’t even worth trying. I have approached my education this way, and for me that means maintaining an A average. I know I am capable of A work, so why should I be content to settle for something lower?

This is not to say that I have been able to float through the last few years without a care in the world. I wish! Anything worthwhile requires a lot of time and effort, and my GPA is no exception. I knew the sacrifices I would have to make going into this degree, and Nick knew the sacrifices. It was going to be around three years of really hard work. Nick was going to have to pick up a lot of the household chores and I wasn’t going to be able to have a lot of free time to go boating, biking, or hiking which are hallmark activities of our life together. Nick is a good partner, and I respect him for doing his part to allow me to complete my education with excellence.

All this being said, all of these sacrifices being made, I am so mad I could spit (because that’s what mad people do, apparently). Throughout my program, I have had issues with team assignments and people not pulling their weight. I can think of only three classes where team assignments were completed without issue every single time.

I took the leadership role in my team this week, and laid out the assignment with specific due dates on each section, which was necessary because it is a progressive paper where the person who signed up for part C needs to have part B done first. I think I was even an ass and stated “Please pay attention and adhere to the due dates when you sign up” because I had a problem with the last minute scrambling to turn in the paper last week.

It is now Sunday afternoon and one of the parts due Friday night is still not turned in. Other people are waiting on that part. The team member in question leaves a message late last night saying, “Guys I am working on my part. I know that we all have things to do, but I’m really having hard time both working and doing my assignments.” I just can’t stop rolling my eyes.

Maybe I am tired to the point where I no longer have sympathy for people, but this whole working full time and going to school full time? Yeah, it sucks. But I knew that going in, as everyone should have. What bugs me the most is that because people cannot figure out how to manage their time, they throw everyone else off. I am sick and tired of people being irresponsible.

And maybe I am at my tipping point because I now work in a position wherein deadlines are extremely important, and if you can’t make your deadline you need to appeal to the big dogs for an extension. Maybe I am just oversimplifying the situation, but everyone has a busy life and you usually do not get time to rest in between activities. Grow up and be accountable!

Okay, now I am off to pick up the slack in my team. It sure is lucky that I don’t have anything else going on in my life and can easily step in to save the day.

Hodge Podge

Sigh…

Yes, I know I’ve been neglecting you again, dear blog. I’ve been at this thing for over five years now. I remember hard-coding everything in the first several versions, but then the archives just got too cumbersome to handle manually. In a time when I was more “techie” than I am now (I don’t think I will ever forget the hyphen’s HTML entity code), and married to a PHP programmer, I found an open source weblog system called Serendipity. The site basically runs itself now—so much so, I can go weeks without even updating! Whoa. Actually, I really do love weblogging, and I hope that one of these days things will settle down enough for me to write for fun again.


I am officially “sterile” now (unofficially, before). I had surgery two weeks ago, and while I was confident that I was making the most unselfish and ethical choice, the day before surgery was very emotional for me. I returned home from work to find a clean home scented with cinnamon, my favorite meal, and a fresh pumpkin pie…these are a few of my favorite things. Nick left work early to put together the surprise for me. The day of surgery, I was given a gown that fills with hot air—heavenly! After I came out of the anesthesia, I had a bag of ice in a place that wasn’t all that heavenly.


I am having difficulties finding time to run with my current class. I ran the first time post-op last week and it went relatively well (though I was in no mood to push it with speed). With daylight savings time, I’m rather ready for bed by the time I get home from work, too! It’s dark enough!


Tuesday after work, we stopped at Great Dane for one last happy hour with one of my favorite beers: pumpkin spice ale. The tap was not working properly, spitting and sputtering and making a downright mess of our pint glasses. So, the bartender poured a pitcher to let the head settle and charged us for pints—sweet. See all these plans that interfere with my running schedule!?


Sophie got her bum shaved today. I love long-haired cats. They are so beautiful, but oh so much work! She got two lion cuts last summer, and it was the first summer that she didn’t spend panting as she crossed the room. We’ll let her keep her hair for the colder months, but something has to be done about that butt.

Poor thing wet herself in her carrier during the ride to the groomer’s. I lifted her out of the carrier (the groomer wanted no part of it, understandably) and walked her to her “suite”. I couldn’t stand the smell of myself in the car (again, understandably), and Nick took off his sweatshirt so that I could strip off the soiled clothing without riding in the car naked. Besides issues with decency, it’s frickin’ cold!


Well, I guess I have put off writing my essay on Wal-Mart’s initiatives as outlined in their 2009 financial statement long enough. I’m a hobbyist writer and find distance education too writing intensive. How do normal people survive? If only essays could be on things that interest me (like the evolution of foods on a stick, for instance), and I could use the word “it” without caring about number agreement—and run-on sentences should be allowable expressions of a thought that just does not want to die. Really, proper grammar is overdone. Now someone who is a little hyphen-heavy (and even knows the HTML entity code!), now that someone is interesting—someone I’d like to know!


Over and out.

Dude!

Learning to work on a team is important to surviving in the workforce. 30% of my grade in every class until the end is based on teamwork. Fun!

No, really…I am a nice person, and I get along with just about everybody. I find, however, that not everyone holds the same standards as I hold for myself, and not everyone cares about time management. I spent nearly all of last class frustrated.

I am not a “stay up until midnight the day it is due” type of person. I am a “get it done several days early and be done with it” person. I was shocked to learn that everybody in my team didn’t wig out as the deadlines drew near!

I felt like a young, idealistic teacher in a rough school. The beginning of every week I would remind everyone that we had a team assignment due in seven days. I would break up the assignment into the required sections and give people a chance to sign up for the parts they wanted.

I would post a schedule. “Can everybody have their part done by [x – day] so that we can combine the work into one voice?” They would all cheer in agreement, “Yes! That looks like a great schedule.” BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. Of course, as that young, idealistic teacher, I expected everything to remain just so in my manicured neighborhood with white picket fences.

Did anyone besides me turn in their parts on the agreed-upon date? Silly to even think they would, I know, but I assumed they would. You have much to learn, young padawan. The finished parts would leisurely roll in the day before the project was due and a feverish day of compiling and proofing would ensue.

The next team assignment came, and the next, and the next…and I would lay out the assignment, set agreed-upon due dates, and the pattern continued. DUDE! The funny thing is that I could have understood if people chimed in, “I can’t make the due date.” It was the blatant LYING that had my blood pressure (which I am trying to lower) soaring.

It was a management class. I don’t think I would make a good manager. If I had even one more week to work with that group I think I would have gotten downright nasty, which we all know is not very productive at all. That, and I had to bite my tongue so much over the course of the class that I think I have permanent dents.

Teamwork, yaaay…

A different kind of hangover…

I am done with econ. I handed in my final last night after spending most of yesterday writing and refining my essay. I planned to finish marketing yesterday too, but as always, econ used more of my resources than I was expecting. I typed up 500 words and then my brain clamped shut and I spent the last two hours of my night limp on the couch. This morning? My head is pounding and I feel a little sick.

I have exorcised you, econ!