Check-In: Jan. 28

What I’m working on – I’ve been kind of scattered this week. I’ve scribbled out a few ideas for things to tackle next week and I’ve done some doodles. Mostly doing prep work for bigger things to come. I also scanned some old magazine pages from my mom’s collection to add to my store of reference materials. There were lots of goodies in these.

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What I’m watching – New X-Files! And old X-Files! I’ve watched the first two episodes of the new run and I’m pretty happy with it. I think they did a good job of bringing us back to a good (re)starting point without it feeling like a “reboot.” I’m also re-watching the original episodes. I’m currently in the middle of season 4. I didn’t make it much past season 5 back in the day, so we’ll see if I can finish it this time.

What I’m listening toThe X-Files Files! One of my favorite comedians/people, Kumail Nanjiani, has a podcast where he’s going episode by episode of the X-Files. It’s been a fun companion to my re-watch.

What I’m reading – I finished Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Seconds this week. (A Christmas present from my brother-in-law.) I enjoyed it. I’ve never read Scott Pilgrim (shock!), but I might after reading this one. It was good stuff.

What I’m going to do right now – Go to bed. It’s been a long day. My husband (who’s a whole lot more tired that I am right now) had two (yes, two) receptions for the art show he’s doing this month. It was pretty neat to see his art hanging in a gallery and hearing him talk about it to other artists and students. I’ll try and post some of the photos he took after we’ve both gotten some sleep.

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Putting it all together

Productivity update! So, as I said before, my goal this year is to be more productive. Part of that is getting organized. I’m one of those people whose mind reflects their environment. I find clutter and disarray so distracting I can’t get anything done. But, rather than dig in and get things organized, I sometimes get paralyzed and don’t know where to start. So, I’m taking things in bite-sized chunks this time.

First up, this pile of stuff:

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This is actually only half of the mess. That’s about five years worth of recipes clipped from magazines. Five years ago, I started putting them in binders so I could actually use them. Then I got distracted. And the pile grew. For five. years. 

So, when I took stock of all of our clutter, I zeroed in on that pile that’s been sitting next to my desk, my main work space, for (again) five years. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve spread my pile out on the living room floor, turned on the X-Files on Netflix, arranged all of my bits of paper by category and started gluing them to copy paper and stuffing them in sheet protectors. So many sheet protectors.

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This is Sid, my personal assistant, holding down the “dessert bars” section until I get to it. He’s been a real help.

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I’m currently about 80% done. It’s taken a surprising amount of time. But, the pile is growing smaller and smaller, and that’s encouraging.

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I’ve also discovered washi tape. Can you tell?

Next up: Finding a place for my two giant binders, followed by actually cooking some of this stuff.

 

Check-In: Jan. 21

What I’m working on – I finally finished this!

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A while back, I got the idea to put together little clip art bundles for each of the states. This is number two of fifty. I might have all of them done in a couple decades. To keep interesting, I’m also including a “fun fact” image in each one. This one is the fact that Maryland’s state sport is jousting. My Mississippi fun fact was that teddy bears started here. Man, I love fun facts.

What I’m listening to – Spotify’s David Bowie playlist. I was never the biggest devotee of David Bowie, but I do appreciate him. Listening to this, however, I’m suddenly realizing how much Bowie was involved in my long-ago karaoke nights. It’s making me pretty nostalgic.

What I’m reading – I started Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy this week. It’s about dealing with mental illness and it’s also really funny. I’ve never dealt with mental illness myself*, but I know and love people who have. This book is a surprisingly good guide for how to handle and care for people in your life with mental illness. Plus there’s good stories about taxidermied critters if you’re into that.

*I’m not counting the constant undercurrent of anxiety I feel. I’m pretty sure everyone has that. That vibrating tension is what makes us human… right?

What I’m playing – I’m trying to finish up Persona Q. Then I’ve got to finish up Persona 3. And maybe replay Persona 4. Because Persona 5 comes out this year and I’m gonna be ready.

Qu’est-ce que c’est?

Thursday’s a perfectly fine day for a weekly check-in, right?

What I’m working on  Something with black-eyed Susans!

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Hopefully I’ll have a finished product to show off next week. I’m also trying to start something for Valentine’s Day because holy geez, you guys…. January’s almost over.

What I’m reading – I just finished up Sarah Vowell’s Lafayette in the Somewhat United States. Sarah Vowell is one of my favorites. Her take on American history is funny and smart and yet she never glosses over or glorifies the nastier bits. I really enjoyed this one.

What I’m listening to – I got behind on Comedy Bang Bang over the holidays, so I’ve been catching up. I’m up to the traditional first episode of the year with Horatio Sanz and Benny Schwaz.

What I’m playing – The Sims 4. Too much Sims 4. But look, if you’re a control freak like I am, The Sims is a good way to scratch that itch. Those guys do everything you tell them to.

What I’m wearing – I wore fun socks to work today. They had hearts on them.

New Year, New something something something…

The fact that I’m making my “New Year, New You” post on January 11th should tell you everything you need to know about me. The Fresh Start Effect tends to kick in a little too early with me. I spend most of December making grand plans and by New Year’s Day I’ve lost momentum and postponed my resolutions.

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I’m working on it, though. This blog is proof.

My overarching goal this year is to Just Be More Productive.  I took the biggest step this past September when I opened my Etsy shop. It’s given me something to focus my productivity and creativity on and something I can build goals around. This year’s main goals aren’t necessarily about building revenue, but more about building inventory and a brand.

So, here I am, building a brand by shamelessly self promoting. But, it’s also about blogging as a motivator for self-improvement (I learned it by watching Lazy Lady, alright!). I can’t build an audience without content and I can’t provide worthwhile content without getting off my butt and doing something. So please, stick around while I try and entertain you… or just come back in December and see how I did. At this point, it could go either way.