Monday, March 28, 2011

Goal Reached and Totem Started

I made my goal for billable hours at work with four billing days left in the month.
By the time they add everything up I will be over 100% of my productivity for the month.

I want to say I worked my ass off... and I did work hard... but the truth is that there were days when I only worked a few hours, and there were days like today when I went in at 10. 
What happened is that I got organized, made a backup plan and stuck to it.
I am blown away by this success.  A month ago I didn't think it was possible that I could make the minimum expectation and this month I made the 100% board, and I did it in a way that allowed me to stay relatively sane.

Last week I also managed to eat at home a lot and I ate lots of vegetables: carrots, spinach, cauliflower, tomatoes.  I also ate a lot of ranch dressing, but I am choosing to focus on the vegetable part.

Saturday I started a knitting project that embodies the spirit of this blog.
This is my first square...

in what will be a big, soft blanket. 
I'm using sock yarn and size 1 needles.  Which is crazy.  Absolutely nuts. 
Each square has about 500 stitches, is about 3 inches across and takes a little over an hour.  The blanket as I imagine it is about 6 feet squared...

So I have this massive project that can not be rushed because no matter how amazing I am I can only knit one stitch at a time.

I have friends who are also making this blanket.  We will meet up and share scraps of yarn and knit together.  We will talk about whose blanket is making the most progress and whose blanket has the best color combination... and even though we will be using the same pattern and sharing materials and knitting together not one of these blankets will be the same. 

Those of us who have decided to take on this project will knit our tiny squares one stitch at a time.  

We will make hundreds of squares.

People we know will send us yarn to contribute and people we don't know will see these blankets while we work on them in public.  They will ask us about them and we will talk about knitting and some of those people will become knitters too.
We will inspire other knitters to start their own blankets.
We will offer them our leftover yarn.

I will knit squares at work, at the movies, while taking care of my mother as she recovers from surgery.  I will knit squares when I am sad and when I am happy.  I will knit squares by the pool this summer and some day I will snuggle with my kid and the cats under this blanket of tiny squares.

For me this blanket is a symbol of what this blog is about: small, consistent steps forward.

This was my blanket at the end of the weekend. 
24 hours I knit 14 squares. 
This is why my house isn't clean.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Unfair to Spinach and Broccoli

Lets start with the backward steps first so we can end on a good note, yes?

After the first ten days of meal planning (and follow through) I slipped right back in to my fast food coma.  Which means I also slipped right back in to my "too-tired-just-throw-cash-at-it" ways.  BLT's from Sonic and tuna sandwiches from Subway and chicken sandwiches from Wendy's.  I even had red beans and rice from Popeye's today.  So I'm eating like crap, spending money like I have it and not following through on my carefully-planned intentions.  And the red wine consumption rates have increased in my house.


I have also spent a few nights awake and a few mornings sleeping in and then canceling my carefully constructed morning and reshuffling my week.  I think I really do need a job that is less flexible; I need the structure and accountability.  If I can't time-shift at will maybe I would force myself out of bed and deal with my day.  I have also not been cleaning.  I have been mostly inactive outside of my working hours.

It is a big cycle of ugh, and I need to find some kind of motivation to pull myself out of it.

The good news is that I have been doing well at work... more or less making my hours.  Which is to say, the first two weeks I did more than I projected and this week was less so my monthly total should be right on target.  We are halfway through the month and I have already billed more hours than I ended February with.  So that's good.

There may also be a job opening that interests me.  A job that would increase my income by about 60%.  I'm not holding my breath, but I am hopeful.  I need this to happen, but since I have been able to be successful at work I feel (for the first time) like I will be ok if it doesn't.

I also have a second date scheduled.  I feel like I am moving ahead with this because I'm supposed to.  Like this guy is spinach and broccoli and the last guy was cheese fries and bacon cheeseburgers.  Sure, I like spinach and broccoli, but I wake up in the night craving cheese fries and bacon cheeseburgers.  I love cheese fries and bacon cheeseburgers.  I will always want cheese fries and bacon cheeseburgers.

But I know, too much of that shit will kill you.

So I'm going to try the spinach and broccoli on a more regular basis and pretend that it's not totally unfair of me to eat it when all I want is bacon and cheese. 

Monday, March 7, 2011


And I still have my soul.
I counted the number of available work days and figured out how many hours I would need to bill each day to make 90 hours ... Which is not only WAY over my previous totals but is also over the expectation. The magic number is 5 per day. There were 3 billable days last week and my hours were 16.7. Woot!
Today I billed 5 and tomorrow I have 8 scheduled.
This can be done. I can do this.
And really it wasn't that bad. I even had a short day Thursday because I had worked so many hours already. Sleeping in = my favorite.
If I can keep up this pace I might not lose my job before they fire me.
I also ended up on an accidental date on Saturday. Someone from the dating website I joined for purely research purposes. We'll just call this extended research. I told him about the Oscar Shorts on Saturday and he went too. We didn't sit together but we did go for a beer after... I wouldn't have called it a date but he referred to it as a "first date" several times. So I guess that's what it was.
He Is pretty much the polar opposite of the last guy I was (am still?) involved with.
He is also sporting the Mr. Sensitive ponytail. And he doesn't have a car. He does have a job... And is not married...
I never had one second where I thought about sleeping with him.
He might grow on me... But I've had that start to a relationship before. It was boring.
He isn't out of the game yet... But he's probably headed for the friend bench.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Other Reason

The reasons I am not in a relationship are remarkably similar to the reasons I don't have a better job.  There isn't a fuck of a lot open right this second.

That is, there are jobs - and men - available but nothing worth getting out of bed on my day off. 
I spent the evening on a dating website.  You know, for research purposes.

From an actual ad on OkCupid:

"I don't belive in judgeing u or looking down on ya I don't care about ya past I don't look at skin color it ya heart and feelings that I'm whanting too respect and be kool with.I don't cheat,lie or play games I'm romantic and honest like too joke have fun not jelious.I'm real loyal,I like to laugh..."

That is what is out there.  Also?  This:

"you want a single man that dont believe in cheating and if your after money pass me by roofing is to slow in the cold im bout broke"

And this little gem:

"Right now im at a impass in my life. i dont know what i want to do. my biges consiren is finsh hight school.ya i was VERY wilded in my young years, but hay iv mellow alot. within the next five years I WILL OUN MY OUN BUINESS."

Dude?  Your "biges consiren" should be literacy. 

It is good to know that I'm not desperate.  And that I'm such a judgmental bitch. 

There were a few guys whose profiles didn't incite mockery... out of the 50 or so I looked at tonight there were two.  That's 4% y'all. 

Of the 50 only about ten listed anything under "books," and half of those mentioned they hadn't had time to read.  One listed reading as  a "new hobby" and one said he'd been "meaning to read."  I'm not sure what that means.  That he can't read?  That he wants to be a reader because it sounds smarter but he couldn't actually name a book?

These are my options?  This is why I should pay more attention to the hair on my legs? 
Honestly, the current dating pool added to my past experience is exactly why I have confined my romantic life to the unavailable men.  Were just going to skim over the unavailable men part of my life for now... I'm trying to fix this, but there are certain benefits to the clear lines and boundaries of relationships that can't move in any direction.

Other than online, where do you go to meet potential partners?  Bars are not an option, it just seems hypocritical in my case.  I have learned that dating men from work is not a good idea... not to mention that there are six, maybe seven men who work with me... all are married except two: one who is gay and one who has "dedicated his life to the Lord" and no longer believes in premarital sex.  I have given up a lot for men, but never (ever) have I given up sex.  (And Jesus wants me to get laid.  I promise).

In terms of relationships I really do feel stuck.  I do feel that just wanting a relationship is an important step for me - during the last year with Jeff I couldn't imagine ever letting myself be vulnerable to another human being again.   Now I think I'm ready to have a crush on someone who is actually available to date.  If I can just find him.

Or her.