"Summer Promise" by Al Fed
"Summer Promise" by Al Fed

I’m not big on resolutions.  I tend to fail at them, as we all do, so I don’t usually make them public for fear of, ahem, failing at them publicly.  But what if I were to put myself up to the public ridicule of failing in them?  I’m sure that will be more fun.  Really.  Ahem.  So, here they are, in varying order of importance.


  • I plan to dive back into my Getting Things Done regimen, starting with an office enema tomorrow.  I will religiously use a next actions list and keep my inbox (and mind) clear.
  • I am on Sabbatical from the end of January through mid August, so I need to be very rigid in my work schedule for fear of frittering my time away on television and the Interwebs.  I haven’t decided for sure yet, but I’m thinking that my post-breakfast work time needs to be a 750/day kind of regimen, with everything else taking second priority to that goal.  I have a book to finish, after all.
  • Andrew blogged a few days ago about spending only 15 minutes per day on blog posts.  This is a good rule that I will endeavor to follow.  I am going to alter it slightly, though: I can only spend 15 minutes per post.  I only RARELY do more than one post per day, but sometimes I write two or three posts in one day to be published over several.  I plan to keep this process, but will limit each individual post to 15 minutes.  (I’m at 11 minutes for this one, so far).


  • We’ve decided to join the YMCA this year.  Avery is already there twice a week for her swim team practice, so I can follow the lead of other parents there and do a 45 minute workout while she does the same.  When I was in college, a friend with knowledge of this stuff came up with a workout regimen for me that involved some free weights and some cardio.  I’ll probably adapt that, but I’d be interested to know what resources are out there for getting in shape.  I’ll have to start relatively slowly, because I’m slothful by nature.  Ideas, readers?
  • The whole household is going on Weight Watchers this month.  We’ve done it off and on before, but if everybody isn’t doing it, it’s very hard in my experience.  Will keep you updated.


  • I plan to return to confection-making.  I haven’t made truffles in a long time and I miss it.  Here comes the Yum.

That sounds like a good list.  See you tomorrow.

It Gets Better

Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I’ll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I’ll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that “It Gets Better.”

No commentary needed, I think.  Have you taken the pledge yet?

Ada Lovelace Day

Ada Lovelace
Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging (videologging, podcasting, comic drawing etc.!) to draw attention to the achievements of women in technology and science.

Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines, whatever they do.

To participate, just visit and pledge to write a post about a woman in science you admire.  Do it.

In which I become that annoying customer

So here’s the poor clerk at Borders, toiling away behind the counter, when I come up and start frowning at the computer.

Clerk: Can I help you find something?

Me: No, I don’t think so. I know I want a book but I can’t remember enough about it to give you something to go on. These computers don’t have internet access, do they? Because I have it on my online wishlists.

Clerk: No, sorry. Well, what do you know?

Me: Ugh. Oh well. I came across this book that was favorably compared with Sarah Vowell’s writing, but that’s all I remember about it.

Clerk: It’s not David Sedaris, is it? [The look on her face here is one of annoyance, as if I would be letting her down if that was the answer.]

Me: No, sorry. It’s a woman.

Clerk: Hmmm. That sounds familiar. Let me see if I can find it.

[Commence five or seven minutes of typing, searching, conversation about where books are filed (I learn there’s no “Sarah Vowell/ David Sedaris and the like” shelf) before I call the game and congratulate her for her attempt.]

Me: Thanks anyway. Good effort on no information!

[Ten minutes later, on the BOGO table, I find the book I’m looking for. I wave it at the clerk on my way out of the store.]

I Was Told There\'d Be Cake coverMy new purchase: I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley. If the rest of the book is as good as the first essay, I’m sure it’ll be worthy of that shelf. (Also on that shelf: David Rackoff.)

BTW: I was right. The blurb on the book reads:

Sloane Crosley is another mordant and mercurial wit from the realm of Sedaris and Vowell. What makes her so funny is that she seems to be telling the truth, helplessly.
– Jonathan Lethem

Now it just remains to be seen if the title is a Portal reference. I doubt it, but one can hope.

It occurs to me that this is one time I can successfully argue for the value of adding the Internet package to my phone.


for Deb and Travis

The joy of marriage stems from love requited.

Popular wisdom about love focuses on Eros—lonely love, the pursuit of love: love unrequited.

Aristotle posits love as a search for the other half of our soul, our soul mate. Medieval poets imagine love as a kind of pain, a longing we feel for someone that sends us quivering to the window to drop tokens and pine achingly.

The Romantics imagine love welling up from inside, part of our nature. For them, love warms like the sun and rages like thunderstorms. Modern storytellers usually imagine love as destiny. It crackles when couples meet and grows despite contrived mix-ups or cultural boundaries.

These stories don’t tell us much about marriage. Star-crossed lovers rarely wed, or live long when they do. ‘Happily Ever After’ comes just before ‘The End.’ But weddings move beyond Eros to Anteros – requited love. Not just love pursued, but love found.

Anteros unifies twin souls, each warming the other against the cold. It enriches longing with the weight of familiarity and the strength of time; it hones our appreciation for love’s climates, sunny and stormy alike; it feels like destiny.

Stories concerned with chasing love end when they get to the altar. The linear nature of Eros precludes a story beyond marriage. In life, however, we celebrate marriage as a union in Anteros, because for requited love, a wedding is just the beginning.

A Pledge

Book store photo by *heloise*

On our way home from our most recent Borders binge, Jenny and I were pondering the dire circumstances our addiction puts us in, namely the large volume of books on our shelves that we’ve excitedly purchased and then lined up to read later. There are too many of them. Thus, we have now vowed, in front of family, friends, and the blogosphere, that:

Until January 2009, we will not buy any books for ourselves. We may obtain books through Bookmooch or from the library, but we may not buy books for ourselves. Exceptions: We may spend gift money on books. we may buy books for one another at appropriate gift-giving times (such as birthdays); we may buy books necessary to our professions.

There. It’s in public now.

Photo by *heloise*