Random Thursday: Random Resolutions


Catchy alliteration aside, the following are not resolutions, just a brief, random collection of good ideas that I’ve been meaning to try out.  There’s a distinct difference . . . which I’ll explain as soon as a convincing argument comes to mind. Regardless, now seemed like a good time to put ’em out there so that my friends and family can call me on them a month from now.

If the only benefits I gain from this experiment are the opportunities to provide the joy of righteous nagging within the hearts of my loved ones and to hone my creative excuse-spinning skills, then I’ll consider it blogspace well spent.



Eat or pack breakfast every day.

A spoon containing breakfast cereal flakes, pa...

I’m usually the absolute opposite of hungry until mid-morning, when I’m suddenly ravenous and thinking seriously about eating pencils to keep my stomach from answering patron questions.

That’s tough on my stomach, the patrons, and the morale of  the library’s pencil population.

It’s one of my core beliefs that writing utensils should not have to live in fear, so I’ll be packing a little something to eat at my desk during break.  Possibly even something nutritional—the morale of the break room vending machine is not my responsibility*—but I wouldn’t want to sabotage myself by making too many rules right away.

Baby doughnuts steps . . .



Use this, until the weather stops with the homicidal glee, already:

Exercise Bike

I don’t actually own it, yet, but it will arrive early next week, which gives me time to take down the Christmas tree to make room.

This isn’t a new fitness goal—that’s resolution territory—but more a matter of survival; I break out in chilblains just thinking about taking a walk outside right now, and it’s even too cold in the garage to use the treadmill.

For the sake of my sanity, I need an exercise method that’s the next best thing to sitting on my rear end in a warm house, reading.  Something easy on the knees and on sale, with free shipping.

I already have a little plexiglass book rest thing to hook over the monitor—the treadmill is hibernating and won’t miss it until Spring—and I’ll bet, with practice, I could manage to surf the net write edit while I’m pedaling away.

Stop laughing.  It could happen.



Kick Pigeons out of the nest again.

Pigeon Lost

I confess—the last few months of last year, I took a querycation.

It was time to take a step back and reassess what I was doing and how I was doing it, and to fix what wasn’t working.

Thanks to a generous, brilliant, and patient friend, I now have a solid query letter and a bit more confidence.  I’ve already worked up another list of agents that could be a good, mutual fit.

And as most of those agents will be reopening their inboxes to new queries next week, which is when I’m taking a week’s vacation from the library, the timing couldn’t be better to launch Pigeons back into the process.



Drink more tea.  

About a year ago, I succumbed to the caffeinated seduction of coffee, and it’s been a blast, especially in the mornings, when a blast is most appreciated.

But I miss tea.  I miss the flavors, the ritual . . . and the relative ease of entering my sleep cycle.

Plus it’s that time of year when the combination of wind chill, heating systems, and static electricity starts giving me the Winter itchies, and a little more hydration couldn’t hurt.

Japanese teapot and cups

Does anyone around here know Japanese?  I’d like to know if these are real kanji or kana symbols, and if so, what they mean.  I have a sneaking suspicion the ones on the tea cups say, “tea cup,” but I can’t tell.



A Low Daily Minimum Word Count


Maybe not THIS low…

This is the closest to a real resolution I have, which traditionally means I’m dooming myself to weight-loss goal levels of guilt-ridden failure.

But I’m happier  with a daily goal, not to mention more productive—as long as the goal fits reasonably into my schedule.

It’s no secret around here that I have the occasional problem with identifying reasonable schedules . . . So this is also going to be an exercise in curbing my All or Nothing tendencies.

I’ve heard arguments for higher word goals being better daily habits, but there’s a sustainability issue for me—most of it child-based—and I’ve learned this year that lower goals tend to prime my pump until the bucket overflows anyway.

And, yeah, I should probably add something about eliminating (HEY-o) unseemly metaphors, but we all know the odds of my success.

Baby steps, people.  Baby steps.


Okay—if I made a real resolution, it would look like this:


Anyone else resolute in their non-resolutions?

Care to share?


*I did not just feel a pang of guilt over that.  I’m . . . digesting.  Yeah.


Random Thursday: Life, the Universe, and Whatever’s Left Over

The first Random Thursday of 2013, and you can’t say it doesn’t live up to its name . . . 



This is a trailer for a new BBC show hosted by Brian Cox—the physicist, not the actor*—who is all kinds of smart, but the important part is the song:


House Baggins

The brilliant Miguel Lokia has created several Game of Thrones house sigils for pop culture figures.  The mottos are perfect—and sometimes hilarious.

Go look at his others—I’m hoping that with enough encouragement, he’ll offer them for sale!


The Universe

I just can’t seem to get the Higgs Boson particle out of my mind.

That’s not a pun, that’s the truth.  I even already had a tag for the sucker.

This video doesn’t exactly help, but it’s pretty cool—and look, there’s Brian Cox again:


House Tolkien

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Watson and I have started watching the extended versions of LOTR.  Today we saw Sean Bean die and started The Two Towers.

We have approximately—because I’m too lazy to walk across the room and check— eight discs to go, and while I can see why some things were cut, I’m all for as much Ent footage as possible, so it all evens out.

Also, I’m wondering why all White Wizards appear to be issued hair irons . . .


Other Bits and Pieces

A significant portion of the world starts an exercise regime on January first, full of all the determination, vigor, non-refundable memberships, and adrenaline-inducing playlists necessary for the long haul.

But it’s already January third—where does the time go?—and some of us may be in need of some extra inspiration.

Here’s help:

Ah.  Feel the burn.


*Though Brian Cox the physicist also played keyboard in a ’90s British pop band, which is acting of sorts, and hosts a wide range of programs for the BBC.  And it’s entirely possible that Brian Cox the actor, of whom I am very fond, has a vast knowledge of the hard sciences—I’m certain if he doesn’t, he could win BAFTA faking it.

I won’t be carrying Yoda on my back, either . . .

epic win photos - Hacked IRL: This Old Bucket of Bolts

Every year, near the end of July, there’s a seven-mile road race held in a town down and across the river.  It’s not the longest race in the country, but a lot of the winding course is more vertical than one might expect.  It attracts a lot of distance runners, including a few who go on to win or place in bigger races.

My parents often come up to walk the entire course while the rest of the family does the two-mile family fun course.*

I’ve done the full seven miles only twice—once when I was three-months pregnant with Janie and once when I was unknowingly pregnant with Sunny and tried to run it, which was the beginning of the end for my knees.  Between my balking joints, my general aversion to the outdoors during high summer, and a residual superstition concerning reproduction . . . I haven’t considered tackling it.

This year, I think I’ll try again.  I’ve three months to get myself from a sitting start to a respectable amble.**  I started small this morning—a fifteen minute walk around the mezzanine at work before I clocked in.

In retrospect, Skillet, 3Oh!3, and Metallica might have been a bit of an ambitious playlist  for my first power walk in (cough, cough).  I wish my feet weren’t talking to me right now . . . But my knees have remained silent,*** so we’ll see how it goes.

I’m hoping it will go at least seven miles.  But if not, at least I’ll be moving forward, right?


* Or drops them off and writes for a couple hours until it’s time to pick them up . . .

** I’m not running it, so all of you wonderful people who just pulled up another tab to find the Couch-2-5K schedules for me, I truly appreciate your enthusiasm and help, but no.

***Or I haven’t been able to hear them over my kvetching tootsies.  Tomato-tomahto

Accidental Exercise

You want a great workout that doesn’t take much money or time or training and isn’t boring?  One that gets your heart rate up and your pulse going and makes your sides hurt from laughing?  And counts as quality time with the kids?

Balloon volleyball will do the trick.

I played off and on over the weekend with Janie and  I’ll tell you, I haven’t felt muscle use like this since that hula-hoop class I took a few years ago.**

Of course, we’re both pretty competitive and neither of us is likely to let a shot go by, even if it’s clearly out of our reach.  She had a way of looking right at you and batting it to the side so I have to lunge for it, and I always try to dunk it in the space between the easy chair and the couch.   We both prefer power hits, too, which aren’t good for distance, but are far more emotionally satisfying.

We do have some rules:  It’s a living room game only and the participants have to stay on their own sides of the coffee table unless the balloon goes into the rough.  The balloon can bounce off any surface, but if it stays, it’s a point for the person who put it there.  The cat is a natural hazard—the balloon stuck to him once, something Janie keeps trying to recreate without success—and so is Sunny, who has occasionally intercepted the balloon in midplay and run away with it, giggling wildly, the competitors on her heels.

Put on some music and it can get crazy.

It wasn’t until the muscle fatigue set in—around Sunday afternoon—that I realized I was actually exercising.  My SIL commented that it was like Wii Fit— except when you lose control of a balloon and it hits a lamp or the TV or any stray human beings who are wandering through the living room, nothing shattered or bruises—and the other human beings will probably join in.

The best kind of exercise is the kind that isn’t really.  And this kind is a blast.


*I don’t mind the treadmill, really, but the only time I have for prolonged exercise is in the wee hours of the morning, and it squeaks until it gets going.  Plus, my SIL is in there right now.  And . . . other excuses.

**Before I mastered (for a given definition of master) the basic motions, I spent an hour bending over to pick up the ratzen-fratzen hoop.  When I finally managed to keep it above my hips for more than four rotations, the entire class—who by that time had heard this thing clatter loudly to the floor five hundred thousand times—-broke into wild applause and I felt like I’d won a marathon.  Particularly the next day, when my abused hamstrings exacted their revenge.