Five things for the week

the Benedict Arnold (eggs benedict on a waffle)
  1. I’m making a point to load up at least one day of the weekend to get out and do errands. Part of this means saving some things until the end of the week (which is okay, because it will help me plan better). It also means ordering less online and going to more stores/places. It’s all part of an effort to be more mindful about what I am doing day to day.
  2. New rule: eat outdoors whenever possible (when weather permits). Breakfast on Saturday morning (picture above) was perfect on the patio compared to inside. Inside was crowded and noisy. Outside was quiet, with fresh air and sunshine.
  3. It’s amazing how much better I feel when I wear clothes that actually fit me.
  4. DirectTV is pissing me off. Too much to go into here but, I’m 90% sure I’ll be cutting the service soon. Which means we’ll be a streaming household only (because there’s no way I’m going to Comcast).
  5. My February project will be getting some plants and trees setup inside and outside of this home. Our home needs some plant life!

Recently read, watched, and listened

Read

 Unfortunately, another week with not much new for this section. I barely read internet articles too! I found myself swamped in technical docs and a textbook (for school) on database design. So, yeah.


Watched

Watership Down (2018) – This is watered down (pun?). It’s as if they tried their best to make this as kid-friendly as they could. There is no darkness in this. The CGI is distracting but, (for me) not as distracting as how much they’re glossing over everything. Makes me just want to read the book again.

This Is It! – I loved this for the ability to glimpse some of the process behind him making his concerts. And this guy had so many hits! He really was a musical genius.

Voltron: Legendary Defender – I finally got around to watching the final season, and was disappointed. They wrapped up the whole series in a neat little (too easy) bow. I hate when movies and shows do this.


Listened

Unfortunately, nothing new to note here. I usually have “shuffle” on my music library when working, providing a nice background soundtrack that blocks out other noise and distractions (as many distractions as I let it). 

Five things for the week

  1. I bought a 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT, yesterday. It’s silver, used, and had 9k miles on it, and ended up getting a good deal. I have been looking into getting a compact hatchback to just use around the city. We didn’t need a second car but, I wanted one especially for those days where I would go stir crazy at home while M was at work (and I had no car to escape with).
  2. This coming week will be busy but, I’m ready. I feel like I will be productive.
  3. I read this blog post about using a jump rope and I’m intrigued. I think this could be a nice, quick way to get the blood flowing throughout the day. I envision a few minutes out on my patio just to break up the monotony. This, paired with some mid-afternoon walks, just might be what’s needed.
  4. I’m changing my approach and, rather than journaling, I have started keeping a log book. Austin Kleon has a good post on the difference. I see this as hitting both needs (logging events and thoughts as well as providing a place to journal longer entries when I want). Hat tip to Christine Lee; she recently posted a Instagram story describing her notebook use that got me thinking about my own.
  5. I’m disappointed that I haven’t yet started a new (fiction) book yet, in 2019.

Recently read, watched, and listened

Read


Watched

Three episodes of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo – I find this fascinating. I don’t get the controversy around it (it’s really not that important, people. Chill). I understand her approach though, admittedly, its not for me. Plus, I kind of like just seeing other people’s messes. This is why I love the show Hoarders so much.

Rewatched 6 episodes of The IT Crowd – this show is one of the few that is guaranteed to make me laugh, every single time.


Listened

In my effort to be productive upon my return to work, I have had my headphones in and relying on iTunes shuffle to do its magic. This week I “rediscovered” some Buddy Holly tracks, the Köln Concert, and Mala Rodriguez.

The Köln Concert

Last night I meditated. Well, quasi-meditated. I laid in bed, headphones on, closed my eyes, and listened to Keith Jarrett’s “Köln, January 24, 1975, Pt. I (Live)” track of the Köln Concert.

It’s 25 minutes long so, allow yourself enough time to sit and listen. My favorite part is when he kicks into a beautiful progression around the 7:20 mark.

There’s a whole story behind this concert. Mr. Jarrett was provided the wrong piano and had originally refused to play. He ultimately did, and because of this, we received this amazing piece of classical music.

I learned about this backstory, a while back, from a Hidden Brain podcast talking about “embracing chaos”.

I first listened to the Köln Concert in 1997, when I took a music appreciation course in college. The professor, Prof Song (yes, his real last name) gave me a list of pieces to listen to after he and I had a lengthy discussion about classical pieces.

Hearing it, without knowing the backstory, I always appreciated the creativity behind it. It feels like a great pianist in their own home, feeling out and practicing a piece that they want to refine and play.

It wasn’t until August of 2017 when, upon hearing the backstory on Hidden Brain, I purchased the album and listened to it again.

It’s a wonderful concert. It is genius artistry. And it’s so very apt to use as an example of “embracing chaos” and “releasing creativity” through frustration (as the below TED talk describes).

For 25 minutes, last night, it calmed me. Sure, it could have been actually stopping down, not looking at a screen, and listening to music. This piece is important and has helped me begin to form my approach to 2019.

If you’re interested in hearing more, here’s a TED Talk on the concert as well.

A Wednesday ramble – notes on getting back to work

First day back at work after (just) a week off. It feels like a Monday. Like a really rough Monday. I feel so far behind, as if I took longer than a week off. I think this is partly the “effect” of ignoring work emails for the entire vacation.

Which is a good thing. And, it’s really just a feeling of being behind (right?). I’m fortunate with the team I am part of; if one is out, the others step up. It’s a good team involved in a very complex, big project.

It boils down to getting back into the swing of things (whatever that means). It’s re-establishing a routine, or even establishing one to begin with. I need to make some adjustments in the interest of time-management. I also need to get back to keeping a notepad and pen next to me while I work.

I also want to try to build a habit of taking a mid-afternoon walk, if not just to get some fresh air and a change of scenery.

I found that, even though I am alone in my home while working, I do work better if I put on headphones (rather than play music through speakers). I feel more focused on the task at hand this way. I’m sure there is some sort of blog post or study that would explain why.

The addition of the mechanical keyboard (to my workspace) has helped. I type faster, have fewer mistakes, and can very easily get back to being a proficient touch-typist.

Note to self: don’t type on the mechanical keyboard while unmuted on a conference call.

//This cracked me up and put me in a good, humorous mindset when I first sat down at my desk. It nails the non-profit employee mentality.