nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)

This post grew out of some comments and discussion on my "eye-opener" post, about how much stuff I actually did get done last year.  Some interested questions brought about some moderately lengthy answers from me. And it occurred to me that expanding on those answers might be interesting, and maybe even useful, to others. (Do any of you remember WWKD some years ago? About how Katherine and Kendra both seem to turn out such amazing stuff so regularly? IIRC, Katherine's response is basically that she "just does it"! I'm too much of engineer to just dive in like that, but it did help me as a reminder that at some point, you have to stop the research and just get going.)

This is NOT a "How To Be Successful!" post.  It's merely the result of me looking at the numbers, going "huh, even a perfectionist thinks this isn't failure," and then pondering when and how I simply do the stuff.  A lot got done on holidays on vacations, but I'm going to focus on the day-to-day approach.



First, some caveats: This is very much suited for my circumstances and personality.  Circumstances, which I mentioned in the previous post, involve full time work, a large number of activities, and soloing the household. For what it's worth, my work is a 9/80 schedule, which means working 9 hrs/day M-Th, and 8 hrs/1st Friday, off 2nd Friday.  It's still 80 hours in a two-week period. Good things? 3-day weekend every other week. Bad things? 1 fewer hour an evening, and errands accumulate.  I like the 9/80, and I try to use it smartly, but it's not the secret to my success.

Personality: I'm an ISTJ, though more moderate than I used to be. I sometimes say I'm halfway to an engineer in my approach to sewing; I prefer flat patterning to draping.


I came up with three different aspects of how I do what I do:

Read on if you want to! )



Aaaand that's it! Most of this, now that I've written it, is simply the result of (a) identifying when and why I don't get things done, and (b) finding strategies that give me the when and the why.  There's also a healthy helping of Staying Self-Aware in it. It's taken me a long time just to recognize that I'm feeling frustrated, or blah, or unenthusiastic. Once my mind kicks in at that level, though, I can think through to the why and do a fix-it.

Hope that wasn't too boring!
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
I've started working on a 2013 sewing roundup post, based on working my way through the sewing notebook. Between that and things that I do remember, I'm up to *gulp* 29 items. That includes unfinished objects, which number 8. That's significant; but 3 UFOs are shifts that have high priority by definition.  And only 2 UFOs are attributable to my attempt at the HSF.

What I've learned from making the list:

1. I was really  - even amazingly - productive. I work full time at a job that I can't combine with sewing, I have regular rehearsals for two choirs plus performances, and I'm leading a Bible study; plus family events. While I don't have family at home, that also means that all the housework, cooking, and yardwork are my responsibility alone. And I still managed to complete or all but complete at least 22 sewing projects. That may sound like either a lot or a little to you; but for me, it is incredibly, incredibly affirming.

2. I need to stop guilting myself for wasting energy on HSF projects. Only 2 out of the entire 29 were inspired by the HSF and not finished. The time I spent on the 1860s flowered sheer could have greatly reduced my pre-Costume College stress, but it was on my Must Do list before I'd even heard of the HSF. Simply: It was unavoidable.

3. The last month of sewing room avoidance was a very good thing. I certainly wasn't burned out, but I wasn't enthusiastic about anything. Yet all day Monday I could scarcely stand it, because I was SO EXCITED to work on my stays. If I had forced myself to work over vacation, I would probably be much further along; but I would not be so happy about it.

4. My goals for this year are not as stupidly ambitious as I have been subconsciously convinced. And I need to stop feeling depressed that I'm being stupid for committing to so much!
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (chill)
Highway construction is not a fun thing, as a rule. However.

When they've put up free-standing columns, or maybe rows, but not yet laid the long beams for the overpasses, it's like driving through ancient ruins in Greece. Really, it is. Especially in summer, when the sun's a bright white glare on the concrete dust all around. Or during sunrise or sunset, and you can catch a glimpse of the sky without the city around you.



Just close your eyes and imagine.

(except not when you're actually driving)

random post is not entirely random
(brought to you by Up Too Early and Planning to Drive a New Route Today)
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (thoughtful)

"Haven't you ever been disappointed yourself? Wanting to go to a party, and not being allowed to at the last minute, and all that?"

"Oh, yes," agreed Philip. "Not parties, but other things. But I didn't know grown-up people could be disappointed about anything. I thought they could do anything they liked."

Hitherto Philip, simple soul, had regarded disappointment and hope deferred as part of the necessary hardships of youth, bound to melt away in due course, in company with toothache, measles, tears, treats, early bedtimes, and compulsory education, beneath the splendid summer sun of incipient manhood. Most of us cherish the same illusion; and the day upon which we first realise that quarrels and reconciliations, wild romps and reactionary dumps, big generous impulses and little acts of petty selfishness, secret ambitions and passionate longings, are not mere characteristics of childhood, to be abandoned at some still distant milestone, but will go on with us right through life, is the day upon which we become grown up.


From A Knight on Wheels, by Ian Hay (1914), via Project Gutenberg
(The "children" in question are not so small - Philip is fourteen, and the other is probably much the same.)


I just started reading this book and I have no idea how much I'll like the whole thing, but so far I've rather enjoyed it. There's a lot of humor so far. But this little tidbit stood out to me for a different reason. For all that being grown-up is not so fun at times, it's really true that "quarrels and reconciliations, wild romps and reactionary dumps, big generous impulses and little acts of petty selfishness, secret ambitions and passionate longings" aren't childish. They're human!

And that is an encouraging thought.

;)
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (thoughtful)

"Haven't you ever been disappointed yourself? Wanting to go to a party, and not being allowed to at the last minute, and all that?"

"Oh, yes," agreed Philip. "Not parties, but other things. But I didn't know grown-up people could be disappointed about anything. I thought they could do anything they liked."

Hitherto Philip, simple soul, had regarded disappointment and hope deferred as part of the necessary hardships of youth, bound to melt away in due course, in company with toothache, measles, tears, treats, early bedtimes, and compulsory education, beneath the splendid summer sun of incipient manhood. Most of us cherish the same illusion; and the day upon which we first realise that quarrels and reconciliations, wild romps and reactionary dumps, big generous impulses and little acts of petty selfishness, secret ambitions and passionate longings, are not mere characteristics of childhood, to be abandoned at some still distant milestone, but will go on with us right through life, is the day upon which we become grown up.


From A Knight on Wheels, by Ian Hay (1914), via Project Gutenberg
(The "children" in question are not so small - Philip is fourteen, and the other is probably much the same.)


I just started reading this book and I have no idea how much I'll like the whole thing, but so far I've rather enjoyed it. There's a lot of humor so far. But this little tidbit stood out to me for a different reason. For all that being grown-up is not so fun at times, it's really true that "quarrels and reconciliations, wild romps and reactionary dumps, big generous impulses and little acts of petty selfishness, secret ambitions and passionate longings" aren't childish. They're human! And that is a comforting thought.

:)
nuranar: (reading)
This one from [livejournal.com profile] seawasp


1) What author do you own the most books by? Not sure. With the weekend's acquisitions, I have 32 Saint books, so that's probably the highest.  The Agatha Christie and Nancy Drew collections surpass that, but both are jointly owned by my mother and I. And the majority of the Louis L'Amours are Nathan's.

2) What book do you own the most copies of? With far too little space for the books, I don't like having multiple copies of many things unless there's a reason for a particular edition. I have duplicates of some Austens and Sherlock Holmes, but I think the winner is Bibles, with five. In length-of-ownership order, I have the Living Bible I was given for Christmas in... 1989, I think; the NIV I got for Xmas in 1992 or 1993; a slimmer NIV, this time from the church, upon my high school graduation in 2001; an 1855 pocket-sized KJV I bought on ebay while in college to use for 1860s reenacting, and which I often carry to church because it's the smallest; and the NIV study Bible given to me by Mr. and Mrs. Klob when I graduated from college in 2005.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions? Nope. Sometimes I try to avoid it in my writing, but only when it doesn't sound too contrived.

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with? Oh, I love Richard Diamond, but that's hardly a secret; and he is a radio character, not a book character. There's plenty of others I could love, but none come to mind right now when I want them.

5) What book have you read the most times in your life? Err.  I never keep count. The Bible, Ben-Hur, Alistair MacLean's Where Eagles Dare and The Golden Rendezvous, Rifles for Watie, maybe Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime and The Man in the Brown Suit; probably lots more. I love to re-read.

6) What was your favourite book when you were ten years old? Nothing stands out; probably a Nancy Drew. I read all of Mom's before I was 8, and I added to the collection for years.  I also loved The Black Stallion; it's one of the earliest books I remember reading, certainly before first grade.  I would have read it to death except that I never owned it.

7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year? Not sure. Probably the book I stumbled across on Project Gutenberg that ends unhappily, with the central character going rather nuts - after the reader's been suckered into really really rooting for him and the woman. I loathe books wherein the main character(s) really, truly are insane.

8) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year? Impossible to say. Thanks to Project Gutenberg and Google Books, it's a choice among hundreds.

9) If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be? I can't think of one. People tend to hate what they are forced to do. I sure do!

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature? Not a clue.

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie? There was something I was thinking about recently, but I'm dashed if I can think of it now... I would love to see the Lensman books made into good movies, but there's No Way In The Universe that's going to be done acceptably.

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie? There's an ocean of drivel that should never be given the shred of dignity conferred by movie release. And then there's the Lensman books, as I just mentioned; honestly, I would cringe if I heard they were being filmed, because they wouldn't be right.

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character. I don't remember my dreams. This phenomenon has long been a cause for passing puzzlement and frustration.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult? I have no pretense to any brow. This question and all its implications annoys me.

15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read? Maybe the textbook for discrete mathematics, although I don't remember a thing about it. It's more likely the first programming text I had, since it hopelessly confounded me for the first fourteen minutes and put me to sleep within the fifteenth.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen? Neither The Tempest nor King Lear is obscure, methinks.

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians? As authors, neither. Judging from what I've read, French, for the sake of Victor Hugo and Jules Verne.

18) Roth or Updike?  Who?

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers? Who?

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer? Shakespeare. I haven't read enough Milton to know for sure, though.

21) Austen or Eliot? Austen.

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading? The biggest gap would probably be the so-called "Lost Generation" writers, both American and British. I have little-to-zero interest in the worldview of those writers or the content of their writings, and no plans to ever close that "gap" in my reading.  I'm not embarrassed about this gap.  I do wish I had read more 19th-century literature back when I had more time and less tired brain cells, but it's still a strength in my reading and I'm planning to continue.

23) What is your favourite novel? Another impossible question. I'd probably have a list of 50, even if I limited favorite authors to one book. The ones I've read multiple times are there.

24) Play? The translation of Molière's Tartuffe, or The Hypocrite in my high school lit book is hilarious and made of awesome. (So is Wishbone's version of The Hypochondriac!)  I want to find out which translator did it and get Tartuffe, and others if possible, by him.

25) Poem? Not sure. Maybe If.

26) Essay? Either "On Faerie Stories" or one of C. S. Lewis's writing ones, such as "On Writing for Children" or "On Science Fiction."

27) Short story? I have no idea. There are way too many to tell, especially considering the SF ones.

28) Work of non-fiction?  The Bible. Aside from that, Costume in Detail. I've pored over the drawings in that book for years, and it still never fails to fascinate me.

29) Who is your favourite writer? I can't pick one. Alastair MacLean is waay up there.

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today? No idea. I read little that was published in the last 10, 20, or 30 years.  I'd take a stab at Stephanie Meyer, but for all the raving I haven't heard anyone actually building up her writing.  (I don't seek out such discussion, though.)

31) What is your desert island book? Swiss Family Robinson.

32) And… what are you reading right now? LJ, with forays to Wikipedia (drama on the Lost Generation talk page, ahoy!), Amazon, and my tags list, to garner links.
nuranar: (reading)
This one from [livejournal.com profile] seawasp


1) What author do you own the most books by? Not sure. With the weekend's acquisitions, I have 32 Saint books, so that's probably the highest.  The Agatha Christie and Nancy Drew collections surpass that, but both are jointly owned by my mother and I. And the majority of the Louis L'Amours are Nathan's.

2) What book do you own the most copies of? With far too little space for the books, I don't like having multiple copies of many things unless there's a reason for a particular edition. I have duplicates of some Austens and Sherlock Holmes, but I think the winner is Bibles, with five. In length-of-ownership order, I have the Living Bible I was given for Christmas in... 1989, I think; the NIV I got for Xmas in 1992 or 1993; a slimmer NIV, this time from the church, upon my high school graduation in 2001; an 1855 pocket-sized KJV I bought on ebay while in college to use for 1860s reenacting, and which I often carry to church because it's the smallest; and the NIV study Bible given to me by Mr. and Mrs. Klob when I graduated from college in 2005.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions? Nope. Sometimes I try to avoid it in my writing, but only when it doesn't sound too contrived.

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with? Oh, I love Richard Diamond, but that's hardly a secret; and he is a radio character, not a book character. There's plenty of others I could love, but none come to mind right now when I want them.

5) What book have you read the most times in your life? Err.  I never keep count. The Bible, Ben-Hur, Alistair MacLean's Where Eagles Dare and The Golden Rendezvous, Rifles for Watie, maybe Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime and The Man in the Brown Suit; probably lots more. I love to re-read.

6) What was your favourite book when you were ten years old? Nothing stands out; probably a Nancy Drew. I read all of Mom's before I was 8, and I added to the collection for years.  I also loved The Black Stallion; it's one of the earliest books I remember reading, certainly before first grade.  I would have read it to death except that I never owned it.

7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year? Not sure. Probably the book I stumbled across on Project Gutenberg that ends unhappily, with the central character going rather nuts - after the reader's been suckered into really really rooting for him and the woman. I loathe books wherein the main character(s) really, truly are insane.

8) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year? Impossible to say. Thanks to Project Gutenberg and Google Books, it's a choice among hundreds.

9) If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be? I can't think of one. People tend to hate what they are forced to do. I sure do!

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature? Not a clue.

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie? There was something I was thinking about recently, but I'm dashed if I can think of it now... I would love to see the Lensman books made into good movies, but there's No Way In The Universe that's going to be done acceptably.

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie? There's an ocean of drivel that should never be given the shred of dignity conferred by movie release. And then there's the Lensman books, as I just mentioned; honestly, I would cringe if I heard they were being filmed, because they wouldn't be right.

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character. I don't remember my dreams. This phenomenon has long been a cause for passing puzzlement and frustration.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult? I have no pretense to any brow. This question and all its implications annoys me.

15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read? Maybe the textbook for discrete mathematics, although I don't remember a thing about it. It's more likely the first programming text I had, since it hopelessly confounded me for the first fourteen minutes and put me to sleep within the fifteenth.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen? Neither The Tempest nor King Lear is obscure, methinks.

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians? As authors, neither. Judging from what I've read, French, for the sake of Victor Hugo and Jules Verne.

18) Roth or Updike?  Who?

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers? Who?

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer? Shakespeare. I haven't read enough Milton to know for sure, though.

21) Austen or Eliot? Austen.

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading? The biggest gap would probably be the so-called "Lost Generation" writers, both American and British. I have little-to-zero interest in the worldview of those writers or the content of their writings, and no plans to ever close that "gap" in my reading.  I'm not embarrassed about this gap.  I do wish I had read more 19th-century literature back when I had more time and less tired brain cells, but it's still a strength in my reading and I'm planning to continue.

23) What is your favourite novel? Another impossible question. I'd probably have a list of 50, even if I limited favorite authors to one book. The ones I've read multiple times are there.

24) Play? The translation of Molière's Tartuffe, or The Hypocrite in my high school lit book is hilarious and made of awesome. (So is Wishbone's version of The Hypochondriac!)  I want to find out which translator did it and get Tartuffe, and others if possible, by him.

25) Poem? Not sure. Maybe If.

26) Essay? Either "On Faerie Stories" or one of C. S. Lewis's writing ones, such as "On Writing for Children" or "On Science Fiction."

27) Short story? I have no idea. There are way too many to tell, especially considering the SF ones.

28) Work of non-fiction?  The Bible. Aside from that, Costume in Detail. I've pored over the drawings in that book for years, and it still never fails to fascinate me.

29) Who is your favourite writer? I can't pick one. Alastair MacLean is waay up there.

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today? No idea. I read little that was published in the last 10, 20, or 30 years.  I'd take a stab at Stephanie Meyer, but for all the raving I haven't heard anyone actually building up her writing.  (I don't seek out such discussion, though.)

31) What is your desert island book? Swiss Family Robinson.

32) And… what are you reading right now? LJ, with forays to Wikipedia (drama on the Lost Generation talk page, ahoy!), Amazon, and my tags list, to garner links.
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
I'm sitting back and enjoying the current war controversy opinionated discussion over at [livejournal.com profile] little_details .  The original poster's question is, basically, If a guy back on a hypothethical earth roughly equivalent to 10,000 B.C. gets his legs mauled by a Big Nasty Animal, will his wounds get infected, and how likely/survivable is amptuation?

Until comment #10, the consensus of most people - particularly #5 and on - was NO! He's as dead as a doornail!  THOSE STUPID PEOPLE back then did't know squat about infection or surgery or amputation or stopping bleeding or anything!!!! And I know this because I know infection is life-threatening because it happened to ME in the 21st century!!!!1

...because no one who ever got even cut back then ever escaped infection or failed to die of it.  HA.

I do hate statements of this nature.  Especially when cited without actual evidence of any kind. O hai, archeaology? Exists.

Which is what commenter #10 proceeded to point out. Finally.


It's not as if I really even care about the subject at all. But I like truth, which includes getting a true picture of How Things Were, in all its variety and strangeness.  But people extrapolate freely from the specific to the general (Citing one's own hospitalization is evidence of what, please? Your failure to use soap and water?), and more heinously, state even a fairly accurate norm as the no-exceptions rule.  It's like the thing with weather, and temperature averages: An average is made up of a whole lot of below-averages and above-averages.  You can't take an average and then ignore everything outside like it didn't exist.

And you know what? [livejournal.com profile] little_details is about getting help for writing, not about researching for papers. Some of the best stories involve some of the wildest chances out there.  If it could happen, go ahead and write it!
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
I'm sitting back and enjoying the current war controversy opinionated discussion over at [livejournal.com profile] little_details .  The original poster's question is, basically, If a guy back on a hypothethical earth roughly equivalent to 10,000 B.C. gets his legs mauled by a Big Nasty Animal, will his wounds get infected, and how likely/survivable is amptuation?

Until comment #10, the consensus of most people - particularly #5 and on - was NO! He's as dead as a doornail!  THOSE STUPID PEOPLE back then did't know squat about infection or surgery or amputation or stopping bleeding or anything!!!! And I know this because I know infection is life-threatening because it happened to ME in the 21st century!!!!1

...because no one who ever got even cut back then ever escaped infection or failed to die of it.  HA.

I do hate statements of this nature.  Especially when cited without actual evidence of any kind. O hai, archeaology? Exists.

Which is what commenter #10 proceeded to point out. Finally.


It's not as if I really even care about the subject at all. But I like truth, which includes getting a true picture of How Things Were, in all its variety and strangeness.  But people extrapolate freely from the specific to the general (Citing one's own hospitalization is evidence of what, please? Your failure to use soap and water?), and more heinously, state even a fairly accurate norm as the no-exceptions rule.  It's like the thing with weather, and temperature averages: An average is made up of a whole lot of below-averages and above-averages.  You can't take an average and then ignore everything outside like it didn't exist.

And you know what? [livejournal.com profile] little_details is about getting help for writing, not about researching for papers. Some of the best stories involve some of the wildest chances out there.  If it could happen, go ahead and write it!
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Nhi Vanye i Chya)
[livejournal.com profile] estelyn_strider posted a few days ago about seasons, and it got me thinking.  What consitute seasons?  Is it just a big enough annual temperature swing?  Or is it having four mostly-distinct seasons?  Because my corner of Texas certainly qualifies as having seasons for the first, but not for the second.  Unless the accepted measure of "spring" and "fall" are different than mine.  Ironically, for all my tolerance of heat, I have a very narrow comfortable range; there are very few spring and fall days that satisfy me.

Ramble ramble ramble )
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Nhi Vanye i Chya)
[livejournal.com profile] estelyn_strider posted a few days ago about seasons, and it got me thinking.  What consitute seasons?  Is it just a big enough annual temperature swing?  Or is it having four mostly-distinct seasons?  Because my corner of Texas certainly qualifies as having seasons for the first, but not for the second.  Unless the accepted measure of "spring" and "fall" are different than mine.  Ironically, for all my tolerance of heat, I have a very narrow comfortable range; there are very few spring and fall days that satisfy me.

Ramble ramble ramble )

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nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
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