New Year’s Resolutions – 2007

Father Time
Father Time

I have this trouble where I try very hard not to do something — drop a screw, tip over a paint can, upend a box of packing peanuts — and whatever I’m working so hard to avoid is exactly what I end up doing, because I’m trying way too hard.

That same self-defeating thing happens with my new year’s resolutions. Every year I make some resolutions, and I succeed wildly — at everything else. And then at the end of the year, I go over my resolutions and despair at habits I haven’t managed to break or to form, while ignoring all the stuff I got right. So I start off the year on a downer, which is totally unnecessary, and keeps the spiral going. This year, screw that fuckin’ noise.

This year, I’m going to make a list of hopes for the year instead of resolutions — positive wishes to start the new year out right.

1. I hope we have a quiet, relaxing, fun year.
The last couple of years have been full of stress for Stephanie and I. Between surgeries and home purchasing and moving, we’ve been caught in several storms and I think we’ve come through them stronger, both as individuals and as a couple. But I’m hoping this year will be a lot less of “you and me against the forces of the universe” and a lot more of “you and me in sync with the forces of the universe.” I know that unexpected things always come up, but I think we’ve got a pretty good foundation to deal with them.

I hope we have a lot of time to just hang out in our house together, and with our friends. We’ve created a nice space for ourselves and our pets. I enjoy hanging around the house with Stephanie and playing games, reading and relaxing. And I enjoy having friends over. I hope we can do a lot of that this year. I was intrigued by the idea of creating a Porch Sitter’s Local here in Indy – we certainly have the porch for it.

I hope we can get a some stuff sold on eBay this year. I still have a stash of stuff to sell on behalf of my mom, and we’ve been collection a pile of sale-able items post-move sorting, and I’d love to get through them.
There are lots of festivals and events around Indianapolis that happen every year, and that I’ve never attended. I’d love to do some of them. We’ve missed the pride event a couple of years running, and I’d like to do that this year, if we can. And we have a great new neighborhood to explore.

2. I hope my frikin’ house sells.
I think I’ve done all I can really do to make that happen, and all I can do is routine maintenance and keeping on top of things. This is just one I have to leave up to the world to take care of.

3. I hope I can take time to express some of my creative energy.
I hope I can finish some webdesign projects that have been lingering around. My dad has a site he needs created, I have Stephanie’s blog design to work on, IndyScribe needs an overhaul, and I have another art site I need to work on.

I hope I can get some more work done on my novel. I still think I have a great idea, and I want to build out some time to get it working. I think that what I was missing with NaNoWriMo was some element of illustration/art/design that I want to go with it.

I have some furniture I want to refinish – I’ve done some of that in the past and found it to be a really relaxing, rewarding type of project. I’d want to work on some of the stuff I have stashed in the garage.
I hope to design a nice garden/lawn space around our house. I want to plant some vegetables and a raspberry bush this year – things I have no experience with at all, so that should be a fun challenge. I’m hoping to find out if some of the more experienced gardeners in our neighborhood will give me advice and let me look over their shoulders.

I hope to get some time to work on the interior design of our house — we have lots of fun art that still needs to make it onto the walls, and we have some areas where we can make some creative use of space. There’s lots of interior painting we want to do, also.

I hope I can become a better photographer and get some great, fun pictures. I’m learning more about my camera and how to adjust for lighting and other factors. Maybe our trip on Route 66 will be a good opportunity to get better at taking pictures.

I have some art projects dinking around in the back of my head, too, and I want to find time to work on them.

3. I hope we get to do some more traveling this year.
Stephanie has a work conference to go to in January, in Wisconsin, and I have one in March, I think. We have plans to drive Route 66 with a New Beetle Caravan in June, and I think those are solid, unless something unexpected happens. We talked about visiting my family in Iowa in the spring, but we’ll have to see if that fits in for them and us.

I haven’t got Stephanie’s skating competitions this year sorted out in my head yet, but those will need to go on the calendar, too.

One thing I’ve never done is go to the Michigan Women’s Music Festival. It’s usually in August. I don’t know if we can swing it after a big trip in June, but it’s one cultural activity I’d love to go to someday.

I’d also like to explore Indiana a little more, if we get a chance. I’d like to pick out some touristy things from the Enjoy Indiana website and got to them, like French Lick or New Harmony, or maybe the Park County covered bridge festival.

4. I hope I can be less angry all the time.
I have such a level of frustration and irritation, and it gets in the way of getting things done and of my relationships with other people.

I was blaming that on reading too much negative stuff online, and too many angry political discussions, and I’m sure those things don’t help. But I have to acknowledge that it’s something inside me and how I interact with the world that needs to change, not just external things. I’m trying to change the way I react to things that bother me; to not have knee-jerk reactions without thinking about what’s going on first, and that seems to be helping.

I’m trying to set limits and say no more — lots of my stress comes from being overwhelmed by obligations; occupationally, financially, socially, politically. I’m becoming better at not letting other people hijack my time and energy, and letting myself recharge in between. I’ve noticed that going to water aerobics is amazing for de-stressing; I always have an endorphin high and feel completely zen-like when I’m done, so I have at least one outlet for stress.

5. I hope we can help defeat Indiana’s anti-marriage equality amendment in the Statehouse this year.
I foresee this being an exhausting, stressful experience, and I’m not looking forward to it at all. But we do have a much stronger position after the 2006 election, and I hope that will make the coming fight much less painful.

Continue ReadingNew Year’s Resolutions – 2007

links for 2006-12-31

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2006 Year In Review

You can see a lot of what we did in 2006 just by looking at my Flickr photos sets, but here are the highlights.

1. Stephanie and I bought a house and moved into it together.
Considering that we were just talking about moving in together at the beginning of last year, and we hadn’t decided to take the plunge, the whole thing happened really quickly. Heck, in January, I was painting my old kitchen, not realizing at all that we’d soon be painting a new place. By March, we found the house we wanted, and we finally got it at the end of May, when we immediately started painting it.

Lounging by the fireplace

Wow. I’m still amazed at everything we got done. We both cleaned out loads of old junk, both literally and figuratively, managed to merge two already well-established households together, and have ended up, finally, with a pretty keen place.

2. We took a road trip to Kansas in April.

World's Largest Catsup Bottle

We went for my cousin Sarah’s wedding, and did a lot of fun site-seeing along the way, including visiting the arch in St. Louis. Considering that this was in the middle of the house negotiations and moving planning, that was pretty amazing.

The Gateway Arch

3. Stephanie skated in the Chicago Gay Games and won 2 Gold Medals


That was an exciting and interesting experience, and I’m hugely proud of what she was able to accomplish. We spent a week at her Dad’s in Valpo and traveled into the city every day for her competitions. Making it into the city every day was tough, but it was totally worth it for the experience and enjoyment of it.

Watching Stephanie compete is always fun, and seeing her improve constantly as an athlete is amazing and inspirational to me. I’m always impressed by her dedication to skating – she gets up early to practice and has a routine that keeps her healthy and strong and always learning something new.

I learned a lot about figure skating, and being immersed in a culture of athletics for an extended period was really educational and inspiring. One of the goals of the Gay Games is to inspire everyone, no matter who they are, to find their inner athlete, and to encourage people to explore sports that in many circumstances they aren’t encouraged to engage in. That’s a very positive, healthy message, and it had resonance for me.

Team Indiana

4. I did a ton of gardening at our new house, mostly in the front flower beds.
Most of what I’ve done in the past at my old house was very trial and error — this time I did a bit of reading and did some good foundation work on the soil so the stuff we’ve already planted and will plant will grow well. I did a lot of cleaning up and organizing. There’s still lots to do, especially on the lawn, but that’s for this year.


5. Stephanie and her Dad got her old house ready to rent.
They worked hard on getting the house in great shape for her new tenants, and Stephanie spent a lot of time interviewing people before she found the right couple to move into the little house she loves.


6. We explored our new neighborhood, The Old Northside.


We did some volunteering for neighborhood clean up, I roamed around taking pictures of the historic architecture, and Stephanie was elected treasurer of the neighborhood association.

Stephanie, with a large load of tree branches

7. We had fun with friends.
We attended Doug’s Fortieth Birthday, went on a Scavenger Hunt for Charity, went to Talk Like a Pirate Day and the Fisher’s Rennaissance Fair (where Stephanie found her wedding dress!), and went Duckpin Bowling, as well as attending friends parties and weddings, and other events.

8. We went to Iowa for Thanksgiving to see my family.

Round Barn

9. Stephanie asked me to marry her. Yay!

Me and Stephanie in the carriage

In all, we had a very blessed and successful year.

Continue Reading2006 Year In Review

John Edwards is using Act Blue for Fundraising

That’s pretty cool that John Edward’s campaign website collects contributions by connecting to ActBlue, the website that raises money for democratic candidates. I used Act Blue to solicit campaign contributions during the last election, and found them to be well organized and easy to set up. I like Edward’s website as well; very nicely done.

Continue ReadingJohn Edwards is using Act Blue for Fundraising

I hate spammers

Ugggh. I’ve had tons of comment spam lately, and a ton of spam come through my contact form. I wish someone would track these guys down and wrench their computers from their evil, annoying hands. “No more computers for you! Ever!”

Continue ReadingI hate spammers

links for 2006-12-28

Continue Readinglinks for 2006-12-28

links for 2006-12-27

Continue Readinglinks for 2006-12-27

Two things I’ve noticed while watching TV all day

1. There’s a new production of “Annie” out — why does little orphan Annie always have to have a red curly hair helmet wig? It looks bizarre. Why can’t get a girl with real red curly hair, or at least dye the girl’s hair red? In the original stage production with Andrea McArdle, they used her real hair.
I know way too much about Annie, don’t I?
2. I think “Rudolph’s Shiny New Year” is the most bizarre Holiday special ever, surpassing even the Heat Miser and Freeze Miser in “The Year Without a Santa Claus” which was another Rankin-Bass sequel they put together after the success of Rudolph, but probably shouldn’t have.
I guess the premise of the story makes sense if you read the synopsis on Wikipedia (sort of) but if you’re watching it without the sound on like I am now, seeing Rudolph traipsing around with a caveman, a knight and Ben Franklin and a camel with a clock for a hump – it’s hard to see how that all fits together.

I guess I’m not the only one who thinks it’s bizarre

Continue ReadingTwo things I’ve noticed while watching TV all day