Stories, thoughts, observations, rants and dribble. Just another of my attempts to keep the interested people informed ...

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

You can't argue with numbers...

...they tell me I am a total slacker.

What the hell. I'm bumping it up to 17 before it becomes 2009.

I may have actually been a 'blogger' in 2006. How bizarre.


In the grand tradition of not doing what I'm supposed to be doing, I've changed the layout of my blog so that it makes better use of the space in your browser. No more annoyingly blank left sidebar for you!

I've also updated some blog links in my sidebar, and they will appear in order of whoever bothered to update the most recently. Good for them, they deserve the glory.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

Usually at this time of year I will at least have attempted a Christmas post or copied and pasted some of my Christmas email in a thin attempt to update the world on my goings on.  I at the least managed to get that email out, even if it was extremely last-minute (my usual style, so at least I'm being consistent). 

If I am to sum up the year succinctly, I would have to say that it's been interesting, challenging, lonely, strangely rewarding, and always Asian.  As usual, I've met some great people, although not as many as most years (and in some cases I haven't actually met them), and I've taken the plunge with a full time job.  I like the place where I live and the people I work with, but there's definitely room for improvement in several areas of my life.  All of these involve me trying to find some self-motivation, so let's hope there's some floating around here somewhere. 

In the lead up to Christmas I got really busy at work (even more so because we don't get a holiday for it in China), and a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to find reasonable plans with which to ensure people that I was occupied with.  One of my sisters came to visit for a while, which was wonderful, and thankfully I was able to impose upon a lovely almost-stranger and had a fantastic Christmas break in Wuhan in central China.  Now I have no plans for New Year's Eve, but a wander around town and a night in sounds kind of nice.  I have my apartment to myself a the moment (even though the empty room is costing me), and I'm enjoying it a fair bit.  I'm promising myself that I'll stop listening to the Christmas music soon, though. 

I am currently typing on the AlphaSmart 3000 that arrived in the mail today (along with a spare dryer part that means I can dry my clothes quickly, and some oh-so-slightly belated Christmas presents that I love), and I hope that it will somehow help me with this motivation/distraction problem that plagues me on a regular basis.  What is an AlphaSmart 3000, you may ask.  Well, it's what I like to call a '90s retrofuturistic word-processing keyboard.  It's also made of green-blue semi-transparent plastic, so it really doesn't get much better.  In a nutshell, I can type almost as much as I want without having to worry about power cords, boot-up time, or the deadly distraction of the internet.  I'm in bed right now, and when I'm ready to go to sleep, I just have to hit the on/off button (no save necessary), or just let it switch itself off in ten minutes.  I hope that it will help me with a lot of the writing that I've been telling myself I need to do (paid and unpaid), and at the least might help me keep up with my correspondence.  I may be laying an awful lot of pressure on less than a kilo's worth of glorified calculator, but every little bit helps, surely?  I'm also going to take it in to the ridiculously-long, somewhat-pointless meetings I have to attend, and annoy people with my incessant clickity-click as I do other work but pretend to take notes.  Awesome plan, if I do say so myself.  And if none of that works, it makes a handy peripheral keyboard for my laptop.

So, my resolutions involve somehow improving my social life, work habits, and language education, but I think it all boils down to being brave and just getting stuff done.  I can do stuff.  Right?