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Posts tagged ‘general info’

I Joined Twitter

After going back and forth about this, I finally decided to join Twitter. Feel free to follow me.

My handle is @shoutattheabyss.


Things I Did in the 36 Hours After My Thesis Reading

Things I did in the 36 hours after my Thesis Reading:

1. Stay up until 1 am because I am so amped from reading, I can’t fall asleep. Eventually, I get up eat half a peanut butter granola bar and drink a glass of almond milk. 10 minutes later I fall asleep.

2. Wake up at 6:30 am, because after years of getting up at quarter to six for work, it is physically impossible to sleep past seven. Even on my days off.

3. Go to CVS fist thing in the morning because there is a sale on that shampoo and conditioner that smell like coconuts. Decided I needed a new mascara too.

4. Go to brunch with cousin. Have yummy veggie quiche.

5. Run errands with cousin and end up in Ulta. Resist urge to buy more. Remember coconut stuff is sitting at home.

6. Answer “Write more stuff,” when cousin asks what I am going to do next.

7. Come home and veg by looking at pictures of reading on Facebook. Remember I took pictures too, but decide I can post later. Watch The Blacklist instead.

8. Go over to my Mom’s house for Mother’s Day. Give a small bravo to myself for buying gifts weeks ago. Give large thanks that my Mom is alive and well.

9. Hang out with parents. Gorge on Urban BBQ, Dad brings home. Eat chocolate cake I bring for desert.

10. Arrive home in time for The Good Wife season finale.

11. Call Dad after show is over, so we can talk about finale.

12. Fall asleep and wake up Monday at 6 am.

13. Took day off of work, so back to the mall to pick up a few more things.

14. Go to Target for printer paper (because I used the last of mine printing my thesis). Walk out buying paper, vanilla almonds, and a cupcake.

15. Tell myself I need the cupcake. Graduation present.

Graduation Treat.
Graduation Treat.

16. Make list of places I’m going to send stories.

17. Pull out notebook that has the first 500 words or so of a novel I started last summer.

18. Realize laundry is being neglected and clean towels are dwindling.

19. Realize four years ago at this time, I sent off my application for graduate school.

20. Write blog post about things I’m doing now that I am a graduate.

My grad class. I'm 2nd from the left.
My grad class. I’m 2nd from the left.


It’s been almost a year since I’ve written.  I have neglected my blogging duties.  Not that many have noticed.  I am keenly aware that my traffic is a virtual zero.  Really, I’ve just been writing this for myself.  Originally, I was keeping this as a place to display my writing.  My family and friends were always asking to read some of my fiction, so I created this place to display it.

But I still haven’t put anything up.  I am a perfectionist, but I also think that I have been afraid.  Afraid to put myself out here.  My fiction is very much a part of myself and I haven’t had to will to share.

But since the last time I wrote, a few things have changed…

First, I mentioned last year that I wanted to go to graduate school.  Well lo and behold, I actually was admitted as a provisional student into the Master’s degree program at John’s Hopkins University.  I hadn’t been in a classroom in 12 years (I got my BA in 1999!).  It was fun and I loved every minute of it.  I hope to continue my studies (provisional means I need to be formally admitted before I can take anymore classes).  But school does keep you busy.  I had to get used to doing homework again! LOL!

It was also a change to have complete strangers read my fiction.  I was intimidated by some of my classmates.  Some had been published and seemed more accomplished than me.  But by the end of the semester, I had gotten over most of this fear.  Somewhere in the last few years, I forgot how much I loved the creation of a new story.  I forgot what it felt like to finish a new story.  In short, I think I managed to grab a hold of some of my old ambition again.

Second, I took up a new hobby/business venture.  Sometime in June, I had a serious anxiety attack.  It was brought on by my worries of money.  It just seemed like there was never enough.  I tend to read a few personal finance blogs and I realized that no matter where I cut, there came a point were I needed to earn more money.  So I decided to resell books on Amazon.  So far I have barely made anything, but it let me focus my energies away from my tiny bank account.  And my personal library is significantly diminished.  It felt good to get rid of the clutter.  I loved some of those books, but I was holding on to them for the wrong reasons.  I was never going to read them again, so why not pass them on to others to read and love?

This little venture also stirred me to become a serious collector.  I was in my local Friends of the Library store when I came across a copy of Margaret Atwood’s Alias GraceSigned.  It was priced at six dollars!  I snatched it up and never looked back. (FYI, Margaret Atwood is my favorite author.)  I got the collecting bug, and I think it is a permanent condition.  For now I will only prowl thrift store and used book stores.  High end bookstores are not in the budget yet.

And finally, just a month ago my company experienced layoffs.  We are a small publishing company, so anyone leaving is noticeable.  For now, my job is safe…but I had to take a pay cut. It is not permanent (the pay cut), but no one can say when things will go back to normal.  I am, obviously, worried.  Hearing the company is in trouble is never fun to experience.  I am so glad I saved last year. I have a solid emergency fund, started my retirement savings, and have a good amount for grad school (so no loans).  Getting by on less is something I am used to, so I just reworked my budget for this year.

So that is all the latest news.  Cross fingers for 2012.  I think it is going to be an adventurous year.  And my birthday is on Thursday!  So wish me a happy B-Day!

Half Way

So we are coming up on the half way mark of the year.  So far, so good.  I reviewd the goals that I laid out for the year and I am pretty satified that I am still meeting them.

Goal 1: I’m still exercising and trying to eat healthy.  I’ve lost a few pounds, but not as much as I should.

Goal 2:  Still saving for the car.  Should have a good chunk by the end of the year.  So far my car hasn’t been giving me nearly as much trouble as it did last year.  Less money for repairs, means more for saving.

Goal 3:  I’ve applied to school, but no word on whether or not I am accepted.

Goal 4:  Still saving to boost my emergency fund.

Goal 5:  Definitly buying less stuff and using up what I have, instead of buying unnecessary things.

Goal 6:  Opened a retirement account and I am making automatic payments to it.

Everything looks good so far.  It helps that there are no major setbacks that have derailed me, like last year with the surgery, or the year before when I took a pay cut.  Really what I am beginning to remember is that slow and steady steps are what get you the best and LASTING results. I just have to keep chipping away at the proverbial “rock” and eventually I will get what I want.

On another note, I did create this page to put up my fiction stories.  I haven’t forgotten that original idea and I do intend to put some up.  That was partially why I changed the theme.  I guess I know how I will be spending my Memorial Holiday.

New Look

I got tired of the old theme.  Let’s try a new look… something more writerly…

Making a Plan

So I finally started P90X this weekend.  It’s hard, but I will try and stick with it.  (Plyo is hard!  Forget waterboarding, make terrorists do Plyometrics!) It is something different, so I like the change.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about why I do certain things.  Why I continue certain actions even though it might not make any sense, or even be good for me.  A good example is something that happened when I was cooking.

A few weeks ago, I went and bought a tub of that new cooking cream by Philadelphia.  There was a coupon in the paper for $1.50 off and I decided to try it out. The dish tasted well, but the following morning I had a serious case of acid reflux.  It was bad.  So bad, I had to choke down a cup of the very nasty tasting throat coat by Yogi teas.  It tastes horrible, but it is very effective.

I started thinking – Why did I add the cream?  I remembered thinking that the dish was good before I added the cream.  Yet I went ahead and used it.  But why?  Yes, I wanted to try it out, but I KNEW before I used it that it might be a bad idea.  So why did I go along?  Because that was what the recipe said to do.

I started to think this might be a habit with me.  I do certain things, because I’m just following the directions.  My instincts may say that it is a bad idea, but I just follow like a lemming.  Where does my brain go?  I just have to get better about seeing the big picture.  Not just with food, but everyday things.  What is my life going to look like in 5 years? 10?  I don’t need to have  fully detailed plan, but I do need to be long term.  These last few years, I’ve been kind of drifting and I need to stop.  In less than a month, I will be 34.  Time to have a plan to take me to 40.

Big life questions aside, I still want to enjoy the random funny things that happen.  Sometimes the unexpected is the best life moment.  Like when I went on that money hunt and I found a DVD set of Sex in the City Season 3.  That one left me scratching my head.  I have no idea where it came from, but now it is in my collection of DVDs.

Or last weekend when I went to visit my aunt.  I hadn’t seen her in a month or so and we started talking about movies.  I mentioned that I finally saw The Social Network, which lead her to exclaim, “And did you see the Academy Awards!  I couldn’t believe that was Trent Reznor.  That’s the same guy that was screaming and running around on stage a few years ago at that concert.”  I laughed for a good five minutes.  My aunt is in her late 50’s.  How awesome is it that she knows who Trent Reznor is?

I need a plan, but I want it to be adaptable.  In some ways, I just want things to be on autopilot.  But I guess things like life planning shouldn’t be that way.  I don’t want to add a bad ingredient that ruins the whole dish, just because the plans said so.  If you do that, you just end up making yourself sick.