Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Is a Time for Adding Stuff

With a husband and children on vacation, I am by default on vacation, too! It is all I can do to get the boxes and those semiprecious puffy packing materials (that will be useful for mailing out things I sell) put away in the garage and attic. Boxes have been added to our collection this year. Not by me, of course. By others who bought things, mostly mail order. I wrapped my gifts in used (recycled) boxes from our collections in the garage and attic, and I will put those boxes back to be used again. Maybe I will throw away a few of the more common, less potentially* useful boxes.

*Potentially - a word that is loaded with implications for saving things. Boxes from mail order gifts this year have potential to be useful for wrapping things in next year. It is much easier to wrap something and keep it around under the tree for a week or two if it's in a box than if it has no box. Things of odd shapes, such as items with a cardboard backing and a plastic bubble are hard to wrap neatly; and wrapping paper is fragile and likely to rip on these oddly shaped packages when they are shaken or moved to let a newly wrapped package onto the table under the tree. Clothing wrapped without a box is easily identified through wrapping paper, thus ruining the surprise.

So, I will have to find room for a few more boxes.

I received a USB phonograph. I plan to use it to convert my old record albums to MP3 files. Then I can get rid of the old records! Yay! I will not set up a permanent table next to my computer for the phonograph...

Resolved: (1) I will set it up on a space I will clear on or near my desk; a temporary setup.
(2) I will get the records converted within a limited time frame. Oh dear - I don't think I'm ready to commit to a specific time frame yet. But I will scope the project and set it up and get it done without starting too many? any? other projects, so it will get done quickly.
3) I will dispose of the phonograph and the records, hopefully selling them for a price that both the buyer and I feel good about.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wish I Could Choose What Dates to List on my Posts

It's too late at night and there's too much to say. But the days keep getting away from me, and I can't predate posts, so now it says December 15th and it's a post about Thanksgiving. So, I'm here today to say that Thanksgiving was a blast going to Chicago and wearing so many clothes that I was hot more often than cold...but I was ready for what cold times there were, and there were some. And there were some interesting and funny things that happened, to where I could have described them in detail that day and they would have seemed really fun and important. But now they don't seem all that important. Except that it's so cool that a historical group in Chicago - I should go find out which group, because of course it's a very important and famous group in Chicago - took over the old main library building, so as to preserve it. It's such a great old library building, with so many mosaics and so much decor pertaining to books and literature and reading!

It was also special to go on the architecture tour on the river and learn a little more about some of the buildings I had noticed on previous visits downtown.

And then after Thanksgiving I have already done so many interesting things and shopped so much. I have spent so many best hours of the day shopping, I feel a kind of a loss, but I haven't pulled everything together and wrapped yet, and I do think that when I do, I will feel less of a loss and more of the excitement of giving. I hope everyone will like what I give them.

Haven't received any feedback on our holiday card yet...waiting for the opinions to come in. I suppose the less we hear, the more poorly the card was received. I think what has happened the last 2 days is that the postal service is a day slower than usual and that everyone will receive their cards tomorrow. I hope so, anyway.

I finished listening to all 17 cds of The Gravedigger's Daughter. Such slow steady writing, such detail, and then by the time it's done, such a momentous tremendous story. Joyce Carol Oates writes so well! I thinks she read aloud some of the letters from the end of the story when she spoke a couple of years ago at the Texas Book Festival. I know I heard or read a couple of those letters somewhere. I listened to most of the story slowly when I was driving, and only when driving. Until today, when I finished the last 3 CDs all at once. It was that good. I just sat and listened. Usually I don't just sit and do anything! Busy busy busy. Well, I can downsize my library due pile by returning that one.

So, here I am thinking of at least catching up to myself a little, if now getting to the business of cleaning out my excesses. And I'm cleaning out my inbox, which was up to 150, which is not the way I usually have it. I had it below 100 most of the year. And I see this one from Mensa from a week or so ago, about their 50 best websites contest. So I click the link to see whether I can do this voting and get it over with and clean the message out of my inbox. They have 300 WEBSITES IN THE CONTEST! 300 all picked out by Mensa members! There goes the rest of the year! There are about 10 categories, and I don't know how many are in each category, but you look at 2 listings at a time and vote for one. It's some kind of elimination round. So...say I turn out to be familiar with 50 of the 300. That means I need/want to look at the other 250 - or maybe some look totally uninteresting, let's cut to 225. At as little as 2 minutes each, that's 450 minutes, that's 4 hours. But 2 minutes isn't realistic. I already found that out by trying to look at a few of them quickly! The Brandeis website that tells all the cultural characteristic that make the freshman class what it is, eg, some of them had Nintendos in their cribs for toys, and they have always had Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court and they never knew WWW to be World-Wide Wrestling, and they have always had it illegal to drill offshore, and there was one I wasn't even aware of but had had suspicions about, which was that Club Med has always in their lives been for families. And that's just one page of one of these cool websites that the Mensans have picked out. So what hope do I have of getting my house in order?