All of my aspirations are wrapped up in books.

I am somewhat intoxicated at current moment, so naturally, this is the perfect time to write a blog entry.

Despite the pressures of work and school, I’ve been making a ton of time to read over the past few weeks. Consequently, I’ve made my way through eight books so far this year and I’m presently in the midst of  books nine and ten. Granted, several of them were fairly short (under 200 pages) novellas, but regardless, it’s been nice to actually sit down and carve out the time to read books like Story of the Eye and The Stranger and Candide which have been on my “to-read” shelf on Goodreads for the better part of two years. Reading has in general just been a really nice way to escape from all of the craziness that’s been going on in my life lately. I know I say this all the time, but I really am in a period of flux (and extreme busyness, but that’s neither here nor there) right now and being able to say “fuck it” and go off and hide in a world where I don’t have to worry about things like post-college aspirations, love and loss, and letting go of the halcyon days of my youth.

I had the intention of writing a real entry, but now I’ve gone from bouncy-drunk to sleepy-drunk, so I think I may just eat a Popsicle and watch YouTube videos until I fall asleep. I’ll update again soon, though — I want to talk about the productivity software I’ve been using.


Underachievers, please try harder.

Good ole' Courage Wofl; this is my motto for the next 16 weeks.
Good ole’ Courage Wofl; this is my motto for the next 16 weeks.

Despite the fact that Spring  Semester (a misnomer, considering that it was 18 degrees this morning…) started yesterday, I really want to hold my feet to the fire and continue to stay in the habit of updating here with some regularity.

I think I’m in for a fair bit of a challenge with my Algorithm Implementation course this term; you know that a class is going to run you through the ringer when a professor straight up tells says “good enough is good enough…don’t do more than you have to” during the first class meeting. That said, I only get one go at passing this bitch if I want to (finally) finish my minor in April, so I’m going to have to really stay on top of everything and not be too prideful to ask for help when I need it, because I’m sure I won’t be able to just breeze through this class without a care. I’m also getting my first taste of a low-level programming language this term in Systems Software which is being taught using C; as terrifying as it’ll be to actually do any real coding in a language that doesn’t protect me from the nitty-gritty stuff like managing memory, I’m excited for the both the challenge and the opportunity to expand my skillset.

That said, I’d be lying if I said I weren’t suffering from impostor syndrome to some degree. As of right now, I’m dealing with it by telling the little nay-saying voice in the back of my head to slide its forked tongue back behind its teeth and fuck the hell off. I suppose I’ll just have to bust my ass and prove my competence to myself to completely quell it, though. I’ve also been spending a lot of time on r/getmotivated, too which always helps me feel a lot better about myself and my abilities.

Semi-related, I’ve been eating and exercising really well the past few days which has been nice. Now if I could only get my sleep schedule to an equally good place, I’d be in business. Between work and school, Monday – Thursday are all roughly 10.5 hours days for me, not including studying and commuting, so I’m really going to have to take damn good care of my body if I plan on making it through this term without a repeat of last semesters fainting episodes. All-in-all, I tend to feel a lot better both physically and emotionally when I’m treating my body like something other than a display case for my brain, so I guess that’s a pretty good impetus to keep it up in and of itself.

At present moment, however, I have minimal desire to do anything other than spend some quality time with my Kindle and continue to work through The Joy of X by Steven H. Strogatz which is really blowing my mind in the best way possible. I realize this doesn’t mean too terribly much since it’s only January 8th, but of the three books  I’ve read already this year (and the two I’m currently reading), this is the best book I’ve read thus far in 2013; perhaps I’ll write about it when I’m done. But for now, back to reading!

I spent the winter with my nose buried in a book while trying to restructure my character.

Given that I spent a fair portion of the latter-half of 2012 pontificating on what my consumption of culture not only says about me, but also does to me, it should be very unsurprising that I’ve decided to set myself some benchmarks for this year to guide myself toward being more cognizant of the manner in which I spend my free time in regard to literature, film, and music. It is my intention to read 65 books, watch 130 films, and listen to 40 albums (by different artists) in their entirety during the course of 2013; I wouldn’t exactly call this little endeavor a set of New Year’s Resolutions by any means, but I will admit that I was inclined to formally track my progress since the start of a new calendar year makes for an ideal time to do so. That said, I’m tracking my reading challenge on Goodreads and my film challenge and music challenge on RateYourMusic.

I enjoy compensating for my lack of human relationships with an abundance of data.
I enjoy compensating for my lack of human relationships with an abundance of data.

In addition to the three aforementioned “culture quests,” if you will, I’m also using notch in tandem with my BodyMedia FIT to keep track of the number of steps I take this year in the form of a sweet infographic. Also on the health front, I’m supplementing my financial health by participating in the 52 Week Money Challenge, which I’m pretty excited about since there are few things that I seem to enjoy more than squirreling away money these days. Oh, and I’m also doing a bastardized version of the 52 Photos Project which I will refer to as the “52 Snapshots Project” since they’ll all be taken on my phone (and because I know nothing about photography); these snapshots will all end up in their own gallery here.

Despite the finite and traceable nature of all of these goals, I don’t really view them as being any sort of major commitment worthy of evoking that awful, often-failure-laden word “resolution.” Rather, I just see this laying out a road map for things that I would honestly do anyway over the course of the year and subsequently quickly forget about; with any luck, keeping track of all of these things will just force me to make more deliberate decisions when it comes to what I do with my excess time, money, and energy this year…as well as give me something concrete to reflect on next year.