Monday, February 6, 2012

I'm Still Resolute

Well… It’s been just over a month since I stated my New Year’s Resolutions, and I figured I may as well keep myself honest and provide everybody with a full-on update on each of my stated goals.

May as well just get started, huh?

Furniture Making
First off… I think I should amend my wording. I’m not expressly looking at making big furniture pieces, so perhaps I would have been more exact by calling it “woodworking”. I think a nice wood box is a perfectly acceptable project, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it “furniture”. Same for an end-grain chopping block. I’m sure there are other examples, but I bring up these, because I’ve got both on my radar. Maybe I’m being self-serving here, but since the woodworking is certainly a learning process, starting with a book case or a roll-top desk isn’t realistic or a good way to learn.

So… how’s my progress? Well… Slow. It’s really fucking hard. I’ve been working on my dovetail joints, and getting in a lot of practice with my chisels and mallets and pieces of wood. I’ve spent a good amount of money purchasing tools and supplies and all that. I’ve gone to a friend’s woodworking shop to get in some practice with a more experienced person… still… slow going. I feel confident that I will still have my 11 projects complete by the end of the year, but I’m not sure if I can realistically go month to month. Some months are tougher than others, and each project has a different amount of time needed to complete it.

I HAVE identified my first two projects…

1) An end-grain chopping block/cutting board. This is a fairly cool project that isn’t overly complicated. It primarily is a practice in direction following, and clamping. Not a ton of cutting, not any real joinery. A good first project.

2) A box for my chisels. The box itself isn’t all that complicated, though would involve some dovetail joints (visible ones, not the utterly perplexing hidden ones). It also would have little interior inserts were you set the chisels.

Among the other projects for the year -  Zig Zag Chair, Tool Chest, and a set of narrow drawers.

Grade after One Month -  B minus. I’ve been working hard on the joints, but I have been indecisive about my projects and the definition of furniture. Now that I feel more clear on that, I think I can bring that grade up.

One Home Improvement Project a Week -

To be honest, I personally have done very little myself, but I am going to give myself a temporary pass since our entire house has been consumed with big home improvement work for the past 3 weeks. We’ve re-done our kitchen, we’ve knocked out dining room windows to install French doors. We had our deck torn down. We’ve added a privacy fence. When I say “we”, I really mean contractors, but that doesn’t make the projects any less disruptive. I’m seriously so tired of the mess… I’m just glad they’re doing a good job.

Grade after One Month – Incomplete.
I’m not making excuses, but projects have been completed, just not by me. We still have another week on the interior, and probably another week on the exterior.

Vegetarian for a Year
This one, I’m pleased to say, is going well. I’ve been meat free for a little over a month, and I’m not feeling bad about it so far.

Some random observations:
- Usually I prefer eating out over eating at home. This has actually reversed since the beginning of the year. I think it’s because the Tofu Muchacha and I are fairly accustomed to eating almost entirely vegetarian at home anyway (aside from a meaty chili or the very occasional corned beef). I didn’t realize it, but the times I was most likely to eat meat was when we went out.
-Soup is my friend. I fucking love soup. I look forward to soup. Soup never lets me down.
- I’m feeling pretty good about my fish once a week thing. It’s made any sort of meat craving pretty insignificant.
- It’s hard to even pinpoint what meats I miss… I guess bacon. Not that I ate a ton of bacon, but it’s difficult to get a good potato soup at a restaurant that doesn’t include bacon.
- I have always been fairly eye-rolly about the people who bitch about there not being enough vegetarian options at restaurants. It always seemed silly to complain about how other people fail to accommodate your personal preferences. Well… I kinda get it now. The TM and I went to this German restaurant (in preparation for seeing CCM’s “Spring Awakening”, and while I expected it to be just as mean-laden as it was, I found myself annoyed at the seeming afterthought given to the vegetarian choices.
- Of course… I just determined what I could get and got something. Unlike this girl at the table next to us, who… I guess just ordered whatever her finger landed on in the menu, because when the waitress brought the food to their table.

The annoying hipster girl was all “is there meat in this?”

The waitress : “In goetta? Yes. It’s ground sausage.”

The annoying hipster girl: “Oh… I didn’t know what goetta was. I thought it was cheese.”

The waitress: “Ookay.”

The annoying hipster girl’s annoying hipster boyfriend (Accusatorily) : Um… She can’t eat that. She’s a vegetarian.”

The waitress (thinking to herself) – How hard would it have been to ask about the German thing you don’t know, since it’s probably not all that safe to assume it’s cheese.

The waitress (out loud): "Do you want me to bring you something else?"

The annoying hipster girl’s annoying hipster boyfriend: “Eh.”

They  then left the place without finishing their meal. I not sure if they paid.

Anyway… I know what Goetta is, and despite how delicious it may be, I know not to order it at a restaurant for at least the next year. I also know that if I'm not familiar with something, maybe I should ask what it is before ordering it. 

Grade after One Month: A minus.
 I’ve been successful so far. No lapses, not much temptation. I’m not like… LOVING it, but I do think that it’s promoting some healthier choices… and some less. (Cheese sticks? Fail.)

Get in Shape for the November 10K.
This one has been the least successful so far. I’ve really not taken any real substantive steps toward this one, and as opposed to the home improvement one… there’s no real reason I can’t have started, and there’s not really a way for someone else doing exercise can substitute for me doing it. If there was… I’d be rocking it, because the TM runs like someone is fucking chasing her every week. It’s maddening how dedicated and disciplined she is. I admire it, for sure.

All is not lost, though…

The plan all along was to start this one a little later, just to allow myself a tiny opportunity to ease into the plan. We talked about me getting a personal trainer starting around my birthday (Less than 2 weeks!). Unfortunately that well hasn’t been as fertile as we’d hoped, but I am using my tax refund to buy a good rowing machine. The reason I’m drawn toward that versus an elliptical or something of that nature is that my knees suck ass, so being able to do some real cardio on the rower, without putting strain on my joints is a good thing.

Oh… and I have a heavy bag that I like to punch, and I’ve been working on my form, I downloaded a boxing timer app for my iPad, and I like doing the rounds. It seems so finite, and not that indimidating. Of course, I’m only doing 3 or 4 at the moment, and the last 2 minutes feels like someone’s been making me carry jugs of water.

Grade after One Month – C minus.
Not a complete failure, but not really that good either.

Blog Once a Week
I can honestly say… I’ve been rocking this one. So far, through February 6th, I’ve posted SEVEN blogs for the year. The last 4 months of 2011 featured 6 posts total. “

I’m interested in hearing what everyone things of the blogs. In general, I think they’re fine, but nothing really as stellar as the best of the best blogs in the past. I’m going to word away from blogging about sports, I think, or at least the nitty gritty type stuff. It seems that most everyone ignores that.

I’m also considering branching off and creating an “All Disney” Muchacho blog. There were a lot of interesting conversation topics that came up while I worked on that dual email with Annie, and there really is nothing more fun to blather about at length than Disney. If I were to do that, I would simulcast the blogs in both locations. Part of my knows that if I focus my efforts on a single topic, my readership will go up… Another part of me knows that my bad mouth isn’t really “Disney-esque”, so I kinda feel like I should make the Disney blogs an no-cuss zone. Kinda hard to enforce that when if my smiling Disney-Fan reader scrolls down too far on this page, they’re bombarded by motherfuckers. (See? I just did it).

Anyway… I’m pretty pleased about this resolution so far. I think that, depending on my schedule, I could even potentially do more. I’ve got my next two tick-tockin’ away.

Grade after One Month – A Minus
I like it. The people like it. Blogging regularly is good. That is all.

Stay tuned next week for “Chocolate, Wine, and Shopping”: Womanhood’s Trio of Kryptonite . Accompanied by “Beer, Boobs, and Big Televisions”: Manhood’s Fearsome Threesome.  


annr said...

I loved to watch dad work out on the Speed bag...( had to look up the proper term). It fascinated me as a kid.

Beefy Muchacho said...

There is something kind of hypnotic about it, I agree. Oddly, this is the second time a speed bag has come up for me in the past 3 hours.

Unknown said...

I am sorry to focus on the least important part of your self-grading...but...CCM did Spring Awakening?