Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Of Mice and Men: Summer Resolutions

The summer is half gone, and I have yet to announce the summer resolutions that have been simmering in my mind since the end of last semester. Of course, I was away in Hong Kong. Then, my uncle passed away while I was there and, within a week of coming back to Albany, I was flying out to L.A. again for the memorial service.

I had decided that I needed summer resolutions because I never seem to be able to do anything about New Year's resolutions. You make those over the winter break (if you're a student, as I am), but then the spring semester begins, and you're way too busy to stick to them. Therefore, I think it is a better idea to make summer resolutions. Even though I will be busy this summer, too, I stand a better chance of making a good head start on these. I also have concrete objectives, rather than just a number of vague goals, by which to measure my success.

Lana's Summer 2008 Resolutions

1. Do more exercise.

This includes:

  • at least one 20-minute walk each week. I would especially like to walk along the Hudson River waterfront, near to which my workplace is conveniently located. Also, this would be a good way to get to know my neighbourhood, which is fairly nice for walking.
  • pilates; at least 30-minutes once a week. I also plan to get at least one private lesson this summer (probably all that I will be able to afford), to make sure I am doing it correctly. For the other times, I will be investing in more exercise DVDs.

2. Do some knitting.

I didn't do any knitting this past semester. Fixing the sleeve of the department secretary's sweater doesn't really count.
  • First priority is finishing up my numerous UFOs, especially Moocow's shawl.
  • Use some of the lovely yarn I bought at Webs.

3. Do some sewing.

I have a beautiful Bernina sewing machine (which I bought used on Ebay), which I haven't used enough by far. I have a lot of sewing objectives for the summer. I want to sew at least one each of the following (in order of difficulty/time commitment):

  • an apron
  • a bag (I think I will make my first projects some grocery bags)
  • a skirt
  • a top
  • a pair of pants
  • a dress
  • curtains for the living room
  • a slip cover for the couch

I also want to learn to do the following:

  • machine applique
  • fit/alter a pattern, or create a sloper. If I am going to sew my own clothing, I want to make sure that it fits well!

I probably won't get through all of these this summer, but I am going to do my best.

4. Spinning

I want to take spinning lessons and learn to spin on a spinning wheel. I'm not ready to buy a spinning wheel yet, but I want to learn more about spinning, so that I can make an informed decision when I am ready to make the investment (if I like spinning).

  • rent a spinning wheel
  • take a couple of spinning classes

5. Dance classes

Nope, not of the bump-and-grind sort. That really isn't my style. I've taken ballroom dancing classes twice before, once in high school, and once in college. Both times, however, my partner was a female and, with both of us taking turns as the lead and trying to learn two parts, nothing really stuck.

  • Take ballroom dancing classes for at least the summer, and continue if time and finances allow during the semester.

6. Masters Thesis

I probably should have put this first! I want to graduate by this December, so I MUST work on my thesis.

7. Cooking

I am helping out at the CSA again this season, so I will be getting weekly shares of vegetables. I have lots of recipes that I want to try out, but I have three things in particular that I want to do.

  • Learn to use my pressure cooker, a Christmas present from my parents that has been sitting around.
  • Experiment with puff pastry.
  • Make more Chinese soups. In previous years, I would make healthful soups, with Chinese herbs, at least twice a month. I haven't done that at all this year. I bought two Chinese/English recipe books of Chinese soups, so I want to try the ones for which I can get ingredients.

8. Enjoy Albany

I feel as though I have been working non-stop since I came to Albany, and I haven't really taken advantage of all the cultural and natural resources available.

  • Budget allowing, try some local restaurants. No chain restaurants for me!
  • See an opera (I missed ballet season already, unfortunately) in Saratoga Spring.
  • Go to Lake George when N comes to visit
  • Go fruit picking at nearby U-pick farms: raspberries, blueberries, peaches, oh my!

9. GIS

I want to improve my skills as a GIS user. Summers are usually slower here at the DEC, so I hope to use my down time to:

  • learn how to use the Network Analyst module
  • complete some ESRI Virtual Campus courses
  • Read and work through the Idrisi Andes tutorials, since I had to fork over the money for the 9-month license for a class last semester

10. Blog more regularly!! At least once a week. You probably won't be interested to hear about work, and schoolwork but, hopefully, with all my summer activities, there will be more interesting things to blog about.

It does seem like a lot, doesn't it? I can't relax and laze the summer away, but I still intend to enjoy it by keeping myself productive, although well-rested (I hope). I've already started on a couple of my resolutions, so I'll probably be giving an update this weekend.


greeeenwithenv said...

Your flower bullets are so cute! That's a mightly long list of resolutions for just one season. It's making me feel like a lazy bum. I really hope you share your progress here.

Graduation targeted for December. Got to remember that.

Lana said...

Sorry, I didn't do anything special. Those flower bullets are part of this Blogger theme!