Friday, December 28, 2007

Project Destash and other New Year's resolutions

Over the course of the past two months, I have put a lot of thought into my life plan for the coming year. This is unusual for me--I tend to just have a great idea with no plan to follow up and then end up improvising based on circumstances. 2008 will be the Year of the Pig according to the Chinese calendar (I like pigs, both as animals and as food), and 8 is my favorite number. (It's a good number: divisible by one, two, and four, and can result if you add one and seven, which are two prime numbers. It's tidy. On its side, it resembles infinity.) Therefore it seems only reasonable that 2008 should a be year of tidying up after myself, of trimming the fat from my existence.
I have two major New Year's resolutions, and one minor one. The minor one is to be more polite. No matter how polite I am, how many pleases and thank yous et al that are expressed, it doesn't feel like enough. So I work on it a lot.
The first major resolution is to buy no yarn in 2008. That's right. No yarn. None. At all. Even a little bit. Not even, gasp, sock yarn, which totally doesn't count. If someone else buys yarn and commissions me to make a project, that's swell, but I cannot add on my own. I plan on knitting as much of Le Stash as possible in 2008. Thanks to the blog votes, Project Destash is born! I will imagine Tim Gunn telling me to "Make it work!" every time I go to knit a hat and have stash and not fresh yarn, every time I modify a pattern to accommodate a different fiber, every time I want to design a lace panel from scratch using worsted weight bits and bobs. Oh yes--I will make it work.
The second major resolution is to live on $965 per month for twelve months--or a total of $11,580.00 for all of 2008. Yes, this means another year without buying Christmas presents. Yes, this means I have to pack a lunch everyday. Yes, this means I can't buy any DVDs or CDs unless I well and truly skip groceries.
But the Ten Grand Plan (I couldn't quite do it on $10k, but the Eleven Thousand Five Hundred and Eighty Plan doesn't exactly roll off the tongue or type particularly quickly) will make me debt free in 12 months. No shit. Completely without credit card debt. Completely without student loans. No debt at all. NONE. Free as a bird! It won't be easy like Sunday morning, but I know I can do it.
So I am asking all y'all blog readers to please, PLEASE express your support at random intervals throughout 2008. Congratulate me when I really do stick to my budget, bitch slap me if I pick out new shoes. Tell me to read one of the dozens of books in my library that I haven't read yet instead of buying a new one, or to knit one of the hundreds of patterns I have printed out from Der Interwebs. When I say I'm too broke to go out to dinner, when I say I can't afford to buy a coffee, tell me to make my own damn dinner and use my rusty barista skills. Help me be strong!
In exchange, I will share every detail of my monthly expenditures with you (to ensure that I don't fib or fudge the numbers), as well as all of my knitting adventures and culinary experiments! So recipes and pictures and patterns oh my...
This way the only pig in 2008 is on a calendar and not sleeping in my bed or gnawing at my budget.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

It's December 24, and I am sitting at work with very little to do and trying not to go out for coffee again. I think a single one-hour coffee break per day is enough...The Boss Man is out, the assistant boss men are out, and my pal the Tech Dude is out. Present are:
  • My "supervisor" (who doesn't know what I do here at work but perceives that I am somehow valuable, and who didn't come in today until 10:30 or so)
  • The Whiner (still surfing for the most superiorest digital camera, even though he already bought one for work and owns one of his own)
  • The Temp (a miracle! Not sick!)
  • and Katie ( the perky and fast working student who I am so happy to have back in the office I could leap about for joy. I'm the youngest person in my office by a lot, and it gets a bit fuddy duddy at times. With Katie, we laugh a lot more. She brings the fun.)
Therefore I have lots of time to catch up on blog. :)

It snowed here in Sea-town on Saturday, December 1st. My backyard:

And the sky and trees:

It was pretty and quiet. The Oregon juncos and black-capped chickadees came out and flitted from branch to branch, landing so lightly that they only pushed a tiny bit of snow off. I made snowballs and threw them at roommate Cassie's window until she yelled at me. She's from Minnesota, and so has had more than her fair share of snow. I love it--it is still a novelty to me, living in a place where snow falls occasionally.

Scott, Maggie, and I finally went to see Mike's play over at the Burien Little Theatre on December 8. Mrs. Bob Cratchitt's Wild Christmas Binge parodied A Christmas Carol and It's A Wonderful Life, and threw in a little Kenneth Lay mockery as well. The three of us laughed harder and louder than anyone else in the audience--I think the older, season ticket holding crowd were not amused and had hoped for something a bit more traditional. Too bad. As you can see from Mike's costume from the last act (he's on the left), traditional wasn't on the menu.

The Third Annual Dessert Soiree took place at our house on December 9. Everyone dressed nicely and we ate copious amounts of homemade sweets while swilling syllabub. Syllabub is a frothy concoction made with powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, whipping cream, and champagne. It'll get you smashed in a great big sickly sweet way. And yet you'll still want it the next time it's made...
Why, at every party, is there always one guy who is just a total ass, an unredeemable jerk, someone who doesn't need to drink to become a domineering prick? Our party had a That Guy, and the girls and I are comforted by the fact that he isn't a direct acquaintance--he was the visiting friend of someone's roommate who invited himself along. The rest of our company, however, was delightful. I like that Patrick and I ended up wearing matching outfits without any planning.

My Christmas knitting has fallen unredeemably far behind. So lots of people will still be receiving knitted goods as Christmas gifts, just not on Christmas...

Love to all!