Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics


Posted by shannonclark on November 27, 2002

Happy Thanksgiving

and yes I will resume posting here more often

I just realized it has been a while since I posted here, life has gotten very busy and very crazy. Tomorrow is a day of slight rest for me, not sure what exactly I will do – probably spend the day catching up on my reading (magazine, perhaps a real treat of a book, probably some of a friend’s manuscript – though that I may have to read in the privacy of my own home… )

All resting in preparation for dinner with my parents – which will be nice, though short both because it will only be three of us this year, my sister and her boyfriend spending this Thanksgiving with friends in New Hamshire – and me having noone to invite home for the meal. A first in a very long time – so it will be a strange sort of meal for me – I’m used to Thanksgiving dinners with friends and family, just my mom and dad will be somewhat odd.

Then Friday will be a busy day for me – spent cleaning my office and clearing my workspace and my mind for a very busy December ahead.

I have a lot of projects going on in December, many of which will be starting in December and growing at an accelerating pace into more work in 2003. 2003 looks to be potentially a very good year – but also a very busy one.

So this week will be a week to catch up a bit on some of the deferred aspects of my life.

For a start, I did some shopping this afternoon – bought new sweaters, socks, underwear, gloves, shirts etc – all the neccessities of life which I have had a long need to refresh a bit.

Now my goal is to first cleanup and clear out my office space – starting with two years of papers to get it to a more orderly and organized state.

Then I will be starting on my home, working methodically through my boxes of accumalated papers – sorting them into categories (and hopefully filing many in the plastic bag filing system – i.e. trash bags). As I work my way through I will be organizing the piles into a couple main categories.

1. Critical Important Stuff – i.e. legal documents, warrentees, etc – which go someplace easily findable

2. Important stuff which must be filed – i.e. old paid bills and the like

3. School related files – old papers and the like – goes into a box of “School Stuff” for future reference and/or sorting

4. Writing piles – my collections of past writings, and equally important past critiques, as well as past journals – these should get organized so they are at least all in one place.

5. Non-paper stuff

a. Books – go into a pile to be dealt with when my bookshelves are put together and my books are shelved – very big project, but a very important one!
b. Useful stuff – office supplies and the like (put into a pile to be brough to my office in most cases)
c. Silly fun stuff – such as stuffed animals and the like – put somewhere to minimize dust but kept around
d. Memory stuff – presents from friends, photos, etc – stored safely somewhere
e. Art – may be stored, may finally be displayed!!!

6. Immediate stuff – current bills for example (should NOT be in other piles.. but you never know)

As I work through the boxes and the piles (which are much alike) I will probably be finding all sorts of things I have thought lost.

Another task will be to deal with some accumulated “stuff” which I should have dealt with long ago. An old monitor that is busted, beer that I will never drink (but old and stale – can’t even give it away). My plan for this stuff is to piece by piece take it out to be brought down to our dumpsters. It will feel great to have this junk out of my house.

A big one which will be both a blessing and curse – my old futon frame, which no longer works, and the futon mattress which has lost all shape – when they leave my house a piece of my past leaves, and my living room will look much more empty – but at the same time, until they leave I will never, I suspect, get a new couch – with them gone, I might actually look for something to replace them.

In a similar but more major step, I should get rid of one of my desks which I do not use, the desk chair that I do not use (though that is not a critical piece, doesn’t take up much room, the “kitchen” table that wobbles and is essentially useless, and all sorts of other items like that.

When the boxes are dealt with throughout my home, and the piles reduced to know elements and sorted stuff stored safely in sturdy places. Then I will have a closet to reclaim for useful purposes. This means dealing with misc. items in that closet, such as my mostly unused but possessing two flat tires and a broken seat bicycle, and my old golf clubs (i’m keeping my newer good ones). All sorts of other odd items will be found and recovered and should then be thrown away for the most part.

Then I will move on to slightly harded but important decisions and areas, such as clothes I will never again wear, kitchen dishes, utensils, and tools I will never use (indeed have never used).

In short, my plan for this weekend, and for all the weekend between now and the end of the year is to do a massive “spring cleaning” – okay, not in the spring, but needed none-the-less, and will let me start the new year on a fresh footing – albiet one with less stuff by far.

If, as I hope will be the case, my financial situation is improved as work is flowing in at a more rapid pace, then I will actually start upgrading, replacing, and enhancing many of the items of my life.

First, if I have dealt with my personal items and have the ability to consolidate them into one compact area, such as my large hall closet, I will pay to have my apartment deep cleaned – not a cheap prospect but very much needed. At the same time I will replace burned out light bulbs, including in the hard to reach areas, and pay to have a plumber look at my strange kitchen faucet, and perhaps upgrade some hardware in my bathroom and the like.

Second, with a cleaned home, I will, if I have the money, start by making sure my bookshelves are all functional – this may in a few cases be rather tricky.

Third, I will pay to finally more my TV to the “correct” side of the room (opposite where it is now – meaning I have to run a large amount of cable around to that side. As I do this, I will also upgrade to a DVD player as well as an actually functional VCR (perhaps one unit?) and perhaps a TIVO? Perhaps also, if I feel comfortable pay for premium cable to get some uncensored stations and stations which show movies uninterupted. Feeling like splurging, I’ll also get a TV stand for the first time in my life and have a TV not sitting just on the floor of my condo! – what a radical move.

Fourth, I will start shopping for two or three of the missing pieces of furniture from my life. A large, very comfortable leather couch. An extremely comfortable chair to read in (perhaps two). Two chairs to go with a games table. Some place to store and keep games (which means also moving my game collection from my parents into my own home finally! A working/reading area in my bedroom that I might actually use – this means a really good radio, a really comfortable chair, lots of lighting, access to a good CD player, and someplace to keep a cup of coffee handy. Functional improvements to my kitchen, perhaps not the complete rehab that I really want – but at a minimum someplace to sit, more storage (highly functional), the “right” sets of pots, pans, and tools, and a few other minor enhancements.

Fifth, I will renew important stores in my life – such as my spice collection which is woefully old, and basic neccessities of the kitchen such as waxxed paper, good cutting boards, certain sizes of knives, and other little things missing from my kitchen at the moment.

Sixth, if I am truly feeling comfortable with my finances, I will take on some reoccuring expenses but ones that will benefit my life – such as a bi-monthly visit from a cleaning person to keep my condo in good clean shape. Perhaps also start attacking minor household enhancements such as improved lighting in various rooms.

Seventh, I will start planning for the really major changes to my condo which I would like to have happen – a new floor in my living room; gutting my kitchen, opening it up to the living room/dining room, and adding new appliances; real closet organizers for my oversupply of closets; a new, better, nicer carpet in my bedroom; and a more modern and finished bathroom – perhaps a jacuzi tub, definitely a vanity that fits the space correctly, a real shower door, etc.

At least that is a big part of my plans for the new year, as well as the rest of this year. Working hard enought to afford enhancing my life, and working hard enough on my life to get out of what ruts I am in and get rid of the junk, keep the good stuff, and use it and enjoy it more fully.

The fundemental problem is that for the past three years I have basically not spent money on myself (not that I have had much to spend), and I have lived a life that includes too many nights such as tonight where I am at the office well past dinnertime.

My first goal is summed up by – ” make my condo someplace I might take someone home to” – this is a very big step and will take me a lot of hard work and probably a fair amount of expense.

Getting to the point where someone (a special female specifically) would spend the night is another milestone.

To someplace where she might stay for an extended time – a bigger milestone indeed.

Someplace where I can once again entertain, invite friends over, and share myspace with friends – that is yet another big goal.

In short – lots of work.


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