Jun 18, 2012

School's Out For Summer!

For the kids, maybe.

My colleagues and I decided on two weeks when we would completely unplug from work this summer.  No talking about work, no reading emails, no coming in for any reason, no professional reading, nada.  So from June 30 to July 15, there will be no school-type work done by me.  I know it's not a ton of time, but at least with the kids gone, the pace will be slower for the two weeks prior to our break and probably the two weeks after it.  And let's face it, it's more time off than most people get.  So I'm hoping I will still have time to do some of the fun things that occur to me during the school year that I never get to do.  Here's the abbreviated list.

1.  Continue reading the Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin.  I know everyone has heard of it.  I still haven't seen the show, but I'm friends with enough nerdy bibliophiles that I got talked in to reading the books.  I started the first book in the series last summer.  I'm currently on page five hundred something- about 200 pages from the end.  The plot is finally getting exciting and I don't have to scratch my head to try to remember "who is that again?" every time I read a character's name anymore.  (Apparently Mr. Martin has a thing for ensemble casts with nonsensical fantasy names.)  I want to pick up my pace this summer.  For sure finish the first book.  I'd love to finish the second one, just because I know that come mid-August my reading time will again dwindle to 15 minutes two nights a week- also known as the amount of time between when I get in bed and begin reading and when I fall asleep and hit myself in the face with the book.

Danerys and her Silver.

2.  Play more piano.  I took piano lessons for 12 years.  I'm not a great pianist, but I've got more training than most people and I do enjoy playing certain songs in particular.  Not long before I stopped taking lessons and left for college, my friend and fellow pianist Joe had been working on one of my favorite piano songs of all time, Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C Sharp Minor.  He was so good at it!  I have always been shy about playing when people can hear.  Joe has never been shy about anything and he really made the highs and lows of this piece come to life.  Inspired by him, I began slowly picking away at it myself, but never got very far.  With that many sharps in the key signature and accidentals all over the place, every other note was a sour one, my tempo agonizingly slow to nonexistent.  I'd like to practice that song well enough for it to be recognizable as a *song* when I play and not just terrible chords mashed together.  For fun, here's the song, played by the man himself.  You can read along with the music if you're not prone to motion sickness!

3.  Paint the exterior of the house.  We've got some colors narrowed down, now we just need to wait for a string of dry days.  It's Washington, so we'll likely end up painting in mid-September.

Inspiration pic!

4.  Learn how to use Microsoft Excel properly.  Yeah, I have used Excel for years.  But when I have to type data into a spreadsheet that uses formulas, I end up making all of the cells display cuss words at me.  You know, like "##!" and "AB#(!%)".  I am sick and tired of not being able to use Excel the way I want to, and I'm pretty sure my coworkers are sick and tired of having to fix spreadsheets every time I touch them (although they graciously accommodate my ignorance).  To that end, Steve and I bought a Groupon for a 35 hour online training course, which we'll both be using soon.

5.  Blog more, of course!  I am having so much fun writing this silly little blog.  I am amazed that anyone reads it.  And like anything in my life, once I start doing it, I want to do it better.  I am making plans for new themes, layouts, a camera upgrade....  All in good time.  *Update: Obviously I already started on this one!  Or maybe I should say that Steve started on this one?*

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