Author Archives: whiskybaker

Trying to focus

How do you pick what you want to focus on? I mean, seriously – there are so many things I want to do, and help Q with, and I have no idea how to fit it all in.

Right now I’m trying to fit in – in addition to working-from-home-mostly-full-time:

  1. improving my French – mostly this involves the Duolingo app. My French is pretty abysmal for someone who took it for 13 or so years through elementary and high school;
  2. reading more – like actual books. I’m doing the Toronto Public Library’s reading challenge again this year and while I’m doing okay, I’d like to be more consistent with it. For example, I haven’t read anything not work related in the last two weeks. I’d like to work it in;
  3. cross-stitching – it’s fun and calming. Mostly it’s calming. I found an awesome group on facebook to stitch with and they have little games and competitions and while that helps me stitch more it also sometimes ups my anxiety. Thankfully they’re pretty laid back and chill and if I have to drop out of something there is no problem. I’m also VERY careful to follow through on the ones that actually require preparation and participation though;
  4. helping Q learn Morse Code – I’m not sure how much he wants to do this but we’ve worked our way up to E (and also SOS and the letter T);
  5. 2 x 10 minutes of my mindfulness app a day – why twice a day? The app is Calm and it has a “daily calm” of about 10 minutes on a different topic each day. Then it has different series that you can work through – right now I’m listening to a series called “relationship with self.”
  6. moving more – hard to do when we’re in a state of emergency I think; but we’ll try.

One of the benefits of not being at home right now is I can at least ignore most of the “housekeeping” stuff – no cleaning, no yard work etc. I am still doing laundry but less really. Also no piano to make me feel guilty for not practising!

So let’s see:

  • 10-20 minutes for Duolingo;
  • 20-30 minutes for Calm;
  • 30-60 minutes for reading;
  • 30-60 minutes of cross-stitching;
  • 30-60 minutes of moving more;
  • 30-60 minutes of helping Q with school, games, Morse Code etc
  • 6.5 hours of work (M – F)
  • 7 hours of sleep (ideally)

At the high end of everything and assuming some buffer for changing activities and that equals 19 hours. Plus eating and showering. I’m gonna try this schedule for this week or two. It has the decided benefit of being easily marked down as “yes or no” – isn’t that the hallmark of a “SMART” goal?

  • Specific – yes
  • Measurable – yes  
  • Attainable – not sure
  • Relevant – well, relevant to me
  • Time-bound – trying for a week, hopefully two and then I’ll see how I’m feeling about it all.

Wish me luck!

What are you choosing to focus on? One or two things or 50bazillion like I’m trying to do?

Day one

My brain picked the title of the post as soon as I thought I should write on the blog again. I’m not entirely certain what “day one” is for though – I mean, it’s not day one of social/physical distancing, because we’ve been doing that for weeks now; it’s definitely not day one of Covid-19, which has been around for months. And I hope my brain didn’t go all hokey on me and pick it because of the whole idea of “the first day of the rest of your life” or some such nonsense. But in any event my brain picked the title and I’m gonna go with it.

This is me with more hair than I’ve had in a while. Not sure when my next haircut will get to be!

What comes next? I dunno. More posts I hope – about reading, stitching, random babbling. How are you doing?

Being a tourist in my home town – Visiting the AGO

Now that the weather isn’t so unbearably hot and humid for me I thought I’d try and go out for a walk during my lunch break every once in a while. The Art Gallery of Ontario is just around the corner from my office so I figured that’s a great place to start.

In September I went and saw a photography exhibit called “women in focus.” It was lovely.

Here are some of my favourite photos:

This one is from Lotte Jacobi – I love the way the movement is captured. I keep expecting the dancer to keep going!

I just want to know what she’s thinking! This is called “Sea of Ice (Genevieve)” from 1935.

This is a print from Violet Keene Perinchief – originally from England but moved to Ontario and “found commercial success as the manager of the Eaton’s photography studio” before setting up her own shop. The eyes. Really, that’s it. Just the eyes.

Taking pictures of photos behind glass isn’t a strength of mine obviously. Here’s a better version of the above photo:

More from the AGO in the future that’s for sure, especially because now I have a membership.

Learning about soccer – soccer clichés

I stumbled across this video in an older BBC Ideas e-mail I hadn’t yet deleted (and needless to say, finding it now isn’t gonna do much to encourage me to clean up my e-mails any time soon!)

One of the best lines in this video – in fact the whole reason I’m sharing it – is this:

Paranoia and pessimism are, after all, central to the enjoyment of football.

It’s always a bit tense watching a game with my dad but also lots of fun too. Game 1, Spurs v. Aston Villa is today!

And of course there’s a book! But it’s not out until September 2019. Sooooo soon…

Football Clichés – picture from Indigo.ca

Praising Black Gold (aka coffee)

Since Friday July 19, I’ve done my best to stop drinking coffee (all caffeine really because 99% of my caffeine is consumed in black gold form) by about noon. The first few days I strayed till 1 pm or so but since then it’s been finished by around 11:30 am.

No real change in sleep (which was the experiment) BUT it really is only one part of the equation (snoring, heat, beer all add up on the other side). No real change in mood either.

So why am I posting do you ask? Because I knew I was only going to be consuming a much smaller amount of coffee than before I figured I was going to be sure it was GOOD coffee, and not just the free unlimited stuff I have access to at work.

Sparkplug Coffee gets delivered to the house. I have used my french press every freaking day for the last couple of weeks and have enjoyed my coffee so much. I will probably never cut coffee out completely – I enjoy it too much – but I am actually enjoying it more when it isn’t so much the “quantity” of the stuff but the “quality.” Who’d a thunk it?

The most recent limited edition was called Mad Bastard. They describe it as a “blend of premium Arabica beans from Colombia and Brazil.” It’s a medium roast and tasty! I can’t wait to see what the next blend will be!

Logo from the sparkplug coffee website