So I have this great program on my laptop called Anti-Social which I got when I was writing books to keep me actually writing the book: it locks you out of social networking sites (and whatever else you tell it to) for a specified period of time. So even if you absent-mindedly hop over to Facebook to see the nothing that’s been posted since you last checked, it’s like, Nah kid, back to work. But my computer has been acting wonky of late and the program crashed yesterday while I was using it, and now — way after the specified period of time has elapsed — I am still locked out.

I might keep it this way.

I have 100 other ways of checking social networks, so why not leave this little work space for things I actually want to be doing? Like when I need a break: write to friends, or read articles I’ve saved on Pocket.

26In Better than Before-ing / demerit news, I’m really NOT on the wagon in terms of yoga, wake-up times, and exercising. And walking. So, um, mostly all of it. (Food. My Ban-uary restrictions are going OK, save for tomorrow’s feast-brunch.) Back in November (and I go back to November all the time / it turns out freedom ain’t nothing but missing food…) (sorry my brain is basically a forced pun + TS lyric output machine) — ahem. I was using Gretchen’s Daily Time Log to map out the week ahead, to log my steps and my weigh-ins (oh yeah, I haven’t got that habit back yet either), and to give myself lots of check marks and feel uber accomplished. Now? That time log sheet is going ignored. So I might need both a new system and a new attitude. Or just the new attitude? I don’t know.

I’m finding it hard to focus on habit change when I have my big pile of work, and a related trip next week.

At least I’ll get my steps in today when I walk to the optometrist at the end of the day and get my contact lens situation sorted out. I’m gonna get some that don’t impede my vision this time!



today is a work from home day, and one of those days where I realize just how much effing stuff I have to do in a limited amount of time, and feel a slow steady panic all the livelong day. I’m hacking thru the pile, but man there is still quite a pile. Cups of tea = my salvation.

I also went out into the world for some fresh air / to buy tampons (two very necessary things) and picked up two new little plants to sit on my desk and keep me company while I toil. I love them already, and just hope I have enough sunlight for them. Please don’t die. (I also did speed-shopping and bought two sweatery-shirts at the local Mendocino, which were on sale but that was not part of the frugality plan at all, at all.)

No yoga this morning. Will be way, way low on steps. Evening exercise? TBD…


The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases. (Carl Jung, at least according to the coffee-shop sign I pass on my way into work)

today I:

  • ate the biggest burrito in the world,
  • bought new pens, highlighters, a notebook at Staples, and while I was checking out, grabbed a stamp by the cash that said MUCH IMPROVED :) and stamped my own hand (and the cashier looked at me much bemused),
  • did NOT do my yoga in the a.m.,
  • DID have a frank chat with my boss about some of the challenges I have at work (yesss NY resolution enactment),
  • wondered if you can say “much bemused” or if that is like saying “a little bit pregnant,”
  • learned the difference between sit-ups and crunches (but did neither),
  • crossed some important things off my to-do list,
  • ignored other, arguably more important things, on my to-do list,
  • thought about what I’ll do with my two free days in NYC next week, and finally,
  • had a very exciting dance party workout to various videos by The Fitness Marshall, notably this one to “Sorry” — which means I did a lot of flailing of limbs and shaking of jiggly bits. It was epic. The hip switches and then quarter turn part is my fave.


My sister told me to start putting coconut oil on my face, and now I smell like a tropical vacation. Not a bad way to start my day. And when I get to my 30-degree-Celsius place of employment, my face will feel right at home. Here’s to hoping we don’t have our windows open on the second coldest day of winter.

Day 1 of the New Regime went… OK. I had no problem sticking to Ban-uary (hats off to JK for that excellent name); I didn’t even look in the bag of baked goods from Bonjour Brioche and, without meaning to, under-ate my  carby/starches for the day. I did however clock in low on my steps, but I’m blaming that on the -24 weather. Not exercising in the evening or prepping my lunch for today or any of the other stuff I was supposed to do? Blaming that on me, not even glancing at my little day planner sheet.

OTM-OrigI could also blame that on Dr. Oliver Sacks (R.I.P.). I am reading On the Move and it’s a delight. Post-supper (pork chop + chutney, roasted broccoli with parmesan, basil and lemon = v. tasty), I got into bed and read and then fell asleep with the lights on. I thought I’d start my reading year with a ‘lives well lived’ story — and holy shit did Dr. Sacks do all the things (including lotsa drugs, weight lifting, motorcycling, and reckless ocean swimming). My idea of him from RadioLab and his books is just a teeny tiny fraction of a fascinating life. His middle name was Wolf, and I feel like he 100% lived up to it. (Also I’m v. glad he stopped eating amphetamines like candy when he did. That was not cool, Wolf. Not cool at all.)

Today, I’ve got to start on the exercising front. Despite the “getting out of bed” part, the return to morning yoga has been pleasant (I’m not putting weight on my bad wrist in the two moves that require it), but I’m less inclined to exercise so I’m going to have to keep that Decision Has Already Been Made thing front of mind today and plough ahead. (Or plow ahead, for any American readers. Hi Vee.)

okay bye.


One more sleep til I kick off my revamping, second round, and I am funfetti / so ready. (I hope that doesn’t mean something pervy, Joe Jonas; I just mean I feel like a sprinter in the blocks, waiting for the starting pistol. Which will fire funfetti, naturally.)

Two of my dear, darling accountability partners have posted about their Adventures in 2016 Reform: Tammy is back at it after a December break, and Heather (who I mostly call Vee, so don’t get confused if I swap names) has some excellent resolutions and declares her “word of the year” to be cultivate. (I may steal her 2014 word, decisive, for my 2016 word, but need to think on it a little. I’ve never had a word of the year before…)

As part of Resolution #5, be frugal aka WWJKD?, I’m going to try to convince my local squad to start coming over here for drinks + games nights, instead of going out for dinner + drinks. We went to Indie Ale House last night, and it was just loud and trapped-feeling and not that tasty. Scattergories + beer that is actually good = better, cheaper, and the mums still get to have the I Got the Eff Out of My House feeling, cuz they are at our kid-free house! Win, win, win.

One slight bummer that I’m going to have to sort out is that my wrist pain is getting worse and worse, and my pal who is a doctor diagnosed it as tendinitis (it’s fun to make your friends do their job while they eat their supper on a Saturday night) and said rest it. And get a brace (like Rachel has! matchers). So…I anticipate some workarounds will be necessary when I do my yoga and some other bits of exercise, and I’m not really sure how to rest it while I’m working, etc. Tried to pour with my left hand this morning, instead of my broken right, and made a wee mess. I guess I am collecting ailments that start with T: I’m officially in year 3 of tinnitus (boo, go away constant ringing companion); now, tendinitis; next up, who knows?!

Time for me to start my day proper. Happy last day of holidays, my friends. xo


Don’t use it.

After my peppy, earnest blog yesterday morning, we discovered our kitchen sink has decided to kick off the year by not draining for no discernible reason! And this morning, the sink sits there with gd drano in it, not draining, and apparently plumbers don’t work on sinks with sitting drano because it’s super hazardous. So…not sure what the next step is. My goal for today is making sure me and my roommate do not end up with drano burns from a DIY plumbing adventure.

On the plus side, I got to enjoy my last afternoon of TV bingeing for the foreseeable future, rewatching last season’s The Good Wife with Erin (who has not yet seen it). AND playing Candy Crush at the same time. Two things I get full-on addicted to that will be dropped like hot potatoes coated in Drano by tomorrow eve. (I think the TV watching is already dunzo for the weekend.)

And the brunch that we were meant to be hosting this morning has been pushed to next weekend, so now I don’t quite know what to do with myself today. (And I’m realizing that the brunch will have to be more carefully negotiated treat-wise, since it is usually quite the festival of eating delicious things and it now occurs after my Revamp Project kicks off. Huh. Sad trombone.)

But seriously what I have learned from my now extensive how-to-unclog-a-drain research is don’t rush out and buy drano. It is so far totally useless, as described on the many, many message boards I have discovered on this topic.

First lesson of the year. Thanks ever so much, 2016.

ADDENDUM: The drain is draining! Hallelujah! I did some McGyver tricks (notably using a turkey baster) and now we are back in business with ZERO chemical burns. 2016 is back on track.


Happy new year! I hope y’all had the NYE you wanted — mine was right on the money. I stayed in, watched the livestream of the fireworks from Reykjavik, ate delicious dinner from Bukhara Grill, then re-read some Better than Before before falling asleep by 10. Winner, gagnant.

Knope We CanI also did some prep for the reboot of the Revamp Project, and the habits I was forming back in November have mostly made the cut for the January 4th restart. I’m going to cut back my 6-times-weekly exercise to 5 — which is 5 more times a week than before and still great, while being more achievable.

On the resolutions front, I found this post from 2013 that I had started writing and then abandoned:

  1. Be more like Leslie Knope. So more waffles, more optimism, more can-do spirit, and one Ben Wyatt pls and thx.
  2. Read 60 books in the GoodReads challenge. I met my 55-book goal this year (56!), but didn’t do so hot on the “Read more books that aren’t either (a) published by ECW, or (b) YA fiction” front. Variety, spice of life, etc.; I will once again endeavour to broaden my reading list this year (while keeping up with my YA, naturally).

Always a good resolution to Knope things up (minus the waffles), and on the reading challenge front, I didn’t make my goal for 2015 — short by one measly book, and really if ECW’s data feed had gone out a day earlier I coulda added a fall title and made it. I rallied this week and read two novels by Liane Moriarty in two days, so I ended up at 65 of 66. (And yes, I totally count books read at work.) I’m going to knock that back to 60 books for 2016 — my spare time will be otherwise occupied in 2016! No time for boring old reading!

On the blogging frontier, WordPress sent me a report on my 2015 stats and it is pretty funny: I posted once between January 1st and October 31st, and then 39 times in the last two months. (2014? Five posts in the whole year.) 2016 should be a record-setting year for the Calhoun Tribune: I’m planning on picking back up with the daily blogs, but I don’t think I’ll keep it strictly to the topic of BtB Habits Overhaul. It can get kinda tiresome for me, and probs tiresome for you. So we’ll see what rambles I ramble on about here.

Since I have so many habits goals on the horizon, my resolutions for 2016 are a little different than in years past — less specific, broader. (And holy cow it’s odd to read NYR from 2005 — in school, with Russ, etc etc. But the basic ideas = same 11 years later.)

Anywho, I resolve to:

  1. take my health and wellness seriously, to do my best to feel my best
  2. listen to my manager and not my weasler
  3. work on being less grumbly and more fulfilled in my job
  4. be kind and compassionate, especially to my fam
  5. be frugal, even though that often means more effort on my part
  6. take up my Revamp Project with the same dedication and determination I had on November 1st.

And what more auspicious way to end my first post of 2016 than with a quotation from Virginia? As quoted by GR in BtB.

“Habits gradually change the face of one’s life as time changes one’s physical face; & one does not know it.” (from her April 13, 1929, diary)

Here’s to gradually changing the face of our lives, deliberately and in the directions we want. Happy 2016.

P.S. Go see Sisters — it is A+ funny as fuck.