Obligatory year end post

December 22, 2007 :: 8:48 PM


me with my d40 :: da ‘brook ::  september sixteenth two thousand seven

My life has always been this incredible ride - some years more than others.  This year, I’ve seen The David twice, mended fences with old friends, made superficial contact with old friends and family members, hung out with people I love dearly and don’t see enough of, dropped more balls than I can count, made new friends, lost some, did a very good deed, started watching football (!!!!), went to Ohio and changed jobs (which included changing the 5 year plan).

Normally I do a silly new year’s resolution list and I probably will again this year.  It’s the joy of the fresh start, not the actualization of anything on that list, mind you… I do want to do one thing and get it done before I go back to work on Wednesday and that’s finish this stinkin’ design.  None of the back pages are finished and that bothers me.  I hate leaving things undone - I’ve come to learn that its not the end of the world & that I’m doing more important things with that time (homework, Wii, family, sleep) but that doesn’t make it any less grating. 

I have also closed up shop on my other blog.  I didn’t like where it went after I had a pretty good breakdown and I wanted a fresh start - without my name attached. I’ve got a new domain, privately registered, and I’ve begun using that persona in a couple of forums.  It’s not as comfortable as “Matty”, but since I’ve been a Mat for a long time, I’m sure the new name will grow on me. Whatever.  The whole point is, I miss my daily rants full of language I do not wish co-workers and other random googlers to find. This here is nice but very stifling.

I did a lot of stuff this year that I wasn’t planning on and discovered, for the zillionth time, that my father was right. I can survive.  I am strong.  I am independent.  I am me, and that ain’t such a bad thing lately.

It’s funny that everything that happened this year was never on my 2007 list of resolutions. I guess we’ll just have to see what winds up on my 2008 List of Things That I Want To Do But Will Probably Never Get To.

Have a happy and safe holiday weekend, no matter how you plan on spending it.


My GTD system…

October 07, 2007 :: 8:13 PM

my office :: finally clean :: october seventh, two thousand seven

I’ve noticed that I have a lot of resistance to using spaces that don’t make me happy.  I’m not a big fan of my office because I don’t like the way the painting came out… so my office is almost always a mess.  Just another reason to stay out of it.

It’s amazing what finding Levenger desk sets on sale can do to inspire me to finally get the mess under control.  (And some unscheduling and GTD didn’t hurt either.) (For those really curious, I bought the entire Claremont set and it came out to about 50% off. I can’t even tell you how long I’ve wanted that set…)

Here’s what command central looks like.  All the wood furniture on the desk is the Levenger set. You can’t see it, but behind the chair is my hPDA dock.  I use a pocket ruled moleskine as my go everywhere inbox.  EVERYTHING goes in it. Notes, receipts, MTBA charlie cards, you name it. (I LOVE the pocket in the back!) I have a tiny pocket sized calendar there (with “It’s time to crank the widgets” on it).  I also keep a Jr. sized Circa notebook with a personalized cover there as well.  (Right now, the cover features reunion pictures of me, the other half of my brain and my little brother.) Inside the Circa, I have bits of two sets of the old colored tab dividers—blue, red, green, red, blue—I like it better balanced.

The Circa is divided as follows:

  • In front of the first tab: NA lists—@ computer, @calls, @errands, @home, @ waiting for and some smurfed 3” x 5” index cards
  • Behind the blue tab: Levenger Things To Do checklists -> Auditing and Advanced Accounting classes—all homework due dates
  • Behind the red tab: Random lists—Info on the trip to Ohio, books to read, pre-project brain dumps (If I think I want to do something, I write down everything I can think of.  During my not-quite-weekly-or-even-monthly review, I decide if it stays on my radar, goes S/M, or becomes a real live project.
  • Behind the green tab: unused Levenger Project/Goal Planner forms. (Not a huge fan of these, Corrie has some nice ones that just don’t quite do it for me… I may do my own. Someday.)
  • Behind the second red tab: more lined Circa paper
  • Behind the second blue tab: more Things to Do pages

This is really my second go at GTD.  I tried it & went to a Roadmap - got really excited, refined my system, was cranking widgets like there was no tomorrow and then fell off the wagon HARD when school and work got incredibly busy and I couldn’t be arsed to keep it up.  (Right when I should have dug in deeper… *sigh*) After work calmed down a bit, I got back into it there and it’s paid off in spades! I’m trying to bring it back to my personal life.

I’m having a little success - my biggest problem is that I’m impatient and have trouble deciding what’s a real project vs a S/M.  I’m also still having trouble with the contexts and really drilling down to the next action.  I don’t know why work can be so concrete and my personal life so fuzzy. My guess is that at work, I’m truely “cranking widgets” (invoices into QB, invoices into inventory system, invoices into QB, lather, rinse, repeat).  Home is more like “an amorphous blob of undoability”.  “Fix shower in bathroom”—yeah I can break that down into N/A, but then I get all freaked out about it.  It’s our (unfriendly & unskilled) builder’s fault it’s broken; repairing it means ripping out the kitchen wall (and dishwasher and cabinets) and I just can’t go there right now financially or emotionally.  “Paint scrapbook room” - do I really HAVE to? (All the next actions in the world won’t get me motivated there.)

Writing that out, I just realized my problem.  I’m a planner.  I think eighty steps ahead of where I should start, so before I even commit the item to paper, I’m all freaked out about the zillion steps it will take to get from “paint scrapbook room” to “finally enjoy being in scrapbook room”.  Maybe I should just really focus on the next action & the proper context, huh? *grin*

It’s Sunday night, it’s the start of a new week, and my office is clean… maybe it’s a good time to do a review.

ETA: Dave gets my GTD at home problem. I feel better now.

Any takers?

September 06, 2007 :: 10:31 PM

Anyone want a $2.3 million dollar house on Seabrook Beach? 

Better buy a porta-potty or build an outhouse… this house has ZERO baths.

I wonder how long it will take the Realtor to catch that typo?

(Forgive the bad screen grab - I’m still getting used to the MacBook & finding out what software I still need to install)

Are you kidding me?!?!

August 26, 2007 :: 9:41 PM

august twenty-sixth two thousand seven :: north station, boston

As seen on the ceiling of North Station’s new waiting area. 

Words completely escape me.

I don’t wanna grow up!

July 30, 2007 :: 9:20 PM

blue chucks :: lawrence, ma :: sometime in two thousand four

My dad used to make fun of me for wearing Chucks.  He used to make fun of a lot of the things I did in high school. 

There was a song by King Missle whose name escapes me, but there’s a bit in it where the guy goes “I want to be different like everyone else I want to be like.”  Once my dad heard that, it was all over.  I don’t know why I did the things I did - I was a teenager! Somethings came and went.  My fascination with The Cure is better left in the 1990’s. My love for Chucks and flannel shirts? I was grunge before grunge was ever cool.  Now I’m into Doc Martens again (better for the corporate world), but as I order them off the web,  I find myself thinking about how hard it was to find them “back in the day”.


Kids have it too easy.  They want to dress all punk rock, they buy it off the rack in their neighborhood mall. I used to spend hours in Army Navy stores, buying shoes out of magazines… I even went to the pet store for a dog collar at one particularly alarming point in my life. (Now I hear you can buy them at Hot Topic, with or without the optional padlock.)  There was no internet - there was only word of mouth and you had to hang out with the totally freaky people if you wanted to find out where they got those cool plaid combat boots.

It’s a good thing I like being a dinosaur.  I’m just going to sit here doing my homework in my flannel shirt with Chucks on my feet, and a little Poison pumping out my speakers.  I’m partying like it’s 1986-1992 over here tonight.