Monday, August 1, 2011

July Goals: Review.

Okay, it's happening. I'm sharing my goals on here. So now at the end/beginning of each month, you will learn some things:

1) More accurate information about what's actually going on in the daily life of Jill;
2) How boring and dorky the goings-on in the daily life of Jill in fact are!

So, you can ignore or read at your pleasure. I also maintain that this fits with the theme of the blog because I REALLY LIKE making these goals. (Also, mostly, I am fed up with Livejournal spam.) In addition to making me feel closer to things I want to accomplish in my life, it also makes me feel like a more authentic teacher when I stress to students the importance of setting goals. Even though I want their goals to be, "Go to college!" and my goals are like, "Get out of your pajamas and go to the farmers' market!" But, you know. Same diff. I will also try to jazz up my goals for the blog by adding in more photographic evidence.

So jumping right in, these were my goals for July.

+ At least once a week, carve out a time to spend a few hours at a local coffee shop to write.
NOT in a local coffeeshop, but
a delicious local beverage,
Half-success. This happened three times, mainly in the beginning of the month--I spent a few hours at Rain or Shine Coffee House, Guapo Comics & Coffee, and the aforementioned Speedboat. I've been plain too busy in the last couple of weeks to make time, though. I mainly wrote blog entries but also started writing A Thing That's Not a Blog Entry, A Thing That I May Submit Somewhere to Something. I mean, I didn't get very far with this Thing, but it's something. I'd like to try to keep doing this as much as I can. Plus, I mean. Local coffee shops are full of delicious things. And I like delicious things. So. Win-win.

+ Run at least three times in addition to continuing to be a biking fiend. 
Another half success. I ran twice, and really I'm surprised I ran at all, since I was pretty consistently tired from 1) biking, or 2) life. So, yay me. I was a really good biking fiend at the beginning of the month, and then had to drive the car a lot both when my dad was visiting, and when I worked a lot at my old job out in the 'burbs. I'm starting to get back into the biking groove but am still lazy sometimes and use the Toyota when I could perfectly well be using the Schwinn instead.

+ Also: complete at least one BIG bike ride.
 Bikes parked at the waterfront
for the beer fest this weekend.
Success, although not a necessarily fun success. I biked to the 'burbs to work once, which was only about a 13 mile ride, so 26ish miles round trip. This isn't TOO terrible, except that almost the entirety of the trip was up and down horrid, horrid hills on horrid, big roads like Barbur and Capitol. Blurgh. The only thing that comforted me was that, while I'm normally passed by throngs of hipster bikers in PDX, the only people that passed me on these roads were old, fit men dressed in serious biking attire. This meant that it was serious business, but most of them looked to be in pain on these hills too, so, I wasn't alone. I had to get off and walk multiple times and my legs felt wobbly the rest of the day and my whole body was drenched in sweat. BUT! After this horrible day, a bunch of the hills in Portland that previously killed me didn't seem AS murderous as they did before (only so-so murderous), and I also strangely now feel the urge to go on MORE horrible long bike rides.

Hamilton Mountain trail in
Beacon Rock State Park.

+ Making this goal for REAL: at LEAST two hikes; write about both.
3/4 success: went on two hikes, one I've done a few times now and already written about. The other one was new, AND we got to do it with the awesome Ellie B., but I haven't written about it yet.

+ Finish two J/YA novels, and start to read The Omnivore's Dilemma.
I'm going to say success, although I'm lucky I said "start to read" since that is very literally what I've done with Mr. Michael Pollan's book. Earlier in the month when my schedule wasn't as hectic, I got to read some great J (juvenile/children's) books as well which I'd like to write about in more detail here soon.

Just a small portion of my towering stacks of J & YA lit
yet to be read.
+ ACTUALLY catch up on all bills, and purchase at least one portion of our flights for my cousin's wedding in September.
Check. Prettymuch.

+ Upload my resume on to EdZapp.
Uh, no. I'm kind of behind the times in terms of applying for real teaching jobs in comparison with other people who were in my program, but I'm actually feeling pretty good about where I'm at.

+ Get caught up on my National Geographics.
Part of the Very Messy Desk.
Check! This took up a big chunk of my reading time this month, but it was way worth it. Some of my favorite articles included the disturbing one on child brides, Bill McKibben's piece on the possibilities/impossibilities of China going green, the upsetting one on the state of Myanmar, and interesting article written by a former US soldier returning to Baghdad as a civilian, and finally the article that I talked to everyone about like a nerd, Food Ark

+ Apply to volunteer, and hopefully start volunteering, at Outside In.
Half-success. Applied, went to an information session, and chatted one-on-one with the volunteer coordinator. I really want to get involved with the Employment & Education Resource Center, but a potential job I have a second interview for might conflict with the availability they need, so we're waiting to see.

+ Make at least TWO new meals. 
So for those new to reading my goals, this is the deal: almost every recipe I make is from Budget Bytes. Her food photos always look a hundred times better than mine, but I always take pictures of what I make anyway, as some sort of documentation for myself. OH also, so I can pretend to be a food blogger (even though I'm really not). This month I was able to more adequately afford groceries than in the previous few months (fighting my way out of horrifying money issues! yay!), so I actually made three new meals. Go me!

#1: Sriracha chicken, along with garlic parmesan roasted cauliflower. I had been wanting to make this recipe for forever, and it was good, although I think I baked the chicken for a little too long and it was a little dry. So of course we ate it with some blue cheese and the problem was quickly solved. However, it was my first time ever making any breaded chicken strip type thing, and I think I did a decent job. It's a messy, and somewhat wasteful, but somewhat fun, process. Also, the cauliflower was super easy (especially since I cheated and just used a bag of frozen cauliflower instead of fresh) and DELICIOUS. So cheesy and good. Cauliflower is the best.

#2: Sloppy joe's plus. The 'plus' part is substituting lentils for some of the meat (don't worry, there's still meat!). Which I actually thought worked quite well. This had a classic sloppy joe's type taste, and I thought the peppers worked really well in it, and the best part was that it made a really decent amount of food and lasted Kathy and I at LEAST three or four meals. 

#3. Huevos rancheros. Yeah, so my picture really doesn't look like hers with this one. Hah! The best part of this was that for the pico de gallo I used a huge yummy heirloom tomato from New Seasons. It was so pretty. And also really juicy and soft and hard to chop so maybe not the actual best choice for pico de gallo. But...yeah, it was pretty. And Walla Walla onions are in season. Overall, this was obviously good because how could it not be, but there was so much prep work I probably wouldn't do it again. I also really need to work on my egg flipping skills.

Overall, it was a very busy, but very good, month. Oh, summer, you crazy vixen.

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