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In which she is awesome and would like to know how you are awesome today
New Zealand zebra, NZ
I go through phases. There are Reading All the Things phases, and Writing Every Spare Half Minute phases, and Sewing Sewing Sewing phases and Teaching Myself Latin Yes Again I'm Using A Different Textbook This Time phases.

I recently found myself in a lull between phases but it's important for me to keep achieving things or I start feeling guilty for being useless and then I get the blahs. I find it easier to prevent the blahs than to get out of the blahs so try to pay attention when I feel the urge to sit on my couch and read fanfic for too many days on end. Fortunately they don't need to be spectacular achievements: doing the dishes often works.

This most recent lull has lasted longer than usual though so although I've read/written/coded almost nothing in my spare time for weeks, I have:

  • cleaned and tidied like my entire house. Not actually my entire house, the spare room is turning into storage and there are Certain Cupboards, but definitely like my entire house. (Much of this was achieved while watching Star Trek Next Generation on the laptop or I'd have been super bored.) The floor is cleared and cleaned! Mopped even!

  • done so much gardening. Spring is awesome, you put seeds in the ground and they start growing food! (I have asparagus and lettuce and celery and silver beet and spring onions, and am working on courgettes and pumpkins and tomatoes and bok choy and lemons and strawberries.) On the downside, other things propagate themselves by root and next minute you've got a forest of plum shoots and ivy. Over the last couple of weekends I've been sawing down and rooting up eight years' worth of plum-and-ivy growth. The ivy goes into the green bin to be dealt with Elsewhere, the plum growth gets cut up to as much as possible go back on the garden. The parts I've achieved look awesomely tidy!

  • sewed the handle for a carrybag back on! This is an awesome grocery shopping-sized rugged zebra-pattern bag which I've had for ages and the handles broke once but Mum fixed them, and then I carried too much in it and it's been sitting around broken for possibly years and now I can use it again!

  • started going to a regular "speaking Māori" date with some once-strangers! My first week I started off all "What is kupu how do I reo???" and then after an hour I was talking to them about my Master of Library Studies research project. Really badly but communication was happening! Similarly today actually (ended up talking about my current research into open access and conference papers). I need to learn more kupu. Also more grammar but especially more kupu. I might start writing a diary.

  • invented a dessert. I'm working on the name but something like "Jellytip slice" / "Jellytip cupcakes". First you make a base out of biscuit crumbs and butter. Cool it. Separately make jelly but with half the water, and cool that until it's starting to set. If you don't cool it enough then when you pour the jelly on top of the base, the jelly will sink in and the biscuit will float up and it'll still be delicious but it won't be what you wanted. Then you put them back in the fridge. When completely set, you melt chocolate and spoon a thin layer on top of the jelly. This is the part I was most nervous of failing but it's really easy; don't dawdle about smoothing it out but you're not really on the clock even. Then back in the fridge until dessert time. Cut up / remove from muffin cups and serve with vanilla icecream. My friends approved of it last night. Their 4.5 year old son refused to eat anything but the icecream but that's normal for him and meant more for us.

I am now about to go to bed on time so while I'm sleeping it's your turn: in what way have you been awesome recently?

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I made a website for my father's impending book, uploaded a bunch of poetry onto my personal website and announced its existence to people who follow my research blog, made awesome Halloween costumes for the bigkids (including demonstrating that apparently I have excellent facepainting skills for the tiger face), and have written at least three paragraphs a day on my current book for the last [checks Habitica] 27 days.

Awesome indeed! Hadn't seen Habitica before, it looks kind of cool but potentially a bit full on?

It is not as fully featured as I would like, but it is doing *amazingly* for helping me self-organise. I started out with very little in there - a few dailies, a few "do this every three days" type things, and so on - and basically have been adding tasks either as I've felt that I'm competent to do more or as things become necessary. (Because I forget things easily, so stuff like 'trim KJ's nails before her piano lesson' is in there now.)

I do really well with to-do lists and gamification, so combining them and giving me little electronic loot to collect to show I'm doing well works nicely.

A 'speaking Maori' date!! That's the best idea ever! My current course is about to come to an end and I'm worried I'll backslide over the break. I need to go set up something like this immediately, I think.

I've been asked to ask my friends if they're interested, to get our numbers up - so if Monday 5-6pm works for you at all?

Hmmmm, I'd have to see. The husband doesn't always arrive home before 5 and I have the kiddies to deal with - people tend to frown on leaving them home alone. Whereabouts is it? I could aim to get there a little late maybe?

The northeast corner of central ChCh (it's at the organiser's house, email me at zeborah [at] if you can work out the timing and I'll send you the address). A bit late would be fine. The last few times we've ended up going to 6:30 even though mostly just because we weren't paying attention to the time.

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