Miscellaneous Spring/Summer Resolutions and To-Do List Items

Annette and Will and I are engaged in a game of Risk which I have just conceded to Annette, who is essentially the queen of world domination when it comes to this. In any event, while Will and Annette engage in a “mop-up” exercise, I thought I’d post a few thoughts here about the spring and the summer.

You see, as an academic-type, summer (and most of spring) time is where I get a break. It’s not that I stop working; it’s just that, with a reduced teaching and service workload, my schedule is even more flexible than it was before. Now I have time for scholarship, but I also have time for, well, anything I want. So, without any exact ordering here, these are the things that I hope to accomplish this spring/summer:

  • Lose weight. I’ve started the process, though to be honest, I’ve been a bit disappointed to date. It seems to me that the last time around with the South Beach Diet, I had lost at least 10 pounds by a month into it. This time around, I am hovering at around 7 pounds lost, and it seems that it doesn’t make a lot of difference if I religiously follow it or if I am moderate to less than moderate cheater. Diet plateau-ing is common of course, but I had hoped it would have happened after about 15 or so pounds. Fortunately, this is the time of the year when I really do have the time to get more exercise.
  • Write a book about eating. Ironically enough, I have also been reading lately about competitive eating and I am hoping/trying to write a (very) rough draft of a novel set on the backdrop of a futuristic world of professional competitive eating during the summer. Long story short, I’ve been interested in competitive eating in a sort of fascinated/horrified way for a while now, and I recently purchased two non-fiction accounts of the current state of the “sport.” I have wanted to try to write a novel about this for some time, sort of in the vein of National Novel Writing Month, which is sort of an unofficial contest on writing a draft of a novel– even a bad one– in 30 days. We’ll see how it goes. Oh, I should point out that I have more official/job-related writing projects this summer too, but that’s a different story.
  • Get up stupid early to write eating book and to work on academic projects. I’ve always gotten up pretty early, but lately (well, the last week or so), I’ve been getting up at 5 am to work on stuff– taking notes on the novel, working on getting my spring/summer teaching ready, miscellaneous other reading and writing tasks. What I’ve been finding is that after I get over the initial shock of being awake at 5 am, I am really productive for a couple of hours. True, I’m ready for bed by 10-ish, but as far as I can tell, all that means is I miss some “late night” television. Big deal.
  • Not touch the computer on Sundays, which is one of the reasons why I am typing this post right now. I want to plan on spending my Sundays this summer doing things like yardwork, making day-trips, and/or reading the newspaper for a change of pace. It’s probably the way I ought to do things during the school year too, but it rarely works out that way. Normally, Sunday ends up being at least a partial work day for me.
  • House cleaning, house maintenance. We’ve got stuff to do around here like a little painting, a lot of cleaning (especially in the basement and the garage and such), etc. Will and I have a major rearranging of the basement in mind that will allow us to once again use the ping-pong table as a ping-pong table. And the yard. I could go on here– but I won’t because it might be the subject of future posts.
  • Learn some basic Italian phrases. Annette and Will and I are going to go to Europe in August, first to Italy and then to Germany. There will certainly be more discussion here about this later. But for now, I’ll just say that I bought a “course” on very basic Italian phrases so that when we get over there I know I’ll be order a cup of coffee and find a place to pee and such.

I’m sure there’s more coming, but that’s enough for now. The spring has begun!

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