Efficiency, Monetized Blogging, and Zombies

•February 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

On Becoming an Organized Person

I realize that this blog has been erratic and haphazard at the best of times.¬† This matches quite well with the experience of knowing me in real life. ūüėȬ† I have come to¬† the realization over the last month or so that I am a very disorganized person.¬† I want this to change, but so far, even with my desire to change, it hasn’t happened.¬† The problem is that I don’t believe in baby steps.¬† It’s an all or nothing approach. Big transformation or nothing at all.¬† Then, when I can’t do it, I just give up and revert to old habits.¬† Now that I recognize the problem for what it is, hopefully I can avoid it.¬† I am going to start with baby steps.

For instance, today I created a to-do list:

  • Wash the dishes
  • Give Athena a bath before Kevin is done work
  • Take out the garbage and recycling
  • Have a shower
  • Complete a load of laundry
  • Make the bed

Now, this list doesn’t look that complicated, but on most days I¬†complete only¬†one or two¬†of those items.¬† I realize this is bad.¬† So, my objective for today was to do all of these items.¬† It is now almost time to go pick Kevin up from work.¬† Out of the six items on the list I have completed 4 of them.¬† Now, normally I would regard this as a failure and wallow in self pity about how hard life is.¬† However, today I am going to regard this as a success.¬† This is more than I would have normally accomplished.¬† I choose to be happy about this.¬† The two items I haven’t completed can be completed this evening after dinner.¬† I hope to maintain this trend from now on.

On Blogging

I recently discovered that you can make money online through running a monetized blog.  Lately our finances have been tight, and I was desperate to find some way to increase our income without having to leave the apartment.  I have been doing research on the topic to figure out how to start and have so far found some very good resources:

I was actually referred to ProBlogger from Steve Pavlina’s website (below) and loved it.¬† ProBlogger is actually a gentleman named Darren Rowse. He is a full-time blogger and helps other people learn how to blog effectively.¬† He’s been blogging for a long time and, in my opinion, is quite the expert.¬† There is a lot to his site and I find it very useful. I also follow him on twitter.

I can’t exactly recall how I came across Steve’s site. I probably typed something into google along the lines of “monetized blogging,” but who actually knows?¬† Steve’s website is mostly on personal development, but he does have several well written articles on blogging.¬† My favourite is How to Make Money From Your Blog.¬† It’s an extremely long article, but it covers a lot of essential information. I recommend setting aside the time to read the complete article.¬† This was one of the first things I read after deciding I wanted to investigate monetized blogging and it really increased my knowledge base.

Now, this site is a little different. You have to pay to get access to all the resources.¬†¬†It’s $19.95 per month.¬† My budget does not allow for this to¬†be spent right now.¬†However, there is a free 3-day¬†trial which I have subscribed to and checked out.¬† From the brief time I had to look around and read what the course is about, I felt it was a pretty nice website and program. She also has a forum set up for people to discuss how they are doing in the program.¬† Now, I am not going to go into anything of what is involved in the program so as to not step on Amy’s toes, but there is a solid strategy with very specific directions on how to duplicate your results.¬† You’ll just have to take the free trial and find out for yourself.¬† I think I might subscribe when me and Kevin have a little disposable income available.

On Funny News Items

Zombies, Raptors ahead!

I read about this story last week and laughed my head off.¬† This is totally Project Mayhem homework.¬† That’s a Fight Club reference to the uninitiated.¬† I can get a vividly clear mental picture of the daily commuters on the highway, maybe drinking their Starbuck’s or checking their Blackberry, then looking up to the construction sign by the side of the road and being warned, “Zombies in the area! Run!”¬†

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Friday, December 12

•December 12, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Well, today I have finally done something about the big problem of old clothing taking over all the space in my closet. I just called Clothesline¬†to pick up all my old clothes. It supports the Canadian Diabetes Association. They apparently give the clothes to Value Village who then donates money¬†to the Diabetes Association.¬† What’s great is that they come right to the apartment to pick everything up. I feel like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders.¬† It annoys me that the entire floor of my closet is taken up by clothes I have no desire to ever wear again.¬† Once those are gone I can move my shoe rack from Athena’s closet to mine, and there will be more closet space in her room to store all of her stuff.¬† Now I just need to sort through all my junk in the storage closet. Once the storage closet problem is fixed I will be quite happy. So will Kevin.

I went down to the lobby¬†this morning¬†because today is Tenant Appreciation Day, and there was free coffee and donuts.¬† I went down after dropping Kevin off at work and was given some excellent news.¬† Our landlord informed us that the tenants on our floor who have been causing trouble for the last few months are being evicted! Yay! Apparently there was another incident last night. Fortunately, for once, we didn’t hear it. They have until Tuesday to be gone. This news has totally made my day.¬† This building has been very quiet for the entire 2 years we have lived here. Those people move in and there’s trouble.¬† People are calling security and the police. I’m so happy.

I bought some non-alcoholic wine at Safeway this week. I gotta admit, it’s grown on me. The first sip I took I hated it. I thought it tasted like grape juice.¬† Kevin took a sip and said it tasted just like wine.¬†¬†I tried it again and realized he was right.¬† Without the burn of alcohol I just didn’t realize the actual wine taste was still there. So I’ve been having a glass per day as a little treat.¬† The last time I got drunk was Uncle Donnie’s birthday party in August 2007. It’s been so long since I’ve had a hangover I don’t think I ever want to get drunk again. I think I’m past the point in life where I want to get wasted.¬† It’s amazing. This is contentment.

This fall I started to watch Lost.¬† It is the most¬† amazing, awesome, brilliantly written show ever. As you can tell, I’m a fan. I bought season one as a little gift for me in early September. I then have been renting seasons two, and three from Movie Village since then. Now season four was just released on DVD this Tuesday. Movie Village only appears to have one copy and it got rented out right away. It’s frustrating, I want to know what happens!¬† Oh, well.¬† I’ve got until January 21, 2009 to watch season four. That’s when season five premieres. Fortunately, Lost airs on a Wednesday and I currently do not watch any shows on Wednesdays, so no conflicts!¬† If anyone ever wants to discuss Lost with me, just bring it up. Just don’t mention season four until I have actually watched it.

I love Guillermo Del Toro.¬† He appears to have the same tastes and interests as me. I loved both Hellboy movies. I recall that I becamse a huge fan of the first Hellboy movie because of the Lovecraftian elements to it.¬† Then,¬†last year, I hear about this. Guillermo Del Toro is directing a movie adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness. Lovecraft’s most important, sweeping epic, in my humble opinion.¬†This was the first story I ever read by Lovecraft. I loved it. I bought a used copy of it from a book sale at Red River College when I was eighteen years old.¬† I remember thinking that it would make a good movie in the right hands, but that it would probably never happen.¬† Sometimes I hear about movie adaptations and I just feel a sinking dread, knowing in my heart that the movie will not do the story justice. This, however, I feel only excitement.¬† I know, that if anyone can do this story justice, it is Del Toro.¬†

Continuing with my love of all things Guillermo, today I see this article. The Witches¬†was one of my favourite books in childhood. I loved all things written by Roald Dahl. I am also looking forward to the fact that it will be a stop motion animation film.¬† I now want to go out and buy a copy of The Witches to refresh my memory of the tale.¬† I’m sure Athena will love the story¬†as well one day.

Happy Six Months Athena

•December 11, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Athena turned six months old yesterday. I truly do not know where time has gone.¬† It’s been half a year since we brought her home as a newborn babe…all 7 lbs of her.¬† ¬†As I write this she is asleep in her swing… all 18 lbs of her.¬† She looks so beautiful as she sleeps.¬† Sometimes I wish I could freeze time so we could stay like this forever.¬† But, this is a good day.¬† ūüôā¬† On a bad day I can’t wait until she’s older and more self-reliant.¬† So I’m trying to live in the present, and not worry about things that were, or things that will be.

I am so excited about Christmas this year. Every year it’s going to be¬†more fun as she gets older and starts to understand the significance of the holidays. ¬† Seeing her excitement on Christmas morning when she realizes that Santa has been there to deliver presents.¬† Actually watching her open her gifts with youthful excitement.¬† I plan to go to the Forks soon and buy a Christmas ornament I saw there a few months ago. It’s a Christmas tree bulb that says something along the line of “Baby’s First Christmas.” It’ll be a beautiful keepsake.¬†¬†

Kevin put up our Christmas tree on the weekend, but I’m only getting around to decorating it today.¬† Fortunately, it’s a pre-lit tree, so even without any decorations, it still looks quite pretty. This year I am again using Mom’s old decorations that she gave to us last year.¬† It’s funny thinking some of the decorations are older than me. ūüôā It’s also nice because it reminds me of my childhood. I hope next year we’ll have some spare money so I can go and buy some new decorations for the tree and apartment.

Married Life and Being Pregnant

•March 9, 2008 • 2 Comments

Yesterday I got married. It was nothing big or extravagant. It was just a small ceremony at The Round Table here in Winnipeg with both of our immediate families. We were there from 5-8pm and had a great time. That was the first time in over 5 years of being together that we got our entire families in one place to meet each other.

¬†Now, me and Kevin don’t consider this to be our official wedding. It is our legal wedding. I truly wanted us to be married before the birth of our child. It’s not a religious thing, or pressure from any family. It’s just that I always wanted to be married first. I kind of had to fight for this small ceremony. Everyone just wanted us to keep the wedding in October like we had originally planned.¬† Our “official” wedding is still October 4th. That is when I will wear a wedding dress, we’ll both exchange rings, have a wedding party, reception, photographer, extended family and friends, etc.

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Regarding being pregnant, I just noticed this afternoon my first tiny stretch marks. They were not there yesterday. I had Kevin verify this. He also looks at my stomach every day and he agrees they just appeared today. I was so hopeful that I might not get stretch marks. I guess I’m in with the 95% of women who get them and not that super lucky 5%. Kevin said he doesn’t mind, that I won’t be any less sexy to him because of them. That’s one of the reasons I love him so much. ūüôā

How Life Changes…

•January 27, 2008 • 1 Comment

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted around here. Where to begin. I think I just need to come right out and announce that I’m approximately 20¬†weeks pregnant! It’s still unbelievable. This means I got pregnant sometime in September and didn’t even begin suspecting until early December. Before you ask how I didn’t know, I’ll just say that I still had my period in September, October and November. It didn’t show up in December so that’s when I bought a home pregnancy test.

 It was kind of a relief because I had gained a little weight in the stomach lately and was getting upset about gaining weight for no apparent reason.

¬†Me and Kevin have decided to drastically revise our wedding plans. Now, instead of getting married on October 4, 2008 we’re going to get married in early March with a¬†small ceremony and dinner. We’ll have a wedding shower in April. ¬†My due date right now is June 15, so we plan on having our wedding social on October 4th now. As for a baby shower, probably sometime in August or September sounds good.¬†

¬†We’re leaving the sex of the baby as a surprise. I figure if I have to go through labour I want a surprise at the end.

There is an interesting story to go along with finding out how far pregnant I was.

I took the home pregnancy test on December 14th. I figured I couldn’t be any further than 5 weeks pregnant. ¬†On New Year’s Eve Day, I woke up early and had breakfast. I went to the bathroom and had some light bleeding. I was afraid of miscarriage so I went¬†back to bed upset and fell asleep. Kevin called around 10:30 and told me call the hospital. I called the hospital¬†who said call Health Links. I¬†then called the Health Links 800 number and the nurse said go to emergency. I showed up at emergency about 11:45am. I brought a book to read and thank God I did because I waited by myself in emergency until around 2:45 when Kevin showed up after work. Long story short, we didn’t get out of there until 7:30pm. I had a stupid IV in my arm for about 3 hours because they had to keep taking blood from me. I had¬†a huge bruise for the next 2 weeks on my arm. The doctor said it was a 50/50 chance I had a miscarriage and he scheduled me for an ultrasound January 2nd to find out for sure.

We show up for the ultrasound and I had to go in by myself and leave Kevin in the waiting area. The technician pushed that little sensor thing all over my lower abdomen for a very long time. The rules said I had to go into the test with a full bladder so her pressing on my bladder constantly was not fun. Finally she said the baby was fine and she went to bring Kevin into the room. Kevin came in, and she told us we were further along than we thought. I thought we were 7 weeks along, she said it looked more like 16 weeks!

So now everything is different.  

Bride Prize Finally Arrived!

•October 31, 2007 • 1 Comment

I finally got my gift from Chuck Palahniuk for dressing up as a bride in May. There’s a lot of cool¬†stuff in it!

 Gift from Chuck

¬†Here’s a list:

  • Strawberries & Cr√®me Scented Body Butter
  • 2 Temporary Tattoos
  • Forget Me Not Seeds
  • Carrot Seeds
  • A fake amputated finger
  • A small bouncie ball with the word cool on one side and a Kanji character¬†on the other side
  • A green jewel
  • A scented tea light in a fancy candle holder
  • Trick Snapping Gum with Cockroach
  • Whitman’s Assorted Chocolates
  • Bath & Bloom Natural Handmade Soap – Cherry Almond with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Relight Birthday Candles
  • Liquid Blood Capsules
  • Rubber Chicken Keychain
  • A Swiss Army Knife
  • A custom beaded necklace
  • Chuck Palahniuk Tour Stories Volume 1 CD
  • Chuck Palahniuk Tour Stories Volume 2 CD
  • Signed letter from Chuck
  • Lots of confetti to get all over my kitchen table, chair, floor, and my clothing

It’s obvious he put a lot of thought into it. Almost everything in here has some connection to one of his book’s.¬† How Chuck uses the color Forget Me Not Blue in every novel, the candles hat won’t go out in Fight Club, the soap from Fight Club, the carrot from Guts.

I’m especially excited about the 2 CD’s. I never expected these. I can’t wait to listen to them!

My Life As Of Late

•October 28, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been off the radar lately. I just do this kind of thing. Every day I think things like, “I totally have to write about this on my blog!” Then I don’t. It’s as simple as that. Some people live their entire lives like this.¬†¬†I have a whole lot of randomness to try and get through with this entry. I think point form bullets will be best since none of these things are seemingly related.

  • Over the past week I have fallen in love with Crowded House’s new album Time On Earth. Especially the tracks A Sigh and You Are The¬†One to Make Me Cry. Neil performed the latter song at their concert in September and I hate to think I didn’t really appreciate it at the time. I know it’s kind of morbid but since I was young I’ve always wanted Neil’s song She Goes On to be played at my funeral. Now I still want that song, but I also want Make Me Cry to be played as well. It doesn’t really fit as well, since it’s not being sung about the dear departed lady, but¬†actually consists of the last words/thoughts of the soon-to-be-deceased person who is lost at sea. It just makes me tear up every time I hear it.
  • Several weeks ago me and Kevin ended up watching Family Feud on a Friday afternoon. The one with John O’Hurley as host. The question was “Name the most important body part that begins with the letter L.” First funny thing is the initial buzz in to find out which family gets the question… one guy buzzed right after the word ‘part’ and heard the host start to say ‘that’ and he just said “Leg.” He was sooo lucky it is unbelievable. So, moving on. The rest of his family was quite stupid. Me and Kevin right away got the correct following answers. They were Lungs and Liver. Someone said Lungs, one guy said Lymph Nodes, I’ll admit that was quite intelligent on his behalf but I knew the general survey populace would not say that. Then one person said….get this….lips. The next girl said…..hahaha……lashes! How vain are you that you think lashes are important? They lost the question, 3 strikes, the other family said liver with no hesitation.
  • Last weekend me and Kevin were in Calgary for his Cousin Jeff’s wedding. It was beautiful! It was apparently $40,000 and held at the Sheraton. It was a traditional Ukranian Catholic ceremony in this big elaborate church. The ceremony was over an hour long and required everybody to stand through 95% of it. I don’t know what happened, but about halfway through I started to get really dizzy and feel sick to my stomach. I left, walked around outside. Felt better and returned. After another 10 minutes it started again. Again I left, as soon as¬† I got to the entry of the church I felt my knees go weak and I fell forward on the carpet. Of course some people run up, ask if I’m okay. I was. Kevin came and helped me up, we stood outside again, I returned and sat in a chair in the entryway but we missed the end of the ceremony. Kevin was a little sad at missing the end. I apologized, but he said not to feel bad.
    • Thanks to Laura, she suggested “Maybe Cara’s pregnant” and I had to convince people I wasn’t pregnant. I think the drinking of alcohol helped me to quell this idea.
    • On a related note, I realized that pregnancy no longer holds that “stranglehold of death” panic that it used to have over me. I’ve accepted now that I really do want to be a mother one day. If it was financially feasible I think I would move up my ETA from 32-33 to 27-28 years old. Big “IF”. Financially, me and Kevin are soooo not able to have a kid anytime in the near future. We have to pay for our wedding, get a second car, pay off our credit cards, maybe put a down payment on a house.
  • Yesterday I went with my Mom and Lynn (Kev’s Step-Mom) to the Southwood Supper Club as a possible location for our wedding. I think we’re gonna go with it. It’s very pretty. Just the kind of decor I was looking for. I also plan on having our pictures taken at the Conservatory before our ceremony. I feel like it’s all coming together! I love the Conservatory. It’s a haven during winter.
  • While in Calgary I weighed myself on Kevin’s Mom’s bathroom scale and realized I have gained 8 pounds since….get this…. July! OMG. That’s all I have to say. No wonder my loose pants are tight and I can’t fit in my tight pants. I need to start some sort of exercise. I cannot keep gaining weight. This now puts me at 28 pounds heavier than I was when I met Kevin 5 years ago. True, I was ridiculously model skinny when we met. Ultimately, I would like to lose 18 pounds. That would make me happy.