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Leonicka Valcius

Leonicka Valcius: March 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

BDE: Update 3

Wow. I totally forgot about this. That should tell you the approximate success of my strategies.

That's not to say I haven't had my good days. But they certainly weren't best days. And they certainly didn't come as often as I would like. Strategy 1 failed. Saying hi to strangers is too hard. Strategy 2 failed because of sheer laziness.

Looking at what makes my good days good and my blah days blah, I've noticed that routine and monotony induces the "flatline" feeling. After awhile the days just run together and everything seems gray and dull. Conversely the happy days are marked by productivity and novelty.

Which leads me to Strategy 3: "Complete at least one task and/or do one new thing every day." Now I already know the "productivity" part of that strategy is going to fail; I'm a chronic procrastinator. (Yes, I know it's a terrible character trait. I'll fix it... later. :P) The novelty thing shouldn't be too difficult though. Especially with summer coming soon.

If you have any other tips and strategies or general words of encouragement, feel free to leave a comment. Ta ta for now!

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour

At 8:30 pm I ran around the house and turned off all the lights. A year ago I wouldn't have done so - I don't think I even knew about Earth hour last year. But after working with my university's sustainability office I felt that I had an obligation to do what was right. So off the lights went.

It felt like the slowest hour of my life. It wasn't the darkness so much - days with shuttered windows during hurricane season had made me used to darkness. It was the inherent passivity of it all. I turned off the lights and thought to myself, "Okay. Now what?" Earth Day felt like a fun, hip thing to do but I wasn't really sure how it was helping the cause.

Raising awareness, maybe? That's always a worthwhile goal. But what exactly was Earth Hour trying to communicate? What were we, as a global community, being asked to think about? How did turning off the lights for an hour affect our collective attitudes about energy conservation? Do we really care? Or was this a gimmick? A quick and easy thing to do to stay part of the "green" trend? Or worse is it a sort of atonement? Turn off your lights for an hour and wipe away the guilt of a year's worth of wasteful practices?

Maybe I'm putting too much thought into it. Maybe if I had been rocking out at free concert in Nathan Phillips Square, the hour would have passed much faster and I would not have had the time to worry about silly things like the Earth.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

BDE: Update 2

So my two strategies were abysmal failures.

Strategy 1 failed because I got nervous and tongue-tied and instantly retreated into my private nooks like a baby turtle.

Strategy 2 almost succeeded! I packed my gym clothes, went to the building where the gym is, and then.... checked my email. Mistake. Checking my email inevitably leads to spending at least two hours online, by which time I had to catch the bus home.

I did however have good weekend! I was very busy but very productive so it was worthwhile.

As I have said before it isn't the weekend that's the problem. It's those five torturous days leading up to the weekend that continue to thwart me. But I shall prevail.

Strategies 1 and 2 are still go for next week. Wish me luck.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New Things

I don't like 'em. New things, I mean. Why fix it if it ain't broke? Why get a new one if the old one works fine? These are words of wisdom folks, words to live by!

After I got the "Internet Explorer is not responding" message for the umpteenth time, I decided to take a big step and download Firefox. I know. I'm a rebel. :) So I click all the "accept" and "agree" and "install" and "run program" buttons and voila! I had a brand new, spic and span browser!

It was so pretty. It was sleek and modern and just felt right. At this point I am very proud of myself and my leap of faith. I went and told all my friends the good new (instant messaging rocks) and they welcomed me into the 21st century.

And then I tried to open a new tab. I had to go all the way to the file tab, and hit new tab. Huh. What a letdown. But when the resulting tab was so wonderful I let that little misstep go. Until I tried to access my bookmarks. I had been starring websites left and right but I couldn't find the list. I had to actually go to the bookmark tab hit "most visited" and choose from the drop down list. Ugh. What a drag. But the drop down menu was so efficient and well organized that I couldn't help but smile.

The smile quikly turned to a frown when I tried to watch a YouTube video. Oh injustice of all injustces! Firefox dared declare that my Flash Player or Adobe or Acrobat or whatever the young whippersnappers are calling it these days was outdated. So I followed the link to update. I updated the software three times and still I was slighted in my quest to watch silly videos!

Now there is probably a logical reason behind all of this. I do not pretend to know very much about technolgy or the interenet so it is very likely that a more astute person would have been able to fix it in two clicks of the mouse. But why would I go through all that trouble when good old Internet Explorer was waiting for me faithfully with a fully functional YouTube? That's right. I wouldn't.

So I'm back to IE and its ubiquitous bouts of non-responsiveness. And I have no intention of trying something new.

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Best Day Ever: Update 1

I have come to a conclusion. Weekends are easier to make best than weekdays. I know. Shocking. But! My pledge was to make "every day" the best day ever, not just "the days I can lounge around the house in my PJs with a bag of chips in one hand and the TV remote in the other." With the help of my BFFs I created new strategies to address this conundrum (ooo big word :D).

Strategy 1: Say Hi
My university has more people than some small cities. As such it is very easy to get the "alone in the crowd" feeling. Starting Monday, I am going to attempt to say hello to every person next to whom I sit. Sounds simple enough but I'm already getting butterflies in my belly. Hopefully I'll meet someone nice by doing this.

Strategy 2: Excersize!
I don't work out. I have a legitimate excuse really. I'm allergic to sweat. It's icky and gross and smells bad. Why would I willingly endure such torture? But desperate times call for desperate measures. So excersize I shall. To paraphrase the ever fabulous Elle Woods, excersize give you endorhpins; endorphins make you happy; and happy people just don't kill their husbands... or stare at a wall contemplating the futility of life :)

By weeks end I will have an update on how this worked out. Wish me luck!

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