mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I has a bukkit list...

I don't have a bucket. And I don't really have a bucket list of things to do before I die. Truth be told, I'm not much of a risk-taker, so if I make it to my deathbed without bungee jumping or skydiving, I don't think I'll regret it.

But I do have a much more mundane list of things I've been saying I was going to do for the last few years that I keep putting off - partly because of laziness, partly because of fear, partly because of business, and partly because I've been hoping to meet a woman I can spend the rest of my life with and do some of those things with. But the last of those hasn't been happening, and I'm starting to think it's time to focus on some other stuff. I've been trying online dating for a while, and I'm probably going to take a break from it - partly because I'm frustrated with it, and partly because I think it will help me focus on the other things that I'm hoping to do in the next year or so. I'm also hoping that by being busier, I'll have less time to spend moping around being sad about how I'm unhappy with my life. I'm also thinking that if I try to do things that require human interaction, maybe a little bit of risk, maybe I'll be more personable, meet more people, be less socially awkward - and maybe those things will help me on the dating and social fronts.

For the last few years, I've lamented that I've been able to accomplish some goals - like losing weight - while being unable to accomplish others - like meeting women. I blame part of this on the fact that weight loss is entirely under my control, a matter of what I put in my body and what I do to burn it off. Dating, on the other hand, involves some externals - I can't will a woman to like me. But I can try to make myself more likable.

So, the list:

1. Grad School, part deux: I work for a college, which means free tuition to any of our part-time Master's programs. I got an MBA about 2 years ago. It didn't help me at all career-wise. I've thought about doing another master's program, but kept putting it off. I decided it was time to stop putting it off - if I do it, and it sucks, I can always drop out, and I won't have lost anything other than a few dollars for books and registration and a few hours of my time. So I've applied to the Master's in Educational Technology program at the college I work for, and got my acceptance packet yesterday. So come mid-January, I'll be taking education classes. My hope is that by doing this, management at work will see that I'm interested in the softer side of Educational Technology, that I'm more than just a technical person. And if they don't, it could help me if I decide to change careers or jobs. Plus it's another degree for my wall. In the back of my head is also the idea that lots of teachers are female, and some of them are single - it could be a good way to meet women - even if I don't get a date out of it, spending time interacting with the opposite sex would probably be a good thing, especially since I don't much in my day job or free time.

2. Take a vacation - Where I work, we accumulate vacation time to a certain point, and then we stop accumulating, which means losing vacation time. I lose a lot of vacation time, because I rarely take time off. I figure that should help me career-wise - it should show my dedication. It really hasn't. So either the couple days I have taken off are too much, or it's not a factor in advancement - and I'm going to guess it's the latter, since plenty of people have been promoted who don't have the same aversion to time off that I do. I also don't generally travel anywhere beside visiting the parents and the occasional work training trip - partly because of the time, partly because I guess I've been hoping to find someone to travel with, and partly because I'm cheap. But I'm at a point where I can afford a vacation without breaking the bank. So where to go? I'm thinking Atlanta, because I've long wanted to see what a Post Office unclaimed mail auction was like. Plus I could tour the Coke museum. This will probably wait until spring/summer (and will need to work around classes), but I do want to make sure I do it.

3. Swingin' - back a decade or so ago, when it was the fashion at the time, I was a fan of jazz and swing music. I played in jazz band and a jazz/fusion band in high school, and wanted to learn to swing dance. I never did. Now I'm going to. Evidently, there are actually a few swing groups in the Baltimore area. So I'm going to start lessons November 3rd with these guys and hopefully work up enough skills and confidence to go to one of their dances. The thought of going to a dance alone with a bunch of people I don't know terrifies me, but it's a good way to meet people, and hopefully give me a fun hobby.

4. Get some For a while, I've talked about getting another cat, but I haven't done anything more than scroll through listings on petfinder. I've been reluctant to go through the whole "slowly introducing your cat to the new cat so they don't kill each other" process. But Nibbler, my current cat, spends a lot of time alone at home, and I feel like she's getting lonely and would benefit from a companion. Plus, the idea of saving a cat appeals to me. This is probably going to have to wait until the first week of January - I'll be away for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and don't want the new cat to be alone right after I get him/her.

5. Buy a second car - I've been thinking about doing this for a while - I've always been a car nut, and I've wanted a fun vehicle. I'm finally in a position financially where I could do this, which means I should actually do it. I realize that from a financial perspective this is a horrible idea - it's a giant metal hole into which I'll throw money. But at the same time, it's silly that I work and save, and then don't spend it on things I want and enjoy. I don't know what I'll buy - I've considered a very wide range of vehicles, from the low end (AMC Eagle, Chrysler LeBaron Convertible) to the middle (Toyota MR2 Spider, 80's Vette) to the high end (early-90's Bentley or Rolls, DeLorean, Porsche Boxter). I want something that's fun and attention-getting and cool. I figure I'll keep my pickup as a daily driver- it's still got a number of years left in it, it's set up the way I want, with a hard bed cover and bedliner, and it's been solid so far - and use car #2 as a weekend/fun car.

So there is my list - 5 things I hope to do in the next year. Sort of a new year's resolution list without the new year. There are still things on my new year's list - like lose/maintain my weight - that I also plan on continuing to do - but I'm also resolving for once to actually do these things, rather than just say "I've been thinking about" or "I should"...


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