Sunday, January 23, 2011
This week I drew #45, which is to "Seek Out Kindred Spirits on the Internet." I'm a bit torn about this one. It recommends using sites like Meetup.com to meet friends in the area. I've used Meetup before to find my Steeler Group. Also, I already have about as many friends as I can handle, so I'm not sure I want to make more. But I should check it out, I guess.
So, this week I do not guarantee that I'll join a Meetup group, but I will take a look and see if I find anything interesting that really catches my fancy. I'll report back next week.
Do you belong to any Meetup groups? If so, which ones, and do you like them?
Okay, on to old business.
I got my second full star for exercising on the Presidential Fitness website, fitness.gov. Once again, I'm really thankful for these silly stars. They really get me going when I'm feeling lazy.
Once again, I completely forgot to look up any potential employee discounts. Good grief! In my defense, this is only something I can look up at work, and the new library branch at which I work is insanely busy. Busier on a consistent basis than any other branch I've ever worked at. It kicks my butt. So once again, this week I'll look that up and (hopefully) get back to you next week!
In other news, the Pittsburgh Steelers won the AFC Championship and will be going to the Super Bowl...again! This year, the Super Bowl will be on my birthday. Does that mean I get a guaranteed Steeler win for my birthday? Go Steelers!
Monday, January 17, 2011
Well, today I drew lucky #13, which is "Reconsider House Hunting." Luckily for me, this isn't an issue right now since I already own my home. Though I am in the process of refinancing at the moment. Ugh. Such a pain in the patootie.
It's a good thing I don't have to do a task this week. I didn't do great this past week with my other tasks.
Let's start with exercise. This week I still exercised, but only 4 days, not five. So no completed star for me on fitness.gov. Sigh... I love getting those stars filled in, so this is a bummer. Plus, it only gives me one more buffer week to complete six out of eight weeks. Yikes! But this week, I've already worked out two days, so I'm back on track.
Also, I only completed two out of the three sources of discounts, and not even the one advocated by "U.S. News & World Report"!
First, I investigated AAA discounts. Now that was amazing. I've been really losing out by not having checked this earlier. If any of you have AAA, here are discounts that I'll be using:
- The Chocolate Box! (I can't believe I haven't been taking advantage of this one.)
- The outlets in North Bend
- Made in Washington (argh! I just bought Christmas presents here.)
- Jiffy Lube (This is where I get all my oil changes!)
- Tully's (wish it was Starbucks!)
- 5th Avenue Theater
- Boeing Tour (I've taken people on this and not used the discount!)
- Museum of Flight
- Pacific Northwest Ballet (I love The Nutcracker.)
- Pacific Science Center
- Seattle Reperatory Theater
- LensCrafters (I need new glasses, so LensCrafters, here I come!)
- Atlas Van Lines (this one was up to 60%! Good to know for when I finally move east.)
- UPS Stores
I also looked up any discounts through the American Library Association. There were only a few:
- Avis Rental Cars
But I didn't look up my work discounts! Work at my new branch has been really hectic, and the time I have when I'm not working at the reference desk has been really busy. So this week, this task still stands.
Until next week!
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Today, as part of my New Year's Resolution, I drew #16, which is part of the Money segment of the U.S. News & World Report article. In particular, #16 is "Get an Employee Discount." This is an interesting one. The City of Seattle does offer some discounts. I know that we often get price breaks for the arts, including musicals, plays, concerts, etc. I've never taken advantage of those. I honestly don't know what other employee discounts the City of Seattle has negotiated. It's foolish of me not to know, in case I could be saving every time I shop at Target!
I can't look this up from home, so this will be an assignment for me to complete at work, where I can access the city's intranet. Next week I'll share my findings. Cross your fingers for me that I'll discover true, practical savings!
I'll give myself a couple of related assignments, too. I know that I can get a ton of discounts through my AAA (American Automobile Association) membership. I think I get discounts through my American Library Association membership, too. I'll let you know what I find out. Maybe my findings will help some of you, too!
I did great this past week for my Obama Challenge! I got in all five days of exercise, though at times I was on the cusp of justifying my way out of it. But it turns out that I am greatly motivated by filling in the stars that represent each week. Here's the deal: each time you enter exercise in your account, one point of a five-point star gets colored in. When all five points are colored in, your star gets a big check mark on it. Who knew that such a simple thing would be so motivating? But those dumb stars kept me exercising all week long.
For those who are interested, I did 45 minutes of hill walking one day, rode my little stationary bike 3 days, and volunteered at the animal shelter one day. Now, I'll admit I was torn about the animal shelter. While cleaning is on the Obama's list of exercises, I didn't feel that that was very legitimate. However, cleaning at the shelter is grueling. I can't even count the number of squats I do picking stuff up (I'm trying to be correct and squat, rather than bend over to pick up heavy things), and hauling endless litterboxes around is tiring. I stop now and again to chat with other volunteers and staff, and at times take a few moments to cuddle some of the critters, but it's really 2 solid hours of heavy-duty cleaning. As I was walking home from the animal shelter, exhausted and aching, I decided that it definitely counts as my exercise for the day!
Okay, I'll check back in next week and update you on my employee discount research and Week 2 of the Obama Challenge. Plus fill you in on the next resolution!
Saturday, January 1, 2011
It's Week 1 of my big New Year's resolution: each week I will do one thing from U.S. News & World Report's "50 Ways to Improve Your Life in 2011."
I wrote that each week I would pull a random number out of a box to determine what suggestion I would tackle that week, but this week I am cheating. I'm going to start of with #2: The Obama Challenge.
Remember back in elementary school (maybe even middle and high school? I can't remember.) when we had to do the Presidential Fitness Challenge and do all of those tests? We had the 50 yard dash, sit-ups, the bent-arm hang, etc. Some people hated the Presidential Fitness Challenge. I didn't mind it, though I sure would have preferred to be playing a game instead. Anyway, Michelle Obama, as part of her "Let's Move" initiative, has created the "Obama Challenge" for grown-ups. But you don't have to do all of those tests! You just have to get moving for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for 6 out of 8 weeks.
I'm going to sign up to accomplish the most typical of all New Year's resolutions: to exercise more. If you want to sign up with me -- we can all hold each other accountable -- sign up at Fitness.gov. I'll hold myself accountable to you by reporting my activities each week.
Speaking of activities, I thought I'd make a list of activities I like to do, so I have plenty of ideas and options:
- Skechers Shape-Ups DVD
- Water Aerobics
- Tai Chi
I'll add other options as I think of them.
Good luck everyone! I wish you a happy and healthy 2011. Until next week...