A Monkey Wrench in the Status Quo

On the one hand, yay, novelty. On the other, halp, my structure, nuu...

Here we are in March, and I can hardly believe it.  February is of course on the wimpy side as far as month lengths go, but it still counts, and this year continues to go by at a much more expected rate than 2020 did for me.  Part of me thinks that’s a direct effect of me writing fiction daily again, as I tend to get kind of … languish-y when I’m not writing.  Hard to say, though, it might just be that there seems to be a growing light at the end of the tunnel for COVID finally.  Both my parents got their first half vaccine shot this week, and everything going to plan will be fully vaccinated and protected in a month and a half or so, and will be able to resume some level of new normalcy compared to how they’ve currently been approaching the world.  I’m in a much lower risk category compared to them, considering I’m in my thirties rather than my seventies, so I’ve got a bit longer wait, but the fact that they’ve gotten their shots makes the reality of it sink in.  The world moves on and things move forward.

Speaking of things moving forward, I got the news that my work life is getting a profound shakeup for the next two months.  It’s a good shakeup, but it’s going to totally change things for a while here as a result.  My position has the option of pursuing financial licenses, which the company both pays for and also provides paid time for self-directed study.  I’ll continue to be scheduled as normal on Mondays, the heaviest call day of the week, but for the rest of the week for the next eight weeks, I’m going to be working on getting some financial licenses.

This change is a very welcome one, as I’ve really been looking forward to the schedule shakeup that I knew it’d provide (taking calls all day isn’t bad when you enjoy your job, but it can wear you down over time, and while I’ve taken mini-vacations in the form of long weekends to recharge every once in a while, this extended break is going to do a lot more good in rejuvenating me), but also because it’s necessary before some additional growth opportunities open up.  Things got set into a holding pattern of sorts at my job due to COVID, and it seems like that pattern’s finally starting to change.  And I am not complaining one bit.

As a result of the change, I’m rather unsure how my schedule’s going to look and feel in the coming weeks.  I don’t plan on reducing the amount of time spent on Spanish if I can help it, but I might end up switching around the mix of watching and reading for a bit, if it ends up making more sense.  Part of why I work on Spanish the way I do has to do with the time afforded to me by my job, and, well, my job’s getting a totally different schedule for eight weeks.  I’m going to start off with the goal of not changing anything, and assume that by the end of the first week, I’ll have a clear idea on what does and doesn’t make sense to do on this new schedule.  Next week’s numbers might end up looking totally different as a result.

So then, let’s take a look at this week’s numbers, as possibly the last “normal” week for a while.

Tuesday 2/23

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 2% of El Ascenso de la Sombra, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 2 episodes of Kiwillius, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Wednesday 2/24

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 2% of El Ascenso de la Sombra, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 3 episodes of La Zona Cero, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Thursday 2/25

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 2% of El Ascenso de la Sombra, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 2 episodes of Kid Cosmic, 1 episode of La Zona Cero, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Friday 2/26

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 2% of El Ascenso de la Sombra, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 2 episodes of Kid Cosmic, 1 episode of Plano de Juego, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Saturday 2/27

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 6 episodes of Kid Cosmic, ~120 minutes

Sunday 2/28

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 4 episodes of Green Eggs and Ham, 1 episode of La Zona Cero, ~120 minutes

Monday 3/01

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 2% of El Ascenso de la Sombra, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 2 episodes of Green Eggs and Ham, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes
  • Total Duolingo: 140 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total reading: 1/10 books read, 450 minutes
  • Total watching/listening: 9 YouTube episodes and 16 television episodes watched, 540 minutes
  • Total speaking: reading out loud, 150 minutes
  • Total Time: 16 hours 30 minutes

As said, a normal week.  I mentioned before after finishing up Star Vs. the Forces of Evil that I had a modest backlog of youtube stuff to get through before starting in on the next show, but said backlog did not last very long.  I then watched Kid Cosmic, which was a lot of fun and left the door open for more stories that I’ll happily look forward to, but being a Netflix season was finished rather quickly.

I have a longer series lined up next with The Proud Family, an older Disney show I haven’t watched before, but decided to watch one other shorter thing first, starting in on Green Eggs and Ham.  To be totally honest, when I first saw the previews for Green Eggs and Ham when it premiered, it didn’t really pique my interest outside of the animation looking pretty, and I’ve sort of put off giving it a shot.  Now seemed like a good time for that, and it’s a lot different of a show from what I was expecting, and am enjoying it.  It isn’t going to last very long, as it’s only 13 episodes, but they are shaping up to be a good 13 episodes.  After that’s finished, probably before the end of next week unless my schedule goes totally bananas, I’m going to start in on The Proud Family.

In saying that, to be honest I’m a little disappointed with what’s available to watch.  I still have lots of stuff to get through, but I have to admit, there are a number of shows that have been on my list to watch eventually, but aren’t available in Spanish on any streaming service I have.  Chiefly, I’m referring to Cartoon Network shows, like Over the Garden Wall, Infinity Train, Steven Universe, or Adventure Time, which are all shows that I’ve been meaning to watch at some point, but just aren’t available.  Which is to say, they are available on Hulu, which I get as an add-on with a music streaming service I pay for, but not in Spanish, because Hulu is terrible.  Ah well, maybe someday.

Progress continues slowly on El Ascenso de la Sombra, but just bit by bit, unfortunately.  I am enjoying this one more than the previous in the series, as it’s continued to be pretty fresh compared to the others, but as I get closer to the climax, I’m wary that it might pull the same story beats as the others again.  The repetition pattern’s been established at this point.  We shall see, I suppose.

Now then, since February’s all wrapped up, let’s take a look at the numbers for the month.

  • Total Duolingo: 560 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total Watching/Listening: 77 tv episodes and 23 youtube videos watched, 2,190 minutes
  • Total Reading: 2/5 whole books read, 1,650 minutes
  • Total Writing: 900 words written, 90 minutes
  • Total Speaking: reading out loud, 540 minutes
  • Total Time: 65 hours 30 minutes

And here’s the breakdown for money spent.

  • Netflix Subscription Standard HD Plan, Television and Movie Streaming, $10.99 per month, $10.99
  • Disney+ Subscription, Television and Movie Streaming, $6.99 per month, $6.99
  • Amount Spent on Services: $17.98
  • Total Spent: $17.98

A pretty good month, considering its shortness compared to the others.  I’m really feeling like I’m in a good groove, which gives me some mild misgivings about this training throwing a wrench in that, but can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.  Hopefully next month ends up having good numbers, too, and my misgivings can be for nothing.

In the writing department, things are really going well, which is likely one of the major driving factors in how good my mood’s been.  I wrote 37,345 words of fiction over the course of February and am on pace for 2021 to be my single most productive year for writing in my life.  I’ve been working on a novel-length story since mid-December, and at the end of February I have 105k words down for it, which is output that’s pretty much unheard of for me.  The last time I wrote close to this consistently was in 2013 and 2014, when I was going through an extended mental breakdown that took the form of compulsive writing.  I am going faster than I was when I was writing out of mental illness, and it’s healthy and non-self-destructive writing.  Not complaining one little bit.

I’d take this time to consider making plans for March, but with it and April set up to be this training shakeup at work, I’m really going to have to play it by ear instead.  Hopefully as I ease into the training, I’ll find it’s pretty much the same as I’m working on Spanish now, maybe just portioned differently throughout the day.  Cross that bridge when I get to it.

Anyway, that’ll do for February, so I’m gonna try to keep up a good pace now in March.  TTFN.

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