Çok kullanışlı (adv.: very) (adj.: useful, helplful, practical)… or I’ve got mad skills when it comes to making a planner

I did it.  I took my cd full of pdf files to be printed and made myself a planner.  A super useful and awesome planner.  Of course, it took multiple stops and a bit of confusion… but it happened.

Made specifically for blog ideas!

First, I took all my files and made them into pdfs because I figured the print shops wouldn’t have Macs (I was right).  Then, I hiked up to the bus stop to take my cd to Kızılay which is a neighborhood I knew had both printing places and a Starbucks to sit at while they were printing because I foolishly thought I would just hand my cd over and then kick back and relax.  Instead, I had to try to explain that I was making a book out of the files and wanted a certain number of copies of each and that I wanted some to be back and front and some to be printed half-sized, but no — not to fit (which is one of those words that is the same in Turkish, but obviously pronounced with a Turkish accent which always confuses me and takes me forever to figure out what is being said and then I feel like an idiot when I realize the word is an English word) — because I’ve messed with margins…

… This is probably a good time to remind you that I’m not really all that good with this vocabulary when put on the spot in English.  So in Turkish it must have been horribly painful for the girl behind the counter.

Not only did I not get to go hang out at Starbucks while they did all the work, but their printer ended up being broken and missing some sort of flash (I didn’t get it in Turkish and when I looked it up in English it still didn’t make sense — see above re: lack of technological vocabulary) so the colors looked terrible.  So I gave up.  I went to Starbucks and had a latte to soothe my bruised ego — the girl was a bit of a snot about my lack of technological vocabulary and, apparently, “creative” labeling of files.  After Starbucks, I got on the bus and figured I’d let it go.  I could always repurpose another planner and use fun colored pens to make it work.  The thought of going to an office supply store cheered my mood so much that I missed my bus stop.

Which turned out to be a blessing in disguise since the next one put me in front of a supply/print store.  I went in hopeful to find a fun planner (ajenda in Turkish).  As I was explaining it to the kid at the store — he’s probably my age, but looked about 10 — I mentioned that I made one, but the files didn’t print the way I wanted and so I was looking for something specific.  He asked to see the files and then if we could try printing.  I said of course, but didn’t have high hopes.  Then he opened up PhotoShop and I knew he was my new favorite person.  Ever.  Or at least the for next hour he spent printing and scheming to make what I now refer to as my awesome planner.  I love it.  And I think it will be çok kullanışlı.

Isn’t this cool, albeit a bit blurry? I got it as a free printable from: http://idea-obscura.tumblr.com/post/2409119224/ive-been-thinking-of-doing-this-for-a-while-now

There’s more, of course, but I’m going to wait until I figure out how to post the pdfs for you all before I spoil all the coolness of the planner.  Send me a note if you just can’t wait and want me to email you pdfs (or Pages documents that are easier to manipulate)!  And until then consider how big of a geek I am that I’ve now spent almost 20% of my postings talking about this project.

Düzenlenmiş (adj.: organized; regulated)

For those of you who know me, you know I have a bit of a freakish love for organizers, planners, notebooks, and the sort.  For those who don’t know me, there’s no need for you to find out that while I love these handy tools I’m not the greatest at using them.  Wait, I guess there is a need since getting more organized is on my 30 in 30 list… fine!  I admit it.  I love buying planners, but I often lose interest in using them.  I like to think this is because they aren’t as functional as they could be.  Which brings us to how I’ve spent my Sunday…

I made myself a planner!  Well, I should say I’m in the process of making myself a planner.  “In the process” because while I’ve gone above and beyond researching (google, Pinterest, etc.), learning –mostly by trial and error– the functions of Pages, and formatting, I have no idea if it will even work when I take everything to the printer and try to make it into a useable and super functional planner.

I was inspired after I played around on Friday with the templates to make business and yoga class cards (which I also hope to successfully have printed very soon).  See the truth is while I like to think of myself as technologically saavy, I’m not sure others would classify me that way.  I am a former PowerPoint Goddess, but that was not by choice and only by the standards of the typical government bureaucrat.  I think this might be the first time since I left my former life that I have spent hours at a computer working on formatting (okay, working in general and not addictively Pinning, playing with setting up this blog or stalking you on Facebook).   I’m oh-so-very-proud of myself for both finally making yoga business cards and doing a computer-based diy.

Let’s not focus on how much actual time was spent working on these projects (we were pretty sure it was going to rain all afternoon after seeing the storm clouds at the organic market this morning and once I started I couldn’t stop until I finished!).  Let’s think instead about how much fun it will be when I’m successful and post my files as free printables!  Or when it doesn’t go well and we learn some choice new Turkish phrases together!

Sıcak (adj.; adv.: hot; warm; sultry)… and not in a sexy way

Today’s high is 103° with a “real feel” of 105° (40°C).  Tomorrow’s weather report is the same…  I know everyone is experiencing record highs this summer — perhaps we should have listened more closely to Mr. Gore? — but this week in Ankara is among the worst I’ve experienced.  And I grew up in Texas, so that’s saying something!

It doesn’t help that central air conditioning isn’t something people have in their homes here (anywhere I’ve lived outside of the US really…), nor that half of our ac units aren’t working and we can’t seem to impart the importance of coming to fix them on the folks who are responsible for just such a job, nor that the geography here is such that once it gets hot around lunch time it stays that way until 7 or 8 in the evening before it finally begins to cool off.

Puppy has discovered the impressively cooler marble flooring in the entryway while I’ve been alternating between hanging out our 25th-floor windows trying to catch a breeze and laying under the working air conditioner in the bedroom.  I feel incredibly lazy doing so, but I fear that my only other idea is to abandon puppy and go to the mall.  Which is dangerous for other reasons… (did you know the Gap at Panora is having a huge sale?)

Anyone have good tips for beating the heat, klimasız (:without ac)?

Pislik (n. gook; mess; crap)

To say our new master bathroom is spacious would be a bit of an understatement.  I paid a pretty penny in college for a studio apartment with the same (maybe less) square footage and definitely worse insulating and louder neighbors.  The bathroom is not only open and spacious, but full of storage and equipped with his and her sinks.  Which I love.  Despite the ridiculousness of having motion sensor faucets — who does that?!  However, perhaps my favorite feature of our new master bathroom is that we have a separate bathtub and shower.  I know this seems small and sort of silly, but the separate bathtub is also a huge jacuzzi.  And not that awkward triangle-shaped huge.  Okay, well it is triangle-shaped in the sense that it fits into the corner, but the inside isn’t that weird shape.  It’s just a seriously over-sized, big enough for two larger-than-average tub shape.

Ever since we were sent photos of our new house back in March, I’ve been planning my first relaxing, long, hot, bubble bath in our two-person jacuzzi.  What I didn’t know before we got here was that at night, from our bathtub, we have a great view of the Atakule tower (yes, I know that’s redundant — ata tower tower, but most of you readers probably didn’t know that).  Atakule is probably the most famous building on the Ankara skyline* as evidenced by its presence on the Starbucks Ankara mug.  Oh yes, yes I did just use Starbucks mug selection as a standard for famous architecture.  Anyway.  At night, they light up Atakule in different colors and I decided on our first night here that it would be a really relaxing focal point during a long, hot, bubble bath with cheesy chick music playing in the background (yeah… I know, but who doesn’t love Norah Jones?).

So last night despite the ridiculous heat, or maybe because of it, I decided to take my awesomely relaxing bath.  I filled up the tub with hot water, I had my ‘relaxing bath’ playlist ready to go (yes, I actually have a ‘relaxing bath’ playlist and yes I used lowercase letters because they feel more relaxing), some body wash that can double as bubble bath until our stuff gets here, and slipped in to enjoy the view of Atakule.  The tower was even lit up in relaxing greens, blues, and purples — the stars were aligned!

Blurry, but actual photo of Atakule from my tub

And then… I turned on the bubbles and jets.

Sounds great, right?  Jets would help massage sore muscles, bubbles would… well, I don’t know what they’d do really, but who doesn’t like bubbles?  (Little tangent here, but am I the only one that hears the fish from Finding Nemo?  And was his name really Bubbles?  Wiki says it was, but I’m generally suspicious of using Wikipedia as a source.)  So anyway, this is when the relaxing should begin, right?  Right.  But did it?  Of course not.  This would be a pretty ridiculous story if it did… I mean, why would I have such a lead up to “and it was.”  Plus the title would make no sense.  It’s as though you don’t know me at all.

Instead of awesome relaxation from the water jets and bubbles, I got scum and gunk flying at me.  Disgusting.

It was, to say the least, not the wonderfully relaxing plan I had in mind.  I should step back here and admit that the first time I tried to use the tub, I couldn’t because the drain was clogged.  I bought some awesome drain cleaner at the store and took care of that problem.  Okay, now I’ll admit, I should have known from the yucky gunk build-up in the drain that perhaps turning on the jets would be a bad idea…  but I didn’t.  So instead of sitting and enjoying my playlist, bubbles, and the view, I ended up scrubbing the bathtub and having to take a shower afterward.  Needless to say, I was unhappy.  And not relaxed.

(*)Mr. Awesome helped write this post.  Because he played the “what’s-that-word” game with me to get to skyline and afterwards demanded a co-author credit for this posting.

The Challenge

As I will be turning the big three-oh (for the first time) within the year, I’d like to start-up a bit of a challenge to myself to be who I thought I would be by the time I was thirty waaaayyy back when or a close approximation.  So I’m compiling a list of things I want to do, try, incorporate as habits, and general goals to accomplish in the thirty weeks leading up to my thirtieth birthday.  Right now I’m in the ‘compiling phase’, so if you have suggestions, ideas, or funny God-you’re-going-to-be-old jokes, feel free to leave them as comments!

I’ll get around to posting my ideas list at some point.  Get off my back.  You should be impressed by how much I’ve already posted.  And, possibly, by the number of times I’ve changed the theme of my little blog here since it’s creation.

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