Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ugly Sweaters and Zumba

Goals in progress for today: #3 Have a meal/coffee/visit with a friend or family member twice a monthand #5 Document my year by taking a picture (with me in it!) every week.

I love my knitting group.  I've met fantastic people and have made great friends.  I've mentioned before that my friend Jessica is working on losing weight and has created a blog dedicated to that goal.  She and I went to Zumba together last Tuesday and we'll be going on Tuesdays for a while.  It was the first time I'd ever been to a Zumba class and I'd heard from tons of people how fun it was.  Let me tell you my thoughts on it: It.  Was.  Awful.  I have absolutely no rhythm or coordination, and I had no idea what was going on or how to do the steps the instructor was doing.  I'll be going back because I'm supporting Jessica (and because I need to exercise more) and also because I've been told it gets easier the more you go.  I guess we shall see. 

On Friday our friends Eric and Jolene hosted an Ugly Christmas Sweater party.  I'd never been to one before and let me just say, it was awesome!! There were a bunch of people there so I'm counting it as my final #3 Have a meal/coffee/visit with a friend or family member twice a month for December. Eric and Jo are great hosts and know how to make everyone have a good time, and they didn't disappoint.  There was a white elephant gift exchange and the absolute best gift ever was given: a Shake Weight.  Have you seen these things?!  They're hilarious!!!  It was a huge hit, so whoever brought it did a great job.  The BF won the prize for the best ugly sweater.  It was the wife beater underneath that pushed it over the top.  Here are a few pictures from the night:












For this week's #5 Document my year by taking a picture (with me in it!) every week I'm going to put up a picture of me holding the BF's prize for winning best ugly sweater.  It's a flamingo ornament. 
That's all for now.  Happy holidays everyone!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Winter has Arrived.

Goals in progress for today: #3 Have a meal/coffee/visit with a friend or family member twice a month#11 Turn up the music and clean for an hour every Sunday, #12 Visit one kitschy/specific/small museum or attraction every month, and #5 Document my year by taking a picture (with me in it!) every week.

I assume I am not the only person who feels like they lose days when the holiday season comes around.  Ever since Thanksgiving the days seem to be passing as if they're training for a marathon.  In the insanity that is holiday planning I have managed to get a little bit of stuff done.  I'm still taking guitar lessons for #2 Learn to play a song on the guitar and while we haven't met in a few weeks, the French lessons are still on the calendar for #23 Learn French.  The BF and I are going to Chicago in March for a concert and we'll be taking the train from here which will allow me to cross #27 Take a train trip off the list.  I've been taking the stairs at work to help prepare for #16 Take the stairs to the top of the Soldiers and Sailors monument, although I think the 45 stairs I've been walking up don't compare to the 335 in the monument. 

Since we last met I've gone out with my friends a couple of times, but since I probably don't go out of my way to spend enough quality time with the BF (even though we live together) I'm going to count this past weekend as one of December's #3 Have a meal/coffee/visit with a friend or family member twice a month.  We went to Ohio for a Columbus Blue Jacket's game and stayed the night in a fancy hotel.  I got to see some great hockey, and during one of the intermissions there were little kids who played. 





On our way to Columbus we stopped at the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton.  It was free, which is my favorite price, and it was HUGE.  We didn't have enough time to see everything so we'll be going back, but what we did see was really cool.  We focused our time in the Cold War gallery and the Space and Missile gallery.  I feel a little silly in saying this, but I had absolutely no idea missiles are as large as they are.  I thought the big ones were maybe 7 feet tall.  Wrong.  I'm excited to go back to see everything we missed! 




Saturdays have been working much better for me than Sundays for #11 Turn up the music and clean for an hour every Sunday.  This week was no exception, and I cleaned before we left for Ohio.  It was nice to come home to a clean house, especially after such an exhausting drive home through the snow.  I met with my awesome knitting group and was given an challenge from Jessica on #24 Publish a knitting pattern.  She has a slight obsession with Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and has asked me to consider a capelet from the show as my pattern of choice.  I've never watched a single episode of the show, so I have no idea what the capelet looks like, but I'm going to check it out and if it's within my very limited abilities I'll try it. I had originally planned on a hat or pair of socks, but perhaps this is just the ticket. 

I seem to have failed to post a picture for last week, so along with this week's here are my #5 Document my year by taking a picture (with me in it!) every week pictures.  Last week's was taken in a dark car on my phone, so I apologize for the poor quality.  This week's is me in front of a F-94C Starfire at the Air Force Museum.



Have a great week everyone! 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Goodbye, November

Goals in progress for today: #10 Participate in NaNoWriMo and hopefully finish.

The month is over, which means I am finished with #10 Participate in NaNoWriMo and hopefully finish.  Sadly, I did not finish all 50,000 words, however I did write a lot.  I won't disclose how many words I ended with, and I will never be letting another living soul read the crap I wrote, but I made an effort!  I'll probably try again next year. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Goals in progress for today: #3 Have a meal/coffee/visit with a friend or family member twice a month, #10 Participate in NaNoWriMo and hopefully finish, #12 Visit one kitschy/specific/small museum or attraction every month, and #5 Document my year by taking a picture (with me in it!) every week.

Hi everyone!  I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.  I'm out of state meeting the BF's family for the first time.  It's been a while since I've posted anything so here's a quick catch-up: BUSY!  This month has been completely nuts.  While I have been working on #10 Participate in NaNoWriMo a bit, this will not be the year I make it to 50,000 words.  I'm not going to embarrass myself by putting my word count on here, but suffice it to say, it was abysmal. 

Last weekend I went to Mounds State Park with my friends Carol and Jessica, and Jessica's son.  We had a fantastic hike, which helped Jessica in her blog's goal of visiting a park and hiking every weekend in November, and helped me with my goal of #3 Have a visit with a friend member twice a month, so it was a win-win.  It was a beautiful day, we had a great hike, and Jessica had her kid strapped to her back the whole time!


From there we went to Carter's Antique Toy Museum, which had an adorable ice cream parlor in it.  Each booth had its own little juke box, and I spent 25¢ to play 3 songs. 


The museum was very cool and had all sorts of interesting things.  They had an entire floor of old coin-operated rides, which was probably more fun for us than it was for Jessica's kid.  Seriously, we were cracking up!  November's installment of #12 Visit one kitschy/specific/small museum or attraction every month was a success, and the price was actually $2 cheaper than what was listed on the website (bonus!!).  Here are a few pictures:









Since I was so far behind in posting, here's my #5 Document my year by taking a picture (with me in it!) every week for last week and one for this week:



That's all for now, faithful readers.  Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Busy busy busy, and First Goal Finished!

Goals in progress for today: #3 Have a meal/coffee/visit with a friend or family member twice a month, #9 Crochet a hat, #10 Participate in NaNoWriMo and hopefully finish, #11 Turn up the music and clean for an hour every Sunday, #15 Watch the classic movies everyone has seen but me, #23 Learn French, and #5 Document my year by taking a picture (with me in it!) every week.

This may have been the most productive week of my year, and almost all of the action happened over the weekend.  I've been steadily plugging away at #10 Participate in NaNoWriMo, but my word count isn't even close to where it should be.  I'll be going out of town for Thanksgiving so hopefully I'll be able to get in some writing in the car.  I really want to finish this.  50,000 words is a daunting challenge, but I think it's doable.  Thankfully Starbucks is open late and has free wi-fi, so I've been taking advantage of that.  Coffee just helps me write (or at least that's the excuse I'm using).


Last week I decided to change #11 Turn up the music and clean for an hour every Sunday to every Saturday instead of Sunday, and I think it was a good plan.  The house is clean which makes coming home after such long days a lot more relaxing.  The house was scrubbed top to bottom in anticipation of my sister Jordan and my friend Jen coming over for movie night.  I cooked dinner and ordered Casablanca from Netflix and was able to do both #3 Have a meal/coffee/visit with a friend or family member twice a month and #15 Watch the classic movies everyone has seen but me in one night.  The company was great, and the movie was too.  Now I understand why it's a classic.  It was also nice to know where so many of those quoted lines come from. 

Sunday was a big day.  My friend Jessica speaks French and teaches it to home-schooled kids.  She was one of the people who suggested I add learning French to my list, and she said she was willing to give me lessons.  Well, Sunday was our first attempt and I think it went pretty well.  It helps that I took French in high school, but my high school teacher Mrs. Pea would be very disappointed to know that I remember very little of it.  Jessica was awesome!  She had worksheets for me and a little white board to write out the words.  I hope the rest of the lessons go as well as the first did.


And now for the big one!  This is the first goal I'll be able to cross of my list: #9 Crochet a hat.  I'm in a knitting group that meets weekly and is filled with absolutely AWESOME women.  Several of them crochet and when I said I wanted to crochet a hat they were more than willing to help me.  I chose a pattern, picked out some yarn, and bought a shiny new crochet hook.  Kim is like the Mr. Miagi of crochet and walked me through it step by step.  If Blogger were cooperating right now, this is where you'd see a picture of Kim.  However, that is not in the cards for today, so maybe next time.  Here's a picture of the hat, which also fulfills this week's installment of #5 Document my year by taking a picture (with me in it!) every week.  Quite possibly the worst picture ever taken of me, but whatever.


Sorry for posting so infrequently lately.  I'd say it's mainly because of NaNoWriMo, but really it's just that a lot of life has been happening.  I suppose that's a good thing! 

More next time. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Whole Month

Goals in progress for today: #2 Learn to play a song on the guitar, #10 Participate in NaNoWriMo and hopefully finish, and #5 Document my year by taking a picture (with me in it!) every week.

It's November which means it's NaNoWriMo time.  I'm not nearly far enough as I should be, but I haven't given up.  I was sick all week which definitely cut into my writing time.  I'm on my way, and I realize the goal is not to write a GOOD novel, but just to get the words onto the page.  50,000 words.  Maybe I should get on that.

The guitar lessons are going well for #2 Learn to play a song on the guitar, but it will still be quite a while before I can mark that off my list.  I can play Ode to Joy, but that's not really what I had in mind when I wrote my list.

Sunday cleaning just hasn't been happening lately.  Maybe I should change it to Saturday cleaning, because I feel like I get a lot more done on Saturdays.  I'll see how next weekend goes. 

Here's my photo for the week for #5 Document my year by taking a picture (with me in it!) every week.




Told you the November posts would be short and sweet.  Now on to the novel.  

Saturday, October 30, 2010

In the Slammer

Goals in progress for today: #3 Have a meal with a family member twice a month, #12 Visit one kitschy/specific/small museum or attraction every month, and #5 Document my year by taking a picture (with me in it!) every week.

Hi everyone!  It's been a very busy week in my world, and I feel like I got a lot done.  This will be a fairly picture-heavy post, so I'll try to keep the wordiness to a minimum.  I'm going to say that this week I went over and above on #5 Document my year by taking a picture (with me in it!) every week.  I went to my first guitar lesson this week, and I think it went well.  We'll see how next week goes.  It will probably be a while before I'm able to play an actual song.  The recipient of my first letter received it, and it went over really well.  That makes me feel a lot better about writing the other 9 letters. 

I went to a roller derby bout with the BF, my best friend Brandi, and two more friends yesterday.  It was part of the Irvington Halloween Festival and was a costumed, co-ed bout.  It was a lot of fun, especially since Brandi was dressed as Lucille Ball (or at least I think that's what her costume was).  Isn't she cute?!


Today my dad and I went to fulfill my first month of #12 Visit one kitschy/specific/small museum or attraction every month.  Originally my plan had been to visit the Antique Fan Museum, but since their hours are a bit limited, it will have to wait for a day of during the week.  I found a Rotary Jail Museum in Crawfordsville, so Dad and I got in the car and headed that way.  It was absolutely worth the $3 admission.  It's a rotating jail in a cool old building. 






There were a lot of cool details in the building (the doorknobs, the hinges, even the details in the jail door were awesome!) and there were also some very cool old documents and things that had been used by the jailers. 





After leaving the jail, Dad and I went to look for a nearby Geocache.  It was a tricky one, but we found it pretty quickly.  The two of us a smart cookies when it comes to finding these things. 





From there we went to a little hole in the wall diner for lunch (#3 Have a meal with a family member twice a month for October complete!) and then walked down the road to Lane Place, which was also incredibly cool.  The woman there was insanely knowledgeable and answered every question we threw at her.  When I started asking a few questions about something knitted that was on display, she told me about a few more knitted things in the collection that were in storage, and then suggested I bring my knitting group for a textiles centered tour of the home.  Dudes.  If I can convince my fiber loving friends to make the trip out to Crawfordsville one Saturday, I will ABSOLUTELY take her up on that offer!  Here are a few of the best shots from Lane Place.



We finished up our outing by visiting the grounds of the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum.  Sadly, the museum is undergoing construction to repair the roof, so we weren't able to go in, but we did walk around and check things out.  It was a great day, and I enjoyed spending time with my dad.  If you're out that way, I highly recommend checking out what Crawfordsville, IN has to offer.  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Slacking. It's something I do.

Goals in progress for today: #5 Document my year by taking a picture (with me in it!) every week, #3 Have a meal/coffee/visit with a friend or family member twice a month, #15 Watch the classic movies everyone has seen but me and #11 Turn up the music and clean for an hour every Sunday.

This week seemed to pass by really quickly, and I didn't get as much done as I had anticipated.  I was supposed to have my first guitar lesson a few days ago, but the place rescheduled.  If all goes well I'll be starting on Thursday.  Since I've never taken any formal guitar lessons, I'm going to assume they will begin like piano lessons did oh so many years ago, and I'll be starting out on things like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Mary Had a Little Lamb.  I'll tell you right now, I plan on twinkling the hell out of that little star.  It may not be Zeppelin, but you've got to start with the basics.  

On Friday night the house was empty so my friend Jen came over to watch movies with me, thus fulfilling #3 Visit with a friend twice a month and with the goal of starting #15 Watch the classic movies everyone has seen but me.  While we did watch a movie, I'm not sure the movie we watched really falls into that category.  Classic, yes.  Seen by everyone but me, not so much.  We watched The Third Man, and I liked it, but I had never heard of it before.  It's an Orson Welles film, so if you like him, check it out.  Yesterday, seeing that I hadn't really accomplished what I was going for the night before, I found Cool Hand Luke on Netflix and watched it.  Have you seen this movie?!  Why hello there Paul Newman (pre-salad dressing era).  He doesn't look quite so attractive on the front of the Italian Dressing bottle.  I'm just sayin'.   I've got a few other movies in my queue (Cleopatra, Sunset Boulevard, Casablanca, etc.) but if you've got suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them. 

So on my second Sunday of the year I again forgot about #11 Turn up the music and clean for an hour every Sunday until I decided to write this post.  I'm going to do it as soon as I finish this up, but I wish I could remember to do it on Sunday morning, as I had originally planned to do.  Next Sunday though!  Next Sunday, I'll do it in the morning.  The BF isn't feeling well and is bed, so I'll be wearing headphones as I clean this evening. 

I've had a few suggestions for the last 2 spots on my list.  They've included reading the classics, performing random acts of kindness, running/walking the Mini Marathon, writing a letter to my 39 year old self, and several others, but I'm having a hard time deciding.  I've also thought about entering a competition of some sort (could be knitting related, could be a poetry contest, could be a pie eating contest, whatever).  What do you all think?

And now, for my weekly picture:


That's all for today, kids.  November is coming up very quickly, which means I'll be busting ass to complete NaNoWriMo, so don't expect anything too wordy from me in the next few weeks.  For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo is a challenge (no winners, no losers) to write a 50,000 word novel in a mere 30 days.  I've participated for the past 5 or 6 years, but I've never finished.  This is my year.  I can feel it!  For now though, I'm off to find my headphones so I can begin my overdue cleaning. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Writer's Cramp

Goals in progress for today: #8 Send 10 handwritten letters, and #2 Learn to play a song on the guitar.


There's a lot of planning to be done for this project.  I've been looking up kitschy/quirky museums, researching train routes, finding patterns for the crocheted hat, and today, I signed up for guitar lessons.  Starting tomorrow I'll be taking weekly guitar lessons at a local music shop.  Originally I had hoped to have the BF help me with #2 Learn to play a song on the guitar, but after some trial and error, I think it would be best for me to take lessons from someone else.  I'm a little emotional, and I tend to get frustrated really easily, but I can usually push past those things if I'm around someone I don't know very well.  It also cuts down on my whining, which I'm sure the BF appreciates. 

I've added a couple more things to the list.  I'll be taking a trip on a train, probably to Chicago over a weekend in March, and I'll be spending a weekend away all by myself.  I come from a very large family, and now I live in a small-ish house with 2 other adults, 2 dogs, and a cat, so I don't get a lot of alone time.  I think this will be a fantastic thing for me.  I'll be trying to come up with inexpensive ideas for my Me Weekend, and perhaps I'll be able to incorporate some of my other goals while I'm at it. 

My first handwritten letter will be dropped in the mailbox later today, which means I've now officially started #8 Send 10 handwritten letters.  I was wondering out loud who I should send one to, and my coworker suggested I send one to a family member who I rarely talk to, and see even less.  I told her I don't talk to that side of the family that often (not out of conflict or anything, just sheer distance), and her response was "that's exactly why you should send them a letter".  Touche, salesman.  The letter is relatively short (2 pages) but my arm was KILLING me after I wrote it!  Perhaps that should be an indication to me that I'm not doing enough letter writing.


Thanks for reading, and keep in mind: I still need 2 more things for my list!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Week Finished

Goals in progress for today: #5 Document my year by taking a picture (with me in it!) every week, and #11 Turn up the music and clean for an hour every Sunday.

Today marks the end of my first full week of being 29, leaving me with only 51 more until the big 3-0.  I am ashamed to admit that it only took 7 days for me to fail at one of my goals.  Today is Sunday, which should have meant I completed #11 Turn up the music and clean for an hour every Sunday, but I didn't.  I didn't realize it until about 10 minutes ago when I decided to write this post, and for a fleeting moment I thought about getting to it right then.  The couch and the cozy blanket won out, so I'll just have to clean twice as much next Sunday. 

At my knitting group someone suggested I add skydiving to my list for the year, and I figured why not?  It is now written down as #26.  It's kind of pricey, and I'll be waiting until the weather is nice for that one, so it's on the back burner for now.  Speaking of pricey, have any of you ever looked into hot air balloon rides?!!!  Those things are NOT cheap, which makes me a little sad.  A one hour ride for two people is almost $500.  It's cheaper to go by myself, but what fun would that be?  There's a historical museum-y type thing not far from our house that has a balloon and it's only $15 to ride, but you ride for about 10 minutes with 20 other people.  Hopefully I'll be able to scrounge up the cash to go on a nice, private, romantic ride with the BF, but if that isn't in the cards, Conner Prairie will have to do.

One of my friends got married today, and the BF and I went and had a great time.  The weather was beautiful, the bride looked stunning, and the cake was amazing.  And what are at weddings?  Cameras.  Lots and lots of cameras.  The wedding photographer even took a picture of my shoes.  I took a few myself, to help with #5 Document my year by taking a picture (with me in it!) every week.  Here's my favorite of the group.


That's all for now.  Congratulations, Kim & Dustin! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Slow Start

Goals in progress for today: #3 Have coffee with a friend twice a month, and #5 Document my year by taking a picture (with me in it!) every week

Hey everyone.  This 30 by 30 project has been all I have been able to think about since Monday, and I'm really excited to be sharing it with all of you.  I've gotten some great suggestions on things to add to my list, and I've updated the last post to reflect those.  The new goals are to publish a knitting pattern, go on a kayaking trip, and to learn French.  The last one will be a challenge in that I won't really know when to say it's complete.  Perhaps I need to put something more concrete into that one.  Also, I'd like to clarify #22.  When I said I wanted to take a spinning class, I meant spinning yarn, not spinning on one of those tiny bicycles at the gym.  That might kill me.  Although now that I think about it, maybe I'll add that to the list, too.  We'll see.  I'm also considering adding a reading goal.  Definitely something to think about.

I've gotten great feedback, and I feel really good about making this happen.  I'm setting up an old movie night with my friend Jessica and her husband to start #15 Watch the classic movies everyone has seen but me.  I've also chosen my first stop for #12 Visit one kitschy/specific/small museum or attraction every month.  There's an Antique Fan Museum in Zionsville, and the best part is that it's free! 

My #3 Have coffee with a friend twice a month visit with Jen was lovely.  I haven't seen her in several months so it was nice to catch up.  I really hope this goal will help me to stay in touch with people a little bit better than I do now.  I'm hoping some old friends who I haven't seen in a while will pop up for this one.  I guess we'll see. 

One of the goals that I think will be one of the hardest for me will be #5 Document my year by taking a picture (with me in it!) every week.  I don't like to have my picture taken, but this is supposed to push my limits so I'm doing it.  Here's my first picture, taken early yesterday morning when I got to my desk. 


Later, gator! 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Let's Start at the Very Beginning...

After celebrating my 29th birthday and coming to the realization that I'm in my last year of my 20s, I decided I needed to do something big. A trip was out of the question, as was an extravagant purchase like a house, so I decided to come up with a list of 30 things to do before my 30th birthday. Some of them are silly, some of them are physical, some of them will be huge challenges, and some of them will be ridiculously fun.

My goal is to keep myself busy and do things outside my comfort zone or my normal routine, and to do these things on a shoestring budget. I've got a couple of pricier things on the list, but the majority are either free or close to it.

I haven't finished my list, but below is what I've got so far. I'll update as I go. My 30th birthday is October 10, 2011. 364 days to go.

1. Ride in a hot air balloon
2. Learn to play a song on the guitar
3. Have a meal/coffee/visit with a friend or family member twice a month
4. Run 1 mile without stopping
5. Document my year by taking a picture (with me in it!) every week
6. Volunteer somewhere I wouldn't normally volunteer
7. Submit a postcard to PostSecret
8. Send 10 handwritten letters (1 complete)
9. Crochet a hat - possibly this one
10. Participate in NaNoWriMo and hopefully finish
11. Turn up the music and clean for an hour every Sunday
12. Visit one kitschy/specific/small museum or attraction every month
13. Go swing dancing in Fountain Square
14. Be vegetarian for a month (I'll need your help on this one, Paige)
15. Watch the classic movies everyone has seen but me
16. Take the stairs to the top of the Soldiers and Sailors monument
17. Repurpose a thrift store dress/outfit ala New Dress A Day
18. Get a Brazilian bikini wax (sorry you had to read that Mom and Dad)
19. Change the oil in my car myself
20. Learn to cook something fancy from a real live chef
21. Host a cocktail/dinner party for my friends
22. Take some sort of artsy class like spinning yarn or painting
23. UPDATE - Learn French (although I'm not sure when I'll be able to say this is complete)
24. UPDATE - Publish a knitting pattern
25. UPDATE - Go on a kayaking trip
26. UPDATE - Go skydiving
27. UPDATE - Take a train trip
28. UPDATE - Spend a weekend away all by myself

I'll be enlisting help from lots of my family and friends for these challenges, and if you have any words of encouragement I'd love to hear them. Wish me luck!