Sunday, July 29, 2012

101 Week 2

This is just going to be difficult until I am moved into the house and settled, but I'm still powering through because part of this is learning to make time for the things I say I'm going to do, right? However, I'm seriously questioning some of my decisions - like any goals dealing with running. So, some of my goals may be up for renegotiation soon.

Weekly Goals:
daily journals
weekly German
weekly blogpost (well, there's this post at least)
weekly diary
morning workout
DVD workout
walk in park
- play music (2x) (1x learned chords to Hugh Laurie's You Don't Know My Mind on Jez) (2x reviewed You Don't Know My Mind for retention/ smooth out chord progressions/ get a better feel for the rhythms.)

Sporadic Goals:
- Started reading Female Chauvinist Pigs
- Started refreshing my memory on photography 101
- Picked the WP theme for my website
- Started sorting & selecting pictures for the wedding album

Reflections: This isn't all I set out to accomplish this week, but it's most of it, plus a couple of things that weren't on the agenda, but were more convenient for the time being, as replacements for the things I didn't do. It's weird. Looking at the list, it feels like so little. But I work 40 hours, I'm painting a house 3-4 nights a week, I'm going to dance class a couple of hours a week, and I'm finding ways to work these things in, where I would've otherwise just pissed time away on the internet (or some other unworthy pursuit). I've gotta get a better perspective on how I spend my time. I found myself looking at the "1,001 day" time span this week and thinking that is a really long time frame to be working in. Reeeeeally long. In so many respects, it's not. Not at all when I break it down to "9 days per goal," which is not quite accurate, either, (and short-changing, actually) b/c I have 8 goals to accomplish on a weekly basis as part of a routine. But I came across blogs, when I was looking into this, where people changed goals part-way through. Or they wrote, at the end, about how many things didn't happen b/c priorities in life changed.  My goals feel very front-loaded to me, as in: Things I Want To Do Now (Preferably Yesterday). It's difficult to know what I want to do 2 years from now. But then, goals such as "Get En Pointe" simply cannot happen today, so  I did build some time-eaters into this experiment. But will I care about Pointe in a year or two? (Or less likely: will I ever care about running a 5K, let alone making a time goal on it?)

And, as of the end of this week, our moving timeline just got crunched from 2 weeks down to 1. This next week might just be the bare minimum to keep any momentum on the 101in1001. But maybe this is a good thing - one bare bones week so that I can finally move my life forward and stop straddling two living places. Then I'll be able to more quickly establish an equilibrium and a priority listing of the home-related goals I do have on this list.

Moving in T-minus 6 days. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

101 week 1

SO, I have the damnedest timing and I kinda sorta had a nagging sensation in the back of my mind about how this was all going to pan out given my chosen 101 in 1001 start date of 7/15/12, but I kinda sorta tend to ignore those nagging sensations all the time.

I mean, what could possibly set you back by starting a 101 in 1001 only four days after closing on your first home - when so few of your goals have nothing to do with setting up a first (or any new-to-you) home?

 It's not like some goals weren't picked with the new house in mind (a kitchen I can move in! enough space to simply dedicate a corner to sewing & crafting! a park nearby! easier bike commute!) But most goals were picked ignoring the reality that is The Housening. Progress?

Weekly goals:

- daily journals
- weekly German
- weekly blogpost
- weekly diary
- morning workout
- DVD workout
- walk in park
- play music (2x) (1x - Worked out Mika's Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) on my Uke. FYI: That song is UKE HELL in its original key signature.) (1x Worked out Scissor Sisters' I Don't Feel Like Dancin')

Sporadic/ or Regular-But-Not-Weekly goals:
 - memorize poems (1/18 - Memorized Howard Nemerov's Political Reflection. Picked for its brevity and easy rhyme scheme. Starting simple, working my way up through the challenge. Or maybe I'll just keep it simple. Set that bar low!)
 - started saving
 - started strategizing personal website

- I like the daily journaling, in part because I'm taking the Five Year Journal approach (only in a spiral-bound book I already owned. The thick hardback would be annoying, and I'm not going to spend $15+ on paper. I have paper). 
- Weekly German is going to be a bit difficult until I can come up with a system. I'll come up with that system when I'm moved into my house in a few more weeks. This isn't saying I'm not doing it, it's just that I'm using a free app on my phone while things are packed. Not. Ideal.
- Weekly blogpost, I'm hoping, doesn't default to my weekly 101 update. That wasn't a problem this week, but Birchbox comes monthly, not weekly, and I want this blog to be more than Birchbox and 101.
- Writing in a diary is weird. It's been years since I've done so, in part because I've felt pretty emotionally balanced. So, I have few demons to exorcise. But I still think there's value in making an attempt to write more deeply than a few words about each day. And maybe it will work into writing exercises, instead. 
- Working out didn't happen. Part of this is that painting a house is a workout in itself. Part of this is that my DVDs are packed. Part of this is that I'm great at making excuses ;) 
- Walking in the park didn't happen. A fair amount of time is spent at the house, yes. But that's painting time. And when we're done painting we just want to get to a shower and a bed. It might be a few weeks until I get on a walk. 
- Playing music was brief, but accomplished. I took about 15 minutes a couple of times this week to work out chords to songs I like. 

Also of note, I've found an opportunity to approach a specific goal from an unforseen angle. This came up suddenly on Tuesday. You'll hear more about it as it plays out at a later date.

In the eminent house purchase, when we locked down on spending, my pull list at the Local Comic Store just piled....and piled...and piled. I stopped in Wednesday to check it out, and DAMN. I got some reading to catch up on (and some priorities to reconsider as to which books I want to buy regularly). And, I picked up the Captain Marvel #1 - my first Marvel purchase! And I really enjoyed it and will check out Cap. Marvel for the next few months. But it's gonna be tough to catch up on my comic reading and stay on top of the 101. That is, if I get off the internet ever...

So, not too bad for a first week. I upheld over half of the weekly goals, achieved a smaller sporadic goal, & started two longer-term goals. But I'm stressed about getting to the larger goals I have set with enough time to manage. I spent a few minutes around the middle of the week looking at my 101 and brainstormed/planned how to approach this week. I like having a gameplan.

P.S. Got a fab new purse! 
Irrelevant, I know.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Birchbox Review: June 2012

Alright, this box had a hit in it. The rest...meh.

What've we got here?

So, from worst to best:

Taylor Swift's Wonderstruck - I don't do perfume, but Birchbox does on a monthly basis. I took the tiniest whiff I could manage: It smells a little old-ladyish.

Comodynes Self-Tanning Intensive - I don't tan, either. PALE 4-EVA! But for the sake of research, I wiped a leg (I also wear pants in the dead of summer and can get away with tanning one leg). First, it said the tan would appear in 3 hours. Pfffft. Hardly. I applied at 7 pm, it was barely noticeable at 10 pm. It WAS noticeable, however, at 7 am. Second, The wipe is not an effective means to distribute a tanning substance onto the legs. Good morning, streaks. I took my time at it, meticulously working up and down my leg, but I still ended up with spots that were darker and spots that were lighter (legs had been freshly washed/exfoliated/moisturized). Color-wise, I felt it was borderline orange with the one application, but I concede that it might just be me unaccustomed to a "tan" look. That said, I'm quite positive it would turn orange if I tried to layer it & get darker.

10 p.m.

7 a.m.

in all its streaky glory

LUNA Bar - Standard energy bar fare. I had the chocolate & peppermint. It was good enough. I am now just as likely to pick up a LUNA as a I would another energy bar (which is to say: unlikely, unless desperate for food and suffering minimal options, this among them, upon which my final purchase choice will be based on a balance of price per quantity and flavor options).

Stila One Step Bronze - For one, this was not a sample size. It was FULL SIZE. I wish I could be happier about that, was difficult to tell if I looked any bronzer with this stuff on (which is saying a lot about the product since I am pale). But even then, bronzing is (in case you didn't get it with the tanning wipes) not a goal/priority of mine. However, my skin did seem brighter. But, I was also oily by early afternoon. Not good for combo/oily skin types.

theBalm Stainiac (in Beauty Queen) - LOVED IT. Bought a full tube straight through Birchbox. This stain gave me everything I look for in a lip product: non-drying, staying power, light/sheer coverage. Did it stick around as long as other stains I've had in my life? Not quite. Did it make it through the day if I didn't eat foods that were super-saucy? YES. And it did that without completely drying out my lips like the other stains have. That is pretty much the most important thing right there: stays without drying. The bonus is that the color is sheer, so it looks relatively natural (to anyone who doesn't know my lips are naturally as pale as my skin). I hereby dub Stainiac SlackerChic. It totes allows me to wear makeup without it being obvious or high maintenance.

The lipstain purchase makes this an automatic 5-Star box, but I'm feeling pretty 2-3 stars about the rest of it. My rating system needs tweaked...

Of Note:

That John Varvatos cologne came in Mr. Burly's Birchbox Man box. 
(We have a lot of fun calling it a Man Box.)

There's a tiiiiny bit of overlap between the box's genderings. I WANT MORE GENDER OVERLAPS! MOAR I SAY! Quite frankly, I'm rather jealous of the (non shaving-cream & cologne) stuff he's received in his boxes.  You might one day read a post about those. He keeps saying he'll write reviews. One day I'm just going to sit down and write Birchbox Man reviews in the voice of Mrs. Hurly Impersonating Mr. Burly Impersonating a Product Reviewer. YOU HEAR THAT MR. BURLY?! 


Well now, that wraps up June Birchbox review. Yes, it is the latter half of July, which means my June review is rather late. So late, in fact, that I already have my July box. But that is another underwhelming review for another day.

TTFN loves.

Monday, July 9, 2012

101 in 1001

Last updated: 8/12/12

There's a thing in the blogosphere: to accomplish 101 goals in 1001 days. That's approx. 2.75 years, and 9.91 days per goal. The tasks are to be measurable & clearly defined, as well as realistic, and they're to push the goal-setter. 

I saw this on another blog and, as is my typical reaction, I just blew it off as arbitrary goal-setting, much like the New Year's Resolutions I refuse to make. But the idea just nagged at me a little, and I thought I didn't even have 101 things I wanted to accomplish (or that, at the very least, it'd take a long time for me to figure out 101 things). So I started to make the list, and it was done before I knew it. It took about an hour, but 45 minutes of that was figuring out the last 2 items (with a grocery run in there). Seriously, I easily listed 99 things I wanted to accomplish. The list took 2 days, because I can't count, even when making a numbered list. I sat down and typed up my 101, and came up 6 short. So, it was easy to come up with 94 things (I also changed one due to my concerns about what, exactly, I should put on the internet). Part of the list came from my Productoppotamus book, where I keep a list of things to do when I'm sitting at my computer thinking (whining in my head, really) about how bored I am. (It's also a list that I have only accomplished 1 task off of. ONE SINGLE TASK. And there are some easy tasks in there)



I'm good at dreaming, not so much at doing. (There's a theme to this blog).

My list has lots of overlap, so 9.91 days per goal is a little misleading, but to do 101 completely not-overlapping things would be very difficult, at least for me.

And besides, it'll be LOTS OF BLOG FODDER. fodderfodderfodder. I shall delay no longer. THE LIST!

Start date: 7/15/12
End date: 4/11/15

(I'm grouping them by overlap)

101 in 1001

Plain text = haven't started this goal
Italic text = goal in progess
Colored text = finished & hyperlinked to the appropriate blog post about the accomplishment

1. Perform in a play
2. Perform in a dance show/recital
3. Get En Pointe
4. Get to Circus Skills school at least 3x (0/3)
5. Get to an aerial silks class
6. Go to the indoor trampoline park
7. Learn to rollerskate again (was doing OK, until I hurt my elbow. haven’t been on skates since)
8. Run a 5K in under 30 minutes (Hate. Running.)
9. Bike to/from work 40% of the year
10. Take a horseback riding lesson (loved riding as a kid, but it has been about 18 years since my last ride)
11. Do a morning workout 1x per week (Hate. Morning. Workout.) (0/143)
12. Do a workout DVD 1x per week (no srsly, I only have a TON of workout dvds collecting dust) (0/143)
13. Walk in the park at least 1x per week (picked our house in part b/c of park proximity. I best use it) (0/143)
14. 1 pleasure bike ride per month (Apr. - Oct) (0/16)
15. Relearn Poi
16. Learn hoop dance
17. Be able to do the full splits (both front/back & side)
18. Have 1 week per month with daily physical activity (1/33)
19. Get back to rainbow colored hair
20. Learn to rock the long-hair fauxhawk (& get back long hair)

Physical & Crafty
21. Be Star Sapphire Wonder Woman for Halloween (get strong & make the costume)

22. Sew a men’s dress shirt (for Mr. Burly)
23. Sew myself a blazer
24. Sew a duvet/coverlet/or quilt for our master bed
25. Refinish the master bed
26. Make a headboard for the Queen guest bed
27. Make a headboard for the Twin guest bed
28. Make our wedding album
29. Create 10 items (or variations of items) I’ve “pinned” on Pinterest (0/10)
30. Repurpose my armoire to hold crafting supplies
31. Make 1 recipe every other month I’ve “pinned” (0/17)
32. Make my special kitchen & bathroom signs (sssh. secret plans. you’ll see when done)
33. Finish Mr. Burly’s scarf (I only started on it 1.5 years ago; it’s only ⅕ finished)
34. Clean out my yarn stash (make more things, gift to friends who’d use it, sell on craigslist. Just GET IT GONE)
35. Create a home message & planning center
36. Make a monthly file system
37. Refinish a piece of furniture to sell
38. Finish sewing my UFOs (unfinished objects: pillowcases, curtains, clothing, and the like)
39. Construct a cookbook (or 4) of favorites - get rid of unneeded cookbooks once this is compiled)
40. Learn to do silver plating. Replate my favorite necklace.
41. Reupholster our wingback chairs
42. Sew/Construct a proper Wonder Woman costume

Non-Physical Self-Improvement
43. Play my instruments 2x per week
44. Blog at least 1x per week (
45. Create my new website
46. Learn more Adobe Creative Suite (specifically, complete a tutorial book I own but haven’t cracked)
47. Learn to take better pictures
48. Take more pictures with the freshly acquired skillz of #47
49. Book my photos (not necessarily “scrapbook,” just put them in a freaking book already)
50. Keep a daily journal (mundane things) (
51. Keep a weekly diary (the juicy bits) (3/143)
52. Digitize CDs, clean MP3 tags, organize music
53. Digitize photos, organize photos
54. Grow a veg/fruit garden
55. Can/Preserve things from the veg/fruit garden
56. Grow Queen of the Prairie flowers
57. Grow a formal rose bush
58. Start/maintain a compost pile
59. Learn basic lockpicking
60. Travel to Colorado to visit family
61. Travel to a new-to-me state or Canada
62. Brush up on German 1x per week (1/143)
64. Go camping each year (0/3)
65. Visit the library (again, it’s within walking distance of the new house) 2x per month (0/66)
66. Resume our CSA
67. Visit 1 new restaurant each quarter (1/11)
68. Read 12 books (4/yr. I'm supremely slow at getting around to reading anything longer than most long-form magazine articles. I read a lot of those, yes. And sometimes some pseudo-science non-fiction book, and a few comic books per month, and that's about where I stop. I used to read so, so much more. But then, I don't think reading a lot is the key to living life, just a great enhancement - and I still question anyone who flat-out scoffs at reading):
a. Sandman
b. Watchmen
c. Female Chauvinist Pigs
d. Underworld

 e. Something by Christopher Moore
f. Something by Bret Easton Ellis
g. Something by Warren Ellis (probably Transmetropolitan)
h. Something by Terry Pratchett

i. A Biography/ Autobiography/ Memoir (Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson)
j. A NYT Bestseller (see letter
"i". Yeah, I'm gonna cheat this one, 'cause Bloggess is awesome, and I'm lazy.)
k. I am Legend
l. Something a friend recommends
69. Memorize 18 poems (6/yr) (1/18)
70. Improve my touch-typing by 20 wpm
71. Learn to do more w/ Excel/spreadsheets (complete 12 tutorials) (0/12)
72. Conquer left-handed writing (I have it legible, now it’s going to be pretty)
73. Work through How to Think like Leonardo DaVinci
74. Work on a Habitat for Humanity home
75. Make a Bucket List
76. Streamline style/closet

77. Visit each 1x/yr

a. IMA (0/3)

b. Indiana State Museum (0/3)

c. Indiana Historical Society (0/3)

d. Children’s Museum (0/3)

e. 1 other unvisited location within the state (0/3)
78. Attend 10/12 First Fridays per year (2 per year in a new location) (1/30) (0/6)
79. Buy a painting
80. Become a member of NPR
81. Get to a convention (Gen Con, C2E2, something of those sorts)
82. Go to a ballet (never been!)
83. Go to an opera (never been!)
84. Go to the symphony (technically never been to a fancy pro symphony, just college orchestra concerts. Close, but much more Free.)
85. Go to the drive-In (never been!)


86. It's a surprise! (and not of the baby kind, so you can forget that. Just something I want to do but not tell anyone about until after the fact).
87. Get a couch (the futon is a zombie. It died so long ago, yet it lives through some crazy voodoo magic)
88. Get a piece of classic jewelry in celebration of #63
89. Spend 1 week per month carb-free (0/33)
90. Spend 1 week per month dairy-free (0/33)
91. Go to a casino. Gamble. (I’ve never even purchased a lottery ticket. I’m just weird about any sort of gambling.)
92. Create our Emergency Binder, update yearly (0/3)

93. Fully fund emergency savings account
94. Start retirement savings
95. Write my will
96. Start saving monthly for a trip to europe (1/33)
97. Donate to at least 1 charity per year (0/3)
98. Save $5 for each goal accomplished
99. Save for the Colorado trip & another in-North-America trip
100. Pay off either car or small Sallie Mae loan (if not both)

101. Personal goal, not to be shared on the blog.

Sooo...that's a lot. More than 101 things, actually, if you count individual actions grouped as a single item. And I have a little cheat room, like my NYT Bestseller book could also be one a friend recommends, and technically my plan to turn my armoire into craft storage is from a "pin" of mine on Pinterest, if I have to take a short-cut somewhere. And I can guarantee that a morning workout will occasionally coincide with a DVD workout. But it all will probably balance out.

I looked at tons of bloggers who have attempted this in the past or are currently attempting (because coming up with 6 last goals was damn hard, & I needed inspiration. FYI: found none). Of the ones who have made it through the 1001 days, I think the highest completion # I saw was in the low 80s. It'll be interesting to see how I do...

...and I already have the next 101 list started...larger things that need more than 2.75 years to accomplish.