Reemerging

July 30, 2013

I hardly realized how long it has been since the last time I posted anything. I may be one of the world’s most negligent bloggers. In any case, I’m back – for better or for worse.

In the time I’ve been an absentee poster, I’ve completed an MFA in Creative Writing, and have weathered various illnesses and injuries. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m left with that ever-present question: What do I want to be when I grow up? I’ve finally arrived an an answer (actually a couple, which I think makes me one of those annoying ‘hyphenates,’ but so be it). I will keep you posted on all of that as progress is made.

I promise to be more consistent about posting on here going forward. 

A Whole New Year

January 16, 2010

I’ve made a little more progress on my 101 list, but I’ll put up details about that later this weekend.

Now a full two weeks into the new year, it seems an appropriate time to contemplate the year ahead without any of the buzz and hype of the whole “new year’s resolutions” crowd. Reflecting on the past few months, life has been hard in some ways. My not-exactly-a-relationship has officially fallen apart, my aunt may never be able to eat solid food again due to complications from her cancer and treatment, and I just found out tonight that one of my best friends had a double mastectomy yesterday and I didn’t even know she had been diagnosed with breast cancer because she and her husband didn’t want to tell anyone until after the surgery. Thankfully, it went smoothly and her prognosis is very good.

It’s hard to be halfway across the country when people I care deeply about are experiencing such major events in their lives, and sometimes I have to remind myself that even if I were there, there’s not a whole lot I could do on a day-to-day basis. So I try to call and check in, and make sure they know how much they mean to me. What else can I realistically do? I hope they know how much I care.

Looking to the days and weeks and months ahead, 2010 stretches before me like a vast wilderness… one that I don’t know how to handle except by taking it just one step at a time, one day at a time. Tonight my long-term goals feel very far away and I’m content to just sit at home by myself and think about the day. I am grateful for the long weekend ahead, and for the Chris and Paul Show tomorrow night, and for Katy Pfaffl’s friends and family gig on Sunday. I breathe deeply and slowly and just take it all in, feeling life wrap its arms around me and hold me close. It is strangely comforting.

Moving forward, I plan to take a long, hard look at my lifestyle and eating habits. I want to use my time wisely to make myself strong and healthy and happy. I want to be physically and emotionally empowered, ready to be there for my friends and family when they need me. I want to laugh and love and cry and hope and dream with all my heart.

Happy 2010.

YAY, movies!

November 30, 2009

I must say, the movie-watching is my favorite part of this list so far. 🙂

I’ve now also watched On the Waterfront, as well as The Bridge on the River Kwai. I highly recommend both (especially if you like old movies). Though I will warn you – both times I’ve seen The Bridge on the River Kwai – the first time was a few years ago – there were points in the story when I was literally jumping up and down with anger and frustration. Good thing I wasn’t around when it came out in theatres, I would’ve put on quite a show!

Baby Steps

November 29, 2009

Working my way through my 101 List…

I’ve been able to check off the Top 3 from the AFI top 100 movies of all time list. (And actually, instead of just watching the 100 from the original list, I’ve decided to watch the ones that appear on the 10th anniversary list as well… didn’t want to discriminate.)

So now Citizen Kane, The Godfather, and Casablanca can be checked off the list. I can’t wait to read up on Citizen Kane and find out all the ground-breaking filmmaking techniques that were apparently used in its production! And, despite its violence (because really, has violence ever put me off to a movie? I love war films and mob movies!), I really enjoyed The Godfather. Who knew Al Pacino was so damn attractive when he was young?! I’d seen Casablanca once before, with my friend Trish. She was astonished that I hadn’t seen it, so she brought it over and we watched it back when I was still living on Roosevelt Island. Ahh, memories…

A Few More Things

November 17, 2009

It’s great how some of these goals go hand in hand… for instance, going to Australia provided me with LOTS of flight time and airport time to read… and so I’ve added a few more books to my list of those read so far. They include:

“Tallgrass,” by Sandra Dallas – A story about a town in Colorado where a Japanese internment camp is put up nearby during WWII; told from the perspective of a 13-year old girl.

“Sarah’s Key,” by Tatiana de Rosnay – Another WWII historical novel, more or less, but this one is set in France and the WWII-era story is interwoven with the present day. I sobbed uncontrollably for several pages at a stretch near the end – absolutely heart-wrenching.

“The Poisonwood Bible,” by Barbara Kingsolver – It seemed as though half the world read this in high school, so I decided to see what the fuss was all about. Surprisingly compelling, and I loved how each of the women/girls had a distinctly different narrative voice.

“Brave New World,” by Aldous Huxley – Another one I felt like I probably should have already read by now (there are a lot of them…) Fascinating. I’m generally not into things that are basically sci-fi, but I enjoyed it, and Huxley was definitely ahead of his time as far as I’m concerned. Surprisingly relevant all these decades later.

“The Glass Castle,” by Jeannette Walls – And you thought your family was quirky/screwed up/special… It’s amazing how inspiring this memoir is, considering all the crap the family went through, and how much of it was their own doing. I couldn’t help but simultaneously cringe and cheer.

That brings me up to 7 books out of the goal of 100. Well on my way! And one country… I’m finding it a little funny that I’ve managed to go to Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, and a handful of countries in Europe… but I’ve never properly visited Canada or Mexico (I’ve decided that Niagara Falls does not count, even if I went over to the Canadian side). So those may have to be added to my travel agenda in the next year or two.

1,001 Things Update

October 25, 2009

Slowly making progress on my list. A few things I can cross off:

I’ve read two books since I posted the list – the screenplay for Good Will Hunting, and the final diary entries (1945) of Joseph Goebbels. Any reading suggestions? I’m always happy to check out recommendations!

In less than a week, I’ll be in Sydney, so I’ll be able to cross off one country I had not yet visited. 

And I was curious how much change I’ve collected to this point so I counted it – $41.44 – not bad!

My List

September 12, 2009

101 things in 1,001 days

Today is my brother’s birthday. It’s also 9/11, a day of reflection and remembrance. But rather than focusing on things past, I want to take that energy and move forward, striving to be the best version of myself that I can be. So I (with Tracy’s inspiration) will be working to accomplish each item on a list of 101 goals, to be achieved in the span of 1,001 days. You can find more info on the website – Day Zero Project.

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Start Date: September 11th, 2009 (my brother’s 28th birthday!)

End Date: June 8th, 2012

Travel

01. Visit 3 states I have never been to before
02. Visit 5 countries I have never been to before
03. Drive the length of Route 1 along the coast of California
04. See a volcano while visiting my aunt and uncle in Hawaii
05. Visit King Lake for at least one week total
06. Visit Maine in autumn to see the changing colors of the leaves
07. Explore 5 neighborhoods in NYC I have never been to before
08. Go to Montauk (finally!)
09. See what all the fuss is about for at least one of the following:
         Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, the Hamptons, Nantucket

Food and Drink
10. Take a bartending class
11. Learn to cook Grandma’s curry recipe
12. Bring lunch to work for one month straight
13. Sign up for a 5-Day Blueprint Cleanse
14. Learn about spices and how to cook with them

15. Incorporate avocado into my diet
16. Go vegan for one month – twice
17. Get produce from the UN farmers’ market once a month
18. Go soda-free for 60 days
19. Get produce from the Union Square farmer’s market once a month
20. Try 4 different vegan restaurants
21. Make old-fashioned ice cream from scratch
22. Host one small dinner party

Money

23. Reduce my credit card debt by at least 75%
24. Close all but one or two credit cards (not including store cards)
25. Pick up a part-time job to supplement my income
26. Start a change bank and see how much money I can throw in there in 1,001 days
27. Put at least 5% of each paycheck into a 401(k)
28. When waitressing, set aside $1 bills from tips and see how many accumulate

Personal

29. Fill a standard notebook with story ideas, one per page (sheet)
30. Take the GMAT and score 700 or higher
31. Learn a foreign language enough to travel to the country
32. Read 100 new books
33. Take a class at a local college to learn about something new

34. Complete my script for the film submission and shoot it
35. Apply for the MBA/MFA program at NYU
36. Have a big rummage sale in New Berlin to purge excess stuff
37. Write my feature-length screenplay
38. Take a writing class/seminar
39. Read 25 screenplays
40. Take an acting class
41. Write a short story and submit it to a competition 

Art/Entertainment
42. Take at least 5 voice lessons with Katy
43. Learn to play at least 3 songs on the guitar
44. Attempt National November Writing Month
45. Sing in public at least twice
46. Go to at least 4 different museums
47. Attend the ballet
48. Attend the symphony
49. Attend at least two Broadway shows each calendar year
50. Watch the AFI Top 100 movies
51. Attend 2 poetry readings
52. Go to 4 art galleries
53. Stage manage at least one show

Self-Care

54. Get involved with a spiritual community/church
55. Completely unplug for a day – 10 times
56. Delete online accounts that I do not use
57. Get all dressed up and go to dinner and a show by myself
58. Make a habit of washing my face before bed
59. Wear makeup to work every day for a month to look more polished
60. Attend a spa/health getaway weekend retreat
61. Go to at least 3 therapy sessions with a psychologist/psychiatrist

Fitness

62. Complete a 10K
63. Complete a half-marathon
64. Complete a full marathon in the US
65. Complete a full marathon somewhere outside the US

66. Attend Bikram Yoga class at least 15 times on the 30-day unlimited pass
67. Do 100+ crunches at least 3 times a week, even when I don’t feel like it
68. Drop a minimum of 3-5% body fat
69. Join a running club
70. Attend at least 10 dance classes
71. Be able to do the splits all three ways
72. Complete enough NYRR events in 2010 to qualify for the 2011 ING NYC marathon
73. When home, go to the gym at least once a week
74. When traveling, fit in at least two workouts per week
75. Rejoin BearCat Masters swim team
76. Go biking with a friend at least 5 times

Adventure

77. Learn how to and go scuba diving

78. Go hiking in 5 different places
79. Go whitewater rafting
80. Try downhill skiing, if only on the bunny hill!
81. Go cross country skiing somewhere in New England
82. Learn how to and go snowshoeing
83. Try rollerblading

Community

84. Participate in a Habitat for Humanity project

85. Grow my hair out and donate it to Locks of Love
(or a comparable program)
86. Volunteer 50 hours
87. Rekindle an old friendship
88. Participate in a charity run
89. Make time to catch up with Jackie
90. Send 100+ holiday cards, each with a personalized message
91. For the holidays, write a sonnet for each person I support at work
92. Assist with at least 2 programs for the Jeanie Bird Foundation
93. Read aloud to a child at least 5 times

Cleaning and Organization

94. Organize my important paperwork into a folder system
95. Create a system to organize knick-knacks and miscellany
96. Get rid of all magazines that are more than two months old

97. Do not buy household/body care items until back-stock has been used
98. Clean out and reorganize my desk at work
99. Pare down my wardrobe to essentials and accent pieces

This Project

100. For every item not completed, donate $5 to a charity

101. Make a new 101 in 1,001 list

I’ll update you on my progress as goals get checked off the list! 🙂

Day Zero Project!

September 7, 2009

Inspired by Tracy (tndawicki.wordpress.com), I will be setting up a list of 101 things I want to do/accomplish in the next 1,001 days. So much cooler than a New Year’s Resolution!

I want to come up with a thoughtful, quality list, so I’m not going to post it just yet. I’ll spend the next few days putting it together, then post it in my next entry. Stay tuned!

Turnaround

September 7, 2009

I woke up this morning and shortly thereafter was in tears. Thank God this is a rare occurrence, it’s certainly not an ideal way to start the day. Normally when I’m upset at night, I can go to sleep and wake up and feel much better, ready for the new day. Somehow last night did not work according to plan. I went to sleep, woke up, and hadn’t purged all the negative energy yet. The central problem here is that I just don’t know how to let go of people I really care about, even when it gets too hard or too painful for me to hold on. 

My friend Tracy (tndawicki.wordpress.com) has been telling me about something called the Day Zero Project, which is basically a list of 101 things you set out for yourself to accomplish in the next 1,001 days. Sounds like a GREAT thing for me right now, I definitely need specific guidance/goals for myself right now. And, as a rule to myself, NONE of the goals will deal with my personal life. No crap like “I will have a boyfriend by… blah blah blah…” I don’t need that garbage in there, it’s a waste of a perfectly decent goal.

Big Day in the Big City!

September 4, 2009

Today I got an application to apply for my temp job (which I’ve held for a year) as a full-time employee. Which means I’d finally be legit! All I need to do now is fill out the 23-page application, sign consent forms for several different background checks, try to reconstruct my employment and residence history, and take (another) drug test. You’d almost think I was applying for the FBI! But if it gets me paid holidays, I’m all about it. 🙂

Things that make me happy: “Angelo Rosenbaum,” a song on one of the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS CDs from a few years ago, sung by the cast of the Lion King. The story is that the guy (Angelo Rosenbaum) was raised both Catholic and Jewish and is having difficulty finding a partner who respects and celebrates both religions and cultures. It’s clever and quirky, and highly recommended!

Also, I really enjoy pink grapefuit sorbet. My brother and I were reminiscing about the grapefruit sorbet we had at a restaurant near the Kohler showroom in Kohler, Wisconsin. Made fresh on site. YUM! It still makes me smile to think about it, and I wish I could have some right now!

On the horizon – AUSTRALIA! Only for a week (I seem to do a lot of super short long-distance trips… not sure what that’s all about…), but it should be excellent and I can’t wait to see Sydney! Anyone have suggestions of things to see or do there?