March Madness

February 28, 2014 § 13 Comments

The good thing about what I’m about to propose is by making it public, it will force me to follow through with it.

The bad thing about what I’m about to propose is by making it public, it will force me to follow through with it.

My work contract ends in April, and I have several challenging projects I want to attempt before I start a new job. In order to muster up the courage to do those projects, I’d like to warm up with some daily challenges in March, recording the effort — successes, failures, and everything in between — on this blog.

The rules are I have to do something that:

  • I fear doing.
  • I keep putting off/procrastinating.
  • I’ve never done.

Challenges I’m considering (in no particular order):

  1. Stop eating desserts/sweets for one month
  2. Write an essay or short story and read it in public
  3. Approach a guy I’ve never met and ask him out on a date
  4. Write a poem
  5. Strike up a conversation with five strangers in one day
  6. Stay up for 24 hours and explore the city
  7. Write a script for a short film
  8. Go to a psychic
  9. Eat vegan for a day
  10. Fast and/or do a juice cleanse
  11. Give blood without passing out
  12. Call in to a radio show or ask a question/make a comment at a public event
  13. Learn to paddleboard
  14. Go rock climbing
  15. Volunteer doing something I’ve never done before or that makes me uncomfortable
  16. Visit a random place on the map within a one- to two-hour drive from my home
  17. Hop on a plane and go visit a new city for one or two days
  18. Perform five random acts of kindness in one day
  19. Learn to do a head or handstand
  20. Go on a ride at Mall of America that terrifies me
  21. Buy a camera and take a photography class
  22. Take tennis lessons
  23. Submit a piece of writing to a contest or magazine/journal
  24. Buy a piece of furniture
  25. Take a Double Dutch jumprope lesson
  26. Journal every day
  27. Design a postcard and send it to a friend (or some random address)
  28. Stand all day
  29. Take a ballet class
  30. Find someone willing to let me write their life story
  31. Listen to a live band I’ve never heard of
  32. Go to the opera
  33. Host a dinner party where at least half the attendees are strangers
  34. Downhill or cross-country ski (I haven’t done either in years)
  35. Take a type of exercise class I’ve never taken before
  36. Art bomb someone’s house or yard
  37. Walk a marathon (using a route of my own choosing)
  38. Run a route I’ve never taken before
  39. Try a new recipe
  40. Paint an abstract piece
  41. Research an art movement or artist I’m unfamiliar with

It’s a win-win, lose-lose, or win-lose proposition, so why not, right? Stay tuned to see if I actually make any progress with this challenge or bail out after Day 1.

And if you have any challenges you recommend I add to my list, shoot them my way. There are no bad suggestions, for I’m afraid of a lot of things.

* * *

Salting minus shoveling equals a turquoise mess:

I call this one "Abstract Leprechaun"

I call this one “Abstract Leprechaun”

Blue Light

February 27, 2014 § 4 Comments

Blue light


February 26, 2014 § 6 Comments

I like this dog. He ran off with one of my knee-high boots before dinner. He tugged on my flannel shirt relentlessly. And he loves carrots, kale, and a good squeaky toy.

Unfortunately, my dog photography skills are lacking. It took 26 tries to get a respectable picture of him.

But we finally wrangled him.


The Weekly Snapshot

February 25, 2014 § 2 Comments

Daily photos. Documented below are February 19-25 (some posted previously, some not):


Nightstand 2014: Week Nine

February 24, 2014 § 6 Comments

Baby, it’s cold outside, so let’s read. What I’m looking forward to digging into this week:


Seven Bookmarks

February 23, 2014 § 6 Comments

My electronic folders are full of interesting sites or webpages I’ve bookmarked for later reference. Oftentimes, I forget what I’ve saved or where I saved it. By sifting through the clutter and sharing a few favorites, I’m hoping to jumpstart some projects inspired by the following. Take a peek if you’re so inclined, and share a favorite site or page you’ve bookmarked. I’d love suggestions on what to obsess over next:

Party Lights

Image credit: Sarah Rae Trover

Image credit: Sarah Rae Trover

Image credit: Jimmy Carter Library and Museum

Image credit: Jimmy Carter Library and Museum

Image source: POPSUGAR

Image source: POPSUGAR

Image source: Dietland Wolf

Image source: Dietland Wolf


Image credit: Kumi Yamashita

Helmets Required

February 22, 2014 § 10 Comments

It’s not an Olympic sport (yet), but downhill skating is all the rage, at least in St. Paul.

This is the start of the Crashed Ice course. Nope. Wouldn't do it.

This is the start (of the end of your life).

While our recent winter storm has made all downhill streets in the Twin Cities a Crashed Ice course, St. Paul actually spent major dollars to construct a gigantic frozen Slip ‘N Slide for adrenaline junkies.

This is the view from the back of the starting gate. Notice how the Cathedral is strategically placed at the beginning so the racers can pray they make it to the bottom in one piece.

This is the view from the back of the starting gate. Notice how the Cathedral is strategically placed at the beginning so the racers can pray they make it to the bottom in one piece.

I’m not quite sure how to explain the Crashed Ice race. It’s certainly not for the faint- or vertigo-hearted (i.e., me). Rather it’s the illegitimate child of ski cross and roller derby, all speed and rebellion with the requisite agony (i.e., broken fibulas and tibias and tarsals) of defeat.

I’ve never seen the race live. I simply enjoy checking out the scene beforehand, taking in the vibe of diehard fans, camera crews, and miserably cold police officers who just want to go home.

Nope. Wouldn't do this either, even if it was 80 degrees and sunny.

Get this guy an electric blanket and flask of bourbon.

The sponsor, Red Bull, is everywhere at this event. You can’t even buy any food or warm drinks. Just refreshment stands offering ice-cold Red Bull for sale. Which is all well and proper, for Minnesotans don’t need cocoa in sub-zero temps. We like our temperatures on the inside and outside to match.

The finish -- sponsored by Red Bull.

The finish. Which, actually, wouldn’t it be a better race if the athletes had to make it back to the top the same way they came down?

Where Am I?

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