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):
- Stop eating desserts/sweets for one month
- Write an essay or short story and read it in public
- Approach a guy I’ve never met and ask him out on a date
- Write a poem
- Strike up a conversation with five strangers in one day
- Stay up for 24 hours and explore the city
- Write a script for a short film
- Go to a psychic
- Eat vegan for a day
- Fast and/or do a juice cleanse
- Give blood without passing out
- Call in to a radio show or ask a question/make a comment at a public event
- Learn to paddleboard
- Go rock climbing
- Volunteer doing something I’ve never done before or that makes me uncomfortable
- Visit a random place on the map within a one- to two-hour drive from my home
- Hop on a plane and go visit a new city for one or two days
- Perform five random acts of kindness in one day
- Learn to do a head or handstand
- Go on a ride at Mall of America that terrifies me
- Buy a camera and take a photography class
- Take tennis lessons
- Submit a piece of writing to a contest or magazine/journal
- Buy a piece of furniture
- Take a Double Dutch jumprope lesson
- Journal every day
- Design a postcard and send it to a friend (or some random address)
- Stand all day
- Take a ballet class
- Find someone willing to let me write their life story
- Listen to a live band I’ve never heard of
- Go to the opera
- Host a dinner party where at least half the attendees are strangers
- Downhill or cross-country ski (I haven’t done either in years)
- Take a type of exercise class I’ve never taken before
- Art bomb someone’s house or yard
- Walk a marathon (using a route of my own choosing)
- Run a route I’ve never taken before
- Try a new recipe
- Paint an abstract piece
- 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:
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.
February 25, 2014 § 2 Comments
Daily photos. Documented below are February 19-25 (some posted previously, some not):
February 24, 2014 § 6 Comments
Baby, it’s cold outside, so let’s read. What I’m looking forward to digging into this week:
- “54 Drawers” by Olivia Judson (The New York Times, February 18, 2014)
- A Book of Common Prayer by Joan Didion (1977)
- “Road Songs: Dannebrog, Nebraska” by Chloe Nelson (“mnartists.org” blog, Walker Art Center)
- thirty two (Issue 5, Spring 2014)
- “This Old Man” by Roger Angell (The New Yorker, February 17, 2014)
- “The Writer’s Room” by T Magazine (T Magazine, February 14, 2014)
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:
- I used to have white Christmas lights up all year, criss crossing my wall and ceiling. I took them down many years ago. Since then, the string lighting options have become more elaborate, trendy, and fanciful, inspiring me to consider taking up this design tactic again.
- How about a natural way to clean your shower and tub with grapefruit and salt? Delightful.
- Aside from silly rhymes, I’ve never written poetry. I’ve always assumed I’d fail miserably. But this handy little step-by-step guide by Jeff Shotts may be my salvation.
- Of my contemporaries, I seem to be the only one who remembers the Jimmy Carter/killer rabbit showdown, so I was thrilled to see this in my Facebook feed yesterday.
- I hate push-ups. Which means I should probably do a 30-day push-up challenge.
- A bowl of seashells from the Australian seashore sits on my shelf. So let’s make a seashell spoon.
February 22, 2014 § 10 Comments
It’s not an Olympic sport (yet), but downhill skating is all the rage, at least in St. Paul.
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.
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.
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.