Archive for July, 2012


#6: Run a 5K

July 23, 2012

Date of first attempt: July 2012

I should have listed this as “participate in a 5K” but that’s not really what my ultimate goal was, so that would have been a copout… which is a pity, because I participated in my very first official 5K recently. Unfortunately, I began the Couch to 5K training far too late in the game and wasn’t able to complete it… which meant I walked a good bit of the 5K. However, it was a very laid back race – more of a run, than a race, really – so it’s not quite the failure one might assume.

Let me backtrack.

Quite a while ago, thanks to my Pinterest addiction, I learned of The Color Run – a 5K where they throw paint on you every kilometer, so that by the time you’re done, you’re a human rainbow. “Self,” I thought to myself, “that sounds like a lot of fun. You should look into this.”

I’m not a runner. I participated in track & field in high school, simply for lack of anything else to do in the spring, but I hated every second of it. I have always been slow and I’ve only gotten more and more out of shape since then. But I’ve been wanting to get back in shape (see: goal #12!) and this seemed like a fun way to do it. I found The Color Run’s website and searched for a nearby city in which to participate. Minneapolis, Chicago, and Kansas City were the closest, originally. Of these, Kansas City was the date that worked the best, even though the thought of running multiple miles outside in the Missouri heat in the middle of summer wasn’t particularly appealing. No matter, I was going to do it anyway. Together with my sister, brother-in-law, and fellow blogger and IRL friend Calee, we trekked down to KC in the middle of the biggest heatwave the Midwest has seen in quite some time, and prepared to get doused in rainbow powder.

I was able to run the first twelve minutes without stopping, then it was off-and-on walking/jogging the rest of the way. Not shabby, considering I had started at Level Zero only a month prior (I thought the Couch to 5K program was 6 weeks, so I thought maybe I could squeeze it into 4… nope, it’s 9 weeks. FACEPALM.)

Luckily, due to the overwhelming number of requests, they opened an event right here in Des Moines, Iowa, scheduled for the beginning of October. Obviously, I couldn’t resist signing up for it, because they brought it to my own backyard.

Which means I will have a second chance to complete this goal, in a fun and colorful manner.

I’m calling this goal half-complete. I signed up for a 5K and I completed it, but I didn’t run the whole thing.



#28: Ride a Motorcycle (briefly, and with a helmet.)

July 15, 2012

Date of close-enough completion: July 2012

The more time goes by, the less this one is appealing. Motorcycles are dangerous as hell, and I’ve long since lost my youthful illusions of being indestructible and immortal. I know all too well that I’m not. Even so, I left this one on the list. Maybe I could just, like, ride down a driveway or something and call it good.

I’m going to do you one better (or worse). I’ve sat on a motorcycle, parked safely on a driveway, while it was running. I revved the engine a few times. I was not wearing a helmet, to be sure, but I did get my picture taken. I’ve felt the power of it, I’ve breathed in the exhaust, I’ve gotten close enough that I’m going to check it off.

I mean, all I really wanted was a cool picture of me on a motorcycle. In that sense: mission accomplished.



#18: Go outside state lines and buy fireworks

July 13, 2012

Date of completion: July 2012

Fireworks are illegal in my state. I mean, the big ones are. We can buy sparklers and other feeble pyrotechnics, but if you want to buy anything more exciting (see also: dangerous), you have to go to a neighboring state. I think a lot of our other neighbor states also outlaw firework sales, so Missouri is the common destination for those wishing to light up the sky.

I’ve been through Missouri several times lately, and no matter which highway you take, there is a gigantic firework warehouse to greet you not far from the border. Each time, it vaguely occurred to me that we should stop, because I had it on my list, after all. On our way back from Kansas City earlier this month, my brother in law decided that he really wanted to buy some fireworks, and I seconded the motion for a pit stop. The giant red building, plastered with “NO SMOKING!!! OMG FOR THE LOVE OF GOD NO SMOKING!!! signs (okay, I might be paraphrasing), was fairly busy, given that it was mere days before Independence Day, which is prime firework time.

It’s also your best bet to be able to shoot them off without drawing too much interest from the authorities. They tend to let you get away with a little more when it’s the 4th of July. It’s quite patriotic of them, really.

I picked some small ground-based pieces (ground blooms! Glitter bombs!) that set me back about $2-3 (hey, it’s merely the act of purchasing that constitutes a successful checkmark on the list). Because it was pre-holiday weekend, they were giving freebies with purchases. My BIL joked that I wasn’t going to get any because my purchase was so small.

The bag girl smiled and gave me something anyway. Turns out, the freebie I got was worth more than my total purchase price. Go figure.

There was only the slightest of thrills crossing back over the border with our contraband. I mean, it’s not like there are customs officers on the state lines or anything. Also, the stuff I ended up with was pretty tame – to the point where they might even be legal here at home. Ah, well. I guess I’ll have to save my act of rebellion for another time.


#4: Attend a Midnight Premiere of a Movie

July 10, 2012

Date of completion: March 2012 & May 2012

I’ve always been slightly jealous of the people that had the foresight/stamina/dedication to attend a midnight movie. I always liked the idea, both of being one of the very first people to see something, and of the inevitable camaraderie that must certainly be associated by that dedicated of a fan base. Or just by the collective willingness to be crazy enough to stay up late to watch a movie.

I’m not really a bandwagon jumper. Being interested in something merely because it’s popular, well, doesn’t interest me. Yet I got wind of the Hunger Games trilogy right as it was starting to really hit the mainstream and absolutely devoured it. If it hadn’t been officially greenlighted yet, I knew it was a matter of time… this was most certainly going to be a movie.

And I was going to be one of the first in line to see it.

I followed the casting updates and behind-the-scenes looks at the filming, holding my breath that they wouldn’t make a mess of my beloved books. I ordered a ticket for the 12:01 showing as soon as they were available (our theater ended up having showtimes staggered all the way up until 1, 1:30 in the morning as they all sold out and opened another one. I don’t live in an exceptionally large town, so it was pretty impressive.) We were part of the first batch. The hardest of the hardcore.

We had to swing by the theater at 10am to pick up wristbands, which would give us our numbered spot in line. We had to wait a half hour in the rain to get those, and there was an obnoxious group of people that kept cutting in line in front of us to join their friends, but we were relatively polite about it. Us being part of the very first showtime meant we had to get there at around 8:30pm since we were the first group to be corralled into our theater.

We sat inside the theater for about three hours. They even turned the house lights on so people could chat or read their books/magazines. It was a loooooong wait, but it was exciting to feel that palpable energy in the air.

I decided to not waste any time off and went to work the next morning. That was… probably not smart. But it was totally worth it.

A few weeks later, I decided to go ahead and buy tickets for the midnight showing of The Avengers. I knew that I was capable of surviving a late-night movie experience, despite my ripe old age of 27, and I was so excited for this movie. It didn’t have quite the same crush of people as The Hunger Games (partially because it was during finals week for the university located in town, so a lot of the students had already left town) so we didn’t have to be there quite as early, and there were no wristbands.

I promised myself that THAT WAS IT, no more midnight movies… at least, not until the second installment of the Hunger Games trilogy comes out. I might consider another midnight show for Catching Fire and Mockingjay. It’s the only fandom I’ve really subscribed to, and I know I’m going to get impatient waiting for them, and I’m going to want to see them as soon as possible.

I’ll just know enough to take the next morning off so I can sleep in/recover.