#11: Find a Little Black Dress

October 17, 2009

Date of Completion: October 2009

To be fair, this item was listed as “find the perfect little black dress.” However, my friends, until I accomplish #12, this ain’t gonna happen. There aren’t a whole lot of sexy little black dresses when you’re not little. Still, I did find something resembling that ubiquitous LBD, and it totally counts until I lose some weight and find something better. I’ve also already worn it twice, so it’s totally lived up to its expectations.

It also came with a scarf, which is somewhat trendy right now. I think that makes me trendy by default, yes?



#27: Walk a Dog

October 13, 2009

Date of Completion: October 2009

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I must have had a horribly deprived childhood. (I wasn’t allowed to have a video game system, either. Rub it in.) Really, though? We’re cat people. And it took a hell of a lot of pleading and (ironically) puppy dog eyes to even convince my dad to let us have a cat. We had the world’s most low-maintenance cat and even so, my dad, having grown up on a sorta-farm, maintained that all animals should be kept outside. We finally won him over, and so we had our kitty, and then I got my own kitty, and my sister and her husband got kitties, and my mom got a kitty, and… well. We just never had dogs. It wasn’t really an option.

Also, I am sort of uneasy around dogs.

I don’t DISlike them. I just need to be able to warm up to them. Little dogs are usually okay. It’s the big ones that jump on you that make me really nervous. I mean, one time when I was little, this big huge lab decided it wanted to play and it was literally bigger than I was and it jumped on me and apparently traumatized me more than I thought. Also, doggy drool grosses me out.

Anywho. I was thinking about it and I realized that I have never, ever walked a dog. Even for a little bit. There is just something that seems relaxing and fun about taking a dog out for a walk when it’s nice out.

Unfortunately for me, it was NOT nice out when I got my opportunity to walk a cutie-pie little doxie named Barney. It was freakishly cold, even for October in Iowa standards. But my friend Calee and I took her new little puppy (all dogs are puppies in my mind, I don’t care how old they are) out for a jaunt around the ‘hood. He was a determined little guy, despite his short little legs. And yes, he even got to wear a sweater for the occasion.

So, I got to walk him for a few blocks and it was quite enjoyable. And I didn’t even have to clean up after him, so that was a bonus.

I’ve now got ‘er crossed off the list, and while it was fun, I think I shall stick to my kitty cat. Although she did try chewing on my (p)leather computer chair earlier, so she’s sort of part dog, I guess. Weirdo cat. img27


#25: Go Tailgating

October 12, 2009

Date of Completion: September 2009

Confession: In my four years as a student at a state university, I had never gone tailgating. Well – I went to a pseudo-tailgate when I was 19, but that hardly counts, because, well, it just doesn’t. It was lame and not fun and I’m pretty sure one of the main components of a successful tailgate is beer, of which we couldn’t have, because we were too young. And, really, if you drink underage at a tailgate, you’re pretty much asking for an MIP. No thanks.

By the time I was old enough to Actually Tailgate, I was too busy to even go to any of the football games. And I moved away and then moved back and every home game, I regretted missing out on this life experience.

Well as it just so happens to turn out, you can tailgate when you’re old too, so all was not lost.

It was everything I’d hoped it would be, and more. Naturally, I couldn’t just “sorta” tailgate – I really tailgated. I drug myself out of bed at 8:30 (on a Saturday! Voluntarily!), which is “late” by morning-game standards, but, well, anything sooner just wasn’t happening. It also just wasn’t any old football game – it was the big in-state rivalry game. This is like, A-game tailgating. It. was. awesome. The thing is, when you suspect your team is probably going to lose anyway, it doesn’t really matter how the game goes… your time is much better spent drinking in the parking lot all afternoon. And, that, my friends, is what I did. I acquired a lot of free beer (which is what happens when you are ticketless and forced to “guard” the cooler while the rest of the gang is in the stadium)…. and I learned to play Flippy Cup* – which, by the by, I am awesome at. Who knew?

*(and no, I didn’t learn in college… I was apparently busy doing other things. Like not tailgating.)

It was a gorgeous day, it was a ton of fun… and while my team did, in fact, lose, it didn’t really matter because it was still an awesome day. I unfortunately was out o’ town for the next few games (yeah, I still live in my college town, WHAT OF IT) so I haven’t been back, but, I’m glad I finally did it, and I will for sure be back.img25


#5: Sell A Piece of Artwork

October 8, 2009

Date of Completion: August 2009

I hesitate to call myself a photographer because I feel like an impostor most days. But when it comes down to it, it’s my favorite art form, and anyone who knows me, knows I never go anywhere without my camera. I used to have an exceptionally good eye for what I considered to be “artsy” photos… and sometimes I found other people who agreed. (I have an art site set up at DeviantArt where I’ve posted sporadically over the last four years or so). I haven’t taken much new in years – my creative spark died when I graduated college and let myself get weighed down with money concerns and health insurance and other grown-up type things. Yet, I’ve always loved it and always thought my stuff was pretty damn awesome, but it never occurred to me to try and monetize any of it.

But then I got to thinking, and why not? Artists sell art. Photography is art. Photography is MY art. My photography might even be art to people besides me. (It’s kinda like, you know, how your mom always thinks you’re awesome, but she’s biased, because she’s your mom – these photos are my babies and I love them all and naturally I think they are fantastic).

An opportunity arose in August for Market Day, hosted by the Market Street Media Foundry in Des Moines. I responded to the call for artists to fill the last few spots as almost a joke or a whim – no way I’d be good enough to participate. But, to my surprise, they said they’d love to have me. I almost died. And then I spent a frantic week trying to get ready because naturally I have to be impulsive about the weirdest things (and get painfully pragmatic about others). I don’t think anyone thought I’d be able to pull it all together in a week. Hell, I didn’t think I’d be able to do it. (And yet – that’s what I do for my day job. I produce miracles and get. shit. done.)  It was good for me. It helped me rediscover my art and the photos that have lain dormant for a few years. I printed and cut and framed and organized and then it was Thursday and I was ready and had two days to self-doubt and second-guess myself. I got a lot of encouragement from my friends and my new Twitter friends and so I did it.

It was a slow traffic day, by all accounts. I sold a couple magnets, and the only framed piece and notecards I sold were to my friend, but it totally counts. People saw my art. And what’s better, they liked it. I got so many compliments. And, sure, what else do you say when the person that took the photos is sitting RIGHTTHERE and watching you watch their pieces. Still, it was a great experience. I didn’t even break even on the show entry fee, let alone all the money I poured into resources, but I had planned to do the September show (got pulled away by out-of-town obligations) and I think October & November are more specialized shows… But next summer, I’ll be ready. I might start an Etsy store but it almost gives me panic attacks to think about it. I’m such a headcase.

At any rate. I sold a photograph which makes me think maybe someday I can sell more. People might actually like my pictures enough to hang them up in their home. I get irrationally emotional about the concept.

Here’s the only pic I have from that day, a snapshot of my booth at the show before it started.



#21: Go to the Iowa State Fair

October 6, 2009

Date of Completion: August 2009

The Iowa State Fair. My God, where to begin. It’s one of those prime, people-watching events and one of the things that gives Iowa all its stereotypes. The nice thing I’ve found is, there are some very cosmopolitan areas in the state, so to speak, and I’d like to think there are people just as classy and sophisticated as anywhere else. But, there’s no denying you’ve got your missing-tooth, mulleted, ripped-off-sleeve and fannypack wearing crowd who’s really just there to eat deep-fried [insert something edible] on a stick. I’ve been to the State Fair approximately once in my life, when a poster design I did in eight grade won Best In Show in my county and made it to the Big Time. (Yes, my friends, I was a budding designer even back then, but without a fancy shiny Mac or any knowledge of Adobe’s existence). Had no desire to go back.

And yet, as years went by, hearing peoples’ stories and anectdotes, they made me curious. Still, even with things like my friend’s State Fair Bingo (“Kid on a leash! Check!”), nothing motivated me to go. Until this year. When one of my favoritest musicians of all time, Matt Nathanson, was playing on the free stage. That did me in. I grabbed two of my good friends, and we went. I was determined to make it a respectable State Fair experience, even if we were only going for a few hours and even if it was the last day. I ate fried oreos and a porkchop on a stick and the “hot beef sundae” (like it sounds, with mashed potatoes instead of ice cream, gravy instead of fudge, beef instead of peanuts, and a lil tomato instead of a cherry). I saw mullets. I breathed secondhand smoke. I tried not to touch anything. It was a delight. (So was Matt Nathanson. Swoon.) I did, unfortunately, forget to go see the butter cow, but I saw that when I was twelve, so I think I’m good.



#9: Visit a Winery

October 6, 2009

I’m kind of a strong proponent of “Pics or it didn’t happen!” – so I’m going to provide photographic evidence for as many of these as possible.

But first – the ones that snuck in before I posted the list, but after I’d started. So they totally count.

#9 – Visit a Winery
Date of Completion: August 2009

Went to the local winery and sampled all their wines – all of them, even the ones I knew I wouldn’t like. Dry reds = no thanks. I like sweet wines, so sue me. My sister peer pressured me into buying a bottle, even though I was broke and even though I knew they sold them at the local grocery store. Still, it was fun, and I found a couple new wines that I really like.img009


Behold: The List.

September 24, 2009

Here it be, my friends. Some of these don’t need much extra explanation… actually probably none of them do, but I am going to elaborate anyway. Wish me luck! Help me out! Start your own! Let’s do this!

1- Fall in love
Stipulation – it needs to be reciprocal. This adds to the challenge somewhat. But dammit, I’ve been patient long enough. I need to get myself out there.

2 – Earn my black belt in TKD

3- Visit Las Vegas
A road trip with my girls would obviously be ideal but given time constraints of vacation time and what have you, I am ok with flying. This also accomplishes “visit a casino” which isn’t a separate line item but could be. This might take a while given my lack of finances… perhaps I’ll save it to the end and that is how I will celebrate my 30th birthday? oooh, I like that. Hear that, girls? My 30th birthday – we are headed to Vegas!

4- Kiss in the rain

5- Sell a piece of artwork – COMPLETED AUGUST 2009
Ok, it was to my friend Steph… but it was AT an art show! So it totally counts. This also simultaneously knocks “be in an art show” off my list. Maybe I should be more ambitious… Sell a piece of artwork to a stranger?

6 – Photograph a new city
Cites that I’ve already done (more or less): St. Louis, San Francisco, New York, Des Moines. Anywhere else is fair game. I’d really like to hit Minneapolis, maybe. I don’t think I’ve taken enough shots to really count it. Maybe I should go somewhere new? Chicago? I’ve never been there…

7 – Learn a foreign language (or enough to be mildly conversational)
Either French or Spanish. French cause it’s pretty, Spanish cause it’s useful.

8 – Get a tattoo

9 – Visit a winery – COMPLETED AUGUST 2009
Already knocked this one out, but I’d love to go visit more! Maybe I could expand this to “tour a winery” – not just taste all their wine! : )

10 – Pay off my credit cards

11 – Find the perfect little black dress

12- Lose 30 pounds
(25 would be acceptable. Hell, I’d even take 20 at this point.)

13 – Sing karaoke
Doing it as a group totally counts, as long as it’s in front of people. And we’re liquored up.

14 – See a Broadway show
… on Broadway. Damn, I guess that means I’ll have to go to New York. ; )

15 – Learn to drive a stick shift
My dad tried to teach me once. It ended in epic failure. There’s still time!

16 – Go out to the middle of nowhere and watch a meteor shower

17 – Visit a haunted house
This will freak the shit out of me. I should probably do it anyway.

18 – Travel outside state lines and buy fireworks
Yo, Missouri – what’s up? ; )

19 – Learn the Thriller dance
This is very important. Because it would be AWESOME.

20 – Get a manicure/pedicure and/or a massage
I’m almost tempted to not cross this one off until I do both. I have been missing out!!

21 – Go to the Iowa State Fair – COMPLETED AUGUST 2009
I came, I saw, I ate something on a stick. And deep fried Oreos. And totally almost lost my car in the parking lot. It was fun.

22 – Go campaniling
This only makes sense if you are an Iowa State student/grad. One of the traditions is to kiss under our campanile (clock tower) at the stroke of midnight. They say you’re not a true Iowa Stater until you do it. I never did it! : ( For as into ISU as I was, this makes me feel kind of like a failure…

23 – Be in a movie
This could be entirely contingent upon how this whole tax-credit thing goes and if they keep filming movies in Iowa (Des Moines is the new LA!). I want to be an extra! Preferably one that actually shows up on screen! Hollywood, baby!

24 – Participate in a cancer fundraising walk
I will never be able to run a 5K, but dammit, I still want to participate. I am signed up to do one in October – it’s just 1-mile walk, but it’s something.

25 – Go Tailgating – COMPLETED SEPTEMBER 2009
Can you believe I never went tailgating in college? Ok, I went once, but I was 19, and the thought of getting a MIP charge wasn’t cool. There was no beer involved. And it wasn’t fun. So I finally went, as someone of legal age, and it was everything I hoped it would be. Except I didn’t get fed. Maybe next time I can tailgate with people who will grill some burgers.

26 – Write a short story. Send it in to be published. Frame the rejection letter.
By 40, I hope to take a stab at a novel. Or my memoirs – y’all know I’ve got some good stories to start it. For now… something smaller.

27 – Walk a dog
I’ve never done this. We’ve always had cats…

28 – Host a dinner
Cook a full meal – appetizer, entree, dessert – for some friends. Yum!

29 – Learn to parallel park
Cause, seriously? Right now I will park blocks away just so I don’t have to.

30 – Clean out my car
I probably wouldn’t have actually put this on the list except I was coerced into doing so by a few of my friends. Basically my car is a giant pit hole of everything I’ve ever travelled with. It needs some TLC and possibly a ShopVac. Also, by putting it on my list, I may actually DO it.

All right, that’s my list. Five years to get them done. Starting… now!



Things You Won’t See On The List

September 21, 2009

It’s T Minus 2 days until I “officially” launch this project – by which I mean, I will post my list and there will be no turning back. I currently have 29 things on it… naturally I feel like #30 has to be a good one. It will probably be something lame. I still have a day to figure it out.

Here is what I am NOT going to include: things like “getting married” or “have a baby” and such. For starters, I don’t know if I even want kids, ever, let alone *rightnow* – also, that’s kind of Serious for my purposes. As far as getting married? I’d love to be settled down by 30, but that includes a whole slew of variables, including finding somebody that I actually want to commit to for the rest of my life. To me, you can’t put a timeline on that. So I won’t.

Other things I’ve excluded are things I’ve already done, that might have otherwise been on my list. (Visit a foreign country? Check. Try sushi? Check.) If I did it before I even started this list, it doesn’t count. Meanwhile, if I started the list, and happened to have the opportunity to do it… eh, well, I’m counting it. It’s not cheating… it’s just me getting ahead of myself.

Primarily, these are fun and happy things that I want to do, not a checklist of grownup-ly things that I should do. These are things I want to do. Hopefully soon. Then, when I check them all off? I can make a new list of things I want to do. Hopefully by then, I will have more money, and I can start putting things on there that will someday be more financially feasible. : )

So… check back on Wednesday, I will OFFICIALLY OFFICIALLY post the list, and we’ll see where this little experiment takes me. If anyone gets inspired to do their own list, let me know – I’ll link to it over yonder on the side.



First Things First

August 13, 2009

In case anyone stumbles onto this page before I do anything else with it (unlikely), I just thought I’d write an obligatory introduction post and explain what the hell this blog is all about. I have other blogs, my main one being a dumping ground where I bitch and moan and whine about my life as an angsty twentysomething in the middle of America. I would also like to add a disclaimer of being completely web-illiterate and this is my second attempt at using WordPress, and we’ll see how long it lasts until (a) I get scared and run back to Blogger or (b) someone teaches me what the hell to do.

I got rather inspired this evening, reading some fabulousy sassy blogs (some, I suppose, might fall near the realm of the ubiquitous “mommy blogging” but I have no interest in children beyond a morbid curiosity of that alternate lifestyle, not to say I won’t ever end up there, but I’m way too damn selfish to even think about it right now.) And it made me wish I had a blog of some sort of substance. Not to say anyone will read this except for the few friends I eventually point in this direction, but, whatever.

I am turning 25 next month. Which means I’ll have to fully face the fact that I’m a grownup and I’m going to get old and while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I don’t want to look back on my youth and feel like I missed out. I’ve been saying that I’m going to make a list, of things to accomplish, and 30 seems like a good milemarker. Why 30 things? Because the alliteration sounds nice, mostly. Some will be big, some will be small. Some will be thoughtful and some will be silly. I haven’t actually written the list yet, but I know that I want to chronicle it somewhere. Will I maintain this for five years? Unless I magically grow an attention span, I doubt it. Although my blogging record has been long and prolific, this probably makes blog #5 in as many years. Also: the first one with a purpose.

So, my future friends, I am going to make a list of thirty things that I would like to do in the next few years, and I am going to report back on my progress. Even if it’s merely a “yay I did it!” then I still think it will inspire a sense of accomplishment, and that counts for something too. And maybe I’ll pick up one or two readers, and they (you, if you’re reading this) can cheer me on. Maybe make a list of your own.

I will get as many things crossed off the list as I can. The ones I don’t? Well, I suppose I can always add ten more and do a “40 before 40” now can’t I? ; )

(Item #31 will, of course, be to learn how to use this site… I’m not even kidding.)