The thing about me, the thing that I often forget until it’s staring me in the face, is that I have ridiculous levels of willpower. I let myself believe that I can’t do something, or I half-heartedly start on an endeavor only to give up when it isn’t convenient. It’s easier to think that something’s too hard than it is to just buckle down and do it.

Twenty-seven days ago, after nearly a month turning the idea over in my mind, I started Whole 30 and gave up dairy, grains, sugar and liquor. When I started, I fully expected to cave three days in, desperate for a slice of toast with my egg or goat cheese sprinkled on my salad. But I haven’t caved. Which means that it’s been twenty-seven days since I’ve had a beer, a slice of bread, or ice cream.

And it’s been awesome – I’m not starving at the end of the work day. I’m not getting major energy dips when the carbs wear off, or cravings for replacement carbohydrates. I’ve discovered that I like things that I always thought I hated – blueberries, mineral water – and learned that the advice to eat fruit when you want sugar really does work. It helps that cherries, one of my favorite fruits, are in season.

Basically I feel like I’ve been recalibrating my taste buds, which seems like such a ridiculous thing to say that I want to side-eye myself. But I won’t, because I’m still excited about new food combinations that I haven’t gotten to try yet and new products that I’ve tried and adore so much that they’ll make a routine appearance in my grocery cart. I have three more days until I can add items back in, but I’m not actively counting them down.

Now the biggest task is to remember this the next time I need to dig deep on willpower.


At the beginning of the year, I made a quick list of goals for the year – thirteen in total. (I have mentioned this before.) Of those thirteen, I’ve fully accomplished three and am on track to finish six more.  There was the ridiculously attainable item (“Knit a fucking shawl!” Guess what? I’ve knit TWO fucking shawls!), and there were things that’re hard to define as complete/not complete. There was one thing I put down as a quasi joke, not thinking it would be one of the first to be checked off, but guess what? I did it. One of the last things on my list is what I’m tackling now: to make either a Life List, or a 30 by 30 list.

Earlier this week I hit my half birthday, which means I’m a scant eighteen months from turning the supposedly-dreaded thirty. And the idea of sitting down and writing a huge list of Things To Achieve In Life just sounds… awful to me. So, instead I’m taking the week to compile a list of things that I would ideally like to do in the next year and a half. I deal best with shorter deadlines, so this seems like the wiser solution.

So far, it’s chock full of travel goals both grand and small (hello, irrational desire to go to Iowa!), and a few things that have been swiped from my 2010 list simply due to time constraints. Since my hard-to-call-complete goals have been the ones most likely to flounder this year, I’m making an effort to only list concrete things, nothing vague and easy to misinterpret. (This is particularly hard, since I adore writing vaguely. See: this post about goals, with hardly anything stated outright.) I’m still only at the halfway point, and I’m looking forward to seeing how my list shapes up.

I am a little worried that I’ll hit item #29, and then draw a blank. Because that’s totally the sort of thing I do.

4:30AM. Adverbs

At 4:30 this morning I woke unexpectedly, thinking I’d heard a crash. I was in the midst of some terribly complex and intriguing dream which involved some sort of epic scavenger hunt, undertaken by aliens and hobbits and lightning bug/human hybrids and geeks. I think the crash was actually within my dream, not from the depths of my apartment. (At least, so I hoped.)

“This would make a fantastic movie,” I thought, “if only I were more well versed in science fiction, I could get it right!” Apparently in my sleep I am familiar with the sorts of otherworldly beings that populate science fiction novels and movies. My waking self? Not so much. Our heroes were a hopeless bunch of geeks, with determination on their side. Totally a cliche.

I should write this down, I knew. I could turn on the light, and jot it all down in my journal. But, no. I could pick up the phone beside my head, type it all furiously out. But then that would cancel my amazing sleep cycle app, currently on night #99, charting my every fitful sleeping spell, every out-like-a-log night.

Instead I laid there, attempting to commit every detail to memory before wafting off into sleep again. I failed. All I’m left with is the bizarre imagery of a faintly Tinkerbell-looking creature, floating between pine trees. I really should try and dream more often.


2010’s been a year of habits. I’ve been breaking them, making them, and plotting out more to tackle. It’s both exhilarating and scary – as much as I crave change, I’m a fairly cautious person.

In January, when everyone was making their resolutions and then forgetting about them a few days later, I jotted down a list of Things To Do. I knew I wasn’t going to accomplish them all this year, or even be able to start some of them. It was just thrilling to take all those half-thought plans that had been milling around my head for months and just let them spill onto paper, unguarded and hopeful.

Now I think I’d like to make a Life List, which I think is a more daunting version of my New Year’s Day wee-hours furious scribbling. Yet, I think I’d like the challenge.


Apparently I..switched to WordPress. It’s been awhile since I poked around a new blogging platform. Let’s see how this goes.

I will say that installing WordPress was ridiculously easy, compared to the hours and days of head-scratching that Movable Type inspired.

Emails to myself,

When spring starts, and it’s suddenly in the 30s and snowy after nice weather, well, then it’s time to clean out the ol’ inbox. I have a habit of emailing myself things that I need to remember, or to check on later. Only sometimes I can’t remember what it was I needed to remember. I’m awful at deleting/archiving said emails, because I’m certain that one day I will remember the hidden meaning, so they languish in the depths of my inbox.

6/1/07: Sometimes I miss the old school Internet days, when it was perfectly acceptable to use blinking text.

6/6/07: The email was only this link to the Mason-Dixon knitting blog. That was the day I decided to knit that blanket for Yvette and Wade’s wedding.

1/23/08: Wisconsinmade cheese curds

6/23/08: check things online, sigg??, pic to shame Andy

5/19/09: this link to an AV Club Madison article about the website Beards from Below. (I like beards, but I forgot to go to this site before.)

6/21/09:  W.   Just the letter W.

11/19/09: test test 12:02pm

12/29/09: A link to this Madison Magazine article with a list of 62 things every Madisonian should do in 2010. I thought it might be a really interesting list of things I hadn’t heard of, yet rolled my eyes when I saw that the Frosiball was #1.  I’ve done 15 of the first 45, and on the “official” Madisonian checklist for items #46-62, I’ve done all but two, so eh.



Well, damn. Yesterday was the final day of 2009, and I finished up my Project 365. Although I was most uninspired at times – seriously, when it gets dark at four and you leave work at six, how inspired can you be? – but I actually finished my lone goal of 2009, as put into words here

I just haven’t, you know, edited photos from the last ten days. Also, I haven’t gotten around to updating my flickr pro, so you can’t see them all. BUT THEY’RE THERE. I TOOK (at least!) ONE PHOTO A DAY FOR A YEAR. The satisfaction from completing such a task is immense. Even if I did just take photo after photo of snow for a spell.

(Now I kind of want to giddily leave my camera at home for a week straight. That thing is heavy to lug around. Which was a wholly unanticipated side effect.)

Actually finishing a stated New Year’s goal has my mind all abuzz, so I’m sure over the course of the day I will come up with about thirty ideas for 2010. So far, I’ve only come up with ones with less of a day-to-day commitment.

Making a list

Not a Christmas list. Instead, I’m making a slew of half-finished lists of plans, dreams, goals for the next year. I just need to get them all down on paper, instead of bouncing around my skull. But I have ideas, things that I most certainly want to accomplish.

Three months in photos, part III

Beet procurement Broth & Cabbage

The weather turned crisp, the heat kicked in, and I made borscht for the first time of the season. (It was delicious.)

Afternoon rainbow! Luscious yarn!

A ridiculously ostentatious rainbow hung around outside my window at work, and I lusted after an assortment of yarn.

Back in HH Bloody Mary

There were more football games, including one chilly game back in our old seats in the upper deck. Bittersweet, but a delicious bloody mary afterwards was most helpful.

Half-tunnel Backlit Gateway

A trip to Olbrich to catch some autumn foliage was thwarted by the fact that, well, none of the leaves had quite turned yet. The visit was saved by the glorious late-afternoon light….

Pathways Bridge to....

…and a sudden fixation on pathways.

Bouquet Sprinkle

A trip the following weekend was more helpful in terms of autumn color, but less so in perfect lighting. Alas.

Three months in photos, part II

Green socks Socks in the wild!

I finally finished knitting myself a pair of socks, and they fit perfectly. Later that week I wore them in public.

Lens flare, orange sky I love this sign

The days started getting noticeably shorter. Coincidentally, football season began and I had to get used to sitting on the “wrong” side of the field.

Little basil leaf
Mass basil murder

I plucked cupfuls of basil from my garden, and finally made pesto. Shortly after completing the task I kicked myself for not doing so earlier.

Dan Wilson Meridene

Forward Music Fest flew by far too quickly.  I saw some amazing bands – ones I’d heard of, ones I hadn’t; ones I’ve seen before and ones I’ve been waiting eons to see.

Chicago at night Chicago at night

And I went to Chicago again, almost a month after the previous visit. This time for a multi-day conference wherein I got to stay in a fancypants hotel on the river.

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