Party Planning by One Who Doesn’t Party

Dropping the ball hard on this challenge (which I should have finished by now >.<), and I don’t exactly have an excuse, but I have been working on some other stuff in the meantime.

The biggest thing I’ve been doing has been planning my best friend’s bachelorette party. I’m poor, so I had to create a lot of the stuff for it myself, which was actually a blessing in disguise because it gave me a lot of practice with Microsoft Publisher. I also got to make a bunch of silly clip art because I’d rather draw my own than do the probably easy grunt work to find public domain clip art, and I thought I could use the excuse to play a little bit more in Photoshop Elements.

I drew all those little chalk-looking pictures! None of it is anything particularly ground-breaking, but it did the job, and any experience with this stuff is better than no experience. This party also gave me the new–and awful–experience of papier-mâché; more specifically, I now have the experience of making a penis-shaped piñata, or “peeñata,” if you will.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m glad I made the peeñata, but I don’t recommend unless you have eleven hours to devote to something you’re creating to destroy. Fortunately for me, the glue was too thick and the door to the peeñata was too weak, so the one I made wasn’t actually smashed to bits and I’m not stuck mourning it. Still, though, holy crap, people do this with children? Oi.

Planning and preparing for this party reminded me once again that it’s a lot easier to create a product if it’s done with a specific goal or event in mind (such as a once-in-a-lifetime party for someone). That reminder gave me some helpfully relevant thoughts for this blog in exchange for the work I should have been doing for my challenge, and has me wishing I had more specific tasks for which to practice these kinds of skills.

The weather is finally nice enough that I can start working in my storage unit without hating life too much, so I’m going to get back on the challenge wagon now. I’m not even sure precisely how far behind I am, so I’m just going to get rid of at least 40 things, for good measure, and then start on a new challenge.

Speaking of challenges: I am still accepting them, and would love some new ones to add to my catalog. Since it has been a while since I’ve posted the challenge idea list, here it is:

  • walking my dog
  • learning to play guitar
  • improving my abilities with media and multimedia projects
  • yoga, sort of
  • significantly reducing my possessions
  • letter-writing
  • watching iconic or important movies
  • reading more books

Please give me challenges in the comments!

I apologize for the lack of updates. Hopefully there won’t be such dramatic lulls anymore. Thank you for reading!

P.S. I apologize that the formatting of the pictures on this post are so ugly and stupid; I fought with what WordPress will let me do with them for at least half an hour… Ugh.

Advertisements
Categories: Non-NFS, Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lemonade is in my blood

I have had an exciting week, and it isn’t even over 😀 St. Patrick’s Day happened, of course, which I spent with the Boy and his family. The next day was my sister’s 21st birthday, which included: her joining me in a bizarre therapy session where she received a drawn birthday cake and a pen; and our Mom teaching us how to play racquetball.

My birthday was yesterday. I woke up to a strained back that scared the crap out of me because it felt like an omen to remind me that in just a matter of time I’m (hopefully) going to get old and then die someday. Despite that, it actually turned into one of my favorite birthdays I’ve had. I got to spend it with a bunch of my favorite people…

IMG_0481

Just some of those favorite people. I’m the one in red.

and I got to dress up…

lrg_1426970822566_5043958357_c70b8e9f[1]

Fancy

and my mom made amazing cupcakes and shepherd’s pie for me…

11082207_10205009997763342_7186815569100041195_o

Guinness chocolate cake with Irish cream frosting and Jameson chocolate ganache filling :9

and the Boy really outdid himself with being the best and sweetest…

IMAG7637

I didn’t eat all of those waffles… but I did eat the difference in Toaster Scramblers >.>

and I got to use a bath bomb for the first time, which turned the water green and had a piece of paper in the middle that said “BANG”.

IMAG7797

I accidentally ripped it trying to figure out what it was

The excitement continues this weekend as I head down to visit my best friend tonight so I can go to her bridal shower tomorrow and do maid-of-honor things. While waiting for the ok to head out for that, I took a couple of the dogs for a walk because Mom told me there was a little girl selling Kool-aid in the neighborhood.

IMAG7783

Jerrika L. Waller: Passionate supporter of lemonade stands, even if it means taking these two geezers on a walk so one of them can pee on a young entrepreneur’s driveway and the other can crap in the street

Wore these guys right out, and gave me the opportunity to look ridiculous in front of a child who made more money today than I did, so that was great.

To update on the challenge, it has been hilariously unsuccessful so far. I’ve selected a handful of things to get rid of, but I’m about a week behind, which means I’m going to have to get rid of more penalty items. I suppose it’s for the best because I’ll get rid of more crap, but I really do need to catch up.

That’s all for now; hopefully the next time I check in I’ll have more of my ducks in a row (and ready to donate or throw away).

Categories: Challenges, Non-NFS, Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Minor success breeds minor self-contempt

I have completed my challenge to submit an application a day for seven days. I am trying to feel accomplished, but reminding myself every day for a week that I’m unemployed is about as uplifting as you can probably guess. Still, this challenge gave me the opportunity to fine-tune my resume and fix some formatting inconsistencies, so I do at least feel like my professional documents are stronger than they were. I didn’t notice some of those formatting inconsistencies until I’d already submitted screwed up resumes for five applications, but life goes on. I collected the digital evidence of my application submissions and arranged them in no particular order below.

Collage

I added that fancy Gryffindor-looking stock background to it all by myself

I am also pretty much over my fear of writing cover letters now.

For my next act, I am going to perform one of my earlier submitted challenges, put forth by my mother the first day that I started this challenges business:

I challenge you to choose at least one item per day, for thirty days, which no longer serves you and sell, donate or if unable to repurpose it, throw it away.

This one has a longer timeline than the challenges I’ve been doing so far, but since my last challenge contributed to me hopefully getting into a position where I can move out in the nearish future, I think it’s appropriate that I start dealing with a relevant thing on my challenge inspiration list–whittling down the amount of crap I own. I won’t say my situation is like an episode of Hoarders, but I will say that about twenty-seven seconds into the introductory video on my about page is still representative of many areas of my life right now, even though I made that video almost two years ago.

To wrap things up here, I’d like to give a shout-out to the people who responded to my request for inspirational people in my last blog post. I haven’t replied to those comments yet because I’ve been fairly busy this week, but I definitely read them and appreciate them and am excited to look more into some of those people you all told me about. Everyone reading this should also go read those comments because they made me smile and might learn you about someone cool.

Maybe I’ll come up with some catchy send-off for these things. Until then, thanks for reading 🙂

Categories: Challenges | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Still excited I’m done with 50 Shades, but in other news…

I finished my letter writing challenge! Now I just have to wait for that station wagon to come pick up the letter and start it on its way to L.A..

IMAG6924_1_1

I’m artsy

Since I finished this challenge with a day to spare, I’ll be taking tomorrow “off” and will start my next challenge on Monday, which is:

I challenge you to apply to a job every day for a week!

This is another one from Tori, and she said she’d do this challenge with me, so I get to have another challenge with a buddy!

Now that I’ve set that challenge up, I would like to go back to the challenge I just finished. The fact that I had so much trouble figuring out somebody not dead who inspires me concerns me a lot. I can think of lots of people I know personally who inspire me, but with 7 billion people in the world, that seems like a pretty closed system. I want, nay, need to know who I haven’t met that I could or should be looking to for inspiration.

This brings me to my request for all of you today: I would love it if everyone posted in the comments about somebody alive today who you find inspirational. I don’t care if the only thing you post is their name and nothing else; I’ll do the research later. If you want to give me reasons for why they inspire you, that would also be fantastic, but at least leave me a name, please. It’s possibly the easiest comment to leave in the world (as long as you aren’t me, apparently), and you would be helping to give that person exposure and credit for their awesome deeds 😉 Tell me who inspires you!

Categories: Challenges | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Long Grey’s Journey into Night

There’s a high probability that I was more annoying than the actual books as I raged at them, but I’ve finally done it. I’ve finished the 50 Shades trilogy, and it’s contending as the most disappointing thing I’ve ever “accomplished.” I bristle when forced to use any words I associate with literature to describe any part of them. I hovered over my keyboard before I reluctantly typed “trilogy” up there. I did and do hesitate in conversation when I’ve had to say “book” or “reading” if it had to do with 50 Shades. The words come out tinny and false, like whenever I had to read poetry aloud in middle school. I’ve whined to literally anyone who would listen about how stupid I think 50 Shades is, but my dear mother and boyfriend in particular have endured the many coping mechanisms I’ve employed throughout this experience with unparalleled grace. I thank them and everyone else who demonstrated the necessary patience to not smack me during this time, because these books brought out in me a childlike inability to deal.

10685545_10153674904105016_3745580274336363687_n

I’ve seen different versions of this quote floating around, and put it to you that we can go even shallower. If Christian Grey merely wasn’t hot, this story would fall to pieces.

I honestly considered writing E.L. James for the inspirational letter challenge I’m doing right now, because she definitely inspired contempt and self-loathing I didn’t have when I wasn’t reading about her dull characters and their impressively uninteresting sex and drama. However, since the challenge was issued with the hope that I would get a response, I will not to write her. I can’t really overstate how much I would love not to read any other thing she’s written, and any chance that she would personally write something to me with the intent of me reading it is most unwelcome.

Although E.L. James is decidedly off the table for options, I’ve been embarrassingly stumped on this challenge. I had no idea that I was so uninspired by strangers in my life, but I haven’t really been able to come up with anyone who feels right and to whom I could get excited about writing a letter. Rachel gave me a two week time constraint on this challenge, and I expected I wouldn’t need all of that time, but here we are. I’ve been frustrated because this situation means at least one of at least two things: I have been so out of touch with the real world that I’m completely unaware of the cool things any one person out there is doing; I have been so out of touch with my own world that I can’t remember a single other hero I’ve had in my life besides J.K. Rowling.

Fortunately, while I was writing this post I figured out with a friend who I want to write my letter to, and I am pretty stoked and relieved. I actually have been keeping up a bit with someone who is currently inspiring me: actor Myko Olivier. I discovered Myko around September last year in a wholly ridiculous, so-bad-it’s-good movie called Barely Legal, and he is probably most recognizable right now for at least two commercials I’ve seen, and his role as “Head Warbler” on Glee this season. Looking at how he, first of all, manages to deliver a solid performance in Barely Legal, despite its goofiness, and then continues working his way up to more dynamic opportunities has been encouraging as I work on my own much less glamorous climb to success.

I’m finally getting to a point that I can catch up on some of my earlier challenges that I’ve had to put on hold for various reasons, so I don’t need to beg for more of them this time around. HOWEVER, if you still are so inclined, go ahead and submit challenges. I love them. They make me happy, and even if I don’t need them just yet, I want them. I am greedy. Here’s my list, again:

  • walking my dog
  • learning to play guitar
  • improving my abilities with media and multimedia projects
  • yoga, sort of
  • significantly reducing my possessions
  • letter-writing
  • watching iconic or important movies
  • reading more books

Thank you for reading! I’m going to go sleep off the dregs of Christian Grey & Co. now.

Categories: Challenges | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m most productive at night

I fear I may have misunderstood my last challenge, which was:

Read 50 Shades 😉

I assumed that “50 Shades” was just a shortening of the first book’s title, 50 Shades of Grey, but apparently this story was written in its entirety first, and then literally split into thirds with almost zero regard for how thoughtfully composed books and stories are supposed to work (I say almost zero because they did at least bother to finish out the chapter as a stopping point). The ending of 50 Shades of Grey was absolutely ridiculous and lazy and I’ll leave the expression of my feelings for it at that.

Since 50 Shades of Grey is actually just a third of one larger book consisting of the entire 50 Shades “series,” I don’t really feel like I actually finished the book. Therefore, on my own time outside of my challenges, I feel like I have to read the other parts of the horribly-written, paradoxically dull and rage-inducing thing, 50 Shades Darker and 50 Shades Freed. I’ve begun 50 Shades Darker, and am even less happy than I expected to be.

I didn’t know that I had any actual triggers, but apparently the romanticization of emotional abuse causes a sharp downturn in my mood, ultimately making me depressed enough to want to cry. I became aware of this within the first 4% of 50 Shades Darker. To E.L. James’s credit, even though most of her writing is elementary-school simple at best and head-shakingly baffling/dreadful at worst, she does manage to depict the thought processes of an abuse victim shockingly accurately, at least compared to my own experiences.

Unfortunately for her, most of that credit will probably be cancelled out because although she is capable of making that part of her fiction startlingly realistic, as far as I can tell from the patterns in the story and foggy spoilers I’ve been exposed to since the books came out, I expect she does not offer a similarly realistic representation of her abused main character leaving their abuser and moving on to a healthy life. Instead, I expect James perpetuates the myth that the troubled, tortured man who lashes out to cope with the pain can be cured by the sheer staying-power of the one woman who suffers through it all until he finally realizes that she is worth changing for. That incredibly misinformed idea is why I spent five years in a relationship that should have lasted three or four months tops, and why I even have a trigger now in the first place.

I do still plan to produce the product I mentioned for this challenge. Even though the books have bummed me out enough that I don’t want to do anything silly regarding them, I think it will be therapeutic to undercut any credibility the books might have in whatever way I can. Therefore, I intend to fulfill that promise and will post it as soon as I can.

Moving on to happier things, I have a new challenge that began yesterday, put forth by my cousin Rachel:

You should write a letter to an inspirational person for you who is still alive and see if you get a response.

I beat her to the punch four years ago when I wrote a letter to J.K. Rowling–I got a response on her behalf as well as a small portrait of her, and I was so happy I cried.

They sent me a version of this portrait

This puts me at a disadvantage because it rules out the most obvious inspirational person for me who is still alive. Rachel also did not include a time frame for this challenge, so, again, I will update when I have it. I haven’t chosen who I will write a letter to yet, but obviously I will tell you once I have.

I am immensely appreciative of all of the support and feedback people have given me for these challenges, and I want you all to know that I am continuously offering my gratitude. I’m offering it this moment, and this one, and every other moment that will henceforth exist. Thank you all very much 🙂

Categories: Challenges | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

OMGrey

I did not complete my 50 Shades of Grey challenge by Valentine’s Day, partly because I wanted to actually enjoy some of my Valentine’s Day and spend it with my valentine, and partly because I was more miserable reading this book than I can remember being reading anything ever. I instead finished the book today, and if you were within an eight mile radius you heard me despairingly proclaiming my distaste for the never-ending “novel” to the heavens. I enjoyed reading My Immortal and Heart of Darkness significantly more than I enjoyed reading 50 Shades of Grey, and those have both been different and significant kinds of painful for me. This being the case, I will create and present my product for it later because I need some time to return my brain to its rightful place and state.

Please give me challenges to restore the health that this book stole from me. Thank you.

UPDATE: I forgot that this existed, but I’m happier than I was:

Categories: Challenges | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Update plus begging

As previously discussed, I met with Nina on Tuesday to read. In the interest of not reading 50 Shades of Grey for the next sixty years, Nina and I have decided to instead read the book individually and confer with each other later on what we’ve found. I’m not holding her to the same schedule, but I am going to finish reading the book by Saturday so that I’ll have read it before the movie comes out and also have a deadline for this challenge. I have no intention of seeing the movie in theaters, but, like with Eragon in tenth grade, I want to read the popular book before the popular movie comes out. Fortunately, unlike with Eragon in the tenth grade, I will (hopefully) be reading this book without ten or more people helpfully informing me that there’s a movie coming out for the book that I decided to read because there’s a movie coming out for it.

My next order of business is to beg you all again for challenges. Pleeeeeease. I’ll even post the inspiration list again, look!

  • walking my dog
  • learning to play guitar
  • improving my abilities with media and multimedia projects
  • yoga, sort of
  • significantly reducing my possessions
  • letter-writing
  • watching iconic or important movies
  • reading more books

Since I now have a deadline for my current challenge, I also have a pseudo-deadline for getting more challenges. As i said, I want lots! So, again, pleeeeeeeease. Even if you’ve already posted a challenge, you can give me new ones. If you haven’t posted one, get on it! I’ll be super super grateful wherever they come from.

To everyone reading, thank you 🙂

Categories: Challenges, Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Checking In

I realize it’s been a little while since I’ve done any challenge updates, so I thought I’d post one to let all five of you keeping up with this know that I haven’t forgotten or abandoned my challenges 😛 I’ll start with this picture of radishes I cut in half in pretty patterns yesterday because I like how images in the blog posts show up in the link when I post these on Facebook and I want a pretty picture on the link to this post, too.

IMAG6245_1

I did those!

I am, as I said in my last post, reading 50 Shades of Grey for my current challenge. I’m reading it aloud with the friend who put forth the challenge, and so far we’ve had some fun with the little bit we’ve been able to get through. I do have a plan for a silly “product” to present with this challenge, but I want to keep that a pseudo-surprise until I’ve finished it. Now that things are settling out again (however briefly) we’ll hopefully be able to knock out more chapters more quickly and I’ll be able to put together this exciting product soon. No official due date, which I realize breaks the rules, but Nina and I are meeting Tuesday, so we will establish one then, and I mean it.

In the meantime, I’ll keep checking in until I’ve finished this challenge. I also welcome, encourage, urge you all to line up more challenges for me. I’m really enjoying this project and I want to have so many challenges that I have no choice but to be working on them for a long time in order to finish them all 😉 Thank you so much for reading!

Categories: Challenges, Update | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Experiments in different genres

My third challenge was submitted by the goddess Tori, who told me to:

NOW WATCH ANCHORMAN. Bonus points if you watch the sequel too ❤

I just finished Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, and am going to start the sequel any minute now, once I take a break from the absolute silliness that is the Anchorman universe.

I’ll be honest, my relationship with Will Ferrell has been a bit love/hate. Sometimes he’s incredibly clever, and sometimes he’s just obnoxious. I personally don’t think desperate yelling is necessarily a one-way ticket to hilarious, but I get that that was supposed to be some weird character quirk for Burgundy, I guess. His conversations with Baxter were delightful, though, and I especially enjoyed that Baxter is the real life version of Seymour from Futurama.

Baxter_Anchorman2_imageSeymour

When I was in high school someone changed the screensaver on the computer in the band room to a crawl of the Anchorman quote about leather-bound books and his apartment smelling of rich mahogany. I remember that vivid imagery making a strong impression on me, and I’m not sure when I learned that the quote was actually from Anchorman, but I’ve been looking forward to it. I wasn’t disappointed with the delivery, either, which was pleasant because I was really afraid I would be.

Overall, I’m glad I finally watched it so I can be one link closer to the rest of my generation and hopefully understand certain things better. I’ve already been promised to have the movie frequently quoted at me by Tori, so I will, if nothing else, understand her better. I did genuinely enjoy it, for the most part, and it did reconfirm for me that I’m dating a taller, burlier version of Paul Rudd, so that’s pretty rad.

I know the Anchorman challenge isn’t really complete yet because I haven’t gotten the bonus points, but I’ll go ahead and set up the next challenge that I’ll start tomorrow.

My friend Nina and I apparently hate ourselves, because we are interested in the primary source material for 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James, so my next challenge, from her, is:

Read 50 Shades 😉

She and I had originally discussed doing dramatic readings of it together, so that’s how I’m opting to do that. I haven’t got a timeline yet for when, but I’ll update when I do.

In other news, I hate to be picky about my challenges, but the ones I have left after the 50 Shades one are relatively undoable right now because we’re remodeling the house. You would be my best friend if you broadened the pool a little bit for what I have to choose from 🙂 As before, here is the list of inspiration:

  • walking my dog
  • learning to play guitar
  • improving my abilities with media and multimedia projects
  • yoga, sort of
  • significantly reducing my possessions
  • letter-writing
  • watching iconic or important movies
  • reading more books

As a final note, I would just like to say thank you to everyone who’s been reading this and submitting challenges. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it ❤ Keep ’em coming!

Categories: Challenges | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.