Posts Tagged With: Accomplishment

Wicked Pissah, or Unoriginal Title that’s Secretly Actually Clever to Me, I Swear

I’m in Boston! I’m busy! I’m wearing scarves!

Things are very exciting, but I’m also very occupied with the everything of it all that has been the past few months, and it’s eating up a lot of time. I’m getting settled and caught up enough to start getting some extracurriculars taken care of. However, one of those is National Novel Writing Month (in which I’m participating for the first time this year but am definitely not hitting the intended word count–goal of 20,000, woooo!), and so most/all of the time I’m assigning to “writing” has been going to that.

Once again, I keep starting to write something for here, then get frustrated with not focusing and so I don’t end up posting anything at all. I would really like to start updating this more regularly, though, so I’m just going to post this so there’s something for me to keep building on.

Here look, I gave myself a challenge and did it!

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Checking out all of these places was pretty fun, despite losing my gloves and parts of it turning into a bittersweet tour of places I went to first with people who don’t talk to me anymore. It’s not a particularly extensive list of sites, but as a relatively geographically-challenged individual, I feel slightly better about my knowledge of where things are in the city. I also felt pretty good about all the walking, because did I mention I pretty much walked to all of of these places? I did, I walked to basically all of them from downtown.

I’ll start writing more focused posts soon, I promise! However, my sister just asked me to help keep her on task, which reminds me that I am also not on task. Until next time, here are the things I’ve checked off my bucket list since my last post:

  • Live in Boston
  • Learn what my vocal range/type/whatever is for singing
  • Chug a Frappucino

And here’s what I’ve added:

  • Jump a subway turnstile in NYC
  • Participate in NaNoWriMo >>> Participate in NaNoWriMo correctly
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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.

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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.

Categories: 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..

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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

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.

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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!

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I’ll come up with a better titling system maybe

I have completed my second challenge! As a reminder, here is what it was:

Read The Slight Edge over the span of a week and report on how it can apply to your life…

I finished the book last night, so here is my report:

The “slight edge,” which author Jeff Olson refers to by name about six thousand times throughout the book, is “simple disciplines or simple errors in judgement, repeated consistently over time,” and actually fits incredibly nicely with this whole challenges project. His main point, repeated ad nauseam, is that those things compound to either wild success or your eminent doom, depending on which simple things you elect to do (or not do) every day.

Because of the time constraint on this challenge, I was forced to use the slight edge while reading The Slight Edge; I needed to read about three chapters a day in order to get through it the “slight edge” way, and in general that worked out pretty well for me. As far as how the slight edge can apply to my life, I actually came up with this challenges plan as a way to achieve that same goal of wild success that Olson says the slight edge can help me achieve, so in a way I’ve already started to apply it.

The book is divided into two parts: “How the Slight Edge Works” and “Living the Slight Edge.” He helpfully offers spaces for you to directly make plans in your own life during the second half, and wanted me to write in the book, but I didn’t, so I suppose filling it in here instead would be fair. First I was to write out five dreams, get specific about them, and give a timeline of by when I want them:

  1. I want to move out and support myself. I’m not sure where exactly yet, but I want a decent paying job and to move out within the next six to eight months.
  2. I want to live in Boston, and be settled there for at least a few years. I want to move there in the next one to three years.
  3. I want all of my possessions to a) be all in one place (rather than scattered across storage and my parents’ houses, etc.) and b) to all fit into one moving truck, within the next six months.
  4. I want to be ambidextrous. I want to do all things equally well with both hands. I want to achieve this within the next five years.
  5. I want to start saving for retirement and pay off my student loans. I want that taken care of in the next ten to fifteen years.

The other things I was supposed to write out were my slight edge habits that I would do to improve my health, happiness, relationships, personal development, finances, career, and my positive impact on the world. Those were to be outlined as:

My dream for (whatever area of my life)

Plan to start

One simple daily discipline

He said that the relationship one should probably stay private, so I will keep that one to myself, but here are the other six:

  1. Health
    1. I want my body to be able to do everything I ask it to without difficulty
    2. I plan to start this by eating more plants and walking my dog more
    3. Eat three servings of plants and walk my dog
  2. Happiness
    1. I want to be satisfied with and proud of my life
    2. I plan to start this by finishing some of my unfinished projects and finding more productive uses for my time
    3. Finish something, be it the dishes or detailing my car or writing a story or giving birth
  3. Personal Development
    1. I want to continuously develop my already possessed skills and acquire new ones
    2. I plan to start this by asking people to challenge me to do things at their discretion
    3. Read about those skills or about something with which I’m unfamiliar
  4. Finances
    1. I want to live comfortably, have a real budget, save money, and not buy as much useless crap
    2. I plan to start this by finding a job
    3. Save all of my loose change and ones
  5. Career
    1. I want a stimulating and rewarding position where I know I am valued and important
    2. I plan to start this by finding a job
    3. Research positions and put in applications
  6. My positive impact on the world
    1. I want to have concrete things left behind for people to remember and know me by, as well as bring out the best in people in ways that won’t necessarily be recorded
    2. I plan to start this by actually finishing, maintaining, and sharing my blog
    3. Write something down that is useful or positive

I think filling in those blanks pretty well completes the requirements for my challenge, so I’ll finish up this bit of the post. If you’re looking for some direction in your life, I’d recommend checking this book out. Olson’s done a great job of making sure you won’t have excuses for not reading his book, so if you want it as a physical book, or a digital book, or an audiobook, you can find whatever catches your fancy here.

In other news, during the time I was doing this challenge I actually checked off another thing I’d had on the list I’ve been posting with this; my friend Laura helped me make that capelet brainchild and I think it’s pretty cute considering we made it up.

Fluffy side

Fluffy side

Shiny side

Shiny side

I think I want to add some appliques to the shiny side because I intended for it to be reversible and so far wearing the purple side out just looks like I’m wearing it inside out to me, so technically this still isn’t finished, but the bulk of the work is done. I’m glad I went to Laura for help with it because if I’d done it myself it probably would have looked less like respectable clothes and more like the last thing I sewed, which was a pair of pajama pants ten years ago that had exposed elastic in the waist because I apparently couldn’t sew two pieces of fabric together with a machine specifically designed to do that. Anyway, go check out and like her Facebook page or follow her sewing instagram blog account thing (I don’t know how to Instagram or what to call things on it) because she’s made some really impressive and adorable pieces, and Laura is also just delightful.

I’ll post tomorrow about what my next challenge is going to be. Here’s that list again, revised 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

Feel free to post any challenges in the comments! 😀

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Very important

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Yesterday I accepted my first challenge, issued by my good friend Jessica Davis:

Jerrika! You should use one of the challenges to write me a letter!

Jessica was very generous to offer this challenge to me because it both gently helped me get started and forced me to almost make my own envelope before I learned that we, against all normality here, had some envelopes already. I wrote the letter last night, and feel that I officially completed the challenge when I put it in the mailbox this afternoon, where it is waiting alone in the dark to be picked up tomorrow by the station wagon that takes and delivers our mail.

I know I only posted yesterday, but I think this milestone event warrants a timely acknowledgement, especially because it means I am ready to move on to a new challenge.

This brings us to Challenge the Second, which comes from family friend (who is actually just family) Mrs. Lissa:

Read The Slight Edge over the span of a week and report on how it can apply to your life…

I’m looking forward to this one because I don’t read books nearly enough anymore.

I’ve gotten good challenges from a handful of people already, and am very grateful to these pioneers for stepping up in giving me things to do. Virtual cupcakes for all of you. I realized too late that I left one other topic of especial interest off of my list of challenge inspiration in my first blog about this idea, so here it is again, abridged, with the addition:

  • walking my dog
  • learning to play guitar
  • improving my abilities with media and multimedia projects
  • yoga, sort of
  • significantly reducing my possessions
  • sewing a capelet I want
  • letter-writing
  • watching iconic or important movies, so people will quit making that face at me that they always do when I say I haven’t seen Braveheart/Scarface/The Godfather/Star Wars/Anchorman/Casablanca/The Jerk/Alien/Pretty Woman/Friday the 13th/Stand by Me/Iron Man/Green Mile/One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest/etc. etc. etc. etc.

As I said, some people have already submitted some great challenges, so keep it up and send me more in the comments! I can’t wait to see them.

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I had an idea, and will address obvious website neglect later

I have an idea that I would like some help with. As evident in both the main theme of this website and the website itself, I don’t finish things, would like to, and probably don’t need to expound more on that.

Therefore, I won’t mince words: my idea is to be directly challenged with extracurricular tasks, and given deadlines to complete them within. The format of such challenges could be as follows:

Jerrika, walk your dog for a total of four hours within the span of one week.

I haven’t 100% figured out what the exact best system for this sort of project would be, but right now I’m thinking I should focus on and complete one challenge at a time. This being the case, challenges should ideally, in general, be complete-able within a week or two. I don’t want to put too many limits on a project intended for growth, but I’ll also throw out there that I am more or less unemployed at the time of this post and will optimistically not likely have extra financial resources available for a little while.

That said, I really am interested in both learning and doing new things here, and honing skills I already possess in the interest of personal (and perhaps professional) development. I do already have a fair number of resources available to me in areas I am particularly interested in pursuing, and I’m going to provide a list of things in this post that I know I want to work on if anyone wants somewhere to get challenge ideas.

I’ll be frank and say that I will take these challenges seriously, but I am viewing this project fairly casually. I expect to treat it as a hobby, but I want it to be a hobby that is getting me somewhere. Perhaps this is the place to say that 2014 was not the best mental health year for me, and I’m trying to remind myself that I am still capable of doing things I recognize as productive and of which I’m proud.

I realize this is no one else’s responsibility, but you can’t get what you don’t ask for. I am asking the general You to hold me casually accountable for the completion of challenges regarding, but not limited to:

  • walking my dog
  • learning to play my goofy ragdoll classicoustic guitar
  • improving my abilities with media and multimedia projects, such as creating and editing videos and images, and maybe fiddling with audio. I have Adobe Premiere Elements 9, Photoshop Elements 9, and Audacity that I can use to work on these sorts of challenges, and can perhaps access Apple programs if I’m feeling patient and my mom feels like sharing her expensive alien technology with me. I also draw and paint and sculpt alright with my hands.
  • yoga, sort of, for which I have a mat and remarkably unremarkable athletic abilities
  • significantly reducing my possessions
  • the progression of an informal mental pattern for a capelet from rogue fabric into a wearable garment
  • letter-writing

Challenges should be issued in the comments sections. I’ll choose from them based on both reasonable convenience to whatever I have going on otherwise in my life, how compelling I find the challenge, and probably other circumstantial criteria. Bear in mind that I’m not looking to play these challenges safe, but I’m not looking for anything ridiculous either.

I realize this is a sloppy call to arms, ask for your forgiveness for it, and, if there are any glaring holes in the efficiency of my process, definitely welcome constructive criticism and suggestions. For now, though, I’ll bring this post to a close. Give me a challenge! 😀

Categories: Challenges | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments

Long Overdue Update

I’ve finished a few things during the time that I haven’t finished the rest of the things I started for this project:

Back in July or August, I drew wombats, sheep, and a goat as a thank you for everyone who commented on this blog when I needed them to, and sent them out. I also wrote accompanying letters explaining why they were getting a gratitude animal three or four months after they’d earned them. I did them all with the quill and ink I got for my birthday, and ink splattered on a lot of them. I kind of got the hang of writing with it by the end of them.

One of the gratitude wombats

One of the gratitude wombats

I also graduated from university with a B.A. in English. Only took one extra semester, which isn’t too terrible considering I transferred twice and therefore kept having to retake courses for which I lost credit.

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My second-to-last selfie of my college career

I finished drawing my Christmas card this year from the sketch I drew up last year, printed them, stuffed and addressed envelopes, then lost the box that had most of them in it. I found the box and sent them out last week with a note explaining briefly what had happened.

Edit Again Again Again

Aforementioned Christmas card

On the night of the Beatles Tribute I successfully made chocolate chip cookies that passed my test of being soft after cooling off. I am still chuffed about them, even though I ate the last one a week ago and did end up burning the last eight I put in the oven.

Apparently the only visual evidence of those cookies

Apparently the only visual evidence of those cookies

I made a present for my boyfriend for Valentine’s Day, which consists of a short composition titled “On the Establishment of Relations with Dragons” written on a big piece of sketch paper, with a dragon and other aesthetic elements drawn around it.

Preliminary sketch of aforementioned present, because the real one is for Boyfriend, not for you

Preliminary sketch of aforementioned present, because the real one is for the Boy, not for you; many apologies

Related, I drew, for the first time, a relatively complex Celtic knot that actually consists of one line all the way through and weaves together perfectly. Most of it ends up being covered by the dragon, but I spent forever drawing it up proper anyway. The width of the lines are only slightly not uniform.

I made it myself

I made it myself

Hopefully I’ll have more obviously impressive accomplishments to offer in the near future.

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