Posts Tagged With: Challenges

300% Course Completion

I did not complete this challenge on time even by my “It’s still the same day until I go to bed, even if it’s after midnight” rule, but I was close, and I now have this screenshot:

Unfortunately, most of what I learned won’t be super helpful for my current social media management work, but I’m excited to have learned the information anyway, and can definitely see where it’d be useful for some of my future career ideas.

I’m going to give myself a challenge again because I actually have a to-do list that I would like to get through; I’m going to use the modicum of pressure provided by NFS, because telling myself “You really should be doing more with your time since officially you work a whole six hours a week” apparently isn’t proving to be motivation enough.

I have one week to find somewhere to volunteer on weekends and to reach out to them about doing so.

Stay tuned for more dry updates on my life progress, and hopefully some jazzier ones as well. ✌

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Progress Attempts

I’ve watched The Office through five times. I’ve watched all of 30 Rock. I’ve begun updating my Goodreads profile (add me, if you’re into unexciting social media presence). I recorded vocals for a song cover, though it’s still not technically done and I still don’t actually have any of the files for it. I’ve been on not one, but two first dates. I’ve visited New York City four times, immediately losing my wallet one of those times. I interviewed and met Matt Nelson, otherwise known as the We Rate Dogs guy. I’ve officially owned up to my new personal website. I made a photo board the other day. I live in freaking Boston, Massachusetts.

My satisfaction with these accomplishments and others has been fairly fleeting, for reasons I’ve been trying to hammer down and resolve as I fight off the negativity that I now associate with summertime. I’m not dealing with the depression I was before, but I have a lot of frustrated energy without any real target. I spend a lot of time alone, and a lot of that time I am angry for many different reasons.

That being said, I’m feeling less inclined to shut down and disappear like I sometimes do, so I’m instead just dealing with a lack of focus and purpose. I want to update this site and figure out what the hell I should actually do with it at this point. I’ve tried to pick challenges from what I could find, but a lot of them just don’t feel right right now.

A lot of my professional focus lately has been on web development and social media management. I saw on the Hootsuite app that I’m trying to understand that they have a little “Hootsuite Academy” that I can do for free, so I guess I’ll make the “Hootsuite Platform Training” my current challenge to complete by Monday (minus the $99 certification fee…).

As always, feel free to leave me comments and challenges. I seriously do love and appreciate them.

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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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What the Bucket

Oh my ugh, this is a busy summer.

I received one challenge, from my grandmother, for my trip home with my sister:

I challenge you to go to the Casa Bonita restaurant in Denver on your return trip. See if it looks at all familiar!

The restaurant of Eric Cartman acclaim has been a semi-regular point of interest for my family on trips out west over the past four decades, and I hadn’t been there since I was about eleven. I think I found all the parts of the restaurant that I do remember, but there was a lot that apparently didn’t stick the first time for me. We were pretty underwhelmed with the food (fortunately a friend warned me that it’s “the worst food ever,” so I was prepared), but otherwise I could see it being pretty fun if you were there with kids. The sopaipillas did not disappoint, and no matter what, it would have been worth it for the joy that these two Google reviews bring me:

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I  know it’s longish, but seriously, I encourage you to read this surreal nonsense

Holy crap. Such spectacular melodrama.

Anyway, I have about three thousand things on my to-do list this summer before I move to Boston. Even though “get rid of things” is patently on the list, I’ll be honest, I did not pick up the “get rid of things” challenge when I got home like I was supposed to-do, as per my promise in my last post.

What I did do is find the bucket list I organized and then lost a few months ago–I’ve been working on a lot of lists lately. I wanna post some of that one because I can get a little negative here sometimes, I like having hopes and dreams, and at least it’s content–I’ve even finito-ed some of the items 🙂 Maybe making it public will give me more accountability or something, too:

  • Learn to juggle
  • Get really good at building fires
  • Be a barista
  • Be a waitress
  • Hug a tiger >>> Hug an adult tiger
  • Live in Boston *pen hovers above item*
  • Learn what my vocal range/type/whatever is for singing
  • Get married
  • Have kids
  • Do a 5k
  • Write a short story >>> Finish a short story
  • Touch a London pigeon with my foot
  • Visit all 50 states
  • Learn to drive stick
  • Learn to drive a motorcycle
  • Get professional headshots
  • Pinup photoshoot
  • Kiss the Blarney Stone
  • See Stonehenge in the early morning
  • Learn a valuable zombie survival skill
  • Start a retirement fund
  • March in a televised parade
  • Own a “FRANKIE SAY RELAX” t-shirt (just learned that this was apparently a thing with Ross on Friends when I was looking up a picture to link to here; he was definitely not the inspiration for this item)
  • Drive from the right side of a car
  • Ride as a front-seat passenger on the left side of a car
  • See Breaking Benjamin in concert
  • Learn all the words to “One Week” and “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”
  • Eat poutine
  • Eat haggis
  • Make my own perfume
  • Blow glass
  • Go down and then back up the really scary huge dune they say not to go down right off of Lake Michigan at the Sleeping Bear Dune park
  • Be able to do the splits
  • Be able to hold a handstand
  • Bake a rhubarb custard pie
  • Bake perfect cookies
  • Bake rum cake with pie cherries
  • Go to a wine tasting
  • Drive someone else’s car because they got too drunk
  • Get stitches >>> Get stitches from an interesting injury
  • Have a pleasant reading/speaking voice
  • Do a backbend from a handstand
  • Make a quilt
  • Knit a blanket
  • Learn how to use a gun
  • Get waxed
  • Be able to identify specific penalties in hockey
  • Have a work husband
  • Meet a Pittsburgh Penguin
  • Read Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Read The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  • Go to a casino
  • Make sourdough bread like my mom’s
  • Bake with yeast successfully >>> Bake with yeast more successfully
  • Smash a light bulb
  • Weave a basket
  • Organize my license plate pictures
  • Skinny dip >>> Skinny dip in a river
  • Use a claw foot tub
  • Chug a Frappucino
  • See Mt. Fuji
  • Be in a movie or TV show
  • Wear fake eyelashes >>> Wear fake eyelashes sometime that isn’t Halloween
  • Take my youngest sister to see Chicago on Broadway

That’s not all of it, but I’ve literally filled out four notebook pages so far, I know there’s stuff I keep forgetting to add to it, and I suspect these goals are more interesting to me than to you 😛 I’ve got a to-do list to work on anyway, so I better go cross “New blog post” off of it.

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I have some bucket list work to do, too 😉

Leave me comments about your bucket list!

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Sissy Trip

Completed my challenge! It wasn’t a particularly difficult one, but my challenger-sister and I just drove from North Carolina to California in four days, and I think I maybe made myself sick on one of them trying to make sure I finished reading on time.

My challenge was to read this book by today:

a-curse-dark-as-goldMelodramatic as that title is,  I enjoyed the novel pretty well. The story is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, so–as a fan of fairy tales and their various manifestations–I was excited for this challenge. It’s set in a fictional woolen mill inspired by the early Industrial Revolution and the cultural transition of values from superstition to “reason.”

The narrator is incredibly frustrating sometimes, and there are several characters in whom I was more interested, but the plot itself was strong enough that I didn’t have any issues sticking with it. It’s an easy read, I really like the writing, and I’m grateful for the pleasant resumption it provided for my challenges.

I discovered in the author’s note that she visited a functioning 19th century woolen mill in Missouri which is extraordinarily convenient to the sight-seeing trip that we’ll be taking back east next week. If I can convince my sister to read the book herself before we leave, I think it would all be pretty cute to check out the Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site as an interactive follow-up to this challenge.

This is the part when I should choose a new challenge from the suggestions I have. However, since I am on this grand cross-country adventure, I’d like to open the floor to travel-challenges for my sister and me in case anyone has any good ones that we can afford. My last post got 5 views, so I’m not overly expectant, but you can’t get what you don’t ask for. So! At risk of this being a particularly clumsy conclusion, I am requesting challenges relevant to a drive through northern CA, NV, UT, CO, KS, MO, KY, WV, VA, and NC. Thank you and good night.

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Divergence

I’ve tried to write an update post for my challenges and Non Finito Spaghetti several times in the past six months. Instead of finishing even one terrible draft, I’ve written two non-NFS posts, created a new personal blog, and worked on basically anything else. My focus is as reliable as ever.

I’m not upset that I didn’t prioritize this more because I’ve actually been fairly busy.

Perhaps my most notable development is getting into grad school 😀 I will be at Emerson College in Boston, so I can actually check something off of my goals from my Slight Edge challenge. I’m excited, and trying not to get too anxious about money.

I’m a published professional writer as an intern for the Outer Banks Voice, which sort of meets the requirements for my employment goals with the Slight Edge in a roundabout, watered-down way.

I’ve done some editing and copyediting, mainly for Dear Uber Rider and Lizzie McGuire Reviewed, which are both excellent and hilarious projects that I highly recommend reading. The time I’ve spent on these has been a refreshing reminder and confirmation of how much I seriously love this kind of work. I’m eager to do more.

The challenge I was working on before depression really started pushing me the wrong way was to get rid of something every day for 30 days (also, wow, if that post’s title doesn’t reflect my mental status at the time). My mom just moved out and we have gotten rid of a LOT of stuff, so if I wanted to be cheap I could call that challenge “done.” However, I am not cheap, and I still have puh-lenty of crap to lose despite the progress we’ve made. Therefore, I’d like to start this challenge over. I have some traveling coming up soon, though, so I’m going to do that after I’m back home. My sister challenged me to read Elizabeth C. Bunce’s A Curse Dark as Gold by the end of May; I’ll do that in the meantime.

I still have lots of challenges left to do from last year, and I know it’s been a year since I’ve really worked on any, but I would tooootally be cool with people submitting more here, because I love reading the ideas you guys have for this.


I moved some stuff I’d originally posted here over to that new blog I mentioned, Jerrika, Wallflower. I posted them on NFS because I didn’t have anywhere else for them and I honestly didn’t think I would do more of that kind of writing right now–I figured one or two pieces unrelated to the project wouldn’t detract too much from it. After the third piece in a row that had absolutely nothing to do with NFS, I decided it was time for their own venue.

Truthfully, I frequently struggle with not knowing what the real “point” of Non Finito Spaghetti is. The challenges give me a superficial purpose about which to write for it, but I haven’t found what gets me as excited about NFS as I was about my own leg hair yet. I’m sure this is why it has taken me six months to write this post, which I intended to be about as simple as “I can brush my teeth with my left hand now, and I also read a book.” I want to care about this blog, so badly, but I often don’t.

Because of this indifference, I am relieved by the fact that having unrelated content here annoyed me. If I see that some things don’t belong here, that means that something definitely does belong here–right? I’m not sure it’s sound logic, but it feels like a step in the right direction of figuring out what the hell I want to do here.

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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 🙂

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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!

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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.

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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.

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