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Sunday, 31 January 2010

To dream the impossible dream...

Last night I attended the KTS showing of Man of la Mancha with a couple of friends. It was really wonderful! I loved it. The musical itself is just terrific, but it was also incredibly well performed. I was seriously impressed. My only complaint was that it was done in the round. I spent about half of the play craning to see what was happening at the other end of the theatre, and since we were close to the orchestra, it was sometimes difficult to hear the singers. Otherwise, though, really great.

This also accomplishes goal #77, "Go see a musical or ballet or opera." Which brings me up to 4 goals completed in the first month, plus 17 others in progress. I have 33 months to do 101 things, which means basically I have to do 3 per month plus 2 more. So I am well on track. I also know for that I will be accomplishing two more goals in the next week, so February should be solid as well. I'd like to accomplish more goals in the earlier period so that I'll have more time to focus on the more difficult ones at the end. Plus I'm sort of realizing that I've got a lot of goals that require doing something 3 times or 10 times or whatever and I'll need to get a good start on those. So yeah.

Yeahhhh.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Sprouts

Yesterday I bought bean sprouts (To make Pad Thai, which actually turned out quite well. I was pleased!). Today, I was moving things around in the fridge and happened to notice the word "Halifax" on the bean sprout package. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that they were in fact grown about 3 doors down from where I live. Talk about local produce, eh?

In related news, I made Pad Thai last night, which counts towards my 101 in 1001 goal of cooking ten new dishes. I've also done some other stuff that I didn't write about, so, yeah. Deal with that, suckas.

Peace.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Weary

So there's this conference I'm attending this weekend at the Dalhousie Law School, called IDEALaw. It started this evening and continues for most of the day tomorrow. Tonight there was a keynote speech on consumer rights and the impact on society and the environment and stuff and that was pretty interesting. And then there was a panel discussion on imprisonment and its effects and alternative solutions, which was REALLY interesting but really kind of depression.

I left at the end of the night torn between two strong feelings. I've been thinking a lot lately about what to do post-grad, and law school is standing out as an option I'm strongly considering. After that panel discussion, I felt on the one hand that "YES! This is what I want to do. I want to be involved in this; I want to make a difference." But at the same time, I was almost overwhelmed with feelings of "The problems are too big and no one will ever make a difference and the whole thing is futile" and basically I feel something akin to despair.

Tomorrow, I just hope I can make it through another three panel discussions and two movies without bursting into tears. That's actually a serious danger here.

Weary is a word I like to use to describe the way I feel when I feel the way I do tonight. My dictionary defines weary as "tired, exhausted, jaded; tiring; tedious." I define weary as "the tiredness experienced when one feels as though the weight of the world is on one's shoulders and one can do nothing but struggle onwards."

Between the hopelessness I feel about the plight of the world, the every day normal stress of school and living arrangements and decision making and job applications, and the exhaustion and frustration caused by my complete inability to fall asleep or stay asleep... tonight is a weary night.

On the bright side: Today I found inspiration, for the first time in a long, long time. I was afraid it might be gone forever. But today, I feel as though I could write again. This is a feeling I like.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Tell Her About It

Busy day. Went apartment hunting with current/future roommate and future roommate. Found a place we like; putting in an application. Fingers crossed.

Had lunch out with same. Always forget that other people's poached eggs have runny yolks. Yuck. Nice time, though. Love people watching.

Did a million online math assignments this afternoon. Then had serious conversation with roommate about life and the future. Things decided:

1. Growing up is hard because you have to try to foresee too far ahead. Not "I can live in this apartment for a year" or "I can work this job for a summer" or "I can study this subject at this university for four years" but "I can live here long enough to pay off the mortgage on it" or "I will be happy with this career for the rest of my life." Hard.

2. Life is meaningless. You go to school so you can get a job so you can make money so you can afford food and shelter so you can stay alive so you can go to work so you can make money...

3. Greatness occurs in those who find meaning.

Spent much of evening on phone with parents. Roamed kitchen looking for snack and ended up having baking/music/dancing party with roommate, resulting in biscuits and cookies. Yum!

Other thing accomplished today: created a flickr account. Another item off the 101 in 1001 list. You can find it here.

Friday, 15 January 2010

A New Look!

Hey look, I changed my layout.

Okay, so changes are not that substantial, but I'm still pleased with them. It's a little simpler, and I like the colours a little better. Made some changes to the side bar, and also updated my blogger profile. I'm pleased. I also always feel proud of myself for knowing just enough html to be able to do all the things I want to do. Also, this means item #62, reformat blog, can be crossed off of my 101 in 1001 list.

Other news on that front: Started item #30, cook 10 new dishes tonight, by making stew in the slow cooker. I've helped mom peel/chop vegetables for stew before, but never dealt with the meat and seasonings and all that stuff. It was too watery, so next time I'll have to remember to add less water, but it tasted good!

Last week went to see the Mello-tones, my favourite soul/funk cover band, with one of my roommates, so that counts toward item #36, go to 5 concerts/musical shows.

In other life news... I don't know. Classes are going well. I'm applying for some jobs and stuff. Had lots of fun times with friends last weekend. Moving into a new (as yet unfound) apartment as of May, with a trade-off of one roommate. Realized that I really love being busy. May have developed sleeping problems. That's about it.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Dirty Three

Dirty Three is my latest musical discovery. One of my courses this year is a French course on writing. The first day back, instead of having us write a real thing with all sorts of crazy restrictions like we usually do, our prof decided to go easy on us and do something a little different to get back into the habit.

She played us Dirty Three's album Ocean Songs and told us to write whatever it inspired us to. She didn't tell us the name of the band or album until the end of class, though, so that it wouldn't influence us. We paused partway through the class and she asked us what the music made us think of. It was sort of interesting, some people had ocean things, some had things related to land, others came up with cowboys. For me, it was an epic slow-motion battle where you know you're not going to win and the hero was just killed and all hope is lost...

I really like them, though, so I came home and groovesharked up a Dirty Three playlist. I think that Ocean Songs is still my favourite album of theirs. It's really good music for background noise - I can't do anything in silence or with music that has lyrics, because they're both equally distracting. It's really relaxing music. If you stop and really listen to it, though, the emotions conveyed through the music are incredibly powerful. Listening to it in class that first time, at times the music was so melancholy that it felt as though someone had punched me in the gut.

So yeah, there's that. My take on Dirty Three. I recommend giving them a listen, even if it's just for the initial emotional response and then you never listen to them again.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Although I think that Christmas break should have been longer than it was, it is sort of nice to get back to having a routine. I like routine. I like schedules. I like having time limits. It's nice.

I think this semester should go quite well. As hectic as it was to take an extra course last semester, it makes only having 5 courses seem extremely unstressful, which is great. I may even find myself looking for things to fill my time with. Most of my classes are the same for the semester, but a couple changed. I'm taking a course called "Opera and the Ideas of the Enlightenment" which I'm pretty excited about, as well as "16th Century French Literature" which should be pretty neat.

Things I've accomplished in 101/1001:

41. Write a letter to myself to be read upon graduation.

Complete! And in the middle drawer under my bed, dear self a year and a half from now when I go looking for it.


21. Fill a journal/notebook/diary.

Started on Sunday; it's a pretty green one that I got for Christmas. I've filled four pages thus far.


42. Leave a positive post-it note in every library book I borrow.

I returned four library books on Monday, all with post-its.


28. Try 10 new restaurants.

I went to The Spartan Grill for the first time on Tuesday. Delicious souvlaki and roast potatoes, and very cozy atmosphere.


14. Donate 50 000 grains of rice on Free Rice.

At 4000 thus far, and greatly improving my knowledge of global geography.


71. Make a list of 101 things that make me happy.

At 33 thus far; and it is somewhat more difficult than I expected it would be.


99. Save $1 for every task completed.

Did this for number 41 when I finished it. I need to get a jar or something to put the money; I have a feeling that leaving a loonie lying on my dresser won't accomplish much.

Monday, 4 January 2010

101 in 1001

Okay. New New Year's Resolution. Scrap the 'Try something new every week'. Here's the new thing. 101 things in 1001. I read about it in the 20 Something Bloggers forum, but it was first started over here at triplux, and there's a community for it over at Day Zero. Here's the deal:

The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple challenges such as New Year's resolutions or a 'Bucket List'. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.



Okay, so here's my list!

Start date: January 4, 2010
End date: October 1, 2012

Tasks complete: 19
Tasks remaining: 82
Tasks in progress: 25

Incomplete
In progress
Complete

1. Figure out what to do post grad
2. Talk to an academic advisor
3. Talk to an advisor at Dal Law School
4. Talk to one (or more) of dad's lawyer friends
5. Travel somewhere by plane OR by train
6. Travel to a new province/territory OR a foreign country (not the US, unless it's NYC, Hawaii or Alaska)
7. Have a piece of creative writing published
8. Mail a postcard to PostSecret
9. Dance in the rain
10. Spend a day looking at the art in the King's library
11. See a real live giraffe
12. Attend a pow wow
13. Go to the circus
14. Donate 50 000 grains of rice on Free Rice (11 300/50 000)
15. Sew a garment
16. Wear said garment at least 3 times (0/3)
17. Ride in a hot air balloon
18. Finish knitting that sweater
19. Wear said sweater at least 3 times (0/3)
20. Pay for someone else's coffee/food/whatever
21. Fill a journal/notebook/diary
22. Go out for dinner alone
23. Go to a movie alone
24. Try to find a religion that works for me (attend at least 3 worship services, do some reading, something?)
25. Own a pair of sexy heels
26. Wear said heels at least 3 times (1/3)
27. Read/listen to 30 (non-school) books (8/30)
28. Try 10 new restaurants (8/10)
29. Start a garden/planter
30. Cook 10 new dishes (6/10)
31. Learn a thrid language
32. Learn a fourth instrument
33. Do NaBloPoMo 3 times (1/3)
34. Wear a different dress every day for a week
35. Own 7 dresses (7/7)
36. Go to 5 concerts/musical shows (3/5)
37. Go to 5 plays (3/5)
38. Play music in public
39. Successfully donate blood
40. Never weigh more than 140 pounds
41. Write a letter to myself to be opened upon graduation
42. Leave a positive post-it note in every library book I borrow
43. Grow my hair long
44. Donate hair to Locks of Love again
45. Bake cookies for the neighbours
46. Take part in a protest/demonstration/riot
47. Own a nice pair of chopsticks
48. Eat with said chopsticks at least 10 times (0/10)
49. Go paintballing
50. Spend 10 days volunteering (3/10)
51. Ride horseback again
52. Write (and give) a love letter to someone
53. Have at least one job that I really love
54. Try bubble tea
55. Do (minimum) 20 push-ups a day for a week, 12 weeks (0/12)
56. Do (minimum) 20 sit-ups a day for a week, 12 weeks (0/12)
57. Graduate on the President's List
58. Do NaNoWriMo
59. Do ScriptFrenzy
60. Buy flowers just because, 3 times (1/3)
61. Go whale watching
62. Reformat blog into a style that I really love (and is more functional)
63. Renew my scholarship for 4th year
64. Take a picture a day for a week, 10 weeks (0/10)
65. Host a fancy dinner party
66. Whittle a spoon
67. (Private goal)
68. Spend no more than 10 mins/day on Facebook for a week, 10 weeks (0/10)
69. Go to a King's rugby game
70. Get eyes checked
71. Make a list of 101 things that make me happy (55/101)
72. Spend an afternoon in a coffee shop
73. Find a topic I love for my honours thesis
74. Participate in Fringe Festival again, in some capacity or another
75. Get a flickr account and upload photos to it
76. Comment on blogs I subscribe to, 50 times (9/50)
77. See a musical or ballet or opera
78. Own a winter coat I really like
79. Actually purchase a CD that I like instead of illegal downloading/groovesharking
80. Actually purchase a movie I like instead of illegal downloading
81. Have a Star Wars movie marathon
82. Stretch for 10 minutes/day for a week, 12 weeks (0/12)
83. Find a swimable lake/beach in the Halifax area (and go there!)
84. Make a pie on pi day (March 14) at least once
85. Wear each of my non-winter hats 3 times, and donate any of them that I don't wear three times
86. Finish making this list!
87. Acquire a copy of The Clean House and Other Plays by Sarah Ruhl
88. Enjoy a park on 10 separate occasions (4/10)
89. Participate in a trivia night
90. Watch/rewatch all the numbered animated Disney movies (3/49)
91. Write a song
92. Host or attend a kitchen party93. Host a murder mystery party
94. Do (minimum) 20 lunges per day for a week, 12 weeks (0/12)
95. Own an item of clothing that is red and white and says Canada on it
96. Own something made of Nova Scotia tartan
97. Score higher than 160 on the LSAT
98. Blog about most of these tasks
99. Save $1 in a jar for every task completed (19/101)
100. Donate $1 for every task not completed
101. Write another 101 list when finished!

PS, kiddos, you're probably gonna be hearing a lot about this around here, at least in the near future. Just a heads up.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Hello, 2010!

A new year; a new decade.

I have two resolutions for this year.

One: participate in the 10 by 10 challenge.

This is an initiative by Free the Children and Aviva. You make ten commitments to make the world a better place, and for each person that signs up, Aviva donates 10 dollars to Free the Children to help develop communities overseas.

I've already signed up for my 10 commitments. Over the next year, I'm going to:

1. Grow a vegetable garden
2. Unplug appliances
3. Look for local produce
4. Donate used items instead of throwing them out
5. Bake homemade treats
6. Say thank you - in writing
7. Read about a new social issue
8. Read a Global Voices section of a newspaper
9. Tell people about 10 by 10
10. Shop for vintage clothing, instead of new


Two: Try something new every week

I'm bored with my life. I feel boring. I want to try some new things. Have some adventure. Be more exciting. Woohoo!


Here's to a new year. I hope 2010 bring all the best to everyone!