January 2009 Archives

Winter Sports

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I've been having some pretty awesome days lately (I'll talk about them soon), so when I say that Monday was the best day of this year so far, it's not a meaningless qualification.

Mike came down from Boston because the Navesink was finally frozen enough to go ice boating. This doesn't happen often, and you can read more about it in this article (which quotes Mike's father, not Mike).

I went to check it out, and it was so spectacularly cool. I didn't know anything about the process, so I asked six million asinine questions and was completely enthralled.

Mike's dad said ice boating is a lot of standing around waiting for wind, but Mike seemed particularly adept at finding it.

Easily the best part of my day was when Mike's father asked a friend to take me out - he let me steer while he stood on the runner giving directions and tending the sail. I was so excited to be out in the middle of the river driving an ice boat!!! It was surreal and wonderful and so thrilling!

It was so amazing to spend the day out on the water in the middle of January. The Navesink is incomparably beautiful, and I was beside myself to feel the breeze on my face and dance around on the ice.

In the afternoon when my mom was done with work for the day, we went iceskating on McCarter's Pond in Fair Haven, which I haven't done since I was a child.

The ice was not as glassy as the Navesink, and it got dark quickly, but we still got a really nice skate in.

My parents gave me seriously bitchin' ice skates a few years ago for Christmas, and this was the first time I got to use them. They are fantastic - the blades were sharp enough to do little twirly things and get some nice speed.

I really love ice skating!

In the evening, I changed from my ski trick thermals to a skirt and heels and met back up with Mike for a wonderful cozy dinner at my current favorite restaurant, La Pastaria. We shared our starter and two dishes, gemelli pesto and spaghetti carbonara, both of which were insanely delicious.

I was kicking myself for my total camnesia, but I'm unlikely to forget what a lovely evening it was. I found myself sipping wine, laughing and smiling, and thinking that without question, this was a really perfect day. I told Mike as such and couldn't resist quoting Lou Reed, "I'm glad I spent it with you."

(There are more photos in a Winter Sports set on Flickr.)

Let's talk about my hair

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A little before Christmas, I got my hair cut. This is what it looked like before:

See, I thought I hated my hair. I haven't had my hair cut in almost a year, and I let my lastReese Witherspoon style grow out completely. I was frustrated because it looked chewed-on at the ends, stringy, and didn't really have a style. I figured it couldn't possibly get worse, so I optimistically plunked down a lot of someone else's money and described the shape I wanted, with layers and side-swept bangs.

That didn't exactly work out. I look stupid with bangs, and there's a reason I haven't had them since I was six.

Most of the time, I wear my hair pulled back, with my bangs doing whatever they want to do, usually hang in my face and annoy me. Like so:

(Helloooo, Professor Drunk Eyes, nice to see you again.)

Yesterday, for all of five minutes, I got my hair looking almost the way it's supposed to, according to the stylist who declared it "much better."

I don't think it's really "much better," especially because as soon as I get out in public, it starts spiking and doing ridiculous things in my face. However, for just a few minutes, I had a hairstyle. I thought you should know.


There are several very similar photos on my Flickr.


You can even see my awkward-grimace uncomfortable smile, heh.

In conclusion, I'm really glad I like my hats, and I will probably be Reese Witherspooning it up again come spring.

Animated Radiohead Videos

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Last March, the website aniBoom sponsored a contest where people submitted clips and developed storyboards for any song off of the Radiohead album In Rainbows. (Perhaps I've mentioned how much I love it?)

The submissions were so impressive that instead of producing one video, they had four winners which you can read about on the contest page here. These are all so different and so cool.

15 Step

Weird Fishes/Arpeggi



Related: Radiohead Video Yearbook at Much Music - I've spent a lot of time watching these over the years.

Il mio cuore รจ nel Italia

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Late last night / early this morning (why split hairs?), I got to talk to one of my dear friends in Volterra on Facebook chat. He is a spectacularly wonderful guy named Alessio, one of the funniest people I've ever met, and I was ecstatic to talk with him again.

Despite spending two summers in Italy, doing the bulk of my thesis research in Italian, and obsessing over Italian culture in every way, I still speak Italian horribly. Alessio declared his English to be "very shit," but fortunately we are both fluent in Spanish and piece together enough of the three languages (plus gestures) that we have a surprisingly easy give and take in person.

While chatting involved several tabs open to Google translator and an uncomfortable grin as I knew I was butchering the most beautiful language in the world, I was thrilled to see we can communicate in text as well.

Not to totally give away all my future plans, but uhh, I'm going to be brushing up on the Italian pretty soon.

For no particular reason beyond enthusiasm, here are some things I absolutely love about Italy and Italians (at least the ones I know):

- They greet you with besos and are totally fluid with personal space and affection in ways that this uptight Tri-State WASP could heretofore only hypothesize about.

- The lilt and cadence of the language is like singing lullabyes, and the sound of speech is intoxicatingly beautiful.

Siesta! Why the hell don't Americans do this?! Do you know anyone who considers themselves an "early afternoon person"?

- The proclivity for indulging in heavy lunches accompanied by liberal enjoyment of vino bianco, segueing marvellously into afternoon prosecco (in my experience).

- They say "ciao bella" without the faintest trace of irony. Italian men are the only men I know who can call me beautiful and it doesn't feel patronizing because they also call inanimate objects and abstract philosophical concepts beautiful. It is quite a habit to pick up - "my beautiful cell phone," "this beautiful sandwich," etc.

- The sunlight is warmer in color than anywhere else I've ever been. The greens of the trees and rolling hills are richer somehow, as if they have an inner light. Even on a cloudy or stormy day, the sky feels benevolent and complex. The colors are more saturated and interesting than any I've ever seen.

- Even the dirt is colorful enough to be used as pigments in painting.

- The art is incomparably amazing and staggeringly abundant. You can't turn a corner without finding a church packed to the gills with exceptional works, usually by well-known artists, available to anyone who wanders in to enjoy.

- If you do enough research, you can touch the foot of a Michelangelo sculpture like my mother and I did (but no way am I saying where or how).

- The graffiti is nothing short of poetic, and the average Italian is more conscious of global and especially American politics than your average college-educated New Yorker.

- The sense of community, charity, and neighborliness is ingrained in every aspect of Italian culture and life. Tourists may not experience it all the time, but generaly speaking, Italians are remarkably kind.

- The men are the most handsome and charming in the world. My God, their eyes. For that matter, the women are the most stunning, stylish, and mystifyingly lovely creatures I've ever seen. They have mastered eyelash bats and crooked smiles in a way to which I could only aspire. People-watching is a Bacchanalia in Italy.

- The literature, poetry, and opera are out of this world. This third I will not budge on, because even though I'm thrilled beyond words to have tickets for Orfeo ed Euridice next week, there is nothing, and I mean nothing like a pure Italian opera. It's just made for it.

- Do I even need to start on the food? There is this place in Florence called El Gatto ela Volpe that serves a starter of Buffalo mozzarella with halved tomatoes, drizzled with fresh olive oil and cracked pepper that honestly made me weep both times I had it. The first time, the owner brought out a little metal jug of his own aged balsamic that set it into another stratosphere. The combinations of flavors are so simple in concept, but the intensity of the ingredients and the loving preparation make it phenomenal.

- It's okay to speak and act in dramatic hyperbole, and I actually seem calm by comparison to the average person's level of animation. People live passionately, they indulge their senses and emotions, and it is positively energizing to be so open and free.

- The attention to aesthetic matters reaches into every aspect of life, and everywhere you look, it's like living in a painting. Windowsills and laundry lines become hopelessly charming. Everything in Venice, Assisi, and Volterra had its own kind of effortless, layered beauty.

- My heart swells and I cry whenever I see images of Italy. I have dreams where I am watching the canals of Venice from the vaporetto or walking along the Etruscan wall in Volterra, and I wake overwhelmed with joy.

If you are thinking something like "Damn, if you love it so much why don't you move there?" or the more third-grade taunting style of "Why don't you marry it??", then your thoughts are pretty evenly aligned with mine right now.

I can't convey it, even in love-letter form, but I am a different person when I am in Italy. I am so happy, so full of life and energy, so open to beauty and experience. I can't wait to be there again.

If you are feeling wistful or want to see even a little of why I love it so much, I'd encourage you to check out the Italian cities in my travel photos. One of these days, I'll put another couple thousand up there...


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Good free websites that combine consistency and patience for fitness programs:

Couch to 5k - a running program designed to ease you from sitting on the couch to running 5 kilometers or 30 minutes in 9 weeks; I may have taken a short-cut on this one, but I'm ever so slightly masochistic. It's a solid program.

One Hundred Push-Ups - a 6-week training program that builds you up to 100 consecutive, good-form push-ups, tailored to initial fitness and age. In an email to my brother and mother, I added "astonishing fitness and beauty follow as a natural consequence." I'm least happy with my upper body, so I'm starting this today.

Two Hundred Sit-Ups - from the same people as 100 Push-Ups, a 6-week program to do 200 consecutive sit-ups. I'm doing it at the same time as the push-ups - I'll let you know how that works out.

Swimplan - free personalized swim work-outs designed for your specific ability and fitness level. When you register, you input your strokes per length and speed to customize your plans. I've seen people at the pool with printed work-outs, and I always wonder if they're getting them from here or somewhere else.

RunTracker - on the Runner's World website, you can trace your runs out on a map, and if you input your time, it calculates your distance, pace, and approximate calories burned. Keeps a log of your runs (or walks, or bike-rides or what have you), and you can save your favorite routes. You can also find other people's routes in your area. They just released a thing that lets you hook it up to your GPS-enabled phone and track your runs live, but that creeps me out a little.

Who would have thought the internet could make you fitter?

(This list is a work in progress - I'll update as I find other resources.)

Proud to be an American (I know!)

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That still feels so weird to type.

I am genuinely proud of this country today. I am more hopeful than I've ever been, and I actually believe we are capable of meaningful and lasting change.

Like Hope, I was tearful throughout the inauguration, and I continue to be totally moved. I am amazed at the progress we're making, and I can't wait to see where this goes.

For the first time in my adult life, I am truly optimistic about the future of America. It feels great.


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First, my father is home from surgery and doing alright. He got home around 4:30 on Friday afternoon, resembling a bionic man with his complex sling and pain pump attached by a catheter into his neck. He's on heavy pain meds and bummed about the whole ordeal.

He keeps acting surprised when I do nice things for him, which makes me wonder what kind of heinous bitch I must be most of the time. I'm trying not to dwell on that.


On Thursday, I was watching the snow beginning to fall while it was still dark out at the train station.

A guy saw me trying to get a shot of it, and he said, "That's the kind of thing you'll always remember, the first snowflakes in the street lamps." Through the train window, I watched snow falling as the sun came up all the way to Manhattan, shimmering all the pale colors of early winter light. The silver water was mesmerizing.

That afternoon, I didn't hear about the plane crash until I got home, as it happened like a minute after I got on the train. I'm amazed at the pilot's skill and what I could only understand as benevolence of the universe in the course of events. It's weird because when my brother and cousin showed me the report on CNN, I looked at them stunned, like, "No, today wasn't that kind of day."

That evening, we were all sitting around the dining room table eating Chinese take-out, and I kept thinking that there were people who survived a plane crash that day, who were treated for hypothermia, who didn't have significant injuries.


I talked about them in great detail on my knitting blog, but I made a pretty bitchin' pair of legwarmers.

Words cannot describe how much I love these things. I am on a bit of a mission to bring legwarmers back to the prominence they deserve. I have a really bright pink utilitarian pair that I wear under my running pants, but these are my fashion-y ones.

Kind of Anthropologie-ish, I think.


I had lunch with my mother and grandfather today. We ate at a place overlooking the Shrewsbury River, and we were watching ice flows slushing by, occasionally swirling according to the tides.

My mind wandered during conversation, and I found myself looking out at the ice, or more specifically the water between the ice, feeling transparent and adrift.

I don't know why, but it's often my habit to feel bad about myself when I'm around family, and today was no exception. I had to stop my little tide of negative thoughts and remind myself that I actually do have accomplishments, and I try to be a good person pursuing worthwhile things.


A lot of people have brought up the subject of dating with me lately. I don't know what kind of time line you're supposed to follow when you end a four-year living-together relationship, but it seems most of my friends and family think I should be working on finding someone else.

I'm okay with it, and I'm going on dates when people ask me, but I have a bit of a defeatist attitude still. I'm trying to change that.

I keep wishing that I'd start talking to this handsome neighbor guy I always see when I go running, or that I could bump into someone already at a place I want to go, but you'd be surprised at how few attractive single guys buy cheap seats at the opera. Also, I'm hopelessly shy, and when strangers start talking to me, I get this really uncomfortable smile that probably looks more like a grimace.

I tried to remember how I met my previous boyfriends, and they don't seem like good strategies necessarily. I mean the idea of a common interest is practical, but I'm not likely to join another cross-country team or co-ed frat/sorority at this stage in my life. I really like meeting guys through friends, but well, too many of my exes know each other right now. I like the idea of starting with a clean slate.

I'm trying to work on what a terrible first impression I make with people too. Consistently, my friends and boyfriends tell me that they either couldn't stand me at first, thought I was a huge bitch (because they didn't understand my sense of humor), or assumed I would be this boring stick-in-the-mud because I dress like someone's mom and try to treat people well (when I'm not being a bitch). The people who end up sticking around usually say I'm nothing like they thought I would be, which tells me I must do some really strange things or act incredibly thoughtlessly when I first meet people. These same people then wonder why I am agoraphobic.

With regards to dating, I think that if someone is going to fall in love with me, they're going to have to get used to a lot of erratic behavior, intense awkwardness, emotional immaturity, and impulsive decision-making. At least at first, until I decide they're not scary and I mellow out. So maybe my first-date self isn't the worst first impression to give. It will be a good screening mechanism for the skitterish and faint of heart.


The solution, I think, to all of the above, is to swim and run more and concentrate on school and work and family. I think I need to be blindsided by love and life, and stop caring about all the details.


If I were reading my own blog, I'd get annoyed by these little lines of asterisks that are supposed to indicate a segue among topics in what is essentially stream of consciousness rambling. I'd be like "Get it together dumbass, organize some cohesive thoughts, or write separate posts for each topic!"

To that extent, if you are as demanding a blog reader as I am, I do apologize. I can honestly say I'm being lazy and complacent, but I'll try not to abuse it or make it a habit.


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Yesterday went fine - I got everything together and even had time for an $11 panini and Vitamin Water. The meeting went very smoothly, and my upper body is so sore I can barely move.

This morning, however, I am anxious for a totally different reason. I just dropped my dad off for surgery to repair the muscles in his shoulder that he tore just before Christmas.

If you are the praying type, can you please keep him in mind, or send whatever denomination of good vibes you've got his way? I'd really appreciate it.

The sound of losing it

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I have a very important meeting tomorrow (or well, later today), and I am a nervous wreck about it.

Part of what's making it awful is that as I was reviewing the third of several obsessive checklists I made in preparation, I discovered several hours' worth of things that haven't been done. And even if I am able to do them in the morning, there is no telling if they'll be finished in time.

I have to bring a bunch of heavy and delicate stuff on the subway with nice long walks before and after, and I am absolutely panicking that it will snow or rain or be so windy that I drop everything and ruin months of work.

I still haven't figured out how I'm going to protect everything or carry it all when it's just me. I keep thinking that if I lived somewhere sensible and sane, I would just shove it all in my car with nary a second thought, but no, I live in a hellhole of inconvenience and public transit.

I keep hyperventilating and fretting about tiny little things, like what if I forget to wear underwear (they wouldn't know), or I say something incredibly stupid (I already have many times), or I have to redo all the work I've done (I probably will).

I have to get up before 5 to be on a train no later than 6:24 if I have even the faintest chance of getting it all done. I'm really really not good at mornings. I am so anxious about everything that I know I'm just going to lay in bed having small and regular heart attacks for the next... 4 hours. Jesus.

Tomorrow night is going to feel so good. Even if I make a disaster of everything, I'll be done with it. But that's still not more comforting.

Panic panic panic panic panic...

An enduring love for Schroeder

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There are few things in life I love as much as the Muppets.  Peanuts is one of them.

While I have fairly intense love for Snoopy (I've been told I dance just like him), I've always had a huge soft spot for Schroeder. I used to think I wanted a boyfriend just like him.

I just read this article describing an exhibit at the Charles M. Schulz museum which analyzes the music featured in Peanuts strips, giving a whole new dimension of brilliance and fantastically nerdy awesomeness to Schroeder and the subtexts Schulz gave him. I enjoyed reading about Schulz's own music obsession, and it made me remember just why I adore his strip and his characters so much.

Whenever I talk to people about how much I love cartoons and comics, I feel like I have to defend myself, but I'm done with that. I think I'm finally at a point in my life where I can admit that most of my life philosophy has been gleaned from Kermit the Frog, and I thinkPeanuts is damn fine culture.

(And if you know any cute single guys like Schroeder, I wouldn't mind being set up with them... just saying.)

A sea-change

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The more you really look at something, the more strange and fantastic it becomes.

To pillage Ariel's Song from The Tempest,

Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.

I found a photo I took of our magnetic refrigerator poetry just before we moved out of our apartment in Brooklyn (there are others, but we didn't usually keep it PG-13). It sums up a lot of my artistic philosophy:

I spent several hours today (about the length of the entire 4-CD Led Zeppelin box set) working with lead white pigment in a borax casein binder. To counteract lead white's siccative properties, I needed to dilute it until it really did resemble milk, and then I applied it drop by supple drop to prepared glass slides and wood panels. Something about it made me shivery.

I watched a show yesterday on the History Channel to do with the universe, tracing theories about its origins from theology through scientific discoveries. At one point, a commentator said something like "It's understandable if all this is confusing and mysterious. We're talking about centuries and thousands of minds trying to puzzle together the unfathomable. One person's mind can't make sense of all that - we can barely make sense of it together over history." (I have liberally paraphrased, but it was like poetry.)

I was suddenly filled with this quiet peace, that it's okay to have a hundred million questions and no answers, and it's okay to simply concentrate on the speck of what's in front of us. I thought about so many people trying to imagine their place in the universe all at once, everyone trying to reason and measure it out and construct some meaning out of thought. That energy, as a contribution to existence, is a pretty powerful force, and a damn beautiful one.

Drop by drop, you know?

A smattering, mostly devoid of segues

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A million years or so ago, I dated a guy who really loved to make people laugh. He said something genuinely adorable, and I smiled and laughed to myself. He saw it, pointed to my smile, and said "Is that mine? Did I do that?"

This afternoon I was walking by my mom's office and heard her singing along with Ryan Adams, and I felt all warm and glowy, like "That's mine. I did that."

There are few things more satisfying than infecting others with music obsessions.


(that was a segue)


The MVP in my life lately is a gigantic incubator. I've been working with rather delicate (and smelly) milk proteins which turn if you even look at them funny, refrigerated or otherwise, so it's been aggravating (and smelly). This incubator has been taking up a lot of space in the lab where I work for months, but the lab tech was saying she didn't think it worked and they were considering having it taken out.

Just before Christmas, I got fed up and decided to find out what was going on with the incubator. I got up on a step ladder and screwed around with all its knobs and dials, trying to find the magic combination that would get it started. Finally, I had a thought straight out of Mister Rogers: "It's electric, so you have to plug it in!"

I struggled to drag it out of its corner in a process that involved a lot of expletives and more than a few complete slips to the floor (I was wearing heels), then found that yes, our very expensive and purportedly "broken" incubator just needed to be plugged in.

This was bittersweet news, as it seems the only functioning outlet is in the middle of my lab bench. And the power cord is, no kidding, like four feet long. Shoved directly against the bench in the middle of the room, the cord barely reaches to stay safely plugged in, but barely is good enough for me, as it whirred immediately to life and started the reassuring hum of non-smelly, non-rotten samples which has pervaded my lab since.

So, meet my new lab mate. He's loud, he's huge, he's always in my way now, but at 2 degrees, he keeps my casein slushy and beautiful, without even a trace of rotten smelliness. Without his valiant efforts, I would be a much unhappier camper.

(That's wonderfully jiggly collagen on the right.)


I hurt my neck last night overdoing it with the pull buoy in swimming. Whenever I hurt my neck, I get awful tension headaches and blurred vision. Fortunately I live with a physical therapist and a licensed massage therapist, who have both provided their services and given me self-treatment exercises which are as effective as they are humiliating.

There is nothing like doing "the turtle" thirty or forty times to assure oneself that yes, you really are the biggest nerd that ever nerded and will forever be a nerd.

A nerd who is getting her vision and range of motion back though.


Lastly, my brother gave me these really awesome rain boots for my birthday in November. They're fully lined and insulated, they match one of my favorite hats and winter coats, and basically they are the bitchinest boots that ever, uhh, booted.

I've gotten a lot of use out of them given the weather lately (am I the only person who thinks freezing rain is the universe's way of saying "F you"?).

The thing is, even though I know they're completely waterproof and designed to be worn in the rain, I hate stepping in puddles or having to walk through water with them on. I get positively irate when they get muddy.

I think this is just the kind of person I am.

Living in the Present Tense

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Last year in place of specific resolutions, I had the theme of Living Well. I didn't have as much success with it as I wanted to (and often it was reduced to little more than a catch-phrase thrown back in my face during arguments), but keeping that theme in mind did really help me a lot with priorities and decisions.

This year, my theme is Living in the Present Tense.

Two of my biggest faults as a person are constantly dwelling on the past and relentlessly agonizing about the future. The combination of these fixations tends to wreck my present tense, ensuring that all phases of existence are spent in anxiety and frustration. Enough of that. In addition to the whole Be Here Now aspect of existing, I am going to focus on the ways in which I can improve and enjoy my life as it is this moment, in the present tense.

Unlike last year, I have specific ways in which I want to accomplish this goal. Unless you have the same faults and wish to improve them in corresponding ways, I can't imagine my resolutions would be of much interest to you, but then again, seeing someone's dreams is a way of understanding who they are, and in turn, knowing ourselves better.

I've broken it down by aspects of my life I wish to improve. They overlap a lot, and I make no apologies for shoddy organization.

Interpersonal / Social

- Listen. Take words at face value, stop trying to find subtexts or ulterior motives. Pay attention to exactly what people are saying, the sound of their voices, and the words they choose, and respect what they've chosen to communicate.

- See the people you love in the present tense instead of remembering them fondly or wistfully saying we should get together some time. Do it now, and do it again later. Love them in the present.

- Learn to forgive.

- Make time for conversation, even if it seems inconvenient.

- Ask questions and try to learn more about people. The more you understand, the less reason there is to fear interacting with them. Which leads to: quit having panic attacks when you have to talk to people. People are generally pretty nice, and worst case scenario, they're unlikely to throw garbage at you or force you to hang out with clowns.

- Be open to love. Don't sabotage everything, and don't worry so much about it. Trust the universe that if you follow your heart and act in good faith, wherever you end up you will be happy.

Health & Fitness

- Keep running and swimming, and add something else into the mix, most likely yoga. Improve speed, strength, endurance and flexibility, and pay attention to your breathing.

- Lose 60 pounds by 2010. Don't do it all at once - lose 30, then maintain, then lose the other 30. Quit using being fat as a reason to be insecure.

- Eat for pleasure, not hunger. I know it's a backwards mentality and I'm supposed to say something like eat for nutrition and weight-loss, but I am motivated by pleasure. I will eat what's pleasant.

- Sleep. Or lay quietly awake with your thoughts. Either way, go to bed and make an honest effort at staying there until morning.

- Drink more water and less Diet Coke. To the extent that it is pleasing.


- Organize living space in a way that is conducive to work and creativity.

- Do laundry more frequently.

- Contribute more to cleaning the house.

- Organize finances and paperwork. Quit stressing so much about all of it.

- Quit treating this part of life as a big awful chore, even if it kind of is.

Academic & Professional

- Apply myself toward my thesis and write something amazing. Get truly involved in the process and commit to making it a meaningful, rewarding project. (Related: write and submit MFA thesis and documentation, also that long overdue paper on glass, and finish degrees.)

- Put as much time as physically possible into work. Get involved at every level of projects, think of new projects, learn as much as you can, and keep regular lab times. Develop skills for this summer and plan thoroughly for next steps of career.

- Not so much a resolution as something I have to do - take chemistry courses I need for conservation school. Take them seriously and quit telling yourself you're dumb at chemistry and math. Also, probably wouldn't hurt to learn physics.

- Take the GREs again and don't have a cold-sweat panic attack during the math section. Study this time. Also, don't forget the math as soon as you get your scores.

- Develop portfolio for conservation school. Make it stunning.

Personal & Spiritual

- Pay attention to what the universe tells you.

- Act in accordance with your beliefs (this will probably be the hardest thing of this whole list). Be the person you've always wanted to be.

- Be honest with yourself, especially when you are unhappy or want to speak up. No one can take away your birthday.

- Actually learn the rosary and don't just fondle the thing while you pray. Read, pray, and think more about your spiritual life. Don't let pervasive cynicism get in the way of your own spirituality, and meditate with an open heart and clear conscience.

- Paint more, every day. If you have time to go on Facebook and read blogs, you have time to pick up a brush. Draw as much as possible and observe the world.

- Take more photographs. Shoot what you like and enjoy the images as much as you want. Pay attention to what happens in light, and think about what you see. Actually look up that Diane Arbus quote about seeing the world differently with a camera in your hand.

- Relax and breathe. Stop robbing yourself of joy with anxiety.

I think this is a pretty comprehensive list of my goals for this year. Instead of taking my typical New Year's approach (a fresh chance to screw up), I will be optimistic that I can do and be what I want this year. I think the only way to do it is one day at a time, in the present tense.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2008 is the previous archive.

February 2009 is the next archive.

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