Posts Tagged ‘challenge’

Self-Eval, originally uploaded by Soasa Designs.

I have something I need to declare, and I need to state it publicly because it’s harder to back out of something once you’ve told other people you’ll do it (I hope.) Starting tomorrow (only because I already can’t remember today’s list) I’m writing every single thing I eat or drink in that little book in the image above (which also happens to be my impromptu knitting idea book, so the incentive to carry it around is good.)I haven’t decided what to do with that information yet.

I think I just need to take stock.

I know I eat a ton of those cute high-fiber crackers with suns and wheat stalks imprinted on them.
I know I eat a ton of lite Finlandia cheese (cream cheese but a lot lighter.)
I know I eat a lot of Activia yogurts, because they have the best flavors…(unfortunately the low-fat one’s suck.)
I eat a lot of tomatoes…

My energy is really low, and I’m always hungry.
I can’t summon the energy to go out with Ceci and friends because I can’t handle having to speak The Language all night.
My mood is swinging violently.
I can’t seem to kick the cough lodged in my chest.
I think I’m sleeping way too much.

I think I’ll add also that I’m keeping track of how much I sleep, how much I get out of the house and how my energy levels feel throughout the day.

Basically I want to be able to write a post like this. Or this. Or this.

I feel like with all the hustle before I left for this trip I didn’t get to do my yearly self-evaluation and re-adjustment and I think now is the time. Something’s gotta give or I’m going to waste this adventure away…


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Together Anything is Possible

I made my flatmate laugh today…in Spanish. Through her I am beginning to find faith. Faith in the power of human connections that erase all barriers of language and culture and make all things possible for those who are willing to open their hearts and minds.

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(Click any photo to enlarge)

…was spent in Cabo Polonio, Uruguay, population 80 people, 90 diseased dogs, and thousands of fleas.

Above is a photo of our shack, and us waiting outside in the rain for the monster truck to come carry us away. (Little did we know that there wouldn’t be another bus out for six and a half hours.)

(My bedroom)

(The shower…also the bathroom)

Cabo Polonio is first and foremost a beach town, and seeing as it was pretty much raining for the entire time, there wasn’t much to do once we had visited the 6 little vendor stands and climbed the lighthouse (which is not called “casa de luz”, just so you know for future reference). Below you’ll find a view of the entire town…

We spent the better part of the trip sitting in the one open restaurant drinking wine and watching the waves and the rain. Really that’s about all we did in the 18 hours we were there. The people (all three of them) in the restaurant were very nice, and we practiced lots of Spanish, sang some songs, and ate a couple meals there. The waiter even brought me some flan with a candle in it!

Somehow we slept in the icky beds in the icky house (it helped that there was no electricity so we could not see where we were sleeping) and the following morning (my real birthday) we woke up to a drippy roof, and that brings us back to the first photo of this post. We caught the monster truck (here’s a shot of ours from when we first arrived) intending to catch the bus that should have come at 8:40am.

We got the the bus stop, it was pouring rain by then, and waited for a bit. No bus. Nikki and Alison went to ask when the bus would be coming and discovered that since it was raining there would only be one bus…at 3pm…
They asked to use the phone to call a cab to get us into a town. No minutes left on the phone…So they asked to buy a phone card from the little stand next door…”The kiosco won’t be opening today because it’s raining…”
Not taking no for an answer, but ready to kill someone, Alison found an old man to drive us into town in the back of his truck for UY$400 pesos. They assured us there would be more buses leaving from the terminal there in Castillos. Turns out the bus didn’t leave there until 2:45…the same bus we would have caught. Fine, we say, we’re in a town at least! Turns out Castillos has the highest suicide rate in Uruguay, because there’s nothing to do there…

Anyhow, we eventually made our way back to Montevideo, hooked up with the rest of our travel group and some new friends found in Punta del Diablo, and the new friends took us out for a fabulous Asado! It was a grand old party and we went out later and they sang me happy birthday in 6 languages!

Back to our familiar and comfortable hostel for the evening, and then we caught the Buquebus ferry home in the AM. Can you see how happy we are to be going home? It was a great trip, and I’d do it all again, but it certainly got a bit tense at times! For 9 people to head of on an adventure like that when half had only known one another for 24 hours is pretty crazy, but the fact that we all came home fabulous friends is a gift!

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I am WAY LATE making this post, but it’s still January, so here goes!

I wanted to share a little bit of what took over my life for the last three months of 2008. Sometimes I go a little crazy with plans…this year it was Christmas knitting. I convinced myself I was planning so far ahead, starting in September, it would be no trouble getting through my list. Never mind that I was full on into sale season and driving every which way across the state in the middle of a hectic semester while still balancing a part time job. Never mind that I need to sleep at night. Or that I planned to knit my brother an entire sweater in the month of November, or that I decided to do it from calculations rather than a pattern. Never mind that finals were the week before Christmas, and I’m trying to get the paperwork done for a study abroad (more on that later.)

No, I was determined. What happens when I’m determined to get something done? I usually do, for better or worse. This year was no exception (well, except the two projects I didn’t get done, but they were sort of “if I have time” projects anyway.)

Here’s the damage:

1. Manly Lace for Jamie II, 2. Mom’s Porphyria, 3. Justin’s Gloves, 4. Jordan’s Sweater, 5. Joe’s Turn a Square, 6. Amanda’s Halley’s Comet, 7. Joanne’s Fellow Knitter Goodybag, 8. Dan’s Turn a Square, 9. Helena’s Modified Fetchings, 10. Dad’s Thuja

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The Burn Out

I feel a little bit like this. (This being my very first car, which spontaneously burst into flames one day on my way home from work.)

I HATE this time of year. I hate it because it is the most beautiful time to live in New England, and yet I spend so much time in a melted puddle of anxiety and fatigue that I can’t appreciate it like everyone else can. I hate that I feel so disconnected, even though I know there are people who love my and think of me. I’m sleeping 8-10 hours a night, and I fell asleep for an hour in the library today. All I want to do is go home and sleep, even though I know that on top of my regular course reading and jewelry shows I have three tests and three papers and Salt and Pepper shakers to complete in the next two weeks. I think that all my determination to ignore this problem is going to have to bend, because I’m sick of being so unproductive and listless. I think it’s time to go sit on a sofa and have a chat with someone.

Do other people struggle with seasonal depression (because I suspect that’s what you’d call this)? Is anyone willing to share their experience, or what has worked for them?

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“…so when my manager (i work at a used bookstore) mentioned that one of her customers used to chose authors alphabetically, i thought, now that is peculiar and promptly decided to take up a new reading project! As soon as i got home i started to brainstorm and came up with some guidelines. Since i didn’t want to spend the next 6 months trudging through books just cause i needed a letter, I allowed books that i have finished in the past 6 months to be included, and i would henceforth complete the rest of the alphabet. If I read a compilation, the editor’s last name would apply. Most recent reads would be listed, even if i find them embarrassing (see “F”). In order for the book to count, I’d have to read it completely. No rereads. First names don’t count. No cheating. Rated yes, no or maybe so. Here goes…” – readyset_no on Livejournal.com

I’ll be including the books I read in the last 12 months, because I’m a busy girl…


A: Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale
B: J. M. Barrie – Peter Pan
C: Aiden Chambers – The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
H: Frank Herbert – Dune and Dune Messiah
K: Thomas Kelly – Empire Rising
L: Madeleine L’Engle – A Wrinkle in Time
N: Mary Norton – The Borrowers Series
P: Tamora Pierce – Trickster’s Choice
S: Anita Shreve – Body Surfing
T: Junichiro Tanizaki – Naomi
W: Tad Williams – The War of the Flowers

To Be Read (or finished):

D: *Ram Dass – Be Here Now
E: *Ianto Evans – The Hand-Sculpted House (Almost finished)
F: *William Faulkner – As I Lay Dying
G: David Guterson – Snow Falling on Cedars
I: John Irving – A Prayer for Owen Meany
J: *James Joyce – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
M: Frank McCourt – Angela’s Ashes
O: *Kenzaburo Oe – The Silent Cry
Q: Raymond Queneau – Zazie in the Metro
R: *Ayn Rand – Anthem
U: John Updike – The Witches of Eastwick
V: *Kurt Vonnegut…not sure which yet
X: *Cao Xueqin – Story of the Stone (Read parts of)
Y: Banana Yoshimoto – NP (Is her name really Banana?)
Z: Roger Zelazny (Because he’s got two z’s!)

* signifies that I have the book on my shelf
I’m excited to say I haven’t read anything by any of the authors in my TBR pile! Adventure awaits!

EDIT: My “Y” author is going to be Jane Yolen’s “Touch Magic” rather than Banana Yoshimoto. Maybe I’ll still read Yoshimoto, who knows?
My “F” is now Nancy Farmer’s “The Sea of Trolls”, “The House of the Scorpion” and any others I can get my hands on! I’ll probably still read Faulkner at some point.

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The challenge is to read a book who’s title fits into each of the 6 catagories found What’s in a Name.

My list is as follows:

1. A book with a color in its title: The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde (heh, does that count?)

2. A book with an animal in its title: Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith

3. A book with a first name in its title: Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

4. A book with a place in its title: Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck

5. A book with a weather event in its title: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

6. A book with a plant in its title: Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet

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