Hello there, 2012

Delicious consumables...and this is just the food

Our NYE party has come and gone, along with its delicious spread of spreads: pear-blue cheese chutney, mushroom-walnut pâté, spicy hummus, homemade crostinis and cinnamon sugar tortilla crisps, various cheeses, bacon-wrapped shrimp, cranberry-orange relish, bhel puri…many of these recipes I will present in the near future for your own experimentation.

As much as New Year’s lists can seem trite, I think it’s important to document where I’m at as an arranger of words, as well as where I am in my life at large, in a space that allows me to revisit my desires and goals and that enables others to encourage me to keep my word. So, without further adieu:

Things to Do in 2012

I. The Professional

  • Set up and maintain a solid, unchanging three-day a week writing schedule, during which I write for three-four hours at a time.
  • Maintain this blog regularly: Adventure Day recaps/status updates at least once every two weeks, more recipes (with photos and perhaps video)
  • Maintain Drawing Coffee regularly: update/cycle through my writing portfolio online, columns/essays on the state of writing and writing-, narrative-, and publication-related issues at least once every two weeks
  • Develop coding skills.
  • Finish all of the work I’ve begun revising and new work I’ve started over last fall and the coming spring.
  • Make some decisions about my thesis by September.
  • Secure at least one internship.
  • Develop bookmaking and binding skills.
  • Write personally about my writing process and my critical self once a week.
  • Submit my work to ten publications.
  • Finish reading one book a month.
  • Perform at three readings.

II. The Personal

  • Set up and maintain a workout schedule three times a week by the first week of February.
  • Take one day a week for myself–to write personally, to get things done around the apartment, to make food for the coming week, do laundry, clean my work space, play video games, etc.
  • Write and adhere to a personal monthly budget.
  • Volunteer.
  • Find/start a band, and play at least one show.
  • Plan at least one road trip.
  • Plan a writer’s retreat+trip for January next year.
  • Acquire enough poster frames for all of my artwork.
  • Go to at least one Cards game.

The beginning of the year has to come to be a very significant time to me. At the beginning of 2010, I felt like everything in my life had dropped away and left me suspended, free-floating in empty space, and I couldn’t tell if I was flying or falling. Graduating from college felt like I had run a marathon and vaulted over a single last hurdle off the edge of a cliff with no base, no ground to crash to. I forced a minimal amount of writing, and mostly stopped altogether. 2011 started with a bang and a bruise, celebrating in Chicago for the first time with tons of significant people who, though they may not know it, help keep me driven even though they are typically far away. And I was, of course, playing the waiting game in many ways, including hearing about grad school admissions. As compared to the previous year, however, I believed in the direction I had come to, and was cutting through the air around me despite not having hit the ground yet.

On the front page of my datebook for 2011, I wrote an important note to myself to be read every time I opened it up–“Devote this year to love.” Over the course of the year, my understanding of love developed in incredible ways. Love–big love, capital-L Love, not just the kind you say to your family or your SO, but the way you feel about life and what’s in it and all the people and objects and places you will never know–is why I write, is one of the things at the center of me that makes me the person that I am. Life is too short not to genuinely extend yourself, the best part of yourself, to as many entities in as many ways as you can and to try to see them for what they are and what they can be, to try to understand them in the way they understand themselves and to be a force of exploration and curiosity and growth and passion in their existence, if only for a brief instant.

More than any other goals for 2012, I plan to devote this year to love. My feet brush the ground beneath with every step.

Merry something to all, and to all, a good something

  • Semester’s finished at last. I have a few last-minute things to iron out with scheduling, but everything seems to be shaping up rather nicely.
  • Plans: Dec. 22-29 in TX (currently underway); fancy NYE cocktail party in Chicago; Jan. 5-9 in Seattle; Jan. 9-16 in Portland; Jan. 19/20-23/24 in Springfield. I’m a hot commodity. Get me while you can.
  • Post-op recovery is going well–a few more weeks and I should be back in action, hitting the gym.
  • Expect the requisite NY2k12 goal list to start in the next few days, to be updated as we get closer to NYE.
  • Powering through Storm of Swords. These books are somehow far more ominous when you already know what’s going to happen, uuuugh
  • My substitute for this year’s Christmas ham: vegetable curry!

Happy holidays from a grumpy snowflake and a screech owl

Fingertoes, update the second

For those of you who were mildly interested to read about my exploits wearing Vibram FiveFingers, you may be mildly interested in this.

At the same time that I want to be able to use these as strictly athletic shoes, I’ve been wearing my KSOs solid for over a week so that my foot muscles will have the opportunity to adjust. I’m trying to alter my step while I walk to more easily facilitate the change while I run, although I still have to actively think about how I’m stepping during both (after all, a week of walking differently isn’t going to erase the near-23-years of muscle memory from walking in mainstream shoes–or “foot coffins,” as my dental hygienist told me her FiveFingers-wearing running partner calls them). My feet were still pretty sore last week (despite wearing them off and on the week or so prior), but everything’s been smooth sailing (or stepping?) so far this week. For a better idea on how I’m trying to change my steps, check out the video on this NPR story.

With all this stepping on my mind, I went running for 20 minutes tonight (still working my way back up from my ankle injury, plus getting used to new shoes, so I’m taking it easy) successfully–no ankle pain, no extreme calf muscle tightness, no soreness in the top of my foot. Progress is slow, but sure. If things continue this well, then I’m considering procuring an extra pair of these babies for every-day wear so that my KSOs can remain strictly for their intended athletic use, and I can still wander around in comfy shoes all day that aren’t counterproductive to my running step.

I hope that was minimally interesting, enough so that you’re mildly intrigued for further updates on the subject in the near future.

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