Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best of 2009

Blogger Gwen Bell put together a "Best of 2009" project, with one topic for each day of December to wrap up the best of the year. I just found it today, so I thought I'd throw them all into one post and see what I came up with!

You can click on each topic name to see blogs of the bazillion other people who have posted about that subject, too, if you are so inclined!

(I apologize in advance for the purple font. I wanted a way to distinguish my answers from the questions, and by the time I decided the color was annoying, I had already nearly finished, and was way too lazy to change it.)

December 1 Trip. What was your best trip in 2009?

Unbelievably, for someone as obsessed with travel as I am, I only left Orlando ONCE this year, and that was just for a day trip to Cocoa Beach with Ashlee, so it wins by default! Here's to much more travel in 2010!

December 2 Restaurant moment. Share the best restaurant experience you had this year. Who was there? What made it amazing? What taste stands out in your mind?

I am not a big eating out in restaurants person, because I am incredibly cheap, and don't eat all that much to begin with. All of my restaurant memories of the year are more about the people I was with than where or what we were eating. Katie and I had a silly, fabulous time at the Garden View Tea Room, where the manager asked us to keep sampling new teas they had gotten in, and we got on a rediculous sugar high. Dave and I had an equally silly time eating hummus at Urban Flatts after a Battle of the Bands, trying to decide what was in what we were eating (and deciding upon monkey brains.) Kouzzina with Mike and Ashlee, because the spanikopita was yummy and we got to see Cat Cora, and it's an oddly vivid memory.

December 3 Article. What's an article that you read that blew you away? That you shared with all your friends. That you Delicious'd and reference throughout the year.

Sadly, I don't think there's anything that stood out to me this year!

December 4 Book. What book - fiction or non - touched you? Where were you when you read it? Have you bought and given away multiple copies?

Oh my, I've read SO much this year that it makes this hard to pick! The first thing that came to mind, though, was Neil Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book", which was fantastic, as is everything Neil does.

December 5 Night out. Did you have a night out with friends or a loved one that rocked your world? Who was there? What was the highlight of the night?

Ooh, there have been some good ones! It's a tie between two; the first was back in February when Ashlee helped me get over my recent house breaking into and moving trauma with a LOT of alcohol at AKA Lounge. Plus it was a fun full circle moment, because it was the venue where I had first seen Black Ship Sky almost exactly a year before, and we were there to see them again. And there was silly fun!

The other one that stands out is going to see Black Ship Sky, Ambertone, and Lost In Chaos
at the Haven, because hello, those three bands at once is pretty much as good as it gets! And the company that night was excellent.

December 6 Workshop or conference. Was there a conference or workshop you attended that was especially beneficial? Where was it? What did you learn?

None of those, sorry!

December 7 Blog find of the year. That gem of a blog you can't believe you didn't know about until this year.

I have found a LOT of new ones in just the past few weeks, but I will be decicive and pick one and go with The Bloggess because that is the first one that came to mind.

December 8 Moment of peace. An hour or a day or a week of solitude. What was the quality of your breath? The state of your mind? How did you get there?

No one moment stands out, probably some time spent sitting out soaking up the sun outside, just enjoying some quiet.

December 9 Challenge. Something that really made you grow this year. That made you go to your edge and then some. What made it the best challenge of the year for you?

I'm actually REALLY proud that I finally completed/won a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month.) I've don it several years before, and I think the best I ever did was 40,000 words during the month. Actually sticking with it and pushing to get word count at the end was pretty hard, but I did it, yay!

December 10 Album of the year. What's rocking your world?
Ambertone's Shifting Stars & Disregards has been in my car's CD player ALL YEAR. I mean, it is a 6 cd changer, but still, to hold one of those coveted spots for an entire year is pretty impressive.

December 11 The best place. A coffee shop? A pub? A retreat center? A cubicle? A nook?

I spent a lot of time wandering around Disney's Boardwalk this year, but I always do that, so it isn't particular to 2009. Still, it's where I go to think and write and such.

December 12 New food. You're now in love with Lebanese food and you didn't even know what it was in January of this year.

I can't think of any culinary adventures this year that have become a new favorite. Something else to add to next year's list, I guess!

December 13 What's the best change you made to the place you live?

The end of January, I moved out of the apartment that got broken into TWICE, into the place I live now, which I love. Quite the upgrade!

December 14 Rush. When did you get your best rush of the year?

This is a tie between getting to go over 100mph in a race car at the Richard Petty Speedway, and parasailing at Sammy Duvall's watersports center, both free (love my job sometimes!). Stuff like this is going to turn me into an adreneline junkie!

There is another story involving getting rained on, but I can't tell you that one. Maybe someday!

December 15 Best packaging. Did your headphones come in a sweet case? See a bottle of tea in another country that stood off the shelves?

I think the best evolution in packaging is that Oreos and Chips Ahoy and various other nutritional necessities (read: cookies) now have the little pull tab on the package to make it resealable, so your cookies don't get all funky if you happen to not eat the whole package in one day. Huzzah for progress!

December 16 Tea of the year. I can taste my favorite tea right now. What's yours?
Eros from the Garden View Lounge with LOTS of sugar! Quantity-wise, I drank about eighty gallons of Bigelow Apple Cinnamon tea, because that is what we have at work, and if you add a LOT of sugar, it will help you be nice to guests and not punch them in the face. That is the real secret of my company's success- a LOT of sugar.

December 17 Word or phrase. A word that encapsulates your year. "2009 was _____."

Long. I wish I had a happier word to describe it, and that my year end wrap-up was more jolly in general, but the naked truth is that it has been a LONG year, an exhausting emotional rollercoaster, and I am worn out from it, and could really use a cookie.

December 18 Shop. Online or offline, where did you spend most of your mad money this year?

This was The Year of the Poor, so I had no mad money to spend. My idea of living it up was buying the name brand cat food for 12 cents more per can. In fact, right now I have some gift certificates to use on Amazon, and I can't bring myself to spend them! I will find myself starting to put a book in the shopping cart, and then thinking "$12! That would pay for blah blah blah insert boring expense here!" And then I remember that no... I can't use this money to pay for gas or food or bills, it is just for fun books and dvds and such! And my brain is all "Does not computer!", so yeah. I haven't spent them yet.

December 19 Car ride. What did you see? How did it smell? Did you eat anything as you drove there? Who were you with?

There are two, and I can't tell you either story. I am so very sorry! I hate that there are certain things I can't post about, but someday if circumstances change, or the people involved are no longer a part of my life, I promise to share.

December 20 New person. She came into your life and turned it upside down. He went out of his way to provide incredible customer service. Who is your unsung hero of 2009?

I didn't meet a lot of new people this year, oddly enough. Oh wait! My wif, Shelley! (Yes, "wif". Like wife, but not.) We accidentally got married at work one day, and even though she is totally engaged to some dude now, she is still the best wif ever!

December 21 Project. What did you start this year that you're proud of?

I started my new 101/1001 list. I like lists!

December 22 Startup. What's a business that you found this year that you love? Who thought it up? What makes it special?

I really can't think of any new businesses that came into my life this year, hmm...

December 23 Web tool. It came into your work flow this year and now you couldn't live without it. It has simplified or improved your online experience.

Google Docs!!!

December 24 Learning experience. What was a lesson you learned this year that changed you?

Don't ever take Colonial Drive to anywhere you want to get to on time? No, I think my BIG lesson of this year was not to take ANYTHING for granted.

December 25 Gift. What's a gift you gave yourself this year that has kept on giving?

I wish I had something great to put here, but I haven't been particularly generous with myself this year. I will put a serious effort in taking better care of myself next year, so maybe that lesson was the gift.

December 26 Insight or aha! moment. What was your epiphany of the year?

I think I'm still working on getting to one.

December 27 Social web moment. Did you meet someone you used to only know from her blog? Did you discover Twitter?

I've probably actually been LESS internetty this year than in the past. I've realized just how much of my time it sucks up, and tried to cut back on that in favor of other things.

December 28 Stationery. When you touch the paper, your heart melts. The ink flows from the pen. What was your stationery find of the year?

I can't say I got all that excited about any paper, so I'll go with the awesome peacock notebook I got on sale at Target for like fifty cents that I used as a journal for a few months:

December 29 Laugh. What was your biggest belly laugh of the year?

Oh, wow. The first thing that came to mind was early this month when Katie tried to said she was going to give me back a book she had borrowed like a birthday present, but her mind somehow translated that to typing "I will give it to you like a bitch." Awesome. And then just a couple of days ago, I was on the phone with my mom, fretting about impending financial DOOM, when my cat Cricket walked in wearing a plastic Wal-Mart bag as a superhero cape, and carrying one of her toys in her mouth. I lost it, and was laughing so hard I couldn't even talk, and I'm pretty sure my mom thought I had just been shot and was dying of an asthma attack or something, because it came out of nowhere, but then I e-mailed her pictures, and she understood.

December 30 Ad. What advertisement made you think this year?

The beautiful thing about not having a TV is that I am very rarely subjected to craploads of advertising. It's a delightful thing!

WAIT! I totally take that back! There WAS one excellent ad this year!!!

If you aren't from Orlando, it probably isn't funny until you know what they are spoofing:

December 31 Resolution you wish you'd stuck with. (You know, there's always next year...)

I didn't make any actual resolutions last year, but I did say I would go back to trying to take photos every single day, which I totally failed at. Maybe in '10? (It will take me approximately three months to stop accidentally saying "0-ten", since the past decade has been "09" and such.)

No real NYE plans for me this year. I am still getting over my whole End of the Year Health Debaucle, which I can't even spell, so I'm still not quite celebratey. I will stay up till midnight, and let out a whoop of joy that the year is over, though, and welcome a fresh start with arms wide open!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

This is why I don't cook

The scene:
The camera fades in on the star of our story, standing in her small apartment kitchen, peeling the wrapper carefully from a roll of premade croissant dough, flinching in expectation of that popping thing dough does when you crack the roll.

Dough: *Does not pop*

Words on Package: Press on seam with spoon and twist roll to open

Crystal: What if you only own plastic spoons? *smooshes hard on package with thumb while trying to twist it. When that doesn't work, tries whacking it on the countertop.*

Dough: *does not pop*

Crystal: *reaches in silverware drawer for sturdy looking plastic spoon, and uses it to push down on package while trying to twist at the same time. Eventually abandons this for cautiously stabbing package with a knife*

Dough: *does not pop*

Crystal: *pokes package a little more firmly with knife before taking it in both hands and twisting as hard as possible*

Dough: *does not pop*

Crystal: I NEED AN ADULT!!

(Our Star walks out her front door, tube of dough in hand, and knocks on the door of the pastry chef next door.)


Dough: POP!


Door: Does not open

Crystal: Um, nevermind, I got it! *scurries back into own apartment*

Text from Ashlee Next Door: Um, was that you knocking?

Lesson learned: Buy pre-made croissants.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I would walk 500 miles...

I've had a lot of free time to read lately, and two of the books I've just finished have made me really wish it was much warmer outside so that I could head out for a walk in the woods!

A Blistered Kind of Love is written by a couple (Angela and Duffy Ballard) who walked the Pacific Crest Trail from the US/Mexico border all the way north to Canada. The authors take alternating chapters, so you get two distinct points of view, a sort of he said she said. Neither of the two had much prior hiking or camping experience, which made it more relatable to me than if it had been written by someone who was used to walking thirty miles in a day, since I was able to understand their struggles. The trail is not just a test of their physicality, but also of their relationship. I've always said that traveling with someone is one of the best ways to test your relationship with them, and from the book I'd say that walking a thousand miles or so with that person is pretty effective! Despite all the crazyness of their trail adventures, this one left me with the urge to look up hiking shoes on Amazon, and find some local trails to hit! I don't think I could ever do the five straight months of walking thing, nor am I sure I would WANT to, but some day hikes sound awfully good.

The other book was A Walk Across America, by Peter Jenkins. I've heard this one recommended by travel book afficionados for a while, and finally picked it up. (It's been out for longer than I've been alive, so I'm a little late to the party!) I have a kind of embarassing confession- up until when I actually picked up the book, I had been mentally confusing Peter Jenkins with Peter Jennings, and always thought it was by the news anchor. Oops!

In the early 70's, Peter decided to get a first hand view of what the country and its people were really about by walking acorss America with his dog, Cooper. He set off from New York, and hiked down to Louisiana, with plans to continue West across the country. This book covers the NY to Louisiana part of the journey, but his trip west and subsequent trips have books as well, which I am looking forward to reading. Unlike the first book, where they stuck to a set trail, Peter is mostly walking along highways and through small towns, with the intention of meeting everyday people and seeing how they live. He ends up living with a few different families along the way, offering a look into the lives of some pretty diverse people and places. The real star of the book, though, is his dog Cooper, who I totally fell in love with. However, (spoiler alert! Highlight the following sentences to read:)

*books should totally come with some kind of warning label if the dog dies! I ended up crying in my doctor's office waiting room. *

Both books reminded me a little of Bill Bryson's "A Walk In the Woods", probably the best (and best-known) hiking book I know of. The latter also reminded me a little of Blue Highways, by William Least-Heatmoon. I really enjoyed both, although A Walk Across America would probably appeal to a wider audience.

Are there any books that make you want to lace up some hiking boots and go play in the woods? Do you think Jennings's walk would even be possible today, given how safety has changed? (I find it less likely that you could currently meet someone at a gas station and end up invited to sleep in their house that night!) Do several months spent doing nothing but walking through nature sound like a dream to you, or a nightmare?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Double 101 Update

Now that Day Zero, the main site for the 101 things in 1001 days project has been overhauled and my site is now listed there (yay!) I thought I'd take a moment to update you on the progress of my lists!

If you are unfamiliar with 101 in 1001, the idea is to create a list of things you would like to do (101 of them), within 1001 days. It's kind of like a bucket list, but you have to also keep in mind what you can reasonably actually accomplish within that time frame (not quite 3 years), so while visiting the Galapagos might be on my big list of Adventures for my lifetime, chances are I'm not going to make it there within the next couple of years, so it doesn't go on the list. Instead, you find things that will brighten up your everyday life, smaller adventures. I tried to keep most of my list narrowed down to things that a) weren't super expensive, and b)were only a few hours away from home, making them easy to reach. You, of course, are welcome to set up your list however you want, these are just the rules I went by!

I actually have two lists! There is one that I started about a year before the newest one, but I thought of so many new things, and really needed the motivation of having another list, so I have two separate lists of 101, each with different end dates. It's a lot to keep up with, but fun!

First, here is my original list, which I now have less than a year left to complete, as it will be over 12/13/10! (YIKES!) (Completed items are BOLD, in progress are Green, and my comments in varying shades of blue, because I am too sleepy to consistantly click the same color today!)

1. Take photos every day for a year (Well, crap! Given that I am about 10 days short of a year to complete this list, this one isn't going to happen. Maybe I can aim for every day for 11 months? I could start New Year's Day and go until the end of the list, with promises to finish the month when it is over)

2. Go horseback riding It has been years. I can’t *believe* it has been years! I used to ride every day. Of course, that’s when I had my own horse, which made a difference. But still. Get thee to a stable! (I've looked at a few different places near Orlando, and have it narrowed down to two. One place actually has overnight cattle drive type experiences. This is one of the list items that is being seriously held back by lack of money, since the rides I am deciding between are both in the $70-$80 range.)

3. Do another Blogathon August 2010, I'm looking at you!

4. Enjoy Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian (again)- Complete Oct 1, 2009! I should blog about it, it was much fun!

5. Ride a Segway- Nobody at Disney has been dumb enough to hand one over to me yet!
6. Take a yoga class
7. Kiss someone new *complete*
8. Buy a teapot
9. Behind the Seeds tour at Epcot’s Land pavilion
10. Eat crème brulee *complete* Thanks, Epcot!

11. Try 30 new things in 30 days
12. Visit Coronado Springs and Caribbean Beach, so that I will have officially been to every WDW Resort (And Fort Wilderness! I forgot it!) *complete*
13. Try the school bread from Norway at Epcot that everyone raves about
14.Clean up my Favorites folder in IE. I have SO much stuff in there! Sort through, organize, clean out the sites that no longer exist or I no longer need, rediscover stuff I forgot about.
15. Blog every day for a month

16. Take an American Tribal Style bellydance class
17. Find at least one thing each day that makes me happy and record it everyday for a year- I saw this on someone’s list at, and thought it sounded very good.
18. Attend the Orlando Fringe Festival
19. Visit London I’ve been drawn to this city for as long as I can remember. Bill Bryson has a theory that everyone has numerous "homes" in the world, and we travel because we are in search of them. (Oh man, I think it was Bryson... it may have been Steinbeck!)
20. Do another "26 Things" photo project

21. Get a tattoo- I’ve been trying to decide what I want to get for ages now, so if I don’t make up my damn mind within the next few years, I am going to kick myself. I might let you kick me, too.
22. Dentist! I have several things that I need to have done, and will finally have insurance soon!
23. Try the Rooibos "Miracle tea" at Animal Kingdom *complete*
24. Go to Jellyrolls
25. Catch a show at Comedy Warehouse (Um, crap. It closed!)

26. Go to the FL Keys
27. Eat pancakes at that place Katie told me about, the name of which I am too lazy to look up.
28. Take photos in a photo booth. Must be one that prints out a strip of photos, no lame 5x7s or anything.
29. Slow dance-*complete*
30. Finish up my trip report on the DIS boards. Preferably in *less* than 1000 days. (I finally started!! It's so weird to write about 2 years ago!)

31. Eat at the Sci-Fi Dine In at Hollywood Studios. *complete*
32. Try something new at Starbucks *complete*
33. Star Wars Weekends! (Crap, I totally missed 09! I still have time for 2010, right?)
34. See a space shuttle launch.
35. Take a non-bellydance dance class

36. Do a 40s/50s Pin-up girl style photoshoot (not nude, just cute!)
37. See "Across the Universe" *complete*
38. Read something by Jane Austen
39. Get a massage
40. Go to I-Bar *complete* Hehehe, magical!

41. Read a Shakespeare play that I haven’t read yet, or see one of his plays that I haven’t seen
42. Go on a cruise
43. Try a new fruit or vegetable *complete* Jackfruit is... interesting.
44. Stay up all night having a great conversation
45. Buy a reusable grocery bag *complete* I think I have 3!

46. Visit a new state
47. Pay off at least one credit card
48. Back up my laptop
49. Watch Season 1 of Heroes *complete* Thanks for lending it, Katie!
50. Catch up on Season 1 of Pushing Daisies *complete* Thanks to Netflix!

51. Read 10 books recommended by friends (Start leaving suggestions in the comments!)
52. Find out what my credit score is (Most likely it is something like 2.)
53. Do volunteer work through VoluntEars (or in general)
54. Eat/Drink at Raglan Road Irish Pub (preferably on a night with live entertainment)
55. See Todd- There’s something wrong about not seeing one of your very best friends for over 4 years!

56. See 20 live bands (Seeing Black Ship Sky 20 times does not count, sadly.)1. Black Ship Sky 2. Built to be Broken 3. Ambertone 4. Johnny Plastic and the Rubber Band 5. Soulswitch 6.Weszt 7. KC and the Band 8. Andy Matchett 9. AM Conspiracy 10. Sugar Free Music 11. Afterglow Radio 12. The Broken Inn 13. Godpawn 14. Traverser 15. Orange Avenue 16. Mr. Bella 17. Lost in Chaos 18. Shut up and Dance 19. Needham and Weep 20.
I'm only short one band now! Score!

57. See Cirque! (La Nouba) *complete* Thanks to free tickets from work! Twice! WOOT!
58. Read 100 books (I am not actually sure what my total is so far! I may be close.)
59. Actually use the pool at my apartment complex *complete*
60. Actually use the gym at my apartment complex (HAH!) *complete*-more than once, even!

61. Finally read Kingdom by the Sea by Paul Theroux (this appears on every one of my lists as a sort of running joke- for some reason, I NEVER get around to reading this book!)
62. Go to Universal Studios
63. Visit Islands of Adventure
64. Stand in the ocean (Hopefully both Atlantic & Pacific!) *complete* Cocoa Beach with Ashlee~
65. Nap in a hammock
66. Play board games-*complete*
67. Dance like nobody’s watching *complete*
68. Try ice wine *complete* Yay for food & wine fest 08!

69. Walk the trail between Wilderness Lodge and Ft Wilderness
70. Read "Walking in this World" (the sequel to Artist’s Way) *complete*
71. Do the Sharon Kihara tribal dance dvd that has been on my bookshelf for months now *complete*- Picked up some fun new bits and pieces!

72. Have at least 5 friends teach me to do something they’re good at (Volunteers?)
73. Meet someone I admire
74. Get a great fortune cookie fortune
75. Attend a nerd convention of some sort

76. Actually write morning pages every day for a month
77. Either play Star Wars Galaxies or Matrix Online again, or try WoW or LOTRO
78. Attend some form of religious service- preferably one I’m unfamiliar with.
79. "Go to one of those target practice gun shooting things" (Katie and I agreed that this should go on the list with the exact wording in which it came about.)
80. Actually wear heels somewhere. (Bonus points for not falling over!) *complete*
81. Take a class at Ilham’s bellydance studio
82. Take a burlesque dance class
83. Visit home
84. Have photos I’ve taken published
85. Do some kind of acting, even if it’s just a job as an extra. It’s been fo-ever!

86. Flower & Garden festival @ Epcot *complete*

87. Food & Wine fest @ Epcot (again!) Try at least 10 things (not ALL wine…) Started 09/09- So far the Irish cheese plate with kerrygold butter, brown bread, and apple chutney, and cheese soup from Canada, which I cant count since I've had it so many times!, Goats Do Roam Red and Rose from South Africa, Airship Red from New York, Sangria from Morocco, Bailey's chocolate ganache from Ireland, Escargot from France, Praligne bread pudding from New Orleans

88. Go to another ren faire
89. Attend a film festival
90. Gatorland!
91. The Wine Room in Winter Park- they have machines that sell wine by the ounce!
92. Work our way through the martini menu at Blue Martini
92b. Apologize to liver for damage done by various numbers on this list
93. See white alligators, bears (#1 threat to America!), and ride glass bottom boats at Silver Springs in Ocala
94. See the ducks at the Peabody Orlando
95. Eat fondue at the Melting Pot
96. See wild manatees (Or, as I call them in my conversation with Katie, "REAL manatees!")
97. Dine and dance on the tables at Taverna Opa *complete*
98. Enjoy the food and art at Café Tu Tu Tango *complete*

99. Buy a piece of original art
100. Buy/acquire a small digital camera that I can toss in my purse for easy everyday access. (My good camera is a little bulky to carry *all* the time)
101. Post blog updates about all of the above items!
The Bonus Items:
102. Celebrate the end of 1001 days on Monday, Dec 13, 2010
103. Write a new list to start over!
104. Donate $1 to charity for every item not completed

WHEW! That's a lot of stuff to do in the next year!

But of course, I still have the OTHER, newer list! This one goes until March 28,2012:

1. Try 100 new foods or drinks (10/100)
2. Update my drivers license address
3. Buy hot sauce from Tijuana Flatts
4. Take 100 self- portraits
5. Open a new bank account (Sun Trust sucks!)

6. Do 10 scrapbook pages
7. Complete 10 of the old "26 Things" projects
8. Rewrite the "100 things about me" for my website- *Complete!*
9. Collect photos of 100 Hidden Mickeys
10. Participate in NaNoWriMo again- Completed Nov 28, 2009- I finally won!
11. Collect handwritten recipes from 20 friends to put together a book
12. Get a tattoo
13. Go to the main library branch downtown
14. Play The Sims 3
15. Make a list of 100 things that make me happy
16. Get a new cell phone *Complete!*
17. Take a month of Suhaila classes online
18. Take a dance class
19. Visit one of the Disney water parks- *Complete!* 9/10/09, went to typhoon lagoon! And Blizzard Beach the next week!
20. Go parasailing again (for free, yay! Thanks, Sammy Duvall!)
21. Eat at 3 Disney table service restaurants I haven't eaten at before Kouzzina 9/16/09 , Wolfgang Puck Cafe on 9/17/09,
22. Get a debit card for my old bank account
23. Earn $100 online (surveys, mypoints, mturk, etc.) in one month
24. Complete a dewey decimal challenge (Read one book from each Dewey Century (000-999))25. Try two new drinks at Starbucks
26. Wash my car and vacuum out the inside
27. See ten movies in the theater (2/10)

28. Redesign my website
29. Get my desktop computer to FL so I can do things like #14 and #28
30. Give "Catch 22" another try.
31. Either do 100 sketches, or fill my current sketchbook
32. Purchase a new moleskin notebook
33. Finally put together a functional notebook for work, instead of just sticking a bunch of loose papers in my moleskin!
34. Catch up, or at least leave a comment to say hi to, at least 100 of my facebook or myspace friends, preferably people I have fallen out of touch with.

35. Treat myself to a silly simple pleasure, like a new lipstick or magazine, at least 5 times. (I suck at actually spending $ on myself!) 1/5
36. Open a savings account, even if there is hardly anything in it
37. Rearrange/organize/whatever my closet until I am actually pleased with it
38. Write morning pages every day for a week, at least 12 times
39. See all 3 Disney fireworks shows within a year (1/3)

40. Go up in the "Characters in flight" balloon
41. Learn to drive a stick shift
42. Acquire a fun, floaty summer dress
43. Private! :)
44. Buy/get cd's from at least 5 local bands I enjoy (1/5)
45. Do ten random acts of kindness (1/10)
46. Resubscribe to one of the magazines I used to read. It's like junk food for my brain!-Complete!- Used some of my Amazon gift certificates, because they were having a $5 off sale! 9/09

47. Go to the beach at least 10 times
48. Update my resumee
49. Cook 10 meals that require actual recipes/effort
50. Experience 3 Disney attractions I've never done (there are quite a few!) 1/3

51. Ask my mom to help me put together a basic family tree (she is one of 18 kids, it's a big family, y'all!)
52. Get copies of some family photos I like, especially a couple of old ones of my dad
53. Have at least one month where I can pay rent on time with no worries at all
54. Acquire a denim skirt that actually looks good on me
55. Try a new product from Lush *Complete!*

56. Make my own soup
57. Make my own salsa
58. Do 3 things to the apartment that make it feel a little more like home *Complete!*
59. Go three straight months with no overdrafts on my bank account
60. Drink a Lapu Lapu at the Polynesian, preferably while hanging out in a hammock on the beach!

61. Visit the new Kidani Village at AKL, so I can once again say I have explored every Disney resort
62. Be able to do the splits again
63. Add this list to the dayzero master list
64. Get up at 9am every day for a week to see how much I can accomplish with the extra time
65. Do 10 cool cast only disney activities/previews

66. Spend an entire day with no internet. (Doesn't count if I am out of town!)
67. Go to House of Blues-- Complete! 8/09
68. Re-watch all of Wonderfalls- Complete 12/09
69. Feels like I should use this # for something dirty. I've got the idea in my head, but I'll leave you wondering!
70. Reread The Alchemist- Complete! 8/09
71. Reread Still Life with Woodpecker
72. Blog about 100 books, movies, albums, products or songs that I consume over the 1001 days- 10/100
73. Make Orlando area bellydancer friends!!!
74. Go shopping with a friend and try on clothes they pick out for me, instead of the things I usually gravitate towards.
75. Cross off 10 of these items within one month

76. Make a list of 1000 places I would like to visit in my lifetime
77. Have three meaningful, honest conversations with people I care about
78. Totally clear out my AOL mailbox (it usually has 100-200 emails in it at any given time)- Completed Nov 2009! It only took a day for it to get back up to 25 again, but it was nice while it lasted.
79. Spend time at the pool at least 10 times (1/10)

80. Find out if I can still ride a bike
81. Visit three museums
82. Take a seriously girly bubble bath
83. Relax in a hot tub
84. Eat zebra domes at DAK Lodge

85. Curl up at Wilderness Lodge with my favorite brownies and milk
86. Get my cell phone turned back on! (Holy crap, a lot of $ to come up with!)
87. Buy some sort of lottery ticket, either the drawing or scratch-off.
88. Do ten things that scare me
89. Choreograph something, anything!

90. Watch every James Bond film (14/22)
91. Decide on at least one tattoo design
92. Work my way through The Artist's Way again, actually taking a week for each chapter, and doing everything in them. (This will do wonders for my morning pages goals, too!)
93. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party-Complete 11/09!
94 Submit something for publication- an article, a poem, anything!
95.-99. Leaving 7 spots open for future additions. It seems like just after I posted my last list, I came up with a ton of new ideas!
100. Go for a walk in the woods
101. Create a Flickr set for photos of my 101 adventures, and upload at least 101 photos to it

So, all together, a LOT of stuff! Lots still to cross off, but it should be fun!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The year in searchyness

I was looking at my website's stats today... okay, wait, that is a lie. I was looking at the only part of my site stats that I find interesting today, which is what people typed into their search engine of choice that ultimately sent them my way. I do this every few months, because the results never fail to please, but today I discovered a feature that compiles all of the search strings from the YEAR! Oooh, ahh! So in another deligtful year-end wrap up, I offer you the top 10 search strings that brought people to my site, plus a few extras for good measure:

1. Adventure List (Actually, a lot of the top 20 or so were variations of this, like "list of adventures" and such, so I am going to skip those.) I love that this is the #1 thing that brought people here! Adventure in itself is worthwhile. If you have a list and I have not yet seen it, please share!

2. 2 headed animals- Okay, wow. You post ONE photo of a two-headed cow on your site, like... YEARS ago, and this is still the #2 thing bringing people here? I'm a little worried about humanity. Although I guess there are worse things you could be searching for...

3. Highlighted hair- Again, I had highlights once. FIVE YEARS AGO. Crap, am I totally past my glory days??

4. love many things (and lots of variations on that)- Given that it is my url, this makes sense. But I wonder how many people were actually looking for me?

5. Fattest man in the world- Gawsh, I'm just... I'm honored! I wonder what # I am on google if you search for that. Let me check.

Okay, I looked through 7 pages of google results, and I wasn't there. And then, because I love you (and omg you owe me now), I looked through Google Images for 8 pages, and will now never eat again.

So here's what's disturbing. Again, the post that is bringing me up is from something like three or four years ago! And that also means that people are clicking through MORE than seven pages of results (my own personal loss of patience point), still totally soaking up fattest dude stuff. Really?

6. The Sims Grim Reaper- This was on my blog so long ago, it was Sims 1. (But oh man, when I ever get a desktop again, and get Sims 3... there will be some excellent blogs to come!)

7. I hate Suntrust- The fact that so many people found me by searching for this brings a little tear of joy to my eye. Join hands, brothers and sisters, and share the hate!

8. Suntrust extended overdraft fee- Yeah, I should count this as a variation of #7, but it is just too beautiful.

9. Taco bell sauce sayings- Yeah, we have those here.

10. Brownie magic carpet- Oh. Um, of course! I totally wrote about that... um.. never? What exactly IS a brownie magic carpet? Do you get to go all Aladdin flying around, and then EAT it? Wait, it combines travel and chocolate? I think I might have to search for this now!

Honorable Mentions:

  • pictures of good looking italian men
  • flipflops
  • bubble nests
  • sean astin speedo
  • armadillo roadkill
  • tiki gods
  • scary houses
  • dead manatees
  • sex in the bed (kinky!)
  • mud me
  • real bats flying (as opposed to fake ones, I guess?)
  • naked mole rats
  • monkey coconut drink holders
  • pink speedo
  • fire naked
  • scrapbook punchers (I know what they mean, but I am picturing people who hate scrapbooking so much they get violent!)
  • new clear fish discovered
  • stupid oops
  • pet wombats
  • real magic castle
  • lion with peacock wings (AWESOME. I want a tattoo of this!!!)
  • an apple sprout, what to do with yellow starbursts
  • bad whales (do you whack them on the nose with newspaper?)
  • stop being a zombie in the sims (I am so glad they added "in the sims")
  • Tasmanian devil costume how to make (I wonder if it is a costume for a person, or for a tasmanian devil?)
  • How far will suntrust let you overdraft (I don't know what you are planning, but I support it.)
  • list oof adventures (I am tempted to rename my adventure list this!)
  • chicks with mohawks porn
  • wash your arm (possibly after the mohawk chick porn?)

and finally:

"In harry potter why dont they just dump out the potion"- THANK YOU. I have been asking that since book 6. If you find out, let me know!

I do aim to please, so here is my best attempt at making as many of you happy as possible:

for my blog readers

So what brought YOU over to my little corner of the world?

Friday, December 18, 2009


I have been home sick for *weeks* now, and as a result of such, have spent a crazy amount of time on the internets. As a result, I have some new favorite sites to share. First on the list:

Lovely Listing is a collection of awesome photos from real estate listings. I have been reading back through all of the archives. Seriously, ALL, I am on page 24 and am not yet tired of it. Beyond just the pictures, they also feature the best comments on each one, which makes it that much better!


Of *course* this one is from Florida. Of course.


What's sad is that I would totally love to have that staircase in my bedroom. I would reenact the balcony scene of Romeo & Juliet like... ALL the time. (Aren't you sad you aren't dating me?)

Now this is my idea of a great dining room! Personally, I would probably decorate with my giant Legolas and Aragorn cardboard stand-ups, but ya know, different strokes...
(And of course, it is from Missouri. I love that pics I picked randomly represent my two "home" states!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I was looking through photos for my end of year summary, and this one from the Christmas party:

Reminded me that as of Dec 10th, I have officially lived here two years! This time two years ago, I was at the Speedway, but more like this:

Do I miss smelling like car exhaust? Not so much!! Although there are some fun things about attractions I miss.

A lot has changed in the past 2 years, but a lot is the same!

Thankfully I no longer sleep on the air mattress, but otherwise, my furniture situation hasn't changed. And of course, that laptop got stolen over a year ago. I mournz you, lappytop!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

2009 Year in Review...

Can you believe it is December? Like, almost the end of the year? Me, either! Although on the other hand, I look back at everything that has happened since January, and think "holy crap, that all happened in ONE year??". So how was your 2009? Mine went a little like this:

In January...

We went to see Ambertone...

DSCN1931 DSCN1915

And Black Ship Sky at the Haven.

This did not end well for Thuan.

My apartment got broken into (again), and my (brand new, month old) laptop got stolen (again.)

(The above photo is broken window glass on my bed, if you can not tell.)

I cried, a lot, for about a week, until I found my shiny new apartment!

Can I tell you how awesome it was to have a real kitchen again, after 5 months of not having a stove or dishwasher or garbage disposal or full-sized fridge? I may have made out with the fridge when I got it. Only a little.

Plus, my pretty new apartment is on the 3rd floor, where few people other than Spiderman are going to randomly come in through my windows and steal my stuff. Yay!

In February,

Ashlee and I celebrated my near nervous breakdown from moving in the only way we know how:

By catching Black Ship Sky at the AKA Lounge and consuming copious amounts of booze! We started by ordering 2 drinks each, and lost count (or maybe just the ability to count) pretty quickly after. I reminisced about the last time I had been to that venue- my very first concert in FL one year before, and all the sillyness that had followed. Had way too much fun once again!

Katie and I did not play golf, but had a delightful time running around the course taking pictures, anyway:

In March,

I spent a lot of time laying around in hammocks at Coronado Springs resort reading and eating gelato!

(I should do that again soon!)

And my car almost got towed from my license plates being expired. Poor Apple!

In April,

Ashlee and I went to the beach and got sunburned like crazy

(I STILL have the tan lines!)

In May,

My work people were treated to a day of fun by Sammy Duvall at his water sports center. We flew over Bay Lake!

I won a certificate to go parasailing again for free, but haven't used it yet! Must make plans!

In June,

Judy and I got to go vrooooom in a ride-along in a race car at the Richard Petty Speedway.

I totally blinked for my photo.

In July,

I tried on this Woodstock inspired shirt at Target, but did not buy it because it did not fit awesomely, but now the secret inner hippie in me really wishes I had, so I am making it your secret mission to find me one:

and Ash and I went to see Ambertone play at Hard Rock Live at Universal City Walk, thanks to FREE tickets the band gave us!

In September,

We spent pretty much all of our days at the water parks, and our Saturday nights at Sloppy Taco!

Also, Katie M came to visit, who I haven't seen in like a decade!

And in a surreal weird night, I got to go back to the Adventurers Club for a final hurrah!

(Which was way too weird. I did not think I would want to go back, but I am glad I did. You really can't go home again, but I realized that I still have the most important parts of that place with me.)

In October,

We caught Lost in Chaos and Johnny Plastic and the Rubber Band at Buffalo Wild Wings' 10th anniversary party:

And saw Boyz II Men at Epcot while enjoying the Food & Wine Fest!

And Katie and I drank copious amounts of tea:

In November,

Katie and I went to Cirque du Soleil (not pictured), wrote novels (I won NaNoWriMo for a change!), and did Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party!

...and then I spent the rest of the month and the first half of December sick. Whee!!

I did make it out long enough to semi-celebrate my b-day at Rusty O'Reilly's with Needham and Weep!

So there are still a couple of weeks left in the year, but I suppose that wraps things up for now!

How has your year been?