33 Things To Do Before I Turn 32

This year I want to live more fully, wholly, simply. I went back through my past lists and I found some things that I didn’t do that I still want to do, so I added a few of those to the pile. Is that cheating? Heck no! It’s my blog and I do what I want!

1. Plant something. Make it survive.

2. Less Facebook, more face time.

3. Yoga.

4. Compost.

5. Master the hula hoop.

6. Go to the drive-in.

7. Learn to two-step.

8. Fiddle more.

9. Read some of the books I have acquired but not read.

10. Volunteer for something.

11. Make an apple pie.

12. Finish my website.

13. Get a new tattoo.

14. Take a ride in the karaoke cab.

15. Acquire rainboots.

16. Smoke a cigar.

17. Visit at least 1 art exhibit/gallery per quarter.

18. Fill up the empty sketchbooks in my box of sketchbooks (there are a lot!)

19. Figure drawing : specifically hands and feet. (Things most artists need to work on.)

20. Visit the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

21. Go camping.

22. Attend a coffee cupping class.

23. Bring reusable bags to the grocery store.

24. Bring lunch to work more often.

25. Be in nature more.

26. Dance more.

27. Find a hobby or past time to share with Kennedy.

28. Acquire some more vinyl for my new record player.

29. Try more of my collected recipes.

30. Get Kennedy and David to drink more water.

31. Befriend more people in Arlington.

32. Set up my studio space.

33. Work on making our new house lovely and a true expression of us.

23 Things I Didn’t Do.

This was not a productive year when you look back at my list. I kind of want to Ctrl+z this list. I guess you have years like that. Towards the end, our life just got too crazy to focus on anything but the immediate moment. But here’s the recap:

1. Visit Marfa, Texas. Dammit.   We finally did this! But you saw the pictures already. We’ll definitely go back, and I highly recommend it.

2. Attend a cooking class. I did not do this.

3. Visit the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.   I did not do this.

4. Stop eating so much crappy food. I need to work on this.

5. Learn how to handstitch leather.  AH! I did this!! I have yet to create anything interesting with my new skillz. I should probably make a wallet or something.

6. Go camping. I went glamping (See #1)? Can I count that? Fuck it. It counts!

7. Take a hula hoop fitness class. Did this, love it, doing it again. And I’ve been practicing

8. Take a belly dancing class. I did not do this, however I ordered the belly dancing videos that I have on VHS…on DVD.

9. Take more photos on overseas trips.

10. Draw every day.

11. Take an encaustic painting class.

12. Try a new restaurant every month.  I didn’t keep track of this really, but I’m pretty certain we were successful here.

13. Attend a coffee cupping class.

14. Make a friggin’ pie.

15. Bring reusable bags to the grocery store.

16. Read The Great Gatsby (again) before the movie release.

17. Play the violin more.

18. Visit the Kadampa Meditation Center in Arlington.

19. Start going to the Zen center again. I visited again twice, but I really struggle here because they are about to move their location to Richardson…which is sooo far away from us. I’m trying to find another group that is a little closer to home.

20. Write to somebody in power (i.e. a congressman) about something important to me.

21. Run a 5k

22. Make something to sell (leather or art).

23. Volunteer for something (an event or a cause).

24. Paint the bathroom…again. I didn’t have to do this…because we moved!

25. Get rid of excess. I’ve done quite a bit here, and continue to refine and simplify our lifestyle. It’s a journey.

26. Learn about more local music.

27. Go to the Grand Prairie Farmer’s Market. Unimpressive.

28. Create an installation piece.

29. Take an improv class.

30. Take a boxing class.

31. Meatless Mondays. I started out strong here, but then I lost momentum.

32. Be more generous. Always good to work on this, so it remains uncrossed.

Nothing, Nowhere.

1. Visit Marfa, Texas. Dammit.

In case you missed the outpouring of hipstery instagram shots, we finally visited Marfa, Texas. I’d been wanting to visit Marfa ever since I moved to Texas, and we finally did it! We planned the trip months ago, and it just so happened to land directly in the middle of an unfortunate family event that I would rather not discuss here. All you need to know is that being out in the middle of nowhere, where phone signals fade and the sky is so, so big, is exactly where I needed to be.

Marfa is so weird. So, so weird. This teeny little town with hipsters and hippies running around everywhere, and little design boutiques and art galleries and food trucks. And El Cosmico, where we stayed. We used the trip as an excuse to draw and write; as such we didn’t venture out too much but we managed to see the Prada installation and McDonald Observatory. (McDonald Observatory is on top of a mountain and has the 5th largest telescope in the world, so you can imagine the stargazing that happens there.) It was so quiet and lovely.

We’ll be returning, I’m pretty certain.

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Favorite Music of 2013

I didn’t listen to much music this year. I don’t know why. For some reason my intake was much lower than usual. Maybe I needed a palate cleanser year. Regardless, I had some favorites:

5. Pure Heroine, Lorde

There are so many mixed opinions about this girl, but I like this album. I read one article that compared Lorde to Nirvana. I wouldn’t go that far…not even close…but this was a welcome interruption to all the bling-bling in the pop world.

4. The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight…, Neko Case

Although I enjoyed this album, and I love me some Neko, this album was a little all over the place. She’s trying some new things, and I respect that.

3. Monomania, Deerhunter

With any new release, Deerhunter will always be on this list. Love them.

2. Modern Vampires of the City, Vampire Weekend

This album is solid. I would say this is the best Vampire Weekend album. They’ve evolved but stayed true to themselves. This band had the potential to have a short lived career because their sound can come off a little novelty. I am heartily impressed with Modern Vampires.

1. Fear Fun, Father John Misty

I am so in love with Father John Misty. His beardy goodness and that voice…YUM! We saw him at House of Blues a couple of months ago, and his album does not do the richness of his voice justice. He’s a total anti-consumerist culture hippie and his sense of humor kills me. Love love love.

Honorable Mentions

Heartthrob, Tegan and Sara – They are more popular than I’m about to imply, but these girls clearly know what they are doing and are vastly underrated. Their stuff is always great.

Mantangi, M.I.A. – Love this lady. I haven’t listened to this album in depth yet, but she is a serious bad-ass that always gets it done.

 

Art-ing.

If you happen to be in the Austin area either the weekend of the 16th or the 23rd, check out the EAST Austin Studio Tour. A friend of mine has an art collective called Capture the Flag Creative featuring several artists and designers, and little old me. I prepared some illustrations for the event, and it’s significant to me because I have not produced anything outside of the demands of The Man in quite some time. I’m honored to be included.

I hope I can keep up the momentum. I’ve been feeling very stale. Very, very, very stale. But you have to start somewhere. Expect to see more from me soon.

Food Anxiety.

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David came with me to the grocery store today, and while we were shopping he delivered a very sweet compliment about my cooking and how much he appreciates me making food for us. I certainly appreciate his rave reviews, because the truth is that I am very self conscious about my cooking abilities. I am not creative in any sense of the word when it comes to preparing food. Some people are naturals. They throw things together and experiment with herbs and spices and all sorts of goodness and make a wonderful meal, but not me. I hesitate. I follow recipes to a T. (This does, however, make me a good baker.) I am royally afraid of fucking up. (And what’s the worst that could happen? We order a pizza? Not such a disaster.)

I’ve been getting so much better. I am more willing to try things, to alter a recipe, to be more loose in measuring ingredients. But I remain a closeted cook. I pretty much only cook for David and Kennedy. David always compliments the food, but really, that guy eats anything so it’s hard for me to accept it as an endorsement. If anyone outside of the usual run of family requires entertaining, chili is the default. I’m good at that, and everyone likes chili.

On top of that, I cannot figure out how to feed a Texan. I have had to stray from my comfy Midwestern standards of casserole dishes and whipped cream-covered fruit salads. Potlucks down here terrify me. The food is delicious, but unfamiliar. What do I bring? I need to find my thing, you know?

Please know that if we ever invite you over for food, I’ve put more thought into that meal than the average person would. Praise accordingly.