Monthly Archives: December 2010

2011 – The Year Plus

I was kicking around the idea of altering The Year Without for 2011, partially inspired by both Jane and some of Dave Holmes’ “My Year of Everything” observations, and then Jaime suggested it to me too, so at least 80% credit goes to those three.

In 2011, rather than eliminating something from my life every month, I’m going to add something to it. Jane has been doing this and she’s getting awesome results. Dave Holmes has remarked that people who do something as opposed to avoid something tend to fare better (and it’s more interesting to read about). And as Jaime put it,”that way you’re turning something negative into a positive.”

I’m not going to list every monthly goal up front, but they’re all going to center around my 4 main goals for the year:

1. Lose 30 pounds (yes, the same ones I’ve been trying to kill since I gained them back over the last 2 years, shut up)

2. Write something that makes me proud of myself

3. Eliminate my debt by at least 1/3

4. Become a nicer, better, happier person

Some of the monthly “Plus” goals I want to try are writing fiction daily, using cash/debit only, complimenting someone (sincerely) every day, going out of town every weekend, working out regularly, attending church (the gay-friendly kind) networking professionally, cooking all my lunches and dinners, etc.

I’ve already done several things to put my big goals in motion:

Goal 1: Purchased a BodyBugg and made plans to join the downtown Y (I will probably get rapemugged in an alley on the walk over, but it’s worth a shot)

Goal 2: Reading before bed, bought a computer and a big notebook (writing freehand is much better for your brain)

Goal 3: Switched all paypal/Amazon/monthly fees to debit instead of credit (I have plans to buy pre-paid gas cards, too)

Goal 4: Planning two vacations, biting my tongue more than usual, re-reading The Happiness Workbook

I know that New Years Resolutions are dumb, and that’s why I decided to do monthly resolutions to begin with, but you guys … I’m about to turn 30. This is the decade where shit gets real. I’ve got stuff to pack up before I hop on the wife/mother/homeowner/possible breadwinner train. I’m pretty confident that if all my little goals add up to big ones, I can knock these aspirations out of the park.

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My Buddy And Me

I’m kicking off 2011 with two things I never thought I would say: I live in the Nightclub District and I have a cat .

Justin never really picks up his cat – Chauncey leaps into his lap for daily adorable snuggles and sleeps with him in the treehouse at night – so he wasn’t sure how Chaunce would react when I picked him up for the first time. But now Chaunce can’t get enough of it. He grabs my legs and whines until I pick him up, just like a toddler. (He’s approximately the same size as a toddler, too.)

The other day when I was organizing some pictures, I came across a picture of Chauncey and I felt this little spark, or maybe a flutter. It’s been almost a decade since I’ve had a pet of my own and I’ve never had a cat (though Mina comes close), so I didn’t know what that feeling was at first. But it’s officially in my heart now. I love Chauncey. He’s my cat.

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Home Alone

I was going to go to Branson with my mom and Grandma for the weekend, but it snowed a lot on Friday, preventing us from leaving. THEN I was awake until 3am last night (probably because I slept til noon yesterday). It seemed dumb to drive 4 hours each way for a 24-hour trip (they’ll be there much longer). I was upset because I thought my mom would be sad that I wouldn’t be with her on Christmas, but she was relieved that I wouldn’t be driving so much in the snow, especially so sleep deprived.

SOOOO I am HOME ALONE FOR CHRISTMAS and it is AWESOME.

I’m in my PJ’s, drinking mimosas, eating port wine cheese, watching vampire movies on Pay Per View, and rewatching some Party Down that my brother bought me. Up next, a bubble bath and food from wherever delivers today.

Best part? I made a snowman!

You have no idea how beautiful it is around my mom’s house when it snows. It’s my favorite thing in the world; I could wander around for hours out here, all, “Magic everywhere in this bitch.” I feel really blessed that I get to spend my last week in this house surrounded by this.

OH! And here is a new favorite Christmas memory: after I decided to make the most of my Home Alone Christmas, I walked up to 7-11 to get some champagne. I always bring a bag to put groceries in, and as I shoved the bottle into my big messenger bag, the 7-11 employee – who started laughing as soon as I wandered in, covered in snow – said in his thick Indian accent, “OH my goooodness; nobody sees, no-bo-dy knooows,” and then we cracked up for 5 minutes. Amazing. I love that dude.

Merry Christmas, guys.

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Whoo’s Awesome?

 

 

Justin made these for me. He designed them himself; it’s inspired by Fellini’s Roma. He secretly carried around a vintage suitcase full of yarn and did needlepoint in front of college kids all day. It took him over a year. Meaning, he wanted to give these to me last year. The rubber band ball full of love notes was his backup plan.

 

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Almost Done …

Only 2 episodes left. šŸ˜¦ I love this show!

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Misfits

I had about 50 things on my To Do list yesterday and I finished them all before dinner, so I spent the better part of the evening watching this UK show, Misfits. I love it!

The premise is that a group of juvenile delinquents get struck by lightning and develop super powers. A lot of people describe it as Heroes meets Skins, which sounds about right to me. The soundtrack is awesome. It’s probably considered more of a CW-ish show in the UK, but since they say (and d0) the F word frequently, it feels more adult to me. (And even if it didn’t, you know I would still watch it.)

Nathan (played by Robert Sheehan) is both my favorite and least favorite character. He’s my least favorite because Sheehan, while very funny, is kind of hammy and it can be exhausting. However, Nathan is my favorite character because Robert Sheehan looks like this:

My Robert Sheehan problem is the exact same problem I have with Rupert “Ron Weasley” Grint these days – totally hot, yet hammier than I’d prefer. I mean, they’re funny but … perhaps their comedy style doesn’t translate as well over here? Either way, I’m simultaneously anticipating and dreading watching them both in Cherry Bomb on Netflix someday.

NSFW:

Misfits just finished its second season with a Christmas special that I can’t wait to watch. I can only find some of the episodes online (which sucks because the season 1 finale sounds awesome). Most of those links get deleted right away so I can’t point you in a good direction, but it’s worth a watch if you can find it. Season 2 is only 7 episodes long, so I’ll be done this week. I’m going to watch Skins next so I can complain about the American remake when it comes out.

Apparently Sheehan is also in the new Nick Cage movie Season of the Witch, a title so glorious that Jen and I exploded with giggles when we saw the trailer in the theater.

(images via cultureeatsme and, naturally, Robert Sheehan Appreciation)

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Fiber Optic Christmas Tree!

How did I spend all summer in the basement and not see the fiber optic Christmas tree sitting in the corner of the workroom? And how did Justin not sniff this out cool toy immediately?

I haven’t had access to my iTunes all summer and fall, so I was finally able to download Body Talk (yes, all three of them). Between Robyn and the tree, my room was like a straight-up disco last night! And then I watched Precious.

Up next: running, eggs, arts and crafts and mimosas with Kendra and Jane, then a Morganford birthday party for Vee!

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Falling Action

One thing I realized this year, where I spent a month without Facebook and several months with no reliable Internet service (but somehow managed to blog 365 days in a row), then transferred six and a half years of blog entries manually from one host to another, then bought my own computer for the very first time is …

I am really sick of the Internet. I need it, but I don’t need it. It should be a tool (directions, instructions, information), not a time-suck. If something cool happens on the Internet and I miss it, it’s okay. I’ll live. Calm down. Continue reading

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Tide Is High

I haven’t been in much of a sharing mood lately. It’s mostly because I’ve been dealing with a lot of negative people and a lot of situations that shouldn’t be blabbed about online. (Though I love how I’ve managed to milk like 4 entries out of it anyway. This is “undersharing” for me? Pathetic.)

But also? The Internet is grossing me out these days. I can’t articulate why without getting long winded and insulting people (including myself), but basically I’m trying to do more real world stuff instead of Internet stuff. This is why Secretly Stephie is not as fun as a Tumblr.

So far, my month has been all about this:

Halfway in, I’m finally getting it. (Seriously, how eerie was it that I picked the exact Year Without Goal I needed, just before I needed it the most?)

But mainly, I came here today to share that lately I feel like a completely different person.

I’m not sure why. Love? Loss? Moving? Searching? Sleeping? Accepting? Generic birth control vs. brand name? I have no idea. But I almost feel like I’ve been dropped into a new life, and I’m approaching everything cautiously because I’m not sure how to feel about it these days. Work. Friends. Family. Me. Not bad feelings. Just different. I’m seeing everything with new eyes.

There’s been a shift, is all. Something happened. I don’t know what it means yet, and I don’t know if I have the energy to be excited, but I hope it’s interesting, or at least fulfilling.

New me is pretty yappy and boring, huh? Maybe this is just how people blog in their thirties.

(Image via SlightlyPretentious)

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Shopping Spree!

Still depressed and discouraged as hell, so I don’t have anything of value to tell you (see above). But I’m working hard to trick myself into being happy:

  • Couch25K and freeweights 5 times a week
  • Switching from generic Yaz back to real Yaz
  • Doing nice stuff for other people
  • Smiling even when I don’t want to
  • Showing up to work at 7 am to be as productive as possible before anyone can put me in a non-productive depression coma
  • Planning an escape to KC to hang out with two of my oldest friends (and first two boyfriends). I am going alone, which means I’ll have 8 hours to sing at the top of my lungs in the car
  • See above

I’ve spent this whole summer and fall without rent, and I’ve put all that money toward debt and savings. So in the past few weeks, I decided to finally reward myself with fun little stuff and some big purchases I’ve been hesitant about.

23andMe!

Janet mentioned buying 23andMe on her Livejournal and I flipped. Simply spit in this kit, mail it in, and learn about your risk for diseases, predicted drug reactions and ancestory information, all based on your DNA. Update notifications included.

I’ve mentioned before that I have a littleĀ  biological information, but as an adopted kid I’m at a disadvantage. It would cost $375 for me to find out if my birth parents even want to talk to me, let alone spill all the family’s medical happenings since 1981 (the health history of 18 year-old parents and 45 year-old grandparents tells me nothing). Seriously, with all we know about genetics these days, there should be a law about keeping adopted kids updated on your health.

I realize this kit seems iffy, but it’s 80% off right now. Also, Janet is one of those coupon gals that can buy 2 weeks of food for $1, so I trust her judgment on whether or not this is worth the purchase. (Though clearly, I am about to be enrolled in someĀ  secret creepy government experiment.)

BodyBugg

I am f*cking tired of being f*cking fat despite trying everything, and this is motherf*cking science, so this better f*cking work. Also I found a crazy-good QVC deal.Ā  F*ck yeah!

Sabina!

Purse purse purse, I love you purse. I finally started investing in quality leather purses last year, but I hate 99% of what’s out there. Why does every purse have to be covered in buckles and zippers and shiny crap? So when my black purse broke, I was heartbroken … until I googled hopelessly and managed to find the purse I had been searching for all along. No buckles! All awesome!

Mugs!

This pair of mugs from Twisted River Clay can be customized with a couple’s initials. I got a pair for my favorite couple. That present was heartfelt, but I have the feeling this will be my go-to couple-themed present from now on. So if we have any mutual friends getting married or having a housewarming, BACK OFF please. I’ve had enough people steal my ideas in the past few weeks; get your own sentiment.

Art!

I already told you about it. But remember how cute?

Love Is!

I found this calender last year right when I was rediscovering The Peanuts and searching for an actual “Love Is…” print (though now that I’ve looked again, I forgot they’re all naked). This calendar seemed perfect at the time; I’m glad they do this every year. Also: it comes with tons of STICKERS!

and the grand finale…

NAPA!

Kendra decided to book an awesome trip for awesome ladies, so a bunch of us are heading to Napa in June for a long weekend. This is going to be awesome. Also, I have a trip to Arizona planned and the (maybe happening) London reunion, so I have a great head start to spend 2011 making up for those 3 vacationless years.

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Into The Woods

I’ve written a little bit about how much I’ve grown to love the dream dictionary, despite the cheesiness of it. This is also despite the fact that I’ve agreed with Sars:Ā  DREAMS ARE BORING to hear about, and unless someone was in your dream, NO ONE CARES HOW WEIRD YOUR DREAM IS.

I’ve also written about the fact that there are many things you should never blog about (jobs, relationships, other people’s problems).

But I love when I have a dream packed full of symbols that, when I look them up, perfectly describe my current mental state. So rather than blogging about something I can’t tell you about, I’ll tell you about my dream and what it represents, and you can figure out where I’m at right now.

Quick Dream Summary: I was riding a bear on a windy road through the woods. There were horses there but for some reason I chose a bear. Halfway through the walk, the nice bear collapsed like he was sick. When I tried to help he would weakly snap at me. I ran to get help and woke up.

Symbol: A Bear – violent but too weak to hurt me

Meaning: To see a bear in your dream, symbolizes independence, the cycle of life, death and renewal, and resurrection. You are undergoing a period of introspection and thinking. The dream may also be a pun on “bare”. Perhaps you need to bare your soul and let everything out into the open.

To dream that you are being pursued or attacked by a bear, denotes aggression, overwhelming obstacles and competition. You may find yourself in a threatening situation or domineering relationship.

Symbol: The Woods

Meaning: To see the woods in your dream, represent life, fertility, rejuvenation, and spring. Alternatively, the woods symbolize the unknown and the unconscious. You need to open yourself up to discovering your potential and your instinctual nature.

To dream that you are lost in the woods, indicates that you are starting a new phase in your life. You are expressing some anxiety about leaving behind what is familiar to you.

To dream that the woods are dry or dying, suggests that there is a situation in your life that has not yet been resolved. You are overwhelmed with a problem or issue.

Symbol: A Road – winding

Meaning: To see a road in your dream, refers to your sense of direction and how you are pursuing your goals. If the road is winding, curvy, or bumpy in your dream, then it suggests that you will encounter many obstacles and setbacks toward achieving your goals. You may be met with unexpected difficulties.

If the road is bordered by trees or flowers, then it denotes a steady progress and steady climb up the social ladder.

To dream that a threatening creature is on a road, parallels a hostile situation/person you are encountering in your waking life. It is an obstacle that you need to overcome, no matter how intimidating the situation or person may appear.

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Well, That Was Quick

I love how, the day after I vow to not put myself down, I have one of the most discouraging days and end up crying about it for most of the night. I need to stop vowing things because the opposite usually happens.*

I’m trying to focus on the possible positive outcomes, or remind myself that unhappiness is the best motivator for bringing happy stuff into your life, or just be grateful for everything that I have, that millions of people would kill for.

It’s just hard when people make it clear that they don’t believe in you. Or, when you tell people that their actions are hurting you and they do everything short of saying that they don’t care. Can I still believe in myself when that happens? Can I care about myself?

Do YOU believe in me? I believe in you, invisible Internet readers. I do.

I just feel stuck today. But if I’m really going to do this, the first step is to stop feeling trapped and start finding a way out. Clap if you believe in me; I’m fading fast.

*I vow to always be fat and totally poor and never win the lottery!!

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A Basement Without Abasement

My last Year Without Goal for 2010 will be a December without Abasement.

I’ve been really hard on myself for the last few weeks. Other people have actively (actively!) been on a mission to put me down too, and while some days it’s amusing, other days it pushes me over the edge. Plus, it gets dark at like noon these days and that’s depressing. Holiday traffic makes everyone a dick. I’m photosensitive, so all those rush hour lights give me a headache and make me homicidal.

I would say my two biggest sources of depression are body image and family, and the holidays are the worst time of the year if you’re trying to eat healthy or are missing a recently-deceased parent. Also, this is the last month in the home my parents have owned my entire life. Soon my mom will sell this house and I’ll never see this basement again. It’s heartbreaking. This is not the time to be tough on myself. This is the time when I need to take care of me.

So this month, I’m not going to put myself down. I’m not going to get discouraged.
I’m going to write because I love it, not because I get paid to.
I’m going to work out because I love the strength from lifting and the high from running, not because I hope it’ll make me skinny.
I’m going to look in the mirror and appreciate the good without automatically aiming for the flaws.
I’m going to call people who love me, not worry about people who need to show me that they hate me.
I’m going to smile.
I’m going to sleep.
I’m going to love.
I’m going to work.
I’m going to move.
I’m going to be proud of myself, even (especially!) on the days when no one gives me a reason to be.

But most importantly? I’m going to take what little energy I have left during the holidays to bring people up instead of down. No abasing other people, not even the ones who feel the need (actively!) to do it to me.

Life is hard enough. It’s time to pick myself up, and maybe give you a lift, too. High fives for everyone!


(gifs via starsweptnight)

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