A Dabble in Statistics (301st new thing).

March 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Day Three Hundred One arrived right after 2012, and for the first time I stepped back and reflected on what I had accomplished thus far.

Honestly, after the first month or so, doing something new everyday became just another part of my day. Sure I woke up each morning with the thought of a new experience in the forefront of my mind, and often went to bed each night planning the following day’s activity. Some days were much more difficult than others. If I am incredibly busy or going through a period of apathy or laziness, I often struggle to find an exciting new activity. Thus I may have accomplished something lame (changing my windshield washer fluid), circumstantial (massage a muppet), or resort to eating something new (like Coconut water).

I feel like food has factored a large part in my new experiences. I did a little statistical analysis and the results are interesting. Out of my previous three hundred activities, sixty-six involved consumption of some sort. That’s 22%. And of those, 16 of those ingestions were liquid (though not all alcoholic). Which means that 24% of my activities pertaining to trying a new flavor involved drinking. I’ve eaten three different new burgers so far: The Big Mac, Ghetto Burger, and Yeah! Burger. I get hungry just thinking about it.

I’ve also made a lot of new things. Thirty-eight new crafts to be exact, or 12.7% of my activities thus far. I spent over a month being crafty, and that makes me happy. Faceting a gemstone and carving a linocut are two crafts that I am especially proud of, although I also have a special place in my heart for any hand made gifts I created with friends and family in mind. The holidays were practically a daily test of crafting skills.

I’ve learned a lot so far, from how to create certain things (crochet!), what I like (or do not like), and most importantly, how to do normally shared activities alone. I saw a play by myself, attended a gun class solo, and even joined the circus without any comrades to back me up. Although there is much to be added in sharing new activities with friends and family, facing the fear of being alone in a new situation is thrilling in itself. I learned that I don’t have to wait around for someone else to want to try something. I’ve come to look forward to my solitary moments, whether they be reading on the back porch without distraction or shooting a loaded weapon amongst a bunch of strangers.

From Day Three Hundred One I’ve taken away the gratitude of reflecting upon past accomplishments, and looking forward to those to come. Sixty-Five days remain before I turn thirty, and I can’t wait!

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One Hundred Thirteen. Post Secret.

July 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

I love the website Post Secret. My friend Stephanie introduced me to the weekly blog, and I check it every Sunday. People from all over the world create art on a postcard disclosing some secret or thought or exclamation and Frank Warren, the creator and moderator of the blog, chooses several to post each week. I even have a couple of the books, which are alternately inspirational, depressing, and amusing to flip through.

On Day One Hundred Thirteen, I made my own post-cards for the first time, and sent them in to 13345 Copper Ridge Rd Germantown, Maryland 20874. Dropping the post-card into a mailbox is actually very therapeutic in itself, like a weight is being lifted off your chest. I guess that depends on the secret you are telling in some part. I can’t even begin to imagine how it would feel to check the site or flip through a book and find the words you had written confronting you. Hopefully I’ll find out.

Of course, the whole point of the website in that the secrets are anonymous, so I’m not going to post any pictures of mine. But here’s a recent funny one.

Day Fifty-Five. BBDO and Pre-Production Books.

May 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

On Day Fifty-Five I worked a freelance production assistant gig for a Georgia Lottery shoot. The first day was a pre-production day, and I spent most of it putting together binders for the meeting between the agency, producers, and director. While working freelance wasn’t a new activity, putting the pre-production books together and visiting advertising firm BBDO in Buckhead was certainly a new experience.

Like on many commercials, many elements changed before the first day of shooting. Namely, the scripts and elements I carefully trimmed and added to the binders. I spent most of the morning adding and removing script pages to the aforementioned binders I was putting together. Keeping fifteen books with fifty pages each in order was a tedious task, but not altogether difficult. I quickly developed a system to move things along nicely, and by the time it was the hour to head to the big advertising firm’s offices, we were set.

The offices were how you would envision a modern day Mad Men scene to look. Open space, creatives running around, but instead of sixties swag the two floors were decorated with urban graffiti art and big white walls. It definitely seemed like a cool place to work. We set up the snacks and cheese platter in the conference room, arranged the puppets that would be used in the commercial in chairs, and waited outside while the important people discussed important things.

I even had an enthralling conversation with a muppet.

Secrets!

The most exciting part of the day though, was taking the director back to his hotel. There was some small talk and I brought up this blog, the attempt to do something new every day for a year. Amazingly, he had a friend who had also attempted (and completed) the same task a couple of years ago. I was excited that the idea wasn’t super original (I feel a kind of guilt from borrowing the idea from Stephanie) and slightly intimidated (said friend is now a writer on The Colbert Report and therefore infinitely more creative than I).

And Opus’s blog is funny. And not too wordy. And he did boring things too sometimes. But I don’t think I’ll get a tattoo.

Day Seven. Blogging for Dummies.

March 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

On Day Seven, I published some blogs. You may even see them below, if I haven’t accidentally erased or reformatted everything.

I had been writing and messing around with formatting over the days leading to day seven. Do I want my pictures to be the width of the blog, or more magazine style? Or do I just want a slide show at the bottom? How many photos should I include? What if I have no images, and how many words should each post be? Should my layout be simple or colorful? What image do I use for the header? What are widgets and what are they for?

What if I suck at writing?

The last question is probably the toughest, and I was (am) reluctant to even publicize that I am blogging about tea cozies and wimpy running. I want to do this, but doing so publicly would sure as hell make it a lot tougher to give up half way through.

I waited to publish to try to figure out how this all works. This being blogging. I’m pretty sure I had a Live Journal at some point, although it was probably rarely if ever used. That was a cakewalk compared to the high tech integrated online writing of today. I had to learn the definitions of dashboard, widget, and even categories and tags. What do I tag? I’ve chosen to tag anything that comes to mind after writing a blog. Anything. It will be exciting to see what tags are all big and bold in the side bar (Patrick, Murphy), and what will be itty bitty (Mount Arabia) at the end of a year.

And now, I’ve gotten through a week, and while nothing I’ve done has been incredibly adventurous, I do feel like I’ve had a specific goal and achieved something. Living. Plus, I bought the Living Social deal for skydiving, so adventure lurks somewhere in the next three hundred something days.

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