Wednesday, July 15, 2009

101 Goals in 1001 Days

Like Mum, I've decided that it would fun to join the hundreds of other bloggers out there and create a list of 101 goals to be completed in 1001 days (as part of the Day Zero Project). Now, this is going to be a real challenge for me to stick to and finish, because I tend to have a bad habit of abandoning projects halfway through. So I figure if I can actually do this, it'll be a good thing for me.

Here's my list:

1. Finish Montessori training
2. Knit a sweater
3. Find an apartment and move in
4. Find a roommate
5. Do the 100 mile challenge for 1 week
6. Eat no refined sugar for 1 week
7. Watch 50 movies I’ve never seen before
8. Keep a dream journal for 1 month
9. Keep track of all finances for 1 month
10. Go for coffee with a different friend every month
11. Surge training 3x/week
12. Visit 3 new countries
13. See 3 concerts
14. Read 10 books (not for school)
15. Purge unused/unwanted clothing/items and send to charity 2x/year
16. Bake bread from scratch
17. Renew CPR license
18. Try a hot yoga class
19. Try a kick-boxing class
20. Keep an orchid alive for minimum 1 year
21. Get a professional massage
22. Go to the ballet
23. Go to the opera
24. Go to the theatre to see a play
25. Host a dinner party once a year
26. Go 48 hours without a computer
27. Write at least 3 new recipes a year for the cookbook
28. Practice the Bodhrán 3x/month
29. Go 1 month without using the credit card
30. Make a Halloween costume without purchasing anything new (buying used things is allowed)
31. Catalogue all my books, movies, CDs
32. Use freecycle at least 3x/year
33. Go kayaking
34. Volunteer at an event
35. Raise at least $100 for Paws in Motion every year
36. Host a board game night
37. Get a job as a Montessori teacher
38. Write 5 new poems
39. Eat a completely vegan diet for 1 month
40. Make all my own salad dressing
41. Bring my own shopping bags
42. Feed Whimsy only raw (no canned food) for 1 month
43. Use only natural soaps and cleaning products
44. Feed the birds
45. Bring a travel mug to Starbucks instead of using paper cups
46. Switch to energy-saving lightbulbs
47. Go horseback riding
48. Buy a piece of art from an independent artist
49. See an NHL game
50. Take a class on cake decorating
51. Wear a size 8
52. Rent a cabin with friends for a weekend
53. Visit Dublin
54. Have teeth professionally bleached
55. Post to my blog at least once a month
56. Get lower back tattoo coloured
57. Learn to read rune stones
58. Learn to drive standard
59. Try 10 new restaurants
60. Make 100 paper cranes
61. Plant a tree
62. Take a multivitamin every day
63. Take time out for myself once a week (take a long bath, paint my nails, etc.)
64. Write a list of 25 things I like about Winnipeg
65. Put more effort into my appearance (no more dressing like a college student)
66. Overcome an irrational fear
67. Make a scrapbook with pictures of Dad
68. Make a “mix tape” (burned CD) with songs that remind me of a certain person, then give it to them
69. Spend at least two days/nights a month doing something with The Boy
70. Laugh until my stomach hurts
71. Try 5 new wines
72. Try a new recipe once a week for 4 weeks
73. Buy Diablo III and play with friends
74. Rekindle a friendship that has been lost
75. Sew a tote bag with fabric I love
76. Hand write a letter to someone
77. Watch the sun set
78. Attend a Pride Day celebration
79. Buy a new mattress
80. Take a sun holiday in the winter
81. Buy myself flowers
82. Have breakfast in bed
83. Celebrate all the solstices and equinoxes, plus Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lammas
84. Improve my French
85. Learn to crochet
86. Vote in the next election
87. Find a new TV series (on DVD) to watch
88. Buy prescription sunglasses
89. Attend 5 Folklorama pavilions each year
90. Create one picture in chalk pastels
91. Get the Prius washed at least once a month
92. Take a road trip
93. Donate $1 for every goal not completed
94. Take Whimsy to the vet to get her teeth fixed
95. Donate food to a food bank
96. Go to the Art Gallery
97. Take a pole dancing fitness class with Stef
98. Avoid alcohol for 1 month
99. Adopt a pet from the Humane Society
100. Go to a Farmer’s Market 10 times
101. Grow my hair long

My project ends on 11 April, 2012.

Time to get focused! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A note on timing...

There's no use in wasting our time wondering why things worked out this way, but I can't help but be a little bit disappointed.

I suppose all there is to do now is try to enjoy the next two weeks...

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Rain, rain, go away, come again another day...

What's that? It's raining? In Ireland? IMPOSSIBLE!

Believe it, ladies and gentlemen. It's been rainy and cold for a few days straight now, though I suppose I can't really complain because it's not snowing. And in true Irish fashion, it's often raining and sunny at the same time. Very strange. I know I've mentioned this country's screwy weather before, but I don't know if you can truly appreciate just how absurd it is until you have experienced it for yourself. So until that day comes, you'll all just have to take my word for it and accept the fact that there's some sort of magical weather vortex over Ireland.

The simultaneous combination of rain and sun, as much as it makes me feel as if I'm in an episode of the Twilight Zone, creates a rather interesting setting for photos. Matty inspired me to start playing around with the settings on my camera because it has the potential to be so much more than a point-and-shoot. So I've been doing some playing, outside in the rain, and felt like I should share some of the results with you. But first an introduction. And by "introduction" I mean "rambling collection of my thoughts". I've suddenly been feeling like a writer again, after not producing anything besides academic papers for years. So just bear with me.

Friday night I was sick of being a lazy bum all day, so as dusk began to set in, I walked up Killiney Hill despite the rain (I suppose this was me following Jane's advice and taking advantage of the time I have left here). Dusk is my favourite time of day. Have you ever noticed how the whole world looks different at dusk? A thick grey-blue haze is cast over everything and there is just so much energy and magic around. I would just like to add that being in a forest on a mountain beside the sea in the rain allows one to bask in the most incredible smell of Green imaginable. The lousy weather kept most people off the hill, making it so quiet, aside from a huge number of very excited birds who were out celebrating the rain.

Has anyone ever experienced pathetic fallacy? I know we all know what it is and learn about it school and can probably recognize it in literature/film/art. But have you actually lived it? I have. Standing on the hill, just watching, as darkness crept over the sea and a flaming orange sliver of sunset was visible between the clouds and Dublin City, while a fine mist of rain covered everything. Perfect. Seeing my own reflection in the misty panorama had an incredibly calming effect. It was comforting to know that, just like myself, Dublin is having mixed feelings about my upcoming departure. That, my friends, is pathetic fallacy made real.

Most of these photos don't require much individual explanation, so I'm just going to post them.

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Dusk. Rain. Mountain. Forest. Sea. Muse.

Today, I met up with Claire and Kalen to take a day trip down to Enniskerry in Co. Wicklow to see the Powerscourt House & Gardens. Again, it was sunny and raining for most of the day, but we managed to make the most of it. The gardens at Powerscourt are really gorgeous. So many bright colours! In some ways, it reminded me of the Butchart Gardens and made me feel all nostalgic.

Again, I feel that most of these pictures speak for themselves, but I'll throw in a few comments here and there.

Enniskerry is west of Bray, further towards the Wicklow Mountains. The mountains are visible from a few spots on the Powerscourt grounds.

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Venturing out into the garden, and heading towards the lake.

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The fountains are really lovely. There are quite a few of them.

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The Winged Horses.

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(From underneath the horses)

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Into the Japanese Gardens...

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We climbed up Pepperpot Tower. The name makes me giggle, not gonna lie.

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There's a nice view from up there, even though it's not very high.

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Cannons to guard Pepperpot.

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Powerscourt is also quite well-known for its golf course.

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Inside the house, the main floor is almost entirely shops and restaurants, but upstairs is more historical. This is the ballroom.

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And the view.

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Back outside to the Wall Gardens.

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I found something so poetic about this tree...

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And the walk through the Wall Garden brought us back to the lake. (As always, I apologize for the slantiness of my photos. I can't seem to shoot straight, no matter how hard I try.)

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The front of the house.

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Of course, the best part was the flowers, glittering with raindrops.

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Strange weather, but we had a good day regardless.

I know it's a rare occurance that I ever follow any kind of advice given to me (my mother can attest to this, I'm sure), but I do plan on making the most of the rest of my time here, and enjoying it as much as I can. But I know I've mentioned before that I'll be back to Ireland someday. It's only a matter of time before the cold winds whip off Dublin Bay and suck me back in. I'm never gone forever.