Sunday, January 9, 2011

Following Through

Looking back on last month's brilliant (brilliant?) ideas for the new year, here's how things are progressing:

I bought my derby gear! Tried out for the Denver Roller Dolls soon after, and gobbled asphalt. Lesson learned: learn how to skate BEFORE trying out for a league. Luckily, there's no short supply of derby in Colorado, and I was able to find quite a few places that look pretty good. For now, I'm going to be practicing with the Wreckin' Rebel Rollers, a pickup league down in Denver. I like the women and the atmosphere - it's very laid back and focused on building skills, not competition. Once I get comfortable there/on skates, I'll start looking in to tryouts for leagues and such.

Here's the bruise I gave myself last week: Basically, I'm terrified of stopping. Falling down is way easier. Stopping results in falling down WITHOUT control.

Despite coming back bruised, sore, and wondering what I'd gotten myself in to, I am super super excited to being going back weekly (possibly twice a week, if I can stand to put my body through that sort of torture.)

BIFF volunteer orientation is tomorrow night! I'm excited to get my schedule locked down, and to meet the other volunteers.

Vacation semester: I gave myself a month to fuck around, and now that's over. I'm slowly getting back in to the grind of doing work, which stinks, but going at my own pace is nice. Working with my therapist, I've emailed my professors about how last term ended, and am working on getting myself on solid academic footing re: vacation semester. (So I'm actually on a hiatus instead of accidentally dropping out.)

Don't think I mentioned it on here, but I've been bandying about the idea of submitting a spark for Ignite Boulder for more than a few months. Ignite is a community speech event, where each presenter has 5 minutes (and an automatically advancing powerpoint presentation) to speak to the crowd about whatever they think is important. My spark, People for a Panda-Neutral Society, is currently up for vote at the Ignite website. I'm actually more terrified of the voting process than I am of speaking. And yes, this speech would effectively be a scientifically accurate version of my "Why I Hate Pandas" rant. I did some actual research on my usual sticking points the other day, and it tuns out that pandas are EVEN MORE USELESS than I'd originally thought. Hopefully, PETA-loving Boulder will be interested enough in this spark to let me actually talk. (If you'd like to vote and help convince them, that would be swell.)

Books: haven't actually been back to the library yet, mostly been catching up on books I have lying around the house. With a truly excellent used bookstore not a mile from my apartment, the stack of unread novels has grown near-Hoarders high over the last year. It's nice to start making a dent in it. Here's the damage so far:

1. Spider Robinson - Night Watch
2. Bentley Little - Dispatch
3. Frank Beddor - The Looking Glass Wars
4. Shreve Stockton - The Daily Coyote
5. Orson Scott Card - Treason
6. Robert Thurston - Robot Jox
7. Orson Scott Card - Ender in Exile

It's New Hoth City cold out there right now (the temp in Boulder fell 110 degrees (counting windchill) overnight the other night. Seriously. Right now it's -6. Ick.), so tonite seems like a good night to do some laundry, clean, watch movies under the covers, etc.

Oh, except I also decided that since derby practice is canceled (the warehouse we practice in isn't heated, so being there would've been pretty bad news bears all around), I'd join one of my twitter friends' Mah Jongg group for the night. I've never played before, but it's the first step towards becoming a proper old jewish lady. Excited!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Going In With a Bang

2011 is only a week old, and here's the list of dumb shit (awesome stuff) that I've already committed to:

- Signed up for the Colorado Warrior Dash on August 20th. Fuzzy viking helmets and fire pits at ~10,000 feet? I'm gonna die.
- Resolved to write at least 1 piece of handwritten correspondence every week. (Want to be the lucky recipient? Comment.)
- Read 50 books. Given how I've started off this year, I suspect that I'll win this one before the end of the semester.
- Related, make friends with the local library again.
- Also related, keep a running tally of those books here at this blog.
- Also related, actually document the number of times I read Treason in a year. I'm prepared to be mortified.
- Also related, read more short stories from internet-only (or mostly) publications. Clarkesworld, I look forward to being friends with you.
- While I'm at it, hell, let's keep a movie list, too. Netflix isn't particularly good at keep tabs on what I've watched. Maybe if I watch Mindwarp enough times, it'll magically appear on DVD.
- Create it Forward -- I'm going to send something handmade to the first 5 people who comment on this statement. I guess it was supposed to be a Facebook thing, but it's here now, too, so we'll see what happens w/ that.
- Submitted my volunteer registration for the Boulder International Film Festival this February.

Now I just need to keep up this momentum.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year, New Plan.

Welp, Reverb 2010 is over, and while I might still plug in a few entries from the prompts, I think it's time to face the cold hard reality that ReadAGoddamnBook cannot exist on Reverb prompts alone.

It's time to refocus, and figure out what the hell this blog is going to be all about. I don't want to turn it into a journaling space (lord knows that Livejournal sees more than enough of that from me), but I don't want to hide behind a stringent concept. Reverb has shown me that there's something... freeing in being publicly honest about how my brain functions, and I don't want to lose that in this space. But I'd like to hone it in.

So let's start with this:

I finally admitted to myself that I'm burnt out on grad school. To that end, I've committed to taking a vacation term next semester.

Now, when I tell people that this is a thing that's happening, the first question that gets asked tends to be "Well, what are you going to do instead?" There's no answer that makes them all happy. People want me to have a gameplan, a long-term goal. The truth of it is, the thing that's driven me to this vacation term is the fact that I don't. I've been on this path for so long, that I've lost track of what it is that I want. So long term plan? No fucking clue. It's not on the table. That's not what this is about.

I want to take this term to figure things out. Try new things, fail at a couple of jobs that I'm not totally in love with. Volunteer. Teach. Maybe even write. Do things that terrify me. Date. Address some issues and concepts that I've toyed with, but never faced headon. Talk to strangers. Not default to obscure minutia and snark as conversation points. Catch up on schoolwork. Proofread a paper. Recalibrate. Readjust.

I'm not sure how it's all going to pan out, but I'm pretty stoked to try.