Friday, October 30, 2009

The End.

Wow. SO that's it! Went out with a whimper indeed! Actually, the final day went out with quite a bang because we had our CK Halloween party and it was nonstop shenanigans all day...AND night! So many shenanigans that I completely forgot it was the last day of my list haha!! But interestingly enough, in regards to figuring out my end-date for the list, I wrote this on January 23, 2007: "SO instead I'm just starting this Feb 1st and then the end date will be something like Oct 29th, 2009. I'll celebrate with some Halloween festivities?"

Ok! Well, to begin, I just wanted to say that my mom was right. While I didn't necessarily accomplish everything on the list, I did accomplish a ton...and stuff I never would've tackled had it not been for the list. To quote one of my first posts:

"In other words, why am I doing this aside from my little plan to get organized? My 30th birthday is Jan 6, 2010. Over the last few years, well since I graduated college really, I've felt as though life is just zippin' on by and all I do is go to work, watch my fave tv shows, and sleep. I really want to change that before I turn 30. It would most definitely give me a better outlook once I get there....I mean instead of arriving at the big 3-0 and thinking to myself: what the hell have I even done with my life?"

Well, "what the hell have I even done with my life" is the LAST thing I'll say on Jan 6th 2010! And now I have the list to prove it.

I would also like to note that my darkest days were after my two "massive" breakups and this list made me feel like my own person. I started this ginormous undertaking two weeks before the first breakup. Much of the list was actually devoted to doing stuff with John and his daughter. After the proverbial ax hit, however, I decided to revamp the list and make it more about me. That helped tremendously. And it helped again after the second breakup because I was already trained to have someone to fall back on: me. Even in my current relationship, I have such a better grasp on standing on my own two feet and knowing that I'm important too...that I can't just drop everything, forget about myself, and devote all my energy to someone else. I know it sounds so unromantic that way ;) but trust me, it's a lesson learned and an important one at that. But I would like to say that I finally see a lot of positivity in that past relationship and the things I learned from it. Everything happens for a reason and it feels great to finally see that. Nothing is ever a waste.

Ok enough of all that pontificating! No ginormous undertaking is complete without:

My 101 Things in 1001 Days RECAP!

A lot happened over the last 1001 days. My best friends' wedding, several babies, those two pesky good-in-the-longrun breakups, several dudes (ha...ha?), a couple hairstyles and colors, only one job and one apartment, surprisingly enough! OH! And a new and super rad boyfriend with whom I'd like to love for as long as I can :)

In the last 1001 days, I revisited a lot of Milwaukee, including the Zoo, the Art Museum, a couple Farmers Markets, the State Fair, and ten new restaurants. I got my culture on at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Ballet, and the Skylight Opera. I saw a bunch of hot air balloons, went ice skating, played in the rain, flew kites, watched the moonrise, learned to play golf, and carved a couple pumpkins, including Brad!

I made over 130 new recipes and tried weird produce items like dragon fruit and endive. I learned how to make sushi, a roux, and béchamel sauce! I made apricot barbecue sauce from scratch.

I saw Vegas AND the Grand Canyon. I went on a surprise trip through Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri.

I had a blast being a Salvation Army bellringer. I did not have a blast donating blood and platelets. Some kids in Africa have my McDonald's Teeny Beany Baby collection. Some random Milwaukeean had a parking ticket paid by me. All my friends got homemade cards for Christmas, birthday, wedding, anniversary, baby shower, Baptism, etc etc etc...I seriously haven't bought a greeting card in like three years!

I finished Atlas Shrugged.

I read over a dozen books.

Most fun artistic project: Well, I didn't DO many of those, but to this day, I still remember all the work that went into Monica and Tim's surprise "Memory Lane" wedding gift :) I also really loved learning how to decoupage and making my sister her Hitchcock cabinet!

Most unbelievable (I actually did it!) task: See all the greater Milwaukee area fireworks at the same time.

Most glutton-for-punishment task: giving something up every...single...month. "Looks like it's sweet bakery again!" The worst give-ups were: 1. no eating out 2. giving up all alcohol except red wine. Boy that was rough after awhile!

My proudest moments: Teaching myself web design and making my portfolio site, as well as running the Al's Run 8K, but generally, becoming a real runner.


So I won't be adding to this blog anymore. It's done. "But what about 101 Things in 1001 Days: The Denouement" you ask? Yeah that. The following are the artistic projects I never finished (or even started!):

-Write/design a cookbook
-Create my box purses
-Zeetles!® A quote photocard project!
-Make a photography book via Blurb
-Participate in 26 things Photograph Project at least a couple times
-Build up a collection of goods to sell at an art/craft show (and be willing to part with them!)
-Create INKYTNMO* Scrapbook
-Hipster Geocache

I really do want to be in an art/craft fair in the future, so perhaps this will be the subject of my next blog: My Road to the Fair. Most of the aforementioned projects could be featured at said fair: My cookbook created via Blurb (I already narrowed down 33 recipes-one for each month of the list), box purses, and greeting cards. Along with vinyl 45 record notebooks and handbags, Polaroid lamps, rad baby announcements, 26 Things: The Milwaukee Alphabet, and other random stuff I'll figure out. As for the scrapbook? Yikes. Maybe I'll be bored one day. And finally, Hipster Geocache? This is the best idea ever and I'm determined to implement it. Especially for next year when it gets warm again!

So that is literally all she wrote! Thank you to the three people who followed me on this journey haha! And hey, if you--yes, I'm talking to you--stumble upon this blog, and want to liven up your life a little, try tackling this intense project. You won't necessarily notice a drastic change, but drastic changes definitely happen. I'm sure there will come a time down the road when I'll hit some major midlife crisis and I'll need to whip up another one of these.

It'll be awhile though.

I'm too big of a fan of sweet bakery.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One more day.

First off, the final update:

#45 October recipes:
-Spaghetti squash with creamy chicken
-Pumpkin bars
-Chickpea stew with cranberry sauce
-Beer chili!

#51 & #99 6am wake up call!
I knocked out both these tasks when I decided to get up at 6am on all weekdays. Really the only times I failed were mornings when my sister's boyfriend got in the shower at 6am and I didn't feel like waiting, so slept instead ;) There was one other time when it was just so dark and dreary outside and I couldn't bear to open my eyes.

#87 New-to-me Music
I never really updated the last four month's worth of new music, but they are as follows:
-Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson (clearly I love Pete Yorn, and despite my semi-loathing of Scarlett, this album is wonderful!!
-Julian Plenti is...Skyscraper (clearly I love Interpol and Paul Banks' solo project is just as kickass.
-Spring Awakening (not only did I thoroughly enjoy this via my headphones, but I went ahead and checked out the actual show a few weeks ago here in Mke.
-Missy Higgins (she has a lovely voice and she is clearly Australian!)


Next up, tasks I sort of finished:

#46 Cookbook recipes
I got halfway through my 50 "Get Recipes from a Cookbook" task. I find that cookbook recipes are just sort of frustrating. For example, I like because there are tons of reviews and tips and tricks to make the recipe just right. NEEDED in today's economy where you can't really afford to fuck up the $30 grocery bill you just paid! Over all, I probably made at least 130 new recipes (4 new per month for 33 months) I think I can cross THIS badboy off my list.

#50 Atypical produce
Alright, so I missed ONE atypical food...stupid blackberries. There are plenty at the store too. But considering the fact that I put 32 atypical produce items to work over the last 2.75 years, I'm gonna call this one a wash.

#54 Haircut
I missed the last two out of 12 haircuts. Just don't have the $50 to spend. Plus I'm growing it out now, so there.

#63 Apt ReOrg
I have yet to get started, but obviously this task will be done by Dec 31st. I did create SEVERAL lists of what needs to be done, however, so we're golden on this one.

#73 Parking Nazis
Ok so I never actually did this task. But one night when I was outside, I noticed my sister's boyfriend's car wasn't in a good spot, aka: he was definitely going to get a ticket. And knowing he had already received two that week, I offered him up my spot. This meant I had to take the bad spot though. Sure enough, the next morning there was a bright shiny ticket in my windshield. So $30 later, I think I deserve to cross this bad boy off my list :)

#69 Blood
Yikes, I didn't even get halfway through my 12x blood donations. But here are two posts that will be my defense.
Slow Blood and the Faux Mac
Oozing Hot Blue Liquidish Stuff
Yeah. The defense rests.

#82 Savings
1. The economy took a nosedive
2. I bought a car and have $170/mo payments
Nuff said.

#83 $1/day for 1001 days = $1001
Nope. I stopped months ago. But I'm sure I made it to like $800 or so. Which I spent in Vegas, groceries, running shoes, and other "list-related" tasks.


And finally, aside from my "artistic projects," here are the tasks I just didn't all (and not too many, thankyouverymuch!)

#19 Open field
I was single for about half of the length of this list, give or take. So I didn't really get to squeeze in the exhibitionist shenanigans I would've liked to. But I did get somethin somethin' in a foresty area in Door County and I did make out with someone in the woman's bathroom stall on the 23rd floor of the Pfister Hotel. I'll take it!

#23 Seadog Sailing
See #82. I can't spend my money on such frivolous things. (Who am I kidding, I REEAAALLLY wanted to do this. wah wahhhhhh)

#91 Rock climbing
I thought I'd have the guts to go in and try this, but apparently not. Also, on my trip to the U.P. I decided I would not make for a good rockclimber. I do have a lot of courage when it comes to doing adventurous things, but perhaps my new love of running gives me some pause when it comes to possibly breaking my legs.


And that's that! Tomorrow I will conclude this list in two ways:
1. Summarizing of all the things I learned and enjoyed!
2. Discussing the possibility of a new blog: 101 Things in 1001 Days: The Denouement. (I can already hear the groans, but I do need to take care of all the artistic projects I left by the wayside.)

Monday, September 28, 2009

major update with one more month to go!

So I would have to say that the biggest project I had within Section One of my 101 List was creating a portfolio website. And it's officially finished. 2.75 years ago when I started this 101 Things extravaganza, I had very minimal web experience. All I really knew was basic HTML you'd need for blogs and such. Like how to make something bold? Haha! So when I finally cracked the whip and decided to buckle down and start this project, it was quite an ordeal. Please refresh your memory at my post "I hate web design." Well, now here I am today and not only is it a major part of my JOB, but I actually set out with a portfolio site design in my head, designed it on paper, and coded it from scratch for screen. If I really sit down and think about it, I can't believe it, especially considering how much trouble I had when I began. So without further ado:

It's simple yes, but it's clean and crisp too. And I'm pretty proud! Um, if you can't tell that from my gushing over here. But I gush in case someone with minimal web experience yearning for more stumbles upon this blog and gets the message: No you CAN do it!!!

In other task completion news, like I mentioned in the last post, I went to the opera Barber of Seville (#36), which was all kinds of entertaining! I threw together some Chicken Curry and Asian Fruit Salad for Chris and I and watched the outdoor double feature of Night of the Living Dead (#16). Very very cool. I switched the "get shoes" "get boots" "splurge on this" "splurge on that" tasks like a million times (#52/53). When all was said and done I bought a $70ish pair of black shoes awhile back, a $100 pair of running shoes last spring, and a $70ish pair of black boots this weekend (actually they were only like $20 on sale!)

There you go! Mostly I'm just buzzing on the whole website deal. I mean I read that old post of mine, and I was seriously ready to give up! I thought I'd never crack the code, pun intended. Between this and running, maybe things AREN'T so impossible :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's the FINAL Countdown!

First of all, I got to cross one more thing off my list! #47 - make sushi! Almost three years in the making jeez. I think I was building it up to be way harder than it was. It's more time intensive than have to pay attention to each step, but it's not *difficult per se. But I was really proud of myself afterward!

I'm also going to see an opera which I didn't think possible! This morning a coworker sent out an email with two FREE tickets to Barber of Seville! I requested them, but it was too late. Then later this afternoon I find out that a close friend here at work was the one who snagged them and he asked if I wanted to go! Sweet sweet action!!

Other than that, there is plenty on the list that I will NOT accomplish, but in the next month and a half here is a list of things I WILL get done:

1. Put up the web section, as well as the miscellaneous section of my website and call it a day (#2). "calling of days" it is friggin COMPLETE!!

2. Come up with like 25 solid recipes that will be put into a book eventually (I would like to make them all but take really good photos of each recipe...this requires money for each dish which I obviously can't do all at once!) (#3 & #11)

3. Come up with a quick "picnic" to bring to Night of the Living Dead Friday Flick tomorrow night. Random right? But hey, it's by the lakefront and it's with there you have it (#16).

4. Go see Barber of Seville next Wednesday (#36).

5. Hook myself up with a pair of boots at Kohls during some mega sale (#53).

6. Get my haircut one last time, but also get it colored, and that'll take care of the one haircut I'll skip out on (#54).

7. Begin the major reOrg/clean job known as MOVING to prepare for the possible Big Move in January (#63).

8. Attempt to give platelets one final time (#69).

9. Get on that AntiParkingNazi biz (#73)!

10. Find all the random mix cds laying around my car and house and just drop 'em off all over town one day when I'm tooling around on errands (#79).

11. Al's Run - Oct 10th! (#97)

12. Starting Oct 1st: on ALL weekdays, get up at 6am no matter what. This will force me NOT to stay out late (drinking) and perhaps get more done! If I run in the morning, I will have more time after work to do other things. This will double as my "give up" for the month (#99 & #51).

So that's what I'll do in the next six weeks! I work best under pressure with a short deadline questionmark???

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Surprise Surprise

Apparently I do NOT want to finish my 101 Things list. Apparently it just isn't in the cards. But in all honesty I did a pretty good job and focused on it pretty intensely for a solid 2 years. The other .75 of a year I backslid. Why? Because life happens. I will say that everything on the list that I have yet to accomplish are things I will eventually. The part I AM disappointed about, however, is that with all the tasks I let slide, the three I ALWAYS kept up were a. four recipes a month, b. an atypical produce item, and c. give-ups. In July I think I went over the four recipes, but never got the produce item and my negative thoughts give-up was a total cop out! August ends on Tuesday and I made two new recipes this week, ate a dragon fruit, but never bothered giving ANYTHING up. And when I go through the list of possible give-ups, I just don't even want to bother with it. What happened to my Glutton for Punishment attitude?!?! Where did it go? Anyway...clearly it's still possible to finish quite a few things on the list. But I feel like my body is almost rebelling against finishing.

In life news, I have no complaints! Going into therapy was such an excellent decision and I've found that I've worked through so much in such a short amount of time. Meanwhile the foundation of my relationship is solidifying more and more each day. We've both changed so much in these nearly four months and I now see that we both genuinely care about the other and truly do look to the future and see our place in it. Chris always says we make a good team and the more I think about it, the more I agree. I always thought John and I made a good team when we were together. The problem was that someone wasn't contributing to our team's success while the other worked exhaustively to keep it afloat. So essentially, not a team at all. Chris might have a bad day or two due to circumstances that are out of his control, but it really impresses me how he'll turn it around and truly want to work it out. Meanwhile, the same goes for me: I'll see something I'm doing wrong and try to rectify it as soon as I can. I definitely see how much he cares about me and about us...and it's drastically different than when we first started. No couple is without their issues and we ALL can have some real doozies of a day, but if you look to the future and really want that person standing beside you no matter what, and thus you're willing to work your ass off to keep them there...well, that's all that matters, isn't it?

Well enough pontificating for the day! I have two months left here.......yep.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

99 Days and Counting...

I'm mos def in the home stretch here. MOS DEF. So with that said, I need to focus. I need to hone and hunker down and the best way to do that is to get rid of the clutter. So I'm officially crossing off a heck load of the "on-going" tasks.

To touch on each of the following:

#5 - Obviously this took a bit of a backseat, well, photography in general took a bit of a backseat, but it isn't forgotten. I'm sure there are plenty of photographic adventures I can document in the future, and this is where they'll eventually go.
#8 - Study photography: Yeah yeah, I have yet to finish my photography book, but no worries, you can never STOP learning about photography, so there you go!
#10 - Seasons photography: I've taken many winter and fall shots, my fave seasons to's summer and spring with which I have issues. I do plan to put together a little something though. I should make a photo book called Dying to Death featuring only fall and winter shots...yeaaahhh.
#17 - Be selfish: Ok when am I NOT selfish? No, but really this task was created right at the tail end of my ex-relationship when I was giving and giving and giving until I literally could give no more. I've been single-ish for the last year and a half, however, and continue to have plenty of precious Me Time. Me Time is very important, so my therapist tells me :)
#55 - Aspirin mask: While I go weeks without using this, when I do mix up a batch, I use it almost every day. Probably better that way too, in terms of skin sensitivity. Anyone who has NOT tried the Aspirin don't know what you're missing!
#56 - Grocery list: When I'm not dirt poor I love to gather a handful of recipes and go to town. This has been more sporadic than not as of late, but again, I blame the economy. I think when I live with a mate one day, this will be easier to stick to.
#68 - Eat whatever: Again, when do I NOT eat whatever?? Most recently, I'll balance bad eats followed by some healthy running, but there have definitely been plenty of bad eats followed by some sitting on the couch. I created this task many moons ago as an excuse to get Coldstone Creamery ice cream...the task has since spiraled out of control.
#76 - Home-made greeting cards: This is one task I've seriously stuck to like no one's business and I'm actually pretty surprised. I've made everything from Christmas and birthdays, to weddings and anniversaries, to sympathy and congrats...even bachelorette, wedding, baby, and baptism invitations! Of course I'd love to make greeting cards, especially invitations, my business one day, and these last 2.5 years have been excellent practice!
#80 - Budget: oy, maybe if I stuck to a budget I wouldn't be in this financial mess. I jest...sort of? I barely find time to balance my checkbook (an old habit that dies hard in this modern online banking, ignorance-is-bliss day and age). I think it's time to bring back the budget love, I really do.
#85 - Concepts: Never missed a concept opportunity at work, even if it meant coming in on the weekend. I got some really good portfolio stuff out of it too!
#92 - Gratitude: This is another task I totally half-ass. Basically I'll wait a week and a half, look at my planner, and then write down something I thought I was probably grateful for. This totally defeats the purpose of Gratitudes, which are supposed to allow you reflect on your day and, in turn, look for more positives in the following day. Sigh. Something else I need to bring back.

So even with ALL of these crossed out, I still have a whopping 30+ tasks to accomplish (this includes the on-going tasks like atypical produce item and recipes and such). #99 made me laugh because I really SHOULD get up at 6am in order to gain a better chance at accomplishing these bad boys. And speaking of 99, I'm going to do what I can in these next 99 days.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I did it!

#31 hooray!!! This was definitely one of the list items I never thought I'd actually accomplish. So to recap: Back in '04 or '05, I was driving home from my parents' Fourth of July cookout just after 9:00 trying to make the fireworks right by Dousman House. As I was driving over the high rise bridge I noticed various fireworks displays all around me. All the 'burbs 'works go off at the same time, so in just a few select spots downtown, the high rise bridge being one of them, you can see them all! When I came up with the 101 List in '07, something reminded me of that moment and I really wanted to find a different, less-hassle spot to repeat the experience. Well, over the last 2.5 years, I never gained access to any downtown rooftops or what have you. So I basically decided to repeat what inspired this list item in the first place. At 9:10pm, I hopped on the freeway and started the adventure of simultaneously focusing on traffic around me and the dozenish fireworks displays dotting the horizon. It was just too awesome! I looped on and off the freeway like nine times or so, playing "All Over the World" by Pet Shop Boys on repeat! Excellent times.

So it's early yet and I don't have any other list items to report. I did just get into Dirty Projectors though...very different but very good!!

Meanwhile, since I'm always so candid in this blog, I will admit that I've come up on yet another crossroads and my July is shaping up to be a little too similar to last year's...doing some kinda loop, starting from scratch, all that fun stuff. What's with me and my paths that I am so hell-bent on taking, knowing full well that they probably aren't supposed to be on my little Map O' Life? I ask myself: HOW many lessons do I really need to learn in order to go the right way?? I give life a lot of chances...maybe too many chances. I also like shoving round pegs into square holes until they fit, but they never do.

Ok that's enough of that crap. I just wish life wasn't so exhaustively frustrating. I guess if it weren't though, it'd be no fun. But always remember kids: feeling like shit to find happiness isn't necessarily the way it works!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Poor 101 List...

No no, I've been at least doing the regular stuff, recipes/giveups and such. So without further ado, to recap June:

#31 - So this will be my final opportunity to see all the 'worx and I don't think it's actually going to happen. This is a list of all the places, all at 9:15, and seriously, I swear if my car doesn't "stall out" as I'm driving across the highrise bridge. Starting at like 9:12 I could drive up the Jackson freeway entrance, get off on National, loop back on, get off on the Van Buren exit, and re-do until I see fireworks from a bunch of places........sigh, Katie just do it.

#45 - Recipes
Well I had seven total recipes this past month due to my laziness and low bank account in May. I only did 6 though...hmm, I could try to whip something up tonight with my serious lack of time?

1. Seafood Chowder
2. Shrimp Tacos with Adobe Cream Sauce
3. Watermelon Gazpacho
4. "Tailgater" Pizza
5. Caprese Pizza
6. Asian Salad (Bok Choy and other veggies with Ramen/sunflower seed/pine nut topping)

#50 - Atypical I definitely got my fill of Watermelon and Boy Choy this month. For July I'm going to hop into Metro Market and find some weird produce item that I've never really heard of and go from stuff!

#51 - I gave up brunches this month which was way easier than I thought! I'm sure I saved some major calories (which I made up for in other areas...) I think for July, I'll take a break from the food guilty pleasure, and dive back into the mental guilty pleasure of NEGATIVE THOUGHTS! I'll rekindle my 28 Detox from July '08. Never a bad time of month to start over and soak up all the things I've learned over this past decade, heading into the final six months of my 20s. Whoa, that was deep.

#54 - Hairs cut! Got some slight bangs which are already too long haha!

#68 - Eh, when do I not indulge...that task is pretty ridiculous

#69 - Hopeless

#85 - Just did another new batch of concepts, this one is never difficult!

#87 - Three new-to-me bands I got into this past month: The Airborne Toxic Event, Flickerstick, and Grandaddy. Good stuff!!!

#95 - Still not really fulfilling the book list in that I need to read one more non-fiction (the Meditation book I'm STILL not finished with!)...I've read two other books in the meantime: Julie and Julia and Looking On Darkness...and now I'm in the middle of The Alchemist which is PERFECT for my new July mentality.

#97 - The training is going SO well, as you can see over at Must-Run. I've got my first 5K next Thursday and I'm hovering pretty well at the 3.5-4 mile spot. Gotta bump it up to 5 miles by October!

As for the rest of my list...the "projects"...well, I see I'm at an impasse here. Or at least it feels like I am. Perhaps during my "lets get some focus, Katie" July, I'll come to some realizations as to how I can go about everything. This just doesn't feel like a good time to let my life fall by the wayside. And it really isn't...I'm definitely into this running thing. I like that I've developed this reading habit. I'm doing all sorts of productive things with friends and family. I'm still cooking new things. I'm getting into all kinds of new music. And I'm sucking the marrow out of what Milwaukee offers in the summertime. Well I have four months left and I just HAVE to come up with a game plan...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Oh my dear 101 List, how I've neglected you :(
Seriously here's what happened:

On April 29th I gathered up allllll the tasks I needed to finish in the following six months. I created multiple schedules, and put together a huge yellow binder full of info telling me what, when, and how I needed to get it all done on time. Well you know what else happened on April 29th? Story goes as follows...

On April 29th my wonderful, precious, spectacular friend Katie (real friend, not me in the third person ha!) secretly purchased a one month subscription to for me. See, a few weeks prior I had decided to go ahead and try it out as A. my sister had such huge success (still dating the first guy she contacted nearly nine months later). And B. match seemed MUCH more interesting than dating some skank douchebag from a bar where you have NO idea what his intentions are...usually just the hookup and nothing beyond. ANYWAY, while I was able to put up my entire profile for free, I didn't have the money to get the six months "full access" subscription, so I was going to wait until May 15th when I got paid. I relayed this info to my dear friend Katie and she just went right ahead and hooked me up, the sweetheart!

Well it was an all too classic scene. Instead of an old stuffed rabbit buddy in my grubby little hand, there was my yellow binder full of organization and dreams. And instead of older school friends who shunned little girls with stuffed rabbit buddies, there was a shiny new subscription full of dozens of winks and emails to sort through. And as if in slow motion, my yellow binder got tossed aside and the match sorting began. And in the chaotic pile, one guy stood out...he hadn't even emailed or winked at me, just looked at my profile. I clicked on his. 39 years of age. Hmm, well you know what they say about older guys? I don't exactly know, but I DO know that they are oft times commitment-phobic for sure and I wasn't about to go down that slippery path again. So I moved along. Despite his beautiful eyes, intriguing disposition, personal and professional interest in photography, and the part where I wanted to resurrect my beard fetish, I moved along.

Like I said, April 29th.

On April 30th, after returning from the Killers show, I had a match email waiting for me.... yes, a match email from my bearded, handsome photographer guy. He made a Seinfeld joke and talked about how much he loved road trips and how he is a huge Blackhawks fan. He said "I'd love to grab a drink with you."

And--because life's too short to get bent out of shape about age--that we did two nights later when, interestingly enough, the Blackhawks were smack dab in the middle of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Now it sounds like The Cliche amongst cliches, but seriously, and in all honesty, within the very first minute, I was totally hooked. It was just so easy to laugh and touch and just be in that two feet or so of space together. Yada yada yada, we hung out until 4am and there may or may not have been a women's bathroom involved, 23 floors up no less. We got together again a couple days later with similar results. And then he left for a week-long road trip along Route 66, throughout which we exchanged txts and such, and even talked on the phone one night. Hours after he returned the following week, we got together again and, truly, the rest is history. And by history, I mean a month full of swirly, gooey, frightening, wonderful, cozy, life changing times. Late nights and late mornings. Silly shenanigans and serious chats. Hockey and Spotted Cow. Cats and sweatshirts. High fives and sushi. A train and a ferriswheel. Delicious kisses and electric stares.

Alright I could go on indeed. My point here, is that I'm clearly incredibly distracted and my yellow binder of organization and dreams is sitting on my bedroom chair underneath a pile of laundry. Really really great things in life only happen once though, and I can always adjust The List. That's why extensions were invented. I'll figure it out. In the meantime, I just have to learn to not worry so much and drill the following into my brain until it's good and nestled in there: When there's an opportunity to be happy and thankful and relish in the good life is giving to you right there on a silver platter, you better fucking accept it! It's totally right there!

Will do, my friends, will do.

Friday, May 15, 2009

nothing much to report...

I have NO new recipes...and I need FOUR by next weekend?? I haven't done anything with the list in weeks. My organizational skills are falling apart!!! I blame the on-coming summer. I will tell you, I cannot wait for this list to be over!! Maybe I'll feel differently come end of October. Such an undertaking. But I should've known with me being such a procrastinator and everything. Saving it all till the last minute. I did take a look at the list, however, and I truly have accomplished a lot. So I can't be too disappointed in myself.

That's all I got!

Monday, April 27, 2009

I gotta get going here...

#45 - It's almost the end of the month, and I've got all my recipes in thank pete! They were some REAL good ones too...

1. Apricot Orange Crescent Rolls for Easter Brunch
Mix together 1/4 cup apricot preserves and 1/4 cup orange marmalade (helps to microwave for 20 seconds to loosen it up). Separate and roll out Pillsbury Crescent Rolls onto a baking sheet and preheat oven to package directions. Spread a layer of the fruit mix onto each triangle with the back of a spoon and roll into crescents. Beat one egg with a little water and brush each roll with the egg wash. Sprinkle sliced almonds and toasted sesame seeds on top of all the rolls. Bake per package directions, until golden on top.

2. Brie and Cauliflower Stuffed Potato
Just as it sounds...bake a potato for 45 mins or so. Be sure to smear EVOO all over the potato to make the skin crispy! Also poke holes in the potato about half way through baking. Scoop out the potato yummness and mix it with a triangle of brie cheese and some chopped cauliflower. Put the mixture back into the skin and the potato back in the oven for another 15 minutes.

3. PB&J Drummies with Asian Slaw
Mmmmmmm this was absolutely AMAZING! Recipe is in a book at home, so I'll have to add it later!
*PS I used my atypical produce (#50), Radicchio, in the Asian slaw...perfect!

4. Salmon with Brie and Apples
This one sounds weird (salmon and cheese and apples?!?!) but I was completely taken aback by the perfect combination of flavors and cannot WAIT to have it again!!!
Preheat oven to 350. Rub 1-2 salmon fillets with salt, pepper, paprika, and minced garlic. Sear the fillets, first skin side down, in a hot pan with EVOO for about 4 minutes. While searing the other side, pull skin off the top with a fork (should come off easily). Sear the former-skin side for another minute, and top with several pieces of brie cheese, place on foil lined baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes or until salmon is flaky. Meanwhile, peel off the skin of a Gala apple and cube. Heat in a pan with a TB or two of butter, a pinch of salt, and a touch of honey. Simmer for 10 minutes plus, until the apples are soft. Serve over the baked salmon.

#63 is in the works...Mandsi and I did a thorough cleaning before Casey visited, I organized the hallway and bathroom closets, and now we just need to tackle the kitchen...the snakes. I also need to organize my bedroom closet and give a TON of stuff to Goodwill!

#68 - I went to Kopp's AGAIN when Casey was here...and I also just pretty much ate whatever I wanted the entire week he was here. So I need to take a break from all that mos def. I feel like the biggest bloato baggins ever and I don't think I'm getting enough produce in my life!

#79 & #98 will be in the works VERY soon with my SUPER AWESOME HipsterCache idea!! More later!

#82 - I have yet to actually put any money into savings :( It's virtually May and I haven't done anything so not only am I behind on my $1/day savings, but this $25/mo additional savings. The way I see it, I'm behind by $220. Do I have that much to move over?? I guess I'll take a gander at my checking account this afternoon and see.

#87 - New artists! There were a few this month and now they're all escaping me. I've enjoyed individual songs by the following, however: She & Him, Friendly Fires, Buck 65, Emiliana Torrini, and Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. OH! And I DID fall in love with Jessica Lea Mayfield at the Ray LaMontagne show the other night :)

In other news, like I ALWAYS seem to say, "I gotta get going here." On CREATIVE PROJECTS!! C'mon Katie! Currently I have nothing pending, aside from my portfolio site, so I could really take advantage of the time. What time? That's the problem. My schedule for the next few months is totally insane. I'm seriously going to have to buckle down on the week days if I truly want to get anything done. I just have to bite the bullet and make a strict schedule on how to at LEAST get started. I know I keep saying that. I wish there was a magic wand available for purchase that could make me DO it.

Finally, for next month I'm going to eat Bok Choy and give up sweet bakery again because it is RUNNING MY LIFE RIGHT NOW! No more!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

F this list, I'm so over it!!

April Fools??? No, but seriously, it finally sunk in this past weekend that this list really may not be doable in its entirety. I discussed with my mom, and she said "In the future you should only have three projects going at one time: a big project, a small one, and one that isn't all that important that you tinker with when you have the time." And that sounds GLORIOUS! Such a nice alternative to the 394829305 projects currently looming on the horizon. So with that said, I'll try to keep keepin on, but there might have to be a 101 Things in 1001 Days: The Epilogue after Oct 29th, and just tackle those one by one.

Anyway, April 1st! So to wrap up March...

#33 - Ice skating!! Finally happened! I went to Pettit with a new manfriend this past weekend. Jeez, walking in there? I haven't been to Pettit since I was a Freshman in HS, and all these crazy memories came flooding back! And the smell of the place was exactly the same! Anyway, I was totally freaked after putting the skates on, like, is this really humanly possible? But sure nuff, it was like riding a bike and I even picked up some good speed after a few turns. After skating we got hot cocoa and that was nice :) I still want to go to Red Arrow and skate out in the elements! Next year!

#41 - I'm going to officially cross Twist Step three times a week off my list. With the new running regiment, I gotta keep Twist Step to a dull roar in order to give my legs some rest days. It's been grand Twist Step!! You helped me lose 10 lbs and be the sveltish lass I am today!

#45 - The last recipe of the month was a zesty sliced potato and onion with parm dish I made for my grandpa's birthday dinner. Yumtastic!

#50 - Atypical produce for April: Radicchio

#51 - No give up for March as I'm anti coffee and Facebook for Lent, but I should probably give something up for April since Lent is over in a week and a half! Hmmmmm...well I've already had sweet bakery this morning in the form of a delicious cupcake AND half a blueberry muffin. Well, I have an idea, so I'm going to try it out. It more or less has something to do with me being a Bitter Betty about certain things...and people.

#68 - Mmmmm I went to Kopp's this past week and indulged in a caramel sundae with sliced bananas and chopped nuts. It was absolutely glorious. I have a very special friend coming into town in a few weeks and I am definitely taking him to Kopp's for an explosion of deliciousness!

#69 - Platelet Donation!!!
So to recap, I decided against volunteering for the Blood Center, and decided FOR donating my platelets. What a dooz! So my veins are super thin and the platelet needle is really right away, the techs were like "this probably won't work, but do you want us to try anyway?" Being no stranger to techs digging around in my veins (sorry Monica!), I was like why not?! These ladies were super talented though and were able to get up in there and make it work! On my end, I kept squeezing this heat pack (you have to keep SUPER warm during the entire process for it to work, so I was underneath a huge electric blanket!) like every half second FOR AN HOUR!!! My forearm was seriously ready to give out by the end! Anyway, the process totally worked! While I'm not afraid to try it again, I feel bad for the techs who will have to deal with me because it's quite a tricky process finding my vein and stuff. But I'm going to try sometime this month and see if I can keep the luck alive! Best part: I read up on platelet donation and knew that you have to have something with calcium in order to prevent tingling in your lips and a metallic taste in your mouth due to the anti-coagulant. So I hit up McDonald's right before the donation and bought a milk. "Just a milk??" they asked me. Haha! Worst part: When the heat pack exploded and oozed hot blue liquidish stuff into my hand but I couldn't do anything about it until the techs came back to check on me!

#97 - As you can see over at Must Run!, I'm totally all over this running thing!! Every run day I VERY much look forward to it the whole day! Today is one of those days, and despite the yuck, gloomy, rain/sleet 36 degrees it'll probably be...I'm still stoked :)

Alright, speaking of the weather, let's hope this gross Wisconsin "spring" picks it up a notch now that it's April! OH and speaking of April, Monday was officially the ONE YEAR MARK since John and my breakup! What a year it has been!! I went from a bit of a mess, making not so stellar decisions--to bitter and cynical, but hilarious--to positive, rolling with the punches, and hopeful for the future. I've got myself a new something-ship that's just in that interesting initial stage. So far so good, but we'll see where it goes! All I know is that it took me going through that breakup one year ago to realize how great a guy can really be, how compromise is the key to happiness, and how I truly deserve the things I want in life! As I said on March 31, 2008:
"For now I can start over, figure out what I honestly want out of life and out of a life mate! I never mind sacrificing here and there (ok I AM a glutton for punishment!), but I now see that there is a fine line between compromising WITH someone and sacrificing FOR someone. And in my case the smoking, not being able to have a child, or even a cat, of my own, and finally the probability of no marriage fate is no longer sealed."
Amen to that!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

looking brighter everyday!

Things are going just swimmingly as of late...this warm-up is definitely helping!

- Recipes
Three new recipes on the docket...

1. Cornbread Chicken Bake
red bell pepper, chopped
half white onion, minced
several cloves of garlic, minced
small can of mild green chilies
box of Jiffy cornbread mix
two eggs
can whole kernel sweet corn
rotisserie chicken, shredded (or 3-4 poached chicken breasts, shredded)
packet of Ranch dip mix
8 oz light sour cream
can Cream of Chicken & Herb soup
optional: jalapenos and shredded cheese

Saute onions and garlic in some EVOO or butter on low heat for about 5mins. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine cornbread mix, eggs and corn (add a little salt as well!). Add the onion/garlic and mix. Preheat the oven at 375. Grease an 9x13 baking dish and spread cornbread mixture across the bottom. In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, red bell pepper, green chilies, the sour cream, ranch packet, and soup (optional jalapenos). Add salt/pepper and mix well! Spoon on top of the cornbread, but leave at least an inch of "crust" open along the side. Sprinkle with optional cheese and bake for 35-40 minutes (until the cornbread "crust" is golden brown).

2. Red Lentil Curry
1 cup red lentils
half white onion, chopped
cup shredded carrots
red bell pepper, chopped
cup spinach, chopped
can tomato puree (I used Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes)

curry base:
garlic clove, minced
TB curry paste
1/2 TB curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne, chili powder, or hot sauce
1/2 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp minced/grated ginger root
1/2 tsp salt
optional: sour cream

Rinse the lentils until the water is clear. Begin by boiling 3 cups water (add a couple broth cubes/some granules, if available, to add flavor). Simmer lentils and watch carefully (they only take 10 mins or don't want them to be too mushy!) Meanwhile saute onions for 5-7mins, low heat, and add the remaining veggies...cook 5 more mins. Combine the "curry base" and mix into to the sauteed veggies. Add the can of tomatoes and simmer for a couple minutes. Drain lentils (most of the water should be soaked up) and add to the veggie mixture. Add salt if necessarily. Top with sour cream!

3. Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe
I'm not going to bother with this recipe as it was just ok and probably not something I'd make again. Decent, but not glorious.

#50 - Atypical produce (or not produce at all)...broccoli rabe and lentils done!

#69 - I made an appt for PLATELET donation on Monday yikes! I thought twice about volunteering for these's like the most selfish thing ever, but I know how they are about calling you 9248235023 times a day to donate, I can't imagine how they'd be asking you to volunteer once you sign up. It frightens me. And I don't have the time...especially to devote to an organization I'm very luke warm about. So Plan B involves the fact that you can donate platelets every two weeks. If I go once a month, I could probably fit in almost eight donations. Barring they don't go horribly wrong. We'll see.

#87 - Two newish-to-me band/artists are: Band of Horses and Christian Falk

And finally, the Proud Moment of the Month:
#52 - Expensive (almost $100!) running shoes have been purchased, and the running has commenced!!! You can read more over at YET another blog of mine (I'm obsessed): Must Run! Gooooood stuff!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

With 233 Days Left......

Omg that SO isn't a lot of days at ALL!!! So I really need to re-org here, don't I? Well here's a snapshot of what's happening at this very moment:

16 on-going tasks
6 tasks near completion
17 tasks I still need to start
8 complete re-vamps

Minus the on-going ones, that's 31 tasks I need to complete in the next 7+ months!! And they're all pretty hefty ones at that. I put together a table and a rough schedule, however, and all I need to do is stick with it. And as I mentioned, I found 8 tasks that need revamping...a couple I have to change altogether! Why? Not necessarily because of time, but rather, because of money. I'm not sure if anyone has heard, but the economy is a ginormous dumpster of broken spirits and tattered dreams. So I will have to adjust the list accordingly...

#12 - Participate in 26 things Photograph Project five times
Ok, so I can't blame this one on the economy as photography is relatively free. I have to blame time. Coming up with 26 really great photos to put into a theme is so much harder than it sounds! I'm determined to do something though. I started one, which I could try to finish. In the meantime, however, I'm going to try and come up with an ABCs of Milwaukee by late April.

#46 - Make a total of 50 recipes from cookbooks
Hmmm, ok once again, a time issue (man! I really was hoping the economy would be an easy target!) More of a preference issue?? See, obviously I make four new recipes every month. But I've noticed that I find recipes better suited to me via online sources. I'll try to crack open a book, but in the end I always turn to the internet. One big reason is on sites like, people comment and make great suggestions on ways to tweak the recipe. I love that! Anyway, I've decided to cut the number from 50 to 25. Right now I'm at 22, and while I could definitely squeeze 28 more recipes into the next 8 months, ALL via book will be annoying. So on that note, to makes things more difficult, the last three recipes will HAVE to be gourmet, with a high level of difficulty. I've been cooking seriously for a couple years now and should be able to attempt them!

#52 - Splurge on an expensive pair of heels/sandals
I have officially decided to take up running. I was super inspired by Mandsi's 5K back in October, and the only thing preventing me since then was the god-awful Wisconsin Winter...which is now coming to an end! I found a really great Beginners schedule which involves a lot of walking interspersed with the running. 10 Week Stage 1 takes you to 44 minutes of near-consistent running, while 10 Week Stage 2 takes you to a consistent full 60 minutes. With determination and various forms of motivation, I could seriously do this! One form of motivation is a nice expensive pair of running shoes! I'm going to stop into PRO this week...they personally help you find a shoe based on all sorts of customized criteria, which will be extremely helpful to a beginner! I may ALSO start, oh yes, YET another blog (my third?) devoted to the running as that'll be great motivation.

#63 - Return to NYC or go to Boston
This will be impossible. Originally I had just NYC on the list, but when I found out my friend got into Harvard, I decided to add Boston as that would be more reasonable and likely. Well she's coming home for the summer, so this task is completely out (and better this way because I'll save so much money!) I hate to readjust the entire numbering of this list after all this time, so I'm moving #63 into the Let’s Get Organizized! section and completely changing it to....

#63 - Clean/Re-Org the Entire Apartment
Yowzahs! I've noticed lately, however, that after three plus years of just your basic dusting, vacuuming, and wiping down only obvious surfaces...there is a LOT of gross gross stuff happening in various crevices in that place. And while I'm not planning on moving anytime soon, I think it'd be good to knock off a few hours, or rather weeks, of cleaning...AND packing for that matter...once that happens.

#69 - Donate blood once a season
I've only donated 4 out of 12 times...again, not expensive, mostly a time issue. As in WASTING my time. Wasting my time donating blood that they have to throw away because I can't make it in under 15 minutes. So I'm going to devote 8 hours (one hour for each donation I would've made) of volunteer work. I sort of shudder to think about it though because I have had nothing but bad experiences dealing with the Wisconsin Blood Center personnel. They seem to be incredibly unorganized and their bedside manner is totally less than stellar. So this will be a real challenge I'm guessing. But that's the point of this list, isn't it?

#82 - Increase 401k in ‘09
Some people are saying it would be wise for a young person to add to their 401k now because stocks will be so low and we can afford to be risky. I, however, working in the even RISKIER world of advertising, feel as though I need to plan for the proximate future. So I'm changing this task. I'm putting 1% of my salary into my savings instead. This comes to roughly $25 extra per month. Yes I've missed months Jan and Feb, so I'm going to take a look at my current checking status to see if I can afford the whole $75 (to include March). I should be able to.

#91 - Buy/Learn how to take care of a Bonsai
Alright, so this would be an expensive hobby to get into, and I've already got an expensive hobby happening, particularly when I go into full throttle with this potential Art/Craft show. While I'd love to partake in this hobby one day, something's gotta give. I have absolutely no idea what to replace this one with, however. Particularly something of equal difficulty. I've always wanted to try rock climbing at Turner Hall. Another expensive hobby, but perhaps I could just doing the "Learn-to-Climb" class? I'd be learning something new, like with the Bonsai task.

#97 - Geocache!!!
This was a throw-away as soon as John and I broke up, seeing as he kept the GPS (which is undoubtedly sitting at the bottom of some drawer of his...$100 of mine well spent I say!) In any case, Geocaching requires some level of athletic skill if you really get into the hiking ones, so to couple the new Running Shoes task, I'm going out on a HUGE limb and will use the spring/summer to train for the 8K Al's Run on Oct 10th. Now this is a VERY tall order for someone who has never ran for more than five minutes straight in their lives (no, seriously)...but it's seven months away. That's almost 30 weeks. And if I stick to the aforementioned schedule, I should be able to be very close to running a straight 60 minutes in 20 weeks. I don't know, I have high goals, but you know something? The other day I was asked the question: what's the hardest thing you've accomplished or have yet to accomplish on your list? There are many difficult tasks, ones that have taken time and energy, but nothing next to impossible (says the girl who just replaced a bunch of 'next to impossible' tasks). I mean nothing that truly challenges who I am and could potentially change who I could be! For now, I'm going to try and stick to it. All I can do is try!

I just read that the real marathon starts in the last six miles. I'm in the final quarter of my list now, and I feel that pressure most definitely. It's very much a mental game now of forcing myself to keep at it. This entire list was based on my desire to not only experience life more fully, but more specifically, to become a more organized person. The true test will be these final ~8 months.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

the end is nigh

The end of winter that is, thank all that is holy! We're heading into one of my fave times of year, that short period of time when you feel very "is it or isn't it" about the season change! There will be an electricity in the air and things really start to happen. I'm looking very much forward to it! Especially because life keeps getting better...I can feel it! Or perhaps it's the Vitamin D pills talking ;)

To get on these updates here...

#2 - My website!!! I've it a bit of a lull at work and so I decided, in my sudden "spare" time, I'd start my portfolio site for the hell of it. Lo and behold, I'm actually getting somewhere! The hardest part has been organizing my work to far I've set up my CK print stuff, as well as my freelance logos, but I've got a long way to go. I have to set up my CK web stuff, some photography, including Tazinos, some misc freelance, as well as some examples of my greeting cards/invites.

Anyway, my mom came over today to help me set up the site itself...I purchased a domain and set up the web hosting and all that fun stuff (nearly $100 later yikes). I can't wait to actually finish it...what a trip that will be, it's been such a long time coming. And who do I have to thank? CK for leading me into this web design biz! And who knew I'd like it so much?!! It's sort of like math in can be frustrating as hell, but exercising those brain muscles can be fun in a sick sick way ;)

#17 - You could say I was a little selfish on the evening of Valentine's Day ;)

#36 - Freaking out that I wouldn't be able to fulfill the Opera task because of scheduling...I think I'm going to be able to see the Florentine Opera's The Magic Flute in April!

- Recipes
2. Broccoli Cashew Slaw
3. Parsnip, Turnip, Carrot Quinoa Soup
4. Butternut Squash Soup

#50 - I totally did NOT get to try my atypical veggie broccoli rabe...I checked the store a couple times and they never had it, so it's probably out of season. So I'll have to do two this month. I really am running out of options, so I think I'll just go in and choose a couple weird things they've got lying around.

#51 - Well I only ended up cheating twice on "no buying anything for myself"...the Ray LaMontagne tix as well as a ticket for Wynton Marsalis at the MSO next Sunday. Both cultural though...and I'm supporting the arts in these harsh economic times, so I don't feel too bad (thanks Monica!)

This month I'm not officially giving anything up since I've already given up both coffee and Facebook (the horror) for Lent!

#64 - I already crossed this off my list, but turns out I'm going to Vegas too! We bought our tickets for Aug 20-23, non stop flight and three day stay at the Flamingo for $360!!! Not. Bad. Atall.

#68 - Yesterday Z and I stopped at Leon's Custard for some delicious sweet treats! I got the Tin Roof (like a peanut buster parfait at DQ) and it was glorious. I could feel the fat coursing through my veins and I didn't care!

#85 - Still working on a ton of stuff for work including a new landing page that I did from home when I had the flu earlier this month!

#87 - I like the sound of the electronic neo "new wave" (big surprise) band Plushgun and also discovered the show Spring Awakening through a friend/coworker. It's Rent and a little Sondheim.

#95 - I'm about to begin How to Meditate by Lawrence LeShan, and like I said last month, should be perfect for Lent.

Perusing this list just now, I'm starting to think I'm really not going to accomplish everything. For example, due to the afore-mentioned harsh economic times, it would be kinda lame to increase my 401k. Sure I'd be saving, and saving is very important in times like these. But I need to save for a more proximate future for the time being. So in that case, I might in fact change that one to reflect this...perhaps throw an extra $20 into the savings account (in addition to the $1/day I already save). Another example...I obviously can't donate my blood 8 times in the next 8 months, so I'm considering changing that task to donating my time instead. Something like 8 hours as a volunteer. In any case, one of these days, I'm going to have to sit down and revamp these types of tasks before it gets too late.

That's all I got! I have a feeling my life is about to get way way busy, so any organizational skills I've gained over the last ~2.5 years really needs to come in handy right about now. Wish me luck!