Tuesday, December 22, 2009

9. Finish the quilt I started for T.

My next to youngest cousin recently turned 18. So when my aunt had a new baby boy we were all thrilled, and have spent the past two years spoiling him rotten. Right after he was born, I decided I would set out to make him a quilt. I mean, really, how hard could it be? I jotted down a simple pattern, found cute fabric, and so it began. And, I decided, if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right, all the quilting and finishing would be done by hand.

There were many frustrating moments, where the quilt got stashed away, and I wasn't completely sure it would be coming back out, ever. But, when mother nature decided to dump two feet of snow on us this weekend, leaving me stranded in the apartment alone, I knew the time had come. I was going to finish this thing, just in time for Christmas, too!

And that I did. My first (and last) quilt is now complete! Hooray!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

39. Go to a professional football game

It is amazing how random opportunities have arisen that fall right into my 101 goals. I was having a conversation with a guy I had recently met and the 101 project came up. Of course he was intrigued, who wouldn't be?? So I started spouting off a couple of the items. When I got to "go to a professional football game" he was completely taken a back. How is it, that I have never been to a pro game?

Apparently, I was talking to a HUGE Washington Redskins fan. So huge in fact, that his family has had season tickets since, well, since the Redskin were actually good. He offered to take me to an upcoming game, and I couldn't say no!

We ended up tailgating and even running into some of friends of mine from work. The seats were amazing. We were in the first row directly behind the goal posts. We got to see all the action and man, was it a different experience than the one I get from my couch watching it all on my 18" television.

While this was sort of a random task that I added just for the fun of it, I am glad that I did, for that exact reason, it was just plain fun.

90. Take a mental health day with absolutely no agenda

Whew! Who knew how difficult this would be! When I realized that I had some hours that I needed to use or lose at work, I picked a random Friday to take off. So taking the mental health day, check! However, as soon as I knew I had the day off I started mental list making. To Do lists, both fun and practical were racing through my head. I knew I had to stop, so I enlisted the help of a friend who also had the day off. He kept me on track, by keeping me off track so to speak.

Several times I felt myself getting aggravated because I was "wasting" a day off. But, the more I thought about it the more I realized this was exactly what I needed. A day to just be. To let whatever happened happen. A day to not give in to the lists and the obligations and the million other things that pull me in all directions.

In the end, it was a great day. We started it out by braving the cold wind and going on a tour of the George Washington Masonic Temple which is almost literally in my back yard. At the top we got some great views of the city.
The majority of the rest of the day was spent Christmas shopping and napping though I did sneak in a trip to the grocery store which was productive (but not planned!).

We rounded out the day with my first ever visit to the National Christmas Tree. All in all, a great way to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year!

Friday, November 13, 2009

37. Be at a job one full year (AGAIN!)

Part of the purpose of this list was to make good habits and figure out new things. And so while the major goal is to check off as many tasks as possible, its pretty neat to note that I am also, re-checking off certain items.

As noted previously, I left the library last November to head back to the "big city". I got a job as an Office Assistant in a small, intellectual property firm. About two months into my assignment I was asked to take on a new role, working as the assistant to the managing partner. My primary focus would be trademark prosecution and there was a lot to learn. It has been a year since I started the job in the city and I am still here, chugging away. My, how time flies!

61. Ride a Horse

Like 95% of girls, I grew up wishing to own my very own pony. I would get up and ride every single day and take care of their every need. As I grew up, I quickly realized the expenses associated with owning a horse, but my yearning to ride did not subside. I have been horseback riding a couple times growing up, including one fairly traumatic incident, but I added this task to the list in hopes that I would get back on and get to live the dream again. And that I did!

My horse, Pegasus

I signed up to go horseback riding with a social group on Halloween out in Maryland. It was a small ranch and they decorated the horses very festively for our hour long trail ride. The ride was leisurely and very enjoyable. Afterward, we were treated to a nice rancher meal before heading home.

All in all, it was pretty great, and definitely something I would like to do again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

95. Take a random art or dance class for fun

And I have totally opened up Pandora's box. After some exploring in downtown Alexandria, I discovered this neat little bead store. Inside are two floors of beads in every color, shape, and material imaginable. They also offer classes at a very reasonable price. You buy the materials and they let you use their tools, so you can get the hang of things, and if you absolutely hate it you aren't out a ton of money in tools that you'll never use again. I figure I just could not pass up such an opportunity.

So I signed up and after two hours I had an array of earrings which I plan to give to my sister and all her roommates for Christmas (thus the blue and orange, UVA colors).

I then took my new found skills home and made some wine charms for a friend for her birthday.

I am very pleased with my new skill and am excited to take another class and start making even more wonderful trinkets!

5. Travel to Colorado

Ok, so I cheated, but only slightly. The original task was "travel to California." But, the premise behind it was to get off the east coast and travel westward beyond Wild, Wonderful West Virginia, and see a state that I've always wanted to see. And so, when the opportunity arose to visit some friends in Colorado, I jumped on it and decided to mark this as complete.

Really, not much can be said about this trip. It was amazing, like nothing I had ever seen. I got to spend time with one of my new friends (yet another re-checking off of that task) as we hiked our butts off around western Colorado and Utah. One thing this trip did do for me, is to instill in me a desire to see the rest of great country. The diversities of the earth just between the two oceans is miraculous!

And so, since a picture is worth the thousand words that I don't have... here you go.

Friday, August 14, 2009

94. Have a yard sale and donate everything that doesn't sell

This was a hard one to know exactly when to mark off. When I moved last November I donated a TON of stuff that I new I wouldn't need, didn't want, and that someone else could probably really use. I got rid of a ton of appliances, clothes, decorating stuff, you name it. The rest of my belongings went into storage. But since I never actually had a yard sale, I didn't mark this off.

And so, in preparation for the upcoming move into my own place in the city (woohoo!) I decided it was time to clean out the storage unit. No point in moving stuff that I wasn't going to use. Add to that the fact that my free weekend coincided with the annual Route 11 Yard Crawl (quite the event), I decided to go for it. So I slapped on some price tags and set up shop with my aunt and grandmother for the day.

What a success this was. I sold everything except three CDs and made about $100. Not to mention everything is now in a much better home, as opposed to collecting dust and getting shoved around move after move. I haven't gotten to donating the three CDs but considering the mass donation that went BEFORE the yard sale, I will consider this task checked off!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

17. Go back to school

When I wrote down "go back to school" the original thought for me, and my family and most people who knew me, was that I would go back to law school. Interestingly enough though, when I made the list I didn't say "go back to law school"... I guess I knew that was still not a given for me. In the past two years I have hashed and re-hashed the pros and cons of going back to school in general and law school in particular. What it came down to was I just simply could not picture myself as a lawyer or doing lawyerly type jobs. And law school is A LOT of money and A LOT of effort, and if your heart isn't in it, well, it's just not worth it. So after much sighing and eventually a sigh of relief, I kicked law school off the docket.

But I still had this task on my 101 and I still felt the need to keep on moving, and keep on getting educated in... well... something! After some deliberation and discussion with the people who know me and love me best, I came to the conclusion that something in the medical field would suit me quite well. This was something I had contemplated long ago, but being a burnt-out college kid, I didn't want to go back and take the necessary prerequisites to make this a reality.

Now, the time has come. I can take some classes part time, get in the prerequisites and in that time, decide what exact path I will take afterward. I am officially registered at the local community college and so in August, I shall be going back to school!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

16. Go on a hike

Done and done. Twice! Who knew moving to the big city I would still be able to find not one but two beautiful places to hike.

The first was a couple months ago (it was almost too chilly to be hiking if you ask me) and I headed to Sugarloaf Mountain in Maryland with a random group of people. The hike wasn't tough, though it was a bit muddy in spots and even some snow still on the ground when we got to the top. But the view was beautiful, and definitely worth the shivers.

The second hike was a more level hike, but still a hike nonetheless. (I suppose being from the mountains when I think hike, I think incline.) Me and a friend of mine headed to Great Falls park. We stayed on the Virginia side and waved at those across the water in our neighboring state. The sun was shining, the flowers were blooming, and nature was certainly at its best. All in all it was a great day and I am certainly glad I took the time to head out there considering it's almost in my back yard.

Again, I'm sure this is something that will be getting crossed off again, which is really the whole point of this 101 adventure. To do new things and then add them to my lifestyle. Win win!

77. Spend a day going through a museum

Not only did I complete this task, I completed it and then some. When a friend from back home brought up the idea of coming for a visit and spending the day being touristy in D.C. I certainly couldn't say no. So we packed our bags, grabbed our Metro cards and headed in with not so much as a map to guide our wanderings.

We picked a beautiful day, one of the first sunny, warm days of the season and so everyone was out. After coming off the Metro at the Smithsonian station we headed towards the only recognizable landmark, the Washington monument. We spent the morning wandering through D.C. seeing going by the World War II Memorial which was absolutely breathtaking, and very emotional. The rest of the day was much more lighthearted.

The museums were our stomping grounds and we had a great time! The inner nerd was certainly brought out!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

100. Go to a play or opera (or ballet)

Ok, so I said go to a play or opera in the list, but the idea behind this task was to go do something cultural and different that I haven't done before. And therefore, I am marking this as completed after an evening at the ballet.

The whole evening itself was pretty darn sweet. In theory, I was just along for the ride for someone else's celebration, but I got a pretty awesome deal. We started out at a swanky French restaurant in D.C. The food was delicious and beautiful!

The dinner deal included a ride to the Kennedy Center so we were whisked away after dessert to see our show. I've been to the Kennedy Center before but we were in a different theater for the ballet and it was quite beautiful. This was my first ballet so we decided to play it safe with a well known story, Peter Pan. And it was great! It wasn't a traditional ballet, there many different kinds of dance (the crocodile did hip hop I think??) and there was even some flying which is always interesting. I'm not sure if I'll do a ballet again, but I am certainly feeling more up to experiencing the cultural activities that are at my fingertips here in the nation's capital. So check mark for this task, and perhaps I'll be checking it off again before the 1001 days are up!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

14. Make fondue

If it wasn't for the Best Friend, I'm pretty sure I would have slacked off majorly on this 101 project, if not given it up entirely. It has been really nice to have each other as constant motivation as well as someone to collaborate with on some of the tasks. We have previously had one designated 101 weekend, where we got together and tackled a few of our tasks that we figured would be more fun in tandem. So when her Hubs decided to go on a trip during Valentines Day weekend we figured it was an opportune time to get together again. So she invited another one of her friends (who we have since converted to the 101 way of life) and we planned a fabulous weekend full of laughing, catching up, Disney, drinking, and of course... fondue!

After some slight alterations to the recipe (due to ingredient constraints) we made some fabulously delicious cheese fondue. It was grand. Insert a few of our favorite Disney animated films and wala, it's an hour or so later and we were ready for round two! Now if you ask me, it is a sin to do fondue and not do chocolate. So chocolate we did. So easy, so scrumptous.
All in all the fondue was just a high point of a very wonderful weekend with the girls.

Side note: If I ever get married, a fondue pot will be the first thing on the registry.

Monday, February 9, 2009

80. Visit my sister at college

If you hadn't noticed, I'm pretty close with my little sis. So, when she flew from the nest to head to college I knew I would miss her. She survived her first semester, and as the second semester got started I promised I would make the trek down to see her in Charlottesville. It was so great to see her in her new environment and to see her growing up.

We had a great time tooling around campus and the downtown area. It was fun reliving the college life and hanging out with some of her new friends. I am sure this was only the first of many visits.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

38. Open a savings account

You may have noticed that the Best Friend and I have something of a love affair going with Google (granted at times it is a one sided affair). Well watch out google because ING may be knocking you off the pedestal.

I was introduced to this online banking phenomena by the Best Friend. I tossed around the idea for awhile, and was a little iffy on the fact that I couldn't actually walk into a bank. But then again, when was the last time I walked into my bank? I did a little more research and finally decided to take the plunge and try it out.

So plunge I did, and I may never go back. ING makes it so easy to set up and manage your accounts. I can decide how much will be automatically taken from my checking account and how often. I even set up separate accounts and then was able to name them the fun (well sometimes fun) things that they are going towards, like my three month cushion, vacation, and housing. It's great! So now I'm saving and working toward yet another 101 task, having a three month cushion of money set aside.

7. Pay off credit cards

Rock on! I can not tell you how amazing it feels to have this task completed!

Unfortunately, through my last year of college and a brief stint in law school I accumulated a freakish amount of credit card debt (though by statistics I have found I was better off than many people my age which is just downright scary). Over the past two years I have been slowly but surely chipping away bit by bit. And now I can officially say I am credit card debt free!

Now that I'm not forking out an exorbitant amount of money each month, I can start working toward other goals, such as building up that "rainy day fund". Woohoo!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

29. Learn to drive stick shift

Did you know that some people actually choose to complicate their lives by adding a whole plethora of steps to the driving process? They call this a "manual transmission" vehicle and yes, people make a conscious choice to purchase such a vehicle. I don't know why. I mean personally my life is complicated enough, and I have plenty to think about while driving without constantly remembering to let up on gas, push on clutch, shift gear, now ease off clutch, press on gas... whew... makes me exhausted just thinking about it.

So why, you may ask, after that tirade would I have added to my 101 list of things to do "learn to drive stick shift." Well, while I was not a boy scout (for obvious reason) I do try to live by the old adage, "always be prepared." You never know when you may have to drive someone's vehicle, and it has happened to me on more than one occasion where it would have been very beneficial for me to have this skill.

And so I embarked on a set of missions. The first mission was to find someone who not only owned a manual transmission vehicle but who also possessed an extreme amount of patience. Once that was completed it was time to hit the parking lots. Unfortunately, my wonderful instructor had other ideas and we headed straight to the streets. I'm not going to lie, it was just short of pee-in-your-pants-terrifying, but it's just like throwing someone into a pool, they'll either sink, or swim. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to report that I swam... well sort of... It wasn't pretty the first couple times, and there were a couple slip ups which included me becoming overly frustrated and someone passing me on the shoulder, but hey, a girl's gotta start somewhere. And so after many jumpy rides, I set out on my own and successfully completed a round trip with the stick shift!