Category Archives: Morning Freewrite

30 Days of 30: By the Numbers

Those of you paying close attention may have noticed that the 30 days of 30 technically lasted only 29 days (Jan 5-Feb 2).  There were also a couple of unclaimed days in there, but I filled them by hanging out with my mom and a co-worker.  

BUT… the 30 days aren’t really over yet.  When this blog goes live, I’ll be in Chicago for the finale, so I’m counting my party on Saturday as the 30th day.

If my calculations are correct, here are some other interesting numbers about my 30 days:

60– Number of people I celebrated with this month.* 

36– Number of locations– 16 restaurants, 11 bars**, 1 bakery,  1 arena, 1 bowling alley, 1 movie theater, 1 out of town location (Galena), 1 shopping center, and 3 private residences.  

The most common location for 30 days activities was Bunny’s, followed closely by a tie between Crane Alley and Boltini.   This is notable because I probably haven’t been to either of these places much in the past year, but I really like them.  Houlihan’s and the Courier were the most popular non-drinking establishments. 

6– Number of places I’d never been before: Galena, Bridget’s house, La Gourmandise Bistro, The Brass Rail, The Sandwich shop (whose name I’ve yet to look for), Cakes on Walnut.

14-  Number of different activites: lunch,  dinner, drinks, dessert, Illinois game, bowling, LOST watch, movie, snowboarding, Superbowl party, live band, book club, story teller, trivia

15– Number of times I went out for lunch

13-- Number of times I went out for drinks

6– Number of times I went out for dinner***

2– Number of times I went out for dessert.  Again, notable because I rarely go out just for dessert.

2– Number of Illini games watched**** (one at the Assembly Hall, one at Bunny’s)

2– Number of things I’d never done before:  go snowboarding and listen to a professional story teller

0– Number of pounds I’ve gained.  Seriously. I definitely feel fatter/less healthy, but according to the scale, my weight is the same.

I don’t even want to think about the number of drinks or calories I consumed.  Thank goodness I didn’t have this “by the numbers” idea earlier or else I really would turn into the guy from Supersize Me. Lol.

More importantly, though, I’m amazed at the number of things I was able to cram into one month… and the number of people I convinced to “play along.”  It was really a great experiment and I’m glad I did it.  I highly doubt 31 days of 31 are in my future, though :)

In case you missed them (or just want to relive the fun), here are the weekly recaps:

——————-

Notes on the Methodology

*Includes only people in “my party” and does not include repeats (i.e. if I had lunch with Lisa one day and happy hour another, she is only counted once).

**For this purpose a bar is defined as a place primarily for drinking whereas a restaurant is an eating establishment.  I chose to count them based on why/when I was there.  (i.e. Farren’s is a bar/restaurant, but I was only there for lunch, so it gets counted as a restaurant.)

*** This number is probably lower than it should be.  I counted an event as drinks if drinking was the primary purpose of the activity (i.e. happy hour). It’s more than likely that dinner was also consumed.

**** Again, possibly artificially deflated.  There may have been an Illini game on during a happy hour that I did not record as a “game watch”

Here We Go, Again…

Goal: To blog every day this week (yes, I know it’s a holiday), starting with this Monday morning freewrite.

I got out of bed and had a million things running through my head: my review today, the work I need to get done, the laundry I didn’t fold. Then I took the dog for a walk. Ideas there, too… I even thought of a brilliant title for the blog I was going to write.

I get inside, give the dog a treat and open the computer. I remember that I need to check something for work. So I do… and get totally sidetracked. I’ve forgotten all the stuff I thought of first thing this morning and the witty blog title is gone. I guess this means I really should write FIRST THING in the morning. Like, before doing anything else.

Oh, and now I remember. The blog I was going to write was all about fear. It’s a recurring theme, but for some reason it’s not in my tag cloud. Maybe later.

I’ve also been thinking about different ways we can use the Web 2.0 technologies. Everyone is assuming we need to build everything into OUR site. Would it be so bad if we were simply a feature of another site? What if we developed a facebook app? Or simply a group? What if we used Ning to create our own social network instead of building it from the ground up? Could we use Yelp to get members to rate conference sessions? Journal articles?

I’m making it my personal duty to research these and make some reccomendations. I’m a user, after all… not a developer.

15 mins are up…

One More Time

Okay, I’ll try this again… I’ve been slacking on my freewriting lately and apparently I haven’t posted in almost a week. Ooops!

What have I been up to, you ask?  Well, I took a few days off of work.  I’d call them “mental health days” but that’s lame.  Basically I had a migraine that probably could have been managed with meds, but I decided to use it as an excuse to be lazy.

And lazy I was.  Tues and Weds I laid around A LOT.  Went back to work Thurs just in time to have people over for the Lost finale.  I actually tried posting my Lost comments here, but something happened and I gave up.  Sad thing is, I haven’t even had a chance to read the rest of the theories.  Maybe today.

Friday was crazy… Work was work. Then I had to babysit for a couple hours. And my friends came over to pre-dring/get ready for Bunco. And then there were storms.   Crazy storms.  People calling about the storms.  People calling about Bunco.   Chaos.

Saturday…  Oh, yeah.  Mowed the lawn.  Got sweaty.  Went to my friend’s pool.  Went to a wedding reception.  It was a LONG, LONG, LONG day.

Yesterday I went to the pool again and laid around A LOT.  I’m a sleeping fool.  Oh, and I went to Lowe’s to get some “supplies”  I’ve decided against getting professional landscaping done, but figured I should at least buy some flowers to spruce up the place.   I had no luck.  I’ll go again this week.  I also want to stain my fence, so I got some info. on that.   I wish I would have had more time/energy earlier in the weekend so some of this would be done.

Here’s my list of home-improvement projects (well, just the outside ones)

  • Buy/Plant flowers
  • Cut back bushes
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Power wash porch
  • Wash windows
  • Stain fence
  • Get garage painted

Man, my life is boring, huh? 

Let’s Talk about Stats, baby!

I was going to do another morning freewrite when I logged onto wordpress, checked my blog stats (as I do obsessively 3 or 4 times a day!).  So I decided to scrap the freewriting idea and focus on the sexiest idea I could think of–blog stats!!

Even before logging in, I was anticipating what I would find.   I’ve been getting really high hits because  I “borrowed” a couple of photos: one for a post on Lost and the other for a poetry post.   A poetry post describing my dislike for poetry, nonetheless. Yesterday was my “best day ever” in terms of blog stats.  Funny, ‘cuz I didn’t post anything yesterday.  Go figure!

Now, I’m happy that *anyone* is coming to my blog.  And I’m thrilled that people are looking at my Lost stuff, if even for a moment.  But that poetry post was a complete throwaway… Yeah, the image is super cool, but I just don’t get why people are coming to it.

I know that in the blogging world, it’s all about the numbers. How many hits, how many subscribers, etc., etc. But that was never my intention, which makes it even more ironic that I’m obsessed with that little bar graph.  I doubt that I have many regular readers.  I get more comments on my mySpace blog than I do here, but what tickles me is when I open my blog stats and see REAL stuff.  Yeah, it’s only 4 or 5 hits, but I think it’s cool that:

  • There is a Yahoo group devoted to Henry Ian Cusick, and they were talking about my blog, if only for a day
  • The guy at SF Signal agreed with my reasoning for loving Lost
  •  At least a few people are reading this from their Google readers and myYahoo feeds

I’m not really sure I want to “market” this blog.  Yes, I love to see that little line spike high, but this blog is a mismash, it doesn’t have purpose, it doesn’t have a defined angle.  Hell, it doesn’t even have good writing most of the time.   But I do love it when people stumble upon me, so I think I’ll go ahead and link to those uber-popular images again, so maybe–just maybe– someone might read this as well!

I’m looking at…

I stole this idea from http://simmonssays.wordpress.com/2008/05/21/writing-exercise/.  I’ll totes give her credit.

I’m looking at 30.  Yeah, that’s right. I’m getting fucking old.  One of those legendary stories growing up was how, at the age of 3 or 4, I said that Madonna should retire from being a singer because she was 30. Because she was ancient.  And here I am… 29 years old… turning 30 in a mere 9 months.

I don’t feel ancient. In fact, I don’t feel grown up.  I have a house. A dog. A mortgage. Shit, I’m dog sitting my moms pups tonight.  But I’m plowed.  Ruby Red Absolut + Fresca + Top Chef = One Hell of a Wednesday Night in my book.

So, if we take the question more literally, what amI looking at?  Well, the computer screen, obviously.  And my reflection in the mirror.  Since I was a little girl I’ve always been obsessed with my own appearance.  Not too bad, I say… maybe a little pale.  Definitely a little pudgier than I was last year.  But I’m a cute girl… or so I tell myself.

What else do I see?  I see a futon.  I see purses.  I see a room that needs to be cleaned.   I hear dogs in the other room playing with something they’re not supposed to.  Maybe I should go check on them.

So the dogs were in their crates. Good puppies.  Then my brother called to say he sold his house. Yay!

Now I’m looking at my dog and the black dog fighting.  This isn’t as interesting as I thought it would be.  I’ll try again later.  Maybe when I’m sober.

It’s been a while…

I haven’t done one of these freewrites for a while.  As usual, I have lots of stuff going through my head.

My dog has to have surgery.

I hope I’m making the right choice.

I  don’t have any money.

How did I manage to piss away my entire stimulus check without knowing it?  I

‘m trying to do some laundry. I need to clean. I have no plans for the long weekend.

There are countless unread books and unwatched movies at my house.

I’m bored at work.

I had a fun weekend, but I’m still not caught up on my sleep.

I’m having weird stomach issues.

I hate cold sores.

The dryer is buzzing.

I don’t want to go to work.

I’m annoyed by my coworkers.

My office is a mess.

I’m not smoking.

I’m probably drinking more.

My friend’s dad died, but I’m not sure the details yet.

I want to write a blog about why I heart Lost.

There were lots of inaccuracies in my last Lost blog.

I’ve had more interesting things to say before.

But I can’t seem to think of any now.

I don’t know how to fill up this 15 minutes.

So I’ll stop.

You’ve Got 20 Minutes

I stayed in last night. Finished packing, went to bed early. Then my cousin called and wanted me to come out. I don’t get to hang out with him much, but I was being good… then he kept calling. So I went out. At midnight. The night before I had to leave. Ugh.

Pretty fun time. Went out in my sweatshirt, ponytail and glasses. Saw a couple of old flings. Good times were had by all.

Hopefully there will be something more interesting to discuss once I make it to Hotlanta!

Saturday freewrite

Unfortunately, I’ve been up for over an hour already, but still haven’t managed to get anything done.  And I have TONS of shit to do. 

Last night was fun.  Work peeps.  Regular peeps.  Friends.  Friends of friends.  I didn’t do as good of a job “connecting” as I’d hoped, but-hey- I had a good time. 

Except next time I do happy hour I really need to eat.  I always tell myself this and I never do it.  After not eating, I went thru McDonald’s on the way home.  BAD idea for a couple of reasons 1) I hit the drive thru window with my car mirror and now I have to figure out how to put it back on and 2) I ate crappy food late and night and I’m now paying the price.  Ugh.

It’s really too bad that I couldn’t just walk home from the bar.  That would save me from driving AND late night eating.

Like I said, I have 100 things to do today and I just don’t feel like doing any of them.  But none are really “optional” so that sucks.  I’d kinda like to have a date with my couch and America’s Next Top Model,, but instead I’m doing yard work, picking up dry cleaning, cleaning the house, packing, and all that other fun stuff.  Yuk.

Oh, and I’m soooo perplexed by my blog stats.  I realize this isn’t interesting to anyone but me.  But everyone is going to LAST week’s Lost post and hardly anyone is going to the most recent one.  Wonder what that’s all about.  Weird.

Anyway, I’ve got lots of thoughts running through my head, but no way to put them together sensically (see what I mean… sensically??) so I’ll just stop now.  And attempt productivity.

Freewriting Frenzy

Monday. Ugh. I considered calling in, but that will just throw off my productivity for the rest of the week. Plus, I’m pretty sure I can’t spend another day on the couch. I wasn’t even tired last night so I took some Tylenol p.m. I went to sleep, but it wasn’t exactly “quality” sleep. Oh, well… now I’ll have some on hand for those sleepless nights.

Another week. I need to get lots of stuff done this week at work. It probably helps that I’m leaving on Sunday. I always tend to get more stuff done before I leave. I’m looking forward to happy hour on Friday. Genuinely looking forward to it, not just for something to do. It’s work peeps and I’m excited to hang out with one of my coworkers and his wife, who I’ve never met.

I’ve decided that I’m probably not gonna have enough money for my road trip. That sucks. Damn this economy. I’m also not going to be able to have my house painted. I’m gonna look into some landscaping options, but that’s not looking too promising. Again, damn this economy. I’m not even sure I’m feeling the pinch myself, but I keep hearing about it and thinking maybe I should be a little thriftier. Plus, I have debt I should pay down first.

I need to work on a relationship post sometime this week. As I’ve mentioned before, I really don’t have one right now, but there are lots of priors I can learn some. And maybe it will bring me some boyfriend karma. Who knows?

I’m having a really hard time writing for 15 mins straight. Maybe because I can’t think of anything to say, or maybe because I know I need to get ready and start my week, but I honestly don’t know how I’m going to fill the next 5 mins. Maybe I’ll just stop here.

(ps: I picked the Maxine cartoon above b/c my co-worker forwarded me a bunch of ridiculous Maxine cartoons the other day… I thought it was hilarious because it’s sooooooooo not me!!)

Friday Freewrite

Just rolled out of bed. I think I slept better last night. Thank God. Thoughts of Jason Bateman this morning. hmmmmm….

I need to be productive today. Work stuff and personal stuff. Got a call fromt he cable company last night that I hadn’t paid my bill. Oops. I really thought I had. The guy was super rude and hung up on me. I need to resolve this. Yes, I need to pay the bill, but I also need to let them know how rude he was.

WHat else… Lost last night was great! i’m so glad it’s back. I can’t wait to dissect it today. But, again, I need to get some work done.

Fun plans for today/tonight. Lunch w/girls and then Bunco. Animal print. I like my outfit. Should be fun.;

Got a pkg in the mail from my dad yesterday. Its a collection of poems written by his girlfriend. As you may recall, I HATE poetry. But my dad designed the cover, so it’s cool. I’m proud.

I broke a chair last night. Sitting in it. Not even sitting down in it. Just sitting there on the computer and the slats broke. It’s a cheap chair. I mean, I’m not stick thin but there’s no reason I should break a chair. Yuk.

I’m hoping to get some more stuff done this weekend. I have zero plans for Sat./Sun. so hopefully I can get some stuff done around here. Oh, and I got an estimate on the house painting. It’s really high. I’m thinking I’ll probably do it myself. I don’t WANT to do it myself, but, well….

I need to get myself on a spending plan. Especially now that I have a car payment. I really need to be more aware of what I’m spending and actively work to pay down my debt. Especially if I want to move/make a change in my life. I can’t do that with debt hanging over my head.

Maybe this weekend I can find some time to do some research on writing. I’m not 100% convinced that it has to be completely fictitious. I was chatting with a friend yesterday and realized i have TONS of stories to tell. Yes, i could make them a little more interesting. Maybe _______________ (that word i can’t think of that’s like a fictional autobiography… why can’t i think of it?) creative nonfiction is more my game.

15 mins are up. This was actually kinda hard this morning. I didn’t have much to say/write/think about. Maybe after my shower.