Projects Past, Present, and Future

It’s almost December now and I’ve been thinking a lot about my new years resolutions and how I’ve mostly kept them. I say mostly because I have already bent the rules on my 365 Project tumblr,

today's 365 post!

bought 13 items that contribute to my wardrobe this year (instead of 12) and am behind on reading 24 books right now. Still, I’m actually pretty pleased with my progress so far and already have plans for bigger and better resolutions for next year!

The relative success of these resolutions have me thinking about projects that I’ve tried to hatch and incubate in the past. I have one in particular that I’ve been thinking about picking up again next year, which involves video and interviewing people. As grandma gets older I feel more and more that it’s really important for us to capture her stories I had been thinking that it would be good to capture some moments and stories with her while she is still able to share them. She’s 85 now and I still don’t know much about her life back in Vietnam. I feel that we should get something to remember her by on video. I’d like to learn how to set up a shot, basic lighting, and how compose and edit a compelling video interview.

I’m hoping to do more of these interviews with people in my life and questions that I often wonder about. This sounds vague but the whole concept itself is pretty general so let’s go with that for now.

One Year Long

I’ve been thinking about my 365 resolution and I’ve decided that it would be best to create a tumblr for this project so let me introduce to you, One Year Long.

I figure it will be easier to post while mobile with the tumblr app than the wordpress app later in the year.

I think I am way over concentrating on this resolution and procrastinating on my 24 Book resolution. This is bad. I need to start reading. I’m actually thinking it might be good to go to the gym and read or ride the train somewhere so I can read. I guess I could go all the way both ways on the Gold Line.

The reading procrastination is doing something good for my room cleaning though as in order to avoid reading I am cleaning my room. Desk area is pretty clear now. w00t.

Two birds with one stone: Book 1 & 1/365

To start off two of my resolutions that I’ve made, I’m going to talk about books and consider this my first post of the 365 project.

I’ve actually been reading two books simultaneously in December. They are William Gibson’s Zero History (part three of the Bigend books) and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. I’ve been really enjoying Zero History, as I knew I would since the main character is one from a previous Gibson book that I love and it’s from an author I really like. In Defense of Food has actually been a lot tougher to get through. I had just finished Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma last month and I really enjoyed it so I thought I’d stick with someone I was already familiar with but I think the subject matter is the problem here. Just not as interested in nutrition as I am in cooking and eating, I guess. Since I don’t want to stop reading Zero History and I want it to count for one of my 2011 books I will start rereading as my first book of the year!

By the way, happy new year! 2010 ended suckily as I did not make it to Cat and Fiddle for English New Year with my friends due to an emergency car repair that needed to be performed. I got in my car to head over to Patrick’s to bring him some soup then intended to get over to Cat and Fiddle for English New Year but about a block from my place my car suddenly lost power and started revving low when stopped and having a hard time switching gears. The engine was also smoking a lot. It was pretty nerve wracking.

I got to Radi’s at about 4 pm and they found out it was a FUBARed spark plug. I have to go back next week. Great. So I missed English New Year and haven’t seen my friends for about 3 weeks or something, I have car repairs that need to be made and the boy is sick so we didn’t go to Kate and Andrew’s PJ party. I did enjoy spending much needed time with Patrick, watching 30 Rock and eating chicken noodle soup and drinking tea, but it would have been nice to see me friends tonight.


Let me start with the fact that I’ve only ever made 3 NYRs in my life, I think. When I was younger I thought it was dumb to do something because other people did them (“I’m not going to make a New Years Resolution, that’s so cliché”). When I got older I joined the “I don’t need some arbitrarily agreed on reason to start doing something new. I can do something whenever I want! I’m a free person!”

But sometimes you just do things because you should try everything in life at least once. This year I am not making just one NYR but several! Statistically speaking, my chances of following through with a NYR will be greatly higher if I just make more of them.

So here we go!

1. So I was thinking I will read 40 books by the end of the year. Now, I hadn’t actually thought about this until yesterday at work when someone suggested I go for the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge. That was when I actually realized the rate I would need to be reading in order for me to actually pull off this 40 books/1 year idea. Instead, by this day next year I will be finishing the last few pages of my 24th books. This puts me at 2 books a month. Still a challenge but a much more manageable one especially for me since I am a slow reader. Comic books will not count for this project but audiobooks will because it takes just as long to listen as it does to read in my head.

2. I am also going to actually follow through with a 365 project which will consist of  some daily record of my life be it a photo, writing, audio or video. I imagine the toughest part of this will be remembering to post something. I assume I will probably go camping at some point which will keep me from being able to post on exactly the day but every day will still be accounted for at the end of the year. I’ll probably post these here.

3. Only one new article of clothing may be bought per month.  I think this will be THE hardest of the resolutions. Mostly because I’m terrible at knowing what will actually be the most loved item in my closet until at least a 3-4 month residency. This is going to take some research and no more impulse buys or boredom shopping. I think the less clothes I buy, the more I can spend on one piece and that one piece better be f*ckin worth it.

The rest of the rules for 2011 are general guidelines for living that don’t exactly apply to just a year of amusing tricks (the resolutions above are probably not going to continue for more than the one year – though #3 probably should stick around for as long as possible). The other rules will be things like no more making excuses for not working out. No more making excuses about eating when not hungry, just make sure you’re actually hungry when you eat. Clean your room, once every two weeks at least. Pursue things that you’re actually interested in. General year round “spring cleaning”, pair down your material things, get rid of things that you never use.

no more of this

2011 is looking to start off pretty good, starting a 401K next week, still got a job, took care of my car, starting to make exercise a part of my regular life (well, not since before Christmas but I will be going back to Bikram yoga soon and I still have my gym membership), family is well, got an excellent boy.