30×30

Last weekend, I went to Atlantic City with friends. There they met up with a friend, R. R bet $500 on black at the roulette table. And lost. R is not a high roller, nor is he a compulsive gambling addict. What he is, is almost 31. Why is this important? Because “betting $500 on black” was on his list of 31 things to do before he turns 31. This list is the successor to his 30 things before 30. 30 things to keep himself from getting too complacent in life, 30 things to remind him that today is better than tomorrow.

And that brings me to me. And my 30×30 list. Why not right?

  1. Stay awake for 24 hours – I feel like it’s appropriate to start the list with something I accomplished and on the same day as R’s unlucky bet. (I don’t care if you think that’s cheating. I think I’m getting a good head start.) At Atlantic City, no one slept. Seriously. We got there. I gambled from like 12-4am. Met up with friends again, gambled from 5-7am. (No, I did not win anything.) Got bedded down around 7:30am. About the same time I woke up on Friday to go to work. The room had a nice view of the ocean. I saw night turn to day. And I wondered, if I can do this, disregard sleep and eating for hours, while gambling, why can’t I do it for something important? Staying up for 24 hours helped rekindle… I don’t know what exactly… but something. It felt good to do something out of the ordinary.
  2. Freelance as a day job – May 2012. This is one of two big challenges for the 30×30 list. Even if it’s just for a few months while I’m in between jobs, or if it’s my own LLC. I just want to know that I tried it, risked it.
  3. Get my motorcycle license
  4. Sleep under the stars sans tent
  5. Visit a farm sanctuary – Jan 2013
  6. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity (goal change Jan 2013: Volunteer with a worthy organization of my choosing.)
  7. 10-Day Master Cleanse Fast (goal change Jan 2013: Need to find replacement, don’t think this is healthy.)
  8. Get a tattoo
  9. Integrate yoga into my life (goal change Jan 2013: Need to find replacement, merging this with martial arts/boxing.)
  10. Watch a roller derby game – October 2010
  11. Hang my artwork in a gallery – April 2012
  12. Learn a martial arts or boxing or yoga.
  13. Design a t-shirt
  14. Watch all the Back to the Future– March 2010
  15. Plant a tree – May 2013
  16. Master gnocchi making (goal change Jan 2013: Master cooking.)
  17. Visit all 50 states. 13 down, 37 to go. – This is the other big thing on the 30×30 list. 37 states is actually a lot to do. 7+ states each year. Who’s ready for a road trip?
  18. Complete a half-marathon – January 2012
  19. Apprentice with a photographer
  20. Go to the U.S. Open – August 2012
  21. Go on a vineyards tour – September 2010
  22. Bike the MD-PA trail (goal change Jan 2013: Or any long, long stretch of multi-state trails.)
  23. Find a creative collaborator / partner in crime
  24. Go to the firing range – September 2010
  25. Have writing published
  26. Be a guest speaker/lecturer
  27. Bet a $100 at a roulette table – In honor of R. It seems only fitting. Except, you know, with less money.
  28. Payoff my student loan – February 2011
  29. Make/sew a quilt
  30. Get a pet – November 2012

Travel Plans: I separated these from the 30×30, because big travel plans sometimes involve more money, time, etc. So as long as these happen sometime, I’d be pretty happy.

  1. Visit Scotland (and Ireland if time.)
  2. Visit the Great Wall of China
  3. Ride a wild elephant (thus go somewhere where that is possible.)
  4. See the Northern Lights

Expect a post sometime soon on all the things I have accomplished. I tend to sell myself short, often, and it’d probably be good for the self-esteem to pat myself on the back.

30×30

Today is like Yesterday but not Tomorrow

I’m having a lot of trouble getting things done recently. It’s not that I’m depressed and unmotivated, it’s just I’m having trouble sitting down and starting on what I need to do. And I have lots I want to do–all these ideas jumbled up in my head–but I can’t seem to bring myself to do them. Most importantly would be my school work. I know I need to do it, but it seems overwhelming, even though it shouldn’t be. The first thing I need to do is just sort through what I’m keeping and what I’m not. I mean seriously, how hard could that be? But nope, didn’t do it over the weekend, didn’t do it yesterday, and here it is 9:00 PM. I don’t care if I don’t do anything else tonight, that it was I’m going to get down.

Open my case.
Create three piles: USE, KEEP, TOSS
From the USE pile, I’m going to separate them into DONE & NOT DONE.

And that’s it. I’ll save the other stuff for tomorrow. Wow that seems so easy!

On a side note, a few days ago, I made a post about being in love with every shade of Gray. Gray it’s really my thing right now. But alas! I read an article on “Different Colors Describe Happiness, Depression” and no surpise, grey is associated with depressed people. (I also recently read how depressed and anxious personalities had grey auras.) But! Yellow is associated with the happiest people, and I would say that yellow is currently my other favorite color. Does this chromatic inconsistency suggest a bi-polar-ness within me? Or rather, perhaps my hues are perfectly balanced. Food for thought. FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

Today is like Yesterday but not Tomorrow

Emo Goes to North Carolina

This past weekend, I visited my sister, her husband and two kids – E and N. Below are some photos. Had a hard time judging the best ones. In fact, I think there are a few that are better than the ones I’m posting, but I’m going to stick with these for now. I’m surprised by how some of them came out — really good and really bad. Photographing inside with incandescent lighting makes for some crappy surprises. And it is very hard to take photos of kids who are running around non-stop.


Camera specs: Exposure – Auto, Focal Length – 30.0 mm, Max Aperture – f/4.4, file – RAW


Camera specs: Exposure – Auto, Focal Length – 37.0 mm, Max Aperture – f/4.6, file – RAW


Camera specs: Exposure – Auto, Focal Length – 55.0 mm, Max Aperture – f/5.7, file – RAW


Camera specs: Exposure – Auto, Focal Length – 48.0 mm, Max Aperture – f/5.4, file – RAW


Camera specs: Exposure – Auto, Focal Length – 44.0 mm, Max Aperture – f/5.2, file – RAW


Camera specs: Exposure – Auto, Focal Length – 42.0 mm, Max Aperture – f/5.0, file – RAW
Really like the light on this last one, didn’t clean it up other than a quick crop.

Emo Goes to North Carolina

Dr. Spaceman Visits the Office

P brought his Shiba Inu, Dr. Spaceman (Space for short) into the office today for his birthday. I snapped off a bunch of photos. I didn’t do much editing besides some slight color tweaking and I played around with the vignetting feature in cameraRAW for some of them. Enjoy!


Camera specs: Exposure – Auto, Focal Length – 55.0 mm, Max Aperture – f/5.7, file – RAW


Camera specs: Exposure – Auto, Focal Length – 55.0 mm, Max Aperture – f/5.7, file – RAW


Camera specs: Exposure – Auto, Focal Length – 55.0 mm, Max Aperture – f/5.7, file – RAW


Camera specs: Exposure – Auto, Focal Length – 55.0 mm, Max Aperture – f/5.7, file – RAW

< Note, I’m hoping that by writing out the camera specs, I’ll start learning more about them. You can ignore them, really they’re for me. >

Dr. Spaceman Visits the Office

Shame – The Most Important Emotion of them All

I’m reading Fast Food Nation, and it says on page 241, “Obesity is now second only to smoking as a cause of mortality in the United States.” So, our leading causes of death–smoking and obesity–are choices. Americans aren’t dying becuase we don’t have access to clean water, food or shelter. We’re dying because of the lifestyle choices that we make. I literally don’t understand this.

Are we stupid? Do we not understand that the choices we make are killing ourselves. Granted, we’re all going to kill ourselves, we’re all going to die, yadda yadda. But we’re making choices that will kill us sooner, which seems sort of ridiculous. Maybe for some things it would be worth it to make the wrong choice that might end your life early. For example, skydiving. Maybe the excitement and thrill is important enough for a person to toy with their life. Plus, they know the odds are in their favor. A person who goes skydiving could learn a lot about themselves in that sort of experience. But what joy or benefit do we get from eating fast food or smoking? What rewards are we reaping that we’re willing to cut out 20 years of our lives. It doesn’t make sense to me. And makes me think people are stupid. Okay, stupid is unfair. It makes me think that people are weak… and unhappy.

I think shame is a good thing. While I was reading Fast Food Nation, I was eating chocolate ice cream out of the carton pint box. And I ate some and ate some, and thought to myself, I could probably finish this. This is really good ice cream. And I had a few more bites and then I thought to myself, Heather, do you really want to sit here and eat an entire pint of ice cream? I mean really? That’s pretty ridiculous. and the little devil on my shoulder was like, yeah I do! Hahaha. But I put it back into the freezer and in a few minutes forgot about wanting it. And there were those few seconds of shame where I thought about the embarrassment of eating a whole pint of ice cream. It’s not something I would want to proudly proclaim to everyone, nor something I would want to make a habit of.

(And don’t think this is an attack on eating or quality food, which ice cream is. There is always a special time and place–pie eating contests, thanksgiving, whatever–where it is appropriate to gorge and enjoy. However, a Saturday afternoon in January spent reading a book is not the time nor place to eat a pint of ice cream by yourself.)

Similarly, my adult sister is a smoker. She won’t smoke in front of my parents and doesn’t want them to know. She knows that they’ll be furious or disappointed or both. So, she hides it from them. (Good move S, even if you’re older than 30, Dad would kick your ass if he knew. 😉 ) But if you’re hiding something, that sort of means that you’re embarrassed by it, ashamed. You’re not proud that you’re a smoker, you’re not proud that you ate a pint of ice cream. And the thing about this is, why aren’t you proud of it?

Shame comes down to knowing you’ve made or are making the wrong choice. That’s why you get that feeling of embarrassment, that’s why you want to hide whatever it is that you’re doing. It’s embarrassing becuase we all want to be good people, we want other people to think we’re good people. We want to make the right choice, the good choice–the apple over the ice cream, not smoking over smoking–and yet, sometimes we give in and we make the wrong choice.

And that’s where shame comes in. “God” gave us the emotion of shame for a reason. So that we know we’re going astray, we know that we’re making that wrong choice and so that we don’t continue to make that wrong choice. We feel shame so that we know we need to correct our choices. That is the motivation behind shame. If people start acknowledging their shame, it could save their lives.

Shame – The Most Important Emotion of them All