Tag Archives: creativity

2016 Reading List

23 Apr

It’s an older post I never finished, but I thought I would publish it because this might give ideas to people at home because of Coronavirus.

One of my big goals for 2016 is to read more.  Yes, textbooks and class notes, but also (and mostly) books for enjoyment and betterment.


Here is the big challenge list:

Click to access reading%20challenge%202016.pdf

I might stick to that, but I also have my own ideas as well.


Books I’m interested in trying:








-jane eyre

-lord of the flies

-a passage to india

-gullivers travels

-the absolutely true story of a part time indian

-death of a salesman


-the godfather









-the hunger games

-the road

-kite runner


-the help

-the shining

-into the wild

-a clockwork orange

-shutter island

-the godfather

goals achieved in 2019 and goals for 2020

2 Jan

-kept up on in-a-row runs

On January 2nd, I will have run at least 1 mile every day in a row for 6 years and 1 day!  2192 days in a row!  Go me.  At this point, this one would be harder to break than follow.  So it you’re dedicated, in-a-rows really do work.  Pick one habit that’s really important to you and try it.


-continued making a weekly menu, grocery list, and sticking to that at the store.  And shopping at Winco.

We stuck to this pretty well, and it worked.  We just have to continue maintaining it.

-Continued to put on makeup and fix my hair every day for work.  
I wore makeup every day.  And I fix my hair!
-Drink 12 cups of water a day.
This one varies depending where I am, what I’m doing, the temperature, etc…  I have mostly been very good about drinking water.
-went to the doctor.
Did it.  Will probably have to do it again soon.  Don’t enjoy it.  Mostly because I hate logistics and having my schedule messed up.  But I need to get my Rx renewed and also find a dermatologist.
-dentist twice a year.
fail.  I need to find a new dentist now that I have a real job with real insurance.  It’s on my calendar.

-Floss daily.

I flossed 197 days last year.  53.97% of the time.  That’s just about 3.5 days per week.  I mean, I’ll take it.  Tiredness is most certainly a factor.  But hopefully it’s a little better in 2020.  I will try to get it done earlier in the day this year–that might help.

-workout at least 5 days a week.
We worked out (above and beyond the mile) 165 days last year says my Daylio app.  That’s 45% of the time, which is a lot better than I thought!  We can (and will) do better, but I’ll take nearly half of the time.  It’s built into our work day schedule, but it gets a lot harder on holidays and sometimes weekend, or when it’s very cold or hot, or the afore-mentioned appointments.  I think once we get into the routine we’ll want to do it and it will be easy to keep up.
-cook at home and meal prep on weekends to make the week easier.
Mostly.  And it sure helps a lot.  We live cheaper and make better choices when the food is waiting for us.  As I was standing at work today, I decided I need to give us more credit for this one.  It’s a lifestyle change and it’s cool that we’ve managed it a lot of the time.  I keep food ideas on my Google calendar.  Then we make a menu or what we feel like, or what a holiday or event dictates.  Then break it down into ingredients.  And that becomes the shopping list.  Which I write in the order of the layout of the store we go to so it’s fast to grab things.  Then we 98% stick to the list at the store, only putting things in the cart that are on our list.  Then we do a cooking.  And put things into split tupperwares for every day at lunch (saves money, saves calories), and put the rest in bigger tupperwares to grab throughout the week.  It takes some time but I get hangry a lot and having things at the ready keeps my decisions cheaper and healthier.
-pay off the Visa. 
I submitted double the minimum every month, but there is still money on it.  Moving and unemployment made it a little crazier than I’d like.  But it’s a work in progress.  It wasn’t for lack of trying.
Failed.  I started off with very technical 800 page book, then slogged through it.  By the time I finished I was a little burned out.  Then, all the commuting ate up my time.  And changing jobs was a whole big thing.  Etc, etc…  This next year we’re going to ease back into it by reading at least 10 min a day because that’s just 1% of my waking hours so I don’t feel overwhelmed by that.


Ok, so all of that.  And in 2020:


Save money for a car before November.

Do that by eating out and ordering in less.  Get what we can from the dollar store.  Price compare between Amazon, Walmart, and Costco when getting non-grocery items.  Do bountiful baskets to eat more produce and save money.  Use less, waste less.


More time for creative endeavors.

Spend 1% of waking hours doing each thing.  We’re setting the interval timer app to do 4 times of 10 minutes.  Each 10 min segment works out to 0.9% of our waking hours.  So even though I get antsy and feel like I need to be doing something “important” it is so much easier to think of it as a small portion of my day.  Makes it more manageable.  I think as we get in the groove, we can add more activities or lengthen time spent, but one thing at a time.  I just want to make a habit of including creativity into every day.


I might add more goals later, depending on how the ones on this list go.  And I think I’m going to do the monthly evaluation blogs again, because those really helped me keep tabs and stay accountable.

Eff It or F Grade

16 Sep

I have to say eff it to this project or to studying.  And whichever I eff will receive an F (or at least not the A I want).  Ideally, I’d like an A in both, but it seems I’m running out of time.  They are both due Monday (5 days away).  And I lose 2.5 of those days to work.

I know my instructors have good intentions.

But assigning these shirts and swim caps with anatomy structures to be designed on them as a “learning aid” doesn’t work. I’m not learning any structures. I’m doing ratios, measuring, sketching, picking aesthetically pleasing color combinations, and repeating my work when I get an error toward the end.  Always toward the end!

high contrast group

I did 5 muscle shirts before I felt my best work was showcased and I’d be happy with my grade. We got this brain swim cap assignment 9 days before it’s due. Because of work, I miss 4 of those days. I had an exam so I missed 2 more days. That leaves me a mere 3 days.

I spent 4.5 hours on the cap yesterday, only to write “primary” instead of “premotor” in one spot. I tried to erase it with acetone, but that made a huge, purple, ugly smudge that obscured the entire word.

I felt I had to start over. Because I know these projects do this to me, I purchased 3 swim caps on the same (summer) day. Well, after spending another 4 hours on the new one tonight, I accidently got the anterior and posterior turned around, and wrote something on the wrong side of the central sulcus. Then, I tried to fix it by just making the same color line come off the central sulcus, like I meant to have an area outlined in the same color as a sulci. But when I labeled it, I labeled it on the wrong side of that stupid line.

I tried to camouflage the whole errant area, but now it looks really obvious I screwed it up, and since it was such a time-vortex that makes me crazy. 9 hours of artwork and nothing to show for it. . .

THE shirt anteriorTHE shirt posterior

So both my caps are all messed up, neither is helping my study the material I need to know for our test, and I’m pretty much out of time. And I HATE having to turn in an ugly cap that I know is effed up!!! But I also know it’s an OCD-waste of time to begin a 3rd when it might get messed up as well, and when I need to study flashcards and memorize notes to learn.  And yet I feel like I have to re-do it.  I’m probably going to waste more time by turning the plastic cap inside out and starting a 3rd time on that.  I can’t turn something ugly and wrong in for a grade.

So that sucks.

Spa Weekend Deconstructed

16 May

After a traumatic first week of summer break, Cool and I needed some pampering and distraction.  We decided to unleash our second theme weekend–Spa at Home.  Here are the details for us to reference later:

-We pre-gamed at the Grocery Outlet, buying all their cheap masks and gloves and conditioning treatments.  As well as a boat-load of produce.  It was cheap!

-I would buy the produce differently next time:  Look up recipes first, then shop for the specific cut outingredients.  Because once we got a cucumber home, I didn’t really know what to do with it, didn’t have other items to mix with it, and had a time-crunch problem to find a use before it rotted.

-We did no cleaning, organizing, or work that weekend.  None.  This was difficult for me as I have a perpetual to-do list and it was looong.

-Picking out spiritual, healthful, cultured movies made the weekend more retreat-like.  We watched:  a documentary about Buddha, the biography of Beethoven, A food documentary about limiting mass produced phony, preservative-laced foods and increasing healthy stuff, and we watched a documentary  about being human that profiled two guys being homeless for a week, visiting a Leper colony, doing community service in South America, etc. . .  The movies really set a good tone for the weekend.

If You Can't Make It Here, You Can't Make It Anywhere-Scalps were massaged, facial masks were applied, we wanted to make a homemade backne mask (but settled on an old mud mask), a foot soak and pedicure were completed, and a relaxing deep massage was given and received.  A very good start, but next time we will do manicures and other procedures to flesh out the weekend.

-And of course we ate.  Smoothies, veggies, stir-fry, salads, and new recipes (including the best crepes of my life!) were attempted and consumed.  Avacado/coconut/kiwi smoothies need refining. . .

All in all, it was a success that we should try to improve upon in the future.  And a LOT cheaper than the real-deal.

No April Progress Report

4 May

I don’t want to talk about missing the mark again this last month. Looking at failures over and over can bring a person down and make you want to give up.  So in light of REALLY wanting to achieve the goals I have set for myself this year here is how I can set myself up for success in May, through the summer, and in the long-term:

-I will floss my teeth earlier in the day.  Even if I feel tired, I will at least run the floss quickly through my mouth.  Even if I feel I’m not doing an optimum job.  Because somethimes I don’t because I feel too tired to give my best effort so I think–why bother.  BUT  It’s the repetition that will turn this into a daily must-do.

-I will look up recipes I want to cook, list those ingredients, and go Sunday morning to the Grocery pretty salmon saladOutlet and get the ingredients.   This will keep me excited to eat at home–and it will ultimately be cheaper.

-As a hybrid eat more economically, and do nice things with and for Cool, I will try to have a theme once a month.  This first weekend off of school is camping.  We will sleep in the living room, make microwave s’mores, banana boats, and maybe fondue some brots in cheese.  And shish-ka-bobs!  Those are awesome IMG_2150and festive and I like to look at them and eat them.  Next, is spa weekend retreat (at hotel C-LA-ul) can be a brunch, breakfast for dinner, homemade facial masks, sauna, massage, foot soak, and manicures.  Fun at home.  On the cheap.  And together time.  Festive!

-Cool and I will make a list of outdoor activities, crafting, projects, and pseudo-events (faux-Labor Dave Weekend with DVDs and dancing at home) we want to actively engage in.

-Instead of trying NOT to drink, I will try to drink a variety of things.  This will fill me so full of liquid there will hardly be room for alcohol.  Part two of this is to increase beauty, crafting, and cleaning so there isn’t the TIME to fill either.  I think it will be a lot easier trying to fill my belly and my day rather than trying to avoid food/drink/activities.  What’s left will all be in moderation, and special, and cheaper.

Denver nightscape

-I will do all the volunteering, organization, cleaning, DIY, gifting, moving preparedness, and studying tasks over the summer.  And cleaning and organizing.  And consolidating.  Operation:  Get rid of $hit, down-size, and make for a manageable one-bedroom apartment living and moving scene–commence!

-I will read magazines, and one actual book (for enjoyment) a month.  I can read every night prior to sleeping, and also at lunch (when I’m not getting ahead for school), plus some park-reading.  I will utilize my library card!  Hopefully I’ll read a bunch.  And I will begin blogging more frequently again–and maybe even edit.  Maybe.  Let’s not get carried away.

a cozy cat-I will brush shave the cats when we get a shedding situation and play with the kitties more, as well as put my best effort into the litter-box situation. I have a drawing of the living room and I cut out scaled furniture items and am working on the game-plan.  Sloppy needs a straight shot to her toilet and food that is near her electric throw blanket and protected from the baby–but away from MY electronics, books, and special items.  And kitchen.  And I will pay off their bill and update their vaccines–people that work at vet hospitals are THE worst about keeping up with their pet’s routine things!

-Obviously, I will hit my running goals, get back into the Wii Fit, and try circuits more whole-heartedly now that I have a little time.  I will do a little each day, early in the day, and whether I feel like it or not.

-I will try to get into a schedule that addresses each of these areas daily to establish a healthier, more goal-oriented routine that is easy to maintain once time is short again.  I work best from a routine, so I just need to establish one early on in the summer.

OCD for Credit

4 Sep

In Anatomy, we have this assignment where we have to draw specified muscles and skeletal structures on a plain white crew neck tee.  We do not have access to a cadaver in class, which is usually THE point of Anatomy.  So I guess this is a crafty way to get around the school’s limitations.  And maybe this assignment is fun for someone, somewhere.  I HATE this project.

I like anatomy, am a kinetic (learn by doing) learner, and love art–and yet.  I hate it mostly because it touched off an OCD frenzy.  I just want to get a good grade.  No, it’s more then that–I want to get a good grade, do my very best work, AND impress the rest of my class, the former students helping us, and our prof.  That’s all.  So maybe a little bit of unreasonable expectations–but try to explain that to my OCD.  And once you indulge OCD at all–it cannot be stopped.  And bleeds into other areas of life.  There is nothing fun or useful about OCD.

I got wind of this undertaking last May.  And it made me worried back then.  I tried to prepare ahead of time over the summer, marking page numbers for the best views in the book, making lists, measuring and doing ratios, sketching various anatomical structures, and just trying to set myself up for success (as Mary would say–but f that b). I even started a shirt over the summer, but because that is cheating (to start and finish an entire shirt when class was not in session) made sure it was a v-neck so I wouldn’t be tempted to turn that one in.

After receiving the assignment I was stressed, but ready.  Because I had a game plan.  But I guess my professor’s game plan (and procedure of at LEAST the last 3 years of giving this assignment) was different from my own.  She gave us class time, “. . .  To put on our shirts and trace each other’s spine, ribs, etc. . .”  And there was just NO way I was going to have any stranger/classmate touching me.  So I had planned to decline to get traced, but offer to trace someone else.  But I changed my mind when an old, fat redhead sat next to me that day.  I didn’t want to (have anything to do with her, really) trace her because I realized I would really have to press hard to get through her fat.  And that would be awkward.  So I quietly worked on my spine math.  Meaning I measured how long the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum were on the best book picture, then using the length of my shirt figured the ratio my shirt’s spine needed to be.

First, a former anatomy student stood in front of me and said, “Don’t you guys [me and the fat-redhead] want to trace each other?”  Fatty looked eager like she definitely wanted some tracing, but I just said, “No, not really.”  I did not want to give any mixed signals that under any circumstances was this stranger getting touched by me–of vice versa.  It’s not like I was being insubordinate–this was time to work on the shirts, and most people were tracing–but that was just a suggestion, not a mandatory assignment.  I’m not sure touching each other could be mandatory. . .  And of course, my professor came over and asked if my neighbor and I wanted to trace each other.  Then saw what I was doing and got a critical/judgmental look on her face and tone in her voice.  She said measuring was too much work, too complicated, and too inaccurate for MY own body.  Looking annoyed she continued MY body might be different from the book so doing math probably wasn’t going to work.  And even after I told her I was doing ratios using the length of my shirt with the intention of putting down the spine and ribs and then basing every other structures upon those landmarks, she looked critical of my idea.

Honestely, I cannot understand my professor’s logic on that.  How can making a subjective assignment more quantitative be a BAD thing? I think she had a tone of criticism only because she hadn’t thought of the idea first.  And I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to her, as a PhD and all.  And next year she’ll probably recommend they do a quick ratio to get a landmark down on their shirt to base the rest off.  It makes good sense.  I think anyway.  So now I’m not only struggling to make my shirt really awesome and accurate, I am paranoid.  I know my prof will be just looking for a reason to prove herself right about the math.  So she will be scrutinizing my shirt for errors.  So now it has to be even better.

I am on shirt #4.  These muscle shirts for Anatomy are going to make me insane.  BUT I didn’t let it ruin my Dave Matthews Band concert at the Gorge Ampitheatre like I always have in the past.  I totally put the stress of the shirt, impending anatomy exam, school at large, and work completely out of my mind.  I’ll keep you updated on the shirt for sure.

Ideas for Artwork

25 Feb

-a mascot

-an endangered or extinct species

-a mosaic

-a bear head and paw shown scratching the cloudy sky.  The claw marks reveal a sun set behind the clouds.

-cave painting

-an otter swimming in an espresso cup 

-pollen floating in a microscopic view

-something similar to Lisa Frank

-dream vacation

-swimming with turtles

-rainbow or sunset

-Some sort of Burning Man sort of theme painting

-koy fish

-the planets

-a skyline

-a tattoo painting

-make a painting of how I want MY tats to look

-something Native American

-An eyeball with a reflection of something in it.

-dissected food

-a feather in microscopic detail