Thursday, January 02, 2014

Listings of Fun, Part II

Part way through January last year, I decided that I needed a personal fun list as well the family fun list- I'd been feeling a bit out of sorts, like I'd lost touch with the things I liked. So I wrote a list of 12 things to do that I thought would make me feel happy and back in touch with myself, with the intention of doing one per month.

I liked that tradition, too, so I've decided to keep it as well as the family fun list.

Here's an accounting of how I did on last year's list:
  1. Buy some new underwear, already (Done! In January, and boy, did it make me happy.)
  2. Have a weekend away without the kids or my husband (I spent two days and one night in San Francisco visiting one of my best friends, and it was wonderful.)
  3. Catch up on William Gibson's books (Done! And I really enjoyed them. Pay no attention to the sidebar that says I'm reading Zero History. I finished that ages ago. I should just delete those sidebars at this point, I so rarely update them.)
  4. Clean up the top of my dresser and jewelry box, and fix the jewelry that needs fixing, so that maybe I'll start wearing my jewelry more often. (Done! And I have been wearing my jewelry again, which makes me happy. I even bought some new earrings in New Zealand.)
  5. Get a personal shopper and sort out the foundations of my wardrobe, so that I can be happy when I get dressed again (Not done, and by the way I kept putting this off, maybe not something I really want to do? I don't know.)
  6. Take a bubble bath (Done! Several times. But I honestly think I wouldn't have taken a single bubble bath in 2013 without this item on a list to remind me to do it.)
  7. Take a San Diego beer tour with Mr. Snarky (Not done- we could never get the timing to work out.)
  8. Make a mix CD or playlist with new music that I like (Not done- I got about half way through selecting songs.)
  9. Go kayaking with Mr. Snarky (Done! Mr. Snarky and I kayaked around Huntington Harbor on a Orange County getaway)
  10. Go rollerblading (Not done. Boo.)
  11. Go to a classical concert (Not done)
  12. Go out to brunch (Done, also on an Orange County getaway, and then again in Scottsdale over our Thanksgiving break)
So that's 7 out of 10 for my personal fun list. Maybe I can do better this year! Here is my list for 2014:

  1. Make a mix CD/playlist of new music (I'm going to try again! I'm sure I can finish this time.)
  2. Clean out and organize my sock drawer (I felt so great about getting my underwear sorted out last year, this year I'm moving on to socks!)
  3. Take a San Diego beer tour with Mr. Snarky (Maybe I'll organize this for his birthday this year.... I can say that because he never reads my blog.)
  4. Go rollerblading (I WILL remember this year.... I will!)
  5. Go kayaking with Mr. Snarky (because we both love to kayak, and it is one of the few active things we can do together without stress. We get separate kayaks- the tandems are arguments waiting to happen- but I can keep up reasonably well, and he doesn't mind stopping now and then to wait since the scenery is so nice.)
  6. Learn how to make a second type of New Zealand savory pie. (I've got steak and cheese down. One of these days, I'll post the recipe. I am not sure what type of filling to tackle next, but I think it is time to branch out!)
  7. Learn how to make a great margarita (because the ones in the restaurants we can go with the kids are usually pretty disappointing. I will also continue my search for the best margarita in a family friendly setting in San Diego, though....)
  8. Take a bubble bath (so that I remember this year, too)
  9. Go indoor rock climbing (this was the most popular suggestion when I asked my Twitter friends what other sporty thing I should try)
  10. Try a new restaurant (we go out so rarely that we tend to stick with our "old favorites." I think it is time to try some new places)
  11. Try stand up paddleboarding (I see this all the time on Mission Bay, and also in Orange County... I want to try!)
  12. Catch up on Scalzi's Old Man's War universe. (I think I just need Zoe's Tale and Human Division to be up to date...)
I think it is a pretty good list this year. Maybe I can get through all of them!

I've also decided to publicly commit to three professional growth type goals for 2014. It is not that these aren't fun- I think all of them will be. But they will take a lot of effort, probably over multiple months, so they didn't seem like "fun list" entries.  It happens that none of these are relevant to my current job, but I've decided that doesn't matter. They are me stretching skills for which people might pay me. Here they are:
  1. Expand Tungsten Hippo to include collections
  2. Finish my third children's story (the second one is due out later in 2014!)
  3. Publish an app (probably Android, since I have Android devices, but if I decide to do an iOS app instead, that would be fine as far as the goal is concerned)
And I have one thing that I will call an "intention"- it isn't quite a resolution, because I don't think it is something I can ever really say is accomplished. But it is something I want to work on this year: I want to rebuild my yoga and meditation practice. I still occasionally meditate and occasionally do yoga, but I've lost any continuity so cannot call either a true practice. I miss the good feelings that came from having continuity, and want to try to build back to that.

Do you have resolutions, intentions, goals, or fun list items that you want to share? Leave them (or a link to your post about them) in the comments!


  1. Sounds like a fun list.
    We tried stand-up paddle boarding on a like in the high Sierras last summer and had so much fun, we purchased lessons for 4 in Redondo Beach. We have yet to redeem the lessons.

    Perhaps you can come up to South Redondo Beach's Riviera Village for a grown up weekend away and we can split the lesson?

    1. Lake, not like.
      And the dolphins like to check out the paddle boarders.

    2. You make a strong case! I'll discuss w/Mr. Snarky....

  2. Zenmoo2:22 AM

    I do love the idea of a fun list - it focuses the mind on the good stuff! And how to achieve it :-)

    With regard to the new pie recipe - surely the filling would have to be lamb & mint? Although Egg & Bacon, Venison & Red wine or Pepper Steak all qualify as solid Kiwi classic pie flavours too. I personally think of the version of Egg & Bacon where the eggs are just laid on top of the bacon and baked as particularly Kiwi as opposed to the "Australian" version where the egg is mixed with milk & cheese like a quiche. However, this is probably just a quirk between my Australian mother & Kiwi mother in laws methods of cooking of bacon & egg pie and not representative of a larger cultural difference.

    I have to admit, I can't imagine actually going to the bother of actually making my own pies - I'm perfectly happy to splurge occasionally on the very delicious pies made by "Who ate all the pies" in Dunedin. ( They are a bit fancy but pretty damn tasty. However, if you're looking for recipes - is a pretty good resource. Or for Bacon & Egg pie this recipe by Annabel Langbein sounds pretty good - It has potato in it, which strikes me as a bit unusual but probably gives it a pretty good texture.

  3. Congrats on doing so well with last year's list, and your list this year looks great! I make a list of goals each year. Here's my recap for 2013 and my new list for 2014:

  4. Hey, I can give you my margarita recipe! It was published in our local newspaper as the winner of a contest to emulate the a popular restaurant's version ("The Rio Grande" in Fort Collins, CO). It consists of equal parts of these 4 ingredients (although we often add a 5th part of water, because they're pretty strong):
    1. gold tequila
    2. triple sec
    3. "Island House" Lime juice (This may be the hardest to find. It comes in a clear plastic bottle with a white label with black printing. It's sweet, like a limey simple syrup, but I suspect the "Roses" brand would be too thick and too sweet).
    4. apple juice* (I have sometimes subbed apple cider, which is also good).
    Your choice whether to serve straight-up or on the rocks, salted rim or not.
    *"The Rio" claims they do NOT include apple juice in their margaritas -- whether that's true or not, I don't care; these taste fantastic!

    1. Apple juice? Hmmm. That will be hard for me accept as a purest, but I guess in the spirit of scientific experimentation, I should give it a try! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will definitely try it.

  5. Love the personal "Fun List!" And congrats on the new children's book coming out this year! I'm looking forward to seeing it. When you said that you mean to expand Tungsten Hippo recommendations to collections, what do you mean? Collections of short stories? (I love anthologies and books of short stories!)

    And I should definitely start a list like this of my own.

    1. Yes! I have several collections of short stories or essays lined up ready to post, but the site isn't ready to take them. I may need to take a day off work to get the uninterrupted time to make it happen.


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