Monday, October 31, 2011

Learning About Filmmaking

Since this is my first post on the art of making films, I decided to approach this as if I were a beginning filmmaker.  What if I knew next to nothing? What books would I look at?

I decided to check out some all-encompassing books and found a few that looked promising.  The first book I read is Digital Filmmaking 101 by Dale Newton and John Gaspard.  This book takes a look at micro-budget filmmaking, insisting you can make a feature film for $8000.  The writers assume that you will be using a digital camcorder to shoot your film.  They base the book on their experiences putting three feature films out into the world all on tiny budgets, yet they figured out ways to make their films look like they had budgets of much much more.

The authors tell you how to make a movie from writing the script through distribution.

The book is copyright 2001, so I found a lot of their information outdated, especially the section on using the internet as a means of distribution for your film.  If you follow their advice here, you could potentially be shooting yourself in the foot.

However, the core principles they espouse still hold true.  A do it yourself attitude and being handy with tools can make all the difference.  You can make much of your own camera gear, special effects, etc.
I do wish, however, that the authors had given more diagrams and pictures when they described how they built a lot of their stuff.  I am a very visual and hands on learner and I was having trouble trying to decipher the how-tos.

The second book I checked out this week has been a veritable treasure trove.  The copyright date on this is 2003, and so some of the information may be dated.  But the author gives plenty of information to start with so that you can pursue the answers for yourself.  The book, From Reel to Deal, is written by Dov S-S Simens, a Hollywood producer and filmmaker.  

Where has this book been my whole life?  Like Chris Guillebeau in his Art of Non-Conformity book, Dov advises against wasting your time in film school.  He lays out at the end of every chapter tons of resources--books, guilds, associations, people, software, websites and so on--that he says you can learn from instead.  Granted, these resources are all 8 years old and there may be newer sources of information.  But they are certainly a good start!

He says you can spend $2000-$3000 and six months and you will learn what you need to know about filmmaking if you use the resources he points out.  Or, you can spend four years and $70,00-100,000 at a film school.  I know that back in 2007 when I looked into the Art Institute of Portland and their filmmaking degree, it was going to take me three years (since I had prior schooling) and about $75,000.  Ouch.  I opted for Portland State, instead.  Wish I had read Dov’s book back then!

Dov tackles what it means to be a producer, a director, how to do budgeting, digital versus 35mm film and more.  His take on digital is where his book is a little outdated, I think.  He talks about no budget vs micro budget vs ultra low budget vs low budget and what are the best ways for beginning filmmakers to break into the business.  He is no nonsense, no beating around the bush, and I love how he breaks down scriptwriting into a series of “uh-oh’s”, “oh shit’s” and “oh my God’s”.

From Reel to Deal is awesome!  I found some resources I didn’t know existed here in my own home town.  And I was pleased to see I already owned several of the books Dov has recommended to people to read.  (Now I just have to get around to reading them!)  I will be making a new list of stuff to read and check out for the up-coming months.  This book is like a study guide for filmmaking.

Special thanks to Bill Adams for buying me a copy!

Lastly, I would like to point out helpful website I discovered recently by signing up for Twitter.  I was looking up filmmaking people to follow when I found the link to it.  The first is called NoFilmSchool.  It has lots of handy tutorials on everything from independent careers to financing via crowd funding sites, information on different kinds of cameras,  and all sorts of other stuff.  Subscribing is very easy, but it is a little difficult to navigate to find articles on topics you wish to research.

That's enough for this week.  Tune in next week--I'll be checking out some books that Dov Simens recommended and trying to share some more resources found on the web.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pictures From My TDC Experiment

Élé Kitty
I took a bunch of pictures this month because a picture a day was one of my thirty day challenges.


Willow plays with Élé.  The doggy bed in the background is the little black kitty's favorite place to sleep.

My goofy girl

My little nut reading upside down!
Willow tries to get circulation back into her head!
Willow loves clowning around for the camera!
I've know cats like to hunt mice, but this is ridiculous!

Pretty colors!

Dante, my lovable German Shepherd

Luna Kitty looks seriously evil with her eyes glinting like that!
Look at his tongue lolling out!  He looks half-drunk.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ferret Doctor For A Day--Removing Martin's Stitches

Willow holds cuddlebug Martin.
Saturday, the family and I went over to my dad's house.  We brought our laundry (thanks, Dad!), and while we did laundry, David mowed and took care of Dad's yard.

When we got there, Dad had his ferrets out to play.  He has four of them, of which two he only brought home a little over a week ago.  Sage and Aspen are the two he already had, and Aster and Martin are the newbies.

In the picture to the left, Willow is holding Martin.  Martin is a sweet little guy who absolutely loves to cuddle.  I've never seen a ferret who will sit still for so long in Willow's hands!

I don't know if you can see it very well, but his right hind leg is shaved (that would be the one on the bottom to the left facing us) because he had a surgery on it to remove a little tumor recently.  

Aster in a box of packing peanuts.
That surgery is actually one of the reasons we were at my Dad's, too.  I was there to help him remove the stitches.

In the photo to the right, you can see Aster playing in a box of packing peanuts.  They are the rice kind, so if one of the ferrets decides to eat one, it won't hurt him.  Ferrets are inquisitive, playful little creatures who love to burrow, so the peanuts are great for them to dig around in.

Isn't Aster cute?  She looks just like Aspen.  The only way you can tell them apart is that Aspen has dark spots on her nose.

Kato the cat doesn't look so sure about how he feels about the addition of the new ferrets, though.  He kept moving around the house, looking like he was constantly on alert for being nipped in the derrier by a sneaky little critter.

Kato the Cat on lookout for marauding ferrets.
The brightly colored tube shaped thing on the ground is another ferret toy.  I swear that any ferret that comes to my dad's house to live is coming to ferret paradise, because he has so many different toys and fun things for them to do.  He's got that fabric tunnel, plus he has a clear plastic tunnel that you can watch the ferrets go zooming through, and he's got lots of other fun things for them to do, besides.  In the very back of this photo to the left you can see a white bin that is full of rice--something else for the ferrets to burrow and dig in.  And believe me, they do!

I think this is Aspen giving Dad kisses.  She is a very kissy little girl.
Dad is holding one of his ferrets.  I'm not sure if it is Aspen or Aster, since I can't see the nose.  But whichever one it was, she was all about giving my dad kisses on the ear!  Licked it clean.

My dad adores his ferrets.  It's funny. He even has portable cages so that he can take him with him when he goes out.  They are family to him.

Recently, his ferret Titania died.  He was so upset.  He got her cremated and added her to his shelf where he keeps the cremated remains of his other two pet ferrets, Puck and Oberon.

I understand why he likes them so much, though.  They are so fun to watch and they are amazingly intelligent and determined little creatures.  If they want into something, they will work at it and work at it and work at it until they figure out how to open whatever it is they are trying to get into! 
A very determined Sage drags his toy house around the living room.
Ferrets have funny little fetishes, too. They all seem to like springy/chewy rubbery stuff, so if an item with rubber on it is small enough that they can drag it away, it will often disappear into a ferret treasure stash.  So their nail clippers, which have rubber coated handles, have disappeared, my daughter's Barbies have disappeared, as have lots of other things.  In the picture to the left, Sage is trying to drag away a little house ferret toy that has a grippy handle.

They also have shoe fetishes.  Puck used to have a treasure trove of shoes Willow outgrew in his cage that he would pull out and re-arrange ever so often.  It was hilarious.  The other ferrets like shoes, too, but not as much as Puck did.  He would try to make off with my shoes, too, but fortunately, they were a bit too big and heavy for him.

Super Aster and Willow!
Willow used to be scared of the ferrets because they tend to nip.  It's their way of trying to engage you in play.  They aren't trying to hurt you, but they do have sharp teeth, so if you rip your hand (or foot!  they like to go after your feet) away from them, it is easy to get scratched.  But yesterday, Aster nipped her foot and she actually laughed and picked her up.  I was happy to see she had gotten used to them and wasn't scared of them anymore.

Willow gets kisses from Aspen.
Willow likes to pick up the ferrets and cuddle them.  They don't usually sit still for long.  That Aspen was willing to give her a kiss (she loves to give kisses, that Aspen) is pretty cool.

It took a while for the ferrets to settle down after we got there.  After a bit, they started wandering off to sleep and Dad decided it was a good time to try and remove Martin's stitches.  Martin had seven stitches on his leg, and while Martin is very cuddly, I didn't expect that he would be willing to sit still through getting stitches tugged on and taken out.

Me removing one of Martin's stitches.
I was right.  I tried holding Martin still while Dad snipped and tugged, but he wouldn't hold still.  So Dad didn't manage to get any out.  He tried holding them and then I tried to get them out.  I managed to snip three stitches and get them out before Martin got too wiggly and we had to put him back down for his nap.  We had to do that two more times, each time getting two stitches out, before we were able to get them all off.

I felt terrible and almost cried because with the last stitch, a teeny bit of scab got pulled off and he started bleeding.  I thought I had somehow re-opened the wound.  Dad examined it and reassured me that wasn't the case.  Whew!  I sure didn't want to hurt the little guy! 

But all in all, it was a fun time with the ferrets.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Major Changes Coming For My Blog

I thought you would all like to know that I am changing some of the features of my blog and the way I do things on it.  First of all, I may be changing to Wordpress just as soon as I figure out how.  Don’t worry, I’ll give you warning if and when I decide to do so, in case I have to shut down the site for a couple of days while I make the transfer.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about what I could possibly offer people in my blog.  It should be something that I have a passionate interest in, something that I could write about for years and years, if I chose to.  Something other than just narcissistic play by plays about my life, since I doubt those posts serve anyone except me.  (I would like to think I’m super inspiring and awesome and everyone just waits in anticipation for updates about my life, but I know better.)

Believe it or not, trying to figure out what to do has had me stumped.

I thought about what I would do if I was to hit the lottery and my finances no longer limited me.  What would I pursue the most?  I figured that those things would be the things that are my true, core interests.
What are those interests?  Well, on many occasions I have told people, “If I won the lottery, I would become a professional student.”  I also would love to travel, but that, too, is about learning.  I love to explore and learn about new places and things.

Okay, so learning is and always has been my primary interest and love.  I can’t afford to be a professional student or to travel, though.  And without going to college or actually traveling, how do I blog about learning?  How does one blog about learning for learning’s sake?  And who would be my audience?

I found the answer in the book The Art of Nonconformity (which I highly recommend, by the way) by fellow Portlander Chris Guillebeau.  He says pursuing a graduate degree is a $32,000 waste of time.  On pages 118-119, he lays out a way to get the equivalent education in one year. 
The biggest thing on his list (for me) is reading.  He suggests reading 30 non-fiction books and 20 novels during the course of the year.  That’s less than one book a week. 
I have always read a lot of non-fiction.  In fact, 90% of what is on my bookshelves is non-fiction.  This is testimony to my love of learning, no doubt.  Many of my books still haven’t been read, though.

So, I’ll start with the books on my own shelf.  Like Leonardo Da Vinci, I have interests in practically everything, so I thought about choosing a different topic every month.  But I realized that would be too scattershot.  I would barely even scratch the surface of the different topics that interest me if I only give it a month.   

Instead, I will give each topic six months to a year and then move on to another topic.  That works out to be 26 to 52 books on a subject!  In ten years, I will have read so many books on so many things that my head will be swimming!  And then I can start the cycle all over again, because by then, it will have all changed.  New discoveries will have been made and new technology out there.  And some subjects are so vast, like science and history, I can’t possibly cover everything in one year’s time.  What a glorious thing!

Every Monday, I plan to review a book I’ve read or a website or podcast I’ve discovered that has information about my chosen subject.  Other things I might check out are talks that are given at my local university or community college, and quite often those talks are free.  Potential subjects of interest could be:

·         Science-physics, biology, chemistry, engineering, etc.
·         Medicine-cancer, diabetes, health and fitness, nutrition, etc.
·         Psychology and social sciences- gender studies, sexuality, gender roles, etc.
·         Self help-living well, getting out of debt, relationships, parenting, how-tos--fixing a car, anything in the house, gardening, computers, etc.
·         History-race history, US history, world history, women’s history, Oregon’s history, biographies, society and infrastructure (how things were made,) etc.
·         Politics-history of political parties, partisanship, constitution, bill of rights, federalist papers, current political climate, etc.
·         Religion-Eastern religions, holy books, pantheistic vs. monotheistic world views, etc.
·         Art-classic, contemporary, sculpture, painting, etc.
·         Business-marketing, entrepreneurs, patents, investing, internet business, etc.
·         Travel
·         Filmmaking-pre, production, post
·         Writing-scriptwriting, short stories, poems, novels, blogs

I think the first subject I’ll go with is filmmaking, since I just graduated last year with a film degree (after changing my major six or seven times) and it seems apropos.  Especially since I have learned more about the business of filmmaking itself AFTER I graduated than when I went to school.  This is the case because I have learned through experience and also by….wait for it…reading books.

As for the “Who is my audience?” question, I would say it is fellow learners, family and friends.  I hope all of you people who love to learn will join me on my quest.  Grab a book and start reading.  Come up with your own list of interests and make your own graduate degree program!  I’m open to suggestions on what to read and would love your recommendations, too. 

If I’m on a topic that doesn’t interest you at the moment, stay tuned.  Because in a few months, it’ll change!  And be sure to check out The Art of Non-Conformity for other suggestions you can do to expand your horizons and educate yourselves in new ways! 

And since the name of my blog is Metamorphosis of a Woman, it only makes sense I blog about learning.  When one learns, one can’t help but change and grow.  Those posts will be on Mondays. I still plan to blog about l’il ol’me.  One post a week on Wednesdays will be devoted to my life and what I’m up to—stuff that isn’t learning or TDC related.  I just can’t walk away from writing about me completely!  (Besides, I’m terrible about calling people—I despise the telephone—so it is one of the few ways people can keep tabs on what I’m up to.  Sorry, Mom and Dad!)  I also plan to blog one post a week on Fridays about my Thirty Day Challenges.  These are all about me changing through small steps, one month at a time.  

I hope you like the changes coming up!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

More Weight Loss

I’ve lost 12 pounds this month so far!  This bring my total weight loss up to 18 pounds from when I weighed the most a few months ago.  YAY!  

As I mentioned in a previous post, this weight loss is another side effect of my enthusiasm for my thirty day challenges and changing the way I do things.  I’ve been logging my food, reading The Zone by Barry Sears, and working very hard to watch what I eat.  I’ve cut out sodium in a big way (MAN, that is HARD—and I don’t even add salt to my food or eat much in pre-packaged foods, either!), cut my portions, and significantly reduced my carbs.  And I have been a good girl, declining offers of tempting yummy bad-for-me stuff.  A sales lady at Fred Meyer actually offered to let me try one of their truffles (not just a chunk, but an entire truffle, mind you) and I turned her down.  Oooh, but I wanted one of those chocolates!  She congratulated me on my willpower and said she couldn’t have done it.  That made me smile at least.

I know people can eat that stuff in moderation.  Eventually, I will be able to do that.  In fact, when I’m seriously eating healthy, I really don’t desire sugary sweet stuff anymore.  It just doesn’t look all that good.  I remember the last time I ate really well and was in good shape—the thought of eating donuts or candy sort of squicked me out.  I’ll get there eventually.  But in the meantime, I dare not eat that stuff because it starts a chain reaction for me.  Oh, I’ll just have this little thing, it won’t hurt.  A little bit of that won’t hurt, either.  Ooh, and some of this looks good, too.  Next thing you know, I’m eating like crap again.

Watching the scale number getting smaller is a nice way to keep up my motivation.  That and my obsession with projects.  Logging food has become a fun project, as has losing weight.  None of this is on my list of my thirty day challenges, but I’ve been so motivated to do stuff, it just sort of….happened.  I’m glad it did.  It’s overdue, quite honestly.  I need to shed the excess fat and get in shape again.  So I plan to be sticking with this for some time to come.   

Friday, October 21, 2011

Getting S*** Done

My Luna kitty snoozing on my freshly made bed. 
My TDC has gone in directions I didn’t expect, as I have said before.  Quite honestly, I’m doing lousy at the actual challenges I set out for myself.  Well, half lousy, anyway.  Or maybe  should say I’m doing half great?  Perhaps I should look at it as if the glass is half full.  I say that because while I am forgetful and don’t do everything every day, I have been working on everything in bits and starts more than I have in forever and have gotten tons of stuff done.

For example: the chores I set up for myself.  I get started on them and… my nature takes hold.  When I get started on a project, I have a REALLY hard time stopping.  So when I started filing a few days ago, I couldn’t make myself quit.  After two long days of 8-9 hours or so each of filing, plus another day off and on, I finally stopped.  Another evening of filing, and I'm finally done. (I did say it had been years since I’ve done my filing...yeesh.  I will NEVER let it get that bad again!) I’m a bit filed out at the moment, and nursing some serious hangnails.  After a while I had to file with a bandage on my thumb because the paper kept nicking me.  War wounds, I tell you…

And then last night  I was up until 4 in the morning reading Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, because my daughter had checked it out of her library and it was due back.  I had been reading around 60 pages of it a day or so and had gotten to page 324 when my daughter informed me of this.  So I stayed up and finished the darn thing.  I read about 570 pages last night total, counting the stuff I read before she got home yesterday.
Bleah.  Staying up late like that, reading a Harry Potter book seriously screws up my schedule.

So my natural inclination to be obsessive about finishing tasks tends to take over and completely ruins my schedule.  But, I soldier on anyway and I’m still trying to carry out my thirty day challenges.
This month I have made my bed every single day since my room got rearranged.  It wasn’t one of my challenges, but it is a side effect of me getting all motivated, and nothing I ever thought about doing.  But since my room looks so nice and organized now, I feel guilty if I don’t make it.

When the side effects of the challenges (like making my bed) distract me from time to time, I don’t much mind the distractions.  They’re nice, too.  I get shit done!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

TDC* Unintended Side Effects

*TDC=Thirty Day Challenge

Only twelve days in and I’ve already noticed a few peculiar behaviors arising as a result of my TDC.  One result has been for me to see how much I can actually do of something in a day.  Like with my housecleaning chores.  I have it all broken down into about 50 different tasks, so that I can perform one or more a day.  Simple, right?  Well, as I look at it and I’m realizing the time it will take to do each item, I’m calculating in my head how many I’m going to need to do on certain days so that I can do the more heinous time consuming ones over multiple days.  I’ve only allotted myself an hour a day for them in my schedule, you see, so some are definitely going to be multi-dayers.  My filing, for one thing.  I haven’t filed anything in over a year (actually a lot more than that.  I’ll spare ya the details—it’s kinda embarrassing.  No wonder I can never find any paperwork when I want it).  All my filing is in boxes and bags and needs sorting and organizing and…blech.  Needless to say, this will be a MAJOR job.

Anyway, this seeing how much I can do of something in a day isn’t so simple as you would think.  No, I have discovered that my competitive nature has reared her ugly head.   I’m not really very competitive with other people, but I am competitive with myself.  I turn my inner competitions into games.  It’s how, in 2005, I lost 30 pounds as I went from being my heaviest weight ever (at that time) by walking.  I started out only being able to walk for 10 or 15 minutes at a time—much like now.  But within four months, I had increased my walking activity so much that I was able to walk a half marathon!  I kept pushing myself and pushing myself to see what I could do.  How much farther could I go this time?  How much faster?  Same thing has happened to me with swimming.  In the past I’ve gotten from not being able to swim a single lap to swimming over a mile within a matter of several weeks.

So, taking this competitive streak along its logical path, you will see that I’m starting to competitively clean.  I’m doing a chore and seeing how fast and how well I can get it done.  Then I’m looking around the house and seeing what else I can do.  If this keeps up, I’m going to run out of odd-ball chores I’ve been putting off.  Hah!  That would be AWESOME!  

And then I re-remember what happens when I get on my competitive streaks.  I get hurt.  When I was walking so much, my foot ended up needing an orthotic and my hips were protesting because I was trying to work in jogging way too early.  My hips and knees couldn't handle the stress of my heavy body weight just yet and they were complaining.  I was in a lot of pain until I dropped the jogging and cooled things off a little and gave myself some breathing room.   Soooo... with all of my efforts of the completion of my tasks on this Thirty Day Challenge, I got ouchies.  It actually physically hurt to move, since my back was seriously tweaked.  I cleaned my bedroom, reorganized it, and re-arranged the furniture all by myself.  No wonder I was having back spasms!  So I had to stop and not do jack shit physically for a few days so that I could get my back to like me again.

My new working space.  It's a desk!  And it's clean!
The second thing I noticed is that I’m allowing my competitive streak be an excuse not to do stuff that I’m having trouble with/don’t want to do.  Case in point, my writing.  I did all sorts of stuff yesterday, especially reading-wise because I Just had to finish that book, and my writing got pushed aside (I was feeling rather writer’s block-ish).  If I’m busy doing something on the list, and it’s keeping me from doing something else, I have a legit excuse, right?  Hah!  Nope.  I have to figure out when to let out the competitive beast and when to rein it in.  One thing I might do is make myself do the things that I least want to do on the list first in my schedule, so that I can then get all medieval on the rest of my list.  Yeah, that would probably solve the problem right there.  I'll have to remember to try and do that.

And, while all of this seems rather negative, I have discovered one good side effect from all of this.  I've been way motivated at home to do things I haven't done in forever.  One of the folks commenting on this site and I talked about diet and exercise logs and she pointed me in the direction of a wonderful online tool by Calorie Count.  This thing figures everything out for you.  You can even set your own nutrient goals if you have a specific sort of diet need, which is awesome!  I started using it on October 4th and have logged my foods every day since.  It's amazing to see just how our foods break down.  I'm eating healthier and I'm losing weight, too!  I hadn't intended to start doing another daily activity, but I was inspired.  That inspiration is contagious.  Now I'm planning out my life, figuring out longer and shorter term goals...

So while these 30 day challenges haven't gone exactly as I had hoped or planned, especially with not being able to complete every task every day (what was I THINKING signing myself up for so much?!  Talk about trying to be an over-achiever!), but instead of feeling down or inadequate, I feel more energized and motivated than I have felt in a very long time.

Yay, me!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Day 3 And Still Chugging Along

Yesterday was a smashing success in 4 out of 6 of my goals.  I took a long, lovely walk.  Long for me, anyway.  About one and a quarter miles.  As out of shape as I am, that's a long way.  By the end, my back was killing me.  Anyhow, I took some lovely photos along the way.  I managed to snap a few fun ones, which I'll share. 

The first was this fire hydrant.  I don't know why, but I really liked it.  It's....cute.  Why on earth I would think a fire hydrant is cute is beyond me, but I liked its rugged good looks.

The second here must have an interesting story behind it.  I was half tempted to knock on the front door of the owner's home and chat with him/her about these flowers.  They aren't real, you see.  At first glance, as I was walking up the street I was all impressed that somebody had managed to keep so many colorful flowers alive this long.

Hah!  It was an illusion.  These are plastic and silk.  I guess it's an easy way to garden!  I passed this yard chuckling all the way.

Now this picture is of a bird feeder that just called to me.  I thought it was cute.  It was located on a fence facing the street on a dead-end road.  The bird feeder is so new and cheery and the fence is so mildewy and old that I thought it made for an interesting contrast.

This little orange flower (anybody know what it is?  I haven't a clue) was so colorful. And I liked the detail that I got.

This one was cool because of the raindrops. I wasn't sure I would be able to get them in the photo!

Pumpkin season!  Whoot!  Halloween is on the way.  This lonely little pumpkin was the ONLY pumpkin on this entire vine.  And it was right next to the curb in somebody's front yard.  I just loved it.

Who doesn't love roses?  Roses are still growing strong everywhere.

So yeah, I got the photography part done and the walking done.  Then I got busy and did one of my chores on my list.  I also way overdid it on my reading assignment--I finished that dang Harry Potter book.  I couldn't stop reading it.  Rowling is a wonderful storyteller.  But then, the entire world knows that!  So that's four out of my six items right there.

The other two, scheduling my day and writing, got blown out of the water.  A) because I read that Potter book and B) my whole schedule got all messed up.  Oh well.  Learning curve, right?  So, try and make those lessons stick for the next day, right?

Eh, not so much.  My schedule for today is already all out of whack.  But at least I got the walk, the photos, and the chore out of the way already.  I'm working on the writing as we speak.  Hopefully I'll get the rest of my writing and reading done before the end of the day. 

Here is the pic I took today.  Such pretty red leaves!  I actually stopped and sat on this green metal box thing (what the heck DO you call these?  every apartment complex has them, it seems like).  My back was killing me.  I forgot to properly warm up before I went for my walk and my back went into spasms.  So my walk was much shorter than yesterday's.  But hey, another lesson learned, right?

It's all about the lessons and creating a new me!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Care And Feeding Of My Grand Experiment, Day One

Nadaka Park trail.

Once I decided on trying out the TED Talks experiment of trying to do a new or different task for 30 days, I had to think a while before I decided what it was exactly that I wanted to do.  There are so many things that I could try, but I wanted to do something that I felt would be a good way to start out.  As I posted before, I was thinking of doing FIVE things, not just one, because I couldn’t decide on just one. 

      Those five things that I was contemplating doing were:

1)   Going for a walk every day
2)      Taking  at least one photo every day
3)      Doing at least one chore I don’t normally do every day
4)      Writing at least 1000 words every day
5)      Reading 60 pages every day

This, of course, got me thinking about how on earth I was going to accomplish all of that, because all of that takes, you know, time.  And probably a lot of it.  I got to thinking about my schedule and how since I’ve graduated, I’ve let all of my organizational and time management skills sort of fester.  I haven’t been using them much.  Why not organize my time again?  I mean, if I could work full time while going to school full time, juggle my homework with having two kids and a husband fresh out of the hospital with a disability—why couldn’t I make all this stuff fit in my certainly un-hectic schedule I have now?

So I sat down and estimated how long I thought each of the above tasks would take, how long it takes to cook meals and eat, and how long it takes to do the other activities in my day.  Once I figured all that out, I wrote up a schedule. 
This means, of course, that I’m actually adding a sixth item to the above list:

6)      Re-acquaint myself with scheduling every day

In addition, I came up with a list of about 50 different chores/tasks that I’ve been putting off/avoiding for months now.  I figured I could do one or more of them each day, as my time allowed.

I had the grand idea that I would start at 7am this morning and I set my alarm so I could.  Unfortunately, I was hit with insomnia again last night (something that seems to happen all to frequently to me) and so I couldn’t tear my butt out of bed until after 10am.  Grr.  And then, hubby said he got paid, so we decided to do some grocery shopping, since our cupboards were getting pretty spare.  

Well, this threw off my nicely created schedule straight off!  But that’s okay. I recovered.  On our way home we went for a walk at Nadaka Park and I took some pictures.  Then I came home and knocked a couple of chores off my chore list.  After that, I read 70+ pages of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  I read more than 70 pages because I got sucked into it!  But that’s okay.  It wasn’t one of my film books, but I’ve got a whole month, so I suspect I’ll get them read soon enough.  All that was left was writing my 1000 words.  I’m working on that as I type this blog post up….