Sunday, July 25, 2010

so why don't you kill me?

As I've alluded to before, I am deeply suspicious and uncomfortable around most "new" people or anyone I am expecting not to like me. I generally approach these people with a kind of false jittery confidence that ends up making me feel like I'm being fake, something I'm sure they see and, subsequently, think I AM fake. Or silly or stupid or just plain unlikable.

I've mostly learned to ignore this around Ravi's friends (though I still experience it and if you're being nice to me, I am both appreciating it and questioning if you feel obligated. I'm sorry. I don't think you're underhanded, group of Ravi's friends!) but lately I've been meeting other people, without that "Ravi's girlfriend" safety barrier and, even though they're nice to me and even seem to want to hang out!!!, I still can't shake that whole, "you're pushing too hard, you sound stupid, these people don't really like you; they're just being nice" thing. This feels like high school all over again. I have no idea how to deal with it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Yesterday, I sat down and made a list of expenditures and a budget for the next few months. When I finished, I realized I was going to have to wipe out my savings account to cover first month's rent + deposit.

One of my biggest problems with myself is how terrible I am with money. I have trouble planning long-term with my money and I have no system of monitoring it, other than calling and checking my balance here and there. It's something I have made occasional half-hearted efforts to control (keeping a balance, making a budget, etc.) but I inevitably never stick it out. It's one of the reasons I put "Write down all purchases for 1 month and look at where I can cut expenses" on my 101 in 1001 list. I'd like to get in that habit. I have a savings account, but I don't contribute very much to it (about $60 a month) and it doesn't take much to talk myself into taking $50 out here and there. That said, I always like to have at least $200 in there, otherwise it seems like a pointless venture.

The flip side of this is that I hate hate HATE asking anyone for money, especially my parents. I'll sometimes ask Ravi for money here and there, trying to take care to pay him back (even if it's in a haphazard way, like buying him things), but I'll generally just pull it out of savings if I need it. I could have covered all my expenses in the next two weeks (biggies being rent, deposit, car insurance, loan payments), but it would have taken completely draining both my checking and savings accounts. I've known this for a little while, without sitting down and running the numbers. I've had that vague "I-don't-want-to-check-and-see-if-this-is-actually-true" knowledge that either I was going to be flat broke or I was going to have to ask for money. So, I put it off and proceeded to stress out so badly about it that I started averaging 3 and 4 hours of sleep a night, swilling coffee like water, furiously developing every single one of my nervous tics and came to a point where I felt like clawing my own face off and jumping off of the roof (yes, this is the image I keep in my head when I become enormously stressed). Also, on a more vain but also potentially worrying level, I noticed my hair was shedding at an accelerated rate, making me wonder if I was going to have another Summer Of The Great Bald Spot.

So. Yesterday, I sat down and confronted all of it, because ignoring it was making me crazy and seeing all those numbers there, daunting as they were, calmed my mind. There's something about making a list, methodically figuring and crossing off and doing (even in such a non-active way) that puts me at ease. When I finished, I came up with a number, in the very low four-figures, that would allow me to keep some money in checking and not touch my savings account (it's hobbling along as is). A number that is more than I've ever asked anyone, save a lending company, for in my life. Then I texted my mom and said, "I need to talk to ya'll about borrowing some money." She wrote back, "ok, how much?"

When I told her I wanted to pay the money back, we argued a bit. We finally agreed that I would pay back half of the money, starting as soon as I get my next paycheck. While I'm upset that I had to ask for the money at all, I'm so thankful that I have parents who are willing to help me out, who are able to help me out. I also finally slept more than 5 hours last night.

Next step: job.

Friday, July 23, 2010

on the hunt

This is just here for my own reference but, you know, suggestions welcome.

I need to find a new:
-bank (preferably credit union)
-hair stylist

Monday, July 19, 2010


Yesterday, standing, hungover, at a bus stop in a short dress with the wind whishing around me, I felt more myself than I have in a very long time.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Since I never ended up writing about my trip to NY (and probably never will because it'd be more effort than it's worth at this point), I decided to update about Chicago.

I'm up here for the Pitchfork Music Festival and to hang out with Erin. This is really the first time I've had to write, since we've been going the entire time we've been here. Ravi and I flew in on Thursday morning and we came to Erin's and had lunch at a strange little place called Chipmunks. Afterwards, Ravi and I went to the Lincoln Park Zoo and I finally got to meet my friends, Elis and Adam. I've been friends with Elis online for about...10 years and Adam (her husband) for about 8 years. We've tried to make arrangements to meet in the past and things have always fallen through, so I was pretty much beyond excited that this came through. It's a bit surreal to meet someone in person that you've known for such a long time, because I think there's a certain sense of expectation in the whole deal--how to act, what to say, etc. etc. We had a lot of fun though, touring the zoo and then walking around by Lake Michigan in this miserable heatwave that has hit Chicago. I was pretty unpleasantly surprised to step out of Midway and feel like I was back in Baton Rouge.

We only got a few hours with Elis and Adam, because everyone's schedules were tight but I'm really hoping I can come visit with them again. Or vice versa. Eventually they dropped us off (by this time, we'd also met up with Ravi's friend, Jeremy) at The Chicago Diner. I met back up with Erin and we had a drink at a local pub, before coming home to pass out.

Yesterday was The Art Institute (where I got some great postcards to frame), Exchequer Pub for deep dish pizza and then onto the festival for Broken Social Scene and Modest Mouse. I've never had a chance to see BSS live. It was a pretty great show, though I think I'd rather see them at a club if I ever got to do it again. But they played "Superconnected," "7/4 (Shoreline)," and "Fire Eye'd Boy" so I was happy. Modest Mouse kind of sucked, except when they played "Dashboard." I've never been a huge MM fan anyway and their disjointed, drunken-sounding set didn't do much to improve that opinion.

After the show, we went to Monk's Pub and met up with Erin. Monk's had a decent beer selection, but half the beers we wanted weren't actually available and I'm pretty sure the bartender was drunk. She charged all of our tabs incorrectly, checked on us maybe twice for the 2 hours we were there and fucked up Erin's beer when she poured it (note: holding the bottle above the glass and turning the bottle upside down is not how one pours a beer). But, I had some good beer (Urthel Hop-It and Goose Island Matilda) and got a good buzz.

I didn't buy tickets for the festival today, because I wanted to hang out with Erin. We had breakfast at Red Hen Bread, then walked to the farmer's market, stopping along the way at a thrift store to buy a shirt (me) and some jeans and dresses (Erin). We picked up some blueberries, walked home, siesta'd, then went to Threadless (I bought this), Reckless Records (where I got Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over the Sea, The Pixies Surfer Rosa, 2 Simon and Garfunkel albums and a Temptations' Greatest Hits compilation), and Binny's for beer and liquor that I can't get in BR. Later tonight, we're going see The Kids Are All Right at an indie theater, eat some Moroccan food and probably drink some beer. And possibly bemoan the amount of money spent and calories consumed since I've been here, but probably not because it's been worth it to me to have a good time and get some things that make me happy (and, in the case of the art, clothing and records, things that will continue to make me happy). Plus, we've done a lot of walking.

Tomorrow is more festival, with Pavement, Big Boi, St. Vincent and a few other groups that I may end up seeing. Also, brunch with another friend from BR. We fly out Monday evening, then it's back to the moving/working/searching for a job/breaking up/oh my god when will Tulane give me some funding?!/saying hello/goodbye grind. Which is also kind of fun.

Oh! This week's word is: Peregrinate- verb (archaic)- travel or wander around from place to place.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Today, Ravi and I were chatting and I made a comment about how it would be nice to "have a gas stove again--they're good in case of storms or hurricanes," and he asked me, "Would you really stay in New Orleans during a hurricane?" I replied that I'd evacuate to my parents house and he said, "No, you should go to Al's house" (mu uncle's house nearby, a far sturdier shelter than my parents' trailer that they are currently living in while the build the house-that-I-am-beginning-to-doubt-will-ever-be.)

Later, I helped him pack boxes and I made some lentil soup, for which he asked the recipe. As I typed it up to send to him, it dawned on me how glad I am that we still care about each other and are concerned about each others welfare enough to make a concerted effort to help one another. In a way, I suppose, it's sad to leave someone for whom you care so much, but it's also comforting to know that even though we can't (or won't, which we also discussed this weekend) make this work, we still have that friend in each other. It's also a nice realization during a time when I sometimes wonder if it wouldn't be easier to just avoid each other as much as possible until all this is done, so we can spare ourselves the constant reminder that we are splitting up.

I don't mean for this to sound sappy, but with all the underlying depression in many of these posts, I wanted to have this to remind myself that I haven't always been muddled and sad during this breakup; I've found bright spots and good things to fall back on.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I just finished applying for 6 jobs:
-the vaguely described "Project Assistant," with a slightly alarming requirement for the "Ability to communicate sound judgement [sic] and respond quickly to emergency situations." Luckily, I'm also told in the announcement that I won't be at risk for tuberculosis. Small victories.
-"Grant/Contracts specialist," which I'm not hugely qualified for, but decided to apply for anyway because it's at Tulane.
-Some freelancing jobs, an idea I got from Christie.
-Freelance copy editing
-"Office automation assistant"--robotic, no?
-The old fallback of "Admin assistant."

I'm trying to keep myself from becoming too stressed out about this. I've been getting less and less sleep, due to having nightmares that fade away into very strange concerns that seem plausible at 4:45 am--bugs are crawling all over me, I will be fired from my job if I don't go in right now, Ravi is telling everyone he's been cheating on me for our whole relationship.

I'm cheered that my soon-to-be landlord and I were finally able to speak on the phone and hash out some of the details of the apartment situation. He was quite kind and is allowing me to pay my deposit in halves, as well as submit the lease via mail, which saves me a drive to New Orleans (not that I'd have minded too much, but it's nice not to use the gas). Of course, in a way this only stokes my money worries, as my thoughts veer toward "how will you pay for this apartment WITH NO JOB," but I have to remember that there are jobs out there and that I have loan money to fall back on as a last resort.

I'm also wryly pleased that my normal remedy for stressful situations, ice cream, has made me feel a bit sick and pretty out of sorts. That's a good, if somewhat sad, thing to have happened.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

if man is five...

I have been terribly anxious these last couple of days. Last night, I had one of those nightmares where you wake up and fall asleep and continue having the nightmare.

In this one, Ravi and I were out to eat with a large group of people. He started laughing manically and told me he'd been cheating on me and that he and some girl were having really wild sex. Then he lowered his head to reveal huge patches of hair missing, leaving bald spots and bright red scars. I ran away and ended up in a room where everyone was asking me about Ravi and I had to explain that he was cheating on me. I wanted to tell my mom and I finally found her, but I started crying while she screamed at me to tell her what was wrong. I finally told her Ravi had cheated on me and she got really angry and disappeared. The last thing I remember is being in the sunroom from "Six Feet Under" and feeling afraid that I was going to be discovered.

Due to that, I got very little sleep last night.

Today, I was craving some alone time. I've found myself wanting that more and more lately--a specific need to be completely alone, just to listen to music and do some things that need to be done. I tend to feel more settled afterward, but right now my heart feels like it might beat out of my chest. This could have something to do with my listening to The Pixies, but I only put them on to dispel some of this frenetic energy.

A big part of (if not all of) my anxiety is how adrift I feel. My job ends on August 5th, then I move to New Orleans, where I still have no job. My student loans haven't been decided, I'm waiting on a replacement for my lost ATM card, I leave for Chicago on Thursday, there's the whole business with Ravi, I'm waiting to hear back on getting an extension for my correspondence courses, etc. etc. etc. Part of the reason I made that 101 in 1001 list was to ground myself, to put something out THERE to work toward, because I don't take well to this feeling of free falling. I know some people relish not having a plan; they find it exciting and liberating. It makes me sick. Literally. I kind of feel like I might throw up.

I'm just in one of those moods where nothing sounds right. I want to see someone, but I don't. I want to read something, but I don't. Walking sounds good, then I want to run, I want to be happy, I want to be sad and get it out, I want to scream, I want to sleep. I just feel fucking unsettled. My brain is askew.

On the other hand, I set up some iCal stuff, applied for a job and paid a bill. That eases my mind a bit. Plus, this new bra makes my boobs look good. So, there's that.

Monday, July 5, 2010

101 in 1001

I decided to do a 101 Things in 1001 Days list because a) I love making lists and crossing things off and b) I like setting little goals for myself to achieve. It helps keep me focused.
Some of my list is lofty, other parts are silly and some of it is housekeeping. I think the overall point of the list (for me) is to have fun along the way while pushing myself toward a bigger personal goal of doing things that work to make me what I consider a better, more well-rounded person.

1001 days from this date will be April 1, 2013. April Fools' Day? Is this a cruel joke, Fate?

1) Go Cajun Dancing.
I took cajun dance lessons last summer and haven't put them to use since the class ended. This needs to change.

2) Sing Karaoke. (June 2011)
It's silly that this hasn't happened yet.

3) Write a letter to a celebrity and ask for an autograph.
I have autographed copies of books but I think it'd be fun to own an autographed photo or something. I haven't decided on a celebrity yet.

4) Eat at a 4 or 5 star restaurant.

5) Learn to play Guitar Hero on Hard.
This may be more difficult that it should be because of my carpal tunnel but I'm going to try.

6) Design a new tattoo or get some color in my existing one. (March 2012)
My current tattoo is just black outlining with a little shadowing. I've wanted a new tattoo for a long time but not somewhere that it's terribly visible (this is why I currently have a "tramp stamp"). Ideally, I'd like kind of a mural across my lower back. I'm just not artistic enough to design it.

7) Buy one piece of art.
I'd like this to be a painting, preferably by a local artist.

8) Grow my hair below my shoulder blades. (December 2012)
It's about an inch above my shoulders right now, when curly. I'm willing to fudge this and count length when straight.

9) Attain a Master's Degree. (May 2012)
I start Tulane in August so let's hope I have this done in less than 1001 days!

10) Get straight A's FAIL
The whole way though. This is one of the harder goals on this list but I really want to do it.

11) Apply to 5 MA/Ph.D programs that I really want to attend. (January 2012)
I'm probably going to apply to 1 or 2 copout schools, but I don't want to cheat myself out of applying to some good schools on the off-chance I could get in.
1) The Ohio State University (December 2011)
2) Louisiana State University (December 2011)
3) Stanford University (January 2012)
4) Indiana University Bloomington (January 2012)
5) Rutgers'(January 2012)
6) Vanderbilt University (January 2012)

12) Adopt an animal from a shelter.
This will be later on, but I'd really like another cat (or maybe even a small dog!) in the nearish future.

13) Learn to change the oil in my car.
This has the added benefit of spending time with my dad.

14) Finish my correspondence course. FAIL
This is really stupid and I need to just get it over with.

15) Brush up on my French enough to hold a short conversation.

16) Donate $100 a year to charity.
I have a few charities I'd like to donate to, so this won't be a lump sum anywhere, but donating a little here and there is better than nothing at all.
Planned Parenthood- $25 (Feb. 2011)
New Orleans Food Cooperative- $20 (May 2011)
STAIR- $20 (June 2011)
ARNO- $15 (July 2011)
Covenant House New Orleans- $10 (July 2011)
Amnesty International- $10 (July 2011)

NARAL- $20 (August 2011)
Louisiana Partnership for the Arts- $10 (October 2011)
STAIR- $15 (January 2012)
The Hunger Project- $15 (March 2012)
World Wildlife Fund- $16 (April 2012)
RAINN- $35 (June 2012)

STAIR- $20 (January 2013)
Doctors Without Borders - $30(January 2013)
NOLA's Most Badass Assault Survivor- $20 (February 2013)

17) Get another ear piercing. (November 2010)
I have an inordinate love of my ear piercings...I currently have 5 in one ear and 6 in another, including my rook piercing. I'd kind of like a tragus.

18) Read 10 books from the Bloom Canon.
I'm going to allow these to include assigned books but not anything I've read before.
1) Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice (October 2010)
2) Voltaire Candide (January 2011)
3) Mark Twain A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (April 2011)
4) William James The Varieties of Religious Experience(June 2011)
5) D.H. Lawrence Sons and Lovers (August 2011)
6) Carson McCullers The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (March 2012)
7) Ernest Hemingway A Farewell to Arms (March 2012)
8) Fyodor Dostoyevsky The Brothers Karamazov (June 2012)
9) Virgina Woolf Mrs. Dalloway
10) Gertrude Stein Tender Buttons

19) Read 1 unassigned book per month.
July '10- Ann Patchett Run
August '10- Alice Munro Lives of Girls and Women
September '10- John Berendt Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
October '10- Stuart Berman This Book is Broken: A Broken Social Scene Story
November '10- Paule Marshall Praisesong for the Widow
December '10- Richard Yates Revolutionary Road
January '11- Neil White In the Sanctuary of Outcasts
February '11- Terry Moore Strangers in Paradise, Vol. 1
March '11- Terry Moore Strangers in Paradise, Vol. 2
April '11- Milan Kundera Slowness
May '11- Margaret Atwood The Penelopiad
June '11- Linda Olsson Astrid and Veronika
July '11- John Knowles A Separate Peace
August '11- T.C. Boyle The Women
September '11- Molly Wizenberg A Homemade Life
October '11- Stephen King Hearts in Atlantis
November '11- Moira Crone A Period of Confinement
December '11- Carson McCullers The Member of the Wedding
January '12- Jonathan Franzen Freedom
February '12- Pam Houston Waltzing the Cat
March '12- George Saunders Pastoralia
April '12- Kim Edwards The Memory Keeper's Daughter
May '12- Susan Orlean The Orchid Thief
June '12- Julia Reed Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena
July '12- Poppy Z. Brite Liquor
August '12- Poppy Z. Brite Prime
September '12- Joan Didion The Year of Magical Thinking
October '12- Philippe Aries Western Attitudes Toward Death: From the Middle Ages to the Present
November '12- Jeffrey Eugenides The Marriage Plot
December '12- Larry Watson Montana 1948
January '13-
February '13-
March '13-

20) Get a spa facial.
I've never had one and they sound lovely.

21) Go to The Dinner Bell with a group of friends.

22) Make a family tree.
I've wanted to do this for years and I've never gotten around to it. I think it'd be fascinating. I'm not sure how far back I want to go yet.

23) See 26 movies I've never seen, starting with each letter of the alphabet. (February 2013)
I saw this idea on the Day Zero Project website. I need to make a list of movies I want to see now!
A- Ajami (2009) (October 2010)
B- The Blind Side (2009) (January 2011)
C- Citizen Kane (1941) (August 2011
D- Date Night (2010) (August 2010)
E- Effi Briest (1974) (October 2010)
F- The Fighter (2010) (May 2011)
G- The Girl on the Bridge (1999) (November 2010)
H- How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) (August 2010)
I- Inception (2010) (July 2010)
J- Jakob the Liar (1999) (November 2011)
K- Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) (September 2012)
L- Louder Than Bombs (Glosniej od bomb) (2001) (September 2010)
M- Men Who Stare At Goats (2009) (July 2010)
N- Nine to Five (1980) (December 2012)
O- On the Waterfront (1954) (November 2012)
P- Pickpocket (1959) (November 2010)
Q- The Quiet Earth (1985) (February 2013)
R- Raising Arizona (1987) (July 2010)
S- Storytelling (2001) (July 2010)
T- There Will Be Blood (2007) (October 2012)
U- The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) (October 2012)
V- Volcano (1997) (October 2010)
W- Walk the Line (2005) (January 2012)
X- X: Night of Vengeance (2011) (December 2012)
Y- Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001) (February 2013)
Z- Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008) (November 2011)

24) Learn 1 new word a week.
I don't mean reading the Word of the Day on and promptly forgetting it. I want to really learn a new word. That said, I might use Word of the Day to discover new words.
2010 words
2011 words
2012 words
Accouchement- A confinement during childbirth; a lying-in
Vagulous- Wayward, vague, wavering (also coined by V. Woolf)
Zenick- A South African burrowing mammal (Suricata tetradactyla), allied to the civets. It is grayish brown, with yellowish transverse stripes on the back. Called also suricat
Aliquot- a method of measuring ingredients below the sensitivity of a scale by proportional dilution with inactive ingredients

25) Find a lipstick and liner that I like. (February 2013)
I'm not a big fan of lipstick, but only because I feel like I look like a clown when I wear it and then it comes off. I'd like to find a shade I feel comfortable with because sometimes it's nice to feel like a grown lady instead of slicking on some Sephora gloss and calling it a day.

26) Take all my medication exactly as directed for 2 months. (April 2011)
This sounds pretty self-explanatory and some of you are probably like "Two months?! What about always?!" But I'm on a whole load of medication and I'm terrible about taking it as directed, not only due to forgetfulness but because sometimes the side effects are too discouraging. I'm hoping that a 2 month period will sort of lead into a longer period (but not forever, because I hate this shit.)

27) Regularly volunteer somewhere. (October 2012)
I'm defining "regularly" here as "often enough to be known." and "for a sustained period."

28) See all of these Mindfuck movies.
Spellbound (1945)
Rashomon (1950)
La Jetee (1962) (December 2011)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Solyaris (1972)
Videodrome (1983)
The Quiet Earth (1985) (February 2013)
Jacob's Ladder (1990) (June 2011)
The Game (1997) (July 2010)
Abre los ojos (1997)
Cube (1997)
Dark City (1998)
Memento (2000)
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
Donnie Darko (2001)
Primer (2004) (January 2012)
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) (February 2012)

29) Go on a date. (November 2010)
This will be another one that's down the line but, you know, something I'd like to get back to eventually.

30) Make a recipe book.
I have lots of recipes I love, some on scraps of paper. I'd like these compiled in one easily accessible place that can easily be updated.

31) Have a slumber party. (March 2011)
Not the "freeze your bra" and "stick your sleeping friend's hand in warm water" kind of slumber party, but just a sleepover with friends and movies...and booze.

32) Go to a major sporting event. (February 2012)
The only "big" sports event I've ever been to was a football game at Tiger Stadium. I'd do that again, but I'd love to go see a Saints game or something.

33) Donate blood twice a year. FAIL
This comes with the note of "medical issues permitting," since I almost always run into issues when it comes to trying to donate blood (low iron, recent shots, etc.). But I think it's important to donate and it's something I'd like to put more effort and thought into (i.e. not going 10 days after a steroid shot).

34) Lose 30 pounds.
This is one I'm working on right now and I've had some moderate success. Truth be told, I could probably stand to lose more, but I just want to feel comfortable in my skin and not set myself up for some crazy unattainable goal. If I lose the 30, I might go for another 20, but we'll see. The next few items sort of center around this.

35) Give up soft drinks for 2 months. (November 2011)
I don't drink a ton of soda, but I drink it enough because it's readily available, even though it makes me feel (and look) gross. This is another goal that I'm hoping will transition into a long-term habit.

36) Do 200 sit-ups in one sitting.
Changed this to 200, based on this site

37) Learn to use the weights at my gym.
Currently all I use now are the cardio machines (treadmill, elliptical, etc.) and I really want to try the weights but I don't know how to work the machines and I'm too nervous to ask, because gyms make me feel stupid. This is obviously kind of a personal issue and something I'm taking more seriously than I should.

38) Run 5 miles.
I can do about a half a mile at a paced run on the treadmill right now before my body start threatening to shut down. This is probably going to happen on the treadmill because I'm not real big on the idea of passing out at the lakes.

39) Make a cheesecake. (February 2012)
Preferably to consume after my 5 mile run. Why I've never made a cheesecake is beyond me because I love them, but I plan to remedy the situation since I now own a springform pan.

40) Have a Sazerac at The Roosevelt Hotel. (March 2012)
Unless there is a better place I should have one!

41) Go fishing. (June 2011)
I haven't been since 2005 and I miss it.

42) Take some photos of my brother and me for my parents. (December 2012)
This could also be a family photo, but the last professional photos my parents have of us are from 2001 and quite frankly, I'm looking to replace them because Alex and I look awful. Plus, thoughtful gift!

43) Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years.
This is another idea I got from the project website, but I like it because I'm in a pretty transitional place in my life right now and I think it'd be interesting to read about that when I'm 34.

44) Organize my iTunes.
My unorganized music drives me nuts, especially when it uploads on my iPod, but it's never something I've dedicated much time to fixing.

45) Go to at least 3 states I've never visited before.
Preferred states are Oregon, Montana and Maine.
1) Indiana (July 2011)
2) Michigan (July 2011)

46) Walk in a second-line parade. (August 2011)

47) Build 1 piece of furniture for myself.
Right now, I'm thinking a set of shelves.

48) Host dinner for my parents. (December 2012)
I'd love for this to be a holiday dinner of some sort, but I'd settle for a regular dinner.

49) Delete my Myspace, LinkedIn and OK Cupid profiles. (July 2010)
I don't use any of those sites, I'm tired of getting email from them and I don't feel like having all that info out there.

50) Go to the Christmas Eve bonfires in St. James parish. (December 2010)
I've done this before when I was very young but I know the event has grown since and it's a site I'd love to see as an adult.

51) Have a palm reading.

52) Open a new bank account. (August 2010)
I have a credit union account right now that would be a huge pain to try and access when I'm in New Orleans. I might join another credit union, but I want something more accessible than my current bank has been.

53) Submit at least 7 poems for publication.
I'm hoping this will get me writing again and possibly to join a writing group for critiques before submission.

54) Write 2 non-fiction pieces, Brevity-style.

55) Cook 10 challenging dishes from celebrated chefs.
Challenging meaning some combination of difficult ingredients, new techniques, fussiness and long periods. The chefs I have in mind, so far, are Thomas Keller, Julia Childs, Alice Waters, James Beard and Suzanne Goins.
1) Devil's Chicken Thighs over Braised Leeks from Suzanne Goin's Sunday Suppers at Lucques (August 2010)
2) Julia Child's Chocolate Mousse (July 2012)
3) Susan Spicer's Vegetable Polenta Gratin with Garlic Confit (January 2013)
4) Thomas Keller's Cornish Hens with Swiss Chard, Nuts, and Raisins
5) Panna Cotta

56) Cook a dish with one ingredient I've never used. (May 2011)
This does not include spices, because that's a copout.

57) Make 3 food items I'd normally buy ready-made. (June 2012)
1) Harissa (February 2012)
2) Yogurt (May 2012)
3) Duck Sauce (June 2012)

58) Visit another country.
I'd love to go to Europe again, but I'm also interested in Russia, North Africa and South America. Or, you know, Canada.

59) Learn to play my guitar.
I know some basic chords on my guitar but I've never learned a song. I'm defining "learn to play" as being able to do chords without looking at a diagram and knowing at least one song. I'm setting that bar high.

60) Grow a vegetable. (June 2012)
Preferably heirloom tomatoes.

61) Start a herb garden. (April 2012)
Fresh herbs taste better, are fairly easy to grow and it's a lot cheaper to grow them than to drop $3 on some picked basil that you won't finish using.

62) Visit 10 historical sites in New Orleans.
This may or may not include revisiting Marie Laveau's grave.
1) Preservation Hall (September 2010)
2) Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop (September 2010)
3) Antoine's Restaurant (December 2011)
4) Old U.S. Mint

63) Make 1 item of clothing for myself.
I suppose the next few items could fall under "master the sewing machine," but I wanted to be more specific. I'm thinking I want to make myself a skirt or a dress.

64) Make an apron.
Aprons are absurdly expensive.

65) Make some curtain sets.
Curtains are crazy easy to make and it's more fun than looking at window treatments at JC Pennys.

66) Fly a kite.
I know this sounds silly, but I like flying kites and I haven't done it in a really long time. Plus, childhood nostalgia, yadda yadda.

67) Learn to make 6 different cocktails from memory. (February 2013)
1) Pimm's Cup (October 2010)
2) Jack and Ginger (August 2011)
3) Pinewood Drifter (March 2012)
4) The 1st Jewel (June 2012)
5) Jasmine (June 2012)

68) Have a well-stocked home bar.
I don't necessarily mean Grey Goose and Patron here, but just a showing by each major liquor, some mixers (bitters, sours) and a couple of bottles of wine. And at least 3 different kinds of whiskey.

69) Buy a set of lingerie. (October 2011)
I'm not planning on gallivanting around in the stuff, but I'd like to have a nice set. Preferably more vintage, less trashy as well.

70) Discover 5 new-to-me poets. (March 2012)
Recommendations welcome!
1) Dan Beachy Quick (May 2011)
2) Kate Daniels (July 2011)
3) Marie Howe (October 2011)
4) Juliet Cook (March 2012)
5) Naoko Fujimoto (March 2012)

71) Get rid of all my non-stick cookware (except one pan). (December 2011)
I like my cast iron and stainless better, there's less risk involved, it goes from stovetop to oven and you don't have to worry about flakes of teflon in your food. But I do like a non-stick for things like eggs and I happen to have a wonderful non-stick saucepan that I don't want to part with.

72) Make a piece of pottery.

73) Create an organized filing system for important documents. (October 2010)
Right now, I have tax returns, W-2s and my passport all in a haphazard stack. I'd like a system that would include loan documents, important passwords, FAFSA stuff, etc.

74) Get a framed copy of my diploma.
This may seem sort of narcissistic, but I like the display of a framed copy better than the purple folder I currently have. Plus, I spent a lot of time and effort to get that thing, so I might as well be able to gaze lovingly upon it from time to time.

75) Get a New Orleans library card. (August 2010)

76) Take one really great photo to display in my home. (July 2011)

77) Write at least 5 letters (each) to Erin and Mike.
And whomever else wants one!
Erin- 1 (August 2011)

78) Learn to belly dance.
I'll probably end up doing this via DVD, but I'd love to take a class if I have the time.

79) Visit The Museum of the Gulf Coast.
I've wanted to see the Janis Joplin exhibit since I was about 13.

80) Update and start reusing iCal. (September 2010)
I may do Google Calendars instead to sync it with my phone, but I like having a calendar system when I'm in school; otherwise, I feel like I'm drowning.

81) Write down all purchases for 1 month and look at where I can cut expenses. (May 2012)

82) Pay off my Visa and find a card with lower interest rates. (May 2011)

83) Review 20 places on Yelp! and/or Urbanspoon. (December 2011)
I always check these sites for reviews but rarely review things myself. If I'm going to use them, I should contribute as well.
1) Oak St. Cafe (Dec. 10)
2) Dooky Chase (Dec. 10)
3) GLUE Clothing Exchange ( Jan. '11)
4) Elizabeth's (May '11)
5) Z'otz (May '11)
6) The Massage Emporium (May '11)
7) Pal's Lounge (May '11)
8) PURE Yogurt Culture (May '11)
9) Cowbell (April '11)
10) Maple St. Patisserie (June '11)
11) Little Tokyo Noodle Bar ( June '11)
12) Azalea Lakes Veterinary Clinic (June '11)
13) The Ruby Slipper Cafe (October '11)
14) Oak (October '11)
15) The Lucky Ladle (October '11)
16) Back To The Garden (November 2011)
17) Cochon (November 2011)
18) Hey! Cafe (December 2011)
19) Katie's Restaurant (December 2011)
20) Verti Marte (December 2011)

84) Go 1 month without buying coffee.
I'm not looking to quit coffee, but to switch to making my own, especially iced coffee.

85) Attend at least 1 music festival a year. 
2010- Pitchfork (July 2010)
2011- Festivale International (April 2011)
Voodoo Fest (October 2011)
2012- French Quarter Fest (April 2012)

86) Crochet or knit a scarf for myself.
I sort of know how to crochet but I think the easiest way to get familiar with either of these is a scarf.

87) Drink 2 liters of water a day for 2 months.
I don't drink enough water and when I do, I always have more energy and am less hungry. Plus, skin benefits and all that.

88) Go to all the major Mardi Gras parades. (February 2012)
I've been to many of these but not all and no better time to do this than while I'm living in New Orleans.
Krewe du Vieux (Feb. '11)
Carrollton  (Feb '12)
Muses (Feb '12)
Endymion (Mar. '11)
Thoth (Mar. '11)
Bacchus (Mar. '11)
Proteus (Feb '12)
Orpheus (Feb '12)
Zulu (Feb '12)
Rex (Feb '12)

89) Visit a National Memorial or Site.

90) Go back to San Francisco.
This one is made a little easier by the fact that my uncle lives about an hour north of San Fran. and probably wouldn't mind me staying with him. I could also possibly knock out visiting Oregon while I'm there.

91) Upload and organize all my digital photos.
My photos are currently strewn amongst a desktop, two laptops, a memory stick and my camera. I want them in labeled folders on one hard drive.

92) Print out some photos for framing and scrapbooks.
All my framed photos are years old. I also started a Europe scrapbook that I'd like to finish and maybe make a couple of tabletop photo albums.

93) Become more familiar with local and federal politicians and vote in all major elections. FAIL (sorta)
This is hugely important to me. I don't like the idea of voting strictly based on party lines. I want to be familiar with every person on each ballot (know who they are, their party and their stance on certain important issues), so I can cast an informed vote. I keep abreast of major politics, but I've definitely had that moment where I'm going, "I have no idea who this is."

94) Visit family graves once a year. FAIL.
This one will be hard for me because I have a strong aversion to graveyards, especially those housing the recently dead. But I feel like it's something I should do, even though I couldn't quite tell you why.

95) Take a road trip to an unfamiliar city and spend at least 5 hours there. (August 2011)
This one is inspired by a daytrip Erin and I took to Avery Island and St. Martinville. Over the course of that day, we ate at a delicious restaurant, took some great photos, learned new things and drank in a really neat bar. There are lots of places in Louisiana and Mississippi that would be fun to "discover."

96) Attend 10 cultural events. (December 2012)
I'm defining this as plays, ballet, renowned musicians and art shows.
1) No Exit (from the Zombie Apocalypse) (December 2010)
2) Macbeth (January 2011)
3) Save Our Souls (October 2011)
4) Baton Rouge Gallery's Surreal Salon IV (January 2012)
5) Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra- Shostakovich Sympony No. 1 (February 2012)
6) Reinventing Radio: An Evening With Ira Glass (March 2012)
7) The Lion King (March 2012)
8) "A Brief and Sensational history of 'The Mascot,' Notorious Newspaper of New Orleans' Gilded Age" (May 2012)
9) "History of Prostitution in New Orleans" (August 2012)
10) The Nutcracker (December 2012)

97) Take the GREs, both the general and the literature. (November 2011)
I don't think that there is anything on this list that I am looking forward to less.

98) Pay off my 1st student loan and 1/4 of the 2nd one.

99) Go on a camping trip.

100) Don't eat out for 1 month.
This does not include going out for drinks and noshing, but it does include ordering anything that constitutes a meal.

101) Host a fancy dress party. (November 2011)
I've been thinking about doing this for a birthday party. Fun, yes?