29 New Things!

8 Jul
Image from the awesome http://48savvysailors.com/.

Image from the awesome http://48savvysailors.com/.

As I posted last week, it’s time for me to come up with a new list of new things to try in year #28. I was very happy with how last year went with the list, but I think I learned a few things about how to construct it. Goals can’t be vague. They have to have a very clear end point (this is why “eat healthier” is the worst goal on the face of the planet for something like this).

Also, they have to be at least somewhat fun to write about, because, I’ll be honest, this is one of my shortcut ways I get blog post ideas. No one really wants to read about me updating my paper filing system, even thought that really should be one of my goals.

Lastly, it’s OK to have some things on the list that I know will happen no matter what (this year, see numbers 19, 21, 22, and 25…all of those tickets have already been bought). There’s no shame in making the challenge a bit easier. And there’s also no shame in re-using some of the goals from last year that I didn’t complete (numbers 1-6).

I am experimenting with a few goals that have more parts (number 8, 9, 27), but those are basically my ways of trying to make “Watch more classic movies!” and “Cook more new foods!” actually attainable. I realize that there are more than 70 Newbery Medal winners, so as much as I’d like to read them all this year, I’m not sure if it will happen. Still, I’m going to try!

So, here we go! I’ll post the list without my commentary as a new page on the top of my site. Do any of you have similar lists? I’d love to see or hear what new things you want to try this year!

1. Bake a cake

I fail at this perpetually year after year after year. Why are cakes intimidating when cookies and pies aren’t?!

2. Volunteer! (Can’t be school or work related)

Austin Pets Alive has a program where you can walk their shelter dogs around Town Lake. I keep meaning to do that. I mean, cute dogs, good cause…how have I not done this yet?!

3. Attend a Nerd Nite Austin event.

Nerd Nite. These are my people.

4. Go to a UT football game. Hook em!

Football in Texas is really, really important. I live close enough to the stadium that I can hear the announcements. Um, I should go.

5. Go to a rodeo

I have been to small town rodeos before, but I feel like I need to see a big, Texas rodeo before I leave.

6. Buy real cowgirl boots

The ultimate grad school souvenir.

7. Find a red lipstick that I actually like. Wear it somewhere that isn’t my house.

I love red lipstick on other people, but always find it really intimidating to wear it myself. Time to stop being afraid and start being glamourous.

8. Watch 12 classic movies I haven’t seen from this list (and definitely The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. How have I never seen those?!)

Working at the the Academy this summer has really made me realize how ignorant I am of a lot of classic films. I think I have a good base…but I haven’t seen any of The Godfather films. Or any Stanley Kubrick films besides The Shining. I really should see these so I can stop nodding along during conversations where they’re being discussed. And I live within walking distance of one of the best ever DVD rental stores in Austin. No excuses.

9. Read ALL the Newbery Medal winners.

This may take more than one year. I’ll do my best. And hey, it counts as taking a children’s literature course, right?

10. Dance in Greune Hall, Texas’ oldest dance hall.

This hall looks so beautiful, and I love two-stepping. This has to happen this year.

11. Swim in Big Stacy Pool.

Big Stacy Pool is a completely spring fed pool in South Austin. I’m going to have to take some time to lounge there on one of these triple digit summer days.

12. Eat sushi at Uchi!

It’s expensive, but it’s so Austin. I have to do it. 

13. Try three new BBQ places in Austin.


14. Visit the California Presidential Libraries – Reagan and Nixon

15. Visit the Little Rock, Arkansas and see the Clinton Presidential Library.

16. Visit the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

Um, yeah. I have a thing for presidential libraries. I’m going to try to see all the local ones this year.

17. See a Texas Rangers game.

Gotta hit up all the MLB stadiums in Texas while I’m there! Saw the Astros this year, so it’s just the Rangers left!

18. Try molecular gastronomy type food at Ink.

Molecular gastronomy! Top Chef connection! Need to try!

19. Hang out with a bunch of my college friends in a mansion for a weekend.

This is already happening for two weekends this summer – at a bachelorette party and during the weekend of the wedding. Yes, this is a cheating goal…but it’s going to be awesome nonetheless.

20. Visit the Museum of Tolerance.

I tend to put off visits to Holocaust museums. I always end up in tears and angry. The MoT though is a big one that comes up in my studies an awful lot, so I’m going to do it, even if it kills me.

21. Get a body scrub at a Korean spa.

A friend gave me this gift for my birthday, so it’s kind of cheaty…but I’m still into it. Apparently a ton of your skin gets sloughed off and you just feel amazing. Let’s do this.

22. Do a bunch of touristy stuff I haven’t done before in NYC (The Tenement Museum! The Highline! The Cloisters! The Guggenheim!)

A have a long, long overdue trip to NYC booked for the middle of September. I have a few good friends there, and yet, I’ve been so lazy about going. Now’s the time!

23. Go to Schlitterbahn!

Massive, crazy Texas water park. Oh my God yes.

24. Go to Knotts Berry Farm!

I’ve never been to Knotts, and I have some friends here in LA who are dying to go. I’m ready for a day of bad amusement park food, roller coasters and laughs.

25. Go to a music festival.

I already have tickets to ACL, so again, this is somewhat cheaty. It’s still my first music festival ever!

26. Learn how to do the splits.

I am so not flexible, and I’m always jealous in my dance classes when people can do this. I’m going to stretch all this year with the splits as the end goal.

27. Make 12 new dinner recipes from my Pinterest boards.

I’m the worst about making new foods, especially since I’m usually just cooking for myself. But I have these great Pinterest boards with all sorts of delightful recipes. Handling one a month shouldn’t be too bad, right?

28. Make some sort of boozy popsicle.

I am constantly linking to boozy popsicle recipes. I should probably just do this.

29. Memorize a poem that I love.

I love it when people have poems memorized, and I haven’t had to do it since my English major days. It’s time to try it again.

Alright 28. Let’s go!


5 Responses to “29 New Things!”

  1. Kerry (@KerryAnn) July 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    These are such awesome goals! And I wholeheartedly support your red lipstick goal. Seriously, red lipstick makes EVERYTHING better.

    • ohdizzle July 9, 2013 at 8:17 am #

      Thanks! And I may need your help in red lipstick scouting…I don’t even know where to start.

      • Kerry (@KerryAnn) July 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

        Revlon Lip Butter Candy Apple! It’s a really good starting point if you’re not used to red lipstick, because it’s almost like a gloss but it’s still noticeably red. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic is great, too, and it looks like a crayon (which I enjoy). I’m super into MAC Russian Red right now, but it’s REALLY RED.

  2. Laura July 9, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    I’m partial to Frye cowboy boots, and I bought a really cute pair of ankle boots at Allan’s in Austin. It’s paradise for boot lovers. I also highly recommend going to the hill country for Cooper’s pit BBQ. Worth the drive.

  3. JessB July 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    Fun! I love goal #1, because I LOVE to bake! It makes me happy. You should go for it.

    In fact, do you like chocolate cake? Silly question, I know, but here’s a great recipe for chocolate cake – it works every time, you just throw everything into a bowl and stir like mad! It’s literally called Simplicity Chocolate Cake, from the PWMU cookbook, http://pwmu.org.au/index.php/cookbook

    4 tablespoons of cocoa
    1 cup of sugar
    2 cups of self-raising flour
    1 cup of milk
    200 grams of butter
    3 eggs
    1 teaspoon of vanilla

    Just sieve the dry ingredients together, give a little stir, then pour in all the wet ingredients, stir until all combined and chocolate-y. This is a pretty stiff batter, so you’ll get a workout. I would recommend you do a couple of scoops right down to the bottom to make sure there’s no sneaky pockets of flour.

    I use a 20 cm tin, and butter and flour it before I put the mixture in. One tip I got recently was to use cocoa to ‘flour’ the tin instead of white flour, as it keeps the outside of the cake nice and dark. I bake it in a 180 degree oven, for 45 minutes – the recipe says 50 minutes, but test with a toothpick to be sure. I find it absolutely always cracks across the top, but I love that look. I also love that it rises beautifully and ends up nice and tall.

    Butter – the original recipe calls for 190 grams of butter, but who can be bothered getting that exact? Just get a 250 gram block, and cut off 50 grams. Melt the 200 grams and then just pour it in with the other wet ingredients. Use the rest of the butter to swipe around the cake tin.

    Eggs – I don’t like buying really large eggs, because I feel like the farmers give the chooks drugs to make eggs so big, so I use small eggs (about 200 grams). You can use whatever size you like.

    This cake is seriously forgiving – the recipe calls for white sugar, but you can use brown if that’s all you’ve got on hand. It’s just great. It. Always. Works. And it tastes great, a nice light brown inside, with a fine crumb. I just decorate it by sieving icing sugar over the top, or by drizzling melted chocolate all over it. You can go crazy with 100’s and 1000’s too – I think you guys call them jimmies? Little sugar sprinkles, anyway.

    Good luck!

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