Archive for the ‘30 Before 30’ Category

New Adventures: 3 of 30 – A month of alcohol abstinence.

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

In general, I’m always the voice of reason and moderation, as well as a pillar of self-restraint. Surely people would describe me as a temperate woman…… A delicate flower of staidness, if you will. So I knew that my 3rd adventure of not drinking alcohol for a month would come naturally for me and be a piece of cake.

IMG_0687Now, I’m a pretty awesome drunk. I’m not a sad drunk who ends up crying all night. I’m not an angry drunk who tries to fight everyone. And other than a few miss-steps in my youth, I’m not a “I don’t know when to say when, so I’m going to be puking in the bushes all night” drunk. I just become more happy and outgoing and I want everyone to be friends and get along. I like pairing wine and beer with meals. I like the ritual of preparing fancy and/or unusual drinks. I like celebrating life. And hell, sometimes I like doing stupid things and then being able to blame it on alcohol the next day. So what.

Instead of wimping out, and only doing 4 weeks, I decided to be alcohol free for the entire month of June. No hooch at all June 1st thru 30th. It has been….. well, it’s been something. Responses to me turning down drinks have generally been either “Now why would you go and do something stupid like that?” or “Wha? You aren’t pregnant, are you?”.  Oh hells no. Truth be, I have a few reasons for giving it a go. One, I wanted to revisit this whole sobriety thing. I have a bunch of friends who don’t drink by choice & sometimes I don’t really get that deal, but it’s good to try and see things from other people’s points of view.

Another reason is that it’s always good for your mind & body to dry out for a bit. To focus on things with a clear thoughts and a level head. I’m part party cat, part hippy-granola eating-health nut, so I gotta keep those both nourished, and therefore the opposites in check. Somewhat related, I struggle with anxiety and panic attacks from time to time & have noticed that alcohol is definitely plays a part in that battle. As in, I’m wayyy more likely to freak out on days after I’ve had alcohol. And voila! No panic attacks for me during my dry month of June. So that was pretty awesome.

Good things about not boozing it up for a month: Never feeling/being hungover. Feeling more healthy. Being way more productive. Going out to dinner is soooooo much cheaper when there’s no alcohol on the bill.

Bad things about not boozing it up for a month: I ended up replacing my evening cocktail with a big bowl of ice cream, every day.  I was bored more often. Not like that’s the end of the world, but it was a bit of an adjustment figuring out how to fill new free time. Sometimes I’m kinda a total bitch when I’m sober, so this month was kinda rough for my friends and family. Having to watch other people order super awesome looking cocktails (I’m a huge sucker for jewel colored concoctions with umbrellas and plastic figurines.) and then having to listen to them talk about how delicious they are.

Whatever. I’m not sure exactly what I learned from this experiment that I didn’t already know somewhere in the depths of my soul. Maybe this was just a masochistic exercise in self-denial. Or possibly it ended up being something life changing… But probably not. I’m not sure I’m ready or willing to swear off alcohol all together. After all, if I swore off alcohol entirely, how would i be able to taste the awesome Coq au Vin that I want to learn how to make…. (Number 11.)

3 of 30 completed.

New Adventures: 2 of 30 – Tattoo Fixage

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

When I was really young and crazy at the tender age of 20 or so, I got a medium sized tattoo of vines & roses. I didn’t research it at all. Just walked into the tattoo parlor, with visions of roses in my head and picked some flash off the wall and pointed to my back. I think the piece was originally drawn for an arm band or something, who knows… The artist at the time didn’t necessarily do a bad job, but he also didn’t do an awesome job. Also, I was kinda an idiot about tattoo aftercare. I remember smearing on some neosporin on my back, not bothering to cover it & going to bed, only to wake up with an greasy/inky tattoo transfer on my bedsheets. Gross & horrifying, I know.

It has about 9 years, and the tattoo is pretty faded & you could see some problem areas. Uneven lines, uneven shading, uneven placement, etc.. I needed to fix that shit. I knew that I needed to fix that shit about 5 years ago, but just put it off. Not exactly sure what I wanted. If i just wanted it touched up, added to, covered up, or whatever. I finally decided to bite the bullet. I still love the roses & the idea of vibrant colors & it’s a pretty design, so I decided that I wanted it added to and redesigned a bit. Rose is my middle name, so I really wanted them to be a focus. A botanical/overgrown jungley feel, that looked less like something you could pick off the wall at a tattoo shop.

After some online research, I found Precision Body Arts in Nashua, NH. They had good reviews, a good website and I thought that all of their tattoo artists had pretty impressive portfolios. I went in & ended up talking with Nick Kelley. I showed him what I had & what I wanted done to it. He is a man of few words, and I get really overly verbose when I’m nervous, so I probably came off as a crackhead & threw out a bunch of lame-ass buzz words. Lord knows how, but he ended up figuring out what I wanted and drew a great sketch that was basically the look that I was going for & then he made a few minor changes to make stuff more girly & swirly. It was kinda crazy on point how he totally got what I wanted  & the style blended perfectly with what I already had. It’s hard to tell where the old one ends and the new one begins. Nick did a really fucking amazing job, period.

Here’s the original design before:
IMG_1061

And the magic that Nick Kelly made happen:
IMG_0372

Such a crazy awesome transformation. I’m super happy with how it turned out. Many thanks to Nick, and also to my tattoo buddy Brendan, who brought me crosswords to occupy my mind because I’ve apparently become a bit more of a wuss in my advanced years… Whatever. At least I take pain stoically and silently, unlike this random crazy chick.

2 of 30 completed.

New adventures: 1 of 30 – Hammock procurement.

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Hammock with Fifi and me.

Originally uploaded by emmasart

#1 on my list of 30 New Adventures Before Turning 30 was “Purchase & use a hammock in my yard.”. I decided to make good on that a few weeks back.

I’ve always loved hammocks. Laying in them. Reading & writing while blowing back and forth in a wonderfully cocoon-like net. They are totally blissful and relaxing. I came across one at Lowe’s for about 60 bux, and decided to take the plunge.

We hung it in our back yard, between 2 trees, and cleared out the poison ivy underbrush directly underneath it. It’s delightfully stealth green, meaning that you can’t see the hammock unless you’re kinda hunting for it. The sun peaks through the forest canopy sometimes, but you’re generally reclining in a fair bit of shade with a nice steady breeze that comes down the hill through the woods behind our house. It’s pretty fricking awesome.

I’ve been spending a boatload of time in it, as has Devon, as has FIfi. She loves it & its crazy to see her climb around in it. She totally goes all psycho arboreal lizard in it, climbing the ropes like jungle vines. It’s quite a sight to behold.

All in all, this is a great adventure. And I can’t believe that it took this long for me to finally get a hold of one of these things. They rock. Though the one downside is that it’s quite easy to lose track of time relaxing in a hammock.

1 of 30 completed.

30 New Adventures Before 30.

Monday, May 9th, 2011

I’m turning 29 later this month. That means I only have a little over 1 year left of being in my carefree 20′s. There are a bunch of things that I want to do while I’m still young and spry. Similarly there are a bunch of things that I think are good things to know how to do in general, and definitely would like to learn them before I hit my 4th decade.

I’ve decided to be like a million other people and make a list of 30 things that I’d like to do, try, learn, or re-try before I hit the big 3. oh. I think it’s totally doable and my list an extended version of a bunch of things that I’d like to do. And I reserve the right to change things out and add to as I see fit. Here we go: (in no particular order)

  1. Purchase & use a hammock in my yard.
  2. Fix my lower back tattoo (finally, after 10 years of saying that I should!)
  3. Get the new tattoo that I’ve been mulling over for over a year. (It’s been a year & I still want it, so I think its time!)
  4. Take part in a beach bonfire.
  5. Go to NASCAR!
  6. Learn how to cook Coq Au Vin.
  7. Learn how to braise a huge delicious monster hunk of beef.
  8. Practice alcohol abstinence for a month.
  9. Shoot arrows at random shit.
  10. Drink out of a fishbowl.
  11. Run a mile. (This body wasn’t built for running, so this should be interesting.)
  12. Run 5K. (This should be doubly interesting.)
  13. Learn how to can something savory. Like pickles. Or tomato sauce.
  14. Go winter surfing in New England.
  15. Go vegetarian for 2 weeks (organic & locally sourced when possible & maybe for a month if I get my act together.)
  16. Watch a sunrise.
  17. Watch the sun set.
  18. Visit a new continent.
  19. Go on a road trip without a destination in mind.
  20. Travel solo internationally.
  21. Learn how to disassemble, clean & reassemble a gun.
  22. Play paintball.
  23. Paint a mural.
  24. Work as an artist’s model.
  25. Model in a Fashion show.
  26. Go fishing.
  27. Learn how to gut and clean a fish.
  28. Go snowboarding. (Not on the bunny slope & without the day ending in a temper tantrum, haha)
  29. Rent a car on my own.
  30. Go skinny dipping!
  31. Read 15 new books.
  32. Go on a bike-riding day trip.
  33. Run away & join the circus…. (This is open for interpretation obviously…)
  34. Go sky diving.

Obviously some of these are contradicting. Like trying to follow a vegetarian diet. And then cooking meat, going fishing & butchering fish… But I’m kinda a walking contradiction in general.

Anything I’m totally missing? Anything that’s a really bad idea? How about you? What do you have on your Adventuresome To-do List?