Hannah Brencher on productivity and to-do lists: “Locate the task that is the most important but also the one you’re most likely to procrastinate on. That’s your frog. Your frog is the thing that NEEDS to get done . . . I try to ‘eat the frog’ every week, early in the week.”
I live and die by my to-do lists. I came across this great and straightforward way of tracking your ideas and what needs to get done via a notebook on my feed this morning and had to share. It is much easier getting things down on paper, and yes paper, electronic stuff does not work for me when it comes to lists. I can’t keep something in my brain and juggle a hundred things at once. Try it out. It has made a world of difference to me. For me eating the frog is phone calls to places like the utility company, oy.
Hey! Ever wanted to go out and try as many different types of fruit as humanly possible? Me too! Living in the Pacific Northwest I am afforded the unique opportunity to try all sorts of fruit that is available up here, that is not commonly available in other areas. Blame the weather, the geographical location or whatever; Portland has a lot of fruit. This got me thinking, we as consumers, only have access to a few varietals at the grocery store. These varietals are ones that do not rot quickly, can take some abuse from travel and taste moderately good to the majority of the population. What other flavors are out there? When is an apple not an apple, but tastes more like a watermelon? This set me on the path of trying fifty different fruits one year. Fifty is not much. There are about a gazillion varieties of apples alone, but fifty is hard to find when you are trying to get stuff at the grocery store. I scoured every grocery store, fruit stand and farm I could find within fifty miles of Portland. I wrote down everything, I made my friends sample and be guinea pigs with me. It became a slight obsession for 2012.
I learned some interesting things. Firstly, it is really a shame that we have only a few varieties at major grocery stores. It teaches kids that all apples are Red Delicious, oranges are Sunkist, and watermelon is the red kind with the seeds that you spit out. Did you know that Apples come in every color imaginable and span the taste spectrum? I tried ones that tasted like celery to ones that looked like a watermelon but taste like an orange. My favorite orange fruit is bright pink and lacks the sharp acidic bite that Sunkist oranges have. Fingerling limes are way cool; it looks like caviar but is actually lime flavor explosions that pop in your mouth.
Horned melon is something from another planet. It tastes like if beer and grass had a baby. I took this one to a friends house and made them suffer along with me for the sake of SCIENCE! Durian smells like week-old socks but tastes odd and interesting. Plumcots are amazing little bits of sunshine in a purple shell and kumquats are not good no matter how you eat them, roll them or beg them to be sweet.
It was a year of fruity adventure. Now that I have my garden going, I am putting in some strange fruits to try this year. Let’s see what I can do with white strawberries.
Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
It’s a weird thought to want to make a tree bucket list. Weird enough that I am a little embarrassed about this. I mean, trees are trees, right? There are literally billions of them on Earth. What makes one more special than another? You could probably find some majesty in any tree. I suppose for me though it is a combination of aesthetic, history, and a sheer will to live. Plus, I love gardens and pretty much anything that grows in the ground. I am an avid gardener, master gardener, and I went to school and graduated with a degree in landscape architecture; plants are my thing. When doing some research for my tree bucket list, I came across this article on stumbleupon.com. The Most Beautiful and Famous Trees on Earth. It became my starting point for research. What beautiful trees are out there and how do I get to them?
The Lone Cyprus Tree in Monterey California. -According to Wikipedia, it is one of the most photographed trees in America. When I spoke about the sheer will to live or tenacity, This is the sort of thing I was referring to. I may be attributing too much to a lone tree, but it is poetic how it faces down the ocean and still, it grows. Besides Pebble Beach is gorgeous; I would like an excuse to visit as often as possible.
Ashdown Forest, West Sussex, England – This totally makes me think of the Shire. I am a geek, and this makes me giddy.
I know that this is not technically a single tree, but a bunch of trees. i.e., a forest. But…
Rainbow Eucalyptus In Kauai, Hawaii – Please someone send me to Hawaii so I can see this tree and, um.. other reasons.
“The unique multi-hued bark is the most distinctive feature of the tree. Patches of outer bark are shed annually at different times, showing a bright green inner bark. This then darkens and matures to give blue, purple, orange and then maroon tones. The previous season’s bark peels off in strips to reveal a brightly colored new bark below. The peeling process results in vertical streaks of red, orange, green, blue, and gray. The colours of the bark are not as intense outside the tree’s native range” wikipedia.com
How cool is this? It is the Rainbow Bright of tree species.
Baobab Tree in Madagascar – This tree is so interesting; it stores water in its giant trunk and basically looks like something from Dr. Seuss. Some trees can store up to 32,000 gallons which they save for drought conditions.
The Dark Hedges in Ireland – “The Dark Hedges are an avenue of beech trees along Bregagh Road between Armoy and Stranocum in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The trees form an atmospheric tunnel that has been used as a location in HBO‘s popular television series Game of Thrones, which has resulted in the avenue becoming a tourist attraction.” I have never seen Game of Thrones, blasphemy I know, but this looks like it could transport you to any number of fantasy novel locales. Let your imagination run wild.
Dragonblood Tree – Dubbed the worlds strangest tree. I mean, seriously look at it. It also “bleeds” red sap.
This is just touching on some of the interesting trees of the world. There is so much out there to see and to do. I’ll come up with a formal list at some point I am sure. Plus, I have already seen a few awesome ones like the maple tree at the Japanese Garden in Portland or the Chamerops in Padua, Italy. I even have some cool pictures. What kind of trees do you like?
I love a good strange Christmas tree. Strange in the sense that this is not a typical red and green affair, but something different. To me Christmas trees are an opportunity to get creative, and shout “This is me!” Let that freak flag fly. My freak flag is covered in glitter and peacock feathers. To me, not only should Christmas trees be an expression of the families motto, but they should be as large as humanly possible. Covered with as many lights, and glitter as the tree can hold up and not fall over. Ever see Christmas Vacation? This movie is my holiday spiritual animal.
YAAAS! These are my people.
I think when I get around to decorating outside it will be the same thing. A little lovely, a little batshit insane and allllllll the lights that the power grid can handle. And lasers. Definitely lasers. Maybe a set of reindeer with a santa that throws glitter at passerbys.
Dat drop yo..
This is a roundabout way of coming around to my personal christmas tree. My tree is a curated and sculpted ode to the loveliness of all that is peacock. I love peacocks. They are loud and noisy and kinda prissy. Them with all their feathers and loud squawking.
I am a badass of the bird world. Did you see my feathers?
It is my own personal work of art. It is my christmas “thing.” I also have a tiny little christmas tree that sits on the table that holds all the ornaments that would look gauche on my already ridiculous gauche tree. I am looking at you “Christmas Story” Lamp ornament. FRA- GI-LE.
I have two, wreaths on this tree. Count them TWO. One as a kinda topper, and the other that is at eye level. One day I will have two large trees. One giant ten foot monstrosity, and maybe another dedicated to candy, or hummingbirds, or the desert. I dunno. But it is going to happen. Get yourself a giant tree and let that flag fly.
As first attempts go, my first attempt at over dyeing a rug turned my rug a slightly blue tinge, but only in the right light. It also stained my tub like a smurf crime scene. I killed Brainy. He was annoying as hell anyway. Don’t tell anyone.
I would deduce this as a pinterfail but frankly, I don’t fail pins. I do them twenty times till I have flattened my face by hitting a wall or I make the damn pin. I mean why buy a fifteen dollar lamp when you can make your own for two hundred.
What I have learned from this disaster? Hotter water, I need caustic chemicals, and probably not RIT dye. But I swear on Odin’s Nuts my fifteen dollar goodwill rug will be a glorious shade of teal or I will fray it trying. I need to bring out the big guns here. I need to read some directions and God forbid follow some instructions and it will be blue. I need a blue runner. It has to happen. It is a thing now. I sound like a crazy person… Stop looking at me like that. I’m not crazy. (Tries to bite own ear)
“And watch out for Molly. See if she does anything unusual. There’s something I don’t trust about the way she exploded and then came back from the dead like that.”
― David Wong, John Dies at the End
Alright, alright I might be a very slight expert in “science fiction and fantasy” novels. But saying I am an expert in something makes me sound pretentious as hell. So lets just say I have read a hell of a lot across all sub-genres of sci-fi and fantasy, I used to run my own book club, and I cried when I got to hug Neil Gaiman. Like literal tears. Take what you want from that and I won’t feel like a douche. With all the reading I have done in sci-fi/fantasy, I feel like maybe I have tapped the genre for awhile. I have wanted a new challenge.
Become an “expert” in graphic novels you say?! Challenge accepted my friend. Last year I set a goal for myself to read 50 graphic novels. What that actually means is that I read 50 and than the series following the first book. Turned out to be a whole lot of freaking books. There were really… really bad ones. Twilight.
Why did I do that to myself?
And some exceptional, incredible, not enough epithets in the english language for how good these books are, ones. Saga, and Transmetropolitan I am looking at you. It is a crying shame how much maligned this genre is. Ohhhhhhh comic books… how deep. You can suck it.
So of course, because if you haven’t noticed my not so buried neurosis about lists, you are starting to now. I found a list and started working on it. I want to finish it this year. I’ll write some posts about my favorites and see if I can turn a few of you to the dark side of comics/graphic novels and become and semi-knowledgeable person in the process.
My list as well as my running tally on all books that I have read can be found here:
Squee’s Wonderful Big Giant Book of Unspeakable Horrors
The Rabbi’s Cat
Top 10, vol. 1
30 days of night, Vol. 1
Castle Waiting, Vol. 1
One Hundred Demons
Whew big list, right? I think it is a good place to start. Honestly, I will be no kind of expert when done with it. But, I will have a greater understanding of the genre and can move forward from there. I also notice some Fabbbbbbulous books /series that unfortunately didn’t make the cut. Namely, The Boys by Garth Ennis. Good Times to be had. If you have any books that you think might be interesting, I would love to hear about them. I am always on the lookout.
Since this is my first blog post, obligatory introductions are in order. My name is Elizabeth Tabler, you may call me Beth. I was brought forth into this world 35 years ago in the “not so big” town of Las Vegas, Nevada. I am married to a wonderful man named Mark, and I have a little girl. Lets call her, “The Viking.” Because damn if thats not the appropriate description for her.
I named this blog, “before we go,” because one of my greatest joys in life is trying shit. Whether it is Civet “poop flavored” coffee, some weird food, or some odd experience, It’s my jam. This all started when I was about 11 years old and wrote my first to do list. I actually have this list framed and hanging on the wall in my living room. Lists are my neurosis… I have 9k pins on Pinterest and find the most unusual stuff to try. If you would like to see some of my past projects, check out my Project Completed folder.
Also, I will be tracking my life list (which is a full on book) and my yearly list.
Make amazing mac and cheese
Get all the Dr. Seuss books for the viking. Who am I kidding. Dr. Seuss is badass and it really is for me.
Read 100 books
Finish the 100 greatest graphic novel list found Here
Get all the Robert Sabuda Books. I have a thing for pop up books
Get all the Dresden File books. Because c’mon. Amazeballs.