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Thing 6b - Complete!

06b. Get engagement ring fixed

Date Completed: 22 September 2017

I stopped wearing this well over a year ago because I'd started worrying it might fall apart. One of the posts was sheared off and two gems were loose, plus there was a scratch in the main stone. But they did a fantastic job fixing it, and it's lovely again. :)

Thing 77b - complete!

77b. Tour Ben Lomond

Completed: 7 October 2017

Ben Lomond was a lot more interesting than I'd expected because it had been a field hospital during the Civil War and is dressed up like that now, complete with sounds and scents. Definitely worth visiting, but be prepared. That gangrene smell is something else.

Thing 7b - complete!

07b. Get T. Rowe Price stuff sorted

Date Completed: 8 May 2018

I got a new job at the beginning of April, and a month later I rolled my 401K accounts from two previous jobs into the current one, so I'm all set. For now. Heh.

Thing 70b - Complete!

70b. Attend a local festival or fair

Date Completed: 7 October 2017

When I first picked out this Thing, the idea was that I'd attend a local festival that I hadn't attended before. However, I didn't specify, so I decided to count Centreville Day 2017. I hadn't been to one since 2011, and was a bit disappointed to discover that the festival had changed not one whit. Whomp whomp.

Thing 76b - complete!

76b. Start a hyperlocal tourism journal and make five entries

Completed: 22 October 2017

My original idea for this journal was more text-based, with restaurant reviews and stuff like that, but ultimately decided it should be a sketchbook. It's still a work in progress, with some sketches of various landmarks and plans to gluebook over the pages ruined by false starts (of which there have been several). I think it'll end up being something I can be proud of, though its deadline is surprisingly the same as the end of these 1001 days, as I'm closing on a house in Rockville, Maryland, at the end of June. Goodbye, Centreville! Hopefully I'll get all my drawings done before I leave. I think I will. There actually isn't a whole lot here interesting enough to draw.

Thing 47b - Complete!

47b. Read one of Ixy's favorite books

Date Completed: 12 May 2018

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett: Moist von Lipwig, fresh off the scaffolds, is offered a job in lieu of a death sentence for his many swindles: become postmaster. This is no small task: unsent letters have been piling up in the post office for decades, and everyone stopped mailing letters when the "clacks" - a sort of visual telegraph - came to be. With the help of a memorable cast of characters, Moist takes it upon himself to save the post office and return it to its former glory, even if he has to return to his old con-artist ways to do it. The whole thing is very fun and very funny, and you don't even have to be familiar with Discworld to enjoy it. (I read the first Discworld book over a decade ago so I was basically coming into it cold.) Definitely recommended.

Thing 48b - complete!

48b. Read one of Kate's favorite books

Date Completed: 22 December 2017

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: Cath is a prolific author of Simon Snow fanfic (Simon Snow being the protagonist of the fictional Totally Not Harry Potter series by Gemma T. Leslie) and starting her first year of college. She is, quite simply, completely outside her comfort zone. Her twin sister Wren has decided to try living apart for the first time ever, so Cath is rooming with a stranger named Reagan and, for all intents and purposes, Reagan's maybe-boyfriend Levi. She is taking an upperclass-level writing course taught by an actual novelist, and befriends Nick, who starts as her partner in an assignment and becomes a regular cowriter. Cath is kind of a pile of neuroses to begin with, so all this change on top of the regular family drama she's already dealing with makes her life pretty difficult. But I gotta say, this was a delight to read. I was transported back to college in so many ways, both in general (dorm life, walking everywhere) and more specific (creative writing classes, the dark recesses of the library at night, attending a Harry Potter book launch party). I've never been a big fanfic writer, but there was once a time when writing was almost like breathing, the way it is for Cath. Most importantly, I loved all the characters. I've encountered versions of them in real life many times, and perhaps because of that I felt a deep affection for all of them, even the terrible ones (but in different ways).

Interspersed in the book are selections from Simon Snow - either the original books, fanfic written by Cath and Wren in high school, or from Cath's current work in progress, "Carry On Simon". The similarities to Harry Potter are intentional, of course, but there's enough difference for the passages to be interesting. Cath is a huge fan of Simon Snow - all her posters and t-shirts and most of her other stuff is somehow related - and yet her fandom is never treated like a joke. The reader is never meant to look down on her for it. It's a refreshing change, really. Cath isn't one of those fans who won't hear a word against her beloved characters; as a fanfic author, she loves writing endless "what if" stories, exploring how the world would be if Gemma T. Leslie had made different choices. This novel is, in some ways, a love letter to fandom in general.

In short (ha!), I really, really enjoyed this book. Some of it was nostalgia, I'm sure, but mostly I just liked the characters and their interactions and I wanted to hear more about their lives. I'd love for there to be a sequel about Cath's sophomore year, and one of these days I do plan on picking up Carry On. (Yes, Rowell wrote a full-length version of the Simon Snow book Cath is writing throughout Fangirl.) I don't really consider myself to be a fangirl in general, but I am a fan of Fangirl.

Thing 50b - complete!

50b. Read one of Six's favorite books

Date Completed: 22 December 2017

Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith: Jeff joins the Union Army in Kansas and fights in the Civil War for a few years. Stuff happens, of course, but that's the gist of it. This book took me forever to read. Not because it's long - it isn't, especially - but because it just didn't really hold my interest. I think I've just read too much about The Civil War. I did like reading about the Native American involvement, which is something that doesn't come up much in a lot of the narratives. But I already knew a lot about camp life and battles from that era, and I was not comfortable with the slave characters, who all seemed to love their masters so much. That said, if you want to read and otherwise fairly realistic depiction of the Civil War out in the western territories, this is a decent read. Just be sure to read other stuff to give it the proper context.

Thing 88b - Complete

88b. Go completely unplugged for one weekend

Date Completed: 24 September 2017

Perhaps not completely. Even when I wrote this I anticipated still using electricity, as well as checking email and text messages every so often. Mostly I just axed social media, RSS feeds, video games, and TV. I spent a lot of time reading, combining this with Thing 55b, and did a few other things around the house - cleaning, sorting, writing, etc. It was nice. I did no drawing, but I'm not beating myself up over that because I simply wasn't in the mood. I also wasn't a complete hermit: the hubs and I did some shopping on Saturday and we went to dinner with friends on Sunday. I also did a lot of sleeping. I suspect some of those naps would have been spent mindlessly surfing the internet or playing yet another round of solitaire, so it's not like I was any less productive for it.

In the end, I think this was a good exercise for me, if not a sustainable one long term. There were times when I really wanted to fart around on the internet or check Instagram, but it prevented me from spending long stretches of time doing absolutely nothing on my computer. I need to learn how to do that more often.

Thing 24b - Complete

24b. Ruthless clothing purge: pants

Date Completed: 24 September 2017

Well, that was easy. I tossed all but three pairs of pants not currently in the regular rotation. One of those I could wear now, one I can technically wear but is too snug for work, and one is definitely too small and I didn't even bother trying on but maybe someday. I'm not sure I've ever worn them, to be honest, and maybe they'll be a waste of space but given how much space I just freed up, I'm willing to take that risk.

Thing 55b - Complete

55b. Walk into the library, select one book based on the cover, and spend a weekend reading it

Date Completed: 22 September 2017

Nothing caught my eye on either the Hispanic History Month or Hot Picks shelves, so I wandered over to the new arrivals. It's good that I selected one from there because it kept me from "cheating" and picking up something from my wish list. I ended up choosing Lost Science: Astonishing Tales of Forgotten Genius by Kitty Ferguson. It's a collection of stories about people who made scientific advances but are largely forgotten today, of people who are known but whose own legends have overshadowed their actual accomplishments, or of those who discovered/invented something first but didn't necessarily get credited with it by history. It was good. I actually finished it Sunday night, which wasn't even required.

Thing 32b - Complete

32b. Fill ten pages in general gluebook

Date Completed: 24 September 2017

This was one of those "just do it" kind of Things. I like gluebooking but almost all I do are GST spreads. It felt good to be completely random. It also inspired me to clean out my ephemera box. I set aside the stuff that's too large to fit in any of my current gluebooks, put the teeny stuff in a little box so they're easier to find when I need something to fill a small space, and tossed a bunch of stuff I simply don't like. So it was doubly useful.

Thing 14b - Complete

14b. Clean out left side of closet - shelves

Date Completed: 24 September 2017

The stationery bin was kind of a mess. Most of the work was pairing cards with envelopes and wondering where the heck all the matching envelopes went and where all these non-matching envelopes came from.

Thing 40b - lagging behind

40b. Post, on average, one comic a month

Current Progress: 18/33 (55%)

I need to step up production if I'm going to finish this Thing.

17. Sleeping
18. Wise Words from Kori Michele


Things 11b, 18b, and 60b - Complete!

11b. Clean car inside and out
18b. Fill desk drawers
60b. Renew passport

I did all of these things many moons ago but I don't remember when so I'm setting them to today. Yay!

Thing 72b - Retconning to Completeness

72b. Go on a group bike ride with NoVa Casual Bike Riding Group

I ended up quitting this group because I could never make any of their rides and they were starting to enforce the Meetup.com fees (which make total sense if you actually attend the meetups, which I did not). HOWEVER, I've decided to change this out and mark it completed because I did something actually a whole lot more awesome: completed the Culpeper Gran Fondo, a 50k non-timed bike ride. So here's my little bit of revisionist history, now reflected in my list:

72b. Complete the Culpeper Gran Fondo

Completed: 5 August 2017

Ta da! ;)

Thing 74b - Complete!

74b. Go to a flea market

Date Completed: 17 January 2016

I completely forgot about this Thing, then when I was browsing my list I thought, "Hey wait a second..." and looked back in my GST logs and discovered that I'd actually visited Collectable Treasures back in January of last year. So yay!

Thing 84b - Complete!

84b. Do a link rot check on writing prompt websites list

Completed: 8 September 2017

I was gonna actually write. Needed some inspiration. Remembered I have an entire page of writing prompt links. Ended up doing a link rot check instead. Yay productivity!

Thing 61b - Complete

61b. Take advantage of BoA free museum weekend

Completed: 2 July 2017

Like many things in my life, I did this entirely on a whim and drove up to the Delaware Museum of Natural History for an afternoon. Not worth the trip - it's small and doesn't really have a whole lot of stuff, really. But I was in need of a nice long drive, and that fit the bill. And I got a Thing out of it, so win-win.

Thing 69b - Complete

69b. Attend 5 plays

Completed: 4 May 2017

I got an opportunity to attend the final dress rehearsal of Private Lives, a Noel Coward play put on by the Reston Community Players. It was funny and kind of dark and very British, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Thing 79b - complete

79b. Visit Dinosaur Land

Completed: 29 May 2017

I've been wanting to go to Dinosaur Land ever since I first discovered it. It was everything I thought it would be. Pictures here.

Thing 40b - a couple more

40b. Post, on average, one comic a month

Current progress: 16/33 (48%)

15. Temperature
16. Volume


Thing 9b - Complete

9b. Go to the gym every day for a month

Completed: 31 March 2017

This was mostly to see if I could do it. And hey, turns out I can. I don't think going to the gym every day is a very good idea for me. The lack of rest days meant I phoned it in too often, and the large chunk of time required ended up eating into my sleep so I was tired all the time. But I did it and I'm proud of myself for that.

Thing 94b - Complete

94b. Say "yes" to something I would not normally do

Date Complete: 12 November 2016

My friend invited me on a spa weekend in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. I'd never had a massage or a facial or even seen the inside of a spa, so I went along with her and a few other ladies (some of whom I'd met before and some I hadn't). In short, definitely out of my comfort zone. But very nice. (Well, until I was bitten by some insect that caused itchy red blotches to sprout all over my body, but other than that, quite the lovely weekend.)

Thing 65b - Complete

65b. Visit Colonial Williamsburg

Completed: 14 October 2016

Had a lovely time with some friends. Even made a GST Spread from it.

Thing 49b - Complete

49b. Read one of Reve's favorite books

Completed: 10 October 2016

I chose Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely.

I hadn't expected this book to be so entertaining. It's basically a collection of psychological experiments to test biases and illogical behavior that we all share. I was particularly impressed by the three options tests, where you have option A, option B, and a third option that's basically option B but a little bit worse, in which case most of the time people will choose option A - far more often than if they only have to choose between A and B. A lot of good food for thought in this one, particularly for people (like me) who think of themselves as generally rational. Recommended.

Thing 47b - belated intro

47b. Read one of Ixy's favorite books

Ixy gave me her book list ages ago and I just keep forgetting to post it here. She didn't include authors so I had to do a bit of Googling. I also removed the ones I'd already read:

Legends Tales from the Eternal Archives 1 by Margaret Weis
Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
Sphere by Michael Crichton
Ten Little Indians (I assume this is And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie)


Thing 71b - Complete

71b. Visit 10 new-to-me restaurants.

Date completed: 8 January 2017

Charlie Chiang's, Centreville: My husband has to be in a very special mood to eat at an unfamiliar restaurant, so while he was out of town I tried out this place. (He's often said he doesn't want to eat there, but I think he might be confusing it with P.F. Chang's.) I had pork lo mein (very tasty) and a Philly roll (good but a little bit bland - I needed soy sauce, which I usually don't with Philly rolls). I'll have to try their sashimi at some point.

Sakoonthai, Clifton: Unlike My Thai Place in neighboring Centreville, Sakoonthai had mediocre spring rolls but very tasty Pad Thai. And spring rolls aren't really a deal breaker for me anyway, so all is well. So glad to have found a good place for Pad Thai so close to home.

Matsu Sushi, Centreville: My husband was craving sushi so we tried this place. It was good, and reasonably priced. I had the roll combo (California, tuna, and salmon rolls) and he had the sushi deluxe (assorted nigiri plus a California roll). I also ordered chicken yakisoba for the next day's lunch. Everything came with salad and miso soup. All quite tasty. It's nice to know we have a local takeout place for sushi.

Penn Station East Coast Subs, Reston: This was am impulse stop after discovering that apparently the entire county stops by the Reston Whole Foods at lunchtime. I had a pizza sub. It was decent - plenty of meat, cheese, and veggies - though the bread wasn't anything to write home about. Not somewhere I'd go out of my way to visit, but nice to know it's an option.

Southside 815, Alexandria: I went with friends after a lovely sketch outing at the Frederick Douglass house. In honor of him (and his wife, whose biscuit recipe was very popular), we shared an order of 815 Biscuits: "Fresh backfin crab and Virginia ham simmered in homemade country gravy and served over sweet potato biscuits." Those were super tasty, and I'm not usually a fan of either sweet potatoes or biscuits and gravy. I ordered the fried pork chops for dinner. I didn't like the gravy, the chops were decent but a touch dry, and the garlic green beans were okay, but the mashed potatoes were fantastic. My friend's pot roast was pretty good, too (we each tried a bite of the other's meal).

MOD Pizza, Fairfax: The gimmick here is that all toppings are free. And that's pretty great, actually. The pizza is thin and crispy, so if you like that kind of crust, you'll probably like this (I do). The garlic bread was a bit much, though. Not sure if it was too much rosemary or what. But I'd go back for the pizza.

Thing 73b - Complete

73b. Go on a Potomac cruise

Date Completed: 17 September 2016

I have my friend Kate to thank for this one. Her friend was able to reserve tickets for us for the annual Colonial Market and Fair. Potomac cruises are free that day, so we took the very first one, which went from the Mount Vernon wharf up to Fort Washington and back. It was quite lovely, and I'm so glad we went in the morning because wow did it get hot once the clouds parted.

Thing 36b - Complete!

36b. Make a gluebook for REDACTED

Completed: 10 September 2016

This was a sooper-seekrit birthday present for my dear friend Six. She liked it. That makes me happy. :)

Where are we now?

We're a little more than 11 months into this 1001 days, and while I'm catching up on blogging, I think it's time for a quick status update.

Key: finished/in progress/total

Personal: 0/1/10
Home and Car: 6/0/16
Art and Writing: 3/1/16
Books and Movies: 0/0/14
Travel: 3/0/12
Local: 2/2/13
Misc.: 0/1/16
Meta: 2/1/4

So that makes 16 complete and another 6 in progress. Hmm. I'd really thought I was further along, to be honest. I should be at least a third of the way done. Luckily, I'm still feeling excited about my Things. I just keep forgetting to blog about them. And, y'know, do them.


Thing 98b - in progress

98b. Make a new 101/1001 list

I've begun! There are only 9 entries on it yet, but that's more than zero!


Thing 29b - complete

29b. Disney Trip Book

Completed 7 May 2016

This was my first attempt at a combined diary, art journal, and gluebook. It came out fairly well, I think. It's not as fat as some of my other trip books because I decided only to use one side of the page. It was easier for drawing/writing, and I think it worked out well with the gluebooking as well. A fun trip over all - next time I'll be sure to bring my clip-on light so I can do more sketching in the evening.

Thing 80b - complete

80b. Visit the Manassas Museum

Completed 3 July 2016

It's not a large place, but it's got a decent amount of things on display. Probably not somewhere I need to visit again.

Thing 71b - progress

71b. Visit 10 new-to-me restaurants.

Current Progress: 4/10

Dogs and Wings, Manassas - Okay but nothing to write home about. The hot dog was ridiculously messy and the mac'n'cheese was just okay.

My Thai Place, Centreville - Good spring rolls, pretty mediocre Pad Thai. Tasted like the stuff made from the packets you can buy at the grocery store: that is, not a whole lot like actual Pad Thai.

Saravana Palace, Fairfax - Vegetarian Indian buffet. Pretty good. The naan was fantastic, but it's hard for me to judge the rest because I'm not the biggest fan of Indian spices to begin with.

Sweetgreen, Reston - A bit like Chopt except locally sourced where possible and all gluten-free except where noted. (My coworker, who has celiac disease, recommended this place to me.) Quite yummy, though I'm fairly certain every meal is dusted with a hearty helping of smugness. Good for a filling salad with tastier-than-ordinary ingredients.


Thing 69b - progress

69b. Attend 5 plays

Current Progress: 4/5

Oliver (6/25/2016) - A student production (ages 8-18) in central Illinois. About what you'd expect from kids, but Fagan was absolutely fantastic. And it's a fun show in general, though I'd forgotten just how abrupt the ending is.

Phantom of the Opera (7/24/2016) - Professional touring company at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Sumptuous and fun, but I kind of wish I'd seen the original run of it, which apparently had much more extravagant sets.


Thing 67b - complete

67b. Visit Grandma

Completed 23 June 2016

Technically, I met up with my grandmother at my parents' house, but I'm counting it. The goal wasn't to visit the city where my grandmother lives, after all. :) It was lovely seeing her, as always.

Thing 64b - complete

64b. Visit C/U

Completed 23 June 2016

Had a lovely and slightly longer than usual visit. Saw friends and family, ate at my favorite restaurants, and generally chilled. Delightful.

Thing 40b - update

40b. Post, on average, one comic a month

Current Progress: 14/33 (42%)

This goes in spurts, but I'm pretty sure I'm ahead of the game, on average.

7. Excitement
8. Petting Guide
9. Pet Names
10. Mondegreen
11. Earworm
12. Deodorant
13. Burning
14. Misheard


Thing 15b - complete

15b. Clean out left side of closet - top shelf

Date Completed: 30 July 2016

This was part of the fallout from Pan's incarceration in my closet. I had to pull everything out to wash the floor, and in the process I noticed that the top shelf was sagging a bit too much for comfort. So I took a whole bunch of stuff down to reduce the weight. I still have a bin of notebooks and binders yet to go through, but I'm calling this one done because I don't expect more than one or two of those binders to go back into the closet.

Thing 25b - complete

25b. Ruthless clothing purge: shirts

Date Completed: 25 July 2016

I did not plan this. Pan got stuck in my closet most of the day while we were at the theater. Not only did he pee a little bit, but he also bit into the dehumidifier thingy, dumping diluted calcium carbonate water all over the place. To add insult to injury, the smell was so offensive to Hook that he hissed and growled at both me and his brother until we both bathed. So since I had to wash everything anyway, I figured I might as well toss the shirts I no longer wear. I only kept three shirts that I can't really fit into anymore. Hope springs eternal and all that.

Thing 13b - complete!

13b. Clean out file cabinet

Completed 30 May 2016

We recently purchased a king size bed, which required rearranging the bedroom in such a way that the old file cabinet no longer fit. So I spent a few days going through all our files, ultimately re-filing them in a couple of those plastic file boxes.

Thing 92b

92b. Post a picture of me holding Hook in August of each year

I actually took this picture on August 29th, and then didn't get around to updating this.


Thing 91b - in progress

91b. Make three Kiva loans

Current Progress: 2/3

Today I lent money to Agustina in Bolivia for an industrial knitting machine, and to Loice in Kenya for poultry.


Thing 69b - Mary Poppins

69b. Attend 5 plays

Current Progress: 2/5

We saw Mary Poppins put on by the Reston Community Players. We really enjoyed it. It's not just the movie on stage, but rather an adaptation of the books that keeps some of the elements and songs from the movie. P.L. Travers (the author) was famously displeased with the movie, so this was created more to her specifications. Most of your favorite songs are still there, with somewhat altered context, except "Stay Awake" and "I Love to Laugh." Plus there are some fun new ones, like "Practically Perfect" and "Brimstone and Treacle."

It did have some issues. The orchestra left a bit to desired. The spotlight operator was having some serious trouble. The tap routine was over-ambitious, to say the least. (Yes, I know tap is hard, and it only takes one person out of step for it all to fall apart, but maybe put fewer people in tap shoes?) But the leads - Mary, Bert, and the Banks family - were all excellent, the songs were great, the sets were beautiful and complex, and the special effects were cute and mostly well-executed. Definitely a fun night out.


Things 48b, 49b, and 50b

I just want to note what suggestions I've gotten so far:

48b. Read one of Kate's favorite books

Kate gave me several suggestions. I removed the ones I've read and the ones I probably won't read and narrowed it down to these:

It by Stephen King
The Wind Blows Backward by Mary Downing Hahn
The Shadow of the Wind by Carols Ruiz Zafon
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
As You Wish by Cary Elwes, Joe Layden
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Hawkeye, Volume 1 by Matt Fraction
Instructions by Neil Gaiman, Charles Vess
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

49b. Read one of Reve's favorite books

The Player of Games by Iain Banks
The Bohr Maker by Linda Nagata
Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan
Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

50b. Read one of Six's favorite books

Rifles for Waite by Harold Keith
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Thing 14b - Halfway there, more or less

14b. Clean out left side of closet - shelves

In progress. I've gone through most of the bins: stickers, pens/pencils, buttons & lanyards, assorted office supplies, and random junk. Still to go: stationery and the milk crate that usually holds puzzle magazines but who knows what else is in there.

I had no idea I had so many staples and paper chips. And notebooks. Holy Moses, that's a lot of notebooks.


Thing 26b - complete

26b. Test all the pens and toss the ones that don't work

Date Completed: 6 February 2016

I ended up tossing a whole lot, plus I put some novelty pens (that still work) in the donation bags. Why keep something I'll never use? (I did keep all my Doctor Who novelty pens. That goes without saying.) I even tested all my art markers!

Thing 34b - complete

34b. Host a project party

Completed: 20 February 2016

Had the girls over for crafts, coloring, and snacks. Very fun. Gonna host another for my birthday.

Thing 66b - complete

66b. Visit David

Completed: 14 November 2015

Totally forgot to post about this. We had a fabulous time! Attended the Richmond Cider Fest, saw David and Bobby's impressive homemade cider press, ate some tasty food, had a lot of laughs. We really need to visit more often.

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