Archive for December, 2011

December 31, 2011

Uberlist 2011

by Tabitha Kidwell

Some of you may remember last January when I facebook posted my uberlist: 111 goals for 2011. I found this idea somwhere on the internet last year, and I really love making lists, so I thought I would give it a try. Now that I organize and number it, I realize that there were only 110 goals. Oops. Lets see how I did otherwise (crossed out means I completed it, parenthesis in italicsare comments from today)…

1. Install new mac operating system & Smartboard software on laptop.
2. Back up files on external hard drive
3. Use hand-me-down kindle
4. Use hand-me-down iPod touch
5. Request to be removed from e-mail lists so my inbox will not be flooded with junk
6. Get one of the printers to work (instead we just sold the printers at the garage sale…)
7. Download / learn to use skype

8. Finish crocheting violet blanket. (didn’t touch the thing, haven’t since 2004)
9. Frame front page of Columbus Dispatch from day Barak Obama got elected. (and it hung on the wall for 5 months too, but now is in my parent’s basement)
10. Make FabWrap prototype (one of these days)
11. Hem jeans
12. Mend tents
13. Decorate for all holidays (close enough, stupid goal anyways.)

14. Save 10% of salary (thanks only to the fact that I now have almost no expenses)
15. Buy used whenever possible (what a vague goal… “whenever possible” is always, really…)
16. Figure out retirement savings plan (Oooh not so good… I have money in like 4 accounts.  I’m sure it’s doing great.  Maybe I’ll do that next year)
17. Run credit report 3 times annually (Also not good… hope it’s still okay too)
18. Use up all groupons, stop buying new ones  (this was way easier and more fun than the goals above)

19. Two trash cans of rotting food scraps in back yard. (not as gross as we thought it was going to be, either)
20. Non-essential/sentimental belongings, put rest in storage
21. Have garage / moving sale (and it was amazing!)
22. Donate old prom dresses to prom charity

23. Take weekend retreat (Yellow springs?)  (every weekend is like a weekend retreat now… but I don’t think I can count it)
24. Prayer/silent time 2 times / week. (YES!  Every morning now!)
25. Attend church even when crossroads is not happening (I think I did that once or twice)

26. Keep 1 plant alive for 6 months
27. Run, empty & re-load dishwasher immediately (I no longer have a diswasher… but I think I got a little better at this in the Spring)
28. Be on time 90% of time (totally not an issue in Indonesia… I arrive 5 minutes late to everything and am the first person there)
29. Improve handwriting (I really tried hard)
30. Stop speeding (Score! I don’t think there are speed limits in Indo, and if there are, I’m certainly not hitting them on my Scoopy)
31. Take out trash, recycling before it is overflowing (ooh, I didn’t improve on this in America or Indo.  Worse now that it attracts ants and cockroaches.)
32. Spend less than 15 minutes/day on Facebook. (so didn’t do this… definately increased my facebook time instead, but it is my lifeline home so now I think this is a stupid goal.)
33. Wake up when alarm rings (Still don’t.  Haven’t since I started using an alarm clock, don’t know why I should now)
34. Learn how to jump start a car (Don’t have a car now, so not really an issue)

35. Make website
36. Make facebook group
37. Participate
38. Raise $2500 (I had high hopes… but $700 was pretty sweet… and the whole month was fun!)
39. Hold benefit

CAREER: (I rocked this category!)
40. Apply to ELF program
41. Tell KMS I am leaving.
42. Move to… (Indonesia!  I didn’t even know a year ago so it was left blank!  Crazy!)
43. Write thank you notes to people at KMS who have helped me
44. Pack up & sort through teaching stuff

45. Go to 4 concerts of bands I have never seen live before. (only 2)
46. Listen to albums instead of just songs I like from the radio.
47. Sell my oboe. 😦
48. Learn one (easy) song on the guitar

JEOPARDY:  (started out strong in January, then totally slacked.  i copied this category verbatim for next year, hopefully I’ll do better then)
49. Learn US Presidents in order
50. (Re)Learn World Capitals
51. Learn US state capitals
52. Learn names, main characters & plot summaries of Shakespere’s plays
53. Learn English monarchs
54. Learn periodic table of the elements
55. Take Jeopardy online test

56. Read 20 books (4 in French, 4 in Spanish) (okay, I finished 15%[according to my kindle] of Tess of the D’Ubervilles in 2012, but I had already read 19% of The Secret Life of Words:  How English became English, so I’m going to count it! Oh, and I didn’t read a single book in French or Spanish, but that was like two goals in 1.  Hey, maybe that’s what puts me at 111)
57. Re-join audible & listen to audiobooks
58. Practice French 1 hour per week. (I don’t know how I thought I was going to do this)
59. Practice Spanish 1 hour per week (This one either)
60. Learn basics of a new language (and more!)
61. Memorize 4 poems (I still think a good goal, though I didn’t do a thing towards it in 2011)
62. Complete EDU T&L 868
63. Complete EDU T&L 874
64. Complete EDU T&L 8925.56
65. Pass masters Exam
66. Get masters degree
67. Read half of the New Yorkers I receive (This is probably the hardest goal on the list, seriously!)
68. Resubscribe to Economist internationally (Or on the iPad!)

69. Lose 10 pounds (only because I gained it firsst, but it counts)
71. Take daily mutli-vitamin, fish oil & calcium supplement
72. Wear sunscreen everyday
73. Be in bed (reading or whatever) by 10 PM (totally accomplished by moving to Indo!)
74. Heal ankle injuries (How did I think I would miraculously do this?  It’s better, but now I have injuries on the other foot.  Who knows when my runner feet will ever be back to normal… but they still work)

75. Eat a more anti-inflammatory diet
76. Cook dinner 2 times/week
77. Make 10 new recipes
78. Put Internet recipes I like in recipe book.
79. Learn to cook steak

80. Run across golden gate bridge
81. Run Marathon
82. Run half-marathon
83. Run 5K
84. Run at least one race wearing funny hat/outfit (Flying pig hat in Cinci!)
85. Be able to de 20 pushups (I can now, but it’s still wicked hard!)
86. Do yoga 3 times/week (again, thanks to moving to Indo)

PERSONAL: (Rocked this category too!)
87. Learn signature joke that isn’t dirty/racist
88. Get laser hair treatment on armpits
89. Write in Journal 4 times/week
90. Write thank you/goodbye notes to important people before leaving

91. Record Grandmother’s life story (next year, I promise!)
92. Take Erin to astrologer (Want to go next year, Erin?)
93. Write one personal letter/week (great goal but I didn’t write even one)
94. Be nicer to Eddie George. (I was, I swear!  to clarify, this is my sister’s cat.)
95. Write letters to LaVida participants
96. Be supportive to Erin pre-wedding
97. Get Nana Bets on Westminster Thurber waiting list  (Unclear if she is or isn’t, or if this is necessary…)

98. Take someone who would appreciate it to the 11th floor reading room at the OSU main library.  (I took Nana Bets!  She loved it!)
99. Win trivia at Grandview Café.  (Oh man… we tied for first on the last night we were there in August, then lost in the tiebreaker.  We are #5 all time scoreres from that almost perfect game, though… can’t believe we didn’t make this goal!)
100. Build snowman  (yay!)
101. Hold going away party
102. Go on road trip with no pre-determined destination (still want to do this… next July, anyone?)
103. Finish a Wednesday NYT crossword without looking at the answers. (Thanks to everyone who helped me!)
104. Skydive (sometime soon!)
105. Catch the bouquet at a wedding (thanks Erin!)
106. Participate in eating competition
107. Attend Ohio State Fair (Thanks Nate!)
108. Attend ethnic festival  (Can I count Comfest?  Is ‘hippie’ an ethnicity?)
109. Watch movies up for best picture oscar (Yes, but it took all year… a good goal, but I am just not much of a movie watcher)
110. Take more O-H-I-O pics (totally, thanks to Jackie and Katie, fellow Ohioans in Indonesia!)


So… grand total:  70/110 goals, or 64%.  Pretty good, I think, especially since some of these goals were vague or multi-part.  Next year, I plan to sub-divide better.   A lot were accomplished purely by dint of moving to Indonesia and the original goal not really applying anymore, but that is okay.  What a fun and successful year!  Thanks to everyone who helped with the goals… hopefully you can help in 2012, too!

December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas to Me

by Tabitha Kidwell

The best skill that I gained from 2 years in the Peace Corps was the ability to enjoy time alone and to entertain myself. You don’t know, because you aren’t there, but I am really fun alone. Yesterday was a prime example. A few weeks ago, the most wonderful package ever came from my friend Tess Venhoff – a tiny Christmas tree, miniature ornaments, and wrapped presents!

It’s a good thing I took this photo right away, because after one day, the different electrical voltage made those beautiful lights short out. Oops.

I knew I wasn’t going to wait until Christmas to open the presents, since I am spending Christmas in Australia with my friend Laura B. Vary, so I tried to think of a special time to open them. No special moment presented itself, so I decided to make a special day on Sunday the 18th, when I didn’t have to work or have any plans. The plans for the day, however, got a little out of hand and ended up going way beyond just the presents.

First, in the culmination of the re-tox binge I’ve been on since my cleanse ended last week, I got together all the different types of cookies I had wanted to try and had what can only be described as a cookie smorgasbord:

Santa would be proud. This was almost as good as all the pictures of Christmas cookies all my friends are posting on facebook. But it gets better… I also made 4 kinds of pancakes: plain, banana, berry, and mango, and ate them with real maple syrup I brought from America in August!

Now that I was full of Christmas cheer (AKA full of syrup and cookies, two of Buddy the Elf’s food groups), it was time to open Tess’ presents: a beautiful scarf, holiday hand sanitizer, pasta sauce packets, facial cleansing wipes, and powdered drink mix. Did someone perhaps visit the wish list page on here? All things I wanted and needed!

Next, it was time for Christmas-inspired fun.  One of the 111 goals on my Uberlist for 2011 (more on that soon) was to build a snowman.   Well I was too lazy during the real snowstorms last January and I thought for sure there would be another big one… and then there wasn’t.  So I had basically written off this goal… until I noticed what was going on in my freezer the past few weeks:

So I scraped off all that fake snow, carved a carrot nose, and cut raisins into fourths for his tiny eyes and buttons. I even made a tiny hat out of duct tape. Here he is, my Snow Bapak:

At this point, I was exhausted from my personal Christmas extravaganza (and it was only 11 AM!) so I settled down for a long winters nap. When I woke up, I was hungry again, despite the cookies and pancakes, so I went to somewhere I have also been saving for a special occasion:

KFC! The only chain restaurant in town and I hadn’t even tried it in Indonesia yet. Despite not having mashed potatoes, it was awesome. I got one piece original recipe, one order rice, one cream soup, and a mocha float. I was a little dubious of the cream soup, but, poured over the rice, it tasted exactly like the “turkey, gravy, and rice” that was my favorite cafeteria food growing up! Amazing! I was worried I would feel gross after eating fast food, but KFC actually left me feeling healthy and satisfied like I had just had a vegan meal. Maybe in comparison with the morning’s cookie pig-out? In any case, I will be back to KFC again soon!

Then I came home, played Amy Grant’s Tennessee Christmas, the album my mom played growing up, and wrapped all the Christmas gifts I’m taking to Australia. It’s hard to believe I actually have a real Christmas ahead of me. I had so much fun on my fake one! I hope there is KFC at the real one, too.

December 14, 2011

Detox, retox

by Tabitha Kidwell

I made it through the cleanse! As promised, I do feel cleansed. I feel healthy and energetic, and I lost the 15 pounds of bloat/disgustingness that I gained since coming to this land of fried food and sugar. I never saw any of the signs of extreme detox that Dr. Junger promised, like thick, tar-like bowel movements or bouts of energy in the middle of the night, but that is probably for the best. My chronic ankle injuries, though, feel the best they have in a couple of years. Could my body finally have had the energy to heal those? Could be. All in all, I didn’t even think it was that tough to make it 21 days. I think I will even do the cleanse again next year. I was never hungry, and got to really like some of the shake recipes. I did cheat a couple of times – I threw out all rules on Thanksgiving day, and also ate a couple of candy corn one day. Oh, and a package came from America and I told myself I would only eat what was inside if it was Jelly Belly jelly beans. I’ll give you one guess what was in there. But otherwise I pretty much followed the rules.

Nevertheless, I was pretty excited to eat all the food I had been avoiding. You’re supposed to introduce new foods one per day, so you can see if any of them are your “Toxic triggers” that cause you allergic reactions or intestinal discomfort. Day 1 was dairy, day 2 was gluten, then eggs, then soy, then nightshade vegetables. No problem with any of them, I am happy to report. I was very concerned about the possibility of a life without milk, cheese, bread, pasta, etc…

What I did have a problem with was sugar. Off the cleanse, I felt justified in having dessert with every meal, and sneaking in cookies between. I mean, I deprived myself for almost a month! But after a couple of days of cookie-induced re-tox, I feel pretty awful again. I have all this ice cream and candy and cookies at my house, and I just want to be done eating them so I can eat vegetables again. It’s incredible how awful all that sugar makes me feel – like my body is gummed up and polluted. But it is also incredible how much joy I get from eating it, which is why I don’t just throw it all away. But once it is gone, I will hopefully bounce back somewhere in the middle, not eating too much junk, but enough to make me happy. Like my mom always says, “Everything in moderation.” Why can’t we all just learn to listen to our mothers? It would have saved me a lot of trouble this past month!

December 1, 2011

OSU-Michigan 2011

by Tabitha Kidwell

In Columbus, Ohio, tailgating for Ohio State Football games is a big deal. During the past 4 years, I lived within one mile of campus. The best fall days were spent in a parking lot or field, eating, drinking, playing cornhole, wearing funny hats, and getting ready for the game. Sometimes I went to the game, sometimes I watched it in a parking lot, sometimes in a bar. Sometimes it was hot…

…sometimes it was cold…

…sometimes we ran into people dressed up as pirates

…sometimes I myself was dressed up as a buckeye…

but it was always fun.

The OSU-Michigan game represents one of the most celebrated and infamous rivalries in college football history, and is the most important game of the season. Though I couldn’t tailgate for games this year, and really could only watch night games (Sunday morning games for me) without being up to all hours of the night, I was determined to do right by the Ohio State-Michigan game. I actually went to Surabaya, a city on the other side of the island, to watch the game with the only 2 other people in the country that I know who cared about the outcome: my friends Rachel and Matt. The fact that they are actually Michigan fans means that I would never, under normal circumstances, watch this game with them, but nothing here is ever “under normal circumstances.” This was the perfect example of that rule – in fact, everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong. Just another day in Indonesia.

So we met up (joined by our friends Herbert, Chris, and Rupita) in Surabaya and got a hotel room at a western hotel with what we thought was reliable wi-fi. Of course, the “reliable” wi-fi that we got crystal clear ESPN on at 3 PM was out at service at game time (midnight). We spent the first half of the game frantically trying to get it to work, negotiating with the front desk, checking for updates on our phone, and getting a rough play-by-play from Rachel’s dad. The stress of it all made me feel nauseous, and I broke down and cheated on my cleanse (which requires a 12-hour fast every evening) by eating an apple and some nuts at 1 AM. We thought we had a plan when we found out that the office building across the street had free wi-fi, so we went out to sit on the curb.

But that didn’t work either, so at halftime (2 AM), we got in cabs…

…and set up shop at the 24-hour McDonalds.

During the 3rd quarter, it glorious to actually see and hear the game – and what a game it was! Scoring back and forth the whole way, never more than a 2-score game (if I remember correctly).

I was so excited, I did script Ohio during commercial breaks.

But then, our laptop batteries started to die, and (of course), the outlets didn’t work. We thought it was all over, until we noticed a bank of computers by the bathrooms. That’s right – free internet use at the McDonalds in Indonesia. So we got one loaded up and watched the nerve-wracking 4th quarter on them. Like all great OSU-Michigan games, it came down to the wire… and, for the first time in 8 years, OSU did not come out on top. Rachel and Matt went to call their friends and family and revel in their long-sought win…

…and I sought comfort from the only man I could find wearing scarlet (but no grey… and to be honest, quite a bit of maize).

It was 4 AM and time to go back to the hotel (which had regained it’s great wi-fi connection – of course). Win or lose, it was a great game, with great people, in a great (if often infuriating) country.