The Internet Wants You to Run A Marathon: 30 Things To Do By 30 Lists

Introduction
I’ll be turning 30 in 40 days. It’s troubling for a number of reasons (will I need to stop singing the Sailor Moon theme under my breath at all times?). One of them is that I have yet to run a marathon, apparently. There are so many “[Enter some #, usually 30 unless the author is lazy and decides on just 9] Things To Do Before You’re 30” lists on the Internet, but they’re all different. How to arrive at the true things necessary to accomplish before your third decade? Science, bitches. We’re going to do this academic paper style.

Literature Review
Turning 30 is scary because it’s the first time a birthday seems laced with humanity’s fear of aging and death (Existential Dread, 2am). Sure, EVERY birthday marks the passage of time till it’ll be your turn to forget where you left your teeth and die in some sad, undignified way, probably while pooping. But when you’re in your 20s, it’s easy not to think about. You have so much time to get serious about boring adult stuff like careers and buying clothes that aren’t plaid (do they make those?). But once you turn 30, it is freak out time (Kim, 2012; Amorosi, 2015; White; 2016; Odell, 2016).

Those citations are actually just the first results in Google I got when I typed in “turning 30”, and they are ALL TRYING TO CONSOLE ME and give me lists of reasons why being 30 is great. Totally wouldn’t be necessary if we were all happy about it. And with that sense of our own impending doom comes a sense of urgency. I can’t be wasting my time reading the Wikipedia entry on high fives–I NEED TO MAKE MY MARK ON THE WORLD or start a family or have a job that pays money or whatever. Because how much time do you really have left? Are you ALREADY BEHIND? As my research will prove, yes you are.

Methodology
I read 24 lists of “____ Things To Do Before You’re 30” (see Appendix A) and recorded each item presented. The lists were the first 24 results in a Google search for the term “things to do do before 30” and are therefore the best. I then went back and combined items that were clearly similar (for instance “Learn Spanish” can clearly be included in “Learn a Foreign Language”). I assigned each item a category (Self-improvement, life skills, adventure, charity, creativity, social, and career). These categories were pretty evident from the data and I didn’t think too hard about them.

Limitations
There are so many limitations it’s going to be easier to just list what isn’t: I have a master’s degree and have written papers like this approximately 65 times before in various academic and work-related settings. They were all much more serious than this, even the one about Dora the Explorer picture books. Still, some of that professionalism is bound to rub off. Also I’ve been published in an online Korean library science journal THREE TIMES, motherlicker.

Also I’ve kind of forgotten how to do the math for if a finding is statistically significant, and I uninstalled my stat pack 2 laptops ago. So we’re going to say the p value of this whole thing is officially “whatever”.

Results

Let’s get down to it. I collected 295 separate items from the lists surveyed. Here’s a breakdown by category:

categories2

Adventure is most often cited, followed by Self-improvement. Least popular was Creativity followed by a tie between Charity and Career. I really thought Career would be higher, honestly.

The single item cited most often on these lists is to Learn a Foreign Language, listed in 58% of articles, followed by Read (50%), Saving money (42%), and then Run a Marathon (or half-marathon or 5K), Volunteer, Road Trip, and Travel Alone, all at 38%. The top 40ish list looks like this:

1. Learn a Foreign Language: 58%
2. Read: 50%*
3. Start saving: 42%
4-7. Run a marathon 38%
4-7. Volunteer: 38%
4-7. Road trip: 38%
4-7. Travel alone: 38%
8-9. Bungee jump or sky diving: 33%
8-9. Live healthier: 33%
10-15. Go to concerts/your favorite band: 25%
10-15. Find your dream job: 25%
10-15. Learn to cook: 25%
10-15. Learn to bartend/make your favorite cocktail: 25%
10-15. Unplug for a day/week/month: 25%
10-15. Develop a workout routine: 25%
16-23. Move somewhere new: 21%
16-23. Attend a music festival: 21%
16-23. Go skinny dipping: 21%
16-23. Drive or test drive your dream car: 21%
16-23. Find a charitable cause to get behind: 21%
16-23. Learn about your family history: 21%
16-23. Take a class of some kind for fun/work/continuing ed: 21%
16-23. Learn to play a musical instrument: 21%
24-44. Attend a major sporting event (eg. Super Bowl): 17%
24-44. “Do something that scares you”: 17%
24-44. Eat something adventurous: 17%
24-44. Get lost: 17%
24-44. Ride a motorcycle: 17%
24-44. Sing in public/karaoke: 17%
24-44. Stay up all night partying: 17%
24-44. Go camping: 17%
24-44. Climb a mountain: 17%
24-44. Get a tattoo: 17%
24-44. Splurge on something nice that will last: 17%
24-44. Adopt a pet: 17%
24-44. “Create something”: 17%
24-44. Fail at something: 17%
24-44. Take lots of pictures/get better at taking pictures: 17%
24-44. Stop criticizing your body: 17%
24-44. Improve your wine knowledge: 17%
24-44. Throw a dinner party: 17%
24-44. Date around: 17%
24-44. Travel somewhere “exotic”: 17%
24-44. Live abroad: 17%

*See Appendix B for details

Also, here’s a chart of the weirder things listed, all of them only once:

weirdest

Analysis
The vast majority of items on the list fell into 3 categories: 1) things that are harder or more annoying to do the older you get (eg start saving for retirement, learn a new language, start a career), 2) things that older people “can’t” do because they are so fun and whimsical and old people are tied down by serious responsibilities and work expectations (eg. dye your hair a fun color, go on a spontaneous trip, “fall in love with the wrong person” (what?)), and 3) something the list writer really wanted to do and doesn’t care if it doesn’t apply to your life (eg. scrapbook, see R Kelly in concert, wear a bathing suit (?you haven’t?)). Never mind that a lot of these goals are almost impossible to accomplish by a normal 20something. Visit all 7 continents and all 50 states? Are you insane? How much spare money/vacation days do you think I have lying around?

In general, I was pretty surprised that career or money related things weren’t more in evidence. Sure, that part of your life isn’t as exciting to write about, but it’s a major deal, more so than if I’ve eaten tres leches cake in South America. And realistically I won’t be able to do ANY of these things without also having a viable source of income (sometimes an insane amount–do you know how much those Antarctic cruises cost?). Also, I don’t understand why running a marathon is so high on this list. Are people that into marathons? Do they avoid talking with me about it because they know I hate running so, so much? That’s probably it, actually, please continue to not share this part of your life with me.

Also, if you’re curious, I’ve done 70% of the things on the “Top 40ish list” and 58% of the total. I guess I have 40 days to run a marathon.

Conclusion
I miss my science job.

Bibliography
Amorosi, A. (2015, September 12). 9 things I’d tell anyone who is terrified of turning 30. Retrieved from: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-21538/9-things-id-tell-anyone-who-is-terrified-of-turning-30.html

Kim, J. (2012, August 12). If you’re turning 30 and freaking out. Psychology Today Online. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/valley-girl-brain/201208/if-youre-turning-30-and-freaking-out-0

Odell, A. (2016, July 12). 10 things all women who have endured turning 30 want you to know. Retrieved from: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/advice/a61252/turning-30-life-advice/

White, H. (2016, February 6). 18 reasons you should look forward to turning 30. Retrieved from: https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Look-Forward-Your-30s-35196883

Appendix A: Lists consulted

LOL sucker, there’s no way I’m typing all that up.

Appendix B: But WHAT Should I Read?

I’m glad you asked! I also looked at lists of “[Some number] Books You Should Read Before You Turn 30”. But I’d gotten kind of lazy and didn’t keep track of all the lists I consulted. I do know I found 404 separate books, which is nuts. Here are the top 30:

1. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Why have I never heard of this book??? Clearly I’m going to be reading it in the next 40 days if everyone thinks I should.

2. The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupery
I’m as surprised as you are. Luckily I’ve read this in both French and English so there’s no need to revisit this twee existential crap.

3. 1984 by George Orwell
4. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
5. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
6. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
This is another one I’m adding to my TBR since it’s not “a classic” but has such a consensus.

7. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
8. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
10. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
11. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
12. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
13. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
14. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
15. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
16. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
17. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
18. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
19. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
20. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
21. The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by Albert Camus
22. The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
23. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
24. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
25. The Beggar Maid by Alice Munro
26. First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung
27. The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb
28. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
29. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
30. The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Most of these seem to be the usual round up of classics and perennially popular titles that are maybe going to become classics if they haven’t already. Not really sure why it’s necessary to read them before turning 30, but there you have it.

2017 Goals: Quarter Quell

25% done with 2017!!! But am I 25% done with my goals? WE SHALL SEE

1. Write a Beginner’s Guide Once a Month: 25%
Nailed it! So far.

January: Weaving
February: Calligraphy
March: Cross stitch

Probably the most fun of these was Weaving since I took an actual class (at the John C Campbell Folk School omg). The one that I will probably continue to do is cross stitch.

Gotta keep working on my Disney Villains

Gotta keep working on my Disney Villains

2. Sew something once a month: 25%

In January I turned a dress into a skirt by cutting off the top and sewing in a new waistband.

Modeled here by Olivia and I

Modeled here by Olivia and I

In February I tried to make a fabric bin out of my random extra fabric. It worked out okay, I guess. Here’s a picture before the cardboard went in to stiffen the sides:

So floppy

So floppy

I needed five more of those, so in March I made more. A variety of subpar binding methods were attempted:

The galaxy duct tape is my fave binding method

The galaxy duct tape is my fave binding method

3. Write in my journal once a week: 25%
The key to this one has been to just leave my journal out in conspicuous places so I remember to write in it more. I also tape in stuff I want to save:

A memory FOR ALL TIME

A memory FOR ALL TIME

4. Make one new recipe every week: 23%
I have missed two weeks of this: January 15 when we were out of town for the whole week, and March 5 when I was way too sick to consider cooking anything. Probably the single best recipe I’ve tried in the three months is Sally’s Baking Addiction’s strawberry frosting. Holy shit is it good. Here’s the only recipe I’ve made for this project that I’ve bothered to take a picture of, I guess:

Sweet potato cups with marshmallow topping

Sweet potato cups with marshmallow topping

5. Keep my nails painted for 30 days: 100%!
That’s right, I already finished a whole goal.

6. Finish a coloring book: 60%
I have been working on this one a lot! The coloring book I chose is Alice in Wonderland themed.

Finishing a whole coloring book is taking longer than I envisioned, though

Finishing a whole coloring book is taking longer than I envisioned, though

7. Read the Dictionary of Imaginary Places: 30%
I’m currently in F, and I’m learning a lot. For instance, there are a ton of books set in the center of the Earth, particularly from the 18th and 19th centuries. People thought there was all kinds of crap down there.

8. Be active every day: 16%
I was never going to get 100% on this one, but I’m doing even worse than projected. March really brought my average down. First I was sick for a full week, and then I managed to hurt my back. I’m slowly getting into my routine again now.

Total: 38%

Looks like finishing up the nail polish goal is really saving me here!

Previously: 2017 Goals: To the Max!

Beginner’s Guide to Cross Stitch

This month’s beginner’s guide was supposed to be about rock climbing, but I may or may not have been the victim of a rock climbing related scam(??? or I’m just unusually bad at reading comprehension, I guess). Anyway, I have now vowed never to rock climb and so my back up thing was cross stitching. This is kind of cheating because I have actually cross stitched before, when I was 13, out of a kit. But this is the big leagues now, my friends. Observe:

Got myself a plastic frame and everything

Got myself a plastic frame and everything

I got this cool Disney Villains pattern on Etsy and had to assemble the supplies myself.

Everyone is cuter as cross stitch

Everyone is cuter as cross stitch

Luckily, one of my coworkers was giving away a ton of cross stitching supplies, including a lot of embroidery floss! Yay! Hardcore cross stitchers agree that the best way to store your thread for easy access is to wind the skein around a little card, write the number of the color, and arrange them in a plastic box like so:

Numerically they don't make a rainbow, sadly

Numerically they don’t make a rainbow, sadly

I like this pattern because each figure doesn’t take a very long time, so you really feel like you’re getting somewhere after only an hour. I’ve probably been doing at least 30 minutes a day for a few weeks now. Yay!!

The pink line is to measure the middle to know where to start. It gets taken out at the end

The pink line is to measure the middle to know where to start. It gets taken out at the end

I wasn’t able to finish this project in a month, but I’m excited to have my first Legit piece of cross stitch art. I’ve read some articles online about how to frame them properly so I’ll try that when the time comes.

The back is less pretty

The back is less pretty

Resources:
Buzzfeed Beginner Cross Stitch Guide
Framing Finished Cross Stitch

Previously: Beginner’s Guide to Calligraphy
Next: ???

Failing at Being a Girl: 30 Days of Nails

I distinctly remember feeling like I was a failure as a girl. Throughout middle and high school, I was woefully inept at so many things that my peers just seemed to learn effortlessly. I now know that the keyword there is “seem.” Whether I was pretending to have an opinion when we talked about which boy band members were hot or tentatively spraying myself with body mist and then getting a headache because allergies, I spent a long time feeling like my failure at gender performance was a failure at being my gender.

Luckily, I know now that it’s impossible to be “bad” at being a girl, and things like nail polish and makeup have only as much importance as you place on them. Still, maybe someday I’ll want to have that skill, and it never hurts to try. So I vowed to keep my nails painted or otherwise pretty for 30 whole days to prove I could do it. I learned a lot. Namely:

1) This is annoying and takes too much time. By the end of the month, I’d gotten things down to where I was a lot faster. But some time is still longer than no time. This is only going to be a special occasions thing for me from now on.

2) I put my nails through abuse. Between cooking, knitting, typing, and all the book wrangling at the library, most nail treatments (including nail wraps) really didn’t last very long for me. With one exception, namely:

These bad boys

These bad boys

3) Inococo Nail Polish Strips are somehow the best??? They lasted so long and didn’t chip or flake away, unlike EVERYTHING ELSE I TRIED. Plus they came off super easy despite being glittery?? And were hella cheap because I bought them at Rite Aid?? They were also the easiest thing to put on out of everything? Despite trying hard for a week to have a complaint about these, I can’t find one. And you know how much I love to complain.

4) If you got nail polish on your hand, whatever. It’ll wear off in like a day. My much more nail-savvy friend Alana imparted this wisdom to me, and she was right.

5) Nail quick dry spray exists. So that’s neat.

Here is my nail journey:

Day 1-3

I started this ~journey~ when my friend Alana was visiting me because she has–I’m not exaggerating on this at all–a small duffel bag of nail supplies. That I assume stays with her at all times. You have to be prepared for a nail emergency, guys. Clearly I was not. She gave me some good advice (see above) and let me use her Jamberry nailpolish and a Jamberry wrap to create this masterpiece:

Amateur hour, I know

Amateur hour, I know

The Jamberry polish was actually pretty nice–it went on smoother and thicker than the cheap nail polish I usually buy. And the quick dry spray actually worked. I was inspired to go to Ulta and buy some for myself. But despite Jamberry’s promises the nail wrap lasted three days. Inexpert application? Certainly. Here was my solution:

Day 4

Just paint the bare thumb with a slightly different color pink and a way different glitter. It's fine

Just paint the bare thumb with a slightly different color pink and a way different glitter. It’s fine

Alana was gone, okay? I substituted a much cheaper pink nail polish I already had, plus “pinata fiesta”(!) glitter that was on clearance(?) at Ulta when I went to get the nail drying quick spray. I know, it looks shittier than I normally do, so the next day I replaced it with:

Day 5-7

I don't know why making a weird claw is my default nail pose

I don’t know why making a weird claw is my default nail pose

Yes, even middle school me knew this was kind of tacky, but on the plus side, I was getting quicker and more confident at nail painting! Even with my left hand!

Day 8-14

Love ittttttt

Love ittttttt

You KNOW I couldn’t paint something so neat, let alone ombre. Yep, it’s a nail sticker. From Rite Aid. The life changing Inococo Nail strips. They stick on like stickers, no heat required. Instead of feeling like a sticker on your nail, it definitely has more the feel of nail polish. Same with removal. Which I only did because I figured I should. I feel like these may have actually lasted way longer.

Day 15-16

Channeling Ms. Frizzle

Channeling Ms. Frizzle

I bought these geode nail wraps on Etsy because I guess I thought I should try a non-Jamberry one to see if… I don’t know, the pyramid scheme was my problem all along? Ha ha, no, nail wraps still suck. Observe not four hours later:

What the f

What the f

Maybe it was against the rules of my agreement with the internet, but I went around like that for a whole other day before I had time to change them. By now nails were starting to annoy me, and I swore off nail wraps for good. Except you, Inococo Nail Strips. Never you.

Day 17-20

No time for anything fancy

No time for anything fancy

I almost gave up around this point, but I was SO CLOSE, I slapped some purple on there. But of course it started to chip after just one shift at the library, so…

Day 20-30

??????

I painted them blue. OVER the purple. Because I’ve got stuff to do, okay, and all the nail polish remover was not great for my skin or nails. Anyway, I know I took pictures of this, but for some reason I can’t find them. Also, they were looking pretty raggedy by Day 25, but that was around the time I got the flu, so there was no way in hell I was going to repaint them. The last five days my nails and I both looked like crap. But they were still painted, so I’m counting it. Plus the thought of starting over makes me feel sick all over again.

In conclusion, please compliment each other’s nails when they are painted or otherwise pretty, because that shit is hard.

Previously: 2017 Goals

Beginner’s Guide to Calligraphy

This month I was learning on my own instead of taking a class, so I know I didn’t do as thorough a job as if I had the guidance of a professional/someone forcing me to do things. Still, I consulted a lot of professionals, in the form of taking their books out from the library:

Sources (Books)
Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thore
Spencerian Handwriting by Platts Roger Spencer
Simple Stroke Calligraphy by Marci Donley
Encyclopedia of Calligraphy Techniques by Dana Hardy Wilson
Calligraphy by Margaret Morgan
Calligraphy in Ten Easy Lessons
Step by Step Calligraphy
Mastering Calligraphy by Gaye Godfrey-Nicholes

Of these, I liked the first one, Modern Calligraphy, the best. It went really in-depth about supplies and what to look for, explaining where you really do need to spend some money and where it’s okay to cheap out, especially for beginners. I also had this amazing Christmas present from Melissa:

A calligraphy kit!

A calligraphy kit!

It had a good practice booklet, pen, ink, and vellum. It was nice to have the basic supplies already. Here’s a practice booklet:

As you can see, my lack of artistic skill is definitely a drawback

As you can see, my lack of artistic skill is definitely a drawback

I also can’t seem to get the thin vs thick lines that really define calligraphy. It’s all about the pressure you exert, which I suppose I could get with more practice:

My handwriting will always look kind of awkward to me, I guess

My handwriting will always look kind of awkward to me, I guess

I’m probably not going to get more practice, though, because I discovered this month that, though I like the results of calligraphy, I don’t really like doing it, particularly. It’s fine, but I don’t have the drive to put in the time and effort I’d need to actually get good at it.

HOWEVER, one of the online sources I consulted, The Postman’s Knock, had an awesome tutorial about how to do CHEATING CALLIGRAPHY!! I am all about cheating, y’all. You can do it with a ballpoint, which I write in my journal with all the time. I immediately started practicing.

What would you have tried first?

What would you have tried first?

I write fast, which is probably why my handwriting is largely illegible. But for this you have to slow down, so I’m hoping I’ll at least take that lesson away from it to improve the quality of my journals in general, if not have them in beautiful Spencerian hand like I maybe naively hoped would happen this month.

I've started doing the first letter of each entry, like I'm important or something

I’ve started doing the first letter of each entry, like I’m important or something

I’m glad I took this month to play with calligraphy since it’s something that’s always interested me. Now I know all I want to about it, and I don’t have to wonder anymore. Plus, I think it’s improved my writing in some little ways.

Best Part: Livening up my journal!

Livens up the journal!

Like this!


worst Part: Sucking at drawing means sucking at calligraphy
Will I do this again?: Nope

Not sure what my plan for next month is yet, but I’m tentatively saying rock climbing!

Previously: Beginner’s Guide to Weaving

Sam Neill Post Script: And Then There Were None

samneilbanner

Steven cancelled our cable, which meant I had till the end of the month to watch everything on the DVR. INCLUDING a Sam Neill miniseries I taped at some point in the last year based on the Agatha Christie novel, which I’ve never read, so it was exciting!

And Then There Were None (2015)

Also Charles Dance was in it!!

Also Charles Dance was in it!!

The mini-series: Ten people are invited to a mansion on a remote island under different pretenses, and once they’re trapped there, a recording plays accusing them all of murder, listing the victim(s) of each. Then they start to get killed off ONE BY ONE, and there’s no one else on the island so ONE OF THEM MUST BE THE KILLER! It’s super fun to try to puzzle out who is the killer.

Esp when they all look this shifty

Esp when they all look this shifty

The Character: Sam Neill plays General John MacArthur, who killed one of his own officers in the war when he discovered his wife was having an affair with him. Then his wife dies of Spanish influenza anyway, and he seems to regret his actions. He also pretty much accepts fairly quickly what is going to happen to them. At first I thought he might jump off a cliff into the sea, but instead he’s found bludgeoned to death.

Tough luck, Sam

Tough luck, Sam

Thing I Learned: This book’s original title was different. And it’s not like they changed it once and were done; it went back and forth a lot because wtf, 1947, 1977, and 1980. ESPECIALLY 1980, you should know better. Also, apparently Christie wrote a play based on the novel that changed the ending, making it a lot happier. This was the first film production in English that kept the novel’s grim ending instead!

Should you watch this?: Yes! Sam Neill is amazing, of course, but so are Charles Dance and the others! And its shot really well too.

Previously: Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Next: ??????

Beginner’s Guide to Weaving

One of my goals this year is to try a new thing every month, and for January I took an intense week-long weaving course at the John C. Campbell Folk School. The Folk School itself is pretty incredible, and you should definitely check it out, but today we’re here to talk about weaving. On a four harness floor loom. If you’re a beginner and just want to get your feet wet weaving, I’m not sure I’d recommend a floor loom, because even the small model (“Baby Wolf”) that we used was a beast.

They all had names, and mine was Osma

They all had names, and mine was Osma

Before I went, I watched a bunch of youtube videos of other people using looms, in the hopes that it would help me understand the big picture. It kind of helped, I guess, although the process was still way more complicated than I thought. But before you even get to the loom, you need to pick your yarn and colors and do a bunch of math. Surprise! Every “feminine art” is actually all about math in the end; the patriarchy of science is built on lies (duh).

warpweft

Do you remember what weaving is from those little pot holder looms? The vertical fibers are the warp, which gets secured to the loom through a lengthy process of measuring, adjusting tension, and threading things with hooks. The horizontal threads are what you add through the process of weaving by moving your shuttle back and forth.

This is how you measure it out/set it up to go on the loom

This is how you measure it out/set it up to go on the loom

That’s a warping board, if you want to know. Then you secure the warp you made on there with ties and transfer it over to the loom where the finnicky process begins.

Not pictured: me constantly asking my neighbor if this is right

Not pictured: me constantly asking my neighbor if this is right

That board with all the nails sticking in it is used to measure your warp out evenly to the width of the finished project.

Note the shoelaces and coffee can: technical weaving tools

Note the shoelaces and coffee can: technical weaving tools

Then you wind the rest of that sucker on the back of the loom making sure to keep your tension even.

Have fun! This takes hours

Have fun! This takes hours

Then you thread each individual strand through the eye of a heddle (the metal needle-like things) in a specific order/pattern depending on the pattern you want to make on your finished work. Because this was a four-harness loom, there were four rows of heddles. The most basic threading would be harness 1, harness 2, harness 3, harness 4 repeat, but you can also get fancy.

LOL you thought the threading was over

LOL you thought the threading was over

NOW you’ve got to thread every individual strand through this metal contraption called a reed (because they were once made from legit reeds). Don’t skip any spaces! Unless you’re supposed to, of course.

Tie that sucker on to the front!

Tie that sucker on to the front!

Now you are finally ready to weave! Once you tie up your pedals to specific harnesses and wind bobbins and what not. Pressing down on the pedals (okay, TREADLES, fine–I did learn the correct vocab) will lift certain harnesses, allowing you to pass your shuttle underneath those threads and above the others.

Yay, weaving!

Yay, weaving!

Best Part: My cool weaving class friends! I feel like we were a weaving support group.
Worst Part: Tuesday at noon when we had had NINE HOURS of class and still were not weaving.
Will I do this again?: I’m not rushing out to buy a four harness floor loom because I didn’t enjoy it enough to be worth the time and expense. But it was fun to try, and maybe a lap loom will be in my future.

I also made up a weaving song, set to the tune of Reading Rainbow because I was weaving a rainbow scarf:

Shuttle goes through the shed,
Do some math in your head
Look around the room
We’re all on looms
Weaving class!
I CAN WEAVE ANYTHING!
With sort of a plan
And a coffee can
Weaving class!

Yay!

Yay!

Next: Beginner’s Guide to Calligraphy

2017 Goals: TO THE MAX

Can you believe it’s already the second week of 2017 and I haven’t made any goals yet? Just kidding, you know I prepared a spreadsheet about this like a month ago. Here’s what they are:

1. Write a Beginner’s Guide Once a Month
This is a blog series I want to start where I try something I’ve never done before and write a blog post about it. The January one is going to be The Beginner’s Guide to Weaving since I’m taking a class on it this month, but other ideas I’ve had include: juggling, rock climbing, make up, calligraphy, and pole dancing (there’s a pole dancing gym near my apartment!). We’ll see what else the year brings!

2. Sew something once a month
Guys, my sewing machine is so underused that I can hear it crying in the night from neglect.

Don't be fooled by its calm exterior

Don’t be fooled by its calm exterior

So I’m hoping to change that this year, even with just small projects or alterations.

3. Write in my journal once a week
You probably remember how I keep a journal and have since 6th grade (and sporadically even before that). I’ve kind of fallen out of the habit lately, and I want that to change.

4. Make one new recipe each week
I’m pretty sure I do this anyway, but I want to keep better track. Last week I made a chicken apricot tagine that Steven hated. And I forgot to take a picture. Oh well.

5. Keep my nails painted for 30 days
This is actually going to be a challenge for me, especially since I’ve found that working in the back room of the library pretty quickly destroys a manicure. So I’m going to get better at touch ups!

6. Finish a coloring book
Guys, I was into coloring books way before adult coloring books existed. I would spend plane trips faithfully coloring in pictures of animals and my fellow adult passengers would think there was something wrong with me. But I’m not sure I’ve ever actually finished a coloring book? This is wasteful and going to change.

7. Read The Dictionary of Imaginary Places by Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi

It's only like 800 pages

It’s only like 800 pages


Remember how great it was reading all of Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable in a year? Probably not, because it wasn’t, but I guess enough time has passed that I’m willing to give reading another one of my reference books a go. So far I’ve discovered there are way more underground civilizations than I could ever imagine.

8. Be Active every day
This one is the stretch goal because I already know I’m going to fail. Still, I’m making a stab at doing the best I can. I could never go to the gym every day or do any one kind of exercise every day, but this way I can mix it up between long walks, cycling, weights, yoga, aerobics class, whatever. On day eight I’m at about 50% which is shitty but also better than nothing.

Previously: 2016 Goals

Site and contents are © 2009-2017 Patricia Ladd, all rights reserved. | Admin Login | Design by Steven Wiggins.