Updates from January, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Berton 9:48 pm on January 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Week 3 – Habitat for Humanity 

    Something that I feel that I don’t do enough of us community outreach.  I’m fortunate enough to have come from a middle-class family.  Both of my parents have graduate degree, and I’m lucky enough to be in a graduate program now.  I grew up in a small town in Minnesota where I was taught acceptance, trust, and compassion.  I really feel like I could be doing more to help the world around me.  So for this adventure, I decided to walk the walk.

    I am currently working part-time as a barista at Starbucks.  It’s a pretty sweet job for a full-time graduate school student.  I usually work only five hours a day, and get done by 10am.  I can take a nap in the afternoons, then do homework all before my wife gets home from work!    Bonus!

    The Starbucks store that I work for does community work maybe once a month.  This month, some of my co-workers and I worked with Habitat for Humanity for a day.  And it was so awesome!

    We, for the most part, were just painting the interior of a group of town homes that were being built in Northeast Minneapolis.  And the group of people that I was working with was awesome.  I only knew the three people in the picture above with me, but there were maybe 50 people there.  Everyone was very joyous, constantly joking, smiling, chatting.  And all while doing this great thing to help those less fortunate.

    I think I’m going to do more community outreach with my Starbucks.  I’m not sure when, but I think next month or the month after, we are going to be working at a Feed My Starving Children event.  I hopefully can make it!  But since all three of my graduate classes have started, I may be pretty busy.  That won’t stop me from adventuring!  I just hope that the timing and scheduling works out.

    *Fun fact: did you know that every house that Habitat for Humanity builds across the world is all painted the same color on the inside?  Every single house, the same color.  That’s so cool!  Kinda boring, but cool!  It’s mostly because the paint is, for the most part, all donated to them.  And you can’t complain about the color when it’s free!

     
    • Kimberly Hula 9:37 am on January 24, 2012 Permalink

      Dan, what a lovely adventure! You have just inspired my week 3! Keep.it.up!

  • DebbieP 3:21 pm on January 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Week Two Adventure – Yoga 

    After months of slacking off, yoga is back on my schedule. I know that it’s supposed to be relaxing but seriously, the more I think about something the more anxious I get. The instsructor kept repeating “focus on your breath”. Well, when I focus on my breath my breathing suddenly becomes very forced and I feel like I’m hyperventilating. What’s so relaxing about that? And then I become very self-conscious because when my breathing becomes labored then it also seems to sound very loud. So I focus on my breathing even more…… It’s a viscous cycle. But, I’m going to keep at it. Maybe by the end of my 52 Adventures this year I’ll actually start to enjoy yoga (probably not).

     
    • Kimberly Hula 9:40 am on January 24, 2012 Permalink

      it’s good of you to try. I find myself getting more anxious than calm with yoga, too. There are as many yoga practictioners of the world, as there are fiesty kickboxers. Keep it up!

    • Andrea Gargano 9:58 pm on February 2, 2012 Permalink

      Maybe try focusing on an intention instead of breath? That could relieve some of the stress of focusing on breath. In time, the breathing just comes naturally and will feel less forced. Namaste :)

  • AG 10:04 am on January 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    On Being A Tourist 

    I’m really good at being a tourist. I have traveled in groups. I have traveled alone. It is easy to adventure abroad. Many people are afraid to travel solo, but as I found on my most recent trip to Italy, traveling alone is easier and more productive than in a group. By productive, I mean that you can venture to wherever, whenever and meet people more easily than when you are in a group. When you’re in a group, you are kind of closed off to others or give off a vibe that you are less approachable (than if you were alone).

    Ok that was a slight tangent, and my point really is that for some reason it’s easy to find adventure in an unfamiliar place. My second adventure involved the whole “being a tourist in your own city”. It’s funny that I’ve seen more of Seoul than my hometown of Chicago. I even know directions and the subway better in there than I do here. We easily take for granted familiar surroundings and don’t always take advantage of the things our own city has to offer. So last week in an attempt to do something touristy, I went to the Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium with my sister and nieces. We went on a “free” day, and lucky for this gal on a budget, they have about ten of these per month. I got to see some marine life and learn about some stars. It was a nice little something out of the ordinary!

     
    • Kimberly Hula 5:08 pm on January 19, 2012 Permalink

      I think I may just try to see some more of Boston after reading this! Excellent, fiscally responsible, fun and informative adventure!

  • Kimberly Hula 12:54 pm on January 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bento box,   

    If you must judge me, do so after tasting my chilli. 

    Hiro and I have been forced into a life of frugality.  Well, we could live well, but we choose not to in effort to save enough money to host a wedding, buy a car, put a down payment on a house, pay off student loans, pay off credit cards, and on.  We’re lucky really, that we are both employed and live in a place we long to return to, and have all the modern comforts you can come to think of (internet, tv, nearby bus service).  But we’ve tightened the fiscal belt which has yielded some unexpected results (many additional adventures to come!).

    Where we haven’t funds, we have imagination.  I know that imagination doesn’t pay the bills, but it does!  Here I will confess to rarely cooking.  And what little I cook it usually belly-full of preservatives and/or found pre-made requiring some heat.  I didn’t know how to al dente.  Or pan sear.  The only thing I could do, or thought I did well, was to ice cakes, and even then I paid little or no attention to the resounding taste.

    My new test kitchen

    So now that we’ve a home, with a large kitchen and combined cooking supplies, I took to the kitchen.  My kitchen.  And it was there I began to realize why chefs are so brazen, and why cooking is often referred to as an art.  I see that it’s more than the sum of a gaggle of ingredients.  It takes brains, brauns and inventive thinking to churn out a successful dish.  I’m not near there, but the journey is increasingly tasty… (More …)

     
  • Berton 10:46 pm on January 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Week 2 – Power, Wisdom, and Courage 

    If anyone meets me for five minutes, they will for sure learn that I am a gigantic geek.  And I’m not afraid to admit this.  I will talk about my favorite TV show (Firefly), favorite book (Wizard’s First Rule), favorite movie (Lord of the Rings Trilogy)…basically any kind of favorite has to do with something nerdy.  I even went so far as to get a geek related tattoo.

    For those of you who don’t know what the tattoo is, it is called The Triforce.  The Triforce is a symbol and holy relic in the video game franchise The Legend of Zelda (my favorite one).  Originally when I got this tattoo, I just wanted something that I thought looked sweet.  I told people that it had some meaning behind it, but that wasn’t entirely true.  At least, not at first.

    Now, as I looked back at my first batch of adventures, I was trying to see which ones I attempted and failed, if any.  One that I feel I didn’t fully commit to was my week four adventure, Lifestyle . During that week, I did a lot of self-analysis on how I could improve my life moving forward.  And I feel I did put a lot of thought and effort into it.  But I didn’t have an exact plan, and as such, it wasn’t executed very well.  I didn’t have written, obtainable goals, or the steps I could take to achieve them.

    Which brings me back to my tattoo.

    As I take an honest look at myself, I can’t help but be drawn to my tattoo, to this thing that was meant to stamp myself as a geek.  But now, as I look at it, I realize how I can use this as a constant reminder to better myself.  I can use this metaphor from a video game to inspire and change my life. (More …)

     
    • CalebB 12:53 pm on February 6, 2012 Permalink

      I really hate to tell you this, but your Zelda tattoo is screwed. The colors are definitely wrong. Red should be on top, blue on the left, and green on the right. Sorry for the truth.

  • AG 4:03 pm on January 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , quitting smoking   

    1: Calling It Quits 

    I’m pleased that the Year of 52 Adventures is back. I was living in Korea the first time around, and it seemed that a life of adventure was more easily attainable there. I think the challenge for me will be to invent new adventures for myself back in my hometown rather than just finding them right under my nose; something that seemed to happen often while living abroad. I’d like to think that being a wanderlust adventurer is in my nature. So we shall see!

    Adventure #1: Quit smoking
    Really I tried doing this so many times. I tried cutting down, nicotine gum, e-cigarette, self-hypnosis…nothing worked. I wasn’t ready, so each time resulted in failure. Maybe it was turning 30, a new-found yoga regimen, or the sky high cigarette prices in Chicago, but January 2, 2012 was different than any other days I tried to quit smoking. I just knew it was time, and I was ready for this life-altering change. I had my last cigarette on 1/2/12 at 2 PM. I have a tracking app on my phone, and it has been 1 week, 1 day, and 36 minutes since I quit, and I have saved $54.89 (as well as my life). I am using the Blu e-cigarette for when I have cravings. Each day gets a lot easier, and though this may seem like a minor accomplishment to some, it has given me the confidence to tackle future adventures.

     
    • Kimberly Hula 4:16 pm on January 10, 2012 Permalink

      Welcome back Andrea! And this is a HUGE accomplishment. I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say Congrats and that you are a week 1 inspiration!

    • Andrea Gargano 4:35 pm on January 10, 2012 Permalink

      Thanks!! I’m glad I’m able to share it here!

    • Berton 12:12 am on January 11, 2012 Permalink

      One day at a time, this goal can easily be reached! Just look towards reaching the end of the day, and every day, you will succeed!

    • Andrea Gargano 9:52 am on January 11, 2012 Permalink

      Thanks for the support and advice!!

    • wip78 7:01 pm on January 12, 2012 Permalink

      Awesome!!! Congratulations. I agree with Berton…one day at a time. Soooo proud of you!!!

    • sixofclubs 10:09 pm on January 12, 2012 Permalink

      I have had you linked since a few weeks after the last post on your blog and followed acts of kindness loosely. I will watch with anticipation and participate where I can.

    • sixofclubs 10:10 pm on January 12, 2012 Permalink

      And – quitting smoking sucks, but it is worth it in the end. Promise :)

    • Andrea Gargano 10:27 am on January 19, 2012 Permalink

      Thanks! I’ve made it past the 2 week mark! (17 days)

  • Kimberly Hula 1:43 pm on January 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: memory, no make-up, self-image   

    Beauty is 10, nine of which is dressing 

    The complex art of face painting is still foreign to me.  And when I refer to a painting of the face, I’m just fancifying the act of applying makeup.  General, every day, convenient store selling makeup that every woman seems to have in stock.  And please don’t mistake my tone for sarcasm or disdain.  I think makeup, when applied correctly, can enhance features.  I think it may enhance a woman’s self-confidence.  It can reinvent a person in the span of minutes (again, when you are better versed in application) from a softly lit clean-faced office worker to a no-holes-barred, vixen of the night club rat, with the right smear of eyeliner.  Better yet, there appears to be no rules in making up.  People lay it on thick, or keep it quiet.  The only similarity I find amongst the made up is that they are, in fact, made up.

    This has become something of a constant in my life, but I’d sooner skip the sociological implications and focus on my present predicament; namely that I feel exposed when not concealed.

    This makes perfect sense when you strip it of literal and figurative meaning.  We all in some sense chose to hide in working ways so as to conceal ourselves.  The what and the way is specific and privy to the hider, but in owning up to my own insecurities I’ll admit that I slather on the makeup because I’ve convinced myself that I need it.  That without it I’m helpless, lost, subject to the ridicule we all met as children and forever fear as adults.

    This is a complex problem with seemingly simple solutions: stop hiding.  Love who you are.  Be the change you wish to see in the world. (More …)

     
    • Andrea Gargano 4:42 pm on January 10, 2012 Permalink

      I’d say it can be liberating to go sans makeup until you run into people you know or have to have a face to face conversation. But even then, it’s our own insecurity that causes us the anxiety in the first place because most of the time people don’t even notice that we aren’t wearing makeup!

    • Berton 12:18 am on January 11, 2012 Permalink

      Hula, you are a truly remarkable and beautiful woman. What a great way to approach a new year. Each year is a step towards the future, but we must look to the past so we can learn and walk forward. By looking at a version of yourself from college that you loved, and going back to it today, I am very pumped to hear about what you can do when tomorrow comes :) I think you may have inspired an adventure idea for myself…more to come…

    • wip78 7:07 pm on January 12, 2012 Permalink

      “…love who you are. Be the change you wish to see in the world…. ” words to live by:) Thank you for sharing. You are simply lovely. Inside and out.

  • DebbieP 10:09 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    I’m fighting off a hesitance to drop this before I even begin. What’s an adventure? Every day is an adventure if you just open your eyes. Anyway, no one wants to read about just any every day. So this week I decided to visit a museum. I’ve lived in the Chicagoland area for more than half my life and yet have seen very little of it. You see, I was a suburban mom. That means that instead of visiting museums, I was visiting soccer fields, and baseball fields, and football fields and basketball gyms and ice rinks. Occasionally I might get to visit a school auditorium. So now that my children are off in an attempt to become productive citizens and move on to having their own children and visiting soccer fields, and baseball fields, and football fields yada yada yada I can venture out in the Chicagoland area and act like a tourist if I want. The first museum I visited was the Museum of Science and Industry. And what exhibit did I see first? The Dr. Seuss exhibit! Does anyone see the irony here? Anyway, there was a lot more to see than just the Dr. Seuss exhibit but too much to see in just an afternoon. So I’ll go back. But before then I’m feeling a little out of sorts so maybe my next week adventure will be to attend a Bulls game……

     
    • wip78 10:59 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink

      Yay! Get out there and explore this wonderful city of ours…especially during this fantastic weather!! Welcome, fellow adventurer. Game on!

    • Christine John 11:10 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink

      LOVED your blog…..sorry I missed it. Want to see the “jellies” before they leave? I HAVE to, but have not as yet.
      You go girl !!!! ……and don’t look back !

    • Lorelei 6:44 am on January 9, 2012 Permalink

      You couldn’t have picked a better city to explore for a year! At least for the first year…

    • Neil 9:06 am on January 9, 2012 Permalink

      Love it! I’m feeling like I need a little adventure in my life!

    • NancyV 10:42 am on January 9, 2012 Permalink

      You know what they say, “You can rest when you’re dead!” Here’s to many adventures in 2012!!!!

    • Kimberly Hula 12:55 pm on January 9, 2012 Permalink

      I’m going to echo all these sentiments when I say the city is your oyster and you are a delight for taking advantage of it! Happy trails!

  • wip78 5:57 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    A year of adventure: Take 2 

    A couple of weeks ago, I contacted Ms. Hula about a reprise of this campaign. I was a member of the original cast back in 2010, and those first couple of weeks were filled with adventure- quitting smoking, a food challenge, reality t.v., acquiring a trainer, and a few others. What a send off!  But,  as many of us are all too familiar with,  life takes us in a different direction and our focus is placed elsewhere. My year of adventure came to a halt during the first quarter after getting into a fender-bender with my roommate’s car (what a headache!….which also started my nasty habit of smoking again), and the daily grind and being a creature of habit smothered my desire to be adventuresome. There were times I wanted to get back on “Train 52″ , however, being embarrassed that I had let so much time pass by, I abandoned the campaign altogether.  Over the past year and a half, I have experienced several personal challenges.  I have learned life long lessons that have made me a much stronger, reflective, and authentic  individual. I am thankful for all that I have encountered because they have led me to the person I am today.

    With that being said, I’ve noticed I am in need of a little spice in my life….to experience something unfamiliar, something new, something exciting.  To challenge myself mentally, physically, and/or emotionally….and I just want a  year full of fun!!  What a better way to fulfill this need by participating in adventures based on my terms?!  Intriguing?! Keep reading… (More …)

     
    • Lauren Maki 6:30 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink

      I’m doing the Polar Plunge in February at NU! It’s so much fun! Also, now I’m inspired and I’m starting my own year of 52 adventures.

    • wip78 6:35 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink

      Join us!!! Share your stories here. We would love to read about them:)

    • wip78 6:37 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink

      P.S. I’ll join you for said plunge.

    • Kimberly Hula 12:56 pm on January 9, 2012 Permalink

      Roberto, I love every ingredient you’ve cooked up here! When I’m next in Chicago can we be adventure pals?

    • wip78 9:05 pm on January 9, 2012 Permalink

      Yes, please!

  • Berton 9:25 am on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Diners Drive-ins and Dives, , Minneapolis   

    Week 1 – Eating at a Dinkytown Landmark 

    Previously, I started adventuring by eating at Matt’s Bar, the Minneapolis landmark, to try their famous Jucy Lucy.  So this year, I began by going to the Dinkytown neighborhood in the University of Minnesota to, for the first time, eat at Al’s Breakfast.

    I started my adventure by arriving here at 6:05 a.m.  For those that don’t know, Al’s Breakfast, which was featured on the Diners Drive-Ins and Dives TV show on the Food Network, is notorious for long lines.  The reason why is that they only are open for breakfast..and there are only fourteen stools in the entire restaurant.  It is one counter top.

    (More …)

     
    • wip78 6:07 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink

      Awesome!! Grease always makes food taste better. By far, my favorite meal of the day is Breakfast. I shall make one of my adventures to visit a new breakfast/brunch place. Yummers….thanks for the inspiration!

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