Oysters are Disgusting: On Adventurousness

I have a confession to make: I’m not very adventurous. Sure, I’m not exactly shy, and I’m pretty good about trying new things “in the moment”, but I rarely go out of my way to do something out of character, and I almost never come up with them myself.

I’m the one in the Batman hoodie with the terrified look on my face.

I’m the one in the Batman hoodie with the terrified look on my face.

For example, this past weekend was my mom’s family’s Christmas gathering. Like any modern American family, this means we had more food than could reasonably be consumed, even by a room full of adults, and that there were a wide enough variety of choices to satisfy most any craving, including oysters.

Now, my sister and I likely have the least amount of culinary experience, being that, unlike the rest of the family neither of us is much for cooking, and we don’t really travel (being broke sucks, man), so while the other dozen or so members were eagerly slurping down the gooey mollusks on their relatively hideous shells, the idea to try one never really crossed my mind. That is until my sister said the three words I apparently can’t seem to resist: “I dare you.”

That’s how I ended up in a large group of my aunts, uncles, and cousins, all counting to three and downing oysters like tequila shots.

I’d rather have had the tequila.

But despite the fact that I now realize that all the time I’d spent avoiding oysters as a meal was time well spent (they’re basically like sea snot), I did have a new experience, and that’s something I’ve decided I’m going to try to do a lot more of this year. It’s one of my unpublished resolutions. The point is, I never would have had the experience if my sister hadn’t first suggested it.

Since it’s unlikely that I’ll suddenly be able to come up with interesting things to do, and since the main point of this blog is for me to write more, I’m instead going to spend the year adding to my experience by working my way through a couple books by Keri Smith.

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Technically these books are for artists looking for unique inspiration, but I’m going to alter a few of the instructions and put more effort into the “tell the story” bits than the “alter them artistically” ones. I’m not so great at that.

So look for those posts in the future, and here’s to a year full of new experiences and exciting adventures.

I probably should have stopped at the tequila.

Goals for the New Year (It’s What All the Cool Kids Are Doing)

I refuse to make New Year’s Resolutions. There are a couple reasons, really. For one, they tend to be open ended, like lose weight, read more, spend more time with family, etc. For another, I can rarely really get anything accomplished without a little competition, and what better competition than myself? I set my goals for 2013 somewhere around June, I think, so I’ve got a 5 month jump on me from last year!

With that said, here are some of my goals for 2014. We’ll see how many of these I manage to accomplish by this time next year.

1. Watch 100 new movies. New to me, that is. There’s a very big chance that 2014 is the year I risk my film degree and let the world know that I haven’t actually watched a lot of the so-called “greatest movies ever made”. I’ll attempt to rectify that as much as possible, while still giving myself the chance to watch some random nonsense along the way. If you’re wondering why the number is so low, it’s because I tend to spend the majority of my time watching TV shows, and they take up a hell of a lot more time than any movie.

2. Read 30 new books. Again, new to me. I’m starting with The Outsiders and American Gods, and they are by no means “new books”. The other half of this goal is that 26 of those books will correspond with the letters of the alphabet. You can follow my progress with this one here.

3. Write in this blog at least once per week. Not sure how I’m going to do with this one, because I’m notoriously bad at sticking to these writing goals. I write for a much bigger site on a regular basis, so I just need to work this one into that schedule. By the way, you should totally be reading All Geek to Me.

4. Finish a manuscript or screenplay. Just one. Just a first draft. Just so I know I can.

5. Participate in NaNoWriMo. I don’t need to win. I just think I should make the effort. A real effort, not just signing up and letting it sit there.

6. Start freelancing. I think that’s pretty self-explanatory, but if you’d like to hire me, I’d be willing to listen.

7. Tweet once a day, and figure out how the hell Tumblr works. I’d prefer to get more active on all my social media platforms, but I think this is a decently simple goal to start. Follow me on Twitter and Tumblr to see if I manage it.

Okay, I think that’s it. I think that will make for a pretty busy 2014.

What are some of your goals for this year?