Category Archives: Boldish

I want it Now!

I’m feeling really empty on blog material this evening, but I fear incurring the whine wrath of Veruca Salt, so here we go anyway…

1) Went to Waterbar SF tonight for $1 happy hour oysters.  They were good, but now I feel weird.  Apparently oysters, random fruity cocktail, and peppermint bark do not make for a nourishing square meal.

2) I’ve been completely wrapped up in my latest work project, and that’s been occupying the vast majority of my time and thoughts.  Hence, lack of brain space for generating blog-worthy material.

3) My mom once wondered why we needed so many skillets in the house.  “I don’t even have this many!” 

This is why.

4) New upstairs neighbor gets up around 6 am (for real!) and starts walking around (how dare he!).  Unfortunately the floors are wood and his kitchen/living room is above my bedroom.  I haven’t been well rested in a month and the bags are starting to coalesce under my eyes and reveal my pushing-thirty-ness.

The corollary to this is that his bedroom is above our living room, where we play pop/rock music and/or action/sci-fi programming until midnight-ish.  So he probably hasn’t been well rested for a while either?

All of this got me Zillowing housing prices in Austin, TX today.  I may actually be able to afford my dream house (close to everything, no surface-sharing neighbors) there!

5) On Monday, I saw someone pick a cup of chopped fruit (fork included) out of an overflowing public trash can and start eating it.  I found this simulataneously gross and heart warming- what a nutritious, delicious, and otherwise expensive snack (assuming the germ thing works out ok)!

6) Speaking of pushing thirty, everyone I know who has rounded that corner seems to accept it with grace and happiness.  Maybe because what other option does one really have? 

I don’t think that’s going to be me.  With a little over a year to go, I’m digging my heels in as hard as they will go.  I’m planning to apply myself to having extreme amounts of non-fun just to make the time pass extra slow… Yup, that’ll probably work.

7) If I had been more organized about this, I could have turned this into 3 or 4 posts.  Instead I poured the entire well into this one and now it’s gonna be dry for a spell.  Oh well. 

Stay back, Veruca.


It’s amazing what the smallest thing can do.

4 days ago, I could only do a partial chin-up.  We know this because we have it on video.

2 days ago, the Fates (aka Youtube recommendation engines) looked upon me with favor and sent a digital guardian angel (aka nasaguy) to my page.

1 day ago, I looked at the bar, told Matt to grab the camera, and I did my first chin-up.

That’s it.  A little faith and some gentle prodding from an internet stranger was the missing link.  The gust that blew the final straw off the camel’s back.

I read nasaguy’s comments and thought, “Couldn’t I get a little higher on that first one? Am I really giving it my all? Is this all in my head?”.  I decided to try again, except this time I was going to pull until my ams gave out.

When exactly did this go from being a feat of strength to a feat of will?!?  How long have I been sitting on this ability, but “psyching myself out”?  How much longer would I have continued to sit? **shudder**

nasaguy, you are the wind beneath my wings.

I am now TWO epiphanies wiser, as you are about to be, my young padawans.

1. Tell people what you are doing, so they can help you.

It pays to expose yourself (decently), on the Internet or otherwise.  Trouble yourself not with the haters.  For all we know, dozens of jerks have mocked my videos.  That doesn’t matter.  All that matters is that ONE guy swung by, left an encouraging comment (earning his karma points for the day), and now I can do a chin-up!

When I grow up and become famous and have to answer for this blog and these videos, that is the story I’ll be telling them.

2. Be generous with help and encouragement.

In 30 seconds you could change someone’s life! Sounds cheesy, but it’s true.  True story: A friend of mine once mentioned to the cashier at Trader Joe’s that one day, she’d love to go to Stanford to study aerospace engineering.  His response: “Why not today?”

Why NOT today?  The next day, she started her application, and a year later, she’s studying there!  The craziest part of this to me is that Trader Joe’s guy is still out there somewhere, spewing optimism willy-nilly, with no idea what a difference he’s made.  I want to be that guy.

Why YOU should blog more often

Last time, I made fun of Veruca Salt and her hustle for more blog posts (I want it now!), but the truth is…

I kind of miss bloguary too.

A quick recap:

January: 15 posts, 27 comments, 1 giveaway (semi-failure), 56 unique visitors

I also got comfortable in my blogging voice, and felt good about the little community we have over here.  I planted my flag and declared it a success – Onwards towards bigger and better things!

So why am I missing bloguary already?  How has this brief respite gotten me deciding that you should blog more often?

1. Safety in numbers.  When I was writing a lot, I felt less anxious about any particular post.  Even if today’s wasn’t good, yesterday’s or tomorrow’s probably might be and then people will forgive me.  Some songs have to be filler, after all.  (Note to readers-of-the-far-future: at this point in time albums still exist in cloud-land, but CDs are pretty much dead).

It’s weird, but it’s almost harder to write less often.  The butterflies procreate wildly during the gaps, and after a little break picking a topic starts to feel like an important decision (stressville).  Bringing us to…

2. There are infinite blog posts waiting to be written.  Just today I was debating between writing this lovely post, wowing you with pictures of my super-transforming coffee/dining table, letting you know what song to sing for karaoke, or informing you that you can use Roth IRA contributions to pay for college (exciting I know!).

Blog posts are so short (ideally) that you can only do one topic at a time, and since this isn’t the Truman show there’s more life going on than you can cover.  Even when you skip over the less colorful stuff like toothbrushing and sleeping.

I wish I had this much fun brushing my teeth.

ASIDE: If I did nothing but blog from now on, could I actually cover everything eventually?  I’m blogging about blogging right now, so I’m thinking no.

3. Blogging makes you bolder.  And Bolder is Better.  To make your posts unique and worth reading, you have to embrace your personality, quirks and all, and run with it loudly.  No fear, No apologies.  Smonsequences.

My natural inclination is to make my writing precise and scientific – cover all the bases, analyze every angle, defend the arguments, five-paragraph essay.

But in the interest of NOT inducing comas, I’m learning to exchange pure fact for emphasis and vivid imagery.

Here’s an example from a past post:

Netflix adds new content all the time, and instead of mindlessly flipping through TV trash, I can mindlessly watch back to back episodes of carefully hand-selected trash.

I still remember having to force myself not to go on some boring tangent explaining that of course not all TV is trash, blah, blah, which would have interrupted the flow of the sentence and robbed it of its intentional lighthearted humor.

Also see above: “There are infinite blog posts waiting to be written.”  Well… technically, there are only so many combinations of words, not to mention that blog posts have no consciousness so they can’t really “wait” for anything.  Yeah, yeah, shut up already!

Remember: Bolder is Better.  You heard it here first.  (See what I did there?)

4. Frequent blogging makes for frequent visitors.  Your readers will love you more than twice as well as you deserve because you never get out of their heads.  Be like Rihanna (release 6 albums and 36 singles in 6 years) and top the charts forever!

I know I follow a few blogs that wouldn’t necessarily stand out otherwise, just because they get updated every day.  I actually start caring about what happened to the author last weekend and wanting to see pictures of their crock-pot dinner mush!

…Awkward transition…

Despite the numerous benefits of perpetu-blogging, I am still deep in the mire of appuary so blogging will continue suffer a bit for now.  Sadface.

What do you want to hear about next?*

Coffeemus Prime: The Incredible Transforming Table
How Samoas are like Hobbits
Ways to pay for college
If I had a billion dollars
Ghosts of Maryanns Past: The Journals

(*Disclaimer: I’m likely to ignore your votes entirely.  Democracy is an illusion.**)

(** I don’t relieve believe democracy is an illusion.  blah, blah, blah.)

Fishing… for comments

As far as I know, I only have 2 regular readers – one of whom has no choice in the matter because I hover over him and ask what he thinks of my new post every few hours until he reads it.  And agrees that it’s awesome.  And then tells me specifics about how it is awesome until I’m satisfied that he’s not just appeasing me and playing Mr. Mirror-on-the-Wall to my Lord Farquaad.

But in case there are more of you who chance by this little corner of the internet, I’m offering a small incentive for you to pipe up and let the 3 of us know.

That’s right, it’s time for…

My First Blog Giveaway EVER!

Ok, not SO much a giveaway in the traditional or physical sense.  Bloggers will often do a raffle or offer a discount code to bribe encourage reader participation, but I tried to think of a prize that everyone could enjoy together (cumbaya).  Here’s the tantalizing nugget I devised…

If 10 different people comment on this post by the end of this month:

I will drop and give you 10 5.  Pushups that is.

You read me right – I’m trading pushups for comments.  My suffering could be your entertainment!  You’ve seen and (maybe) enjoyed my pullup video, so you know this will be good slightly amusing.

I realize 10 unique commenters is a lofty goal for someone with only 2 confirmed readers, but on the other hand, I don’t love pushups.  So I (and my pride) kind of win either way – perfect!  Kirk would be proud.

Actual live footage

Leave a comment?

I lurk on many sites myself and (almost) never leave comments, so I totally understand the barriers – like wanting to remain in the quiet shadows (this is the anonymous internet after all), or not having anything you want to say.

If you’re like me, I want to make this as easy as possible for you!  Want to stay anonymous?  Use an alias!  Here are 10 to pick from if you aren’t feeling creative: Blue, Ivy, Shortcake, SneakerPimp, Bennifer, Buttercup, Turkleton, Leeroy, Starbuck, Batgirl

(Yes, those ARE blatant references to the teensy Bey-Z baby – I’m not all that creative myself.)

And here are some ready-made comments you can use:

  • “+1″
  • “Drop and give me 5!”
  • “Batgirl was here”
  • “Um, how about offering a real prize?”

So that’s it!  Use an alias, leave a comment, tell your friends, and check back after January 31 for your visual feast.

What do I do, again?

  1. Hit “Comments” button if necessary to show comments
  2. Provide your alias and email address (the email won’t show up on the blog, it’s a spam blocking thing)
  3. Type a comment (i.e. “+1″)
  4. Hit “Post Comment”
  5. Hope 9 other people do the same
  6. Check back after January 31 to see if I’ve been forced to put my Herculean strength on public display!

-A note to the regulars -
J, M: If nobody else ever comments, let’s not mention this experiment ever again…


Today I came out and commented on a blog I’ve been lurking around for a year or so.  I felt super-lurker-y because 1) I knew the author a little bit in high school, and 2) most of the topics (babies, crafting, sewing, cooking) have pretty much no relevance to my life.  The longer you lurk -> the more lurky you become -> the more embarassed you are to delurk -> you see where this is going.

Anyway, today I tore that vicious cycle to shreds with a comment with one too many exclamations points (trying too hard!).  That was today’s contribution to bloguary.

And check it!  Without even meaning to, I got another blog post out of the experience.  Way to dovetail your strategies into a snowball of awesomeness, bloguary-style. #legen….dary

Coming out of the blogging closet

The blog and the quest move forward as usual, but now something significant and scary has happened behind the scenes. Between last time and this, I’ve taken the tiniest of steps to publicize this site (by linking to it from your standard social media outlets). Simple enough, you say. #small-step-for-maryann-huge-leap-for-maryann-kind

If you’ve gotten to this site via one of these means, then you are likely family, friend, frenemy, enemy, long-lost-acquaintance, friend-of-a-friend, or stalker. You are all welcome here!

You’ll feel the most welcome here if you
understand and love any part of this picture.

To get you caught up: in October I vowed to kick ass all the time, and I started this website because that mission demanded it.  There are a million different ways to do it, but in my case specifically it means:

1) get out there and do stuff (aka less daydreaming)

2) finish what i start

3) don’t apologize for being awesome (or daring to try)

It’s both a great opportunity and a great burden because every day there are a thousand chances to rock it out, but also a thousand chances to fail.  And every blog post is a chance to live out loud or play it safe.

Up until now, my only visitors have been 1) Google-roaming link-scavenging bots and 2) people who are married to me.  It’s tempting to continue on my ass-kicking ways in anonymous fashion, carving out Eldorado out in the depths of the blogosphere that real people should only be so worthy and so lucky to happen upon.  I fear the effects that public exposure->self-doubt->self-censoring will have on my writing and my mission to be awesome.  But alas, if you kick ass in the middle of the forest and nobody is there to hear it… well you know the rest.

in space, no one can hear you scream.

Saw this poster every day for 2 years in
Madame Renkin’s french classroom.  I credit it
with making me the luminous person I am today

Here I am World!  Please don’t hate me ;)

Kicking Ass and Taking Names

Two days ago, I woke up with a rallying cry in my head. Later that evening I sent out this email:


Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011
Dear Trusted Personal Advisors:

As of today, my personal mantra is this: kick ass and take names, all the time.


Here are some of the projects involved in kicking ass and taking names:

    ·         Start a business (preferably successful)
    ·         Front a band
     ·         Organize more social events (alternative: embrace hermit nature and create tantalizing shroud of mystery)
     ·         Become conversational superstar (kill social anxiety)
     ·         Author inspirational and useful blog
     ·         Become involved in microfinance lending


     ·         Join Toastmasters
      ·         Stop watching bad TV (why oh why did I watch Felicity on Netflix)
      ·         Write more


Maryann “Will She Or Won’t She Go to a Toastmasters Meeting Tonight” Vellanikaran


I’m taking this vision global with this site, so watch out people.