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  1. Behold! A challenge with a different thread title! Goals for this challenge: - Post a minimum of one (1) cosplay progress photo daily. Any progress counts. - Don't get drunk on weekdays (where "weekdays" are Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays. Wednesdays, and Thursdays). - Work out, or something. Goals for Week Zero: - Move the fabric bins from my room to the workshop. - Fill additional doom boxes with the rest of the clutter in my room. - Order all the cosplay bullshit from Amazon THIS WEEK so I'm not at the very last minute again. - Book flights for DragonCon. - Post a shirtless bathroom mirror selfie in this thread for accountability purposes. - Bonus: figure out a meal plan and exercise schedule for the next 5 weeks, or something. Also, this challenge will be ending on August 29 instead of September 2 because I'm leaving for DragonCon on August 30.
  2. Placeholder post. This challenge will be focused mainly on cosplay and drinking tea instead of booze. There will also be workouts and diet tweaks but I haven't figured everything out yet. Week zero goals: - Buy some tea. - Obtain all necessary fabric, patterns, etc. that I'll need for my cosplay(s). - Make an actual timeline for the cosplay(s). - Figure out a workout plan/schedule. - Figure out a diet/menu plan. - CLEAN. MY. FUCKING. LIVING. SPACE. I will update this post throughout the week. A timeline for the cosplay is below, but it's more like a list of steps rather than an actual timeline that has deadlines for each step. Dates will be added later. Workout plan so far: Mondays - 5 min upper body workout in the morning, conditioning class in the evening (if people show up), pole class in the evening. Tuesdays - 5 min lower body workout in the morning, BodyAttack class in the afternoon. Wednesdays - conditioning class in the evening (if people show up), pole class in the evening. Thursdays - 5 min upper body workout in the morning. Fridays - 5 min lower body workout in the morning. Saturdays - BodyAttack class in the morning. Sundays - Rest or w/e, maybe go for a walk. I might increase the 5 min upper body workouts to 15 minutes, just because I have big upper body goals for this challenge. Possible breakfast menu ideas: - 3/4 cup egg whites in a keto tortilla with a bit of cheese. - Cottage cheese with protein powder and hempseed hearts. - 3/4 cup egg whites with black beans and salsa. - Smoothie with fruit and protein powder, or something. Lunch menu: - Salad with chicken (or some form of protein). - Chili. Supper menu: - ????? - Whatever mom makes. I'd need to pre-cook chicken for my salads at some point. And also pre-cook chili (worst case scenario is that I can just have chili from a can). I love tuna, but I don't want to have it more than once a week due to the mercury content. Maybe twice. I used to make salads for lunch every day at work and it was an excellent way to get more vegetables into my diet, so I see no reason why I can't do this again. Supper is where things get complicated, because I have absolutely zero say re. what goes on in the kitchen. I also have no space in the kitchen while mom is cooking supper, so what she makes is what I have. This usually isn't bad because mom likes to cook healthy meals. Unfortunately, sometimes she'll fall behind in her day due to other things happening and then won't feel like cooking anymore, at which point we'll have frozen pizza or pot stickers or pasta or whatever. This isn't BAD, but also not weight loss-friendly ­čśů So I'll need some options for backup meals. I have konjac noodles for pasta days, and...hmm, maybe I could ask that we get frozen cauliflower pizza going forward. I'll figure something out. There's also the option of getting take-out for weekly suppers since there's a place in town that makes meals that are specifically high in protein for people who work out. Shirtless bathroom mirror selfies may also happen on a weekly basis and will be taken every Saturday morning post-BodyAttack. Potential eating schedule, to be filled in before Week 1: Yeah. I'll be doing the Slow Carb diet ­čść
  3. Between wedding prep, conventions, and honeymoon, my hiatus went a little longer than I had planned. But with a new challenging starting, it's a good time to hop back in and see if I've gotten any worse at this "healthy living" thing. So after a couple months of eating whatever I wanted whenever I felt like it, I officially broke all previous records and weighed in at my heaviest ever (180lb). After a week of being more conscious of my decisions and skipping snacks unless I was legitimately hungry, I'm down half a pound, so I don't actually need to make major changes to cut the weight. In the spirit of Small, Sustainable Changes, my goals for this challenge are just to maintain that habit and work on finding a fun fitness activity I can do a couple times a week. I'm currently eyeing HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts), since I just got a custom practice sword as a prop for my wedding. I haven't had any luck finding greatsword tutorials though, and don't want to jump on a paid plan until I know it's something I'll stick with, so I may end up using the longsword from my Aragorn cosplay instead.
  4. I'm really bad at challenges right now, but I'm going to keep trying until it sticks again. This time around I'm just going to accept that it isn't my current priority, so I'll be playing fast and loose with the format just to get some momentum going. My wedding is now 45 days out, scheduled for the middle of next challenge cycle. All the big stuff is done, but we're still making decorations and finalizing plans. So that's my priority right now. My current to do list: -Finish head table backdrop -Finish reception outfit (R2-D2 vest) -Finish ringbearer outfit -Receive and detail groomsman gifts (swords) -Finish (sand/polish) resin table decorations -(If time allows) add eyeballs to giant sunflowers for aisle runners -Pre-buy drinks during normal shopping runs I'm also going to be trying to get back into good eating and exercise habits, but I'll be easing into it as energy and willpower allows. I did breakdown and redownload MyFitnessPal, so I'll be making an attempt to track my calories. I'm not really following a calorie goal yet, but I know that tracking will make me cut back anyway. I'm also back in the office full-time, which means I can get paid to workout again, and with some coordination do so on my way home. That removes a couple barriers I've been struggling with while teleworking, but I still have to actually do the thing. Pictures to come as I remember.
  5. Continuing the ongoing theme from my favorite webcomic (it ran for 20 years, the art gets better, the characters and story are good throughout) the 70 Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries. I'll be using selected Maxims to explain my goals and keep things entertaining. I don't expect to get to all of them, and may reuse some of the more applicable ones. But they all have their own wisdom. So turns out this whole "return to normal" thing everyone's trying to pull right now is Hell if you're an extreme introvert. All of my energy and willpower is getting used relearning how to deal with people on a regular basis, and I don't like it. Hopefully, some more time here will help me prioritize the things that actually help me feel better over low-energy distractions. And because it's taken me a day to get this much written, I'm going to add actual goals later. For now, I'm just going to focus on being more active on the forums.
  6. Continuing the ongoing theme from my favorite webcomic (it ran for 20 years, the art gets better, the characters and story are good throughout) the 70 Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries. I'll be using selected Maxims to explain my goals and keep things entertaining. I don't expect to get to all of them, and may reuse some of the more applicable ones. But they all have their own wisdom. Last challenge was a bit of a kick in the teeth. I picked some seemingly reasonable goals to build on the momentum I had built since the beginning of the year and everything was looking good. Then week one, life threw a couple wrenches in the plan and my mind went "oh, you thought that was momentum? Nope, that was all willpower!" I rolled back to my previous goals, but had very little extra energy for talking about it, so my challenge thread didn't see much activity. I'm hoping I have a handle on things again, and will be taking smaller steps with my goals, mostly continuing the progress I managed towards the end of last challenge. Maxim 47: Don't Expect the Enemy to Cooperate in the Creation of Your Dream Engagement. My plan last challenge did not go well. My intentions fell apart week one and it took most of the challenge to restart where I had been prior to the change. That said, I'm still seeing progress (back up to sets of 4 pullups from the 2 I started the year with). So I'm going to stick with my "randomly do something most days" plan for now. At some point, my life should get organized enough to have a dedicated workout time, but I'm not there yet and trying to force it is a proven recipe for disaster. Maxim 50: If It Only Works in Exactly the Way the Manufacturer Intended, It Is Defective. My waist cutting goal has been another point of frustration. I didn't stick with it as well as intended at the beginning of last challenge, but I was still eating better than last year. Yet somehow I was stuck at 36-1/4in for all of last month. Then I do my weigh-in this morning and I've suddenly dropped 3/4 of an inch without changing anything. I'm still behind on my overall goal (30in waist by mid-August for my wedding), but apparently none of this can be predicted, so I'm just going to keep at it and see how things go. Maxim 24: Any Sufficiently Advanced Technology Is Indistinguishable from a Big Gun. I still have a laundry list of projects to finish, but they all got sidetracked last month when my fiancee decided to sign us up for our first vendor event with less than a month notice. The only thing on my list from last challenge I finished was her storage cabinets, then the rest of the time was spent figuring out things we could make quickly to sell during a local BBQ festival. Pictures are on our FB page, if anyone's interested. But we did that last weekend, and seemed to do pretty well (covered the event fees and paid for ~1/2 of our booth supplies [tent, tables, displays, etc]) and the next one on our radar isn't until May. So I need to get back to my own projects and get some of them done before I have to start working on fair stuff again. Top priorities are: -Finish miniature painting (circle stones and lizardman tribe) -Work on my wedding outfit (shirt and tabard are done, need to start on pants) -Figure out base for the wedding bouquets (attaching a flower holder to a sonic screwdriver) -Build a storage shelf for our fair stuff (totes, tables, tent, etc) to keep it out of the way between events -Finish installing my wire rack "weapon wall" and move all of our cosplay weapons onto it And my obligatory plug for the new Artificer's Crafthall over in the adventuring parties, where you can see updates for some of my, and others, projects.
  7. Continuing the ongoing theme from my favorite webcomic (it ran for 20 years, the art gets better, the characters and story are good throughout) the 70 Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries. I'll be using selected Maxims to explain my goals and keep things entertaining. I don't expect to get to all of them, and may reuse some of the more applicable ones. But they all have their own wisdom. Maxim 63: The Brass knows how to do it by knowing Who can do it. I'm ready to try regular workouts again, and while I know I'll eventually want my own program, there's no reason to reinvent the wheel. So I'll be starting with a simplified version of the Start Bodyweight program just using the pushup, pullup, and squat progressions. My goal is to workout Tues/Thurs/Sun, so I can't use my Friday and Saturday gaming as an excuse. Maxim 7: If the Food is Good Enough the grunts will Stop Complaining about the incoming fire. I only got half of my waist loss goal last challenge (1/8" per week instead of 1/4"), so I'm going to try paying more attention to what and how much I'm eating. I'm still avoiding any kind of tracking or calorie counting, since those are NOT long-term solutions for my life. But I can start making better choices more in line with how I was eating before I gained all this weight. By the end of this challenge, I'd like to consistently be drinking 6-8 cups of water a day and eating some kind of veggie at least 5 days a week. Maxim 39: There is a Difference between "Spare" Parts and "Extra" Parts. Continuing my quest to actually finish some of my projects. My current priorities are: -Work on attic insulation (maybe, if I can find a weekend morning that's cool enough to be up there) -Finish the storage cabinets I started last challenge (waiting on good weather to poly them) -Finish the dragon egg box (still figuring out the lining) -Finish miniature painting (circle stones and lizardman tribe) -Work on my wedding outfit (tabard is done, shirt needs buttons, need to decide on pants) -Work on my dragonman (might switch to a tiefling?) knight armor (custom character that may become a Charizard in one rendition) and my Mad Max/Nintendo mashup Diddy Kong jetpack And my obligatory plug for the new Artificer's Crafthall over in the adventuring parties, where you can see updates for some of my, and others, projects.
  8. Goals: Exercise: Same as always. Languages: Finish Ma├«tre Th├ęnardier for French, 2 days/ week for Russian. Learning Practicing: Draw something once per week. Cosplay: Finish setting up electronics on the wings, start construction. Finish the gentleman's Backlash hood, mask, and gems. Other: Make a walking playlist in iTunes - different from workout list. Learn 2 more quiet/ evening/ calm down songs. Slight tweak to the usual 4 hobby areas. I've been working on learning Ma├«tre Th├ęnardier for over a month now, in part because it's so dense with slang, and in part because I feel badly singing full voice with kitty around. I need to get back to it, though - kitty can find another part of the house to occupy during lunch. I'm changing Learning to Practicing, because what's the point in learning something if you don't actually do it? A couple different people have mentioned they miss my little sketches, so I'm going to try to do those weekly. Cosplay is going to be the main focus here. I want to get the electronics for the Valkyrie wings done and start construction, which shouldn't (ha) be too hard to accomplish. I also want the last few bits of the gentleman's Backlash cosplay done and out of my way so I can focus on Valkyrie without distraction or clutter on my work table. Finally, I would like to get back to music more. I drifted away from music a bit when I was doing my masters (geez, 3 years ago, that's one heck of a trauma to get over) and didn't have the brain space to deal with it. I've sporadically updated my workout list with things I heard at the gym since then, but since I now have only my own music, I'm getting tired of listening to the same fairly limited playlist 6 nights a week. I'd like to get a playlist set up for just walking/ cardio, and then learn a few more songs for when I'm winding down in the evenings. I miss singing throughout the day and want to get back to it.
  9. I've decided to start off the new year with an ongoing theme from my favorite webcomic (it ran for 20 years, the art gets better, the characters and story are good throughout­čś× the 70 Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries. I'll be using selected Maxims to explain my goals and keep things entertaining. I don't expect to get to all of them, and may reuse some of the more applicable ones. But they all have their own wisdom. Maxim 1: Pillage, then Burn. For my context, this means doing things in the right order, not getting bored or frustrated and skipping ahead. I'm back at the beginnings of habit building, so I need to stick to that. Do something that gets me moving and active at least once a day and watch my eating/snacking. Next steps will come later. Maxim 14: "Mad Science" means never stopping to ask "what's the Worst Thing that could happen?" For anyone new to my challenges, I always have a couple dozen projects in various stages of "I'll get back to it later" that I swap between as interest and energy allow. This goal is going to focus on actually finishing some of them, and cleaning up afterwards so I can get to other, more important ones. The specific Maxim is only peripherally related, so I'll probably keep the goal but change the Maxim in later challenges. My current priorities are: -Work on attic insulation while I'm on vacation next week and it's actually cool enough out to be in the attic (yay, Florida!) -Finish fixing the fiancee's treasure box that I broke a year ago -Finish my current woodworking projects (dragon egg box and ribbon/tulle racks) -Finish miniature painting (circle stones and lizardman tribe) -Work on my wedding outfit (finish the shirt and tabard, decide on pants) -Work on my dragonman knight armor (custom character that may become a Charizard in one rendition) and my Mad Max/Nintendo mashup Diddy Kong jetpack Maxim 70: Failure isn't an Option. It's Mandatory. The Option is whether or not to let Failure Be the Last Thing You Do. This is my favorite of the Maxims, for many reasons. In the current context, it's a reminder to keep working even when I make mistakes or things go wrong. So I need to quit kicking myself for falling off the fitness wagon, and focus on my current goal: getting into shape so I can be the best version of myself for my fiancee, and move comfortably in costume when conventions start up again. Well I think that does it for now. Obligatory plug for the new Artificer's Crafthall over in the adventuring parties. I'll post an update when I figure out what I'm forgetting.
  10. Hi Nerds! I'm Merrin. I haven't done a proper challenge for over a year at least. It may look like I have a lot of goals, but all of these fall in line with my daily schedule. I was going to Culinary school but had to withdraw last April. I need structure to thrive, so putting my goals down along with writing a daily schedule with my partner is really going to be good for me. We just bought a house! We drove 1100 miles across the country to move into a house built in 1900 (yes it's 120 years old) and used to be a funeral parlor! It's old and spooky and sometimes bats get in. It needs a lot of love and attention. (We spent most of October re-plumbing the entire basement.) I love sewing! I taught a Cosplay 101 class at Nerd Camp 2016. I don't have any LARP plans until January of 22, but that doesn't mean I can't sew a pile of things until then. Mercury: There's always something to be studied, and right now, that's language. 1 chapter Duolingo each day. Learning Japanese in the hopes that Duncan and I can go back in 2023. Venus: all hobbies in moderation! 1 hour social media, 1 hour video games per day. No old games. No Animal Crossing. Moon: Usagi's favorite thing is spending time with Mamoru. Ifrit and I were enjoying a more regular date night. 1x a week for games [Firefly, Lovecraft, Villains] Mars: keeping the home clean is an act of duty and an act of love. 2x weekly, including house painting, hanging art, repairing windows/treatments, laundry, floors. Jupiter: Mako-chan loves being in the kitchen. She shows her love for others by feeding them often. Cooking 3+ times a week, opposite chore days. Baking counts. Saturn: Silence is a necessity. 2 hours downtime daily, reading, stitchwork. Finish pumpkin set, gem poster. Castle poster? Uranus: No time for slacking. Ringfit, 1 section daily. Neptune: Deep Submerge! Daily skincare, hydration goals. [Oops it's like they go together on purpose.] Pluto: Cosplay work, 3x week. If I feel like there are other areas to improve, I'll branch out the challenge to the Starlights.
  11. Intro that I totally stole off my last challenge: Last month's challenge was slightly derailed by family drama. To summarize, the gentleman (husband) and I are in process of evicting his family out of the house he owns so he can sell it; fortunately, it's at the stage where we don't have to do much, just get reports from the evictions lawyer. Due to the time and costs that all that entailed, the "purchase supplies and tinker with them" stage for the wings got delayed. I finally ordered stuff this past weekend which should come in within the next couple weeks. The first steps, I think, will be to figure out how to program the arduino and hook up the servos and controller to move precisely and without fail. Since I have not mucked with electrical wiring since the time of Commodore 64 computers (yup, just dated myself), there will doubtless be a learning curve. My other goals are fairly straightforward; they've been with me in one form or another since before I joined nf. Exercise: 3 days' cardio, 3 days' weights at home. New rule - cardio inside if it's below 45┬░ outside. Languages: Maintain French via continuing to learn Les Mis. Shift Russian to maintenance by doing bookwork 2 days a week. 3 is bonus. Learning: Check out and read at least 2 books on Scandinavian countries, just because. Cosplay: Figure out the wiring for the wings. Extras: Put up the "greenhouse" under the stairs. Lay out 3 more chapters of my favorite webcomic for print form. That seems like less than usual, but it is a shorter challenge, and holidays exist, so we'll go for that.
  12. Translated from Latin, the title is "Light in Darkness." Which not only matches the theme this challenge, but has also been my personal motto for years and part of my first tattoo. I'm still working through what I need from these challenges, but I'm starting to make progress again. So this time around, I'll be focusing on identifying the "lights" I want to work towards. More to come.
  13. Which is a lot better than being all late. As usual, I'm working a hundred different projects and forgetting to update on any of them. So this challenge will be more of the same. I keep hoping that having a thread with people tracking me will make me actually track what I'm doing and accomplishing, instead of just randomly working on things and forgetting what progress I've made. But that keeps not happening. So here are my most recent finished projects, both built from scrapwood as I try to turn my garage from a garbage pile back into a usable workshop. And because it's been a while, here's some turtle cuteness:
  14. Late as usual, but getting there. Goals are fluid right now as I work on my motivation to move more and eat better. And work on house projects and costumes. I did finally finish the Little Witch and Wizard costumes, though I don't know when we'll be wearing them now.
  15. Goals: Exercise: Cardio outside; weights, stretching, and PT inside. Languages/ Learning: French - songs, Russian - at least 2 modules in the class. CurlyGirl: Try to tame the frizz, better curl definition Cosplay: Finish Taboo? Most of this is same ol, same ol. I've moved cardio outside, since it's getting darker and mildly cooler earlier, and I seem to be using my hams/ glutes more than when I'm on the treadmill, so it doubles as posture improvement. For French, I'm going to finish the song "Tu viens, ch├ęrie" from Les Mis and start on the next song. For Russian, the biweekly classes continue, but I also signed up for an online specialization and promptly ignored it. I paid a lot of money for it, so I'd best get moving. I started the CurlyGirl method back in June and have made some progress - and found a couple things that definitely don't work - so I'm going to keep up on that while I have the benefit of work from home to hide my fails. Finally, and most exciting, I think I'm in a position to actually finish the Taboo cosplay. This was supposed to be a minimalist, easy-to-travel outfit for a con in May, but when that was cancelled, I decided (as usual) to take it further. After eight bloody months, I think I solved the pants problem, so the only things left are the tail and a belt/ pouches to carry things in. This past weekend was two of those surprisingly motivated types of days, so I got a lot done. I made the last 6 pieces of the tail, which should be dry Tuesday. Next step is sealing and painting, then compiling the whole thing. Short version, without the final pieces: Also started on a belt/ holster pouches to break up the boring thigh area a bit and give me storage space. I started off with the pattern for the Thor belt, then tweaked it a couple times to make something that would work for adding the pouches on the thighs. It took 4 iterations of mockups, but I got a pattern I like and cut it out of leather, sanded the mistakes, and beveled the edges. Next step is adding the holes (it's going to lace closed on both sides of the front, and it needs a strap holder on the side "tabs" to hold the thigh pouches up), then dyeing it, burnishing the edges and back, and building up the pouches. I haven't decided yet if the pouches will hang via nylon webbing or leather straps yet, and ditto for the around-the-leg straps - I'll probably make that decision on the fly. Oh, and then working on how to attach the tail to the belt. I have an idea, but I'm gonna sit on explaining it in case it bombs completely. That's pretty much it. Obviously, more photos to come as work progresses.
  16. I've been on hiatus for the past couple challenges while I de-stressed and now I'm ready to come back to this awesome community. The only problem is that I still have no plan. So I think I'm going to lurk for a bit while I continue working on getting my life back in order. Expect cosplay pictures, because I don't have much else to do while teleworking and eventually there will be conventions again. Goals are going to be super undefined for now: -quit eating when I'm not hungry -actually move around regularly -finish the f&@%ing bathroom And cosplays currently in progress, for the record: -Little Witch and Wizard -Diddy Kong for Mad Max: Rainbow Road group -Dragonman Warrior and Fox Huntress -Next iteration of Nightcrawler and Psylocke -Update/finish Aragon and Arwen
  17. Anim stood on his path once again, unsure of where he was beyond that fact. His surroundings had changed dramatically, while he was focused on other things. He had changed as well, in ways he was also unsure of. But he had stalled for too long already, and standing still wasn't helping him assess the changes, both within and without. It was past time to start moving again, and to remember who he was. Anim, god of death, keeper of souls, walker of the path... I've been meaning to make a challenge for a while, and life has lined up to make the new year a good time to get back on track. So that's what I'm going to do. The biggest thing I've learned over the past year is that my motivations have changed drastically. I used to be angry about everything (reality sucks, and humans are the worst part), and could channel that into improving myself. But then, this happened: And now I'm happier than I've ever been and it's lasted for longer. The anger is still there, but it doesn't drive me. So I'm relearning how to motivate myself to stay on track, and deciding what track I want to be on. In the interest of simplicity, my goals for this challenge are: -Workout - 3x per week, minimum. For the time being, I'm going to allow strenuous projects, but the ultimate goal is to make a dedicated workout plan I can follow reliably. -Projects - Currently working on a drawing desk for one niece and need to make a sewing desk for another, I need to get everything cut and ready for stain/poly so I can take advantage of any good weather days to get them done by March. -Cosplay - My next assignment is making the fiancee an Arwen dress for Pensacon (end of February). I'd like to have it done by the end of this challenge, so I have time to work on other costumes. -Extras - Attic work - I need to finish, or at least make progress on, insulating my attic while its still cool enough to be in it. - Etsy store - The fiancee and I want to start an Etsy store for our random decorations and cosplay accessories, so I need to finish researching the legal requirements to make sure we have everything covered before we do. More to come when it's not 2AM.
  18. Goals: Working out: keep it up. Languages: keep them up. Learning: keep this low-key, read 3 books. Cosplay: Finish scalemail for Valkyrie (cosplay sketch) Make vest for Taboo - the base part, at least Sort out the gentleman's lighting harness for Backlash's whips Extras: Hygge: so far the weather has been decent, but that could turn at any moment. Keep seeking out hygge and use the lamp to combat SAD. Day's end outlook: keep working to change from "there isn't enough time" to "I accomplished what I could today, and am grateful." Sticking with the KISS idea for this challenge: maintain exercise and language habits, and keep working on hygge and my daily outlook. I'm keeping the learning hobby low-key for this challenge, because I really want to ramp up the cosplay goals. Why? Keeping the answer simple, too: work will be going through a lot of changes this year, possibly a re-org, and possibly the opportunity to move. I don't want to just sit around and wait to see what happens, but I don't want to be caught mid-major project either, if we're given the opportunity to move. So for now, I'm roughly planning to have Taboo and Backlash ready for a May convention, and Valkyrie for the October one, but finished ahead of time. We are also getting married in May, but that's a super-low-key affair, so it doesn't affect this challenge. As of this morning, the Valkyrie vest is 90% done. I'm waiting on side stays to arrive this weekend, then I'll add grommets and sew the bottom hem closed. The next step is sizing up the scalemail and figuring out how to attach it so I can still fit the vest over my head. What I have so far is roughly 8"x8" and took 7 hours to make, so that'll be a long process.
  19. Brief summary of how we got here: Goals: Exercise: keep up 3 days at the gym, 2 days cardio/PT. Add cardio to Sunday PT time. Languages: keep up lunchtime language practice (French and Russian). Learning: read at least 3 books. Crafting: make the base of the Taboo vest, get at least a mockup of jeans fitted, start scale mail for Valkyrie. Extra: Hygge: mindfully pursue cozy comfy moments to combat the winter. Un-humbug a bit: Winter Solstice is on the 22nd, conveniently a Sunday. Do freaking something to note it. Pretty basic stuff - exercise and languages are pretty solid habits that I can easily resume after interruptions. I'm currently reading Spies in the Family by Eva Dillon about a prolific Soviet Union spy during the Cold War. Should finish that soon and then look for another. Crafting is the tough one - I'm waiting on fabric to make the Taboo vest base, and will need to make several tweaks to get it fitted really closely once the zipper is in. I have the fabric cut for the mockup of jeans, just need to get to fitting it, another something that will entail lots of tweaks, yay. The hope is that once I do that, though, I will be able to just make a bunch of jeans that really fit me, and one pair special for Taboo, too. For this challenge, though, I'm just aiming to get the mockup done. I get seasonal depression, and I can tell it's starting to creep in around the edges now that it's dark for the morning and evening commutes. For the last challenge, I purposefully sought hygge moments to appreciate special winter things. It helped a lot to change the "winter just plain sucks" mindset, so I want to continue it. Also, I've avoided celebrating anything holidays for the last many many years for family and anti-commercialism reasons. This year I would like to at least note and do something special to mark the solstice, that the sun is coming back and the world won't be dark and horrible forever. I'll figure out what as it gets closer.
  20. Finance- Complete. Fitness- Attempt an aerial class. Jan 2015. Joined an aikido class. Great Big Backyard- Dinosaur Monument Glenwood Caverns Royal Gorge 2 14ers Great Sand Dunes 7/6/15 Cheyenne Zoo 10/9/15 Mesa Verde Red Rocks Pikes Peak Garden of the Gods Great Big Country- Evermore, Utah ECCC / Seattle Bourbon Street, New Orleans Boston Hawaii Aleutians, Alaska California Adventure at Disneyland, California 12/5/16 Zion National Park, Utah Disney World, Orlando, Florida Diagon Alley & Hogsmeade, Orlando, Florida Napa Valley, California Las Vegas, Nevada Yellowstone National Park Great Big World- Cruise the Caribbean. Dublin Greece Tokyo, including Disneyland and DisneySea 10/2018 Hong Kong, including Disneyland Shanghai, including Disneyland Perth Egypt Rome Venice Paris London Hobbies- 1 new cosplay item per Challenge. Work on poster cross stitch between projects. 1 new show per Challenge. Theatre/music/podcasts/comedy. QUARANTINE EDIT: online streams of theatre, music festivals (including ShakeItOut), Night Vale episodes, new Netflix stand up. 2 new books per Challenge. New/used shelf, graphic novels. Learn Japanese. 2018 Personal- Commit to alone time once per week. Take a joy ride, for more than 10 minutes, once per week. Get all desired/designed tattoos (3/6 to date). 12/2014, 3/2015, 11/2016.
  21. I've spent most of this year trying to get back into my healthy habits with mixed success. And after some forced introspection last challenge, I think I've nailed down the reason: I've never been this happy for this long, and I don't know how to deal with that. Before I met my fiancee, I could always find something to be angry about, and let the rage fuel my quest for change. Now, the anger is still there, but it's less consuming, because how bad can anything really be while she's here? So instead of failing to return to old habits, it's time to go back to the beginning and build new ones with new motivations. She deserves the best version of me I can be. Goals to get there: -Do something physical 5x a week: workouts, sports, yard work, house projects, doesn't matter what, just needs to be something to get me up and moving. -Handstand practice 2x a week & wrist exercises (~5min) once a day: this is the max my wrists can stand at the moment, but if I stick with it I can strengthen them and increase my practice time. This is one of my favorites, so getting back into it should motivate me to stick with my workouts again. -Eat reasonably & check waist and weight weekly: if I stay active, I should be able to resume my cut without calorie counting. If that doesn't work, I'll start myfitnesspal again. -Declutter: a more long-term goal, but I have a lot of junk that needs to be sorted, and either organized for use or donated to free space. I also need to finish my costume shelf and start on the other planned shelves. -Costuming: Dragoncon is 2months away, but I'm actually in really good shape costume-wise. I've got 3 of my 4 costumes completely ready (1 reuse and 2 tracking down and buying the pieces). The last is Nightcrawler, which I'd like to upgrade/replace, but still have a usable costume if I run out of time. The fiancee needs me to finish her Buttercup dress (need to make time for a fitting) and help with Psylocke (not entirely sure where it's at, so need to figure out what I'm doing to help).
  22. For the life of me, I can't think of a theme for this. Just another same-ol', same-ol' "challenge" to mark that I'm putting my time in to be a better person. Saw that sign at the gym the other day, and that's me, just paying rent on my health and mental well-being, and hopefully putting some down payments on a different career/ higher paycheck. State of the Hobbies: Languages: Daily F/R vocab, daily R grammar (new), bi-weekly R tutoring. Exercise: M/W/F weights, Tu/Th cardio and PT, Sunday PT. Cosplay: Winingas (leg wraps), helmet. Learning: Russian governance/ law class. Extras: Gardening: Add mulch to sheeting, cut back everything. Job hunt: Attend virtual job fair, put out applications. I am wallowing somewhat under a "what's the point of life" cloud. I have been an "I'm interested in everything, try it all" person for so long. I am working on calming myself down and focusing on hobbies I really want to get good at, but I find myself missing the "found a new thing to consume my every waking moment" rush. Not sure how to reconcile that.
  23. Rookie

    Rookie Takes Aim

    Rookie Takes Aim No seriously...... I can do it.... seriously. I can at least give it my best shot.... Quest: Lose 5lbs more (271.8lbs to 266.8lbs) (279.2lbs to 274.2lbs) Challenge amount lost: 7.4lbs Overall lost: 13.2lbs SubQuest 1: Count calories/ practice macro counting (total of 21 points) Keep tracking 1 point for not exceeding calorie limit 2 point for hitting within 5 of macro allowance SubQuest 2: Drink 2L Water (total of 7 points) 1 point for 2L water drank .5 point for 1.5L water drank SubQuest 3: Floss teethies daily (total of 7 points) 1 point / day Life Quest: Keep chipping away at that never ending to do list 1. Finish Sasha Blouse cosplay for May 25 2. Finish Shark painting 3. Finish Snow White Horse painting Extras - Sort clothes [in progress] - Organize ensuite drawers - Fix upstairs fire detector - Re-grout upstairs bathroom - Add floor transition for M.Bedroom + fix office one - Add transition between bathroom tile and carpet in basement - Add weatherstripping to cold room door - Fix cement outside of basement bathroom - Carpet over the cement outside of bathroom - Caulk the vent outside of the house
  24. A couple months ago I tried jumping back into my old habits and failed miserably. So I spent the rest of 2018 figuring out why and coming up with a new plan. And just FYI, the title doesn't really mean anything. I just like dinosaurs, so that's the calendar I got to track my progress: Goal for the year is to build new healthy habits, so I can do the things I want to do without worrying about ability or injury. Goals for January: -Start PLP365 - This is my own take on the PLP Program. On each day of 2019, I want to do reps of pullups/lunges/pushups equal to the month plus the day. So I start out easy with 2 (1+1) on Jan 1st, then 3 on the 2nd, and so on. After doing 32 reps on jan 31st, I get to deload back to 3 reps (2+1) on Feb 1st and start rebuilding. -Run/walk twice a week - I'm going to limit my other exercises until I'm confident I won't hurt myself adding to the PLP. But my endurance is terrible right now, so I want to start rebuilding that. -Mindful eating - I'm not ready to jump back into calorie counting (because I hate it), but I need to start eating better. The goal is to only eat when I'm actually hungry and limit junkfood when I do eat. I'm also going to track my weight and waist weekly and if I'm not making progress by the end of Feb, I'll start calorie counting again. -Projects - My current major projects are 3 new costumes for Pensacon (end of February) and finishing the insulation in my attic while its still cool enough to do so. So that's 4 projects in 2 months. I'll be working on other projects too, but those are the focus. -NF stuff - I feel like I've been slacking a lot around here, so one of my goals is to be better about managing the minis and posting in the Den. Lack of participation the past few months has been discouraging, but that's at least partly my fault since I kept reusing minis instead of creating something new and interesting. So I need to plan better and incorporate feedback to keep people engaged, instead of just assuming that a new fandom on the old formula will solve the problem. Also, for the 3 people who actually read my thread , how do you feel about the term "sidequest" instead of "mini-challenge?" I think it's confusing to have a main challenge/quest, with monthly challenges to support it, and a mini-challenge that lasts a random amount of time and may or may not be related to the main quest. Sidequest ties into the "gamifying" theme better and more accurately describes them as "optional activities to expand your perspective, that may or may not tie directly to you main quest/challenge." Thoughts? Counterpoints?
  25. Anim had made progress, but slowly, as his lack of focus tread the ground around him into a swamp. It felt like he was going in circles, and circles he had traveled before, at that. Shaking himself off, Anim picked a direction and starting slogging forward. I know I've made progress the past couple challenges, but it doesn't feel like it. Especially last challenge, every week felt mediocre, like I should have done more. Part of the problem is divided priorities. Workouts are getting shortened or skipped to make time for projects, so I never feel like I've done enough. And I keep adding short projects instead of finishing the big, uncomfortable ones. But my attic still isn't done and it's already getting too hot in Florida to not have my AC on. So that needs to get done, especially since my GF is planning to move in as soon as it's finished. We're also working on the master bedroom/bath for when that happens, currently halfway finished painting. Goals: Workout or Project Daily - Last challenge was demotivating because I kept missing my workout goal so I'd have the time and energy to work on projects. So I'm changing that up this month. In order to count a day, I need to either have a good workout or make progress on an attic or bedroom project. If I manage to do more than one in a day, the extras will count half for earning me a day off. Cook Twice a Week - This one is more difficult than it should be, so I'm going to keep trying to make it a habit. If I want to be in costume shape by Dragoncon, I need to cut fat off my waist more consistently. Finish the Attic - The whole point of redoing my attic was to save money on AC this summer, but the project is taking so long that I'm about to spend all my cash paying for AC this spring. So I'm setting a hard deadline of May 16th, because that's when my parents get here to visit and meet the GF.
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