Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Good Thing UConn Didn't Play Us

This blog is without a doubt self-serving. Not in the sense of "wow, I'm great, let me see how many people will follow or comment on how much I amaze them," but in the "I need to be disciplined, structured, and inspired" sort of way. I feel accountable when I write, more obligated to act on those ideas that would otherwise safely stay dormant in the uncontroversial world of the hypothetical. It is also good for me simply because I tend toward the abstract. My mind rarely feels "settled," often going in twenty five different directions about a weird mix of topics that happen to be intriguing me on a given day. Writing forces me to see (or perhaps "manufacture," as some would argue) some sense of continuity or rationale. Overly analytical or pretentious conversations that have no purpose but hoped for adoration frustrate me. But, in most cases, I think we ARE in fact benefited by reflection and thought. Writing makes me consider the "why?"s and "so what?"s much more so than imagination would ever do. Hence, my very sophisticated and grammatically impressive "and the point is" comments at the end of most posts...

So, while I suppose this blog is my figurative "to-do," rather than "wish list," today I choose to interpret it more literally. Here are a few things that I would like to accomplish in my hometown in the coming months or years. I welcome feedback, suggestions, and perhaps most importantly, your chastisement if I don't follow through. Everybody needs a little fussing on every now and then.

1) Start a book club. This of course would need to be accompanied by interesting recipes, occasionally watching the movie adaptation of the respective book, and random discussion tangents.
2) Women's basketball league or at-least a shoot around a couple of times/month. I know that there are plenty of people still living in the county who have, at one point or another, participated in the storied history of the Lady Panther basketball team. I have even less doubt that we are all still really, really awesome. And in fantastic shape.
3) Arrange a recycling drop-off location. I doubt curbside recycling will be viable anytime soon, but surely we can come up with a drop-off center plan. I especially welcome any suggestions on this one.
4) Get my yoga instructor certification. I did a little yoga on my back deck a few days ago and remembered how much I enjoy it. I have taken enough classes that I can do a fairly structured 30 or 45 minute session, so if anyone ever wants to join me, you're more than welcome. Certification is probably a good idea, though. If any of you know of an online program that is actually reasonably priced, please let me know.
5) Utilize Marrowbone Park. I really appreciate the work that has already been put into reviving the park, but I would still like to see more done. We need new tennis nets, maybe horseshoe pits, a volleyball net. I would also like to organize some type of theatre program at the park (maybe children's plays, improv night?:), or an arena to showcase plays by local writers). Would love to see murals painted at the park (and throughout Marrowbone) along the lines of the Marrowbone Tire & Lube art.
6) Write more poetry. I do a poem every Christmas for my family, but I should expect more of myself.
7) Try at least one new recipe/week...and post the results here. I also want to learn to make my mom's sourdough bread. Feeding the starter every few days sounds like a pain, but this is a tradition that I would nonetheless enjoy learning from Miss Jackie. I am also interested in taking a bread-baking or pastry class.
8) Start a compost bin. Lucy and Willie are going to be 500 lbs if I continue giving them so many table scraps. If any of you have specific methods or suggestions, please pass along.
9) Visit all restaurants and stores in Cumberland County. Write reviews and/or reflections here. Patron locally-owned, unique restaurants in surrounding area.
10) Create new lists on Pillowbook - place for book, movie, and concert suggestions.
11) Find a jogging/walking partner. Complete a 1/2 marathon by the end of the year.
12) Audition for a play at the Barnlot Theater in Edmonton.

If any of you have ideas as to programs, organizations, or initiatives that might be fun or inspiring, please let me know. I moved back, in part, because it is undeniably comfortable to be known. I don't want this sense of peace to allow me, however, to settle for ease, and the ordinary, and the day-to-day. We should all strive to be inspired, regardless of the amenities and opportunities that supposedly do or do not surround us.


  1. Well, I will have to say I am fascinated reading your list. So happy you are here and I know you are going to do great "things". Hope to do Yoga with you. I have been wanting to try it for some time now. Can not wait for you to be in a play at the Barn Lot. I want to make sure you go with Mama and I to the first play in May.I would suggest you go up to the Marrowbone Yellow Ribbon Trading Post and start your visits. (You may have already been there) Lisa is the owner and really wants to do things to benefit Marrowbone.

  2. I did some research about composting recently and I found this website to be pretty helpful:
    It has a lot of links that you should check out for tips and stuff. And if you ever need coffee grounds, I drink about a pot a day so I've got you covered :)

  3. Love your blog, Liza. Seems like you and I might be kindred spirits, what with all the yoga-loving, recycling, acting, and abstract thinking. Too bad I live in South Carolina now or I would be your new best friend. It's on my list to start organically gardening soon. And composting.

  4. Carolyn - Thanks so much for your thoughtful feedback and suggestions:). I really would like to do more yoga and if you don't mind me not being certified, I would love if you (or Mom or Mama) want to join me sometime. I definitely want to go with you all in May (Legend of Sleepy Hollow, right?). They are having auditions for To Kill a Mockingbird in June and I'm very interested in trying out. You should too! How fun. I think I went in the trading post a couple of years ago with mom, but I want to go back. If you have any other suggestions or want to go exploring one day, let me know.

    Alexus: Thanks for the link! I'll definitely check it out. So, do you have a compost bin or were you just really bored one day?:)
    Oh, and how do you take your coffee?

    Rachel: I enjoy yours as well (along with your FB status updates and pictures:)). We would have such fun. In fact, yes, you all should move back to Cumberland County. Done deal.

  5. I've been looking into starting a compost bin for a while...just haven't gotten around to doing it (maybe I should start to-do lists like yours:)).
    And I take my coffee black with a sugar. Occasionally, I take it as what I call a sweet blonde (tons of cream, tons of sugar). But that's only when my mommy makes it for me :)

  6. Sweet blonde sounds too healthy as is. Needs what I have just now been inspired to call "declicious white": tons of cream,a little sugar, homemade whip cream, white chocolate chips.

  7. That sounds sinfully delicious. Oooh remind me to make brownies for you some time. I have what I call sin brownies, and they are to die for :)

  8. Will you please sign up for my class every semester?

  9. I'll try and make that happen :)

  10. Liza,
    I don’t know if I’m commenting in the right place because this is a comment about your blog in general, but here you were discussing your reasons for writing, so here goes. Last Saturday night I put my kids to bed and sat down to quickly check my email and Facebook. TWO HOURS later, I was still glued to the screen because I had innocently clicked on the FB link to your latest blog entry. I was hooked! First, let me say I connected because I saw mention of so many things of which I am also fond—“whole” food recipes, books and documentaries, Billy Collins poetry, the tug of home after being away, and, especially, your musings on the marvelous in the mundane. I teach writing (for God’s sake!) and I still struggle with “putting myself out there” and, well, I just admire what you’re doing here. Writing (and sharing) in order to concentrate your efforts on mindfulness and appreciation for daily life is cathartic for you, I’m sure,(and the reason we write!) but it has also been a delight for me, your reader. I’ve been thinking a lot about the things that you are saying, and I thought the writer in you would want to know that.
    I don’t think I’ve seen you for probably 10-15 years, but it was nice to hear your “voice” again.

  11. Mrs. Ashby,
    I'm just at a loss as to how I should appropriately thank you for such a meaningful comment. You're right - writing is catharsis for me - but it certainly IS nice to know that others can relate to the seemingly insignificant things I, for whatever reason, find important enough to "talk" about. It is just an honor to know that someone so talented has enjoyed my random odds and ends.

    Oh, and it's been 12 YEARS...when did I get so old?:)

  12. I'm all about random odds and ends. I, too, have contemplated how well my coffee cup fits me. This is important stuff.

    Please call me Melissa, or I shall have to call you Dr. Turner. (I'm approaching 40 and I still can't call Mr. Frederick "Jon." )

  13. :) "Melissa" it is then. Or, at least I will try...every teacher I have ever had (and even those who just happened to have worked with Mom or Leigh at some point) are still "Mr." or "Mrs." to me.

    Oh, and I would really love it if you ever want to do a post about your coffee mug.