Monday Dare: It’s almost cake time, y’all

Every Monday, I’m picking from the List of Things to Do, Places to Go, Possible Acts that Help, and Possible Fun to Have. It’s a list I made before The Project started, and I’m still adding to it. If you have suggestions, please feel free to throw them my way. I’m calling the list my Monday Dares, as I get overwhelmed just looking at the words “challenge” or “goal.”

This week: Don’t be a quitter.

I’m full of ideas. Okay, fine, I’m comfortable enough with you to admit: I’m full of shitty ideas. I should probably be locked away with no access to television or internet or people. Because invariably, it leads to no good.

Like speedskating.

Last year, after watching the Winter Olympics, I decided speedskating was my new life calling. I’m Korean. I figured it was in my blood. I know, guys. Stop laughing. 

I’m not sure how Harv kept a straight face when I told him. In fact, he wholeheartedly supported my new Important Life Goal. He helped me track down the right coach, came with me to pick out fancy new skates, and cheered me on whenever I came home with a new bruise or a broken arm. I’m just kidding about the broken arm. I didn’t break any bones. Which, looking back, is quite a surprise since I spent more time facedown on the ice than whizzing around the rink.

I did my best to take my new career path seriously. I went to bed early so I could get up at the crack of dawn to practice. I never drank the night before a lesson. No hangovers for this “athlete.” I bought pads that I could tuck into my tights which gave me a quarter inch of extra protection from my tailbone down to my knees. My coach didn’t object to the pads. But, she did like to point out that the other 12-year-old boys I was practicing with didn’t need pads. I just ignored that bitch and kept right on rocking those pads.

How good did I get? After practicing five days a week for several months, my coach suggested I might have an inner-ear problem because I had no balance. She took me aside and informed me that the boys fought behind my back not to have me on their relay team. That’s probably one of the clearest indicators you should quit something- when you cause bad blood among tween boys.

It’s still a struggle for me to wake up every day and realize I’m not going to the Olympics.

I’ve never stuck with anything for a long time. Some people might call that a weakness. Those are also the same people I push in the face.

My yearlong project is ending this Thursday. I originally planned to only do this blog for a year to keep me accountable. But, I’m going to keep it up because I’ve enjoyed it so much. I’m grateful for your friendship and your support. I may be addicted to it. I wish I knew how to quit you. 

Does that mean I’m going to continue with the no shopping project? Fuck no, yo. My socks are wearing thin.

However, I’m continuing with the Monday Dares because even though most have been pretty spectacular failures, each new challenge thrills me. And sometimes makes me cry. But that’s beside the point.

So, I need your help. I’d love your Monday Dare suggestions. It can be anything. If you like something I’ve already done, you are free to suggest it again. Maybe I’ll add a twist. Or, I’ll just try not to fail at it this time. I’m down for whatever. Well, almost anything. I did get a suggestion this year to sign up for a prisoner penpal. Come on, folks. They’re already locked up and serving time. Do I have to torture them with my mundane letters too?

Have you ever started a venture or hobby that didn’t unfold quite as you expected?

P.S. That hilarious picture at the top of the post today? It’s from Mike, the creative genius behind Bluntcard, created a pimptastic card for the one-year anniversary of The Project. I’ll be revealing it on Thursday. Mike has also turned it into a magnet, and I’m giving away 50 magnets on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page on Thursday.

I’m coming over. Hide the good stuff.

Do you know what thrills me? When I receive an invitation to visit a friend’s home.

Usually, this requires multiple assurances from me before the invitation is extended that I won’t steal anything or break anything or spill anything. I’m not above making promises I can’t keep to get inside someone’s home. Once, a doorknob came off in my hand before I even entered. I still maintain that it can happen to anybody.

Once inside, I try my best not to do any extra looky-loos, even though I’m fascinated by the things that make up a person’s private life. Why? Because I’m not good at masking my true feeling. If I catch a glimpse of the 36″ x 48″ brushed canvas family photo above the fireplace with everyone in stonewashed bedazzled denim jackets (including the dog) holding clarinets, there’s a high likelihood I will lose my shit, and where would the evening go from there? Only down. Trust me.

Sometimes, when my eyes wander, I’m pleasantly surprised. The other day, I stopped by my friend Jae’s home before lunch. His home is modern and sparse and devoid of anything that hints at human emotion. I spied The Alchemist on his counter, splayed open to mark his spot, and it gave him new dimension. To me, his selection was especially telling and ironic.

Of course, there are the other kinds of discoveries. Like a massive decade-old McDonald’s Happy Meal toy collection displayed on every available surface. I won’t confirm or deny the fact that when I tried to clear a small space to set down my dinner plate, the homeowner rushed over and slapped my hand away. I also won’t confirm or deny that she spent the next ten minutes polishing the disturbed toys with her hot breath and wiping them down with the edge of her t-shirt. She hasn’t asked me back since.

Don’t let this scare you from inviting me over. I promise not to steal anything, break anything, or spill anything.

What’s the weirdest or funniest thing you’ve seen inside someone’s home?
image via

Monday Dare: Sir, your hand is on my ass.

Every Monday, I’m picking from the List of Things to Do, Places to Go, Possible Acts that Help, and Possible Fun to Have. It’s a list I made before The Project started, and I’m still adding to it. If you have suggestions, please feel free to throw them my way. I’m calling the list my Monday Dares, as I get overwhelmed just looking at the words “challenge” or “goal.”

This week: Say it

Before my trip to Las Vegas over the weekend, my checklist to gauge whether I had a good time on vacation was simple.

  • Did I come back with all four limbs? (Preferable answer: Yes)
  • Did I offend anyone? (Preferable but totally unrealistic answer: No)
  • Did I get in trouble with the law? (Preferable answer: Yes. Surprised every time I accomplish it? Yes.)

Since returning home last night, I’ve added something new to my list.

  • Did I end up alone in a piano bar at 2 a.m. crying like a little girl? (Preferable answer: No)

I’m assuming this list looks a lot like your own Vacation Success Checklist. If it doesn’t, I would suggest adding these, especially the last one. And maybe the one about coming back with all four limbs. I hear it’s a bitch trying to learn how to floss your teeth with your toes.

My friend Kris and I meet in Vegas several times a year. We’ve known each other for 19 years. Sometimes, I wonder how we’ve been friends for so long. She’s the embodiment of class and diplomacy, and I, well, you know what I’m trying to say here folks.

We got separated in a nightspot roughly the size of a football field on Friday evening. No biggie. We pick a spot before the night starts in case this happens. Plus, a local friend was stopping by, so I knew it wouldn’t be long before I saw a friendly face in the crowd.

Do you know what makes a female a target for all kinds of lewd and lascivious behavior when she’s standing alone in a club at 1:30 a.m.? Being a female standing alone in a club at 1:30 a.m.

Men grabbed my ass, my waist, my breasts, made rude and perverted comments, spilled drinks on my dress, ashed their cigarettes on my feet, pushed, shoved, screamed in my ear, tried to entice me by talking up their fancy jobs and cars, flashed jewelry in my face, and offered to buy me drinks in return for favors.

At first, I tried to be a good sport. I laughed it off. Then, I ignored it. Finally, I left. I can’t say that this is the first time any of this has happened. Usually, I am better about calling out bad behavior or sticking up for myself. I wish I had said something to each of these men. But, I didn’t. I didn’t find my voice.

I found a piano bar and sat in a quiet corner, trying to convince myself that I hadn’t spoken up because I’ve been working so hard on controlling my temper and behaving like a lady. Those were excuses. I didn’t say anything because I let myself be intimidated. I chalked it up as crazy, alcohol-induced behavior.

If this happens to you, all you have to say is “Listen here, you stupid motherfucker, I understand you are shitfaced, but your behavior is not okay.” If you feel like being a lady, you can even say it with a smile. I’ll be practicing this line as well. I may have just spared you from crying in a piano bar. You’re welcome.

P.S. Pictures of the Vegas adventure on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page.
image via