For my 100th blog post, I’m looking back over my entries and the past year and reflecting on tips and tricks, new finds and lessons learned. Without further ado (since this is a rather wordy post!), here are my 100 Things I’ve Learned This Year.
1. No matter how much I don’t like stereotypes, wearing a dress and getting my hair done up DOES make a difference in getting business at a tattoo convention.
2. How to draw Hello Kitty… over 100 different ways.
3. How to effectively go on a bike ride with a leashed dog.
4. Take the time to correctly label, describe, tag and categorize your blog posts and pictures.
5. Being busy is neither an affliction nor a stroke of luck, it’s a choice.
6. How to draw Naruto, Sailor Moon, and a few other anime characters. Not especially well.
7. Fusion Saigon Pink is one of my favorite colors of tattoo ink.
8. Seating charts are not a punishment, but a necessity in memorizing names, taking attendance quickly and keeping the classroom organized.
9. How to buy, butcher and prepare pork ribs.
10. Craft shows are a lot of work for not a lot of immediate compensation, as are most really great networking opportunities.
11. I need to get my Etsy shop up and running as soon as possible, because people do actually want to buy my art work.
12. In addition to #1, another thing that exponentially increased my sales at the tattoo convention was the Square card reader. Ability to pay with a credit card will make or break a purchase.
13. Rabbits go with moons, tigers with bamboo, sakura and maple leaves don’t mix. If you’re in to that sort of thing. But in the end, it’s all about color, line and composition.
14. There’s only one guy at Kinko’s who is effective, and I think he may have been some kind of late night, looming-deadline-induced hallucination, so it’s time to upgrade to a better printing venue.
15. The more you fight against something happening, hide from it, try to defend yourself from it, the more inevitably it will come to kill you in your sleep. Negative energy smells your fear.
16. Craft beers are for sipping with dinner, not chugging out of a Flabongo or chasing with several tequila shots.
17. The Motorola Defy is only slightly more durable than the average smartphone, and does not defy the force of direct impact with the floor at Joann Fabric.
18. Dr. P.H. Martin’s and Arches. All night.
19. Oil painting = layers of patience and restraint.
20. Lack of sleep hardly bothers me when it’s because of making art or spending time with my boyfriend. And he acts like it hardly bothers him that most nights I pass out on the couch within five minutes of starting a movie.
21. No matter how self-sufficient I strive to and perceive others around me to be, everyone can use a little unsolicited reassurance.
23. Listen to how kids are talked to 99% of the time – by their parents, by TV – and then try something different. Eye contact, taking them seriously, laugh at their jokes, and use a quiet voice as much as possible so they have to pay attention in order to listen.
24. Kids will still be jerks sometimes, no matter how nicely you talk to them or fairly you treat them. It’s because their brains aren’t done developing until age 25. So, this goes for some adults too.
25. Daily caffeine is not optional.
26. Boston Bagel cafe on Cypress Creek Rd. just west of Dixie Highway. (See #25)
27. Moroccan oil makes my hair shiny.
28. The curling iron makes my hair curly.
29. Food trucks.
30. It’s more important to have food in the fridge and gas in the car than it is for every single one of my bills to get paid on time, in full.
31. Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner in Perversion.
32. Tattooing myself hurts less.
33. It’s more than okay to call people out on not doing their jobs if it directly affects your ability to do YOURS. It won’t get you many friends, though.
34. Professionalism is sometimes a gray area.
35. I suck at making arroz con gandules.
36. A red velvet cake that falls to pieces upon removal from the pan is still really delicious.
37. I can make amazing vegetarian empanadas and completely eliminate their nutritional advantage with the deep fryer.
38. Wayne and I were crazy to think that we’d finish his half-sleeve in three sittings.
39. My difficulty in getting the cats and dogs fed and taken care of in the morning = I’m not ready for kids yet.
40. You can’t train, teach, or beg someone to act like a man.
41. A raw meat and grain free diet is more natural for my dog, and she enjoys her food a thousand percent more than when it was just kibble.
42. My rāśi (Hindu astrological sign) is Kanyā.
44. I envy almost no one, mostly all of the time.
45. Layered Jell-O shots are almost as hard as they look, but easy once you get the hang of it.
46. There are other, way more delicious cheeses in Latin American cuisine than queso dip. Queso fresco, cotija and crema fresca (that counts, sort of!) come to mind.
47. Large amounts of ingested saltwater can cause explosive diarrhea in dogs.
48. Kanzashi are fun to make, but kind of hard to wear. It would seem that most traditional geisha attire are meant to discourage any rowdiness in the wearer.
49. Keeping all of the pencils sharp for the class each day is hardly a worthwhile preparation, but pencil sharpeners are one of those supplies that tend to grow legs and walk away en masse. Conundrum.
50. Baby turtles hatching is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in South Florida nature.
51. Taking the extra minute to scrub my hands REALLY well a few times during the school day is effective in keeping the kid germs at bay.
52. The Disney Dining Plan is a hearty amount of delicious food, and the parks are (with the exception of the Food and Wine Festival) becoming proficient with providing worthwhile vegetarian options.
53. You can eat your dessert guilt free if you stay at the Disney Boardwalk, because you’re probably going to have a fifteen minute walk from your room to the elevator.
54. Mainichi Kaasan (Kaasan Mom’s Life) is the sweeter, female, more realistic Japanese version of Family Guy and definitely my favorite cartoon right now.
55. Never underestimate the power of homemade American “kid food” like Rice Krispie Treats and macaroni and cheese from scratch to impress people who didn’t grow up in a 50’s-sitcom-style home.
56. Having a brand new car makes you feel like an instant grown-up.
57. Oh, Sirius XM. You never know the value of what you have til the free trial runs out just as you start a road trip.
58. I can fold a paper crane in about a minute.
59. My dog’s breed is the very rare Red American Dickwhipper. Meet her and you’ll understand.
60. Gainesville has the most amazing dining options for vegetarians. EVERYWHERE.
61. Having a text-rich classroom doesn’t just mean a word wall and motivational posters. In my classroom, I post our monthly syllabus, project rubrics and other pertinent information that allows students to keep track of what’s expected of them and lets me avoid having to answer “What are we going to do today” a hundred times before the bell rings.
62. If you have a goal, a vision, and your own personal routines, you don’t have to be afraid to cut your losses and start over because you have a foundation in place.
63. The right way to eat Cuban bread is dipped into your Cafe con Presley.
64. It is possible to finish three years of work in one. Education credits (and the exams that the state requires to prove you’ve learned them) are NOT that hard.
65. This shellac gel manicure thing that I had done recently was AMAZING and totally worth $30. It lasted so long that my nails grew out underneath it before the polish could chip off. Now just to find the time to sit still for an hour every two weeks.
66. There is a delicate balance in the amount of time to give students for transitions – too much warm up time and I’ve lost them, too little and they aren’t focused; too much time allotted for clean-up and it turns into recess, too little and I spend my lunch hour doing it myself.
67. Being an artist involves a lot of being primed to think differently, look at things from a different perspective. It’s something my parents showed me how to do and I hope I am making my students do as well.
68. We at the Pizza Hut. We at the Taco Bell. We at the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
69. A relationship will hold a mirror up for you not only to yourself, but also to your family and friends. Sometimes it’s to show you how good you have it, and sometimes to reveal what can be cut away.
70. The Miami Seaquarium sucks, and the people who run it should be punished.
71. School breakfast and lunch is a cheap and easy way to make sure I’m eating the right things, and enough of them. I’m serious! Cereal and yogurt in the morning, salad, beans and rice, or veggie chicken tenders for lunch… Two full meals for under $5.
72. One positive phone call home has the power of about three negative ones.
73. You need to have one drawer for batteries, chargers, cables and assorted cell phone, camera and other small technology stuff. Because it SUCKS when they go missing and you have to replace or live without them.
74. Ordering from the Fresco Menu at Taco Bell isn’t so bad at all.
75. Frozen veggies act like a cooler for whatever else is in my lunch bag – awesome motivator to include them every day.
76. Bagels are not merely vehicles for inserting cream cheese into my mouth. Hummus, onions, eggplant, tomato, egg… all tasty alternatives.
77. Beer with cake – really good idea. Beer IN cake? Even better.
78. No matter how many years I’m teaching, managing an effective classroom and writing quality lessons, some of my co-workers will still automatically disrespect me based on my age and subject area.
79. “LADIES: If you’re with a man wearing shorts, he was hoping to get laid by sundown.” (Hot Rod)
80. Teaching, too. Except I get summers off. 🙂 RT@shelleyfaye: Parenting means that you repeat yourself hundreds of times a day
81. Thx, Rob! RT@RobCabrera: Keep organized by NOT KEEPING CRAP! I only keep finished work, sketchbooks. Only keep books u need. Purge, sister!
82. There’s no digital equivalent of waiting on a really important letter in the mail.
83. Cooking Mama!
84. Omg. I have to keep fighting the urge to replace the meat in entrees with loads of cheese! –> “Cheezy-my-neezy @mrgoodstuffs, the italian @mscheezious, mac n cheese pancake @cheesememobile. Thanks, @MiamiFoodTrucks!!”
85. El Jefe Luchador.
86. Bottomless gnocchi at Piola. Pleasure and pain.
87. Submitting art to shows gets easier every time and is becoming a habit, but without the regular daily hours at the tattoo shop, I’m again finding myself not dedicating enough time to doing my own work.
88. Early morning Home Depot and anytime at Gino’s Italian market… the best places for a lady to get a good self-esteem boost.
89. I’m more than okay with going out to lunch alone.
90. A real man will do this for you –> #Thankful @JesusGoreLopez talks nonsense 99% of the time when half asleep but gave me the ultimate pep talk when I really needed it this am
91. Pineapple upside down cake shots.
92. Hawaii: Sailors, Sex and the Birth of Old School Tattoos. Lecture presented by Paul Roe at the Hukilau. I could fill an entire notebook with the insights and history I learned from this unexpected source.
93. Perfect Date Night: Skeeball and Initial D challenges at Flipper’s.
94. Perfect Date Breakfast, especially at 5 am after staying up all night: It’s a Tie – Dandee Donuts or Peter Pan.
95. Social Security office – filled with the most annoyed and pitiful cross section of society. Still haven’t gotten my card.
96. Only commit to something as much as it is committed to you.
97. You can’t save them all.
98. You can, however, save a ton of money if you’re dedicated to couponing like my mom.
99. Talk what you know.
100. Watch for the thing that stops you in your tracks.
What have you learned this year? What were your favorite new finds? What advice would you pass on to yourself from 2010?