Sunday Stats

Sunday Stats

Since my family first got an NES, I’ve had a controller in my hands. Exploring new worlds, meeting new characters and experiencing stories… in some ways, I’ve just connected better with the world through games. However, it’s also very important to me to be present in my life, to improve myself, to go out and MEET the people I’ve connected with online and to expand my knowledge. I spend hours in games; how do I level myself up?

In this weekly series, I’ll chronicle how I’ve improved my “stats” with completely arbitrary scoring.*

+2 Intelligence – How did I make myself a little smarter? What did I learn?
Hard to follow last week’s brain-fest at Think 2018, but I did start learning how to play DnD. Glux and I met up at The Uncommons where Steven (our DM) helped us pick out our first set of dice! I chose a black and gold set to match my character’s gold eyes and shadowy nature. She’s a tiefling rogue named Alaria and you can read her story here. Aren’t my dice pretty? That’s a natural 20 by the way😜

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+1 Charisma – How was I less awkward or more beautiful?
We all know how bad I am at wearing jewelry, but I got this gold and hematite bracelet in Vegas and I’ve worn it every single day! I love the way the natural layers with the tech of my watch. I guess gold and black are kind of my colors lately (see dice 👆🏻)
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-5 Strength – New workouts, breakthroughs, challenges.
I have no excuses. It was a bad week for workouts. I have a 15k run next weekend and I am horribly under prepared.

+2 Defense – Where did I consciously avoid or deflect negative energy?
I cleansed the apartment with palo santo to boot the negative energy that tends to build up in the storm cloud over Ryan’s head. We didn’t fight for a whole 4 days after that! Maybe I should just keep some burning all the time? *hits Amazon for incense*

+1 Luck – Something good that happened this week
I won the TodayTix lottery for Jerry Springer – The Opera. It was an absolutely hysterical trek back into the 90s! You should go just to hear Tiffany Mann sing. Incredible. It was about 30 minutes too long, and I could have done without Jerry’s entire storyline. If it was just a few hilarious show segments, that would have been perfect. But the storyline made it an opera. Anyway. I loved it.
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+1 Wealth – How did I save towards my goals?
My savings are still on track, but I could do a lot better. I’m thinking of going back into no-spend mode for this, the month of my birth. What could be a better gift to myself than more money?

How did you level up this week?

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Sunday Stats

*Since my family first got an NES, I’ve had a controller in my hands. Exploring new worlds, meeting new characters and experiencing stories… in some ways, I’ve just connected better with the world through games. However, it’s also very important to me to be present in my life, to improve myself, to go out and MEET the people I’ve connected with online and to expand my knowledge. I spend hours in games; how do I level myself up?

In this weekly series, I’ll chronicle how I’ve improved my “stats” with completely arbitrary scoring.*

+5 Intelligence – How did I make myself a little smarter? What did I learn?
What did I LEARN this week? I learned about Quantum Computing. I learned about scientific perceptions from Neil de Grasse Tyson. Dr. Mae Jemison reminded me to look up because “the one thing we share around the world is the sky. Check out the Q&A I recorded with her:

+1 Charisma – How was I less awkward or more beautiful?
I’ve noticed that New Yorkers don’t thank servers very much. When someone comes to your table to refill your coffee or water, NYers remain locked in their phones or conversations. There feels like a sharp class divide at the root of this. I also noticed it at the convention. Most convention goers didn’t talk to staff… I did. I always have made it a point to thank those who are waiting on me and treat them like a valued part of my experience. I had conversations with tons of convention staff, taxi drivers, servers, etc. They’re the best people to talk to when you travel, FYI. They’re the locals! They have the insider information on where to go, what to order, etc… I loved getting their POVs on life in Las Vegas, the desert, what they love and hate about it, what brought them there. I try to never get so wrapped up in myself that I forget about the billions of stories whirling around me as I journey through life.

+3 Strength – New workouts, breakthroughs, challenges.
Swallowing all my fears and social anxieties, I took a pole dancing class in Vegas. Stripper 101 was one hell of a workout. I can’t even tell you how sore my arms and thighs STILL are today. I met some other awesome ladies celebrating each other, themselves and the magic of our bodies. It was such a positive experience. Our instructor, Bubbles was so sweet and talented. And the girls in my class were so into it, we graduated from Stripper 101 and got to learn some more advanced moves she doesn’t usually teach- like how to climb the pole!

+2 Defense – Where did I consciously avoid or deflect negative energy?
Ryan HATES when I travel for work. He refers to conventions, client presentations, Design Thinking Workshops, whatever as “vacations” which makes me want to shatter a ceramic dish over his thick skull. I feel like he doesn’t respect my career. He guilts me over any fun I might have on a work trip, whether it’s a personal thing I want to do/see to decompress from work or a work-related team dinner/happy hour. It’s always a fight. Glux actually made me a Bingo card for his passive aggressive bullshit, which made me feel better. On Wednesday night after my pole dancing class, I was in the VORTEX of self-love and pride and feeling like a god damn queen. Ryan, meanwhile, was LIVID with me. I refused to feel guilty. I refused to let him tear me out of my zone and ruin my achievement. In fact, on my way to grab a bite before Zombie Burlesque, I stumbled onto a bar with a mechanical bull and I rode that sucker TWICE. I fought back against guilt, jealousy and rage by following my bliss to tackle more experiences I wanted to tick off my list.

+4 Luck – Something good that happened this week
Not only did I get to attend an incredibly intimate performance by one of my favorite artists, ZZ Ward, but after her set she gave me a guitar pick! Oh I also met Charlie Hustle aka the Hit King aka Pete Rose aka one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Ryan lost his shit over the vintage Phillies uniform I had Mr. Hustle sign for him. AND I got an exclusive invite to the grand opening of the brand new Las Vegas Esports Arena!

+2 Wealth – How did I save towards my goals?
I worked an abundance spell this week while I was in Vegas. And while I definitely spent more than I gained on this trip, I got a new haiku commission and a new dogsitting client that will rake me in over $600. So technically I’m breaking even here. Plus the gifts I picked up were totally worth it. I was expecting a big win on the Jurassic Park machines, but my money came to me in other ways instead (I just have to work for it and wait a bit longer). Oh, Universe! You so tricksy!

How did you level up this week?

 

Sunday Stats

*Since my family first got an NES, I’ve had a controller in my hands. Exploring new worlds, meeting new characters and experiencing stories… in some ways, I’ve just connected better with the world through games. However, it’s also very important to me to be present in my life, to improve myself, to go out and MEET the people I’ve connected with online and to expand my knowledge. I spend hours in games; how do I level myself up?

In this weekly series, I’ll chronicle how I’ve improved my “stats” with completely arbitrary scoring.*

+2 Intelligence – How did I make myself a little smarter? What did I learn?
On Thursday evening, I attended an IBM ThinkLeaders session with Irene Pedruelo, Director of Insights and Research at DoSomething.org. I really love this series of talks and they always find wonderfully smart guests to interview. Irene talked about the impact of the political climate on brands and young people, how to galvanize them to action through social and why it’s important to get involved in change. Keep an eye out for the next one on twitter and join me there!

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+1 Charisma – How was I less awkward or more beautiful?
I had a colleague try to bottleneck one of my projects, even inserting herself into a conversation I was having where she had no business. Instead of doing the “polite” thing and clamming up when she interrupted me, I didn’t let her. I kept making my point until SHE stopped talking. It felt uncomfortable and a little aggressive, but it was important for me to assert myself and stand my ground. And it worked. I got a lot of respect and an apology!

+1 Strength – New workouts, breakthroughs, challenges.
I feel good. I made progress toward a gym routine and remembered how good it feels to be at Equinox and get my muscles warm. I’m traveling to Vegas today through Friday, but I’m bringing gym gear and I’ve even booked myself a “fitness class” that I can’t wait to tell you about.

+2 Defense – Where did I consciously avoid or deflect negative energy?
I really challenged myself not to take Ryan’s bait. It’s fucking hard. He knows all the wrong things to say and all the buttons to push and he is relentless in trying to get a reaction out of me. But whenever we got snippy with each other, I responded softly.

+3 Luck – Something good that happened this week
Glux scored tickets to Dessert Goals on Saturday and I got to be her date to a dessert wonderland full of quirky sweet treats! Full report coming, but in the meantime, drool over these decadent delights.

+2 Wealth – How did I save towards my goals?
Two great things happened! 1) I got a small bonus in my paycheck through our profit-sharing program so I was able to put an extra $400 toward savings and debt reduction! 2) I was tapped for a user experience study for a new app in development for a MAJOR beverage company. For my time commenting on their message board and playing with the app, they compensated me with $175 in Amazon credit – that’s a lot of dog food and desk dinosaurs!

How did you level up this week?

 

Sunday Stats

*Since my family first got an NES, I’ve had a controller in my hands. Exploring new worlds, meeting new characters and experiencing stories… in some ways, I’ve just connected better with the world through games. However, it’s also very important to me to be present in my life, to improve myself, to go out and MEET the people I’ve connected with online and to expand my knowledge. I spend hours in games; how do I level myself up?

In this weekly series, I’ll chronicle how I’ve improved my “stats” with completely arbitrary scoring.*

+1 Intelligence – How did I make myself a little smarter? What did I learn?
Ugly Delicious on Netflix taught me so much about food and cultural perspectives (and I’m pretty sure it made Ryan think too!). I have to admit, I’d never questioned the American cultural status of Chinese food. David Chang (of Momofuku fame) pointed out that while it deserves the same consideration as French or Italian cuisines, it’s widely perceived as “cheap” and “dirty.” That was eye opening. I realized I’ve also considered Chinese food to be a cheap and “lesser” category of food. I don’t know the difference between regional flavors and styles. Though I always make an effort to experience and appreciate other cultures, it’s always a humbling reminder of my white privilege when these perspectives and perceptions smack me in the head. I’m grateful for shows like this that make me reflect and understand. I highly recommend everyone check it out.

+1 Charisma – How was I less awkward or more beautiful?
Our Boss’s Boss’s Boss was in the office this week and I made sure to get a little face time in with her. There were a lot of people clamoring for her attention, but I stepped up and asked her some good questions during her Office Hours.

-5 Strength – New workouts, breakthroughs, challenges.
It was a failed week at the gym. I didn’t make it once. Couldn’t sleep. Super emotional. Lots of crying. But I’m blasting this trend on Monday. I’ll never be ready for my race in April if I don’t get back into a solid routine NOW.

+2 Defense – Where did I consciously avoid or deflect negative energy?
My Discipline moved to a beautiful, bright new space this week. It’s not without its glitches, but it’s a massive improvement over our last floor. A lot of coworkers have been complaining about it though. So I’ve started pointing out something great for every complaint they have. “These pillars disrupt the room”: “We can wrap them in streamers and post up artwork!” “It’s going to be too crowded.”: “Let’s enjoy the quiet before we enjoy collaborating with everone else when they move in.” It’s all how you frame it. If you look for misery, you’ll always find it. If you look for the good, you will always find it.

+1 Luck – Something good that happened this week
I love my Passion Planner Eco, but when I close it the sleeve doesn’t quite fit right. The front of my poor bujo is bent in all manner from trying to wiggle and force it to close properly. I guess several buyers write a note to PP because they reached out offering a refund or replacement of my choice while they discontinue the Eco planner until it’s perfected. So now I’ll have a gorgeous Cosmic Rose Gold undated planner to map out 2019!

+5 Wealth – How did I save towards my goals?
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before, but I dog sit through Rover.com. I figured I already have a dog so what’s one more? Why not get paid for Muldoon to have an occasional sleepover? Last year I made over $3,000 for hanging out with cool ass pups. This week I booked a new client for TWO AND A HALF WEEKS! AND she’s a puppy so I get my puppy rate. By this time last year, I hadn’t had a single booking yet and I only gained 2 new clients for all of 2017 (my regulars were super active though!). After this new booking, I’ll have already made 1/3 of my profits from 2017 and booked THREE new clients! It’s shaping up to be a lucrative year!

How did you level up this week?

Lessons from #NoSpendFeb

As a result of some uncontrolled spending in January, I put myself on a strict financial diet for February. I tracked my daily spending to the last cent and resolved to not make purchases unless I really needed to. My strategy looked like this:

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I wasn’t always perfect. Concert tickets for the summer all seem to go on sale in February and there were some opportunities I couldn’t miss. But I learned so much about myself and my habits in the last month.

1) I’m very impulsive with money. On the night of the Super Bowl, I tried to buy a case of Tastykakes while drunk. Luckily my card wouldn’t go through and I (also luckily) didn’t have my credit with me because I hid it from myself (also while drunk) and I can’t find it.

2) Wishlists work. I created two lists – Wants and Needs. Needs are obviously prioritized and include things like new sheets. The Wants are things I’d typically buy myself in the moment, and maybe regret later. By adding it to the list, I can let some time pass and see if it’s still something important to me. Maybe someone needs a gift idea for me? Maybe I don’t want that thing anymore? Do I want this $300 water bottle filled with diamonds? Yup. Do I need it right now? Probably not.

3) Make your wallet inconvenient to access. This was so simple and SO unexpectedly effective! I switched from a messenger bag to a backpack recently. To access my wallet, I need to take the backpack off, unzip the compartments, and dig it out. It’s kind of a pain. When my wallet was easy to access in a side pocket, I could whip it out all too often. Now when I stroll through The Strand, I have to really think about if I want to hold up the line to excavate my wallet to buy a new book. I keep daily essentials like my work badge and MTA card on the back of my phone, but not my debit card.

4) Don’t autosave card numbers into websites. One-click purchases are just too convenient… and often thoughtless! I took my numbers off Amazon. Seamless. Paypal. Modcloth. Pretty much everywhere. Ticketmaster got to keep my card info. That’s it.

4a) DO automate saving! I had an ambitious savings goal of $1,000 for the month. Granted, tax returns helped with that quite a bit, but my bank also lets me set goals based on timing and then automatically moves money into those goals every day.

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5) There’s a lot of free stuff to do around the city. I kind of knew this already. But I rededicated myself to finding free or cheap things to do. There’s lots of free music. Free tastings. Cheap performances at the PIT. One of the reasons I LOVE living in NYC is that i consider my crazy rent part of my membership

6) I appreciated my paid activities more. Like lunch with Tony. And Galentine’s Day festivities. Likewise I felt bad about money events I can’t control – like a “team lunch” that we had to pay for ourselves where I ended up with a $21 appetizer-sized crab cake after splitting the bill 😑 It was really a lesson in value over cost and how to balance the two.

7) Rethinking gift giving. I tend to throw money at spoiling the people I love. It’s a Taurus thing reinforced by my Dad’s specific way of expressing love. For Valentine’s day, instead of a fancy night out and big gifts, I got Ryan a Movie Pass subscription and a poem I wrote about him when I was SIXTEEN. So now we can have a cheap date night at the movies whenever we want!

8) I didn’t check my bank account as much. Because I wasn’t worried about money! Usually in the week leading up to payday, I’m anxious about my account. I check it at least once a day. I always pay all the bills first, but when I’m frivolous with money I don’t feel secure. Since I was very closely tracking my spending, I always knew what was in my account without even having to check. It was a much better feeling!

9) My friends are awesome. Not a new lesson, but it really helped to have friends who understood my experiment and were supportive of the mission. No one was offended if I said no to a spendy hang out. I really appreciated their company instead of worrying about how to keep everyone entertained.

10) I have a mild shopping addiction. It gives me a RUSH to pull out my credit card and punch in the numbers… and then guilt. I feel out of control when I buy things sometimes. I don’t want to feel like that. I channeled that energy into working out or discovering an amazing piece at one of the museums I have memberships with.

I highly recommend trying a No Spend month! The daily spending tracking habits I’ve developed will continue forward, help me save more than I ever imagined, and force me to prioritize my needs over impulsive wants. If you try this experiment, let me know how it goes!

Sunday Stats

Sunday Stats

*Since my family first got an NES, I’ve had a controller in my hands. Exploring new worlds, meeting new characters and experiencing stories… in some ways, I’ve just connected better with the world through games. However, it’s also very important to me to be present in my life, to improve myself, to go out and MEET the people I’ve connected with online and to expand my knowledge. I spend hours in games; how do I level myself up?

In this weekly series, I’ll chronicle how I’ve improved my “stats” with completely arbitrary scoring.*

+3 Intelligence – How did I make myself a little smarter? What did I learn?
I’m making myself smarter by sharing my knowledge and exercising my skills more through a few gigs on Fiverr. You can have a custom haiku written for you for just $5 by an award-winning MFA poet. OR I’ll read your tarot cards!

+1 Charisma – How was I less awkward or more beautiful?
I made sure I got at least 8 hours of sleep every night this week. I looked and felt so much more refreshed! The extra two hours of sleep a night also made me a little more pleasant to interact with.

-2 Strength – New workouts, breakthroughs, challenges.
I got to the gym this week, but then had a pretty rough Thursday. I spent the day in ER with abdominal cramps so severe I could barely breathe. Long story short, I’m ok and it was nothing serious. Just some fun lady bits drama to keep an eye on. Definitely taking good care of myself and feeling better.

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+4 Defense – Where did I consciously avoid or deflect negative energy?
I chose my charity to support this year! Notice the new widget on the top right of my homepage? I’ve joined the Extra Life fundraising community to help my local children’s hospital. Inspired by my day in the ER, seeing a lot of hurt or sick kids and worried parents holding it together like a miracle of modern psyche, It’s a ways off until my 24 hour Game Marathon on November 3rd, but I wanted to open up donations early. For the timeframe, I’ve set a pretty modest goal of $1,000. Hopefully I can raise that number before Game Day.

Alison Heller Extra Life Donation

Look for this logo and click to donate!

+3 Luck – Something good that happened this week
Why does every show for the year go on sale in February? I have no idea. But this week, I scored seats for the Smashing Pumpkins. Hopefully I can add a couple of Bush shows to the roster as well.

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+5 Wealth – How did I save towards my goals?
I have a HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT: I got back my Federal tax return and paid off my student loan! That’s $150 a month I can now put toward getting my other debts paid off. There are few greater feelings than the weight of a debt lifting off your bank account.

It’s also the last Sunday of #NoSpendFeb and I have learned a ton this month. I cracked down, saved over $1000 this month (thanks in part to my tax return, but also to some budgeting acrobatics.) I’ll have a full report on the results of this amazing experiment on Friday. I’m stoked to share!

Sunday Stats

Sunday Stats

*Since my family first got an NES, I’ve had a controller in my hands. Exploring new worlds, meeting new characters and experiencing stories… in some ways, I’ve just connected better with the world through games. However, it’s also very important to me to be present in my life, to improve myself, to go out and MEET the people I’ve connected with online and to expand my knowledge. I spend hours in games; how do I level myself up?

In this weekly series, I’ll chronicle how I’ve improved my “stats” with completely arbitrary scoring.*

+3 Intelligence – How did I make myself a little smarter? What did I learn?
On Monday night, I took a hand lettering class at Craft Jam. Since I’ve been diligently working on my planner/bullet journal, I wanted to learn some new skills to turn my doodles into something slightly more artistic. The class was filled with a bunch of kick ass creative women and for 2 hours we learned some of the basics of lettering design. Such a blast! Can’t wait to take the full 3 sessions course in the future.

+1 Charisma – How was I less awkward or more beautiful?
I got a free sample of L’Oreal Elvive leave in conditioner from Influenster. I’ve never used a leave in conditioner. Curly hair is super temperamental and any change to my routine, products or the weather can send my hair into revolt. But I tried it out on a day when I had 0 plans in case of disaster. The results have honestly been pretty great. My hair is SO much more hydrated and incredibly soft. Curls are always thirsty so they’re definitely appreciating this new treat.

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+4 Strength – New workouts, breakthroughs, challenges.
This week I faced a FEAR – I recorded a video! I’ve never been comfortable on video. As part of my new role at work, I need to position myself as a thought leader. While I can eloquently write stories and create presentations, giving a presentation is another beast. But I recorded a video presentation where I walk through some strategies I developed around impending changes to Facebook. And people are loving it!

-2 Defense – Where did I consciously avoid or deflect negative energy?
There was a lot of funky energy this week. In Inception, when your subconscious starts to realize the dream isn’t real, the people in the dream start to get a little unfriendly, giving nasty looks and sometimes getting hostile. That’s what this week felt like. People who are usually friendly were standoffish, Ryan and I fought a lot over stupid shit just to hear ourselves yell (he shockingly handled it WAY better than I did). But you know what they say – If you keep running into assholes, you’re probably the asshole.  I put up some walls and heightened expectations for other people, so of course I felt a funky energy. I was the one attracting it!

+5 Luck – Something good that happened this week
Lots of great things happened this week. My best friends got me sweet valentine’s treats- Glux got me a chocolate cupcake from Sprinkles and Tony got me a box of decadent, heart shaped chocolates 😋 AND I got my lease renewal from the landlord with the most anticipated news of any New Yorker’s year: “what’s my unjustified rent increase?” IT’S ZERO, BABY!

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-2 Wealth – How did I save towards my goals?
#NoSpendFeb didn’t go so great this week. I hit my savings goals, but I went a little overboard celebrating Valentine’s Day with fancy shots. Celebrating friends is always worth it though. Especially when you get to give her her first blowjob. Then I spent $300 on Depeche Mode tickets because seeing the biggest band in the new wave movement of the 80s and 90s ir a once in a lifetime thing. Then Muldoon had his annual physical at the vet on Friday, which included blood work, stool work, nails, ears and teeth, and his bordetella vaccine. That ran me $398 😱 I mean, when you have a dog though, taking care of him becomes a necessary expense. And it’s only a once-a-year kind of expenditure. I’d do anything to keep him happy and healthy.

This weekend, I kept things very very low key to make up for that spending. I should also be getting my tax return soon to bolster my savings and pay down my debts. Hopefully next Sunday I’ll have the exciting update I’m waiting to break!