noexno 2014 & the year+ of zero fucks

haley and alison zero fucks

Above, my Zero Fucks Protégé Haley and I demonstrate the Team Zero Fucks secret hand signal which combines the round “zero” of thumb and forefinger with the ASL sign for the letter “F” to provide a comprehensive sign that laymen assume means “AOK.”

one of my no excuses november goals this year is to post on here once a week. so, i figured i’d go meta this week and plug my guest pep talk for no excuses november.

this year’s pep talk contains 14 things i’ve learned from 14 months of giving zero fucks.

if you want to go retro, you can also read my past pep talks from 2012 and 2013.

In Reflection: 2013 Goals

Toward the end of 2012 I was lucky enough to attend a goal-setting workshop held by Lululemon. I had never done anything quite so official and written out before, and it was eye opening to spend focused time thinking about what I want and how to get there.

Even though I didn’t think about my goals as consistently or as focused-ly for the rest of the year, they were lingering in the back of my head, inspiring me one way or the other.

I revisited them recently and was surprised to see how many of my one-year goals I did make progress on or accomplish.

Now it’s time to sit down and think about my one-year goals for 2014 but, before I do, let me recap for the year at close.


I have a job with better pay and less stress (still in something I love).

By some miracle, and with minimal effort, I accomplished this — what I thought would be the most painstaking and time consuming one of all to do.

Now I even have my own nameplate:


And sometimes I fly to work!


I write one essay per month.

While I did not meet the quota for this, I did write considerably more, and also got back into reading regularly, which helps inspire my writing.

I also went public with one of my essays for the first time, which was quite cathartic (and it was great to receive such a positive response!). I contributed it to Allison’s NoExNo project, and you can read it here. The photo below relates to it, I swear.


I attend monthly writing workshops with Allison (and/or others).

We were actually pretty good about doing these! Having the writing workshops correspond with wine/pizza parties helped considerably, but who’s counting?

Here’s what we look like if we haven’t had our daily allotment of pizza. I mean, writing:


I post three blog posts per week (any blog) and promote one of them.

NOPE. Didn’t happen. But, I did switch all my blogs over to WordPress and think about them sometimes.


I incorporate fresh veggies into my own cooking twice per week.

I finally made it to the Midtown Farmers’ Market at the end of November. Not that that means I didn’t eat fresh vegetables until November, but it does give a little insight into this goal: kind of happened, kind of didn’t.

Here’s me after chopping some vegetables, to prove to you I am capable:


I run a half-marathon in 1:45 (faster than Sarah Palin).

This plan got foiled by the fact that I jumped over a hedge and broke my foot. So, instead of a picture of me gloriously defeating Sarah Palin, here’s a pretty gross picture of my foot:



I walk instead of drive three times per week.

When I was working downtown, I started biking to work every day instead of driving — it was actually a quicker commute! Now that I work farther from home, I no longer bike to work, but I still make a point to walk to meet up with friends, do my shopping, etc.

I also decided to get safe about it after I saw a bicyclist get smashed by a truck, and I bought a really sweet bike helmet. I know I had a really nerdy picture of me in said bike helmet, but I can’t find it on my computer, so this photo of me biking into the sunset will have to do:


I save 5% of every paycheck.

I did this, but I can’t really prove it to you without showing you a screenshot of my bank account, so you’ll have to take my word for it.

Here’s a really awesome graphic of a sloth as a consolation prize:

best sloth graphic ever

I take a full week off work for vacation.

Glad I got this one done when I was still working a job that gave me paid vacation time. I spent a week in Ohio and Kentucky and checked two Capitols off my bucket list!

Columbus, Ohio:


And Frankfort, Kentucky:


I buy one piece of original artwork (that I love).

This one was seemingly the easiest on my list, but I didn’t start on it until I had an epiphany a couple weeks ago and commissioned Dan Simmons to create a handlettered art piece out of the haiku Jamie Stewart wrote for me:


Can’t wait to see the final product!

I attend a regular weekly get-together with my girlfriends.

Haley, Haley, Allison, and I started HAHA Happy Hour in early January 2013 and it has been going strong throughout the entire year, and even grown to include ladies not named Haley or Al(l)ison. What a great tradition. Here’s the founding pinky swear:


Cheers to another great year!

two years ago today

it’s been two years. hard to believe. in honor of today and all that’s been grown, recovered, and learned, i want to post this in non-secret form, having garnered permission from young william to do so:

(originally written in 2009, not long after the accident)

we’re alive:
i keep having flashbacks to him lying there, breathing timed breaths and then, worse, breathing his own — untimed and unsettling.
alone with him, rambling, rambling. ‘alison, alison’ all i can pick out of the muffled words hidden behind oxygen mask and clouded head.
voice hoarse, unrecognizable even as a voice.

the right leg moving up and down, knee straight knee. the left one still, numb, exactly how i don’t want it to be.

his wrists pull against the straps as his hand holds tighter onto mine.
it’s ok, i tell him, you’re strapped to the bed.
his grip lessens some, and i hope he understands.

his eyes roll back into his head and i peer through the slit of his lids. just white, just white and then, there! the bright, bright blue.
hello william, as they lessen the drugs. can you wiggle your toes for me? can you squeeze your hands for me? good, good. go back to sleep.

the food goes drip drip drip and i tell him what he’s eating.
yum yum it must be tasty, i joke. if only your stomach had a tongue.

i touch his forehead, and it’s still him, still, still.
his hair grows back and his beard grows in,
and still, he’s muscley and strong, as a marine.

but not for long, not for long. he shrink shrink shrinks until his eyes are hollow and his lungs are full.
he coughs and coughs but the tube won’t let him. the nurse comes and wipes it out.
and then, a bath. and then, perhaps, a shave! but the ventilator still goes breathe breathe breathe.

an eye on the heart-rate machine, always. keep it going keep it strong. at least you are doing this one on your own. you shudder & it shoots up, along with mine. i stare at it until it’s resting. go go go keep on pumping. if you can do this then soon, then soon, your breathing, too.

and my dad, he laughs
and my dad, he cries
and my mom, she laughs
and my mom, she cries
and me
i cried
and then, i laughed.
and then, and then,
and then, you laughed
and all of us, together, for a long long time


the lone tree is just a part

for the may/june issue of california country magazine, my dad wrote an article about the remodel of my parent’s front lawn. i was given a print copy of the article, but was glad to find it online as the scan was difficult to read. the article is well-written & informative, so give it a gander! (i am particularly fond of the reference to my brother as “in-house lawn-mowing specialist.”)