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Well, I finally found a skin I loved for the blog here and it isn’t working.  Sigh.  For some reason the proper colors on the left sidebar don’t show up, even though the code looks like it should work.  I installed it on another abandonded wordpress installation I have, and it totally works, so it’s weird and frustrating and I WANT TO BE ABLE TO USE WIDGETS!

Deep breathing.

I realized last week during a not so stellar improv show performance, that I need to do more non-acting things.  When I first started doing improv, I was just out of college, and had a lot of non-Hollywood experiences to draw on.  I think it made my sub conscience more varied and diverse, and a better variety of things would pop to mind when I was on stage.  I’ve been acting professionally almost 8 years now, and I feel like I’m in a bit of a rut with the improv, because my daily tasks are narrower in their scope than they were when I was studying 8 different subjects a semester (I wasn’t exactly good about adhering to the recommended plan 🙂 ).  So, I decided to sit down and list the things that I would like to start learning, to broaden my life :

  • WordPress theme programming
  • Kung Fu (Non-contact because I’m wussy)
  • Chinese and/or another exotic language
  • Final Cut (to be able to edit movies of my cats)
  • Novel Writing
  • History of Myth/Folklore
  • A Poetry Class, preferably the Romantics
  • Lockpicking
  • Yo-Yo (Mahalo Daily inspired)
  • Art History/Chinese Brush Painting/Watercolor
  • Sushi Preparation
  • Folk Dancing
  • Trapeze
  • Firearms (My Dad was always trying to get me to go in Texas, damn!)
  • Sewing (especially pants for some reason)
  • Hair cutting

Ok, well, that’s a long list.  I need to pick 2 things for now until the end of the year to experiment with. Good thing is, some of these things are not available in class form per-se, and others require too much work/equipment to actually start.   Does anyone else have a desire to learn something weird?   Maybe I can inspire a few people to join me in a “learn something out of the ordinary” November 🙂

  • Dustin

    Dammit…I have a guitar sitting on my guitar stand for months that I have yet to touch. You’re gonna make me do something positive in my life and I’m gonna let you inspire me. This is just beyond rude!

    I just saw “Ratatouille” and I think learning to cook awesomesauce would rock.

  • Mia

    I understand why you want non-contact Kung Fu. I did 3 years of Kung Fu recently and managed to get winded, broken ribs, and a whole lotta bruising throughout… and that was without sparring!

    Lockpicking. That’s something I’m interested in, too.

    What I want to learn most these days (aside from improving my vocals), is acting! But it would be specifically targeted at developping an on-stage persona. I don’t even know where to get started on something like that. (You’re a brilliant actress, got advice?)

    Hrmmm… something out of the ordinary to learn in November…

    I’d like to study the basics of neurology.

  • Courtney

    I think you should combine 2 subjects and do an all-new combo. I think the world is ready for the first Kung Fu Yo-yo-ist.

    You should totally learn FCP though. It’s pretty easy to learn. I’ve taught it to people in a day. Could be useful in knowing how to give instructions to your editor, too.

  • Brian

    Great plans! I also always want to be a Renaissance person. I probably can give you some info about learning foreign language if I know your preference.
    I’m trying to learn lockpicking, firearms, make cellphone jammer and explosives.(so far sounds like terrorist:( but it’s just pure curiousity)
    Generally, I’m studying physics, mathematics, computer science, IT, Philosophy, Psychology, Social Theory, literature, and History. Getting out of the conventional way of education is my specialty. The obssesive studying is totally insane like sitting on my desk for like 10 hours. But the I can have the greatest fun!

    Actually, I’m trying to find someone to study with, like exchange ideas. But so far, no one. Anyone?

  • Dustin

    Sorry Brian I’m already done with all that. Now I’m off to Disney Land!

  • I have to ask, why the hell would you want to learn firearms? The other stuff I understand, but gun wielding I’m confused about. Unless you plan to use these firearms skills in some sort of Wild Bill cowboy show.

    You Americans are weird with your gun obsessions. I much prefer the European obsession of sex. Sex play is must more pleasurable than gun play.

  • Carl

    I second Courtney’s notion: combine these pursuits for even more fun!

    Get started on your trapeze swinging/target shooting and you should be ready in time for the post-modern biathlon at the 2012 Games in London.
    Curiously, tickets for that event aren’t selling very well.

    Exotic things I’d like to learn (if I had time/money).

    Flying.

    Sailboarding/yachting.

    Acting……ok…maybe not so exotic for you 🙂

  • well I have been learning Adobe Premiere and After Effects because I dont use a Mac so I haven’t bothered learning Final Cut (though it would be good to learn for industry purposes).

    I have always been someone who learns a little bit about a lot of subjects (i use to work in the library for like 2 years of my life)
    I WOULD love to learn to play piano much more then i already do as well as read sheet music.
    I’d like to know how to put together circuit boards and make small electronic chips for simple projects.
    I’d like to learn French.
    I’d like to know how to survive in the wilderness with just what I would bring in any given instant.
    I’d like to know chemistry – especially of every day household chemicals.
    I’d like to know the ins and outs of Quantum and Astral physics but unfortunately math always gets in my way as I have always had trouble understanding even college algebra – but i blame that on the fact that most math teachers I have ever had sucked at being a teacher.
    oh and do self- hypnosis so I might be able to tap into my subconscious so I can learn all about my past lives.

  • For a language, I recommend sign language. I had the weird wish to learn something out of the ordinary too, so I took classes. It was a very fulfilling experience: On one hand you get to know alot of people whom you might not be able to talk to otherwise and it gives you so much in regards to understanding communication. The way a face talks, the way to play a theatric performance when communicating is very unique and fascinating.

  • Ben

    Felicia–There’s a novel titled, The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. Its a wonderful story that you need to read. It won a Pulitzer.

    It ties in with your desire to learn lockpicking. This is a tale of how the comic book industry was started and one of the main characters learns to pick locks and eventually becomes an escape artist.

    You wont be able to put it down once you start.

    PS–How did the picketing go?

  • Not taken part in this years NaNoWriMO then?

  • DM! I’m so sad you brought that up! If I had known about it I would TOTALLY have done it 🙁 I’m putting it on next year’s goals I guess, remind myself in Oct. I guess I could have my own NaDecWriMO, but that’s kinda lame.

    All these suggestions are so great, it seems like everyone is in the same boat as me about wanting to do something but not going and doing it, well except for Brian 😀 Maybe there needs to be a little “help each other out” initiative to boost the motivation? I’ll make another post about it.
    Savage, I want to learn how to shoot a gun because I think I’m a little wimpy in life, and if I ever get a job with one, I won’t look like the dumb actress who doesn’t know how to shoot a gun.

    And since so many ppl are into acting, I’ll make a post about that soon too. My “insightful” advice. LOL

  • Mia

    Brian, I’m studying computer science, if you wanna exchange ideas in that, I guess that’s where I’m supposed to excel.

    I’m also into psychology and social theory, but time’s been lacking to read more, so I’ve been limited to just observing my friends and colleagues 😉

    Just, uh… post a topic on Felicia’s forum perhaps, if you need something computer sciency?

  • Courtney

    Hmm… it ate my original post, so if this is a repost, delete this.
    —-

    Mia: the cooking, programming, heavy metal vocalist… Now THAT would be an interesting combo to do all at once.

    For those interested in Psychology, I’ve been reading some pop psychology books by Malcolm Gladwell which I’ve been finding interesting. He wrote Blink and The Tipping Point. Very interesting stuff.

    Also, for those that just use PC and want to learn editing, definitely use Premiere. Premiere Pro 2.0 on is very, very similar to FCP. If you learn one, you’ll know how the other works. Plus, the interaction betw Premiere and After Effects in CS3 is much better.

  • edgar

    Hey Felicia… You’re welcome… -_-

  • SwordSaintSoma

    i would like to start a cosmology study/discussion group..
    [that *might bring me back to the forums]

  • Virginia

    I’ve always wanted to learn how to swing dance, which I consider pretty weird since I have a distinct lack of dancing ability… although my ‘white girl’ dance does get many a laugh and applause at parties. They’re laughing with me, right?

  • Courtney

    Try a bad asian male dance… Get too many comparisons to William Hung for comfort…

  • Virginia

    On another note my girlfriend wants to be a writer/director/editor/photographer/etc and has been harassing me to take classes at the community college with her. I think she was inspired by The Guild, because every time she thinks of something to make a short film or skit about, she ends with “you know, short like The Guild” or “you know, kinda like a mini series for free like The Guild”.

    Be proud, you’ve helped inspire someone!

    I more so just want to get into doing really bitchin’ make up… like zomies and shit. Realistic wounds, rotting flesh! I’d love to learn how to work with liquid latex and doing casts and molds for body suit attachments. Mostly I just want to make cool Halloween party outfits, but my girlfriend has used my desire as an excuse to make me her future make-up artist / costume designer. How could I say no to such enthusiasm? (maybe it’s the sex >_>)

  • Carl

    Felicia:
    I don’t think that learning to use a firearm is going to be very empowering for you….not unless you intend to get a carry permit and then keep one with you at all times. If you do intend to do that, then you should get some very serious and intensive firearms training. I had heaps of firearms training when I was in the USAF (working on nuclear weapons systems) and I only scratched the surface.

    When I was a young boy, I was always the smallest and smartest in my class; I was less than 4 feet tall when I was 13. So, I ended up getting bullied a LOT: I know how it feels ,to feel wimpy.

    I got over that by studying a martial art: Tae Kwon Do. Learning a martial art pays dividends beyond just learning to defend yourself….. and you don’t need a carry permit.

    However, I don’t recommend Tae Kwon Do….it’s kind of like the McDonald’s of martial arts. The rules that restrict what you can do severely limit its true usefulness as a mode of self-defense. For example, we never practiced groin or knee strikes. If I could do it all over again, I think I’d take Kung-Fu instead. Maybe I’ll still do that. 🙂

    Even more important than picking the right martial art for you, is to pick a school that you’ll enjoy being a part of. A sense of unity and fun will make the difficult training much more palatable.

  • stm

    I usually make it a point to do/learn one thing each year that is way outside of my comfort zone. I haven’t done one this year…and so as long as there are no clucking noises from this end, I’m game for a November/December “dare”.

    Before I get to my list, I’ll comment on a couple of yours:
    – Be _very_ careful about the poetry class you choose. The one I selected ended up being an anthology class that was not interactive or stimulating by any stretch of the imagination. The fact that the instructor had a voice and cadence that made Ben Stein look like an energetic and dynamic speaker didn’t help either.
    – I wanted to learn how to shoot a firearm, but I can’t deal with loud noises. So I took up archery when I was in Texas. Fell into a group who was training for the Olympics, which was cool. One thing I didn’t expect is how peaceful it is; focusing on one little circle for an hour definitely clears the mind.

    Last “weird” new experience was taking a class in Skeleton (think luge on a cafeteria tray), so I’m looking for that scary but fulfilling experience.
    Some initial thoughts for myself are: Learning FCP (needs to be done), taking a ballroom dancing class, trying stand-up comedy, taking an italian cooking class, and (if my knees can take it) fencing. I’ve also thought about hang-gliding, but it is the wrong time of year for it. In my opinion, falling to ones potential doom is best in the early spring or early fall as you can admire the foliage before you become part of the landscape.

  • Glad you like the idea! Am doing NaNoWriMo & am 9k words in…a little behind.

    It gives you the freedom to write without editing sometimes this is harder than you think. It does bring out some nice spontaneous character progressions & scenes…

    Think you will love it next year.

  • Cassie Dawn

    Non-contact kung fu? Hmm… have you considered looking in to tai chi chuan? It’s considered a “soft” martial art, in that it’s all about redirecting an opponent’s force rather than striking them. Best of all, it can be very meditative and promotes a long healthy life. You’ll often see people practicing this in parks in the morning (when it’s not freezing cold outside…) I’m sure you have at least some familiarity with it, but I think it may be what you’re looking for in that respect.

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