10 Goals for 2014

OakMonster.com - Brandon and Oakley with the Endeavor

Let’s do a quick recap of 2013 first.

2013 Goals: kind of 7 out of 10

Find a job I love? Check! Oh my god, check!

Don’t finish last at Race on the Base? Totally check. What I didn’t expect is that I would stick with running and continue to run 5K races around the neighborhood. This year’s Race on the Base is my one year anniversary race, and also my last race in a series of 3 to receive my first ever series medal!

Be able to do 20 burpees in a row? I wouldn’t say in a CONTINUOUS row. I can push through to 20, but after the first 10, it’ll just take some time. 😉

Learn Indesign? Check.

See my BFF Nora once a month? Totally check. We were both so good at making time, and putting things on calendar this year. We even did a camping trip together! It worked out really well.

Read 12 books a year? I cheated a little with a big stack of graphic novels on loan from our neighbor Andrew. But here’s my list:

  1. Days of Blood & Starlight – Laini Taylor
  2. Frozen Heat – Richard Castle
  3. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn. I have to say I love how horrible Gillian Flynn makes these characters. I hate EVERYBODY, and to get me all invested in characters this much means the writing is really, really good.
  4. School for Good and Evil – Soman Chainani. Adorable YA. My niece-in-law has this book now and she loves it too.
  5. Dark Places – Gillian Flynn. Since I liked Gone Girl, I gave this one a shot. Meh. I don’t even remember what it’s about at this point…
  6. Serenity: Those Left Behind – Joss Whedon
  7. Batman: The Killing Joke – Alan Moor/Brian Bolland
  8. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot. Intriguing for a little while, but then it got boring. This is why I should never pick up another nonfiction ever again.
  9. V for Vendetta – Alan Moore
  10. Superman: Secret Identity – Kurt Busiek/Stuart Immonen.
  11. Superman: Birthright – Mark Waid/Leinil Francis Yu.  Great origin story. I really dig Supes in this.
  12. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky. Am I too old to appreciate this book? Because it seems to be a book about nothing to me.
  13. Doctor Sleep – Stephen King. Now I’m going to go back and read The Shining.

Now, as for what I didn’t do: archery once a month and taking old documents to shredder.

And then there were the almosts. I did make a pie crust from scratch once, it wasn’t any good. Then I rolled out someone else’s crust, and baked with pre-made crusts several times. Pretty much, more pies than I ever baked in my life all within 3 months. And then catching up on Doctor Who, I got through Season 1 and I’m almost done with Season 2. I’m nearly there!

So, that makes 6 completed goals, 2 failures, and 2 almosts which, to me, make a one. Hence, kind of 7 out of 10!

Before we look at 2014…

To tell you the truth, I almost didn’t write goals for 2014. I almost let Brandon be right when he said last year that I shouldn’t even call these goals or even setting them because I never really tried to complete them.

But then I thought, I should set them anyway. Many of the 2013 goals sent me down a completely different path. It’s more like 10 adventures to embark on or 10 quests to complete. Some will fail, and some will succeed. But you wouldn’t know it if you didn’t set any goals at all.

For example, I might have failed at doing archery once a month, but I haven’t given up on running. As a matter of fact, I joined a gym so that I could run when the street condition isn’t optimum for me.  Also, I might not have made a successful pie crust from scratch, but I’ve worked with several pre-made crusts this year to give me confidence.

Besides, I might not have learned to make a pie crust, but I did learn how to tie a roast. So there!

Goals for 2014

1. Run 5K under 40 minutes.

My best time has been around 42 minutes. I’m starting to train with a heart rate monitor now so we’ll see if this works out.

2. Make a pie crust from scratch

I’m still going to try, goddammit.

3. Finish reading “S”

I got started on “S” by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst all enthusiastic. But when you had a full day of work, by the time you get in bed to read, you want something to read to escape for a while and to wind down for the day. You don’t want to get all pumped up and frustrated by a fictional story by a fictional writer, full of footnotes that potential contain clues, plus TWO other people “talking” around the margins. It’s too much!

Seriously. This book takes so much effort that I have to pick it up from the nightstand and back on the living room table. It needs to be its own project. But I’m not going to give up!

4. Learn basic greetings in Quenya and insults in Klingon

“You took 2 years of Italian, and you’re not even going to put that back on your goals, but you’re going to learn phrases in fictional languages?” asked Brandon.

Yes, yes I am. I don’t know. I just want to be able to say, May the stars shine upon your path in Quenya–that is Elvish to you muggles–because it would sound beautiful and awesome. Also, fuck you assholes in Klingon should probably sound menacing as hell. I mean, who wouldn’t you want to curse someone out in a language they would probably not understand?

5. The Hobbits Challenge

It’s always been a joke that Thai people are like Hobbits: we eat at least 7 times a day! This point was made very clear when my Thai girl friends came to stay with me after New Year’s Day. So, I thought it would be fun to try to eat like a Hobbit for a month and see if it helps with anything or worsen anything.

And yes, I will be blogging what I eat daily and report the process. The eating part is easy, it’s the blogging part that might be a challenge. When will I start this? Soon, grasshoppers. Soon.

OakMonster.com - Hobbit's Daily Meals

6. Take Brandon on an adventure once a month

This is separate objective than taking a quarterly mini-vacation around the area. Brandon and I went to see the space shuttle Endeavor at the California Science Center last weekend through a USC alumni program. And we had a wonderful time. I realized we don’t go out on fun day-trip like that as often as we should, even as a member of the Aquarium of the Pacific. So, I’m going to try to get us out to play at least once a month, even it means dragging him to a USC football game once! ;-D

OakMonster.com - Brandon and Oakley with the Endeavor

7. Connect with “long lost” friends once a month

If I haven’t seen someone in over 6 months and they live within an hour of driving, it’s time to schedule a meet. Last year’s “meet with Nora once a month” has worked out beautifully so I’d like to spread the wealth to see others this year.

8. Eat fruit and/or vegetables daily

Now, you’re thinking, how could the girl who works at a produce company not eat fruit/vegetable everyday? It’s not the accessibility: it’s the mindfulness.  Oh, you’ll be surprised at how I could go through the day thinking about the 7 meals I could have and none of them would have vegetables in it. I’m horrible at that.

9. Revamp this blog

I know the blog has been grossly neglected, but I’m in a desperate need of change. I’m also thinking about bringing Food.OakMonster.com back into this blog. So we shall see.

10. Read 12 books a year.

I already bought myself 2 sets of Barnes & Noble’s collectible edition to start the year with: Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Anansi Boys, and Stephen King’s Carrie, The Shining, and Salem’s Lot.  There’s also Commander Chris Hadfield’s An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth waiting bedside right now. It’s going to be a great year for books!

Let’s see how well we do in 2014. Any goals of yours to share?


  1. Ken C.   •  

    I was late-to-discover Neil Gaiman [did a Wiki search after watching “Coraline” on Netflix last year], and then did read & very much enjoy “American Gods/Anansi Boys.” Gaiman has quite the imagination, and he’s a wonderfully talented writer. I carried a paperback copy of his “Neverwhere” during our recent trips to Thailand and Illinois, but never cracked the cover [though it is currently near the top of my “to read” stack].
    Good luck with your 2014 goals!

  2. OakMonster   •  

    Thanks Ken! (Long time no see! But then again, long time no blog here either HAHAHA)

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