A twerk-off with Don Draper. Experience 24.

One of my favorite annual new experiences is my friend Mimi Goodtime’s over-the-top costume party. Each year is a new theme at a new venue, which lands it solidly in the new experience column.

Previous themes have included a Speakeasy and 70’s Disco. Costumes are required.

I have historically approached costumes with equal doses reluctance and cheap (I prefer thrifty). One Halloween, a friend and I visited three different CVS’s, becoming increasingly ill-tempered as we repeatedly considered the same sad selection of “costumes.” Ultimately, unwilling to invest more than a few dollars in the venture, we broke down. She got the “Pirate” (an eye patch and plastic sword) and I the “Witch” (a pointy black hat, which I paired with an already owned black dress). Another year, I paired up with a doppelganger from work, we bought the same sweater (which we liked enough to wear on non-costume occasions), tied doublemint gum around our necks, and called it a day. My best “on the cheap” costume was the year I fashioned my red hair into a helmet-like bob (flatirons had yet to reach the masses), printed out a copy of Agent Scully’s FBI ID from the Internet, slapped it in a clip-on nametag holder, and wore a suit. I was missing an Agent Mulder but just pretended he’d been abducted by aliens. Continue reading


The path to personal growth and enrichment is paved with good intentions. Experience 23.

It wouldn’t be much of a new experience project if I didn’t include at least some things that fall outside of my comfort zone, eh?

Which is why I bought a ticket to a program sponsored by my beloved alma mater – a dinner featuring Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology and the promise of subject matter well outside my usual fiction, television, and pop-culture-heavy cocktail of activities.

I also thought it would be a fine opportunity to work on my decidedly lackluster networking skills. Which you’re apparently supposed to develop as a professional person in the world. So I decided to put on my big girl pants, prepare a couple go to questions, and set off solo to cocktail hour. Where I naturally made a beeline for the one person in the room who I sort of knew until the one person I actually knew arrived and I attached myself to her for the rest of the night.  Baby steps.

The program itself? I think it was pretty interesting. Continue reading

A very … fuzzy … panda. Experience 22.

Sip n paint, Sippin’ and Paintin’, Painting with Wine, whatever the moniker, seems like for the past year or so pairing a couple of glasses of wine with novice painters has been taking the Groupons and Living Socials of the world by storm. And believe you me, I’ve wanted to get on that bandwagon from the beginning.

Act I – “I’m Not Even a Little Bit Artistic”

My efforts to find a partner-in-crime were repeatedly rebuffed with the polite but firm, “I’m not artistic, not my thing.” Turns out, plenty of people just want to drink wine without throwing paint and brushes into the mix. What’s that about?

Act II – The Co-Worker Frenemy Continue reading

A long time ago . . . we used to be friends. Experience 20.

Oh dear. This is so untimely. I really need to add “write a blog post in a timely manner” to my list of 100 things.  I hope to get more caught up within the week.

Now that it is decidedly out of theatres, I am pleased to share my views on the Veronica Mars movie, Rob Thomas’ Kickstarter success story. LOVED IT. Seriously, go see it, n…oops. Watch it On Demand now! (Is it still On Demand? I hope so.)

A quick aside, because undoubtedly it’s my 100 experience rules that keep bringing you, my loyal two handfuls of followers, back: movies won’t usually qualify as new experiences because my typical movie fare of YA book series turned blockbuster legacies, although awesome, doesn’t quite take me off my beaten path. If I make it to a documentary film festival or something foreign and sub-titled, then maybe. Or, obviously, Veronica Mars. Documentary, foreign sub-titled, Veronica Mars…makes perfect sense. Continue reading

The ice cream cleanse. Happy free cone day!

This is just a quick update to share that I tried one of Ben & Jerry’s new “Core” varieties of ice cream (seriously, check them out). Even though the Core line is new and I’ve never tried any before I’m not counting it as an official new experience because I’m not convinced that it falls within the true spirit of my new experience project. However, I’m otherwise working through a small bout of writer’s block and, even though it wasn’t my means of trying the new flavor, today IS “free cone day” at Ben & Jerry’s.  (Sorry for the late announcement.  Maybe next year, eh?)

After some deliberation I settled on Salted Caramel – a Blondie-bit speckled, sweet cream outside, with a salted caramel core. Continue reading