Monthly Archives: October 2011

Project: Get Out

The project I’m currently working on is one where I exercise more. Did you know that when asked, people over-estimate how much they worked out the month before by 70%? I’ve been thinking about how we over-estimate the amount we work out and under-estimate how much we spend and eat. Does anyone remember what the psychological phenomenon is called?

Just like the food project, I’m not doing this to lose weight, in fact, you’re more likely to stick to a work-out routine if you aren’t doing it to lose weight. I’m doing it to boost energy and most of all, be happier. It’s literally night and day what I’m like after a week of frequent exercise and a week without. Besides giving me self-confidence and releasing feel good endorphins, it also gives me a sense of routine in my life so I don’t feel out of control. Plus, my brother tells me exercising prevents Alzheimers.

So, I will be

  • Running 4 times this week
  • Parking in spots farthest away
  • Putting on music to dance to
  • Taking the stairs (where there are any–it’s Florida)
  • Going for walks
  • Going to the gym 6 times a week

Carried over from past projects:

  • Being open to try new things
  • Letting go
  • Stay within my budget
  • Gluten-free diet.
  • More fresh veggies and fruits.
  • More hobbies and activities, less TV.
  • Avoid things that insult my soul
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Be more charitable and generous
  • Put my friends/family first

Featured: Logan Maust

It really only makes sense that I wrap up this mini-project about pushing my own personal boundaries by interviewing the person in my life whose always pushing me to be more in the moment, try new things and lighten up. I’m not going to get too lovey-dovey about it, but I will note that Logan is truly the ying to my yang.

Me (EF): What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
Logan (LM): The first thing that came to mind was climbing with my little brother John in the southwest.  We drove out to a nice 300′ cliff with a guide and did some fun lead climbing.  Another cool thing that comes to mind is the trip to Savannah, GA with my college rugby team and the NDSU Lost Boys.  Driving to Florida with you was a crazy fun as well
(EF): Where is the coolest place you’ve ever been?
(LM): Prikolstal in the fjords of Norway.  It was a beautiful hike to the tallest vertical rock in the world.  It was massively enormous.
(EF): How do you stay stress free when you have me constantly worrying about everything?
(LM): I don’t really know how I stay stress free. It might start with a little immaturity. I like to joke around and smile a lot. When I am feeling stressed I take deep breaths, and that usually clears my head. That’s something my dad taught me to do when I was young.
(EF): What makes you stressed?
(LM): Looking for a job stresses me out.  School always seemed to put a lot of stress on me as well.  I guess these are probably normal things to be stressed about.
(EF): How do you stay in the moment?
(LM):  I guess I like to keep my schedule open and I try not to over plan things with many variable outcomes.  This could very well be a flaw of mine, since I am a procrastinator. I also believe if had more responsibility, I would not be so in the moment.
(EF)How do you cheer up people when they’re upset?
(LM): Upset people always seem to be able to be cheered up easily. Jokes work, babies smiling works, hugs work,  listening and being patient works very well too.
(EF): How do you cheer yourself up when you’re upset?
(LM): I like comedy, that usually pulls me out of any funk.  I also concentrate on my breathing as sort of a meditation, I guess.
(EF): If you won the lottery, what would you buy?
(LM): I don’t play the lottery, my family advised against it.
(EF): Where will you be in 10 years?
(LM): We made a big move this year and I’m having fun, but I don’t expect this to be the last chapter of our life. I do have a few long-term goals, but not 10 years down the line quite yet. One of the things on my list is to finish school. I plan on living in Florida for a couple more years (if you don’t mind much) and finish school at these cheap Florida colleges. After I graduate I would like to work around money. I have always had a fascination with statistics, whether it be sports or financial stats. I woud like to make some man money, not little boy money. I want to make some difference in the community. When I graduate I’ll have many more options so, that is why I don’t have a complete answer.
(EF): What was your last splurge on?
(LM): I guess our recent mini vacation to Miami to pick up Juan.
(EF): What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
(LM): I’m fairly clever in the wood shop.
(EF): What are things we can do on a daily basis to live a good life?
(LM): Laugh
(EF): Do you have someone you look to for inspiration in your life?
(LM): My parents.  My dad has given me some good words of advise.  My mom is patient and very caring.
(EF): What activity makes you most happy?
(LM): Lately its been being at the beach and ocean. It can be exciting and tranquil simultaneously.
(EF): Who do you admire most in the area of music?
(LM): It was Tupac back in the day.  More recently its been K’naan, a dusty foot philosopher who move to Toronto from Mogadishu,  he writes with great poetry and paints great pictures with his rhymes.
(EF): In the area of sports?
(LM): Adrian Peterson.
(EF): In the area of design?
(LM): My dad, or Frank Loyd Wright. They’re really the only people I know in design.
(EF): What would your last meal be?
(LM): I like Prime Rib
(EF): Where do you want to be right now?
(LM): Where I am. If I could change one thing it would be where my minnesota people are located.
(EF): What would you tell the 18 year old you?
(LM): Do your best (thank you Boy Scouts of America).
(EF): If you could give someone advice, what would it be?
(LM): It would be to live life lovingly and patiently.


Some things I learned from 2 magazines I’ve never thought of reading before:

Popular Science:

  • We get goose bumps when we’re scared for the same reason cats fluff up when they feel threatened, to look as big as possible.
  • What I should get a few people for Christmas
  • You can use an iPad to create professional photography lighting
  • The Harvard guys behind OkCupid have been documenting trends on their OkTrends blog. One of the things they found was that women with pictures with conversation starters got more first-contact messages than ones with cleavage.

The Oprah Magazine:

  • The next book I will be reading is Mrs. Nixon by Ann Beattie
  • My passions are: planning things creatively, reading, exploring new places/traveling, horseback riding, music
  • I’m motivated by social factors and should choose a job that keeps me around others collaborating.
  • I need to treat my neck the same way I treat my face (moisturizer and sunscreen). Otherwise I’ll end up wearing turtlenecks constantly like Dianne Keaton when I’m older. I added that last part, not Oprah.
  • A nice thing you can do is tie a message—”It’s going to be okay!” to a pumpkin, and leave it in a public place.


Balloon Ride

I thought being in a balloon ride would be scary, but since you’re flowing with the wind at about 15mph, it’s actually more relaxing than anything. Felt similar to standing at the top of a mountain in the early morning, only earth isn’t beneath you, a woven basket and a huge fall is.

First we woke up at 4:30am to get there and inflate (blow up has a bad connotation) the balloon.

Logan got to help

It was very big

I felt like Jules Verne

Reflection over the water

We made it!

What a great day in the sky!

Man Meal

Last night the boys made a meal. My only requirement was that I wanted to try fish. This is what they came up with (minus some sushi and clams):

Shrimp in a garlic butter glaze

Blackened Chicken

Steak (medium rare, medium, medium well and well) and Mahi Mahi (which I find I actually do like)

“But where are the vegetables?” I ask, “there seems to be only meat in your meal.” OK, so they make:

Potatoes with Bacon

It was a vegetarians worst nightmare.



After work today I gave myself the choice of either patrolling Sirius for music I like in a genre I hate, or calling to debate a $40 yearly fee they suddenly charged my credit card. Since I hate discussing money with people and talking on the phone for the most part, I listened to radio until Jimmy Buffet came on and suddenly lengthy discussions with people in finance sounded heavenly.

When discussing unfair practices with companies, my 2 reactions are either to give up, or cry. Actually, this is pretty much my standard response to all problems. This combined with what an ex-boyfriend once called my “host-voice”, as in “Hi, you’ve reached [whatever restaurant], how can I help you?”, that I take on when talking on the phone, did not bode well. Something about talking like a helpful teenager from Sweet Vally High, doesn’t help when negotiating finances with a big bank.

But, I’m not typical Erika this week, so I put on my best adult voice (Maria Bamford in my mind–“Sorry, we’re not serving little girls today”). Here’s about how the conversation went:

Me: “Hi, there’s a $40 yearly fee on my credit card that’s never been there. I’m still trying to get my grounding after college, and am not at the point where I can afford fees like this.”

Rep: “I completely understand. Unfortunately though, we sent out notices about this change almost a year ago. Did you not get these notices?”

Me: “Unfortunately I don’t currently live with my parents where you probably sent them. I’ve been with your bank for about 8 years now, I really don’t want to have to look elsewhere for a credit card”

Rep: “Looks like we can offer you this other credit card with no anual fee and with better perks. We can have that sent to you and reverse the recent $40 fee. Does that work for you?”

Me: (Because I felt super smart after all my research) “Now, this wont effect my credit score since I’m still getting it from through this company”

Rep: “You’re correct it wont. [Some extra rainbows and pleasantry]”

Me: “Thank you too and you also have a [rose petal, glitter filled] week”

I got off the phone and turned the random radio station back on. What was playing? George Micheal’s “Freedom”. I turned it up and laughed like I just settled Occupy Wall Street  myself.


I succeeded in not trying to control everything this weekend when we were in Miami. I tried to be calm when we left an hour late on Friday because Logan went to Sonic for dinner, we listened to rap (I still don’t like Eminem) most the way down there, I enthusiastically agreed to every event the group decided on and stayed up way later than I wanted. This is how I ended up participating in activities like boogie boarding despite being cold and rainy out, having lengthy discussions with some Danish people until sunrise, oh, and Juan’s sister’s roommate is a fire dancer, so I’ll leave you with this video as  I drift off to a much-needed rest.