Thursday, September 03, 2015

Thursday Thirteen

Things I would like to learn more about:

1. Photography. Even though I take lots of photos, and have been paid for my work (effectively making me a professional photographer even though I've never considered myself such), I would like to learn more about this art. I have had a couple of courses, but they were long ago and well before the digital age.

2. Cooking. I can roast a chicken, boil an egg, cook up veggies, make great fudge, and am decent with baking. However, I do not like to cook and therefore don't make fantastic-tasting recipes or attempt very many new things. There are millions of ways to cook a chicken besides baking the parts, but that is what I do unless I cook a whole one. I don't want to be Julia Child, but I think our eating habits would be healthier if I could actually enjoy the process of creating a meal.

3. Astronomy. I can find the Big Dipper, Venus, and a few other stars, but that's about it. I would like to know the night sky better.

4. Writing. I have read hundreds of books on this subject and written enough sentences to make many, many books, but I have yet to actually write a book. I've been a newspaper and article writer, not a book author.

5. How to eat better. This probably goes along with cooking, but I am a dunce when it comes to nutrition. My knowledge can be summed up with "cookie bad, carrot good." Every time I read a diet book, my head starts to spin. It's like being faced with an alien language that I cannot grasp.

6. How to meditate. I have the basics of this down: focus on your breathing, feel the air going through your nose and down your throat. But I think mindfulness, as living in the present is now called, is probably key to better health. I tend to worry - about the past, the future, AND the present - and mindfulness seems a way to slow that.

7. Art. I took a few art appreciation classes and I loved them. I enjoyed learning about masterpieces and what makes them so great.

8. Drawing. I would love to be able to draw something besides a squiggly line. However, I am pretty bad at this. I took a couple of courses in drawing in college and the best compliment my professor could come up with was "well, you have the perspective on that left leg right" or something along those lines.

9. Music. I already play a lot of music, but my music-reading skills have declined considerably. I cannot read guitar tab quickly, though I can eventually sort it out, and I've forgotten the bass clef altogether because that's not used in guitar. I haven't touched a piano in years.

10. How to grow stuff. I used to be much better at this when I was younger. We had a big garden and if the deer didn't eat it all, we had a harvest. Now we have a tiny little plot and this year we harvested very little. The squash bugs killed the zucchini and the groundhogs ate all the tomatoes. The rest is overgrown with weeks. I would like to have raised beds that are waist high, so I don't have to bend over. Wouldn't that be great?

11. Yoga. I would like to be able to do yoga. I know a few poses but most of them are beyond me. I do a few tai chi routines and would like to learn more about that, too.

12. Genealogy. I have traced some of my lineage back to the 1700s but not all of it. There are always more things to find and learn.

13. Foreign language. I took four years of foreign language in high school and can barely remember how to say "Si" in Spanish. I had a year of Latin as well, and remember none of it. So I would like to relearn some of that. I would hope it comes back easier than it was to learn the first time.

I "borrowed" these ideas from The Great Courses, an advertisement I received in the mail yesterday for DVDs or audio CDs of lessons to learn. You can see what they have to offer at

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 410th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. Mi Querida hermana , lo siento ha olvidado cómo hablar español . como se puede ver , yo sólo tomé dos años y todavía estoy bastante fluidez en el idioma . Por supuesto usando Google Translate ayuda mucho !!!

    1. Smart aleck brother. Grumble grumble.

  2. I'm at a plateau with learning but don't seem to want to take the time to learn something new, rather use what I already know. Learn through travel?

  3. I'm with you on wanting to improve some of the items on your list. Too bad my college didn't offer astronomy as one of the scienses. I think I would have much preferred that to chemistry or biology for my science credits.

  4. I could probably echo most of your list. Right now i'd like to find a free on-line basic course to learn some basic Spanish to help me deal with people coming to the help desk st the hospital.


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