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January 17, 2011 / Danielle

The New List

Now that I’ve finished my shopping list (and, in fact, my shopping as well), I’ve made a list of a few things I want to accomplish with this year-of-being-twenty-seven-and-kicking-one-of-my-worst habits (basically, the year of nothing new is also the year of being becoming a Real Grownup^).

And here they are, subdivided into categories:

Financial Goals:
– pay off my tax debt (freelancing is a bitch, y’all.)
– pay off my consumer debt.
– make a bigger dent in my student loans.
– quintuple my savings account.

 Cause guys, honestly? I have done so many, many, many stupid financial things in the process of stuffing my wardrobe. It was only when I hooked myself up to last year (and boy howdy, do I ever recommend that to anyone whose money just seems to ‘go places’) that I realized that I was sabotaging myself over and over again by indulging in my habit far beyond what was sensible or even practical. (I’d rather get by on pennies and oatmeal for all meals for a few days than let that skirt slip out of my fingers). Embarrassing and factual – but what can you do – aside from make a resolution, stick to it and look forward to taking proper financial care of yourself in the future . . .

Things To Do With My Money:
– print my newest headshots.
– get a digital camera.
–  buy and build a nice closet.
– get a new laptop (mine is on the verge of death.)

Pretty self-explanatory? I’m hilariously terrible with my technology – I didn’t get my first iPod until 2008, and haven’t had a brand-new computer since 2002. (But I loved my second-hand clamshell laptop – who cares if I couldn’t watch Youtube or Hulu – until I got a (nother secondhand) Macbook (Lucille), who has served me faithfully but who is basically on her very last legs.)

Essentially, to sum up? I need to enter the 21st century. And after almost two years in living in a bedroom without one, I need to get a closet together.

What To Do With My Time And Money (these are the fun ones):
– take voice lessons (singing is fun)
– take a Shakespeare class (ditto beautiful text)
– see a movie every week (cause hey, why not)
– learn to cook with more than four ingredients*. (I already made bread!)

Part of being a working actor is figuring out how to spend the time when you’re not working; I always prefer to have a steady stream of auditions, so that by the time you leave one you can already focus on the next – but of course, that’s not always possible. In your down time, there’s no better way to keep sharp than to keep playing – especially somewhere where you can take risks, or totally screw up and fail, and no one’s going to write about it in the Chicago Tribune.

And . . . here’s the thing about me and cooking, guys. My parents do it; my Grandma Clara was a master at it (so much so that we still keep trying to replicate her unwritten receipe for noodles); but for some reason, I grew up thinking that if I learned how, someone was going to make me. (Umm – I had the same theory about cleaning. And laundry.) (Growing up has been a somewhat delayed process, is what I’m saying.)

At any rate; whenever I make myself get it together and cook (I baked a cake AND bread on Saturday, I feel superhuman!) (Yes, I will actually shut up about the bread at some point . . . but it’s still a rare victory), I find I enjoy it. I’m a tactile person, I like kneading dough and mixing, and who doesn’t love filling their apartment with delicious smells and then getting to eat yummy food at the end of it?

As for the movies – I’m just thinking, hey, let’s throw something fun and distracting on the agenda. (And being an actor, I can write off the tickets!)

And finally . . . drum roll . . .

When all the financial goals have been achieved?

I’m going to take myself to Europe.

mmmmm. greece.

When I was twenty, I made a list of “things to do before I’m 30”, and while I’ve achieved most of them (had my own apartment I loved, been paid for acting, bought an outrageously expensive pair of shoes), “Go to Italy” has been sitting there, taunting me. And then, two years ago, my parents and I took my grandmother to her favorite island in Greece for a week – and I swear to you, guys, I have never been anywhere more beautiful or peaceful in my life.

So – and I don’t imagine it’ll be inside this year, but still – once I’ve gotten my financial act under control, I’m going to reward myself with a plane ticket, a hotel, and a dip of my toes in the Mediterranean.

Do you make lists of new goals for new birthdays? What’s on your “before I’m 30/35/50” bucket list?

^You know, someone with lots of towels and pots and pans, and without six weeks worth of laundry, who has a savings account  and a guest room and always has enough checks . . .

*because, yes, the cost of cooking for yourself has often prohibited me from doing it. I’m gonna pay twenty-five bucks for everything I need to make red lentil soup? I’m going to Soupbox for a $6 something instead. And that includes bread!



Leave a Comment
  1. Rob Kozlowski / Jan 17 2011 5:07 pm

    Nice blog!

  2. Deb Scurfield / Jan 19 2011 8:43 pm

    I am actually surprised you aren’t into cooking. It’s such a creative thing. I’m betting by the end of the year you might enjoy it. Hell, you’ve already got cake and bread under your belt. Maybe go to some used bookstores and pick up some cookbooks. There are tons of good websites out there for recipes ( is great) but cookbooks are much more fun 🙂 You can’t wear cookbooks, so it doesn’t count, right?

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