As promised, here is my Winter Bucket List! I'm pretty excited about, too. Here's some of my reasoning behind putting each of these things on the list:
Go to a movie by myself - I used to think there was nothing lamer than going to a movie by yourself but then I tried it once and I loved it! It was extra relaxing to have only my own tastes to consult regarding what movie I would see, how early I would get there, where I would sit, and when I would leave. Don't get me wrong - I really enjoy seeing movies with friends, but seeing a movie by yourself is a different type of experience. I haven't done this since last April, so I think it's high time I do it again.
Go on a 30+ mile bike ride - This is more a way of making myself get in at least a little bit of shape more than anything. But also, I live right by a gorgeous trail that runs along a river and I don't get out on it nearly often enough. I'm thinking by the time March rolls around and the sun is out and things start to bloom, I should really take the time to go on a long, relaxing bike ride by myself.
Finish Intellectuals and Society - This book is a monster but I'm almost halfway through and I'm really enjoying it! I'm hoping to finish it up before the school starts again and my life gets crazy.
Start a new book purely for my own enjoyment - I used to love reading. There were very, very few things that could keep me away from a book. Over the last few years, though, most of my reading has been required for school and I've come to view reading as an unenjoyable chore. Lately, I've been trying to make a point of choosing books that I don't have to read so I can remind myself that reading is a truly enjoyable pastime.
Host a movie night - I've been hosting one movie night each month for the past few months and it's been really fun! I'm looking forward to hosting more in the New Year and I think we'll kick off 2013 with The Magnificent Seven - but that's subject to change ;).
Go ice skating - It's been years since I've been ice skating and it's one of my favorite winter activities.
Go wine tasting in a new region - I've never gone wine tasting outside of the Lodi region so hopefully this winter that will change. As much as I love Lodi wines, I really want to see (taste?) what other wine country regions in NorCal have to offer. Some regions I'm considering are the Santa Cruz Mountains, Napa, and the Mother Lode (Calaveras County).
Go to a hockey game - This is another thing I haven't done in years that I really enjoy. Stockton (about 1 hour south of Sacramento) has a minor league hockey team that I've gone to see a few times and it's always really fun (and the tickets are cheap!).
Go to a concert - Any kind of concert! In a large stadium or in a bar, I really don't care. I can count on one hand the number of non-classical music concerts I've been to in my entire life and that needs to change, pronto!
Host a casual dinner party - I did this a few years ago and enjoyed it. I know that hosting another one would be really fun.
Go to a new open mic night - There is one weekly open mic night in Sacramento that I've been to several times and I love it - but I've yet to try out any other open mic nights. I really need to gain more knowledge of the city I live in and I think listening to artists at various open mic nights is a good way to start doing that.
Go swing dancing - I've been swing dancing a few times and I'm not very good at it, so it always makes me nervous. But, this is one of those things I'll only get better at if I actually do it - hence the inclusion on my winter bucket list.
Take line dancing lessons - The fitness facility on my campus is offering Country Line Dancing as one of their group fitness classes this semester so I'm going to give it a try! I've wanted to learn line dancing for a really long time and this is the perfect opportunity to do so cheaply and in a non-skeevy environment.
Try a new restaurant - Again, I need to learn more about Sacramento. This will help me do that.
Meet John & Sherry of Young House Love - They happened to recently schedule a book tour stop in NorCal and my older sister gave me their book for Christmas. Given that and the fact that they're my and my sister's favorite bloggers, this had to be on the list!
Go beer tasting - This is something my friends and I have talked about doing for a long time but have never actually done. Maybe for my 25th birthday? We'll see.
Be a rocking Freshman Composition teacher - I was recently hired to teach English 1A (aka Freshman Composition) at my school next semester and I am SO EXCITED about it! My goal is to be a really great teacher.
Finish thesis prospectus - This has to happen or my whole life will be screwed! Haha, not really...but kinda really. I actually need to get this done within the next few weeks because it has to be approved within the first 2 weeks of the semester if I'm going to start my research this spring - which is my plan.
Start thesis research - This is pretty self-explanatory, but it's one that requires a lot of groundwork beforehand, since I have to get approval from the colleges I plan to do my research on and find teachers willing to let me come into their classrooms to find subjects.