The one where I complain about a book nobody forced me to read

No, not 50 Shades of Grey. I think it’s safe to say that horse is now dead as a doornail and buried in a 50 feet deep grave. I’m done discussing that monstrosity. No, the book I’m referring to in the title would be The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.

I had such high hopes for this book. How could I not? I must’ve read The Virgin Suicides at least 5 times. I loved Middlesex. And then there was this… this… thing. I don’t even know what else to call it. If there’s anyone who should be able to relate to a  semi-rich girl’s ordinary ‘white girl problems’ it’s me, and I… Well, I just don’t. Not when the main character keeps yammering on about the books she reads for her semiotics class. The whole thing reads like a pompous, self-important English paper and I just want to cry and give up.

But I won’t. Because I have issues, and not finishing books is a no-no for me. Plus, finishing it would be one more goal set in motion, and that should be an award in itself. So I’ll stick it out.

Pray for me, please. And send chocolate.



The One With The Shouty Parliament

Now, having lived here for a certain amount of time, I can say I’ve pretty much caught up with certain points of culture.

There’s one thing that still mystifies me though. British politics are a bit of a grey area in my mind. For anyone from outside looking in on the situation, it seems quite amusing. What with Boris Johnson’s spurts of nonsense (he once stated that the Olympic Velodrome had been rubbed in with rhubarb- no really.), you’d think that their politics are a Friday night sitcom.

Still. There’s a dark surface.

And to completely explore this dark surface, one has to do exactly what I did. Watch Prime Minister’s Questions, that is.

The weekly chance for members of Parliament to pose questions to David Cameron is quite a fascinating thing to watch. I’m doing it the entire month, to fulfil Goal nr 88 on the list.

There are three things you should know about PMQ.

  1. It gets shouty.
  2. You will pity speaker John Bercow, who has to field the questions.
  3. David Cameron is extremely good at avoiding giving a decent and honest answer to anyone who’s not in his own party. And even then.

This week’s half an hour saw Ed Miliband (leader of Labour, the opposition) firing question after question about the dishonesty of the benefit cuts that are about to befall Britain towards our Prime Minister. Needless to say, at the end of this half hour, I was pretty fucking pissed with how this nation’s politics are going.

Everyone shouts.

Cameron dodges.

Miliband tries in vain to get a decent and fair answer.

It’s gonna be a long four weeks if this goes on.


The One With Myths And Shakespeare Headaches

I like to think of myself as a smart kinda tart. I have an immense knowledge of trivia, can recommend you a movie any day of the week and read vast quantities of books on a yearly basis.

But I’d like to be a bit smarter.

I’d like to have a bit more knowledge, specifically about the things that interest me and the things that escaped me during my formal education years. Thus, the following challenges were born.

100 ~ Read a book I’d never thought I’d read.


62~ Read one Shakespeare play.

The Shakespeare play was easy enough to acquire. My boyfriend and father-in-law are both fans of the good Sir, and you can’t turn for his plays in this house. The tricksy thing was choosing which one.

“I want to read one of his comedies.” I said, as my other half peered into his voluminous bookcase (while naked, but that’s a totally different matter). I was handed a copy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and delved in.

At the same time, I got my hands on my other half’s copy of Dr. Brooke Magnanti’s (personal hero of mine) The Sex Myth, a book dispelling some of the myths in the world of sexuality. This is not your average book about sex. This is not Tracey Cox-type sex advice. This is a hard-hitting, but at all times witty look at why certain people push forward faulty ideas about sexuality.

It’s not the lightest of reads.

Far from.

I have to confess that I actually started reading a few weeks ago, when the other half was in Germany. But I picked it up again at the start of the year and worked my way through. The last chapter was a blur of numbers and words, but nonetheless, it taught me a hell of a lot about the world I write my blog in. People aren’t always in it for the best of interests, and it was enlightening to see how some of the research figures they present are pulled out of thin air.

Couple that with the fact that I never actually thought I’d read a book about research and data, and I’d say that mission 100 is accomplished.

As for Oberon and his consorts, I’m nearly through the play. Can’t say it isn’t giving me a headache though.


The one where I eat cheesecake and watch movies

When I put try fifteen new recipes by cooking them together on my DZP list, I envisioned myself sitting on the kitchen counter while Sam would feed me spoonfuls of some brilliant sauce he had invented. The lights would be dimmed, we’d exchange kisses in between, and maybe we’d even light some candles and put them somewhere in the background where I wouldn’t accidentally whip my hair through them as I’d flip my hair back in a sexy manner (you know, as one does). I’d sip a glass of red wine, and would in no way be involved in any of the actual cooking taking place.

Because I’m a terrible cook.

No, really.

The last time I fried up a steak Sam needed power tools to cut it. Sam, being the loving (lying) husband that he is, plowed his way through it and tried to convince me it wasn’t that bad, but was far less convincing when trying to assure me ‘it probably (bluuuurgh *gasp*) wasn’t the chick… (*hiccup*) …chicken (bluuurgh!)’ merely a week later. Doctor’s verdict: salmonella.

Bravo, Rhye.

(In case you were wondering, I dodged these bullets because I very rarely eat meat).

So, when Sam said him doing all the cooking while I just sat there would be cheating, my heart sank. ‘But…’ I whimpered, but Sam had his Stern Face on. I kicked an imaginary can and sighed ‘howkay’ not unlike our 6-year-old would.

‘We’ll pick something easy.’

‘Easy like pasta?’ I sneered, thinking back to the time he promised me ‘a monkey could cook pasta’ and I managed to transform it into a black clump of non-deliciousness. I could tell by the look on his face that he was thinking about the same thing.

‘Maybe… maybe some sort of dessert. And you… stir things’ He backpedaled quickly.

We decided on cheesecake. And here it is (I stirred everything that went in it)!

dzp1We ate half of it while watching It’s kind of a funny story. The other half was consumed the following night, during Just go with it. And just like that, I have two goals in progress.


Now let us pray that the homemade pizza night we have planned for Monday will be another success…




Infinite Doom

I woke up this morning with a niggling feeling in the back of my head. I couldn’t quite work out what it was, but it kept irritating me. It stayed with me all through the day, right up until the very minute I started writing this post.

It was pure panic.

For the simple reason that it’s now the 2nd of January and I still haven’t achieved any goals yet.

Okay, I’m officially insane.

As midnight rolled around on New Years Eve and we let off our party poppers in Mane’s family’s front room, I was filled with optimism. This is the year that it all changes, this is the year I actually Make Shit Happen. And I’ve got a list of 101 things I can Make Happen.

So why am I so worried that I’ve not done any of them yet, apart from eating more fruit?

Early days panic, I suppose. You know that feeling. First elation, then concern, then panic, then OHMIGODDOOOOOM. Then elation again.

Anyway. I’ll start off lightly.

In the coming weeks, expect reports on the following.

  • Learning how to crochet (with the lovely crochet set I got from my Secret Santa).
  • Reading a Shakespeare play.
  • Watching a shit tonne of Red Dwarf.
  • Reading a lot of Marian Keyes.




The One Where It All Begins

I’ve been waiting for this day – January first, the day that officially sets the Day Zero Project in motion – with both enthusiasm and dread. Enthusiasm, because I love the idea behind the whole project and the way it challenges you to get going, start living. South America? I’ve seen nearly all of it because that was one of my goals. Dean’s list? I made it on there because I challenged myself to. Nobody gave me any stickers, or stars, or patted me on the back. Nobody except me.

And if there’s anything I’ve learned the last time around it’s that when you are able to praise yourself for an accomplishment, you really don’t need anyone else’s. There’s that little spark of pride that settles in the pit of your stomach and spreads like wildfire each time you can drag your pen across that paper and cross out a goal. Pride from the inside out, which – in my opinion – is the best kind. Because you’ve been there, done that, and if you did that, then there’s not much else you can’t do.


But then there’s that dread. That nagging little voice in the back of my head that goes Date night? Twice a week? You don’t even have a baby sitter and you’ve been looking for one for over two months now. Who are you kidding, woman? and then laughs at me (funnily enough, that nagging voice is always my OWN voice. I wonder what that says about me).

Dread, because holy crap, this is going to be a lot of work. This is going to cost a lot of money. This is going to take a lot of time. This project will be the end of me and OMG WHY DID I COMMIT TO THIS?!

… Which leads me to believe that maybe that dread is not dread at all but just plain panic. Which is good. Panic can be dealt with. All you need to do is plant your ass in a chair and start planning.

Which I did. And the list of things I absolutely have to get started on this month is… doable. With a little effort and a healthy dose of luck, I will…

… Go on a date with Sam somewhere between today and the 14th, and again between the 15th and the 28th.
… Take the kids swimming between those same dates.
… Go out with friends instead of Sam once this month, and have him do the same.
… Make a pizza from scratch with my family.
… Get a massage.

See? Doable.

*Swallows hard*


Some more introducing…

Even though Jilly did a mighty fine job of introducing this little (huge) project of ours, I guess a short introduction from my part wouldn’t hurt. So…

Hi! I’m Rhye, and this will be my second time doing the Day Zero Project. Whereas last time I focused a lot on traveling and academics, this time it’s mostly about settling into my new-ish hometown and ‘role’ as a mother to four (I hate that word. ‘Role’. It’s not like I’m in a play).

If you want to know a little more about me, you can visit my about page or the place where I usually blog. There’s not a whole lot to read on there right now, but that’s only because my archives were tragically murdered in a freak designing accident. C’est la vie, non?

Should you, for any reason, want to partake in the day Zero Project yourself, you can! All the information you’ll ever need can be found here.




So, yeah.

Welcome to our little corner of the internet. I’m Jillian, 22, Londoner. And judging from the goals I’ve set myself, slightly insane.

When Rhye asked me out of the blue if I wanted to become her Day Zero buddy, I thought she was trying to get me sold on a new diet or some shit like that. Turns out that Day Zero is something much cooler. Basically, you set yourself 101 goals to be performed over the course of 1001 days. Which is exactly what we’ve done.

So, over the next two and a half (and a bit) years, we’ll be doing all sorts of cool stuff.

We’ve both named our 101th goal the Wildcard, it being something that may be nigh on impossible to do. But we’re going to try and do it anyway because we rock this ish.

I hope this project gives me some sense of achievement…

Anyway, if you want more personal stuff about me, you can always visit Lady Laid Bare, my blog about life, sex, love and writing. I’m sure Rhye will be around to introduce herself too. If you’re reading this, please don’t hesitate to say hi, offer your support or shout about this project.