First, wake up, then...

Life List
Some of it, anyway.
Here’s hoping life is full of hundreds more delightful things


As discussed, to go to Camp Mighty, I was obliged to make a list of one hundred (or so) things I'd like to do (the "before I die" is silent). Generally, if I were to make a list such as this, it would be in a notebook by my bed and, basically, nobody's bee's wax. It is therefore quite uncharacteristic and sort of scary to put it ON THE INTERNET, but that was part of the deal. So...gulp...here it is. Feel free to just ignore the ones about romance and underwear.

Reading this is a very scrolly experience, I know, but I can't seem to find a better way. Mi dispiace.


1. Change jobs
2. Be paid regularly for writing (a column? A blog?)
3. Perform out of town
4. Do a reading at Litquake [done! Literary Death Match 2010]
5. Be on The Moth
6. Be in Mortified
7. Take a vacation that involves renting a house with friends
8. Go to Rome [done! And I stayed in a place I loved.]
9. Speak basic Italian [Mezzo fatto. I think maybe I have "go on vacation and don't disgrace yourself" Italian, but I want more.]
10. Travel somewhere that involves sleeping overnight on a ship or a boat
11. Have a beignet in New Orleans
12. Have a sidecar in the Algonquin bar (or perhaps, more fittingly, a Manhattan)
13. Have a green dress made
14. Learn to apply eye makeup befitting fancy nights
15. Attend or host an evening garden party that features paper lanterns
16. Swim naked in some natural body of water
17. Visit les chateaux de la Loire
18. Attend the Cannes film festival (do ordinary people even do this?)
19. Go to Quebec
20. Visit a French-speaking country that is neither in France nor Canada
21. Serve food to a guest or guests once a month
22. Learn some ballroom dances
23. Dance at a ceili
24. Go the Humana Festival
25. Go to the Kentucky Derby
26. Have Jameson in Dublin
27. Have Ruby & Emma over for a sleep-over
28. Learn to make 5 vegetarian dishes that I would actually serve to others [in progress thanks to Mollie Katzen]
29. Make Thanksgiving dinner
30. Have an elegant New Year’s Eve party
31. Have lemonade somewhere on the Eastern Seaboard. How about Martha’s Vineyard?
32. Spend a month in Paris
33. Achieve consistent subjunctive-style fluency in French
34. Learn to make bread
35. Go on one of Stephanie’s trips--somewhere I would not otherwise go (Africa? Bulgaria?)
36. Learn to make elaborate paper snowflakes
37. Learn fancy gift-wrapping skills (paper flowers, elaborate bows, etc.)
38. Have wine in Tuscany with an Italian
39. Own something from Carli [Attempted. Far beyond my financial reach. Ah well.]
40. Have at least two grownup sets of lingerie (that fit) at any given time—lovely things that make me want someone to undress me
[Done. Perhaps slightly less romantically than envisioned, but done nonetheless.]
41. Swim a mile [in progress. Slow, slow progress. A mile is 64 lengths; I’m at 20]
42. Learn to sing a jazz standard in tune (I like “It Could Happen to You” and “I Can’t Get Started with You”)
43. Find a perfect vintage suit
44. Stay in a tree house hotel
45. Submit five pieces a year for publication (which would necessitate actually writing them. Ahem)
46. Plant a window box and/or some herbs. If ambitious…tomatoes!
47. Have a pair of shoes made
48. Ride in a paddleboat on stow lake
49. Visit Liz in Canada and go to Castle Fun Park!
50. Visit Kathleen and KC in Switzerland (and pray they don’t make me climb anything)[done! hooray! and there was no scaling anything.]_
51. Visit Copenhagen
52. Read a biography a year
53. See 100 Criterion Collection films [in progress. Must count them.]
54. Read 100 Man Booker Prize winners/nominees
55. Find and acquire the Mary Poppins recordings of my youth
56. Go to Barcelona
57. Learn to make ratatouille
58. Make melon balls [Done! Weirdly, I'd never done it, but thought it looked fun. It was.]
59. Dance at an outdoor bandstand some summer night (do these still exist or did I make this up based on movies?)
60. Learn to read a pattern and sew something simple
61. Be at Ruby & Emma’s high school graduations
62. Befriend a dog
63. Buy a real painting
[Done. Happily own one of Lisa Congdon's lovely birch forests].
64. Make the mantle beautiful
65. Solicit aid in redrafting my resume
66. Have my portrait taken
67. Create a tradition (e.g. peonies and champagne brunch on the first Sunday of May. Something.)
68. Walk in an aspen forest
69. Find a long-term solution to the dumb pain and eliminate that anxiety from my bag of tricks
70. Hear Jean-Luc play his harmonica in Brazil
71. Go inside a windmill
72. Go to the top of a lighthouse
73. Write a book (let’s just sneak this in at #72 so as to reduce instant panic)
74. Have a picnic by a stream
75. Learn to use chopsticks
76. Visit Tim in Hong Kong
77. Go rafting in a non-terrifying way with Mel
78. Learn to carve a chicken
79. Go on a trip (anywhere, anywhere) with Christopher
80. Ride a bike—even for five minutes—on some un-terrifying non-urban lane
81. Make a soufflé
82. Have a local friendship in French
83. Learn to make mojitos
84. See a play in an ancient Greek theatre
85. Have an apartment here and Elsewhere (NY? Paris? London?)
86. Visit 10 extraordinary international libraries
87. Have carnal knowledge of [redacted] (the one who got away)
88. Go to a sandcastle-building contest somewhere balmy (i.e. not in Northern California)
89. Attend one of the “cool kid” conferences/events [Done. Camp Mighty. Nov 2011]
90. Go on a hot-air balloon ride
91. Learn to tie a necktie
92. Kiss someone I’m in love with on the Pont de la Tournelle
93. Buy a beautiful umbrella
94. Record my parents’ stories
95. Donate something to NPR and Planned Parenthood every year (no matter what amount) [Done. Became continuing member of KQED and a monthly contributor to Planned Parenthood. Five bucks a month forever or until I say stop.]
96. Send flowers to a friend at random once a year
97. Travel on a beautiful train à la The Orient Express (sans murder)
98. Learn to make custard
99. Step onto an escalator without pausing
100. Get married (to someone with whom I am madly in love. Not, you know, just "get married")