Monday, September 26, 2011

This has almost nothing to do with the house

Feel free to skip reading this one.

Much of my life has been spent being cautious. I'm a worrier, I'm clumsy, I'm broke, I'm afraid to fly, I always have a lot of reasons for not doing stuff. I've had people tell me I'm boring (which is so rude! and not true!). At some point about five years ago I decided to stop being afraid of stupid stuff. It's okay to be afraid of flying because that shit can actually kill you. But being afraid of karaoke? Unless there's a freak gasoline fight accident at the karaoke bar, you're not going to die. So I finally sang at karaoke and, indeed, I didn't die. Not even of embarrassment! I did other stuff like eating dinner at a restaurant by myself and buying a house. I may be boring but it takes guts to buy a fixer. I've established that here, right?

Then last fall the boy took me to Hawaii with his parents and I flew over the ocean, something I was really nervous about. At the time I joked that if he took me to the all-you-can-eat fried shrimp buffet at The Sizzler, he would have officially fulfilled all of my childhood dreams. But I lied. I'd also need tap dancing lessons. Hawaii, fried shrimp, and tap dancing. This little girl dreamed big.

Maggie over at Mighty Girl created a Mighty List of 100 things to do before she dies, which is a familiar riff on the bucket list. Lots of people make lists (you should in particular check out Jess' 30-while-she's-30 and Amy's life list) but Maggie's is fun to follow because she has corporate sponsorship so she goes amazing places and tells you what she wore.

I started thinking about what would be on my list and looking at other people's lists. It's fun because I've already done some of the stuff that other people want to do. I've done a night swim with manta rays (terrifying and awesome). I've run a 5K and learned sign language. I've grown my own vegetables and made my own limoncello and held adult dinner parties. I've rewired a lamp, seen the Northern Lights, bought a house, and taken hip hop classes. Reading these lists makes me feel way better about my life, which has made me pretty happy so far but still seems boring to other people. I'm not a thrill seeker, so sky diving or bungee jumping won't make my list, though I highly recommend going ziplining to anyone who hasn't tried it. I had to consciously avoid putting things on the list that I thought I *should* do, like hang gliding. That doesn't mean I won't do it at some point, but I don't need to do it before I die to feel content. Also, I love having toenails so running a marathon will never make this list. And why would I run when I can take Zumba classes?

A lot of this is aspirational stuff I've always dreamed about (Italy, manatees) and other stuff is more banal but somehow it hasn't happened yet.

So here's my Mighty List, in no particular order and still in progress:
  1. Go to Hawaii (done 10/10!)
  2. Unlimited fried shrimp at The Sizzler
  3. Take tap dancing lessons
  4. Spend an entire day making bolognese and homemade pasta, drinking wine, and watching The Godfather 1&2 with friends (I did something similar once and it was awesome).
  5. Go to Italy (just done 09/11! ohmygod!)
  6. Visit New York City
  7. Refinish the floors in the house
  8. Road trip of the States
  9. Learn how to can food
  10. Successfully make a boule of bread (mine are always flat)
  11. Bike to a picnic in the park
  12. Vacation on Isla Mujeres
  13. Learn to walk naturally in heels
  14. See Glacier National Park before all the glaciers melt
  15. Learn to salsa dance confidently
  16. Make a pie for someone else, which means not eating a single bite myself
  17. Vacation with my mom
  18. Pay off my credit card debt
  19. Roast my own coffee beans
  20. Learn to crochet
  21. See the manatees in Florida (sea cows, how I love you!)
  22. Learn to type without looking
  23. Take piano lessons
  24. See Machu Picchu
  25. Set foot in seven continents
  26. Croissants in Paris. Remember it fondly afterward with some International Coffee.

  27. Kayak a major body of water
  28. Complete the 3 day Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure
  29. See the Grand Canyon
  30. Get a role in a musical
  31. Attend a seder
  32. Catch a fish
  33. Attend a Dia de los Muertos celebration in Mexico
  34. See the Karst topography in China

  35. Photo yanked from here
  36. Swim in a cenote
  37. Go backpacking again
  38. Take one of my nieces or nephews on an awesome trip
  39. Make my own mozzarella cheese
  40. Have a dinner party and not feel disappointed about how some of the food came out.
  41. Happy hour oysters at Cafe Nell
  42. Camp on the southern Oregon coast
  43. Take a painting class
  44. Learn how to swim, for reals (I *love* being in the water but I do this sad mashup between the breast stroke and doggie paddle and I'd be screwed if I ever needed to get somewhere quickly.)
  45. Get my yard prettified enough to be featured on a garden tour . . .
  46. . . . and then invite LeAnn over for cocktails
  47. Float in the Dead Sea
  48. Sew a sundress
  49. Visit my family in Scotland
  50. Go to Japan
  51. Helicopter ride in Hawaii
  52. Have a ladies-only tea party in the garden where we all wear dresses and eat little sandwiches.
  53. Curry at HA & VL
  54. Take a vacation with Bill
  55. Make pizza on the barbecue
  56. Host a board game night
  57. Find the perfect jeans
  58. Learn how to hit a baseball/softball
  59. Play craps (it's look like so much fun in the movies . . . until something TERRIBLE happens)
  60. Tea in the Chinese garden
  61. Indian food at Vij's in Vancouver
Just a heads up: If you have "take a road trip to all the Sizzlers in the US" on your life list, there's a trip planner on their site. Nothing is stopping you now!

Anybody else have a mighty/bucket list?


  1. I love, and I love your list. I really, really, really love the Sizzler All You Can Eat Shrimp Buffet on here. I love reading what your dreams are, and I love seeing things on here that I have done (Dia de las Muertes in Mexico!). I've been to cenotes but they scare the crap out of me. I don't know if I could swim in one. I totally need to make one of these lists, and I'll be putting ziplining on it. And finally, I can't wait to come see your garden: it does NOT need to be garden tour ready for that!


    seriously, find us a Sizzler and I am THERE.

  3. Oh my gosh, they have one in Clackamas! Let's go.

  4. Also, I've taken tons of hiphop classes (I still suck)--are you interested in taking one?

  5. I would love to help with 9, 16, 23 & 38. But most especially 16. :)

    I love these lists, and I especially love reading other people's lists. (Also, I didn't lose any toenails during any marathon training, so it's not a given, just FYI.)

    Welcome back! I can't wait to hear all about it!

  6. Your list is amazing and I can help out with number 9 since that was my post today.

    I hate when people call other people boring. People thing I'm boring because I like to crochet and can food, as though I'm a grandma. I think they're boring because they take no interest in trying to learn how to do things, they'd rather just buy everything and sit in front of the t.v. whereas I want to learn how to make everything, and watch documentaries. I'm not saying either way is better, just that we have different value systems so I don't give much credit to it when they say I'm boring.

  7. Awesome! I also want to learn how to crochet; maybe I'll have to put that on the list. :)

  8. I was all like, "let's go get some Indian food in the 'couv and then I saw it was BC....But you can totally come to my seder.

  9. And I was sitting here thinking about how boring my life must look, but I've done several of the things on your list. Remind me to tell you my cenote story! :) I just might have to make a list of my own! Can I help you host the garden tea party? That sounds awesome!!

  10. Wendy, yes! And I had a chance to swim in a cenote and passed and I've always regretted it.

  11. I think Jess and I are going to hit the Sizzler--you want to join? And I visited a cenote on the way to Chichen Itza and passed on swimming in it. I've always regretted it.

    And my yard is NOT pretty enough yet! :)

  12. Annnnnd I somehow forgot that crocheting IS on the list!

  13. Um, obviously. I still am not sure if these are dancing lessons or rapping lessons and it doesn't even matter. And seriously, name the Sizzler date. I haven't been there since I was like 8 years old and I am so down with it you don't even know.

  14. ALSO I love that you have to have an item on your list about NOT eating pie! And I want in on the tea party. AND I have no idea what a cenote is so I have to go google that now. OK, done comment spamming for the moment.

  15. Ha! DANCING. Rapping would be a crime to humanity, not that I dance all that well. You should take Zumba with me! And I'll DM you about Sizzler . . .

  16. I would totally take Zumba with you. Also, it turns out I also want to tap dance? Which I didn't know until I saw it on your list.

  17. I have something equally inspiring: A Fuckit List. Everything I'm sure I'm now NOT going to do before I die. Very freeing. At the top: Scuba diving, own a horse, visit India, learn Italian, and sky dive.

    (BTW: Tap? YES!! Contact the Cami Curtis studio: