Monthly Archives

October 2011

Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2011
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On my 40th birthday, I wore Jenny’s Traveling Red Dress. And today, as I watch Harry get ready for tonight (Darth Vader in the house!), I’m reminded that there’s power in putting on a costume. I wrote about it today on Hitting Refresh.

“I know tonight, as little kids everywhere don their fantastical princess outfits, their super hero leotards of justice, or (in our case) their super evil Darth Vader garb, for just a few hours, they’re becoming something completely different…and something completely themselves too.”

Go on over there to read more (and see lots of red dress photos)…

Happy Halloween!

My Life List.

October 20, 2011
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A Life List is like a bucket list, but more lifey. You may have heard of them. I’ve never officially put mine out there, although I’ve had one in the works for a while. Over the last years, I’ve done year lists every year, but have always put off publishing a Life List. I don’t know why. Perhaps it seemed too scary, or permanent, or impermanent. It’s hard to say. But now that I’m 40 (and doing two events a year based on Life Lists), I’m committing. So here we go.

Let’s do this.

1. Make a life list.

2. Keep a jar of sharpened pencils on my desk. Always.

3. Have a gigantic sale to get rid of all the stuff I don’t use.

4. Grow a pumpkin patch.

5. Learn to throw pottery.

6. Walk across the Brooklyn bridge.

7. Learn how to make tortillas from scratch.

8. Go real camping with someone who knows how to real camp. And just follow directions and/or stand around while that person does all the hard parts.

9.  Knit a blue hat.

10. Make apple cider. Or some sort of hooch.

11. Have Harry teach me how to play chess.

12. Own super-fancy, awesome-to-sleep-on sheets.

13. Work at a restaurant, waiting tables.

14. Work retail.

15. Have a cool pair of glasses for every day of the week.

16. Go to the Oprah show. Wear fun shoes.

17. Make a pinata.

18. Make pickles.

19.  Learn how to can things. In Mason jars.

20. Learn how to whistle loud, like I’m hailing a cab.

21. Make pasta from scratch

22. Make a quilt.

23. Fix up my great grandmother’s house and make it like I want it. (Fix it up, make it pretty, keep it tidy.)

24. Take Harry to Disney World.

25. Have fancy dinners at these 10 restaurants in the US: Alinea, Per Se, Daniel, Le Bernardin, Chez Panisse, Blue Hill Stone Barns. Uchiko, Clio, Canlis, French Laundry.

26. Go to Denmark. Visit the original Lego Land. Eat at Noma.

27. See Italy: Rome. Venice. Florence. Milan. Cinque Terra. Capri. Sorrento. San Gimignano. Portofino. Assisi.

28. Stay at the Le Sirenuse spa in Positano.

29. Eat at Osteria Francescana in Modena.

30. Visit Australia. See Sydney, Kata Tjuta,and a koala.

31. Spend a couple of nights on Mont St. Michel in France. (I’ve been, but I want to stay there for a few overnights.)

32. Visit Santorini

33. Visit the Parthenon.

34.  Visit Iguazu Falls.

35. Visit Dollywood.

36. See Cuba.

37. Stay in a glass igloo in Kakslauttanen, Finland + see an Aurora Borealis

38. Visit all 58 National Parks in the US: Acadia, American Samoa, Arches, Badlands, Big Bend, Biscayne, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Carlsbad Caverns, Channel Islands, Congaree, Crater Lake, Cuyahoga Valley, Death Valley, Denali, Dry Tortugas, Everglades, Gates of the Arctic, Glacier, Glacier Bay, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Great Basin, Great Sand Dunes, Great Smoky Mountains, Guadalupe Mountains, Haleakala, Hawaii Volcanoes, Hot Springs, Isle Royale, Joshua Tree, Katmai, Kenai Fjords, Kings Canyon, Kobuk Valley, Lake Clark, Lassen Volcanic, Mammoth Cave, Mesa Verde, Mount Rainier, North Cascades, Olympic, Petrified Forest, Redwood, Rocky Mountain, Saguaro, Sequoia, Shenandoah, Theodore Roosevelt, Virgin Islands, Voyageurs, Wind Cave, Wrangell Saint Elias, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion (Thanks for the inspiration, Leslie!)

39. Explore 25 major cities outside North America as an adult: London,  Paris, Cairo, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, Kyoto, Madrid, Nairobi, Istanbul, Cape Town, Amsterdam, Athens, Zurich, Edinburgh, Bangkok, Rome, Reykjavik, Mexico City, Seoul, Mumbai, Moscow, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Dubai.

40. Find a local charity to support and volunteer my time.

41. Attend a Seder.

42. See the Marfa lights.

43. Sponsor someone for Women for Women International.

44.  Visit the Rosslyn Chapel.

45. Write a story set around a chapel, church, or a cathedral.

46. Stay in a convent for a week.

47. Sign over a full paycheck to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

48. Have my own office.

49. Get another degree.

50. Live in New York City.

51. Work at a cute retail shop in New York City. But probably not a clothes shop.

52. Visit Fallingwater.

53. Go on a sleigh ride in the snow.

54. Record an original song.

55. Produce a reading tour of bloggers.

56. Throw a party in someone’s grand estate.

57. Run a 5K.

58. Run a 10K.

59. Run a Half Marathon.

60. Drink tea in China.

61. Drink bourbon in Kentucky.

62. Drink vodka in Russia.

63. Drink scotch in Scotland.

64. Drink whiskey in Ireland.

65. Drink beer in Germany. At Oktoberfest.

66. Drink champagne in France. In Champagne.

67. Drink a caipirinha in Brazil. In Rio.

68. Drink sake in Japan.

69. Drink ouzo in Greece.

70. Be able to make a stable of things really well…basically, have specialty items: Homemade bread, pancakes (or waffles or some related breakfast item), a soup, a sandwich, a green salad, a meal salad,  a cookie, a savory pie, a sweet pie, a cake, an Indian dish, a Mexican dish, fried chicken, black-eyed peas, fried green tomatoes, salsa, gingerbread, an appetizer, a casserole, an old-fashioned drink.

71.  Make yearbooks for Harry.

72. Have a mantle in my house. Line it with photos of my favorite people. Decorate it each holiday/season.

73. Make Christmas stockings.

74. Host a Holiday dinner for 25 people (or more).

75. Only give homemade gifts one Christmas (but they have to be good).

76. Start a meditation practice of some kind.

77. Own a lake house. I use the word house loosely.

78. Own an Eames chair.

79. Own an old truck.

80. Host a BINGO party.

81. Host a costume party.

82. Throw a dinner party by the San Marcos river.

83. Grow a vegetable garden.

84. Make a scarecrow.

85. Spend Christmas somewhere where it’s snowing.

86. Be someone’s fairy godmother.

87. Read a book series with Harry.

88. Play Scrabble with Harry.

89. Make hot cross buns with Harry.

90. Be independently wealthy. Just enough so that money isn’t a worry.

91. Live in the Lake District of England for a time.

92. Celebrate Harry’s graduation from high school and college.

93. Go on some sort of pilgrimage.

94. Experience zero gravity.

95. Go to an official film premiere and after party. With some kind of super awesome VIP tickets. Because somehow I contributed to the writing, development, or production of this film. Not on-screen stuff. Just life experience stuff.

96. Sell a company.

97. Start a scholarship for a happy reason.

98. Start a writer’s grant.

99. See my son grow to be a man.

100. Celebrate something every day.

*Photo is from Apollinas. Citrus Cake with Lemon Curd Filling and Orange Lemon Icing. I want that to be my cake in #70.