Saturday, November 21, 2009

The List: "To Be A Truly Interesting Person, You Must Accomplish These Colorful Things."

I'm a list person. There's almost nothing that I like better than sorting things out and writing them down in detailed lists to make me feel like I actually have a good grip on what's going on. Grocery lists? I try not to shop without them, otherwise, my compulsive buying gets the best of me and I wind up at home with an eggplant, and no milk. Though I may not actually do what is on the list, I'm a big fan of making homework lists so I can at least see what I need to do on a page in front of me, and then decide if it's worth it or not. (Usually, I make this list and feel some perverse sense of accomplishment from just doing that and being "organized" that I totally forgo anything after that. Now if only my professors would accept my very thoughtful, detailed lists and that could be the end of things...) And don't even get me started on To-Do lists. The feeling I get when crossing something off a list is slightly akin to how early explorers and Spanish conquistadors must have felt claiming nations.

Someone (anonymously) asked after my post in which I mentioned it, what exactly the other things on my "To Be A Truly Interesting Person, You Must Accomplish These Colorful Things List" not mentioned were. Truth be told, it ebbs and flows. I add to it as I find things that appeal to me. Some items are broad; some are very specific. Some I've already done; some I've even done numerous times. Some really aren't feasible, but you always have to have something to reach for, now, don't you?

- Know enough about wine to not be intimidated by a French (and that's IN France, not American-French) restaurant's wine list.

- Be able to order the wine, in French.

- Master another language. Or, at least, be fluent enough to progress past my bastardized second-grader's level French. Who knows-- maybe Italian will be easier for me.

- Participate in UVM's Naked Bike Race, which, for me, who abhors bikes, but does run, will be the Naked Run, or How Fast Can I Streak By These People And Hope Not Many Champlain Students Who Will Recognize Me Are Here?

- Live somewhere not in the continental U.S for over 6 months.

- Spend a week or two hiking somewhere. Anywhere. (That counts as wilderness.)

- Learn to play the guitar.

- Write a novel, even if it doesn't get published.

- Create, or attend, a foam pit party-- you know, like the Smirnoff commercial where they fill an empty pool with pieces of foam. (This one makes me really excited.)

- Be able to drink whisky, Jager, or cheap vodka without making a face. (Working on it. It's a reflex.)

- Get wonderfully lost and not worry about it.

- Learn to throw a football in a perfect spiral, and with good aim, at a good distance. (This may not be able to happen, thanks to my impossibly tiny hands.)

- Live in New York City.

- Own a pair of terrifyingly beautiful classic Louboutins.

- Stay up all night to watch a gorgeous sunrise; no other purpose.

- Do the Walk of Shame. Depending on how you feel about it, the Shame part is optional.

- Try eating calves' brain, (thank you for this whim, Bourdain).

- Learn how to ballroom dance.

- Write/compose a song.

- Sing solo in front of an audience. (Oh, stage fright. I'm like Piper Perabo in Coyote Ugly...the lights would have to be shut off for me to even get up there.)

- Speaking of Coyote Ugly, dance on a bar-top.

- Drive a Porsche on the speed limit, baby!

- Ride through the desert in Egypt to see the Great Pyramids. (I suppose a camel would suffice, as well.)

- Say "I love you" to a significant other and really mean it.

- Perfect my golf swing. (Putting, I'm already BOSS at. The ability to golf is a really good skill to have-- do you know how many high-ranking people think a round of golf is the best way to meet recruits or get to know someone? It's shocking.)

- Take up creating art again.

See more of the Great Masters' artwork in person.

- Spend a night in jail for something completely stupid that will make a really great story.

- Get in a bar-fight.

- Win said bar-fight.

- Master a totally useful yet non-traditionally-girly skill, like changing a tire, setting up a television's sound system, personal favorite goal...being able to re-haul an engine. Vroom, vroom.

- Have a righteously enviable music collection and firm grasp on almost everything that's in it, from title to lyrics.

- Get a tattoo. Working on this one...

- Attend a frat party.

- Eat at a five-star restaurant.

- ...But be able to cook what I ate at that five-star restaurant. In other words, master the art of cooking.

- Dance naked under the full moon.

- Visit the country my ancestors are from and get mistaken for a local.

- Be proposed to. For the third time. But actually want to say "yes."

- Travel to Egypt and Dubai, Manchu Pichu, the Great Wall of China, Cambodia to see the temple ruins, Paris for the Louvre, the Sahara, New Orleans, Barbados, Russia and Czar Nicholas's Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, the Taj Mahal and India, Spain and the best tapas bars in the world, the countrysides of Ireland and England, Tuscany, and oh, so many more. Ask me any given day of the week where I want to go. It's always different.

- Get black-out drunk and have to put the puzzle-pieces back together in the morning with help from texts, friends, photos, and mysterious stains. (In a good way.)

- Learn to finally, really play Poker. And to stop bluffing every hand.

- Teach a child how to read.

- Create a college scholarship in my grandfather's name, to thank him for my opportunity, and give someone else a chance.

- Cross-country road trip. Possibly with the Little Civvy That Could, but then again, driving standard for that long is literally a pain in your ass from shifting weight to step on the clutch.

- Get Spied in an iSpy ad. (I have an obsession with the iSpys; they're the first thing I always read when I pick up a Seven Days.)

- Rescue and adopt an animal.

Get backstage at a concert.

- Put into action that phrase "Beg, borrow, or steal."

- Go scuba diving in the Caribbean.

- Do something that involves jumping from a height or free-falling.

- Refuse a ludicrously lucrative job offer because it's not something I agree with or can morally get behind.

- Affirm your beliefs; stand behind them under fire.

- Plant some trees; give back from what you take.

- Bet an insane amount of money on a hand I could lose. See what happens.

- Reconnect with lost friends.

- Brew our own beer or dandelion wine with my dad. He's done it; I want to learn.

- Sail on my own.

- Meet a real pirate or drug lord, ideally in a non-threatening setting. Or royalty or a superhero. Someone out of the ordinary.

Become a great debater and be able to support my standing eloquently, intelligently, and without losing my temper.

Learn to control said temper.

- Learn to crack safes and pick pockets.

- Break one of my superstitious habits. (There are quite a lot of them.)

- Attend one of the great parties of the world: Carnival, Mardi Gras, Day of the Dead, etc.
- Read the classics. So cliche, but so worthwhile. But I don't mean "the classics" as in, anything and everything that was on your high school English class reading list-- I mean "the classics" as in the novels that people recognize as being great FOR A REASON. No reading Dickens just to read Dickens. Personally, I've found Austen to give great advice, Washington Irving to tell a damn good tale in prose that makes me envious, and Orwell to be damn negative and depressing. What you consider "the classics" is up to you; just be sure there are good reasons you're considering them.

- Pick up and go somewhere or move on a whim.

- Not worry so much.

- Have one of the most kick-ass obituaries ever published. Something along the lines of, "Carissa, age 76, died in Paloma, Spain, during the Running of the Bulls. She is survived by..." Ask me about my plans for after I turn 75 sometime. Suffice it to say, I don't want to grow old, so that's when all the things like bungee jumping and swimming with sharks come in.

My advice to you is to write your own list. Find out what things you really want to do, and then work toward them. Know when you will say "yes" in life, and when you will say "no." No one ever got very far not taking risks. It's knowing which appeal to you that will shape how you live your life.

And plus, remember what I said about that whole "I'm conquering the world" feeling you get when checking something off. Don't you want to feel all-powerful like Cortes, minus the native slaughter, pillaging of treasures, and devastation of natural resources? Yeahhhhh...



  1. I don't think that many of these things are either interesting or colourful.

  2. Lists! I love lists too. :) You should check out