Friday, August 21, 2009

I think I can, I think I can.


I've been working on a list. Inspired by Tiny Abstraction's 31 things to do..., I've created 41 before 42.

It seems my list making is inherited. When I visit my father I find old envelopes scattered throughout his house with lists written on them, clipboards with lists stacked beneath the clips, lists on the refrigerator, lists in the truck, lists on his desks (both of them), and lists on the chalkboard in the kitchen.

One major difference between my father's and my list making habits is that I keep all of my lists in one place, my notebook, so I don't lose any of them. As #20 states, I plan on experimenting with bringing
Google docs into the mix. Knowledge Man thinks it's a good idea. He's probably right.

Although my lists live side by side, I am just as prolific as my dad with my list making. I write lists of poems I'd like to read, places I'd like to travel, projects I'd like to tackle, books I'd like to check out from the library, ideas for my novel, ideas for my blog, dreaded housekeeping tasks, groceries I need to purchase, recipes I'd like to try, lists of pros and cons for difficult decisions I'm in the process of making, and everyday to-do lists.

I recently had lunch with a friend I hadn't seen in years and years and, of all things, she asked me if I still wrote lists pinpointing all of my hopes, dreams, and simple to-dos.
Yes she recalled you were always making lists, writing everything little thing down. I'm not sure how I feel about not seeing my friend for such an extended period of time and then, when we finally meet again, learning that my list making is one of the core things she remembers about me. Hmmm...

In honor of Julia Child, I won't apologize. I guess it is who I am. I have thoughts. I have ideas. I write them down. No reason to be ashamed.

So like the
The Little Engine That Could, I'm optimistically off to continue my journey.

41 before 42

1. Finish striped scarf for Chris
Done, but it turns out it's too short...back to the drawing board. More here.

2. Experiment with Lumie's (my Lumix L1) film mode
Done. This was the day.
3. Make a Wakame Salad (buy Mendocino Wakame--Whole Foods, Bi-Rite, or Rainbow Grocery)
Not done.
Bought Wakame at Whole Foods (no, I'm not boycotting). I thought I was buying a California product, but I'm a bit confused about the origin of this seaweed due to the label stating Wild California or Maine. Still need to make salad.
Submit Worms for Girls to Reaktion Books Ltd
Not done. Decided not to go the traditional publishing route. Working on a handmade book.
6. Submit Worms for Girls to second literary agent
Not done. Decided not to work with an agent. Plan to sell handmade book (and possibly more) online.
7. Make Molly Wizenberg's Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger
Done (in the form of muffins) .

8. Make our pottery replacements (bowls, plates, mugs)
Done with the exception of mugs. I love my tiny tree mugs and Chris now has his Chicago flag mug.
9. Donate the bowls, plates, and mugs we replace w/ my pottery to Goodwill
Not done. Donated some, but must finish.
10. Watch a sunrise
Done. Woke up early and watched a sunrise in Calistoga, CA on September 15, 2009.
11. Watch a sunset
Done. Watched a beautiful sunset with Chris (photograph above) at Crissy Field August 14, 2009.
12. Make pottery for Dad (bowl and plate)
Done (for now). Dad doesn't really need a plate or bowl, but wanted something cool that I made, so he'll soon be choosing one of my two special wood-fired bowls to keep as his own.
13. Solo trip (focus on observing, writing, photography)
Done. I wrote a little bit about it here.
14. Solo day/night together trip with Chris
Done, but we were missing each other and spent most of our days AND nights together with just a few solo breaks.
15. Time blocking plan (write, read, pottery, knit, workout, home, plan, walk, meet, etc.)
Done, but thinking time blocking is over-rated...
16. Type After the Sour Lemon Moon poems on typewriter (presentation? float in frames?)
Not done. Just haven't made it a priority...focused on other things. Not feeling bad about it.
17. Start blue scarf with big needles
18. Finish plum scarf with little needles
Done. Here it is!
19. Try stitching (embroidery) one of the
After the Sour Lemon Moon poems (decide on a proper stitch, like the Blue Bottle sign, & use linen)
Not done. Just haven't made it a priority...focused on other things. Not feeling bad about it.
20. Sort writing, projects, ideas (life) in Google docs.
Not done. Just haven't made it a priority...focused on other things. Not feeling bad about it.
21. Incorporate computer-free time into schedule (Sundays? A certain time period each day?)
Done--all day each Saturday (highly recommend!). A little bit about this topic here.
22. Inventory closet and compile a donation for Goodwill
Not done. Just haven't made it a priority...focused on other things. Really should hop to it!
23. Try Maldon Salt

24. Make Paneer
Done. Made paneer (Julie Sahni's recipe...she shares some paneer making tips at the bottom of the recipe) to replace the tofu in Jen's Okra recipe August 19, 2009.

25. Make a spoon rest
26. Make a taller (work) mug for Chris
Not done. He bought a Chicago flag mug instead.
27. Make a shorter utensil holder -- use current as model
Not done. Chris loves current model and does not want to replace.

28. Make yarn bowls
Done. Made 4 yarn bowls. Here's three (also apple bowls or whatever-suits-your-fancy bowls).
29. Make large shallow bowl w/ Be Sweet Knobby Ball swirl for texture
30. Pickle ginger
Not done. Just haven't made it a priority...focused on other things. Not feeling bad about it. I want to find baby ginger and haven't begun my search.
31. Complete Worms for Girls text w/ index + cover image (stamp?)
Not done. Need to prioritize!
32. Sausalito poem + prose submission to literary magazine
Not done. Just not sure I still want to do this...
33. Make candied orange peel
Done. Made orangettes (candied orange peel dipped in chocolate) August 28, 2009
34. Make crystallized ginger
Not done. Just haven't made it a priority...focused on other things. Not feeling bad about it. Bought some great crystallized ginger at The Candy Store.
35. Anniversary in Calistoga, CA
Done. Returned home on September 16, 2009 after a great trip to Calistoga, CA
36. Read Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient & Anil's Ghost
37. Type all Quiet-Riter notes and writing from notebooks into Google docs.
Not done. Just haven't made it a priority...focused on other things. Feeling bad about it.
38. Begin 15 minutes of silence per day
Done. Began 15 minutes of silence per day (ferry ride to Sausalito). September 3, 2009. I did well for a while, but then fell off the wagon. I need to jump back on.
39. Find two Moroccan tea glasses
Not done. I looked for a while and couldn't find what I liked. I totally forgot about this. Maybe I'll find them today! If not, I'm in no hurry. I'll wait for the glasses I love.
40. Read Per Petterson's To Siberia & In the Wake
Done with In the Wake. Haven't read To Siberia.
41. Show Chris my list
Done. Showed Chris my list August 16, 2009.


  1. Great list! I love how many crafty things there are. Good luck on completing everything.

  2. Awwww...I adore lists too! (As you well know!*LOL*) I also keep them in a notebook (this is a new thing for me as before they were always on scraps of paper and MULTIPLE notepad docs.*LOL*)

    Sounds like you've got a lot of great things on your list! Looking forward to seeing them come to be!

  3. This is an awesome list. I have been putting off making mine...& great blog!

  4. I haven't read those exact books by Petterson - but I have read Out Stealing Horses and a couple of others and love them. Looking forward to hearing what you think of these.

  5. Anja-
    My reading Out Stealing Horses is what's prompted me to explore some additional work by Petterson. I loved the pace, mood, and subtle relationships present in Out Stealing Horses.

  6. What an awesome list! I love the "pickling ginger"! yum.

  7. Michelle-

    I'm hoping to find baby ginger for my pickling.

    Wish me luck!

  8. I too am a list lover !!
    alot of mine end up on sticky notes but definitely serve the purpose.
    as I skim through the blog postings, I find out more and more about you. should have been checking it out a long time ago.
    isn't reading a wonderful thing..

    aunt barb

  9. Melva,

    Yes, I agree, reading is a wonderful thing. I'm so happy you've been enjoying Chez Danisse. Thank you for such a nice complement.


  10. Love your list - what a great idea. It's nice to find a fellow list maker - !

  11. Elsa May, Thank you for your note. I do make a lot of lists. I'm learning monthly goals make more sense for me than annual b-day lists. It's an evolution...