Fifty Things

so far anyway

because that is what I turned this year.  Andrea, at hulaseventy, makes the best lists I know.  But she isn’t 50, so I’m making this one.

1.  teach the boys to make brownies

2.  eat dinner in the Mission

3.  sell a book

4.  rescue mother in law’s books, the ones in boxes in the garage

5.  use my sewing machine

6.  read the Three Musketeers

7.  great retro green cloth binders – use them

8.  run out of pencils

9.  make a table from reclaimed wood

10.  get the perfect tattoo

11.  recover those chairs, the 1950s chairs from the Kaiser Building I got for free

12.  re-read Pudd’nhead Wilson

13.  sell something on craigslist; maybe more than one

14.  spend an afternoon in North Beach

15.  commute by ferry and bike — in July, September, or October, when that would be beautiful

16.  figure out what to do with all that great flannel fabric

17.  grow some herbs

18.  attach the pencil sharpener and use it (see 8 above)

19.  write a short story

20.  thank David Marshall for being such a great professor in college

21.  ditto Drew Clark

22.  have another Little House on the Prairie month

23.  use that doctor’s bag Jack carried in the Wizard of Oz

24.  honor Helen, our neighbor who died last year, by planting a rose bush

25.  write an episode of a television show

26.  plant a fruit tree

27.  send a postcard to my parents; maybe more than one

28.  make a series of drawings of family life

29.  spend a month out of the car

30.  walk the Berkeley Pathways

31.  have a picnic

32.  put up a canopy

33.  make margaritas

34.  play board games under the canopy

35.  make sweetbreads

36.  take the boys to the café at Chez Panisse

37.  learn how to change a bike tire

38.  play mini golf

39.  use a grommet

40.  help an orchid come back to life

41.  watch It Happened One Night

42.  ditto Easy Living

43.  have a 30s screwball comedy film festival under the canopy

44.  wear more hats

45.   use a staple gun

46.  paint some furniture

47.  figure out how many pairs of shoes I really need

48.  eat in Oakland’s Chinatown

49.  have one of those huge mission burritos

50.  thank my parents


20 thoughts on “Fifty Things

  1. 5. Teach me how to use a sewing machine and you will accomplish that goal.

    10. I’ll get one with you. I’m dissatisfied with the one I have, but am waiting for divine inspiration to send me a sign for the next one.

    13. easy peasy, and fun.

    17. buy some basil at Trader Joe’s; plant in a pot; fresh basil all summer. Make bruschetta. Yumm.

    35. take this off your list.

    37. what? didn’t you do that in 1993 in england? i did. on that farm where the guy was shearing sheep.

    40. best way to do this is ignore it. water once a month, at the most. within a year, it will sprout a new green stem and then a flower. orchids are easy. you just ignore them.

    45. staple guns are fun but be careful. you are some what dorkish, like me 🙂

    46. very fun and rewarding. nice to do in the spring and summer when it’s pleasant outside.

    47. not many. really.

    50. easy. call them. thank them every time you talk to them. time’s a’wasting.


  2. Christine — it is! I have half a story. I keep thinking about it. I even have a title. Or at least I did, but now I can hardly remember it. I’ll meet you at Semifreddi’s — we can knock out a story don’t you think?

    Debby — Sweetbreads? Never! I had that vegetarian period, and I liked it, well, except for the anemia part, but I remember having sweetbreads that were incredible once, and I want to see if they really are that incredible. As for the staplegun yes, I’ll be careful. I am indeed dorkish.

  3. Good luck w your list. I turned 50 a few weeks ago and need to make my own wish list. So far the only new thing that I’ve done since my b-day was to experience the pain of a dental drill. I don’t want that to be the penultimate experience of my 50th year.

  4. I love this list.

    I realized I loved it by the time I reached # 10 and realized I connected to all the resolutions. Then I finished the list and thought: Wow, what a great list.

  5. Great list, please do keep us posted!! Re: #16, make sure to blog about it when you’ve found out, I’ve got great flannel fabric I’m so reluctant to throw out (my first idea was a old-fashioned horsehead-on-a-broomstick project, but your kids are too big for that). Besides (adding to your #5), I’m secretly scared I don’t remember how to use my sewing machine.

  6. I so enjoyed reading your 50…and happy birthday! I read the 3 Musketeers as a teenager and loved it then. But the Count of Monte Cristo was even better. I didn’t have to take Home Ec–I took typing instead. But now I wish I’d learned to sew. I started this year. And I also have a roll of flannel!

  7. Thank you Lilian — I have heard that about the Count of MC — I’ll put that on my list of 51 things. I want to know what you do with your roll of flannel. All I’ve come up with so far are shopping bag ideas.

    Pauline — They are BOTH too big and too old, although couldn’t they make such a thing for a younger friend? As for the machine, once your foot touches the pedal it will be too exciting for words and you won’t be able to stop. Right?

    Hello Anthropologist — I’m so glad you are among those who’re interested in the tattoo subject. I have seen some beautiful typographical tattoos, for example. It’s just a question of where and what.

    Cam — Happy Birthday! Nope, the drill is not allowed to be on the list. Get crackin’ so you have something to put between you and it. xoxoxo

    Debbie, in this project, I am relying on Ed Emberly to get me through.

  8. #4 — “Yes of course,” said the Librarian.

    #6 — My number six is Moby Dick…how did I make it to 50 without reading Moby Dick?? Maybe I should blame T. Sherry for not making us read it in College Prep Lit?

    #41 — Excellent choice! Large man on bus that falls asleep on CC’s shoulder is Marvin Loback (aka my Great Uncle Oscar!)

    #50 — Often.

  9. Oh, Polaris, how nice to hear from you! I have particularly missed checking in to see what you’re doing in Boston. (I’m going over there in a moment, in fact.) I have many orchids, in their post-bloom state, and would like to see them bloom a second time.

    Hello Jan! It’s so terrific to see you here — I’ll look out for Uncle Oscar. I read Moby Dick because I was told to, which is my excuse. The truth is, though, that it’s a good book! Let me know how it goes. Mr. Sherry seemed to be all about the short book, and the short paper, which is something I didn’t realize until I got to college and had to read long books and write long papers! Do you know what happened to him? I had such a huge crush on him.

    C–I’ve answered!

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