Thursday, July 12, 2007

Living Out Loud

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, I will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” - Émile Zola

About 10 years ago, when I worked at a bookstore in Newport Beach, California, often spending my paycheck before I left work, I picked up a little blue book called "2,001 Things to Do Before You Die," (apparently, it's not in print anymore, but you can get it used at with a different cover that I like a lot). I used to buy a lot of random books like that. Come to think of it, I still do.

The remarkable thing about this book was how many things I checked off right away ... things I had forgotten I had ever done... other things that were among my favorite memories... some very specific things like this one:

* Drink mulled wine on a snowy night in Prague.

I was oh-so-excited to be able to check that off the day I bought the book. And I still remember that night; I was wandering with friends through the Christmas Market in Old Town Square, sipping mulled wine. The booths were lit up with strings of colored lights and there were just a few snowflakes fluttering through the air. Magical.

And then I guess I forgot to keep checking things off. Today, Kim Kotecki's post about life lists at her blog Swingset Reflections reminded me of this book and I just pulled it off the shelf. I haven't looked at it in a long time.

First we'll start with the things I probably won't ever do:

* Swallow a goldfish
* Throw my panties at Tom Jones
* Ride a boxcar for a couple of days
* Grow a beard
* Shave off my beard
* Quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys
(I don't think my husband would ever speak to me again)
* Be a Dallas Cowboy's cheerleader (He might speak to me again if I did this, but it would take a while)
* Tear a phone book in half with your bare hands
* Ride a motorcycle south on U.S. 1 in California
(North, sure. South, no.)
* Eat pufferfish sushi (I did read a great line about this in an old Nat Geo, though: One man's poisson is another man's poison.)
* Be Woody Allen's therapist

Things I've done:

* Drink the milk from a coconut with a straw (at Angkor Wat on the hottest day ever).
* Shake hands with someone famous.
* Decoupage a table
* Learn French, German or Swahili (interesting choices).
* Travel Route 66
* Parasail
* Savor moonshine
* Pretend you don't speak English
(this is always fun).
* Wear a feather boa to work
* Travel alone
* Love a teddy bear
* Have delusions of grandeur
* Play croquet
* Attend the Olympics
(1984 equestrian events. They were very low-key. We brought our own lawn chairs. I don't think we even had tickets)
* Ride Space Mountain
* Learn to say the alphabet backward
* Watch a baby being born
* Kiss the Blarney Stone
* Predict a trend
* Squeeze a glass of fresh orange juice

Things I would love do to:

* Teach English as a Second Language
* Run a used bookstore
* Attend the seventh game of the World Series
* Learn to sew
* Hot-air balloon over a desert
* Learn to sail
* Drive a Maserati
* Swim in each of the
Seven Seas (I guess I've got to choose from the following nine:
So far, I've managed the Mediterranean, in Nice. It was lovely, once I worked my way out past the hordes of people. I remember the water being very sea green. )

* Build a tree house
* Unicycle
* Stomp grapes in Tuscany
* Finish your dissertation
(after I start one, of course)
* Ride a gondola in Venice
* Sing and dance with gypsies
* Memorize "Who's on First?"
(if you scroll all the way down, you can hear an audio version)
* Research your family tree

And the funniest thing in the whole book?

* Cornrow your Westie

Now I think I'll get around to actually making my own "life list." I've made many lists before, but never quite a comprehensive one.

What would be on your list?

"LIfe is either a daring adventure or it is nothing" -- Helen Keller


Stephens said...

Oh, just wait, when you get a little older you will:
* Grow a beard
* Shave off my beard


paintandink said...

Reaaaaallly? (I am totally laughing out loud.) You're the first person to ever warn me about that.

Okay, I take those two back, then.

I still refuse to be Woody Allen's therapist, though, no matter how much he begs.

carolyn said...

Well I hope I don't ever grow a beard because I really would have to remove it somehow or become the bearded lady.

carolyn said...

Well I hope I don't ever grow a beard because I really would have to remove it somehow or become the bearded lady.

paintandink said...

I have always wanted to join the circus, but I was thinking more as a set designer or poster artist.

Natalie said...

Sort of off topic, but I am wondering why there is such a huge divide over Cesar Milan... what, in your opinion, makes him a "bastard rat fink?"

paintandink said...

I'm sorry, I haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about.

Natalie said...

So Sorry! My bad. I should have asked the person who commented below your comment on Posie. I keep hearing very split opinions about the dog trainer, Cesar Milan, and I thought I'd found an opportunity to hear more about the reasoning behind the divide. Pardon me. Carry on. Grin. Blush.

paintandink said...

Not a problem, Natalie. Thank you for explaining!

Natalie said...

Okay. I'm back, and this time I've actually read your post. LOL I like lists, and especially when I can check things off... it's so gratifying to see our accomplishments all tallied up. Maybe it's our school days training, when we learned to covet little gold stars and such! Anyway, now I feel compelled to make a list of *Wow! Things* I've done and places I've been. You have certainly accomplished quite a bit.

Merisi said...

Amazon thanks you for the bottom of its greedy heart ... have to have that book! *lol*
Thank you, your lists here are too good to not enough time to intense study, so I shall be back here soon (it's Monday morning after all!).
I have had mulled wine on a snowy night in Vienna, sort of every time it snowed since I am here, maybe I shall hop on the train next winter, to bag Prag. :-)))
Shaking hands with famous people, hm, that's cute. How many? I can cross off Bill Clinton and Arthur Miller (both felt very good *g*) on the American side. I'll have to think who else would be worthwhile to persue (I didn't the mentioned ones, it happened, but those lists give me bad ideas *g*).

tongue in cheek said...

On my live to 100, and be healthy and strong enough to dance at my party.