101 Things to Do in 1001 Days – 1 year update!

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I can’t believe it’s been a year since I created and implemented this list. I think I’ve made some good progress in some areas, while others are woefully neglected. (Yeah, that “well-executed pushup” isn’t happening…yet.) Keeping track of things I want to accomplish by using lists seems to be the only thing that ever works for me. Perhaps for my next public list I should add stuff like “keep my rose garden looking reasonable” as opposed to the way it looks at the moment. But that’s for another time. At any rate, here’s how I’ve done so far. Any suggestions for ways to complete the list are always welcome! And if you’d like to join me in completing any of these, I’d love it.

101 in 1,001

READING/WRITING

  1.       Join a book club
  2.       Put together lunch cookbook
  3.       Blog twice a week for 3 months
  4.       Organize writing samples
  5.       Go through all the blogging pins I’ve  saved on Pinterest
  6.       Read 35 books
    1.   Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen
    2.   The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
    3. Small Victories by Anne Lamott
    4. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
    5. China Dolls by Lisa See
    6. The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
    7. The Children’s Crusade by Ann Packer
    8. Delicious! By Ruth Reichl
    9. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
    10. The World on a Plate by Mina Holland
    11. The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo
    12. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
    13. Unstoppable by Bill Nye
    14. Dune by Frank Herbert
    15. The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
    16. The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
    17. The Martian by Andy Weir
    18. The Necklace by Cheryl Jarvis

COOKING

  1.       Try 5 new veggies/fruits from the farmer’s market (Romano beans, Dragon Fruit, Sea Beans, Stinging Nettles (in soup),
  2.       Learn to make dumplings (dim sum)
  3.       Make Cioppino 3/21/16
  4.   Make/can chow chow
  5.   Make a new-for-me cocktail once a month for 12 months (Hanukkah Champagne Cocktail, New Year’s Antioxidant Cocktail, Chocolate Martini, Midori Margarita, Moscow Mule, Pimm’s Cup, St. Germain Cocktail,
  6.  Make tamales 2/10/16
  7.  Make mozzarella cheese with Elaine 12/22/15

CULTURE

  1.   Go to the Schulz Museum
  2.   Go to the Steinbeck Museum 6/21/15
  3.   Go to the Computer History Museum
  4.   Visit art museum in Santa Clara
  5.   Visit the Jewish Museum in SF
  6.   Visit the DeYoung museum
  7.   See 3 concerts (Kelly Clarkson/Pentatonix, 2 Cellos,
  8.   See 5 local bands play live (Sage, Ric Hines and the Ones, Tortilla Soup, OTR, Misspent Youth )

TECHNICAL GEEKERY

  1. Consolidate all digital photos onto one computer
  2.  Back up all digital photos onto external hard drive
  3.  Back up all digital photos onto Flickr
  4.  Create yearly photo albums (snapfish?)
  5.   iPhone photo course
  6.  Learn iPhone editing software
  7. Get all files off rosebridge and onto laptop
  8. Update LinkedIn profile
  9. Get all blog plugins to work properly

PARTY

  1. Host a tapas party
  2.  Host a sushi dinner party
  3.  Host a dinner for cul-de-sac neighbors
  4.  Host a paella party
  5. Organize VRS reunion

SELF IMPROVEMENT

  1. Do one really well executed push up
  2.   Walk a 10K for charity
  3.   Squat and balance on balls of feet and then stand up again
  4.   Learn Spanish (conversational)
  5.   Learn to swim (better)
  6.   Learn to jump a car battery
  7.   Learn to use a power drill
  8.   Try all the workouts I’ve saved on Pinterest
  9.   Take another archery class
  10.   Finish a crossword puzzle
  11.   Learn to play Charlie Brown song on the piano

OUTINGS

  1.   Try 4 new restaurants in SF
  2.   Go to Passport Day in the Santa Cruz Mountains
  3.   Visit Alice’s Restaurant
  4.   Explore places from Hwy 17 book
  5.   Tour the Recycling Center (2/18/15 – video tour)
  6.   Go to a wine/painting class (11/22/15)
  7.   See the elephant seals at Ano Nuevo
  8.   Explore a garden I’ve never been to (Chihuly Gardens 4/7/16)
  9.   Romantic dinner at Bella Vista (closed)
  10.   Try 5 new restaurants with new-to-me ethnicities Belgian (Mussel Bar), Vietnamese (Xanh), Afghan (Kabul), (Burmese? Moroccan? Ethiopian? Nepalese? Filipino? Peruvian?

TRAVEL

  1.   Plan Napa or Sonoma weekend
  2.   Have a romantic dinner in Paris with LJ
  3.   Implement Napa or Sonoma weekend 12/26-12/27/15
  4. Plan a road trip on Route 66 with Margo

CRAFTY BITS

  1.   Make a table runner for the 4th of July
  2.   Make a table runner for Spring
  3.   Make a table runner for Valentine’s Day
  4.   Learn to use serger
  5.   Make backyard travel signage
  6.   Finish ancient embroidery project

SPORTING EVENTS

  1.   See the Penguins play in person (12/1/15)
  2.    See the Orioles play in person again
  3.    See a soccer game in person

HOUSE/GARDEN

  1.   Sand down/refurbish deck
  2.   Get serial numbers off 2 fans and contact Casablanca
  3.   Clean out closets
  4.   Look into Vonage versus Magicjack
  5.   Get rid of swing set and old stairs 6/11/15
  6.   Investigate laundry to landscape (greywater) Currently not cost cost effective
  7.   Investigate rainwater irrigation for rose garden
  8.   Redo corner of the yard
  9.   Create outdoor movie space
  10.   Get a dust buster for the living room

MEDIA

  1.   Watch Breaking Bad
  2.   Watch Game of Thrones
  3.   Watch House of Cards
  4.   Watch Orange is the New Black
  5.   See all academy award nominees before the 2016 awards
  6.   Watch a TED talk (Why Some of us Don’t Have One True Calling)
  7.   Watch 5 documentary films
  8.   Find and watch 5 televised concerts (Pete Townshend’s Quadrophenia)

NOT FOR ME

  1.   Perform 10 random acts of spoilage
  2.   Donate blood
  3.   Find large print word searches for Mom 7/14/15

REALLY RANDOM STUFF

  1.   Replace the zipper pulls on all the luggage
  2.   Trying using a diffuser at night (10/29/15)
  3.   Fix pearl earrings    
  4.   Find the most ridiculously named nail polish and try it (Hands Off My Kielbasa)
  5.   Bake cookies with friends’ kids
  6.   Get a new bathing suit 6/1/15
  7.   Send in 23 me test 6/15/15
  8.   Find a new board game to play
  9.   Do some genealogical research (talk to cousins Alan and David)
  10.   Create a flower arrangement a month for 6 months

GOOD FOR THE SOUL

101.     Attend Friday night services twice a month for 3 months  

 

I’d LOVE to know what you think of all of this! Please feel free to send comments!

101 Things to Do in 1001 Days – 6 Month Update

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(Image courtesy of catiworld.wordpress.com)

Those of you who know me well know of my pathological need to create lists and cross things off them. This is a trait I inherited from my dad. I come from a long line of list makers, and the rush that I get from crossing items off my To Do lists is indescribable. About 6 months ago, I posted a list of 101 Things to Do in 1001 Days. I figured it was time to report back on what I HAVE been able to accomplish. How am I doing?

Crossed-out text indicates a completed task (some of them have completion dates next to them. Sorry for the inconsistency). Items added in blue are parts or the entirety of sub-lists, which should be fairly apparent. I am hopeful that with the start of the new year, I can make some real headway on the rest. (The holiday season is a total wash that way. I’m lucky if I can get laundry done!)

READING/WRITING

  1.       Join a book club
  2.       Put together lunch cookbook
  3.       Blog twice a week for 3 months
  4.       Read 35 books
    1.   Still Life with Breadcrumbs
    2.   The Good Luck of Right Now
    3.   Small Victories
    4.   The Invention of Wings
    5.   China Dolls
    6. After the Flood
    7. The Children’s Crusade
    8. Delicious!
  5.       Organize writing samples
  6.       Go through all the blogging pins I’ve saved on Pinterest

Cooking

  1.    Try 5 new veggies/fruits from the farmer’s market (Romano beans,
  2.    Learn to make dumplings (dim sum)
  3.    Make Cioppino
  4.   Make/can chow chow
  5.   Make a new-for-me cocktail once a month for 12 months
  6.   Make tamales
  7.   Make mozzarella cheese with Elaine

CULTURE

  1.   Go to the Schulz Museum
  2.   Go to the Steinbeck Museum 6/21/15
  3.   Go to the Computer History Museum
  4.   Visit art museum in Santa Clara
  5.   Visit the Jewish Museum in SF
  6.   Visit the DeYoung museum
  7.   See 3 concerts (Kelly Clarkson/Pentatonix,
  8.   See 5 local bands play live (Sage, Ric Hines and the Ones, Tortilla Soup, OTR, Misspent Youth )

PARTY

  1.   Host a tapas party
  2.   Host a sushi dinner party
  3.   Host a dinner for cul-de-sac neighbors
  4.   Host a paella party
  5.   Organize VRS reunion

SELF-IMPROVEMENT

  1.   Do one really well executed push up
  2.   Walk a 10K for charity
  3.   Squat and balance on balls of feet and then stand up again
  4.   Learn Spanish (conversational)
  5.   Learn to swim (better)
  6.   Learn to jump a car battery
  7.   Learn to use a power drill
  8.   Try all the workouts I’ve saved on Pinterest
  9.   Take another archery class
  10.   Finish a crossword puzzle
  11.   Learn to play Charlie Brown song on the piano

OUTINGS

  1.   Try 4 new restaurants in SF
  2.   Go to Passport Day in the Santa Cruz Mountains
  3.   Visit Alice’s Restaurant
  4.   Explore places from Hwy 17 book
  5.   Tour the Recycling Center
  6.   Go to a wine/painting class (11/22/15)
  7.   See the elephant seals at Ano Nuevo
  8.   Explore a garden I’ve never been to
  9.   Romantic dinner at Bella Vista (closed)
  10.   Try 5 new restaurants with new-to-me ethnicities Belgian (Mussel Bar) (Burmese? Moroccan? Ethiopian? Nepalese?

TRAVEL

  1.   Plan Napa or Sonoma weekend
  2.   Have a romantic dinner in Paris with LJ
  3.   Implement Napa or Sonoma weekend
  4.   Plan a road trip on Route 66 with Margo

TECHNICAL GEEKERY

  1.   Consolidate all digital photos onto one computer
  2.   Back up all digital photos onto external hard drive
  3.   Back up all digital photos onto Flickr
  4.   Create yearly photo albums (snapfish?)
  5.   iPhone photo course
  6.   Learn iPhone editing software
  7.   Get all files off rosebridge and onto laptop
  8.   Update LinkedIn profile
  9.   Get all blog plugins to work properly

CRAFTY BITS

  1.   Make a table runner for the 4th of July
  2.   Make a table runner for Spring
  3.   Make a table runner for Valentine’s Day
  4.   Learn to use serger
  5.   Make backyard travel signage
  6.   Finish ancient embroidery project

SPORTING EVENTS

  1.   See the Penguins play in person (12/1/15)
  2.   See the Orioles play in person again
  3.   See a soccer game in person

HOUSE/GARDEN

  1.   Sand down/refurbish deck
  2.   Get serial numbers off 2 fans and contact Casablanca
  3.   Clean out closets
  4.   Look into Vonage versus Magicjack
  5.   Get rid of swing set and old stairs 6/11/15
  6.   Investigate laundry to landscape (greywater) Currently not cost cost effective
  7.   Investigate rainwater irrigation for rose garden
  8.   Redo corner of the yard
  9.   Create outdoor movie space
  10.   Get a dust buster for the living room

MEDIA

  1.   Watch Breaking Bad
  2.   Watch Game of Thrones
  3.   Watch House of Cards
  4.   Watch Orange is the New Black
  5.   See all academy award nominees before the 2016 awards
  6.   Watch a TED talk
  7.   Watch 5 documentary films
  8.   Find and watch 5 televised concerts (Pete Townshend’s Quadrophenia,

NOT FOR ME

  1.   Perform 10 random acts of spoilage
  2.   Donate blood
  3.   Find large print word searches for Mom 7/14/15

REALLY RANDOM STUFF

  1.   Replace the zipper pulls on all the luggage
  2.   Trying using a diffuser at night (10/29/15)
  3.   Fix pearl earrings    
  4.   Find the most ridiculously named nail polish and try it (Hands Off My Kielbasa)
  5.   Bake cookies with friends’ kids
  6.   Get a new bathing suit 6/1/15
  7.   Send in 23 me test 6/15/15
  8.   Find a new board game to play
  9.   Do some genealogical research (talk to cousins Alan and David)
  10.   Create a flower arrangement a month for 6 months

GOOD FOR THE SOUL

101.Attend Friday night services twice a month for 3 months  

So what do you think? How are you coming with YOUR To Do lists? Got any suggestions for how I can make better headway on these? I’d love to hear from you.

Getting Home Shouldn’t Be So Hard

Oh, the jet lag. This is just one of the by-products of a big trip to Australia/New Zealand. While the trip was fabulous, I had no idea that merely getting home could be such an arduous “adventure.” It’s yet another reason why maintaining a sense of humor is not only important, it’s vital.

We’d been away from home for over a month, culminating in a few days visiting friends in Melbourne. After all the previous traveling, it was wonderful to just unwind and visit (and play with an adorable 1-year-old, who really bonded with Larry). We flew back up to Sydney the night before the first leg of our scheduled flight(s) home, thinking that we’d get a decent night’s sleep near the airport and be able to get to the airport easily in the morning.

Ha.

We arrived at our hotel near the airport, exhausted, but without incident. But that’s where all sense of normalcy ended. We checked into what was probably one of the smallest hotel rooms ever; there was a structural pole in the middle of the room, and there were about 4 inches around the sides of the bed in which one could move. We were sufficiently tired that we figured we could deal, and got ready for bed.

As I pulled the covers off the bed, a giant cockroach scampered out from beneath the blankets. I was sufficiently freaked that I didn’t get a chance to kill Megabug; it wisely headed under the bed where I couldn’t get to it. There was no way I was crawling into that bed, so we called the front desk attendant.

The attendant then showed up in our room with a can of roach spray. I was not keen on staying in the same room after the spraying of pesticides, so we were moved into another room (the hotel was going to clean up our room in time for some other folks who were checking in later that evening). So far, so good. The pole in that room was all the way on the side, so it didn’t interfere with normal movement and gave us a few more inches of space. We thought all was well.

Ha.

About half an hour after we’d gone to sleep, we were jolted awake when our heads were sprayed with cold water. It seems that the air conditioner, which was located on the wall over our heads, decided to spew water all over us. Strangely enough, even though Larry turned the entire unit off, it continued to blow frigid air (to the point where the room became an icebox) as well as spray water. The front desk could do nothing for us; there were no available rooms left in the hotel and given it was the middle of the night, there were no repair people available. We ended up shoving the bed against the far wall (which was only about 3 feet away) and attempted to sleep.

Ha.

Larry was unable to sleep after all this nonsense, but was able to determine that if he rolled up a towel and put it on the ledge underneath the air conditioner, he could stop most of the spray from reaching the bed. This worked well until each towel became saturated and fell onto the floor from the weight of the water. So every few hours, Larry came back, picked up the fallen towel, and replaced it with a dry one. When he wasn’t on towel duty, he ended up hanging out in the lobby (where there was NO ONE but the shuttle driver around). I managed to scrunch down to the end of the bed and cover my head with the blankets. Sheer exhaustion won.

I woke up in the morning feeling like something was crawling up my leg – I couldn’t find anything (and this could have been purely psychosomatic), but I jumped out of bed anyway. Larry came in and asked me how I wanted to deal with paying for the room. Based on the look on my face, he decided to turn me loose on the front desk attendants.

Strangely enough, I didn’t even need to rant in order to get a full refund. Merely complaining about how unacceptable our accommodations were in a calm voice did the trick. Score 1 for civility. For once.

Once we arrived at the Sydney airport, we discovered that our connection in Fiji (from Nadi to LA) was canceled. Apparently scheduling a flight without actually having a plane available isn’t all that unusual. This became especially problematic since I was scheduled to work on Monday. Then again, I was seriously becoming confused as to what the current day was. That pesky International Dateline thing kept rearing its ugly head. No worries, I’d just let my boss know about the snafu.

Ha.

For some bizarre reason, the international terminal at the Sydney airport does not have wifi. Anywhere. The domestic terminals do, but not international. If there is a hidden message in here somewhere, I am missing it. At any rate, I managed to find a terminal that provided free Internet access via some random provider, so I was able to access email and let my boss know I would be AWOL.

Ok. No worries, we got to Nadi, Fiji, where apparently it’s a sauna. Washington, DC in August pales in comparison.

Those of us trying to get to LA were herded like sheep (and yes, I know what this looks like, I was just in New Zealand) through a series of lines where we were eventually told that we couldn’t fly out until Sunday morning. And we had to be back at the airport to check in at 4:30 AM.

It took about 40 minutes to get a shuttle bus from the hotel that was literally across the street from the airport to pick us up, but we were dropped at the hotel and the hotel folks were really nice. They helped us deal with our luggage, provided a room that was three times the size of the one in Sydney (and the roaches were the size of a dime, and limited to the bathroom, at least initially). They provided us a nice dinner, even with ice cream for dessert, in a room so heavily air conditioned that when we left it, our glasses immediately fogged up.

An actual human being gave us our wake-up call at 4:15, and we staggered out to the shuttle and got to the airport at 4:30 AM. Even at that hour, the climate was crazy hot and humid. But the Nadi, Fiji airport had it covered, with air conditioners like this:

(I did mention that a sense of humor was required, right? Here’s Larry, putting forth his best effort at 4:30 AM with piles of luggage. And it was his birthday.)

We had hopes that we could still get home on Sunday (given that International dateline thing), albeit very late.

Ha.

We landed in LA at about 8:30, and it took so long to get our luggage and get through customs (which we had to do before the airline would book us a connection) that we were too late and were herded yet again through a series of lines that culminated in our being told we’d have to stay overnight in LA and have to get home to San Jose on Monday morning. The day really took a lousy turn when we realized that Larry had left his ipad – a birthday present from last year – on the plane. On his birthday.

Fortunately, we got to stay at the Hilton at LAX. Beautiful place, decent food, really nice people. Downright luxurious after the last two nights. I can’t even fathom how much the airline had to shell out for this place…(the place in Fiji was listed at $165!)

We’d had the foresight to schedule our trip home for 11 AM so that ostensibly we’d have time to check with lost and found at LAX for the ipad, and not have to get up at o-dark 30 again. We were SO close to actually getting home.

Ha.

Strangely, American Airlines had no record of Air Pacific’s booking for us at 11 AM. There was a supervisor at the counter, so after about 30 minutes of finagling, she managed to get us seats on that flight. At least she got Larry a seat. We had to deal with the resurgence of a problem that had occurred when we first LEFT on our trip: somewhere in the booking process and many changes of flight information by the airlines, my last name was truncated. Therefore, the name on my passport didn’t match the name of the reservation and TSA will not let you onto a plane under those circumstances.

This was supposed to be fixed back on 11/3 when we left; we had spent an hour on the phone with the airlines, had to miss our flight to LA from San Jose, and ended up paying to get the name changed on the reservation AND having to buy a ticket from another airline (since AA had no available flights for us). This was FIXED, or else I wouldn’t have been able to leave San Jose. Why was this rearing its ugly head AGAIN?

Apparently Air Pacific had exchanged the ticket to be under my correct name, but did not give any indication to American Airlines what the exchange was FOR. 30 minutes later and multiple calls to Air Pacific (which apparently does not answer its telephones with any regularity), I had a ticket.

But then there was the issue of luggage. American thought that we were restricted to 2 checked bags. We had 3. We had not previously paid for any bag fees. American thought that we needed to pay for the 3rd bag. Then they couldn’t figure out how much to charge us for said bag. At one point they wanted to charge us by the kilo since we’d started out in Australia and that’s what they do there, with a cost of $273 for the one bag.

ANOTHER 30 minutes later, the American counter person said that the system was no longer asking for bag fees, so we somehow got the bag covered without cost. I have no idea what happened.

Larry had about 20 minutes to run next door to the Air Pacific counter to see about lost and found items. Unfortunately nobody was there. He figured his ipad was gone forever. What a lousy birthday.

We got on the plane and finally arrived home on Monday about 1 PM. Even the huge piles of mail did not affect my sense of relief.

But the most incredible thing occurred: Larry got an email from the airline saying that it had found his ipad and wanted to make arrangements to get it back to him. WOW.

So while getting home was incredibly hard, the vacation was fabulous. More on that soon. Once the jet lag abates.