01.05.20

it occurred to me as i angry-treadmilled to the tv news this afternoon that while i haven't formally attempted a 101 in 1001 ("complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days") list for nearly five years, i've probably managed to take down a bunch of items from my last one anyway—and i totally did! way to go, haphazard me!

original start date: 10 june 2012
original end date: 08 march 2015

items completed: 023
items remaining: 078

...and since then,

additional items completed: 14

[004]: visit pittsburgh [see 09.28.15]
boy howdy do we love the 'burgh: since that first fall trip in 2015, the missus and i have driven back out three more times. while item 014 ("visit mari in atlanta") is now impossible, she and her family are now PA-based, and we've taken down the great race (my all-time favorite 10K, a crowded but delightfully citywide thing) with them three times. ask for "pittsburgh, you're my kind of town" in my best springsteen growl if we see each other in person; it's even better than the songs i invent for the cats.

[026]: go to the opera [completed october 2015]
baby's first opera was tannhäuser at the met, and while an old-school, nearly-four-hour (plus three intermissions, as i recall) take on early wagner might not seem like the most intuitive call, the friend* who facilitated our extremely good seats (he used to represent performers and is tight with the folks who film and simulcast the met's performances in HD) also talked us through the teutonic shenanigans. we went on to see an utterly stunning magic flute at the teatro dell'opera di roma (i cried like a baby and got a moth tattoo a few days later, which was technically coincidental but still), and we've been back to the met with the same opera-ringer pal for pelléas et mélisande (debussy's only opera). i have worn the same thrifted balenciaga tent dress to all three, and, weirdly, have yet to wear the black velvet opera coat i found at a vintage store on our first trip to pittsburgh? guess we have to hit some more operas.

[031]: get my name printed in the new york times [completed 09.01.19]
my first and twitter names turned up as part of patricia lockwood's "live nude dads read the sunday paper" project, but that assembled poem was online-only, and c'mon, it's much more satisfying to have debuted thus. that was a journey: i convinced myself a dozen different times over the course of several months that the piece wouldn't run, despite universally supportive communication from my editor and joe's exhortations to, like, breathe into a paper bag and go to bed already. i have now accepted that it can't be taken away and am working on new pitches! the travel section would seem like the most natural fit, but i can't write for it, as i've taken press trips (which are strictly forbidden for its contributors). i considered a modern love writeup about the series of late-night DMs i got last summer from a guy who turned me down when i asked him to senior prom and wanted me to know a couple of decades later that he was wrong to have done so, but that seemed...fraught. inspired by "my so-karen life,"** i was thinking about rites of passage...which now seems to be on hiatus. that said, i am unfazed (and am also going to get off my ass and aim at the new yorker this year).

[039]: spend the night on a boat [see 08.25.17].
i've now hit the atlantic for CRESLI's three-day great south channel trip three years in a row and am addicted to both cetaceanspotting and turning in with the thrum of an engine under my belly and stars and spray on my back. that trio of trips was pretty bare-bones: i brought a sleeping bag, a plush peep, and a pillowcase, and i dragged my lumpy vinyl cot mattress up to the top deck of our temporarily-mostly-repurposed fishing boat as often as i could (every night but one so far, i think?). i love whale watching, but i also love the formal restrictions of spending extended time on a small vessel in unpredictable conditions; i love pelagic birds, a deck heaving under my flip-flops, brushing my teeth and spitting over the stern. joe has yet to join me on any of those trips, but he flew out as my plus-one for a working trip on a small ocean liner in northern europe last fall: we flew to berlin and spent a few days revisiting falafel and oktoberfest, then took a coach to rostock and swooped out for a week of danish and norwegian port-hopping. the jump from a craft with 60 passengers to one with 900*** is not insignificant, despite the prevalence of NPR enthusiasts on both in these cases: the latter was unquestionably a luxury cruise (with on-board history and astronomy pros, balconies and cashmere blankets for all, shitting-you-not edvard munch originals [on loan from museums] on the walls...you get the idea). i had never been on A Cruise, and i am not sorry i tried one; the peoplewatching was top-hole, and i appreciated the opportunity to snack on destinations we might like to revisit. the sleep quality, ironically, ended up being comparable to what i've experienced on my CRESLI trips, albeit for reasons at the other end of the spectrum: at one point i acquired a wool blanket that pleased me so well that i was too excited to nap.**** we are unlikely to take another cruise, but i would consider recommending one on that particular line to, say, my parents, if they were intent on that particular sort of trip. tl;dr: more (hopefully small and/or eco-friendly) boats in the '20s.

[043]: spend a night in the hudson valley [completed 09.18]
when did we first go to the hudson valley? have we met? what is time? joe reminds me that we drove out to hudson for the afternoon when we spent a long weekend in narrowsburg in the fall of 2015, and that we didn't actually spend the night there until september 2018, when we shared an airbnb with friends for basilica soundscape (a weekend music festival) and were accosted by an extremely friendly tuxedo cat whose tag announced him to be BLACK BAT. we headed back again on a road trip last may and stayed at tiger house, a former hunting lodge that was a b&b at the time (i think it's now closed?). i am exceedingly fond of spotty dog (a bookstore/bar) and BLACK BAT, obviously. we did not solve a murder mystery at tiger house and should probably buy it so we can fix that.

[046]: swim with the coney island polar bear club [see 01.02.16].
it felt a bit like cheating to join the new year's day plunge in 2016, as coney island was positively balmy that morning compared to early januaries past and since, but look: i was pretty goddamn cold anyway (it wasn't the ocean itself, it was the interminable waiting to run into the ocean that killed me; i felt much better afterward, what with the adrenaline and the beer. one member of our foursome, previously unknown to me, is now a semi-regular Political Yelling at Bars Companion of mine; another was already an ice-bath devotee and has since gone to poland and iceland to celebrate wim "the iceman" hof's cold-therapy method. pro tips: bring someone who doesn't want to strip down and jump in the water with you but is willing to watch your clothes and towel and give you someplace to run when you're staggering back like an idiot, and wear thick socks.

[054]: go camping [completed 09.16]
i have yet to attempt a trip that doesn't involve running an all-night trail relay race at the same time, but the running shouldn't invalidate the camping, should it? on that first soggy weekend in new jersey for ragnar trail wawayanda lake, the terrain was so muddy that i'd crash in my diminutive leopard-print tent (you're a goddamn wonder, apartment tent) with my feet through the flap, exposed to the rain. with four ragnars now under my belt, i think i'm ready at last for regular camping, but i'm bringing The Grim Runner (my little angel of death with a custom pink sweatband) anyway.

[058]: visit the new york botanical garden [see 08.09.16]
guessing it won't surprise you that i found my trip to see the corpse flower in 2016 significantly more exciting than a trip to see the holiday train show. what can i say? i like fake corpses and real trains, thanks.

[078]: run a (public) 10K [completed 12.15?]
i've lost count of 10Ks, but i know that at least have been on flat, scenic, PR-friendly roosevelt island (which should be an easy ride on the F train, but in 2020 even i can admit that there are no more easy rides on the F train; now i usually get there via the tramway and traumatize fellow passengers with my Run Funk, unavoidable in such a small space). i remind my septuagenarian friend and fellow bookstore volunteer A, a former UN official and longtime island resident, that i am both protecting and stalking him via these 10Ks, and he seems pleased.

[087]: visit the new york city tenement museum [completed...i have no idea, i pass it like every day and i think i'm trying to forget the visit to protect myself]
what's nastier than a doll-sized tram over the east river when you've just finished a 10K? the new york city tenement museum between march and october. i love my neighborhood and i love that earnest grad students introduce it to tourists, but i'm tired of sharing the sidewalk with all of them. get out of here, butter.

[090]: beat my new york times sunday crossword time (18 min)
i'm down to 11:35, which is not too shabby! that said, i hadn't read a thing about the american crossword puzzle tournament before registering and booking a hotel room for it and—get this—genuinely thought i could roll up and win. tell my family i loved them.

[096]: go to the hamptons
i think we've aged out of the sharing-a-group-house-for-the-weekend stage of engaging with the hamptons, and that's for the best, as the lunch, shopping, and gas-stationing stops i've made en route to montauk and back have been less than inspirational. montauk i like very much, though i'm conscious of being the sort of summer person who's helped make it too expensive for families to vacation there in recent years, and i'm not prepared to pay several hundred dollars a night for a long weekend in a fashionably-upcycled motel. i have made my peace with this.

[098]: figure out a wall treatment for the kitchen
i bought a bunch of black oil paint pens a few years ago and have been late-night doodling from the floor up ever since. it is immensely satisfying.

[099]: visit three new-to-me states
kinda hazy on this one, but i know kentucky, louisiana, mississippi, missouri, and north carolina are all in there. it's like we have a car now or something!


*kevin has the best ideas: he also organized our Black Tie Bar Crawl a few years ago, when we all dressed up within an inch of our lives and hit la grenouille and the four seasons (RIP). we would have kept crawling, but when we got to the four seasons's bar and asked for glasses of champagne, they just...kept coming, and we hadn't had dinner, so we fled to sakagura for ballast. fun fact: joe and i had dinner at the four seasons (dressed less formally, as it happens) after getting legally hitched (prior to our proper oxford wedding) in 2006.

**i enjoyed "my so-karen life" so much that i went to follow the writer, sarah miller, on twitter—and discovered that she's been following me for some time, which made me feel like a million bucks. a solid reminder that i should be following liberally.

***a 900-person cruise ship is considered a small cruise ship: the largest liners in the world accommodate more than 6,000 passengers.

****full disclosure: i bought that blanket for the cats (who appreciate it as much as i do and are much better at napping).

No comments: