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  • The Original Mother of All Lists

    (originally published on January 29, 2012)


    For months now I have been working on a list that I originally christened "The Mother of All Lists," and then quickly shortened to "The Mother List." Some people call it a Bucket List, a Life List, or even a Mighty Life List. Some of my list items have been rattling around in my head for awhile or have been intentions for a long time. Others are more recent ideas. The Mother List will expand and contract over time, I am sure. And it's a given that it will be hard to complete them all, but it sure will be fun trying. Without further ado, The Mother List ...

    1. See a blue whale
    2. Complete the Swim for Life in Provincetown
    3. Visit 20 Caribbean islands (done: 5/20)
    4. See the northern lights
    5. Go to Skywalker Ranch
    6. Wear giant angel wings
    7. Make Basque chicken
    8. Swim in the largest pool in the world at San Alfonso del Mar, Chile
    9. Eat fromage, a baguette, and pain au chocolat in Paris and kiss the Mr. at the top of the Eiffel Tower
    10. Make my own salt from seawater
    11. Hear Handel's Messiah performed at Boston Symphony Hall
    12. Complete a 365 photo project (completed 12/31/12)
    13. Visit Mass MoCA
    14. Own a set of really, really high thread count sheets
    15. Enjoy a gondola ride in Venice 
    16. Complete the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, raising money for cancer research
    17. Go on an Earthwatch expedition
    18. Participate in the Night of Writing Dangerously
    19. Have a traditional New England clambake on the beach 
    20. Take turns reading a book out loud with the Mr. until we finish it together (he is not enamored with this idea and suggested a Dr. Seuss book)
    21. Live in Provincetown for a year
    22. Ride a Vespa
    23. Attend the Winter Music Conference in Miami
    24. Go ziplining
    25. Post 1,000 posts on this blog 
    26. Train a companion or therapy animal
    27. Go whitewater rafting 
    28. Prepare a Feast of Seven Fishes
    29. See Waterfire in Providence, RI
    30. Take a pottery class
    31. Decorate a giant pink artificial Christmas tree for the holidays
    32. Go skydiving (indoors)
    33. Have my own project funded on Kickstarter
    34. Learn to DJ
    35. See a murmuration in nature
    36. Take hip-hop dance lessons
    37. Publish photo books for wedding, honeymoon, and our special trips
    38. Join a CSA
    39. Float a lantern in the Forest Hills Lantern Festival (completed 7/12/12)
    40. See puffins in Maine
    41. Do a walking tour of Russian and/or Jewish cuisine in Brookline
    42. Get a watsu treatment
    43. Attend the Mummers Parade in Philly on New Year's Day
    44. See my original $100 loan on Kiva go to 100 people (currently at 39/100)
    45. Hardboil an egg (Shut up.)
    46. Start an art collection (completed 12/16/12)
    47. Walk on the pink sand beaches of Bermuda
    48. Attend ComicCon ... in costume (I'm thinking Darth Vader but fear I may end up looking more like Dark Helmet.)
    49. Go blueberry picking
    50. Make a documentary about the Ptown Pool
    51. Walk a labyrinth (completed 10/25/12)
    52. Stay at the Boston Yacht Haven
    53. Finish collecting the mismatched china set for my niece and give it to her when she moves into her first apartment
    54. Stand in front of Picasso's Guernica
    55. Save sea turtles
    56. Film and submit a Cancer Dancer video in memory of Sarah Sadtler Feather
    57. Go snowshoeing
    58. Do some line dancing wearing cowboy boots
    59. Touch one of the sharks at the aquarium (completed 1/26/12)
    60. March (or shimmy) in a Pride parade
    61. Read Ulysses
    62. Pet every dog I see for a week
    63. Go on a silent retreat
    64. Learn to use a letterpress
    65. Have fresh flowers in our home continuously for a year
    66. Learn to scuba dive
    67. Watch all of Errol Morris' films (Gates of HeavenVernon, FloridaThe Thin Blue LineThe Dark WindA Brief History of TimeFast, Cheap and Out of ControlMr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.First PersonThe Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamaraStandard Operating ProcedureTabloidThe Unknown Known)
    68. Drink a martini at Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle (completed 4/13/13)
    69. Stay at Castello di Spannocchia in Tuscany
    70. Attend all 25 hours of the Moby Dick marathon at the New Bedford Whaling Museum
    71. Design tshirts for the 5th Annual Family Barhopping Night  (completed 7/13/12)
    72. Dance all night at a club in Ibiza
    73. Pickle something (cranberries? daikon radishes?)
    74. Go clamming in my own pair of waders
    75. Move my blog to my own domain and to a new platform
    76. Learn to skate backwards
    77. Celebrate Christmas in a warm place wearing a bathing suit and a Santa hat
    78. Read 1,000 books (currently at 714/1,000)
    79. Perform a synchronized swimming routine wearing glittery eye shadow and a fabulous sparkly swimsuit
    80. Eat a Burmese tea leaf salad
    81. Go firewalking
    82. Visit Fallingwater
    83. Learn to roll a kayak
    84. Cover my ceiling with tiny lights
    85. Go dogsledding (bonus: yell "mush!")
    86. Work on a film
    87. Attend the White Party in Provincetown held during Labor Day Weekend
    88. Hold a koala bear
    89. Finish a paint-by-numbers painting
    90. Try kimchi
    91. Volunteer on the Charles River Cleanup Boat
    92. Take my dad to dinner at the Harvard Faculty Club
    93. Spend a weekend at Kripalu
    94. Attend Figawi
    95. Write a short story and publish it
    96. Do a high-speed RIB (rigid inflatable boat) tour of Boston Harbor
    97. See Metallica in concert
    98. Create a fun, girly Advent grab bag for my niece (completed 11/22/12)
    99. Completely finish a New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle
    100. Go to the Galapagos
    101. Attend Friday After Thanksgiving (FAT) Chain Reaction at MIT
    102. Wear a crazy wig in public (and not at Halloween) (completed 11/16/13)
    103. Rewatch every episode of The Love Boat (watched through Season 1, Episode 12)
    104. Learn to hand roll sushi
    105. Fly on a trapeze
    106. Get a fish pedicure
    107. Swim in the infinity pool atop the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
    108. Go on the Cape Cod Modern House Tour (completed 8/19/12)
    109. Own a boat
    110. Meet Peter Sis and have him sign my books
    111. Go on a reading retreat
    112. Taste conch (completed 3/11/12)
    113. See the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in person
    114. Knit a chunky wool blanket with giant knitting needles
    115. Stay at The Summer House on Nantucket
    116. Work on a political campaign
    117. Disentangle and properly dispose of 300 balloons from the wrack line on the beach (Stop letting your balloons fly free, people!) (74/300)
    118. Attend the US Open (tennis, that is)
    119. Live in a foreign country for at least 3 months
    120. Successfully set and fill a champagne tower
    121. Conquer my fear of sharks
    122. Stay in a dune shack at the Cape Cod National Seashore
    123. Ride a camel
    124. Try 25 different brands of salt and vinegar potato chips and rank them
    125. Write enough reviews on TripAdvisor to be a Senior Contributor
    126. See spinner dolphins in Hawaii
    127. Have my own gallery show filled with work I've yet to create
    128. Explore the ocean in a Scubadoo
    129. Volunteer at Best Friends in Utah
    130. See the crab swarm on Christmas Island
    131. Complete a Fight for Air climb
    132. Watch every Academy Award-nominated documentary
    133. Make Baked Alaska
    134. Have drinks at Floyd's Pelican Bar in Jamaica
    135. Finish a One Slow Thing a Week Project
    136. Walk a Great Dane
    137. Go fly a kite
    138. Go shelling on Sanibel
    139. Spend a day at the spa at the Mandarin Oriental
    140. Learn to silkscreen Tshirts
    141. Wear a tutu for one full day (completed 8/22/13)
    142. Go candlepin bowling
    143. Participate in NaBloPoMo
    144. Learn to take wildlife photos
    145. Churn my own butter
    146. See an orangutan in Borneo
    147. Change professions (completed 1/1/14)
    148. Go to The Smiths Reunion Concert (It's my list!)
    149. Learn needle felting
    150. Attend Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca, and Silverdocs or Hotdocs film festivals
    151. Have my aura photo taken (completed 7/19/12)
    152. Sleep in a lighthouse
    153. See a concert at Tanglewood
    154. Taste sea urchin
    155. Run the Tufts 10K and the James Joyce Ramble
    156. Live on an island
    157. Read all of Edgar Allen Poe's Work
    158. Take a tour of Legal's fish processing plant
    159. Maintain a koi pond
    160. Build a fire on the beach
    161. Attend a roller derby match
    162. Visit Plimoth Plantation
    163. Attend the Westminster Dog Show
    164. Ride a Carsten Holler slide
    165. Learn Italian
    166. Run through an enormous field of sunflowers
    167. Attend Art Basel
    168. Participate in the citizen scientist program on the Boston Harbor Islands
    169. Experience tailgating at a real football game
    170. Share the hot springs with the snow monkeys of Nagano
    171. Eat at every restaurant in our restaurant jar
    172. Make a bottle tree
    173. Host an exchange student
    174. Take a SeaDream Yacht Club cruise around the Caribbean
    175. Swim with a whale shark
    176. Eat lobster at the Office of Nature in Negril, Jamaica (completed 3/13/12)
    177. Have my own fireplace and learn to use it
    178. Learn to hula dance
    179. See the gardens of Kyoto
    180. Tour WGBH
    181. Wear false eyelashes
    182. Roast chestnuts over an open fire
    183. Fold 1,000 paper cranes
    184. Learn to play bocce
    185. Relive the romance of Joey Potter and Pacey Whitter (rewatching all of Dawson's Creek)
    186. Stand on the Great Wall of China
    187. Learn to surf
    188. Volunteer at a wild animal care facility
    189. Mentor someone
    190. Care for a bonsai tree
    191. Fly on a plane that has a bar/cocktail lounge
    192. Enjoy Summer Shack's clambake on Spectacle Island
    193. Own a real disco ball and hang it where I can see it every day (completed 12/28/12)
    194. Stay at the Wickainnish Inn
    195. Participate in a Holi color fight
    196. Drive the length of 6A from Ptown to Sandwich and back with my mom
    197. Try waterskiing
    198. Have a panchakarma treatment
    199. Finally ride Space Mountain
    200. Live on the beach
    201. Complete Red Cross disaster relief training
    202. Attend a workshop at Salt Water Farm in Maine
    203. Swim in bioluminescent water
    204. Take my niece to Italy 
    205. Touch a flamingo (completed 11/30/2012)
    206. Complete a month of Naikan
    207. Stand on the equator
    208. Catch a marlin or a shark
    209. Go on a cross-continent train trip
    210. Visit all of the Boston Harbor Islands (1. Georges, 2. Peddocks, 3.Bumpkin, 4. World’s End, 5. Spectacle, 6. Lovells, 7. Grape, 8. Thompson, 9. Little Brewster, 10. Deer, 11. Webb Memorial, 12. Nut)
    211. Visit Nova Scotia
    212. Do a year's worth of 30 day projects
    213. Participate in an archeaological dig (thus satisfying a goal I made in 4th grade)
    214. Attend a workshop conducted by Carolyn Myss
    215. Learn to make preserves
    216. See Gaudi's work in Barcelona
    217. Rent a houseboat
    218. Make it through a Hell Night meal at the East Coast Grill
    219. Learn more about jazz music
    220. Participate in a Relay for Life, raising more money for cancer research
    221. Climb a rockclimbing wall
    222. Get a plot of land to garden in the Victory Gardens of the Fens
    223. Witness a cranberry harvest (completed 10/6/2012)
    224. Try fencing 
    225. See the Hasty Pudding Man of the Year ceremony
    226. Sleep in a monastery (preferably in Italy)
    227. Volunteer for a research project addressing marine debris issues
    228. Witness a live performance of Saturday Night Live
    229. Jump off a high-dive
    230. Learn to make my mom's applesauce
    231. Attend Camp Mighty (completed 11/15-17/2012)
    232. Meander through a corn maze
    233. List "snowbird" as my profession
    234. See the wild ponies of Chincoteague
    235. Make a pinata from scratch and fill it with confetti
    236. Volunteer at the New England Aquarium
    237. Complete one complex scherenschnitte
    238. Sail on the Liberty around the Bahamas
    239. See more of Iceland than just the airport
    240. Do a walking tour of Boston's Chinatown
    241. Own personalized cocktail stirrers
    242. Cross all the bridges in Prague
    243. Tap a tree for maple syrup
    244. Complete a 5,000 piece puzzle
    245. Attend ROFLCon
    246. See the whirling dervishes
    247. Watch all the episodes of Friday Night Lights from beginning to end (completed 10/25/13)
    248. Go tubing
    249. Sit at the gliding table at Yuerba Buena in San Juan, Puerto Rico (and finally see Old San Juan)
    250. Make a list of all the great things I did before I made this list ***
    251. Finish all the cocktails on Clio's cocktail list
    252. Stay in the Igloo Village at Hotel Kakslauttannen in Finland
    253. See the green river in Chicago on St. Patrick's Day
    254. Watch a live Sumo wrestling match
    255. Ride a mechanical bull
    256. Participate in a Japanese tea ceremony
    257. Take a swimming strokes class (completed 4/1/12) -- learn that damn butterfly once and for all 
    258. Learn to sail
    259. Knit my own scarf
    260. Walk entire length of the Boston Harbor Walk
    261. Take an ikebana class
    262. Master dim sum ordering
    263. Participate in a sake tasting
    264. Take a self-defense class
    265. Learn to cook fish
    266. Learn the salsa
    267. Go iceskating on Frog Pond
    268. Have a salt-tasting party 
    269. Visit Mt. Auburn Cemetery 
    270. Have a smoked foods night
    271. Feed a hummingbird by hand
    272. Make a meal entirely from items found at the farmer's market
    273. Take a glassblowing class (completed 10/19/13)
    274. Tour the Taza Chocolate Factory
    275. Have a Diane Keaton movie marathon (watched 4 of her movies so far)
    276. Make coconut shrimp
    277. Learn to play mah jong (with real tiles) 
    278. Learn the elusive art of origami
    279. Learn to shuck an oyster (without injury)
    280. Make 3 different types of bread
    281. Learn to make paella
    282. Participate in an Ethiopian coffee ceremony
    283. Publish this list on Bucket List Productions
    284. See the pigs swim in the Exumas, Bahamas
    285. Visit the Corning Museum of Glass
    286. Be a guest blogger on someone else's blog
    287. Visit Croatia
    288. Do 10 DIY projects: glitter disco balls; galaxy glitter play dough; owl paper figures from a kit; paper flower party headbands; star projector kit; Sparkle Labs solar kit; geometric paper ornaments; crepe paper flower garland; paper hats; giant tissue paper flowers
    289. Complete the Cape Cod Ragnar Relay Series
    290. See a performance at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, MA
    291. Eat at Hartwood in Tulum, Mexico
    292. Visit City Museum in St. Louis and climb Monstrocity
    293. Own a working neon sign
    294. Create a gallery wall in our home (completed 9/27/12)
    295. Learn to play the steel drums
    296. Bend a spoon (see Martha Beck)
    297. Sing The Girl from Ipanema on Ipanema Beach
    298. Learn how to open a champagne bottle with a sword
    299. Visit Hemingway's house in Key West
    300. Drink a mojito in Cuba
    301. Visit all the Shaker round barns in New England (1. Canterbury Shaker Village)
    302. Learn to make mole sauce
    303. Live some place where there are palm trees
    304. Get paid to be creative
    305. Find a group of like-minded creatives
    306. Make friends with a drag queen
    307. Visit the flamingo colony on Inagua island
    308. Go on a moonwalk during a full moon
    309. Do the Ultimate Trainer for a Day at Atlantis, Bahamas
    310. See a shooting star
    311. Watch the Winterfest Boat Parade in Fort Lauderdale
    312. Dance with Ellen
    313. Attend an Ace Camp photography workshop

    *** End of original list, created 1/29/12

    Mondo Beyondo additions (added 10/24/2012):

    • be a National Geographic photographer
    • be a documentary filmmaker
    • live in the Caribbean -- Negril, Jamaica to be specific, the "Capital of Casual"
    • learn to snorkel really, really well and do it every day
    • never work in an office or wear business attire ever again as long as I live
    • be outside most of the time
    • meet Jimmy Buffett
    • throw out all of my wool except a couple of sweaters for nostalgia sake
    • wear flip flops only
    • walk on the beach every day
    • meet Diane Keaton
    • have a pet monkey (a dream from childhood -- I had to settle for a stuffed monkey that I named Uncle Jessie. From Dukes of Hazard, people!)
    • write my tell-all book
    • use my blog as a vehicle to make a living that is not location dependent
    • become known as an expert in something
    • be healthy and fit
    • have a studio space that I share with other creatives
    • add a dog or 3 to our family (completed 3/31/14)