Last year, I made a list of 29 goals I wanted to accomplish before I turned 29.
Here’s how I did.
1. Make English Pea Soup – Goal Quasi-Accomplished. I didn’t make pea soup…but I did make really good pea puree – peas, black pepper, a little olive oil and some crushed red pepper – and served it alongside pan-crisped gnocchi for dinner one night. It was delicious. I figure if I added a little water, it would be soup, right?
2. Learn how to play more than Frere Jacques on guitar – Goal failed. Didn’t happen. I need a guitar teacher. Preferably one that I don’t have a crush on because that didn’t work out so well a decade ago.
3. Read at least three American classics – Goal failed. I read This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald, got about halfway into The Last Tycoon by Fitzgerald and read about a third of The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway. I highly recommend This Side of Paradise. It features one of my favorite lines in all literature – “I knew you’d come to-night,” she said softly, “like summer, just when I needed you most.”
4. Blog at least once a week – Goal accomplished!
5. Make Vietnamese Iced Coffee – Goal accomplished!
6. Go out to lunch by myself – Goal accomplished!
7. Complete a scrapbook – Goal failed. My supplies are sitting by the side of the TV just waiting to be finished.
8. Stop drinking Diet Coke at work and home – Goal failed. My office ritual every Friday is walking to the breakfast joint in the next building over with some of my favorite co-workers (Hi Dennis!) and getting a frosty cold fountain Diet Coke. It’s goddamn delicious and you can have it when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands.
9. Perfect my pizza recipe – Goal accomplished! I just forgot to document it. Pre-made dough, homemade pomodoro sauce, good mozzarella (not the pre-bagged, pre-grated stuff), cherry tomatoes and red onions. It’s really damn good.
10. Make homemade gnocchi just like Fabio’s grandma – Goal accomplished! I said it would end in starchy calamity and tears and it did…but I still did it.
11. Travel to anywhere that isn’t FL, DE or NJ – Goal accomplished! Dear Los Angeles: Let’s be best friends.
12. Dinner and A Movie night with The Godfather – Goal accomplished!
13. Learn how to make pea and potato curry just like Mom – Goal accomplished!
14. See if I can run/walk briskly for 5K without having a lung collapse – Goal accomplished! Just not documented because do you know how hard it is to walk briskly on a treadmill and take a good picture at the same time?
15. Finish the short story I’ve been writing for almost two years now – Goal failed. Primarily because I vacillate between thinking the story is brilliant and thinking it is utter garbage.
16. Start up a book/movie/music exchange program – Goal accomplished! I traded books and music with both McGillis and D — two people who have pretty stellar taste in music, books and movies.
17. Try Morbier cheese – Nope! BUT, I did eat a ridiculous amount of Trader Joe’s Sharp Cheddar with Chocolate. I regret nothing.
18. Make a video for the blog — Goal Accomplished…but it’s not going to see the light of day. Here’s the deal. I made a video (McGillis bet me that I couldn’t eat Vegemite without having an averse reaction. He was right and we filmed this little experiment) BUT it features some wildly inappropriate dialog and a shot of me that I really wish hadn’t been captured on film, so while I made a video for the blog, it will never actually be ON the blog.
19. Revamp the blog – Goal Quasi-Accomplished. It looks marginally better than it used to and I’ve added a series of recurring features (Adventures in Culinary Assembly, Real World/Road Rules Recapstasy, Texting With Paps…) but it’s nowhere near as pretty as I’d like it to be.
20. Take a good collection of photographs of me and Augs – Goal failed. This didn’t happen at all. Primarily because when Augs and I hang out, there’s TV to be watched and burgers to be eaten and dancing to done. I’m usually laughing too hard to think about picking up the camera. BUT I need to get better about this.
21. Make a memory book for Mom and Paps – Goal failed.
22. Organize my closet – Goal accomplished…kinda. I donated clothes and I bought a shoe rack. BUT, I still have no idea how to dress myself as I adhere to the “pants go on bottom, top goes on top” logic. So, anyone who wants to play Cher to my Tai (ha! My Tai. Mai Tai. Get it? Oh, whatever) — step right up.
23. Update my resume: Goal accomplished! Need a writer or an editor? Hire me!
24. Pick a signature gin-based cocktail: Goal accomplished! I was at a restaurant a couple of months ago and asked the server what kind of gin they had. He rattled off the standards and I asked, “No Bluecoat?” The server responded in the negative and I replied, “I’ll have a Diet Coke.” Yes, I am that kind of asshole because life is too short to drink bad gin.
25. Donate old books – Goal accomplished!
26. Pick a charity to support – goal accomplished!
27. Start planning a wedding – Goal accomplished! In that I’ve started a Pinterest board. Actual planning requires actual money and we’re kind of light on that at the moment.
28. Dye my hair blondish again – Goal accomplished!
29. Start watching Glee – Goal accomplished! I watched the first season and am all about Team Santana.