Tuesday, August 12, 2008

41 at 41

As you all know from the big red circles on your calendars, my birthday is coming in less than two weeks.

Last year, year 40, was a big to-do, a huge she-bang. I was very dramatic about it all. It was a 10 meter dive (for all you Olympics enthusiasts) into all the things I hadn't done and all the time I'd wasted. I beat myself to a pulp for not having made more of a mark when half my life had whooshed by already; when I held so much promise as a Golden Child. But this year I hardly feel a thing, a virtual flat line compared to last birthday. What Am I Gonna Do seems to be this year's theme. As in, what am I gonna do about aging? (Can't do a god-damn thing.) More importantly, what am I gonna do as in next? What am I gonna do but just get to getting.

I wrote a list last year (actually not until January) of 40 Things To Do at 40, and proudly I really did do a lot of the list from participating in the LA Marathon to actually reading some books (Yup!), to giving my time (and my food) to causes and Mina's classroom, to getting the back tattoo finished. I have to say that the momentum of action squashed a significant amount of the It's-All-Slipping-Through-My Fingers panic. This momentum has made the pressing click of time more than bearable, but nearly adventurous. Or better yet, not such a big deal.

I didn't do all the things on the list. I didn't bake for a wedding though I did turn down a request to bake for a wedding. Turning down this job was actually a big part of my decision not to bake as a business. Because of this turning point, having this on my list, though unfulfilled, is still significant to me. I didn't sew aprons, or buy a sewing machine, but I did get a simple sewing lesson and I sewed a couple cloth napkins, which filled an eco-sewing hole. It proved to be enough on the sewing tip.

Most glaringly not checked off last year's list was the promise to write fiction 4-5 hours a week. And although I've let another big chunk of time go by without sticking to this commitment -- my most fantasized priority -- it's ok. It's ok because a good portion of this year's list revolves around just that, writing. In fact, it seems that this year's priorities circle around such a narrow scope of interests that I almost didn't write a list. But, please, you know I couldn't help myself. What am I gonna do?

1. Write fiction 4-5 hours a week.*
2. Join a fiction workshop.
3. Not drinking coffee works just fine for me.
4. So does eating a mainly raw diet. I'm sticking to that.
5. Catch a So You Think You Can Dance tour show. (Jea-lous?)
7. Don't make lists in everyday life; just do the damn thing.
8. Go back to Squaw.
9. Work towards getting Prop 2 passed.
10. Go skinny dipping.
11. Work on strength still (physical.)
12. Work on flexibility still.
13. Purge garage.
14. Make own pet food, vegan, maybe raw?
15. Take tennis lessons.
16. Get an ice cream maker.
17. Sew more cloth napkins for holiday presents!
18. Become a more proficient raw food chef.
19. Have the whole family take the train to visit Grandma Carmen.*
20. Complete a long-distance bike ride, a 50 miler.
21. Go camping!
22. Take girls to Griffith Observatory.*
23. Give the bedroom a makeover.
24. Submit two stories for publication.*
25. Give up patience this year.**
26. Win the lottery.
27. Make some raw dishes for people at my birthday party aka guinea pigs.
28. Don't give up on composting though it's scaring me to death. Dudes, I don't even know what's going on in that canister right now . . .
29. Ok, maybe one more tattoo . . .for my grandmother.
30. Don't clean up after family as much. Jeez.
31. Stay at the Standfor Inn.
32. Stay thankful for my job.
33. Successfully predict next year's college hoops champion for my own March Madness pool.*
34. Teach Maya how to bake and cook.
35. Teach Mina how to clean!
36. Teach pugs how to pick up their own poop.
37. Go apple picking this fall.
38. Try to grow a potted Meyer lemon tree and Kaffir lime tree on the patio.
39. Meet a blogger friend or three in person.
40. Drive my car less than four thousand miles this year. Bike power!
41. Finish what I start still.

* From last year's list
** Opposite of last year's list


Trasherati said...

Your list rocks. And so does your family, by the way. I love reading about "Mami" experiences - you're a great mom.
I could help with #39 if you find yourself in Virginia : )

Marigoldie said...

I'm digging #39 for sure and will do my best to help out too. Still trying to do a West Coast tour in the fall.

I like the idea of limiting your car miles. That has never occurred to me, even on a weekly basis.

Wait, how can I come see you if I'm limiting my car miles? Dang.

zoey said...

5. Catch a So You Think You Can Dance tour show. (Jea-lous?)

HELLZ YEAH I'M JEALOUS!! I got goosebumps when Joshua won. And how about Mary Murphy cutting a rug during the finale?

madness rivera said...

Yo, do not get me started on Joshua . . .I wanted to sock that kid in his jaw for being so fine. I loved him from day one. And Mary was hot!

Marigoldie, girl, that's why we plan out the miles for year so we can allocate them accordingly. Drive to Cali thus can't drive to the market for 7 weeks, or so.

Thanks Trasherati! Ok, penciling in VA now. Maybe we should just plan a big party somewhere.

greenish gold said...

I love your list too. I need to make one now. Maybe a good thing to sort of start my blog with. I just saw the nice comment you left by the way.

Driving. I'm down to a tank every 3/4 weeks or so. Of course, having an autistic child who refuses to ride in a vehicle helps with that. I'm saving up major miles for a trip to the South in the Fall. I think November. Kentucky and Tennessee.

I turn 41 in October. I'm working on feeling good about it. You're a big part of helping me work on it. So, thanks.

Melinda said...

Already caught a SYTYCD tour show, last year, with shirtless Danny, and I didn't even have a pre-teen to drag me there. Now who's jea-lous?

Kathleen said...

hee..."teach pugs how to pick up their own poop".

jennifer said...

awesome list! i love #26 & #36
i saw these pillows and thought of your pugs!

bazu said...

ooooh, I love birthday lists. and I love your list.

Anonymous said...


check this site out.... maybe you will retract your statement.

madness rivera said...

What's to retract? I said specifically that the statement that Palin presented a list of books to be banned was a false. This list is a standard list of books that extremists want banned. She did, however, pose the question to the librarian if she would consider banning books and then the librarian said no. Which is exactly what your video clip reported. In my opinion, to pose the question is outlandish and extreme. In my opinion, to pressure the librarian to resign because she doesn't support Palin, is outrageous.

zoey said...

Not trying to be incendiary, but you know what? fuck Sarah Palin.

Asking a librarian if she would consider banning books is the first step toward banning books. If the librarian had been cut from the same cloth as Sarah Palin, many of those blacklisted books would never have been read again by the citizens of Wasilla.

So Sarah Palin wasn't allowed free reign to censor library books. Here are a few indisputable facts about the Republican Vice Presidential nominee:

"Palin has been honest about what she doesn't know. When asked last month about the vice presidency, she said, 'I still can't answer that question until someone answers for me: What is it exactly that the VP does every day?' When asked about Iraq, she said, 'I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq.'

She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women's wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves 'abstinence-only' programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers' millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn't spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.

I don't doubt her sincerity. As a lifetime member of the National Rifle Assn., she doesn't just support killing animals from helicopters, she does it herself. She doesn't just talk about increasing the use of fossil fuels but puts a coal-burning power plant in her own small town. She doesn't just echo McCain's pledge to criminalize abortion by overturning Roe vs. Wade, she says that if one of her daughters were impregnated by rape or incest, she should bear the child. She not only opposes reproductive freedom as a human right but implies that it dictates abortion, without saying that it also protects the right to have a child."

-from "Palin: wrong woman, wrong message" by Gloria Steinem, an author, feminist organizer and co-founder of the Women's Media Center. She supported Hillary Clinton and is now supporting Barack Obama.