It’s been nearly three months since I posted my list of (almost) 100 things I want to do this year. I have to say, I nearly forgot about it for a few weeks (it’s been a distracting month) until it hit me that I was doing things on the list without even meaning to. I’d find myself pickling something, sitting by a lake, or hanging out in Georgia and realize that it all felt very familiar. My list! So I’ve come back to it and plan to take it more seriously from now on. Here’s a little recap on my progress. I’m off to a slow start (and I still need to add another 50 items to make this 100!) but some major milestones have been hit. And I have a few other things brewing…
# 5: Go to the Prospect Park lake: Done, but with room for improvement. Joe and I spent a Saturday morning at the lake with bagels and coffee, but it was freezing and even a little rainy. It was still fun, and at least we found the lake (something I hadn’t done in my four years living in Park Slope). We need a sunny replay, though.
# 6: Make something on my sewing machine: I sort of did this. Or, er, I’m on my way to really doing it. Until last week, I hadn’t touched my sewing machine in 2 years. I had the genius idea to sew a projector screen for Slice’s Literary Jeopardy on the 19th. It didn’t quite work out. But in the process, I found that I DO remember how to thread the machine. I even figured out how to fix it during a few snags. I realize this is nothing for most competent crafters, but for me, it’s a serious milestone. I’m still working on sewing straight lines. One thing at a time. #’s 32 and 41 will be dominated soon. I can feel it.
#9: Discover 5 new bands I love: Yes! I’m getting there. While in Athens (see # 16) last month I stumbled on Yo Soybean at the 40 Watt Club. I bought three of their albums on the spot and did not regret it. If you can appreciate jangly twangy bluegrassy rock, please check them out. And I met a fascinating gal earlier this year, whose band Family Band brings me to tears. And dammit, the rock snob in me was embarrassed to admit this for a long time, but I fell in love with Darius Rucker this year. Yes, the former lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish. See? You’re probably laughing. Joe went on a country kick last fall and I laughed at him the whole time. Then he bought home a Darius Rucker album and I shut right up. Yeah, it’s sad bastard country music, but damn, it’s good. And it rocks.
#10: Make my grandfather’s pickled peppers stuff with sardines: It’s funny. I made these, and I’m completely disgusted by them. They’re nothing like my grandfather’s even though I followed all of his instructions. I can’t even look at them. I’ll probably just throw them out. This is sad, considering I was more excited to make these than anything on my cooking to-do list. I realize that most people would be repulsed by just the thought of these, but believe me: when done right, they’re a salt-, hot pepper-, and sardine-lover’s dream.
#16: Go to Athens, Georgia: Check! You’ve already heard about my little REM pilgrimage. I won’t recount my craziness here, but I’ll leave you with this photo, which perfectly illustrates my madness.
#28: Make marzipan Easter lambs with Mom: Done and done. Only, I can’t share the recipe with you here because it’s being published in this month’s issue of BUST magazine! Hooray! But I’ll give you a step-by-step next year. I promise.
# 46: Make pickled garlic: I sort of did this. Only problem is, they turned blue. Yes, blue (see above). Does anyone know what happened?? I’m going to try again once I figure this out.
# 56: Finish my website: Done! I’d still like to make this design a little more fun, but it gets the job done for now. If you want an overview of everything I do when I’m not eating, sleeping, obsessing over bands, or watching Mad Men, check out www.mariagagliano.com. And hey, if you need a writer or editor, call me!