Sunday, Jan. 29, 2006 - 10:15 p.m.
80 in 557
That's 21 in 445 done.
With 557 days left, it's time for the comprehensive update. My target date is August 9, 2007, which seems pretty close now that it's the next year from this one, but it's still less than halfway there. Having tackled a few of the tougher ones and knowing that I can get to some of the others I wasn't sure about, I'm a little more confident that I can make a significant dent in this list this year. It'll be time for a re-evaluation again sometime this summer. Maybe around August 9, when there's one year left.
1. Visit at least three of the nine states Iíve yet to visit: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Idaho, Alaska.
0-for-9 so far. Could check off one or two sometime this year though. Bryan and I are talking about a road trip to mark the year in which we turn 30.
2. Tour Monticello.
Have made no plans to go to Virginia. It's not a bad trip for a long weekend, so this one isn't took difficult to accomplish either.
3. Pay off my student loans.
Still a few thousand left. Possible. Once I get it close to $1,000, I'm sure I'll just go ahead and write the big check to be rid of it all.
4. Buy a home?
We're re-upping our lease for another 14 months, which will take us to May 2007. We'll start house-hunting shortly after next New Year's.
5. Visit Europe for the first time.
There were discussions about this for this year, but now we're thinking next year.
6. Gaze upon the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
7. Lose 15-20 pounds.
I was one-third of the way there last year, but since the wedding, I haven't really worked out and I'm sure I'm back to square one.
8. Complete a 5 or 10K road race.
Considering the statement for No. 7, I'm not ready for this yet.
9. Write the memoir idea I have, if only for myself.
I hadn't gotten too far on this even before my hard-drive crash in October, so this is one of the things that needs to be revived.
10. Take a time-lapse photograph of the night sky (star trails).
My photography hobby is SO rejuvinated since I got my digital SLR, so this should happen this year.
11. Attend a Space Shuttle launch.
Considering the state of the space program, this one will probably go unfulfilled. Add to it that Casey's grandmother -- our free, local lodging near Kennedy Space Center -- will be moving to Pennsylvania permanently in May and our final visit to Titusville is in February, and it will involve more planning if we decide to go down once they start flying again.
12. Go to a summer baseball game in Wrigley Field when the ivyís grown in.
A plane ticket, a Cubs ticket and a schedule are all that it will take to accomplish this one.
13. Enjoy the sunrise (preferably after an enjoyable night staying up with friends, partying).
I've been up until 4, 5, 10 a.m. a few times since creating this list, but not to the point where I can mark it off.
14. Attend the UCLA-Notre Dame game in South Bend in 2006 with the California girls (as well as the games at UCLA and Penn State in 2007, but those fall outside the 1001 days).
Plans are in motion.
15. Lower my cholesterol. (I have a number, but Iíd rather keep that to myself.)
I plead the fifth.
16. Watch every DVD -- movies, TV season sets, all of them -- we own at least once. Itís starting to get embarrassing.
Slowly slogging through ...
17. Attend a high-profile annual sporting event such as the Kentucky Derby (or the Preakness or Belmont Stakes, I suppose), the Indy 500, the Rose Bowl, the U.S. (Tennis) Open or the World Series.
Had planned to hit the Open last year, but the weather wasn't promising (and then was just fine), so I'm intent on going this August.
18. Hit the trifecta.
I'm going to count this one as done if I get back to the track and play a trifecta. So now I have to get back to the track.
19. Check off three more major league ballparks from my list (eligible: Toronto, Tampa Bay (ugh), Miami, Minnesota, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Kansas City, Anaheim, Oakland, Texas, Milwaukee, San Francisco, San Diego, Colorado and both Washington stadiums (one down, April 14, 2005), if the new one is open by August 5, 2007).
Two down, one to go. Went to Washington twice last season and saw a game in San Francisco on the honeymoon. We're planning on seeing a ballgame in San Diego in April, so that will fulfill this one.
20. Take Casey out on the town in New York and spend the night in a nice hotel.
21. Start a photo blog. Done 2/24/05
I haven't really used it as much as I like, but I've got the blog and a Flickr account (which I love), so I'm doing more with my photos and thoroughly enjoying it.
22. Get a new job.
23. Continue our tradition -- two years of each now -- of hosting Super Bowl parties at our apartment and summer barbecue parties at my parentsí house near the Shore.
Here we go! Pittsburgh's going to the Super Bowl. (This streak is still alive. Even though we technically didn't have a barbecue party at my parents' house last August, we had a bigger party, with all our friends spending the night in the area, at an indoor/outdoor venue last September, so we'll count that.
24. See local Jersey Shore bar band Brian Kirk and the Jirks perform live again.
They play often, so we'll go.
25. Read 33 unread books I currently own (November 2004 to July 2007 is 33 months), particularly the biographies of Joe DiMaggio and Theodore Roosevelt and Ulysses S. Grantís memoirs.
(1. Friday Night Lights finished Dec. 29, 2004. 2. Holidays On Ice finished Jan. 2, 2005. 3. The Best American Travel Writing 2003 finished Feb. 8, 2005. 4. Sweet Land Stories finished sometime in May 2005, but I forgot to mark it down. 5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince finished in personal-record time on July 18, 2005. 6. Keeping the Faith finished November 2005.) I just read too many magazines and spend too much time online (or writing or shooting) -- or on the Xbox -- to read books regularly. I've been on Kerouac's Desolation Angels for months now, since finishing Keeping the Faity.
26. Establish a workout routine and stick with it for one month (with the idea that reaching one month will put me in enough of a routine to continue it beyond that point). Done March 2005.
I was really good about this from February through September last year, but then fell hard off the wagon. I'm getting back on next week, after the Super Bowl. Seriously. Still, I did it, so it counts.
27. Attend a taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Just have t ocall for those free tickets.
28. Attend a performance of A Prairie Home Companion when it comes to New York. Done 12/3/05
The show came last December and we went. Good stuff. Funny and entertaining, as I'd hoped, and I discovered Laura Cantrell as a result.
29. Go on one of those really cheap time-share pitch trips for the really cheap vacation.
The offers keep coming ...
30. Throw or attend a Halloween party -- costumes required.Done 10/29/05.
Casey and I went as pirates -- she a swashbuckling pirate wench, me as a Pittsburgh Pirate -- to TriBeCa Cinemas Halloween party last year. Good time.
31. Go gambling in Atlantic City Ö
32. Ö then take the winnings to Vegas.
Far from it. (The objective here is to go to Vegas, even if I don't do it with A.C. winnings.)
33. Throw or attend a Christmas party.
I'm NOT counting work. We'll wait 'til next year. Or, this year; next Christmas season.
34. Attend a movieís world premiere in New York.
Easier than you might think, but it hasn't been a priority as far as this list goes.
35. Go see a movie I really want to see on its national opening (we used to do this all the time, but now I canít remember the last one I saw the day it opened. Maybe Dogma.) Done 12/9/04, Ocean's Twelve
Man, that was a waste.
36. Make the perfect homemade Chipwich -- homemade cookies, homemade ice cream, though Iíll concede store bought chocolate chips. Done sometime last year, 2005.
Oh, man, and was it ever good!
37. Have a photo shown in an exhibition.
With the aforementioned camera and all, this could be on the offing soon.
38. Have a story I pitched accepted and run in a magazine (even New Jersey Monthly will do) or The New York Times.
I feel like I'm making progress toward getting ready to feeling like I could do this.
39. See a game at all of New Jerseyís eight minor-league ballparks in a span of eight days.
As I've done the past two years, I've consolidated all the schedules to ascertain the feasibility of this and there are at least two weeks in which this is possible this year, so we'll see if I can tackle it.
40. Change the oil in my car myself. Even if itís with Daveís help.
Later this year, for sure.
41. Have my car detailed, at least by Dave.
I'd planned on treating the car to a detailing at 100,000 miles, but I hit that mark in November and detailing the car before the winter is just idiotic. So it'll be a springtime treat.
42. Have the scratches on the rear bumper eliminated. Done 1/12/05
That was satisfying.
43. Buy a new car.
I don't know that I'm going to do this one.
44. Sell stuff on eBay. That would be something. Anything. Iíve bought, Iíve sold on Half.com, but I havenít used eBay as Iíve envisioned myself doing. Done 2/21/05. I sold the extra zoom lens for my SLR camera and I even got two people to buy old plastic souvenir cups I had that featured NBA Olympic players (from McDonald's) and the Mets (one McDonald's, one from Shea Stadium).
45. Eat at Serendipity 3.
I should just count the Spotted Pig, but I won't. Yet.
46. Watch the New York City Marathon live, preferably from Central Park.
Thought about it last year ... then didn't go.
47. Rent a convertible for a week, even if itís just at home. Done 9/25/05-10/2/05.
We had a ragtop all week in California during the honeymoon and it was wonderful.
48. Get myself a real tan (I havenít gotten out enough in recent summers).
Didn't hit the pool at our complex as often as I should've last year.
49. Continue the tradition: attend baseballís opening day, either at Shea Stadium or (the possibility next year) Washington.
So far, so good.
50. Get the Stuckey Bowl neon ďKĒ lighted.
Just need to find an electrician.
51. Frame the rolled up prints that remain to be framed. Done 1/17/06.
I'm saying done because, after framing three more this month, we've pretty much covered our available wall space, so I don't know that there is room to do many of the remaining prints. I'm sure we will, but for now, this is good.
52. Explore the cemetery next to our building and research the history of some of the names. Done summer 2005.
We basically did this when we brought some cut up apples down for the groundhogs, Casey's de facto pets. It's an old cemetery with some graves going back to the late 1700s, I believe, but there isn't much to research down there. I'm sure I could dig a little more, though not literally.
53. Spot a celebrity in New York City. (Why does everyone see them but me?) Done 12/3/05.
It wasn't just seeing Michael Stipe, it was the fact that I saw him first. What a relief.
54. Take down Paul in the fantasy baseball and football leagues.
He was second this year, and though I didn't beat him myself, some moves I made the night before the last day of the season prevented Paul from taking over first place on the final day. So once I can have a hand in preventing him from grabbing the football title, I'm there.
55. Cover a professional sporting event again. Done 9/10/05.
Some things on the list are stuck in my head and I think of ways to accomplish them; others I accomplish without even realizing it. I'd forgotten that I had put this on the list, but when I covered a Trenton Thunder game last year, I recorded another notch.
56. Go camping.
There's always talk ...
57. Hike more of New Jerseyís 74 miles of the Appalachian Trail. (Iíve done about seven miles so far.)
I should have just stopped at the first two words, since I haven't even done those yet.
58. Make headway on the Kerouac research Iíve dabbled with.
I made minimal progress, but it's still pretty much stalled.
59. Visit every museum on Washingtonís National Mall.
This means lifetime. There are only a few more I need to hit, but I have to get back to D.C. (and not go just for the baseball) to do so.
60. Establish some sort of recycling program at the office. (The paper we throw away is horrifying.)
Still throwing away our resources.
61. Gaze through a telescope at the moon and other planets.
Sometimes I wish we didn't live in the midst of the biggest megalopolis in the country.
62. Take the train somewhere.
Nope, not yet.
63. Fly first class. Again.
64. Others have mentioned it, but itís a good idea: pay the yearly maximum into my IRA.
I should just pay into the dang thing.
65. Spend time in the wilderness with Walker.
I've only spent a little time in civilization with Walker, but seeing him three times last year was a good thing.
66. Set up a train set around the Christmas tree.
I think I just forgot I had the train set last month.
67. Finish -- correctly -- The New York Times crossword puzzle. Any day of the week.
I haven't even attempted it. I could amend this list to say "or a sudoku puzzle," and I'd be just as far along. I wonder if I can do the Times puzzle online if I'm a TimesSelect member?
68. Draw again.
At least I have a pencil in the house.
69. Paint again.
Who was I kidding? I barely painted before.
70. Go sledding.
Oh, this would be fun. Maybe if we actually had some winter around here.
71. Toast Jack Kerouac on his birthday with a drink at the White Horse.
Had a chance last year and didn't do it. D'oh! It's coming up in six weeks though.
72. Meet Bruce Springsteen. Done 1/14/06.
Man, it's just so cool to see it marked off. If I hadn't written it down, I might not believe it myself.
73. Spend a summer day at Coney Island.
We went for a Cyclones game last August and wandered around a bit after, but that wasn't a "day," as I've designated. I'll count it when we go, walk around before the game and grab a hot dog afterwards.
74. Attend every game of the Big East menís basketball tournament. Done 3/12/05.
That was fun and I decided to take a year off from the tourney -- any of it -- this March. Good plan, since it looks like Notre Dame will manage to be one of the four teams that doesn't go -- and do so by losing every game by about two or three points.
75. Go skiing.
76. Re-learn to drive stick.
HA! Well, maybe.
77. Go roller-blading.
I know they're around here somewhere...
78. Visit Alcatraz. Done 9/30/05.
This and the Giants game were my only two firm requests for the honeymoon.
79. Find someone who will play a game of Monopoly with me.
How'd I end up with friends and wife who hate the game?
80. Win a game of Trivial Pursuit solo.
My friends are smart.
81. Hike the trails of the Palisades in New Jersey.
One of these days.
82. Sleep past noon. Done 1/1/06.
What a great way to start off the new year.
83. Drive 100 mph (safely).
Haven't had an opportunity with all the congestion around here.
84. Watch a basketball game from courtside seats.
Notice how vague I was on this one? I'm going to accomplish it by going to a high school game one night. OK, maybe I can work my way down at Fairleigh Dickinson's gym.
85. Go a week without drinking a Coke. Done in early 2005.
OK, I know I did this one last year, but I was having some trouble getting changes to stick on Diaryland. I may have actually read another book back at No. 25 because I remember this problem happening with a few of these items. But I'm sure I did it because I remember having to think of what to drink at least once a day instead.
86. Devise a great April Foolís prank. Done 1/1/05.
I didn't come up with the entire prank, but I contributed a good aspect of it. When a college friend really wanted to get her mother this year (continuing a 10-year tradition they've kept going strong), I suggested alerting the local media to be there for the big zing. The paper showed up with a photographer. Good stuff.
87. Go on a tour of ESPNís studios in Connecticut.
I think of it every time I pass the exit for Bristol on I-84.
88. Watch a game from the recliners at the ESPNZone.
I hardly ever stay in Times Square once I leave Port Authority, so I doubt the likelihood of this one.
89. Take the NBC Studios tour at Rockefeller Center.
Maybe if someone comes in to visit.
90. Go a day without turning on the television. (Baby steps here.)
This could happen. Really!
91. Go a day without turning on the computer.
I know I can do this too. I'd better get it out of the way before (fantasy) baseball season starts.
92. Go a week without turning on the Xbox. Done in December 2004 when I went from a Wednesday to the following Wednesday without turning it on.
Clearly, I did it and then forgot to update the list here.
93. Take advantage of Ben & Jerryís Free Cone Day every April 27th.
I'm ready for April!
94. Last one full week without buying any meals. Completed 1/9/05; no meals bought since dinner on 1/1/05.
That was a good one to accomplish, at least for the budget.
95. Visit Ellis Island.
A great tourist destination so close, yet it hardly enters my mind as an option.
96. Go bodysurfing.
Meaning: Go to the beach.
97. Send all my Christmas cards by December 10th.
I'm not going to count this one even though I could fudge it by saying I did this last year -- because we didn't send any this year, having just written dozens of thank-yous two months before.
98. Reread some American classics, such as The Catcher In The Rye.
As I said in No. 25, I let myself read too many magazines to sit down with a good book. But I'll get this done.
99. Photograph Times Square at night.
Despite what I said earlier (No. 87), this can be done.
100. Learn the official nicknames of all the states.
I should work on this during the accumulated hours of idol time at work.
101. Start a second list on August 10, 2007.
Still got time!
So there we are. 21 down, 80 left to go.
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