If I had any graphic design ability, this post would have been soooo much easier to read.  I, however, do not, so you will have to do the best you can.  I’ve centered and italisized the original post; maybe that will help some.

So here’s the 50 Things Post, dated May 18, 2010.  In my enthusiasm for the spirit of the idea, I may have been a bit overzealous and ambitious.  It is a failing I admit with pride.  Life threw our family a curve of epic proportions in June, and we have been recovering from that ever since.  I had not the inclination or interest in the list for a period of time over the summer.  I’m ready to revisit it now, I think, and I’m still enamored of the project.  Here’s the update:

May 18, 2010.  Exactly 6 months before my 50th birthday.

May 18, 2011.  Exactly 6 months after my 50th birthday.

In order to celebrate managing to stay alive, happy, and healthy to my 50th, I am going to try 50 new things this year.  Some are huge (hike the Great Wall of China).  Some are tiny (drink a lime gimlet).  All are things I have never before done.  And in that same spirit of celebration, my friends and family will be participating with me.

I’ve had a few more suggestions since my last blog, and those will be reflected in the list.  I’ve decided to be a little less OCD, and a little more organic in the list.  I’m not going to preemptively remove anything from the list; there will be more than 50 things.  In my daily life, as I always do, I will seek out new and exciting experiences, and may very well add something to the list spontaneously, maybe even after I’ve done it.  I will attempt to do all, but my primary goal will be to accomplish 50 New Things.

You all have been so enthusiastic and free-spirited about all this; thanks for the suggestions and the WILLINGNESS to do them with me!

1.  Streak through Publix    –   Dora (You are SOOO on the hook for this)

2.  Do a Bob Ross painting   –   Glenda

3.  Drink a lime gimlet   –   Sam M (Next weekend?)

4.  Fire-hoop   –   Glenda

5.   Color my hair pink/blue/something for a race   –   Glenda/Amy

6.  Go to the Superbowl

7.  Scuba-dive Cayman or Honduras or Bahamas   –   Fran

8.  Write a song   –   Beth

9.  Hike a 14-er in Colorado   –   Ben (May get to do this next week)

10.  Write a children’s book   –   Kristen

11.  Be in a live audience for a TV show   –   Kristen

12.  Eat crumb cake at Carlos’ Bakery in NYC   –   Kristen

13.  Horseback riding on the beach   –   Kristen

14.  Go parasailing   –   Kristen

15.  Go bungy-jumping

16.  Big-ass rubber band thingy   –   Mandi

17.  Run 50 miles   –   Vic

18.  Attend Loy Krathong, the sky lantern festival in Thailand   –   Vic

19.  Hike the Great Wall of China   –   Vic

20.  Swim in the largest swimming pool in the world, in Chile   –   Vic

21.  See sea turtles hatch and head for the ocean   –   Vic

22.  Go sky diving   –   Phil

23.  Learn to play pinochle, mah jongg, canasta or gin

24.  Eat gefilte fish with horseradish

25.  Dress like a man and go with a man to a straight bar and a gay bar (They don’t know it yet, but I’m going to do this with Chris and Bryson when they turn 21)

26.  Have a colonoscopy   –   mom

27.  Get a tattoo   –   Amy (Done!)

28.  Go to South Beach, Miami

29.  Attend lighting of candles in Jerusalem

30.  Take ballroom dance lessons  –  Tonya

31.  Meet the President

32.  Do nothing for one day:  no work, no workouts, no computer, no phone, no TV

33.  Go on a photo safari

34.  Visit all the continents

35.  Panhandle on a corner

36.  Ride the TransCanadian Railway

37.  Drink Paddle of Destiny at Mellow Mushroom   –   Susan (what a no-brainer – we can do this on Friday!)

38.  Renew marriage vows   –   Mike

39.  Finish an Ironman  –  me

40.  Climb a redwood tree   –   Amy

41.  Hike the Adirondacks   –   Becky

42.  Learn to swordfight   –   Ted (Tuesday night if I’m not in Colorado)

43.  Drive a race car   –   Ted

44.  Hike the AT   –   Ted

45.  Take a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class   –   Shannon

46.  Kayak the Gauley   –   Sam

47.  Do a road trip   –   Brianna

48.  Swim with dolphins   –   Brianna

49.  Full moon party in Koh phangan, Thailand   –   Lila

50.  Visit Iguazu Falls in Argentina   –   Lila

51.  Go dog sledding in Alaska   –   Lila

52.  Become a licensed minister and marry someone   –   Lila (OK, girlie, I’ve done the become-a-licensed-minister part – just gotta find someone who is disrespectful enough of the institution to allow me to do it!!)

53.  Swim with sharks   –   Lila

54.  Jump off of a waterfall   –   Lila

55.  Watch Dr. Zhivago (how did I miss that?)

56.  Memorize Pi to 50 places

57.  Go see the Formula 1 race in Monaco  –  Brother Eric

58.  Sit through an entire episode of:  O’Reilly/Beck/Colter/Limbaugh  –  Brother Eric

59.  Make Bananas Foster

60.  See the Tour de France in person, not just on Versus at 2:00 in the morning!

61.  Place a $1000 bet on one hand of blackjack  –  Brother Eric

I’d like to add here

#62.  Ride my bike around Cade’s Cove in the moonlight.  Done.

So there it is.  My achievement ratio is disappointingly low.  BUT – remember the disclaimer.  If I don’t get it accomplished this year, it rolls right onto the Life Bucket List.  And the ratio doesn’t take into account things I have done, since May, for the first time that DIDN’T make the list.  Like bat wrangling in England.  And trying to catch a longhorn.  And manually expressing my dogs’ anal glands.  Oh yeah.  Just couldn’t bring myself to blog about that one.

keepin it real

And just to humble myself, this is my getup for cycling in overcast weather.  This is actually what people see when they pass me in their cars.  Scary.

Fave iPod random today:

(and in praise of the Pod – this is my 4-year-old iPod I got when Sam ordered his MAC for college – it was the premium with the purchase – engraved on the back with “World’s Greatest Mom” – love that kid – and it held up the entire 1 hour and 45 minutes of the bike ride!)

the HUGE opening number from Pirates of the Caribbean – great to cycle to!

Trailer for upcoming blogs:  Cleaning out the Closet (I’ll try to find a way to add porn to that post to make it readable), and book review of Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (if I can find a way to slice my wrists and bleed on the keyboard).

Thanks for reading!