Monday, February 17, 2014

To-Done List

Clinton Inauguration, January 1997
(First Published: 9/2007, Last Updated: 8/2014)One issue with our hectic lives is how much we focus on our everyday to-do lists, feverishly working day in and day out to get things accomplished and forgetting what it actually is we got done. The only time we spend remembering and recording our accomplishments is when it is time to apply to college or write a resume. It is important to have goals to strive for like a 100 things to do before you die list, but it is equally important to reminisce and celebrate everything completed; check off those things on your to-do list and record the unplanned, spontaneous accomplishments. A life to-do list is inspirational; motivating action. A life to-done list is rewarding; a chronicle providing reminders of everything achieved long after the memories become fuzzy and gray. It took months years of talking to friends and family to remember and compile the following list of accomplishments from my first 32 38 years; sad how easily we can forget vacations, concerts, celebrations and life experiences. Hopefully the following “to-done” list (by verb, not date accomplished) will spark inspiration for your to-do list or memories of what you need to record for memoirs:

    Celebrated:
  • Yankees 1998 World Series victory parade in Manhattan
  • Christmas in Sydney and Walt Disney World
  • Independence Day on the Mall in Washington, D.C., in Disney's Magic Kingdom, in New York City and Philadelphia
  • the King's Birthday in Bangkok, Thailand
  • New Year's Eve in Paris, Disney World, Sydney, DC, Minneapolis and New York City
  • the Statue of Liberty’s Centennial
  • Breaking the Snuggie Guinness World Record in Anaheim, California

    Cooked:
  • Dad’s Tomato Sauce and Beef Stew
  • Mom’s Stuffing
  • Magnolia Bakery Cheesecake
  • James Beard's "Chicken with 40 Cloves"
  • in Iron Chef competitions as "Iron Chef Finnish"

    Danced:
  • the luau at the Old Lahaina Luau
  • at the Waldorf Astoria
  • the Flamenco in Madrid
  • on top of the bar at Red Rocks West
  • at the weddings of too many friends and family members to count

    Dined:
  • at Boudro's on San Antonio's Riverwalk
    A memorable meal with a perfect view in Capri, Italy
  • at Emeril's in New Orleans
  • Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois in Vegas
  • at Ghiradelli's in San Francisco
  • at Le Bec-Fin in Philly
  • on Pizza at Geno's East in Chicago
  • on Beignets at CafĂ© DuMonde in New Orleans
  • on Cheesesteaks at Geno's, Jim's and Pat's in Philly
  • on Eli's Chocolate Dipped Cheesecake on a stick at the Taste of Chicago
  • in Lidia’s kitchen at Becco NYC
  • on ice cream while sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (ala In the Line of Fire)
  • Cabana Las Lilas in Buenos Aires, Argentina (although La Brigada was much better)
  • at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival
  • Mario Batali's OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria and Carnevino
  • on a meal made by me at a cooking class
  • on Pizza and Gelato in Italy
  • Mai Tai, Honolulu, Hawaii

    Drank:
  • beer at the Hofbrau House in Munich
  • Frosty drinks at Sloppy Joe's in Key West
  • Mai Tai's at the Princeville Resort Bar in Kauai and the Pink Palace in Honolulu (photo on right)
  • Vodka at The Astoria and Katherine's Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Hurricanes at Pat O'Briens in New Orleans
  • my way around the World Showcase in Epcot Center
  • wine in Sonoma, California; Willamette Valley, Oregon; Missouri River Valley, Missouri; Hunter Valley, Australia; Marlborough, New Zealand; Mendoza, Argentina
  • High Tea at Lady Mendls Tea Salon at New York's Inn at Irving Place
  • a Celebrity Cruise ship out of Champagne with friends
  • Wine in the homes of two Tuscan Vinters in Italy
  • The Beer Trail in Germany

    Experienced:
  • true friendships
  • driving on the wrong side of the road in Ireland, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand
  • delivering the farewell address at the Carle Place High School Class of 1993 Graduation
  • delivering the farewell address to over 5000 attendees at the Mary Washington College Class of 1997
  • a Cuban Cigar (or two)
  • brownies in Amsterdam
  • serving as a Capitol Hill and Gubernatorial intern (before intern became a bad word)
  • serving as Class President in High School and College
  • serving drinks as a bartender
  • living on my own
  • asking a stranger out on a date
  • toilet papering school grounds
  • bonfire and sleeping on the beach
  • eating a meal, seeing a movie and taking an overseas vacation… solo
  • dating a much older man
  • making beautiful music with a violin
  • marching half-naked in a gay pride parade
  • the very chilly David Letterman studio for a show taping
  • flying through the Costa Rican rain forest on a zip line
  • riding a mechanical bull
  • Zion National Park
  • Curling

    Hosted:
  • Thanksgiving dinner for 18 26

    Purchased:
  • a townhome before my 25th birthday
  • a brand-spanking new single family home
  • a pair of earrings (or necklaces, my new passion) on every foreign trip
  • an authentic Coach purse (and so started the obsession)
  • a hot pretzel on Fifth Avenue
  • Christmas decorations at the Christkindlmarkt in Munich
  • lederhosen 

    Read:
  • The Iliad
  • Great Expectations
  • The Scarlet Letter
  • The Pit and the Pendulum
  • A Christmas Carol
  • The Little Prince
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Glass Menagerie
  • more books on the politics of the US, England, Germany, Italy, France, The Former Soviet Union and many other countries then anyone ever should

    Received:
  • my High School Diploma with honors
  • my Bachelors Degree in Political Science
  • a few promotions
  • a big raise (that should remain a to-do as well)
  • an ancient Thai Massage at the Wat Po
  • a lap dance
  • a princess cut engagement ring from a good looking blond (along with the matching wedding band)
  • Mary Washington Commencement, May 1997


    Rescued:
  • 2 people from drowning
  • 2 dogs from choking
  • many lost dogs find their humans
  • a stranger from a bad blind date
  • people through donating blood
Disney World, 1978
    Saw a ball game at:
    Yankee Stadium, September 2001
  • Yankee Stadium in New York (old and new)
  • Legend's Field in Tampa
  • Cooper Stadium in Columbus
  • Metrodome in Minneapolis
  • Wrigley Field in Chicago
  • Fenway Park in Boston
  • Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore
  • Coors Field in Denver
  • Miller Park in Milwaukee
  • Safeco Field in Seattle
  • AT&T Park in San Francisco
  • Rogers Centre (aka Sky Dome) in Toronto
  • Veterans Stadium in Philly (RIP)
  • Shea Stadium in New York (RIP)
  • Angel Stadium in Anaheim
  • Target Field in Minneapolis
  • PNC Park in Pittsburgh
  • Chase Field in Phoenix
  • CitiField in New York
  • Nationals Ballpark in Washington, D.C.
  • MLB All Star Home Run Derby at Target Field in Minneapolis

Took in a show:
  • Billy Joel, Elton John, Prince, Paul McCartney, U2, Madonna, Tina Turner, Edwin McCain, Dave Matthews, Poison, Warrant, B-52s, Sugar Ray, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Bare Naked Ladies, Live, Semisonic, Lenny Kravitz, Melissa Ethridge, Bryan Adams, Lady Gaga, and Motley Crue… in concert
  • Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker from the front row in Broadway's "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" (and Matthew's fly was down half the performance)
  • Matthew Broderick on Broadway in "Night Must Fall" (Front row: "I was christened in the spattle of Matthew Broderick)
  • Nathan Lane in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"
  • Donny Osmond in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
  • "Beauty and the Beast" at the Kennedy Center
  • "Shear Madness" at the Kennedy Center
  • Carol Channing in Hello Dolly at the Kennedy Center
  • Original Cast Rent on Broadway from the front row
  • Oliver on London's West End
  • Avenue Q in Minneapolis and London
  • Sebastian Bach as Riff Raff in "The Rocky Horror Show" on Broadway
  • Cirque Du Solei's O and Zumanity
  • a ballet and a show at The Sydney Opera House
  • Alton Brown Live
    Survived
  • being rear ended at a high speed
  • my car rolling into a ditch
  • being hit by a 40MPH car as a pedestrian
  • falling out of a moving car when I was 4 1/2
  • being dropped on my head as an infant (darn cousins!)
  • learning to drive on a stick shift
  • a broken heart
  • getting 2 puppies through potty training
  • picking up and moving half way across the country
  • Mary Washington's Politics of the Soviet Successor States
  • a rave in Pamplona, Spain
  • my 10 year High School and College reunions
  • my 15 year College reunion
  • my 20 year High School reunion
  • NYC Flying Trapeze School
  • sinking a jeep on a Mexican beach
  • hitchhiking in Mexico
  • Costa Rica Zip Line Tour
  • blind dates
  • Alcatraz
  • being laid off
  • The Tough Mudder

    Swam:
  • Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans
  • the University of Mary Washington fountain
  • in the Caribbean on horseback
  • under a waterfall
  • on a deserted beach on Ko Phi Phi, Thailand

    Traveled:
  • in a European Sleeper Car
  • on the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls
  • Kauai’s Waimea Canyon by Helicopter
  • to the floor of the Grand Canyon by helicopter
  • Australia’s Great Ocean Road to see the Twelve Apostles
  • the Baltic on a cruise ship
  • first class
  • down Abbey Road barefoot
  • by private car through Mendoza wine country in the Andes foothills
  • through the Panama Canal
  • 125 MPH on the Autobahn in the driver's seat
  • Route 66 through the desert in a convertible
  • St. Petersburg, Russia, August 2005

    Visited 34 Foreign Countries:
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Spain
  • France
  • Luxembourg
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • Netherlands
  • Thailand
  • St. Lucia
  • Ireland
  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • Finland
  • Russia (photo to left)
  • Estonia
  • Norway
  • Aruba
  • Bahamas
  • New Zealand
  • St. Martin
  • Puerto Rico
  • Belgium
  • Argentina
  • Honduras
  • Costa Rica
  • Panama
  • Columbia
  • Cayman Islands
  • Italy
  • Vatican City
  • Austria
  • Czech Republic

    Visited 34 US States (and DC):
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

    Visited the top of the:
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Empire State Building
  • Arc d'Triumph
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • CN Tower in Toronto
  • Sky Tower in Auckland
  • Space Needle in Seattle (photo below)
  • Washington Monument
  • John Hancock Building in Chicago
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Jefferson National Expansion Monument (aka, the Gateway Arch)
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral in London
  • St. Peter's Church in Munich
  • Chitzen Itza Pyramid
  • Seattle, Washington, July 2006


    Witnessed:
  • the Northern Lights from an airplane
  • three Space Shuttle launches (including the first)
  • the Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, Buckingham Palace and Stockholm's Royal Palace
  • a Volcano Eruption
  • Cal Ripken not play a ballgame on September 20, 1998, ending his consecutive games streak
  • the sun rise and set over both the Atlantic and the Pacific
  • friends become one of the first Gay couples in Minnesota to marry
  • a total solar eclipse

    Won:
  • the second grade spelling bee
  • a few creative writing awards
  • high school shot put and triple jump medals
  • a jalapeno eating contest
  • an arm wrestling competition
  • wadE’s heart, said yes, and "I do"


11 comments:

Ronald said...

I love this idea. I made a condensed version of my "to-done" list on my 30th birthday. I'll have to work on compiling a more comprehensive list like yours. :)

NeeNee said...

I'll have to do one too. But it will be alot less then yours. Mine will be,

To-Done List:
Matthew (just kidding)

We should do one and share in the family might be funny and informative

Explosive Bombchelle said...

This is most definitely a "live document" that will grow with each friend who reads it and reminds me of things we did and each family member who recalls the really early days... Looking forward to working on everyone's lists :-D

NeeNee said...

For Drank you can say:

Drank in every Country in Epcot

Diane said...

Did you ever complete your photo journals of the state capitals?

drew said...

This was worth the read for the action park memories alone. Everything else was just gravy.

Explosive Bombchelle said...

I considered putting Action Park under the "survived" category; nothing quite beats the thrills of an amusement park responsible for the death of 6 and the injuries to many...

Cornish Gamehen said...

I think another item on your list you may want to consider changing the classification of is "Mom's Stuffing" from "cooked" to either "Survived."

Ali said...

Good lord how long did it take you to make that list? NICE!

Explosive Bombchelle said...

List took about 32 years... and I know yours is longer, you have an extra 11 months on me (oh yeah, and a few years of living overseas).

Explosive Bombchelle said...

Added: High Tea at Lady Mendls Tea Salon at New York's Inn at Irving Place (10/6/2007) and The Central Park Zoo (10/6/2007)

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