Melissa likes to pretend you care

featuring: mostly things about which probably only I will be excited

Want to compliment my fabulous taste in music and witty remarks? melissanat at gmail dot com

Also terribly important:

my race results

on trying to accomplish 101 things in 2.7 years

I love a good list. I love making plans. I love pursuing accomplishment. (Wow, that’s an awesomely dorky sentence.) So I created this back in the day. 

I hadn’t realized at the time that some people are anti these sort of lists - that they smack of privilege and/or are self-indulgent and/or stifling to spontaneity. They’re probably on to something, but for me the reminder to pursue things in life aside from the day-to-day is super important. It is insanely easy to develop a routine that doesn’t extend much beyond a variation of work-eat-watch TV-sleep, and while I don’t see myself as the type to succumb to the inertia of that pattern, my love of making things happen (and compiling lists) led me to create one.

So, did I do all 101 things? God no. Did I look over this list late in the game and get mad at myself for including items that clearly weren’t a true priority for me, or that basically set myself up for failure because they were destined not to happen? Multiple times. Did I aspire to suddenly fit in as much as humanly possible as the clock ticked down over the past few weeks? Sort of, and then I realized I just didn’t care enough to freak out about finding the time to devote myself to the art of putting (#18) before my deadline just for the sake of being able to check something else off.

Read More

Oy, someone really could have used a remedial vegetable chopping class.
(#83 - check)

Oy, someone really could have used a remedial vegetable chopping class.

(#83 - check)

My mom is the best for many reasons, but today we’re going to talk about her dedication when I make ridiculous statements such as “I want to be Bjork in her swan dress for Halloween.” I like to pretend that I create these projects to keep her off the streets, but as the sole beneficiary of them I can’t front like I’m being altruistic. 
In this case she turned a pile of my (let’s-pretend-they’re-not-a-decade-old) college t-shirts into a beautiful homage to my four years in College Park. 
My contribution to the project was about as minimal as possible while still counting as contributing (doing some calculus to figure out how big the squares needed to be and measuring the shirts, which, lets be real, I only got around to because the power went out while I was taking refuge at her house during Hurricane Irene). Still, I deem that it counts for #28

My mom is the best for many reasons, but today we’re going to talk about her dedication when I make ridiculous statements such as “I want to be Bjork in her swan dress for Halloween.” I like to pretend that I create these projects to keep her off the streets, but as the sole beneficiary of them I can’t front like I’m being altruistic. 

In this case she turned a pile of my (let’s-pretend-they’re-not-a-decade-old) college t-shirts into a beautiful homage to my four years in College Park. 

My contribution to the project was about as minimal as possible while still counting as contributing (doing some calculus to figure out how big the squares needed to be and measuring the shirts, which, lets be real, I only got around to because the power went out while I was taking refuge at her house during Hurricane Irene). Still, I deem that it counts for #28

I’m wearing pearls (and a terrified expression) in there.
#2, check

I’m wearing pearls (and a terrified expression) in there.

#2, check

#23 - get published - check
Shortly after creating this list, one of the roller derby magazines (yes there are more than one - and by that I mean there are two) was seeking stories about the experience of being a new skater (also known as being “fresh meat,” in case joining derby wasn’t sufficiently intimidating on its own). #23’s inclusion on my list peer-pressured me into submitting something hastily thrown together, just eking in by the deadline. It was rushed and not at all my best work, but I was handed probably my best chance at accomplishing that goal so I went for it.
Earlier this year, a year and a half after sending it in (and at least a year after forgetting I had done so) once I had already decided my derby career was over, an editor contacted me to get a photo to accompany the piece. I felt like I was cheating by not telling her that I had since stopped skating, but I had an item to check off my list and had made no other attempts to accomplish this particular one, so I kept that to myself. (I mean, it’s not like retiring invalidated my experience or anything, but because I have weird guilt issues I worry about things like this.)
I’m pretty sure that 95% of my tumblr/Twitter/Facebook status updates are superior in quality and amusement to what actually ended up getting published, but when you’re working on accomplishing 101 tasks of varying intensity, you’re going to take what you can get with some of them.
It’s not The New Yorker but it counts just the same.

#23 - get published - check

Shortly after creating this list, one of the roller derby magazines (yes there are more than one - and by that I mean there are two) was seeking stories about the experience of being a new skater (also known as being “fresh meat,” in case joining derby wasn’t sufficiently intimidating on its own). #23’s inclusion on my list peer-pressured me into submitting something hastily thrown together, just eking in by the deadline. It was rushed and not at all my best work, but I was handed probably my best chance at accomplishing that goal so I went for it.

Earlier this year, a year and a half after sending it in (and at least a year after forgetting I had done so) once I had already decided my derby career was over, an editor contacted me to get a photo to accompany the piece. I felt like I was cheating by not telling her that I had since stopped skating, but I had an item to check off my list and had made no other attempts to accomplish this particular one, so I kept that to myself. (I mean, it’s not like retiring invalidated my experience or anything, but because I have weird guilt issues I worry about things like this.)

I’m pretty sure that 95% of my tumblr/Twitter/Facebook status updates are superior in quality and amusement to what actually ended up getting published, but when you’re working on accomplishing 101 tasks of varying intensity, you’re going to take what you can get with some of them.

It’s not The New Yorker but it counts just the same.

Villa Milagro Vineyards, Finesville, NJ
#31 - go to a vineyard - check, courtesy of Melissa’s bachelorette activities
(Grape crushing was not an option, but the harvest season is upon us so I’m not counting that out.)

Villa Milagro Vineyards, Finesville, NJ

#31 - go to a vineyard - check, courtesy of Melissa’s bachelorette activities

(Grape crushing was not an option, but the harvest season is upon us so I’m not counting that out.)

Surf Camp in Asbury Park

Picking a weekend and making it happen.

No really this time.

I like that there is pre-surfing yoga because it’s adult surf camp and we’re old and creaky and in need of additional stretching before attempting this. 

#35: Attend a Triple Crown Race: check!

#35: Attend a Triple Crown Race: check!