November 2, 2011

Annie's Mighty Life List

The Economist and I are attending Camp Mighty next week, which you can read more about here. Below is my Mighty Life list of about 100 things I'd like to do in my lifetime.Currently I only have 95 things, so if you have any brilliant ideas for those last 5, please leave them in the comments. Also, if you're interested in making your own Mighty Life List, Maggie has some great tips for getting started here.

Things to Learn
  • Learn to machine sew
  • Learn to skillfully use the manual settings on my camera
  • Learn to needlepoint
  • Learn to paint with watercolor
  • Learn how to bake my own bread- the kind that is good with hard outer crust and warm soft center. Does not count if said break tastes like glue.
  • Learn to drive stick shift (without crashing and sans tears)
  • Take a calligraphy class
  • Learn to use Photoshop beyond basic editing
  • Learn to make cheese
  • Learn to open champagne with a saber
  • Learn to meditate
  • Learn to crochet granny square
  • Learn to compost
  • Learn to make a graceful exit
Make and Do
  • Meet and be on a first name basis with at least 10 people in my neighborhood
  • Make 10 new DC friends
  • Try 100 different kinds of tea
  • Make 100 new recipes
  • Mail 100 happy surprise packages
  • Take a picture a day for 365 days
  • Try a year without watching television
  • Give a meaningful toast or speech
  • Sew a dress I willing to wear in public
  • Make a quilt
  • Make homemade pasta
  • Design my own font
  • Paint a portrait
  • Cook live lobsters at home
  • Help someone apply and get into college
  • Throw a monthly dinner party for a year
  • Plan a surprise party for someone
  • Host a party where the ceiling and floor are covered in balloons
  • Send someone flowers just because
  • Plant spring bulbs
  • Grow flowers and/or grass in barren front yard
  • Host an outdoor movie night in my backyard
  • Sell something I made myself
  • Frame family pictures
  • Throw an epic 30th birthday bash
  • Write a book
  • Write a piece for the NYT’s Modern Love column
  • Rekindle my pen pal relationship with Sarah
  • Hire a house cleaner for regular cleaning
  • Be a contestant on Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!
  • Teach someone to read
  • Re-upholster my fainting couch
  • Create an annual tradition
  • Stop biting nails
Places and Things to See or Experience
  • Attend an official Inaugural Ball
  • Attend a TED talk
  • Attend 100 lectures or book talks
  • Attend a Seder
  • Attend a Quaker service
  • Attend the Brimfield Flea Market in Massachusetts
  • Attend Kentucky Derby wearing a truly fantastic hat
  • Attend an auction at Christie's or Sotheby's
  • Visit the Museum Of Modern Art (MoMa), Manhattan in New York
  • Visit the  Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
  • Visit J. Paul Getty Center in Los Angeles
  • Visit Fallingwater
  • Visit Niagara Falls
  • Visit New Orleans for Jazz Fest
  • Visit Maine, eat lobsters and visit LL Bean factory
  • See the Newport Mansions in Rhode Island
  • See a play on Broadway
  • See Carsten Höller: Experience at New Museum in NYC and ride the slide
  • See the tulip fields in Holland
  • Ride on a cable car in San Francisco
  • Shop in a Paris Flea Market
  • Shop at Harrods in London
  • Drink high tea in London
  • Kiss under mistletoe
Health things to explore/do
  • Do 10 real push ups
  • Start a regular yoga practice
  • Try acupuncture
  • Figure out if having a baby is possible
  • Figure out if having a baby is a good idea
  • Stop avoiding dentist, get new one
Financial and Career things to explore/do
  • Figure out new career
  • Find and do rewarding work
  • Create a long-term financial plan
  • Have 1-year of expenses in an earmarked savings account
  • Organize important life papers
  • Write a living will
  • Eliminate money as a concern
Things to Own
  • Live in a house with a red door
  • Live in a house with a window seat
  • Live in a house with built-in bookcases
  • Live in a house with a wraparound porch
  • Graduate from training bra, own real bra that’s flattering and fits
  • Own Burberry trench coat
  • Own red lipstick that looks good on me
  • Own Christian Louboutin red-soled shoes
  • Own linen sheets
  • Own a pretty umbrella


  1. Miss Annie, I can teach you to drive a stick shift if you can find the car! I had a stick from ages 16-27. The first was a 1986 Isuzu Trooper with 4-wheel drive and the second was a Saturn.

    And I'll be glad to help you find the perfect red lipstick. I love red lipstick!

    Kisses and love!

  2. This is the best, easiest, most perfect bread recipe there is. You can make a perfect Parisian style boule of crusty, airy, sourdough bread with almost no work at all. Give it a try and let me know how you like it!


    3 cups bread flour

    1 packet ( 1/4 ounce) instant yeast

    1 1/2 teaspoons salt

    Oil as needed. (Spray Olive Oil from Trader Joe's is the easiest)

    1. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy. Cover bowl with a plate or with a larger bowl placed upside down on top. Let dough rest about 4 hours at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

    2. Lightly oil a work surface and place dough on it; fold it over on itself once or twice. Clean your original bowl, oil it, and put the dough back in for about 45 minutes to rise again.

    3. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6-to-8-quart heavy covered pot or dutch oven (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats.

    When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Dump the dough from the oiled bowl directly into the hot pot. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.

    4. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 10 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

    Yield: 1 big loaf. You can easily double this recipe, just make sure that you use a bigger bowl to mix it in and let it rise. You can use the same amount of yeast, just double the flour and salt.

    When you go to do the second rising, split the dough into two equal pieces and put each in its own oiled bowl. Bake one, and then when it is done, plop the second one into the already-hot bread-baking pot.

    This is my slightly edited version of the NYT bread recipes from Mark Bittman.
    See for the original article and for the faster updated version and all the details, plus photos of how it should look at each step.


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