“Or Else I’ll Forget” Friday

I’ve been plugging away at the birthday list and am pleased to report I am on target for accomplishing just shy of an eighth of the list before I turn 38. The crux of my “writing to remember or else I’ll forget” practice is the writing and remembering or else part, and so here we are. Welcome to “Or Else I’ll Forget” Fridays, a not-at-all regular series wherein I try to remember what the hell I’m doing with my life.

  1. Take a birthday nap

This did not happen. I also did not sleep in or go to bed early. But I did drink some free wine, and I was party to the brainstorm that dreamed up and executed an award-winning entry into a wine barrel chalk art drawing contest, the grand prize for which was more free wine. And by “party” I mean I was drinking free wine and being like, this is a fun party!

For our entry, the genius-creative brain trust that is my husband, Randy, and best friend, Bernard, married two of Northern California’s most treasured exports: The Grateful Dead and, yes, you guessed it, wine.


The winemaker left the judging up to Joe Q. Public on ye olde social media, and thanks to all y’all decimating the competition, we won without much effort and now we are…hiccup.

So anyway, I’m going to cross my nap off the list because even though I didn’t get exactly what I asked for, I did spend a beautiful day in the rolling green hills of wine country with people I love madly, and I was still home by Moses’ bedtime. Holla!

  1. Write a birthday blog

Like so.

  1. Write a birthday blog for Randy

I kind of did this, although I didn’t get around to sharing it with him or anyone else until June, a month after his birthday, so Happy Father’s Day!

  1. Write a birthday blog for Moses
  2. See every 2016 Oscar-nominated movie
  3. See every 2017 Oscar-nominated movie

We started to make a dent in these two entries by seeing Room, because I guess I didn’t learn my lesson with If I Stay. So I quit these before I ever even got started. Also, I failed to take into account just exactly how many films are nominated each year and exactly how much time of my life I’d rather devote to sleep than trying to figure out WTF is going on in Mad Max. And another thing I failed to clarify is exactly what I meant by “every” “nominated” film, because when I started to think about it, every film that was nominated for anything in any category seems a little excessive for someone who can only find time to shampoo her hair once a week. Maybe I should have said winners in every category? Or perhaps only nominees for Best Picture? Or just the Best Picture winner? (I saw Spotlight in the theater with my Oscar-obsessed boss. No, YOU’RE crying in the theater with your Oscar-obsessed boss because you didn’t learn your lesson with If I Stay.)

In any case, I have now spent more time trying to nail down the specific requirements of a list item I have no intention of completing than I have seeing movies this year. Consequently, I have decided to lean on a little baseball HOF parlance and call these two line items complete*.


All is not lost for my year of film-viewing, though. I saw Bad Moms last weekend and it made me laugh so hard I cry-peed for 101 straight minutes.

  1. Read Anne and Sam Lamott’s Some Assembly Required
  2. Belly flop into the Bay for San Francisco’s Special Olympics Polar Plunge
  3. Take Moses on his first overnight camping trip
  4. Grow tomatoes
  5. Share the bounty
  6. Enroll in TSA pre✓
  7. Master InDesign paragraph styles

I’m a self-taught InDesigner. At best, my skills are rudimentary, but more typically I spend hours Googling “squiggly line thingy” and then trying to decipher WhyTF Adobe calls a line a path when anyone can see plain as day that path is a line.

It's A Line, Dammit

But mastering styles took 12 seconds and now that I know how easy it is, I’m embarrassed it warranted an entire entry into my birthday list. Thirty-seven is a small enough number that each entry was precious (pretending 37 is minuscule is me consoling myself about being old AF, FYI), so this one was a waste. On the other hand, since I am now an expert at styles and have freed up all the hours I would have spent scrutinizing every frame’s accuracy had I not acquired this skill, I have a bunch more time for sleeping and wine drinking. I am #blessed, as they say.

  1. Wear every pair of shoes I own, at least once each
  2. Learn to cut hair
  3. Give Moses his first haircut (*sniff*)
  4. Use my passport
  5. Try not to Pinterest Fail this awesome DIY guitar
  6. Mail a handwritten thank-you letter to my mother
  7. Take a kid-free vacation with my husband
  8. Perfect my surf pop-up
  9. Document more with DSLR, less with iPhone
  10. Introduce Moses to Jimmy Carter

Unfortunately, Moses’ dance card has been full most of the year, so we will have to postpone this great meeting of the minds to next year. Until then I’ll be working on my art directing.

PC_JBN and Moses and Randy
  1. Buy myself a really nice bag, the bag to end all bags, that can also be used as a diaper bag ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  2. Recycle a long-forgotten board book into a book of family faces
  3. Get a tattoo
  4. Make a perfect hollandaise sauce
  5. Take Moses to our polling station to vote for our next president
  6. Talk the nice old lady into two “I voted” stickers
  7. Design and bind the book of Moses’ birth story
  8. Beseech Randy to gift me a KitchenAid Stand Mixer for our new house
  9. Learn to make biscuits
  10. Buy fresh fish and then try real hard not to ruin it
  11. Finally ride my new skis
  12. See the sun rise on the East Coast
  13. And in the same day, watch it set on the West
  14. Collapse fat, happy and grateful on the eve of a brand new year

Ah dang, I’ve got a lot to do. Here’s to not forgetting.

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