A Special Find at Marshalls

My friend Mary and I popped into Marshalls after work tonight. The stars were aligned in such a way that we both found something special.

After a two-year search, Mary found a cute comforter with lovely shades of blue in it. I am happy to report that I found my next birthday list item. For the low, low price of $3.00, I am now a proud owner of a funnel cake kit. Every year I cook or bake something I’ve never cook or baked. This is the year of the funnel cake.

Back at the MSPCA

I went back to the MSPCA today, after having taken time off at the holidays. Every Sunday I spend two hours as a “cat scribe” for the cats on the adoption floor at the MSPCA. I write the bios for the outside of their cages and decorate them. It is so much fun. So many different cat personalities.

Many of the cats today had been “surrendered,” which means the owners brought them in. The MSPCA has them fill out questionnaires about the cats they bring in. So as a cat scribe, I get to know more about the cat from reading these profiles. The “strays” can be tough to write about because I don’t know anything at all about them.

My favorite of today was Crystal, a Maine coon mix. She was beautiful! She enjoyed it when I scratched behind her ears. To me, she had a look on her face like, “what am I doing here?” She was calm, but had a look of resignation about her.

I’m not going to lie, sometimes this job is difficult. Seeing the same cat in a cage week after week makes me sad. I want to take home every kitty with a medical problem, like the three-legged kitten who had a leg amputated…or the cat whose tail had been bitten off. Overall, it’s very satisfying work. I get to spend some time loving up the cats, and also get to write funny little things that will hopefully persuade people to adopt these dear cats.

ANNNNDD, thanks to the MSPCA, I have a second birthday list item. I am going to be walking in the annual Hasty Pudding Parade in Harvard Square. How fun to walk in a parade for the MSPCA, right? Each year, Harvard’s Hasty Pudding theater group honors a male and female actor. The female traditionally rides in a parade through the square. And the male gets “roasted” at an evening event. The parade always takes place during the week, so I have never attended and therefore have no idea what to expect!! Except that it is going to be freezing cold…the parade is January 28.

Otto e Mezzo

“There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life.”  —Federico Fellini

The first item on my birthday list for 2010: See Fellini’s 8 1/2.

I have never seen a Fellini film…and I call myself a film lover?? Well, better late than never, right? I picked 8 1/2 as my first Fellini because I heard that the current film Nine is based on this film. Although I am obsessed with Daniel Day-Lewis, I don’t think I will see Nine, since the reviews aren’t great.

Now I can understand why Fellini is considered to be one of the greatest directors of all time. 8 1/2 was amazing!! It was funny, it was sad, it was moving, it was philosophical…it is a treasure. And I love the reasoning behind the film’s title…


“There is great happiness in not wanting, in not being something, in not going somewhere.”

—J. Krishnamurti

So, about this blog. It has no defined purpose at the moment. I don’t know what it is about, or where it will go. It will most likely start out as a hodge podge of thoughts, and may remain that way! I would like to attempt to chronicle the journey that this year’s “birthday list” takes me on.

For those of you who don’t know about the “birthday list” phenomenon, I shall explain. I was slightly traumatized about turning 30 and being broke, single, and not being on anything remotely resembling a career path. (Ask me how I feel about being in the same situation at 34!!)

So in order to distract myself from the impending doomsday, I decided to do 30 things I had never done…in the 60 days leading up to my date of birth. Quite ambitious, no? Needless to say, subsequent birthdays have not been much easier to handle. Therefore, I have continued on with the birthday list phenomenon. This year, I embark on my sixth birthday list journey.

The 60-day deadline proved to be stressful, so the following year, I changed it to 90 days…and somehow it morphed into a 365-day thing last year. This year, I think I am going to start now, and that will give me four months to complete 35 things. We’ll see how that goes.

Over the years, some “traditions” have formed. Each list includes visiting a place I have never been for my birthday (I’m always careful to leave on the trip BEFORE my actual birthdate, so it’s legit). I try a food or drink I have never tried. I read books and watch movies I have never read or watched. I explore parts of Boston that I have never stumbled upon. Sometimes I do cheat, and if I randomly happen to do something really cool, it goes on the list!

This annual undertaking has been quite effective in distracting me from thinking about my aging process, and I highly recommend the practice.