One Hundred Ways to Fail, One Hundred Ways to Succeed

Posted by Whit Barringer , Sunday, October 18, 2009 4:57 PM

A List of One Hundred Things to Do before I Die.

100. Watch all of the Lord of the Rings extended editions in one day.

99. Own Time’s List of 100 Best English-Language Novels 1923 – present.

98. Read Time’s List of 100 Best English-Language Novels 1923 – present.

97. Write a script.

96. Write 100 love letters.

95. Go back to Italy.

94. Wear a beard for ten Halloweens in a row.

93. Write back and forth with an old friend by hand.

92. Own the entire Oxford English Dictionary.

91. Own general histories that cover all eras of all areas of all continents.

90. See a Tyler Perry movie.

89. Watch all of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

88. Play and finish all of the Final Fantasy series console games.

87. Finish a novel.

86. Learn to weld.

85. Drink 250 different beers.

84. Make cheese.

83. Learn to play basic guitar.

82. Take lessons for a martial art.

81. Own all of IMDB’s top 250 movies.

80. Watch all of IMDB’s top 250 movies.

79. Own 1000 books.

78. Fill ten journals with creative outpourings.

77. See four movies in theater in a day.

76. Write 100 poems in thirty days.

75. Write 30 short stories in thirty days.

74. Build a suit of armor.

73. Build a suit of chain mail.

72. Knit an afghan.

71. Read the Bible.

70. Read the Qur’an.

69. Write a book of letters to a future child, whether I have one or not.

68. Learn how to pick a lock.

67. Buy all seasons of The West Wing.

66. Buy all seasons of The Golden Girls.

65. Learn to sketch.

64. Fill an entire sketchbook.

63. Learn a second language to proficiency.

62. Attend five Coheed and Cambria concerts.

61. Attend twenty concerts.

60. Be published in a newspaper or magazine.

59. Learn to whittle and carve.

58. Submit a t-shirt design to

57. Publish under a pseudonym.

56. Play an MMORPG.

55. Have the perfect day as designed by someone else.

54. Take violin lessons.

53. Listen to the entire Beatles discography.

52. Write a song.

51. Design my future home.

50. Write out an argument for a personal philosophy.

49. Teach someone Canasta.

48. Use all seven tiles in one turn in Scrabble.

47. Take a geometry course again.

46. Take a trigonometry course again.

45. Take a pre-calculus/calculus class again.

44. Take a class/beginning courses in Russian.

43. Cut off all of my hair.

42. Grow my hair out longer than ever before.

41. Build a chair.

40. Stay awake for 48 hours.

39. Sleep for 24 hours.

38. Change someone’s mind after a long discussion.

37. Smoke a cigar.

36. Protest.

35. Name a cat Cosmic Creepers.

34. Give a future child a secret that he or she will only share with whoever he or she falls in love with.

33. Have a vinyl collection of over 50 albums.

32. Dig a hole deeper than I am tall by hand.

31. Ride a bicycle as a primary mode of transportation for an extended period of time.

30. Research my grandfather’s family.

29. Submit DNA to the Genographic Project.

28. Have at least one room in my house that is wall to wall bookshelves.

27. Become a pescatarian for a year.

26. Live on bread and water alone for two weeks.

25. Go on a cruise.

24. Go scuba diving.

23. See the Grand Canyon.

22. Make a personal discovery in the depths of a library.

21. Go geocaching.

20. Keep chickens.

19. Take more horse riding lessons.

18. Be debt free for a day.

17. Have one entirely productive day without distraction.

16. Create an original menu for a restaurant, whether or not I have one.

15. Create or invest a business.

14. Give, over the course of my life, $20,000 to charity.

13. Get drunk in a bar.

12. Take part in a documentary.

11. Memorize a poem.

10. Interview my grandmother about our family.

9. Start a fire from “scratch.”

8. Cut down a tree.

7. Plant fifty trees.

6. Go it alone for a week.

5. Pet an elephant.

4. Become an expert on something extremely trivial.

3. Perform a song for someone I love.

2. Make a secret recipe.

1. Win a damn game of checkers.

Anyone else?

The World Kept Turning, Though I Can't Say I Noticed

Posted by Whit Barringer 4:41 AM

So much has happened since the last post, and there's no way to explain it all.  So I'll just cover the main things that have happened.

I finally started grad school. They weren't kidding when they told me it would be hard. Mamas, don't raise your sons and daughters to be grad students.  I spend so much time reading, as I should, but I spend even more time avoiding reading, which I definitely shouldn't.  I've already been to the library here in two months than I did in the entire four years I was at UCA, and I now have a primary place of residence where I actually sleep night after night.  It has been an extremely long time since my head only hit one pillow night after night (though I still switch between my bed at the couch).  This - being locked between the apartment walls, forcing myself to read things I know I'll forget - is what the title references.  There are days that I don't go outside.  And that is very strange.

A lot of things came along with grad school, including a cat named Tonks.  She eats like a goat but looks like an arctic fox from behind and a lab rat from the front.  She doesn't look so much like a lab rat now that she's gotten bigger, but when I first got her at the end of August, she was definitely a little mewing rat.  As much trouble as she's been at times, she's been a comfort to me.  She's in my face every morning, and she purrs on cue when I call her name.  In a world where I wasn't sure what to expect at first, she was the first thing that made me feel like I had an obligation to be here - if it was only to dote on her like she was my only child (which we all know she is).

I'm obsessed with Glee, but I'm even more obsessed with avoiding work, and it's disturbing the limits I can take it to sometimes.  Well, I take that back.  The problems I've had have been more external than me, but this weekend it's been really bad - but even that's been because I'm scared.  I have two term papers of 20 pages or more due at the end of the semester, and one of them is quite literally impossible.  Even worse, I'm the one who let out enough rope to hang myself, no one else.  It's crazy how that's happened twice with the two of the most important papers of my entire academic career - one of them being my Honors thesis.  A professor won't give me a limitation, and then I go and try to write an impossible dissertation that even people with twenty years more training with me wouldn't try because they understand the nuances that make such far-reaching arguments impossible.  In other words, I'm in an inescapable situation, I've got to bullshit my way out of this one, and I don't even know how to begin to cheat my limitations.  My goal is to actually put pen to paper today (read: when I wake up this afternoon), so I'll be sure to report my plan of action, however nuts it may be.

Having an apartment has been interesting, but I don't know what else to say about that other than paying rent's alright, but utilities suck because it feels like gambling until the damn bill actually comes in.  Is there a utilities god?  I need a shrine to him.

I'm planning on starting a Glee series on, so watch out for that.  Otherwise, I'll try to post here more often.  If nothing else, it will certainly give me a constructive outlet, which I need.  Playing video games and watching TV are not constructive, but writing?  Writing is good.

Until next time, fellows.