January 10th, 2009


Result of Car Conversation Somewhere In Albany While a Mad Taxi Passenger Shot at Police

25 Things I Want Deeply Enough to Put Them On a List of Things to Do Before I Die, If I Believed in Lists of Things to Do Before I Die, Which I Don't Really, Excluding Travel Because That's Its Own List, Non-Definitive, In No Particular Order:

1. Make a Movie

Probably a silent movie, actually. Something like the films in Pattern Recognition. It can be a short, doesn't have to be elaborate. But it's something I feel I need to do.

Necessary objects not currently owned: video camera, beastly actors.

2. Eat Ortolan

This is extremely fucked up.
But I am moved by it and want to experience it. Yes, it is very cruel to the poor bird. The world is cruel. I cannot explain why this matters to me, but it does. It is food with ritual and meaning. This is important.

Necessary objects not currently owned: 1 finch.

3. Win a Hugo or World Fantasy Award

These are the awards that mean something to me (that I haven't won, the Tiptree and Mythopoeic Awards were huge deals to me emotionally and professionally, and it sounds awful to my ears to say that, or even put these on a list, because it sounds like bragging to mention what I have done and grasping to say I want an award, plus I don't have much control over whether I win anything, but the thing is: almost everything to do with my career that would have gone on a list like this I've either done or am at peace with not having done (except writing a graphic novel). As in, if I died now I would be ok with having written what I have written and published what I have published, though of course I want to do more. But I have a certain level of zen. I want to keep working, more than anything else, just to keep working. As far as professional recognition in my field, these are tops, so they would be a sign that I had some level of respect in my genre, and most importantly, that I had written something really good) and would mark a kind of graduation in my mind from very small to...slightly less small.

(I don't think a Nebula is in the cards for me, like, ever, because of the different way it is judged, so I didn't include it.)

Necessary objects not currently owned: 1 genius book. Possibly 2.

4. Own a horse

I rode when I was younger, my ex husband's family bred appaloosas, and part of my very small internal treasured idea of my life is having enough land for a horse and the riding of it. Of course, I travel all the time, so this is probably quite down the line.

Necessary objects not currently owned: 1 horse. Have stables nearby, even.

5. Have a functional, thriving vegetable/herb garden

We did in Cleveland, but justbeast 's father did most of the work, and I'd like to have a lot more growing than we did there. It was like TOMATO RALLY. I am a taurus girl at heart. I want to cook with my own rosemary and cucumbers and feed my own apples to my horse. Yes, I am in fact, twelve.

Necessary objects not currently owned: none. Will happen this summer.

6. Finish my Master's Degree

I self-flagellate constantly over having dropped out to get married, which is the WORST reason EVER and WHAT THE FUCK, CAT.

But at the same time, full-time writer is the superior outcome. But then, I might not be able to do that too much longer. But then, maybe I need to finish my degree so I can get a decent job. But then, what kind of decent job does an advanced degree in English which is not a doctorate get me? But then, better than temping. But then, can I really afford to take a year of schooling, more for a PhD, before working, if our situation doesn't right itself?

I go around and around. But having something like that undone, for the stupidest of reasons, galls me.

Necessary objects not currently owned: 1 university, 1 year, and a decision.

7. MMF threesome

Hey, I 'm supposed to talk about sex more in this blog, right? If you haven't been able to read between the lines by now and notice that we're kind of kinky, I don't mean to shock you. Guys can talk about MFFs all they like, it's practically vanilla--well, I've done that, and I'll tell you something, it takes a lot of practice to get that circus to run smoothly and well. Probably true of MMFs as well, but I want to anyway. No matter how Chasing Amy tells you it's some kind of crazy degrading shit whereas a guy and two girls is prime time television. I call it hot, and yes, I'm a little defensive because the internet is a judgey place. Will leave at that.

Necessary objects not currently owned: 1 kind and open-minded boy. Have one already, need one more.

8. Translate Antigone

This is the only piece of ancient literature that I feel like I have something to say about that hasn't already been said, something I could bring to a translation that is a little bit new and interesting. I go back and forth on straight translation or adaptation, but for this I'll say translation, because I need to flex my Greek-fu.

Necessary objects not currently owned: a workslate free of other projects.

9. Drive the Mongol Rally

Finish or not, Team Beastie and Cat will someday eat someone else's dust in Kazakhstan.

10. Have a real conversation in Russian

Not asking to be fluent, or have it be a really deep conversation, I just want to be able to understand and make myself understood...which I guess is fluency. But I'm trying to say it can be a simple conversation.

Necessary objects not currently owned: a formal Russian class, or tutor with teaching experience at least.

11. Learn to make super awesome cocktails a la The Velvet Tango Room

Obviously, I could never equal the VTR. But I'd like to learn to make creative and unique things for guests in my house, with some of the from-scratch techniques they use. In general, I want staying at our house to be a fabulous multi-sensory experience.

Necessary objects not currently owned: a whole mess of liquor and willing experiment subjects.

12. Own a Maine Coon

BIG KITTEH. I love them, adore them, have always wanted one, and if the parade of strays I take in and nurse to health ever stops and I actually go somewhere to choose a cat, one ginormous fuzzy bastard will be mine.

Necessary objects not currently owned: 1 kitty, XXL

13. Taste raw milk

I hear it's awesome. I do not want to be a human who has only tasted processed milkstuff.

Necessary objects not currently owned: 1 cow, or 1 human with top secret cow-clearance.

14. Have a secret library and/or sweet basement

These can be the same thing, but must be concealed behind a bookshelf that opens like a door. I don't feel there is any need to explain this. Some combination of the two Hollys basements: blackholly 's totally bitchin lair, and xhollydayx 's fabulous basement with sound studio (which I would make into a ball pit or s00j -bait).

Necessary objects not currently owned: 1 basement. I could do the bookshelf thing pretty easily really, if my basement weren't a scary Indian burial mound with uneven earth, a really low ceiling, and a curse.

15. Taste a Chateau Lafite Rothschild

I know you guys warned me off and I know it's expensive and I will have to contemplate years and things, but after writing the wine story, I'm on a mission.

Necessary objects not currently owned: 1 little old dusty bottle. Or a very generous human.

16. See a whale in the wild

Important to me for personal reasons. Preferably an orca, but will accept any.

Necessary objects not currently owned: 1 whale. Will possibly go whale watching this summer.

17. Cut off my hair

Or at least experience/accomplish something worth cutting off my hair for. It would have to be for something; my hair is vital to me like Samson.

Necessary objects not currently owned: ?

18. Spend time in the summer preserving foods and making jams and liqueurs for winter

Like a proper islander. Part of the attraction of an island was having to really prepare for winter, to live more fully in the world of the seasons.

Necessary objects not currently owned: 1 summer.

19. Have a detached office

Please do not link me to Tumbleweed Tiny Houses. Well do I know. I'm not sure it's the right thing--it bothers me to drop $50k on something meant to encourage minimalist living and plunk it down in the backyard of another house, and with shipping the cost approaches an actual other house. But something set apart and izbushka like. My mother has a converted barn as her office and it's amazing. I wrote Oracles there.

Necessary objects not currently owned: obviously, 1 detached office.

20. Own a really high quality man's suit. And hat.

For the same reason I want a string of pearls: for fetishistic genderqueer brainfuckery.

Necessary objects not currently owned: 1 suit, 1 man to teach me how to buy and wear one.

21. Teach a film class

I'd love to do one at my house, just have people up and show them really amazing films and lecture about them and film theory and then maybe make people take video with their cameras and show them how to edit it together--but I'm not really sure how many people would sit still for Miss Cat's Slightly Unaccredited Film School. Nevertheless, one of the great gifts my father gave me was my film education and I want to share it.

Necessary objects not currently owned: willing experiment subjects (a theme)

22. Live by myself in the woods for a week

Left over from my Californian childhood, this vision questy desire to strap on a backpack and go to the woods to live deliberately. Why a week? Seems like a good, world-creating unit. 

Necessary objects not currently owned: 1 woods, supplies, 1 week

23. Teach at a writer's workshop/start my own

Yes, I would deeply love to teach at Clarion or the like. But more than that, I think, I would like to start my own, here on the island. I have so many ideas about how to make a good one, I'm almost bursting with it. I love to teach, and want very badly to provide for others the workshop experience I never had as a young writer.

Necessary objects not currently owned: participants, money, anyone else to care

24. Have a regularly meeting salon-type thing a la the Algonquin Round Table

This is probably the deepest want of my life. I have wanted it for a long time. I want to be able to meet with a small group of wonderful people I love and admire--not every day, I'd take once a month--for literary/philosophical/passionate conversation and drinks and wittyness and urbane sexual tension. My poor little heart, weaned on Dorothy Parker and Henry Miller, longs for it like a Dickensian orphans longs for porridge--the stuff of life, that will keep you going and keep you warm.

Necessary objects not currently owned: 1 table, a handful of souls

25. Live in Maine

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