Mighty Life List
May 22 2012

Lifelist: Taste 1,000 Fruits, No. 100!

Hawaiian Fruit Stand

Thanks to the Kahuku Land Farms Fruit Stand in Hawaii, I’ve officially hit 100 fruits. Milestone! Bam.

I told Mike, our trip lead, how close I was to being centufruitarian, and he went out of his way to find new fruits to try. Thanks to Mike, and the rest of the Hawaii Five Oh team for being so patient and enthusiastic with my quest.

These are the fruits that pushed us past the 100 mark:

No. 99 Cherry Guava

There’s something about bite-sized fruit that just makes me happier. Snacks!


Cherry guavas are such a pretty color, like a sunset. They’re tangy, and the round seeds have a pleasant pop to them when you crunch down.

No. 100! Chico

When I asked the woman at the market what Chicos tasted like, she said, “brown sugar.” She had a bit of an accent, so I thought I’d misunderstood her.

She was exactly right. They’re soft inside, the dominant flavor is brown sugar, and they even seem to have little crunch granules in the flesh.

It was like eating a baked apple plucked directly from the tree.

No. 101 Apple Bananas
No. 102 Ice Cream Bananas

More tiny snack fruits, hooray! These bananas are about as big as my palm, maybe a third of the size of a banana you’d find at the grocery store, and much, much tastier.

The ice cream banana is light and creamy, apt! The apple banana has a pleasant tartness that offsets the sweetness.

Both were fun to eat because you can shove the whole thing in your mouth, and then walk around beating your chest like King Kong. Which I recommend.

No. 103 Mountain Apples

These are a lot like Jamaican Apples, only smaller and tangier.


And this is an Edvard Munch Mountain Apple. Scream all you want, apple.

They’re less dense than a conventional apple, the crunch is more like a really crisp, seedless cucumber. Mmm. Quenchy.

This Friday, we’ll celebrate the century mark with a roundup of my top ten favorite fruits so far. You cannot wait. Fruit nerds, unite!

Jan 30 2012

Taste 1,000 Fruits, No. 97: Mountain Rose Apple

Can’t you almost smell that color?

When I first saw a Mountain Rose Apple, my breath caught. It reminded me of a professor who said that one of the Impressionist painters — I think it was Matisse — brought an apple as a gift when he visited friends. And that’s exactly what these apples are, tokens of affection. The best way to bring something simple and sweet to someone you love.

Taste 1,000 fruits is part of my ongoing Life List project. If you’d like to make a Life List of your own, start with these 10 tips or this exercise.

Jul 29 2010

Sparklers with Hank? Check.

Say! I forgot to tell you that I checked another item off my Mighty Life List.

It was a good day. How are you doing on your lists?

Apr 15 2010

Live My Best Life? Check.

Writing thank you notes to my teachers is one of the goals on my Mighty List, and I’m starting off with a doozy.

A couple weeks ago, Bryan surprised me with a ticket to see a taping of the Oprah Winfrey Show. I’ve been watching Oprah since I was little, and as I’ve mentioned before, it inspires me:

I cannot stop talking about the things I saw on Oprah. As I will myself to shut up, I can hear my mouth charging ahead with enthralling anecdotes about the Olsen twins’ business philosophies (shut up!), extending your passion to the world (shut! up!), and S-shaped bowel movements (ohmydeargod, shut up!). It’s gotten so bad that I decided I had to stop mentioning Oprah’s name in conversation. So now I say, “I saw this thing on… TV about how your poop is supposed to be S-shaped?” And all the women around me nod knowingly.

You’re nodding right now, aren’t you? Yeah. That’s why you’re on my team.

I signed a contract saying I wouldn’t blog about behind-the-scenes stuff, so I thought I’d tell you how much it meant to be at the Harpo Studios.

Meeting Oprah is on my Mighty List, so when I found out I’d get to see a show taping, it was an oddly emotional week. On the plane ride, I kept tearing up thinking of how much I’ve been influenced by the show, and then pretending to be asleep so the flight attendant wouldn’t see my eyes misting “Oh, no no! It’s nothing. I’m just thinking about… TV.”

I knew I wouldn’t get to meet Oprah this time around, but I figured it would be enough to sit in the audience and radiate gratitude. And you know what? It was.

The crew was taping three shows that day, and I’m sure Oprah was up at 4 a.m. to work out, do some reading, then hair and makeup, then tend to the tedium of world domination. Seeing her at work, I realized I never, ever want to be yet another thing on her to-do list. What I want is to bring her a glass of wine. Bryan used to work in politics, and he said he feels the same way about getting photos with presidents. You see how hard they’re working for the things you believe in, and you just want to do something to ease their lives, instead of inserting yourself in their paths.

Sitting in that studio, I realized that I don’t need to meet Oprah. What I need to do is thank her. So here it is, my very first thank you note to a teacher:

Dear Oprah,

Your message shielded me through a difficult childhood, and your example shaped the woman I’ve become. Through the years, you have been my Mary Tyler Moore, my Maya Angelou, my Mrs. Duncan. I am profoundly grateful for everything you have done for me; for every one of us.

Because of you I have known better, I have done better, I have thrived.

With thanks,
Maggie Mason

Jul 1 2009

Redesign Mighty Girl? Check.

So we’re already crossing off my first Mighty Life List item courtesy of Intel*:

Redesign Mighty Girl!

I tried to find a little trumpet sound to link here, but to no avail. So we’ll just have to use our imaginations. Ready? TA-DA-DA-TAAAAAAAAAAA!

Good work everyone.

The new design makes me seem so serene, doesn’t it? Peek behind the curtain and you’ll find me eating potato chips for dinner at 2 a.m., having left the shower without rinsing conditioner out of my hair. This morning, my pillowcase looked like I’d used it to line a platter of fried chicken.

I think the site is channeling some of Helen Jane’s even keel-ed-ness. I knew we’d have to do everything ludicrously fast, so I wanted to work with someone soothing. When I first asked her, she was a little leery.

She thought the process might be unpleasant.

But she does like designing things.

And then she realized what she could charge for a four-week turnaround.

Thanks to Intel, I could actually afford to pay her. She was worth every penny.

Thanks, lady!

Anyway, if you haven’t yet, please poke around and let me know what you think. The categories may seem hinky, because I haven’t had a chance to comb through all ten years of content yet. For now, I’m thinking of the site as a home that gives me room to grow.

As for the other life-list items I’ll be crossing off, you’ll know more in the next few days, but I want to keep some of them a surprise. Also, lots of you have been asking how I chose. The answer is, Intel offered me a timeframe and a budget, and that helped me shape a plan. It’s a mixture of grand things and small, happy things.

I want to do everything, but I also need enough time to savor it. The process has already taught me a lot, but we’ll talk about that later. For now, enjoy the new site while I nap. Thank you for all the incredible comments. You’re all right.

*What’s going on here? Intel is making my site more interesting by sponsoring my life list over the next few months. Next week, I’m going on a Space Shuttle with the Rockettes!

Jun 29 2009

Turns Out My Fairy Godmother Wears a Clean-Suit


Attend San Francisco’s Black and White Ball.

As many of you know, about a year ago I started writing down 100 things I’d like to do before I die — peacefully, in my sleep, of extreme old age. I called it my Mighty Life List, and I wrote it because I wanted to start dreaming bigger.


Taste 1,000 Fruits.

I was embarrassed by the list’s audacity, worried some of you might think I was cheesy, or maybe overreaching if I told you my plans. That’s silly, of course, because I’ve noticed over the years that you guys are nice. You make it lovely to write here every day, and doing that has helped me realize I want to spend more time celebrating, and less time slogging.


Cross the Canadian Border.

I made the list, changed things here and there, gradually started crossing things off, and then my life took a turn for the surreal.


Make 1,000 lovely things.

Intel has decided to sponsor my life list.

I told you your jaw would hit the floor. I’ve known for months, and my brain is still catching up. So! How did this happen? I’ll tell you the full story in a couple of days, but here’s the gyst.

Intel started this Sponsors of Tomorrow campaign, it’s the one you’ve seen on The Tonight Show, and the one with the geek rockstar ads that have been making rounds online. As part of the campaign, they asked me to choose ten things I thought I could accomplish in the next three months, and then told me to go do them — they’d pick up the check.

Cut to me at the Oscar podium dipping Halle Barry and kissing her full on the mouth.

And so, Mighty Girl is about to get more interesting, and slightly more frantic. My designer friend Helen Jane Hearn came out of blog-design retirement to help me with a beloved new look for Mighty Girl, which will launch Wednesday. I will not be sleeping between now and then.

Next week, I leave for Puerto Rico to swim with bioluminescent plankton. In between I’m taking tap lessons with John Kloss, Founder of Stepology and patron saint of patience.

I need a nap, but I couldn’t be happier. I’m the stupid kind of happy, the let-the-toddler-eat-an-entire-bar-of-chocolate kind of happy. And here’s what’s happening in my head:

In my head all of you are with me in some ludicrous warehouse space, screaming, jumping up and down, blowing celebratory horns, and ducking champagne corks. This Very Good Thing that’s happening, it’s happening because of you. So thank you.

Cheers.