Mighty Life List
Aug 20 2010

Friday Mixtape

I’ve always wished I knew more about music, and this is part of my Life List project to listen to 1,000 new songs. Right now I’m up to 467, and on Fridays I share some of my new favorites. If you’d like to share some music with me, please send your picks to maggie at mighty girl dot com, and I will listen to them.

These first three songs and/or artists are suggestions from Amber Scott. Thanks, Amber!


“Bag of Hammers” by Thao with the Get Down Stay Down


“I know how you are going to die tonight.” by Chris Bathgate
Sample Lyric: “Lately it seems as though your attitude is an insult
Well I don’t take kindly to that
cuz you’re the dullest tongue yet to slice my back”


“So Sleepy” by Fiona Apple
This song was written by the kids at 826LA, and is part of a benefit album called Chickens in Love.
All songs were written by 826LA students and covered by bands including Fiona Apple, She & Him, The Submarines, Cold War Kids, and more. Buy it.


“God Loves You Micheal Chang” by Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele
(via Josh! A.! Cagan!)
He looks like Elton John, but sounds like Morrisey on Zoloft.


“Modern Man” by Arcade Fire
(via Jacqui Thoman)
A couple weeks ago, I accidentally attended the Arcade Fire after party for their show in Madison Square Garden. I was staying at the Ace Hotel, and I wanted food, and they were having the party in the hotel’s restaurant. So when the doorman turned away for a second, I just went in. Sorry about that, Arcade Fire. Good party.

Still looking for more music? Here you go: Mixtape 1, Mixtape 2, Mixtape 3, Mixtape 4, Mixtape 5, Mixtape 6, Mixtape 7, Mixtape 8, Mixtape 9, Mixtape 10, Mixtape 11, Mixtape 12, Mixtape 13, Mixtape 14, Mixtape 15 , Mixtape 16 , Mixtape 17

Aug 16 2010

Have Family Portraits Taken? Check!

The Masons from maile wilson on Vimeo.

These are the amazing photos Maile Wilson took of our little family. I couldn’t love them more, Maile is crazy talented, and she was working in the face of some serious challenges. My hyperventilation, for example.

Months ago, Maile spotted “have a family portrait taken” on my Mighty Life List, and made an offer. Maile had her own life list (which she just posted), and she wanted to photograph a family in Chinatown. After a few emails back and forth, we set a date a couple months out.

Then I got overwhelmed and completely forgot about it. This is a thing I do. All the time. I honestly avoid making appointments because I have to set 15 different alarms on my various electronic devices, and then the photo padding in my bag muffles them all, and then I unzip my bag (invariably in a church or library) and it sounds like a four alarm fire response team, but actually I was just supposed to meet a neighbor for yoga.

The Sunday afternoon the shoot was scheduled, Hank had just gone down for a nap. I changed into sweatpants, pulled my dirty hair into a ponytail, and climbed into bed.

The plan was to read a little PostSecret, maybe some Kottke, but my email happened to be open. At the top was a note from Maile, whom I’d never met, sent three mintues earlier. She didn’t have my number, but she was in Chinatown. I was in a stained tank top.

While my heart made a few desperate attempts to leap out my mouth and flop around on the bedspread, I thought about what to do. Throw my laptop out the window? Throw myself out the window? We’re only on the second floor. Perhaps I could trump up the injuries to an excuse-worthy level.

Instead, I sent Maile my number and sat very still.

When Bryan and I got engaged, I had to purchase a $20 white dress on eBay because I’d had weeks of dreams about waking on our wedding day with nothing white to wear. These were sequels to my “nothing to wear” dreams for prom, graduation, job interviews, friends’ weddings, trips to the DMV. In these dreams, I’m never naked, just dressed totally inappropriately for the occasion — wearing a straw boater and knee socks to a funeral or whatnot. Having to prepare my entire family for a portrait in 20 minutes or so is literally my recurring nightmare.

Fortunately Maile was very calm in the face of my hysterical apologies. She called to say Chinatown wouldn’t work for a shoot, and asked about a new location. I asked her to take a cab across town, and told her we would meet her. I said all this through the paper bag into which I had been breathing.

Next, I called Bryan who was across town at a bar reading — he was pleased. He told me how much he loves me, and how endearing it is when I interrupt his five minutes of downtime with appointments I’ve made for the whole family without telling him. I nodded and pawed through my closet for a dress I could wear with tights to hide my unshaven legs, plugged in the rollers, and ironed Hank’s shirt while shoving a banana in his mouth. Bryan came home and put on a clean shirt before pausing to make out with me. In the photos, he is wearing two different shoes. I did my makeup in the car.

Here’s Maile’s take on the shoot. Note how she didn’t even mention that I forgot about her? That’s because she is a professional.

Aug 16 2010

Natalie’s Life List: Hotdog from a Cart in NYC

Natalie’s Life List included a visit to a hotdog stand in New York, so we stopped at the one outside Muji. It’s possible we should have been more particular, because the hotdogs were $7 each, and fairly terrible. Still, we felt accomplished.

Aug 13 2010

Friday Mixtape

I’ve always wished I knew more about music, and this is part of my Life List project to listen to 1,000 new songs. Right now I’m up to 441, and on Fridays I share some of my new favorites. If you’d like to share some music with me, please send your picks to maggie at mighty girl dot com, and I will listen to them.

These first three are via Caro J. Thanks, Caro!:


“I Sing I Swim” by Seabear
Icelandic band. Sample lyric, “Wash your face in the lake, you’ve got a diamond under your skin.”


“Quiet” by Non Tiq


“Don’t Save Me” by Marit Larsen
There just aren’t enough upbeat breakup songs.


“Feeling Good” by Nina Simone
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this song, but it’s a favorite and I liked this video. It was a class assignment by professor Gail Anderson, who asked students in the SVA MFA Design program to create a music video using just type and typographic elements in black and white.
(via Jaqui Thoman)


“Cry Me a River” by Julie London

Aug 11 2010

Chocolate and Champagne Wednesday!

This is the Shake Shack version of chocolate and champagne.

Chocolate shake and white wine? Close enough.

Here’s to leaving the hotel without a cardigan, finding new friends through old friends, and fat babies with furry heads.

What are you toasting this week?

Aug 9 2010

Retroactive Friday Mixtape!

I’ve always wished I knew more about music, and this is part of my Life List project to listen to 1,000 new songs. Right now I’m up to 422, and on Fridays I share some of my new favorites. If you’d like to share some music with me, please send your picks to maggie at mighty girl dot com, and I will listen to them.

Sorry for the delay, guys. New York kicked my bum.


“Rhythm of Love” by Plain White T’s
Via Theresa Hannah


“I don’t know” by Lisa Hannigan
Via Theresa Hannah


“There is a Light (but it’s not for everyone)” by Rae Spoon
Via Courtney Walker


“You Turned my Head Around” by Dean & Britta
Via Laura Ingram

Still looking for more music? Here you go: Mixtape 1, Mixtape 2, Mixtape 3, Mixtape 4, Mixtape 5, Mixtape 6, Mixtape 7, Mixtape 8, Mixtape 9, Mixtape 10, Mixtape 11, Mixtape 12, Mixtape 13, Mixtape 14, Mixtape 15

Aug 4 2010

Champagne and Chocolate Wednesday!

Here’s to time changes that work in your favor, cute bell hops, and genuinely happy hour.

What are you toasting today?