Mighty Life List
May 8 2009

My Gang of Street Toughs

My good friend Josh Cagan was guest hosting the prompts on Plinky last week as part of the promotion for his new movie Bandslam. I’m getting to them a little late, but here’s the answer to my favorite one:

OH NO, IT’S A RUMBLE! Quick, put together your ideal gang of street toughs!

When I need to assemble a gang of street toughs, and I need to do it fast, I turn to professionals. As usual, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs has anticipated a market for frenzied, murderous song-and-dance crews, and has conveniently assembled Danity Kane.

These girls have it all — doe eyes, gams that go all the way up, and a volatile helping of latent rage. Plus, they already have matching silver-lamé cutout leotards. So, timesaver.

I know what you’re thinking; the ladies can’t exactly dance. But what they lack in dance talent, they make up for in heart. And the desire to bathe in your arterial blood.

Mar 23 2009

Mighty Life List, Detail

Below you’ll find my answer to my guest prompt today on Plinky. I’ve been honing my Mighty Life list today, crossing a few things off, and making some changes based on the principle of dreaming bigger.

“Know basic French” and “Know basic Mandarin” became “Be conversational in seven languages.”
“Taste Durian” became “Taste 1,000 fruits.”
“Publish a piece of fiction” became “Write a novel.”
“Do something I think I can’t” became “Write a screenplay.”
“Attend my sister’s nursing school graduation” became “Get my health issues in hand,” because my sister has decided she loves her current career too much to tackle a new one.
“Gather together strangers I’ve wanted to meet” became “Organize a retreat.”

What have you been doing with your lists? Give us an update in comments.

My Plinky answer starts here:

I have a life list with a hundred items, which you’ll find in the left sidebar if you’re reading this on Mighty Girl. Here’s a handful of them:

Be conversational in seven languages.
For one, this is just a badass, super-spy thing to do. Nothing is hotter than the pasty redhead who surprises you by speaking Mandarin with the cab driver. (Except maybe the busty blonde who surprises you by speaking Mandarin with the cab driver. We’ll have to settle this with mud wrestling.)

Anyway, when I learned Spanish it changed how I thought. I had less access to irony and sarcasm, a greater tolerance for old-fashioned romance. It’s hard to sound cheesy in Spanish.

Language shapes our perception so fundamentally that we don’t even know it’s happening. Learning a new language teaches you another point of view, one that’s been honed over thousands of years by millions of people. It’s the deepest way to access another culture.

Go on a multi-day biking trip.
Like many writers, I don’t consider myself athletic. I was the kid picked last at kickball, the kid who never played soccer, the kid who died a little on dodgeball days.

So screw that. I never tried, which makes for an automatic fail. Now seems like a good time to put down the book and get off my ass. And I like bikes.

Do a “10 Things You Don’t Know About Women” feature for Esquire
Are they even doing these any more? I just realized that this month’s issue doesn’t have one, and I can’t remember seeing one for the last few months either. Shit.

Give $100 to a violin-playing busker.
Mostly, buskers irritate me. But if I hear a violin when I step off the train, it makes my whole day. I got $100 worth of two-dollar bills at the bank for just this purpose. Now I just need to spend a few days on the subway.

Lemonade on the front porch swing, warm summer night.
I can’t believe I’ve never done this. Friends, that’s no way to go.

Mar 23 2009

Guest Posting on Plinky

Remember when I told you about Plinky? Well, I’m writing this week’s Plinky questions, which makes me feel powerful beyond measure. Well, moderately powerful anyway. Do my bidding!

I’m posting a new question every day this week, so go have a look.

In the meantime, Plinky didn’t have space for one of the prompts I wrote, so I thought we could answer it here:

Hideous, no? Now choose. Show your work in comments.

Mar 3 2009

Going to My Happy Place

This is my version of a genius list Zan did a few days ago, entitled “Things I sometimes imagine against my will.”

-Feeling someone’s breath on my ear, and looking up in the bathroom mirror to see a ghost behind me.

-Being pushed onto the subway tracks by an insane person.

-Dead people sleeping in the basement, until they hear me descending the stairs, whereupon they scuttle to their hiding places.

-A hand shooting out from underneath my parked car (my bed, a low table, the basement crawl space) to grab my ankle.

-The hand grabbing my ankle is attached to a dismembered arm.

-Prison guards pulling Hank from my arms while he yells my name.

-Having one of those surgeries where they think the anesthesia is working, but it isn’t.

-It turns out the robots want to enslave us.

Jan 23 2009

Plinky

Have you heard about Plinky yet? It launched yesterday, and you might want to go grab your preferred user name before it’s gone.

Plinky gives you a new question to answer every day, and lets you friend people and compare answers with them, sort of like you can on Facebook or Twitter. You can favorite other people’s answers, and publish your own answers to your blog (or your Twitter feed), and so forth. If you’re already blogging, it’s a nice way to supplement and to help your readership grow. If you’re not, it’s a less work-intensive way to connect with friends. I’m an advisor to the company, and I’m excited about it, so I’ll be posting my answers to Plinky prompts here in the next few weeks. Go have a look, and let me know what you think.