more and more about more and more
one of the reasons, which i believe i've mentioned previously, that turned me off from the concept of pursuing a phd in literature is that, as it was put to me, such a pursuit meant devoting oneself to "learning more and more about less and less." i objected so vehemently to this idea because i actually want to learn more and more about more and more. learning in the sense of that point that exists between mild curiosity and absolute expertise. you know, working knowledge. practical understanding. savvy. so what is it, exactly, that i'm hoping to learn? well, in my mind, this calls for a list. it is not meant to be a list with a deadline, nor a listing that is limited to, or that i must address, all of the items on it. but just things i want to know about. more and more.
. this includes formal and informal instruction and practice in all kinds of cooking and/or baking, including gourmet cooking, french, italian, asian, healthy, sushi, and cake decorating. also stuff on the level of flavor and preparation, so that when dining out i can say, "ah, it seems the chef has added a bold and inventive bit of fennel to this dish!"
. i know nothing. i'm not even such a big fan of wine, but i wouldn't mind at the very least knowing more, and being able to pick a wine that i'll enjoy in any given circumstance.
. why is it that my mother, my aunt, my grandmother, and so many others in my family can do such wonders with a garden, a hanging basket, a container, and so forth, but i'm utterly clueless? granted, living in a shared apartment with no decent sun exposure limits my immediate ability to really tackle this one, but someday i hope to have a home, and i want one of those elegant-but-wild looking cottage gardens with a path and stalks of varying sizes topped with merrily bobbing heads of this-and-that flowers in purples and pinks and blues and yellows and whites. maybe a patch of tulips, or some roses. herbs and mossy bits, too. meanwhile, can i at least learn the ins and outs of the common houseplant?
4. art and art history
. a little in college does not go a long way. and i'm such a museum nut. more, please.
. formal lessons would be ideal.
6. the playing of an instrument
. never really got to learn piano or guitar. dreams of playing the cello were dashed in grade five. that boyfriend who promised to teach me all the chords on his acoustic guitar dumped my ass back in late 1996 before my little hands could grasp the basic g. my talented cousins put me to regular shame.
. how to take better photos, etc.
8. history, world and american
. so much to remember...also local histories. loved doing things like the "underground tour" in seattle last year.
9. family trees and histories and stories
. all concerned branches.
10. basic car mechanics
. how an engine works. how not to ruin one.
11. the stock market
. what the flying fig do all those tiny little rows of numbers in the newspaper mean?
. i could be so crafty if i had some more know how and better tools. like, i could ogle throw pillows in the pottery barn catalog, and then whip out to the fabric store and buy some cool-ass fabric and make my own goddamned pillows.
13. how to speak italian
. bella, bella! a few months ago i downloaded a how to file from itunes, and managed to string together words enough to say "i want a hotel room and a shower with you" but have since forgotten this gem of wisdom. also, how to speak spanish and japanese. and whatever else.
. who was who. what people believe.
15. building things with wood and hammers and such. also, refinishing things
. years and years ago i inherited this junky old glass-doored jelly cabinet and my parents helped me get started in refinishing it, i.e. stripping it down and staining/painting it. i really liked that, and someday, again when i'm in this mythical real house of mine, i would like to be able to spot a piece of something at a yard sale, flea market, antique shop, or what have you, and know that i could improve it with my own hands. also, mysteries like "how the heck does one build a bookcase" would be nicely solved. (because, like, if one board goes here and the other there, where does the nail go?)
16. ballroom dancing
. so utterly corny. but why not?
17. more literature!
all kinds, from all times, all places, by all people. books, books, books. stories, tales, poems, plays. more, more, more, more...please!
18. the lives of interesting people
. from celebs to brains to scribes to royalty to curious nobodies.
19. computer stuff
. more savvy about macs, software, applications, web design, internetty things like rss feeds and crap that i'm not so sure about.
...and this is just the start!