If wishes were horses, we’d all be eating steak.

Happy New Year, kids. I hope you all had a fantastic celebration and have recovered from your hangovers. Or moved on to new and exciting hangovers, perhaps, depending on your time zone. I’m really glad our planet got flung around its star yet again. That’s always an encouraging metaphor, isn’t it? I think so. But it’s also interesting to me how folks use this as a sort of reset button. Like the flipping of a calendar page is going to somehow help you get your shit together. With magic. Or something. Our little monkey quirks are just adorable.

As you may recall, I am firmly against making New Year’s resolutions. They’re just a novel way for me to set myself up for failure. And the road to self-loathing is paved with good intentions, after all. But I saw this a while back and it seemed a worthy substitute and a worthy project.

Coming up with one hundred things I want to do/see/have eventually seems, paradoxically, much more attainable than coming up with just one. Because it’s less psychologically stressful, maybe? If I can’t do one of them, I just move on to another, rather than having only one criterion by which to judge myself. Feels healthier, I guess, to have options. And I know for a fact that Adam Savage has attained several of the things on his list and that gives me hope. Thanks, Adam Savage.

So, in that spirit, and with the hope that maybe I can give you guys some hope as well, I give you my version of one hundred wishes. And pardon my wanting so many material things and playdates with famous people. I can’t help myself, really. And, looking back over this list, I realize that a shocking number of these are about food. That’s somewhat telling. Anyway, in no particular order:

1 – I want my own book/vinyl store. But you know that story.

2 – I want to tear down and rebuild a 1971 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia. If possible, I’d like to paint it TARDIS blue and put “Idris” on the tags, just to see who gets the joke.

3 – I want to write a horror movie script based on The Eagles’ song “Hotel California.” Think about it. Weird hotels in the desert are fucking terrifying.

4 – I want to go to Greece with my sisters. We made an agreement to do this years ago, but I’d like to set it all up and then surprise them with it (get your passports ready, ladies).

5 – I want to take a trip around the mountains where I grew up just to take photographs of all the beautifully dilapidated buildings, and then write stories based on the photos.

6 – I want to walk along the entire Gulf coast and find the very best backroad barbeque shack.

7 – Once upon a time, I had The Greatest Sandwich Ever Made at a deli in Brooklyn. I’d like to be able to accurately recreate that sandwich.

8 – I want a pack of English Mastiffs, who would be very sweet and would never hurt anyone for real, but who would fall into a phalanx and growl and snarl on command.

9 – I want to write a book about the simultaneous downfalls of the American mental health care system and the traveling freakshow. These things are connected and I find it endlessly fascinating. (More on this coming soon, actually, because I just finished watching season two of American Horror Story.)

10 – I’d like to own my own plane. Ideally I’d like to be able to fly it myself, but honestly I just don’t want to have to travel commercial anymore.

11 – I want to send The Husband to a Buddhist monastery for a year in Japan. As soon as it’s not radioactive anymore, of course.

12 – I want my own library. I’ve got blueprints and everything. And it must have a big red velvet sofa next to a big window for reading naps.

13 – I’d like to be able to really play the blues on harmonica.

14 – I want to mainline heroin. Just once. Just so I know.

15 – I’d like to be able to design an entire science fiction curriculum at a well-respected university. And then be in charge of getting the guest lecturers.

16 – I’d like to be the Gordon Ramsay/Roger Ebert/Lester Bangs of stand-up comedy. There aren’t really any high-profile comedy reviewers. They’re usually theater or television reviewers or just assholes with spare time. Someone should be the definitive voice of comedy. It’s an important art form.

17 – I want to write a comic book about the wacky (but lovely!) hippies/homesteaders who choose to live out here in Bigfoot country. I will, of course, make Bigfoot the only normal character. Because I think he might be.

18 – I’d like to hold at least one patent. (Did you know that Bill Nye is the patentholder on a particular type of pointe shoes? Fun fact.)

19 – I want to publish a book of my dad’s art and poetry.

20 – I’d like to spend an afternoon with Stephen King. Just hang out and drink a beer with the guy (or whatever the former alcoholic version of a chill activity is).

21 – I want to write the Gen X/Millennial version of “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” Because I’m sick of people saying our generation hasn’t done anything.

22 – Provided I don’t die suddenly and unexpectedly, I’d like to throw and attend my own funeral.

23 – I want to learn to knit.

24 – I want to have someone make Kvothe’s lute, then get a filk band to deliver it, singing, to Patrick Rothfuss’s house. And film it.

25 – I want to play Scrabble with Will Shortz. For my brain’s sake.

26 – I want to play Twister with Tim Minchin. Definitely not for my brain’s sake.

27 – I’d like to write at least one character who’s cool enough that Joss Whedon would put him/her in a movie.

28 – I want to teach high school kids how to write properly and help them with their college entrance essays. Which is not to say that I want to be a high school teacher, but it’d be a fun and helpful hobby.

29 – I’d like to learn how to cook Asian food.

30 – I want to eat at the Arena diner.

31 – I’d like to spend a year living in London.

32 – I want a really nice bespoke suit like the tenth Doctor’s. The brown one, not the blue one. I look surprisingly good in a suit.

33 – I want to produce a documentary for my buddy who’s a filmmaker.

34 – I want a room with nothing in it but typewriters. Which I guess means I have to have a desk. That’s probably okay.

35 – I want to get my eyes fixed so I can go swimming without wearing my glasses.

36 – I’d like to buy Wil Wheaton a beer he’s never had and for him to really enjoy it.

37 – I want to learn the history of bookbinding and printing so I could look at an old book and know all about its life.

38 – I’d like my mom to teach me one of the dances she’s choreographed (she’s a hula dancer, on top of all the other badass things she knows how to do).

39 – I’d like to start a fund for arty people to take a year off from their lives and have enough money to pursue their art. Like the MacArthur grant, but not necessarily so difficult to get.

40 – I want to read every book that’s ever won the Pulitzer.

41 – I want to have dinner with Mark Danielewski and ask him all my unanswered questions about House of Leaves.

42 – I’d like to be able to recite from memory some long and impressive piece of obscure poetry. Perhaps Vogon. (See what I did there?)

43 – I want to learn at least enough Chinese to understand what they’re cussing about on Firefly.

44 – I want to not be afraid of driving in the snow anymore.

45 – I want some of those weird, bobbleheaded goldfish. And I’m going to name them all after scientists.

46 – I want to give Jenny Lawson a hug, and have neither of us have a social anxiety freakout about it. We may need wine.

47 – I want to be as good a shot with a handgun as I am with a rifle.

48 – I want an avocado tree.

49 – I’d like to live somewhere where I could ride my bike everywhere I need to go.

50 – I’d like to learn how to fix old clocks and watches. They’re so pretty.

(Wow, we’re only halfway there. This is way harder than I thought it would be. You guys hanging in there?)

51 – For years, my aunt and I have written each other letters. I want to collect all of these and put them in order so we can both read the conversations back and forth.

52 – I’d like to learn to count cards. Yes, I am aware that this is frowned upon.

53 – I’d like to be a bartender, for a while. Or own a bar and just hang out there all the time. I love bars.

54 – I want to learn to pick locks. Not for nefarious reasons, just because it’s really handy.

55 – I want a phrenology skull. Not a model of a head, but an actual skull with all the markings on it. I know that this is not how phrenology works.

56 – I want companies that make women’s work boots to stop putting soles with no tread on them. What is this fuckery?

57 – I want to be able to swoop up all my friends and deliver them to an awesome place where we can hang out together for a week, but I want it to be a total surprise. (Clearly I have a fondness for secret but fun machinations.)

58 – I’d like to start a literacy program in my hometown. The schools there are a sad joke.

59 – I want a theme song.

60 – I want to hang out backstage at w00tstock. And be welcomed.

61 – I’d like to memorize the titles of all the episodes of all the incarnations of Star Trek.

62 – I want to learn CPR and the Heimlich. And how to put in stitches.

63 – I’d like to grow some crazy exotic flowers that are really hard to grow. Because I can’t even keep normal houseplants alive. It’s pitiful.

64 – I’d like to finish my tattoo. The one that’s made of panels of scenes from my favorite books.

65 – I want a big, framed print of the Tsar Bomb explosion. I know it’s fucked up, but I think mushroom clouds are really pretty.

66 – I want to run a house completely off the grid (except for the interwebs, because that’s not possible quite yet – give it a few years, kids, the singularity is coming). This does not mean that I want to live like a yeti in the middle of nowhere.

67 – I want the green jacket to finish my Daria costume. I’ve been looking for one for years.

68 – I’d like a treehouse. Not a kid’s one. One for me. Because I never had one. Oddly, I’m uncomfortable with heights but still always wanted a treehouse.

69 – I want to know some self-defense stuff. More specifically, I’d like to know a couple of moves that not only work every time but also look super ninja and scary. Like a high kick to the nose or some sort of kneecap snapper.

70 – I’d like Hollywood to make at least one awesome action movie that obeys the laws of physics (realistic explosions, people getting shot through the cars they’re ducking behind, etc).

71 – I wish I could control my face better during conversations.

72 – I want a screened-in porch. Deep in our hearts, all Southern people are happier on a screened-in porch.

73 – I’d like to throw at least one proper, fantastic masquerade ball.

74 – I’d like to smoke a joint with someone who I’d never expect to be good at smoking joints. Like Neil Gaiman or Alex Trebek or Michelle Obama.

75 – I want to teach a cat to play fetch.

76 – I want season tickets to Bruins games. And, of course, the ability to go to them.

77 – I’d like to know how to sail a boat. I hate boats, but it seems like it would be a useful skill.

78 – I want Brian Cox to teach me about physics. Because he’s British and adorable and I don’t do math.

79 – I’d like to make my comic collection truly respectable.

80 – I want, when I build a house, to have a panic room. Not a bunker, just a super secure room inside the house. Come on, I’m not crazy.

81 – I’d like to officiate a wedding and make it through the whole thing without crying.

82 – I’d like to know the names for all the craters and features on the moon.

83 – I want to get my idea for an episode of Doctor Who to Stephen Moffat’s desk. (I’ve solved your “Doctor Who and Sherlock can’t ever do a crossover” problem, Moffat. Call me. Hugs.)

84 – I want to be able to do that yoga thing where you stand on your head.

85 – I’d like to see how they score a movie. Seems like an interesting process, especially for the editors.

86 – I want to co-write a play with someone who understands theater (or theatre, as the case may be) better than I.

87 – I want to go to the jack-o-lantern festival in Providence, and then do a tour of all the New England haunted houses. They know how to do Halloween up there, I’m telling you. Must be that witch trials thing.

88 – I’d like to have a standing game night with all my friends who are geeky enough to tolerate both Settlers of Catan and Catchphrase.

89 – I want a piano. A pretty one.

90 – I want to never have to go another winter without heat.

(Only ten spots left. Let’s do some ethereal, unattainable shit.)

91 – I wish some crazy, cosmic, non-catastrophic thing would happen that would unite all the religions so we could stop fucking slaughtering each other over bullshit.

92 – I wish I could record my dreams.

93 – I wish teleportation were a safe and non-cost-prohibitive mode of travel.

94 – I wish the aliens would tell us honestly what they think of us (and by “aliens,” I mean space people, not immigrants).

95 – I wish my dogs could tell me whether the things I think they’re saying are accurate.

96 – I wish someone would find the blueprints that tell us what the pyramids were for. I think they’re an engine, but for what?

97 – I wish dragons were real and super friendly. And maybe a little cuddlier.

98 – I wish money hadn’t been invented (that’s my time machine wish, should I ever have access to one).

99 – I wish “normal” weren’t a thing that people killed themselves to achieve. Also “perfect.”

100 – I wish we could all love each other unconditionally.

And there you have it! I think maybe a solid third of these are totally doable. That’s not too shabby, right? As I cross things off the list, I will definitely keep you posted. What do you think? Did I miss anything?

Meanwhile, happy New Year to you all. May the next year be more awesome than the last. Let’s all try to make it more awesome, shall we? Consciously and purposefully, rather than just waiting for awesome to happen to us. That, too, seems like a worthy goal.

9 thoughts on “If wishes were horses, we’d all be eating steak.

  1. This is bloody brilliant. I want to join you on so many of these adventures. I think I’ll write my own list now, it’s a good thought exercise. Also, I can help you out with making at least a few of the 100 come true….

  2. I totally think you’re awesome. And that’s only scanning the list quickly.

  3. I loved this. So much.

    3. That song creeps. me. out.
    27. Oh. Yes.
    44. Tell me about it. I’d have a much better relationship with winter weather if travel wasn’t involved.
    48. ME, TOO.
    61. That would be epic. Really ridiculous, but epic.
    68. Ooooh. Yes to that, too.

    But the winner is 24. Hands down. Because I just started grinning. Can I please just be there when that happens? Okay, thanks.

    1. I know, right? You can totally imagine the squee on his face/beard, can’t you? Gives me lots of warm fuzzies.

  4. I just want to be able to get through your list without having to start over every 30 seconds. I will make a point to do that after all the ones are in bed & quiet.

  5. Dibs on 86 if you’ll have me. I’m fascinated by the wealth of possibility within the marriage of theatre + the speculative…and your brain + my brain.

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