Jun 17, 2009

100 achievement meme

Anno showed the way with this one, and I couldn't resist the opportunity to try it myself. The instructions are simple: just copy the list of 100 accomplishments, highlight the ones you've achieved in bold, and elaborate as desired.

Be forewarned, this is another 100-long meme: a marathon to read; just about as long to write.

001. Started my own blog. Two Three, actually. There's this one, which started off as a journal entry one cold winter night, and a restaurant critique blog called Forchettine, which I write in Italian, but not very often.

002. Slept under the stars. On a beach in Mexico, after making love. I was young and carefree. A beautiful memory.

003. Played in a band.

004. Visited Hawaii. Summer of 1982 and I met a young brat pack teen idol who taught me to body surf at Mauna Kea with his brothers and sister. I had no idea who he was at the time.

005. Watched a meteor shower. Every recent mid-August on my friend Selena's garden lawn in Tuscany.

006. Given more than I can afford to charity.

007. Been to DisneyWorld/Land.  Anaheim and Paris.

008. Climbed a mountain. Mont Blanc Massiff, Italian flank, summer of 2004. Harnessed and wearing crampons at 3900 meters altitude, short of breath, terrified and giggly. Awesome.

009. Held a praying mantis. The farm on the Nyala Game Reserve that hosted the set to a film I worked on in 2005 was home to many bizarre, exotic creatures I had never seen other than on TV documentaries. The praying mantis was as big as a pack of cigarettes.

010. Sung a solo.

011. Bungee jumped. You must be kidding.

012. Visited Paris. Many times. And can't wait to go again.

013. Watched lightning at sea. Electrifying!

014. Taught myself an art from scratch. The art of mothering comes with no manual, does that count?

015. Adopted a child. Child sponsorship only.

016. Had food poisoning. Many times. The worst was a bad tin of pineapple juice. I love to eat tons of the fresh fruit, but I will never drink the juice ever again. Ever. The 30-lb fish I caught off the barrier reef in Mexico––and that turned out to be poisonous barracuda––also provided points for this "achievement."

017. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty. No but I made it to the top of the Empire State Building...

018. Grown my own vegetables. Chives and basil qualify.

019. Seen the Mona Lisa in France. Yes, and that tiny wry smile still has me puzzled.

020. Slept on an overnight train. From Rome to Paris and from Rome to Venice. Very romantic.

021. Had a pillow fight. With a 3-year old pillow fights are the order of the day.

022. Hitchhiked. From a friend's summer house to the town center, 5 km away. One of the stupidest things I've done in my life; NOT an achievement.

023. Taken a sick day when you're not ill.

024. Built a snow fort.

025. Held a lamb. I also milked one.

026. Gone skinny dipping. See #2

Playa del Carmen 1993
027. Run a marathon.

028. Ridden in a gondola in Venice. Just once. And the gondolier tried to kiss me afterwards. wtf...

029. Seen a total eclipse. Does lunar count?

030. Watched a sunrise or a sunset. As often as I possibly can.

African sunset at Hluhluwe, S.A.

031. Hit a home run. Softball camp with my eldest sister coaching, during my 11th summer.

032. Been on a cruise. 

033. Seen Niagara Falls in person. In utero, yes.

034. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors. I live in Rome!

035. Seen an Amish community. Only as seen in the film Witness

036. Taught myself a new language. In order to communicate with an Argentine boyfriend, I had to teach myself Spanish. It was very sexy.

037. Had enough money to be satisfied. In spurts, yes - never in one steady flow.

038. Mastered the cartwheel.

039. Skimmed the surface of water on waterskis.

040. Seen Michelangelo's David. And it was love at first site.

041. Sung karaoke. Couldn't be caught dead.

042. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.

043. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant. I do leave caffè sospeso every time I'm in Naples.

044. Visited Africa. Twice, and it will always be too late when I shall return. I left my heart in Africa, the Mother Land.

045. Walked on a beach by moonlight.

046. Been transported in an ambulance.

047. Had my portrait painted. When I was 7 years old, an aged, an elderly gentleman drew an ink portrait of me. Still the best piece of art in my possession. The man was a costume/production designer called Dario Cecchi, and he was a wonderful man. I sadly never had the opportunity to thank him for my painting.

048. Gone deep sea fishing. Read about it here.

049. Been to the Sistine Chapel in person. The only way to go. Lay on the pavement and soak up beauty.

050. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Didn't quite make it to the top. I stopped at the bistro on the middle level...

051. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling. Florida, summer of 1993. Snorkeling off the Miami coast, catamaran sunset cruise. Lots of scary sharks down below and lots of beer inside me and friends.

052. Kissed in the rain.

053. Played in the mud. I have a toddler.

054. Gone to a drive-in theater. I've always dreamed to, inspired by the Flintstones drive-in.

055. Been in a movie. In a few. But my debut was a talking role in an Italian TV mini series. I was the fabulous Hospital Help Desk Customer #2. I also played an NSA agent in a spy story

056. Visited the Great Wall of China.

057. Started a business. I co-founded and managed a graphic design studio in my early 20s.

058. Taken a martial arts class. Karate, but it lasted for about 3 lessons, then I gave up.

059. Visited Russia. I had the chance and I let it pass me by, stupidly.

060. Served at a soup kitchen.

061. Sold Girl Scout cookies. And ate the other half.

062. Gone whale watching. Monterey Bay, every time I visit family there.

063. Got flowers for no reason. Very nice thing, getting flowers.

064. Donated blood, platelets, or plasma. To a relative in need. Nearly fainted.

065. Gone sky diving. No, thank you.

066. Visited a Nazi concentration camp site.

067. Bounced a check. Sh*t happens.

068. Flown in a helicopter.

069. Saved a favorite childhood toy up until my late 20s. Still have my first teddy bear, it now belongs to my son.

070. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.

071. Eaten caviar. Love it. On buttered toast or blinis. On canapes. Even smeared on body parts.

072. Pieced a quilt.

073. Stood in Times Square. After a 9-hr intercontinental flight, a lost luggage dispute and a Broadway show. Exhausted with adrenaline pumping nonetheless.

074. Toured the Everglades.

075. Been fired from a job.

076. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London. I lived in London when I was 2 but I don't remember a thing, except maybe the snow.

077. Broken a bone.

078. Been on a speeding motorcycle. Don't particularly fancy speeding motorcycles.

079. Seen the Grand Canyon in person. North rim, at age 21. I still have the images vividly planted before my eyes.

080. Published a book. Not yet. But I'm working on it. And I trust my agent.

081. Visited the Vatican. Drive by it 4-5 times a week. Been in it maybe 5 times. Love the Swiss Guards.

082. Bought a brand new car. My first, a brand new 1990 Lancia Y10. It had become an old friend, and sadly missed. I now drive an obnoxious Smart car, of which I am not particularly fond.

My dented Y10 took me places
083. Walked in Jerusalem.

084. Had my picture in the newspaper.

085. Read the entire Bible.

086. Visited the White House.

087. Killed and prepared an animal for eating. Caught numerous Mediterranean fish; then roasted, stewed, fried and/or baked them in various ways, they were almost always delicious. For the only negative experience in this category, see #16.

088. Had chickenpox. I am curiously immune to it.

089. Saved someone's life. Mine.

090. Not known that 90 comes after 89, not 91. Huh?

091. Met someone famous.

092. Joined a book club.

093. Lost a loved one.

094. Had a baby.

095. Seen the Alamo in person.

096. Swam in the Great Salt Lake. Lake water freaks me out. But I did swim in Tashmoo Pond on Martha's Vineyard once, and in Lake Ohrid in Macedonia. And was met by a water SNAKE. End of lake swimming happened there.

097. Been involved in a law suit. No. But I am a huge fan of courtroom drama films.

098. Owned a cell phone. Don't know how I ever lived without one.

099. Been stung by a bee.

100. Ridden an elephant. No, but I befriended one in Zimbabwe during a film shoot.


  1. Wow that is some list. I have done some you haven't but you have many more that you have done than me. Location, location, location.
    Yes and of course 90 is after 89???

  2. well done... that's a list to be proud of.

    best wishes
    Ribbon :-)

  3. Talk about count your blessings!!!

  4. This is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  5. wow. the layers of the onion peel back ever more. you have lived a rich life lola. quite a few on there in bold that i would love to add to my list. hope your day is sunny and enjoy the pillow fights!

  6. I'm coming over to challenge you to a pillow fight!
    Gosh, you've done a heck of a lot in a short time - brilliant!!
    Loved this post, Lola - you are an ace! Everything about your blog is absolutely brilliant ~ Eddie

  7. There are a lot of very cool things to comment on, but I particularly picked up on your #44 about Africa. What is it about Africa? I have never been (really want to), but have often read about that mysterious draw, like Green Hills of Africa and Out of Africa. Can you help me understand?

  8. What a wonderful life you have carved for yourself and still more to go, not just to finish the 100 things, but add 100 more. Brava

  9. Great things on that list. Made me smile, thanks,Lola.xx♥

  10. Truly, a wonderful life, and I enjoyed these 100 pieces of insight into yours! Sure do understand how those water snakes would keep you away from lakes... but the sharks don't do the same for you for oceans? After your experiences, I'd be tempted to stick to pools! Glad you played along...

  11. Hi Lola - you can use a crisp apple instead of jicama - I do it all the time because jicama is pricey here. I went back and edited there recipe to show that :)

  12. What can I say Lola, you are a wonderful well rounded person! And I feel privileged to have come upon you and your fascinating blog! I love the African photos, Thank you. Our new journey has just began!! Enjoy :)

  13. Nice! I haven't seen this one in a while. I wrote about my own experiences, using this meme, some three years ago. Of course, since I am not economical with words, mine ended up being four days worth of blog :-)

  14. Absolutely absorbing darling Lola. What a wonderful life indeed...loved every single moment of that meme. It was just so....so...Lola! (I think you are the only person I've ever come across - anywhere - who has also been to Nyala. It's a special secret...there in that Eden-esque valley in Zululand...for special people only.)

  15. Madame Lola, I would be deeply honoured if you would call at my place to collect the "You Make Me Smile Award" at my Award Ceremony. Oh and by the way you have agreed to do the catering with your mate Theresa. AND A FANTASTIC SURPRISE . . . that's got you wondering!! Ciao ~ Eddie

  16. Hmmm. Seeing Niagara Falls in utero just might count... technically.


  17. This is really, really fun. Thanks for sharing these. Love the photo of you with the elephant.

    I think I'll try this!

    Happy Friday friend.

  18. Never been involved in a lawsuit? Are you REALLY Italian? ;-)

  19. What an amazing life you have had so far! Some friends of mine are in Africa right now - it's a place I've always wanted to explore, too. Lucky you!

  20. OMG. this was amazing and funny and soooo interesting. And i hope you have that last photo in a nice frame.beautiful.

    i am going to do this, for my 100th post which is coming up soon.