Sunday, August 29, 2010
Something I've learned is that sometimes a great way to experience something new is to do something that's familiar -- but in an unfamiliar way. That's what the Summer hike on Camel's Hump was meant to do. At this point, I've done the Burrows Trail a number of times with a bunch of different friends (which is not to say it's getting old -- I'm always up for another hike). But the point of this time was to see what hiking at night would be like, and what the view at dawn would be at the top. The hike was originally scheduled for July, but had to be called off because of threats of bad weather. So, this weekend, the last before school starts, seemed like the last opportunity.
Unfortunately, many of the original crew opted out for various reasons. Some who had graduated had left town for new jobs, and those who are continuing students at Saint Mike's were just arriving back on campus and moving in and re-connecting with roommates and friends. Happily, though, three intrepid souls were up for the challenge. The first two were Josh, my rock climbing/paddle boarding/snow shoeing student-coach and his incredibly good-natured girlfriend, Ali. And Siham was game as well, and drove down from Boston. We used the opportunity to do something on her list on Friday night -- attend a game of the Lake Monsters, our local minor league team. Siham had never seen (semi) professional baseball, and although we hit the game late, we had a very fun time.
After the game we met our friend. Thato, for some fries at the Vermont Pub and Brewery (what could be better pre-hike fuel?), went home for a ninety-minute nap, and got on the road with Josh and Ali at 2:30 am. Once we'd arrived at the trailhead and Josh had changed out of his fuzzy slippers to hiking boots and we'd all donned our nerdy-looking headlamps, we headed out under the moonlight. An hour and forty-five minutes later we were sitting at the summit watching the transition from dawn to daylight and having a hard time believing it was still August -- it was SO cold at the top!
Although all three of my fellow hikers needed some prodding to get them in the car at 2:30 am, and I would say at that point I was their least-favorite person in the world, my star rose when the sun did. We all agreed that it really is a special thing to do a hike (especially on a special mountain) at night and watch the sun rise at the top. As is so often the case, some extra effort and willingness to try something new had major payoffs. I'd love to do it again sometime, and hope maybe more of my friends will want to come with me.
This was the third installment of the Camel's Hump-in-four-seasons New Thing. The last season, fall, will be a hike with my sister Katrinka and brother in law Brian, who are coming from Washington state with my niece Tigist in October. Since this weekend was a New Thing double-header, with a bicycling trip to Hero's Welcome as the other weekend activity, that entry will have a new language post and a full Coming Attractions post.
Monday, August 23, 2010
As I noted in my post about Montreal, I've discovered I have some friends who are always coming up with great ideas of new things to do. One of the students who has taught me the most in this year of New Things is Josh, who came up with the idea of paddle surfing (aka paddle boarding), which I had never even heard of till he suggested we do it instead of the kayaking or ice skating I had suggested. And being the resourceful guy he is, he called up the place that rents the boards at nearby North Beach and discerned that if we got there by 4 we'd be able to get an hour in before they closed. So, that's what we did.
I've spent most of the year discovering that most New Things are harder than they look, but the opposite is actually true with paddle boarding. It's really pretty easy. You just get on the board and start on your knees, then stand up and paddle. I can imagine that it would be a lot harder if the water were choppy, but the day we went Lake Champlain was calm, so we had a very easy first time. We only had an hour, so didn't go out that far, but I'd love to try it again with a destination in mind. Towards the end of our hour we took off our life vests and jumped off the boards for a swim, which was quite fun as well, although I had a near disaster when I noticed at the last minute that my only car starter was in the pocket of the shorts I was wearing, and it would have been a long and soggy walk home if I hadn't removed it before the jump.
After our boarding experience we went back to Josh's place, which he shares with his girlfriend Ali, and friends and former students Dan and Derek, and Ali came along with us to a visit to the house's community garden plot. Non-Vermonters may not know this, but Vermonters have a passion for gardening, and there are tons of community gardens all over the place. The other hallmark of any house that Dan lives in is that it will be overflowing with bicycles, and their community garden was likewise easy to pick out because of the bicycle-wheel trellis that their beans were growing on. Josh and Ali gave me a whole bunch of produce, particularly lemon cucucumbers, which have quickly become a favorite snack.
Being the awesome people that they are, Ali and Josh came back to my house to deliver the vegetables and fill the tires of my bicycle, which had gone flat. While they were there, another former student, Dan S., called to say he was in town and came by for a visit. We all went out to pizza and there the outdoor rock climbing adventure that I wrote about as New Thing #43 was planned. Something that I definitely love about new things is that they seem to lead pretty seamlessly into other new things. I guess it's not rocket science to realize that the more you try the more you discover is out there for the trying. But it's a fun discovery nonetheless.
I'm out of languages at the moment (friends, please help me out here!), and I just did a roundup yesterday of what's in the works, so I'd just be cutting and pasting from the last post if I were to put that here. If you're in the mood to get outside in the next week, please check out the Montreal post for activities coming up. One last week before classes start. Rain or not (and we've had entirely too much in the last 24 hours), gotta make the most it.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
A cool thing about the 52 New Things project is that it has made me discover I have friends with a spontaneous streak I never knew about. My friend and colleague Paul is an excellent example in that regard. He was one of the many I solicited for suggestions when I embarked on this project, and he's been coming up with ideas ever since. We're also both morning people and usually see each other at 6 am at the Y when we're both exercising as well. So it wasn't very surprising last Sunday when I got a message from Paul a little before 6 am asking whether I wanted to go to Montreal for a new thing (watching a professional tennis tournament, the Rogers Cup) that day. And with such an original and unexpected suggestion, the answer must obviously be yes.
I go to Montreal very rarely -- and when I go the question that floods my head is why is that? It's only an hour and a half away; it's a chance to go to another country and hear a different language spoken; and Montreal is such a cool city. I've officially resolved to start going more often.
In the meantime, my report for last Sunday is that it was a most excellent day. Apparently, every year the Rogers Cup that is hosted in Montreal switches which gender is hosted and 2010 was a womens' tournament. I know pretty much nothing about tennis, much less professional tennis, so it was all new to me when we were watching the elimination rounds. But since they were elimination rounds, there weren't a ton of spectators, and in fact, we got to attend for free (always a bonus). Plus, when you're not watching the rounds you can walk around and watch professionals playing practice games with each other (although once again, the only way I knew someone was famous was by the size of the autograph seekers around them).
For me, equally exciting was my chance to try that great French Canadian contribution to the world of junk food, poutine. I was mentioning them to a friend and he said "Oh, gravy fries." But that misses the point. Yes, they're gravy fries but it's the cheese curds that make them extra-bad-for-you and consequently extra-delicious. My recommendation: go to Montreal, hit the Rogers Cup (especially if you, like us, can do it for free) and most importantly, get some poutine (if you're a vegetarian, see if there's a fries plus cheese curd only option -- that's my plan for next time). I think you'll be glad you did.
52 Ways to Say I Love You
In Finnish, with a big thank you to my brother in law Brian's father, Pat, for once again coming through with yet another translation for me.
I love you. Mina rakastan sinua
May I have two beers please. Saisinko kaksi olutta kiitos
Next weekend is the last one before classes start on Monday, August 30. So, I'm planning to do two New Things in one weekend:
Camel's Hump Summer Dark and Dawn Hike, Saturday, August 28 at 2 am. The plan is for everyone to meet at my place and do the Burrows Trail hike together. This is a reschedule from July, when it got rained out, and many of the students and former students who were in on the first one are doing this one. If you want in, let me know.
Bike ride to Hero's Welcome. Sunday, August 29. I've taken the bike ferry before, but this is the furthest bike ride I will have ever taken. My friend Gary had done a slightly shorter one than this earlier this summer and was disappointed that his friends didn't want to go all the way there, so we've decided to bike it together next Sunday. Since the only bike riding I've done this entire summer was at Cambridge with my friend Jerry, I'm not sure how I'll do, but hopefully it will be a fun challenge.
Ice skating! I was going to go ice skating with my friend Michelle today, but that fell through. I'm dying to get back into it, though, and Michelle is game, as is Ali, who just brought her skates back up from New Hampshire. The rinks should be starting Fall hours soon, which means a lot more public skating possibilities. If you want to go, let me know.
Rock climbing. I made a big decision this week when I finally got to climb outside, and that is that this week I am going to buy my own harness and climbing shoes. So, if there are people that want to practice at Petra climbing gym with me on evenings or weekends, just let me know!
Friday, August 20, 2010
So, people might notice two things about this post. First, it's out of order, since the last post was #40. I have to catch up with #41 (Go to Montreal to See the Rogers Cup and Try Poutine) and #42 (Go Paddle Boarding), but this one was so great and so recent I just had to post it now. Which brings me to the second point, which is that I already listed trying rock climbing as a New Thing. But as I discovered yesterday, the different between rock climbing in a gym and rock climbing outside is like the difference between kayaking in a pool and kayaking on the ocean. Totally different experiences, so as far as I'm concerned, it's definitely new. And great.
Once again, I completely lucked out by having friends who are current and former SMC Wilderness Program student leaders. Both Dan and Josh have helped me out with a bunch of New Things on the list -- Dan with classic and skate cross country ski skiing, Josh with snow shoe hiking and both with indoor rock climbing. Dan's been out of town all summer leading kids on kayaking tours, and on Wednesday night during a pizza-eating session with Dan, Josh and Josh's girlfriend Ali, I was whining about how I still hadn't been able to try rock climbing outside, and Dan and Josh stepped into the void. We made a plan to spend the next afternoon at the routes on Lower West Bolton, with Dan setting the ropes for us, and that's what we did.
One of the first things I learned about outdoor climbing is that it's a lot less structured than indoor. In a rock gym there are these paths marked by colors, but outside it's basically up to you to figure out how to get up the rock face however you can, which in my case meant some fairly undignified stretches and using my butt to wedge myself in for more support to give my arms and legs some rest part way up. The routes have some pretty wild names -- we climbed Dead Babies and Wavy Goodby, and just for fun, Dan took us over to the top of Harvest Moon to give us some inspiration of still harder climbs for the future.
If you've never tried rock climbing, I cannot recommend it enough. Every step upward feels like an accomplishment, and it works muscles you literally never even thought about (arms, legs, fingers, toes, and everything in between). It's a wonderful thing to do with friends (and there's nothing like building trust by having your friend holding your life in their hands at the end of a belay rope), and though it's scary, the first time you swing over the side of a cliff on the end of a rope is a huge confidence-builder, I promise.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dan (red t-shirt) and Josh (tie-dye) for making the whole climb possible. I also want to thank James, who we met while climbing. He's sitting on the ledge to the right of Dan in the white helmet in one of the photos. He not only tried in vain to encourage me up the last tough step on Wave Goodby (my legs were just too wobbly at that point), he also took two of the pictures I posted here, the one looking down on us from above, and the one of me climbing, which he got by going up a rope to the side of me so that I could have a picture taken closer than the ones from below.
52 Ways to Say I Love You...
In Faroese, the language of the Faroe Islands off of Denmark that are just waiting to be explored the next time I go to Scandanavia. With many thanks to my former student and fabulous host when we were in Copenhagen, Joey, who got this from the father of his homestay family from when he was on study abroad.
Hello Hey/Godan Dag
I love you Eg Elski Teg
Can I have two beers, please? Kann Eg Fáa Tvær Øl?
The moonlight/dawn Camel's Hump Hike is still definitely on for the early morning hours of Saturday, August 28. Beyond that I'm trying to figure out the timing on some other stuff so I'll post in one of the two posts I have to catch up on.
Monday, August 16, 2010
The end of summer makes me sad for all kinds of reasons. I hate it that the days are getting shorter, and that soon the temperatures will be getting colder, and of course, as an academic, I am in the position of being a perpetual first-grader, knowing that once that first day of class happens there's no backing out for another year. So, before I turn my attention to the fall I want to do two things -- finish the record of all the places I went this summer with this post on Denmark, and try to get in as many summer activities as I can before school starts (so if anyone else does too, please check out the Coming Attractions at the end of the post).
This summer was the most travel-filled of my life. I visited seven new countries (Dominican Republic, Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories, Egypt, Uganda, Denmark and Sweden) as well as two new places (the Isle of Skye and Cambridge) in the UK, a country I've already visited, plus the Pacific Northwest (Washington and Idaho). Denmark is the only place I haven't written about, so here is a bit about travels in Denmark to round out the rest.
When we arrived in Copenhagen we were in good shape for two reasons. One is that the city, like the whole country, has a wonderful public transportation system, and the second is that I had a great former student, Joey, who sent me a message in advance letting me know how to use it. So, we bought our "20 click" passes for two zones and used up the first two "clicks" on the train from the airport to the main train station in town, which was very close to our hotel. Awesome.
Joey met us the next day and took us for our first wholly Danish eating experience of open-faced sandwiches, and gave us a bit of orientation to the city. The next day he met us in the morning and took us on a tour of a slightly alternate reality, Christianshavn. Going there is kind of like stepping onto the set of a 60s musical. Depending on your perspective it's an anarchist/commune/collective with its own rules (literally posted near the entrance), art, morals and of course, characters. I have only two pictures here -- one of Joey near the waterfront, and one of a former church sporting a typically-visually exuberant tapestry -- because the most colorful section of the community doesn't allow any photography at all. It's apparently been going since the 1960s, and although it's often entered by more conventional types in search of soft drugs (hard ones are prohibited in the posted rules), there is a whole community of residents of all ages that runs cafes and open-air markets within. Part of it sits on a lovely waterfront area, and the whole place is one of the most interesting I've ever visited.
We never did visit what are probably Copenhagen's two most famous sites, the world famous amusement park, Tivoli, in the middle of the city, and the statue of the Little Mermaid (dismissed by Joey as "the little disappointment") which is on display in Shanghai right now. But we did continue our tour of the castles and palaces of Europe, and visited two pretty remarkable ones. The first, the Rosenborg Slot (Palace)is a beautifully-preserved palace that housed generations of the Danish Royal Family. Unlike lots of other major palaces, things inside are remarkably accessible, allowing visitors to get very close to the furniture and art work crammed on the walls. I've included a picture of one of my favorite spots -- the throne room, with the king and queens' thrones guarded by three lion statues.
The other palace we visited is one of the most famous in the world, thanks to William Shakespeare. On our way back from Sweden, we spent an afternoon in Helsingbore (usually anglicized as Elsinore), the home of the famed prince of Denmark, Hamlet. As you can see from the photo, the castle really does sit right on the ocean. It also played a very important role in the rise of Denmark as a regional power, because it allowed Denmark's monarchs to control the waterways and institute tolls on shipping in the area that heavily enriched the coffers of Denmark.
The last picture I added to this blog, one taken by Jerry holding my camera in front of Joey, Jerry and me the night before we left, was actually the last photo of my collection from the whole summer of travelling. And I like it because it reminds me of what made both my trip to Denmark, and all my travels of the summer, special and memorable -- the chance to go to beautiful places with a variety of good friends -- some colleagues, some former students, some current ones and some new friends I met at these new places, and see and learn all kinds of new things. I may not ever travel so much in a single summer again, and I'll always be grateful for the opportunities I had over the last four months.
52 Ways to Say I Love You...
in Norwegian, with many thanks to Ida, the ultra-helpful clerk at the hotel we stayed at in Helsingborg, Sweden.
Goodbye Ha det
I love you. Jeg elsker deg.
May I have two beers, please? Jeg skulle nye bestille to 0l -- taak!
Classes start at school on Monday, August 30.and between now and then, I hope to get in some activities that I haven't had much chance to do this summer.
Camel's Hump Dawn Hike Saturday, August 28, 3 am. The hike that was supposed to take place in July has been rescheduled for the early hours of the morning of August 28. Siham is coming to town for it, Josh is in, and still waiting to hear from the rest of the crew that had been planning on it the first time (and any new people who are interested, obviously).
Biking, outdoor rock climbing, ice skating, kayaking on Lake Champlain and Adirondack hike. None of these have been definitely scheduled yet, so I hope people will let me know which of these they'd be up for, and when. The rinks cut open skating times pretty severely in the summer, so Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings (4-6) are the main options right now. As for the Adirondack hike, initially Luke and Ashley were both on board, so we can still see if we can schedule that. And there's a bunch of possibilities for the others, so I'd love to know what people are up for.
Monday, August 9, 2010
So, this post is actually a bit out of order, since I was in Denmark before I went to Sweden. But since I started this in Sweden while I was there, I decided to finish and post this one now . Our trip to Sweden was a bit different than the way I usually travel, because we didn't go to the capital (Stockholm) or even any large city like Goteborg or Lund. Instead we took the ferry from Helsinore (about which more in another post) in Denmark to Helsingborg in Sweden. And then we spent a couple days exploring the coast of Skane, the southernmost county of Sweden. I highly recommend it.
On the first day we took the ferry and checked out the city of Helsingborg which, despite the rain, was great. Probably the best part was climbing the tower of Karnan that has been restored from the original castle there. The whole town sits on a harbor and has lots of fabulous architecture, so taking a look at the town and sea from the top is pretty spectacular. I've posted a picture of the tower, and another of the view of Helsingborg from within the gates of the castle grounds.
The next day we went to yet another castle, this one called Sofiero (I had to have a picture of me standing on the front steps), a little ways out of Helsingborg. It used to be a summer residence of the Swedish royal family and has an astounding set of gardens, woods and sculptures surrounding it and leading to the ocean behind. Inside were lots of photos of past generations of the royal family, who seemed decidedly more down to earth than your average royals. They seemed to favor casual clothes, and participated in war-time rationing like everyone else. The gardens are obviously a lot of work and everyone, including the royal children, were supposed to help with them.
From Sofiero we hopped back on the bus and headed to Molle, the northernmost coastal town of the area. On the bus we were befriended by some wonderful people from the area who knew we didn't understand the system. Yvonne was helping her mom, Lillian, an 88 year-old lifelong Molle resident do some weekly shopping, and Glen was on his way home to his house in the village of Nyhamnslage about half an hour from Molle. When they realized we were on a bus headed elsewhere and needed to get off in Nyhamnslage, Glen insisted that we all come over to his family's place for some homemade elderberry flower soda after giving us a tour of the harbour. The home he took us to has been in his wife's family since 1830, and though it's hard to tell from the picture, the house behind Jerry, Yvonne and Lillian in the picture has a thatched roof, as do many homes in the area. Glen is a professor at Lund University and makes a 2 hour daily commute by bus and train (as does his neighbor Yvonne who is a middle school art teacher also in Lund) even though he has a car. Jerry and I were very impressed with their environmental consciousness, as well as Glen and his wife's wonderful hospitality with the soda and map explanation that you see Glen giving us here.
After our elderflower soda detour, we got on the right bus, and went the rest of the way to Molle, were we did an awesome hike along the cliffs of the ocean to a cafe for tea overlooking the water, and then onward toward a lighthouse at the very end of the peninsula. Then we hiked back to Molle, ate a great dinner of local fish on the harbour and grabbed a late bus back to Helsingborg. The next day we took the ferry back to Helsingore, a world-famous town because it is the home of Hamlet's castle (more on that in another post).
So, our two-day tangent was just a little slice of Sweden, but enough to make me know I like it, and hope I'll be back. And in case anyone's wondering, my observations -- admittedly brief -- confirm my suspicions that American fears of socialism are incredibly overwrought. It's true that food and consumer goods cost more, but there was also a lot more organic and less-processed food. As far as I could tell, there was still plenty of private enterprise, no one seemed lazy because of knowing they'd be getting good services from the state, and the transportation system was awesome. But check it out for yourself -- I think you'll be glad you did.
52 Ways to Say I Love You...
May I have two beers, please? Má ég hafa tvo bjóra, vinsamlegast?
I love you Ég elska þig
I'm writing this from Newark on my way back to Burlington and need to figure out some scheduling for the next week and a half. But I know that I am very motivated to try to reschedule the Camel's Hump midnight hike for this coming weekend (weather permitting), so if you're interested let me know, and also make a post or email if you're interested in hiking, kayaking, biking, ice skating or berry picking in the next week and a half. I hope to do some combination of all or some of these soon!
Saturday, August 7, 2010
My very dear friend Lilly, who I consider an authority on many things, including anything to do with the UK, pointed out to me that we had to go punting because "it's what one does in Cambridge". The reason I was in Cambridge was to present a paper with my friend and colleague Jerry, with whom I co-taught an interdisciplinary international service learning course in spring and summer 2007. We knew it would be a challenge bringing together the prospectives of a photojournalist and an activist political scientist, but had no idea just how fundamental our differences would be. The paper was about the ways that we and the students worked on these differences and, we think, learned a lot in the process.
For nerdy academics, our dream conference appearance is one where a bunch of people show up and you know what you're saying resonates with them because they nodd a lot and have lots of questions and answers. That's what happened at this meeting, and in addition to giving a presentation we felt good about, we made a lot of new connections with people from a med school professor in Michigan to the coordinator of an intercisciplinary PhD program in Germany. We went to a lot of presentations where we were the nodders, and learned about a whole variety of topics on different aspects of interdisciplinarity, education and global issues as well.
But of course, when one is in Cambridge, one must punt, and so we did, and the next day we did the other ubiquitious activity here, bike riding. (When I went to Cambridge I thought I had never seen so many people on bikes, but that mental record was utterly shattered a few days later when we arrived in Copenhagen. Now I can REALLY say that I've never seen so many people on bikes.)
In the process I learned two very important things:
1. punting is much harder than it looks. I learned this first lesson not by doing, but being assured by our "chauffeur" as well as several former students, and by being run into a few times by out-of-control amateur punters plying the river Cam.
2. Scotland is not the only place in the UK where it rains lots, interspersed with overcast periods and appearances of the sun on the rarest of occasions. The rainy weather in Cambridge means you have to take your opportunities where you find them, so our punting adventure got delayed and shortened because of the rain.
From a tourist perspective, punting is a great way to see Cambridge University, which I only recently learned is not really a single entity but 31 individual colleges, some dating back for hundreds of years. Most are pretty exclusive and only let visitors poke around for very limited times of the day (and then for a fee for each individual one). Thus, the best bet for a visitor is to go punting down part of the Cam -- known as "the backs" because from here you can see the backs of most of the prestigious colleges and their chapels -- while being given juicy tidbits about Prince Charles' less-than-illustrious career as a student at Trinity, the biggest and richest college of Cambridge.
So here are a few pictures from punting, biking and the conference. There's one of Jerry and I standing in front of a conference sign the day we did our presentation, and a couple from our biking day, when we stopped to eat lunch at a cool pub with beautiful flowers called the Green Dragon. And there are two from our punt on the Cam, one of our punter getting his boat and a second taken from the boat as we were approaching one of the cool bridges under which we floated.
52 Ways to Say I Love You
Well, it's England, after all so I'm shirking and not doing a language. Someone, not to name any names, has promised to get me Morrocan and Berber very, very soon.
Just posted the new list last week. I'm writing from Sweden on the last few days of my trip to Europe. On Wednesday I fly home, and I hope to put some dates and plans to Vermont-based new things very soon.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
When I was in graduate school I read both The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. They both bothered me a lot, though I couldn't say exactly why. Now thirty-seven New Things into my list later I think I have some evidence to articulate an argument that Rand is wrong. I think self-reliance is overrated (and we Americans WAY overestimate our capacities in that regard anyway), and there's nothing wrong with asking for help to learn something new, or exploring the world with others. I've spent the last half-year doing exactly that, and I am happy to report that I have a debt of favors a mile long, but it's matched with a ton of great memories and shared experiences. And front and center in my indebtedness column are Leah and Siham, with whom I collectively came up with the idea of 52 New Things. Since we started talking about it back in late October, we've been getting together at least every couple of months to compare lists, update each other and figure out new fun things to add.
The weekend before I flew to Scotland was one of our summer meet-ups and, on top of having a fabulous time, we did some overhauling and what follows is the list update. First, I should note that the two of them made a great suggestion that I happily agreed with, which is to extend the list "year" to February 28, 2011. That's the anniversary of our first collective trip, to Bar Harbor to see the sunrise at the earliest point on the east coast. It's also when Leah and Siham formalized their lists. AND extending the date opens up all kinds of fun winter possiblities, so I think it's an all-around marvelous idea.
So, what I've done below as the first list (without comments, since every one of them has a post) are the 37 New Things that I've done so far. They're in blue. Then I have a mixed list of uncompleted new things that are either in-process (green) or not yet begun (red). I know not all of them are going to happen, and new ideas will pop up to be added or substituted. So, the list is, as always, open for new suggestions, especially given the two additional months that just got tacked on to the "year".
Here's what's already happened:
1. Start a blog
2. Go to Nepal
3. Try rock climbing
4. Try ice climbing
5. Try snow shoe hiking
6. Learn to make fresh mozarella
7. Go cross country skiing
8. Take a Penguin Plunge
9. Go ice skating at Rockefeller Center
10. Hike Camel's Hump in all four seasons (in process -- winter and spring hiked)
11. Try skate skiing
12. See a Bar Harbor sunrise
13. Try snowboarding
14. Do a winter sport at night
15. Cook an Indian meal
16. Go downhill skiing
17. Participate in a contra dance
18. Visit the Vermont Veterans Militia Museum
19. Learn to change a bike tire
20. Learn to make a chocolate souffle
21. Visit the Washington Monument at Night
22. Take a ballet class
23. Eat a Vermonster
24. Go bird watching
25. Spend an afternoon watching car racing
26. Learn to change a car tire
27. Visit the Dominican Republic
28. Visit the Basque Block
29. Try glass blowing
30. Visit Jordan
31. Visit Jerusalem
32. Give a talk in Uganda
33. Visit Egypt
34. See a band at Nectar's and eat at Pizza on Earth
35. Go to the Rokeby Museum
36. Try haggis.
37. Go sea kayaking.
Here's what's in the works:
10. Hike Camel's Hump in all four seasons. Just had to list this one again in order to note that two awesome hikes are yet to come. For the summer hike, which had to be postponed, the plan is to go up by moonlight and back down with the sunrise. And for the fall one, my sister and brother in law and their daughter, my favorite two-year on the planet, (aka Katrinka, Brian and Tigist) are coming to town, and we'll do the hike on October 16.
38. Go punting. As my friend Lilly recently pointed out to me,"you must go punting on the Cam. That is what one does in Cambridge".
39. Go to Denmark. Another new country opportunity just begging to be taken since we'll be in England anyway to give a paper at this conference at Cambridge University.
40. Go to Sweden or Norway. If you're going to be in Denmark, doesn't it make sense to see another new country as well?
41. Drawing or painting class. Not sure when, but if I can find a shortish evening one, I'd still like to do it.
42. Power point. Still haven't gotten beyond the basics on this, and really, really should.
43. Learn to use tools. I need to find out a good way to do this. Thanks to Jamila's dad and grand-dad, I do now have a stud finder for putting nails in my walls, which is an improvement because a year ago I never heard of one.
44. Surfing. If I can find the time while the weather's still warm, Leah is still willing to line us up with equipment and lessons to try it out.
45. Bake croissants. My friend Dean is still willing to teach me, but the Back Door Bakery is temporarily closed while Dean and Patti get used to life with their wonderful new son, Henry.
46. Brew beer. Still haven't taken Dan, Derek or John up on their offers to teach me, but I plan to.
47. Star gazing. Really want to do this one, and my friend and colleague John is the perfect person to lead a session, but I need to get my act together and try to schedule it.
48. Learn to play an instrument. Don't know when or what, but it's still a possibility.
49. 24 hours in the city that never sleeps. I really, really want to do this, and there are some great students and former students who are totally up for it, but it's going to be a challenge to fit into a weekend in the late summer or early fall.
50. Go to Quebec City. Leah, Siham and I are DEFINITELY doing this one as one of our fall activities.
51. Hike Mount Washington. My friend, colleague and fellow list-maker Kristin, is willing to do this one with me (and possibly Annemieke as well), and we just need to grab two consecutive days and go.
52. Do nothing. Suggested by my former student Madison, I find this intriguing,and have also found it interesting that I haven't actually picked a day to (not) do it. But I definitely will.
53. Hike one of the 46 Adirondack Peaks over 4000 feet. The only one I've ever done is Cascade, and Ashley and Luke have both volunteered to do another with me.
54. Take a martial arts class. Maybe at the Y, maybe in Winooski. We'll see.
55. Go to Alaska. Don't know if this is going to happen or not, but Alaska is the only state I've never been to, so I'd like to if I can swing it.
56. Falconry. Still need to do some research on this one, though former student Kim thought she had a lead for me.
57. Meet-up in Latin America. The boys are still planning to do their bike through the continent and Siham and I are still planning to fly down and meet up with them. The year extension will make that easier.
58. Take a flying lesson. Don't know if I can swing it, but still very interested if I can.
59. Knit a pair of mittens. Did the first one with my sister Katrinka's help, but forgot how to do the thumb. When they come in October she can show me again.
60. Learn to say I love you in 52 languages. It's getting harder; if people know languages not already listed, help me out, please!
61. Go to a classical music concert. My talented musician friend Annemieke is on this one, and I'm sure it will happen soon.
62. Go camping in Vermont. Given the speed by which the summer is flying by, I'm thinking it might turn out to be winter camping, which could also be very cool.
63. Go dog sledding. Stole this one off my friend Kristin's list, and think it would be tons of fun.
64. Learn to do a single jump and a one-footed spin on ice skates. I've fallen woefully behind in my work on this one, but once I'm done with this trip, skating goes back to the top of my agenda.
65. Get a tattoo. Hopefully Kristin is still on board to do this one together on our shared birthday (December 10).
As I noted at the top of this post, Siham, Leah and I usually get together every few months and revise our lists, and do something on them together. So, I thought I'd put in a few photos from our get-togethers. There's one of me in my Halloween costume (I was the State of Vermont) that Leah and Siham were helping me put together the night the list idea was born. Then there's one from our trip to Cadillac Mountain on Bar Harbor to watch the sunrise, and one from their weekend visit in May to see another of our close friends, Jamila, who came to Vermont for the month of May. And there's one of Leah and I taking a break from list revising to eat ice cream on the outside deck of Das Bierhaus. The non-sequiter is a picture of Tigist wearing the dress I bought her when I was in Jordan. Couldn't resist throwing it in.
So, that's the line-up for the rest of the year as it stands right now. If you have an idea or want to participate in anything on it, please reply to this post or shoot me an email. Lots of great stuff in store for the second half of 2010!