Things I would like to do, that I probably could do, but never will do.

Man with bees for a beard

-Be an urban bee-keeper.
-Make my own ricotta.
-Grow tomato plants on my roof.
-Can, jar and pickle various things.
-Raise chickens.
-Keep an orchid alive for more than two weeks.
-Be an early-morning runner.
-Host dinner parties that involve food I actually cook myself. Barbecues don’t count.
-Pot plants.
-Prepare food more than 20 minutes in advance of actually eating it. Prepare food for tomorrow, even.

What’s on your list?

Author: has written 5299 posts for this blog.

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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41 Responses

  1. S
    S July 7, 2010 at 11:09 am |

    Making your own ricotta and mozzarella (and, relatedly, cottage cheese) is incredibly easy, Jill, if you ever want to try it, even if just for a lark. It’s a forty-five minute process, tops.

    My list:
    * learn to fly a propeller plane
    * swim daily
    * prepare to run a marathon
    * get up to date on photo albums of the kids
    * figure out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop

  2. Ipomoea
    Ipomoea July 7, 2010 at 11:25 am |

    -Sew my own clothes
    -run a marathon
    -learn to make jelly/jam/preserves
    -do everything on my daily to-do lists with regularity
    -run in the morning
    -run without whining

    running really is my final, whiny, painful frontier. I can’t afford a gym, but I can afford to huff and bitch around my neighborhood.

  3. Erica
    Erica July 7, 2010 at 11:38 am |

    Go to Yoga before work. Or after work (which I manage sometimes)
    Actually get a viable savings account going. I mean really.

  4. White
    White July 7, 2010 at 11:50 am |

    I’d like to read the complete works of Plato. I keep telling myself that I will, but I always get distracted. Modern Warfare II has a way of doing that to ya.

  5. Lauren
    Lauren July 7, 2010 at 11:52 am | *

    Ditto on savings account.
    Clean the garage.
    Clean the basement.
    More household/yard responsibilities that get put off by heat/rain/winter/laziness.

  6. akeeyu
    akeeyu July 7, 2010 at 11:56 am |

    Stunt driving school.
    Learn to speak Spanish.
    Go to Hawaii.

    Also? Consider a slow cooker to accomplish the dinner party and food-in-advance goals. Slow cookers are awesome! Seriously.

    If you search on slow cooker recipes, you’ll find that half of them are very “then add half a cup of lard and a can of cream of mushroom soup,” but there are also some really fantastic recipes, things that will impress family and friends and surprise the hell out of YOU, too, because you’ll sit down to dinner and think “Hey, I just put a bunch of crap in this thing in the morning, and now I have FOOD!”

    I’m with you on the chickens thing, by the way. I’d love to have chickens. I’m even ZONED for chickens. Jeez.

  7. Neil
    Neil July 7, 2010 at 12:02 pm |

    Im sorry that your goals include the oppression of other life, directly with the chicken coup and detached with the cheese.

    It is a sad fact that so many people see these animal life as inferior and to be controlled, or can be controlled in such a way. But even with such a mindset not many set out there goals as being more directly involved in such oppression.

  8. sarah
    sarah July 7, 2010 at 12:15 pm |

    - start a real blog. not just my lazy tumblr that’s listed as my website.
    – go to the gym every morning.
    – successfully make my own ricotta (and other cheeses). I tried to and failed a few weeks ago. also, yogurt.
    – grow a vegetable garden instead of joining a CSA.
    – start playing piano again.

  9. White
    White July 7, 2010 at 12:15 pm |

    read fookoe. definitely.

  10. Jemima Aslana
    Jemima Aslana July 7, 2010 at 1:05 pm |

    Bwahahahah! Surely Neil is spewing satire. Bloody good one too.

    If it’s not satire then I need to clean my satimeter.

    Hmmmmm. I’ve done 3,4,6,7,8,9,10. Now I feel like a spoil sport. Okay, the tomato growing did not happen on the roof – it happened in the southward windows. And the good thing about tomatoes is that the ones the ripen into glorious redness are good for eating raw, and the ones that don’t ripen can just be fried or pickled as to your taste, and that’ll be glorious, too.

    Mmmmmm, love tomatoes. Tasted this year’s first batch yesterday. Yum yum.

    Wholegrain pasta, with homemade pesto and freshly picked homegrown tomatoes. *drool*

  11. WestEndGirl
    WestEndGirl July 7, 2010 at 1:08 pm |

    “Either way, I’m sorry that your goals apparently include being insufferable in blog comments.”

    That just made me sputter my diet cream soda a little, right over my keyboard. Thanks a lot Jill! ;-)

    Mine are:
    – Do any form of regular exercise regularly!
    – Speak French fluently (which is super attainable as I speak it well now) and Italian basically
    – Do singing professionally (again)
    – Play clarinet/sax professionally (again)
    – Do my filing and throw away all the bits/clippings of ‘useful’ diets, life audits and such like
    – Sort out my photographs from the years 1995-2000 inclusive and put them in albums (these were the lazy, university, caner years :-))
    – learn to do clothes alterations (as none of my clothes actually fit, I’m short 5″2 and very curvy, rackofdoom-ickle waist-big fat arse)
    – get a pension (this I will have to eventually eek!)

  12. Alison
    Alison July 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm |

    Neil, come on. For one thing, as Jill pointed out, she only said raising them, not killing them. Are you also against people having dogs and cats and whatnot as pets?

    Even if she did mean raising them as livestock – look, I’m a vegetarian and I personally don’t agree with killing animals for food, but I also live in the real world where millions of people eat meat and are not going to stop. Saying things like you did is NOT going to sway anyone to your side of the argument, nor is it really your business to tell others what decisions they should make in their lives.

  13. Gembird
    Gembird July 7, 2010 at 2:02 pm |

    Hey Neil, chickens lay eggs (almost) every day whether we oppress them or not. Just sayin’.

    Anyway. I’d like to finally learn to drive a car. I’d also like to learn dressmaking, because I’m pretty much child-sized and kid’s clothes don’t come in Slightly Goth ™.

  14. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin July 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm |

    -Learn to draw
    -Learn an obscure foreign language
    -Have the courage to get totally lost in a foreign country for no good reason

  15. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl July 7, 2010 at 2:56 pm |

    Don’t let S fool you — I got suckered into the “cheesemaking is easy” folks and I ended up with a bunch of watery, milk-tasting cheese because in order for the cheese you make to taste like… well, cheese, you need to squeeze EVERY LAST DROP of whey out of the cheese. This is easier said than done. I suspect that in order to even get close to accomplishing this, I would have to invest in a cheese press.

    As it is, I looked at how much I pull down an hour, and how much a pound of cheese costs, and when a pound of cheese begins to exceed my hourly salary, I will take another crack at making cheese.

    Canning I get a bit of a kick out of once in a while. Not on a day like today, though (dies from heat).

    A good half-step to hosting a dinner party is to start a regular potluck with your friends. Sometimes this works out and sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s worth a shot, but you have it at different houses, and everyone brings something (although from experience you should probably make a rule that says “a box of crackers and some Trader Joe’s tapenade is NOT a substitution for cooking” because it’s sort of against the spirit of a potluck) and you eat and drink and maybe watch a DVD or something. Oh, and wine. Wine is a must. :D

  16. Paraxeni
    Paraxeni July 7, 2010 at 3:18 pm |

    Seconding the slow-cooker love. You can put virtually any old shite in there and produce something delicious!

    My list is relatively simple because I’m physically disabled, and even little things would help me regain my confidence.

    I want to

    – learn to truly accept myself and my life

    -spend more time out of the house (or even downstairs!)

    – go to New York (my gf’s dream)

    – properly organise my hard drives

    – get back to learning Arabic

    -start cooking again

    -start swimming again

    -regain some independence/mobility/strength

  17. S
    S July 7, 2010 at 3:45 pm |

    I don’t want to derail, but apparently I’ve been called out. :)

    “Don’t let S fool you — I got suckered into the “cheesemaking is easy” folks and I ended up with a bunch of watery, milk-tasting cheese because in order for the cheese you make to taste like… well, cheese, you need to squeeze EVERY LAST DROP of whey out of the cheese.”

    It’s not difficult for mozzarella and other soft cheeses which don’t require aging; if you keep zapping it in the microwave and kneading it in between, most of the whey comes out on its own. If you were trying that, and it didn’t work, you may have had hyperpasteurized milk, in which most of the proteins have been too damaged to clump the curds well, or you could have added too much acid/vinegar, which can also prevent clumping IME.

    It’s a different matter for something like cheddar, which definitely does need some sort of press.

    And of course, for anything like cottage cheese, you want some whey in it.

    As for the expense, I usually only bother if I want organic cheese, which is ridiculously overpriced if you buy it directly (at least around here). I can get locally produced (non-hyperpasteurized), organic milk for less than $6/gallon, so it’s a cost-effective, fun thing to do with the kids.

    Is there any self-sufficient task nowadays which is cheaper to do on one’s own than it is to just buy the end result? Maybe some gardening, if you’re starting with decent soil and grow from seed, but I think that’s probably about it.

  18. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl July 7, 2010 at 3:50 pm |

    Don’t listen to her lies! At a certain point, the whey does not want to come out easily, and you end up with milk-smelling/tasting cheese.

  19. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan July 7, 2010 at 3:51 pm |

    – work out every day
    — cook the majority of my meals
    — learn to sew anything, knit anything that’s not a scarf
    — spend at least one workday without reading blogs… :p

  20. Lynnsey
    Lynnsey July 7, 2010 at 4:36 pm |

    I need to get back to being crafty!

    I made cheese the other day…while it WAS cheese, I don’ think it was the cheese it was supposed to be.

    Being what anyone over the age of 25 would call a “home ec. teacher” I’m glad to see some of the things that are on the lists. I always find it amusing that a lot of people look down on some of these activities (as though you must be of lesser intelligence if you know how to can things) even though they themselves don’t/haven’t/can’t do them.

    @Bagelsan…Knit lace scarves and you’ll feel better.

  21. Butch Fatale
    Butch Fatale July 7, 2010 at 5:31 pm |

    Fear the Chicken Coup! One day they will rise!

  22. The Anti-Bucket List: Things Not To Do Before You Die [Never Never Land] | Blogging With The Stars

    […] a reversal of the now increasingly common Bucket List formula, one blogger has published “Things I would like to do, that I probably could do, but never will do.” Because […]

  23. Meg
    Meg July 7, 2010 at 6:37 pm |

    Learn to ride a motorcycle (even if I may never own one)
    Work outside the USA
    Pass my prelims (oh please. oh please)
    Paint, regularly
    own my own home (this falls under the “probably will never happen” … sigh)

  24. Bushfire
    Bushfire July 7, 2010 at 6:59 pm |

    I love the fact that so many of you want to learn to sew. It’s interesting that we really want to do more of these domestic things. Imagine if people were paid for the housework?

    Here’s my list:

    1. Everything on Jill’s list
    2. Learn to sew and alter my own clothing
    3. Become proficient with watercolours
    4. Make a quilt
    5. Exercise regularly.

    BTW: I have already made my own ravioli. From scratch, including the noodles. Boo-yah!

  25. Julie
    Julie July 7, 2010 at 7:06 pm |

    My list:

    – Grow a beard and then cover it in bees.
    – Oppress all other forms of life, especially ricotta cheese.
    – Clean out my desk.
    – Sew.

  26. Julie
    Julie July 7, 2010 at 7:15 pm |

    Aw, crap, I didn’t mean for that to rhyme.

  27. That Girl
    That Girl July 7, 2010 at 7:17 pm |

    Fun lists! Mine includes:
    1. Learn to ride motorcycle + actually buy the one I’ve been craving for years
    2. Become fluent in French, Xhosa, Lingala and Italian + any language I end up needing in my job
    3. Run or work-out 3 times a week consistently
    4. Keep my personal space clean consistently
    5. Tell a joke without cracking myself up and ruining it for everyone else
    6. Fall asleep at a reasonable hour every night
    7. Get off the damn internet

  28. Paraxeni
    Paraxeni July 7, 2010 at 8:36 pm |

    Poor Julie -you can’t grow a beard on your own?

    Never mind. Keep on hoping!

    Yours hormonally, a fuzzy-faced femme :)

  29. Haley K
    Haley K July 7, 2010 at 9:19 pm |

    -I want to learn how to use a sewing machine. I can hand sew basic things like buttons and hems, but I don’t have/can’t afford a sewing machine. My mom has her grandmother’s antique sewing machine somewhere in storage, but I’m pretty sure the thing is from 1920.

    -I want to start my own blog. Probably won’t happen. I’m always bursting with random ideas and want to share them, but I don’t think I would be good and update regularly.

    -I want to learn how to apply fondant to cakes. I made my first fondant cake for the 4th of July, but I need more practice. And several pounds of powdered sugar.

    -Get back into jewelry making. I have a huge collection of beads but I get distracted halfway through projects.

    -take better care of my teeth, including wearing my retainer. (for aesthetic reasons mostly- I don’t like the gap between my front teeth and I wish they were whiter. I know I should do it for my health, but its hard to be motivated by that when in the short term I’m not getting cavities or gum disease)

    -Increase my upper arm strength at least to the point that I can lift my own damn suitcase into the overhead compartment

    -My reading list. Yeah.

  30. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth July 8, 2010 at 8:00 am |

    Does not raising bees mean that you can’t raise a sweet bee beard? Because that really should/not be on your bucket list.

  31. Jemima Aslana
    Jemima Aslana July 8, 2010 at 6:06 pm |

    Jill @15

    Sure thing, if you pay the fare across the Atlantic, I’d be happy to come cook for you ;P

    Seriously, though. Pesto is way easy to make, pine nuts, basil, olive oil, salt and parmesan cheese. Blended together. Add garlic only if you like it. Possibly add sun-dried tomatoes if you’re in that mood. The pine nuts can be replaced with walnuts. The amounts? Well… taste your way through ;-)

    It’s a real neat and non-junk way to spice up the pasta.

  32. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan July 8, 2010 at 7:37 pm |

    @Bagelsan…Knit lace scarves and you’ll feel better.

    I put simple little yarn fringes on two scarves I made for gifts, once, and I was. SO. PROUD. :p

  33. problem chylde
    problem chylde July 8, 2010 at 8:03 pm |

    * Learn to swim.
    * Learn to ride a bike.
    * Find some type of religious monastery/convent/commune to join.
    * Become a rapper/spoken word artist.
    * Bear and raise a child.

  34. Lynnsey
    Lynnsey July 9, 2010 at 9:22 am |

    Ah, Bagelsan…the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. I’m proud of your fringe-adding, too. :)

    I like lace scarves because you feel like you’re accomplishing something pretty complicated, but it doesn’t have to “fit” anybody. Plus, you just stop knitting when it’s long enough (or you’re bored…or you run out of yarn…whatever). Perfect!

  35. preying mantis
    preying mantis July 9, 2010 at 1:11 pm |

    “Im sorry that your goals include the oppression of other life, directly with the chicken coup and detached with the cheese.”

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. Bees just don’t even rate a defense in your world, do they?

    Snarking aside, I’d love to keep some bees. Having a husband who’s like some sort of bipedal bee rage-magnet knocks it off the menu, though. Maybe once my city decides to stop being so ridiculous about urban fowl, I can have a few ducks scurrying around the place. The failure to follow through on an interest in yogurt-making and daily-exercising, however, I cannot blame on a chicken-phobic city council.

  36. Julie
    Julie July 9, 2010 at 7:25 pm |

    Hmmm…. we even have a chicken coop at my house and raising chickens doesn’t appeal to me at all. Not because of my fear of opressing other life forms but because that just seems like too much work for my lazy self. My list:
    – go to the gym at least three times a week
    – learn to sew
    – learn to knit
    – organize my house
    – scrapbook/organize all my random photos
    – repaint my house
    – learn to make various things and can them on a regular basis
    – become a vegetarian

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