101 Things to Do Before You’re Old and Boring, and Which of Them I’ve Done

Bottle of Glenfiddich

Kate and Dave, two friends of mine, threw their annual Boxing Day gathering at their place last night. It was a great chance to hang out with a number of people whom I haven’t seen in a while as well as meet some new faces, and talk over a lot of great food and scotch (which I brought).

One of the traditions at this event is the “re-gifting” table. If you got any Christmas gifts that you can’t or won’t use, you bring them to the party and leave them on the re-gifting table, where anyone else can take them. At the end of the soiree, as I was leaving, there were still a number of items left on the table, so Kate encouraged me to take two. I took:

  • A bottle of raspberry ketone pills, which were given to a skinny guy. My work schedule has really messed with my gym schedule, and I’ll take any help I can get. I’ll try them, but I get the feeling that getting back to the gym and my regular diet will work better.
  • The young adult book 101 Things to Do Before You’re Old and Boring.

Photo of the book "101 Things to Do Before You're Old and Boring"

I myself plan to get increasingly interesting as I get older, but the book piqued my curiosity sufficiently to make me grab it from the re-gifting table.

While I don’t have the book with me right now (I’m at the office as I write this, and as the CTO, I hereby give myself permission to blog at work), I managed to find an online list of the 101 things, as well as a Tumblr devoted to the book.

For the curious, I now present the list 101 Things to Do Before You’re Old and Boring and my answers to those items…

  1. Send a Message in a Bottle: I think I did this as part of a grade school class assignment. Never got a response, so I have no idea whether someone got the message or not.
  2. Run up an Escalator the Wrong Way: I do this when I’m in a hurry.
  3. Make an Origami Crane: When my family first came to Canada in 1975, we lived in High Park, which was one of the neighbourhoods where “New Canadians” would often end up (and it’s where I live now). At that time, there was a big wave of Japanese immigrants, so many of my friends and classmates were Japanese, and they taught me how to make origami cranes. It’s been ages since I’ve made one, and I’ve forgotten how.
  4. Learn How to Tell When Someone Has a Crush on You (and When They Don’t): I’m much better at this than I used to be. Part of it was (finally) figuring out that it was possible for someone to have a crush on me and part of it was figuring out what to do about it when it happened. The accordion helped out greatly, but I’m still learning.
  5. Keep a Dream Diary: Can’t be bothered.
  6. Touch These Creatures: I don’t have the book in front of me, so I have no idea whether I’ve touched any of the creatures listed.
  7. Prepare Yourself for Fame: Check.
  8. Learn to Play an Instrument: Well, this is the Accordion Guy blog…
  9. Play a Computer Game to the End: A number of times. In fact, I finished Bully, Scholarship Edition for the Xbox 360 late at night on Christmas Day.
  10. Have an Embarrassing Moment and Get Over It: This is a regular occurrence for yours truly. A well-documented example is chronicled in my series of blog posts titled Worst Date Ever.
  11. Get Your School Involved in a World Record Attempt: A bit late for that.
  12. Paint a Picture Good Enough to Hang on the Wall: Does Photoshop art count?
  13. Learn to Whistle (and Make Other Noises): Done.
  14. See a Ghost: No such thing.
  15. Fart and Burp: Done, and done.
  16. Make a Swear Box: You have got to fucking be joking.
  17. Act in a Play: Back in high school, I was one of the knights in Camelot and a muleteer and the Moorish Pimp in Man of La Mancha.
  18. Win Something: I don’t have the book in front of me, so I have no idea if it refers to winning a competition or a draw or lottery. I recently an HP netbook in a draw.
  19. Make a T-Shirt: I’ve made a couple in my time.
  20. Stay Up All Night: Did that Christmas Eve, making special presents for my in-laws, sister and brother-in-law and Mom: a custom digital picture frame with 700 photos of my nephews that I’ve taken over the years.
  21. Sleep All Day: Did that on Boxing Day, as a result of staying up all night Christmas Eve.
  22. Invent a Secret Code: Did it as a kid. It was a simple letter-substitution cipher; you could probably crack it in a few minutes.
  23. Learn to Do a Card Trick: Learned, and forgotten.
  24. Grow Something from a Seed: Grown, neglected and discarded.
  25. Start a Collection: Does a set of crazy ex-girlfriends count?
  26. Help Save the Planet: Are we talking recycling, or something larger. Does my small contribution to Peekabooty, an application meant to allow people in China to bypass the internet censorship of their Great Firewall, count?
  27. Turn Back Time: I don’t have the book in front of me, so I don’t know the context. Sounds intriguing, though.
  28. Learn to Do a Party Trick: I think playing rock and pop on the accordion and making the ladies swoon counts, don’t you?
  29. Climb to the Top of a Mountain: Okay, that’s going on the list.
  30. Make a One-Minute Movie: I’ve made some short videos on YouTube, but never a one-minute one. Okay, that’s going on the list.
  31. Host a Party: Oh yes, I hosted many, including one particularly notorious hot tub party.
  32. Visit…: I don’t have the book in front of me, so I have no idea how many of the listed placed I’ve visited.
  33. Learn to Bake a Cake: Yes. It’s been a while, and I should do it again.
  34. Hide a Treasure and Leave a Map for Friends to Find: Sounds like something I should do with my nephews.
  35. Learn How to Ask Someone out (and How to Dump Them): Done. I have one or two untold stories, including how I asked the current girlfriend out. Maybe I’ll blog that some day.
  36. Start Your Own Blog: You’re reading it right now!
  37. Write Lyrics for a Song: I’ve written music for songs, but never the lyrics. I think my lyrics would be terrible.
  38. Make a Time Capsule: I’ve submitted some moment-in-time mementoes for a time capsule for a friend’s kid.
  39. Be a Genius: Done!
  40. Take Care of an Animal: I grew up with a couple of dogs, and have been called on to cat- and dog-sit from time to time.
  41. Learn to Like These Foods: Once again, the book’s not in front of me, so I have no idea what they are. Since the only foods I won’t eat are very, very few, chances are that I like the foods listed.
  42. April Fool Someone: A number of times, because I love a good prank.
  43. Do Something Charitable: A number of times.
  44. Teach Your Grandparents Something New: Did I ever do that? It’s too late now.
  45. Invent a New Game: Sure, and I’m working on creating a new game for the iPhone and Android.
  46. Go as Fast as You Can: Running? On a bike? In a car? In a plane? In bed?
  47. Make your Own Badges: Never done that. It’s going on the list.
  48. Watch These Films: I’d need the book in front of me to answer this.
  49. Read These Books: I’d need the book f
  50. Pretend to Be Sick Convincingly: Haven’t we all? I can’t remember the last time I did this. I believe I last did it late in my career at Microsoft, when it was becoming apparent that the Canadian office was slowly turning into a Borgia-era Italian village.
  51. Save Your Pocket Money for a Month and Spend it All at Once: Did that for a couple of months and bought an iPhone.
  52. Learn to Swim: Done.
  53. Succeed at Something You’re Bad At: Trying to remember the last time I did this. Does getting back into programming count?
  54. Be a Daredevil: Does busking count?
  55. Invent a New Trend: I’m still waiting for the next guy to carry an accordion everywhere.
  56. Know Who Your Friends Are: Yup.
  57. Plant a Tree (and Climb it When You’re Older): Planted one, but its branches are too high up.
  58. Start a Band: A number of times.
  59. Camp Out in the Backyard: I’ve camped out, but never in the back yard.
  60. Learn to Live Without Something You Love for a Week: I live without someone I live three weeks out of every month! She’s in Tampa.
  61. Join a Club: I belong to a couple, including HacklabTO, which has a real clubhouse!.
  62. Cook a Meal: Daily.
  63. List the Things Your Parents Say They’ll Tell You When You’re Older: Oh, I should’ve done that!
  64. Make Your Bike or Skateboard Look Cool: I do that just by getting on it.
  65. Learn to Juggle: Tried. Failed. Sort of got it right, thanks to the late Erik “Possum” Stewart. May try again.
  66. Have a Snowball Fight and Fun in the Snow: Done that, and given the weather, today might be a good day to do it again!
  67. Build the Ultimate Sandcastle and Have Fun in the Sun: I’ve done the fun in the sun in both Tampa and the Philippines this summer, but it’s been a while since I’ve built a sandcastle.
  68. Take Part in a TV Show: A number of times, thanks to the accordion.
  69. Make a Scene in a Public Place: Oh, yes. One recent example: the time when there was a massive arrivals delay at Pearson Airport. The crowd was getting ugly, and I broke out the accordion to ease the tension. Here’s a video!
  70. Spend Christmas in Another Country: I’ve spent a couple of Christmases in the Philippines with my family.
  71. Do Something Nice Without Being Asked: And that’s why I’m an awesome boyfriend.
  72. See Your Music Idol Perform Live: Der Trentster! I’ve seen him live a number of times.
  73. Have a Sleepover: I’m flying down to one on Saturday.
  74. Become a Spy: I’ll fall back on the cliché: “I’d tell you about it, but then I’d have to kill you.”
  75. Watch a Tadpole Grow into a Frog: Not interested.
  76. Learn to Say Useful Phrases in Other Languages: My standby phrase for demonstrating my Spanish acumen is ¿Dónde están los spectaculos con acción caliente chica sur chica? I also know how to ask for beer in a number of languages.
  77. Make Your Own Greeting Cards: The hand-drawn type? Of course.
  78. Hold a Yard Sale: Been a while.
  79. Build an Igloo: Never done it. Okay, that’s going on the list.
  80. Start Your Own Secret Society: I w=can neither confirm nor deny that I have done this.
  81. Research Your Family Tree: A little. Someone on Mom’s side of the family did this, and I can trace my lineage back to Limahong, a notorious Chinese pirate. So whenever I BitTorrent videos, I say “Hey man, it’s the family business”.
  82. Learn to Skip Stones: Yep; just watch out for water fowl.
  83. Dye Your Hair: At various points in the 90s: red, purple, blond.
  84. Lobby Your Local Congressman: No, but I helped ruin a parliamentary candidate’s campaign.
  85. Write a Story and Get it Published: The “New Girl” story, which got published in Never Threaten to Eat Your Co-workers: Best of Blogs.
  86. Sing in Front of an Audience: Oh, yes. Didn’t you see the video from item number 69?
  87. Learn to Use Long Words (and Drop Them Into Conversation): A quotidian exercise.
  88. Blame Someone Else: I blamed my last fart on a dog.
  89. Learn to Stick Up for Yourself: I wouldn’t have made it this far if I didn’t.
  90. Get from A to B Using a Map: Sure, although in this age of smartphone maps (Apple Maps notwithstanding), it’s so much easier.
  91. Send a Valentine Card: Yup. There’s a particularly funny story about a Valentine’s condom-gram I once sent to a girl.
  92. Have Your Own Plot in the Garden: Do you mean “plot” as in area of land, or evil plan? I’ve done only the latter.
  93. Build Your Own Web Site: Several times; you’re on one now.
  94. See Your Name in Print: A number of times, and I have copies of each.
  95. Make a Unique Milkshake: I used to make the “Flakey Shakey” at parties, a deliciously boozy frappe.
  96. Glue Coins to the Floor: I’ve glued loonies to the sidewalk and watched hilarity ensue.
  97. Learn to Take Great Photos: Occasionally, I manage to snap a gem.
  98. Drive Something: Too many times to count.
  99. Be Vegetarian for a Week: Suck what? How hard?
  100. Meet Someone Famous: A number of people, including this guy.
  101. Decide What You Want to Be When You Grow Up: I’ve decided not to grow up!

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