The one with the lists.

30 12 2007

This is the time of year that calls for lists. Top 100 music videos of 2007. Top 100 commercials of 2007. Top 100 funniest sports moments of 2007. Top 100 pets of 2007. Lists of all the best restaurants in New York in 2007. Lists of the highest grossing films of 2007. Lists of weather events. Lists of car sales. Lists of countries with the highest energy consumption. Lists of things to do on New Year’s Eve. Lists of places to go in the upcoming year. This is a time for order, a time for for categorization, a time for lining up every single thing and giving it a place if not a purpose in the world.

For me, this is a very good time of year. I love lists. This must be because I have a fair amount of German blood in me and, given the chance to organize miscellaneous items, events, or people into a list of my own creation and based entirely on my own criteria, work myself into such an excited frenzy I can feel my eyes shake and roll back into my head. I know this runs in my family and I’m pretty sure there’s no one else on the planet who’s more excited to read the upcoming lists than my mother, my uncle, and my aunt. (Am I right, family? Are you practically panting for a Top 10? Are these words right now just making you angry that I’ve not created the list already?)

It was just last night, actually, that it became painfully obvious that I needed to do this kind of post because, there in the Barnes and Noble on Dorset Street in South Burlington, I picked up a book dedicated to making lists. I think it was even called the List Book. I don’t have to tell you how I struggled to decide whether to put back the two books I’d picked up (one by Bill Bryson about Shakespeare, the other called Rumspringa about Amish teenagers) so I could buy this book of lists. List all the people you’ve lived with. List all the pets you’ve had. List all the countries you’ve visited. List all your favorite TV shows. The paper was nice and thick, the texture smooth like frozen milk; it would have been a very excellent purchase. In the end, however, I stuck with my original two since I don’t need to spend money on making lists, even if the paper is smooth and milky white and even if all of the lists I’d ever want to create would be there, bound  between two covers for eternity.  (But even that’s not true, because of course, the magic of creating lists is that there are infinite possibilities of the kinds of lists one can create. For example, in that List Book, I saw not a single list devoted to Brazil. So how could I categorize anything in my life if it is not place-specific? Clearly, in that light, the List Book would be a very non– excellent purchase.)

And so, I celebrate this time of year with an original set of lists, tailored to my personal experiences over these past 364 days (I’m a day early. Also a German thing.)  I’ll do Top 5’s because it’s much more efficient, being thus able to create more lists.

Top 5 Things I Have Loved About Living in Brazil in 2007

  •  Every time I leave the country, I come back to it more fluent in Portugese.
  • Finding Starbucks in Sao Paulo.
  • Having Dennis come visit twice.
  • Going to Carnaval in Rio.
  • Learning how to make a caipirinha the right way.

 Top 5 Things That Haven’t Been Cool About Living in Brazil in 2007:

  • Getting mugged on my street.
  • Getting screwed out of money by taxi drivers because they don’t carry enough change.
  • Phone bills.
  • No television (but this is because I am lazy.)
  • Feeling lonely.

Top 5 Favorite Things to Wear in Brazil:

  • Jeans
  • Black Havaianas
  • My orange scarf thing that I bought in the airport
  • Brown Paraty tank top
  • Green hippie skirt

5 Favorite Foods in Brazil:

  • Pao de queijo
  • Coffee
  • Juice
  • Vinaigrete
  • Caipirinhas

5 Favorite Foods in the States:

  • Home-cooked anything
  • Starbucks
  • Quesadillas
  •  Roast beef sandwiches
  • Pizza

5 Things I Will Take Back With Me to Brazil:

  • A suitcase full of new books
  • New shoes
  • A brown shirt
  • My cell phone charger
  • A coin purse from Anthropologie

5 Amazing Christmas Presents:

  • When Harry Met Sally DVD
  • A hooked rug made by my mom
  • Books! Books! Books!
  • Starbucks gift certificate
  • Earrings

5 Things I’m Looking Forward to Doing Before I Return to Brazil on January 12th:

  • Visiting with Mia and Jay
  • Sending out my application to grad school
  • Eavesdropping in coffee shops
  • Organizing my things to bring back
  • Visiting Francis, my cat who lives in Providence

5 Things I Resolve To Do in 2008 But Know In My Heart of Hearts I Won’t Because Resolutions Are Little Promises To Myself and Those Are The Ones I’m More Likely to Waver On Rather Than Promises I Make To Other People. I’m Very Good At Justifying Things To Myself and Finding Excuses Procrastinating:

  • Snowboard
  • Write a book
  • Live in Europe
  • Buy a house
  • Get a dog

5 Things I Really Want to Happen, But Not Necessarily in 2008 Because That Would Be A LOT To Take In In One Year:

  • Snowboard
  • Write a book
  • Live in Europe
  • Buy a house
  • Get a dog

5 Blogs that Have Made 2007 A Very Well-Read Year:

5 Things I’d Like To Say to You All Before 2008 Begins:

  • Thank You for reading,
  • Thank You for responding,
  • I hope you have a wonderful New Year celebration,
  • And I hope this year brings you happy words, happy news, happy travels, happy people, and happy thoughts,
  • Forever and forever and forever.
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9 responses

30 12 2007
Nilsa S.

I made your top 5 list. OMG. Blushing as we speak. I have no acceptance speech prepared, so I’ll just say THANK YOU. I have enjoyed being a reader of your South American adventures and look forward to more in the new year!

30 12 2007
Sofy

Oh, write a book! I don’t really care if you do the other stuff, but you need to write a book. Soon. Definitely before I go to college and forget about you. I’ll read it and I promise it’ll be my favorite book. Well, at least my favorite book for a while, I change my opinions a lot. And I’m gonna annoy you about it, okay? I’ll ask all the time if you’ve started it, so that you don’t forget or get lazy or anything.

Right. So, I hope you and Dennis and your mom and whoever else is/was there had a great Christmas. And that you all have a happy New Year.

– Sofy

30 12 2007
Sofy

Oh and I was just kidding about this. Sometimes I worry that people take my jokes seriously:
1. I’m sure it’s very important that you do all the other stuff that you want to do in 2008, and I hope you get everything done.
2. You know I’ll never forget about you.
3. Your book will be my favorite book forever, whatever it’s about. And you should know that, too.

– Sofy

30 12 2007
Susan

I love list.

30 12 2007
Alvy

Yo Baby C!
I also love to make lists! About anything, and I really mean anything. Just now, I made this list of possible-future-ly-bought Utada Hikaru albums and their prices even though it made no sense at all, only for the sport and maybe if I ever need and sent it to myself by e-mail. Is that understandable or is it just weird?
Oh, and your book has gotta have me in it once in every chapter to make up for the lack of me-s in your list, you evil english teacher, and to think you’re in every list of mine (Well, not really, but pretend you are… and cry a little, too, because it makes it more dramatic). Well, I have to go, so I wanna wish you everything you wished for us, because you diserve it for being such a beautiful, intelligent, and such a good role-model in our lives! Have a very joyful new year!

31 12 2007
Alvy

P.S. Was that a f.r.i.e.n.d’s tribute I just saw there as the title?

1 01 2008
ginacoggio

You know it!!

3 01 2008
rosie

Yay for the black havaianas! (I have some). They’re def. coming down to Brazil with me.

Happy New Year to you too!

3 01 2008
Jennie

I can’t believe I made your well-read list! I seriously think my blog is crappy, but I keep it up because I don’t think it’s fair to just read everyone else’s stuff all of the time. I’m truly honored, though. Maybe you picked me because sometimes I post pictures of my cute puppy (need to post some more – she’s growing like a weed!). Oh, and the fact that I sent you Hershey Kisses. Score.

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