The Big To-Do (List) Checklist 2.0

Updated 29 Jun 2022 (Original start date: 14 May 2021; revised end date: 17 Oct 2022) 

Create a comic book adaptation of my Tiki bar novella, ‘Walter Ledbetter and the Staff of Mirth.’ First, learn how to draw.

I’ve completed my first-ever drawing class. For two of our in-session assignments, I took the opportunity to sketch figures that at least *could* appear in my Tiki bar novella: Frank Buck and, um, a lion. Please don’t judge too harshly.


Produce a song for a character in my Tiki bar novella using my idea for ‘Reverse Cantometrics’

I kind of knew the Reverse Cantometrics part of this would never work but I went ahead and boned up on non-Reverse Cantometrics and even developed a workable Reverse Cantometrics model. All of which confirmed what I kind of already knew: that it would never work. I’ll think about other ways I might produce a song for a character in my Tiki bar novella.

Listen to 52 albums from the past ten years

  1. Bob Dylan, Rough and Rowdy Ways (2020)
  2. Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer (emotion picture version) [2018]
  3. Juliana Hatfield, Blood (2021)
  4. Juliana Hatfield, Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John (2018)
  5. Lizzo, Cuz I Love You (2018)
  6. BLACKPINK, The Album (2020)
  7. John Mayer, Sob Rock (2021)
  8. Selena Gomez, Rare (2020)
  9. Selena Gomez, Revelación EP (2021)
  10. Dua Lipa, Future Nostalgia (The Moonlight Edition) [2021]
  11. Bleachers, Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night (2021)
  12. Billie Eilish, Happier than Ever (2021)
  13. Micky Dolenz, Dolenz Sings Nesmith (2021)
  14. Sara Bareilles, Amidst the Chaos: Live from the Hollywood Bowl (2021)
  15. Peter Tork and Shoe Suede Blues, Relax Your Mind: Honoring the Music of Lead Belly (2018)
  16. Olivia Rodrigo, Sour (2021)
  17. Caravan, It’s None of Your Business (2021)
  18. Waitress (Original Broadway Cast Recording) [2016]
  19. Hearts Beat Loud (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [2018]

Watch all of Star Trek: The Original Series

In progress

Watch at least 5 episodes each of 5 TV shows about fictional bands or artists; watch at least 5 movies about fictional bands or artists

TV Shows

I’ve watched 5 episodes of the new ABC show Queens with Eve, Brandy and others. I can’t decide whether it’s too ridiculous to continue watching or too ridiculous not to continue. EDIT: It’s more or less moot. The show has been canceled.

I’m now 5 episodes into Season 1 of The Partridge Family, which I’d never actually seen before. I gotta say, I’m enjoying it much more than I ever thought I would.

I tore through the first season of Girls5eva (8 episodes) and now it’s gonna feel like 6eva before the next season drops.

I also tore through the first season of We Are Lady Parts (6 episodes).

I don’t think I’ve watched The Monkees since I was a kid in the seventies — certainly not since MTV aired its weekend-long Monkees marathon in 1986. I finally decided to right this wrong and have now revisited 5 episodes from the series.

I’ve also watched 4 episodes of New Monkees, the 1987 reboot of the series. I think that’s about enough. The new Monkees themselves are actually kind of likable. But the show itself is horrible.

6eva arrived (see above) — and not a moment too soon. I’ve now also gobbled up the second season of Girls5eva (8 episodes).


  1. Pitch Perfect (2012)
  2. 2GE+HER (2000)
  3. Toomorrow (1970)
  4. Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again (TV movie) [1990] — This live-action adaptation isn’t about the Archies per se but the Archies do appear — and even perform — so I’ll include it as an honorable mention.
  5. Electric Apricot: Quest for Festeroo (2007)
  6. A Mighty Wind (2003)
  7. Boy Band (2018)
  8. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Watch 12 classic film noirs; make 12 different cocktails

  1. The Big Sleep (1946), Gin Martini
  2. Chinatown (1974), Negroni
  3. Key Largo (1948), Dark & Stormy

Read 10 P.G. Wodehouse novels; at least once a week, read them during a leisurely visit to a coffee shop

  1. Summer Lightning (1929)
  2. Do Butlers Burgle Banks? (1969)

Bonus read: Jeeves and the Leap of Faith (continuation novel by Ben Schott)

Read or otherwise learn about sacred texts for three world religions; see what all the hubbub is about

I’ve finished reading 30 Days to Understanding the Bible by Max Anders.

Attend or visit 12 events or places (lectures, concerts, museums, etc.) relevant to something on this list (Tiki; science fiction; fictional bands; film noir; Wodehouse; world religions)

In progress


Bonus / Optional

Visit three filming locations from favorite movies or TV shows

Not sure if this counts: I saw The Goonies, a pastiche of and an homage to Raiders of the Lost Ark, one of my favorite movies of all time, on the grounds of the Medfield State Hospital (originally the Medfield Insane Asylum) outside Boston. As well as hosting the showing of The Goonies, the hospital and its grounds have served as a filming location for a number of films — including Shutter Island, The New Mutants and Knives Out — at least one of which I’ve seen and enjoyed.

Complete three Rock & Roll road trips

In September, I went on a walking tour of Boston’s rock & roll past and present. For an hour and a half on a beautiful Sunday morning, we wound our way through the Fenway and Back Bay areas of Boston, pausing at the former sites of clubs like the Rat, Storyville and the Boston Tea Party for stories and bits of trivia. Our host, Matt, came equipped with a messenger bag jam-packed with LPs, magazines, assorted ephemera and a bluetooth speaker connected to his phone, through which he played music, excerpts from radio interviews, etc. He was like a rock & roll Captain Caveman. Good stuff all around.

Technically, it wasn’t actually a road trip. But I did drive into Boston and park in the Fenway area — on a Red Sox game day, at that. So I’ll give it to myself.

Participate in a historical reenactment

In progress