Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Rescued donuts from the dumpster under the cover of darkness.
Sipped cocktails with the supreme court.
Quit my real job to be a road manager for a rock band.
Walked the plains of Africa.
Caught my backdoor neighbor dancing in his tighty whiteys....

Valerie, age 41


At 23 I cared for my mother who was ill with cancer and watched her die.
At 24 I got married.
At 26 I had my first baby.
At 28 I had my second baby.
This morning for breakfast I made coffee, eggs, oatmeal. green smoothies and cut up apples and grapes.

Kristen, age 29

Monday, November 28, 2011


Disappointed everyone by dropping out of high school 3 months before graduation.
After 9 months of working dead-end jobs I got accepted to 3 Universities with my nearly perfect GED scores.
I watched my mother grow from a single teen mother to mature woman, now married with 4 other children.
Wasted 8 yrs being really depressed and blinded by immature thoughts of suicide.
Realized one day that I was surprised to be still alive and astonished by what I've accomplished.

Jessica, age 20


Returning from the Peace Corps I crossed the stormy sea from Columbia to Panama in a canoe with some albino Indians from San Bias.
Escaped from a military prison in Washington State and fled to Mexico where I met my wife.
While meditating in Bombay (now Mumbai) had a vision of Jesus.
Had a second vision of him in the Anza Borrego desert of California and made translations of the four Gospels from a pacifist-Unitarian viewpoint.
In 2011, walked through a biker's street party in Sarasota Florida admist curses and death threats carrying a sign that said, "God hates wars and those who fight them."

Robert, age 68

Roly Chang Barrero

I was a member of ACT-UP (The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power).
I traveled the world as a flight attendant for United.
I earned a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
I opened an ART Gallery in Boynton Beach Florida called ActivisArtistA.
I fell in love with a man named Gil.

Roly Chang Barrero, age 49

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Caregiver who watched the terrible disease of Cancer take away the love of my life, my husband.
Educator of Middle School and Graduate students, who can hopefully make a difference in the lives of my students.
Received the Make a Difference Award as one of the Top Ten Teachers in 1999 from the Anti-Defamation League.
Learned to accept my family for who they are and have realized that I define who I am by my own actions and not by what others may think.
Keeps a journal to record my feelings of joys and sadness.

Charlene, age 54

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Made models of "The Life Cycle of the Cat Flea" in polyester resin for the Australian Museum.
Worked radio tracking Grey-headed Flying Foxes while also foster-caring kangaroo joeys.
Danced with the Early Dance Consort for 20 years, and got to dance in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall with the music of the Brandenburg Orchestra.
Married a wonderful man and had 2 gorgeous children.
Wrote and illustrated a children's book on endangered species.

Anne, age 50

(Anne's list is in chronological order.)

Friday, November 25, 2011


Learned to wind surf in the English Channel.
Left my fiance, even though part of me still belongs to him.
Had pinup photos of myself taken (and they are hot.)
Have posed naked for artists, and seen their drawings of me exhibited in galleries.
Packed everything I owned into a 14 foot U-Haul, drove 8 hours by myself to a place I'd never been before, to follow my dream of getting my MFA.

Erika, age 25


Committed to a dog.
Fell in love. Then out. And then fell again. And then out.
Left 100 teacups on a city street.
Stood in Tienanmen Square when I was 20 and realized how small I was.
Stayed optimistic.

Alex, age 28


I heard the angels speak to me on a bridge in Venice.
I have encountered spirits both good and bad.
I have known moments of pure joy.
I survived a childhood of domestic violence.
I have learned to listen to God's voice.

Michelle, age 49

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Laid a loving kiss on my dead mother's cool cheek.
Ate a sashimi slice of my firstborn's placenta.
Avoided detention by men with machine guns at the then newly non-communist Uzbekistan airport.
Rode in a monster truck.
After a lifetime of wanting to, wrote a book, and then another one!

Meg, age 45


Calculated all the cars' number plates on my walk to school.
Got arrested at student protests on both sides of the Tasman Sea (and for being "illegally on a building site".)
Cycled 1,400 kilometers from a small town called Moron to a smaller town, also called Moron.
Shook David Hasselhoff''s hand.
Moved in with my girlfriend.

Tom, age 32


Sired two beautiful children.
Stood in the same room with Nelson Mandela, and wept when the Internationale played.
Built back line speaker cabinets for John "the Ox" Entwistle.
Crossed the equator many (too many to count) times.
Caught the bus to work this morning.



I was a NYC bike messenger for 5 years.
I worked as a dog walker in NYC.
I went a little crazy.
I fell in love, several times.
I had my heart broken.

Jennifer, age 39


Tried to kill myself.
Faked it till I made it out of psych hospital.
Tried to kill myself again.
Woke up and realized everything had changed.
Understood that death is nothing to gain.

Alan, age 28


Climbed the Eiffel Tower.
Built a school in Tanzania for charity.
Sang in my friend's funeral.
Spent more than 60 pounds on body products all in one transaction.
On Valentine's Day, gave a rose to my tutor who I refer to as the grandfather/guardian I've never had.

Chioma, age 21

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Got married to afford art school.
Saw my dad die in a trailer full of relatives I never met.
Threw a tiara at a cashier.
Took naughty photos in high school for art class and got suspended.
Had a baby.

Noelle, age 26


Have wished my sister didn't have a disability.
Ran a marathon.
Traveled around the world with a backpack full of books I couldn't bear to leave behind.
Seen a loved one dying.
Felt I could never love again.

Lucie, age 24


Fell in love with someone who taught me to live for each day.
Followed the sun to California.
Traveled to the Amazon rain-forest at age 12 and basked in the glory of the wilderness.
Learned I have the potential to be successful at everything I do.
Cried a lot of tears, ate a lot of donuts, cooked a lot of meals for people I love.

Debra B, age 29

Monday, November 21, 2011


Lived with an Aboriginal tribe in outback Australia.
Paddled a dugout canoe down the Sepik River in Papua new Guinea with a cannibal guide.
Rode a motorcycle across India.
Opened a collective Art studio on New Zealand.
Built a wooden house on the back of a 1948 truck and toured the West coast with it (still on the road and still touring.)


Sunday, November 20, 2011


Worked in Yosemite as my first job away from home.
Followed the Grateful Dead on tour across the US.
Was an Avionics Technician in the Navy.
Lived in a Tipi.
Sold lots of my paintings.

Sherri, age 42

Friday, November 18, 2011

Laura Jean

I broke my neck and 17 teeth, all at once.
I drove my car 130 mph.
I left home at age 18 with $500 and didn't look back.
I drove a 1967 Volvo from Montana to Massachusetts.
I herded 1,000 goats in the mountains.

Laura Jean, age 27

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Entered a morgue on a dare in Puebla, Mexico claiming to know someone who died and "needing" to ID their body.
Swam with urethra fish in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Broke my back.
Traveled alone to Cali, Columbia at age 25.
Gone into countless homes of unknown people as a teen parent social worker.

Stephanie, age 32


Found life after a crushing divorce.
Accepted responsibility for two other people's 'mistake'.
Said goodbye to both parents by the age of 23 (I'm the oldest of 4 siblings).
Nearly died at the age of 15 from appendicitis due to which I now have no bellybutton.
Served time in jail for ticking off a judge.

Todd, age irrelevant


Sang a solo on TV at age 7.
Walked halfway across a frozen river.
Received a Ph.D. from Harvard.
Adopted my son in Bogota, my daughter in Pacific NW.
Wrote and published book of drawings and poems.

Eileen, age 66


Laughed in the ocean.
Ate many fancy cupcakes.
Broke a few hearts.
Felt lonely.
Laid in the delicious sunshine.

Mels, age 24

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Learned to fly a plane.
Jumped out of a plane.
Passed out face down in the shadow of death.
Found God.
Found a wife.

Brandon, age 28


I saw the Northern Lights.
I jumped out of a plane.
My daughter and I watched the sunset from the Ice Hotel.
I ran away to sail from Turkey to the Greek Isles.
I saw my girls riding their horses on the beach.

Thea, age forty something

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I made cheese for a living.
I healed my back after a herniated disc...mostly.
I survived a break-in and sexual assault.
I lived on an island for two years.
I wrote and published a book.

Meghan, age 30

Monday, November 14, 2011


I had 5 children, one adopted.
Was a foster parent for 4 years.
I am an artist-painter, potter, and play with glass.
I finished a two-year degree.
I built many walls in my house.

Susan, age 48


Ordained as Shingon Japanese Buddhist Priest.
Published 15 books on Philosophy.
Sold my paintings for more the US $1 million.
Ordained Orthodox Christian Priest.
Became a religious hermit monk.


Friday, November 11, 2011


Became a film maker.
Became an actor.
Became an artist.
Became a journalist.
Became a seeker of truth.

Victor, age 65


I've won a medal at Carnegie Hall for my art.
I gave my coat to a homeless person yesterday.
I fearlessly make conversations to strangers on the bus.
I've gone to rehab and the people I met there changed my life.
I believe I fall in love with everyone I meet even for a second.

Marianne, age 19

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ana Karina

Interned at the Smithsonian.
Slept in the Milan airport alone, twice.
Danced on a rooftop.
Drove alone form Austin to Miami for myself.
Spent all my savings.

Ana Karina, age 24

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Walked France alone from A. Ocean to M. Sea.
Wrote 55 books of journals keeping my mind free.
Raised rabbits, chickens, vegetables, bees.
Slept in 168 countries, states and territories.
Artfully passed 4 brushes with death.

Peaty, age 62


Learned to say yes.
Went into art school as a graphic design major (for my parents,) but came out with a BFA in Photography (for myself) - ironic, because who the hell goes to art school for their parents?
Learned to forgive, only after maliciously and irreversibly removing a number of people from my life.
Tried hard drugs.
On a whim, and at a time when I really needed money, I took a non-paying job that continues to change my life (and I continue to need money.)

Allie, age 22

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Lived in a cemetery.
Sailed on a tall ship.
Created and published a suburban newspaper.
Wrote poetry.
Survived cancer.



Lived at over 45 addresses since birth, but I am not a traveller/gypsy/tinker/pikie.
Had my Gallbladder removed at 20.
Co-led the 2011 occupation against cuts to arts funding and the rise in tuition fees at Bath Spa Uni, England.
My art blog got over 11,000 hits in one day for the post about my 'Self Portrait with Menstral Blood' artwork.
In 2003 I went insane for a while, I woke up this year.

Layne, age 28

Friday, November 4, 2011


Wrote a story about a red balloon.
Wrote a story about a dot.
Had a miscarriage and gave birth on the exact date two years apart.
Unintentionally hurt my sister and watched my family slowly fall apart.
Healing from depression daily, sometimes hour by hour.

Venus, age 40


Served 7 years in the US Navy.
Bathed and cleaned and took care of patients with cancer.
Helped deliver premature babies in Haiti.
Surfed dozens of couches in Europe and Central America.
Realized my need to live life as an artist.

Kiam, age 27


Drove from Austin to New Orleans in the middle of the night with a complete stranger.
Danced on the bar at the original Coyote Ugly - before it got trendy...and while I was up there, sang "Shook me all night long" with tremendous abandon and absolutely no skill.
Forgave myself (for a lot more than the crap singing).
Skated in the roller derby...AFTER the spinal surgery.
Learned to love everything that makes up my past, but also learned to believe that who I've been doesn't define who I'm becoming.

Paula, age 35

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Had two amazing children.
Overcame self consciousness and fear and started to do ecstatic dance.
Created a ceramic wall chair installation of 108 chairs and found objects.
Began writing.
Visited the Grand Canyon, a long time dream.

Jo, age 58

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Gotten a BFA.
Set fire to an Art Wing at Boarding School.
Finished my Masters.
Became a Superstar (in my mind).
Eaten lots of Gelato.

Sonia, age 35


Graduated from college 4 times (BS Ed, MSLS, BSN, MSN)
Submitted and was accepted in my first juried exhibit at age 49.
Rode the "Tail of the Dragon" on a motorcycle.
Gotten a tattoo.
Found my true (creative) self.

Lauri, age 50