One new thing a day: 8 July 2012

Today’s my birthday, and I made a birthday vow to do something I’ve never done before every day for a month, starting today.

This something-never-done doesn’t have to be huge, like climbing Machu Picchu. It can be tiny, like trying an old-school cocktail that you’ve never had before. Such as this one, below.

This drink is called a Sidecar, and trust me, it’s extremely tasty. Not too sweet, even though it looks like it might be. Served in a martini glass, which is my favorite kind of drink glass. Kind of like a brandy gimlet, so if you’re a fan of vodka gimlets, take heed.

The something-never-done-before can be as simple as taking a right turn where you’ve never taken a right turn before, on a walk you do nearly every day, an hour+ walk so familiar to you that you literally know every single tree.

But take an unexpected right turn –something you probably wouldn’t have done if you hadn’t been on the lookout for something you’d never done before– and look where you end up:

Where you end up is a path through the woods that skirts the years-long familiar path you take with your dog, but which feels 20 degrees cooler and like an entirely new world, one running parallel to the world you walk in every day.

So many never-before-done things, right here in your own neighborhood. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?


  1. oreo · July 9, 2012

    That pic brings back memories–I went to Jax on prom night and probably still have the little black personalized matchbook tucked away somewhere. Can’t even remember the full name of the date who paid for my dinner, but then again he deserves forgetting after asking me out when he was secretly going out with one of my best friends (the look on his face when we came walking up to his house together was priceless). I do remember thinking Jax was the height of fanciness, and have ever since been rather afraid of returning for fear that it’s not true.

    I will drink to trying new things, including new things that can be imbibed. Did that tonight, in fact, at a new restaurant in a different part of town than we usually visit in Duluth. Happy birthday and happy month of novelty!


  2. alison · July 9, 2012

    Nice, Oreo! What drink did you try? And, re Jax, I love those personalized matchbooks.


  3. Tessa · July 9, 2012

    Happy birthday Alison! I love your challenge. I am particularly intrigued by the cocktail challenge:) I like that cute dog too!


  4. oreo · July 10, 2012

    A pomegranate mojito. Not that adventurous, perhaps, but it was noticeable because the other day I saw that on a menu and didn’t try it because I thought it might be weird, but then when I got the normal mojito it tasted like shit and I was disappointed. So this time I tried it and it was incredibly delicious.


  5. z'DrIz · July 10, 2012

    The new thing I am going to try today is to remember that your birthday is in July…not November, which is the month that is stuck in my head as “Alison’s birthday month.” Happy Birthday, Alison McGhee, celebrator of birthdays. And sorry that I was four months off.


  6. herhimnbryn · July 10, 2012

    Happy Birthday Alison, Happy Birthday!


  7. alison · July 11, 2012

    Thanks, Tessa and hhb and Z’Driz, for the birthday wishes! It was a good, good day. (And Z’Driz, many of my favorite people in the world are Scorpios, so I’ll take November as a compliment.)


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