My Anti-Bucket List

Everyone talks about what they would like to do before they die and yeah, I have a mental list too. But how about stopping for a second and appreciating the badass stuff you’ve already done? Stop living in the future (which will never come) and take a moment to appreciate the things you managed to do thus far, just in case you don’t wake up in the morning.

I just went to the doctor today and let’s just pretend that she told me that I’m not going to survive the night. Here are some things I’ve done and places I’ve gone that I’m really excited about and proud of.

I’m so thankful that I had these experiences. So glad that I…

Took a year off of work to just travel and be with my family during the holidays. I didn’t get another job, I just went to California, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and spent many weeks in Austin and Oklahoma City with family.

Went to the World Cup. I saw the US play Ghana in Nuremberg, Germany in 2006. I still think it was a bullshit penalty call at the end of the first half!

Went to Stonehenge.

Experienced the back room at a strip club. I was in WAY over my head back then. I’d do much better now.

Floated in the Dead Sea.

Got a degree. I was even on the Dean’s List my last semester! somehow.

Saw the Grand Canyon.

Published both photography and some of my writing, and both have won contests, not that winning a contest was a goal. Still, it’s nice to be recognized. PS, writing award came when I was in high school.

Lived in New York City. And not just for a little while until it got the better of me, I left on my terms after more than a decade.

Won at a proper Bingo game with 100+ people in attendance. I don’t know if you know what it feels like half a second before you yell out BINGO to 500 people, but it’s a whirlwind of emotions, mostly fear that you messed up and don’t really have a BINGO and you’re going to be utterly embarrassed.

Saw the Sistine Chapel. Briefly. Then I got kicked out for taking pictures. Ditto with the Last Supper. And Mona Lisa. And Birth of Venus. And Starry Night.

Sat in the Kop at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool for a soccer game.

Saw Morrissey in concert. Though that first happened when I was fifteen and has been done several times since then.

Saw a Beatle in concert. Thank God it was Paul.

Took a road trip across America. From Los Angeles to Austin and all the way to NYC.

Saw a Dallas Cowboy game in person on Thanksgiving Day. It was in 1987 and Minnesota beat Dallas 44-38 in overtime with the backfield of Tony Dorsett and Herschel Walker. It’s one of only two NFL games I’ve ever been to.

Went to a big time, legendary, 3-day music festival in Europe. Every year now I do the Reading Festival outside of London, but only one day of it, while I’m on the job and getting paid at the same time.

Had a cliché, yet crazy week in Amsterdam. Ditto for Vegas.

Experienced the Great Barrier Reef. The first time is always the best.

Saw a live show at CBGB’s. They were all amazing, but the last one I saw was the best because by then we knew it was going to close down in a couple of weeks.

Visited a country where I understood none of the written or spoken language, yet managed to get by. Hand gestures and smiling goes a long way.

Well, I ran out of things so I did a google search for other people’s Bucket Lists and here are some of the things I’ve done that are on theirs. It’s amazing how EVERYONE has Swim with Dolphins on theirs! I’ve never done it and don’t really care that much to. They also all have Learn to Surf. That’s probably on mine as well.

Anyways: feed a koala, attend a high school reunion, test drive a car I cannot afford, stomp grapes, go to a Peter Gatien club in NYC, see a taping of David Lettermen, visit the Eiffel Tower at night, throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, watch a show on Broadway, see the Shire, successfully bluff a stranger in a high stakes poker game, play strip poker, and see Michael Jackson in person (at the Disney Store in NYC)

It’s both inspiring and heartbreaking reading other people’s Bucket Lists. You see the same things over and over again and a lot of them are so obtainable! I don’t understand why they don’t just take a deep breath and give it a go. Some would take just a day to complete!

I guess people would say the same thing about the dreams I have though. My favorite lists that I came across today were the ones that would have check marks next to the ones they’ve done. There are some really young people out there who have done some amazing things. It was motivating. It really made me want to get off my ass and make things happen. Then again, there are some messed up things people consider goals and ambitions. Their priorities are WAY out of whack i.e. Get Someone Fired.


9 responses to “My Anti-Bucket List

  1. Love this! I have recently been mentioning my lone bucket list item: home game at Arrowhead Stadium. I think it’s my lone bucket list item because I have done so many amazing things that it seems like making lists of more to do would be too much 🙂 I might copy this at some point….

  2. Thanks for this entry, Brian! You have inspired me to take a look @ the things that I’ve done in my life! I bet I find out I’ve experienced more than I once thought! You also inspired me to take a look @ my own bucket list & find out which things are obtainable! Oh & it was cool finding out about some of the kick-ass things you’ve done that I didn’t know about already!

  3. One of my ‘bucket list’ items was the motivating factor for me to attend an interview for my current company. Thus, I moved across the world. Ticked off a lot of things since then.

    Unless I read you wrong, you lived in New York AND uyou haven’t seen a Broadway show? um…. what the…? 😛

  4. Like your positive thinking. A bit of appreciation for what has been to replace a longing for what can be is a grat way to start the New Year. You’ve got me thinking… Might have to steal this idea! Please accept this as a compliment!

  5. Ah I see, you were quoting OTHER people’s list there. my bad.

  6. Wow! Brian, thank you tons for writing this entry!!! This one really made me thankful for what I HAVE done in life. After reading this entry, what you said really got me thinking. As you know, I tend to focus on my limitations, but once I took those out of the picture, I began remembering some pretty damn awesome things I’ve accomplished! Compared to you, my accomplishments are not quite as cool, but I do have some that I’m extremely proud of. However, as far as my bucket list goes, most of my items are related to things I’m not able to do that most peeps typically are able to do. Examples of those would be: climbing a tree, running, or jumping! I also have many things on the list that are typical bucket list items. My top two of those are NYC trip and Vegas trip. They are not the most attainable things on my list, but of the things I haven’t done, they are the biggies on my list! I really enjoyed hearing about your many accomplishments. There are a few that I MUST ask you about someday! LOL! 😉

  7. Oh, I saw what you said about having seen a number of Broadway shows. That is TOTALLY AWESOME!!! Seeing what you said made me think of the many things I HAVE accomplished in my life. I have always wanted to see a Broadway show. That is tucked in there with the trip to NYC. I HAVE seen many shows on tour. Doing so, to some people does not have as big of rating on the coolness scale, but I’m realistic. I don’t live in NYC and when I do see a broadway show or two or three (LOL) it’s gonna be something that I probably won’t be able to afford to do but once in my lifetime. But with that being said, you got me thinking about my list of things I HAVE accomplished. Related to the topic of shows, I have seen quite a few. Most in San Antonio at the Majestic. However, (and I may have told you this story already, Brian, but not sure) the one show I was the most excited about seeing was RENT at UT in Austin. Now, yeah, it’s a no brainer that it being in Austin was a moment of excitement for me, but that wasn’t the true highlight of that trip. The reason I will NEVER forget seeing THAT production of RENT is the two lead roles of Mark and Roger were being reprised by the two actors who originated the roles in the 1996 Broadway Cast AND the movie. Getting to See Anthony Rapp as Mark and Adam Pascal as Roger was the coolest experience ever! What was even cooler was due to a mix-up with our tickets/seats, my sis and I ended up on the stage level about 10 rows back from stage! That’s pretty awesome! I was able to see very well, but I was glad I took my binoculars!!! Watching the show through them was way cool! I would of never thought in a million years I’d ever get to see actors who originated roles reprise the roles. But then getting to see them that close, was even cooler!!! Thanks to my sister, that is one thing I have in the DONE column of my list!

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