Saturday, March 30, 2013

My Bucket List

I've been asked many times what my ambitions are and I have to tell people that I really don't have any. To me ambitions are things you need to achieve, while dreams are things that you want to do to make your life richer or happier. I have gotten two degrees to help me in my career and support my family. I am happily married with a beautiful and intelligent daughter. These are the things I need in my life, the rest is just icing on the cake (to borrow a cliche).

I have gotten to experience some special and unique things in my life. I've been to Disney World twice, walked in the footprints of dinosaurs, and camped in the second largest canyon in the United States. I have survived to hurricanes: Rita (which chased us to Lake Livingston) and Ike (which shared his eye-wall with us for several hours). I've met Chuck Norris (before he lost his mind) and Nolan Ryan. I experienced several true road trips where gas stops hat to be planned out so that you didn't run out before the next town. I've met two of my favorite authors twice each: Scott Westerfeld and Mark Z. Danielewski. I got to tour the Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory and the Bellville Chip Factory/Museum. I got to take English riding lessons for a brief time (would love to do it again). I wrote in novel in a month while doing NaNoWriMo with my husband and came to a greater understanding about writers' experience and work.

I am finding that as I get older, I want to push myself farther, experience more, and try new things where I was too timid to do so when I was younger. Honestly, I tired of being afraid of the world. I decided to make a "bucket list" of things I dream of doing, achieving, or trying. I'm sure the list will change as time goes and hopefully because I've completed that item. I left off some things because they are things that are immediately manageable, I just have to motivate myself to do them. Things like create more, work on my novel, and blog more.

People to Meet
1. Patrick Stewart
2. Penn & Teller
3. Eddie Izzard
4. Stephen King
5. Cornelia Funke

 The reasons I want to meet these people are varied, but I respect them all in one way or another. Patrick Stewart has always struck me as extremely intelligent and classy, plus he's a knight. And what girl doesn't want to meet a knight? I know that Penn & Teller is really two people and that it's kind of cheating to put them together. However, that is how I picture them in my head. Together they are an act, as well as being very good friends, so it would seem wrong to meet one without the other. My reasons for wanting to meet Penn & Teller and Eddie Izzard are very similar. I find them intelligent and funny. I also respect the charity work that Izzard does and admire him for running 5Ks. Stephen King and Cornelia Funke are two of my favorite authors and write very different kinds of books. I enjoy their stories and respect their talents. King has been a huge part of my life for about 20 years, thanks to my husband's obsession with his body of work and insistence that I become familiar with at least some of it. I also admire King's generosity in giving to charity, his constant support of shelters for abused women, and his fight with addiction. Funke's work is the embodiment of the love of reading, at least the Inkheart series is. I would love to meet the mind behind that work.

Places to Go
1. California (Hollywood)
2. Washington
3. Oregon
4. Chicago
5. At least 2 countries

It seems weird that almost all the places that I want to visit in the U.S. are on the West Coast, but I've lived in the South and visited the East Coast twice. Hollywood, California is just about visiting where the "movies are made". I want to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame, maybe go to the studio where Gone with the Wind was filmed, check out the beaches, and maybe be a micro-stalker of celebrities by doing one of those cheesy "Tour of the Stars' Homes". I'd like to go to Washington to see the redwood forests. I hear Oregon has a great art and writing community, it's also home to a friend I haven't seen in many years. As for Chicago, I have friends that live in the burbs of that metropolis. I also hear that it's an awesome place to visit. I might even take one of those tours about the Gangsters of the 20's and 30's.

Events to Attend
1. Convergence
2. FantasticFest
3. A huge movie premiere
4. A huge book release party
5. ITSE conference

 For those of you that don't know me, I love books and I'm a bit of a SciFi/Fantasy geek. Convergence is a local genre convention focusing on scifi/fantasy. This year the theme is Doctor Who. The only thing keeping me from it is having the right amount of funds at the right time. Next is the legendary (and to me almost mythical) FantasticFest. A movie festival focusing largely on horror films, they have other genre movies and a large number of independent films are showcased. Great movies, food, trivia events, and parties crammed into 7 days. It's suppose to be an absolute blast and completely exhausting. I think the movie premiere and book release party are fairly self-explanatory. The ITSE conference is a education conference focusing on using technology in the classroom. It helps teachers integrate technology instruction into their assignments, gives new techniques, etc. It would be great to continue learning and meeting other educators passionate about technology.

 Things to Achieve
1. Own a home
2. Have $20K in savings
3. Run a 5K and a marathon
4. Support Doctors without Borders
5. Help with AIDS/cancer research
6. Try pufferfish 

I know, I know! The first two are incredibly practical and boring, but they are also comforting and provide a secure home base for further adventures. One of my goals for the new year was to get in shape and exercise more, I started off strong but between winter weather and nursing an injured dog, it fell to the wayside. Since it's warm enough now, I've begun my training for a 5K. I will be running one in September for sure, and maybe one in July. The one in September is to help raise money for those suffering from mental illness. I'd appreciate any sponsorship that you can spare, here's my personal fundraising page. I want to donate to Doctors without Borders as well, I don't have the skills to volunteer with the organization unfortunately. I really respect and support this group because they are a secular organization that helps people in need of medical care. They don't try to convert or sway the people, they just help them. I want to help raise money for AIDS and cancer research as well, they both hurt so many lives. My craziest dream is to try Pufferfish as a food. I became fascinated with the idea after reading about it in a book when I was about 14. I realize how dangerous it can be, but I find it almost irresistibly intriguing.

Now you probably know more about me than you ever wanted to, feel free to share some of your wild and crazy dreams in the comment section.