I guess at some point I should probably write out the bucket list with my additions and possible subtractions. I will adjust this as needed (hopefully), giving you a little at a time… Just to keep you on your toes. For now, I’ll give you the list of items that I did prior to getting the book.
#3- Visit Las Vegas – My uncle (Uncle Skip) on my mom’s side lived in Las Vegas for a bunch of years. I visited twice. The first time was the summer between middle school and high school. I don’t remember much from that trip .I remember going to a water park and being too afraid to go down one of the rides (when I go back I’m going to made that slide my bitch, but heights will never be my friend) and doing a different kind of walk of shame. I remember spending a lot of time with my cousin (Sultan) and my cousin’s cousin (Jay… I think). Sultan is somewhere around 8 years younger than me so as you can imagine we didn’t spend too much time hanging out. His cousin was the cool senior, he introduced me to marijuana, underage drinking (calm down, I might have had 2 joints and a beer that summer, and didn’t drink or smoke again until I was 18), and parent-less coed house parties. The next trip was my uncle Skip’s wedding. I took my son, my son’s mother, and my mother out there just for the weekend. I had a great time with the family, took sultan out on the strip for a little (to places that he of course knew like the back of his hand), had sushi (my favorite food) for the first (and second) time, and went home. My uncle and his family have since moved to Texas but maybe the next time that I visit Vegas I’ll try to convince them to come with.
#4- Plant a tree
#5- Learn to play an instrument
#6- Learn a new language
#9- Ride in a limo
#11- Write a song
#14- Ride in a helicopter
#15- Meet a celebrity
#16- Ride a train
#18- Get a tattoo – So yes, I am a heathen who on more than one occasion desecrated my body. I currently have three tattoos. but I plan to get more. Let me say that I believe that since it is “permanent” that it should be well thought out and have some long lasting value. My first tat was my version of the Marine Corps devil dog. Oddly enough, the majority of devil dog tattoos I have come across have looked rather passive. Just a bulldog, or bulldog head, and a USMC collar or tattoo. WEAK. I wanted something intimidating so I took the bulldog head and had my tattoo artist put it on a gargoyle body with wings, stars, stripes, muscles, skulls, ‘Murica (sorry, I got a little carried away there), the whole shebang. It’s a little too small so a lot of the detail that went into it gets lost and is hard to see but I love it regardless. Next, I plan to get the Marine Corps Marathon logo on one of my calfs.
#20- Run a marathon and finish – I made it a point to run a marathon before I turned 30. I reached out to a bunch of friends and asked them to do the Marine Corps Marathon with me, one agreed, most declined, the rest flaked. The one who agreed (Mike) had already ran the marathon twice before. Mike’s wife Mandy came with and was the cheering photographer for us both. Even though she wasn’t there “for me” I can’t tell you how nice it was to find a familiar face in the crowd and to have them cheer you on. As for the actual race, I slacked on my training, a lot. I wanted a sub 4 hour run and I got a 6 hour run. The next year I signed up again, had a relationship with a girl (Al) who turned out to be a habitual liar and cheater, trained less than the year before, and ran 1 minute faster. I’m a firm believer in when it comes to running it’s not about the destination it’s about the journey. I will focus more on my journey this next go round (I’m planning to run a marathon at the Delaware Running Festival) and make this third marathon my best one… Wish Me Luck!
#21- Go to a concert of a favorite band – Back in 2005 I went to my very first concert which was the “Live 8 Concert” in Philly. We bought train passes which we didn’t need, no one ever came by to check, the overcrowded train was a party in itself. I met a girl at the train station, we hit it off and she gave me her number as we got off of the train. I remember some guy coming up to me in the station and asking me if I wanted to be a model. To this day I’m still not sure if he was a real agent or not, sounded pretty legit at the time but I was/am too insecure and reserved for something like that. The outdoor concert was PACKED! My buddies and I spent half of the concert trying to get to the stage and the other half walking back. I’m like 90% sure that we passed by a couple or two having sex in the lawn. But they were handing out condoms like they were going out of style so I’m sure that those couples were being safe. We walked the city a little and then hopped back on the train where I ran into the girl from earlier. At this point she was a sniff of a shot away from being blackout drunk and had completely forgot who I was, pretty convenient actually. I “lost” her number that same day. Maybe when I go to check this one off of the list I’ll run into her again at a concert and I’ll give her my number… Dear God, please don’t let me get that drunk.
#24- Play a round of golf
#33- Attend a drive in movie
#42- Be in a play
#45- Learn CPR
#53- Sing at a karaoke club
#57- Earn a medal or trophy in a competition
#59- Do a road trip across the USA
#61- Try a martial art
#80- Get into a VIP room/lounge – I am currently writing a blog about nights I can’t remember but won’t soon forget. My most memorable VIP experience falls in to that category. Unfortunately this story is one that Future Alphonso is going to have to tell, partially because I need to make a few phone calls to shed some light on the moments that have been blacked out of memory, but mostly because this story is too good to be hidden within a blog. It needs it’s own dedicated post. And believe you me, this story, it’s a doozy. It involves a bachelorette party, barber shop, bible, water park, and a tour bus. Next time, I’m going into my hotel room BEFORE laying down and going to sleep.
#90- Go to a rodeo – I vaguely remember going to Cowtown with my grandfather when I was younger. I don’t remember my dad or my uncles being there, I think it was just Pop, my cousin Eric, and I. Honestly the main thing I remember from that night is that it was COLD. Maybe not really cold, but when you are a kid stuck in a cold seat it’s a little different. I remember coming back and my grandmother commenting on how crazy we were for going out when it was cold. Years later I took my son. We stopped by my grandparents beforehand, my grandfather got excited, and my grandmother mentioned the cold. That night, it was a chilly 60 degrees, and I’m pretty sure that my son only remembers being cold. Next time I’ll check the weather.
#103- Try to find a four leaf clover – One random day when I was younger, say 4th grade-ish, my friend Miles and I decided to go hunting for a four-leaf clover. I really have no idea what prompted this. I remember that we made the mistake of doing it in front of his apartment building where there were LOADS of kids laughing at and making fun of us. By “loads of kids” I mean a little more than 10, but when you are young and there are 10 plus kids pointing at and mocking you it seems a little bit more significant. We pretended to find one and all of the sudden the spectators turned into hunters as well. Miles and I lost interest and went about our business somewhere else. I’m not really sure when I will revisit this and check it off of my list, maybe on a picnic… I should probably add picnic to the list.
#108- Attend a toga party
#124- Dance on a bar
#132- Go camping
#135- Dance on a conga line
#137- Give blood
#148- Inner tube down a lazy river
#157- Have a summer romance
#163- Visit a castle
#180- Learn to juggle
#186- Learn to ice skate – Honestly, this is one of my more boring stories from this list. Sorry. They can’t all involve drunken debauchery. In high school my friends and I randomly decided to go ice skating. I fell, not much really but enough. I also somehow got a girls number that day… First redhead I ever kissed, second worst date I have ever had. I got really excited about “picking up chicks” at Ice Works and kept convincing my friends to go back. I don’t think I ever even talked to another girl at the ice rink let alone “picked one up” after the first one. But, I learned how to skate… kinda. I wouldn’t really like to take a class so I can learn how to skate backwards and not look like an old lady in a bouncy house out there.
#197- Climb a tree – I was a kid once, I climbed many a tree back in the day. As an adult? So far, only one. An ex girlfriend of mine (Christy) and I climbed a tree together and I don’t know why or how but this is one of the most romantic and intimate memories I have from that relationship. We went for a walk, ended up at her local park, shared a kiss in the gazebo, saw a tree and conquered it. At the top we took a selfie together, you know, back before selfies were a thing. If I recall correctly, we climbed it because she had mentioned that she had never climbed a tree before. Next time? I’m not sure yet, but hopefully it leaves a memory as good as this one.
#206- Solve Rubik’s cube – I learned how to solve one when I was in Afghanistan. I tried to teach myself something on each one of my deployments. My first deployment I learned how to juggle, at some point I plan to move from three objects to four, hopefully soon (look for “BL180”). On the second one, I tried to learn how to play guitar, I failed miserably. Luckily “learn to play an instrument” is in the book (be on the look out for post “BL5”). On this deployment it was the cube. If I remember correctly we got it in a care package. I sat down with it one day, trying to figure it out when my roommate Doc Hagman (Ted) took over. Ted, the corpsman assigned to my section, previously learned how to do it and decided to teach a group of us during our down time. It took a while, but eventually I got it. I practice solving it every once in a while when I get bored. Recently my sister got me a 12 sided Rubik’s megaminx which is what post “BL206” will be about.
#209- Play charades at a party
#214- Start a collection of something
#215- Go on a zip-line
#217- Ride a mechanical bull
#218- Learn survival skills
#221- Jump on a Pogo stick
#227- Teach a class in any subject
#230- Sit in the very front seat of a roller coaster
#237- Live in another country
#243- Pet a stingray – There is an aquarium not too far from me that allows you to pet the stingrays and some small sharks. I LOVE fish, but I still get a little intimidated every time I go to put my hand in the water with them. I remember My son was begging to go to the aquarium, so one day his mother and I took him… He hated it, like pouting and “when are we going to head back home” kind of hated it. Conveniently, he doesn’t remember this story. But I do… He was miserable. So anyway, there is a petting area, my son wanted no parts but insisted that I touch the stingray, so I did… And then we left. Next time I’ll get a picture with the cranky one himself as we both touch it.
#247- Join a club – March 2016 through May 2016 I ran a race almost every weekend. Some were 5ks’s, there was a 15k and a 10 miler in there, and then there was the half marathons. I ran two in two weeks in order to qualify for the “half fanatics”. I don’t care how often you run, it is no easy task getting mentally prepared to do distance runs on a consistent basis like that. I am so glad that I did it, as of right now the half fanatic shirt is one of my two favorite running shirts (the other is my RWB shirt, another club I joined in 2016). Next, hopefully I’ll progress in the fanatics and eventually become a “Marathon Maniac”.
Now, I have recently convinced myself that anything that happened prior to buying the book does not count. Hence the “when I complete this task” comments. As I said earlier, I will update this (I’m thinking 4 items each week) and use it as my weekly-ish blog post until I finish with the list. On the side, I have a couple drafts going that I feel like some of you (hopefully) will enjoy.
Until next time, THANK YOU for following my blog. It means a lot. PLEASE leave a comment, no matter how big or small it means more than you think. And pretty please take the time to read a blog or two from the people in my community (look right).