Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Buried Life: what will you do before you die?

Gabe has got me watching this show on MTV called "The Buried Life". There are four guys on this show and the premise is they make a list of things they would like to do before they die, drive around the country in an RV, and do these things. The twist is once they do one of the things on their list, they then need to help a stranger accomplish something in their life that they've wanted to do. In a recent episode, they encountered a street artist in Dallas who had not spoken to his son in 19 years. So they found the kid, and a phone number, and gave it to this father who then actually called his son. He was very grateful and it was a nice moment on the show.

This got me thinking, or at least thinking more deeply after the funeral two weeks ago, about things that I would like to do before I die. For some reason The Buried Life has me so much more inspired than The Bucket List to actually go out and do some of these things. But where to start? Do I think big and go for the grandiose plans, like one day spending a week in an Italian villa on Lake Como? Or start realistically, like every month donating some of my money to whatever charity I choose, even if it's a couple of dollars?

Maybe a list off the top of my head is the best place to start and then I can begin refining it and planning my attack after the initial ideas are jotted down.

So here goes: TOP NINE THINGS I WANT TO DO BEFORE I DIE (again, this is a preliminary, off the cuff list, so my final, final list is still a few edits away):

  1. Heli Skiing in Alsaska. Joey Watts has done this and said it is life changing. Basically, you have to plan about a 14 day trip and be prepared to only ski about three to four days. The weather is so sketchy that you can only get in the heli on certain days for safety reasons. However, once you have a good day and get the green light, you are dropped at the top of un-tracked peaks and let loose to ski down them. The length of most of these runs is two to three miles. Think of it this way: you would be skiing in powder, continuously, about ten runs back to back starting at the top of the Flathead lift at Sundance and going down to the base of that lift. That is a lot of powder and lot of skiing. Hell yeah.
  2. Spending one week in the U.K. and following my favorite band, The Damned, to all of their concerts on that isle. The concerts would be a blast but I think it's more of an excuse to explore England since I am somewhat of an Anglophile. Going to different pubs, seeing really cool old castles, traipsing through farms and hedgerows, hoping to find a bustle in there (Led Zep shout out--WHATTUP!), visiting the last resting places of Shelly, Keats, Stoker, and other cool authors. I visited Britain briefly a few years back but it just left me wanting more. Oh, and here is The Damned:

3. Playing golf in Scotland. I think for all the golf history in our family it's only right and just to play golf one time at the birthplace of the sport.

4. Writing a book. I actually have a realistic chance of doing this. Joyce gave me an idea that I'm now pursuing and my goal is to have something published within a year. This will be self-published, since there are tons of companies that will bind a book for you, and it will be non-fiction. I just want to go through the process of writing, editing, organizing and coming up with a finished product. I feel this would be supremely gratifying.

5. God-like organization. This idea came to me as Mom and I were going through Dad's files, drawers, and photos. As good as Dad was at keeping items in certain places, he also has so much salad that it's incredibly daunting to think we could go through all of it. Now that documents, photos and such can be archived electronically (discs or external hard drives), the goal now is to collect all journal entries, photos and the like and periodically save them and sock them away in a safe, secure location. After I die, if you wanted to see what my life was like on October 21, 2010, you can go to the archives and find out. Hopefully it will be somewhat interesting.

6. Come to the point in life where money is no longer THE reigning issue in my life. This does not mean I have made a ton of money; this is just a mental and physical transition where you know bills can be paid, funds can be saved and physical needs are met and that money does not occupy the majority of the space in your brain. Honestly, I get so sick of worrying about money and all that it entails that I want to run screaming from my house and head right into the street and get plastered all over the road, Hank-style. Jil and Gabe would reap the rewards from the life insurance and I could stop fretting.

7. Regularly give time and or money to an organization that would benefit from time and money that I would give. This seems easy but it's actually hard and takes a lot of will power. No one wants to go downtown and serve food to the homeless. It's a lot easier to just write a check and hope the funds get to where they should go. Giving of time is the greater contribution and one that requires the greater sacrifice. I think the very definition of procrastination was borne once someone suggested that you should give your time to charity. "Yes, I need to do that, I will get on it tomorrow..."

8. Create an Evil Ball that would be talked about for decades. Why is this important? Why not? Getting your loved ones together is one of the main reasons for living so let's get together and have a Halloween party to end all parties. I will give you a hint of what this party would involve: horse drawn carriages; huge, roaring bonfires; a castle; roaming actors playing all kinds of movie monsters to scare you during the night; a professional DJ; a professional photographer/videographer; gourmet food; an open, endless and enticing bar including ten different kinds of absinthe; and, other fun surprises. This will happen and you will be invited...

9. Obligatory Travel Goal: Europe, Australia, wherever. This is on everyone's To Do list so it's not that surprising or revealing. It's just I haven't done it and I know it would be amazing and now it's on my list.

What's on yours?


  1. I would like to go to Africa-- to Kenya-- Ethiopia, Morocco, Uganda, So. Africa. I would like to see the animals and the sunrise and sunset. I would also like to go to India, China, Italy again, Brazil, Patagonia, Chile, Manchu Picchu, Antarctica, Lisbon, Berlin, all of the Scandinavian countries, the ruins in Mexico, down the Grand Canyon on a donkey (or maybe not) and a long car trip through Southern Utah. Do you think there's time?

  2. I am up for everything except the donkey ride down the Grand Canyon!

  3. There's always time!!! Start now!!!