(Photo credit for featured image: Ghost Sighs)

I haven’t had a bucket list before now because I try to live my life according to Nietzschean existentialist theory as much as possible. If some being visited me in the night and told me that I would have to relive every moment of my life again and again in the exact same order for eternity, I would embrace it and say: yes because I take responsibility for, as well as appreciate everything that comes my way. If I want to do something, I go for it and get it done, and it’s worked well so far. But as the expense of “my California lifestyle,” as my mother calls it, increases with each year, and the adjunct and volunteer jobs come and go, I have finally accrued enough things I haven’t been able to do yet that I would like to before I die. Anyone want to join me for any of these over the next 10 to 20 years, give or take a few decades?


  1. Go skydiving. Just for shits and giggles. And also because I have this idea that flying = freedom, or something like that.
  2. Vacation in New Orleans. Thanks to HBO’s Treme and FX’s American Horror Story: Coven, I really want to see NOLA. Music, beignets, vampires and witches, history, night life, colors. What’s not to love? Besides, I hear it’s something everyone needs to experience, and I’m all about new experiences!
  3. Hike to the Havasupai Indian Reservation at the base of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The bus driver told my mother and me about this excursion from the top to the bottom of the Grand Canyon on our Route 66 trip two months ago. The waterfalls and land on the Havasupai reservation are supposed to be the best in the whole canyon, and people can hike down to the bottom to get there or ride on the backs of mules all the way down. This is something I really, really, really want to do!
  4. Kayak through Pictured Rocks in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. My friend, Ann, was the first person to tell me to kayak through Pictured Rocks way back when she first moved up to the U.P. After a much less thrilling kayak down the Flat River in my hometown of Lowell, MI with a friend two years ago, I decided I really need to do this at some point in my life. I just want to see it!
  5. “Go back to” Busan, South Korea. The fifth largest port city in the world, and the place of my birth. I’ve been told I need to go back there in order for it to become real, and thereby, in extension, I can become more real?
  6. Shop at The Mall of America. Again, I just want to see it. . .even though it will be more overwhelming and stress-inducing than going to IKEA on a Saturday afternoon, it just seems like something a material girl should do! Even if I have a panic attack, don’t buy anything and my feet have to soak in epsom salt for a month afterwards, it would be worth it. O, who am I kidding? Of course I would buy something!

Some things that used to be on a vaguely formed bucket list I’ve now already done:

  1. See the Cirque du Soleil. A friend also had this on her Bucket List a few years ago, so I got us two front row, center seats on the right side at the Amaluna closing performance in San Francisco in 2014. It was mesmerizing, emotional and fantastical!
  2. See Swan Lake. My favorite dance movie, Center Stage, made me want to see Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake in real life because the dancing is supposed to be the best. So, for my 30th birthday, my friend got me season tickets to the Sacramento Ballet, of which Swan Lake was one of the performances. The dancing did not disappoint. It was certainly the most impressive of the season, though they apparently re-wrote the ending of the ballet to be less tragic. What is this current cultural need to put a happy ending on everything from Shakespeare’s Richard III to Swan Lake?
  3. And. . .my Route 66 road trip with my mother in February of this year where I finally got to have a picture reminiscent of Jeanne Tripplehorn’s. HBO’s Big Love made me a fan of “Mrs. Threehorns,” and research into her life uncovered her deep attachment to Rte. 66 as a Tulsa native. My favorite picture of her was of her sitting on the route, and even though we didn’t go through Tulsa, I was able to capture a small bit of the spirit of the route in Arizona.


This trip actually killed two birds with one stone, so to speak, since not only did I get a picture like one of my idols, but I also got to do the road trip Americana thing with my best friend, and the person I love most in the world! I’m looking forward to checking a few more of these off the list in the future.