Sunday 6 May 2012

A Real Bucket List (Part Two)

In my last post, I gave you my thoughts on the first 20 items of a Bucket List (read it here).

Here are the next 20 items.

21. Be a member of the audience in a TV show.

I’m not really sure that I want to do this unless it is a genuinely good show. The older of my two sisters, Julie, has done this and she said that it was a dreadful experience. The show was a comedy light entertainment show and it kept stopping and starting over and over again. And it wasn’t actually funny at all; it was one of those dreadful Saturday night shows that I hate, so I could see why she didn’t like it. I think I might just ignore this one.

22. Put your name down to be a passenger on the first tourist shuttle to the moon.

No way. No chance. You have not got a hope in hell of getting me inside a metal shuttle that will be shot towards the moon at high velocity. If I were able to put aside the immense explosion that is necessary to combat Earth’s gravity as well as the intense heat, I would struggle to ignore the fact that in space, there is no air whatsoever – none at all. There is just too much scope for meeting Death sooner. I would actually love to see planet Earth from space but being blasted into space is something I am simply not prepared to do.

23. Send a message in a bottle.

If ever I get shipwrecked on a desert island, I will do this – providing that there is a bottle, some paper, something to write with and, of course, a lid for the bottle.

24. Ride a camel into the desert.

I saw a camel in the desert on the road between Abu Dhabi and Dubai earlier this year. If I get the chance to go back to the Middle East I might actually try to do this.

25. Get to know your neighbours.

I have always got to know my neighbours in every house I’ve lived in. To me it seems like a natural thing to do, particularly now, as I live in a terraced house. To be honest this is a strange item for a Bucket List – a bit like “talk to a person”. Obviously the person who wrote it lived in a cave in the middle of nowhere and getting to know his neighbours involved trekking for miles.

26. Plant a tree.

II have planted quite a few bits of foliage over the years, ranging from flowers to vegetables. At some point I must have planted a tree; I can say with certainty that Mrs PM has done this because she planted a cherry tree in our back garden a couple of years ago. I can take a little credit because although I didn’t do the deed, I was with her when she bought it and actually loaded it into the car. With a little bit of cheek, therefore, I can cross this one off the list, I feel.

27. Learn not to say yes when you really mean no.

I’m getting better at this. The problem is that I am quite a nice guy (I don’t want to blow my own trumpet too much) and sometimes I allow people to abuse my good nature. Furthermore, I have a tendency to exaggerate my own ability to complete a task, resulting in my agreeing to do things that I really shouldn’t do. As I get older, though, I am less inclined to please people for the sake of it and I am more aware of my limitations. I will probably manage this just two seconds before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

28. Write a fan letter to your all-time favourite hero or heroine.

I have been sorely tempted to do this since the advent of Twitter. In fact, I have tweeted Joe Satriani, complimenting him on his last album (within 140 characters of course). I also left a comment on the official Rush website quite a few years ago, when they were in a hiatus, urging them to come to Manchester when planning their next tour. The did and I went – but Geddy Lee didn’t say “It’s great to be back in Manchester and I’d like to thank Dave the Plastic Mancunian for asking us to play for you tonight”. I still reckon that my little comment helped in some small way, though.

29. Visit the Senate and the House of Representatives to see how Congress really works.

This is obviously written by an American and I have no desire to visit the Senate. I’ve been to Washington DC and seen the White House and the other government buildings – but that’s about as close to the machinations of American politics that I want to get to. What’s more, I have no desire to watch a debate in the Houses of Parliament in London either. I would end up screaming “You’re ALL just a bunch of egomaniacal liars” at all of them. I think this is a firm NO!

30. Learn to ballroom dance properly.

When I was 15 my Mum taught me to waltz so that I could go to a dance. I’m not sure why my parents wanted me to go to this dance because at the time I was totally and utterly disinterested in such things. She perhaps thought that it would be a good thing for the future. The truth is that I have only used this “skill” a couple of times in my life since then. That said, I did go to a couple of dance lessons with W, where I learned basic moves to a couple of other dances. Also Mrs PM and I had a couple of Salsa lessons and somehow managed to convince a few friends at a Christmas Party that we were pretty good dancers. We aren’t – we just blagged it. I guess I can cross this one off as well.

31. Eat jellied eels from a stall in London.

I have eaten an eel stew in China and it was one of the most disgusting concoctions I have ever tried. I ate about a fifth of it before giving up (I honestly thought I was going to throw up). So imagine how I would feel being asked to eat arguably the most disgusting foodstuff ever to come out of England. They only eat jellied eels in London as far as I know – and they can bloody well keep them down there. The look awful and I imagine that they taste worse. Another definite NO!!

32. Be the boss.

I have flirted with boss-hood on a few occasions and I didn’t feel comfortable with it. The worst thing was that it lifted me above the technical aspects of my job and that’s one of the only things that keeps me interested at work. I have also had a few run ins with “bosses” in the past as well and to have to deal with an arse like me from the other side is not something I would like to have to do on a daily basis. I would however, like to be my own boss – and one day that may happen. And then I can cross this one off the list.

33. Fall deeply in love -- helplessly and unconditionally.
Been there, done that, bought the T shirt – and am still there.

34. Ride the Trans-Siberian Express across Asia.

Now we’re talking. I would love to do this. I’ve been to Russia and China but this journey also takes in Mongolia. It might be on the list of things to do when I win that elusive lottery. A definite possibility.

35. Sit on a jury.

In the UK, if you are called for jury service then you have to do it, by law. I await the call with dread because it isn’t really something I want to do; rather it may be something I HAVE to do.

36. Write the novel you know you have inside you.

I’ve actually started a couple of novels but as any budding writer will tell you, this is a really difficult thing to achieve, particularly if you have a full time job and suffer from severe procrastination. I have been sorely tempted to have a go at the “Write a novel in a month” at National Novel Writing Month.  The idea is that you write every day for the month of November. I need something to force me to do it and I think with a bit of discipline I might be able to get the bulk of a novel down in thirty days – as long as I don’t keep going back to edit it as I write. I’ll let you know in October whether I am going to have a go – as I do have at least five weird novel ideas buzzing around in my head.

37. Go to Walden Pond and read Thoreau while drifting in a canoe.

I had to look this up. Basically I think the idea is travel to Massachusets and read “Life In The Woods”, a book written by American Henry D. Thoreau whilst floating on Walden Pond. I imagine this is meant to be a spiritually uplifting experience. A possibility – I guess.

38. Stay out all night dancing and go to work the next day without having gone home (just once).

I did this in 1985. I had been working for about six months when a friend of mine from university popped over to Manchester for a job interview that he wasn’t really interested in. I arrived home from work and the two of us and a new work colleague I had recently become friends with, popped to the local pub for a beer or two. Before we knew it, we had met some girls and went back to their house for an impromptu party that lasted until the early hours of the morning. It was too late to go to bed, so we caught a taxi home, got changed and then went to work. I was absolutely shattered as the day wore on and ended up falling asleep in an isolated area of the building under the pretence of writing software. It was fun but I would never do it again.

39. Drink beer at Oktoberfest in Munich.

In 1983, four of us met up in Munich while travelling around Europe and spent two days at the Oktoberfest. It was an amazing atmosphere and yielded a couple of crazy experiences for me. It was my first experience of drinking from a beer stein, having a race to see who could drink the beer fastest ( a very big mistake) and the first time I had slept rough. The latter experience came about because there were no free rooms in the Youth Hostels of Munich. I was woken up by a German Officer who hauled me up with the words “AUF! AUF!”  I was badly hung over and almost threw up. The second night we managed to find a room and this time took it easy, enjoying the friendliness of the locals and savouring the atmosphere and even chatting with them in pigeon German. A good experience all round.

40. Be someone's mentor.

I’ve been called on to be a mentor at work on a couple of occasions now and can sometimes be a rewarding experience – sometimes it can be a pain in the arse though.

Over to you, dear reader. How many of the above 20 items have you achieved?


drb said...

I did 10 out of this list. Jellied eel tastes much better than chinese eel stew. I hated chinese eel stew too and I am chinese. Jellied eel is nothing like the stew version. Give it a go Mr PM.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi drb,

To be honest, it is the look of them that puts me off - and the lingering memory of eel stew ...




Jackie K said...

Hi PM,
I've done 21 (in London funnily enough - a pilot comedy at Twickenham studios), 25 (best effort ever at our current house - we know the whole street), 26, 27, 32, 33, 38, 39 & 40.
Seems like a lot of things to commit to knocking off a list!

River said...

#26-plant a tree. I've done that in every home I've ever lived in, except this one.
#27; I've learned to say no when I want to. Gone are the days of saying yes and spending time doing stuff I didn't really want to do.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Jackie,

I don't have a bucket list but I just thought I would see which ones I have done, could do or definitely would NOT do.

What was the comedy? And was it funny?




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

#27 - I don't blame you. I am still learning, sadly.




Pandora Behr said...

I'm doing okay on this one. I've done the TV audience thing - was on a game show and was an extra in a movie once. I know all my neighbours in my stairwell and a few more on the block. Planted a tree or two, getting better at saying no. It took three Swedes sitting on me to try pickled herring - so I may, may try jellied eel - smoked eel is great. I loathe the thought of being called up for jury duty, I'm trying to write the novel and I've stayed up all night and gone to work with a shower and cup of coffee sustaining me. I also mentor runners and workmates. Just don't get me to ballroom dance!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

An extra in a movie? Which one? Wasn't a Clive Owen movie was it?




Pandora Behr said...

A blink and you miss it English film called "This Year's Love." I'm in the blue dress in the party scene.

MedicatedMoo said...

I've done eleven out of this list but am happy to forget about Oktoberfest (hate beer), jellied eels, Waldon Pond (obviously a US thing?) and jury duty....

Would love to be an extra in a movie - esp if it turns out to be a blockbuster...

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

Looked it up on IMDB; not my kind of movie by any means - but I will try to watch it and spot you when it next comes on TV.

Well done - I'm impressed.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

I'm tempted to look into being an extra actually. I always quite fancied doing something similar and I am fascinated by everything to do with film making, particularly the special effects side of things.