10 Outrageous Things I’m Dying To Do Today
I was chatting the other day (before I left the country to run around the pacific rim) with a couple of my nephews and we were having a blast chatting about crazy ideas that we have had and that should happen… like immediately. These are things that are practical and real. Not those stupid bucket lists people are either bragging about, or spend their entire lives pining for (I TOTALLY WANT TO SUNBATHE IN THE ARCTIC CIRCLE!!! Whatever.) I’m talking about real – transformative, curiousity driven explorations.
Normally you spend your life, in your bubble – doing your thing… over, and over, and over again. Sure, there are variations. But they are minor variations to the tune of 5% of your life. Oh, instead of heading to Panera today, you tried out a new lunch place. Great. But no. I’m talking about doing something substantially different. Normally you drive your 45 minutes to your work. Well, what about taking the bus? You rent a house in the middle of suburbia. What about renting a flat downtown for a week – just to try it out? That would be substantially different and informative. Right? So with that, why don’t we jump in and walk through my 10 outrageous things I’m dying to do today.
My top ten list of crazy things that I want to do, that I can totally do today…
#10 – I WANT TO ATTEND A CHURCH OF A DIFFERENT RELIGION
Dang. Do other religions even call church church? Go to Synagogue? Go to Temple? Something? I grew up in the church – the Christian church. And can’t say that I’ve ever been to a church from another religion. I have gone to church in Cancun, Athens, Lima, London, Manila, Mexico, Ethiopia, etc etc. But I’ve never been to a church of another faith. Are the discussions all about social action? Is their reading from their scriptures? Singing? What is it like? And the more different from my faith, the more interested I would be. Live in the Colorado area, and you aren’t a Christian? I would love to go to “church” with you… but only if you can give me a primer after the fact on what exactly just happened.
#9 – I WANT TO SPEND 24 HOURS IN A WALMART
This is such a terrible terrible idea. I dislike Walmart greatly. And as a general rule, never darken the door. But after reading this Vice piece about someone trying to spend 24 hours in a Walmart, I have this DESPERATE need to beat her, and actually accomplish the task. I do know there was one guy who attempted to spend an entire week in a Walmart once, and landed a book deal, and movie residuals as a result. That isn’t my goal. I just want to see what really happens at a Walmart when you are there long enough to actually see things you wouldn’t normally. It’s also the thought of accomplishing the feat. There is no way in God’s gloriously green earth you could pull this off in a Target. The Mall would bust you for breaking and entering. So yeah, that means it’s Walmart. Unfortunately.
#8 – I WANT TO HITCH HIKE ANYWHERE
Back in college, in England, all my roommates from Europe hitchhiked everywhere. Even in the United States. Maybe it was just a different day? But it just seems like it wouldn’t work today. Thus the allure. Reminds me of the movie, Craigslist Joe – about a guy who’s decided to try and live off of Craig’s List. Volunteering, Begging, Working for board… etc. That also seemed impossible, and yet Joe managed to pull it off. So yeah, I want to hitch hike somewhere. Chicago sounds about right! hahaha. Who’s up for going with me? Personally think that a cardboard sign that says, “NO I’M NOT AN AXE MURDERER, I JUST WANT A LIFT!” would probably assuage driver’s fears and get me the ride I’m looking for. No? Hahah. Let’s do this thing. Imagine the conversations you’d have with the people crazy enough to pick you up. It would be brilliant.
#7 – I WANT TO MOVIE HOP FROM OPEN TO CLOSE
Do they sell movie hopping tickets? Regardless, I want to open up a movie theater before lunch, and stay til the last film rolls credits. I’d start with whatever I wanted to see most, and then I’d maximize the day with as many movies as physically possible. Wouldn’t matter if the next movie was Angry Birds (which, coincidentally, I happen to love!) or Pulp Fiction. Just go, go, go. I think the experience of it would be educational in a – do what you love too much and it may just bite you in the butt – sort of a way.
But when I was a kid, I illegally movie hopped regularly. I had no idea what was showing or what was good. Heck, I saw Legend that way – and went back and saw it three more times (with a ticket) I loved it so much. I’m not trying for the excitement of trying not to get caught, buying a ton of tickets is fine. I just want to hibernate in a theater for 8 movies and see if my face falls off!
#6 – LIVE AS A HOMELESS PERSON FOR 24 HOURS
I read a story about a couple guys that willingly lived on the street for 30 days. On day two he saw a homeless person eating out of a garbage bin, and he said to himself, that is just awful. I will never be him. And three weeks later, he knew exactly which garbage bins had the best grub to eat from and was glad for the food. Truth be told? I can have a “pull yourselves up by your bootstraps” mentality when I think about individuals living on the streets. But I have a feeling that I might just be wrong in my viewpoint here… not entirely sure, but I have a feeling.
#5 – I WANT TO TALK TO THAT CRAZY JESUS PERSON ON THE CORNER
I’m a christian. Like a BIG C Christian (whatever the heck that means.) But dang if these street preachers don’t scare the literal hell out of me. Like… serious heeb-fest everytime I see one. Dude though, I AM TOTALLY CURIOUS! What are they doing? Why are they doing it? Did their fern tell them to? Is it legit? Are they angry? Are they really trying to tell those nearby that there is a God and that He loves them? (I agree with that.) Or are they more interested in spreading fear and hate?
There is a guy that just started street preaching regularly on one of the biggest intersections in town. And I am seriously considering going and talking with him honestly about why he’s out there waving his cardboard scripture shouting signs.
#4 – I WANT TO SPEND 30 DAYS CREATING A NEW HABIT
Have you ever said, man, I wish I knew how to play the piano? Well, then… learn to play the piano dangit. The hard part, and the way in which we normally crash in our attempts to do that thing is that we don’t start in consumable chunks. But, if you were to take 30 days, and track yourself doing this thing (practicing the piano) every single day, research shows, the new habit is more likely to stick. This Ted Talk sums this idea up brilliantly. Personally I would like to talk to a stranger every single day for 30 days. You can learn so much from a random individual crossing your path. For me, to do this, requires effort though that isn’t normal. So it will take some planning to make space for that. But at the end of those 30 days, I’m sure that it will be a completely normal part of my daily routine, and I’ll be better for it.
#3 – I WANT TO TRY MY HAND AT BUSKING
Busking. To Busk. A Busker. I Busked, You Busked, We all Busked together. Busking just isn’t really much of a thing in America. Sure. It’s a thing in some inner cities and some more trendy areas of the country. In Europe it’s a thriving and highly acceptable part of the cultural fabric. But I have ALWAYS wanted to try my hand at busking.
No. No I definitely would not sing. Or play an instrument. As I suck. But I do juggle and unicycle and am a generally loud and gregarious (almost said egregious before I came up with the word gregarious… close. But no.) sort of a fellow and think I could draw a small crowd if given a day or two to pull an act together.
#2 – I WANT TO WRITE ANOTHER BOOK
I’ve sort of written two books (Glitches, which you can read and snigger at here on the site, was a paranormal type book. I wrote a fantasy redwall type book for kids that you can read (an early early draft of) out on this site. Finally, I wrote a wee e-book based on a blog post I did here.) and found the experience cathartic. I am so incredibly bad at writing, and yet I find the act of storytelling so rewarding. If you’ve always wanted to write a book, and have never taken part in NaNoWriMo, (National Novel Writing Month) I highly recommend giving it a shot. The goal is to help you write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. NaNoWriMo occurs in November, but heck, who’s to say you can’t start your 30 days now? I would recommend limiting yourself to 30 days to force yourself to not go backwards and to avoid editing. You just need to sit down and write that beast that is in your head dying to come out.
Personally though, I just want a really really good hook this time around. My first book, Glitches, was about a guy who could pause time. He was suicidal and thought he was going mad. Then he realized he was being watched by a larger underworld of others with similar skills. It was ok. Not exactly great. My second book was a book for my son that came to me in a flash while reading a book to my son that was boring me to tears. “I can do this better”, I thought. And so a gave it a go. Last night I started a book titled “Ghost Country” by Patrick Lee which is about a guy that time travels 70 years into the future and finds the country empty – and so he has to figure out why. That is what I call a hook. That is something that drags the reader into your story. The other day I told you guys about a book idea that came to me about a guy who believes he’s being experimented on at his “job”… that would be a fun one to do, only because it is so complicated. Regardless, the act of writing a book is possibly the most cathartic thing imaginable.
#1 – I WANT TO PANHANDLE – When I literally said that to my nephews, they were like, what? You want to work at a bar? Panhandlers? No guys. To Panhandle, is to beg… like in the street. And they were like, beg? To make money? And I was like, I guess, but not for the money sake. I want to know just how terrible that would be like. I’d like to know how people treat you like you don’t exist. I’d like to know how often people give and how often they pass. I’d like to know how different techniques work better than others (in web design and development we call this, A/B testing or Multivariant testing – which is just a fancy way of saying try it one way and measure it, try it another way and measure it.) Maybe there would be an interesting book there for optimizing future panhandler efforts! hahah. No but seriously, I’d really like to learn empathy for people who are begging. Whether they are legit or not (whatever that means). I just want to understand better what that would be like.
What outrageous things would you like to do today if you could just screw up the courage to do so? Leave notes on people’s cars telling them they are loved? Buy a random someone’s Starbucks? Toilet Paper your best friend’s house (I have so many stories in this vein)? Go on a random road trip without packing up – just go (A good friend of mine in high school did this to me several times. It was a pretty cool experience each time.) Buy space on a Billboard proclaiming your love for your spouse? Start a blog? Write a poem? Try and fix your microwave/oven/waterheater/plumbing? All of these are fun things to try and do on your own. But I would recommend doing something that connects you to someone else in the world. Someone that might be the better for your connection…