Bucket List

The list below is my bucket list. Inspired by Celestine Chua’s public list I decided to post my own for all the world to see. It is all the things I want to do, feel, experience, see, and achieve before I die. I hope the transparency will not only inspire and motivate me, but also let you get a picture of who I am.

My bucket list currently has 150 items. I hope to keep updating this list as I complete items and discover new ones.  In time, also hope to add pictures and links. And like Celestine, I urge you to not just read my list, but create your own and share it.

[First Written: October 2008; Last Update: March 2015]

1. Swim with dolphins in the wild   With a National Geographic Conservation Team, Hawaii, Feb. 2008

2. Write a novel Co-written novel, “Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn”, October 2014

3. Snorkel with wild turtles   Hawaii, Feb. 2008

4. Receive an award    United States Department of Labor Secretary’s Exceptional Achievement Award, May 2012 for the Add Us In Initiative National Diversity Forum

5. Be a mentor/inspiration to someone

6. Get dive certified    All but open water dive, Mar. 2012

7. Hang glide/parasail

8. Be able to show my wife my country (Bahrain)

9. Compete against an Olympian    Fenced in a North American Cup against Leslie Marx, 1997 and then in 2002 I fenced against several members of the Chinese Olympic Fencing team.

10. Climb Mayan ruins   Costa Maya, Mexico Nov. 2010

11. Ride in a submarine   Hawaii, Sept. 2008

12. Squee over something like when I was 6 years old

13. Zip Line over a forest canopy   Roatan, Honduras Nov. 2010

14. Visit the greatest museums – the Smithsonian, the Louvre, the Met (and more).

15. Visit Pompeii   One of my favorite adventures ever, Aug. 2012

16. Write a comic You Are Not Alone (Anti-Bullying Anthology) from GrayHaven Comics, 2013

17. Start an organization Lead On Network, July 26, 2013

18. Compete in the United States Fencing National Championships

19. Participate in the First of something   Sponsored and attended the first ever GeekGirlCon convention, Oct. 2011

20. Cry in a movie theatre

21. Train for the Olympics   Was invited to and trained at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, Summer, 2003 for cycling

22. Attend the Olympics

23. Be an extra in a movie/tv show

24. Love someone to distraction   I surely do.

25. Be interviewed as an expert (tv/radio)   ABC Television on Segways, 2005 and NPR on the Obama Disability Platform, 2010

26. Testify before Congress   In writing for the American Psychological Association in support of the ADA Amendments Act, 2008

27. Write a law Missouri State Legislature, 1998

28. Meet the President   At the Commemoration of the Signing of the Matthew Sheppard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Oct. 2009

29. Visit the White House  Several times but most memorably in 2011 when my guide dog, Veni drank from the West Wing toilet

30. Be a model

31. Make a difference    I try to. Every day.

32. Learn to play guitar   Aug. 2011 Renee bought me an electric guitar. Dec. 2011 Patrick and Rebecca Cokley bought me an acoustic guitar

33. Jam with strangers

34. Skydive Renee says, “No.”

35. Walk in a volcano

36. Give a commencement address

37. Learn a martial art

38. See Moorish Spain

39. Times Square for New Years

40. See a Vegas show with actual Vegas showgirls    Las Vegas, Nevada 2009

41. Visit Hollywood (the sign and handprints, backstage studio tour – the whole shebang)

42. Walk through the catacombs under Paris

43. Sing in public   I try to do this at least once a week.

44. Go up inside the Washington Monument

45. Dive for pearls

46. Visit Disneyland/Disney World

47. Learn to ballroom dance   Private lessons with Renee, Oct. 2010

48. Learn to do bullwhip tricks   Travis gave me my first whip in 2004, a cow whip from Rhett’s Whips in Florida. I’ve bought more and kept learning ever since

49. Run a radio show   Day in Washington Podcast began in 2007

50. Experience the Serengeti migration

51. Whale Watching/Touch Whales

52. Sell art that I painted   Through VSA arts in 2002 (The painting sold for $80)

53. Sit on a Board of Directors   The American Association of People with Disabilities (2007-2011)

54. See Carmen   Saw it at the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC, 2008

55. Write a fan letter   Not yet, but I did kind of fangirl all over Gail Simone (writer of Birds of Prey) the first time I met her. And the second. And the third…

56. Make a YouTube video   Yes and it was awful and awful fun too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YB5NAhGyD4g   Rapunzel: The Outtakes, 2007

57. Have something I wrote filmed Science Fiction Film Short, “Touch of Love,” Jan. 31, 2015

58. Visit the pyramids in Egypt

59. Enter the Taj Mahal

60. Find a job I’m passionate about

61. Learn a new language

62. Find a meaningful way to volunteer/serve   Joined the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, Jan. 2010

63. Try out a new profession

64. Achieve my “ideal” weight

65. Start my own business

66. Climb Kilimanjaro

67. Surprise someone

68. Have a surprise birthday party My wife surprised me with a secret birthday party hidden in a New Year’s Eve party, Dec. 31, 2015

69. Trek through the Amazon rainforest (but with lots of bugspray, bugs scare me)

70. Visit Australia or New Zealand

71. See Cher, Madonna, and Dolly Parton in concert  Cher, 2004; Madonna, 2012. Dolly…you’re next.

72. Enter a photography contest

73. Be mindful of my goals every day

74. Go on a romantic getaway   Berkley Springs, WV, Nov. 2012

75. Make a short film/documentary  Writer-Producer for “Touch of Love” and Writer for “Mother Nature” and “The Invalid Corps and the Battle of Fort Stevens” (in process), 2015  

76. Play tug-of-war with a plane

77. Walk the Great Wall of China   June, 2002

78. See the Forbidden City   June, 2002

79. Visit the Empire State Building

80. Walk up the Statue of Liberty

81. Think more about God

82. Swim with sharks

83. Burro ride down the Grand Canyon

84. Lobby for something I believe in    I always have.

85. Helicopter over a live volcano

86. Whitewater raft

87. Be happy

88. Be in a television show audience (Conan, you’re my first choice. Wendy Williams, you’re next!)

89.  Complete a 5k Walk/Run First Annual Mind Your Health 5k, Oct. 6, 2012

90. Grow something myself, that when it blooms, then I can eat it

91. Have no regrets

92. See the Terracotta Warriors

93. Attend the Oscars

94. Ride a gondola in Venice   Visited Venice in Aug. 2012 but thought the gondolas were too cheesy. I did ride the vaporettos though!

95. Run for office

96. Appreciate the people in my life

97. Give a presentation to 100+ people Legislative Seminar of the American Council of the Blind, Feb. 25, 2007

98. Give a presentation to 500+ people The Stoop Turns 10: Stories about the Awkward Adventures of Adolescence, Feb. 10, 2016

99. Be the keynote speaker at an event

100. Wear a cowboy hat to work  Declared myself a “white hat,” purchased one during a visit to Oklahoma and wore in to the office July, 2012

101. Participate in an open mic night or karaoke night

102. Be invited to speak overseas

103. Visit the NY Stock Exchange on Wall Street

104. Achieve 10,000 views on my blog

105. Own my dream home

106. Enjoy good friends   To all of you…I love you

107. Be on a best seller list

108. Win a contest

109. Sail on a 19th century sailing ship

110. Bury a time capsule with key memoirs in a secret location and open it in 1/3/5 years

111. Attend a masked ball   Steampunk wedding reception in New Orleans for loved ones, friends and family, Nov. 2010.

112. Sing A cappella   Sang with the Heart of Missouri Chorus, 2003. They’re awesome and now #3 in the WORLD!!

113. Write a professional journal article

114. Participate in a flashmob

115. See Petra

116. Leave a legacy

117. Support someone else’s dream

118. Design a project that will change someone’s life for the better

119. Eat food from a world famous chef   Jose Andres, I am so glad you are in Washington, D.C. Keep on experimenting.

120. Explore a castle

121. Write a song

122. Have a website   Way back as an undergrad in 1996, I started a little one. Day in Washington in 2007 and DayAlMohamed.com in 2009.

123. Have my own cosplay costume

124. Taste a 50 year old liquor

125. Indulge in the moment

126. Receive a fan letter

127. Go to Dinner Theater

128. Dog sled

129. Walk through a cave

130. Police ride along

131. Sleep in an ice palace

132. Watch the sunrise and sunset on the same day

133. Write a love note with lipstick on the bathroom mirror

134. Blow glass

135. Go to a drive-in movie

136. Pose with a figure at a wax museum

137. See a play ON Broadway

138. See a Cirque du Soleil show

139. Get a makeover/a professional makeup lesson

140. Make a gingerbread house Made an Oriole’s Stadium & House with Nikki for NIH’s Gingerbread House Competition. Go Orioles! Dec. 2015

141. Have a White Christmas

142. Stay at a dude ranch

143. Be grateful

144. Visit a ghost town

145. Attend the Kentucky Derby

146. See Ankor Wat

147. Snorkel the underwater museum in Cancun, Mexico

148. Go on adventures. Every chance I get

149. Study a language to gain conversational fluency.

150. Save the world   Because that’s my job.

Hmm, I think I still have a few things that I’ve done but haven’t listed yet.  Pretty sure I’ve spoken to 100+ people and being the t-shirt model for Rucka and Burch’s Lady Sabre and the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether MIGHT count for #30.  But it is relatively accurate and works well as guideposts for my future. 🙂

There are also some awesome extras that weren’t on my Bucket List but I definitely count as awesome events that I don’t want to forget.  You might call them opportunities that I made sure NOT to miss.

1.  Meeting Stan Lee   Baltimore ComiCon, 2011

2.  Snorkeling with stingrays   La Isla Bonita, Belize, 2010. Yeah, the one from Madonna’s song.

3.  Surfing Lessons   Hawaii, 2008 (Special thank you to author Jane Porter for the opportunity)

4.  First convention  Hunt Valley, MD, May 2006,  it was Balticon and Neil Gaiman was the Guest of Honor.

5.  Curling    During the 2010 Winter Olympics a group of friends and I got to try curling at the National Capital Curling Center

6.  First Rejection Letter   For my short story, Thorkwald and the Cherub from Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, 2007

7.  First Acceptance Letter   For poetry. Published in Space and Time Magazine, 2007.

8. First Award Nomination/Win  Nominated for the WSFA Small Press Best Short Story of 2015, Oct. 2015

9. Got a Project Funded Through Kickstarter  Documentary Short: Invalid Corps and the Battle of Fort Stevens, Nov 2015

  1 comment for “Bucket List

  1. Nicole Huntington
    January 23, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Have you updated this? Because I think there are a couple you have done.

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