Let’s rewind to 2004. I’m sitting in a loft in Grünerløkka, Oslo’s hottest neighborhood for the city’s young, urban, up-and-commers. Together with two former colleagues I’ve just founded a startup, and like with many startups, work is all-consuming, leaving little time for other adventures. The only way for me to do other things is to set some goals. That’s when The List is born.
The List contains 100 things I want to do before I croak. Also known as a bucket list1, its items range from the most trivial things (#93: Write on a wall), to some more complicated endeavors (#60: Save a life). The List has gone through a few minor modifications since it’s inception. Some of the items on the original list were pretty far fetched, like the original #14: Rob a bank. Seriously? The original #56 wasn’t any better: Witness the production of porn in person. In my feeble defense, I was in my mid-twenties, heavily overworked, and desperately sex deprived.
The items on the list should be at least semi-realistic. It’s great to have ambitious goals, but as life changes, the odds that I will actually be able to check off some of the currently non-checked items on the list is pretty damn slim. That’s why, as I’m pushing 40, it’s time to have a good, long, hard look at The List again.
The ListTM hasn’t received much attention lately. The last time I crossed off an item on the list was back in 2013, when me and the missus went to Tokyo. But recently, it was brought to my attention that I actually completed two items last year:
11. Hold a speech at someone’s wedding.
21. Organize a big event.
I August last year, I held a short speech at my own wedding. That should qualify as “someone’s wedding”. The wedding itself was a rather big event, at least on my scale. Anniken did most of the heavy lifting during planning, but my contributions should be enough for me to cross off number 21 from the list.
While we’re on the subject of The List, it’s fairly obvious that a revision is long overdue. It would be the second one, the first version of the list contained a few items that wasn’t suitable for a guy in a relationship. There are still some items there that it’s fairly unlikely that I’ll ever try to achieve. Number 100, for instance, “see Matthew Good in concert”. Matthew Good was my artist numero uno back when I wrote the original list. Today, not so much.
Number 66, “stop being semi-dyslectic” is also weird item. I’ll never completely stop being semi-dyslectic. There will always be spelling errors, and grammatical mistakes. What I can hope for is to reach a skill level where I’ll at least manage to weed out the most serious errors. Actually, I think I’m there already. Let’s just cross it off the list right away.
66. Stop being semi-dyslectic.
For the other, not-so-likely-they-will-ever-happen items, I think I’ll just replace them as I come up with better things to do.
With this summer’s trip to Japan, I managed to cross another item off The List:
#14. Visit Tokyo.
Here’s a time-lapse video of the intersection at Hachiko Exit of Shibuya Station. It would have been great to set up camp at the Starbucks cafe this video was shot at for 24 hours, to get an entire day worth of footage. But for some reason Anniken didn’t want to spend 24 hours of her vacation looking at an intersection. So this is about 15 minutes compressed down to 18 seconds. Keep in mind that this is far from the busiest time of day, and you’ll find much better videos on YouTube.
During our US road trip we shot quite a lot with the GoPro camera, and over the last two weeks I’ve slowly worked my way through 35 gigabytes of video files. The end result is a road movie, which means I can check off yet another item from The List:
#59. Make a road movie.
The music is by Cinnamon Chasers and the song is called “Luv Deluxe”. It’s copyrighted material, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the video is pulled from YouTube even with the credits in the video description and at the end of the video. Currently the video is not available in HD, but I’m guessing Google’s servers are encoding it in higher qualities as we speak. Most of the shots are played back at 2x speed or faster, expect for the video from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. As with photography, where everything looks good in black and white, everything video seems to look good at 2x speed.
The GoPro camera performed absolutely great and was perfect for this kind of filming. The quality is amazing for a camera that size. With the suction mount, I easily attached it to the car window and inside the helicopter and with roll bar mount made it was a breeze to connect to the Segway. Unfortunately, I’d left the head band at home, which would have been perfect to use at the shooting range, and I regret not filming the guys more than I did, especially at the later stages of our journey. But as I use the camera more, I’ll probably learn more about what’s good to shoot and what’s not.
Don’t watch this while hung over (it’s rather shaky at times) and try not to notice where I’ve “mixed” two playbacks of the song together to get continuous sound. I managed to miss a bit and it sounds kind of amateurish. But hey, I’m an amateur, so that’s to be expected, really.
As part of our road trip in the end of September, I managed to check off a couple of items from The List:
#4. Go on an American road trip.
With visits to four states (Utah, Nevada, California and Arizona) and 4000 kilometers (2485 miles) in a white Ford Explorer, I think we can safely call it an American road trip.
#48. Fire a gun at a gun range.
We went to Safe Shot Indoor Range on a Sunday, gave them some money and got a wide range of guns: A Smith & Wesson 686, a Beretta 92FS and a Heckler & Koch SL8. Klas also went nuts with an M16. If we’d been American citizens and Nevada residents without any prior run-ins with the law, we could have walked out of there with a legally bought fully automatic rifle within 25 minutes. Crazy.
#56. Go on a helicopter ride.
The helicopter ride was the classic Grand Canyon tour. We thought we were flying out from Las Vegas, but when we checked the address we were flying from the day before the ride, we realized we were actually flying from the South Rim on the complete opposite end of the Canyon. This meant we had to get up at five in the morning, drive 400 kilometers (250 miles) for the 25 minutes helicopter ride and then 400 kilometers back to Las Vegas. But it was totally worth it, and we on the way we stopped by Bearizona: Bison, Black Bear, Dall Sheep, Big Horn Sheep, Mountain, Goat, Arctic Wolf, Gray Wolf – and everything the American way; without even leaving the car.
We spent a lot of time in Nevada and three days in Las Vegas, so I could have completed #49; try my luck at the roulette table, as well. I had grand plans, but in the end it turned out I wasn’t able to put my money where my mouth was and I chickened out. That said, I still plan to live for quite some time, so maybe one day I’ll give it another try.