Bucket-Lister Pro-tips

What is a professional Bucket Lister?

bucket list inspiration and entertainment

 

For those of you that have been here for a bit, you may recall that I’ve become a professional bucket lister. But what does a professional bucket lister do? And just as important, what’s the benefits package like?

I should probably start by saying that this isn’t a made-up term like househusbandology (which I DID create, and I’m sure it’ll catch on as well as vexillology and scientology once I track down famous influencers like Sheldon Cooper and Tom Cruise to help spread the word).

Broadly speaking, a professional bucket lister is someone who selects projects and tries to accomplish them. But that’s not a very helpful definition. The same could be said of activists or architects or even authors, (and that’s just the “a” professions). We bucket listers are something else entirely.

I’m not doing a very good job of explaining what I’m doing here. Let’s try again.

 

Dinner with Dracula

Maybe if I explained a recent project it’ll get a little clearer.

I was determined to have dinner with Dracula. Not one of those dinner’s where a guy with white paint on his face, a dusty cape, and a fake set of fangs suggests that you try the Beef Wellington because it’s extra bloody. I’m talking about the real deal. And since we’re in the “social proof” era, I would need plenty of photographic evidence. Again, not the grainy, out of focus Loch Ness Monster/Sasquatch/photoshopped alien stuff that the National Enquirer would gobble up in a heartbeat. I’m talking about quality images. Something worthy of at least a dozen likes on Instagram or Facebook.

Monica and I wandered all over Romania, looking through castles, exploring caves, and sneaking into ancient crypts. Our quest to check this item off the bucket list was awesome. However, in the end, no dinner with Dracula.

 

But we did have appetizers. I have photos. No paid actors. Me sitting at a table with clearly identified Dracula. He has a real bite.

 

Willing Suspension of disbelief

Why is “dinner with Dracula” on the bucket list? For the longest time, cold hard facts dictated my actions. As a surgeon, my job was to collect and analyze the right data, reach a logical diagnosis, and perform the intervention most likely to lead to an optimal outcome. I would get irritated when someone would try to suggest something “outrageous.” Immortality by drinking from a fountain of youth? Cure disease with prayer? Don’t be ridiculous.

In my world, we cured with cold hard steel. Medication was fine. So long as we strictly adhered to the practices of evidence-based medicine. Things like faith and magic and mystery were best confined to pages of books or the movie screen.  

In many ways, I am still guided by these rational principles. However, I’ve recently begun to appreciate that there is more to life than I’ve learned in classrooms or operating rooms. I’ve begun to write. And as I learn more about writing, I recognize that the “willing suspension of disbelief” is a critical component of the process.

A gifted author creates a world that is easy for us to immerse ourselves in. We understand and sympathize with characters because what they do or happens to them is believable. It’s realistic, even if they are fighting dragons or using magic to solve their problems.

But this is a two-way street. The reader needs to be willing to put that skeptic aside. To silence the “no way!” that alarms whenever something unusual or bizarre happens. When we read, our job is just as important as the writers. We make the magic happen.

And I have fallen in love with this magic. This magic gives meaning to life in a way that science cannot (at least for me). I’m not good at this magic stuff yet. But I’m working on it.

Enjoy the fruits of my bucket list without risking your life, or your income

What does this have to do with being a professional bucket lister?

The Bucket List sprang from the colloquialism for dying, as in “he kicked the bucket.” The stuff we’ve done goes in the bucket. What’s in our bucket does not define us anymore than any of our material possessions, but what we choose to put in our buckets says something about what we value.

So my bucket list is populated with typical adrenaline junkie items like cliff diving, hiking on an active volcano, and running a marathon on all 7 continents (including Antarctica). But just as important are the outrageous and “unbelievable” adventures like dinner with Dracula, and exploring the lost city of Atlantis. (I can’t wait to tell you about Atlantis- I got to see the world’s oldest toilet ya’ll!)

 

What would you put in your Bucket?

Before I kick my bucket, I want it brimming with a colorful, frothy concoction of the exotic and the familiar. Stuff that is challenging, and inspiring. But also magical and miraculous.Click To Tweet

When I kick my bucket, I want to create such a brilliant mess that those who follow can’t help but be inspired, maybe even educated. Or at least entertained.

This is what being a professional bucket lister means to me.

 

P.S. For those of you that skipped straight to the bottom to check out the Dracula photo for yourself… I’m on to you. The photo is in the next post.

Hey, stop rolling your eyes at me! You’ll get it before the next episode of Game of Thrones airs. Think of this as one of those thrilling exercises in delayed gratification. Your welcome.

 

134 Comments

  • Reply mazmisc August 12, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    I always seem to try those bucket lists. Life has been so hectic, I’m taking it one step at a time. My husband and I are using project management software to manage and check off our relationship and sexual goals. 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 12:15 am

      I hear you. Life really has been hectic recently hasn’t it? I’ve been away from blogging for the past several weeks, and there is no clear end in sight.
      Let me know if you have any luck with the software management (but feel free to withhold the specifics 😉 )

  • Reply Writing to Freedom August 12, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    brave bucketlister beholds bold baubles. Kudos on mixing science, lists, and magic. I want photos of Atlantis and Dracula. 🙂

  • Reply Liesbet August 12, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    OK, you suceeded in getting me very curious of this Dracula guy. Or, is it a woman?

    I never thought about the things I wanted to accomplish, see or experience as my bucket list items. If I were to really think what would be on it, the list would be terribly long. Instead, I have ideas of what to do/see next and make that goal reality. It would be fun to list ten things to hope to achieve or experience one day! They would all involve travel, I’m afraid. 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 12:12 am

      hehehe can you tell I’m trying to hone my writing skills? This month it’s maintaining an engaging level of tension. Guess it’s working;)

      And if your bucket list is populated with travel items, then you have been VERY productive!

  • Reply Didi August 12, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Its at times scary how often I  recognize myself completely in your blogs. I am glad to see you expended your curiosity further than just the scientific cold facts. And lost your irration towards people looking with a more open, broad and maybe dreamy view to the world. And maybe become such person a bit more yourself.  As long as people dont hurt people or give others false hope all is fine(as that is a big issue that I still try to fight when it comes to medical things, be open to try but dont give false hope).

    Looking to the world like that makes life more full and much more fun to live. It gives you a complete view on things. I also think it makes peopke nicer when they are not only cold, fact driven people.

    PS there are some remains of a sunken town in Greece. People think thats where the Atlantis myth comes from. So seeing Atlantis is not even impossible. (Although i only saw it from a boat looking down I think it still counts for my bucketlist)
    Sorry for givinģ these “cold scientific facts”  😉

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 12:09 am

      hehehe I wish I could say that I no longer get irritated with others when they suggest the impractical. I’m better ( no more flying instruments ;)) but I’ve gotta admit, when a local villager tells me that they have been treating their liver disease with 2 glasses of Tuica (its like the jet fuel version of moonshine), I have a difficult time keeping my mouth shut…

      And Greece was our first stop on the search for Atlantis, but I don’t want to spoil any of the surprises;)

      • Reply Didi August 13, 2017 at 12:51 am

        I think you’re a way better person now. The flying instrument guy would have been a person i wouldnt have kept silent to, to tell him a bit about respecting others.
        I think its good to speak up your opinion, when it’s done in a respectfull way. And even in panic situations that can be the way.

        I can’t always keep my mind shut either and never did when my dad was dying of cancer and all people came with so called proofed remedies.

        Don’t you think that with 2 glasses of Tuica (or Palinka (Hungarian version), Rakija (Croation) the duration of a liver disease will be way less long. Although i doubt the thing cousing it to end (death) is not what they had in mind.

        • Reply Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 12:21 pm

          I’m sure you’re right. All 3 versions of plum brandy will hasten an early departure. Certainly the taste buds if not the liver.

  • Reply amindfultravellerblog August 12, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Love your post Gabe. I agree with that quote about kicking the bucket. These bucket list experiences are all about interacting and leaving a little piece of yourself with others and where you visit. I have a very long bucket list (travel) and the more I communicate with you, there seems to be a new addition!! I love it… 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 12:04 am

      “leaving a little piece of yourself with others and where you visit…” you get it.

  • Reply Green Global Trek August 12, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    Interesting Gabe haha. Because my bucket list is just full of new countries that I want to go to. It has always been my goal and passion to travel and live in many different countries and very satisfying to be doing just that. However, of course, I keep adding countries, because the more places I experience, the more places I want to experience. And I don’t just mean stopping in a country or being in a place for a few hours or a few days, I really like living in different countries.

    Maybe it all started when I left home (South Africa) at age 19 and headed out the door across the seas to new lands.

    At any rate, now I see I have to start a new bucket list of the things I want to accomplish like writing a book, hang gliding or swimming across Lake Apolo in Nicaragua. Ha!

    Peta

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 12:02 am

      Peta, you know you are my bucket list role model right?

      You and your husband suck the marrow out of your experiences, and its obvious that you aren’t in it just to check things off a list.

      And please let me know when your book if available (especially the cook book, because I LOVE the photo recipes you’ve shared thus far)

  • Reply restlessjo August 13, 2017 at 12:40 am

    You’re on a roll, Gabe, and getting better and better. 🙂 🙂 Coming along for the ride is irresistible.

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 12:41 am

      hehehe you better stop Jo or my hat isn’t gonna fit anymore 😉

      But I’ll do my best to make it an enjoyable ride.

  • Reply Di August 13, 2017 at 12:41 am

    Hello Gabe,
    A very entertaining journey through your thoughts on how to live a fulfilling life, the wonder of magic and surrendering to the mystical…
    ‘The hero’s journey’ is at the heart of all good stories and if you can involve Dracula and Atlantis in there with that, you’re good to go! It’s great to see you are beginning ‘writing’ even though you are already gifted as a blogger writer.
    Shall look forward to seeing your photos next post, then…
    Di 🙂🙋🏻

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Yes! The hero’s journey… I would have to create a character worthy o being a “hero” but this sounds like a worthy goal.
      And thanks so much for your comment Di. You illustrate the value of “holding one another up” so well.

      • Reply Di August 13, 2017 at 3:14 pm

        I thought you’d already know about that concept my friend. I know you will have a worthy hero bubbling away inside, waiting to be released…he or she will appear when you aren’t looking…
        But grab them when they appear…

        And your last comment brought a smile. That’s so kind…thank you Gabe, as you do too 💐✨💐✨

  • Reply April Munday August 13, 2017 at 12:43 am

    I don’t have a bucket list and have no intention of having one. I’ve already done the one thing I wanted to do before I die.

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 11:31 am

      Thats awesome April!

  • Reply calmkate August 13, 2017 at 12:59 am

    lol good to see a science based person stretching their imagination … most of those ‘magic’ stories are tools to convey very strong morals … much thanks for the follow 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 11:01 am

      stretching the imagination is probably the right way to frame it. And I’m not very flexible 😉 but I’m working on it. And I’ll be sure to keep an eye out when you return

      • Reply calmkate August 13, 2017 at 5:46 pm

        mental yoga is challenging but ever so rewarding, good work Gabe 🙂

  • Reply Mick Canning August 13, 2017 at 3:23 am

    Bucket list? Write more books. Paint more paintings. Travel more…that probably covers it.

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 11:02 am

      Sounds like a great plan to me Mick. Especially since you’ve already made a great start…

  • Reply Miriam August 13, 2017 at 4:18 am

    Gabe you’re well on the way to creating the magical and miraculous. Dinner with Dracula (can’t wait for the photo) and exploring the lost city of Atlantis sounds like a great start. As for me, no clear bucket list goals on the near horizon but I’m loving what I’ve done so far and tomorrow is a new day! 😊 wonderful post.

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 11:04 am

      Hey Miriam! based on what I’ve seen of your recent trip through the Outback, sounds like your living La Vida Loca already. And yes… tomorrow is a new day.

  • Reply Shallow Reflections August 13, 2017 at 4:46 am

    I love the image you chose for your bucket list post, Gabe. The rusty bucket is a perfect representation of my bucket list. I have lower standards than you do – owning a car that was built during the current century, paying cash to have the septic pumped, going to South Brewer (the next town) to eat at the taco stand. There are my dreams and goals. But I do believe if I could stay up past 9 PM there is a chance I could encounter Dracula. So we have that in common. 😉

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 11:07 am

      Thanks Molly. I really enjoyed sketching this one. The model I used didn’t look nearly as rusty, so I guess we are on the same wavelength. Beauty in simplicity and authenticity. right?

  • Reply Lutheranliar August 13, 2017 at 6:43 am

    So clever! But, FYI, I decided (on the occasion of a Big Birthday) that I’d rather have an Unbucket List. (I actually wrote about this in a post called “All Saints Birthday”, which I will politely NOT provide a link to) Essentially, this means I made a list of things that I will not ever do again, because I’m old enough to say “no”. Liberating, and then some!

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 11:12 am

      hehehe LOVE this. and I really wish you would leave the link. I love reading your work, and this sounds like a great example to share.

      I’m also old enough to say no… but guess that doesn’t mean I’ve reached the age of wisdom yet.

      • Reply Lutheranliar August 13, 2017 at 1:27 pm

        Aw, Gabriel. You are too kind. Here it is; I honestly think you’ll get a kick out of it. And about that ‘age of wisdom’: I’m not sure I’m there either (or will ever actually achieve it!) but I do know that getting older is sure better than the alternative! http://lutheranliar.com/all-saints-birthday/

        • Reply Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 12:13 pm

          hehehe love it. An Unbucketlist is brilliant. I WISH I could add cleaning dirty dishes and doing laundry to that list, but I’m pretty sure it’s a big part of my househusbandly duties.

          • Lutheranliar August 15, 2017 at 12:17 pm

            Thanks for reading my Unbucket List, Gabe. I wish I could add cleaning your dirty dishes and doing laundry to MY non-Unbucket List; I actually don’t mind either one — especially if I have the tunes cranked up (!)

          • Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 12:18 pm

            Sweet! I’ll be happy to provide an endless supply of Rhianna OR JayZ 😉

      • Reply rhymelovingwriter August 22, 2017 at 12:49 pm

        Oh my goodness! I loved your post Gabe – but then this?! In honor of both you and Lutheranliar I’m going to make a (very short) bucket list – and a (much longer) unbucket list. Ya’ll make me smile so much. Thank you.

    • Reply Tom Being Tom August 17, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      I absolutely adore the Unbucket List! I’ve been doing this myself, the last couple of years, without the wit to name the thing. Brilliant, LL! No toxic people. No fish if I can help it. No finishing books I don’t like. None of it! But my laugh-out-loud moment was imagining the foot-to-foot shift. Girl, I’m throwing that in my bucket!

  • Reply Andrea Stephenson August 13, 2017 at 7:31 am

    I’m all for magic, and I think your aim to have dinner with Dracula is a fabulous one! I always wanted to go to Romania to find the haunts of Dracula – I haven’t yet and may never do. I don’t have a bucket list, because I find more pleasure at the moment in enjoying the simple things, but that may change again in time to come, who knows?

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 11:13 am

      You have such a gift with words, and recreating worlds. I have to hunt for “bucket list” worthy adventures, you don’t even ned to to change out of your slippers 😉

      #jealous

  • Reply Almost Iowa August 13, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Before I would do lunch with Dracula, I would hazard to ask who is on the menu.

    • Reply Almost Iowa August 13, 2017 at 7:50 am

      And oh yeah, before a dinner with Dracula, I’d make sure my other bucket list items are crossed off.

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 11:14 am

      hehehe soooo tempted to spoil it by answering your questions. I make a horrible storyteller and humorist. Always want to give away the punchline before I’ve set up the story.

  • Reply thebeasley August 13, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Singing a duet with Tom Jones is on my bucket list…it’s a work in progress. Lovely post.

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 11:16 am

      Really… pretty sure Mike Myers could hook you up. If I remember right… Austin Powers has a connect

      • Reply thebeasley August 14, 2017 at 5:40 am

        Great! Austin only lives down the road from me too. I’m on it!

  • Reply Ann Coleman August 13, 2017 at 8:18 am

    I like to think that there is more than one kind of reality. There is the physical reality that we must acknowledge and understand, but there is also the reality that we can create ourselves through our stories and imaginations. And even though they don’t exist in the physical world, they can seem just as real to us as the things that do. I also believe that they can combine and overlap…patients who believe in the power of prayer often heal more quickly, possibly because they believe they will heal. And lonely people can feel powerfully connected to characters that exist only in books or movies. So, in the end, who’s to say what is real?
    As for the bucket list, I agree that what we choose to put in ours is what matters, and says a lot about who we are as a person. Great post, Gabe!

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 11:18 am

      You are absolutely right about the power of prayer, and belief. While many tend to call this the Placebo Effect, I agree with you, faith does play a part in healing, AND in our ability to enjoy life.

  • Reply jaicommunity August 13, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Interesting – I’m not sure what is going in my bucket. I’ve never been one to have deep desires of conquests or marking things off a list, but I completely admire people for making sure they get to do those things before it’s too late. Only until the last couple years have I felt like I better get on the ball and make some really good memories. I’m looking forward to the Dracula photo by the way.

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 11:21 am

      Yeah I know what you mean. It wan’t until fairly recently that I’ve felt that pressure to refocus my life towards accomplishing, experiencing, and connecting with those things and people that will be meaningful and memorable (and hopefully inspiring).

      I also feel like I might have built up the suspense a bit too much with the Dracula photo… But I guess we’ll have to see how it turns out

  • Reply mydangblog August 13, 2017 at 10:26 am

    I just crossed seeing Stonehenge off my list. I know it’s very touristy to go there, but seeing it for myself was pretty awesome!

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 11:22 am

      You know, I JUST finished reading a blog post about Stonehenge and it looks fascinating! Did you have to take a tour to avoid the crowds?

      • Reply mydangblog August 13, 2017 at 11:29 am

        No, we just showed up, parked and got a shuttle bus out to the site. It wasn’t very crowded and we got some beautiful pictures. We had just watched a documentary about the way it might have been built, so seeing it up close was amazing!

  • Reply Jennifer August 13, 2017 at 10:33 am

    I pinned this to my bucket list board!

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 11:23 am

      You rock Jennifer! Thanks for pinning

  • Reply Marje @ Kyrosmagica August 13, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Interesting, dracula is an unusual one! My daughter’s friend made her a cape that looks very dracula like. Perhaps you should borrow it and pose as Count Dracula yourself!

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 11:24 am

      hehehe I would make a horrible Dracula. Aside from a fondness for poorly cooked meat and playing in the dark, I don’t have the right setup. This face is more cute than haunting 😉

  • Reply angelanoelauthor August 13, 2017 at 10:39 am

    So I got curious about where “kick the bucket” came from in the first place. I looked it up and was a bit startled by what I found. I decided I don’t want to dwell on where the idiom came from–I’d rather do what you’re doing here, redefine it for myself.
    When I think of self-worth I think of it as a bucket. It’s my bucket and it’s my job to fill it up with things and experiences that enable me to feel and find joy. When my bucket is full I’m at my maximum capability to contribute to others and the world. In the past, I’ve asked others to fill my bucket. It was THEIR job to make me feel good. When I realized that, I stopped. But in seeing it in myself I became more aware of when others demanded that I fill their bucket for them. These “drainers” asked too much of me, so I had to set up boundaries to limit what they could take. I’m more than happy to give what I can, but again: MY BUCKET=my job to manage. If I let others take too much from me, it’s not their fault, it’s my responsibility to say no and move on. Not always easy, but necessary.
    I love the idea of having a “bucket list” but I just want to see it a little differently. I want to see it as the list of things I do to fill my life up with the highest quality goodness and experiences as I can. Your description of a brilliant, magical mess strikes me as simply perfect.

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 11:29 am

      Angela! I love this comment. These words should really be up at the top of the post where others can see it. When my wife read through the final draft, she said so many similar things: that we’re responsible for maintaining our “buckets” and that how we choose to manage our buckets becomes a reflection of who we are as much as the stuff thats in them.

      Sounds like my circle of beloved is filled with wise people.

  • Reply Maggie Wilson August 13, 2017 at 10:59 am

    An intriguing and worthwhile twist to the bucket list concept. I’m not much of a list keeper though, in this context.

    That said, last evening as I drove home from shopping, I did finally turn down that road that I’ve always wondered about. As I completed the tour, I said, “Check that one off the list.”

    So I suppose, on reflection, for me, my list is more about satisfying curiosity.

    Love the bucket photo.

    • Reply Gabriel August 13, 2017 at 11:30 am

      hehehe Robert Frost would be proud. The road less traveled by was visited, and that made all the difference.

  • Reply Dave Ply August 13, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    For many, a bucket list item should be a big accomplishment or an exotic destination. And while these are worthy things to strive for, I think it’s also handy, while you’re going through life, to note smaller accomplishments and secretly note to yourself as you achieve them, “there’s another one for the bucket list.” They don’t even have to be on the list to start with, they can just be serendipitous.

    BTW, to fullfill a requirement for receiving a Half Bananas award I opted to find Atlantis…

    • Reply Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      hehehe just checked out your post Dave, and you’ve clearly taken the more challenging path of the 6 options available to claim your half bananas award. But if anyone has made any progress on the time machine, I would love to get in on that.

      And I haven’t seen HalfBananas around for quite awhile. Wonder if he’s taking a Gabe-esque break…

  • Reply D. Wallace Peach August 13, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    “When I kick my bucket, I want to create such a brilliant mess”
    I love that, Gabe. If we had no imagination and belief in possibilities, nothing would ever be invented, there would be no unlocking of mysteries, no world of science. Who’s to say that what is fantasy has no basis in reality or won’t one day be “discovered.” There are perfectly sane people who’ve seen faeries. And in a way, does it even matter? We only get this one life and how wonderful and adventurous to spend part of it in the pursuit of the magical and fantastical. Who knows where it will lead.
    And I heard in there that you’re writing… I’m intrigued.

    • Reply Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      So true. One person’s magic is another person’s engineering.

      I’m having a lot of fun learning how to write, but I can already see that it will be a long (and challenging) process. I suspect you understand this far better than I 😉

      • Reply D. Wallace Peach August 15, 2017 at 4:01 pm

        It is long and challenging, but it’s also layered, Gabe – perhaps like sculpting. You get the general shape, rework, refine, chop with the hammer, then chip the chisel, scrape with a scalpel. Being content with rough rock and loving the slow creative process of drawing out the beauty is a huge part of this endeavor. I hope you find it as rewarding as I. <3

  • Reply A Gypsy's Tale by Brooke Breazeale August 13, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Oh my god, Gabe, so love this! Written beautifully, as always!

    I’m definitely a bucket lister, not doubt about it. I have checked a handful off for sure, but kinda need to revise and update it, so thank you for the reminder. But the star of your blog (no, not referring to your pale friend who likes his steak on the rare side) is probably at the the very top. I want to summon magic, conjure it up, feel it, create it. You probably know this by the name of my blog. I think I have experienced and done these things, but I just want to do it on a scale that is so pervasive, so epic, that there is no one can question what it is, that it exists and that is always there, within there grasp, if they just look for it.

    I’m so glad you found it, it is obvious when you write. You most definitely have found it.

    “When I kick my bucket, I want to create such a brilliant mess that those who follow can’t help but be inspired, maybe even educated. Or at least entertained.”

    Oh, and I want to go to Cuba and be able to hold my own when someone asks me to dance. And I want to work in an Elephant sanctuary…and a pangolin sanctuary…and I want to save them all. I could go on, but I have some magic to go conjure up. 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      I hear you Natalie. The allure of creativity, imagination, wonder, all that good stuff (and more) we bundle up under the “magic” umbrella is irresistible.

      Totally stealing the elephant sanctuary idea btw…

  • Reply cracTpot August 13, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Holy smokes! Look who got famous while I’ve been on summer vacation! WordPress Discover? Nicely done sir! Your bucket list is what my bucket list wants to be when it grows up! Still, we sure are having fun being kids, having fun and meeting goals…even if they are little ones <3

    • Reply Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      hehehe not even close to famous. And sounds like you’ve brought your own paradise with you. Hope vacation is everything it should be and more Trish!

  • Reply actualconversationswithmyhusband August 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    I’m equal parts impressed and inspired by your bucket-filling prowess. I’ve always thought of it as leaving behind a collection of stories people will tell of my wild and weird adventures, but I like your brilliant mess analogy better. Plus, it gives me an excuse to hoard photos and souvenirs!

    • Reply Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      Ha! I can’t remember the last time someone mentioned my prowess with anything approaching inspiration, but I’ll take it 😉

      And the good thing about hoarding photos and stuff now is that its all digital, so we can carry thousands of memories we’ll never even look at again without having to find those bulky albums or shoe boxes to stuff them in. right?

  • Reply Strength and Sunshine August 13, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    I have so many things on my list; not even (nor ever) will I be remotely done! Haha! Must live forever then!

    • Reply Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      hehehe sounds like a great plan!

  • Reply drallisonbrown August 13, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Interesting….your bucket list sounds much more exotic than mine! Most of the time, I don’t intentionally seek out opportunities to pursue the items I’ve listed (so, one might wonder why I have one in the first place, I guess). And, sometimes, if something really cool happens, I’ll actually add it to my list just so I can cross it off 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      hehehe sounds like a winning strategy though. You’re guaranteed to shrink your list that way 😉

  • Reply ForgivingConnects August 13, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Gabriel, thank you for a great post! I appreciate your style of reflection 🙂 Did you actually run a marathon in all of the continents? (I’m a half-marathoner and appreciate the challenge)

    You know, I am aware of not having a lot in my bucket list. Maybe something about having forgiveness be a globally recognized day at the united nations. Though I’d like to let this go to uplevel my vision to what is really the contribution I can make in this field – if that makes sense to you.

    Anyway, blessings. Have a great week ahead.
    Debbie

    • Reply Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      I’ve run 6 full marathons and one half marathon so far, but I still have several continents left to conquer.

      And I love your goal. Convincing the UN to sponsor a day dedicated to forgiveness would be an achievement of a lifetime, and a worthy task to pursue. Good luck!

      • Reply ForgivingConnects August 17, 2017 at 1:18 pm

        Wow Gabriel that’s amazing! Sending you blessings on your way. 😊

        Thanks so much for your comment. Really touched me. Blessings to you, Gabriel! Debbie

  • Reply ellenbest24 August 13, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    My bucket lists contains making every day count, do one thing everyday to make someonelse smile. A selfless act of human kindness. I have been doing this since 1997 conciously. My Dad said “If you go to bed and can say to yourself, if today was my last, it has been a good day and you mean it. Then you are being the best you can be” So i find the good forgive myself the wonky and like who lived today. X

    • Reply Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 12:39 pm

      Wow. This sounds like recipe for great self-care. Kinda puts my dreams of dinner with Dracula into perspective 😉

      • Reply ellenbest24 August 15, 2017 at 12:44 pm

        If you only knew Gabe … monthly dinners with a vampire could save me a lot of worry … if only.

  • Reply josypheen August 13, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    I love your post as always Gabe!

    To be honest, I like the Gabe i’ve read about in your blog waaay more than the previous surgeon version of you. Hiking, finding cools things to add to your bucket list and being in constant wonder at the world around you is just such a good way to live. 😀

    I also love that you have such an awesome accomplice who helps with your bucket list and feeds you dominos in st Marks square.

    • Reply Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      hehehe me too. I feel pretty good about calling this the “new and improved” version of myself.
      And Monica gets a lot of the credit for helping me find him!

      • Reply josypheen August 15, 2017 at 12:44 pm

        Yay for Monica! 😀

  • Reply usathroughoureyes August 13, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Reading your post Gabe brought us back to our youth when reading books about Dracula (Vlad Seppish) and the lore about the myth. It all took place in Romania in the castles as you note. Wow what a line item on the bucket list to sit at his table. Aren’t you worried he’ll have a bite from you or Monica.

    • Reply Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 12:43 pm

      hehehe I’ve just about finished writing the post, so this won’t be too much of a spoiler, but I shipped over the ingredients for my homemade guacamole (plenty of garlic) just in case. AND I’m pretty sure this was the first time guacamole was served in the tiny Transylvania village we ended up in 😉

      • Reply usathroughoureyes August 19, 2017 at 10:36 am

        Who knows maybe the guacamole will convert the Count. Next thing we know he’ll be blogging.

  • Reply the incurable dreamer August 14, 2017 at 7:11 am

    The cool thing about you Gabe is that not only are you filling up your bucket but inspiring others to do the same. We get one shot at this life and if it is dinner with Dracula we want, then fight for it. Right? (Super cool by the way!!)

    ‘When I kick my bucket, I want to create such a brilliant mess that those who follow can’t help but be inspired, maybe even educated. Or at least entertained.’

    Amen to the above statement. It’s everything.

    In the end, it’s not about the things we own or how much money we have in our bank accounts; it’s about the way we have made people feel, by being a participant in this life. Choosing to live without inhibition, with passion and love in our hearts is what we should all strive to do. Your posts always encourage me to do exactly that, and this one is no different. Hell, you have even made me want to find Dracula!

    Thank goodness I am on team Gabe because my life has been so much better since became a player. You continually inspire me, and make my life so much brighter. When I leave this earth I have every intention of leaving behind one hell of a colourful glorious mess!

    Thanks for being you!

    • Reply Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      Tanya I’ve said this so many times, but it’s worth repeating. You’re such good people!

      And I’ve fought the urge to quote several of the observations you’ve made. Instead, what I should really do I dedicate a post to sharing some of the amazing comments shared here. After all, this is where the magic really happens.

      screw it… “choosing to live without inhibition, with passion and love in our hearts is what we should all strive to do”

      Yeesshh woman!

      • Reply the incurable dreamer August 17, 2017 at 6:45 am

        Aww, Gabe, that is such an unbelievable compliment to receive from you. It means a lot that you think that about me, so from the bottom of my heart, thank you. You wear a ‘helluva good person’ badge, and it is not possible for me to think any higher of you. Doggonnit Gabe, you are the bee’s knees to me!!

        I think you are onto something, a blog post dedicated to comments is such a fantastic idea. Your blog touches people because you are raw, funny and poignant, and you seem to bring out the absolute best in people. All these comments are indeed magic!

        Hope you are having a good week and managed to get some dishes done! haha.

        • Reply Gabriel August 20, 2017 at 11:34 pm

          Hey Tanya! Sorry about the delayed reply. Life has become a bit turbulent recently.

          But when I get back on track, this sounds like a great way for me to reintroduce myself back into the wild. “The best of…comments”

          Unrelated, but I’ll be (slowly) hiking my way towards you over the coming weeks… if your willing to consider southeastern Canada “towards you.”

          • the incurable dreamer August 22, 2017 at 7:29 am

            Hi, Gabe! I am sorry to hear that you have hit some turbulence, but it sounds like you have identified the appropriate remedy by going on a hike. Southeastern Canada is a long way away, but to know that you will be close by makes me incredibly happy!
            Don’t let Eddie win, Gabe. Fight with all your might and don’t let that son of a bitch win. You got this!
            Take good care of yourself Gabe, and have the hike of a lifetime.

  • Reply Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC August 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    This is GREAT, Gabe – pinned to my Blogs and Bloggers Board. But do you really want to get involved with Tom Cruise? (unless, of course, you are eager to explore Scientology and would LOVE getting mail from them for the rest of your life).

    Many funny stories about that when I investigated many years ago, when their NYC “Celebrity Center” was first being built – no interior walls yet, for the most part. I’ll leave you ONE in a new comment – since only short ones will “send” for me on your blog.

    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    • Reply Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC August 14, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      Part II – Scientology story
      ~~~~~~~~~
      Years ago, in my acting days, I checked them out when their NYC “Celebrity Center” was first being built – no interior walls yet, for the most part. Although a Scientology casting director I didn’t want to disappoint made sure I had an appointment, they were running late at the “home office.”

      They sat me in a chair in a large “book-closet” while a “secret” meeting concluded and forgot I was in there — for HOURS. I got lost in time reading a bunch of “texts” that you normally have to pay a bunch of money to read as you travel “up the bridge” – couldn’t get out of there fast enough once they finally discovered me in the closet.

      Long story short: 30 years later I still get mail from them reminding me to come back and take the intro class — despite the fact that I have moved around MANY times since then. Scary, actually. They seem to be able to find me when no one else can! ::cue Twilight Zone music here::
      xx,
      mgh

      • Reply Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 1:07 pm

        that “book closet” sounds fascinating. Although I don’t know if it’s worth the hassle of being badgered for decades afterwards…

        • Reply Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC August 15, 2017 at 1:11 pm

          ESPECIALLY after you read what’s in those books! I won’t repeat here, but as more people get brave enough to run away, many have posted what they are running away FROM online. Crazy stuff.

          You’d benefit more by spending your time locating a celebrity – lol.
          xx,
          mgh

    • Reply Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      First, thanks so much for pinning!
      And love that you picked up on the cheesy scientology reference. I have zero interest in getting junk mail from scientology peeps, but I thought that if celebrities could bring awareness and successfully promote a study for something like scientology or vexillology (study of flags), then surely there would be hope for MY worthwhile fledgling institution of houshusbandology 😉

      I didn’t realize that you were having difficulty sending longer comments. I’ve made some modifications recently to protect from spam but hope that this isn’t preventing you from accessing the comment section, after all this is YOUR space. I’ll have to do some research.

      • Reply Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC August 15, 2017 at 1:09 pm

        Thanks! The way that it is showing up is that, after a few lines, the comment box “covers” the “send” – so there is no way to get it onto your blog.

        I encountered this on one other blog, so it might be a change to your theme. Good luck with your Sherlocking.
        xx,
        mgh

  • Reply bedlamanddaisies August 14, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    I’ve not been very good at writing an actual bucket list, but there are certain things that float around my mind. I’m not an adrenaline junkie although I’ve very envious of those that are, but most of my things are culturally related…see my first opera…watch some more ballets…take in a show…visit museums…travel to new places…relax by the shore in some of those said new places. 😉
    Can’t wait to see the photo of Dracula! 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 1:12 pm

      Culture… Monica would love it if we included more of this on our list. But I have to admit, for me, opera fits into the same box as Brussel sprouts 😉 But this means I’ll be doing my part to make it easier for you to get tickets!

      • Reply bedlamanddaisies August 15, 2017 at 1:46 pm

        I’m not sure I’ll even like opera, but I feel like I should try it at least once. Thanks for doing your part to make that easier! 😉

  • Reply Retirementallychallenged.com August 15, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    My bucket list has gotten so long that I’ve had to get a larger bucket. So much to do, so little time. I’ve never had a meal with Dracula (although I did have a childhood crush on Bella Lugosi after seeing the 1931 – way before my time, let me assure you – movie). I recently visited Forks, Washington, but didn’t see any vampires there either (a reference that may escape you since you were never a pre-teen girl).

    I do have a picture of myself standing dangerously under Sasquatch’s butt, though.

    • Reply Gabriel August 15, 2017 at 1:16 pm

      hehehe Janis that is AWESOME! Would totally love to see the photo of you getting mooned by Sasquatch.
      And I don’t want to get flagged by Google for searching, but part of me suspects that the Forks, Washington reference has something to do with Twilight. If so… we don’t tolerate that kind of profanity here 😉

      • Reply Retirementallychallenged.com August 15, 2017 at 2:41 pm

        Yep to Twilight! Just think how your search algorithms would change after you Googled that! Perhaps that photo will show up on a future post…

  • Reply Val August 15, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Good luck with Dracula. I used to be a great fan of vampire fiction and was constantly traipsing off to fan conventions and movies, reading lots of books, even wrote a couple (unpublished). Eventually I actually FELT like I’d met Dracula… maybe that’s the way to do it?

    As for bucket lists, I don’t have one as I’m pretty much doing what I want to do already. 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel August 20, 2017 at 11:20 pm

      Yup -I know what you mean. After enough time researching and immersing ourselves in a “quest” the myths begin to become reality. Congrats on your virtual “meeting” with Dracula!

  • Reply Amy August 15, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Thank you for explaining bucket list, Gabe! I don’t do bucket list. I think it’s more fun to write up the things you have done. 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel August 20, 2017 at 11:20 pm

      And to share your gorgeous photos!

  • Reply Dippy-Dotty Girl August 15, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    I really do not have a bucket list. Leave alone a professional one. But to sit with Dracula and break bread means that you have aced it. Of course I believe you. How else could I be an avid lover of that expression – ‘the willing suspension of disbelief’ – without which nothing on earth can seem quite so special.

    • Reply Gabriel August 20, 2017 at 11:21 pm

      I knew you would be a fellow subscriber to the “willing suspension of disbelief!”

  • Reply The Mystery Blogger Award (Double nomination) – The Broke Girl's Guide to Better Living August 15, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    […] at (Almost) Unsalvageable  My blogging guilty pleasure.  Fun, witty, intelligent…. just go.  You won’t regret […]

  • Reply thebrokegirlsguidetobetterliving August 15, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    You’re becoming so popular it’s hard to get a word in edgewise around here 😉

    I LOVED this post! I was thrilled and almost giggled and clapped with glee to read “dinner with Dracula” on your bucket list. If you can put that out there, then I can admit to what’s on mine…

    1) A boat cruise with Captain Ron. Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn have a cabin not too far from my boyfriend’s out on the lake. I’m not a hundred percent sure which one and where though. But I know Captain Ron is out there somewhere, patch and all, in a broken down boat, just waiting for us to come along and pick him up, where he promptly takes over command of our fishing boat.
    2) Ditto Atlantis! Another dream of mine. I’ve heard rumour that there is possible evidence of it being likely in one of three locations: Bimini, Crete and Santorini. Since I was a kid, not even having any knowledge of where these places even were or what they were all about, they were immediately added to the bucket list.

    I was nominated for one of those blogger awards and did a follow up post to it – I don’t know or care if any of the blogs I nominated recognize or follow up on them, but I just had to include yours once again, because I truly feel that my limited reader base is greatly missing out if they are not also following yours.

    Hope you are enjoying your summer and cheers for now!

    • Reply Gabriel August 20, 2017 at 11:26 pm

      Soooo sorry about the horribly delayed reply. Life has been a bit…turbulent here lately.

      I’m sure you’re gonna get your chance to hang out with Captain Ron. Love that. Maybe we’ll track him down in Atlantis… (although I didn’t see him when we were there 😉 )

      • Reply thebrokegirlsguidetobetterliving August 22, 2017 at 5:54 pm

        Timeliness has never been one of my strong points, so I can hardly judge others for it lol. Hope you’re enjoying your Canadian hike and that our quickly changing weather is being good to you!
        Maybe you’ll have better luck finding him than I have!

  • Reply George August 16, 2017 at 6:14 am

    There is a principle in software design called “what would it do if it was magic”. The idea is to free people from trying to come up with solutions based on the real life constraints they know they have to work within.

    It’s very effective – within imagination fired, people come up with far simpler, more effective and (most times) totally achievable ideas that run rings round the clunky, compromises and convoluted workarounds they were envisioning before.

    Magic happens in writing as it does in music when you strike the right, rhythm, nuance, percussiveness and melodic flow. How words sound can convey far more meaning than the sum of their dictionary definitions alone.

    Where those ideas, words or notes come from is the real mystery – you can spend ages labouring for nothing, then when the muse strikes, they can arrive almost fully formed from out of the air. That’s the real magic, but for it to happen, you have to be receptive. Your bucket list idea is a wonderful way of unshackling the mind and makes, as always, for a tremendous read.

    • Reply Gabriel August 20, 2017 at 11:58 pm

      Laboring for that moment is absolutely worth it. Working without the promise of reward while waiting for the muse to grace us with her wisdom…

      I sure hope you’re right George!

  • Reply The Hook August 17, 2017 at 6:30 am

    You are an amazing soul, GB.
    Keep up the good work.

  • Reply Tom Being Tom August 17, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Two things on my bucket list include “seeing someone have dinner with Dracula,” and “explore Atlantis through somebody’s blog.”

    If you could find that fountain of youth, I could mark off “know at least one immortal,” too. 😉

    Brother, you got me hooked. Happy to say you’ve got a new fan. I’d follow you through the fiery gates of hell, now (as long as I don’t have to leave my desk).

    Keep bucketlisting, you househusbandologist, you!

    • Reply Gabriel August 20, 2017 at 11:37 pm

      Holy crap your awesome! These replies are coming way late, but it’s not because I didn’t appreciate. Life’s a bit turbulent.
      But when the waters settle, I’m TOTALLY heading your way to spend some quality time getting to know your words, because I can see we would hit it off!

      • Reply Tom Being Tom August 21, 2017 at 6:50 am

        No worries, Gabriel, Tom understands life in the fast lane! Looking forward to many more (years of) interactions with you. In fact, I’m about to see what Gabriel writes about late on a Sunday night. Or was it early on a Monday morning?

        Regardless, I’m also about to stop talking about both of us in the third person. I promise. 😉

  • Reply rgayer55 August 18, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    My bucket is a little smaller, Gabe. Actually, more of a tin can. Okay, it’s a Vienna sausage can, dammit. I was never really into flirting with death. Besides, I hear she’s a harsh and demanding mistress. I haven’t travel much other than on business, which usually means visiting chicken plants in small communities. I’ve seen Chicago, Houston, and LA and none are as exciting as a day in the woods 20 miles from the nearest community.

    I would like to make more people laugh. Reach a larger audience. Maybe some of them would drop a coin in my Vienna Sausage can.

    • Reply Gabriel August 20, 2017 at 11:41 pm

      hehehe this is definitely one of those times where those time where that adage: “it’s not the size of the container, but what you put in it that counts” is absolutely valid.

      And consider me a humble but entertained member of your audience Russel.

  • Reply AniK August 25, 2017 at 5:56 am

    A delightful humorous post 🙂 I like the sentence: “When I kick my bucket, I want to create such a brilliant mess that those who follow can’t help but be inspired, maybe even educated.” The phrase ‘brilliant mess’ – golden!

  • Reply John roy August 26, 2017 at 5:51 am

    Amazing articles..Few ideas are known to me but then too I came to know something interesting.

  • Reply candidkay August 27, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Playing hardball now, eh? Well, I can wait for the Dracula photo:). I’m tough. I want to know what’s next on the bucket list. My last accomplished item is horribly tame compared to yours–I finally scheduled a dinner on a farm. I know. A bit tame. But, have always wanted to eat outside, on a farm, with the bare lightbulbs strung above me–the cows mooing–the stars above. I hope it’s all I dreamed it would be.

  • Now it's your turn to play!

    %d bloggers like this: