Forty Things Before Forty

My friend Miranda Bouck came up with a wonderful idea: creating a list of thirty things to do before she turned thirty, publishing it on her 29th birthday. Is it inspiration if you just outright steal someone’s idea? 🙂 So here are forty things I want to do before I hit forty, in a year’s time.

1. Clean out basement, making room for screenprinting.
Been a long while since I did screenprinting, would like to get back into it. Printing t-shirts, posters, etc. Hearing snakes + acey’s speak at Weapons Of Mass Creation Festival earlier this year really lit a fire.

2. Go to a new art museum every month.
Love going to art museums while traveling. Since Knoxville’s in the center of the eastern side of the United States, feel like I can take 1-2 day long trips to visit cities / museums I’ve yet to see. Can also tie together with a few other things on this list to help make this happen.

3. Learn to sew.
Been wanting to learn how to sew, at any level, for years. Can start by sewing a button back on my winter coat…which I will need soon.

4. Create more physical art.
Have had an art idea knocking around my head for years. Tried it a few times, couldn’t get it to turn out how I pictured it. So I want to work on it more, fail often, try and get better at it. I also had a new idea that I’m pulling together for an upcoming exhibit, and for a friend’s newborn’s room. I need to get away from the computer, make more physical art.

5. Go to California in The Mighty Yar.
Would like to take some time, drive all the way to California. Traveling along Route 66 as much as I can. Then I can drive back along the southern border, hitting Texas and New Orleans.

6. Get into the habit of working out every day.
In some form or fashion. I seem to go through periods of working out, then stretches of nothing. Want to start making it a habit, so it’s just part of my daily life.

7. Go to as many MLB stadiums as possible.
My goal is to hit every MLB stadium. I’ve hit 12, so far. There’s quite a few within driving distance, want to take short trips, hit as many as I can within this coming year.

8. Start recipe book.
Came up with an idea years ago, still have yet to start it. Want to take the recipes I have written on various post-its and scratch pads, put them in a Moleskine. Then, I want to pass the recipe book around to artist friends, have them draw / paint that meal in the book next to the recipe.

9. Update Feral Giant website.
The original website for Feral Giant was built to be full enough for potential clients to get what I’m doing, see some examples, and be able to contact me. I’ve been working for a few months on building out content for a Feral Giant blog and bi-monthly email blast. But I need to redo the site in order to implement some of those ideas.

10. Visit the Paper Clips monument.
In Whitwell, TN there is a train box car that was used during the Holocaust. It houses 11,000,000 paper clips that make up the Paper Clips Project. With Whitwell being not that far away, I want to go visit the shrine. More info here.

11. Make at least one short film.
I’ve only technically made one short film. I have a few ideas written / sketched out. But that’s all they are right now. Want to make another one, at least, in this coming year.

12. Pick up the banjo again.
From Shawn Poynter: “I recommend learning one musical instrument enough to ‘get by,’ whatever that means to you. I’m trying to re-learn piano / keyboard and it’s hard AF, but it feels so cool when you get it right. It’s like speaking a different language.” I started playing the banjo years ago, but ended up not having time to keep up with it. My goal is to restring it, leave it out in the office or living room to start being able to play again. Doesn’t mean I’m going to be good at it, just want to make it a habit.

13. Thank mentors.
From Dale Mackey: “Maybe pick some number (40 seems like a lot but would be apt) of people who have helped / inspired / mentored you over the last 40 years, and send them a note to let them know.” This is a great idea. Not sure I could do 40, but I will do as many as I am able to.

14. Go to a local wrestling event.
From Adam Kennedy: “I think you should consider experiencing a local, pro wrestling event. The people watching and photo opportunities could be worth going.” As long as Adam tags along, I’m in. May have to ping Josh Smith about this, too.

15. Go to yoga more often.
I’ve only done it once. Not sure if I can get used to it, but I should try. Going to go ahead and assume that Courtney Bowers will be helping make this happen.

16. Get better at making cocktails.
From Michele Doughty: “Is there a thing you like, but you want to know more about? Like say – whiskey or something like that, that you can say ‘I want to become a connoisseur of.’ Not just drink many kinds, but really school yourself.” I already know a lot about whiskey / bourbon, but have never taken the time to really learn how to make cocktails. Sure I can follow a recipe, but would like to get better at it. Maybe even be able to make up some drinks.

17. Mend two relationships.
From Kim Sain: “Mend a relationship with someone who adds to your life, not sucks the life out of you. Not sure how you decide that. You can mend a damaged relationship that still exists. You can also mend a relationship without welcoming them back whole hog. Just resolution and forgiveness.” Yikes. Of all, so far, this one may be the most difficult. Thank goodness she set the number so low at two people.

18. Visit Gettysburg.
From Jason Snow: “You need to go, experience the full weight of that place.” I’ve never been. Want to go. When I do, I would like to walk the grounds either early in the morning, at dusk, or in the snow.

19. Volunteer with Mobile Meals.
Growing up, I used to help my grandmother delivering Mobile Meals. I recently took photos for them at a fundraising event. But I’d like to get on a schedule, start delivering again.

20. Fly outside of the country.*
From Jason Snow / Brandi Reagan. This one may be tough. This past year I finally made it outside of the United States by crossing the border into Canada. Only stayed for an hour (long story). Goal this year would be to fly outside of the United States. Preferably somewhere in Europe. The only issue will be cost. With working freelance full time, not sure I can afford / accomplish this. But I will try my best.
*If cost effective.

21. Cook a new recipe every month.
I have my staples, but I’d like to set of goal of trying to cook new meals.

22. March in the Pride parade.
I have attended the past few years, but would like to participate in the spring to show my support.

23. Get ABC license.
I’ve been talking about getting my bartender’s license for some while. Not sure how good of a bartender I could be, but would like to get the license and a side gig. Think that would both get me out of the house, and have a somewhat steady stream of even a little income.

24. Volunteer with Big Brothers / Big Sisters.
I’ve thought about this one for a long time. Think it’s finally time to just go for it. Have spoken with Erin Donovan about her experience with it, and will get with Brent Waugh about actually participating.

25. Revive The Big Man’s Brew.
For those who do not know, I used to pull together a monthly mix tape / album / CD. Since I’ve switched over to predominantly listening to podcasts, haven’t been able to keep up with music as I used to. I want to start carving out more time for new music, and compiling mix tapes again.

26. Get a pedicure.
From Erin Slocum. Only two stipulations: 1) Erin and Kat have to go with me. 2) Have to be able to get my toenails painted pink. HOT pink.

27. Start a garden.
From Erin Slocum. Another idea that’s been festering in the back of my head. I’m limited on what vegetables I like, but am sure I can pull together enough to grow a small garden. Only issue I’ll have are all the varmints roaming my neighborhood. Especially those rascally rabbits.

28. Redo website for a local business.
There’s a local business that I like and respect, but their website is pretty bad. I want to gift them a new website. Because, otherwise, it will never get done. Accomplishing this goal may be nothing more than pitching them the idea, because they may not want it.

29. Shoot a music video.
I have over a dozen notes scribbled out for music videos. I either want to make a music video for a local musician / band, or just make one up for a song I love.

30. Go to a non-Christian service.
In college I read pretty much anything on every religion. I’ve read the Koran, Torah, Holy Bible (three times all the way through, in different translations), books on Buddhism and Catholicism, etc. Hell, I’ve even read the Satanic Bible. But I’ve never been to a non-Christian service. Would like to attend a few of those in this coming year. In talking to Adam Kennedy about this, he said he’d be interested in going along as well.

31. Take classes at Striped Light.
I’ve been derelict in taking a letterpress class, and want to rectify that. From what I understand, if you take a few, you can become certified. I’d like to make that happen.

32. Participate in Inktober.
Ten days in, this year, I regretted not participating. Not next year. Would like to start making it a habit for every October.

33. Shoot photos of people.
I’ve always been pretty apprehensive about taking photos of people. I take my weird, artsy-fartsy, cloud porn and cigarette packs photos. But I’d like to start shooting folks more on the regular. I’m not talking about covering weddings, or being a portraiture photographer. Just for fun.

34. Re:Creative Festival.
Been tinkering with the idea of doing a version of Weapons Of Mass Creation here in Knoxville. My idea would be to hold a festival that is 20 bands performing, 20 artists displaying artwork, and 20 speakers. Have a chunk of the preliminary work done. It’s been held up by money and time. I need to make it happen in 2018, no matter what.

35. Monthly friends’ dinners.
There for a while I was hosting dinners at my house where I’d invite two couples who did not know one another, I’d cook the main portion, and they’d each bring sides. We’d set up in my living room, eat, drink, and be merry. I’d like to start that up again, on a more regular basis.

36. Stop being late.
This has been a growing issue over the past few years, especially since striking out on my own. Most of the time, it’s not that I aim to be late, it’s that I try to milk every minute out of the day I can. Then when I get stuck behind a slow car or something, it makes me late. I have to stop doing that.

37. High tea.
From Erin Donovan. Lordy, lordy, woman. Only stipulation is that she has to join me. Am I going to have to wear a suit? I really don’t want to wear a suit. May wear a frilly hat to fit in, though. #pinkiesout

38. Randomly send baked goods to friends.
From Michele Doughty. Will probably have to do this over the winter / spring. Feel like they would melt if sent in the summertime. With the new mixer, there’s any number of things I could make!

39. Go to as many minor league games as possible.
Even moreso than the MLB stadiums, there’s a ton of minor league ballparks within a few hours. Forest City, Birmingham, Chattanooga, Nashville, Durham, and Greenville are all on the top of the list. But I’d like to do more if I can. Will probably wrap this into the art museum idea at #2. May ping George Middlebrooks about this one.

40. Get The Eight Six Five up and going.
Ugh. This has been a project that I would gain ground on it, then something would set it back. No matter what, this needs to get up and running. If it’s going to take a lot of sleepless nights, then that’s what it’s going to take.


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