So What’s on your Bucket List? — My 2014 Bucket List

shirt seattle cropped

As a person I like to live life to its fullest… like running my first marathon in 2013. As a college student my resources are limited. However I do not let my financial limitations limit my life dreams… it just means I cannot do everything that I want to do this month.With that said I have been able to accomplish quite a lot since I first constructed my 2012 Bucket List.

I have completed six of the fourteen items I had on my 2012 Bucket List, including:

Although I feel like I need to redo the Washington D.C. trip because I was there on a weekend when the government was shutdown.

Following is the 2014 version of my bucket list

  • Start a family: My wife and I have had challenges to getting pregnant. We thought it would be fun to have gotten pregnant in the Philippines. We joked about naming our kid Manny or maybe Philip. Although we did not get pregnant in the Philippines, we hope to be pregnant before the end of the year. Adoption is something we have talked about before. It is something we want to do even if we have biological kids. So if we are unable to get pregnant, adoption is something we are cool with.
  • Washington D.C.: This remains on my Bucket List even though I was in D.C. in 2013. The city was closed because of the shutdown which impacted the enjoyment. So… to clarify: I want to visit Washington D.C. and its museums/monuments during a time when access is available to the general public.
  • Start a free college: I began thinking about this a because of the wild tuition increases at colleges. I don’t want an internet college. I want a college with live professors and buildings and classrooms. It would be small (2000 or less), and probably use the Socratic teaching style. I think I need to finish my certificate in nonprofit management along with my PhD before I tackle this idea though. Originally I envisioned this college existing in America. But after visiting the Philippines and seeing so many high school graduates who could not afford college, maybe I will try to do something like that in the Philippines… and make it open to more than 2000 students. I do not have a name for the college yet… although I know it will NOT be named after me.
  • Finish my PhD in sociology: My dissertation will focus on poverty, healthcare, and food.
  • I want to write a fiction novel that gets published.
  • Have a decent size farm so that I can raise a lot of my own food… a couple cows, large gardens, chickens, a few pigs, etc. Yeah, I know that means I probably won’t be teaching at NYU or UCLA… but I’m cool with that.
  • Attend the Olympic Games… summer and winter. The 2016 summer Olympics will be right in the middle or end of my PhD process… but 2020 is a real possibility. The 2018 Winter Games are in South Korea, and that is a goal I think I could hit. It is hard to know what my work schedule will be like 6 years from now.
  • Have some grandkids.
  • Be an extra in a cheap monster movie (science-fiction/fantasy). I would prefer to be an alien or a zombie chasing people… and I don’t think I would want any lines. Maybe I could say ARRRRGGGHHHH!! There was a student film last year that I considered being an extra in… but grad school keeps me really busy. However, I am keeping my eye out for student filmmakers who are looking for extras ;-)
  • Go to Italy. Why? Because I love Italian food… and I have always wanted to go to Italy.  But will “Italian” Italian food be better than “American” Italian food? We’ll see. In addition I want to ride in a Gondola and see the art! Do I need to write a 1000 words to explain why I would want to visit Italy? Nope.
  • Visit Angkor Wat, Cambodia:
  • Snowboard. I was in Colorado for four years but I was BROKE broke when I lived in Colorado. So there was no snowboarding for me then. I’m fine being on the practically flat bunny slopes for my snowboarding. I don’t need to do anything crazy (like a 16-year-old).
  • Visit New York City again. I love New York. I don’t think I could live there. But I would love to take an extended vacation there. I think three weeks would be long enough. Broadway, museums, the Yankees. Yeah… New York is pretty cool.
  • Go watch the Super Bowl Live. I don’t need tickets on the 50-yard-line. But I want really good seats. I wish the bad seats weren’t ridiculously expensive.
  • Have a script I write made into a movie. For this I want either a good science fiction/fantasy movie, or a good romantic comedy. I write both of these screenplays. I can be an extra in a cheap sci-fi film but I don’t want to have MY screenplay turned into a cheap movie. At least not my bucket list film. Maybe I could write a cheapo sci-fi script for fun.

This list was inspired by Bucket List Publications. Do you have a Bucket List?

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Marathon Training Day 524: The kids keep kicking me in the knee

Training for a marathon is a challenge. Tonight I accepted the challenge, officially, by registering for the Eugene marathon. Last December I had to walk a lot in the Seattle marathon because of the hills and my injured foot. Therefore I want another crack at a full marathon to see what I can really do. Thus… the mostly flat 2014 Eugene Marathon.

As if training for a marathon (and to finish under 4 hours) wasn’t a big enough challenge… I also deal with two foster kids who kick me in the knee. It is the right knee. Always the right knee. One of the kids is almost four, the other is a little over five. Both have anger issues which means they deal with their emotions in a physical manner. They don’t always intend to kick me. Sometimes they are angry and just kicking/flailing… and my right knee is unfortunate enough to be in the way of the tantrum. But other times they intentionally kick me. Whether it is on accident or on purpose they kick me in the right knee.

Does that mean I am not in a mentally healthy position when I wish someone would occasionally kick me in the left knee?

Anyway, the next price increase for registering for the Eugene Marathon is February 28th. That meant I had to figure out if I was committing to the marathon now… or waiting and paying a higher price later. The decision has been influenced by the right knee. I have not trained much because my right knee is normally a little tender from the kids’ kicking. My guess is most marathon runners do not factor kicks to the knee when they decide whether or not to run a marathon. Anyway, I did register for the race tonight.

And that is where I am. I am a foster parent… and a marathoner. It never occurred to me that I might not be able to do both. But it never occurred to me that someone in my home would kick me in the knee on weekly basis. Yes the kicks hurt… but not enough to cause serious damage. The knee is tender but not swollen.

I have also been mule kicked in the right ankle by one of the kids… and that hurt like #%!!

Anyway, overall things are going well in my world, and I hope you are not getting kicked in the knee! Thanks for reading!

Marathon Training Day 490: Recovering from a Foot Injury and the 2014 Eugene Marathon

Yesterday I tested out my injured foot for the first time since the Seattle Marathon (2013). Today that injured foot does not seem to be sore… so that’s a good sign!! The Seattle Marathon was my first time running a full marathon and I finished it.  The Seattle Marathon was very hilly, cold, and it had a lot of pavement. In fact I think the entire course was on pavement. The combination of the hills and pavement were not great for my right foot which had already been sore before running the Seattle Marathon. But… like I said I finished it.

I am still very happy to have finished the marathon. Finishing a marathon had been on my bucket list for a VERY long time. But now I want to finish a full marathon without stopping to walk. I do not have the marathon addiction bug that some people seem to get. But I had to walk a lot in the Seattle marathon because of the hills and my injured foot. Therefore I want another crack at a full marathon to see what I can really do. Thus… the mostly flat 2014 Eugene Marathon is on my radar.

The problem with the Eugene Marathon is that it has been moved to July… the end of July. You know… the hottest time of the year. So yes the course is flat. But I am not sure I want to tackle a FULL marathon in July. Yes it will start in the morning… but still. Who knows. It is Oregon so maybe it will rain ;-)

I started my marathon training a long time ago… and I had to work my way up to the Seattle Marathon. This time I have a lot of the physical and mental stuff under control but I need my foot to get better. If my foot proves to be better after a few more short test runs, then I will register for the Eugene Marathon. I have until February 28th to register before the “next” price increase.

So yes… there is a financial decision tied in with the physical decision. Sure… it is only a $10 increase. But that $10 can buy a large pizza… an important financial loss when someone is in college :-D

Marathon Training Day 473: What is this Lingering Foot Injury?

Amica Seattle Marathon 2013

On December 1st of 2013 I ran my first marathon, the Seattle Marathon. This was a bucket list item so finishing it felt great. However I appear to have a lingering injury on my right foot. Specifically the injury is within my right foot.

Although I am not a medical doctor I do not believe the foot is broken or fractured because the pain is not every day. Furthermore, I am not even sure if it qualifies as pain… perhaps discomfort is a more accurate and less dramatic description. It does not alter my ability to walk or stand and the discomfort is not a sharp/biting pain. The discomfort level feels more like a bruise that reappears every few days.

The foot injury is located right behind the toe joints for the middle three toes on my right foot. My guess is that this is plantar fasciitis, but that is just a guess for this foot injury. I have been resting since my epic December 1st marathon run in Seattle… yet this injury remains. This lingering injury has contributed to me not running since the marathon… and it existed a few weeks before running the Seattle Marathon.

Until I get this foot injury figured out I will not register for half or full marathons this year.

Because it does not hurt everyday I am unsure what to do… If my insurance paid for a physical therapist I would do that. What foot injuries have you had from running (or in general)? How did you treat them?

Marathon Training Day 415: The Seattle Marathon is right around the corner

On December 1st I run my first marathon: the Seattle Marathon. Last Monday, eight days ago, I ran 21.2 miles. My goal was to run 27 miles but I overslept, and then ran out of time. I was really, really, really slow. Something happens to me during training. When race day happens, at least for half marathons, I have run much faster because of the adrenaline. But in training I have been unable to push myself to run fast. It’s like my warp core only comes online if there is a Klingon Bird of Prey in the area… or if I am actually running in a race. The difference between my training times and half marathon times has been dramatic… almost 30 minutes.

What is the difference? I don’t know. It is not a crisis… but it is a little frustrating to not be able to run faster in training. Theoretically if I run faster in training then I will run even faster in the actual marathon. My goal for the full marathon is to run the entire thing without stopping to walk. I can do that (unless I get hurt). However, can I truly count on shaving an hour off my training run for the actual marathon? I want to run the full marathon in under 4-hours. Even 3:59:59 counts! But… my best half marathon time is 1:54:45 at the Eugene Marathon. Doubling 1:54:45 makes sense mathematically. But doubling 1:54:45 does not make sense when you consider that was me pushing my body to its limits in a half marathon.

As I am in the final weeks of training, I am now faced with a dilemma. Do I say screw-it and just go for the time of 4 hours? This could result in my body having a complete break-down around the 16-mile mark… warp core implosion, thruster burnout, all shields failing… netting me a time of 6 or more hours as I drag myself across the finish line. Or… will my body hold up… and I finish in a time of 3 hours, 45 minutes? I have read stories about people who qualified for the Boston Marathon by accident because they signed up to do a half and ran the full marathon when they missed a turn. That is a mental “luxury” I do not have. I will not mistakenly run as hard as I can for a half marathon distance and accidentally run the full marathon.

Life is short. There are plenty of marathons in the world… and plenty of opportunities to run more. But this is my first. Having trained for over a year I suddenly find myself in a strange position. My primary goal is to finish without stopping to walk. My secondary goal is to finish in under 4-hours. If I go for my secondary goal… I could have a warp core disaster resulting in missing my primary and secondary goals. What are your thoughts?


As many of you know, I have been raising money for Womenspace through my marathons. Thank you for everyone who has supported me thus far. And there is still time to give a few dollars to help by visiting my fundraising page.

Thank you and have a great day!

The Canby Dahlia Run 2013, Canby Oregon

I finished the Canby Dahlia Run … 1 hour, 58 minutes, 41 seconds

Next stop… December 1st, 2013… the Seattle Marathon.