Yesterday, as I took my first bite of breakfast pizza (a thing I learned is real), I thought to myself: “I surely am living the dream.”
My next thought was: “I need to get some better dreams.”
I’ve never written down my “Bucket List,” in part because I’m afraid of how paltry my aspirations will seem set against the vast spectrum of human potential. I bet I’d have a pretty solid first couple of items, and then I’d start scraping the bottom of my very shallow barrel and end up including things like:
“Use up those Groupons you bought,” and…
“Never eat another Hostess Cupcake,” and…
“Throw a perfect spiral one time.”
In an effort to give my life a little more direction, I have created an honest approximation of my bucket list. It leaves off a lot of the standard landmarks like marriage and children and home ownership. Having kids is a weird “goal” for me to claim because I don’t feel the biological imperative to pass on my DNA (WHO WANTS ASTIGMATISM, BABIES?). And saying it’s a goal to get married makes me feel like a guy version of the comic strip Cathy. Ack.
So here goes next to nothin’! These are my actual life goals, ranked from most to least crucial. Please stifle your laughter.
Earn Enough Money to Retire and Not Worry About Things in Old Age
This is a pretty good goal. It’s reasonable and achievable. I don’t need to live a posh retired lifestyle. I just want enough money to provide the necessities. Housing and health care and cookies and Netflix. (By the time I retire, we will probably all have Netflix streaming directly into our brains, so I’ll be able to focus my attention on the other essentials.) Pretty good start.
Get Paid to Have Something I Say or Write Appear on Television
Another actual goal. A couple of times, I have appeared very (VERY!) briefly on television for various reasons. The most screen time I ever got was discussing a terrorist suspect caught on my block on the local news six months ago. As a writer and performer, I’d like to have something I actually prepared make it to air. Or at the very least, something extemporaneous but clever. So far, my contribution to recorded history is: “I had no idea the guy next door was making explosives in his mom’s apartment.”
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Here’s where things start falling apart. This one isn’t really an aspiration so much as it is nutritional advice. As an adult, I should be knocking this out of the park already, especially because my definition of what constitutes a fruit or vegetable is absurdly lax. It’s a bad sign for your health when you try to convince yourself of the nutritional benefits of salsa and gummy worms, as I have done. This bucket list item is a fairly crucial one, though, because if I follow it, I’ll manage to live longer and hopefully come up with a more impressive list of life goals.
Find a Mechanic I Trust
I have the same policy on getting my car fixed that my dad has with visiting a doctor. Unless something is physically falling off or making it impossible to move, I ignore the problem. I hate getting bad news, and when I do go to a mechanic, I am almost always informed that the problem is much worse than I originally assumed.
Too often I’ve taken my car in to get a flat tire repaired only to be told that the flat isn’t the real problem; my car has contracted tirebetes, and it requires $1,200 worth of maintenance. Like a sucker, I always say: “Well, you’re the expert and tirebetes sounds almost as serious enginephysema, which you diagnosed my Corolla with the last time I was here. And then I have to sell my fingertips to make rent.”
Before I die, I would like to find a mechanic that I trust to not swindle me by inventing and then repairing automotive maladies.
Stop Googling Myself
It’s the worst habit. It’s narcissistic, and it’s never useful. Oh, really? Someone called me bald on YouTube. I’m glad I dug that up. What do I even expect to find? A novel I forgot I wrote? A Craigslist Missed Connection that uses my actual name?
“We were on the subway. I noticed you because you remind me of a young version of my dad. I was the small brunette with curly hair and glasses, because who else would I be? You were remarkably unfamous comedian and writer Josh Gondelman. Don’t write back.”
Never going to happen. I’ve got to knock it off.
Learn All the Words to “Rapper’s Delight”
This one is pretty cool, actually. It’s a really long song. Definitely longer than you remember. There are lots of words.
Own Two Belts
If I lose my belt, it’s over. I have no Plan B. I’d have to wear sweatpants until I could make it to the store to purchase a replacement. That’s no way to live.
But seriously, a bucket list that contains “Own Two Belts.” That’s like asking a kid what he wants to be when he grows up, and the kid answers: “Assistant manager at a Carl’s Jr.” That made-up child didn’t even shoot for “manager.” That’s me. The assistant manager of dreams.