Today is my 25th birthday. I would like to report that I completed by 25 by 25 list. Here is a post giving evidence to that fact.
A few reminders about this: not everything happened in the last year. This list is half a bucket list for my 24th year, half a bucket list for my first quarter-century of life. Additionally, the list changed a little throughout the year, especially in the last six months as it became apparent that some things would be impossible. I never replaced a task with something I had already done, so I think that’s legal.
1. Go streaking
This happened senior year of high school. We were having a senior marching band girls sleepover. We may or may not have wound up naked on the marching band field, performing our show (singing, no instruments).
2. Go skinny dipping
Eh, this one is almost a freebie. This has happened a couple of times. I’m convinced it’s inevitable when you spend large amounts of time next to and on a lake.
3. See Pacific ocean
When I wrote this list, I was in a job I didn’t like and I intended to stay in that job until the summer, quit, take a month long road trip that would involve a train to Seattle, a leg down the coast, and coming back up Route 66. That was how I was going to see the Pacific ocean. Instead, in October, I quit my job. A week or two into unemployment, I had a new offer, so I took an impulse trip to visit my friend Gwen in Vancouver in my remaining unemployed time. Vancouver happens to be on the West coast.
Recently, my dad informed me that I had already seen the Pacific ocean on a vacation we took when I was in 4th grade.
4. Take a road trip
In a desperate attempt to cram everything in prior to today given a lack of time off, I decided to make Labor Day weekend a Road Trip weekend. My dad came with me, and it was awesome. We went out to the Badlands and Rushmore and the Black Hills.
5. Get a cat
I guess I had two cats when I wrote this list, but one of them was very new to me. And the other one is my heart cat.
6. Lose the v card
7. Learn to wakeboard
Wakeboarding is my absolute favorite thing to do in the world. There is no way it could not be on this list.
8. Learn to drive
Yeah, I did that. I just remember the whole process being painful. Explicitly, I remember driving to the lake with the whole family in the car one night in the pouring rain and having a stubborn match with the parental whose side of the family is known for stubbornness. First, I wanted to quit and the parental wanted me to keep going. Then eventually with much yelling and crying and stuff, the parental wanted me to quit and I wanted to keep going. I don’t really remember the details. I just remember being relieved when I was switched out of the driver’s seat. Plus, like, I learned to drive, so water under the bridge, you know?
9. Go to casino
I went to the casino in like late winter/early spring, and I came back with a return of 110%. How? I played a slot machine until I won, no matter how small, and quit. It was great. I won like a buck on the ten I put in.
10. Go to valley fair
Valley Fair is the Six Flags of Minnesota, since apparently it is not cool enough to have its own Six Flags like every other part of the country. I went with my friend Emily this summer. It was fine and stuff. Average theme park.
11. Go to concert
Prior to this year, I had never been to a non-classical concert. My friend Jen and I went to see The Backstreet Boys. Which always should have been my first concert. Just maybe 12-14 years ago.
12. Make french silk pie
My friend Brian and I made a french silk pie when I visited him in March(?). It was disgusting. I will never be using that recipe ever again.
13. Go berry picking, make jam
This was a thing I did right before my 24th birthday, so it practically counted, right?
14. Buzz head
Again, technically I did this just before my 24th birthday, but my 24th year involved actually living with that buzzed head and all the growing out phases following that.
15. Go to (college) homecoming
My first year out of undergrad, I missed it so badly that it was too painful to go back to campus until the spring, and even then, the few times I did go down there, I mostly met up with friends in town rather than actually hang around campus. So for my 25 by 25, I made it a goal to go to the formal Homecoming Weekend. It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed being on campus in a new, graduated adult role.
16. Go to Mount Rushmore
This happened on my road trip with my dad. Admittedly, it determined the location goal of said road trip. Anyway, Rushmore’s pretty cool.
17. Get published
I have been published twice.
Once, in middle school, I submitted an article about a friend of mine for New Moon magazine’s (link: https://www.newmoon.com/magazine/) Beautiful Girls issue. It was selected. This has been a huge embarrassment both then and ever since because 1) they did not keep a single word of what I actually wrote and 2) I was soooo crushing on this friend and had no idea, but I knew then that it wasn’t normal, so it was weird then, and it’s weird now because it’s one of my cringe-worthy early gayball stories.
The second time I was published was in the Electronic Journal of Linear Algebra. You can read (or try to, anyway) that article here:
So FYI, I am a published mathematician. For now and forever.
18. Finish quilt
I finished my t-shirt quilt in junior(?) year of college. It was a huge endeavor. It took me many years. I am very proud of it. Somehow, despite the 42 squares on this quilt, I still have too many t-shirts.
19. Play ukelele
I bought a ukelele this year and learned to play it. I love it. I have tried to have skype jam sessions with two people now. Those are less successful than the ukelele in general.
20. Wildcard – anything you’ve never done before
I have no idea what I intended for this. Here are some things I did for the first time this year: go to a Dakota, take ownership for a database, join Instagram, tweet, run a 5K without walking, buy a bridesmaid’s dress, use a 3D printer, hire a house-sitter, and break a bone.
21. Visit Megan
I visited Megan on a whim in April and then again this summer after her surgery. Both times we got Brahm’s. I have concluded that the presence of Brahm’s is Texas’s greatest redeeming factor.
22. Go to Europe
Did this prior to this year. I went to London in high school with band, and then studied abroad in Budapest in college. I also visited Prague and Amsterdam on the study abroad trip.
23. Do a shot
I had never done a shot prior to this year. DO NOT MOCK ME. There is nothing wrong with not being stupid. Anyway, I had some purple thing the same night I went to the casino with Jen. It was fine. Nobody died. I see no reason to avoid or repeat the experience.
24. Make a real live used webpage
I think this was a late addition, because that job I started in November was doing web development. And I wanted to be useful enough on the team that I was actually developing web stuff. My first application got released sometime this spring. Unfortunately, it is behind a login that y’all don’t have access to, so I can’t show it off.
25. Ride a motorcycle
My friend Jen (boy, she was quite the accomplice for this list) said she would take me on her motorcycle. It was terrifying. And exciting. Mostly terrifying. I think I prefer jet skis — same effect, lower risks.