Archive for the ‘Bucket list’ Category


LONG TIME NO SEE. I have good news. The world is going to end – that’s not the good news. The good news is that, in light of this fact, I’ve been busy and it has worked. I had some bucket list mission for this year, and they’re all about to happen at once.

1. Record an EP: I’ve been recording with the wonderful Mr. Fox at Foxhole studios and we’re on the home stretch.

2. Start grad studies. It seems like a weird idea, to start grad studies in the last year of earthly things, but my brain misses chewing on something. I got into Religious Studies at McGill where I will be studying apocalypticism!

3. Unfinished business: I’m writing this from Brasilia, on my way to Recife, Brazil. I’m back in South America, chasing my travel bucket list. So I’m switching to my travel blog: 28 Things To Do Before You Die.

Até já.


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SOME PEOPLE would like to die drunk and partying. If this is the Last Year of Earthly Things, I would like to die well-rested, caffeine-free and sober. Also, I have a lot of stuff to do over the next month and need time and energy. Back in January, I said I would use this last year to start graduate studies, record, and travel, and in spite of not posting on these topics, I’ve been working secret-like to make them happen.

I spent ten minutes trying to think of a caption that made this picture relevant

I spent ten minutes trying to think of a caption that made this picture relevant

So I’m bringing back something I did a while ago called Lent Except Saturday. Last time, it entailed no alcohol, red meat or sex except on Saturdays, for 40 days. The associated blog was basically a list of interesting ways I had failed each week. This time, it’s going to be no alcohol, caffeine or staying up late except on Saturday, for 30 days. I guess I got old.



The other difference is that I’m going to win this one. A modification to the alcohol rule: I am allowed a glass of wine every day, because it’s good for you. An addition: no Facebooking, except to check email, post blogs and do stuff for work. There. It’s done.

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THE PROBLEM WITH SAYING PUBLICLY that you’re going to do something is that you then have to do it. Which is why I’ve avoided blogging. Because if I’m really going to complete this project, and live this year as if it’s the last year of earthly things – which, as I explained, I have excellent scientific reasons to believe – then I’m going to have to do quite a lot of shit.

Let me illustrate this for a moment using Jennifer Lawrence GIFs. I talk to myself a lot in my head and here is me number one:


ME NUMBER ONE: “I am going to live this life as if it were the last year of earthly things. YEAH!”

But then me number two is all like:


“Um. Sure you are. OK.”

And me number one is like:

start now


And me number two is like:


“You failed.”

But then there’s a third me, me number three, who is like:



And then psychologists arrive with a straitjacket. “Sir, you seem to be suffering from a mental illness.”

“Shutup, Jennifer Lawrence and I are talking in my head. She’s me. And I am her.”

“Uh . . .”

The point is that I said I was going to do this project, this project of living like it’s the end of things, but then I got scared and stopped blogging, but now I’m back, back to kick the ass of life. I have some big goals this year, including recording my first EP, starting grad school, boating up the Amazon, and many others, but my next immediate goal for this blog is a small one: it’s to write and record a happy song. A lot of my songs are sad and depressing, except like . . . three . . . and one of those three is about Archimedes and in the end he dies . . . so it’s not that happy . . . And people have told me, dude, write a happy song. So I’m going to write a song, it’s going to be called Happy Love Song, and post it here. Stay posted.

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Lava lake

WE ALL HAVE something impossible on our bucket list. Something that we might never do.

This guy did it.

His name is Drew Bristol, and this is him looking down into a churning lake of lava in Mt. Marum, a volcano on Ambrym Island:

The expedition leader was George Mackley, an extreme filmmaker from New Zealand. The lava lake is about the size of two and a half football fields, with a temperature of some 2,000 degrees Celsius.

A surprising fact about Ambrym Island, which is located in the archipelago of Vanuatu: it was not named by an action role-playing game enthusiast, but by Captain Cook. The name means “here are yams”.

The complete ten minute video of Mackley’s expedition is worth it:

Click me

“What does it look like?”

“It looks like all of my wildest dreams . . . in one moment.”

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100 DAYS


I’ll be damned.

Time to get a move on.

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Mission Español update

MISSION ESPAÑOL progresses. I finished the Pimsleur audio program, levels one through three, as well as Spanish plus, which comes to a total of about 50 hours, although I listened to many of the lessons twice. Un señor muy viego con unas alas enormes is about halfway done. I’ve read through it and underlined the words I don’t understand, which are many, and now I need to learn them. After that will be El coronel no tiene quien le escriba. That’s going to be it for this stage in Mission Español. I thought I’d include this entry because this blog is meant to be about organising the completion of my bucket list, as well as recording random observations and musings. The bucket list item here was: achieve a certain level of proficiency in Spanish. I’ve added another mark of completion: learn to play and sing the acoustic version of Tu Amor Me Hace Bien. I know. It’s cheesy. But I love it. So yeah. More on this one when it’s completed.

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Mission Español

Q: Que hace Lucia en la piscina?

A: Nada.


I dated a Colombian in Paris and we continued corresponding for a while. There was a lot of “jajajajaing” in her letters that confused the hell out of me.

I got it back.

How far I have come: “Ayuda! Una cabra ha comido mi pasaporte.”

Mission Español: to become competent in Spanish. To this end I travelled to South America last year, have had several Spanish tutors since, and have just completed a forty-five hour audio program (Pimsleur, which I highly recommend). Here is the next step in Mission Español: labelling my entire house in Spanish. Sorry, housemates. Actually, they were kind enough to give me the go ahead and seem to like the idea.

I say Mission Español, but the labelling is also part of Mission Français. Mission Français has has gone through many stops and starts. It originated in Paris and came to Montreal to die . . . But I am resurrecting it now. I will tell the story of this death and resurrection in another post.

Let us remain with Spanish. What will mark the completion of this project? The end is too nigh: I will not master it. But I can achieve a certain level of competency. This project will be called complete when I’m able to finish reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short stories “Un señor muy viejo con unas alas enormes” and “El colonel no tiene quien le escriba”. I’ll post on this project again when it’s complete. For now, here is what some of my house looks like:

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