The Never Ending To Do List

  1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree  May 18, 2014
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  2. Get a Master’s Degree
  3. Live in Chicago  August 2014 – Present
  4. Start a blog  April 9, 2014
  5. Learn how to play the guitar
  6. Learn how to play the piano
  7. Watch my name scroll by in the credits of a successful Feature film
  8. Be the Sound Designer of an Animated Feature
  9. Be the Sound Designer of a Live-action Feature
  10. Score a Film
  11. Be a part of a film that wins an award at a film festival
  12. Hold an Oscar…or win one…
  13. Write a feature length screenplay
  14. Go to Europe May 22, 2014 – June 4, 2014
  15. Go to Europe with my parents and brother
  16. Live in another country for at least a month
  17. Ride in a Gondola
  18. Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower  June 3, 2014 
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  19. Go to Vatican City
  20. Witness the Pope’s Blessing
  21. Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain
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  22. Kiss the Blarney Stone
  23. Go whitewater rafting
  24. See and photograph St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  25. Go on a cruise
  26. Be the President of a club 2013
  27. Learn another language; French and/or German
  28. Improve my Spanish
  29. Learn Sign Language
  30. Be in a Talent show  2010
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  31. Be in a Play  2009, 2010
  32. Sing in front of an audience of over one thousand
  33. Perform a monologue
  34. Sing on the street/Street Perform
  35. Get a Tattoo
  36. Go to all three days of Lollapalooza
  37. See the Musical Wicked in NYC
  38. Make Thanksgiving dinner
  39. Ride in a Chicago Water Taxi
  40. Run a 5K
  41. Attend a Tigers game
  42. Attend a Red Sox game  Summer 2013
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  43. Attend a Yankees game
  44. Attend a Cubs game
  45. Attend a World Series game
  46. Run through a Waterfall
  47. Throw a surprise party
  48. Go to Hollywood
  49. Read all of the Harry Potter books
  50. Read all of the Lord of the Rings books
  51. Give an important speech
  52. Take a Ballroom dance class
  53. Go to Hawaii–
  54. Visit my Grandma Fran in Waimea Valley
  55. Make something awesome with my movie ticket collection
  56. Make a film about my family
  57. Watch all of Tim Burton’s films
  58. Watch all of the Best Picture Winners
  59. Get my own apartment
  60. Go on a road trip across the country
  61. Teach an exercise class
  62. Achieve my ideal body weight
  63. Be proud to wear a bikini
  64. Start a tradition
  65. Become a regular somewhere
  66. Start a business
  67. Eat oysters  Summer 2013
  68. Eat calamari   Summer 2012
  69. Eat frog legs
  70. Eat escargot
  71. Never eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  72. Buy a record player
  73. Buy an entirely new wardrobe
  74. Volunteer at PAWS
  75. Adopt a dog; perhaps a Goldendoodle
  76. Be a Bridesmaid  October 5, 2013
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  77. Get Married
  78. Make a difference
  79. Sing in a church choir
  80. Buy a house
  81. Buy a car
  82. Fold 1,000 origami cranes and give them to someone special
  83. See the Northern Lights
  84. Make a quilt
  85. Fly first class
  86. Photograph 100 churches
  87. Learn more about Political issues
  88. Vote for the President
  89. Do something I am afraid to do
  90. Leave a $100 tip
  91. Find a whole sand dollar
  92. Find a Starfish  January 2014
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  93. Live somewhere where it doesn’t snow
  94. Go to my high school reunion
  95. Have children
  96. Host an elaborate Oscars Party
  97. Track down all of my family recipes, especially Stewghetti
  98. Find my magnificent obsession
  99. Send someone an unexpected gift
  100. Give myself a fake name for a restaurant or hotel reservation
  101. Reach my step goal on Fitbit for 21 days straight
  102. Take a class in (or learn as much as I can on my own about) Special FX Makeup
  103. Take an Improv class at Second City
  104. Be the lead singer in a band
  105. Become an expert in something
  106. See Lifehouse in concert
  107. See The Breakfast Club in the theater  March 26, 2015
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  108. Read a book in one day
  109. Take a self defense class
  110. Be part of a flash mob
  111. Be able to go to a fancy dinner with family and friends, grab the check and say, “It’s on me”
  112. Order room service
  113. Ride an Elephant
  114. Reach ideal bedroom organization
  115. Learn to say “hello” in 50 languages
  116. Have a signature dish
  117. Learn to ski or snowboard
  118. Go camping
  119. Invest
  120. Visit all 50 United States
  121. Sleep in a hammock 
  122. Record an album
  123. Get a fish pedicure
  124. See the Mona Lisa 
  125. Ride a mechanical bull
  126. Plant a tree and watch it grow
  127. Learn CPR
  128. Learn how to sew
  129. Go to Oktoberfest in Germany 
  130. Own a Player Piano
  131. Have a library in my home
  132. Have a properly calibrated home theater and surround sound system 
  133. Learn to drive a car with manual transmission
  134. Go to Harry Potter world 
  135. See a concert at Carnegie Hall
  136. Ride a Segway
  137. Read the Bible 

30 Random Things That 12 Days in Europe Taught Me

Venice, Italy  2014.
Venice, Italy 2014.

1. European lifts (or elevators) use 0 as the ground floor, anything above is a positive number, anything below is a negative number…makes more sense than G and B, really.

2. Coffee Shops in Amsterdam do not sell coffee…

3. In Germany, particularly Munich, when ordering a beer, 1 liter is a normal serving.

4. …Where you should also never order a Radler (a shandy), unless you want to be made fun of, especially you men, sorry.

5. The word pickpocket is the same in every language. Wallets in front pockets, hands on your purses!

6. Tequila is much better with cinnamon and an orange slice, as opposed to salt and a lime.

7. Always have your hotel address written down to show a taxi driver.

8. Sometimes…you must pay to use the public toilet.

9. Sometimes…there are Italian men outside the restroom taking money for you to use the toilet when it should actually be a free toilet experience…beware of these tricky people.

10. Austrian Schnapps are not like the Schnapps in the States…they’re stronger.

11. White Water Rafting is an amazing experience, even if there is a torrential downpour.

12. Think of yourself as a traveler, not a tourist.

13. If you need a masquerade mask, go to Venice.

14. Learn to say “Thank you,” “Please,” “Cheers” and other basic phrases in the local language…especially, “Do you speak English?”

15. There are lots of people who sell fake bags, glasses, and other products randomly on the street.

16. A coach is more than just a bus.

17. There are Australians…everywhere.

18. Bread, slices of assorted meats and cheeses…classic breakfast.

19. Italian rap karaoke is super entertaining.

20. The game “every time you see someone riding a bike, take a drink” in Amsterdam, is a death sentence.

21. Service stops in Europe are much more elaborate that the ones in the U.S.

22. You want leather? Florence is your answer.

23. On occasion, a seagull will attack and kill a pigeon in Rome…or maybe that was just a one time thing…

24. There are gypsies…there will always be gypsies.

25. Europeans listen to a wide variety of American music.

26. You will stay up late and you will get up early because you only have so much time in each place!

27. Validate your subway ticket to avoid falling up a down escalator.

28. Macaroons…Paris…delicious!

29. Don’t think too much, experience and embrace every taste, smell, sound, touch and sight!

30. 12 days is not enough time in Europe!

Stay Strong, Boston Strong

This past Summer I had the pleasure of having an internship in the wonderful city of Boston. This city is full of history! Whether you’re talking about the history of our country, the history of art, the history of architecture, the history of the 80s sitcom Cheers…or perhaps the history of Mark Wahlberg. It’s all there! Boston has been the scene of several key events in our country’s history including the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Bunkerhill. Boston is also the home of  the United States’ first public school (1635) and the first subway system(1897). And, though I am a Detroit Tigers fan, how can we forget the year the Curse of the Bambino was broken, when the Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series! All of these events of history have played a part in our lives, whether it was in joy or pain.

One year ago today Boston experienced it’s most recent pain, the Boston Marathon bombing. At 2:49 pm EDT, on April 15, 2013 Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media outlets broke out in fear alerting others of the tragedy. Three people were killed and an estimated 264 others were injured that day. The bombs exploded about 12 seconds and 210 yards (190 m) apart, near the finish line on Boylston Street in downtown Boston.

Boston Marathon Memorial
Boston Marathon Memorial
Boston Marathon Memorial

Arriving in Boston in June of 2013, I found that the pain and fear had turned into courage and faith, with a community of support and remembrance. A beautiful memorial was created where the incident occurred. There were fences, trees, benches, posters, and more decorated with everything from flags, hats, shoes and clothing to stuffed animals, books, ribbons and notes. Though an unfortunate and an awful happening, it was amazing to experience the togetherness of a city. Everywhere you looked someone was wearing or selling a “Boston Strong” t-shirt. Companies, organizations and individuals all over the city were displaying the blue and yellow ribbons of their Boston Strong support.

A breathtaking photo series was released last week where “Survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing send messages of hope…” Please check it out, it’s truly inspiring. It’s events like these that remind us to be thankful for everything we have, everyday, even if we don’t think it’s much! We are lucky to have our health, our family, our friends and the opportunities that we do!

My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to all of the those affected by this tragedy. Stay Strong, Boston Strong!

Boston Marathon Memorial
Boston Marathon Memorial

Twenty Two, the Hidden Milestone

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On Monday, I started a new year of my life. At first glance, there is nothing special about being 22. It isn’t really a milestone birthday, but all of the sudden it sneaks up on you, this is an important year full of important decisions and events. In the next two months I am finishing a senior design project, I am looking for a full time job, I am graduating from Purdue, I am saying goodbye to college friends, I am moving out of my apartment and I am going to Europe…that is just in the next two months! If this isn’t a milestone year, I don’t know what is!

The year a person graduates from college is always a big year, it is the time you enter the “real world”. You are about to become a tax payin’, loan payin’, 8-5 workin’, “real person”.  It isn’t always year 22 but that is how it worked out for me, so I have to make it count (like Jack and Rose…minus the whole iceberg thing).

I recently decided Chicago is where I want to go after Purdue, decision made, yes! I had an internship there in the summer of  2012 and fell in love with the people, the architecture, the sights, the festivals, the churches, the art…it was a culturally stimulating experience and I barely brushed the surface of the things to do there, so the Chicago exploration will continue. Though if I don’t get a job first…I may just have to look into street performing (joking but not joking).

Before that adventure can begin I have to finish strong at Purdue. Two weeks from today I have my senior design final presentation. I won’t lie to you, senior design has been a more than challenging experience, then again group projects usually always are. They’re kind of like arranged marriages. And then you have this ‘baby’ of a project that you have to raise together.

I’ve learned a lot from my project, my class in general has prepared me for what it might be like working with all different kinds of people at my future place of employment. No matter how this project ends up, I’ve grown as a leader and as a person from this project, so that’s something.

From there, it’s turning in projects, taking finals, packing up the apartment and walking across that stage. Followed by a thirteen day European tour through eight countries! On June 4th I’ll come back…hopefully to a place to work and place to live…

It’s going to be a busy, and kind of scary, year all around, but I’m excited for what ever else 22 throws my way!