In kind of an indirect way... I had the grand idea to share my "bucket list" of sorts, but didn't want to call it that. In the spirit of Serj Tankian's "Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition", I therefore went with the Queen of Spades. Confused? Same.
Um, so I'm unlike a lot of people I know in that some of my main goals in life are to attend different universities. The first of which is Stanford.
One of the most selective schools in the United States, it's unlikely I'd ever get in, but I am determined, if not as a student then to teach there. The original drawcard to Stanford was the swim team, formerly coached by the amazing Richard Quick who led the women's team to twelve NCAA team victories during his stint. In 2003, when I was "recommended" to consider Stanford on PrincetonReview.com, academics had less importance than the opportunity to swim there. My priorities have since gravitated towards the actual school, and it's testament to Stanford's reputation that my loyalty still remains there.
Other schools? Rutgers, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The University of Texas at Austin. Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. UCLA (Life Sciences 1, specifically). Cornell, in Ithaca, New York. Columbia University in the City of New York. And lastly, but certainly not least, the University of Oregon, in Eugene.
When you spend your entire teenage life underwater (as I and so many of my closest friends did), you start to have dreams of visiting pools rather than places. As such, the list of pools around the world I want to swim in is more defined than any OE I could imagine.
IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was once considered the fastest pool in the world, due to its legacy of world records and ultra-technologically advanced anti-wave system. My best friend has competed there and said it didn't feel so fast, but I'm willing to take that chance.
Longhorn Aquatic Centre, University of Texas at Austin. This pool gained fame for its wet area "beach" system for reducing waves during competition. It also used to be the stomping ground for swimmers such as Ian Crocker, Brendan Hansen, and Aaron Peirsol.
Avery Aquatic Centre, Stanford University. Well, I convinced myself that this is where I would train every day for my entire university life. So even if I just end up a club swimmer there one day, I'll be happy. Noted mostly for its being home to Dara Torres and Jenny Thompson in the leadup to the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Sydney Olympic Pool. I was fourteen years old when the Olympics visited Sydney, Australia. It was a year when swimming finally became mainstream conversation, due to the fact that everyone I knew was amazed by Australia's own "Superfish", Ian Thorpe. Of course, he was beaten in the 200m free and has since relenquished his world record, at the time considered "unbreakable" to Michael Phelps. Anyway, it seems like everyone I know has competed there, and I'm jealous.
On a kind of related topic, I also wish to not die before running a mile on the track at Eugene, Oregon's Hayward Field. This almost mythical track in TrackTown, USA was Steve Prefontaine's home turf when he dominated distance track racing before his death. It's also the spiritual home of Nike, despite their impressive headquarters in nearby Beaverton. Speaking of which, the Michael Johnson track at said headquarters is composed entirely of recycled Nikes. Impressive.
You probably have all gathered by now that one of my "big two" goals in life is to have an Indian wedding. Yes, I'm being dead serious. This is something that has been in my mind a lot longer than Donny, before you ask, but he became something of an enabler for my little (or big) plan. I want a pink sari and a Bollywood dance sequence to complete my day, plus some western food for my white guests (Jen). Most of all I want to marry Donny, but if that falls through (which it, I must assure you, will NOT) I'll settle for a guy with a turban who I can divorce at a later date.
The other is to be a doctor, which is actually something I can control, and to which end I am applying to study medicine next year! In the likely event that I'm not accepted, I've decided to forgo the Japan plan, and study Osteopathy. BUT, like I always say, ask me again in a week.
Something more frivolous I intend to accomplish before I cark it is my Telegraph Avenue kiss. Reminiscent of my favourite song from Thursday's "A City By The Light Divided", I want it to be with Donny, but I may end up settling for whoever I can find when I actually get there. "There" could be any of the ten Telegraph Avenues in the US, but I've got my heart set on either Oceanport NJ or Dallas TX. For the record, there are four in California, two in Massachusetts, and one in each of Kentucky, New Jersey, Texas and Florida. K I S S I'm in distress...
I intend to win the time trial in cycling at the London Olympics in three years time, compete at a Triathlon World Championship, and at an XTERRA World Championship, and ride bikes at Trestle, Whistler, and Blue Mountain Bike Parks. I also want to have sex with David Bowie, but you know... realistically I now wish I hadn't typed that.
In terms of places I intend to visit (excluding universities...), here goes...
Addis Abeba, Asela, Arssi... Ethiopia
Bucharest, Onesti, Gheorghu-Dej... Romania
Osaka, Kagawa, Hiroshima, Kobe, Chiba City... Japan
Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin TX, Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs CO, New Brunswick NJ, Eugene OR, Boone NC, Atlanta GA, Jackson Hole WY... United States
Calgary, Whistler, Canmore, Collingwood, Whitehorse, Medicine Hat, Barrie... Canada
Tel Aviv, Jerusalem... Israel
La Paz, Arequipa, Lake Titicaca... Bolivia
For when I do die, I have my funeral planned: it is to be completely non-secular, and invite-only. Have I already written about this? Anyway, I might have a theme for it, and the songs which are to be played are currently in the pipeline, but will include "Wake Up" by Rage Against The Machine. I expect my body to be donated to science, but in the event that it's unwanted (this would not surprise me) I want my ashes to be buried on the Split Enz trail at Whakarewarewa in Rotorua.
Grim enough for you? Yeah, thought so. Sleepy time.