I am an extremely fortunate person, and an even more fortunate Milwaukeean. By founding OnMilwaukee.com at such a young age â€“ I was 23 at 1998 â€“ Iâ€™ve had too many amazing experiences to count. Almost every opportunity to do something cool in this city has been at my disposal, and I never forget that, even when Iâ€™m having a bad day at work.
But becoming an entrepreneur in my early 20s also presented some challenges. I never had the chance to backpack around Europe. I havenâ€™t taken one of those long, detached vacations where you turn off your brain and stop checking your email. I had to take the decade more seriously than most of my peers, because running your own business is serious business.
Throughout this time, however, Iâ€™ve made it a priority to cross items off my bucket list. Visiting Cooperstown to see Robin Yount inducted into the Hall of Fame; driving my own car on the Autobahn at 135 miles per hour; hanging out with the Violent Femmes post-show; flying above Milwaukee with the Blue Angels, and much, much more.
One more bucket list item, though, awaits me this weekend, and just in time. On May 27, Iâ€™ll turn 40, and Iâ€™m not overly excited about this milestone. Three days later, one of my oldest friends, Eron Laber, also hits the big 4-0. To commemorate it, weâ€™re finally doing something weâ€™ve talked about for years: hitting all the Brewersâ€™ minor league teams in one weekend.
Thatâ€™s right; this afternoon, weâ€™re driving to Beloit, then Montgomery and finally to New Orleans to catch road games of the single-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, double-A Huntsville Stars and triple-A Nashville Sounds. Itâ€™s a ton of driving in a very short time.
Eron and I havenâ€™t taken a road trip like this in many years, probably since we decided to actually drive to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training (another bucket list item) in 2000. We have to give major props to our wives for being OK with this trip, because theyâ€™ll be single parents while we speed south to Bourbon Street on Saturday night.
And of course, there is a work component to this trip. Iâ€™ll interview players at each stop and return with a great feature article. But this is certainly mostly about having fun the weekend before we turn 40.
Because, as Iâ€™ve learned, no one is going to fill your bucket list for you. If you donâ€™t take the opportunities, and sometimes force them, they donâ€™t happen. And all youâ€™re left with is regret.
Like I said, Iâ€™ve been extremely lucky. Iâ€™ve seen most of what I set out to see. And Iâ€™m looking forward to filling that bucket again this weekend. Even if I have to drive a few thousand miles to do it.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published June 28, 2016
In college, I had a reoccurring nightmare that I was trapped on a crazy elevator. Lately, that's been replaced by what I call the "fat finger" dream. I've talked to a few people, including co-worker Molly Synder, who has had it, too.
Published June 27, 2016
OnMilwaukee publisher Andy Tarnoff is very impressed with this year's Summerfest lineup, but he thinks the strongest day for the Big Gig is on July 9. For his money, he's especially excited about Howard Jones and, obviously, Sir Paul McCartney. Here are his picks.
Published June 11, 2016
"It's good to be king." Mel Brooks actually said that, quoting himself, to a sold-out show Saturday night at the Riverside. Based on the remarkable stories, the adoring reception and the super-human energy from this soon-to-be 90-year-old film legend, I believe him.
Published May 7, 2016
I won't lie to you: I know nothing about the current state of professional wrestling. But from 1983 to 1989, from about age 9 to 15, I was a huge fan. So big, in fact, that I wrote a fan letter to WWF announcer "Mean" Gene Okerlund.
Published April 28, 2016
Angry readers, self-righteous writers and surly social media speculators are in a tizzy about an uptick in "clickbait," and in many respects, they have every right to be. In lots of cases, it's a bogus attempt to lure gullible readers, and ultimately, it won't and doesn't work.
Published April 25, 2016
I've known about Mel Brooks' upcoming June 11 visit to Milwaukee for a little while now. Make no mistake, this is a "bucket list" show for me: Brooks is one of my all-time favorites in Hollywood, and "Blazing Saddles" has sat atop my favorite movie list forever.
Published April 15, 2016
For the many dozens of times I've visited the historic Pfister Hotel - for meetings, meals, weddings and drinks - until prepping for OnMilwaukee Hotel Week, I never spent an overnight at this Victorian masterpiece. Cross that off my bucket list - and I didn't even have to meet a ghost to do it.
Published April 14, 2016
As today's the wonderfully-made up "414 Day," or "Milwaukee Day," depending on who you talk to - it's a sexy day to look back at this excellent video from 2014 by the Five Card Studs.
Published April 11, 2016
I've been binge-watching HBO's "Vinyl." During a scene at an L.A. beach party, the camera panned to a sideburned record executive, smoking a joint and talking about Elvis. Even 25 years since I saw him last, I knew immediately that was my friend from high school, Dave Shalansky. I'd recognize that guy anywhere.
Published April 4, 2016
I'm sitting here on Opening Day, in the first row of the press box at Miller Park, and it's quiet. Too quiet. I mean, I can hear the fans in the ventilation over the sound of stands in this not-sold-out stadium. Apparently, other people here are either rolling their eyes in the fifth inning (or they're passed out).