I am an extremely fortunate person, and an even more fortunate Milwaukeean. By founding OnMilwaukee.com at such a young age – I was 23 at 1998 – I’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 I’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 haven’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, I’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, I’ll turn 40, and I’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, we’re finally doing something we’ve talked about for years: hitting all the Brewers’ minor league teams in one weekend.
That’s right; this afternoon, we’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. It’s a ton of driving in a very short time.
Eron and I haven’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 they’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. I’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 I’ve learned, no one is going to fill your bucket list for you. If you don’t take the opportunities, and sometimes force them, they don’t happen. And all you’re left with is regret.
Like I said, I’ve been extremely lucky. I’ve seen most of what I set out to see. And I’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 July 29, 2015
If you've never heard of floating and sensory deprivation tanks, let us answer this question for you: it's not a form of torture. Rather, some consider it the ultimate form of relaxation, injury recovery and meditation, and it's coming to Milwaukee very soon.
Published July 28, 2015
When you've visited the same place well over 20 times, sometimes you have to look at it a different way. Whether that means taking a bird's eye view from the treetops, or a fisheye perspective from just a atop the water, Wisconsin's crowing jewel that is Door County still looks spectacular from any angle. Even if it's one you have bend a little to see just right.
Published July 15, 2015
Though Liz Lincoln, who writes under the nom de plume of Eliza Madison, just published her first erotic novella, the Milwaukee writer isn't new to penning books about romance. "I've been writing romance forever, really," says Lincoln, who debuted "Fast, Fresh & Hot" this summer on Amazon. " I wrote romance stories when I was in middle school."
Published July 12, 2015
A decade ago, I took a spin around the Milwaukee Mile in a special two-seat IndyCar. I did it again this morning, and it was even better.
Published July 8, 2015
While I only passively care about what happens on the court, I nonetheless passionately, urgently and desperately request Milwaukee and Wisconsin to get its act together and build the Bucks a new arena before it's too late. Just like I preached in the mid '90s when the Brewers were semi-genuinely eying Charlotte as their new home, I'll say it again: Build it now.
Published July 3, 2015
It's a long-standing tradition at Summerfest - and at plenty of other festivals - to use radio station DJs to introduce a headlining band. It may seem like a five-minute formality, but as usual, there's a back story to most of what the public sees while standing on the Summerfest bleachers.
Published June 29, 2015
It hasn't been a good month for the Stars and Bars. Only 150 years after it should've disappeared for good, national online and brick and mortar retailers have yanked the Confederate battle flag from their shelves and their sites. In other words, you will no longer find Confederate beach towels, belt buckles or even the General Lee (I'm bummed about that, actually) at Wal-Mart, Amazon, Etsy, eBay or many other stores around America. Fortunately, you won't find them at Summerfest, either, in the state that lost 12,216 men to the Civil War.
Published June 25, 2015
To me, the Kings Of Leon were supposed to save rock music. When I saw them for a second time at Summerfest in 2006, this time at the Miller Lite Oasis, something felt wrong. KOL seemed slow. Plaintive. Quiet? Turns out that was the direction this band would head in, and it's what made them extremely popular. But I came into tonight's show with an open mind and was rewarded with old Kings, and even lulled a little with new Leon.
Published June 22, 2015
"Summertime" is a great song - so great that it's been covered 25,000 times since George Gershwin wrote it in 1934. One of the more enchanting - and special - versions of the jazz standard has just dropped from Nineteen Thirteen, an enigma of a Milwaukee band. Featuring Victor DeLorenzo on percussion and Janet Schiff on cello as its two permanent members, you almost have to see this group to believe it.
Published June 18, 2015
Even though Summerfest gets passed over by lots of national media - at some point, let's put the onus on getting the word out better, OK? - there's no doubt that this gigantic musical festival is Milwaukee's crowning annual achievement. Here are the annual picks from OnMilwaukee.com Publisher Andy Tarnoff.