Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Agony and The Ecstasy

Pat me on the back, high-five me, hell you can even low five me because this summer I officially crossed off #15, Visit Disney World, on my list of things to do before I go. This was accomplished June 3 - 8, 2013. 
But before I get into that let me step back for a moment.  Before I went on this trip, Mark and I bought a book specifically about Walt Disney World (WDW) as we both knew this would be a whole new experience not only for us but the kids.  We read the book and tagged everything that seemed slightly interesting.  However there was a chapter that I kept going back to called "The Agony and The Ecstasy".  This chapter (which after the fact I believe is perfectly named) was about understanding that your kids will freak out and there is nothing to be done except compose oneself and move on from there. My favorite line in that chapter was "....Remember, who's trip is this?  Yours or the kids?"  I must have read this line over and over and my na├»ve response was always the same, "Its MY trip, the kids are going along for the ride".
On June 3rd, we left from LAX and headed to lovely Orlando, Florida! We had movies, we had snacks, we had lunch, we had DVD players and really it was a very easy flight and thankfully uneventful.  When we landed we made it easily to our bus.  Like all Disney trips we have taken, we got to enjoy a video of all the wonderful things we will see (while Mark mocked the video :)) and I even began to tear up in the Disney Express Bus when the Main Street Electrical Parade Music began to play.  We even checked in with ease and although I thought our hotel room was in the north 40's it still was easy to find, wonderfully clean and we were happy to finally be here.  The remaining part of the day we had a great dinner, peeked into the shops, and I even let the kids swim in the pool as promised.  Although the kids were too excited to go to bed we managed to finally get them to sleep. 

The second day of the trip was even better.  When I walked through Epcot, I had the biggest grin on my face.  Although it lightly rained we hit all the major rides at Epcot!  We rode the monorail, we found Nemo, we learned to live with the land, we understood the circle of life, we talked with turtles, we sang with Captain EO, we chased the dancing waters, we learned Canada is cool, we became secret agents, we had lunch in Italy so we decided to have dinner in Germany and most of all the kids, Mark and myself enjoyed our day.  We were happy to be together to see new things and the complaints were so minor from the kids that I can't even remember any.

But as we all know even in Disney movies, something lurks around the corner....something awful that threatens to be the unraveling of even the most hearty hero.  So I humbly (and ask for forgiveness) present:
The Agony
The Weather -  Did you know that it rains in Florida in the month of June? Nay it pours in the month of June.  I was so worried thinking about humidity that I completely forgot about the rain.  On our 3rd day (Our Magic Kingdom Day) it started out a great morning...but then the humidity rose and we were sweating to death. Then the sky opened up and poured buckets and buckets of water.  We tried to continue doing a pirate scavenger hunt but with all the rain and people running  around hiding from the rain it became unbearable and nearly impossible. Then.....  

Mental breakdown in Magic Kingdom - My kids were whining, other people's kids were whining, strollers were used as bulldozers to make room and the rain it just kept coming and coming until finally there in the middle of the Magic Kingdom I cried.  I cried my eyes out.  Mark, Matthew and Andrew stopped what they were all doing at stared at me. I cried and I said "This was my dream, I wanted to come here and it feels ruined by everything and everyone!!"  With those words I managed to sting the three people I cared about because I wanted them to feel just as sad as I did.  It was not my children who were misbehaving as the book said they would, it was in fact their mother.
The Ecstasy

Country Bear Jamboree - After my outburst we silently walked to the Country Bear Jamboree. It was this show that let me compose myself and remember why I was there.  Mark was to the left of me the kids were to the right of me and I got to walk down memory lane with them.  I whispered to them that Big Al was Grandma Ernie's favorite bear and that I was always worried the bear on the swing would fall down from the ceiling although she never did.  When the show ended we all walked out still soaked but happy.

People Mover - The rain would not stop. It just wouldn't.  So we abandoned the stroller (it was too wet anyway) and decided we would run in between the drops to get to the next ride. The kids didn't care so we didn't either.  The People Mover line had no covering so we parked the kids at the front of the line (which was covered) while Mark and I stood in the rain.  The line went pretty fast and finally we were all sitting on the people mover.  It was eerily the same but not.  The kids loved the ride because unlike its old counterpart at Disneyland the People Mover at the Magic Kingdom was fast well fast-ish.  I'm sure the kids were sick of me telling them about the people mover in Disneyland (and how it compared) but I didn't care and they didn't let on.  And it was nice to see the smile on everyone's face and especially Mark's.  After all he finally go to ride the one last Disney public transit ride he had been missing.  We rode this twice and it became a favorite ride.
Main Street Electrical Parade - Did I mention it rained?  During the day I stopped a cast member (or 10) and said "Will the Parade be on today!!"  Each of them said "if it stops raining".  Towards the end of the night they started to set up the ropes and I knew I would get to see the most beloved Disney Parade.  I had seen it during its final run at California Adventure.  Although I was happy to see it, it just didn't feel right.  I mean California Adventure is not Disneyland, so seeing it here meant a lot.  Finally the time came and then I heard the intro music play and tears rolled down my eyes.  There I was sitting on Main Street U.S.A. and watching the beautiful lights pass me by and it was all I had ever hoped it to be.  I even got a good laugh when Andrew said "Who's that!!?!!" and I said "That's Pete's Dragon!!" Andrew continued to look at me even more confused! All I could do was laugh, because how can you explain to a 4 year old about a dragon from the 70's who can turn invisible?  So instead I  continue to watch the parade and soak in all the Disney Magic I could before we all turned into pumpkins.

So with that #15 has been officially crossed off my list of things before I go (Visit Disney World).  Tired, overwhelmed and exhausted but well worth the trip and I can't wait to go again.



Monday, March 18, 2013

Lucky 2013

As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans"  This leads me to Lucky 2013.  In hindsight of 2012, I believe I spent a lot of that year bemoaning how I got to 40 instead of thinking... wow I'm ONLY 40!  I had meant to post another blog before the end of last year and long before my 41st birthday came, which happened only four days ago but now that I sit here in the silence of my house I realized I wasn't ready to write until this moment.
I think I've spent most of my life letting things happen to me instead of directing my ship.  Now that I am officially 41 and 4 days, I can say I don't like that, not one bit.  So with the new year, a year older, and lots of perspective I'm adding and changing my list to reflect the person I would like to become. I want to be more thoughtful, patient, insightful, helpful, generous, grateful, and appreciative on a daily bases.  I wish these things were like going on vacation where I can simply "arrive" at being "patient" but alas I can't so they will not be on the list instead just the list in my head.

When the time comes for me to leave this planet I want to go knowing that I made others life better because I was here.  So without further ado.... the new List:
  1. Be an extra in a video/movie - 2001
  2. Ride an Elephant - April 1998
  3. Ride a Camel
  4. Meet Ray Bradbury - 12/12/00
  5. Get an autograph book from Ray Bradbury - 12/12/00
  6. See the Mona Lisa - 03/10/12
  7. Raft Down the Mississippi
  8. Travel Down the Nile
  9. See the Amazon - August 2000
  10. Learn to Speak Japanese
  11. Visit Missoula, Montana
  12. Audition for a play
  13. Own a tennis bracelet
  14. Own a faux diamond tiara - 12/25/98
  15. Visit Disney World
  16. Visit Great America in California
  17. See the Eiffel Tower - 03/09/02
  18. Visit Capri, Italy
  19. See the Tower of Pisa
  20. Visit the Taj Mahal
  21. Visit the Pyramids
  22. Visit Washington DC - 2008
  23. Go to New Orleans
  24. Visit Hong Kong
  25. Visit Vietnam
  26. Travel to England - October 2011
  27. See Big Ben - 10/26/2011
  28. See Niagara Falls - April 2009
  29. See Mount Rushmore
  30. Visit Boston
  31. Go to a Star Trek Convention
  32. Go to a Democratic Convention
  33. Go to the World's Fair
  34. Go to the Olympics
  35. Sleep in a Wigwam, Route 66, Rialto, CA - 01/01/04
  36. Go on Safari
  37. Visit Djibouti
  38. Sing Karaoke - 09/27/97
  39. Perform at a Poetry Reading - 10/07/97
  40. Take a Picture w/ Vegas Sign - 2001
  41. See a good Elvis Impersonator
  42. Visit Australia
  43. Visit Japan
  44. Smoke from a Hookah - 09/22/06
  45. Compete in a 5K - 10/15/06
  46. Camp at Richardson Grove Park with the Family
  47. Learn how to play the cello part of "All You Need is Love" and play Tarantella by W.H. Squire
  48. Explain to M why he saved my life.
  49. Change careers to be more social service oriented
  50. Help 5 people fulfill a life goal
  51. Seek and find out causes I believe in and donate my time and money to them
  52. Pick one day and say yes to everything Matthew and Andrew ask me
  53. Write to the 5 people who I love but can't speak the words out loud to and let them know why I love them before its too late.
  54. Perform 10 random acts of kindness before the end of 2014 and keep five of them a secret.
  55. Live in a city where I can take public transit as often as I would like
  56. Finish reading all the books by Jack Kerouac.
  57. Be a Mentor
  58. ........




Saturday, October 27, 2012

Get up and Go Time

During a trip to Winslow, Arizona we visited a friend of mine in his art studio. We were all sitting around talking about the project we were working on together, at the time, and in the middle of the conversation my friend said, "Can you tell my wife why I need to go to Disneyland? I've tried to explain to her why but she just doesn't get why a grown man has to go back there?!!"
I don't remember exactly what I said but after laughing out loud I simply said, "He has to go visit Disneyland because most people who grew up in Southern California connect Disneyland with their happy childhood memories! It's just a given!" I don't think I won her over or helped his cause but I know for that minute he and I were connected in a moment in time that neither my husband nor his wife could understand.

If you get past all the cynical, critical and nay sayers of Disneyland/Disney Corporation what you find is that people connect Disney with a feeling.  Happy or sad, good and bad everyone has their feeling about Disney and for me it’s about HAPPINESS.  I’ve got a story for every part of the park. Just ask me come on….

Hey Nancy, what about the people mover? Well I loved sitting on that ride because it went soooo slow and after a long day, my feet were thanking me. Additionally, I remember shouting down at people and saying that a friend of mine was on her period!! (Hey I never said I had class!)

What about the canoes?  Well the first time I ever went on them I was with my brothers Denny and David. That was actually the last time I ever went on them.  I was scared then and 30 years later I'm still scared.

What about the Tiki Room?  Did you know my mother always bought me a pineapple spear? No matter what, I knew I was going to get fresh pineapple (relatively speaking).

And the Pirates of Caribbean?  I don’t care what anyone says those people in that outside/inside restaurant are really animatronics.  They just look real because it’s dark inside that ride. 
Don't these people look fake??
But you didn’t say one thing about the Monorail!?! That’s because I was saving the best for last.  Does anyone remember Shawnte, Allison, Pop, Angel, Lisa or Todd?  They were the 70’s Mouseketeers and assured me with their groovy far out clothes that the Monorail was the ride of all rides … the ride that made me get up and go time!!  So when I stand in line for this ride in my head their music plays (even after all these years). Not to mention it doesn't matter if your dance group is keeping the same tempo as long as you have the same clothes, its ALL good!

So it's not surprising that my love of Disney was added to my list at #15.  As I write, Mark and I are planning our trip to the Happiest Place on Earth's sister "Magic Kingdom" in lovely Orlando, Florida.  Like any good tourist we already bought an unofficial guide to the place and made reservations.
We initially went through the the Disney website but niece who loves to plan trips even if she isn't going on them reminded me that she is a Disney cast member.  After debating hotel rooms we picked the Pop Century hotel located in the resort.  Close enough to the parks we want to go to and most importantly transportation. This hotel gets its own bus and doesn't share it with multiple hotels.  We imagine this will save us many tears as our little ones will have full days and we are definitely going to TRY and minimize the tantrums not just the kids but also their parents.
Not only are we going to visit Orlando we are also going to incorporate a little road trip.  Well its hardly a "little plan" as we plan to drive up to Atlanta, Georgia then to South Carolina, back down to Savannah, Georgia and finally back to where we started.  Since we have started making plans I have been asked whats in Georgia?  Why South Carolina?  Besides visiting a best friend in South Carolina, we are just going because there is so much to see and learn outside of where we live.
But the driving force is that I had always dreamed when I was 40 I would do a cross country trip with Matthew.  Mother and son hitting the road, seeing it together for the first time.  But then I turned 40 and the life I had pictured years ago had changed dramatically.  I have to admit I was blue and mourned the life I had lost.  But with a loving husband, practical mother and funny kids I was reminded that just because a dream can not be fulfilled as you imagined doesn't mean that it should be let go. 
So inch by inch, mile by mile  I will get part of the road trip I had dreamed and the cherry on top is a little mouse named Mickey.  And with any luck I'll find the right polyester jump suit to fit the occasion!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ray of Sunshine

“I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.”
-Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

I don’t remember which period I had her but I was lucky enough to have the best 9th grade English teacher.  She was a tall plus size woman who commanded the class room and what I remember most about her class was she loved books.

It’s in this class that she introduced me to Mr. Ray Douglas Bradbury.  It started easy with a book called Something Wicked This Way Comes.  Nothing too strenuous, just your normal book about a traveling carnival allowing people to live their fantasy but then making them indebted to the carnival. Hey who doesn’t want to ride on a merry-go-round backwards and be young again? Had he thrown in a scary circus clown I probably wouldn’t have slept for months.  Her next offering was Fahrenheit 451 and this my friends was when I knew I was in love with Bradbury.  Books an endangered species, May December Romance, TV’s as big as walls, a disconnected society what could I not love.  This eventually lead me to the Illustrated Man, Martian Chronicles, I Sing Body Electric and The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit (there are more…but these are my favorites). 

So when I made my life list I knew Mr. Bradbury would be on it.  At some point when I made my list I told my cousin about Mr. Bradbury.  I don’t know how long after but my cousin saw a flier that Mr. Bradbury was going to be at a local high school in San Bernardino.  To this day I still don’t understand how they were able to get him to that high school. 

It was raining on December 12, 2000 and I hadn’t time to buy the book I wanted to autograph.  I figured they would have Fahrenheit 451 there.  Of course never assume anything because it turned out that they weren’t able to purchase that book so instead I bought Martian Chronicles for myself and I Sing Body Electric for some friends.  The high school had a very nice theatre and when I walked in there he was at the bottom of the stairs sitting at a table.  I wanted to turn to everyone and say “THERE’S RAY BRADBURY!!!” but they already seem to know that. 

So I sat there staring at him in awe.  A cute chubby man with white hair, red tie, glasses and wonderful awesome suspenders!!   He spoke for about 45 minutes about his life/love as a writer.  It was spell-binding.  What woke me from the spell was the clapping.  It was a sorry excuse of clapping for a writer of his caliber.  I looked around the room and realized there were about 20 students who were there because they were getting extra credit and another 20 more who were either teachers or the public.  How sad… 40 people for someone who brought science fiction into people’s lives.  This was my thought not Mr. Bradbury because he didn’t seemed to mind, he smiled and seemed delighted with everything.  Almost grateful that people still would come out and see him.

He even took questions from the audience.  I really wanted to ask him a question but I was afraid.  My question had to do with The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit. The main characters were all Mexican and I wanted to know if this was really how he wrote it or was this changed later at someone else’s request.   For the life of me, I couldn’t imagine this famous writer knowing about Mexican people or even relating to them yet he wrote a wonderfully funny story about them/us.  But I never did ask. 

At the end I waited in line and when it was my turn I said my name and told him how I loved his work.  Then I said, “Mr. Bradbury can I have my picture taken with you?” and he smiled and said, “Why would you want a fool thing like that?”  and then I said, “Well because you ARE Ray Bradbury!”   He laughed and turned to his assistant and said, “Give this young lady her picture!” So his assistant took my camera (It was 35mm camera) and below what you see is one of the coolest moments in my life.


Seven or eight years later he came back to San Bernardino but this time he didn’t take questions and this time the room was packed.  My sister-in-law and I waited in a huge line and the couple behind me noticed that his assistants were giving him wine, chocolates, crackers and cheese.  With disdain they said, “Wow how sad they have to keep him liquored up to keep him going!” I choose to believe that at his age and fame he got to enjoy the things that made him happy; Wine, Chocolates, Cheese, Crackers and adoring fans.  I say that’s a life well lived.

 So Mr. Bradbury, wherever you may be, thank you for being you and thank you for being a part of my life/life list.

I did do an internet search on the Wonderful Ice Cream Suit.  I still regret not asking my question but here is the answer I was looking for and yes I love even more now:

      The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit came out of my experiences as a child and young man in Roswell, New Mexico, Tucson, Arizona, and Los Angeles. I grew up with many boys of mixed Mexican-American blood. My best friend at junior high school was a boy named Eddie Barrera. When I was twenty-one I lived in and around a tenement at the corner of Figueroa Street and Temple in L.A., where, for five years, I saw my friends coming and going from Mexico City, Laredo, and Juarez. Their poverty and mine were identical. I knew what a suit could mean to them. I saw them share clothes, as I did with my father and brother. I remembered graduating from Los Angeles High School wearing a hand-me-down suit in which one of my uncles had been killed by a holdup man. There was a bullet hole in the front and one going out the back of the suit. My family was on government relief when I graduated. What else, then, but wear the suit, bullet holes and all?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Big Girls Don't Cry and Cello Players Don't Fret

I am no stranger to the cello as it has always been my favorite string instrument.  When I was 17, my mother graciously bought me two tickets to see Yo-Yo Ma at the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, California. I remember asking my mother for these tickets and she told me no because we couldn’t afford it but I BEGGED and PLEADED for them.  What I can’t explain to you nor myself is what led me up to asking and how did I even knew who Yo-Yo Ma was.  All I know is I wanted to go SO BAD!  I still have no idea why she gave in because thinking back it was really a ridiculous request.  My father has passed away four years ago, my sister was in college and there wasn’t extra money to be had.  She must have saw desperation in my face and gave in.

I have to say it was a remarkable event.  There he was sitting on stage with his piano accompanist.   His arms embraced his cello as if his life depended on it and he played music that I had no idea could be played on a cello. Modern and Classic all rolled into one beautiful concert. 

So during my second year of college I decided to take a beginning string class and I signed up for Cello.  As the teacher let the class go he called me to the side and said, “Hey Nancy, we have so many Cello players would you mind playing Viola”.  NO WAY I thought, but as most of you know I’ll say no then give in. In my heart I just want to go along with what will make everyone else happy.  So, I picked up my viola and spent a semester learning something I didn’t care for and at the end had nothing to show for it.  

21 years later, Christmas 2011 I started thinking about the whole New Year’s resolution and every year I tell myself I’m going to lose weight (almost the mantra of my life).  But this year I wanted to do something to make a change in me, to do something that I will love and something I will be proud of.  I wanted to stop crying about how I look on the outside and work on what’s on the inside.  So I texted my brother and he pointed me to a great music store in Redlands ( FYI Nick Rail Music).  I actually felt nervous making the initial call.  They said yes they rented Cello’s and yes they could recommend a teacher but I should call her first to see if she was taking on students.  Have you ever made a phone call and when you hung up with them you pictured them a certain way.  Then you meet them they are nothing like they sounded?  Well in my mind I imagined a tall, brown hair middle aged woman would be my new Cello teacher.

When I met Betty, it was like going to my grandma’s house.   Her hair was salt and pepper (more salt), short, cute, grandma chubby (aka the weight looks SO cute on her) and giggles/smiles nonstop!  We sit and talk about Cello, Life, Love, kids, dogs, cats … you name it, it’s a topic.  This is not to say she is easy or that I don’t take it seriously but I feel very honored to meet a soul who can’t imagine her life without the Cello.  And she is very proud to say she is 77 years old and has been playing Cello for 67 years!

Learning to play the Cello is HARD. No… its harder than that.  It demands respect and tells on you when you disobey it.  From the way you place it in front of you, to holding the bow it won’t tolerate sloppiness.  This is not to say other instruments don’t, but the Cello just expects it.  What has exasperated me, made me cry and just plain wanted to quit is that the Cello has no frets to easily distinguish what note you are playing.  Some days I’ll be moving my hand up and down the neck only to not know if I’ve hit the right note or if I’m just hitting a clunker over and over.  Then to add insult to injury when wonderful Betty tells me to make the note higher (sharper)…she means to move my hand down the neck and to make it lower (flatter) to move my hand up.  High is Low and Low is High… sigh…

So after 8 months, I sound like this (cringing in advance):

As horrified I am for you to hear me play, I’m also proud of what I have accomplished so far.  I told Betty that I wanted to learn how to play “All you Need is Love” on the Cello (which she already knows) and she said that is a very worthwhile goal.  So kids that is where I am when it comes to #47!  Practicing, getting frustrated and practicing some more but as the Beatles said:
Nothing you came make that can’t be made;
No one you can save that can’t be saved;
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time;
It’s easy!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Beginning

In dusting the cobwebs of my mind and the old blue book I started to remember that I created this list during a time of major transition in my life.  I had completed college, had a county job and suddenly faced the ruins of college romance.  I had no idea if I should stay in Humboldt County or move 700 miles back to a place I hadn’t called home in seven years.  In the midst of this turmoil I had two friends who were helping me nurse my wounds of life as they were nursing their own.  On one rare occasion that I was in my apartment, having started to take root in my friend’s house, I sat down and jotted down my list.  I can’t remember why I did this or what motivated me to do so but the list was created.  The list I posted is only slightly different from what lays in the blue book.  I deleted two (I’ll talk about that later) and I added last two to reflect where I am currently in life.

I have to say I laughed thinking that I completed #38 and #39 first.  Most people who know me see me as an extrovert… you know that friend of yours who laughs way too loud, is up for a little public humiliation and will start a conversation with a stranger…that’s me or so people think.  In my heart beats a shy person.  Teased through primary and middle school I parlayed that into a semi-extravert in high school and college.  But as I said, in my heart I’ll always feel shy/scared and thus singing Karaoke and reading poetry in 1997 seemed like an extreme action.

 #38 happened at the major hotel in Eureka, CA (at the time).  My friend invited me out for an evening of drinks with his friends.  When I walked into the building I had this overwhelming feeling of falling. It may sound strange but when I know that I’m going to do something crazy (or stupid) I have this feeling of falling from great heights.  I wish I could say I walked up there and sang my heart out… but instead I found my courage in liquid form.  When they called our names, my friend gave me one more swig just to seal the deal.  I only remember these two things: #1) whatever the first song we sang was, everyone loved it…it became a sing along which was fine by me.  #2) Never sing “Tainted Love” no matter how crappy your life is because it won’t make you feel better.

I must have been on some sort of roll in 1997 because only 10 days later I completed #39.  I have written poems on and off throughout my lifetime but I’ve never written enough to tell people I like poetry or to even utter the word poem from my lips.   

However, in 1997 I was writing poems to release the frustration of a broken heart.  Now these poems weren’t “I love you, I miss you, come back”.  These were more like “I love you, I miss you and if I see you in a dark alley your family will miss you too”.  I’m not sure how I found this out or who told me but the Jambalaya in Arcata had a poetry night and I knew it was something I wanted to do.  I took my best poems and my best galpal Sal and we made our way to the Jambalaya.  I was sober for this and was so scared but Sal my faithful cheerleader/tough-love-advisor made it very clear I was staying.  I don’t remember being called up nor do I remember the words that came out of my mouth (although I have the poems somewhere) but I do remember the harsh white spotlight on my face and the wonderful applause as I left the stage.  What’s important and burns in my memory are these two moments which were: when I sat down Sal turned to me and said “I’m so proud of you, it’s like you’re my kid”!  And when we left the doorman said, “You were my favorite poet of the night”.  He probably said that to everyone, but I will always believe he only said that to me!!

So here’s to #38 and #39 probably the hardest things on my list but I’m ever grateful they were the first.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Why the blog? Why now, when so many of my friends have blogs? Heck, even my husband has an old school blog (in paper form called Mark Time)! I have been a voyeur of my friend’s blog/zines for some time.

In recent months there has been one blog that I have really enjoyed. Not only because of the fun things she does or her cute family but because she is not only blogging about herself but also about the world around her. I wouldn't say we are exactly friends but we did go to college together and worked briefly at the same location. Even then she was fun and interesting.  I still remember being invited over to her place and cooking Mexican food. And later her showing me her tiddlywinks she planned to take to Texas as an ice breaker for making friends (Even though she wouldn’t need it).  When I reached out to her on Facebook I was very glad to be included in her growing Facebook friends list.

 So this leads me all to her November 23, 2010 posting entitled Life List.  This is her list of things she wants to accomplish in her lifetime.  I hate to admit this but I have gone back to that posting several times.  I looked at the list in amazement almost to the point of jealousy…but then it hit me recently… I have a life list as well.  I realized I wasn't jealous but mad at myself for letting the old blue book of dreams sit on the shelf unopened and unloved.  But in there is my list I created over 14 years ago when I was 26 and the world was my oyster. 

Old Blue Book of things to Accomplish
First let me say thank you to my friend for inspiring/reminding me that there is so much more life to be had. 

 So why this blog?  Well this blog is for me to not only track my life list/bucket list/things to do before I go list but also record the journey of getting there (wherever there is).

Without further ado….. my list:


1.       Be an Extra in a Video/Movie - 2001

2.       Ride and Elephant  - April 1998

3.       Ride a Camel

4.       Meet Ray Bradbury – 12/12/00

5.       Get an autograph book from Ray Bradbury– 12/12/00

6.       See the Mona Lisa – 03/10/12

7.       Raft Down the Mississippi

8.       Travel Down the Nile

9.       See the Amazon – August 2000

10.   Learn To Speak Japanese

11.   Visit Missoula Montana

12.   Audition for a Play

13.   Own a tennis bracelet

14.   Own a Faux Diamond Tiara – 12/25/98

15.   Visit Disney World

16.   Visit Great America in California

17.   See the Eiffel Tower – 03/09/02

18.   Visit Capri, Italy

19.   See the Tower of Pisa

20.   Visit the Taj Mahal

21.   Visit the Pyramids

22.   Visit Washington DC  - 2008

23.   Go to New Orleans

24.   Visit Hong Kong

25.   Visit Vietnam

26.   Travel to England – October 2011

27.   See Big Ben – 10/26/2011

28.   See Niagara Falls – April 2009

29.   See Mount Rushmore

30.   Visit Boston

31.   Go to a Star Trek Convention

32.   Go to a Democratic Convention

33.   Got to the World’s Fair

34.   Go to the Olympics

35.   Sleep in a Wigwam, Route 66, Rialto, CA – 01/01/04

36.   Go on Safari

37.   Visit Djibouti

38.   Sing Karaoke– 09/27/97

39.   Perform at a Poetry Reading – 10/07/97

40.   Take a Picture w/ Vegas Sign - 2001

41.   See an Elvis Impersonator

42.   Visit Australia

43.   Visit Japan

44.   Smoke from a Hookah - 09/22/06

45.   Compete in a 5K – 10/15/06

46.   Camp at Richardson Grove Park with my family
      47. Learn how to play the Cello part of "All You Need Is Love"

48.   More to come…

So there it is, for better or worse all the things I want to do before I go with the possibilties for more.  So I thank you in advance for being a part of this journey