Monday, August 29, 2011

What Am I Supposed To Write?

Well, it is Monday once again, although I do not look at Mondays the same way most other people do. The hours at my job are all over the place. I do not have regular days off and could work any shift (including midnights) on any given day. Therefore, I do not really have weekends. Monday, especially recently, means something else for me. It is time for another blog entry.

When I first started this blog, I really had no writing schedule in mind. I certainly had not put any thought into how often I wanted to put up a post. However, once I started writing, I would occasionally be disturbed by the fact that I had not posted anything new in almost a month. I write because I like to write. I do not do it for anyone else, but on the other hand, I love the fact that other people do read my writing. Is this an ego thing? I really have no idea, but after every post I am checking the numbers for the next couple of days to see how many readers it gets. Every time I hit the refresh page on the stats page to see if anyone new has ventured their way to my page since the last time I checked (five minutes ago), I am forced to consider if I may have a problem. After careful consideration, I chalk it up to a lack of caffeine and make another pot of coffee.

In a recent blog (which can be read here), I mentioned that I was setting a new goal for myself concerning this blog. I wrote that I would try to post at least once per week. I have since decided that I will do two posts a week. I will post every Monday and Friday. This serves a few different purposes. The first is to feed my ever-hungry ego. Well, sort of. Everything I read about blogs states that a successful blogger needs to post on a regular basis. If you look through my blog schedule since I started, sometimes I would post three days in a row, and at other times I would only put up one post in a month. It is rather difficult to expect regular followers if they never know when to expect something from me.

One of the reasons this would happen was because I was not writing until I had something I wanted to say or I had an idea for a blog because of a recent experience. I have since realized I cannot legitimately use that as an excuse. If you know me personally, then you are very aware of the fact that I do not actually need to have anything to say in order to start talking. In fact, I can talk at length about any topic despite the fact that I have no real knowledge on the subject. It's a gift. I don't know how I do it.

The second reason for posting twice a week is to challenge myself as a writer. I not only have to produce twice a week, but I will have to plan ahead for it. I should not sit down at the computer at posting time and try to come up with something to say. I need to be planning my blogs in advance, spending time with them and, in some cases, do a little research.  Without some planning ahead of time, I will be forced to just crank something out to get it done. In case you haven't noticed, this is what happened today.

I took a creative writing class at a community college right out of high school. There were many different types of assignments, but the most challenging one involved what the teacher called our 'writing journal.' This class met three times per week and we were to make an entry in our writing journal for each time we had class. This meant that on top of our other assignments for the class, we had to produce something creative three times per week. There were no guidelines for this assignment. We could write a short story, a poem, a recent observation about something, or anything else we chose to put to paper.

This class met at 10 a.m. and was my first class of the day. Week after week I would drive to school an hour early to sit in the student lounge and write in my journal right before walking into class. This means that it was a rare occasion when anything in this journal was ever planned out. One of the best entries I put in that journal was entitled Occupation: Procrastination. I openly admitted in that entry that class started in less than half an hour and I was just now sitting down to do the assignment. In that assignment, I attempted to explore why I do this. I presented many theories, but did nothing to correct the situation.

So, here I am, more than twenty years later, doing it again. I have known all weekend that I would be writing for my blog this morning, but did nothing about it. That is why I am sitting here writing about the fact that I do not know what I am supposed to be writing about.

Some days, it comes easy. I have an idea and it just flows out. On other days, I have an idea, but the end product has nothing to do with the original thought that prompted the post. Then, there are the days like today. I am sitting here with nothing and the more I try to think of something, the more my mind just wanders away from me...or shuts down...or I fall asleep. That reminds me - I'm almost out of coffee.

As much as I enjoy the writing process, it is not always easy. The days when my mind is fighting through a kitchen of sludge are very frustrating. Note: 'kitchen of sludge' is in no way an implication of the state of my kitchen, it is just the mental image I have in my head concerning my writing process today. I also picture the fighter as a rather large mouse in a gladiator uniform. I don't know why. I have even gone as far as to make a list of blog ideas for future postings. I have, what I believe, to be a rather long list of good ideas. Unfortunately, just putting up my idea is not a good post. I still need to flesh it out and turn it into something worth reading.

So, I am giving myself a challenge, but I need the help of you, the reader. I want you to give me something to write about. It can be anything and I will write about it. I do ask a couple of things. First, let's keep it clean. Do not give me any inappropriate topics and the person who makes that distinction will be me. Second, in order to participate, you must post your suggestion in the comment section of this blog. Do not comment on Facebook, Twitter, Viewshound, Networkedblogs or any other service that you use to get here. This blog has a comment section, please use it. Plus, unless you leave your suggestion here, other people will not be able to see it. Third, please understand that there is a distinct possibility that your suggestion may not be treated with a serious tone. I am looking to challenge myself and may run with your topic to make a serious point or may use it as a springboard for a joke.

Depending on the number of suggestions I get, it may take a while to get through them. I am also not promising that I will not write about anything else in the meantime. However, when I do write on your suggestion, I will be sure to credit you with the idea and provide a link back to your comment.

I do not know how I got here. This challenge was not in my head when I first started writing, but now that we are here, let's see where this goes. I look forward to your suggestions. Let's have some fun with this. I know my brother, Kyle,will try to think the most off-the-wall thing possible to stump me. I welcome the challenge.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Is This Still In Style?

I have spent the last several months compiling the mountains of paperwork needed to get accepted into the Greenville College Master’s in Teaching program. I have sent in college transcripts, visited the campus, filled out piles of forms, had background checks done, been fingerprinted and paid a lot of money to take the state skills test. While doing all this, I was also going through the tedious process of becoming certified to be a substitute teacher. Which means I filled out piles of paperwork, sent in my college transcript, had background checks done, got fingerprinted, and paid a lot of money to file each piece of paperwork. Almost every task I had to do for the college, I also had to do for my substitute certification. However, no task was transferable to the other. I had to do everything twice and I had to PAY for everything twice. Someone has made a lot of money. However, it is finally behind me. I started my classes this week and I am now certified as a substitute teacher. In fact, my first assignment is in my old high school tomorrow morning.

I have mixed feelings about this. I am very excited to report to my first assignment tomorrow, but have apprehensions as well. Although I am an adult (and have been one for several years now), I still feel like a kid when I come into the presence of an old authority figure. I am worried that my forty year old mind will revert back to being fifteen years old if I run into Mr. Frakes in the hallway. Honestly, I don’t even know if he would remember me. I never talked much in his classes. Come to think of it, I wasn’t usually even awake in his classes. Today, I love history and understand the important place it has in our education. Twenty years ago, I couldn’t think of a more boring subject. It would probably be better if he didn’t remember me, than for his mind to recall how much of his class I snored through.

I told my daughter that I was a little nervous about going back to my old school and she asked me a question I still don’t have an answer to.

“What are you going to wear?”

I hadn’t considered this. It was probably the furthest thing from my mind. I had no idea what I was going to wear. I still don’t even after thinking about it. Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that fashion is nowhere near the top of my list of priorities. However, I have been told my many people that I probably need to move it a little higher.

I can’t help it. I have never really cared that much about what I looked like. Other than going out with a girl for the first time and the occasional wedding or big event, I never even think about it. Of course, you can probably tell that when you look at me. I don’t do anything fancy with my hair, I don’t buy expensive clothes, I don’t wear any jewelry, and I can get ready in the morning in less than 15 minutes. I don’t look like a slob, but I don’t really dress up either.

I have to admit that I do look and dress better than I did at the beginning of my life. When I was very young, I dressed the way I did because that is how my mother dressed me. No one can be blamed or credited during that period, but when I got a little older and started trying to find my style, I preferred the slovenly look.

I, like many teens, liked the ripped jeans. Today, most youth can buy them that way, but in the eighties, we usually had to rip them up ourselves, which does not settle well with parents who just spent hard-earned money to clothe their children. Right after high school, I developed a liking for flannel shirts. This was not really a fashion statement, but a lifestyle choice. Flannel was easy. I never had to look at which one I was putting on. It goes with just about anything. I could just randomly pull one out of the closet and run out the door.

Unfortunately, I had one flannel I really took a liking to. I used it like a jacket and wore it over whatever I had on that day, so I had it on often. It was long-sleeved, yellow and had black stripes. I loved that shirt. My friends gave me so much grief over it, I had to wear it more just to irritate them. I must have worn it for a long time because years later my wife tried to destroy it. If I had not been the one burning the trash that day, it would have been lost. After that, I had to hide it to keep it safe and only wear it on special occasions.

Today, I own several pairs of black denim jeans and lots of t-shirts. I do have several nice pull-over shirts with collars and I even own about a half-dozen suits for when I have to preach, but I try not to wear them even then. So, I guess my wardrobe is limited.

Limited wardrobe or not, I do need to look presentable tomorrow. I definitely need to go through my clothes and decide tonight, rather than just throwing something on in the morning. I might even wear slacks instead of my black denim. I should call my mother to find out what color slacks would go best with yellow flannel. I don’t want to clash.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Experiment with Steroids

I have had a rough couple of days. I spent the night in the emergency room on Saturday night and have gotten very little sleep since then. I had a similar experience four months ago and wrote about it in my blog here. However, this time it was different and I did not realize it until I looked back at that blog I wrote in April. In April, I had horrible pain in my right shoulder, but this time it was in my left shoulder, so it is from something different.

Thursday night I felt some discomfort in my left shoulder. It wasn't too bad, but it was noticeable. When I woke up Friday morning, it had intensified and didn't let up all day. By Saturday, it had significantly grown worse. I felt awful pain anytime I moved it and usually had to lift it with my right hand to even put it up on a table when I sat down. I am sure it looked humorous to see me do anything. I never realized how difficult it was to do simple things like put on socks with one hand. Putting on a shirt was torture. Using only one hand wasn't the struggle; it was the pain involved with trying not to move my bad arm. The slightest movement sent sharp pains through my shoulder. I shed a lot of tears that day.

That night I went to a local trivia night fund raiser, so I was around people who saw me struggling and encouraged me to go to the hospital. My buddy, Adam, was especially forceful. He told me all night that I needed to go get it taken care of. However, since I had dealt with this before, I did not think it would be necessary. Yes, it was painful, but it would be gone in a few days. I just needed to ride it out like last time. About five hours later, I changed my mind.

I went to bed that night and took some Aleve to ease the pain. It didn't work. I could not find any comfortable position. The pain grew much worse over the next couple of hours. I couldn't adjust my blankets or even change positions without searing pain shooting through my arm. I came to the realization that sleep was not going to happen and this was obviously much worse than what I had experienced back in April. I got up and tackled the task of dressing myself again so I could go to the hospital.

I got to the E.R. about 2 a.m. and they laid me on a bed to await the doctor. The movement involved in getting myself there has made the pain much worse, so the doctor was going to get to see me at my worst. After all the preliminary questions, blood pressure checks, pulse taking, and explanations of my issue, the doctor came into the room. He introduced himself as Dr. Doolittle and I immediately laughed. The first instance of laughter caused my shoulder to throb, so I think I was able to pass it off as a wince of pain.

Doolittle (that really is his name) asked me where my shoulder hurt. As he started feeling around on it, I told him that it hurt when I moved it and it didn't really hurt to the touch. He immediately proved me wrong. He then attempted to move my arm to see what level of mobility I had. Once I relaxed and let him try, he found that it doesn't move at all without cries from me. He decided that it appeared to be bursitis.

He ordered some X-rays to be assured there was not a more serious problem. Before the X-rays, one of the nurses came in to give me a shot of anti-inflammatory medication. As I started rolling up my sleeve, she told me that she would be injecting a large amount of fluid so it would have to go in a 'meatier' area. "Drop your pants." She told me it would burn, but I am not really scared of needles, so I wasn't too worried about it.

There was so much medicine being injected that it took a while to get it all through the syringe. About 20 seconds into the injection, my butt suddenly felt like it had caught on fire. She wasn't kidding. It burned...a lot. I tried to sit still and not tense so she could finish, but it was difficult. Luckily, it subsided after a couple of minutes. It burned for the next several hours, but the intense burn was only for those first few minutes. In the meantime, I was able to get the nurse to admit I had a hot butt.

Then, it was off to radiology for my X-rays. They brought a wheelchair in for me. I don't know if I could ever get used to being pushed around in a wheelchair. It feels so strange to have someone else push me around, especially when I know I am perfectly capable of walking. However, I was glad to have it when we came back from there.

That's not going to happen!
The X-rays were not fun. In order for them to get the shots they needed, I had to position my arm where they could better see the joint. For the first one my arm basically had to hang by my side, which wasn't too bad except I had to hold it out a couple inches from my waist. Now, I can do this if I can use my right arm to support the left one, but to use the left arm muscles to hold it there was excruciating. She would get it in position and ask if that was alright. Through tears I exclaimed, "No, but take the picture quick!" She was as gentle as she could be, but it really hurt. For the next shot I needed to rotate my arm to be palm forward instead of back. This small movement surprised me in how difficult it was to do, but we got the shot. She then came out of her little anti-radiation room and informed me that I am not going to like her. She says, "For this shot I need your arm like this." She then holds up her arm like she is going to make a right turn. I knew this was not possible, since I had not raised my arm from my side for two days, but decided to give it a try. I held my left wrist with my right hand and tried to raise it. I hadn't moved it six inches when she realized that I couldn't do it. She then decided that if I could place my left hand on my right shoulder, that may expose the joint to get the shot we needed. That was much easier to do.

Back in the wheelchair, I nursed my shoulder that was now exponentially sorer than before I got there and I wondered when the anti-inflammatory medicine was supposed to kick in. The next nurse asked me if my arm was starting to loosen up yet. I told her it was worse from all the movement. Dr. Doolittle (HAHA!!) then came back in and told me that the X-rays looked fine, so he was confident that his initial diagnosis was correct. It was probably bursitis. Bursitis is inflammation of the fluid-filled sac (bursa) that lies between a tendon and skin, or between a tendon and bone. He then explained that once this gets inflamed all movement becomes extremely painful. He really didn't need to tell me that part. I was very much aware of it.

Notice the one buff arm
He then produced another syringe. "This is a Lanacane steroid," he said, "that is going to go directly into the joint to add fluid to the bursa sac." The main thing I heard was steroid. All I really knew about steroids is that they are often used by body builders to help them bulk up. I immediately thought of Freddy Rodriguez in the movie Lady in the Water. He was doing an experiment by building up one arm but not the other with weight training. If I got this shot in just one arm would I look like him? I wasn't sure how I felt about that. Either way, I was wondering what this shot would be like. This was not a surface injection like every  other shot I had ever received. This was going deep into my joint. I didn't expect this to be pleasant. I rolled up my sleeve and braced myself.

He put the needle in and had to adjust it a bit to get it into the bursa sac, but it soon found its way. It was not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. He then stated that it may start to burn, but I would need to sit still because it takes a while to get it all in there. I never really felt any burning, but my whole body got hot. When I said that, Doolittle (HAHA!!) said, "He's passing out! Lay him down!" I told them I wasn't passing out, I just got really hot. The nurses told me I had lost all color in my face and my skin got clammy. These are all signs that someone is about to pass out, but it didn't happen.

An hour later, I was headed back home with my arm hurting more than when I had gone in, but I had some pain killers and prescriptions for codeine and more anti-inflammatory medication. I had to call in sick that morning since we cannot dispatch at the Sheriff's Department while on medication. I have instructions to contact an orthopedic doctor tomorrow so it can be looked at more closely to see if there is anything more serious.

I am starting to regain some mobility in my arm today, but I am very limited. I still cannot lift anything without pain, but it has gotten much easier to get dressed. However, since I cannot afford to take off any more days of work, I have gone without the painkillers today, so I can work this afternoon. I may have to stop taking them anyway. They warned me at the hospital that codeine knocks people out, so do not drive after taking it. However, it has the opposite effect on me. It does help with the pain, but has the same effect as caffeine. I am wide awake after taking it. I can't sleep at night when I've had a dose.

I am healing and am glad to be moving around again, but I am really starting to believe that my body is out to get me. Getting old seems to have a downside.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

To Everything There Is A Season

It is amazing how much things change over time. The people that we are, our priorities, the things we like or don't like and even the people we spend time with all change as time moves forward. There have been many people over the course of the years that I thought would be life long friends, but as time went on and our lives, jobs and family situations changed, we lost touch somehow.

Last year, I had lunch with an old girlfriend because I was passing through her town and thought it would be fun to catch up. I was really looking forward to swapping pictures of kids, catching up on who was doing what in each of our families and reminisce about some of the old days. However, the day did not happen the way I pictured it.

When we first saw each other it was great. We both smiled, gave each other a hug and sat down to talk. After about 5 minutes of seeing pictures of kids and catching each other up on what our siblings and parents were up to the conversation became forced. It became obvious very quickly that our lives had taken radically different paths and we just didn't know what to talk about. We did our best for the next hour, but we were both struggling to keep the conversation moving forward so we could finish our lunch and go our separate ways. This was the same girl that I used to talk on the phone with for hours. Now, I could barely get through a lunch.  Plus, these days I don't want to talk on the phone with anyone. I hate talking on the phone. Things change.

Like many young people, I used to live for the weekend. I did much of the stereotypical early 20-something stuff. I knew the secret to a good life. Life was great and carefree and would forever be that way as long as I had that fantastic group of friends to keep having fun with. These were my best friends in the world and we had out lives together planned out. Ten years later, I couldn't tell you where most of them were.

These are not bad things. Looking back over what I just typed, I realized this looks kind of depressing, but it is not. Those events were just different seasons in my life. While I may miss some aspects of hanging out with a bunch of friends every weekend, I certainly do not miss the hangovers and dragging myself to work after staying out all night again.

Before those years all I ever did was watch television. I had the entire network schedule memorized. I spent my Friday evenings with the Duke boys and every Tuesday I hung out with Murdoch and B.A. Baracus. Thursdays were reserved for the Huxtable family and on various other nights I laughed with the Severs, Keatons and Gordon Shumway. I loved TV and would have never imagined life without it. However, later, I could go days (sometimes over a week) without seeing a single TV show because I was out with my friends. In fact, I had a few years when I didn't even own a TV. A while later, I concentrated more on my schooling. Eventually, I was married and had children. Then, my focus changed again. Having a child will do that to you.

Each one of these changes brought about other changes in the way I thought, acted and spent my time. My priorities and sometimes even my values changed as my life began to be concentrated in other areas. Add to all this the fact that I gave my life to Christ in the midst of these other changes and my thoughts and priorities really began to change.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says:
1 There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

This is just life. New opportunities come and go. Wonderful people come into our lives as well as people we don't want to see. Disasters happen and then we heal. We go through many stages over the course of our lives, but a couple of things remain the same. We are always there choosing our next path and God is right there beside us for strength and guidance.

One year ago, I was content with the job I had and was concentrating on making sure my daughter had what she needed to finish high school. A few months later I lost that job and ended up going back to college to finish my Bachelor's degree and now I am enrolled in graduate school to get my Master's in Education. It is amazing how quickly life can change. Now I am focused on both my daughter's education and mine. Once I get my degree, who knows where that will take me.

I have a plan for the next twenty years, but my plans have never stayed on track for very long. I honestly don't know where my life is going to be in the next five years. I don't know where I will be working or even where I will live. Life changes all the time. Sometimes we decide to make a change and sometimes it is forced upon us.  Fortunately, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

It really doesn't matter where life takes me.

 (On a side note: score yourself 10 points if you can tell me who Gordon Shumway is in the comment section. Try not to use Google.)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Live Life to the Fullest

I love a good adventure.

Adventure is exciting. Adventure is fun. Adventure keeps the blood pumping. A life of adventure is great. Unfortunately, I don’t have one.

I do not have a bad life. I certainly don’t want to give the impression that I am complaining about my life being mundane. I have done many exciting things, but these days they are few and far between and most of them are just stories from when I was younger. In fact, most people’s adventure stories stem from their younger days. Why is that?

Before we get tied up in our lives with our careers and families, we have more energy and time and less responsibilities. Adventure and good times just happen to us with very little effort, but it begins to change as we get older and more serious about our lives and goals. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but does lead many to become unsatisfied.

John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens while you are making other plans.” In general, I have to agree with this statement. I, like many people, love a good adventure, but do not purposefully seek them out on most occasions. As I talk about the things I would like to do, I continue to age and miss another day that could have created another great memory.

This happens very easily. Most people work through the week and look forward to the weekend. It is then spent relaxing by watching movies, going shopping, reading a book, or some other uneventful activity. While this may be relaxing, it is on rare occasions that memories are being created or adventures are being lived out.

I know that these are generalities and do not apply to everyone, but I can relate. I look forward to having a day off so I can "do nothing." Then I wonder why I never got around to doing some of the things I have always wanted to do.

Before I go to the grocery store I make a list of the things I need. Otherwise, I forget half the things I went to buy. Sometimes I make a list of tasks that must be done for the day or the week. I always make lists for school to guarantee I don’t miss any assignments. So, why not make a list of the things I would like to do to help ensure more of them get accomplished? Having it down on paper and displaying the list where I can see it would not only remind me of my goals but be a constant motivation to pursue them. Therefore, a few days ago, I began compiling a list of things I have wanted to do for a long time.

As I was making my list, I realized that this is what many have called a “bucket” list. In other words, it is a list of things to accomplish before kicking the bucket. This was not what I had in mind when I started it, but serves a similar purpose.

I constructed some rules for myself concerning this index of future endeavors. The list will evolve with time and I can add something to it any time that I like. However, I may never remove anything from the list. I figure anything I put in the inventory was put there for a reason, so it may not be removed. There is no time limit for any list item, but I must always be accomplishing things on the list if I ever hope to get through it. I realize that I may never complete every task, but I will have many stories to tell about trying.

I did not restrict myself while compiling my list. I never considered the cost involved or energy required to complete any task. Some of my cataloged tasks will require travel, others will require great courage, and still others will just be something fun to do. Some will take planning, some will require lengthy discipline, and others can be done spontaneously in an instant. As you look through my checklist please keep in mind that I made this for me. Some of the items may not seem like fun or adventurous to you, but it is not your task. It is mine. On the other hand, you may want to join me on some of these adventures. I am open to suggestions for more challenges to add and will also welcome joining someone else to mark items off. If you see something you want to do, contact me and maybe we can mark it off together.

I will chronicle each accomplishment on this blog, but the list will not become the focus of my blog. I will continue to write on my usual random topics and will only return to the list when another item has been knocked out. I plan to record each event with photographic and/or video evidence to be shared here.

Here is my list in no particular order. Click the links are to see examples or definitions:
  1. Get skydive certified (possibly attend SKYDICE SPACELAND)
  2. Ride in a hot air balloon
  3. Walk a 100+ mile trip
  4. Learn to play guitar
  5. Write and publish a book
  6. Get a photo published in a national magazine
  7. Dye my hair a crazy color
  8. Fly a plane
  9. Fix my teeth
  10. Swim with sharks
  11. Wrestle an alligator
  12. Go snowboarding
  13. Be suspension pierced
  14. Go scuba diving
  15. Participate in an eating challenge
  16. Get tased
  17. See the aurora borealis
  18. Eat fugu
  19. Eat a durian
  20. Crash a wedding
  21. Go to Comic-Con
  22. Roll a car
  23. Backflip a motorcycle
  24. Be an extra in a movie
  25. Go noodling
  26. Do the polar plunge  COMPLETED 02-02-14 read here
  27. Learn how to pick a lock
  28. Pet a wild skunk
  29. Stage dive and crowd surf
  30. Break a world record
  31. Attend a Rocky Horror Picture Show in full costume
  32. Bungee Jump
  33. Take a cruise
  34. Be part of a flash mob (not a criminal one)  COMPLETED 10-22-11 read here
  35. Ride a Segway
  36. Go to Mardi Gras
  37. See a whale
  38. Go surfing
  39. Be on a game show
  40. Take a photography class
  41. Go ice fishing
  42. Drive on the Autobahn
  43. Get in a fist fight
  44. Kiss a stranger
  45. Cliff dive
  46. Go jet skiing
  47. Be in a play
  48. Attend Cornerstone Festival
  49. Go kayaking
  50. Witness a meteor shower
  51. Own a Jeep again
  52. Pay for a strangers meal or groceries
  53. Fly first class
  54. Drive the length of Route 66
  55. Go wing-walking
  56. Have my portrait painted
  57. Be in the audience for taping of TV show
  58. Shave my head
  59. Serve on jury duty
  60. Learn to play harmonica
  61. Attend Oktoberfest
  62. Spend night alone in a haunted house
  63. Visit Holy Land
  64. Run with the bulls in Pamplona
  65. Learn to ride a unicycle
  66. Go snowmobiling
  67. Get a black belt in any martial art
  68. See the giant Sequoia trees of the West Coast
  69. Fly in a helicoptor over a volcano
  70. Eat lobster in Maine
  71. Make some money as a street musician
  72. Sing karaoke
  73. Ride in a tank
  74. Read my huge list of books - click here for progress
  75. Go to a blues bar in Chicago
  76. Go to a jazz club in New Orleans
  77. Do a fire walk
  78. Ride in a helicoptor
  79. Go on a cross country motorcycle trip
  80. Visit the Louvre
  81. Go Zorbing
  82. Go to the San Diego Zoo
  83. See all 7 continents - click here for progress
  84. Attend a sumo match in Japan
  85. Ride a San Francisco cable car
  86. Attend Day of Dead ceremony in Mexico
  87. Keep bees
  88. Shoot a flamethrower
  89. Meet a U.S. president while he is still in office
  90. Observe the floor of Wall Street during trading time
  91. Visit the Mall of America
  92. Attend a Super Bowl
  93. Spar a professional boxer
  94. Get a professional shave     COMPLETED 05-23-15 read here
  95. Attend the Olympics
  96. Deliver a baby
  97. Complete a high ropes course
  98. Visit the Parthenon in Greece
  99. Eat lutefisk in Norway
  100. Eat Philly Cheesesteak in Philadelphia
  101. Experience weightlessness
  102. Kiss the Blarney Stone
  103. Attend a Broadway show
  104. Attend a Las Vegas show
  105. Read every Shakespeare play - click here for progress
  106. See all 50 states - click here for progress
  107. Swim with dolphins
  108. Participate in a demolition derby
  109. Meet a person of royalty - British or otherwise
  110. Grow my hair out long again - I miss my hair
  111. Walk on the Great Wall of China     COMPLETED 08-01-17 read here
  112. Visit Auschwitz
  113. Get an Ashiatsu massage
  114. Get something patented
  115. Eat Beluga caviar
  116. Eat Kimchi in Korea
  117. Own a hammock
  118. Climb Statue of Liberty
  119. Wear a tuxedo to a non-tuxedo event
  120. Brand a cow
  121. Save a life
  122. Do a stand-up comedy routine
  123. Regauge my ears - I used to have ‘00’
  124. Throw a live grenade
  125. Get a Master’s degree     COMPLETED - MAY 2015
  126. Get a Doctorate
  127. Sleep in a castle
  128. Sit in on a funeral preparation or autopsy
  129. Be debt free
  130. See Mt. Rushmore
  131. Mush a dog sled
  132. Have a pet monkey
  133. Go deep sea fishing
  134. Drink a beer at CHEERS in Boston
  135. Learn a second language fluently
  136. See the Pyramids of Giza
  137. Ride a bull
  138. Drive a race car
  139. Be on Times Square for New Year’s Eve
  140. Climb Seattle Space Needle
  141. Attend the Brazilian Carnival in Rio de Janiero
  142. Get my pilot’s license
  143. Be elected to a public office
  144. Drive a dune buggy in the desert
  145. Swim with manatees
  146. Visit Stonehedge
  147. Attend a bull fight
  148. Attend a cock fight
  149. Attend a Murder Mystery Dinner
Feel free to contact me with suggestions for other adventures or questions about what some of these are or why I would want to do them. My growing list can be seen at this link. I will share with you as they are completed and feel free to join me in marking some off. I'm so excited.