Things to Add to the Bucket List, 30 Years Ago Today, and Simplicity is Complicated

On with the February funk, including the whole death theme, because it just plain fits.

I’ll put it this way.  At the end of this month I will be 42.  I have no illusions.  At least half of my life is most likely over, because I honestly don’t anticipate being able to make it to 84, barring extreme advances in medical science and some pretty serious Acts of God.  I know that if God wants to keep some poor sucker lingering about far beyond what we perceive to be his/her useful life He can and does, but I hope and pray I don’t outlive my purpose.  This being said, I still have no clue why I’m taking up valuable oxygen, other than (maybe?) to keep a few people entertained.  It’s not my place to know and I understand that.  I also understand that there have been at least three instances in my life where I narrowly escaped the Reaper:

1. I spent the first week of my life in the hospital with pneumonia and my entire childhood battling various respiratory ailments (as well as getting regular beatings from my sisters, their friends, and kids at school.)

2. I had rheumatic fever when I was 10 years old.  Save for a  two week long series of painful penicillin shots in the butt, and a year-long course of penicillin pills, I’d been worm chow over 30 years ago.

3. I understand first hand why at the turn of the 20th century 1 in 4 women died in childbirth.  In spite of an eleventh-hour c-section, (the whole Murphy’s Law as it applies to childbirth thing, believe that) I was almost one of them.  That was the closest I’ve ever gotten to the Dirt Nap, and at that time I was ready to go ahead and take it.  Some days I’m still very open to the possibility, though I believe the length of my time here is God’s decision not mine.

Again, somehow, I am still remaining vertical almost 20 years later, so there must be some reason why I continue to display vital signs- though said reason continues to elude me.

Before I go take the Final Trip, there are a few things I’d like to do.  Of course the Cougar Cruise is one of them, but I’d be happy just to go on a regular cruise with all the other geezers and so forth.

I’d like to do some international travel.  Granted, I’ve been to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls which was pretty cool, and I was in Windsor, Ontario for an afternoon as a little kid. Windsor is more or less Detroit’s French speaking quarter, and not much to write home about.  I did learn that Dad does not speak French.  I would caution that one does not go to Canada for the cuisine.  Everything we ate in Niagara Falls tasted like greasy Clorox.  It might simply have been the establishments we had the bad luck to choose, but from what I experienced it seems Canadians use grease like Cajuns use spice- and apparently Clorox is the spice.  Acck.  Then again, I believe the national entree of Canada consists of French fries smothered in gravy.  I don’t think I’ll be going for the gravy covered fries any time soon.   I still remember those nasty bland Cloroxy, greasy, slimy, luke-warm chicken wings we had for dinner one night, but even in the States, Hooters’ is not renowned for their culinary acumen.  There wasn’t even any hot sauce on the side to give them a hint of flavor.  It was as if they had never heard of Tabasco or habanero sauce.  Leave it to Jerry.  We had to eat there because Hooters’ was just across the street from the hotel, and they had American beer.  I hope it tasted like Clorox too, but even that would have been an improvement over Natty Lite.

I’d like to go to Europe, even though Grandpa said he didn’t lose anything there and there was no way in hell he would want to go back there.  When he went there, it was during the war.  It makes sense not wanting to go back to that. 

Australia sounds interesting too.  Aussies speak English so that’s a plus already.  The only thing that might not be so fun about Australia is all the venomous critters that seem to live there.  Perhaps I watch Animal Planet and Discovery Channel too much, but I might have to take a pass on the deadly spiders and the box jellyfish.

In a way I’d like to go to the Holy Land, but with all the foreigners fighting over there, I think I’ll have to settle for the shows on History Channel and so forth.  I’m not afraid to die, but I am afraid of torture and rape.

30 years ago, one could get a coveted ticket to see Journey on the Escape tour, which would be the one and only reason why I would like to see time travel made a reality.  I never got to see Steve Perry with Journey, live and in the painted-on jeans.  I’ve seen video with Steve Perry, which is sweet, but it’s not quite the same as being there live.   I’ve gotten to see Journey-which was awesome- once with Steve Augeri, and once with Arnel Pineda, but I never got to see them with Steve Perry, and barring a miracle, I probably never will.  I can’t blame him.  If I were 62 years old and had the life he did, I’d be happy to be retired with my memories and cats.

Today we get a lame-ass half-time show by the Black Eyed Peas, who never really impressed me to begin with.  New music absolutely sucks and no it’s not just because I’m old.  They’re trying to substitute sleaze and special effects for no-talent losers.  Give me a band who can actually play, and singers who can actually sing, and screw the costumes, the sleazy dancing and the light shows.

I’d love to get my life down to being more simple, but that would mean in some ways it would have to be more complicated, which doesn’t seem to make sense on the surface. 

All I can say at this point is that if I have 40 years or four seconds left, I can only pray for the strength to get through it- and to make something worthwhile of the time. 

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