Monday, November 9, 2009

Checked Off The Bucket List!

Last week I told you about some things I have remaining on my “bucket list” that I wanna do before I die. Luckily, I’ve lived long enough to actually get some things checked off already. Nothing spectacular but, even still, things I wanted to do. For example . . .

Be a DJ
Growing up I thought it would be a blast to be a disc jockey, so, in college I got involved with KBVR at Oregon State and even got to host the morning show a few days a week. I also worked for a year or so at a radio station in Lebanon (Motto: Uh, we grow strawberries and, well, that’s about all we got), where I found that I really didn’t like being a DJ as much as I thought. For more than a year after I quit I couldn’t listen to the radio. And I still hate all the songs from that era. Especially Funkytown!

Surprise my kids by taking them to Disneyland without them knowing until the day we left!
In 1991 we decided to take our kids to Disneyland but thought it would be more fun if we just surprised them. In the years before the trip, every time we got in the car to go somewhere I would say, “Oh heck, let’s not go to (the beach or Portland or camping or whatever) lets go to Disneyland!” The kids would scream and then I would crush their dreams by saying, “Nah, just kidding!” This time, however, we told them we were going to the beach for the weekend. When we got in the car I said (as usual): “Let’s not go to the beach - lets go to Disneyland!” Jeremy (who was 4) cried and said, “I wanna go to the beach!” None of them believed we were really going until we were almost to California.

Go to England
In 1994 I went to Greece (Crete, actually) to testify in the court martial of an Air Force staff sergeant who had stolen money and the activity in his checking account with U.S. Bank was part of the evidence presented in the case. They needed someone from the bank to come testify and, well, I was the lucky one who took the phone call! So, at taxpayer expense, I went to testify in the trial. Since I was going overseas for the first time (and my ex-wife was going with me) I thought we should take some time (at our own expense) to go to England. We spent four days in London and crammed in a ton of sightseeing stuff. (I’m convinced I saw Queen Elizabeth wave to me from a window in Buckingham Palace.)

Go to Israel
In 2001 we took our kids on a two-week trip to Greece and Israel. I was blown away with how cool, interesting and totally different a culture can be. I gotta go again sometime. Jeremy was bored and mostly threw rocks.

Go on a baseball road trip
The summer after Jake graduated from high school (2001 or 2002, I think), he, Jeremy and I took off on a two week road trip and saw MLB baseball games in Oakland, Los Angeles (Angels and Dodgers), San Diego, Phoenix and (on the way back home), San Francisco. We also took in a preseason Raiders/49ers football game – which cost more than all the baseball tickets put together.

Go on a “vacation” that is more of a missions trip kinda thing
I’ve actually done this a few times over the years and hope to do it again. The most memorable experience was over Thanksgiving in, uh, 2002(?) when Jeremy and I went to Mexico City (Motto: Holy crap a lot of people live here!) with a group from Northwest Medical Teams to help pour concrete floors in the homes of folks who scavenge recyclable materials from an enormous landfill. High point: Going to the world’s biggest Wal-Mart to buy a basketball hoop to replace the one we broke so Jerm could keep playing basketball with some of the local kids. Low point: going to a bull fight. Don’t need to see that again.

See U2 in concert
I didn’t get to see The Beatles perform – like Renee Middleton has – but I did get to see the second best rock band play. Elizabeth, Jeremiah and I went with two of their friends (Mike and Grace) to see them in Seattle (Motto: Coolest big city in America) at Key Arena in, uh, April of 2006, I think. Our seats were just about as far away as you could get but it still felt like we were RIGHT THERE! Very cool.

Going to the Final Four
I LOVE college basketball and “March Madness” is my favorite sporting event. In 2006 Jeremy and I got to go back to Indianapolis (Motto: We think we’re a cool city but we got nothing other than a sweet car race) to see the Final Four. George Mason, LSU, UCLA and Florida. Easily the least exciting Final Four I can ever remember. BUT it was a blast to be there – especially with Jeremy. I’d go again in a second.

Drive Cross Country
In August of 2006 Jake got a teaching job in Washington D.C. (Motto: As seen on TV.) That allowed me to fulfill a lifetime dream of driving cross country. We started out in Bend (with his Honda CRV fill literally to the ceiling) and drove to DC in four days. High points: Having a Polygamy Porter at Wasatch Brewing in Park City, Utah (Motto: You ain’t rich enough to even think about living here); playing a quick round of Frisbee Golf at Notre Dame with Touchdown Jesus as our first hole; Blogging about the trip from my laptop. Low point: Leaving Jake and flying home even though he still didn’t really have a place to live.

See the White House
After Jake moved to D.C. I got to see the White House a few different times. It’s just weird to be outside of it and know that the POTUS is somewhere inside. Probably. Also, it seems smaller live and in person like that.

See the Late Show with David Letterman live and in person
In January of 2007 Elizabeth got tickets to the show and a week later we made a whirlwind trip to New York City (Motto: Could there be a place with more cool stuff to see and do? I submit, there could not!)

See a play on Broadway
Same trip! We were dumb enough to go up to the Spamalot box office and ask about tickets for that night’s performance. All they had were Standing Room Only for like $30 – but it was much cheaper than the $400 seats down front and, as it turned out, we were right next to the lighting booth and the House Manager and got all sorts of cool inside info on the show! Plus it was hysterically funny.

Having Kids
Even when I was a kid I thought it would be fun to be a Dad. I used to say that I wanted to have 12 kids. When I got married, my ex-wife said she wanted to have six kids and that I’d have to get the other six somewhere else. We settled on three. It turned out to be even more fun than I expected and, even cooler, they have been fun at every age!

There are probably others but I’m really old and can’t think of any more right now. Time for a nap . . .
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