Happy Birthday to Me (for real this time)

So, break out the belated balloons and cake, my birthday was just on December 30. Yay me! Of all the things I could have done to celebrate, I decided to spend time around family and it was a great time. After the requisite reflection of my life that occurs to each of us on our special day (Wait, what!? It isn’t a requisite!? Damn!), I realized something both comforting and uplifting…I’m happy.

Those of you who know me well (and those who haven’t seen me for a while but are back in my life) have been telling me for some time now that I seem more at peace than ever before so I’m assuming this sensation of happiness I have is real and noticeable. Kinda surprising I can write this with pure honesty. I mean, considering the year I’ve had and the tumultuous life I left behind, being in “serenity now” mode is quite the achievement (in my humble opinion). Yeah, yeah, I still have some of the more stressed-out Seinfeld-y “serenity now!” moments when certain triggers rear their ugly little heads…but not very often, and overall, I’m back on solid ground and not eggshells. A very good thing.

There are still obstacles ahead, but hey, that’s life, right? When they come, I’ll find a way to deal with them. Until then I’m just going to keep looking ahead and moving forward. Onwards and upwards, as they say. It’s the only way to fly!

That all being said, guess what…there’s a new addition on my Bucket List. Any idea what it might be? Skydiving? No. Just no. Bungee Jumping. Are you nuts!? Do you even know me at all!? Wrestle a kangaroo? Uh-uh. Meet Vladmir Putin? Pass. Okay, okay, I guess I’ll just tell you. You guys are really bad guessers. Ready? I want to visit the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum.

If this isn’t exactly what you were expecting as a Bucket List-worthy item, I’m with you. I must confess that I had never heard of the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum until I saw this article just the other day. But, I’ve always wanted to visit New Orleans. It’s got the bustling and vivacious French Quarter, the Aquarium of the Americas, the Audubon Zoo (me and animals…duh!), ghost walks, classic architecture, and a history steeped in voodoo and the occult!

That’s a rather good list of places to hit when I do go to N’awlins. So why the Pharmacy Museum? Well, this particular tourist attraction had me at “opium soaked tampons.”  I know, I know. Not exactly “mother approved” blog material. But still. How can one resist? Sold! You had me with the headline. That’s marketing right there people.

So I’m not going for the most noble of reasons, sure. It might not even get mom’s seal of approval, but please, this is New Orleans we’re talking about. An ancient, drug drenched tampon is just another grain of sand on that dune. And really, how can I resist the urge to at least see what the heck that’s all about. Plus the lurid appeal of voodoo elixirs AND leeches! Oh boy! I mean, come on, don’t even try to tell me you’re not feverishly perusing the article right now, trying to catch a look for yourselves and reading up about what else they might have in store (ha!) for their visitors.

If anyone out there has any New Orleans experience you’d like to pass my way, please do. I love learning about different places. Once you’re done poring over the Pharmacy Museum article of course. Go ahead.  Take your time. I can wait.


pharmacy museum

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum (click photo for article)

Reverse Bucket List

Did the movie The Bucket List make “the bucket list” famous? I’m sure you all know what it is – a list of things you want to do before you die. So that you can “feel the fear and do it anyway.” What a dumb motto that is! At least to me. I have no desire to feel fear. In real life anyway. Horror movies don’t count.

Well, I came up with a reverse bucket list – things that I will never do before I die.

  1. Jump out of a plane

Somebody – I forget who – replied when asked if they’d like to try skydiving, “Are you nuts? Why would I jump out of a plane that is working perfectly?”  That’s my feeling on the subject, too.  Just why?  I put this at the top of my reverse bucket list because if I were ever to do this, I’d be dead before I hit the ground, so…end of bucket list.  Easy peasy.


falling out of plane

I’ll just stay inside this perfectly good plane if you don’t mind, thank you very much.


  1. Go bungee jumping

Second only to my desire not to jump out of a plane is my desire not to go bungee jumping. I mean, really. You get yourself togged up in some harness – I think it ties to your feet or something? – and then you jump off a perfectly good bridge or tower and go plummeting earthward? Then wham, bam, thank you ma’am, your plummet stops and you are jerked back upward.  In my mind’s eye I can see it…my nose two inches from the ground before I snap back upward.  And with the way my brain works I’d be thinking the whole time about the guy up at the top of that bridge who is probably being paid minimum to make sure the bungee cords are set right, adequate length, perfect weight for the person, etc., and the whole way down, I’d be thinking…”Did he come in sober today?”  Or worse yet, “Did he come in hung over today?”  And considering I’m afraid of falling (not heights so much mind you, as falling) the ending to this little adventure would be much like the jumping of out of a plane fiasco – I’d be dead of a massive heart attack, or what they used to call just plain old “fright,” before I made it to the finale of this nonsensical free-fall.

So, nope – sorry. Not going to happen.



  1. Go on a crazy roller coaster

As has been made apparent from the first two things on my list…I’m not afraid of heights. I’m afraid of falling. Falling and being suspended in the air with seemingly nothing to hold me in would give me a panic attack or worse. On something like the Tatsu roller coaster at Six Flags where you’re not even buckled firmly into a normal cart but rather left hanging out in the air freestyle, strapped onto a flying booster seat kind of thing, I’d be dead before the roller coaster came back to earth.  You know how people say “Such and such scared her to death?”  Yeah, well, that would be me. Now you guys get why this is a reverse bucket list, right? And I don’t know what happens to the vomit one expels in the middle of an upside down whirl on a roller coaster, but I don’t want to find out and I’m sure the people within range of my vomit wouldn’t want to find out either. So, we’ll give this one a pass.



  1. Go on the Giant Canyon Swing at Glenwood Caverns

This little gem is in Colorado. Their promotional literature states: “Ready for a screaming thrill ride soaring above Glenwood Springs?” Why no, no I’m not.  “Launch yourself out into Glenwood Canyon, 1,300 feet above the Colorado River, on the Giant Canyon Swing!” it says.  Nope, nope, nope –  not going to happen.   “If you’re brave enough to open your eyes…” I think you mean, stupid  “…your views of the Canyon and Glenwood Springs are breathtaking as you soar through the air at speeds up to 50 miles per hour.” Fifty miles an hour? If I’m going fifty miles in anything it will be in a car on a road! Or a train. Trains are good. And while I realize that we hear of more accidents happening on the roads than on these adventure rides, in my mind’s eye, I can still easily see this “swing” taking off from its girders and flying into the Canyon à laFinal Destination” with me in tow.  And while that might be a hell of a ride with an excellent view for a few seconds, just nope.   


click on the photo to go to Glenwood Caverns site

Nope, nope, nope, and nope. But if you’d like to learn more about this ride, just click on the photo to go to the Glenwood Caverns site.


  1. Go anywhere near the Kishtwar Kailash road to base camp:

The Kishtwar Kailash is a mountain in the Indian Himalayas…and people try to climb it… “because it’s there,”  the fools!  Apparently its west face was climbed for the first time in 2013. It’s all very cool when you think about it. But the “road to base camp” is carved out of the side of the mountain and there is no guard rail (obviously) preventing a bus or car from plummeting over the side of that mountain and going down, down, down and down about a few more hundred times.  From a video I watched recently, at a couple of points the wheels of a bus traversing this path are only a couple of inches from the edge of the cliff side of the mountain. At one point, not being able to see the cliff’s edge from around a corner they had to navigate, the driver’s helper (or one of the passengers) got out and directed the driver around the curve. Now, that’s trust. This is what you go through just to get to the base camp before even beginning your attempt at climbing what is apparently an incredibly challenging and dangerous mountain.

No, thank you. Onto the reverse bucket list it goes.



  1. Eat an insect dipped in anything and fried

I don’t care if they are a delicacy in some countries or how much protein people claim they have, it’s a bug.  And not only would I not eat an insect dipped in anything and fried, I wouldn’t even eat it if it just came au naturel. No.  Just no.  No a million times.  Bugs need have no fear of being eaten by me. The plus to this is when aliens come to take over the Earth they will know that I was kind to their kinfolk and they won’t disintegrate me or try to eat me like they will everyone else.  Oh, they might stick me in a cage in some kind of an interplanetary zoo. But at least they won’t be feeding me bugs.

men in black

I solemnly swear, no bugs, fried or otherwise, have ever passed these lips. (click photo for more info on edgar)


  1. Attend anything that calls itself “fashion week”

Have you seen some of the fashions the designers come up with, seemingly to make women look as silly as possible?  The clothes that are displayed in the fashion week specials they show on t.v. do not look like the outfits you’d see on “real women” out in the “real world.”  Or at least not in the world I live in.  But then I don’t have a kajillion dollars, so maybe that’s why.  And no-one ever looks happy at these things. The models look petulant and ill-tempered, and the attendees all look as though they’d rather be anywhere else on Earth than at that particular event.  I thought clothes and clothes shopping made people happy.  But then again…I did mention what these outfits look like, right?

fashion week

Okay, so who has ever seen these clothes anywhere besides on a fashion runway? (click photo for link to Vogue article on designer)


  1. Go swimming with sharks

I love sharks. I’ve even got an app called Shark Tracker that helps me keep track of my favorite ones. But going swimming with them?  My tasty flesh in the same vicinity as all of those lovely sharks with great big teeth?  No thanks. I will watch them safely from the comfort of my armchair, or maybe a big, powerful boat that has no chance of sinking. But in the water?  No. Just no.  Now that I think about it, maybe not even on a big, powerful boat…I’ve seen Jaws. I know how that played out. It wasn’t good.  Not good at all. Not to mention the Titanic was a big, powerful boat that was unsinkable. And we all know how well that worked out. Armchair is good.  Yeah, I like the armchair.


"Fish are friends, not food." Hopefully people are friends and not food...but distance makes the heart grow fonder...so I'll stay far away...

“Fish are our friends, not food.” Hopefully people are their friends and not food…but distance makes the heart grow fonder…so I’ll stay far away… (click photo for more info)


  1. Act in a play

Actors say that the adrenalin rush of being on stage – at the end of a play – and getting the applause makes it all worth while. But I’m sure no one would want to pay to see me standing stock still on stage, forgetting to move, forgetting to talk, having to be carried off with a dolly because I’m too scared to move. I will spare myself, and the audience, that, thank you very much.


stage fright

The beautiful Marlene Dietrich in none other than Stage Fright… capturing the exact face I would make if ever forced to act in a play.  (click photo for more info)


  1. Go caving

Some people call it caving. Others call it spelunking. I call it plain silliness. Hey, I’ve seen the movies. I know what happens. Does “The Descent” ring a bell? Okay, how about “The Cave?” Crawling through utter darkness, pressed in by stone on every side, mourning the friends you’ve just lost…having to squeeze through tunnels barely big enough for you and what if you get stuck? Can’t move forward, can’t move backward, having to wait a week to lose enough weight until you can move? I don’t want to lose weight that badly…oh, and the mutated monsters that just ate your friends. Nobody mentions those in the tourist literature.


creepy crawlies from The Descent. Click photo for more info.

Creepy crawlies from The Descent. You never see those on the brochures, do you!? (click photo for more info)