Tuesday, December 02, 2008

All the cool kids are doing it!

It's a list of stuff, see, and you bold the stuff you've done, right, and then whoa, some people are adding little explanations and stuff and...

No - that's OK. I've just slapped myself for that opening. It would have been easier to delete the opening, now that I think of it, and not write any of this as if we were talking and I couldn't just undo it all, with nobody the wiser. I'm leaving it because it's more fun to let you poor innocent folks witness my mental malfunctions. Bold is stuff I've done, italics is stuff I haven't.

Started my own blog - who do they think is doing this meme? Should I run to the mimeograph and run off copies to hand out?
Slept under the stars - childhood camp-outs at friends' houses
Played in a band - a bad idea on several levels
Visited Hawaii
Watched a meteor shower - no. In fact, it brings up a personal sadness: I also missed Halley's Comet the last time it came by. I could possibly catch it on its next pass, but I would be 88 years old.
Given more than I can afford to charity - sadly, no.
Been to Disneyland/world - yes, but I was a toddler and can't remember it. There are photos, however.
Climbed a mountain - it sounds cool, but no.
Held a praying mantis
Sung a solo - almost. I had a speaking but non-singing role in a middle-school musical revue.
Bungee jumped
Visited Paris - I have never been further west than Cleveland, unless one counts Tampa, which is further west by latitude. (Quick trivia - which US city is due north of the westernmost point in South America? Answer below!)
Watched lightning at sea - I've never been all that far east, either, so no.
Taught myself an art from scratch - kinda. I have never been formally coached, so everything I know about goalkeeping I either read or just picked up through trial and error.
Adopted a child
Had food poisoning - ugh. Bad Thai. I hadn't been that sick since I was nine and I ate two pounds of chocolate at one sitting. (Boy was THAT a stupid idea.)
Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty - when I visited people weren't allowed to go the entire way up, so no. But it's incredibly impressive up close.
Grown my own vegetables - this was a big thing for my Italian great-grandparents (and I suspect for many others folks' relatives from the Old Country). They had such an incredible garden. Like many of my generation I lack the patience for this noble hobby.
Seen the Mona Lisa in France - nor anywhere else. I'm gonna flunk all the foreign stuff.
Slept on an overnight train - never been on an overnight train. The ride from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale was kind of long but it was daytime.
Had a pillow fight - I've lost many. I'm the France of pillow fighting.
Taken a sick day when not ill - in fairness, I have also dragged myself in when I ought to have been in bed; once, with bronchitis. My boss at the time called my mother to drive me straight to the doctor because she heard me breathing from the other side of a loud, busy kitchen.
Built a snow fort
Held a lamb
Gone skinny dipping
Run a marathon - even when I was in shape, I couldn't go more than a mile or two. Top runners can reel off all 26 miles at an average pace of five minutes per mile. It's basically running flat out for the length of an entire movie. Holy crap.
Ridden in a gondola in Venice - I would fear for my safety by drowning or pole-inflicted harm.
Seen a total eclipse
Watched a sunrise or sunset
Hit a home run - during intramurals at Rutgers one year. It was so corny you'll think I'm fibbing, but it's true: I hit a full-count pitch down the rightfield line and legged out an inside-the-park grand slam. Sadly, it wasn't the last inning and we would up losing the game anyway.
Been on a cruise - friends who have say I should get with the program. At least the dangers of pole-related injuries would go down.
Seen Niagara Falls in person - the closest has been a wonderful old jigsaw puzzle my Grandma used to own. She also had one of the Space Needle in Seattle. Putting them together on her dining room table is one of my earlier memories.
Visited the birthplace of my ancestors - that would be completely awesome. Maybe I should cruise there?
Seen an Amish community - Lancaster County, PA. Sadly, some of that "genuine Amish" stuff you see when you visit is complete bunk, and you have to wander a bit.
Taught myself a new language - I hardly remember any of the Spanish I learned in school, and haven't ever taken one of those Berlitz or Rosetta Stone deals... we'll say no.
Had enough money to be truly satisfied - eh, the more you have, the more you need. Satisfaction has to come first, and then the answer will always be yes. Fortunately I've never had enough money to forget that lesson.
Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person - what's with all the Italy and France stuff? Is this Jacques Cousteau's meme? "Have you ever piloted a bathysphere at 1000 meters while narrating?"
Gone rock climbing - nope, only hiking over rocky terrain.
Seen Michelangelo's David - friends of ours have a David refridgerator magnet with add-on clothes. Seeing the David in jeans, purple T-shirt, and a ball cap is quite fun. Since this wasn't specified I'm counting it!
Sung karaoke - yes. Let us never speak of it again.
Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt - only in cartoons... and then it's usually called "Old Fateful" and the villian is about to be launched into low orbit, to the amusement of our wisecracking hero.
Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
Visited Africa - no, I missed the rains out in Africa. I'm gonna take some time to do the things we never dared.
Walked on a beach by moonlight
Been transported in an ambulance - not as a patient, but I was in an accident as a boy where my Mom needed to take the ride, and I came along.
Had my portrait painted - I suspect that this is one of those things that sounds cooler than it really is. (Mildly-related trivia: in later MASH episodes all of the cast sit for portraits by Colonel Potter, which are later seen hanging in his office. According to imdb.com, Harry Morgan actually painted them.)
Gone deep sea fishing - "These gentle giants of the deep feed only on the smallest plankton and algae. Their only natural predator.... is Man."
Seen the Sistine Chapel in person - nope. Not even as a refridgerator magnet.
Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris - as compared to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Vermont? (more Mildly-related Trivia - Monsieur Eiffel also designed the Statue of Liberty. I haven't been to the top of anything he's ever built.)
Gone scuba diving or snorkeling - snorkeling, once. Apparently I did poorly because it seemed impossible to suck down enough air through that tube once I was under the water.
Kissed in the rain
Played in the mud - played FOOTBALL in the mud. Hells yeah.
Gone to a drive-in theater - yes! We saw Hooper with Burt Reynolds.
Been in a movie - I dreamed I was in a Hollywood movie - and that I was the STAR of the movie. This really blew my mind!
Visited the Great Wall of China - ok, for the travel stuff, let's just cool it. "Have you ever done a close flyby of the Sea of Tranquility?"
Taken a martial arts class - almost. My martial-arts buddy was into Philipino two-stick fighting for a while and tried to teach me the basics so he could practice the forms with a partner.
Visited Russia - "Have you ever done an emergency saucer separation at warp speed?"
Served at a soup kitchen
Sold Cub/Girl Scout Candies/Cookies - I added the "Cub" part. And the candy part. It's apparently a gentleman's agreement: the ladies sell the cookies, and then the guys sell the hard stuff. I once sold 630 candy bars at a buck a pop to win an Atari 2600. It was a proud moment.
Gone whale watching - I've never even seen "Free Willy."
Gotten flowers for no reason - I've gotten them for my Ladybug.
Donated blood, platelets or plasma
Gone sky diving - I try not to leave any working airplane until it's landed and parked.
Visited a Nazi concentration camp
Bounced a check - only once. Nowadays I have emergency overdraft, or this would be a far worse record.
Flown in a helicopter - one of my hockey friends has his solo copter license, and he's offered to take us up. To my knowledge none of us has accepted. You know, it's your basic manly-man tough guys who shriek like Miss Muffet at the thought of sputtering around in a plastic eggshell held aloft only so far as the laws of physics aren't paying attention.
Saved a favorite childhood toy - I've saved very little from my childhood, sadly, and am making up for it by hoarding every scrap of flotsam now.
Visited the Lincoln Memorial - nope.
Eaten caviar - Ewwww! No!
Pieced a quilt
Stood in Times Square
Toured the Everglades - no. I have skipped the swamps on my every visit. Which reminds me - the answer to the above trivia question? Miami is due north of the westernmost point of South America.
Been fired from a job - I've bailed on a couple of horrid ones, but haven't ever been sacked.
Seen the Changing of the Guard in London - why, yes. IN MY TARDIS. Stop making me feel like the bumkin I am!
Broken a bone - surprisingly no. I've chipped a tooth, and once I dislocated a pinky that has healed crookedly, but I've never broken a bone.
Been on a speeding motorcycle - holy crap. This is why I won't go up for that helicopter ride. At least here I didn't have to worry about the bike suddenly plunging a thousand feet.
Seen the Grand Canyon in person - this one stings.
Published a book - another near-miss. I had a parody poem published in a student literary magazine, way back in the day.
Visited the Vatican - Nope. Nor have I seen the Pope in person on any of his trips.
Bought a brand new car
Walked in Jerusalem - "Here in the Holy Land, the ancient ways are still practiced... only in a modern fashion." How is this guy still seeing all this from a bathysphere?
Had my picture in the newspaper
Read the entire Bible - I always bog down in Numbers and Deuteronomy, but I've read a good bit of the rest.
Visited the White House
Killed and prepared an animal for eating
Had chickenpox - great, I finally get back into the bold, and it's for this. What's more, I had them when I was 20. Those were an ugly few weeks. I actually left school because I missed too much time to get caught up.
Saved someone's life
Sat on a jury - amazingly, I've never been called.
Met someone famous - I've met people who've subsequently become known: Dawn Eden is probably the best example. My near-misses are funnier, such as the time I watched as seemingly every clerk in Borders came up to breathlessly ask if they could help a shortish, scruffy, jeans-and-work-booted guy who already lugging a stack of material a foot high. "What's with these people bugging this guy?" I asked my Ladybug. "Besides, he looks kind of suspicious to me." She just gaped. "Um... that's BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN." Oh.
Joined a book club
Lost a loved one - too many already.
Had a baby
Seen the Alamo in person - neither the actual Alamo nor any film representation.
Swam in the Great Salt Lake - What the hell kind of meme is this anyway? Is it really way up on people's to-do lists in life to swim the Great Salt Lake? Is this the bathing equivalent of playing Augusta National or running the bulls at Pamplona? "I've climbed the highest mountain on every continent - now to swim the seven lakes! Superior, Huron, Erie, Salt, Tahoe..."
Been involved in a law suit - nothing more than bailiff at mock trial competitions.
Owned a cell phone - yes, but right now it's lost and hasn't been replaced yet.
Been stung by a bee - right on my kneecap when I was six.
Ridden an elephant
Read all three volumes of the Lord of the Rings
Visited the Taj Mahal - I'm pretty sure that ol' Meme Cousteau here hasn't done half this either. For the travel questions he's just listing all the things sitting in snow globes on his bookshelf.
Performed in a dance recital - I could barely dance at my own wedding without pulling something.
Been on horseback while the horse jumped over something - down in Busch Gardens in Tampa, I got to see the Clydesdales up close. It's astounding that something that large can move around so gracefully.
Won an athletic competition - some deck hockey tournaments.
Gotten a straight-A report card - nope. I did get all A's in one subject for a whole year, but never a 4.0 for a single term.
Prayed to Zeus - "Help! Jesus! God! Buddha! Somebody! Zeus! Anybody! Satan! You owe me!" (Yeah, from Futurama. The quote's not exact.)
Watched news coverage, rapt, to see what was going to happen - a few times. Unfortunately, 9/11 was the most recent. I really didn't glue myself to the TV for the recent election.
Gotten lost in a building more than 500 years old - so after listing several old old buildings and structures ol' Meme decides to just lump in all the rest of them, just to make the remaining less-traveled among us feel utterly pathetic; to say nothing of the grand old structures. "OK, it's the Taj, the Great Wall, the Leaning Tower... and then, eh, the Tower of London and the Hagia Sophia and all the rest of it can just be 'all of the above.' " Nice.
Kissed somebody milliseconds before bells started to ring - of course, at a wedding it's often that one has to rush across the room to kiss one's best beloved because of ringing bells (or clinking glass or whatever). I don't think I've ever done that in the other order, however.

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