Saturday, February 27, 2010

Home on the Range

Adventure is the champagne of life. And by now you know how I love my champagne! But this blog entry has less to do with champagne (this time!) and more to do with adventure.

For Number 7 on my Bucket List, I don goggles and sport ear muffs. Why? Because I was at the Insight Shooting Range. For years, I had begged and beseeched Sarge to take me and teach me, but I think he thought I'd shoot him once I learned how, which makes me wonder what he's done that he thinks that I'd think that I'd want to shoot him. . . but I digress.

Pamela Samuels-Young, fellow writer, is doing research for a new legal thriller she's working on, and she's invited me along. We start off shooting a .22. The first bullet casing (that's the shell that's ejected after the bullet leaves the gun) pops off my goggles and lands on the counter in front of me. Hence the need for goggles. .22's are the smallest bullets, but in some instances can do the most damage because they are small enough to travel once they hit inside the body.

This firing range has electronic retrieval of your target sheet, so I switch in a new one for the next gun, a .45. 45's make the most noise, and have the most kickback. Don't like that one so much.

Next up is the 9mm, which holds 16 bullets in each clip. That must be why it is the weapon of choice for law enforcement. It's my favorite, too. The first pull of that trigger requires the most force, but after that, it fires with a feather-like touch. Too bad there is no rapid fire allowed at this range, and I can't practice my draw-down, either, because holsters are banned, darn it.

I find that the most difficult thing to master is getting your target in the crosshairs. There's a site on the front of the gun that has to be aligned with the site at the rear. It's easier said than done. . . but it is possible.

I put Going to a Shooting Range in my crosshairs, and fired it off my Bucket List.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

When Opportunity Knocks

I never thought to see a private plane
I never hoped to be in one
But I can tell you anyhow
I'd rather be in one, than see one

When the opportunity came, Sarge and I jumped right into action. We flew with a friend, the owner, over to Catalina, then onto Santa Barbara... sipping champagne all the way. Number 88 on my Bucket list.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Moonlight, Martinis & Me

So there I was having Diva-tini's with my diva friends, and I mentioned that Sarge had attended Lamar Odom's rooftop birthday bash. I thought, Now, that's a fabulous idea, martinis in the moonlight. Without hesitation, I added rooftop party to my Bucket List.

Several weeks later on a Sunday night, Sarge and the kids took me took me to Crustacean Restaurant because my birthday was the following Monday, and they all had to work that day. No biggie. I'm easy, though Sarge would argue otherwise.

The next day, my sister Denise called and wanted to take me to lunch for my actual birthday. She'd made arrangements for us to get professionally made up (something we love to do, just because), and then we'd do lunch. As lack of luck would have it, an out-of-town emergency came up, and she couldn't make it.

Bummed did not begin to describe how I felt. I was dispirited, despondent and dejected. I felt so alone and lonely with nothing to do on my very real birthday. When I'm depressed, I do what I do best: I lay down to take a nap. But before I could fall asleep, my girlfriend Jj -- also known as She Who Must Be Obeyed -- called and asked what I was doing for my b-day. I related my wretched story of massive misfortune, and she matter-of-factly invited me for drinks that evening. Before she could say "cocktails," I yelled, "YES!"

With my spirits lifted (Someone loves me), she and her sister picked me up, zoomed by to pick up another girlfriend, and they whisked me away to The Standard in downtown L.A. We took the escalator that led us to the elevator that took us not to some restaurant/bar at the penthouse level, but all the way to the very tiptop -- the rooftop. Lively red decor invited us in, and the neon-lit bar beckoned us over.

The four of us sat down for drinks. Before I could say, "Cheers," my girlfriend, heretofore known to you all as The-Diva-of-All-That's-Red-and-Good, sashayed into the place. I was shocked...had they planned all this? Yes! was the answer. They'd gotten together with Sarge and my sister and my daughter weeks before.

Before long, another girlfriend August showed up, and when Joi dropped by later, the night was complete. I cried. Literally. From all the love my friends and family showed me. "You like me, you
really like me," I said doing my best Sally Field impression. I had gone from bummed to ecstatic...and
I'd also crossed Number 87 off my Bucket List, Rooftop Party.