Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

He's an orthopedic surgeon, she's a Diva. Together we call them the Diva and the Doc, and they are our best friends and favorite couple to date (as in go out with). They helped me check off #1 on my Bucket List.

I love awards shows, and every year when she's not on the red carpet herself, (yes, she's attended), she gives a party in honor of the biggest award night of the season: Academy Awards. Movie buffs get together at her house to see which actors take home the Oscar. It had been my bad fortune that every time she gave this party, something always came up to keep me away.

This year, the universe shifted off its axis and the stars aligned (pun intended), and I was free to go to the Diva's for Oscar Night. That is, until a meteor came crashing down blasting my hopes and dreams to bits and pieces. She had decided not to give it this year.

But being the Diva that she is, she saw how disheartened I was and she regrouped. She cooked a prize-winning meal and served up her infamous Diva-tini's just for little old me. She even had gold medals to give to whoever predicted a category correctly. The one with the most medals at the end of the evening would receive a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

And the winner was . . . Sarge! whose attitude is, "If it doesn't have sex and violence, then it's not a realistic movie." So I wonder why he won't take me to the shooting range. Hmmm.

Anyway, I feel like I won, too, the minute I stepped up to the Diva and the Doc's door. Their graciousness made me feel like a champion. I thank God they are in our lives.
That's a pic of the Diva with her co-host this year, Jon Stewart.

The foregoing was one of my favorite vintage posts. I hope you enjoyed it as well as I take some time off for a writing week. Please check out the progress on my WIP at the very bottom of the page! Thanks for stopping by, and come back soon for new and exciting Bucket List adventures!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010


While I do my Christmas shopping, please enjoy a previous post that's still relevant today.


I saved the planet today. Single-handedly. Scratch number 58 off my list.

I am woman, see me pampered. Some might call me a spoiled brat, but I object. That's hearsay, Your Honor.

I hear from PlanetGreenTV that my carbon footprint is probably larger than my actual footprint, so that's why today, I did my part for the greening of America: I actually walked to Starbucks to get my tall-decaf-sugar-free-hazelnut-soy latte in a biodegradable paper cup. Mmmm . . . extra delish since I worked so hard to get it. You should try it. Walking, that is. And the latte, too. Nowadays, if you use a registered Starbucks gift card, all your extras like hazelnut and soy are free. Maybe I should have gotten a grande.
But back to saving the planet one day at a time.

Feeling really pepped up after 3% caffeine, I walked around the corner from Starbucks to get a pedicure. That's my contribution to the beautification of America.

While drying my toes (and to show off my pedi) I decided to walk another block to the bank. I made a withdrawal just to further fuel the economy, and for no other reason. Seriously.

Saving an entire planet takes a lot out of a girl, I thought, as I started back home. That's when it hit me: now I have to walk the 7 blocks back home! Ah well, at least I'm not contributing carbon emission to an already smoggy Southern California.

When I arrived home drenched in sweat, I plopped down on the leather sofa in the man-cave and reported to Sarge (that's his occupation, not his name) what I did to go green.

"Well, it's not like you switched out all our old light bulbs for compact fluorescent ones like I did," he said quite dismissively. "Sounds like you only went lite green, honey. Try again." Then he quickly returned his attention to ESPN.

"Bonehead," I muttered under my breath.
"What's that?"
"I said I'm gon' head to the kitchen. Want something?"

I made my way to the kitchen thanking God that I am able to walk; some people can't. I have learned to take nothing for granted.

Will I walk to Starbucks tomorrow? Probably not. Will I ever walk there again? Definitely yes, and next time I'll bring a reusable cup with me.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Volcano Surprise!

Have you ever wanted to bike down the side of a volcano at the crack of dawn?

Well, neither did my kids, and neither did Sarge, the sleep-deprived spousal unit; sleep-deprived because we had to wake up at 2 a.m. to get this particular party started.

Maui Mountain Riders' van picked the four of us up from our rented condo on Maui, and we rode two and a half hours (Surprise!) to the summit of Haleakala, the world's largest dormant volcano. We had dressed in layers because the higher the altitude, the colder it is, and we were going to be 6000 feet above sea level. Upon arrival, we were promptly escorted to the rim of the crater, which is the best place to watch the sun rise, half the purpose of our jaunt. It was a spectacularly awesome sight, the oranges and yellows against the pitch black of night.

As soon as the sun rose, the temperature began to change, and we peeled off our first layer of clothing in preparation for the bike ride down the side of the volcano.

My daughter wasn't the only one that was afraid once the sun illuminated just how steep the side of the mountain was. How fast would our bikes go? Would the brakes be strong enough to slow such a steep descent? Would we crash into other bikers along the way? What time was breakfast? (This last question was from Sarge.)

After we were fitted to our bikes, Sarge and our son -- being the manly macho men with machismo that they were and are -- led the biking brigade onward and downward. The good news is there was not much need to pedal as it was literally ALL downhill. The bad news is, there were lots of switchbacks we had to maneuver, and one lady in our group made her way in front of my daughter, then rode her brakes, stop-and-go, stop-and-go. I gestured for my daughter to follow me around her, then it was smooth sailing the rest of the way. We went at OUR pace.

Along the 28-mile ride, we pedaled through some pretty neat towns. One was a plantation town built in the late 1800's and made completely of wood. The next town is where they served us breakfast.

We continued our ride through the town of Haliimaile, then down to the Pacific Ocean, where they packed up our bikes while we peeled off more layers and enjoyed the surf.

They drove us back at the condo by 10 a.m. where we were ready for a much needed nap, but not before I crossed Number 71 off my Bucket List, bike down a volcano in Maui.

Friday, December 10, 2010


This is a very moving story of how one writer got not on just ANY Oprah show, but Oprah's Favorite Things Show. Read her story here.

Monday, December 6, 2010


What's harder than understanding credit default swap derivatives? Getting your extended relatives together for a family photo, that's what.

After 23 initial phone calls, 17 follow-up Emails, 15 subsequent texts and a blogpost, I finally gathered together 4 nephews and 9 nieces from colleges all across America, 6 daughters-in-law (of which I am one) 7 brothers, a matriarch, a patriarch and a partridge in a pear tree.

Family Photo, Number 27 on my Bucket List.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bucket List, the Movie

Anything goes on FREE FALL FRIDAY here at Adventure Salon. Today, you can watch Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson star in Bucket List for free without downloading it here.

If you've never seen it, it's about a corporate billionaire (Nicholson) who ends up sharing a hospital room with a working class Joe (Freeman). They decide to forget that they are both terminally ill, and proceed to do everything they ever wanted to do, ever, before they kick the bucket.

If this doesn't inspire you to get your own bucket list, nothing will. Well worth a look-see!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010