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National Bucket List Day

National Bucket List Day

I expect we all have a bucket list somewhere written in the depths of our brains that we often think about in between the chores of our everyday and seemingly common life. I’ve found; however, that it  if I write it down, I have a greater chance at actually achieving it, and thus pursing my path to something great.  It’s something about seeing it on paper and physically checking it off makes me feel accomplished. Yes, I’m a sucker for “to-do” list on a sticky note that stares at me all week before I break down and either do it or throw the note away in protest that for that week, I just wasn’t in the mood to be that organized with my life. Sorry, I digress.

I believe a bucket list evolves as we do and things come on and off the list as our priorities and outlook on life and what’s important changes. So today, March 7th, which I’m recommending as “National Bucket List Day,”  I claim my bucket list as follows:

  • Live in Italy for 6 months to a year, drinking wine, learning Italian, exploring the churches and writing about all the people I meet along the way
  • Host a Thanksgiving dinner for my family. (Note: I don’t cook very well, but something about hosting T-giving makes me feel like an adult and something I should do at least once in my life.)
  • Learn to sew. My throw back to the 50’s, and my innate desire to create something new from something old.
  • Have an article or an essay published.
  • Write a book. Don’t care about publishing it, I just want to write it.
  • Meet George W. Bush. Don’t judge here. He’s really a cool guy.
  • Climb the Effiel Tower.
  • Wake up early enough to see the sunrise over the ocean.
  • Go sky diving.
  • Go on an African safari.
  • Travel to every continent (except Antartica [way too cold])
  • Be highlighted in my alumni magazine for being an extraordinary alumni.
  • Spend Christmas at the beach with family and enjoying time together without the commercialism of presents
  • Wait until 12/23 to buy a Christmas tree and decorate it on Christmas Eve.
  • Visit the Princess Diana burial site in Althorp, England.
  • Pray the rosary all the way through
  • Sing at a karoke bar
  • Go to Russia during the white nights.
  • Watch Citizen Kane, Chariots of Fire and The Godfather saga.
  • Go to Phuket, Thailand, Turkey, Iceland, Germany, coast of France, Japan.
  • Own a cuckoo clock.
  • Sponsor a serviceman/woman during the holidays.
  • Retire at the beach
  • Learn the Thriller dance. (currently a work in progress)
  • See Elton John and Billy Joel in concert.
  • Spend a week/weekend at a Dude Ranch (this is just funny, not sure why I want to do this, but I do)
  • Drive cross country
Teenagers are Still Teenagers

Teenagers are Still Teenagers

Maddie takes on DC and her Aunt Amy
Maddie takes on DC and her Aunt Amy

Last weekend, I hosted my 14 year old niece for a weekend in the city, away from the parental oversight.  Having no kids of my own, I sometimes feel out of touch with those younger than 25. However, what I learned is that despite advancements in technology and a slight more tendency toward ADD than previous generations, teenagers are still just teenagers.

1. Fitting in.  Sometimes this is wearing the right clothes, having the newest technology, but really it’s about friends and being accepted into the “right” group. Kids still want to be cool and popular.

2. Gossip. Technology facilitates the gossip differently today than it did even 10 years ago, but it’s still gossip.

3. Everything is weird. If  it goes against what’s considered “normal” in the teenager’s eyes,  then it’s weird. Teenagers don’t want to be perceived as abnormal, so to “fit in” (see #1) it’s all weird.

4. Cliques. Band geeks, jocks, popular girls, nerds–you know the list, they’re still there. Funny, how after all the work toward a more accepting, diverse culture, teenagers are still using the same stereotypes that have been used for 30+ years.

5. Labels. Whether it’s Abercrombie, Coach, Juicy Couture, Louis Vouitton or the iPhone, labels still run rampant throughout American high schools.  Today there’s more turnover and competition to be on top of the trends, but it’s still about labels and who has the latest and greatest.

Vampires Know Chivalry

Vampires Know Chivalry

Stefan and Damon Salvatore know chivalry

It took two years post-Twilight for the vampire craze to bite me, but now I’m just as giddy for vampires as a 14 year girl waiting in line for the first showing of New Moon. My guilty pleasure; however is not for Bella and Edward, but the Salvatore brothers of The Vampire Diaries. It seems these boys, men in vampire years, know a thing or two about chivalry.

Chivalry in case you’ve forgotten is courtesy, honor and gallantry toward a woman. Qualities the Salvatore brothers mastered in the 18th century before they were turned into vampires. Qualities that despite their lust for blood and endless journey through 160 years of history are still very much in tact.

I think it’s the chivalrous charm of these brothers that’s turned me into an all out vampire groupie.  See, it’s chivalry we’re missing today. Not only are we missing it, women are craving it. And though the media wants men to believe that women want it all… the hidden secret is that women just want to be protected, taken care of, and treated with respect.

Feminism, technology, informality whatever else you want to throw in the mix has turned women, or at least me, into accepting that chivalry is an urban myth. It’s sad, but true. Men today are clueless, and fail miserably at any attempt of chivalry. This is not about opening doors for women, it’s about respect, boundaries and I’ll say it again, protection!