Friday, June 27, 2008

My Bucket List

As I've said before, I haven't had T.V. service for 14 years, because of the location of my house. There is no cable and it's not worth having a satellite dish, because I don't spend that much time watching. I do have a set, though, and a subscription to Netflix. Since movies are so expensive these days, I tend to wait 'til they come to Netflix before I see them, which could be as much as a year after they come out. Oh well.

I just watched "The Bucket List" with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. And, of course, I started thinking about the bucket list I made for myself when I was a kid. Here are the things on the list that I have done so far:

Sky dive
Join the Peace Corps
See the Pyramids
Travel on the Nile
Go on a camel caravan into the Sahara
Become a Whirling Dervish
See the Taj Mahal
Travel all over Mexico
Study Mayan Hieroglyphs
Have a small house in the woods where I can have a garden

Here are the ones left to do:

Write and publish a best-seller
Get an Academy Award
Get married in Machu Picchu
Travel on the Amazon River

Not bad. A couple of those on the to do list might not get done, but so far, my life has been pretty miraculous, so I'm not ruling them out.

Although I have not written 'a book', I have had some things published - articles about California Indians in News From Native California, and articles on Benicia and the Historic State Capitol there in the Solano County Historical Society Journal. I also worked on the illustrations in a book on Mayan hieroglyphs written by one of my professors at Tulane University, which was published - called A Grammar of Mayan Hieroglyphs by V.R. Bricker.

While I did not become a professional epigrapher or Mayanist, I learned enough about Mayan hieroglyphs to teach courses at Sonoma State University.

And I did write the script for published video that shows daily at the Sonoma Barracks - part of the Sonoma State Historic Park in Sonoma, California. It's called Mariano Vallejo and the Northern Frontier and has to do with the role Vallejo played in early California history. In fact, the town I live in now was once a land grant given by Vallejo to an Englishman who "Mexicanized", which was what they had to do to own land in California in those days.

What this meant was: 1. They had to become Catholics, 2. They had to speak Spanish, 3. They had to marry a Mexican national, 4. They had to become citizens of Mexico, 5. They had to change their name to a 'hispanicized' version - John became Juan, etc. There were a few exceptions, but they are rare. Things have changed a bit since then.

Another thing most people don't know about early California history, is that the California State Constitutionwas written in English and Spanish, since most of the signers were from the land-owning majority - who were Mexicans and all documents that came out of the legislature were bi-lingual. This state was bi-lingual from its creation.

I doubt that my video will win an academy award, or that my publications will become best-sellers, but they are all published and out there in the world with my name in or on them.

The two things that may actually prove more difficult are those two travel destinations which are extremely challenging physically and I doubt I'm going to get married again. LOL

There may have been other things on that list from time to time, but whatever they were, they were not important, since I totally forgot about them. In general, I'd say I got to do more than was on my list, because there are many other places I've been and things I've done than were on those lists. I can truly say I am satisfied with my life.

I never wanted children since, even as a child myself, I knew the world was over-populated and that my children or grand-children would suffer from the effects of pollution, lack of resources and degradation of the planet. And I was right.

Because of who I am, I can't help thinking that 'the end' of life as we have known it, is upon us. For the past week, here in Northern California, the orange sky and the smell of smoke due to the numerous forest fires has had all of us coughing. My cats are freeking out. I have been having nightmares.

The SF Chronicle had an article on the front page today about the dying bees and how much we need them for our food supply. One quote was "How would our federal government respond if 1 out of every 3 cows was dying?", Maryann Frazier, a bee expert from the University of Pennsylvania.

These days, all I want is to see bees, birds, and butterflies in my yard. When a hummingbird hovered in front of me then flew directly to the plants I had put in just for her, I knew I had done something right and she was thanking me.