Thanks for checking into my blog!

As a "recovering" middle school teacher with a unique outlook on life, I stopped active teaching in 2010 and moved into another career path... writing! Here goes! In addition, I am a travel buff, forever baseball addict, movie fan, music fan, foodie extraordinaire, NCIS devotee, gardener, and more.

Just love writing for kids, travel writing and basic journalism. Pretty unusual, since I taught Home Economics! But there's a story here too - a non-fiction one or more...

Friday, August 16, 2013

What I did on my summer vacation...

Rule #25 – It’s ok to unleash your inner crazy person.

Wow… where did the time go?

My last post was June 12. That was right around the time that school in this area was letting out for summer. Strains of Alice Cooper’s hit were being sung at the top of  the lungs of every teacher I know. School was letting out forever for some of my friends as they made their lateral move to the recreational sector of life. That was just yesterday, or so it seems.

Now, I spent the summer trying to get back on the writing horse, so to speak. I started many a blog post, child’s story, essay… you name it. They are currently fermenting in a file on this very computer.

Yes, it is time to resurrect the writing mojo. Vacation’s over, Self. Back to work. After all, your teacher buds start back on Monday. Some are already back. Now it’s your turn. Let’s see what you’ve done with the two months off.

This year, summer vacation was a fun and exciting time. I got a chance to see Nashville (the city, not the show) and enjoy some good ole’ Tennessee hospitality. Ghost walks, concerts - that was the name of the game on that trip. Country music even managed to get me hooked on it while I was there. I got to see some shrines held in reverence by some - the Grand Ole’ Opry, Ryman Auditorium, and the Tennessee State Capitol building and grounds.

The trip south was followed by one up north. I got my chance to sit next to “Cliff Claven” at the Cheers bar in Boston, where no body knew my name. I rode the MTA’s T in Boston - and I did return (some of us are really old enough to know the Kingston Trio song reference here). Ned Devine fed me dinner at his pub in Quincy Market.

And there was the Paul McCartney concert at Nationals Park in DC… no words can describe how fantastic that was! Baseball season tickets to see my Orioles … all of this makes for a great vacation year.

So many memories to share… and I will now that vacation is over. I promise. I feel like a vacation junkie, in recovery, one blog post at a time.

So now what? How can I top this vacation season? Have I peaked? Not even!!!!

Time for me to revisit my bucket list. Time for me to see what more there is to do before I go from sniffing flowers to fertilizing them (literally). Time to see if I’m doing things to drive my kids and siblings crazy with worry - and if not, to begin the process.

You remember the movie “The Bucket List”? Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson played older fellows finishing life’s race doing crazy things they never would have done at other moments of their lives. There was an episode of “NCIS”, too, where DiNozzo (a kid by comparison) writes his bucket list. When I look at my list now, I don’t see things like “skydive” or “ride a ferris wheel naked“. I see a lot of items in process. There are goals that will take years to finish. Ok with me, World! I got time!

Let’s take a look at part of my list:
  1. Get back to weekly blog posts - started. Now to continue.
  2. See as many movies in the theater as possible - started. Yeah, I have cable with movie channels, but there is nothing like the in-house movie experience, complete with over-priced popcorn.
  3. See as many concerts as possible - started. Thank you, Sir Paul, for a fantastic evening. Carpool to the first Apollo Chamber Orchestra concert on September 20 is being formed as we speak.
  4. Make the 32 Pilgrimage - started, 3 down, 29 to go. For those who don’t know what this is, you see a baseball game in each of the 32 major league baseball parks. It may be your team; it may not. Last stop for me will be Yankee Stadium, not for any honorific reason, but because I wear Orioles orange and may not survive the experience.
  5. See an All-Star Game live - preferably before the Yankee Stadium visit.
  6. Follow Pop’s Normandy trail - planning stages. Next year is the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Hub’s father came ashore at Utah Beach and then moved through the Ardennes with the Battle of the Bulge. I want to start this as close to June 6, 2014, as possible and drive through the country-side, just like he did as an Army medic.
  7. See as many theatrical productions as possible - started. Got my subscription to the Broadway Across America series at the Hippodrome Theater. Plans include dinner theaters too, along with a few school productions.
  8. Drive across country at least once. I can and probably will do this by myself. Ok with me, since I can use my own timetable.
  9. Drive the PCH and the ECH. That’s the Pacific Coast Highway and the East Coast Highway, or scenic waterway. My goal here is to get off the interstate and see things like Dead Man’s Curve. Plan to wear out my little Canon camera!
  10. Go to Rome, Germany, the Holy Land, and back to Japan. I’ve never been to Europe or the Middle East, and I want to see if I can still find my way around Tokyo all these years later. We left just as I was getting good at reading the Japanese Kana script.
  11. Watch a live TV show as an audience member, and/or watch a live film or TV shoot - better than possible. I live near DC and lots of political dramas need the local area as a back drop. “House of Cards” is shot in Baltimore - again, nearby. I’m a quick train trip to New York and Jimmy Fallon and David Letterman. This may be a sooner-rather-than-later item.
  12. Become a regular at Spring Training - planning stages. I’m still waiting for MLB to pull the spring practice schedules together.

Hey, I’ve only listed a dozen things here. There’s more on the list and I will not say if any of them include being naked. But the list is in constant flux - which is good! And it’s not a “bucket list”, really.

We teachers call them Performance Objectives. And these objectives will be met by at least one crazy person - me!

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