Week 46: Speeding Across the Bay

We zig zag across San Diego Bay, faster and faster and BOOM, our speedboat catches air and as we bump like a pogo stick back down on the surface, salty sea water splashes my face. When you feel a need for speed, there’s nothing better than racing past the sailboats and ferry boats on a typical beautiful morning in San Diego. I finally traversed the scenic San Diego Bay, after living here all these years.

 

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Going on some sort of vessel on San Diego Bay was on my 50 Weeks to 50 list, I wasn’t sure what kind, but you know I get inspiration from all types of discount platforms and this time it was from Travelzoo. Basically half price to captain your own speed boat while on a guided tour along the perimeter of the bay, sounds like a fun bargain to me. Made a reservation quite easily, and before you know it, life vests are on.

 speedjem

Prior to getting in the boat, our tour guide (for the life of me, I can’t remember his name) gave us a rundown of the boating rules, how to drive it since there are no gas or brake pedals, and adjust our steering since the boat steers from the rear. Also, it was very important to know that the rule is “sail over steam” — sailboats have the right of way since it’s much harder to redirect using sails. He talked about the wake zone, riding on the plane, and when starting to go full throttle be prepared to not see anything for a few seconds since the nose of the boat will go up before you. Then there were the cautions about getting too close to sea lions, don’t ride if you have a bad back, and making sure the harbor police don’t shoot you. Is this safe?

 

The instructions would make anyone leary about participating. But it didn’t matter much to me, Richard was driving the boat, so all I was concerned about was that I probably shouldn’t take pictures while going full speed because if I would loose my phone, there’s no way I would recapture it — unless those trained dolphins know how to locate them. Wait, Richard you were listening right? Oh, I guess he drove a speedboat before in his teens, no problem.

 

Let’s get this show on the road, or on the bay, baby!

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speed3  speed1

The tour group consists of five boats with two passengers each, plus the guide’s boat (what is his name, this is really going to bother me). The guide is able to communicate with all the other boats. We steadily climb into our small 13’ speedboats, left foot first as instructed, safety cord attached to each driver (in case the driver is thrown out of the boat, the boat will turn off, good to know), engines on, and one by one we idle past all the docked boats into the exit channel. Baby ducks following the momma duck.

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 speedkeepout2

At the end of the channel we see the San Salvador replica build site at Spanish Landing, then we turn a corner and our guide points out the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program training facility — basically dolphins are trained to protect the harbor, recover equipment, and detect mines. I was hoping for a dolphin sighting, but as usual I missed it. We’re still at a slow pace, bobbling out of the no wake zone…here we go, first the guide goes out at full speed ahead, then the two boats in front of us, now us…Richard goes full throttle…woohoo!

  

This..is…FUN!!!

 

I’m so glad Richard was captaining the boat, because I would have tried to concentrate too much on proper steering and direction. As a passenger, I could squeal like a little girl going on my first roller coaster ride. It was thrilling. I have been on larger tour boats when on vacations, but this mini speedboat with us sitting low on the water, what an adventure! We first venture safely in the plane, then more daringly zig zag across waves, you can’t help but enjoy the moment.

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Okay, this is a guided tour, so we make periodic stops along the bay’s edges:

  • Point Loma area where the bait barges become resting spots for sea lions and sea gulls, one baby pup looked injured, so sad. We did see a pod of dolphins on the way.
  • Midway Museum which towers above as we slowly glide underneath its decks.
  • The Maritime Museum ships such as the Star of India (getting ready for the Haunted Tales), the HMS Surprise, and the Soviet B-39 Submarine (you can see the rotted rear from our view).

 speedmidway2  speedmidway

speedstatue

speedstarofindia  speedmaritime  speedsub

Being from San Diego and seeing plenty of sea lions and visiting the museums many times as a field trip chaperone, can we just keep riding? We do spend most of the time enjoying the waters, especially a long stretch from the opening of the bay below Fort Rosecrans towards the Coronado Bridge. Speeding along like that, it really was a blast. I loved it when we made air, and held tight for the bumpy return. It brought a smile to my face, plus a salty complexion.

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What joy. I waved to those on slower sail boats, tourists on ferry boats, and those watching on dry land. I’m smiling, but thinking yes you folks should be envious of us, you are missing out, this is an “E” ticket ride. Being able to freely enjoy and captain your own boat, what a fantastic idea. I love being a tourist in my home town. Now, we’re starting to wonder, how much do one of these little babies cost; they can fit in my garage right?

speeddt 

One last speedy zig zag along Harbor Island. Thank goodness Richard was driving, because the angle of that turn, if I was driving we surely would have crashed into the rock wall. Is he trying to recreate some James Bond flick, that Brit of mine? But it sure was fun. And I will consider myself his Bond girl.

 speedrich

***

San Diego Speed Boat Adventures, Inc., Cabrillo Isle Marina, 1450 Harbor Island Drive, Suite 205, San Diego, CA 92101, 619-294-5852. www.speedboatadventures.com  – I didn’t take any photos of us driving at full speed, since I was worried that I would lose my phone, so watch the video on the website. Whatever our guide’s name was, he was excellent.

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Week 45: RiSE Up

“Because every dream needs a voice.”

 

We look up into the cool dark desert sky and one by one the lanterns rise up and form a magical blanket covering us with all our hopes, wishes, and dreams. We are mesmerized. We lay down on the ground unable to remove our gaze from the lantern lit evening skies. So peaceful, so spiritual, so enchanting. Are we dreaming?

 rise4

“RiSE is a traditional lantern festival that brings people together,

so they can rise a little higher.”

 

I can’t remember how I found out about the first RiSE Lantern Festival, but whatever drove me to notice it, I am thankful it did, because as my attitude is in most events in my life, there was a reason for it. We were meant to be there, all of us — me and Richard, my sisters Roselma and Liza, David and his daughter Samantha. RiSE will always be etched in our memories as an event that brought us together for a time of reflection and inspiration.

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“RiSE elevates hope, ignites dreams,

and creates memories you will never forget.”

 

We started the weekend like a typical weekend road trip to Vegas, last minute packing with breakfast on the go. Texting my sisters that we were on our way, since they were leaving from Anaheim. About six hours later (yes, it took long, we made a couple bathroom and Starbucks breaks, including stopping at one off ramp that felt like we were in the Twilight Zone), we hurriedly park at the Rio, wait in a long line to check-in, and quickly change — since we took our sweet time, we were now rushing to get to the festival shuttles. Conveniently, my sisters’ room was right down the hall from ours, so we meet up and get our booties out to the convention center parking area. Whoa, there are lots of people here already waiting to board. I had heard there would be about 10,000 people participating, and probably half was here at the Rio while the other half was catching shuttles from the Gold Strike Casino, which was closer to the event.

 riserioline

It didn’t take too long before we were on board one of the buses, back on the freeway towards the Jean Dry Lakebed. You can tell just from that bus ride that it was a calm crowd, all here trying to seek something…something evolving from their own personal experiences. It was nice to see children too, including our own Samantha. My own boys were home for the Homecoming Dance, but I was now wishing this was happening when they were younger, when it was easier to drag them places.

 

Soon we exit towards Jean Lake and see the large number of shuttle buses dropping off the swarms of festival goers. Since there was a backlog, buses were letting people off in all sections of the desert road and we looked like tributaries all converging into a central river. It was not an easy path where we were let off, highs and lows, bumps and bruises, soft and hard earth. Much like our paths in life, it is never as smooth as we think it should be, but eventually you get there. We, along with everyone else, were on our own pilgrimage towards what? Enlightenment, spirituality, peace, love.

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The walk towards whatever we were searching for was a long one. Lots of time to reflect and take in the moment and the serenity of the desert. The colorful hues of reds and oranges were captivating, which eventually melded into the deep blues of the night.

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We were welcomed by large white letters that spelled RiSE. There were apparently lots of candles leading the way, but since we arrived with a later crowd, they were all taken away or blown out. We reach the entrance and edge of the festival circle, look at the map and find the center aisle towards our section on the other side. We pass many others who arrived earlier and claimed their spot. We locate the 1A sign and look around for a couple areas for our group of six. At first it reminds me of an old drive-in movie theatre, since the rows of unlit torches look like the drive-in speaker posts.

risewelcome  risemap

Each of us is provided a yoga mat and two lanterns, so we lay out our mats to form a close grouping and plop down our bags and our weary bodies. And we were all hungry so off to the food tents to collect our pre-ordered meals. Those were a breeze to pick up, but you couldn’t pre-order alcohol and snacks, including huge chocolate chip cookies, so we wait in those lines too. While waiting we learn that people have come from many different areas, primarily greater Los Angeles, but some as far away as DC. Everyone is so friendly and calm. We make way back along the maze of yoga mats and lanterns to find our our group, and leisurely eat our meals, which were very delicious by the way. Of course I selected the surf and turf meal — shrimp and steak with orzo, oh there was some salad in there too.

 risesisters  risemeal

Sitting there underneath the night sky, eating and drinking, music playing by Joshua James, thinking about what messages we wanted on our lanterns — I would think it may have been how Woodstock felt, I mean without the sex and drugs. This is a family event.

 riseband

Time to think about what to write on my lanterns. We each have two, and the lanterns are much bigger than what I expected, so there’s lots of writing space…and I love to write. Okay, down to business. Why am I here? What message, hope, dream, or resolution am I feeling? Who do I want my thoughts to focus on? Do I write about my family, my career, my future, my lovelife? There is so much, I can write a book. Hmm, we try and concentrate on our lanterns. We’ve had over a month to think about this festival and our messages, but life is always evolving and what you may have been thinking about a month ago may not be what feels right, right now.

riserichard

“Hope Always Rises”

 

The time has come. Everyone is asked to light their torches, and the desert glows in unison. From that moment on, you could feel the electricity in the air. You knew something special was about to happen. Now everyone is asked to light one lantern and wait a few minutes for them all to fill up with hot air, which takes at least two people to hold onto each lantern, meaning about 5,000 lanterns to rise at once. The anticipation is too much for a handful of people as you see a few lanterns prematurely released. Hold on people, we’re almost ready, and yes, now — let go of your lanterns. WOW.

 

Words cannot describe the moment, yet there are so many that capture your feelings. Magical. Spiritual. Peaceful. Enchanting. Amazing. Emotional. Exhilarating. Joyful. Inspiring. Many words can be bantered about to describe the beauty of the simple act of letting go of the lanterns, and watching them rise against the black night. The glow of the lanterns gives you hope amid dark times.

 

We lay down on our mats to look upward towards all the rising lanterns. We are witness to something special. To see all the people gathered this night releasing their messages truly was a magical moment. Strangers who have come together to experience a special connection. I don’t want to stop watching the rising lanterns. This moment will forever be etched in my memory and my heart. I think everyone there feels the same way.

 rise5  rise3  rise1  rise2  

“Together We Rise”

 

There are more lanterns to write on. More messages to give, more dreams to live, more resolutions to create, more memories to make. The experience was poetry for our souls. We are inspired again to continue writing on our lanterns and watch them rise to the heavens above. You can feel it in the air, the exhilaration of that first wave of lanterns continues for the next hour.

 

Groups let off lanterns together, couples rekindle their love for each other, family members remember those they have lost. The lanterns mean so many different emotions for so many people, yet only together could we have created something so extraordinary. Our group does the same. My sisters Roselma, Liza and I send off a lantern. Richard and I. Liza and David. David and Samantha. And our whole group in unison.

 

Once we were done, we wished we had more lanterns. And wishes come true. A group next to us heard we were here for part of my 50th birthday celebration and gave me another lantern. No matter what you think, there is good in everyone. My last lantern was dedicated to my 50 Weeks to 50 journey. As I watch it float skyward, I can’t help but be thankful for the wonderful year I have had. The varied experiences with so many many people; that lantern brings a soft smile to my face, and warmth within. The lanterns have become a symbol of our lives.

 

I didn’t want to walk away. I would have loved to have spent the night underneath repeating images of the rising lanterns. I know I will RiSE again.

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risejemnrich

riselizndave

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The first RiSE Lantern Festival meant many things to many people, and we all felt very lucky to have experienced it. I want to relive the moment over and over again. I do so by checking the RiSE Lantern Festival Facebook and Instagram pages to read about other stories and watch their videos. There were a number of marriage proposals, dedications to those who passed away, and celebrations of a free spirited life. So much gained from such majestic simplicity.

 

You have got to wonder…in our lives we strive to collect so much stuff, which I am guilty of as anyone else. But think about the many simple earthly wonders that make us happy. The colorful beauty of sunsets, the soft rustling of leaves in a forest, the powerful crash of ocean waves, the glow of lanterns drifting away. That’s the memorable stuff I want to collect. Accepting simplicity brings you peace.

 

“RiSE Festival is a celebration of the life, joys, dreams, hopes, and blessing of each participant. Those are all unique, but something we all share is a love for the planet.”

 risefireworks2  risefireworks

A week later, I still am left feeling that trying to describe the RiSE festival in words doesn’t relay the experience fully. You really need to experience it for yourself. Many of you have expressed the desire to attend the next one, and I assure you we will plan one big gathering. We may need a bus for our own group. Go to www.risefestival.com, follow them on Facebook and Instagram, and read about the many stories. They will inspire you today.

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(Note: There was a big snafu with 10,000 people trying to load buses at one time, but it was the first RiSE event and I’m sure it will get fixed for next year. Richard and I stepped back from the negativity, sat on our yoga mats, and shared chocolate chip cookies. One girl thought we looked so serene against the madness she wanted to video us kissing, so we obliged. That’s not going to be sold later is it?)

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I crave the magical experience we had, and for me, I think it will be a new travel opportunity — lantern festivals around the world. First on the itinerary…Bali is calling me.

 rise50weeks

*Quotes are taken from the RiSE website and printed materials.

Week 44: Color My Day

Okay, I’m going to cheat a little on this blog. I’m going to write about something that I have actually done before. I know, I know, I did set up my own rules for my 50 Weeks to 50 blog…I’m only supposed to blog about doing things I have never done before. And yes indeed I did the Color Run last year for the first time with some friends, and this year we did it again with a few more friends. But it was a lot of fun, and well, I’m a little behind with my blogging, so it’s my blog and I can break the rules if I want to.

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I-15 WTF!!! Why is there so much traffic, why did we go this way, are there really this many people doing the Color Run, will there be any color dust left, and is it okay to pee on the side of the freeway? These were the questions running through my head and spoken in the car as we were stuck on the 15 freeway southbound trying to exit for Qualcomm Stadium, aka the Q. We met early enough — 6:30 am in front of our local Starbucks — but maybe we spent too much time chatting with each other and to friends who we saw that were getting up way too early on a Saturday morning and to get their cup of Joe.

 

Regardless, by the time we got close to the event, the freeway was a parking lot. The last time I hit that kind of freeway parking lot, was in 1992 when the Rodney King verdict was announced and Los Angeles rioted. We had decided to get in the parking lot on the 405 freeway south and slowly escape to San Diego. Soon thereafter we moved permanently to San Diego, and here I still am.

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We spent approximately one hour trying to get into the Q. While waiting in the freeway parking lot, we were reading Facebook posts of others already there and starting the race. Are you kidding me? I swear they are going to run out of color. Oh, and yes I was trying to hold my pee and not drink my Starbucks hot chocolate. In the meantime, cars really don’t understand the traffic etiquette of letting in one car in at a time, and no if you are going to stop in the middle of the freeway to sneak in, we are not letting you! Sheesh people. Can you say road rage?

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Finally, once we get in, sweet Gigi parks right next to a port-a-potty. That is a true friend! In our car was me, Gigi, Lynn and Maria. The other car held Michele, Marie, Karen and her foreign exchange student house guest Taki. Now came the texting part of where the heck are you in this crowd of 10,000 soon to be colorful people. Thankfully we found each other, and decided to take our time, look at the store products and register wristbands. We were in no hurry. The Color Run lets participants go in waves, and heck, it took forever to get in, so we are taking our time. This is supposed to be a stress-free morning dang it!

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BLUE We head on over to the start line where a large group is still waiting. Every few minutes a group is allowed to begin their run or walk. Our whole group will be walking. In the meantime, we get pumped up by dancing to the music, waving our hands in the air, shaking our booties — wait, or was that just me? Anyway, we wake up and get excited for our color walk.

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We get closer and closer to the front, take a number of photos (we take photos all morning long), and before you know it, we are released! Woohoo, blue dust here we come! Blue is my favorite color, it’s a very calming color and I’m trying to relax after the traffic stressed morning.

colorrunalcatel  colorrunmomchild

During the blue leg of the course, we spend time chatting and catching up on what’s been going on in each other’s lives. I will say that having sons makes for a whole different life than having daughters, and then those that have both, what a combo. Okay, here comes the blue arch and dusters…we cover our noses and mouths with our bandanas so as not to inhale. As we slowly walk by the dust thrower volunteers, we make sure to get blue all over us, front and back, head to toe. Whoa, first color done, we laugh at ourselves, what a sight to see! One guy looks like he’s a performer from the Blue Man Group. Four more colors to go.

colorrunblue  colorrunblueman

YELLOW I like walking with friends. You really get closer I believe, since you give each other your undivided attention. Plus I would probably trip and break an ankle if I was on my phone while talking to friends, which would serve me right. Now we are discussing jobs, retirement, travel, oh and we talk about sex too. Yes men, women talk about sex, probably more than you men. Us women like to research all topics, and well, you know at this age, things change and we need to discuss. Anyway, we had such interesting discussions that before you know it we’re almost at the yellow arch. Same routine, bandanas up, expose both sides of the body to the yellow dust. Take pictures. I just got a new phone and I’m getting dust all over it. At least mellow yellow doesn’t show up as much, so onward to pink!

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   colorrunyellow

 

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PINK Ahh, pink. October is the month to wear pink in honor of breast cancer awareness, so yay for pink! Although I don’t consider myself a pink person, I am ready to get lots of pink on me. But the sun has decided to come out, and it’s getting a little hot. I am ready for the water station, since silly me forgot to grab a water bottle thinking there would be plenty along the way. By the time we get to one, it looks like they are starting to run out. Great we’re only half way through and I’m thinking that I will die of thirst. Not really, but I could have sworn there were more water stations last year, which is why I didn’t bring my own water. As I get older I try and reduce the amount of “stuff” I carry around with me, but I guess it’s still best to be prepared. Anyway, we are a group and my group makes sure everyone has water by grabbing additional cups. Extras we give to other participants who look like they need water. Everybody looks out for everyone, that’s what you call humanity.

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Pink is a popular color and we all try and get pinked up. In the front and in the back, in our hair, just everywhere! The little girls especially love it too. As the residual pink powder begins to form thick layers on the asphalt, we see the lively youth lay on the ground and make pink angels. To be young again…is in your heart. Darn, I should have made a pink angel.

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PURPLE Walking with friends, makes the time go by quickly, and we’re heading to the purple zone. By this time we start talking about kids and college. Some of us already have kids out of college, some in college, some applying to college, and some whose kids are too young to think about college. I love having friends that can share the experiences they’ve had with their older kids to help you guide your younger kids. You can learn a lot by walking with friends, and that is not an app.

colorrunpurple2  colorrunpurple

We talk about how the whole applying to and going to college seems so much more stressful than back in our day. As a parent you wish to be able to take that stress away from them. Okay purple, lay it on. Purple is the feminist’s color so lay it on thick baby. It’s also a color for royalty… did I tell you we were wearing tiaras? I just happen to keep one handy for such occasions.

colorrunteddy  colorrunmariaunicorn

GREEN Down to the final stretch. Our feet were getting tired, the sun felt hotter, and I was getting hungry. Our talk begins to revolve around more immediate plans. What are we doing today, the weekend, this week. We realize that eventually our little adventures end and it’s back to the day-to-day business of life — kids, home, work, grocery shopping, loads and loads of laundry. There are times when I wish I was Jeannie, so I can cross my arms and blink. Knowing we had to go back home soon made this leg of the walk seem so much longer. And like most things you don’t want to deal with, it eventually creeps up on you. Well, I do have some fun plans for the weekend…I wonder if I can get an hour nap in before I have to get going again…

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CONFETTI I don’t even remember the green dust getting on me, because right at the finish line confetti was also being thrown about. Wait, I need to take pictures, darn I’m getting my phone so dirty – can my phone take a picture of my phone? Oh well, we try to all gather at the finish line for more photo opps, there are many staged areas for photos. We try our hand at the powder filled drums; the inside of my nose must look interesting. We also make sure to grab the typical giveaways of drinks and power bars. The music is still going and more color dust is being thrown around, what a fun morning, I don’t really want it to end. The music suddenly stops declaring the official stop time, but the dancing stays within my heart.

colorrundrums  colorrunmariagigi  colorrunkaleidescope  colorrunend

WASH I walk into my house and daintily try to hop into the shower without leaving a trail of color dust on the carpet. Ahh, the hot water feels good, and I look down towards the shower drain to witness see the colors of the rainbow down the drain. I wished I had a camera in the shower, it was lovely how all the colors of the rainbow mix together to form a beautiful pattern, just like all our cultures. Hmm, the Color Run may be over, but I will always want a colorful life.

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***

The Color Run, www.thecolorrun.com. The Color Run in San Diego may be over, but it will be back again next year. If you can’t wait until then, there are many Color Runs throughout the U.S., as well as many other countries. It can become some sort of travel to do list!

 

Week 43: Where There’s A Will

Death is not a subject we like to talk or think about. So it is natural to delay thinking about writing wills. I have never written a will for myself, so writing one was actually on my 50 Weeks to 50 list. I should have done it long ago, when my kids were born, but neither I nor Brian ever felt a desire to do so, probably thinking, oh well, the other will still be around. But then something happens, and you realize…I guess it’s time to write a will.

 

My good friend Sharon’s dad, Tom Ferrier, recently passed away. He was truly an all-around great person. He, like many grandparents in the UC area, along with his wife GeeGee, was a constant spectator at his grandchildren’s sporting events. That’s how we got to know him, since our sons and Sharon’s sons were always playing sports together. He was very supportive of his family, and ours too, and told me that he enjoyed reading my blog. Therefore, this post is in his honor. Tom, since you always had everything in order, it’s time for me to get my sh… um, paperwork together.

 

Again, not that I’m anticipating anything soon (which is why I don’t call this blog a Bucket List), but it’s best to be proactive and practice preventative measures.

 

Now, what does one put in a will? Of course, there are the obvious details of who receives your assets (if any)? Since I’ve procrastinated, my kids are almost legally adults, but if they were much younger — who would raise them, especially if for some horrible reason, both parents passed? How do you make sure their lives remain stable, and that they are raised in a manner which you would approve? Relatives, friends? And who handles their finances? Again, relatives, friends, banks?

 

What about all your personal stuff? Do you designate who gets each photo or piece of heirloom china, or make it a free for all? Do I want things sold in an estate sale, or divided up amongst friends and family? A family I know had their adult kids label all the things they wanted when the parents passed, I thought that was a little morbid.

 

Then there’s thinking about whether to have Living Trusts, Do Not Resuscitate Orders, where to store all these important papers for your family to find, and what to do with all your social media accounts? Now, it may sound like a trivial thing to spend time on, but seriously, what do you want done with your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram? Or if you are a blogger like me, what do you do with your blog website? Do you want everything to continue as some sort of post mortem memorial? Or taken down instantly?

 

Plus you need to leave login info and passwords. It’s really quite a bit of work, because in preparing this info for my own will — I needed to go into each account and login to make sure I had the correct info. Then if you change passwords, you’ll need to update your Social Media Will attachment. It’s something that you need to continually update and revise. Because the way technology is, there’s probably a new social media platform that will be the next big thing before you even finish writing down all that info. I bet there’s an app you can download on your phone to make it easier, but make sure to leave the password for your phone.

 

In my business of valuing intellectual property rights, many projects for which we are hired include valuations of post mortem rights of publicity. Now, of course, these are usually for well known celebrities, artists or musicians, but who knows, what if my blog becomes a famous written material, what would my works be worth after death? Some famous people are worth more dead than when they were alive. Sad, but true. Their heirs benefit (depending where they lived or died – state laws prevail).

 

I didn’t intend for this blog to be about business, but you do have to think about what you want done with all your “stuff” when your physical body dies. Again, you can have the attitude of to hell with all my heirs, they can duke it out amongst themselves; or I would like to make the transition as painless as possible. I went for the middle road.

 

I’m not going to divulge what’s in my current version, but realize that as time goes on, you will most likely need to revise your will or make additions, known as codicils. Maybe I should go into the practice of writing wills for people.

 

Finally, you need to think about the celebration…you know, the celebration of your life. Well, I consider it a celebration. What kind of party should it be? Quick and casual, or prolonged and fancy, or somewhere in between. And do you want to be buried six feet under, burned into ashes, or frozen til they find a cure for whatever took you away. Once again, you can decide to leave no instructions about post death events and leave it up to your heirs to argue about.

 

I still haven’t written those instructions down myself. I will probably name a committee…I try to be inclusive at times…probably the same folks planning my birthday party. Food. Drink. Decor. Invites. Music. Equipment. Like a dream wedding, do you have thoughts about the perfect funeral and reception? Maybe I’ll have a destination funeral. I love to travel, so why not travel in death as you do in life? Can you have a pop-up funeral?

 

Ehh, F it, I’ve done enough event planning in life, death is time to rest.

***

We will miss you Tom. As your son-in-law Joe said, you are a renaissance man in the true sense of the term. Your family put together a wonderful tribute and gathering in your honor, I’m sure you’re very proud of them and the legacy you left.

***

The best gift you can leave your heirs is your legacy. Now is the time to decide what your legacy will be. Make it one from your heart, and one that will make a difference. Love you all.

***

Resources: The State Bar of California offers a simple will that you can pretty much fill in the blanks. It will at least give you a general direction. http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/SimpleWill.aspx. AARP has a number of articles and resources on writing wills, including a Social Media Will template. www.aarp.org

Week 42: This Ain’t My First Rodeo…Well, Actually It Is

We visited a Pow Wow (see week 38), so it makes sense to visit a rodeo too, right? My original plan was to experience Wasteland Weekend in the Mojave Desert, but those plans had to be put aside. So instead I was looking for something local, and the Poway Rodeo was going on. Perfect, I had never been to a rodeo, so this will be my first one.

rodeolines  rodeocrowd

Well, I didn’t realize how many people go to a rodeo…I guess it was a Saturday night in Poway, what else are you going to do? And since it wasn’t that far from Richard’s place, we thought we had plenty of time to get there. Well, we were mistaken. First off we hit long lines to park the car, then more long lines to buy tickets. Being a somewhat spur of the moment activity, we didn’t get tickets online, plus only general admission were available. I don’t know if there was a maximum capacity for the rodeo, because it felt like they exceeded it. Ushers kept telling people to move down on the hard wooden stadium seats towards the center to fit in more people, we eventually got squished into a couple spots close to the aisle. Packed like sardines, we try and enjoy the show, realizing there’s no way we’re going to get up from these seats until it was over.

rodeoflag

Since we are somewhat comparing the event to the Pow Wow, it really was more like a show rather than an experience. They have female riders ride by with their horses carrying the sponsor flags, which happens every now and then throughout the night. Reminded me of the girls at boxing matches that walk around the ring announcing the next round, but at least the rodeo women were covered up properly.

rodeoteam  rodeoroping

The show continues in a very orderly fashion, and I will say the events happen so quick, I apologize for my lack of clear pictures. The tie-down roping guys get down to business, and as you can imagine, the riders throw a rope around the calf’s neck, jump off their horses and tie down the calf’s feet. The same goes for steer wrestling, where the rider drops down from his horse and wrestles the animal to the ground with his bare hands. The team roping event lasts a little longer with one rider roping around the horns of a steer, while the other rider tries to rope around the back legs — the goal is to get both legs, which seems really difficult.

rodeobullrider2  rodeohorse  rodeohorse2  rodeoriderswait

Watching the bareback riding, the saddle bronc riding, and the bull riding gave me mixed feelings. While you can appreciate the riders skill in staying on the bucking animals, I felt it somewhat sad for the animals to have that flank strap attached to them to help encourage the bucking. Apparently, they do not constrict the animals testicles, but close enough it seems that it’s unnaturally irritating. You men can relate, right? And you know those bulls really don’t like it, because there were only four riders competing. Why? Apparently, it has not been a very healthy season for bull riders.

rodeoshow

Every now and then you get the cheesy rodeo clown doing his act, including the invisible flea making the climb up the ladder and dropping into a bucket of water resulting in a big splash..

rodeodrill  rodeobarrelrider

I did enjoy the female horse drill team, riding around and creating different formations. I also liked the primarily female adult and junior barrel races (there was one male teen in the junior races). In the barrel races, there are three barrels spread apart in the ring and the rider starts at one end, rides around all three barrels and speeds back. It’s all based on speed and time is added if a barrel is knocked over. Exciting and to the point.

rodeomuttongrp  rodeomutton

Now the mutton bustin races. Well, these races kind of come off as cute, but I have so-so feelings on this one. Here kids, as young as three, ride sheep and hold on for dear life as long as they can. The sheep tend to run as quickly as they could out of the chute, with most of the kids falling off quite quickly. There was only one sheep that took it’s with the young rider fully embracing the animal. They do wear helmets, and lots of people are nearby. But I don’t know…I guess it’s supposed to promote the bronco riding type of sport for the future, and supposedly many of them continue on. I guess it’s what you are exposed to as a kid. My sons were exposed to baseball, so they play baseball. If you’re exposed to mutton bustin, you become a bull rider?

rodeovendors

The best part of the night…the New Zealand meat and cheese pie! Sorry there’s no photo, we ate it too quickly. Flaky crust, meaty meat, and melted cheesiness; warm and tasty down my throat. Yummy.

 rodeopano

We decided not to stay for the free Rodeo Dance, and instead waited with the herds to slowly get out, and just as slowly drive out. That’s what cowboys do, drive out the herds.

rodeorichard

In comparison, Richard and I both liked the authenticity of the pow wow, whereas the rodeo felt too much like a staged show. Oh, I forgot to mention, I really didn’t like the announcer having the crowd yell out “yee haw” when he mentions “cowboys”, and when he says “native americans”, the crowd is supposed to go “woo woo, woo woo” while moving your hands back and forth in front of your mouth — you know the sound like, when Tommy Boy says “Luke I am your father” in front of the fan. It just didn’t sit right with me, especially in this day and age. Am I getting sensitive in my old age? I think I would have much rather visited a dude ranch type of place and get my hands dirty…

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Poway Rodeo, www.powayrodeo.com, $19 general admission, to $60 for Silver Buckle seating with food. Next year’s date is not yet posted.