By Maria Schulz
According to the Mayan calendar, the world is going to end in approximately 3 months, on December 21, 2012. This is a real bummer because, knowing me, I will have just finished buying all of my Christmas presents and maybe even wrapped them. But on the bright side, I won’t have to pay any of the bills.
If they did predict this (and it’s not just some mistaken translation), what I want to know is: how come the Mayans saw the end of life as we know it hundreds of years in advance, but didn’t see the European invasion and extermination of their own people in their immediate future?
Whatever the case may be, just in case time is running out, I figure I’d better get to writing my bucket list and maybe even acting on it. Of course, my list is not going to be about climbing Mount Everest (I don’t WANT to die), or jumping out of an airplane with a parachute (again, see not wanting to die, above). My plans are a creative interpretation of the phrase “Bucket List.” So here goes.
My Top Twelve Bucket List Items
1. I would like to hire a personal chef. I think I can swing the payments for 3 months. They must be classically trained from some fancy pants place in France or even upstate New York. I’m not really fussy. Maybe they can also make White Castle Runs for me when I get tired of eating all those French dishes whose names I can’t pronounce.
After I get tired of French food, I will hire myself a classically trained Italian chef. By that I mean a little woman who is about 80, stands around 4 feet tall, and looks like my grandmother. She knows how to can tomatoes (which will come from her yard; I didn’t plant any) and make spaghetti sauce from fresh ingredients. She will also bring me figs from her tree. I can probably keep her and the French chef, since the little old lady may be related to me, won’t accept a penny, and will finally teach me how to make manicotti from scratch.
2. Hire a personal trainer. Yes, I know this sounds counter-intuitive since we will all be dying. But on the slight chance that I survive the coming Armageddon, I want to finally be able to run more than 5 feet.
Those 98 pound models who are 12 feet tall won’t last a week trying to run away from their fellow predators on those high heel shoes they wear. I, on the other hand, will be able to last awhile thanks to my increased VO2 output, running sneakers and extra padding.
3. Start my own talk show. Since I won’t have much money left due to the personal chef and personal trainer salaries, my production values may be minimal. Think “Wayne’s World” as opposed to “Oprah.”
My guests will be local folks who I think will generate big ratings. I’m going to see if Sister Felicity is free. I know at least 100 people who would like to ask her a few pointed questions. I will wear body armor and pat her down for yardsticks prior to the show.
I won’t have a live audience but I may enlist my kids to use their “audience sounds remote” toy from when they watched iCarly. When I ask “do you really think it was right to put a child upside down in the garbage pail because he threw away the donut you gave him?” I definitely want a chorus of boos to rain down on her, no matter what her response may be.
I guarantee a ratings sweep that week, even if Katie Couric does have that 50 Shades of Grey author on her new talk show.
4. I’m going to bring lots of great reading with me. Since my Kindle won’t help me then, I need to have actual books. I plan on taking Arrowsmith, Pride & Prejudice, Pride, Prejudice & Zombies, and maybe the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. I think I’ll even read a few books that have been sitting on my shelf for years but I just never got to. That Keith Moon memoir, Life, leaps to mind.
Yes, of course water, food and flashlights will be important, but I don’t want to end up like Burgess Meredith on The Twilight Zone.
Remember him? The world ended due to an atomic bomb, but he was spared because he was underground in the library reading. He was delighted to have all the time in the world to read, so what happens? He trips and breaks his only pair of glasses. As my daughter would say, “burn.”
5. In that vein, I plan to bring lots of writing implements with me. I will finally have the time to complete my book, and it will be a guaranteed best seller. Of course that’s because I will be the only person alive, but that one copy sold will send it right to the top of the Best Seller list. I just have to remember to bring money. Oh yeah, and an extra pair of glasses.
6. I’m going to brush up on my “how to survive under impossible odds” movies to get some tips. I will watch The Terminator again so I can see how Sarah Connor goes from timid, doughy nincompoop to brazen, buff brainiac who gives that robot assassin “what for.”
Likewise, I’m going to finally watch “Cape Fear” so I can get a better idea of how a predator’s mind works. I tried to watch it about 22 years ago with my best friend Lisa. But somewhere around the time when Robert De Niro’s character starts beating up his gal pal, I passed right out.
I’m told that just as I went down, Lisa’s husband called.
“Maria passed out!” Lisa yelled into the phone.
“Give her some smelling salts!” Craig said. “Get her something to drink when she wakes up!”
Lisa hung up the phone and when I came to, she handed me a milk shake.
Now that’s my kind of medical intervention.
7. I would like to get a conference room full of people from my past, and tell them what I really think of them. Think “Liar, Liar” and Jim Carrey, and you kind of have an idea of what I’m talking about.
It won’t matter if I burn all my bridges down, because come December 22, there won’t be any bridges left. Of course, if the Mayans were wrong, there will be a room full of ex-friends, ex-co-workers and ex-teachers that will no longer think fondly of me.
Still, it’s a chance I’m willing to take.
8. I’m going to run through my house cutting off all those tags that say: “WARNING: IT IS UNLAWFUL TO CUT THIS TAG OFF.”
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized the tag also says, UNLESS BY CONSUMER. I thought it really was against the law, so all of my pillows had tags on them.
Perhaps you don’t think this item is worthy of a bucket list, but I have a lot of pillows…and those tags are scratchy.
9. I am going to team up with my friend and constant commenter, Suzanne, to create a trail blazing sitcom. It will be like Freaks and Geeks meets Square Pegs. Remember those two shows?
Freaks and Geeks was this hilarious show about teens that went to high school in 1980. Some of the kids are burnouts and losers (Freaks) and some of the kids are dorks who wear bad clothes and have rubber bands on their eyeglasses (Geeks). There’s a really cool soundtrack to the show and all of the characters dress like I did (lots of flannel shirts over black tee-shirts and jeans) and get into stupid scrapes like I did (although I never got shoved into a locker; our lockers weren’t big enough).
Square Pegs was this funny, edgy show about teenage girls who were trying hard to fit into their new school. One of the girls was a very young Sarah Jessica Parker. Remarkably, she was uncool and had no idea how to fit in with the popular kids. Her best friend, Lauren, was overweight and wore braces, but her greatest desire was to be accepted by the popular crowd.
Of course that never happened, because they are both Square Pegs. Their theme song was played by The Waitresses, who even appeared on their Christmas special and sang “Christmas Wrapping” while posing as a band at their Christmas dance.
I especially loved Jamie Gertz as Muffy Tupperman, the eternal organizer who is so square and oblivious that she doesn’t realize she will never be popular. She cracked me up! I must’ve been the only one laughing, because the show lasted for just 1 year. Despite the cool music, funny plotlines and big guest appearances (Bill Murray, Devo, and the original dad from Leave it to Beaver), the show never took off.
Fortunately, I have a plan to make the high school angst plotline really last this time. I’m thinking of changing it to a GED program. That way the characters can grow older and older but it won’t matter.
Have you ever watched GLEE? How the heck am I supposed to believe that those “kids” are in the 10th grade? Some of them look like they’ll be collecting Social Security checks soon.
I might even cast some of the local kids in the major parts. And yes, Dad, you can play the drama teacher in our fictional high school.
I’ll make sure to get my cast booked on a local talk show to create buzz. See #3, above.
10. I want to be a member of the Paparazzi. No, I don’t want to hound someone to death the way the press ran after Princess Diana. But I would like to have a microphone and run up to certain celebrities and ask tough questions. For instance:
Me: KRISTIN! KRISTIN! HOW COULD YOU CHEAT ON ROBERT PATTINSON LIKE THAT? AND AFTER HE SAVED YOUR LIFE AND MADE YOU A VAMPIRE AND EVERYTHING!
Kristin Stewart: Idiot! I’m not a vampire for real! Stop bothering me! MYOB!
Me: HOW COME YOU CHEATED WITH THAT OLD GUY? IS HE A WEREWOLF?
Kristin: Who let you in here? You’re holding a banana instead of a microphone.
Me: I HAVE TO WORK WITH WHAT I’VE GOT. I USED ALL MY MONEY ON A PERSONAL CHEF AND A PERSONAL TRAINER.
Kristin Stewart: Get lost, weirdo! And stop screaming at me.
Okay, so maybe the paparazzi idea won’t work out so well. But I have to do something once I’m done ripping all those tags off my pillows.
11. I want to create a time machine so I can meet famous people who touched my life. I would like to go back to Ancient Greece so I could be Socrates’ student and learn great universal truths from him. Then, I’d zoom off to Galilee to be one of the disciples who followed Jesus around. Perhaps I’d even go back to the Globe Theater to meet Shakespeare so he could cast me in 12th Night. Or—hold your breath here—I could audition for James Garner and get to play the prostitute with the heart of gold on The Rockford Files (I would SO beat out Rita Moreno for that part). He’d have to kiss me and everything!!!
Oh yeah, and maybe I could even figure out a way to feed starving children, teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, and avert the coming apocalypse. But not until after I meet Jimbo.
12. I would start my own “little people’s” basketball league. For the three or four of you who actually read the comments on my blog posts, you might have noticed that my brother Chris brought up my “little people’s” basketball league idea on my post, Super-Juiced. Let me explain.
When I was young, all the boys I knew towered over me. I always wanted to play basketball but was never chosen for any teams because:
a) I have no talent
b) I’m very slow
c) It’s quite possible that I’m a midget
So, like any tortured, creative, and slightly insane person might do, I concocted a plan wherein I could be the star center of a basketball league. It would be a “little person” league.
The only height requirement would be that you couldn’t be taller than 5’4”, thus ensuring that I was allowed to be a center. I would be the Shaquille O’Neill of the Little People’s Basketball League (The LPBL)! People would cheer for me the world over!
We could even start our own version of the Harlem Globetrotters. Our show would be called The Bayside Puddlejumpers, and we’d do fun tricks that included me putting one of the (very, very) little folks on my shoulders and having them dunk the ball.
I had great visions of this being a hit, since I was pretty sure that small people all over the world were tired of sitting by the curb watching everyone else play basketball when they couldn’t.
Unfortunately, when I shared this great vision with others, they barreled over laughing and told me I was “an idiot.” Which I’m pretty sure just means I’m a visionary, but the people I shared my ideas with aren’t the types to praise or compliment me. But that’s okay. I know what they really mean.
Now that the end is near, I need to revive my hoop dreams.
Apocalypse 3 Months From Now Pumpkin Soup
Okay, this isn’t really an apocalyptic soup recipe, just one I found in Fitness Magazine. I have made it and it’s the BOMB (sorry, more end of the world humor). Anyway, it’s great for the Fall months when it starts to get colder and you crave something delicious.
1 (29 oz) can pumpkin
3-½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 slices chopped bacon
1 chopped onion
Salt & Pepper to taste
½ cup light Sour Cream
Sauté bacon and onion; drain fat. Add pumpkin, chicken broth, applesauce and ginger. Season with salt and pepper to taste; bring to boil. Simmer, covered, 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add dollop of sour cream and enjoy.
So, Hungry Lifers…what items would you put on your Bucket List? Wouldn’t you love to see my interview with Sister Felicity AND Kristin Stewart? What book would you bring with you to pass the time post-Armageddon? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks!