Those of you who didn't come up with resolutions for the new year--or your life--can plagiarize anything below that fits.
1. Get drunk with your mom in her adobe house.
If you live long enough, you'll get discomforting reminders from afflicted family and friends that we're all mortal. I still have one parent and hope to kill a bottle of Presidente brandy with her in an adobe made under her specs and supervision. She attended an adobe construction school in Arizona and remembers it well. Your parent likely has a different dream; find what it is and jointly kill your preferred bottle, once it's accomplished. I did this once--a memory worth repeating.
2. Become a master teacher.
Yours might not be about teaching, so substitute your own mastery. It's not about which craft; once upon a time, human culture was a life-journey from novice to master craftsman, for every trade. Today, instead, we go from job to job or are often forced to change careers. But at least once, disregard the mierda your bosses or company shovel onto your back and decide you'll learn more about your employment than your boss could ever know. Then go past that until you stand above all the mediocrity that passes for "competent."
3. See and hear a jaguar in the Petén jungle; settle for a mt. lion.
They're as equally endangered and unique as whales, wolves or polar bears, so take your pick. But do it before our presence on the planet leaves a gap in your time here. I'm not greater than a jaguar--my personal favorite--especially when it comes to who fits better into the environment. That's why I'd like to meet Jaguar, on his turf, no matter I hide behind the leaves. If the encounter turns deadly, at least I'll have checked off this item and perhaps served a great meal.
4. Draw the dinosaur glyphs in an Anasazi canyon.
Yours might be to dance a mambo at Stonehenge or sing Lucy in the Sky, nude, on a barren beach, right before a hurricane, but do it while your legs and voice still work--however you can reconnect with antiquity amid what remains of the simpler, unspoiled world. Mine is getting tribal permission to enter a side canyon closed to non-natives. Drawing the pictoglyphs that resemble dinosaurs presumed extinct before the arrival of humans, would be this artist's dream, and fun; something to leave behind to worry myopic Euro-American scientists.
5. Spend 2 weeks in Cuba.
Cuba is not about Castro's faults or communism's failures; it's about a people who successfully defeated the torturous dictator Bautista and withstood his CIA-U.S. military bullies longer than many of us have been alive. I want to spend time (legally, if Homeland needs to know) with people who live free of student loans, variable-rate mortgages, endless wars and onerous medical insurance. I want to traverse the U.S. embargo (legally, Homeland) and discover life in a simpler society, less oppressed by capitalist materialism. I want to speak Spanish in a country where its literacy is nurtured and revered. Although other places may fit your needs better, do the same before they get invaded. Whatever needs to be changed in any country will be decided by people who stayed and bore the burden of citizenship. Exchanging experiences with Cubanos is a time-sensitive, historically unique opportunity. For one reason or another, things may change soon, not necessarily for the better.
6. Write one book, self-published if necessary.
You'd be in good company: Elements of Style and Bartlett's Quotations were originally self-published; Tarzan and the translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, as well. Shelly, Carl Sandburg, Thomas Paine, Upton Sinclair, Mark Twain and Walt Whitman all resorted to it. So why not? Face it: if you're about my age, you were captivated by Michael J. Fox's changing history in Back to the Future so his dad's SciFi novel got published. But you and I don't have a DeLorean time machine. Fact is, there's too many writers and not enough readers in the English language. If you don't write, splurge on framing an unsold painting or a collage of your own original dichos.
Your self-promotion will stop friends and relatives asking when your work will be exhibited or for sale. Plus, you can put it next to Leaves of Grass and pull it down sometimes to feel its weighty significance. Of course, this suggestion comes from an undiscovered talent, so if you're more talented, or luckier, keep on.
7. 50-yd.-line seats at a Dallas Cowboys game.
Okay, this one's a little self-indulgent, but what would a 10 List be without some of that? Replace this one with your own indulgency, but mine is to be close enough to the DC Cheerleaders to count their freckles, or whatever. Berate me, if you will; I'm probably more flawed than you.
8. Finish the house.
If you're lucky enough (or unlucky enough), you got a house you gotta get done with. That half-finished basement or those unfinished windows will hound you 'til your done, even if you spouse doesn't. At least your widow(er) will then have a nice place to host your wake and not squander the life insurance on less qualified contractors.
9. Play with adopted grandchildren.
Though some of you only want your own grandchildren, I'm not a believer in the arcane "my bloodline must carry on" BS. There's not only too many of us on the planet, there's too many orphaned or homeless little ones out there, many because of U.S. actions within or against their countries. I don't need a grandchild that resembles me or carries a genetic propensity for alcoholism and weight-gain. Why wish labor pains and stretch marks on a daughter or daughter-in-law? Kids are kids, and if we're around them long enough, our genetic make-up preconditions us to love and care for them as if they were our own, no matter.
10. Go on a vision quest.
Since my indigenous blood is as diluted as rosewater and my self-education lacks spine, I never experienced this. My rites of passage amounted to communion and confirmation, both of which focused on my memorizing God's plans and judgements about me, rather than finding out about myself. Whatever your ethnic roots, consider reclaiming a piece of ancient heritage. Modern society's clobbered our psyches to where we've lost connections not only to the planet, its fauna and foliage, but even with our true selves. Spending a week, alone, away from civilization, sans phone or IPod, unable to stuff my gut or fret about societal responsibilities--all that would force me to be with my Self. It would prove more difficult than the other 9, no doubt, but I should discover what's really under there. We could all maybe use some of that. Before we stop.
Rudy Ch. Garcia
We need 1 new Bloguista contributor!
RudyG must take another spring sabbatical from La Bloga, since he enrolled in two courses to complete his teaching accreditation. Whether he survives the ordeal or not, La Bloga is searching for a new contributor who could more or less regularly post on Thursdays. If you are such a person, or want to nominate someone, please contact any Bloguista. At the least, Thursday will be available for Guest Posts.