Tuesday, May 12, 2009

....and then you DIE!

I just finished reading a book called Unforgettable Walks to Take Before You Die. The bulks of the "must sees" are in very isolated places of the world. You have to walk miles to gain access to them. There are dangers built in.

No leathery aunties in hiking shorts with their sticks pronging along, whistling "The Happy Wanderer." A few spots here in the States are accessible: "The Freedom Trail" in Boston (through some bad neighborhoods.) Frank Lloyd Wright's "Fallingwater" in Pennsylvania (you need to have a ticket to gain access to the interior.) Many of these trips work on luck of lottery, or hanging around or planning well out in advance.

Some have wildlife warnings: a beach in Australia where snakes come out of the water after you. Tigers. Lions. Bears. Flying Monkey Squadrons. Others have built in physical dangers: "Not good for those with vertigo," "Get there before the tide prevents you from getting back," "the path can crumble under your feet."

I made some mental notes to myself of things I would like to see before I DIE!!! Some temples in Kyoto, Japan. Scandanavian coasts. Tiger Leaping Gorge on the Yangtze River in China. The Skocjan caves in Slovenia. The Coyote Buttes in Arizona.

Looking at the back cover, I had to laugh. There's a whole series of what you should do ::tapping out the message "before you die." Unforgettable Islands To Escape To ::tapping::: Unforgettable Things To Do :::tapping::: Unforgettable Journeys To Take.....Unforgettable Things To See.....BEFORE YOU DIE!!!!

Here's what I think you should do before you die:

* Acquire a taste for prunes and Ensure

* Make sure you have a will, living will, power of attorney, trust...all of that legal stuff in place

* Understand how adult diapers work

* Work hard to keep your own teeth. Otherwise they might wind up getting tossed out with the garbage, and trust me, you don't want to deal with that.
*Take your action figures out of their boxes.

* Try to build up a repetoire of stories. You don't want all of them to start, "In 1939...."

* Get rid of stuff as each year passes. You don't want to have the authorities show up with ten dumpsters.

* Get heavily into juicing and vitamins.

* Become an evil overlord

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Anonymous ma said...


I think that I will follow all of your advice. I do believe that I will start with the getting rid of excess things in my life (this weekend) and also, become an evil overlord (next weekend).


10:37 AM  
Blogger Gilahi said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: My goal in life is to live to be 106 and then be shot by a jealous husband.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Good list, Cube, and all very realistic.

There are lots of things I'd "like" to do...I don't exactly want to die while doing them, as you and the book so aptly points out.

In all honesty: get a will, get a living will - you can do them online now so you really don't have to spend anything to do it (don't tell Wayne I said that) -

Also, did your dad/mom keep you in the dark about finances growing up like mine did? Get them to tell you every bank account they have and where everything is -- trust me -- you'll sound like a Nigerian scam artist to them, but it is very important that you know in case something terrible happens to one or both, and no one knows what's what. Power of attorney, all that stuff.

That's my public service announcement for the day. Resume regularly scheduled debauchery/selfishness.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Phil: You're advice is on target. My parents, both deceased, had my name on everything from bank accounts, credit cards, the safe deposit box, the car title...everything but the house, and "yes," it sounds funny. Obviously you go into this arrangement with total trust.

MA: I am constantly battling "stuff," and yet I'm not bringing more in. I think it replicates during the night.

Gilahi: I like your idea.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

No diapers!

But I agree - take care of your teeth by all means.

People should think twice before writing those books. Didn't the author of 500 Places to Go Before You Die die? Or 1,000 places? Or whatever?

5:44 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Phil? Thank you!

5:45 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Practice your kegels and you won't need diapers. Really. That's MY public service announcement.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Reya: I'll kegel as I write you. Quite honestly I hated the whole concept of this series (once I discovered it was a series.) I read something in either The New York Times or The Washington Post during the past few months (I "think" it was in The Post's "Outlook" section) about how this generation has always thought it would live forever, being "The Youth Culture" only now they were starting to see friends die off and the limitations of their time here, so there was this huge cultural outburst of "what you need to do before you die," and it cut across the board--but the idea was "lists." Lists after lists after lists. So I starting going to "The Google" as Phil's mother calls it and sure enough..floods of them. The article, of course, preached a more balanced philosophical approach to life, rather than this mad dash of check marks until the end.

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's true: you can't be a decent evil overlord without minions, and your action figures (once freed from their boxes) make excellent minions.

-- grince

11:40 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

K: I should also add...have a cocktail party like in All About Eve...and today I've had an overriding desire to have a Maypole dance. I think too many viewings of La Fille Mal Gardee and the full blown anorexic coke freakdom of Gelsey Kirkland.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Ryane said...

I love this list!! I would like to humbly add, invest in a retirement house with no stairs. =-)

1:34 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Reya: One level living is very important. Especially if your current abode has the only bathroom on Floor Two. Otherwise it will be adult diapers and porta potty. I am proud to be bringing porta potty talk to blog world, where the bulk of you want to discuss happy hour. There are happy hours and happy hours. I knew only elderly gentleman who logged in a spiral notebook the quality of each of his poos. He had to, for health reasons, but just saying.

5:00 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

..and it's about quality, not quantity!

1:36 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

My God, Phil, you know. Page after page of "firmness," or color information. It was positively Germanic in detail.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

It's a world I'm all too familiar with. I've never kept a notebook, though.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

I suddenly found myself kegeling as I was reading these comments. I suppose that's one way to make internet time more useful. You should definitely see the various coastlines of Scandinavia. I was planning to revisit some of the fjords this summer but sadly that has been put on hold.

11:42 PM  

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