Lyn Jensen's Blog: Manga, Music, and Politics

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Location: Anaheim, California, United States

Regular contributor ("Carson City Limits" and other content) for Random Lengths (circulation 56,000) in San Pedro, CA, 2001-present. Manga reviewer: LA Alternative (circulation 150,000), 2005-2006. Some manga reviews also ran in NY Press around this time. Entertainment reporting: Music Connection (circulation 75,000), 1983-1906. Travel writing: Oakland Tribune (1998) and Life After 50 (2006). Other bylines: Goldmine, Star Hits, Los Angeles Reader, Los Angeles Times, Long Beach Press Telegram, Blade, BAM, Daily Breeze, LA Weekly. Specializations include community news reporting, writing reviews (book, theater, concert, film, music), copywriting, resumes, editing, travel writing, publicity, screenwriting, lecturing, and content development. Education: B. A. Theater Arts, UCLA. Post-grad work, Education, Chapman University.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

My Backyard Bucket List Compared, Part Two: Westways September 2017

In my last post, "My Backyard Bucket List Compared, Part One:  Westways September 2017" was a look at what I'd done (or had no interest in doing) compared to a Westways cover story, "Backyard Bucket List." This time I'm looking at the things I want to do, not as a "Bucket List" but as simply as a way to give myself a richer, fuller life.
As I stated in my previous post, I dislike the expression, "Bucket List." It's become an over-used cliche that looks at our life's accomplishments as some kind of businesslike "to do" check list. Better that we look at how we can develop intellectually, how we can make progress, how we can achieve as much we can for as long as we're able to. Face it, we'll always have something more we want to do--write that letter, drive that road, try that restaurant. When I think about what I want to do before I die, I think about how to prioritize my goals, how to leave something for those that come after me.
When I look at the remainder of the items that make up the Westways "Backyard Bucket List," I can mostly divide them into three major categories--restaurants and similar establishments, outdoor activities, and simple pleasures.
This last category includes such activities as eating fresh carrots at the carrot festival in Holtville, near El Centro, California. For me, eating fresh carrots--just pulled from the ground--may truly be a wonderful life experience, but I doubt you have to eat them specifically at an event in Holtville. How about just growing them in your backyard or your community garden--if your community has one? How about all the other amazingly tasty garden vegetables that are best when picked fresh and eaten almost immediately, too? Potatoes, for example--when you grow them and eat them yourself, it's a completely different experience from just eating them.
When I looked at the "Backyard Bucket List" about what I hadn't done, nothing--except, perhaps, ride in a dune buggy--jumped out as being, "That sounds like fun! I want to do that!"
Even then, I wonder, is riding in a dune buggy all that different from riding in the back of a pick-up or on a motorcycle--both of which I've done--feeling the thrill of (moderate) speed as my hair whips in the wind and the scenery whips by?
I do want to visit Mt. Rushmore. I do want to continue researching my family history and keep my collection of family photographs in order. I do want to keep writing--and so many of my writing projects will never become fully developed--because that's just part of what being a writer is. I do want to spend time in the South. I have a long list of movies I want to see and books I want to read. I want to volunteer to cook for the homeless. I want to do a stand-up comedy routine. Those are big lifetime-achievement goals.
How do I reconcile them with all the little distractions of the life that happens as I make other plans? Maybe the whole idea of a "bucket list" is that it helps us measure our life's big achievements against the little ones that happen every day.