Performance Appraisal

Published May 5, 2013 by jean cohen

I love lists.  I can’t get enough of David Letterman’s Top Tens, and I always read the ones online that do like ‘the Five Scariest Movies Ever’, or ‘The Eight Best TV Theme Songs’, or ‘The Eleven Porn Actors Who Are Not Acting’.  (I made that last one up. If anybody has actually seen one, please send the link.)


Anyway, there was one yesterday: ’20 Things to Do Before You Die’.


It’s not like I’m depressed or anything.  But I have come to the conclusion that there are a lot of people out there from places I can’t even spell who want to kill me.  Hey, they want to kill you too, so don’t call me paranoid.


Anyway, I figured I’d better check and make sure I’m up to speed- no stones unturned blah blah blah.


I did pretty well.  So if any Islamic jihadists from some unpronounceable place turn me into unconnected blobs of protoplasm, I haven’t missed much.  Oh.  And I want to be buried with all my Louis Vuittons.  So get a bigger casket.


Starting with an easy one, ‘Adopt a Pet’, we always had dogs.  Rommel, who was a very scary looking German Shepherd, was my faithful companion.


‘Design and Build a House’ – Seriously??  Using my lily white hands?  I give myself points for this one because when we moved into our house in KofP, there was this wall between the kitchen and the den.  It went up half-way and then there were spindles to the ceiling.  I hated those spindles. They reminded me of June Cleaver or the 60’s.   DeadJerry told me that they held the second floor up.  He lied.  One day, when Toots and Ron were over, I was kvetching about the spindles and Ron went into the garage and got DeadJerry’s superduper macho man ginormous cutting tool thingy and removed them.  (You should have seen DeadJerry’s face.)  Anyway, I ‘designed’ and Ron ‘unbuilt’ and the second floor didn’t end up on the first floor.  And I was very happy.


‘Go Wilderness Camping’ – Really.  If the Jihadists sent me a text telling me I was next to get vaporized, I would still politely decline any invitations that included the words ‘wilderness’ and ‘camping’.  Although I once stayed in a Holiday Inn in Des Moines, Iowa, which should count.


‘Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving’ – Although I don’t scuba dive, I have been fortunate to snorkel in some of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean many times.


‘Be Cheered by a Crowd’ – Whether it was inciting a riot at Texas Stadium during an Eagles-Cowboys game and getting ejected or modelling in a Fashion Show for Sam Beare, I have heard the roar of the crowd for me.  And I get a positively swelled head from all the applause and compliments at the Annual Thanksgiving Dinner.


‘Taking a Leap of Faith’ – I do this every August when I believe that this is the year my Eagles will win the Super Bowl.


‘Own Your Own Business’ – I did, with DeadJerry.  It might look good checked off a To-Do List, but it’s a lot of hard work and stress.


‘Buy a Home’ – Check. 


‘Give Something Back’ – This was a bit unclear.  If you gave me something, like a diamond or a Louis Vuitton, no way in hell am I gonna give it back.  I don’t care how mad at you I get.  Oh.  ‘Give back’ in the metaphorical sense.  Yes, of course.  I give lots of time and effort to charitable causes.  And I always donate a few £’s or $’s to friends’ giving pages, like Cooking David’s Grow a Mustache.


‘Drive Coast to Coast’ – Well, I haven’t actually done this.  We’ve driven from Philly to Key West, Florida, and Philly to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and I drove the whole part of Route 66 in Arizona, which should count.


‘Buy a Piece of Art Because You Love It- I saw these custom made ‘people’ at an art show and bought myself a life sized butler (dubbed Bunter ala Lord Peter Wimsey) who stood between the living room and the dining room holding a tray of drinks.  The dog was terrified of Bunter, and guests provided hours of amusement after they screamed when they caught a glimpse of him lurking in the shadows.


‘Take a Sabbatical’ – Well duh!  What else would you call what I’m doing?


‘Get Your Heart Broken’ – Jerry and Matthew both succeeded admirably.


‘Make a Piece of Furniture’ – DeadJerry actually made it – a beautiful cabinet – but I supervised.


‘Take a Stand’ – I did.  I fought, and won, a legal battle where I was the injured party.  No, I’m not sharing the details.


‘Do Work You Really Care About’ – Again, my volunteer work for the Hospice is really important, and it remains a way to honor Jerry.


‘Do Something That Really Scares You’ – I did.  I put myself out there on the dating sites.  It didn’t work out, but I learned a lot about myself, other people, and human nature.


‘Make a Meal With Food You Raised Yourself’ – Let’s be honest here.  That’s never going to happen.  I have enough bloody trouble with the ’make a meal’ part; forget about ‘raised yourself’.  Unless you want to come to dinner for ‘weeds parmisan’.


I saved the best for last, because these are the two I aced.


‘Live in a Foreign Country’ – I am either a legend in my own time, or insane.  I am still living here in Britain and still having an adventure.


‘Keep a Journal’  – ‘Oh, to be in England’ will be my legacy.


So, other than growing and cooking, and camping, I’m pretty satisfied that I’ve done it all.



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