That's the next thing on my list

Having spent more than a little time to myself over the past few weeks, I've had the opportunity to take an inventory of my life and try to chart out some of the things that I'd like to do.

While this is by *no means* a complete list, here's a couple things that I think I'd like to do over the next year or two:

  • Go skydiving (indoors!)
  • Get up on a board & surf
  • Walk in the footsteps of history
  • Buy a soldier a beer
  • Sail in azure blue water
  • Start another garden
  • Smoke a Cuban cigar during sunset at my favorite spot in Guana
  • Stand on the glass observation deck over the Grand Canyon
  • Swim with a dolphin
  • See another shuttle launch
  • Drive a convertible through the Florida Keys
  • Sit on the shore for a complete sunrise
  • Get back behind the wheel of a race car
  • Give a panhandler everything I have in my pocket
  • Spend a night alone "survivor style" in the wilderness
  • Serve in a soup kitchen
  • Shower in a waterfall
  • Spend New Year's Eve in a different culture
  • Go kayaking through the Everglades
  • Write down my memories of my parents & grandparents and share it with them
  • Fly a combat simulation in an airplane

Each of these things seem like they would add exponentially to the story of my life, but — most of all — I want to live every moment.

The Southern Migration

One of the things that I'm certain that we'll see during our two weeks overseas is the most regrettable southern migration of my gray hair… to my chin.

Don't get me wrong – I'm grateful that I'm not losing the battle of scalp versus forehead, but….

The gray… IT'S SPREADING!

So, don't be surprised if I look a little more "distinguished" in some of our safari pics.

Another year of patience

Today begins the Year of the Ox and – with it – another reminder that we are about to enter year three of our adoption saga. What was supposed to be a six to ten month wait has turned into our own version of Chinese Democracy, the G&R album that took fourteen years to make. As you well know, the wait has been excruciating for both of us.

But in many ways, today represents a new hope. We would be blessed to learn that our daughter was to be born under my own Chinese sign – the Ox.

The Ox is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. This powerful sign is a born leader, being quite dependable and possessing an innate ability to achieve great things. As one might guess, such people are dependable, calm, and modest. Like their animal namesake, the Ox is unswervingly patient, tireless in their work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint.

Ox people need peace and quiet to work through their ideas, and when they have set their mind on something it is hard for them to be convinced otherwise. An Ox person has a very logical mind and is extremely systematic in whatever they do, though they have a tremendous imagination and an unparalleled appreciation for beauty. These people speak little but are extremely intelligent. When necessary, they are articulate and eloquent.

People born under the influence of the Ox are kind, caring souls, logical, positive, filled with common sense and with their feet firmly planted on the ground. Security is their main preoccupation in life, and they are prepared to toil long and hard in order to provide a warm, comfortable and stable nest for themselves and their families. Strong-minded, stubborn, individualistic, the majority are highly intelligent individuals who don't take kindly to being told what to do.

The Ox works hard, patiently, and methodically, with original intelligence and reflective thought. These people enjoy helping others. Behind this tenacious, laboring, and self-sacrificing exterior lies an active mind.

These people are always welcome because of their honesty and patience. They are reputed to be the most beautiful of face in the zodiac. They have many friends, who appreciate the fact that the Ox people are wary of new trends, although every now and then they can be encouraged to try something new. People born in the year of the Ox make wonderful parents and teachers of children.

So… wherever and whenever you are, little girl, your mother and father are thinking of you… and we can't wait to bring you home.

The Trip Home

I had the opportunity to visit New Mexico for work this week. I had never been there before and once we arrived in the mountains of Taos, I found it to be beautiful there. It's different from other areas I've visited… much more stoic… with rivers cutting through rock mountains.

The entire vibe of the area is unique, as well. Steeped in the culture of the Native Americans, the community is very in touch with the spiritual world of nature.

It's ironic – or perhaps not at all – that I would be in this sort of hippy, granola, kum-bah-ya environment at this exact moment in my life, as I was prompted to look in the mirror to see if I could recognize myself.
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Quietly Making Noise

One thing I hear a lot these days is that I "never blog anymore".

I have to confess that — relatively speaking — I don't blog as frequently as I once did. But that doesn't mean that I've become "quiet" online.

In fact, it's quite the contrary.

Quietly making noise

The biggest difference these days is that I'm actually sharing other people's content — as opposed to creating my own — about three times as often as I'm blogging. I don't know if that ratio is good, bad, or indifferent, but that's the rough estimate.

The other significant difference is that I'm now micro-blogging more via Twitter, posting several times a day in 140 letters or less. And again, I don't know if that's good, bad, or indifferent… but that's the current state of affairs.

See? I haven't gone silent. I'm just quietly making noise. 😉

Wanna listen? My KevinDonahue.ME lifestream is the one place to take it all in.

Christmas Shopping the easy way

It's no secret that I like to do things the easy way. It's not (just) that I'm lazy, but I… appreciate efficiency. 🙂

So… as in years past, I'll be renewing my Amazon Prime membership again this fall.

Why? Well, it's simple really.

I like Amazon Prime because:

1. I get FREE two-day shipping on almost anything I buy at Amazon
2. I can upgrade to overnight shipping for just $3.99 per item (perfect for that last minute gift!)
3. I get the free shipping (or upgraded overnight shipping) regardless of how much (or how little) I buy, which is awesome because I generally buy one thing at a time 🙂
4. I can share my Amazon Prime membership with Merrin or anyone else in my household

I mean, think about it: Let's say I forgot to get you something for Christmas, and we're supposed to do a gift exchange tomorrow night. ACK! I can jump on Amazon, pick something you would like, and have it in my hands (gift wrapped, even!) tomorrow.

Or, let's say I ate the last popcorn in the house. I can order some Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop from Amazon and have it delivered to the house with Amazon Prime. Not only would I save on the price versus the grocery, but I also save the gas, tolls, time, sanity, etc.

Pretty cool? You're damn skippy.

Now I bet you're thinking, "I wish I had Amazon Prime." Well… you can.

In fact, you can try Amazon Prime free for a month through a special promotion. Check it out, kick the tires, and see if you like it.

But… take it from an efficiency expert… you're gonna love you some Amazon Prime.

To the Florida Hospital Staff

In a great internet coincidence, my blog post ("The Day I Almost Died") has been passed via email to the staff of the Florida Hospital, including several members of the Cath Lab team that saved my life on Sunday, April 27, 2008. Since I didn't have a chance to thank them personally, I'm hoping that this post will make its way to the Florida Hospital team as well.
Continue reading To the Florida Hospital Staff