My Fictional-Bucket List

Today bit. Not that I was surprised, but holy hell it hurt. The weird part was nothing negative happened. Just good stuff was said, yet the outcome was not one I had hoped for nor counted on. I fell for the 8th time and picked myself up for a 9th. I’m at a loss for direction at the moment, but there are some good things that came from this.

  1. I didn’t eat my emotions.
  2. I swam for 75 minutes instead.
  3. I engaged my kids in conversation about books.

I know that last one doesn’t make sense. I am the master of my thoughts. I can choose to wallow in self-pity OR I can change my thought patterns and move forward. I had been reading a cool list on Pinterst called Fiction-Bucketlist.

I asked my kids what would be on their list. The only rule was it had to be book-fiction, not movies or TV. Genetic Offspring immediately said “Walk into Mordor and say ‘Whatsup Bitches?'”. That was awesome.
We discussed various possibilities and Chatterbox wanted to follow the White Rabbit.

As a kid I would have loved to be Mike Mulligan and dig the basement faster and straighter than 10 men or drink raspberry cordial with Anne and Diana. I would have loved to be as eloquent as Charlotte living in the barn doorway or go to Kenner boarding school and be roommates with Sheila. My kids wanted to send a howler, be a starcatcher or a demigod and defeat medusa and fight Aries and send him to tartarus, and of course, drink ambrosia. Best of all, they wanted to scam Huck and Tom to paint the fence. I created a monster because they played this game for hours. It was great to hear them discussing books.

When I read a particularly great book, I think about the characters for days afterwards. I get swept away in story line possibilities and fantasize about outcomes that star me. This is something I often did for as long as I can remember. I have imagination down to an art. Some people call it fan fiction, but I never wrote these stories down. I would just play them in my head before bed and dream happily about the events that were unfolding. This made me think of my favorite ideas for my own fiction  bucket list.

  1. Visit Quinten’s to see who is sitting in the secret booth and have dinner with Ria and Colm.
  2. Nurse Jesse back to health and have him rescue me from myself.
  3. Go after Rhett until he gives a damn.
  4. Run through the Fire Swamp with Wesley.
  5. Paint London red with Aishling and Elizabeth.
  6. Walk in the garden with Mr. Darcy and encourage him to steal a kiss.
  7. Spend the day with Tony at Coney Island.
  8. Go back through the stones to find Jamie.
  9. Spend my summers on Martha’s Vineyard with Caitlin and Vix.
  10. Live in New York and chum around with girlfriends while having fabulous careers and a Mr. Big who pops round every now and then.
  11. Sweep Sirius off  his feet and save him from Bellatrix
  12. Sitting on the bench in the park, thinking my life is in tatters when he sits down beside me, takes my hand a smiles.

 

Compliling this list made think about re-reading some of my favorites, like Tara Road, The Other Side of the Story or Brooklyn. It’s a perfect night to do that.

What is on your fictional bucket list?

 

Fifty Fifty Me: Wild

I guess I am behind. Guess what? Not caring that much. Guess why? Schooooooooooools out for Summa! Schooooooooooools out for ev-va! Okay not really, I have one more day of classes with my lovelies. I feel teary-eyed over the whole affair. I let a river monster sit in my lap and cry. I have to admit I kind of liked it. Not the crying part, the river monster was distraught, but the cuddle part.I shall think of him often wondering how he is doing as I also think about children of my past *cough* 24 years. I always think it is not possible to love the next round as much as this round because there is a lot of fear and apprehension that comes with September. This September is no exception. In fact I may be experiencing more fear than usual. Because of all of this accumulated chaos, I have not been up on my reading. I have hours and hours to catch up so I am sure I will meet my 50 book totals by December 31, 2012. I am hoping for 52. Currently I sit at 25. Exactly half-way. My record for a summer reading program is 15 books. We shall see how that goes!

The Book

I read Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I already talked about this book and the fear here. There was more to this book than just fear and reflection. Strayed was nearing rock-bottom when she set out for a trip up the Pacific Crest Trail. As a travel book, this story is enough for ME to want to hike the trail and I think of camping as incarceration. I have done t, loved it at one time, enjoy it occasionally, but prefer a 5 star resort now. There is something quite delicious about camping in the woods alone. That really appeals to me. I love to be alone with my thoughts and my imagination. I prefer not to talk but I can keep up with the best of them! Reflective is a word that describes me best. Or Self-reflective might be a better fit. There is a big long line of skills I am not perfect in or situations I could have handled better but like Strayed, I realize that those choices were important at the time. Learning things from mistakes and challenges is far more impact than by being awesome all the time. Sure I tell people I am awesome all the time, but the truth is – I am learning just like they are. The more I learn the less I know. I feel a real sense of kinship with Strayed. We both have come the same distance on a journey we had no idea how would turn out. I stepped into a crossroads and am ready to follow the path ahead of me after months of fear and indecision. I admit to being scared, but I also admit to it not holding me back any more.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Read it, loved it but it was not Pride and Prejudice. I love how her characters make me feel. It was a great read for those of you who can plow through books that are 200 years old. It’s not for everyone. But it IS for me. It is now official, I have read ALL of Jane Austen’s books. For those Jane fans out there, Netflix has a mini-series called Lost in Austen. If you know the story of Pride and Prejudice and loved it, this is for YOU! I loved it – all four hours of it. It was funny and if you are a Mr. Darcy fan (who isn’t!!!) then delighting in this fantasy is fantastic!

I loved Wild. It was the right book at the right time for me. I recommend it to everyone. I hope they glean something amazing from it too.

The Movie

I have only been able to see a couple of movies, It’s a Funny Kind of Story and Avengers. Obviously Avengers wins hands down as my favorite but It’s a Funny Kind of Story if on Netflix and is quite amazing! It is about a boy – teen rather – who tries to commits suicide and his parents discover him and get mad and his poor choices. He then checks himself into a mental ward at the hospital. He meets the best characters. This movie is like One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest – but with a happier ending. My daughter said it was a great book too. This is worth a look.

But Avengers…. BEST SUPERHERO MOVIE EVER! I hated the Hulk in previous TV shows and movies, but Mark Ruffalo is AWESOME. Shwarma steals the show. Because I am not objective, I have no idea if this is a good movie because I am a superhero geek or because it was a good movie. Not caring…loved it, want it and will own it when it comes out. That’s all I have to say about that. Since this is the second time I wrote about this movie…obviously I love it.

Next week I will read Under the Tuscan Sun – I hear it is awful. But the people who say it is awful loved Shades of Grey. Now THAT book is terrible… I suspect I will love random thoughts of a middle-aged woman’s mind, because after all that is what this blog is all about – that and other stuff.

Fifty Fifty Me: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

This week in an effort to participate in the 50/50 me project,(you can read more about it here) I finished one book and started two others. Who does that? Who reads more than one book at a time that aren’t text books? I guess I do. I am reading Sense and sensibility by Jane Austen and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I only watched 2 movies, I must be busy or something. I finished Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I didn’t think I would get through it but look at me! I did it! Anyways…. on with the words!

The Book

I didn’t expect to enjoy Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It was on my list of new genres to try and lots of people were talking about it. The creepy pictures caught my eye and I read a blog review that made me bump it higher on my To Read list.

The beginning of this book was riveting. The Grandfather told crazy unbelievable stories just like my Grandpa did. This alone made me love him. As I became hooked, there was a moment when I thought this book might be too scary for me. Old me would have closed it and been scared of “What might have been”. New me sucked it up and kept pressing forward. I learned it wasn’t scary, but peculiar. By the end of the book I was so captivated I couldn’t put it down. I found it to be very exciting in a Harry Potter kind of way.

Don’t get me wrong, this is NOT a Harry Potter knock off, but is had a similar feel as the Potter books – well for me anyways. I enjoyed the quirky nature and time loops. The best part for me was the photographs that showed who the characters were. These wonderful vintage photos of children doing impossible things all through the magic of trick photography…or was it?

This is a great young adult book and I think my children would quite enjoy it. Only they never take my advice anymore.I wish I could be deep and insightful about how it effected me, but it was just a fun read. And it made me miss my Grandpa. Sometimes books should be just fun.

The Movie

I watch two movies this week. One at home snuggled under a blanket and one at the movie theatre with my

The Jane Austen Book Club (film)

The Jane Austen Book Club (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

daughter. We saw The Lucky One, based on the Nicolas Sparks novel. For the first time, I did not read the book first. It was enough for me to enjoy the beauty that is Zac Efron. His eyes are something else! The story was magical and fate driven. I need that in my life right now. Was it my favorite of the two? Not by a longshot. My favorite was The Jane Austen Book Club.

This movie was everything I needed to see this week. Women having intelligent conversation about well written books, helping each other through various crisis in their lives. I need a book club in my life. Every character’s life resembled one of Austen’s 6 books. They discussed strength of character, doing the right thing and struggles of life. Just like the Austen books themselves. The difference being the movie gave insight into lives down the road. Austen ends her books usually with the marriage…and they lived happily ever after blablabla…but do they? How could you not with Mr. Darcy? But i suppose Elizabeth Bennett found his stories tiresome after 30 years of hearing the same one over and over. So maybe it was just as well they ended when they did. Austen never married herself, so perhaps she did not know what to write having never lived behind those doors. The movie, however, takes you to a happily every after a few years later. That was nice but unneccessary. Life doesn’t have to be happy, and often isn’t. The point is to feel it and be present for it. Most of the movie was just like that. Real. Maybe that is why I liked it so much. It has moved into my top 10 favorite of all time, and it has me reading Sense and sensibility for the first time. I don’t love it like I love Pride and Predjuce…but her writing is exquisite none the less.

Hey, I’m not Dead!

Good New! I am not dead! The typical foreboding nature of my winning streak didn’t kill me. How do I know? Quite frankly there are lots of reasons. My legs hurt for one. I would hope when I am dead, I wouldn’t feel pain. I have started back training for my next half marathon and my legs are a little cranky after today’s session. It is almost time for new shoes, but I am going to wait a couple of more weeks before I buy new ones. I also checked my pulse…it was beating, clearly not dead. That is a good sign after working out.

I thought I would make a handy little pocket guide to know if you are dead or not. So here it is:

The Edmonton Tourist’s Top 11 Ways to Tell You are not Dead

  1. You don’t crave brains – or so I am told. Then you would be a Zombie… but Zombies aren’t dead – they are UNdead. I am not sure how that works and now I am confused.
  2. I BBQed on my deck last night. I made burgers. Yes it was dark. Yes it was cool (cold by non Edmontonian standards). I knew I wasn’t dead because my feet got cold. I was out there in my bare feet. Clearly not dead! However, excellent way to induce hyperthermia and cause death.
  3. I followed a pair of very nice calfs around the track yesterday… Clearly I am not dead. Great motivation too.
  4. I saw a fetus doll yesterday for the first time. I was GOBSMACKED. I had no idea what to say. Obviously I have seen everything now and can die, therefore I am not dead yet.
  5. The Time Capsule Con Smythe buried at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1931 was opened yesterday. As usual, the Toronto papers hyped it up because they are the center of the universe. After opening it…just lame stuff and a white elephant. Very disappointing yet predictable. Unlike Vegas, if it happens in Toronto – Then everyone hears about it. Had it been exciting news coming from Toronto, then I would have had a heart attack and died. I still have a pulse…I just checked.
  6. It is the decade of sequels. Ferris Buller 2 is coming out…I can’t be dead!
  7. On that note…Star Trek 2 is coming out this summer too… I can be dead AFTER watching Chris Pine
  8. I suppose those last two don’t really qualify to tell if you are dead. This one will – The only fictional man to make me swoon just thinking about reading about him again… Mr. Darcy – ya you know what I mean <wink wink> I don’t think there is swooning once you are dead…I hope I am wrong about this one.
  9. I still want chocolate and a diet coke everyday – not dead… Now I’m wishing I were…
  10. The Edmonton Oilers are STILL rebuilding since 1991. If I was dead, we would be Stanley Cup Champions again.
  11. Finally, George Eliot said “It is never too late to be what you might have been” I am not there yet…so I can’t possibly be dead yet. There you have it…