On the Bookshelf: In Cold Blood

read about this challenge and see the full list here

Title: In Cold Blood
Author: Truman Capote
Publication Date: 1966
Country: USA
Genre: Non-Fiction / True Crime
Pages: 343

Synopsis: On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.

As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.

My Book Report: Very different from the type of fiction I normally read. This was pretty good. “In Cold Blood is regarded by critics as a pioneering work in the true crime genre” Now I can watch the movie.

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The List: 100 Ways to Shake Up Your Life

book by Gail Belsky

Get a tattoo, ride in a fire truck, or use food as foreplay—in short, get out there and shake things up! Fun, inspirational, and incredibly motivating, The List offers one hundred ideas—ranging from challenging to outrageous—for women who have been craving a little novelty in their lives.

With instructions and inspirational stories from women who have risen to the challenge, The List will excite, scare, and push readers to do something they’ve always dreamed of, or better yet, to do something they’ve never dared consider. Whether it’s writing a novel, running a marathon, or taking on a lover, The List delivers what many women are missing—taste of adventure and a light kick in the butt. (description from Amazon.com)

  1. Write a novel
  2. Do a triathlon
  3. Strip
  4. Catch a big fish
  5. Learn a foreign language
  6. Witness childbirth
  7. Join an ambulance crew
  8. Learn to surf
  9. Audition for something nerve-racking
  10. Join a relief effort
  11. Get a tattoo (or a piercing)
  12. Enter a poker tournament
  13. Run for office
  14. Brew your own beer
  15. Do a polar bear swim
  16. Drastically change your hairstyle
  17. Bake a wedding cake
  18. Go horseback riding, bareback style
  19. Launch your own website
  20. Join a cattle drive
  21. Build your own piece of furniture
  22. Organize a rally
  23. Get hypnotized
  24. Learn trapeze
  25. Go commando
  26. Visit an ashram
  27. Shoot a gun
  28. Record your own music
  29. Buy yourself a sex toy
  30. Take a lover
  31. Hike Machu Picchu
  32. Have nude pictures taken
  33. Have a cosmetic surgery procedure
  34. Drive over 100 miles per hour
  35. Learn an exotic dance
  36. Swim with sea creatures
  37. Dive off a cliff
  38. Sneak backstage
  39. Spelunk
  40. Create a sacred space
  41. Learn to sail
  42. Take up an instrument
  43. Leave your marriage
  44. Start your own business
  45. Ask someone out
  46. Make over a room
  47. Hire a personal shopper
  48. Make a big move
  49. Conquer a fear
  50. Skydive
  51. Eat something really weird
  52. Become a bartender or sommelier
  53. Tell someone to screw off
  54. Take singing lessons
  55. Switch careers/go back to school
  56. Learn to box
  57. Get a makeover
  58. Buy something outrageously expensive
  59. Escape (for the day, weekend, or week)
  60. Kiss a total stranger
  61. Bike across America
  62. play in the snow
  63. Ride in a fire truck
  64. Watch porn
  65. Skinny dip
  66. Break a long-held tradition
  67. Join the Peace Corps
  68. Plan a girls’ vacation
  69. Learn survival skills
  70. Paint your house a wild color
  71. Try high-stakes gambling
  72. Play ice hockey
  73. Throw an all-girls party
  74. Make a sex tape
  75. Learn to drive
  76. Lie about something
  77. Go topless
  78. Scuba dive
  79. Get a Brazilian wax
  80. Use food as foreplay
  81. start a charity
  82. Find love online
  83. Go to Burning man
  84. Plan and prepare a seduction dinner
  85. Quit smoking
  86. Read the classics
  87. Blow glass
  88. Get a pilot’s license
  89. Spend 24 hours in bed
  90. Lose 50+ pounds
  91. Take a year off
  92. Have a baby late in life
  93. Live with less
  94. Mount an art exhibit
  95. Find religion
  96. Bungee jump
  97. Sleep with a younger man
  98. Buy a negligee
  99. Blow off the day
  100. Make your own list

Things to Do In Winter

A WINTER BUCKETLIST

Listed in the “2001 things to do” book

  • Ski Tuckerman’s Ravine (Sept 2012)
  • Ice-skate by candlelight at midnight (Jan 2013)
  • ski by torchlight (Jan 2013)
  • walk on the beach in winter (Jan 2013)
  • dress up like santa claus and play it to the hilt (Feb 2013)
  • find out what auld lange syne really means (Feb 2013)
  • snowmobile (Jun 2013)
  • drink mulled wine on a snowy night in Prague (Aug 2013)
  • build a glorious, elaborate snow castle (Aug 2013)
  • Christmas carol with candles (Oct 2013)
  • build an igloo (Oct 2013)
  • skate a perfect figure-eight (Oct 2013)
  • spend the winter holidays in Austria or Switzerland (Nov 2013)
  • pay Santa for a needy family at Christmas (Dec 2013)
  • catch a snowflake on your tongue (Jan 2014)
  • take a walk in the woods at night when it’s snowing (Mar 2014)
  • attend the winter solstice, or any Paul Winter concert (Mar 2014)
  • Write a personal note on every Christmas card (Jul 2014)
  • Take a child with you to cut down a Christmas tree on a a snowy night (Dec 2014)
  • Hire someone to wrap all your Christmas presents (Dec 2014)
  • Have a picnic on the beach in February (Feb 2015)
  • Send all your Christmas cards out on time (Mar 2015)
  • Decorate outdoors with abandon at Christmastime (May 2015)
  • Pack a thermos full of hot cocoa and go for a long walk in the wintry woods (Jun 2015)
  • Camp out in the snow (Dec 2015)
  • Read A Christmas Carol (Mar 2016)
  • Spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square (Apr 2016)
  • Make a snowman (Apr 2016)
  • Build a snow fort (Apr 2016)
  • Snowshoe (Jul 2016)
  • Go sleigh riding (Nov 2016)
  • Acquire meaningful Christmas ornaments (Jan 2018)

Any other fun things to add for Winter season?

Good Eats: Impossible Burger

#foodiefriday entry

As a kid, I was a pretty picky eater. Didn’t like many sauces and wasn’t happy with spices or trying odd foods. As an adult, I am willing and wanting to try new foods and there are a ton of choices out there. I think it’s been a couple of years now when I first heard about a vegan burger patty that looked so much like a meat burger, people were making waiters take their food back to the kitchen because they thought the waiter got the order wrong. Turns out it just was that good of a meatless patty. I was intrigued and wanted to give it a try but just never got around to buying it in a restaurant or grocery store.

Yesterday, I was heading out to a happy hour at a wine bistro place in town. I saw that they do burger and wine deals on Thursdays and one of the choices was with the Impossible burger. I jumped for joy. (Not really, but was happy for sure seeing that). As soon as I got in the door and sat down to order, I pointed to the burger and said that was what I wanted.

If I hadn’t known that it was vegan, I would have thought it a good flavored meat burger. They had added aioli, greens, pepper jam, vegan mozzarella, crispy onions & avocado (I had it without the vegan bun). I recommend and it is definitely worth a taste, it was super yummy.

Find out more about the Impossible Foods here.  Have you tried it? 

Crab Feeds

Do you like crab? Seems that crab season also creates a crab FEED season that are usually fundraisers for schools, churches, and non-profits. I belong to a non-profit that has been putting on a crab feed for 26 years. Volunteering to work this event got me to try crab and I realized that I enjoy the seafood. I also learned that there are people out there that LOVE going to a bunch of crab feeds each year. I had no idea that it was such a thing to do, but they are a ton of fun (and a ton of food).

I want to take a moment to promote my organization’s crab feed (tickets are still available). And I plan to write up a couple of posts about working a crab feed and also attending one for “bucket” list checks. I really encourage you to go try one out.

Have you worked or been to one? 

Step Right Up for the Active 20-30 Club of Greater Sacramento #1032’s 26th Annual Crab Feed, January 19, 2019 at our NEW VENUE: Citrus Heights Community Center!

General Admission sales ($65). For tickets, click here

Eat Alligator

In 2015 I decided I wanted to celebrate my October birthday in New Orleans. The other reason I chose to travel to that city was because I had been wanting to experience Halloween and visit a friend that had moved there. We made plans and set the dates at the beginning of the year. Another friend that lives in Dallas said she would come visit at the same time and we could hang out. This would be both of our first time in New Orleans and I was very excited.

We had so much fun exploring the area seeing all the landmark sites, as well as ate and drank throughout the town. One of the first places our friend took us to was a place called Oceana Restaurant in the Famous French Quarter district. Walking into the restaurant, looked like some fun décor. That is also when I realized the places there had courtyards. I had thought it was just patios on the side of places like they mostly have where I live. It was really pleasant to sit in the courtyard and relax. We order several sampler dishes and drinks. One of which was some alligator. Couldn’t come all that way and not try alligator.

I didn’t think to get a close up photo of the alligator. It’s the breaded dish that looks a little like nuggets. And it did taste like chicken nuggets, definitely not chicken, but similar. I’d eat them again.

We also enjoyed oysters, gumbo, crab cakes, and pasta. Very yummy and filling lunch.

Have you tried alligator?

Ride in a Dune Buggy

Every year I head out to a convention for my Active 20-30 International organization (philanthropy & service club). July 2017, I went a few days early and there were some pre-convention options. One was a chance to ride dune buggies. I was so excited to do that for the first time. We got on a bus and headed out to Florence, Oregon and ended up at Sandland Adventures. There we learned that we would be riding in giant dune buggies and get a tour of the sand dunes.

It was fun to be in a group and go along for a ride and look around. The driver would point out interesting spots and talk about the sand dunes and the water table.

It was also interesting to see a bunch of people sliding down a hill. Later learned that they were skiing on the sand. I’m used to skiing on snow but hadn’t thought it for a sand hill.

It would be fun to drive a dune buggy but for now I can say I’ve ridden in one and got to experience going over the sand.

 

 

Have you ridden in a dune buggy or driven one? California, Oregon, or another state/country?

On the Bookshelf: 1984

1001 Books to Read Before You Die

read about this challenge and see the full list here

Title: 1984
Author: George Orwell
Publication Date: 1949
Country: USA
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 328

Synopsis: Winston Smith toes the Party line, rewriting history to satisfy the demands of the Ministry of Truth. With each lie he writes, Winston grows to hate the Party that seeks power for its own sake and persecutes those who dare to commit thought crimes. But as he starts to think for himself, Winston can’t escape the fact that Big Brother is always watching…

A startling and haunting vision of the world, 1984 is so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the influence of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

My Book Report: I am not sure if I want to do a book report/review for each one. I will definitely let you know on ones I absolutely hated.

On the Bookshelf: Foundation

1001 Books to Read Before You Die

read about this challenge and see the full list here

Title: Foundation
Author: Isaac Asimov
Publication Date: 1951
Country: USA
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 255

Synopsis: For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future–to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire–both scientists and scholars–and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.

But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. Mankind’s last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and be overrun–or fight them and be destroyed.

My Book Report: I am not sure if I want to do a book report/review for each one. I will definitely let you know on ones I absolutely hated. This one was a pretty easy read, short chapters of different situations through the years. If I think of more to add I will.

Get a Tattoo

I had thought about getting a tattoo on and off through the years. I couldn’t decide on what it would be or where I would have it. I knew it had to be something I wouldn’t regret or get tired of after a few years. I would look at tattoos of things I liked, teddy bears, turtles, ladybugs, and Celtic knot designs. Plus, there was the whole being stabbed with a needle. I get light headed just seeing a needle for blood work. Of course that could be the blood part. So, I would look at tattoos but not really plan for getting one myself.

A couple of years ago, as I was looking online, I came across this Wild Bills Tattoo place located in Roseville, California. There was information on a day that they would host a tattoo-a-thon and 100% of the cost of the tattoo would go to the UC Davis Children’s Hospital. I thought to myself, “Well if I do get a tattoo that is when I will do it and then I can say I got tattooed for the kids”. It was an awesome find. I put it in my calendar to remind myself about the tattoo-a-thon each February.

I think it took me another couple of years to work up the nerve to go for it and get that tattoo. In 2016, I decided on getting a shamrock (because I’m part Irish, and it’s for luck, and it’s cute) and started looking at different photos online to see what kind of design I wanted and where. I found a cute one where it was just an outline and the leaves also looked a bit like a heart, and it was on the wrist. I really liked that idea, then I would be able to see it. I showed my mom and told here I wanted to get this one but not to worry, it would be small. She liked it be was iffy that I would go through with it from seeing the needles and getting poked. I made my appointment for early that Saturday morning.

A friend said she would come with and check it out. She was thinking about getting a tattoo and wanted to see. We got to the place and had to wait a bit for one of the artists. When one came over, I showed him the photo of the shamrock tattoo I wanted and that it’d be a small one on the inside of my wrist. He said okay and went to sketch the design on the transfer paper. That was something I hadn’t realized they did but totally makes sense. That took a while and then he came back and we grabbed seats. Luckily it was near the waiting area and my friend could sit and watch.

The artist told me to relax my wrist and warned me that doing it there, my fingers might twitch. Whoah! What? I hadn’t thought about that, but with the nerves being right there. Something else to get nervous about. How much twitching would they do? Deep breath. He transferred the design on the wrist. It was a little larger then I was thinking, but didn’t look too bad. I had told him I wanted it in green, he suggested doing a green and black coloring. I figured he knew what he was talking about and said sure. He placed the needle over my wrist and started the process. It went up and down so fast that at times felt like it was slicing me like a knife. That is when I realized, tattooing is basically have people stab you on purpose and scar you. Usually we try not to leave scars if we get cut. hmmm.

It felt so uncomfortable, but so glad he was was fast, and that I got a simple enough design, that it was over pretty fast. My friend got a photo that perfectly summed up what I was feeling. I am glad she got it while I was getting tattooed. The artist finished up and went over the care for instructions and I was done. He told me what the cost of that size tattoo would be and I wrote a check for a little more for the donation to the hospital. Then got a sticker that said “I got tattooed for the kids”. I really wanted that sticker.

A friend that lived nearby messaged us to come over for brunch, so we did. We said there almost all day, just chatting away. Hope she didn’t mind. I waited until the tattoo was healed and took a photo to show it off while wine tasting at a winery. I think it turned out cute. Took a while to get used to the fact I have something permanent on my arm.

I don’t know if I will get anymore. I have thought about it now that it’s been some time. But then I look at that photo above of when I was getting this one and remember. I am not closing the door, but I am happy with this one.

Did it take a while for you to get a tattoo? Have you done something like this where the money is for a benefit for children?

 

Throw a Surprise Party

My favorite so far is the surprise birthday party my sister and I threw for our mom a few years ago.

This was one of those milestone birthday’s (I won’t say which one so she can’t get mad at me) My sister and I wanted to make sure to do something special. Her birthday is at the end of July and there were several years she had to celebrate it at a swim meet.

I had gone to a friend’s wedding at a little winery not far from our house. It was super cute and their wines were pleasant to taste. I had the place in mind right away when we started discussing this. AND it would serve as a great cover of getting her to it, by using the excuse of wine tasting and then lunch.

We created a list of family and friends and sent out invites. This was my first time planning a big-ish event like this. Lots of little details became clear. Not to mention costs. There was the location, food, drinks, cake, decorations.

My uncle (her brother) was very helpful with the planning and when I became worried about having the money for it all, said he would be willing to help cover the cost of the food. My cousin was dating (and now married to) a very nice gal whose family managed a food place (Armadillo Willy’s). They talked and worked out that they would bring the food as a buffet. It was a perfect choice because it was food we knew my mom would enjoy, especially the coleslaw (side note: I am not much for coleslaw but this one is very yummy).

Next up was ordering a fruit basket cake from Whole Foods. That part wasn’t hard at all. The hard part was getting my sis here from Hawaii and making sure not to blow the party to our mom. I was living in an apartment at the time, so she was able to fly in and stay with me without mom being aware. She went to our house during the day, while mom was at work, and looked for photos to use as part of decorations. We found some fun ones of her throughout her life.

My sis thought she was being clever in setting up a call to mom to make it seem like she was still in Hawaii going about her daily routine. I just had to make sure not to say anything about the party when my mom was around.

We almost got away without her being completing aware, but then the winery made the mistake in calling her house phone instead of my cell phone. They wanted to make sure I was sending the final payment for the event. I was SOOOOO PISSED! It worked out in the end because, as my mom said, I didn’t need to come up with an excuse and she didn’t know what or who might be there.

The day of, we went to the farmer’s market to get a bunch of flowers. Then headed to the winery. Our uncle and family was there to help set up the food and when a few other guests got there a little early, gladly helped us finish setting up tables. We had bought glass jars from Goodwill that we filled with the flowers and then had the photos placed at the different tables. The winery had a table for the wines and set up another one for the cake and any presents people brought. I had a little stereo that had music, but it was small so people couldn’t really hear it (turned out to be unnecessary anyway). Being at the end of July, I wasn’t sure if it’d be super hot like it can often times be. Luckily it was only warm with a slight breeze coming over from the river nearby.

Then I went to go get the guest of honor.

One last thing, the week before my mom had gone out to dinner with a friend. They decided to get a bottle of wine and asked the waitress for a recommendation. She mentioned Scribner Bend to try. My mom came home to tell me that we have to check out this winery and that the wine was very nice. I almost said something then, but I was able to stop myself. Was very glad to know she would enjoy the wine.

So, I went and got her and came back to the winery. Now, where we all were was in the middle of some of the vines, so she couldn’t see it right away. She walked through the flower arch and everyone yelled, “SURPRISE!!” and she was. There were a few people she hadn’t seen in a while. But when she noticed my sister hiding in the back, she said “I KNEW you were here!” Later, she admitted she didn’t really, but had hoped.

In the end, it was a very pleasant afternoon and so fun. Definitely a surprise party to remember and cherish.

Have you thrown a surprise party or been the recipient of one?

Grow Long Hair

& Donate to Wigs For Kids

I can check off 2 items for this one “Grow Long Hair” and “Donate to…”

Back in 2013 a friend mentioned she was going to start growing out her hair and donate to Locks of Love. I thought, why not do that too!! When I mentioned it to my hair stylist, she told me to look at other organizations that create wigs for children. People assume the wigs they make and give to kids are free. It’s not true. Plus, it is mostly for children that suffer alopecia areata (a type of hair loss). Not to say that is not also important to give wigs to kids that have that, but I was thinking of donating toward a wig for a child that has to deal with cancer (or wider range of reasons a child lost their hair). Researching more, I found they use a sliding fee based on parent’s income. And even though they accept at least 10 inches of pretty much any type of hair (even dyed), they don’t use all of it. Some they sell off. Maybe to help keep costs of making the wigs down, but that was still unclear to me.

I was disillusioned with Locks of Love and started looking for other organizations that fit more with what I wanted my hair to be donated for. I came across Wigs for Kids. “For children who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, Alopecia, Trichotillomania, burns and other medical issues at no cost to children or their families.” And as far as I can tell, they work to make the wigs complimentary to children.

Side note: I saw on the Wigs for Kids website they have a Girl Scout patch for donating. Where was that when I was a Scout? Would have been fun to earn.

The requirements for Wigs for Kids is at least 12 inches and no chemical treatment to the hair. I figured I can do this challenge and let my hair grow long. It had been quite a challenge for me. I usually keep my hair chin length and anytime it starts to touch my shoulders I chop it off. It’s also quite thick, so when I do the chop, I can feel the weight come off my head. I’ve liked to dye it a reddish color. Growing up it stayed a light brown due to me swimming year round. When I stopped swimming, it went back to my natural color which is a very dark brown and I was very much not used to that. Friends even asked if I dyed my hair.

It took about 4 years to grow, and as soon as I could, I chopped it off as part of a birthday treat for myself. I got it layered and colored.

The back ponytail reached 12 inches but the other ponytails were a tad short. Plan B, donate that one ponytail to Wigs for Kids and the rest to PanteneBeautiful Lengths program. They provide free wigs for women battling cancer. Their requirements were at least 8 inches and color free. Done!!

It was fun to grow out my hair to see how it looked and felt. People said long hair looks good on me. I might grow it out long again but this time style it more than just an even cut and see how that looks. And down the road, I might donate it again. I hope that little bit of hair will help add to making a wig for a child and a woman and bring a smile to their faces.

Have you donated your hair? What organization and how was your experience?

Participate in a Polar Bear Plunge

I’ve been wanting to do a new year’s day polar bear plunge for a few years now. I would look for ones around the area. They all seemed a bit far away, and the ones talked about on the news that day would be too late to go to.

my first attempt in 2010
In 2010, I tried jumping into the ocean. We happened to stop at Stinston Beach in Northern California and I thought about changing into my swim suit, but there was so many signs warning about sharks that I chickened out. I did stick the lower half of my legs in the water though. Hey, it was a start!

Second attempt in 2011
December 2011, I was looking at the different options, and most seemed to be beach jumps down in southern California. Then I came across a flyer online for a polar bear plunge in a community pool not to far away. The part that made me happy was that it going to happen in the middle of the day, not the morning. I posted to see if anyone else was interested and right away I got comments that I was crazy. Although one of my friends decided to consider it and asked if I really planned on going. I had started to waver with the fact it might be raining and the water was going to be about 48 degrees. Then I told her, you know, I keep looking at these kind of things to do and then it’s becomes too late to do them and I end up regretting not doing it. Plus, it is a jump, not a swim or anything. So why the heck not do it. They said there would warm showers, hot chocolate, and soup to warm back up.

With that response to her inquiry, she decided, why the heck not too. A couple of others did say okay while we were talking about it at a new year’s eve party. And a couple of the guys said that they would jump if I joined in the group drinking car bombs. I thought, that’s easy enough and did drink up. Of course that seemed to be our downfall for the rest of the evening.

The next day, we woke up with headaches and seeing that ground was wet from a rain shower and more grey clouds in the sky. But my friend and I were still determined to do this adventure. We got on our swim suits and sweats and blankets and headed out to the pool. As soon as we got into the parking lot, we were wondering if we would be the only adults as we were seeing lots of kids walk by with towels. But there were lots of friendly smiles and encouragement from others and there were other adults in the pool area.

Two other friends from the night before showed up and we started getting ready to plunge in the water. Lots of joking and wondering this really was a good idea. The sun came out and the day felt a little warmer. We got out of our sweats and lined up along the pool sides. There were almost enough people to line up on 3 sides. We counted down and took a huge jump and deep breathes and under the water we went. It definitely was a shock and right away was trying to find the top of the water. Then swimming for the edge of the pool and hopping out. Actually it did seem after the initial cold shock that it wasn’t too bad, but I didn’t really feel like staying in too long. One dad had said that his daughter had to be told to get out of the pool last year, she stayed in so long. Most of the other people jumped in and out just as fast as us. The two guys that jumped with me were saying that swimming a lap wouldn’t be too bad, but they were just as fast, if not faster on getting back out of the pool.

Here we are all excited to be doing this polar bear plunge

3, 2, 1…JUMP!

Thanks again Aaron Craig, Erica Scoggins, and Marty Crossley Jr. for joining me

There was also a slide that was open for people to use. A few kids decided they had to slide down. Marty and I decided to brave the water again and go on the slide. It was a very slow slide down into the water but fun. The outside air was quite warm after being in the pool.

We changed and found out that there were buttons to get saying we survived. We definitely wanted proof, besides photos, that we did a polar bear plunge. The other nice thing about this event was that it was a fundraiser for a youth scholarship.

We couldn’t find any hot showers, but we changed as fast as our cold hands would let us and headed out for a celebratory hot lunch. As we left, the clouds came back with sprinkles. I was glad to have gone and even more glad that I had some crazy friends to join me. I’m already looking forward to doing this again with more people.

Are you a Polar Bear Plunge survivor? Pool, lake, river, or ocean?

Read Kerouac, Ginsberg, Corso, and Burroughs (part 1 of 4)

I’ve been wondering why all these authors were grouped together. According to Wikipedia’s entry; “The Beat Generation was a group of American post-World War II writers who came to prominence in the 1950’s, as well as the cultural phenomena that they both documented and inspired. Central elements of “Beat” culture included rejection of received standards, innovations in style, experimentation with drugs, alternative sexualities, an interest in Eastern religion, a rejection of materialism, and explicit portrayals of the human condition”

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

I am so happy I can finally say I finished reading “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac! I don’t why, but it’s taken me over a year to get through this book. I can cross off 1 out of the 4 authors. Although, these other authors are featured a bit in the book so I almost can stop here. But I won’t, I’ll try to get through one book by each person.

I started reading this book and immediately noticed that there were no paragraphs or chapters. Guess that’s what they mean by Kerouac’s spontaneous prose style of writing. He rambled on and on about people and his adventures between the years 1947 to 1950. I think that is what made it hard for me to get into the story. The rambling, odd descriptions of what was happening, how he viewed other people, side thoughts or insights, and tangent stories. I told my mom that it felt like I sat down with Kerouac to hear about his adventure over a drink. We all get that way (mostly) with telling someone about a trip right? Start a story, remember other stories, go off on tangents, and then go back to the main story. And there’s no breaks, unless you would count another person interrupting the storyteller.

I had to ask for clarification on a few slang terms and expressions. And after a few pages of reading, I forgot what I had read before. Got the gist of everything, but if I had to go back to write a better review, or a paper on this, I would basically have to reread it all over.

After finishing the book, I am now curious on reading some papers delving into what people think he was writing about and see what they interpret as the meaning behind or into the story. I didn’t understand the difference in this edition as opposed to the original edition published in 1957. It is pretty cool that he first typed this story up on one long piece of paper (120-foot roll of teletype paper), hence why the “scroll”. Later on, he had to break it up and write on normal sheets of paper. He also changed the names of the characters in the story so there would be no libel suits. I read names like Jack Kerouac, is also known as Salvatore “Sal” Paradise. And his other main character, Neal Cassady, is also Dean Moriarty.

It was hilarious, and I don’t think a spoiler, to get toward the end of the story and have it stop abruptly. I was about to get mad, but on the next page there was a note from the editor that it stopped there because the last bit of the scroll had been chewed off by a dog. The editor also noted that based on notes and Kerouc’s published story, he added the last bit.

I thought it interesting on Wikipedia’s page that they had a section of public reception for the book. Both for when it first was published and the current reactions to it, 50 years later. I would say the perception of the story and characters probably have changed drastically over the years.

make angels in the snow

The author also had this item listed at #1353 make a snow angel.

I know I’ve made snow angels in the snow as a kid, but writing this when I went in 2013 and got to go play in the snow like a kid again. Some friends and I went up to Lake Tahoe (area), California to go to sledding. It was a little overcast, but perfect snow weather. This was the first time I’ve gone to a sled park.

They had a couple of lifts for those that wanted to ski. But we walked over to the sled area. You then grab a big inter-tube and step onto a moving walkway (like those in airports). You line up to one of the lanes (they had them grooved out so no one would bump into each other) and slide down. Super fun and easy, since you don’t have to do to much work in walking in the snow up each time.

Snow sledding 1While there, I wanted to make a snow angel. We took a break from sledding and laid down on our tubes and chatted for a bit. I took this opportunity to walk over to an area that was packed down. Then I fell backwards into the snow and moved my arms and legs. When I got up, it didn’t really look like much of an angel, as you’ll see. But the point is, I made one since buying this book and can cross it off the list.

 

When is the last time you did something child like?