Adventure in Lists, Day 6

Here is another set of two days’ lists. Again another throw-away list and one I actually more carefully considered

Top Ten Favorite Superpowers

We’re going to start off by noting things that people like Peter Petrelli and Rogue carry around are stupid. If I could just absorb anyone’s ability, then I’m not special. I’m a parasite.

10. Super-strength/Super-speed
This feels like it would only be convenient for being unnecessarily impressive or for life-threatening situations. I assume that I can control it, so I don’t smash a ton of pickle jars or anything. So unless someone is trapped under a car, or I need to hold up a building for reasons, I’m not sold. And speed just seems mostly useless. I can get to you way quick? Great, but I imagine I’d still get tired like I do now.

9. Flight
Flight is sort of overrated I think. I mean, in theory it’s nice, but I assume I don’t have super strength, so I can’t bring other people with me. I am still bound by atmosphere and air pressure changes. So it’s convenient for getting from a to b, but mostly it’s just a little faster

8. Healing/Rapid-cellular Regeneration
This seems better to me than being invincible. Invincibility sort of takes away some of the parts that still make me human, so I’d prefer to still be able to feel pain and then be able to come back from that. Also, if it’s possible that my power can somehow benefit more people, so much the better.

7. Precognition
My brain tells me I would like this because I like to be able to prepare for all circumstances, but odds are I’d end up hating it. Unless, I’m able to control when I do or do not get to take on visions. Otherwise, I’m going to be pretty mad it made it this high on the list.

6. Omni-linguism/Polyglotism
This just feels practical. To naturally be able to understand and speak all languages.

5. Teleportation
This one plays to my laziness, but it would also just be good to be able to see the people I love whenever I want. That would be so nice. Not that I don’t value the time spent alone or with one or more close friends, but to get to immediately be with people. That’d be wonderful.

4. Telekinesis
I’ll be honest. This sounds great because I’m a very lazy person. To be able to reach for something across the room and have it in my hand. Yes, please.

3. Telepathy
For communication only. I think I’d hate every moment I could read another person’s uncontrolled thoughts. I think they’d constantly break my heart, but to be able to communicate with someone silently in an instant. That sounds great

2. Waterbreathing
Again, assuming pressure holds, but still to be able to be underwater for an indefinite amount of time, not by holding my breath but maintaining it. That would be ideal. I’d never leave the water, though I assume I must at some point. I would think that my skin would still absorb water as well, and that I would be susceptible to at the very least a severe form of water log, if not drowning.

1. Muscle Mimicry
Honestly, and to me this isn’t like absorbing powers. It’s the ability to see something done and be capable of doing it. I would say this doesn’t apply to superpowers. That it would only be things ordinary people could do, but to be able to acquire any skill would be amazing. To be able to see a gymnast and then replicate a routine or paint or dance. There are so many things I’ll never be able to do, but some times when I see people do things my brain convinces me I can. I can’t. I want to.

I won’t take the time to justify all of these. There are a lot of opinions out there, I’m sure. I’ll just add a quick note to a few, but probably just Harry Potter

Top Ten Favorite Children’s Books

10. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

9. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

8. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

7. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Surprised this isn’t nearer to number 1? Surprised this one and not other ones? Not nearer the top because there are things that speak to my heart more frequently, better, and longer. And why this one? Because this is the one that brings you in, and this is the one, in my opinion, that maintains itself as a children’s book. After this one they become adolescent lit.

5. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

4. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

3. Matilda by Roald Dahl

2. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

1. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie


Adventure in Adventure Bag

Peter Pan is my favorite book. I have three copies of it. All of them are annotated. All of them are worn.

When I was little I was determined to be an adventurer. I was going to explore the whole world. There were tigers hiding in the day lilies. There were hunters hiding in the trees. And while I knew it was just a story part of me was pretty sure that Peter Pan was based on actual events. In the same way I believed (believe) the Doctor is real. It’s all just so generalized now. One person heard one specific story, and those details spread. With the Doctor, if I’m honest with you, I believed every detail. Gobbled it up. Now I know–erm imagine, some details stuck. Big, blue box. One person saw a big, blue box a few times and was like “yep, it’s always that.” And then came a tv show. And then came a fan base. And then came a skewing of the truth. But I know that if I wait it out, he’ll come to my TARDIS. my tardis

With Peter Pan I got carried away. Maybe. Understand me here. I had a great home life. I did. Shoot, I still could if I wanted to move back. But I was a restless kid. I still am. And I thought one day I’d run away. Not out of spite or fear or anger. I just needed to get away. To be free and to explore without restrictions. So I packed a bag. I kept a bag packed, for just the right time. Truth be told, I kept a bag packed in quiet anticipation of Peter Pan coming to my window. I remember crying myself to sleep a few times thinking about how I’m not English, and he’d never come to America.

It wasn’t a big bag, but I wasn’t a big person. A change of clothes. Underwear. A stuffed animal. Webby, from Duck Tales, I think. And my blankie.

This week I did something I hadn’t done for a very long time. I packed the bag. It’s a bookbag I stole from my brother. Olive drab canvas. I stole it when I reattached a strap. “I fixed it, so it’s mine now.” (I’m a bad person). A change of clothes. Shorts. Jeans. Two shirts. Underwear. Spare toothbrush. Deodorant. Yellow, stone-washed Toms. My favorite copy of Peter Pan. The current book I’m reading. Blankie.

Adulthood isn’t so different, and I know I’m not going anywhere, but I feel like I could. I could run away. Is it running away if you’re an adult with no actual obligations or ties?

Know that if the Doctor comes, I’m going. I’ve got my bags packed just like Donna Noble (on a much smaller scale). And when–if he does, we’re picking up Jeff Blossom, and hitting the infinite time/space highway.

It’s summer, and summer is brutal to my heart and mind. The way that winter destroys so many other people. Summer kills me. I’ve been trying to prepare myself. Getting myself ready with favorite memories from summers past. How can any summer live up to the summer of Fox Mulder? How can I survive another summer at all? This one may do me in.

I’m just so fitful. Restless. Chickenshit.

Adventure in Fictional factual

And now the 50 influential characters from all sorts of places.

“Whoever said, “The more things change the more things stay the same,” definitely had the right POV. ” -Clarissa Darling

“I’ll stay home and watch public television.”-Stephanie Tanner

“Jessie, let’s go to the lost and found, because you’ve lost it.”-Kelly Kapowski

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.” – Miss Piggy

“When you set aside your childhood heroes,
and your dreams are lost up on a shelf, you’re at the age of not believing and worst of all you doubt yourself.”-Eglantine Price

” I just wish I could start a relationship about twelve years in, when you really don’t have to try anymore, and you can just sit around together and goof on TV shows, and then go to bed without anybody trying any funny business.”-Liz Lemon

“The key is to be direct, and vague, yet obvious and subtle.”-Cory Matthews

“What the fuzzy?” -Pepper Ann

“Take chances. Make mistakes. Get messy!” -Ms. Frizzle.

“Tragedy hits the school and everyone thinks of me. A popular guy died, and now I’mpopular because I’m the misery chick. But I’m not miserable. I’m just not like them.”-Daria Morgendorfer

“I want to be a starving artist so I need to ring up more debt.”-Jane Lane

“Ask him something serious!”-Lenni Frazier

“Here’s a quick recap: There was boredom followed by dullness with a dash of echh!” -Sabrina Spellman

“10 to 1 you can’t dance to it.”-Fox Mulder

“It’s really nice that you guys missed me. Say, you all didn’t happen to do a bunch of drugs, did ya?”-Willow Rosenberg

I can just hear you in private. “I dislike that Anya. She’s newly human, and strangely literal” – Anya Jenkins

Seeing a teacher’s actual lunch is, like, so depressing. Not to mention, her bra strap.
– Angela Chase

Bet ya on land they understand, that they don’t reprimand their daughters. – Ariel

I’m a big, tough girl. I tie my own sandals and everything – Megara

I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then. – Alice

Forever is an awfully long time. – Wendy Darling

 Ah! I just said “bet your buns” to a nun! – Laverne Defazio

I’ll let you in on a little secret about the so-called fearless: We’re not as tough as you think we are. – Jen Lindley

Dad, give me one good reason why there can’t be a woman president. – Lindsay Weir

I think I know Aslan when I see him – Lucy Pevensie

Life isn’t all fricasseed frogs and eel pie.  – Puddleglum

Why would he threaten to kill you in public? – Miss Scarlet

I refuse. I absolutely REFUSE to be an onion – Harriet M. Welsch

I need a new name. One that’s not worn out from use. – Winnie Foster

It’s for some stupid, noble reason, isn’t it? – Ginny Weasley

If you tell anyone about this, especially your brothers, I’ll beat the shit out of you.
– Roberta Martin

I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. – Jo March

“People never like me and I never like people,” she thought. “And I never can talk as the Crawford children could. They were always talking and laughing and making noises.”
– Mary Lennox

We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us. – Anne Shirley

What we Tucks have, you can’t call it living. We just… are. We’re like rocks, stuck at the side of a stream. – Angus Tuck

One girl is worth more use than 20 boys. – Peter Pan

Look here! I don’t believe the whole thing can be half as bad as you’re making out; any more than the beds in the wigwam were hard or the wood was wet. I don’t think Aslan would ever have sent us if there was so little chance as all that. – Eustace Scrubb

But even a traitor may mend. I have known one that did. – Edmund Pevensie

Sir, I am at great unrest, and I cannot lie longer in sloth. – Eowyn

If you wanna be a member of the Scooby Gang, you gotta be willing to be inconvenienced every now and then.  – Xander Harris

I was going to be a fighter pilot. Or, possibly a grocer. – Rupert Giles

Insane? If giving away all your worldly possessions, renouncing society, and learning how to purify and drink your own urine is insane, then, mmm, yes, color me insane.
– Eric Matthews

You’re supposed to bag the nematod, not cream it! –  Doug Funnie

I’m always late. That’s why I don’t wear a watch. They depress me. – Trent Lane

The first time I saw this episode my dad pointed out “That’s a federal offense.” Swoon

But before I had this, I was lost too. You see what I’m saying? You need to find…your reason for- for living, man. You’ve got to find, your big, just gigantic drum kit, you know?
– Nick Andopolis

Oh, terrific. Do we do that before or after we flap our arms and fly to the moon?
– Red Fraggle

That’s the kind of dream that gets better the more people you share it with.
– Kermit the Frog

Oh, how little you understand bears, Kermit. My mother loves surprises. – Fozzie Bear

I finish work, I go home, read a book, have a couple of beers, take myself for a walk, and go to bed. – Rowlf the Dog

Photography’s an art. You gotta have the right film, you gotta have the right exposure, and you gotta scream just before they get the food to their mouth.  – The Great Gonzo

Adventure in Stories

These are the 50 books and stories that have influenced me over the last 25 years. Mostly they’re stories, but there are a couple that aren’t strictly fictional.  I also don’t think it’s a full 50. In no particular order.

“You need not be sorry for her. She was one of the kind that likes to grow up. In the end she grew up of her own free will a day quicker than the other girls.”

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”

“I knew that danger lay ahead, of course; but I did not expect to meet it in our own Shire. Can’t a hobbit walk from the Water to the River in peace?”

“Do not pity the dead Harry.  Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.”
The Harry Potter series

“Matilda said, “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…”

“Please don’t go. We’ll eat you up. We love you so.”

“Stay is a charming word in a friend’s vocabulary.”

“Nothing ever seems interesting when it belongs to you – only when it doesn’t.”

 “It made her think that it was curious how much nicer a person looked when he smiled. She had not thought of it before.”

“Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.”

“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”

The Chronicles of Narnia

“But, of course, it isn’t really Good-bye, because the Forest will always be there… and anybody who is Friendly with Bears can find it.”

“Are these things really better than the things I already have? Or am I just trained to be dissatisfied with what I have now?”

“Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.”

“Today is the sort of day where the sun only comes up to humiliate you.”

“If you really wanted to mess me up, you should have got to me earlier.”

“Love is pretty much a decision anyway. Just like happiness. You can decide to either love someone or not, be happy or not. The rest is just commitment to the idea.”

“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”

“I want to know what passion is. I want to feel something strongly.”

“Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is finding his place in it, while really it is finding its place in him.”

“Art never responds to the wish to make it democratic; it is not for everybody; it is only for those who are willing to undergo the effort needed to understand it.”

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”

“What and how much had I lost by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?”

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”

“They were indeed great rascals, and belonged to that class of people who find things before they are lost.”

“It isn’t fair, it isn’t right,” Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her.”

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.”

“But people themselves alter so much, that there is something new to be observed in them for ever.”

“I do not understand the mystery of grace — only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.”

“The gospel declares that no matter how dutiful or prayerful we are, we can’t save ourselves. What Jesus did was sufficient.”

“You know what? You’re an individual, and that makes people nervous. And it’s gonna keep making people nervous for the rest of your life.”

“I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.”

“I am always saying “Glad to’ve met you” to somebody I’m not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though.”

“We know who is who! Now there Isn’t a doubt.
The best kind of Sneetches are Sneetches without!”

“Everything’s a story – You are a story -I am a story.”

“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others”

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.”

“The only thing you can do easily is be wrong, and that’s hardly worth the effort.”

“You need a reason to be sad. You don’t need a reason to be happy.”

“She held herself very straight, like Audrey Hepburn, whom all women idolize and men never think about.”

“There’s nothing––absolutely nothing––half so much worth doing as messing about in boats.”

“We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?”

“He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music.”

Adventure in Knowing me

I’ve been thinking about the things that impact my brain and the things I say. Movies, stories, music, all that. So I’m making some lists. First up we have the 50 movies you should see to better understand me. These aren’t necessarily my favorite movies; they’re just the ones that have helped make me me. In no particular order.

01. Clue

“Communism was just a red herring.”

02. Jaws

“Well, if we’re looking for a shark we’re not gonna find him on the land.”

03. E.T. The Extraterrestrial

03. E.T. The Extraterrestrial

“You could be happy here, I could take care of you. I wouldn’t let anybody hurt you. We could grow up together, E.T”

04. Jurassic Park

” If the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists.”

05. Adam

“Feeling loved is very important, but loving, my precious girl, that’s the necessity.”

06. Midnight in Paris

“No subject is terrible if the story is true, if the prose is clean and honest, and if it affirms courage and grace under pressure.”

07. A Muppet Family Christmas

“I don’t care if the turkey says the dog is the turkey. The dog is not the turkey. The turkey’s the turkey, you turkey!”

08. The Last Chance Detectives

“Yeah, well go ahead and laugh. But I’m telling the truth. And if you were any kind of Sheriff you’d be out there, looking for evidence, instead of sitting here, eating donuts and getting fat!”

09. Harriet the Spy

“There are as many ways to live in this world as there are people in this world, and each one deserves a closer look.”

10. Batman Returns

“The heat’s getting to me. I’ll murder you momentarily. But first, I could really use a cool drink of ice water.”

11. Blackbeard’s Ghost

“By thunder! This raises my blood! There be a time for action! Hang on old ladies, Blackbeard’s coming! Up the Jolly Roger!”

12. Close Encounters of the Third Kind

“I know this sounds crazy, but ever since yesterday on the road, I’ve been seeing this shape. Shaving cream, pillows… Dammit! I know this. I know what this is! This means something. This is important.”

13. The Royal Tenenbaums

“I always wanted to be a Tenenbaum.”

14. Dick Tracy

“I know how you feel. You don’t know if you want to hit me or kiss me. I get a lot of that.”

15. Driving Lessons

“I’m a woman, Leland. Not an oil-tanker.”

16. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure

“I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel.”

17. Edward Scissorhands

“You see, before he came down here, it never snowed. And afterwards, it did. If he weren’t up there now… I don’t think it would be snowing. Sometimes you can still catch me dancing in it.”

18. Fantastic Mr. Fox

“There’s a lot of attitudes going on around here… don’t let me get one.”

19. Little Giants

“I call it ‘The Annexation of Puerto Rico.”

20. Stand By Me

“Yeah, by the time we get there, the kid won’t even be dead anymore.”

21. Newsies

“Headlines don’t sell papes. Newsies sell papes.”

22. Indiana Jones trilogy

“Archaeology is the search for fact… not truth. If it’s truth you’re looking for, Dr. Tyree’s philosophy class is right down the hall.”

23. Star Wars trilogy

“Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.” “Never tell me the odds.”

24. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

“You’re not dying. You just can’t think of anything better to do.”

25. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

“I fell so completely in love with these shoes, I bought enough pairs to last my whole lifetime. This is my last pair.”

26. Peter Pan

“Goodness gracious whatever shall we do?!”

27. The Little Mermaid

“Betcha on land they understand; that they don’t reprimand their daughters.”

28. Aladdin

“But when I’m way up here it’s crystal clear that now I’m in a whole new world with you.”

29. The Muppet Movie

“It’s a good thing frogs can hop or I’d be gone with the Schwinn.”

30. Breakfast Club

“Could you describe the ruckus?”

31. Pretty in Pink

“You said you couldn’t be with someone who didn’t believe in you. Well I believed in you. I just didn’t believe in me. I love you… always.”

32. Reality Bites

“Turn it up. You won’t regret it.”

33. The Sandlot

“I don’t know. Some lady gave it to him. She even signed her name on it.Some lady named… Ruth. Baby Ruth.”

34. 10 Thing I Hate About You

“Romantic? Hemingway? He was an abusive, alcoholic misogynist who squandered half of his life hanging around Picasso trying to nail his leftovers.”

35. Scream

“My mom and dad are gonna be so mad at me.”

36. Stranger than Fiction

“Everyone thinks about leaping off a building.”

37. The United States of Leland

“I think there are two ways you can see the world. You either see the sadness that’s behind everything or you choose to keep it all out.”

38. Bedknobs and Broomsticks

“You must face the age of not believing, doubting everything you ever knew. Until at last, you start believing there’s something wonderful in you!”

39. The Land Before Time

“Three horns do not play with long necks.”

40. Memento

“I have this condition.”

41. Winnie-the-Pooh and the Blustery Day

“Oh, hello. Am I glad to see you. It’s more friendly with two. Now, you go that way, and I’ll go this way.”

42. Follow That Bird

“Gee. There’s still no sign of Sesame Street. Nothing but amber waves of grain. I think I’m lost. What’ll I do? I wish Snuffy were here. Then I’d be lost with my best friend.”

43. Men in Black

“We’re not hosting an intergalactic kegger down here.”

44. Fox and the Hound

“I’m a hound dog!”

45. Mean Girls

“Cause she’s a life ruiner. She ruins people’s lives.”

46. Big Fish

“Truth is, I’ve always been thirsty.”

47. Now and Then

“Your parents aren’t always right.”

48. Psycho

“A boy’s best friend is his mother.”

49. Ernest Scared Stupid

“I never knew when to quit. Just ask my fourth grade teacher.”

50. Mystery Men

“I shovel well. I shovel very well.”

And now we all know why I’m so strange.

To answer McCann’s question

Yes. I will keep putting up new posts on here, though not likely as regularly.

I don’t really know what to tell you anymore about the end of the trip. Oxford. Kensington.

Oxford was beautifully old. The walls around each college stood strong and protecting each hidden community.  They hid from me who knows what.  Lakes. Castles. Dragons. Dreams. Worlds I’ll never see. For all I know behind one set of walls was an entire underground city with a fake glass city built on top of it. Behind another wall could be a city run entirely by wafflepeople.  Who knows what ancient civilizations still live behind each walled city? Though behind one wall I suspect I saw Gondor. There was a tree high up on a hill in front of a building. I can only assume it was the White Tree, the Tree of the King.

Sunday was perfect weather.  The air was warm, a brisk autumn-feeling calm as the wind tossed leaves across the grass.  A boy loudly counting backwards from ten as his parents watch on and I from the distance watch him reach one and shout “BLAST OFF!” He jumps once, but missed and jumped again and his nerf rocket shot up a few feet into the air. I follow the signs that kindly point me to my childhood love and friend. There he is atop a narrowing stack of rocks covered in fairies, bunnies, and squirrels. His sweet face looking off toward the sky to Neverland. My love Peter Pan standing there reminding me what it is to be a little girl. Smile on my face I stare up him silently thanking him for reminding me, thanking him for teaching me to dream, expanding my imagination, and taking me away from the world. I walk passed tree after tree, knotty and turned. Two boys playing football in the park with their dad. One boy plays goalie as the other struggles against his father to get the ball back.  When the boy is in possession of the ball the dad accidentally trips the boy and kicks it a bit hard at the boys face.  The boy goes to block the ball with his hands to protect his face.  His dad yells, “Hands! My ball!” and kicks the ball away. How could I not laugh?

The next morning was a train ride to the airport and then back across the pond.

It feels a bit like I never left. That my fatigue is a result of my cold and has nothing to do with the fact that I’m weary from all that time away from the people I love so much or the drastic change in time. The air feels heavier here. I feel heavier, like my arms will drop off from the weight of them, that my shoulders are hunched from the weight of the air. The only thing keeping my head there is the stream of movies shot in Ireland that are playing on HBO. The cold is threatening and uninviting. The snow seems fake like I’m walking around in a Fort Wayne snowglobe, trapped.  I don’t know when or if I’ll ever get to go back, but I hope some day I can. Maybe then it will feel like I have actually been there.