Friday, August 27, 2010

Proulx's list

Okay ... so a couple of people have asked about this list.  Here's a bit of backstory.  In high school, I had an English teacher (Bev Proulx) who truly was a teacher; there were varying opinions from students on whether they actually liked having her classes (my cynical side might note that those who disliked her as a teacher were not very fond of being challenged academically).  We did lots and lots of writing for her - that part certainly helped me whiz through short papers in college - to learn how to organize an argument on paper.  She was also an advocate for reading classics - old and contemporary.  Early in our senior year, she gave us two lists of titles one contemporary works and the other classics entitled "Reading List for a Well-Educated Adult".  These weren't meant to be "best" books in the way that so many similar lists claim to be; instead, they were works that are often referred to in literature, art, music, etc.  In other words, what you should read so you have all the backstory when you run across a reference.  The contemporary list is interesting as a snapshot of the late 1980s when I was in high school, but the classics definitely have stood the test of time.  And here's the classics list, in the original sections, for you to pursue and perhaps read yourself ...

Reading List for the Well-Educated Adult

Necessary Reading
Aechylus - The Oresteia (trilogy)
The Agamemnon
Anonymous - Everyman
Arabian Nights
Bronte, Emily - Wuthering Heights
Bulfinch, Thomas - Mythology
Cervantes, Saavedra, Miguel de - Don Quixote
Chaucer, Geoffrey - The Canterbury Tales
Clemens, Samuel (Mark Twain) - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Dante (Dante Alighieri) - The Divine Comedy
Darwin, Charles - Origin of the Species
Dickens, Charles - Great Expectations
   Bleak House
   A Tale of Two Cities
Dostoevsky, Fiodor - Crime and Punishment
   The Brothers Karamasov
The Federalist Papers
Franklin, Benjamin - Autobiography
Golding, William - The Lord of the Flies
Graves, Robert - The Greek Myths, Parts I & II
Homer - The Iliad
   The Odyssey
Huxley, Aldous - Brave New World
Malory, Sir Thomas - Le Morte d'Arthur
Marlowe, Christopher - The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus
Miller, Arthur - The Crucible
   Death of a Salesman
Milton, John - Paradise Lost
   Paradise Regained
Orwell, George - Animal Farm
Ovid - Metamorphoses
Parkman, Francis - The Oregon Trail
Plutarch - Lives
Riesman, David - The Lonely Crowd
Shakespeare, William - Hamlet
   King Lear
   A Midsummer Night's Dream
   Romeo and Juliet
Shaw, George Bernard - Pygmalion
Sophocles - Oedipus the King
   Oedipus at Colonus
Steinbeck, John - The Grapes of Wrath
   East of Eden
   Of Mice and Men
Swift, Jonathan - Gulliver's Travels
Tennyson, Alfred (Lord) - Idylls of the King
Thoreau, Henry David - Walden
Wilder, Thornton - The Skin of Our Teeth
   Our Town
Williams, Tennessee - The Glass Menagerie
   A Streetcar Named Desire

Highly Recommended
Aeschylus - Prometheus Bound
Alcott, Louisa May - Little Women
Anonymous - Beowulf
Robin Hood Tales
The Song of Roland
El Cid
Aristophanes - The Frogs
Aristotle - Poetics
Augustine, Saint - Confessions
Austen, Jane - Pride and Prejudice
Bacon, Francis - Writings
Balzac, Honore de - Pere Goriot
   The Human Comedy
Beckett, Samuel - Waiting for Godot
Bolt, Robert - A Man for All Seasons
Brecht, Bertolt - The Caucasian Chalk Circle
   Mother Courage
Bronte, Charlotte - Jane Eyre
Bunyan, John - Pilgrim's Progress
Caesar, Julius - The Gallic Wars
Camus, Albert - The Stranger
   The Plague
   The Fall
Cather, Willa - A Lost Lady
   My Antonia
   Death Comes for the Archbishop
Cicero, Marcus Tullius - Orations and Letters
Clemens, Samuel (Mark Twain) - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
   Life on the Mississippi
Congreve, William - The Way of the World
Conrad, Joseph - Lord Jim
   The Heart of Darkness
   The Secret Sharer (novella)
Cooper, James Fenimore - The Leatherstocking Tales (5 books)
Crane, Stephen - The Red Badge of Courage
Defore, Daniel - Moll Flanders
   Robinson Crusoe
Dewey, John - Writings
Dickens, Charles - David Copperfield
   Oliver Twist
   A Christmas Carol
Dodgson, Charles (Lewis Carroll) - Alice in Wonderland
   Through the Looking Glass
Dos Passos, John - U.S.A.
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan - Casebook of Sherlock Holmes
Dreiser, Theodore - Sister Carrie
   An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexander - The Three Musketeers
   The Count of Monte Cristo
Eliot, George (Mary Ann Evans) - Silas Marner
   Adam Bedi
Emerson, Ralph Waldo - Essays
   Representative Men
Euripedes - Medea
   Trojan Women
Faulkner, William - Light in August
   The Sound and the Fury
   Absalom, Absalom!
   As I Lay Dying
Fielding, Henry - Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott - The Great Gatsby
   Tender is the Night
Flaubert Gustave - Madame Bovary
Forster, E.M. - Passage to India
Frank, Anne - The Diary of a Young Girl
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von - Faust
Hamilton, Edith - Mythology
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - The Scarlet Letter
   The House of Seven Gables
Hemingway, Ernest - The Sun Also Rises
   The Old Man and the Sea
   A Farewell to Arms
   For Whom the Bell Tolls
Heyerdahl, Thor - Kon-Tiki
Hilton, James - Lost Horizon
Hitler, Adolph - Mein Kampf
Hugo, Victor - Les Miserables
   The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Ibsen, Henrik - Ghosts
   A Doll's House
   An Enemy of the People
Joyce, James - The Dubliners
   Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Koestler, Arthur - Darkness at Noon
Leakey, Richard - Origins
Lee, Harper - To Kill a Mockingbird
Lewis, Sinclair - Babbitt
   Main Street
London, Jack - Call of the Wild
MacLeish, Archibald - JB
Mao Tse-Tung - Quotations
Massie, Robert - Nicholas and Alexandra
Marx, Karl - Das Kapital
   The Communist Manifesto
McCullers, Carson - A Member of the Wedding
McLuhan, Marshall - The Medium is the Message
Melville, Herman - Typee
   Billy Budd
   Moby Dick
More, Thomas - Utopia
Nordhoff and Hall - Mutiny on the Bounty
O'Neill, Eugene - The Hairy Ape
   Long Day's Journey into Night
   Desire Under the Elms
Paton, Alan - Cry, the Beloved Country
Plato - The Republic
Plautus - The Menaechmi
Racine - Phaedra
Remarque, Erich Maria - All Quiet on the Western Front
Richter, Conrad - The Sea of Grass
   Light in the Forest
Rostand, Edmund - Cyrano de Bergerac
Sagan, Carl - Cosmos
Salinger, J D - The Catcher in the Rye
   Franny and Zoey
Sandburg, Carl - Abraham Lincoln (6 vol.)
Scott, Sir Walter - Ivanhoe
Shakespeare, William - Richard II
   Henry V
   Richard III
   Julius Caesar
   The Taming of the Shrew
   Measure for Measure
   Twelfth Night
   All's Well that Ends Well
   The Tempest
   Merchant of Venice
   The Comedy of Errors
   As You Like It
   Much Ado about Nothing
   Two Gentlemen of Verona
   The Winter's Tale
Shaw, George Bernard - St. Joan
   Man and Superman
   Major Barbara
   Arms and the Man
Shelley, Mary - Frankenstein
Shute, Nevil - On the Beach
Sienkiowicz, Henry - Quo Vadis
Sinclair, Upton - The Jungle
Stoker, Bram - Dracula
Stowe, Harriet Beecher - Uncle Tom's Cabin
Thackeray, William Makepeace - Vanity Fair
Thucydides - The Peloponnesian Wars
Tolstoy, Leo - War and Peace
   Anna Karenina
Turgenov, Ivan - Fathers and Sons
Virgil - Aeneid
Whitman, Walt - Leaves of Grass

Anderson, Maxwell - Winterset
Anderson, Sherwood - Winesburg, Ohio
Boccaccio, Giovanni - Decameron
Boswell, James - The Life of Samuel Johnson
Buck, Pearl - The Good Earth
Butler, Samuel - The Way of All Flesh
Caldwell, Erskine - Tobacco Road
Chekhov, Anton - The Cherry Orchard
Dana, Richard Henry - Two Years before the Mast
Descartes - The Philosophy
Duerrenmatt, Friedrich - The Visit
Eliot, TS - Murder in the Cathedral
Farrell, James T - Studs Lonigan
Freud, Sigmund - Writings
Galsworthy, John - Men of Property
Gide, Andre - The Couterfeiters
Giridoux, Jean - The Madwoman of Chaillot
Gogol, Nikolai Vasilievich - Dead Souls
Goldsmith, Oliver - She Stoops to Conquer
Greene, Graham - The Power and the Glory
Hardy, Thomas - Tess of the d'Urbervilles
   The Return of the Native
Hellman, Lillian - The Little Foxes
   The Children's Hour
Hudson, William Henry - Green Mansions
Ionesco, Eugene - The Bald Soprano
   The Lesson
Irving, Washington - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
James, Henry - The American
   The Turn of the Screw
Jonson, Ben - Bolpone
Kafka, Franz - The Meramorphosis
   The Trial
Kant, Immanuel - The Philosophy
Kingsley, Charles - Westward, Ho!
Kipling, Rudyard - Kim
   The Jungle Books
   Captains Courageous
LaRochefoucauld, Francois Duc de - Maxims
Lawrence, D H - Sons and Lovers
Lawrence and Lee - Inherit the Wind
Livy - Histories
Locke, John - The Philosophy
Lucretius - On the Nature of Things
Machiavelli, Niccolo - The Prince
Mann, Thomas - The Magic Mountain
   Doctor Faustus
Maugham, Somerset - Of Human Bondage
Maurois, Andre - Disraeli
Moliere - Tartuffe
   The Miser
Montaigne, Michel - Essays
Nietzsche, Friedrich - Essays
O'Casey, Sean - Juno and the Paycock
Odets, Clifford - Golden Boy
O'Hara, John - Appointment in Samarra
Pascal, Blaise - Thoughts
Pasternak, Boris - Doctor Zhivago
Polo, Marco - The Travels of Marco Polo
Proust, Marcel - Remembrance of Things Past
Pushkin, Alexander - The Captain's Daughter
Rawlings, Marjorie - The Yearling
Richardson, Samuel - Clarissa
Rolvaag, Ole - Giants in the Earth
Rousseau, Jean Jacques - Reveries of a Solitary
Saroyan, William - The Time of Your Life
   The Human Comedy
Sartre, Jean-Paul - The Age of Reason
   No Exit
Schiller, Friedrich - William Tell
Sheridan, Richard B - School for Scandal
Spenser, Edmund - The Faerie Queen
Sterne, Laurence - Tristam Shandy
Stevenson, Robert Louis - Treasure Island
Stringberg, August - Miss Julie
Synge, John M - Playboy of the Western World
Verne, Jules - 20,000 Leagues under the Sea
   Around the World in 80 Days
Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet) - Candide
   Philosophical Letters
Wallace, Irving - Ben-Hur
Waugh, Evelyn - The Loved One
Wells, H G - The Invisible Man
   The Time Machine
   The War of the Worlds
Wharton, Edith - Ethan Frome
Wiesel, Elie - Night
Wilde, Oscar - The Importance of Being Earnest
Wister, Owen - The Virginian
Wolfe, Thomas - Look Homeward, Angel
   You Can't Go Home Again
Woolf, Virginia - To the Lighthouse
   A Room of One's Own
Wright, Richard - Native Son
   Black Boy
Wyss, Johann - Swiss Family Robinson

What's in progress

I've been asked which of the goals I'm currently working on.  Well, it changes from day to day what I might actually put some time into, but the following are ones that have been started in some way:
The will #1 - I have a book at home that explains things to consider for Minnesota estates and have started to make a list of items that I want to go to specific people and chosen an executor.
The weight loss goal #3 - though I've only lost one pound thus far.  Gotta start somehow, right?
These reading goals #19, 29, 60,68 - I'll have the list for #19 up for my next post as more than one person has asked what titles are on it, I have 49 Dewey classifications to tackle, I read the first book from my pile of books I own but haven't read yet, and I'll easily have read 200 books by the end of the year.
My song list #27 - I'm going by artist and am still in the A section, so I expect this one to take some time.  I have almost 5,000 songs in my iTunes library.
Zoo Tycoon #28 - I've got the last intermediate level left and then I move on to advanced and ultimate levels.  (If only the dinosaurs weren't so hard to keep happy!)
Origami #39 - The paper cranes are starting to flock!
Charity #46 - The first month is done.
Bucket List #52 - Has 4 items on it and several more I'm considering how to add.
Savings goals #64 & 65 - I expect to meet the first goal by the end of the year unless something major goes out in the house.  The second will probably happen in February or so of next year.
Blogging #69 - Well, you're reading this, right?
Morning walk #74 - How hard I try on this one is varying from day to day.  Obviously, the day after I've spent hours working outside on my yard I don't move as fast.
Things I do well #92 - I've been adding items to this one on the days I've thought about the bucket list.

So, that's where I'm at today ... tomorrow will probably be different.  But that's okay by me.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

#11a - Wild Rice

Okay, so this wasn't on my list, but mostly because I didn't think of doing it.

Yesterday evening, I got a call from my friend Amanda asking if I wanted to go ricing.  Wild rice season opened last week in Minnesota, and she was curious to give it a try.  I said sure - as long as she recognized the fact that canoes are not always my friends.  She said that she would paddle (or pole if necessary) if I would do the actual harvesting.

The procedure is fairly simple - one person poles or paddles the boat through the rice, and the other uses sticks called knockers to get the rice to fall onto a tarp inside the boat.  Check out this video for a visual example:

We set off this morning to get to our chosen spot just at 9 am (when the ricing hours start).  Setting up the canoe was easy, and there was lots of rice on the river.  It took me a few minutes to get the hang of bending and knocking the rice stems.  I have no comparison for the motion, but I will say that Amanda could paddle faster than I could keep up with the knocking.  I mentally thanked Peter (who had given me some advice the night before) for suggesting long pants tucked into socks.  The rice has a very itchy beard and hosts a wide array of insects and spiders.  The rice seemed pretty green, so after trying a few different sections to test ripeness, we turned the ricing experiment into a simple paddle.

Will I go out again?  Probably, it would be fun to get a big haul and was a pleasant way to spend the morning.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

#11 - Solo kayaking

When I was in 6th grade, I fell through the ice ... obviously, I made it back out (without assistance as no one was nearby), but since then I've had a hard time feeling relaxed in water.  Boat trips are spent watching the closest shoreline.  Friends have tried to teach me to swim with only slight success.  I start to consider walking on ice when other people are happily driving their half ton pickups across it.  It's somewhat ironic considering that I'm currently living in an area with abundant water recreation opportunities.

However, I truly do want to enjoy myself on the lake somehow.  So, earlier this year, when one of my friends suggested kayaking, I said yes.  And I loved it - except for some twinges of "it's going to tip over and I'll die" whenever a power boat zipped by.  The quiet feeling of gliding along with gorgeous scenery ... what's not to like about that ... it must be what swans feel like.  But, I held close to the safety blanket of being out with someone else as if that made any difference when we were in separate kayaks.

So, this challenge was all about proving to myself that the water gods would not reach up and pull me under the moment that someone else was not just a few feet away.  So, off I went ...
First, there was getting the kayak in the water.  Note that I was not thinking ahead about getting in when I stuck the paddle on the seat ... sorry, but you don't get to see the awkward photos of how I dealt with that!  Then one last longing look at the shore.

And, off I went ... watching closely for other watercraft.

Meanwhile, my friends were entertaining a visitor on shore ...
Sascha is a young fox who has discovered a good thing in the form of my friend Nina (who has been known to rescue baby turtles that fall from the sky).  He is definitely still wild but will gladly stand still for a photo op in return for, say, a piece of cheap hot dog.
Or, maybe do more that just stand still ... those hot dogs are good!

I was still making my way back from the other side of Indian Island at that point.  Though my goal was only to go around one island, I went around three (one very small) and came back up the shoreline.

But Sascha stayed long enough for me to watch him from the water.

Back to shore ... safely ... big sigh of relief!
Many thanks to my friend Nina for introducing me to kayaking, taking these photos, and much, much more!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

#89 - The desk lamp

I am very excited to have one goal accomplished!

Several months ago, I started having troubles with the desk lamp that I use by my bedside for reading -- little flickers when I turned it on, having to work the switch a couple of times, etc.  One day, it just wouldn't turn on at all; I unplugged it and pondered the situation.  This is a lamp that I am very attached to because I knew my father had made it as a gift for his mother in the 1940s.  However, I know next to nothing about electrical wiring beyond unplug and check the circuit breaker.  I was determined to fix it though because of the family history.

Last week, I brought the lamp along to the farm when I visited my parents and asked Dad what could be done.  He showed me how to take various bits apart, and we decided that the problem was most likely in the socket.  In the process, I learned a bit more history relating to this lamp.  It's made out of honey locust wood and started it's life on the farm that my father's aunt and uncle owned in Indiana as a fencepost.  My dad brought it back on a visit in the 1940s and using a lathe turned out the shape and added a few brass bits from leftover farm machinery.  I think that I am now classifying it as one of my family heirlooms.

Dad suggested that I leave it with him, and he'd fix it for me before I visited next.  As kind as that offer was, I was working on my 101 list and thought "hmmm....never done anything electrical before -- perhaps that could be added to the list and I'd gain the start of a new life skill".  So, I put it back together and brought it home.  Tonight, I tackled the project, and it went pretty slick.  I'm even thinking about making a bottle lamp of my own since I saw wiring kits in the hardware store ...

Wanna see ...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Inspiration for making your own list

If, like me, you think that this sort of a list might be a change for the better in your life, here's some sites to check out ...

The first is the one my nephew originally posted a link to:
This guy is really ambitious by my standards; however, it gave me some great ideas for how to make concrete statements on what I actually want to accomplish.

The other is 
From what I can tell, this is where the initial meme came from.  Many, many people have their ideas up here, so you can browse around and see what looks interesting.  It also has an idea generator for those who might be looking to come up with just x number more goals.

It took me 5 days of thought time to get to 101 goals - the first 40 or so were easy - so give yourself plenty of time to think about changes before the clock starts ticking!

My challenges list

101 Things for 1001 Days

  1. Make a will and get it notarized
  2. Make a living will and get it notarized
  3. Lose xx pounds (you don't need to know the actual number)
  4. Practice my harp at least once a week for a year
  5. Finish the online Latin course that I started
  6. Solo trip to England
  7. Solo trip in the US
  8. Visit Canada (more than just past the border)
  9. Visit Mexico (more than just past the border)
  10. Visit a European country I haven't seen before
  11. Solo kayak - no one following, at least around one island from Nina & Peter's, no help getting in or out of the kayak - to help get over my fear of water (onshore cheering is allowed) - completed 8/19/10
  12. Visit all my grandparents' graves
  13. Redecorate the bathroom
  14. Put tile in under the woodstove
  15. Do something nice - without being asked - for someone each day for a month
  16. Revisit 23 things on a stick and finish the second round
  17. Make and mail care packages to each of my nephews and nieces
  18. Try out for a community theater part (on stage, not behind the scenes)
  19. Finish reading the "essential" section of Proulx's "Books for a Well Educated Adult" list
  20. Spend an afternoon writing "why you're fabulous" notes for 10 people that I'm close to and then give them out
  21. Actually celebrate my 40th birthday rather than pretending it doesn't exist
  22. Make a new recipe (not baked goods) each month for a year
  23. Finish my Christmas stocking that was supposed to be done several years ago
  24. Visit each of my siblings and invite them to visit me
  25. Learn to make fortune cookies and have a party where they are part of the menu
  26. Host a wine tasting party
  27. Listen to ALL of the songs I own at least once
  28. Beat all the levels on Zoo Tycoon
  29. Finish my Dewey classification reading goal
  30. Read 10 popular authors (new to me) that I normally wouldn't to keep up with trends
  31. Make myself three new costumes for fun 
  32. Cook an ethnic meal from each continent (excluding Antartica)
  33. Use each herb in my garden in a different dish over the course of a summer
  34. Learn to make 15 different cocktails from memory
  35. Go to a vineyard and taste - buy a bottle of my favorite
  36. Start writing poetry again - at least 20 new poems
  37. Memorize 10 more poems to add to my "library in my head"
  38. Read a daily newspaper every day for 3 months (can be online subscription)
  39. Make 1000 paper cranes and a wish
  40. Attempt to become better at drawing by completely filling the pages of a sketchbook with my own efforts
  41. Take a community education or college continuing education course
  42. Learn how to do video editing
  43. Write to 3 people who've changed my life to thank them
  44. Break out the jingles and belly dance at least once a week for 4 months
  45. Host a "make music" night for all my talented friends
  46. Donate to a different charity each month for a year
  47. Start a blueberry patch in the backyard
  48. Take Mom and Dad on a vacation
  49. Spend an entire weekend in my pajamas
  50. Try growing lettuce inside in the winter
  51. Take a First Aid/CPR refresher course
  52. Actually write down a life bucket list of at least 10 items
  53. Try geocaching
  54. Include a vegetable side dish at supper every night for 2 months - to get back in the habit of eating more veggies
  55. Donate blood
  56. Take one of the Duluth train trips
  57. Repaint the porch trim and garage
  58. Send at least 15 Operation Baking Gals boxes
  59. Go berry picking at least 5 times
  60. Read at least 15 of my "reserve" books to get the stack size down
  61. Invite friends over for 10 game nights
  62. Try canning a new type of preserves
  63. See Wicked
  64. Meet savings goal #1
  65. Meet savings goal #2
  66. Meet savings goal #3
  67. Complete perennial bed along east fence in back yard
  68. Read at least 200 books per calendar year (should be at or past #80 by ending date for 2013)
  69. Restart blogging as a way to document doing this list (this goal can be considered complete after 20 posts)
  70. Take 10 frame-worthy photos to display in my home
  71. Pack a work lunch every day for a month
  72. Visit 5 new places in Minnesota
  73. See 10 live theater productions
  74. Reduce my morning walk time to 35 minutes without losing distance
  75. Plant a boulevard tree in front of my house
  76. Find out my blood type
  77. Don't complain about anything for a week
  78. Send a secret to PostSecret
  79. Watch 10 movies from my "someday" list
  80. Ride in a taxi
  81. Learn how to make bagels
  82. Finally do the Australia photo party
  83. Find a spot in a different room to put some of the kitchen stuff I rarely use (canning equipment, roaster, etc), so I have more room to work
  84. Throw a murder mystery dinner party
  85. Throw a menu mystery dinner pary
  86. Try absinthe
  87. Get a slide to digital photo machine and use it on Mom & Dad's slides
  88. See an opera
  89. Rewire my reading lamp that Dad made - completed 8/17/10
  90. Learn to identify 5 new constellations
  91. Say no to 5 requests that I really don't want to do
  92. Make a list of 25 things that I do well
  93. Go to 10 different museums
  94. Memorize what all the icons on my digital camera stand for
  95. Make 5 new jewelry pieces
  96. Play my keyboard at least 30 times
  97. Participate in
  98. Send 3 people who aren't related to me a surprise ... just because
  99. Take a lunch break at work every day for two weeks straight
  100. Attend 5 local performing arts events that I'm tempted to skip because I'm tired - dessert theater in the light booth is allowed
  101. Donate $20 to charity for each item that I don't accomplish by the last day - May 13th, 2013

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The challenge begins ...

Earlier this week, one of my nephews posted a comment on Facebook that he was going to try to an internet meme - 101 things in 1001 days - that I had never heard of.  I, of course, had to immediately go read all about it, and the idea resonated powerfully.  I tell myself so often that someday I will ...

Well, today is the day that it starts.  I've made a list of 101 things that I feel will make my boundaries expand.  Everything from some projects that I've been putting off for some time to things I've never quite been brave enough to try to stuff I just know will make the world around me a better place.

Thanks, Mike, if I accomplish all 101 things, the initial push is credited to you.  And, if I don't, the money to charity will be sent in your name.