I've decided to continue on this letter meme theme. It's fun for me to come up with these lists. I've done this before. I was assigned the letter A after visiting IDV's arousing post on the letter S. You list ten things that you love that start with the assigned letter and you explain why you love them. So let's get started.
There are many things that I luv that start with the letter A. So many, in fact, that I spent a lot of time writing and editing and reworking my list.
I luv art! I like all sorts of art--sculptures, paintings, comics, and even some live pieces. I said some live pieces, because certain interpretative dances are really just terrible! Photography is one of my favorite hobbies and museums are one of my favorite places to visit.
Art was among my favorite subjects in school. In fact, it was my elective all four years of high school. I enjoy drawing and coloring--who doesn't? A few times, we had projects due, and the rush to meet the deadline inspired some really creative masterpieces! During my fine arts class, we were tasked to create 15 pieces and put on an art show. And as usual, I procrastinated til the last few weeks of class. So, strapped for time, I drew 15 pictures of mountains by the sea. It was the same outline, except I used different weather patterns--rainy day, cloudy day, sunny day, windy day, snowy day. And when I ran out of weather patterns, I changed the time of day--rainy night, cloudy night, clear night, windy night, snowy night. Threw in a hurricane and a tornado. Then some fog and a sunrise and sunset.
15 pieces--I figured I'd at least get a C for Complete. The other students had various portraits and paintings in different styles. Some even had sculptures! I knew they spent a lot time and worked really hard on their projects. They did a hell of lot more than I. So imagine my surprise when I got an A+! Even more surprising, my art teacher praised my work! He said he was amazed at my portrayal of the adolescent's turbulent emotions and struggle against changing roles and expectations. I thought, Huh? I did what? Okay, thanks! I didn't realize I was such a genius! I was just happy to get an A!
But just so you don't think I'm such a fluke, I actually won a few art competitions. One of the most unexpected was when one of my works became the cover for a regional environmental awareness calendar. My prize: Two cases of dolphin safe tuna. That's right. Canned tuna! I'm sure the great masters of art would've been jealous.
Speaking of masters, there are so many artists that I like--Caravaggio, Rubens, Dali, and Edward Hopper are some examples. And one of my favorite artists of all time is Norman Rockwell. I enjoy looking at his works. His paintings transformed ordinary people into extraordinary masterpieces! He was able to take daily life and portrayed it in way that was familiar yet intimate and magnificent. I can relate to some of his paintings.
There's a certain sense of joy and whimsy in his works. He captured that ethereal sense of daydream and hope and innocent fun. I luv looking at this artwork and feeling a sense of nostalgia and serenity.
In way, architecture is art to me. I'm amazed by how people plan and build such fantastic structures. How did humanity learn to build homes outside of the caves that served as shelters for thousands of year? And how did they build such incredible and amazing structures like Stonehenge or the Pyramids of Egypt and Meso America? They didn't have any cranes or large trucks. And so far, there hasn't been any evidence of aliens (or time travelers) having a hand in constructing these amazing structures. Well, not that there's any evidence left after secret gov't organizations confiscate them. I would luv to see Greek and Roman architecture up close. I would like to explore some of the great buildings of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. I am intrigued by the beautiful and intricate designs of grand constructions like the Alhambra in Spain or India's Taj Mahal. I would like to see Gaudi's work in Spain or the Sydney Opera House.
I'm particularly drawn to Art Deco style buildings like the Empire State Building or the Chrysler Building, both in New York City. The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is another great example of Art Deco. Miami has a number of great Art Deco buildings that exude style and fun and chic. I luv the arrangement of geometric shapes and concentric designs, coupled with sleek lines and smooth curves and shiny, if not vibrant, colors. It's like math come alive! Great architecture blends beauty with function and form.
I luv the creativity of Japanese animation. They not only make incredible artwork, but they also use some really great music. I remember one of the first anime films I saw as a kid. It was Ninja Scroll. It was violent and full of adult situations, but it was absolutely fantastic! I was hooked on the plot and the highly stylized characters. This wasn't some Saturday morning or family oriented cartoon. This was a film that successfully used artists to render a gritty, gripping, and intense story. It remains one of my favorite animes of all time. I've never seen anything like it! But I wouldn't let any pre teens see it! This ain't no family film!
My other favorite anime is Samurai Champloo. I luv the fusion of jazz and hip hop and samurai culture! Its play on history and use of music works well with the original, quirky, and unexpected story lines. The anti heroes and dark humor make for some great entertainment. It's funny, sad, and poignant at the same time. It's one of the best series I've ever seen.
Very few American cartoons rival anime's quality and reputation. I think Avatar the Last Airbender is one of those. It's family oriented but still deals with mature themes like war and death and morality. I also like Samurai Jack and Powerpuff Girls--both original and smart cartoons that are entertaining for children and clever for adults.
I luv listening to different accents! It's fun trying to guess where people are from just by listening to how they pronounce words. Some accents sound absolutely sexy! Some are just intriguing. Sometimes, when I watch foreign films (that's non US made films for me), part of the fun is trying to understand what the actors are saying. Trainspotting is one of my fave movies. But when I first saw it, I was like, Um, are they speaking English? What the hell are they saying? It was a little difficult to make out what they were talking about but as the movie continued, I understood them better.
I find ancient things interesting. I'm talking about people and structures and myths and legends. History is fascinating. I'm really intrigued by how ancient man was able to sail across the oceans and settle on new continents. How did the ancients travel the world and begin setting up their now lost empires? It's fascinating how remnants of ancient civilizations are still with us, though the people who built them are long gone. It is a testament to the ingenuity and imagination of humanity. I'm thrilled every time some lost city or ancient temple is found deep in the wilderness or underneath the seas.
Is Atlantis the ancient Minoan civilization on the island of Thera? Possibly. People used to think the Iliad and Odyssey were just stories. Then the lost city of Troy was found. Evidence found supports the existence of Amazons. People used to think the world was flat and Earth was the center of the universe. But now we know now that's not the case; though, tomorrow might bring new knowledge to change what we know now. Time and science will help find the truth.
I sometimes wonder what contributions our civilization will leave behind. Will future generations and civilizations look at us and be amazed at our achievements and failures? Will they even give us credit for our accomplishments and ideas or look down at us the same way we view our ancestors and past civilizations? I keep a journal and I've participated in two time capsules events. You know, where you put stuff in an air tight, waterproof container that will be dug up in the future. That way, people in the future will somehow get a glimpse of the time when the capsule was created. But I wonder, will those future people even understand our language and pictures and stuff we store in the time capsules? Or will our language and symbols be so alien to them the same way ancient cultures seem so foreign and strange to us? Will we leave behind long lasting structures like the Pyramids? Or will nature erase all evidence of our existence as life continues on without us?
I luv playing in the water. Water sports are fun. I'm talking about sports that actually take place in the pool or other bodies of water, not the kinky fetish--though I'm sure that's fun for some people. Swimming, surfing, sailing, skiing, diving, water polo--it's all good fun! One of the best places to see water sports is the Olympics. And the jewel of the Olympics is the most spectacular and brilliant sport of all: Synchronized swimming!
Glamorous costumes, dramatic expressions, and dazzling daring dance movements! No other sport combines athleticism and aesthetics like synchronized swimming. You won't find a more stylish and demanding sport at the Olympics! Just fabulous, absolutely riveting!
I luv hearing certain sounds. Music is one sound I like hearing. But there are other sounds that I enjoy. I like falling asleep to the sound of waves breaking on the shore. It's very hypnotic, relaxing. I also like the sound of rain falling on the tin roof, especially when I'm sleeping. It wakes me up briefly, so I could snuggle myself deeper under the covers, get comfortable, and go back to sleep.
I also like listening to faraway mechanical sounds, like a distant train, coming or going. I wouldn't like living next to a loud railroad though, shaking the building as it thunders by. But I do like to hear the choo choo sounds of a faraway train making a long journey across the land. It's a very longing sound, and it makes me want to daydream about distant travels and new adventures. I also love the sound of a fog horn along the shore at night. It reminds me of someone going away, saying so long and farewell to a loved one, maybe for the last time. Such a melancholy sound; I find it haunting, romantic, and very beautiful. I also like to hear the sound of a buoy bell ringing in the night as it sways on the ocean waves. It seems to be talking to the world or maybe to one person. I imagine it saying: I'm still here, still waiting, I haven't forgotten.
8. Automaton, Artificial Intelligence, Androids
I am fascinated by the idea of robots and artificial life! Robots, cyborgs, and machines. I think it's a natural (logical) progression of humanity's growth. I'm intrigued at the thought of people fusing with machines. Prosthetics are getting more advanced everyday. Just a few decades ago, people with debilitating illnesses couldn't leave their beds. Now, some of the smartest people in the world use computerized wheelchairs to move and communicate with the world. Computers have become extremely powerful. We use them every day from communicating across the globe to tracking hurricanes and finding the quickest way to get to a destination. They control our power grids and guide our weapons and move our satellites. The machines have made it possible for humanity to undergo surgeries and even fend off mortality for a little while longer.
I love movies and books about cybernetics and automatons. I take notice of some of the more common themes that they explore. Technology can be beneficial to us. They can be our salvation.
But there is also a dark side of technology. Either we use it to destroy ourselves or the automatons will take over! There is a fear of the machines! They will rise up and enslave or crush humanity.
I'm not sure about the ethics of creating artificial life; but don't humans also create life naturally? Who's to say that a living being conceived naturally has any more right to exist than a living being created artificially? Aren't we all just technology as well? Is not the human body made up of proteins and amino acids at the most basic levels? Cells are just the small blocks of living matter that somehow work together to make that most complex organism known as the human being. Technology has all ready made people live longer, some with artificial limbs and organs. It has helped infertile couples create new life out of their own DNA. And given the way technology has progressed rapidly, it's only a matter of time before we create artificial intelligence. Or has it all ready happened? They walk among us!
I remember being fascinated with Amazons since first reading about them in Greek mythology. Powerful, beautiful women warriors--that's sexy! In a time when men fought among themselves to dominate the world, the Amazons were great, independent, fierce fighters. They did not believe themselves to be the weaker sex and their prowess and ferocity were feared by armies and nations. They had their own lives and only used the neighboring men for sex! I was like, Gawd! Those lucky neighboring bastards! I was hooked on any story or movie about them.
I remember Wonder Woman being the most famous modern take on the Amazons. She grew up on island full of sexy, warrior women--If I could, I'd be shipwrecked near that island every chance I got! It was the ropes and those fancy bullet deflecting bracelets and go go boots that did it for me! But I never quite understood the invisible jet. I mean, could people see her flying in the invisible jet? Because that would make an invisible jet kind of pointless if people can see you flying.
But my favorite depiction of the Amazons is from the greatest tv series ever: Xena, Warrior Princess! Now while Xena herself was not an Amazon, she sure hung out with a lot of them! Those women were hot and sexy, running around in their miniskirts and tank tops while kicking ass and making wild noises. Apparently, the scant wardrobe made it easier for them to move around, and a moving target is harder to catch. What a completely logical and sound reason! I'm all for it!
10. Amusement Parks
I luv amusement parks! I'm talking about roller coasters, fun slides, awesome rides, and cool games! I've been to several amusement parks. Every summer, I try to go to at least one amusement park. I've been to several different Six Flags, as well as Disney World, Sea World, and Schlitterbahn!
Six Flags has some pretty cool roller coasters. I love metal roller coasters, because the twists and loops and steep drops are fun! Also, because I fit better in those. The wooden roller coasters hurt my knees--they keep bumping up against the front seat. Those wooden coasters were not made for tall people. The rides where your feet are dangling feel exhilarating and scary! Just double knot your shoelaces before you get on. I also love vertical drops--where they take you up several stories high, then without warning, they just drop you while you scream your head off! The vertical drops that bounce back up and down are totally awesome!
I can ride 3 roller coasters in a row before I have to sit down and take a break. By then, I feel a little dizzy, losing my equilibrium from having my brain shaken and tossed around at high speeds and terrifying drops and sudden turns. That feeling that your heart just jumped out of your chest or that your brain is being ripped out from your body is just fantastic! But the water rides are fun, too! Most amusement parks now have water rides. But Schlitterbahn has the best rides when it comes to water slides and water thrills! They've got extreme drop slides and lazy tubing rides, where you just float on an inner tube along the river, and even drink beer if you want! It's freeing and fun to slide in cool water. It's one of my favorite things to do in the summer heat!
I remember the first time I went on a raft ride. That's where you and a group get inside a round raft and go down some rapids between man made canyons. Along the way, you're squirted with water guns. The people looking from the top of the canyon would insert coins into these water cannons,aim them, and press the button to shoot water at the raft group below! Bastards! Although, I did blast a few people when I was up there on the canyon :) The fun happens as you spin and bob and bounce along, eventually coming to a waterfall dunk! The rapids carry the raft towards a waterfall and some people will get wet! I remember heading towards the waterfall, and these two guy who sat opposite of me and my friends were pointing at us, laughing! They were certain that we would get wet! My friends and I braced ourselves for the dunk, but at the last second, the raft made a sudden 180 degree turn and it was those two bastards who got all wet! Oh, how the rest of us laughed, all the way til the end of the ride! Fun memories!
But it's not just roller coasters and drops at the amusement parks. There are also some really fun shows at the amusement parks. I saw an amazing Chinese circus act at a Six Flags. They also had some great musical performances. Disney has some fun theater shows and there's always a fun parade like every few hours! Which happens to be the best time to go for a ride--everyone is too busy running to see the parades, so that leaves no lines at the fun rides! But the best parade has to be the light parade Disney puts on at night. Fantastic floats sparkle with lights and the people on them wear great costumes. The fireworks were amazing! Sea World puts on the best animal shows ever! I luv watching the seals and whales performing! Everyone loves the killer whale shows, but my favorite are the dolphins and beluga whales show! Those trainers get dressed up and they do acrobatic high dives along with the incredible feats the animals perform. It's an exciting show. Most of my trips to amusement parks are only for a day, but I need at least a week to fully enjoy and explore all the wonderful things these vast parks have to offer.
I do have to confess though, that as many times as I've been to an amusement park, I've never gotten on a merry go round. In fact, I've never ridden a merry go round, ever! It just seems so blah, compared to death defying drops or fast sharp turns. Also, it's usually just kids on those things. Who knows? Maybe someday, I'll get on a merry go round. I don't mind riding the rails or train though. Mostly because I enjoy the view.
Well, there you have it. Ten things that I luv that start with the letter A! I had a hard time narrowing down my list, but I enjoyed writing about them.
You don't have to this meme if you don't want to do it, but I liked it.
If people want to participate and do their own top ten list, they can ask to be assigned a a letter. But I'll make it easy. So if you want to make your own list, I'm assigning the letter C as in Country.