Saturday, September 24, 2016

Watch and see... movies and tv shows

This is one of the easiest bucketlist goals there is!

Firstly, see The Bucket List :-D

There are dozens if not hundreds of movie lists online. Just go and check them out.
20 films of dogs, zombies, feminist movies, all the movies with "red" in the title, French movies, Spanish movies, Azerbaijani movies... and new ones are being made all the time
Also, all these lists are made by someone, and there's nothing to stop you from being one of these someones... write your own list.

Watch 10 movies that came out when I was born

Watch 2 movies at the cinema on the same day
Watch 26 movies - one for each letter of the alphabet
Watch IMDb top 100 films of all time
Watch all (episodes of a certain tv show) / (movies by a certain director/actor/writer/company...) / (certain movie)

Watch all movies of your favorite actor/actress
All movies by your favorite director
All movies by your favorite screenwriter
All movies with your favorite...

Find out 10 facts about your favorite (actor), (director), (what ever...)
Or read their biographies

Try out the art; write a small "play", act, write a song, sing - perform your creation at YouTube. That gives you quite a different appreciation of the art.

Create a "complete experience".

Make some movie snacks that are somehow connected to the story.
Try to find some candles or potpurri or something like that so that you have an "appropriate" smell in your nose as you watch the movie. 
The taste and smell are the senses that are not touched in movies, but the more senses you bring in, the more perfect experience you have.
Another sense is touch - so try to find something that appeals to that sense... might be hard to do, but one suggestion is to stage the movie watching area as if you were arranging a theme party, even when it's only you watching the movie.
Wear something "appropriate"

Try to collect 2-4 movies that "belong together". For example, same theme, same actors, same director, same setting. I feel I "get" more that way.

Find out information about the story, information about what happened during the filming etc.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Dance, dance, dance...

Learn a dance
Lean a dance from every decade in the 1900s
Learn a Line Dance
Learn a local, traditional dance in a foreign country
Learn how to salsa dance
Bust out the Gentleman dance in a club
Create an optical illusion dance
Learn the art of Burlesque
Take a Salsa Dancing Class
Take Bellydancing Classes
Go dancing at a gay bar
Go out dancing at a different place every night for a week
Have a picture of myself dancing in the rain
Learn '40s-style dancing
Make a goofy video of yourself dancing

Dance "Dancing Lasha Tumbai" somewhere outside a house

Dance --- / with --- / with a stranger in a foreign country / on a table / naked / in the rain / in the middle of --- / in a --- / as a ---

Dance a Maypole
Dance around the fire like a gypsy
Dance at a Honky-Tonk
Dance at an American Indian Pow-Wow
Dance at Grizzly Rose
Dance dare
Dance in a flash mob
Dance in a fountain
Dance in a penguin suit in a populated city center
Dance in a room with 99 balloons on my birthday
Dance in the living room with my 3 boys
Dance in the mist of victoria falls
Dance in the moonlight
Dance in the pouring rain
Dance in the rain
Dance in the dark on Dancing In The Dark
Dance like a freak without caring who is watching!
Dance like no one is watching (sober, in public)
Dance naked in the rain
Dance on a bar
Dance on a giant floor piano
Dance on a table
Dance on Black & Gold by Sam Sparro
Dance on stage with my choreography
Dance on the clear floor at Ghostbar at Palms in Las Vegas
Dance on Vandaag by Bakermat
Dance Tango in Argentina
Dance the tango
Dance with Ellen Degeneres

Dance the "Macarena" in sync with dozens of other people

Dance the "Nutbush" with hundreds of other people

Dance the Hula with a Hula dancer in Hawaii
Tango in a red dress with my husband
Tango in a sexy dress
Learn how to Tango
Stay out all night dancing and go to work the next day without having gone home
Stay up all night dancing
Take a Ballroom Dancing Course
Try Square Dancing
Try Tap Dancing
Dance to Bakermat
Dance to Jazz on Bourbon Street
Dance to zydeco
Dance under a waterfall
Dance with a complete stranger
Dance with a complete stranger at a masquerade ball
Dance with an African tribe
Dance with Ellen DeGeneres
Dance With Gypsies
Do a proper Hula dance
Do a seductive dance to Godsmack's "Voodoo"
Do a strip tease on a pole
Do a strip tease to "Sexy and I know it"
Do a strip tease to Rihanna's S&M

Do the PSY "Gentleman" dance in public

Have a Christmas dance
Learn the Napoleon Dynamite Dance

Learn the Cha-cha
Learn this dance routine from the movie Burlesque 
(Now, I don't have the slightest idea which specific dance routine she's talking about, 
but this is one of them. As good as any other.)

Learn To Dance (Hip-Hop,Salsa,Jazz)
Learn to dance Bollywood-style
Learn to Dance Hula and Perform on Stage
Learn to dance in high heels
Learn to dance like Elvis

Learn to dance like this guy (which guy?)

Like this guy?

or like this guy?
Learn the whole evolution of dance

Or perhaps this guy?

Or perhaps this guy?

Learn to dance the tango
Learn to ballroom dance properly
Learn to belly dance
Learn to Breakdance
Learn to Lindy Hop
Learn to Line dance
Learn to booty shake!
Hold a battle of the robot dance moves
Learn to Swing Dance
Master one particular style of dance
Swing dance in an authentic 1950s style diner
Slow dance in the middle of a crowded city street
Slow dance in the rain
Slow Dance with my Husband
Slow dance with someone
Take Dance Classes

Learn how to do the Hoedown Throwdown from Hannah Montana The Movie

Learn people in a foreign country the kabouterdans

Learn the Gangnam style dance! =)

Learn the handshake from "the parent trap"

Learn the rockafella skank

Learn the time warp dance from rocky horror picture show

Learn to booty shake!

Learn to do the cup song

Learn to moonwalk

Learn steps to Thriller

Monday, September 19, 2016

Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day, 19th of September

1) Dress like a pirate
So... boots... I have already nice boots. I just need to take them to the cobbler and get the heels fixed.
Tights... I wonder where I can get vertically striped tights. Perhaps I need to sew myself some pirate pants of striped fabric.
Skirt. When I was young I had a perfect skirt. Now I don't know where it is.
Belt sash and sword belt
Peasant shirt and corset
I think I want a Turkish coat, and Captain Sparrow inspired hairdo and hat.
Hairdo - unwashed, uncut, I think dreads might be a good idea. Or braids.
And an eye patch :-D
And a parrot... it would be wonderful to learn ventrilogism and make the parrot speak :-D

2) Learn to talk like a pirate - or Shakespeare with more growl :-D

3) Embrace your inner pirate by watching pirate movies and listening to piratecore. Aye, there is such a thing.
Eat pirate food. Like rum. Which basically was the only thing rationally edible in the pirate food... I mean, the water in ships got slimy, the hardtack was hard and full of weevils, the meat was black, salted and tough as wood, there was no fresh food at all, unless someone managed to catch some fish. There might have been some pickled veggies. Might. Most likely not. So, rum it is. But we don't live in the 16th century ships, so I think Caribbean food is probably great. Eat bread in chunks, not in slices. But don't forget the rum. :-D
Dance sailor dances and go wild with wenches.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Learn Tai Chi

I want to learn the 24 form.
There are plenty of material to learn from on the internet.
I try to do it first on my own by written and illustrated description, then I follow a video.

And I find it extremely stressful.

I try to tell myself that it's OK that I can't copy his movements straight away, I will learn.

But it doesn't help

I feel stupid and clumsy and even when there is no-one watching me, no-one knows what I am doing,
I'm ashamed of myself and horrified by my clumsiness.

Because I am not clumsy. I am a lot of things, but clumsy is not one of them.

But when I am trying to follow his movements I feel clumsy.
I don't know how I look or how I am doing.

I suppose I am taking too large steps, because my knee aches. It shouldn't ache. There is nothing that would cause knees to ache if done correctly in taichi, so I am doing it wrong...


But I will not give up. I will take a pause, but I will not give up.

Meditate every night

1. Prepare for the meditation.
Choose comfortable clothes, comfortable, calm surrounding, something comfortable to sit on.
It helps if you minimize the sensory input to nothing or something calming, soft and quiet.

2. Start with 15 minutes. Do this the same time every day. Use an egg clock or use your telephone with a gentle sound that will tell you the time is up.

3. Stretch a little and then sit down in a comfortable position. If your muscles are not strong enough or used to sitting in lotus position with straight back, it's ok to lean against a tree or sit on a comfortable chair.

4. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Don't think about it. Don't breathe in a special way. Just lazily follow the movement of air through your nose.

When this is comfortable, natural and easy to you, then you can move on to other things to do... I'm a bit skeptical about chakras and other such things, but one could for example practice visualization, do a body scan or try heart chakra meditation. You'll find all kinds of things to experiment with if you search "meditation".

Thursday, September 15, 2016

To be a lady

So what to choose?

* Groom yourself

- Always be clean and neat, polished. From toe nails to hair.

*Always dress nicely

Wear clothes tight enough to show you are a woman, but loose enough to show you are a lady.
Have a unique style, build a small wardrobe of quality items, and express your style by accessories.
Aim for elegance, not fashion

* Have a good posture

* Learn to walk on high heels

* Learn to apply make-up 

* Speak clearly, mind the elocution

* Mind your language 
Use correct grammar, increase your vocabulary, avoid swearing, use "please", "thank you", "excuse me" and other such courtesy words.

* See that your breathe doesn't smell bad

* Get all the education you can
Read the news and know the background

* Be curious, interested and open-minded

* Be considerate and kind

It doesn't mean being codependent or a doormat.

* Get impeccable manners and learn the etiquette

This is about consideration, not about being better-than-thou. You are not to demand everyone follows the etiquette to a tee, but knowing the etiquette makes you comfortable in any situation, and everyone comfortable to be with you.

There is a lovely little example of this. In a Star Wars novel the author described a dinner hosted by Princess Leia. One of the guests ate the rose from finger washing bowl, so Princess Leia ate hers to avoid embarrassing the guest. In our family we call things like this "eating roses". :-D

The point is, you shouldn't break the rules unless you know the rules and have a VERY GOOD REASON to do so. And NEVER EVER point out others' mistakes.

* Don't criticize, don't whine, don't complain, don't explain, don't judge, don't blame, don't nag, don't flaunt, don't brag, don't gossip

Either you change things or you accept them. Talking about things is wasting time.

Compliment people, improve your observation skills, increase your knowledge of all things, so that you can give good advice and constructive criticism in a good way when requested, accept your responsibility, and forgive others for not being able to do the same, learn to communicate constructively and functionally

* Be positive, pleasant, friendly

Now, this doesn't mean "keep smiling" or "be a fluffbunny", but trying to see the positive in every situation, while acknowledging and accepting the reality. Being a pollyanna might seem like forced positivity, but the thing is that if you have a positive, expectant attitude to the world and new situations, the people you meet, events and happenings in life, you are more likely to have a positive experience. Because you get what you expect to get. Your mind will find evidence to prove what you think. It's much easier to have patience and kindness to people if you think they are just having a bad day, than if you think the a-hole mode is normal to them, and they are basically just a-holes.

* Do what you know to be right, and ignore what other people might be thinking about you.

* Be honest, truthful and virtuous 

There is no absolute standard of what is "right" and what is a "virtue" - you have to follow your own understanding of these ideas.
In my mind it is not the "Golden rule" one should follow, but the "Silver rule" - "What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow". I believe it is easier for people to justify ill-treatment by "but I would have liked it if someone had done that to me!", like missionizing. "Yes, I understand your spiritual awakening was great for you, but I have already found my truth about God". So instead of thinking "I want everyone to know the truth about God!", think "how would I feel if someone told me my God was a false God and my religion was bad?"

* be tolerant, respectful and forgiving

Don't wait for people to earn your respect, don't mind people being disrespectful. It's their problem, not yours.

Another story that comes to mind is about the young king of France. He was having a walk with his tutor, and a gardener opened them a gate. The tutor thanked him. The king asked him why he was thanking the gardener, who was nobody. The tutor answered "I'd be ashamed if a gardener had better manners than I."

So instead of thinking how rude people are, think that you don't need to be rude just because someone else is.

* have character and integrity

To keep your character intact you cannot stoop to filthy acts.
It makes it easier to stoop the next time.
- Katharine Hepburn
* Be steadfast, loyal and trustworthy

Keep your promises, especially to yourself.
Never quit.

* Be generous
with your money, your time, your attention, your smile

* Be moderate

* Learn to speak more than 1 language

* Have an unbreakable inner peace

* Be courageous

This is not the same as fearless. Ladies do fear, but they do what they know to be right any way, and the more things they do they are afraid of, the more fears they face, the stronger, more confident and courageous they get.

* Have a hobby

Ladylike hobbies are reading, gardening, art, music, theater and sports like tennis and riding.

* Learn to cook, learn to mix drinks

* Learn to host parties - be a good hostess and a good guest

* What Would Melanie Do? What Would Audrey Do?

The secret of making dreams come true

Somehow I can’t believe 
that there are any heights that can’t be scaled 
by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. 

This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C s. 

They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, 
and the greatest of all is confidence. 

When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable. 

Walt Disney

Monday, September 5, 2016

Walk the Airborne

Walk the Airborne

The Airborne March is the annual Dutch commemorative event in remembrance of the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944. It began in 1947 and always takes place on the first Saturday in September at Oosterbeek near Arnhem in The Netherlands.

From the beginning the net revenues of the Airborne March are used to enable veterans and next of kin with poor means, to come over to The Netherlands and attend the annual Airborne-commemorations in and around Arnhem.

The Airborne March has 4 distances: 10, 15, 25 and 40 km. The longest distance is for individuals only. The routes lead you through the woods of the Veluwezoom and the municipality of Renkum and the great views over the river Rhine.


How to do this?

1) This is a paid event in Netherlands, and it happens every year on the first Saturday in September.
So you need to be able to
* buy the ticket
* get to Netherlands and stay there for as long as it takes
* walk 10, 15, 25 or 40 km

2) Timeline is there already.
This happens on the first Saturday in September, come rain, come shine, come flu and your cousin's third child's wedding. It is totally safe to book tickets already now and tell everyone you will be in Arnhem the first week of September. Sorry.
You also know how much time you have to save the money and get fit.

3) Getting the ticket is also easy.
You just need to find out how much it costs, when is the last day to purchase it and how it is purchased. All that information is clearly on the site.
Getting the money for the ticket might not be that easy, but - I have spoken about saving tips earlier, the same principles go for this.

4) Getting to Arnhem.
This depends totally on where you are right now. The longer the road is, the more you need to think about this.
If you are in North-Western Europe, this will not be a problem. You could even fly to Netherlands in the morning, do the walk and get back home to sleep in your own bed. I wouldn't recommend that, though, because there will be a lot of interesting people there, all the WWII veterans (blessed be they, dead as well as alive) and their friends and relatives. Think about all the stories!
If you come all the way from any other continent, it might be worth it to make this PART of a total Netherlands experience, and put all the interesting things one can do in Netherlands on your list and plan accordingly. Now, not all events happen during the first week of September, and the tulips will have bloomed, but there's plenty of things to do and see in Netherlands.
Nevertheless, plan accordingly.

5) Having fun when walking
Firstly, you need to be in the physical condition to do that. It's not difficult to walk some 5 km every day. It takes less than an hour when you are used to do it, and it will have all kinds of benefits, not only to your physical health but your mental health as well.

This will also make you aware of the equipment needed. You will need good walking shoes. You will need clothes that allow certain movement and keep you warm/cool and dry, but you don't need exercise clothing. If you walk 5 km every day for a longer period of time, you won't even get sweaty.

The shoes are the most important part here.
If you get a blister the first 15 minutes of the walk, you will not enjoy that walk! So you MUST have walked in the shoes enough times to know you won't get blisters in them! You also need to wear socks. Nylon socks under the ordinary socks help, too, they say. But have blister patches/band-aid with you just in case.

If you don't know anyone, bring some music. But don't count on listening to music while you walk The Airborne March. Remember that there is a reason you are there, and that is most likely the same reason everyone else is there too! Go talk with people! You might get lucky and have some very personal memories about the area where you are walking!

Bring with you some water and some snacks, like nuts and dried fruits, just in case.

Be prepared to rest if need be. You can carry a backpack with a foldable chair, or a small picnic blanket, so that you can sit on the ground.

Remember to have a hat and sunglasses, perhaps even sunblock, as the weather can still be quite warm this early in September

Bring the camera. See that the battery is full loaded and that there is room in the memory card (or bring a couple of rolls of film.)

Bring some calling cards... you might make new friends :-)

Look around you. Look up and down, right and left, front and back, near and far. Try to capture every sight, scene, smell, sound and sensation. Be aware of what is and what happens around you.

Read up before you go. 

How to create a travel itinerary

Whether you plan to travel the world around or to a neighboring city, whether you plan on taking planes or walking, it is a good thing to have a travel itinerary.
Back at good old times there were travel agencies one could count on to do all this for you. Nowadays, not so many.
(Frankly, I have NEVER even SEEN one in Sweden. I used to use one in Finland all the time. It was so convenient and lovely and the people working there were great. I am sad to see this occupation vanish. Any way, I went to a Swedish "travel agency", and it turned out they sell ONLY tickets to ONE buss line. If we asked any questions of ANY OTHER OPTION they told us to go somewhere else to find that information. Really! We left and never returned. There was no indication outside the local of that they ONLY represented THAT company. In fact, they had images of all kinds of travels, from Paris to Hawaii on their window :-D How they would take a person to Hawaii on a buss is a very interesting question, but I'm sure they would not have understood the satire.)

This is a very nice little information list about how to plan your travels, but creating an itinerary is a bit different thing. (It is a part of the above list, but here I'll talk a bit more about it.)

1) Write down the route
- from where to where, which places you wish to visit, which sights you wish to see.

Put this information on a map to see how these spots are located to each other, to be able to design a logical route from one place to another.

Gather all information you can of the places you plan to visit. You might find out that some places were not what you thought they'd be, and can skip them, and you might find out some places you'd hate to miss.

2) Plan the time
How long time do you have?
When do you have this time?
When are the events?
When are the museums and attractions etc. open? Some are closed on Mondays, for example, or open only during the summer etc.

How much time does transport take?
How much time do you plan on using in site? (Take a practice round at a similar place near you, for example an art museum or an amusement park. You will also notice what you need to consider. For example, in some amusement parks the food is awful and expensive, but in some amusement parks you may not take in your own food. In some museums there are restrictions on what you may bring in the show rooms. For example, purses are not allowed in the jewel room at British Museum. For some reason they allowed me to go in wearing my trench... and my purse was UNDER it... They never even asked. :-D You might need to prepare for some extra money for such purposes.)

3) Find out the travel options.
Can you fly or do you have to take a boat? How about trains and buses? Would you need to have a car, can you take your own or do you have to rent one?
Some places don't have any such access, you have to go there on your own legs, or perhaps hire a mule or some other animal whose legs you can use. :-D
Find out this information. This is available on the internet when it comes to most of the places.

Choose the travel options of your preference (but have a backup plan, because accidents happen and things change, and people usually are not aware of that you have made plans a couple of months ago so they don't know to inform you of that the buss company you planned on using has changed routes or owner...)

4) Plan your accommodation. 
Find out all the available options from hotels to couch-surfing. Don't forget bed-and-breakfast and agritourism options. Choose according to your expectations and finances.

* Now you have your initial itinerary ready.
5) You need to go through it and REALLY SERIOUSLY THINK IT THROUGH.

Does it really sound realistic and functional?
Have you planned in plenty of time to move from one place to another, all the time it takes to wait on the airport, check-ins etc.? Have you planned in what you need to do if there is for example a strike or a major accident and you won't be able to use the public transport to get you to the airport?
How have you planned around your fitness and mental demands? You might think it's easy to run through several museums and galleries a day, but it really isn't. Don't plan in more than ONE attraction every day, and give yourself a time to rest about every 3-4 days at least.
Have you considered the possible national holidays and events that might interrupt with your plans? In some countries NOTHING is "open" on Good Friday, for example.
Adjust your plans to fit your reality, your nature, your style, your preferences, not the ideal fantasy or someone else's resources.

Now you need to write this revised, final plan down. (I actually think they at Rose and Gully have a wonderful idea! You can try to copy it by your best ability.

6) Get the money
Collect all this information and how much money it costs. Divide the time between now and when you must pay (not necessarily the travel date!) and the amount of money to know how much money you MUST save each week. Save that amount and have a backup plan for those weeks you fall short of the goal. If you do that, you either need to find more sources/less drains for money or move your trip forward.

7) Get the tickets, reservations etc.
Do this in good time. A week can make 100s of Euros' difference!

First you need to check that your passport is valid, and what kind of travel restrictions they have.
You might need a visa, some vaccinations etc.
You are not welcome to some countries if you have AIDS.
Some countries don't allow you in if you have been in some other countries.
Also find out about the restrictions when it comes to what you may bring with you. Australia is infamous about the "no plant/animal material that might have seeds/pollen/other alien lifeforms attached".
There are also restrictions about certain medicins and cosmetics, etc.
Also, remember that you may not take anything you like with you in a plane, like knitting needles and nail scissors.

Book the "biggest things" first. The hotel where you will stay the longest, the longest travels from place to place, the most important "must not miss" events and happenings, then the "small" ones.

Collect all the necessary information in one place and have an electric backup somewhere online where you can reach it even if you loose all the papers. You can also leave copies to a trusted friend whom you can call if need be to get that information.

I would really recommend getting a travel folder, of leather or other sturdier material, small like the one pictured, with pockets for all the papers.
And I suggest you print out the information on A4 and fold it in three (that would be DL envelope size). (Frankly, if you learn to use that format of paper (DL envelope size) in stead of A4, your life will be much easier. Most of the information fits on paper that way too, takes less space and is easier to eye through. But as it is now, most printers are designed to use A4 size paper. So much so that in USA it's called "printer size" :-D)

the names - hotel, airline, buss company, train company etc.
numbers - flight number, buss route number etc.
reservation/confirmation numbers
telephone numbers and names of people you need to reach if something happens

directions, maps, photos of your hotel, the air port, station etc. You need to know how to get from the airport to the hotel and how to get to the airport yourself. Now-a-days it is easy with google maps etc.

information about the local public transport, fees, hours of operation, how to use them, if you need a pass etc. and taxi companies numbers etc.

information about eating out and grocery shopping in the area of your hotel (how much does food cost, what extra costs you need to expect, tipping, manners etc.

how to ship home larger objects if you happen to find anything you just must have

address list of friends and relatives you wish to send a postcard

Also include
- medical information
- emergency contact numbers
- your nation's embassy/consulate number and address