Sunday, October 30, 2011

#50. Adopt a pet / #66. Rescue someone or something.

I must say, when I started this list, I had no clue that I would actually complete these two goals. But, as luck would have it, the opportunity fell right into my lap.

And by opportunity, I mean cat.

Meet Django - the newest addition to the TramFam. Django is a 6 month old stray tabby with a wonderfully splotchy coat and a rough past. She was hit by a car and left to die on Rayford Road, a busy highway in The Woodlands; thankfully for her, there is an animal hospital on Rayford full of loving saints who picked her up and nursed her back to health. The vets mended her broken pelvis, gave her all her shots, and kept her in their office until they could find a good home.

Enter Donna and G.

Donna is my mother-in-law, and G is downstairs cat #2 at the Trammel house. Poor G has an infection, and when Donna took them to the vet's office, she came home with another wiry little cat who needed a home.  When Tommy and I went over to do laundry, Katherine (my sister-in-law) plopped a new cat on me, and I knew we had to take her.

Django rocks. She eats and drinks without prompting, does her business in the right place without training, and gives me cat hugs when I come home from work. She even watching Law & Order: SVU with me (literally, she watches the TV - she will stare at it and not move until I do). She nibbles on my toes and my fingers, makes sure I make it to the bathroom okay, and hunts bugs. I love my wiry little warrior!

It feels wonderful to make a difference to something alive and breathing. Tommy would roll his eyes at me if I said this to him, but I feel a sense of purpose taking care of an animal and letting her into my life. I've never been a cat person, but Django doesn't mind.

Friday, October 28, 2011

#23: Go to a Kings hockey game!

I can't believe that we crossed this one off the list while in Texas! Tommy called me at work and said, "I'm going to be reckless here..." He told me that the Kings were playing a visitor's game against the Dallas Stars at 7:30, so we had to go fast. We got down there, realized that we were two of 25 people in the stadium rooting for the Kings, and got excited. There were only 500 people max in the whole arena, which was a little embarrassing for Dallas, but not considering the World Series game was on that night and the Rangers were winning (at the time).

Our view - center ice!

The game was fantastic. The first half started off rocky (ballerina skating), but we got ourself in gear in the second period - true Kings fashion. Quick was on fire, as usual, and Voynov had 2 awesome goals, one including the most fantastic slapshot I've seen with my own eyes. He got game MVP, which made me so happy, since we were away. The nosebleed seats only cost us $15 each, but we ended up moving down a couple rows because no one was there, saving us about $50 total. Score!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

#7: Travel to 5 states I haven't been to before - Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana

It was three days after graduation, and I was getting restless. The U-Haul had finally been attached to our green Toyota Highlander, and the cab of the car was filled to the front seats with pillows, suitcases, snack boxes, and a cooler filled with Diet Pepsi, of all things. We dragged our first cheap mattress through the back door and laid it up on the dirty fence, grabbed sheets and pillows, and closed the door. This change didn't upset me as much as I thought it would, or should. I ran away to Virginia to figure out life and college, and now I was leaving it half a decade later: very content, very accomplished, and very much married. I'd gotten what Virginia had to offer me, taken what I needed from it, and looked towards the next place to explore.

Now, I don't know if anyone else has done this, but the drive from the East Coast to the Gulf is quite a trip. I was happy to cross three more states off of my list, which added more excitement to road trip ennui. (Spoken like a true Oscar Wilde scholar.) I had already visited Tennessee, so I could not cross it off my list; however, this drive through revealed the damage caused by the recent storms and tornadoes across the South. We drove past splintered buildings and hunching metal poles. I said a little prayer for the South, both the people and the land - something I never thought I'd do in my life.

#1: Read one book for each month of the project OUTSIDE of school books (MAKE UP BOOK!)

I have SO much make-up reading to do... but now that I'm graduated and currently unemployed, I've got some time to do it in.

I saw the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray on a bookshelf by my sister-in-law's bedroom, and I asked her if she had to read it for class (she's a senior in high school). She said that she did, but that her teacher had ruined the ending for them in class and she lost interest in it; it was dry reading, anyways. I kind of knew that about Oscar Wilde after watching The Importance of Being Earnest (the Colin Firth version of course),  but it was a short 230 page read so I thought I'd give it a shot. I'm glad I did, because I learned a lot about Wilde and his importance in the literary world. Check it out:

The Picture of Dorian Gray was Wilde's first and only novel, and was actually used against him in court at the turn of the century in "gross indecency" trials...which was England's way of saying that it's not okay to be homosexual...or at least come out of the closet. Which is messed up. Dorian Gray came before his more famous plays, like Being Earnest and Salomé, and had to be revised twice in order to remove certain nuances - the preface to Dorian Gray contains a sort of defense to critics of "art for art's sake", and that viewing art as a source for society's moral code is pointless and deceiving. Oscar Wilde died just 10 years later (at the age of 46) in exile in France, after serving a sentence in Reading Gaol, a French prison.
I didn't necessarily love the book as a novel, nor do I really reason with aestheticism (then again, I'm from the 21st century), however I think that this novel is quite unique because of the relationship between Dorian Gray's plight and that of the Victorian society Wilde addresses. Lord Henry, one of the characters who influences Dorian to reject morality for vanity, plays the jester to Wilde's courtly readers, mocking their snuff-nosed views with paradox. That's what Oscar Wilde does best, and I couldn't really call myself an English major without reading him.

Seriously, though - without writers like Wilde who made a case for free expression and the widening of society's aesthetic sensibilities, what kind of novels would we be reading today? Virginia Woolf, Walt Whitman, Lolita, Catcher in the Rye...even the mild sexuality in Twilight would've been questioned and protested. Which I think is hypocrisy - there is a long history of homosexuality and promiscuity in the English monarchy alone - ANCIENT GREECE, hello! How much does history owe to hedonism? I don't agree with "explicitness for explicitness' sake", but it is a fact that all authors enjoy freedoms of expression because of forefathers (and foremothers) who had the courage to create their art. And that's my own case for The Picture of Dorian Gray. Besides, Oscar Wilde looks a heck of a lot like Cameron Crowe.
Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, History would have been different.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

#3 - Graduate from Southern Virginia University.

It is finished!

four years, four rooms, fifty classes, fifty term papers
two majors, one minor, one senior show, four seasons,
one guitar, one internship,  one roommate, one husband. 

I can't believe it's over! Southern Virginia, you've been good to me.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

#92 - Donate all the clothes and shoes I don't use to Goodwill.

I don't have much to write about this one, except to mark it as complete! A couple weeks ago, while finally cleaning out the front room of our house, Tommy and I filled 3 trash-bags worth of (my) old clothes and shoes that I've accumulated over the college years to donate to the Lexington Goodwill. It feels good to be rid of my "college kid clothes" and the "I've-had-this-shirt-since-eight-grade" clothes...yeah, I'm that embarrassing. It also feels good to donate something for repurpose. I love Goodwill! We're moving in T-minus 28 days, and I needed a place in our house to do my senior show work, so it was both a 99 in 999 check off and a necessity.

Now Tommy can't give me a hard time about the mounds of stuff that he "married into"!

#85 - Revisit the Vietnam Memorial in D.C.

Last month for Spring Break, Tommy and I traveled all the way to Washington, D.C., because he had never been!! We went to all the monuments, the National Gallery, the Phillips Collection, the National Archives, and the Sculpture Garden - I'd been to all of them and dragged Tommy along to all my art museums, though he was really stoked about Roy Lichtenstein's America (the optical illusion house in the garden).

I remembered that I had listed the Vietnam War memorial as an item on my 99 in 999 list, so I suggested to Tommy that we end our excursion with Lincoln and the memorials before heading home. My biological grandfather died while in Vietnam, and Tommy's grandfather served in the Korean war (which is also memorialized), so we both had roots there. I've been trying to find out more about him lately, I guess in an effort to find out more about why I am the way I am. My dad was adopted and my mom's bio dad died in Vietnam during the war, and though both sets of  grandparents who I am born to are my family and I have so many of their traits, there's this genetic heritage that I have always wondered about. I feel that it is okay to be curious about where you come from, while loving, keeping, and claiming the family heritage you were born to. Nevertheless, I've felt attached to the Wall, that a part of my blood-heritage is there. It also makes me proud and grateful to be American.