I am a woman of lists: lists of what to eat, what to do, how to behave, and even what I should think about. I know I’ve mentioned this before. My summer starts in six days. Because I am a girl, I’ve started dreaming up tons of expectations for my summer. I do it every year, just like everybody else. I don’t want to call it a bucket list. That name just seems a little ominous, especially with what’s going on in the news right now (you know, the bucket list baby that died today?). Besides, this isn’t a list that I want to cross out before I die; it’s more short-term. I mean, sure, I can do these things some other time, but I’d really like to do them this summer. This summer is important to me. I’ll be in Europe for six weeks. It’s going to be crucial to my development. This list needs to be lighthearted, not heavy like a bucket. Beach pails are pretty light. Plus they’re brightly colored and obviously marketed for summer vacations. That works. This will be a beach pail list. I’ll keep my beach pail list relatively short because I don’t want to bore you all to death and I really should be studying or eating or writing my feature story or something. 1) Go stargazing. I have wanted to go stargazing for years. Well, I kind of did it once, but that was almost six years ago. I’d like to go again. I think it would be good poetry material. I just need to figure out the best way to defend myself against mosquitoes first, because those bitches (only the female ones want your blood) love me. This brings me to my next item on the list…. 2) Figure out some way to get mosquitoes to stop biting me. I’ve heard that drinking vinegar helps. Actually, can’t you get B-12 shots for that? I’ll do that. It beats getting bitten every time I go outside (I’m already sporting several welts, as a matter of fact). 3) Go to Munich and see my friends. That will be awesome. 4) Try new foods when I’m in Europe. More food equals more chances to get fat! 5) Read a lot. Once I get all those books that have piled up out of the way, I can get some more. 6) Work on my people skills. That is a big one. 7) Unwind a little. 8) Make that classical music pilgrimage to Vienna. 9) Go on an impromptu trip. I think that will be very possible in Europe. 10) Write a good story. Because I’m a little out of practice and really need to.
That’s all I can really think of. My brain just turned to mush, so you guys are lucky. I guess I can always add to this. Now all I want is some prosciutto and a nap.
I think it’s fair to say a fair bit of my taste in music is inspired by classical composers. I’ve been playing piano since I was 5, and when I got old enough to make more conscious decisions on what pieces I wanted to learn, I always begged for classical music – Debussy, Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, Field, you name it (but those are my favorites.) Fantasia was one of my favorite movies as a child – okay, it still is, and especially now since I appreciate the music so much more. My taste in other genres of music reflects my history and growth with classical music: I can’t stand anything that sounds dissonant, I’m a sucker for musicians who use the piano heavily, like Ben Folds and Elton John, and most of what I listen to sounds, well, pretty.
It only makes sense that I make a classical musicians pilgrimage to Vienna while I’m in Austria. Vienna used to be the place to be for classical musicians. Mozart and Haydn, Austria’s most famous classical musicians, worked and lived there, and even Beethoven lived in Vienna for a while. And he left Paris to do this, so that must mean Vienna was an important city for classical musicians. I have to go to Vienna. I really need to research Vienna more, because it’s become a city of my imagination. In my mind, Vienna is a myriad of domes rising from brick roads that were built to string quartets and symposiums, and a wave of arias that flows as smoothly as the Danube. Apparently Austria is not covered very often in books or magazines. My local Barnes & Noble didn’t have a single travel guide on Austria. I searched through my dad’s collection of the past several years’ issues of Conde Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure and found one issue containing a story on Austria – a feature on Vienna. I didn’t get around to reading it, though, because I made the mistake of taking a sleeping pill and ended up in another universe.
If anybody has any recommendations or pointers for the pilgrimage, I would appreciate it more than an Adventure Time marathon, and that’s not because I’ve probably already seen every episode. I’d really like to go to Vienna without getting tragically lost or missing out on something incredible. I imagine I’ll stay in a hostel, since I’m planning on going with a group, but that’s all I’ve got right now. I still don’t know the best way to finish these things either. I just hope someone is reading this.