20 before 20 updates

I couldn’t remember the last time I wrote about my 20 before 20 goal of reading 300 books until I rifled back through my past blog posts to remind myself! It’s been a while since I thought about my 20 before 20 goals, anyway. The thing that’s wonderful about them is that I gave myself so much time to accomplish them! And they are reasonable, too – both of those reasons I fail to do most of the time with my goals. The best part is when I catch sight of the list I hung up on the bulletin board in my room and realize hey, I actually did that! or I’m almost there!

As you may notice, I put all my goals in the sidebar of the homepage, so you can refer to the list if you forget (hey, I forget sometimes and I’m the one who wrote the list). I have to do some major recapping, and then I can talk about the four more books I’ve read recently.

For right now, the “learning another language besides German” goal hasn’t taken flight yet. But in lieu of that, I am basically soaking up as much knowledge about ANY language I can, and storing it in the ol’ noggin. It’s fun for me, and makes me feel international and cool, so there’s no problem with that! :D

Learning the trumpet is actually going pretty well. I mean, I am still looking for a trumpet to buy (and doing so feverishly), but I’ve done my research – I could clean one, haggle for one, inspect one for damage, make the right mouth position, and guess how to play a scale. And I know a LOT of trumpet players. All I need to do is FIND one.

The 96 songs goal is funny. At first, I thought it would be really hard. Then I thought it was going well and it was going to be easy. Now, I know it will be a challenge. I’ve made guidelines for myself so I know when I’ve “officially” learned a song – you know when you’ve finished a book: you read the last page, but how can you tell when you really know a song? They are as follows: 1) I must know the melody by heart. 2) I must know the chords by heart (if on guitar or uke or any instrument that would accompany another in the song). 3) I must be able to improvise over the solo section (if it has a solo section; obviously I won’t be soloing over a marching band tune). So far, only four songs meet those requirements: “Summertime”, “Night in Tunisia”, “Sandu”, and “Take the A-Train”, all on guitar, all jazz. 92 to go!

Next up, getting my driver’s license. I have less than a month to go on my permit before I can test for my license.

After that comes “writing enough songs to fill an EP…”. I’m not sure I really care about this anymore, since I’m mostly pursuing jazz, which is fine to cover standards and make them your own. Mostly, I just want to be able to hold my own in a jam. I don’t need to write anything. I’m thinking of substituting something else in that spot.

I actually was struck with an idea for a novel not too long ago, and I really want to write it sometime, but I also want to take it slow. I know where I get tripped up now, and why I abandon stories a lot…It may not be a long one, but writing anything over 100 pages is a novel to me – I’ve only ever reached about 60.

Next: “have my blog achieve some sort of fame.” I might have to change this one, too. I have a good number of subscribers and feedback, so I’m happy where I am.

“Picking up the piano again.” I guess I did that last year, when I spontaneously joined marching band as the keyboardist. I am playing the xylophone this year – maybe that will count, it has the same layout! – and plan to totally ROCK IT, the only reason being “just because”. Because how cool would it be to be able to say “Yeah, I’m a really good xylophone player.” and actually be able to back that up?

I have a strawberry plant and it is ALIVE! Hopefully it can hold out in the summer – strawberry season is springtime – because I LOVE strawberries. And I can check it off the list if I eat some garden-fresh ones.

A lot of the other things – “Make 3 new good friends”, “celebrate Peace One Day every year”, “Learn something valuable from at least 5 different teachers”, “get more confident” and “do some spontaneous stuff” – I can’t check off the list until I turn 20. They are kind of immeasurable and are more to motivate me to do more of those things, and then be able to look back at all that I did. I won’t know how much I achieved until I’m done.

Either way, once I come up with two replacement goals for number 6 and number 8, I will update you all! Now, without further ado, here are some more books!

#30 Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams (play). I read this for school and I have to say: I hated it at first, but at the end, I liked it. I wanted to strangle Blanche and Stella the whole time until the end, when I found some sympathy for Blanche and just wanted to at the most punch Stella in the face. It’s also fun to yell “STELLAAAA!” if I’m ever feeling pitiful and depleted, falling to my knees in allusion to this literary work. Ah, that was a funny scene during the class reading – thank the Lord I didn’t have a part.

#31 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. WHEW! That book was a roller coaster! Oh my, not for the faint at heart. The first 10ish pages, I still don’t know what they’re talking about. First, you’re confused (I recommend rereading the first part a few times); then, you’re weirded out; then you’re rooting for the guys on the mental ward and laughing along with them; then you’re a bit horrified; then you’re just relieved at the end that something kind of okay happened. I need to reread the book before I make any inferences or something. But I highly recommend it, too. It was a great book. Really.

#32 Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. Okay, so I’ve heard mixed reviews of the fifth book and I can see why. It starts out slow and kind of keeps the sluggish pace throughout. It’s also like 800 pages. It’s never boring, but it’s just kind of slow. Then BAM!! Something pulls the trigger and you’re catapulted straight through the end (I won’t ruin it for others by telling which part). Thank goodness I had the sixth book already on-hand because I think I would have gone into a mental limbo in-between books.

#33 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. I remember seeing the movie for this book and being disappointed – no action! Thankfully, this was not the case in the book. However, the book truthfully lacked the action and adventure the other books had (until the end, again). It was mostly, as the jacket of the book says, “the home front that takes center stage”. It’s the necessary calm before the storm – the war with Voldemort has just begun, and the tension is rising behind the scenes. Also, not to be negative, but some of the romancey stuff is a little cheesy. (Then again, how can awkward teenage love not be?) This is also where the plot thickens; it actually solidifies and is about to explode: the end drops off a steep cliff and in a whirlwind of emotion, I can’t tell whether I want to read the last installment just yet. I’m kind of sad it will be over so soon! I am seriously considering rereading the series before reading the final book, just so I can remember everything, get the perfect experience – I am surprised how much I forget in the past books! Some people say that, like, first graders read these books. I am appalled! First, I filled up at least three notebook pages of words I didn’t know so far. Second, SO MUCH VIOLENCE! Third, these books are intense. I know it sounds cheesy, but they are really involved – props to Rowling on this one, she knows how to twist a tale. I forgot a lot while watching the movies, so now I know the real story – I couldn’t remember what a Horcrux was when I watched the eighth movie. I am so glad I finally decided to read these books!

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2 thoughts on “20 before 20 updates

  1. It’s great you have a list to remind you, i only had one dream to achieve before 20, and i did it when i was 20 itself. I guess it can be considered fulfilled.

  2. Pingback: A noteworthy note « Let's Be Extraordinary.

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