I write down a lot of stuff. I am a writer-downer. Whenever I feel stressed/upset/excited/normal, one of my first instincts is to find paper and something to write with. It feels nicer when my thoughts are out where I can see and touch them than when they’re stuck in my head and creating traffic jams. And I am one hundred percent not the first person to realize this.
Case one: “I don’t know what I think until I write it down.” (Joan Didion.)
Case two: “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” (Flannery O’Connor.)
It’s magnificently easier to keep track of thoughts in scribbled down form, especially if they’re things I want to do. If written language still hadn’t been invented, I think I would spend most of my time keeping track of my old thoughts instead of thinking up new ones or even doing the old ones at all. Which is one of the many reasons why people make bucket lists.
Last year I also posted my summer bucket list (which was a collab with Em!), and this year I am again doing a summer bucket list collab! This one is with Oliva(!) at PurelyOlivia, and we are so insanely coordinated that our posts are coming out the same exact day. I told you, insanely coordinated. GO READ HER POST.
If you don’t know Olivia and her blog, I am very very excited to introduce you to her. Here are three things that she LOVES.
- Taylor Swift.
2. Bookish discussions.
3. Harry Potter!!!
Also, she has a bookstagram! It’s full of fairy lights, letterboard quotes, and guess what-BOOOOKS.
Which has to do with my first bucket list item. And the third one. And the fourth one.
1. Completely finish a TV show
I don’t think I’ve ever finished a TV show in my life. Wait, except for Masterchef! Okay, I’m pretty sure I’ve fully watched at least one season of Masterchef. (Hm, how is Masterchef doing now? Hold up, I need to go make a quick Google search: oh wow, they’re on season 10 now. And Joe’s still back!) Oh! And Disney channel. So basically, the last time I finished a show was in middle school?
The show I’ve decided to watch this summer is Good Omens on Amazon Prime, which is an adaptation of the book by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Here’s the trailer. You know it’s going to be good because Neil Gaiman was really involved in the process of it. (Unlike cough cough, Percy Jackson. When are they going to make the true adaptation of that series??) They’re not making a second season and there’s only six episodes at an hour each in the first one. I’ve already watched the first episode, and it was good.
I want to try and watch it with friends, but that’s much more difficult to do. On my bucket list last summer, watch a K-drama (a Korean show) with friends was one of the items, but that didn’t really happen. We watched the first three episodes, and then only one out of the three of us finished it and then spoiled it for me and my other friend.
This past Sunday, I watched the first episode of Good Omens again with a bunch of friends at Jonathan’s house. The possibility of watching all six episodes was talked about, but when it comes to my friends, plans are usually the polar opposite of carved in stone. Afterwards, we played a few rounds of Spyfall, went to the kids pool in his neighborhood (see the featured photo above), and ate a crazily inexpensive dinner of mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, rotisserie chicken, bread, and sweet tea from Sprouts.
Maybe we’ll dedicate another summer afternoon to marathoning all of them? And maybe we’ll get sidetracked again? I’m perfectly fine with either outcomes.
Olivia’s Thoughts: I love to finish shows, so I can’t relate. (I highly recommend finishing Friends. :))) Also, the inexpensive dinner from Sprouts sounds delicious. Mac and cheese and rotisserie chicken are both amazing.
2. Watch new movies that are coming out
A month ago, I posted a list of new movies coming out this summer that I thought looked interesting. I’m putting the two I’m truly set on watching on this bucket list.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 2)
Rating: PG-13 (actually, the rating is officially on the internet yet, but that was the rating for Spider-man: Homecoming, so I’m assuming it’s going to be the same)
Thoughts: Unless something goes wrong, I think I will be watching Marvel movies as they come out as long as they keep coming out. I still feel weird calling myself a fan because I don’t feel qualified, but I certainly don’t want to break my record of having watched all the movies.
The Farewell (July 12)
Thoughts: Okay, this is the other movie I am definitely watching. Awkwafina (who was also in Crazy Rich Asians) is the star in this movie. Her grandmother has cancer but the family has decided the best idea is to not tell her. Instead, they create a fake wedding and get everybody to go back for a reunion in order to be around the grandmother. Agh, I think it’s going to be so good.
Olivia’s Thoughts: Watching movies in theaters is one of those things I always say I’m going to do and never do. But I believe in you!
3. Read a lot of books
When it comes to books, I’ve always stayed away from number goals because I’m nervous it’s going to warp my feelings towards them into something more achievement oriented. I mean, I have a number in my head that I’m hoping for, but I’m not going to say it out loud or write it down. That makes it more real somehow. I do that with other things too. At one point during this past school year, my voice was weird, my throat felt weird, and my face and throat was congested, but whenever somebody asked if I had a cold, I vehemently denied it. I just said I felt “weird.” I stop myself from saying I hate things that I wish I liked. I would give you an example, but as you can see, I’m not.
Back to the books. I want to pick up all twenty of the mostly new books I talked about in my most recent two posts (this and this one), but I’m not sure if I will get to depending on the library holds. Some of them have a bunch. I’m 39 out of 43 for Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb. That’s the longest queue I’m in. Even if I do check all of them out by the end of the summer, I know I will not finish multiple of them because they won’t be for me.
Besides those books, I want to read Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide and Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion.
And then besides those books, I want to…
Olivia’s Thoughts: Wow, that is one wildly popular book. I looked it up at my library just now to see if it’s also a phenomenon there, but it only has 10 holds. Still a lot, but doesn’t hold a candle to 43.
4. Read the Harry Potter series!
As I mentioned at the top of this post, one thing to know about Olivia is that she loves Harry Potter. And as I mentioned earlier, I have watched all the Marvel movies. On the other hand, I have not read any of the Harry Potter books (except for this one random day when I found a PDF of the first book online), and she hasn’t watched any of the Marvel movies. Which brings us to the deal Olivia and I have made. This summer, she will try and watch (most) of the Marvel movies, and I will attempt to read all the Harry Potter books (and maybe watch the movies?).
At first I thought she had taken on way more than I had, but as I think about it again, it actually might be closer than I thought. It says that it takes 48 hours to watch all 22 of the Marvel movies. For the Harry Potter side of things, the series collectively has 3407 pages. I don’t know how many pages I can read a minute, but if I assume I can read 1.5 Harry Potter pages in a minute, that will be 37.85 (repeating 5) hours of reading. Well, I guess that doesn’t include any time that might be spent crying?
Meanwhile in the adjacent world of Google doc conversations…
Annie: HEY OLIVIA: I just need to confirm-have you watched any of the Marvel movies?Olivia: I have not! Well, I’ve watched half of Black Panther on the last day of school. But it doesn’t count because I couldn’t hear anything so I’ll definitely be rewatching it. :))
Olivia’s Thoughts: I am admittedly a little scared you won’t like Harry Potter. Although I feel like you will? Those thoughts aside, this is gonna be awesome. :)) Also, your math is very impressive. I would say that you need to calculate some time in for crying in the later books.
5. Hang out with friends from school
This was on my bucket list last year also! And so are some of the specific things I want to do! Who knew that the same person behind Zoelogist twelve months ago is the same person behind it today?
Olivia’s Thoughts: Who knew??
-Photoshoot Dallas Museum of Art’s Dior exhibit
My profile picture currently is from a photoshoot I went on with two of my friends last summer, and this summer, the same two friends and I are planning to go the Dior exhibit at the DMA.
Olivia’s Thoughts: A photoshoot at the DMA! That sounds great, I should do that too.
-Go to one of those pottery painting places with my art class.
I am very excited about this one. I loved my art class from this this past school year. It was a combination of freshmen, sophomores, and one junior who definitely would not have been able to become friends outside of this class. Our group chat is currently called Survival Squad with a bunch of green emojis because one day in class, we had a long discussion on what order we would die in if we got stranded somewhere.
Olivia’s Thoughts: I need to know, where were you in the dying order? I’d place you to survive pretty long, but I don’t know what the other people are like, of course. Also, for pottery painting, I suggest Color Me Mine.
-Go to an escape room
Haha, this is a repeat from last year.
Olivia’s Thoughts: I love escape rooms! I want to go to one this summer, too
6. Chase down the ice-cream truck.
Enough said. :))
Olivia’s Thoughts: Mmm. Yes.
7. Finally test out my box camera
I think last year on a road trip, I bought this thing at an art museum gift store, and it’s amazing but I have still yet to use it. It’s advertised as a “box camera.” The design is basically a pop-up book, but instead of a story, there’s only one page with a black box in the middle. The instructions say to take a picture, you put a piece of film into the box, move this pull tab thingy so that light hits the film, process the film with chemicals, and voila, a photograph. Cameras already bewilder me (how can you just press a button and capture a rectangular slice of life???), but this just blows my mind. A box that literally can work as a camera?
Olivia’s Thoughts: That’s CRAZY. What? I’m confused, but I think you should definitely test it out and maybe make a post about your box camera escapades.
8. Be all out for my mission trip
In July, I am going on a mission trip to Mexico! I am excited and nervous and yea. But truly, my strongest feeling is normality. Not because it feels routine (this is my first mission trip so it’s nothing but out of the ordinary), but because it feels like completely the right thing to do. And of course, right as I type that, I’m second guessing myself. But ignoring that, I know I’m supposed to do this. Maybe what I’m feeling is just a such an overwhelming sense of peace that I don’t even realize it’s peace. Yes, let’s go with that.
The preparing part has been stressful at times though and definitely work. We had a bunch of meetings in May on top of a month that was already full of madness, and we’ve all been assigned to do what I’m guessing is normal missions stuff such as writing testimonies and making lessons for the kids and journaling. We’re also doing fundraising. We gave out letters (when going to private school comes in clutch) and had a bake sale(!) and will be giving out more letters and having more events. At our last bake sale we received more than a thousand dollars, which shocked me. It was really cool.
It’s also awesome seeing how the lead up to this trip is already bonding people together. That’s the second thing I am most excited about. The first is spending a week completely not living for myself when that’s what I’m basically doing for the rest of this summer.
I have a feeling I will be writing more about this mission trip afterwards.
Olivia’s Thoughts: Wow, that’s so exciting! I can’t wait to hear more about it later. I’m glad you feel peace surrounding it, I can tell y’all are going to help a lot of people. :))
9. Get my driver’s license
Last year, driver’s ed and getting my driver’s permit was on my list, and this year, as I’m writing this, I took my driver’s test today! It was zero percent as stressful as the TV shows make it. I didn’t do that great though-I got a 84. Let’s see, I’m going to try and remember everything he took off points for.
Um, he docked points because I went through a yellow light, because I parked too far from the curb in parallel parking, because I had trouble reversing out of the parking space in the very beginning (I didn’t realize that the steering wheel wasn’t in neutral so I was like why isn’t the car going out straight??), because I didn’t check my blindspots (or probably because I just didn’t exaggerate it enough), because on one turn my turn wasn’t wide enough and because my turn was too wide on another one.
Yea, I think that’s about it. Now I just have to wait a few hours at the DMV and actually get my license.
Olivia’s Thoughts: Ahh, congrats on passing! Did you do a third party driver’s test? I did that too and the guy was really nice. I had the opposite problem with parallel parking, I hit the curb. Though I have had my license for about eight months and I’ve yet to parallel park since taking the test.
I’m working at Michael’s and Francesca’s. Haha, I never realized the similarities between those two names until now. I will postpone going more in depth until a later post because this got way too long.
Olivia’s Thoughts: I love both of those stores! That reminds me, I saw a lot of cute clothes at Francesca’s the other day and I meant to go back and try them on. I should do that soon.
Okay, I’m keeping this outro really really short.
What’s on your bucket list?
Have you ever been on a mission trip?
TV show recommendations?
Are you working anywhere this summer”