A Little Slow Out of the Gate?
I’m thirty-three years old. I have a degree from an excellent Canadian university. I’m a published writer, a wide and avid reader and I’ve been to Europe. You would think, think, that would make me a fairly well-rounded, generally informed individual. Most of the time I like to think that it does. Sometimes though, it’s like I live in a weird secluded cave and every once in a while I come out, blink my eyes in the light and stumble across something random that fills me with childlike wonder and complete euphoria. When I find these things, usually by complete chance, I actually feel my heart flood with blood, my eyes widen and a new, giddy obsession take root in my brain. Did I mention these things are almost always pretty ordinary, or commonly known to just about everyone else on the planet? Well they are. I choose to believe this is just part of my charm. So without further adieu, allow me to present three things I have stumbled across in the last year that I think are disproportionately amazing compared to everyone else.
I saw a National Geographic slide show of the world’s most bizarre creatures. This was one of them:
I know, right? It’s an Aye-aye! A lemur that lives in Madagascar! I might as well have seen a unicorn galloping down my hallway, that is how excited I was. The sad thing is, I’m not exaggerating. This is the most amazing creature I have ever seen in my life and it is actually real. I love this creature, it is amazing and I could never make up anything as awesome as the Aye-aye. Look at it! It finds food by tapping a long middle finger on wood, seriously! It blows my mind. I love this creature. I proceeded to spend last year learning everything I could about Aye-ayes and I encourage you to do the same. I now sponsor an Aye-aye named Bellatrix at the Duke Lemur Centre in Durham, North Carolina and I can’t wait to go there one day and visit her. For an informative and hilarious introduction to this miraculous creature, you could do worse than this hilarious and short video by Ze Frank.
2. Spanish Literature
Remember how I mentioned that I somehow manage to exist in a cave all by myself when it comes to some things? Yeah, that’s right, until last year I don’t think I ever read a book translated from the Spanish, please don’t ask me how I managed to accomplish this feat because I really don’t know. French, hell yes, Russian, sure, Spanish? Apparently not. Thankfully, this tragedy had stopped. Now, I am just at the very beginning of delving into the world of Spanish writers, so ignorance abounds, but so far I can heartily recommend Isabel Allende and Jose Donoso. I wish I could read them in Spanish, but once my English brain stumbles idiotically through a fog of moronicness and gets on the Spanish-translation train, it is a very happy brain indeed. These are talented writers who use language in an entirely different way, there is an atmosphere here that I highly encourage every English-brain to plunge enthusiastically into; you will be a better writer and reader for it. Jorge Luis Borges is next, excited!
3. Bela Lugosi
Okay, so I love horror movies (scary, not gore. Gore isn’t scary, it’s just gory) especially old black and white movies, silent movies, that kind of thing and I have for quite some time. In spite of this I have somehow, unbelievably, managed to not see any movie featuring Bela Lugosi until a few weeks ago. This makes me a failure at life, to be perfectly frank. Now that I have seen several movies featuring Bela Lugosi and intend to see every movie featuring Bela Lugosi, I can see how sad and unfulfilling my existence has been. Now, he was born in 1882, so I am considerably behind the bandwagon on this one, but I’m going to jump on anyway. This guy is awesome! Frigging kick ass accent, all moody and atmospheric and stuff, tall dark and mysterious, he is the king of horror! I am one hundred percent smitten. If you haven’t seen Bela’s Dracula from 1931, you haven’t seen Dracula. He’s kind of handsome too, in a weird way.
So there. I am just a naïve and uninformed human. But it’s stuff like this that makes life such an adventure. By being completely clueless, I can usually guarantee I’ll stumble across at least one or two things a year that everyone else already knows about and doesn’t really care about, and just sends me over the moon. I’m good with it.