On an island in the sun….


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All this sucky weather has me thinking about building arks and isolation, enough with the friggen rain already! Thanks to this craptastic day it occurred to me I have never made a Desert Island List. Today I think it’s time to do just that!

In brief, a Desert Island List is a list of three things (usually books, music, and/or movies) that you would want on a desert island to keep you entertained if you became stranded alone. Very simple. The fun in it, for me at least, is validating and arguing over each others choices. Maybe that part is just me though. I’m sure some people, somewhere out there, are capable of polite discussion.

Anyway, Here’s my list of music and books I would like with me on a desert island (and I would like to point out that I prefer to be stranded on a dessert island rather than a desert island)

Music

1. My first choice would undoubtedly be Pink Floyd The Wall . Arguably one of the best albums of all time, it posesses unrivaled musical genius, has the presence of tremendous talent barely contained in its analog format, the art work is thought provoking, the lyrics are mind-expanding, the story, twisted and perverse yet sadly sweet. So much to offer at a time when the music world was deeply reeling from its foray into Disco. This album has fans accross many genres, is time-honored, and fully deserves every accolade thrown at it. There is no question in my mind whether or not this is my first choice, I’ve been listening to it for over 30 years and suspect it will keep my mind satisfied if it were my only option for musical nourishment.

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2. Pearl Jam Vitalogy . Now I know most people and many a PJ fan choose Ten as their go to Pearl Jam listen, but I stand firm in my bucking of the system and stick with Vitalogy. I love the sound, the distinct difference between it and their first album, and it reminds me of a time in my life I could wax poetic about. For me, the early-mid ’90’s are truly captured in the paraphrased opening of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness….it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us” and this album embodies all those feelings for me. I believe listening to this album wouldn’t soon grow old and that I would find a “Happy Place” inside my mind to hide until I had the nerve to eat my own foot. You know, to survive and whatnot.

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3. The Bloodhound Gang Hooray For Boobies I’m embarrassed by this choice, but stand by it nonetheless. The Bloodhound Gang are widely known for their semi-hit “The Bad Touch” (often incorrectly referred to as “The Discovery Channel”) with its sexual colloquialisms and pop culture references, planting mental images you never needed to have (in many a crowd any mention of X Files, the ever popular television hit, will bring this song to mind…if you don’t know, look it up. You HAVE been warned.)

While I rather enjoy this song for its tempo and humor, I absolutely LOVE the rest of the album. For my modesty’s sake, I would like to say that this song is the raunchiest on the album, but then again I have this honesty thing I like to honor and I won’t start telling lies now (especially when faced with having nothing but my own conscience to keep me company on the desert island!) Where “The Bad Touch” alludes to sexual situations and desires, the rest of the album just slaps you in the face with detailed descriptions and lyrical visuals you probably could have gone your whole life without (and been better off for it). Despite this, what I love so much about this album is that it is loaded with catchy tunes and is freaking hilarious! My favorite song on the album is “I Hope You Die” with its twisting story that I can identify with if I let myself go to my angriest, yet untapped place of my mind. It has a heavy, grungy, metal sound and moves at a quick pace I find thoroughly enjoyable. It is funny and while juvenile, very intelligent at the same time. Other favorites from the album are “A Lap Dance Is So Much Better When the Stripper Is Crying” which is about exactly what it sounds like and “Mama’s Boy” which points out that “Its kinda hard to rhyme a word like vagina” (yet there is no lack of trying on their part!)

Not every song on the album is “dirty” but those that aren’t are filled with enough profanity to make this a “headphones only” listen. Personally, it is my go to for road trips, the raunch keeps me laughing and I marvel at the bouncy, catchy melodies. For me, this album would keep my humor levels up on my island prison and I would finally be able to listen to it as loud as I wanted and not feel shameful for singing along 😉

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BOOKS

1. The Stand by Stephen King . There seem to be three schools of thought on Stephen King; those who watch his movies; those who have read a book or five; and those who know enough to recognize intelligent writing regardless of genre. Pardon my snobbishness, but I have long defended the great Stephen King and grew tired of the lame arguments against him long ago. He is an educated writer who loves to read. His books provide backstory that takes you deep inside a character’s psyche and often creates sympathetic villains…no easy feat. He has a knack for finding things that most can identify with and turns it against you, tapping into deep levels of your psyche. He doesn’t rely on the gross-out element but isn’t afraid to use it when the situation calls for it.

Let me first state that I am absolutely NOT a fan of horror. Not even a little bit. However, as my Frazzled Sibblings can attest to, I grew up in a house with a father who read Stephen King books. My father was also a fan of the bath tub. More specifically soaking in the tub while reading or doing a crossword puzzle. The love of reading and bathing, as well as doing these two amazing things simultaneously was passed down to at least 3 of my parents children. Myself, one of my Frazzled Brothers and one of my Feazzled Sisters have been known to sit in the tub for hours reading (this was quite problematic when we all resided under the same roof) using up every ounce of hot water and water-logging many a book in the process while trying to ignore the pleas of other household members and their petty cries of having to go so bad they could taste it. But I digress, Stephen King books were most often found sitting on the edge of the tub and the paper backs always had the scariest of covers (Night Shift comes to mind with its picture of a poorly gauze wrapped hand with eyeballs peeking out through the bandages) As a child I often flipped the books over so I wouldn’t have to see the scary covers while using the facilities. But then I learned how to read. Once I started perusing the backs of Stephen King’s books, I was blown away by just how screwed up his stories were. It wasn’t long before I took the plunge (hehehe) and started reading his books in the tub as well.

In defense of my choice of The Stand as a desert island book, I note that the subject of the book is a super flu has been released and wipes out 90% of the earth’s population. The story is scary as hell on so many levels, and is quite lengthy. It has many stories within a story and no matter how many times I reread it I always discover new depths to it.

And for those of you who LOVE to point out how SK’s movies suck (particularly the movie of this book) it is an unfair assessment. It is widely known that only a handful of the movies achieved what the book has (Misery, Pet Semetary, Salem’s Lot, and the tv remake of The Shining come to mind). Stephen King himself has said this many a time (in his books…read them!) so please Dont judge a book by its crappy cinematic cover.

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2. Bill Bryson: A Short History Of Nearly Everything . I was first assigned two Bill Bryson books in an amazing course I took my first year in college (Cultural Geography…hey, I was undecided!) I immediately fell in love with Bryson’s writing and read everything he had published. While typically classified as a travel writer, most likely because he mainly writes memoirs about his travels, he combines travel adventures with history and humor. Bryson is extremely funny and insightful, which translates to stories that you feel you could have (or wish you had) experienced yourself. Most people are familiar with Bill Bryson’s A Walk In The Woods, which is a fantastic book (it inspired the Hubs and I to honeymoon in The Great Smokey Mountains (and eventually move to the area)) and well worth reading. However, I have read it and every other book Bryson has written multiple times and I fear if I lived for more than a year on a desert isle i would become bored because it is short. I choose A Short History due to its scientific nature. It covers life on earth from the beginning and will (hopefully) provide me with theories to ponder (and perhaps some ideas on how to stay alive).

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3. For my third choice of book on my extended desert island stay I would like to bend the rules a bit and opt for an extra large notebook filled with empty pages and a tremendous supply of pens. This way I could entertain myself by writing and also, you know, attempt to send out a written S.O.S.

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So what are your Desert (or Dessert for that matter!) Island picks? What makes the cut for you?

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