Sunday, July 11, 2010

Retro Reading Challenge Update

I'm pleased to report that I've had another participant in my Retro Reading Challenge from earlier this year. As promised, Amy Jones has written, or at least has attempted to write, a review of The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley on her Listophelia blog. Amy is tough on herself for not finishing this tome, but her caustic assessment of the experience (written in the form of a list, natch) is well worth a read.

Amy posted this a few days ago but I missed it because I've only just now gotten back from my vacation on the East Coast and have spent the last two days in a car. Actually, I'm not complaining - the trek from Toronto to Charlottetown and back again is long but invigorating, and I really did appreciate two weeks home with access to my own vehicle. So, in honour of Amy Jones, I offer up my Top 12 list of things I learned on my summer break:

1. Leaving Toronto on the morning of the first day of the G20 summit is a BRILLIANT idea. Somewhat ruined, however, by turning on CBC News in our hotel room in Riviere du Loup that night and seeing a burning cop car.
2. The sunset in Riviere du Loup is spectacular.
3. My GPS completely craps out between Edmunston and Fredericton, NB. I mean, that poor machine had no idea where the fuck we were!
4. Crossing the Confederation Bridge to PEI is even more fun when your passenger has never done it before.
5. Visiting Anne of Green Gables House in Cavendish is surprisingly entertaining, despite being subjected to L.M. Montgomery's sugary affirmations in pull-quote form on plaques scattered throughout the Balsam Walking Trail.
6. Halifax is STILL THE FUCKING COOLEST CITY IN THE WORLD. Hats off to RR for enduring what essentially turned into a walking tour of Off Book.
7. Peggy's Cove looks somewhat ominous when viewed through a GPS. Getting out of car and walking along the rocks is strongly encouraged.
8. Poet Art Moore throws just as awesome a party at his Moncton, NB home in summer as he does at Christmas time. But from this experience, we have learned:
8a. RR and I suck at backyard croquet.
8b. Moonshine goes surprisingly well in a Jell-O shooter.
8c. Certain people, when they've had a few too many moonshine Jell-O shooters, will accuse both RR and me of being "postmodern writers". Umm - what?
9. Jumping off the bridge at Basin Head beach on PEI never gets boring, no matter how old you are.
10. Perth-Andover, NB is red-neck central. See camouflage decal on pick-up trucks at the Tim Hortons.
11. Rolaids now come in a chewable candy form, and is a delightful balm to soothe road trip-related heartburn.
12. It's nice to see one's own kitchen back in Toronto again, and even nicer to see one hasn't accidentally left any food out on the counter to rot while one's been away for two weeks.

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