My family and I were out for an evening walk with our lazy not-so-new anymore dog Kit (short for Kitsune, but given his girth, I think Sumo would have suited him better). Kit's leisurely pace isn't great if you are looking for exercise, but it is a nice opportunity for family dialog. The topic got around to books we've read. My husband asked the rest of us who was our favorite villain in a book.

I consider myself a reader. Maybe not as voracious of one as I was in my youth, but I do read quite a bit and my mind blanked. LOL, now part of it was the weird blanking out thing your mind does when anyone asks you to pick your favorite anything. But part of it also was that it's not as easy, for me at least, to pick out a favorite book villain as it is in a visual media, like a movie or TV series.

Alfred Bester from Babylon 5 is easily on my top 5 TV/ films villains of all time list

You see, the thing with books is that you are often much more privy to the thoughts of the protagonists, and although there may be a Big Bad they are facing, I often find myself more interested in the main character's internal drama. What is it inside the hero/ heroine that needs to be overcome? What is it the villain stands for that is so at odds with what it is the protagonist wants?

That being said, yes I did eventually come up with some literary villains (Melisande de Sherzai, Mrs. Haversham, The Overlook Hotel, The White Witch from the Narnia books, even He Who Must Not Be Named were stand out villains), but I still haven't figured who was my favorite. I suppose I'll just have to read more books and re-read my old favorites to be sure. September is coming, so I'll have a bit more reading time then. 

This is Not the Smartest Thing to Do in the World - This is a Tribute

Its funny how some things can change - and how some things can still sting almost a year later. With fall beginning to bleed into August with this cooler than average weather, I started thinking about the events of last October and of course Samhain and honoring the memories of the ones I've lost.

Then I saw an old college friend of mine do something incredibly silly on Facebook. He dumped a bucket of cold water over his head as part of something called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I asked what that was and he kindly pointed me to a link explaining it.

Let's get something straight: I. Hate. Cold.

My husband calls me as a lizard and says I have the shower set to Mordor. I complain about cold in the winter and when I get the inevitable nagging about how I'll wish for the cold in the oven that is PA in the summer, I can laugh and say, "Oh no I won't). I love the seasons. I love the stark beauty of winter - from inside with a thick sweater and a big mug o' tea or if I must go outside, warm boots, thick scarves and many, many layers.

I have no reason to do this stupid thing. Since Mike's diagnosis I've contributed regularly to ALS and ALS related causes. And then I remembered the words Mike wanted us to remember.

"It's OK. I laughed a lot"


So I gritted my teeth, got the clothes to change into afterwards ready, got one kid to hold a towel while the other kid videoed and just did it.

In related news, dolphins in the Atlantic reported headaches from my high pitched scream

There is no question this is a silly, rather childish thing to do. And as one friend warned me, not entirely safe (I did check with other health care professionals who had done the challenge and they said there were risks, but slight ones. You could get bruised or lacerated by the falling ice. If you have specific conditions with your thyroid or your heart you really should talk to your doctor before trying this). But it turns out there are a lot of very silly people, who like me donated as well as took an ice water shower. Donations towards ALS research have skyrocketed. People are becoming more aware about what this horrible disease does.

And because I do believe in an afterlife, I feel that somewhere Mike is still laughing and then doubling over again with laughter because of who I tagged (like you thought I wouldn't get payback after your bragging about your relaxing vacation. Keep laughing through the ice shower Vineyard Boy!).

I'm glad you laughed a lot while you lived bro. I'll do my best to keep the laughs coming. That's my tribute to you, silly as it is.