When I was 15 years old, I ran away from home because I was pissed off at my parents for a reason I cant remember. I didnt have much money, so I decided to hop onto the skytrain(public transport train in British Columbia) and ride it as far as it would go. I reached the end of the line in less then an hour, and decided I wanted to ride it all the way back again, while trying to formulate some kind of plan of how I wanted to live the rest of my life without my parents or anyone. At the last stop, or the first stop depending on your perspective of it, a girl came on and sat in the row right behind me. I didnt pay much attention to her at first, as I was busy writing my life plan on a napkin. It was a few minutes later that she got up and came sat next to me, curious as to what I was writing. I told her the story, and after a few laughs, we began talking about everything and anything. Her name was Amanda, 17 years old, and absolutely wonderful. She told me she was getting off at the last stop, which was also the first stop, depending on how you look at it. It was also the stop I had gotten on originally, and I told her we would ride to it together. The train ride took less then an hour, and what a wonderful hour indeed.
When the last stop did come, we both knew we probably wouldnt see each other ever again(this was before the days of cellphones, and I was a shy little kid afraid to make moves). As we got to the end of the sidewalk which split in two different directions, she went right and I went left. Before saying goodbye she turned to me and asked me a question that has become a wonderful part of my life; she asked me, “Tell me something you have done, or want to do, that you think I should do? It can be anything, as challenging as you want it to be, or as easy. As long as you give me the rest of my life to complete it, I promise I will do it..” I was confused as to why, but I thought about it, and told her, “Sing a song acapella in a room full of strangers.” She said perfect and asked me if I would like a challenge as well. I told her I did, and she told me, “read, from start to finish, “Ulysses” by James Joyce.” I had never heard of it at the time, but I agreed, and we said our goodbyes.
I have a awful memory, and cant remember most conversations I have with most people. But I remember all of that clearly. You know why? Because of the challenge she gave me. In the 12 years that have past since, I have tried to read that book in over 150 different sittings. Everytime I open my copy of the 780 page monster of a book, I always think of her, and I always think of that day. Ive never been sure if it was her intent or not, but she left her lasting memory on me with that challenge. I soon after learned what she did, was a completey wonderful and amazing thing for me. So I decided to keep it going. Ive met a lot of strangers in my life; some that have become friends, and some, due to living in different time zones and whatnot, didnt. I dont want to just have experiences and then let them go. I want to remember these meetings, and embrace the fact that they happened. So whenever I leave someone who has left an amazing impact of my life, I always make sure to add them to my Ulysses Bucket List. I ask them to give me a challenge, as difficult or as easy as they want it to be, and regardless of the fact that they have done it or not; simply something their heart has had wanted to do.
Some have been easy and fun; I met a man in India 9 years ago who told me to, for a week or a month, cook/buy twice as much food as I intend on eating, and give the other half to a stranger in need. I completed that mission 8 years ago, and thought about that man and the time we had all the way through. I met a girl on a cruise 6 years ago, who told me to jump into a body of water on a slightly cold day, without touching or feeling the temperature of the water first. I did that the very same year. I met a couple at an outdoor music festival a few years ago that told me to wear the most bizarre outfit imaginable and walk through a public place, completely oblivious to the fact that you arent looking normal. I did that task the very next day, at the same festival. Some have been difficult, to say the least: three guys I met in Amsterdam and smoked all night with, told me to go to a mall and give 10 strangers 10 presents. That one took a lot of courage, but I did it a year or so after I met them. It was nerve racking, but at the same time exhilerating leaving my comfort zone. A girl I met on a plane told me to sky dive; Im still in the process of getting that done. A couple I met in Cali on the beach told me to tell the 5 people I hated the most, that I love them and respect them. That one was very difficult because of my stubborness, but ive come close to completing that list many a times(still in the process, 2 more people to go).
And some things, have had an everlasting impact on my daily life. I met a girl at a music festival, who told me that whenever I get mad at someone, walk away, sing my happy song in my head for 5 minutes, go back to the person im mad at with a clam heart and mind, and work things out. Ive made this my way of life. I once met a man at a gym in a hotel I was staying at, that told me “whenever your body and brain tells your that you are exhausted and done…use your heart instead and push out 2 more reps.” Ive made this my motto when working out or working on any kind of extrenuating exercise in which my body demands me to quit. I also use it while working on anything, and while studying. One of the best pieces of advice ive ever received.
There are many others that each brought joy to my life. There are still many tasks I have yet to accomplish, and everytime I think of these tasks, I think of the people that gave them to me. It amazes me how well I remember all these people, while I cant remember so many aspects of even yesterday. These experiences, not only do I take from them a “mission” or a “challenge”, I also take from them a memory of them that never fails to appear inside of my mind. I opened my Ulysses book for probably the 300th time yesterday, and read a few pages, which prompted me to share this story with you today. Im in the final 30 pages of the book, also known as the most dreaded of the read(in the last 40 pages or so, James Joyce doesnt use a single punctuation mark; no periods, no commas, no nothing; a straight 50 page run-on sentence).
I never saw Amanda after that day, nor do I know if she ever did get a chance to sing a song to a room full of strangers. But what I do know, is that she gave me a gift that has never once stopped giving. So wherever you may be, thank you for giving me the Ulysses Bucket List. And I swear i’ll finish it one day. My life advice? Simple: Create your own Ulysses bucket list.
IN A SENTENCE: book recs and why you should read them
carry onby rainbow rowell: it’s harry potter but gay and with extra scones and dumbledore wears tights
the raven cycle seriesby maggie steifvater (everyone has heard of this already so): delightfully weird with the strongest set of characters in anything i’ve read and lots of cars and bees
shades of magic series by ve schwab: whimsical fantasy and cross-dressing pirates and again, brilliant characters and just excitingness
monsters of verity duology by ve schwab: so so dark with savagely beautiful imagery and creepy nursery rhymes and almost horror writing in book 2
villains duology by ve schwab: moral ambiguity!!! edginess!!! subversion of the superhero genre!!! characters you both like and hate!!! gritty urban settings!!!
six of crows duologyby leigh bardugo: more moral ambiguity and an absolutely stellar cast of six with an insanely well-crafted heist
the great library series by rachel caine: a book about books do i need to say more also christopher wolfe is my dad, the worldbuilding is insane and this is SO underrated
the girl at midnight seriesby melissa grey: the poetic justice makes me cry every time i think about it and honestly it’s just worth reading to see the character development dorian goes through
magisterium series by cassandra clare and holly black: harry potter but so much darker even though it’s mg not ya, and it has already made me cry my entire soul out so considering it’s written by 2 of the most popular authors this is criminally underrated honestly
strange the dreamerby laini taylor: i’m only halfway through this but the worldbuilding is amazing and the writing is absolutely gorgeous and it actually has a plot unlike some books this reminds me of
all for the game seriesby nora sakavic: so dark and so quick-paced and exciting with more amazing characters and more jaw-dropping plot twists and a mc who likes to destroy people on live tv
one of us is lying by karen m. mcmanus: criminally good ending that might be a direct comparison to a certain other popular tv series around rn with also a good cast of characters
troublemakers by catherine barter: really poignant narrative on protesting and things and it really helped me come to terms with the attack on my city in may
releaseby patrick ness: ok this crosses over into fantasy but it’s like 80% contemporary and it’s just a really good story on coming out into a homophobic environment and coming to terms with being loved and stuff
a list of cages by robin roe: just straight-up made me cry until i couldnt breathe honestly it has lots of narrative abt child abuse but if that’s not bad for you it’s really really good
the song of achilles by madeline miller: again, i straight up cried by the end of this one. the dramatic irony (cough cough what has hector ever done) is honestly the best dramatic irony in any book ive ever read ever
the gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue by mackenzi lee: just a really fun whimsical book with pirates and a cute relationship and good side characters and things like that
PLEASE SEND ME MORE I’M RUNNING OUT OF BOOKS TO READ
One of the Paladins, probably Hunk, got off earth with his wallet in his pocket.
He doesn’t think a thing of it; earth cash is worthless in space
A few weeks into life flying through the galaxy in a castle ship finds him sitting around feeling really comfortable and realizing he needs a simple task done. Maybe he left the oven on. Maybe he forgot the Thing he was working on in another room and needed it in this room. Maybe he was thirsty and wanted a drink.
Point is, he didn’t wanna get up
So he kinda side eyes Lance
“Hey Lance, do the thing for me.”
“Dude no. Do it yourself.”
A lightbulb pops up in Hunks mind: “I’ll pay you” he says
Lance perks up: “how much we talkin’?”
Consideration: “five dollars”
Negotiation: “make it ten.”
Refutation: “dude I bet I could get Keith to do it for three.”
Keith shrugs. Hunk translates that to “I probably wouldn’t actually, but I want to see where this goes” or possibly “I heard my name and this is probably an appropriate acknowledgement of that, but I haven’t actually been paying attention.”
Surrender: “fine. Five.” Lance goes and does the task, and comes back, “pay up, Hunk.”
Hunk roots through his wallet.
“You got change for a ten?”
“Well… Tens are all I’ve got… So… I guess I’ll give you one and you’ll owe me a five-dollar-favor?”
“Yeah sure. Sounds fair enough.”
Lance leaves the room, satisfied, just in time for hunk to break out laughing. Hard enough that the rest of team Voltron is Concerned (is this an existential crisis? Hmmm. No, not yet). Breathless, hysterical. In subsides after a time.
“You… Realize earth money is worthless in space, right?” Keith asks
Hunk starts laughing again, but nods. He just gave Lance a worthless piece of paper with a number on it in return for two favors. And it’s Priceless
(If we’re being honest, the favors were actually worth like, maybe two dollars each, but who cares? A favor is a favor, and earth cash is utterly useless anywhere but planet earth, what else is he gonna spend it on?)
But wait this definitely continues. Lance keeps doing tasks for worthless money.
Eventually Lance tries bribing Hunk back. And y'know what? Hunk was running low on cash, and it’d be good to have some in reserve, just in case he’s feeling especially lazy and wants to bribe Lance. So Hunk accepts. He gets ten dollars back (he managed to wrangle it so that it was ten dollars for a six-dollar-task especially well-done, so the ten is all his)
And it’s funny, it’s kinda fun, and it works. Lance does tasks for money, hunk does tasks for money to give to Lance to do tasks (you probably see where this is going)
Suddenly one day, the other Paladins realize how well it’s working and yknow what? They. Want. In.
Hunk started it all out with oh, about thirty dollars; a ten, a twenty, and about 63 cents. Lance had four ones. Pidge brings in two tens, three fives, and seven quarters. Keith adds about 5 dollars in loose change that he won’t admit to why he has.
Shiro didn’t have anything to add bc he spent the last year as a space prisoner, and Allura and Coran aren’t from earth and don’t use the same currency
It starts tame. Lance was bartering for a task to be worth a full ten. Keith pops up and says he’ll do it for five. Lance says fuck that, he’ll do it for four. Keith says $2.50, Lance says $2, Keith deliberates for a minute but says $1.25, Lance gets on his knees and begs to do it for $1. Keith surrenders the bid. Lance fistpumps and almost shouts about winning (who am I kidding. He definitely shouted) he sprints out of the room to do the task.
Keith high-fives Hunk. Hunk returns it, with a sense of foreboding
(Keith doesn’t really participate, except to bait Lance into doing a task cheap)
Shiro did not have any money to start. He rectifies this by quickly earning Hunks twenty and one of Pidge’s tens. Keith bribes him with three pounds of loose change for something else, something secret. He accepts the bribe. He now has $35. He spends it wisely. Responsibly. And definitely does not use the twenty to convince Lance to shut up for one 24 hour period. (He actually doesn’t! They decide that one dollar for one hour of silence is a perfectly acceptable wage. He buys 20 hours of silence. The other 4 are wasted to sleep. It’s kind of hilarious watching Lance try to charade his way through the day. After that, that’s usually what the twenty gets spent on)
Pidge does a fairly similar thing to Hunk, but quickly becomes known for being a ruthless haggler. She will get what she wants out of this five dollar bill or else. The Paladins fear her. But they obey.
Allura and Coran don’t really get it. But them not getting it has very different results. Allura simply does not participate
Coran… Thinks that Earth Money looks cool, and starts collecting it.
“Hey Coran, I’ll give you a ten if you do this task”
“Hmmm no, I already have one of those… Ooh! Do you have one of the small brown circular ones? I don’t have any of those yet!”
One day he gets ahold of the ever coveted twenty
That day is… Eventful.
All five Paladins crowd around Coran, offering to do anything for that twenty dollar bill. Literally anything.
Hunk breaks first, surprisingly.
This all started with a worthless ten dollar bill and a subtle prank on Lance. After all, earth money is worthless in space.
In some ass-backward way, his spending-money-because-what-the-hell-it’s-already-worthless has… Made a booming economy, right here in the castle.
A booming economy of about $75.38
Objectively, that total number is not enough to buy a robot. But here Pidge is, offering to build Coran a robot, not even for the seventy-five, but for one single twenty
The money was worthless, but now it is not because he started using it because it was worthless. Causality is confusing and terrifying. Hunk considers having that existential crisis. The money was worthless and now it is not, because he assigned it worth
He wanders off and flops down beside Allura. Her shoulders are shaking slightly. She is laughing.
He turns to the Paladins.
Keith is egging Lance on again, so far Lance has offered to not speak again for a week, no two weeks now. It seems Keith is aiming for one full month of silence.
Pidge is upping the numbers of promised bells and whistles for the bot. So far Hunk is starting to wonder, if Pidge even builds it, if it will replace Coran outright.
Shiro seems to have accepted that he will not win the twenty, so now he is managing the others offers: “no Pidge, the bot may not automatically fire death lasers, we don’t want any accidents. Make it manual control.” “Lance, three weeks of not saying anything at all is a bit excessive. Be reasonable, three weeks no speaking except from a word bank the rest of us choose of no more than 100 words (and except on missions)”
Meanwhile Coran doesn’t really care for a cool robot so much nor for Lance’s silence. He does rather like this “twenty dollar bill” though, because it completes his collection
Keith gets Lance to agree to one full month of silence, except for no more than 100 words from a word bank the others will decide on for $20.
Keith whips out a twenty dollar bill that he’d had in his back pocket all this time and slaps it into Lance’s hand.
Everyone loses their shit.
(Lance’s word bank includes a few useful words like “me,” “you,” everyone in the castle’s names, “space,” “fuck,” “please,” and “thanks” as well as a few out-there but useful ones, like “apologies,” “affirmative,” “negation,” “assemble,” “post,” “prior,” “cerulean,” “vermillion,” “chartreuse” “midnight,” “golden,” “rainbow,” (bc you know, lion colors) and the like. The rest were fairly nonsense, and a few of which were memes; “smorgasbord,” “brouhaha,” “Simba,” (actually, most names from the lion king) “Pepe,” “loss,” “Beyoncé,” and so on.
One memorable day (more like meme-orable day tbh) they got the quote “post smorgasbord, me, you [gesturing at all other paladins], assemble rainbow Simba. Fuck Space Voldemort’s vulnerability”
Translated roughly; “hey guys, after breakfast lets form Voltron and hit Zarkon where it hurts!”
They never do completely stop calling Voltron Rainbow Simba. Like you think it dies down, then suddenly it’s back, like it never left.
Also “yeah man! Fuck space Voldemort’s vulnerability!”)
It’s one of Keith’s favorite things he’s ever done
@EarthToWaverly: Greetings from Mars!! @HaughtOnMars #AlphaBase
if you read wayhaught fic n haven’t read @sensitive-pigeon‘s AU fic one-eighty………. wyd….. it is like. literally THE best thing ive ever read, holy shit. in fact, even if you don’t read fic, or watch wynonna earp, or even know who nicole n waverly are………………… READ IT. especially if you like f/f couples, space, and/or a mix of the two. please its the best thing ever. the space stuff, research done, slow burn, characters, dialogue, soundtrack (YES IT HAS A SOUNDTRACK!!! SO GOOOOD), humour, angst, fluff, SEXUAL TENSION… its all literally So Good
(note, these are all reader insert bc im trash and none have the reader as the one who saves them from the underground. also some of them have smut but i just skip those parts) ((also also im bad at writing descriptions so theyre gonna be short lmao)
reader owns a flower shop and befriends chara and the skelebros. (this is the 3rd book or smth in a series but i dont think the other ones have to be read first considering i didnt. definatly check out the other books tho)
GO READ THIS!!! its seriously so funny and well thought out, the writing is amazing and its just genuinly great. please read it. i cant say a lot without spoilers but seriously??? its so good!!!! also it has edge in it makingit an 11/10 even tho its already a 10
basically the reader has always wanted to be a performer but has mute vocal cords so they become a songwriter instead. this is a really good fic and i defiantly suggest it for any mettaton lovers. also it has sans and pap as your best friends so thats cool
this fic is fucking hilarious. ive never experienced such bad second hand embarrassment. slow burn but absolutely worth the read. also papyrus is really cool (and not treated like a baby) reader is in college and needs a break
this fic is super funny! red is SUCH a tsundere and hella salty. he moves in next to the reader and annoys the shit out of the reader with loud music so the reader strikes back. this fic is sooooo good and really funny. also muffet is the readers best friend so thats cool.
this is a more serious fic. each chapter is a oneshot about the reader struggling with one issue or another and sans helping them learn to love and take care of themselves. this fic does contain some serious shit like different disorders, bullying, abuse and other stuff like that but its definitely one of the best things ive read.
AND ITS DONE!!! THIS SHIT TOOK SO LONG TO MAKE YOU DONT UNDERSTAND. anyways i know that a lot of the spelling and shit is wrong but whatever. also if you guys know the tumblrs of any of these ao3 writters can you tell me so i can tag them? also if any of you guys wanna swing some underfell papyrus fics my way that would be cool. if i find any more good ones ill update this list then reblog it with a note of whats been added. also if anything doesnt work just tell me and ill try to fix it quickly.
reblog this for other people to see!!
ALSO I KNOW THE DESCRIPTIONS ARE SHITTY BUT THEYRE ALL BETTER THEN I MAKE THEM SOUND SO PLEASE READ THEM!!
im good! all bandage free and mostly healed up, i might need a revision on one side but for now im really happy, it’s been really hard in some ways but also one of the best things ive ever done honestly
this is the corniest shit ive ever done but. i cant believe ive been in this group chat of fuckery for exactly a year. when i first joined, yall were some kinky ass bitches, and i was innocent. you corrupted me. now my virgin eyes are gone. hope youre happy.
faith made this video that perfectly summarizes the first couple months of the group: https://youtu.be/QfMgAVjMEbE
in all seriousness tho, this gc was one of the best things that happened to me. yall made me more confident online (and even irl). ive made some of my closest internet friends because of this chat. and whenever i was (and am) talking to you guys, i was (and am) so much happier than i would be doing other stuff. sometimes, this group was the highlight of my day.
sometimes i think back to how hesitant i was before i joined. it was my first online group and i was afraid that things would go wrong. however, i don’t regret it one bit. sometimes, i genuinely wonder how different my life would be if I hadn’t joined
the amount of sentences I started with sometimes makes me want to slam myself into a wall fuck i could ramble on about how fucking great y'all bitches are for hours
anyways love you fuckers thanks for being such great ass people and subjecting me to months of meme/kink hell love you bye