Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Where have all the young men gone?

I got off the shuttle this morning and followed the line of people entering one of the only two buildings on this campus. There was a guy a little ahead of me - a typical college student with the hoodie, jeans, and iPod. I didnt give him a second thought. But as he was going through the door, he stopped and glanced back. When he saw me, he came back out and held the door open for me, even though I was still not that close. He waited until I went in and then went in after. I was shocked.

Chivalry is dead. Has been for a while now. These days, I'm impressed when a guy stretches his arm back when he's going through a door to make sure it doesnt slam in my face. And this is only when I'm right behind him. More often than not, I get doors closing in my faces. That's if I don't get practically thrown out of the way as some guy with patience problems pushes past everyone to get through the door first.

I was so shocked at the unexpected behavior of the dude today. You could hear it in my "thanks." Just as you could hear the laughter at my reaction in his "you're welcome." When did this become the rarity? Where did all the "young men" go? Not the "guys" of our generation, but real young gentlemen?

I blame feminism, among other things. Feminists annoy the hell out of me. They are so pushy and obnoxious. Nevermind the fact that they are the most pig-headed people I think I have ever seen. Do I think women should not be allowed in the work force, not be allowed to vote, not be allowed to make her own decisions? Of course not. But feminists have taken it way too far. Some women want to stay home and take care of their kids. There is nothing wrong with that. But feminists come and attack people like that, claiming that they are giving in to the oppression of men. Umm who's taking away their choice now?

Anyways, theyre one of the problems. But definitely not the biggest. The guys themselves are hugely to blame. It's not even about "being nice to girls." It's common courtesy to hold open the door. To not push your way through crowds of people like you're the only one who has someplace to go. To not be sleazy scumbags.

Seriously, most guys these days have no sense of decency. Lines like "hey beautiful" coming from a complete sleazeball will not make me jump at the chance of hooking up with you. Using prayer times to hit on me will not make me think, wow this guy is so smart and religious, maybe his absolute refusal to take a hint is a sign that we are meant together. Stuff like that makes me despise you.

I find experiences of good old-fashioned chivalry like today sad. I think the pathos of these situations is how rare they are, how big of a deal they seem. They're a reminder of how things could be. How they should be. How they're not.

*Where Have All the Flowers Gone - Peter, Paul, and Mary

Monday, March 30, 2009

Scotty liked all of the books that i recommended

Some of my favorite books that everyone should read. They're in no particular order, but you should read every last one of them.
  1. Hawkes Harbor by SE Hinton: "don't let it be dark... don't let it be dark..." I just finished rereading this book for the hundredth time. It's kinda different from her other books, in that it has more of a fantastical edge to it - it has a vampire character. She manages to make her vampire into a human without losing any of the spine-chilling horror inherent in vampire nature in a way that Stephanie Meyer can only dream about. Definitely my favorite vampire novel that isn't just a "vampire story." Plus, Hinton's writing style is always just amazing. If you haven't read her other books, read them NOW.

  2. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: "tomorrow is another day..." This is one of the books I have memorized from how many times I've read it. The length may be daunting to some, but I promise there's not a dull moment in the whole 1000+ pages. I love Rhett Butler. He's definitely one of my biggest fictional crushes. I've always admired Scarlet's strength and courage too. But Ashley needs to die.

  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: "come to finish me off, sweetheart?" A relatively new book (came out in September) and from the YA section (i think the reading level was age 12) this book was fantastic. A very quick read. I picked it up and couldn't put it down until I had finished it a few hours later. The plot really draws you in. It can also be read on a variety of different levels - and the author actually intended this. It can be read as purely a love story, but also for thematic analyses. Lionsgate just bought the movie rights like a week ago so I'm super excited to see that when it comes out. Also excited to see who they pick for the characters.

  4. The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling: "you're a wizard, Harry!" If you haven't heard of this, crawl out from under that rock you've been living under for the past decade and go die in a fire. If you have heard of this but refuse to read it, go die in a fire. If you're planning to read this or are not sure, get to your nearest library/bookstore NOW and read it. seriously. I think that this book has the most diverse fan base ever. Children, adults, males, females, english-speaking, non-english-speaking... Harry Potter fans cover them all. That's saying something.

  5. The Cider House Rules by John Irving: "goodnight you princes of maine, you kings of new england..." Though most people I know hate this book, I absolutely loved it. It's very pro-abortion and has a few scenes that you should be warned about before starting, but it was a really great book. It follows the character Homer hrough his whole life, which I always wanted a book to do. I heard the movie was good but refuse to watch it. They took out Melanie, a main character! How could any interpretation of the book leave her out when she had such a central part?

  6. The World According to Garp by John Irving: "imagining something is better than remembering something." Another Irving book that I loved. A little far-fetched and eccentric a lot of the time, with a few explicit scenes in it too, but the narrative style Irving has amazes me. And his take on reality is great.

  7. Enchantment by Orson Scott Card: "loving her won't make her love me..." One of Card's least known novels, but definitely my favorite. It's a twist on a modern fairy tale with a plot and characters that you actually want to read about it. Action, romance, fantasy... this book has it all and more.

  8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: "Gatsby turned out all right at the end..." A book that most people don't read just because it's assigned in school. Like Hinton, Fitzgerald's writing style is one of my favorites. Gatsby's timeless love for Daisy, the dreary helplessness of the time hanging down over everyone, the American dream... it all makes for a wonderful story. Read the rest of Fitzgerald's novels too. They are all awesome. This Side of Paradise. The Beautiful and the Damned. Tender is the Night. The Last Tycoon (he died before finishing this one).

  9. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: "make my happiness - i will make yours." I love Rochester. I love Jane. This story is a classic and a book everyone should read. Jane is an orphan and leads a hard life as she struggles to find the love and happiness she deserves.

  10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: "nothing but our own vanity decieves us." Another great classic. All of Austen's books are worth a read. I chose this one for my list because Mr Darcy is another of my top fictional crushes. Elizabeth is also one of my favorite heroines. With two amazing characters and a great style of writing, you really can't go wrong. The movie was beautifully done as well.

  11. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: "Ella will always be obedient." A friend of mine in fourth grade introduced me to this book on a field trip. I remember the day perfectly. I devoured it and it has been one of my favorite books ever since. Though written for a young audience, I can still read this book over and over and enjoy it as much as the first time. The movie, while good, was nothing like the book.
*Tire Swing - Kimya Dawson

Sunday, March 29, 2009

hidden in the public eye

Ali is obsessed with Betty Crocker. Don't ask me why. He wants to marry her...

So anyways, I was looking online for information on this "Betty Crocker" and it turns out that she doesn't exist! I had always thought of Betty being one of those old baking grandmothers who sold her cookies and cakes in a family bakery which eventually went corporate and voila you have the international Betty Crocker baking goods company. But noooo. You know who Betty Crocker really is?? An alter ego for William Crocker, the founder of the Betty Crocker company or something. He chose the name Betty because it sounded "friendly." So Betty Crocker is/was a guy. Ali will be crushed.

*The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most - Dashboard Confessional

let's go back to the start

according to this article people are starting to ditch DSL and cable internet for dial-up because of this recession we're in. for some reason. i find that really sad. it's like all progress we have made over the past few years is just going to be thrown out the window because people can't afford to pay up to 50 dollars for a service they can get for ten. what if the recession gets so bad that everyone has to go back to dial-up?

remember when a page took so long to load you could make a sandwich, eat it, and wash the plate while you waited?

remember when you couldn't talk on the phone while you checked your mail?

remember when checking your mail took at least ten minutes? i do it in like 3 now.

remember when you couldn't watch LOST online thursday mornings after you had to miss it wednesday night because you have to take a stupid class from 7-10 because the video just took too long to stream?

remember when you didn't just surf the net for fun because it was so painfully slow that any amusement was completely lost on you?

imagine going back to that. imagine that after we got addicted to facebook, digg, online games, streaming video, and just sitting with our eyes glued to the glorious computer screen while our brains were slowly but surely being fried that we had to suddenly stop. there's no gradual cutting back. one day you have the world at your fingertips within seconds, the next day it's still there, but just hidden behind layers and layers of frustration. what is the world coming to?

*The Scientist - Coldplay

Ridicule is nothing to be scared of...

...and something I have gotten quite a bit of today. But is it my fault that I have the mentality of an eight year old and enjoy taking part in life-threatening cardboard sword fights?? Or that taking pictures of myself next to a cardboard lamp post that's supposed to be Lantern Waste from Narnia is something I find to be extremely entertaining?? Maybe... but I don't really care cuz its super fun. I don't care if I'm almost 21 years old and should be sitting around with the "grown-ups" on the couches. They were all wishing that they could join in the fight too. Too bad none of them had swords or shields.

Cardboard or not, swords are dangerous. My brother, Abdullah, drew blood from both me and my sister. Vicious kid. Ali, on the other hand, has to be the most pretentious 7 year old alive. He made me make a speech for him as "the guests leave the party." He also came up to me towards the end and asked "where all the fun was. shouldn't there be meteors falling out of the sky for his birthday? didn't i get his list?" lool. At least we know he doesn't have an inferiority complex or something. if only all of nature would work together to commemorate someone's birthday. that would be awesome.

*Prince Charming - Adam and the Ants

warped and bewitched

In another flare of IT geekiness, I have developed a new obsession with Shigeo Hirose's robots. They amaze me. The technological aspects as well as the aesthetics. He creates amazing things. I think the water snake is my favorite. It's a robotic snake that, yup you guessed it, moves through the water and whatnot. click on the link on the dude's name to see a video showing the water snake in action as well as some of his other robots. he has one that can roller skate!

*Assassin - Muse

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tell me how anybody thinks under this condition

procrastination. i swear it's a freakin disease. i have so much crap to do and instead of doing it, i built a lamp post for the narnia party tomorrow. i'm playing 17 games of online scrabble and 4 of text twirl. i'm writing a blog that no one reads. i stared at my books for a while trying to decide which one to read before remembering i'm in the middle of two already. i went through the first 14 pages of digg. i sat on imdb for a bit. it's julia stiles's birthday. i sat on facebook. i went through random blogs. have you ever noticed how many of the blogs that come up when you hit next blog are not in english? a lot. i checked my bank accounts. twice.

i have this homework due tuesday. i have no idea how to solve it, but i cant start thinking about it cuz it's not due til tuesday. thats a million years from now. i have a field trip assignment powerpoint presentation due wednesday. i havent gone to the place yet (neither real or virtual option). but if tuesdays too far away, just imagine wednesday... i need to type up 4 pages of notes to send to my group members so we can type up a proposal for our business case for change. i have to start researching 3g and edge for one project. i have to start comparing ms word with open office writer for another. i need to pretend to be an investigator and write up a forensics report for another project. i havent even looked at the evidence or downloaded the analyzing software yet. *sigh*

*Dark Blue - Jack's Mannequin

if you try to hold me down i'm gonna spit in your eye

because i am SO excited for this movie!! this was the book to read back in like second or third grade. anybody who was anybody read it. sure the movie is kinda different, but i mean you can't really make a full movie off a picture book about food falling from the sky without adding a bit more story. anyways, here's the preview:

im sooo excited!!

*You Can't Stop the Beat - Hairspray Cast

you pernickety little bastards in your fancy dress

It always amazes me what people come out with at fashion shows. i mean, really... this is supposed to be fashion, not whatever crap you found while cleaning out your garage thrown onto an emaciated model. i wouldnt be caught dead in most of the stuff that comes down the catwalk. whats sad is that a lot of people i know probly would, just because it was created by some reputable designer. i sometimes think that they try to come out with the ugliest stuff possible just to get a laugh out of the mindless followers that will wear it. i hope thats what they do. it would give me so much more faith in mankind.

anyways, you can see a whole bunch of crazy "fashions" from a barcelona fashion show here. These are just a few:

you know what would make this dress awesome?? a couple more ruffles!! *rolls eyes*
this reminds me of that disney movie robots... except the robots were cooler.
yess! i always wanted to look like an inflatable raft!

poor girl didn't finish knitting her dress in time...

this one is priceless. a jacket that makes you look like a cross between rip van winkle and those furry star wars things? who wouldnt want one of those??

there is just so much wrong with this. the hair... the dress... i dont know where to start.

haha... her skirt is a bird cage. and her hat is a nest. sad thing is i know a couple of people who would probly wear this :/

this one makes me laugh... it looks so uncomfortable. and it ate her neck.

*Wisemen - James Blunt

Friday, March 27, 2009

our subject isn't cool

i guess i really am an IT geek, but this comic cracks me up. i love dilbert.

*Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) - Offspring

have faith in your dreams

Speaking of dreams, here's a drabble i wrote a while back. doesn't exactly go along with what i was saying, but whatever.

When all else is lost, I still have my dreams to hold on to.

Dreams of a better tomorrow.

Dreams of hope.

Dreams of happiness.

Dreams of peace.

Dreams of justice.

They may have taken everything. Left me broken, defeated, destitute. But they can not take away my dreams. Ever. They are more than just a part of myself. A strong enough rope to keep me holding onto life. Strong enough to remain long after I'm gone. If they pull me apart molecule by molecule, if they obliterate the very memory of my existence, my dreams will live on. Forever.

*A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes - Ilene Woods

I'm so sick, so sick of just always dreaming

You know those days that you think about all of your greatest dreams... and then realize most of them will never ever come true?? yeah, that was what i did today. it's pretty sad. so here's a look at the top 10 things (in no particular order) i really want to but probably never will get around to doing:

1. backpack across europe. why won't it happen?? with my parents (or dad) being who they are, there are only 2 ways that would happen. a) i go with them or b) i go with my husband. they already went and don't want to go again cuz "they're too old" (yes i got desperate enough to ask) and i'm not planning on getting married. and even if for some unfathomable reason i actually do end up getting hitched one day, it'll most likely be to some saudi dude who wouldnt go for it. at least not the way i want to go. ever watch Gilmore Girls and see the grandparents reaction to lorelei and rory's plan to backpack across europe?? yeah that's most saudis i've met. they'd be more interested in the five star hotels than the hole in the walls i'd wanna stay at. so while still cool, it wouldn't be my dream.

2. take an air balloon over the alps. why won't it happen?? i'd have to get to europe first. see above for why that won't work out.

3. live on a boat for at least a year. like without coming on land except in the most extreme emergencies. i actually worked it out with my parents that i'm gonna do this with my brothers when they graduate high school. maybe my dad too cuz he wants to come. i have my boat narrowed down to two and am debating whether to hire a skipper or just learn everything myself. i have money saved that i could use. but i mean really, what are the chances of this ever actually happening? slim to none.

4. write a novel and get it published. first part?? easy. second?? not so easy. i have a problem with people reading what i write. i wrote out a whole reason of why this is. no one's read it. plus, even if that wasn't the case, my writing, though not awful, isn't really publishing worthy. but ever since i was like 4 i've wanted to be an author. *sigh* oh well.

5. own a library like the beast's. why it won't happen?? life, unfortunately, is far from a disney movie. and that library is an architectual impossibility. i've checked.

6. go to space. i've always been infatuated with space. i find it truly amazing. i'd fail the physical exams to be an astronaut in a second. i'm too big of a lazy bum. and unless the commercial space trips they're starting get a lot cheaper, there's no way for me to go.

7. live on my own deserted island. like the one on lost. minus the smoke monster, the others, the random polar bears, the dead people walking around, and all the other lostie things. but the island itself is gorgeous. unfortunately, though it does exist, it is far from deserted. and i doubt there are any completely empty islands left. stupid explorers.

8. live in a huge wicker house attached to an air balloon. i love flying, but i think i might get sick of a plane eventually. unless i invested in a private jet, that'd be okay too. but ever since reading 21 Balloons back in like 3rd grade, i've wanted to do this. the dude in the book had a hot air balloon with a wicker house. i envy him. why it won't happen?? i don't think it is actually possible. plus, i couldn't do it by myself and no one wants to go with me.

9. go to one of those impoverished villages and like save them. cure their disease. teach them to read. clean their water source. build them houses. whatever it is, just do something meaningful to really help someone else instead of being a selfish brat my whole life. why it won't happen?? see reason for #1.

10. be a character in a book. no, not have a character written after me, but actually live in a book. like not be real. their lives are just so much cooler, even when they suck. and so beautifully written. stupid reality. this was obviously impossible from the second i was born.

*Let's Get Married - Archie Star

We don't need anything or anyone

Drabble about a character in a book i was writing. i stopped writing it cuz one of the characters reallllly annoyed me. no matter what i wrote for her she ended up pissing me off. i swear she had a mind of her own. a very annoying one. anyways, i deleted the whole story to get away from her, but there was one character that i actually liked. i kinda regreted deleting her afterwards. this drabble is about that character (not the annoying one).

She had distanced herself from people. All people. She now knew, beyond a doubt, that she could survive on her own. She didn't need anyone to make her happy. To comfort her. Amuse her. Protect her. And the thought was liberating.
The heartbreakingly depressing realization was that, just as she needed no one, no one needed her. She could disappear, and no one would notice. No one would feel the difference in their own lives. There would be no empty void to fill. No one to miss her.
Maybe, being entirely independent, wasn't all it was cut out to be.

*Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol

Don't wake me up. I am still dreaming.

So i recently got into writing drabbles (don't know what a drabble is? Look over there <-- for a definition). They're perfect for when you're pressed on time, or have an idea but don't feel like really delving into it. Or when you want to develop a character or theme or scene a little more than you got a chance to while writing a longer story. Write them about anything.They're actually more challenging than they seem because you have to either pad or delete to get the right number of words.

She's on the verge of waking up, struggling to return to sleep. Because in sleep, there are dreams. Perfect worlds that can exist without question. Happily ever afters that really are happy. Story book endings for real people. Castles in the clouds and kingdoms under the sea. But to wake is to return to reality. Return to disappointments. Return to regrets. Where everything is just a crude imitation dressed up in gaudy fairytale robes. Where dreams that come true are really just nightmares we've resigned ourselves to. Ah to live a life always asleep. To never leave her dreams. Bliss.

*Don't Wake Me Up - The Hush Sound

Thursday, March 26, 2009

i'm a suspect. i'm a traitor.

In the spirit of procrastination, I dedicate this post to Severus Snape, who in my opinion is one of the best characters ever written. if not the best. and no, i'm not talking about his character itself, i'm talking about the way it was written. hate him or love him you can't deny the fact that JK Rowling did an amazing job on him.

from the first moment we see him, we are not sure if he is good or bad. he seems to hate harry, but he's a hogwarts teacher so he couldn't be a really bad guy. could he? he looks like he's trying to curse harry but is actually saving his life. he's head of slytherin. he was a death eater. he told voldemort about the prophesy. but dubledore trusts him with his life. on the other hand, so does voldemort.

throughout the entire series you are left guessing, especially at the end of the sixth book. is snape good or bad? and when you seem completely convinced of one side, there are those little pricks of suspicion that send your confidence crumbling. you end up right back where you started.

and then, finally, we find out that he really was good. he wasn't a "good guy" necessarily, but he was fighting on the right side. and only Rowling could make that so believable. She didn't make him pure evil the entire way through and then suddenly change her mind and say oh by the way he really was good. but she didn't make him transparent. he was not a really nice guy that was drastically misunderstood. he is perhaps the only good guy that could be considered evil without becoming really far-fetched. the way she wrote his character is pure art.

i can't help but compare him to a character that was supposed to have pulled off the same thing in another big franchise book, Alice in Breaking Dawn. Meyer has Alice disappear one night and we are supposed to be left guessing if she did it out of complete selfishness or for some greater good. it might have just been me, but i thought it was completely obvious that she hadn't really deserted them. and not only because Stephenie Meyer has an issue with writing any kind of darkness into her books. i mean, even her bad guys are just "misunderstood." back to the point, when alice shows up at the end, there was no suspense. no feeling of omg she's back! no excitement at her return because it was so expected.

with snape, the revelation about which side he was really on actually meant something. i wanted to know. i believed it. i was impressed.

like i said, greatest character ever written.

*Chase This Light - Jimmy Eat World

a play in the rain is worth catching cold

This weather has been crazy lately, one day everyone is in shorts and t-shirts and the next theyre hidden under puffy jackets, hats and scarfs. Today, it's raining. Personally, I like the rain. I'm kind of obsessed with all forms of weather. I love to walk in the rain - it's just really peaceful because everyone else is hiding like they're the the wicked witch of the west. But today, I can't enjoy it. One, because I'm dressed "professionally" for my class and I don't think dripping wet would be accepted as part of the dress code. Second, there's so much stuff i'm supposed to be doing right now that I really dont have the time. Not that I'm actually doing anything productive at the moment. *sigh*. School sucks. I can't wait for summer.

*Sooner or Later - Michael Tolcher

Are you perspiring from the irony?

A man was recently released from jail after spending 27 years inside for a crime he didn't commit. New technology (DNA testing) recently proved that it was impossible for him to have commited the crime. So after spending nearly three decades in jail, he was finally allowed to leave. And what does he get for compensation?? 46 pounds (yeah this happened in London). But he was still ecstatic. I mean, freedom is freedom... you can argue about the money later. Unfortunately, his happiness was short-lived. Shortly after leaving jail, he was hit by a taxi and taken to a hospital. That was after getting in trouble for smoking when smoking was banned in bars while he was in prison. Not a very happy "get out of jail free" day for poor Sean Hodgson.

*The Curse of Curves - Cute is What We Aim For

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

we simply can't focus on anything

In a new splurge of procrastination, I have created another blog. Yes, another one. Because honestly, I grew bored of my old ones and even seeing them makes me kinda sick. But I need a new form of distraction. I don't think my wallet can handle many more movies. The title is "borrowed" from The Picture of Dorian Grey just in case anyone was wondering. And it pretty much sums up the blog. It is undefinable. It will probably end up being a bunch of random thoughts as they flit through my mind.

To start off the randomness, I guess this post will be about the really random people I've been meeting lately. Like yesterday in class (a torturously boring class) this guy comes up to me in break to comment on my doodling. First of all, I find it kind of creepy that people watch me doodle in class, but I guess that is just a testament to how boring the class is. Anyways, he was talking about the "weird" way I doodle (I start in the left margin, then fill the right one, then start from the bottom of the page and work my way up - you know, in case I feel like taking notes at any time). He goes on to say that I must have a small fluffy dog cuz I look the type. Totally didnt believe me when I said I didnt. And then we went on to talk about goldfish, the names of European countries, computer programs, and allergies. This was all in the course of 7 minutes. I have no idea how one topic related to the other, but the conversation seemed to flow. All in all, a pretty ramdom talk.

Then today, I was asked to sign some petition about something or other. The lady had a British accent so I stopped for her and signed it. And we got to talking and she knew someone who had visited Saudi Arabia (where my dad is from) and had the most hilarious stories about it. I'm always surprised by how many people I meet that have some sort of tie to Saudi Arabia. People you would never expect would even know the name of the country. It's always cool.

*Maintain Consciousness - Relient K