Thursday, December 30, 2010

just sleep

yesterday i was talking to my fiance and i said something along the lines of "no matter what's going on in my life or how i'm feeling or whatever, i sleep. i always sleep. nothing ever comes between me and my sleep." (which, by the way, cannot be farther from the truth. in fact, just the night before had been spent in fitful bursts of half-sleep because i was waiting for my alarm to go off because i was convinced i would oversleep and miss the appointment my sister and i had to go to. sometimes i say things with full conviction and then later realize that they are total lies. like once, i said that i don't read series. later, i realized that i read more series that i can count, but at the moment i was totally convinced it was true.) so anyway, that was apparently taken as a challenge by the universe or my body or something.

cue last night, it's getting close to when i usually sleep (yes, i'm old and have a usual bedtime. sue me.) and i am not in the least bit tired. so i decide to start watching the first season of boy meets world. i get through most of it (i think i have one, possibly two, episodes left). i look at the clock and decide that i should be asleep because there are handwriting packets that need to be done and arabic stories that need to be summarized and all before ten because that's apparently when elementary school boys' minds shut off. i turn off joe and try to go to sleep, but i am completely untired. i am also completely uncomfortable. while i have gotten used to the box of springs i sleep on when my grandma is here, my body was seemingly in revolt last night. or the mattress was. either way, i could not get in a position that did not include metal springs digging into my ribs. i think the springs might have multiplied or something, but it was not fun.

while i was trying to get comfortable, i was writing out this blog post  in the back of my mind. i have no idea why. it didn't sound anything like this because i have a leaky faucet in the back of my mind too that was drip drip dripping all night causing the ink of the post to run. it's completely unreadable now. blame the unsolicited worries that keep nagging me.

anyway, i must have fallen asleep because next thing i know i hear ali running down the stairs screaming, "abdullah sarah said yes! she's coming to make you breakfast." at which point i wake up and scream back, "no i'm not" before realizing i would probably end up waking my sister and grandma and pulled myself out of bed. grumpy from lack of sleep, i very ungraciously make my brother breakfast at six before burying under my covers and trying once again to get to sleep.

but while i woke up later feeling slightly resentful towards boy meets world and bagels, the handwriting packet is done which leaves only an arabic story to be read and summarized before homework for the day can be called complete.

*Sleep - My Chemical Romance

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

you know, you ruined my night's rest

so things have been... tense at my house lately, to say the least, but in the midst of all the blechness floating around, i made butterbeer cupcakes yesterday which made me happy. who doesn't get happy when mixing baking and harry potter, let me ask you.

anyway, the latest book i'm reading with my brothers is the secret garden. my sister was obsessed with the movie growing up, and i remember when i first found out it was based on a book, i was floored. when i shared this mind-blowing news with my mom, though, she was less impressed. turns out she, and about a million other people, already knew. she told me that all the really good movies are based on books, and fifteen or so years later, i think i havta agree. while my brothers were not immediately drawn into the book, it's caught their attention now and while "it's no ella enchanted, bfg, or the castle in the attic, they have to say that it is pretty good."

also, one of my professors for next semester just emailed all of us. he said to check the blackboard info about the term paper which we have to have a topic for the first or second week of class. reading the assignment description made me nauseous (random side note: i hate writing this word, it always looks misspelled to me). it's that feeling of nerves mixed with something else you get before you decide that you are going to do awesome and there is absolutely no point stressing over anything. you know the one? anyway, i'm not in the right mood to be confident of my ability to do awesome, and so he basically just ruined my night. thank you mr. osgood.

i am off to eat a cupcake and lose myself in a fictional world until i can figure out what part of "winter break" can be confused with "extra pre-class time to assign stuff in."

*Keep Your Man in Mind - Billy Childish

Friday, December 24, 2010

must be santa, santa claus

being the christmas season, you cannot turn on your tv anymore without every commercial playing some twist on a christmas carol that gets stuck in your head for days, raving about all the great sales they have for last minute shoppers, or claiming that they have what santa does not.

(side note: on monday, there was this kid (read:twenty something year old) on the bus who thought christmas was the twenty sixth. his friend corrected him, in the midst of mocking his stupidity, and let him know that christmas is really the twenty fourth. i'm not christian and haven't celebrated christmas for fifteen years, but even i know what day it's on. when i was telling this to my sister, though, she said, "haha it's the thirtieth, right? i mean, thirty first?")

anyway, back to the commercials. santa is supposed to be some magical immortal being that has a factory full of elves at the north pole, flying reindeer, and the ability to deliver presents to every child in the world the night before christmas. doesn't make a whole lot of sense and goes against all logic, but this story is diligently pounded into the head of every child from before they even realize it. 

(other side note: who's idea was it to name the face of christmas an anagram for satan? i mean, really. they're so similar it's more of a typo than an anagram.)

if you are going to spend so much time and energy talking up the magical powers of santa, then why would every commercial be designed to put him down? elves want to go to build-a-bear workshop because, you know that super cool factory they have in the north that can build super amazing toys for everyone? yeah, it doesn't have the stuff that build-a-bear has. and i mean, sure, santa has been doing his job for generations, but his magic is apparently dwindling because there's no way he can get enough presents ready without stopping by best buy on the way. it seems like every commercial just further proves the incompetency of a man that children are led to believe is infallible. 

did any of you watch the simpsons christmas special where bart went to go kill santa and he found him in a room with peeling wallpaper and no heat complaining that the recession had hit him hard? bart feels bad for the guy, gets in a grateful mood, and is happy with whatever the old man gives him. the minute bart leaves, santa pushes a button and the poor look is gone, leaving him to gloat over how stupid bart was for falling for that. sometimes it feels like these commercials are santa's way of showing everyone the peeling wallpaper to get them in a grateful mood. 

and speaking of santa, does no one else find the idea of a fat, old man watching every child in the world when they're sleeping and when they're awake slightly creepy? maybe it's just the computer forensics talking, but ew. and some random guy sneaking into your house at night through the chimney? breaking and entering is wrong. also, i am not a parent struggling to buy christmas presents and stocking stuffers for all my children, but after waiting in long lines, fighting with people who seem to have lost the christmas spirit, and basically spending a whole bunch of money on everything my kid wanted, i would want some recognition. no, child, those presents you are gushing over? not a gift from some jolly fat guy you've never met. they're from me. 

this post kind of makes me sound grinchy, but i'm actually not. usually, i'm a fan of the whole christmas season. to everyone who celebrates it, merry christmas. and happy whatever else you may be celebrating at this time of year as well. 

*Must Be Santa - My Kindergarten Class

Thursday, December 23, 2010

and in case you were wondering

i can't find the flash drive that i had stored the thing i was writing on. and because i kept switching from joe to junior with the writing, it is only on that flash drive. so um this kinda sucks :/

i think if sylvia plath was alive right now, we would be really good friends.

i have a pogo stick that stands propped against the wall near all my boots. the last time i used it was my senior year of high school when a friend came over to study for ap calc and we ended up pogo-ing over to the house of a guy half our class had a crush on. i showed it [the house] to her from behind a tree, and then we left.

there is a present sitting near my bed that i got for my friend's birthday two years ago and just never got around to giving to her. i don't even know what it is anymore.

i don't understand how people can not like original cheerios. they're such a comfort food for me.

i've decided to continue and get a phd after i finish with my master's next fall. i am so going to regret this decision.

sometimes, i think i'd rather wrap myself in the longing and hoping for something than go out and try to get it and risk failure. other times, i think failure is the better option.

i just finished reading the castle in the attic with my brothers and rekindled my love for medieval times. i was obsessed with all things medieval in fourth grade.

i'm waiting for a load of laundry to finish so i can put it in the dryer and wanted to write while i waited. i need to find that USB.

*Sunsets and Car Crashes - The Spill Canvas

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

he's everything inside of you that you wish you could be

so i wrote this long and pointless ramble of a blog post last night while watching family guy. when i went to choose the title i knew exactly what lyric i wanted to put, but i couldn't for the life of me remember which song it was from or any other lyrics from the song. google was being uncharacteristically unhelpful (i'm telling you, some people just can't handle the holiday stress of this season as well as others) and i got so annoyed after eons of trying to find the song using my iTunes and google that i just gave up, turned off joe, and watched tv until i fell asleep. this morning, i still can't remember what the stupid song is, and it is going to kill me forever. also, i refuse to post that post with a different title. you're welcome.

if you thought sparing you from one pointless post meant that this one was going to have a point, then sorry but you are hugely mistaken.

in class on monday before we took our exam (is it pathetic that i am going to miss that class? yes? whatever i still will.) our professor (who by the way i am slightly infatuated with. he is what i want to be when i grow up - minus the he part cause i'm pretty okay with staying a she. he is the epitome of awesome, though. really.) asked us what the last movie we had seen was and then told us to imagine that it was a documentary instead of a fictional thing. that got us started on a very interesting conversation about how life could be if hollywood was reality and stuff that i will not recount for you here because it was really long (yeah we procrastinated starting the exam for a bit), but think about the movies you watch as documentaries sometime. it's kinda cool.

also, i have been up for two hours and want a bagel but don't really feel like going downstairs to make myself one, because that means the day will officially start and things that need to be done (like cleaning and laundry) will have to be started, and i really don't feel like being all domestic today.

on a completely random note, lifesavers are the crack of hard candy.

*Everything You Want - Vertical Horizon

Saturday, December 18, 2010

after all, i'm only sleeping

Sometimes, I ignore the words and focus instead on the spaces in between them. I close my ears to the messages being spoken by the page and lose myself in the white emptiness of the margins. I drown in the nothingness until it is all there is.

Sometimes, I only listen to the silences in your stories. I let the words slip through my head without gaining purchase and hold on to the breaths you take with both hands. Sentences fall from your lips unheeded as I wait impatiently for every pause.

Sometimes, I look at the patches of blue between the clouds everyone else is making pictures out of. If I open my eyes wide enough, the tears that pool in them help to block out the white. There are no bears dancing across the sky merging into cats and turning into umbrellas. There is only uninterrupted blue that does nothing but simply exist.

Sometimes, I watch the sky instead of the stars. I only see the vast blackness between each sparkling pinprick of light. If I stare into the black long enough, I can shrink myself down to nonexistence, and lose my identity on the breeze sweeping by.

and sometimes i write stuff when i'm sleeping. i woke up this morning to find this scrawled across the back of the midterm i have near my bed so i can review it for my final at every chance i get (it's been turned over and ignored for the past week and will probably stay that way until monday morning). i actually don't think i wrote this in my sleep (though i would love to say that i could sleep-write. that would be cool) because i vaguely remember waking up a couple of times last night. i must have scribbled this out one of those fits of sleeplessness.

*I'm Only Sleeping - The Beatles

Thursday, December 16, 2010

somebody make it stop

okay so for the last couple of weeks, people have been teasing me with false hopes of snow. "the weatherman says we'll be getting a couple of inches tomorrow," "you may not have school wednesday because of the snow the weatherman says we're getting," "the weatherman has said that it will snow all weekend so you may want to stock up on salt and stuff." now, i'm not entirely sure that the weatherman was really saying all of this because him and i rarely talk anymore, but if he was then i think perhaps it is time for him to think about a change in profession. like the village that housed the boy who cried wolf, i kinda stopped wasting my time listening to lies about snow. i just gave up that it was going to happen.

so last night i make plans to go out to dinner with a close friend. if you know me at all in real life, you would know that meeting up with friends is one of the hardest things to do in my life. what with my weird family stuff and everyone else's lives, it's hard to find a time that works. i mean, seriously, i think getting my Master's is a lot easier than trying to make plans to meet up. no exaggerations. but anyway, i hadn't seen her in a couple of months and we made plans and it was all easy and awesome and amazing. i was excited.

i wake up this morning and it's white. not the fake white of a couple days ago, but real snow white. with more snow falling. i'm not sure when this snow is going to end, but it might (read:probably) cause my plans to be cancelled. plans that took forever and a day to fall into place. i got a text a few minutes ago from my friend saying: i don't think god wants us to be friends. i think she may be right.

on a happier note, i started writing something that i think might be good once i get into it. the beginning is one of the hardest parts of writing for me because i have a great idea in my head and then i start trying to get it down on paper and realize "oh wait this kinda sucks in real life" and the writing comes hard. i'm hoping to stick to it long enough for that part to finish. so we'll see what happens.

*The Air That I Breathe - Maroon 5

Monday, December 13, 2010

all the small things

things that make me smile at the moment:

[one] my grandma is coming down from connecticut soon, and me and my sister got her a huge box of chocolate that we are excited to give to her. isn't it amazingly awesome?

(in forensics, using a dollar bill is a common way to measure something because of its standard size. i used a dollar bill so you can see just how big this chocolate box is.)

[two] at the school library today, someone was dressed in full santa costume (down to beard and pillow in shirt) and studying for his finals. 

[three] it's exam time! i love exam time.

[four] it's almost vacation which means there are just a few more days of having to wake up to the soul-ripping obnoxiousness that is my alarm clock. 

[five] my monday night class is always awesome because i am in love with the professor. he is the epitome of awesome. when i grow up, i want to be just like him. 

[six] tomorrow i will go over to see my nephew. i saw him on friday but it seems like forever ago and i miss him. 

[seven] i woke up this morning to whiteness. it was only a dusting and all the snow was gone a couple of hours later, but it was a good sign of things to come.

once the vacation starts and my mind is rested from exam time, i will post stuff that are not a bunch of random lists i promise. 

*All the Small Things - Blink 182

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

and when i catch my breath, it's you i breathe

okay so yesterday morning, as i was sipping peppermint tea out of my beauty and the beast thermos and eating pink berry frozen yogurt while sitting in the lobby of a building full of dentist offices because it was freezing cold outside, these were the thoughts that were going through my mind:

[one] i try not to breathe whenever it's dusty because i have this fear that the dust is really the cremated ash of some dead person that i am inhaling into my lungs and getting stuck on my tongue. blech.

[two] i sometimes wonder about those points in a person's life when they change from the hope of the future to the disappointment of the present. like when we're really young we're told that everything's possible, the sky's the limit, dreams are supposed to be big, blah blah blah. then we grow up a bit, and not everything is possible, but there are a million opportunities waiting for your picking and dreams are considered ambitious. then you grow up a little more and realize that not much is possible, reality is hard, and big dreams just mean that you need to grow up and stop embarrassing yourself.

[three] despite all my grumbling about how reality sucks and fictional worlds are where i want to be, sometimes i think that if books did come true, and i was standing on the brink of an adventure full of fairies and dragons and wizards, i'm not entirely sure that i wouldn't run in the opposite direction and cower in a corner until it all goes away.

[four] people in their cars are weird. some apparently believe that their car is a soundproof bubble of invisibility and they can do whatever they want in it without worrying about other people. other people seem to think that when they're in their car they're under a giant spotlight and everyone is looking at them. they always look posed and uncomfortable and glance around a lot to see who's watching.

[five]  okay so there really wasn't a five, but i don't like even numbers so i couldn't very well leave it at four. there are about two weeks left of the semester and then glorious vacation. which will hopefully include snow, and lots of it. i just have one assignment, one fifteen page research paper, and a couple of exams, and i will be done. for the assignment, the professor said to write ten possible test questions from each lecture. i took this to mean ten questions from every lecture, resulting in one hundred and twenty questions. the other girl in my class took it to mean ten questions taken from the lectures. i got to forty six, she told me she submitted only ten, and suddenly my motivation went flying out the window. as soon as i finish this, though, i will go try and force myself to finish them just in case i'm right.

*Everywhere - Michelle Branch

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

i'm a waste of breath, of space, of time

"Shall I tell you a story? A new and terrible one? A ghost story? Are you ready? Shall I begin? Once upon a time there were four girls. One was pretty. One was clever. One charming, and another one was mysterious. But they were all damaged, you see. Something not right about the lot of them. Bad blood. Big dreams. Oh, I left that part out. Sorry, that should have come before. They were all dreamers, these girls.
One by one, night after night, the girls came together. And they sinned. Do you know what that sin was? Their sin was that they believed. Believed they could be different. Special. They believed they could change what they were - damaged, unloved. Cast-off things. They would be alive, adored, needed. Necessary. But it wasn't true. This is a ghost story, remember? A tragedy.
They were misled. Betrayed by their own stupid hopes. Things couldn't be different for them, because they weren't special after all. So life took them, led them, and they went along, you see? They faded before their own eyes, till they were nothing more than living ghosts, haunting each other with what could be. What can't be.
There, now. Isn't that the scariest story you've ever heard?"
~Felicity's scary story, A Great and Terrible Beauty, pg 313-15, Libba Bray

i was reading this book (i could have sworn that i read it before from the title but couldn't remember it and while reading it again there are a few points that jog my memory but enough that doesn't to make it feel like i'm reading it for the first time) and this part jumped out at me, so obviously i copied it into my blog. i took out all the interruptions and stuff so it's not exactly how it was written, but whatever. the last paragraph is one of my greatest fears i think. 

it also brings to mind this part of bright eyes' song, waste of paint:

I just sit and watch the people there. 
And they remind me of wind up cars in motion.
The way they spin and turn and jockey for positions.
And I want to scream out that it all is nonsense.
All your life's one track, can't you see it's pointless?
But then, my knees give under me. 
My head feels weak 
and suddenly 
it is clear to see that it is not them but me, 
who has lost my self-identity.
As I hide behind these books I read, 
while scribbling my poetry,
like art could save a wretch like me, 
with some ideal ideology 
that no one can hope to achieve.
And I am never real; it's just a sketch of me.
And everything I made is trite and cheap and a waste 
of paint, of tape, of time.

*Waste of Paint - Bright Eyes

Monday, December 6, 2010

maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true

i have been avoiding writing a post all weekend because i didn't want to write that i had assignments due today that i didn't do (still needa get started on that) or that i wasted all of friday and saturday reading meg cabot's the mediator series (yeah not the most difficult literature to get through, but still six books in two days shows how much time i had that could have been spent on homework) that i was told to read a while back because one of the main characters is a friend's literary crush and she couldn't believe i had never read the books growing up.

when i couldn't fit the books into my bookcase because it is already too stuffed but i don't have space right now for a bigger one, my brothers started telling me that when they grow up they're each gonna have a huge library in their houses and i can keep the books that don't fit in my shelf with them (it was a very proud moment for me lol). anyway, we somehow got to talking about what our dream houses would look like, and this is what i came up with (it's more of what i want whatever house i'm in to have):

my dream house will have high ceilings. it will have huge windows in every room so you'll never need to turn on a light when the sun is shining. it will have a library (depending on the rest of the house, this can be a beauty and the beast type one or a cozy one with overstuffed chairs and a fire place). it will have window seats. it will be bright. it will have chairs you can sink in. it will have a big kitchen to bake in. it will not be huge. it will be by an ocean. maybe.

if i had to choose a house out of a book, i think i would take shell cottage (bill and fleur's place from harry potter 7). cottages are awesome, don't you think?

*Wouldn't It Be Nice - The Beach Boys

Thursday, December 2, 2010

and in a couple hours i'll be dead

okay so people, namely all my cousins in saudi arabia, have been having the weirdest reactions to my engagement. i feel like i'm gonna get off the plane over there and they'll have a coffin ready for me to climb into. yes, they are making me feel like i am dying not getting married. or at least going somewhere far, far away from where i can never ever come back and they can never go. for example, the first cousin i told (well, actually he was the third, but he was the first to respond), after saying that he was happy for me and wished me all the best said something along the lines of, "i will miss you so much, and i will never forget you. you will always have a special place in my heart." (actually, that may be exactly what he said.) my response was, "um lool i'm not dying. why are you making me feel like i'll never see you again?" he replied with something stupid like "i know" or something equally pointless.

the second cousin i told replied with, "that is so exciting, i will miss you soo much." umm thanks :/.

her niece that i spend practically all summer with sent an i will never forget you and then changed her profile pic on facebook to one of me and her and her status to "i will miss you sarah." in all caps.

her sister sent me a message saying, "don't ever forget me because i will never forget you and the fun times we had together."

do you see the trend going on here? why is everyone going to miss me anymore than they do when i see them a couple of months a year. why do i have to be remembered and not forget them either? i mean, yes, my older sister sees them a lot less than she used to, but that doesn't mean i will. i will still talk to them. i will still see them. i really don't plan on changing any of that. so their reactions, though i find them mildly hilarious, creep me out a little. i swear i'm not dying. i do not have any special kool-aid to drink on my wedding night. i will still be me and ignore their messages for weeks and weeks before sending some lame "sorry. i've been so busy with school. here is an answer to every pointless thing you've sent me over the past month. i miss you too and can't wait for the summer either." at least... i'm pretty sure. do they know something i don't know?

*Sunsets and Car Crashes - The Spill Canvas

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

i stole your style, hope you don't mind

so i stumbled upon this site yesterday called I Write Like that is, according to the site, a "statistical analysis tool, which analyzes your word choice and writing style and compares them with those of the famous writers." so of course i decided to not do my homework (i still have until thursday to do it, and there are more important things in life than finishing homework early) and instead see who i write like. i picked a random blog post to start with, but then analyzed all the posts from october and november, you know, so i'll have a more accurate analysis (and it took more time). here were my results:

the first author i got, for this post, was arthur c clarke. i had no idea who he was previously, and so i'm not sure how similar our writing styles are. i think it may have come up because he's science fiction and i talked about stars and time?

i got stephenie meyer. twice. (this post and this one.) you can imagine my elation at that one. :/  i also got jk rowling for this one, but since i'm pretty sure it's only because it's about harry, it doesn't count.

this post about waking up early got me jd salinger. since i'm pretty sure i love salinger more than is probably healthy, i was happy.

i got dan brown twice (this one and the one where i talked about angels and demons). the second one falls into the jk rowling category, though. aside from the fact that i think dan brown is in love with his character (not in the normal i love my character way, but in a if i was his wife i'd be worried way) i was okay with this.

i got james joyce once, chuck palahniuk twice (did i ever tell you of my obsession with chuck? i have had his entire collection of books in my amazon shopping cart and ebay watch list for longer than i can remember. i am in love with his ideas and the way that he writes, but i have never read a single one of his books. yet. i really don't know what i'm waiting for but every time i go to get the books i decide to wait. i know he'll be one of my top favorite authors though), that post i wrote on water got me harry harrison (aside from a pretty cool name, he wrote the basis for the movie soylent green which makes him pretty much awesome), and i got douglas adams twice (for this and this). i had just been talking to my mom about douglas adams like an hour before doing this, so i thought it was relevant. plus, who wouldn't want to be compared to him? even by a statistical analysis tool that i'm pretty sure is pretty fake.

but, with a whopping nine posts in his style, i think the writer that i am most like (according to this) is cory doctorow. don't know who he is? that's okay, i didnt either. apparently he is a canadian blogger, journalist, and science fiction author. that alone makes him super cool in my books, and in this blog there are no other books that matter. i'll have to read some of his stuff since we're apparently literary soul mates.

there are a lot of links in this post. you know, in case you didn't notice.

*Hope You Like the New Me - Richard Thompson

Sunday, November 28, 2010

you think you know me well, but you don't know

so i was talking to a friend the other day, and i mentioned the Baby in Black (my nickname for my younger nephew) and she thought that it was a reference to the will smith movies, men in black. now, this was not what i had in mind and didnt even occur to me when i first decided to call him that this summer. in fact, i only watched a few random parts of a men in black movie a couple years back when someone put it on our tv. i never played the disney world game of it. i think there was a cartoon? if there was, i never watched it. i had a men in black toy but it came with my mcdonald's happy meal so i don't think that really counts. what i'm trying to get at is, i was never a men in black fan, and so why would i nickname my nephew after it?

i am, however, a LOST fan, which you may have picked up on by reading this blog, especially as the series was ending in the spring. and in lost, there is a character referred to as the Man in Black. the rest of this post is rife with spoilers, by the way. anyway, he eventually becomes the smoke monster, or the smoke monster becomes him, or some other LOSTian twist, and in the final season we get to know more about him and jacob, the leader or what have you of the island. we find out that jacob and the man in black are brothers, both born on the island. in one episode we see their mother get shipwrecked on the island. as she is stumbling along very pregnantly, she gets help by this island lady. the island lady takes her back to her cave where she helps her deliver the baby. the baby comes out, the lady says it's a boy, and the mom says his name is jacob. she had the name all well thought out ahead of time. then, surprise of all surprises, turns out she's having twins. when the next baby is delivered, also a boy, the mom says, "i only had one name." and then the island lady smashes her skull in with a rock.

for someone who appeared to be so upset by the fact that a mom would only have one name chosen out, the island lady (who pretends to be jacob and MiB's mom for years and years and years) didn't seem to come up with any name either. we watch as they grow up and hear "jacob, jacob, jacob" but only "your brother" or "you" when the MiB is addressed or referred to. even the LOST people (creators, writers, directors, etc) just called him the Man in Black and Boy in Black. (he always wore black. jacob wore white.) i mean, would it really have been that hard to name the kid, crazy island lady? no wonder he grew up angry and killed you. how would you like it if your older brother got a name and you were stuck with a very unwitty nickname referencing what color you were always put in.

so what does this have to do with omar (my nephew's real name)? well, my sister had hamza (her first son) picked out as a name from like the very beginning. it was known that he would be hamza. for omar, up until like the week before her due date (and probably even later) she was undecided. name for the first son, no name for the second. sound familiar? and from that was born my nickname, Baby in Black.

so no, when i call my nephew i am not thinking of some dude in a suit with sunglasses. i am thinking instead of a poor island boy turned evil smoke monster that just wanted to get off the stupid island.

*You Don't Know Me - Michael Buble

Saturday, November 27, 2010

i've got so much left to say

after sitting at joe for nearly four hours, i have just finished my fifty thousand words required to win nanowrimo. i still haven't finished the story, though. i'm only about three quarters of the way through and am actually contemplating leaving it at that. i mean, if you heard some of the stuff that is going into that wannabe novel, i think you'd kill yourself laughing. seriously. my sister almost did when i was telling her of some of the more pathetic ideas that crept into my brain and onto the screen in my desperate attempt to just make the word count. you, though, won't get the chance to laugh at me because i have too much dignity for that.

this nano was nothing like last year's, and though there were points when i seriously thought i should probably stop wasting my time spewing crap into open office with all of the other stuff going on in my life that actually required time and attention, i'm glad i didn't. the month was filled with random spurts of writing that may have kept me sane throughout everything else. plus, i got a bunch of really cool postcards from the nano postcard exchange.

ash, if you are reading this, then this is me cheering you on from the other side (of the finish line. i'm not a ghost or anything. nano didnt kill me i promise). you can do it!

now excuse me while i run off to bed. i'm not really tired, but i think i should be.

*Hey There Delilah - Plain White T's

Thursday, November 25, 2010

(insert relevant song lyric here)

the harry potter stars speaking 'american.' watch it. please. this is what i am thankful for on this thanksgiving. well, this and supersoft kleenex tissues. oh, and mashed potatoes... and apple pie.

i should not be this annoyed on a day dedicated to being grateful. grr.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

i lost my place, but i can't stop this story

so for the past week almost we have had no internet in the house. with all of the commotions going on, i have not ventured much out of the house. that means that i was completely cut off from the online world for an entire week. it was crazy, though i didnt miss it as much as i thought i would. probably because i was too busy. anyway, after getting stood up by our dsl guy three days in a row, we switched to cable internet. yesterday, everyone in the house got internet... except me. it was really sad. i think joe is having trouble adapting to change or something, stupid temperamental computer. but now i have internet, for all intents and purposes, though it decides to  disappear randomly (like while i am writing this post for example. what the hell internet). that's fun. like my sister said, it's like being in saudi arabia just in case i was starting to miss it. i wasn't really.

among the recent commotions around my house, my sister had her baby. did i mention that already? i feel like i might have, but i'm pretty sure i didnt have internet at the time? i dont know, anything earlier than two minutes ago confuses me. it's all one big whirl of past commotions. anyway, she brought home the Baby in Black and he's all cute and small and new. so that's exciting.

oh, and yesterday we threw a pokemon birthday for my brother. i made a team rocket shirt that's beautiful.

also, if you look over at my nano progress bar, you'll see that i have used my internetless nights wisely. though i had been seriously sidetracked, i am now right on track with my nano. there may be a gap in the plot because i didnt reread what i had before jumping back in, but that's okay. it's mostly random rambling, but it's words and they count. i think i said i would tell you all what it's about, right? well, my novel is a middle grade fiction about a group of kids that have random magical powers (some can fly, super strength, mind control, whatever). they wake up one morning to find that all the teachers of their school are kidnapped, and they follow a trail of clues left by the kidnappers to get them back. they learn that creatures of their bedtime stories really do exist and meet giants, leprechauns, etc on their way to the teachers. it's not what i usually write, but the words come fast and easy when i actually get the chance to write them so that's good. some of the characters i have taken from my character reserve so they're happy that they finally get a story and some magic, even if it is one highly in need of editing. i think after rereading harry potter and then reading the girl who could fly for my brothers, i couldnt really expect my stressed out brain to come up with anything else but children fantasy. the other three stories i tried died out a few thousand words in.

speaking of harry potter, i still havent watched the movie. doesnt that make you sad? i had plans to watch it the day it came out, but plans don't work too well with my family. you know who did watch it, though? that girl in my class who didnt even know what it was. apparently she wanted to see what the hype was about. she thought, though, that it was part one of the series not part one of the final book and hearing her talk about it made me want to scream. gah. i'm planning on watching it next week.

*Spinning - Jack's Mannequin

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

abdullah: ali woke me up this morning at four.
ali: yeah when i woke up i was so excited that i had to wake him up too.
abdullah: it was barely even four and he was screaming 'abdullah wake up! it's eid! wake up!' and i was having a wonderful dream about dancing with a pony.
me: ...?
abdullah: *sigh* his screaming didn't let me finish my dream.
me: umm... dancing with a pony?
abdullah: yeah, i dunno, but it was wonderful.

celebrate good times, come on

today was a commotion day and a very slow, boring day at the same time. first, it was eid. since the past few eids have been pretty pathetic, my hopes for this one weren't too high, and i wasn't disappointed. my sister, two brothers, nephew, and i basically sat at home all day watching disney movies and playing elefun. we couldn't come to a consensus on what to order for lunch, and the chinese and pizza delivery men met on our front step and basically called us fatties. that was fun. second commotion was that my sister had her baby today, so that's exciting. it's also my parents' anniversary.

on to jury duty story. after taking someone else's word instead of checking for myself and showing up at the wrong building, i spent a while running around in heels (i didn't want to go get my car). i met two old ladies in city hall who basically laughed in my face, told me i was never going to make it on time, and gave me retarded directions, before meeting this very awesome business man who walked me to the courthouse. i made it there fifteen minutes early. stupid old ladies.

anyway, i signed in and went to sit in the jury waiting room with about a hundred other people. some lady named crystal came and gave us a jury orientation which basically consisted of "sit here until your name is called. if it's not called or you get taken off a jury panel when we limit them down, you can go home at one." so i sat there and read my book. three deputies came in and called out three different groups of thirty people. i was one of the twelve people never called, and i left at one, with only fifteen pages of my book left. this story was a lot more interesting when i started blogging it yesterday (and included a giant and a leprechaun).

there was this one lady that sat at the table across from me in the waiting room who sounded exactly like luke's sister from gilmore girls - her voice, the way she talked, and what she said. she even looked like her a bit, but shorter and a little fatter. every time i heard her i felt like gilmore girls was playing in the background.

anyway, the weather is blah today and my head is pounding. all of this really was going to be twisted into an entertaining story, but i just don't have the energy right now - which is probably why i'm blogging instead of writing my pathetic excuse of a novel. i did get a couple hundred words down, though. next post i write will be all about my novel in an attempt to motivate me to write (or make me want to saturate it with lighter fluid and set it on fire).

*Celebration - Kool and the Gang

Monday, November 15, 2010

so i started this post to write about jury duty and the rest of my day, but ended up going on forever about how my day felt so long that it couldn't possibly fit into one post. then i felt like i should respond to the comments on my last post, but i got tired just looking at them. so i will respond to those tomorrow. then i restarted this one and my brother-in-law called to say my sister was going to the hospital and my parents who were both sleeping were having a very confusing conversation about what to do. and now i lost the ability to sit and blog instead of watching icarly. i dont know why i'm writing this and will delete it as soon as write the other post that i meant to write. i think it should be documented though that i was going to tell you all about today but failed miserably.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

i guess this is growing up

i have always had a bit of a peter pan complex. while everyone else was growing up, i was content to stay searching for neverland in all my spare time. and while i intend to hold onto a certain amount of my childness for as long as i live, it seems like this weekend is forcing me off the proverbial cliff into adulthood.

first of all, in a crazy turn of events, that let me tell you even i wasn't expecting, i've been officially engaged for twenty four hours. as in, i'm gonna get married. that's right. me. (don't look so surprised, it's not that shocking.) i, who can't commit to anything, have committed my life to one person. i, who needs long breaks from the public because i cannot stand people, have decided to live with one person (not related to me) day in and day out for the rest of forever. i, who keeps the world at arm's length, have decided to let someone in... a bit lol. it's really crazy, but also awesome. i'd post a picture of the ring because it's pretty but i don't feel like getting my camera cords and downloading them so oh well.

apart from that huge development in my life, i have also been summoned for jury duty tomorrow. i kinda sorta really don't feel like waking up early to go sit around all day doing nothing. i'm dreading this a lot more than is probably healthy, but i don't. want. to. go. my sister, though, is dying to go to jury duty and if she wasn't having a baby like literally at this moment then i would so let her pretend to be me. i mean, besides the fact that that's probably super illegal and i would never do anything to break the law. but yeah, i'm dreading tomorrow.

on a completely unrelated note because my brain is not functioning well and my train of thought got derailed, my nano novel is coming along pathetically. it's really sad how behind i am, but i just can't seem to find the time or motivation to write it. that little progress bar hasn't changed for days. i will catch up, though. if only because i refuse to lose this thing. my tenacity will lead me to victory. by the end of the month, i may have pages and pages of crap, but there will be fifty thousand words there. also, i refuse for ash, my friend, to lose either. we need to meet up to write pronto.

anyway, go congratulate me in me my comments, congratulate my sister too, and motivate me to write. please and thank you.

*Dammit (Growing Up) - Blink 182

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

i pray your brakes go out running down a hill. i pray a flowerpot falls from the windowsill and knocks you in your head like i'd like to. i pray your birthday comes and nobody calls. i pray you're flying high when your engine stalls. i pray all your dreams never come true.

Dear Mr. No Number,

I hope that, as you wake up this morning, an hour late because your alarm didn't go off, that you stub your toe getting out of bed. I hope that you slip in your shower after getting shampoo in your eye and hit your head really, really hard against the wall. There's nothing left in your skull to really damage, but the pain is enough for me. I hope that in the middle of this the hot water runs out and you are forced to rinse your hair in the icy grips of cold water on this cold day. I also hope you catch pneumonia because of this. I hope you burn your breakfast and spill your coffee on yourself. I hope you fail every class you have today and/or get fired from work. I hope your car breaks down on your way home and you realize your phone battery is dead. I hope no one stops to help you. I hope that, when you do finally get home, you find it has been broken into. But most of all, Mr. No Number, I hope that your life turns into one endless hellish day of misery. Forever. And then i hope you die.



you may have noticed that i did not wake up on the right side of the bed today. in fact, i woke up on the wrong side several times over. it's bad enough that for some reason i couldn't get to sleep last night, and then when i was dazed enough for my body to pretend it was asleep (if i lay in bed in the dark with my eyes closed and don't consciously think, but rather let my thoughts wander on their own, i go into a dazed state that may possibly confuse my body into thinking it's getting enough rest for the night. is this only me?) my brother needs me for something (incidentally, this is the one interruption of my sleep i did not mind). but after still not being able to get to sleep for hours some moron thinks that two:thirty in the morning is a good time to call. with a blocked number. after being very rudely wakened up, i stared at my phone indignantly and ignored the caller. immediately after i missed the call, i thought of all the people who it could have been and i should have answered. i'm just getting back to sleep again when Mr. No Number calls again. maybe it's my sister going into labor, i think. she sometimes blocks her number by accident. when i went to answer, though, i somehow rejected. oh well, i thought. something about this second call must have woken up my sister (according to facebook, though i woke her up by sleep talking. huh.) and she gets out of bed for some reason. at three in the morning. she starts to drink water loudly from her water bottle and crinkle bags and chew and turn on her computer without turning off the sound so i could hear that obnoxious windows boot up sound. i'm seriously thinking about getting up and killing her to shut her up, but then she gets up, pretty loudly for three am, and moves to another room. i'm just going back to sleep when, at three:thirty, surprise of all surprises, Mr. No Number calls again. i manage to answer this time, thinking it must be important, and you know what i get on the other line? beeping. like someone pressing the number pad. like they were trying to talk to me in freaking morse code or something. i hang up and am awoken a little later by my sister getting back into bed, which actually wasnt loud so i dunno. every ten minutes after that i wake up in a panic sure that i had slept through my alarm because i was so tired. i hadn't. five thirty on the dot, my alarm finally goes off, and i feel like i haven't slept a wink without even the satisfaction of doing anything to keep me up. and i'm leaving the house in fifteen minutes. i'm not even dressed.

Mr. No Number, i blame all of this on you, and i wish you a very slow and painful death.

oh, and while i'm at it, Mr. Internet Connection, i'm super tired of your recent mood swings. if you decide to disconnect one more time i will come over and tear your modem apart with my bare hands. i am so not in the mood for you.

disclaimer: i usually do not wake up in such a homicidal mood and usually have no problem answering people's two in the morning phone calls. i actually do it quite a lot. but if you're gonna call, don't block your number and speak english. or i will make it my life's mission to find and kill you.

i realize that title's really long, but i couldn't choose just one.

*I Pray For You - Jaron and the Long Road to Love

Saturday, November 6, 2010

you don't see me

hello wonderful readers of my blog. want to know why i'm suddenly in a really good mood despite the fact that i can't breathe through my congested nose and my contacts are as dry as the sahara? (look at that NaNo progress bar up in the side bar for a hint.) that's right! for the first time this month, i am actually not behind in my novel writing. isn't it exciting? ten thousand four hundred and three words. i'm actually even a little ahead. (okay, only by a couple hundred words but whatever it beats being thousands behind.)

in honor of this unexpected awesomeness, here's a (slightly embarrassing) story that happened to me the other day.

have you ever watched the princess diaries? you're really weird if you haven't because i practically have that movie memorized. but anyway, there's this part at the very beginning where mia (anne hathaway) is sitting outside and someone almost sits on her. she goes to her friend and says to her friend, "someone sat on me again." i'd put a clip of that scene, but i don't feel like looking for one. so youtube away if you want to.

the other day, i was waiting outside of class with a bunch of other people. the class that uses the room before us was still in there so we were just hanging out in the hallway. i'm leaning against the wall when a guy comes and goes to lean on the wall directly where i'm leaning. as in, he leans on me. he notices pretty quick that he has not touched wall and jumps away. "omg i'm sorry," he says, laughing a little. "i didn't see you there."

uh, how do you not see a person leaning on the wall where you want to lean? he wasn't reading a book or looking at his phone or searching through his bag. he wasn't talking to anyone or checking the time. he just didn't see me. i suddenly knew how mia felt.

my younger sister can't decide whether to take it to mean than i'm so skinny i'm invisible or i'm so fat he mistook me for a wall. i'm open to your interpretations.

*You Don't See Me - Keane

Thursday, November 4, 2010

i'm so much older than i can take

random snapshots of conversations i have had over the past few days:

last night, my professor walks in and writes on the board in all caps, "NEVER GET OLD!" he then goes back to his desk/chair whatever and says, "it's the worst thing i've ever done." his knees have apparently been very anti-him for the past few weeks, and his doctor is thirty three. i plan on taking his advice.

a couple of days ago, i answer the phone, and the lady asks to speak to my younger brother. "may i ask who's speaking?" i ask her. "this is so and so from whatever university," she answers. "umm... ali is eight," i say. she sounds very surprised when she says. "oh... i'm sorry. i'll make a note of that."

last week i was talking to my mom while my nine year old brother was doing his homework. i think i said something about having a literary crush on some character. "what's a character?" my brother asks, apparently thinking there were other meanings to the word he didn't know yet. "a person from a book or movie or something," i answer. "you have a crush on a made-up person?" he asks. "yes." "that's so... sad. i... feel sorry for you," he said while giving me a pitying look.

*All These Things That I've Done - The Killers

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

we fail at everything we ever even try to attempt

so this morning i wrote a post and drafted it (because apparently i'm incapable of publishing anymore?) that was basically talking about how unproductive and worthless at life i was being... because i get like that sometimes. anyway, right now i feel like i completely turned this day around, so let's compare, shall we?

this morning i said that because our internet played dead for most of yesterday i had an assignment due tonight that i wasn't even started on. i totally finished that assignment in an hour, wrote the report for it, and submitted it earlier than on time. i rock.

i also said that i was "going nowhere really, really fast" in my pathetic nanowrimo attempt. i've switched stories a few times which is technically frowned upon and would get seven hundred words or so into something before hitting a ginormous brick wall and deciding that i just couldn't continue. after a very productive writing session with the awesome Ash (or The Flea if you read other people's comments on my blog) and forcing myself to stick with one story (though i'm not even sure how good it is or if i can write fifty thousand words on it) i am four thousand plus words in. yes, still technically behind, but whatever. i'm doing better than you. (unless i'm not in which case please don't mention it to me because you'll just make me feel bad.)

i also said that there were a few emails i've been putting off writing for weeks now and some stuff i needa send to our apparently very disorganized cultural mission (because they had all of this a month and a half ago. what did they do? eat it?) to quiet their threats to stop my monthly money. okay, so this still needs to be done but that's okay.

i also went to class and forgot my notebook so i paid attention. it's amazing the things you learn when you're not doodling and writing out short stories while some guy at the front rambles on. i also got fifteen postcards written for the postcard exchange i am doing. i'm gonna write the last four tonight and then send them all out tomorrow. i have some extra ones so if you would like to get a postcard from me, send me your address (comment/email/formspring/whatever) and i will send it out because snail mail is awesome and you all deserve some awesomeness in your lives. it doesn't matter if you live across the street from me or across the world, send me your address and i'll send you a card.

finally, my sister is a loser and wasn't answering my calls so i scrapped my plans to go out for dinner (though i've been craving broccoli and cheese soup for weeks now) and ate on campus. i decided to try a new flavor vitamin water and the facebook created flavor (black cherry-lime) was suggested to me. can i just say, EWWW. facebook people, what in the world were you thinking? it tastes like i'm drinking cough syrup mixed with gasoline. every sip makes me sicker (because yes i'm finishing it and getting my money's worth. plus i'm thirsty and don't feel like walking back to the convenience store.) blech.

oh wait, this is the final thought: i'm using the title i was gonna use this morning because a) i don't feel like thinking of a new one and b) i was just listening to the song. no i don't care that it no longer fits with the post.

*The Future Freaks Me Out - Motion City Soundtrack

Monday, November 1, 2010

i don't know who you are

"He'll be famous - a legend - I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter day in future - there will be books written about Harry - every child in our world will know his name!" 
~Minerva McGonagall, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 

when you read this line, you can't help but think how prophetic it turned out to be and wonder if rowling knew the literary monster she had on her hands from then. i mean, who hasn't heard of harry potter? even the people who have never read a word of the books or watched a minute of the movies can't miss the media attention and the merchandise and the references. right? i didnt think it was possible to not know harry potter.

and then i met the girl in my class.

my professor was talking about dictionary attacks (basically when you try and crack a password by guessing all the words in a dictionary) and how sometimes you need to create your own dictionary because something like webster's wouldn't have all possible words, like when literary references are used. he was telling us about a child pornography case where the encryption password was 'snape' and he found it by creating a dictionary by indexing the sites the suspect visited online.

girl in class: umm... what's a snape?
*me and professor look incredulous*
him: professor snape?
her: *stares blankly*
him: you know... from harry potter?
her: *stares blankly*
him: wow, you really need to read more. the boy wizard who fights an evil wizard...
her: ooohh is that the movie thing that's coming out?
him: yeah... but it was a book first.

after class she was telling me that she really should read more, but he couldn't expect everyone to be familiar with every book ever written. well, yeah, maybe not. but how in the world she's lived this long and managed to not know who harry potter is is beyond me.

anyway, i am off to try and write fifteen hundred plus words before bed. you can watch my nano progress throughout the month by that progress bar thingie on the left. you know, in case you missed it.

*I'm With You - Avril Lavigne

how'd we get here so fast?

do you know what day it is, blog readers? november first. as in, nanowrimo starts/started today. how and when did this happen?? last time i checked, i still had time... time to think of what to write and organize my schedule in a way to give me time to write and... and...  i dont know just time. but it seems like time has been a scarce commodity lately and suddenly there is just no more of it. over eight hours into nanowrimo and i have yet to type a single word, or even think of what that single word should be.

aside from not starting my novel, i had a slight lapse in responsibility last week which led to me realizing a day late that i had homework due. my professor, though, was nice enough to give me a few extra days to finish it. so i have to do that homework, along with the one due this week, along with a midterm due thursday, and suddenly writing a novel seems an utterly pointless and terribly attractive way to spend my time.

i know you have all been horribly missing my blog posts lately (stop rolling your eyes, it could happen), and i wish i had some really cool story about alien abductions and pirate kidnappings that resulted in no internet access or something, but i don't. what i do have is a whole bunch of unpublished drafts from the past week and a steadily growing pile of things i need to do/should have already done that brings along a creeping sense of i-might-start-to-get-overwhelmed-if-i-think-about-this. but my dad came back from saudi arabia yesterday (didn't know he was gone? don't worry, neither did anyone else i know apparently) and things could possibly go back to the way my dull, boring life used to be before the end of the summer. possibly.

but enough about that, i need to go start being responsible so i can start being irresponsible and possibly start noveling today. (i'll probably end up starting my november tomorrow :/ that's okay right? right?! don't judge me i can still finish a novel in a month minus a day.) hope your novembers are off to a better start than mine!

Update: so i decided i couldn't start responsibility until i started irresponsibility and am now thirty four words into a novel that could literally go just about anywhere at the moment. i can now relax and start checking off homework assignments.

*Closer - Low

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

i'll wait for you 'cause i don't know what else i can do

let me start by saying that i hate stink bugs, from the very depths of my soul. this is not a hatred stemming from fear or anything. i do not hate them because it is suddenly the cool thing to do. my hatred for them goes way back. suffice it to say, i saw way too many of them around the house, even before the rest of DC seemed to notice enough to complain. i refuse to kill bugs (i wrote a post sometime back explaining why that you can read if you want, but i don't feel like looking for it), but i actually enjoy killing these. they deserve death by shoe (which is usually what i kill them with) and i am more than happy to be the one that gives it to them. but anyway, on to my story.

a couple weeks ago, a stinkbug landed on my screen, and there it stayed. not moving. day in and day out. through the crazy rain storm we had and the days where the sunlight filtering into my room was falling over the edge between comfortable and too hot. through misty drizzles and crisp autumn winds. this bug just sat there, not running for shelter, not cowering from the elements. it was just there. my mind went to the obvious conclusion that he (she?) was dead. there was no other explanation. i don't know much about stinkbugs, but they have to eat at least a few times in two weeks, don't they? i was thinking that i should probably get the dead body off my screen, but really didn't feel like opening my window when i have been irrationally cold lately. (it's irrational because no one else in my family seems to feel it, and they all look at me like i'm crazy when i suggest turning up the heater or lighting the house on fire for warmth.)

the other day, while "writing my paper" i noticed another stinkbug come to my screen. great, i thought, the stupid carcass (can you use the word carcass for dead bug bodies? or does it only apply to animals? are bugs considered animals in any sense of the word? these are the kind of questions that plague my mind when i am trying to write a paper and a blog post at the same time.) is attracting the rest of its people. and then, do you know what happened?! the dead stink bug, the one that hadn't moved a single leg in the past two weeks, got up and walked over to it! like, the second it landed on my screen. as if it was just waiting there for it the entire time, and that was why it was impersonating a creepy little statue. as if it couldn't move before because it might have missed the arrival of this second stinkbug. as if he was so madly in love with it that the long wait through crazy weather was totally worth it. real sweet and everything.

anyway, the two stupid bugs found a way to the inside of my screen (because it got pushed out a bit so they can come in from the bottom. i haven't gotten around to fixing this, because, like i said, i haven't been in a mood to open windows.) and were trapped between the screen and glass. so i opened my window (slowly so i wouldn't scare them into some little buzzy flying frenzy as they tried to escape)... and smashed them both. because, really, these are stinkbugs and i hate them. and they all need to die, romantic or not.

*Wait For You - Elliot Yamin

Friday, October 15, 2010

where you lead, i will follow

so... i miss this show. i don't watch much tv anymore (or like ever besides nick when my brothers have it on) but i would if gilmore girls was still on (or LOST). i know there are a bunch of shows that are supposed to be real gems, but i dunno... i just dont.

*Where You Lead - Carole King

do it for the living and do it for the dead, do it for the monsters under your bed, do it for the teenagers and do it for your mom

i remember having a conversation with two friends last year about drinking water from the bathroom sink. one said she did it all the time, the other thought it was the grossest thing in the world. "i'm sure it's clean... enough, but ew. i don't drink tap water," was how she described it. while we are discussing the possible grossness of drinking tap water, 38,000 kids are dying every week because they can't get any clean water to drink, which, by the way, was declared a human right by the UN. a lot of people i know, including my friend, drink bottled water instead. (the US, Mexico, and China use more bottled water than anywhere else, with the US using an average of 200 bottles per person per year. 86% of these are never recycled. read this for more bottled water information. there's even a video to watch at the end of that page.)

now, i'm not telling you all to stop drinking bottled water and switch to tap (or buy yourself a brita filter) to save the world (except that i totally am). instead, i'm just going to open your eyes to a few ways you're spending water every day that you probably didn't know about (i know a lot of these came as a surprise to me):

[one] charging an iPhone uses up half a liter of water (power plants don't run on love). on an average day, a US power plant will use 500 billion liters of fresh water. (can't grasp how much that is? well, it's more than double what flows through the Nile.)

[two] look at you're outfit. it takes 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton for one pair of jeans, and 400 gallons of water to grow enough cotton for a plain cotton shirt.

[three] think about what you eat in a day - the normal stuff. that is all using way more water than you think. it takes 200 liters of water to produce one cup of milk, 140 liters for a cup of black coffee (53 gallons to make a to-go latte), 185 liters to make a bag of chips, 135 liters for an egg, and a whopping 2,400 liters for just one hamburger. (and no, i'm not talking about a big mac or a triple whopper with cheese.)

[four] it takes 39, 090 gallons of water to make a car. each tire requires 518 gallons of water to be made.

when you're using that much water without even realizing it, do you really want to waste extra water by not turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth or taking showers that span hours?

interesting fact: more people have access to a cell phone than a toilet. (that means water is getting contaminated with sewage.)

interesting fact number two: unsafe drinking water kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.

why the sudden interest in water? it's Blog Action Day and the water issue is this year's topic. it's a much bigger issue than you may think (you know, if you live under a rock or in a cloud of self-involvement or something). so make yourself useful and get off your computer that is using way to much water to be powered and go dig till you find a spring or well or something. or, you could just spread the word, try to use less water, and maybe donate to a water cause?

*Loose Lips - Kimya Dawson

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

can't believe it's that time of year again

i have a fifteen-ish page paper due in exactly five hours and thirty five minutes, complete with practical research and a comparison between two programs that i have yet to download, or even choose. i wrote slightly more than two pages yesterday morning and have three bullet points of where i want the research section to go before i get into my own investigations. i actually really like the topic i'm writing about for once, and the research is interesting-ish.

instead of buckling down to write the paper, though, i just wasted a good forty minutes or so on the nanowrimo newly-ish (yeah, i dunno what's with me and ishes today)relaunched website. because, yes, it is almost that time of year again. (can you believe it has already been an entire year since the last nanowrimo? and sincerely, mr. nobody is still sitting barely edited and mostly ignored on my desktop.) in nineteen days i will, along with tons of other people who are equally insane, be writing furiously to get out at least fifty thousand words in a month. like last year (though none of you listened), i think you should all try it. if you do, add me as a writing buddy (sarah_k). last year the days leading up to nanowrimo found me struggling to find a plot to write. this year is worse, because not only do i not really know what to write, it seems as though i have forgotten how. after shutting off my brain for the past couple of months, i'm not sure if i can get in a creative mood before november starts. i did however read something this morning which inspired one sentence to pop into my head. it's not much, but it's all i have at the moment. what do you think? can i remember how to write fast enough to write an entire novel based off of one barely coherent sentence? i'm excited to try.

i am trying to pull myself out of nanoland to work on computer forensics, but i'm already working out how i can maybe talk my way out of getting in trouble for not finishing my paper today. the paper is due the week before the midterm. next week we don't have class and the week after that is the midterm. he likes everything in hard copy so i'm smart enough to know that that means it is due today. but do you think i could pull of stupid and get away with it? say i forgot next week was classless? maybe? as long as there is a shred of hope, i just can't force myself into last-minute work mode. gah.

*That Time of Year - Sick Puppies

Friday, October 8, 2010

shortly after i finished writing that last post, my mom called me. her and my dad have been living at the hospital for the past week to stay with my uncle, who was battling the last stages pancreatic cancer. this morning, he lost the battle. in a few hours they were going to fly him back to saudi arabia to see the two kids of his that couldn't come here and all of his brothers/sisters/nieces/nephews and mom for the last time.

i'm really good at compartmentalizing and have been keeping my mind on a tight leash and focusing on house-ish things with more concentration than strictly necessary for the past few weeks. at the moment, i think i'm kinda shocked, but soon, i know, the compartments will start to crumble and i'll be forced to actually deal with stuff. i dunno, it always comes as a complete surprise for me when people die. this was in no way a sudden death. a part of me has been waiting for the call for days now. a part of me has also been saying that it might be better for him to die. (if it were me, i'd either want to die or to be getting better. slowly and painfully deteriorating just seems like the worst possible thing to happen. ever.) but despite all of that, i'm still shocked. i'm still numb. i'm still surprised enough to lose myself in a foggy denial. this won't last long, i know. the fog will lift and i'll be forced to acknowledge the reality, the grief, the emptiness.

don't bother waking me at five in the morning

what is it about five in the morning that makes it impossible for my body to feel rested? i mean, it doesn't matter how much i sleep, when my alarm goes off at five and very rudely drags me out of my sleep, i could swear i've just shut my eyes and i'm overcome with urges to throw the stupid clock at the wall. i don't, of course. partly because it's attached to the wall and i can't movie it without moving my bookcases (and really, who wants to do that at five in the morning?) and partly because i have actually grown pretty attached to the little pest. so instead of throwing it against the wall, i pull myself out of bed and walk to the other side of the room to turn it off before it wakes up my sister. (yes, i put my alarm clock far-ish away from me so that i can't just hit snooze and end up oversleeping. it works really well in theory, but in real life i tend to get up, walk over to it, decide i don't want to make this same walk every minute and a half for the next ten minutes, turn off the clock and say there's no way i'll actually fall back asleep in that short amount of time, and wake up an hour and a half later for the frantic rush of getting ready before i'm even later.)

things have been... hectic around here lately, to say the very least, and i've seen way too much of five in the morning. when i go to sleep at two and wake up at seven, i'm perfectly fine. so the first night i figured, sleeping at twelve will be fine. it wasn't. nor was it the next night. or when i started sleeping at eleven:thirty. when i sleep for seven hours a night, i'm more than fine. you can't be more rested than i am. so last night i went to sleep at ten:thirty. that's seven and a half hours, people! and yet, all i want to do is crawl into bed and sleep forever.

so i have decided that i do not like five am anymore. i used to be okay with it. every day of high school started at five for me, and i never complained once. (okay, so i might have, but i still didn't mind it that much.) but now i'm too old to endure it and too young to enjoy it. gah.

*Five in the Morning - A (i feel like i'm cheating because i've never heard of this song before in my life, but i'm lazy and google told me to use it.)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

but you, you speak my language

the other day, as i was waiting at the bus stop, i met my soulmate. i think that in the fifteen minutes that we spent talking, he became one of my favorite people.

i was reading angels and demons (which i was given to read well over a year ago and just never got around to doing because i kept pushing it to the end of my to-read list. i finally picked it up a couple of days ago, but i'm only about sixty pages in. my slow reading pace and the fact that i didnt even touch it at all yesterday have less to do with the book itself than with the current state of my mind, i think, and the fact that i haven't had much time to really sink into it yet. but i digress.) and i vaguely notice a guy join me on the bus stop bench. it's quiet for a minute, and then out of nowhere he says (really loudly), "oooooh." i look up, confused, and he says, "i saw the illuminati sign *points to page i was reading* and i couldn't remember where i had seen it before. my mind kept telling me the da vinci code, but i knew it wasn't it. angels and demons, right?" i say yes and we launch into a conversation about the movie (which i won't see until after i read the book) and how it was so much better than the da vinci code movie (which he had to stop watching halfway through because he hated it so much).

anyway, we talked about books and movie adaptations and then branched off into other things. and he was smart and witty and could speak without sounding like a moron. being in IT for so long (and okay, being completely antisocial has helped, too), it's been a while since i've met someone new that has interests outside of a screen and actually possesses a vocabulary that lets them articulate what they mean. it was refreshing to know that people like him still existed. when the conversation died down, he pulled out his book and we each sat at the bus stop, completely involved in our own fictional worlds. a few minutes later, my bus came and i haven't seen him since.

and yes, you may have noticed from my story that i was at the bus stop ridiculously early that day. parking, which usually takes me twenty minutes of circling, was surprisingly really easy to find. i was annoyed at first that i would have to wait so long, but if i had gotten there at my usual time, i may not have met him. 

*You Speak My Language - Morphine

Thursday, September 30, 2010

my head is pounding like rolling thunder

i am sitting in the library at mason, wasting time until it is time to go home. it's ten, so there's really no one on campus to amuse me. all my emails have been checked, facebook has been checked, blackboard has been checked, the option of starting any of my assignments has been scratched off my to-do list and the list has been thrown away. i come to blogger, thinking that i'll read some blogs and live vicariously through other people's days, but do you know how many blogs i follow were updated recently?? not a lot, i can tell you that. i read all of them in ten minutes. why has everyone decided to slack off on blogging when i need amusement?

here's my story of the day that you guys can live vicariously through if you want to, though why you would is beyond me:

so i was sitting in the dentist's office waiting room this afternoon for over an hour. they had this really nice tv about a foot away from where i was sitting playing a slideshow type advertisement for their office over an over and over again. the thing was about five minutes long and just repeated nonstop. at the start of the "show" for lack of a better word, a question comes up on the screen asking the viewer "are you anxious about visits to the dentist?" with the words fear and anxiety flying around the screen in a million different fonts. from a strictly IT point of view, a lot could have been improved from the design angle, but i mean, whatever. then, the screen fades to black, and in big silver letters in the middle of the screen pops up "your not alone." if you don't see what's wrong with that sentence, then i'm pretty sure i hate you. okay, so not really, but i think you should go learn grammar. your/you're confusion gets under my skin. i realize that slip-ups will happen, but in something that you are using to promote your business, in an ad that you will subject your patients to watch on repeat while they sit in your waiting room, you would think that you could get someone to edit it a bit. or at least just read over it. gah, it annoyed me so much. and, i dunno, i dont think i wanna go to a dentist that doesn't know the basics of english grammar.

oh, and my head hurts. stupid contacts.

*Where Do You Go - No Mercy

Monday, September 27, 2010

one stubborn way to turn your back

i recently witnessed a Twilight vs The Hunger Games fight, because, as you know, it is impossible to like both book series. and since you can't like both, you obviously can't tolerate being in the same vicinity of someone who does not enjoy the same series you do. it's common sense, really. it reminded me of the whole, Twilight vs Harry Potter thing that was going on (and might still be, i have to admit i'm not really up to date on most fandoms).

some of you may be wondering just what exactly is so necessary about choosing one series, one author, one book to love and defend to the death while adamantly refusing to even consider the fact that other people may like a different one better. well, besides the obvious reason that it's just not cool to allow more than one thought to live inside your brain, it is definitely impossible to call yourself a fan of something, to say that you loved or even liked it, when you are saying that you like something else too... even a little. and if that's true, then logically you can't expect the enlightened fans of one series to breathe the same air as the ignorant followers of another. that's simply unheard of.

and of course the books (Twilight, HP, THG) are constantly pitted against each other because they are just so similar, which only adds to the reason why you can't possibly like more than one of them let alone put all three on the same shelf. i mean, all three of them are children's books which successfully crossed over to adult audiences. they were all written by women. all of them are capable of fully throwing you into a world similar but completely different from our own. they all got kids reading. they all have um... characters (good and bad), and... uh... some sort of plot that they follow. they are all written in english and have chapters and titles and covers and hundreds of pages... see? practically the same series repeated three times.

is it possible for someone to not like one of the series for the sole reason that they did not like it (having nothing to do with their loyalty to another one)? yes, as long as it's the right series. is it possible for someone to hate all of them? yes, but we're too busy ignoring those people to care what they think. and is it possible to think that all of the books have their strong and weak points? no. absolutely not.

so basically, it is time you look through your books and choose the one that you like and throw the rest away. then, spend all of your time looking for people that don't agree with your choice and get into ridiculously huge arguments with them over it. all the cool kids are doing it.

*You Only Live Once - The Strokes

Friday, September 24, 2010

lately there's been too much of this

i have to say, the way things have been going lately has just been draining me. everywhere i turn there are things waiting impatiently to be done, tapping their toes and letting out overly dramatic sighs. it seems that if something, anything, can go wrong, it most definitely will. i wake up every morning and go through five days before night finally comes and i can lay in bed trying to find relief in another restless night. tears are not hiding behind every corner, they are waterfalling down buildings and flooding streets, but not from me. i'm denied the little comfort tears can bring. stupidity is running rampant, and it seems that no one is immune to it. i am tired of trying to just hold out for tomorrow, because tomorrow is no better than today. it hasn't been in a long time. i'm tired.

"I'm too tired or too numb to cry. The only thing I feel is a desire to be somewhere else." 
~Katniss, The Hunger Games

on a happier note, or at least a funnier one, let me share with you all a story someone in my class shared with us today about how completely tech-challenged some people still are today. so the kid in my class works in tech support and went today to help someone in person who couldn't be helped on the phone. when he went to the dude's office (an older guy) he found him sitting at his desk, looking confusedly at his screen, with his cd drive open holding his coffee. yes, the guy actually honestly thought that the cd drive was a cup holder built in to his computer. like he really really thought that. the kid had to explain to him that his cup holder was in fact where you would put CDs and DVDs and stuff. maybe it's just because i grew up with computers, but it amazes me how much people just don't understand about them. it's a little sad, but gives us entertaining stories to listen to during a long and boring lecture.

*Someday - Nickelback

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

everything, it seems, i like's a little bit sweeter, a little bit fatter, a little bit harmful for me

so i just ate a pack of coconut m&ms, dipping each one in nutella before eating it. i feel like a colossal fatty. it was really good, though, if you could get over the fact that i was probably inhaling more calories for my little snack than if i went downstairs and made myself an actual lunch.

also, yesterday my sisters, nephew, and i went to a pet store, and i met the most adorable rabbit in the entire world. actually, there were three that i wanted, but this one was the most. i have half a mind to go back and buy him. he was just so cute.

is he not adorable? do you not want to take him home with you and keep him forever?

this is him being a fatty and sitting in the bowl to eat so no one else could share the food.

despite the fact that the bunny was the cutest pet in the history of pets, i really hate pet stores. i can't walk by the dogs and cats without wanting to cry. 

*Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk - Rufus Wainwright

got a short little span of attention

if we were social networks, i would currently be twitter. i am living in short bursts of a hundred and forty characters or less.

burst of studiousness: i do half my assignment well and think of a paper topic for my other class. suddenly, my brain won't absorb or create anything school-related.

burst of energy: lasts as long as one game of pool at mason with my sister and singing our lungs out on the way home. now [then] i am drained. 

burst of writing: as their failure is still fresh, as their hearts are newly broken, as wounds have just opened and begun to sting, he whispers, "why?" "because every time you built a bridge, i built a wall." the end. the only writing i have managed to do sucks and does not even complete two lines :/

burst of blogging: after almost a week of nothing, this is all i can come up with in a sudden desire to blog. 

bursts of happiness. bursts of sadness. bursts of apathy.

but there's no energy, or will, or reason to keep any of them around for longer than that initial burst.

my life: coming in short bursts of a hundred and forty characters or less. 

*You Can Call On Me - Paul Simon 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

your head will collapse, but there's nothing in it and you'll ask yourself, "where is my mind?"

i was sitting on my bed this morning trying my hardest to work up the motivation to start an assignment that may or may not be due tomorrow night, but my brain could just not focus on the fact that homework needs to be done. it preferred to stay tangled in fictional plots and get lost in the lyrics of my music and basically just avoid reality. it has completely shut off, abandoned me in my time of need. i think there are too many things fighting for my attention that my brain has taken the easy way out and just decided to ignore everything - the good, the bad, and the greys in between. nothing going on right now can hold my attention long enough to matter. i just don't want to think about anything. my thoughts are completely consumed by books, movies, music, and basically any other mindless form of escape from reality they can find. this means that i'm getting a lot of reading done, which is great, but not a whole bunch of anything else. anything that ends with -work is hopeless, conversations take more effort than they should, writing requires too much brainpower to attempt.

yes, avoidance is probably not the smartest or healthiest course of action right now, but what can i say? it's always been my go-to method for dealing with things and change just seems like too much trouble at the moment. i did manage to finish the paper due tonight, so i'm not too pressed about this yet, but i figure i'll need to jump-start my brain soon and start to think, process, and deal. let me tell you, the prospect does not sound too appealing.

also, the light breeze coming in through my window seems to be designed for the sole purpose of scattering thoughts and who am i to argue with nature? or with amazon, for that matter, which is contributing to my runaway mind with their rewards of music and movie credits. think or download a bunch of new songs that amazon will kindly pay for? i think it's pretty obvious what i'm choosing to spend the rest of the day on.

*Where Is My Mind - Pixies

Friday, September 10, 2010

did you ever know that you're my hero?

today started off with me waking up to settle a fight that was raging between my brothers. i should have known from then what this day was going to turn into. not even when vacuuming took two and a half hours instead of fifteen minutes did i realize that this was just not going to be a good day. it didn't really hit me until i was sitting in class suffering through another hour plus lecture about public key encryption. i mean, after three and a half years of undergrad learning this same thing over and over and over, i honestly thought i was done with it. i honestly thought that moving on to my master's would at least get me some new lecture material. i was obviously very wrong.

we get out an hour early, which would usually be a good thing, but i had to wait for my sister to get back from prince william before i could go home. and after having my brain drugged to sleep by my class, i just really really wanted to get home. my sister got back at eleven. we walk to the parking garage and i click the remote, but the car doesn't beep. i think i just must be too far and click it again when we get closer. still no beep.

great, i think. the battery must have died. i have lots of experience with dead car batteries, but that's a story for another day. anyway, i unlock the car with the key and the alarm goes off. that doesn't happen when your battery dies, in case you didn't know. that thing is super loud and it. wouldn't. stop. and the car wouldn't start. i call the non-emergency police and get them to send a car to jump ours. you know, just in case. it takes them about ten or fifteen minutes of waiting with the hood up, with the alarm blaring, echoing in the empty garage. needless to say, my ears were ringing. the dude comes and i fill out the waiver forms and then he goes to jump my car, only it doesn't work. because, like i thought, nothing was wrong with the battery. he's sitting there trying to talk over the wailing alarm, when we see two police men walking towards us.

apparently, they heard the ongoing alarm from their office which is across the street and a bit away from the parking garage. they thought someone was trying to steal a car or something. so now the jumper guy and two police men are trying to figure out what's wrong with the car. one of the police dudes is asking for a screwdriver to try and unscrew something or other on the battery to restart the system or something. i couldn't hear much. right when the jumper dude says that he doesn't have tools, another policeman in his car drives up to see what the commotion is. they all fiddle around under the hood for a while as my sister tries to subtly take pictures of them, though it was really not subtle.

anyway, one walking police guy finally gets a ride with the driving one back to his car where he was awesome enough to have a toolbox. he starts unscrewing stuff and then says that he's gonna disconnect our alarm for a bit because it was driving him insane. he does, and in the silence that follows, our car can finally start. he reconnects everything, says the problem looks like it was from the way that the alarm was connected, and we are able to go on our way... after thanking them all profusely. they are my heroes.

thing is, this car was just at the mechanic's yesterday. they were checking why the ABS light wouldn't turn off. i was pretty sure they fixed it cause the light didn't turn on all day. when the police dude fixed our car, the light immediately flicked back on. whatever. i'd so rather have that than the alarm. anyway, we get home at around twelve. and i have to wake up early tomorrow. yay.

also, today i've consumed more calories than i know what to do with. boredom + bad day will do that to you.

not to say that the entire day was bad, though. it had its bright spots. one of which was that i finally finished darkness. there's an email in my drafts waiting to be proofread for you, hannah, because i'm sure it's chock full of typos and grammar mistakes. i'll probably send it out to you tomorrow.

*Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler