Tuesday, December 27, 2011

thinking to myself

as we were driving back to the hotel from epcot a little less than an hour ago, i thought to myself, "i know! i'll write a blog post when we get back," and my mind filled with all sorts of exciting and interesting things to write about. but when i got back, i decided to check my mail first, and then change my clothes, and then respond to commenters, and by the time i actually got around to starting a new post, my mind was empty. i'm sure that i have something great to tell all of you, and i will write a trip recap post with all of the highlights when i get back up to virginia, but for the moment, i may as well have spent the last few days trapped in a basement watching infomercials for all of the stories i have to write. though, come to think of it, being trapped in a basement watching infomercials might actually make a pretty interesting post.

anyway, as i was writing the first line of this post, it occurred to me how stupid the phrase "i thought to myself" is. i mean, by nature of the action, thinking is something you do silently in your mind or brain or head or whatever. by that definition, who else would you be thinking to? why do people feel the need to specify that they are the sole audience to their thinking? are there other people hanging out in their heads that they sometimes think to instead? are there times when they do not think to themselves? can they ignore their own thoughts? can they teach me how to do this? did it take a lot of practice? do they actually leave their heads? where do they go? i just have so many questions.

i was supposed to leave to go to my cousin and his family's house at six, which is in four minutes, but i don't know if i want to stand up. i have done oh so much standing this week already, and laying on this bed hanging out in the blogosphere sounds too nice to pass up. the thing is, i haven't seen my cousin since i got here, and the rest of my family has. and he and his family were like super excited for all of us to come and kept telling me to call, but do you know how hard it is to find the time to call someone when you're spending all day in a theme park? six a.m. is too early and at night i'm too tired and during the day is too crazy. and to be perfectly honest, i'm on vacation and i just don't feel like it. i sound like a jerk, don't i? i should stop being lazy and go do my cousinly duties shouldn't i? i'm probably going to regret this decision.

*You Belong With Me - Taylor Swift

Thursday, December 22, 2011

i'm going away for a while, but i'll be back

so i just finished packing for florida and... i need a new wardrobe. desperately. everything i have has either been worn a million times and i am sick to death of it or it doesn't fit me thanks to my new found marriage fat. (this was going to be a post on its own, but i never got around to writing it. basically, everyone in my family - and i'm talking sisters, cousins, aunts, etc - gains weight after marriage. i don't know what it is about us, but i don't like it.) i will be leaving early tomorrow morning, and there is a high chance that i won't be blogging for the next week. hopefully, though, i will come back with a fresh brain that is capable of writing posts that are worth reading.

in my absence, please enjoy this medley of random links and videos.

>>i know that clips of the mickey mouse club are pretty much everywhere since it was where a whole bunch of actors and singers got their start, but this clip of ryan gosling, justin timberlake, and jc whatever his last name is, in my opinion, hilarious. i find the dance thing they do at the end especially funny.

>>remember recess (the cartoon)? well, this class remade the theme song with real people. aside from the fact that the elementary students are suddenly old, i think it's pretty awesome.

>>i thought this was a nice mash-up of the killers' somebody told me and the gorillaz feel good inc. both of which are songs you should listen to if for some reason you never have.

>>this poem, called the cold within, is worth a read. it tells a lot about the way of the world/society.

>>if you're on any other social media sites, you have probably seen the "shit girls say" videos. just in case you haven't, though, you can watch episode one here and episode two here. i have to admit that, stereotypical as this is, i actually do some of these.

>>this amazing fact generator is a great way to procrastinate (in case you were looking for one) and get smarter at the same time. a win - win situation.

>>i found this article interesting about how smartphone cameras are gaining popularity. now 1/3 of all pictures taken are with phones.

oh, and my professor finally posted my grade, officially ending my masters degree, but still no word from mason about the phd program. grr.

also, i was wondering. do people still go caroling these days? if you do or know people who do or see people who do, let me know.

*Misguided Ghosts - Paramore

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

you never left me no messages, you never sent me no letters

ten - the numbers of days it's been since i submitted my final final. still no grade, though. blergh.

nine - the time i've been going to sleep lately. i feel kind of pathetic.

eight - the number of krispy kreme donuts that are currently sitting on my kitchen counter.

seven - the number of days in a week. (i don't know. this is the last number i have, and i really can't think of anything. thinking is hard.)

six - the time the celebratory dinner/whatever it was thingy that mason was throwing for fall graduates ended tonight. i had forgotten about it and missed it.

five - the number of weeks it's been since mason said they'd give me an answer in two to four weeks.

four - the number of people that have noted the fact that i've gained weight in the past three days.

three - the number of days until i will be in florida and thereby finally visiting harry potter world.

two - the number of dozens of sugar cookie men i made. i decorated a few of them as family members. they were cute.

one - the number of hours it has taken me to write this measly post. my brain has officially shut itself off.

*You Found Me - The Fray

Saturday, December 17, 2011

[one] so the other day someone said that i "write like thomas jefferson." granted, this person was a history buff that was in love with tj, but still. i don't really understand the comparison. i haven't written many historical documents lately (or ever) and i don't remember the last time i read anything by jefferson that was a confused list of images masquerading as talent (i mean that in the most affectionate way possible). was jefferson known for his writing? i mean, besides the things that are famous more because of their historical impact on the world than because they read pretty. i'm sure it was a compliment, but it's like when people tell me i write like (insert random author here) because it is the only author they know and think it will make me happy. thanks for the thought, but i don't really mind not writing like the greats. i'd rather you compare me with someone that makes sense. it was the first time i was compared to a founding father, though, in anything.

[two] when i watch the food channel and judges criticize people for having desserts that are "too sweet," i get so confused. i don't understand how a dessert can be too sweet. nothing is too sweet. i mean, unless you hand me a cheeseburger or a taco or something and i take a bite and get a sugar rush. but... dessert is supposed to be sweet. stop trying to be cool.

[three] facebook's new translate button is hilariously entertaining. the other day i just sat there translating my cousins' and friends' statuses and wall posts from arabic to english. some of them made perfect sense, but who cares about those?

[four] yesterday i found myself visiting all these old websites i used to frequent which led me to looking through old files and folders i have saved on my computer. not only did i find ample proof of what a complete dork i was, but i also found a book i had planned to self-publish and sell for charity a few years ago. it was basically just a collection of my prosetry and short stories, some of which have made it on the blog and some of which haven't, but i had completely forgotten about it. i have no idea what to do with it now, but a lot of the pieces were amusing to read through.

[five] for some reason, i cannot choose a title for this post. it will therefor remain title-less. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

you're a rotter, mr. grinch, you're the king of sinful sots, your heart's a dead tomato splotched with moldy purple spots

last year i came on here and complained about the idea of santa claus. i said that giving credit to a magical man for all the gifts a parents struggles to get for his/her children was wrong. this year, because i seemingly can't stick to an opinion, i'm here to complain about the opposite.

last year, best buy's commercials all said that santa got his presents from best buy because what they had was cooler than what a magical factory at the end of the world could make. this year, the commercials show moms getting such great presents from best buy that santa is no longer needed. they are doing exactly what i wished they would do last year: taking credit for the gifts.

but for some reason, watching santa become obsolete is more sad than funny. showing that moms who shop at best buy don't need santa is depressing. it's like they're saying that there is no longer any need for magic or wonderment this time of year, which is basically what santa is. a man who rides a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer to deliver presents to children all over the world for nothing but the occasional plate of cookies? yeah, let's get rid of him and then have moms stay up to mock him and rub it in his face that he is no longer needed. what kind of values is that teaching the children? where is your christmas spirit, best buy?

i see now that over the past few years, best buy has been slowly working towards this point of getting rid of santa claus. making him seem less and less competent until they could finally just throw him overboard without causing public outrage. and you know what that means, don't you? the grinch's heart has shrunk back down to three sizes too small, and he owns best buy.

*The Grinch's Theme Song

Monday, December 12, 2011

and now you're back

a few weeks ago (or something like that) my high school bus driver sent me a friend request on facebook. this bus driver was, well... it's a little hard to describe him. i can't quite paint an accurate picture of him with just words. you really had to have been on my bus (which had some super awesome people on it) to really get him. but to try, he spent most of his time with his eyes on the giant rear view mirror thing he has watching the girls, he sometimes made some pervy comments, and not to brag or anything, but i was his favorite student on the bus. he would let me talk, eat, and stand up when no one else was allowed to (of course, everyone did anyway, but that's totally beyond the point). he tried to be our friend by copying the stupid things we did on the bus, like saying hi to random strangers we passed, but he would get annoyed when i brought a camera on the bus because "it made the kids crazy." (this was after he had me take a picture of himself, of course, and email it to him.) anyway, i have fond memories of that bus, and a lot of them include making comments about him being creepy.

the other day, my ap history teacher added me on facebook. this guy was also a character. he was our third teacher for that subject that year (our first one died and our second one was the vice principal or something of the boys' school and couldn't do both) and probably the craziest. the first day he taught us, he broke into song. a week or so before the ap exam, he had us coloring buffaloes in class. because, you know, studying is so overrated. one time, he started shouted something so loud (i forget what, but i think he was being a revolutionist or something) that the teacher from the next room over ran in because she was sure something terrible was happening. another time, he had me read a packet about harvey brown or someone that was as thick as the text book. i read for fifty minutes straight, and it was the most boring class i have ever attended. i still feel sorry for everyone who was forced to listen to me drone on that day. oh, and once, he said that he hoped his daughter grew up to be like me. (yeah, i'm pretty cool, and by that i mean very, very far from it.) i'm painting myself into quite the nerd, aren't i? also, i think his disappointment to the gift we got him at the end of the year - that we thought was perfect - takes the cake for the worst reaction to a present i've ever seen.

anyway, there is a point here. i recently decided that i was going to stop being nostalgic, mopey me. i was going to look to the future and live in the present, etc etc. do you know how hard it is to do that when, not only am i going against my nature, but my past is also on teen nick every day, on the radio every night, and now adding me on facebook? i'm not sure my resolution is going to last very long.

oh, and in case you were wondering, mason still hasn't answered me. anxiety is beginning to take over. i better have an answer before i go to florida.

*I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor

Saturday, December 10, 2011

last night she said

my final exam has been completed and submitted and i am officially done with all work related to my master's. i thought it fitting that the very last question on the exam was a monty python and the holy grail reference, since the movie has haunted my entire educational career since 2006.

anyway, yesterday i went to a dinner fundraiser thing, and i had forgotten how much fun the people there were, so that was fun. except for the part where this conversation cropped up:

me: could i have like half that amount of food?
her: but you have to eat for you and the baby.
me: um... what baby?
*awkward apologies and laughter and stuff*
her: (later) you really don't look pregnant at all, i swear. i just thought cause you got married...
*more awkwardness*

i'm still not sure if that was supposed to mean that i, like most of the people i know that have gotten married recently, should have gotten knocked up the second the ceremony was over. because, you know, my main purpose on this planet, besides cleaning, is obviously bearing and caring for children. or if it meant she thought i had a shotgun wedding, which is ridiculous if you know anything about islam. or if she meant something else entirely, that i just do not get. i'm betting on the first, though, based on what i know of arabs.

*Last Night - The Strokes

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

it's coming to an end, yeah

at ten tonight (actually, it will probably be closer to nine:forty-five) i will be finished with the last lecture of my master's degree. does anyone else find that as crazy as i do? remember when i came on here and announced that i had gotten accepted into the program? remember when i first started it? yeah, it feels like yesterday to me, too. and now the whole thing is over, leaving me with a couple of cool tricks up my sleeve, a few new school friends, and another empty, grey, uncertain future staring me in the face.

i still haven't heard back from the phd program, and there are so many things riding on that decision. i need to know what i am doing next semester so i can plan accordingly. stupid mason. you may have noticed the underlying panic that's started to bubble under the surface whenever i mention school these days.

i mean, i still have the take-home exam to do this week, but after that i'm pretty much done.

i usually do an amazon shopping spree at the end of every semester, but i'm considering skipping it this year because i still have some books i haven't read from the border's going out of business sale. we're also planning a trip down to disney world (and of course harry potter world. EXCITING.) for the christmas break, and i think that may be a better use of my money. unless, of course, there are some books that you think i should get immediately. has anyone read the fourth eragon book, yet? how was it? was it worth me getting my hands on the third and reading that (as awful as everyone said it was)?

anyway, this post was mainly just to commemorate the last day of master's lectures. so yay for that.

*Sowing Season - Brand New

Monday, December 5, 2011

you're so good and you're so bad

you know what one of my favorite parts of the christmas season is? (aside from all of the christmas lights and the same three christmas songs repeated nonstop on the radio by a hundred and fifty different singers, that is.) the sudden influx of lifetime and hallmark movies. i mean, lifetime movies on a normal day are pretty great, but nothing comes close to being as truly, horrendously awesome and cliched and a christmas movie. and the minute december starts, we are bombarded with them.

one of the funnest things to do with these kind of movies, along with mocking the dialogue and counting the number of cliches they fall into, is trying to guess the famous actor/actress that the stars of the movie look like. because, if you watch enough of these, you'll notice that they all look like someone. for a lot of them, i'm guessing it's the only reason they are hired, because they sure weren't have been chosen for their nonexistent acting skills. and then there are the actors that are really not bad, but mixed in with the bad plot and dialogue, they don't stand a chance. i like to imagine why they stooped to doing the movie.

anyway, the other day i was watching my first one of these movies of the season, and the main female character was a dead ringer for kiera knightley. not just in looks, but also mannerisms. she had the same facial expressions and way that she moved. it was kind of creepy after a while because all i could think of was her spending her whole life trying to be kiera knightley. remember that show they once had when they would give people plastic surgery to look like their favorite star? yeah, she would be one of those people who went too far. but the movie was great: predictable with accents suddenly appearing and disappearing, which is always fun. and i generally liked the actors. i'm looking forward to this month.

so thank you lifetime, for your wonderfully bad movies that never fail to put a smile on my face. this year especially, i think i need all the cheesiness you never fail to offer.

*Kiss and Tell - You Me At Six

Saturday, December 3, 2011

i don't feel the way i've ever felt, i know

my headaches have been acting up again lately, and refusing to respond to any medicine, even the ones that used to work. think really, really bad headaches that force me to bed at eleven because it's dark and semi-quiet in the bedroom, but don't let me sleep because it's too painful to close my eyes. (i never understood this. shouldn't closing my eyes be the less painful of the two? i mean, isn't closed its default position and open when they actually have to work?) think headaches that make you want to throw up from how bad they are, only you don't because the last time you threw up was something like seven years ago and you don't want to break the streak.

in short, it's miserable.

my contacts used to give me headaches, so i stopped wearing them. the headaches are still here. i think it might be because of this cough that won't go away because my head almost explodes at every cough, but i can't seem to medicate the cough away either.

but that's not really what i wanted to say. in the spirit of confessions, here's another one. there's a little part of me (don't worry, this is not the part that really has any control of what i do. yet.) that doesn't want the headaches to go away. this part rejoices at every failed attempt to medicate them. it revels in the memory of the way the prescription medicine my doctor gave me closed up my throat so i could barely breathe. it's throwing a party in its little apartment in my brain, celebrating and exacerbating the headaches.

remember how i mentioned i was going through an identity crisis? i still haven't gone into much detail about it, but suffice it to say that it's pretty extensive, stretching into most aspects of my life. you know what part of me hasn't changed? what part i'm still 100% sure is me? my headaches. i was, am, and probably will always be the girl with the headaches. not as cool as a dragon tattoo, but it's me. it's what i know, and with so many other things uncertain, with so many other foundations shaken, well, part of me wants to hold on to the only stable thing about me right now.

i do realize that that sounds messed up.

*Pain - Jimmy Eat World

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

i'm coming clean

there are something like two weeks left of my master's degree. when did that happen? and i'm still waiting to hear back from the phd program. with uncertainty about my future once again hanging in the air, i think it's time for me to confess something. it's something that's been weighing on my mind for years now, a facade i've been keeping alive just because it was so convenient. but now, i think it's time that you all knew the truth. ready? here goes.

i am not a good student.

shocking, right? i mean, after being in school for a good eighty three percent of my life, i lave learned to be good at school. really good when the mood suits me. but i have in no way learned how to be a good student. you know the type? that studies and shows up to class and gets the grades and participates and learns stuff. i think that's where my biggest problem lies. i don't learn anything. i can ace a test with my eyes closed, but i will have no idea what you tested me on three point seven seconds later. i just figured out at a young age what teachers are likely to test me on, i keep it in my mind for the test, and then it's gone with the wind.

people just assume when they see me that i'm a good student because i have all the symptoms: i'm quiet, i like to read, i am usually writing in a notebook in class (they assume i'm taking notes), and i know a lot of the right answers. i'm here to finally correct this misconception.

you see, i am no better than a bad student who cheats. i have gotten through my education on smoke and mirrors, and now that it is almost done, maybe forever, i think that it is important for you to know this. i know nothing. and that will most likely come back to bite me now.

so when i fall flat on my face in the real world, and people whisper shocked comments behind their hands that they had such high hopes for me because i was such a good student, you can all go correct them. let them know that i have never once been a good student. tell them to drop their expectations to the level they would have for the burn out who sat in the back of the class sleeping and repeated fourth grade seven times. i'm kinda like him.

*Coming Clean - Hilary Duff (is it weird that this song has been randomly stuck in my head for the past day or so? it is, isn't it?)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

we've reached the end of the road

so i technically finished my novel today. but since i'm planning on going back and changing the beginning from third to first person before i take any time away from these characters and come back to edit, i feel weird saying i'm done. i got the required word count, at least. it's kind of weird how when i finished my first nano i felt happy more than anything, the second one was a flop because though i finished the words i didnt finish the story and never went back to it, but this one i feel kind of sad. probably just my mood lately.

i have a lot of editing to do on it, but i know where i want to take it and what i want to fix, so i'm hoping i actually will edit. i have a problem editing things that are longer than three pages. editing is just not as fun as the initial writing to me. i never understood the editing lovers, but i think i should learn from them.

i just wrote a few thousand words on my story, and switching over to writing this is harder than i thought. my mind is having trouble thinking about me so soon after thinking about my characters.

*Terrified - Story of the Year

Friday, November 25, 2011

i'm gonna be like him, yeah

you would think that after doing nanowrimo for two years in open office (this thanksgiving, i am thankful for open source software and candy cane oreos. you know, in case you were wondering. oh, and my family. always, always my family.) i would finally learn that its word count lives in a fantasy world of its own and i shouldn't trust it. but did i learn? nope. and did i trust it? yup. and was i shocked to find that my actual word count was a thousand words less than my open office word count even though i shouldn't be? well, of course! how am i supposed to remember that open office counts curly quotes (the pretty " for those like my sister who don't know) as words. i mean, just because i have a whole dramatic realization every year does not mean that it should stick with me. right? right.

so i was just thinking that my blog might be easier to read if i wasn't constantly interrupting myself and switching between thoughts like a pinball machine. what do you think?

speaking of nothing i was talking about, november is almost over, and do you know what that means? (aside from the fact that rudolph the red nosed reindeer and frosty the snowman will take over tv networks and suddenly everyone on the street will get more stressed and obnoxious than usual of course.) it means that i get to go back to reading. i still have a stack of books that are just waiting for me to finish my nano, which looks like it will take the entire month this time, and i can't wait to get into them. oh, how i have missed my fictional worlds.

ew, that reminds me. the other day i was watching gone with the wind (i've said this before, but if you haven't read the book, go get it and read it now) and afterwards was trying to find a quote from the book online (i didn't find it :(. sad.) but anyway, i did find this quote:

For Ashley was born of a line of men who used their leisure for thinking, not doing, for spinning brightly colored dreams that had in them no touch of reality... He looked on people, and he neither liked nor disliked them. He looked on life and was neither heartened nor saddened. He accepted the universe and his place in it for what they were and, shrugging, turned to his music and books and his better world.

and i was struck with a horrible realization that i'm an ashley. and how awful is that? i have always been a rhett butler girl through and through. i hate ashley. but reading that line when i wasn't lost in the world of the book made me realize that i'm him. i do nothing but dream and read and listen to music and ew, i hate ashley.

*Cat's in the Cradle - Harry Chapin 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sometimes a hurt is so deep, deep, deep
You think that you're gonna drown.
Sometimes all I can do is weep, weep, weep
With all this rain falling down.
~Rain, Patty Griffin

Deep within my soul, I feel
Nothing's like it used to be.
Sometimes I wish I could turn back time,
Impossible as it may seem,
But I wish I could so bad baby.
~Quit Playing Games With My Heart, Backstreet Boys

If you need to fall apart,
I can mend a broken heart.
If you need to crash, then crash and burn.
~Crash and Burn, Savage Garden

There are those who think that I'm strange,
They would box me up and tell me to change.
~Anchor, Mindy Geldhill
for the past two months i have been parking in the parking deck every tuesday night without a parking permit. i just didn't want to pay a hundred dollars for one class, and the deck is always empty at night anyway so it's not like i'm taking a spot that a paid parker would need. i have not once gotten a ticket. but because today just keeps getting better and better, i come to my car after a class that was worse than i was expecting it to be and find a nice yellow ticket waiting for me on my windshield.

today sucked.

the only part that didn't suck was my three hour writing session with ash.

update: i didn't even look at the ticket yesterday, but they used to be 25 dollars. you know how much i owe? 75. so annoying. and yes, i know it's my fault. whatever. 

it's been a really, really messed up week

november 2011 takes the cake for being the worst month ever.

to put you in the right perspective for this next story, you have to understand that lately i've been in one of those moods where finding out you've run out of milk makes you want to collapse on the kitchen floor in sobs and just die right there, where the death of a fly feels like the death of an entire country and you just want to mourn it forever, you know the kind? anyway, everything is blown way out of proportion, and of course this when stuff actually happens.

so i was in a store parking lot today starting to pull out of my spot when a van came down the aisle or lane or whatever the space between the parking spots is called. i'm waiting for it to pass and another car comes from the other direction and has to wait for the van too since he's kind of driving in the middle of the lane. the van passes and the lady in the other car waves her hand. i assume she's telling me to go ahead so she could take my spot. the parking lot was kinda crowded. so i move forward half an inch, notice she's starting to move forward too, and stop. i'm not exaggerating when i say that the car barely moved at all. it didn't come anywhere near her car, and i stopped immediately. instead of just continuing on, she stops and pounds on her horn like it gives her a power boost she desperately needs. she then gives an extra long beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep and i'm just sitting there waiting for her to move thinking, "are you kidding me?"

anyway, because that isn't enough (i assume because it's getting no reaction from me), she throws open her door and storms over to my car. my window was opened a bit and she starts screaming into it. here's the conversation we had:

her (in a very, very thick accent): what is your problem?
me (very calmly): i'm sorry, i thought you wanted my spot. when i realized you didn't, i stopped.
her: i don't know what country you come from or how it is over there, but here in america we don't do shit like that. the one driving has the right of way.
me: *i refrain from pointing out how ironic it is that she's telling me about how "we do things in america" when, out of the two of us, i'm the one that can actually speak english and has probably lived here longer, and give her that patient-ish stare you give a child throwing a temper tantrum as you wait for them to realize how immature and ineffectual they're being.*
her: maybe you should go back to your country.
me: *continue to stare at her*
her: or maybe if you took that scarf off you could see. (for those of you that don't know me/haven't seen me, i wear a headscarf.)
me: *continue to stare at her*

after a minute or so of this she stomps back to her car, slams her door shut behind her, and drives past me, honking a few hundred times for good measure.

now, if it was a normal day, i would have just laughed this off. i probably still wouldn't have said anything back to her because i really don't see the point in arguing with idiots. if you're being stupid, no matter who you are, all you're likely to get from me is silence, and maybe a look or two. but because it was today, because everything else seems to be falling apart despite my desperate attempts to hold it all together, i just wanted to turn around, go home, crawl into bed, and never come out. and it wasn't because what she said upset me; it didn't. i'm just waiting for that last proverbial straw, i'm looking for it with eyes wide open, just waiting to welcome with open arms: the excuse for me to completely break down. i think i may need to.

*Tonight, Tonight - Hot Chelle Rae

if there's so much i must be, can i still just be me the way i am?

in some cultures, being twenty three years old would make you a responsible, independent adult - or at least give you the option to be so. it would make you free. i do not live in one of those cultures. i grew up hearing that i would go from "my father's house to my husband's house," never my own house. i would go from being a daughter to a wife, with no time for being just me. i mean, sure, i could technically be me while i was playing the other roles, but it's not the same as when you're being you alone. there's never really any way to test your capabilities, find out what you're made of, without offending one person or another and being shunned by your entire world. i have often come on this blog to bemoan this fact (though i think i have stopped doing this as often as i once did). i have, a few times, wished for a narrower mind. i have said that it would have been easier had we not grown up with people telling us the world was full of opportunities ripe for the picking. we would not have grown up with expectations that can never be met and dreams that can never be fulfilled.

don't get me wrong, i like my life. i have a good life, full of blessings i am well aware of. i had a very happy childhood, i have always had food on the table, clothes to wear, and a roof over my head. i was not forced into marriage or kept out of school. i have a family that i know will always have my back no matter what, and it's actually made up of people i like. i have people to hold intelligent conversations with and people to act like a three year old with. i have a million and one things and people that i am thankful for every day. but still. there is always that "what if" hanging in there whispering about future selves that i will never meet. 

the other day, though, i was talking to my dad and he was saying that he made a mistake by raising us like he did, like the kids from other cultures who will grow up in ways that we shouldn't even dream about. one of his arguments was that if we were raised like the mindless puppets i have always been glad i'm not, we wouldn't be questioning things now. we would accept things easier. which may be true. but it's one thing saying that myself, and another thing entirely having it said to me. kind of like how i can complain about my parents all i want, but no one else is allowed to say a word about them, you know? with him saying it, my sisters and i turned into mistakes that he can never fix, eternal reminders of what he did wrong. it didn't matter that he was taking the blame, we became the faults. the thing i fear most is failure, and with just a few sentences he turned my life into something that had been doomed to failure from the start, a failure that could never be turned around. 

i love my dad. i really do. i don't always agree with everything he says or does, but i do understand where he comes from. (i was cursed with the ability to be able to see every stupid side of a situation, which makes arguing and getting mad pretty hard since i really, truly see where the other person is coming from and see how they think they're right. and you can't get mad at someone for doing what they think is the right thing.) he wasn't trying to be hurtful, i know that for a fact, and he was voicing an opinion that i have often voiced in the past. but when it comes right down to it, i think that my sisters and i were raised awesomely. i have always looked at the people who told me i was destined for a life of obscurity, cleaning, and gossip and secretly felt glad that i could see beyond that when they couldn't. even when i was wishing for ignorance, i was holding on to my knowledge like a lifeline. i was grasping my dreams of more like they were the only things keeping me going, because, at times, they were. they are what make me who i am. and suddenly i'm being told that one of the things i hold dearest to me, my ability to look out past the box i've been put in, was a mistake. i shouldn't see past the four walls closing me in, and if i was raised right, i wouldn't. 

i'm not looking for people to tell me that my dad is wrong. i'm not looking for reassurances that my life is not one big failure. i'm not looking for advice to throw off my culture an embrace life. i'm not sure what i'm looking for, really, except the ability to vent. i've recently been having a bit of an identity crisis, which is a post for another day, and this conversation just came at a really bad time for me.

i am having a really hard time posting this post.

*We Are One - The Lion King 2 Soundtrack

Monday, November 21, 2011

these are a few of my favorite things

if you buy one thing this winter, let it be the candy cane oreos. trust me on this one.

last night on the way home, we stopped by walmart because we needed brita water filters. walmart is a dangerous store for me, just like cvs. i can wander through those aisles needing nothing and come out with my hands full of bags of stuff i don't need or even particularly want. for that reason, i sent my husband to get the filters while i stood at customer service to return something. i didn't want to buy anything but the filters. as it turns out, on the way to the cashier i saw a stack of limited edition candy cane oreos. and who could resist a limited edition oreo? my husband "suggested" not getting them because he thought they were going to taste bad. but i'm the junk food expert in our house, and i had a feeling that they would be amazing. so i got them anyway.

and let me tell you, they are my new favorite thing in the world. go out and get some. right now. eat them and be happy. they're really that good.

*My Favorite Things - Julie Andrews

Sunday, November 20, 2011

write me a letter, write it today

there are very few people that would ever call me an optimist. i'm generally not one to buoy myself up with false hopes, but there is one time that i just cannot seem to suppress them, though i know deep inside they are most likely to come crashing down. every time i walk to the mailbox - and this has been going on for years - i will inflate the bubble of hope that there will be something there for me. something good. more often than not, i am wrong. on a good day, i might get a credit card offer. most days, though, find the mailbox filled with things for everyone else. it's very crushing. i recently starting receiving spanish pork catalogs. i'm still confused about them seeing as i'm not spanish, don't eat pork, and never signed up for them. but once a month one will be delivered to our mailbox with my name neatly printed on the back.

i was not always so mail deprived. once upon a time i was a little girl who would receive mail on a regular basis. and good mail, too. i had a few pen pals when i was younger, and it was great. looking back, my letters were formulaic, boring, and pretty pathetic. after the salutation, i always started with a mention of the weather. always. it was either, "the weather here has been warm lately. how is the weather over there?" or "the weather here has started to get cold. how is the weather over there?" sad, i  know. but i was only like eight. give me a break. regardless of the fact that the letters were nothing to write home about, i wrote them regularly. every time i would get a reply from one of my pen pals, i would run to my room, pull out my stationary - which i used to have lots of - and start a reply. it would be in the mail the next day and then i'd wait for a reply back.

the recipients of my letters were an odd bunch: my great grandfather, my mom's great aunt, and my grandmother's first grade teacher are among the most prominent in my mind. sometimes along with the letters they would send little treats - a bookmark or an eraser - that would make my day. the teacher used to send my sisters and i big packages full of old jewelry and books. they were great.

the point is, i grew up having a really good relationship with the mail. i developed expectations that, fifteen years later, have yet to die, though all of my pen pals have. (is that too blunt of a sentence? i cringed a little when writing it.) i miss the thrill of getting handwritten letters in the mail, the excitement of getting a glimpse into another's life, even if that other was literally ten times my age. i miss getting good mail. i need to find myself some new pen pals is what i'm thinking.

oh, and i went to see cirque du soleil: qidam yesterday. i felt that it should be mentioned to, if for no other reason, make sure it is remembered.

*Write Me a Letter - Aerosmith

Thursday, November 17, 2011

oh, i believe in yesterday

i wake up this morning tired, which seems to be the new theme of my life. i have a gazillion things to do today and after spending half an hour checking my mail and basically wasting my time on the internet, i decided to get my writing finished first. i plug the thumb drive i've been storing my novel on into my computer and for some strange reason i see that it is installing the driver for the device, though the driver has been installed for a while now. and then, because things like to go wrong when i don't have time for them, windows tells me that it cannot recognize the drive and wants to format it. uhh... no. that is my novel on there and i refuse to delete it. i try the usb in joe, hoping that junior was just being stupid, but the same error popped up. and now i'm about ready to just go into a corner and cry about everything. (lack of good sleep will do that to a person, you know.)

okay, so before i go getting you all feeling too sorry for me, i did have a backup of it saved onto my computer. the other day i thought to myself, it would really suck if my usb stopped working and so i backed it up. i think now that that was tempting fate a bit too much. but that copy is missing the last two thousand or so words, and the last two thousand words are where i wrote all the exciting-ish things that i don't want to rewrite for several reasons that i will not list here. since i refuse to rewrite it, i have to try and recover it which will take time and stuff, and i just wanted to write, and now i can't, and this sucks.

plus it's gloomy outside and cold and wet. and i have to make the t-shirts for my brother's birthday on sunday which i know are going to turn out awful because, as i learned last night, i can't draw food to save my life. and i'm just tired and annoyed and not liking today at all.

and the title doesn't really fit. whatever.

*Yesterday - The Beatles

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

i don't care who you are, where you're from, what you did

my nails are still orange. i don't know what to do about them. i mean, they're starting to grow out a bit to their normal color, but this is taking forever.

anyway, yesterday i met up with a friend for the biggest failure of a writing session i've ever seen. i wrote just over four hundred words in two plus hours, and he wrote even less. we'll get to actually writing next week. but as a catch-up hang out session it was pretty awesome, if i do say so myself. except for the part where a girl fresh from my old high school decided to complicate my life by forcing me to go out of my way to not see her because she was doing something secretive and she didn't want anyone she "knew" to see her. that doesn't make much sense partly because it needs a whole long, complicated, stupid story to fully make you understand what happened, and partly because, well, it just didn't make any sense.

what i don't think these children realize is that i really couldn't care any less about what they're doing with their lives. i don't know you, and even if i did i still wouldn't care. i mean, honestly, i do not spend my free time judging you or gossiping about you. not because i'm some kind of saint that just doesn't do that stuff, but because you are just not worth it. really. you rate so low on my radar that i'm not even sure you exist. so, seriously, children, stop adding me on facebook just to put me on limited profile. the only reason i accept your request is because i don't want to seem rude. don't run away when i pass you and your group of friends that are not ISA-sanctioned. i don't care who you hang out with. and don't make the mistake of assuming that the things going on in your life make any difference to me whatsoever just because we went to the same school. they don't.

*As Long As You Love Me - Backstreet Boys

Monday, November 14, 2011

you know what's really hard to do? think up a band's name that is not already taken. my god are there a lot of bands out there, and they have the most random names. i sat in my room a few nights ago trying to think up a name for my main character's favorite band because she kept mentioning it and i was tired of writing, "my favorite band...." anyway, i guess i was procrastinating because i didn't want to use a real band's name and kept googling every random name that i came up with. i was searching stuff that i saw in my room, heard from the tv hum coming from the living room, random words from my spam mail, and anything else that came into my head. i searched for  the walking dead, the rattling bones, the horse's mouth, the lines, the undead, the magic bones, the unnamed band, and a gajillion others. and they all came up with a band page. i finally ended up naming the band after the bottle of static guard sitting on my dresser, but i honestly think that the static guard is cooler band name than the horse's mouth. is that just me?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

you think you're cooler than me

my phone has an ego issue. it happened a short while after i mentioned it in my blog. i think that, being a dumb phone, it didn't realize that i wasn't really saying anything good about it, and the whole thing went to its head. now it simply refuses to do its job right, taking hours, or even days, to pass on the messages people leave it for me. it refuses to remember anything i want it to, claiming that its memory is filled with more important things. and it's apparently too dignified to raise its voice too loud to tell me that someone is calling me. it's really starting to get ridiculous, not to mention extremely inconvenient, and i'm thinking i'll have to go buy myself a new one now. stupid technology with its expiration dates. do you think that cans connected with a string ever got lazy on the job? do you think you needed to get new cans every few years? no. though i imagine the string might get some wear and tear.

and because it's november, and i'm sure you're all super interested in my nano-ing, it's time for my nano problems, though i'm not so sure if they're problems or not yet. i was writing this year's story by switching narratives between two characters. one of them was writing in first person, and one was writing in third person. first person has always been easier for me to write, but this character just seemed to work better in third. so i went with it. i recently noticed that i've started writing her in first person, too, though. for the past couple of days i had to go back every few paragraphs and switch all the i's with she's. i finally decided today that that was taking to long and kept interrupting the flow of my writing so i'm switching her to s first person narrator as well. eventually i'll go back and fix the beginning. i'm just not sure if i can write two first person characters and keep their voices separate. we'll just have to wait and see how it goes, though, i guess.

*Cooler Than Me - Mike Posner

Friday, November 11, 2011

11:11 just struck

so this week has been crazy. filled with pretty menial things in itself, it has felt like a whirlwind of commotion with the whole being way bigger than the sum of its parts.

monday held long shopping trips with my sister as she struggled to find "the perfect outfit" for her senior pictures that day. while she did manage to find some things to buy, after a few hours at the mall, she decided to just wear the outfit she had pulled out of her closet that very morning. typical. then after sitting with my brothers (who were off this week) at my parents' house and playing several thousand rounds of gin rummy, my husband came back from school, we watched a movie, and then hung around the mall for a midnight release of some video game that we ended up not getting that night anyway.

the next day saw a hectic morning of cleaning and cooking, an afternoon of my family coming over (it was the first time my parents visited after i got married and it took a lot of failed plans before it worked out), and then an evening and night of class where we spent mind numbing hours of looking through the registry. that was fun.

wednesday morning my nephews and sister came over, i babysat my younger nephew, my brothers came for a sleepover, we had four loud kids playing in our small apartment, and the day ended with milkshakes in the freezing cold. not the smartest of ideas.

thursday morning we took the boys to the playground to play with my nephews, and when the rain and cold got to be too much to ignore, we went bowling. we came home for lunch and then the boys and i went for a walk in the cold. ali (my youngest brother) fell in a hole... kinda... and after playing video games until they were both slap happy, the day (which sounds uneventful but was really never ending and filled with quite a lot of moping and sulking)finally ended.

today we all went to run errands in the morning. i went to target to get the new - and last - harry potter with the extra documentary that i still think should not just be a target exclusive. we brought the boys back to my parents house, i sat with my mom for a bit, and then we went to the mall again (have i ever mentioned that i'm not a mall person?), went to watch a movie, got chinese take-out because all the restaurants were jam packed full. i saw my old math teacher at the movies who i really liked, so that was fun. when we got home, i watched harry potter while my husband fell asleep on the couch.

anyway, i didn't mean to make you all a laundry list of my week, but i felt that i had to write it out so my mind can see that it really isn't as crazy as it felt like. i think the fact that i haven't gotten a decent night's worth of sleep in a long time has something to do with it. but i have managed to do some writing on my nano novel so i'm only a few thousand words behind. totally catching up-able. i just need to update my word count on here and do a couple of five thousand word days.

oh, and it's 11:11 on 11/11/11 (or it was when i started this post). i found that cool. which is why i started writing this thing in the first place.

*Let's Just Get Married - Archie Star

Sunday, November 6, 2011

turn back the clock

i have orange nails. no, i'm not wearing nail polish, the nails themselves are actually orange. i'm not sure how it happened. last week i was using orange paint, but i also had nail polish on which protected my nails from any paint, or so i thought. a few days later, i took off the nail polish to find my nails - all ten of them - died orange. the whole nail, i'm not talking about little spots here. and the first day i took the polish off, my fingers were all tingly all day. it was weird. i don't know what happened, and i don't know what to do about it. i took off my nail polish on friday, and they're still orange. crazy stuff, i tell you.

on a different note, today i wore heels for the first time in years (unless you count weddings in the summer, which i don't because i do like zero walking then). i'm not quite sure how that happened, but i guess i turned into hobo-mode when i entered grad school and just never turned it off. during undergrad, i wore heels every presentation, most classes i had to dress up, and ceremonies. grad school came along and i lived off of flip flops and sneakers (which were always my favorites anyway).

moving on. we turned the clocks back an hour last night, and, as usual, i feel like my whole life was thrown off-balance. i can never decide if i'm one of the love daylights saving or hate daylights saving people. i mean, i used to only do work as long as the sun was shining, so when i got home at five and the sun would go down at five thirty (high school days), i would never get anything done. but at the same time, i always loved thinking it was late and then looking at the clock and realizing it was still really early. guess my indecisiveness extends to this as well.

*Brand New Day - Ryan Star

Friday, November 4, 2011

la la la whatever

so today is looking like the first day (of probably many) this month that i didn't get my word count, let alone any writing, done. unless i manage to write a thousand some words in the next three hours or so, but to be honest i don't really see that happening. i mean, my husband is watching thundercats and i've heard a lot about it and watched some clips from a friend, but i've never actually seen an episode myself. and there are forgetful elephants with really bad accents on my tv. who could resist, right? plus, i really like the premise of my novel and feel like i'm butchering it with my words and i want to do it justice which at the moments seems to mean keeping it in my head, where it's been for a while. i probably should have stuck with my original idea and just spew words without caring instead of switching. oh well.

don't worry. that's all the whining i will be doing to you lovely people.

changing the subject, the other day i was leaving my apartment to go to school and at a red light, checked my pockets and bag and couldn't find my phone. my first thought was, "ugh great. i have to remember to gmail text my sister to tell her where to meet me (we carpool tuesday nights) and my husband in case he decides to ask me to get something on my way back." and then i stopped thinking about it. i make a quick cvs stop on my way to class because i am a cvs addict, i can admit it. anyway, i'm walking through the aisles and pull my phone out of my pocket to check the time (despite the fact that i now feel naked without a watch on, my phone is still the first place i go for the time). i stick it back in my pocket, but then pull it out thinking, "i might as well just text everyone now that i forgot my phone in case i forget when i get to campus." so i write out an overly long text and i'm about to hit send when it hits me that i couldn't be texting them if i had actually forgotten my phone. i was just glad i remembered before i texted. i'm also the kind of person who will look for their phone when they're on it. because i'm just smart like that. i have not reached the level of looking for my glasses while wearing them, but i think that may just be because i'm blind without them so if i can see clearly, i know when they are.

point of the story is, i'm getting more and more scatterbrained lately. i say something, and three seconds later i've completely forgotten it. i'm also getting lazier, something i never thought possible. i'm blaming that on the reason why i'm ignoring the interesting parts of my plot to have my character write a grocery list.

but i sat in my parents kitchen today with my nephew and spent a good fifteen minutes just listing everything we liked from different farm animals to foods to people to soap and water (i was surprised when he said that), and i realized that with so many things to like, getting a little scatterbrained is really not so bad.

i did not read over this post. it may be riddled with typos.

update: i wrote my words so most of this post is now invalid.

*Tonight, Tonight - Hot Chelle Rae

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

needless to say i'm odds and ends

i woke up today with the motivation to write. well, kinda, sort, not really. i woke up with the desire to write but no motivation to get started. so i did what i do best. i procrastinated. i checked all of my emails and contemplated forwarding everything over to the new ugly email system my school has decided to switch to. (i decided to leave that for tomorrow.) i read all the blogs that were updated and checked the items on my ebay watch list that were ending soon. i decided not to buy anything. i thought about starting to knit my brother's hat, but decided to save that for after i write. i read the first november pep talk, didn't get too pepped, and then decided to just buckle down and write. i opened the story i started on yesterday and... decided that maybe i want to change it. maybe i'll write both for a while and see which one writes easier. i started to think that was smart and then i decided that it was a bad idea and i came here to blog to regain some sanity.

i think i will go get some cereal for breakfast. i eat most types of cereal without milk, but i have to have milk with granola and shredded wheat. cheerios and honey bunches of oats can go either way. because, you know, you really wanted to know that.

to prevent this post from being an entire waste of your time, did you know that lemons contain more sugar than strawberries and that strawberries are the only fruit that grows its seeds on the outside? did you realize that the names of all the continents start and end with the same letter? did you know that bats always turn left when exiting a cave?

*Take on Me - A-ha

Monday, October 31, 2011

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

hey look, the nanowrimo word count is back (over to the left). which means nanowrimo is starting in less than a day. and i still can't decide which story i want to work on, but i'm sure one will rush to the front of my brain when i actually get down to writing tomorrow. it's nothing to worry about, right? right. (i just know this will be like last year when i switch stories halfway through the first week. i can feel it. ugh.) this also means that it's time for me to start my yearly unpaid advertising for nano and tell all of you to join the awesome insanity and write a novel in a month. if you have nothing to do next month, this is a great way to fill your time, but it's extra super awesome if you have school and work and chores and family and tv and a whole bunch of other things that you have to do at the same time. and i can't even describe the feeling i got the first time i held an actual bound book in my hand that i wrote (forget the fact that the plot had holes and the grammar was a bit off, it was still awesome). just do it for that feeling. so anyway, sign up at nanowrimo.org, add me as a friend (sarah_k), and start a novel tomorrow. trust me, you won't regret it.

in other exciting news... um... actually, to be honest there's really nothing exciting going on in my life as usual. i'm babysitting my nephew on wednesday and i'm excited for that because i think he's way too attached to his mom, but i don't think that will interest any of you too much. my grandma will be coming down soon, and that's always fun. but i won't be living in the same house so i dunno how much i'll actually get to see her. today is halloween, but since i don't really do anything for halloween it's not really exciting. and besides that, there's nothing really going on. oh except for all of the really cool stuff i've been learning in class which i think is awesome but don't really want to bore all of you with cause you might not be as dorky as i am.

*That Time of Year - Sick Puppies

Sunday, October 30, 2011

i'll play guitar and knit and cook and basically just wonder when will my life begin?

so yesterday i went to get my hair cut, and i almost had a heart attack. with every clip of the scissors breathing became more and more difficult. i usually just take a few inches off the bottom, but yesterday i cut off an entire foot (possibly more?). i mean, it's still technically "long" in the sense of the word that any hair under the shoulder blades is long, but it feels so short. last night i was braiding it and half of my braid was missing. i don't know how people can cut their hair short.

also, yesterday we had snow. in october. it was weird. and today it is sunny. the weather is obviously on crack. but i got to wear my koala hat and an old man complimented me on it. you can guess how cool i felt.

on another note, i didn't want to be reading a book when nanowrimo started because i've noticed that my mind tends to unintentionally transfer stuff from the story i'm reading to the story i'm writing. not plagiarism or anything, but i was reading the help the other day and all my characters stared to talk with a southern twang they didnt have a week before. plus, it's harder to write crap when you're reading something that is not crap. very discouraging. so anyway, after i finished my last book i didn't pick up another and to fill the time i've been knitting. and washing dishes. and doing laundry. and baking. and i feel like rapunzel in the beginning of tangled. minus the book reading.

has anyone else noticed that october is taking a really long time to finish? usually september is the long month and october flies by. maybe only having one class this semester is messing with my [insert proper word here cause i can't think of it].

*When Will My Life Begin? - Mandy Moore

Saturday, October 29, 2011

all the small things

sometimes i wonder about the small things that disappear with a person when s/he dies. the little nuances in character that really made the person unique. the things that some people may have never even known about them. take me for example, when i die, people may remember that i liked books, but would they remember which book i read when i was feeling depressed? which one i read for light reading during stressful days? which ones held my favorite characters and which i couldn't stand? would they remember that i used scraps of whatever for bookmarks - receipts, tags, gum wrappers, ticket stubs - and that the bookmarks would stay in the books to be used forever after that? they may remember that i liked to write, but would they remember which pieces i was most proud of? would they remember that my favorite punctuation was the question mark or that i could never really write anything worthwhile when i was happy? would they know that anything creative was written with openoffice writer instead of ms word and why? would they remember my many insecurities or just that i handed out cockiness by the bucketful?

when people die (or even just leave, but you know, i prefer the morbid), the ones they leave behind tend to remember memories about them instead of the people themselves. they remember what they want and who they want. the random pieces that made them a whole person are lost somewhere in the dirt they're buried in. 

for future reference, here are some of the random things that make me me:

[one] the streaks left in the carpet after vacuuming make me happy.
[two] folding clothes is the bane of my existence.
[three] my favorite place is the ocean. large bodies of water fill me with a mixture of hope and sadness that makes my chest tight.
[four] i'm not a fan of feet.
[five] half of what i say is quoted from a book/movie/tv show.
[six] i don't like even numbers.
[seven] i like to sit in traffic and listen to good music.
[eight] growing up, all of my toys were boys. even now, most of my stuff that i name get boys' names (joe, junior, jj). 
[nine] i've always regretted the fact that i never took a real english/writing/literature class since ap english in high school.
[ten] i hate change because the unknown brings with it a higher risk of failure, and failure is my biggest fear. 
[eleven] i don't ask for help from others.
[twelve] i like the feel of sore muscles after exercising, but rarely have the will power to get up and exercise.
[thirteen] i get buyers remorse over just about anything, so it takes me forever to actually buy something.
[fourteen] colored socks make me happy. 
[fifteen] my favorite number is fifteen, followed by seven and nine. 

*All the Small Things - Blink 182

Thursday, October 27, 2011

don't tell me you don't know

i can't remember which class it was, or even if it was high school or undergrad, but i remember once learning about the origins/meanings behind nursery rhymes and finding them fascinating. i recently came across the meaning behind "peter, peter, pumpkin eater" and my interest was rekindled. my interpretation growing up of some of them was so off base it's ridiculous. here are a few rhymes, what i thought they meant, and what they really mean.

baa baa black sheep,
have you any wool?
yes sir, yes sir, three bags full:
one for my master, one for my dame, 
one for the little boy who lives down the lane

growing up, i thought with full conviction that this was just about a talking black sheep who had three bags of wool to give to specific people. 

i was originally taught that this rhyme was about the taxes people were suffering from in 1275 to the fifteenth century when they had to give, roughly, one third to the king and one third to the church and only keep one third for themselves. apparently now people are arguing this origin, but being the first one i ever learned, i thought i'd put it here anyway. 

fun fact: baa baa black sheep was one of the first songs ever to be digitally recorded and played on a computer in 1951.

jack sprat could eat no fat,
his wife could eat no lean,
and so between the two of them
they licked the platter clean.

growing up, i thought this was about a married couple with digestion problems. jack could eat nothing fatty and his wife only like fatty things. they were a perfect match because they could perfectly finish a plate between them.

instead, jack sprat is reputed to be king charles the first, and his wife henrietta maria. king charles apparently wanted to wage war on spain, but parliament wouldn't finance it (so he was lean). he dismembered parliament and his wife imposed an illegal war tax (to get some fat). 

jack and jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.
jack fell down and broke his crown,
and jill came tumbling after.

this of course was about two kids who went to a well on the top of the hill. i always believed that jack fell own, broke his head, and died which made jill faint and she tumbled down the hill too. she didn't die, though.

the roots of this rhyme lay in france, and the title characters refer to king louis xvi and queen marie antoinette. during the reign of terror, he was beheaded first (lost his crown) and she followed. 

peter, peter, pumpkin eater
had a wife but couldn't keep her.
he put her in a pumpkin shell,
and there he kept her very well.

i always (up until recently) thought this was about a dude named peter that couldn't keep his wife. (my reasons for this ranged from he didn't have a house to it was a secret marriage.) anyway, he sticks her in a huge pumpkin house, and they live happily every after.

this rhyme was started in america to warn young girls away from infidelity. apparently, peter's wife wasn't the most faithful. his way to deal with this was to kill her and hide her body in a pumpkin shell. after that, he could make sure she never betrayed him. 

*Over It - Relient K

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

what do you think of me?

a couple of days days ago, i bought a few round knitting looms because i'm just really cool like that. my sister saw them in my car and asked what i was going to make, and this was the subsequent conversation.

me: hats. lots of hats.
her: why?
me: i'm making them for SPEW.
her: SPEW?
me: yeah, you know, the society for the promotion of elfish warfare... to protect the rights of house elves.
her: huh?
me: harry potter, stupid. it was in the last book of the series that you read... hermione made a bunch of hats to liberate the house elves.
her: oh.

the next day she came over and started making a hat of her own. while she's knitting, she asks, "so who are you giving these to again? elves?" i laugh and say, "yeah, to free them," thinking she had realized that i wasn't serious the night before. apparently, she hadn't, which i realized a few minutes later into the conversation. that was when i started to laugh at her and she started to defend herself and then say that if there was a charity event to give hats to the homeless for winter and they used the SPEW thing, they would be very successful.

i'm not sure which is worse: the fact that she believed that i was making hats for fictional characters or the fact that me making hats for fictional characters is believable.

anyway, i'm about halfway done with my first hat. it's coming out smaller than i was expecting (that's what i get for listening to my sister and husband and using the smaller loom) but it's still pretty awesome. i've never made a hat before.

*So Damn Beautiful - Polaroid

Sunday, October 23, 2011

brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things

this morning, i made peanut butter cookies. i have a really bad history with homemade peanut butter cookies. they either turn out way to salty (we had this cookie recipe book that apparently thought salt was the best flavor for every cookie under the sun) or like watery and gross (that was when my sister made them) or something else goes wrong. but today's cookies were fantastic. the fact that there are only two left from the two and a half dozen that came out of the oven this morning can attest to that. the recipe is officially going into my favorites. oh, and i also think that my oven has decided to like me (finally), so there's that. overall a successful day for baking.

completely switching gears here, but for the last five or so years of my life, i have been known to ask hopefully every time anyone checks the mail if there is anything for me. there rarely ever is, and when i do get mail it's usually a credit card offer. sad, i know. but lately, the mail has been quite exciting for me. for the past week, i have opened the mail box to find packages from my grandma. packages! for me! is there anything more exciting? (well, except for the fact that she seem to alternate between spelling my name with and without the "h" at the end when i am definitely an h kinda person, but i forgive her because i'm understanding like that.) they have mostly been stuff about travel and attractions (i think she's trying to tell me something) and my list of places i must see before i die has grown ridiculously. i also got a prize for a raffle i won (free little gym membership for my nephew) and coupons for free ice cream and it's just all over wonderful.

speaking of raffles and winning, i've noticed that i've become luckier since my marriage. i can count the number of contests and raffles i won before i got married on one hand and still use that hand pretty well. but whenever i mention the fact that i'm married now, i win. case in point: i filled out a survey when in first got married (it was the first time i put my status as married on a form. huge moment.) and won one of the three gift cards to the gap they were giving out. case in point: i filled out a raffle ticket at a fall festival recently and had to put my "spouse's name" and ended up winning one hundred and thirty five dollars worth of gym classes for my nephew. i'm trying to think of a third case in point to make myself sound more convincing, but i really don't  get the opportunity to enter many raffles.

anyway, good cookies, packages, and raffle luck. my day (read: week) went well.

*My Favorite Things - The Sound of Music Soundtrack

Thursday, October 20, 2011

you want thingamabobs? i've got twenty! but who cares? no big deal

it feels like, as a society, we are taught to value nouns. we are constantly striving to obtain the nouns in life. people, places, things. money, love, happiness. we like to collect things and judge others on the size of their collections. i'm better than her because of the clothes i'm wearing. i'm jealous of him because he lives in a bigger house.

verbs are only accepted as the necessary way to get to a noun. the more verbs you go through, the better the noun, but the verbs are otherwise disposable. happiness is better than being happy. we go around looking for the love of our life, forgetting to actually be in love. we strive for knowledge, but the act of learning is something we do grudgingly. we want peace but don't want to get along. actions are too common. they are the things that are better hidden under the rug, pushed into the shadow of the trophy we can put on display.

your verb is only accepted if you have the nouns to back it up. a person who writes is not a writer until s/he has a book to prove it. a person who cooks is not chef without a restaurant to cook in. we need a ribbon at the end of a race to validate running around the track.

why can't we just be content with verbs? why does the end have to justify the means to make the journey worthwhile? why can't we just enjoy the journey itself?

when we value life more than living, it's easy to fear death and forget that every minute we are dying.

*Part of Your World - The Little Mermaid Soundtrack

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

it's a beautiful day

today is just one of those days when the weather is perfect and there's good food and i can't seem to stop yawning and i've been productive and lazy at the same time and i kind of just want to sit and stare off into the distance for the rest of eternity. you know the ones?

anyway, i was resubmitting a form for my phd application in person this morning because mason is pernickety and can't seem to understand the concept that if i had in-state tuition for undergrad, and i had in-state tuition for my masters, and i haven't left the state, that i should get in-state tuition for my phd... you know, if i get accepted and everything. so i'm giving in my form and the admissions person says, "are you anisah's sister?" which i am and had to confess to, but it struck me how for most of my life i've been referred to as someone's sister. i'm rarely just me, and i think i might kind of like to be once and a while.

i don't think i'll be able to do much concentrating in class tonight. it feels like i haven't been to class in years because last week's was cancelled and i think i might have forgotten how to go to class and sit and pay attention and learn. if ever there was a day when classes should be cancelled so we could all contemplate the whiteness of the walls, today is it. i think the breeze coming in through the window is messing with my brain.

a part of me really wants to sleep right now. another parts wants to go sit outside and let the sun beat on my back and read the book that for some reason is taking me forever to read. instead, i have to keep reminding myself that i have a class to go to tonight. yawn.

since i can't seem to hold on to a point here, please enjoy this video that i find quite awesome.

*Beautiful Day - U2

Sunday, October 16, 2011

there's too much food on my plate

i woke up today, took a shower, and then made myself a grilled bagel (have i ever mentioned my love for grilled bagels on here? i lovelovelove them) with banana peppers for breakfast. my husband had a cheddar cheese omelet and toast with jam and butter. we just opened our fridge and everything was right there waiting for us to devour it. fresh and packaged and kept cool by electricity. when breakfast comes this easily to you, it's sometimes hard not to take it for granted.

but for a lot of the world, fridges filled with food is not something to sneeze at. for some people, it's about as unobtainable as unicorns and leprechauns. we all grew up with our parents telling us to finish our plates because there were starving children in africa. as we grow older, we are asked to do more for these children than just eat our vegetables. and with the entire world in a recession, it's not only the children in africa who are starving anymore. when you have a fridge full of food, it's the least you can do to try and help those who don't. just being more conscientious about the food crisis is a step in the right direction, though there are several places you could go to donate money. you could also look up your local food bank and donate stuff there. there are easier ways to help, too, like playing online games like free rice which donates twenty grains of rice for every correct vocabulary word you get.

while still debating about what to write for this year's blog action day, i came across this site which has ten facts about food that i found really cool. for example, did you know that the color of the twisty-tie thing on bread changes in accordance with which day the bread was baked? or how about that sodas are called soft drinks because soft drinks were those with no alcohol, as compared to "hard drinks?" you know how twinkies supposedly last forever? yeah, well, their shelf life is really only twenty five days. i'll let you all go read through the rest yourself, but there were some really cool things on there.

anyway, food. stop taking it for granted.

*Too Much Food - Jason Mraz

Saturday, October 15, 2011

i watch my dreams die

i'm drowning in still-born dreams, getting tangled up in hopes i spun in moments of delusion, choking on wishes i now refuse to voice. i'm cursing my stupidity and tearing up the pages of my past, setting fire to older starry-eyed versions of myself and burying the ashes three hundred feet below ground. i'm stomping on the dirt and booking a one way trip to the moon to get as far away from them as i can.

i'm crying myself dry and peeling off the skin i spent years growing. i'm pulling out treacherous veins and twisting my tongue to squeeze out all offending words. i'm a garage sale of parts you can get for a bargain. buy my smile for two broken promises, my fingers for the sound of popping bubbles and one gilded lie. i'll trade you my mind for your stubborn logic and throw in years of blood, sweat, and tears for free. take everything i have; it was never worth much.

my heart is beating out seventy-six rejections a minute, my lungs inhaling disappointment and exhaling failure. i'm in this race to lose because it's the only thing i'm good at. i collect criticisms and bruises, put them on display under the glaring light of reality. i watch my reflection as the twinkle leaves my eye and what i used to call stardust turns my world a drab, colorless imitation of what i pretended it was. i'm sending my imaginary friends packing and forgetting to exchange emails.

dress me in assembly line grey, and take back my imagination. i don't want it, i don't need it, it never did me much good. turn my magic into technology and my art into science. fit me with blinders and give me a map of how to live my life. hand me a check list and i will follow it religiously. turn me into a robot and i will march to the beat of your drum. mine was always off-tune anyway. tell me what to be, and i will be it. tell me what not to be, and i will watch the possibilities sprout wings and fly away.

i give up. i give up. i give up.

*False Hope - Taking Back Sunday

Thursday, October 13, 2011

you've got to get yourself together, you've got stuck in a moment, and now you can't get out of it

Procrastination is my soul mate. he's my lifelong companion, the one i can always count on. he snuck into my room one day when Responsibility first introduced herself to me, and i swore my life to him then. we make secret clubs, and he tells me jokes behind Responsibility's back. Being older, Responsibility feels that it's her job to keep us in line, but she can't say anything when, really, we're not doing anything wrong. the fact that we don't do things her way has always rubbed her the wrong way, and that's made it hard for the three of us to ever really become friends. but i've always respected her. it's hard not to.

Apathy and i go way back. i met her when she was still going by "i don't care" and my parents chose all my clothes. most people i knew back then didn't like her, she still hasn't grown on very many, but that's never bothered her. she really couldn't care less. we used to throw rocks at Motivation on the playground - not one of my proudest moments - and i don't think Motivation ever really got over it. she still stays clear of the two of us. Apathy and i have one of those friendships when we can sit for hours together and just do nothing, say nothing, and think nothing without the pressing need for action weighing down on us. we thought about doing something the other day, but we couldn't get excited enough about it.

a couple of weeks ago, Lethargy came over asking for a place to stay for a day or two. at first i thought it was my old friend Laziness just going through a hard time, but i was quick to realize my mistake. Laziness has a charm about him that Lethargy lacks, like the attraction of dishevelment, crooked smiles, and stubble. Lethargy has all the charm of a growing mold. He has not just taken over my couch, but my entire apartment. even the air seems infected with the listlessness the rest of us are feeling. i think it's time for Lethargy to move on, but i can't seem to muster the energy to kick him out.

i'm hoping that november will bring with it Insanity and Obsession. i met them a couple of years ago after deciding to take part in nanowrimo for the first time and they have a way about them that i'm sure will scare Lethargy off. or, at least i hope it will. if they can't help me then i may just have to go play nice with the good habits, and i've been alienating them lately. i'm not sure if they'll forgive me.

*Stuck in a Moment - U2

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

it's been a long day

today was a long day. a long, long day. today started at four when my body decided that it just wouldn't go back to sleep to avoid hitting snooze on my alarm one too many times. it also decided to spend the next hour and a half until my alarm actually went off and i got out of bed covering and uncovering myself because it couldn't decide if it was hot or cold. after leaving the house before the sun was even considering coming out for the day, i went over to my parents house to pick up my sister. together, along with my husband who was acting as driver before i could really wake up, we made our way over to the testing center to finally take our gre's. i thought i was unprepared last time because the only "studying" i did was to take an online practice test and a half. that was the last time i prepared for this test. add that to the fact that my brain was not fully functioning yet (while waiting for the building to open i was completely slaphappy. the radio played that no no no cat, and i was dying of laughter over it among other things) and i was pretty worried, though my mind didn't realize it at the time. thankfully, once i finally was able to sit in front of the computer and get the test started, my mind and body automatically went into test mode, a comfortable place for me. when i got my result range at the end, i was happy enough with it that i don't think i'm going to bother with a retest.

after the test my sister, husband, and i went out for a bagel breakfast. again. i swear that ever since my brother-in-law introduced us to this bagel place a few years ago a huge chunk of its profits has come from my sisters and i.

later in the day i went to my parents house and say with my mom, sister, and nephews. then my cousin and her husband and my dad came home. (did i mention that my cousin and her husband made a stop in DC to see us on their honeymoon? no? well, consider it mentioned.) that meant pretending i wasn't tired and being my semi-fake version of me that i use with some of my cousins that i am not particularly close to. the overly laughing and smiling and polite version. once my brothers came home we went out to olive garden. when we got home i helped my brothers with their homework, did a bit of reading with them, and then sat on the couch and alternated between reading my book and watching criminal minds with my parents.

i left my parents' house at ten, got home, couldn't find my computer and searched the apartment for it until finally finding it between the couch cushions. and here i am, blogging this in the commercial breaks of top chef: just desserts. and i am tired and can't wait until my head hits my pillow.

oh, and steve jobs died today. you know, in case you didn't know. must have been a long-ish day for him too.

*Long Day - Matchbox 20 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

i'm sorry for the way i am

i think that it's just about time for me to issue a formal apology to the members of the IT community for being, as my brothers would say, "a suckish IT person."

i would like to apologize for the fact that i am perhaps the last person on earth that doesn't have a smart phone. the crappy thing i've been carrying around for the past three years or so came free from the phone company, has the memory of the proverbial goldfish, and has a camera that's not even good enough to be measured in megapixels. but to be completely honest, i hate phones and really don't think spending hundreds of dollars on something that will stay in a pocket or bag ignored for days is a very good investment. i always said i was too practical to be cool.

i am sorry that i prefer ink to pixels. i know that ereaders are the coolest thing since the ibm personal computer. they're practical and efficient and good for the environment. they're portable and convenient and everything else. i know all that, i really do. i have an ereader that i love. i named him and everything. but i will always prefer the actual turning of pages over pressing a button, and i am sorry that that is so terribly un-IT of me.

i apologize for choosing novels over computer manuals and personal blogs over info security ones. i'm sorry that the idea of a computer convention does not send chills of excitement running up and down my spine. i apologize for not keeping up with all of the technological advances happening every day. i know i should be more excited for my wired magazine to come than for my writer's digest, but most of the time i'm just not. i'm sorry that i don't want to electronify the entire world. i'm sorry.

i've seen the looks and and rolled eyes. i've heard the snickers and words whispered behind cupped hands.i know. but before you kick me out, i'd just like to say that i'm really not bad at this whole computer thing, and i actually do like it. well, most of the time. i've been studying it for a while, and that's got to count for something. i think the IT crowd is hilarious, read xkcd comics, and honestly laugh at most tech jokes. i may someday even make great contributions to the field, though my lack of ambition makes me think that i probably won't. but who knows? you may one day regret taking away my IT badge. so what do you say we just pretend that i'm not a total disgrace to computer nerds everywhere and let bygones be bygones?

oh, and just in case any of you were wondering, i baked cookies yesterday, and they were delicious. oven: 3, sarah: 1.

*Cold - Crossfade

Monday, October 3, 2011

sail away, kill off the hours, you belong somewhere you feel free

i really want to write. or bake. or paint. or cook. or basically do anything that can be considered even slightly creative. i have that itch that makes me not want to turn into a fat blob of boringness. unfortunately, my body decided to have a civil war and there's a battle raging in my throat at the moment and someone's cannon keeps misfiring and sending shots to my head. also, my apartment has taken the change of weather as inspiration to start a new career. he's trying his luck as a refrigerator right now. i'm not sure if the chills and goosebumps are because of the war or the refusal to warm up, but any longer like this and i might as well give up my human card and turn into a full fledged bird. hey, at least they get to leave when it gets cold. (though chilly fall days and cold winter ones are usually some of my favorite days of the year.)

i think baking chocolate chip cookies would help the soldiers agree on a peace treaty and the apartment realize that refrigerators never get to smell like fresh baked cookies and pretty much make the world a better place, but i can't drag myself off this couch and out from under this blanket, and it's very sad. especially because i've been wanting to bake cookies for a very long time, and there's always something that comes up to stop me.

i also woke up to find that snow white was not keeping a very good eye on her dwarfs and that grumpy (who was always my favorite) has decided to possess me. yup, he's living inside my head at this very moment. he'd say hi, but he doesn't really like you all that much. and grumpy people just do not go around baking cookies and whistling while they work. (do any of you remember what book it was that had snow white really fat and evil and the dwarfs were pretty much her slaves? was that the book of lost things? does anyone know? i'm usually the person people come to with these kinds of questions. it's annoying me that i don't know.)

anyway, i'm going to continue listlessly flipping through web pages and hoping that i suddenly decide to get up and bake.

oh, and as for the title, tom petty's widlflowers has been stuck in my head lately. i have no idea why since i really haven't listened to it since the summer.

*Wildflowers - Tom Petty

Sunday, October 2, 2011

you're a star in nobody's eyes but mine

i was watching moulin rouge! last night, and don't you just love that movie? i think it may be one of my absolute favorites of all time. which is why it always surprises me when i can't get anyone to watch it. it took me four years to get my cousin to watch it. four. years. and even then i basically tricked her into it. but she liked it, like i knew she would. my sister would never watch it because she "doesn't like sad things." another cousin doesn't like things that are "about old times." and hardly anyone i know will watch a musical with me.

but this isn't a post about the stubbornness and bad movie taste of people i know.

when i was watching the movie, falling even more in love with ewan mcgregor (a common side effect) i decided that he is way to underrated. he has acting talent, an amazing voice, and good looks (though i know a lot of people who would argue with me on that one). but yet, he just never seems to make it to the top lists of most people. and i find that sad.

on another note completely, i recently read geek love and while i was reading it, especially at the beginning, i was more repulsed and disturbed than anything else. now that it's finished, i just want to go back and reread it. that's been happening a lot with me lately. i'll be reading a book and think it's great, and then put it down at the best part for no apparent reason. i'll wash the dishes and fold the laundry and there's really no pull to go back to reading. and other books i feel underwhelmed by, i feel like they're not living up to the potential of the story or the characters, and yet i can't seem to put them down without wanting to pick them right back up.

*Andy, You're a Star - The Killers