Friday, April 29, 2011

i don't see just how i can be motivated enough to break a sweat

i have no ambition. really. none. the day humanity was taught to want to improve themselves, to work until they fulfill a goal, to aspire to greatness, i was sleeping in. or ditching class. or too busy daydreaming to pay any attention. i view life as two separate planes, or places, or roads, or whatever other analogy you want to use. one of these is dreamland (i'm not talking about pigs flying or anything, just stuff that could possibly happen if i decided to try and make them), and the other is reality (or what will happen if i go through the rest of my life lazy and coasting on my awesome/awful ability to get by without actually doing anything). i'm caught somewhere in between. i won't work for the first but refuse to settle for the second.

in all honesty, i'm too temperamental to actually do anything with my life. i can sit here and talk about wanting to write, i can learn computer forensics from fbi agents, i can go through all the motions of progress, but at the end of the day none of that will matter. i'm just too moody. i cycle through apathy, cynicism, and optimism too fast. before i have a chance to really get anything done in any stage, i'm on to the next one. it's really bad. i think my writing is best when i'm cynical but write the most when i'm optimistic. oddly enough, optimism makes studying impossible, though i seem to do okay when i just don't care.

i've always been able to do well without really doing anything, and now that school may be ending for real, i don't know if that'll cut it for the rest of my life. despite the dream to do something in this world, i just can't find any ambition to spur me into action. my belief that whatever is written to happen for me will happen and the fact that i've never really worked for anything and don't think i know how have pushed me into this rut of complacency that i just can't get out of.

*Apathetic Way to Be - Relient K

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

you took me by surprise

i got a package this morning and my sister told me not to open it because she ordered something for my birthday and it still hasn't come and she wants to see me open it or something. i'm expecting a couple of packages, too, but i was fairly certain that a few books would not need such a big box. i go to pick up my sister from school, and we get home after eleven (like five or ten minutes ago). my sister looks at the box and says, "oh, that's not your present." so i open it expecting books or something. especially when there's the big box has a smaller box inside it wrapped with bubble wrap and surrounded by paper. it wasn't books. it was a tea set. a totally unexpected tea set that i have never seen before. ordinarily, i would just assume it was from my grandmother, but she's already sent me like a gazillion gifts recently and there's just no reason for her to have gotten me anything else. plus, i talked to her like two days ago and she didn't mention anything and she usually does. plus, my name was spelled wrong and she's sent enough letters and packages to know how to spell my name. i'll ask her about it tomorrow, but right now i'm confused. so, i am now the owner of a pretty new tea set with no idea where i got it from. thanks to whoever sent it.

*Everything Will Be Alright - The Killers

Monday, April 25, 2011

don't worry why i'm gonna be just like them

when i stop to think about it, i decide that whoever came up with the old adage, "you can be whatever you want to be," must not have been very bright. he was probably the one who came up with "opportunities are endless" and "anything is possible" too. i'm not saying that any of those are wrong, just that they're incomplete thoughts. it's like saying that the titanic was a grand ship, and its passengers had the time of their lives on her. well, yeah, they did. up until the whole hitting the glacier and dying part, that is.

i'm not trying to tell anyone that they can't be who or what they want, but i think that everyone has been assigned a role, a part that you alone can play. everyone has one future that was made especially for them. you are meant to be just one thing. you go through life, holding up every possibility to the light, trying on all the opportunities for size, but there is only one perfect fit. 

you can't be anything you want to be. you can be one thing, one thing you were designed to do, and that could be anything, but it's really not your choice. you don't walk down a hallway full of open doors waiting for you to choose. the hallway's still  there, as are the doors, but they're all closed. they're all locked. and you have an unmarked key, so you try it in the door marked doctor, but it won't open. you try it in the door marked teacher, but it doesn't fit in there either. you try it in a million other doors: pilot, artist, author, janitor, president, astronaut, fireman... but none of them fit. and then one day when you've just about given up hope that your key opens anything, you'll stumble on the door with the lock that accepts it lovingly. and then you'll know exactly what you were meant to do.

when you grow up being told that a million doors are open for you, the initial shock of seeing all the closed off opportunities can be crippling. but if you grow up thinking that you are made for just one thing, that the choice was already made, the design set in place, and all you have to do is find it, it doesn't seem so bad. reality wouldn't be so hard to face if we weren't all brought up on lies.

thing is, i can sit here spewing nonsense about truth and lies all day long, but when it comes right down to it, i'm no different than anyone else. when my brothers come up to me with a drawing or a story or a science project and proclaim for a day that they will be an artist, author, inventor, chemist... i find myself telling them "you can be whatever you want to be." i find myself handing out rose-tinted glasses to children with the best of them, telling them not to take them off until it's too late. i'm spinning my own web of lies and complaining that i can no longer see the truth.

*Just Like Them - All

Sunday, April 24, 2011

but you could never go back there again

for my sister's birthday last night, after a bunch of family stuff, she and i made popcorn, got root beers, and watched harry potter 7 part 1. actually, it might not have been for her birthday at all. it could have possibly been for mine. the point is, we watched the movie. i'm always halfway jealous of her when she watches these because she stopped reading the books after the fourth one came out. everything is new to her. everything's a surprise. it's the same kind of jealousy i felt when i got my fiance to read the books a few months ago. or when anyone really is freshly introduced into the plot. the stories haven't been new to me for years. i have read and reread them so many times that there are no more surprises. there are no sudden twists or cliffhangers that leave me guessing. i know what's going to happen next. and while i think the wait in between the books - filled with anticipation and wild theories - gives me a level of appreciation that the people who read them all together can never get, while i would never give up the feeling of getting the books the day they were released for anything, while i love the fact that the series was such an integral part of me growing up, i'm still jealous. because i remember the amazingness of the series the first time i read it. and i can never get that back.

i can never read it for the first time again.

*Scenes from an Italian Restaurant - Billy Joel

Friday, April 22, 2011

the sign on the door said no girls allowed

because this didn't fit into the previous post.

i was sitting outside of class yesterday finishing up the last book in the scott pilgrim series. (this post will have spoilers.) a kid in my class joins me and starts talking about it to me because it's like his favorite series ever. (by the way, thanks ash. you have made me cool in the eyes of my IT people.) i mention how i was hoping scott would end up with kim at the end (this is where i lost that coolness) and the kid was flabbergasted. "but... but... throughout the entire series he's fighting the evil exes to go out with ramona. why would he end up with kim?" he spluttered. "i dunno. i just really liked kim and wanted them to end up together," i say with a shrug, laughing a little at how offended he seemed by this. he stares at me for a minute and then said, "this is why girls shouldn't read scott pilgrim" in a tone that brought to mind secret boys clubs with signs that said "no girls allowed" in red crayon. it took all my will power not to die of laughter right there. but i had a presentation to do and i didn't think it would have been fair to my partner. but this kid is around thirty years old if not a little older, and it was just so ten-year-old-boy of him, and it was so funny.

*You Ate My Dog - Still Lost

and now you're stalking me?

my parents raised me to be a good person... so i blame them for many of the awkward/uncomfortable moments in my life. i may not come across as such in this anti-social, hate-on-humanity blog of mine, but i can actually be nice. especially to people i don't know. when someone talks to me, i listen and appear interested. when someone is in a pickle, i help them out. when someone is upset, i comfort them. i hold doors open and explain difficult homework problems and share my food and will put down my book to hold a conversation if that's you want. because that's what i was raised to do. unfortunately, this common decency has often been misconstrued in the past. someone always ends up thinking i'm interested in them and things get awkward cause i kinda suck at rejecting people and at the end of the day i wonder why my parents couldn't have screwed up in raising me like so many other people i know.

in the latest addition to my ever-growing list of awkward moments, i have a new stalker! exciting stuff, my life. so there was this dude a few weeks ago from another section of a class i'm in. he had missed his and so attended ours. he stops my reading in the hallway before class with the ever-intelligent question of "are you muslim?" and things just went downhill from there. before i get ahead of myself, here, let me just say that he's some arab dude the same age as my dad, give or take a year. who's not married. anyways, he starts up a conversation and it turns out that he writes for a lot of arabic magazines. he's a "professional writer" as he likes to mention every few seconds. i make some comment on how arabic is a beautiful language and i wish i could write/speak it half as well as i do english. he goes off on a long-winded rant about the differences between the two languages, how he edits arabic papers, and how he quit writing from a prestigious magazine because it had too many typos and it reflected badly on him. i listen and nod and make appreciative comments and then class starts. he gives me his email, tells me to email him my arabic stuff for him to edit, and then after class walks with me all the way to my car continuing his talk about his obsession with the arabic language. oh, and how he knows a bunch of my high school teachers. i escape after a five minute conversation at my car, wrongly convinced that i would never see him again. 

the other day while leaving a building, guess who i run into? yup. he asks why i haven't sent him anything to edit, i mumble something about being busy with school and not having anything to send and then rush off. i think to myself, okay, that's the last time i'll ever see him.

until yesterday. when he shows up at my class. after the initial nod of recognition, i ignore him during it under the pretense of listening to presentations and doing my own. i then sneak out at the end by discussing my project with my partner, then practically run down the stairs as i hear him call my name. avoidance: my number one defense mechanism. unfortunately, there was a traffic jam on the stairs and he caught up with me. apparently he sat through the whole three hours of my class because he brought a magazine that had an interview he wrote in it. which he then made me read. out loud. while walking. and then he made a comment about how i seem nervous to be reading out loud cause i keep pausing (uh it's called trying to see where i'm going) and how i sounded nervous presenting when i shouldn't have because my partner had an accent which made my parts good by default. jerk. he was very impressed with himself and kept laughing at the jokes in the interview (which he had memorized by the way) and pointing out good points he had made. after that he pulls out his arabic calligraphy stuff and pokes me with a porcupine quill. repeatedly. despite my insistence that yes, i get it, it's sharp. it hurts. until i eventually snapped at him to stop it already. he then goes on to randomly recite poetry he had written for a friend's wedding, complete with hand gestures and everything that would make a high school arabic teacher proud. he finishes the first poem, explains the backstory and how everyone just loved it and then says a second one. which of course everyone loved too. he goes on to tell me about the time that he saved the day by giving the speech at friday prayer when the imam was late despite him only having three minutes to prepare it. i pretended to be surprised at the fact that it turned out awesome and, yup you guessed it, everyone loved it. 

throughout the entire one-sided conversation that typically consisted of him expressing his love for arabic and himself, i kept saying that i had to go because my sister was with me. who i texted. who took a while to text me back. who took forever to get to starbucks. he stayed until like two seconds before she came. before he left he gave me an assignment to summarize his interview and to write something in english and then translate it into arabic. i'm supposed to send all that to him to edit. i felt like i was back in grade school trying to think of excuses to get out of homework. i have a feeling that he'll be at class next thursday. and the one after that. 

it wouldn't bother me so much if he wasn't teetering on the edge of conceited friend and creepy arab hitting on younger girls. i mean, he's literally old enough to be my dad. plus, he doesn't seem too impressed by the fact that i'm engaged. 

there is a line between friendliness and stalkerness, and him, well, he crossed over yesterday. i can't bring myself to tell him outright to stop being such a creep, and he doesn't seem to take hints too well. so now i have to keep an eye out for him until the semester ends and do arabic homework. grr. 

*Not That Beautiful - AFI

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

they paved paradise and put up a parking lot

you know what i am really sick of? construction. like, really. since i think my sophomore year of undergrad, mason got swept up in a construction frenzy. it started off small, with an empty lot off to the side of campus (which is now practically the center of it) growing trucks and men with hard hats overnight. and then, next thing you know, we're sprouting hotels and parking garages like it's the first day of may and we've had quite a few april showers. new buildings are popping up like weeds, parking lots are vanishing into thin air and suddenly you can't walk anywhere without having to go through seventeen million detours. oh, and we got a starbucks. it's chaos, i tell you.

but i got used to it. it became the norm to walk to class one way and walk back from class another because suddenly there's a construction site in the middle of my path. i now expect every patch of grass or bunch of trees to disappear under bricks and concrete, no matter how small. it became a fact of life, and though i loved all the green and trees of mason, i could live with it.

but i think construction is contagious. because suddenly, road work is the coolest thing to do since putting doritos in your turkey sandwich. my commute to school is seventeen miles. round trip. not very long by any means, and yet the state or county or whoever funds these things has managed to put a bajillion different projects in that small stretch of road. the other day, there were five different places the road was closed or blocked off or had lanes occupied by men in hard hats on my way to school and back. and one road was completely closed off by fire trucks and police cars so i had to go out of my way to go home. (i never found out why, though, cause everything was completely normal the next day so there was no fire and i didn't hear anything about it again.) now, granted, some of these "projects" were them closing a lane to trim the trees on the side of the road, but a closed lane is a closed lane. and this has been going on for months.

i dunno if all the work is just concentrated in the areas i go, and the rest of the county/state/country/world is seeing none of it. i dunno if i'm just on the wrong roads at the wrong times (actually, i do know. i am. a lot of the bigger road work stuff takes place at night when i'm either going to or coming back from night classes.) either way, i'm really sick of it. i would like to go a day without seeing bright orange cones and yellow hard hats. i'd like to not hear hammers and drills going at full force every minute of every day. i'd like to skip the detours for a while and not navigate around chain-linked fences to get to class. i'm sick of it all.

*Big Yellow Taxi - Counting Crows

Monday, April 18, 2011

and here at 23 it's the same old me

do you have a lot of free time on your hand? if not, then maybe you shouldn't read this right now. i have a feeling it's gonna end up ridiculously long. cause i can be conceited that way.

today marks the start of another year in the life of me (or it marks the successful completion of my goal to live for at least twenty two years. you know, either one.). anyway, yes, it's my birthday. since this was a year of many happenings in my life after many years of nothing, i thought that a recap would be appropriate. i love recaps. don't you? plus, it'll give the new readers a chance to see just what they were missing (pretty much nothing, but you know, whatever.) 

the year saw a blog post with over twenty comments which is a record for me, and most of them have nothing to do with the post. it also bore witness to me being called stupid and fat by my wonderful anonymous commenters, among other things. one of them also called my family stupid and alluded to the fact that they (my family) may have incestuous relationships. oh the fun we have, these anonymous commenters and i. 

last april, two days before my birthday, i wrote this about books, which i kinda liked. later in the month, i complained that written things are better in my head. i started my twenty third year procrastinating, as if i ever do anything else.  actually, the whole month was apparently spent whining about or procrastinating one thing or another.

may was chock full of posts full of long, pointless rambles. i would like to apologize for some of the stuff i have forced you to read through. it was also a pretty eventful month, and in between all the rambles, i made fun of some lyrics, finally got to watch city island, announced that i wanted to write something magical, and then began to write things. among these things i have written:  this about that lady who broke her own heart when no one else would, this about the girl with the paper heart, and this about breaking up or something. i also kinda liked this thing that i wrote. may also saw the end of LOST. that was sad. my cousin who had been staying with us for three months left. oh, and i graduated

june was, according to me, a month of little blogging (despite the fact that there are more june posts than april ones). i hurt my back that month and could barely move. when it started to get better, i hurt it again. i was in one of my hopeless moods, but that was okay because i also learned that grumpy people are smarter. and i wrote this that some anonymous commenter wanted to use to break up with his girlfriend. wonder how that worked out. i graduated again, because it's obviously the cool thing to do. and then i left the country.

july was spent on the other side of the world, with poor internet connection. i went through vitamin water zero withdrawal. it was a pretty uneventful start to the summer, and i spent a lot of time in my grandmother's room (she's bedridden) watching arabic soap operas and hollywood action movies. i wrote two things that i like during this month: one about the different experiences with writing and one about philophobia. i got really sappy and wrote a whole post dedicated to my blog readers ('cause you really are all awesome). i'm pretty sure the majority of this month was spent doing karaoke to disney and lady gaga songs with my cousin's daughters. fun. 

in august, more people were on vacation, so we did a lot more family visiting. we slept over at my cousins' house a few times, and one of them watched me sleep which i think is one of the creepiest things in the world. i had some trouble sleeping. i talked about my inability to make a decision, while using sylvia plath to explain my thoughts for me. LOST dvd set, mockingjay, and city island dvd were all released at the end of august. and even though i wasn't in the country, i had to have them all the day they came out. leaving my sister america comes in handy sometimes. and i came back to america. i wrote this about two people who are moving at different speeds, in different directions, with different desires.

september saw the start of a new semester. it was also the start of some bad stuff. towards the end of the month, my uncle came over to stay with us from saudi arabia for cancer treatment. this added stress, worry, and other general unpleasantness to my life. the semester wasn't bad, though, and i had this professor that i just fell in love with. my life became a dull repetition of menial tasks, but i took refuge from reality in making fun of people's book habits and bunnies. oh, and this was the month when i found out how awesome mason police officers are when they came and fixed my car. (it turns out that they're actually a pretty racist group according to everyone else, but i had good experiences with them so i dunno.)

october was hectic and didn't see many blog updates. while my parents were occupied with my uncle's deteriorating condition, the basic day to day running of the house fell on me. this was a bit stressful, to say the least, and started my newfound hatred for five am. the suckiness increased when my uncle died and my dad flew off to the other side of the world. while it helped having my mom around again, things were still really crazy. i did meet an awesome person at the bus stop who i was able to have weekly conversations with to escape from the blechness that was my life. i tried to save the world by preaching about water, and it was also a record month for stink bugs in my area. i think i can say with full confidence that i did not like october.

while october was probably the most hellishly-busy-i-really-hope-never-gets-repeated month of the year, november was probably the most eventful in the my-life-will-never-be-the-same kind of way. for starters, november means nanowrimo. i wrote some children's fantasy about magic and giants and unicorns. it was surprisingly very fun and easy to write once i got started, but i stopped once november ended and haven't looked at it since, despite only being about two-thirds into the story. a friend of mine also did nano for the first time, and i was more excited about his than mine. (i recently got to read his book. it was awesome. i take all credit for it.) i got engaged, which was especially big news because i was never an engaged type of person. i had jury duty for the first time which was pretty anticlimactic to say the truth. there was eid, thanksgiving, abdullah's pokemon birthday party. my sister had a baby on my parents' wedding anniversary, and the harry potter seven part one movie came out. 

the big news in december was pretty much still my engagement. my cousins didn't seem too thrilled about it because they seemed to be suffering under some delusion that it meant i was going to die. i also read/reread a bunch of YA series that month: the mediator series, the gemma doyle series, the time series (a wrinkle time and those). i copied out an awesome part from the gemma doyle series, and if you didn't read it i think you should. december also started an endless string of dentist appointments that still hasn't ended. my sister and i bought a ginormous box of chocolates for my grandma, and were so excited to give it to her that the wait for her to come down for the winter visit was torture. i think december was our first snow of the year. the first big one, at least. the semester ended, and i haven't seen the professor i was/am in love with since. it's quite sad, actually. i made the stupid decision to get a phd that month (and once i make a decision i try my best to stick with it) and i hated on santa claus.  

the start of a new decade came and passed largely ignored by me. if i remember correctly i was watching either family guy or boy meets world when the clock struck twelve, lying on a bed of springs. i also made no resolutions. january was a month in which my life was holding its breath and waiting for something to happen. i'm not exactly sure if it exhaled because something happened or if it just got tired of waiting. my biggest thought was probably my idea about auto-tinting contacts, and it turns out someone else was thinking the same thing anyway. i had my bridal shower (pretty early because...) my older sister and her husband officially announced that they were leaving the country. my younger sister got her wisdom teeth out, making me the only one in my family that is still wise. it was in january that i started playing snake on youtube. i would spend hours a night playing on boy meets worlds episodes. i was seriously addicted but it was a good mind-numbing way to spend my time when i needed to just go away for a bit. i stopped now, though. i took a second's break from talking about myself to warn that world that robots are taking over, starting with watson. legos are helping with the world domination. the new year also brought on all the mysterious animal mass murders. has anyone figured those out yet? i had a weird dream experience, and found out that (like with my brilliant idea) i wasn't the only one. while the middle east blew up in a million "revolutions," lady gaga decided to make her own mark on the world with her new disgusting signature scent. wow, busy month.

when february finally came around, i started reading and writing again - two things i had stopped in january. (i wrote the hat story this month.) i also hurt my toe and had to walk around campus in the middle of winter in flip flops. i failed miserably at accurately expressing my views on what life would be like if i was never born. february started a semester of stressful projects and killing my gpa. i ended the month with a modern day retelling of rumpelstiltskin. oh, and my sister and her family left. after living with us for a week. ten people. in one small town house. 

i started march by getting back out my soap box and talking about how the whole "arab terrorist" stereotype has gone on long enough. i pretty much finalized all the wedding plans that i can from this side of the world. it was in march that gas prices started to creep up, and they still are. the other day the gas station next to my house was over four dollars. and because that's not bad enough, for the first time in my life i went through an entire class understanding nothing and feeling completely stupid. that has never happened to me before. ever. i mean, yeah i have not understood things but for three hours to understand nothing was unprecedented. it was also around this time that i realized i don't like school anymore. i started off liking school way back when, then tolerating it, now i'm teetering on the edge of hating it. most of the time. obnoxious teachers don't really help. that, combined with a bunch of other things, have made the usual disgruntledness (not a word. whatever.) grow until all i want to do is hide in the past. i wrote this about the different parts we play in our own lives, badly burned my skin (which still isn't completely back to normal), and procrastinated because, really, that's all i do. we also had ali's ben10 birthday which i think is the first birthday of either of the boys that my older sister ever missed. sad. but still fun.

and now we're back to april. it's started off with stupid people and bad books, so you know it's going to be a pretty good month. if i manage to finish all the stupid work i have to do. it might possibly be a good idea to do some of that instead of spending forever on this post, but if i look at any of it anymore i think i'll die. really. i also went to my old high school a bunch this month. there was an award ceremony for boys' elementary so of course i went for my brothers, and then there was also the arabic poetry contest. i don't remember it being so good when i was in school (the contest), and these were just the elementary boys. i can't decide if it's because i never really paid it too much attention back then or because elementary students take it a lot more seriously, but it was really good. my brother didn't win, but he was still amazing. of course. we went to the circus and my annual rekindling of my dream to join it was a big success. they also had a pirate act and since joining the circus and becoming a pirate were always my top two goals, i think having them combined made my mind explode.

you know, after writing it all out like this, it really doesn't seem like such an eventful year after all. in the midst of it, it seriously seemed like it was just one thing after another. when i look at it now, i realize there were actually some periods of reprieve between the commotions. maybe my life isn't as changed as i thought.

anyway, if you made it all the way down here, then i seriously commend you. go eat cake in celebration of me and spend the day procrastinating, reading, and listening to good music.

*Maintain Consciousness - Relient K

Sunday, April 17, 2011

it makes you sad on the stage

this made me so sad. like that lump-in-throat-nostalgia i felt at the end of senior year, and whenever i read the story, and when i think about the summer.

also, i have always wanted to know what happened to the dursleys. did harry just never see them again? did he not go check on them to make sure that they were still alive after the war? dudley had had a change of heart about harry near the end, does that go completely ignored forever? do harry's awkwardly named children never meet dudley's kids? this is stuff i need to know.

*The Past is a Grotesque Animal - Of Montreal

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

i'm not a film buff. i am not usually overcome with desperate desires to visit new york. but for the past few years, every time the tribeca film festival rolls around, the only thought in my head is: i. must. go. and there is always something to stop me. i know that one year i am going to get the chance to make the drive up there, and it will be a year when every film at the festival sucks. i just know it. gah. 

this is a pointless post. 

you know i, i hate you

since i have an hour before my scheduled exam studying should start, let me fill you all in on why i am not a big fan of frankenstein. and no, anonymous, it's actually not because i'm stupid. i can appreciate it as a work of literature that brings to light a lot of themes that are still relevant today. i can apply layers of meaning to it and use it to explain whatever i want it to - which is always fun. i can recognize the fact that shelley was only eighteen when she wrote it, and at the time of its publication it was probably pretty unique. but as a story, i just don't think its up to snuff. and while it got quite a few negative reviews when it was first published, i think that over the years it has become a story too old to be criticized by a lot of people. lucky for me, i can see beyond antiquity. i also think that a lot of people say it's their favorite book because it has a stamp of approval on it by society and people are too dumb or scared to think for themselves. so when someone tells me that it's their favorite and have no real reason for this choice (or you know, never read it. grr.), i judge them. the rest of this post will obviously contain spoilers, but i don't think there's a person on earth that doesn't know what's happened in the story by now.

though this is definitely not a reason i hate the book, i think victor frankenstein is one of the most obnoxious characters ever written. (i have gotten too many people telling me they hate a book or scene because a character is "too mean" or "such a coward." uh, if every character in every book was written as good, pretty, and strong, i don't think literature would be very interesting. well-written "mean" characters are some of my favorites.) so anyway, frankenstein creates this "monster" despite everyone and their mother telling him not to, and when he finds his creation to be hideous, he's horrified. the fact that he's trying to play god even though there's a long written history about that never working out doesn't faze him. but his creation turns out ugly and oh my god the world has ended. and when the monster, who realizes that no one likes him because he's ugly, asks frankenstein to create him a mate so they can run away to the jungle and live happily ever after away from the shallow society, frankenstein refuses him. sure he spouts some nonsense about being afraid that they would create some super-race and destroy humanity, but you know the only reason he doesn't want to is because he doesn't want to create anything else ugly. so i'm sorry, but if you create a guy, abandon him, and then refuse to create someone to be with him (after telling him you'll do it, mind you), don't get put out when he starts coming after you. you totally deserve it.

on to why i don't like the story:

i realize that the very nature of this story requires a suspension of disbelief, but i think shelley took that a little too far. i'll believe that a scientist could use electricity to shock a corpse to life because, hey, in the world of fantasy, stranger things have happened. but i refuse to believe that the same scientist, who spent months sewing together the prettiest body parts he could find could not see that the thing was hideous before it was alive. i mean, did he not see his monster lying there on the table day in and day out waiting to be animated? did it look beautiful to him then? did he think that life would suddenly change what it looked like? make the parts mend together seamlessly? instill beauty in something revolting? if he was smart enough to bring something to life, am i supposed to believe he was that stupid?

also, one part that has always killed me was the monster learning to read. he got a couple of books, stared at them for a while, and lo and behold he's literate! um, no. it just doesn't work that way. my sister recently received a package from japan that was stuffed with a japanese newspaper. i could stare at that newspaper from here till forever and i would never teach myself how to read japanese. if i spied on a japanese family and then stared at the newspaper, i still wouldn't learn. i don't care if he's a monster, he can't learn to read on his own when he's never even seen the written word.

going back to frankenstein's stupidity. if the monster is going around killing everyone he loves, what would make him think that he's really the one the monster wanted dead? if he was, he'd be dead already. so when he destroyed girl-monster before finishing her and then hid his wife for safety because he was so sure that the monster was after his own death, his stupidity is unfathomable. okay, so you can create life but you can't understand basic human emotions? if you have created someone and forced a life of solitude and misery on him, of course he's going to want the same life for you. even without the huge hint of him killing off other people and leaving you alive. if you are dead, you can't be alone and miserable. logic, dude. a scientist should have some.

and then the ending? the monster (who was totally who i was rooting for the whole book until this point) sees frankenstein dead and decides that he's miserable and is just going to go off himself? how convenient. if you were going to do something stupid like that then you should have killed yourself in the beginning instead of making us go through a zillion deaths and an anti-climactic chase to the arctic circle. if i was the captain dude that finds the monster standing over frankenstein's body depressed and has to listen to him say how awful he is and how he's going to go burn himself to death, if i saw him climb out the window and float away on an ice raft, i would be pissed. the letters to my sister would not be documenting some really cool, really weird story about people i met. it would be about a couple of selfish morons that wasted a bunch of life and had one too many lucky coincidence.

this post is getting too long, but i could go on about how i hate the book forever. the entire story was way too convenient. everything in it was contrived. and the ending was just crap.

random fact: my ap physics teacher always reminded me of frankenstein. i really liked the guy, but i could see him hiding in his garage sewing body parts together to shock to life. whenever i read the book now, i see him.

*Himerus and Ero - The Spill Canvas

Monday, April 11, 2011

you are not what i thought you were

because i basically took the weekend off from this weird studious productivity phase i've been in for the past two weeks, today was supposed to be extra productive: polish off the two papers i have done, make presentation slides, work on presentations, and start studying for the exam i have on thursday. well, start reading the text book more than really studying. (the professor said if you read the first couple of chapters of the book you'll get the extra credit right. i need all the easy extra credit i can get.)

as usual, my attempt at productivity is not going quite as planned. and do you know what i get to blame this time? my text book of all things! it's way too distracting. i remember back in high school reading the ap history book wasn't as torturous as some of the others because it would crack little jokes in the text randomly. this book goes above and beyond in entertainment. keep in mind, this is a normal network security text book. at first glance, it looks just as awful as any other text book, but then you start reading.

the first chapter starts with, "It was a dark and stormy night. Somewhere in the distance a dog howled. A shiny object caught Alice's eye. A diamond cufflink!" i'm not even kidding. it goes on a bit about bob and the butler and how alice needs to get a message securely to bob before the butler kills him. she has to make sure bob doesn't think the message is from trudy, though, cause she apparently "spurned the butler's advances" and so it would look like she was framing him.

the rest of the text is littered with jewels like, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me (chant designed to encourage bullies to get physical)" and "if you can't say something in less than 2^64 bits, you shouldn't say it at all." they also have poems like euclidean algorhyme (two of them) and multiplicative in verse. alice and bob send love letters to each other about prime numbers and challenge each other with fiddlesticks. alice often spouts quotes from alice in wonderland. the authors make fun of themselves and each other. it's all fun and games in this book.

the thing that's really been eating up my day, though, is this song they have called "superpolynomial subexponential runtimes" that's supposed to be sung to the tune of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. it talks about rsa and diffie-hellman algorithms. i've been trying to commit it to memory (it was apparently created and performed by eric hughes at an rsa patent expiration party) but keep stumbling over parts.

i never thought the day would come when i would procrastinate with a text book. and have fun. i never thought a security text book could be so entertaining.

*Love Song - Sara Bareilles

Saturday, April 9, 2011

i've got another confession to make

i have been completely devoted to my accounting paper over the past few days. (by the way, i find it ridiculous that i have to take an accounting class because the university can't find someone to teach ethics in forensics.) i don't remember ever spending so much time on one assignment and doing so little for it. i mean, i even avoided blogworld to stay away from distractions. since when do i do that? especially for a paper that didn't seem to be getting anywhere. and then last night at around ten, everything just clicked. it all made sense. everything. the things i didn't look at for the midterm and consequently relied on lucky guesses to get right were clear as day. sure, there are still a few little things i need to work out. not because i don't understand them, though, but because the balance sheet seems to be missing a bit of information. it's great. really. and for an accounting paper, it's actually coming out pretty interesting if i do say so myself.

while i'm sounding smart, i'd like to take this moment to confess my literary guilty pleasure: bad YA books. (there was also a summer i spent reading semi-trashy romance novels from like the fifties because my sister and i discovered a series of them forgotten in my cousins' bookshelf.) at the top of this list is the sweet valley high series. i read a random few of them when i was younger, though i can't say i was one of those fans that read anywhere close to every single one. (i remember in high school a girl on my bus told me her older brother read the books and rushed home to watch the show everyday. sometimes, it was worth it to be friends with the little kids.) when my cousin came to stay with us for a few months last year, she read the couple that my sister had and really liked them. we ended up buying a bunch more for her, and then we all started reading them. the part of me that likes to watch lifetime movies couldn't get enough of them. they were just so bad. anyway, sweet valley confidential: ten years later came out at the end of march. my cousin had asked me to bring her books with me this summer which gave me the perfect excuse to order it. i just got it and can't wait to read it. i heard that it was awful. like, even worse than the older ones. the twins are still mary-sues, the plots are still contrived, and stereotypes are still taken as hard fact. i'm excited. i'm already in the middle of two books right now, though, so i'm holding off on this one until i finish at least one. (i'm usually not a read two books at once kind of person, but one of them belongs to a friend and i didnt want to stuff it in my bag to carry it around.) i also spontaneously downloaded marked, the first in the house of night series (a YA vampire series) because it was the top recommended bargain book or something. i swear this book makes twilight look amazing. i'm sure a young teen could possibly appreciate it, but it's just really, really bad. granted, i'm only a few chapters into it. maybe it gets better.

anyway, you can mock me for my book choices now if you'd like. i give you full permission.

*Best of You - Foo Fighters

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

i am at a loss for words here

this kid comes up to me before class and asks, "do you like to read?" since i'm sitting on the floor in a hallway reading a book that is obviously not for any class, i give a small nod, say "yes," and give her a look that clearly implies i think she's slightly stupid. "yeah, me too," she says. i smile and go back to my book. (people can use the stupidest lines to start conversations. i've had several people ask me if i'm muslim. uh, no. this scarf on my head? i wear it for fun.) either interpreting my hints wrong or choosing to ignore them, she asks, "what's your favorite book?" 
me: oh wow, i hate favorite questions. i don't think i could choose just one. maybe gone with the wind or harry potter?
her: cool. my favorite's frankenstein.

i don't remember if i've mentioned this on here or not, but i am not a fan of frankenstein. while i appreciate it as a literary work, i hate the story. my rants about this book deserve a post of their own, so i won't get into it now, but suffice it to say, when someone tells me frankenstein is their favorite book, i judge them. 

me: really?
her: yeah, the way he came back from the dead. he was so freaky... like the perfect bad guy.
me: i always felt that frankenstein himself was the bigger bad guy. 
her: *stares blankly*
me: the scientist? the one that made the monster? i mean, the monster didn't do anything until frankenstein refused to make him a companion, and he only refused because he thought he was ugly. 
her: *laughs* oh, i've never actually read the book.
me: oh. 
her: i watched the movie, though. 
me: oh. um... cool. 
her: yeah, it's just faster and easier to watch the movie, and you still get the story. 
me: i prefer the books. 

and then a couple more people came, i went back to reading, and she went off to talk to someone else. i just don't get it. i understand that some people enjoy small talk, but you could have brought up the class or the nice weather or anything. i don't see why she had to pretend to like reading. i mean, i actually do know how to talk about things besides books. 

*Dutch Courage - The Spill Canvas

Monday, April 4, 2011

you know, you know - no you don't, you don't

you know that feeling you get when you read/watch/hear something amazing and you think, "why didn't i think of that?" and you look around at everything you've done and said, and it all looks contrived and cheap, like diamond earrings that are really plastic. and while you're marveling at the magnificence of what someone else came up with, disappointment trickles in with the enjoyment. because that's it. something this unique and perfect has been done, and everything else will be a cheap knockoff. and even if other people are fooled by the fake designer bag you wear, you'll always know that it's not real. and you'll always know that you didn't think of this first. though you may be bright enough to build a spotlight, you didn't make the stars. you're trying to catch up in a race that you've already lost, and there's nothing you can do about it.

you know that feeling you get when you're having the best time of your life and all you can think about is how it will soon be over? and you realize that it's all downhill from here. suddenly being so high is not such a good thing because it just means the fall will be that much harder. and you wonder why you were so excited to get to this point in the first place, and why wasn't the anticipation of it enough, and what are you supposed to do now? your laughter comes out a little too high, your smile falters for half a second, and you try to decide which would be worse: jumping immediately, making it your choice to fall, or trying to hold on to the moment forever, strangling it in your death grip. and no matter what you choose you will live the rest of your life regretting it.

you know that feeling you get when you realize that you're not afraid? when failure is just a stop along the way to success and those were always the best parts of road trips. optimism is suddenly the only way to live life and fulfilling every goal you set is your moral duty. and you know that you'll stumble along the way. you'll fall and scrape your knees and elbows. you'll get shoved off your path and do a fair amount of shoving yourself. you know all this, but you're not afraid because you know at the end you'll get exactly what you want. you'll be exactly who you want. you know that feeling you get when you realize you're just really good at lying to yourself?


so, um, this was not supposed to happen. i wrote the first sentence with an entirely different post in my head. i was really just meaning to write a pointless thing about books i am reading right now. and tangled. you know, cause it's too early to be productive. oh, speaking of books, amazon just told me that i should get inheritance which is apparently the last eragon book. this blew my mind a lot more than it probably should have, but i really thought the third was the last one. i borrowed the first two from a friend in high school and remember liking them, but then for some reason i never got or read the third book when it came out. but i always thought that i still had time, and now that the fourth one that i never knew about came out i feel like i'm too late. i missed my chance. the torturous wait for the next book in a series is one of the best parts, and i missed it.

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

Friday, April 1, 2011

i'm a weirdo

i just about finished my first paper. i have a few bits and pieces i needa add/change but i just can't bring myself to do them. maybe i'll be more inspired tomorrow morning. doubt it, but here's to hoping. only problem is that he never gave us a page number range and mine (or ours.. whatever) is twenty without the references and appendix. some professors have a problem with papers over ten pages. oh well.

also, a couple of weeks ago (possibly last week? my memory sucks these days) i reread the hunger games series, and i think my mind is still partly living in that world because my conclusion was way too power-to-the-people-let's-start-a-rebellion. if katniss was fighting for network security, i swear my conclusion would have been one of her speeches. i'll have to edit it later and calm it down.

speaking of books, for the past few months i've been living on a tight budget. before i buy anything i do a bunch of calculations in my head and usually decide that gas and textbooks are more important than a lot of things. but now i have money in my account again, and it's all i can do not to go and buy all of amazon. i've been adding things to my cart for the past few months, and i just want all of it. i know there's a responsible money budgeter inside of me, but she's been locked up by the part of me that wants new books. i have to set her free.

on another note, i have this imaginary library in my head that will exist in my house when i grow up. not just a bookshelf, but an entire room dedicated to books and reading. when that happens, i will get this great gatsby poster to put on a wall. i just started rereading gatsby yesterday, and when i was "doing my paper" i came across the poster and decided it was fate. i'm not sure why exactly i fell so in love with it, i mean it's cool and everything, but i need it. just not right now. i think i will also get the pride and prejudice one. and maybe the wizard of oz. (do you ever do that? shop for imaginary places you will own in the future? or am i just certifiable?)

anyway, my mind is really struggling to be coherent right now, but i feel like it's failing miserably. and my blankets are all tangled, and i feel like i'm trapped/being strangled.

oh, and i know that this is an april's fool joke, but i would totally get back into tv to watch it:

*Creep - Radiohead