Thursday, March 27, 2014

there must be fifty ways to leave your lover

so i was going to put this anecdote into a story, but i have no characters to give it to at the moment and no started stories that it would fit with. (not that i have many started stories at all. *sigh.* remember when i used to talk about being a real writer who wrote things?) so i decided instead to put it here. on my blog. and then years from now when you have all forgotten it, i will put it into a story and none of you will remember that a) i already told you this and b) i totally stole the idea from someone else. plus by that time i will be rich and famous and any complaints you have about me will be chalked up to jealousy. (i plan on spending an entire year being completely obnoxious and conceited if i ever get a book published. it will come right after the year i spend gushing excitement and omgicantbelieveitactuallyhappends and right before the year i spend writing out an entire book thanking the people in my life for being the people in my life. (seriously, though, sometimes i am just so grateful for everyone and everything that it's not hard to think that i would/could write a book about it. i've composed entire chapters in my head that revolve solely around strangers on the bus.))

i am getting wildly offtrack. back to the anecdote. 

i spend a lot of time sitting in a student lounge near a bunch of offices. some of that time - the exact amount depends on who is in the office that day - is spent eavesdropping on the faculty members while i "do my work." for a lot of this semester, one person has been sharing stories about her boyfriend. her boyfriend that she was starting to really get tired of for reasons that are not very exciting (or really mine to share) so for the purpose of this blog let's pretend that he was constantly feeding her pet dragon garlic which - aside from making her entire house smell like garlic for days any time it got cold enough for a fire or she craved a roasted marshmallow - was making it impossible for her vampire friends to visit her. every week or so we'd get another story about how he did it again! and she didn't think she could handle any more garlic and why can't he just listen? and everyone would laugh about the boyfriend who sounded like he would fit right in with the husbands in laundry detergent commercials. 

anyway, on monday the dragon owner comes in and starts talking about how her boyfriend's birthday was coming up and they were having a party for him in a few days. they laugh about garlic cakes and vampire party crashers and then someone says, "i thought you were going to break up with him." she answers with, "i am. after his birthday." someone else asks what she got him then, and she says, "a subscription to i plan on giving it to him after the party."

and if you do not think that that is the funniest way to break up with someone then maybe you should go back and reread it slash imagine the scenario playing out until you do. 

*50 Ways to Leave Your Lover - Paul Simon

Monday, March 24, 2014

the drop dead dream, the Chosen One

this weekend, which was supposed to include me doing some actual work, helping a student (oops), and reading a book that i need to review, somehow ended up including none of those things, and instead was filled with harry potter. it was awesome.

i used to read the series with my brothers when they were younger, but what with me getting married and moving out and my younger brother getting impatient and just reading them on his own, well, it just sort of fizzled out somewhere in the middle of the fourth book. this resulted in one brother having a semi-complete knowledge of the wizarding world (it's amazing how much you forget when you only read the books once) and one having even less than that. (the older one's knowledge of everything post quidditch world cup-ish comes from the lego harry potter video games. you can understand how upsetting that has been for me.)

anyway. i've spent the past few years trying to get the older brother to read the books (which he hasn't) and then finally decided to go the second-best route and just watch the movies.

(completely unrelated side note: i just had to go outside to transfer my mom's and my pottery stuff from the trunk of her car to the trunk of my car and oh my god why the hell is it so cold outside? i thought we were into spring and warm weather and blossoming flowers. my hands are burning. you know that burn-sting feeling from the cold? yeah. and they feel sore all the way down to the bones. i wasn't even out that long. ugh.)

but back to harry potter. a few weeks ago i decided to do a harry potter movie marathon with my brothers because a) they hadn't watched all of the movies which is ridiculous because abc family throws a marathon every three weeks, b) they needed a refresher slash basic education of the world and characters, and c) it's been a while since i had a harry potter marathon despite abc family's broadcasting tendencies mentioned in (a).  the problem with this, though, is that my parents do not know how to marathon, and since we were watching them in their living room, this cut into our fun. it took us about a month to get through the first three movies. (which sounds worse than it was. we were only watching when i visited on sunday and one of the sundays we were unable to watch anything because of some football or soccer or other organized sport thing that i do not remember.) but then my parents left to connecticut and i moved into their living room and my brothers and i were finally able to get through them. my youngest brother was half watching-half playing minecraft up until the deathly hallows movies  because he claimed he had seen them all (though i am almost positive he hadn't), but the older one got really into them. which was awesome.

there was the usual disgruntlement that everyone has after watching a movie adaptation for a book they have read. for example, he was super excited for the quidditch world cup and that was pathetic in the movies. they were both outraged after watching the first movie that they cut out dumbeldore's "nitwit oddment blubber tweak" speech, and after the final one they said, "man, i was really hoping that they were going to put that speech into one of the later movies. they missed a golden opportunity with that." and then of course there were the usual comments that you would expect boys that age to make dealing with butts and other similarly pleasant subjects *rolls eyes*. turns out that my brother is a harry-hermione shipper, but i forgave him for it because of his deep loathing of snape. his hatred for him was beautiful.

i think my favorite comment of his, though, was during the fourth movie when the weasley twins have just dropped out of hogwarts and there are fireworks going off everywhere and the entire student body is in the courtyard cheering them on as they fly away and harry gets the vision of sirius being tortured by voldemort. he groaned and said, "god! whenever anything good happens, he has to make it bad." which i think sums up the series pretty well. (he was a huge fan of harry's, though. liked him way more than i did when i was his age.)

the weekend, though, left me really wanting to reread the series. it's been something ridiculous like two years since i read them last. i was planning on getting to them after finishing the stack of need-to-reads i have, but i may just bump them up to the top of the list.

*Read My Mind - The Killers

Monday, March 17, 2014

a long time ago we used to be friends

i have never really had a problem with mondays. like, i know that they are universally known as the worst day of the week, but aside from the occasional, "ugh i don't want the weekend to end" dread during my school years i never had an issue with them. until now. why is it that the universe is suddenly conspiring to make mondays the worst day of the week? i mean, really. i suddenly find myself relating to garfield in a way i never thought i would. i don't know what it is, but suddenly mondays are the embodiment (can a day embody something?) of everything awful and my usual grit or whatever it is that allows me to get through the rest of my life seems to take off sunday night and saunter in tuesday mornings slightly disheveled and looking like it slept in its clothes all the while acting like it didn't completely abandon me the day before. ugh.

but anyway. that's all of the attention that i am willing to give to mondays until they get their act together. they don't deserve any more words.

instead, let's talk about the fact that i really like to introduce characters. like, i love to sit down to an empty word document or compose blog post box or blank sheet of paper or whatever and start writing out a character. i'll be happily typing out their basic introduction, deciding what kind of narrator they will be, figuring out what their voice sounds like, and then, a few paragraphs in, it gets to the point where it's no longer enough to have a character. i need a plot, too. and then i sit there for a minute, realize that i have nothing for this character - who happens to be quite awesome - to do or talk about, and i stop. they'll be in the middle of running away (though from who/what/where i don't know and please don't ask about a why) or they'll be about to tell you about the really cool thing that happened that day a year ago when they woke up thinking that their life was just normal and boring enough to be a commercial for car insurance and then nothing. i close the document or the notebook or go back to my blogger dashboard and never see these characters again. it's kind of sad, but i have hopes that one day i will go back and write all of their stories. (i'm thinking that in the future i will probably realize that a few of them belong in the same one.) that is my new life goal. 

i think this love of developing characters is the reason that i have so little patience for books that are all plot and no character. like, yes it is great that this massive war is going on and aliens are about to suck this guy's brain out with a straw, but i would care a lot more if the guy wasn't a cardboard character that talks in cliches and i'm told to like. i'm still working on balancing character and plot in my own writing, but that is neither here nor there. 

in other news, i feel like i should document the fact that i watched the veronica mars movie. [it is highly possible that you have little or no interest in veronica mars and will have no idea what i am talking about in the following paragraph. if this is the case, feel free to just stop reading here. you won't miss anything. i promise.] i used to watch it on tv with my sister. then it got cancelled. then years went by with nothing. then i backed the kickstarter for the movie. then i rewatched all of the episodes and fell in love with it even more. (my fangirl capabilities have grown so much in the past seven years. i don't think i was capable of being a true fangirl at the time of its tv airing.) and then i finally watched the movie friday night. (and am currently debating whether i should buy the books coming out if they aren't in the library or save the forty five dollars i have left to spend on books for the year for something else.) i was going to write a whole post about my movie thoughts, but i don't think i will. i will say that the first words out of my mouth when the credits started rolling were, "what the hell, rob thomas?" but i liked the movie more the more i thought about it afterwards. i feel like i need a rewatch to properly assess it. no matter how many times i rewatch it, though, i will never be okay with how they dealt with the piz story line. (and this is coming from a person who watched it on her couch wearing a team logan t-shirt because yes i am a huge dork thanks for noticing. i was also eating marshmallows.) 

*We Used to Be Friends - Dandy Warhols

Saturday, March 15, 2014

sometimes i look back through my blog and am amazed by how i can know exactly how i was feeling or what i was doing on a specific day because it is all here. recorded. forever. well, forever-ish. forever enough. my sister will ask about a vague comment one of us wrote on the other's facebook wall and i'll just come here and be like, "oh yeah. we were talking about this." that really isn't the case anymore. i blogged on the first day of this month and now here were are, smack dab in the middle of it. everything in between? in three years it may as well not even have happened. and when i do blog, what do i even talk about anymore? not about what i'm doing. not about what i'm thinking. there are no more posts on current events. absolutely nothing tech-y. and maybe it's just my mood at the moment, but that makes me ridiculously sad.

(looking through my blog just generally makes me sad most of the time. the way my voice changes. like, i went from hopeful to angry to resigned. not about anything in particular. just about life in general, i guess. and i suppose that that's what growing up is, but... i dunno. i mean, i still have yet to fully grow up and doubt i ever will completely come out of my cocoon of childness and find myself transformed into a new adult, but the evolution is still there. documented on here for anyone to see.)

as usual, though, where there are no updates to my blog there are drafts lurking behind the scenes. i have been starting a lot of lists lately. and posts about things that i just cannot figure out how i feel about. and so. much. about. school. ugh. and books. but starting things are not doing things and i don't think i ever really learned how to do the latter.

i want to give this blog a complete redesign. part of me just wants to get rid of my sidebars, get rid of my clouds at the top, get rid of all the colors... i want a blank white background and grey sans-serif words and nothing else. i will probably not do this. mainly because i am lazy and useless.

just in case future me decides to read through this post, though, here's what's going on with me at the moment: my parents were in ct, my grandmother is now in va, my parents and my grandmother will be back in ct by the end of the week for a bit. my grandma is moving. school is going nowhere. i've been following the youtube community sexual abuse thing. i no longer write. i rarely read. and any moments of quiet-aloneness end with me being in a mood that is a mix of blah, disenchantment, and nostalgia for a time and place i never knew.

(earlier today i couldn't decide whether to write a happy/excited post or a ranty/happy post and twelve hours later i end up with this. i will be back tomorrow with one of the posts that had a slash happy. i mean, maybe. i have every intention to.)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

let's take it easy

i think i have finally reached that point where my brain has decided that enough is enough and it is time to take matters into its own proverbial hands. its way of doing that is to make writing anything that is not "productive" extremely, extremely difficult. and i mean, i know that i need to do dissertation work. i really do. but i just. don't. want. to. i'm standing on the edge of a precipice and any forward movement - even a breath - will send me falling off into real phd territory. where i won't be able to throw up my hands and say, "oh well, i tried. i have to quit because of all of these reasons that have nothing to do with me. at least i didn't put any actual effort into it." where i won't just be a "phd student;" i'll be a phd student. i will need to pull my obsessive tendencies from my fictional worlds for a bit and focus them entirely on the government's intercept techniques and whether or not they are effective in increasing the success rate of prosecutions in this age of new technologies. (and also maybe a little on the erosion of civil liberties although i am told that is a dissertation on its own and i need to calm down and learn to limit myself.) and ugh. i like my fictional worlds and my little bubble i've created where i'm not responsible for anything. i really do.

you may have noticed my quotations around the word productive up there. they exist because apparently, writing a little fanfiction is doable-ish. like, only at times when dissertation work is really not feasible. i think maybe because my brain knows that i need to do this. it's the first time that i'm writing fanfiction not because of love for a character, plot, or world. this is fueled by pure anger at lazy writing and cheap endings. i was told to care about two characters over the course of three books, and though they never made it onto my list of favorites, they deserve a real ending. and i can't rest until i give them one.

blogging, though, that's been ridiculously hard. like, i'll be marathoning a show online (because tv is the only thing that will numb my brain into shutting up about being productive) and i'll think, "wow. british commercials are so weird. i should write a blog post about that." and then i come on here and realize, "well that's a stupid thing to write about. i should write about that really cool person i met. no no that's stupid, too." that in itself is alarming because you all know that writing hundreds of words about a stupid topic is kind of my thing. but then comes the really scary part. my brain, trying to be subtle, will slip in little things like, "well, i mean, since i'm already online i may as well get some research done." and that is when i know that something is wrong. that is not how i work. there is no "might as well get some research done" in my life. it is all "oh my god i need to do all of this research by next week or i will fail out if life" or nothing.

*When You Were Young - The Killers