Friday, September 11, 2009

New Glasses

8 years ago 12 guys from Saudi Arabia, funded by a rich Saudi living in Afghanistan launched a cowardly attack against the USA. In response George W. Bush attacked Iraq, held a party and claimed "Mission Accomplished", and pretty much gave ...up looking for Osama Bin Laden. That does not honor the memory of the victims of 9/11.


The incident of September 11th confuses me because of debates like this. In honoring the victims of 9/11, are we supposed to fight over whether or not the war in Iraq should have been fought, or do we honor them by constructing monuments or supporting families of those affected? I would vote that supporting families who were affected by the bombs would honor the memory of the victims because it influenced more than the thousands of people who died.

Remember how the whole country was fused together because we all had a mutual enemy? Hindsight may be 20/20, but I don't think we are quite at the point where we can see 20/20.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ruttigers

Can't even imagine doing anything right now, even though I'm on day seven of my 30 day workout. I'm two "extra workouts"* behind, and I'm stuck in a rut. I don't want to get up and do the half hour "twenty minute" Jillian Michael's video that's on mute, just waiting for me to play the workout for level one. Excluding the workout I should be doing now, I have three left to do before I move on to level two. I just feel so tired right now, and I think it's because I didn't do anything today. Usually, I'm around the house either cleaning or doing laundry or tanning, but going to bed around two or three and waking up at 10 really messes up my day.

The good news--at least I ate well.. lots of fruits and veggies.


*I intended to do two workouts a day, so I alternate between choosing a balance ball and my DDR as the second half of my workout regiment.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Changing Things..

P.s.
I really want to get this: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_HnYemNi0lds/R8wamzhudvI/AAAAAAAAFRE/Ph4GOa2Ha8g/s400/Library+Souvenir+Spoons+9.jpg as a picture for my background.

How do you do that?

The New Markus in my Life

I'm not going to wait around all night until my disk cleanup and defragmenter are finished.. at some point, sleep must happen for me.

But I'm excited to apply for this job I found tonight. There is a position in Berkeley as an editor's assistant. Even though it's for children fiction, I am excited for the opportunity. The great thing about publishing houses is that it seems like every single one somehow tracks back to Random House, which is a company I've wanted to work at since I heard the name.

Because I am random and enjoy random things.

Like the banned TV ads I was just watching.. something about a mobster milk man. There was a 16 minute video to explain why a milk man joined the mafia in the first place, which is unnecessary because there's only two things that motivate men: food and sex so it's an easy puzzle.. but then I figured I would write the blog and see how many times I end up burning my fingertips because my computer is hot like lava, and I don't exactly have a "Backspace" key anymore.

Anyway, when you get a chance.. forget that, whether or not you get a chance, you need to read The Book Thief because it is brilliantly poetic, lyrical, and straightforward. Markus Zusak is a brilliant author and I am excited to read more of his work.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Stream of Consciousness

It's funny how my brain works.

As I was doing some facial maintenance, sitting on my mom's sink in her bathroom (where the lighting is best), I started thinking about a friend I had in high school who moved to Vegas and how I think I missed her birthday.

Maybe I should send her a card. No, then it'll be post-marked August 28th, and I think her birthday was a week ago. I'm not a very good friend to her.

Then I remembered my last trip to Vegas, when I went with my friend to celebrate graduating, my birthday, and a myriad of other festivities. I'm not one to combine celebrations because I like to get together with people and toast the close of an activity that is separate from an annual occurence (which is why I must marry someone whose birthday is not in April. That's my month, damnit!), but it was great to go to Vegas and really experience that mess. It's a hot mess.

Then I thought about the guy I first kiss while I was in Vegas; I enjoy the irony of something like a 22-year old having her first kiss happening in Sin City. But after I remembered Marcus and his pillow-like lips, I made the connection between my not complete nonchalonce, but complete inactivity in finding a boyfriend with that kiss and my activity on Match.com.

I've talked with a number of guys, which is awesome because I'm putting myself out there like I wanted. The first guy I was interested in--Jeremy--ended up wanting to be Rapunzel. He didn't care if he ended up as the Disney version or the Grimm Brothers' version, blindly wandering the desert with twins, either.

Then there was Ben, the most boring and consistent guy ever. I liked that he would text me every day, but not that he would give me the inquisition about what I was doing that day. There's only so many ways I can say "I'm forcing a spring cleaning on my mom's unsuspecting house."

Gabe followed quickly thereafter. He was entirely fun--a paramedic who would tell me about the signs of death, procedures for getting people out of a car, and had a heart for the people he picked up on the stretcher. One story he told me was of a guy with Alzheimers, and he would check up on him in the hospital when he dropped a new patient off. Gabe was also very confusing to me because after a month of talking and failed attempts at meeting, he just stopped.

After Gabe was Dominic, the guy who said he was 24 on his profile, told me he was 27, and looked like he was 35. THe point of connection I enjoyed was that he didn't want kids, either, even if he couldn't exactly explain why not. After meeting him at the Irvine Spectrum, I was estatic that I was also talking to another guy who was available to meet me that day before my meeting with Dominic.

It was a disasterous meeting--I tried every avenue of conversation and all he did was look around at walls and keep a comfortable 4-foot distance between his self and me. I didn't mind too awfully, bit given that I had driven to the OC specifically to meet him, I wanted more of an effort where the conversation was concerned. It was fun telling him thanks but he should have a good night after walking down the tree-lined aisle by the parking structure in silence while he thought about how he could make the walk around the Spectrum even more awkward, while I could only scream with gratitude in my head for Kevin.

Kevin is very flexible and seems to have all the time in the world, even though he works at Outback and is getting his teaching credentials to teach high school history. When I found out that Dominic had to work late and wouldn't be able to meet me at 3, I asked Kevin if he was doing anything that would keep him from being interested in getting coffee with me. I felt bad because the day before, we had established that neither of us were looking for anything serious, so I thought I was pushing too hard.. but we had a great time at Kean, talking about school, movies, books, and room mates (among other things). He's a little inconsistent in terms of communication, but it doesn't matter because my first date was with someone who wasn't judging me on my appearance--and if he was, he didn't let it get in the way of a good conversation.

While I am still in touch with Kevin from time to time, I'm also talking with a firefighter named Diego. He reminds me of Gabe, so I am being cautious, but it's been fun talking with Diego, the guy who is more prone to calling me than texting, and always says goodnight before he goes off to sleep, even when he's on a job.

And now, it's 11:00 and I need to put some ABC JuicyFruit in the backyard to kill the gofers out there. I suppose I could wait and do it with my mom tomorrow.. I'll have to contemplate while I finish my facial maintenance right now.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Common, Snake Eyes!

I love fonts.

I know that Times New Romans is the default font for virtually every professional document, but I really like this one, Palino Linotype. It's so much cleaner looking, very bold, and modern.

The other reason I like it, the reason that may have pushed my "like" to "love", is that I changed the font of a story I've been working on and my page count went from 37 to 44.

Fuck. Yes.

Normally, I wouldn't turn it in like that and would stick with TNR because that's just how shit goes down. However, my prof has been such a jackass to me. See below for proof, if you're interested.

Would you be highly or moderately opposed to my turning in Bailey's story by Sunday since that was supposedly the days I emailed you pages?

I just want to know before Friday rolls around :)

~S

Prof:
I am leaving town either this afternoon or tomorrow morning, and the only way to change your grade, given that it was essentially an incomplete carried over from the fall, is to physically do so in the registrar's office. So, you can turn in your pages by Sunday, but I won't be able to change your grade until September . . .

Me:
We should have talked about the turn-in date.

September is too late to have my grade changed since they configure GPA's and transcripts and such to have our diplomas printed and ready to pick up by June or July.

I am a little flustered about how this is panning out, grade-wise because it will probably have a bearing on whether or not I receive honors on my diploma (the little stars they throw on there), given that I wasn't aware than an "incomplete" translates to a "C" grade.

Do you think the Registrar's office will amend my grade with an email from you, rather than an actual form handed to them? In the past, they have accepted a professor's email versus the paper version to complete an add/drop form, but I am just anxious to seek out another option.

Prof:
The turn-in date? It's the end of the semester, end of finals week, and the pages were actually due at the end of last semester . . . Unless I'm reading this wrong, it sounds like you're laying the blame for this one me . . . Also, an incomplete grade can translate into whatever the professor deems appropriate. I could've easily told them it should translate into a D or an F, but I thought I'd give you a break . . . I will check with the registrar's office today, but, in the meantime, please get your pages done, because this is taking way too long to complete itself.

Me:
Sorry, Professor, I did not mean for my response to lay blame on you. I simply want to know if there is a way we can get my final grade to the Registrar's office before they process my diploma.

I am also sorry my frustration with my pages is frustrating you, as well. I am working to get pages to you as best as I can.

Prof:
Okay. Here's what I can do for you. If you send me your pages tomorrow, I will send Dawn an e-mail specifying your grade change, and she will fill out the form and take it to the registrar's office on Monday, with my e-mail serving as my signature. I want to encourage you, though, to get these pages to me asap because Dawn needs to do this on Monday, so that we can get everything in order. Will this work for you? Thanks.

Me:
Yes. I will email you pages by tomorrow.

By what time, just so I'm clear?

I appreciate your help a lot.


This professor has been a constant pain in my ass this semester. We get along better as people, not student-teacher. He's too fucking sensitive! I mean, really.

Sorry, I wanted to talk about how excited I am to have 44 pages out of the 50 I need, and instead I'm ranting about someone whose sensitivity is a thorn in my side.

Anyway, back to writing! I may have 44 pages, but I need 50. Yeaaaaa

Monday, April 27, 2009

FInal To Do

Just so I know...

This is my finals-week to do:
1. Ethnography presentation
2. Ethnography paper
3. Group presentation for Am Div (w. MK)
4. Print Lit Theory paper
5. 2,250 word Am Div paper
6. Final for Online journalism (?)
7. Final for Spanish
8. Creative work (need like, 30 more pages)
9. Portfolio for capstone
10. Graduation ceremonies

Thursday, April 23, 2009

How Others See Me

I seem to be an invidious individual. At least, to some people (2).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Blessings

Tonight, a huge responsibility was played out in front of me. It was the release party of the journal myself and my fellow graduating English majors worked on since January. I was nervous about the party because I wasn't really involved in the planning process--really, I just looked into centerpieces.

I am really glad that I didn't meddle though, and trusted the girls who planned and orchestrated the event. People showed up, everyone enjoyed themselves, we sold an entire box of journals, we gave away prizes and awards (even though I accidentally gave away my copy of the journal that I worked really hard on to get signatures and stuff in), and people were involved! Usually, English department parties are super bland and everyone stands around awkwardly, and everything is over by 8:00. My editorial team is blowing the English professors minds with how amazing we all are, and how high we are setting standards.

Too bad my camera is on the fritz, otherwise I would post pictures.

I am really proud of my team, the effort they put forth, and how accommodating they are. Everyone is so available to get things done, don't act like 3rd graders who need to be prompted to do anything, and--in short--they get shit done.

They're a blessing to me, and I couldn't have asked for a better group of people (except one person who is dead weight, but we won't discuss that).

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Era [until July 19]

I have thought very briefly and hastily about this.

But, for three months, I am denouncing ice cream. From April 19 to July 19, I will function in an ice cream-free zone.

I feel good about this because at times, I feel like I have an addiction to the frozen treat. I don't intend to indulge in an entire pint of, say, Ben & Jerry's "Mission to Marzipan" or Haagen-Daz's "Caramel Cone" but once I do, it's not something I want to do again.

Instead of ice cream, I will buy a book or CD. After all, Vons sells two pints of the aforementioned treats for $7 so it would be about the same price as something that will last me much longer.

But yes, I may have to substitute good books for the $5 paperback harlequin novels, which is fine by me. I enjoy those, anyway. Hahahaha

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Clear Eye Worked for Me!

I got this in an email, and I got really excited--even if it's not really written by Mr. Clear Eye--about the opinions herein. It's a tad long, but it's a good read.

For many years Ben Stein has written a biweekly column called "Monday Night At Morton's." (Morton's is a famous chain of Steakhouses known to be frequented by movie stars and famous people from around the globe.) Now, Ben is terminating the column to move on to other things in his life. Reading his final column is worth a few minutes of your time.

Ben Stein's Last Column...

============================================

How Can Someone Who Lives in Insane Luxury Be a Star in Today's World?

As I begin to write this, I "slug" it, as we writers say, which means I put a heading on top of the document to identify it. This heading is "eonlineFINAL," and it gives me a shiver to write it. I have been doing this column for so long that I cannot even recall when I started. I loved writing this column so much for so long I came to believe it would never end.

It worked well for a long time, but gradually, my changing as a person and the world's change have overtaken it. On a small scale, Morton's, while better than ever, no longer attracts as many stars as it used to. It still brings in the rich people in droves and definitely some stars. I saw Samuel L. Jackson there a few days ago, and we had a nice visit, and right before that, I saw and had a splendid talk with Warren Beatty in an elevator, in which we agreed that Splendor in the Grass was a super movie. But Morton's is not the star galaxy it once was, though it probably will be again.


Beyond that, a bigger change has happened. I no longer think Hollywood stars are terribly important. They are uniformly pleasant, friendly people, and they treat me better than I deserve to be treated. But a man or woman who makes a huge wage for memorizing lines and reciting them in front of a camera is no longer my idea of a shining star we should all look up to.

How can a man or woman who makes an eight-figure wage and lives in insane luxury really be a star in today's world, if by a "star" we mean someone bright and powerful and attractive as a role model? Real stars are not riding around in the backs of limousines or in Porsches or getting trained in yoga or Pilates and eating only raw fruit while they have Vietnamese girls do their nails.

They can be interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me any longer. A real star is the soldier of the 4th Infantry Division who poked his head into a hole on a farm near Tikrit, Iraq. He could have been met by a bomb or a hail of AK-47 bullets. Instead, he faced an abject Saddam Hussein and the gratitude of all of the decent people of the world.

A real star is the U.S. soldier who was sent to disarm a bomb next to a road north of Baghdad. He approached it, and the bomb went off and killed him.

A real star, the kind who haunts my memory night and day, is the U.S. soldier in Baghdad who saw a little girl playing with a piece of unexploded ordnance on a street near where he was guarding a station. He pushed her aside and threw himself on it just as it exploded. He left a family desolate in California and a little girl alive in Baghdad.

The stars who deserve media attention are not the ones who have lavish weddings on TV but the ones who patrol the streets of Mosul even after two of their buddies were murdered and their bodies battered and stripped for the sin of trying to protect Iraqis from terrorists.

We put couples with incomes of $100 million a year on the covers of our magazines. The noncoms and officers who barely scrape by on military pay but stand on guard in Afghanistan and Iraq and on ships and in submarines and near the Arctic Circle are anonymous as they live and die.

I am no longer comfortable being a part of the system that has such poor values, and I do not want to perpetuate those values by pretending that who is eating at Morton's is a big subject.

There are plenty of other stars in the American firmament...the policemen and women who go off on patrol in South Central and have no idea if they will return alive; the orderlies and paramedics who bring in people who have been in terrible accidents and prepare them for surgery; the teachers and nurses who throw their whole spirits into caring for autistic children; the kind men and women who work in hospices and in cancer wards.

Think of each and every fireman who was running up the stairs at the World Trade Center as the towers began to collapse. Now you have my idea of a real hero.

I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters. This is my highest and best use as a human. I can put it another way. Years ago, I realized I could never be as great an actor as Olivier or as good a comic as Steve Martin...or Martin Mull or Fred Willard--or as good an economist as Samuelson or Friedman or as good a writer as Fitzgerald. Or even remotely close to any of them.

But I could be a devoted father to my son, husband to my wife and, above all, a good son to the parents who had done so much for me. This came to be my main task in life. I did it moderately well with my son, pretty well with my wife and well indeed with my parents (with my sister's help). I cared for and paid attention to them in their declining years. I stayed with my father as he got sick, went into extremis and then into a coma and then entered immortality with my sister and me reading him the Psalms.

This was the only point at which my life touched the lives of the soldiers in Iraq or the firefighters in New York. I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others He has placed in my path. This is my highest and best use as a human.


Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that God will.

By Ben Stein

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ongoing

1. Myself
2. Facebook
3. Renee
With flowers and a balloon!!
4. Jessica C.
5. Mom
6. Dawn H.
7. Maria D.
8. Dad
9. Donna J.
10. Creepy stalker guy I knew 4 years ago
11. Dinae C.
12. Jessica G.
13. Linda
14. Krystal H. and Vanessa V.
15. Jennifer R.
16. Erin S.
17. Amy M.
18. Wesley
19. My little brother
20. Sandra
21. Michele G.
22. Jessica C. & Catherine R. & Katie W & Dempster
23. Allison P.
Then, I started worrying about other things. Like, since when do people not give birthday gifts? I'll have to find out from MSN's Miss Manners...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Emoticon: Smiley

There is a certain thing I am involved in.

For this thing, there was a certain thing I needed to write.

For the thing I needed to write, I made about five drafts.

The last version, the one I mostly liked, has been shredded.

The final version is the product of something that seems like I was never a part of. I'm too sick of it to care, but I hate how the guidelines for what was needed for the thing I wrote were never clarified for me, the "creative" approach is null and void by the content, and it's not engaging.

Touchy, touchy people.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rated M for Mature

Oh, Lord.

I've signed up for match.com.

I've got an email from some 44 year old man who thinks he's Indiana Jones, an Asian accountant who wants to talk about karma, and a Latino who works at Knott's Berry Farm. I'm being nice, and I replied to their less-than-interesting messages.

Now, the accountant is rambling about treating people with respect and wants to know why I judge people, the guy from Knott's is telling me about his weight loss capabilities despite being surrounded by fried chicken, and the old man wants "my cell, baby." Right, Austin Powers.

Oh, Lord. Have mercy.

On the bright side, I messaged people I am interested in. I even sent winks to people. I don't care if they respond or not.

My friend signed up on the site before me. We also email. I prefer her emails.

Friday, March 13, 2009

ACK--

Stop Teaching Handwriting

* Posted by: Anne Trubek
* on February 11, 2008 at 9:23 pm

My son, who is in third grade, spends much of his school day struggling to learn how to form the letter “G.” Sometimes he writes it backwards. Sometimes the tail on his lowercase “T” goes the wrong way. His teachers keep telling him he may fail the state assessment standards. We have had several “interventions.” Simon now fears taking up a pencil. Repeatedly being told his handwriting is bad (a fine-motor-skill issue) has become, in his mind, proof that he is a bad writer (an expression issue). He now hates writing, period.

This is absurd: I am a college professor and a freelance writer, and the only time I pick up a pen is to sign a credit-card receipt. Let’s stop brutalizing our kids with years of drills on the proper formation of a cursive capital “S”—handwriting is a historical blip in the long history of writing technologies, and it’s time to consign to the trash heap this artificial way of making letters, along with clay tablets, smoke signals, and other arcane technologies.

Many will find this argument hard to swallow because we cling to handwriting out of a romantic sense that script expresses identity. But only since the invention of the printing press has handwriting been considered a mark of self expression. Medieval monks first worried that the invention of printing would be the ruin of books, as presses were more idiosyncratic and prone to human error than manuscripts produced in scriptoriums. And the monks never conceived of handwriting as a sign of identity: For them, script was formulaic, not self-expressive. That concept did not appear until the early 18th century. Still later came the notion that personality and individuality could be deduced by analyzing handwriting. All the while, print became widely available, and handwriting lost its primacy as a vehicle of mass communication.
Quote:
We cling to handwriting out of a romantic sense that script expresses identity.

The typewriter took handwriting down another notch. Henry James took up the then-new writing machine in the 1880s, most likely because he, like my son, had poor handwriting. By the 1890’s, James was dictating all his novels to a secretary. And as novelists and businesses were putting down their pens, others started to valorize handwriting as somehow more pure and more authentic, infusing script with nostalgic romanticism. The philosopher Martin Heidegger was particularly guilty of this, writing in 1940 of the losses wrought by typewriters: “In handwriting the relation of Being to man, namely the word, is inscribed in beings themselves. …When writing was withdrawn from the origin of its essence, i.e. from the hand, and was transferred to the machine, a transformation occurred in the relation of Being to man.”

Meanwhile, back in school, teachers were trying to get student papers to look like typewritten documents: letter characters, the students were told, should look like fonts.

The pattern doesn’t change: As writing technologies evolve, we romanticize the old and adapt to the new. This will happen with keyboards, too—some contemporary novelists have ceased using them already. Richard Powers uses voice-recognition software to compose everything, including his novels. “Except for brief moments of duress, I haven’t touched a keyboard for years,” he says. “No fingers were tortured in producing these words—or the last half a million words of my published fiction.” Powers is wonderfully free of technological nostalgia: “Writing is the act of accepting the huge shortfall between the story in the mind and what hits the page. …For that, no interface will ever be clean or invisible enough for us to get the passage right,” he says to his computer.

That shortfall is exactly how my son describes his writing troubles: “I have it all in my memory bank and then I stop and my memory bank gets wiped out,” he explains. Voice-recognition software—judging from the rapid-fire monologues he delivers at dinner about Pok√©mon and Yu-Gi-Oh!—would help.

No matter what we use to write something will be lost between conception and execution. I have yet to be convinced that making a graphite stick go in certain directions enhances intellectual development. Let us teach our kids to use the best tools at our disposal: There are plenty of cool toys out there. Boys and girls, it is time to put down your pencils.

Article can be found at: http://www.good.is/?p=8133

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cling on...Something Else.

Dear friend,

You updated your Facebook status to "Feels like she is being avoided." That was two minutes after I ignored your phone call. I'll be honest behind your back--I am avoiding you. You're clingy, needy, desperate, and I don't have the time to deal with your insecurities, issues, and wanton lust for my attention. Can you please understand what I am busy taking 18 units, publishing a book, writing 50 pages of a shit manuscript (which really means I'm taking 21 units), and dealing with my life? I know I've been there for you in your need for the past three and a half years. Can't you stop being in my face for a while?

Irritated to be sucked in,
Stephanie

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

People in my Pocket

My freshman year, I took a creative writing class. In case it's not common knowledge, I am an English major with an emphasis in creative writing so I could better understand the writing process, which would make me an even better editor--my ultimate dream job (I mean really, what's better than being critical of creative people to make their stuff better?). The class was focused on poetry, which I wasn't aware of when I signed up, otherwise I would've bolted. I'm not a big poetry buff, fan, enthusiast, or anything else. However, to my great annoyance, my prof at the time was very energetic about it.

She is a small, adorable, formidable, brilliant Asian woman who loves Jesus with the entirety of her 5'1 body. Not only is she so encouraging and bubbly, but she never has a bad thing to say about anyone. This isn't the best thing, considering that some creative people need less encouragement and more criticism (see Lori Wick, who proliferates the Christian book shelves with her predictable, super-structured mess of PG-rated romance). That being said, when it was my turn to workshop some poetry I had worked on for about three weeks, she was tickled.

"It reminds me of Emily Dickinson--do you read her much?" she wrote on my stack of paper. When she compared me to an author I wasn't altogether familiar with, I knew Dr. Lee was giving me a great, unfiltered compliment. I also knew it was spectacular because she wrote it down and didn't mention it in class--and she always went over the notes she had in class.

Today in my American Diversity class, we were talking about this book Like Never Before and there is a poem by Emily Dickinson at the beginning:

Those--dying then,
Knew where they went--
They went to God's Right Hand--
That Hand is amputated now
And God cannot be found--

The abdication of Belief
Makes the Behavior small--
Better an ignus fatuus
Than no illume at all--


I don't know if this is the whole thing or what, but the discussion about the poem as a precursor to the novel ignited in me a desire to continue reading this collection of Dickinson poetry I bought a year ago that was on sale for $5 and work on some poetry myself.

To be honest, I want to write more. Not to say I think I could make a living on it, but I want to write things that I am uncomfortable writing--plays, poems, screenplays.

A few entries ago, I mentioned how I was revising some pages I had written for a manuscript I have to finish by the end of the semester. I've got two chapters, at 10 pages total. I need 40 more.

That has no connection with this post. I'm going to work more on appreciating poetry. Here is one that was submitted for Synecdoche and it was accepted, but all the same, I love poetry by Aaron Abubo:

Thoughts on Marriage

I am proved by sacrifice.
I am proved by action
by the sutures plunged
into your side as into mine.
If there was any question
it’s been squelched by the
contents
of this room: On the table,
scraps of flesh. On the floor,
pools of blood
skin, stitches, proof that
love not only lives, but
thrives here, as if here
it took that first wet breath
learned firsthand what
love can be. As if it
could see intestines
intertwined, our systems
combined, the stuff of
two bodies stretched
to fill just one. As if it
were enough to simply
see. As if it were enough
to simply be.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Toy Guns

My brother is the most socially inept person I know, and for that, I love him the most. He called me today to tell me he got approved for a full scholarship to three universities of his choosing--Citadel, Norwich, and Cal Baptist--and we started talking about how is senior year of high school is going.

"I get to give a presentation on Hannibal tomorrow," he said. Hannibal is, to my brother, a militaristic genius. In fact, he said that on a scale of awesome, he is a 1st-tier awesome level.

"Gandhi and Mother Theresa and people like them are like, third-tier." Thankfully, he thinks I qualify to be on this tier too, but he also thinks that the order of 1st tier goes God, Jesus, and then Hannibal ("he's like, .01 points away from Jesus") so I'm not sure how I feel about being third-tier.

He was saying that he was reading a book about Hannibal for the presentation and someone asked to see it. Thus, he also knew he was required to defend such a name as Hannibal, since everyone (including me) says "wasn't he a cannibal?"

After the kid asked him that, my brother said a simple "no," to which the kid asked "Then who is he?"

"I told him that he's going to have to wait until I do my presentation. Then I took my book back."

Boys are so simple.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Junction Path Rd.

I am reading a book right now called Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas. I am really enjoying it because of the author's voice, the stories she weaves, and the short-story feel each chapter possesses. However, the current chapter titled "It's all Relatives" was particularly influential on me.

It's about her big Persian family and how closely-knit they are. Here is an excerpt:
My father and his sibilings drivee one another to doctor appointments and pick one another up from the airport. If one goes for a checup, they all call for the results. They know which one of them has high blood pressure and which one is allergic to dairy products. They know one another's favorite foods and often use the knowledge to lure one another for visits. "Kazem, I just made rice pudding" is my aunt Sedigh's way of inviting my father over. His other sister, Fatimeh, has her own ewually effective siren song: "Kazem, the mulberries are ripe."
Together, my relatives form an alliance that represents a genuine and enduring love of family, one that sustains them through difficulties and give them reasons to celebrate during good times. My father and his sibilings have even purchased burial plots together because, as my father tole me, "we never want to be separated."
...
Before I married Francois, I told him that I came with a tribe--a free set of Ginsu knives with every purchase, so to speak. Francois said he loved tribes, especially mine. Now, whenever we visit my relatives, all of whom dote on my husband, I realize that he didn't marry me despite my tribe, he married me because if them.


That's from page 102-103.

When I was 16 or 17, I spent a lot of my time online chatting with people. I was a recluse, and it wasn't until my Sophomore year in college that I said to myself, enough. But, during that time, I used to chat with this guy who is Persian. His name is very similar to the aunt's name--hers is Sedigh and his is Sadegh. I keep thinking of him while I read this book and I haven't thought of him for about a year and a half. Call me cold-hearted, whatever. It's true.

Anyway, I have this issue with family. Mine is impossible. I have no idea who my father's real father is because his mother, my late grandmother, was a promiscuous, neurotic basket case who thought everyone was out to get her. My last name is courtesy of my uncle's biological father.

My mother's side, on the other hand, has about 10 different stories about where we all come from. Some say that we had a scandalous affair a few generations ago in Poland where our ancestor, a Duchess, rebelled against her family's wishes and married the love of her life and moved to Florida after a time. Another story is that my ancestors were farmers in Germany and we came over to Ellis Island. Another story that I have come up with is that my family signed up for scientific and political testing eons ago and, therefore, we are forbidden from unearthing our beginning because CIA, FBI, and other governmental agencies with acronyms refuse to share that secret with us. I like thinking I am highly classified.

My mom's sister tried to have a professional map out our family tree. This professional had no trouble getting my uncle's side of the family back to like, the 1800's or something, but she (or he?) came to a dead end after my grandpa.

I don't know anything about my family members. We are all experts in keeping to ourselves.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Avoidance Technique

For Valentine's day, I went to my brother's house. We watched "Horton Hears a Who" and I watched my two-year old niece try to act the parts. See the video below--it takes her a minute.



When she wants to be, she's a funny kid.



She had this tendency to crawl behind the couch and get suck between the wall and the lamp. It took her about 10 minutes to get out, but I had a great time documenting:



I just don't know why they gave her that bowl haircut.

Monday, February 23, 2009

BOL

Stephanie
POP 'N FRESH

10:21pm
Natasha
Fruit roll up!

10:22pm
Stephanie
I was about to write "mack that cheese" but there are waaay too many possible innuendos we can run with that one.

10:23pm
Natasha
Aaaaaah!
that's such a good one

10:23pm
Stephanie
lol
tanks.

10:23pm
Natasha
you're welcome

10:23pm
Stephanie
maybe even throwing in a "Macdaddy" after it
you know

10:23pm
Natasha
that's good

10:23pm
Stephanie
"Mack that cheese, macdaddy"

10:23pm
Natasha
there is so much fun to be had with names of foods

10:24pm
Stephanie
even Teddy grams
grahms
nasty visual image if you split those words...

10:24pm
Natasha
we
ew
gross
you have a sick mind
I love teddy grahms

10:25pm
Stephanie
I must because even Google didn't come up with anything for "grandmas in teddies"
for which I am very relieved.

10:25pm
Natasha
Lemon Party

10:25pm
Stephanie
is that a food?

10:26pm
Natasha
it's a website where old men do things, sexually to one another

10:26pm
Stephanie
WTF
gives a whole new meaning to Lemon Bar

10:26pm
Natasha
Oh yeah!

10:26pm
Stephanie
Mmmmm, all that powdered sugar.
Not so powdery anymore.

10:27pm
Natasha
its ruined now
there's a food I can give up for lent

10:27pm
Stephanie
I want you to know that I'm enjoying this conversation so much that I'm going to paste it onto my blog so I can remember it forever.

10:28pm
Natasha
nice

Friday, February 20, 2009

Everything in Abundance

I feel sick. Queasy. Nauseous. Perturbed. Anxious. Indecisive. Unsure.

Undistinguished. And I need to pee.

For the past two hours, I've been researching grad schools. I have information about the requirements for Purdue, Fullerton, Northwestern, UCSD, Berkeley, and Cornell (in order of preference). I want to study linguistics, but if I go to Purdue, I would be more inclined to delve into their 18th Century Literature program.

UCI's website is really confusing and I should probably get more information about the English programs available at the University of Chicago.

I have many reservations about going to grad school and I kind of want to go teach ESL somewhere just to be active while I study for the GRE.

I should look up international grad schools. My professors need to get in touch with me because if I have to write something up for my Master's degree, then I don't think linguistics will be a right fit for what I have in mind.

I still need to pee.

Today, for a Sigma Tau Delta event, we went and read books to kids. I read one about a family who is very incompetent in handling their dog and another about a clingy girl and an adventurous bear called Corduroy.



I was much more enthusiastic than that voice. It was surprising how much I enjoyed reading to kids, given that I don't like them.

My dad thinks I should take a test to become a substitute teacher. It's $250, whereas the GRE is $150. I thought my expenses would be minimal after graduation. I also have to pay application fees for grad apps (at least $55 each) and the schooling deal for the ESL class is nearly $900 on one website. Hot damn.

I want to just stay in school, get BA's in everything but math and science, and get an editing job back at Tyndale. I could even skip the BA's and go straight for editing at Tyndale. I should email the PR lady and ask if there are any jobs available, even though the website has been bereft of career opportunities for months. Ok, weeks.

Stupid bills.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Will the Old Files Please Stand Up?

I found some treasures today quite by accident. My little brother is applying for college now, and I read over his purpose statement or whatever they're called now, and I just got off the phone with my dad, who brought to my attention that in my computer still lay the documents I sent in to VU that, consequently, got me in.

This is my personal statement essay:
A lot of people go through life trying to understand or figure out, in most cases, the meaning of life. There are books such as “Purpose Driven Life” to help one discover the purpose of one’s life; there are self-help tapes that try to convince the listener that there is a reason for life: humans are not the byproduct of decomposed fish, but rather, a miraculous phenomenon! Well life is a miraculous phenomenon, but not for the reason science would have us believe. However, I have discovered the reason why I exist. I was put on this earth for a purpose—as we all are—and my life will be different from another person’s life.
I have found that, although the destination—death—is always the same, the journey of life will vary from person to person. My ultimate purpose in life is to influence people’s lives by serving and helping them. It is that simple. I am to help people cross the street, put away groceries, fix dinner, set up furniture, and generally, to serve. After all, the most influential people on Earth served others! And that is my reason for living. I am to be Jesus Christ’s vessel and do what He wants me to.
Eventually, I will be a philanthropist. Yes, it will provide me with beautiful tax breaks, but more importantly, it will be the ultimate stage of my existence. I hope to be a world-wide philanthropist. In fact, I plan to go abroad and help people there, where people live off of dirt and dirt-like water and do not know any better. People are not meant to live in dumps and ghettos; they just do not realize that Jesus’ plan for their life is much more than that.
I feel fortunate to have learned what my purpose is early enough so as to not waste my life, pursuing things that would defer from my definitive purpose. However, I wish that I had stumbled upon this revelation before the end of my Junior year of high school. I feel that I have wasted three valuable years of possible influence by not participating in the Interact club earlier. It was fun serving dinner for St. Patrick’s Day to the elderly people of the community. And it was fun to do the Jeopardy game for the other schools in the San Jacinto school district! I am fortunate to have had experiences in my church that have helped to nurture my passion for God and to serve others, such as peer counseling and coffee-making. It is gratifying to watch a person transform after he or she receives Jesus Christ due the presence of God and serving him or her a hot cup of coffee, complete with the savory flavors he or she wished to have, and the right amount of whipped-cream to make the journey down the esophagus a smooth one.
The reality hits me, however, that one has to be very wealthy in order to help others for nothing…which is why I will pursue a career in Business Administration. There will always be a need for business, so it is a sound career. However, college tuition is rapidly increasing. A middle-income family can hardly afford a house, much less a college education. I know that it is possible to become a Chief Executive Officer after many, many years of climbing “up the corporate ladder,” but I am too anxious to fulfill my purpose and influence lives. I know that God only has good things planned for His children and that He will provide for my tuition according to His riches and glory. I give glory to God for all the opportunities I have had; it has become my lifestyle. I will not alter this lifestyle…after all, without giving Him the glory He deserves, He can take it all away.


We also had to write a brief statement of faith, and this is what got me accepted by an AOG school:

I am a bonafide believer in Jesus Christ and have been ever since I was six. Like most kids, I didn’t realize the seriousness of such a commitment and I felt disappointed because the Pastor said I would feel something in my inner being and I didn’t. I attended church regularly and have been involved in puppettering ministries, operating the sound board, active in leadership roles since Junior High, and even dance ministries. God began to feel nonexistent; not because of my involvement in church and lack of dedication to Him, but because I was so used to God and I failed to seek Him more and more.
In eighth grade, my group of friends was not so stupendous and they influenced me. I began to curse and stopped before I would utter the biggest profanity of all. I rededicated my life to Him that night and I cried myself to sleep when, again, I did not feel a stir in my heart.
I understand at least two things now: 1) God works on people differently, and 2) what I have now is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ instead of what protocol called for to become a Christian. For me, I had to train myself to listen to His still, small, quiet voice. I have had to learn to talk to God and let Him know what I need. It is a continual learning experience, and I must say that I am most committed. It is difficult for me to have put so much faith and emotion into something and just leave it. My relationship with God is no passing fade and I will defend it with my life.


Anyone else have theirs handy??

Monday, February 16, 2009

Coffee Break

I am working on homework at school, trying to figure out how to re-write some of my pages to turn into my professor who I have recently discovered is not married. Not only is that pretty upsetting, because I thought he had a wife named Susan, but I have been trying to get 5 pages out of my head for the past 4 days. I have a long-ass amount that I've written in a previous draft, but it doesn't work with the tone of my current pages-pages, by the way, I am partial to.

Anyway, it's been a really lazy weekend and I've only been dressed for the last end of the days, spending 13 hours (or more) in my pajamas before meeting people for homework. Today, I didn't put on a shirt. I just threw a sweater on and went. An old semi-friend came up to me while I was making a dent in my pages and started talking with me when I realized that I am in a public place in a sweater with no shirt on. Jump back!

This is the chunk I'm re-writing:

In the farthest corner, held together almost exclusively by the sticky substance of cobwebs, teetered a pile, stacked atop cardboard boxes and a daybed Bailey slept in when she was twelve, which was from that same period of her life when she discovered Van Gogh and his story about his self-destructive obsession with the prostitute he loved named Rachel, sending an ear to the woman in a fit of passion, or so she read on Wikipedia. Fueled by the idea of Picasso’s blue period, a concept she was infatuated with when she saw “The Old Guitarist” on a calendar on her seventh grade teacher’s wall, Bailey attempted a portrayal of Van Gogh’s ear delivery scene, which was poorly rendered, though multiple attempts would be executed, though none would equate the horror of the sample from the blue period.
As interpreted by Bailey, her blue period necessitated three different but equally limited and insignificant shades of blue—navy, pastel, and teal. The amorphous blob of the woman was a conglomerate swirl of the three colors holding the pastel envelope, out of which slid a navy blue ear. The distinguishing body part that depicted the difference between the severed ear and the blob were the distended eyes that were stretched enough to cover almost the entire length of the woman. The piece was her first attempt and reflected a conglomeration of melted paints, poorly applied shellacked covers, and abstract ideas of what a severed ear and a horrified woman would look like, all wrapped up in a blue background that had faded with time and attracted the ligaments of random, unfortunate insects. As it horrified Bailey and Bailey’s mother, Barbara, its permanent placement at the bottom of the pile was the best real estate it would ever get.
The three years dedicated to imitating Van Gogh’s blue period was appropriately marked by the toppling pile of more than twenty 10x15 canvases, and various smaller palettes, varying from 5x6 to sketches in blue ink. The maturation of Bailey’s periods occurred on her fifteenth birthday when Barbara’s sister, Polly, presented Bailey with an art book of the life works of Picasso.
“Barb, don’t worry,” Polly said to her sister. “She’ll grow out of it and you can stop buying so many blue dye tablets.”
Bailey didn’t make it past the chapter of the man’s cubist phase before she was cutting apart cube-shaped scraps of cloth and foil to piece together, forming collage after collage of distorted human outlines and bulbous carnivorous designs, which were only designated animal status because of the assortment of wildlife print scraps that gave them any consistency, but to say the image was wholly discernible would be a stretch of any imagination or ability.
In contrast to the hodgepodge and literal cube-like approach bailey took, she tried depicting Van Gogh’s story with the phase, making vague outlines of ear, woman, and envelope, giving most emphasis on the blood that soaked the ear, hand, and envelope. It looked like a fortunate, grotesque accident of confetti, but the piece was good enough to be considered in a local art fair. Bailey get interested in the fairs in high school, and was a continuous, crushing denial of what Barbara outwardly called talent and inwardly called economic failure, a view perpetuated by her art-less upbringing.
“Isn’t my daughter brilliant?” she would ask parents who had children in the same art class. Her constant comparisons to children who were still using charcoal and play dough was how other parents knew about Barbara’s trepidation, and the permanent place Bailey’s father took next to his daughter’s work to bask in what he thought was the epitome of creativity scared the same observant parents.
“I don’t know where she gets it from—certainly not me! Barb!” he would call across the room. “You devil, you. You slept with the milk man, didn’t you?” Chip would nudge the person closest to him, usually the art teacher, and grin. “There isn’t any originality like this in anyone in my family.”
Fueled by her mother’s masked approval and her father’s honest encouragement, Bailey’s cubist period was piled up across a bureau and littered the brown shag carpet of the basement in such disarray that it could have been considered art to the abstract critics of the time. Despite the many efforts of Barbara and Polly to shift Bailey’s perception of the world from the drab, formulaic cubist approach in which she resided, there was a change when Bailey’s father, Chip, thoughtlessly gave Bailey a bonsai tree for Christmas. Despite the non-tender and unimpressionable age of eighteen, Bailey was unmistakably taken with the knotted, erect, and impossible tree, which proved to be her muse for the next two years, in which she engaged in painting the realism of Southern California landscapes and strangers in the dusty, Palm-tree laden state, much to her mother’s dismay.
“Chip, why?” she lamented. “Why did you do this to me? What are we supposed to do with all of her crap?”
“Honey, it’s going to sell! Just watch. Look at her work—her teacher said that the composition and color use is above average. She has great ideas!”
The maturity of style with these pieces was noted in the crowded basement as they were mostly piled on the walls. Unframed, it was not the classy status Barbara would have preferred for any room in her meticulous and well-ordered house, but the fervor Bailey channeled to any phase she enjoyed was to the detriment of her art’s appreciation. Most of the hundred canvases were propped against the walls, and because Bailey would refuse the smaller canvases in favor of what she believed was making a statement with the bigger canvases, equaling 10x15’s or exceeding that, they quickly covered the small room that constituted the basement. Few pieces hung on the walls of the house, mainly because the clean, modern style of the house was not amicable enough to accommodate the realistic depiction of strangers—especially not the bloody and abhorrent version of Bailey’s new edition of the Van Gogh lover piece—the pieces that fulfilled the requirement held by modernism were placed in the kitchen and sunroom, where pieces of fruit bowls, the Nguyen backyard, and a portrait of Chip and Barbara were duly appreciated by family and friends alike.
“Chip, your daughter is so talented. Do you think she would do a portrait of my family, too?”
“Oh, you don’t want that,” Barbara would say. “That took her three weeks. We had to sit for how long, Chip? Four hours every time?”
“But look at the result—I would gladly do it again. She got me exactly the way I see myself,” Chip would counter. “She has great insight, and her art teacher always compliments her use of color and composition,” he would boast to the friend who wanted an original.
There seemed to be a natural progression from Bailey’s realism to her impressionism, which she had learned about it in college when she was twenty. Living in San Francisco, she had many opportunities to paint the period’s focus—a landscape as seen from behind a rain-pelted window. The distorted and smudged trees, people, and views of Fisherman’s Wharf were her best works, evidenced when measured against the ratio of sold works to unsold, dusty efforts, but there were plenty of remainders in the basement that were in boxes that surrounded the circumference of Bailey’s designated, if unused, painting area.
Bailey continued the impressionistic phase after she graduated from college, and the works she made were quite different from the pieces made in San Francisco. When she moved back home to Temecula, the notorious lack of rain caused a decrease in volume of works produced. The few times it would rain, Bailey would frantically work and later store the rushed pieces, both finished and unfinished, in cardboard boxes. The focus was one Bailey took advantage of, but the nature of blurry windows and views that are consequently as blurry as the window made one piece almost identical as the next, except the colors the landscape called for, the pieces were naturally more depressing than Bailey would have intended.

Blahfoodblahfatblah

I feel like I've been at 45 posts for a very long time.

Today, I think I learned something about myself. I may be a stress eater. I have so much on my plate with Synecdoche, Sigma Tau Delta, Spanish, my six classes, trying to write a 50 paged manuscript (ok, so seven classes), wanting to lose weight by going to the gym, stressing out about my finances (my goal is to pay off my credit card before graduation), working, and staying in touch with my friends and family. I love being this busy because I want to be on the move, but I find myself doing very, very poorly with my diet.

I go into the caf (sorry, Hannah--the Bon) and intend to have something good and healthy--a salad with some meat stuffs in it, or something like that. Then I see that there is the open burrito/taco bar and I make myself a burrito bowl much unlike one from Chipotle. The Spanish rice, refried beans, shredded lettuce, salsa, and little dollop of sour cream, followed by a spoon of chicken or other meat is something I love to eat with tortilla chips, or even pita chips.

When I am putting the food in my to-go box, I say that I deserve something tasty because it's lunch and if I eat something unhealthy early in the day, then it's more likely to get burned off. Then I get food for dinner, and it's another bad choice with minimal veggies, max carbs, I'm sure. It's a lot of bread, and even though it is whole wheat, I need to revert back to my healthy eating days.

The little mantra I used to tell myself was that I've been treating myself to nice little "somethings" my whole life--I can go without. Well, lately, with everything going on, I've done nothing good for myself. I'm not going to tell you how many sweets I've stuffed in my body because...well, here's my Sunday Fitness update:

Weight: 215.6





Fattyfattyfattyfatty.

Hmm. I don't know what to do. I should take up smoking instead. I need a new occupation that I like better than food that is free.

Friday, February 13, 2009

After Graduation...

Mental note:

Try to make some pictures like aknacer and rosie_hardy.

They are awesome, and I mostly like Rosie's pictures. Yes, I read about them online today. It's an adorable story, and her photography is very much the kind I like.

I'm going to be on Flickr much more often. Totally.

New goal: REALLY learn photoshop.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Black is Slimming on Slim People

I'm sorry.

It's back.


Weight: 214.8



I have bought into a lot of shit about my weight. My mom is big as well, and we have been overweight my whole life. She would tell me that if I could see my toes when I looked down, I was fine. That as long as my boobs were bigger than my stomach, I was good.



I can't even say that I look pregnant because pregnant people have the nice, smooth belly. I was talking to my mom this weekend about why we're fat and she said that she has just recently thought of herself as fat. I told her that we needed to let go of our misconceptions about the power of our fat.



We both had the impression that we were being ourselves. We thought that we were proving a point--that fat girls can be loved, too--that being fat, we would be able to find the man God has for us because he wouldn't be a shallow jackass like my father was (is).

I told her we weren't proving a point to anyone. We aren't doing anything good for ourselves by staying fat because it's unhealthy, and it's not as if we are happy at our dimensions.

I've decided that it's stupid to think that God will bring me a man who will not care about my weight. I've decided this a while ago, but I'm documenting it. How can I want a man who isn't shallow when I don't want to talk to people who look like they've never heard of shampoo before? And how can I want a man who doesn't want an attractive woman?

I want to be an attractive woman not because that's what the media tells me, but because I believe that what we look like reflects the way we feel about ourselves. Granted, it's expensive and I have no money, but I can still try to look better.

I want to look at myself in the mirror and see this change into something better:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Coffee Calls

Life,

I feel I need to remind you--you are my bitch. You work for me. You do what I want you to do, and you do not boss me around.

You just remember that.

Forcefully,
Stephanie

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A New Installment

I am here to introduce a new edition to my blog: Fitness Sundays.

Every Sunday, I will give an outline of the exercises and/or eating plans I have for the week, along with my current weight. By doing this, I am hopeful that my shame will spur me to shed my lard-laden body.

Starting today!
Weight: Wayyy the hell too much (214.8, without pants)
Height: 5'7







Hello, blog readers!
Upcoming week:
This week will be another busy one, and my friend is getting married on Sunday. I am the maid of honor. They are Italian. Fatness will be rampant!

I plan to counteract the horrible food choices I will be making on Sunday by eating through the food pyramid like I usually do, and be sure to NOT eat anything excessively. For example, I try to limit my sugar intake to once a week. For dessert tonight, I had an ice cream cone so that should be all I have.

As far as working out...I don't know what will happen. Maybe some DDR, added to my walking furiously around campus to go from class to class to work to class, etc.

Mmm. Yeah. Let's see how this works.

Welcome to the most embarrassing aspect of my life!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A-burn

God is sitting in Heaven when a scientist says to Him, "Lord, we don't need you anymore. Science has finally figured out a way to create life out of nothing. In other words, we can now do what You did in the beginning'."
"Oh, is that so? Tell Me..." replies God.
"Well," says the scientist, "we can take dirt and form it into the likeness of you and breathe life into it, thus creating man."
"Well, that's interesting ... show Me."
So the scientist bends down to the earth and starts to mold the soil.
"No, no, no..." interrupts God, "Get your own dirt."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Finished "To Do" Post

self-serve ice cream at AMPM
the dogs in my yard
cell phones can suck it without me telling them to
I want the 70's back
Del Taco's ode

When my professors tell me to write an outline of things I want to write about in a paper, my list looks something like the above. When I was driving home tonight from having dinner with the precious company of yours, truly (I don't spend enough time alone anymore), I threw this list together and hoped I would remember it while I waited at a ridiculously long stoplight.

While at home, I had a lovely dinner at Del Taco by myself and joyed the warm gooeyness consisting of rice, beans, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, and lettuce in a flour tortilla that I had long desired since coming back from abroad and drove home to pack my car up before the drive to school, which feels longer and longer every time I do it. I passed the AMPM and thought, it would be so cute to get a self-serve ice cream cone! and turned my car around.

People--since when has the self-serve ice cream in convenience stores been banned?? Oh my gosh! Don't tell me it's because of all the bacteria, because frozen yogurt places are popping up everywhere with self-serve machines. I want my self service ice cream back because, damnit, it is convenient! See the picture right there? Stupid "Extra" is killing my childhood. When I was younger, my family would take a walk down the stree to AMPM where I would get a swirled cone. It is probably the only positive memory I have of my father's role as my father. But that's a little overly-dramatic. I just want self-serve ice cream back, pronto.

_______

Something very funny happened that weekend, too. While I was lounging around in my pajamas, a horrendeous flannel gown of stripes and roses with long sleeves and lace that is suitable for old women and not 21-year-olds, I heard barking. Obnoxious, loud barking that I was confused by. Could it be the person who stole my mom's dog, Winston, has returned him because they don't want to deal with his rascal-y ways? I thought. No, it was not my mom's Australian shepherd. Instead, it was a dog of a breed of some kind with short brown hair wearing a hoodie sweater that said "Champ 20".

Well isn't this adorable? Some old lady, probably named Millie, has lost her pooch. She will be so glad to get him back! After all, only old lonely people dress their dogs up. I know this because my dad's new wife, Mary, dresses up her dog.

It took some team work, but my mom and I got a phone number from Champ's dog collar, which was attached to a leash, which was attached to a newely broken tree branch. I called it and got a place called the Humaine Society, and they gave me the name and number for the dog's registered owner.

I called Celia. She is a middle-aged woman who does not speak English. I talked with her sister, her niece, her nephew, and finally someone who was willing to translate for both parties. For 20 minutes, I tried to tell them that I was not responsible for their dog, even if they did not want him.

"We tried to call you guys a few months ago because he ran away and we don't want him."

What the--?

"No, I am your neighbor and your dog is barking in my front yard. You said you live across the street from a school, right? Yeah, so do I. Your dog is in my yard. Please come and get him."

It took 20 minutes of this. They thought I was from the dog pound and wanted to charge them $25 to get the dog. Shoot, I wanted them to give me $25 for the conversation! And for giving them their dog back! It was a good dog. While it was barking, I said "Champ, stop barking. Sit." and he did.

My mom was like, "You know, that's about the size of a dog I want."

"You're not keeping someone's dog, mom."

Maybe I should've let her. When the nephew came to get Champ, he looked very unhappy and flustered. I watched him run back to his house, which is a dillapidated mess of wood and rickety beams in the middle of a plot of land, lush with weeds and wondered why they were investing in dog clothes.
______

My freshman year of college, my grandma set my mom and I up on her cell phone account so we could all keep in touch. Since then, we have had a ridiculous amount of trouble with cell phones because my grandma added things, did not pay the bill, and left the country before finding out that cell phone contracts can be abolished given lengthy relocations. Of course, I did not find that out until the other weekend when AT&T tried to wallet-rape me and my mom into chocking up $500 for two months of service.

Since the phone deal is dealt with already, and I have no interest in delving into the situation again, I will just write about how stressful my mother's lack of gumption, balls, and steel is. She has recently been incapable of handing situations without my support, including this ordeal with the cell phones. They had been charging us, for 8 months, $69.99 for an internet chip we had disabled with a store clerk. I told her that she needed to raise unholy Hell and demand reimbursement for the amount of $559.92, not including interest, at least. Apparently, she does not feel justified in demanding fair treatment and gave them what they wanted.

Everything about the phone companies and how they reduce my mom to this incapable mess pisses me off beyond reason.

_____

Simply put, I want the ease and purposefullness of the 70's back. People faught for something meaningful instead of fighting to be a part of some status quo, and I miss the times when people interacted with people.

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I have begun a new blog as part of a class assignment. I am in online journalism and we have to pick a topic to blog about. See this link for more information:

http://tastybaubles.wordpress.com

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Grandma's a Cheat

Eating chocolate truffles is a lovely experience. When the liquid chocolate escapes from its waxed casing, it feels as if someone has unleashed a mighty drooler, whose warm saliva is promptly poured into my mouth.

Mmm-mmm.