Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Said the writer

I’m starting on my new year’s resolution early. I’m a writer. I love writing. I have a degree in writing. So why don’t I write? For no good reason, that’s why. Therefore, I’m setting the goal to update my blog once a week.

Writing has always been therapeutic for me, and I have a lot to say, although I often keep it to myself for a number of different reasons. Even when I was a kid, I used writing as a means of expressing myself. I remember one time in particular when my older brother did something that infuriated me. I don’t recall what; I think I was easily provoked as a child, and perhaps I still am in some ways. All I remember is getting out my little pink diary—the kind with the lock and the tiny keys that no girl under the age of ten could possibly keep track of—and writing, I hate Stuart! I hate Stuart! I hate Stuart! What a little brat I was! Of course, I never hated Stuart, as often as I allowed my emotions to get the better of me. My point is that even then, I used writing as a means of venting my thoughts and feelings. I suppose some things are better written than vocalized.

Aside from venting, I also find that writing helps me unscramble my thoughts. There is so much going on in my head all at once, that I don’t know what to do with it all. And then there are times when I can’t figure out the next sentence. I think this mostly happens when I have been thinking so much—usually about life—that I get overwhelmed, and my brain just shuts down altogether before it overheats or explodes. Call it a defense mechanism.

Speaking of life, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching lately, as I am wont to do, and I have determined a few things. One is that I am no longer twenty-five. It didn’t take long to determine that. However, I still hope to make something of myself, so I think the original twenty-five spirit of this blog can continue into my twenty-sixth year and beyond.

Actually, my age is pretty much all that is certain right now, so maybe I haven’t determined that much after all.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Help = Meh.

The HelpThe Help by Kathryn Stockett

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Spoiler alert! Not major spoilers, tiny, in fact, but still...

I must admit I have a grudge against really long books. What happens too often is that all the action is saved for the last third of the book. This book fits the mold. And I can't figure out why certain things are included. I don't know what they add to the story. They might be interesting or shocking, but they don't seem to add to the theme. For example, why does Skeeter's mom get cancer, leading you to believe she'll die, only to miraculously recover with no treatment? Why does the naked man trespass in Celia's yard? It doesn't seem to have anything to do with the racial theme of the book because he's tormenting the white woman the same as the black woman. He's just crazy as far as I can tell. I'm probably just slow and not not picking up on some hidden message.

I'm also somewhat prejudiced against writers who write about writing. This book made it seem so easy too. Some big wig editor receives a resume from an unqualified girl from Mississippi and just gives her the opportunity to write this book? Very unlikely. I doubt Skeeter would have been the only unqualified applicant, so is Mrs. Stein writing to every single wannabe writer to help them follow their dreams? She doesn't seem like that nice of a person. It's almost as bad as David Bowie emailing what's-his-face on the movie Band Slam to tell him he saw his band on YouTube and wants them to sign to his label.

I do like that all three women are freed in one way or another in the end.

I normally like stories where people with different backgrounds are able to come together, but this one just didn't do it for me, probably because of my prejudices (Oh, the irony!) against long books and writers who write about writing.

View all my reviews

Friday, January 14, 2011

This one goes out to supporters of athletics

Marysville School District is facing some pretty detrimental mid-year budget cuts, so the school board is postponing varsity and JV sports at the new high school until 2012.

Many people are displeased.

For my nifty reporting job, I went to a public forum last night where the superintendent answered a lot of budget questions. A lot of people wanted to talk about the sports issue, and things started getting a little rambunctious when some lady said a school's main job was to offer education, not sports.

Hoping to quell the impending riot, the superintendent switched topics, saying, "I'll be happy to stay after the meeting and talk with those of you who are athletic supporters."

People quickly quieted down. I wonder if they were being respectful, or if they were picturing in their minds the same thing I was:

Friday, December 24, 2010

If you haven't finished your Christmas shopping, maybe you should just try again next year.

Originally Best Buy was going to be open 7am to 5pm on Christmas Eve, but corporate decided they needed to keep the lights running for a couple more hours. Best Buy closes at 7pm tonight, which means the lucky employees who were asked to stay longer will be missing out on family time. I'm actually kind of surprised the managers didn't have a harder time getting people to stay. I work 1:45-5:45 today, and if they would have asked me to stay longer, I would have turned them down.

Who goes shopping at 7pm on Christmas Eve anyway? I mean really? Christmas is on December 25th every year, and you waited until your family is eating dinner on Christmas Eve to go shopping. Go home to your family! Sheesh!

On a happier note, this little boy came in to Best Buy with his dad last night, and when I asked if I could help them find anything, the dad said, "This kid has been saving up for an iPod for a long time." We were completely out of iPods, but they were hoping to order one from another store. Fortunately Bellevue and Seattle had the iPod they were looking for, so I helped this little boy pick out a case and some ear buds and sent them off to customer service to order their iPod. They were so kind and grateful, and they wished me a merry Christmas as they walked away.

It was a tender little scene--this little boy who had been saving for a 229-dollar iPod rather than just having it handed to him, shopping with his dad who clearly loved him a lot. It was my last interaction of the night, and I went home happy.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The wonder years

I know a lot of people would call me crazy for this, but I would totally relive high school. I remember my junior year wasn't my favorite, although I can't really remember why, but I had so much fun in high school. I had the coolest friends, I didn't have to worry about work or how I was going to pay bills, and my mom still did my laundry. Plus, homework in high school was much easier than it was in college.

I got my last two years of high school P.E. waived by filling out a form that said I needed time for classes that would better prepare me for my college education when the truth was I was just sick of playing basketball. And when I say "playing basketball," I mean running back and forth on the court, wondering how I would get rid of the ball if someone dared pass it to me.

I hated swimming in P.E. too, so in tenth grade, I had my mom write a note to get me out of the swimming unit. In the note, she kind of exaggerated the pain and fatigue swimming caused me, and my fat P.E. teacher told me I was just out of shape. Maybe so, but you didn't see her eagerly jumping in the pool to practice her survival skills, treading water for twenty minutes in her jeans, only to remove them and inflate them as a life preserver while struggling to keep her nose out of the water. Yes. I did that, and now I know that if I'm ever in the middle of an ocean with only my pants for a life preserver, I'm going to drown. I spent the rest of the swimming unit walking the perimeter of the southern-most baseball field with my fat friends whose mothers had written them notes.

That same year, I had a health teacher who told us that her 70-year-old parents still had sex. For some reason, that statement was burned into my teenage mind. We watched videos about STD's and Kurt Cobain's suicide. We wore those drunk goggles and tried to walk around the room--some people seemed to have more practice than others--and there was that stoned kid in the corner who slept through the bell as the rest of us were herded out the door for second period. There was boring Mr. Bowen, a string bean of a man who one day found a decorated sign on his portable's door that read "Mr. Bonads," and Mr. Hauk with his bleached hair and fake-n-baked red skin from his after-school tanning salon job, and the creative writing teacher who only wrote stories about squirrels and gave you an A as long as you turned something in. And if, by chance, one of my high school teachers ever happens to stumble across my blog, know that I loved you for your quirkiness.

Click here to read about the time I was kicked out of driver's ed.

After school, when I wasn't watching Boy Meets World or Saved by the Bell, Megan and I would hang out at her house and listen to Blink 182, Something Corporate, and The Starting Line while we did homework or projects and ate pepperoni and cheese on Wheat Thins. On weekends we would get everyone together and have "Mormon raves" in Alex's basement or play Balderdash and Suck and Blow at Mallorie's house. Sometimes, I would go over to Mallorie's, and we would talk to strangers on AIM, which my mother would have killed me for if she had known. Don't worry, Mom. We never gave out personal information.

There was the "Roll Out" music video (which somebody needs to find, by the way) where Kirsten and I pushed Alex around on a scooter and pulled Monopoly money from our turtlenecks. And then there was that snow day where we walked all over the neighborhood, making snow angels in random yards. We made snowmen with blue Mohawks at Melanie's house, and Jake threw a snowball at a car. The guys slammed on the brakes and left the car running in the street while they yelled in Derek's face, assuming him the culprit. Derek said nothing. Chelsea told them to watch their mouths.

And, oh, my gosh, all those years at girl's camp... Amazing.

Yeah. I would totally relive high school.

I don't know who that girl on the right is, but I'm sure she was cool.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Catch me when I fall

Having spent the last couple autumns in Rexburg, ID, I had almost forgotten how much I love the fall. You see, in Rexburg, fall seems to last a week at best, the town rapidly becoming a frozen wasteland by Halloween. The remains of winter snow were still present when I graduated last April.

Here in Washington, however, we have more time to enjoy the fall (between rainy spells, of course). I was reminded of my love for the season while enjoying a pleasant stroll around the neighborhood a couple days ago. I prefer walking through crunchy leaves, opposed to the damp ones the other day, but it was, nevertheless, quite lovely. I enjoyed my walk so much that I hardly cared that my mom locked me out of the house while it was raining.

I also love fall fashion with all its cozy sweaters, pea coats, hats, and gloves.

I love holidays, fires, cider, hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, and everything pumpkin.

What do you love about fall?

Friday, November 12, 2010

A guest for breakfast

For the past two months, I have eaten Rice Krispies almost every morning. I love pouring my rice milk over my cereal and listening to the little grains snap-crackle-and-popping to their hearts' content like miniature fireworks with a delightfully mild flavor. I may be on the road toward addiction.

This morning, I delighted in my cereal as usual, but when I had half emptied my bowl, I noticed a black Krispie floating among its paler friends. Thinking it was nothing but a burnt grain of rice, I scooped up the black speck, intending to dispose of it in the sink. Upon scooping, however, the normal Krispies shifted to expose scraggly little legs attached to the offending speck.

Legs! Rice Krispies do not have legs, burnt or not. I dropped my spoon back in the bowl and spit out a mouthful of half-chewed cereal like any self-respecting pampered American would.

"EW!" I cried.

My mother, shocked at the scene, asked what was wrong. When I told her a bug was in my cereal, her shock turned to insensitive laughter. She redeemed herself, however, by calling the number on the Rice Krispie box and conveying my plight to a Kellogg's representative.

The man who answered the phone was much more sensitive than my mother.

"Oh no! Is your daughter okay?"

Yes, Kellogg's man. It was a narrow escape, but I survived.