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Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

I originally posted this in Reddit’s /r/Ravenclaw subreddit, but i wrote enough that I thought I should just turn this into a Facebook post.

Then I realised I haven’t written here in quite a long time, so it now serves as a blog post.

Do you need good books? Here are some good books.

1. The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar – Fantasy meets reality as a pair of drunken Scottish Fairies on a romp almost start World War 3 in modern day New York City while running around with a group of normal New York people. Seriously, it’s a riot and Neil Gaiman wrote an introduction for it.

2. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. When I was 14, I was given this book by my English teacher. This was my first all nighter. It changed my life, I started writing, and within the year I had been published in national magazines for poetry and I am still writing over 20 years later. I will graduate in 2-2.5 years with a triple Bachelor’s in Creative Writing and History Education and I attribute it to this book. I own it in two languages and I am reading it in Portuguese right now as that is my second language (the third being Spanish). I cannot tell anyone how much this book means to me, but how relevant this book is to even now in life.

3. A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury. Easily the best science fiction story I have ever read, the best short story I have ever read, this book overall is overlooked often and should never be overlooked. If you have heard of the Butterfly Effect, it originated here.

4. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. You are noticing a trend. Yes, I have classics on this list. Do not be scared; classics are here for a reason. They are not meant to scare you away, they are meant to draw you in. This book is an everyman book – this is real life. This still happens, in different areas, in different places, but this still happens nowadays. Don’t sit with a pen and paper, or feel like you have to because a teacher set you for a book report. Download it free on a kindle app, and read it a little bit at a time. Get into Jurgis’ story, put yourself in his shoes. Transport yourself into his time. You’ll find a newfound respect for anyone who has a job that they have to do to survive; a surprising empathy for anyone who has to keep fighting no matter what the world goes after them.

5. Any of the alternate fairy tales by Gregory Maguire. I especially adore the Wicked: A Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and the ensuing Trilogy, and After Alice, as I am a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland.

6. The Alice series by Carroll. all of it. It is by far my favourite Fairy Tale series of all time. I don’t care if it is the Disney version, or what. You give me the option of Hogwarts, of Wonderland, of a TARDIS, of Narnia, of Tolkien, anywhere.. I will choose Wonderland. I will always choose Wonderland. (Oh, now I’m sobbing again…)

7. Watership Down series by Richard Adams. It helped me, when I was much younger, to understand the concept of death, to understand the concept of a possible afterlife, to understand that animals, that every living thing can have feelings, emotions; it does not matter what you are, or how you believe, you can feel, you can act, you are alive, even for a short time, you can influence the world.

8. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. I picked it up for $1 before a trip, and it was one of the first books where I had to read it at least half a dozen times before I could understand what was going on. Sometimes I will read it and I will understand it in a completely different way than I ever had before. It is a book written in a different frame of mind than any book I had ever read previously or since.

9. The Madness Vase by Andrea Gibson – Poetry is now and forever a part of my life, and this poet, for all the modern poets, has been the one to influence me to always want to keep writing. Or never want to keep writing. But I got to see them speak, and perform, and I realised that if I gave up now, I would not be able to do what I need to do, which is write. So I keep writing. And I keep dreaming. “You, you stay here with me.”

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I think the fact that I’m donating 12 pairs of flannel pants to the flood victims is disturbing. I didn’t count how many I had left.

Really? Do I need THAT MANY FLANNEL PANTS? Apparently I used to think so.

Of course, in 1998, that’s pretty much all I ever wore, because I was a huge Dave Matthews fangirl and well, you dress like the person you fangirl… to an extent. And I thought flannel pants were cool. Well… Plus they’re super comfy. But I also like Yoga pants, now, so.. byebye, a piece of my history, as it were.

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I started this story 2 days before my birthday – two days before your memorial service.

And we even made it in the Tribune, which still seems weird to me.

I think, ultimately, Kerouac said it best:

“I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life.”

You definitely do that for me, Joe. You definitely do that for me.

I’m finishing it today – your birthday. It hit me really hard at work today. I realized it was your birthday and I picked up my phone to call you.

And I realized that I couldn’t do that anymore.

And for the first time in a very long time, I had to run out of my work space and hide in the bathroom and start crying. And I didn’t want to stop crying. But I did – in what you would say was “record time, for you” – and finished my day. And I don’t expect that it will be an uncommon occurrence over the next few days.

At lunch, two of my new friends came with me, and we all sat, had a beer, discussed D&D, poetry, and random things, and split food. And listened to you all the way to and from the restaurant. And I listened to you play a lot today, Joe. I had to. I probably will in the next few days. I still listen every week – it’s pretty much a habit, by now, an unconscious thought, a thing I do to complete every week I have.

I did on my birthday, too. I was driving to Dallas, and I put the first CD I ever got from you guys – hell, remember? You got me in the show and I promised to buy a CD, and I did. And that’s the CD I was listening to.

I still can’t believe that you’ve been gone this long. I feel bad I didn’t write this in time for your book.

You brought my life so much, and I don’t know that I told you enough.

If there’s one thing, just one thing, that I can do, in memory of you, it’s to make sure I treasure every moment – friends, family, work (oh man, you should see our Nerf fights) – and I do my best with what I can.

But I still remember seeing you, through the window of the coffee shop, reading a poetry book, and I said “I have to go in and talk to him, because he obviously likes poetry and has good taste.”

And I’ve never regretted it. You knew the shy me, the one a lot of people didn’t. And I remember everything… mostly everything. Including the stuff I’ll never tell anyone.

One day we’ll all laugh about this, together, again. I have faith. I have hope.

“And peruse manifold objects, no two alike, and every one good;
The earth good, and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good.”

Say hi to Walt for me, Joe. Ask him all the questions that we always wondered. Even if you can’t tell, at least you’ll know. And we can all fill it in someday.

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In my life there have been many movies I’ve missed, but the biggest glaring “opening” in my list has been Star Wars.

I remember trying to watch it when I was younger, but it simply just didn’t make sense. And then, in my stubborn ways, I decided I wouldn’t watch it until I had someone to explain it to me.

My boyfriend decided that he would be the one to take on this task. So we watched the… last… three? I don’t even understand the naming scheme, so I’ll just say the older 3. The original 3.

And.. I enjoyed them. I did! It’s an interesting concept. I think the plot has a ton of holes, and I kept having to ask questions, but I enjoyed it.

Kind of.

I want to pop C3PO in the nads. And tell him to shut the fuck up.

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Well, I have called myself a geek for years. Because I’m pretty sure I am one, in at least the standard, if not the deviant, form of the word.

However, there’s been one giant page in my geek handbook that has never been stamped.

“STAR WARS”

That’s right. Never seen em. Any of em. Saw most of the original once and was so confused I said “Fuck it, until someone explains it to me, I’m not going to bother trying to figure it out.”

Many people have said “oh, we’ll watch it, I’ll explain it.”

Well, I FINALLY WATCHED IT. My (amazing) boyfriend is here taking care of me right now and decided that it is a perfect time for us to start watching.

And the other movies are stacked up right here too.

I guess I can knock that page out in my book.

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Antibiotics are working. I do not have all the symptoms that I have been suffering from (most of my cold/cough/congestion is gone, unless I lie down).

However, it means that my mono has come out in full force. I ache all over, I have severe cramps in muscles, my headache is almost like a migraine by the end of the day. I can be sitting here and before I know it a couple hours have passed. I force myself to eat 2 meals a day and even then I am not hungry at all. For me, to take a bath is about the most exhausting thing I can do.

My homework is still sitting here. I have kept up on reading, but I am finding I don’t retain it. This is scary for me. I can’t tell you about at least half of the past week since I’ve been at home. I space out more than normal. I wish I could sleep more.

Anything that is rough material physically hurts me. My comforter is of flannel material, and I have a Linus approved fleece security blanket. I have other blankets around me, and those are mostly fleece/super soft. I’ve found out a lot of my tshirts are too painful to wear, and fuzzy pants are the awesomest thing ever. My cat tries to walk on me and I bust out crying because he weighs too much. (Fortunately, I can pet him and he is very happy.)

Laundry piles up. Recyclable bottles pile up. I feel terrible because I can’t physically do anything without the world spinning, turning white, and causing immense pain.

Thankfully I can watch movies (some even for homework) and a lot of footy.

I’m going to get worse before I get better. I’ve felt worse with every passing day. Never doubt that I’ll end up fine on the other side, however.

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I’m sick. I’m still accepting I’m sick. I’m having to accept I can’t run on all cylinders 15+ hours out of the day. In fact, I’ve had about 1 total hour since I’ve been awake that I’ve felt reasonably normal, and even then I’m maybe at 50% of firing. I feel like someone who is beaten down. I keep kicking myself internally because I can’t do these things. But it’s not my fault I got mono, and it’s not my fault I have zero energy to get things done. It’s a matter now of making sure I stay hydrated, eat enough to survive, and sleep when I feel like it, work on papers when I feel like it, and pray everything works out in a good manner. I’ve resigned myself that I might never get to work at my school again for my work study this year. I have not yet conceded my semester to this illness. I’m a fighter, down to my marrow of my bones.. and right now, I hurt.. to the marrow of my bones. It takes a lot for me to complain about being sick.

I hate feeling negative, so I’m trying not to. Both with not surrounding myself to it, and having it come from internally. So I’m dumping it all in this entry. *breathes*

Something I’ve noticed, especially lately, is the incredible and insane amount of negativity on Twitter.

I realize quite a few of the people I am thinking of are over 10 years younger than I am (or in that nebulous kind of range) and not only will probably not read this entry, but would feel it’s okay to mock it. I also notice that many of them are slyly insulting me, and my friends, behind my back, defollowing me on Twitter, etc. And that’s fine. If they feel the need to make themselves feel better, more power to them.

But they’re wrong in doing so. They are doing themselves damage. No – not because they’re ignoring me (me? that egocentric? nah), but because they’re ignoring my message.

10 years ago I’m not 100% sure I would have accepted what I (and Bill Hicks) are about to say, but I hope the aforementioned people decide to read it.

This much negativity towards: people you don’t like, things you don’t like, people you are jealous of, people you are trying to get attention from and cannot, situations where all you exude are negative feelings, thoughts, and emotions.. have you ever considered, for one minute, that the person on the other side of the internet is EXACTLY THAT? a PERSON? with their own sets of feelings, thoughts, and emotions.

Switch places. How do you feel now? Would you HONESTLY be able to cope with the adversity and all the negativity being tossed at you?

Chances are, I doubt it. But – again – I do not know, as I do not know a lot of these people and I will not project negativity at them. I will hypothesize and say no. I don’t pretend to know your life. I don’t think I ever could. However, that doesn’t exclude me wanting to find out more about you – as a human being, as a person, as (insert name here), so I can understand you – and it – better.

Something I’ve realized, since I was 18, is how crazy people get on the Internet. How insane people can take it offline. I didn’t grow up with the Internet like most of the world.. my first exposure was when I was.. 16? 17? Life is different now.

So, an anecdote. Here’s something I don’t talk about much: I used to have a stalker offline. She sent me death threats. She brought them to concerts where I was working. She put nails in my tires when I had a 3 hour drive home at 2 am so I might get run over when I got a flat (her words). (PS, this is pre-cell phone – in fact, i still carry around a prepaid phone card, not because I need it, but just because.)

Would you like to know why? Because I dared to not have sex with a band member of a band I worked with that she was OBSESSED with. More specifically, “You told him no, and you should die for that.”

I’ll let all that sink in a bit.

Now.. that’s pretty much one of my excessive examples. But any kind of passion taken to the extreme negative like that always gives me chills. it also gives me a damned good perspective: there is no reason – no reason – to be nasty with someone you have never, ever met.

People do not realize that their negativity means they will draw more and more of it to them. I didn’t understand this until this year, but I understand it in dividends right now. I have people keeping me sane right now, because they care enough to tell me “you’re being silly. quit being hard on yourself. you didn’t make yourself sick, but you can make yourself sicker unless you take control of yourself.

I hear you guys. I hear you. And I thank you for continually saying it to me. And I ask my friends to hold me up while I’m sick, because it’s really devastating to me. This is just this important to me, and needed to be said, and out of my head.

I promised a Bill Hicks quote, and he says in just a couple paragraphs what I’ve spent a ton of energy on and after this I’m going to go nap. (Emphasis mine)

“The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, “Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, “Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we … kill those people. “Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.

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