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It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.

More reasons why I’m probably a terrible person:

Yesterday I was at Target and I saw an older lady pushing a shopping cart full of stuff out of the door. I was just walking in, but she looked like she was struggling with the weight of the cart. For a good ten seconds I contemplated walking to her and asking if she’d like help pushing the cart and loading all of her things into her car.

But within that ten seconds, I asked myself – what if she doesn’t want my help? What if she feels offended that I think she isn’t capable of pushing a cart on her own? What if there’s awkward silence while I’m walking to her car? It’s kind of hot outside. Maybe someone else will help her. I do have somewhere to be in an hour. And that new wallet I need, what if it sells out by the time I get inside. Maybe she’s not even struggling with the cart and she’s just a slow walker and I’ll freak her out if I ask her for help.

So I kept walking. Maybe I could have brightened someone’s day, maybe they would have thought I was a serial killer. Never would have known unless I tried, and the moment passed.

A few minutes ago I was sitting in the library on one of the school computers in the main walkway working on an article. It’s Friday, so there’s relatively little traffic walking through.

From behind me I hear a guy say “excuse me.” Can I just maybe offer the excuse that last time I was sitting in the library and someone said excuse me from behind it was some random dude on a dare that came up to me and told me I was pretty and walked away?

That’s not really an excuse for how terrible I am. Because it was not some random dude on a dare. It was a student around my age who said,

“Excuse me – I don’t go to this school, but I need to print out a ticket for a concert I’m going to here. Do you know how I can get on the computers? The guy told me I needed an ID.”

Another series of thoughts went through my head. Oh hi, I don’t know if you need an ID, woah I just misspelled that word on my article after you said hi to me, I think there are visitors’ computers somewhere, if you’re not here where are you from, are you a serial killer? how much do copies cost? ten cents? are you going to give me ten cents if I print your tickets for you?

That’s what got me. The fact that that thought actually fired through the receptors in my brain. Ten cents. TEN CENTS. HOW SAD AM I.

So being unsure of how to behave as a normal human being I thought it would be most helpful to direct him to what I believed were the visitor’s computers. “Oh, I think you might need an ID – but if you want to hop on those computers over there and make sure – ”

My plan was to see if the visitor computers worked, and if they didn’t I’d log him on to my ID from a different computer. But before I could execute this exercise in brilliance, the girl sitting at the computer across from me chimed in. And she is a much better person than me. So much so that she basically rubbed my face in the main course of how much better of a person she is than me and then moved on to desert.

She goes, “Oh, sweetie, you do need an ID. But come over here, where do you need to go?”

And just like that I became a blight on the universe that they both ignored. The girl who was so heartless she couldn’t spare one minute and ten cents for the random dude.

It was even worse having to sit there and listen to their conversation.

“Oh, thank you!” says the ticket dude. “I need to go to my e-mail.”

“There you go,” she says, and lets him take over the keyboard.

“Yeah, I found it,” he says as he logs into what I’m assuming is his e-mail.

“So where are you going to school?”

“Just community college for now,” he says. “I haven’t made it into the big schools yet.”

“Well maybe someday, right? Where do you want to go?”

“Maybe Boston or Denver. Haven’t decided yet. And it’s totally legal over there,” he says as a joke.

“Oh yeah, all my friends are really into that stuff. But I never tried it.” Of course you didn’t try it because you are the sun’s rays in walking form.

“Yeah, I don’t have time for that right now. What’s your major?”

“Peace studies,” she replies. Of course your major is peace studies. I guess mine is like, doing nothing studies because that’s what I’m sitting here doing.

“How much is it?” he asks her.

“Oh it’s literally like ten cents,” she says. “Don’t even worry about it.”

It’s like she could read my previous thoughts and now she’s just trying to make me look like the worst person ever.

“Really? Thanks so much.”

“Yeah of course. Do you know where the printer is?”

“Ummm…No I don’t.”

“Ok, let me go with you to show you where it is.”

I have a few moments of silence to contemplate how much better she is than me, and then she returns after seeing the student off. I decide that I should give her an appreciative smile for taking upon the responsibility that the universe haphazardly bestowed upon me, but when I look up at her, smiling, she just stares at me. Like, I am a terrible person. Ok, I get it, I am.

Later, her friend sits down at the computer and I kid you not after a lot of loud conversation (and a rather distracting one for those of us who are trying to stud – er, or like, write about the people talking) her friend says, “Wow, you just have a lot of positive energy radiating from you. Do you have a secret kind of water you drink?”

And I kid you not she replies, “Good one – no, I don’t, but everything is a choice. Everything that you feel, how you react to things.”

“What about things that happen to you?”

“No, not things that happen to you. But your happiness is up to you.”

Ok, peace studies and sunshine minor girl. Maybe I resent you for showing me up in all aspects of life, but you might have something there. It sounds a little new-age weirdish if you take it too much further than what she said, but a the core what struck me was how simply true her statement was. Your happiness is up to you.

So I’m going to work on not being a terrible person. I’ve got a long way to go. But in the process I’ve learned again what I already knew – your happiness is up to you, so it’s all in the way you look at it.

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If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.

So this is what sand looks like, under a microscope.

Sand

andsand

Ilikesand

moresand

Like…this kind of blows my mind. I know it’s not even that big of a deal, but to me it totally is. Science people might think, hey, yeah, that’s just sand, I know because I look at stuff under microscopes all the time. Or yeah, duh, for some reason looking at the way stuff looks under microscopes is becoming a big internet thing and I saw that on reddit three days ago.

It really gets me though. The beach is my favorite place on the planet. Doesn’t matter what beach. But watching the sun sink beneath the horizon line with the entire ocean before me is one of the most mystical things I can possibly imagine and makes me feel like even though I’m small and insignificant, I’m as vast and powerful as the ocean because I’m standing there, just…being.

Anyway. I digress. The beach is my favorite place, but whenever I tell anyone that, about one out of two times I’ll get the response “Yeah, but I just hate sand.”

I don’t think a whole lot of people really dig sand. (Ok, I’m pretty proud of that one right there.) Sandcrabs and seagulls probably wouldn’t even be a fan on facebook. Sandcastles are pretty fun, sand forts are better, quicksand traps are the best – you know, that thing where you dig a big hole and put a towel over it and then more sand and someone walks over it and falls in? Classic.

But no one really loves sand. I adore the beach and can still see the negatives. It’s the glitter of the ocean, it gets everywhere. Like in places you don’t even want to mention. And all over your car, and your vacuum hates you. And if you just came out of the ocean and try to eat something, it’s literally a sandwich because there is no way to keep the sand from sticking all over your fingers. There is a reason why people have dreams that an axe murderer is chasing them and they get stuck running in sand and can’t move. Because sand is typically horrible.

But it’s not. Look at that picture. It’s actually breathtaking. And I find that fact wonderful.
Something that everyone thinks is annoying or ugly or insignificant, looked at from another perspective, is actually stunningly beautiful. It’s so small we don’t notice it, and we need a little help to get there. Yet if we take the time to look, we’re faced with results that I at least could never have expected.

You could say I’m shell-shocked.

Sorry, had to. Sunsets are beautiful, the ocean is beautiful, and everyone knows it, but it’s the things that go unsung that sometimes can hide the greatest beauty of all. There are no small parts, only small actors. I don’t know. These shells are pretty small parts, but when they’re magnified they make a pretty big statement.

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The only true wisdom is knowing that you know nothing.

     I have multiple instances of knowing nothing. In fact, as I typed that sentence, a detailed list of all the nothings that I know popped into my head. Maybe I should just declare myself an expert of knowing nothing and allow that to be my area of study. Knowing a lot about nothing is something, isn’t it?
I’ll just keep telling myself that.

     I know nothing about how to fix the engine on a car, how an airplane actually flies in the air, how to make flan, and how to behave correctly in a whole slew of social interactions. The list goes on.

     In this current instance, the thought that “I know nothing” flitted into my mind as I was handed my study guide for a political science class that I took because my friends were taking it and all my other classes were wait-listed.

     Let’s just say if the readings and I aren’t friends. We aren’t even acquaintances. But we’re not enemies, either. That would require us spending some time together. I would say if they were to be classified with my familiarity of them, I could boast the fact that I know in general of their existence.

     One of the reasons that I am on such a distant level of acquaintance with my readings and know nothing is in part due to a character who also apparently knows nothing.

lolsnowblog

     That is correct, ladies and gents – er, lords and sers…? Uh, peasants? I’m talking about Game of Thrones.

     When I could have been responsibly completing my readings on time, I was watching this show.

     When I could have been eating meals at a normal hour, I watching this show.

     When I could have been sleeping at three in the morning, I was watching this show.

     When I could have been exploring the outside world, I was watching this show.

     Basically I was watching this show until there was no more show to watch.

     I’ll not touch upon how sad that is and how people entertain themselves is slowly progressing from actual conversations to solo binge sessions in front of a computer screen (hey look, I just did.) That’s a topic for another day.

     What I will touch upon that I’ve already touched upon is that I have wasted my time so successfully that my midterm is now two days away and I have 300 pages of reading to wade through.
But.

     I can honestly say that when I debate in my head whether or not I made a good choice to “waste my time” watching, I can’t decide. On the one hand, the thing that I’m getting graded on was shoved into a sad little corner. But on the other hand, I have a complex, cinematically and authorially brilliant storyline tucked away in my mind to watch and draw upon whenever I so choose.

     As a creative writing major pursuing some sort of job in the entertainment industry creating stories, I actually think that that matters more. Yes, parents and teachers everywhere who are likely shaking their heads, something that I don’t get a grade on allowed me to learn more on something that did.

     For instance, in a job interview, am I going to impress someone more by telling them what happened in the August Revolution at 1945, or that I can recite most of Peter Dinklage’s epic lines?

     Don’t answer that.

     But it depends on who you ask, and the people who I’d be asking would side with the former option. I know that colleges are seeking to churn out “well-rounded students,” but I feel like we are too well-rounded. We are becoming jacks of all trades and masters of none. If everyone was simply extremely good at the field they chose, would it really matter if I know how to speak Spanish (or at least, passed three semesters of it), can graph a parabola, and know my basic philosophy?

     Perhaps I have a point, or perhaps I’m just preparing myself for the dismal grade I am about to receive on my midterm. But I’ll have the thought of the fast approach of season 4 to cheer me up.

     And here for your own enjoyment and procrastination are more hilarious pictures of Jon Snow looking sad and not knowing things. (The last one’s just really sad for other reasons though :'[)

snow

sadsnow

rosesnow

moresnow

lul

awww

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Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue

Scratch that title. I live in southern California. Skies are blue right now. With the sun shining, and birds singing, and big puffy white clouds and all. So why are people behaving like the heavens have opened up and fire and brimstone are raining down upon us?

Oh, right. The dawn of finals week is upon us. I fully realize that this is a stressful time for everyone, myself included, and I’m not trying to detract from that at all. School is important. You all have your right to feel stressed out, maybe allow yourself one emotional breakdown or personal box of Krispy Kreme donuts. But why do we all have to act like the world is ending?

The first thing to start is people whining about how atrocious their week looks and how their life is now over because they have to take their exams. I almost want to de-activate my facebook around this time. Not only would it probably help me stay more focused on my own finals, but I would be free of the posts visually assaulting me with complaints about how Jenny is feeling stressed so she ate three pints of ice-cream.

I have heard not one, but multiple people saying that they will “literally die” from the amount of studying they must do. Please, someone tell me if studying can actually kill you, because if that’s true, I’ll stop right now. But in the meantime, I’ll just pray that my books don’t suddenly gain sentience and attempt to beat me to death.

I would also like someone to explain to me how difficult it is to put on real clothes. When I get out of bed in the morning, I put my legs in my pants one at a time. I pull them up and use a zipper. Maybe carpal tunnel syndrome is plaguing more than 50% of the female population at my school, but I didn’t even see this many yoga pants in my actual yoga class. I also do not find putting on shoes a particular hassle, but it seems like my entire college has forgone the arduous task of lacing up their footwear and opted to don slippers in their time of need.

I understand people need to complain in order to vent. If we didn’t, we might explode. But please, let’s gain some perspective here. We knew what we were signing up for when we were going into this. We saw our syllabus on the very first day of school. We chose to go to college. So please, don’t act like life as we know it is over. I’d hate to see how you react if it actually was.

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I want to go to here.

Image

Once again, I am veering away from inspirational quotes (OK, I guess 30 Rock is pretty inspirational) in order to portray the seriousness of this situation. I understand there is a difference between want and need. I need to go here.

I first of all stumbled upon (yes, I did indeed stumble upon it using the website stumble upon. I was going to say I literally stumbled upon it, but that would imply that I physically tripped over the pictures, which did not at all occur) this wonderful place while avoiding my homework, like every good college student does. The post is here:

The Maldives (and a lot of other awesome places).

and I think it’s worth looking at, to appreciate the gorgeous creations that God has placed on our planet. Living in a city, I try to take time to notice the beauty of nature, maybe look up at the stars, but sometimes forget that such radically amazing things can exist when faced day after day looking at the same brick-layered buildings. Sadly I doubt I will be able to visit said twenty-seven surreal places prior to my death, but I without a doubt can say I will make a concentrated effort to set foot on this piece of land. More reasons why:

ImageImageImageImageImageImageStop. Just stop. As Buzzfeed describes, the pinpricks of light in the water are created by phytoplankton. Microscopic organisms working together to create one of the most breathtaking things I’ve ever seen. If all the world’s a stage, this gives a whole new meaning to the saying there are no small parts, just small actors.

If anyone has ever visited this place and not left it breathlessly inspired, give me a call. Ready for the cheesiness? I can imagine myself walking barefoot on the sand and looking up into the stars – and also being able to stretch my hand out into the sand, and actually touch them.

So. Middle of November resolution. Get to this place. Someday. Somehow. I’ve never been one of those girls who sits around planning her wedding or honeymoon, but hey, this place wouldn’t be too shabby to visit after tying the knot.

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So My Cat Got a Bag Stuck on Its Head

No, that’s not one of the thought provoking quotes that I usually begin with. What gave you the hint?

Usually when you hear strange noises from downstairs at night, it’s your cat. But 99% of the time you think it’s an axe-murderer. So when I heard the crackling sounds from inside our kitchen at midnight, I slipped out of bed as quietly as I could to investigate. And of course save my household from the imminent perils of axe murderers, etc.

Ready to combat the perilous weapon-wielding doer of evil, I flicked the kitchen lights on, and there was my cat, in the middle of the wooden floor, with a bag stuck on its head.

Bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you?

Ok, so you did. Anyway, I do not know what possessed her to attempt to inhabit a plastic grocery bag for her bedding of choice, but whatever did, the result left me laughing at her for a good ten minutes. Wait, don’t judge me like that. Don’t pretend you were doing anything better on a Sunday night. I say don’t pretend because you probably actually were doing something better.

I think when cats get into ridiculous scenarios, they’re the funniest members of the entire animal kingdom. If a dog got a bag stuck on its head, it would probably just paw it away until it came off. A squirrel would just slip out of it, a bird would probably fly away, and mostly every other animal probably wouldn’t encounter one in the first place. But cats, the notoriously graceful creatures, try to play it off like they meant for it to happen.

My cat: Oh, yes, this polyethylene decoration adorning my body? This is fully intentional. I’m just going to sit casually down on this couch and wash my leg and maybe NRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH, I mean, excuse me. What? No, no, I wasn’t trying to remove this beautiful material from my neck, I was only getting more comfortable, maybe I’ll get more comfortable by squeezing through this tight space MMMMMMMMMMMMRRRRRRRRRRRRRRFFFFFF oh pardon me. Why did I just run frantically behind the television cabinet and nearly destroy all of your carefully arranged drapery? I do that occasionally. For sport of course. I think I’m going to run in circles now NRGH MRNGH NERK because that’s something I wanted to do and obviously I’m not trying to remove this crinkling plastic object that is only partially obscuring my vision. I like it this way, brings some spontaneity into my life.

Needless to say I am a terrible person and let her figure her own way out of her predicament as I sat there and laughed hysterically at her misfortune. I think that cats are the only animals, aside from people, that are capable of showing embarrassment. Like people, they’re supposed to have their lives together, but when something happens that betrays the fact that they don’t, they pretend that everything’s cool. And this is one of the reasons I like cats better than dogs.

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Where there is no imagination there is no horror; -ACD

Ok, so I couldn’t decide between that quote, and this one:

There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch – Robert Brault.

But the general theme of the two is: Halloween. That’s right, the holiday where parents throw the advice of “don’t speak with strangers” to the wind and allow their children to take various sustenance from unknown individuals.

That, of course, is one of the many critiques on the holiday. I do acknowledge most of the shortcomings, but stick to one general rule: have fun.

Which, being over the age of twelve on a day that seems specifically reserved for the naivete of younger children who willingly receive candy from strangers, is actually easier said than done. Because, no matter how much people say “I’m too old for all that stuff,” there really is a child in every one of us looking for a brightly lit front porch, whether that porch promises sugary snacks or just a place to go and have a good time.

Cue the murder mystery party. Yes, you heard me correctly, my audience of an empty room and maybe if I’m lucky a fly on the wall, a murder mystery party. I highly recommend it to anyone who doesn’t think they’re too cool to set one up. And doesn’t live in a place where noise complaints are a serious issue. Cough cough, college dorms were not such a fantastic idea after all.

For our party of twelve, we created our own characters. A friend and I wrote them specifically for each person attending the party. And no, a ‘character’ is not simply a knight who is seeking a princess. For us, a character was a drug addicted homeless man who aspires to be on Broadway, but for now settles for living on the street Broadway and incessantly breaking into song and dance. And that was a more normal character.

We had a polite Canadian gangster, two overly paranoid secret agents with a particularly keen grudge against one another, a Norwegian government official who transformed into a Pokemon upon any question asked to him, Mulan, Mozart, a war veteran, a psychiatrist, and a recently graduated high school student named Michael Stoner. Oh, except the latter five were all the same person with a multiple personality disorder.

I could probably go on. Tragically during the evening, one of a set of twins who could only speak by completing each others sentences was murdered. It was slowly revealed that the polite Canadian gangster, who had had a one night stand with every person in the room but never called them back, had obtained government secrets from one of Michael Stoner’s many personalities. Or wait, was it from the Norwegian government official?

This is kind of where things went wrong. My friend and I created the characters, while another one of our friends created the storyline. But something got lost in translation, and it became nearly impossible – even with the home-schooled girl who learned all her social cues from game-shows narrating the events subsequent to the murder – to ascertain who murdered poor Tim Lim, Jim Lim the secret undercover cop’s beloved twin.

Still, though, it was hilarious, and definitely worth the attempt. And I think the brilliant sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s quote could work both ways. With imagination you can create horror, but it would be horrible not to have imagination, because that’s what makes things like this possible and, basically, risking getting cliche here – anything worth doing.

So happy Halloween. Your dentist thanks you for your participation in the holiday.