Thursday, December 23, 2010

Return from hiatus: The Home Edition

Texting conversation between Erik, Sharon, and later, me. We were all in the same room at once.

Sharon: You so fine you blow my mind.

Erik: You so fly I say oh my.

S: You so bodacious I less efficacious.


L: You both so weird I feel afeared.

S: You so weird I am endeared.

E: You so proper I feel dopper. (dapper)

L: You so hip you make me flip.

S: You so golden I am beholden.

E: You so coo you make me poo.

L: You so whoppin I soon be droppin.

E: Is that a fat joke? You so mean I eat lima beans.

L: You so lean I gonna scream.

I love my family.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Michele sent this to me.

To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.
— Jane Austen


Monday, September 27, 2010

Email psychology

Every time I check my email, about once every hour, all day long, I find about 5-10 new emails...of lists of things to do, questions to answer, assignments to finish, work to catch up on, etc. And it's getting to the point where I'm just afraid to check my email--especially if it's been three or four hours (heaven forbid!). I feel like I have anxious-avoidant personality disorder--you know, that one in basic psych textbooks where the child is afraid to talk to the parent because the parent has hurt his or her feelings so many times? But the child still wants to talk to the parent, in case the parent changes his or her behavior?

Yeah. That's me and Gmail.

I used to get happy, nice emails from my family and friends--"used to" being, you know, yesterday. Now I just get scary ones that give me lots more things to do. And that's not even including the ones that aren't from real people! How depressing. (Actually, that's not true. I got an email from my sister today. One email out of forty-something for the past twelve hours. Shiver shiver.)

According to Wikipedia, children with my same problem are characterized, among other things, "by avoidance of social interaction."

Clearly. Why do you think I'm on my email so often anyway, huh Wikipedia? And now even nonhuman communication is turning against me and making me fear it. But true to anxious-avoidant form--I can't stay completely away. I have to keep checking it, because WHAT IF I GET AN EMAIL FROM MY FAMILY? WHAT IF MY EMAIL DECIDES TO LEAVE ME SOME HAPPINESS? WHAT IF IT STARTS LOVING ME AGAIN?

Guess I'll take my chances.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's finally happened.

I first learned about the meteorological habit of naming tropical storms/hurricanes in first grade. I remember sitting on those two by three foot carpet squares in Mrs. Copeland's classroom as we watched a video about hurricanes. It was relevant because there was a particularly large hurricane that year, and I was worried that some people would go to work and come home and not have a house. I was concerned.

And then I learned that they differentiate between storms by naming them according to the letters of the alphabet, but alternating genders. I did some quick thinking and realized that even if they DID get all the way to the letter L, it would be a boy's name. I despaired. Because not only were hurricanes and tropical storms dangerous and scary, and I was afraid for the people living in their paths, but there was no hope that one could ever share my name. Though frightening, it would be pretty cool to share a name with such an awesome weather pattern. I made a wish right then and there using my lucky magic number that someday I would be able to share a name with a hurricane or tropical storm.

My friends, the day has come. Meteorologists have name the twelfth tropical storm this year, and her name is Lisa. Boom bam, baby. First grade wishes have power.

Oh, and by the way: my first grade lucky magic number? Number 12.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Should be writing a paper...

 ...but I have no idea what to say.

Should also be writing a letter
or reading a book for class
or cleaning my desk
or taking a shower
or getting ready for tomorrow
or going to bed.

How I wish I were doing those things. Mostly the last one.

Why is it always so hard to get everything done early enough to go to bed at a decent hour?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Adventures with Hop on Pop, or, how I became a reader

I've loved words for as long as I can remember, and  since, as a preschooler, I sang the ABCs song 47 times before 10 a.m. every day, my mother decided it was time for me to stop chewing on the refrigerator's magnetic alphabet letters and learn to do something useful with them. My parents taught me to read shortly thereafter via the Dr. Seuss book, Hop on Pop (which accounts for Timbuktu and Constantinople still being two of my favorite words). I quickly became one of those kids who brought books along on play dates, just in case playing with the friend got boring.

Reading for me was a kind of game. As a child, I liked to puzzle my way through the meaning the letters and words made together. I worked my way through the ranks of books my teachers gave me, from Dr. Seuss to the Boxcar Children to Newbery Award winners. Finally, my teachers pushed me on to more erudite echelons and began giving me classics, which provided even more meat for my baby reading teeth to chew on. I liked them--reading dense Dickens and Dumas was like heavy lifting for my adolescent mind, and though sometimes painful, I generally enjoyed the workout. I always followed these workouts with several rounds of literary Gatorade, in the form of retold fairy tales and fantasy stories, YA adventure lit, or Harry Potter.

As an English major now, I've had to reread many of these books I read as a young girl, classics or no, and I've found that there is always much, much more to the story than I ever understood back then. The older I get, the more I learn that following the plot or even understanding the author's intentions with a text, is only scratching the surface of real reading. Now, my English major brain tells me to look for evidence of creative wordsmithing, literary theory, cultural insights, and my own personal application in the literature I read. As a reader now, I care less about adventurous plots or tough mental gymnastics, and more about the thematic and creative genius that lies at the heart of great literature. And since for so many years I read for the thrilling rush of it, learning to slow down and see those things my English major brain is looking for is an entirely different kind of reading--one that I'm still learning how to do. I don't always know how to quantify the meaning that I know is there or how to interpret my own responses. Reading now evokes a more cautious kind of glee within me, because I feel much more wary of my abilities to read and understand every secret passageway through these literary mazes. But I guess that's why I keep reading. The more I read, the less I know, and the more I want to. The more I read, the more I learn about myself and my world.

With my first book I went to Constantinople and Timbuktu. Now I read to learn what other miracles that these books can do.


Self-esteem booster?

"Nobody's a good writer. It's just a matter of whether or not they like what you write anyway."
It's okay, Jen. I still love you.