Sunday, January 30, 2011

12/5/10--Stealing Sunday (and keeping the appropriate title)

(original super-articulate post:)

Just got back from Deathly Hallows. Oh my god.

I mean, I know a movie is good when I can't form coherent thoughts about it until at least hours after seeing it. This is like that. I have things I want to say but for now I'm just going to let this post stew in blog-limbo draft form. So the title is inaccurate.

BUT, has once again become accurate, see, as I'm finishing my own blog again. I feel bad for not posting on Saturday (I actually had something articulate I wanted to say about something, my computer utterly and spontaneously died, I went to sleep and forgot. . .), so even though Alex is going to post today (or finish the one from Thursday), today is just going to become DAY OFTWO THREE BLOGS.

Today has been awesome. Weirdly, when days are awesome after strings of decidedly notsome days, I get kind of pissed off. I was so used to crap days, I get thrown. This makes no sense, and I should just be glad the day is going well. But who said I had make sense?

I'm with Vita on the "shit is going down" mentality. This has, so far, proved to be alternately empowering and infuriating. I don't particularly like the frequent change and would much more happily accept one or the other (preferably the former, but whatever). The time has come to choose courses for next year, and I finally don't have required electives to deal with. This has left me with freedom, and subsequent confusion. Will I choose to spend 9 months learning piano, or opt for the exponentially more boring/helpful study hall? My life is so hard.*

Footnote: Sarcasm. (Or IS it? Even I don't know anymore.)

12/1/10 -- Grocery Antics part 2

(excuse my sudden Sunday blog extravaganza but I'm apparently feeling bloggy today)

It's Wednesday! NaNoWriMo is over. Huzzah. This may sound odd but I'm not really excited about having finished the first draft of my second novel. I guess I am in a way but I equate that happiness to November finally being over. Not really over but mostly over. Now I can be lazy leisurely in editing and rewriting. And that is something to celebrate.

Back to grocery store work. I feel the need to retract my previous blog about how the grocery manager at my work calls me Alexandria even after I told him to call me Alex because yesterday he called me Alex. Repeatedly. And I nearly died of shock. Then I felt guilty for ranting in blog form when he's such a nice guy and I'm grateful that I get to work with people who are so easy going and friendly. I am so happy at work, even if I never got a safety walk like I was promised. Where are the fire extinguishers? No one ever told me.

The second item on my list was "Burgeoning obsessive compulsive disorder" which I guess has been true throughout my life but now applies to food on shelves. It's not a huge thing but people have laughed at me for fixing displays while grocery shopping.

The grocery store I work in is small[er than most conventional grocery stores] and has both organic and conventional food available but emphasizes organically certified, Fair Trade, local products etc, etc. And being a smaller store, I say we focus more on how everything looks. With less shelf space, every square inch matters and everything is kept full or at least to the front of the shelf so you don't have to reach your arm back to grab something. And now I sound all superior and uppity. Joy.

But seriously, because of this I have tendencies to face* when standing around in a grocery store, whether my mom has gone back to grab bananas or we can't decide what chips to buy.

Picture, if you will, a girl walking through a grocery store with a couple friends. She passes an uneven looking display of guacamole and reaches over to adjust the jars quickly. She continues walking and then turns around at the sound of her friends snickering and pointing and asks them what she did because she can't remember. They look at each other and one says, "She actually wasn't aware of doing it, was she?" They laugh some more, in the nicest possible way, and then reference the guacamole display. The girl smiles and they keep walking.

This is my life.

*Facing is when you take the product and make sure it's at the front of the shelf, by the way.

12-12-10 -- paranoia (will destoy-a)

I don't know if this is going to turn into a cautionary tale or just an amusing anecdote. But, um, here is another snapshot of my work life:

We go through brooms pretty quickly at my grocery store. Sweeping up pieces of broken glass that are scattered through puddles of juices does something to them that I cannot quite explain. It's like it breaks their spirit.

There are two brooms in the back but only one dustpan. These are to be shared by produce and grocery. But sometimes produce gets possessive. I guess sometimes grocery people take the brooms for too long or fail to return them entirely. And so I wasn't too surprised when the broom labeled 'produce' wasn't around on Friday. Sometimes it's missing. The dustpan was still there, though so I used that and the other broom and all was well.

But then the next time I went into work (dramatic pause) THE DUSTPAN WAS GONE.

I know for a fact that no one saw that coming. No one. The plot thickens.

I asked the Boy Who Stole My Name if he knew where it was and he said that Produce Manager hid it! He actually hid the broom. So I said something about how I knew that would happen eventually and he smiled and reached under the produce prep station and handed me the broom. I asked him if he was even allowed to give me the broom and he also made me promise to bring it back, like I would hide it somewhere next.


At present, nearly two months later, both brooms and the dustpan are now out in the open where they will hopefully remain. Sometimes I see Produce Manager's eyes flash up when I reach for the broom and then disappear behind the swinging doors. I always return it, though.

I find it pretty amusing that someone would feel a need to hide a broom, though. Honestly, get a hobby. But who am I to judge? I'm just a f***ed up teenager.

And the world continues to tread circles in the universe. Or something.

Friday, January 28, 2011

1/9/11 -- alive

Alex -- "If there's one thing I've felt more strongly than anything else so far in 2011, it's alive."

Vita: Me too, Alex. Me too.

See, there's a lot I've wanted to do that I have yet to do. There's still that deeply ingrained element of procrastination and over-analysis and whatnot that is intergral to my personality. But this. This is going to be my year. (I guess you can have some, too, if you ask nicely/shower me with fake love à la the latest 30 Rock episode*.) There's this drive pushing forward from the back of my brain and I know that even though I'm screwing up now, shit's going down this year. I know because I will force shit to go down. It's an enormously motivating feeling. I just gotta get my shit together and then shit will go down.


"Don't discuss politics and religion in polite company," my ass. To be sure, I can see where that idea comes from. Most people -- actually, it's more like an obnoxious, vocal minority -- seem incapable of disagreeing about shit without screaming themselves insane.


The concept of "polite company" sometimes becomes totally and offensively obsolete. There comes a moment when the idea of sitting down and shutting up in favor of "political unity" results in the numbing, drilling buzz of a million muted voices repeating the same damned words a million different ways, and in a million muted voices somehow managing to say nothing at all.

And you hear about the omnipotent "media" sensationalizing every minor hiccup, and in doing so, numbing us to the Big Disasters. And people curse the blamelessly vague "society" for every last evil on this planet. Well, fuck that. What is "society?" Everything is society. We treat "society" as some huge, imposing institution; a dark enemy that the little people must fight. But blaming "society" for discrimination or social evils is like blaming Planet Earth for natural disasters. "Don't bite the hand that feeds you;" don't condemn the group in which you, by the sheer fact of your own humanity, are included: for every Big Scary Problem that "society" births, there is a Big Happy Solution for which "society" fights every day.

My new English teacher assigned George Orwell's "Politics and the English Language" for my class to read. I highly suggest reading it yourself if you get the chance. Unfortunately, I've failed to live up to his standards: although this blog is not explicitly political, it was written with that general intent, and in any case I've presented you with tired metaphors and jumbled, vague language. You could argue that the above two paragraphs hold no meaning at all.

But sometimes a little vagueness is all I can muster. Good luck, Egypt. Peace out, world. I hope you sort your shit out.


P.S. Despite Alex's well-reasoned argument against arbitrarily apologizing for not blogging, I would like to apologize for not blogging for the past however long it's been. I don't have an excuse other than that I've had a weird case of writer's block, although I suppose it's more like blogger's writer's block. But! Rejoice! For I am back on track, so let a thousand angels' smiles light up your faces (a. that didn't really make sense; b. I'm so humble, I know).

* 30 Rock really ought to pay me to promote their show. Then again, I DO IT FOR FREE! I DO ANYTHING FOR MORE 30 ROCK LOVEEEEEE

Thursday, January 27, 2011

thursday, what?

This is one of those blogs in which I regret forgetting that I blog on Thursdays.

I thought I'd claim this space, even though with the new Blogger editor I really don't need to (setting the post date for whenever you want FTW!). This blog will be something tomorrow. You have been warned.

Stay gold.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

3/12/10 - people and odd emotional surges

Vita: You know those days when you're just pissed off at everybody for no good reason? 

Alex: And you know those other days when you seem to piss everybody off by simply being the "yourself" that every sane yet slightly delusional adult TELLS YOU TO DO?

And what about those days you're so emotional that thinking about anything or anyone for too long makes you cry?

And what about the days that your mother has a very negative energy about her but you insist on confronting her with your feelings because you want to be validated and you want your mom to know that and be perfect and just give you the only thing that you want?

I. Am. An. Emotional. Wreck/Invalid/Basket case/Ignoramus. 

And sometimes it comforts me to tell this to the internet.

I feel like now I'm supposed to right some sort of inspirational message but believe me when I say that I have none of the answers. I don't know you. I can't fix your relationships. I'm still trying to make my own okay. It's hard.

I am rather flawed. I love who I am but I know that I can be mean/angsty/argumentative/bossy/angry/obnoxious/WHATEVER. I'm here to tell you that it doesn't matter. You can't change the way I am any more than I can change the way you are. And why would we even want to?

I don't know what I'm saying. I don't know so many things. Sometimes it's nice to pretend I do, though.

On those days when everyone I interact with makes me want to punch something, I feel horrible. I can't just be mean to people and have everyone hate me. I'm not good at angry; I'm way better at sad. Sometimes I wish I could wear a sign saying "Don't mind me, I'm just angry today and I don't really mean anything I do/say, I'm just taking it out on you and you don't deserve it so let me apologize in advance but yes, I'm still going to act like this. And don't ask me if I want to talk about it because there is no reason that I am currently aware of that is a plausible explanation for this. Blame hormones, if you must." Until I get that sign, I'll keep feeling bad afterwards.

I'm been doing yoga and meditation lately but I can't tell if it's helping. Meh, we'll see.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

11/21/10-- RE: The White Chamber

(This post barely edited by Rena, who is lazy, 99% complete by Alex, who is thoughtful.)

I read this blog post today and it really resonated with me. The link was put in my path by Justine Larbalestier, author of Liar and other YA books, and someone who I find has a lot of interesting things to say about race and fiction writing, particularly for young adults.You may want to follow the first link and read Victoria's post before continuing. It's worth it.I found the blog well written and concise.

It sticks with me because I know exactly what she's talking about. And although it made me kind of uncomfortable to be constantly referred to as a white person, I've been thrown into those same situations she spoke of. It was nice to hear her response, a simple "I disagree with that," because I have found myself frozen in wanting to respond and make it clear what is and is not okay with me but not knowing how to word it. I'm on the watch for future "White Chamber" moments now so I can test the waters.

(That sounded kind of weird to me, like I'm wanting the people around me to make racist remarks but that's not what I mean and I don't know how else to say it. I'm more keenly aware of such occurrences. How's that?)

Personally, I haven't had a lot of experience with acquaintances making comments on stereotypes and "those people are always so _______" situations. I've been there, I'm sure, but I've compartmentalized. What I have had experience with is people feeling a need to extraneously label people for race.

What I mean is when a friend is telling a story about another friend who I don't know and she has to relate the fact that this person does not have the same colour skin as us. I mean, yes, sometimes race is a relevant factor to the story, but when you throw in stuff like, "He's the hottest 'brown'* guy in my grade," yeah, I'm going to take offense. That's not okay with me.And why? Why is it not okay when even "they call themselves brown" all the time?

It's not acceptable to me because if you were telling a story about me, I don't want you to describe me as, "This white girl, Alex," or "That homeschooled girl," or even "weird." I'm not saying I don't identify with those labels; it's not the fact of whether they're true of false that bothers me. It's the fact that you find them necessary at all. Why do you feel the need to clarify? Honestly, if you're telling me how your friend's dad won't let her go to a party after grad because her dad is strict, you don't need to say he's strict because he's brown or Asian or whatever. There are dads of all races all over the world that are strict and don't want their daughters drinking and partying all night. But when you add that detail, even if you think it's unimportant and meaningless, you're doing a lot more than trying to paint me a picture of the girl in question. You're alienating her. You're removing me from her. You're pointing out how she's different. And I don't want or need to know where her parents were born.

You may think it's one word of description, thrown in because it feels natural, but it's racism.Sometimes, when friends of mine say such things, I can't help thinking about how they describe me. If they're telling a story do they throw in that I'm about as pale as people come? Do they open with a sentence about their white friend, Alex? Somehow, I think not. And that, I guess, is the root of the problem. Labeling some people and not others. Like, if I'm Caucasian, it's assumed but if I'm from Saudi Arabia, you need to mention it. There's something very wrong with that.

*I don't know if you two have that term in your high schools to label people of Middle Eastern origin. Yes and no. The "brown" people I know may use it to refer to themselves, but I don't and I don't hear it much either. I have friends of all races; racism and race in general doesn't factor into our friendship. At least, that's what I think. ("Racist" has become the common comeback to any criticism, no matter who's receiving it. JKLOL and all that.) Is this the White Chamber talking? Do I have friends with different levels of skin pigmentation than my own so I can feel good about myself? I don't know, metacognition is hard.

p.s. Alex here. I went in and added some paragraph breaks so it'd be a bit easier to read. Sorry for intruding.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Originally by Vita. Commentary (and additions) by Alex.

As a preface to this, I don't know what to do with the rest of my night. I want some kind of contact with a person outside of my family and I had plans with my friends but they cancelled. I've only poured over textbooks in feeble preparation (for, like, tests and stuff) one or twice in my life but I feel like the act of studying has stolen something from me tonight and I've forgotten how to forgive. And, despite this, I'm hoping you'll forgive me for sounding as pathetic as I feel like I have thus far in this post. I suppose I'm just a little disappointed.

This post, therefore, resonates with me, despite its simplicity. I love the tangible linear-ness of it all. There seems to be contention but also a tired disappointment.

Things I did today:
- ate candy A fantastic way to start any day.
- watched the beginning of "dead alive," a crap horror film from the 1980s that i personally wanted to watch for hilarity purposes but was vetoed I'm usually the veto-er of movies at sleepovers. I have somewhat particular tastes.
- decided that, based on the last 30 minutes of the film, halloween 5 is the stupidest/least scary slasher film ever. I can't really argue. I haven't watched a tone of slasher films.
- played scattergories I love that game. I suck at it but I really enjoy it for whatever reason.
- went to sleep at 5 am Hey, I did that on Saturday night! It was... yeah I can't seem to come up with an adjective that aptly describes what that night was.
- woke up at 9 am This is my kind of wake up time.
- got home at 10 am
- took a shower
- did psych homework for two hours Sounds... psychologically damaging?
- went to rehearsal at 2:20 pm
- left rehearsal at 10:00 pm You probably realize this but I'm saying it anyway: that's a really long rehearsal. I don't know if I've ever rehearsed anything for that long.
- wrote this blog post An admirable act, indeed.
- didn't start nanowrimo Some things aren't meant to be. I don't believe in fate mostly but I've heard my mother say that enough times that sometimes it becomes my default.
- sleep Maybe I should do some of that.
- sleep Way too easy to steal from yourself.
- sleep But also remarkably difficult.
- (i wish) Perhaps something we should do a lot more of. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Italics: Rena
Other stuff: Vita

This will not be written on Monday but it will be posted on Monday according to Blogspot, YAY BLOGSPOT!


Wow okay so hopefully you aren't reading this because I just got super obnoxious up tharr, but uh yeah okay I'm going to go finish my homework now and will return in a more coherent manner TOMORROW (I hope). Although if you aren't reading this then I have just ranted to myself, which is sort of embarrassing but not really because nobody else would be reading this. HEY IF YOU'RE READING THIS, LEAVE A SUPER SECRET MESSAGE DOWN BELOW -->

(oh my god I need to chill the fuck out. BYE.)

You can't just title things "SECRET STUFFS" and expect me not to click (I am sneaky, untrustworthy, and, if this weren't a group account, this would be borderline hacker-y). But you did, apparently. So hey. I wrote that sometime in November or something, and now I'm finishing it. It's like this has existed at three separate points in time or something. You know what I mean, it's been here the entire time but reflex (what the shit? REFLECTS. See, you now know how I am today.) how we were/are feeling at those points. Deep.

Anyway, you made it pretty clear this wasn't to be seen by other humans (but then it was), but I'm the same way, at least right now. Finals are over but the online grade database is down and even though they're graded they won't tell us our damn grades. RRRGH. STRESS. To answer your question, Alex; I'm horrible at self-motivation. This is what industrialized, joyless schooling does to a person. If I do indeed have something awesome to do that day, I'm properly jazzed up about it and ready to do things. But when it comes to facing the day to day mundanity of existence I have to Socratic method myself into accomplishment. I.e, "Why do I have to get up?" "To go to school, bitch." "Why?" "To get smart." "Why?" "In order to become a functional member of society." "Why?" "Because society sucks." "Why?" "Because you haven't contributed anything to it yet. Go out there and DO THINGS. NOW."

At which point I'll probably give in, you know, for the sake of humanity.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's an injustice to the world, honestly.

Rena: After a random, no-holds-barred, Seinfeldian "Y'know what bugs me?" conversation, Teresa and I have determined that THE most unexplainable, unjust thing to ever happen to the history of film is: Peeves not being in the Harry Potter films. Minor character my nerdy arsch.

It should be noted that this conversation was in no way under the influence of lateness/caffeine--which are rather convenient excuses. I can even use them for this post, as it is now 3:05 am. I might not even ever post this, so if you're being a sneaky little minx and reading this in draft form, enjoy. I applaud your sneakiness, and grant you a SEKRIT hello. Hello.

Draft January strikes again. And now the world knows that Rena sometimes indulges us with sekrit messages within unpublished posts.

Of course, this short observation is agreeable to me. I must admit I really would have liked to see the part of, what was it, Order of the Phoenix, when McGonnagal tells Peeves the something or other unscrews the other way. Collaborating to undermine Umbridge?


I haven't an idea what to blog about. Somehow, I've gotten out of the habit what with the general craziness that is my life. That seems like an overstatement seeing as how my life is possibly calmer than it has been in a while but there is still a lot to do.

I have this diabolical plan for this week. It involves radial idealism and cleaning my room and exercise and healthy eating. Yoga every night, focusing on simple pleasures rather than indulging my taste for lattes and eating out, sleep at a decent hour. The works.

Thus I have a tidbit of advice to offer, or maybe just a hopefully meaningful/helpful/inspiring anecdote to share. Particularly for those of us with New Year's resolutions/intentions that may start to fall by the wayside* in the coming weeks. If you hit a wall, as I did at 11:30 last night as I was running in place for the ridiculous yet entertaining Wii Fit game of my friends', think my teeth:

Several months ago, after my last trip to the dentist, which involved a needle in my mouth and the disturbing inhalation of my own tooth dust, I resolved to floss my teeth every single day from then on. For any of you who have tried to instigate such habits, it's not easy. I brush before I go to bed and about one to two weeks away from the dentist visit, I was less enthusiastic about it. I started going to bed later and by the time I was cleaning my teeth, I was so tired that I would often skip on the floss.

Something happened though and I was back to being vigilant every night. I'm not sure what it was that did it. I just know that I'd get a streak going, however long, and think, you know, it's not going to kill you if you don't floss your teeth tonight. You'll do it tomorrow and everything will be fine. Cavities don't just presto into your mouth after one night. Just go get in bed.

This idea, even though the reverse psychology kills me, is what keeps me flossing, even now. I tell myself every night that I don't have to brush my teeth, that it's a choice. And every night, I floss.

It works for me so I thought I'd share. It kind of reminds me of this video of Alex Day's where he talks about how he sometimes convinces himself to do stuff. Eloquent, I know. Why does the word stuff follow me around constantly and protrude from my mouth/keyboard at random interval.

I wish you luck with the flossing of your choice. How do you convince yourself to keep doing what you want to do but sometimes can't immediately find the will to do? Tell me in comments, if you so desire.

Now... to tie this back to Peeves. Okay, got it. I'm pretty sure Peeves never flossed his teeth and he did all right. And if it's good enough for Peeves, why would you ask for more? I'm not saying that you shouldn't aspire to be more than a usually-annoying-but-in-some-ways-minorly-endearing Hogwarts poltergeist. I'm just saying you don't need to.

*Hello novel that I was going to work on for an hour a day this month and have not opened in three [days]. How are you?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1/7/11-- Think Of The Children

Oh, the inevitable oblivion faced by things made of paper and wires. I'll miss you, CDs.* (I will not, however, miss cursive. I know how to write my name in cursive, and that's all I've used it for for the past 6 years. Silly lying elementary school teachers, no higher education requires cursive. I don't even remember which way to slant the paper. Cursive is what italics are for.) I'll tell my kids fond tales of you, but they shall scoff, as we have in our parents' faces when told tales of record players and typewriters and things that now only serve to look cool and retro.

Seriously, though. The servers/check-out database/whatever it is that allows libraries to work their magic were down, so I stood at the counter for an extra minute and a half as the librarian filled out a detailed little card with my information on it. It struck me as a type of nostalgia. Is it possible to be nostalgic for a time period I haven't lived through? A simpler time, where people read newspapers and went outside and looked up information in books and, you know, all that.

On a more superficial note, I miss those 1950s nerd glasses. Yes, John had a pair, yes, they've experienced a resurgence in an ironic, hipster sense**, but I just really like them unironically. Preferably worn with a suit. Mm, classy.

Footnote: Take a look at the last one in that list especially. Yeah.
2nd footnote: Case in point-- before I could find a decent example, I found THIS. It's a sweatshirt. This is not what I'm talking about. Buddy Holly shows us how it's done right. This blog has become very link-y.

Postscript: This blog has been both started and finished by Rena, who started this draft during Draft January. I'm not claiming deep personal attachment to this post, but this was already kind of finished; so, having spent my free time today conjugating irregular Spanish verbs in the future tense, this post is convenient. Like microwavable noodles. Minimum effort, yet still with some content. Stir and enjoy.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

0/7/09 - stop apologizing

Vita: By the by, sorry for not blogging on Friday. I don't have a good excuse other than extreme fatigue and a sudden volleyball game? I like the question mark.

Alex: I may be cheating due to this being one of those draft posts that really isn't much to go off or comment on or add to (while still keeping to the 'theme', that is). And yet I'm using it because I don't want to finish something that's halfway done right now. I want my own thoughts to reign. So consider Vita's two sentences a preface to my following stream of thought.

I came to a different level of blogging philosophy a year or so ago. It was probably about halfway between the heart warming community feeling of BEDA 2009 and the attention seeking 'why doesn't anyone read/comment on my blog anymore?' despair of summer '09.

On my personal blog, I'd have phases, after BEDA, of writing two posts in a three days and then not updating  for a couple weeks. I felt guilty, as is a personal tendency, and I'd always find myself apologizing. Every post would start with, "So, um, sorry I haven't blogged in so long." It wasn't until the I Have No Readers period that I stopped caring. Because if no one follows my blog, there's no one to apologize to. Problem solved. Guilt assuaged.

Strangely enough, this didn't keep me from blogging. Lack of readers never equated to lack of reasons to blog. It didn't make me want to publish something every other day, either, but the pressure off. I wasn't motivated by guilt anymore and so I only published blogs when I wanted to, not when I felt obligated to. Which is something I wish I could harness a lot more in my life these days. More desirable, though, would be the ability to want to do the things I've obligated myself to.

Because of this revelation I had a year ago, I always find it so interesting when I read a blog that starts with "Sorry for deserting you guys" or the like. It's not that I don't care if no one posts in a while, obviously I care or I wouldn't be following their blog, I'm just so far past using guilt as a motivator. I guess if it works for you, go for it, but honestly I hate that feeling of strings of guilt trailing after me whenever I try to walk.

As a final note to this, I hope that all you bloggers out there, specifically Vita and Rena, are posting because you love it and not because there's an obligation hanging over your head. I'm not about to say 'life's too short' because time can only control you if you allow it to. Instead, I say, life's too valuable; follow your passions.

p.s. This goes for blog reading, too. I never want to waste your time and I don't want you to feel required to read all my posts. I usually try to write compelling, interesting and entertaining blogs but if you're not into it, you are in no way indebted to me. Only read if you truly would like to. I officially give you permission to let your attention lead you elsewhere. *gives permission*
p.p.s. As a post script to the above, I'd like to add that I mostly write for myself so lack of readers is no longer a big deal for me. Of course, having people along for my ramblings is even more enjoyable but I'm pretty sure I'd still be doing this if you weren't reading it.
p.p.p.s. I felt the need to add another note saying that you are appreciated because it seemed like I was saying something else. I love having you read this... I just... yeah, stopping now.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

12/29/10-- feminism

**Theme week?**

**Asterisks: Rena** Every other typeface/parentheses: Vita

I thought I was a feminist, but I think I'm more of a humanist.

See, I believe in equality for women.

(And we aren't equal, no matter what you say.)

We get paid less.

We don't have nearly as much political power.

We are ridiculed. We are your: bitch. whore. slut. lesbo. go back to the kitchen. want to hear a joke? women's rights. ha-ha-ha. stop being so sensitive.


I can wear pants in public. I can wear a skirt, a dress, and not just 'cause it's traditional clothing for my culture.

If I slap my boyfriend, if I leave a burning mark on his cheek -- fiery because of the splintered blood cells, or because of the blood cells fighting to hide out of shame? -- you will tell him:grow a pair. suck it up. you, go apologize.

If the bigbadcountries start launching their atomic bombs, so close that even in peacetime I cower under my bombshelterbed, I will be asked by a frantic-eyed uniformed lady to: please please sign up for the army. the airforce. the navy. the don't-you-love-your-countries? ration your food. donate money. donate time. please. please. please.

If I am raped, I will fall onto my bed of pity and I will wrap myself in your sympathy. I will weather the storms of humiliation, of maybeAIDSpregnancyabortion, and I will be judged, but I will survive with 155.8 million hands holding me up.

And what will he get?

If he wears a skirt in public, he will be: your laughter of disbelief. fag. your slap on the shoulder, your you're just kidding, man, right? tranny. dick. fuck you, man. what the fuck you playing at, man?

If he slaps me, and my handprint-skin and I run crying to my momsisterfriendpolice, they will slap him in handcuffs and slap him with a restraining order and the shame of your stares.

If the bigbadcountries push the bigbadredbutton, he will get the horse blinders clamped onto his temples and he will watch as they stuff his name into a magnificent lottery ball and ifwhen they choose his name, he will go be a man and sacrifice for the Greater Good and he will think of the children/women/country you're protecting.

If he is raped, he will be asked how that even works, man; he will go to a counseling session where they will ask him to leave, and they will tell him that a real man wouldn't let some dumb bitch/fag knock him around like that, and he will wonder if it even happened at all.

And God forbid either of them wants to kiss/snuggle/love the same sex. We can't talk about that in polite companysociety 'cause that's a goddamn mental disorder/fucked-up lifestyle choice, fuck the APA, my Book and I know better.

It's not the women who need to be lifted up.

It's not the men, either.

We need the crushing down.

It's the gender roles. It's everything. It's our way of life. It's our assumption that this is okay, that this is how it's meant to be, that evolution says this and evolution says that.

It's our refusal to acknowledge that: clothes don't define the person, the intention of violence is as bad as the power behind the blow, atomic bombs erase our gender lines, rape is inhumane no. matter. what., love is love is love is love.

So does that make me a feminist? Or just a teenage kid holding out hope for all of us?

**A.) PREACH. B.) My only edits are here because I didn't want to disrupt from what Vita had to say; it's really quite poetic. I'll try to be more eloquent than I usually am, but honestly, to borrow a term from elsewhere in cyberspace: THIS. This is my problem with the wording of the phrase "women's rights" or "gay rights" or just any group treated as inferior to an upper-middle class heterosexual Caucasian male aged 25-55 (and even then, he has to fit rigidly into society's expectations to hold onto the rights society has given him)'s rights. It's not about special treatment, and these groups shouldn't have to be defined by the rights denied to them. Rights are rights. Granted, I have most of them. I am not fighting for these rights out of life-or-death necessity. (Is the lack of urgency why this is ignored? Or, on a personal level, is it because I'm a teenager, placing this where it's only going to be read by 50 people tops?) My life is pretty damned okay, on a base level. I have the opportunity to whine and rave and fight without fear of anything.

Vita asks if we're just teenagers straining against the odds to see the good in humanity. I don't know. On one hand, if I were to say that we're all going to die insignificantly anyway, I'd get called an emo little attention whore--and on the other, if I were truly Mary-"my generation can fix the world"-Sunshine, I'd be told to grow up and that that's not how reality works. I don't even know if this is specific to this age, if one day we'll all grow out of it and become hardened into absolute realism by the world. I don't think this is anything anyone stops wanting, but we still have the resolve to try even knowing we can't win.

I'm not saying it's impossible to change the world; I'm not dashing the hope that remains even in the face of a society that is, bluntly, fucked up. I'm just saying it's impossible to change the world in a way everyone agrees is right, if that makes sense.**

Friday, January 7, 2011

Draft January 12/26/10 -- So a year ago I was a liar, it seems

Oblique (ooh, posh): Rena
Italics; also, parenthesis: Vita

Draft pooooost. For January. Huzzah! (Alex, did you mean we were going to post our draft posts as is, as a raw purge? Because this is how mine usually start. This is how they ALL start, really, but you don't see that. Draft form is nice.) (MY LIFE.)

Having received my first iPod for Christmas (congratulations), I decided to keyword search this blog for relevant topics to discuss upon owning one. What I discovered was my false past. (OH MY GOD CIA AGENT) I found this post, wherein I insinuate that I have both ridden a plane and owned the aforementioned device (both lies). (You mean you have never experienced the delightfully nauseous nosh known as airplane food, or perhaps, airplane milk** kept chilly/watery with the genius addition of ice? You, my friend, are missing out.) It's trivial, put in inconspicuously, normal enough so as to not be questioned, my reasoning behind them being that it would be more abnormal to confess to not having experienced these things. (Funny how it's all so relative, isn't it? If you were in, say, the outback in Australia as a member of an indigenous tribe***, it would be more weird if you either of those things did apply to you. Like, there is no normal for the human species, just what we as individual societies construe as important. At any rate, I don't think it's at all strange to not have an iPod or to never have ridden an airplane, nor do I think it's strange that you were once somewhat worried about it.) This was a year ago, when this vast expanse of trust and openness that now exists between us hadn't been formed within this blog. (Aww. Truth.) Now, of course, I know y'all wouldn't've judged me, but back then I was self-conscious on the Internet. (Isn't it weird how you can feel so personally responsible, I guess, for somebody you've never met off the internet? How bizarre is the realm of internet characters -- you have, in probably the majority of the internet population, people who essentially use the internet as an extension of the tangible world, becoming perhaps a tad more outgoing; on the other end, you have the trolls who would probably never say half the things they say online in real life.) I feel like I owe you an apology; consider this it. (As John Green would say, I don't agree with your premise, BUT apology accepted nonetheless.)

It's a silver Shuffle, and so far I'm handling it like a baby bird or my own child. (I've named him Jiji, which is a clever, multilayered pun on my part.*) Time will change this, I'm sure.

* Pronounced the same as saying the letter G twice, referencing the fact that he has 2 Gigabytes of storage. (Clever!) Also the name of the awesome, sarcastic cat sidekick in an anime movie I loved as a kid. (I must see this movie. Awesome cats are awesome.)
** So that sounds pretty disgusting; it's as if airlines drained all of the disgusting leftover gas and served in in-flight as a special treat known as "airplane milk." Shudders all 'round.
*** Speaking of, Australians apparently have the bestest slang. Did you know that "rainbow sneeze" is one of the many expressions they use to describe the delightful act of vomiting?

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Nonitalics/Oblique: Vita
Italics: Alex

Things I Have Learned this Week (and a thing that I already knew):

- I can safely cross "journalist" off of my list o' possible writing-related careers. Here's the thing: I believe that journalists have one of the most important jobs available. I believe that all of the news sources need to fire their biased* reporters/journalists and their journalists/reporters that don't like to research. I believe that good journalists are honest, level-headed, intelligent, hard-working, demanding, extroverted (or at least good at suppressing their introversion), skilled at writing, and well-informed but even more so possessors of a desire to become well-informed.

But fuck I'm too uncomfortable around people to be an honest-to-God journalist. I like people, I'm not an awkward caterpillar all aloney on my owny, and I think I'm actually pretty good at pretending to be confident even if I'm not, but I don't like demanding things of people, even if it's just an answer to this MOTHEREFFING QUESTION on this MOTHEREFFING PLANE. The thing is, once I start interviewing somebody, I'm totally fine -- I kind of get into it and sometimes I even improvise questions!! Oh my gaaah! However, these were people that I know, yet even so, the prospect of interviewing them seemed supremely unappealing. I see this trend in other situations as well -- I never *want* to do stuff, but once I actually do it, I usually end up having fun.

- This whole Draft January thing so far has basically consisted of me opening Vita's old drafts, reading her opinions and then adding my own commentary. This is fun for me but I feel kind of bad stealing these from you, Vita. I mean, maybe you wanted to go back and finish these yourself.** Maybe you wanted to fix these (in your opinion) broken thoughts which I find endlessly fascinating. I feel no need to delete or even edit. Maybe this is a purposeful draft and you didn't want this posted. If so, sorry. If not, you're brilliant and you should hit publish all the time.

- Vita has the most drafts left (11), I have the second most (9) and Rena has the least (4). I don't know what this says about us.

- Saying goodbye kind of sucks. Okay, so I already knew that. But two sisters leaving me on the same day leads to nothing but a tear stained complexion and Florence + the Machine on repeat.*** I'm fine. 

- Sometimes things just don't work out. That's okay.

*that is, biased outside the uncontrollable realm of slight human bias
**If you want to re-edit this after I've posted it, feel free.
***It's become my comfort music.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Draft January 10/11/10 -- Redefining feminism

Non italics: Vita
Italics: Alex

How can you be a female living in 21st century America and not be a feminist? Unless, of course, you are misunderstanding the word, to which I say: look it up. Dictionaries exist, as does *gasp* THE INTERNET.

Seriously, somebody please enlighten me. What is with this aversion to feminism? Why do females seem to think that they are somehow less human than their male counterparts? A: Years of learning gender roles that are enforced by television, film, advertising, and other major media messages. Not to mention society and the people around you.

Part of it, at least, must be the fact that feminists tend to get a bad rep. You always hear about the ones who are burning bras, condemning all men, lobbying for complete power. That isn't feminism. If you believe that men and women are equal - not that women are superior - and you believe that laws and society ought to reflect our equality, then you are a feminist. And before you ask, no, you don't have to offer up the corpse of a freshly killed male to join the women's-rights club. That would be worrying.

Please don't say, "I'm not much of a feminist, but..." Just don't. It's a terrible phrase. What you're saying is, "I don't really think women are equal to men, but..." Is that honestly what you mean? Do you truly believe that you are worth less? Or are you trying to avoid being called a bitch? A lesbian? A typical power-hungry self-serving woman?

Because that's what feminists are called. It's meant to deter the movement, to shake our beliefs, and unfortunately, it works.

Happiness and feminism aren't mutually exclusive. You can have five kids, be madly in love with your husband, and still be a hardcore feminist. That is totally cool. The modern feminist movement is not about calling men chauvinistic pigs and taking over the world. It's about realizing that we have a distorted world view. It about shoving aside the idea of 'boy colours' and 'girl colours' and concepts like that. It's about being able to buy LEGOs with dragons, moats AND princesses* (maybe even wearing armor and a helmet). It's about equal opportunity and FAIR PAY**.

So stop demeaning us with your derogatory language. And when your kids (or their kids, or your friends kids or whatever people you might imagine being close to in the future) ask you if things really weren't always this fair, and were you a part of making things equal for everyone, I hope you can tell them you did something. At the very least, I hope you can say you didn't hinder the progress. Chances are, though, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. So get on it***.

footnotes to describe my links:
*This is an awesome blog by Maggie Stiefvater (whose books I have not actually read but I intend to because her blogs make her sound like an incredible writer) complete with a Harry Potter graphic.
**This is a link to my own blog-rant which you might have read already, but regardless, it's relevant.
***An article from the Princetonian (sp?) about how to be a feminism (or at least how to start).

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Draft January 12/5/10-- Dissecting Rudolph

Italics by Alex--ooh, that should be the name of typeface or something. Rhymes FTW.
Non-italics (The internet says the technical term is "Oblique") by Rena

Scary and ominous title, I know, but set aside those creepy memories from grade eight when you dissected that sheep's eye and come with me on a magical journey in a special sleigh.

Maybe this blog is spurred on by the fact that I worked a few more hours than I would have liked this week at a store where our radio station of choice plays Christmas songs. All the time.

If you wish to maintain whatever fond association you've had with this cheerful tune about a reindeer ostracized because of his luminous nasal pigmentation and subsequently vindicated by jolly old Saint Nick, turn back now.

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
Had a very shiny nose.
(Why? Radiation? Drug abuse? Rare--possibly fatal--genetic disorder?)
And if you ever saw it,
You would even say it glows.
(But no one has, that's the point. Who are we to take your word for it, narrator, hmm?)

All of the other reindeer,
Used to laugh and call him names.
(All much too vulgar for publication.)
They never let poor Rudolph,
Join in any reindeer games.
(Clever euphemism, o narrator.)

Then one foggy Christmas Eve,
Santa came to say:
(Here the lyrics suggest a kind of torrid, possibly drug-induced, late-night, mythical-humanoid-on-mythical-deer love affair.)
"Rudolph with your nose so bright,
Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"
(This being his only redeemable quality. Santa is magical and could have seen through any weather condition, thus accomplishing nothing but making Rudolph feel useful out of guilt.)

Then all the reindeer loved him.
And they shouted out with glee,
"Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
You'll go down in history!"

Thus ends the tale of a lonely young deer, whose talents were revealed to his peers only after he did their boss a favor. You can have those creepy memories back now.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Draft January 8/17/09 -- an uneventful start in more ways than one

"Okay, this is really weird; my cursor just disappeared on this blog post and it's quite irritating.

Whatcha reading?
I'm reading "Le Petit Prince;" it's my summer assignment for French. I'm also skimming "The Picture of Dorian Gray," which is what I read for English. I finished reading it a week or two ago, but I have to fill out some questions about it. It's not that bad, really, as far as homework goes; it's mostly composed of questions that give you free reign, like an exercise reading "Favorite lines from the book and explanation of why they were your favorites" and "Main ideas conveyed by the book and your opinion of the ideas." Not too difficult, I think.

I have two questions on blogging, but I suppose I'll save the second one for Friday:
Generally, how long does it take you to write one blog post?"

If memory serves me correctly, I actually did post a blog containing content extremely similar (ahem, identical) to this. I suppose what happened here was I began a blog post, decided that my (train-engine) fingers had run out of steam, and clicked "save post" while I (apparently) took a music break to the tune of "Such Great Heights" by (the?) Postal Service, about which I then proceeded to write. In a separate post. Mystery: solved.

Well. If you're the inquisitive, accuracy-seeking type, it's more likely that an interim of an hour or five elapsed between this lovely anthropological dissection of One Young Girl's Historic Summer Vacation (tm), during which time I a) almost certainly avoided making progress on Le Petite Prince (I can't remember if I'd actually started reading it at this point or not), b) definitely failed to do any more of my English work, and c) wasted an hour or five watching silly clips on Youtube.

(Hmm. Sounds suspiciously like my homework situation this past summer vacation.)

To follow up: a) I got a C on my Le Petite Prince quiz upon returning to school. Incidentally and somewhat to my chagrin, I've never felt the love towards that book, neither the French nor English version. Perhaps it's because I spent the last few days of break furiously whipping my naive young gaze from the English to French version in a half-assed attempt to understand enough of the French words to complete the accompanying Petite Prince workbook, which undoubtedly caused me to miss some of the finer points. Then again, we spent the first quarter on that book in class and somehow I never grew to love it. I feel vaguely guilty about this, not only because it's a classic but because the author -- whom I'm sure was a lovely chap -- unfortunately met an untimely end nosediving into the Atlantic Ocean through no real fault of his own. Ah well. C'est la vie, as they say in Frenchland; b) As predicted, the English homework was easy and I did get a 10/10 on it, which was a nice enough start to a wonderful year-long English adventure; c) There's not much to say about this one, other than: I'm working on it.

Far more interesting than the above is the dull attempt at self-validation that the last question (aww, remember when we used to ask each other questions?) reveals: "How long does it take you to write a blog post?" No doubt I worried to some degree that I either spent too little time writing a post (not enough effort!) or too much time doing the same (I can't think fast enough!). Good to know that the creeping sensation of utter unworthiness crept in at a young age.

Just kidding.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Commence Draft January!

It's 2011. It honestly doesn't feel any different from 2010, no new year does for a while. I don't know when this yearly differentiation begins, but for right now I'm in yearly limbo. Some questions (paraphrased) and some answers (not paraphrased):

Do you make resolutions/are you a generally resolved person?

Answer part the first: Not really. I'm still focusing on (very vague) resolutions from 2010-2008. This may seem to denote that I have long-term goals. Don't be fooled.

Answer part the second: It comes in bursts, like the apocryphal genius. I can go on little highs just (metaphorically) tackling whatever I want, not procrastinating, (literally) waking up energized and all that jazz, lasting for a maximum of about 3 weeks. Then the tiny speck of brain matter that is that animated devil on my shoulder goes, "Screw, it, you deserve a break." And then the break lasts for a few more days just because it sucks to pick up resolution when it is no longer naturally occurring. Thus begins the rut. I even enjoy the rut, once submerged in sufficient apathy so as to be untouchable by guilt. This is starting to sound like (my non-diagnostic definition of) bipolar disorder. Unrelatedly, I've always wondered if I actually have some kind of mental disorder (My breezy nature about this suggests not, but what the hell). Everyone must come to terms with their own weirdness at some point, but when does it stop being teenage angst and get to a chemically unbalanced level?

This turned out way more awkward than I intended it to.

Anyway, Draft January, yes? I vote we still get to edit them, though. Some of yours are really well put together (Re: The White Chamber) some of mine are just NOT. But this may be the point. I shall expose to you my horribleness in writing these.