Sunday, January 30, 2011
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
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.
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
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.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
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.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
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.
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
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
If you're reading this: 1) SUP 2) sneaky sneaky (hehe) and 3) I WANTED TO POST A BLOG TODAY I REALLY DID BUT SCHOOL SUCKS AND STUFF AND I GOT HOME RIDICULOUSLY LATE (BY WHICH I MEAN I HAD TO WALK HOME WHICH ONLY TAKES ABOUT 45 MINUTES AND ISN'T THAT DIFFICULT EXCEPT IT IS SORT OF A PAIN WHEN YOU HAVE A HEAVYASS SCHOOLBAG AND YOU HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO) AND I'M JUST A WHEELBARROW OF EXCUSES SORRY I'M GOING TO STOP TALKING IN ALL CAPS now.
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.)
Sunday, January 16, 2011
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
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Saturday, January 8, 2011
**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.
Friday, January 7, 2011
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.)
** 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
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
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
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.
Monday, January 3, 2011
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.