Friday, December 14, 2012

Chapter 53: I Don't Like Your Tea

Let's start with a hypothetical totally fake conversation to make the main point of this (hopefully not anger filled) blog post. For the sake of the argument, I am going to be using two TV shows that I am familiar with (because they are few and far between).

Scenario start:
X: Oh wow, the last episode of "Suites" the other day was incredible! Did you see it?
Y: No, sorry. I don't watch that show.
X: Why not? Not like it's bad or anything. And it's so amazing! You should watch it.
Y: I just don't like lawyer-drama shows. I think they're over-dramatized and I don't really like the main characters on that show. I have no feelings for them or drive to hope they win.
X: That's stupid. You should watch it. So last night...*goes on to summarize the episode in the bad story-telling of an avid fan who still can't seem to remember what exactly happened first.*
10 minutes later...
X: So yeah, totally awesome. You should watch it.
Y: *Eye roll* Cool. I watched the newest episode of "Fact or Faked" on line the other day.
X: That show's so stupid. I can't believe you watch it.
Y: I like how they show you all kinds of stunts and stuff and I'm into the paranormal a little, so it's interesting to me.
X: But it's so lame!
Y: Why?
X: That kind of stuff just is.
Y: Well, on the episode I saw--
X: Ugh, so my boyfriend the other day said I eat too many chips and I need to cut it out.
End scenario

How many times has something similar happened to you? What you like to watch is "stupid" or "lame" and the other person won't tell you why, just that it is. Or they go nuts when you say you don't something they do and you should because if you don't you're stupid. This is something that has happened to me more times here in Texas than I can even count. No one wants to hear what you like if they think it's stupid. No one likes a conversation they don't want to participate in. Know what? ME NEITHER! If I say I don't like a show, musician, band, or movie, I mean it. No one likes the jerks who say, "Well, you should watch it" or "it's amazing" after I have said that I'm no interested. Now for me, unlike other people, I WILL try something before I say no. Unless it's just utter crap from the start like the movie "Ted" (I have a million reasons, not just saying). On that note, if you want to tell me that what I like is crap, give me a reason. I give you tons of reasons why I don't like the show you do. "American Horror Story" for example. Badly written, unbelievable characters (people walk in and out of their house and they don't give a crap??), no story, and no likable characters. I have examples for all of those. You may notice I have mentioned likable characters twice now. Yes. You have to have likable characters. They can be ones we like to hate though. No one is perfect and they more imperfect they are the better, right? Not my point. So, give me a reason. It's like having a source. You need one to back up anything you claim unless it's just your opinion. Even then, telling me something is "awesome in my opinion" is not enough to get me to watch something. Tell me why it's awesome.
Next point, don't talk to someone who is not interested in "Suits" for 20 minutes about it after they tell you they are not interested. I don't want to be a part of a conversation that is about something I don't care about that is not vital to my life. Or be part of one that puts you into a preaching chair where you know the episode story and I don't just so you can have 20 minutes to be my lord and master and look down on me to feel better about your self. I won't do it to you unless you say something I like is crap and I want to defend my likes. But if you tell me "I don't care, shut up" then expect the same thing from me when you prattle on so. Maybe the fact that you use it to annoy me makes me never want to watch it!
Not that I won't watch something, just that I probably won't until I have time to spare for something I don't really want to do. It's great that you want to share something though. Sharing things is great. It's how friends are made and all that. But when I give my reasons for not liking it, don't push it. Makes you look like an idiot. This has been a problem I've encountered the more I'm around people. You are stupid if you don't like what they do. Or if you like something they think is stupid. I know that what I like shows people something about me. For example, if someone likes harlequin romance novels, I know they are lonely, horny, and very open with their sex lives (most likely). And sad. And kinky if they like "50 Shades of Gray". I'm going to stay away from that person. I like fantasy; therefore people think I'm a nerd and socially awkward. But when people like badly written, typo-ridden, incorrect basic grammar, shallow plots, cliche stories, and large print to make the book look thicker, I raise an eyebrow. Yes, I get signals (ok, ok I judge) from that. But so do you about me.
Point: Don't push your likes on people. Don't tell them they "should" watch/listen/read what you do. Don't say they are stupid because they watch stupid shows. But do find out WHY they like what they do--if you HONESTLY want to know why. When my sister swore up and down by "American Horror Story" I tried it out and hated it. I asked her why she liked it, she said because it was creepy. I explained why I didn't find it creepy and got told I was wrong and too critical. My other sister told me I was so critical and negative and looked for too much in things that it was no wonder I don't have many friends. *Sigh* I guess my expectations are just above everyone else's. (Please, please, note the sarcasm, you easily offended. This blog is stuffed full with it). But they really are. I plan to write a book my stay in Texas some day. It will be very grumpy.
So that's the blog and that's my poorly constructed argument for now. I hate it when people tell me I'm stupid for not liking their band/book/movie/show and cannot back up their claims or opinions.

PS. I love "Suits" and "Fact or Faked". :)  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Chapter 52: Those Who Are Good in Their Subject, Don't Teach

I promised my best friend (read her blog everyone: Pieces of El) a blog post of rather vulgar proportions, but that will have to wait as I've been meaning to write this post for months (years if you want to be literal).
You know the feeling.Walking into a new class room in college, whether it's community or university, always bring with it the hope: Please don't let me fail! I gave up that feeling long ago and not just because I've been on the honor role of ever college I've attended (please note the satire for your own health), but because I am scared to death that the person in the teacher's seat is not going to know how to do what they get paid thousands to do: Teach.
I've had pretty much every experience in a class room I think one can have. I've had the passive jerk who really doesn't care (really, one teacher was writing As on the tests as we handed them in!); the one who wants you to do well but doesn't actually talk during class and gets angry if you leave the computer terminal to ask her a question; the over passionate one who hates it when you don't see things her way, the one who gives you a C because you disagreed with her lecture in a five page essay; the one who is an overachiever and gives you hand outs, PowerPoints, in addition to his lecture and the text book and then wonders why you got a B- on his 8 page test; the list goes on! I've been in college a while...
Then we have this new breed of teacher who shows up semi late, gives you a bit more homework than is humanly possible to finish in the allotted time you have to do it, gives you essays every week because they don't take roll, and worst of all, they read out of the book but hate it when you have a question and tell you "It's in the text book". Or the one who is a literature professor and spends all of your Poe class time on how the dinosaurs went extinct and why you shouldn't believe in God.
Right now, I hope at least one of those sounds pretty bizarre to you. I don't want to go into detail about either of them to avoid being a jerk, but these people really can't teach.
I want to be a teacher. I want to teach reading and writing. I believe that if you can do that then you can learn anything else. But these few teachers out there are just really good at their subject matter. Except of course the one about Poe and the dinosaurs. Ok, I can't avoid it, I have to use their subjects to help make my point.
My American Literature professor... He hates the Bible and Christians and all other religions but in case you missed it the first 5 weeks of class, he wants you to read "The Age of Reason" and write papers about how right Mr. Paine is. I have nothing against the Thomas Paine... except that he can't write an argument. No, I don't agree with him, but do you know why? He has no sources. He claims This City was not called That then and so on. How do we, the readers, know? He says things out right that are PURE opinion. He's not a credible source. Also, a lot of his arguments about the bible are false when you do a close a reading. I thought of at least three while just listening to audio. Any way, Paine isn't the point here. My teacher thinks Paine IS God and all he spent the first six or so weeks doing was bashing religions and spreading hate. We were reading VERY early American literature but he NEVER talked about them in class. It was all about carbon dating and such. Weird. I wanted to discuss literature. Now that we are finally reading stuff from the American Renaissance, he threw in a bit about Washington Irving while we were reading some of his stories (I did an essay on Sleepy Hollow). The best class by far was today when we discussed in detail "Ligeia". This is the FIRST time we've talked literature in his literature class. Huzzah. He's paid to be a teacher and all I'm getting is indoctrinated with his hate and opinions. What happened to teaching?
Now, my French teacher. Er, my French... whatever she is. She reads from the book (which we do as part of our homework), goes through the slides so fast that I cannot take in 50% of it, and then gets angry when we have a question. Very much, "Why don't you know that?" in an annoyed French accent. I don't know that because it's in the chapter we're learning now! Duh. I mean, right? I cannot grasp why she thinks we come to class just to hear her repeat something we were supposed to have to learned last semester (which she says a lot). If I learned it then, why would I be here now? If she's supposed to be a teacher, why does she treat us like we're stupid when we ask questions. That's what class is for. She's supposed to teach. Teach means, according to my new love the OED: to show, present or offer, to direct, to guide. And then we have all the nice examples to OED gives you of when the word was used and all that. She doesn't do any of that. Neither does Mr. Deist-Supremacist.
Point: I am more scared of not being taught and handing in a half-witted attempt at what the teacher wants to hear (or struggling through what I've dug up on my own in the French case) and not learning than I am of having a real teacher and getting a bad grade for not learning. I mean, I'm not learning here either, but I'm getting a good grade (in the literature case). Or in the French case, I could be learning and getting an ok grade verses not learning and getting an ok grade. I don't care about the grade! well, I care about my GPA, but I am paying out the nose for this school! Literally, every penny I have made over the past year is going to this school right now. I want to be taught, damn it! Sorry... I had to. It's so wrong that I have to work three jobs, run myself to death, not sleep well, not eat healthy, get fat, have no social life or friends, AND no education! W...T...F?

The End ^_^


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chapter 51: Utopian Hypocrisy

So with the election coming up, I decided to get a little political... and not so much. A lot of people feel that our president will lead us to communism if he is elected again; our last free election as we know it! Maybe he just wants to bring more order to the US. People must be governed, right? Isn't communism just a tight grip on order so the people and nation will be equal and strong? Here is my theory about Order with examples from out ancestors, the English, in my favorite time period, the Renaissance, and my most favorite book to argue about: Sir (Saint) Thomas More's "Utopia".

How is it order if it is oppression? Forced into roles. Fermer says God is a God of order, but true order should be delightful then. The Utopians say that natural health is the highest form of pleasure(quote). So natural things should be order. Like a woman in pants. She has legs, that is natural. (Hic pg 268) Saying a women should not dress like a man because it is not how God intended is illogical. Man created pants and said that is what a man ought wear not a woman (Quote Hic, maybe). Enforcing man’s inventions onto God’s design--by the logic and norms of the Renaissance Europe--should have been labeled as rebellion and therefore part of disorder. As described by Coriolanus in his “Unrest in the Midlands” rebellion is the worst sin: “How horrible a sin against God and man rebellion is cannot possibly be expressed...” (Coriolanus 556), which Fermer established as against God since he is a God of order.

I mainly want to focus on the hypocrisy of the writings with my main points coming from Utopia with backups from the texts.
Order plays a big role in “Utopia” with the people of the land blindly following along with no questions. Clearly, a few people in Renaissance Europe didn’t want to just follow along as is evident in the “Unrest in the Midlands”.
Sir Thomas More’s “Utopia” is supposed to describe a place where everything is perfect and is never in chaos. But what does that mean exactly? Are the people happy? If so, why? What do they find so pleasurable about their government and commonwealth? according to the editors, the word “utopia” means “no place”. As a reader, I can only guess that More knew this was painting a picture of place that would never exist. Why it would never exist is what I plan on exploring. Is it because it’s just too perfect and humankind could never achieve that level of peace, government, and perfection? Or is that such a place should not exist? Whether they meant to or not, Renaissance England seemed to be striving to achieve such a peace and government through control of the one thing that people would most likely listen to if more than their lives--maybe their soul-- on the line; the church. Order means, according to Webster, “a condition in which each thing is properly disposed with reference to other things and to its purpose; methodical or harmonious arrangement”. Harmonie. Properly. Order is this thing that magically means “the way it is supposed to be”. Wherever that came from. Logically, for order to work, someone must suffer, because being a species, mankind will individually choose or want to do something else besides what he is told. That’s what the brain is for. Therefore, a society where everyone is equal and in “order” is one of the utmost hypocritical societies. The biggest example of order and hypocrisy: the hierarchy.    
The first rung of hierarchy is, of course, the monarch. In Renaissance England, a common belief was that the monarchy was divinely chosen by God to rule. Orlin shows us that government was “necessary to thwart the chaos” and “hierarchies were understood to have been created by God” (Orlin 143). That meant that the citizens had better obey their king (or queen) on punishment of being accused of treason. Wrightson explains this in the beginning of his writings “Degrees of People” where he says “they began by making distinctions, by classifying and ranking”. Orlin even says everyone acted on agreement that “monarchy was the best form of government” (Orlin 139). This is not only prominent in the readings we had but also in “Utopia” by Thomas More. In class, we discussed how everything is hierarchical--from government to the common household-- and therefore we see that a man is over his wife just as the king is over his people and God is over his church. Even in the “Debate About Women” the author states that the “most significant justification is religious and biblical”. If one was to obey, one was simply following biblical commandments. This is seen also in the ten commandments in commandment number five where it states that the father and mother should be honored. In the “Unrest in the Midlands” we see many accounts of uprisings and rebellions for various reasons who were very determined: “But said he wee will never yield but goe through with yt.” This kind of stubborn rebellion was not to be tolerated from subjects. This is a good example of what I said earlier about not all humans wanting to go along with “order”.  
Orlin brings us into the homes of  Renaissance England quoting Robert Cleaver when she says, “A household is as it were a little commonwealth.” This goes back to the household hierarchy of a wife obeys her husband and the children obey their mother. But it was hard to accept that a husband and a wife might have to have equal power in this little commonwealth or “joint ownership” as Orlin calls it. She says that men of the time were “reluctant to acknowledge that children and servants were generally supervised by wives” (Orlin 147). That was almost a disruption in the English hierarchy. A good example of the hypocrisy that was so invisible to the English so desiring order.
But these dominating husbands are just yeomen or farmers; all below their lord or king and must have also conformed to the “social stratification” of the day (Wrightson 40). To elaborate on how these men were just workers in the hierarchy, Wrightson goes on to say that the husbandmen “could generally be dismissed as having ‘neither voice nor authority in the commonwealth” (Wrightson 36). So what may appear to be higher up on the authority chain wasn’t actually that great. A yeoman had to pay taxes to his lord (the man whose land he worked and rented), abide by his rules, and also live by the monarchy’s laws and social norms. But not all hope was lost. A working man could raise his status. Wrightson gives the statistics that 963 gentry families were elevated. Of course, sixty-four were removed from the country as well (Wirghtson 26). So a man could break the order? That doesn't sound right.
But what if a rebellion was started? In the “Unrest in the Midlands” reading, we saw a lot of scared nobles and servants try to deal with uprisings and rebels. In Utopia, however, you were exiled or made a slave: in other words, brought very low on the hierarchy scale.
Let’s now turn to Utopia and it’s hierarchy, which actually does not differ in some ways from England’s, but is perhaps more misogynistic in others. The Utopian’s religion does not play a part in their hierarchy nor does misogynism as they have female priests as well, unlike Europe. The Utopians elect their leaders as we see in “Of Their Magistrates” every year to avoid him enslaving anyone. Though these magistrates don’t seem to have a hand in forcing the people to do work or live a certain way (because the Utopians are only too happy to do so) we do see them dol out harsh punishment for anyone who is rebellious, which we see when we now turn to how the church of England interacts with the people and how that affects the hierarchy of command when someone dares disturb the order. They are also elected from anyone who wants to try out for the job. It’s good that any man could rule, but is raising someone so above the others “equal”? No, but it is “order”. But they’re supposed to go hand in hand.
The second rung of hierarchy is the Church. Unlike England, the Utopians had many religions. Some praised the moon, the sun and others planets (More 127). The hypocrisy comes in where More writes, “There be that give worship to a man that was one of excellent virtue” but this goes against what was mentioned earlier in the book about not worshiping any man above another. Also, when discussing dress, More says that all Utopians wear a grey cloak and no one is to be adorned better than anyone else (More 78). But the book states clearly that the priests are of “exceeding holiness”, are not punished for their crimes, cannot be touched by other men, and have robes adorned in feathers (More 136-37). This goes against everything the Utopians believe about equality and not putting one man before another. But More describes it over and over in each section as being necessary. Of course, we cannot agree more that there must be laws to follow to have some kind of order. But how can such people live? More takes care of that by saying in several sections how each Utopian is happy to abide by all of these laws. The church for the Utopians is there to grant such things as confessions (More 138) and ceremonies. It was not like the church of England that was controlled by the monarchy but was just as revered and respected. Probably out of fear though.
Probably most of what the English church preached was written by someone from the monarchy or government. Things like “The Book of Common Prayer” and the “Book of Homilies” were what the editors called “authorized” sermons and prayers. These were written to be read at frequent occasions such as weddings and Sunday services. These “authorized readings”, I find, were most likely written to shape and mold the people to a spiritual way of thinking so as to be easily controlled. Orlin said the bible was often cited in political arguments to invoke the “divine right” of the monarch to make the people do as he pleased with the threat of God’s wrath hovering over a disobedient person (Orlin 140). Further down the page the hypocrisy is shown when she says, “the church became the monarchy's most effective instrument for spreading political propaganda” (Orlin 140). And since the ignorant people of England were not all literate, the best way to get out the monarchy’s dictatorial rules was through “state-authorized sermons” (Orilin 140) as mentioned above. What these statements bring to light is that since the monarchy viewed the church as a tool, we may be able to assume that they didn’t believe in it at all. A good example is King Henry’s break with the church so that he could divorce his wife and marry another. The rules of the game changed depending on what the monarch needed from his or her subjects. Obviously, there are differences in the Utopian church and the English church, but hypocrisy is evident in both.        
On the third rung of hierarchy, we have the family. As pointed out in my introduction, the man, no matter his station in the grand hierarchy, is always the head of the house. In Utopia there is no such thought. However, I will point out later how base they think their wives any way.
The commonwealth way in Utopia is that everyone works. In the section “Of Their Cities” we see that all of the towns are set up so that everything is equal and every man has a claim to anything anywhere in the city: “there is nothing within the houses that is private or any man’s own” and that is so that if you have seen one then you “knoweth them all” (More 65, 67). This way of working is what we today would call a socialist community.
England at the time suffered from great social inequality much like America today. Class was everything in those days and it was hard to elevate oneself above what he was born into. Wrightson says “the gap which separated them from their social inferiors was in some respects greater than that which removed them from their immediate superiors” (Wrightson 37). Husbandmen were too lowly to  have a political voice, labourers and craftsmen were also hardly admitted to participate in village administration as well (Wrightson 36). Of the lower levels, he says that only “wealthier craftsmen” were used for legal things such as being a witness for a will. In Utopia, you could not move up the social ladder. Though you may be a magistrate but that’s under special circumstances. Everyone was supposed to be equal. In England though, if a man was fortunate enough, he could move up in rank by acquiring that which the Utopians despise: wealth, fame, or acts of bravery and servitude to ones king (Wrightson). However, in the home weather that man was rich, middle, or lower class, he was the head. Even in perfect Utopia this is true because each household had a wife and two “bondmen” (More 63).
The wives in England, according to “The Debate About Women” and the authorized wedding ceremony in the “Book of Common Prayer” were to be married so that they could preserve their virtue and serve their husbands. One theory I had about why women were treated so lowly back in these days is because thoughts like in “The Debate About Women” were floating around: “woman [was] the channel through which evil, pain, and laborious work entered the world” and when not bound to a man she was “as attractive snares and sources of temptation” (Debate 7). Yes, it was a woman’s fault if I man could not help his lust in her presence. It was as if women were base creatures; certainly not on an equal level with her man despite the belief that marriage was supposed to be a partnership. At least in England, the wife had some authority of the servants or slaves and the children. In perfect Utopia, however, the women are not quite as equal as the syphogrants would have you believe.
First spoken on page 73, More says that “all women, which be the half of the number, or, else if the women be somewhere occupied, there most commonly in their stead the men be idle”. At first this confused me, but the notes in book says that in Utopia, work is considered things like farming “which allows [More] to dismiss the domestic labor virtually all women did” (Notes 224). So there we have it! The one place a woman had authority does not count. Another modern matter is that of the woman’s physique. The Utopians assume all of their women are virtuous and thus the man gets to decide to marry her based on her physical appearance. Meaning, no matter how virtuous or good she is, if she’s not pleasing to the eye then she’s not for him incase “anything in her body afterward should chance to offend and mislike them” (More 108). I suppose this desire for a perfect woman could match the English ideal of the “superiority of virginity” mentioned in “The Debate of Women”. In the same way, the Utopian husbands are allowed to “put her away” later in their marriage if some “bodily mishap” happens to her (More 109).
At first I thought the slaves were treated well enough in Utopia but really, the Utopians treat their slaves very unfavorably. Where do they get these salves? From neighboring countries, from wars where they’d rather take prisoners alive for slavery than kill them (124), and from offenders living in Utopia. Oddly, there are a lot of ways to be an offender in this perfect haven, but that’s not for this theory. I saw a connection between the wives the slaves though. First, we’re shown how the Utopians don’t understand how man can enjoy the sport of hunting. They think it base and not glorious as the English do. So when they feast, the meat they eat is “washed by the hands of their bondmen, for they permit not their free citizens to accustom themselves to the killing of beasts” (More 78). The job is so dirty that they make their slaves do it. But later when we’re at the table of the Utopians enjoying a feast the women are charged with the “office of cookery... and dressing the meat and ordering all things thereto belonging” (More 80). Look at “all things thereto belonging”. They must be there when the animal is slaughtered and oversee the cleaning of the meat; the defeathering, the skinning, the removal of organs--all to do with “all things thereto belonging” of the preparing of meat. The amount of hypocrisy here is astounding! Are the women so low in this society that they must do the work with the slaves and work that is not permitted for other citizens to do? After the women work with the slaves in this base activity, “all the old men (whose places be marked with a special token to be known) are first served their meat” (More 81). What about the older women? Are they not of equal age and wisdom? Apparently not. In a land where all is supposed to be equal, the women are still put low; even as low as slaves at certain times, who, as we know, are the last rung on any hierarchical ladder.
The last rung: the slaves. In Utopia, you don’t become a slave unless you are taken during war in which you are snatched from your homeland and made to work. A little like in England, but slavery wasn’t a big issue at this time. What was a problem was the workers revolting and rebeling. In Utopia, you were most likely to be killed if you rebelled. In England, they stomped on you until your spirit was broken. What was so bad about people trying to be free and treated fairly? Simple: it broke the “natural order” of things. As well as the monarch being chosen by divine right, if you were born into a certain class, you should know that it was God who put you there and you were to obey according to your status.
Thus I conclude my reasoning for why order is not possible without abounding hypocrisy. For order there must be a hierarchy because there must be someone to tell the rest of us what to do, and there must be slaves (workers). Order must be unequal. Or as many a tyrant has said, “People must be ruled”. So what’s the answer? Anarchy? Maybe, but even then, isn't there order in disorder? 
Sorry that was long and disorderly ;) But these theories take forever to hammer out. Now, to get back to homework. Thank you and good day!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chapter 50: A Guilty Writer

One thing you have to understand about anorexic people is that when they eat they feel unfathomably guilty. If you haven't been there then you cannot imagine. Have I been anorexic? No, but I was around it a LOT for a few years. Three people very close to me at one time were suffering from it. But this post isn't about anorexic people. I'm so sick of that subject. 
This is about guilt. A guilt that one cannot even think of until it's gripping you and pulling you under the icy waters. Guilt is a place I live often. That suffocating, confusing place. Yes, confusing. You don't know what to do because so many choices just make the condition worse. So in order to avoid more guilt and aggravating the condition, you do nothing. Which brings on more guilt. 
"What have you done? Killed a pet?" you may be asking. No, sweet friend. That would be too easy to admit to. My crime is self pleasure. 
Get your mind out of the gutter.
I don't like doing things that make me happy. Thank God dance practice has a foot in both fields: pleasure and need. I dance for income. I must stay in shape. I love music and moving to it. I dance. But even that isn't pleasure 100% of the time. I just am not allowed to do things that make me happy. Who says so? Ummm, well, me? I guess. 
There is not answer really except "me". I'm sure I've touched on this topic before but now I want to address something I felt very keenly today. I did almost all this weeks worth of homework over the weekend (yikes, that was painful) so that way I would have some time today to do anything I wanted. I scrawled on my calendar, "Get tambourine, play piano, write. Have fun!" What a load of shark bait. I could never do that. The only reason I am writing now is because my dear little sister got sick of me whining and put me in front of my computer and said, "Write!". I promised LFL that I would finish a rough draft this Summer. Didn't happen.
Because I have writer's guilt! 
What is this new word? It's when you take time (whether you have worked hard to make that time or not) to write and play with your work and decide, "No, I cannot do that. I must do something worth my time." 
"WHAT?" I can hear my heroin screaming at me. "You promised me by July my story would be told." I shrug and say, "I had other things to do... I don't know what, but I just did."
She's heart broken and I feel guilty for not writing her story. On the other hand though, I felt guilty every time I sat down to write. "Do something else. Study French. Work on something. Clean your room." Blah-blah-blah! The things you can do aside from write like you want to never ends! If I write, I am wasting time. "But you said you'd finish it by the end of July?" you ask. "How is that wasting time? You want to be a writer don't you?"
Yes, I don't know, and yes. 
Why is something I want to do a waist of time? Why? Because it gives me pleasure. Where did this mind set come from? My dad? My mum? The way I was raised? Or is it just some freak genetic gene? Or is it that writing NOW will not pay off until 5 or 6 years down the road? Am I so wrapped up in instant gratification that I cannot even give my stories a chance? What about Glenn? My faithful, brave Glenn. My first Hero. Don't he and his king dragon, Armongar, deserve a chance to fly? I freakin' made a map and a language up for that story. It had histories (a little too much I think sometimes... I'm not exactly Robert Jordan or Tolkien), people, creatures, and a myriad of stories to be told. 
I blamed writer's block for the longest time. "I don't know what to write!" Liar. I have pages and pages of outlines for LFL and DG. I may not be feeling inspired to write but that's why they call it a draft, right? I have no excuse but my mysterious guilt. And it must must MUST be dealt with. My stories may not be worth anything in the world, may never bear fruit, may never bring me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it... but I need them and (forgive my arrogance) they need to be told. If you have never seriously written, then you cannot understand the life a character can have. The presence. I was on a writer's message board once and no one else on there saw their characters the way I did. (Am I creeping you out yet? Heehee!) 
I don't know if I have a talent for writing or making stories. All I know is that they are the one thing in my life that I feel like I can hold up and say, "Look what I did! Isn't it awesome?" I just love them. All of them. My sci-fi novel, my gangster book (may be a disaster!), my fantasy trilogy, my vampire mysteries, my few but loved short stories. Why the guilt? I'm no psychologist so this is up to you guys. But to day I am struggling against that guilt and going to write on LFL even if it's the ugliest, stupidest, most wretchedly written "chapter 8 draft" ever! 
Thank you!     

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chapter 49: Yeah, That Was Painful

The amount of reading and the lack of writing a creative major has to do is astounding. In a not good way. I have already read (I've been counting) more than 500 pages of Renaissance and 1500s American literature. And written one poem. I could go on and on about how angry I was about this two weeks ago (or yesterday, which sure feels like two weeks ago) but I'll make it short because of how I feel now.
Yes, reading pages of middle English is hard and the weather reports of Geoffrey Bullough on just how frozen the Thames was in the of our lord 1631 does get exhausting and put me to sleep. Now, understand that I love reading. I really do. I will read almost anything. That's why the sleeping spell of Renaissance literature came as such a surprise and made me so angry. I love that era and wanted to learn about it. At the same time, though, I'm screaming: "Why do we care about the dialogue between a citizen and a countryman!" I was losing it.
Now, if you can imagine combining that with John Smith's "History of Virginia", Thomas Morton (guy was crazy!), William Bradford, Thomas More's "Utopia" and others, you can see where I am coming from. Also, add to that pages of historical context. Phew! I complain a lot and was trying to tell myself it really wasn't that much reading. After all the essays and blog posts I had to write in response to them all, I took a step back realized: Yeah, that WAS a lot of reading. And I did it all!
Weeping the whole way.
Here's where it gets better though!
After reading all this literature, I have all kinds of facts running around in my head (none of which I will be able to recall by the time the test rolls around, of course), people I've become way to acquainted with (I really didn't want know how that guy had intercourse with a cow, sheep, and goats...), and times and trials of rebellions and strange lands. I know a lot now. And this is only two weeks (almost three) into the semester. Think of how much smarter I am now that I've read about things that probably no one else in the world (excepting a few weirdo people) has read ? I have to look at this as a writer. Not a tortured students who wants to preach her own words (why else do we become writers?). Though that is the ultimate goal. I have things to say as well, but now I can say them so much better. I have sources, historical facts, knowledge, stories, and examples to draw from.
Kids, do not underestimate the power of knowledge. Being able to figure things out in science and math is great, but knowing things is too. This brings me to a point I try to make every day of my life: When you are arguing something have sources and backups. Maybe it comes from me being a research nut (and yet I hate reading sometimes? What is up with me...) and a writer and lover of truth, but I hate people who base everything on opinion. It happens more and more these days with internet debates sneaking their way into the few precious human to human encounters we have these days. Everything is about opinion and logical fallacies that go unnoticed because no one knows any better.
Right, well, I'm out of time for now, but I'll be back with more. My point being I learned to appreciate knowledge.  Again.
And it's RenFest season!!    

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chapter 48: God's Broken Toy

Apologies for being glum two posts in a row. I promise to write something cheerful soon.

Is God like everyone else? Does He take advantage of His hardworking servants? Let me explain before I offend someone.
   I have been analyzing my life for a few years now and have noticed some patterns. I've mentioned one I'm sure: I am the muse but have not talent. I start something, others catch on and try it and fly past me while I discover I can't do it. The other is more my fault I hear: I work hard. Very hard. And other people (usually bosses) take advantage of that and make me work more since they know I will do it. I get run ragged and never given more. No raise, no plus, no “good job”, just a “Good, now do this.”
   It's happened to me at all the jobs I've had except one. True, I've had basically nothing but retail jobs, but what else am I supposed to do? I teach and tutor, but I mean really. I've had to switch majors so many times that I haven't graduated. Yes, I'm this old and not got out of my four year yet. So I work and work to get through college. No, my parents don't pay for it; I have 8 brothers and sisters, we're not rolling in money.
   So to get through school, fix my car, pay for my phone and other things, I work a lot. And hard. I want to keep my jobs and I want to let people know I'm a good person. So I cannot say no to people when they ask me to do things. I want to be liked. I have no close friends here in Texas and can't talk to my best friend that often. I want to please. I want to move up in the world. Before you judge me, no, I'm not a butt-kisser. I work to be liked. I strive to do my best. Therefore, the uppers sense that and work me to my bones because I cannot say no. To anything.
   As it stands, life has been turning out that way too. Every time I get somewhere in life (satisfied with my job, grades, family, or achieve something I've been working towards) it seems that some new wrench is thrown in the works and suddenly my success is worth nothing. It's like God says, “Okay so you got that, now let's see how you handle this!” There is no, “Good job!” or “Excellent, you have earned____”. Nothing. Just moving up to the next intensity.
With some things that I do in groups, I feel like I work harder than anyone else. In some cases, new threats to my almost success are coming up and I feel like I'm the only one who will take that seriously. And you know what? I probably am because other people want to depend on my slavery. I know that's harsh, but that's how it feels.
   I thought I had made it somewhere with dance and now all this stuff is coming up. I want to go pro, I want to be good, I want to be authentic (it's a thing with Arabic dance...) but every time I reach a new level, something happens to show me that I cannot enjoy my labor. Maybe I'm not actually to the next level? Am I trying to rest too soon? I know I can't complain since I'm still so young, but I was thrust into collage and payments for things when I was 17 years old and have been working 2 or 3 jobs ever since while trying to maintain who I am and who I want to be. I know I can't complain, I live with my parents. Other people have it worse than I do. All that stuff.
   All that to say, I have to wonder about how I perceive God in all this. Is He distant and only there sometimes like my parents? Is He using me like all my bosses? Is He waiting for me to get my act together before He'll let me have someone special in my life (that's a whole other blog post...), or what? What is wrong with me that I can't get a break? What am I missing? I study, work, respect my parents, love all my billion siblings, am a good person, work with kids...What am I missing?
What's wrong with me?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Chapter 47: Sick of Gotham

I only got into the Batman craze in 2005 because I loved the ones Tim Burton was involved with back when I was a kid and I loved the 1960s version with Adam West. And my friends were into it. I was never a follower, but I could engage in the conversations they had about it. I only saw the second one of 2008 because of the tragedy of Heath Ledger and he was an actor I admired. This third movie I was going to ignore because I was sick of Hollywood ruining the hero for me and of Christian Bale and his psychoticness. Those movies were not made to be inspiring, thought provoking, or anything else that art and movies should be. They were for, as my parents would say, pure shock value. I like shock value for some things, but a trilogy of 3 hour movies? I know there is darkness in this world. I like studying psychology and sociopaths too. I've done it for years. I'm not opposed to movies "showing the dark side" or "how it is". Hell, I like the Hannibal movies and even have seen the first three Saw movies (then they got annoying...). I mean, I'm goth, I like dark and creepy things. But there is nothing redemptive about those movies. It doesn't show us anything to think about. They don't give us inspiration. I'm not talking about hearts and flowers kind of inspiration, I mean any kind. I don't watch them and say, "Wow, there are crazy people in the world. I think I'll go learn martial arts and become a vigilante." Yeah, and get my butt kicked. That's why I support the law enforcement and out troops like my brother. I'm all for vigilantes, but not like the new Batman. He's crazy. As is the actor who plays him.
There are no redeeming qualities in the whole trilogy. I'm not one of those "violence is caused by movies and video games" types, but the fact that this guy in Colorado did something so Batman-villain-like makes me stop to wounder. Like really. And that's a big thing since I'm a gamer/nerd-type/comic reader. I love my violent movies and creepy stories...the ones that inspire critical thinking and drive me to better myself in a myriad of ways. So you are now easily arguing that this guy was inspired by the Batman movies? You're quite right! Congrats. Hence, my point and why I don't like them. To me, the movies are wrong, bad, and poorly done. Yes,poorly done. It doesn't take much talent to reinvent a great comic book into a trilogy about utter sociopaths. That's basic human nature. Craziness is. That's why humans rule the earth instead of the apes. Because we used our brains as weapons instead of spears. We need to elevate ourselves above all that. But humans are devolving aren't they? What a nation I live in today.
On that note. How the hell did that guy get into the theatre will a gas mask, bullet proof vest, tear gas, guns, and ammo? A costume you say? Perhaps. We have a right to carry guns. Let's make it happen, America. Would he have done that if he knew more people in there were not just intended victims but had a chance of defending themselves and the people around them? Maybe not. But he was crazy, right? So maybe yes. I may not be a vigilante, but I want the chance to defend myself from the people who are not good, law-abiding citizens like me and the ones I love. I want a chance to put him down before he puts me down and save those around me in the process. Let me carry my gun! You want heroes, America? Stop trying to make it impossible then. 
Please excuse my poorly constructed argument, but I'm in class with my kids while they are taking a test and haven't had time to write out my thoughts clearly. I just needed to vent some anger.
Oh, and you didn't see people getting killed at the Amazing Spider-man opening did you? No, cause he stands for morals and responsibility to protect those he can. Spidey rocks. The end.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chapter 46: Understanding Charlotte

Today was…stressful in the smallest and yet greatest of ways. God loves to touch my “money wound” and rub salt in it every once in a while. To make a very long, very emotional story as short as possible, Amira was trying to get us to bling up our newest costume so much that it would turn it into a another sequence-studded costume. But we bought this one ($250 I might add…) because it was different. We got laid off from Aladdin’s for 4 effing weeks because they were tired of us. They say we’ll be back. I know we needed new costumes and that they were tired of our choreographies. But I was working hard. I was the only one who had 2 different solos and I chose all the new audience music. I know we needed a new costume so I bought it. Then Amira bought a bunch of gold ones too. Said we needed more. Umm, we’ve only danced ONCE in our rainbow ones…So we’re learning new coreos (finally) and new solos. I still need to replace my sword, just bought a veil (expensive), and am working on 2 new solos. But now Amira wants to spend money on the gold costume, and decorating the rainbow one. I can’t do that and pay for her classes. Especially since we’re on probation at Aladdin’s and not making any money. I just can’t do it. I did the math and found that even with my students this summer, I will be $3000 short of being able to pay for this semester. And I have no scholarships I can get. I’m looking and looking but no luck. I did enter some writing contest that have cash prizes but no luck there either.
My point being: I understand Charlotte Lukas. She had no money, needed security, was reaching an “old maid” age, and needed help. I understand how women can be talked into arranged marriages. How abused wives can stay. They need that security. Money. A home. That’s all that matters. Not buying books, not writing, not dancing, not being happy…just money and security. Am I saying I’m desperate enough to just go and marry anyone my parents throw my way? No, not yet…that would mean I was dead. There’s no adventure or romance in that and THAT is what I am. To sink to that desperation is below me and signifies death. A secure death though. But would I ever do it? Yes. I would and that scares me. I am desperate. Not for a companion (sometimes that happens though) but just for security. Not wanting or fretting like this. I want to be safe. Maybe even if it means not being loved. You think that sounds crazy? I know. I wouldn’t have been saying a year ago. But I am now because of the experiences I’ve been having. I used to hate Charlotte for the choice she made. “How could she give up on love?” I’d weep dramatically. Easily, is the answer I hear in my own voice now. So easily.    

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

One of the Best Poems I Wrote This Semester

The Blogger messed up the original format of the poem, so it lost some of it's elegance. Enjoy it any way!

Our Lady

You say I am yours, but hear the truth from me:
by your hands I was raised and by your artists
but here I stand a goddess over all.
My voice is the ringing of colossal bronze bells,
at my door stand piers of stone to guard against intruders.
The crown on my head of pale white stone
stabs at the sky, straight as spears and sharp
as swords.
You gave me my throne in the center of your city—
a good place for a queen—
and protect me with motes and steadfast bridges.
Upon my walls and towers are gruesome
wings on their backs and fangs in their mouths,
claws reaching out to halt bad spirits.
As if for protection from my gargoyle knights,
the saints have come to stand in my doors,
winged angels with crowns have come down
to perch with my knights.
My greatness is vast for even the Virgin,
with her holy child so small,
sit upon my window to watch as my
worshipers assemble.
With my army—saints, angels, gargoyles—
I stand lofty and proud, not be claimed
by any man.
Instead, I shall give myself to you like a
bride in white. Come to my doors,
claim your sanctuary; with my stone army
I will protect those
who ask.
I am your Lady.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Chapter 45: The Piano, My Love

When I was very little, maybe 5 or so, my parents forced me to take piano lessons. I liked it for a while. Then I hated it for years, but I think that was on account of a bad teacher. After taking some time off from it and pursuing acting and sports, I went back with a great teacher named Lori. She was wonderful and taught voice too, which I took for a summer.
With piano lessons comes recitals and with recitals comes practicing. Over and over and over again. When one is wrapped up with the performance and practicing, every once in a while one will play at the wrong time and mother will yell at you to be quiet. This can happen many…many times. Siblings can say things like, “You’ve played that part too many times! It’s annoying!” and parents can say similar things, wondering why you haven’t gotten it yet. With people breathing down your back, back-seat playing, and wishing you’d hurry up and be finished, a student can decide that it is time to be done. So I did. I laid aside my music like I never would have before: with a heavy heart and a soul unfinished without music.
I took voice lessons from Lori for another summer in lieu of piano because I was not ready to give up music yet. But in the end, I couldn’t afford it and had to stop that as well. Is it any wonder I latched onto dance so fast now?
But now, after going to a college junior recital and getting an offer from Katy Towell, I am thinking again about music my first love, the piano. I want to speak it’s language like the masters but I don’t have the practice. Can I practice while still in this house? I want to, but the wound is still deep. Many of you won’t understand the anguish of wanting to play music but being afraid to for the criticism that may come. The piano is in the middle of the house, there’s no privacy or solace. Just judgment. How  long for those ivory keys! Tonight, I cried softly while gazing at the Lacrimosa sheet music on my electronic keyboard. I want to sing with my fingers. To pour emotion forth from a black coffin of strings and delicate keys.
What to do? My first love awaits me and I him. Oh, would that my heart were stronger.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Chapter 44: To Parents

“Ugly shoes”
“Why would you want to wear that?”
“Do you hate yourself so much that you have to dress like that?”
“Stop trying to draw attention to yourself”
“You only wear that to stand out”
“Just dress normally”
“Do as I say”
“Because I said so”
“You’ll wear this weather you like it or not”
“You make me sad when you don’t wear the clothes I bought you”
“You dress like a tramp”
“That makes you look like a little harlot”
“Black is bad”
“Goth is about sick, dark, things!”

Have you ever heard this or anything like it? Maybe you’re not a goth or maybe you don’t even associate yourself with a subculture. Maybe you do because it’s the ONLY way to describe yourself to people so they even remotely understand. Do you’re parents just not “get” you? This message is for parents, but kids, I’m going to say a few things to you first that I’ve noticed since I’m older than I was when I was a young, rebellious, teenager.
First, if your parents don’t beat you, have a drinking problem, a history of creepy violence, a criminal record, mental illness, or don’t starve you, tell you to clean your room, or have a fit when you get Ds in school, then trust me, they care about you. So why are they so mean? So misunderstanding? Well, if you’re not the oldest, then they’ve been down this road before and are wondering why they have to do it again. Have you ever had a dog? You got it when it was a puppy, trained it and then it died. Then you got another puppy! Suddenly, this puppy is peeing all over the house and chewing on your shoes and tracking mud into the house! Argh! Didn’t you just train a dog? Now you have to do it all over again. How annoying, right? Well guess what? Your parents have already raised a kid or 2 (or 4 in my case). They are getting old (though they will deny it) and are tired of teaching kids the same thing. Yes, they are supposed to be loving and everlastingly amazing, but they’re not. Just like you’re not. Take pity on them and understand this. And if you need to storm at them, DON’T. Do it where they can’t see you. And for heaven’s sake, don’t post it on the internet… You want to be treated like a grown up? Act like one! Depending on your age, that could be asking a lot.
Next, because your parents probably love you and care about you, they want you to stay away from all the creepy things they know. For my parents this is: Long hair, guys with earrings, tattoos, “scary looking” people and the like. A sad thing is that I ADORE long hair on guys. As long as it’s clean. So what do I do? I find out why they hate long hair. Easy, my parents were raised pretty conservative…in the 60s and 70s. The people with the long hair were NOT people you wanted your kids hanging out with. (Sorry, I’m a violence, drug, alcohol in excess hater). So I understand now. Does that change what I love? No. Can I change my parents? No. Figure out some middle ground if you have to.
 So parents, I’d really like to talk to you now that I’ve given Junior a bit of the picture. Let’s talk about what not to say to your kids. Most of them were in the opening of this essay.
Just give it up and be “normal”. Ok, let me go and get a personality nip-tuck so you’ll like me better. Because I must submit for you to love me. I must not be who I am or who I am trying to discover I am; I must be who you think I should be. Maybe I’m not really dark and melancholy? Maybe I glory in it too much? Just change. It’s not that easy. Don’t say anything to your kid that will make them question who they are.  I know that sounds far-out, but trust me, please. Be there to guide them, not control them. YOU raised them, right? You’ve already taught them how to think (brainwashed?)! Trust what yourself did in the past with this kid and let him think for himself now. Do it while he’s still young (ok, maybe 16) and he’ll learn more than you can ever shove down his throat. Let him crash and burn. BUT. Be there to help him up again when he asks. I’m not saying let your kids run around with drugs and prostitutes. No, if you did your job the first 14 or so years of this kid’s life, then you don’t have to worry about them doing that too much.
So let’s get to the heart of the matter now that we’ve covered basic child rearing. You have a goth child? I’m so happy for you! Please, don’t freak out! She’s a great kid, really. Wait…you don’t know what music she likes? Her closest friend’s names? What they do when they’re together? Uhh, do you know her shoe size? Favorite food? Book?
Ok, see, we have a bigger problem. I know it stinks and you hear it all the time, but get to know your kids! They will indeed go through the phase of “Ah, mum, don’t drop me off, can’t I ride with so-and-so?” Face it, dads, you’re not that cool anymore and you won’t be for a few years to come.  Unless you are one of those magic parents who manage to be awesome and cool, but then you don’t really need to be reading this do you? So, getting to know your kids. When they come home from a friend’s house, ask them what they did. Do this from the day they are born and don’t scream at them for doing stupid stuff (correct them, don’t yell) and they will more than likely always tell you what went on; you’re safe territory. They don’t fear what your reaction will be. Also, understand this: When kids ( I don’t know about boys so much, but we girls…) get to a certain age, there are things they won’t feel like telling. Maybe ever. Respect that. What was one thing you never told your mum? Just ask.
Now, one way to not to get to know you kid is by rifling through their room and journals. DO NOT DO THAT. I promise, you WILL find something that hurts or enrages you. If you are integrated into your kid’s life, you’ll be able to see when they are hiding something bad or harmful because there will be a change that you will notice because of how well acquainted with your child you are.
Alright, so we understand that you have to talk to your psycho kid to get to know them, right? What if they won’t listen? Maybe you and your kid are best friends, then she turns 14 and the next thing you know, she hates you, argues with you, won’t do anything you say and, oh, mother of pearl! She’s wearing black! Congrats, again. You now have an angsty, teenage gothling on your hands. Maybe you are one of the millions of parents who got dealt the shorter straw and your blessed sweetie will snap out of it in a few years. In the mean time, what I’m about to say applies to you too.
Rule number one: NEVER tell your kid it’s a phase. When you say this, they see the hope in your eyes and will do everything in their power to make it your worst years of child-care ever. On the flip side, it hurts a true gothling to hear a mother say, “You’ll grow out of it, hun,” when they really don’t feel any different and have simply discovered an outlet for the feelings they’ve had for as long as they can remember.

AN ASIDE: Let me just say right now, that all you know about goth is fake. Goths are not all satanic (some are, but some “normal” people are too, right? It’s not a fair or logical judgment), don’t think about suicide, and don’t want to drink blood or sacrifice animals in the woods. So get all those notions out of your head, because the only right one is that Goths wear mostly black.

So you have a goth kid now. Everything that I’ve already said still applies. You just get a few more spices thrown in. Good ones too, which I will try to be brief about.
Goths just like looking for beauty in strange places. We like things that others don’t and speak the language of coarse-joking and sarcasm well. This includes laughing our faces off at goth-jokes. They are funny, even to goths. Most Goths look whimsical and magical. You may have gotten us mixed up with our spike-wearing, gauged-ear, Mohawk brethren the Punks. Goths are far more elegant than that (we try any way. I have been sporting jeans and t-shirts with my hectic schedule). We listen to a variety of music (to each his own, just like “normal” people), have many likes (not every goth loves Tim Burton?? It’s true…), and think many ways. Goths are as varied as the grains of sand. We just have a different fashion sense. (Speaking of which, goth kids, buy clothes from the thrift store and make them up however you want. It’s cheaper and so much more fun! And no one else will have it!)
So, back to your gothling! Get to know them. Don’t ask them “Why do you like this?” because they’ve liked it for some time, they can just express it now. I, for example, have been a dramatic melancholy my whole life. However (listen up baby bats!), as I grew up, I also let myself laugh and now I am one of the bubbliest people my friends know. See? Goths are happy too! Those mopey little critters you see in the mall are still young. Give them some time to adjust.
Have you ever thought that you, as the parent, are to blame for excess mope at home? What would you do if your significant other said to you one day, “You know what? I hate your attitude and the way you’ve been acting. Oh, and those shoes and that outfit make you look fat and ugly” and then walked away. Yeah, that’s how your kids feel when you say things as simple as “Why do you have to wear that?” See why they might mope a bit when they’re around you? (Granted, girls, wearing skirts that don’t hide your butt and corsets that you’d pop out of if you jumped are not exactly OK to wear. More on that later.) If they are mopey and quiet around their friends too, maybe it’s a temporary front until they figure themselves out or maybe they just don’t talk as much.
 Alright, so you’re getting to know your kid. Good. You’re letting them make decisions because you did well the first few years and raised them well. Good.  You’re there to help them when they fall. Excellent. You are doing well.
So, here are some goth-perks now that you and your gothling are on the right track. Goths tend to be pretty smart and artistic. But I wanted my baby to be a doctor and or rocket scientist! Oh, go cry a river and build a bridge to get over it. If you encourage and help your kid while you have the chance, then she’ll be successful at whatever she does! Isn’t that weird? When you see your child of the night has a talent, help them develop it. Encourage them. Also, they tend to be smart. They may be hard to teach at first, but they will learn the value of knowledge faster than the average kid. This is something I’ve noticed and thought it was rather interesting. Goths also tend to be more tolerant than other people. But they are also very firm in their beliefs. This is a side-effect of raising your child well. Couple that with a goths passion and you have a kid firm in what he believes in. So yes, they are very tolerant, but they know who they are what they stand for. Trust them.
Another goth-perk that I have had great luck with (that other dads will love as well) is that being goth is rather…errmm…intimidating. I am 22 years old and have not had one date yet. Have I had a thousand and one offers, oh, lord yes. Millions. For some reason, guys are really drawn to goth girls, but some are put-off by them too! It’s actually no mystery why, but bat girls, watch yourself out there. The reason I have not gone off and gotten laid or even out to a movie is because I have worked hard on who I am, as my parents have, and I know what I need to do. I am career-driven and have a few good friends. That’s all I need. When it’s time for you to get a partner of interest, it will happen. Don’t go fishing though…ever. So, being goth seems to keep some guys at bay. How nice!
Now, a note for the gothlings out there: When you get older you will have to go to this thing called a job interview. Oh, lord, not those! I know, I know…but you know what’s awesome about being goth? The goth-look that you love so very much comes in professional clothes too! If you are a baby goth then you probably don’t believe me. But they do. You just have to find them and customize your own “office goth” look. It can be very fun and really flattering for the dude-goths out there.
So, parents, there you have it. There are good things to being a goth and it’s nothing to be scared of. Rather, fear not raising your child to the best of your abilities. THIS DOES NOT MEAN STOMPING THE GOTH OUT OF YOUR KID. Like I said, most kids are that way from day one, they just discover how to express it in a way they like later in life. That’s the best advice I can give. Get to know your child, teach them the way that they should go, and let them make decisions of their own.
Gothlings, my parents aren’t perfect either. I wrote this from experience. Most parents will never understand until they are secure in themselves. I understand you want to be loud and crazy with your clothes, but you need to understand that that scares the blood out of your mum and dad. Make up for it by being polite, respectful, and hard working. I PROMISE you that if you do this your parents will come around and trust you. It’s hard. I’m working on it now as well. I’m not there yet, but it’s my goal. Parents, when you see your kid trying, be genuinely pleased. Smothering them will only do what smothering does do: Kill. Don’t kill your kid’s passion and curiosity.
That’s all for today.  I have more to say, but that will come at a later date. I will also be talking about a very special kind of goth that doesn’t get much publicity these days. I hope this was helpful even though it was rather scattered. I tried to keep it neat, but failed.
See you next time, love and prayers,


Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Short Poem Written Just Now With No Editing

The Lady

Would that I could touch her hair,
those waving locks of a brown river,
in the heat of summer.
So soft, like the new pelt of a doe
and as silky the lushest gossamer.
The Longing to wrap myself in
her long tresses and drink up
their scent of honey suckle
is too tempting to my lustful senses.

When I look into her eyes
the I can see whole universe
reflected in their dark, blue
pools surrounded by the whitest
plane of liquid snow. And in their
centers is the black hole of knowledge
with its playful gleam of mystery.
In this darkness—sweet mystery—
I lose myself for hours, seeking
what lay behind those orbs
of galaxies.

Her lips are mocking smiles,
sly roses that sweet promises
slip between. I do not care
whether falsehoods or honesty
are spoken so long as I can hear
the melody in which she speaks.
Oh, crimson messenger,
how can you bring me such delight
and such pain?

I’d rather see my love fly through
a field of the greenest meadow
flecked with the wildest flowers
in a gown of rainbow-white
than see all the sunsets of this earth.
Forgive me, Great Creator, but the sun
which burns in the sky and lights my
every day is the darkest shadow
when set next to my love.

The sensual touch of her honey skin
is smoother than purest water
and warmer than sheets heated by the sun.
Her softness is purest joy in its tenderness.
Touching this flesh is better pleasure than
the fat of Shea upon my own skin.
Give me my love but only to touch
and look upon and I shall be satisfied.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chapter 43: The Mystery of the Dead Laptop

What exactly happened to my computer was beyond my understanding of technology at first. It just died. Wouldn’t turn on or anything. Of course I took it to the shop, paid through the nose for a diagnostic test and they said the hard drive was melted and destroyed. I sighed. Yes, I was a girl who used her laptop on her bed and floor. But not that often. Really hardly ever. But I guess it must have been enough to kill the poor thing. So I pay a rather large three digit number to get it a new heart and I have a computer for a few more months. Then, of course, the same thing happens later. I take it to another store, pay for a diagnostic and they say the same thing.

“But I never had it on the floor or my bed!” I protest uselessly. “How did this happen?”

Seeing my strange, over the top, and rather unnecessary upset, the technician says, “Give another day with it and I’ll see what I can find.”

Two days later the they call and give me the news: “Your laptop’s mother board was never working. It couldn’t ever tell the fan when to come on and cool the unit down, so it melted itself both times.”

Oh, the agony! My poor laptop was mentally retarded and committed suicide due to a malfunctioning brain! They said they would fix it, mother board, hard drive, but it would be about $850. I died. Then I told them no, thanks.

So for the last semester and half I have had this corps of a laptop sitting on my keyboard (also alone since I have no computer to make music with it on) and every once in a while, I would turn it on to see if it would magically boot up. No such luck…until the other day.

I believe I mentioned the Columbus Foundation trip? And how I would have to save up really hard and make a lot of money to be able to afford to take four weeks off for that? Well, have also mentioned how I continually said, “Oh, God, if I had only (insert amount of money here) then I’d never have to worry about a thing again!” Because money is all I fret about to be honest. What I didn’t know was that God was replying, “Uh, yeah, I know. I kind of want you to depend on Me.” I ignored that.

So I never got a magic genie with tons of money. And working to save up for the trip has been hard. Then, on this past Sunday, my pastor preached on what? The love of money. I know, an old sermon topic, but pastor Kelly is AMAZING. His sermon really touched a nerve in my heart. The kind that makes you glare at the preacher while he’s talking. So on Sunday, I said eff it and gave up the money-grubbing idea. I still was going to work hard and save, but worry and fretting about it wasn’t getting me anywhere. Or getting me a new laptop.

In the kitchen that afternoon while mum was making dinner, I told her about the sermon and how earlier dad had said there was no way I was doing the Columbus trip. Then I said, “Maybe if dad really won’t let me go, I’ll save up for a laptop.” Pause. “Or maybe if not that, I’ll save up to go to Kansas City and visit Elise. I don’t know.” Right after that, I go upstairs to do some French homework and decide to give the laptop a try. I switch it on and forget about it for a few hours. It tries all its normal “instant self repair” things that never work and finally it asks if I want to go to a save point and restore from there. Well I didn’t have one. AND the laptop hadn’t gotten this far in a long time. Pressing my luck, I look for a “factory restore” option and after some searching, I found it. Hmmm….I push and let it go for some time as, magically, it all starts over again. And within two hours, my laptop is up and operating again! I wonder how long this will last. I haven’t turned it off for fear of it never coming back on. Was it my music making software that screwed it up? I don’t know. I’m going to try putting it back on and not download anything else. I’m not even putting my files back on. Going to keep it clean and work off my external hard drive.

So….what’s up, God? Heard me say I was going to save up for a laptop…OR Kansas? What do you want me to do? Something is happening and I don’t what You’re up to, but I’ll play along. Maybe there’s even some simple technological explanation for why my laptop is working and I only have a few days to use it? I don’t know. All I know is the freak coincidences that happened that Sunday.

I still work hard. Harder than ever if I can. I must study and save. Well, we’ll see.      

Monday, March 19, 2012

Chapter 42: Back to work!

Spring break is over and all too soon... It was as if the professors decided since I'd have the whole week off, they'd have tests right when we start again. Oh, and do ALL this assigned stuff while you're at it. It wasn't too bad. I did get to visit the ocean (ok, ok the gulf) for the first time in months. I missed it so much. When I got out of the car, I stood near the water on the cool, dark sand and let my hair down so the sea breeze could destroy the hours that went into straightening it. I don't know how many people know this, but sea water and sea wind curl your hair like nothing else. But I didn't mind. It was like the sea was happy to have me back. It was too chilly to go swimming, but I ran in the surf and let the waves lick at my knees and hips any way.
On that note, I mentioned to dad (must have forgot to earlier before making my huge plans) that I was going to volunteer with the Columbus Organization and sail on the Nina and Pinta for a portion of the summer. I mean, come one, a gypsy pirate type like me would never pass that up! And he did as he often does when trying to gently tell me no; he scoffed and said, "No, you're not," with a gentle smile. Who knows now. My heart still burns for it and I'm still working all I can to save up enough money so I can afford to take 4 weeks off to sail around America.
Which leads me to my next topic. Dance and money. The last night we danced at Skewer's, they decided they hated us. Said we were unprofessional. That's how people see us though. "Oh, those are Amira's girls. Aren't they just cute!" Cute and little. Like baby girls. Not a threat to any one else's job, not "good". Just little girls. So how are we going to cure that since I need to pay off my costume, make money, and save up? Do solo gigs. But I have to get better first. So I'm biting the bullet, dropping the last 5 or 10 pounds I need to, getting in shape, and.....eating vegetables! There I said it....phew...So in order to work out, I'll dance. Have to wake up in the morning to do my crunches and eat right. Not so hard. Should have been doing this all along but I wasn't serious enough. Guess it took a little poke of rejection first. So, step aside world, I'm getting serious.
Of course I'm making myself studying harder too. I'm doing fine in school but I figure since I'm so serious about this now I'll not let myself dance practice until after I'm done studying. That means French, British stuff, icky history, and poetry. Sounds easy, hu? Well, you try it.
So here I am. Working harder. Again. But actually trying this time around. Maybe now I'll have something to write about. Like that pit in my stomach that is screaming for Cheetos right now. I already ate Cheereos, an apple, had some Emergen-C (lots of sick siblings) and am about to go eat a banana for a snack. Stop being hungry! Eh, either way... :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chapter 41: Some French Cuisine!

Here is just an example of the lame little essays I've been writing in French class. Yes, the grammar is APPALLING! But not a lot of Americans are going to know that. ^_^ I've only been speaking French for a semester, but there are huge leaps in these papers. And let's not forget that I'm only a B- student in this class. The first paper is written only in present tense as it was all I knew a few months ago. The past imperfect and the past tense in French are difficult but I'm really getting it. Better than anyone else in the class actually. I thinking a writer helped with that a lot. I can just tell when to use which. It's cool. So here is the first one!

Chaque Jour
Ma vie sur mardi et jeudi est très occupé. Dans le matin je réveille á six heures. Je s’habiller rapidement afin je peux manger. Suivant, je vais á l’école. Mais premier, j’ai besoin de prendre le bus entre mon maison et le bus stop. Puis je prends deux bus á l’école et j’arrive á l’école á huit heures. Maintenant j’ai dois marcher á classe. C’est un promenade très loin.
Á huit heures et demi je arriver mon premier classe! Je prends psychologie de première et essayer ne dormir pas! Mon professeur est très ennuyeux…mais j’ai une bonne note! Pas un cent pourcent mais bon assez. Le class est terminée á dix heures. 
Ensuit je fais ma classe prochaine á dix heures. Cette classe est science politiques. Je n’ai pas une bonne note en cette classe. Pas mal, mais pas bon. Cette classe est terminée á onze heures et demi. Ma troisième classe est á géologie á onze heures et demi. J’aime la géologie! Je aime á apprendre de le terre. Cette est ma deuxième classe de géologie. Á une heure dans le midi, je mange mon déjeuner dans le même temps je course á ma classe dernière : français!
Finalement, classes sont terminée et c’est temps de monter dans les bus encore. Mais! Ma journée n’est pas fini. J’ai travaillé et devoirs. Normalement, je suis á ma maison et dormir á onze heures et demi du soir. Puis je réveille á six heures du matin fois!             

And the second one from today!

Une Petite Princesse
Quand j’étais petite, mes frères a dit que j’étais une princesse parce que j’étais la seule fille pour un temps. J’ai aimé jouée avec les poupées beaucoup. J’ai acheté chaque poupées j’ai vu. Les poupées je préférais étais American Girl Dolls, mais j’avais autre poupées trop. Quand j’étais jouée avec mes poupées, mes frères moquaient moi et de les prends ! Mes frères les cachaient et je les besoin á trouvais. Puis, ma mère a dit, « Donnez votre sœur des poupées ! » et mes frères leur a donné á moi. Mais, j’aime mes frères.
Mes frères pensaient j’étais une princesse parce que j’avais ma propre chambre quand j’étais né. Le chambre été peinte violet et nouveau tapis été installé. Quand j’étais trois ans, je dis à ma mère, « J’envie des rideaux blancs, » et, voilà, j’ai eu des nouveaux rideaux !
Soudain, la prochain chose je sais, je ne suis pas la princesse! Une autre petite fille était dans ma chambre et elle est la princesse. Oh, non! Après cet,  je dois acheter quelque chose j’envie. J’ai appris á économiser mon argent á une jeune âge.
Apres cet, j’ai appris á faire des corvées et a pris soin de mon plus jeune sœurs et frères. Parfois, j’ai dit, « Je ne suis pas votre serviteur! » parce que j’étais un petite enfant et je ne savais pas á être une bon fille. Maintenant, je sais mieux. J’envie être une bon exemple pour ma jeunes plus sœurs et frères.          


Friday, February 17, 2012

Chapter 40: Don't Be Insecure, Girl!

This post is going to be more like word vomit than a neat post (as if I've done any of those, who am I kidding?) so be forgiving.
Last night, my mother decided it was high time to give me an hour an a half long lecture. You  see, my mum has always done this: never corrects the situation when it's in the moment, she waits for things to pile up inside of her and then lets  you have it when she can't hold any more and you get her emotional guts spewed all over you.
I was blown away by things she said and I have done nothing but think over what she said. I have honestly pondered the things she said and evaluated myself with out bias. The thoughts I am going to write out are just that, thoughts. Not answers. Not my replies. So, let's look at the allegations brought against me, but first, how it happened.
Yesterday started out fine. Good even. But the poem I turned in for class is still very wanting...In the morning as I was packing up for school, I felt The Twinge. The one I get when God's trying to tell me something. Something little that I need to do for the day. It was this: take what's left of your dance tip. Take the cash. But I say, "No, I'll just end up spending it on junk food." Thinking I am doing good, I leave the wad of ones in my room and head to school.
As I got up to leave my poetry class, my UH I.D. and Metro Q-Card fell out of my back pocket. I have them there cause I use the I.D. to get into the Language Lab, which I study in after poetry class every day, and my Metro card because I take so many buses to and from school. I've always had these cards in my back pocket. I get to the bathroom and realize it's missing, run back to the class only to have someone tell me that someone from my class picked it up. I text my mum knowing she may have to come and pick me up then head to the Lab to use the computer and send out an SOS over emails and facebook stalk my class mates to try to get it back. Halfway through French class and no replies. Mum has to pick me up.
This infuriates  her to no end. She sends me a text telling me to think of others lives and how I interrupt them when I screw up. I understand and I'm sorry.
The ride home is silent and just before I leave to teach, mum tells me she's going to have a talk with me and "you're not going to like it." I leave teaching early to have the talk that night rather than wait until today.
Now, to address what was said.
Apparently, I lost my cards because I'm not "conforming" and using a wallet. I don't carry a wallet cause I have 2 (3 now because of the Metro card) cards. They would fall out of a wallet because they wouldn't be snug with a million other cards. Also, the wallets these days are HUGE. At least 7" lone and 4" wide. That's insane. To please my mother, I will look into a wallet. A cheap one that I can afford. If it bothered her, why didn't she say so earlier or just get me one? A cheap one from somewhere so she doesn't have to suffer for it. No, she'd rather wait to burst as I mentioned.
So..."conforming" is the problem, I see. From here, the tirade is launched. I'm a rebel. I try too hard to stand out and now I'm out of control.
Really...? We're gunna talk about my clothes now? Yes. Apparently I wear black because...wait for it....I'm insecure. I know this may be true for some people. People say guys with loud motorcycles are compensating. Insecurity. But me? No. I thought over this long and hard last night. I wear black because (God forbid!) I like it. Why do people wear the clothes they wear? Maybe they like them? No, that can't be the reason!
Next, I'm insecure and think I'm fat, stupid, and ugly. I quite like my hot body, thanks. I WORK HARD to stay in shape, eat healthy and be active. And I like how my body looks now. Yes, I am a bit more poofy than what is considered desirable today, but I do not have a problem with that. I have a nice stomach, firm legs and great assets. To put it nicely.
Do I think I'm ugly. Maybe when I was 16 and didn't know how to handle my long, frizzy hair. Now, I quite like my dark eyes, long, elegant hair, and tan skin. I'm rather exotic looking. I know how to make myself up to enhance that too.
Do I think I'm stupid? No, I just think I struggle with Science, Math , and French, which is evident in my Cs and Bs in the subjects. And I do beat myself up about it. I won't deny that. I only do that though because dad only wants A-student kids. And I let him down. Even though I do extra homework, go in for tutoring and work hard, I'm still just  a C and B. In reality, I'm happy with that. I wish I could do better, but I need to devote time to the things I'm good at too. I hate getting Cs and Bs mostly. I'm not stupid. I'm rather clever actually. I'm a kick-booty writer when I have a goal (this blog is not a showcase, get over it), I'm super creative, I have a massive imagination...I'm pretty smart. I really am.
But no. Mum insists that I'm insecure and hate myself and that's why I dress in black. No....that doesn't even make sense. I like Edgar Allen Poe, Tim Burton, Shakespeare, and other things considered dark, strange, and unusual. That's just the way I am. Why do you like designer/name-brand clothes, have 50 purses, 60 pairs of shoes? I don't think I'm the one who's insecure.
I won't hide everything and say I am without sin. I know I get over emotional sometimes, I know I have a hard time learning and get too upset about it (would you be pleased if I just shrugged it off? You wouldn't think me lazy?) but I have made great strides recently. I used to not have this self-respect you deny me having and what was said last night really brought it down.
I saw that you hate me. You don't like me. You don't like who I am. You don't appreciate the work I have put in to growing up. Because you don't see it. You won't get to know me and see me. I was kind of given up on when I was 16. That's when mum stopped raising me and expected me to be perfect all on my own. Trust me, I'm going to try.
So here's my plan. Mum gave me a choice: (basically)stop wearing black, drop belly dance (I'm not even going to go there in this post), and then I can be back in her good graces. Mum, do you know that I'm a good, Godly girl? You can only say things "you're insecure" because you don't know me. You don't know that I try (and, yes, fail but we all do) and work hard and keep trying. My room and car and ferret get cleaned out on a regular basis (I am sad to say that this took me a long time to manage because my schedules have been ever changing and crazy), I keep my body clean, neat and exercised, I study, do homework and am bringing up my grades. I pray, go to church, read my bible, study with other Christian-written books, don't swear, don't drink, don't smoke, don't do drugs, don't stay out late (past midnight usually) every other day...I mean, honestly (and I am open to suggestions!) what more do you want? I drive kids around on my gas money, run errands for you, do house chores when I'm here and one of the other kids are gone.
So, what's my plan? Do more. Show you respect (ESPECIALLY when your on my last nerve). Be cleaner. Study harder. I have to be as close to perfect as I possibly can. Why? Because I love the dance and I won't drop it. I make good money with it. Second, because there is nothing wrong with me wearing black just like there is nothing wrong with you wearing pink and brown (though, in all humor, that is bordering on a sin!). Mum is attacking the wrong things in me. I'm not insecure, I'm just growing up on my own because she won't be part of my life until she gets scared of me.
I want her to be part of my life. Nothing sucks more than a mother who is afraid of you. I think she'd like me if she knew me. A bit any way.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chapter 39: Allegory for Life

When I'm rollerblading, I can feel every slight incline of the road, every crack and niche. Sometimes I ignore them and just keep going. There are so many I don't need to count every last one of them. They're only small. Not like they're tripping me or snagging my wheels so I fall and skin myself.
I love the four miles I speed around my neighborhood. I used to do it every day but time ran out and soon I didn't do it at all. Today, I decided to bite the bullet and take the time to race my shadow around the four miles as fast as I could and ignore the seething in my legs and lungs as the icy wind sliced through me. As a smile broke my face I remembered the allegories to life I always drew while blading.
I only went rollerblading when I wanted to. The day would be pleasant, I'd have the time and the energy to have fun. The route started out fine with gentle, long strides, and nice wind. About a mile into the gliding, I'd start to breath heavier. The small hills approached and some larger cracks appear. Ignoring them as I always do, a large one ducks under my blades and I trip, my feet and arms flailing to regain my balance. Watch where you're going, my nerves shout at me. It was just a small crack, but just tall enough to nearly knock me off my feet.
Then the bigger hills come. I trudge up one and glide down the other side only to trudge up the next one. Floating down the hills is relaxing and nice but the work to get there is hard. Then I realize something. If going down the hill is so easy, why not kick harder down the hill so the momentum will carry me up more easily? So I try it and the result is brilliant. When it seems easy, work harder and when it is difficult things will be easier.
Simple revelations go a long way in life. I'm working hard to overcome some rather large faults I have that are dragging me down. I have to have the eyes of a hawk to find happiness in daily life, but finding it is the only way I can live through each day. Little thoughts like his keep me going. Taking pleasure in the simple things is how I get by. My hope is that I can fix myself and then help others do the same for themselves. But first, I must light a candle in my own bleak eyes.