Thursday, March 29, 2012

Challenging the fallacies of a lame Facebook status quote

Now, it's pretty obvious by now that I hate the majority of status updates people post on Facebook. I especially despise when people post very lame quotes as their status that are so cheesy and falsely inspirational that it sounds like they made them up themselves.

I saw this quote on my News Feed a couple minutes ago, and was so annoyed by it I immediately opened Blogger to complain about it:
"Don't waste your time giving someone a second chance, when there is someone better out there waiting for their first."
I suppose perhaps it would help to explain the context of the person who posted it: she's one of those girls who prides herself on being extremely mature, yet posts pictures of herself in a tank top in the middle of February, making duck faces at the camera in the drivers seat of her car. How mature. I really wish I could be like her.
Back to the quote: it's, simply put, wrong. The basic message it gives is that if someone makes a mistake, it is perfectly respectable to abandon them and go search for someone who won't make that same mistake. And when that next person makes a different mistake, feel free to leave them and go find someone else. That's basically what I got out of that quote upon quick interpretation.
The quote apparently seems to forget the principle of forgiveness. From what I've learned about the relationships around me, all healthy relationships hit some bumps down the road. When that happens, does that mean we simply get tired of them and move on to someone who we think won't take us through those relationship trials? No, we don't. If we have any love for them, we will try to make things work. 
Obviously, there are some things that can't be ignored, like cheating. In that case, it's important to think about whether you should give that person a second chance or not. But there are things that are less trivial that sometimes call for second chances. Imagine, for example, your beloved boyfriend forgot your 6-month anniversary or whatever, obviously he's going to want to make it up to you if he's a decent boyfriend. You  could give him a second chance. According to that quote, nope, you shouldn't. Dump him. Dump him now. Maybe your next boyfriend won't forget your 6-month anniversary.
I know I'm being far too analytical, as usual, but people really need to start thinking about the quotes they post before they post them. Quotes have underlying messages. Think about them before you post something for the world to see.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Collection of Random Thoughts

Hi, blog. It's been a while, hasn't it? Well, technically it's only been two weeks but it feels like ages. Blargh.

Life has been somewhat eventful (but not really).

  • I'm currently in a debate with my friends over whether or not I should go to prom. I know my mom isn't going to buy me a dress or shoes or anything, so if I go I'll have to pay for everything myself. Not a great thing when you only earn $60 or so a week because your bosses are so stupidly inconsistent with hours. My friends offered the idea of taking me shopping for vintage dresses because they know I couldn't refuse vintage dress shopping.
  • I've developed an adoration for the Beat literary movement. By Beat, I mean Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs. Kerouac is my favorite. On the Road is my favorite book, there is no doubt. I used to laugh at people that said that a certain book changed their life and look at me now, referencing a book that no one has read every 5 minutes of the day.
  • Starting today, I love James Franco. I've never had a particular favorite male celebrity, but he's the coolest. He has a strange obsession with education, pursuing multiple degrees from top universities simultaneously (currently a pHd) and teaching a literature-film class at NYU at only 33! He also starred in some fantastic films, among them Howl, which is about Allen Ginsberg. He even hosted the 83rd Academy Awards. He's a great actor who is so passionate about the things he does, and he's one example of someone in Hollywood who has real depth. He isn't too bad to look at, either.
  • I'm starting to do some art again. I went to the local art store and bought $50 worth of art supplies. I haven't taken an art class in 2 years, mind you, so my skills have severely deteriorated. It breaks my heart to realize that if I hadn't dropped art after 10th grade in favor of band , I could actually have been a decent artist at this point. I loved art more than I loved music too, so I don't know why I dropped art. Stupid scheduling conflicts.
  • Tea is the best thing ever.
  • I'm becoming more open about the things I'm interested in with the people around me. I used to be afraid of what people would think when I told them about what interests me. Now, I discuss books, movies, and music with some friends, and I've found that we have a lot of similar interests within those categories. We've already planned to see a few movies coming out at the local indie theatre in the next couple of months. Besides that, more people I know are starting to get to know me and my interests better. People know the books I like, the things I want to do, my favorite activities, and that makes me happy, because I feel it builds stronger relationships.
  • I'm frustrated with the fact that I want to do so much, but don't have the time or the means to actually do it. I want a Polaroid camera, but don't have a lot of money to spend on film (they don't make Polaroids anymore, so film is hard to find and expensive). I want a DSLR camera (fancy digital photography camera), but Lord knows I'm not getting one of those anytime soon. I want to write and read all the unread books on my bookshelf, but don't have the time. I want to see movies, but don't have the time or money. It's frustrating, because all of these things probably won't help me earn a living, but I'm tired of school and I need enjoyment.
  • I know that sometimes the things I write sound sad or depressed or whatever, but I'm really quite content with life right now. Sure, some things are frustrating, and I'm confused on a lot of stuff like my future and what will happen and friends and everything, but people have to grow up and face reality, even if it sucks sometimes.
This post was long and weird. It's past midnight and I took a really long nap, so that's why I'm probably not thinking straight. Hope this post updated you all on some random things going on right now. :)

Oh, and here's a picture of me with my favorite Beatles blanket.


    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    Frustrations with writing

    I have a love-hate relationship with writing. Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve to characterize myself as a writer; sometimes I think it's the only thing I can do reasonably well.

    It's frustrating. Throughout my life, I've been searching for something I can do well, but I've found that I am, at best, mediocre in everything I've done: playing piano, saxophone, art. Everyone I know seems to have found a specialty in something, be it music, art, writing, schoolwork. A few years back, I realized I was good at writing. I would always get very high grades in English and history classes. A lot of my teachers through the years have told me that I am an excellent writer, and I show some promise. I remember writing many stories as a kid, too.

    As I became more of a perfectionist through my early teenage years, I stopped writing all but academic essays. I became frustrated with my own fictional writing, so I stopped altogether. Apart from a short Harry Potter fanfiction-writing period in 10th grade, I couldn't stand reading my writing anymore. I think it started mostly from the fact that I started reading well-written novels extensively, and my perfectionist mind wanted to write like that too. Obviously, writing like that takes a very high level of skill that comes with intensive, consistent writing, as well as a bit of talent. Whenever I would try to write to improve my writing skills, I would realize that I couldn't write like that and get so annoyed I would quit. I would refuse to continue out of embarassment.

    I know that maybe if I would just keep writing, I would eventually get myself out of this writers' block rut. But I can't. My writing skills outside of academics have deteriorated because of this, and it annoys me. I know that maybe if I would pull through, I could become a decent writer outside of academic essays.

    A couple weeks ago, my former English teacher/current psychology teacher told me I write beautiful prose. I was so flattered that I vowed to attempt to start writing again. I think about writing again a lot now. I tried writing again last week with little success, but I'm remaining hopeful that maybe I'll finally pull myself out of this perfectionism and embarrassment and actually write.

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    A book survey

    A while ago, Jay and the Frisky Virgin both did a book questionnaire. I've been wanting to do it for a while, but kept putting it off because I'm a lazy blogger. Here it is, now, in all it's glory:

    1. Favorite childhood book?

    Harry Potter and The Babysitter's Club series. I'm so proud to be a part of the generation that grew up with Harry Potter. :) The Babysitter's Club was largely what got me into realistic fiction books and obsessive-reading mode, though.
    2. What are you reading right now?

    The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe. It's a book about hippies and Ken Kesey, the guy who wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. My English teacher recommended it for me, because he knows I'm fascinated by hippie counter-culture. He was a hippie in his younger years, so it's fitting.

    3. What books do you have on request at the library?

     An Abundance of Katherines by John Green is the only one right now, I think.

    4. What do you currently have checked out at the library?

    I actually just returned my library books yesterday, so I don't have any out right now. I have a few from the school library that have been checked out for half a year or so: Whitman's Leaves of Grass, Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Grimm's Fairy Tales, The Necromancer by Michael Scott, and The Great Gatsby that I checked out junior year for English and have yet to return because I love it too much.

    5. Do you have an e-reader?

    I have two! The way I see it, my Kindles are entirely separate from books. About half the books I read now are in book form, half in e-book form. I still love physical books as much as I did before, but I also love e-books. Actual books are special because of their familiarity, but e-books are so convenient for when I want to read in school or late at night when I'm supposed to be sleeping and my lights are turned off.

    6. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?

    Sometimes I read several at a time, but I mostly read one at a time so I can focus on that book alone. I sometimes lose interest otherwise.

    7. Can you read on the bus?

    No. :( That's one thing I've always hated: my motion sickness when reading. I'd get so much more reading done if I could read while riding in a car.

    8. Favorite place to read?

    My bed. If only I didn't fall asleep half the time.

    9. Do you ever dog-ear books? 
    How abominable! Never. I collect bookmarks, so there are plenty to choose from.

    10. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?

    Nope. I'm not one who really takes notes in books. Occasionally I'll highlight a line for possible reference, but I prefer to keep books as close to their original condition as possible.

    11. What makes you love a book?

    Writing style is so important to me. I hate books that aren't written well. Some of my favorite books are those written brilliantly. One of my favorite books, Atonement, is a favorite almost entirely because of how it's written.

    12. What will inspire you to recommend a book?

    I'm not sure. It depends on the person, I think.What I think they'd be interested in.

    13. Favorite genre?

    Realistic and historical fiction. Fantasy isn't too bad, either.

    14. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?

    If I feel I truly hated a book, I won't feel bad giving a negative review. It's rare that I hate a book, though.

    15. Favorite Poet?

    Emily Dickinson, but I also love many other poets.

    16. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?

    Usually 4-5.

    17. How often have you returned books to the library unread?

    This is awful, but it happens a lot. Sometimes I check it out and I simply don't have enough time to read it. It's usually because I find another book that I want to read more, so I didn't have enough time to read both.

    18. Favorite fictional character?

    Must I pick one? I have too many. I'm just going to say all of the Harry Potter characters, because I love them all too much to simply pick a few. There's also Dean Moriarty, King Arthur, Elizabeth Bennet, Jay Gatsby, and more that I can't think of.

    19. Favorite fictional villain?

    Big Brother from 1984.

    20. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?

    Any kind of book. Usually one I'm very interest in reading.

    21. The longest I’ve gone without reading.

    Hm...a month, maybe? That was at the beginning of junior year, when I didn't have much time to do anything.

    22. Name a book that you could/would not finish.

    Marley & Me. I really tried to read it, but I couldn't. I mean, the book was adorable, but all I could imagine throughout the book was the Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston. My brain refused to recognize that they weren't the actual people in the memoir, and that frustrated me, so I stopped.

    23. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?

    Noise. I prefer a quiet atmosphere to read. Music particularly distracts me. I can't read with music. Oh, and TV.

    24. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?

    Harry Potter, Atonement, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, The Help.

    25. Most disappointing film adaptation?

    Harry Potter, at some points. I hated the 4th movie because it strayed so much from my favorite parts of the book. The adaptation for Deathly Hallows Part II was also kind of disappointing for the same reasons. I've always struggled with film adaptations. They're nice visuals, but I can never view them as separate entities from the books.

    26. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
    It happens rarely. I don't like not finishing a book. When it does happen, it's usually because I get more interested in a different book and temporarily put the original book back on the shelf, promising that I'll read it eventually.

    27. Do you like to keep your books organized?

    Nope. They're all stacked in no order at all on my bookshelf. The only exceptions are books within a series, and my Barnes & Noble Classics editions.

    28. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?

    I don't give my books away. Occasionally I'll donate some of my old children's books to the Salvation Army, though.