Reader’s Coma (and then panic…)

A few times in my life I have had the luxury of spending almost ALL of my time reading. Even fewer times have I been able to stay up almost all night reading.

One of those times was last night. I just finished the Inheritance Cycle (Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, Inheritance) by Christopher Paolini. I’m one of those people that if I get past the big-bad-bitch/boss (no matter what time of day) in a book, game, series, whatever, I have to see the end through. Right then and there. Much to my chagrin, however, I noticed in the corner of my dimly lit kindle that I was only 83 %or 85% through with the book. Durn!

Of course, there was a ton of loose ends to tie up, and then the name dictionary (elven, dwarven, human, even nomad, which we didn’t get to see…) and then the author’s note. He did what all kind and non-ruthless authors (unlike someone we know whose initials are GRRM) and said a goodbye to characters and then gave us a peek into the future for himself and maybe JUST MAYBE a bit more story for the characters of this cycle.

But still! It was a lot for me to get through, and I ended up finally putting the kindle down with glazed and teary-eyes at about 5-ish, and started my nightly roll-around for an hour until I could finally find a good spot and sleep. I thought I saw some weak rays peeking through my blinds, but I shut my eyes real tight and hunkered down.

Now I believe I’ve encountered the reader’s coma. No, I’m not somehow typing this with my mind or relaying it through telepathy to somebody. I’m not prone, but I sure as feel like I should be. I woke up with a sore throat and a clogged nose (more clogged than normal) and a budding sinus-headache. I guess I was asking for it. I did reach the end of the semester unscathed by sickness, but DAMN right on the peak of my break? It might have been the almost all-nighter with my kindle (without my glasses, bad sign!).

I’m dubbing it reader’s coma. The series has ended, the characters you love and hated are moving on and you don’t get to be with them, and now it’s time to burrow down into another series.Quick! Before reality sets in!

I panicked a little last night and ran through some series firsts that might be able to fill the space left by Inheritance. Cinda Williams Chima’s Heir series sounded promising. It seemed much like Inheritance but branched out a little. But too soon! Too soon. Too close and too soon. I couldn’t get more than a chapter in. I’ll come back to it with renewed ferver at a later time, Ms. Chima, I will.

I also tried Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series (there are TWENTY of those mofos. 20?!). But I just couldn’t stomach another sardonic narrator and any more vampires. I had to stop at the vampire strip club. Maybe another time. When we’re not all juiced up on fangbanging.

And now I think I must return to GRRM. I was in the middle of A Storm of Swords earlier this year, and for some reason had to put it down (most likely for school) and then I think one of my cats knocked the book over and the bookmark fell out. I must have lost the courage then. I hear from other fans and sources that I’m about to stumble into the “Red Wedding”, and from what I hear I am not too enthusiastic.

BUT. I will do it. I think this is the right step. Albeit, it is a long and fearful drop from the easy-fantasy of Inheritance. (Things will ALWAYS work out, against insurmountable odds. What a bastard Galbatorix was, huh?)

It will be bloody. I might cry. But the panic is settling down now. I can go forth! (Hesitantly…) into Westeros again.

Wish me luck.

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Semester’s End

Whew!

I took my last sit-down final today for Shakespeare (later plays). I hate to jinx myself but I feel pretty good about it! Tomorrow I go for my last creative nonfiction class and I’m out.

Let the reading marathon commence! Also, I will finally be able to unwrap Skyrim and settle into a video game stupor.

Overall, this semester has been a great one. I made some awesome new friends, worked my freakin’ butt off, and actually learned a lot of shit (I know, right? Who’d have thunkit?)

I know I’ve neglected my baby blog, but I promise I’m sure to have more to say in the coming weeks. It’s Christmas! There’s so much to complain about.

See ya’ll on the other side!

Small step for me…not that much of a giant leap for anyone else.

But it’s a step! For me! Tis good!

Remember that annoying freshman girl I ranted about a couple of weeks ago?

Weeeel. Let’s just say I got a bit tired of her. To the point that I’ve wanted to just haul off and slap her. I wouldn’t really do it, but oh goodness it would surprise her.

Today we were watching a movie to go along with the book it’s written from. I happen to enjoy this movie and the book, so I wanted to actually watch it. She came in today and immediately popped some gum in her mouth, started chewing away, and turned to her new BFF to run her mouth. Class hadn’t even started so no big, right?

I didn’t want to wait. I made a decision that for me was monumental. I don’t like confrontation, so me getting up and moving away from her to another seat in the class was, to me, the equivalent to really hauling off and slapping her. We had started out okay, right? But there comes a point when I don’t want to “share” notes, listen to incessant meaningless chatter, or hear something roll around in your mouth noisily, for an hour. (Speaking of “sharing” notes, she didn’t ask if she could. She would blah blah blah very disrespectfully to the class and professor and then lean over and copy what I had on my computer if she had noticed I’d written something. Fucking made me MAD, ya’ll.)

It was a big step guys, because instead of wallowing in my indecision or listening to the mean voice in my head that tells me to DEAL WITH IT, I made a conscious decision and followed through. Yay! I gathered up my computer and bag and moved on down the row.

I know she was looking at me going, um wtf? And I’m sure I was a part of their whispering for a while, but honestly, I didn’t feel bad. At all. I didn’t feel like I had done something wrong. I felt AWESOME. I fixed my problem.

And to hell with her if she had a problem with it.

You know when people say they don’t give a fuck? And you think, psh yeah I’m sure you at least give a little bit of a fuck. Well this was my moment in which I literally had no fucks to give. There were none there, and so none were given.

It felt great! Now I don’t have to dread this class anymore.

Victory!

DIY Doldrums (Part 1)

Since I’m in the lull before the storm/school phase, I thought it would be in my best interest to do some DIY-ing. Hobbies and such. You know, things “normal” people have? (Whoever these normal people might be….or where!)

All I do for work is sort, file, and mail out admissions letters. After that, free time! So it’s to the computer I go. I found several good things to try, with tutorials (and lots of pictures!).

First up was homemade lip balm. I did this when I was younger and thought it was a hoot. Although, at that time, it was the easy-peesy kid’s version with vasoline and flavoring. I was (and still am) trying for something a bit more challenging though. From the many recipes I perused it was evident that beeswax needed to be involved, as well as ‘essential oils’ which is a new one for me, and Vitamin E oil, and well…other cosmetic-y things. I’m in a fairly small town, however, which does not boast it’s choices for these types of things. Vendors beware of my town; start talking Bay or Camphor oil and they might think you’re “one of those new-agey Wiccan/Pagan/Hippie grass skirt people”.

martha stewart lb

Look how pretty! But trust me, homemade pics to come are not so nice.

Of course, no luck where I am. Walmart? Psh hell no. I tried everywhere else and only came up with Beeswax that was for hardware (don’t want that on my lips). Essential oils? Another hell to the no. I can’t find it on it’s own because it’s mixed into other things and I have to steer clear of un-pronounceable names on the backs of bottles. At least I did find Vitamin E oil, in Walmart. I already have flavorings such as honey and vanilla/almond/coconut extract. I was almost there.

What, you say? Order online? Well fuck that. I hate waiting! But I caved. I ordered some beeswax bars off Amazon. I wanted very badly to order off another site (The Sage) that has BUNCHES of stuff. But they won’t take my card because of address issues (I recently moved). But alas, I am not to be discouraged. Cocoa Butter to the rescue! Found some pure cocoa butter sticks at Sally’s. It tastes amazing when combined with vanilla-y scents. But I fucked it up by reheating it out of a tub I put it in to get it into a tube. And now it’s all goopy. Plus the cats keep knocking it over on my desk because it smells funny.

Not so pretty, eh?

I’ve tried three times, however, to get the beeswax recipe to work and so far they are all too stiff to roll onto the lips or try to scrape out of a tin.

Strike 1. (I’m giving up for now. At least until my dad stops trying to pester me and make fun of it.)

Another DIY, that I am somewhat knowledgeable about…is sewing! Sewing things, that is. I got a super nice sewing machine for Christmas awhile back, and so far I can make zipper pouches and slip/pillow covers…sorta. They don’t look all that great though. I’m far from an expert sewer. My lines aren’t even straight, and I get freaked out when I step on the peddle and it goes too fast. All slow-going for me. I want to try to make some things that are similar to zipper pouches and cases and such. Found some good tutorials, and I’ve already tackled the dreaded zipper foot (according to my mom, who stayed away from it for years), so I should be good to go, yes?

Well. We’ll see. Laptop case is first on the list.

Autumn, are you smiling from somewhere?

I swear, the other day, as I was lying in my sick bed about to be swallowed by tissues, I saw Autumn.

Autumn as in the fall season.

I know, I know. It’s August. In Texas, of all places. Who even remembers what Fall feels like?

But I swear you guys! I saw it. Yes, I was in a/c heaven at the time, and I’m sure if I had been outside I might have thought differently. However, I got that feeling. That feeling, you know? School starts at the end of the month, the sky is bright and clear, something is coming, the world is turning-weird feeling.

It happened! I will will Autumn into existence if I have to.

 

Struggling with Seriousness

Okay ya’ll. I know I’m only 23, but is it really too much to ask for some general adult-respect?

I mean, I can drink now! Have been able to (legally) for 3 years! That most definitely qualifies me as an adult.

Or so I thought.

Sure, I didn’t follow the society-prescribed version of events that lead up to my adult life. But I’m here, senior in college, and I got here no matter what the placement of events. To be honest, I don’t feel like an adult. Is it this reason that I am then not treated like one? Or is it the other way around? Should I care?

I’ve always been a little bit more attracted to people older than me. Not attracted in a sexual way or anything…it’s more like I like to be around people that are more mature than my age group. I was friends with kids in older grades. Old people are great. It’s like I have always been a teensy step ahead, mentally.

But on the outside, it’s still, “Oh, 23 and still in college? Not an adult, sorry.”

And this gets to me. There are many different viewpoints within my family. My sister, who is 7 years older than me, knows I’m an adult. She treats me as such. My mother, who I’ve always been closer to, understands this too. My dad on the other hand, will never truly be impressed. I know. He might say the words, but he’ll always go back on them in another situation. In fact, his whole side of the family would do this, minus actually saying the words.

I can handle this, it’s no big. I’ve only got myself to worry about, yes? It’s a bit hard though, and we all know this. It is hard to act like an adult (because we all have the extreme version of ‘adult’ in our heads, and we’ll never live up to it).

Guilty pleasure, 1 out of many: coloring books. You can’t tell me that every once in a while, if a set of crayons (or markers, whatever you fancy) and some Transformers coloring books are set in front of you, that you wouldn’t be itching to color. Maybe the details are different, such as a Barbie coloring book…or just some markers and paper, but the feeling is essentially the same. And why not be happy with this? Why is it that if we “give in” to some sort of childhood/childish whim then we are somehow shamed and condemned. I can imagine a booming official male voice suddenly saying, “50 points have been taken from your adult-card! For shame!”, every time I do something that is defined as immature, childish, un-adult.

I mean, that’s only one circumstance that people might find less-adulty. There are so many more! Why are we so concerned with acting like adults?

Who are these “adults” anyway?

Apparently, I don’t know what nonsense is coming out of my mouth!

Educated? God forbid! How insulting that I should be a senior in college majoring in English (of all things!) and still curse!

I realized a long time ago that it doesn’t matter who says it’s wrong to curse and what their reasonings are, because they too will curse and not give a damn about the situation they’re in.

I learned this when my dad, all throughout my childhood, would tell me not to say things like “crud” or “crap” because they were crude. Heavens, no! Crap? Please, think of the children! I soon stopped really listening to him when I overheard a heated conversation between my mom and him in which he thought it appropriate to use the dreaded F-word several times over a disagreement on dinner and my mother’s “place”. It’s not totally a mystery as to why I am the way I am now, which is heavily critical about gender issues (though I’m not as educated on this) and how we use language to perpetuate certain ideas.

But really, I made this post because I wanted to post my encounter (more like sly international-spy-worthy sneak, sort of) with an elderly couple in a bookstore a couple of weeks ago. I was rounding out my search for some sci-fi paperbacks when I overheard a woman say, kind of loudly I may add, that “they don’t know what they are saying when they curse”. Nevermind who this mysterious “they” was, I wanted to know what it is that makes this woman think that cursing is apparently just a primal outburst within a conversation. I stuck around them in the pretense of looking at biographies (which were on clearance, and they were there for a reason, believe me) when I saw the older woman (about mid 60’s) going on about it with more context, and then trailing behind her was presumably her husband. He had a very defeated look, and didn’t say a word on the matter (at least while I was within earshot).

Now, I get it. Yeah it sounds kind of nasty when people curse. I always used to think, hey people, widen your vocab!, when they cursed. But honestly, as I find myself cursing more often, I feel like it adds flavor. I’m not necessarily angry at the moment, but my curse word-choice will help in delivering the punch I need to get my idea across. Either this woman had a gender/racial/social stigma about people who cursed, which allowed her to form the opinion that those who cursed are just ignorant, or she was talking about someone with turrets syndrome.

I just chuckled at what she said and had a little made-up conversation with this woman in my head (stable, I know)…and sidled on down to paranormal romance.