(definition further explained in this post if you still aren't satisfied)

Friday, December 25, 2009

It's December 25th And I'm Looking Forward To Christmas

I'll get more excerpts to you soon, but today, we shall take a break to discuss Christmas instead. Christmas cannot be ignored!

Things have gone pretty close to normal today as far as Christmas goes; my family gathered at one grandparents' house for breakfast (Mom's side of the family) and the other for lunch and probably supper (Dad's side). There's one crucial difference from the norm that makes this year feel off: Mimi is in the hospital.

Mimi is my mother's mother. She got sick this year on March 1st, and hasn't been back to normal since. It started with fluid in her lungs, and since then she's had good days and bad days. She has been back and forth from home to the hospital again, and even when she is home, someone else has to be there with her at all times to keep an eye on her and Papaw.

Mimi has five children, and only two of them stay with her regularly. One of the other girls barely does anything, another only pitches in by staying with Papaw when Mimi's in the hospital, and the 'boy' helps out by taking care of Papaw's cows, land, farm equipment, and whatever other outdoor work is needed.

Sometimes, this arrangement is fine. Other times, it feels like a real pain, as selfish as that may sound. My mom is one of the two that stays with Mimi and Papaw constantly, and her husband and three children miss her. The house just doesn't run smoothly without her around, and even if it did, it doesn't feel the same without her. However, we all understand why all this work is necessary, and we do our best to make do.

I've stayed with Mimi more recently (up until Christmas Eve, which was the night she was admitted back into the hospital). Many times up until now, she's been overcome with sadness and self-pity about her predicament, which I definitely can't blame her for. She can't walk to the bathroom without losing her breath, and she doesn't enjoy the breathing treatments that she has to do at least once every day. She told me that she wishes that she could make food and do other things for people for Christmas, but that she "just isn't worth anything these days". It's rough on her, that's for sure. I reminded her that she's surrounded by people who love her and who will take care of things like that. I also pointed out that she raised all of her children to be capable of those things, that she had done a good job. She did smile at that. "Yes, I did raise them to be able to do things," she said.

I've noticed that her outlook is improving a lot. Lately, she seems happier much more often. Even though she's in the hospital today, she seems to be in good spirits. She talked to everyone gathered at her house via phone this morning. We set aside a lot of the presents, and we aren't going to open them until she's back.

Then we'll have Christmas all over again, for her.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sigh Of Relief and Exhaustion From The Aspiring Novelist

Whew! NaNoWriMo is over, and boy, was it a crazy journey! Sadly, at 47,236 words, I was not a winner this year. It was my first year, though, so don't be too hard on me!

Now that we are out of November, I'll be able to post more regularly, at least until Christmas takes me from you again. I know you missed me, but don't worry, I'm here now!

In celebration of NaNo being over and me being able to breathe again, I have an excerpt from my novel to share with you. I picked a few different sections that I was considering sharing with you, and this one is rather long, but hopefully you will find it worth the read regardless. It was one of my favorite passages to write.

I would offer a synopsis to help you take this passage in context and understand it, but frankly, I think it would be more fun to just throw it at you. The only thing that I really must tell you is that KMC is my main character's temporary name, although she told the character named Nathan that her name was Layla (for her own reasons). She's called that because I still have not named her. (Please also forgive the lack of indentation in the paragraphs. Blogger's format does not agree with the tab button.)

Anyway, here it is!

KMC opened her mouth to blurt out whatever option decided to present itself, but suddenly, she felt like doubling over. If she'd been a human, she would have.
The pain in her stomach felt unbearable, at least if it decided to go on for a full minute. Although KMC managed to stay composed enough to stay sitting upright, she could not prevent her hands' flight to her stomach, where they clenched themselves together over it. An involuntary moan escaped her lips, and although it had been rather soft, she was still mortified, wondering if Nathan had heard it.
As it turned out, he didn't need to hear it. He had already noticed the pained expression on her face.
“What's wrong?” His voice was full of concern. KMC quickly tried to mentally debate what to tell him, but her brain refused to function beyond a rudimentary level, blocked by the pain. She shook her head, at a loss.
The look of worry only deepened on Nathan's face.
“Do I need to call the hospital?” His voice was urgent and he was willing to take charge the moment she confirmed that it was what she needed. KMC shook her head weakly. A trip to the hospital certainly would not do. Besides, she didn't need doctors to tell her what she already knew. The cause of her stomach pain was actually quite simple; she was hungry. Ravenously hungry, in fact.
Hungry enough that if this pain continued, she may do something drastic.
Her eyes darted around the small establishment, searching for some inspiration. When she found none forthcoming, she decided that at that moment, she just wanted to get out. She needed to be unconfined to the small space between those four walls.
KMC stood shakily. Nathan noticed, and he quickly put his arm around her, helping her stand up and walk. The two got strange looks from the two other tables of ice cream patrons as they made their way out the door.
When they got outside, KMC looked around. When her eyes found a patch of grass, she began to stumble toward it, with Nathan assisting her regardless of the fact that he didn't actually know what she was doing or where she was aiming to go.
KMC disentangled herself from Nathan's arm and let herself flop onto the grass. She rolled over on her side, curling into the fetal position and wrapping her arms around her abdomen. Her mind was consumed with no thought but the pain.
After about a minute, the pain began to recede, just barely. It was just enough, in fact, for KMC to have a new, single desire. She turned her eyes to Nathan, who she was surprised to find laying on the grass as well, facing her. He'd been watching her.
Seeing him made the desire even stronger. Her instincts pushed her to kill in order to satisfy the terrible hunger.
She still felt weakened, but she knew that soon, even the weakness would recede to let her act on her instincts and have the full capability to kill. In fact, adrenaline would probably flood her system soon, lending her an enhanced strength even from her usual. She had to come up with a plan before then. Otherwise, she would be driven to kill Nathan right here in public.
His bright eyes still considered her. Suddenly, KMC knew that he was trying to figure out if her pain was going away and what to do next. He was only thinking of her and her well being, while she was trying to kill him. How curious.
I don't really understand this. Why does he even care about my pain? But no, she could not afford to take the time to mull over this idea. She had to come up with a plan, and quick. What she needed was time, but she was running out of it.
She wondered how to convince him to go to the beach now. Perhaps she could even get him to help her to get there. All she needed was a valid reason to go after the episode he'd just seen.
KMC suddenly felt her strength quickly returning. She was out of time.
“The...the beach,” she gasped out from behind clenched teeth. She would have to exercise an incredible amount of self control to keep everything from going horribly wrong.
“What?” Nathan's confusion was completely understandable, but KMC felt that it was torturous.
“The beach!” she cried, sitting up quickly. “I need to go there!”
Nathan shook his head.
“You need to go to a hospital,” he said, pulling himself into a sitting position as well.
“No! No, I need to go to the beach. If you can just get me there...I know the way...” KMC's head was becoming drenched in sweat.
“You're delirious,” Nathan guessed, sounding uncertain. Obviously, this was not an everyday occurrence.
“No, I just need to go there...” KMC cursed her inability to come up with a convincing argument, but all her efforts were going into keeping herself under control. She turned pleading eyes to Nathan.
The sight of his face, of the face of the target that she'd been planning to kill, caused an immediate instinctual reaction. Her heart rate spiked and her muscles clenched, attempting to launch her toward Nathan against her will. Not here! KMC looked away from him as quickly as possible, bending her head down to make a curtain of her hair and trying to make a mental note not to look at any humans until she got to the beach if she could manage it.
Nathan moved closer to her, turning his head to try to look her in the eyes. KMC turned her head to face the opposite direction, avoiding his gaze. When he tried again to get her to look at him, KMC backed away in fear. I can't look at him! If I do, it will all be over!
“You need to go to the hospital.” Nathan's voice was finally decisive.
KMC was filled with disbelief. How could she have let this happen? In the distraction of unexpectedly good company, she had forced all thoughts of the hunger out of her mind. Now she was quickly learning her mistake.
“Here, get on.” KMC saw Nathan's back filling her vision. “I'll give you a piggyback so you don't have to walk there. When we get back to the bar, I can drive you the rest of the way myself and call your family or whatever you need.”
KMC suddenly felt like crying.
Nathan turned his head to the side.
“If you don't get on, I can pick you up and take you there myself.” He tried to sound authoritative, and pulled it off well, but KMC knew that he couldn't like the idea of carrying a girl, kicking and screaming, down the sidewalk with just anyone standing around, waiting to cause trouble by assuming the worst.
KMC had to admit that she didn't like the idea either. At least if she was on his back, she would have more maneuverability when she could finally come up with a plan.
Tentatively, she reached out toward Nathan.
When he felt her arms beginning to wrap around him, Nathan snaked his arms around her legs, hooking an elbow under each knee to support her. Without so much as a grunt, he twisted around until he'd gotten on one knee, and then pushed up off the ground. KMC clung to him, unfamiliar with the experience of riding on a human's back instead of it being the other way around.
Nathan turned his head to the side, looking back in surprise.
“You're shaking.”
KMC buried her head between his shoulder blades, unable to come up with a response and embarrassed at his observation. Her muscles refused to stop quivering, causing the trembling to reverberate through her arms, legs and shoulders. She grabbed a handful of Nathan's shirt in her fist, clenching her teeth again in a futile attempt to still her muscles.
Nathan hiked as quickly as he could down the sidewalk. The longer he felt KMC trembling on his back, the more urgency he felt. He couldn't fathom what was wrong with her, but that was all the more reason to get her to a hospital as soon as humanly possible.
When he made it back to his car, he was no longer sure if she was even conscious or not. He was pretty sure that her eyes had been squeezed shut ever since he'd first picked her up, and they hadn't opened. Her trembling had finally slowed to the occasional shudder.
Balancing awkwardly, Nathan kept KMC on his back while he pulled the handle on the passenger door. He wrenched it open and tilted his body to swing KMC around, catching her in front of him and slipping her gently into the seat. She moaned weakly as he pulled the seat belt around her and fastened it.
He rushed around the car as quickly as he could, sliding violently into the driver's seat and shoving the key into the ignition.
As he sped to the hospital, he could only hope that she would get medical aid in time.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Greetz and Your Time Has Come, Blogger Newbies

Okay, so I had a nice post all typed up for you guys, and now I don't have it with me.
You see, the internet connection for the past two days at our house has been spotty, at best, so I am now in the computer lab at CU, steelin their internets.
I didn't realize that I'd have time to be on here for very long, but one of my classes was cancelled, giving me time to check in. Unfortunately, because this was unexpected, I don't have my laptop with me. Which has my post saved on it.
It's okay, though, because I must admit that the post was not life-changing.

So, what shall we talk about today instead? Oh, I have an idea! I'd like to share my devious plan with you. Except it isn't all that devious...but it is a plan, nonetheless, and it's actually all about you.

Yes, you, my dear reader. Didn't expect that, did you?

You see, once, while wandering around the internet, I found this idea. I don't remember where it was, so I cannot give specific credit to the originator of it, but I found it fascinating and hoped that I could do it someday. Someone came up with the notion of taking a day in a blog to completely turn over the post to the readers/commenters. This way, you get to be a blogger for a day. Who knows, you may end up liking it so much that you start a blog of your own!

I'd like to open it for any discussion, but for fear that it would be too general, I think that I'll just post a topic for you to share your opinion on. If it's successful, we could even do this regularly with different topics!

The reason I haven't already tried this wonderful, revolutionary thing is because I feared that I don't have a large enough readership for it to work. Or, even if I do have a few readers, they don't seem to be too keen on commenting. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it would make this idea flop.

For this reason, I humbly ask that anyone interested in the idea please comment on this post, so I know whether I can turn my blog over to you for a day sometime soon.

Thank you in advance for any response!

NNWM Status Update: Okay, I know you're probably getting sick of these, so I'll keep it brief.

I MADE IT TO 20,000!

I'm very excited about this despite my still-behindness. Seriously, if I ever get technically "caught up", I'll have to shout again with joy.

Next time, watch for a little discussion about my characters for the first time!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Recent Happenings and A Red Scarf


Egads, and other exclamations!

Perhaps you are wondering why I'm on the floor and dragging myself over here with my hands, bloodshot eyes pulsing and drool leaving a slimy trail in my wake. This, my friends, is because the past few days have been insane! Every spare moment seems to be taken up. While I have a moment for a breather here, I'll fill you in on a few of my recent activities:

Last night, I watched V for Vendetta for the very first time with some of the other lovely folks at CU. My reaction? I demand to know why no one has forced me into an adhesive chair and made me watch this movie before now! Seriously, it's amazing. I absolutely love it, plot, characters, setting, and all. It's completely brilliant. It changed my life.

Tonight, I went to a band banquet for the marching band that my brother's in. I decided not to join, at least for this year, but I got to see many funny moments on the video that a band member/aspiring videographer put together for the occasion. The food was quite nice, too. Wonderful corn.

Right after the banquet (in fact, we left early to set up), my brother and I drove over to another building on campus in order to get ready for the concert. We're in handbell choir, which combined with the chorale to make for a musical night of wonder and joy!

At this point, I must take advantage of your patient reading to rail on about the participant situation. You see, handbell choir is pretty awesome. Strangely enough, this causes a problem. Due to the awesomeness of handbell choir, this year everyone decided to join at the same time. Tonight at one point during the concert, I had no elbow room. I mean this literally, as in I could not put my arms down to my sides and had to fold my hands in front of me (which I'm sure made me look quite demure, but still), but I was asked to scoot over to give the people on the right side of me more room. The sad thing is, they were asking because they sincerely needed it. Also, I spent a large portion of the concert standing there. I tried to look as if I was following along intently with the music, and in fact I was doing just that, but I'm sure the audience wondered why a girl that cannot play a single note for fifteen measures at a time was even on the stage. Especially when there really isn't enough room for her! Ha ha. I don't think that I can juggle seven bells at once yet like some of the more experienced members of handbell choir (although I would welcome a challenge), but I can certainly hold three-in-hand as opposed to one or two notes per page. And I will only admit to very slight exaggeration in that sentence.

Oh dear, I seem to have wandered a bit from my intended subject. The handbell concert went quite well, with a few nervous mistakes from all, but it was in general a good run.

Thankfully, I got quite a bit of work done yesterday as well, but it was simply schoolwork and entirely too boring to relate to you!

I also went slightly insane that day, because I, being a champion at messiness, actually cleaned something! Yes, I know it's devastating to see how my most fundamental values are being called into question these days, but in my defense, I felt that I could no longer operate in the living room, which is where I was attempting to work on NaNo in order to listen to music via internet at the same time. Wow, would you take a look at that run-on sentence? My brain is truly addled. My paragraphs aren't even sticking to one subject anymore!

So, those are just a few of my many wonderous activities of late. At this moment, I am typing away, wearing a fuzzy red scarf that my brother breezed through the room to lasso me with. He's been cleaning his room. Do you think that justifies this strange behavior?

NNWM Status Update: I am horribly behind schedule, but optimistic! You can't force the happiness from my system now that I have a plot and ideas oozing out of my eyeballs.

By the way, I say "behind schedule" because my current word count is 1,707 while the steady word count for the end of today is 10,000! The steady word count is I'm calling it when you have all 50,000 words spread out evenly over the month, and as you can see, I'm frankly not anywhere near it. I do hope to get a lot done tomorrow, and possibly even tonight, depending on how my energy level holds up. I think that my lack of a decent word count so far is probably because of my Inner Editor, who Wrimos are supposed to kill at the beginning of the month. I'm suspicious that mine survived my attack, based on the sounds I've been hearing from that room....it appears that I have to see to something, so I will catch up with you later! *heads toward the back room weilding the Traveling Shovel of Death*

Thursday, November 5, 2009


NNWM Status Update: I finally have a plot! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's definitely on now! I know I put on a brave face back on the first day despite my plotlessness, but it feels good to know a bit more about what I'm doing. Not having a plot at first actually turned out to be a bit of a good thing, as it caused me to introduce characters that I had no plan for at the time. Now I can do whatever I want with them, and they may fit into this story in very interesting ways. In fact, they may cause the story to progress in a way that's totally unique, which excites me beyond words!

Okay, okay, I know you're dying to know what the story is about. I'll give you this much: it's about a kelpie. Not the kind you're used to hearing about, either. (That is, if you've ever even heard of them! If you haven't, the Wikipedia article on kelpies can efficiently get you up to speed.) Although these mythical creatures are usually known as malevolent beings, there's a twist in this story, which introduces them as an entire underwater community that mostly does what they're known for (drowning humans) for simple consumption purposes, and tricks them (also something they're known for) for entertainment and a chance to enjoy themselves a bit on land. Although the kelpie community has lived this way for years, one of them begins to rebel. Because of this decision, she decides to take a human underwater with her...but alive. You can imagine how that could lead to trouble with both humans and the kelpies!

The story even has a title now! At least, it's the working title, but it feels so perfect to me that I may keep it permanently. I call it....Waking Up Human. This title serves dual purposes, which I may reveal to you in the next post. If anyone's interested, that is. :)

In the meantime, I'm wishing every Wrimo reader the best of luck!

Saturday, October 31, 2009


NNWM Status Update: It's less than half an hour now until November officially begins! Excitement levels reaching critical!
The funny thing is, do you remember that little dream of having a plot outlined by now? Yeah....that never got done. Up until browsing the NaNo forums and viewing Wrimo blogs and vlogs a few hours ago, I was getting dangerously close to an official Freak Out Session. It wasn't until I began hearing from other Wrimos that an unexpected feeling began to creep across my psyche...it was a sense of well-being. An everything-is-going-to-be-okayness, if you will. In fact, I began to get even more excited about midnight because I was suddenly able to fully embrace my plotlessness. This wonderful new feeling blossomed because I realized that tons of other Wrimos had absolutely nothing planned out, and many of them were all the more optimistic because of it. I love Wrimos!
What's going to happen? Who's going to pop out unexpectedly? Who knows? I don't! :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009


November's almost here, and every Wrimo knows what that means! We're all preparing for an entire month of:

-very little sleep
-lots of caffeine
-comparing word counts
-meeting with our MLs
-attending every writing party humanly possible
-agonizing over plot points
-hand muscle spasms
-being terrified of computer crashes
-dozens of papers/word files strewn about
-muttering to ourselves deep into the early hours of the morning
-seeing our characters everywhere we go
-enthusiastically chronicling that last flash of inspiration
-anticipating the completion of our friends' awesome-looking novels

What an interesting experience this promises to be...

I'm actually a newcomer who doesn't quite know what to expect. I didn't even discover NaNoWriMo's existence until a few weeks ago, but now I find myself obscenely excited about it. What better way to top the experience of writing a no-holds-barred novel than writing one at the same time as thousands of other Wrimos around the world?

Anyway, I plan to continue regular posts. As an added bonus to keep you informed of my progress, I'll also label my NaNoWriMo updates with NNWM as an abbreviation, demonstrated here by my lovely assistant example:

NNWM Status Update: I don't know my plot yet, although I hope to have an outline by November. Thankfully, I have one idea that I've fairly fallen in love with, and hope to be able to build a plot and characters around that. I've done a few freewritings, which really helps with generating ideas, so we'll see what happens! :)

To prepare, I've actually managed to clean most of my room. This is an accomplishment for me, considering how messy and haphazard I usually am. (My technique is usually much closer to the throw-it-on-the-bed-or-in-the-floor-or-on-a-pile-and-get-to-it-later approach, which, for some reason, doesn't seem very effective when I indefinitely put off the getting-back-to-it-later part.) It seems as if this event brings out the best in me!

I would also really love to put together a completely decorated, eclectic writing space by November. I've already found a few things to set up from cleaning my room, and hopefully I won't have to spend much money at all to make an area that really gets my creative juices flowing.

If you plan to do NaNoWriMo too, post a comment to tell me a bit about your game plan! Hopefully, I can look forward to meeting many fascinating and quirky writers such as yourself through this experience.

And so I prepare to embark on a daring and exciting journey! I'll send word through posts and updates, and see you on the other side!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On Meteors and God

Last night, I walked out of the house at three o'clock in the morning. I got in the car and drove. Past the high school, past the big intersection, past Wal Mart....past civilization and into the night. I didn't stop until only my headlights revealed a way through the dark. Once I found that dark place, I pulled off the road and turned off the engine to stand outside. Leaning against the side of the car, I looked up.

That night there was supposed to be a meteor shower, and I was going to see one for the first time.

As I stared at the still-tranquil sky, profound thoughts began to fill my mind. (This is, of course, because it is impossible to look up at the night sky without becoming a philosopher. It's part of the experience.) As my mind whirred, the stars seemed far away, as I had come to this place expecting. What I didn't foresee was the feeling of a large, encompassing ceiling pressing down on me. The stars suddenly looked very close! I was not only amazed, but I felt weirdly comforted. The sky-ceiling made the entire world feel smaller, like a big room instead of a planet. I blinked repeatedly, expecting the illusion to quickly dissolve, but it actually took thinking to make the sky go back. It took a change in mental perception instead of physical perception. Such a start to my adventure, though a bit confusing, was much preferable to sleep.

Abruptly, a few swooshy things (and yes, that is the technical astronomy term,) swooped at the edges of my vision. My eyes darted around the sky, trying to tell me if the movement was an illusion and unable to come up with an answer. As I tried to stalk movement with my eyeballs, it occured to me that the huge ball of life I was standing on was charging through space as I stood still staring patiently up and out. I blame this thought on the articles I read about meteor showers beforehand that described the earth tearing through a cloud of peacefully floating meteors that look like streaking stars to us. As I contemplated the feeling of standing still and hurdling through the universe simultaneously, I realized that I've had a life experience much like this. When I was younger, I was adrift. I didn't know what to do and didn't have a clear purpose, which is something that I think comes with youth. At a Christian youth conference with my youth group, I felt convicted by the motivation of the people around me because I had lacked it for so long. Upset by this, I talked to my youth minister and verbalized my dissapointment in myself up to this point. I explained how I didn't think I had done much of anything for God because I didn't know what He was asking of me. My youth minister told me that I had made differences, especially for one girl in particular who needed a friend. He explained to me that even when we don't know what we're doing, God does. He can use us even when we are completely unaware of it. It stunned me to look back and see what He had done through me while I was missing it! Although I felt like I was standing still, I was actually moving in the big scheme of things. It wasn't the night sky that filled me with awe at that moment. The memory was a welcome reminder of the wonder of God.

My thoughts were cut short when I heard another sound. As I had been standing there, there were periodical small snaps of a twig or brief rustling noises--sounds that come with the night. I had tried to remind myself not to be too jumpy; although I was in the dark middle of nowhere by myself, I was pretty sure that I was, in fact, by myself, and I didn't want to spend all my time squinting in the dark for a threat that wasn't there. This new sound went on longer and seemed louder than the other noises, causing me to whip my head around to stare into the black. It sounded like something small falling from a tree, hitting leaves and landing with a tiny crash in the grass. My heart pounded as I shined a light toward the sound, finding nothing. I seriously considered getting back in my car then, and thought maybe I could try to look out at the sky through the windshield to be safe. Then I realized: I'd never really see the stars from inside my car. That thought seemed significant. If a person is held back by fear, they can't ever reach their true potential or experience the amazement of it. I opted to stay outside and loved every minute of it.

All of a sudden, there were streaks of light through the sky that I knew weren't my imagination. It was exciting! I got to see movement were there is normally stillness. As if the stars aren't amazing and beautiful enough, this was a chance to see them dance. I decided that this was the best time to get real with God, because I had been slacking off too much. I began to hum so I could get used to the sound of my voice in the stillness. Then it was time to talk. I told Him about my stupidity that made me lazy, and about the confusion that keeps me frozen in place. I wanted to ask Him what to do, but I had asked many times before. Then it smacked me in the brain: why was I always waiting? I would ask God what to do, and then wait for an answer. Couldn't I figure out from His word that He's calling us to action? Then I knew what to do.

I've been telling people for years that if they want to build relationships with people, they have to talk to them, open the lines of communication, find ways to spend time with them. I've been saying that I want to build my relationship with God, but how stupid is it that I haven't been making time to hang out with Him? It doesn't always have to be something that feels tedious to us at times, like reading the Old Testament or going through a prayer list. Why don't I schedule some good old-fashioned hang-out time to just talk to Him? Something this obvious makes me feel stupid once I realize it, but it's something that each person has to learn for themselves, and I finally did.

After seeing a few more bright meteors, I decided that I was ready to head back home. I got in the car with a new feeling of peace in me, but also excitement at my revelations. You can bet I'm making plans for next time.

Monday, October 12, 2009

CBR #2: Bowels of the Library

To get to the location of my second review, brave adventurer, you must first pass a test of both directional sense and wits.

The beginning of the maze is on the main floor of the library. Upon entering, the building seems to be a place of easy-mannered fellowship and learning...don't let this presentation fool you. Although portions of the library are safe, there are more things than you've ever dreamt of lurking in the more remote, secret places.

You must next approach the white door. This is your portal from the land of normalcy and smiles tossed casually over the shoulder into a lurking-inspired place. The journey down a steep, dimly lit set of stairs inspires a growing sense of dread with every step. However, do not let this deter you. Those who enjoy the light will have less difficulty braving the next obstacle.

The next leg of this journey leads you to white, blank, stretching, abandoned hallways through which you must previously know the way or have a guide. I am pleased to say that I have successfully guided one desperate wanderer through this labyrinth, so if you ever have need for my aid, please feel free to summon me any time.

Once you enter the lair in question, you will surely notice, in your astuteness, that it seems quite old and abandoned. However, you will also shrewdly observe that, despite its age and obscurity, this hideaway is also strangely clean and well-kept. How is it, you will surely wonder, that such an ancient, hidden place hasn't fallen into terrible disrepair? Well, my friend, I have a theory.

Among my various observations is the realization that the room is mostly empty of all things except the necessities, with the conspicuous exception of one corner. It has a watering can and a candle. Where might such unexpected objects come from, and why would they be in this bathroom?

I suspect that there is a forgotten, wizened old caretaker dwelling somewhere in the building.

Would someone please help me find him?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fallen Out of Favor

The traffic lights here shun me.

Did I do something to offend them, perhaps? The day we met, I looked up at Traffic Light (who, coincidentally, has a twin brother who works just one block over) in eager expectation that he would provide stellar service. Maybe this was offensive, because he then decided I was unworthy of any affection from him; too lowly for a moment of his attention, even. Because of this bad first impression, I spend every commute ever-so-patiently waiting for him to bestow his gracious favor on me, which he usually submits to only because he feels sorry for the other unlucky drivers in the area.

Today, I admit to you (as long as you promise not to tell!) that I was chasing my brother down the road for the sheer joy of it. Traffic Light's twin casually gave my brother a jaunty green greeting, but at the sight of my laughing face, he scornfully turned his red back on me. I was left sitting somewhat dejectedly at his feet, watching Privileged Drivers happily make their way to unknown destinations. Okay, maybe I sulked a little, too. But this is the kind of blatant dislike I face almost every day!

I say "almost" because on a mere handful of occasions, I've caught the twins in a good mood. I'm not sure what it takes to make them so happy; it could be a matter of an exotic Black Plastic Massage or a risque Rewiring. It's hard to know because I've never had to bribe one before...

I've come to the conclusion that they must have an unjustifiable hatred for me and my people. By "my people", I mean all those who go against the norm, who aren't afraid to try something unconventional. People who don't drive down main street, but perpendicular to it.

The Traffic Light Twins are so mainstream!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Walking Ghost

I'm caught up in the story. I can't shake the “off” feeling...the feeling of not really being here at all. As I walk down the sidewalk, my brain's in another world: a world where characters from television exist, motives run deep, and every moment is fascinating and electric.

This is how I get sometimes, and it happened again yesterday for the first time in a very long while. It starts with boredom. (Doesn't every interesting, crazy thing start with boredom?) In this last case, it was my professor's lecture, which was by far not the dullest speech in history, but in my defense, I was very tired. I knew that I would never be able to concentrate on it, so I did what any self-respecting slacker college kid would do: I stopped trying to listen. Instead, I purposely started a daydream to keep myself awake.

I'll admit that I frequently borrow television characters for this purpose, as it saves time and lets me get right to the action. Fortunately, my sole daydream audience is me, and I forgive my copyright infringements.

I enjoyed my waking dream for a while. Class ended, so I got up to leave. Daydream over, right? Wrong. My brain wasn't letting me give up that easily. It kept me in a daze during the entire walk to my car (which is saying something, considering the parking conundrum at CU). Even after I got home and told my mind that we needed to work on a paper due the next day, despite my pleading, it was insistent. I was wheedled into progressing the story.

To my shame and my brain's victory, I couldn't work on my paper again until after eleven that night. Instead, I was forced to search extensively for music to match the literary mood, sit for long periods of time to simply think, and studiously type up the entire cumulative storyline. Nine hours later, and what did I have? A class paper that hadn't been touched, an entire day gone, and more than a page of, basically, fanfiction. The crazy thing? That I think it was worth it.

I guess this is why I'd love to be a writer.


Do you ever daydream obsessively? Dwell on fictional characters much more than what's healthy? Love Fringe as much as I do? Comment about it below.

Friday, September 18, 2009

And Yes, You're Supposed to Just Take It

Can you believe that there's still discrimination in our commercial market? You'd think that after the social movements this country has been through, we would at least learn to keep our companies accountable when it comes to equality. It should be a basic policy to require the same payment policies of any customer.

It's gender discrimination from insurance companies to which I'm referring.

Google will tell you, one of the most basic criteria a company considers for car insurance is gender. They charge males, especially younger males, significantly higher rates than females. Their claim is that they base their policies on risk factors, and that statistically, males have more frequent motor accidents. If there's anything I learned in AP Statistics, it's that there are a million ways that statistics can be misleading, but for the sake of relevance, let's assume that this one is true. Companies are saying that statistics prove that men are more likely to have accidents, and therefore, file claims.

But as a close friend of mine says, "I am not a statistic".

The above quote is the perfect summary of equality. If you judge one person based on what people of their demographic category do, before knowing anything about the individual, you are discriminating. Period. What gives insurance companies the right to use gender bias when we don't allow businesses to discriminate?

Some people in Europe have caught on to this. One commission proposed to abolish sex discrimination by applying "gender nuetrality" to car insurance policies. (as shown here) Unfortunately, it was shot down by the British government. (as shown here) The deputy minister for women and equality said that "It actually didn't make sense to penalise safer women drivers by preventing insurance companies from differentiating on the basis of risk." I'm just a college student, but I don't understand how it's a hardship for women to pay the same insurance rates as men. I also don't think that any given female driver is safer than every male driver, so calling females "safer women drivers" isn't entirely accurate.

In one cell-phone usage study, Caucasians were shown to use cell phones less than four of the five other racial groups tested. Mind you, this is a statistic. Multiple studies have also proven that cell phone usage does not a safe driver make. So it makes sense to charge white people less for car insurance, right? Wrong! Of course no one would stand for such an injustice. We don't tolerate racism. So why are we tolerating sexism?

A friend of mine is a freshman in college. He has never had an accident or a speeding ticket. His record is completely clean. His junior cousin, however, has had a fender-bender AND at least one speeding ticket. Because she's female, she actually still pays less for car insurance than my friend.

Tell me, where is the justice in that?

(Feel free to comment.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Birth of a Review Series

Hello, readers! Meet my blog. I'd like to introduce you two, but I think the best way for you to get to know Bloggie is to throw you kicking and screaming right in the middle of it. Before I do, two quick points to make...
1)The topics it will examine are covered in the title.
2)Some of the posts will be very serious in nature. Some will be decidedly not. As for this first entry, well, you can be the judge...

This school year, I expect to use at least every campus bathroom at least once. Those of you who have been on outings with me know why. For those who haven't...let's just say that doctors will never have to prompt me to provide a sample for testing. Due to this expectation of excessive bathroom visits, I've decided that it would be beneficial to many if I did a review for each campus bathroom. And so, a review series is born! Enjoy.

Campus Bathroom Review #1: Right of Main Entrance in Gosser
The moment I opened the door, light flooded to my freshly receptive eyes. I could almost hear the airborne choir belt out a victorious major chord! The place was spotless. It had those connected countertop sinks (you know, the ones that always have puddles of water all over them?), but these had the gleaming lights reflected off of it in a very luminous, not-wet way. I floated into the red stall (And yes, extra points are rewarded for color). No toilet paper. Anywhere. Well, except on the roll, because if there hadn't been any there, this story would have ended very badly...
When I was done with my business, which I am pleased to say ended well, I emerged to see pretty, expensive-looking mirrors over each sink. I felt like royalty, let me tell you. After washing my hands, paper towels were right by the sink. RIGHT BY THE SINK, PEOPLE! Not up on the wall, not halfway across the room, not replaced by a dang hand dryer that takes an hour to get you from sopping to slightly soggy. I didn't even drip on the counter! That, my friends, is a good day. A good day indeed.
My official recommendation is: ladies, if you gotta go, go to Gosser.
(Warning: opinion is subject to change as more bathrooms are visited.)

So, ladies and gents, there goes the first post! My intention is to encourage responses at the end of every entry. Whoever wants to say "hi, and yes, I'm reading", go for it! Those of you who go to CU, as I do, tell me what you think about the bathrooms and let me know which one to review next! I'll make a special trip if I have to. ;) For anyone who doesn't, feel free to share with me and all the readers about bathrooms on your campus (or school, or workplace)!

This is Deidra, signing out!