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

Thursday, October 28, 2010

College-Aged Novelist Seeks Brilliant Blogger

It's coming...


There's more than one way to wax a cat...?
Yep, I'm doing it again this year.

(For those of you who have no idea what the heck I'm talking about: take this.)

I was freaking out because I didn't have a plot (and in case you don't know this: I always freak out over not having a plot), but last night, I got some quality help from some quality people and KA-BLAM, a lovely plot fell right into place! 

These people deserve cookies.  And I'm talking about the fresh, warm, gooey kind that release instant endorphins and make your knees weak from pure joy.

So now I may have little idea of what's actually going to happen, and of course no outline whatsoever, but since I have a basic plot idea, I'm as happy as a carp in a septic tank.  (Got that quote of a bumper sticker once.)

Since I'm going to be pretty busy during November with my novel (which is unnamed as of yet...and btw, this is one of the reasons to join NaNo: you get to refer to things like "my novel" and that, my friends, feels lovely), I think now is the perfect opportunity to ask:
Who's up for guest posting?

I follow a lot of fantastic blogs by bloggers a heck of a lot more talented than me, so I know you guys are out there.  How would you feel about guest posting here at Lantern of Lightning?  I don't exactly have a theme going here, so any topic of your choice can be up for consideration.  Although I say the funnier, the better.

Or: what if you're a reader that doesn't have a blog, but would like to be a blogger for just one day?  I don't know; I might be heaping a world of trouble on myself for asking that question, but it sounded fun so what the heck.  Maybe there's a good reason you're not a blogger, but you won't know until you try, right? 

I mean, the worst that can happen is that you write up a blog post so horrible that it spirals you into a depression that makes you want to cut off your fingers from the terrible writing you've produced, which causes you to bleed out and for one of your loved ones to be fatally traumatized from finding you and rushing you to the hospital, where they say that they now have to amputate your arms and feet due to the extent of the blood loss you endured in your self-depreciating fit of rage.

I say it's worth a shot.

(If you're interested, and by "you" I mean you, sitting there reading this and pretending that I'm talking to one of the other readers even though I'm reaching out to you specifically from the depths of my soul, leave a comment or email me at pyra.extrano@gmail.com.  And thanks in advance!)

image found using Google Images

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Unfathomable Females

Now, before you point out the obvious: yes, I am aware that I'm a woman.  I've had the indicators for a while now.

I just don't happen to be the most girly girl you'll ever meet.  There are a few things I get girly about (which Steve loves to remind me of when I start renouncing my feminine qualities), but most of the time, I can't identify with really girly women.

Which is where this list comes from.

Things I Don't Understand About Women
  • The fascination with shoes.  Especially uncomfortable ones.

(If you haven't guessed, I wear tennis shoes, converse, or skate shoes most of the time, and I wear one pair until they wear out.  My current pair is purple tennis shoes, since I know you were wondering.)

  • Purses.  There's nothing you girlies would put in a purse that I wouldn't put in my pockets.  At least, not anything you actually need.  (And while we're on the subject, girl's pants deserve big pockets too!  If any of you readers happen to be clothing designers, please give me some bigger pockets on my girl pants.)
  • Blaming your period for your attitude.  Okay, maybe I "understand" this one, but I don't agree with it at all.  Yes, I have had times when my period made me feel yucky.  No, I didn't take that out on people I like.  The cycle happens every month; learn to deal with it already.
  • Make-up.  It's more trouble than it's worth, except for occasional use.  And by "occasional", I mean maybe once every couple of months.
  • Drama.  How is that a form of entertainment? 

  • Being overly emotional about everything.  Not everything anyone says has a sinister underlying meaning, people.

  • Manicures.

  • The love of pink.  The only shade of pink worth anything looks like this:

    or maybe this:

    but NOT baby pink.

  • The fear of dumb things, like bugs or harmless little spiders.  Being aware of their presence is one thing, and I'll even allow you to be paranoid and keep an eye on the little buggers.  However, screaming like a banshee and clawing the arm of the person nearest you is not an acceptable response.  The thing is barely a fraction of your size.  You look like a wuss.

  • Enjoying things that make you cry.  If I only had a dollar for every time I've heard: "Oh, it's such a good movie; you have to see it.  It made me cry like a baby!"  Why do you want to cry?  Crying is an indication of bad things.  Let's not forget that.
  • Tanning.
Anything you want to add to the list?

all images found using Google Images

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Cheater, Cheater, Pizza Eater

    Yesterday, a couple came in Pizza Hut (which is where I work, for all you newbies).  They seemed happy and friendly, and they were an older couple: the kind that makes you automatically smile to yourself when you look at them and you don't even realize you're doing it.

    Since we didn't have anyone else but me and the manager in at the time, I acted as a waitress for them.  Now, I'm not normally the type to chat up people I don't know, even though I know it'll probably get me more tips, because traces of my childhood shyness are actually so strong that apparently you can't pay them to leave.

    But keep in mind what type of people these were.  They were old and smiley, for gosh sakes!

    "Are you two having a date night?"  I couldn't help grinning as I asked.  The woman beamed back at me.

    "Yeah.  We don't get to see each other very often," she said.

    Now call me imaginative, but I thought that was an interesting statement.  Even the most tame cause I could think of that may have kept the two of them apart was wrought with drama and heartache.

    The rest of their stay was fairly uneventful, until the man asked me for one last favor before they left.

    "Can we have a to-go box?"
    And,after I got it for him, he added:
    "We have a little microwave in the room we can use to heat it up."

    Ooookay...so now it's completely his fault that my imagination's going wild.

    These two ran away from their families to be together for the weekend!  Her grandchildren don't know!  His ex-wife would be appalled!  They've run away to this town for a romance-filled night of debauchery!

    I guess I imagined something like this in their future.
    Yet they seemed so nice.  This would be one of those stories where you'd actually root for the affair, like Ethan Frome without the sledding-attempted-suicide sequence.  (Which is total crap, by the way.  Did he really think they'd DIE from that?!)

    This all goes to show that if you watch people long enough, you're sure to see interesting things.

    Like the couple that came in one day with four kids and the woman said to the man:
    "So, what are we going to do?  We're both still married."

    As in, not to each other.

    I think I need to go try to poke the horizon now.  That way I can prove to myself that it's not a backdrop, and that I don't, in fact, live on the set of some huge convoluted soap opera.

    At least it's entertaining!

    picture found using Google Images

    Friday, October 22, 2010


    I'm bored.

    (That's not a complaint, that's a disclaimer.)

    Don't worry; there will be no depression here today!  The sun's shining down on me this morning.  In fact, it's getting in my eyes, and if you don't know yet about my good-natured hatred of the sun, just believe me when I say that it feels like the sun mocking me, laughing at me from its high place and being all:

    "I'mma GLEAM in your eyes and ruin your morning!"

    Sorry about how hard it is to read, but Blogger has decided to be a douchebag this morning about image sizing.

    Darn shame, too.  I spent a lot of time on that.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Dipping Into Darkness

    I've had this before.  It was only once, but that one time lasted a while.  Ever since then, I've wanted to avoid ever feeling it again no matter what.

    I don't know what "depression" means to you, but this is mine: I don't get thoughts of suicide.  I don't sleep all day.  Instead, I get the same thoughts over and over and I get stuck in them.  I cry in classes, in my room alone, at the dinner table with my whole family there but being unable to tell them what's wrong.  Things that should make me happy seem fleeting and meaningless.

    The first time this happened, it was triggered by a life event that meant me saying goodbye to a group of people forever (because they were going off to college, to bigger and better things).  I couldn't identify this trigger until someone thought of it and pointed it out to me, and it wasn't until then that I could recover.

    Today, I felt it creeping up again. 

    At first, I was just as lost as I had been before about the cause, but after thinking about it some more, I finally realized that it might have been from a conversation I had with someone about...well, "bigger" things than are usually covered in day-to-day conversations.  Once I identified that, I started to feel a little bit better.

    But I wasn't sure if I'd be able to keep it at bay.

    All I could think was:

    When I get depressed, I become obsessed with mortality.  I remember the first time, when I couldn't stop thinking "life is so short, and it's so devastating when people you love die.  Life is so short."  That fact scared the crap out of me, because of course, there's nothing I can do about it.

    Despite the fact that it started to trigger again today, I know that obsessing over life like this is doing nothing but wasting the time I do have.  And that I'm overreacting to something that's always there.

    After a little while, I started to feel better.

    I'm almost positive that my scare is over now.  That I have nothing to worry about and that this has already passed over me.

    It's just that emotions can be so powerful and overwhelming sometimes, and I want anyone who's ever felt this to know that they're not alone.  I mean, I don't know if this thing that I go through is some sort of individualized...maybe lots of people get depressed, but this is the way that it has happened to me and other people don't get the same thoughts I do.  Maybe I'm my own special brand of screwed up, so different that I don't even have to patent the recipe!

    But maybe not.

    It does take a certain degree of courage to post this. It's a part of myself that no one knows about except a couple of close friends, who don't even know the whole story (and my immediate family, who saw me go through it). 

    But I'm not here just to give you cotton candy and smiley faces.

    I want to show you real things, which are often pretty but sometimes not so much.

    Thanks for sticking through this and reading, even though today's post was pretty dark.  Don't worry, the darkness won't be allowed here again for a good, long time.

    pictures found using Google Images 

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    How Writing Is Like Prostitution

    "Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, then for a few close friends, then for money."

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Hot Job Opportunity for Attractive Female Gamers

    Listen to this: there's now a social networking site where male gamers can pay to play video games with hot girls.

    From what I can find, it costs the guy about $8.25 for every ten minutes of gameplay (which is a total estimate since it actually works on a credit sytem).  You can either play simple Flash games like chess and checkers on the site, or play Xbox 360 live with either Modern Warfare 2, Gears of War 2, Grand Theft Auto IV, or Halo 3.  Everyone involved has to be 18 or older, and "PlayDates" are rated based on hotness, gaming skill, and flirtiness.  Players can choose between two types of girls: "flirty" or "dirty".

    These women get to keep 60% of the money just for playing games and being flirty.  And they can block any Player for any reason, so they don't have to worry about harassment and crap.

    This sounds like a really nice job if you're into that kind of thing!  I mean, I wouldn't really know how to flirt even if I had any interest in it, but getting payed to game?  I can definitely see the appeal.

    Saturday, October 9, 2010

    Steampunk Hummingbird

    Once again, I have something kind of awesome to share with you:

    Have a nice weekend!

    (P.S. I am currently at work. This thing is a "scheduled" post, so it's supposed to show up now even though I'm not at a computer since I typed it up in advance.  If it doesn't work, let me know!  Yeah, now think about that for a second...)

    picture found using Google

    Friday, October 8, 2010

    Led into the Night

    Night Walk, you tempt me.

    You lean in close behind me until I feel the tickle of your lips whispering, breathing the words right next to my ear:

    "Come out with me."


    And I can't help myself.

    I follow you, sometimes in streetlight, sometimes in the dark.  Sometimes there's a sidewalk but it often breaks off without warning, as if the cement-men expected pedestrians to simply vanish with nothing but pale wisps of smoke when their journey is done.

    I follow you somewhat blindly. 

    I'm glad you know where you're going.  Because I know how we got here...but not how we'll get back...

    It's a good thing I trust you.

    You stay silent for while, giving me time to sort out my cacophony of thoughts until they have faded into a calmer stream.  I appreciate that.  This kind of time is a rare thing for me.

    Once I'm steady, you slowly begin to point out things to me.  You show me the shards of glass on the pavement that reflect light from who-knows-where to sparkle in a way that makes me wonder how something so dangerous could be so pretty.  You help me notice the only other night-walker out tonight: a man with rushed steps that hurry him down the road in the dark where only his purposeful silouette can be seen.

    A pleasant, tiny jingling sound comes from my hand where I'm moving those little presents around in my palm.  After all, that's what they're meant for.

    You take me across roads I've driven on in daylight, when the world is going-nonstop-busy, although they're empty and quiet now.  Then we go down streets that I didn't know where there, in little corners that don't exist for me outside of this peaceful solitude.

    I feel like I could stay with you all night...
    but I have things to do in the morning.

    Nevertheless,we really must do this again soon.

    image found using Google Images

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Piercings, Dying of Overeating, and Transforming

    I was randomly wondering the other day...how come this is socially acceptable in American culture:

    but this

    or this



    Pierced ears are a piercing, just like any other.  I mean, obviously.  But for some reason, most conservatives like to pretend that one hole in each earlobe are the only piercings you can have and still be "proper and stylish" or whatever they want to call it.  They even promote this, with the earrings they wear when they play dress up, like a "nice" pair of hoops to go with a Sunday dress. 

    I mean, this is probably just something I notice because it's how people are in the area I live in for the most part, but it still kind of irks me.  Maybe people don't have the same attitude in the area you live in?  If you want to comment, tell me about the attitude towards piercings where you're from. 

    Heck, maybe where you are, people won't hire you unless you have your nose pierced!  That would be an interesting concept.  Forget wasting money on fancy clothes: get a nice corkscrew to make you stand out from all those people with silver rings around their nostrils!

    ...I don't know.  Don't mind me.  I shouldn't have sat down to write this post without a detailed plan sketched out beforehand.

    I learned today (in totally unrelated research about magic...it's a long story) that a tick is the only animal without an anus.  That means that it has no way to expel the food it eats, so even though their average lifespan is about a week, if one particular tick decided:

    But, not literally.  Eww.
    then it would actually swell up so much from all the intake that it would die sooner than all its more discriminating little tick buddies!  Instead of eating to live, like everyone else, ticks actually die sooner from it.  I feel like there could be some vast metaphor in that. 

    Or maybe it's just God's permission for us to eat until we feel like we could burst. 

    Even though we don't...actually burst.  Because we are superior to ticks in that respect.

    Lastly, I said I would share something cool and steampunk with you!  So here's this:

    Just a normal train, right?


    And that concludes today's random collection of pictures, since that's what this post turned into.

    I mean, after Optimus Prime, there's really not much else to say.

    all pictures found using Google Images

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Steampunk, Cyberpunk, and Boobs

    I decided to start getting into some research last night.  You know how I told you that I was trying new things and learning stuff and being exposed to new ideas and all that wonderful mess?  I started some learning by looking up information about steampunk and cyberpunk.  It's fascinating stuff. 

    Basically, steampunk is a "culture" (started in literature) in which society operates on steam-powered technology, gears and the like.  What makes it special and more significant than "duh, we went through that age before we have the technology we do now, that's just like going back in time" is that it's set in roughly our time period or sometimes the future.  They're about as advanced as we are technology-wise, maybe even more so, but instead of going with megabytes and computer chips like we did, they stayed with steam power.  It's an alternate reality: how things could have gone for us, but now exist only in fantasy.  Usually, the fashions and styles in general are Victorian based.  It's gone far beyond literature now, and can actually be a style in art, fashion, and some people would even say there's steampunk music.  You can look up all sorts of things online about it.  Heck, I'm not finished looking up stuff by a long shot!  I think I'll keep looking at it for the rest of the week.  If I find anything riveting enough, I'll be sure to share it with you guys!

    Cyberpunk actually came before steampunk, from what I understand, and they basically jacked the term and modified it to come up with "steampunk" in the first place.  It's futuristic, where technology is super-advanced to the point that virtual reality becomes as important, or even more important, than actual reality.  Usually it's set in a dystopian society (dysfunctional utopian, and no, I did not make that up) where the protagonist operates outside of or often against authority.  Instead of government, in most cases major corporations have taken over all politcal and economic power.  The "punk" part of cyberpunk is supposed to come from this type of protagonist, being all anti-conformist and disobedient to authority.  Like steampunk, cyberpunk has also become a fashion that you can look up all sorts of examples of. 


    The last part of today's post has nothing to do with the first part, so I thought I'd separate them to help your brain a little.  I like to make you think and everything, but not about such mundane things as "how did the subject change so quickly; did I miss something?".  So I made it easy. 

    It's just something I noticed when listening to the radio: Why does popular music refer to women as "girls" and "chicks" and "shawty", but almost always give men the title of "men"?  Even when women sing these songs, they refer to themselves this way.  For instance, the song I have in my head right now is by Rihanna, and the chorus says "want you to make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world".  Even though she looks like a woman to me.
    Yep.  Those really look like boobs.
    Are there any theories on why everyone's lyrics are like this?  I mean, I think there's an obvious sexist slant that you could argue.  But instead of delivering the obvious, I'll turn it over to you and see what points you have to make about it.

    Also, anything you want to say on the topic of steampunk and/or cyberpunk is most welcome!

    Or, if you have nothing to say about any of the aforementioned, you could just talk about how you feel about Rihanna and why.  Because you have to include the "why" as an explanation to your argument.  I have a policy against trolls, and will delete trolling comments.  Consider yourselves warned!

    picture and research found using Google

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    Good Times, No Matter How Much The Shifting Context Imp Messes With My Sentences

    It's Friday!  Which means this is your last post for the weekend, because I work open to close Saturdays and Sundays.  And I feel like posting whatever happens to come out of my fingertips today...

    Steve bought another guitar controller for Rock Band!  The two of us played this morning, and I'm already in love.  (With the game, not the guy.  I was already in love with the guy.  Keep up, man!)  I'm decent at it, but there's definite room for improvement, so I have plenty of chance to grow and have fun doing it too. 

    Wait...take that last sentence out of that paragraph.  Now pretend it's in a paragraph about how I've been seeing life lately.  Now I've managed to cover two topics competely accurately with half the effort!  I think I just invented "shifting context".  All hail.

    Since we're on the subject of my life anyway, by some magical Shifting Context Imp intervention (as in, "Did you see that Shifting Context Imp go streaking by in the middle of my sentence about coconuts?"  And yes, that has a double meaning, that's the point.  I'll give you a second to get that.  I suppose the Shifting Context Imp is a girl, then...), I might as well update you on a few other things for the heck of it.

    I admit that I slack off sometimes on schoolwork.  It actually took a long time for me to realize why I do it.  I finally identified that it's the fault of the public school system (isn't everything, really?) for rewarding me when I didn't deserve it.  "Gifted and Talented Program"?  Seriously?  And people, teachers and students alike, praising anyone for being "smart" over the smallest little things.  I mean, they'll make people feel stupid over the smallest things too, sometimes.  Guess it depends on their mood.  But just because I kept up with all my schoolwork, school was always super easy for me.  After several years of that, I stopped trying as hard, because I realized that I could get good results even with a little less effort.

    That came back to bite me in the butt when school finally started getting a bit more demanding.  That little girl that was determined to be an all-A student no matter what?  She went off to a more prestigious school than I did, or something, because she just wasn't in me anymore.

    The point of all this, actually, is to explain to you why I'm excited that I'm starting to keep up a lot better with my schoolwork.  I've usually gotten good grades and all, but I've decided to start finally demanding more of myself again.  It feels good to be productive, to turn things in on time even if other people in the class don't do the same and you barely begin to feel like it's a requirement anymore.

    Actually, while I'm typing this, there's a stack of printed-off papers beside me that I just finished for my computer class.  Which I find mind-numbingly boring, but not in a whoop-de-dee-this-is-too-easy kind of way!  More of a why-did-they-take-ten-pages-to-give-me-instructions-that-they-could've-fit-onto-half-a-page-and-now-I-have-to-sift-through-all-this-tedious-crap kind of way.  BUT, I'm getting it done.  And that makes me feel sort of satisfied.  Like a purring cat.

    I might need your help to keep it this way.  I've been lacking in motivation for a long time, so it's probably going to take more than my own hopes and dreams to stay on top of things!

    Don't worry.  This doesn't mean I'm going to ask you to drop by my house the moment I say I'm losing steam and kick me in the face until I start doing homework that very millisecond.  I hope that just by saying here on the blog that I'm doing well, I'll feel obligated to keep that up for a long time.

    Now, what else is there?  Oh yes, my desire to try new things.  I won't bother going into how that came about, just expect to see more "topic of interest" posts around here soon.  That's all I'm sayin'.

    Basically, I'm still trying to become more awesome every day.  I'm trying to find ways to learn new things that I have actual interest in (since college tries to be specialized but I still have to meet all these requirements that I have to take specific classes for that don't exactly hold a lot of interest for me most of the time).  I'm exposing myself (get your mind out of the gutter, you nasty thing) to new movies, new games, new websites, new ideas.  I'm getting help with this from good sources when I can. 

    You want examples?  Heck, why not? 

    I'd never seen the Transporter movies until recently.  Now I only have one left to go.  I think.  It's a trilogy, right?

    I also watched Stepbrothers enough lately that quotes of it are beginning to pop into my head at random.

    And I watched Superbad for the first time without having any idea what it was going to be about. 

    I've recently played games like Infamous, Rock Band, DDR, Mario RPG, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, and that one funny comic-book-style game that I can never remember the name of.

    Earlier this week I drove to places I'd never driven before.  (My GPS took into a residential neighborhood and told me to drive through the gate at some random person's house to find the mall, but that's beside the point.)

    I've learned things about economy, politics, and legalization that I'd never dreamed of before.

    Basically, it's all good times.

    What have YOU been up to lately?  What projects have you gotten your hands into?  What new things are you learning about or looking into?

    Have a good weekend, everybody!

    picture found using Google images