Tuesday, June 29, 2010

BROOKES TO DO LIST:

I made this To Do list months ago when I was first starting to figure out things I needed to get done in order to move to Brookes. I just now found it again and thought it was a little funny, so here it is.


 

Before I leave-

~Send in Scholarships

    *De Rohan

    *John Henry Brookes

~Apply for Student Visa

    *Find out of site I'm using is legit

    *Set up interview date

~Doctors apt

~PACK

*Favorite books, movies, music and a few pictures/keepsakes

    *Ipod dock from James

*CLOTHS- all seasons! (Keeping in mind x-mas and the European coolness factor)

*Some choice school supplies like notebooks, pens and legal pads

*Important documents- Visa, acceptance letters, so on and so forth

    *One Halloween Costume (yikes!)

    *Beth&Molly notebook

    *Few important pieces of jewelry

    *WVU banner

    *All electronics necessary for a traveling creative writer in a new land

~Buy Plane Ticket

~Research housing and jobs

~Find place to stay when I get there (Jen? Hostel? Couch surfing?)

When I get there-

~Find place to live

~Set up bank account

~Get a cell phone

~Find a job

~Explore!

Books to pack-

~British versions of Harry Potter books

~Small Cyrano

~MLA handbook

~ Small foreign language dictionaries (Italian, German and Spanish)

~M is for Magic

~Peter Pan

~All Phillip Pullman books

~National Geographic Great Britain book and other travel guides

~The Observation Deck

~This list is too long, figure out how to make it shorter

Movies to pack-

~Old and New school Star Wars

~Cyrano

~Green Card

~Romeo + Juliet

~Inkheart

~Muppet Treasure Island

~Live action Peter Pan

~A Life Less Ordinary

~ Heart and Souls

~LOTR

~Who am I kidding, I can't bring this many movies. Limit to only the obscure ones.

So that's that. I have done far more things than this list even mentions in perpetration, basically everything except making my book and movie list shorter. This was back when I still thought it would be easier to find a place to live when I got there, which I now see was a stupid idea. I've found a cute little room in a house with four cool people, all via the internet. What would I do without it?

I'm down to my last month. When am I supposed to feel nervous? Soon, right? Traveling is sort of my thing, but I've never actually lived in another country, not for longer than three weeks anyway. I think the main reason I'm not nervous yet is because it does not seem real, it's like I'm not even going. Something so cool could never happen to me, not in a million years.

But it is.

More later about something super cool that happened to Nicole and I the other day. Good night!

~major7th

Saturday, June 12, 2010

People suck.

Is it so hard to be pleasant? Or to at least put a little effort into being nice to people? It must be, because this year I've been working in the food service industry I've meet some of the most unpleasant people (and good ones, but I'll get to that later). However, this blog is not totally about me. My mother just told me about something that happened to my brother at the grocery store he works in, and it has made me SO mad I just had to write about it.

My brother is a bagger at a grocery store in Richmond. He is also in a band that is doing very well in Richmond and surrounding areas. He has an awesome girlfriend, great friends and has an overall good life in Richmond. He is two years younger than me, but knows more about the real world than I do. And to top of it all off, he is a good person. Seriously, he's one of the nicest boys you'll ever meet. But I guess being a nice person does not get you very far.

The other day this grumpy old man who my brother deals with all the time gave him a lot of crap for no reason. He called him a little shit and told him he is not going anywhere with his life just because he works at a grocery store. Why do people have to suck so much? Why does this guy think he has any right to talk to my brother this way, who has never been anything but helpful? No one has the right to talk to someone that way, no matter who they are in the world, how old they are or what they look like. It blows my mind that someone can be such an unprovoked ass. I don't care if he was having a bad day or even a bad year, there is no excuse. If you are having a bad day, just keep your mouth shut. Don't say anything. Don't take out your frustrations with your own life out on the people around you. There is no reason to bring someone down just because you are, especially someone as cool as my brother.

This sort of treatment has happened to me where I work, but not to this extreme. I just get picked on for not looking old enough to pour beer, for not liking beer, for not speaking German and sometimes for just being a girl. All these things I can deal with; I just laugh at their jokes and move on. I overheard a father telling his two small children that the state of West Virginia is full of rednecks and inbreeds once and had to really restrain myself from going over to him and giving him a piece of my mind. I ask again, why do so many people suck?

However, I do not condemn the entire human race. Obviously. As many mean people as I encounter on a daily biases, there are at least three super cool people to take their place and make my day. John (or the $2 bill guy as I called him before I learned his name) actually bought me a travel book about London when he found out I was going to England next year. I recently meet (or got to know) a guy who has given me really solid comments on some of my writing. One guy comes in every now and we talk about what books we are reading. I can't even count the number of friendly regulars that I've meet this year I've worked at this restaurant. The good outnumber the bad.

So the next time you think of mistreating someone you feel is under you, just don't do it. No one is under anyone. Just because someone pours beer for a living does not mean you can whistle and clap to get their attention and then call them 'hey you.' Just because someone has tattoos you may not agree with does not mean you can question their life choices and verbally abuse them. NEVER judge a person on the way they look or how they dress. Everyone is allowed to have their own opinions, but just do me one tiny, not-gonna-hurt-you-a-bit favor.

BE NICE.

~major7th


 

Ps. I realize I'm preaching to the choir here; all my blog followers are stand up people. It's all the people who won't read this blog who probably should.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ampersand

Where my brain has been lately.
My feet RIGHT NOW.

I miss it already. It was literally the only show I watched. Now what am I supposed to do?



Is anyone surprised at all that I would love Adam Lambert? Didn't think so. Found this picture somewhere on facebook in old albums.




~major7th

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Read a book read a book.

It's June. On May 18th 2009 I graduated from WVU. This month in June, 2009, I started the job I currently have. I've been out of school an entire year, and yes, I still want to go back. I still shiver with anticipation when I think of getting my new class schedule or about buying books or writing stories and essays with actual deadlines. Oh the deadlines.

However, one thing that school, and especially the life of an English major does not leave much room for, is reading for pleasure. So that's what I've done.

My last semester of college, in my Capstone class, we were instructed to read the introduction to Nick Hornby's book, The Polysyllabic Spree. What Hornby did was basically make a list each month for a year of the books he bought and the ones he actually read and then wrote a discussion about what that meant to him. The point of making the lists is to see the patterns in what you are reading and to see how reading one book leads to another. It also shows where your mind was that month, especially comparing the list of books bought to books read. So we had to do this in our class, but use a couple of months rather than just one at a time. I had mine organized into books I've bought (most for classes), books I've read, books I read part of and quit and books I read just to see what all the hubbub was about (that list consisted of the Twilight series. Blah).

I decided to make a list of all the books I've read this year just for fun. I'm sure I'm forgetting some, and I'll undoubtedly remember them the moment this blog is posted. So it goes. They are not in chronological order.

Books I've read:

  • Inkheart, Inkspell and Inkdeath by Cornella Funke
  • Love Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  • Ultimates 2 volume 1 and 2 by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch
  • Once Upon a Time in the North by Phillip Pullman
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • Anasi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • As You Wish by Jackson Peirce
  • Y the Last Man Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra
  • The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Graham-Smith
  • The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
  • M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman
  • Ultimate X Men Volume 10, Cry Wolf by Brian K. Vaughan and Andy Kubert
  • Sandman Volume 2 and 3 by Neil Gaiman

Books recommended to me that I actually read:

  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series: The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Blue Diary by Alice Hoffman

  • The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Books I tried to read but failed:

  • Ulysses (which I've been reading for almost exactly a year and a half) by James Joyce
  • Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel

Books currently in my stack of 'must read before moving to the UK' because books are heavy things to pack and I probably should leave room in my suit case for at least some cloths:

  • Once in Future King by T.H. White
  • Tolkien's Gown by Rick Gekoski
  • J.R.R. Tolkien, Architect of Middle Earth by Daniel Grotta
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & terry Pratchett
  • Dragon Rider by Cornella Funke
  • Bone: The Complete Cartoon Epic in One Volume by Jeff Smith
  • Ulysses (yes, it can be on the list twice) by James Joyce

The book I've already decided will be my reading material on the plane to Oxford, thus putting me in an adventurous mood:

  • Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes

That's 32 books over the span of a year, 7 I still want to read (not including my never-ending bookshelves full of books I will get to one day), one I never finished and one that will probably haunt me the rest of my life. Oh James Joyce, why do you do this to me? Anyway, there is a distinct possibility that my list of books still to read will not get read, and that I will probably buy something new between now and leaving that will take its place. That's just how these things happen. For instance, I was in the middle of The Illustrated Man when I lost the book and my friend Jen told me to go out and find The Hunger Games. So I did, and it was AMAZING. Then I found The Illustrated Man crammed between the wall and my bed where all my lost books usually are, finished it, then went out and bought Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games. I finished it last night. It was even better than the first one. I can't believe I have to actually wait for the last book in the series to come on. It's like Harry Potter all over again.

32 books might seem like a lot to some people, but it might not seem like many at all to others. If you look at what genre of books take up the majority of the list you will see that a great many of them are Young Adult. These are usually books I can finish in a few days if I actually have a few days to commit to them. In that case, my list should be far longer. It took me a month to finish the Percy Jackson series, but that was five books in a month on top of working every day. I am only a fast reader when the book is good.

Another reason my list is dominated by YA books is that I LOVE them. That's basically the only reason I need right? That and my major writing project of the year was a YA book, so it only makes sense that I am reading in the genre that I'm writing. YA literature is like candy. I just can't get enough of it, but unlike candy, it's good for me.

I could write pages on each and every book in my list. I could write about how Lolita stayed with me for at least three months after I read it, refusing to let me think of anything else, or how Inkheart made me cry and how I went out immediately and bought the next two books in the trilogy, or how Flowers for Algernon was kind of a letdown the second time around, or how As You Wish put me in a good mood for the rest of the week after I read it, or how I just can't get enough of Graphic Novels and wish I had the money to buy the rest of Y the Last Man and Sandman series. I could write about the books I've read this year till my fingers start to bleed and the letters are rubbed off my keyboard and replaced by bloody fingerprints. But I won't.

Instead I'm going to go eat strawberries and apply for my student visa. And then probably pick up another book to read. Any recommendations?

~major7th