Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Top 5 People/Vehicles I Hate to Be Stuck Behind While I'm Driving

Greetings, dear readers! I recognize that it's been literally forever since I've posted and, quite frankly, I have no excuse for that except that I've been uninspired. Well, now I have the perfect rant for you.

Driving has proven to be an incredibly fun experience for me, but it definitely has a few bumps.

5) Motorcyclists
Okay, so my interactions with this group has been somewhat limited, otherwise they would probably be further down the list. But let me tell you, motorcyclists tend to be the rudest freaking people ever. They cut you off in traffic, weave in and out of lanes, blare their radios as loud as possible, and tend to act like they're the Kings of the Road. It's even worse when they're in gangs together, because they tend to build off of each others' awful behaviors. Sorry, little guy, but I could mow you down with my car in a millisecond. Nobody appointed you Head Honcho. Plus, they're just so freaking LOUD. Most of my experience with motorcyclists is on Friday nights when I have to cut through a certain town to get home from school, and it's usually never fun.

My apologies to motorcyclists who actually drive respectfully, but this has been my experience thus far. Get the word out to your friends not to be such assholes.

4) Bicyclists
Oh right, another drawback of going to a rural school. Look, I have no problems with you getting exercise and all, but I don't see why you can't do it in the middle of the road. Better yet, why don't you do it at a park or a place that has sidewalks. If you MUST drive on the road, at least go over to the side when you see a car pass. I understand how this might be more of an inconvenience to you if you were on a busier road, but you're usually not. Now, bicyclists only make number #4 because I now have no qualms passing you, but the real problem is when other drivers do not, and I have to deal with going five miles per hour until I'm able to turn on the nearest road. Now, when I was a student driver, this was much more unnerving than it is now, so let it be known that for quite some time, I was thinking quite nasty thoughts your way whenever I passed you.

3) Anyone who drives under the speed limit, but especially MINIVANS and BUSES
I realize that you're legally allowed to drive five miles under the speed limit (and that I did when I was learning how to drive), but it's annoying. I mean, don't you have anywhere to get to? When I don't have to get anywhere by a specific time, it's only mildly annoying, but when I'm running late, it's beyond irritating.

I hate to play into stereotypes, but minivans and buses are the worst. Nine out of ten times I'm behind a bus, they're going under the speed limit and I would say that's about eight out of ten for minivans. I recognize that you're often carrying precious little cargo, but can't you carry that precious cargo a little faster? Don't they have a soccer game to get to?

As for any bus drivers reading this, I just want to say that I respect the fact that I have to stop while you pick up the kiddos, but please don't engage in lengthy conversations with their mothers. Thanks a bunch.

2) Most trucks: garbage trucks, tractor trailers, construction trucks, even regular old trucks that tend to fall under the above category...
Most commercial trucks tend to drive at LEAST ten miles under the speed limit. Not to mention, they're freaking HUGE so it's not like you can see over them. You can't see the stoplights, so you have to kind of look to see if they're braking. My school happens to be next to a quarry, so I get stuck behind construction trucks quite a bit. It's a double yellow line, so I can't pass them. It's the WORST when I'm late. When you're stuck behind a truck on the highway, you at least can pass them (but they're huge and it's scary to pass them).

1) Rude people

My area has the rudest drivers ever. They're willing to honk their horns and cuss you out even at the slightest driving infraction. Oh, I want to wait too long at a stop sign? Honk. I take the parking spot you've so coveted? Honk. I hesitate just the tiniest bit before starting to drive when the light turns green? HONK. There have definitely been times when honking at me has been warranted and even necessary, I won't lie, but it is definitely excessively used where I live.

I would also like to add that there is no excuse for making obscene gestures to another driver or cursing outside of your window at someone. As frustrated as I have been at the above drivers, I am proud to say I have never done any of these. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I have never been the recipient of this. I remember one day when I was coming home from work. It was about nine and a school night, so I was tired. There was this one guy about to come out from an exit, and I just wanted to go home, so I didn't let him out. He passed me and, as he did, opened his window flipped me the bird. But that wasn't all. We got a red light and, still in front of me, the guy continued to flip me off, waving his arm as he did. I mean, really, dude? That was a pretty terrifying thirty seconds.

Now, I suppose that stupid drivers are also included in this category, but I have more sympathy for these people. After all, I've made a lot of driving mistakes myself and I realize it happens. You get tired, you're thinking about something else, you're nervous, you forget that left yields for a second, etc. However, there is some stupidity that truly can't be explained away. Again, I have quite some interesting stories, as I'm sure that we all do. There's no excuse for blowing a red light at sixty miles per hour, or texting on the road. But still.

Honorable mention: Animals

I'm putting animals in "honorable mention" because this isn't entirely their fault, and it's rather sad that they get run over as much as they do. Still, they are a nuisance. Now, I try to be nice to them and not run them over. However, quite often, I feel like these creatures of the forest take advantage of my hospitality. Let it be known that, yes, I will stop for any deer herd, squirrel, duckling or any other creature that I can see is about to cross my path. But, given my courtesy, you creatures ought to do two things: One, don't just leap out in front of my car at random and two, don't STOP to stare at me. Just keep going your merry way, children of the forest, so that we can coexist peacefully. But no, the animals (especially the deer) in my area have massive balls and haven't quite learned yet that these practices go against your greater interests. But I'll cut you some slack as we're cutting through your native land and all.

So what about you, dear readers? Who do you hate getting stuck behind?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Things I've Never Said #3

Dear All of the People Who Have Been Assholes to Me Once I Tell Them I'm An Atheist, 
I always have to hold my tongue around you people, and I freaking hate it. I know I should probably tell you to go fuck yourselves, but if I did that, I'd already be confirming your opinion about atheists. So usually I try to meekly defend myself or change the conversation. Usually, however, you people are so disturbed by the fact I tell you that I'm an atheist that you just can't let it go. And usually, if you're Christian, you get to talk about your religion all you want If you happen to be fundamentalist, every once in a while some more moderate Christian people will slam you for it and make fun of you, but I definitely think I get more slack for being an atheist. I'm not allowed to criticize your beliefs, because somehow religion is different from all other beliefs in that it's somehow immune from criticism. 

Here are a few things I would like to explain to you, because most of you seem to be pretty ignorant and are usually otherwise awesome people. In some cases, I am the first out atheists that these people have met

#1: I don't have to explain myself to you. I don't owe you an explanation for my atheism. My beliefs and personal opinions are my beliefs and personal opinions are honestly none of your business unless I happen to let them be. If you want to nicely have a conversation about our theological differences, awesome (I actually love these conversations). If not, then let's let the topic of religion drop, shall we? I know how much some of you would just prefer I silently pretend to be religious, but I like to be genuine about myself. You might think I should be ashamed of this aspect of me, but I am not. 

#2: Being an atheist does not make me a monster or some alien creature. I'm still the person you knew and loved before.I have a conscience. While being religious may be a large part of who you are, being non-religious is a very small part of who I am. Most of the time, I don't even think about my being an atheist, except when it comes up or when you try to make me feel uncomfortable about it.  I'm probably more like you than I am unlike you. I put my pants on one leg at a time just like everyone else. In fact, I almost wish the word "atheist" didn't exist, because that almost makes it sound like my atheism is a part of me, which it is not.

#3:  I don't actually care about the fact that you're religious or spiritual or whatever. Seriously, I don't. I know a good deal of you act like my atheism is somehow an affront on your religious beliefs, but it's not. I mean, yes, I care when you shove it down my throat. I care when you use it to justify your bigotry. I care when you think it gives you a free pass to be judgmental or be a totally awful person. But in general, I don't care that you're religious. It really doesn't affect my life whatsoever. Do I like religion? To be honest, not really. I think it does more harm than good, because I think all of the good things that religion does can be done through secular means. But it's your life. I've found most atheists don't really care, either, and the ones who do are usually just as obnoxious as you are. In my early days of atheism, I can say this wasn't always the case, but I like to think that I've evolved now. I know and love a good deal of people who happen to believe in God. It's fine. 

#4: I don't hate God. I don't believe in God. Saying that me being an atheist means I hate God is like saying you hate Santa Claus because you don't believe in Santa Claus. You can't hate something you don't believe exists.
#5: It's extremely obnoxious when you ask, "Don't you believe in anything?" Yes, I believe in many things: love, family, kindness, the Golden Rule, etc. Just not in any gods. I have found that it is quite possible to be moral and be an atheist. I don't try and be a good person because I think someone is watching me. I try and be a good person because I care about the welfare of society and the people (and creatures) around me. It brings me great pain to see someone around me get hurt, so I want to minimize the amount of harm that I do. 

#6: It's also obnoxious when you say, "But wouldn't it be so much better to believe in a god?" or "Why aren't you more open-minded?" or "Why don't you just believe in a god? It wouldn't hurt" or worse yet, "I know you know deep down that you believe in God." Honestly, concerning whether or not it's better to believe in God, everyone is different. If it makes you feel better to believe in a god, awesome. Overall, it doesn't make me feel better to believe in a god. If you believe in a god, especially in an infallible one who controls our fate, then you have to contend with a lot of awful things: world hunger, natural disasters, horrifying disabilities (ex. Tay-Sachs), inequality, most awful things. I don't have to worry about that. Anyway, it's not like I can change what I believe anymore than you could make yourself that fire is hot. I just don't believe in a god. And no, I don't believe it deep down. I just don't believe. Also, it's an issue that I've thought about quite a bit, but it's ultimately what I think. I might change my mind, but for the present being, this is my opinion. Perhaps you're the one who isn't so open-minded. 

#6: Oh and, by the way, when I tell you that I'm an atheist, please don't tell me that my grandmother is "in a better place" and "looking over me". You're only making yourself feel better, not me. When my grandmother had recently died and people kept telling me this, I only felt like they were shoving religion down my throat at a time when I was vulnerable and it also hurt because it only reminded me that I believe that she is gone and gone forever. As much as I would like to believe in an afterlife, I don't. This is one downside to being an atheist, but it is what it is. So if I lose anyone else in the future, please don't do this. 

That is all. Now, you were saying? 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Things I've Never Said #2

Dear People Who Are Assholes About Me Having Pet Rats,
I am so sick of dealing with you people. Like, seriously I am. I have had enough. It's one thing when I get a rat hater who keeps their hateful comments to themselves. That's fine, I guess; everyone's different. Yet when you feel the need to share your opinion totally unprovoked, I get angry.

I'll happen to let you know that, yes, domesticated rats do make wonderful pets and I don't mean that sarcastically. I'm not talking about their wild relatives in the sewers, but the rats they sell at pet stores ( no, they're not the same, any more than wolves and dogs are the same). Rats are friendly, cuddly and can learn tricks, making them not only awesome but the superior rodent. You can meet my rats if you'd like, although I doubt you'd be open to the possibility. It's a shame you're so close-minded. If you want a little less love in your life, that's a shame.

Another thing: my rats will not give me the plague. They will not kill me. In fact, domesticated rats have just as many diseases as their cat and dog brethren (oh to all the smart asses who would like to respond "the bubonic plague", that's not A) not a disease pet rats carry and B) it's not even a disease in the Western world). Read it and weep, bitches:
So how about you bite your tongue and read up a little, hmm?

Anyway, I know that, once you get past your "logical" arguments, you'll finally admit their tails gross you out. A cosmetic thing isn't really something I can argue with. The occasional one of you will suggest I cut them off. Not only is that cruel and barbaric, but those tails do, believe it or not, serve a purpose and that's to help with balance. I personally think it has a lot of character, but that's me.
At any rate, I happen to love my babies. You may find this difficult to wrap your head around, but I do. So seriously, just screw off.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

College Frenzy

Apparently, I was supposed to actively start applying for college in the summer. My bad. Anyway, now I'm going to try to catch up when I get back from vacation, so that isn't a big deal.

What is a big deal is this whole college thing in the first place. I mean, exactly how many hoops do I have to jump through to get into college anyway? These college books make it sound so complicated. It just seems that there are so many complicated maneuvers you have to go through: ACT/SAT, all of these prep classes, the college essay. Then, even on the application itself, there are all of these short answer questions and you're supposed to tease out just the right way to answer them. I mean, what am I supposed to say? Failure doesn't seem like an option when I'm competing with thousands of other people.
I don't know why I'm stressing out so much over this, but I am. At night, I'm thinking about it and it's giving me the creeps. How in the world am I supposed to do this? What am I supposed to do after this?
I feel a bit at a loss. Maybe it won't seem like that big of a deal when I'm actually in college, but for now the task seems absolutely monumental. Community college is starting to seem more and more appealing. I suppose I'll find out soon enough how I fare. Wish me luck

Monday, August 25, 2014

Things I've Never Said #1

Here's to all the things I wish I was able to say, but never quite could...
Dear "Virginia",
I know there's a slight chance you might be reading this blog, but I doubt it. You never were much interested in things that I did, but you always expected me to be interested in the things that you were interested in. I guess our friendship was always like that, one-sided.

I don't know why I've been thinking about you so much this summer, but I have been. You come up at odd moments in certain dreams, in conversations. I still share many of your interests (I am not as obsessed as you are, but I enjoy them quite a bit and when I am watching them, I often think of you). And I don't know why, but I miss you.

You were not the best friend in the world. The fact that you failed to bother to try to keep in touch with me proves that. So often, you were too wrapped up in your problems to notice mine but, to be honest, I was often too wrapped up in my problems to really pay attention to yours. We had drifted. I admit that, towards the end, I might have pushed you away a little. I had written you off.

Yet there were the other moments, too. I will always cherish those Thursday nights I spent at your house where we binged on Coke and Domino's pizza without a care in the world. I will smile as you tried to teach me the choreography to the Thriller dance.

There was no big finale to our friendship, no final blow. It simply dissipated. There was no resolution to any of this. And that is probably what has been bothering me even now, that lack of finality, what could have been. Or it's probably that frustration knowing that you never cared about me the way I cared about you.

I bet you'll never read this, that you don't think about me as often as I think about you. And that's just the way it is. I will go in one direction, you another. We may meet again, but probably not. I wish you well.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Random Thoughts: Friendship

Friendship has always been so complicated for me. It feels like the harder I try to hold on to it, the more it eludes me. Over the years, I had to say that I have only found two genuine friendships. By genuine friendships, I mean friendships that are two-sided, friendships that require effort on both sides. You know, with both parties making it a point to stay in touch and hang out, both parties listening and confiding in the other.

I do believe that most of my other friends cared for me in some way, just not enough. Not enough to bother to keep in touch or to pick up the phone. I suppose they enjoyed me while I was around them and then forgot about me while I was gone.

Perhaps this would do for others, but it didn't do for me. I need close, intimate friendships, a variety that's hard to find. So far, a good deal of my life has been desperately seeking these friendships out and mourning when I didn't get it. It wasn't all in vain, though, because I did find it.

It was so much simpler when I was younger, when a friend was someone I could call upon to play with me and slights could be so easily fixed. Yet in other ways it was much the same, because even then I was different from the other kids.

In my lonely moments, it's easy to say friendship isn't worth it. Yet, in better moments, I know that it is. At its simplest, friendships can offer a good time. For instance, I've went away on a lot of two week camps and, during that time, I've made some pretty intense connections. I can't blame them for not keeping in touch given the distance. Friendship makes you feel like you're not alone, like someone actually cares. It gives you someone to confide in. I think a lot of the problem is that I'm looking for too much and I'm way too desperate about it.

I treasure the two deep friendships that I have. One friend is far away, someone I talk to online every day. I don't see her that often, but when I do, I have quite the time with her. The other friend goes to my school. I don't talk to her every day, but we're together more. When we are together, we can't stop talking; we click so well.

This will probably be a struggle for quite some time for me. I don't think I'll ever really understand it, just appreciate it when it comes

Monday, August 11, 2014

Getting My Wisdom Teeth Pulled Out

This was me, but not as nicely made up
Bye bye wisdom teeth!
On Friday, I got my wisdom teeth pulled. Fortunately, I only had two teeth that needed pulling as opposed to a full set of four. Now, I am still at home resting, but at least I'm lucid at this point.

I tried not to think of it most of the summer, because I knew the thought of it would dampen my summer with dread. But as more time passed, I couldn't avoid it anymore. The truth was unavoidable: I was getting my wisdom teeth pulled.

At first, I tried the course of denial. I looked all over online and presented evidence against it (an estimated twenty percent of wisdom teeth procedures are unnecessary). Looking over the evidence, my mother simply said, "It's already scheduled."

After that, I kept insisting that I was going to eat shortly before the surgery, so that I wouldn't have to do it. But then I realized that I would be left just with just my dad and also that I would have to get the surgery eventually so I

might as well suck it up. So I stayed up until like 11:45 and had one last solid food binge, and then compliantly went to sleep.

I didn't have much time to sleep since I had to wake up in the morning, but I figured it didn't matter, because I was going to have plenty of time to sleep once they put me under.

At least the wait wasn't that long. I had some time to read, but it wasn't forever. There was another girl who had to get her wisdom teeth pulled out as well, and she was just as nervous. We both got our x-rays, me first. The x-ray showed that I still had my two wisdom teeth to pull out, both on the same side, and that she had to get four pulled out (she thought she only had to get two pulled out). The dentist said I had the "best case scenario", although the best case scenario would be one where I didn't have to get any out at all (except for him, obviously). My teeth were already impacted, so the surgery was necessary after all.

Finally, I was taken back for surgery. The dental assistants gave me a mask and put it over my nose. They called it laughing gas, but it only made me more nervous. Instead of simply blacking out, I zipped in and out of consciousness, stars and dark spots dancing all around me as I became increasingly dizzy. I registered the sensation of someone putting an IV in my arm while someone asked me if I knew someone from my school who graduated two years ago. The last thing I remember was the dentist asking me to open my mouth.

When I woke up, I was incredibly confused. I didn't quite understand what had happened to me, how I ended up on a chair one minute and laying down on the bed the next. My mom tried to explain things to me, but I was still confused, prattling nonsense as I tried desperately to make sense of everything. I was so dizzy I needed both of my parents to help walk me to the car.

I gained more awareness as the day went on. My cheek was pretty sore, but it wasn't too bad. I also looked like a chipmunk due to my swollen cheek.

For the next few days, I had a hard time swallowing anything and the only thing I could really manage were cold liquid things (mashed potatoes were painful too).  I had (and still have) a battery of medication to take. The swelling in my cheek reduced, which makes swallowing easier now. Now it just feels like I have a giant ulcer.

Overall, I've been healing pretty well. I was told that I was going to possibly experience a black eye due to how close the one wisdom tooth was to my sinuses, but I have not. I also haven't experienced any nausea (if anything, I've had a bigger appetite than ever). Last night, I had my first solid meal in a while (crab cakes, baked potatoes and blueberry pie!). The pills have me pretty knocked out and my mouth is still pretty sore. I'll count the day I've officially recovered as the day I can brush my teeth without wanting to squeal in pain.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Hiatus

I decided to take the month of July off from writing this blog, because I had realized that, in the pressure to write a certain number of blog posts every month, I had been writing blog posts that haven't been up to the standards that I've wanted to write. So I took that time off.

In that time off, I've spent my energies on other things: other writing projects, other activities to spend my time with. I've decided that I probably shouldn't pressure myself to post as often, because it isn't fair to me and probably not fair to you, especially with school coming up.

I've been planning a few different things. I'll continue the "Random Thoughts" idea to see what my random streaming of thoughts and if it's of any sort of interest to anyone else. I might write some memoir-type pieces on here too.

But I'll see. I'm back now and here to write. Maybe a little less, but that's okay.

Monday, June 30, 2014

My First Day on the Job

 So today was my first day of my first job ever as... a library aide. That's right, this bookie got the best first job EVER working in the library.
I literally can't think of a better first job for me. It was total luck that I even heard of the job. I was just going to pick up some books that I put on hold and was going to check out when I saw the job offer. Immediately, I applied and eventually, I got a temporary part-time position.

I didn't know what to expect on my first day, so I just kept my mind open to the different things that I might encounter on the job. I had already done some shelving on a volunteer basis, but I had never done it as a job.

It turns out I have to do a few other things in addition to shelving. Shelving is my main responsibility, but I have other things I have to do as well. I have to sort out the books based on genre to go on the carts we use to later shelve the books; I have to sort out the books that belong to other libraries and sort them out accordingly; I have to go to the book drop and pick up the books there. I'll have some help, as there is a permanent library aide (although we won't always have the same shifts).

Mostly, my first day consisted of a lot of training and a lot of paperwork. I had to sign a lot of agreements. There wasn't much to it.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

What's Up With All the Confederate Flags in the South?

Written on June 21, 2014
There were a few things I noticed about North Carolina during my stay there. The one thing I kept seeing over and over again were Confederate flags. I even saw a bunch of Confederate flags as I drove through Virginia. 

When I say all over, I mean all over. Literally even in the gift shop, where it was on the shirt saying "My Redneck Boyfriend."

I don't get it. I mean, I genuinely don't get it. One, it's been like two hundred years after the Civil War has happened. Get over it already and stop being so butthurt.

Now I was told by a Southerner (my cousin's husband, who is from Texas) told me that most people just saw it as a sign of Southern pride, and didn't give much thought to it. But my, what an awful thing to be proud of!

But seriously, can they be that stupid? How do they not think of the Civil War when they see the Confederate flag? More importantly, how can they not think of everything the Civil War represented?
I recognize the fact that the Civil War is far more complicated than it is often presented as. The Union good/Confederacy bad dichotomy doesn't give the Civil War justice. It doesn't take into account the deeper conflict between the North and South, nor does it take into account the fact that the Civil War's purpose was not simply to "free the slaves". Most Southerners never even owned slaves; rather a very small portion of wealthy Southerners owned the vast majority of slaves. Many Northerners were against slavery not because they cared about the welfare of slaves (although many abolitionists did), but because they feared that the expansion of slavery might endanger the chance of them getting jobs.
Yet the issue of slavery was definitely a huge contention in the Civil War. The Confederacy's only real difference from the Union is that it allowed slavery explicitly in its Constitution. The Confederacy was formed on the fear that the Union was going to ban slavery, which was the backbone of the Southern economy, even though it had not done so at that point. So, in essence, the Confederate flag represents slavery, the system that created the unique flavor of American racism that we know today. So yes, having a Confederate flag in your front yard is racist and I find it ridiculous that anyone would argue otherwise.
Man, that's one thing about the South I'm not going to miss. Confederate flags are quite the eyesore.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hand Dryers

Written on June 14, 2014
Public bathroom users, we have a modern day crisis: Hand dryers are invading the modern public restrooom. It's true. When you go to wash your hands, instead of being provided with the customary paper towel, you get this contraption. They are singularly ruining the public bathroom experience as if it wasn't bad enough.
Here's a fun fact: hand dryers don't freaking dry your hands. I mean, theoretically they do. If you stand there for like fifteen minutes, maybe your hands would actually be dry. But who has time for that? I don't. So I usually have to end up putting it under there for a little bit and then wipe it on my pants. And then that leaves me with a wet butt. Like who wants a wet butt?
Now, they say it's for the environment. I'm sure there are some eco freaks who buy into that argument. I mean, you're cutting down waste and all because less trees are being chopped down and all that jazz. After all, on the surface, it makes sense. Really, though, it doesn't, because you have to remember that oh yeah, it doesn't actually work. So it's useless. There might as well be nothing there. 
Anyway, I know these places love to pretend like they care about the environment, but, in reality, it's all about the money. Sure, a paper towel dispenser might be cheaper to install at first, but I guess in the long run, it saves money since they don't have to keep replacing public towels. Excluding rest stops, most of these places make more than enough money to cover the costs, though, so this is a pretty lame reason to me.
Yeah, yeah, I should be happy it saves some trees, but it's a little hard to be grateful when I have to walk outside with a wet butt.
So call me Tree-Killer but I really need good-old paper towels.
Much better

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Road Trips

So I've written on here about college road trips, but I've never written in here about road trips in general. Short answer: They suck. The longer they are, the worse that they are. Seriously, I'd rather take an airplane trip to a road trip any day and that's saying something. 
It's great once you hit the actual destination. I'm sure an actual full-on road trip is fun, because there are multiple destinations along the way. But the actual time in the car is absolutely awful, especially when you have a lot of stuff and a lot of people (i.e. your family) in the car. My family just spent a week in North Carolina, which was great until we had to go home.
It takes about ten hours to go one way, although, considering all the stops we take along the way (and how lost my dad got), it took us about thirteen hours each way. 
Being stuck in a car for that amount of time is enough time to drive anyone a little mad. You're stuck in an enclosed space and you can't move. I can't even read in the car for that long without being sick. I suppose I could suck it up and deal with the car sickness reading in the car gives me (I did towards the end, when I was especially desperate).
Road trips make you desperate for entertainment as well. My activities were not that varied. I slept, wrote in my journal and took pictures out the window. From time to time, I looked out the window, which was either highway or Southern landscape depending on where I was.
By the time I'm done with every road trip, I practically run out the car. My legs feel very stiff and very tingly and it takes a long time for that to change.
Overall, road trips suck. I would prefer any other mode of transportation any day.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Random Thoughts #1: Mostly on Inspiration

 Author's Note: I feel like this blog needs some freshening up. I feel like things have been really dry lately with the same old, same old. It occurred to me during an excruciatingly boring car ride that perhaps I could write some things off-the-cuff, a more informal type of deal. I'll summarize them on the main topic of conversation if there is one. More to come, as I wrote a few in the car. 

I don't really know what to say. It's hard to write off-the-cuff, harder than it was in the car. I guess boredom has a way of doing that, freeing up your mind of anything else. It's weird when inspiration strikes. It rarely does, but when it does, it's pretty awesome. It's like, "YES, I'M INSPIRED". So when I was on the road trip, I was pretty inspired for some reason, even though it was seriously cramping up my hand since I had to write with pen and paper. 

It's weird the sorts of things that inspire me. Just a person or a photograph or whatever can get me thinking about this thought and then I start building on that thought. Sometimes to the point of a novel, sometimes not.  The Fault in Our Stars sort of inspired me because I was like, "Shouldn't we write about a disease other than cancer?" So I got inspired to write a novel about a girl with cystic fibrosis, but it won't be a depressing love story where she dies at the end. 

Anyway, I actually ran into a lot of inspiration on the road. I mean, the route we took home was mostly not highway because my dad was trying to avoid this highway so we went past a lot of houses (and a lot of churches too. I mean, it's the South). 

A lot of the time things that bother me inspire me. Like all the damn Confederate flags in the South (I could write a whole post about that. Actually I will. Inspiration right there!). I write rants about them or I write short stories or even novels illustrating its problem. 

It's funny how that works.

The "random thoughts" thing was so much easier when I had inspiration. I wrote one on the road that I'll have to type up later and write here; I personally think that was better. I know this first random thoughts thing probably is going to be a bit rusty at first, but hopefully I'll get better. I hope my writing gets better when I write more of these too. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My Clutter Touch

I seem to have this massive problem with clutter. It seems to sprout from everything that I touch practically. I don't have the Golden Touch, but I certainly have the Clutter Touch. I seem to produce clutter in every place that I inhabit. 

This has been the case ever since I was young. Organization has never been natural to me. In fact, I can never remember a time when I was neat. It has been a constant note on my report cards and certain teachers have tried to help me, but to no avail. The ability to successfully organize things seemed far too large for me, and it was safer to stick with what I already knew. Every once in a while, I would throw papers away, but most of the time, it was too hard for me. What if I needed it later? I always came up with an excuse not to throw things away and so they took over my binder, my desk, my locker, etc. Sure, it was harder to find things, but I was able to work around my Clutter Touch to organize things in my own way. It may have been inefficient, but I learned how to work it. 

Even during the summer, clutter is a problem for me. My clutter has taken over my bedroom and now the office of my house. It's getting to the point where it's getting hard to manage and I'm actually having trouble finding things now. I'm also feeling a bit claustrophobic from all of the clutter. 

At this point, I have to admit that it has become a problem. I'm not really sure how to change it, though. It seems far too exhausting to. So I'll live with the clutter.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Hackers and Malicious People on the Internet

Hackers suck. I mean, every once in a while there are the good hackers who are hackers with the intent to improve a company's cyber-security or find out really important things the government or corporations have been hiding from us, but mostly, they suck. My email was hacked recently and it has been the worst. Luckily, the damage has been minimal for me, mostly just annoying, but others have not been so lucky. 

I know there's a lot to be gained from hacking, I suppose. Dumb people are easy to take advantage of, and especially easy to milk for cash. If you work hard enough, you might even get otherwise smarter people. But it's hackers who bring down the Internet and make it the dangerous place that it is. 

Seriously, if you get rid of hacking and mean people who send out viruses, the Internet would be totally awesome. You could go wherever you wanted without that fear of viruses looming over your head. You wouldn't have to worry about having anti-virus software. Yet, of course, life is not so simple. There's always evil Internet people, though. 

Oh hackers!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Feeling You Get as You Wait for School to End

Right now, I'm getting that feeling I get as I wait for school to come to a close. I know, I know, after today, I only have three days of school left and then a few days of finals after that. In my public school days, I would have had about a month left, so perhaps these feelings would be more legitimate. Now it's just pathetic. 
I mean, of course, I'm happy and grateful that I'm getting out so early. I definitely can tough it out for three more days. And yet...
These past few days have been going by so slowly. The clock seems to go by more slowly, as if just to smite me. Homework seems to have become more arduous (this is because it actually has, since all of the teachers are dumping extra homework on us now). 
This feeling is inevitable. I have felt it practically every year. It sets in around the beginning of May and it doesn't let up until school ends and I know with certainty that school is finally over. 
So this is the feeling that most people get as they wait for school to end. It's this weary feeling deep inside. It feels like you need more effort to wake up in the morning and to do schoolwork. Everything inside of you just wants to go on off mode and slack. You lack the energy that you had before. It feels like school should just be OVER already, and your brain, body and soul all scream for it to come to an end. Nothing can motivate you. You have two voices inside your head, the one telling you to keep on working and the other telling you to give up because you don't have much time anyway. 
Sure, this school is definitely better than my other school. Yet this is the weariness of actually having to do work. It's even more difficult because this is even more work than I had when I was at my peak. But I can do this and keep up my work effort too. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Giving Blood

I donated blood today for the first time EVER. Being as I was seventeen, I didn't have to ask parental permission, but I was just able to go ahead and do it. 
I thought it was just going to be like having my blood drawn, but in a greater quantity and with more precautions with it. 
So I walked to the gym of my school (where the blood drive was happening) with my other friend, who was also planning on giving blood. I didn't know what to expect, so I was pretty nervous, but I pretended not to be. 
My friend wasn't able to donate because she didn't weight enough for her height. I certainly didn't have that problem, so I was able to go on to the next step. 
Then my finger was pricked to make sure everything was alright, and I had to show my arms anyway. My iron count was a little low, so I had to be pricked twice. It didn't hurt as much as I thought that it would; there was a sharp twinge and I was fine. 
What followed was an extremely detailed questionnaire about where I've been in the past year, my sex life, etc. This was the stage where people were turned away for extremely stupid reasons, like getting a tattoo or piercing, travelling or being a sexually active gay male. Luckily, I passed that test too. 
So I was able to donate blood after all. There was a table for me to lay down on, which fortunately meant that I didn't have to see the blood fill the bag. The volunteers said I could listen to music, and I did, but my friend tried to distract me as well. 
The phlebotomist disinfected the area she was going to inject me with and then I felt the sensation of the needle entering my skin. Needles are usually more painful in thought rather than in action, but she kind of jammed it up there in a way that really caused a sharp, excruciating pain.
It wasn't all that bad as the blood was being drained. The presence of the needle wasn't painful, but uncomfortable. I wanted to rip it out the whole time, but resisted the urge. I stared at the ceiling and kept gripping the foam ball to help with circulation. 

When I got up, I did feel pretty lightheaded, so I had to lay down on the floor and drink some water. One girl felt so lightheaded she had to drink multiple bottles of water.

I feel pretty good about what I've done, knowing that my blood will help someone (whether directly or indirectly through research). It's a pretty empowering feeling. All in all, it wasn't nearly as dramatic or terrible as I was afraid it might be. 

Blood donation is so important because it impacts the lives of so many people. All sorts of people in all sorts of situations need blood, people who have a variety of different blood types. That's why blood donation is so important. I'm so proud to be able to help with that. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mean People

 Mean people always have to ruin things for everyone. They're miserable, so they have to drag everyone else down with them. And thus, they plague humanity as they have for hundreds of years. Dealing with mean people is a common conundrum that most of us have to face in our lifetime. There's always that person that just won't be nice, who has that sour demeanor that just won't go away. 

It's always a difficult thing to deal with someone who always tries to bring you down. It's difficult to deal with nastiness, sly blows, rude behavior, etc. Logically, it's easy to say that the problem exists with that person, rather than with you. But still, it can get to you, especially they display constant rudeness.

Of course, mean people can include bullies, but sometimes, mean people aren't necessarily bullies. They're just mean. They're rude, grouchy, and will snap at people. They're negative people to be around and you dread being in their presence. There's always that one person

The only thing you can do is lift your head and move on, pretend like it doesn't bother you. Because really these mean people just aren't worth your time or your energy. Yet that's easier said than done.