Sunday, October 30, 2005

In Which I Retract An Earlier Statement

A few posts ago--no, I don't know exactly how many, because that would involve counting, which, yuck--I told a story about a horrible class I have. I referred to the class as Writing Resumes for the Retarded. I went on to point out that no one in this class actually is retarded.

I would now like to retract this statement.

This may seem harsh--and trust me, I really didn't want to have to do this.
But, people? Some Things Can Not Be Helped.

Such as the little story I will now tell you.

Setting: horrid, window-less room in very old school building, EMU campus, Ypsilanti, MI. Students are broken up into small groups to peer-edit each others stupid, trivial little one-page papers which they probably shouldn't have been forced to write to begin with.

Tiffany is handed a paper by a young man who seems outwardly normal.

She begins to read.

The first line of the paper goes like this--
Special education; is because some students that needs one on one help.*

Tiffany re-reads the sentence, because it is so horrible that it can't possibly be true--'students that needs'? and what the fuck is that semi-colon doing there?
a semi-colon is supposed to separate two complete but related sentences.

Tiffany isn't even sure if she can see one complete sentence here.

Tiffany then goes blind from the horribleness.

Really, people.

It's amazing she managed to find a way to tell you this story at all.

*no, i am not kidding you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Basic Etiquette v.I

***et·i·quette ~noun 1. conventional requirements as to social behavior; proprieties of conduct as established in any class or community or for any occasion
—Synonyms 1. Etiquette, decorum, propriety imply observance of the formal requirements governing behavior in polite society. Etiquette refers to conventional forms and usages: the rules of etiquette. Decorum suggests dignity and a sense of what is becoming or appropriate for a person of good breeding: a fine sense of decorum. Propriety (usually plural) implies established conventions of morals and good taste: She never fails to observe the proprieties.

Do not take your shoes off in public places that are not a pool or a lake or a place where you are getting a pedicure.

Especially do not take your shoes off in class.

Especially not when you were wearing huge combat boots before, when it is 80 degrees outside, and when you are wearing black wooly socks.

If you feel that your feet are too hot--if you feel the urge to take your shoes off Every Damn Day in class, and then put your feet up for all to enjoy on the chair next to you, and then you find yourself feeling comfortable enough to move away from your desk into a small group on the other side of the room and you leave your Big Stanky Boots under your original desk--you might consider flip-flops from now on.

Because flip-flops? Are acceptable.

Your current behavior is not.

I'm glad you feel all self-confident and whatever.
But there are some basic rules that need to be adhered to.
And you are breaking them.
Please stop now.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

an open letter to fruit flies

To: Fruit Flies
Re: The Flying and the Buzzing and Whatnot
From: Someone who clearly is not the queen of the world--hence this letter.

Dear annoying, buzzing, flying around-all-over little fruit flies,

I do not like you, because you are dumb.
You are fruit flies. But there is no fruit in my apartment.
Please take note of this important fact, and get-the-fuck-out.
We have only vodka and lean cuisine frozen meals to offer--oh, and cookies.
But still, no fruit. You clearly have misjudged this as a cool apartment to live in. Unless you like to watch re-runs of Friends and Sex and the City for 5 hours a day. Then I guess you're not doing too bad for yourself.
But, I digress.
The point is, get the fuck out.
Or, mom? Will you please come over and help me clean? I have no idea where these vodka-cookie-sexandthecity-non-fruit-flies are coming from.
Queen of Messy Apartments

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

for sarah to read, and soon to be deleted

hi sarah,
you little hussy.
i didn't write this--margaret atwood did. but i wanted you to read it because you're all youngified and whatnot and i think you might need it.
so here it is:

Those ones. Why do women like them? They have nothing to offer, none of the usual things. They have short attention spans, falling-apart clothes, old beat-up cars, if any. The cars break down, and they try to fix them, and don't succeed, and give up. They go on long walks from which they forget to return. They tell trivial fibs. They don't put food on the table. They don't make money. Don't, can't, won't.

They offer nothing. They offer the great clean sweep of nothing, the unseen sky during a blizzard, the dark pause between moon and moon. They offer their poverty, an empty wooden bowl; the bowl of a begger, whose gift is to ask. Look into it, look down deep, where potential coils like smoke, and you might hear anything. Nothing has yet been said.

They have bodies, however. Their bodies are unlike the bodies of other men. Their bodies are verbalized. Mouth, eye, hand, foot, they say. Their bodies have weight, and move over the ground, step by step, like yours. Like you they roll in the hot mud of the sunlight, like you they are amazed by morning, like you they can taste the wind, like you they sing. Love, they say, and at the time they always mean it, as you do. They say lust as well, and disgust; you wouldn't trust them otherwise. They say the worst things you ever dreamed. They open locked doors. All is given to them for nothing.

Hurt, they say, and suddenly their bodies hurt. Death, they say, making the word sound like the backwash of a wave. Their bodies die, and waver, and turn to mist. And yet they can exist in two worlds at once: lost in the earth or eaten by flames, and here. In this room, when you re-say them in your own words.

But why do women like them? Not like, I mean to say: adore. Remember, that despite everything, despite all I have told you, the rusted cars, the greasy wardrobes, the lack of breakfasts, the hopelessness, remain the same. Because if they can say their own bodies, they could say yours also. Because they could say skin as if it meant something, not only to them but to you. Because one night, when the snow is falling and the moon is blotted out, they could put their empty hands, their hands filled with poverty, their beggar's hands, on your body, and bless it, and tell you it is made of light.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

a day in the life

so, i was supposed to work today.
but then i paid someone a ridiculous amount of money to cover my shift.
here's what i did instead.

1. sleep a lovely, fabulous, and extra cuddle-icious sleep until 1:15 p.m. which isn't really as bad as it sounds, if you consider the fact that i didn't go to bed until 5 a.m. but which is still kind-of bad.

2. go to work anyway. but do not work. have a drink with friend tim and play megatouch. do all this without brushing hair or washing face, causing people to ask if i am stoned or if i have been crying, because apparently the look of my face au natural causes people to be really concerned about me.

3. go to book store. spend $60 on books which i have no time to read--with the 18 credit hours and the job and whatnot. bought Nabokov's Butterfly, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Thirteen Days by Robert Kennedy, The World According to Garp by John Irving, and the new(est) Harry Potter book. really want to read, but feel very sleepy.

4. come home. eat kentucky fried chicken with roommate. watch end of Hillary Duff movie on TV.

5. check email. no one loves me. feel very worn out from all the sleeping, shopping, and eating. it's 6:15 p.m. sounds like a good time for a nap.

6. wake up at 7:30 p.m. still sleepy. room is a mess. clothes are dirty. homework is not done. hate life.

7. 7:45 p.m. decide instead of doing homework I should bitch to my blog about how lazy i am.

the moral of the story?

amount of money I would have made at work today=$120.
amount of money i paid someone to take my shift=$50.
sleeping and buying books all day=priceless.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

for my mom to read, and soon to be deleted

***this was the beginning part of a first draft of a paper i had to write for the capstone class in my program at EMU. the paper was the first of the semester, and would be best described as a sort of 'autobiography of reading'--you know, sort of explaining one's descent (?) into literature. anyway, as i was working on it, i wanted my mom to read it and give mem feedback, so i posted it to my blog. i meant to take it down later, but i never did. so, here it is.***

When I was five days old my mom left me with my grandmother and went out to do some shopping. She came back with enough formula for approximately 3 days and some children’s books—-but no diapers. My grandmother was concerned. The thing was, my mother had left my father while she was pregnant, and working as a waitress. And here she comes, up the apartment stairs, bringing her newborn can’t-even-really-see-much-more-than-colors-yet daughter books instead of diapers. Her only defense was that she wanted books to be an important part of my life.

And they were, even before I knew how to read.

I remember being at the bus stop at the beginning of first grade and pretending to read out of some Care Bears story book which I thought was really fabulous at the time. I couldn’t really read yet. I had the stupid thing memorized, and of course some mean horrible sixth grader had to call me out on this. It was horrible and embarrassing and horrible. I was determined to never be embarrassed about my reading skills again, and by the middle of second grade I was reading ‘big kid’ books—which brought along problems of its own.

One day, I was sitting at the kitchen table reading Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume. Now, this would have been a really good book. But seeing as how almost the entire story is about puberty and periods and the like, I was kind-of left out. Because I was eight. I got through almost the entire novel before this conversation took place:

Me: Mom, what’s a purod?

My Mom: A what?

Me: A purod.

My Mom: I have no idea what you’re talking about. Try to explain it better.

Me: Well, in this book, Margaret keeps talking about how she wonders when she’s going to get her purod, and I just can’t figure out what it is.

**it’s worth noting that secretly I thought it was some kind of present. In the book, Margaret it Jewish. I thought maybe it was like some other kind of Christmas or something.

My Mom: Well, I’ve never heard that word before. Spell it for me.

Me: p-e-r-i-o-d.

The conversation then ends because my mother thinks this is the funniest thing she’s ever heard. She almost wets herself from laughing too hard and will go on to tell this story to many other people over the course of my life.

The first time I knew I was doing something different with books was in the fourth grade. I mean, I always knew that I liked books more than other people-—my mom eventually started grounding me from reading when I was in trouble. But I guess I never thought about it until the Bridge to Terebithia incident, which goes something like this:

Everyday, my teacher would give the class about 30 minutes of personal reading time. We were allowed to get up from our desks and sit anywhere we wanted for this time. I loved this time. LOVED! But I didn’t say this out loud, of course, because no one else loved this time. A lot of people slept. I usually sat underneath the teacher's desk while I read. I don’t know where the teacher was—-but she definitely wasn’t sitting there. Anyway, this turned out to be a good thing, because toward the end of Bridge to Terebithia one of the main characters dies, which I did not know could happen in books. I mean, she was a little kid, and she flat out dies a terrible death in this book. And my little fourth grade self is sitting under the teacher's desk, holding this terrible book trembling hands, trying not to sob out loud as tears roll down my face.

Then junior high came along. I don’t remember any really good reading experiences from this time of my life. Because junior high? It Rots Your Brain. Fortunately, it doesn’t really last all that long.

Then came high school. Obviously. High school was cool because all my Lit. teachers thought I was really smart. I don’t think I’ll ever be sure how that happened, but it turned out to be a very cool thing because I was allowed to read Anything I Wanted. They assumed I had read all the Wuthering Heights and the Great Expectations and the whatnot, and let me choose from other similar authors and read On My Own Time. It was so, soooooo cool—of course, much later I realized that I actually did have to read those books, and had to do that on my own time, too. Anyway, I read Frankenstein-—which rocked my world—and Vanity Fair-—which did even more so—-and then The Handmaid’s Tale. When I think about this book, I am filled with a sense of wonder to this very day.

Now, I could go on and on and ooonnnnn about the fabulousness that is this book. And I will, to at least some extent.

***and, yeah. i did go on about it. but, at the time of this posting, this was all there was--after this, i continued to write all night long, so of course the end product looked much different than this first draft, and it would make no sense if i tried to add an ending on at this point. i suppose i could just post the finished product. but, we're not in class--hey! i've even graduated since this was first posted! and also, i sort of like this as a glipmse into my writing process, which, of course, can be best described as writing into oblivion and worrying about the rest later.***