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Transportation, and Book 12: Railsea

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I have this problem with writing blog posts on WordPress. If I put in the title of the post before I start writing, it will automatically create a permalink to said post using said title. If I don’t, it will create a permalink that just has a number instead of the title. Now, I’m free to go back and change that number to something having to do with the title of my post afterward if I want, but then it’ll really, really bother me that it’s not quite formatted in the way that WordPress would have formatted it if I had titled it first. And that wouldn’t be a problem if I ever knew what I was going to write about before I start writing. Blogging, for me, is a very casual, unplanned process. When I sit down to write write, I know what I’m planning, but in this case, I generally end up sitting and staring at a blank “new post” page and musing in my head for about 20 minutes to try to figure out where my stream of consciousness will take me before I start writing about the book in order to come up with an accurate title. And this time, I just kept getting stuck on one thought: Fuckin’ trains, man.

I don’t know what my problem with trains is. I don’t have a problem with any other form of transportation. I drive all the time. I absolutely love flying. I don’t mind buses in the least, though I haven’t had a reason to be on one in quite a few years. I’ve ridden in trolleys and gondolas and those little shuttle things they have at Six Flags and even the Monorail at Disney and I’m totally okay.

I love subways. Which are nothing but underground, overcrowded trains. (Okay, maybe I don’t so much love the overcrowdedness, but ignore that and I have absolutely no problem with them.)

Of course, put the “subway” above ground and I’m not so excited (I’m looking at you, MBTA Green Line), or up high on rails (ugh New York–though as I mentioned above regarding Disney, one rail is perfectly fine).

The weird thing is that when I’m on a train, it’s not as if I’m scared. I promise I’m not lying to you or deluding myself here: I really am not afraid of trains. There’s no panic or expectation of death. Not even a mild trepidation that something could go wrong during my journey.

No, I just hate them. It’s some sort of visceral, completely unexplainable loathing of trains. They infuriate me, and I have no idea why. It’s like that one person in your social group who, if asked for reasons for your hatred, you could come up with absolutely nothing, but you still want to punch them in the face every time you’re in a room with them, and probably feel like you deserve a medal for not doing so.

And maybe that’s why it took me so long to pick up Railsea by China Mieville despite having absolutely loved everything else I’ve ever read by him.

Railsea takes place in a world where, instead of oceans, there are train tracks. & not train tracks as we have them now, where they are few & far apart, but rather an intricate, patternless latticework of train tracks criss-crossing all over, covering the would-be ocean floor. Enough rails & intersections between said rails exist that trains can essentially sail all over, in any direction they want, steering as one would a ship. There are shores that lead to areas of increased elevation where all the people live, as the ground of the Railsea is filled with tunneling predators of various sizes, such as the Great Southern Moldywarpe, the Burrowing Tortiose, the Antlion, & my personal favorite, the Burrowing Owl.

Actual illustration of Burrowing Owl, (c) China Mieville.

The ground surrounding the rails is unsafe, but the animals leave the rails themselves alone. Train crews hunt these animals, with molers taking the place of whalers. There are pirates, salvagers, nomadic societies, & scientists studying the history of the rails. Religions try to explain the origins of the rails, and the nature of wood & how absurd it is that wood can be both rail ties & trees, & how trees must be sent by the devil to confuse us. (Mieville has fun writing, & the little one-page sections between chapters that help build the history and mythology of this world were some of my favorite parts.) Oh, & the word “and” doesn’t exist anymore, which you get used to.

Railsea tells the tale of directionless teenage orphan Sham Yes ap Soorap whose adoptive parents decide that being a doctor on board a moletrain is a good career for a young man to have, though Sham is much more interested in salvage. Sham ventures out on the moletrain Medes & is the worst apprentice doctor ever. But when the Medes comes across a bit of salvage, Sham finds a picture that changes everything. He skillfully manipulates Captain Naphi, using her own Moby Dick-esque quest to get her to take the Medes where he needs to go.

Despite my unexplainable hatred of trains, I absolutely loved Railsea, & perhaps now that I’ve read it, trains will be a bit more bearable because I’ll be able to imagine I’m on some sort of fantastical quest. I noted somewhat early in reading that I had taken almost no notes, & thinking about it, I realized it’s likely because the stuff I usually write down, particularly early on, becomes entirely unnecessary when you completely trust the author to answer all your questions and tell a perfect story. Granted, I don’t trust him to answer the questions in a way that I’ll like–I have some serious trust issues with Mieville, mostly thanks to Perdido Street Station hurting me many years ago.

Railsea is marketed as Young Adult, but I think that’s completely ridiculous. It is by no means inappropriate for teenagers; it’s just one of those books that would be perfect for any Science Fiction or Fantasy lover from age 12 on. If you were annoyed by how complicated my “Should you read 1Q84” paragraph was, you’ll love this:

Do you like adventures? Good! Definitely read this book.

Coming soon:
13. The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian
14. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
15. The Fault in our Stars by John Green
16. The Round House by Louise Erdrich
17. Warriors: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter
18. Unsouled by Neal Shusterman
19. Depending on how long Unsouled takes me, probably Skin Game by Jim Butcher (Book #15 in The Dresden Files, which comes out on Tuesday), but if I finish Unsouled too fast, there’ll be something else for book 19 and Skin Game will be book 20.

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ALIVE. With ANSWERS.

Every once in a while, something happens that causes me to disappear completely. Nobody sees me except for Mike and the people who see me in class and usually the barista at the Starbucks near school. (Which I can’t explain, because I don’t even do caffeine. I should cut that shit out.)

School starting is one of those things that happens that causes this. For the past few weeks, I have been overwhelmingly busy with homework and this neat new internship I’m doing. On the days that I’m not doing one of those things, it’s because my brain broke down and can’t handle to do anything other than sit on the couch and stare at the NCIS marathon that is inevitably playing on USA, or obsessively read through the archives of Overcompensating, or find out that there’s this book series called The Hunger Games that I somehow missed out on and then accidentally read the entire series in two days and then refuse to acknowledge any inquiries as to whether I cried at the end. I’m kind of a book addict. Sorry. P.S. Anyone who comments with a spoiler will get hunted down by one of my trained assassins, just in case someone else hasn’t read them and wants to.

TL;DR: I’ve been super busy, and on the days that I’m not super busy, I’m fucking lazy. Also kind of burnt out. And really all that’s going through my head most of the time is that I love one of my professors and hate the other, and if I’m honest with myself, you don’t want to read about that.

I’m trying to start keeping a list of things worth blogging about as they come into my head so I’ll at least be able to think of something when it occurs to me that I should write a blog post. If you have any suggestions, I’m willing to take them, but no promises.

Anyway. You’re probably wondering about that “with ANSWERS” thing up there, aren’t you? No? You think I was referring to everything I just told you about why I suck at updating my blog when I also have other things to do? Well then you’re WRONG. (Thought that would be a very reasonable conclusion to draw. Now that I think of it.) I discovered these questions that some dude who was French and had a TV show used to ask every guest he had. They seemed fascinating. They are called PIVOT’S QUESTIONS and I thought I would answer them for you, so here goes.

(Are you excited? I’m excited.)

What is your favorite word?
Do people actually have favorite words? That’s news to me. Does it have to be in English? I wonder how Pivot would have reacted if someone’s favorite word had been in Klingon or something. (I won’t judge you if your favorite word is in Klingon. I just think he would have.) Okay. Mine’s schadenfreude. Which is German but is also technically in English dictionaries now so I guess it’s both. If you’re not familiar with it, it means “happiness at the misfortune of others,” and if you want to really understand it, you should go listen to this song from Avenue Q. You’ve felt it before.

What is your least favorite word?
Chunk.

What turns you on, excites, or inspires you creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?
Books. Good books can do anything the above question implies. Though most of the stuff I ready is too dystopian to actually, y’know. Turn me on.

What turns you off?
In the middle of the night, a train pulls up to a quietly sleeping city. The sounds emanating from the train gradually wake everyone. Just as they’re getting out of their cozy and safe houses to investigate, the train’s passengers burst out. Clowns. But not just any clowns. Fucking clowns. And I mean that literally. A fucking clown train. And I have some very special people to thank for this very specific mental image.

What sound or noise do you love?
Silence. Is that allowed? Probably not. Wait, no. I don’t want complete silence anyway. How about the sound of an air conditioner? Or a loud fan? Or a car engine? I don’t really like noise most of the time but those sounds are very comforting to sleep to. Now that we have the air conditioner off it is hard to sleep in the silence. (Ooh, add that to the reasons I’ve been absent. Lack of sleep. Fucking miserable.)

What sound or noise do you hate?
The voice of Mike’s Grand Theft Auto IV character saying “Howdy, partner” over and over and over.

What’s your favorite curse word?
If I say “fuck,” can it include “fucking”? Because nothing feels better than saying “fuck yes” when something is awesome except maybe saying “fucking” for emphasis. Fucking fuck yes. “Fucking” is more versatile, so I’ll go with that.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Whenever I’m watching NCIS I’m overcome by a desire to be a super badass federal agent. My spy name would be Raptor Fury. Either that or that’d be the name of some mission I was involved in. Or leading. That would be so fucking cool if it weren’t for the fact that I’m a total wimp and would not survive a day as a federal agent.

What profession would you absolutely not like to participate in?
I don’t want to be a teacher. Ever. Or a professor. Too few students would actually care for it to be worth it, and I’d constantly be a nervous wreck about that. I’d end up completely convinced that they hate school (or whatever class I’m teaching) because they hate me, even though it’s more likely that they just hate it in general anyway. Some people say it’s worth it for the one or two kids in your class who actually care and are excited to learn what you’re teaching, but I’d be way too broken up about the rest to be excited about them.

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
I wouldn’t want him to say anything. Going back to NCIS for a second. You know how when Gibbs is really happy about something, he just kinda tilts his head a teensy bit and gets a slightly bemused look on his face and nods a tiny bit? Almost imperceptibly? If you watch it, you know what I’m talking about. That is what I would want him to do. Failing that, I would accept a Caff-Pow.

I hope this has been eye-opening for you. It would be really cool if you answered your favorite question in the comments.

100 Reasons I Shouldn’t Fill Out Stupid Memes

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I originally filled this out back in April, when a friend posted it on Facebook and I thought it might be fun because I hadn’t done one of these since Livejournal and oh my god remember Livejournal?! So. Yeah. I filled it out, but instead of “100 things about me” as the original creators seemed to intend, it ended up being…well, the title up there. And I was looking over it and snickering and I thought, y’know, this thing probably has a home on my blog over there. So here we are. Keep in mind that I actually wrote this in April, so the not all the answers are exactly correct anymore, but I didn’t feel like redoing the whole thing. Are you ready? There’s a QUESTION for you at the end!

WHAT WAS YOUR:

1. Last beverage = Water. I’m exciting.

2. Last Phone call = I called my brother this morning in order to help him locate his phone. Does that count? We didn’t actually talk. I hung up when he found it. So if that doesn’t count, my dad called me this morning to say that we should go over there at 11:30 instead of 11 and I was still asleep so I was very confused about what the phone was and how someone was talking to me through it, so maybe that doesn’t even count. Fuck.

3. Last text message = Received or sent? Last one I sent said “Um. I’m sure they don’t.”

4. Last song you listened to = Actively listened to, or heard idly playing in the background? I think the last full song I actively listened to was “I Wish I Could Go Back To College” from Avenue Q which is funny because I really don’t want to go back to college ever and would actually rather be not in college right now.

5. Last time you cried = Probably sometime within the past few days. I’m not sure. I cry about pretty much everything so I’m sure it was recent.

 

HAVE YOU EVER:

6. Dated someone twice = Yes, but not since middle school. I wasn’t actually aware this was a phenomenon in the real world.

7. Been cheated on = Not that I know of. I mean, it isn’t generally the type of thing a person advertises, is it?

8. Kissed someone & regretted it = I can say with about 95% certainty that I have, but I’d be hard-pressed to actually come up with a specific incident where it happened because I generally have the good sense to not kiss people I’d regret kissing unless I’m completely fucking shitfaced. (Actually, if I don’t really remember it later, can I really say I regretted it? I mean, I don’t remember it happening. So maybe no, and if I have, it’s been years. YEARS.)

9. Lost someone special = Once when I was little my family went to Wendy’s for dinner and I brought Bunky, my teddy bear, and somehow left him there. I’m pretty sure I flipped the fuck out and threw all sorts of tantrums and my parents called up the Wendy’s and managed to get someone to hold on to him for me so we could retrieve him the next day, but that night? Horrible.

10. Been depressed = One long stretch of situational depression and I’m pretty sure I get S.O.-S.A.D. I want a lamp.

11. Been drunk and threw up = The last time this happened, Mike was driving me back from a friend’s house and I’d been fairly drunk but it hadn’t seemed that bad, and I totally wasn’t carsick, not at all, until he stopped for gas and then suddenly it was AWFUL and I had to puke in the gas station’s trash can with possibly all sorts of people staring at me but I don’t remember because I was drunk. Lesson: Parting shots are a bad idea.

 

FIRST THREE FAVORITE COLORS:

12. Wait, like, in chronological order? Like, what was my very first favorite color ever when I was really little?

13. Or do you want the top three that I like right now?

14. Also, colors all have their place. I’d say green is my favorite, but different greens for different occasions, and there are often times when there are better options.

 

THIS YEAR HAVE YOU:

15. Made a new friend = Many within the past 12 months, but it’s hard to place things around the January 1st timeframe. Can we go with academic years? Those make more sense to me.

16. Fallen out of love = No. That would be stupid. Also, what the fuck is with these equals signs? Did the makers of this meme know what a question mark is?

17. Laughed until you cried = Yes. See, sleep deprivation will do funny things to you, and at some point everything on the internet is so funny you’ll cry laughing. I don’t recommend trying to get to this point of no sleep, but if you do, look at some fucking lolcats.

18. Met someone who changed you = Again, within the past 12 months, yes. I’m going to go with “no” since January 1st, though.

19. Found out who your true friends were = No, that’s what last year was for. (Actually, yeah, that was still ongoing 12 months ago too.)

20. Found out someone was talking about you = Am I still supposed to care if someone is talking about me? Hold on. No, my license clearly says I’m over 21, which means I’m almost definitely means I’m over 15, so I don’t think this sorta stuff should be mattering to me.

21. Kissed anyone on your friends list = Uh, yeah. Having a boyfriend kind of does this.

22. How many people on your friends list do you know in real life = I’m not sure what you’re talking about. Is there some sort of rule that people I know through the internet don’t count as people I know in real life? Are they not real? Like, I’m pretty sure they do actually exist. I feel like I know a lot of them better than the people I see frequently. I’m gonna say all of them, because I don’t believe I’m friends with any fictional characters on Facebook.

23. How many kids do you want to have = I feel like this isn’t really something I can know until I’m there, but I generally lean toward two when I try to estimate. Someday my third child is going to see this and be very, very upset. YES, YOU WERE AN ACCIDENT, BUT I LOVE YOU ANYWAY. DEAL.

24. Do you have any pets = I have a stuffed tiger, Sammy, who is curious and very earnest, and a stuffed fox, Angus, who is a mischievous little fuck and likes to get Sammy into trouble. Please don’t send me to the psych hospital.

25. Do you want to change your name = Like, my first name? No, I think that’d be silly. I mean, if I named myself, it wouldn’t be Rachael, but I don’t have problems with Rachael as a name that was given to me. I plan to change my last name when I get married despite the fact that whatever news station I was watching recently said it will cost me half a million dollars in salary over my lifespan, because I read the study they were talking about and you know what? The way they did it was to ask college students whether they’d hire someone who had changed her last name when she got married and how much they’d pay her. Not really a valid research method there, guys.

26. What did you do for your last birthday = Sushi! We went out for sushi at a delicious place. Mike made me a wonderful cake that has become my go-to for any situations where I need to bring a delicious and impressive dessert. It was an excellent day.

27. What time did you wake up today = My dad called me absurdly early to tell me I could sleep a little later so I technically woke up then but went right back to sleep until my alarm went off at 10:30. (Also, “absurdly early” is anytime before 10. Anytime before noon is just “early”.)

28. What were you doing at midnight last night = Getting home, I think. Possibly interneting.

29. Name something you CANNOT wait for = Hm. If I’m not doing it right this instant, I technically can wait. And I could totally wait to be doing this, too. Huh. NOTHING. (Did you mean I should name something I’m very much looking forward to? Oh! Sorry. You should be less ambiguous in the wording of your questions.)

30. Last time you saw your mother = This morning.

31. What is one thing you wish you could change about your life = Nothing. I’m happy now, and if I changed anything that had happened in the past, I wouldn’t be where/who I am now. I’d sort of like to fast forward a bit, but I’m sure there will be cool things that I’d miss out on if I did that.

32. What are you listening to right now = Animals outside my house making their obnoxious OMG NIGHTTIME noises. I think I hear frogs and birds and a dog.

33. Have you ever talked to a person named Tom = Definitely. A number of them, in fact. HINT: The number is greater than 1.

34. What’s getting on your nerves right now = I kind of have a migraine problem and I can’t figure out what’s causing them. My doctor told me to keep track of what I’d eaten in 12 hours prior to any migraine and look for common foods or ingredients, and so far I’ve come up with “carbon” and that still doesn’t include the one I got when I hadn’t eaten anything for 12 hours. I’m thinking that maybe it isn’t food-related.

35. Most visited webpage(s) = My inbox and twitter are always open. (That’s what she said.)

36. Eye color = Well, there’s a black circle thing, so that part’s black. And then around it there’s a thing that’s sort of variegated, green and gold, but it changes slightly depending on what I’m wearing so it’s more “chameleon.” And then around that is white with some red lines, and sometimes there are more red lines than other times. I think inside is all red, or at least some shade of pink.

37. Relationship status = Soon to be cohabiting with my long-term boyfriend.

38. Favorite Book = The Great Book of Amber. I’m not really sure if it counts as one book because it’s technically 10 books published in one giant volume but I love every single one of them and Roger Zelazny is a fucking genius. Honorable mentions go to Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett and China Mieville, and no I can’t just pick books by them and honestly I feel a bit cheap just giving them honorable mentions here. They’re better than that. I love ALL the books.

39. Zodiac sign = It just occurred to me that at some point the heading “THIS YEAR HAVE YOU:” stopped applying a long time ago and a new one wasn’t supplied and this is bothering me a lot but actually if I think about it, “This year have you zodiac sign?” kind of makes at least a little bit of sense given the whole changes to the system thing that happened (but wasn’t really put into effect), so I’m gonna say Leo. It used to be Virgo.

40. Do you have a crush on someone? = Not in the usual sense of the word, but there are people I would really love to crush. With rocks. And other people I would like to crush with hugs.

41. Primary school = Where you learn very basic things that you’ll need to know later on in life, except for long division which can suck it.

42. Middle School = Really a continuation of the above.

43. College = Probably going to be a lot more useful than I’m giving it credit for right now, but there are so many goddamn hipsters there.

44. Hair color = I’m not entirely sure. I think it’s sitting on the line between blonde and brown. I will have to go to a store and hold my hair up to a bunch of hair dye boxes and get back to you.

45. Long or short = It’s actually fairly long right now! About armpit-length. I desperately need a haircut to get rid of split ends, but I’m still growing it out. I want super long hair!

46. Height = 5’9”

47. Found a new pet peeve = Since when? Are we going back to the “this year have you” thing? Because if we took a long (unannounced) break from that and are going back (again unannounced), then yes definitely I have discovered a pet peeve. Also, the fact that whether or not there is a space (a) between the period and the first letter of each questiony-thing and (b) before and/or after the equals sign is not consistent is pissing me off because I have to fix every. single. question.

48. What do you like about yourself = I like that I find the world as interesting as I do.

49. Piercings = Generally expected on the ears of American females above a certain age and fairly common in many other locations. I find them interesting and, in some cases, grotesque. I have my ears and belly button pierced.

50. Tattoos = Probably often drunken decisions that people will regret within a month. Seriously. The other day I saw a guy with a “shocker” tattoo ON HIS NECK in the grocery store. Dude, you are never going to get a job. I would like to have a tattoo, but it’s hard to think of something that is meaningful now and will continue to be meaningful for the rest of my life so I won’t regret it.

51. Righty or Lefty = I am codominant. This means that I am left handed in some ways (writing, fencing, chopping things) and right handed in others (most sports, using the TV remote). I usually identify as a lefty, though, because this explanation sort of confuses people.

 

FIRSTS:

52. First Surgery = I had my wisdom teeth out. I got dry sockets. The holes went up to my sinuses, so I got all sorts of mouth- and food-bacteria in my sinuses and then got a raging sinus infection that drained into my mouth via my tooth-holes. I really don’t want to ever have surgery again.

53. First Piercing = I got my ears pierced at Limited Too when I was 11. I don’t remember which side they did first.

54. First best friend = I can remember back to kindergarten. Her name was Heather. She kicked ass. In fact, I think she still does.

55. First sport you joined = Probably tee-ball when I was very little, but I didn’t really “join” that so much as get signed up for it by my parents. So, um, field hockey in middle school?

56. First Vacation = I went to Ireland and England when I was 1. My mom was pregnant with my brother at the time and I enjoyed jumping up and down on her belly. There were frequent sheep-crossings in the road and I got excited every time I saw one and yelled PSHEEEEEEEEEP! BAAAAAAAAH! (Yes, that first P should be there. Yes, it’s difficult to pronounce. No, I don’t know why I thought there should be a P there.) At dinner one night my parents ordered me a mini pizza and it was the most exciting thing in the world to have a whole pizza all to myself. And it was grown-up food and everything! I have a picture somewhere.

 

RIGHT NOW:

57. Sleeping = probably what I should be doing, but I would like to echo the friend I stole this from in the first place in saying how could I be sleeping AND doing this?

58. On the phone = No. If someone called, I would probably stop filling this out until the conversation was over, so again: this would not be compatible with filling out this survey. Also, do you realize what time it is? Clearly not.

59. Eating = Again. I would stop surveying to eat. But no, I’m not eating.

60. Drinking = No. This is getting annoying.

61. I’m about to = answer this question. Wait, I just did that. Answer the next question.

62. Listening to = Survey, we already went over this.

63. Waiting for = Godot.

 

YOUR FUTURE:

64. Want kids = Yes, but please give me at least 5 years before you start nagging me about it if you’re planning to nag me about it.

65. Get married = Probably within 2-3 years.

66. Career = Famous novelist, famous webcomic artist or famous blogger would all work, but if none of them happen I’ll settle for not being famous.

 

WHICH IS BETTER W/ GUYS/ GIRLS:

67. Lips or eyes = They both kind of come together to form general “face” stuff, which is important. Better? I imagine it would be easier to live without seeing than without having a mouth, so I’m going to go with lips. Though we could probably have mouths without lips. Hmm. Also I don’t think this really has anything to do with gender. And really, wouldn’t the one I like more depend on the person I look at? I mean, I’m probably not going to look at someone with gorgeous eyes and be focusing on their average-looking lips. Or vice versa.

68. Hugs or kisses = No. They are different. I can’t say one is better, because sometimes I really need a hug and other times I really need a kiss. This is a dumb question. NEXT.

69. Taller or shorter = The exact same height as me. Seriously. If we are standing barefoot on level ground, I want our eyes to be at the same level. Subconsciously, at least. I never intended to only date people my height.

70. Younger or older = See, the reason these questions are so dumb is that the fact that I have a boyfriend with whom I am very happy, so obviously the answer to what I prefer will be whatever he is because I prefer him. He is older than I am.

71. Romantic or spontaneous = In general? Spontaneous. Being romantic all the time would get annoying. However, an occasional romantic night is nice.

72. Nice stomach or nice arms = Like, on their own? Huh. A disembodied stomach would be really fucking creepy, so I’m gonna go with that. (Seriously. Can you imagine that on a crime scene show? “Ya got anything, Dinozzo?” “Well, Gibbs, the Lieutenant’s stomach is lying on the ground over there—” (McGee vomits. Ducky begins telling a story about an ancient culture that used to remove the stomach tissue from their dead before burial because they believed it trapped the soul inside the body. Palmer bags it. Gibbs smacks Tony. Cut to: Abby, dancing in her lab.)

73. Sensitive or loud = I feel that these are not necessarily mutually exclusive at all in terms of personality traits, nor are they necessarily personality traits. This is officially a stupid question. Moving on.

74. Hook-up or relationship = This should definitely be clear to you by now.

75. Trouble maker or hesitant = I think my alignment falls somewhere around Neutral Good but I like the idea of being Chaotic Good because I’d be more like Batman. Chaotic Neutral would be cool if it wouldn’t mean that I’d basically have no sense of sympathy or empathy.

 

HAVE YOU EVER:

76. Kissed a stranger = I think so.

77. Drank hard liquor = I have done jello shots with my mom’s boyfriend.

78. Lost glasses/contacts = Once I bought an expensive pair of sunglasses and lost them within 30 minutes. TRUE STORY.

79. Danced in the rain = Of course! It would suck to not dance in the rain occasionally. But I also suck at dancing so it’s more like “wiggle around awkwardly in the rain”.

80. Broken someone’s heart = Yes. My exes all had a habit of not realizing that I’d been unhappy and trying to talk to them and fix things for months until I broke up with them and broke their hearts.

81. Had your own heart broken = No. I actually feel sort of guilty about this. Who the fuck feels guilty for not having had their heart broken? I must be seriously fucked up.

82. Won a bet = I actually don’t know if I’ve done this.

83. Turned someone down = No, actually. Maybe this explains the quality of my previous relationships.

84. Cried when someone died = Fucking…?! YES. What am I supposed to do, throw a kegger?

85. Fallen for a friend = Developed crushes on friends, but never actually fallen for one. Huh. Weird. I never even thought about this.

 

DO YOU BELIEVE IN:

86. Yourself = Hesitantly. I’m not always completely sure that I exist.

87. Miracles = Yes, but I don’t think they are necessarily good. I think something can be miraculous and bad.

88. Love at first sight = Not exactly. I believe there can be some sort of deep recognition immediately, but it still takes a while to identify what you’re recognizing as the potential for love.

89. Heaven = I believe in reincarnation, and I don’t believe that people get sorted according to how good they were. I believe that after you die, you go to some sort of afterlife and you take some time there while thinking over your life and figuring out what you learned and want to work on in your next one. You’re reborn when you’re ready.

90. Santa Claus = I know he’s real because he rides his lawnmower down my street every day in the summer.

91. Kiss on the first date = Okay, all the rest of these are along the lines of “do I believe these things exist”. I definitely believe kisses on the first date exist. They happen. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in them or not. Kinda like evolution.

92. Angels = “Spirits” are probably more accurate for me because angels are rather exclusively Christian. And possibly other religions that are not mine. I don’t know.

 

ANSWER TRUTHFULLY!

93. Done something terribly embarrassing = Probably by most people’s standards, but I think being embarrassed is a waste of time.

94. Had more than 1 girlfriend/boyfriend at one time = No. Though I did have a period where I thought I was polyamorous. It turned out I was actually just unhappy.

95. Did you sing today = No, jaw hurts too much.

96. Ever cheated on somebody = There must be some way that I learned that you can continue to feel like shit about having done something almost four years after it happened and still not have regrets.

97. If you could go back in time, how far would you go = I wouldn’t. I guarantee I would fuck shit up. Unless you’re a Time Lord, time travel is probably a bad idea.

98. Do you like apples = As long as they’re not red delicious.

99. Are you afraid of falling in love = This is a weird question for someone who is already in love. I’m not afraid of being in love. Falling in love? Not afraid, but I’d rather it didn’t have to happen to me again in this life.

100. Will you publish as 100 Truths? = No, I’ll publish it as “100 Reasons I Shouldn’t Fill Out Stupid Memes”.

END.

So there you have it. A view into my fragile, bitchy psyche. What’s the most ridiculous question you’ve ever been asked?

The Stages of Moving

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Moving, like grief, evokes a specific set of emotions among those who are doing it. I would know. I’ve moved five times within the last three years. I’m familiar with the process, and it’s exactly the same every time. So if you’re thinking of moving anytime soon, remember this. Know what you’re up against. It’s the only way to come out on top.

1. Denial
There are a few key signals that let you know that you’re going through the “denial” stage of moving. You’ve looked at places. You’ve signed a lease or taken out a mortgage. You have a date that you’ll be moving on. But following all that, you’ll notice yourself thinking dangerous thoughts that might clue you in as to how not ready you are mentally. “Oh, I don’t have to pack yet. Moving day isn’t for a while.” This works when moving day is two months away, but you’ll notice the feeling that you don’t actually have to pack your stuff doesn’t go away when you get to the point that you really should have started packing your stuff. “I’ll organize my room. That way, when I pack, I’ll know exactly where everything is so my boxes can be nice and neat.” Good luck spending the next two months organizing your room. “Ooh, getting a lease that gives me overlap is great! I’m going to go to the new place and paint. I can pack later.” With few exceptions, you can paint once you’re there. Any of these thoughts, or thoughts like this, express one sentiment that you might not even be conscious of: This isn’t actually happening. Or at least, it’s not happening any time soon. You’ll deny the time you have left and, even worse–you’ll deny the fact that you haven’t done shit yet.

2. Anger
Eventually you realize you’ve been in denial. Usually about two days before moving day. Then you’ll start assembling your boxes and look around you and think: “Shit. When did I get so much SHIT.” You’ll notice how angry you are at every single one of your possessions. “T-shirt. I don’t even fucking wear you. What are you DOING in my HOUSE?” or “Fuck you, Nightstand. DON’T fit into the moving truck. See if I give a fuck.” You’ll also notice that you’re directing anger at yourself. “Rachael, you stupid bitch, you should fucking know by now. You’ve moved enough times. It takes more than two days to pack all your belongings. Screw you.” This anger may seem irrational, but it’ll get you moving–and chances are, you’ll end up with a nice bonfire of shit you’re angry at, too.

3. Bargaining
“Oh please just get in a box stuff just fit in the damn box please I’ll do anything I will even tape the box shut so it’s slightly open on top if you will just fit.” Sound familiar? You’ve moved recently, then. “Okay, bedroom, I know I organized you and everything but right now I need you work with me here. Please just pack yourself up. I will trade ‘organization’ for ‘speed.’ I don’t really care that much about being organized, anyway. Just work.” This one’s a little more dangerous, because soon you might find yourself putting things in boxes that don’t belong together at all. Make sure to keep your sex toys out of any boxes that might be opened immediately–like the one with the deodorant that you’ll want to put on as soon as you realize how much packing up the van has made you smell.

4. Depression
In some great miracle, you’ve managed to pack up all your belongings in an increasingly disorganized fashion. You’ve put it all into a moving truck. You even got the truck to your new place. With some help from friends or family, you got all the boxes and furniture into the appropriate room, or at least into your new home. At this point, you’ll look around, completely exhausted from a few days of heavy lifting and freaking the fuck out over how you’re going to get stuff to your new place, and burst into tears. Because you’re not done yet. You’ll look around your awesome new place and say, “No. No, don’t. I can’t. This…this has to be over. What did I do wrong? I’m so sorry. I’m…*sob* just not sure where to even put this.” It might also come with a few realizations about your place. “These cabinets. They’re so nifty! I love them!” will turn into “What the fuck can I even put here? They’re so tiny.” You’ll set up your bed, put some sheets on it, and refuse to do anything for days. You’ll feel apathetic and worthless. Don’t worry, though. It’s just a part of the process.

5. Acceptance
Acceptance happens approximately a month after you’ve moved. You’ve gone through the depression stage and forced yourself to set up a few rooms. Your kitchen is at least a little organized. The cable guy came so you have TV and internet. But at some point, you’re going to look at your place and think: “We’ve been here for two months. These boxes are NEVER getting unpacked.” And, for now, you’re completely okay with that. You’ll stash them in a closet or a basement, forget that you own them, wonder why you bothered moving stuff that you clearly don’t care enough about to unpack, and move on. And next time you move, those boxes will come with you. “Oh, I was so smart. This made so much less work for me!” you’ll think, not even considering the fact that in the years you’ve lived in your place, you didn’t look at the items once.

 

I’m still slightly convinced that we’ll get the rest of the boxes unpacked and set up. I just have to finish painting. It won’t take long. I’m not in denial. I haven’t started a whole new cycle. I swear. I just want a red kitchen.

Horrible Medical Advice of the Week: You have 36 hours to completely invert your sleep schedule. GO.

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And yet, this is the sort of “medical advice” you’re required to follow if you want to be a fully-licensed doctor. Kinda fucked up, I think.

Right now, there is some sort of THING dancing around Mike’s shoulders–like the angel and devil things, except it’s a doctor trainer. And it’s going: “Hey, asshole! You liked that thing where you had all of May through June 20th off completely? Yeah? You got to sleep whenever you wanted, didn’t you? I bet you enjoyed your 3am-11am sleep schedule. It probably wasn’t all that difficult to suddenly adapt to orientation schedule that was basically normal work hours. I mean, sort of early, but you were at least getting some sleep. But HAH! Fucker. Could you become nocturnal in two days? COULD YOU? Well, I guess you could, because you’re awake…but how are you doing with that whole the care of pregnant woman, newborn babies and new mothers is now in your hands thing?” I mean, seriously. That can’t be smart. Screwing with your sleep schedule screws with your ability to function, and fucking up someone’s ability to function and then going all TAKE CARE OF BABIES, BITCH seems stupid. If you ask me. Of course, I’m not a doctor, so who knows.

I discovered a problem pretty much right away where, while I’ve been sleeping through Mike waking up and getting ready to go to the hospital for almost two years now, I can’t sleep through him going to bed. At all. So either our sleep cycles are complete opposites (which, no, mine’s not waking up before 8am) and we never see each other, or I invert my sleep cycle with him. AWESOME.

I woke up at 11am yesterday. I have not slept since then. I am currently trying to figure out how to make a face that I made with the fun characters my cell phone lets me type but my computer doesn’t. (What the hell, computer? I need these people to see how hard this is!) My face hurts. It’s hilarious. I kind of wish I had my webcam set up because then I could see what I looked like and maybe post a picture, but I don’t and I’m too tired to find it.

So your horrible advice this week is to do what we just did. Or to blow yourself up with a firework. Whichever.

You know me, but how fucked up are YOU?

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I found this on another blog and it’s one of the funniest “tools” I’ve come across for a while. It’s a psychological word search. There isn’t a word bank that you have to find all of them–you’re just supposed to look, and the first three words you find will describe your personality.

I found this first on shrimpsaladcircus.blogspot.com, then this particular image on bitsandpieces.us, but it's all over the internet if you search for it.

The first words I saw were “crush fool rageman.” Now, “rageman” probably isn’t a word, but I’m pretty sure Mike uses it sometimes anyway. Usually to describe himself, because he’s as weird as I am. So apparently I’m a robot (because, duh, robots are the only ones who want to crush people) who wants to crush my foolish rageman-boyfriend. I worried that maybe this painted a bad picture, so I kept looking and found “malice,” then “kick,” “flesh” and “secrets.” Secrets might be good with a different group. And my worry wasn’t helped when I saw that the “man” that I’d attached to “rage” was really part of “maniac.”

So, my lovely readers. (Doesn’t that sound creepy after the above paragraph?) What three words now describe your psychological makeup? How do you interpret them, and do you agree? I’d love to know.