Sunday, August 17, 2014

Are We Fat-Phobic?

I followed a lead on Reddit a couple of weeks ago about a possible pop culture blogger. Upon reading the description, I was totally like "YES PLEASE ME HEY LOOK!". I sent the woman some samples of my writing, she seemed to dig what she read, but then also asked me for a more contemporary pop culture piece in the style of the website. Over two weeks and a few emails later, I have not heard back from her. So, I decided to share my attempt on here, instead, since it is completely valid and discussing an important issue.

            With workouts, diets, and magazine tips, women almost everywhere are striving to improve their body image. Our society regards being thin as the desired body type for women, which often results in unrealistic photoshopped pictures of celebrities and models that are meant to set the standard for beauty. On the other end of the spectrum, whirlwind sensations such as Beyonce, Sofia Vegara, and Kim Kardashian are giving curves positive attention.
        
   Unfortunately, if you are a woman that does not fall into the “skinny” or “curvy” categories, your weight and self confidence are still challenged by our societal expectations of beauty. We are so quick to shame heavier bodies and pass it off as a genuine concern for women that we do not even know, with comments such as, “Poor thing, she has really let herself go,” and, “She cannot possibly be healthy or happy with that kind of lifestyle!” Why does a woman’s weight have to dictate her beauty and contentment, and are we, as a society, Fat-Phobic?
           Amanda Duberman, at the Huffington Post, shed some light on actress Mindy Kaling, dealing with this exact issue. It is easier for us to judge and criticize celebrities because we do not personally know them, and they are often objectified beyond the point of being human. Duberman writes about the “12 Things We Can Learn From Mindy Kaling”, highlighting quotes from Kaling pertaining to her weight and astounding assurance. She writes:

“In an interview with Parade magazine last September, Kaling called out those who seem to think that women must overcome some tremendous hurdle in order to feel confident:
I always get asked, “Where do you get your confidence?” I think people are well meaning, but it’s pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, “You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You’re not skinny, you’re not white, you’re a woman. Why on earth do you feel like you’re worth anything?”

Perhaps her worth comes from the fact that Kaling is a successful actor, producer, director, and New York Times best-selling author. It has nothing to do with her physical appearance. She does not feel the need to justify her body image, and will often be blunt about her body and love of eating in her popular television show, The Mindy Project. Her positive outlook empowers women of all body types, and she acts as a positive role model to young, Indian girls.
Kaling also made the point that women can wear whatever they wish, despite their weight. Duberman makes note that during an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Kaling made fun of the fact that heavier women are often praised and seen as “brave” for wearing revealing clothes on television. After wearing a cropped top to an event, Kaling recollected that “Some people were like, “She’s just so courageous!” She then said to Kimmel, “Aren’t surgeons courageous?’”
Regrettably, heavier celebrities have to bravely embrace the fact that ignorant commentary will come with the cropped tops and tight dresses. They must be comfortable with their bodies to be able to let the negativity not affect them, or keep them from dressing and looking how they want. Women like Kaling are completely inspiring, but should also not be telling us these things that seem so obvious. Her statements should not be an epiphany to us all, but instead, common sense. When we see an average or larger sized woman in the spotlight, we are either relieved by her optimism, or disgusted by her weight. Why can’t we see her for what she is: a talented woman?
Kaling is not the only actress that refuses to let societal pressures sway her self-esteem. Recently interviewed by Rolling Stone Magazine, Melissa McCarthy seemed mostly content with her life, saying:
“I could eat healthier, I could drink less. I should be learning another language and working out more, but I’m just always saying, ‘Ah, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow.’”

            Thankfully, she has not. Until we stop looking at heavier female celebrities like they are heroes for merely existing, or being completely turned off by their appearance, we need women like McCarthy and Kaling to keep making a difference and reminding us that “fat” can also be synonymous with success and beauty.


Stay lovely poopies,
Jordan

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Are You A Good Witch, Or A Bad Witch?

As a child, I can remember sitting on my bed and staring at the knick-knacks on my dresser, attempting to will them to move with my mind. I would stare at the glass dolls or "Girls Rule!" picture frames, trying to get them to float, or even shift a fraction of an inch. I was totally and completely convinced that if I concentrated hard enough, I'd be able to succeed. I had seen Bedknobs and Broomsticks enough times to know how things worked.




I was also constantly obsessing over Disney's Halloweentown, and Hocus Pocus. I read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe a countless number of times, flinging open closets and the door to my family's eerie guest room (that literally no one has ever stayed in). I was consumed by magic and finding the ~~other~~. I'm still not completely sure that these realms do not exist.

 A few weekends ago, I spent time at a local, eccentric bookstore—The Book Loft. As I walked through the rooms, running my right hand along the shelf tops, a book on Wiccans caught my eye. Curious, and recently enlightened by an early American Literature class that I took last Spring Semester, I casually flipped through the first couple of pages with great interest. The author explained that witches are connected with nature, and that Wiccans only cast spells for positive energy. She also wrote that she and her husband were occasionally approached by Satan worshipers or individuals that wished to cast spells to harm or possess others, but that Wiccans firmly do not associate or condone any sort of Devil-worshiping or dark magic. The witches in older readings (such as Cotton Mather's accounts) were seen as satanic and malevolent by a society that feared what varied from their Christian, normative lifestyle, simply for being different

We are now in a society that honors a practicing Wiccan religion, and weaves witch figures into our pop culture through works such as Harry Potter, Wicked, and American Horror Story: Coven. So, have witches really changed? Probably not. Instead, I believe that we have turned Puritan witches into Elphaba and Hermoine. To be a powerful, magic woman is totally sexy and seemingly forbidden. And that's cool.

I have previously mentioned my incredible Buffy fandom, which is perhaps out of control. But I honestly cannot help but to drool over Dark Willow when she becomes "the big bad" of Season Six. Sweet Willow sheds her sweaters and maxi skirts for an all black outfit, dark hair, and a vein-y face that somehow, totally works.

As far as supernatural story-lines go, obviously vampires were recently (or still perhaps are?) in their prime. But the witches in mass media movement is so much different. These characters are not only witches, but women, showing that girls can be strong and take charge. Jessica Lange in AHS Season Three is a total bad-ass. Hermoine Granger was the brains of the operation throughout the whole Harry Potter series. The underlying empowerment is stronger than we realize, and completely effective, especially for those of us that are completely swept away with worlds of mysticism. 

12 years later, and I'm still trying to move things with my mind. I'm also currently contemplating a super hot witch costume for Halloween, although also in the running is a gypsy, Inara from Firefly, or Shilo from Repo! The Genetic Opera. Obviously, I have some decisions to make.

But maybe I'll just give Halloweentown another go,
Jordan

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sassy Cows

While grocery shopping on Sunday, my boyfriend purchased us a couple of mini chocolate milk jugs. Being extreme chocolate milk advocates and connoisseurs, we excitedly decided to give "All Natural Promised Land" a whirl.

It wasn't until now that I decided to read the back of the container, while waiting for the kids that I nanny to awaken. The description started off normal enough, with only a slightly dramatic flair:

"Purity. All natural goodness. Sustainability."

Okay, All Natural Promised Land, I'm listening.

I continued reading the next portion:

"We do things a little differently here at Promised Land Dairy. First of all, we start with all Jersey cows. These Jersey cows, with a sassy swish of the tail and a wink of a long-lashed eye.."

I'M SORRY, WHAT? Did Promised Land Dairy just sexualize their cows?!

So naturally, I think of this:



And this:




Promised Land Dairy Farmer: "Oh Bessie Cow, love, can you spare a drop of milk for me?"
Sassy Bessie Cow: "You'll have to can-can it out of me, daaarlin" *batts eyes*

If it wasn't bizarre enough, the container ends with:
"He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. Deuteronomy 26:9"

????????????


Cows be with you,
Jordan



Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sleepy Hollow Fanfiction

Last Wednesday was indeed, my birthday.

I had a wonderful gluten free grilled cheese, visited my favorite, eclectic bar, and received a POP TV GOB Bluth vinyl figurine :')




This 22nd birthday was made possible by Sarah Michelle Gellar, Yoohoos, and Neopets. xoxo.

In lieu of having quite a busy, previous week, and working an obnoxious amount, I will share with you a mini Sleepy Hollow Fanfic that I wrote a couple months ago (in the style of Washington Irving).


                                    The Curious Happening With Katrina Van Tassel

Just then he saw the goblin rising in his stirrups, and in the very act of
hurling his head at him. Ichabod endeavored to dodge the horrible missile,
but too late. It encountered his cranium with a tremendous crash—he was
tumbled headlong into the dust, and Gunpowder, the black steed, and the
goblin rider, passed by like a whirlwind. (Irving 37)

Ichabod slowly raised his head, only to see his ghoul offender galloping through the night before him, with a deserting Gunpowder on the Hessian’s heels. He jumped to his shaking legs, a bit disoriented from the blow. Quivering, he ran back into the depth of the wood as quickly as his length would take him.
Branches whipped at his upper body and knotted roots grabbed his ankles, slowing his pace.
“The whole forest is enchanted!” gasped he, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me”*
Ichabod continued stumbling through the forested ground, but was stopped when a coy voice echoed around him,
“My dearest Ichabod, I can assure you that you will find protection with me.”
Ichabod halted and lifted his eyes to see the young, beautiful Katrina, completely untouched by the dark evils of the wood. If anything, he imagined, she had a slight glow, and a bit of rose to her soft cheeks.
“What sweet apparition is this?” sang a startled Ichabod. “Fair Katrina Van Tassel, there are dark forces afoot. The Hessian, he came with night fall and nearly terrorized me into a deathly fright. We must make haste with God’s speed” Ichabod finished, while dutifully making the sign of the cross.
“But foolish Ichabod”, hummed Katrina, “I rather fancy the cloak of the wood, especially at this late hour. I have been looking for you. I pray that you stay a while with me, for we have hardly the opportunity to properly converse.”
“Beautiful lady,” responded a slightly more irritated Ichabod, “I will not let you fall to the witchcraft that lurks about this haunted forest. The Hessian will surely be back, and I will get us to safety.” He began forward, reaching for Katrina’s plump upper arm, when she let out a cackle. Ichabod, taken aback, noticed a sudden, peculiar height difference in Katrina’s usually delicate frame. He looked to her shoes and saw that she was indeed levitating off of the ground!
“Katrina!” gasped Ichabod, “Witchcraft! You are a witch!” Practically in hysterics, Ichabod tried to step away but found that his feet were firmly planted in the ground.*
“You have paralyzed me, you demon! Tricked me into love, you bewitched coquette!”
Katrina morphed her lovely face into a slight pout.
“But Ichabod, I thought that you had taken quite an interest in me, and would court me despite our minor differences,” she closed her eyes and laid back her head. Suddenly, a cooked Cornish hen and a bowl of corn popped up in each of her hands. The smell was intoxicating, and soon wafted to Ichabod’s vulnerable snout.
“Stop this, this instant! Unhand me!” demanded a weak Ichabod. Despite his fears, he was finding himself alarmingly drawn to the handsome Katrina and her plates full of delicious food. He could feel his stomach tremble and growl while his heart raced in his chest.
“As you wish”, sighed Katrina. The hen and corn vanished as quickly as they had come, and she floated back to the ground. Ichabod regained power of his legs, and approached the witch.
“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”* Ichabod hissed, feeling betrayed by his devotion to the deceitful Katrina.
“If that is how you really feel, sir, then so be it. But let me remind you that you have taken a strong hit to the skull, and perhaps you are delirious. Who can say if I am a mere figment of your imagination? A playful fantasy”, purred Katrina as she traced a fingertip around his chest.
Ichabod firmly grabbed her shoulders. “Lovely witch, I’ll prove that you exist and are what I accuse you of. I will find the mark of a witch, and the truth will be before our Lord.”*
With that, Ichabod ripped at her collar in a rage, tearing the top of her dress down past her now exposed breast. Towards the center, where her bosom rounded, he could see a light, red marking, ever so clearly.
“Proof, you devil,” whispered Ichabod, still staring at her exposed chest. He looked up to meet Katrina’s sultry eyes and slightly parted pink mouth, as a sigh escaped. Overcome by the undeniable attraction to the lady, Ichabod kissed the witch’s mark, following his lips up her d├ęcolletage and neck until he landed on her full lips.

“You darling creature,” he groaned into her neck, “I am helplessly enchanted and will always love you..” he stopped abruptly, feeling cold. He looked before him to see the vast darkness of the woods, with Katrina nowhere in sight. Ichabod Crane was completely alone.

(based on: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving)

Hopefully I utilized the term "in lieu of" correctly,
Jordan

Friday, July 18, 2014

OYY OYY!

5 Facts About My Recent Trippity Doo Dah To Cincinnati, Ohio:

1. I stayed in a quaint bed and breakfast with my boyfriend that had a lovely, eclectic garden. The path wound through a small, forest area. The trail was dimmed to shadows, decorated with old bird baths and a twinkling of purposefully forgotten Christmas Lights. The whole feel was very steam-punk and whimsical, with a touch of Alice in Wonderland.




2. During the first night, we underwent bizarre experiences of apocalyptic proportions. While driving through the country-esque roads to the bed and breakfast, small pelts of something unidentified kept splashing onto Jeepus' window. The residue was almost milky-white, but the sound of the hit was audible, like loud rain drops. After we slowed down to observes our surroundings, we noticed what seemed to be a plague of giant, swarming bugs. They were similar in nature to giant flies, and perhaps were a mutant strand, but they flung themselves at my car with impressive force and did not easily wash off. We had also noticed that an incredible storm was quickly moving our way. Obviously, we were under attack by monstrous flying bugs with acidic insides and a hunger for human flesh, trapped under what looked to be potentially the worst storm of all time. I whimpered, shrinking downward in the passenger seat, while black clouds covered the sky, spitting lightning. The thunder was groundbreaking, while the bugs swarmed on, thumping against my windshield. We miraculously made it back to the bed and breakfast, with only minor, emotional scarring.

3. I went to Kings Island and saw DINOSAURS ALIVE! It was essentially an hour-long path through the woods with animatronic dinosaurs. I gleefully ran through the trail looking anxiously for the triceratops and a baby tyrannosaurus-rex. The models were life-sized and all extremely impressive. My boyfriend turned into a six year old, and happily gave me multiple facts about each dinosaur we approached. We made plans to soon rewatch the fabulous documentary, "Walking with Dinosaurs". ~~It's on Netflix~~

Mommy dino and bebe dino


4. While eating King's Island's infamous blue ice cream, my boyfriend told me about when he came to King's Island with his family as a small child. He and his mother jokingly would make silly sounds to each other, one of them being a high-pitched "OYY-OYY-OYY!", in the spirit of a young pig. In the bustle of the crowd, my young boyfriend was separated from his mother and sister. Overwhelmed with panic, his mother began to yell "OYY-OYY-OYY!" at the top of her lungs in the middle of King's Island. My tiny boyfriend then bounced through the crowd, with a responsive "OYY-OYY-OYY", and they were re-united. This is probably the best story anyone has ever told me.



5. I saw this.


I'm now back on my two-job-work-grind, saving up money to buy novelty hedgehog and zombie items.

Challenge: Try to think of a baby octopus today ^.^

OYY-OYY,
Jordan

Sunday, June 22, 2014

BraveHedge, A Rendition

In the year of 1280, King Hedgehog "Longspike" attacks and conquers the most majestic garden hedge in Scotland. Fighting alongside his family in a war to defend the hedge's throne, young Huff Wallace survives the onslaught and is taken away to live with his uncle in Rome. There, Huff Wallace receives an education, and later returns home to Scotland.


 Huff quickly falls in love with his lovely childhood friend, Pointenne. The hedgehogs marry in secret, but Huff soon has to save Pointenne from being poked and sniffed by English hedge soldiers. As a result, Pointenne is captured and banished, never to place her tiny paws in a Scottish garden again. Enraged at losing his love, Huff Wallace bites two English hedge soldiers, gaining the attention of King Longspike.



Longspike commands his son, Prince Hedgeward, to stop Huff Wallace's uprising. Huff rebels against the English hedge soldiers, with a legendary army of hundreds. Through a series of battles, Huff's militia proves to be successful and noble. Growing worrisome, Longspike sends his daughter in law, Hissabella of France, to confront Huff. Lonspike hopes that Huff will harm Hissabella, tempting the French to declare war on Huff's rebellious army. However, upon meeting Huff, Hissabella becomes incredibly infatuated with him. Huff does Hissabella no harm, and Longspike prepares for a war against Huff's army.

Hissabella learns of Longspike's plans and warns Huff Wallace of the planned invasion. Longspike leads his hedge fighters into battle, and loses to Huff Wallace's might. Huff is taken to safety, and engages in a seven year war against Longspike and his hedge soldiers, with the help of Hissabella.



Huff Wallace is eventually captured by the hedge soldiers and tried for high treason. He is condemned to be publicly tortured until he submits to the king. The hedge soldiers tug on Huff's spikes and bite his little nose and paws, but Huff does not cry out. Obviously pained, Huff stands valiant in front of the crowd. The hedge magistrate offers once more for Huff to mutter "mercy", and the pain will end. Determined and empowered, Huff instead yells "FREEEEEDOM!!!" before he is ordered to be banished from Scotland.





While stumbling through the Scottish garden terrain to his isolation, Huff sees a vision of Pointenne in the distance, and is filled with an inner peace at his fate.

In Huff's memory, the rebellious are later able to rise against the English hedge troops and gain freedom for the Scotland hedgehogs, at last.



Quote from my boyfriend: "Hedgehogs never die. They live forever."

Freeedommm!
Jordan

(Based on the 1995 film, Braveheart. Braveheart. Dir. Mel Gibson. Paramount Pictures, 1995.)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark

Upon rounding the bend in my block, I slowed my recreational jog when approached by a pink tongue and black, hopeful eyes. Panting, I yanked at my ear buds and crouched, my knee rubbing against the cement. A tiny, stray yorkshire terrier tip-toed up to me, smiling, and so very lost.
"Aww, come here, sweetie. Do you have a collar?" I asked while scooping up its small frame. We locked gazes as the puppy alarmingly looked straight into my soul. I felt something wet on my pinky finger as I realized that he had graced me with a trace of his tinkle juice. I was now his.
I continued walking around the block, holding my tiny-legged master, when I found a woman that recognized him. Regretfully, I handed over the small pup in one hand, and telepathically communicated that I would miss him and his adorable, little feet-paws. Then, off I ran to Jason Derulo's Talk Dirty To Me.

If I had gone running earlier as planned, we would not have crossed paths. I had prioritized cartoons on the couch and decided to exercise later in the day out of pathetic exhaustion. I did not sleep well last night. Or any night before that, really. 

I dread the night time like a small child, terrified of monsters, burglars, or any other types of ghoulies. I am approaching 22 years of age, and still routinely check my closet before I flick the light switch. When I first run and jump into my bed, the initial panic drips down my body. Every hair on my skin becomes aware, as my eyes dart back in forth in vain. I usually lay on my back, with my arms to my sides or my fingers intertwined and neatly folded over my upper abdomen. My toes stiffly point upward, and my brain starts to quickly think of all of the most terrifying things that I have ever seen or heard about in my entire life.

What if I turn to my closet and a static image of ghostly girl in an 1800's-styled dress is staring back at me, her head cocked to one side?

What if I stare out into the blackness of my hallway, only to see a cloaked figure pacing with a lantern?

What if I look into my mirror, and see a distorted, twitching face staring back at me?

Is that a noise at the front door? Someone is breaking in. I have to make it to the attic. (One of my escape plans. Because for some reason I feel like closing myself in my creepy attic will help during a break in)

I'm not even scared of aliens, but wouldn't it be so messed up if one from 1996 Mars Attacks! showed up at the foot of my bed right now?

The thoughts go on, I twitch and turn. If I happen to fall asleep, my persistent, miniature bladder will hastily wake me up. The challenge of walking to the bathroom at 3:00am ensues, and then I am forced to start all over again.

I am not embarrassed by my nightly panic, but obviously rather troubled. When I am asleep for an extended period of time, I have vivid dreams, and grind my teeth until my jaw squeaks in the morning. Therefore, I never feel rested, and go through many days like a cute slug with a bow. My mind is active, and my emotions wired to the quiet dark around me.



(I often wear pink triangle dresses to sleep)

I would not say that I have insomnia, or am I trying to glamorize having trouble sleeping, tweeting like:

@iluvstarbuckz Why am I still awake at 2:00am? #foreverteamnosleep

~~or~~

@stardancer200 Uggghhh I can never sleep anymore! Thank gawd for my boyfriend, Netflix!

***if those are your Twitter handles, I apologize. I give you permission to poke me in the eye.***

Furthermore, in an effort to think of pleasantries before bedtime, I will probably watch The Dark Crystal and the Neverending Story trilogy, while simultaneously wondering what became of my puppy companion.

Hashtag Team Luck Dragon,
Jordan

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Mite-y Story *playfully nudges elbows into your ribs*

Greetings, Blogger Poopies!

The past couple of months have been seemingly imaginary, and could only possibly re-iterate the notion that my life is a full-length, cartoon feature film. I suppose that I could illustrate and attempt to justify my hiatus, and I will give you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

I have missed being a blogging hedgehog. It has felt like a little, blog-shaped piece of my heart was missing from my chest cavity. The madness started with a mere itch, southwest of my belly button. I lifted up the bottom hem of my t-shirt to see a line of five, small bumps. I scratched the bumps casually, thinking that perhaps an ant or something of the like was trapped in my clothing. Come nightfall, the bumps had increased in size, practically connecting and becoming a single, giant welt. The itching sensation had increased, and there were two more bites by my right elbow, that were equally as irritating. I sat up in my bed, staring at the bites, contemplating the cause, when a small, black dot crawled out of my skin and made its way across the mountain of bites. I, surprisingly calm, picked up the tiny creature with my pointer finger and thumb, and observed it. There were no visible legs, so I figured that it was a piece of fuzz that I imagined to have been moving.

I dumbly continued to stare at the bites, determined to prove to myself that it was indeed, a piece of lint. Soon, two others came. I panicked, snatching them up and dousing my stomach with hydrogen peroxide. I was scratching wildly now, convinced that I had been consumed by bugs, eating me from the inside out. Feeling feral and out of control, I even entertained the idea of finding a sharp knife from the downstairs kitchen and cleanly cutting the bites off. I was hysterical, and barely slept an hour a midst my twitching and pathetic internet searches on parasites.

The next day, I miserably covered myself and visited the local urgent care facility. The extremely aloof doctor informed me that I had mites, and prescribed a full body cream and steroids to help the itching and swelling of the bites. It quite simply happens like this: The mites (from animals or other living things) find your body as a host, and burrow within your skin, sucking your blood, breeding, and laying eggs. They travel throughout your body, causing the unpleasant itchiness. Mites can attach to new hosts by physical contact, or can live up to a few days on clothes, stuffed animals, or other surfaces. And for whatever reason, these little bugs found a home in me.

I engaged in a 24 hour quarantine, washing everything in my room and tying them up tightly in multiple garbage bags. Paranoid with my condition, I became a temporary hermit, living off of Jimmy Johns and fueling my BuffyVerse fandom in the most unhealthy way. Afraid to touch anyone or go anywhere, I spent the next couple of weeks as a metaphoric mite, burrowing deep into sorrow, becoming a bug with unruly, wavy hair and a skirt. Quite possibly a bow, as well.

During this time, I found that some of my peers and friends had also experienced mites, or specifically, scabies. Some of them were embarrassed by this, for the stigma that mites are dirty and gross. UM, YEAH, THEY'RE DISGUSTING. But I am an open person, and was not the least bit embarrassed by my new set of pets. These little bugs were just doin their thang, and I happened to be a a part of that..and then violently killed them with a prescription creme that annihilated them on contact. They're probably in a little mite heaven, with all of the skin they could possibly want.



It was all very dramatic and such, but eventually ended. Less than a week after the incident, I came down with a terrible sinus infection that confined me to my bed, once again. Buffy raged on, as I watched episodes by day and lured myself to sleep with fanfic ideas by night. Read on if you could care less (For example, during the final episode in season 6, what if Oz had come back to comfort and change Willow from the dark magics instead of Xander? But dear Xander does always feel sub-par, and it only seems right that he had his chance to end of the many apocalypses).

When my body had enough, my mind was forced to engage in college finals. Being an English Major, I had a multitude of papers to write, and a few written tests. I spent a couple of weeks on my work, and then boogied on down to Florida for a vacation when the school year ended.

And, well, here we are now. It's summer and I am working as a nanny. I also hope to become a dog-walker, FOR OBVIOUS REASONS. This post was more informative than anything, but hey, perhaps you learned something. I will beat my brain space until I produce more interesting ideas in the future.

Not too shabby for a Monday,
Jordan

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Snails in Love

I watched in slow motion as my laptop slid from my bed-sheets to the carpet, with unrivaled panic and disbelief. Upon hitting the ground, the screen turned to a series of rainbow and static frenzy. I listened closely, first to the muffled thud, and then to a slight whistling sound. Picking it up tenderly, I hummed "Taps" as I cradled the broken body close to my bosom.

Fast-forward a couple of weeks, and I have luckily acquired a new machine. Therefore, I can update with a short, extremely positive, potentially obnoxious thought-train:

The highlight of my day was seeing a small group of crows while walking through the cemetery. The sheer eerie-ness of the live action, stereotypical scene was more than I could handle.

Crunchy peanut butter is good by itself.

..Ketchup is not.

I remember the first time I heard the word "pretentious". Does using the word "pretentious" make one "pretentious"?

I cried in my bed while watching "13 Going on 30" last night because 1980's middle-school-girls were so mean.

I think I'm a 1980's middle school girl.

If you could unravel a single thread from my heart shaped brain, I think that you could weave me.

My highlight of the last week was perhaps thinking of a new outline for a potential children's book(s)! I want to write children's literature, and have two drafts for books already (along the lines of 1. Scruffy the Dog being lost in Paris, and 2. a Fairy that defies gender stereotypes). My newest idea is a series of books about a snail couple. ~~*Snails in love*~~ or maybe just cute, little snail critter friends.

Ooh la la, a sneak peak! The boy snail has a bow-tie and the girl snail has a pink bow. It seemed fitting and I identify with this little girl snail on so many levels. She embodies my essence and total being.

I should regularly be updating once more. A friend/reader has challenged me to write a piece on staring at parking garages, so I shall see what I can do with that.

Peace love & snails,
Jordan


Thursday, February 20, 2014

"Join the club!"

I suppose that it is one of those nights where all you can do is audibly sigh and stare at the wall, even though your contacts are blurry. When feeling adventurous, you walk to the bathroom with a plastic blue cup and get water from the faucet because you don't feel like walking the flight of stairs to the kitchen. It doesn't even bother you that much that the water smells like eggs. It has been a long week, a long day, a long night-- Keep on keeping on, my friends, because tomorrow there is a promise of 50 degree weather. Ohioans will crawl out of their homes and bask in the sunlight like newts (assuming that newts bask).

I noticed the week started to increase in length while sitting in my Disabilities Literature class. The creative writing professors always prefer to have classes sit in a way that we can all see each other for discussion purposes. This involves us moving our desks or chairs into a circle, which usually turns into a blob. In this particular class of mine, we had the convenience of multiple desks previously pushed together to create a make-shift long table. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we all walk into class and take seats around our long table with our professor sitting at the head.

During my last class, my professor made a joke that our seating arrangement reflected that of a dinner table. A few of the literary study majors chimed in, saying that it reminded them of Hogwarts. I winced, thinking that first of all, the table seemed a bit Last Supper-ish to me, if anything. Secondly, the amount of times that I hear Harry Potter and The Hunger Games referenced in the English Departments as high literary works of gold is unsettling. (I enjoy both of these works in book and film form. Fiction is difficult for me to personally write, and I appreciate these stories and their fan-base. Hermoine was totally inspirational to me in my elementary days. However, I will never geek out about them or act like they are the best book series ever written. They are not even my favorite examples of young adult fiction). Essentially, I could not imagine being an English Major at say, Cambridge, and talk about Harry Potter or The Hunger Games like my classes currently do. It's embarrassing.

My professor, however, admitted that she did not know anything about Harry Potter. I smiled to myself, finally relieved, and somewhat impressed that she had dodged such a large pop-culture bullet. A few of my fellow classmates gasped, bewildered that anyone, especially an English professor was not educated on the wizarding world of Harry Potter. "You must read the books!" said they, flabbergasted and suddenly alarmingly desperate. A returning-studies student (this detail is important) then suggested that my professor get the books on tape and listen to them in her car on her commute to and from work. She considered this, probably just to humor the class, and then tried to get on with the lesson. Next, panicked that they were losing her interest, multiple of my classmates (lead by our returning-studies friend) started banging their fists on the table and repeatedly chanting "Join the club! Join the club!".

It was probably the most bizarre and terrifying thing that I had ever witnessed. If we weren't about to discuss a Miranda July piece, I would have literally sprinted out the door, traumatized. Victimized, even.
If I walk into my classroom tomorrow to see select students wearing black cloaks and suspending fire mid-air in between their palms, I would not be the least bit surprised. I would also be in trouble, because I have never taken a Defense Against The Dark Arts class (Really pathetic and corny Harry Potter reference! Trying to stay neutral, readers). *dances with hat and cane out of the room*


Basically, it is almost the weekend. Copious amount of chocolate that I bought on sale and remembering just how cute wiener dogs are is how I plan to get through my Friday responsibilities.



Best of luck with yours,
Jordan

Friday, February 7, 2014

Give The Hedgehogs What They Want

The time between classes on a Friday is the epitome of an ultimate tease for the weekend. I could take a nap and risk being groggy for the remainder of the day. There is also the option of heating up a hot dog or eating a sunny-side up egg for literally the fifteenth day in a row.

In my morning class, "Women in the History of Music", we discussed Hildegard von Bingen. Hildegard was a kick-ass nun from the twelfth century. (Pause--twelfth was a very bizarre word to type. It has "elf" in it. ELF. It is one of those words that I will always question the correct spelling, or say ten times in front of a mirror until it sounds like gibberish. But I also just described a nun as being kick-ass, sooo..). Hildegard had unshakable faith and was an innovative musician. It was not popular for women to write music, especially in that time period, and we still have 75 of her pieces today. 

Hildegard would also have visions that she claimed were a divine intervention from God. Historians now think that perhaps she had chronic migraines, but regardless, the illustrations that we have from her visions are way cool. She would see a picture, which would have moving parts, and then hear words spoken to her from a heavenly source.

This is an example of my favorite:


I was obviously intrigued, and wondered if I concentrated hard enough, if I too could see a vision from a world beyond ours. This is what I came up with:


A foretelling of things to come.

Give the hedgehogs what they want,
Jordan

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Basic How-To

Last night was a sleepless one as I lay awake listening to the soft hum of my space heater. I was twisted up in my electric blanket, basked in the glow of my retro lamp that I found at an antique store. The shade is a light blue with dusts of clouds and small birds flying through the supposed sky. I felt a bit too eerie to sleep in complete darkness after just watching the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I was not frightened while watching the film, because it was a bit silly and I tend to have sociopathic tendencies when watching gore. (No, really, the fact that I don't close my eyes when someone is being chainsawed in half is alarming, right?)

Only slightly kidding.

 Anyway, what was particularly troubling me was the buzzing "What if?" that I could not shake. I had realized that I did not lock my door, and it would not withstand a chainsaw even if I had. The windows in my room are also practically painted shut, and take extra effort to open. By trying to fall asleep and ignore the inevitable, I was doing myself a complete injustice by not having an escape plan.

                                           How To Escape From A Chainsaw Massacre

Step One: Know the familiar sounds of your home. Become acquainted with the creaks and cracks that the floors and walls naturally make on their own. This way, if you hear something that resembles a chainsaw, you know that it is not one of your housemates making a midnight smoothie.



Step Two: Grab your phone and call for help. This tends to be something that people forget to do, especially in horror films.

Step Three: While doing the above, lock your door, just to buy you some extra time.

Step Four: Open your window. If you are having difficulties, find a blunt object to aide you. This is where bedside baseball bats come in handy. I have also considered a large piggy bank, hefty picture frame, or trusty antique lamps to be efficient candidates.



Step Five: Once your window is open, look around to make sure that the attacker is not still outside. Then make your way to the ground as carefully as possible. It is a good chance that you will survive the fall/jump with minimal injuries. If you are in a third story room or higher, you might want to consider installing a slide. It seems both practical, and constructing it can be a fun bonding experience for you and a loved one.


Step Six: As soon as your feet hit the ground, run as fast as you can to the nearest house or safe area. It would probably be a good idea to map out your options beforehand. Try not to fall as you are running, and do not scream. Screaming helps no one.

Step Seven (alternative to previous steps if you do not have a window): Look around you. Do you have a closet that would be fit for hiding? If you are a loud breather, this might not be the best option for you. Is there an accessible attic door in your room or very near by? The attic could be a prime hiding spot if you can pull it off. Plus, if you phoned for help, (Step Two) then hopefully the police will be on their way.

Step Eight: If met face to face with your chainsaw wielding crazy person, remain calm. Tell him that you are actually his cousin and that you love him. This seemed to work in the movie. He will then feel as though he has to protect you. If this only angers or confuses him, take off running. One can only run so fast carrying a chainsaw. Emphasis on tips from earlier: falling or screaming will not help you. Running in a zig-zag fashion might also be beneficiary, for this fellow is top-heavy. He will eventually tire or give up, and you will be in a safe spot (because you checked your safe-spot map, right?)




After fully going through these steps and possibilities, I realized that it was 6:30 am. I had gone to bed around 2:00 am.


But now we all feel safer,
Jordan

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Eating Soup With A Plastic Fork

As much as I wish that my title was some strange analogy, I must admit that it is literal description of today's lunch. It was another afternoon of being a college student, forced to eat odds and ends. My dessert was chocolate chips (Giant Eagle brand) straight out of the bag. I just had another handful for inspiration.

                                                                     ********

I found out that I was gluten intolerant when I was about 17. I had been having insane stomach issues, and was finally diagnosed after multiple blood tests. My family is Italian, and I was raised on bread and pasta  without ever experiencing any previous discomfort. But the Celiac Cells were totally there. After being in denial for sometime, I completely cleared gluten from my diet, and am still totally gluten free four years later.

One would assume that I would be used to the diet, and would not even think about eating bread..or cookies..or donuts..BUT I DO. Every once in a while I still have a major struggle. The other night I was almost in tears because I wanted so desperately to go to Waffle House to eat chocolate chip waffles, while my boyfriend stared at me in confusion and offered to try to make me gluten free pizza rolls.

I can laugh at my pathetic, privileged problem, and at the fact that I quite simply would not be surviving if this were the 1800s. I could only have so many carrots from my dear mother's garden (is that even an accurate joke?). "The poor girl cannot eat bread? A basic staple food? Oh my."


A few days after my mental breakdown, my boyfriend's family wanted to visit and go to Hometown Buffet. I can recollect a fundraiser that I participated in with my sixth grade class. Whoever sold the most items were taken out of school, got to ride in a limo, and were treated to a lunch at Hometown Buffet. When I was 12, this restaurant sounded magical, a sophisticated award for the economically strong. I now have a better understanding of what Hometown has to offer, and was almost desperate for some sub-par, bottomless food to replace my waffle craving. I also appreciate that Hometown has unlimited chocolate milk refills.

Next Scene: The Restaurant, Saturday Afternoon: I was picking at some Asian-styled chicken on my plate when my boyfriend looks at me with an alarmed yet assertive expression and says "Put your fork to my nose." I looked at him, bewildered, and he insisted "Let me smell your fork". I raised up the utensil, chicken still in-tact, "Without the chicken", demands he. Completely unsettled, I scraped the chicken off on my plate and again raised the fork to his nose. He sniffed, and declared that his fork smelled like wet dog, it was abnormal, and he would be getting a replacement. The table all took turns smelling his fork, and came to the consensus that it did, indeed smell like wet dog.

In my head, I fancied the idea of there being a back room to the buffet, that is kept secret. In this room, there was a group of fuzzy, playful dogs in need of washing. After the employees would give the dogs their baths, they felt it right to brush them. With a lack of dog brushes, the employees decided to use forks instead.



I later stood up to get another plate, and walked to the center area to grab a fork. I picked up the fork, and in the middle of everyone, smelled it thoroughly. When my eyes met with those around, I had only then realized what I had done and scuffled back to my seat in shame.

Forever a fork sniffer,
Jordan

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Toast To Better Things

It has certainly been quite a while since I have last posted. I really do not have an excuse as to why, except for the general lack of inspiration. The force is strong with the winter blues, and the twenty mile per hour winds that we have recently experienced. However, I will continue to celebrate living in this temporary winter wonderland and relish in the fact that seasons happen and are lovely.

I have spent a generous amount of time lately on self-reflection and evaluation, and have made a few realizations of the direction that I want to my life to head. Creativity and confidence are key, and I shall continue to flood this blog as an outlet for those interested, or for perhaps my personal enjoyment.

Other days, I've been like



To the brilliance and silliness to come,
Jordan