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,

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,

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,

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,

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,