Let the Great Experiment Begin!

TobiasFunke

I like to characterize myself as a Book-Person. Well, I used to. At least throughout high school and the beginning part of college I was one of those Austen-philes who went to see Pride and Prejudice in theaters with the sneaking suspicion that it would not be up to standards and then went home and wrote about it in my Livejournal.

one adaptation to rule them all

one adaptation to rule them all

I haven’t read P&P in so long. I haven’t really read anything in a long time. Last year I read The Help and One Day in about four days but didn’t really have time to absorb them. I haven’t read a lot of the so-called “Great Novels” just out of pure laziness. I haven’t even read a lot of novels that I think are shitty but really have nothing of which to base that assumption (I’m looking at you, Twilight).

So today, I dragged my dad to the library where I got my card renewed for the millionth time and let him hobble around (he’s having some back trouble) while I tried to figure out what to check out. My first instinct was to get the final installments of The Princess Diaries because I used to be obsessed with them and yet, stopped buying the books and never found out what happens in the end of the series. But, I stopped myself and ended up with Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavelier & Clay and Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men.

Chabon        Warren

I picked up the former because I’d heard about it when I took a comic writing class during my sophomore year, unaware of Chabon’s celebrity and the latter because it was on TIME’s ALL-TIME 100 Books list. I honestly don’t know much about it. I keep getting it confused with All the President’s Men so, there you go. I’m an idiot. Eventually I want to get through all 100 of these books, while also reading some important contemporary things. I’m almost 23 and still have pipe dreams of being a writer but I really don’t have the sort of familiarity with any one genre or collection of writers to call myself “inspired-by-blah blah”. I think that, to a certain extent, to be a writer these days is to be, in part, what you’ve read. And I’ve read the first Lord of the Rings book (suffered through it, really), and every Harry Potter and a lot of trash British romance and, in case you couldn’t guess, that is not the kind of writer I want to be.

So I’m going to try and read more and maybe I’ll share some of the drivel that I’m working on at the moment (which I have promised before, and still haven’t done). Or at least I’ll be able to prove I’ve actually read things because this blog will be proof.

Open-ended Question Time: I’m trying to post more frequently, folks. What are some blogs I should be reading? Blogs about writing are alright I guess but I’ll take anything.

 

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Can I Graduate?

In my last post, I admitted to being a hoarder of sorts. From what I’ve learned from watching a fair amount of Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive and (embarrassingly) a lot of Clean House back in high school, hoarding seems to go hand in hand with procrastinate-y behavior. I am a major procrastinator, and blogging definitely falls under the category of Things That I Procrastinate. But! I have actually been trying to decrease the figurative piles and piles of media in my life and I have something resembling real thoughts about these things.

Parks and Recreation

I started watching Parks and Rec kind of on a whim. I used to be really into The Office and 30 Rock, but I got lazy about watching them and anyway, they only had the first few seasons of 30 Rock on Netflix for a while and also, as everyone knows, The Office is pretty much useless after Pam and Jim get married. I got caught up on Netflix and I think I’m only a couple of episodes behind on the current season. This is a good show, which is kind of stating the obvious, but whatever. What I like most about it is that, to me at least, the characters seem refreshingly altruistic (especially Leslie). I think my previous loves, The Office and 30 Rock, are very cynical in comparison.

Also, Aziz reminds me of my brother.

Also, this.

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American Horror Story: Asylum

I was a serious hater when my housemates were into American Horror Story last year. I watched about five minutes of one episode and all I got out of it was seeing a demon-faced baby which interested me not at all. I actually don’t know why I let myself get into this show for the second season but let me tell you: I am glad I did. The show is so over-the-top campy horror. Included in this season are:

  • zombies
  • serial killers
  • aliens
  • devil possession
  • Nazis
  • celebrity deaths (really, I’m just talking about Adam Levine here)
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sorry, bro

Bonus features: Jessica Lange being a really good actress (I guess? I’m not a SAG member) and the farmer from Babe being a creepy nun-fetishizing Nazi. Also, every once in a while, you get to see someone’s butt, so really there’s something for everyone.

Why do I like this show?? Why am I so in denial about liking this show?? I’ve never faithfully watched a show in real-time except for whatever season of 24 aired when I was in my junior year of high school. Being an expert at American Horror Story is certainly not going to win me any accolades in the academic community but I’m mostly proud of myself for watching a show week-after-week like a normal person.

I think that might be it for updates. One of my info-hoarding practices is, whenever I want to catch up on a blog, I go back to the very beginning and read it from beginning to the present. Yesterday, I did that with the website, Nerdist. I didn’t read every single post, but I can comfortably say that I’m familiar with what’s up with the site. I’ve subscribed to all of their podcasts and am in the process of figuring out which ones I like and which ones are just taking up space on my hard drive (I have a similar relationship with Revision3). At this point, I can only recommend the podcast Questionauts, which I have actually laughed out loud while listening. I just checked the website and it’s not on Nerdist’s podcast page anymore but whatever. It’s funny.

I haven’t been able to catch up on as much as I’d hoped, and I haven’t really picked up any new hobbies or anything but that is because I have finally reached the culmination of my Biggest Procrastination Of All Time: The 7-Month Procrastination Of My College Graduation! A couple of days ago I stapled my final, final paper together and yesterday, I turned that paper and the corresponding project in and today, I woke up at 11 which is not something very out-of-the-ordinary for me but I pretended like it was anyway.

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2012 was a year of Dark Times (to put it delicately), which ended up with me having to push back graduation a few times, but now! Now, I am done and I can fully dedicate my time to getting the hell out of my shitty bagel job and reading real books and maybe writing again for real. When I get my project back from my professor, maybe I’ll share that with you because I made paper dolls and it was kind of fun. So anyway, that’s probably the biggest update of them all and I hope it means some actual, consistent content from me.

In Which I Have a Confession of Sorts

I am a hoarder of ideas. I have an external hard drive that can hold a TB of data. It is over half full of podcasts that I subscribed to at some point but have never actually listened to. 500 effing gigabytes, mostly of people talking about mostly outdated technology trends and performances of bands that are probably not “cool” to listen to anymore, or at least will not put me ahead of any music curves. But I can’t bring myself to delete or unsubscribe from them because I am deathly afraid of missing out on something that will change my life. This same hoarding habit is the reason that I have a large collection of actual music in my iTunes library that I have never listened to.

Prime example: I like the Beatles well enough. I am not, however, a die-hard Beatles fan in the least. This did not stop me from downloading THE ENTIRE BEATLES DISCOGRAPHY. This includes doubles on doubles on doubles of songs since I now have the US and UK releases of several albums. But which ones are extraneous? Which ones do I delete? I don’t know!! I also don’t really care!

I spent a good chunk of time a couple of years ago compiling an Excel spreadsheet with several “Best Book” sort of lists. I have some weird random list from TIME Magazine maybe, two columns dedicated to the MLA 100 Best Books Fiction/Non-Fiction lists, and some other column. I have read maybe 12 of these books and that might even be an overestimate. Fun fact: I used to want a career in editing and publishing. Fun Fact #2: Even though I am not a complete idiot, I am actually not that well read! I have never read “The Great Gatsby” *gasp* This book title hoarding behavior has carried over into the audio/visual world as evidenced by my Netflix Instant Queue, which only contains TV Series. My Instant Queue is, more or less, alphabetized and includes any show that I have a passing interest in. For a while I was attempting to tackle my Instant Queue IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER but I got bored with 24 and then I tried to suffer through Ally McBeal but here’s a little thing about that show: ALLY MCBEAL SUCKS. So now, I’m finally watching Parks and Rec which I totally love and am sorry for wasting so much time on Ally McBeal The Worst Show I Have Come In Contact With.

Another fun fact about Netflix and me: I like to be able to log into Netflix and go to “Recently Watched” and continue whatever TV Series I was last watching but my brother has my password and he is ROBSESSED with How I Met Your Mother and watches about 17 episodes of this show a day and I have to scroll way the eff down to get back to my current project Parks and Rec (which is a far better show, duh). This is sort of a non-sequitur but mostly LISTEN UP, INTERNET. MY SUPPOSED-MR.-COOL-GUY BROTHER ACTUALLY DOES NOTHING BUT WATCH HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER AND I GET TO FOOT THE $7-A-MONTH-OR-WHATEVER BILL.

I never thought I had a bucket list but I’m now realizing that I do, and that it looks kind of like this:

1. Read all the things

2. Watch all the things

3. Listen to all the podcasts (?) or maybe: Listen to everything by the Beatles or whatever, you get the idea

So we’re going to go on a little adventure, Internet people, in which I try to consume every type of media out there and then I’m going to record my thoughts about said piece of media and maybe we’ll discover something shocking/enlightening/tragic about myself other than the fact that I like to procrastinate by making lists. I mean, I’ve already ruled out Ally McBeal, so that says something right?

I also have this thing where I One Day Wish To Be A Writer, and I’ve been hoarding some ideas in the ol’ brain notepad so maybe I’ll share some of those too. Get pumped.

Well, This Should Be Interesting (or, Resolutions)

I’ve kept a paper journal since I was in elementary school and my writing process has always followed the same pattern.

  1. start journaling with the intention of writing everyday
  2. write faithfully for two or three days, or a week if I’m diligent/lucky
  3. get bored with writing—or rather, disappointed that most entries end up being a mere log of my daily activities or bitching about how boring my daily activities are
  4. stop writing for the next few months…or years
  5. find the poor, discarded journal under the couch or on a shelf and resolve, again, to start writing

The first entry of any given phase usually goes something like “Wow. I haven’t written in this thing in almost a year! Since my last entry I’ve gotten braces/had a crush on a boy/turned fourteen/acquired a driver’s license/graduated {elementary, middle, high} school/, etc. From now on, I vow to keep a faithful account of my life so I don’t miss a single moment!!” Seriously, I’ve written more entries of this type than any other, more interesting type. The entry also usually goes on to list other resolutions such as:

  • eat healthier
  • exercise more
  • be nicer
  • do well in school
  • get consistent sleep
  • read more

As far back as middle school (maybe even elementary), I made these kinds of lists and I still make them. A 9 year old me was already hoping for a life that included a set wake-up and go-to-bed time (which reminds of me of my brief, wake up at 5:30 a.m. stage as a 9 year old. I’d get up and take a shower for about 45 minutes, rudely awakening my parents when the fire alarm went off from all the steam).

This blog has fared me no better.

I’ve already written two or three entries promising readers (all three of them, I’m sure) that I’m going to resurrect it. Well, here is another one. But this time, I think that blogging is something I need to do. I had a Livejournal in middle school that died. I got a Facebook account in high school and a Twitter in college. At this point, my Facebook is a way for me to communicate to large amounts of people: the literary magazine I edit, the prospective non-profit project, my co-op. Twitter on the other hand, is where I go to complain. And I do a lot of complaining. I also use it to show a small group of people how funny I am because I AM REALLY HILARIOUS IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS.

Both my Facebook and Twitter have been instrumental in creating a sort of embarrassing, no-filter-between-my-head-and-my-mouth/hands identity. Part of me would never, ever give these accounts up (especially Twitter) but another part wants so badly to stop giving in to the instant gratification of a tweet or status update. And that’s where the blog comes in.

I’ve rather stupidly registered every social media account with the name “caitlinparent”. This is because I don’t want to do something stupid like “caitlinpmsu” or “koreangirl217” or whatever usernames usually indicate. Because that is dumb. And I’m sure as hell not going to do something like “thewindblowsforcolors.wordpress.com” or “pterodactylsareawesome.wordpress.com”. Or whatever. So, once again, I’m promising to write more on this blog that is connected to my name—the strongest identifier for myself that I can think of. Partly because I need to have some kind of consistent writing practice. Partly because I’m in a sort of transitional phase in my life (maybe? is that too self-important?). Partly because I think I’m really interesting and I like talking about myself (har har). This blog won’t have a theme unless I start doing something really interesting or my life takes on a little more direction but I’ll try to write about things that interest me whether highfalutin’ or quotidian (yeah, I took AP Language).

So be prepared to read about:

  • school and extracurriculars
  • fashion and makeup
  • me being Asian
  • food I’m enjoying
  • movies, books, TV shows, music, art and other media things that an average 21 year old takes interest in
  • my family and friends
  • social media and communications
  • my struggles in French class
  • typography and design of all sorts
  • knitting
  • and so much more

Riveting stuff, right?

I think there’s more to blogging than just pouring the contents of your brain out. I’ve made a list of interesting topics (read: interesting to me) so hopefully that will keep me busy for a while. Stay tuned, yall.