Monthly Archives: January 2011

What I miss most about college

I’ve recently been discussing books with my officemate, and we had a discussion about the film adaptations of the Chronicles of Narnia. She’d only seen the movies, so I began breaking down the books and why they’re better. She let me rant for awhile, but it was obvious that she couldn’t keep up and that she wasn’t really interested. And then I realized, what I miss most about college is talking to educated and engaged minds about the books that I’m passionate about. I miss the structured setting where people have a common group of books to base discussion off of and then people bring further insight and reading material into the conversation as necessary. It’s so difficult to talk to just anyone about books because you might have nothing in common. Of you can’t fully illustrate a brilliant point because your audience hasn’t read one or more of the books that you’re comparing.

What I miss most are my peers. I miss watching “Interview with the Vampire” in Dan’s living room at one in the morning to further prepare for our Screening Fiction class the next day, stopping after every other scene to break down the motifs and compare it to the other clips that we’ve watched in class. I miss writing papers next to classmates T-minus 12 hours before it’s due and being able to engage them in conversation to help ease you through writer’s block. I miss theorizing about our professor’s lives with Rachel up on her roof on sunny spring days.

I miss being challenged to see deeper than the page. And I miss having someone adequate to challenge me.

Are there any other young adult literature enthusiasts that would like to engage in discourse about favorite books? I’m most familiar with the Chronicles of Narnia, His Dark Materials, the Abhorsen trilogy, and The Hunger Games trilogy.  I’ve read much less scholarly YA books as well that I could discuss at length, but I haven’t done much outside research on them. I guess Harry Potter counts too, but I’ve only read them for pleasure, not for analyzation. *sigh* I guess that The Twilight Saga has to count too, but I’m warning you right now that while I admit to reading them several times for pleasure, I WILL rip them to shreds on a literary level. Of course, I’m always up for reading new books to talk about. I’ve heard that Ursela LeGuin’s “Earthsea” series is a must read for someone of my interests.

Starting the New Year with a post

Well, it’s been awhile. I’ve finally reclaimed my life from my horrid proposal writer job, and I’ve started a technical writer job. Again, companies and work specifics will not be disclosed. Keeping that in mind, my new job is closer to home and is a steady 40 hours a week with no overtime. Needless to say, I’m over the moon.

So we’ve just begun a New Year, everyone makes resolutions, and the TV is unbearable because it seems like every commercial is about weight loss programs, eating healthy, joining gyms, or quitting smoking. I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions. Mainly because I think it’s stupid to limit goals and good life decisions to one part of a year, but if it works for people, more power to you. I realized over break though that I have a lot of passive aggressive tendencies that I learned from my mother and decided that I definitely need to work on that. It just happens that I’ve made this new life goal around the time when December ends and January begins. So my first step towards that goal is to no longer post passive aggressive tweets or Facebook statuses. To define a passive aggressive post in my opinion: a vague statement made to one person or a specific group of people in order to guilt them or make them angry over a public medium.

I did make some goals last year that I’d like to reflect on though, if you don’t mind:

1.) Read it or toss it: I’ve worked in a bookstore on/off since my senior year of high school. Pair my love of reading with an employee discount and you get a LOT of books. Well, when I moved to DC, I realized just how many books I actually had… A LOT. And there were a good number of them that I haven’t read before, or read it once and probablys won’t read it again. So I decided that by the next time I move, only the books I’ve read and love will come with me. This goal is amazingly on target. I’ve weeded out ones that I don’t want, and I’ve slogged through a bunch to be able to say that I finished them. I’ve probably eliminated a whole shelf/a whole box. Now that’s not much considering I have 4 bookcases with 3 to 4 shelves per case. But still! Progress is being made.

2.) Become a minimalist: Ok, so that will never really happen, but I have been getting rid of things! I’ve halved my purse collection (down to 6 or 7), and I’ve gotten ride of a few pairs of shoes (still need to further weed that down, but I’m in love with all of my sneakers. How can I get rid of sneakers?!?!). I need to sort through my closet again, but I’m still hesitant to get rid of my “part-time retail” wardrobe. With this economy, who knows if I’ll need them again?! (Yes, I am a pack rat.) But it’s eating away 2 drawers of clothes that could store some sweaters… I’ve also gotten rid of a lot of my arts and crafts supplies, because honestly, when am I ever going to craft or scrapbook anymore? I’ve also gotten rid of a lot of what my mom calls SAS (sit around shit). Decorative music boxes, figurines, extra bookends, brain teasing puzzles, etc. The junk is getting tossed!!! So while I’ll definitely never be a minimalist, I am make some improvements.

3.) So one goal I had before I moved out was not to get into a serious relationship for a year. I wanted to date and look around, but mostly, I just wanted a nice, quiet year with Beth. This plan did not work out, but I’m very happy that it didn’t. I’ve been seeing my boyfriend now for a few months, and everything is going nicely. Let’s face it: I’m head over heels in love with him and get mopey when he’s not around (he goes to school 2 hours away from DC). Yes, I’m hopelessly in love and it’s grand. This one is definitely a keeper.

4.) Live on my own without help: I’m going to say that this goal was also accomplished. Even though Dad paid for my contacts and has bought me dinner a few times, I’ve paid all the bills on my own, paid everything for my car, and haven’t had to beg for anything yet. Although I may have to swallow my pride and ask Dad to put me on his medical benefits before the Republicans take it away from me.

So there you have it. I think 2010 was very productive. Definitely the most I’ve grown in a long time too. There are times when I wish that I was back in college or living with my parents again or I’m homesick for Indianapolis… but those times are getting fewer and farther between as time goes on.

My goals for 2011? Keep living on my own, don’t screw things up with the boyfriend, work on the passive aggressive behavior (will help with the not screwing things up part), and maybe start eating better (damn you TV influence!!! I must remember to cancel the cable…. *grumbles*).

 

Happy New Year.