Doing Better

 

I’m sitting here in my favorite building on campus (SAC) with my Peppermint Mocha frappuccino tingling the back of my throat and the lights from the adjacent enormous Christmas tree making this place all the more beautiful.

But seriously, is that not the most sexy f’ing sight you have ever beheld?

The only problem I have with this building is that the automatic doors have a sort of lag so when you’re walking in or out of the building you end up standing awkwardly in front of the doors for a few seconds or sometimes it doesn’t even open at all and you have to do a jumping, step-ball-change maneuver until it does.

And this is my first time having the PM frap and it’s not the best. Usually the Asian guy who makes the fraps is very good and I trust his skills so it could just be that minty drinks are not meant to be served cold.

Lately, I’ve been going through this thing where…I’m just sad a lot. And obviously, I don’t enjoy talking about it or even admitting to myself that it’s actually a thing, but after weeks of it wearing away at my insides and being this gray storm cloud all over campus, I decided to tell someone. And that turned into a few more people. And after discussing this with…six or so friends, I feel like an open book. It’s scary. Like I’m constantly vulnerable and they know a piece of what’s going on inside of me.

But obbbbbviously telling them only helped me and I learned something from each one of them. Something one of them suggested me doing is making a list of things that I’m happy about or that I’m looking forward to. So with that, here we go:

Things that make me happy:

  • Christmas is in a month and four days
  • Jocelyn
  • I’ll be home this time tomorrow
  • I’ll get to hug my family
  • It’s raining = colder weather finally
  • School is almost over
  • I’m going to a mixer tonight in a tacky Christmas sweater
  • The smell of my hair today
  • The fact that I got a mani-pedi two days ago and my nails look awesome when I type/write/do homework/walk
  • This bracelet that Trey made me
  • Today is Thursday

Things I’m looking forward to (distant future):

  • Getting a cat (This is definitely going to happen)
  • Living in an apartment next year with my best friend
  • Going home (Many in the first list can be applied to this category)

Now I’m distracted.

Hopefully I’ll never finish this list.

Cheers.

Hot

As I was sitting in class today, something popped into my head that has been bothering me for quite awhile and I just want to put it out there:

It’s not attractive to not care about school. It’s not attractive to be a procrastinator or cheat on homework/exams/essays. It’s not attractive that you’re failing a course or struggling to keep up. Don’t boast about it. Don’t talk about being “so behind” like it’s a good thing. Why is that something to laugh about? It’s okay to study for a test that’s happening not the following day but the following week. There’s no reason to feel ashamed when you go to tutoring or the writing center or make multiple drafts of a paper. It’s actually really hot when a guy (or girl, or both, depending on what you prefer) is on top of things. I find a man sexy when he doesn’t constantly complain about the professor or the workload or the people. Or really, his academic life in general.

It just really bothers me when people bitch about being here in college when they’re the only ones truly responsible for themselves being here. (Man, that is just chockfull of redundancy and bad grammar). Yeah, it’s okay to whine sometimes about not getting enough sleep or feeling overwhelmed, because, let’s face it, what would college be without those experiences? Just don’t over dramatize your pain or feel like you don’t care that your life is shit. Just be honest. You care. We all do so there’s no need to cover that fact up. Wallow with us in our academic misery.

And especially don’t complain if you’re not managing your time correctly and choosing to party rather than study. Simple rule: If you can’t handle it, don’t keep doing it.

And this kind of relates to my rant but when I was waiting outside for my class to begin, there was a guy across from me reading Canterbury Tales. Whether he was reading it for pleasure or not, it was still attractive because he seemed intellectual. He was really concentrating on his reading and seemed genuinely interested. But then his friend comes up to him and says, “You reading that for class?” To which Guy replies, “Yeah.” And Friend is like, “Sucks, man.” And Guy says, “Yeah, I know.”

Why should it suck? Canterbury Tales is actually a very entertaining book and if you just give it a chance, then you might enjoy it. Who was the Friend to say that that sucks? Yeah, it’s assigned reading, but would it have been assigned if it was not worth perusing? Boys are idiots.

Other things that have been bothering me:

  1. People who order frappuccinos before 11 a.m.
  2. The mean salary of teachers
  3. Texas Weather

Cheers.

Il Pleut

Et je le deteste.
I was caught in the rain the past two days and, while I consider myself a romantic and would’ve loved the experience under any other circumstance, the conditions were horrendous and I hated it.
As I said before.

Sorry to all whose parades I just rained on by writing this post.

Cheers.

From a Balcony

It’s 10:46pm on a Sunday night in September and I feel at peace.

Tonight’s a good night to be intoxicatingly cliché.

Tomorrow is Monday, and needless to say, I’m not exactly ecstatic about the return of immediate responsibility. Right now, I’d like to just remain in the now. (Aside, that last sentence just reminded me of the entire premise of The Spectacular Now, which was an okay movie. Future blog post of my critique for that film, possibly? I’ve got some stuff to say about it).

But, I did just admit that it’s a good day to be cliché so remaining in the now is only appropriate.

I’m rambling, I know. It’s been 4 minutes.

I feel at peace because I’m sipping a mug of passionfruit-flavored tea (too sweet, probably let it steep for too long), sitting in the dark of my friends’ apartment balcony. I have a partial view of West Campus–it’s peaceful, surrounded by apartment complexes with a partial view of the UT Tower. It’s lit and–I don’t know if it’s the poet or the Longhorn in me–but it looks spooky and…relevant. Yes, it looks relevant and beautiful and proud that it’s the symbol of UT Austin.

Listening to my favorite song, Ben Folds’ Landed. Continuing to sip the gross tea because that’s all that’s available and I’d rather have gross tea than no tea at all. The weather’s not at all like Texas weather.

I planned on winging this post (at least, more so than the others) and hopefully steer it towards some sort of a contemplative essence but my thoughts are so discursive I can’t seem to string them together into something intelligible, much less interesting.

A guy is walking his dog across the street. The girl in front of him drags her suitcase behind her. There’s a faint police siren. Soft lights in windows. A girl is trying to get into the adjacent apartment complex. Always the sound of passing cars. And a sort of background hum of…movement. Maybe it’s I-35. Or the River? Or of just life? It’s too bright to see the stars.

But that’s really not so bad. The Tower will do for now.

Image

Cheers.

–Round of applause for my spot-on webcam, everybody

This is Not an Obituary

On Friday, Seamus Heaney died.

I wouldn’t even know who this Heaney guy was if I hadn’t had The Mr. Willard for my high school English teacher and if he hadn’t been the most unconventional teacher I’ve had so far. I had no idea just how famous of a poet he was and so I don’t blame you if you have no idea who I’m talking about,  but if you’re of the more enlightened population that already knew this, then bravo to you.

Seamus Heaney was  an Irish poet. One of the most famous poets in history. If we were to rewind back four years to the day when Mr. Willard assigned his class to drive 45 minutes to the University of North Texas and listen to a lecture given by a lit professor who was also slightly off his rocker, then you’d witness the day when I first heard about Mr. Heaney. My friend’s dad drove us through rush hour traffic just to hear a lecture for a mere high school english grade, and it was clear that none of us wanted to go through with it. However, being on the UNT campus that fateful Thursday night proved more fulfilling than I could have possibly imagined.

For one, I experienced college as a college student would have. The lecture was in a cramped classroom with even smaller desks. We marveled at the professor who was actually quite young and wearing flip-flops with his suit. We were surprised that he didn’t lecture. Instead, he showed us a 30 minute video about Mr. Heaney. Then, we ate Subway cookies on the curb as we talked about our futures that would be quite similar to this while we waited for her dad to come pick us up. It was one of the greatest nights of my life.

Mr. Heaney, at the time, seemed like only a by-product of this glorious Thursday evening. I had to sit through a boring video about a poet. Unless you’re an English lit major or Heaney fanatic, not the most riveting documentary. Then, I had to write a paper about what I learned. And to be honest, I don’t remember a scrap of information I heard from that video or put in that report. After that day, Seamus Heaney was just a name on an English assignment.

Until last Friday. When he died.

It’s interesting to think that I never forgot that name. It’s just one of those curious things that linger in the recesses of your brain and dredged up one day when you hear some dreadful news involving said curiosity, like death, and feel more affected by it than you might expect.

You see, when I saw that Mr. Heaney died (via another author, Mr. John Green’s twitter), I instantly recalled that night on the curb with our Subway cookies and the feeling of the unknown just out of our reach. This was actually the text dialogue between my friend and I when the news broke:

madi text madi text 2

At first, I was joking. Not about his death. But about how I felt. Because how could I care? I hadn’t had anything to do with the guy since my sophomore year of high school. But as I thought about it more and realized how many other people seemed to care, I noticed that Mr. Heaney did play a significant role in mine. I believe that I was entirely on the mark when I said that a piece of my childhood died along with him. Because, in a sense, it did.

My encounter with Mr. Heaney involved not just learning about his life through that documentary, but also that portion of my life when I am about to jump passed the threshold into the future. It sounds very otherworldly and cosmic but I feel as if this Irish poet symbolized that part of my existence when I knew less of what was going to happen to me but still possessed the courage to jump head first into it. Now, I’m in college and I’m more frightened about what’s ahead than I was four years prior. With some twisted logic, a mere poet impacted my life.

I’m sad because there are many more people like Seamus Heaney who are geniuses of the pen and contribute to the world their words, and others like me, buried by college, buried by life,  who won’t get the chance to witness that kind of greatness. I’m afraid that eventually, people like Mr. Heaney will become undervalued and forgotten.

That’s why I’m sad.

My Hemingway Complaints

“Write drunk; Edit Sober” – Ernest Hemingway

Probably one of the more popular quotes by Hemingway, this quote appears at least once on most instant-blogging sites, like Tumblr and Pinterest. It carries that succinct directness that only Hemingway can evoke, and a truth that seems at first absurd, but later, more than likely accurately describes the creative writing process of any author. I myself love the quote, although I can hardly relate; I’ve never been drunk more out of self-preservation than not breaking the law or drinking alcohol. However, ever since reading For Whom the Bell Tolls, I appreciate and immensely enjoy his masculine technique with the pen. (Just me, or did that sound dirty?) So, whether the quote was actually said/written by Ernest (I’d like to believe that if he were still alive we’d be on a first name basis) or not, it still speaks to me.

However, 

the next novel I read by him was his most arguably famous book, A Farewell to Arms. And, like Pat Solitano, I wanted to chuck that piece of shit out the window.  I would have if I wasn’t in an airplane 50,000 feet in the air. Really, Ernest? How could you? REALLY? If you have ever read this book, please, share your thoughts. I would really like to know how others felt about the ending. And if you haven’t, then read it and come back and tell me what you think. Granted, it’s a good book: the writing is efficient and engaging, the characters (except Katherine) are likeable, and the plot line up until the last page is interesting. But, come on. Not many books can evoke such a reaction from me, and Pat didn’t overreact as you might believe.

One of my ugly posts. I would apologize for misleading you into thinking that this would be an intellectual discussion about Ernest and his quote, but you’re not supposed to apologize for blog posts.

Cheers.

Amateur Blogger Discusses Sex, Beyonce in Times

SEX.

Have I caught your attention? You, the frazzled businessperson grabbing a tall Americano from the Starbucks on 23rd and Park whose eyes unconsciously zero in on a word that you really don’t have time to think about since you have a meeting in 20 minutes. You, the executive who has enough to do today already, much less read the newspaper, a thing undeniably–yet sadly–becoming obsolete. You, the drug dealer who only reads the paper because you use it to covertly pass on your goods to the next buyer. (Yes, I took that from an episode of Suits). Or you, the guy who uses the paper to wipe his bum, roll his weed, as a blanket, whichever. Whoever you are, I love you and I thank you–and most especially if you’re the fourth gentleman– for at least reading a portion, albeit only a single word out of many, of this article.

As you may have realized, dear Reader, this article has nothing to do with Sex. As much as I would have enjoyed writing about it, I must admit that the word was only meant to catch your attention from the busy life that I understandingly know you are leading and hold that said attention for only a few moments more to finish reading what I have to say. And let me warn you, this is not like many of the Front Page Articles that have graced the Times in…a long time. 

What does one even discuss on the Front Page of the Times? My opinion about America and its dwindling Middle Eastern relations? Obama’s next move pertaining to…everything? All the drama surrounding the stock market? Abortion? Lindsay Lohan? Even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t be able to give forth any opinion because I am poorly informed about all of the above. What’s up with Benghazi? Or Egypt? How are Obama’s plans to increase minimum wage? Bernake, how’s he doing? And I haven’t heard about LiLo in the news lately so I’m assuming she’s good. Maybe if the front page of the Times provided a quarterly bulleted list that kept people like me (which I’m assuming is–sadly–a large majority of Americans) more informed? That way our ignorance won’t be as embarrassing when we end up on a Kimmel or Fallon sketch.

But why should my opinion even matter? I’m twenty years old, barely in college, and still have my parents paying my cell phone bill. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never had a job and I’m not suffering for it. Yeah, I’m part of the 99%, I desperately want to meet President Obama, I like cats, and I want to be successful in the future. And sometimes, it’s hard to realize that once I do all that, I’m going to die. And so is the President, and Steven Spielberg, and Beyonce, and all of One Direction. My point is that we’re all human, and it’s hard to fully realize that. We idolize people who aren’t just like us, but who are us. They have a mother and father and like some sort of animal. They had hopes and dreams and still have hopes and dreams. They get their hair cut, take cabs, have to wait for things (usually), and even go to the bathroom. Just picture Beyonce on the toilet. Having trouble? Yeah, me too.

It’s more than okay to have an opinion that isn’t shared by British boy bands or politicians. It is yours for a reason. And it counts just as much as anyone else’s on this damn planet. The only difference that separates you and them are little green bills; yet, the world listens to them and follows after their actions. President Obama is probably a better public speaker and asserting his ideas and desires is second nature, but you’re probably a better pianist or soccer player. Beyonce and One Direction can probably dance and sing better than you but you shouldn’t just compare yourself based on those two qualities. I’m not saying I’m against celebrities; I sympathize with them. It’s nice being looked up to, but after years and years of being under the public radar and living under the condition that in order to be loved by us you must embody our idea of being lovable, it can get a little suffocating. Especially if you’re just one person taking the heat for not being able to get two completely different mindsets of geezers to agree on something and then once they at least compromise a tad bit, you’ve got to get a majority of the 300 million people in America to acquiesce to an agreement made by the 535 officials. How can you not find that exhausting?

God, we are quite the insufferable bunch, aren’t we?

So I suppose the point to this article is to lay off the celebrities, cut Obama some slack, read the newspaper more often, and most importantly, stop thinking about sex. Hopefully, my expertise as an amateur blogger managed to hold your attention up until now, and to be even more optimistic, that you actually took away from it. Because, despite the preceding sentence, there would be absolutely no purpose to my thirty minutes of furious typing if I wasn’t able to at least scratch the surface of your pithy brains. (Not sure what ”pithy” means, could be used wrong, just seemed appropriate).

Thanks, Reader, for sparing your time and a piece of your brain.

Cheers.

– Note: Looked up the definition of ‘pithy’ and surprise, I did use it incorrectly. While I was meaning to chide you, Reader, and slightly insult your brain, I actually complimented it. I was going for a synonym of ‘stubborn’ or ‘thick.’ Hopefully you got the intent though.

2:32 AM

Image

The gloves are off, the wisdom teeth are out, what you on about?

I feel it in my bones, I feel it in my bones…

My grandmother died yesterday. There’s something about her death that…well, I feel as if I’m drunk. I wasn’t close to her at all–she lived in the Philippines, I lived here in Dallas–but there’s still a sadness about the house that makes it seem as if we were best friends. But I’m more sad for my mom because I saw the depth of her sadness when she cried, and never in my life have I seen her cry. She didn’t break down or anything, her eyes became red and she couldn’t talk for a bit. We were seated at the kitchen table and she told me that my grandmother seemed to know that she was going to die that night because she was asking my mom’s sister if any of her other kids (my mom, and her two other siblings who lived halfway across the world) were coming to visit and my aunt said no.  Then my mom said, “None of her kids came, she died and we didn’t come.” It was just the two of us–my brother was watching TV, my sister was sleeping, my dad was on a trip. I tried being strong as I struggled to comfort her and then I went up to my room and cried for my mom, for my grandma, harder than I have in awhile.

I feel as if I’m drunk because the next day my head hurt. Not hangover-like, just a head soreness from crying too much in a short amount of time. Then I didn’t feel like doing anything but eating. So I did. Then I felt the extreme need to be productive so I was for about four hours and then I did nothing again.

And that’s how I came to listen to Vampire Weekend at half past two in the morning.

The Ferris Bueller photo (www.nydailynews.com) does not pertain whatsoever to this post; it just seemed like the most appropriate picture on my computer that should embody the very first post in the Cursive Journal.

Cheers.