Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Testing, testing, 1-2-3...

One of my all time favorite fictional characters Hermione Granger thrives on a good test. Her character is notorious for being "clever" and "book smart" and for a very long time, I tried to model myself after her. I would sit at the front of class and raise my hand a lot. Whenever there was an awkward silence in class, I would thrust my fist in the air to answer, even though I had been the only one answering most of the questions in the first place. I dubbed it "Hermione Granger syndrome." When I would sit down to do homework, I would think, "What would Hermione do?" and attempt to get ahead of my work and be the smartest person around.

Now, I don't try to base everything I do around a fictional character. I would say that I'm a lot more involved in the "real world" and don't live in the fictional fantasy worlds I used to inhabit in my youth (at least not as often as before). 

In high school, though I was trying super hard to be Hermione, I would never really study but always manage to do well on tests. Now that I'm in college, I seem to have carried over that same mentality. This past semester, the night before the only final exam I had to take (at 8AM in the morning), I decided it would be a brilliant idea to host a party and stayed up until about 3AM escorting people out of my apartment.

Somehow, though I had not been to class most of the semester, avoided the readings like the plague, brought my computer to class and played games instead of paying attention, copied my homework and online quizzes off friends I had made and skipped my lab nearly every other week, I still managed to score a 77 out of 100 on the test. While a 77 is not the best grade, considering the lack of work I put into it, I'm quite proud of myself.

In high school, I remember teachers constantly waxing philosophical about how "college is so hard, the professors won't stand for late work, you need to put tons of hours into a class to even consider passing, etc. etc..." I think the teachers were trying to manipulate us into working harder, standards at college have been lowered or the teachers at MHS were delusional.

While paper tests may not be the hardest thing in the world to score an easy grade on (that sounds almost sexual) I can't help but wonder about the other tests that we as people face all the time.

The tests of relationships, friendship, financially, conflicts, and of course the test that comes with being a good person.

When I think of the test that comes with being a good person, there are two quotes I found over the years that come to mind.

"The whole course of human history may depend on a change of heart in one solitary and even humble human individual- for it is in the solitary mind and soul of the individual that the battle between good and evil is waged and ultimately won or lost."

The above was stated by Anonymous- one of the greatest literary writers of all time.

Another quote that I think of comes from Robert Louis Stevenson of Treasure Island fame.

"In each of us, two natures are at war- the good and the evil. All our lives the fight goes on between them and one of them must conquer. But in our own hands lies the power to choose- what we want most to be- we are."

While it may be true that I don't really have much to choose from in the ways of good or evil, simple things can be deciding factors in whether you are a really good person, or an alright person with good intentions.

I'd like to think that I am a good person and that I can pass the tests that life throws at me, but I suppose that only time will tell.  

Happy Sailing.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Decisions decisions...

So I realized today that two of my new years resolutions are conflicting. 

I can either stop biting my nails and have nice lovely nails that look pretty, or I could learn how to play guitar and be all musical and such.

I tried to play some guitar tonight, but the fake nails I got in hopes of dissuading myself from biting them got in the way.

What do I think would be a more useful skill??

If I learn how to play guitar, I could sit on the sidewalks of NYC and rake in the cash with cheesy renditions of songs or I could even join a band!  If I stop biting my nails, I could be a hand model!

Decisions, decisions.  Chances are I'll probably end up biting these fake nails off by the end of January, so I suppose I'll just leave it up to fate and how bad my nervous habit gets in my new classes this week.

Happy sailing.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"There is nothing to do in my town but DRINK!"

The title of this post comes from a comment I hear only too often.  Growing up in a small town, a variety of the people I went to high school with thought this comment was true.  Currently, going to college at the #11 party school in the nation also lends truth to this statement.

People think they need to drink to have a good time, but they're dead wrong.

I will admit that I like my drink on occasion.  I turn 21 next month and you can be sure that I'll be tossing back a few at the local bar, but just because I like to drink occasionally doesn't mean that it's the only thing I know how to do to have fun.

I look at some of the people I've known for a couple of years and think back to what they used to look like and what they look like now.  It's very sad- people barely out of their teens already have beer guts!

Some of the best memories I have with my friends don't involve alcohol in any way.  Late night drives to a variety of places, the drive in, the beach, karaoke revolution battles, One Tree Hill marathons, sleepovers, bridge jumping, concerts, midnight release parties, sporting e
vents, apple picking, pirate parties, disney theme parties and my entire spring break trip to London.  

I have never been one to allow a narcotic substance to dictate whether or not I have a good time.  Sure, drinking once in a while can be a good time, but I could never rely on it.

No matter where you are, if you are with people you like, you are
bound to have a good time.

PS- Due to my failure to post for a few days, I'm including a few rather embarrassing pictures of events that were completely sober.  I will also include some lovely poetry at a later date to rectify my failure to post! 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Veruca Salt and Increased Appetite for EVERYTHING

As the temperature continues to drop in NH, I find myself constantly craving more.  

I just placed an order at the local pizza delivery place.  I'm by myself, yet I ordered a loaded medium pizza, an order of ziti and meatballs and a large chicken caesar salad.   But I'm not just talking about craving food.

I think in todays' society, many people are used to instant gratification.  I have always been this way- I want it now, and if I can't have it now, I will find a way to get it very soon in the near future.

There are times when I have these thoughts running through my head and I realize that I sound just like Veruca Salt of Willy Wonka fame- the girl who runs through the golden egg room screaming "I don't care how- I want it now!"

My best friend Heather and I were just talking about how we're
 going to travel around Europe this summer after I've finished studying abroad in England.  We both have large balances on our credit cards, have pretty useless majors, and a large amount of student loans that we'll have to start paying off in the near future, yet we are still planning a long expensive vacation.

I spent 2 weeks in Europe last March and spent over $2000 in 10 days.  Compared to the amount I know I'll spend while in Europe for 8 weeks this coming summer, I'm sure that will soon look like nothing.

But- I don't care about the money.  I'm a very reckless and thoughtless person and would rather spend a year's worth of savings on a 2 week vacation that I thoroughly enjoy, instead of sitting on my money for a couple of years until I'm too old to enjoy myself.

The motto that I always tell myself and that I find myself telling other people is "You can always make more money, but you cant always get back the memories you never had because you wouldn't spend your money."
And it is a true statement.  It might be hard to find a decent job right now, but recessions happen and they last for a few years, then the economy bounces back.

I am concerned about finding a job I like, but I'm not worried about finding a job.  There are opportunities everywhere.  But, again with the instant gratification.  If a person doesn't like their job immediately, then the job sucks and there is nothing available.  I hope I'm never like that.

Luckily, if I can't find a job, I'm certain I could star in some porn.  I've always wanted to be an actress and I quite like sex- what could I possibly hate about being a porn star?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Dream of Erised

For someone who considers themselves extraordinarily lazy, I work far too much.  I added up my hours and over the next eight days I'm working a grand total of 97 hours (not including driving).

While I have never been one to sit around for days on end, I'm a bit concerned with my lack of free time.  Last night, instead of going to bed at a reasonable hour as I had hoped, I ended up going to sleep around 4AM and getting about four hours of sleep before I had to be at work for 9AM.

The reason I was up so late was due to my pack rat tendencies.  I hate to throw things away and for the last six months stuff had been piling up in my closet.  I decided to take some time to clean it out and since I worked until 11PM, the only logical time to do it was late in the evening.

Whilst cleaning, I decided to listen to Harry Potter and the
Sorcerer's Stone on tape.  Back when I was a junior in high school I developed a ritual in which every night before bed I would listen to a Harry Potter book on tape.  I have stuck to this almost religiously for the last four years and I would say I have probably listened to the entire book series around four or five times.  

I recently restarted the series and was listening for a few hours last night and it was the first Christmas Harry had that he enjoyed.  He received the invisibility cloak as a gift and went wandering through Hogwarts.  He almost got caught by the caretaker in the library and dashes  to a random room where he stumbles upon the Mirror of Erised.

While I was listening to the book and going through my closet, I started to think about what I would see in the mirror if I were to look into the Mirror of Erised. 
According to Dumbledore, the Mirror of Erised "shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts" and at this point right now, I can't think of anything that I want that I don't have (except perhaps a live kitten, but that will be remedied once I get a pet friendly apartment).

I am lucky enough to have a loving family, I have way more clothes than I need, 
even in the tough economy I have three jobs, I have a wonderful boyfriend, amazing friends, and am lucky enough to be furthering my education at a rather well known university.  I know I complain sometimes, but I really think I have a great life and have a lot to be happy about.

While I was thinking about my deepest desires, I started to think about my dreams.  Almost every night, I have extremely vivid and extremely unrealistic dreams.  I can't help but wonder if I do have secret hidden desires that I don't know about and these desires manifest themselves in my dreams.  Recently, I have dreamt of a pokephone (an rather odd contraption that has yet to be invented), a day trip to Disney world with my sister, becoming a lesbian with a good friend, my sister dying an untimely death, being invited to the Oscars by Robert Pattinson, learning to fly a plane, crashing a plane onto my high school field day and working A LOT.  
I can't think of anything in particular that I really want right now, so I guess I'll just assume my dreams are the product of an overworked imagination.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Voyeuristic Squirrel with Some Road Kill Soup

Recently, while I was home, I was having a lovely time with a dear friend and it has recently come to my attention that a squirrel was watching us from the workout room in his basement.

While I don't mind being the center of attention, the fact that this pervy squirrel was watching us and did not make himself known makes me feel a bit odd.  It makes me wonder about the nature of animals versus the nature of humans.

At the mall where I work there is this pet store where the dogs lie in shredded newspaper in topless cages.  Everyday, masses of people traffic in and out of this pet store and squeal over the inane cuteness of these defenseless puppies.  I will admit that I am one of them.  I'm a sucker for a cute face, a soft coat, and a friendly disposition.  Most of these puppies fit the bill.

While I do enjoy trumping through the store and pushing past the little brats to get right up to the side of the cage, I feel sad too.  How would we as humans feel if it were reversed and a variety of fat ugly dogs paraded through a store where we were being held against our will in topless cages?

The topless cages are great for people like me who love to pet the puppies, but these poor animals must feel so cheated.  The larger of the puppies (like the male husky who has been there for weeks!) is tall enough to get his paws over the side and see out into the freedom that is the mall, but he is not strong enough to jump over it and wreak havoc in the food court.

I thought about working at a pet store once because I love the sweet animals, but I always feel inclined to steal them and take them home.  Considering I don't have a pet friendly apartment and am also allergic to most animals, this would not be an ideal part time job.  I also have the sneaking suspicion they would notice if a puppy went missing after every shift I worked.

Back to this peeping-tom of a squirrel.  Squirrels- like puppies- are quite cute so I decided to use my favorite web resource- Wikipedia- to see what they have to say about them.  According to wikipedia, they are generally clever animals who like to chew things.  Their nests are called dreys and they ignore fake owls.  Also- in some places in the continental US, squirrel meat is considered a delicacy.  I for one will not be eating squirrel on purpose any time in the near future.  

My dad told me he once found a squirrel on the side of the road (fresh roadkill  if there can be such a thing) and made a soup out of it and fed it to me and my sister.  For awhile I didn't believe him, but have reversed my thinking on the matter upon discovering that he recently whipped out his shotgun to gun down a coyote in our yard and proceeded to mount it on our wall.

Perhaps the squirrel that spied on us was simply seeking revenge because I ate his great uncle in a road kill soup.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Fairy Tale Ending?

I'm Selina and the thought of having a blog frightens me.  I swore I would never write about my life on the internet for anyone to see, but after talking to a few people, I've decided that maybe this is the boost I need.

I'm 20 years old and I'll be 21 in a little over a month.  I'm an English Major, Classics and Sociology minor at the University of New Hampshire.  I want to write fiction 
someday, but as I am terrible at actually keeping up with writing, I'm hoping some brilliant idea will fall in my lap and I'll be unable to keep away from it.  I was
 complaining about my lack of motivation to write and my friend Neil told me I should start keeping a blog and that I should write in it every day.  Typically, I'm bad at taking advice, but I thought this sounded like a good idea, so here is is.  

I'm at work right now in Dover and I have such a difficult job that I am able to spend copious amounts of time writing blogs and searching for random stuff on wikipedia.  Right now I'm particularly intrigued by the fairy tale by Hans Christain Andersen entitled "The Steadfast Tin Soldier."  

It is a fairy tale story that I somehow missed when I was younger and I just recently stumbled upon it while rereading Inkheart.   Anyway, there is mention of this fairy tale and I had no idea what the story was so I went on wikipedia to see what happened and the story (quickly summarized from wikipedia) goes as such...

On his birthday, a boy receives a set of tin soldiers and arrays 
them on a table top. One soldier stands on a single leg as there wasn't enough metal that was used to cast the set of soldiers to fully form him. Nearby, he spies a lovely paper ballerina with a spangle on her sash. She too is standing on one leg and the soldier falls in love. That night, a troll, a "black bogey" in the form of a Jack-in-the-box among the toys angrily warns the soldier to av
ert his ardent gaze from the ballerina, but the soldier ignores him. The next day, the soldier falls from a windowsill (presumably the work of the troll) and lands in the street. Two boys find the soldier, place him in a paper boat, and set him sailing in the gutter. The boat and its passenger wash into a sewer, where a rat demands the soldier pay a toll. Sailing on, the boat is washed into a canal, where the tin solder is swallowed by a fish. When the fish is caught and cut open, the tin solder finds himself once again on the table top before the ballerina. Inexplicably, a boy suddenly throws the tin soldier into the fire in the stove. A draught blows the ballerina into the fire with him, and she is consumed at once; only her spangle remains. The maid later discovers the tin soldier has melted into the shape of a heart.

I don't know why this story is something that I have been thinking about a lot.  I have always and will always love fairy tales, and although this story does not end happily, it is a tale that has endured for over 200 years.  The latest version of the story takes place in Fantasia 2000 and is a pretty good representation of the story, but ends happily, which kind of bugs me.

One of my favorite quotes from my favorite show One Tree Hill is "There is nothing wrong with fairy tales- they all live happily ever after."  Although that saying is simple enough and generally true, is there ever such thing as a fairy tale ending??

I like to think there are two different types of fairy tale endings.  There are the types that emerged with Hans Christian Andersen which do not always end well (Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Little Mermaid) and then there are the sugar coated Disney Fairy Tale endings.  Both of the above mentioned stories were optioned by Disney and drastically changed to fit their mold of happily ever after.  In both tales by Andersen, the main characters die and the world goes on living.

This is not meant to be pessimistic by any means, just realistic.  As a little girl I always dreamed for my own fairy tale happily ever after, but I guess the original fairy tale did not always end well.  Judging by the two stories I have read by Andersen, I think I'm going to take some time and read what else he wrote. 

I think the paper ballerina serves as a tragic heroine.  Not only does she die tragically in a fire, she has a pretty sparkly sash which she uses to attract the attention of the pervy jack in the box as well as the soldiers.  I have decided to name my blog after her because in my head, if all it takes to be a heroine is a sparkly sash and not speaking, I would be the best heroine there ever was.

 Nothing like reading some literature for children to gain some perspective on life.