Fahrenheit 31

I have 31 books stacked up high on my desk in my bedroom. The collection varies, including the sparkling vampire saga that is Twilight (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn), yes I got sucked into the teen sensation when I was seventeen, the intricately woven world of Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest) and a man’s quest to Hell and back that changed the world’s perception of the afterlife forever, Dante’s Inferno trilogy (Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso)…Oh what the hell, I might as well mention all the other books I own while I’m at it.

I own the following:  A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess,  American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, Of Mice & Men by John Steinbeck,  Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk,  Dracula by Bram Stoker, Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay, Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr, The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu, The Devil In The White City by Erik Larson, IT by Stephen King, Flowers + Filth and Prose & Poems by Wil Francis, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas and The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson, Most Loved Poems Of The American People, and Edgar Allen Poe: Complete Tales & Poems, not to mention the trilogies and saga I noted in the paragraph above.

The fact that I have a bunch of books isn’t really what’s important though. What is important is where would our society be without them?

You’re probably asking how  this question arose, and as always, I have an answer. I recently purchased three Ray Bradbury novels, The Illustrated Man, Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes. I’d read  Wicked when I was thirteen for a school project, and fell in love with it…Whenever I thought about the book in the past, I thought about my grandpa and it’s safe to say I still do. Despite the fact he himself never read the novel (as far as I know), it reminds me of him. My grandpa and the Fall season, along with everything the wonderful season brings. I began reading the novel in Autumn, when I would see him everyday after school, via the too-obvious connection, but I won’t go into too much right now because that’s not the subject at hand…Strangely, I had never read Fahrenheit 451 but it thought I would broaden my horizons. Plus it got awesome reviews, and come on, it’s Ray Bradbury. The story sounded oddly familiar, like one I had my freshmen year, but it was quite different as I read on.

If you aren’t familiar with 451, it tells of a futuristic world where it’s a fireman’s job to start fires instead of extinguish them, burning books, the written word banned by the government. The main character, a fireman who becomes conflicted with everything he thought he knew and all the things he discovers along the way. I won’t give anymore away, but the book had me thinking: Where would we as people be without books?

Being an avid reader since I was fourteen, I honestly don’t know where I would be without books. Books are a great way to pass the time, and depending on what you’re reading, can be a whole lot more entertaining than what’s on TV. They open the door to another world, introducing you to characters that while are fiction, are somehow strangely individuals we can all relate to. Without books, this world wouldn’t be as interesting. Without books, we wouldn’t expand our punctuation and grammar, something that is, believe it or not, pretty important. Without books, we wouldn’t be able to learn about the triumphs and tragedies this world has faced, and see how much we’ve evolved since. Without books, people just might become mindless drones that watch TV 24/7, unable to grasp the possibilities of the written word. Without books…I know for sure I wouldn’t enjoy a world like that.

Next time you pick up a book at your library or from your collection, ask yourself: Where would we be without books? The answer might just amaze.

The written word is your escape from the every day, a safe haven when your own world isn’t.

The Girl With The Raindrop Tattoo

I’m not going to go into a huge, senseless rant about how I haven’t blogged since February because honestly that’s boring and I really don’t want to write about something boring. It’s almost like the past two months have been lackluster but they certainly haven’t. I know I said that this year will be different as far as the writing is concerned, and it definitely will be. I just haven’t really had the impulse to write or didn’t think I had anything interesting to write about…Until right now.

Way back in January, I mentioned that I put a healthy dent in Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and thanks to Netflix, I watched all three Swedish films in the trilogy before I finished the novel. Strangely, it didn’t change how I felt about the book or stifled me from finishing the grand piece of work. Usually when I read a book, I’ve already seen the movie or I just end up losing interest in the novel because I already know the outcome of story. Sometimes it happens, other times it doesn’t. In the case with GWTDT, I found myself even more drawn into it and wanted to finish it at a quicker pace in order to get my hands on the next one. As I type, I’m currently involved with the third and final book in the installment, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, and with 538 pages to go, I’d say I’m well on my way finishing the brilliant trilogy.

The reason why I say brilliant is because that’s exactly what it is. I remember when I first saw a preview or something on TV for the Swedish GWTDT, I didn’t really think much of  the book or really the movie for that matter. I just thought they were some films that looked pretty good that I would probably never watch because they were subtitled. While there’s nothing wrong with subtitles, I couldn’t picture myself sitting for however long the movie was, reading subtitles, trying to figure everything out. As time went on, I started to see the books together in box sets at different bookstores, and then my mom bought my sister The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo for either a birthday or Christmas gift. I don’t really remember which occasion. Regardless of the occasion, there’s no denying that the movie is pretty damn good as well. Both Swedish and American.

Most of the time it seems like when foreign films are taken over the ocean and made into American films, they tend to lack in some respects, whether it be character, plot, etc. This surprisingly cannot be said for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I think what truly made the American version is the character of Lisbeth Salander, played by Rooney Mara. Her portrayal of Lisbeth was amazing. I absolutely adored Noomi Rapace’s equally beautiful portrayal of Salander in the original film, but there is no real comparison because both women brought their own brand of fury and beauty to the character…Lisbeth is a character all her own, unlike any other heroine out there. She’s extremely intelligent and moralistic, but at the same time is damaged in a way, doing things in a way that no one else would think of. She’s the type of character that you can relate to without even realizing such relation was possible. The whole time I read the book, and while watching both films, I felt some kind of connection with Lisbeth. I’ve in no way shape or form had the type of life she as a character had experienced, but she has this almost real-life quality that makes you empathize and root for her, while still questioning her actions. It isn’t every day that you stumble upon a type of character with that kind of audacity…Both Rapace and Mara do an incredible justice to one of the most interesting and original characters to date.

Needless to say, I’ve gushed about how in love I am with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy, (or technically the Millennium trilogy as it states on the back of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest) and is starting to sound like one big book/movie review, but it’s not so chill out. Aside from reading like there’s no tomorrow, I found my deeply hidden talent during that week of insanely beautiful weather in March. When I still worked the stock room and compactor last summer, I took one of the coffin-shaped boxes suits are packaged in off the line and vowed to paint something awesome onto it. Almost a year later, with a couple of months to spare, I finally broke out my acrylic paints and began to make magic. The result: A gnarled, spooky looking tree with a bright moon behind it and dark purple layered over an equally dark blue as a background. Below my masterpiece that is my awesome looking tree (if I do say so myself), is a red anchor, accented with yellow to portray as years-old rust, with an oddly colored green and red rope intertwining behind said anchor, all on a light blue backdrop. It doesn’t seem like I accomplished that much of it because there is only the front of the box completed, but when I look back and think about the time and effort I put into it, it’s definitely something to feel good about.

Around the same time I started to work on my painting masterpiece that is the coffin-shaped box, my sister was making plans to move out of the house in which she had been living. Not just out of her place of dwelling, but out of the state as well. This might not seem like a big deal and at first it honestly didn’t, then I started to think about it. I’d known she would be leaving for a while before it started to sink in. She and her fiancé had planned on moving sooner, but things didn’t turn out as hoped and it became postponed. They both visited the state many times and were very fond of it ever since. I remember she brought me back a pair of Orca whale earrings the second time she was there. She would be leaving the state the end of March and I wouldn’t be able to see either of them until they came across the country for a visit. I say across the country because it isn’t a state or two over.

My sister and her fiancé are now residing in Seattle, some 2,000 miles from Ohio. I have to admit, it’s a little weird not having her live in the same state anymore. Usually I could just text her and ask if I could come over and hang out, ask if she would want to get coffee or just plain hang out. I remember a couple of years ago on Halloween her and I made the best pumpkin roll I’ve ever had, and before she left for Washington, we made awesome oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and once again two of the best pumpkin rolls I’ve ever had. I may not be able to bake or hang out with her anymore, but that doesn’t mean I’ve lost contact with her completely. We still text, she reads my blog and we’re both on Facebook…Oh where would the world be without it?…At least we’re using the site for what it was meant for, reconnecting. Whatever distance we are from each other, we’re never completely apart.

The month of April consisted of one of the three ‘Friday the 13ths’ we shall see this year, and while I’m not superstitious in any sense of the word, it hit me like it never had before. I woke up as I usually would, make myself some coffee, when out of nowhere, I felt this pain in my right side. At first I thought it was nothing, and just wrote it off as an ache or something. How foolish of me. The pain only got worse. I lay on the couch in the most pain I’ve ever been in my life. Yes, you read right. The most pain I’ve ever had in my life. This is coming from the girl with the raindrop tattoo. (If you read the post about my first tattoo, then you understand the reference). I remember I laid there for an hour, frustrated and fed up with it, when it stopped hurting altogether. I then proceeded to get on with my day, free of the pain my in side…Or so I thought. Some three and a half hours later, I was in pain again worse than what I started out with. At 9 ‘o clock I finally decided it was time to go to the emergency room. I’ve said before I have a high pain tolerance, but there’s only so much a person can take.

Long story short, after spending somewhere around 3 hours at the hospital, watching Storage Wars and Deadliest Catch, the verdict was ruled that I had developed kidney stones. Kidney stones. I then found out that individuals with Crohn’s Disease are more prone to kidney stones. I was given a prescription for pain, instructions to drink plenty of fluids and make an appointment with a urologist. After making the appointment with the urologist and having a CT scan done, it was determined that I indeed did not have a kidney stone. All the symptoms considered it be in fact a kidney stone, but in the end there was nothing there. Once I received this news, my urologist said that it could be something else, like a lump in the meat of my kidney. A lump in the meat of my kidney. Gross. After I had another procedure done, the verdict was that there was nothing wrong with me. In conclusion, I have no idea what caused me to have that pain and might never know. The story of my life as far as my health is concerned.

From my current obsession with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy and my almost masterpiece of a painting to everything in between, I’d say the past two months have been interesting to say the least. I wonder what the next couple months will bring. Only time will tell I guess…And you can be sure I’ll actually be blogging about it.

I’m the girl with the raindrop tattoo…I know exactly where I belong.

Plunging In, Head-First 

The last time I graced this blog with my words and experiences was in November…2 months ago…No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth, no matter how many times I wished I could. Yes, I said it. There are times where I just wanted to turn off my cell phone, and not deal with anyone. Not log onto Facebook for a couple of days, and not deal with anything. It’s safe to say I did that. So while I haven’t fallen off the planet, I have learned a multitude of new things about myself since the beginning of the new year.

I remember at the end of my last post that I had no idea what would come from Autumn’s falling leaves and Winter’s impending snow…It’s now more than safe to say that I know what they brought…No job, surprisingly amazing health and an obstacle I’d rather not mention for the memories’ sake. Yes, you read correctly. My baker job didn’t work out as planned, but strangely, that isn’t really one of my major concerns right now. That’s right. I said a job isn’t one of my main concerns at the moment. I will find another job when I’m damn good and ready. Sure, my mornings are sometimes sleepless because of the night schedule I managed to uphold, but that’s nothing episodes of The Twilight Zone and other various titles on Netflix can’t occupy. And reading. I’m reading again. I finished The Devil in the White City that I’d been reading since last April, American Psycho (for the second time), The Great Gatsby, and am currently putting a healthy dent in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It’s safe to say my inner bookworm is finally being unleashed after a long hiatus.

While the new year brought out my long-lost passion for reading, it also brought good health. Amazing health at that. Now, it might not seem like a very amazing thing, great health and all, but for me it is. Especially after what it put me through last year. No, it didn’t put me in the hospital or anything like that, but it made me learn something new about myself that I don’t think I was really seeing…To put it bluntly, I turn into a bitch when I don’t feel good. When I’m having a stomach-clenching flare-up, I become frustrated and take everything out on everyone else…Thankfully, I’m not like that anymore. I didn’t really change who I am, but rather just my medication. Sure, it might be more pills I have to take now, but I’m feeling a hell of a lot better. I wake up without stomach pain. I don’t find myself staying up at night because of stomach pain. I don’t randomly freak out and go into manic fits because of said stomach pain. I’m feeling amazing, and it’s a great feeling.

Despite the fact the beginning of this new year kind of sucked in its own little way, it’s also been the best start I would’ve asked for. I learned that while it’s great to have a job, I’m a lot less stressed without it, and feel significantly better health-wise. I don’t think I will ever really stop reading, writing or blogging, not matter how long I find myself uninspired or on hiatus for. I have a lot of new ideas for posts and poetry buzzing around in my brain, along with a couple posts I’ve been working on for a good 2 years now. Yes, you read right. I have a couple posts I started 2 years ago and have yet to finish. I blame my lack of motivation at the time, and everything in between…

I know I said this before, but I’ll say it again. This year is going to be different. No more going a couple of months without blogging. When I first started my blog, I would write every day, sometimes multiple times a day, and honestly, I sometimes miss that. This year will definitely be different. I’ll share more of my poetry and such, along with anything else that strikes my fancy that particular day, along with the unfinished posts I mentioned earlier.

…With all of this said, I’m just happy. I’m ready for whatever this new year has to offer.

I’m plunging in, head-first.

Procrastination At Its Finest?

Procrastination. It’s completely normal. Almost like human nature. Almost, not quite yet. People become preoccupied with a hundred different things at once or something called laziness takes over and what needs to get done won’t be finished ’til the last-minute. Sadly, I have succumb to dreaded procrastination more than once, but for some reason I think that streak of surrendering is somehow coming to an end.

I’ll be completely honest: I’m not a big fan of research papers. The first research paper I had to do was last school year, and it wasn’t that fun. Being a new school year now, I have to do another required paper. Thankfully, this paper is easier and not due at the end of the year, as with the latter. There is a topic, not a thesis. An author, not an issue that we agree or disagree with.

Needless to say, this year’s research paper is on an author of our choosing or one that we were reading. Chosen by the student, nonetheless. It seemed like most people picked the first author that came to their head, like they didn’t really think about. Their brains just said ‘write down this name and pass the paper to the next person.’ I had no idea what author I would do a paper on. I had about five lined up, with obviously one being the victor. Unsure which author should be cut from my list, I chose two. Yeah, that probably sounds like a hassle or that I’m being a ‘teacher’s pet’ or something, but that’s not it at all. I thought the only way to get some kind of point across would be to do two papers on two completely different authors.

I have to admit, I was kind of surprised by the reactions I got when I was asked by fellow students what author I was doing my paper on. It’s not like the answer was different each time, it was the same every time. Dante Alighieri and Hunter S. Thompson. I got this bleak, almost dumbfounded look each and every time. Granted, I didn’t fully know about Dante until I saw something on the History Channel. I knew that he wrote Inferno, but didn’t know THAT much about him. As with Thompson, I didn’t know he wrote Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas until I saw the movie starring the beloved Johnny Depp. I did a little research after seeing the movie, thus finding even more about him. So, I guess I can’t really say that I’m surprised, but it sort of just shows that either I read too much or other people don’t read at all.

If anything really surprised me, though, it would have to be the fact that I’ve already gotten the majority of the information on my idols. Which isn’t something I usually do. For my previous research paper, I procrastinated and I felt like it wasn’t the best I could write, or write and research. I just flat-out wasn’t very happy with it, and I actually want to be happy with the things I write. Whether it be recreational creativity or not. The entire reason why I’m starting this paper a month early. Call it me breaking the curse of procrastination or not, but my motivation is probably at its best right now. I can’t say the same thing for volleyball, though. My motivation for that is still up in the air.

My motivation for writing definitely doesn’t lack foundation and the breakdown.