Away From The Norm (A July Anomaly Pt. 2)

7:55 a.m.

It’s that time again. Both of my windows are grey and rain-stained. Thunder pounded the sky, while lightning streaked across it not long after. The power went out for a second or two, buzzing back to live just as quickly as it had gone.

Rain. A far-cry from the norm.

There isn’t any of the dreaded heat or humidity that weighs down your mood, no matter how chipper you are. The air is cooler, feeling more like the Autumn season I love. Even better with a Lipton raspberry iced tea and Placebo thrown in…This Saturday morning couldn’t be more perfect.

The simplest of things can make the biggest of difference.

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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 6 Year Fluke

Yesterday was June 6th, 2012, the day my brother graduated the 8th grade. Why is this a big deal other than the fact he’s moving on to high school in the Fall, and in all essence another stepping stone in this complicated and exciting thing we call Life? I graduated the 8th grade on June 6th, 2006, exactly six years ago.

I don’t want to say it’s creepy, but it kind of is. Creepy and interesting at the same time. He graduated at the age of fourteen, as did I. The only things that were different were the size of the space in which the event was held and the time. His was in the evening and mine in the morning.

Throughout the entire ceremony, I couldn’t help but think that I was back in the auditorium of my middle school, listening to everything the teachers and staff had to say to the graduating class. How we have all four years of high school ahead of us, how we can do anything we set our mind to…The one thing I don’t really think they elaborated on was how the real world will be. Granted, we were fourteen year olds, who already knew the dynamics of what it was like outside the school walls, but not to the extent that we would be faced with in high school and thereafter.

I often wonder if I’ve made the right decisions since that fateful day on June 6, 2006. Not that I’ve made the right decisions really, because only I can decide what decisions are right and wrong, but whether or not I’ve accomplished enough. The individuals I went to school with in junior high and high school have achieved more than I, but they’re not me and I’m not them. I’m my own person and I’ll do what I like on my own terms. No one else’s.

Yesterday was my brother’s 8th grade graduation, and I think he’ll be just fine come high school in the Fall. I have every ounce of confidence in him.

It’s amazing how time flies.

All This Talk 

Last year as a junior, I remember overhearing all this talk about college, the future and what a headache it was. It’s all too safe to say that I now know what everyone was talking about.

It seems like right when you have all your plans neat and in a row, something comes along and ruins them. I’m not saying that that’s bound to happen, but it’s something that generally does. Don’t ask me why. I didn’t make the rules. I can say that my plans for the future and college have changed dramatically since last year, though. I thought that I’d had everything figured out last year, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Turns out I was wrong.

People change their minds a million and one times before they finally know what they want, or they know exactly what they want and go for it. I think that no matter what type of person you are, there is no true way of denying that your future isn’t set in stone. Things change for better or for worse and it seems like a lot of people think that they can work their way around that, the ever-changing events of this thing called Life. Just because they know what they want to do and know how to accomplish the said goal, nothing will happen to them. They’re invincible…It probably sounds like I’m being an outrageously morbid dream-killer, but whatever. I’m just clearly saying that things change all the time and some people don’t think that it will ever apply to them.

I’m just now starting to realize, with less than a month left of school, that I’m overwhelmed for the first time in my life. Yeah, it might sound like I’m exaggerating, and believe what you want, but it’s the truth. All this talk of college and plans for the future, and everything else going on, it’s not hard to be swallowed up by the ever-growing multitude of things to come. Luckily, I know exactly what I want. It’s just a matter of accomplishing it. I’m overwhelmed but not so to the point that I don’t know what I want.

My freshmen year, I never would’ve thought I’d be making journalism my college major…Yes, you heard right…I’m majoring in journalism. Is that such a crime? I didn’t think so. I remember freshmen year I was so caught up in the new experiences of high school that I had no idea what I wanted to do years down the road. I’d thought about maybe going into graphic design or something because my other passion (that I often put on the back-burner) is drawing. Art. I love it and everything it entails. I’m good at drawing, but I think I’m even better at writing. Sure, writing might not be as lucrative and in-demand as graphic design is at the moment, but I don’t care. You should be able to do something you love because you love it, not just because it pays the rent. My major is journalism and that is that.

Instead of starting classes in the Fall like any normal person would, I’ve decided to start my classes either in the Spring or next Fall. Everyone is different when it comes to well, just about everything, and my decision is no different. At first, I thought I HAD to go to school in the Fall. I thought it was something that just HAD to be done. I wasn’t even thinking that I had the choice to take time off from school. It wasn’t something that was going through my mind at the time. I was stressing about starting classes in the Fall, and I had absolutely no reason to because I didn’t have to start in the Fall. I’m so totally not starting in the Fall. I mean the last year of high school is stressful enough, why make it even more stressful by having to go through more school less than 4 months after you graduate? It might sound like I’m a total loser, not going to college right after I graduate, but I don’t see it that way. I want to be somewhat established in one way or another before I go off to college. It’s better to have a general idea of what you’re going to do, then storm through it all, guns blazing. Or at least that’s how I see it. The whole-guns-blazing-thing is only good for somethings, not all, and I don’t think college plans qualify as one of those things.

Right now, at this very moment in time, I’m happy to say that everything is planned out for the most part. Yes, like I said, things are bound to change whenever, but for right now, it’s safe to say that everything is good. School is over in less than a month, and while it would usually seem hectic and overwhelming (as I just stated a million times over above), that’s all a part of the ride. Prom is in a than a month, too and that’s something I’m actually looking forward to. Whether I happen to have a date or not, I’m going. I have the cutest dress (a dress I’ve had for a couple years now, actually) and I know exactly how I want to look.

All this talk is just that…Talk. It means nothing unless you actually go through with it, and all this talk is finally starting to turn into something. It’s more than safe to say that I have nothing to stress about anymore. I’m ready for whatever life has to throw at me, yet again.

Life is overwhelming and I’m just starting to realize that. Look ahead and hold on tight. It only gets more intense.

October Anatomy

Fall. Autumn. The third out of fourth season. Whatever you want to call it, there’s no sure-fire way of denying that it’s here. And it’s definitely here.

It’s the season where everything changes, whether you want it to or not. The mornings are becoming colder and colder. The sun rises later, and is then defeated by the night sky even earlier. The leaves are changing from their crisp summer green to their crimson, orange, and yellow Fall counterparts…All this makes you wonder where Summer went, and how fast is Winter really approaching.

I’ll be honest, I love walking home from school in the Fall. From the warm, burning smell that seems to linger in the air, to the changing leaves falling and crunching under my feet. All while listening to the company of my iPod, away in my own world, but still fully aware of the cars and other people walking past. Some of the songs remind me of the season. Don’t ask me why. Maybe it’s because it is Fall, or maybe because they were actually intended for this time of year. Or maybe it’s just me being me. Whatever the case may be, I still love it.

The festivities are what really get me. I mean, every holiday has their own decorations and treats, but something about Fall decorations and treats makes me feel warm and happy. I know that probably sounds kind of lame, but’s it’s the honest-to-God truth. I love the Pumpkin Lattes at any participating Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, the huge pieces of pumpkin pie, with a very, very generous amount of whipped cream on top, and especially, Halloween. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, even though some would say it’s not considered a holiday. Whatever you choose, you can’t deny that getting free candy is a bad thing because it’s not. At least I don’t think it is.

With all this love for the Fall, it makes me wonder where Summer went…It seems like it went by wayyy too fast…And remember Winter is just around the corner. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. Don’t get me wrong, Winter can be pretty beautiful, but it makes me think of how close the year is ending already. In less than two months, it will be December, which means Christmas, which then means a new year is drawing closer.

It’s kind of sad thinking of how such a beautiful season seems to be passing and changing as fast as the leaves. I mean, there’s still another month of Fall left, but doesn’t feel like it. I plan on enjoying the rest of what Fall has to offer, and savor its beauty and awesomeness as much as I can.

Let the pumpkins glow and the candy bags overflow.