Friday, August 31, 2012

Compensate, I say!

Because no one in this campus had change for a twenty, I just spent eighteen minutes on the floor of the vending machines picking up more than two dollars of coins.

Awww yeh. SO MUCH RICHER NOW.
~Becky.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tally!

And here we properly illustrate how many ways can I injure Dream in one bloody novella:

Main character, Esther "Dream" Paine, has been subjected to:
  • A fall of thousands of feet that broke all her bones and tore her skin--eventually to be mended on the spot!
  • Crazy crows that bit and maul her hand!
  • Branches, twigs, and rocks that attacked her only bare foot when running through the violet forest!
  • Acidic droplets of a red mass that boiled and melted little parts of her skin!
  • The ever-unforgettable dragon nose-punch to the bloody chest.
  • The erupting of fire against her lower back, claiming parts of her skin!
  • A battle in a glass-forest that resulted in TENS OF THOUSANDS OF CUTS AND BRUISES
  • Once again crashing the thousands of feet in the air--AGAIN TO BE MENDED ON THE SPOT!
  • Punching oneself on the face by punching out the grandfather clock that mirrors you!
  • And so much more!
And I probably missed some.
Not to mention the fact that Dream started the story with THREE HUGE SCARS ACROSS HER FACE. And about a dozen random cuts and bruises. And that was before she leaped in front of a train and wrecked her whole body so she could die.

Oh gawd, I'm messed up. Gotta tone it down.
~Becky

Sunday, August 19, 2012

WHAT IS THIS LIFE?!

Turns out Swankivy's novel Bad Fairy is on its way of literary-agent-representation-thing (I can't write right now. Incoherent thoughts. Senior year starts tomorrow) and she has a new website, I guess purely for her readers.

AND I'M ON THE LINKS SECTION.

WHAT. WHEN. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE.

I'm sorry, I'm just...fangirling. I think...how...did I ever even show her my blog? Has she read it? (Okay, maybe she hasn't, but IT'S A POSSIBILITY).

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
~Becky

Friday, August 10, 2012

Goodbye, Margot

Today was Ecuador's Independence day, and And out of all things, I decided to go to the cemetery to visit my grandmother.

Inappropriate thoughts walking in:
 - Why not nick a single flower from the nearby graves and take some of the still-growing-ones around the field and put them on the grave? They'd be more of them and look nicer together.
- How long does it take for a body to decompose to the point of just bones? (begin counting down years by each stone that is passed--the earlier the death date, the less likely those random, useless chemicals to preserve the bodies were used)
- How do graverobbers even operate in this cemetery? The stones are too close together, so digging must be a pain, and there's so many dead that they're either burying them vertically and pulling them out to search for treasure would be a hassle, or they're all on top of each other, so you can't really get to all of them.

Thoughts on seeing grandmother's grave:
I have no clue why my aunt and her husband started pulling out the weeds and plants growing around the stone. They seemed genuinely annoyed at the fact that A BUNCH OF LIVING THINGS were emerging from the ground in which my grandmother's body could provide nutrients to. So their response was to kill said living things because...they...don't look pretty? Why pull out the weeds and reassamble the stone? Why not let the plants grow out and inside and around, breaking the stone and swallowing it whole, finally letting the last bits of the person fade back into the earth for forever? All I could think the whole time they yanked out the plants was let her go. Please, let her go.

While at the grave, my aunt thanked me for having told my grandmother stories when I was little. She said I was always inventing something or other for her, and since great-grandpa Victor had too been a story teller, I guess she was happy that skill reappeared in a grandchild. I was silent for most of the time my aunt was talking, because I didn't remember, and counting down, I was four years old when grandma Alicia died. I don't know how I was telling her stories back then, but I hope my aunt is right. I hope that made her happy.

Thoughts on seeing Margot's grave:
This was unexpected. After we bought the flowers, my aunt asked me to give her just a handful to put in her sister's grave. I'd forgotten about the possibility that Margot and my grandmother may have been buried in the same cemetery since Great-Grandpa Victor (whom I couldn't go visit) wasn't there. After cleaning the stone and butchering the nearby plants, Margot's grave was a brownish-yellow color with the letters fading slightly. the tips had broken due to the weeds inside. I counted down her birth and death, so she was nineteen when she died in 1972, and then it is exactly a year later that my father was born. With the dates in mind, I also realized why my grandmother's last pregnancy was so complicated--she was 41 at the time. And after having children after children since she was 14-15 and a barely existent nutrition, it's no wonder her and my dad almost didn't make it.

I don't believe the dead can hear us or that they're still with us, or whatever, but I found myself strangely speechless standing in front of her. Like I needed to say something specific, or think or feel something specific, but I couldn't. I didn't know, it made me feel thankful, angry at myself, numb in some ways, melancholic in others, and a certain detachment that stemmed for having never known her, as well as a saddness because of that same reason. It's not like you can go ahead thinking I'm sorry you died, but since you did, I guess thanks since, you know, my grandmother was so pain stricken she went through with a horrifying pregnancy in the belief that you would be reborn, only to have my father be brought into the world. That's just a little more than sick. Which is usually where the anger comes in--I should not be even considering being thankful, because there's nothing to thank. She died. She died because my grandfather left them at that beach and couldn't help save her. She died because my grandmother had six other children to look after. And she died so young, barely three years older than current-me.

But I can't really feel utterly heart-broken at the whole thing because, as much as anyone wants to say otherwise, my grandmother would not have had another child had she not died. I feel sad at her passing, and yet I can't ask for an "I wish this wouldn't have happen. I wish this wouldn't have caused them so much pain." because if it hadn't, then neither me, nor my father, nor my brother would exist. My mom would have married someone else, or maybe she would have stayed single as her friends did, so would she have been happy? More so, less so?

I think when I went to the house a few days ago, that was why that strange, eerie feeling hit me. As much as I missed those things, they're just things, and it's so silly to attach meaning to crap that can't feel, can't think, can't grow, can't change, can't die, can't live, can't do anything. It doesn't pain me to leave it all behind again. What it makes me do is start imagining all these what-ifs that had never been so detailed before in my mind. And they're not painful to imagine, but they do make me examine what I am right now. What would I care about, how would I view the rest of the world? How much would be different if I just wasn't here? Right now, all this crap I care about like university and bills and my imminent future just seems so utterly insignificant to who I am right now, or who I might have been.

I know a lot of people go around thinking things like that, but I have never had the chance to properly and semi-accurately piece different futures and pasts together. Times where I wasn't here, or I was someone else. And I can't thank Margot because she deserved to live, but I can't wish for her to have lived because, as selfish as it is, I kind of really like existing, and I can't be sad because I didn't know her, and I can't feel anything else because nothing is right and everything is wrong.

So in the end, I just nicked a few blue flowers and laid them in the broken parts of her stone when the others weren't looking. And I decided I might as well say goodbye to her too, even though I never really had a chance to say hello.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

To be more specific

Most of the graffiti here does include a lot of the word "liberty" and because Correa has apparently being doing some pretty threatening things with the media, it really is like the walls of the city are the only way the people can communicate. I think I passed by one of the buildings of El Comercio, which is basically the main newspaper here, and at the very front of the building was a gigantic banner that called for the freedom of the press, how it is ultimately conjoined with the idea of democracy.

It's important to note two things. One is the increase of "Aborto Legal" graffiti I'm seeing. I was never truly sure whether or not Ecuador granted women the right of abortion--or if it did, it did so either with a stigma, or at least in cases like rape. According to my mother, and the words on the street, that is not true. It's just not legal.

The other thing that keeps popping up is Julian Assange's name. The people want him protected here. I couldn't agree more.

~Becky

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Martin

woke up this morning and asked for me. He thought I was hiding. I got to talk to him on the phone for a little bit, but I'm gone, and so is he.

When he saw himself in my phone's screen, I snapped the picture. 
Same as above.

I miss him already.
~Becky

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Scream

Nighttime was approaching, and so Rosegrave and I needed to get off the streets soon and find some place to rest for the night. After last night's encounter, it was better if we laid low for sometime before those with coin and paper could throw another get-together. Rosegrave was convinced that it would take forever for the police to find the body of the old man--he was a bit senile and living on the streets after all. However, I was worried. We couldn't afford a name like that to be added to our list and released to the public.

I didn't want to let it get to me, and so I continued towards my destination. I stepped off the curb from the store and looked down at my feet. They were caked in dirt and roughed up completely from the harsh stoned streets. It didn't really hurt anymore, at least.

I walked down the hill, trying not to stumble over the trash and broken bottles. I passed a couple of street vendors, and after saying no to a few children with candy who called me a little pretty lady to see if I would pull out the coinpurse, I saw Rose standing at the corner, reading something on a wall I couldn't see. I ran closer to her, but she did not react, even as I got close enough that my foot rested over her boot.

I held up the bag of cleaning products so she could see, but still she didn't turn. She was reading the wall.

"What is it?" I asked, stepping around. There was nothing inherently unusual about it--barely coherent graffiti was there. Just words strung together by someone who saw an empty wall one night and decided to voice up an opinion.

The walls of the streets always had something. Sometimes it was artistic and large. Most often it was just words. The word "liberty" was repeated a lot, as was the name of our ruler, the mention of gold and petroleum, and a few political issues. This town seemed to be big on "Abortion; Legal." It was everywhere, down three streets. Rosegrave always seemed uninterested by it all, no matter what the issue was, but I found her staring at this graffiti with such a solemn look, and yet such intense concentration, that I wanted to be wrapped by its meaning as well. I squinted my eyes to try to read it.

The two maidens of the red liberate us from those up above the hills.

"It's about us," Rosegrave whispered.

"What?" I said, although I didn't need a repetition, and she did not feel the need to give me one. I looked at it again, and did not feel surprised. Of course it was about us.

Things had been...strange, as of late. We've avoided police, and yet people on the street sometimes turn to us. They see us walking and they stare. Sometimes they bow their heads. Other times, children run up to us and thank us as urged by their parents or onlookers. It's like they know; like they believe it's all for them.

Plus, the country communicates through graffiti in a way it could never do under the watch of the powerful eyes. It was only a matter of time before our services made it to the walls.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Going to cry

One of the things I was looking forward to when I was told we'd be coming to Ecuador was meeting my baby cousin, who's two years old by now. My aunt, his mother, went to live in the United States for ten years (far away from my family) before missing her family here too much and coming back (so the exact opposite that my mother and father did). She had my cousin, Martin, after a complicated pregnancy and they live in the coastal side of the country, sometimes coming to visit my grandparents to the colder side. They arranged to come to my grandparent's house so they could stay a few days with us, and so I got to meet him the second I walked into the house.

This might get a little gushy--and I understand it might annoy some people who have no maternal/paternal instincts whatsoever, but he is not just adorable. He's smart, he's funny, he's very active, and he's extremely curious. He's not particularly an angel--he doesn't understand yet that he has to do certain things gently, so he uses all his strength to get his mom to pay attention to him and so he pulls at her earrings or her hair. He hasn't done that to me yet, but I guess it's because I'm constantly giving him attention, so he probably feels like he doesn't have to. (Plus, he's obviously more desperate for his mom's attention than for mine, and since she's been very tired lately, she hasn't really been playing with him). He's also a bit stubborn when it comes to food, and if he doesn't like something, he just lets the food hang from his lips till someone takes it or gravity sends it down.

Again, I'm sorry if this gets to be too much, but I absolutely adore how he acts. He's always telling me to go see things with him, and he always wants me to hold his hand when he's climbing up the stairs. He only eats when I'm watching him, he picks up flowers to show me, and when he wakes up in the morning, after his mom calms him down and either feeds him or cleans him, he asks for me. Right now, he's downstairs asking where I am, so I'm probably gonna run and continue this when I come back.

Although he understands Spanish very well, and knows a few English words, he doesn't talk very much. I used to talk a lot when I was his age, but I think I read somewhere boys on average talk less than girls. He's not very loud--he only shouts if someone else shouts--so he just kind of whispers words like "Pelota?" when he wants to play and can't find the ball. When we were at a restaurant, he was so fascinated by the three men that came in playing music for some coins, all he did was watch them and he kept holding my hand. In fact, he always has this curious expression, like we were playing with my phone and I showed him some pictures I took of him. It was almost like he was analyzing them, and when I asked him who it was, he smiled and said "Martin". If he looks at himself through the mirror, he doesn't react, but if he sees himself in my computer or my phone, he's just completely in awe.

I think a few days ago he saw one of his uncles playing Modern Warfare on the PS3 so he asked me to play with him yesterday. My aunt was worried that it'd be violent, but there were just a few games, and the only ones I really wouldn't play with him were God of War 3 and the current Mortal Kombat (granted the first Mortal Kombat was my first video game, but it was a lot more cartoonish back then, plus I was five/six not two), so we played Call of Duty, and he laughed every time we died, which was a lot because we accidentally picked the highest difficulty. His hands were too small for the controller, and he wasn't really coordinated. In CoD all he wanted to do was see the guns, and he'd tell me which one he liked more and just shoot at a wall until I tickled him when we got shot and he just let go of the controller and started laughing.

I've found that I'm not as grossed out as I thought I would be with a toddler. He's been having an allergic reaction lately so he coughs everywhere, even when he's eating, and always has snot running down his nose. In fact, if he does he looks at me and says, "Moco, moco," (booger) so I can take him to a bathroom and blow his nose. Sometimes I won't have anything to clean him with, so I'll just use my hands so he's not uncomfortable. Yesterday I helped my aunt clean his diaper at the mall. The smell was utterly horrendous, but because my aunt sings to him while she's changing his diaper, he was singing with her and laughing. There was the smell of shit in that entire bloody bathroom, but he's just so joyful that I started singing with him while helping my aunt clean him up.

I guess it hit me yesterday that this is the first and last time I'm ever going to see him. Tomorrow I'm going back to the capital city to my old home where I'm going to spend the rest of my time there (just a few more days before heading back to the United States). We'll go there so I can give my aunt my brother's baby clothes and some toys for Martin, and then they gotta go back to their own city. And I won't see him again. I don't have enough money to come every year, and either way, the city isn't exactly safe. It's beautiful in some ways--the mountains and cascades and roads look like painted pictures--and it's ugly in others--people throw all kinds of shit out of bus windows, apparently I can't even eat the street food because it might have some dog meat in there, and the crime is more than high.

I was laying in bed yesterday utterly heartbroken that I wasn't going to see him, I even started bawling. He's not going to remember me at all, and even if I manage to get enough money to return again for a vacation, it'll be years. And even if it was every year, he'd be growing so quickly and changing so much, he wouldn't remember me. When I was little and my dad was here in the U.S, he would call and chat with us everyday, and still my little brother was so young that he started to forget about him. My Spanish has been faltering for some time now, and I left this country when I was a little girl, and still I can't communicate now with the people I grew up with. There's no way Martin, who's way younger, is going to be able to become friends with me all over again. He'll be older, and different, and so will I. It makes me almost wish that we could stay in these few days for almost-forever. Like I wish he could be nearly-eternally two, but also continue to grow and discover things while still laughing that adorable laugh of his, and I wish I could stay nearly-eternally sixteen with the energy and patience and want to throw the same ball over the same fence ten thousand times just to hear him laugh and see him run.

Another thing, though I would never admit to my aunt, is that I wish he wouldn't grow up here and instead would go to the U.S. I know people like to shit on America and say it sucks and how it's collapsing and whatever, but sometimes I feel like at least 75% of people saying that are only from America, or some awesomely developed rich country, so they don't really understand the weight of their words. I wish my baby cousin wouldn't have to grow up in a country where a good percentage of the population is below poverty, or where the police can barely do shit about kidnappings and domestic violence and murders to the point when if a child is reported missing they'll just shrug and be like "well he/she probably ran away. Bye now", or where the current president thinks it okay to censor the media, or where the constitution changes every ten years for stupid reasons, like someone in power doesn't like cucumbers and decided it was unconstitutional to eat them.

It's only been a few days, and I feel horrible because I'm really not going to miss a good chunk of my family here because we're just different people. We've changed, and I don't feel obliged to *like* people just because we share a percentage of similar genes. In fact, I really didn't imagine this would happen to me at all, but just thinking about leaving him here and never coming back makes me want to cry all over again.

I don't know if anyone's been through anything similar, but I don't know how to stop feeling so devastated. I really don't want to cry tomorrow when I say goodbye to him, but I don't know if it hurts to imagine him forgetting about me, or thinking he might remember me for the next few days and constantly ask for me, even as my aunt tells him I can't be there.

I'm just...I don't know. I just don't know.

I'll post pictures of Martin when I get my phone back.
~Becky

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Being Vain

I really need to be catching up on work right now, since I'm not sure whether or not I'm going to have internet when I'm in Ecuador. However, because I can't concentrate and I was on reddit in r/teenagers, I found this thingy were people were posting up photos of them from five years ago and current ones now, so I decided to give it a go. Me when I was little and badass, and now current me, fucking around with my mom's makeup in a way that I never did when I was a kid.
My dad was messing with the camera's setting :D Since I spend most of my
time in PJs now a days, this one seems appropriate. Plus, a dragon scene is coming up in
Enkindled with Chains, and I am really looking forward to finding that purple dragon plushy
when I get back to Ecuador. It better still be there so I can kidnap it back here.
And now current meh! Crappy quality because obviously phone picture.
Stupid eye-triangle was fading.
Tip: Use the eyeshadow next time, not the eyeliner. If there
is a next time. Make-up feels weird ;-;
Okay, well, those top ones aren't pictures of me when I was eleven, they're much younger obviously. I kind of always wince at my awkward years, which were apparently between 10 to...well...present time. I guess it's because I gained weight (must be healthy! Must not go crazy and stop eating! Must do exercise! Blah blah blah), and my hairstyles were ehhhhh because I, like, cared about them and the way I was presented to others. I still do, I guess, but seeing as how I don't care too much now a days, I don't look that bad, and when I was little I didn't give a fuck, so I looked much better (then again, my vision is clouded. I always think kids are cute, even if they grew up looking like...well me >.> o-hoh)

It was a bit of a pain finding those photos; I kept seeing pictures my dad took when he was (briefly) back in Ecuador. It took all my will not to ponder at them for more than a few seconds and go into mega flashback mode.

Oh well. If I die while abroad, at least I left a memento of how...I...looked like o_e

Random thoughts of the day
  • You know the notion of "giving" virginity really confuses me? There's a really pretentiously annoying site called SixBillionSecrets that I used to go to but stopped a little while ago where people post...things. I dunno, they're hardly ever secrets, or they're unnecessary secrets, and the whole site just used to annoy me so I stopped going. Today, however, I decided to pay up a visit and saw a post where a girl was saying how much she's annoyed by the teens who lament on not having had a kiss yet or a boyfriend/girlfriend, whatever, because when she (or he, although the writing seemed to point to a girl, I don't know, I didn't check the username) was fifteen, he/she "gave" his/her virginity to some dude and now he/she totally regrets it. And I just...like...I'm not against people valuing parts of their sexual life/sexuality as long as they don't act all high and mighty over it and try to force their mentality on other people, but that phrase really annoys me. "Giving/taking" one's virginity. "Here, have my virginity." "Why thank you, let me put it up in this jar and then place it on the shelf." "Oh wow...my virginity looks good up there." Yeah...
  • What the fuck is up with my action-y scenes? It's like I always need a BANG moment where someone turns around and runs or BANG punches someone or BANG flips down a button or BANG something stupid awesome happens. Like I'll write someone doing an action, then someone screaming, and then describedescribedescribe, sometimes in longgggg sentences. Ack!
Anyways, that's all. At least my blog now has a semi-decent picture of myself.
~Becky
"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.