Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday Excerpt: Maze of Monochrome

[Introduction].

I had to save the best for last :D It's the final week of November; I had to pick something special.

I'm considering returning to more lyrics/poems excerpts in the future just so I can show more of Trent Reznor's lyrics. I can pin point the influence his music has had on just about every one of my recent books, characters, themes, etc.

I've mentioned before that when I write, I don't often pay close attention to the lyrics. I hear them, but I'm not thinking about them consciously, they just blend in with the rest of the music. When I'm not writing, however, I do focus on the words.

I've picked this one because I've been focusing on Millennium Girl a lot this month, but I can't forget that this year belonged to the first draft of Vanguard's Exodus. This song was one of the biggest influences on it, particularly as I thought over the change and dilemmas my heroine goes through.

The lyrics manage to stand on their own, but it is just a great song overall.


The sky is not the same shade of blue
Every single thing
I believe isn't true
Missing in a maze of monochrome
How did I get here
How can I go home?

The echos in my eyes
Of all they used to see
Burning down the world
The ashes and debris
And all that's left of me
Non-entity

Try to stand in line
Try to obey
The ghosts of what I was keep getting in the way
Staring at the sun
Blinded by the light
Now I'm afraid I'm fading out of sight

The echos in my eyes
Of all they used to see
Burning down the world
Ashes and debris
And all that's left of you
And all that's left of me
All have washed away
Non-entity

- Non-entity by Nine Inch Nails

Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday Blog Challenge: Family

Now Playing: The Cure - Push

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving :D (if in 'murica, of course. If not, a happy Thursday!).

Yesterday was pretty good. I wasn't particularly productive during the morning but my brother and mom picked up my slack and cleaned up and cooked. (Or well. Heated up the food we bought from Publix). Dinner was delicious and Silvia got to stop by later, carrying brownies. We tried out the marshmallow delight that came with the pre-prepared dinner and it was. . .interesting. I didn't think it so bad. Silvia was horrified >.>

Afterwards I texted Ren and she called me. (Most likely because I used the word "meltdown" in said text). We talked for a while--about Star Wars, about E, about school and Thanskgiving--and then right before she left, Silvia helped me decorate for Christmas while my brother watched Malcolm in the Middle on Netflix.

Today I bought more ornaments to make it even more festive. (Finally bought a star too >.> Since I'd forgotten I didn't have one until Silvia pointed it out while we were decorating).
Presents are coming in, so I'll be wrapping that soon, and my brother is here until Sunday. So we're okay. I'm okay. Still not done hurting and being angry, but I'm sure I'll get past it. I have people who help me move forward. (I know, that's a really cheesy thing to write but it's the holiday season. I am a living, breathing Hallmark card).

On to the challenge question! A bit late but I was asleep for most of today >_>

Week 29: Family

I just wanna say real quick that, while writing this, I realized there were two ways of doing this: the truly Hispanic way or the truly American way.

In the Hispanic way, I'd have to include everyone who has ever shared a genetic lineage with me. All ten million thousand cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents and great-grandparents and whoever else I could think of--but that might end up being a little overwhelming.

The American way is no less overwhelming depending on the person, but it's something I've noticed. Is it me, or do people in America consider close friends to be like family a lot of the time? I swear, it's a pattern I've noticed. Which I think is very cute. Between including cousins who were once very dear to me but whom I don't talk to anymore and including friends who I've known for years and still speak with and love very much, I'd choose the latter.

But we'll keep this simple for the sake of brevity.

Which is actually quite a feat even when I'm trying to narrow it down to just a few people. My mother, my father, my brother.

How do I write about them when I've known them my whole life? How do I truly discuss them here without giving off the wrong impression--which is inevitable when all I can do is provide a glimpse at their characters. Oversimplifications are inevitable. As are misinterpretations. After all, they're some of the closest people to me. I am deeply biased when it comes to them.

I thought of a way to do it.

First, my parents.
This is a very old picture of them--they were just in college,
Here they're near my current age. Nineteen or twenty.
My Mother

When I was younger--about eleven or so--there was no one I admired more than Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine of Pride and Prejudice. I used to hope for the day someone would say that I too had a lively, playful disposition which delighted in anything ridiculous.

Back then, I realized that my mother was a lot like Elizabeth Bennet. And when I told her, I'd meant it as the highest of compliments.

This was my logic: Young, well-read girl born to a family that doesn't appreciate her smarts. A family that believes she'll push away men forever and never accomplish anything because she spends her days with a book in her hands. A girl who argues with people--people who find convoluted reasons to look down on her--and who clings and protects her dearest, beautiful sister while also looking out for her youngest siblings, even if she can't necessarily relate to them all that well. A girl who always has an opinion, who you can't tell to pipe down.

I'd meant it as a compliment back then. I also realized--years later, when I understood my mother and Lizzy a little more--I'd also meant it as an insult. Because to have a great, timeless character, you don't just focus on the good. You have to focus on the flaws. And in some ways--the big, significant ways--I must admit that my mother and Lizzy Bennet share very large flaws.

But to be fair, that's what makes people memorable, and it's what lets them change and adjust. For all those flaws, my mom's a very strong person. Probably among the strongest people I know. I don't always agree with her but I'm very opinionated about my disagreements. And that's because of how she raised me. I saw her and I modeled parts of myself after her--and even if it can lead to a great deal of conflict, I wouldn't want to be anyone else. And I wouldn't want her to be any different.

My Father

I was hoping I'd have a literary character for each one of my family members, but I'm afraid no one really sprung to mind when it came to my father. He's an overthinker, sweet but very hesitant. He gives people the benefit of the doubt, but at times can be a touch judgmental too quickly. Which, to be fair, is a problem most people have. The good thing is that my father is surprisingly open to change. He admits to his mistakes or his errors and finds ways to grow from them.

I used to think he was the exact opposite of my mother, but though their temperament varies, they're really alike in a lot of ways. They try and gauge what people are thinking and how they're behaving. I think the difference is that my father tends to be a touch more introspective, and can be a bit hard on himself.

Like my mother, he's always encouraged me. A lot more than I deserve, probably. I'm a very lucky person because of that--I never had parents who told me my writing would lead nowhere or who thought I was wasting my time with my hobbies and passions. Again, they're not perfect, but they've done their best with what they've had.

And The Holy Ghost JK-

That Kid.

Ah yes. My brother.

Pictured here with his beloved apple cider.

And here flexing.

I don't really know what I can say about him that I haven't already. He's really pretty awesome, though it took me a couple of years to realize as such. (Better late than never??) We're so close in age and so close in life experiences that it makes it easy for us to relate to our problems and plights--though we never forget that I am the eldest and him the youngest.

I do hope we'll always be close, even if we end up moving around the country or becoming busy with life or something.  It's difficult for me to really describe him despite the fact that he's the one person in the world I know the most.

Or maybe that's why it's so difficult. I know him so well it feels impossible to just turn up three or five sentences that describe him properly. He's a good guy--really funny, the definition of being carefree, a lot smarter and observant than you probably think, and seriously talented at video games.

They're all good people, actually. Like I said, I'm very lucky in that regard.
~Becky

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thankful

Now Playing: Nine Inch Nails - Various Methods of Escape

I complained about this yesterday--in between trying to distract myself from Rage-That-Will-Lead-To-Religious-Intolerance and the like--but I don't know if the Publix Thanksgiving Dinner thing was a good idea. We ordered the smallest possible turkey and I swear, it was still designed to feed eight or ten people. There's four of us. We don't even like turkey all that much!

At least I know what my primary meal source is going to be until Christmas. Although some people would see that as a touch. . .tragic, it's still food, right? Can't exactly complain.

We haven't eaten it yet. Still preparing. My parents and brother didn't wake up till half an hour ago so Thanksgiving dinner will probably be a touch late. I always get this weird urge to refrain from eating anything all day till we can get to the official dinner, but I get the feeling I'm the only one who'll make it through the day without passing out.

Anyways. If it comes out good, I might post pictures. We'll see.

Until then, I've spent most of this morning reading and writing and doing online holiday shopping and listening to angry Type O Negative songs. But that last one was mostly by accident--I think the shuffle option on my music player is broken or it has a mind of its own or something because it keeps playing veryyyy like-minded songs for me.

Which isn't helping. I'm still angry.

I'm hoping it won't ruin Thanksgiving, but it's difficult to put it aside. I fell asleep early last night and then kept waking up every couple of hours and obsessing for a few minutes before falling asleep again. It just kept going, on and on, until my brain started repeating the same conclusions to me over and over again, leading me to get even angrier. Not just at E or his community/friends/family, but at me. I have fault in this because I know for a fact I've been making the same mistake over and over again. And it's difficult not to hate myself for it--or at least dislike myself for the next few days. Hours. Weeks. Seconds. Who even knows how long this is going to last?

Anyways. In between all that obsessing--which believe me, you don't want me to write out. One, some of those conclusions I reached are too personal and borderline embarrassing, and two, it'll just get boring and nonsensical--I kept thinking of something he mentioned to me once.

Few weeks ago, when he'd gone out to a bar to hang out and talk to his brother, he ran into a couple of acquaintances or old friends or something. Whilst talking to them he mentioned me and my glorious atheist status. (Not 100% sure how that came up in conversation). And one of the girls there said something like, "well she's nineteen, she can't be certain about God yet."

He told me this when we were walking around Downtown, and I did a double-take at that line and was like, "wait, how old are they?"

"Like twenty-three."

Oh right. The age of wisdom.

Yes, they can be certain about their beliefs and practices, but I just don't know myself yet. I'll come around. Some day. Just like I'll come around on the whole marriage-and-kids subject. (No woman ever declares she doesn't see herself getting married and having children at a young age and then doesn't change her mind. Or so people will have you believe).

Aside from the condescension and borderline hypocrisy, I've always thought that argument falls apart very quickly when it's applied to me.

I mean, in general you really shouldn't be invalidating the thoughts and feelings of people, much less younger people who are allowed to change their mind and rediscover themselves however much they want. In fact, I shouldn't say that because old people can too. We all can. We're human. We are constantly changing. It's just more messed up to say it to young people because they are often more impressionable and might start second-guessing themselves for completely asinine reasons. ("Maybe these complete and utter strangers know better about my feelings than I do.")

But in this particular case, it falls apart with me because I. . .am not really the kind of person who changes their mind.

Biggest example is the most obvious example. At the age of six, I realized I wanted to be a writer. I promised I'd make myself into a writer.

Thirteen--almost fourteen--years later, that hasn't changed. I had brief ideas of side-careers, I've taken up other hobbies, I've spent an ungodly amount of time worrying about my future, but that basic tenant of who I am, that hasn't changed. I knew who I wanted to be at the age of six and little, innocent, silly six-year-old me wasn't wrong.

I'm not going to write this post out as some kind of ridiculous "I'm much stronger now" and "nothing can get me down." I'm not going to pretend I'm still not hurt and angry at what happened. But if I have to write an obligatory Thanksgiving's Day post and have it mean something, I'm going to do it in a way that cheers me up a little, that forces me to be nice to myself and to my circumstances.

Because I'm always thankful for a lot of things. Thankful for my family, for my friends, for the fact that I'm in a very privileged position, food in the house, roof over my head, years of education, people I love being in good health.

But right now, I think it's important to say that I'm thankful for one very big, simple thing: I know who I am. I've always known who I am. And I may not like it all the time and I may wish myself to be different on occasion, but I'm not deluded in my character, and I'm not uncertain about my wants and wishes.

And just fyi, it's quite nice to know yourself.
~Becky

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Barriers

Now Playing: The Smiths - What Difference Does it Make?

This is a quick post.

I mean, Happy Soon-To-Be Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving-Eve?), hope you have a great turkey, hope all goes well with you and your family/friends/food/football.

Kinda wish I had something happier to share here. But I just need to get this out because I'm so angry. And yes, this is a post entirely written in anger. Maybe my thoughts will change. Right now, I doubt it.

Because I tried to be respectful. I tried to have a Live and Let Live attitude. I never claimed their beliefs were wrong, never claimed to know any better. Never even truly thought I was 100% in the right. All I wanted was for this boy and I to be allowed to make our own choices. I wanted us to make our own mistakes and learn from them all on our own. I didn't expect much--I thought I could trade my respect for their indifference. And while I cannot claim to know everything this group of people have experienced, what they've gone through, how their culture and history shapes them and changes them, the strength and validity of their beliefs, etc, I cannot bring myself to be respectful. Not after this happened.

Endless phone calls later. Way too many lectures from strangers who love to hear themselves talk. Complete, crushing self-doubt from a boy who just wants to be accepted by his community. I am done.

I understand, in some way, that religion is supposed to give you not just a sense of meaning, but a sense of acceptance. Of belonging. I understand that when you feel alone in the world, religion and its followers are supposed to embrace you. Open arms, loving hearts, a knowledge that even if it's difficult right now, a group of people care about you, wish you the best, know that if you follow x, y, and z, you will be rewarded soon. Join them and jump together. Be saved together.

But what's the point of that if you then have to isolate yourself? If you have to reject and push away those who cannot and will not think exactly like you?

I don't see the point of this isolation. Of all this judgement. None of the people who--for the past couple of months now--have heard about me from E's accounts actually know me. They don't know me. They see me as a concept. A test. Mess with the nice religious boy with a broken home and a broken spirit. Tell him fleeting fun is more important than eternal salvation. Lead him astray. Be the girl who's too young to be certain in her beliefs--or lack thereof--and who needs to be discarded as quickly as possible.

I get to be another nameless outsider, another example of everything that's wrong with those who aren't like them. They won't respect me enough to think of me as a complex individual. I'm not even three-dimensional enough to be a voice through the phone. I don't need to speak. They'll say everything that needs to be said. They know better.

Maybe I'm being too judgmental. But that's honestly all I've experienced since E and I first exchanged words. Judgement, judgement, judgement.

And maybe it is childish of me, but I'm mostly annoyed they get to come out winning. Good job, guys. You've effectively convinced this boy that I'm bad for him. That I'm not worthy of a friendship or companionship or anything. I need to disappear, to be a quick memory he cringes at years down the line.

And there's nothing I could have done to make it better. You know. Outside of just not breaching past their precious holy barriers.
~Becky

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Association

Now Playing: TTL - Deep Shadow (The Hunger Games trailer theme)

Like I mentioned on Sunday's post, I went to see Mockingjay Part 2 with friends on Friday night. And Friday was, as I also mentioned earlier, Cecilia's 16th birthday.

That fact didn't escape my mind all morning. I probably only stopped thinking about it until sometime before Silvia picked me up. (Probably when I was drawing and redrawing my face with that stupid eyeliner. Have I mentioned I still haven't figured it out? Damn quivering lids/hands). Then, right as I was watching Mockingjay, it came back to me. Today is Cecilia's birthday. Today she is sixteen.

Before I really talk about that, I figured I'd get all my negative opinions out of the way:

Story in General: 

This is a problem I've had with the book but I got a reminder last Friday. I think one of the biggest issues I have with the story (and it's something my dad also mentioned when he saw Part 1) is that. . .it kind of completely oversimplifies how people under an oppressive government behave.

The series in general has a problem of oversimplifying things. One of the reasons I could never fully get into it is because the books have a deeply rooted misunderstanding of the long term effects of starvation and extreme poverty, which I think is a very dangerous thing to get wrong. (Not to mention the series--despite what fans claim, for whatever reason--is much more concerned with a love triangle than with a rebellion. More than half the time, Katniss doesn't give two flying shits about the people of Panem).

But in this issue particularly, it's just weird how quickly people were willing to set an uprising. I guess that's also an oversimplification because it was decades of the hunger games before Panem rebelled, but that actual rebellion just seems to happen within a year. And totally by accident. All the districts, even those that are well-off, start to fight. And that's just. . .not how I think rebellions happen. We don't want war, we don't want to fight. Not when decades of brainwashing and oppression are already holding us down.

My second problem is in terms of scale. Because we finally got a good look at the Capitol and they kept talking about war and how the districts are united, I was so super mega confused wtf exactly the districts were fighting. Like, this wasn't a civil war exactly, it wasn't the North vs the South. It was an entire country vs a single city's soldiers and people.

I guess the explanation for that is that the districts had malnourished, poverty stricken individuals and next to no technological resources, and I understand that war isn't all about brute strength, but I don't think I was fully convinced the severity of this war and the opposing sides.

I don't know. Maybe there are actual revolutions out there that directly mirror this kind of thing and I'm just being overly critical.

Movie Only:

Massive spoiler discussion.

I need to seriously kick two people involved in this movie: whoever the fuck decided to make it a two-part film and whoever doesn't know to quit shaking the camera. (Do I kick the director? Cinematographer? Even if they do a good job 90% of the time?)

Most of my hate on these two points involves (again, massive spoiler) Prim's role in this movie. Specifically, Prim's death scene.

While the second part of Mockingjay feels solid, I'm still really annoyed at the fact that such a tiny book was stretched into two movies. Mostly because it meant Mockinjay Part 1 is full of pointless, overdrawn scenes that are trying to build atmosphere but feel mostly like overkill. I'm seriously tempted to one day try and splice the two movies together into a two and a half hour epic--the same way that some Tolkien fans got annoyed at The Hobbit adaptations and edited the three tiresome, stretched out movies into a single one as an experiment.

But while watching the Prim scenes, I realized why cutting that movie in half was a bad idea: I haven't seen Part 1 in a year--since it came out, basically. And while this next bit is debatable, I seriously think Prim's death is pretty much the center point of Mockingjay. At least, it is in the book and it should have been in the movie.

Instead, Prim is given two scenes, and in neither of which does she talk. The first one is pretty if a bit oddly constructed--just a moment where she dances with her sister. The second is her death scene, when Katniss sees her in the crowd, calls out her name, and then the explosion goes off.

I realize why Prim doesn't have any speaking scenes in this movie. The impact of her death is built up entirely in Part 1--which is why we have all those scenes of them talking, arguing, looking out for each other. But because it's all in a movie I haven't seen in a year, the actual death scene here felt weirdly rushed. I didn't forget Prim, and I didn't forget what she meant to Katniss, but it just doesn't feel like the moment was done justice.

Not to mention that the whole fucking thing is shaking. I thought they learned their lesson with the first movie--Hold. The. Camera. Still.

I get that the point was probably to capture the chaos of the situation, but in the book, though the death scene is quick and jumbled and chaotic, it's still much more focused than how it's done in the movie.

It's barely two paragraphs in the book. We're denied the chance to hear Katniss say her name. And it's powerful.
. . .Another flock of white uniforms sweeps into the opening. But these aren't Peacekeepers. They're medics. Rebel medics. I'd know the uniforms anywhere. They swarm in among the children, wielding medical kits.
First I get a glimpse of the blond braid down her back. Then, as she yanks off her coat to cover a wailing child, I notice the duck tail formed by her untucked shirt. I have the same reaction I did the day Effie Trinket called her name at the reaping. At least, I must go limp, because I find myself at the base of the flagpole, unable to account for the last few seconds. Then I am pushing through the crowd, just as I did before. Trying to shout her name above the roar. I'm almost there, almost to the barricade, when I think she hears me. Because just for a moment, she catches sight of me, her lips form my name.
And that's when the rest of the parachutes go off. 
In the movie? It's barely two minutes. Of course we hear Katniss scream her name. And it's still a fucking mess.

(And quick, last negativity: in both the book and the movie, Katniss only gets burns from the explosion. Bull. Shit. Her internal organs should have been liquefied from the force or something--she was standing way too close).

Anyways. Didn't realize it till later, but there's a very specific reason I was so obsessed with Prim and this scene.

The Positive (And Concerning Cecilia):

While I was watching Mockingjay,  I wrote down reasons I'm still drawn to the movies despite being so critical of the story.

They definitely do what I think adaptations are supposed to do--for the most part. Which is they improve quite a lot of things. I'm glad that this is one of the few book-to-movie adaptations that includes zero narration and trusts the audience to understand what the hell is going on on their own. It tries to be a movie first without changing too much of the content. It elaborates on side-villains and it also lets the acting carry the characters.

But weirdly, it's also the framing. Like. . .the actual shot framing. These are beautifully made movies in my opinion.

That was one of the things I wrote mid-viewing--there's something about the way Katniss is framed in certain takes that really hits me. Like when she's put square in the middle, facing away from the audience, with the camera either trailing her or lingering for a bit. It's probably nothing special (I'm not a filmmaker so I'm most likely just fixated on something silly and inconsequential) but it stays with me.

I think I started paying attention to it when I saw this promotional poster for the first movie.

Which I realize is not uncommon in movie posters--like some of the Star Trek: Into Darkness and Captain America: The Winter Soldier posters had something like this, and it was also done with Mockingjay: Part 1.

Nonetheless, I find the composition of that first poster really beautiful (even if a bit cluttered). I can't help but notice when the movies do something similar.


That's one reason I feel oddly drawn to the series. This is the other one.

When the first Hunger Games movie came out, I was sixteen, Cecilia was twelve.

We'd been friends for about a year at that point, maybe a year and a half, writing together, talking constantly. We'd both already read The Hunger Games trilogy by then, and though I started to pull away from it and become more critical of it, she was still a fan. We obsessed over the trailer and talked endlessly about the story before and after watching the movie.

I'm a negative person (if you couldn't tell), so I had some issues from, like, pre-production days.

One of the things that's always annoyed me about Hollywood is the way in which they approach casting--you lose a lot of impact when you take 20-something year old actors and cast them in the roles of teenagers, which I think is especially applicable to The Hunger Games. Not that they didn't get fine actors--they certainly did, and if anything, I like Katniss as a character better when she's played by Jennifer Lawrence than when I was stuck in her head in the books. I still think seeing someone older in the role is a bit of a drawback.

That said, they did good by keeping the younger kids young. I was very happy--back then and now--that both Amandla Stenberg (Rue) and Willow Shields (Prim) were close to their character's ages when they filmed the first movie. One tiny, random thought passed by my mind the day I watched the first Hunger Games movie: Oh. I'm Katniss's age. And Carpathia (her nickname back then) is Rue's. And Prim's).

Tiny random thought that I remember well. For no reason at all.

Last Friday, through Twitter, Cecilia kept retweeting messages from her friends. It was all kinds of sweet  "happy birthday!" posts along with pictures of her--pictures of her with friends, alone, looking pretty, looking amusing, and mostly looking happy. Most were recent, some were older. Every now and then I saw pictures of her at the age of eleven and twelve--when our friendship was new but at its strongest.

The weird thing is, I hadn't noticed till recently how much she reminds me of Prim. Like her and the character/actress remind me of each other or something. Especially when they were both near the age of twelve or thirteen.

They don't look exactly the same--if I could post pictures maybe it'd be easy for an objective party to disagree--but my mind's already made that connection. Whenever I watch the Hunger Games movies and Prim shows up, I think of Cecilia.

It's not just appearances, of course, but what it is exactly, I don't know. They don't behave the same way. They don't sound the same. There's nothing about a situation or a moment that should make me link the two of them.

So on Friday, I was half concentrating on the movie, half thinking of Cecilia. I was thinking of our friendship and how it didn't get to grow along with us. I understand--as I understand in all friendships that have faded--that we are somewhat different now. I don't even know how to explain it exactly, because I still like her, still think her a great person, still wish her the best, but I realize already that who we are and what we had has changed and gone.

She hasn't gone anywhere and nothing's happened to her. (Thankfully). I'm very lucky that I have a way to check in on her well-being and still be a part of her memories--if only because of my online presence. But I still deeply miss her and I missed her a lot more while watching the movie.

I don't know what it is about this association. Or really, any kind of association. Maybe it's just as simple as, "when these movies were coming out, we were friends." I don't think I'm alone in linking people to movies or books or a song or a phrase.

As Mockingjay was closing up yesterday and Katniss was delivering the final monologue, it really twisted up my heart in a way I couldn't explain. I cried wayyy too much at the last Harry Potter movie, but that one I can explain, that one is deeply personal in a way that's completely logical. This one doesn't seem to make all that sense to me.

Although again, maybe it really is just simple. Maybe I miss that blip of 2012 when we both saw the trailer and talked for ten minutes straight about the whistled tune at the end.

Art's just weird in that sense. It stays with us in ways we sometimes don't expect.
~Becky

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Excerpt: Tousled Bird Mad Girl

[Introduction].

Talking about Millennium Girl on last week's excerpt brought me back to this song.

It was originally written for The Crow film adaptation, with the lyrics already based on the narrative of the graphic novel. This song is probably my favorite ever from The Cure.

A good chunk of MG wouldn't exist without this song, and in this particular case, the lyrics have become very influential to me.


"Don't look don't look," the shadows breathe
Whispering me away from you.
"Don't wake at night to watch her sleep
You know that you will always lose
This trembling
Adored
Tousled bird mad girl..."

But every night I burn
Every night I call your name.
Every night I burn
Every night I fall again.

"Oh don't talk of love," the shadows purr
Murmuring me away from you.
"Don't talk of worlds that never were
The end is all that's ever true.
There's nothing you can ever say
Nothing you can ever do..."

Still every night I burn
Every night I scream your name.
Every night I burn
Every night the dream's the same.
Every night I burn
Waiting for my only friend.
Every night I burn
Waiting for the world to end.

"Just paint your face," the shadows smile
Slipping me away from you.
"Oh it doesn't matter how you hide
Find you if we're wanting to.
So slide back down and close your eyes
Sleep a while
You must be tired..."

But every night I burn
Every night I call your name.
Every night I burn
Every night I fall again.
Every night I burn
Scream the animal scream.
Every night I burn
Dream the crow black dream.
Dream the crow black dream.
- Burn by The Cure

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Weekend Updates

Now Playing: Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart

This post is actually a prelude to something I want to talk about later. When I tried to write it all together, I ended up prefacing it with completely unrelated points that just got longer and longer.

I figured trying to put all this update stuff in with my other, rambling point would be too messy. So here we go--updates! Just of Friday and Saturday.

Friday
  • I finished the online portion of the CPR/First Aid class around midday and am now panicking about Tuesday. For no reason, really, just in-person stuff makes me nervous. Plus I hate that even though I'm outside of school, I still have to take exams and go to classes and stuff >_> I graduated. I should be forever done with that kind of thing.
    • But I say that and yet I waited till the age of 19 to properly learn how to drive. I'm still hoping to get that out of the way before I turn 20 but we'll see how much parking practice I can get done over Thanksgiving weekend.
  • Silvia picked me up around 3 pm and we drove to UM to meet up with Ren and head to the Book Fair. No one wanted to park in Downtown so we took the metro-rail there and ran into a couple of other friends along the way. Twas fun.
  • We got to the book fair a tad late but I still saw a couple of interesting things. 
  • One was that my Fall 2014 non-fiction workshop professor was one of the guest-authors. His book was being sold there.
(Sorry for weird angle. It was a rushed picture).
    • I didn't buy a copy because one, I'm cheap, and two, the story doesn't interest me that much, but I did lament at the fact that I couldn't go see him talk about the book. I hope he scored some good sales.
    • And I actually did know about the book previously because I put all my writing professors through a Google/Wikipedia/Goodreads stalkfest. It's how I recognized the cover the second I saw it. It was still a surprise to run into it.
  • Though a lot of the booths were closing, right as we were leaving, we passed by an Islam one ran by a small group of people. They were from the AMSA organization--the bracelet they gave me has their motto: Love for All, Hatred for None.
    • They had pretty Korans up for sale for just five dollars but I didn't have that much cash on me. I don't think they were taking credit cards but I should have asked D: 
      • Honestly, I regret not buying a Koran. Especially since they gave us pretty bracelets and offered to give us bags just for free.
    • A couple of them actually looked kinda nervous? I don't know if I was imagining it or not but they seemed a little on edge as the day came to an end. 
      • It was two women and like five or six men standing behind the display table. All of them were really nice and sweet but maybe a little fidgety too.
      • I hope nothing weird happened to them throughout the week, but that's just way too much wishful thinking after the Paris attacks. I don't know how Islamophobic Miami is, but it's most definitely not 100% accepting and kind to Muslims >_> I hope they were okay. Maybe just tired.
  • I did have a dollar on me so I bought Poison by Bridget Zinn from a group selling one-dollar books to support children's reading.
    • They had a pretty good collection of books there, btw. A ton of Percy Jackson and Artemis Fowl books.
    • But it was difficult to see because the Book Fair had no internal lighting whatsoever >_> Just endless booths out in the open. Since we got there near dusk, it was all darkening so quickly. I went behind the display tables to the bookshelves and squinted for ten minutes till I stumbled into Poison.
  • Oh! On the walk to Wolfson Campus we saw. . .this:
    • What is that you ask? Art. Modern art. It was. Uh. Certainly artistic.
      • I'm sorry, I'm so bad at interpretation x_x
        • Which is especially sad because Sarah Green once made a video through The Art Assignment in response to a comment I made about the merit and complexity of modern art. Like, at this point, you'd think I'd give it more thought.
  • We went to eat at the Beer and Burger Joint in Downtown but only Ren got actual food.
    • I had dessert for dinner :P Gave some of it to Silvia.
I realize I'm becoming one of *those* people who take pictures of their food.
So sue me >.> I love it.
It's for the memories. The important memories of food.
    • The tables had a paper cover on them along with some crayons. While we ate, I wrote and read my nonsense to Ren. Silvia drew dragons and Pokemons.

  • We headed back to the cars a bit late. For whatever reason we got stuck at 8 PM Miami traffic as we rushed to catch an 8:20 pm screening of Mockingjay Part 2.
The city always looks the best at night.
    • We got there 20 minutes late but since it was a regular screening, it wasn't sold out or anything. Just really crowded.
    • I bought my ticket from one of the machines and I gotta say, I'm really freaked out about something. It printed out my Star Wars: The Force Awakens ticket because I'd pre-ordered it but it didn't do the same for Ren or Silvia.
      • Should I be worried? Is this an error? Will it make it invalid? WHAT IF I LOSE IT?
      • I put it in my wallet, on top of my ID photo so I can check up on it every day >_> Here's hoping I can still watch the movie with zero problems.
    • Back to Mokingjay: there were seats but none that went three in a row, so Silvia and I followed the lead of another group of kids and sat on the steps on the aisle. Ren took the one empty seat closest to the edge, Silvia sat in the middle, and I sat closest to the wall.
      • Because of this, I was actually sitting right above the little lights on the steps. It was bright so I used it to write down little notes and thoughts on my journal--which is mostly what I'll be writing about later >_>
      • Also on the movie in general. Which, again, I'll talk about later.
      • We ended up still riffing the movie a little bit. Which I always feel bad about in crowded theaters despite the fact that we try to be as quiet as possible x_x
        • Thankfully, only the guy directly behind us heard us. He shushed us like twice, then at the halfway point I think he just went "fuck it" because he decided to join us. It was cute.
  • On the way out of the theater, a friend, Dario, texted me saying he'd spotted me, Ren, and Silvia walking around on the parking lot. But he didn't say hi because he hadn't been sure it was me. (He hasn't seen me in ages). And he reads this blog on occasion, so I just gotta say: I HAVEN'T CHANGED THAT MUCH DX I look exactly the same >:(
    • Silvia joked that he didn't fully recognize me because I was wearing eyeliner, but he never even got close! He was a ninja, out into the night. 
    • I found it mostly amusing because he said he saw me waving my arms around. And the reason (that I didn't get to explain to him) is because I slammed into the side of a blind spot mirror and bruised the inside of my elbow. Then proceeded to flail in pain. 
      • I was looking straight at it and everything and I just. . .didn't properly measure the distance between my arm and the car. 
      • Real smooth over here >_> At least my klutz ways haven't changed at all.
        • Although I don't get into fights with furniture half as much as Silvia does.
Saturday
  • E didn't get his cast off on Friday and was feeling bummed out because of it, so I promised to visit him over the weekend.
  • The only real problem is I was sleep-deprived so I almost fell asleep in one of the two buses. Why are you so far, Miami Beach? T_T
  • I spent most of the day bothering him about his beard >_> Apparently he's not allowed to trim it--plus he just doesn't feel like it--but I'm under the opinion it's getting wild and unmanageable. So I just nagged him forever.
  • I spent the other half of the day stealing his watch and lighter. He stole my watch right back but I think I came out winning.
I do really like his watch. This is the second time I've taken it.
I think by now he's seriously worried I plan to steal it permanently >_>
  • I'm developing this theory that boys are secretly puppies disguised as humans. 
    • Silvia mentioned this guy she knows makes, like, somewhat puppy-like noises at sadness-related things. And I was playing with E's hair yesterday and scratched him behind his ear at one point and he wiggled around for a bit. Exactly like a puppy. I d'awww'ed in the middle of Dunkin Donuts.
  • I didn't feel like busing back because it was getting rainy and I forgot an umbrella. Plus, laziness, so I bothered my dad till he picked me up. I really do need to get my licence Dx
  • We went to get Chinese Food and halfway through that, I got a cryptic text from my brother that went like:
"Are you home?" 
"No, why?" 
"Oh, nvm." 
"Wait. Why. Is this Fallout related?" 
"Maybe."
    • And it turned out that he came back DAYSSS earlier than planned D:< And was waiting for us when we got home.
      • Usually we keep it a surprise from our parents but this time he decided to surprise me too. Mean >.>
    • I guess it was somewhat Fallout related. He totally came home to keep playing the game :P
    • I have developed the new tradition of following him around with my phone camera as soon as I see him. He finds it really annoying. 
    • I find his annoyance and resulting blurry pictures amusing.

He's gonna kick me one of these days.

And that's it! I've spent most of today revising and peer-critiquing stuff for Gaby O. It's been a nice, quiet Sunday of sporadic sleeping patterns. Mostly because I fell asleep last night at 5:30 pm, woke up sporadically every hour and a half, two hours, and then finally woke up fully at 1:45 am, stayed up texting Silvia (she was at a 24 hour hackathon, also sleep-deprived) till 6 am, then fell back asleep till 10:30 am.

My sleep schedule goes bonkers when I stay up past 10 pm.
~Becky

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Blog Challenge: What Do You Want?

Now Playing: Kendrick Lamar - Swimming Pools (Drank)

Really quick: It's Cecilia's birthday today. (Carpathia). We don't get to talk as much as we used to, but I stalk her Twitter on occasion and feel like I'm experiencing a fraction of what her parents experience on a weekly basis. Which is confusion. So much confusion. Why, you ask? Because she's growing up so fastttttt. I knew her when she was just eleven years old and now she's taller than me, all fabulous hair and odd facial expressions in the occasional picture. She's so beautiful and still so funny--just infinitely snarkier. And still a talented writer.

I got to wish her a happy birthday earlier. (Also wished Emzy a happy birthday just this week. I miss her too). It's kinda sad that we don't get to talk as often but I'm glad I still get to check in on her.

Ahh. It's a bit bittersweet, but I'm glad she's doing well, surrounded by people who love her.

Anyways, on to the challenge. Tis three hours late today :P

Week 28: What Do You Want?

tO FINISH THIS FREAKING FRAKING REVISION DRAFT THAT WANTS TO KILL ME.

(That sentence wasn't suppose to be in caps lock, but it accidentally started that way and I felt the rage).

It was just the first thing to pop to mind. I think I'm obsessed with short term goals too much. I want to go buy good groceries from Publix. I wanna finish the online portion of the CPR/First Aid class.

I want to figure out how to put eyeliner on so I can wear it to the Book Fair and (possibly) Mockingjay: Part 2 when I go with Ren and Silvia. Later today. So. . .it's not enough time to learn but I'll try??

I want E to get his cast off so we can go to the beach on Monday. (It's gonna be cold! And misty. Perfect beach weather).

I want my brother to get here for Thanksgiving already. And I want to either force everyone in the house to help me decorate for Christmas or to buy me a ton of decoration stuff and then get out of my way while I turn the apartment red and green and festive.

I wanna keep playing Fallout 4. Serena's on her way to being a badass marksman.

I wanna finish reading a ton of books so I have a giant haul to deliver to the library lady next Saturday. (She totally misses me and Silvia. I know she does >.> Totally remembers us).
~Becky

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Excerpt: Measureless Oceans of Space

Now Playing: Sigur Rós - Sæglópur (Sense8 soundtrack)

[Introduction].

Another poem today.

Though I'd both heard of and read some of Whitman in my early education, I only really read a good chunk of his work whilst taking an American literature class in Spring semester of 2014. That was also the year that I began writing Millennium Girl.

Whitman's poetry--and, specifically, this poem and one other--is featured in my book. I can't remember if he's Lilith's favorite poet (I don't even know if she has a favorite poet), but I do know she loves this particular poem enough to memorize it. And I share that love of it too.


A noiseless patient spider,
I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

A Noiseless Patient Spider by Walt Whitman

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Updates (Friends Travel, I Eat Food)

Quick updates for the week.
  • I got Fallout 4 after spending all of Veteran's Day doing laundry and cleaning the house. It was my bargain with my father--I washed and dried and folded his and my mother's clothes in exchange for a game.
    • And it's been fun so far! I made Serena and took a couple of screencaps, but because it's still so early in the game, she doesn't have the best outfit yet. So never fear, I will share pictures when she starts to look more and more badass.
  • Ren, Silvia, and Maria Gabriela ended up going to Baltimore mid-week for some. . .university-club-engineering-major-networking-interviews thingy magingy. >.> It just sounded awesome. 
    • Far as I can tell, it seems to involve steampunk hotel designs, free breakfast, questionable living arrangements, way too many miniature boats, marathon interview sessions, and cool weather. It sounds like it's been pretty fun; I got some pictures sent my way by Silvia to share here.
    • Yes, breakfast food picture evidence is the most important thing. Next to pictures of tall buildings.
    • I kinda wanna post the selfie Ren posted on Twitter of her and Maria in the plane, but I should probz ask first. Either way, I was super jealous. They all got to FLYYY.
  • Speaking of traveling, despite the fact that he's already coming to visit us Thanksgiving week, my brother decided to drop by on Friday night.
    • Although apparently him and his friends took the wrong turn, were forced to drive 60 mph on the highway, and then somehow got caught in midnight Miami traffic. So he technically got here on Saturday morning. Twenty-five minutes past midnight to be exact.
      • Jerk made me stay up T_T
    • We didn't tell our parents again to surprise them. When they saw me running to the door and opening it at that hour (whilst they were reading about terrorist attacks no less), it almost triggered a chain reaction heart-attack.
    • Honestly, he totes visited just so he could play Fallout 4. We spent a few minutes making his character and then later dressing him up proper in Mad Max gear--along with a cowboy hat and sunglasses. Perf.
    • My brother mostly hung out with us on Saturday. He had plans to go to the beach with friends but they fell through, so we gamed and ate pizza.
    • The night he got here, I followed him around with my phone camera while he was scouting out food.
  • All these people going on highways, taking planes. Meanwhile, I bus on occasion to Downtown or Miami Beach and eat Kosher food. 
    • Although tbh, it doesn't taste all that different. Maybe there's just no way to truly alter the taste of sushi and chocolate? 
      • The pizzas + vegetarian Dunkin Donuts shops were interesting.
    • Plus I stalk pretty cars outside of hotels by the shore.
  • Last thing: I'm taking an online + in person course with the Red Cross for CPR and first aid. It's to get a certification and finally (finally!) be able to work as a babysitter and at a day care.
    • I finish on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Hoping all goes well--wish me luck D:
    • Also planning to finally get my licence within a month. Just gotta practice parking a ton. I wanna get it before my birthday so. . .we'll see how ready I am within the next few weeks.
~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.