Sunday, July 24, 2011

Please Help!!!

Hello everyone! My mom has entered a contest, and it would mean a lot to both of us if you would take a second to vote for her! If you do, leave a comment. As a special thank-you, I will follow you if I'm not already. If I am following you, then I will do a special shout-out to you on my blog.

Thanks in advance, and please spread the word!

Vote here!

If you like her poster, then check out the rest of my mom's art here.

The Small and Insignificant

My camera has been on the fritz lately, but here are a few pictures I've taken this summer. I'm beginning to notice that most of my favorite things to take pictures of are small, and easy to pass over. Make of that what you will, I guess. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Whole Harry Potter Thing

You would have to be living under a rock to not know that the final film installment of the Harry Potter series came out this weekend, and you can bet your bottom dollar that I braved the crowds to see it at midnight. I'm certainly not the most ravenous fan out there, but a life long fan just the same, and the end of the series symbolises many of the same things for me as it does for the characters. The end of an era, of childhood.

The first book came out when I was in the third grade. I remember it vividly because my teacher told my mother that I was not a strong enough reader to read the books which, of course, just made me want to read them more. The character's ages were close to mine, and in a weird way reading about their growth towards adult hood helped me in mine. I never had to fight the forces of evil, but I did have to deal with temptation, choices, responsibility, love, sacrifice, and friendship. I'm still dealing with them. I always will be.

And it's not just me. Such a huge percentage of my entire generation has felt what I have felt. It unifies all of us people around the world who don't know each other, but share a story. It’s not just the end of a movie. It’s the end of a relationship that started when I was in third grade and continued through film to my Junior year of college. It’s saying goodbye too the people who not only live in the book, but in myself - the ones who helped me learn how to grow up, that it's okay to be ordinary, or extra ordinary, or misunderstood. Above all, these people and books taught me that each of us is fighting through life in our own terrifying way. But some of us are fighting for something more that life.

Harry Potter was the first book that I took seriously, the first time I read past words and reached something else. That was the same year that I began to think about writing. In some strange, convoluted way, Harry Potter was the start of my adult life - my career, and the only thing that has consistently made me happy, content.

I guess I'm just trying to say, Thank you J.K. Rowling. Thank you for happening upon a pot of gold, and thank you for sharing it with me. With us.

Me at the midnight showing. If you can't see the shirt, I combined the deathly hallows with a lightning bolt. Yeah. Clever.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

One More Time For Emphasis

Things are starting to get down to the wire. It seems like most of the people who have tried to "guide" me through college have all been wrong: getting in as a transfer student is easy, figuring everything else out is the hard part. I'm going from knowing everything like the back of my hand, to knowing nothing, but I'm still trying to plan and prepare for the year like I do. I'm panicking that I'll miss sending in something, or that I'll find out I still have a ton of lower division work I have to do, or that - you know - I'll just fail at life.

Despite all of this fear and insecurity at my abilities in what people have over and over again told me is my field, (where are you now, community college teachers?) I am so excited to explore my major. UCI offers two emphasises in English, which basically means you take a couple extra classes to develop you skills in a specific area of English. The two offered are creative writing and literary journalism, and in my mind, the two are distinctly intriguing but also have their downfalls.

I feel like you can't be an English major and not consider creative writing as the end goal of your career, and I know that being in the program would push me - hard. But looking at the program's website makes me more fearful than excited. It looks intense, strict, competitive - exactly the kind of thing that I'm afraid would unleash my doubts in my ability and cause me to become a writing zombie - just going and going, praying that I get somewhere. Not to mention, coming up with a complete idea for a fiction story, even in my head, has eluded me. I can always get the beginning, but never the end.

Literary journalism is a little less clear cut, but from what I can gather it is essentially writing factual articles on a more personal and thoughtful level, existing on a different level than typical journalism. This sounds more like where my current writing style lies, but I also feel like I might find the field to restrictive to the kind of writing I want to do. Focused more on facts than on feeling, more on a story than the image -the emotion- that the story creates.

All the research that I've been attempting to do results in a frozen computer from the twenty Internet windows open, and more questions than answers. I guess I'll just have to hope that the match for both my talents and my desires finds me.

Or, you know, that my counselor is the bomb diggity.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Fourth. And Beyond.

Fourth of July has never been a big day in my family. The ritual to the 4th (it seems like all holidays have a level of ritualism to them) seems to be just as much concerned with laziness as anything else. Sleep in, have a late breakfast, walk down to the city street fair with Lisa - which involves the purchase of Guatemalan friendship bracelets and silly junk that only seems like a good idea before you've bought it, the eating of something either a)fried or b)ice cream and making a mess of eating it, and lastly, complaining about the heat. The rest of the afternoon is usually spent enjoying the Twilight Zone Marathon (which, to my dismay, was canceled last year. Still not sure if it will be back) either with Lisa or my sister. The fireworks are enjoyed casually and without pretense with the family. The event is always viewed with a certain level of nonsense - over exaggerating the "oohs" and "ahhs", and commenting on the often unpredictable fireworks show itself. Something technical always seems to go wrong.

Despite all of this, there is always a feeling of reverence lingering in the back of my mind. Whether it's a result of the day's significance, routine drilled into my head over 19 years, or just an excuse to not feel guilty for being lazy, is hard to say. But I'm not ignorant. I know that as I grow older, and move forward or sideways or whatever direction I'm going, holiday rituals like this begin to run out. I'll have to make my own days and my own rituals, and that's not at all exciting, but it does make this weekend all the more important.

Then again, each day has just as much potential to be as important as the day before it - holiday or not. Ever sense I was little, I've subconsciously done this thing on holidays, where I say to myself, "Wow, this is (Holiday). I've waited a whole year for it and now it's here". When really, I should be saying, "Wow, today has never happened before. I've been waiting my whole life for it, and now it's here".

Today is the 2nd of July, in my 19th year. It's the only one I'll ever get, and it's here.