Monday, January 30, 2012


Studying English at the university level has taught me a few things. First, the word "postmodern" is misused and abused and annoying as hell. Second, try to throw the word "misogyny" into every paper you write because it will make female teachers like you and male teachers afraid of you. And third, don't effing wait until the last effing minute to write an effing paper or else you'll be up all effing night waiting for effing video files to render and writing an effing blog post even though you're too effing tired to be co-effing-herent. Effing.

Still, here I am. Just tonight, I was talking to a good friend about our self-improvement plans-- his being to value his time more and mine being to find more balance/stop putting all my energy into one basket-- and the conversation reminded me that I need to write for fun at least once a day. I spend so much of my time churning out lame essays and working on the not-at-all-lame-but-still-kind-of-stressful book, and if I don't stop to smell the Blogger roses every now and then, I'll start holding a grudge against my keyboard. So here we are. Let's have fun. Let's talk about something fun.

...I don't remember what fun is. Hold on; I'll google it.

Oh, awesome. According to this, "sport" is a synonym and "jape" is a concept that exists. I don't really know what a jape is, but it's sure going to be sport throwing it into conversation for the rest of my life.

My train of thought has derailed and caught on fire and now Anastasia is fleeing from it-- where was I? Nowhere? Perfect.

I had a really pleasant weekend. My legs are starting to form these super intensely hardcore muscle lines from all the running I've been doing, including five miles on Friday afternoon (fear me!), after which I hung out with a man I'm... hanging out with. The ellipsis wasn't meant to make that sound suggestive and cosmopolitan; I just don't know what the proper terminology is for not-friending/not-dating. Anyway, then Saturday was spent being suggestive and cosmopolitan and throwing around horrible attempts at sex-related wordplay, seeing as me and a few of my friends rented five Sex and the City DVDs. We sat on my couch for hours, accomplished less than nothing, ate too much popcorn, and felt wonderful. What is it about shows that are categorically awful that makes them so damn pleasant to stare at all day? I mean, prop me up in front of Kim Cattrall long enough and I'll be pretending to hold a martini and putting unnecessary emphasis on the word "hard" for the rest of the week. And doing that thing where she takes too much breath in through her nose and holds vowel sounds too long. What is that?

That brings us to today, Sunday (it's still Sunday until I fall asleep, right?), which I put to great use by neglecting my stupid paper in order to get a lot of work-work done and organize my calendar and watch old Very Mary-Kate episodes. I'm exhausted. Like try-to-describe-Kim-Cattrall's-speech-patterns-in-terms-of-breath-placement exhausted. As soon as this video finishes exporting, I'm going to fall asleep and will myself to dream about attacking homework assignments repeatedly with a chainsaw. And if anyone or anything tries to stand in my way, I'll turn the chainsaw on them and make them listen to audio files of Kim Cattrall saying the word "penis" over and over again until I get that effing sleep.

Nah. I'm just japing with you.

P.S. I posted a new main channel video on Thursday and I really like this one, so, like, you know. I hope you do too.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Being It

I worry sometimes that I'm going to start coming off as phony if I keep up this "I love you I love you I love you" habit where my blog readers are concerned, but I can't stress enough how genuinely I feel that way. I can write the melancholiest post of Debbie Downer proportions, full of emo ass similes and all the works, and yet there you guys go, leaving heartfelt, kind comments like I did anything real to deserve them. This dumb little blog is such a happy vacation place for me-- a cozy corner of the Internet with comfy chairs and hot tea and amusing people-- and you guys make it that way. So I'll say it once again, even if it sounds like pandering, because I am just never able to get the point across as strongly as I mean it: I love you, I love you, I love you. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to care about me, and a special thank you to everyone who commented on my last post.*

Got it? Okay, now get over yourselves. I have other things to say.

I'm still nowhere near unsad-- I don't see myself getting to that point in the near future-- but for the rest of this week, I've been doing a good job of ignoring it and moving on. I'm the kind of busy where I just don't have time to be miserable. I'm going to class (spending most of the lecture neglecting my notes in order to write to-do lists and Answerly videos [or organizing different aspects of the book]), doing the homework that accompanies three literature classes (and Linguistics!), training for the half-marathon I plan to complete this year, and devoting every other free second to reading and editing submissions for my short story compilation. I've actually had to turn down offers for dates because I just can't squeeze them into my schedule. Did you read that? Did you let that soak in? People who have been following me around the Internet since I was in high school are probably drowning in their own drool from the shock of it. I have become that cynical bitch in romantic comedies who "doesn't have TIME for love!" because her job kicks too much ass, and I'm kind of really savoring being able to say so.

See, another good distraction from a personal crisis is working hard for something and proving to yourself that you kind of rock a little bit. I keep shivering from these little waves of self-actualization whenever I cross another item off my list of goals.** And you know what? I'm doing good things. I wanted to be a published editor so I'm being one. I wanted to find a way to help other writers get their work read so I'm doing it. I want to be a serious runner so I'm becoming one. I want to show the source of my sadness-- and the whole rest of the world-- that I am capable of accomplishing what I set out to accomplish. So you know what, depression? Kiss my ass.

On that Tyra Banks-like note, I have to wrap this up so I can get back to reading submissions. The contest closes in exactly one week, so I'm trying to get everything under control before the really hard stuff begins! Yikes. Anyway, thank you once again for reading my ramblings and caring about the life of a stranger. This week, I challenge you to find something you want to be and to take the first steps towards being it. Seriously, it's the best medicine I can think of.

Keep being awesome and keep kicking ass.

*Anna, Rebekah, Alex, Amanda, Louise, Sylvain, Cat, Cate, Rose24, Evelyn, Nicci, another Anna, Amie, Niki, Kathy, sterff1face, Bridget, Katie, Miranda, Alexis, an anonymous commenter, another Cat, Sara, Kenzly, Bethany, Rosianna (<3), Cath, Typical life of boy teenagers, and Stacie.
**Although, come to think, that might be a symptom of a concussion. I've had two car accidents this month! But those are stories for another day.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Just a warning before we begin a slow and tedious spiral into incessant white girl whining: If this is your first time reading my blog, please skip this one. If you're having a good day, please skip this one. If you have a strong (normal) opposition to the language of shitty emo high school diaries, please skip this one. And if there is absolutely anything else you could be doing right now-- like even laundry or filing your toenails or reading the Wikipedia page about wool-- please skip this one. I even linked the wool page, so, like, don't say I didn't give you the choice.

Anyway, here it goes.

Sad is not something I like to be. I'd choose angry or bored or lonely or sick or stabbed-repeatedly-in-the-kneecap-with-toothpicks over Sad. Being sad makes me feel... pathetic? Or needy? Or like I'm a burden to the people I spend enough time around for them to be obligated to care? I know it's irrational to feel guilty for talking about my human emotions in the place where I... write about my human emotions, but there it is. I'm sad and I regret being sad and whdoihadnfjenbfjwe whatever.

Unfortunately, I can't just ignore it this time. My tendency to repress the feelings I don't feel like feeling leads to all this physical evidence. I gain weight, I get dark circles under my eyes, and I actually broke out in hives all over my face last night. Did you hear that? My own skin said Screw this! and tried to escape my body. A little Benadryl later and okay, fine, yes. I admit it, blog. I am sad.

Sorry. I mean. Sorry for saying sorry. I mean. Sorry.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars (Nothing resembling spoilers)

At the risk of sounding like I'm under the influence of something hard and illegal, my stomach feels like a tennis ball right now. I don't know why that's the image coming to mind, but I can't shake it. When my old dog was a jumpy, vivacious puppy, she used to tear the living shit out of tennis balls-- rip off all the fuzz, bat tiny holes into them with her nails, cover them in slobber-- and as soon as they were totally unrecognizable, she'd place them in my palm. My dog would then look up at me expectantly, wag, and I would pretend I wasn't on the verge of gagging because I loved her. The way those balls looked and felt after being destroyed, with their cores still intact but every other fiber an utter disaster... that's how I feel after reading The Fault in Our Stars.

Let me clarify: John Green's new novel, The Fault in Our Stars, is beautiful. At no point in its eloquent, funny, torturous pages does it resemble a chew toy in any way. I, however, am a mess.

I considered writing up a list of reasons why I'm a mess, citing quotations in MLA format, going into detail about which parts affected me in which ways. But I can't do that. Not only because my stomach is a raw, wet, skinned tennis ball after the emotional shitstorm I just dragged myself through, but because it was such a personal experience for me. It's likely that the vast majority of people reading this blog will also encounter the novel-- and I sincerely hope that they do-- but I don't want to talk about it. Does that make sense?

It reminds me of high school, when everyone assumes everyone else's lives to be public domain for discussion. Occasionally, I'd sit in class and read a book, and on every one of those occasions, someone would come up and ask, "What are you reading?" I'd sigh or shrug or breath-laugh, hold up the cover for them to see, and mumble, "It's just this thing."

What do you mean, what am I reading? Reading is not a group activity! Reading is not something I've chosen to share with you! There's a secret universe playing itself out in a buried corner of my brain right now, and you are not invited in!

That's... that's sort of how I feel about The Fault in Our Stars. I can't preach enough about how grateful I am to belong to a community of like-minded people who get the opportunity to love things together, and I deeply, sincerely hope that thousands of people get to love this book. I hope every person who touches it comes away with a tennis ball stomach, and I hope it goes on and on and breaks the hearts of people I'll never meet. But for now, even if it's unrealistic or selfish or juvenile or silly, I want to pretend that it belongs only to me.

However, I understand that I'm supposed to have something to say about it. I'm expected, as someone known online first and foremost for her association with the author and the things he's created, to review the experience I just had between bright blue covers. So let's just say this: Tonight, I finished a book that made my insides feel like they'd been through a spin-cycle in a dog's mouth. And it was extremely beautiful.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


We've had an unseasonably warm, dry winter so far in Ohio*-- sometimes our Novembers are covered in a foot of snow, sometimes our Decembers are slushy and permanently gray-- but my stay at my parents' house this season has been full of relatively nonchalant 40-something-degree weather. Considering this, it shouldn't have come as a shock to me when I stepped outside today at noon to bright, blinding sunshine and a jacket-free temperature. It made sense with the weather pattern, and it wasn't totally out of the blue, but I still found myself spreading my arms out in the wind, taking a huge breath, and feeling like, "Wow. Is this real life?"

My 2011 was a wonderful year full of opportunities and fun memories and love and personal growth and everything else it was supposed to be, right up until the very last two days. Then, in the middle of the night, I received a call that informed me of some deeply personal, deeply distressing news. It's not something I can-- or would-- disclose to the entire world, but I'm currently going through a small tragedy in my life.... For a while, I was tempted to ignore it in the areas of my life where that was possible, to pretend everything was fine online and to my casual friends, to compartmentalize. But then, this afternoon, I felt that sunshine.

It's really amazing how, when horrible news comes at you like a poison-coated butcher knife to the stomach, you can feel so immersed in sadness and worry that a year's worth of happiness can be wiped from your memory in one fluid motion. You're checked out, you're miserable, just gone for a day or two. The clock ticks passed midnight on December 31st, but nothing feels different at all. But the thing is, life moves on whether you're willing to participate or not. The old year ends and the new year starts and the clouds move in the sky and the sun comes out in the morning. I'm feeling low-- really, really low-- and that doesn't change just because I replaced my calendar-- but something about a warm, bright new day makes me feel like, I don't know... life will always continue to regenerate itself. Just like my bad news came out of nowhere amidst a previously great year, 50 degrees sometimes happens on January 1st. There's always hope, even when you're not looking for it.

*Bear with me here. I'm allowed to draw melodramatic symbolism from the weather once a year, and I'm getting it out of my system early on. (Creative Writing professors basically get paid their entire salary to slash out weather metaphors with red pen. And to quote a lot of dead people/sometimes wear berets.)