Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Tragedy and Redemption of the "Cookie Monster"

One thing about working in libraries, is that you come across some very interesting titles that you wouldn't always notice otherwise.
Recently I noticed this cute book:
I was taken in by the adorable cover but then found the inside text to be very different than I imagined. Quickly, I was swept into this (albiet poorly written) autobiography of the creature known as the "Cookie Monster".
The book tells of when his father left.
It tells of when he first picked up a cookie:
How he wept for his loss and found solace in this sweet treat.Eventually cookies gave him the love he had lost when his dad walked out. But this new kinship would only lead to more pain and self destruction.
A quote from the text: "I love cookie so much, but cookie expensive. Sell cookie to children for monies."
The Cookie Monster (as police and neighborhood officals deemed him) found that his lack of sales experience and his poor grasp of the english language led him to many a night in gutters going through cookie withdrawl.One arrest too many finally put the Cookie Monster behind bars:
(Yes, in the book he claims that he spent his time at Alcatraz).Upon release from prison, the Cookie Monster was put in a halfway house on the infamous:
This street was home to many ex-cons and several mental patients that couldn't get appropriate care due to governmental budget cuts. It was determined that the only way to protect society from these vagrants was to place them in this single street ghetto full of crime and despair.
Luckily, through group therapy and positve reinforcement, the Cookie Monster made strides towards becoming cookie free. Through regression therapy he realized that his real name was Charles Musser and that he no longer was a monster.
Charles hopes to one day be released from the Sesame Street facility, to spread his word of redemption and help others like him find a new way.

Just goes to show you that you never know what you'll find when looking through the books at your local library.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Must Do's

1. Listen to Interpol - I cannot explain the genius behind this band, you must hear it for yourself. Best songs, in my opinion: Evil, Slow Hands, Not Even Jail, C'mere, Length of Love, Pioneer to the Falls, The Heinrich Maneuver.

2. Finish watching Dr. Who season 3 (2007). It's always hard for me to finish things, and Dr. Who is no exception (I don't like when things end) but my Dad is pushing for us to watch the new Dr's episodes so I need to finish the Tennant seasons :(

3. Do some dishes. They pile quickly and while I won't get them all done, I need to do some before they grow into a dish creature and take over my house.

4. Dig out more of my garden space. Although it's still too cold in Michigan to plant, I need to get that space of the yard ready so I can plant everything when the weather is right.

5. Practice softball. I want to improve my slowpitch pitching skills, so I gotta practice.

6. Homework. Must finish 1st half of Beloved by Toni Morrison. Must write English essay. Must complete two short essays for History class.

I'm sure there are more things but I guess this is enough for one night, although I'm sure I'll only do 10% of it and then veg out like usual.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

So I'm sitting here thinking:

"What can I blog about today? Hmmmm...there's nothing interesting going on...nothing funny I can think of...if only I was inspired somehow..."

Then I remember that it's Earth Day.

So as a friendly Earth Day reminder, please do not light any tires on fire, don't microwave Styrofoam, cut up your plastic can holder thingies (so they don't get wrapped around a duck/goose/bird's neck when you inevitably put it in a dumpster), recycle/reuse your plastic bags - it's really disgusting what animals will eat and will ultimately kill them from twisting up their insides, and shred your personal documents because identity theft is rampant in our country.

J/k about the last part, identity theft might be rampant but Earth Day is about the Earth not about you, so stop making it about you and your almost paranoid worries about the identity robbers and whatnot. Do you think Earth is thinking about itself on your birthday? (although Earth Day is not the day the Earth was formed, the most logical comparison to "your day" is your birthday so stop critiquing me while I get this out.)

No, because Earth isn't a B.

Yeah, I said it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Making Up For Lost Time

So I was thinking about all the things I want my blog to entail, writing, humor, personal stories, and I thought I could do 'Me Mondays', 'Writing Wednesdays' and 'Funny Fridays' (it was a little less lame a week ago) but then life happened and I didn't successfully post for Monday, Wednesday or Friday. So I don't know if I can competently maintain a blog with such high demands, but I'll give it the old "college try" (which means what? I don't know. I think it's just a phrase someone made up because they didn't want to say "I'll attempt to not be sucky for once".)

I actually wrote down some story ideas that had been bothering me lately, so that was nice. It's like when you have gangrene and you take away part of the leg, just so it doesn't hurt as bad. Okay, so that's a little extreme, but story ideas are so nagful and getting at least a plot down (in lew of the entire story) helps ease the nagging for a while. Maybe these ideas will find time in my busy schedule to be worked out into something more than a plot line, but we'll see. They are interesting though, one is about time travel, another about zombie epidemics and the third about alien slavery (it's less disturbing than it sounds).

I guess to break the ice about being personable in this blog I can share a bit about me. I think I've mentioned before that I work in a library. I work full time and I have a job which allows me the great pleasure of dealing with all the upset patrons and the majority of the upset staff. Due to my general temperament, I'm able to deal with all of this without an ulcer. It is amazing how many ridiculous people go out into the world only to make the library their venue for displaying some of the most extreme poor judgement, rudeness, ignorance and overtly bratty behavior. Most people view the library as a quiet and serene place to find books and other materials at a cheap/free price, to borrow and keep in good condition and to eventually return. But there are way too many people who think they can accost library staff, ruin library materials, act out in the library and be free of consequences. I guess that's where I come in. Most library workers are nice people that don't like confrontation (I wouldn't say all, but in my experience most are light hearted and when you dispute with them they bend over backwards to help you out), and maybe that is why this mentality prevails in the patron community that they can act out and they'll get what they want. But like I said, that's where I come in. Now, when people walk into my library and try to yell at a staff member, they come to me (or the head librarian in my absence - I can't take all the credit for taking down these library abusers) and I do my best to set them straight. Frankly, you know there is something wrong when a patron feels the need to yell at you over the phone and hang up on you when you're only following the rules and I don't think the problem lies with the library worker...but enough on that subject for now.

I spend way too much time around books, and I wanted to share a book I recently saw that gave me pause:

I don't think this "doctor" actually has a license to practice medicine. He probably actually shouldn't be left alone with your children. I'm sure they go into the doctor thinking, certainly this trained professional can help with my child's headache only to face this:

Then they walk away from the experience with a scalped child and a hefty bill because what sane insurance company would cover seeing a bear doctor? I really think this is excessive and wrong. But then I did some research. Apparently, Romans had a long tradition of training bears in the art of medicine (or was it wrestling?). I even found this engraving of the practice:

So the guy on top decrees that bears shall be taught. They image in the middle is the pre-med students being forced to teach the bears. And the final image is the bears taking their knowledge back to the wild to practice on other bears who do not have health insurance; a giving back to the community sort of thing.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Blog Browsing

So after realizing that the "next blog" feature on blogger finally gives me blogs that are similar to my own/my interests, I've been doing a bit of blog browsing. I've come across a lot of interesting ones and I thought I'd share them here.

I've found some that are by fellow writers who I can relate to:

I've found a blog that is very similar to what I had first envisioned this blog to be:

And I found some blogs that potentially fall into the first category, but are more likely to bring a strong element of personal stories into the blog which only makes for more interest by the reader:

After reading some of these blogs, I began to think of how my blog could grow and change. I often feel bad that it's not as I first envisioned it, I'm always rationalizing how this post or that post does relate to the subject of fantasy/scifi/speculative fiction writing and I'm not a person who likes to talk about myself that much (for fear that others are inevitably not listening anyways and by doing that they are reinforcing my belief that no one cares, or at least not about me), but these blogs make me feel like pulling out the drama and putting it on display. When I first started this blog, I had a sister blog as well, one that was just supposed to be about me and my "adventures" (zoom forward 2 years to see me in relatively the same place and quite adventureless) but I had always assumed that those two blogs would be separate entities. Shortly after beginning blogging, the other blog died and became a graveyard for possible backgrounds for this blog as I was doing some re-visioning of the layout. So my personal story, the dramatic and serious part, goes unsaid (as with my day to day life) and maybe that is how it is supposed to be. I still can't stop the nagging voice that says that it's okay for this blog to be something different.

If I were to create a plan for this blog it would be:

Step 1: Release the initial idea for this blog, once and for all. If it was meant to be, the blog will eventually find its way back down that path. Other people are out there giving advice and chatting up writing, so I don't have to feel bad about not continuing that avenue.

Step 2: Be okay with having all the posts be a joke. I love to laugh, I love to make other people laugh. It's okay not to be serious.

Step 3: Be okay with being serious. If you gotta drop drama on the Internet to let it go, then so be it. Don't worry if people lose interest, stop reading, send hate mail. Maybe someone will think your life story is interesting and check back to make sure you're okay once in a while ;)

Step 4: Be okay with knowing that this is pretty much your only creative outlet at this time. With work and school work you're not doing much else writing wise, so embrace the one thing you do spend time on creatively (this blog) and let it be what it will be. Creative expression can take on all forms and go in directions never before envisioned.

Step 5: Stop making this list and get back to blogging!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Something's Not Right...

I'm not sure if it's because they delineate between Black and African American or if it's because they give the option to select both, but something just doesn't feel right with this survey.
This next survey and it's results also gave me pause.

Is agreeing with the phrase "Russia is for Russians" really fascist?

What does that say about the phrase "Virginia is for lovers"?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Let's Party Like It's An Epidemic!

A while back I saw the film Day Breakers:

If you're not familiar with this film, it's about a future world where bats have attacked people and spread the plague of vampirism across the human race. In an attempt to determine a viable substitute for human blood, the main character comes across a man who was a vampire but has turned back to human. They attempt to recreate his experiment (a crazy sunlight on the chest event) but ultimately *SPOILER ALERT* find out that the blood of a human turned vampire turned human is a antidote to vampirism. The good thing about this, minus the human turned vampire turned human casualties, this antidote spreads faster and is less risky than the sun experiment.

I did wonder though, since the movie essentially ends with a huge massacre where starving vampires attack the human turned vampire turned human characters, and as the first wave of people turn human from ingesting the blood, they, in turn, are attacked and consumed. This leaves a room full of dead humans, like 50-60 dead humans, all of who are carrying the antidote.

Now, if the characters who survive, take these dead humans with the antidote and toss them into the subway where a lot of starving vamps are hanging out, will this spread the antidote or create a new type of creature, a zombie? If the blood turns them human, but its the blood from a dead human, would they then become a dead human? If that's the case, they could create a sequel called "Death Breakers":

I think it's also interesting to note that as the vampires were starving, they began to resemble bats, as their bodies morphed into bald, superhuman creatures with pseudo wings. Now I know what your thinking, Batmen? Do you mean Batman? To clarify, I made this picture:

Also, I'm really enjoyed Willem Dafoe's performance as the human turned vampire turned human named Elvis, but there always is a small part of me that thinks back on his performance in Boondock Saints and wonders if he would have been better in this film as a woman. To clarify which Willem was in this film, I made myself this picture, which I did bring to the theater just so I wouldn't get confused:
Overall, the premise is thought provoking, the film is dark and dramatic, the storyline is lacking in some ways but is a good conversation starter (primarily based in the "I could do it better and here's how" conversations which sometimes lead to more interesting and satisfying stories from writers who watch the film) and lastly the screeching bat that flies at the screen at the end of the film reminds viewers that this movie is, in fact, a comedy.