Archive for November, 2009

As I talked about in my last post, parties with my extended family usually don’t go well.  They either end with me being made fun of, me being ganged up on and then made fun of, or me falling in the mud.  Yesterday, all three occurred.

There wasn’t any making fun of my nerdiness, oh no.  They had something far more fun to tease at–my being a vegetarian.  When my aunt, who’s in the medical field, mind you, heard about me becoming a vegetarian for the health benefits, her only response was, “But, like, eating that healthy food all the time just isn’t good for you!”

She was being completely serious.  Later, she harassed me about my tofurkey, being a hippy for animals, and other related topics dealing with being a vegetarian.  This, of course, lead to her three children to also harass me.  And, you see, I can deal with her.  She’s just a 47 year-old with low self-esteem.  What I cannot deal with are her children making the same claims toward me.  My cousin, who is ten, has it in her mind that I’m the most boring, loser person in the world.

For instance, I sat in an arm chair and read some pages for my  psychology class.  We ended up having a conversation while I was reading, and I mentioned somewhere along the way that reading was fun when you had a good book.  This was immediately labelled as boring and loser-ish activity.  Later, when she said that she wanted to watch Twilight, and I told her to read the book before she see a movie based on the book, I was met with a scoff and a reply that I was a loser.

Hey now, I wasn’t the one who said that I wanted to see the new Twilight movie, ma’am.

And my tofurkey and eating the healthier menu options?  Of course, an echo of her mother’s statements.  Later, when I asked her what her dream job was, and she mirrored the question to me, I told her straight up: I’m working to be a psychologist and do counselling, but I would love to have a Travel Channel show where I go around the world and eat new foods and see cool cultures.  She said that was “stupid”.  I told her three good reasons why it was not: 1) You get to see the world for free; 2) You get neat new dishes for free; 3) You get to be on television.  She tried to challenge my statement: 1) Why would you want to leave America? 2) That food is gross; 3) They probably won’t like you.

Hmm.  Why would I want to leave American?  Because I want to experience the rest of the world, see what it has to offer, see different ways of life.  I want to get out of the suburbs, walk around 400 year-old streets, and meet people with completely different world views so that I can not only better myself culturally, but also understand the world around me.  Yes, not all food tastes good, but I tend to think that most of it does.  I’m not a picky eater like her (unless you count the whole meat aspect, now).  And, the last one was her failed attempt to get three.  People won’t like you.  Well, for starters, not everyone likes me.  I fully acknowledge that, and it does not bother me (it bothers her).  But, because I am an open minded person and because I make a solid attempt to understand other cultures, I’m pretty sure that most people would like me.  Besides, I’d even use the language when shopping or ordering food.  And, let me tell you, that made my trip to Germany so much easier.

I won the conversation, but she didn’t know it.  Nobody around did.  to them, their still closed mind means that they won.  To me, remaining open minded meant that I won.  Everything is a matter of perspective, I know.  It’s just that I’m thinking mine is right for the time being.

It simply infuriates me, though, that there are people like them who, if you don’t fit into their perfect, suburban, television drained world, then you are a loser.  It’s even more infuriating when the girl who calls you a loser, is actually the loser.  She hasn’t any friends.  She hasn’t any other hobbies than sitting in front of a television.  She just shoves her void of self onto other people, too, claiming that they are incorrect.  Don’t push your lack of self-esteem on me; it won’t work.  I’m smarter than that.  I’m more successful than that.

And, of course, the day ended with slipping in the mud and practically destroying ever piece of clothing that I was wearing.  I borrowed some of my grandmother’s clothes (whaddup Missi in thirty years?) and immediately drove home to wash the cakes of mud off both my clothes and myself.

But, I know that I shouldn’t complain about Thanksgiving, that was just a well needed rant.  Otherwise, things went well.  I got to see some family that I hadn’t seen in a while, was able to talk with my grandparents, and I was even able to read a few pages of psychology (though I’m still terribly behind).  That’s how it went, though.  I’ll tell you if anything changes for Christmas.

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Blogging seems to be contagious, as some of my best-friends have recently started their own blogs after my mentioning that I had one.  Granted, half of them were writing before on Facebook or the like, but I still feel slightly accomplished.

Okay, now I just feel self-centred.  Let me reiterate: I feel pretty happy that my friends are now blogging, too.  It gives me yet another source for easy stalking–you know, should Facebook’s stalker-feed ever lose its shine.

Thanksgiving break has been going… okay.  I am by no means getting along with my mum, but that’s to be expected.  Instead, I’ve been running errands with my step-dad and have been shutting myself in my bedroom with Cat.  Cat is my cat.  My mum calls her Sweetie, but I thought that was terribly unoriginal, so I call her Cat.  Yes, I was even less imaginative with naming her, but maybe I’ll spell it as Qat.  Ultimate win.

Right now, there’s homework that I should be doing, though.  Instead, I’m reading the same old Lord of the Rings things, listening to Foo Fighters, and staring out of my open window.  None of which are bad things, it’s just that I have over 100 pages to read for psychology and about an equal length for history.  Somehow, I doubt that I will be able to get everything done that I wanted to over break.  Guess I’ll be working hard when I get back, even though I wanted to be able to read everything now so that I only had to study come December.  Finals will not be fun, and I am most certainly not looking forward to them.  Hell week is not welcome.

At least I’ll be too busy cooking tomorrow to really be able to think about homework.  My tofurkey needs to cook along with my family’s normal turkey, and I’ll also be helping out my grandmother since she is hosting the Thanksgiving party for my extended family.  That will be fun (sarcasm).  Not the helping–I’m looking forward to that.  It’s the extended family.  To say the least, we’ve never really gotten along.  They’ve used me as their punching bag for far too long, and not even in the ways that I can joke off.  I make half of the cousins look like dumb asses, so the parents make themselves feel better about their children by pointing out all of my oddities.

“She sings in choir and plays piano?  How stupid.  Why doesn’t she like video games?”

“Missi’s going to Truman; guess she has no fun.”

“Oh look, I can sing just like Missi.” (Insert off pitch squealing here.)

“You actually get all A’s?  You must be a loser.”

“Lin, your daughter doesn’t drink?  What the hell does she do for fun?”

“Oh, well, J-‘s had a girl-friend for two years now, why isn’t Missi dating anyone?”


It’s the type of immature stuff that middle schoolers like to say, except that these are fully grown adults who have nothing better to do than pick on a teenager.  I don’t know about you, but I find it pretty sick when an adult needs to make fun of a kid in order to make themselves feel better.  And as much as I scoff at this immature nagging, it really does bother me.  They’ve made it up in their mind so much that I’m nerdy and not really all that good but all talk that they won’t bother to see what I can do sometimes.  They won’t bother to see my on stage, and they later gossip with each other about how I’m not really that good, but that my mum must just be boosting her own confidence by speaking so highly of me.

Bull shit.

Grown Women, if you can’t find anything better to do with your time than harass a teenager, then you might as well off yourself now.  Because, you may think that it doesn’t matter, but it does when your children learn to do this same thing as you.  And I’d feel pretty bad if my child grew up to be arse to others.  But maybe that’s just me.

Sorry, though.  What a rant.  It’s just something that has been bothering me for, well, years.  Immaturity bothers me.  Remaining ignorant/uneducated purposely bothers me.  Uneducated sounding accents bother me.  Hopefully you can see what I’m getting at here: If you don’t try, I don’t try.  And that’s how it will go.

Hopefully they won’t harass me during Thanksgiving, though.  My success so far will make it difficult for them to resist, but maybe they will have become more mature lately.

Somehow, I doubt it.

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It’s Tuesday, and I’m missing Kirksville.  My mum stresses me beyond all reason, and my waterbed is no longer as comfortable as it used to be.  My dorm bed has spoiled me, which is an odd statement to make.  Usually, people complain about those things…

Meanwhile, I finally got a car–my step-dad’s old Explorer.  It’s not much, but it will get me from point A to B, it has working heating, and the CD player is… well, there.  It’s not the best, trust me, but I’m still pretty happy with it.  The only downside was that it took a little time at the Licensing bureau to get all of the paper work ready.  And after that, I just renewed my license.  Ha Cha Cha–and it was a much better picture than last time.

Aside from my daily drivels, I’ve been cutting more and more meat out of my diet lately, and now I’m down to about one serving of meat per week.  It’s much healthier for you to cut down on meat, which is why I’m doing it (none of that obsessive PETA crap).  I’ll most likely be a vegetarian at the start of the new year.  That will give me a lovely goal for 2010.  I’m sure I’ll do fine keeping it up, especially with Aaron encouraging me; he’s already a vegetarian and often informs me that I might as well become one.

The cool thing with cutting down on meat, though, is that I’ve actually lost weight.  I lost six pounds (which really isn’t all that much), but I did lose two inches around my waist and went down a full dress size.  So, after getting home, I had to stop by the mall to get new jeans.  Size eleven definitely feels nice.  Plus, I actually treated myself to some Levi’s skinny jeans instead of Walmart’s sorry excuse for trousers.  So, much to Rebecca’s liking, I now have fitting jeans.

And pause.

Why would Rebecca care if I bought new jeans?  Well, it wasn’t the new jeans part, but she’s been trying to get me to buy Levi’s for the past three months now.  They’re good quality; I won’t deny that.  It’s just that, when I had looked at the Levi’s store a year ago, they didn’t have any skinny jeans above a size nine, and nothing in talls.  Being the five foot nine giant that I am, I was in serious need of thirteen talls.  But, now, not only do they have all sizes in skinny jeans and in talls, but I could buy the elevens.  Awesome time, seriously.

Anyway, time for dinner, even though it seems to early at 17.17; I like that time.  My mum made spinach lasagne for me, which is nice.  I’m honestly surprised that she has become receptive of my attempts at limiting meat.  That, or she just feels bad that I had to eat a chicken sandwich yesterday and it upset my stomach since it was too much meat.

Either way, I’m happy.  Let’s just wait and see how Thanksgiving goes, though.  After all–it is the holiday that’s celebrated with turkey…

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I was bored on Tuesday, waiting for my despised art class, when I came upon an interesting idea for a story.  I’d been thinking over the weekend how I’d like to write something futuristic, maybe about robotics and humanity.  Unfortunately, the same lame ass idea popped into my head.  Scientist builds perfect human-android-thing.  Human-android-thing escapes.  Human-android-thing kicks ass.

Sorry, but that idea is not only over-used, but also just ridiculous.  Give me something with more depth.  I begged my head to just give me something that actually made sense, some idea that I could add social contexts into, when I stumbled upon it.  An intriguing idea that was more political than robotic, but still satisfying.

What if, in the future, economic turmoil of our time is still having adverse affects?  What if it caused massive crime, a full depression, etc?  What if a president got into power during this time of turmoil by promising a decrease in crime using a new bill that would supplement the police force with robotic counterparts?  What if this bill changed quickly after this president assumed office and actually destroyed modern police forces to replace them with robotic enforcers?  Crime drops dramatically, but what happens to those cops?

My question with writing this short story is this: How will what we do today to protect ourselves later harm our rights and livelihood?  It asks if humanity matters.  With robotics to do our jobs, what does that leave for us to do?

I hope to finish the short story over Thanksgiving break so that I can post it.  I’m excited about the political contexts that are hidden in the story thus far, along with how it’s told.  There is no chosen one.  No saviour.  It’s told around one man because this is his story of how the world is at the time.  But, in the greater scheme of things, he is completely insignificant.  And that’s what I find so intriguing, aside from everything else.  I enjoy that a story can be told so strongly about someone, but then you find out that this person doesn’t matter at all.  He’s just a speck out there.  Nobody cares in his world, but by damned, I’ll try to make you care.

Really, I’m excited to finish this story.  And when it’s all edited, I’ll post it.

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Thanksgiving is one week more, but that doesn’t keep me from flitting about in joy and anticipation.  My house is restless with break starting tomorrow evening, and there has been an increase in students either not giving a shit about homework and reading or simply not giving a shit about even turning up for class.  My psychology class this morning was missing a full third of its population–something rare with my strict teacher.

So, for the moment, I’m sitting in my room, checking Facebook, fiddling with the heater, and listening to a Pandora.com channel modelled after Lord of the Rings and Adiemus.  As my legs jitter below my desk, my eyes keep being pulled to the window.  Interesting people.  Many interesting people.  Men in tight, wool coats riding bicycles to class.  Someone smoking.  Another walking in his hooded sweatshirt.  I enjoy people watching, and it’s even more enjoyable during these moments of anticipation.

Tomorrow I will leave.  Leave.

To be honest, I’m unsure about that.  It will be nice to see my family, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to handle nine days with them; hell, I was suffering after two days earlier in the semester.  I fit at Truman.  Not Kirksville; the town is too tiny and uncultured.  But I certainly fit on campus.  I love my house, our discussions, movie nights, trips to Train Bridge.  I think what gets me so much is that we act like a family rather than just some kids forced to live together.  We’re always together, helping each other out, recommending new music and films, allowing each other to de-stress.  We act differently from other houses on campus, and we’re closer.

I’ll miss them over the break, and we’ll miss each other.  We may actually visit each other over break, too.  My friend Aaron lives in St. Louis, and we may meet up at some point.  Speaking of which, he recently did some modelling work for Mother Models.  I’ll copy in the link to his photos with Valeska.  Take a peek.


That’s about it, though.  I’ll be going back to my jittering now.

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I recently came across a new band, Owl City, and I highly approve.  If you like feel-good, electronic music with plenty of puns and creative lyrics, then I recommend that you take a listen.

Meanwhile in life…

My Thanksgiving break is only twelve days away, and I can’t wait.  And it’s not so much to be home, especially since home tends to wear me down, but because it’s a break from work and a chance to get back ahead.  My goal is to get all of my reading down for the rest of the semester during that time so that I can study for finals once I get back.  Hopefully, it will work out.

This past weekend has been a giant mass of psychology studying, though.  I sat down at my desk on Friday; made a playlist of Greg Laswell, Owl City, Barcelona, Sufjan Stevens, Zack Weber, Dashboard Confessional, and Andrew Bird; and pulled my psychology textbook from the shelf to start taking notes and get through nearly two hundred pages.  So far, I’ve finished one chapter, and I’ll hopefully be finished with the next by 16.00 or so.  Then, I’ll try to get halfway through another… and then another.  I’m rambling, I realise.  But forgive me, for I’m nervous about my psychology exam on Thursday.  My teacher’s exams are dreadfully difficult, and I need to get a B in order to keep a good mark in the class.

And goodness knows, I won’t settle for anything less than perfection.
Turns out there’s a psychology disorder for that, too.

Anyway, that’s about it.  Adios.

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably heard the title Skinny Bitch thrown around once or twice.  Granted, you may not know what Skinny Bitch pertains to, but you’ve most likely heard of it nonetheless.

Skinny Bitch is a health book by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, two former Ford fashion models who have helped counsel models, athletes, and actors using their method of weight loss.  The book stresses that health leads to weight loss and not the other way around, and gives a smart-mouthed approach to getting in shape.  The back cover of the book basically sums it up:

“Stop being a moron and start getting skinny!  If you can’t take one more day of self-loathing, you’re ready to hear the truth: You cannot keep shovelling the same crap into your mouth every day and expect to lose weight.  Authors Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin are your new smart-mouthed girlfriends who won’t mince words and will finally tell you the truth about what you’re feeding yourself.  And they’ll guide you on making intelligent and educated decisions about food.  They may be bitches, but they are skinny bitches.  And you’ll be one too–after you get with the program and start eating right.”

I first heard about the book around a year ago and immediately bought it.  Unlike dieting books or fad eating habits, it actually pertained to vegetarianism and veganism because of health related issues rather than the usual “don’t eat meat–you kill animals” argument that I kept hearing.  It also had strong arguments for eating organic materials and really thinking about what you were eating and how those chemicals are going to affect you later.

So, I ended up reading the book over the winter and spring, and I must say that it honestly did change my eating habits.   It was direct about eating meat and its consequences, and it encouraged me to start eating only three or so servings of meat per week (a more healthy level when compared to my former three servings per day).  I also enjoyed that it was more about health in choosing to be vegan rather than just the Peta crap.

Though it ended up having a full chapter about animal cruelty while advocating veganism, it was interesting to point out the health concerns associated with animal cruelty.  When animals get scared, they produce more hormones, and upon hearing other animals dying in line, these hormones sky-rocket immediately before slaughter.  These hormones are still in the animals after death, and we end up eating them.  It’s one of the reasons that animal meat can make your heart-rate increase (not to mention the animal fats).

Another interesting thing pointed out was that high levels of protein are actually really bad for you (take that, Atkins).  Americans and Europeans eat several servings of meat per day.  In comparison, the rest of the world usually limits its meat intake to three times per week.  This is much healthier for your body since it decreases the amount of urea in your body.  The big thing about urea is that, when you eat large levels of protein, your body’s digestive process produces nitrogen waste in the form of urea.  Urea itself must be removed the from the body immediately, as it’s toxic.  So, have problems peeing to much?  Maybe you should lay off the meat.  It’s flooding your body with urea, and your body needs to use the restroom because of it.

Skinny Bitch also highlighted statistics of health when comparing meat eaters to vegetarians, how our bodies are not meant to digest meat, and how the government basically doesn’t give a shit about what’s in your food.  It stresses taking eating into your own hands, which we should anyway but rarely do.

Generally, if you are at all interested in losing weight, getting healthy, vegetarianism, veganism, or learning to filter your food, I highly recommend this book.  Just be prepared for some strong language and getting yelled at constantly by the authors.

Hopefully you’ll find this book interesting; I certainly have.  Enjoy.

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The past week has been interesting, to say the least.  Usual in it’s irregularities.  Unusual in its mindless natures.  And all-together, a roller coaster.

Sunday can be summed up by this:

J: I’m just going to pull a U-turn.
Missi: No.  Just keep going; I’m sure we can find a place to turn around after this overpass.
J: Missi, don’t scream–

And then we were in a car accident.


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I’m sorry for the belatedness of this post.  It’s not that I’ve been too terribly busy (though I have been rather swept away by course work over the past month), but I have been lazy.  For that, I apologise.

Day four of HvZ was, by all extensive purposes, the final day of actual playing.  I began the Saturday morning relaxed, went to Walmart, then ended up getting trapped in R’s dorm.  It seemed obvious that I would have to stay in Centennial until nightfall, so I pulled out my laptop to browse the web and do homework.  While routinely checking my E-mail, I discovered that there would be mission for the humans in ten minutes and that it would be inside of Centennial.

So, in my slip-on shoes and pajama shirt, I trudged down to the main lobby in Centennial, armed with eleven socks.  Gathered there were approximately thirty to forty humans, with nerf guns and hard core weaponry.  It became immediately obvious that I was in a different class of survivors, and I would most likely not be returning from this mission human.

The mission started out simply–save a girl from Red Barn Park.  We didn’t see a single zombie during the first part of the mission, and we managed to get inside of McGruder in safety.  From there, though, we were told to hold down three separate places for five minutes each, without the subject being killed by a zombie.  And we had little more than a half hour at that point.  It was a mission made for us to fail.

We ran around hopelessly in McGruder, as a horde of sixty plus zombies surrounded the building and our target area of the fountain.  They watched our every move from the glass walls, and we ran around trying to find alternate areas to escape and decimate the forces.  Unfortunately, our numbers had been split from their original, and there were only fifteen to twenty humans.  One by one, we lost more, with over ten dying in a massacre as they tried to storm out of the building.  Somehow, at ten till the end of the mission (when, if we did not pass, it would mean that humans officially lost the entire game) I became one of five humans left standing.  How on Earth had I gotten here?  The four others around me were ready to storm out, kill as many zombies as possible before we died.

One kid ran out, suicide, to give us a chance, and we ran out.

I stunned one of my friends who had turned on the second day, and then another.  My socks were power.  My gun given to me by suicide-kid became something to be feared.  Yet, we were losing.  Two of our four were taken, and it left me and another man as the only humans left.

We walked side by side away from our small battle and towards a horde of sixty zombies at the fountain.  My friend Franz was on the other side, bandanna on head, looking mischievous.  He pointed at me in surprise.  I pointed back.  It was like something from a movie, as the two of us walked intensely toward the horde.

What was not like a movie, was the zombie (whom I thought had been stunned before) ran behind me and the man, tagging both of us at the same time and running forward, hands stretched up to the sky in triumph.

And that’s why I tyed to be the last human killed on the last mission.

Other humans remained, yes.  But I had been turned one minute before the end of the mission, and when that one minute passed, it meant that all humans left were dead.  They would get a more official death the next day when the zombies were allowed to simply destroy all of them.  But, it was the end.

I couldn’t believe that I had gotten this far.  It was… simply amazing.  I’m definitely playing next semester, and I’m going to sign up to try and be the original zombie.

I cannot wait.

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