Your Smile On Fire

...from the song Xavia

January 2008 - Posts

  • a very specific loneliness and the fact that, well, I LIKE BEING ALONE

         This may not come as much of a shock to some of you, but I don't exactly need oodles of social interaction. I'm kind of a loner. And I kind of didn't realize this until yesterday.


         I didn't realize until yesterday that I am PERFECTLY FINE being alone. Really I am. I'm not lonely. I'm not desperate for attention from other people. I. Like. It.

         This isn't to say I don't like being with people, because I do. I love it. But I don't love being with just anyone. I love being with the people who I actually want to be with. Recently (and I'm using that word very loosely here) those people happen to be hundreds of miles away, which makes me very very very thankful to live in the twenty first century, seeing as how the only way I communicate to some of them is by email, msn, and texting. But really I'm fine with that.

         I would rather be alone than hang out with people I don't actually want to hang out with.


         That all being said, sometimes I am lonely. But lonely in a very specific way, not just a general gee-I-wish-I-had-someone-to-talk-to way. Because I could find people to talk to if I wanted to. I have people I could talk to or hang out with if I wanted that. But no, the way I get lonely is in a sadder, nostalgic kind of way. Like I'll miss the comfortable lunchtime conversation from my old school, or the insanely good time I had with Mich in New York and when she came out here. Or I'll miss the wonderfulness of being with the four, of playing Monopoly for hours on end and watching America's Funniest Home Videos.

         So basically I don't just miss "having friends". I miss having the right friends. And I'd rather be alone than not have the right friends because really, I don't mind being alone. I like it.

  • my happy music & what's yours?

         Everyone has their happy music. The stuff they listen to when they want to cheer up or dance around (not that I dance because I really don't) or when they need their music to be just as happy as they are (assuming, of course, that they're in a good mood).


         My happy music happens to be really really redneck honky-tonk hillbilly country. Like right now I'm listening to Tim McGraw's song Down on the Farm. Realizing that this sort of stuff is my happy music strikes me as a wee bit ironic, seeing as how country music is known as the depressing stuff. (Joke: What do you get when you play a country song backwards? You get your truck back, your dog back, your hubby/wifey/gf/bf back, your house back, etc.) But seriously, nothing I ever listen to makes me as happy as when I turn on the radio and find a song like How Do You Like Me Now? (Toby Keith) playing. And before now it never really struck me as odd. But then suddenly I was listening to Kate Voegele's song Wish You Were (which, by the way, I seriously need to find her CD because I am like in love with this music) and it was making me kinda sad (yeah... I tend to like sad music) and so I was thinking, wow, I need to listen to something happy. And I found a bunch of redneck stuff.

        And then I thought, wow, this is probably really weird.


         So now I'm asking y'all (haha): what's YOUR happy music?

  • changing the title and, uh, hopefully I'll have more to say later

         Ok, first things first. To change the title of your blog, go to the blog dashboard > global settings (left side, bottom) > title, description, and news. Ta-dah!


         And the second thing is that I hope to do a longer post later on, but for some reason writer's block is slowly trying to take me out.



    Posted Jan 29 2008, 06:12 PM by jordynt with no comments
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  • this is a pointless post on dialogue formatting

         I'm not sure when or how it started, but sometime in the last eighteen (eighteen! I still can't believe I'm technically, if not actually, an adult.) years I began regularly formatting dialogue in my head. And I don't know if maybe I'm the only one who does this, because I'm sure it's an odd thing to do, but by formatting I don't mean just thinking up the words. I mean the punctuation, the occasional italics and ALL CAPS.

         I'll hear someone say something - some meaningless sentence - and immediantly my brain goes into dialogue formatting mode and I'm trying to come up with a way to capture the sound (tone, inflection, volume, etc) of those words on paper. Adding commas and periods and semicolons where applicable, searching out that one word that seemed elevated above the others and making it italic.


         It's an odd habit, I readily admit. But when I do finally get it right - I mean just right - the sense of accomplishment I feel is akin to how I felt the one (and only) time I successfully solved the Rubik's Cube, or when I would solve those brain teasers in Horizons. It's useless in everyday life of course, but still incredibly fun. For me, not necessarily for anyone else. (Oh, and Horizons: the advanced learning program my mid school had that I was in. Full of socially awkward geeks and I had more fun in that class than in any other, save for Academic Decathalon which was full of the same kinds of people, only older because by then we were all in high school.)


    Oh, and PS. I've outlawed the word 'random' from my vocabulary. I used to love it but it's gotten to the point where I'm kinda starting to loathe it.

  • on honesty days

         Once again, my train of thought getting to this topic is more than a little skewed, so I won't even tell you how I landed on this topic, but a while back (like a LONG while back) my friend was telling me about this extra-credit thing her school had where, if you participated, you had to tell the truth for the entire day. It sounds easy, especially if you consider yourself to be an honest person like I do. But then I got to thinking about it... totally 100% honest. To everyone. This means no white lies, no automatically answering "fine" or "good" when the lady at the checkout asks you how your day is, no chiming in with everyone else (or just agreeing with everyone else) about liking the movie you just saw, hating that girl's haircut, craving Starbucks, etc.


         No. Harmless. Lies.


         When you think about it, like I did, that's really difficult to do. And then here's the clincher, the question I asked myself when I was talking to my friend about this way back when: is it beneficial? Is it a good idea? Or will it do more harm than good? Yes, I'm all for honesty. Yes, it's the best policy and yes, it would be a better world if everyone had a little more of that trait in themselves. But sometimes it's a really fine line to walk - being honest yet not putting anyone off, not hurting any feelings.

         But let's be honest... do people always want to know the truth? Do they really want you to answer honestly? Um... not always. A lot of times people ask questions just to be nice, just to be polite, just to make small talk. They don't really care how you're doing, but it's polite to ask, "so, how are you?" Reply with the words, "fine" or "good" and you're golden. But tell them the truth ("I've got a splitting headache, I think I'm getting sick, and I just had a huge fight with my ____") and they're probably going to give you a funny look. Because you didn't give the expected answer.

         I think if we were all honest, really and truly honest, we wouldn't ask questions we didn't care to know the answers to or that we don't want the honest answers to. If everyone did that then not telling any harmless lies would be, well, harmless. Instead of what it is now, which is sort of asking for trouble.


         So I think instead of (or better yet, in addition to) Honesty Days, we should have Genuine Days, where we don't ask the questions we don't want the (honest) answers to. Yeah. That would be good, right?

    Posted Jan 24 2008, 05:27 PM by jordynt with no comments
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  • on letters from the future

         I'm guessing a lot of you probably haven't heard this song that I'm going to talk about because, uh, it's country and I'm pretty sure you're not all as addicted to XM channel 16 as I am. But anyway, it's this song called Letter to Me (video link) by Brad Paisley and it's pretty much him writing a letter to himself to send back to when he was seventeen.

         And I just got done being seventeen so I really don't have any words of wisdom to say to my seventeen-year-old self, but I like the general idea of sending a letter to your past self. If only your past self could actually recieve the letter. Wouldn't it be weird though, to go to the mailbox one morning and get a letter? From yourself. From the future.


         Wait. Quick The Office reference. And yes, this is from memory, so no shooting me if it isn't exactly perfect.

    Jim: I don't have a ton of contact with the Scranton branch, but before I left I stole a box of Dwight's stationary and every so often I send him faxes. From himself. From the future.

    --cut to Scranton branch--

    Dwight: (reading fax) Dwight, at 8:30 am the coffee will be poisened. Repeat do NOT drink the coffee. Further instructions to follow, Future Dwight.


         Oh how I heart The Office. But back to my original point - more than writing a letter to my past self, I think I'd rather recieve a letter from my future self, like Dwight does. But only if my future self is doing well because otherwise it's just depressing.

         And obviously this hasn't been one of my better posts, but forgive me. I'll write something better eventually. I would say soon but that's just too much pressure.


  • on confrontation and awkwardness

          Oy wow.

          You guys are making me want to do a post on religion. In defense of the Bible. But that's gonna take way more brain power than I have left in me right now, so look for that at a later date.


         Right now I want to do a post on awkwardness. Weirdness. Miscommunications. And I hope my mom will forgive me for saying this because I promised I'd never blog about her, but you know how I wrote that essay about her? Well guess what. SHE HAD NO IDEA. No idea how she made me feel or what I thought about it or anything really.

         This is not because of her. This is because I, like a lot of people, keep my emotions inside. Keep them pressed close to me where I can have some control over them. I'm forever trying to fit my feelings inside a box, a BOX OF LOGIC. And it never works. (Well not never, but hardly ever.) But in spite of that I keep doing it.



         Because talking about feelings is HARD. At least for me it is. And there's a reason for this, I think. And that reason is this: emotions are in no way explained by logic. Really. They aren't. It is extremely illogical to love someone, to be hurt by someone, to put up with another person's flaws. And yet we all do it. We love people, we get hurt by them, and giant misunderstandings and/or awkwardness occur during which the following things happen (depending greatly on who is on the other side of this FEELINGS FENCE and what the emotions are about):

    1. Avoidance, of either the person or the subject or both.

    2. A feeling of weirdness because you're pretty sure they notice the avoidance and you're not quite sure what to do about that.

    3. A great big gaping Grand-Canyon-sized hole where communication and understanding used to be.

    4. Sometimes tears. (No, strike that. OFTEN tears.)

    5a. Explosions in the form of confrontation or else;

    5b. Avoidance and widening of the Grand-Canyon-sized hole forever and ever until you both die.


         I can't speak for everyone, but I don't always think option A is best. Nor do I always think option B is best.

         Listen, if this person is someone you care about, someone you miss having in your life, someone who matters to you, someone you don't (or can't) imagine your life without... then bite the bullet. Confront them, in whatever form is best. Face-to-face, telephone, email. Really. It all works. Just getting things out in the open is incredible. I mean, yeah, it takes some guts and the willingness to face a great big dose of AWKWARD, but if the person actually matters to you the end result is worth it.

          If, on the other hand, this isn't a very important person to you. If you don't really miss having them in your life and have no qualms about going on without them, then maybe... well maybe it's for the best. Maybe there are some relationships and friendships not worth salvaging and that's okay. Life goes on. You find other people and they find other people and that is that.


         Whatever you do, just be sure it's worth it. I've taken both roads with different people. And the people I confronted were the people I really cared about whereas the people I didn't... well, now that they're not in my life so much anymore, I really don't miss them. And I know that's mean but I don't. (I have too many people I do miss to worry about the ones I don't.)

  • on ten books that have changed/influenced me

          So I wanted to do a post on ten books that have changed my life, but the thing is... that's a really hard post to do. Like really really difficult. Darn near impossible, actually. I feel like if I went past the fifth book I could go on and on forever.

         But I went past the fifth book anyways. And here you have it: ten books that have changed/influenced my life



         Okay, yeah, it's your run-of-the-mill YA fluff. Brain candy. Not exactly TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD or anything like that. But here's the thing... brain candy books can have unexpected truths in them. And what TBL made me realize was that emotions aren't explained by logic. Just because we should feel a certain way doesn't mean we will and more often than not we shouldn't feel the way we are do. Emotion makes things messy. Feelings are awkward. But they're still real, still something we have to deal with whether we want to or not. So thank you Ruby Oliver, for showing me that.


    My problem is I can think whatever I think but I still feel the way I feel.

    --THE BOYFRIEND LIST (And I think I have the same problem.)


    2. FLIPPED.

         I. Heart. This. Book. So. Freaking. Much!! Seriously, guys, this book is amazing. Every time I read it (and I've read it plenty of times) I go "woah, this book rocks!" Because it does. For really. It introduced me, for the first time, to the concept that everyone is either more or less than the sum of their parts. That everything doesn't always add up equally. And yes, it's a quirky sweet little love story (or something like that) between two eighth graders. But I love it. Ever since the first time I read it the idea of more or less than the sum of our parts has been in the back of my mind, always making me wonder about the people around me... are they more than the sum of their parts? Or less than? It's possible my idea of more or less than the sum of our parts is somehow related to Mich's half or fully baked cake idea. Maybe they're cousins. >_<


    He wanted to know about the sycamore tree and seemed to understand exactly what I meant when I told about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. "It's that way with people too," he said, "only with people it's sometimes that the whole is less than the sum of the parts."




    It's more than fair to say that just like FLIPPED's idea of people being more than or less than the sum of their parts, I was likewise enchanted by the way relationships are explained in this book. The dumper/dumpee curve, using math to explain love. Using math to tell a story. And that's what really got to me in this book - the way Colin tried to explain everything, to make the events and feelings in life fit and add up like a math equation. Exactly like a math equation actually. And when he had his Eureka moment and realized the future is unpredictable, it made me realize the exact same thing. When he realized that the past makes sense and can be told coherently because it is the sense of what happens, whereas the future cannot be made sense of because it hasn't happened and therefore isn't remembered yet, I realized the same thing. I think it's a concept I struggle with, the fact that the future HASN'T HAPPENED YET. It seems simple enough but, well, I'm a lot like Colin Singleton with that. I need some help.

    And there are probably a million more things I could talk about that I loved in this book (Hassan being right up there at the top of the list), but... just read it for yourself, ok?


    The past, like Lindsey had told him, is a logical story. It's the sense of what happened. But since it is not yet remembered, the future need not make any fugging sense at all.

    --AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES (I have like a million more quotes from this book. John Green's books just happen to be very quotable.)



    Just like some people come into your life at just the right time (hopefully I'll remember to do a post on that too), some books do too. This particular one I found during my first semester of school here. And it just seemed very appropriate at the time. It still does, actually. A book about moving was just what I needed and o boy did I choose the right book. Pure brain candy of course, but stupendously amazing. It's about a girl who moves to a school where every last girl is BLONDE and she is the "rebel" girl because of her brown hair. Even though she's a cheerleader. It reminded me to stay myself in a place that was new and confusing and, ultimately foreign. Looking at it it seems really stupid, I'm sure, to include this book in here. But too bad. It changed my life by helping me to, uh, not give up? Endure? Something totally hokey like that, but please, no laughing. Remember: this is MY list, not yours.


    It acted as a kind of pacifier in moments like these. A reminder that wherever I went, I was still me.




    To be totally honest, I didn't really fully see the beauty and brilliance of this book until the second time around. I mean the first time I read it I liked it and all but the second time... woah. It's incredible. There was so much I missed the first time around. I think maybe because after the first time I read it I read something about how John Green had thought of it as Christian Fiction, so the second time I read it I was really looking at it from that standpoint. And I saw so much more! Things about suffering and life and death and the people we are. And how you sometimes have to be okay with things even if you're really not. Ahh! But the part I loved more than anything else was something the Colonel said, and the whole reason this book is on the list in the first place;


    "After all this time, it still seems to me like straight and fast is the only way out - but I choose the labyinth. The labyrinth blows but I choose it."



    6. LOST IT.

    This book was hilarious and featured, among other things: exploding shoes, bombs to kill poodles, and a blonde Jesus. Seriously. Also a car crash and a grandma intent on teaching her granddaughter to drive. It's wonderfully funny, and I loved that about it but what really got me was the parts about Ben. About how much the main character depended on him. About how everything else was going crazy in her life, yet here was something real, something stable, and she was going to grab onto that bit of sanity and not let it escape her. There's a couple times in the book when you really understand how much she needed him and how insane everything else was, and I think this quote says it better than I ever could;


    Really I think my tippy state was a sign. I was supposed to see how much I was depending on Ben. I was supposed to realize that you can't depend on another person to provide your own balance.

    --LOST IT



    I can't really say exactly why this book means so much to me. I mean, I love it and all, no doubt about that. It's a great story and all but somehow... it really kind of affected me and I'm not even really sure how. It's just a really beautiful book. And I think I really loved how the narrator was kind of standing on the outside of everything. He wasn't a part of the story, of the events unfolding. That wasn't his world. He was just an innocent bystander who happened, somehow, to get sucked into the lives and worlds and realities of these people who in the end didn't matter all that much to him. Yeah, I think that's what I like about it: that he lived there and was a part of everything, but at the same time... that wasn't his world. He had his own life. You never hear about it in the book, but he did. The events of the book, colossal as they were to the people entrenched in them, were really just a blip in this guy's life.

    I have no quote from this book. Haven't read it since I started the quote book and am way too lazy to get up and look for one now.



    At first I didn't care much for this book. It's amazingness didn't hit me all at once, it snuck up on me quietly and stealthily. Like, after I finished the book I was like, woah that was awesome! It's about how one time in your life can become engrained in your mind as this perfect time in your life, but how nothing's really ever as perfect as it seems and memories can get distorted to make things better than they were. That we don't always know the full story of what happens in our lives.


    My sister, who never undersood most of the things I wanted her to, might have been able to understand what had happened to me in this summer of endings and beginnings. And she was right. The first boy was always the hardest.




    The past is the past. And that's basically what this book taught me.


    10. RED.

    This needs no explaining. Hopefully.

  • some future posts and lots of quotes

         First order of business: sent out the cds to Jocelyn and Erika. Hopefully you get them soon!!


          Second order of business: saw the movie "I'm Reed Fish" and oh boy I loved it! Mich was totally right.


         Third order of business.

         I don't feel like talking in specifics (ha - not like I ever do anyways), so just some quotes that I find particularly nice right about now, and maybe later I'll write about the following subjects: awkwardness, people coming into your life at just the right moment, needing people (which ties into the previous subject nicely), and the power of songs. Oh! And possibly something else but I'm not even sure how to word it. For now though, quotes.


    Sitting there that day, I knew that the only thing I could do was keep putting one foot in front of the other, hoping none of the secrets on my shoulders would make me lose my balance.



         As an aside, has anyone else heard 'The Funeral' by Band of Horses? I loves this song.


    "Okay, so if your dad's not Aquaman, is he The Flash?"

    Translation: Please think I'm funny, because my self-esteem is fairly low, and humor may be all I have going for me.



    No matter what, that friendship is real. No matter how much you dissect it, or talk about it, or analyze it, it'll always be real.

    -- TELL IT TO NAOMI (Also, an apology if I've already given you guys this quote again. Oh, and a plug for the book which I recently reread and rediscovered the wonderfulness of.)


    "People find a way through just about anything."



    Crushes hurt.

    -- RED (This from Jocelyn's essay and I wondered why I never remembered seeing it put in quite that exact way before.)


    When people say they love you, you just have to decide to believe them, because you'll never know for sure.

    -- ZIG ZAG


    I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It's awful.



         Oyy how I heart quotes. I have a total of... 144 quotes in my quotebook so far. And that's since I started it in June.

  • this is for all the little moments (..plz rd..)

         I think we all need to take a step back every so often and remind ourselves to notice things. I'm not talking about being observant, really. I'm just talking about how easy it is to get caught up in sadness and start taking careful note of every crappy thing that happens to us while ignoring all the amazing things that happen to us.

         Not even big amazing things.

         Insignificant amazing things, really.


         Things like being at Home Depot and seeing a couple start slow dancing because it was their song that was playing over the loudspeakers. Things like being at Vons and hearing one half of what must be a hilarious conversation. Things like someone you don't know, anyone really, smiling at you. Things like that.


         I'm not proclaiming rainbows and butterflies here. I know how awful life can be as well as anyone else does. I know what it's like to have a day so bad that when you get in the car to drive home you're actually half expecting to get into an accident. I know what it's like to think nobody ever notices you but if you slip up like all eyes are on you. I know what it's like to feel out of place, like your clothes aren't quite right and your smile is fake. I know what it's like to, instead of being glad for someone else when they're happy, to kindasorta resent them for it. Yeah. Sometimes life really sucks.

         But there are always those little moments. Those laughs shared in a movie theater with complete strangers, the cashier who asks you how your day is and seems to genuinely brighten when you say it's a good one. And a lot of times I think it's not the huge moments in life that make it worth living, but all the little insignificant ones strung together. If we just notice, there's a lot to be happy about and thankful for no matter how awful your current situation is.

  • on friends

         Friendship. Wow. That's a broad category. We apply the label "friend" to a lot of people, some of them people we barely know. That kid who sits next to you in Biology, the next-door-neighbor you occasionally chat with, the distant relative you call up every so often. But when you stop to think about who your real friends are, the list gets a lot shorter. If you don't include the people who have to love you (ie, your family), there's hardly anyone on the list.


         Because real friends are tough. Actually being real friends with someone, building that sort of relationship? It takes a long time. It's tough.


         A while back I thought about all the people who I knew were my real friends, the ones who I know I can trust to be there for me through everything and who I can goof around with and who are just... I don't know. Defining a real friend is hard. To me it's someone who knows you, who's there for you, who knows your faults and whose faults you know but they love you anyways. And it takes a long time to build that sort of relationship, not because it takes so long to get to know someone, but because sometimes you have to go through a lot with that person before the friendship really becomes a strong one. You have to have a track record of being there for each other and continuing to care about each other even when there's not much point to it. Real friends keep in touch when they're losing track of all the other "friends" they used to have. They let you rant when you need to and they don't judge you for it. They care about what's going on in your life and they let you know they're there for you. They let you be yourself without getting freaked out because you're so weird or different from them or whatever it is. They respect what you believe in even if they don't believe the same. They help you grow into a better person and let you change to become that person, all while sticking by you.

         It's a difficult position to fill. You can't predict who's going to end up being one of those amazing friends either. I think all you can really do is be the best friend you can be to the people you want to be friends with and see who cares enough about you to do the same.

  • on words of both varieties

         There's something unique about writing. About sending your words to people via the screen or paper instead of via the spoken word. I'm not a big fan of the telephone to tell you the truth. I can think of only a handful of people - not even that, really - that I actually enjoy talking on the phone too. This is, I suspect, because I'm no good at expressing myself this way. In general I tend to be a clumsy person. I trip over nothing, spill things, am a complete klutz. I swear I could never make it as a dancer or a soccer player - nothing where coordination is key. The only time I am really graceful, the only time I don't resemble Bambi the first time he went out onto the ice, is when I'm writing.

         I tell people things, and the words that leave my mouth never seem to be the same as they were when I thought them. I often get that sensation everyone gets sometimes, of wanting to shove the words back in your mouth before they escape out into the air. But it's always too late. The words are out there in the open and they sound horrible. Not bad like crude or anything, just confusing. Whatever it was I meant to say didn't come out right, it never does, except sometimes when I'm being funny.

         I don't really know if this would be considered a "flaw" or not, but I prefer to write rather than talk. It's not like I'm a mute or anything, but I've never learned to make the words coming from my mouth flow as well as those coming from my fingers. I consider myself an okay conversationalist. I'm alright at small talk and all that stuff, but when I really really have something to say... I write it. Like the essay for example? I could have never said those words, but I was perfectly okay writing them. The thing is, when I say something, when I can hear the words echoing in my head even after they've left my mouth, I have this sort of subconscious fear. This fear that the words won't be understood, that I shouldn't have said it, that the words I planned to say aren't even the ones that came out. It's not an overwhelming fear or anything, not like the way I'm scared to ride rollercoasters, but it's still there. Not when I write though. When I write it's almost like it doesn't even matter if the person understands or not. Because secretly, even in emails or letters or text messages, or things like this blog, I'm always writing more for myself than anyone else.

         So maybe that's it. The words I say are always for others, so I want them to come out right. The words I write, however, are always for myself, and there's time to fix them if they come out wrong, like they so often do.


  • on reality

         I think I said I'd do a post on reality, didn't I?

         Yeah. I'd been wanting to write this post for a long time, ever since I read Sam's post about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (what an amazing title, by the way, right?) and it reminded me of Plato's Allegory of the Cave. I love that story so much. If you've never read it, boy you're missing out. I studied it in ninth grade Acadec (Academic Decathalon, which I would have loved to continue with if the school's here offered it when I moved) and although I'm no Plato, I'll try to sum it up for you real quick.

         Basically there's these prisoners chained to a wall in a cave and the only things they see are shadows passing from the outside world. For instance, they never see an actual flower, just the shadow of one. They can't see each other and they never see other people, only the shadows of people. So to them, the shadows are reality. To them, a flower is just a shadow of a flower and a person is just the shadow of a person.

         After we read the allegory in Acadec there was a lot of time spent talking about "chairness". Mrs. Petersen tried to explain it to us this way: the image we all have in our head of a chair isn't an actual, tangible chair. It's just an outline of what we've come to know a chair as. And if something in the real world is close enough to that intangible outline, it becomes, to us, a chair.

         What Plato was saying is that reality is subjective. Reality is all in our perceptions.

         So I guess you could argue that really, reality doesn't even exist. That it's all in our heads.

  • on the bread (or a book I always thought was about bread at least. jewish rye to be specific.)

         I here have news.

         Okay, so I was at my grandparents' house, all happy to finally be back home for a while. And I was walking past the shelves in the living room when I saw, sitting face out like it was just WAITING FOR ME TO FIND IT, a copy of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE.

         A book I've been wanting to read forever.

         A book I promised Halley I'd read when I met her in New York.

         A book my grandma and grandpa let me take and that is now sitting in my bookshelf and which I am about to begin reading.



    Posted Jan 03 2008, 07:18 PM by jordynt with 1 comment(s)
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  • on imagination

         Tivo, DVDs, CDs, iPods, video games, mindless YouTube videos and other internet time wasters. All that stuff is, supposedly, sucking all the imagination out of kids. Making them and us mindless techno-zombies incapable of thinking for ourselves. It's easy to think this. After all, aren't DVDs of Dora the Explorer the new babysitter or something like that? (I heard that somewhere.) Don't most new SUVs have built-in CD players to keep the kids from killing each other on long car trips? Don't ten year olds walk around with iPods and cellphones attached to them?



         But I have a different veiwpoint.

         Last night I babysat this hyper five year old boy. He watched Cartoon Network and a Curious George DVD. He showed me the extra-loud toy guitar he got for Christmas. You know... the kind where you press a button and it plays some ridiculously loud tune? Yeah, that.

         He also pretended to be a dinosaur, looked for Highlights' hidden pictures, and told me what he knows about snakes. Which got me to thinking, even more than I'd already been thinking on the subject.


         And what I think is that imagination is innate within all of us. More so than at any other time in life, toddlers' minds are making rapid-fire connections, soaking up every bit of information like a sponge and exploring the world around them. We are born with an imagination, born to ask questions and search out answers. And maybe born to, when there is no answer to find, create our own. All the things accused of making us (everyone, not just children) mindless techno-zombies was invented by someone. Some "geniuses" must have had the idea for the iPod, Tivo, a cellphone, DVDs. And the rest of us get to enjoy what their minds and hard work came up with.

         Staring at pointless cartoons for hours on end doesn't do much to bolster your creativity, I'll give you that. But besides the obvious stupidity of cartoons/excessive violence/gratuitous sex, television and the internet actually has stuff to offer. I can't speak for everyone else, but I tune into television shows for the funny and the characters. I know not everyone is like this, but when I watch my favorite show (The Office), I'm trying to put all the pieces together. Watching the dialogue, the relationships, the particular personality quirks of each character. And I'm trying to figure out how the amazing writers on the show do it so I can steal some of their tricks in my own writing. It's true that technology and the so-called convienences of life in the 21st century can be used to make life so easy we all get lazy, bored, stupid, etc.


        But why should we blame technology? Why blame the inatimate object playing your favorite CD on repeat, or the machine that records your favorite TV show while you're out?

         If we're lazy/boring/bored/stupid, maybe it's our own fault. For all that is said bad about kids' access to such "time suckers" as DVDs and computer or video games, I've never met a kid who wasn't imaginative, who didn't want to ask questions and discover things. Some of us lose that spark, that want of knowledge and exploration of the world around us (whether this is the physical world or the intellectual world or whatever it may be), but placing the blame for our laziness on the latest gadget is just... well, lazy. So like humans to not take responsibility for their actions (or non-actions).


         Children aren't unimaginative, uncreative, unquestioning, in spite of everything around them that we think might hinder that quality.

         But sometimes the rest of us are.


    Posted Jan 01 2008, 10:27 PM by jordynt with 2 comment(s)
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Oct. 15 [going to work soon] [two school essays due; majorly nervous about both] [remember when i wrote that short story where the girl said "majorly" every other WORD practically? ha]