I have decided today to update my site every 5 minutes or so. Of course, the entries don’t appear five minutes apart on here, but that’s because I have to take the time to write them. Then I take the time to eat something (like my peas and carrots, or my digestive biscuits), and then I go back to being bored and having things to write.
1. I am tired of my blogroll. No one updates anymore, and it’s irritating. I realize that I go through phases of not updating as well, but I’ve been that way since I first started doing this, over two years ago. It’s pretty crazy to think I’ve kept this thing going that long. My personal journals, the ones that contain the stuff that doesn’t appear on here, go through months of being untouched and not-updated. I only update them when I have things in my head I need to get out and not share with others, or when I want to remember things that have happened that don’t get to appear on here. As such, that notebook has been going for five years and is still not yet finished (although it’s within pages of being full). I don’t know, I guess this is my roundabout way of saying that I’m proud of myself for sticking with this for so long. I have so many writing projects that I’ve started and abandoned from lack of interest, lack of motivation, lack of confidence in what I’ve written… and with this, I don’t have to care about what people are going to think about my style of writing. I can write whatever the hell I want, and I do — be it a critique of people on Dear Abby, a treatise on how my fish are plotting to kill me, a recounting of my never-ending love and lust for James Marsters, or simply a message about how I am feeling at any given time — and I don’t worry about it. I like that freedom. I have the hope that people who read this site regularly, be they people who know me in real life or not, understand perhaps how I am phrasing things and appreciate my writing for my quirks and foibles and potential intricacies and occasional intentional molestation of the English language (also included under quirks and foibles), because that’s who I am, that’s a part of me, and that’s up here for all of you to read and judge.
I’ve been very fortunate throughout all the time I’ve been running this site to have received very little criticism in my comments section. Perhaps people see this site, and read it quickly and reject it, reject me, whatever, that’s okay. But very few people have chosen to stay around and leave that message behind, and I think that’s pretty cool. It’s probably because I don’t bother writing anything terribly controversial on here — I’m not denouncing anyone’s religion, politics, lifestyle, worldview or so on, unless they happen to be Dear Abby readers or absolutely insane and deserve it 😉 — and so people don’t feel the need to trash my views, I guess. *shrug* Maybe they’re entertained by me, and that’s really the most I’m asking.
2. I’ve never really given much thought to my ability — or lack thereof — when it comes to writing. I generally don’t have any huge difficulties in constructing essays, so long as they’re on topics I understand, and that’s something that’s been useful to me for many a year in school. I remember one of my best friends in high school being amazed and envious at my writing ability… our English exams in high school were two and a half hours long when we were in OAC (if memory serves). English exams, without fail, consisted of a reading comprehension portion, and a final essay — you had several questions from which to choose, each of which dealt in some manner or another with one of the books you had read in that semester. My friend and his twin brother were and are both insanely smart in their own ways — both quite skilled in both the hard and soft sciences; maths, science, computers, musical theatre, and so on. Anyhow, they were both also quite intelligent in English as well, the only thing being that… well, hang on and let me finish my anecdote to illustrate my point.
I sat behind A for our final exam, and I went through the reading comprehension, just answering all the questions and so on, and I came to the final essay portion, chose my question, and wrote out my essay in about a half hour. I never use outlines for essays; so long as I can come up with three topics to answer the question, I’m all set — one topic per paragraph, the intro and conclusion, and there’s your standard five-paragraph essay. Bob’s your uncle.
So that’s how I treated the essay, and while I was worried that I what I was writing was more parallel to the question than actually answering it, I still did very well on that part (I did poorly on the reading comp for some reason that year, but that’s another ramble). My friend, on the other hand, spent two hours and ten minutes composing his essay, and did the reading comp in the last twenty minutes or so. If I remember correctly, I had the better mark on the essay portion between the two of us, and I still remember him saying that he (and his brother seconded the statement) hated me and my ability to just write like that, because neither of them could. 🙂
This leads to my standard response to people in regards to arts vs. science courses when it comes to university; arts courses typically aren’t bird courses. For me, I had some bad teachers at the end for math, so math wouldn’t necessarily be easy for me, and science would be right out. I would struggle mightily in those courses, whereas I have many friends who find them a breeze. On the other hand, something like an English course that requires reading novels, sometimes on a weekly basis, and writing papers on them, is relaxing to me (so long as the books are interesting and the topic choices don’t entirely suck), or if not relaxing then at least not insanely painful and difficult.
On the other hand, the music theory course I took one year was a total bird course for me, ’cause I think I only learned two new things the entire semester… after all, I’ve been playing an instrument since I was in grade 5 (started with a recorder, then moved to a clarinet in grade six and I haven’t really looked back), and I enjoyed learning theory. The only problem was that most teachers always covered the same material, and I wasn’t really mature enough to absorb it properly in grade 6 and 7, when I originally started learning it. The course I took in uni started with learning the staff and the placements of notes… and there were people in the class that had some difficulties in accepting that: “Why is that line an E?” “Uhhh… ’cause it is?”
So the ease of things depends entirely on where your skills lie. And that eventually brings me around to my point; I’ve never really considered myself to be an exceptional writer, I just enjoy doing it. When I write stories, I usually don’t describe my characters. I forget to tell people how they look, I just know how they look in my head. When I write, I don’t write flowery descriptions of the scenery, or odd metaphors or abstract comparisons to religion or something… I don’t know. When I read things like Life of Pi, it makes me feel like I’ll never be able to sell a book, ’cause I don’t write that way, and it seems so popular with the Oprah’s Club/average reader sect. Then again, there are plenty of other sections of the populace that also buy books, but it’s still depressing nonetheless when my usual language is so plain and direct and the stuff I read so rarely is, and it’s this stuff that wins awards and prizes and so on.
Of course, if you want an example of straight-forward writing in an entertaining little book, read All My Friends Are Superheroes, by Andrew Kaufman. It’s simple, it’s a sweet story, and it’s really different. If you have an hour or two, you can read it straight-through, I’m sure.
Okay, so I got completely wrapped up in buying things online for a bit. I’m a loser. I’m also planning to get out to Chapters later today and spend gobs of money — assuming there are books out that I want to buy — so that’s going to be fun. I really need more bookshelves in my apartment. It amazes me to see how few books many of my friends have in comparison to me. Then I see all the other things they have and I feel like a total loser. 🙂
Last night I spent relaxing on the couch and trying to shake off my morose mood, and I think it worked. After some running around and playing, Thena settled down and spent most of the evening sleeping on me, even returning after I’d wander off to go do something else. We finished off The Saint, one of my preferred films, watched Down to You, and watched Big Fish. I’d seen most of Big Fish before, but it was in the movie theatre and the fire alarm went off with 20 minutes left and we were all kicked out and no, I never got a free pass or anything afterwards. I thought about it, but I just kinda didn’t care enough to bother. Yes, I know, most of you would have, but I didn’t. So there. 🙂
I had also rented the three Die Hard movies because I’ve never seen them before and I have decided I kinda like Bruce Willis, so I went and got those, too. The reason I wound up with Down to You is ’cause I was told it was actually cheaper to rent four old movies over three, so I figured what the hell. I’ve seen better, I’ve seen worse. To be honest, I’m not sure what I think of Julia Stiles as an actress. I liked her in 10 things I hate about you, but I’m not sure. I don’t dislike her, so we’ll leave it at that, but the dance movie she was in was pretty meagre (Save the last dance) — her dance moves just looked too forced. At the same time, the table dance scene in 10 things wasn’t bad. *shrug* Who knows?
Monday night I got to play with leather and leather-tools with various friends, as I mentioned the other day. I made myself some leather ankle cuffs to match my wrist cuffs, so now I have a near-complete set. Of course, I’d still love to have/make a leather bracelet (I’ll probably see what I can buy) and a trick belt, but that’s a little ways away, yet. Now, I simply need to find someone who knows what they’re doing, knows how to please me, and is interested. So basically… I’m amassing a lovely toy chest for no good reason. 🙂