Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Things I learned this month, but was too busy with Nanowrimo to blog about...

Thing #1:

I don't understand the frenzy over sports. At all. I will never be screaming at the tv in joy or anger over something that some overpaid athlete does. But that is not the new thing. The new thing is that I finally understand the similarities between sports excitement and my own epic adventure excitement.

How did I discover this? By looking at some pictures of a guy in my ward as he watched a sporting event. Some of the faces he made were almost exactly the same
faces that I made while reading Fablehaven 5 and Mockingjay. It was pretty uncanny. I also realized that, if quidditch were a real sport, I would be all over that.

I've always thought to myself how sad it is that people can't get as excited about books as I do. Because it means that their lives are that much less joyful. That much more dull, lifeless, and boring. It means that I have that much more incredible awesomeness in my life.

But I discovered that avid sports fans are trying for the same thing. Albeit in a much more mundane, and "conforming with the man" kind of way. Because everyone likes sports. That's mostly where it loses its appeal to me. In the mass adoration aspect. But then again, I'm always trying to get more people to be excited about awesome books. *shrug*

Things that are the same between sports nuts and me:
  • Excitement
  • Yelling at inanimate objects
  • Inability to tear ourselves away, even when we should do other things
  • More thrills in life
Things that are different:
  • Cost. Assuming you're patient enough to wait for things at the library, reading can be a completely free hobby. It isn't always, but it can be. Sports always require either a ticket purchase and travel, or the electricity with which to view the event.
  • Anger management issues. I've been frustrated, creeped out, in agony, and in horrible suspense over characters. But I've never, ever, been actually yelling-at-the-ref angry over a book. Books do not make me mad. Sports make lots of people unnecessarily furious, which is another part that annoys me so bad about them.
  • Social setting. Yeah, you can talk about books. Discuss them with friends. Go to release parties. And basically get mutually excited about them. But it's not the same as screaming your lungs out in a crowd of thousands of people doing the exact same thing, and wearing the exact same colors. Not my cup of tea, but some people actually like that. I'm much more solitary.

Thing #2:

Achieving a goal is a lot more about just deciding to do it, and a lot less about what the fates decree.

This I learned from Nanowrimo. Not that I ever doubted my ability to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I've done it before (though not for nano). But I slacked a lot during the Harry Potter premiere-Thanksgiving time period.

When I just sat down and didn't think about it, the best I usually did in a day was about three or four thousand, and that's with more time put in. My average was about 2k a day. After I slacked, I knew that I was really behind. And it was a choice between not caring, and deciding to do it.

I decided to do it anyway. And I was about 8 thousand words behind where I was supposed to be. Consciously deciding to finish made all the difference. I didn't write any better. I didn't have any different stress level. In fact, everything was exactly the same except for one thing. That I did 6k in one night, and 8k the next day.

I don't understand how it works or anything. But it does. Attitude about a project affects EVERYTHING. When you decide to just do it, it gets done.

Thing #3:

It is a LOT harder to be nice about a correction when someone has a, uh, lower level of understanding. I don't really know a nicer way to phrase that.

There are so many things that are really awkward about having a roommate who is somewhat slower. And one of them is her ability to make me constantly feel like I'm the worst person ever. It sucks. But she doesn't mean to do it, which in turn makes it all worse.

If someone you lived with left certain disgusting items on the bathroom floor, you wouldn't put up with it. You'd tell them to clean their mess. But in this case, if you tell them, as nice as you possibly know how, that people generally don't do things like that, they give you that puppy look. The one that says that they don't understand what you mean. They only understand that you're upset with them. And then you feel like the rudest person that ever lived. It's like you're upset with an adorable little fuzzy animal for acting like that kind of animal is supposed to act.

I'm still working on this.

Thing #4:

Christmas lights are so happy. And they make a great night light, because they're dim enough to sleep with, but they're just SO happy that you can't be scared with them on.

Granted, if you want to keep them as a night light all year, quite a few less than this would work nicely.

Thing #5:

A lot of people think that it's too hard to be a non-judgmental person, because they're just too observant. They notice things.

Lemme tell you what, if anyone notices the random stuff, and not the important stuff, it's me. And I've thought the same thing before on occasion. But I suddenly realized, with clarity, that the two things don't have to have anything to do with each other.

To be an amiable, non-judgmental, generally accepting person is not about not noticing the weird stuff. Not noticing it just makes you dense, and isn't really a lot better than always judging people. It's all about what you do with the information once you process it.

If you can look at a person, see all their faults and weirdnesses, realize that everyone is flawed, and love them anyway, THEN you're truly non-judgmental.

Thing #6:

When Katharine comes to your house to hang out, put away all sharp objects, and anything that can be lobbed at other people such as stress balls and bean bags.

Oh, and also your wallets, han solo playing cards, and beanie sharks. :P

Thing #7:

The thickness of my gravy is inversely proportional to the flavor. The tastier it is, the thinner it gets. I can't explain this.

This year's gravy, though, was the first I've ever made that was thicker and edible. Not the yummiest I've ever managed, but adequate.

Thing #8:

I'm just so dang nerdy. I mean, I knew that. But seriously, I took a good look at the books I had out from the library. 90% of them are non-fiction books, all of which are about animals of some kind. Dragons, vampires, poisonous snakes. Well, except for one. It's a volcano book, and it's completely pictures of erupting volcanoes. And they're really, really cool.

I admit. I check out most books like that for the pictures. A non-fiction book without decent pictures is no good to me. I don't judge books just by their covers. I judge them by the photo-quality of their paper too.

Ha. And the picture also shows the sail boats on my sheets. I think that closes this section quite appropriately.

Thing #9:

My weakness for beautiful men's singing voices is worse than ever. It's really quite a problem, because it means that every time I hear a guy in my ward singing well, I automatically swoon, even if I don't like him that way at all.

But that's just the thing that gets me above all. I suppose I've watched too many musicals.

List of current marvellously voiced favorites:
  • Ewan Mcgregor
  • Neil Patrick Harris
  • Matthew Morrison (holy cow, when Endless Love comes on my ipod, it's the worst ever. I forget what I'm doing for a few seconds.)
  • James Marsden
  • Norbert Leo Butz
  • Zac Efron (so sue me)
  • Mark Salling
  • Alex Goot (his youtube channel )
Exhibit A:

Oops. I accidentally deleted the part I wrote after this. Sad. But I'll try to recreate it.

The reason I picked this particular video of Alex's is because it's the coolest looking one he made. I like the song. It is good. It's not my most favorite ever. There are a few covers and originals that I like better. But, like I said, the movie was cool.

Also, Alex is awesome because he plays all his own instruments (except this one absurd guitar solo in his beat it cover). Guitar, Bass, Piano, Drums... he does it all. Pretty sweet.

Thing #10:

I decided that ten would be a nice round number for a post like this. Only choosing the number before counting how many things you have to say can sometimes end badly. Like in using the last few sections to talk about random things that aren't really applicable.

Also, I ran out of colors forever ago. This is the third time I've used green. I'm not sure that this will actually matter, though, because blogger hates me. The only post within the last several months where the colors I used in it actually worked was my dracula one. And only half of them worked. Luckily, it was the red one that did. So that was cool.

I took this picture of some jingle bells. Then I played with the color. It looks sort of like a sketch crossed with a water color. I like it.

Also, my hands smell like chicken pot pie. I have no idea why.

We made a fort in the living room. It was fun.

Update: Hmmm. Super weird. A few little random bits had the color work, and I have no idea at all what made them different from the rest of the post. Also, the video seems to be freezing in the last ten or fifteen seconds. Dunno why. But you get the idea. And you can go to his youtube anyway.

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