Thursday, March 29, 2012

Snape, Snape, Severus Snape DUMBLEDORE

Sometimes there are days where everything gangs up against you. Lame things at work. Bills. Skewed societal ideals. Morons plaguing you with childish insults, and insisting that you argue with them.

So last night I made a list. Things that make me feel better on those days when I start to hate humanity. (It is, by no means, comprehensive.)

The Jabberwocky
Chocolate Milk
My cloak
Rings of Power
Evil Editor
How Doth the Little Crocodile
Chocolate covered raisins
Silly songs with Larry
Sail Boats
Pirate hats
Hitting Baseballs
Goofy Movie music
80's classic music
movie premieres
my stew
the llama song
Snape, Snape, Severus Snape, Dumbledore!
The Cosby show
I Love Lucy
bouncy balls
5 Guys
sonic screwdrivers
The Vicar of Dibley
The library
Doctor Who
my pork roast
The lava monster game
Darren Criss singing (see AVPM)
my toddler buddies
Query Shark
My guitar

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Who Am I?

This is not an introspective post. You will not encounter any journeys of self-discovery or pleas for positive reinforcement.

But something weird has been happening lately. Something that is well beyond my sphere of experience. I'm writing this post mostly because I can't even comprehend it.

I've been getting a lot of comments on my blog posts.

(You may chuckle here.)

The weirder part of that is that these comments are from people I don't even know. Random people who are finding some of my posts, reading them, and actually getting incensed enough to comment on them. (Some with the addition of a little 'colorful' language. I've literally never been called those things before.)

I'm not gonna lie, it's kind of awesome. The idea that my words can reach total strangers out there in the internet world, and invoke emotion-filled responses... it's incredible. But I just have to ask one thing.


Who am I, that people find my blog, read it, and actually care what I say? I only have 11 followers, and all of them are family, roommates of family, or personal friends.

I'm not famous.

I've never even met anyone famous.

I'm not powerful.

I'm not politically active, beyond the bare minimum.

I've never published a book.

I've never recorded a song.

I've never been out of the country.

I've never created powerful art.

I'm not even GOOD at explaining myself in these blog posts.

So what is it? Why do random strangers suddenly care what I think? Why do people leave comments under the name "concerned reader"? Why are these commenters asking me to post other comments I've received, and why do they ask in a tone of voice that implies that I might offend someone or breach justice if I don't present a fair an balanced new-report-level openness in my media communications?

This is a personal blog. I say nothing relevant on it. At all. The occasional post that I do write in great seriousness is always lost in the archives, never to be seen again.

Why do people care what I say? Who am I?

The Hunger Games

With the opening of the movie, there's obviously been a tremendous re-visiting of the Hunger Games series.

Before I get into the main juice of this post:

A) The movie was great.

B) I didn't cry, but it was a near miss. I probably will the second time I see it this coming saturday.

C) Oh, no. I'm gonna cry now, just thinking about certain parts. No! I will not. I refuse. *hides face*

And now, on with the show.

There are two things that I am utterly perplexed by, regarding the Hunger Games movie response.

The Racism

Somebody was actually angry that they cast Rue, Thresh, and Cinna as black. And when I say somebody, I mean loads and loads of angry fans.

I don't mean surprised in a "that's not at all how I pictured them" way. I mean in an "Ugh, why'd they make Rue black? Totally ruined the movie." way.

Read THIS. 

I keep re-reading it, not able to fully understand how people can be so awful.

I am SHOCKED. Seriously shocked. And I am not a person who gets offended easily. Hurt by personal jibes, yes. Disappointed in people, yes. But legitimately offended? That's a rarity. Especially when it comes to being racist. Because I'm not black, so I don't face it much. And I'm from the south where being black is not a rare thing. Part of every day life. Whatevs.  

These people did it, though. They really crossed a line here. I am actually incensed by the things they were saying. As my good friend put it "OK, I tried to be kind and understanding, but these people are just, SO dumb."

I tried to be understanding too. Couldn't do it.

My response to this:

A) Read the book again, dorkwads.

B) Even if she was pale and blonde in the book, why would you say things like that? WHY? (The article expressed this better than I can. I'm too flustered about it to try.)

C) Amandla Stenberg is SO CUTE. The instant I saw her picture on IMDB, I was DEVASTATED. It ripped me apart inside to think of that little, sweet, adorable thing having to go into the arena.

I like what the article said. "The actress Amandla Stenberg literally looks like a tiny angel."

This is what I honestly feel like. If you can look at that face and have her violent death mean less just because it's darker than you wanted, then YOU HAVE NO SOUL.

D) Seriously, every time I look at that picture, I say "Oh!" in the same way that I do when I see precious baby animals. (Don't take that the wrong way. I am not at all saying that she's a baby, or an animal. But she does fit into the same category of sweetness.)

Oi. I can't handle it anymore. I've said my piece. I really just need to move on to the next thing.

Gratuitous Violence

That's what a lot of people think this is. And that, to me, is just wrong.

Liam Hemsworth (who played Gale) thinks so too. (See here).

Someone I know was telling me about her friend. This friend was very against the books. She said they were spiritually damaging. That they were horrid and violent, and therefore evil.

The thing is, I think the exact opposite about these books.

Yes, they're violent. Yes, teenagers have to go into an arena and fight to the death. Yes, a precious little 12 year old angel has to die. And yes, there are wars, and fighting, and lots of evil things.

But all of that is exactly why it is so poignant.

The Hunger Games is a snapshot of what we, as a 1st world country, are not too far from becoming. It takes what we already are and exaggerates it ever so slightly. It forces us to realize what we have, and be grateful for it.

In the movie, for example, when I saw all the costumes of the capital residents, I was flabbergasted. I expected them to be different than we are. And they just aren't. Not by all that much. Slightly brighter colors. Slightly more ridiculous clothes. But honestly...

I even wrote a blog post about it last summer. After I'd read the first book again, and then gone shopping. It gets the main gist of this section, so I won't revisit it.

I'd venture to say that the Hunger Games is actually inspirational. Influential. A reminder to us who have so much. Don't take that for granted.

Piles of food. Literally. High quality, disease free, pre-harvested piles of food, to be more specific. And how often do we walk past this without even realizing how fantastic it is?

Oh, the humanity

There were about 12 things I wanted to blog about today, and I just couldn't decide which of them to choose.

Then I got another hate comment on my animals post. You know the one. Where I took a hypocritical book, stripped down its argument, and then got called an evil and misguided (insert expletive here) for it.

I'm pretty sure that people have blinders on. All the time. Even when I explain my point of view as clearly as I possibly can, people still misunderstand me. As happened again today. Despite the fact that I clearly explained that I don't condone animal cruelty, I got "called out" again. This time much less civilly than Jed.

I appreciated Jed's comment, because even though he was angry and willfully misunderstanding me, he expressed himself well. His comment was concise. It was clear. It was semi-rational.

Not so with this latest one.

Don't go to the post looking for it though. I deleted it. I'm not hurt by it, but I don't tolerate blatant rudeness and profanity just for the sake of proving how tough I am. So believe me or not as you will. It's not in the least important.

This is the comment I left in its place:

Dear rational and competent adults,

Oh wait. I don't see any here. 

But for those who do care, I deleted the last comment. Not because I can't argue against it. Not because I am hurt or offended. 

I deleted it because I'm stupidity intolerant. (Sadly, they don't have meds for this yet.)

A vituperative comment with an excess of three expletives crosses that line. Especially when it comes from someone who can't even own up to their own irrationally angry words. 

For anyone who ever reads this post in the future, I'm going to give you some guidelines:

-Keep it rational. 
-Keep it civil.
-And for the love of bacon, don't go around leaving anonymous comments and thinking you're all that. If it's not something you'd say with your name next to it, don't say it.

If you don't follow these rules, your comment will be deleted. End of story. 

And it is the end of the story. I don't expect any of the people who regularly read this blog to actually have a problem with this. But just in case, follow the rules. If you don't, I'll delete you. No questions. No exceptions.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Dear Everyone,

Sometimes I'm a jerk.

Don't all of you nice, benefit-of-a-doubt types come in and start saying "oh, no you're not. You're so sweet!" (You know who you are. I've had this discussion with a few people.)

That's what makes you nice, of course. Your ability to not see what a jerk I can be when the fancy strikes me. And I appreciate your niceness. And your trying-to-make-me-feel-better-ness.

But you're not helping.

Telling me I'm totally fine and sweet and lovely when I'm not is just making it harder for me to improve. So please don't. I have to accept my jerk-ness before I can fix it.

And here's the truth, plain and simple:

If you think I'm sweet and nice, it's only because I actually like you. Of course I'm nice to the people I like.

But I say hurtful things a lot. And half the time it's because I wasn't thinking about how mean it sounded. That's one of my biggest failings. Not thinking before I talk.

So, to everyone out there in the digital and real world, I've probably said something mean about you at some point in our knowing each other. I'm sorry. Don't hate me.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Psychoanalyze My Dreams Part 2

At work, we came up with a few interesting conjectures. Considering all of those commonalities, we basically narrowed it all down to one question. 

Do all of these dreams mean that I have a superiority complex, or that I feel so helpless and un-appreciated that I make up for it in my dreams?

I really think that it could go either way. Because I am always the hero. I am always the saving grace. The too-good-to-be-true super human.

And sometimes in real life I do judge people too harshly. I don't trust the intelligence of the average human very much at all.

So is that how I subconsciously see myself? Do I really, deep down, feel like I'm better than everyone else?

At the same time, I'm never arrogant or boasting in my dreams either. I just do what needs to be done without any kind of emotional attachment to the ordeal at all. Maybe I just dream that way because that's how I want to be.

After all, this has sort of become my official theme song for the past month or two.

Anyway, I don't know which it is. But those are the two choices we narrowed it to.

Then again, maybe it's neither. Maybe I just read too much.

For your further enlightenment says this:

To see or dream that you are a zombie suggests that you are physically and/or emotionally detached from people and situations that are currently surrounding you. You are feeling out of touch. Alternatively, a zombie means that you are feeling dead inside. You are just going through the motions of daily living. 

That's never happened to me, though I have dreamed that people I know in real life have been zombified.

To dream that you are attacked by zombies indicate that you are feeling overwhelmed by forces beyond your control. You are under tremendous stress in your waking life. Alternatively, the dream represents your fears of being helpless and overpowered.
I don't think that's quite right either. I'm pretty sure that working 27 hours a week at a library isn't the most stressful life ever. 

To dream that you have committed a murder indicates that you are putting an end to an old habit and a former way of thinking. This could also refer to an end to an addiction. Alternatively, the dream indicates that you have some repressed aggression or rage at yourself or at someone. Note also that dreams of murder occur frequently during periods of depression.

To dream that you witness a murder indicates deep-seated anger towards somebody. Consider how the victim represents aspects of yourself that you want to destroy or eliminate.
To dream that you are murdered suggests that some important and significant relationship has been severed. You are trying to disconnect yourself from your emotions. The dream may also be about your unused talents.

Well, that was useless. None of it talks about being the detective who solves the murders.

Lame. It doesn't have Vespas or Daleks in there. Or the Tardis. Or Han Solo. The more I look at this website, the more I'm convinced that my dreams don't have an interpretation. They're just adventures.

To dream that you are a hero signifies your inner strength and weaknesses. The dream refers to your ability, determination and level of confidence. You have the power to bravely face the secrets of your unconscious and confront life's challenges. 


To dream that you are levitating suggests that you are holding on to far-fetched and outlandish ideas. You need to be more realistic. 


Alright, that's enough for now. Lata.

Psychoanalyze My Dreams

Just for fun, we were discussing this topic at work. It got me thinking. (Not seriously. I won't turn into Professor Trelawny. But just curiously.)

Because I'm a dork, and also quite frequently bored, I actually considered starting yet another blog for the sole purpose of getting people to analyze my many bizarre dreams.

Then I realized that this would probably make me even weirder than I already am.

I haven't completely dismissed the idea, though.  But in the interim, here's a fun exercise for you.

The Game

My dreams are pretty consistent in a few ways. For example, I've only twice (in my memory) had dreams that were truly terrifying. The kind that you wake up from covered in sweat, breathing hard, and sitting bolt upright. And one of those was because I had fallen asleep only minutes after watching Secret Window.

Needless to say, I haven't watched it since.

So here's the game. I give a list of recurring themes in my dreams, and you guys decide what that says about my personality. Leave your answer in the comments or on the facebook link.

When you're done, click Here to see what some of our answers were.

  • All about me
I always take a very active part in my dreams. I'm always in them, doing and saying things. I can't think of a single dream where I was just watching, or was so minor that I didn't matter.

  • The Hero
I have a lot of murder mystery dreams, but I'm never the victim. I'm always the detective, and I always solve the case.

I have a lot of zombie dreams too. In them, I'm always at the front lines of the war/invasion. I almost always have my machete, and I'm pretty dang good at keeping the zombies at bay. I'm always clever too. When I don't have good weapons, I always find things nearby that work amazingly well.

I've even held off Daleks with my quick thinking.

I'm never afraid or nervous. I just do what has to be done.

Frequently in the zombie, mystery, or other adventures, I protect people. When the zombies are invading my house, I stand at the top of the stair case, hacking away at them while the others can set up their defenses properly. Rather like Gimli and Aragorn in the battle of Helm's Deep.

Basically, I'm always super awesome, super heroic, and super brave.

  • Real people
Real life people are quite often in my dreams too, but they're never important.

The sidekicks are always there for either comic relief, or just because they randomly are. None of them are ever helpful. Sometimes they're the opposite, like the time Daphne accidentally instigated a massive ghost infestation.

When they're victims, I'm usually trying to save their lives somehow. Or save them from being used in a nefarious plan.

When they're the bad guys, the dreams are pretty accurate to real life. And by that I don't mean that these people are actually bad. I just mean, it shows what kind of villain they would be in the unlikely case that they did turn evil.

At any rate, the main point is that I am always the most important person in my dreams, and any real people in them are either relegated to my "go buy me donuts" list, saved by me, or crushed under the heel of my awesomeness.

  • My deficiencies
I don't have many of them in dreamland.

There's only one thing I'm ever actually afraid of. Even in the 'being chased and falling down a hole' dreams, I'm not scared. Dead bodies, ravenous zombies, invading Daleks, and serial killers don't phase me in the least (Even though some of them would in real life).

But demons. They even creep me out in my invincible dream-hero alter ego.

Also, sometimes I have those dreams where you try to punch, but no matter what you do, you just can't get any power behind it. Or you try to run, and no matter what, you just can't go faster than chilled molasses. Even then, I'm not scared. Just super annoyed.

But generally, I don't have any problems. I'm just spectacular all the time.

What do these things say about my personality? 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hate Mail :P

Wow. I just got my first ever random-angry-guy-hates-my-blog-post comment. It's kind of exciting. It's regarding the post I did on Why We Don't Eat Animals. (The Book).

I also love it when people get so angry about random internet posts and videos, and they lash out irrationally. Usually they make grammar mistakes, etc, when they do. This guy was no exception.

Call me a weirdo, but I really do take pleasure and entertainment from angry interneters. I just find it amusing that people can get so worked up over such silly things.

Anyway, in case you're curious, but too lazy to click and read the post, here's the comment and my ensuing response. (I don't claim to be a great writer or debater, but I feel like I did a rather satisfactory job at countering his fury with reason.)

First of all, his name is Jed. I just kept seeing Jed Clampett in my head. Except that Jed doesn't have a problem with eating animals for food.

Jed said...

You are an idiot.

Reading your extremely ignorant post I don't think I'm wrong when I say you believe this sort of treatment is the exception not the rule, yes? And does this make it OK?!

The book simply gives children an opportunity to form their own opinion before they have been conditioned into believing that the way in which meat and dairy is attained is appropriate and humane. 

You're misguided socially constructed idea on this issue is both contemptible and juvenile. Please do yourself and the rest of the world a favor and watch the film earthlings before you further embarrass yourself with your naive and trivial view on this issue.

My Reply: (A little long, yeah. But thorough and calm.)

Dear Jed, 

First of all, "you're" is a contraction consisting of the words "you" and "are". It is not a possessive, and therefore does not mean what you think it means. 

Also, you really could use a few commas in there. My eyes started to hurt.


Giving you the benefit of a doubt, and assuming that you are not an illiterate boob, I'll address your comments one by one in a logical and reasonable fashion.

A) Not having the same beliefs as you does not make me an idiot any more than it makes me a tube of toothpaste. When two people believe different things, what makes them truly wise is the ability to sit together and calmly discuss the issue while still respecting each other's differences. 

B) You're not wrong. I do believe this is the exception. I grew up in an extremely rural area, near my fair share of real live farms. My information isn't based on biased documentaries, but on the evidence of my own eyes.

You'll note, however, that I never once said that made it okay. I know some places really are like this. And I know it's a terrible thing. I have trouble squishing spiders, even when they are in my bed. I am the farthest you can get from a proponent of animal cruelty.

But this isn't a post about ignoring inhumane practices, as you seem to suppose. It is a post about a specific book. Consider this a book review instead of a diatribe, if it makes you feel better.

C) And regarding that specific book... have you read it? It doesn't sound like it. And if not, you are unqualified to make any debate on the topic. 

But again, assuming you have read it, and that you come here prepared as a reasonable and rational human being, let me remind you what my post already laid out as the basis of my argument. 

I do not have a problem with vegetarians or vegans. 

I do not condone animal cruelty. 

I do not even have a problem with books that try to actively promote a concept I disagree with. 

What I DO have a problem with is twisting information. With contradicting oneself. And with literature that's straight up preachy. (Everyone hates being preached to). 

My current job (and hopefully future career) is very closely tied with children's literature. I am profoundly interested in getting quality reading material to our youth. So it bothers me when a non-fiction book contains unfounded facts or a skewed view of one side of the story. This book is guilty of both. 

(You can argue with me all day, but it's still true that elephants and gorillas don't live in the Amazon Rainforest.)

I am a firm believer that facts should not be ignored simply because we don't like them. 

D) I believe in the freedom of choice. The best way to encourage a child to become a vegetarian (or any other kind of activist) is not to preach to them. It is not to scare them into something. It is not to hide certain facts from them. 

Children aren't as dumb as we adults often take them to be. We don't have to pander to them in order to help them make the right choices in life. 

The best way to educate a child into becoming a responsible adult is to give all of the facts (I really emphasize  the word ALL), allow said child to consider them, and then allow them to make an intelligent choice. Kids have a better head for right and wrong than we do, and if they are shown ALL of the information, they'll nearly always make the right choice.  

E) That being said, my opinion is neither trivial nor juvenile.

I don't consider the quality of children's literature to be at all a trivial matter.

I have a passionate and logical stream of reasoning behind my argument, making it clearly un-childish. You don't have to agree with my take on things. And I don't have to agree with yours. But we can disagree and still be mature adults without resorting to name calling and steam blowing. 

In the future, I'd advise you to check your anger, insults, and rash commentary before you embarrass yourself by calling someone else juvenile.