The best books are the ones that make you cry

Reading has always been one of my favorite pastimes, and while I somewhat gave it up my first two years of college–who wants to read for fun when they’ve spent hours reading textbooks?–, I have restarted with a vengeance this summer/semester.  I’m very picky when it comes to what I read, and I rarely venture out of the historical fiction genre.  What can I say, I know what I like.

 

In the past three months, I have discovered two relatively new authors of this genre who are responsible for my newfound desire to read, read, read: Jo Graham and Michelle Moran.  Their characterization and wording is breathtaking–you really do get drawn into the novel.  It would be impossible for me to pick a favorite novel of the five written between these two, but the latest I read was ‘Cleopatra’s Daughter’ by Michelle Moran.  I felt as though I truly connected with the narrator, felt what she felt, and saw what she saw.  I was saddened by the loss of her kingdom, horrified by the humiliation she underwent during her first weeks with the Romans, disgusted by some Roman practices, and so upset over a tragic twist of fate at the end of the novel that my eyes filled with tears.  I was in a haze of melancholy for the rest of the night, but I was also internally thrilled that I had finally found a book and an author who could so captivate my emotions.  There’s really no rush like a good book, and it had been far too long since I felt that euphoria.

 

She may be new, she may be young(ish), but Michelle Moran sure knows how to write.  My only regret is that her books are so engrossing, I finish them in just two or three days, and the thrill ends much too soon.

Inner Child

I like to think of myself as mature for my age because….well, comparatively speaking, I am. I don’t smoke, drink, do drugs, party, screw up in school, or any of the other things people my age are notorious for.  Some people think I must lead an extremely boring life because of this, but that’s their opinion.  I have my own, and it differs quite a bit.

 

But no matter how mature a person is (or thinks they are, at any rate) every single person has an inner child who needs to be released from time to time.  These children remind us of the past–days that were filled with a lot of play and very little worry.  We all need the chance to be carefree and just completely, utterly happy every now and again.

 

My inner child manifested itself today as a deep craving to watch Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.  As mentioned in one of my first few posts, I am a huge Tim Burton fan, and NBC was the first movie of his I ever watched.  15 years later, it hasn’t lost its charm.  I still know the words to the songs, I still love Zero the dog and immensely dislike Oogie Boogie.  Watching it brings back memories of the good old days when my mom would make me hot chocolate and popcorn and we would sit in the living room together–me watching the movie and her doing her Vet school homework.  Oh how I long for the days when life and happiness were as simple as that……

Busy Bee

I’ve always been a busy person, but this semester just seems killer.  Four days a week I have class, then work, then class again.  My days range from 8.5 hours (on Fridays, the one weekday I don’t have class) to 13–and that’s not including the hour and a half of travel time!  Tuesdays and Thursdays I leave my apartment at 6:30am and don’t get back until 9:30 pm.  Those days I don’t even turn on my computer when I get home.  I eat and go straight to bed.  Mondays and Wednesdays are a bit better–later start and earlier finish–but by the time Friday comes around, I am exhausted.  I spend the weekend studying, doing homework, doing random chores, and just resting up so I can do it all again the following week.  Needless to say, I don’t have much of a social life at the moment….I barely even have time to blog!  Any posts during the week are usually composed during a particularly boring or repetitive lecture that I should be paying attention to.

I don’t mind being busy–I like having things to do–but everyone has a point where “comfortably busy” becomes “oh my god, is it ever going to end????”  What I do isn’t hard.  Classes are all intro business with minimal studying required, and work is repetitive, but that doesn’t stop it from being draining.  Winter break can’t get here soon enough.  A vacation away from all of this is just what the doctor ordered.  Now, I just have to make it through three more months first….

Crazy….

Several posts ago. I introduced you to my stalkers. I had thought they were all more or less gone, but the Baruch stalker simply refuses to disappear.

Apparently he is in one of my management classes this semester, a fact I did not know until he commented on one of my statuses about that class. The class is fairly large, so I never noticed him and since he never sat next to me, I assumed he had moved on. Wrong again.

During a lecture, the professor told a joke which was actually funny–a rarity among college professors–and everyone laughed. Two minutes later on my fb wall, my stalker posts this: “having fun in class I see!” That creeped me out, but I played it off and replied that “yes, the class is interesting today.” I tried to keep my eyes either on my notes or of the prof for the rest of class, out of fear that I would find him if I looked around. It’s creepy enough to know that he’s watching me, I don’t need him thinking I’m encouraging it because I accidently looked at him.

Alas, fate was not on my side. The one time I glanced at the clock, I saw him. He was staring at me and gave me one if the infamous “I’m so hot, you know you want me” head nods. I quickly looked away and after class I literally darted to the elevators. Luckily I managed to avoid him….this time.

One would think that’s the end if the story so far. Well, one would be wrong. After that uncomfortable class, I posted a status about how I’d been stuck in the limbo between being sick and not sick for two weeks. Guess who commented? That’s right…. And it wasn’t even a normal “I hope you feel better” comment. He told me that “what I needed was a little Tony Robbins! He’s a world-famous motivator and I gotta say he helped me be more confident (even Bill Clinton complimented him!) you should watch this video by him and see if it has a positive effect on you!”

Ummmm……yeah, not happening. For one thing, the post was about me feeling physically sick, so how would a “motivator” help? For another thing, I don’t really believe in the “phenomenon” of motivational speakers. Yes, they can make people feel passionate about something, but the effect is generally short-lived, and rarely makes them believe something they didn’t already believe in some capacity. I also think that your self-esteem and confidence depend on how you were raised and life experiences along the way. I don’t see how listening to someone talk can really make that big of an impact unless you’re willing to physically go out and do something about the problem you have, but maybe that’s just me.

Just for me, myself, and I

I like to dress up, but I tend not to do it often because of the reaction from people I know. No, they don’t say I look bad or anything-in fact, they say I look good-but it’s the phrase that follows which really ticks me off. The dreaded “hot date tonight?”

I know it’s meant to be playful, but when every single person you meet asks you this, it gets old fast. Repetition isn’t what annoys me, though. It’s the mentality behind it- our society’s mentality-that if a woman looks nice, it must be that she’s trying to impress a man. Why is it so farfetched that maybe I want to look nice just because *I* want to look nice? Why, when I say that ‘no, I don’t have a date,’ do people roll their eyes and reply with ‘suuuuure’? The most common perpetrators of this are women, which just blows my mind.

I find it quite pathetic if a woman has only ever dressed up to impress a man. Especially since so many of them are also feminists who complain that men only want them for their looks. Contradictory, much? I believe that when you go shopping for cute clothes, you should pick what *you* like and what *you* think makes *you* look good. Forget about what a man might like and just focus on the three most important people in your life-you, yourself, and you 😉

Office Etiquette

There are certain things that are universals.  Office etiquette, in my opinion, should be one of them.  At my current job, the rules of etiquette are….more like guidelines, if anything, and are often ignored.  While I’m generally easy going towards this and just try to accept the office for how it is, there are times when I can’t stand it.

The first rule of office etiquette is respecting your boss(es).  That should be a given, seeing as how they’re the ones signing your paycheck.  However, there is one person in particular at my job who blatantly disrespects the head boss, as well as the other bosses.  She thinks that because she’s been there for 25 years that she knows more than anyone else–never mind the fact that she probably never went to college while the people she’s criticizing have law degrees.  She even goes so far as to tell the main boss what he can and can’t do.  It’s not even a suggestion with her; it’s an order.

The second rule is respecting your coworkers.  Unsurprisingly, the person who breaks the first rule breaks this one too.  She’s always badmouthing the rest of us–sometimes in front of us, or where she knows we can hear.  She thinks that because we sometimes chat and sometimes go online for a few minutes that we do no work.  For example, Friday I was swamped.  I worked for a few hours straight and had gotten everything down to a manageable level.  So, I decided to take my first break of the day and surf the internet for a few moments while I eat a piece of fruit.  Well, the above-mentioned person walks by just at that moment, sighs loudly, shakes her head, and then reappears a moment later with a huge stack of papers.  She says “well, since you’re not busy, you can do this for me.”  She didn’t even pretend it was a request.  I was pissed, but knew that it would be faster just to do it than to argue. It still annoyed the hell out of me, though.  Not to mention that that’s one of the least annoying things she does.

Third rule:  separate the personal from the professional.  We’re all decently close at this job and we talk about our personal lives quite frequently.  There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as people realize that there’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed.  When the questions get too intimate or the topic is too taboo, it should be dropped immediately. At my old job as an assistant manager at the movie theater, I was quite close to the managers, because we were on the same mental level.  However, we always knew when we were going too far and needed to remember that we were in a subordinate-superior position.  Even with the other assistant managers, we all had an agreement that personal conversations were not to go past a certain point.  It worked and kept everything running smoothly without too many emotional conflicts interfering with what we were getting paid to do.   If we wanted things to get personal, we could always hang out off the clock.

This third rule also applies to actions, not just conversations.  If you’re having a bad day, don’t take it out on the rest of the office.  It’s not our fault you’re angry/bitter/depressed/whatever.  There is a time and a place for emotions to control you, and it is not the workplace.  One of the lawyers is currently going through a divorce and, because of that, is extremely difficult to work with–snapping at everyone who tries to make him, and then yelling when stuff piles up at the last minute.  It’s fucking annoying for those of us who need him to do his work before we can do ours.

Every time something annoying, and just plain unnecessary, happens, the general attitude in the office is “oh, well that’s just how X is,” or “oh, you’ll get used to it,” and then they wonder why they have such a large turnover rate.  We shouldn’t have to get used to sexual comments from a lawyer three times our age and “learn to take them as compliments.”  We shouldn’t have to work with people who want to make everyone around them miserable because they are.  We shouldn’t have to be bitched at just because we’re trying to get someone to do their work so we can do ours.  I stuck it out–though I wanted to quit many, many times in the first few months–and have made some good friends, but that doesn’t mean I don’t long for a normal office with bosses who act like mature adults.  It doesn’t seem like too much to ask for.

Hypocrites

I should be used to this by now–and I suppose I am–but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t tick me off. As I’m walking from work to school, I pass by one of the crazy people handing out bibles and preaching on the sidewalk. I didn’t make eye contact, not even for a second, but I must have a neon sign over my head that only the hardcore Christians can see, because they always seem to pick me out of a crowd. Me, the atheist.

I try to be nice at first, telling them ‘no thank you’ and then attempting to walk away. Sometimes it works. Today it didn’t. The person starts following me, asking why. I told her I was an atheist–to try to scare her away–and although she looked like she was about to have a conniption, she became more determined if anything.

She started off on the old story of how I was going to hell and only god could save me blah blah blah. I pointedly ignored her, my headphones still on, but she wouldn’t give up. She grabbed my arm–a HUGE no-no in my book–and told me she would leave me alone if I would only answer one question. Thoroughly annoyed, I sighed and agreed. Her question? “when are you going to stop living in sin?”. My response? “About the same time you stop being a hypocrite. After all, your bible says that it’s not for you to judge.”. Then I turned and walked away. This time she didn’t follow.

People like her really piss me off. How does what I believe or don’t believe affect her in any way, and who is she to tell me I’m wrong? I think she’s idiotic for what she believes, but I don’t stop her in the street to tell her so. But then, I guess not all of us are raised to have class.