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Archive for March, 2009

This one deserves an exclamation point!

Today we shall appreciate the art of being incredibly random. This, like other art forms takes years to master, but there are some of us that are born gifted. I happen to be one such person. While normally I’m not one to brag, my randomness is something I am unusually proud of. Living randomly allows you to experience the best of life, and allows you to have adventures that cause non-random people to be jealous. The following is a basic guide on how to become more random, and while results may vary, you will hopefully soon have marvelous adventures of your own.

Victoria’s Guide to Randomness

  1. Ask yourself “What is the most impulsive thing I could do right now?” and then do it. If it isn’t something that would warrant strange looks from the average person, or at least some degree of perplexity, you need more practice, but keep working you’ll get it in time. Read: 1. Whatever it is you’re doing should be legal. I am not to blame if you don’t follow this advice and get yourself arrested. 2. Do not confuse randomness with strangeness. There is a difference between being pleasantly eccentric and someone who people do not want to encounter in a dark alley. The types of things I do when I have these moments involve visiting a Hare Krishna temple, climbing trees, and sitting in a public square with my sketchbook drawing things I see. Doing things that drive people away tend to be a bad thing.
  2. Talk to strangers. If you are under 15, ignore this one. I don’t mean talk to every stranger, as common sense would dictate that in some situations this is BAD. But there are situations where it is okay to talk to strangers, and I recommend you do so. Don’t be weird or scary, but there are a lot of interesting people in the world, and you can learn a lot by being friendly. Everyone has a story, and sometimes you’ll be surprised what you find.
  3. Explore the world around you. If you get the opportunity to go to an interesting old building, and the powers that be don’t care that you look around, do so. You’ll be amazed what you discover. Go in that store you’ve walked by with the colorful window display. Go to antique stores and really look at what they are selling. View everything with curiosity.
  4. Play find the pineapple. I know it sounds strange, and you don’t have to look for pineapples, but look for something. Why? When you do this, you will find that you observe more details than ever before. Trust me it works.
  5. Express passion about the things you love. Why should you hold it in? When people are aware of things which make you unique, you become more interesting. Don’t be afraid to have all sorts of interests that seem strange. If people appear to not understand your zeal, odds are they are afraid to be that expressive of the things they love, and somewhere deep down inside, they wish they could be like you.
  6. Have at least one goal in life that makes sense to only you. I don’t think I need to explain this one.
  7. Read this blog faithfully.
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It’s the impossible situation.

      I love the humor in this book. Really, honestly, if you cannot find humor in Catch-22, I don’t know that I can respect you (Read: If you know me on a personal level, I tend to be very forgiving, and furthermore, if you never bring it up I probably won’t think to ask). Everything about the book is so contradictory, yet at the same time, it expresses truths about human nature that most people have trouble putting into words. Yossarian may seem to be crazy because he is convinced that everyone is trying to kill him, but isn’t that what war is? This ridiculous idea which seems so paranoid to a reader that isn’t thinking about it shows just how ridiculous war itself is. Heller is a satirical genius, and his work is brilliant. 

For your reading enjoyment, here are my favorite Catch-22 quotes:

“There then followed a hectic jurisdictional dispute between these overlords that was decided in General Dreedle’s favor by ex-PFC Wintergreen, mail clerk at Twenty-seventh Air Force Headquarters. Wintergreen determined the outcome by throwing all communications from General Peckem into the wastebasket. He found them too prolix. General Dreedle’s views, expressed in a less pretentious literary style, pleased ex-PFC Wintergreen and were sped along by him in zealous observance of regulations. General Dreedle was victorious by default.”

“Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three.”

“But I make a profit of three and a quarter cents an egg by selling them for four and a quarter cents an egg to the people in Malta I buy them from for seven cents an egg. Of course, I don’t make the profit. The syndicate makes the profit. And everybody has a share.” Chapter 22, pg. 241

“He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody.”

“Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?”

“That crazy bastard may be the only sane one left.”

More to come.

photo-411

Yes, that is me with my copy of Catch-22.

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Alas, I start to get preachy.

     Today  I participated in an hour without electricity. I think I might do this more often. Telling stories by candlelight is always fun. There is a certain feel of unity to this, it is great to enjoy with friends (and coffee, of course, this evening I had Gevalia’s German Chocolate Cake, which is amazing). So I guess this practice was started in Australia (the hour without electricity, not storytelling and coffee) , and the goal is for the entire world to go an hour without electricity in hopes that we would conserve great amounts of energy. I think I might start spending an hour a week with out electricity. Candles create ambiance. Not only this, but after spending an entire summer at camp, electricity can be overrated (though we  did have electricity in the cabins, we weren’t very dependent on it, not the way people are in normal life). 

It is my hope that this post will inspire others to do the same thing. I am trying to spend one hour a week without electricity, because why should it only be once a year.

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This isn’t entirely true. I did finish my Arthurian Legend reading for Monday.

      The title of this post probably gives away the fact that I am still in Surgery recovery mode. As I said before, it is not actually the case that I didn’t do anything. I read all of the Lays of Marie de France. Or at least all of them that were in the book that we have to read for Monday. I’m not sure if the book was all inclusive or not. Maybe I should have read the forward. Oh well. I’m sure the professor will say something about it in class. There was an interesting lay entitled Bisclavret, which is about a werewolf. Not quite as violent as some would expect. Still it was entertaining, and kept me from the verge of boredom, again. I have also made great progress on The Italian.  My day wasn’t entirely unproductive, I just wasn’t up quite as much as I would have liked to be. Everything I did happened between naps.On the bright side, I made it an entire day without taking any pain medication. By any, I really do mean any. None of the heavy duty stuff they gave me after surgery. None of the other prescription I had left over from my cyst-pain, which is weaker than that which I received  yesterday, not even tylenol or ibuprofen. I am very proud of myself. 

    In unrelated news, Dmitri got to meet the author of the book First They Killed My Father, Loung Ung. The book deals with genocide which took place in Cambodia. He got me an autographed copy of the book, so I may be writing about it soon. Maybe.

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I feel absolutely miserable at the moment, but it could be worse.

     I had my surgery today. My body is completely aware of it. If I hadn’t gotten that prescription to treat the pain I would be miserable. I am fully aware of the fact that this post probably makes me seem like a drug addict, but at the present moment I am genuinely appreciative of the fact that I have something to help me feel better.
     The surgery went well, I am told. There were no complications, and the doctor was able to treat that which needed to be treated. I marvel at anesthesia, because I understood I would be asleep, but the fact that I was unaware of the passage of time amazed me. Mind you, I’ve never had surgery before in my life, so I didn’t know what to expect. I got a purple hospital band, which is awesome, because it matched my shirt and shoes (before I was forced to remove them). I was able to eat after the surgery. My mother didn’t think I would want to, but when I first woke up it just felt like menstrual cramps (and honestly I have felt worse). My mom got the privilege of seeing my internal organs. She seemed thrilled. I don’t know that I would be all to happy about that myself, and I was glad to be unconscious when that happened.

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Special thanks to Hilary for this idea.

     I don’t have much experience with this category, but it does bring back memories of being a small girl and sitting on the dining room chairs at my grandparents house. They were the darkest wood I’ve ever seen, and they were big. I also happened to be small, but that wasn’t relevant, because at that age you view the world in relation to yourself, so everything was big. The world was big. I was normal (note, this is probably the only time in my personal history that this happened. Soon I would go off to kindergarten and discover that I was one of the strangest people out there. Eventually the negativity would wear off and I would start to see myself as unique, and exciting, but my first encounter with the idea that I lacked normalcy was not the greatest). Things that remind me of those early days of my childhood, before I was forever corrupted by the public education system, and remind me of my Le Petit Prince-like innocence and how my mother nurtured my creativity and individuality. In a lot of ways my kindergarten experience was similar to that of Scout Finch, who also realized early on that one cannot be herself in school. I actually had an almost identical experience to Scout in one sense. Like her, I was told never to write, I must print, even though I could already write. Alas, I digress, this has turned into a rant about how public education is doing wrong by gifted children, allow me to get back to the topic of the day.
     Another reason to appreciate such chairs is that they have them in coffee shops, and coffee shops are always awesome. I’m not talking about Starbucks. I mean real coffee shops like George House or The Meeting Place On Market. This could get me started on coffee again. I will not go there, as I had a whole post devoted to it yesterday. I will just say that such chairs add to the coffee shop atmosphere.
      Furthermore tall which allow your  feet to dangle are fun because of the freeing feeling of not having your feet on the ground. While it’s not as if you are experiencing weightlessness, you still don’t feel quite as bound to the earth. It’s sort of like escaping reality if you thing about it. Close your eyes. You don’t feel the ground. For a little while your problems don’t have to be real. I am not crazy, just a philosopher, which means I look at things a little differently than most.
     Something worth noting, my dear readers, is that tomorrow I am having surgery. I highly doubt I will be appreciating anything relating to surgery, though that is not why I bring it up. There is a chance that I might not post tomorrow because of how I feel. I am unsure about this, so it looks like we will just have to see what happens. I will be back soon at any rate. I don’t know why I feel so compelled to warn everyone about this but I do, so you are warned.

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Because I don’t have a problem.

         I love coffee. Too much, some people might say, but I don’t think so. I can hear the words of my friend Hilary now.               “Addict.”
        I am not really addicted to coffee or caffeine, as much as one can say that I appreciate it. I enjoy its taste and its warmth, the way it wakes me up in the morning, the subtle earthiness of it. Recently I have been drinking Godiva coffee, which is amazing if you have never tried it. It is also more expensive than grounds from Starbucks, but oh so worth it. As Godiva is a chocolatier, the coffee I’ve been drinking has a slight chocolate flavor to it. ‘Tis absolutely divine to wake up to. I also have crème brûlée flavored coffee and several others. I fear that I might run out soon, which means I will need to either order more or venture to a mall that happens to be forty five minutes away to buy some. It is completely worth it. I am not very selective about coffee, however, as long as it’s good (it should be noted that I have high standards of what good is). I like good coffee, flavored or otherwise, though it should be noted that I am allergic to hazelnuts. Other than that, I will try anything. I like espresso and I will drink it strait, though people close to me worry that I might have a heart attack, so I’ve cut back. I like all other sorts of coffee drinks as well, as long as they can be made with soy milk and non-dairy whipped cream. 

    My favorite coffee shop ever is George House in Findlay. I love that place. Aside from my Godiva coffee love, George House has the best coffee I have encountered thus far (They also have really good tea, but I shall save that for a day when I appreciate tea). 

   I have not been contacted by any of the businesses mentioned within this posts, or offered anything in return for my praise. I just write about things I like.

    Spellcheck does not recognize “Godiva” or “chocolatier”. Please, someone, tell me how to uninstall it. You will have my eternal gratitude. I might even make an appreciation day for you. Think about that, for a while. Your own appreciation day. Normally you would have to do something to put you in the news to have one. This is your chance!

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