This is my blog which I intend to use for the new group that I am joining
|I November 2012, I decided that I would like to join a blogging community on WDC. It basically required that we write blog entries according to specific prompts. Here is the result. . .|
|So this is the first entry for the tournament and the prompt is whether I prefere being in citys or forests.
Not the most exciting topic in my opinion, but I'll give it a try.
I love being in forests.
No really. I love hiking up the trails and enjoying the privacy of the trees, and the best part is sometimes seeing wildlife. On the other hand, I don't love getting lost, and feeling that I'm wandering aimlessly, and then eventually getting sore feet, and wishing that I could sit down, but there's no place where I can.
On the other hand, I love citys too. There's just something about taking a walk in downtown Manhattan, Boston, or Hong Kong which makes you feel so much more alive. It's like the city is one big unit and you're a part of that unit. Plus, I love getting on a subway and letting it take me to whatever stop I happen to be looking for.
I haven't really answered the question here, but I guess my answer is that I love both things.
|First, an announcement. I have just won a contest here at WDC. The contest was to see who could write the best story about elves. The story I came up with was rather long, but it won!
Okay, now to the prompt. They are asking what one word I would like to strike from the language. Honestly, I can't think of one word in particular, although I can think of some phrases that I would like to get rid of.
The big one that makes me laugh is "not unlike". It's redundant. In fact, all "not un-" anything is redundant. "Not unkind" means kind. "Not unfamiliar" means familiar, but "not unlike" seems to be particularly pernicious. Perhaps, it's because people feel the need to avoid the word, "like". Like is kind of a tricky word, because it means identical. Since very few things in this universe are identical using "like" too often can mark you as the sort of shallow person who doesn't notice subtle differences. Somehow people feel that by adding two syllables to the expression they are leaving the door open for there to be some differences between the things compared. They aren't. The definition of "not unlike" is actually exactly like the definition of "like". Maybe these people should consider saying "similar to". The definition of "similar to" is similar to the definition of "like", but the latter means identical while the former implies that the things compared are different in some way.
Oh well. End of rant.
Don't forget to check out the story.
|Well. Today's prompt asks how I feel about vampire fictioon.
Hey, just a few weeks ago, I finished a contest where I had to write a new vampire story every week for eight weeks, so sure I love vampire fiction. In a way, my response to this question is "What's not to love?" Well, I don't love that the Twilight books are so long. I've never had any interest in reading them for that reason, but otherwise I think vampire stories are great.
You know, not too long ago, I heard a very strange theory about vampires as well as about zombies. That theory is that stories about vampires are more popular during Democrat administrations while zombies are more popular when there's a Republican in office. Think about it. The original Night of the Living Dead came out back during the Nixon administration. When Jimmy Carter was president. There was a brief period of vampire interest and they made that Frank Langellla version of Dracula. Then there were twelve years of Reagan followed by the older George Bush. This produced Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, and Revenge of the Living Dead. Then with Bill Clinton vampires came back. First, with the Gary Oldman version of Dracula and then Anne Rice. Then when the younger Bush became president we got a remake of Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, I am Legend. Now, the Obama adminstration is causing us to start up with Twilight The exact reason for this is a little hard to say, but the basic idea is that during a Republican administration people are afraid that the public will turn into a bunch of mindless zombies while during a Democrat administration, people are more afraid that the country will descend to sexual deviance.
One other opinion about vampire fiction. I think it's good, but I think werewolves are much cooler. Funny thing is that somehow werewolves have not been nearly as popular for writing as vampires. I should probably write about werewolves sometime, but I never get around to it.
|What events happened the year I was born?
Well, the big one was the Watergate scandal which culminated in the resignation of Richard Nixon. It actually caused a bit of confusion because every once in a while someone asks who was president when I was born and the answer is technically Richard Nixon, but I was just a few weeks old when he was replaced by Gerald Ford. My father sometimes says jokingly that I picked a very good time to be born.
Of course, this gives these events a somewhat more personal side for. I remember back in 2004, some newspaper announced that the thirtieth anniversary of Watergate was this year and then went into a diatribe about what that meant for the nation, but I didn't care what that mean for the nation. I only cared what that meant for me, which was that I was turning 30.
|Well, it's been a while, but today's prompt is actually something that I always wanted to write about, but I never did because I was afraid that readers would not be interested. Oh well. I guess that's one of the reason God invented blogs.
Anyway, when I was a real little boy, I was flat out scared to take showers. I think I've written about my fear of swimming earlier in this blog, well when I was younger, the idea of water on my head was enough to scare me. Since I liked baths, and I would tolerate shampoos-- if a towel was placed over my eyes, my parents decided not to worry about it. Although, I do remember my grandma warning me that when I was in High School, I would have to take a shower after gym class. This scared me and for a while, I worried about it.
On another note, I remember once someone gave my mother a bottle of bubble bath for a gift. It was a bad gift choice for her because as far as I could remember she always took showers. The bottle gathered dust on a shelf in our bathroom until one day, my mother said that I could have some in my bath if I wanted it. I loved it, but I think my mother was a little displeased for some reason. It made a mess or something, but I digress.
Eventually, I started seeing showers as less scary and more exciting, but I wasn't sure how to express this to my parents. One night, my mother told me that I needed a bath. I said in my silly little boy voice. "Okay turn on the shower."
She smiled like she wasn't sure if I was fooling. "Do you want to take a shower?"
For a minute, I wanted to pretend that I was fooling, but I nodded and said, "Yes."
"Fine," said my mother.
She insisted on peeking through the shower curtain, but whether out of concern or delight, I don't know. Also, she eventually had to tell me to come out so I wouldn't waste water. I was actually unhappy about that. Still, as she dried me off and helped me into my pajamas, she promised that I could take another shower tomorrow if I was good.
There are a few epilogues to this story. One is that when I got to High School, it turned out that we didn't shower after gym.
Another is that a few years ago, I was staying at a motel by myself and the motel had a bathtub. I had not taken a bath in years, but I thought why not take one since I was there. I filled it with hot water and even added some bubble bath which I had bought someplace. Funny thing was, I didn't like it at all.
|So I finished the last vampire story today. I am also happy to say that it has been my first week's posting in the latest "I Write in . . ." Contest. I am really thrilled to be doing that again.
Let's see. You know, I wasn't actually planning to tell the story of Ms. Stallone, but apparently someone who commented on yesteday's entry expects it.
On the first day of Ninth grade, we all got our schedules for the year. The schedules told us what classes we were in and the last names of our teachers. Unless we happened to know, we would have to wait until the actual period to find out whether our teacher was a Mr. or a Ms. I saw that my I had Social Studies at the end of the day. And the frightening part was that my Social Studies teacher's name was "Stallone." All day long, I wondered about my Social Studies teacher. I realized that it probably wouldn't actually be Rambo, but on some subconscious level, I found myself assuming that this was a male teacher and a somewhat tough male at that.
When I got to Social Studies class, I found that I had been wrong on both points. Ms. Stallone was a petite sized, soft-spoken, rather meek woman. Through the months that followed, I learned that she was a sort of child of the sixties who wanted to teach ninth grade Social Studies because she was into all the Asian things, particularly Buddhism. In fact, just the previous year, I had first learned the word "irony" in English class. I decided that this woman had an extremely "ironic" name, and I thought it was kind of cool that irony can occur in real life like that instead of just in fiction.
I remember that year the 25th anniversary of JFK's assassination occurred and right about the same time that the older George Bush was running against Micheal Dukakis. She went into a long speech about what a wonderful person Kennedy had been. This was a little bit uncomfortable, because I didn't know that much about Kennedy as a president at that point in my life, except that he had indeed been shot, but I had heard a few other Social Studies teachers say less complimentary things about him. Then, Ms. Stallone said, "I can only hope that you one day experience a leader as great as that."
I couldn't resist saying, "Like maybe Dan Quayle?"
She let that go from me because I was actually the smart one in that class. Politics aside, she liked me because I was a sweet well-behaved boy (Usually). Most of the rest of the class acted up and took advantage of her all the time which made me feel kind of sorry for her.
Oddly, I have no memory of anyone in the class making fun of her name. That was always the elephant in the room.
Anyway, I don't know what happened to her, but the following year she wasn't at that school anymore.
Wow! How did we get into this anyway? That's right yesterday, I was reminiscing about her because it was the anniversary of the Tianaman Square massacre, which also occurred that school year.
I still have not said one word about the prompt which appears to be a fragmented dog. What is it with these prompts that they're all creepy animals?
First of all, I'm looking back at my journal and I realize I may never have had the chance to thank the people who wished me well in my Costa Rica job hunt. The guy said that he thought I was a good match, but he won't confirm anything yet.
I have also made it to the last week of the contest where I must write a vampire story every week for eight weeks. Hopefully, I will finish the last story tomorrow and move on.
Also, today is the anniversary of the Tianaman Square massacre. I doubt anyone will be talking about that very much here in China, though. You know, I was in ninth grade when that happened. I remember the events leading up to it. My Social Studies teacher was one of those cockeyed optimists from the sixties that us Gen xers thought were kind of dumb. I remember how she said that the demonstration in Beijing was going to be a great event and how we would be telling our children about it. Then came the massacre. Sorry Ms. Stallone--Yes, that was really her name, but that's a story for another day--, but you were dead wrong on that one.
Anyway, the cool thing now is that the prompts are going to be images. This image clearly looks like a kitten, but why it looks so distorted is anyone's guess. My first thought is that it's a kitten looking at its own reflection in a stream or something like that. Then again, maybe it's something more bizarre like a kitten viewed by someone who's stoned. I don't know. I got nothing here.
|Am I a glass half-full or hal-empty kind of person?
It's an interesting question to ponder as I sit at my computer waiting for it to be 1030 in Costa Rica, which is 0030 in China, so that I can do a skype job interview. I am hoping to get a job in Costa Rica so that I can leave this rather boring school in China.
Anyway, there's an old expression that I rather like. It's Don't tell me worrying doesn't help. When I worry about things, they don't happen.
That's basically my philosophy for getting through stress. I spend a lot of time worrying that things will go wrong, and then I find myself thinking that they probably won't go wrong, because I've worried so much about them.
Put another way, by stressing out about how the glass is half-empty, I convince myself that the glass is half-full.
Maybe, but it works for me.
|Whew! I just finished my third weekly vampire story. It's not very good, but at least I met the deadline for the contest. That was actually a problem because I was confused about when the deadline was and almost missed it.
That segue ways nicely into my biggest weakness which is that I always procrastinate and can never get my mind on my work. Oh well.
What's new to report? Well, I've been in this contest.
The object is to write a vampire story every week for eight weeks. I thought that would be easy, but I'm starting to feel a little bit vampired out and I'm actually only in the third week. Oh well.
Would I want to be a woman for a day?
I dunno. You know, I write a lot of stories with female protagonists or even point of view characters, so I suppose that it's possible. But that's just writing. Personally, I don't have a strong desire to be female. That thing that happens once a month doesn't really appeal. Of course, Cindy said for a day, so I guess that wouldn't be too bad if it wasn't that time of month, but with my luck it probably would be.
Well, if I did get to be a woman for a day, I know how I'd spend that day. I'd go work out at a woman's health club and hang around in the showers. Heh-heh.