Ten Thousand Things, Part 1

1. I have noticed recently that the hours of time I spend alone directly correlates to the amount of existentialist philosophical musing I am apt to do on any given day.

2. However, conversely, sometimes being with other people just causes me to think about the ephemeral nature of life and the complexities of our larger universe that I will never quite understand.

3. Summer is a strange time of year in which I spend most of the time feeling both elated and desperately sad at once for absolutely no reason.

4. I wonder if the rest of the year I truly have a different experience or if I only pretend that I do.

5.  Sometimes it really bothers me when people leave off the periods at the ends of their sentences, and sometimes it doesn’t.

6. It bothers me an awful lot when people write letters but don’t sign them.

7. “It hurts to want everything and nothing at the same time” are lyrics from the song “Goodbye to You” by Michelle Branch. It is probably one of the most relatable phrases I have come across.

8. Realizing you don’t love someone anymore, and that you still care deeply about them but that you just can’t care about them in the way that you used to, is probably one of the scariest things there is. And it happens really slowly and you don’t notice it at first, and then you do but you pretend you don’t, and then one day you’re sitting in the rain with a girl who wants to kiss you and all you can think is “the tree across the street looks so beautiful in this weather.”

9. It’s like the way things fall apart sometimes— so slowly and subtly you don’t know it’s happening until you’re looking at the remains of what you thought your life would be.

10. But endings are just a different kind of beginning, really, and destruction and creation are so linked together that sometimes it’s impossible to see which is really going on. My go-to answer is usually both.

11. If I look back on this two years from now I am going to wince and call myself a pretentious little shit

12. I don’t know if the degree to which I immerse myself in fictional realities is worrisome or not.

13. I’ve grown up being a lover of books and movies and stories. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It has led me to some of my deepest friendships, fostered my creativity, and informed the way I move through the world. Fictional reality has taught me how to be brave and be individual and how to laugh. But I sometimes wonder if I am hiding in other people’s stories so I can avoid living my own.

14. Then again, they say reality is just a different kind of fiction.

15. When we say “they” do we ever know who we mean?

16. And also with the word we?

17. Whoever has made the argument that fiction doesn’t hurt as much as reality never had to suffer through realizing Harry Potter was over.

18. Wanting is a really weird emotion and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it.

19. I am definitely going to regret writing this later.

20. Have more of a heart, Future Self! Be more flexible!

21. I hope people write just as many letters to their selves of the future as they do their selves of the past.

22. Being able to relate to things is one of the coolest feelings in the world.

23. I think I’m sad right now, but I can’t really tell because whenever I get sad I also get philosophical and confused and try to remedy it with as many books as possible.

24. I really need to start accepting the fact that things end.

25. No one moment is ever the same as any moment before or after it, and instead of feeling sad about that I should recognize the beauty in the uniqueness of time.

26. I need to stop putting off the end of things.

How to Survive a Heartbreak

Don’t worry, readers-mine, it’s a mini heartbreak. Sort of. Not really. But it’s not the great, wallowing, my-life-is-over kind, fear not. It’s more the type of heartbreak that happens when you, I don’t know, spend a half an hour slow dancing with a girl you’ve had a huge crush on since first semester and she tells you that you look pretty and it’s like this weird more-than-friends-but-not-dating thing you’ve had going for months is finally going to sort itself out when a week later she tells you she has to sort out her own emotional things and that a relationship wouldn’t be fair to you so you’re just friends now. Not that that happened to me, or anything. Maybe.

I don’t really have an emergency kit for this situation (even though I should) so really I’m coping off the top of my head. Here are some of the ways I’m handling it:

1. Lie in bed having a Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon while eating chocolate chips (in lieu of actual chocolate) that you took illicitly from a cupboard in the kitchen.

2. Find ways to be home alone and once you are sing your heart out to sad songs and then angry songs and then breakup songs and then “Let It Go” from Frozen because for some reason it makes you feel empowered and less sucky.

3. Put on lipstick, try on your outfit for Pride, and then tell yourself that there’ll be tons of queer girls your age at Pride and you look mighty fine and you’ll get someone’s number and then you’ll totally hang out and that’ll show your former non-girlfriend how you’ve moved on…

4. Sit on the floor tapping your foot impatiently, waiting until everyone is gone and you have the house to yourself, not even because you want to sing so badly but because right now you need to be as far away as you can get from civilization (even though your next-door neighbors are outside all day long working on a noisy construction project).

5. Get very frustrated with those neighbors for absolutely no reason and scream into your pillow.

6. Maybe it’s because they’re gay and together and happy and you are gay and not together and sad…

7. Spend a solid hour at the library checking through every book you find for promises of queer girl characters and be disappointed that there are none. (I think this is partially why Malinda Lo has become one of my favorite authors–she has characters that are diverse in race and sexuality and it’s not like those books where they throw in a particular character just for the sake of diversity, and they’re well written. I hate it when books try to do diversity and the characters are cardboard cut-outs. Plus I mean Adaptation if you haven’t read it yet you need to.)

8. Go off on tangents about Malinda Lo.

9. Obsessively work on your art because that seems to be the only thing keeping you sane these days.

10. Do your art while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, at this point only partially because it’s a black hole of obsession that you can’t hope to escape, and mostly because Willow and Tara are adorable and also you need lesbians on TV right now but you have no way of watching Orange is the New Black. And also you’re not allowed to.

11. Eat homemade ice cream while watching Sherlock with your family and then finish off your brother’s serving too.

12. Watch an Irish advertisement against the bullying of LGBTQ+ teens and feel your eyes actually getting misty by the end. Then actually cry at that Always “Like a Girl” advertisement.

13. Get a sinking feeling in your stomach when you realize that you only have two seasons left of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and that sooner or later you’re be finished, and at the rate you’re going it’s looking to be far sooner than later.

14. Spend several hours learning to play “Impossible” on the guitar because it describes your life (in your head, of course, in actuality the tornado you’re feeling is a gust of wind) and also because the chords are easy, yay.

15. And then, for good measure, play “Clever Meals” by Tegan and Sara, which is even easier, and daydream about performing it at the open mic next week even though you have the guitar skills of a one-handed chicken. Or one-taloned. Or something.

16. Develop a crush on Hannah Hart

17. Realize that all the cute girls your age at Pride have cute girlfriends.

18. Bemoan the lack of desserts in your household a bit too harshly, causing your parents to ask troublesome questions.

19. Write a blog post about it, go camping for a week, come back and realize you haven’t finished the blog post and have all of the unpleasant feelings dredged up again.

20. Text The Girl In Question asking if she’s busy this week.

21. Even though you’re still not sure if you’re ready to see her again yet.

22. But also you sort of want to and it’s her birthday and you want to get her a book and also you want to show her that you’re totally fine with the just friends thing, really.

23. Avoid the novel you’re supposed to be writing.

24. Spend hours cut off from all humanity doing nothing but writing that novel.

25. Think that really, you should be a mature and responsible adult by this point. But you’re still having all the feelings and want chocolate.

22 Ways to Ask Someone to Dance With You

The end of year dance is coming up in two weeks today, and that may seem like a long time but I’m already stressing. I’m going with a girl I can barely form coherent sentences around, much less ask to dance. I have the bad habit of being either awkwardly silent or babbling incessantly in her presence, but I don’t want to do that. I want to look cool. So here are 22 cool ways to ask a girl–or anyone–to dance with you:

1. Walk over to her. Look at the ground in a cute, abashed way, and run your palm through your hair backwards, intentionally messing up your hair. According to my Sources this is a primary queer girl flirtation ritual. (My Sources being the LGBTQ+ blogs I read and my real-life nonstraight friends who do this constantly.) I have tried doing this with my hair but it doesn’t quite work because it’s too long. After this, look up and say sheepishly, “So…I was wondering…would you like to dance with me?” You look cute and irresistible and it probably won’t be hard pulling off the embarrassed part.

2. Grin at her, hold out a hand, and say, “I don’t really know how to dance, but wanna give it a shot?”

3. Optionally, do the same thing as in #2, only say, “I’ve been practicing my moves for weeks. Care to help me test them out?”

4. Or you could get even cheesier with “Come and get your groove on with me, baby!”

5. Or you could say “Screw this I know how to dance” and grab her hand and pull her onto the floor with you.

6. Casually drop not-so-subtle hints during conversation to get her to do the asking. “I really like this song. It’s good music to dance to.” “So I learned how to waltz the other day.” “Yeah, I was trying to practice slow dancing in contemporary women playwrights yesterday, but it wasn’t really the same without a partner *wink wink nudge nudge*”

7. Write her a song, ask if you can perform it, go up there and own it, and then afterwards when the crowd is going wild over your musical genius, sweep over to her and say “Dance with me?” in a cute, flirtatious way.

8. Or just, you know, ask her flirtatiously to dance. I’d provide an example but my knowledge of the subject is limited to Captain Jack Harkness and I don’t think I can really pull off the same charismatic appeal.

9. Write DANCE WITH ME? on the front steps with sidewalk chalk.(Because of that one time, when she was like “Do you have sidewalk chalk?” and you were like “Yeah I have sidewalk chalk!” only you couldn’t find it and were so upset you resorted to overusage of the word “like.”)

10. Look her squarely in the eye and ask her if she would like to dance with you. (But come on, who does this? Eye contact? Pfff…)

11. “Hypothetically speaking, if someone in your immediate presence were to ask you to dance with them, would you, hypothetically, say yes?”

12. Go up to her and twirl her around, then when she’s laughing pull her out onto the dance floor. Works best for faster songs.

13. You know you’re going to be awkward with her. I mean, come on, you’ve stared at the moon together, alone on a balcony on a rainy night, but never even so much as hugged because you’re too afraid. So own your awkwardness. Stutter. Blush. Stare at the ground. Trust me, it’s cute. As long as you get across the general impression of “Would you like to dance with me?” you’re good to go.

14. Start quoting song lyrics at her. “We spun around a thousand stars / I dreamed a dance with you / I know the night is dying, dear / I know the day will dawn / the dancers may disappear / still the dance goes on.”
…Maybe those exact lyrics don’t really work, but I never pass up an opportunity to quote Next to Normal.

15. Optionally, quote poetry at her. As my Shakespeare teacher once told me (and as they say in Dead Poets Society), poetry was invented to woo the girl of your affections. And also possibly to lyrically state universal truths and metaphysical concepts while working for social change. Possibly. But also for wooing. I know poetry by no means makes everyone swoon, but I can assure you that if a girl were to quote some Emily Dickinson or T.S. Elliot at me I would probably faint conveniently into her arms. I have many many favorite poems, but right now I adore “To a Stranger” by Walt Whitman and “somewhere i have never traveled,gladly beyond” by e.e. cummings. My favorite lines from that last one are “i do not know what it is about you that closes / and opens,only something in me understands / the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses / nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands”

16. You could get even more specific with that and take a leaf from the Bard. “If I profane with my unworthiest hand / This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this:/ My lips, two blushing pilgrims ready stand / To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.” (Romeo, you flirtatious person you.)

17. Draw her a picture explaining your proposition.

18. Just become Daenerys Targaryen (circa the beginning of book 3, since I’ve not read farther and who knows where her character arch could end up).

19. Get your friend to do it.

20. …just kidding, don’t do that or you’ll look like an idiot. Get your house elf to do it for you, since no one can resist adorable fictional creatures and also they have magic. Just be sure to pay them in socks.

21. Frost it onto partially-burnt loaves of bread and toss them to her unsuspiciously.

22. Find the Doctor, hop into the TARDIS, and pop off and have some adventures, which will make you courageous and bold. Then time travel to the dance, ask her while you still have the confidence, and then when you go back to your own time to wait for the dance, once it happens you’ll have already asked her and there will be nothing to worry about. (Don’t ask me how my logic works on this. I’m not even sure myself. Wibbley-wobbley timey-wimey.)

Okay, if I even had the courage to try any of the slightly more reasonable ideas from my list, I couldn’t pull it off. I have resigned myself to awkwardly sitting at a table in the corner and making puppy eyes at the back of her head. I’m sure she’ll be thrilled. Any additions to the list you may have (silly or otherwise) greatly appreciated. Genuine advice even more greatly appreciated.

14 Reasons to Always Carry a Hardcover Book

1. Books can be very handy while standing in a long line–whether you use them to while away the time or whack the people in front of you out of the way.
2. Similarly, books provide instant entertainment in any situation in which you have to wait.
3. Don’t feel like talking to people? Read a book.
4. A hardcover book will provide the perfect disguise for any ordinary burglar, spy, or detective: simply sit in a public area and peer at people non-suspiciously over the top of the pages.
5. Having a book makes you look innocent. Veeeery innocent. No officer, I did not rob that bank across the street, I was just siting on this park bench here reading my book.
6. If you are going somewhere and you need to look important, bring a thick book with a title like “Inconclusive Enigmas of the Pestilential Proprietors” and be seen reading it. People will assume you are dedicated, studious, and intelligent.
7. Contrary to #3, if you have to talk to someone but don’t know what to say, just talk about the book you’re reading.
8. Depending on how you present yourself, carrying a book can either make you friends or make everyone leave you alone, whichever is more to your tastes.
9. You can learn so much from books. Education, people.
10. The book is mine. My own. My precious.
11. Worried about self-defense? Carry with you the thickest hardcover book you own at all times, and you can hit someone over the head with it if needed. NOTE: This only applies in situations where someone else instigates the aggression.
12. They make very comfortable pillows! …sort of.
13. If you don’t want to be seen by someone, a book is a great thing to hide behind. Their gazes will pass right over you.
14. You’ll never be without a friend if you have a book by your side.

More Random Quotes of Awesomeness

Hello! It’s Friday, and that means…random quotes from the quote book day! If you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, click here. Now then. Let’s begin.

“Math teacher fun is the only kind of fun.”
As one might expect, my math teacher said this. Okay, from now on I’m not making any contextual annotations. I will leave you to muddle through the sea of strange quotes yourself.

“There’s a stampede of little squirrels in my head. I don’t like squirrels.”

“I don’t want them to get my pudding. It’s my pudding. Wait, can I be the pudding queen?”

“Pudding and gatorade go together like pizza and shoelaces.”

“I just choked on an orange and you want me to feel your neck?!”

“I remember everything. What day is it?”

“Become the chair!”

“This is a sonic popsicle…I’m eating my weapon? That’s not a good idea. But it tastes good.”

And that is the conclusion of my quotes for today. Next up, poems about Doctor Who! Seriously.

In Which I Fangirl Over the Brilliant Music of Doctor Who

Hey all! Sorry that it’s been a while since I’ve posted, I was on vacation. I’ve been planning this post for a really long time now, and if you can’t guess from the title, it’s me rambling on about the musical score for my latest obsession, Doctor Who. Not only is the TV show wonderful, but the music is absolutely brilliant. I have just begun season five and I have already encountered many tracks that I am now thoroughly attached to. Here is a list of ten of my favorites, in no particular order:

1. Rose’s Theme

I love this song for several reasons. First of all, it fit’s Rose’s character perfectly. It’s very beautiful and sweet, but very sad too. Beautifully tragic songs are always my favorites, and you’ll be seeing a lot of those in this post. I also really like this song because I think the string instruments and the piano work so marvelously well together.

2. The Doctor’s Theme

I kept hearing this throughout season one, and the eerie beauty of it always gave me chills. Part of the reason why I love this one so much is because when it’s played softly during moments of dramatic realization (such as a certain scene in “The Parting of Ways”) it creates the perfect striking effect. Also, it’s simple, yet strange and mysterious and wonderful, like the Doctor.

3. Doomsday

I listened to this before I saw the actual episode, and even then it made me cry, as only a piece of powerful music can. And then I watched the episode and cried even more. This is the absolute perfect song of parting for Rose. It fit the scene wonderfully well, and it just added to the emotional weight of the song. Another one of those “beautifully tragic” pieces I mentioned. Basically, to me anyway, it sounds like someone ripped my heart out, squeezed all the sadness out, and turned that sadness into an indescribable harmonious masterpiece.

4. Martha’s Theme

Although Martha isn’t my favorite companion, her theme is one of my favorites out of the pieces I have selected. I kept hearing it played during various episodes of season three and wondering what it was because I loved it so much. Martha’s theme is a bit reminiscent of Rose’s (which cannonically makes sense), but not quite as sad at some parts. It has slow and thoughtful moments, but also parts that seem almost magical and heavy with gladness.

5. The Doctor Forever

This is another song I just can’t get enough of. To me this song is the Tenth Doctor. It’s slow and sorrowful at some moments, grand and heroic at others, bursting with energy at some points, yet with an underlayer of darkness creeping in at times. Parts of this song appear throughout the season, and like with “Martha’s Theme”, I desperately wanted to find out what song it was. In addition to being Ten perfectly represented in music, this song has a little bit of nearly all the best musical moments in season three.

6. Blink (Suite)

I love this song because it is beautifully creepy. For a little over the first half of the song several string instruments and a piano work in counterpoint to form a simple melody that is very pretty but gives off an irresistible urge to look behind you. Later on it gets very dramatic, and the last thirty seconds or so are downright scary when the song is listened to at night in a dark room. I find this part creepy even when it’s not dark, really, but it’s part of why I like the song.

7. The Doctor’s Theme (Series Four)

Just as with this song’s previous regeneration, I get chills when listening to it. I love how it uses some of the same melody as the first theme but is also a wonderful new take on it. Whereas the first theme is only sung by one vocalist, this one uses a chorus, which starts softly, barely able to be heard over the instruments, filling the song with excitement and building tension. Then the sound explodes and the tune carries off in new ways and everything is very majestic, then there’s more dramatic tension, and then the original theme comes back, grander than ever before. Just as I love the eerie simplicity of the former theme, I think the majesty of this later version is wonderful as well, and especially perfect for Ten’s last season.

8. Turn Left

I really like the way this song starts out, mystical and strange, but my favorite part of this song is definitely 1:10 and onwards. When the bit at 1:18 played during the episode, I got chills (which seems to be a recurring theme here), but that was partially because of the content of the episode. Needless to say I now try to avoid turning right. I love how this song adds in elements of The Doctor’s Theme, but with a new take.

9. Songs of Captivity and Freedom

The violin at the beginning of this piece is absolutely gorgeous, and then when the soprano vocals join in…no wonder it nearly reduced Donna to tears. Around halfway through this song the transition is made from slow and sad to joyful, but I like the first half better, though both are very beautiful. I mainly like the first half because of the violin, but the second half is great too because it feels wonderfully hopeful, which is unusual in Doctor Who music.

10. The Rueful Fate of Donna Noble

Like with “Doomsday”, I listened to this song before I saw it used in the show, and it had as similar effect on me as the former song. Just as “Doomsday” was the perfect departure song for Rose, this piece is perfect for Donna’s fate (which I will not mention because of spoilers). It’s so very Donna-y, a bit overdramatic at the beginning but still very sad, which is another reason why I love it. And again, it’s a beautifully tragic song. Gotta love those beautifully tragic songs.

So, those are ten of my favorite songs from Doctor Who. I will most definitely be doing this again, because I’m bound to encounter more songs I love. And I haven’t even begun to mention my series five favorites so far yet, like “Amy’s Theme” and “I Am the Doctor”. I don’t know how to end this post, but I wish you a very timey-wimey day, whatever that my mean.

27 Ways to Tell Your Parents You Don’t Like Stir Fry

I do like stir fry, by the way. I am posting this in honor of the great Bean of YWP NaNoWrimo, a.k.a. Topazly, a.k.a. lot’s of other nicknames I can’t currently remember. Anyway, here’s a list of both unrealistic and semi-realistic ideas:

1. Write a poem about it.
2. Embroider the words “Mum, I don’t like stir fry” onto a towel
3. Write it on a T-Shirt
4. Compose a song about it
5. Casually bring it up in conversation.
6. Write a 95 thesis containing all of the reasons you don’t like stir fry and nail it to your kitchen doorway.
7. Slip a note about it under someone’s pillow
8. Slip an angry note about it under someone’s pillow
9. Rent a boat, pillage your house of all necessary stir fry ingredients, and dump everything overboard in the dead of night (preferably while in Boston)
10. Frost “I Don’t Like Stir Fry” onto a cake (the cake is a lie)
11. Feed it to a tribble.
12. Feed it to a hungry dwarf smuggled secretly under the table.
13. Hold a respectful and diplomatic family meeting concerning your reasons for disliking stir fry.
14. Cast the stir fry into the fires of Mount Doom
15. Paint a HUGE banner about it and hang it at the top of a tall building.
16. Make your brother do it
17. Write a note in lemon juice explaining your feelings along with instructions to hold the note up to a candle
18. Make up a dance routine. Your parents will be so awed by your amazing skills that they won’t care if you like stir fry or not.
19. Create a national “I Don’t Like Stir Fry Day”
20. Change your name to “I Don’t Like Stir Fry”
21. Write a novel about it
22. Or, when writing an author biography for a novel, surreptitiously slip in a mention of your dislike for stir fry
23. Create a superhero called “The Stir Fry Annihilator” and make a costume, imagine powers, and write a themesong. Then, present your superhero to your family.
24. Pretend to be Spock and list all the reasons why it is logical to dislike stir fry.
25. Pretend to be Darth Vader and cut the stir fry down with your almighty lightsaber
26. Tell your parents you are the captain of an airship and will not tolerate such nonsense as stir fry.
27. Post about it on your blog