Tuesday, January 17, 2012 | By: Brianna

The Page Is a Puppy

For my Writing Fiction class, we had to write about our relationship with the page.  As in the page you write on. We were supposed to write how we feel about the page and what compels us to write.  I'm really hoping that my reflection doesn't demonstrate that I hate writing and that I do it merely out of necessity, but I have a bad feeling that this is what it's saying.  Which is a lie...but this is what I wrote...


The page is a puppy.  All floppy-earred and tail-waggy, the page is eager.  Enthusiastic.  The page bounces at my feet when I come home, sliding on the tile because it can’t really get traction.
            “I can’t, I have homework,” I tell it.  “I have piles of reading and stacks of e-mails, and no time.  I’m sorry.”  But not really.  Let’s face it.  I’m not sorry.  My backpack is empty.  I don’t have homework, and if I did, it masqueraded as my Facebook stalker feed and the refresh button.
            My page is a puppy, disappointed in its master who leaves it empty and bored.  If ASPCA knew about this page puppy neglect, I would never be allowed to keep it.  The page looks up at me one more time with those warm puppy eyes and begs, sitting back on its haunches with an open mouth prepared to howl.  I leap to my feet with all the haste of a jack-in-the-box racing a cuckoo clock to chime the hour.  The page can’t make a sound or I’ll break.  So I pour it some water and feed it a movie quote and youtube video mélange to tide it over until morning.
            And in the morning, the page climbs into bed with me before dawn and whimpers, nosing me with its cold snout.  It’s hungry.  And lonely.  When I pull back the covers, the page wags.  Once my feet touch the floor, the page yips hopefully.  It skitters on the tile when I sit at my desk and…check my e-mail.
            One hour before class and I pick up the page.  I have to chase it because all of a sudden it thinks I want to play.  I catch the page and it wiggles between my hands in anticipation, licking my fingers with a grainy tongue.  I put it on my desk and tickle its ears for only a moment.  There is no time for extended pleasantries when there’s a deadline.  Pulling a pen from my desk, I write for the sake of necessity.  All the same, the page preens.  It wags its tail and shakes out its fur.  I throw out words across my desk and the page fetches ideas and delusions of grandeur.  Once I’ve sat down rewarded by the page’s affection, I don’t want to leave it.
            I smuggled the page into my accounting class once.  The leverage and manufacturing overhead confused it as much as they confused me.  Anyway, it amazed me the professor didn’t see me playing creative short range fetch with the page in the front row.  I think that the page is invisible to business folk because my classmates didn’t see it either, and if they did it was only a glimpse.  Maybe when you choose a discipline you choose willful blindness towards other things.
            I see the page.  And the page is a puppy that’s teething.  It attaches itself to my pant leg before getting a better purchase and nibbling on my ankle.  Though puppy teeth don’t hurt, I fear their pressure, their little pinpricks insisting I play.  Insisting I write.  And when the page howls, my heart sputters like an old car starting in winter cold.  I want to feed the page prose and poetry, and weird punctuation, but those teeth snap too eagerly at my fingertips and lap up the ink too quickly.
            But I’m attached to the puppy page as if the leash melded into the skin of my palm becoming a second life line.  The page tugs me to somewhere unknown where imaginary things spider off of shelves and the ridiculous isn’t so strange.  We have an understanding, one in which the page forgives me even after months of neglect.  Somehow the page is always constant, always a puppy.  The page tolerates flarf and drivel, all it craves is attention and maybe some kibble every now and again.  And the page makes me laugh, curled up in my lap, while providing warmth and comfort.  

"The page waits, pretending to be blank.  Is that its appeal, its blankness?  What else is this smooth and white, this terrifyingly innocent?"
- Margaret Atwood
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 | By: Brianna

Music Prefs

Q:  So what kind of music do you listen to?

A:  I listen to a lot of music, I'm not sure I can describe what kinds.

Q:  Try.  Try real hard.

A:  Well fine, there's no need to be snippy about it or anything.  Gosh.

I love listening to the radio.  With my old car, I particularly enjoyed rolling down all the windows and listening to the radio.  And singing.  Shamelessly.  Because a teenage girl cruising in a white station wagon and singing along with the radio is nothing if not charming.  I'm kidding, I just really thought it was fun until my hair blew into my face, which was irritating.  My biggest objection to taking my mom's old car when my car got sold was the fact that my mom's car didn't have a functioning radio.  It worked, but it needed a hair tie to keep the volume knob in a certain place so the circuit completed and provided the driver with music.  It was air conditioning that it definitely did not have.  Anyway.  I kid you not, it wasn't even a month of driving that car when the radio crapped out.  The radio being my main source of entertainment while driving, travel was no longer as much fun.  After switching the radio out, getting a functioning radio for about six months, the FM tuner is out in that car again.  I spent winter break listening to news radio.  I wanted to cry.

At home I listen to The Mix.  I used to listen to Q101 and The Fresh as well until someone decided that they wanted to get rid of two thirds of my favorite radio stations in the Chicagoland area.  So that left me with The Mix and the country station that I flipped to when the commercials on The Mix bored me.

I also listen to Pandora.  Of course.  I'm pretty sure the majority of my Pandora stations probably sound eerily similar, but I'm trying to build a station made up of French music.  We'll see how that goes, but so far Lily Allen is still showing up there, and she should be on my Kate Nash station.  Hm.

In elementary school I used to listen to N*SYNC.  I also listened to them while I was packing to come back to school after winter break, but that's not really relevant.  But it was glorious.

I don't really like rap.  I don't mind country, in fact I listen to it sometimes, especially when writing Wild West poetry.  I'm not really a fan of hip hop, but meh.

Then there's wizard rock and Time Lord rock.  Yes.  I listen to multiple collections of music inspired by Harry Potter or Doctor Who.  I can only admit to knowing the lyrics to one song out of all those though.

Let's face it.  I'll listen to just about anything.  I have a soft spot for happy pop music, feel good, catchy, sing-a-long tunes are always a lot of fun.  I enjoy them.  Oh, and if I can dance shamelessly to them in my dorm room...bonus points.  I also have a respectable collection of soundtracks from musicals because I have a problem and MUST sing along with any music that I'm listening to.  Even if it's instrumental.  Which I also like.  I have a bunch of movie soundtracks, and I'm particularly pleased with myself that I have the Star Wars soundtrack as well as the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack.  SO good.  But I found that listening to the Indiana Jones soundtrack is perfect for when you're doing homework because then you can pretend you're on an adventure!  Because I'm a dork.

"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."
- Aldous Huxley
Friday, January 6, 2012 | By: Brianna
Thursday, January 5, 2012 | By: Brianna

Goblets of Fire

On another note, I made door decs for my RAs this semester.  In keeping with my Harry Potter theme, I made Goblets of Fire:

I made the goblets out of brown foam (because the book says that the goblet is made out of wood) and used gold glitter glue to make it look more goblet-like.  The blue flames are made of white, pale blue and dark blue tissue paper cut into flames.  I used Scotch tape to attach the layered flames to the back of the goblet.  The name is written in a font called Big Mister C because I wanted it to look like handwriting, but I didn't want to write them all out myself.  So there you have it!  Goblets of Fire to make all my RAs Triwizard Champions!

The First of the Lasts

Yesterday was the first day of spring semester of my senior year.  I was reminded of this multiple times throughout the day, and I'm still in denial.  When I say I'm in denial, I mean that I'm really deep in denial as in upon mention of graduation, I squeak, cover my ears, yell at the speaker, or leave the room.  I can't handle it, and I don't believe that all my classmates are as okay with it as they appear to be.  There's no way they're all that certain of what's going on or going to happen.  Or maybe they are and I'm just overestimating the anxiety change can create in a person.  Or I'm projecting.

So it's true.  I'm going to have to start coming to terms with the fact that my schooling is nearly over.  After spending the majority of my life in school every fall, winter, and spring with summers off, I'm going to be free. Free, bored, and potentially employed.

But I'll have time to read.  And I'll have time to write.  Because I won't have homework to worry about.  I won't have bulletin boards to make, I won't have meetings to go to on my own time...
There are so many perks about the possibility of a life outside of school, but I still can't convince myself that anywhere and anywhen is better than the here and now.  I don't know what I would be like if I hadn't come here for school and if I hadn't applied to be an RA.  What if I had just gone to work straight out of high school?  Some people do that, what would it be like if I had done that?

So I'm giving myself an assignment of sorts.  I'm giving myself this week.  This week and weekend I'm allowed to worry about The Future, pretend it's not going to happen.  Come Monday, I will begin coming to terms with The Future.  I will start making to do lists that pertain to The Future, and I'll procrastinate by applying for jobs instead of playing on Facebook (ha, like that's going to happen...).  Next week.  I don't want to do the "this is our last first day of school" thing.  It's depressing.  I'd rather focus on the hope of The Future.  The hope for an adventure and security.  No "lasts" for me, just "firsts."

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." 
- "Closing Time"