Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Christmas Story: "Be Careful What You Wish For"

Warning: There be spoilers below. Though seriously, if you haven't seen A Christmas Story, need to fix that.

Every year at Christmas, a major channel plays the movie A Christmas Story for 24 hours, which is great because its my grandfather's favorite Christmas movie and he has a habit of napping. He can nap all day and by the end of the day he's seen the entire movie.

So a Christmas story is about a kid who just really wants a bebe gun (not sure on the spelling there), but everyone keeps telling him he'll shoot his eye out. In the end, his dad gets him the bebe gun. He goes outside to play with it. He shoots it and knocks his glasses off, and he thinks he's shot his eye out. (He didn't. He breaks his glasses).

There is a clear message to this story. We all think we want something, like a gun. We want it more than anything and then when we get it, we break our glasses and cut our cheek. Nothing is ever like what we daydream. In Ralphie's case that means getting a bebe gun doesn't make him the sheriff of his town and capable of protecting his entire family from thieves. In most of our cases, it means that thing we asked for isn't going to fix our lives and make it better.

Sometimes we don't get what we want, but its often worse when we do get what we desparately think we want. We think moving out of the parental home will mean life can start, but suddenly there are bills and real world situations we never had to face before. We think getting married will be the answers to all of our prayers - because of course he's Prince Charming - but then we realize getting married means living with a boy who throws his socks on the floor. So think about what you're desperately asking for in life and your daydreams, and think about if the warnings people are giving you are true. You may indeed shoot your eye out. Does that mean you shouldn't go through with moving out or getting married? Not necessarily. Just learn from the movie. Be aware that nothing is like what you dream and that you should be careful not to shoot your eye out. And with a story prepared for your mother about how an icicle broke your glasses....

Just kidding. I, in no way, promote lying. But please, don't shoot your eye out.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Plans

It's December and that means....CHRISTMAS!!!

Unfortunately it also means finals. I can pretty much guarantee I won't post anything until after my finals next week. Luckily my finals end next Wednesday. So what do I plan to do with this blog during my abundant Christmas break?

Like most people I intend to do a few Christmas themed posts, as a sort of Christmas countdown. Be prepared for not just any Christmas themed posts. This December I will be discussing "Everything Important About Christmas I Learned From Christmas Movies" Or EIACILFM for short. Yeah, I need to work on the name. Classic Christmas movies such as A Christmas Story and The Year Without a Santa Claus will be featured as well as newer Christmas classics like The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Santa Clause. Be prepared. It's going to be fantastic.

So see you after finals and good luck with your own!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Roommate Blues

My roommate, a fellow AE and a grad student, received a job offer from Boeing this week. The job would start in January, and it's pretty much her dream job. She's probably going to take it. Which is nice. I mean in this economy she'll have not just a job but the job she wants. The problem?

That leaves me without a roommate.

I'm a little disgruntled to say the least. Not considering at all the fact that I love my roommate and don't want her to leave me I'm still let with other problems. Everything in the kitchen is hers. The microwave. The pots. The pans. The dishes. The glasses. It's all hers. So unless I find a roommate with a kitchen's worth of stuff I'm going to have to buy myself a kitchen's worth of stuff. The TV is hers. Maybe for you, not having a TV would not be a big problem. But I can't live without TV. Seriously, it's like my oxygen. Not to mention, that if I were living alone because I can't find a new roommate, I would need the TV even more. Something has got to add noise to the background. So I'm going to have to buy a TV, unless new theoretical roommate has one. You can also add a dining table to the list while you're at it. And a bookshelf. My three bookshelves aren't enough for all my books, and half of her bookshelf is currently filled with mine. And these are just my material worries.

What if I can't find a roommate? What if I have to live by myself and pay full price for all utilities? (My roommate has kindly agreed to continue paying her half of the rent if I can't find a roommate, but I can't ask her to pay for the water I'm using, you know?). I am also incredibly paranoid. Living by myself would mean checking the locks twelve times every night before I go to bed. There is simply reassurance and calmness of mind in the idea that someone else is there, though my roommate probably wouldn't be able to protect me from an intruder. She's awesome, but not a ninja.

What if I do find a roommate but they're insane? I don't mean Norman Bates insane. I'm assuming that someone would pass the basic psycho test. But what if they just have habits I can't stand. I know me and my current roommate can live together. What if they like to watch TV a lot too and that conflicts with my TV watching? What if they also want to use the dining table as a desk, even though its in the living room? What if they leave a mess in the kitchen? What if they don't do dishes? So many questions, and no way to answer them.

This was all stress I didn't think I would have, because I knew my roommate would not graduate from grad school until August. I was secure in the fact that I would have a roommate until my lease is up. But now all that has changed.

Not to mention I'm losing a friend. Her job offer is in Seattle. That's far away. My roommate and I have been friends since Freshman year. She is undoubtedly the female friend I've had the longest at Tech.

This has put me into a state of roommate blues that I just can't fight. I really don't know what to do. Anyone out there need a roommate in the Midtown area? May I specify that my roommate needs to be tidy, not a crazy party-er, a Christian, and nice? A love of scifi is a nice addition but not a requirement.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Halfway Through, A Wheel of Time Update

So as my oh so faithful readers should know, I have been rereading the Wheel of Time, the most epic modern fantasy series. (I might contend ever, but let's not put the Lord of the Ring's people in an uproar). I just finished reading Lord of Chaos, which means I'm officially halfway through my reread. So I figured this was a good time to write about my thoughts and feelings, since this is my first read through the series as a "grown-up" shall we say.

In order to write about my reactions to what I've read I'm going to divide it up by characters and talk about my reactions to them. Here I will only discuss the Emond's Field 5. Later I might discuss others.

Rand al'Thor - The Dragon Reborn
When I first read the Wheel of Time series, I hated Rand. In the first book I liked him, but once he knew the truth, once he knew he was the Dragon Reborn, my feelings for him plummeted into loathing. As an adult reading, I don't hate Rand. I understand him better. He's a young man, younger than me now, who has been thrust into a terribly powerful and burdened position. The fate of the world is literally in his hands and as if that wasn't enough, he is slowly going mad. I think I initially didn't like Rand because he stopped trusting people, and the few people he did trust weren't the right ones. Now I understand why he doesn't trust the people who try to influence him. Rand is responsible for the entire world and if he lets himself trust the wrong person, he is letting the world fall into the Dark One's hands. I still don't agree with everything that Rand does. He still frustrates me, but right now I don't hate him. I appreciate his battle and I hope beyond hope that he can hold out to fight the Dark One.

Perrin Aybara - The Lord of Manatheren
When I first read through the WoT, I did not think much of Perrin. One of my friends recently described Perrin as "flavorless", and I think in many ways that is very apt. When compared to a character like Rand, Perrin just simply seems less. Why? Because to me Perrin represents the average, good man. Now in many ways that's why I like Perrin. If my future husband could only be like one of the three characters, in many ways I would want him to be the most like Perrin: faithful and true. Perrin is the character who in my opinion, changes the least. But his qualities are generally good. He's generally a good guy. I like Perrin, but he is a little bit "flavorless".

Mat Cauthon - the Blower of the Horn of Valere, the General
Mat is my favorite of the three male leads. He was my favorite the first time and he is my favorite again. The first, oh, four books I was a little iffy about Mat on my reread. I kept thinking "why do I like this guy again? He's such a player". But then he gets the ancient memories. Suddenly he finds himself unable to simply shrug responsibility. Suddenly he has hundreds of men willing to follow him to the ends of the Earth. I love Mat because he wins the most improved award. With each book he becomes a better person. With each book, he grows and changes into a better man, a man I like more and more. I love it when Mat takes Olver, the orphan boy, under his wing. I love it when Mat refuses to let Elayne go off by himself because he promised Rand. I love seeing a boy grow into a man.

Egwene al'Vere - the Amylrin Seat
Egwene was a girl with hopes of becoming an Aes Sedai who grew into so much more. She followed Rand to the Aiel Waste and spent a year training with the Aiel Wise Ones. She could have the love of the most handsome man in the world, Galad. Instead she choose to love the man who serves the other group of Aes Sedai and hates Rand, the man Egwene would do anything to protect. She is chosen to be the puppet of the Rebel Aes Sedai, but instead she rises to the challenge and bends the world to her. She will be the most powerful Amylrin, without a doubt. And yet, somehow she retains her normalness, her innocent farmgirl-ness. Sometimes I see myself in Egwene and that's why I love her.

Nynaeve al'Meara - Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah
Nynaeve started this all as the woman who wanted to rescue the innocent children of her village. Instead of "saving them", she falls in love with a man who refuses to have her, thinking he will only leave her a widow. Instead, she learns to respect and obey the girl she once clothed in diapers. Instead she learns to step lightly around the boy she once paddled for stealing. She learns the world is a much larger place than she originally knew, but she grows and adapts, becoming a person in that larger world. Oh, Nynaeve fights it the entire way - refusing to admit that those around her have grown beyond the children she chased after and everything she says to them is colored by the knowledge that she used to be their Wisdom. But Nynaeve slowly learns her place in the larger world, while keeping those around her from growing too arrogant in their power. Nynave is in many ways the humbler and I love her for it.

As I'm sure you can tell from my recounting of the characters, I have greatly enjoyed my reread of the WoT. I love the WoT. I enjoyed reading it as a kid, and now I enjoy reading it even more as an adult.

If I haven't convinced you yet, read the Wheel of Time. :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Case of the Monday's

Today has been a bad day from the start. I had to wake up an hour early to get together with my friends early to do some homework that was due today. Before I even left the house, my roommate and I had a little....altercation. Then in my first class we got our second test back. I made less than the average. In my second class, our presentations were canceled, which was not a good thing. And I'm only halfway through the day.

I'll probably talk about this more later when I have time, more specifically the roommate altercation, but for now it's not even noon and I have a headache. I have another homework due today and I have to make a presentation at three.

It's Monday.

Friday, October 30, 2009


So I have this problem. A drinking problem, but not the sort of drinking problem you are thinking of. I don't drink alcoholic beverages (this is not a judgment of those who do, just a fact of my life). No, my problem is probably just as troubling but very different.

I forget to drink. Water, tea, kool-aid, coke, you name it, I will forget to drink it. I can carry a Nalgene full of water around with my all day and not take a single sip. I can eat three meals a day and the only one I guarantee I'll drink something at is breakfast when I drink a full glass of milk.

As I'm sure you can imagine this is problematic. Every evening for the past week I've gotten a headache that practically made it impossible for me to function. I went to bed early and hoped that would make it go away. I did not know what the problem was. The headaches kept coming earlier, until on Wednesday I got a headache at 3 pm. By the actual evening I could barely function and I just simply went to bed. I could not figure out why until I talked to my parents and they mentioned "Maybe you are dehydrated".

It hit my like a ton of bricks. I probably drink about one and a half glasses of some sort of liquid a day. That's it. And that's not enough. It's not enough to function. I person needs way more than that.

So Thursday I made myself drink all day. I actually drank half of a nalgene. And yet I still forgot to drink anything at dinner.

Now a person might ask how does this happen? Don't you get thirsty? Don't you crave that liquidy goodness that is the only thing that can quench your thirst?

This is where the problem lies. I don't feel thirsty.

At least, I don't think I feel thirsty. I think the problem really is that I have been so thirsty my entire life that I don't know what it means to not be thirsty. I have ignored that thirst for so long it no longer means anything. It's normal. It's the way I am, all the time. So unless my thirst gets really extreme (which is rarely does and usually involves a lot of salt intake), I don't notice it.

I think my spiritual life is like this sometimes too. I'm living in such a state of thirst, such a state of need, that I don't even know it, because that is the status-quo. It's the way life is and I simply can't feel the need, the thirst. I don't know how to fix the spiritual headaches that come up, the debalitating doubt, because I don't know why its happening. I don't see that they are a symptom of my spiritual dehydration because I don't feel thirsty. I don't know I'm dehydrated.

Sometimes you have to make yourself drink. You don't feel the thirst, you don't feel a need, but you have to make yourself do it anyway. That's my only solution to my physical dehydration and my only solution to my spiritual one. I must make myself read my Bible, spend time with God, go to Bible Studies, and Church. I may not feel like it, because I may not feel thirsty, but I have to do it.

I'm not sure its possible to drink too much water (though too much makes my throat hurt - go figure). It is certainly not possible to have too much God in your life.

So quench your thirst.

Grab a bottle of water and your Bible and start drinking.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Old Friends, Prophecy, and Wheel of Time

It's been a long time since I've posted. I apologize, but if you don't know life at school is always insane. I spend every waking moment pretty much doing homework. Right now I'm sitting in the AE computer lab at Georgia Tech, freezing because they keep it way to cold in here, and writing this blogpost before I have to meet someone at 11. Fun times.

But I've missed writing here, so I've come to write something I've been thinking about a lot. The Wheel of Time.

I actually am rereading the Wheel of Time. I know I promised I would a long time ago, but low and behold I'm in book 5: The Fires of Heaven. I've averaged one book a week, I think, but my record was dominating the Great Hunt in two days. Granted Fall Break was involved in that. But it's just important to know that I really am reading.

Rereading the Wheel of Time is an experience. The last time I read most of the books I was 11. Basically it was many many moons ago. And I have all these memories and feelings about certain characters, though before I started rereading I couldn't really tell you why. I would tell you I hate Rand, I love Mat, I'm apathetic towards Perin, I miss Moiraine, and I think having three wives in insane.

As I reread the books its like being caught up with old friends. I remember that Rand was not always someone I hated. In the first few books I actually liked him. But as the responsibility, insanity, and Lews Therin Telamon taking him over, he stops being the shepherd I knew and loved and becomes the Dragon Reborn, who I hope does die in the last book.

I remember that Mat in the beginning is pretty despicable. In fact I really don't start to like him until about book 4, when the wholes in his memory get filled with his past lives. I love him speaking the Old Tongue and having the Dark One's own luck. I like watching him grow, knowing the great man he is going to become. Mat definitely wins the most improved award.

All I remember from my initial reading of the Wheel of Time about Egwene is that she is the Amyrlin and that she likes Gawaine. (Sorry about any misspelling). But rereading I watch as Egwene rises to power. I watch as her feelings subtly change from Rand, to Galad, to Gawaine.

I cannot fathom while I only passably liked Perrin when I first read it. Perrin is steady, reliable, can talk to wolves, and loves his wife more than life itself. By being reacquainted with him, I come to realize I do like him and I greatly enjoy his character.

Every character in the Wheel of Time is an old friend that I am catching up with. It's so interesting to know where they end up and see how they get there. To know what's going to happen and to see how they are warping into who they must become whether that's the Dragon Reborn, the Prince of Ravens, or the Lord of Manetheren.

One of my favorite parts is rereading the prophecy and knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt how its fufilled. The first time I read through it I was like "oh, prophecy, cool". Now when I hit a piece of prophecy I'm shocked to realize I know exactly how its fufilled. Mat does indeed marry the Daughter of the Nine Moons, though it is not the relationship he fears and hopes it will be. It's so wonderful to actually know what Robert Jordan meant when he originally describes how Rand will be marked the Dragon Reborn.

I love rereading the Wheel of Time because every character is a part of my life. I love watching them grow and develop and I feel sad when they fall. I pity Rand for where the future takes him. I love Mat for the man he becomes. I adore Perrin for being the one character you can rely on. They are my friends, and they are all a part of me.

This post does not even really accurately describe how I feel. I hope to write future posts, better explaining my reacquaintance with these old friends, and how much I love the Wheel of Time.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Book Review: The Eye of the World

Title: The Eye of the World
Author: Robert Jordan
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 657

Quality Rating: 9
Content Rating: PG-13

The Eye of the World is the first book of the Wheel of Time series, a series that has shaped my life in more ways than one. This first book is in epic story that takes three ordinary boys and throws them in the least ordinary of circumstances. Gripping from beginning to end, even on this third read of the book, I could not put it down. The characters are believable and have complex relationships. The Eye of the World is a must read for every fantasy fan, if not for every reader.

PG-13 for violence. There is some language, but it is essentially made up curse words. There is some hint at romance and romantic relationships, but nothing more than a PG level. This book could easily be PG, but there is some violence as there is in any fantasy book that has war. However, I read this book at the age of 11, and think it is enjoyable and fine for readers of all ages.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Book Review: The Vanishing Sculptor

Title: The Vanishing Sculptor
Author: Donita K. Paul
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 390

Quality Rating: 7
Content Rating: G

The Vanishing Sculptor was a different twist on a fantasy world I thought I already knew from Ms. Paul's Dragonkeeper series. I greatly enjoyed seeing a new culture and new faces as well as having the familiar faces beside them on their epic journey. If you have not read the Dragonkeeper series, never fear. Foreknowledge of the world is not necessary, and this book is self contained in itself. I loved the story, the innocent romance, and the heavy Christian influence. Reading one of Ms. Paul's books is a break from reality that is still heavy in truth. I could barely put it down, and sincerely hope there are more books.

There is violence, but its not graphically described, but it is the only thing that could possibly push this book into a PG rating. There is romance, but its very light and innocent, the romance of a young girl and a boy who is simply charming. I can see no harm in children in elementary school reading these books, but don't let that fool older readers. This book is enjoyable even for me, a 22-year-old girl.

A Book Review: The Law of Nines

Title: The Law of Nines
Author: Terry Goodkind
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 502

Quality Rating: 5
Content Rating: PG-13

If you did not like the Sword of Truth, you won't like this book. Welcome to Richard Rahl Jr and his story that revolves around a problem that is very similar to the problem that Richard Rahl faced. Reading this book made me wonder if Terry Goodkind was capable of writing another character, but I'm not here to badmouth authors. If you did like Sword of Truth, you might like this book, depending upon how you feel about very familiar plot lines. I read the book because I was intrigued by the fact that it was set in the United States instead of a fantasy land, but honestly that was the only facet of this book that made it interesting. I have already read 11 books about Richard Rahl. Oh, correct that, 12, since Alex Rahl is Richard's clone. I would rather not read another.

This book is rated PG-13 for violence and sex. There is a lot of talk about guns, and the author is clearly pro-gun owning. If that's not up your ally, you may not want to read this book. The main character gets himself into a precarious sexual situation at one point that might be hard to explain to younger readers, so I would generally recommend this for older readers. The violence is not too graphic, but its there, and as guns are involved it's slightly more realistic than a sword fight.

A Book Review: The High King's Tomb

Book Title: The High King's Tomb
Author: Kristen Britain
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 642

Quality Rating: 6
Content Rating: PG-13

The High King's Tomb
is a set up book, pure and simple. It's trying to get the reader somewhere, and its not always exciting for the reader to come along. However, because I loved the characters, I kept reading. This book jumped between more characters than the previous books have been known to do, which sometimes made it frustrating. On the other hand, it brought back characters that I thought were pointless in the first book, proving me wrong. (Shocking, I know, but it happens). All in all, I enjoyed reading this third book and seeing how Karigan develops and deals with the complexities that have been added to her life. She also discovers new facets of herself, that drew me in. These facets have to play into what is eventually going to be an epic finale that I can't wait for.

Karigan is grown up, so the story deals with more grown-up issues. Generally, the entire story is PG. However, a stay at a brothel brings up issues about sexuality and sexual preferences that some parents may not feel that their younger readers are ready for. Karigan also struggles with her own feelings about a man, bringing more romantic thoughts to her mind than the past books have. However, the content is all still very mild. Just be aware, that reading this book might bring up questions with younger readers.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Book Review: First Rider's Call

Book Title: First Rider's Call
Author: Kristen Britain
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 596

Quality Rating: 7
Content Rating: PG

The First Rider's Call doesn't have the race for your life feel that its predecessor, Green Rider, has, but it is equally good. Where as Green Rider was a story of a girl on the run for her life, its sequel is a book that deepens and broadens both the main character and the setting. The book starts and ends with action. In the middle is time travel, ancient manuscripts, and an evil villain who started out as adventurous young man. I'm a sucker for pasts that are revealed to be not quite what people remember them to be. I also still like Karigan, the young woman who continues to be vital to her world without the need for a man by her side. A woman who is not afraid to say 'no' to the man she loves, when he crosses a line.

This book is PG for its epic, battle violence as well as mild descriptions of past atrocities. The book hints at romance, but rarely sexuality, making it perfect for younger readers, or older readers who are tired of overt blatant sexuality in their books.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Book Review: Green Rider

Book Title: Green rider
Author: Kristen Britain
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 471

Quality Rating: 7
Content Rating: PG

Finally a coming of age story about a female that is not simply about a girl getting her man. Instead it follows a girl who is thrown into unexpected circumstances who must rise to the occasion or be killed. The plot is straight forward, without the intrigue and complexities that I generally enjoy, but by the end of the story the I felt strongly towards the main character, Karigan. Her supporting characters are equally enjoyable, whether its the careworn King Zachary or the stern Captain Mapstone. I highly recommend this book to female readers who are exasperated with heroines that seem only focused on finding love. Karigan is a worthy herione that any reader should enjoy.

This book gets a PG rating. There is some violence but it is not over intense. The book has some sexual insinuations but nothing strong. At one point the main character fears she might get raped, but the word or the act is never directly mentioned or described (and, slight spoiler, the attempt fails). All in all, this book is excellent for younger readers who are exhasperated with the books currently offered to them. Anyone from a middle school student, to a college student like myself, to a "real" adult would enjoy this book.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Book Review: Judas Unchained

Book Title: Judas Unchained
Author: Peter F. Hamilton
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 1008

Quality Rating: 8
Content Rating: R

The conclusion to Pandora's Star was every bit as epic as the first book. Because it is a second book, the dozens of characters are easier to handle. When a reader starts Judas Unchained they already know all the characters. It also helps that the character's story lines begin to merge and combine as they all begin to work for a common cause: saving humanity. As the title insinuates, traitors are hidden within this epic, revealed in the most horrifying of ways. For more well read readers, these traitors or "agents" are easier to spot, but that does not mean their unveiling does not hold surprises. Because the novel is a conclusion to a two part series, the entire second half of the book is climactic, building and building and building. If the end seemed a little anti-climatic it's because after 300 pages of climax, nothing can compare. However, I found the ending to be very satisfactory. I felt most, if not all, of the story lines were wrapped up well, leaving few loose threads. This book was definitely worth the read, despite its length.

I rate this book an 'R' on probably every level. Excessive use of the 'f' word, intense and sometimes descriptive sci-fi action/violence. Sometimes the sexual content was PG-13, but there were a few cases where there was too much description, pushing the rating up to an R.

Judas Unchained was a more than worthy conclusion to Pandora's Star. I would recommend these two books to any of my friends who enjoy science fiction, especially classic science fiction. The story was truly epic.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Unexpected Occurances

Today was the first day of classes here at Georgia Tech, and let me tell you it has been a day of quite unexpected occurrences. I have a class this semester that is notorious for being extremely difficult and being taught by the scariest professors. The professor I had signed up for had not taught this class for as long as anyone could remember. My friends and I have no idea how having this professor is going to be, but we were all just grateful we did not have one of the scary professors.

It was my first class today. My friends and I found seats, near the front but not too near. We were all talking and busy catching up when a professor walked down the aisle. The talking died down and whispers immediately ensued. Standing at the front of the room was not the eighty-year-old male professor we had been expecting but a female professor. There are only two female professors in my major at Tech, and this one is the one known for being perhaps the scariest woman to ever walk the earth.

"Is that Dr. Scary?" I whispered. (Name replaced to protect me from Dr. Scary's wrath of course). "What is she doing here? I thought we dodged the bullet on this!"

"Maybe they changed it at the last moment?" my friend responded worriedly.

"It's Dr. Scary!" one of my friends who sat in front of me leaned back and whispered. "What the heck?"

"Good morning," Dr. Scary said, and silence immediately fell over the class. The fear was thick in the air. Luckily for us, Dr. Scary explained that she was only substituting, that our normal lecturer would be back, eventually. Unfortunately, she is guest lecturing for the next three weeks.

That is far from the only occurrence that happened that I did not quite expect. This semester is definitely not starting as I thought it would. First off, my roommate's dog bit me, and we had to give her back to the people my roommate had gotten her from. That was really sad, but we could not have a dog that would bite. So we got a new dog, and he's very cute. He's a lab/italian greyhound mix. He's very small and very quite. I have yet to hear him bark once, which is awesome.

Another unexpected occurrence that sort of has me down references two past posts. The boy I have had a ridiculous crush on for like the past year, who I've called Josh in this post, is apparently dating someone else. It's not on facebook and I did not hear it from him, but my source was very reliable. This crush of mine who is two years older than me is apparently dating someone two years younger than me.

I'm ok. I'm used to such disappointments when it comes to boys, but it is a disappointment. The girl he is now dating is a girl I suspected he liked last year, but after talking to her and him (I'm friends with both), and the way they behaved, I did not think they did like each other. So it's sort of like I was expecting it, convinved myself not to expect it, and now its real.

But that's life. You have to accept things and move on. All of the unexpected occurances are a part of life. Whether its a scary professor or a disappointing crush, it's a part of life. You learn from it and continue with life.

I hope everyone else out there who is starting school is having a good time and taking their unexpected occurances in stride. I hope you're doing it better than I am.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Upcoming Semester

So this is my first post in the month of August, even though we're eight days in, and I only posted 10 times in July. I'm not doing well as a consistent blogger. There are many reasons for it. My life is crazy. Between work, my other blog, and research for school, I have little time. That and I like to read. Reading takes up a lot of time. This week I've been at home, transitioning between work and school. Next week won't be any better because I move in to my apartment on Monday, don't get internet until Tuesday, and then go to Utah on Wednesday. I don't come back from that until Saturday. So there is little hope of me posting next week either. I know, I know. I'm a lousy blogger.

However, as soon as the craziness subsides, I promise I will start blogging regularly. It will help that more exciting things will happen to me when the school year starts. I'll have more things to talk about. I'm already excited about football season, Dragon*Con, and a semester of infinite possibilities. Be prepared for me to start blogging about querying agents (gasp! Exciting I know) and blogging about my horrid classes (I don't forsee aeroelasticity being any fun).

I will also start rereading the Wheel of Time this semester. My new hardback copy of The Eye of the World arrived earlier this month. You will get my reactions to events in the story as I reread and of course I'll write book reviews for each book.

So for the next week you may not see too many entries from me. I mean, I know they have internet in Utah - it's not like I'm going to Antarctica, but it's the Small Satellite Conference. I don't predict I'll have a lot of free time. And this time, I promise not to break my foot while in another state.

So if you're anxious for some posts from me, don't be. And if you just can't wait, read my other blog instead. I promise you its worth your while.

I hope everyone out there is having a great August, and that any transitions they may have are going much more smoothly.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lice and Faith

I have had lice twice in my life.

The first time I was three, and I don’t really remember it. My family was living in Hawaii, and it was common for us little ones playing in the sand to get those itchy little head bugs. I don’t remember much of anything, but my mom had to cut off all of my hair. It was a sad day.

The second time I was in fifth grade. This time I remember vividly. My head had been itching for a while, but I was afraid to tell my mom about it. Whenever I thought of lice, I thought of dirty children playing in the streets. I thought it somehow made me dirty and unclean. I was afraid of the consequences: having to cut off all my hair, using the lice killing shampoo, having to miss school, etc. I kept the itching my head, because I would rather suffer through the pain then deal with it. However, eventually the itching became too much. My scratching picked at my scalp, and my fingernails came away covered in blood. I knew I had to tell my mom, or things would only get worse. I confessed.

My mom, being a teacher, took it in stride. She checked my head, saw the tell tale signs, and immediately began to take action. My sheets went in the wash. My stuffed animals went into bags. All of my hair was chopped off. The bug killing shampoo was scrubbed into my shorn hair. I spent several hours sitting in my mother’s bathroom while she picked nits out of my hair. (That’s where the phrase ‘nit picking’ or ‘nitpicky’ comes from by the way. Nits are very small, and take a long time to get out). It was a long unpleasant experience.

However, a few weeks and several reapplications of the bug killing shampoo later, the stuffed animals came out of their bag and my head no longer itched. I suffered for weeks, but now all was right with the world. I could crawl into my bed with my favorite stuffed animal, and my head was gloriously free from itching. I was far better off free of those nasty bugs then I ever was with them, and the process of removing them turned out to be worth it.

Now over twelve years later, any time I read something about lice or someone says the word “lice”, my head starts to itch. Even now typing this, I scratch my scalp. I fear that I might have lice, though I have been in no situations where I could get lice. My cubicle is lice free. I don’t share hairbrushes, hats, or other hair touching things with strangers. I do share a hairbrush with my sister, so if I had lice she would too (which she doesn’t). However, despite how bad that fear can get sometimes when I hear a news report about lice breaking out in a local school, I never ask anyone to check my head. I’m too afraid.

What if they actually found lice?

The stigma of lice overwhelms me (though it should be noticed that lice like clean hair, not dirty). The idea of being subjected to that horrifying process sends fear through my heart. I can’t afford weeks of nit picking. I don’t want to deal with the consequences. So rather than admit that my head is itching, I suffer in silence, afraid of anyone ever hearing of my lice filled fears.

I have discovered in the past few years that I treat many problems in my faith in a similar way.

As an example I will take something that I feel I’ve struggled with for a while:

I can’t discern God’s voice, His will for me. I can’t feel Him in my life.

This is something I should deal with, preferably with the help of friends. It’s something I should confess to someone and have them help me struggle through it. However, I’m afraid. I’m afraid because people say things like “God pressed this on me the other day” or “I felt God saying this to me”. When people say things like that it makes me feel like they must be super holy and that there is something wrong with me. It makes me feel dirty and lice riddled.

I am afraid to go to my friends or my Bible study and say, “Hey, I really struggle with hearing God’s voice in my life.” I fear they will look at me with judgmental glances and think, “She’s not really a Christian. She’s not as holy as us. She’s so low, so unworthy, so dirty.”

I also fear the process of fixing it. I fear the shampooing, the putting things away in bags, and the nit picking. I don’t want anyone to nitpick my soul. I don’t want anyone to reveal that I actually am dirty and unclean. I don’t want anyone to push back my hair, see the nits, and begin to tear them from my head.

So rather than confess my problems and fears with my faith, I stay silent. I suffer in unsure silence, feeling dirty, unclean, and unworthy. I feel like a worse Christian. Without anyone pointing fingers, I point fingers at myself. Only, by myself I can’t fix it.

I know if I seek help for my problems in my faith, then I will be able to fix them. I know that afterwards I will feel much better. I know that without the lice my head won’t itch, and I will no longer have to worry about scratching myself until I bleed. I know I will be far better off and happier once I admit it.

Instead I sit here and itch.

Maybe I’m alone in this. Maybe I am not worthy and I’m not as good a Christian as the rest of the world; however, I think this is a problem we all struggle with. We’re afraid to admit our real problems, the problems that are causing us to itch until we bleed, because we’re afraid people might look at us and say, “She has lice.”

This year I make a pact with myself to admit when something in my faith does not feel right. I will go to my best friend, my mentor, or my Bible study and I will say, “I think I have lice.”

I believe my friends won’t judge me. I believe I will discover I’m not the only one who struggles with Faith Lice. And I imagine this will occur:

“I think I have lice,” I admit in a low tone to my Bible study.

“Lice? Oh dear, let me check!” one girl exclaims, rushing to my side. She checks my head. “You definitely have it, Bittersweet. Don’t worry. We’ll take care of you. We’ll need shampoo…”

“No worries, I have some,” another girl says, digging in her purse. “I struggled with this a few months ago. I know exactly how you are feeling. Don’t worry, Bittersweet. I am with you on this.”

“Where are the plastic bags?” asks a friend from the kitchen, searching through my cabinets. “I’ll bag your favorite stuffed animal for you.”

“I think I might have lice too,” admits another friend, emboldened by my confession. “Can you check me too?”

“We’ll get this put right, Bittersweet,” the girl by my side says with a smile. “We are your friends. We will help you struggle through this. We are here for you, and we love you.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Office Lunch, aka Not Feeling Awkward when Going to Lunch with Your Office When You’re a Female Engineer

This is my last week at work, which is a bittersweet thing (no pun on my name intended). I like my job, but I am ready for school. I'm ready to be back to football season, the BCM, my classes, my friends, and my new apartment. In fact I am probably most looking forward to my apartment. It will be the first time I am living off campus, and I can't wait. But my apartment is a blog for another time. Today's blog has a different topic: office lunch.

Every time I come to work for a co-op term, the week I am scheduled to leave my Branch takes me out to lunch. For those of you who don't know "branch" just basically means the group of people I work with. We're all under the same boss, aka Branch Chief. There are about twenty-five of us total, but for lunch we only had sixteen, counting me, show up. I got to choose where to go to lunch, since it was my "Farewell Lunch", so I picked Olive Garden, my favorite restaurant. My mentor arranged everything for us, and sixteen of us went to lunch.

So I'm an engineer. This means when my branch goes out to lunch, it might seem a little odd to the random observer. I am a 5'1", 22 year old female. The other sixteen with me were at least 5'7", male, and over thirty. Perhaps you can see how that would seem odd?

At lunch I sat at the middle of this table of all guys, most of which are old enough to be my father. The waitress came up and said, "Are we celebrating something?"

"Her," my branch chief said pointing to me.

"It's her goodbye lunch," my mentor interjected.

The waitress looked at me and said, "I thought it might be you. You do seem to be the odd one out." Odd one out was undoubtedly an understatement. I probably did not look like I belonged at all.

So how does one survive such a seemingly awkward thing? Well first off, these are the guys I work with everyday. It's not usually that awkward. But there are a few key things to remember to keep it from getting awkward.

First point, do everything in your power to keep the conversation from becoming a conversation not appropriate for mixed company. Sometimes this can be hard. With so many guys, it can be difficult to make them remember that I am a girl. They might start a conversation that I really don't want to hear or tell a joke that I found offensive because it degrades women. The key to stopping this is to figure out what's happening before it happens. When I feel the conversation heading in that direction, I bring up a movie I know everyone just went to see that weekend, or a particularly controversial development at work that everyone wants to argue about. One sentence interjected at the right time to the right person can change the course of an entire conversation. Which in this case is a good thing.

Another thought to make the entire process less awkward is to remember that guys really don't mature that much as they age (no offense guys). They are generally just as goofy at 35 as they are at 18. The only real difference is that the guys in my office talk about their wives instead of their girlfriends, and they talk about their kids instead of their roommates. So when it comes to conversations I treat them about the same, though for my boss and other important persons I add a little more respect. (Which is not saying I don't respect guys. I am just saying I will be less likely to tease my boss).

My farewell lunch did not have any real awkward moments to it. We talked about the year, the new co-op coming in to replace me, the fact that one of the guys in the office just bought a motorcycle but his wife is out of the country and she's going to kill him when she gets back, and magicians. We probably spent a half an hour talking about magicians and illusions. No one in my office can figure out how the ring trick works, where a magician seems to push two solid metal rings through each other. The entire lunch table was arguing the different methods that could be used. That is what happens when you get a bunch of engineers together.

I suppose in truth though it looked awkward to those nearby, it was not really. It's my branch, my job, my life. At school the ratio in my department is nine to one, guys to girls. I'm used to being around all guys. It's being around all girly girls that makes me nervous. I can handle Tech girls, but girlie girls? They're scary. But I suppose that is a post for another day.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Book Review: Pandora's Star

Book Title: Pandora’s Star
Author: Peter F. Hamilton
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 988

Quality Rating: 7
Content Rating: R

This book hearkens back to the greats of science fiction when it comes to the epicness (yes that’s a made up word) of the storyline. It involves a galactic society of humans reminiscent of Asimov’s amazing Galactic Empire, though it is much more in touch with Earth as we know it. The society is one I can see our human society becoming, not some beautiful utopia or closed-fist dystopia. It is a middle road sort of society, much like the governments and societies we have today. The aliens are exotic, not just various forms of biped humanoids, but rather truly alien aliens that my mind had a hard time picturing, though Hamilton did an excellent job describing them. For readers who lament the passing of the Golden Age of Science Fiction, Pandora’s Star is a much welcomed relief. I felt like I was reading a story Asimov could have thought of, if he was alive in today’s modern technological world. However, for readers who prefer to have only a handful of characters, Pandora’s Star is not the best option. A sole main character is hard to pinpoint, for the story jumps between at least a dozen characters. Hamilton starts the story with several seeming unrelated stories that at first lost me, for as soon as I gained attachment to one character I was moving on to another. However, in the end the epic plot pulled me through. The story was definitely plot driven.

I rate this book an ‘R’ when it comes to content rating for the same reasons movies rate things ‘R’. The f word was used often, and at some points often on the same page. There was also some intense sci-fi action/violence. Sexual content alone I would probably give a PG-13, as in all scenarios there were no details, though there was a good bit of mentioning sexual acts in one of the character story arcs, mainly using the f word written about above. If you have further questions about how I would rate this book because you want to read it or one of your kids is interested in reading it, just leave a comment and I will answer it.

All in all, I found Pandora’s Star to be a very refreshing and riveting read. Not quite a book I could not put down, but it was a page turner. I quite enjoyed it. I always love a good science fiction novel, and this was definitely that.

Book Reviews: The Explanation

Today I am about to post my first book review. Before I post it I just thought I would explain a little bit about the format, and why I talk about what I talk about. For me, there are two main things I want to know about in a book:

  1. Is it a good story?
  2. If we were using the movie rating system for content, what would it be rated?

All of my reviews will answer these two questions. The format will be fairly simple:

Book Title



Length (in pages)

Quality Rating on a 1 to 10 scale

Content Rating on a G to R scale

Paragraph explaining quality rating choice

Paragraph explaining content rating choice

The first four parts are easily explained. To write a review you need a title and author. Genre and Length are listed for those people who have biases for or against certain genres or lengths. Personally, I love a good scifi or fantasy book and the longer the better. But I know people who think scifi is for dorks, and people who think anything over three hundred pages is much much much too long. So those are listed for your convenience. After that the quality rating and content rating will be listed. These ratings are followed by explanatory paragraphs, so you know why I rated them like I did.

My quality rating system is your basic 1 to 10 scale. A 1 means that I can't believe I just wasted the money to buy it, the time to read it, the thought to process it, and the breath to live through it. In short, I'd rather die than reread this book (a little extreme but you get the idea). A 5 would be a perfectly acceptable book. I don't think I wasted my time, but it was not something that struck me as extraordinary. A 10 is something you should not even question. Just go out and buy it. A 10 means that the book changed my life on a deep level, made me reevaluate everything I thought was real, and must immediately be added to the list of books I will reread once a year for the rest of my life. In short, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.

My content rating system is based on how I see movies rated. F word used more than twice? R rating. Automatic style. D word used once or twice with limited hinted at sexual content? That's a PG style book. No violence? No sex? No cursing? Man, I must be reading Clifford the Big Red Dog. That gets a G.

Since ratings are my opinion, I think they both warrant explanations. In my quality rating explanation I will highlight what I liked or disliked about how the story was written minus details when I can. I will compare it to other books if I feel it is appropriate, and I will mention what sort of readers might like or dislike the book. In the content rating section I will explain why it got the rating it did. I will also highlight curse word usage, sexual content, and violence. For example if a book gets a PG-13 for intense violence, I will say so, and tell you whether the curse word usage and sexual content was maybe a PG instead of a PG-13. I think these are the three big things parents and readers are looking for when it comes to a book rating, though if there are other common things you're looking for let me know.

The reason why I rate books is mentioned in this post. The reason why I highlight the things I do is because some of them bother me. I don't like excessive cursing or sexual content in a book but violence doesn't bother me (I think violence doesn't bother me because my mind tends to skip over description and action in books. I like dialogue, which often has cursing). Some people don't mind cursing or sexual content but hate violence. So once again this is just an area to list what is in a book, and how to rate it based off of my knowledge of how the movie rating system works. No one starts controversy about rating Terminator Salvation PG-13 when all the other terminator movies are R. (Notice Salvation didn't use the f word whereas the other Terminator movies used it every other word).

Now for those of you who are curious as to what this will look like, the next post is the review of Pandora's Star. Enjoy.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Blue Screen of Death and Harry Potter

Yesterday I saw two things I had never seen before: the Blue Screen of Death and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Two very different things, both new and both startling in their own way. They might seem like two unrelated things, but yesterday for me, they were connected.

I woke up yesterday morning expecting it to be a normal day. My alarm went off, playing the song "Holding Out for a Hero" from Footloose the Musical, which put several of the songs from Footloose in my head. I got up, took a shower, and gathered my belongings for the day. My sister was also getting ready, since we would be carpooling to work that day. I ate breakfast and read a few pages in Pandora's Star. Then as I was brushing my teeth my sister exclaimed, "Bittersweet! Come here quick!"

I spit out my toothbrush, and I went to my sister's room, expecting to see a large spider she wanted me to kill. I was not wearing shoes at the time so I was glancing about her room for a nearby shoe. However, I looked at my sister and she was not staring horrified at a large arachnid. Rather, she was staring at her computer screen.

"What?" I asked, a little annoyed that she called me away from my routine for what seemed like nothing.

"Something is wrong with my computer," she responded. I frowned and stepped over to where she was sitting. I glanced down at the computer screen and froze.

Blue dominated her screen, blue only interrupted by white lettering.

I don't know a lot about computers. When my computer has a problem I find my CS friends and make them fix it. When I needed to by a new computer, I made my ECE friend pick it out for me. My knowledge of how computers function is very limited, but even someone with as little knowledge as me knew what that screen meant.

It was the Blue Screen of Death.

Never in my life had I seen this screen that generally means your computer is having some sort of massive failure. My old laptop had many problems, but never the Blue Screen. My new laptop is new and functioning perfectly, so no Blue Screen. My parents' computer has gotten viruses, suffered insane hits, and yet has never had a Blue Screen. I have no idea what my sister did to get this elusive and dangerous screen, but there it was, staring at me.

"That's the Blue Screen of Death!" I exclaimed, though I probably should not have. It immediately sent my sister into a panic. I calmed her down by saying not all Blue Screens were the same. It did not necessarily mean a catastrophic failure. I read the white words and told her to follow what it said. Turn it on. Turn it off.

My sister turned it off, but we did not have time to turn it back on before heading to work. I drove us out to the center, I got out at headquarters where I work, and then my sister headed over to the cape. I went to work, thinking all would be well. It did not seem like a particularly dire Blue Screen, and surely my little sister had everything backed up on the flash drive she had recently purchased. All would be right with the world.

I had been working extra long every day that week in order for us to get out early on Friday. Working a half an hour extra every day means getting out two hours early on Friday, which is more than enough time to drive to Orlando to see Harry Potter. I was excited about the prospect of seeing the movie, and my friend's facebook comments about it simply made the anticipation worse. I could not wait.

Then at about 8:30 I got a call from my sister: "My computer dumped all of my stuff. My thesis proposal is gone. We can't go see Harry Potter."

Woah! Woah! Slow down! My mind screamed. Not see Harry Potter? What?

"Surely your thesis proposal is on your flashdrive," I responded reasonably.

"No it's not. It's gone," she answered.

"What have you been putting on your flashdrive?" I demanded, flabbergasted that she would have something so important, due in so few days, in only one place.

"Data," she answered. "I'm going to have to spend all weekend putting this back together. No Harry Potter."

"Well, I'm going to see Harry Potter," I responded stubbornly. "It's two and a half hours. It's not going to make or break your computer."

"You go see it. I'm not. Love you bye bye." She hung up on me before I even had a chance to really think about her problem. But that's my little sister. She gets frustrated, angry, and hangs up, not allowing me a moment to collect my thoughts.

You see the Blue Screen of Death is not necessarily the end of the world. My sister's computer was working. That was a very good sign. Her stuff was just missing. It had to be on her computer somewhere. It could easily be recoverable. So I did research, calling Geek Squad and the UCF PC services. They all assured me it might be recoverable. So I came up with a new plan.

We would take my sister's computer to Orlando to get fixed. They would undoubtedly have to keep the computer overnight, so my sister would be unable to do work. So instead of doing work, we would see Harry Potter.

I called my sister, told her this, and then all was right with the world.

Several hours later she called me and told me that she found her paper in her TEMP folder in her computer. She did not need it fixed. I was disappointed, for it meant no Harry Potter and a 8.5 hour work day. However, that is life and I was ok.

However, then my sister got off work at one o clock. She suggested I leave early anyway, and we go see Harry Potter. Though I did want to see Harry Potter, I did not really want to have to stay late on Friday, which is what leaving early on Thursday means. However, she mentioned that on Friday she would not be able to get off work until three o'clock, so no leaving early anyway. Thus I left early from work on Thursday and we made it to a 5:10 showing of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince in Oviedo.

Now, you may ask, what did I think of the movie?

One word: phenomenal.

It may be my favorite Harry Potter movie (though not my favorite book). I thought they did an amazing job. The comedy of the sixth book was clearly there. The discovering of Voldemort's past was not as in depth as it was in the book, but it's a movie, so it never is. I felt Hermione's pain and wanted to beat up Ron for her. I thought they picked a very good Slughorn. I loved the portrayal of Harry on Liquid Luck. And I loved Malfoy. He did an amazing job. I felt his pain, his frustration, his fear. The actor managed to convince me that here is a boy who is fearing for his life. He has been thrown into a grown up world, a world he's not ready for, a dark world. He has no choice but to succeed or he and his mother will be killed by the most evil of wizards. What choice does he have? He has to live up to his family's dark history whether he wants to or not. I felt that from the actor. When he brandished his wand on Dumbledore, I saw a scared boy who knew what he was supposed to do but did not really want to do it. Phenomenal. I applaud you Malfoy. You've grown up into a superb actor.

I could have asked for more anger from Harry after Snape completed his dark deed. My sister put it well. "I wanted more of a Luke Skywalker 'NOOOOOOO!' after he discovers Darth Vader is his father." I agree. I could have used more from Harry. But I felt that Snape did an excellent job. Granted in the movie I feel its way easier to see that he's good. My mom has always been convinced Snape was good, because she has never read the books. In the books we get Harry's extreme bias. The movie was not able to portray that Snape killing Dumbledore was the fulfillment of everything Harry ever suspected about Snape. Of course, it's hard to be inside someone's head in a movie like you are in the book.

The scene where Dumbledore and Harry go to get the locket? Exactly like I imagined it. It was purely amazing.

All in all, I felt it was amazing. It was exactly what it is, the lull before the storm, the set up movie. It gave us the comedic relief we need after Sirius's death and before the seventh book blood bath. Some people probably wanted more action, but if you read the sixth book there was not a whole lot of action. Yes, the Death Eaters attacking the Weasley home was not in the book, but I forgive that. There had to be some sort of tension in the Weasley home since the character of Bill Weasley has been cut out of the storyline. Though it does make me wonder what's going to happen in the seventh movie. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are supposed to spend some time with Bill and Fluer. Well, I'll just have to wait until it comes out.

When I see the seventh and eighth movie I'm bringing a box of tissues. Because when everyone dies, I'm going to cry. And when Snape dies, I might just break down. I can only hope they do Snape's death justice.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Carlee Earhart

I am a writer. Not I wish to be a writer. Not I want to be a writer. I am a writer. I wish to be published, but that does not affect the fact that I am currently writing.

It's already been mentioned on this blog that I am working on a middle grade fantasy book. It is just one of many projects I'm working on; however, my MG fantasy book is a focus because it's done. I'm basically just revising and researching the market. I plan to start actively searching for an agent in the fall, if my beta tests of the book among adolescents goes well. Some of the other projects I'm working on include high fantasy works, science fiction works, and some books that ask the question where the line between scifi and fantasy is. Most of these projects are "adult" books, though I would rate them all PG-13 or less. I have one project, however, that is YA that I would like to share with all of you.

Her name is Carlee Earhart.

Carlee Earhart is a blogger. She has a blog very similar to this one. (Which would be because blogspot templates were used for both, though different ones). She is only sixteen, but she's not your average teenage blogger. Carlee's blog tells the story of an event that happened to her last September, but she just got around to blogging. It starts with the day she discovered her older brother is an android.

Carlee's blog has only been up for about a month, and I will admit her only readers are among my friends (except one reader in Colorado! Go Colorado! I love you and your reading of my blog!). She's a fairly new and unusual project for me. Blogging is clearly not a normal form of publication. I don't know anyone who has hit it rich blogging fiction. Of course, that could mean I haven't done my research. Carlee, however, is not about getting rich. Carlee is an idea I had that I felt very strongly about.

The story of Carlee Earhart and her android brother, John, was one that has been bouncing around my head for quite some time. I've always wanted to write scifi, and I've always wished more girls would read scifi. I love scifi, I'm a girl, and I'm not ashamed. Science fiction is a genre that challenges preconceived notions and leads a person into discovering things they never would have. Because of science fiction, I am an aerospace engineer working for a major….uh…launching facility… Florida……(still not clear on the rules here). I've always wanted to write hardcore, space opera, golden age scifi, like Asimov, but that's not what Carlee is about. Carlee is soft scifi. She's meant to lead younger readers into this noble genre. Carlee's story isn't a golden age of scifi sort of story. I would compare it more to paranormal fantasy.

If you know me at all you know I pretty much detest paranormal fantasy. Why would I compare one of my project's to it?

Well in many paranormal fantasy stories, you have an average, run of the mill person who comes into contact with someone/something extraordinary. (Like a girl coming into contact with a vampire….yes, like Twilight). It's my opinion that people like these stories because they identify with this average, modern day main character, and they feel that adventure could enter their otherwise mundane lives. (That's not a slap in the face of paranormal fantasy readers. My life is mundane. I read high/epic fantasy to escape it. It's just a taste difference, and I have less people I can identify with). Carlee is like that. She was your average American high schooler. She wasn't the smartest, not the prettiest, not the most popular, but neither was she the loser geek that everyone makes fun of. (Which I contest that stereotype. I was a total nerd in high school and I was on prom court. People like nerds these days.) Carlee is far from exactly like me, and I think she is someone people can identify with. Someone who feels sort of average and ordinary, but knows they're far from the bottom of the food chain. So how does this average American girl's life take a turn for the scifi? Her big brother, the valedictorian of his class and captain of the football team, is shot in a convenience store robbery. Carlee finds herself swept off world (essentially abducted by aliens) and discovers her brother is an android.

Carlee's blog details all of this far better than I can do in one entry. It's called "An Android's Soul". How did the name get chosen? Carlee struggles with the fact that her brother, who she loves more than anyone, is an android. What does that mean about their relationship? Can he feel love? Is he even alive? She has to grapple with the stereotypes about androids that others try to force upon her, and she has to determine whether she thinks the laws set in place by the galaxy to demean her brother's existence are valid. It's the main question of her entire blog. Does an android have a soul? Does her brother have a soul?

I encourage you to check it out if you haven't already. One of the things I love about Carlee is that she's interactive. If you get confused about a plot point, want more information about something mentioned in passing, or just have something to say, you can comment on her blog. Or you can friend her on facebook and chat with her there. Carlee is not just some diary you are reading. She is there, answering your questions and helping you to understand the struggles she is having in life.

If you have questions about how the process of writing Carlee's life, you can talk to me, but if you have questions about the storyline or anything else you should ask Carlee. She wants to answer your questions. That's what she's for.

And are you curious about my really long last name I've mentioned before? Scroll down to the bottom of Carlee's blog and check out the copyright. My name is there.

But I'm just Carlee's "earth contact". She's the one doing all the writing.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Taking a Chance in a Bookstore

I did something incredibly risky yesterday. It's something I can only remember ever doing twice before in my life, and one time it did not turn out well. What is this incredibly risky venture, you ask?

I bought a book after only ready the back cover and the first page.

Some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking how ridiculous that sounds. Some of you always pick books at random, that's how you have found the greatest books ever. I, however, have never done that. I only buy a book if someone recommends it or I read a really great review online.

The problem is that I have out read my friends. They come to me for book recommendations. Generally everything they're reading, I've already read. Online reviews are also risky since my taste's and my fellow blogger's tastes don't always line up. All of this adds together to mean that I have no idea what I should be reading right now, other than Ben-Hur or the Wheel of Time.

I was at Barnes and Noble yesterday and I really wanted to buy a new book. I wanted to read something that was new and exciting. However, I had no basis to judge other than the blurbs on the back and a quick read of the first page.

I immediately ruled out any hardback books. I am definitely not willing to spend twenty dollars on an author I know nothing about. So I searched among the sci-fi/fantasy section and I picked up a book called Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton.

So what about the blurb and the first page convinced me that this was the book I should read?

The first thing that caught my attention was that it is actually science fiction. If you have perused the scifi/fantasy section recently, you'll realize there is an awful lot of fantasy. Most of the scifi is Asimov and Pohl, the stuff written by the greats decades ago. I rarely find great modern sci-fi. This book was written in 2004, so it's defintely new. If it's any good, I've found an amazing and rare thing.

The second thing that convinced me is that the book is nearly one thousand pages long. I often buy books on their length. In fact the one time buyring a random book did turn out well for me, I bought it simply because it was the longest book at the book fair. That book was Martin the Warrior by Brain Jacques. I buy long books because they're worth the cost and they will take longer than an afternoon to read. Somehow it makes a book less enjoyable when it only takes an afternoon to read.

However, I have to say the thing that really sold me was when I skimmed the first page. The character on the first page is "NASA Captain Wilson Kime". NASA. In a scifi book. How awesome. So many scifi books are so distant in the future that they don't reference NASA or the way Earth is now. I love NASA, and any scifi book that can put it in its first page is something I want to read.

I'm only one hundred pages into the book so no review for you guys yet, but I do have to say you should pick it up and just read the prologue. It was fantastic, ironic, and wonderful. Whether the entire story was worth the read, the prologue definitely is.

I'll definitely write a review when I finish reading it, so that you won't have to pick a random book off the shelf, taking the risk that comes with spending $8.99 on a book.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Confession: Apathy

My grandfather was riding his bicycle and was hit by a car. He has a broken neck and blood in his brain. It sounds awful, but that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that I don’t care.

Sounds horrible, doesn’t it? I know it’s terrible. I should care. I should feel something other than apathy at the fact that my grandfather is in critical condition. But I don’t. I feel nothing.

Some of you might attribute this to numbness. You’ll say I’m in denial, but give it a few days and I will feel something. But I guarantee you that it won’t happen. If he died today, I would not care. I just don’t care.

My grandfather is not some fuzzy teddy bear who I have fuzzy warm memories of. Nor is he some evil man who filled my life with horrible traumatizing memories. I don’t feel either extreme about him. I feel nothing. I acknowledge the fact that he’s my grandfather, but that’s about it.

You see my grandfather and I never had a close relationship, probably because my father and grandfather don’t. My grandfather isn’t “evil”, but neither is he a very nice guy. He cheats on my grandmother; he always has and everyone knows it. Seriously if you look at their wedding photo you think: “What a lovely bride, but look at that sleezeball she’s marrying.” It’s true. My grandfather just looks sleezy.

He’s also a multi-millionaire and a miser. No one sees a dime of that money, not even my grandmother. We’re lucky if we get anything for our birthdays or Christmas. My grandfather has never even attempted to buy his way into my heart. If he died about the only thing I would think is “I wonder where all that money is going.”

Growing up I only spoke to my father’s parents once a year on my birthday. It was the most dreaded phone call of the year. It was basically like being forced to talk to a complete stranger for fifteen minutes. I did not want to talk to them, and I knew they were only really talking to me to appease my father.

So my grandfather is in serious condition, and I don’t care. But I do care that I don’t care. I feel like I should care more. I mean God calls us to care in that whole love your neighbor thing. But I guess my grandfather falls into that large category of people I just don’t care about. It’s the people I don’t view as my neighbor or my enemy, since we’re called to care for both. I pray for and care about my sister-in-law, even though she is my “enemy”. I pray for and care about the international students at my school, because they’re my “neighbors”. But my grandfather? We’re not enemies. We’re not neighbors. I haven’t spoken to him since my older sister’s wedding, which was four years ago.

There are vast amounts of people I feel completely apathetic about. They’re not in my view. They’re not near me; they don’t hate me. Why should I care about them? But I feel guilty for not caring, because I know I should.

He’s my grandfather. I should be making efforts to love him. I should be putting him in my definition of neighbor. I should care that he’s injured. But I don’t. Like hundreds of other people.

My friends will say things like they have such a heart for the city of Atlanta, that they feel for the people, and feel called to love them. I on the other hand feel no such compulsion. I don’t feel for the entire city of Atlanta. I feel for small pockets I view as my neighbors and enemies. I don’t feel for the city as a whole. I don’t care about the city as a whole.

People in Indiana? I just don’t care.

People in Portugal? I barely know you exist.

People in the neighborhood down the street from mine? You don’t fall into my definition.

Kid who sits in the back of my class? I never even look back there. I have no clue who you are.

It’s as if my heart has limited area, so I define my definition so small that I don’t have to care about people. Caring is difficult. Loving? Impossible. How am I supposed to love all these people?

I suppose I don’t really think that God wants me to love and pray for the people of Portugal. Nothing against you Portugal. I just don’t know anything about you. I wouldn’t know where to begin. However, I feel guilty about my grandfather, because I’m pretty sure he falls into God’s definition of my neighbor or possibly the whole honoring your parents thing.

God has to care that I divide the world up into my black and white “neighbors and enemies” and anyone who doesn’t fall into that definition, anyone gray, I just don’t care about.

I know this is something wrong with me; I know this is something I struggle with. I even struggle praying about it. And if I don’t pray about it, how can God help me with it? But if I don’t pray about it, I’m ignoring the problem. And I’m really good about ignoring the problem.

Maybe praying for my heart to break over the world is too much right now. I think I’ll start small. I think I’m going to pray that God would help me to love my grandfather. I’m going to pray that God will help me care. Because my grandfather needs prayer. I know that. I am 99.9% sure that if he were to die today because of his injuries that he would not go to heaven. I should care about that.

God help me to care!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

SyFy vs. SciFi

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

It’s not a big change. Really it’s just a change in spelling. The pronunciation is the same. However, it’s still a name change. There is no longer a Science Fiction Channel that most people refer to as SciFi. There is now a channel that calls itself SyFy.

What is the big deal, you ask, since nothing seems to be changing except spelling? Why would anyone care about the change or dislike it? I can see your point that nothing is really changing, but I would also like you to see mine. The name change leads to the possibility that everything would be changed.

I am an avid viewer of the SciFi Channel. I pretty much have the weekday schedule memorized. In my family, when TGIF died its sad death, we started watching SciFi Fridays. My Fridays were spent watching Stargate: SG-1 (the greatest show of all time) and Stargate Atlantis. When SciFi introduced the new Battlestar Galactica I watched it. When they created Eureka, I watched it. But even before all of this, I remember being in late elementary school and middle school and watching Quantum Leap every week day at 4:00 pm after I got home from school on the SciFi Channel.

Perhaps you see the connection in the shows I watch on SciFi? They are all science fiction. Stargate, Battlestar, Quantum Leap, Star Trek, Doctor Who, SciFi shows them all. You might think that is obvious being that their name was the Science Fiction Channel, but that is my point exactly. They were obligated to show science fiction.

The SciFi Channel doesn’t just show science fiction. They show horror and fantasy. They also like to show Indiana Jones and National Treasure, though I’m not sure how either of those movies fit in. They air Ghost Hunters and other shows about the supernatural. They pretty much air anything they want. This is what I fear in the name change.

Why does it no longer what to claim its science fiction? Because “"Sci Fi" was a barrier to possible viewers and that if the programming is good, the viewers will follow”. Basically, saying its science fiction is not hip and cool, so we’re going to cover it up a little bit, not claim science fiction straight up, so we can get in these other people. Since apparently, good programming is not enough to get over the name.

What I fear from this lack of having science fiction in the name is that the channel will no longer feel obligated to show science fiction. Where else will I be able to watch Stargate? What other channel remembers Sliders was even a show and occasionally air it? Am I really going to have to wait for BBCA to decide to air something because what used to be my science fiction channel is letting Doctor Who slide by?

Now I don’t really think the SciFi Channel is going to degrade so much. Doctor Who is pretty much a hit, who would let that go? Not even SyFy I don’t think, but I am worried that I may see more of what used to be science fiction programming taken up by ridiculous fantasy movies or gory horror movies. It will be like the SciFi Channel usually is during Halloween – kiss science fiction goodbye.

I suppose really I just hate ambiguity. I have this same problem with the name “740” when it comes to the Georgia Tech BCM. 740? What on earth does that mean? Is it a Christian organization? Maybe a band? Maybe a weird club celebrating a certain time of day? I have no idea. The name tells me nothing. Syfy is the same thing. What on earth does that mean? When I watch the Science Fiction Channel I know exactly what I’m getting into. I know what they’re offering me (science fiction) and I know what I want (science fiction). They have a great base of people who want exactly that. Why alienate these people – the people like me who think science fiction actually is cool and aren’t scared of saying it? Why turn your name into a number because you’re afraid the word “Baptist” carries too much of a stigma? I think people appreciate honesty. I’m a Baptist Science Fiction nut. I’m ok with that. Let’s call it the BCM and let’s call it the SciFi channel. Don’t hide who you are. Don’t act like you’re ashamed of what you are. I’m not ashamed. Why are you telling me I should be? Why are you telling me that what I am is not hip or cool when I think it is?

By golly I’m a nerd and proud of it. Nerds have way more fun.

I just wish the world would stop telling me that what I think is ok isn’t. Stop changing your names because you think your old name is uncool. By saying that, you’re calling me uncool (which I admit I may be, but in the world of nerds, I’m pretty cool).

You know what? If a rose was named “redthorn” I doubt it would have the same love connotation.

Guy: Look honey, I got you a redthorn.

Girl: What? Are you saying our love is prickly and full of thorns?

Guy: I should have gone with carnations.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Earring Envy

I don’t wear jewelry very often. Many would say I’m just not the jewelry type, that it doesn’t fit in my personality. If they ever saw me wearing outrageous bling they would do a double take and then die of shock. Jewelry simply isn’t part of my image, but that’s because I don’t wear it. I don’t abstain from jewelry because of personal image or whatever. I don’t wear jewelry for one very good reason: I lose it.

Up until the time I got my high school ring, I could never wear a piece of jewelry, be it ring, necklace, or bracelet, for longer than a month before losing it. I would wear it every day and then suddenly it would be as if the jewelry fairies stole it. It was gone. Like magic.

On my thirteenth birthday my grandmother gave me a lovely gold ring with an amethyst on it, my birthstone. She always gives her granddaughters birthstone rings on their thirteenth birthday. I wore it to church only (couldn’t wear something that nice to school). It was slightly loose; I had odd in-between size fingers. In the middle of the church service one day, my ring fell off and rolled down several pews (ground was definitely sloped). After that, the ring was retired to my mother’s jewelry case, where it still lives today, almost ten years later.

My mom “gave” me her original engagement ring (my dad has gotten her a newer, larger diamond) when I was sixteen. This was never actually entrusted to me. She keeps it in her jewelry case for the day I learn to not lose things.

Junior year in high school I got the cheapest class ring there was. I swore to myself I would wear it every day and not lose it. After all, if I couldn’t manage that I would never manage to wear a wedding ring one day. I wore it every day for nearly four years, until I got my college ring, which I never wear and often can’t find.

I have one necklace, which I got when I turned twenty. I try to wear it every day, but I often forget and often forget where I put it. Usually I wear it for a week straight and then not for a month.

So what does my jewelry forgetfulness have to do with anything? Well, it’s simply to point out that I don’t have an aversion to jewelry. I simply can’t manage to keep it around. But the fact that I don’t wear it makes people suspect I don’t like it. Which is why my friends might be shocked to learn that I have extreme earring envy.

What is earring envy you ask? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. I have always been very jealous of the girls who had pierced ears and could wear cute little frog earrings or long dangly earrings. I have always wished I could have a multitude of earrings that I could wear for all occasions. I love earrings. I think they are beautiful and wonderful. However, most of my life my ears have been dreadfully bare.

If I like earrings so much, why don’t I just get my ears pierced? Well, my mom had this rule that we could not get our ears pierced until we were eleven. The day I turned eleven, I was sitting in a chair at the local Claire’s ready to conquer my great fear of pointy objects piercing my skin for the joy of having earrings. My earlobes were pierced with traditional little studs and I was so happy. I even bought a set of frog earrings, ready to wear them the day my mom said I could take the studs out.

However, my dreams of frog earring were not to be. A few weeks later my ears were infected, which was not very surprising. You see metal allergy runs in my family. My mom had tried to pierce her ears twice, only to have rashes and infections. My little sister had the same situation. My older sister on the other hand was fine. Her ears are pierced and have been for fifteen years. We tried to fight the metal allergy. We went back to Claire’s and explained the situation. They gave me what they said were titanium earrings and that no one was supposed to be allergic to titanium. The infection only got worse. My earrings were taken out, my holes closed up, and my ears remained un-pierced.

So through all of my middle school, high school, and college years my ears were woefully bare. I tried clip-ons, but if you have ever worn clip-ons you know that they are horrible. They are either too tight or too loose. Talk about losing jewelry. Clip-ons rarely make it a week without losing just one somewhere, never to be recovered.

My earring envy grew, especially when my friends would not realize that my ears were never bedazzled with jewelry and would give me earrings for my birthday or Christmas. I would sadly have to store their gift, never able to wear them.

I would go to jewelry stores with my dad when he was picking out a new necklace or ring for my mom and gaze enviously at the multitude of earrings in their shelves. I would never get to where them, whether lovely Na Hoku earrings or tacky Claire’s earrings. None of it would ever adorn my ears because of a stupid allergy.

Then this summer everything changed.

My mom found a jeweler that pierced ears. Not Claire’s, not a scary tattoo parlor. A Jeweler’s. She went in and investigated. The jewelry store was small and owned by a family. Their daughter pierced ears. My mom spoke with the woman, who explained that she had a metal allergy too. She convinced my mom that it would work and my mom got her ears pierced for a third time. Third time’s the charm, right?

Six weeks later, my mom has had no allergic reaction. On July 3, my little sister and I both got our ears pierced.

I’m hesitant to get my hopes up too much. I very much expect that in a few weeks, my ears will break out in a rash and get infected. However, the woman who pierced my ears was very convincing. She said that when Claire’s told us they were piercing my ears with gold jewelry they were only piercing with gold plated jewelry, which is apparently not good enough for those of us with sensitive ears. She pierced my ears with 14 carat gold, which she said should work. She also said I should wear only gold stud earrings for the first year, no wires and no other metals. She said if I did this it would work. She had three piercings in each ear to prove it had worked for her.

I’m not asking for three piercing or a tongue ring or anything. I just want to be able to wear earrings. I don’t think it’ too much to ask. But right now it’s only day three of having pierced ears. I’m following all the rules and trying to keep them from getting infected. I have my fingers crossed, hoping and praying it will work this time.

Maybe I’ll finally get some frog earrings, even if they’ll have to be gold ones from Na Hoku instead of the cheap ones from Claire’s.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Doctor Who

My little sister will swear up and down that she hates science fiction with the exception of Stargate: SG-1. If asked if she likes Doctor Who she would answer with a fervent no.

This summer I'm living with my little sister while I work at my co-op and she goes to summer school at UCF. Yesterday she kept saying she needed to do work, but I wasn't feeling well so I wanted to watch TV. I said I would watch Doctor Who since she didn't like it, therefore, the show would not distract her. She said I could and I preceeded to select one of the episodes I had recorded.

The episode I picked was an episode from the first season of the Doctor Who revival. For those of you who aren't Doctor Who savvy, Doctor Who is a British sci-fi show that started in 1963. It aired from 1963 to 1989. Then in 2005, the British brought it back. The great thing about the revival is that foreknowledge of the original series isn't necessary, but for the people who grew up watching the original, all of the same bad-guys and idiosyncrasies are there. It really is quite awesome.

The main character of Doctor Who is this alien, a Time Lord, called the Doctor. Because the show has been on so long they had to find a way to be able to change actors for the Doctor. The method is that since the Doctor is an alien, instead of dying he "regenerates". This regeneration essentially turns him into a different person. Though he is still the Doctor he has slightly different tastes and idiosyncrasies. And of course, he looks completely different.

What does this have to do with my little sister? Well I picked a first season episode which means the Doctor was played by Christopher Eccelston, the ninth Doctor. My little sister had only ever seen an episode from seasons 2-4, meaning the Doctor was played by David Tennant, the tenth Doctor.

The episode started with Rose talking to the Doctor and my little sister looked up from her work in horror. "What is this?" she demanded. "I thought you were going to watch Doctor Who."

"I am watchng Doctor Who," I responded, confused. Rose and the Doctor were obviously in the Tardis. My sister may not have known much about Doctor Who but she could surely recognize Rose and the Tardis.

"That's not the Doctor!" she exclaimed. "This is wrong! That's not the Doctor!"

"This is the first season, it's the ninth Doctor," I explained.

"I don't know what you're talking about," she responded. "That is not the Doctor." My sister then made me switch to an episode with the Tenth Doctor in it. Then instead of doing work she watched five episodes with me.

I prefer the Tenth Doctor myself. Something about the spaztic, clever protrayal of the Doctor by David Tennant just makes me happy. Apparently, my sister prefers him too. For someone who doesn't like Doctor Who, she sure does have strong feelings about who the Doctor is.

If you've never watched Doctor Who, you should. Find your own favorite Doctor. If you're like me you'll like the Tenth Doctor. If you're like my super awesome best friend, you'll like the Ninth Doctor. If you love robotic dogs, you will be all about the Fourth Doctor.

Yes there are ten doctors. You have a lot of catching up to do.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Letter

To the Lady Who Dispenses Her Paper Towel before Washing Her Hands,

First off, I would like to say I totally understand. I completely get that you’re trying to be conscious of germs and that you don’t want the hands you’re about to clean at the sink dirty by touching the paper towel dispenser. I get it, and I can respect that.

Secondly, I also understand that there aren’t a whole lot of women who use our bathroom. Our bathroom is perhaps the only girl’s bathroom in the world that never has a line. You’re not all that worried about the other people who use the bathroom because there are only like five of us. I get that.

Third, I get that you’re probably a human resources person, since I know the three female engineers besides myself who use our bathroom. I don’t mean to judge or anything, but as a human resource person, I realize you may not think quite as critically as we engineers. Engineers are trained to see problems and try to fix them. I understand that you did not have the horrific experience of being an engineering student and therefore may not see the problem you’re creating.

Let me point it out to you.

After you use the bathroom, you walk up to a paper towel dispenser, touch the handle of the dispenser with your dirty hands, dispense the paper towel to an appropriate length, and then wash your hands. Once your hands are clean, you grab your paper towel without touching the handle you just dirtied and head out of the bathroom with dry clean hands. How nice. How pleasant. That is, how nice, pleasant, and clean for you.

I don’t know if you realize this but out of the 15 women who use our bathroom you are the only one who does this. The rest of us do things in the normal order. We leave the stall, we wash our hands, and we get a paper towel. No early dispensing is necessary. Our hands are clean when we touch the paper towel dispenser’s handle. A handle that would be clean if not for you.

You see in your desire to not catch our germs; you’re actually giving all of us your germs. Do you see what I mean? No. Let me explain.

Our hands are clean when they touch the handle. Clean. Germ free. Or at least as germ free as soap can make them (let’s not consider that 0.01% of germs that survive. They’re unimportant). Therefore, if everyone washed their hands before touching the handle, the handle would never be a hive of germs. Only clean hands are touching it, therefore the handle is clean.

But you, my friend, you who are so germ conscious, are actually ruining the system. Your hands are dirty when you touch the handle. You touch it with unwashed, dirty, germ filled hands. Because of that, the rest of our clean hands are contaminated by your germs. We were clean. You made us dirty.

It’s not like you’re using a public restroom used by hundreds of people. This is a small, daily cleaned restroom used by 15 women. You undoubtedly know all of these fifteen women on a first name basis, except for perhaps the three female engineers. I admit that engineers and human resources people don’t always mix well. However, we engineers are far from a wild card. We’re very methodical, not exactly dirty people. We work in a cube just like you. Our work is just way more mathy, not dirty.

I’m not asking for much from you. I’m just asking that you get with the system. You must have observed that all of the rest of us wash our hands before we get paper towels. Surely you have seen us wash our hands thoroughly. So please, I’m begging you. Stop dispensing the paper towel before you wash your hands. Stop infecting our clean paper towel dispenser with your germs. Please get with the system.

If everyone is with the system, we all will have clean, germ free hands.

Thank you,

Your Bathroom-mate,

Bittersweet Fountain

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Confessions (aka Why My Blog is Anonymous)

I am a writer and an engineer, which means explaining myself verbally isn’t exactly my forte. I have a hard time saying what I mean and truly getting across what I feel in spoken words. Written words on the other hand simply flow from my fingers. I’m not even kidding. When I imagine a scene in one my stories or dream about an event in my life, it’s not real in my mind until I describe it in prose. I can’t imagine a person named James reaching up to grab a jar of peanut butter without thinking, “Wishing he was taller, James stretched to hand out to grab the peanut better his brother had shoved towards the back of the shelf.”

What does this have to do with confessions and why my blog is anonymous, you ask? Easy. I have a hard time getting people to understand what I’m feeling when I’m just saying it and something is not real to me until I write it down.

Part of what I want do in this blog is admit real life problems I have, whether it’s desperately searching for an agent, trying not to snap off the head of every guy at work who treats me like the girl, or figuring out my relationship with God. Part of what the latter looks like is admitting to myself where I’m failing, what I’m doing wrong, and what I really struggle with. I can say things to myself like “I struggle with endless forgiveness; can God really mean 70X70?” but it’s not real to me until I write it down. Hence in this blog I will be writing it down. (Yes, you can expect an article on forgiveness in the future). Just so you know, when I write about a topic I seriously struggle with, it will be titled something like “A Confession: Forgiveness”.

The reason why this blog is sort of anonymous for now is because of this whole confessions thing.

But it’s not really anonymous, you say. Anyone who knows me can clearly discover it’s me by reading. What other girl at Georgia Tech really likes musicals and Stargate? This is true. Any of my friends who read this will instantly know it’s me. But it’s not my friends reading this that concerns me. It’s my family.

I love my family. I really do. You have no idea how much my family means to me. This is why I have so many things I struggle with that are deeply rooted in my family. I don’t want anyone in my family to get hurt. This blog is for me to sort out my feelings about things, not to send a grocery list of all the things I hate or struggle with to my family. Right now the way the blog is, if my parents search my name in Google, they won’t find this blog. I have little worry of any of them finding it accidentally while searching blogspot because neither my parents nor siblings read blogs. (My little sister holds them in a state of high contempt in fact).

This blog is not about anonymously hating on anyone or anything. If you know me and read this blog, it clearly screams me. It’s about not hurting people who would take things personally. It’s about discussing my feelings without causing my mom to break down into tears.

So that’s why this blog is the way it is. Maybe one day I’ll put my name actually on it, but for now, you can just call me Bittersweet.

Unless, of course, you know me personally. Then you can call me Sweetie. :)