2014 was a good year for me! Especially when it’s considered next to 2013 and 2012, which were varying degrees of rubbish. I feel like I finally got to a point where I’m happy with myself and the direction in which my life is moving. Some 2014 highlights, ranging from the significant to the mundane: (more…)
I’d like to start this post off by publicly apologizing to my mother, who has been trying to convince my family to go to the Grand Canyon for years. Turns out that the Grand Canyon is amazing. I’m sorry, Mom. I take back what I said about it being “just a big hole in the ground.”
(I do, however, maintain that Niagara Falls is pretty lame.)
My friends Allison and Kelsey moved out to Phoenix in July, and without them my life has been joyless and bleak, how dare they leave me here, etc etc. In all seriousness, their lives are amazing and I’m super happy for them: they have new jobs in their fields, a new apartment, and two new cats. I miss their faces a lot, I was so glad that I got to head out to Arizona and spend the weekend with them over my “fall break” (having Columbus Day off does not a fall break make, Pitt!). While they were at Grove City I got to know Allison and Kelsey’s roommate Mandy, who is from Phoenix and is living there as well now, so this weekend was like three friends for the price of one! WHAT A DEAL.
This post is not actually going to be anything of substance, but I wanted to say that this blog is still A Thing That Is Happening, even if nothing is… actually… happening. I’ve got a dozen half-written posts in the pipeline (Music! Books! FANEXPO CANADA!) and I have sworn on the grave of my hermit crab Miles that I will finish them soon, or at least soonish.
The thing is: I am swamped with school. Crazy swamped. Do you know how many books I ordered for this semester? ALMOST FORTY. I’ve been reading so much that my eyeballs are turning into raisins. This is not to say that I’m not really enjoying this semester, because I definitely am (that’s another upcoming post!) but man, being a full-time student again is intense. I’m also back at The Pitt News, moving commas around and yelling about coordinating conjunctions, and I’m working on applying for various internships (Marvel! If I get this internship I will literally swoon, like a Victorian lady who has just discovered her fiancé’s mad attic-wife.) and grad programs and such. And then, in my downtime, I’m trying to write some things for fun, which will probably never see the light of day but which bring me much personal joy.
The moral of the story is that I have not much time to blog, what with being crushed slowly by a massive pile of required reading and all. But I will return! Just sit tight for a while while I get my life under control.
Finals are almost over — I only have a paper and an exam, both Thursday, so I got off really easy! — which means it’s time to start thinking about what I’m going to be doing with all my free time over the summer.
Oh wait, that’s right. I’ll be taking four classes. GROSS.
Even if I’m still in school a lot of the time, it won’t be all the time, so I still want to make the most of the summer. I’ve got a few specific things planned out — friends’ graduations, the Haunted Pennsylvania Road Trip, Puerto Rico with the fam — but I’m taking a leaf out of Jess’s book and writing down some more general ideas of things to do.
My dad travels most of the week for his job, and I’ve been on his case for years about taking me along with him with no success. But he finally caved! He had a conference in New York earlier this month — I tagged along and had a MARVELOUS TIME.
My M.O. for vacations is “learn as many things as possible,” to the unending frustration of my siblings, who prefer things like — horrors! — beaches and winter sports. Zagorski family vacations have been, historically, a huge struggle of balancing interests, so I was excited to have a chance to do whatever I wanted without worrying about anybody else’s plans. When we got into town on Thursday I basically threw my backpack in the hotel room and turned right around and headed for the Museum of Modern Art. (more…)
I’m taking a class on young adult literature called Representing Adolescence, and I’ve been really lukewarm on almost everything we’ve read so far. We’re almost halfway through the semester and I’ve only really had strong feelings about The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, which for me is a Very Important Book. Otherwise, though, the books have been decidedly lackluster, so after spending a week aggressively defending Frankie I’ve been pretty quiet in class.
This is about to change, however, since we’re starting to discuss The Fault in Our Stars at the end of the week.
I have a lot of problems with the things that John Green chooses to be, both as a writer and a human. Eh, maybe not a lot, but definitely some, but considering that the general consensus is that the sun is located somewhere in the vicinity of Green’s rectum I am rather alone in my opinions. This is not to say that I think he’s a bad person or a bad writer — he’s perfectly adequate at both. I just take issue with the way he writes gender and his massive cult of personality, among other things. In the past I’ve had a lot of difficulty expressing just what it is about him that bugs me, so in the interest of clarifying my arguments I’ve decided to reread all of his books.
For the purposes of this project I’m sticking to his five novels: Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, Will Grayson Will Grayson (with David Levithan), and The Fault in Our Stars. I’ve read all of them already, but I don’t think I’ve read any of them more than once, and haven’t read most of them for many years. I’m going to reread them in order of publication, although I might have to skip ahead to TFIOS to finish it in time for Friday’s class, and I’m hoping to get a feel for how Green has developed as a writer. I’m also looking to see if the issues I have are valid for his entire body of work or if they’re isolated to certain novels.
Gonna try to read and recap one novel a day this week. Nothing like hitting the ground running.
ETA: Okay, one novel a day is definitely not going to happen. Revised schedule: TFIOS this week because class, then double back to Alaska and go from there.
A few of my peers — that word seems impersonal but I don’t know how accurate a descriptor “friends” is for the people at Mizzou who I used to know — have been keeping personal blogs for a while now and I’ve found them interesting. Mostly I appreciate their ability to take control of what was probably originally a writing project foisted on them by a journalism professor, but they’ve also been turning out some really great writing. They’ve been writing about all kinds of things — college and work and travel and journalism and feminism and relationships and internships — and it feels genuine, which is really appealing to me. So I’m gonna try it!
I’ve always had a weird compulsion to shout about mundane details of my life to the void of the internet (this is why I love Twitter so much) but I never committed to proper blogging, probably because I never felt like it jived with the kind of personal writing I wanted to do. Blogging seemed like something serious and un-fun, and my attempts at keeping blogs for classes were halfhearted at best and outright pathetic at worst. Then there’s this persistent idea that putting up anything personal online will destroy your future. Nobody will hire you after finding something you wrote about that time you got stranded for 48 hours at Chicago O’Hare with food poisoning, apparently, so you’d better just post another bland picture of your tomato plants with a note about how glad you are that it’s spring. I don’t know how much of that is a general societal anxiety about the permanence of the internet and how much of it is j-school-fueled paranoia, but either way I don’t like it. It feels like hiding. So I’m using my name for this blog. I am at least 80% sure that this will not result in me being denied employment or axe murdered by an internet stalker.
I’m not entirely sure what the goal — or objective, or theme, or whatever — of this blog is going to be yet, or if it even needs one, but I think it’s going to be decidedly personal rather than focusing on any kind of project or subject. I’m kind of isolated socially these days, what with living at home, so I think it’ll be good for me to have somewhere to talk about life. Also — ugh, this is unavoidable — there’s gonna be some depression talk, because it is a Thing That Happens. Wow, this paragraph is just sad, let’s move on.
There might also be reviews here, maybe? I’ve been trying to write more reviews over on Goodreads but my opinions on media are not limited to books, so feelings about music and movies and television and comics and whatnot will probably work their way on here. Most of my internet presence up to this point has largely consisted of me having shouty opinions about things and I seriously doubt that this blog will escape that.
Hm, what else to write about? I’m getting into my major and liking it a lot. I’m trying to plan my Haunted Pennsylvania Road Trip (Pittsburgh to Gettysburg to Philadelphia to Centralia and back). I’ve been teaching myself how to draw and I’m actually pretty pleased with my progress. I might get another hermit crab soon. I’ve started writing (fan)fiction again and it’s been rough but fun. I’ve been making an effort to dress better. I’m thinking about trying my hand at writing a comic script but I’m not sure what about. Not a lot of big things are happening, but a lot of small things are. I think this blog is for small. Big feelings about small things.
What I think I’m looking for is just do to some more long-form personal writing. Twitter’s too short and Tumblr’s too casual. The important thing is, though, that I don’t want to ever feel like this is something I have to do, or like I have some kind of responsibility to be interesting. This should be something that I do for me. If other people like it that’s great, but if not, whatever.
…okay, it’s two in the morning, I have five more pages on “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” due in 10 hours and I would rather walk over hot coals than write another sentence about chivalry. This post might be glorified procrastination, but my blogging intentions are sincere!
Stop looking at me like that.