A Guide to Apathy in the Face of Tragedy

  1. Remember that apathy is a coping mechanism.
  2. Eat all the chocolate.
  3. In the house. All the chocolate that exists in the house.
  4. Don’t go out to buy more chocolate if it is raining.
  5. If it is not raining, cuddle your cat, your dog, your fish (the fishbowl, don’t take the fish out), or your stuffed animal. Then go out and get more chocolate.
  6. Once you’ve eaten enough chocolate to make you throw up, let loose. Try to aim at the toilet bowl but if that doesn’t work, any surface is fine. Maybe even better. More memorable.
  7. Vomited chocolate looks remarkably like old blood. Brown and sticky and vaguely metallic in your mouth.
  8. Remember that chocolate is a coping mechanism.
  9. Look at the chocolate you threw up. Think of it as blood.
  10. Feel the pain in your stomach. In your throat. The pounding in your head. Imagine that after hours of dancing. Keel over. Pretend you’ve been shot.
  11. Realize that unless you go out and try it, you will never approximate what getting shot is like.
  12. Stop blaming other people.
  13. It’s all your fault.
  14. The apathy.
  15. The tiredness.
  16. The knowledge that you should be sad.
  17. The intellectual response that is being appalled yet functional.
  18. Remember that it is all.
  19. Your.
  20. Fault.
  21. Not the shooting.
  22. Only the aftermath.
  23. Try to imagine a loved one.
  24. Anyone.
  25. Your mom.
  26. Your dog.
  27. The fish.
  28. Picture them getting brutally murdered.
  29. If you feel something, let yourself cry. You’ve accessed it. The place you’ve been hiding all this time.
  30. If you feel nothing, find a box of pins. Or paperclips that you can bend and make pointy.
  31. Insert the pins, the pointy paperclips, anything sharp, into your eyeballs.
  32. See the truth.
  33. See why you’re unable to feel.
  34. Think of your history with violence.
  35. Think of how you’ve learned to be blase.
  36. Because you’ve had to.
  37. Or you’d always be scared.
  38. Afraid.
  39. Terrified.
  40. Remember you used to live this way.
  41. Remember you’re not useful this way.
  42. Remember you are giving into the oppressor when you are not useful.
  43. Remember.
  44. Remember.
  45. Never forget.
  46. Remember.
  47. That is the only way for you, apathetic slug that you are, to feel something.
  48. Cerebrally.
  49. Intellectually.
  50. Until you die a little inside. It’ll happen eventually.
  51. When it does, forgive yourself.
  52. Not too much.
  53. Just enough to keep going.
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Things I Saw Today

-Three kittens playing with their mother’s tail.
-A man wearing a back-brace that looked kind of like a corset.
-Youtube videos of one of my heroes.
-Blog posts that have been open in the tab-bar at the top of my browser for days.
-The park outside my house, absolutely deserted because it was so freaking hot.
-“Bridesmaids,” the new Judd Apatow film.

Once in a while, I like making an actual effort to remember the day I’ve had. It’s refreshing.

Birthday Wishes

I wish…
That I were thirty instead of twenty-one.
That my hair was naturally ginger instead of the weird shade of brown-blonde that it is.
That I was naturally skinny without ever feeling the urges of an eating disorder rule my life.
That I manage to support myself, at least partly, with writing.
That I find a comfortable niche for myself in life.
That I keep the friends I have and love.
That I never stop loving books.
That I become a crazy cat-lady.
That I have a good year.
That I sleep well.
That the people I love continue loving me back.
That Harry Potter was a real person.
That I could have more hours in each day specifically in order to read.
That Israel weren’t so hot.
That Johnny Depp, Davey Havok, and Darren Criss were close, personal friends.
That I could get through J. R. R. Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings.”

I could keep writing this list forever, adding random wishes for past, present and future. But the most important thing right now, on this relaxing, lovely birthday is that I recognize and appreciate every bit of what I do have. Cheesy? Corny? Yes. True? That too.

I’m Back

So. Here’s what needs to be said:

1. I’ve been writing like a fiend. I’ve completed my second novel, entitled (rather lamely,) The Empress’ Assassin. I don’t know if it’s any good.

2. I’ve missed writing on this blog more than I can say. Especially lately. Now that November is over, I’m back for good. Since I don’t have a current work-in-progress, I’m going to spend all my writing time on publishing stuff here.

3. I still – STILL! – don’t know whether or not my college will allow me back in the upcoming semester. I’m truly disappointed with the way they’ve handled the whole situation. If it weren’t for the fact that Sarah Lawrence College has incredible teachers and an amazing set of intelligent students, I would seriously consider trying to get into one of the many other schools that accepted me. Can you tell that I’m resentful? Hmph.

4. Sadly, I won’t reach my goal of reading 144 books in a year. I’m only on book #116 now, and it’s December 1st already. Still, for the first year ever I’ve kept a reading list, which I’ll publish on December 31st.

5. I’m vacuuming all the books in my house. Yes, I know, this is insane, but they’re all incredibly dusty and the shelves ought to be cleaned properly. I’ve started in my room, and have rediscovered scores of old children’s books. I found my beautiful¬†illustrated¬†Cinderella and Snow-White, all my lovely Patricia Polacco books, my Dr. Seuss and Charles Schulz… I could go on endlessly.

6. I just finished rereading A Little Princess, one of my favorite books ever. Strangely, I started reading Vanity Fair today and found curious similarities. Then again, as my wonderful mother pointed out, private boarding schools were the popular and proper education in England for quite a long period of time, so maybe it’s not so odd.

7. I actually have nothing further to say right now, so in lieu of actual information, this seventh item on my silly list will simply bid you all a lovely Wednesday!

Ten Things

1. I’m still alive.

2. I’ve been horribly neglectful.

3. The reason for the above is that I’ve been either writing furiously and feverishly on one of my two projects (yes, there are two now, but one needs a composer… Does anyone know a composer?) or tearing my hair out, quite literally, with frustration at not managing to write.

4. After years of reluctance, I’ve finally started watching the Harry Potter films. I’m a huge fan of the books – they changed my life. I might not have become such a reader if not for them. But now, after so long of refusing to watch the films, I’ve agreed to. The first part of the seventh film is coming out in September, I believe, and damn if I don’t want to have something Harry Potter-ish to look forward to. I’ve just finished watching the third film, and I must say that more than anything else, I’m finding great hilarity in them.

5. I do hope that starting today I’ll stop being quite so neglectful.

6. I went to a perfectly marvelous cabaret on Saturday. It was perfectly marvelous. You see, we do have some creative people in Israel!

7. I’m currently reading The Picture of Dorian Gray.

8. And Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

9. I’m hoping to start taking voice lessons. Hopefully this will lead me back to guitar as well, and eventually to drama too. I know it’s ridiculous, but I can’t help it – I feel the need to try and be creative in every way possible. I want to take drawing lessons, too. *sigh*

10. It’s 1:27 AM in Israel, I’m tired, and I’m going to bed. Goodnight, lovelies.

Reading List

McKenzie inspired me to do this, as well as a friend I spend time with this week. I’ve always been a big reader, but I’ve never kept track of the books I’ve read. I simply look on my shelves, and I know which books I’ve read and which I haven’t. I’ve never, so far, had a doubt as to whether or not I’ve read a certain book, so I’ve never had a problem of deciding which books I should buy when I go to a bookstore. But I thought that this year, for fun more than anything, I’ll keep track.

Behold, the list of books I’ve read so far in 2010:

  1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  2. Death in Holy Orders by P. D. James
  3. Gone by Jonathan Kellerman
  4. Obsession by Jonathan Kellerman
  5. Death of An Expert Witness by P. D. James
  6. The Mozart Season by Virginia Euwer Wolff [reread]
  7. The Secret Life of Amanda K. Woods by Ann Cameron [reread]
  8. Three Junes by Julia Glass
  9. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  10. Dupont Circle by Paul Kafka-Gibbons
  11. Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint
  12. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Back, With a List

In the whirlwind of movement between family members, boxes and different US states, I never managed to write like I’d planned. Despite that, I would like to remember some of the interesting, hilarious, eye-opening and strange things I encountered on this trip. I shall now compile a list of the memorable things, more or less in order, and I hope to elaborate on some of them in the coming days. Ah, it feels good being back in my own home with my fingers on my own keyboard and my tired eyes looking at my own computer screen. And so I present The List of Things I Thought About and Did on My Trip [also known from here on out simply as The List]:

1. Chicago. Chicago is amazing. Simply being in that city was incredible.

2. Tiny dogs are ridiculous, and I hated them with a passion until meeting the three belonging to my cousin. I still think small dogs are ridiculous and more like wind-up toys than animals, but I no longer hate their sweet little hearts for it.

3. Second City e.t.c, the Chicago-based comedy group, are incredible. Their current show, titled Brother, Can You Spare Some Change? had me giggling for days. In fact, my mother and I constantly refer to puppies raining from the sky and how Obama will somehow make smoking good for you and burst into fresh waves of titters.

4. Helping one’s brother move all his things from one apartment to another via U-Haul is an interesting experience that results in soar arms, immense self-pride, and, in our case, travelling across five states in the space of twelve hours, thus making me that much closer to understanding just how large the USA is.

5. You know those haunted houses that are always set up at fairs or in amusement parks? The good ones make you feel like you’re never getting out of them, and even though you know the whole thing is kind of silly you still have a sense of fear and impending doom tugging at your rational thinking. Ikea is just like that.

6. I learned never to buy flat-pack furniture when it’s on sale. Doing so results in frustration and an understanding that you have been duped into buying something that is never going to be put together right because it was built faulty from the beginning – thus allowing such a sale of the damaged products to ensue.

7. Southern Hospitality isn’t just a myth. It’s real. It’s also sure as hell a lot more sincere than the friendliness of the West Coast. Seriously, people in Virginia are SO NICE.

8. Despite the people being nice in Virginia, it seems the tow-trucks are evil beasts with wills of their own. The biggest hazard in a certain county there is that your car will be towed for certain unless you have all the right stickers, badges and other nick-knacks hung in the correct places around the car.

9. The Vietnam Memorial and The Lincoln Memrial in Washington D.C. both moved me much more than I ever expected they would.

10. I saved item ten for the realization that has struck me once again now that I’m back home. No matter how well suited I thought I was to write in my current state of extreme grogginess and jet-lag, I have been proved wrong.

On that note, I hope I will be forgiven for the oddness and inconsistency of my haphazard list that doesn’t seem to much of a list at all. I bid you all a good night, and I will promptly fall into my own bed and attempt to read, even though I know quite well I will be asleep with the book on my face within minutes.