nosy

I want to start by saying that it isn’t my fault.

Because, you know. It isn’t.

Buuuut…this girl got fired at the store I started at. Because she applied for a promotion, and they gave it to her. That would have been great, except that she had just moved into an apartment with one of the employees. And she lied about that. Aaand…they didn’t ask me about her when they called and talked to me about one of our people who applied for the same spot, because if they had, I could have saved them the trouble and told them. (Because it was Toni she moved in with.) And the other manager at our store who they did ask about this girl didn’t know about this living arrangement, so after we talked and I mentioned it to her, she relayed the message along with an apology for recommending since she hadn’t known…

Long story short, they fired the girl. For lying.

And I feel guilty…but…she should have known better. And I’m kind of glad it happened so soon, because I feel like if it had gone on for a long while, and Toni hadn’t spoken up, she could have lost her job, too.

The more I think on it, the more uncomfortable I am with this rule. Because as much as I totally understand the reasons behind it, I feel like it’s made us all much, much more interested in each others’ personal lives. And that’s awkward.

Like reporting your neighbors for being communists.

innards

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Been an interesting few days. Thursday was supposed to be my day off, but it didn’t go very well. Around noon, I woke up and was feeling alright. Read for a long time (since I tend to do things like that instead of actually get out of bed upon waking…) and then I tried to take a shower. That was around 3ish, I think.

Terrible, terrible idea.
I was almost done, and then I started to feel faint, and sick and in terrible pain…it was so bad I wound up sitting down on the bathroom floor for almost an hour, and weeping because I could not move, and I was in desperate need of water…but I couldn’t get up to get some from the sink. So, so close, and I couldn’t get it.

What a wretched situation.

It finally subsided a little, and I managed to dress and crawl back into bed with my heating pad. And I kept telling myself I would not get sick. I would not. And my body overruled me, and started retching. There wasn’t much to throw up since it had been over 12 hours since I’d eaten dinner, but still.

I am lucky to not live alone, and that I had my phone at hand, since my mom brought me a bottle of water. By then it was about 430…and I managed to call into work and get my Friday morning shift covered. Felt like a cretin, but didn’t dwell on it long. Went back to sleep for a few hours. Woke up again close to 8pm, and had that sub-human feeling one gets when one has been both ill and asleep for an ungodly amount of time. (I slept for about 14-15 hours that day.) Checked my temperature and it was about 99.6.

Had some rice and checked my temperature again because I was feeling cold and trembly. Was 101. I think I tried to read–I am ashamed that it took me an hour to get through Pickman’s Model, which is about 12 pages long–and I went back to sleep again and brought my grand total of sick-induced sleep up to 22 hours.

I am a sleep marathon champion.

I cannot remember much of what I did yesterday. Felt feverish, off and on, but the highest temperature I had was 98 even, and I figured it would go away by today. Went for a walk and saw all kinds of things…deer, and bats, and owls, and a snake that I almost mistook for a weirdly cracked bit of pavement in the pathway. I suppose he was trying to warm himself, but I chased him off the path so he wouldn’t get run over by a bicycle. Probably not smart of me, since after looking at pictures, he may have been a copperhead…the markings are right, but he was more of a purplish-grey than a red-brown. I don’t know. I just didn’t want him to get run over. *shrug*

I still feel guilty about a snake I found once who had been partially chopped by some hapless dude mowing the grass next to a path I was walking on. Poor snake was just laying there with his guts oozing out, and writhing in pain…I thought seriously about killing it with a rock so it wouldn’t suffer…but I couldn’t do it. I kept telling myself that it was because I didn’t like how it would have looked to the elderly couple who was visible in the distance…I was certain they’d know I had killed it, but would overlook the fact that it had clearly been run over with a lawnmower…and I had to go back the way I’d come to get home, so I would have to pass them…me in my all black and chains and spiked collar… >_<

So I let it suffer. And I wish I hadn't, but I didn't know what else to do…which is how I ended up with a cat less than a month later, because when I saw this tiny, one-pound kitty by the road, all I could think of was the snake…and how I couldn't let the kitty get run over so that his innards would be squished out in the road and I would pass by in a day or so, and see the little patches of black and white fur and know that was my fault because I did not help him when I could have done something…

I'm just rambling now. I should stop.

In my next post, I should tell you how I found out today that I accidentally got someone fired.

books read Sept. ’13 – Sept. ’14

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Past time for me to post the list of what I’ve read this past year. More than I thought I had, apparently. Lots of short weird tales, lots of fantasy, and a smattering of Restoration-period literature because I never got rid of some of my college textbooks and am trying to decide if they contain anything I’d be interested in reading again.

* Marks the books I was recommended or given.
± Marks books I would like to get rid of (message me if any of them look interesting, since I might still have them and could send them to you)
#Marks my personal favourites from this batch

1. The Year of The Flood – Margaret Atwood*
Continuation of the book Oryx and Crake. Introduces the apocalyptic world from different characters’ POV. Not as good as original.

2. MaddAddam – Margaret Atwood
Completion of Oryx and Crake story. Retains some interest in storytelling modes, but some of the incidents…come on. I was disappointed in the extreme.

3. The Beautiful Thing that Awaits Us All – Laird Barron#
Satanists on backwoods safaris, cults built around creepy crawlies, and a mockery of one of my other favourite authors doing readings of his own work via puppets? Yes, please.

4. Oroonoko – Aphra Behn
A supposedly true 18th century story about an African prince who gets sold into slavery by his evil uncle. Interesting, from a historical perspective, but not really my thing.

5. Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
I was too beset by flashbacks to Spanish classes where I spent hours translating this story. Could not really enjoy it.

6. Roxanne – Daniel Defoe
Man. This was annoying. Like I needed a reminder that I am terrible at feminism…someone could pay me to sympathize with independent female characters who want to be free from the bonds of society and I would probably still find it difficult. (If you’d like to pay me, we could make an experiment of it though. I’d be game.)

7. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn*
Ugh! I wanted to murder both of the main characters. I hate them. Don’t read this book if you rely too much on establishing sympathies with characters.

8. The Ocean at The End of The Lane – Neil Gaiman
This was like…Coraline with some more realistic touches. It was too morbid to really be cute, but that’s kind of what I like about Gaiman anyway.

9. Runemarks – Joanne Harris
A story about a spunky misfit girl who gets in touch with Norse gods and magic stuff. There was a really interesting development with who her enemies are, but overall the story wasn’t my thing. I gave it to one of my employees who’s really into mythology, but is still young enough to identify with the main character.

10. Intimidations and Ultimatums for All Occasions – Knock Knock*±
I thought this would be funny, but it isn’t. I keep it on my bookshelf in hopes that I will one day find a use for it as a conversation starter.

11. Let The Right One In – John Ajvide Lindqvist*
Morbid. Morbid in a way that I don’t really care for…but it’s one of the better translated stories I’ve read.

12. The Book of Cthulhu II – Ed. Ross E. Lockhart#
I was disappointed that I’d already read the opening and closing stories in other anthologies, but there were some good ones in between those two. I felt genuinely creeped out and stayed awake to go to bed when it was getting light out. Because of this book.

13. The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron – Ed. Ross E. Lockhart#
Not as good as the Cthulhu anthology…but there was some decent stuff. I liked the concept of telling a story through emails that one author did…all the stuff that gets insinuated by email addresses and dates and subject lines, but not actually said.

14. The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories – H.P. Lovecraft (Ed. S.T. Joshi)#
I didn’t like the shorter stories—although I am convinced that in elementary school, there was a teacher who read to us The Outsider…what that teacher was thinking—but the longer ones grew on me in such a way that I am torn between wanting to hop into my Tardis and go punch Lovecraft in the face for adding so much seemingly pointless wandering around New England…or ask him to read them to me himself, because it is clearly the sort of thing that would be best heard from someone who really enjoys what he is talking about. Maybe it would make more sense to me. At least I finally understand a lot of the other stories that were derived from his work.

15. Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin#
I was afraid this would not be worth my time. I was wrong. But…I don’t know who to hate and who to root for…Martin has reportedly said he wants readers to feel genuinely scared for his characters and to not buy into the idea that the main character can’t be killed…but that also has the opposite effect on someone like me who starts just expecting everyone to be murdered, and can’t get into the books quite as much for lack of any character to ground them. Still worth a read.

16. Clash of Kings – George R.R. Martin#

17. Storm of Swords – George R.R. Martin

18. Feast of Crows – George R.R. Martin

19. Dance with Dragons – George R.R. Martin

20. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
This book is ridiculous. There’s no other way to put it. The end was depressing though, for how ridiculous the rest of it was. I did not enjoy it.

21. A Modest Proposal — Jonathan Swift
Man. Sometimes we get to talking about morbid things…the question of how you would ever know if you were served human meat…and older people always want to trot out Soylent Green as their go-to story about cannibalism…and I be like, “Soylent Green? Please. Ever read Jonathan Swift?” Of course not. Remember Tantalus and Pelops? No. Ugh. #EnglishMajorProblems

compliments

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Having people remark on my getting a haircut is weird. Probably because I didn’t get a real haircut for, oh, the first 20 years of my life.

I’m not used to it.

It wasn’t until a few days ago though, that I really felt weirded out by it. I can accept my sisters and my mom discussing whether or not I am better looking with long or medium or short hair, and Jester asking me to turn my head different ways so he can inspect the weirdness of how short it is now. And I can accept my employees and the others on our management team remarking that I got it cut. Or that it looks nice. Or that they like it. That’s all normal, I suppose.

It’s not until you come across that one person who sees you after this (truthfully not all that drastic) haircut, and whose jaw actually drops and who continues to look at you as though you are a completely different person, even after they’ve seen you several times, and who finally announces when you are trying to discuss something unrelated, that they are “all about that haircut”…

It’s a little creepy. You know. Just a bit.
Or maybe it only feels creepy because I don’t know how else to feel about it. I mean, I am genuinely unaccustomed to receiving compliments about my person, which I admit I always put down to my not being very attractive…but what do I know.

Haircuts, man…

That’s all. I guess. I had something else…about talking to my cat, and tea. Lame, right? Right.

Means it’s time for me to try and sleep.

sink

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Time to hop into my Tardis and go back into the past and give younger me a good shaking.

That me is an idiot, and shouldn’t’ve gotten the opportunity to ruin things for later me. But that was when I was blissfully unaware of my compulsive tendencies and my susceptibility to obsession.

Thinking about that book’s got me thinking about all the old obsessions, and how I really haven’t gotten over any of them…just learned ways to push them down or mask them (to myself…as if they were ever perceptible to others. *shudder*).

Forget about a double edged sword though. It’s more of a multi-blade weapon. Like a trident. Or maybe not. Because of the swimming issue. Maybe like an axe. One of the kind with a spike at the top.

Until I started thinking about the book again, I had even forgotten about the whole swimming thing, which was the only time I remember arguing with him. About whether I should know how to swim so I could rescue a drowning person. Like beginner-level swimming would make me capable of doing that anyway.
When we were little, my mom always harped on us about life jackets because she said she didn’t swim well enough to save us if we fall in while we were boating.

Ugh. What a stupid conversation.
That was…what?

Eight years ago? I still feel mad when I think about it. I wanted to hurt him. Like the fault would lie with me if she did something dumb and I couldn’t rescue her. That oaf.

I wish I hadn’t had the whole conversation recast by that book. I see too many metaphors. Like how I probably wouldn’t’ve gotten mad if I didn’t think he was right. He must’ve known that though. I gave too much away, I’m sure. Hadn’t recast my character enough to cover it up at that point.

It makes me so mad. So mad. Because that’s what I let happen to Toni. I should have been intelligent enough to see what could happen, but I didn’t. And I will always feel guilty about that and wish I had done something…and she hadn’t drowned…I hasten to add that she’s not dead…metaphors, you know…but she is not the same now. And I could have stopped that.

At least Toni said things about it. We had a conversation.

She didn’t. Just watched silently while we argued about a dumb thing about her that was never in danger of happening. Ugh. Why not say something? In your own defense, maybe? To show that you’re not the idiot he made you out to be? Give yourself a voice for heaven’s sake. Why just solemnly watch our back and forth, and–what?–did she not see I was getting angry? Did she not see he was being an ass? Maybe that’s why she said nothing…

I would probably not be inclined to think that was a stupid reason if it weren’t for the fact that if left me having to defend myself to such a bully. Because he absolutely was one.

Murder me, please. Whoever invents the time machine. This is all too ridiculous to be borne!

Maybe I should write a story about that bloody conversation. I’ve turned it over in my mind plenty often enough and made so many assumptions and inferences that I could probably do it. Pages and pages about one conversation and one unreliable, biased as hell narrator. And a character who never even speaks! It’s got all the things that make up an idiotically obsessive story. (ahh. my iTunes just switched from classical to industrial…way to destroy my train of thought.)

You know what’s funny, in an awful way? That as much as I want to throttle HP Lovecraft for having his characters traipse all over New England, mooning over old-timey such-and-suches…I’d really like to go do it myself. When did that happen to me? (probably when Toni and I started hanging about in graveyards) And if I did. Well. Good for me.

The bridge is in Massachusetts, after all. I could get my rubbing, just like I wanted.

Ah, I’m such a terrible, stupid creature.

worst

Being sick is. The worst, I mean.

Or…feeling sick. Since I am probably not sick.
I just made the terrible error of thinking I’d be okay if I ate some fries, and now I want to lay down and die because I 100% cannot eat fried foods anymore.

All I want to do is sleep. But I can’t, because I feel like vomiting. But I don’t want to do that, so I’m just trying to master it. Which I will probably give up on soon and then lie there and whimper and possibly shed very small tears of misery and frustration.

And I swear, I will never eat another fry again.
Ever.

nomination

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I am nominating myself for a manager of the year award, as I’ve now spent almost an entire shift’s worth of time reading and revising this girl’s applicant essay for a dental program.

Who knew a single page could be adjusted so many times? (Who am I kidding–I did this nonsense almost every day of my college time…)

But seriously.
An award.
Think about it.

disappointments

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This is terrible.

I’ve been reading through a collection of Lovecraft stories, and…well…I’m just not enjoying them that much. They seem…I don’t know…like they are lacking something.

I don’t feel much of even the artificial dread or paranoia that I’ve always assumed went hand-in-hand with his stories. I suppose that just means the authors I’ve been enjoying whose works are based loosely in Lovecraft’s have simply focused more on those details…or that perhaps Lovecraft has been vastly outdone, despite the huge following he seems to have retained.

How disappointing. But still, I’m glad I got into this type of story, because there are so many of them, and I’ve liked a lot of the spin-off tales I’ve read.

On a different subject: I am getting irritated about the reviews and comments I’ve read about The Sound and the Fury adaptation I still want to see.

Everyone who’s written about it says it falls utterly short of the book, but what else did anyone expect? That is nearly a universal truth of movie adaptations. Still…even if I make allowances for all of that whining they’re doing about this thing we already should expect to be true, how do you expect to retain any rights to complain when you clearly don’t even know the characters in the story anyway???

There is a clip from the film that’s less than two minutes long, and the writer of one article had viewed this clip (not the entire film, I think, but I cannot recall), and complained in their writing that the actor playing Jason looked like a rat-type caricature from an animated film…how on earth can you complain about that when that is exactly how he is described in the books??? With one of those ridiculous hairstyles that has even got the inwardly curving curls on the forehead that make him look like he’s got devil horns, and an evil little moustache? Ugh. I probably wouldn’t even remember that if we hadn’t talked about it in my Hemingway/Faulkner class, and if I hadn’t seriously considered writing about it for part of one of my papers.

Then some stupid person in the comments on that article was going on about changing the gender of characters, and how Quentin was one of the brothers and the girl Jason should have been yelling at in the clip was really the sister, Caddy…

WRONG!
Apparently that person doesn’t remember the book as well as they say they do, because in the sections where Jason is an adult, the only living Quentin is Caddy’s daughter. Stupid commenter. How can you even begin to berate a film adaptation for not living up to your expectations when you forget such a HUGE detail?

Then there was a second article that annoyed me because they talked about Jason being the eldest brother, when that is not the case…if it were, Jason would have been the one sent to Harvard, not Quentin, and the whole Jason character would have turned out differently.

That’s a little easier to forgive though, since Jason is named after their father, and usually that’s a tradition that gets foisted on the eldest son…
I’m not as okay with their assessment of Quentin as being “a drag”. I mean, come on…at no point in the book is he a fun character. Not at all. So I can’t even guess why they are surprised by his characterization being that way…I mean, did they forget what happens to him? That seems like the opposite of fun. But maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. Maybe they meant “a drag” in some other way that I am not thinking of. Boring? I don’t know.

I still want to see this movie. I’m sure it won’t be amazing because you can’t really depict it in film format–it’s barely understandable in print–but I am curious. And at least I actually remember the book, unlike some of these stupid people.

*irritated about things nobody cares about*

lists

Feeling that restless violence that is Wolf building up again. All those things that were traits of that me…the acute awareness of the moon, and the desire to prowl at night…the irrational need to consume meat products…

And the need to form lists and categorize things to take my mind off of it.

We saw a list that someone who used to be a good friend of mine posted on FB, and have been thinking about it all day. What our list would be.

It was supposed to be the top ten books that have influenced you, and I figured it would be hard to decide…and it is, but not for the reasons I thought. I assumed I’d think of more than 10 books that have had a profound effect on me, but that’s not so. I’ve actually had trouble thinking of ten.

Still, here is what I’ve got, in the order which they were introduced to me:

1. The Hobbit.
I have only a vague recollection of reading this book when I was maybe 8-9 years old…but I remember crying when Thorin died, and I remember really wishing I had a ring that made me invisible. Not a lot to go off of, but this book marked a shift in my reading stories mostly about animals to reading a greater assortment of books.

2. The Lord of The Rings.
I remember taking a very large chunk of my fourth grade year to read through these books, since I wasn’t that fast of a reader at that point, especially with a story that complex and with words that I couldn’t work out because they weren’t in English. But I remember finishing this story and feeling what was profoundly sad for a nine year old, and not knowing quite why…but I felt like it was important that I read those books again when I was bigger and could understand them better.

3. Harry Potter. (which, of course, I must include as a complete series)
What can I say? I grew up with these books, and was part of that group that started out with Harry being our age, and finished the series when we were only just a bit older than him. It was a great progression of character development, and as I read the books, I remember thinking how clever it was to get readers thinking about not just the story in the book, but about the characters and how things they do affect plot lines years afterward…and how it was a very well concealed way to get readers to think about people they know as characters who are vastly more complex than their surfaces let on…

4. Oryx and Crake.
This book was morbidly fascinating for me. Any time you mix morbid stories with whimsical nonsense that is supposed to be reassuring and turns out to be anything but, it’s interesting to me…but this book had the added bonus of weaving a mythology unique to the story’s universe, and great characterization to boot. I was kind of conflicted about it, because I felt like there was a lot of sex going on and I hadn’t encountered much of that in the books I tended to like, but all the good points of Oryx and Crake won me over. Mostly the narrative characterization. For all the reading I do, I don’t encounter that many characters whose internal monologues make me feel like I really understand them. I have a suspicion that this is the first book I really got interested in that had an obsessive narrator.

5. The Sun Also Rises.
I think I liked this one so much for ultimately the same reason as I liked Oryx and Crake–the obsessive narrator–but I felt like this one was different because the narrator is much less explicitly expressive, and there’s no imminent doom approaching…it was a much quieter, more controlled obsession. I think this book gave me a better appreciation for things unsaid, which is a big departure from the type of writing I typically enjoy, that gives you details out the wazoo.

6. The Sound and The Fury.
Mmm…I developed a bit of an obsession in college, regarding obsessive narrators. Quentin Compson is one of my favourite fictional characters, and he doesn’t even narrate the whole book. The book as a whole introduced me to the idea of stream-of-consciousness narration, which did and still does appeal to me a lot. Incidentally, there is a movie adaptation coming out sometime soon (I can’t find a definite release date), and I’m really curious as to how they’ll try and put it together. For the copious amount of detail given to each narrator’s thoughts, there is precious little action in the story…I have no idea how that can be accurately translated to the screen. But I really want to see this movie.

7. Interview with The Vampire
I went for a long time thinking that I had seen a movie adaptation of this book, and that it was really stupid (I have no idea what that movie was, but the actual film version of Interview with the Vampire isn’t terrible), but I was 100% wrong. I picked this book up when I was initially looking into the idea of what Goth was, and wondering is I really was interested in the things that Goths are interested in. This book seemed like as good a place as any to start, and I did enjoy it very much. It was a little bit of a break from the obsession with obsessions that I’d picked up, and instead of being all about gore or creepy Transylvanian laughter (or sparkling, since Twilight was starting to pick up right around the timeframe I read this), it seemed much more inclusive as far as characterization of a vampire goes. I liked the idea of vampires as being complete, rounded people.

8. The Vampire Lestat.
I did get pulled back into the obsessive pattern though. Because Anne Rice’s vampires tend to be obsessive, and being undead, they have a lot of time in which to obsess. This one makes me laugh a little though, because what I took away from this book was a self-awareness about how ridiculous you seem when you’re melodramatic, but at the same time…I was excited to see a possibility that others understood the pleasure of being melodramatic.

9. Absalom, Absalom!
Ah, this book was awesome. I remember being assigned to read it for a class, and failing utterly because there just wasn’t time…I didn’t read a single page in this book until the summer after I got my degree. It’s very hard for me to articulate how important this book was to me, but when you are unemployed and your friend imports you to another state because she feels sorry for you, and you spend all day laying on the couch and reading this book and then half the evening talking to her about the same situation that you have spent years already talking to her about…welp. It sticks with you. Because that’s basically what this book is…two friends rehashing again and again a scenario that one of them has been obsessing over for years. And doing it in sentences that take up pages and pages without any clear punctuation.

10. Teatro Grottesco.
This is a great book. It doesn’t have my favourite story from this author, but that’s alright. I’ve read it more times than I’ve read most of the books I own, including several of the ones I listed here. And I guess I should just admit now that the thing I love so much about this book is not the plots of the stories, but the way the author cultivates the sense of obsession, and pairs it with the idea of doom to produce a narration that doesn’t always end conclusively within the narration, but that is because the narrators have always known what the eventual ends would be because the nature of their obsessions does not allow for any other ending.

Great stories, these. For me, at least.

I’d apologise for my recurrant reasons for having enjoyed these books, but I am not sorry. I feel frequently like obsession is not something one can really apologise for. It seems like a thing that is just inherent in one’s nature. Or not.
Not that the mode of expression that obsessive feelings take can’t be terrible or frightening or altogether not okay…but the expression isn’t the thing. Hence my lack of remorse.

And…I guess that brings me back to where I started. Because the obsessiveness is what the wolf me grew out of. And despite the recent dormancy, it’s still a part of me. Just like these books.

quick

That took less than a day. Toni texted me earlier and said that someone already told everyone about her living arrangement with one of the supervisors at that theatre…less than a day after we talked about how precarious it was, AND after she outright lied to some people about it…

*sigh*

I made some suggestions that she could try and persuade that supervisor to offer to come over to our building and we could swap the one of ours who really wants to go to the dine-in theatre…but ultimately there’s nothing I can do. :/

I When they rolled out the non-fraternization rule a few months ago, I thought that building would see a lot of problems with it…I’m astonished though, at how poorly people are doing at concealing these things they do when they know it’s against the rules…I mean…not even trying…

That and, of course, nobody there can keep anything to themselves. Probably best that I don’t try and go back, with all that happening…ugh…

Of course, I’m waiting to get into trouble, anyway, since one of our employees had a huge family ordeal a few months ago, and they’re strapped for money…so I’ve given her money for gas, and a book I was going to get rid of…I felt it would be better off given to her, since she likes to read anyway, and that book was tied in with her interest in Norse mythology…

Is that wrong? To help cheer up one of my employees?

Or…another one of our employees is trying to get into a dental program, and she has to turn in a page-length essay about her previous experience and training…she was almost in tears the other day because her English writing skills are not the best–she’s originally from India–but I offered to read over her essay for her because my degree is in English…

My posts don’t reflect it, but I am pretty sure my skills are adequate to offer suggestions for revision on a page length essay. And why wouldn’t I want to help someone if I have the skills they need? Because it’s not a work related thing? Ugh.

I get why the rule exists. I don’t question that as a necessity…I just…worry some about the potential for it to become a thing that ultimately makes me too afraid to help people whom I could have helped.

When that starts to be the case, how do you come away without feeling like scum?

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