Tuesday, January 28, 2014

About that Current Obsession...

[<----- Vote, fool. I need feedback.]

As you might have noticed, one of my {CurrentObsessions} (look to the right. That list. There. Yeah.) is "falling in love."

At first, I almost hated him. He was selfish, inarticulate, sloppy, and basically unintelligent. He also did drugs, which puts anyone at the bottom of my favorites list. He didn't appear to possess a single desirable quality. This went on for a long time.

I don't know when it started to change. I know that sounds cliche, but it honestly felt like one day, I just realized that my feelings were different--powerfully different. His eyes looked beautiful.

He made some very key lifestyle changes. They revealed a heart of audacious strength and fierce loyalty, but it wasn't like that flipped a switch in my mind. It did feel kind of sudden, but I think it was gradual.

I started to see streaks of genuine honor in him, and then those streaks turned to bold stripes, which melded together and formed a final, proud, loyal, honorable soul. Suddenly I noticed his words flowing smoother, his intentions growing truer, his priorities getting straighter.

Even in the face of horrific situations, he stood his ground. Out of honor, he protected even those who didn't even deserve his loyalty.

His whole demeanor has changed. Instead of radiating "punk," "junkie," "twerp," and "weasel," he now radiates qualities like authority, cunning, loyalty, and resourcefulness. Every action he takes, every word he speaks, I respect.

After his initial, long-lasting poor impression, I never expected to find him sexy. But I do. His eyes are fierce; his walk is confident; his voice is hot. I must confess:

I, Peripeteia readers, am hopelessly in love with Jesse Pinkman.


P.S. Absolutely no potentially spoilerific comments, people. I'm only in Season 4.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Twenty Things...

...to do the year I am twenty.

It's coming up fast...

1. Go to a music festival
2. Make a pie from scratch
4. Read twelve books
5. Watch a really good horror movie
6. Buy dinner for my family
7. Choreograph a dance
8. Learn all the lyrics to Eminem's "Rap God" (...jeezus, this'll be the hardest thing I do all year XD)
9. Go on a blind date
10. Watch all the Movies of the Year since I was born
12. Be part of a triathlon team
13. Finish a piece of writing that I'm proud of
14. Make a grilled cheese using an iron
15. Write at the Farm
16. Get my eyebrows done
17. Read "Paradise Lost"
18. Go in an abandoned building
19. Go to Ashville for summer solstice
20. Say "I love you" to someone out loud, and mean it


Monday, January 20, 2014

Enigma Part 1


{Narrator is male, just so your headvoice reads it right from the beginning. I hate it when I discover six paragraphs in that I've been reading with the voice of the wrong gender.}


I stared at her. She had been an irrelevant part of my life for so long. A vague impression, an implied character. Just the somewhat-phantom love interest of a close buddy. I had known she was attractive—her toned legs and striking eyes had registered at first glance well over a year ago—but I hadn’t bothered to consider whether there might be more to her. Now, talking to her, she gave off a vibe that murmured infinity. I felt there was more to her than anyone else alive.
She smiled, and I thought my eyes were going to lean out of their sockets. Her expression, warm and calm and sweetly sarcastic, pierced the air between us and made me want to move closer to her. But I stayed put.
It occurred to me that the silence was making a beeline for “uncomfortable.” I knew I ought to say something, but then she happily rearranged herself on the couch, and my train of thought became corrupted with the impressions of her movement. Her build was slender, but so smoothly determined-looking that her fluid grace still surprised me. All she did was fold her legs underneath her, but the controlled ease with which she tossed her limbs made my body hum.
“So,” I began. My throat decided to clear itself in the middle of the word. Her eyes automatically steadied me with a reassuring look of sincerity. “What did you say you’re studying? English?”
“Mhmm. You can really do a lot with English these days. Everyone is looking for people who can write well and speak well; people who can organize their thoughts logically and see the deeper meaning in things.” Her eyes lit up in a genuine mix of happiness and perpetual sarcasm. “Basically I’m majoring in over-analyzing. I’m going to kick ass.”
I chuckled. “I get the feeling you’re one of those people who can kick ass in just about every subject. You’re one of those lucky types who gets A’s in both literature and biology, aren’t you?”
“Oh, no,” she said, the confidence dropping out of her face with comical immediacy. “Well, I do get A’s, I guess, but I’m really terrible at science and math.” The irony was back in her features. “I’m taking logic as my second math. It’s basically math with words, but I absolutely love it.”
“You’ve had logic before?”
“Mhmm. Had it in high school. And middle school, actually. I guess it’s part of why I wanted to go to law school for so long.”
How interesting. “College level will be interesting. You’ll have to memorize all the fallacies, like Post Hoc—” 
“Ergo Propter Hoc.” She smiled, delighted by our shared knowledge. She laughed. “Yeah, I already memorized all those.”
Oh. I almost started to feel embarrassed, but she clearly hadn’t picked up any reason for me to be, so I stopped myself. “My dad teaches logic,” I said in the way of explanation. “He tells his students he’ll teach them to win arguments with their parents, but I can tell you that that is not the case if one of your parents is a logic teacher.”
“Parents think they have the right to disregard logic anyway,” she said, implying some dark disagreement that I didn’t dare explore.
“A lot of what they do makes sense in the long run,” I offered. It sounded a little too wholesome, but I swear I believe it. “My parents and I have a better relationship now than ever, since I’ve moved out.”
“I’d love to move out.” Her eyes lit up, then crashed wryly. “But I’m too lazy. I’m not ready for a serious enough job.” Her chest twitched in a silent, scornful laugh. “Of course, my dream job is to be a writer, so…” She twisted her mouth into a mocking sort of smile. “…it’s not like I’ll ever be able to do I want and support myself anyway.”
“You very well might,” I insisted, raising my eyebrows. “I’m sure that’s all Stephen King or James Patterson do.”
“Yeah, but they’re already famous,” she pointed out, raising her eyebrows right back. “I think you have to already be rich to be a rich writer.”
She was not wrong.

~ Stephanie

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Humility is a Luxury

"Alright." Dr. Dunnum's pleasant mid-western accent blanketed the inane buzz of the classroom. Voices and pencil cases quieted with beginning-of-semester immediacy. "So, Beowulf. Everyone should have read Beowulf for today. Epic poem. Sort of the first piece of English literature that we have. Today I want us to sort of look at the notion of 'the hero.' Heroes illustrate what a given culture admires. Someone name another famous ancient hero."

Faces turned with expectant disgust on the girl who had--in one previous class alone--singled herself out as the socially inept know-it-all. Sure enough, her nasally voice rang out:

"Well, Odysseus, of course. Of Homer's Odyssey."

Dr. Dunnum nodded, clearly aware of the potential minefield of unwelcome information he was walking through. "And what was Odysseus known for?"

"His cleverness." Her deep breath and raised eyebrows warned of an impending torrent of  explanation and opinion. Dr. Dunnum neatly cut her off.

"Right. A lot of texts will translate his description as wily. He was wily:  very clever and willing to lie. And this suggests to us that wiliness and deceit were actually admired traits in the Greek culture."

Dr. Dunnum strode to the whiteboard. "What I want us to do, is get into our groups and come up with a list of adjectives we'd use to describe Beowulf."

After the exercise came a time of sharing. Dr. Dunnum wrote the suggestions on the whiteboard in his cramped, curly handwriting. Adjectives like valiant, strong, generous, loyal, and transparent were offered.

Dr. Dunnum turned his sharp blue eyes on the girl who'd offered "transparent."

"What do you mean by that?"

The girl straightened in her chair and gestured slightly with her pen as she answered. "He's open about his strategies and motives. He tells the people exactly what he intends to do, and that he expects to receive glory for it. He doesn't hide the fact that he wants recognition."

Another girl threw out the word "boastful." Dr. Dunnum nodded and scribbled the word at the bottom of the list.

"So, pride was a big deal for these people." He raised an eyebrow in an inviting expression. Students nodded. "And yet, no one seemed to really have a problem with that. Boasting and glory are huge parts of Beowulf's character, and yet he's the hero. This suggests that the Angelo-Saxon culture valued arrogance."

Dr. Dunnum switched gears with a swing of his head, eyes gleaming. "How about heroes today? Who can we compare Beowulf to? In your groups, pick a modern hero and write down some of the traits associated with him or her."

"Transparent" Girl glanced back at her group, shades of condescension showing behind her thin smile. "Who do we think, guys?"

"I 'on' know, man," said her closest neighbor, leaning his chair back on two legs. "Like Supe'man or somethin'."

Something genuine leaped in the girl's eyes. "That's what I was thinking! There aren't really a whole lot of wholesome, superhumanly strong characters out there."

She got to work on her list:  honest, just, wholesome, worthy, loyal, humble...

Dr. Dunnum invited the groups to write their heroes and traits on the board. When the chaos of voices and the squelching of dry-erase markers faded, the board held three Supermans, a Thor, a Captain America, and a Batman.

"Transparent" Girl gave a throaty noise of disapproval as her eyes passed over the lists. Chair-Tipper glanced at her expectantly. She looked embarrassed through her annoyance. "Under 'Batman'," she said, stabbing her pen in the direction of the whiteboard. "someone wrote 'fearless.' It's just...Batman's not fearless."

Chair-Tipper lost interest.

"Okay," Dr. Dunnum interrupted the din of unavoidable side conversations. "What are some common themes here?" He walked in front of the board and circled the recurring words:  brave, loyal, strong.  "What are we not seeing?" He paused at the Batman list and gave it a look of confusion, frowning slightly. "Transparent" Girl felt smugly validated.

Dr. Dunnum turned his eyes on the class, eyebrows raised. "Boasting. Arrogance. Pride." He tilted his head. "It's not here. We, as a culture, put less emphasis on pride as a positive thing. Why is that?"

"We have-uh lass to buh-rag about-uh," came a strong valley girl accent from across the room.

"Yeah?" Dr. Dunnum couldn't keep the chuckle out of his voice. "Penicillin? No big deal?"

"I mean-uh..." Valley Girl looked immediately enraged. "Like, we don't have like-uh one guy who could win a war alone-uh."

Dr. Dunnum nodded thoughtfully. "Okay. But do you think the Angelo-Saxons really did either? I mean, this is just a story. Beowulf was not real."

Valley Girl rolled her eyes and turned her attention apparently to her crotch, presumably to her iPhone.

"Less had already been done?" Someone suggested from the back.  "Bragging was more legitimate back then because people were doing things for the very first time."

Dr. Dunnum nodded some more. "Okay."

"Transparent" Girl put her elbows on her desk and leaned forward, suddenly intensely engaged. No one was getting it. This question required real thinking. Why did the Angelo-Saxons value boastfulness? Why did Americans today shy away from it? Why?

Her brain churned up chunks of thought, which she examined and mentally threw over her shoulder. No, no, no. What positive outcomes could occur from bragging?

The answer leaped to the front of her mind with an electric stab of understanding. Her hand raised itself. Dr. Dunnum caught her eye and wrapped up his acknowledgment of another mediocre answer.

"Yes?" he raised his eyebrows at her.

"Back then, your reputation was a way of protecting those you loved," she offered.  "By boasting, inflating his reputation, Beowulf was actually ensuring that no one would attack his people. It wasn't all selfish. He was trying to help his family."

"And what did everyone think when Beowulf died?"

"They expected to be invaded."

"Yes." Dr. Dunnum walked back to the center of the whiteboard and addressed the class. "Today, in the modern world, we have such impressive technology and are so strong that..." He shrugged. "We don't really need to brag. Our reputation goes without saying."

He pointed to Beowulf's name, written in red dry-erase maker. "Could we maybe even argue that the people of Beowulf's time bragged out of weakness, and not strength? That their need to assert their reputation grew out of fear and anxiety?"

It was 1:50pm. The students began forcing their notebooks and textbooks back into their backpacks.

"Transparent" Girl left the classroom on a dreamy Idea High. What a thought. Humility:  a luxury of the strong.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Inside My Head

Verbatim, things I've said to myself today...

Yes, bouncing your leg in class gives off exactly the laid-back-and-fun vibe you were going for. Let's keep THAT up.

O.o What have you done? You actually look cute today. Good...good job.

Hey, so I know you probably don't know this, but you're not really supposed to wave scissors near your eyes like that.

It's cool that you get to control the temperature of your room here. That way you get to blame yourself when you're freezing all the time.

I have to find someone to travel the world with.

Stop. Just because you know when the Reformation started doesn't make you a better person than he is. ...except you still think it does, so whatever.

Apparently you picked the major with no attractive people whatsoever. How are you the only non-gross English student?

"Call Me" is painfully perfect. Maybe Shinedown is one of those bands whose songs will always mean more to me as I grow up and "get" life more.

Really? Sexy Milton Professor ALSO teaches Brit Lit I? ...is this good or bad?

How can Bekah do anything intelligent with Pranked on in the background? My brain is melting.

Huh. I must just be too old to go clubbing with freshman. I kind of feel like shooting myself.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

So, Today

Apparently, I've been confused about the definition of "cold" my whole life. I should have been using "pretty mild, compared to what January 2014 will hold."
I've had to decide that I'm into scarves, because otherwise, I might die.
I met a transfer student named Allie who now lives on my hall. She's a pre-pharm major and her first class is calculus tomorrow at 8am. God bless her. She seems really cool.

I watched movies with Anna (Devil Wears Prada and something with the actress from My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and had dinner with her.

I looked over my Latin textbook. I may have bitten off more than my jaws can even close around. Who skips Latin levels 1-3 and decides to try her hand at Latin IV because hey, she's good with languages and she took Latin a lot in grade school? MEEEEEE. *smiles weakly*  Apparently I think a lot of myself.

My first class is tomorrow at 9:  International Relations with my favorite professor and adviser, Dr. Thornton. I'm very comfortable with his style, so I think it's a good first class.

Bekah has an 8am though, so I'll probably be disturbed before I actually have to wake up. Murrrr.

This semester is going to be so incredibly different. I know I've been saying that the whole time I've been in college, but...

Trust me. This time it's uncontrollably for real.


Thursday, January 2, 2014


"When you choose your friends, don't be short-changed by choosing personality over character." ~ W. Somerset Maugham

"The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off." Gloria Steinem

"On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%...and that's pretty good."

"Anyone who does not take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large one either." ~ Albert Einstein

"Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company." ~ George Washington

"Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love." ~ Fyordor Dostoyevsk, The Brothers Karamazov

"The depth and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves. People reveal themselves completely only when they are thrown out of the customary conditions of their life, for only then do they have to fall back on their reserves." ~ Leonardo da Vinci
"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." ~ Mark Twain


P.S. Also, I screwed up last night. First day of the year. I did not see that coming. I'm not sure how long the clean streak was. Not a year or anything, but probably several months. *sigh* Here we go again.