Tagged: thinky thoughts

My Hug Bucket

Saturday, May 22, 2010 -- 3:41 pm
Mood: 06 You can run but you can't hide!

Being an avid, long time lover of hugs myself and one who is of the strong opinion that there can never be too many hugs in the world, I've compiled my own Hug Bucket. A Hug Bucket, I have been enlightened to learn from one of the recent Vlogbrother videos, is similar to a "bucket list" (ie. things you'd like to do before you kick the proverbial bucket) only in this case equate "things"="people" and "do"="hug the bejeezus out of."

And so I decided it would nice to create a list of individuals I would like to hug before I die in a little Hug Buckety sand pail of my own. I think it would be pink. With perhaps, bunnies and rainbows printed on the side of it. Yes. And these are the people who would be in it:

  • The Old Spice body wash guy
  • Simon Cowell
  • Colin Firth (as Mr. Darcy)
  • Natalie Tran
  • J.K. Rowling (in leu of Severus Snape not actually existing)
  • Robert Downey Jr.
  • Felicia Day
  • John Green (sorry Hank, there wasn't room enough in the bucket for both of you)
  • Alyson Hannigan
  • The Doctor
  • Toby Ziegler and Ainsley Hayes from West Wing
  • Gregory House
  • A lion
  • An armful of bunnies
  • Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon
  • This robot
  • This guy
  • This girl
  • Oh and this guy too
  • Colin Mochrie
  • A velociraptor

My Hug Bucket also obviously already has Mason and Sister and my wonderful family and friends and Iroh and Toby and Velcro-Cat already, all who thankfully I can hug any time and as hard and for as long as I want until they eventually untangle themselves from my clutches (or in the case of Iroh, bite me.) Does this mean I have to take them all out of the bucket now? I'm confused on that part still. I prefer to think of them all as extra special and infinity doomed to reside in my Hug Bucket.

I hope you all like pink. ♥

Because you never know when someone else might be looking for a good book to read.

Saturday, March 27, 2010 -- 6:28 pm
Mood: 07 Booktastic...? Is that a word? Well it is now!

I've finished three books recently, and for lack of something else to blog about right now and since some people may have similar book tastes as myself, I'll try to recap some of the ones I read from now on.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

An amazing book chronicling the rapid decay of the mind of a Harvard cognitive psychology professor diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's has always been one of those illnesses that terrifies me in a way other terminal diseases like cancer never could. Seriously, I'd take cancer any day over Alzheimer's. This story and the character of Alice Howland and the devastating way she's slowly forced to succumb to the inevitable degeneration of her mind and body (with her family unable to do anything but watch) was simply heart wrenching to read. It definitely left an impact.

To be honest, I can't decide what scares me more: ending up with Alzheimer's myself, or the thought of either of my parents getting it (or anyone I love, for that matter.) To forget who I am and the faces of the people I care about... or being the one forgotten? Reading Still Alice prompted me to consider what I'd do if I or any one I loved were ever confronted with the disease, my over active imagination working out hypothetical strategies in my mind. What essentials would we write down to carry everywhere? Much like the common question, "what would be the things you'd take with you if your house burned down?" What would be the essentials? Your name; your address and emergency phone numbers; the names and a picture of the people you love; probably a short and simple message for if you were to become disoriented: "Your name is Brenna! You have a disease that makes you forget things! Calm down, take a deep breath, and call your emergency number!" sort of thing. Just tiny, important fail-safes for your own mind. In the book, Alice creates her own fail-safe for when the time comes that she forgets the essential things in her life, for when her life would reach a point of being so forgotten to herself that it wouldn't be worth living anymore. I would probably consider the same option too, if it came down to that. :c

But yes, very good book and I highly recommend it even if you're anything like me and it will leave you a little shaken.

Lucky by Alice Sebold

Sebold is the author of The Lovely Bones and this was her first book, and is in fact a memoir of her brutal rape as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, her effort to recover from it and the prosecution of her attacker. I don't have a whole lot to say about this one, other than that I have enormously huge respect for anyone who goes through an assault like she did and manages to suffer through the aftermath and eventually emerge soundly -- if not permanently scathed -- on the other side. There are parts of this book that you feel just as frustrated reading as no doubt Sebold felt when she bore them face on: the court scenes with the defense attorney in particular, and some instances with her parents and friends. I believe it when people say that you can never really relate to someone who's gone through an experience like rape and understand their ordeal unless you've actually been there, no doubt.

Night by Elie Wiesel

A harrowing account from a Holocaust survivor. My intent going into the library was to pick up one of the various fantasy books on my to-read list; when none of those were in, and my backup non-fantasy books were also not available, I ended up leaving with this. Don't get me wrong, it was on my to-read list... but that day in particular I was sort of aiming for something... happier. Either way, Wiesel's memoir of the ghettos and his time in Auschwitz and Buchenwald until the camp's final liberation by the Americans was gripping. I can't really say I "enjoyed" it (I think it's hard to honestly enjoy a non-fiction account of the horrors and genocide of WWII, and reading about infants being tossed alive into burning ditches) but it was intensely interesting in a horrific sort of way. It's the kind of book I couldn't stop reading, but at the same time I found myself needing to take breaks from it just to fully ingest some of the content at times before continuing on. I don't think anyone can say they read books about the Holocaust because they're enjoyable, but I do believe reading them is necessary so as to never casually forget about these events or take them in stride.

My god, too many depressing books. Rape, terminal diseases, and genocide. (I can just see everyone running out the library to pick up all of these sad, gloomy books for yourself!) ^^; I have Mists of Avalon on hold at the library up next and I hope it to be a more much needed, uplifting read. If anyone else is a book nut, I encourage you to sign yourself up for a Goodreads account -- I have found soooo many interesting books to add to my to-read list on there! It's my new holy grail. *Glee* (Plus, then I can friend you~ :3 I like seeing what other people are reading!)

Choosing to butt in vs. keeping your opinion to yourself.

Monday, March 22, 2010 -- 7:52 pm
Mood: 03 Contemplative

I overheard an interesting conversation on the bus today.

We're almost at my stop and a lady gets on the bus talking on a cellphone, arguing to someone on the other end and seeming to concede to the argument by saying that she'd buy them a pack of smokes when she got home. She snaps shut the phone and sort of rolls her eyes, laughs, and says something along the lines of "Teens, they'll suck you dry of every penny you've got."

At this the bus driver gives her this look and remarks: "Why are you buying cigarettes for a kid anyway?" She laughs and says "Oh no, don't worry, he just turned 18."
Driver: "Smoking's not good for you."
Woman: "Oh no, (laughs), I would never smoke."
Driver: "So why is it okay for your kid to?"

They sort of went on like that back and forth for another minute or two as we came up to my stop, with the driver berating her for buying her kid, despite his age, cigarettes; the woman just sort of nodding in agreement and awkwardly laughing this impromptu scolding off. I'm not sure how it resolved because I got off at my stop, but as I was stepping off the driver stops me and says "Would you buy a kid smokes?" to which my response was an honest though somewhat nervous leave-me-outta-this: "No."

I thought about it as I walked home and couldn't decide whether the remarks the driver had made were completely out of line or in fact justified in a strange way. Being as reserved and soft-spoken as I am in public, I would never have dared openly scold a stranger about something that wasn't my business; and I have to admit that as the argument carried on I was sitting there with my mental jaw hanging to floor thinking "Whoa, that's a little rude..." When he asked my opinion on the matter I felt distinctly uncomfortable about getting involved.

Rudeness is a big pet peeve of mine and I was appalled at the way this man just stuck his nose into a stranger's life -- yet all the while I was sitting there thinking the exact same thing as the driver... and a part of me couldn't help but admire someone for speaking up. Yes, the individual in question is 18 and is legally entitled to make his own choices -- but does that necessarily mean a parent should condone and enable those choices? And if not, is a stranger then (within reason) rightfully entitled to intercede by calling them out on this fault?

This isn't about smoking vs. non-smoking specifically, I reference it as an example in regards to a broader, more general concept. How different is it from the frustration you feel when you hear stories of family or friends knowingly giving their loved ones money they know will be used for drugs? Turning a blind eye to an account of bullying and harassment of a classmate in a school? Pretending to look the other way when you see a man and woman screaming profanities and crude names and physically smacking one another right over the head of their poor two-year-old daughter? Shouldn't someone speak up?

I'm interested to hear what other people think. Is it justified to cast judgment down on someone you don't even know about their own lives and choices when you genuinely feel that it's on behalf of the well being of another? In this particular case, a mother more or less condoning and encouraging behavior that is detrimental to her son, no matter his age? Or should we all just keep our traps shut and mind our own business?

Two new facts that I learned about Australia today (and that you probably wish you didn’t know now.)

Thursday, January 28, 2010 -- 8:45 pm
Mood: 01 Annoyed and downright confused.

I'm sorry, but WTF? Australia bans small breasts in an effort to safeguard children?
That's right, apparently if you're a woman with small breasts, you will induce pedophilia.

I honestly don't know whether to be outraged or just boggled. Don't get me wrong, I'm totally on board with pedophilia = BAD; however, when you take a fundamentally logical concept like that and then translate it into a ridiculous law like this, you lose all rationality points you once had. You can't ban certain adult publications simply because of breast size. It's incredibly offensive to declare that just because a woman sports an A cup she should automatically be suspected of being a minor, or that she's automatically spurning insidious new pedo lust in anyone watching. Child pornography should fall under the illegal category only if it ACTUALLY involves minors. I don't care if someone looks like they're under 18 -- if you can verify that they're an adult than it's not illegal. This whole things sounds a lot more like a government grasping at straws because they're all out of actual ideas.

Oh, and hey Austrialia, while we're at it -- what?
Female bodily fluids are apparently considered illegal and "obscene". (Possibly NSFW.)

Seriously? It seems the land down under *ba dum CHING!* has a lot of crazy sex laws. So Rule 1: no golden showers or similar urine fetishes at all; Rule 2: on the grounds that it may possibly have itty bitty traces of urine in it, so also is a no go for any depiction of the rare "female ejaculate". So let me get this straight -- watching a film where some dude lets go all over some woman's face is fine, very good, a-okay; if the woman has any incidental bodily fluids though then that's obscene. I'm sorry... what? We're now holding each genders' fluids to different standards? That is the stupidest example of blatant sexism I've ever heard. Basing a ban on the theory that there may be urine also does not count as justifiable reasoning in my opinion. (The whole idea that they're banning any sort of sexual fetish in the first place -- within non-violent limits obviously -- seems ludicrous to me to start with.)

So clearly I learned some new really dumb things about Australia today. Reading it back now it actually feels like a strange and slightly uncomfortable version of a "The More You Know" segment. To be honest I'm not one for usually baring my teeth at this sort of thing, but these are some of those really ridiculous types of laws that make me want to rip my hair out from both the standpoint of a woman and also just a general society viewpoint. I guess it was just one of those sorts of days.

It must be the fabric softener they use.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 -- 10:14 pm
Mood: The sap? I collect it here in this bucket.

Why is it that I always get all sentimental and sappy when I go to my parent's house? I walk in the door and suddenly it's as if I haven't been back there in years, when really I was just there the week before. Is there some sort of reverse empty-nester syndrome? I walk around and look at all the family photos on the walls and have a habit of touching the furniture and feeling up the fluffy linens and towels (but obviously a sentimental feeling up of the linens -- not the creepy crazy kind.) Or maybe I just don't do the laundry at my place enough...

Oh old bedroom, you are now a giant bedroom-sized walk-in closet for Dad. Beloved NASA-like computer room (though slightly-less NASA-like without my own dual-monitor computer) -- I miss you and strive one day to build a computer room in your grand image. Smelly little green software fridge... you are still smelly. *Hugs*

I love the fact that I'm moved out and have a place of my own and everything, but I guess there will always just be things that you miss from a place you grew up in for half your life. It's cozy. It always has lots of warm, fuzzy memories (in addition to the linens.) And may I also add that it's such a rip that once the kids move out, the parents finally take the opportunity to prettify and renovate everything? Seriously. Pretty bathroom now? Not fair. *Deadpan expression as her computer chair rumbles and rolls across the slanty apartment floor of it's own accord with her still sitting in it*

PS. I haven't gotten a chance to play any Guild Wars in the past couple nights because of art-related things, which is very sad. Ula is level 20 now! She must quest more! Art and Guild Wars... why must you always make me choose between you?! D: