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Daily Post: Cue the Violins (10 Days Late)

If your life were a movie, what would its soundtrack be like? What songs, instrumental pieces, and other sound effects would be featured on the official soundtrack album? —http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/cue-the-violins/

Oh dear, friends. This is a terrible question. I think that, like any dramatic movie, there would be high moments and low moments which would be necessarily mirrored in the accompanying music. I would like there to be a lot of really emotive strings, frequently soaring in minor keys to contribute to the sense that something is off in my mind, even when externally everything seems to be fine. The tragic suicide of my brother would probably alternate in crashing, discordant chaos between the low strings, the upper brass and the wind instruments and utter, cacophonous and decaying silence… just like my head was. It would be disorienting and painful and traumatic, just like the event was. But I think that, over time, the music would progressively fall into more casual, melodic and harmonious patterns as I began to get my shit together and, hopefully, end up in very pleasant, upbeat whimsicalness as things in my life became acceptable and even, dare I say it, functional.

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Daily Post: Mouths Wide Shut

Are you a picky eater? Share some of your favorite food quirks with us (the more exotic, the better!). Omnivores: what’s the one thing you won’t eat? —http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/mouths-wide-shut/

I will try almost anything once. If it involves a bug, you can keep it to yourself. I refuse. Absolutely not. I have a grasshopper phobia, and it doesn’t matter what the fuck you cover that shit in, I’m not eating it. Straight up, just no. No way in hell. Not happening. Cough I won’t eat anything that features onion or garlic as a main ingredient either, but that’s because my mom is allergic to both of them and so I’ve got a pretty significant sensitivity to them. They make my tummy hurt. And that, in turn, causes other problems. ‘Nuff said.

I’m a stickler about quality, though. I’ll still eat it, usually, but I’ll definitely be honest that it isn’t made well, seasoned well, whatever. Pre-packaged ramen? Gross and totally bad for me. But do I eat it? You know I do. I’m broke. $0.22 meals make my whole day. (The resulting stomach ache kind of dampens that, but never mind.)

One of my favorite things is to explore new culinary experiences, and it breaks my heart that my boyfriend doesn’t like to try new, unfamiliar things. (It’s probably my biggest issue with the man, and that should really say something about us, haha.) I have all of these recipes that I want to try, but I don’t want to make it and be the only one to experience it because he doesn’t like something that’s in it or is freaked out by a texture. It’s the most disheartening experience ever to make something and then have your significant other tell you that it’s gross. Sigh.

So. Picky? Yes and no.

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Daily Post: Writing 101–Size Matters

Tell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve. Which town, city, or country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you?

At twelve, I was in the sixth grade, living on a farm approximately twelve miles outside of a small town in western North Dakota. My house was, simply put, old. The first part of the house was built in 1904, and then added onto repeatedly over the next twenty years or so. Consequently, the house has settled differently and it’s, well, unique. The bathrooms are miniscule, the staircase steep and narrow, and the windows make the most dreadful farting noise when the wind blows. I believe that at that time it was painted gray, although the weather seemed to beat our siding off at semi-regular intervals. Two stories and a basement, as well as a garage repurposed (and remodeled, don’t worry) as a family room, it was perhaps one of the largest homes I’ve ever been in. The bedrooms were all, save one, upstairs. One bathroom on each floor, a living room and a family room, and a kitchen in desperate need of a redo–one it would receive six years in the future.

I lived there with my family, of course. My parents, who worked very hard for us and were nothing but supportive. My two brothers, separated in age by five years and myself, who fought ferociously regardless of my attempts at intervention. And yet we all lived there in relative peace. The cows took work. The crops took work. The chickens took work. The garden took a lot of work. And although we all complained heartily and secretly swore that they were ruining us with all these dreadful chores, we did them all anyway and it probably brought us closer together.

You want to know about my home? My home is not, nor has it ever been a house, a farm, a town, or a region. My home is in the hearts of those who love and support me, who fight for my success and stand behind my decisions, even when they aren’t necessarily the decisions that they’d have made. Mom, though she may wish I’d take easier paths, and Dad, who just wishes I’d pay a bit more attention, are both very proud of me, and with all I’ve been through–all we’ve been through together–it makes me sorely emotional to think about how much I appreciate their presence in my life. Because their presence isn’t just one of ambivalent existence, but rather an involved, and an interested one. Although my younger brother is no longer sharing this plane of existence with us, I do think that he is right there with my parents and older brother supporting me, encouraging me to keep going, keep working, succeed. Even my grandparents are right there on the frontlines, cheering me on and playing significant roles in my success. And last, but certainly never least, is the man I’ve chosen to spend my life with, who has stuck around even through all my shit fits and my panic attacks and depression cycles, my unmanageable angst and frustrating absurdity. There is genuinely nothing better than knowing that it doesn’t matter where we are, what we’re doing, what’s troubling us or working against our success, I am home when I am with him. There’s nothing more I could ask for.

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Daily Post: Litmus, Litmus on the Wall

If you had to come up with one question, the answer to which would determine whether or not you could be friends with a person you’ve just met, what would it be? —http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/litmus-test/

Honestly, my question would be either very politically charged or very literary in nature because the answer yields insight to a person’s character and whether or not it means putting people into boxes and being exclusionary or standoffish, there are just certain things by which I cannot abide. I have walked away from a lot of people for a lot of different reasons, and I’m not afraid to keep doing it.

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Daily Post: Handle with Care

How are you at receiving criticism? Do you prefer that others treat you with kid gloves, or go for brutal honesty? — http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/handle-with-care/

Although I insist that I only want honesty, I have to admit that I dislike brutal honesty in terms of critiquing my writing. My confidence is a delicate veil over my bottomless pit of uncertainty, and when it comes to critiquing my writing I am unnaturally sensitive. Annoying, and even I know it. But there it is.

I do not, however, usually advocate for people to lie to me about it. If one doesn’t like it, I’d prefer one just said so and was nice about it. I don’t mind; I’ll be the first to say that my writing isn’t exactly universally appealing. But I don’t want to hear rudeness about it.

Posted in Daily Post

Daily Prompt: Work? Optional!

If money were out of the equation, would you still work? If yes, why, and how much? If not, what would you do with your free time? —http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/work-optional/

The only way that I would work just for the hell of it would be is if I could review books or blog professionally. I would even proofread professionally, to be honest. Even if I didn’t have to work to live. These are just things that I really love doing, so they don’t ever feel like “work.”

But retail? Gas stations? Food services? Frankly, anything high stress that requires dealing with mass amounts of people?

Not a chance. Not if money isn’t a necessity. Why would I do that to myself?

Otherwise, I would focus a lot on my crafting stuff. I’d make and sell jewelry, but probably not at high volume. I might actually get a bit more serious about the light bulb ornaments that I make, hahaha. And I might actually attempt to finish writing one of my novels!

I want children, too. And I’d be perfectly happy to be a stay-at-home mama. That would be okay with me. =)

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Daily Prompt: The Name’s the Thing

Have you ever named an inanimate object? (Your car? Your laptop? The volleyball that kept you company while you were stranded in the ocean?) Share the story of at least one object with which you’re on a first-name basis. — http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/the-names-the-thing/

Every car I have ever owned has had a name. My first car was the ’91 Crown Victoria that my grandma had driven for years and had been perpetually referred to as Elvis, because the license plate was ELV [numbers]. But she informed me one day while I was driving to work that her name was actually Darla, thank you. I laughed and laughed because the only image I could conjure?

But, she insisted, so Darla it was.

My second car was a 2001 (I think) Oldsmobile Intrigue named TallyAnna (although I pretty much only called her Tally). My current vehicle is a 2006 Pacifica named Veronica, and I wasn’t entirely thrilled about it, but she insisted, so I just go with it.

I’ve had a handful of plants over the years, all of whom with names. I had this really great little aloe plant named Marshall… until our cat ate him. =( No more Marshall. That was a sad day.

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Daily Post: Off the Shelf

Take a look at your bookcase. If you had enough free time, which book would be the first one you’d like to reread? Why? —http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/off-the-shelf/

You know, I have so many books that I’ve purchased over the past several years of school/college and have never managed to get around to reading that I have a hard time with the idea of rereading anything. I’ve got stand-alones and sequels and the remaining book(s) in series that I started ages ago and even a few full series. Like. I bought a whole series of books and haven’t gotten around to starting it yet. And there are a few of those. Oops?

However, I have a book that I read as a young kid by the name of Time Stops for No Mouse by Michael Hoeye that has stuck with me throughout the years like nobody’s business. It was about a watchmaker mouse by the name of Hermux Tantamoq who turned into a detective when a pretty lady mouse named Linka Perflinger came in and needed her watch fixed and set perfectly to the exact second because it was life or death. I think she was a pilot, too, but it’s been so long I could be mistaken. Anyway, Hermux turns into a detective because she doesn’t come back for her watch and then goes on this wild adventure to try to save her.

I have just discovered that there are, in fact, FOUR books of Hermux’s adventures, and I’m telling you right now that I am appallingly inclined to go find and purchase the next three just to read them all. Even though I’m almost 22, soon-to-be engaged and graduating college, and even though I normally read mature novels. Kids books are fun sometimes! They are!

Update: I have just ordered the other 3 books in the series from Amazon, since I got a $5 gift card for doing a survey. So for $10? Yeah, I’ll spring.for that. =)

So there you go. That’s the book I’d reread. And follow up with the remaining adventures. I will probably force them on my boyfriend as well. Even though he’ll grump. He’ll get over it. 😉

Posted in Daily Post

Daily Prompt: Musical Marker

We all have songs that remind us of specific periods and events in our lives. Twenty years from now, which song will remind you of the summer of 2014? —http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/musical-marker/

This summer, I have been taking 10 credits worth of linguistics classes from the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) at UND, so most of my time has been spent either in class, doing homework, or straight up sleeping. I’m serious. I sleep a lot, and I’m still tired. Sleep deprivation is a problem, y’all.

So when I’m listening to music these days, it’s mostly stuff without words, like film scores, solo piano, some dubstep, some electronica, some house music. That kind of stuff doesn’t quite stick in the mind grapes* like catchy pop tunes or, frankly, anything with lyrics.

However. When I am very dedicatedly procrastinating on my homework because I can only take so much–I’m not academically infallible, believe it or not, haha–I have been listening to a lot of unsigned artists, as per my MO. I like my hipstery music… that is only hipstery because it’s self-produced and nobody’s ever heard of it, not because it sucks and is obscure. lol (Oh, sorry, was that offensive? My bad.) For example, I’ve been listening to a lot of Lily Allen (not unsigned or independent, no), Abandoning Sunday and Chase Holfelder’s “Carolina Summer” is kind of my jam right now. haha.

Unfortunately what seems most true for me is that the songs that ever really throw me back are the ones that resonate with a particular depression cycle. Which. You know. Kinda sucks. It would be nice to hear music and be flooded with good memories instead of depression. Oh well, I guess. I didn’t get to pick the cards I was handed; I just have to play them.

*one of my friends from my first college uses the phrase “mind grapes” to refer to his memory outstanding. and although I used to think he was one of the weirdest people I know, I grew up. Now I recognize his uniqueness and individuality, but it’s endearing instead of just “weird”. I rather miss seeing him regularly. I am very pleased to report that he is actually several states away in law school, and I am very proud of him for his accomplishments. I’m just not really impressed with that “several states away” business. It was hard enough to see him when he was only across the state.

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Daily Prompt: Nosey Delights

From the yeasty warmth of freshly baked bread to the clean, summery haze of lavender flowers, we all have favorite smells we find particularly comforting. What’s yours? –http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/nosey-delights/

I grew up in farm country, so the smells that immediately comfort me are a little off the beaten path. Freshly cut alfalfa just about tops the list, to be honest. The smell of dirt after the rain–and I do realize that wet dirt is, in fact, mud.

Also, while I certainly won’t say that I enjoy the smell of sweat/BO, I will admit that I don’t find it as offensive as many other people do. The reason for this is that my dad raised cattle for many years, and particularly during calving, they don’t like the smell of not-natural human–i.e. cologne or deodorant. So my dad just never wore it. While a lot of people think that’s gross, it really never was. He’d go out and work all day, sweat plenty, whatever, and then at the end of the day he’d shower and wash it all off. Sure, he got a bit fragrant sometimes, but it was just the nature of his job. You spend 14 hours in the sun in a tractor driving in circles without air conditioning and tell me just how pretty you smell. So even though BO may not necessarily be “comforting” it’s not offensive. I mean… it’s almost comforting. It just reminds me of my dad. And that’s not nearly as disgusting as you may think it sounds.

I’m also particularly fond of the smell of freshly cut grass–even though it sends my hayfever into a frenzy. Freshly baked bread is right up there with comforting smells, too. And–here’s my fat kid admission–there is literally nothing that smells better than browning butter. My God, that smell -could drag me downstairs from my bedroom as a teen just to see what was on the stove. “Just butter,” Mom said. I learned to stop protesting.