Meagan Reads Popular Fiction Way After It's Cool: The Hunger Games, Chapters 11-18

Oh, I should probably let you know now even though it's really to late that this isn't the sort of place where I'm avoiding spoilers. Nope. There's going to be spoilers all up in this grill. Like, so many spoilers.

Since we've basically got past all the impressions of important people and such, and this is such a huge chunk, let's just go chapter by chapter, shall we?

Chapter 11:
Katniss, you stupid, get the bow later. Seriously, run the other way. You'll get it later when you encounter the idiot who actually did run into the middle of a bloodbath for a weapon they can't use.

I've been talking to Katniss that way a lot.

Oh good, yes, violence! Nice. Suzy's good at writing action sequences--her style of matter-of-fact dramaticism is especially effective in the Cornucopia scene.

I wish that Suzy would feed me information by which I can identify/separate the different Districts more steadily. I know that District 12 is coal and District 11 is agriculture I think? And that's it. Which makes the paragraph listing the tributes dead at the Cornucopia less a dramatic reflection on the senseless slaughter of eleven teenagers and more me just being overwhelmed by numbers ("Which one was district 5? Was it that cripple kid? Probably since I like the cripple kid--he's probably dead. Is he dead?").

I feel like even if I wasn't smart enough to figure out Peeta's probably playing some sort of unneccesarily complicated double-agent game, I still wouldn't be that blown away by his partnership with the Careers. Honestly, right now I really don't care about Peeta. I'm not sure why. Possibly because I don't have any impressions of him.

But even if I wasn't smart enough to figure out Peeta's game on my own, the fact that Katniss is like, "Oh wow, Peeta's joined with the Careers" tells me that he has, in fact, not, but is rather being clever.

There's an impression: Peeta can be clever. Good for him.

Oh, he's also good at camouflage because he decorated cakes. This is probably the least sense-making contrivance of the book so far, but that was way back in chapter like 8 so we won't talk about that right now. Gold star, Peeta.

Chapter 12
Sometimes Katniss can be really smart. I'm really enjoying the first person narrative now because it's interesting to hear her think about logic and survival and strategizing about killing people (as opposed to feelings and Gale and food) (okay, that last one was a lie I always like hearing about food).

And sometimes she can be so dumb.
"This is an okay place to die, I think." [p. 170]
Of dehydration. As she lays there in the mud. Mud. "I shall die here, of thirst, here in this soft wet, wet mud. Because there's no water for miles. Miles."

I really can't blame her, being that she's dying and whatever. But I giggled. I giggle sometimes at inappropriate and dramatic moments.

This chapter was pretty boring--it was all about Katniss dying, and not in the fun way. I feel like she didn't need to have an entire chapter dedicated to this.

Chapter 13:
I'm wondering why there aren't any guns as weapons here. Don't try to tell me that the Gamemakers don't think it would be interesting enough: guns can be pretty effective for bloody, gruesome slaughter too--anyone who's seen Battle Royale or a Quentin Tarantino movie knows that. The short answer is probably that if there were guns Katniss probably would've just gotten shot out of that tree just now when the Careers found her. But I need to think of a better reason.

Oh my gosh, it's Rue. Hi, Rue!

Chapter 14:
That was intense. Seriously, intense, that part where Katniss is running around all insane and stuff. Probably my favorite chapter so far just for the level of emotional reaction it got out of me.

It's really too bad the creatures that are responsible for such horror and extreme suspense are called tracker jackers.

If you want someone to take you seriously, never rhyme.

Chapter 15:
Why are you thinking about Gale right now, Katniss? You almost just died, stop thinking about feelings. You should be more worried about brain damage, or emotional trauma, or that you're still insane and might start eating people.

(That would be an interesting twist.)
"So I focus on the one really good thing that's happened since I landed in the arena. I have a bow and arrows!" [p. 197]
I think this is how this scene will go in the movie:

"DUN-DU-DU-DAAAA! Katniss got the bow and arrows! This sturdy weapon was forged by the craftsmen of the Capitol and can be used to shoot distant enemies or targets. Set them to c and use + to aim."
Katniss, you get dehydrated so much. This would never happen if you weren't a woman. It's clearly because of all your hysterics.

Ah, it's Rue again! And I finally get to like, meet her. Oh, I'm so excited! And nervous! And excited!

New favorite part(s): the interactions between Rue and Katniss in this chapter.  I feel like their relationship develops better and deeper that any interactions thus far. I like seeing this human side of Katniss in a way that doesn't involve her being hysterically wrong about something or confused by a boy. And I really wanna keep Rue in my pocket or carry her around on my shoulders and we'll have adventures and she can teach me to be a spider monkey like her.

Question: is Rue really as cute as I think she is?
Answer: Yes.

She's definitely going to die. Dangit.

Chapter 16:
"Rue has decided to trust me wholeheartedly. I know this because as soon as the anthem finishes she snuggles up against me and falls asleep." [p.208]



That's freaking adorable.
"'Wait, and the boy from Ten, the one with the bad leg.'" [p. 209]
Yes! He's still alive! Can I meet him?

I forgot to mention that Madge is also one of my favorite characters. I feel she showed a lot of depth in a short amount of time. I'm reminded of this because Katniss tries to give Rue her special pin in this chapter. Dirty regifter.
"Unexpectedly, Rue throws her arms around me. I only hesitate a moment before I hug her back." [p. 213]


"There are four tributes. The boy from District 1, Cato and the girl from District 2, and a scrawny, ashen-skinned boy who must be from District 3." [p. 215]
Suzy, if you're not going to name them, like you did with Cato, you need to give them some defining characteristics by which we can identify them, like you did with ashy-boy. It serves multiple purposed that are all good:
  1. It helps the reader instantly identify/differentiate the characters (example: "Big Nose" is easier to remember than "Boy from District 1"). It also saves you as the writer from the tedious task of having to write "the boy from District 1" every time you're talking about him to ensure you're being clear.
  2. Often it will cause the reader to emotionally connect better with the character; the more a reader knows about a character, the more humanized that character becomes in the reader's eyes. Which can only be to your advantage. I mean, even if you're going to kill them off instantly, it would be nice if the reader was like "Oh you have glasses I have glasses we're kindaHOLY CARP DID YOU JUST LOB A HARPOON THROUGH THAT GUY?!" Skipping ahead to give an example, my reaction to Cato breaking the neck of the kid from District 3 was a lot stronger than it would have been had he just be "the kid from District 3" because you gave him identifying characteristics.
  3. It removes that giant sign that says "EXPENDABLE CHARACTER" from the character's back. Which is nice even if they are an expendable character. Don't you like the element of surprise, Suzy? I do, too.
Katniss blowing up a mine field, like a boss. Use those bow and arrows, girl. Work it.

Chapter 17:
Do you think Katniss is going to have permanent hearing loss? That would be kind of neat, actually. I have this soft spot for maimed heroes. I think because it makes them more human. There would be a lot of respect for Suzy if she permenantly maimed her heroine before even the climax of the book.

I get the feeling there are going to be actual interactions with the Fox-Faced girl and that I'm not going to like her. My instinct speaks to me against her.

Katniss is sure Rue is fine. This probably means that Rue is going to die soon. Katniss, I wish you'd shut your big fat head-mouth.

Another point in Suzy's favor: for the most part, her narration of Katniss just foofling around and eating stuff and thinking about survival don't get boring (the exception being that entire chapter where she was dying of thirst, but nobody's perfect). That takes some talent, I'd say.
"Whatever happened, I'm almost certain she's stuck out there, somewhere between the second fir and the unlit one at my feet. Something is keeping her up a tree." [p. 231]
"...there it is again. Rue's four-note tune coming out of a mockingjay's mouth. The one that means she's all right." [p. 233]



Chapter 18:
@%$&@^#&*! #*$(&$^!@#^!!! Katniss. I hope you're pleased with your evil, I'm-Always-Wrong superpower. For those of you keeping track that's five. Five times Katniss has asserted something with surety and been completely wrong. And those are just the major ones (I'm not counting the trivial ones, like "I'm going to die here in this mud").

I would've cried, probably really hard, except I was at work and my co-worker probably would've thought it was weird if I started sobbing in the middle of nap-time whilst surrounded by a plethora of sleeping toddlers. It was all manly, the way I sucked my tears back in and hid my tiny sniffles. But it was especially hard when District 11 sent Katniss the bread. That was a very poignant gesture there, Suzy.

But dangit, this is so upsetting. I don't care that Cinna's not even in the Hunger Games, he's totally going to die somehow too and none of my very favorite characters are going to survive this and I mean I like Katniss well enough but I am irate right now.
"I really think I stand a chance of doing it now. Winning." [p. 242]
My God. I think Katniss just created a paradox within the Theorem of the Wrongness of Katniss' Assertions.What can this mean? I can only deduce that the fabric of the Hunger Games universe will degenerate into utter chaos. Slowly at first, discrepancies will begin to become apparent to the unknowing characters and readers alike--Cato will suddenly have a tragic backstory, causing our protagonist to empathize and offer to join forces with him at the last moment against the Capitol; fragmented sentences will reappear, with greater frequency and dwindling dramatic effectiveness; Katniss will begin reminiscing that settling down and having a lot of babies would be a nice way to spend her time if she survives the Games. But as the universe continues to spiral into oblivion the rate of chaos will accelerate--entire characters will be completely forgotten, such as the Everdeens never being mentioned again; Katniss and Peeta will be suddenly transported into the future where they will witness their future selves in a horrible, loveless marriage that ends in them killing each other; the twist at the end of the book will be that everything is orchestrated by the disembodied head of the first animal mutation experiment, the brainy bear.

Or the statements will just cancel each other out and fate will be able to carry out its whim as before, without any indelible laws such as the Theorem of the Wrongness of Katniss' Assertions getting in its way.
"Under the new rule, both tributes from the same district will be declared winners if they are the last two alive." [p. 244]
Okay, I'm trying to be generous here because there may well be a reasonable, logical explanation for this plot twist that naturally Katniss isn't going to find out until later...but right now this strikes me a giant, aggressive contrivance. I was hoping at least that Katniss and Peeta would think of something clever that would get them out of having to kill each other. Like just refusing to do it, or faking a death, or somehow escaping the arena. Or something that didn't involve changing a tradition of nearly a century for no reason other than that the spectators really like Peeta's and Katniss' fake romance. The whole basis of the Games is actually to entertain people, but to remind the Districts that the Capitol has absolute control. I don't see how this reinforces that.

But I'll give Suzy a chance to cover for that one. It just has to be good.


Meagan Reads Popular Fiction Way After It's Cool: The Hunger Games Chapters 1-11

In the spirit of my Twilight Experiment, I've decided to blog my experience in reading The Hunger Games series. I actually should be doing important things with my life, like looking for a job, but instead I'm going to sacrifice some of my free time in order to self-indulgently chronicle my personal experience reading a series that everyone else has already read and knows everything about. You're welcome, internet.

Disclaimer: All opinions, positive or negative, stated here about the Hunger Games series in no way reflect my opinion of the people who read and/or may enjoy them (or not enjoy them). I hope I don't hurt too many feelings.

Anyway, I started reading The Hunger Games a few days ago, and I've finished Part 1 and a bit, so come along with me on my magical journey!

We'll start with my take on the writing itself thus far first (get the boring stuff out of the way, am I right?). I really hate to start off my commentary with something negative, but mentioning that I'm a bit miffed it's taken her almost exactly half the book to get to the actual games part seems like a good place to start. Honestly, Collins, I promise I'll be okay with a little less about how Katniss and Gale became best friends (or more waggle eyebrows waggle) if it means I get more of people stabbing each other in the face to survive. That is what I signed on for when I picked up the book.

That being said, I did find that despite the fact I really really wanted some butt-kicking and name-taking sooner, the beginning pace moved along pretty well for the most part. If I didn't already have an inkling about what kind of bad-applery awaited in future chapters I probably wouldn't have minded at all. For the most part Collins does a great job of developing characters and their background for the most part--although I do think she could work on weaving in Katniss' flashbacks a little more smoothly. At this point they pop up rather, "Well, since I'm not doing anything at the moment let me think about my past." Bit convenient, Katniss.

Another con within the writing itself is that the tone tends to be a little inconsistent. For the most part Katniss' voice in the narrative is simple and concise, sort of no-nonsense; not only do I enjoy her straightforwardness, but sometimes the narration can say things that are downright beautiful despite (or perhaps because of) its simplicity. However, every once and a while some superfluous phrases or sentences are thrown in that don't quite fit this down-to-earth Katniss-voice--they seem more suited for a normal (read: annoying dumb I hate them) teenager. These times are few and far between though, so thus far this is a minor flaw.

Collins also likes to cut sentences into fragments for dramatic effect, I've noticed. Sometimes this works:
"I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun." [p. 121]
And sometimes it just makes me want to pat her head because, judging by the narrative, she's a little slow:
"'Quack yourself,' I say with a light laugh. The kind only Prim can draw out of me." [p. 16]
 That period does not belong. Collins, let me give you some free advice--which I know you'll just absorb like a sponge because who doesn't need to learn things from an unpublished English undergraduate?--semi-colons are awesome. Seriously, they're so awesome. I know people tend to overuse them because they think it makes them look like Charles Dickens, but well-used semi-colons are like my favorite. Or really any variety of punctuation out there, Suzy. Seriously, you can use semi-colons and ellipses and even colons to great affect and more than like once every two chapters, if you want.

You're very welcome, Suzy.

I also wish Suzy would do a bit more showing at certain places--the scene where the tributes are debuted and Peeta and Katniss come out literally on fire. If Suzy had dared to get a bit more poetic and detailed with her description that scene could have been incredible. Instead, it's just...inherently pretty awesome because of the fact that they are on fire. I find this is the case for quite a few scenes.

So anyway, character impressions (yay fun!):

Overall, I like her, which is a huge point in Suzy's favor because I judge female characters very harshly. I can count my favorite fictional females without having to take my shoes off. But there's no denying that Katniss Everdeen is seriously badapple. Honestly, she opens her narrative matter-of-factly relating the story of how she tried to drown an ugly, vermin invested cat. That's a pretty far cry from the saccharine, overly-compassionate animal activists you often see heroines portrayed as.

(Yes, apparently you just need to drown a cat to earn my respect. Not even I knew that.)

Despite her cold practicality, though, Katniss is also a legitimately caring and empathic protagonist. She's not afraid to get attached to people; she sacrifices herself for her sister; and she constantly sees the human qualities in people (even if she might not want to)--even people in the Capitol, who it would be very easy for her to blindly harbor hatred and bitterness towards. I loved the friendship dynamic that developed between her and Cinna. 

Katniss we know is quite adept at masking her true emotions, appearing completely neutral so as not to expose a weakness, when she needs to; but I think that's a completely different skill that putting on false emotions convincing enough to make people like you, which is what Katniss is able to do. And really not only just the right time--only the right time. It's a bit too convenient that she just happened to grow the exact trait she'd need to really become a fan favorite, and there was no lead up to this development.

One more thing that's important to know about Katniss Everdeen: she is always wrong. About everything. Let's look at her track record:
  • Katniss' assertion: There is absolutely no way Prim could be chosen for the Hunger Games, the odds are like a billyun to one. Actual outcome: Primrose Everdeen's name is drawn in the reaping.
  • Katniss' assertion: Crap, my stylists are going to introduce me in no clothes at all and it's going to be totally lame and embarrassing. Actual outcome: Is lit on fire and looks totally awesome.
  • Katniss' assertion: I totally screwed up shooting an arrow at the Gamemakers, they're completely angry with me and I'm totes going to get the lowest score ever. Actual outcome: Katniss' score is an eleven out of twelve.
  • Katniss' assertion: Ohemgee Peeta just totally embarrassed me he made me look so weak that was his plan all along I am ruined. Actual Outcome: Everyone is putty in the hands of these star-crossed lovers.
Katniss, just shut up, oh my word. You're going to say something horrible next, like, "There is no way I'll go insane and brutally beat Rue to death with my bare hands." Seriously, woman, stop listening to your intuition, it is the worst. And on a more practical note, it worked for dramatic effect the first time, but after like the second or third time that Katniss had a complete emotional breakdown and then moments later was convinced, "Wow, this situation I thought was the actual worst is in reality super okay" I just started rolling my eyes at the page.


This boy is a little dip. Seriously. "Oh man Katniss, you know what would be so stupid? If you and I pretended to love each other. That would be so stupid. Haha, we should totally pretend to like, be all over each other and make out and stuff and the Capitol will think it's real and we'll show them, they're so dumb, lolz." Just ask her out, you little girl, good gravy--gumption, man, gumption! 

(Yes, I'll admit while I have stayed mostly spoiler-free as to the overall plot and outcomes of The Hunger Games series, I did glean enough about it to have prior knowledge that Peeta's feelings for Katniss are real).

Other than that I really don't have much to say about him, considering most of what you "know" about Peeta is told to you by Katniss, and it's all her assertions on his character, and Katniss is always wrong. So.

Am I the only one who still thinks it's hilarious that his name is Peeta? Really, Suzy, you are such a troll.

Impressions of other characters:

Handsome. And manly (probably?).

What a boring drunk. Doesn't even try to make out with inanimate objects.

Sexy and a spiffy dresser. The minimum you need to get my stamp of approval.

Arghfffggghh how are you so cute to me when you've said like two things.

Oh no, it's the American highschool metaphors! It's not a young adult novel without them, apparently.  

One thing I'm quite enjoying, in a frustrating way, is the way Collins is continually including that implication of other people's stories and history--no major players come in as backgroundless foils. Although she has yet to divulge anyone's history but Katniss, there is a lot of sense of possibilities regarding where other people came from, if that makes. What I'm basically saying is that I'm very curious to know exactly how someone like Haymitch survived the Hunger Games and what the Games are like for other people besides Katniss. I hope Suzy tells us sometime.

Also is it wrong that I really want to read to story of the Games that Titus, that guy who went insane and started eating people, was in? I know it's gross but I got to the part and just had to say, "Daaaaang. I want that to happen in these Games."

Favorite characters:
  • Cinna
  • Rue
  •  Effie Trinket (please don't give me that look, she's just interesting okay. And it can't be denied that, whatever her motives, she did work extremely hard to do everything she could to help Katniss and Peeta in the upcoming Games)
  • That cripple kid from District 10.
This list could also be titled "Characters that Meagan is 93% Sure Are Going to Die."

Predictions based off Katniss' assertions:
Based on Katniss' assertion that "It's not like I was going to win the games anyway" [p. 103] and her continual insistence that she is eventually going to have to kill Peeta or be killed by him, I predict that not only is Katniss going to win, but she's going to do so in some weird heroic or weird convolutedly deceptive way that enables both her and Peeta to make it out alive. Steamy makeouts will probably follow.

Though how awesome would Katniss be if in the end she was like "I'm sorry Peeta, but my one and true love is hunting. And this lamb stew stuff."

Cause boys are smelly.


Car Things

Things I have in my car:
  1. An umbrella. And yet I still always forget to take it with me when it rains while I'm walking around (or conversely, it never rains during the times I remember to grab it). I guess what I'm saying is that I've been wet a lot this week.
  2. Bath and Body Work's "Autumn" car freshener. Sometimes when I'm smelling the crisp, sweet, earthiness that it bastes my car in, I take the time to contemplate how God has blessed us through this store. Nothing smells bad in there. Nothing. I could go into the store looking for a present for someone, close my eyes and grab anything, and the person would love it because it smells amazing.
  3. A bunch of clothes more suitable for summer. I know I should get those tank tops and shorts out of there and replace them with jeans and sweatshirts, but the chances are high that as soon as I do that the weather will shoot to 87 degrees on a day where I decided to wear my long-sleeved polo and ugly pants to work in the morning, thus leaving me with nothing suitable to change into. Thus my hesitation.
  4. A pair of earrings. Maybe someday I'll be sitting in my car looking at what I'm wearing and say, "Shoot, I forgot earrings!" and then look down and there they'll be, all perfect and convenient. These are my dreams.
  5. Car charger and auxiliary input cable. The only team you need for listening to music in your car. Well I mean you need a stereo that has an auxiliary input plug. And an mp3 player of some kind (like a Zune...just kidding, who doesn't have an iPod?). Anyway.
Things I need to put in [or on] my car:
  1. My string dolls. Shut up, one's an outlaw and one's a pirate with a thumbtack peg leg and they'll be magical protective talismans (talismen?) once I hang them on my mirror. You're jealous.
  2. Stickers. Lots and lots of dorky, clever, bumper stickers. Right now all I have is the Covenant Fellowship 25th anniversary magnet, which isn't even a sticker it's a magnet. But it is awesome.
  3. Cold weather clothes. I think it would be wise for me to keep at least one full outfit in my car for emergencies, and it would probably be helpful if the outfit wasn't a tank-top, shorts, and flip-flops like it is right now. The wisdom in this is pretty much proved to be vast by point #1 in my first list.
  4. A towel. Because of the rain. And my ineptitude surrounding that particular life situation.
  5. A blanket. This is an extremely useful thing to have lying around your car. It's like a Swiss Army knife, only bigger. You can use it to cover the ground if you spontaneously have a picnic; you can use it as a curtain or something if you desperately need to change in your car (like, if you for some reason got soaking wet walking to your car and had a towel and a nice, dry, warm set of clothes beckoning you from the back seat...theoretically); and I can personally attest to the fact that when you are a passenger driving with someone on a cold autumn's/winter's morning/day/night having a blanket is literally the best thing ever. 
  6. A snuggie. So I can drive and still experience some of the wonder of the last point made in #4.
  7. A first-aid kit. I'm thinking I want to make one myself. That way the band-aids will be Batman band-aids, and it will include essentials that most manufacturers are remiss in omitting, like stickers and lollipops (but not butterscotch ones, those are gross).
  8. Snacks. As the semester progresses I'm falling into this habit of not eating. I don't know how or why this is happening.
  9. I dunno, like, survival stuff I guess. Like...water. And road flares, or something. Dehydrated food?
If I plan right I should be able to live semi-comfortably out of my car should some disaster strike. Like, I dunno, the zombie apocalypse. I can drive through the desolate country-side, keeping my Bath and Body Work's car freshener close to my nose to obscure the scent of rotting corpses and stagnating society; I'll comfort myself with songs I used to listen to in highschool--when life was simple and unterrifying--and old PDI worship songs using my car charger and AI cable; at nights I will curl into a ball in the back seat, wrapping my blanket around my body like a protective shell, using my snuggie as both a pillow and to drown out the distant moans of hunting zombies; when I come across survivors I shall do what I can for them, sharing water and dehydrated food, and aiding the wounded with my Batman band-aids. I'll even have at least one extra outfit to change into! I'll probably last like a whole two weeks like that. Maybe three. After that I'll probably starve, or get beaten to death by looters when they break into my car to steal my magical string doll talismen.

Of course since a Facebook quiz assures me I'll only survive at most the first five months after the original cataclysm, I think that's okay.


Things Meagan Recommends

  1. Tea without sugar. It's very refreshing. And you get the benefit of the pure taste of delicious tea with the added bonus of feeling like a European demi-god or something similar.
  2. Andrew Bird. Specifically his albums Armchair Apocrypha and Noble Beasts/Useless Creatures--perfect summer music.
  3. Not thinking a lot of yourself. Specifically this is important when you're trying to hold a funny face your making at someone. If you think a lot of yourself, you'll probably start thinking about how funny the face is, and then you'll laugh at your own hilariousness and consequently ruin the face--probably before the person you're making said face at sees it. And then the whole thing is just ruined. Humility is key in many things, and one of them is pulling off a good funny.
  4. Walking around in bare feet. For two reasons: the first is that if you do this frequently you'll never have to experience the shame of going for a walk around the neighborhood and getting debilitating blisters on the pads of your feet because your delicate kid glove princess feet can't handle the abrasive friction of asphalt for longer than ten yards; the second is, obviously, that you'll become a hobbit.
  5. Diana Wynne Jones. One of my favorite authors; she's creative, clever, hilarious, and prolific, which is an excellent combination of traits. If you like reading fantasy remotely, you'll like her. If you like fairy tales, you'll like her. If you like witticism, you'll like her.
  6. Keeping up with your devotions--even in the summer. I'm dry as bones right now. Le sigh.
  7. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. If you like mysteries, writing that makes you want to dog-ear every page, drama, Jane Eyre, reading, reading about reading, or reading books that are good, your mind will be blown by this book.
On an unrelated note, I actually set up that creative blog I've been ruminating about for about a year and a half. It's right here. At this point you get semi-recent things I've already written, nothing new. I've been thinking about using the 100 themes challenge as a catalyst for subject material, but I'd also really benefit from any suggestions you have, dear readers, and hearing what you'd like to see. If you stop by I'd love feedback.

Harry Potter 7.2 Thursday at midnight. I wonder if this will be anything like the first time I saw The Return of the King (that would be embarrassing).


    I'm Back--Sort of

    You know what I don't understand? The letter G. It's all silly looking and weird; and it for some reason feels like being the only letter in the English alphabet that can make the sound it does isn't enough and therefore it must mug J for its sound every once in a while. G is all, "Hm, 'garage'...oh man, I got so exhausted making the 'guh' sound at the beginning of that word. Plus I always end up sounding like someone punched me in the stomach. I think I'll make the 'juh' sound for the next one--that's not weird or confusing, right? It's cool, it's not gonna make first-graders cry from frustration as they struggle to grasp the purpose of it, right? Right!" Meanwhile J is like, "Come on, this is all I have! So I can act like a Y or even an H in foreign countries--WE'RE SPEAKING AMERICAN HERE, G. For flips sake!"

    Conversely, you know what the most awesome letter is? Q. No matter what font it's wearing it looks like an ancient rune or a military insignia from Star Trek, and is always all, "Hey, man, I'm pretty much whatever you want me to be...check this out, I can make 'queue' just say my name! How awesome is that, it's like six letters, but still only one syllable. Booyah."

    Also the vowels are the elitist clique of the alphabet world, and the IPA are the gods of all the alphabets.


    Yes, I'm Still Alive

    The first fifteen minutes of Gladiator, an entire recent conversation with (the glorious and beautiful) Olivia Stout, and three school assignments in as many days have all been completely wiped from my memory.

    (Well, to be fair, the memory-wipage of the school assignments wasn't complete so much as it was utter-until-my-professors-brought-it-up. And boy did that damage my calm.)

    The other week, I was sitting next to my friend in the computer lab. She sneezed, and I didn't say "Bless you." A few minutes later, I sneezed and she didn't say "Bless you" (although the girl behind me did). I felt a lot less guilty and a pleasant sense of balance was restored to our friendship.

    That's basically the story of my life this semester.

    Thank God He's controlling my life; what said life would look like if it were solely up to me inspires the utmost of horror.


    Archives Advent Extravaganza Day THE END--IT'S CHRISTMAS, WHY ARE YOU ON A LAME BLOG RIGHT NOW?!


    This is probably the most epic blog post I've ever read. Definitely the most epic blog post I've read on SCL.

    My favorite scene from a Christmas movie.

    Possibly my favorite Sufjan song, "Get Behind Me, Santa!"

    Fantasia forever!

    Our Christmas Eve tradition is to watch this movie.

    Another tradition is to read this book. My daddy always cries; I love him.

    "Christmas Time" by Phil Wickham (y'all need to go on his website right now and buy this album).

    Got this off of Deviantart. Because I like interesting art.

    More Sufjan: "The Friendly Beasts" featuring Shara Worden!

    Julian Smith--he made this for you.

    Geeze, I hope I didn't break the internet with all the stuff I have in this post...

    Merry Christmas!