Me, Myself and Vegetarianism

tomatoSomehow in a house full of carnivorous people, who looked questioningly at vegetables as just garnish for their steak dinners, I have found myself living as a vegetarian for about six years. Often times I question how I even became a vegetarian while living on the outskirts of town next to cattle farms raised for meat and the dairy cows milked for freshly churned ice cream, but I managed to do so and I continue living a vegetarian to this day. The thing is that I didn’t do entirely on my own. Months of research in books about vegetarianism, articles online, documentaries about where our food comes from and conversations from other vegetarians helped me safely transition into a life without meat. Continue reading “Me, Myself and Vegetarianism”

Go Ahead and Exaggerate A Little

Teen Brain

After watching this video the other day I’ve realized something about the readers of this blog and me. For some reason we all love it when I exaggerate (for the most part). I literally do nothing during the day except for going to work, or school and then I go home and hang out with friends. Most of the rest of my time is spent writing all about the mundane things that I do and then posting it on the internet.

I’ve written a post about watching cat videos for Pete’s sake, and people still enjoy coming back to visit my blog. It’s entertaining at times to read all of my posts about nothing, but I worry now that it affects my relationships IRL (in real life) as well. Everything with me is “life or death,” “do this now or the world will end,” and “my situation is the worst situation in the world and I’m going to die right now.” Nothing is ever just moderately normal or just boring with me, and I’m not sure if that’s because I’m within that twenty to twenty-five-year-old last bit of brain developing stage or because that’s just me.

I take stories about picking up someone’s lunch at Wendy’s and I turn it into some disastrous catastrophe that ruined my life, or I talk about my experiences with watching training videos at my department store job and I turn it into something that sounds completely ridiculous. A planned trip to Oregon with friends has gotten stretched into an epic tale about life and love, and when I do get around to writing a completely made up story no one seems to respond to it. I suppose it’s something about my exaggerated life that draws people in and keeps them coming back for more. Continue reading “Go Ahead and Exaggerate A Little”

A Labyrinth of Weathered Book Pages

I find the way humans use language so incredibly amazing and wonderful. The fact that words and symbols take the place of sounds and emotions is daunting if you really think about it. Having a name for something so abstract, or even being able to describe an unnamed entity with a combination of expressive phrases, is just so amazing.

We communicate all of our thoughts and feelings to one another with a range of building blocks that we arrange into larger systems of words and terms and then again into complex sentences and expressions. I fall in love with the English language all over again when I pick up a book and dive deep into my imagination filled with new worlds, interesting people, and strange universes populated with wonder and awe, and thinking back on it, this is probably the reason why I got lost in a labyrinth of weathered book pages at the mall. Continue reading “A Labyrinth of Weathered Book Pages”

Writing Autobiography: Word Vomit

I had been sitting in a dermatologist’s office, a bright and vibrantly colorful room, with nothing but a few sheets of paper and a dull pencil waiting for my mother to get some expensive and unneeded procedure done when my life drastically changed. The dermatologist’s office was out of town and nowhere near anything close enough to walk to and hang out at, and because I had just turned fourteen, I didn’t have a driver’s license or a car to escape the most boring situation that I’ve ever been in. There was no one in the room, except for the receptionist at the front desk quietly typing away on her keyboard, and there was nothing else in the room that could possibly entertain me for the few hours it was going to take my mom to finish her cosmetic procedure. I stared at the clock waiting for what seemed like several lifetimes, for the ever-so-slowly minute hand to take its sweet time to move just a tad bit over and because I didn’t feel like doodling on my paper and was left with nothing else to do, I began to write. Continue reading “Writing Autobiography: Word Vomit”

How I Write: My Evolution of Writing

I honestly thought that I was a terrible writer when I was growing up. I would pick up a few college-rule-lined binder-paper and scribble down whatever popped into my head with a dulled number two pencil, and then hand it in several minutes before class began. The problem with that was that the short five paragraph essay was riddled with so many grammar and spelling mistakes that it was genuinely difficult to even understand what I was trying to say, and I knew this—I just didn’t care. “Why reread and correct my mistakes? Isn’t that what the teacher is getting paid for?” I figured if the assignment was completed, and I had words on a page, that it didn’t matter if it made since or if it was interesting or not. I didn’t see the importance of looking over your work before submitting it, until after a mandatory essay contest gave me a wake-up call, and it didn’t occur to me that my mother’s suggestions, for me to actually read my essays and make sure they made sense, wasn’t her just nagging about my half-hearted attempt at doing my homework. Continue reading “How I Write: My Evolution of Writing”

Left With Everything

A note to the reader: I have met many wonderful people in Bakersfield, and although the town is not for me, the entire population of people aren’t all really to blame.

I was lost. I had almost got ran over for the millionth time by a speeding vehicle, and nothing but confusion flashed before my eyes. I couldn’t see the future even if I was a psychic who was asked to make a prediction with a gun held up to my head, and it genuinely bothered me. I always had a plan or something to build off of. I was always so sure of myself and where I would eventually end up, and then somewhere along the way, I lost myself.

Ever since that van narrowly missed my fragile human body I have been trying to figure out my future plans and focus in life. “What the f#ck do I do next?” And then it hit me. Not the van. The way my life was going on right now, was the guiding force that would lead me to the “next step on my journey.”

Having two or three quarters left at Cal Poly Pomona made me re-assess my schedule. I obviously had limited choices with what I had left to take before graduation. I also knew that living here, in the University apartments while doing so, with incredibly loud and horny young college goers would eventually drive me bankrupt and insane, and so I had some direction there. Continue reading “Left With Everything”

Like Bright Scratches of Paint

like bright scratches of paint

I sit here in my room with my hands covered in the dark and dripping ink of my fountain pen, like the bloodied murderous hands of a lunatic. Scrawling of words fall to the page below, like the bright scratches of transferred paint left on a dark-colored sports car, and the words that define us, describe us and uplift us take the time to dance together in various harmonious melodies.

They trip out of my head through my hands and end up in the minds of those willing to receive their wondrous power, and in doing so, I realize that the words here on this page are also filled with amazing power that has stopped those, who are reading this now from whatever they were doing before, and kept their attention long enough to finish listening to what I have to say.

Because of this, I feel as though these writers with their leaky pens and worn keyboards hold some sort of major influence on the world—although secretly of course, because everyone is busy wrapped up in the story on the page, which somehow became part of the audience’s thoughts, to remember that the writers were the ones who created it.

Upon this knowledge that I have obtained, however, I realized that I have a lot more to learn in this world from all the knowledge and experience that I have attained in these years that I have lived on this earth, and I know this because I will never stop learning or writing it all down to help me make sense of it all, like the bright scratches of transferred paint left on a dark-colored sports car.

In a Flash before My Eyes

There I was, standing on the corner of Temple Ave and South Campus Drive, repeatedly pushing the button at the stoplight as if doing so would get me across the street to the University Village any faster. I wasn’t in a hurry to get there—in fact I should have still been on campus getting work done in the library. I had just wanted to come back to an empty apartment so that I can crash on top of my comfy bed. I had my heavy messenger bag filled to the brim with literature textbooks and short novels, and I wanted to escape the beating rays of the hot sun, which didn’t help alleviate the heat trapped within the black cardigan that I was wearing.

I stared blankly into the green light fixed highly above the intersection that told the cars rushing by in front of me to keep going past the intersection, and I continued to do so as the big bulb of light moved into the space where it turned yellow, and then red. I quickly turned my head to my destination across the street and watched the bright red hand on the streetlight pole swiftly change to the bright walking stick-figure that let me know that it was my turn to go. Continue reading “In a Flash before My Eyes”

Writer’s Block

There I am sitting in front of my computer with my finger tips resting along the familiar home row keys. It’s three in the morning and my eyes are blood-shot red from a mix of frustration and dreadful exhaustion. For a moment the world has stopped but the minute hand on the clock is swirling around and passing the twelve numbers at record speed. My eyes continue to glare at the dimly lit computer screen and I can, ever so slightly, feel the ambient light burn into my retinas. Clearly I’m not procrastinating. I would love to be able to type at least a few words on the laptop that was probably over heating so badly that my soft bedding would eventually catch fire, but instead I was peering into the blinking cursor hoping that eventually something would just magically appear.

Having writer’s block is probably the worst thing for someone to experience. Sitting there and waiting for something to fall out of your head is the equivalent of trying to watch an ice cube melt in the snow. It isn’t impossible, but it’s surely something that isn’t easily done. It’s a quiet torture that constricts the creative flow of the writing process and the unseen evil creeping up inside you that holds back any form of artistic expression, so cruel in fact that it doesn’t even leave you with your thoughts.

And here I am pleading with Apollo, praying to St. Francis de Sales, and waiting for help from all the muses and Ecanus with my finger tips still resting on the computer’s familiar home row keys. I want this writer’s block to go away so that I can live again, but for now all I can do is sit here and breathe.

Chained to a Task Worth Telling

There’s something about just listening to people’s lives and transforming them into entertaining stories. Without knowing it, I have been practically doing this to people all of my life. I’ll take real life situations in the news and media, eavesdrop on strangers, and watch people as they live their lives as passersby, but it wasn’t until this year when I brought myself up close and personal into the lives of my characters that I started to feel as if I held this overwhelming and slightly unwanted power that allows me to document people’s lives onto paper.

As a storyteller, these various individuals from all walks of life have inspired me to transcribe anything from short blog posts to long novels. They give me permission to enter into their minds and their inner most thoughts. It’s as if I was granted the power to interfere with their set paths and become a part of the story that they have yet to see neatly bundled up all at once. It’s not just about taking a few random words and throwing them together in any old order, but more like how a talented painter paints a portrait of someone with many marks and blemishes along the contours of their face, and then turns the final image into an entirely pleasant glimpse into the person’s soul.

I’m not saying that I have evolved into some writer’s version of Rembrandt, but I do believe there is a bit of weight that I have experienced with this epic undertaking of writing about people’s lives. Writing has manifested itself as a terrible burden as well as a wonderful gift coexisting in a world where happiness is undefined. It has buried itself deep enough inside my heart that I can’t let the cumbersome practice go, yet it has expanded my imagination and opened up my mind to new and elaborate situations every day. I end up looking for answers, creating new legends and telling people’s stories as I type a carefully thought out combination of letters and symbols onto my computer’s keyboard.