Category Archives: Everything Else

Writing Memoirs

Today I began a five-day intensive course on writing memoirs. So far it has just been a lot of creative, free writing where you create stories on the fly from a random list of words. I am having a blast.

My teacher sounds exactly like Anjelica Huston (probably because they are, in fact, sisters), and I have never done so much random writing. It’s very liberating to just spout out whatever comes to mind first.

I even tried my hand at stand-up storytelling. Kinda like stand-up comedy meets improv. A new experience.

My stand-up story was about how the Dalai Lama was walking along one day and met a roly-poly and turtle sitting on a rock, debating on the best way to use a calculator to determine the distance to the moon. The Dalai Lama said that the answer was love and joy, and he offered them sushi. He then felt bad because sushi was very close in food groups to the turtle, and so he decides to take a sabatical from religious life to reasses his views on cannibalism.

Probably not something I’ll pursue in my future writing. Unless I can think of something clever for his sabatical. Any suggestions?

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Defensive Dancing

Last night was a good night with friends. It was girl’s night, and we went out to Campus Corner (an area north of campus full of bars, restaurants and little boutiques) and got our dance on.

And we wore heels. A rare — but oh so fun — occurrence.

A word of caution though. High heels may make for great legs, but they are subpar when it comes to dancing. Well, excellent for dancing, but subpar when it comes to walking the next day after dancing a bunch the night before. My feet are sooooooore.

But it was so much fun. So worth it.

There’s just something about dancing. I love it. Not the silly grinding with no rhythm stuff though. That’s lame and takes zero talent. I’m talking the salsa dancing, shake your booty (appropriately, of course), fast footwork stuff. The “to hell with trying to be sexy, I just want to dance” stuff.

Now that’s what I call a good time.

The problem with going out dancing, however, is that certain people– namely those with a Y chromosome– tend to get the wrong idea. When some guys (and I do saysome, because not all guys are this bad) see a group of girls move at any faster tempo than a sway, they automatically start thinking about how they should go over and interrupt their good time with a little male companionship.

I have no idea where these ideas come from. As I may have mentioned before, my “sexy dancing” skills are completely lacking. I don’t think there’s possibly an inappropriate way to interpret The Sprinkler. That I’m aware of.

And yet someone always manages to do so.

Way too many college guys seemed to have skipped class on the day they covered “The Correct Way to Pick Up Women.”

My “favorite” is when they come up behind you and just start grinding on you. No hello, no “Would you like to dance?,” and almost always no rhythm.

Since when does that ever sound like a good idea?

Oh hey! Maybe she wont notice that I’m all up in her business! Or maybe she’ll be flattered that I am completely abandoning all social norms and initiating completely inappropriate contact while she’s having a good time with her friends!

So not cool.

Anyway, dancing last night was fun. Constantly running away from guys was not.

That being said, I still love dancing. Probably always will.

I went to bed last night pondering. If only there was a way to solve this predicament…

And then today — as if in perfect answer to my soul searching– I found this YouTube video.

Brilliant.

I will be practicing this fervently until the next time we put our dancing shoes on.

Creepy boys, you have been warned.

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Betraying My Inner Nerd

Bahaha!

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Wow.

Now THIS is something I want to see.

I just read an incredible article in the NY Times about a female director, Sonia Nassery Cole, and her battle to make “The Black Tulip,” an Afghani film critical of the Taliban, which she filmed on location in Kabul in 2009. As the article states, it is extremely rare for a film to be shot on location in Afghanistan, and it is unbelievable to me what she and her crew endured to get this movie made– including death threats, bomb blasts, and having her lead actress’ feet cut off by militants a few weeks before production.
And yet, to me the most powerful part of the story is the fact that this woman, an Afghan expatriate, refused to allow violence to derail her from the story she needed to tell. Come danger and even death, she knew she had a story and she knew it had to be told.
That’s powerful. That’s what it means to be a storyteller.
Sometimes I think there are two different kinds of writers in the world. There are the writers that love the craft and are always searching for their next story through which to share their voice. And then there are writers who burn with a story they need to tell, and they develop their writing for the purpose of sharing that specific story.
I would definitely consider myself in the first camp. I love to write, but good stories are hard to come by. And I envy those in the second camp, because you need to have a compelling story to keep people coming back to your work.
I need to find a compelling story.

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This is where Facebook gets creepy.

It’s getting down to job search time, and naturally, I’m worried about my Facebook (even though I’ve taken great pains throughout college to keep a respectable profile, etc). People lose jobs and opportunities all the time because of things they post on social networking sites. So while I’ve always had my profile on private, I only accept friend requests from people I know, and I’m only searchable if you’re a friend of my friend, I’m still uncomfortable with the idea of employers searching for (and finding) me on FB. I’d hate to have people judge me before they know me.

So to ease my worries (which are probably completely irrational, since I have just about as clean an FB as possible), I googled privacy settings for FB. And viola! I found a great way to check if my Facebook profile is searchable and such online.

Go to youropenbook.org and type in exactly what your FB status says right now. If your profile picture and status come up, then be careful. You are officially search-able to all potential employers. Woops!

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Success!

I am done, at least for a little while, with all my application essays.

Time to celebrate by playing a community league soccer game and running around till I drop from exhaustion. Then I’m headed to a friend’s house for a quiet evening. Can’t wait to get in some exercise and good time with friends!

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As a Writer

You know you need to write a particular story when you find four independent “idea” sticky notes– written at different times and stashed in random places (for who knows how long)– and all the ideas have the exact same characters and basically the same premise. That one needs to be on paper, me thinks.

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