The Most Humble Blogpost I’ve Ever Written

This Thanksgiving, it’s important to remember to be thankful, which often means being humble. While I am not a stranger to humility in most cases, I do have trouble with one idea: saying “I don’t know.”

It really all boils down to the fact that I’m afraid to look stupid in front of others, and so I will do just about anything to avoid saying, “I don’t know.” Even lie. “Oh, yes, sea turtles definitely speak three languages.” Or, “No, avocados are the healthiest fruit. You actually shouldn’t even be eating anything else.”

I know, I know, it’s terrible that I can’t say “I don’t know.” It’s even worse that I care so much about what people think of my intelligence. As a matter of fact, I shouldn’t ever care what people think. Period.

So, let’s exercise my humility, and get me comfortable with the unknown. Say it with me:

I don’t know. I don’t know. I DON’T KNOW.

Okay, so maybe this was an incredibly easy blogpost for me to write, but it was rewarding.

And will I start saying “I don’t know?” Well, I don’t know. But I think it is important to recognize your weaknesses from time to time, and grow from them. Or, just fake it until you make it. At any rate, don’t get so caught up in what people are thinking. Spend more time valuing what you think. Even if you just don’t know.

The Shadow Curriculum

As an unemployed college graduate, I have a lot of knowledge in my head, and a lot of time on my hands. There is an irony inherent in this. In college, I wished for an hour to nap. I wished that I wouldn’t have to go to bed after 3:00 AM, just one night. I wished, you guessed it, that I had more free time. An adage comes to my mind…but I can’t remember all of it…something about being careful about what you…

Well, you get it. But it is a rather painful situation that college grads are met with. One moment we are immersed in this collegiate environment that hands us knowledge, daily, and gives us the means to express ourselves. We have peers with which to hold lofty conversations about our studies with, but mostly we just talk about our favorite movies and books (which can be just as stimulating.) We sample different cultures and cuisines, even on our limited budget. We are constantly being bombarded with new things, and eternally maturing and growing.

And then we graduate. And it’s the day we’ve all been waiting for. Or is it?

Because those of us who can’t get a job right out of college (we are the majority), take a hiatus from learning. We no longer drag ourselves out of bed so that we can practice a new skill or theory. We are lucky if we get out of bed at all.

I’m unwilling to succumb to this routine. I’m a perpetual student, and I firmly believe that not all learning happens inside the classroom, but that it is also augmented by the study habits and diligence of the pupil.

So, I had an idea. Actually, Jerry Spinelli had an idea in my second favorite book of all time Love, Stargirl. (My favorite book of all time? It’s Stargirl.) In this novel, the quirky main character is home-schooled, but has a “shadow curriculum.” So, she learns her math, science, and history. And then she learns meditation, learns about ladybugs, takes field trips, or anything she wants.

I was one of the rare people in college who never wanted class or my education to end, not really. And now, with my own shadow curriculum, it won’t. But in general, I think we all need to incorporate more of what we love into our daily lives. I hope it inspires you to create your own!

-Do yoga. Read about meditation. Take time to erase yourself.

Tuesday-Novel Writing
-Learn how to write a novel. Write that novel.

-Read or write poetry. Discover a new poet.

-Mix a new playlist. Learn about a new artist.

-Draw a doodle. Paint something. Just create.

Look out for my shadow curriculum blogging in the future!

Doctor Who Haikus

Continuing with my Doctor Who celebration, I’m going to honor their 50 years of out-of-this world work in the only way I know how: poorly crafted haikus.

Yes, I know, this Japanese art form’s subjects traditionally center around nature, but actually, haikus lend themselves perfectly to blog posts. And, uncannily, to Doctor Who. 

Okay, just humor me. Titles are in bold.

Do You Need Custard With That?
You eat fish fingers.
I wasn’t even aware
that fish had fingers.

The Girl Who Was Kept Waiting
Amelia Pond, I
know I’ve kept you waiting but
you’ll have to stay there.

I Create Myself
I am the Bad Wolf.
I am Life and Death, I am
a poem itself.

Doctor, Don’t
Doctor, I don’t think
you even have a degree
to practice healing.

Exterminate! That
used all of my syllables.
Impolite Daleks.

Donna Noble, saved,
Martha Jones is fine, but what’s
happened to Clara?

David Ten-Inch
You are Barty Crouch.
I shouldn’t be attracted
to you, but I am.

The Last Centurion
You waited longer
than the girl who waited, who
waits for someone else.

Master of All
Da dum da dum da
Do you hear the drums coming?
Da dum da dum da.

Captain Jack
I mean it, really.
Anything that moves. That man
flirts with guys or girls.

Keep It PC
Is that a sonic
screwdriver in your pocket?
Are you the Doctor?

Weep, Angels
Sally Sparrow, don’t
be scared. Find the Easter Eggs,
and do not blink. Ever.

Prom Sucks Without the Doctor
“Bowties are cool,” he
promised. But he isn’t here.
The fez doesn’t match.

There are tic marks here.
And here. Did something happen?
I blinked. There’s still more.

Think you can do better? Leave some more haikus in the comments!

50 Reasons You Should Be Watching Doctor Who

For those of you in love with all things Timelord, you probably already know that Doctor Who will be celebrating their 50th year anniversary this Saturday with a simulcast precisely at 2:50 PM. Now, you can relive the wonder and adventure of the reboot started in 2005 with a marathon on BBC and BBC America. From Doctors 9-11, BBC is replaying all of it.

But if you haven’t indulged in the most popular science fiction show of all time yet, I won’t spoil it for you. No, I will simply give you 50 reasons (in no particular order) why it’s not too late to align yourself with a legacy. And don’t take just take my word for it! Start watching now, and join me as BaileyDailey engages in her own Doctor Who takeover all week.

50. See somewhere new. Actually, see all of time and space.

49. Reenactments of historical events with some slight adjustments by the Doctor.

48. Meeting the T.A.R.D.I.S. again and again.

47. Meeting the Doctor…er…again and again.

46. Rose Tyler.

45. Wibbly, wobbly, timey, wimey.

44. “Just once, everybody lives!”

43. Martha Freakin’ Jones.

42. Donna Noble has been saved.

41. “That’s a bit ood.”

40. Captain Jack Harkness.

39. “It’s bigger on the inside.”

38. Sonic screwdrivers.

37. Amy Pond and Rory Williams.

36. Clara, the Impossible Girl.

35. The Silence

34. The Girl Who Waited.

33. “Bowties are cool.”

32. Christmas specials.

31. Bananas.

30. Daleks upon daleks upon daleks.

29. The Vashta Nerada.

28. K-9.

27. “Rude and not ginger.”

26. “Run!”

25. “I am the Bad Wolf. I create myself.”

24. The Slitheen.

23. Regeneration.

22. “Fantastic!”

21. “Geronimo!”

20. “Well…”

19. The Weeping Angels.

18. Sally Sparrow, and all the companions that could have been.

17. River Song.

16. Melody Pond.

15. The Doctor’s Name. In Gallifreyan.

14. Sarah Jane Smith.

13. Mr. Smith.

12. Sontarans.

11. “I’m not amused.”

10. Fishfingers and custard.

9. “He’s like fire and ice and rage…”

8. The Oncoming Storm.

7. The Doctor’s Wife.

6. The Girl in the Fireplace.

5. The Master and his drums.

4. Cybermen.

3. Fezzes.

2. Two hearts.

1. Fans like you!

Are you properly confused? Good. You won’t feel any less confused by watching Doctor Who, but you will have some fun!

Dear Warrior Women

Dear Warrior Women,

You know who you are. You are the women who have a quiet strength, a silent fortitude. You don’t show weakness, and when your reality is crumbling, you whisper to yourself, “I’ll try again tomorrow.” You are a tumbling sea inside that precariously reaches your toes and rushes back. You are the bluest sky on a halcyon day. You are one of a kind.

You may not be the smallest waist in the room, or the most stylish, or the most put-together. You are a warrior woman, and it’s been a long time since you’ve had time to care about what others thought of you. You’ve been fighting a war, after all. With society, some of the time. But mostly, with yourself. You are on the front lines in more than a metaphorical sense. You are attacked, hated, and fetishized. But now you are fighting back.

You are broad shoulders, you are thunder thighs, you are big-boned, you are full-bodied, you are curvaceous and proud of it. And yet, you are none of these things because they can’t fully define you. Your vessel, your body, is bigger than a size 0 because of all of the spirit and beauty it must contain.

And to all of the petite women, the size 4’s and down, who were not born with big child-bearing hips, or large breasts, or even great height, you are warrior women, too. You fight in the same war with a different weapon.  And when you fall, you represent an important casualty. Because in giving in to the opposition, you are conforming, as well. And that’s not a victory for anyone.

We have all struck ourselves with deafening blows. We all forget our warrior status once in awhile. But there is a way to remember: help others remember.

Remind them that you have filled your cup, and you have drank it all, and you have lived, not vicariously through someone else, but in your own precious skin. Remind them that you have a beer gut from drinking the dregs of life, and that it means you had fun along the way. Remind them that you have a thick, juicy body from letting the juice from so many experiences of your life run down your chin, and that you delight in that fact. Remind them that you have small breasts that allow you to go without the trappings that cage you, and that you live a life so much freer than anyone else because you are happy with them. Remind them that you have the body you have because so did your mother, or your grandmother, or your aunt and you should be honoring them, not being ashamed of them.

Dear warrior women of all shapes and sizes, never forget yourself or your worth.

Kick Writer’s Block in the Face

Writer’s block hits with more force than an actual cement block, typically. Especially when you have stupidly charged yourself with the lengthy task of writing a blog post once daily. No, I’m not complaining, and there’s definitely no tears of frustration on my face right now while I write this…

But just in case you don’t have the creative juices flowing at all times like I do, here’s a bit of a brain massage. I was inspired by this Time post that offered the beginning of potential novels for those writing them in the month of November. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Refer to this blogpost.)

These offerings from Twitter were great, but I wanted to kick the level up a notch, pour a little hot sauce on the leftovers, kick a dead beaten horse, if you will.

So, here are another 50 ways to start OR end your novel in five words or less. I’ll let you decide. Eat your heart out, John Green.

1. Today is the day.
2. Green is my color.
3. You were sometimes mine.
4. There was a little blood.
5. The moon was hidden.
6. Bite your tongue.
7. Love is perspective.
8. Too much is too little.
9. It was a big gun.
10. He left his hat.
11. She was very ugly.
12. I don’t remember it well.
13. Her heart was sturdy.
14. The feather was incredibly heavy.
15. The shark bit his leg.
16. His shirt was torn.
17. The fire burned low.
18. She had no eyes.
19. Take a picture.
20. Smell the roses or don’t.
21. She never stopped falling.
22. Here’s the truth: I lie.
23. I spilled milk and cried.
24. Death is not the end.
25. This would be over momentarily.
26. Aliens aren’t green.
27. Puppy breath is disgusting.
28. The chandelier crashed down.
29. No one heard the scream.
30. It smelled like death.
31. What a dork.
32. She counted on her fingers.
33. Leaving wasn’t an option.
34. She might have been pregnant.
35. There were diamonds everywhere.
36. It wasn’t tomorrow yet.
37. Don’t be stupid.
38. He had some potential.
39. She had seven missed calls.
40. The drums were brand new.
41. He couldn’t grow a beard.
42. Santa was late.
43. She was magic.
44. He fell in a hole.
45. Hell was warmer than expected.
46. The ocean was dry.
47. His hair was wet.
48. Don’t quote me.
49. It was impossible.
50. The End.

So, try one out today. Try to start a story or short poem EXACTLY how you end it. It will make you appreciate how things work out in cycles. Or it’ll just make things a lot easier.

I Salute You, NanoWrimers

I don’t know how you do it, budding novelists of the world, but somehow, every November, you do. You write until the keys pop off your computer, and you torture yourself with any number of devices that will help you to keep your focus. A friend of mine was swept up last year by National Novel Writing Month and eagerly showed me her methods. “This website turns red when you haven’t been typing for awhile, and if it gets to be too long without you producing something new, it deletes your progress.” Trying to find the right word again after its been deleted by a machine feels a bit like a fresh hell to me. But every night she dug deep and met her goal without too much of her work erased.

For those of you unfamiliar with what I’m even talking about, we are deep in the throes of National Novel Writing Month. As I understand it, although I have never tried it myself, a participant completes 50,000 words by the end of November, thus creating a short novel. You can break it up into sections or, for you procrastinators, you can write the full 50k in one shot. There is no prize at the end; simply self-satisfaction, and a couple of new friends who have slaved alongside of you.

Thus, I will take a moment of my time to salute those who are able to complete this monumental task, or even start it. I will also congratulate you on the fact that you are almost at the middle of the month, and therefore, possibly in the middle of your respective work.

I can only imagine that you are only taking a few minutes out of your strict schedule to read this blog. Eating and going to the bathroom can wait.

If you are at all a follower of this blog, you’ll know that writing about 500 words a night for me is not even feasible, so 50,000 is quite unfathomable.

So, be kind to those word warriors. I have no doubt they are out there, living among you, tired and red-eyed from staying up the night before to really “flesh out that foil character.” And when they ask you to listen to a section of their masterpiece, sigh and giggle at the appropriate moments, for that is their blood and tears on a page. And when November is over, tell them to keep going. Keep editing, keep imagining, and keep writing.

After all, as I once heard: “Writing when you are inspired will make you a great poet, but it will never make you a novelist.”

Write on!

Don’t Call It A Plan B

No, the title of this post is not a suggestion to the marketing team of the pill for unwanted pregnancies. It’s a call to action for your life. Unfortunately, it was inspired by true events in my own job quest.

I received my first official rejection letter today from a company I was very interested in working for. I plan to hang it up in a place of honor because it is undoubtedly the first of many. But that’s not my low self-esteem talking, although it will give you an ear-full if you let it. I’m simply acknowledging that you can’t win them all, and that there is a grain of truth to the sentiment that some things are simply meant to be or not. And that’s that.

These composed and mature ideas were not my first thoughts when I slit open the envelope that contained the rejection letter on my dining room table. Actually, my first string of words upon finding the word “However,” in a dense mass of text in the letter are a bit too vulgar to repeat here.

But once I was able to ruminate on the experience a bit, a familiar motto floated into my head: “everything happens for a reason.” And with a deep sigh, I knew this to be true. But when I began to think about my next plan of action, the words “plan B” took root in my head, and I recoiled. Should any of us refer to any opportunity as a plan B? What, exactly, makes it secondary? And why do we allow ourselves to pursue a “secondary” plan instead of making a new “primary” one?

This terminology suggests that when we don’t get something we want, we are simply settling. It says that we will only pursue second best if our first choice is out of our reach or eliminated as a possibility. But what makes it so?

I openly reject this thought process. If you needed a reminder about your potential on this cold Tuesday night, here it is: never settle and never give up. If something didn’t work out, it wasn’t supposed to. If you’re still breathing, it’s not over.

Call it God’s work, call it the universe’s abundance, or call it luck that you are where you are, but don’t call your next move plan B. And in that vein, don’t work towards your plan B. Any chance you get at achieving your dreams requires you to pursue your plan A. See everything as a possibility that will help to strengthen your career or your character, no matter how diverse the opportunity is from your original goal. Perceive your next interview or date as your top choice.  If it isn’t a plan A in the first place, don’t pursue it. And if it doesn’t work out, find a new plan A.

Here’s another friendly reminder: you don’t have to have it all figured out. You can go ahead and read that again because I know it didn’t sink in the first time. People will tell you that you should, and they’ll act very prepared when they are around you, but they don’t know what they are doing, either. The plain and simple truth is this: if you follow your passion, you’ll never have to look very far for your next move.

So, with this in mind and my heart in hand, I’m reaching for that next plan A. Are you?

Sunday Funday

I know. You shouldn’t catch this blogger blogging on a Sunday, but I owe you a post!

If you are unfamiliar with my interests, I love creating playlists. Actually, if you’re at a party with me, you’ll often find me by the music, tweaking and tinkering. So, here’s a Sunday Playlist I made! It’s very relaxed so it’s perfect for winding down after a long weekend. Let me know what you think!

V For Vendetta: A Tasteless Poem

Every year, I watch V for Vendetta on November 5th. This year, I captured my thoughts on the film in a tasteless poem for your enjoyment. Follow this blog for more tasteless poems at your fingertips.

Remember, Remember
The Fifth of November
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot
I know of no reason
that this should be pleasing
and this man in this mask
so hott.

Remember, Remember
The Fifth of November
And Natalie’s shaved head.
She was beautiful in Thor
And I want to see more
But she’s looking pretty dead.

Remember, Remember
The Fifth of November
When Evey sprays some Mace
But it’s an hour in
And I’m sitting on pins
Do we ever see his face?

Remember, Remember
The Fifth of November
Wait, Gordon just got killed?
But I thought it was all fake
V did it for Evey’s sake
Is that tension you are trying to build?

Remember, Remember 
The Fifth of November
Oh, I get it, it’s an allegory
The government is crap
But Natalie should rap
That would make a cooler story.

Remember, Remember
The Fifth of November
It’s a date that you should save
With this guy named Fawkes
Who everyone mocks 
but who is probably laughing in his grave.

Remember, Remember 
The Fifth of November
My cheeks can’t be wetter
I’m crying at the last
For the man dies in his mask
Maybe the sequel is better?