Free Fun

Are you as broke as a child without an allowance? Would you be excited if a moth came out of your wallet as it does in cartoon shows because then, at least, you would have something in your wallet? Is the sound of you rubbing two coins together just the sound of you rubbing one finger against a coin?

Well, me too. I guess we have something in common.

Also, if the above description details your situation perfectly,  welcome to your 20’s; the most ironic age of your life. A time where it should be extremely fun to go out to bars or other age restricted entertainment (because you finally can) with your friends, but also a time when you find you can’t because well, bars cost money. And what with college loans, rent and other expenditures, you’re a bit in the red.

So, if you’re anything like me, and you are a bit bored of watching movies on your couch on a Friday night, here’s a quick reminder that you can fly to far away lands, fight robot overlords and feast on faerie food that is the size of thimbles.

Books are free, people. There is this archaic structure that the state employs to keep you well-stocked with adventure. It’s called the library.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love a good trip to the bookstore to buy a book that I will keep on my shelf or Kindle, forever. And really, the way that I forget to return my borrowed books to that establishment is kind of like I’m buying them already. (I once had to pay my local library $4.50 at a rate of 10 cents a day. You do the math.)

But think about it. We can barely rent anything without paying for it in the entertainment industry these days, especially now that all of the video stores have essentially folded. So, what other medium can you indulge in that will offer their wares for free, and won’t even make you pay for it if you fold the pages back or spill black coffee on it?

And finally, a book keeps giving. It captures someone’s vision originally. But then, when it gets into a reader’s hands, it becomes something completely different. It becomes a religious experience or fuel for the fire. Or, more recently, the subject of a blog post. And, all of this is free to you and me. If you have a library card. Which is free, as well, in most cases.

So what if you’re broke. Most of America is according to the economy. But what we are wealthy in is words and imagination. And so we are rich.

Also, this blog is and always will be free. So, if you do need some free fun on a Friday, I’ll be right there with you, even when I’m not.

I Love People. No, Really.

I absolutely love people. No, really. I do. And you will, too. That is, when you aren’t seeing them in a retail setting or on the roads or drunk at the bar. AKA at their worst.

Imagine them instead in their purest form. Doing what they love, or playing with their friends as children. The human race becomes a lot more tolerable when we allow ourselves to perceive them in this way. They even become enchanting.

But most of all, I love that people love people. Got all that? Isn’t it a beautiful thing when writers or poets render someone’s faults and quirks as a masterpiece in broad strokes of love? Here, let me give you a concrete example. Let’s take a decidedly annoying behavior and make it alluring. How about how your co-worker snaps her gum? To you, it resembles the sound of someone scratching a chalkboard while Fran Drescher laughs. But to someone who loves that co-worker and loves her gum-snapping abilities, it sounds like:

The crack of a gun in the crisp, morning air when the clouds are so low you can walk through them. You’re on a hunting trip, and that sound is the first indication that you have not traveled into the woods in vain. It is the sound of success, or of a hopeful longing that will soon resolve in vindication. It breaks the stillness and fills the air with authoritative resonance.

See? Here’s a short and friendly reminder that, at the end of the day, people are not their wants and their needs throbbing beneath their skin. People are poetry. They are the cute way they bite their lips after those lips have been chapped by the wind. They are the way that they put one pant leg on at a time, and how they jump around to get it around their hips. They are the way that they sink into the sweaters, and clutch warm mugs of tea. Sometimes, they are the way that they rage and cry. But mostly, they are the way that they grin at a child playing in a puddle, or when they leave a yoga class.

And we need to remember to see people in this way. Even when we can’t.

November is Going to Be Awesome (At the Movies)

Ah, November. The fall foliage is in its deepest throes, and the school children are ecstatic to have off because of countless teachers’ conventions. And then, at the end of this gorgeous month, we gorge ourselves on food, and then push each other out of the way to get the best deal on underwear. What could be better?

Oh, a couple of teenagers battling it out to the death, Nazi Germany, and all of space and time. That would make my November perfect. Lucky for me, and probably you as well, this November has something for everyone.

The Hunger Games-Catching Fire
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Source: http://sciencefiction.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Catching-Fire-catching-fire-movie-33836550-1280-673.jpg

If you haven’t jumped on the Hunger Games bandwagon yet, there’s still time. With the second installment of this trilogy, we’re only half-way through this exciting series since the third movie will be split into two, ala the Harry Potter sequence.

What You Need To Know Before You Go: 
Jennifer Lawrence is amazing. Prepare for a stunning performance from her. The rest is a high-stakes thrill ride. At the center is a dystopia that is on the brink of rebellion, with a powerful government attempting to do some deadly damage control. Jennifer Lawrence’s character, Katniss Everdeen, is the literal spark that will set off a chain of events that will endanger everything she knows and loves if she can’t contain the wildfire. Yes, there is a bit of a love triangle in there, but there will be so much action you won’t have time to complain about it.

See it on: NOVEMBER 22, 2013

The Book Thief
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Source: http://cdn3.whatculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/the-book-thief-movie-adaptation-poster.jpg

As an ex-English major, you should absolutely believe me when I say that this was the best book I have ever read. Period. If you haven’t read it yet, then you have not lived, and that is an understatement. There is no over-hyping this book, and I hope it will be the same for this film.

What You Need to Know Before You Go: This book is an absolutely beautiful, multi-layered story set in Nazi Germany. It follows a young girl named Liesel, who loves the written word. Hers is a story of triumph and survival in the face of all odds. If you’ve got time to read the book before you go, I highly recommend it. Actually, that’s a lie. If I was president of the world, I would make a law that would make everyone read this book. I don’t want to give too much away, so I’m going to stop there.

See it on: NOVEMBER 15, 2013

The Doctor Who 50th Year Anniversary Special
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Source: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02714/Doctor-Who-50th_2714427b.jpg

If this is your first time on my blog, then welcome. And you should know that I am a huge Doctor Who fan, and that I wrote one of my theses on it. That’s a new level of fandom, I’d say. If this isn’t your first time, I’m sorry about the redundancy. So, I’m a little biased when I say that the 50th year anniversary of Doctor Who is going to be mind-blowingly amazing. Even if you are not familiar with this sci-fi fantasy, you have to admit, 50 years is a long time for one show, and that’s pretty impressive.

What You Need to Know Before You Go: Doctor Who is basically about a time-traveling alien, his human companions and their numerous travels across time and space as they save the universe. This particular episode will be great because the main character, the Doctor, has regenerated several times, and his previous regenerations will accompany him. To put it another way, it’s like having a television reunion with every single character that has ever played a role in the show. This can be difficult when you are because the show revolves around time itself, and there are consequences when you mess with time, but you get the picture. This will also be the first time that all audiences will be able to watch Doctor Who at the same time, since it is a British import and there’s typically a time difference between airings. So, for Doctor Who fans this is an extremely special special.

See it on: November 23, 2013

Yes, you will have a couple of busy weekends in November. But I can assure you, it will be worth it! Also, stay away from this blog if you don’t go and see any of these programs in theaters because there will be some spoilers!

How I Lost My Nerdiness (And Then Found It Again)

It may not surprise you that I was a total, complete and utter nerd in high school. Actually, you should know that most writers/bloggers/artists are nerds. And that isn’t a bad thing. Just because popular culture likes to portray nerds with glasses and suspenders (which I have), doesn’t mean nerds are totally uncool.

Okay, so we are uncool. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t special in our own way.

Luckily, in recent years, nerds have been championed. Some people have started to think of nerds in a new light, or as we have always seen ourselves; as deeply passionate about particular subjects. And after all, passion is what makes us all feel as if life is worth the ancillary struggles.

In high school, I reached the zenith of my nerdiness. I loved things and people with hopeless abandon. I wore my favorite television characters on my t-shirts, and I consumed countless books on the weekends. I talked primarily in movie quotes, and referenced the obscure. If people couldn’t relate to my specific interests, I didn’t mind. As long as they had their own passions to feed off of, which is how I started to hang out with many other nerds, I was okay with that.

As a result of my nerd status, I was excited to go to college. I would be pursuing my writing, while simultaneously having the opportunity to meet people who possibly shared my interests (or so the Orientation Leaders told me.)

But, there’s one problem with nerds. They are typically shy. So, I didn’t meet any right away. And with the piles of papers that I did have coupled with the piles of money that I didn’t pressing on my mind, I slipped out of my nerd suit. I pushed my passions aside, and took up concrete calculations. How many papers were due tomorrow + how much time I could sleep = productivity. How many friends I could keep + how many would allow me to continue to be myself in their presence = no social life.

Thankfully, I finally met some friends who reminded me why I originally loved the things that I loved.

Then, came senior year. I had to finish two theses in the time that most people write one. Again, my love of writing turned into a platonic relationship. One that often left me wanting something more at the end of the night, but rendered me immobile in my own bed without sleep as a passing visitor. Sadly, even after I finished my theses, I was afraid to take up writing again. I kept wondering what someone would say about my work, or who would be judging my work for its authenticity and merit. Even now, I am reluctant to write. My writing spirit had been broken, and it’s still healing. Occasionally, I’m afraid that I have lost my touch, or that I will write badly, or fail.

However, this blog has been therapy for me. It allows me to write for me, although even that concept is wrong. Writing is hardly ever for yourself. It brings people joy and sorrow, and that’s the beauty of it. The problem is people hide their writing and passions because they are afraid to be rejected. But this is a selfish act. If you have a talent, if you have a love for something, you are hurting the world by keeping it from people.

So, I’m a nerd. I love fairies and fantasy. I love Doctor Who. I will never lose the nerd in me. And neither will you. Being an adult doesn’t mean you need to be maturity in a pencil skirt. You can always let your nerd out to play once in awhile, while still being the responsible adult that you are today. Actually, that will be the only thing that will keep you sane.

I mean, if you want to be sane in the first place. I find that people react surprisingly well to insanity.

At any rate, Nerd On.

For added fun, see where the term “nerd” comes from