Sunday, October 29, 2006

Writer's Block

It's 12:01 a.m., and I'm still up on a Monday night/Tuesday morning waiting for Katie to call me back. I lay back in one of the commons' chairs and set my cell phone on my stomach as the sounds of Great Big Sea blare over Rodney's* speakers, and I look over at the couch where no one is sitting. But if I concentrate hard enough, I can see that someone is sitting there; he has nonchalantly stretched his legs across the chair in front of him, and as usual he's paying me no mind. In fact, he's munching on the chips and salsa that I left there, and he hasn't yet paused to brush away the crumbs that are falling on his faded blue 'NIKE' shirt.

I pause my music. He finally sees that I'm looking at him and, after he finishes his mouthful, he grins at me. "Hi there. Surprised?"

"Oh, definitely." I turn my eyes back to the computer screen in front of me. "It's been a while."

"It has."

He says nothing more, and after a few moments the silence becomes too awkward for me to bear. I close Rodney with a tired sigh and look up again. "Okay, I give. What's the occasion?"

"None," he says, setting the chips and salsa on the floor. "Can't I just visit because I want to?"

"You usually don't. And besides, you aren't real."

He grins again. "It's not like this is the first time you've ever seen me."

"...well then, you'll have to forgive me. I'll never really get used to being able to see my muse." Not by yourself, I mentally add. Usually he is accompanied by my four other muses, and all five of them pester me incessently until I start writing with them again. It is in fact odd to see my muses when they are on an inspiration mission, but even stranger to see one by himself. There has to be a reason.

I look at my cell phone in anticipation of Katie's call, but to my dismay the screen remains blank. There's no convenient way out of the conversation that he undoubtedly wants to have with me. This doesn't make me very happy. "Okay, let's try this again," I say. "Why did you decide to randomly show up?"

I watch as his grin fades and, to my surprise, he begins to look very serious... and a little sad. Now I feel a twinge of guilt about being so abrupt with him, but he starts to talk before I can apologize. "It's been two months since you last wrote anything. We both know that isn't a good sign."

"No kidding." I mentally cringe at how harsh my tone sounds, but I continue anyway. "It's no fault of mine... I've been swamped with schoolwork. I'm sorry." I let my gaze fall to the floor, and he says nothing. I'm waiting for him to reassure me, offer a simple "No worries" to let me know that I'm not completely letting him down... but he says nothing. The silence cuts deeper than a verbal knife, and finally I can stand it no longer. "Look, I... I'll work on it, okay? I'm just having trouble finding time to break through the writer's block, that's all."

His voice is so soft that I barely hear him say, "you've had writer's block before, but never like this. You used to have time for everything you enjoyed..."

"Last year I didn't have to set aside time to write -- I was in high school." I grimace at nothing in particular. " know how it eats away at me when I can't write. Everything I start I never finish, everything I think of flies away the instant I touch a pencil, everything I write I erase or delete because it's just bad writing!"

"It must be so frustrating. I mean, to have all those ideas in your head and be unable to get them out..."

"Yeah, thanks," I sigh. "You're really succeeding in making me feel better."

He smirks. "What can I say? I'm a muse, not a therapist." When I refuse to respond, he lets out a sigh of his own and smiles tiredly at me. "Okay. If it'll help, I'll get the guys together and we'll scheme up something." Now he grins. "I could probably play a harmless prank or two to get things started."

I smile in spite of myself. "That would help. You're always up to no good, anyway."

He laughs. "Oh, I aim to misbehave."


The sound of my ringing phone startles me, and I awake with a jolt and scramble to catch my phone before it falls onto the floor. I rub at my sleepy eyes and look over at the couch, but I am alone in the commons. I sigh a little. It's always a bad case of writer's block that brings about dreams of my muses...

Rodney is still open and my music still playing, so I pause the music to answer my phone before it switches to my voicemail. It's Katie. I smile at the sound of her voice and, as I start to talk to her, I give the couch one last fleeting look.

On the floor in front of the couch, the salsa is still open.
*For those of you who don't know, Rodney is the name of my computer.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Little Bit of Fun

Yeah, so this might be a cop-out update. I hope it is entertaining nevertheless. ^^

First, a few quotes for you.

-From family-
from Kate (all said to me, funnily enough)-
-"No, I will not card-scan your butt."
-"You're obsessing about the butter. Forget about the butter! The butter is just there, it is nothing! Do not agitate the butter!"
-"I'm poking you with the Finger of Blame!"
-"There is no age limit on stupidity."

from Mom-
-"Yay, tropical depression!"
-"The eighth wonder of the tri-county area: The Verbena Triangle."

from Dad-
-(while watching CSI: Miami)
Horatio Caine: [pointing a gun at the suspect] "Move and I'll blow your brains out."
Dad [as the suspect]: "I don't have any brains. So there."
-(while watching The Snorks) "You realize that all we're doing is watching seaweed talk to each other."

from Elizabeth-
-"Microsofy? Oh, I do love typos..."
-"Croikey! Oi'm an Aussie poirate!"
-"Stupid Neopets. At least Beanie Babies had names you could pronounce..."
-(on the subject of Strip Monopoly:) "Alright, give me Park Place and your pants!"

from conversations between me and Kate-
-(while watching Sleeping Beauty)
K: "Oh, great, she's gonna look like a super nova."
E: "You mean, like, frightening and yet awe-inspiring at the same time?"
K: "No, more like millions of exploded gas particles..."
-(from Fourth of July 2005)
E: "I love family gatherings. It's the only place you can hear Aunt Kathy say 'queer' and Grandmama say 'crap'!"
K: "Yup. Once the magaritas come out, you can just sit back and listen to the blackmail fly."
-(while driving)
E: (looks out the window) "Oooh, birdsh!"
K: "Who are you, Sean Connery?"
E: "Yesh..."

-From friends-
Katie: "You don't want to see my cheese in the pool."
Lizzy to Suzanne: "Your brain is wired wrong."
JJ, after watching The Fantastic Four: "Alright, I need some metal gloves and a bunch of jumper cables!"
Katie, in regards to Phantom of the Opera: "Masquawooooo!"
David making fun of my typos: "What the crap is a Fruby?"
Suzanne to Katie: "KT-sama, I'd thank you KINDLY not to hit me over the head with a giant salmon!"
Katie in my kitchen: "I think that freezer just tried to eat my hair!"

And, for a few more laughs, the website of the day is a fun little experiment that shows how easily entertained a human can be. Enjoy. (and yes, poking DOES do something... just keep at it.)

Never fear! My next update will be back to normal.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

This is your brain. THIS is your brain on college.

Any questions? *grins*

...sorry. I couldn't help myself.

Everyone at Covenant is feeling the weight of the anticipation for Fall Break. As Friday draws closer, it only means more tests and papers to frantically finish (because, evidentally, the students are more eager to have a break than the teachers) with binge studying and all-night fervent typing that would make any amateur's fingers bleed. I would not be the least bit surprised if I walked into the Gallery commons one morning to find three or four of my hallmates lying askew on the couches and curled up in the chairs, their books still open, their fingers still clasped around pencils that have stopped writing intelligble words and have lapsed into straight lines of non-text; around them are the carcasses of Vault bottles and Red Bull cans lying in pools of their own caffeinated blood, with one lone survivor, a Coke can, balanced precariously on the arm of the chair and within two inches of an elbow-enduced death and its two-feet plummet to the floor.

Okay, I had way too much fun with that.

I do not think I could stress enough how much of a marathon week this has been for everyone I know. Taking test after test, writing and rewriting each essay or midterm paper until it is beyond mortal satisfaction and sufficient to be placed on the Altar of the Grading Gods*, and staying up 'til two in the morning every night trying to keep your head above the ocean of pages of homework, required reading, and thrown-out drafts of essays. And, to top it all off, it seems that every teacher on campus gets the bright little idea in his or her head that, "Oh, the students will have plenty of time to do THIS unrealistically huge homework assignment over Fall Break!" until there are so many assignments handed out that, in all honesty, I'm beginning to think that Fall Break is only truly a break from the Great Hall food.

(If you have not yet heard my spill on the Great Hall food, don't worry. I have no doubt that I'll tangent into it in another entry.)

Wednesday I decided to sit back and watch everyone in all my classes (which was hard in Old Testament, since we were all taking a test) to see how the average student was going about their week. What I saw, of course, did not surprise me. It was not unlike watching a group of travelers slogging through knee-deep mud that had no path around or over it; even a select few who were smiling during the morning, when I saw them later in the afternoon, looked tired from the extra energy they were spending to slog alongside everyone else and look cheerful doing it. I am reminded of my favorite definition of trudging as given by Paul Bettany's character in A Knight's Tale: "To trudge: the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on." In light of that, it seemed to me yesterday that everyone has, in fact, succumbed to their fate of trudging their way through the rest of the week.

I am now debating the idea of a banner: "Fall Break: loathe it or leave it."

But now it is Thursday afternoon, and classes are almost finished for the day. For most, tomorrow will be the day that we all must survive (trans: "must stay awake during class"). For some, tonight will be the last of the horrifying dinners from the Great Hall until next Wednesday. For a few, it will be the start of a long journey to someone else's home for more experiments in learning to get along with new people.

For me, it will be a three-hour car ride home to my family, my cat, and the lingering hope of at least one guilt-free Big Mac or trip to Outback.
*No, Covenant does not condone the belief of bizarre deities. Students are, however, allowed to hold candle-less sayonces, and offer not-very-burned sacrifices to the Snow Gods (burnt offering = melting ice cubes with a hair dryer) as long as there are absolutely no candles involved whatsoever because of the fire regulations.