Special Skills

I’ve often thought that the ‘special skills’ section on resumés and applications should be much less narrow than it is. Relevant special skills are old hat—I have loads of random talents that are going to get me nowhere in life and you should hire me because of them.

  • the ability to wake up and resemble a blonde and bespectacled Morticia Addams.
  • a highly sought after encyclopedic knowledge of Broadway show tunes/random 80s music, such that anything you say can and will be transformed into a vaguely off-key rendition of the relevant song
  • see also: encyclopedic knowledge of commercial jingles/ancient TV theme tunes
  • a fondness for passive voice (obviously)
  • (and parentheses)
  • the most amazing pout face you will ever see.
  • psychic powers to predict what you’re going to say 50% of the time
  • an uncanny ability to wrongly predict what you’re going to say 50% of the time and be disappointed about it
  • “amazing” dance moves
  • rollercoaster emotions that are less like a rollercoaster and more like one of those tower, free-fall ride things (i.e. the froghopper)
  • that one time I missed a question on SmartyPants about James Joyce because I am a complete failure at aiming a wii remote this isn’t much of a skill
  • the ability to fall down the stairs much more than the average person
  • the ability to look 17 while actually being 90 years old
  • the ability to freak out about homework you have coming up for three weeks, forget about it after it’s actually been assigned, and then scramble and half-dash it all the night before it’s due
  • the ability to whine about everything (“It takes a genius to whine appealingly.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald)
  • sock slide prowess
  • falling over prowess
  • an annoying habit of pluralizing everything that ends in ‘us’ by changing it to ‘i’—also, ‘is’ to ‘es’ (blame Latin, not me)—even when it’s not correct
  • saying “I need to do something about my hair” every day, then going to do nothing about my hair, ever
  • terrible sleep habits
  • excessive clumsiness
  • the ability to ingest 5 cups of caffeinated coffee/tea in one day and still remain a zombie
  • faulty brain wiring that makes bad ideas look like really excellent ones. (ESSIE, I know, I need you to leave the children you’re babysitting with my brother and drive me to the bookstore even though my mom—and your mom—will flip that we left them and drove by ourselves to get my mom a birthday present because I forgot until today while she’s out of the house she will be so touched yes this is foolproof) (Note: attempted to pitch this to Essie two days ago. She said no.)
  • can sometimes identify composers while listening to classical music on the radio
  • being right once and so proclaiming myself infallible
  • being wrong once and still sticking to the claim. “I’m right unless proven wrong. Always. Unless I’m not. But I always am, so.”
  • never being sure how to spell ‘dependent’ or ‘relevant’ (though I may have figured it out, finally)
  • constant grumpiness that almost never goes away and can be brought to the forefront by the tiniest thing
  • the ability to complain about something while doing the exact same thing myself
  • the foolish idea that you can wear the same clothes three days in a row without anyone noticing. (But I’m going somewhere different today.)
  • the ability to nap just about anywhere. (The carpet is actually pretty comfy, no lie.)
  • a fondness for naming as-of-yet-unnamed childhood toys as they are rediscovered after really obscure, nerdy characters or classical composers—hence, Chekov, Ismene, Schubert.

And most importantly at all, a special skill that might actually be useful:

  • the ability to just pretend I know what I’m talking/doing about until I actually do. Basically—fake it ’til you make it. Excellent life-schlepping advice from one who obviously has it all together.

Disclaimer: please don’t take life advice from me. Thanks.

Best wishes,
Hero

I Legitimately Forgot

I was working today, hunched over my computer, eyes glazed over, clicking intermittently… And my brain helpfully offered me this golden nugget of information: “It’s Thursday.”

And I was like, “Thank you, brain. I was aware that it is Thursday.”

“No, Hero, you don’t get it. It’s Thursday. As in, not Wednesday.”

*fpppppppppppp* “Oh.”

So, I’ve decided to sort of be lazy and stuff and give a general update on my life.

  • I AM FAILING NANOWRIMO. Like, seriously. FAILING MISERABLY. I haven’t even hit 25,000 words, but you know what? I got started writing a novel that I really enjoyed, and that’s all that matters.
  • Today is my friend Kristin’s birthday! (Notice, I linked to her tumblr: this is where I pretend that I don’t have the URL to her tumblr memorized because I have a life and stuff hahahahahaha…) Anyway, we met up with, like, a gazillion of our friends from church and we went to Cracker Barrel and Landon and Tanith and Odysseus and our awesome seminarian friend were there and it was a lot of fun. We got to Cracker Barrel at 9:15 and we left at — wait for it — 11:00. We finally yanked ourselves away from the table (to the relief of the waitresses) and then stood outside on the porch with all the rocking chairs for another ten minutes. It was a lot of fun and really awesome to get to have breakfast with my friends (first time I’ve ever paid for myself at a restaurant you guys: I’M SUCH A BIG GIRL). Kristin is beautiful and amazing and I freaking love her to death, so go to her tumblr and spam her ask with messages about how incredible she is because if there is one person on this planet who deserves ‘you are magical and a goddess’ spam, it’s her.
  • Tuesday night I went over to Essie’s house with the usual gang (plus Odysseus and Stella) and had a musical marathon. 😛 We watched West Side Story (which Essie somehow found neither romantic NOR SAD) and then we watched The Music Man — at which point Landon, Odysseus, and Stella (obviously those aren’t their real names, you guys – what terrible parent would name their children like that? I mean, all those names on their own are okay, I guess, but all three? Together? No worries, their real names are very not-crazy) had to go home because it was like, 11:40. *hd* And then Morgann and Essie and I stayed up until 2 watching Phantom of the Opera and the Phineas and Ferb musical… It was a lot of fun. I love my friends. 🙂
  • Working is annoying but being employed has benefits, such as being paid. So that’s that then.
  • I’m on a diet because I’m commiserating with a friend of mine, but my diet kind of stinks because I’m totally lame at dieting and I’m not exercising every day because I’m lazy. Also I ate cake yesterday that sent me wayyyyy over my calorie limit for the day (like, I was at 172% of what I was supposed to be at heh heh heh). But I’m trying. Yeahhh.
  • I really want to take a nap. Or maybe watch Mary Poppins. Or something.

Anyway, that’s all for me right now! I will now go pretend to have a life all holed up in my room watching Mary Poppins on my laptop.

~Hero

Things of Little Consequence

Today I want to devote an entire blog post to all the issues I have with Avril Lavigne’s ‘Sk8er Boi’. Stupid? Yes. But the dang song is stuck in my head and there is so much wrong with it that I feel the need to get this rant out of my system.

Let’s go line by line, shall we?

He was a boy
She was a girl
Can I make it anymore obvious?

So far, fine. Girl, boy, classic love story set up.

He was a punk.
She did ballet.
What more can I say?

Quite a bit more, actually. I get that this is a song, and this line is used to reflect that they had pretty different personalities, but being a punk/doing ballet does not epitomize you as a person.

He wanted her.
She’d never tell.
Secretly she wanted him as well.

Here’s where I start having issues. Besides the fact that we’re using the word ‘wanted’ instead of ‘was in love with’ (which says to me that this is obviously a really superficial relationship), we also have to deal with the fact that this ballerina girl is ashamed of ‘wanting’ this guy. I’m sorry, but if you really care about someone, you’re not ashamed of them – no matter what others think. Which leads us to the next line.

And all of her friends
Stuck up their nose.
And they had a problem with his baggy clothes.

In my time I’ve seen two ways that this can be interpreted: 1) Ballerina Girl’s friends are all snobs and need to get over themselves, and are also not Ballerina Girl’s real friends, because if they were her real friends, they’d like him because she liked him and they want her to be happy. 2) Ballerina Girl’s friends care too much about her to see her go off with this punk/skater dude who doesn’t exactly sound like a savory person. I mean, clothes are one thing, but personality and behavior are another. (If one of my friends liked a guy who was treated people badly or didn’t have respect for authority or otherwise made him a bad influence, I would have issues, and pull a Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. “My objections to the marriage were not merely those which I last night acknowledged to have the utmost force of passion to put aside, in my own case; the want of connection could not be so great an evil to my friend as to me…”) Either way, this line is just wrong, juxtaposed with the next one.

He was a skater boy, she said see ya later boy.
He wasn’t good enough for her.
She had a pretty face but her head was up in space.
She needed to come back down to earth.

Okay, so this one also has two interpretations, the former of which is more likely: Ballerina Girl listened to her snobby friends and turned down Skater/Punk Dude not because he was bad for her morally, but because he was poor or a punk or not a ballerina or some other superficial reason. The less likely reason is that Ballerina Girl turned down Skater/Punk Dude because he was legitimately morally bad for her, as her friends told her, and Avril Lavigne is mocking this decision. So either she was superficial, or she wasn’t superficial and Lavigne is calling her an idiot for leaving a guy who was apparently hot/talented.

Five years from now, she sits at home feeding the baby, she’s all alone.
She turns on TV and guess who she sees?
Skater boy rockin’ up MTV.
She calls up her friends.
They already know
And they’ve all got tickets to see his show.
She tags along, stands in the crowd.
Looks up at the man that she turned down.

Okay, this is the part of the song that bothers me the most. She has a baby, which, assuming the best case scenario, means that she was in love with someone who was also in love with her, and they got married and had a baby and he’s either still there and just not present in this scene, or he left/something happened to him. So then this girl, with her child, born of a man she obviously loved very much and should either be remembering or mourning or something, goes to a concert to regret her decisions because the guy she liked as a teenager is a rock star now. What is this? Is she supposed to throw away everything she had with the father of her child because this dude is a rock star? Does she have no integrity? What real woman would experience regret at a loving, obviously fruitful, if short-lived relationship because a relationship that could have happened with a famous dude didn’t? I mean, come on! I’ve had crushes on people before, and I don’t think in a million years that, after having grown up, gotten married and had children, I would go back to having a crush on them because they can play a guitar moderately well.

He was a skater boy, she said see ya later boy.
He wasn’t good enough for her.
Now he’s a superstar
Slammin’ on his guitar
To show pretty faces what he’s worth.

This line is also obnoxious. Because your worth is entirely in the fact that you’re a superstar! Apparently! It’s like, “Hey, this girl turned me down. What should I do? I know! Not change my personality or anything at all, not maybe shape up my life and become a respectable gentleman so this doesn’t happen again – nah! I’ll become a ROCKSTAR, so I can have a bunch of groupies and girls who have no self confidence/worth hanging all over me, and then she’ll regret not dating me because I’m FAMOUS now!” In what universe does this make sense? If I got turned down by a guy for reasons based on station of life/personality/whatever, I’d either a) move on, or b) in following the same route as Skater/Punk Dude, go for a profession that actually shows my self worth! Like, hey, I was an awesome girl, I’m a writer/famous cellist/charity worker with a great personality now, too bad you couldn’t see past my non-designer clothes and really get to know me! Instead, this guy, who was turned down FOR SUPERFICIAL REASONS goes off and pursues ONE OF THE MOST SUPERFICIAL CAREERS EVER. What’s this girl supposed to think? “Aw, dang it, look at how famous that guy is. I really missed out – he would have made me happy… I mean, how could that relationship go wrong? He’s so famous, everything would be perfect and his riches and fame would make me happy…” Logic check, please.

Sorry girl but you missed out.
Well tough luck that boy’s mine now.
We are more than just good friends.
This is how the story ends.
Too bad that you couldn’t see…
See the man that boy could be.
There is more than meets the eye,
I see the soul that is inside.

Okay. So now Lavigne is mocking this girl who made life choices that may or may not have been wrong, after ridiculing the fact that she MAJORLY SCREWED UP by not dating this über famous guitar player when she had the chance and therefore her life is terrible and she will never be happy ever just because she didn’t date a rock star… And then she has the nerve to throw in a line about ‘soul’ – Avril, I’m pretty positive from everything you’ve said so far that you don’t really care about this guy’s soul. You’re dating him because he’s a rock star and making fun of the girl who didn’t. If he had a winning personality and a soul that would have made him right for this girl, he probably wouldn’t have decided to become a rock star to show her what she was missing. (Try a humanitarian or a doctor, if we’re going to go down the career route – not that someone’s career showcases their personality. Honestly, he should have actually talked to her, since she obviously cared – well, ‘wanted’ this guy. If he had such a deep soul or whatever, she would love him regardless of the bagginess of his clothing.)

He’s just a boy, and I’m just a girl.
Can I make it anymore obvious?
We are in love.
Haven’t you heard how we rock each other’s world?

Yay, Avril, you love the guy. Good for you. I hope you feel better, taunting the girl who almost had him first. ALSO, you seem to think that she would be in your shoes if she hadn’t turned him down. So, two questions for you: 1) how many relationships that start as teenagers last for very long? 2) How many relationships with ROCK STARS last for very long? All I can see as that Ballerina Girl would have dated this guy for superficial reasons, and now she’d be in the same place she is now, except she went through a breakup with this guy – even more painful – and would not have a baby, a baby who is probably pretty dang precious to her.

I’m with the skater boy I said see ya later boy.
I’ll be backstage after the show.
I’ll be at the studio singing the song we wrote about a girl you used to know.

Well, that’s hardly necessary, is it?

Anyway, I know it doesn’t really matter and it’s kind of stupid to complain about a pop song that came out in 2002, but it just really bothers me that this is society’s view on women. Didn’t date a rock star? Life wasted. Hope you enjoy regretting that decision until the day you die. Like you can’t live a happy, full life without dating someone famous or cool! And now you’re stuck with a baby from pursuing true love – so, oops, looks like your whole life is ruined! I, for one, hope that I marry a giant dork who isn’t cool or famous in the slightest, and then have a gazillion kids so my life is as ruined as I can possibly get it, and I KNOW that will make me incredibly happy, despite the fact that Avril Lavigne and the rest of the world things it won’t.

I’ll do my question post on Wednesday, providing I get some more questions. Leave them in the comments, and as always, thanks for reading!

~Hero

I Use Antlers In All of My Decorating

Oh my goodness, you guys. It’s been a while.

This is going to take forever.

Here we go.

WHAT I DID IN THE PERIOD OF TIME BETWEEN ASH WEDNESDAY AND EASTER SUNDAY:

1. I played a lot of Zelda. 

For this to make sense, you need to understand just how much time I spend on the internet. A good chunk of every day is spent rotting my brain online – so when I gave it up completely, I had this huge VOID of free-time that I had to fill somehow. A normal, productive person would have spent this free time doing something good, like writing their novel, or working harder at their schoolwork, or maybe trying to get ahead on their Driver’s Ed. Me? I played Twilight Princess. I am unashamed. (I also watched a decent amount of Leverage.)

2. I got confirmed.

Okay, so arguably this should have gone first. Whatever. But, yeah! On February 28th, at 7:30 PM, I got confirmed! I took the name Lucy Maria, after St. Lucy of Syracuse and St. Maria Goretti – both martyrs. I chose them because their courage inspires me to stand up for my faith and my morals. It was such an incredible experience, kneeling before the bishop, heart pounding in my chest, hearing him speak my soon-to-be name… I just had this chill run through me, and as I was walking back to the pew, I had to tell myself, “You are not going to cry – this mascara is not waterproof.” I’m so happy – I’ve been waiting for ages and ages for my confirmation, and now it’s finally happened. (Plus, we had cake after the ceremony. Hurrah!)

3. I made new friends!

Backstory: I’m homeschooled, and I do classes online. Hence, I have a bunch of friends all over the country. Sepp has a class with a girl who lives here in town – he’s been trying to get us to meet up for ages and ages. Toward the beginning of March, I went to a dance with the usual crew. At the dance, Tanith saw an old friend of hers and introduced us – I recognized his last name, and it turns out that he’s the older brother of the girl Sepp has been wanting me to meet up with! It was absolutely the craziest thing. Anyhow, long story short: I now have two new friends and they’re both awesome and hilarious. (PLUS, they took me to the Hunger Games midnight premiere, hence I am obligated to love them forever.)

4. I WENT TO SEE THE HUNGER GAMES.

I LOVED IT. I know that there were a lot of critiques of this movie, and I have a couple myself, but I’m going to spare you all my ranting about the film-maker’s inability to hold a camera steady and the absurdity that is Liam Hemsworth, and just say: holy cow. For the most part, the movie kept so true to the books, it made me SO happy. And Josh Hutcherson is SO GOOD as Peeta! AUGH! AND I LOVE CAESAR FLICKERMAN TO A WEIRD EXTENT. He’s probably my favorite character out of the entire movie, and yes I realize how ridiculous of a statement that is, but I don’t even care. I’d go into more detail about the movie, but I’d rather not spoil anybody. Let’s just say that I thought the movie was epic and anybody who says Seneca Crane’s beard is not the best thing ever to grace the silver screen is going to get smacked.

5. I went to see October Baby.

Such a good movie – if I were any good at crying in movies, I would have. (As it was, most of my friends blubbered their way through the whole thing.) I really recommend it: if you find yourself at the movies in the near future and have to make a choice between any other movie and October Baby, pick October Baby. (I don’t care how much you want to see Mirror, Mirror. Just do it.)

Here’s the trailer, in case you haven’t heard of it.

6. I had my solo cello recital.

I surprised myself by doing really, really well. I only flubbed one note, and all of my glorious, amazingly sweet friends told me that it sounded perfect, and even though they’re probably lying, it really means a lot to me that they took the time to watch my performance and at least pretend to enjoy it. After the recital we went to Bass Pro Shops for dinner (don’t judge me – it was a Friday night during Lent and they have a sea food restaurant). That place totally scares me (being a vegetarian, I’m not a huge fan of stuffed, dead things mounted all over the place), but I owe the fun of the evening to, again, my friends, who upon seeing the Christmas tree made of antlers in the entry-way, immediately flung out their arms and shouted, “I USE ANTLERS IN ALL MY DECORATING!” “I WANT A GUY LIKE GASTON!” (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to go rewatch Beauty and the Beast. Seriously.)

For anyone interested, I played Sonata in C by Breval, and since the video of my performance has an unfortunate flaw in that it shows my face, here’s someone who actually plays the piece well, for your enjoyment.

I swear, I’ve watched this video so many times… Half of its views are from me – I’m completely serious.

Anyhow, that’s about it. I’m extraordinarily pleased with myself that I was able to uphold my Lenten promise and stay offline for the entire duration of Lent, but I don’t think I’m ever going to do this again! Coming back to the internet after 46 days is like walking into Inception in the middle of the movie and trying to understand it. I’m so behind!

I hope you’ll forgive me for being absent for so long! I’ll be back in the swing of things soon – talk to you on Sunday!

Love,

Hero