Sunday, June 26, 2011

When Books Change Your Life

It's interesting how a random fictional story can have a major impact on your life and point of view.

Not that books never affect me. They do, very much. I usually spend the next several hours after a particularly great book just reviewing the entire thing in my head and wondering at its awesomeness.

But this time it was something very different. Something that hasn't happened to me before.

I was re-reading the Hunger Games. The books were awesome enough the first time. But this second time through, I really got into it. I mean, I already know the characters and what's going to happen, and I spent the whole time covering my face and wishing that it will change. Sadly, it didn't. Things still happened, and I still cried.
About ten minutes later, in my after-book stupor, I didn't really know what to do with myself as I replayed the book over and over in my head. I hadn't had dinner, so even though I wasn't super hungry, I got in the car and started driving. I didn't feel like having anything I passed, so I ended up at Walmart, where I bought a few groceries.

As I drove there, I began to be impressed by the sheer absurdity of traffic. How people get so mad at other people, or get so obsessed about their precious cars. But I'd thought about that kind of stuff before, so it wasn't new.

But when I walked in through the door of Walmart, I was suddenly hit with a wave of disgust.

I casually walked past four or five drink machines, two crane machines, and a red box, and the commercialism almost overwhelmed me. The flashy labels. The lights. The totally unnecessary products.

Then I entered the store itself. Rows and rows of food, piled up for anyone's taking. Dozens of racks with shirts and pants and jackets and socks. Aisles filled with the most advanced toys a kid could ask for. Video games, movies, cell phones, cameras, TVs, laptops.

I felt like a Capital yuppie.

All I needed were a few clueless people who were selfish, arrogant, decorated and clothed according to fashions, and oblivious to the bounty around them... oh wait, they were there too. Hundreds of them, all milling about and complaining about things, or filling their carts without even a thought to the availability of so much.

I'm not saying that I've never realized things before. Like the fact that I take so much for granted, or that people over-emphasize things that aren't important. It happens to every halfway decent person occasionally. But it never hit me on such a deep, extremely real level before.

I was legitimately disgusted.

There really aren't any words that convey the depth of my revulsion for the society in which I found myself. Suffice it to say that I was shocked in a way that I have never been shocked before.

I was only grateful that I wasn't wandering in a huge city like New York or Chicago. I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if I had to face all the neon signs and billboards and the general swarm of humanity.

This picture would normally look cool to me. Right now it's making me feel a little sick. It's so Capital.

Most of this will probably pass. Things like it always do. And I'll be back at walmart or target or shopko again, going about the usual mindless shopping. But I don't think I'll be able to forget it completely. Somewhere in the back of my head it will sit, reminding me of what's real.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Remember that time that the universe was determined to make me feel better?

Oh yeah. That was today.

It’s kind of random that on today, when I get thousands of hours of hard work crushed by a two sentence email, I also just happen to have the funnest google doodle ever, “Impossible” from Cinderella stuck in my head, a motivational Bon Jovi song on my music shuffle, and inspirational messages on my facebook posted by unwitting friends.

(The “Come What May and Love It” talk. Go figure.)

Sometimes I just want to lie on my bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness, okay! Let me!

But I suppose we all have to suck it up and pick ourselves out of the abyss sometime. I still insist on at least an hour of moping, though.

Really, I think it’s good to mope for a moment, as long as we eventually snap out of it. Life is literally a roller coaster. There are ridiculous highs and crushing lows. But the highs wouldn’t be so high without the low bits.

Imagine a coaster with only highs. Yeah, it’s completely flat. Boring.

Sometimes life gets like that. We go along at the status quo, and it gets boring. Even if it’s really, really good. We just don’t appreciate the good stuff if we don’t see it from a pit of despair occasionally. So don’t pretend like the pit of despair didn’t exist.

When you’ve been driving at 70 MPH for a while on a straight road, it feels exactly the same as driving 20.

Or orange juice. It tastes normal and tangy sweet most of the time. But ever tasted it after eating a donut? Gak! Opposites enhance each other.

Sometimes I watch a really sad movie on purpose. Why? Probably because life got status quo again, and it’s good to feel something strongly. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. (Newton knew what he was talking about.) The stronger the sads, the stronger the glads.
So mope a little. Complain. Feel like a martyr for an hour or two. When you finally get over it, the happy parts will feel happier because of it.

Just don’t pull a Bella Swan and sit in a chair for a billion months. Flat-lining while in the abyss is a surefire way to never feel anything again. And what would be the point of that?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We are the Champions!

I haven't posted on this blog in about 12 thousand years. I feel like I should, but I don't really know what to post about. I've been super busy with other things.

One of which is our ward's intramural kickball team. We didn't do amazing in the regular season, but we are seriously rocking it in the play-offs. We just won our third semi-final game, and are clear for the championship game on friday. WOOT!

If we win, we get a t-shirt. If we lose, we still came in second, and are awesome anyway. So it's great either way.

I do hope we win, though. :)