Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, August 22, 2009

So you know what I did this summer.

And, I'm back on my blog, not sure for how long. Another Ramadan has begun and it's hard to believe that it has already been a year since my life completely changed. I don't know if it's the age I am now, or my school-slash-editor-in-chief stint this past year, but I'm a lot happier now than I can remember being since I turned ten. I'm definitely a lot more comfortable with myself and being in my own skin. What could possibly make a person happier than to be happy with oneself? I just don't know, but I am willing to bet the answer is absolutely nothing.

I've been doing a variety of things since my school and newspaper editor stint ended. I've been doing a lot of reading, writing, researching, knitting, teaching myself how to crochet, and getting into things I never thought I'd get into (not that crocheting isn't something I never imagined I'd get into . . . ). For fun, I've been utilizing Netflix like never before, thanks to their instant viewing feature. At first, I started out watching just movies, but then I got into the TV shows. So far, I've become engrossed with two shows: Californication and Dexter. I guess I like Showtime. Both shows feature characters with messed up lives, but have as straight heads as they can manage, given (again) their messed up lives.

I especially like the fact that Californication is about a big-shot writer living in LA, hating it and suffering from writer's block, all while battling various demons-- I'm not a big-shot writer, nor do I live in LA or have a sex or drug addiction, but I am a writer and I do suffer from writer's block while I battle my own set of demons. It's a little over-the-top with the sex, especially in the first three episodes or so, but there is enough substance and backstory to make up for the shameless nudity and sex, which tapers off at just the right time to give way to a deeper, more complex character one can sympathize with. The first scene in the pilot is a little on the offensive side, but again, it's how TV shows hook those who need such cheap antics to start watching something beyond Big Brother.

Dexter was a little hard to get into. For one thing, I've read and seen American Psycho. For another, I had the feeling that Dexter Morgan, the title character, is nothing more than Patrick Bateman's (THE American Psycho) and the Vampire Lestat's (from Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles) love child, living in a world reminiscent of of CSI's Miami. He is an empty ruthless killer, who only kills those who he decides deserve to die-- I find that contradictory, if you ask me. It was also hard to get into, because of Dexter's foster sister, Deborah Morgan. In the first couple of episodes, I hoped that her run on the show was a trial and that she would be replaced for sucking, but someone talked to her and got her to stop annoying me. After that, I decided I really liked Dexter, the show, as well as character. Although I've been able to catch many references/connections to American Psycho (Dr. Patrick Bateman, Sean Ellis), and although I still see Lestat's discriminatory picking of subjects to kill, I do feel that Dexter is a character all on his own, because above everything else, he is going through a sort of awakening that we are witnessing. If it was just about an empty serial killer who has been taught to kill only those who deserve to be, then we would've started at the very beginning of Dexter's darkness, not after he's perfected it. Of course, this is only my humble opinion.

Another thing I've gotten into is getting in touch with people whom I haven't seen since... a loooong time. When I first started using Facebook I wanted nothing of the sort to happen, because I didn't feel like I wanted anything to do with people from my past. I wanted them to stay in the past, because I felt that I had changed too much to have much in common with them anymore. I was proven wrong when I met up with some old friends from high school and found that those I thought were the coolest, are actually not so cool, and those who I didn't have too much of a connection with back in those days are actually great people I would love to have in my life now. It's strange, but it's also nice, because it feels like you're making new friends, when really you're not having to worry about all you have to worry about with completely new friends.

Finally, I finally listened to my ninth-grade English teacher and read To Kill a Mockingbird. It would make Mrs. Gerard very happy to know that I am ready to give a book report on this classic. She, however, might not like what I have to say in my report... I think outside of school it is called a review. Well, it's certainly a good book. The characters are very well-written and distinct. The book delivers what it promises, which is life in a sleepy small town in Alabama during the depression, through the eyes of a ten-year-old girl. Well, it was sixteen years ago that Mrs. Gerard asked me to read this book among many, and although my mind has grown very much since that time, I think I was right all those years ago to assume that this book is pretty boring. I liked Atticus a whole lot, and although Scout, his daughter and the narrator, talks a lot about him, he doesn't get near enough time. Most of the book is dedicated to Boo Radley and other rather insignificant characters that come and go without much purpose. The most exciting part of the book takes up maybe fifty pages at the most, then sort of fizzles out with sleepy small town stuff that ended up frustrating me. I'm not being very articulate perhaps, or even very detailed in my review of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, but I think it is clear that although I recognize that this book possesses all the components of a literary classic, it lacks the profoundness and excitement I crave in the books I choose to read and enjoy. I'm afraid To Kill a Mockingbird is a little over-rated in my book... sorry, Mrs. Gerard.

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