Archive | May, 2011

The Old College Try.

24 May

So I found a number of my old college essays the other day, most of them from my senior year. (During that semester, I had five–count ’em, FIVE–English courses, all of which were essay and novel-strong. It’s no surprise that I had a nervous breakdown one evening on my mother’s kitchen floor. But I made it through! Not without a bleeding ulcer, of course. But I made it nonetheless!)

It was a bit surreal–reading those words, seeing what was going through my head, noticing that many of my analytical and thought-processing ways are still relatively the same.

As a result, a few things struck me about the college experience as a whole. Here come the beloved bullets:

  • I worked hard. I did my homework, I did my assignments, I went to class (um, for the most part), I did what I was supposed to. I may have been on autopilot here and there (other than the usual heavy course load, I was also holding down two jobs most of the time. Yeah, occasional autopilot and the afore-mentioned nervous breakdown seem apropos, don’t they?), but I took care of biznaz. Reflecting on that gives me a great feeling, especially when, as a full-fledged adult, laziness rears its sleepy head more often than not. I earned my degree.
  • I don’t regret my major. I can honestly say that despite the general ups and downs, I absolutely adored being an English major, mainly because it was a choice inspired by a love for words and wanting to pursue that love. Of course, my beloved pops would have preferred that I chose something a bit more practical (“you want to write BOOKS? What about finance, something you can actually USE?”) and sometimes I tend to agree with him. But in the end, nah, no regrets. Although my checking account weeps every two weeks when my paycheck is deposited. I think it would have appreciated that finance major (and the subsequent job with a higher pay scale).
  • I love teachers! I’ve discussed my appreciation for certain highly adored teachers in the past. There were so, so many more inspiring ones in college. Teachers who forced me to challenge myself, who forced me to stop resting on my laurels and push myself, who inspired me, who helped me to fulfill my Math credit (that one deserves a statue erected in his image for seeing that feat through). *Teachers, simply, are wonderful.*
  • I’ll never do it again. Quite the paradox, isn’t it? It was an extremely fulfilling and educational experience, yes, but once was enough. No Master’s degree, no back to college. I’ll take a class, I’ll take supplementary courses here and there, but a four-year stint back to university? Nope. (They tried to make me go back to school and I said no, no, no…) Maybe it’s the school loan I’ll be paying back until the END OF TIME. Regardless of the various reasons, you won’t catch me on the quad anytime soon.

Nevertheless, everything being said, it was nice looking back and reminiscing…

*Perhaps I’ll have the opportunity to inspire a student one day…because I’m thinking about becoming a teacher! More on that later. And I’ve already looked into it: I won’t have to do a four-year prison sentence! Yay! It’ll be a year, at the most. My heart can take a year. Something brewing on the horizon, for sure…*

Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre.

23 May

This is all I have to say:

I’ve seen it twice.

I want to see it many more times.

It was moving, beautiful, tender, classic.

I’ve already researched when it will be coming out on DVD.

I cannot wait.

That is all.

Anastasia Krupnik, I love you.

20 May

She was fiercely intelligent, hilarious, insecure, brave. She was my age. She wanted to answer the telephone by saying, “for whom does this bell toll?” (Awesome or what?) She was obsessed with psychology and Sigmund Freud. She was everything to me.

I discovered Anastasia Krupnik in the books of Lois Lowry, one of my favorite young adult authors growing up, but I truly believed that she could be found on her surburban street somewhere, hanging out with her brainiac parents and her annoying little brother, Sam. She was so real to me. This morning, as I read a feature about the recent boon in young adult novels, I broke out into a silly grin when I turned the page and saw an interview with with Ms. Lowry herself, in which she discussed how she loved writing the Anastasia books. (The series has since ended, to my chagrin. Apparently, her publisher felt that the series was “outdated,” being that Mr. Krupnik, at one point, used a typewriter. What-ever.)

I decided this morning that I want to revisit the world of Anastasia. (A few years ago, I ignored the curious looks of a few kids who watched as I nonchalantly sauntered over to the young adult section of the library and commenced with squealing as I looked through those old books.) The article in the paper reminded me of the joy those books brought me, and as I remain a sucker for nostalgia, I resolve to go back in time.

Can’t wait!

The Anastasia Krupnik Series

Anastasia Krupnik

Anastasia Again!

Anastasia At Your Service

Anastasia, Ask Your Analyst (my personal favorite)

Anastasia On Her Own

Anastasia’s Chosen Career

Anastasia At this Addressen the special “he” wants to meet her.

my, what a view from this soapbox. (this is a warning.)

19 May

Warned you.

Here we go:

I do not understand why members of the media are camped outside of the home of the “other woman” in the whole Arnold Schwarzenegger mess, waiting for her. Photos of her are already being featured everywhere, so waiting to catch a live shot of her seems leechy and ridiculous. But such is the media, isn’t it? Doesn’t matter that people in the South are losing their homes to floods. Gotta get a picture of the mistress. Frankly, her identity means nothing to me. Do I represent the masses of people who are likely curious about who she is, what she looks like, so on and so forth? Hardly. But do I think it’s wrong, egregious, and every other synonym for wrong? Absolutely.

What’s worse, however, than waiting outside of her home to catch a glimpse of her? Waiting to catch sight of her child.

There is no way, NO WAY, that the media camped outside her home will take the high road and not broadcast pictures of this young man, if he and his mother happen to come home (I sincerely hope that they’re somewhere far, far away). This morning, the “Today Show” showed a photo of the woman in question and blocked out the child’s face. I appreciated this. At least, in part, they had the decency to not reveal his identity. I don’t know about other media outlets, however. And I’m not holding my breath.

But his life is already ruined, isn’t it? Because he has friends and schoolmates and teachers and people in his life who watch television, read magazines, and go online. And photos of his mother have already blanketed these places. So they know who he is and everything else in his young life that should have remained private. Pretty sickening. And that’s the point. (I’m not naive that these public people should hardly expect private lives. But the child is not an actor, politician, or anything else. He’s a kid.)

I don’t condone the actions of this woman or Arnold Schwarzenegger. But, equally, I don’t see the use or importance of having her picture paraded around the airwaves. Ultimately, I just feel for all the children involved in the middle of this insanity.

Descending box…now.


The Difference.

13 May

Where has she been? The Marvel has been so quiet.

Rather than answer, I’ll proceed with today’s post, with the excuse that my life has been a whirlwind of stress and work for the past month and a half or so, and the promise that I’ll do better with writing and updating. For the few eyes that drift over to this side of the world wide web, hello again. Onwards.

The Difference

Back in the day, I used to differentiate between the pals in my life as either friend or aquaintance.

A friend was the die-hard, the always there, the we-have-nicknames-for-each-other, the friend forever, the we talk on the phone several times a week.

An aquaintance was oh, hi, person I haven’t seen in months, how are you?, the we get togther once in a while, the comfortable yet somewhat distant person (and that’s ok with both of us), the casual relationship.

These days, however, I’ve been thinking about that distinction. I’ve had the pleasure of beginning wonderful friendships in the past few months, and it’s gotten my brain going about the difference between types of friends and friendships. I’ve decided that the term “aquaintance” will be retired. It’s the kind of word that makes me queasy. Why? I don’t know. Reminds me of sterile waiting rooms and stomach aches. It’s not a happy word. Because even those casual, distance-y friendships are still friendships.

And so…

The difference will now have to do with italics.

A friend – encouraging, amazing, honest, direct, a bonafide listener, quiet, loud, simply amazing.

A friend – happy to see you when you see each other, easy like Sunday morning, ok with not chatting that regularly but quite adept at chatting when it does happen, wonderful, simply amazing.

Both are similar, aren’t they? Because even though there are varying levels of closeness, a friend is a friend is a friend.

And I’m so grateful for mine. All of them.



Sincerely, Taj

Dear World, I have stuff to say, so get cozy. Here, I've got cupcakes.

Fully Awake and Alive

A collection of poetry and essays on politics, social justice and the condition of humanity

Kristen Hope Mazzola

Everyone has a story; this is mine


When all fails, write a poem. You might succeed in that, so what's there to lose?

Dear Husband|Dear Wife|Dear Baby

Little somethings to one another

Traipsing After Jane

The Writing Life of Pamela Aidan

Welcome to My Empty Nest

Musings from Mama Bird


Conquering the döner kebab at a time


Have you finished that book yet?

The Victoria/Italia Project

Finding My Way Back


Learning the importance of self-worth

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

%d bloggers like this: