August 2008


Yes, I am officially jealous of those with the super cool WordPress blog that gets it’s own web address. But, I would have to host, which is no fun.

Soon, my ‘life of riley’,  as my dad puts it, will come to a close, as school starts next week. On Wednesday, I will be officially a graduate student. I welcome the late hours, nonexistent income, and carpal tunnel that comes along with it. I am the eternal dork, I suppose, because I actually miss class. Oh what will I do when I finally have to stop? (Stopping will coincide I’m sure with the eventual over-accumulation of student loans).

But today, I feel moderately rich, for today I deposited the largest check I have ever held in my hand. The financial aid fairy has finally visited! But, alas, I cannot USE the money till next friday! Bank of America, I have used your services for years, ever since my first paycheck was cashed and spent in 45 minutes at the mall, but I am beginning to feel that you are a collection of douches. Yes I said it.

Picture me, taking in my happy check, riding the euphoria, imagining all the lovely ways to spend it, when my hopes were dashed by some bs “hold” rule. My money is being held hostage for about 10 business days. Erghghhh. And it is not as if my check was from Joe at the co-op, it’s from Sonoma State, a state organization. If they screw you with a bad check what’s happening? So, I accept my hold with slight disbelief,  go home, get seriously fumed, and call the bank manager. The conversation went something like this:

Me: (hiding my anger with politeness) “So is there any way you could make the hold shorter, because the check is intended to pay for my school fees and books and comes from the school, so couldn’t there be an exception?”

bank lady: “No policy blah blah I could care less that you have $27.00 in your account without it blah blah blah.”

Me: “But can’t you just call them and verify that the check is good and it could be cleared faster.”

Bank: “No.”

Me: “But couldn’t you just…”

Bank: “No.”

Now, call me crazy, but I don’t think this sort of #$!@ happens to Donald Trump. He wants his check cashed, you do it, and hope he doesn’t fire you (which he can do even though he’s not even your boss). But me, I have no sway with the financial bureacracies of this country. And, wouldn’t you know, I get the only sullen-faced teller who acts like she’s doing me a favor by taking my money, when really I could do better with the machine outside or a saggy mattress.

However – I have moved on. (sort of, I will have actually moved on in 5 days, when those bitches GIVE ME MY MONEY!).

Serenity Now.

And I do have a lovely couch picked out to purchase to celebrate the occasion.

On a related note, I went to another place with shared characterisitics with a bank – the SF Zoo.

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It should come as no suprise- after all I’ve been devouring (with an intense literary appetite) Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings for years. But, on a whim, I picked up the latest craze and decided to read. Fast forward to 3 am that night, and I am fully involved in Twilight. And why? If you aren’t really into books and I can’t quite begin to explain. But – I did find this lovely quote

“Meyer and Rowling do share two important traits. Both writers embed their fantasy in the modern world–Meyer’s vampires are as deracinated and contemporary as Rowling’s wizards. And people do not want to just read Meyer’s books; they want to climb inside them and live there. James Patterson may sell more books, but not a lot of people dress up like Alex Cross. There’s no literary term for the quality Twilight and Harry Potter (and The Lord of the Rings) share, but you know it when you see it: their worlds have a freestanding internal integrity that makes you feel as if you should be able to buy real estate there.”

And, although Meyer’s books are quite “clean” in that kids won’t really get what all is going on, underneath “they are absolutely, deliciously filthy”(according to newsweek). Honestly there is some raw emotion being expressed there, even if there isn’t that much physical touching. But, in my opinion, those books that make you feverishly turn the page just hoping that something will happen between the couple can be much more erotic that when you get every detail. Besides – I’m sure there are many fanfic people out there writing enough sultry material to satisfy any over-curious reader.

I did find Meyer’s religious background a bit unsettling at first, after all I didn’t expect her to be Mormon when I was reading, especially compared to other works that have been written by very religious writers. Some Christian fiction can be so heavy in ellusions to what a ‘proper’ Chrisitan should be that the text loses it ease, and trades effortless narration for overwrought prose. However, aside from the no sex till marriage thing I haven’t found anything nagging. In fact, the sheer force of the book is enough for me to forget the author entirely. Honestly, the few Mormons I actually ever knew were a bit odd, and weren’t allowed to go to dances or even group dates, which seemed silly. (But then, these people may have been odd all on their own, faith excluding.) One family would stand in their driveway every October 31st, saying “We don’t celebrate Halloween” to trick-or-treaters. I’m glad to see that Meyer has not shyed away from anything supernatural, but rather embraces it, and even prefers it to humanity.

There is an odd effect produced when a book attempts to appeal to both teens and adults alike, like Harry Potter and Twilight. Somehow there is a fairytale-like sense of realism where things can happen which we yearn for but know can’t happen, for whatever reason. And it is odd that in this realm of magic and vampires that readers can find actual human passion and truth, in their most basic form. And I think that is what grasps the modern reader. So many more realistic adult novels are wonderfully expressive, dark or not, but some lose that universality that comes from more fantastic stories.

In any case, these books have a hold on me, as many already do. I have already “devoured” (sorry, couldn’t help it) the first two books, two to go. And I’m quite happy that I came upon this series late in the game, because there is NO WAITING! The final book comes out in ONE day, and I already reserved it. No more waiting for years….because waiting for Harry Potter was tortuous enough.

All this excitement about books has me extremely encouraged, because it means the public can finally get excited about something that doesn’t have to be plugged in. It means that literature still has a power over us…

…It means there is hope that someday, after all my years of pricey education, that there will be a job waiting. It means there is hope for humanity.

Last year, I read an article which declared that this was the year where “Harry Potter Saved Reading.” I sincerly hope this is true – that people are reaching past television and video games for something more substantial, something that can reach our minds, and persuade them to come alive.