Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Anticlimax is My Specialty

My google drafts are always full of goodies.  Rarely full of drafts, but always full of goodies.  Links to dresses I want to buy from ModCloth, a smattering of poems and haikus that I've written, Hilaire Belloc quotes, you name it.  So tonight I was sitting down in the library, waiting for the sophomore in the writing center to finish reviewing my Beowulf paper, and I was like, eh, I don't want to waste time on social networks right now because I will never adequately resurface to Beowulf buuuuuut I have time to waste sooooo, meh, drafts.

So I'm browsing through my drafts and then one of them catches my eye with the opening line, "So today I went to get blood work done."  O_o  After the half second of "what the ..." I recognized the line as something I had written for a never-published blog post, so I was like, heh, don't remember this baby, let me see if I can amuse myself.  So I opened it.

So today I went to get blood work done.  I always get a little nervous before blood work.  I know it's not really going to hurt and I know it lasts all of 25 seconds and I know I'm an adult who shouldn't get scared over stupid things but whatever.  I thought I handled myself pretty well, though.  During the 30 minute wait before the nurse called my name, I read papers and articles that Marlene had written last semester, so I was engrossed in the depth of Marlene's literary analysis of Greek classics and hardly had time to think of needle pricks.  I was even mildly surprised when I looked up from Marlene's contemplation of The Odyssey and realized, "Oh.  I should probably be getting anxious about now.  Hmm.  I should get on that."

So the nurse calls my name and I go back and I try not to think of how much more professional the whole process is at my normal doctor's office because, really, I'm feeling totally fine and not a smidge nervous.  I'm surprised at the great lack of butterflies in my stomach.  I've done this so many times before it's just become routine and who even cares, right?

The nurse leads me into the room with the special taking-blood-samples chair and walks me through the usual. Take off your coat, hang it up behind the door, go 'head and sit down ...

Me [knowing that I don't have to take off my sweater]:  Oh, do I have to take off my sweater?
(^First sign that the dial on Ally's flawlessly constant anxiety-o-meter begins to rise.)
Nurse [sort of laughs]: Oh, uh, no.
Me: Oh, ok.  Great.

So, still convinced I'm not really anxious, I sit down and dutifully place my arm on the special arm rest.  The nurse sits down on her special wheely chair and rummages through her big plastic container of blood sampling goodies.  





Like, I don't even remember what happens.  I literally cannot.  So I can't even finish writing the darn blog post.  I mean, come on, I was totally hooked!  I WANNA KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.  This should be a lesson to me to actually finish what I write when I first conceive of an idea, but really ... I just want to know what happens next.

Well.  There goes that climax.  But I felt like I had to share this with you all so I wouldn't be alone in the anticlimax vacuum.  A gift from my inner nonevent writer to you.  Yeah, you're welcome.  I really enjoyed it, too.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

And the Mind Refused

A writers block.*


(Side note to Ally: Is an apostrophe supposed to be somewhere in the word "writers"? Well, you're the grammar Nazi not me so you deal with my grammatical errors and I deal with your state of mind. Get over it.)

What exactly is a writers block? 
A writers block is a state of mind or an unspecified amount of time in which a person, specifically a writer, is unable to form proper thoughts, sentences, or words to support a thesis, carry a story, pen a letter, etc., and/or when the words with which they desire to express themselves cannot be found within the recesses of the mind. 

How often does one experience this so-called writers block?
The writers block asks no one, refers to no one, and listens to no one concerning who it's next victim will be or when. It lives in the shadows of a writer's life, observing the writer's every move and pondering when It will strike. It comes at the worst possible moment, having planned it's offensive maneuver since the first sign of letters upon a page. 

How does one know when he or she is experiencing the onslaught of the writers block?
It is quite obvious, to say the least. The victim will experience frustration and/or depression, depending on the severity of the block. If one finds himself, pen in hand, staring at a blank piece of paper for a span of time longer than ten minutes, one should immediately consult a trusted friend or understanding family member and seek instructions on the best way to proceed. 

Upon the realization that one has the writers block, the following instructions should be followed. 
First, all forms of personal writings should be put aside. These should be put aside, not in defeat or despair, but with perfect composure and realization that no more progress can be made in that present moment. 
Second, the victim should relocate to a new setting. Examples: a library (privately owned or public), a kitchen (for food purposes), a garden, or any place that offers a change of scenery that will probe the mind's creative genius and refresh it. 
Third, in the first stages of healing the block, do not read. Again it will be said. DO NOT READ.  This stage is vital to the curing of the writers block. Reading will not refresh the ill mind in the way it needs to be refreshed. Instead, during the first stages drop all literary and wordy things and try something new. Paint, sketch, origami, take a walk, go to the city and observe the crowds as they pass, do crafts, get a coloring book and crayons and pretend to be five years old, rearrange your bedroom, organize, and above all, if possible, be with others. Don't ever be alone with your thoughts because they can be dangerous in times like these.  
Fourth, the above instructions should be followed for a few days, no less than two but no more than a week. The idea is to refresh the mind, not pull it away from the objects of it's critical thinking. When the victim feels ready to face words again, follow that inclination immediately and do not let that sit on the mind for more than an hour. It must be acted upon immediately.  
Fifth, pick up a book. The victim's own writings should still be avoided and the victim should instead pick up the writings of others. Children's books are the best to start with. This gives the mind something easy to conquer and comprehend. Plainly speaking, books without having complex plots, characters and themes. Books of a classic nature and poetry should be read next, whether they are read thoroughly or briefly. This gives a formal introduction back into the world of words. The next step in this delicate process is reading a book on a subject alien to the reader. Historical fiction, sci-fi, fantasy. Normally, a good writer does not have many genres or styles which are alien to him but a book should be sought out that would not normally have been chosen. This gives the mind something new to adjust to and understand. A book with a complicated plot should then be read.  The above process is as it is because this exposes the mind to a whole world of new ideas and styles and characters and plots and themes which fill the mind with fresh starts and untarnished endings.  
~ Athena

*I dedicate this to my friend, Josefa, who is (was? Haven't talked to her in a while. Lost my phone again) struggling with the writers block thing. :) 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How To Split An Ice Cube


You've had to wait a whole year for this.  A whole year.  But it was worth the wait.  Because now you'll know how the three of us at Charlie and Me amuse ourselves when we're not blogging.*

If you're hungry but you don't want to pig out on Easter candy?  This is our gift to you.

1. Find a pitcher of ice cubes.  (Parties are great for this.)

2.  Take a serving utensil and scoop a single ice cube out of the pitcher.

3. Place ice cube on decorative cutting board (seasonal or non-seasonal).

4.  Take a clean, sharp knife from the drawer, making sure the tip is always pointing down.

5.  Place knife in center of ice cube and gently apply pressure.

6.  Enjoy!

If you're wishing for more but don't want to go through the whole process again, gently tilt the cutting board to drain the runoff into a cup and voilĂ !  You have a refreshing after-ice-cube drink.

le runoff

*Because, reasons.  We're not as random as you think we are.