Creativity for the win.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I wanted to write three creative works during the week following the post. I didn’t completely succeed, but I did write a private poem and a very, very short Julie Czerneda-like flash titled “Lost Prey“. Eh.

The bigger success however, was the Bible as Literature assignment I alluded to last week. The assignment was merely to: “rewrite, retell, and/or revise a story from the Hebrew Bible into a work of fiction, your take on the literature of the Bible.” My response? The core of the debate in the book of Job as hip-hop poetry.

It took me a solid week, but I think it’s pretty good. I did learn/accomplish two things in the process, however:

  1. This is undoubtedly the lengthiest piece of poetry I’ve ever written, coming in at something like 100 lines.
  2. I can safely mark off “hip hop artist” from my list of possible occupations. I absolutely suck at writing lyrical poetry with any degree of complexity, even with an instrumental track to assist.

That said, it was hella fun to write, and I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking with it. I’ve never taken the creative writing option when it’s been offered in various literature classes, and it’s about time I did. I’ll probably post it during Thanksgiving break, along with another essay I wrote from this course.

I also have an idea for NaNoWriMo, which starts in a couple of days. My only concern is that I don’t want to write a piece that reads entirely like a Julie Czerneda novel, since I’ve read 5 of her books in very recent history.

Working together vs. being friends

There are times when I see people (including myself!) stressing themselves out outrageously over some dispute with another person or organization and I want to go, “Stop. Not everyone you work with needs to like you.”

I like it when people like me. At the very least, I like it when people don’t have to struggle to be civil towards me.

But there are times when I get to decide that I’m only interested in investing enough energy in certain people to keep them working with me. Furthermore, there are times when, when I think hard about it, I decide that I actually don’t need to work with someone (or some organization).

Guess what? That’s okay. I don’t need to like everyone in the world, and I don’t need everyone to like me. I just don’t “intersect” that deeply with most people.

It wears me out sometimes to see people twist themselves into knots about some angry email from some person or another. Chill out. We don’t immediately need to lose sleep over it and wring our hands and send angry responses and have lengthy series of meetings to figure out the problems and possible solutions.

It’s probably my current state of emotional rawness (ironically), but I’ve handled two “you suck” volleys this week with more aplomb than anyone around me. I suck? Great. After some consideration, my view of myself hasn’t changed, but thanks for taking the time to let me know.

Now, I’m going to have some meetings and exchange emails and all that mess, probably. But those emails and meetings can be friendly, because I don’t need them to like me; they don’t even have to work with me. We need merely coexist.

If only I could impart this (likely temporary) wisdom on a couple of other people I know, their lives might be easier.

Laptop irkage

As a senior this year, I see all sorts of people treating their laptops like crap (nothing new), happily proclaiming that the pieces of shit only have to last them a few more months before they can be destroyed. After all, they’ll be getting a new laptop or desktop after they graduate. (Insert smug smile here.)

My question of the day: who’s buying this new magically-appearing computer?

I hear enough people express this sentiment that I know some of them mofos have student loans. I don’t think big-ticket spending in the 6 months before the bill comes in is a smart way to go. Some of them are going into grad school (nuff said). Some of them don’t even have good job prospects! (GPA-hiders, you know who you are.) I know not many people are working enough to have saved up a few thousand dollars since coming to Rose (although some probably have). How’re they going to drop a few K on a new laptop right after commencement? The only conclusion I can come up with is that it’s going to be a relative that buys it for most of them, or that they had very nice savings before arriving at Rose.

Me, I’m more careful with my laptop than ever. I’m thinking this boat anchor will likely have to last me through grad school, much less just a few more months from now. I’ll probably double its RAM soon, and I’m hella grateful for the new free batteries we just got. I’ve been pricing new hard drives, because although mine’s only failed me once, I’m rightfully wary of my model’s hard drives.

I feel like I’m the only senior feeling like I’m going to still be poor when I leave from here. That’s weird.

East nineteen ninety ninety-nine-nine-nine…

T-dawg’s birthday gifts included two Bone Thugs N Harmony CDs; while not the kindest part of his gift, it’s the part that’s keeping me up and writing tonight when I want to be sleeping away the remainder of the week.

I loved the Bone Thugs when I was a kid, although I never owned any of their CDs. I remember recording “Crossroads” off the radio and playing the tape until it warbled. “East 1999” never played long on the radio, I remember; I liked it a lot, but didn’t hear it enough for my tastes. Then and now, the Bone Thugs’ style struck me as so different and much more creative than the rest of the shit on the radio. Rappers that harmonize? Gimme some of that.

To quote any older family member hearing music at a family reunion: “Aw, now this takes me back!”

Hard conversations

I had one half of a very difficult conversation today.  It was one I hadn’t really been looking forward to since starting therapy, but at least I had the easier half today, when it felt like many of my normal support structures are busy looking for their own support structures.

I told my mother that I’d come to the conclusion (with some help) that my childhood had been abusive. She was surprised.  I gave examples.  She didn’t remember most of them.

It seemed like a light clicked on for her, though, explaining my strange (to her) estrangement and deep-seated anger towards my father.  She’d been trying to figure it out so that she wouldn’t have the same results with my little sister.  After my revelation, she felt as though she hadn’t protected me enough through the years.

It was so very unbelievably difficult to tell my mother that she had a hand in raising me sub-optimally, that I remember the times she wasn’t aware of what my father’s anger and sickness was doing to me and that I remember when she didn’t step in to stop him.  Her lack of memory of these events might hurt even more.

Very difficult.

This may be one of the hardest post-birthday-days I’ve ever had.

I consoled her (and myself) with a memory of a scene from God, the Devil, and Bob: when Bob complains about his father’s abusiveness, god asks him to imagine a line of fathers from Adam (of Adam and Eve fame) to his own father, each having to pass along a punch from father to son.  The job, according to god, is to pass along a softer punch.  My father did.

As to why this was only one half of the difficult conversation: I have nightmares imagining my father’s scornful laugh (or scornful thoughts, if he’s in a cheerful mood) when I have a similar conversation with him.  If I ever do.