Reminiscing the days when I was surrounded by people who read books

Today was a day I’d been looking forward to for a few weeks. Lupe Fiasco’s latest, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album (Pt. 1), finally dropped, and while on the way to buy it from Best Buy (why yes I still buy CDs!) I decided to also pick up Junot Díaz’s new collection of short stories, This Is How You Lose Her. At Barnes & Noble I asked the guy at the information desk if they still had copies of the book, since I wasn’t able to find it in the general fiction section. While he looked it up on his computer he asked me if I had read Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, to which I responded yes. And then we just had a short conversation about it as he led me to where the book I wanted was.

New goodies!

OK, OK, I know that was a pretty pathetic little story. But while discussing the merits of the story and Díaz’s writing style in Oscar Wao, I couldn’t help but scream inside, “Holy shit I miss this!” I mean, has it really been that long since I had an intellectual conversation with someone about a book? Has it really been that long since someone wanted to discuss a book that wasn’t Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey (I still haven’t read the latter, mind you)? Not gonna lie, the feeling made me miss college, the class/homework/boring part of college, a lot.

I feel compelled now to find a book club to join.

The Dark Knight Rises — and falls

For about eight glorious hours last Friday I was bathed in the euphoria that is supposed to be The Dark Knight Rises movie experience. From the moment the first trailer began at midnight until about halfway through my commute to work this morning, I was geeking out over how awesome the movie was. Great overall acting, amazing cinematography, thrilling music…it was all you could ever want in a summer movie blockbuster. I was daydreaming endlessly of Christian Bale and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

It was while driving to work that morning when I heard that a gunman had attacked a movie theater in Colorado during a midnight showing there. You all know (or should know) what happened. I looked it up online as soon as I got to my desk, and the news was everywhere. I became numb.

We’ve come to a point in society where shootings like this, while undoubtedly horrific, just continue to pile messily on top of one another. When I was in college I would sometimes silently think to myself what I would do if a gunman ever came into a class. Indeed, there was one time where a man appeared on stage while my professor was lecturing. The professor stared at him questionably as he sauntered across, and you could practically feel the collective gasp of the auditorium as he disappeared as quickly as he came. Another time there were people dressed in costumes (animal costumes, I think) yelling nonsense as they ran across the stage. Silly school pranks are one thing, but don’t mess around lecture halls like that, not when there are at least a hundred students in the crowd. You just don’t.

This shooting struck me particularly because I worked at a movie theater for 3 years. In fact, I worked for the same cinema chain that this guy had targeted in Colorado. Maybe I would feel less…stunned if this had happened at an AMC, not a Cinemark (does that sound insensitive to say?). I keep wondering what if the same thing had happened at my theater, at a different time on a different day. Imagine being on the clock during a time like that! I’m also horrified at the fact that while I was squealing in happiness from watching TDKR, there were people in another time zone getting shot up and killed for trying to do the exact same thing. That’s what strikes us all deeply, I think. TDKR was supposed to be a big, innocent movie event, the phenomenon of the summer. Thousands of people were gathering at movie theaters across the country at midnight to watch this summer movie, and now there are people who won’t enjoy it the same way the rest of us did. And in fact, there are 12 who will never get to see it at all.

Burying myself in distractions

The chest X-ray came back normal. So then why did I feel chest pains again tonight? Why does my breathing always feel so heavy and labored? What if my heart just fails on me and it’s because I had some deformity nobody thought to discover? (This is what happens when you work for a trade magazine for cardiologists, you get way too paranoid about your heart.) Why has my mood not improved yet? Why is it such a struggle to stay positive about anything anymore? When am I ever going to get out of this stupid little episode of misanthropic depression?

There are only a select few things that are keeping me sane right now:

  • NBA playoffs. I’m rooting for the San Antonio Spurs to go all the way. Seriously, just hand the trophy to them once they take care of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference finals. Nobody cares about Miami or Boston anymore.
  • White Sox. My boys in baseball won their ninth game in a row tonight. Lovin’ it, lovin’ it! Plus everybody’s still talking about Hawk Harrelson going off on Mark Wegner.
  • Re-reading White Teeth by Zadie Smith. First read this for a class in college, decided it was time to tackle it again. I’d forgotten how funny and witty Smith is. In fact, I’d forgotten how much I idolize her. White Teeth was one of my favorite books from my English major experience, and so far it’s still holding up as one of my favorite books ever.
  • The Big Bang Theory. My brother surprised me today with the third season of BBT. Being in the fragile emotional state that I am, the gesture sent me to tears. Granted, he had a Best Buy certificate that expired today that he wanted to use, but still I appreciated the pseudo-gift. (I also have seasons one and four, now all I need is the second!) I’m starting to wonder if my emotional/mental issues stem from the fact that I feel unappreciated and nobody ever thinks to do something nice for me for once? And when you work both full-time and part-time jobs and nobody seems to consider that and nobody else seems to make an effort for you when you’re constantly reaching out to others…yeah, maybe those are my problems.

Not gonna lie, I’m slightly going through a Facebook withdrawal. But I told myself I’d stay off for at least a week, and the week mark doesn’t strike until Monday, and for a week I shall do it!

Things everyone is talking about that I want to weigh in on too

I’m still alive and well and kickin’, hooray. Here’s some (OK, two) bullets.

  • I just watched the Grammys for perhaps the first time in years. I normally don’t give a damn about awards ceremonies (except for maybe the ESPYs, haha) unless someone I love dearly is up for an award (such as Colin Firth last year winning the Best Actor Oscar), but I felt compelled to tonight due to the recent death of Whitney Houston, which I’m sure everyone who is aware of some piece of pop culture has heard by now. And also because I wanted to see Adele since she is after all my ultimate homegirl. Anyway, I’m quite sad to hear of Whitney’s passing. Growing up in the ’90s, there’s no way you couldn’t be jamming (or crying) to her songs at some point in life. May she rest in peace.
  • And the biggest news right now in the NBA is Jeremy Lin. I first heard of the kid last year when ESPN ran an article about him on the Golden State Warriors being, you know, the first Taiwanese-American player in the NBA. Now he’s on the Knicks and racking up points and headlines and doing things like outscoring Kobe on Friday with 38 points. I’m happy for the guy…but I definitely can’t identify with him as an Asian American. As my brother says, “I wish he were more thuggish and not the stereotypical quiet Asian guy.”

Finding that voice

Well, first things first I guess…today’s Christmas. I’m under the impression that it’s like a really big deal, but really all I did today was open my 2 presents, watch TV and eat. Not really that much different from any other day in the year.

I finally got around to watching The King’s Speech. I hadn’t seen it since theaters, and it’s definitely still very very good. I will always love Colin Firth, so I may be biased. But it really is definitely very good. The cinematography, which I appreciated more this time around, is brilliant. As far as period dramas go, this one tops all the recent ones, at least. That may have been the lamest movie review ever, my apologies.

I still have that very overwhelming feeling lurking in the back of my mind. Today I was so tired for some reason. Really, I shouldn’t have been. I had no work yesterday nor today. I slept a full 9 hours. But today I couldn’t bring myself to do anything. I couldn’t even muster up the energy to put my laundry away. My arms just don’t want to bloody move. I’m practically forcing myself to not go to bed at this very moment. There’s so much I could have done today and I’m so upset at myself for not doing a single thing except be an absolute couch potato.

I need to fix this blog. I need to read other blogs again. I must find my voice.