Saturday, June 9, 2012

Build Your Wings on the Way Down

In the 6th grade, I fell in love with Ray Bradbury.

I was one of those kids that read incessantly.  I often ran out of things to read between trips to the library, because if I checked out as many books as I could read I'd lose one or two.  Anyway, my English teacher only assigned a few of the short stories in our textbook, so I decided to read the rest of them.  Of the lot, I still remember two.  Carnal Knowledge by T. Coraghessan Boyle was memorable because parts were funny, but there were sexy bits I didn't understand.  I probably remember it because of the confusion and the not wanting to ask my parents what was really going on.

But The Pedestrian by Ray Bradbury resonated with me.  I didn't feel confused, I felt I'd reached enlightenment.  When I finished it I felt my heart racing and my brain clamoring and my skin prickling.  It was as if he'd written the story just for me, to let me know I wasn't alone and I wasn't crazy.  Whoever wrote this, I thought, has feelings just like mine.  I think he knows me already.

At eleven-years-old I didn't understand that the stories in my textbook were written by authors that had written other things, so I didn't search the library for his books.  A few years later my eleventh-grade English class read Fahrenheit 451, which is my favorite book to this day.  A couple months prior to that assignment my class had the chance to attend one of his speaking engagements.  If I had read the book first, I would have hung on his every word.  Actually, maybe it is for the best that I was unaware of his awesomeness, because I would have cried in front of my entire stupid class because my idol was so close but not close enough to thank.

The Pedestrian is more precious to me today than it was twenty years ago.  How many times have we tried to hold a conversation with someone who keeps looking at their phone for texts?  How many times have we competed with a motherfucking screen to gain someone's acknowledgement?  How many times have we wanted to scream STOP CHECKING TWITTER AND PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEEEEEE!!!  

The only other famous people whose deaths caused me genuine grief* are Jim Henson and Fred Rogers.  Like them, Ray Bradbury changed the way I looked at the world and how I felt about myself.  I have purposefully paced myself for reading his works so I don't run out of new stories by the time I'm 35.  I know I'll continue to be shaped by his imagination, and for that I am thankful.

Rather, I am thankful for everything you gave me, Mr. Bradbury.

*I am tearing up right now.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The End of the Middle

I'm impatiently awaiting my grade for the last final exam of my second year of PT school, and I'm killing time on the computer so I can obsessively check for my grade.  I have posted very little about my life since 2010, for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, it was difficult to express the process of losing my brother to cancer.  I hope you never know what it is like.  It was also hard to jive what I'd say to people with what I wanted to write to the internets.  Face to face, I felt I had to put up a brave front.  If you saw me and are thinking "THAT was a brave front?  I've seen a quivering mass of Jell-o hold up better!" then I say "You have no idea what I was like on the inside."  ANYWAY I felt like I couldn't say one thing to people and the truth to the internets.  But I couldn't lie to the internets either, I mean, who does that? 

Secondly, I was afraid that every post I wrote about school would devolve into "You guuuuysss, it's so haaaaarrrrrrrrrd.  I mean, soooooooo hard!"  It took three years of hardcore effort to be accepted, and then for three more years I just whine about how reeealllllllyyyy hard it is?  WHO DOES THAT?

Next week (if I pass this last final) I start another clinical rotation, and I realized I never told any stories from the first one!  Which is one reason I'm on blogger!  If I had actually written anything, rest assured you would have been emotionally moved, entertained, and gained a new appreciation for life itself.  This would have been your favorite blog, and you would refreshed Butter No Parsnips in the hopes I'd written another gem as frequently as I've been checking Blackboard for my grade .  Alas, the opportunity passed me by, and you just happened to stumble across this measly post in December because you wanted my recipe for Christmas cookies and you thought maybe I'd blogged about it in 2007.

Hmmmm, posting about cookies might actually be a good idea.  I can't whine about how hard that is. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Ratings: Vegetarians

Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian: Ahh, the lazy man's vegetarianism. The rules are simple: If the answer to "Am I eating a dead animal?" is "No," then ur doin it right. However, if the answer is "No, because he's still alive," then you are a sick fuck and not a vegetarian. A

Vegan: I have to admire someone that eats a cruelty-free diet that allows for french fries and whiskey binges if one so desires. Back in The Day, I wanted to go vegan and be able to claim No Animals Were Harmed in the Making of this Couscous Delight*. Try as I might, I could never give up the cheesecake and make the leap. I mean, have you had vegan cheesecake? I've eaten tastier plastics, thank you. A+

Ovo Vegetarian: Really? I don't get it. One: Dairy makes eggs better. Two: You've managed to forgo milk, cream, ice cream, sour cream, kefir, yogurt, butter, ghee, creme fraiche, and 10,000 types of cheese, but giving up eggs is a bit too much to ask? Ovo vegetarians are without the moxy of a vegan yet lack the easy-goingness of the "Don't mind me, I'll just order the cheese pizza/fettuccine alfredo/fried mozzarella" ovo-lactos. I'm sure you ovos have your reasons, but I doubt they're as logical and benevolent as my reasons for downing an entire jar of Nutella. C-

Vegan Rawist: Oh for the love of Pete, did none of you rawist people ever learn about science? Or evolution? Seriously, you can't argue with me that we don't have teeth like a jungle cat so we didn't evolve to eat meat AND turn a blind eye to having teeth that are ill-suited to gnawing on fibrous vegetation for hours at a time. You know what our teeth are evolved for? Pudding! D

Pescatarian: OK now, some of my best friends are pescatarians, and as a diet in general I give it an A-. But pescatarians that call themselves vegetarians make me feel a tad bit stabby. It's like claiming Hannibal Lecter was not a consumer of human flesh because he only ate the fancy bits. For nine years as an ovo-lacto I had the Sisyphean task of re-explaining to everyone that I will not eat your tuna salad because One: I hate pickle relish and Two: Fish are made of muscles, muscles are MEAT and just give me a gorram grilled cheese sammitch already. F

*Except for the squirrel the Kroger delivery van hit, that is.