Tuesday, May 24, 2011

On Wolves

Biology prevails!

This whole video is bonkers, but that line is probably my favorite part of it.  That being said, though, I really do like this song.  And TV On The Radio in general.  And wolves.

Since there is something else that I really want to write about, but I don't feel able to do it just yet, so I am going to talk about this for a while.  Bear with me.

I was obsessed with animals when I was little.  I would often pick one and then research it mercilessly for weeks at a time until I had essentially mastered it, then move on to another.  When I was at a pretending age I almost always pretended to be some sort of animal, usually a dog or a wolf, as those ended up being the types of animals that really held my interest.  Wolves in particular were my knowledge strong point.  I stopped reading and largely caring about wolves around when I entered Jr. High, but I still remember some things about them, like how intelligent they are and how well structured wolf packs really are.

So, when most youngsters where in to Harry Potter, or whatever else kids my age were supposed to be enjoying, I was reading Julie of the Wolves and its sequels.  Again I don't remember much about this, but I know I loved these books and that they fueled my imagination for several years.  My uncle found out about this interest and fueled it further by gifting me on every applicable holiday with little gems like this one:

Note that this is not just a disembodied wolf head, which would really be bad enough, but this is an entire disembodied wolf torso.  I'm not even sure you could call this a disembodied wolf shirt when most of the wold is in fact shown, but they still had to fade out that last bit, as if they cannot make wolf shirts without the wolf fading out to some degree.  You could also consider this shirt to have a bonus because you don't only get the one running wolf, there are more wolves running inside of it.  If only they were fading out as well.  This shirt seriously boggles my mind.

Anyway, I've had this shirt a long time time.  I don't wear it outside anymore, but I'm pretty sure I did at some point, which I think shows that my parents really didn't protect me as well as they should have.  I wear it to sleep now, as it has that perfect amount of wear necessary for a shirt to feel fantastic.  Its also really funny.

I actually had lots of these when I was young, but most of them either wore out or were thrown away in a fit of sensibleness.  Can you imagine that I had trouble socializing as a child?

Like I said before, the wolves were put away around when I turned twelve or thirteen and have largely stayed put locked up in my memory.  However, every once in a while I see something like that TV on the Radio song, and I remember what now feels like a weird dream I had where I thought I was a wolf.  I remember how much I used to know and care about these animals, and how my kid-self had a whole little world built of and around them.

It's interesting for me to find out that wolves factor as symbols into other people's lives as well, and what they mean for them.  One of my poetry-writing friends has a series about wolves that I react to on some core level because of her chosen image.  Any song mentioning wolves appeals to me on some level beyond my own comprehensionThere's really an interesting mix of music here if you click each link.  That last one is some German band I found while looking up these other videos and typing "wolf" so much.  I think this paragraph had intention when it started, but I got so caught up in linking music that it turned into mush.  Ah well.

The point is that I am now permanently set up to feel towards the image or idea of wolves some fundamental emotion stemming from my childhood preoccupation with being something other than myself.

I just figured that out now writing this post.  So at least there's something.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

This Ended Up Being About Grammar. I'm Not Sure Why.

Today really was a good day, though I'd have trouble explaining why.  I worked for most of it, and there was definitely the (perhaps even worse than) usual group of bizarre and demanding people, but the point is that I was able to cope with it, which is both new and exciting.  More often than not I am completely unable to gracefully withstand the odd and slightly cruel way sales people are treated.  Of course, I am slowly becoming notorious for relapses, so I'm not expecting myself to respond this well every time, but knowing that I'm capable of doing so will certainly help me along.

If I haven't mentioned this before, I work in a department store now.  In the shoe department, to be exact, which is pretty much what I did back in high school, though I'm not at the same store.  It's a little bit sad to have gone through so much schooling, to have had as many good experiences and opportunities as I've had, just to end up right back where I started.  I'm trying to treat this like a launching point, like a return to zero before going off in a whole new (and hopefully more successful) direction.  In any case, this job is reintroducing me to the non-academic world, which I had almost forgotten existed, and giving me enough funds to keep from defaulting on my student loans.  I'm content with that for now.

Every sentence in that paragraph begins with the letter "I".  A couple of them also begin with the same word, which is somewhat bothersome.  Around 6th or 7th grade, I was told by my English teacher not to start multiple sentences with the same word in the same paragraph.  I'm sure she said this only to prevent the "This happened.  Then this happened.  Then this happened," style that many youngsters are prone to, but this rule had lorded over my writing forever since.  In academic papers, in poetry, even in my own head, I am always aware of what words I'm starting off with and how often they're being used.

I have a similar issue with commas.  If I write a sentence with one comma, or maybe two, the sentences both before and after it must have some other amount of commas.  The sentence structures must be appropriately varied within a given paragraph, so as not to sound monotonous.  Each paragraph would also ideally have at least five sentences.

That one does not.

On one level these rules have done a lot of good for me.  They've forced me to think carefully about what I write and how I write it, which has probably helped make me into a better writer.  However, I know full well that most people do not notice or care about all these little details, and I'm starting to feel like I'm holding myself back by sticking to them so strictly.  In any case, this nothing-alike-too-close-together way of writing is so ingrained in my system that I have to make a conscious effort to go against it.  Maybe someday I'll be able to just type and not over think so much, but for now all I can do is just be aware of my over thinking and over think about it.

Did you count the commas in those last two sentences?  I know I did.

You know, I always start out these blog entries with one idea in mind, only to wander off on some crazy tangent.  This was originally supposed to be about the Jung/Meyers-Briggs personality types, can you believe that?  I've spent so long on this other stuff, though, that I'm not sure I still feel like talking about what I meant to, or that I even remember what I wanted to say.  Maybe next time?