Things as of late:

Recently I’ve been somewhat MIA. I started a new job–a second job, rather–which has been requiring a lot of my time. It’s another restaurant job, so clearly I’ve lost my mind completely to consider working at two different restaurants, in two very different cities.  Good thing I bought that brand new car, eh?  My parents also got a new puppy, so that’s been really, really fun and exciting. She’s perfect and adorable, per usual….and all she wants to do is BITE. So….good thing she’s cute.

Other than the new job and new puppy, things haven’t been all that exciting for me. I still am in a relationship limbo which is both awkward and annoying. We aren’t technically broken up but we aren’t technically together…? What? We are friends who are working on things–that’s how I like to refer to it.

I will tell you one thing that really sucks…living at home! I never thought that living with my parents would be so annoying but I am constantly just wishing to be at my own place. Like a place that I can put all my own food and do my own thing and walk around in my damn underwear because I just DO NOT want to put pants on! You feel me?!! In reality, it’s really not that bad. I mean, it could probably be worse–I don’t pay any rent or utilities so I can for sure save up money and put it towards an apartment or a really awesome trip……ooooooh the possibilities.

I am, like, suuuuper bummed about not going to see Brand New–one of my favorite bands ever….but I will survive I guess. I had originally gotten tickets for Adam, and two friends of ours to all go. Well, when we sort of broke up–or whatever….–I got two people to take the extra tickets! The friend I was supposed to go with ended up getting sick (sad face) and can’t go tomorrow so I sold the two extra tickets to a different friend. I didn’t want to be the third wheel stuck in a weird situation with a bunch of people who didn’t really know one another. Meeehhhhhhh. There will be other concerts. So whatever.

BUT good news is….on a completely different note…I heard back from American Greetings….FINALLY! They, alas, did not choose me for the position I applied for months ago…(really guys?) BUT they kept me in mind for a different position that is going to be opening up and they want me to come back in and interview for that position! So that’s exciting and actually something to look forward to. But then I’m in the predicament of which job do I keep?! The new restaurant or the old one….hmm….can’t I just get a time turner and work all three jobs and make ALL THE MONEY?!?!?! And be the first millionaire professional waitress? No? Okay, screw you guys then!

Sorry for the lack of brattiness. It’s been a long week and I’m honestly mentally exhausted. But keep on keepin’ on fellow readers.

~whatever forever~

L

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What I Have Come to Learn About Words

It’s no mystery to those around me that I love to read. I am a reader. It’s the first thing I like to bond with people over. I love offering up new book selections, sharing my favorites–and not so favorites–with others, and I love love LOVE when someone (who isn’t a big reader) finishes a book and wants to share it with me! There’s something about reading that’s romantic–it’s a lost art. I’m not saying that there still aren’t huge numbers of people who can just sit down and read, but in this day and age, with iPhones and iPads and booze and jobs, it’s hard to find time or even the energy, to just sit down and focus.

My favorite times to read–especially when it’s a great book, are in the afternoons, outside, sunning my legs or curled under a blanket in the early morning. I also love to read before bed–and hallelujah for my iPad because it is the BEST THING EVER when it comes to reading before bed. And that’s coming from someone who has literally refused technology-aged reading practices up until about a year ago. I’m weird, WHATEVER.

But, more than I love reading and a good story–I love the writing. As a writer (wannabe writer, poser, faker, amateur, etc.) there is a thing I have…and that thing is for words. Like, some people really like keeping their house organized or drinking tea or whateverthefuck they enjoy, but my thing is words. I love words. I love writing words–I am a huge handwritten notes and ideas kind of girl. I just love them. I love the way words sound together, I love the way writers say thing so beautifully and all you want to do is just read it–a sentence, a paragraph, a whole book–over and over and over and over again. Maybe it’s not even about something that is relevant to the story, or to my life, but I just get so hung up on them!! Beautiful, lovely words. Like, for example, the beginning of Grapes of Wrath, when Steinbeck is describing the texture and the essence of the decaying land in California….like OH MY GOD IT’S JUST SO BEAUTIFUL. How….HOW, how do you do that? How do you find those words?! I mean, I know how…he’s a fucking writer that’s how…and a far better writer than some of the crap that’s churning out now, but like….I just…..I literally can’t. That kind of beautiful prose just stops me in my tracks. I love it. It makes me think. It makes me pause…and anything that can make me pause is something worth consideration.

It’s when I read these beautiful excerpts of prose, or witty banter like Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please, discussing pregnancies and empowerment of women, that make me remember why I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Whether it’s a book, or a poem, or a blog–like this one–that pause, that moment of enlightenment, that shared love for words and beautiful creations that come from them…those are my moments. Those are the times I remember why I became and English major, and why I spent so much time studying words and grammar and fiction and creative writing and nonfiction and African American Women’s Studies. It’s not even the stories–I mean it is–but it’s that flawless creation of something so simple and so beautiful. A perfect string of consonants and syntax and, and…whatever! Writers that can do it, can just do it. Steinbeck, Hemingway, Alice Walker, Margaret Atwood…they can all just do it. Read one of their stories and tell me that it isn’t some of the most beautiful speech and use of language that you’ve ever heard. I challenge you.

So, I guess….that is my message today….? That I love to read and I love words……. wait, what?

I guess what I’m really saying is to read more. And really read. Look into the words on the page. Focus on what the writer is really saying, why he or she chose those words, and what those words and those sentences and all of that beautifully constructed prose do for the story as a whole. Stories can be good without great writing…because writing can just be good. It can be what the story needed it to be. But writing can also be great. It can be moving, and beautiful, and it can bring you to tears. So give it a shot. Read, and look deeper into the words.

~ whatever forever~

L

Finding the Way

So, a few weeks ago I posted about loving the one you’re with. I have since deleted that post because, well, the one I love I am no longer with. Ahhhh the dreaded breakup. Inevitable in some situations, and after all the things Adam and I went through….it unfortunately was not able to be fixed. Partly, and mostly, it was my fault. I’ll admit it. Sure, there were things each person did wrong, whatever. But when it comes down to it…yeah…definitely my fault.

I wish, wholeheartedly, that things could have been different. In fact, I wish I could just pull my head out of my ass and be happy. But things don’t usually work that way and your brain doesn’t cooperate and shit just hits the fan…in a figurative way, of course. Ew. I won’t go into detail, because our relationship is just that…ours. There’s no way to explain the things we felt about each other, or things we didn’t feel, or what made us angry and happy and sad and all of those together at the same time.

What I have learned, or sort of learned, is that sometimes love isn’t the answer. You can love someone and still not be happy with them. And maybe that’s just me getting into my head too much. But I’ve come to understand that you can love someone, and miss them and wish that they were around you still or however you want to put it, but still not want to be with them. And sometimes you just need time alone. You need to gather, to collect, to bring yourself into some perspective. Especially when life is throwing you curveballs and you just can’t seem to play the game. It’s frustrating to have a relationship depending on one person being so structured and have their shit mostly together, and the other one is struggling to catch up. Life isn’t always going to be perfect and things are definitely not always going to go as planned. Life is stressful. Relationships are stressful. And sometimes dealing with that stress is better handled alone…or so I am trying to tell myself.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’ve made a huge mistake. Maybe I’ll never meet someone who will love me the way Adam did, or does. And maybe I will never be as happy with someone. Well, then I guess that’s my mistake and my lesson to learn from. But maybe there is. Or maybe I’ll realize that I enjoy being alone, and that I enjoy doing this whole life-thing on my own or without someone to depend on. It’s the depending on someone else that gets me the most. You cannot depend on other people to make you happy. You have to be happy with everything in your life before you can be happy with someone else. Work, life, relationships–those all cause unhappiness. And if you’re unhappy with more than one, hell even just one, it’s a recipe for disaster. I hate to say it, but it’s just the way it is.

So I guess my lesson today is to find your own way. Throw your own curveballs. Fight your own demons. But be happy. Search for happiness.

~whatever forever~

L

THE INTERVIEW

On my previous blog, Post-Grad Purgatory, I wrote a post about going on my first “big girl” interview. It was written almost two years ago.

Since then I have held my job at the restaurant, and have since become much more comfortable speaking to others on both a professional and personal level. Before, I was very uncomfortable and self-conscious about speaking in front of others and talking to people that I didn’t really know. I didn’t like confrontation, I didn’t know how to address situations where people were being aggressive towards me–or others–or how to keep myself from becoming the victim in those situations. Mostly, I didn’t know how to stand up for myself.

But I see now, what working in customer service really does for you, or–actually–what it did for me. It taught me to be confident, something I’ve never been. It taught me to talk to people, to get to know people. It also taught me that I work really well with people, and that I’m good at leading a team or stepping up and becoming a leader. I’m good at taking charge, and it’s something I like to do…in a non-bossy or bratty kind of way.

In the past months I’ve had three interviews, (and a surgery!), and have another interview coming up (tomorrow, actually). Old Leah would have been all “OMG I AM SO NERVOUS!!!!!!” but I have found that new Leah is like “nbd guys I got this”. It’s an awesome feeling. I’ve come out of each interview–each vastly different from the other–feeling awesome, like, I totally nailed that interview.

It’s a good feeling to come out of something with such a positive outlook. And because I’ve had so much interest from companies that I REALLY REALLY wanted to work for, it feels even more outstanding. I feel like I can take on the world!! Okay, so maybe not the world but Cleveland, look out, because I’m coming for ya!

 

 

~whatever forever~

 

 

L

A Handmaid’s Tale

A Handmaid’ Tale – Margaret Atwood. handmaidstalecover
1985. Houghton Mifflin Co.
311 pages. [Source: iBooks]

I’ve always been a fan of Margaret Atwood’s writing, back when I first purchased her collection of poetry on a whim at a secondhand book shop. I’ve always loved the fluidity of her words and how beautifully she constructs her sentences. Her descriptions are similar to those of Steinbeck (another one of my favorites), so to read A Handmaid’s Tale was a no-brainer for me. I had to love it, right?

Right.

A Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian novel, “a work of speculative fiction,” which takes place in a pseudo-futuristic version of the United States–the Republic of Gilead. The women of the Republic–with some exceptions–have been stripped of their jobs, their money, their place within society, and their personal values. Women are appropriated into certain roles, for example, as handmaids–women whose ovaries are still viable, who haven’t been thwarted by disease and infertility, those who are still able to conceive. As this dystopian America has seen a declining birthrate, a handmaid’s duty is to provide her “family” with children. She is a “nun of fertility”, essentially.

handmaidsThe story is told through the eyes of the narrator, Offred, a handmaid. Through the story, Offred contemplates the reality of her situation. She is thirty-three, has been thrown into this life without any chance or choice of her own will. She has lost a husband, a daughter, countless friends, and her mother. She is expected to be chaste, to give her life to God, to respect her family–the Commissioner and his wife  Serena Joy–and to provide them with offspring. Offred struggles with her new life, because she has known of a different world; she has seen the world change. She acknowledges the ease at which the new generation will assimilate–the daughters of the handmaids–because it’s the only world they’ll ever know.

Atwood’s arguments throughout the novel are of feminism and human survival. How long does one last in a situation like this? Is a person’s will to live stronger than their will to give in? Offred knows some of the other handmaid’s from her previous life, or her life at the Red Center (basically, a training camp for handmaids).  She notices, throughout the story, changes in different characters. Some seem to be lost, broken. Others, carry the glimmer of hope, the resistance of convention and change. She struggles with this idea of piety, the acceptance that her body, her fertility, is a mechanism, designed for one, sole duty.  She contemplates her sexuality, her need for affection, love, the touch of man. She finds solace in the Commissioner, through his need for the same affection. Offred reflects, constantly, on the idea of Love: “The more difficult it was to love the particular man beside us, the more we believed in Love, abstract and total. We were waiting, always, the incarnation. That word, made flesh.” Through all of these changes, she’s been taught over and over again that God is Love. Everything she does, is done for Him.

I think it’s really interesting, throughout the story, how common her thoughts are. She tries so hard to believe, to be dutiful and respectful. But ultimately, she can’t. She can’t forget her life before, can’t fully let go of her freedoms that she so took for granted. She says: “It’s strange to remember how we used to think, as if everything were available to us, as if there were no contingencies, no boundaries; as if we were free to shape and reshape forever the everexpanding perimeters of our lives.” She says, “I’m a refugee from the past, and like other refugees I go over the customs and habits of being I’ve left or been forced to leave behind me…”

I found this story to be intriguing, always questioning what was going to happen next. I have never been one for dystopian literature, or even science fiction for that matter, but I found the feminist diatribe to be exceptionally relevant, given society’s current situation. Women, in the story, who are raped or “violated” are condemned as sinners. They are said to deserve whatever came to them because of their sins, in this life or the previous. While this novel was written almost thirty years ago, exactly, it’s interesting to see the parallel. Women today struggle with a similar concept–girls wearing short skirts or dresses, revealing clothing, etc., being raped or violated, and their attackers justifying it by saying “she was asking for it.” Offred represents the female voice of the future, the female who is afraid of her sexuality, but who understands it’s a voice that cannot be quieted. She tries to hard to be pious, but ultimately cannot give up her desire and need for flesh. Women do not have to be afraid of being sexual creatures–men have been sexual creatures since the beginning of time. Are we supposed to ignore our bodies, our inherent desires, because of this fear? Then what are we left with? We have no choice but to be Offreds, for fear that our “sins”, our crimes of sexuality, will ultimately destroy us.

While this may be more in depth than most book reviews, I find that this story is telling more than just a story. It’s more than a fleshless work of fiction. I can’t summarize it without giving all the good parts away, and if you wanted to read a summary then go to your nearest book retailer, find this book, read it’s back cover, and summarize that shit for yourself. It’s works like this, that deserve a critical eye. Although I am not the first to review this story, or the last, I find that it’s important to look into each story deeper than just the words on the page. As an English major, I spent a long, long time perfecting the art of arguments and critical analysis. While some find it to be overkill or uninteresting, I find it to be empathizing and concrete. It gives you something to hold on to, long after the story is over–after it’s forgotten, collecting dust, been sold at some garage sale for fifty cents.

So see for yourself. Read the book–it doesn’t take long–and make your own opinion. Or read any book! Check out some reviews, some critiques, find out what it is the author is really trying to say. Look deeper, and enjoy.

~ whatever forever ~

L

obligatory first post

Hello there! Welcome to the bratty blogger, blog! First off, let me thank you for visiting–I love you already.

If you haven’t check out my about page yet, let me introduce myself: Hello, my name is Leah! I am twenty-five, a not-so-recent college graduate, I enjoy girly thing like makeup and nail polish, crocheting, going to the gym, going out with my friends, and genuinely being a brat most of the time.

And let’s not get confused with a brat like this:  bratty kid

 

 

 

but really try and focus more on: middlefinger

 

 

Aside from flicking most everyone off, I also enjoy reading, and much more than that I enjoy writing. I’ve always wanted to start my own blog–back during the days Carrie Bradshaw was making her hot debut of Mr. Big in the New York Star. Not, necessarily, that I envisioned myself writing a sex column at thirty, but I always admired her way with words, the way it came so effortlessly to her. While I’ve had plenty of failed and forgotten blogs in the past, I’ve decided I finally want to hit the ground running. Why wait any longer? Why put it off?

Writing is something that I’ve always enjoyed. It’s what I studied, mostly, in college. It’s what I’ve done, most consistently, for the majority of my life. And it’s also been the one thing I’ve always gone back to, what I’ve always dreamed of doing. I never thought I was going to be a multi-platinum author, or whatever, but I always sort of thought I had a talent at it–just never enough drive to keep me going. Well, since becoming more proactive–going to the gym, eating better, job searching, generally getting my shit together–I’ve found that writing has become more enjoyable than ever. So! Why not start a blog, discussing all the things I love to do! And write about all the things I love to do! And do all the things that I love to do! Sounds like a sweet deal to me.
beevus

So, here it is. My bratty blog: dedicated to girly things, good books, positivity, and a brattier outlook on life.

Rock on, losers.

 

 

 

 
~ whatever forever ~

L