Shelves

I could really use something like this in my home.

I could really use something like this in my home.

I asked for a bookshelf for my birthday, and my parents pointed out–fairly–that since I would be moving across the country in a matter of months, it would make more sense to get settled in there before worrying about furniture. Now I live on the East Coast, and have moved around quite a lot since arriving in New York in May. I’m hoping my current place lasts. It’s a small room, but totally liveable, and I couldn’t help but notice upon moving in that it has just enough space for a bookshelf. Since I don’t have any other way to store my books besides leaving them in their cardboard boxes and my parents got me a $200 gift card for Pottery Barn for Christmas, I think it might be a good idea to buy my own shelf now. If nothing else, it will give me something to browse when I’m bored.

On another note, I just failed a class for the first time. It’s a course that I’ve bitched and moaned about on this blog before, and ultimately, I’m not sure what I could have done. The teacher wanted me to read her mind. She stifled discussions whenever they threatened to become interesting and basically insisted that we repeat all of her ideas back to her verbatim. Whenever I tried to take things in my own direction, she insisted that I wasn’t answering her questions, which is stupid, since I answered them explicitly, but in my own words, and with my own take on the subject. Overall, she wasn’t a horrible teacher, but one whose perspective on education was fundamentally incompatible with mine. And strangely enough, I’m not that angry about it (not that angry, anyway). She was just…small-minded, that’s all.

I just saw Zero Dark Thirty and thought it was great. As a writer, I have always been fascinated by the intersection between fact and fiction. The Hurt Locker, the previous film by director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, was sharply criticized by war veterans for its inaccurate depiction of military protocol. I’ve read some of their complaints, and I find them convincing, but not especially relevant. The Hurt Locker is more about the psychology of its main character than about whether or not he could get away with all of the shit he pulls in real life. That his loose cannon behavior not only lands him in trouble, but doesn’t net results should put to rest any claims that the film is nothing more than a cop movie set in Iraq. Zero Dark Thirty, I’m guessing probably takes some liberties with CIA procedures as well and streamlines and dramatizes certain events for the sake of storytelling. But based on what I’ve read on the topic (and again, I’m not an expert, just curious), it gets more about interrogation tactics and the hunt for Bin Laden right than, say, the Die Hard movies get about police work. (I know next to nothing about computer hacking, but even I could see that Live Free or Die Hard was pure fantasy.) The controversy on this one appears to stem more from a skewed sense of proportion than anything else. Bigelow and Boal are not on par with David Simon in their journalistic eye for realism, but they are not making vehicles for Stallone or Schwarzeneggar either.

I generally find it effective, when attempting to conquer large problems, to start with the most manageable and seemingly insignificant changes. It’s like the old Chinese proverb about the journey of a thousand miles beginning with a single step. So I tend to ignore people who tell me I’m focusing on minor details and not seeing the bigger picture. The big picture is the minor details, people. That’s all I have to say on that topic for now.

I’ve spent much of my break so far sitting around. It’s necessary in order to remind myself why the fuck I work so hard during the semester. I fail at almost everything I set out to do, so it’s a relief when the only stakes at play are whether or not I’ll get around to doing my laundry tonight. (I won’t. Too much useless crap to read on the internet, and I still haven’t finished reading A Clash of Kings. And speaking of reading, I’m thinking my next book will be one that I was assigned for my statistics course during the semester, but didn’t get around to. My professor strongly encouraged us to read it, and I’m just such a good student that I think I might. Pity I don’t get extra credit for that.)

It’s easy to get loneliness get to you, although after a while, you start to live with being a “lone wolf”. My mother referred to me as a loner once, which surprised me, since I really don’t think of myself that way. It’s not my fault that my friends never want to join me in doing the things that I like to do. I’ve watched nice guys get “friendzoned” in their romantic pursuits, and while it sucks and is, in some cases, the result of manipulative and selfish behavior on the part of their female friends, guys should remember that most everyone needs a friend whom they can comfortably believe will not try to fuck them. Sex is, as one of my favorite websites pointed out recently, a necessity, but not a right. It’s unique that way. I guess guys should, you know, focus on making themselves fuckable rather than finding someone to fuck (or however the cliche goes).

Most of my good friends are straight guys. They’re adorable, but that’s about it. I try to keep a nice balance, though, and surround myself with a diverse mix of people. At the same time, I remember not to categorize them. It’s complicated, but I’m getting better.

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