This Post Includes Multiple Adorable Puppies

So, it turns out that trying to do NaBloPoMo is a lot like trying to take up running: if you miss one day, you just sort of lose the will to keep doing it. Or maybe that’s just in my case. Anywho, I think I should just stop making promises, because that always seems to end in disappointment.

Luckily for you people, I’m the sort of person who will never stop writing, for good at least. I may be inconsistent at times, but I ain’t a quitter. Which is a shame, because if I don’t quit smoking soon, the Doctor says I’m at a serious risk of lung cancer.

Hey look, it’s Clifford the Big Red Dog. Except in this picture he’s Clifford the Small Red Dog. Ha, get it? Because he’s a puppy! I. Am. Hilarious.

Anyway, the reason I missed that one crucial day is because of a surprise sickness I came down with over the course of an eight hour shift at McDonalds. I didn’t just get a cold; I got the cold. About two hours into the shift I started to get a sore throat. An hour later, I had a headache and for some reason, my ears hurt whenever I swallowed. It only got worse from there. I completely forgot about this whole NaBloPoMo thing by the time I got home. I just wanted some sleep.

(Side note: before going home, I quickly stopped by a Walgreen’s to get myself some Nyquil, not realizing that because it contains alcohol, you have to be twenty-one or older to purchase it. But the cashier didn’t question me once. Why? Because she thought I was an adult. Haha.)

Here’s a picture of Bubbles the Nerdfighting Puppy

Soon afterward, when the cold improved, I start reading Les Miserables, and for those who’ve read it I have one question: where is Gavroche? Is he ever going to show up? I’m almost five hundred pages in and he hasn’t even been mentioned yet. Or maybe he was mentioned during the Battle of Waterloo, but I didn’t notice it because I kept dozing off. Victor Hugo could have confessed to first degree murder during that section and no one would’ve been the wiser.

Yeah, this post has no real focus. I will however, make two promises that I know for a fact will not lead to disappointment.

Promise #1: There will be snow on this blog tomorrow.

Promise #2: There will be a new post tomorrow. I know this because it’s already scheduled. What is it about? The person to correctly guess the subject in the comments will win a prize.

I will end this post by congratulating everyone who actually did win NaBloPoMo, (and NaNoWriMo), and by including this picture of a puppy about to sneeze.

Congratulations, winners!

Yep. Totally about to sneeze.

Top Ten Game of Thrones Point of View Characters

This one’s for all you Game of Thrones fans out there. Though you should keep in mind that I’m basing this list off: 1) the characters in the books who get their own point of view chapters, and 2) their book personality, instead of their TV one. Though I will be very careful not to spoil anything that hasn’t already happened on the show.

10) Asha Greyjoy.

Asha is sort of a terrible person. She has no qualms about killing people, she’s a bit rude, and that prank she plays on Theon was a little too mean, even if Theon was a terrible person at the time. But like most, if not all, of the female characters in this series, she gains audience sympathy through all the sexist bullshit she has to put up thanks to Westeros’ rather terrible society. She’s only a minor POV character, and she’s only had one ridiculously over the top sex scene so far, but she’s still made herself a memorable addition to the cast.

9)  Eddard Stark

He was a bit of an idiot, but he was an honorable idiot, and one that we could all get behind. You know someone’s a great character when his death is still causing conflict four books after it happened.

8) Catelyn Stark

Sure, Catelyn has made some huge mistakes, but so does everyone else in the Stark family. And sure, she was mean to Jon, but he’s a tough kid. I’m sure he’ll be fine. Besides, her flaws are what makes her human to begin with. I don’t want to read about an all-knowing mother who knows what’s best for her family and always makes the best decisions.

All the decisions she’s made, however, were made because she loved her children and would do anything for them. Which makes her the most tragic character in the entire series, in my eyes. Her primary motivation throughout everything is to keep her family safe, and she dies thinking she failed to do that. As far as she knows, Bran, Rickon, Robb, Arya and Ned are all dead, and Sansa is trapped in King’s Landing with the Lannisters. She straight up loses her mind in the final paragraph, which also might be the saddest paragraph in the History of Ever:

“It hurts so much, she thought. Our children, Ned, all our sweet babes. Rickon, Bran, Arya, Sansa, Robb . . . Robb . . . please, Ned, please, make it stop, make it stop hurting . . . The white tears and the red ones ran together until her face was torn and tattered, the face that Ned had loved. Catelyn Stark raised her hands and watched the blood run down her long fingers, over her wrists, beneath the sleeves of her gown. Slow red worms crawled along her arms and under her clothes. It tickles. That made her laugh until she screamed. ‘‘Mad,’’ someone said, ‘‘she’s lost her wits,’’ and someone else said, ‘‘Make an end,’’ and a hand grabbed her scalp just as she’d done with Jinglebell, and she thought, No, don’t, don’t cut my hair, Ned loves my hair. Then the steel was at her throat, and its bite was red and cold.”

If that paragraph doesn’t make you pity her at least a little bit, then you’re simply a terrible person.

7) Theon Greyjoy

I think Theon beats out Catelyn as the most tragic character in the entire series, not because he was such an outstanding guy or anything, but because the horrible fate he was given was almost entirely the result of his own terrible decisions.

As much as you all may hate him, you can’t really deny that he was well written. Well, you can, I would be forced to disagree with you. Throughout A Clash of Kings, my feelings for him kept going back and forth between hatred and pity. Sure, he was an arrogant, misogynist tool, but he was so lost and misguided, it was sad. He was kind of like Hamlet, I think. I’ve never actually read Hamlet, but I’ve heard someone compare him to Theon once, so that’s the comparison I’m going to use.

6) Jon Snow

I’m going to be honest, I found Jon Snow kind of boring in the first two books. He wasn’t as charismatic or as witty as the other characters, and he was a bit mopey and all “Boo hoo, I’m a bastard. Feel bad for me!” shtick in the beginning.

Then Ygritte showed up, and things got interesting. Suddenly I found myself invested in his storyline, and actually looking forward to his chapters. In A Storm of Swords, Jon grew from a whiny teenager to a mature adult, having gone through more struggles and dilemmas than most people have to face in their entire life. George R. R. Martin gets a lot of crap for how he treats his characters, but in ASoS he gives Jon a surprisingly uplifting ending, and considering how much hell he went through, it felt earned.

The ending to A Dance with Dragons was slightly less happy, but, well, this is A Song of Ice and Fire, after all.

5) Daenerys Targaryen

Oh, Dany. I feel like she has the most inconsistent storylines in the novel.

In A Game of Thrones, she had what might just be my favorite storyline in the entire book, as she grows from timid child to courageous, slightly violent queen. (with dragons!)

In A Clash of Kings the only interesting she did was go into the House of the Undying. I don’t remember a single thing else of interest to happen to her in that book.

Then A Storm of Swords came, and she started conquering cities, lighting people on fire, and just generally just being a total badass with those dragons of hers.

In A Dance with Dragons, she spends the majority of her time, ruling over Meereen (a doomed cause, as everyone but her can see) and doing everything but preparing to invade Westeros, something the readers have been waiting almost five thousand pages for already.

Despite the inconsistency of her storyline, she’s still one hell of an interesting character.

4) Sansa Stark

Sansa gets a lot of hate, especially in the first book, where she managed to be spoiled and bratty and pretty disillusioned with reality. It’s hard not to dislike her in the beginning.

But you’ve really got to question the empathy of people who still hate on Sansa, even after Ned died. I mean, the fact that the words, “I don’t want to marry you. You chopped off my father’s head!” actually made sense for her to say is just. . . horrible, in so many ways.

But I didn’t rank her so highly simply because of the horrible circumstances she’s forced into. I did so because of how well she managed to survive Joffrey, and the rest of King’s Landing, and not lose her humanity like all the other characters. She may not be stabbing people left and right like her sister, but she’s still easily one of the strongest characters in the wholes series.

3) Jaime Lannister

Keep in mind, I’m only talking about Book Jaime here, not the TV’s version, who is not nearly as complex and roughly twelve and a half times less likable. Being lazy, here’s a quote from myself, during my review of the Game of Thrones episode “Two Swords.”

One of my favorite parts about the show (and the books) is how Jaime Lannister actually ends up being a likeable character. While sure, the jerk-turned-nice guy development has been done to death, you rarely see a character who starts off as big of a jerk as the Kingslayer himself. I believe he’s first introduced having sex with his twin sister, and then, thirty seconds later, pushing a child off a castle.

(Of course, you can argue that his real motive was that he knew how boring Bran’s storyline would become, and so he tried to stop it from happening beforehand. Unfortunately, this backfired, when it turned out that shoving him out the window was the very thing that caused his boring storyline in the first place. If you think about it, Jaime was a hero from the very beginning.)

But then he got his hand cut off, which was a huge traumatic incident. I mean, that was his sword hand; his child-shoving hand! Even though he was jerk, I still felt a little bad for him. And after that moment, he continued to improve as a human being, to the point where he’s actually coming to be one of the more noble characters in the series. (Which isn’t saying much, to be honest.)

2) Arya Stark

Does anyone not like Arya? She has one of the most tragic storyline in the entire series, starting off as a fun, spunky eight year old girl to a cold-blooded murderer. I liked her the best in A Clash of Kings, where I wasn’t yet concerned by her unhealthy bloodthirstiness, because I hated her enemies almost as much as she did. My mixed feelings about the path she goes down aside, she’s the only character (I feel) who’s been consistently interesting to read about throughout the entire series. There was not a moment where I wasn’t excited to read the next of her chapters, which is something I can’t say about the #1 entry for this list.

1) Tyrion Lannister

This may stir some controversy, because depending on who you ask, Tyrion is either a total badass, who is smart and kind and funny and all around a great guy, or he’s an evil, horrible raging misogynist. Who’s right? Both groups. But mostly the first group.

Tyrion is great because he’s the most morally ambiguous character in the entire series. He manages to be loveable in some moments and utterly despicable in others, some of these moments within mere pages of each other. He’ll shoot his father with a crossbow (yeah!) right after strangling a whore to death with the necklace he gave her (uh. . . yeah?).

This guy has done some terrible things in his life, like having a guy cut into pieces and thrown into soup (supposedly) or threatening to rape his eight year old nephew. (Okay, that last part makes it sound worse than it was, seeing as he had no intention of actually going through with it.) He does some pretty terrible things in A Dance with Dragons too, but I can’t talk about that because spoilers.

But he also has the audacity to slap Joffrey in the face, so all is forgiven.

___

What do you think? Do you agree with my list? Do you not agree with my list? Comment below, if you dare.

If I Could Just Talk to Spiders, My Life Would be So Much Easier

Cartoon spiders are so much cuter than real life spiders.

I don’t usually do The Daily Prompt, but today’s seemed easy and I knew what I wanted to write mere seconds within reading it. Today’s prompt is:

Literate for a Day: “Someone or something you can’t communicate with through writing (a baby, a pet, an object) can understand every single word you write today, for one day only. What do you tell them?”

As you could tell from the title of this post, I picked spiders. See, just half an hour ago, I saw a spider walking near my bed and threw a shoe at it. I missed, and the spider is now nowhere to be found. I feel like this happens a lot, so if I had the chance to write to said spider, I would say something like this:

Dear Spider,

I’m sorry for throwing my shoe at you from across the room so many times. I admit, it was a little harsh, but you gotta understand, you are creepy. You have so many eyes, and so many legs, and the fact that you eat your prey by trapping them in a web, crawling over to their helpless bodies and sucking the blood out of them, doesn’t make me feel any safer in your presence.

But I’m sure you and your kind have great personalities, all things considered, and I’d be okay with having you hang out in my room, as long as I knew for sure that you wouldn’t try any funny business, and by that I mean:

  • No biting me. (This goes twice if you’re poisonous.)
  • No crawling within three feet of my presence.
  • No hiding in any of my clothing, especially not in my pants pockets. *shudders at the thought*
  • No giant webs that take up half the room.
  • No sudden movements in my direction.
  • No taking embarrassing pictures of me and posting them online.
  • No listening to music without headphones.
  • No fires.
  • No writing Doctor Who erotica fan fiction. That’s my thing.

Of course, if it’s a really, really cold one day, I guess I’d be fine with you creating fires. And if you happen to be radioactive then by all means, bite away. Otherwise, you’ll have to follow these rules. Failure to do so will result in death.

Have fun not trying to bite me,

Matt.

Click here to see the other entries for the Daily Post.

Books I’ve Thrown Across the Room (TCWT)

(Caution: Spoilers for the listed books. You have been warned.)

I’m not doing the November TCWT blog chain, mostly because I couldn’t think of a decent response, and I’d sort of forgot to apply until it about ten seconds ago. But because I’m a total rebel, I’m going to go back in time and try out one of their old prompts. This one was from all the way back in January 2012, back before I even had a blog:

What are examples of books you’ve thrown across the room? Why did you throw them?

To be honest, I’ve never actually thrown a book across a room, mostly because I have a kindle now, and technology is expensive, and also because I’m not the type of hot-head to actually throw a book full-force at a wall. The most I’d do is put the book down.

Also, books are friends, and we should not harm them in any way.

That being said, here’s a few books that made my throwing arm restless:

1) A Clash of Kings, by George R. R. Martin.

I never threw the book during Ned’s death, or the Red Wedding, because I’d been spoiled beforehand on those moments so it didn’t have as much of an effect on me.

But because Arya’s storyline has mostly been disconnected with the main plot, her future was always a complete mystery. I had no idea where she’d eventually end up or what she’d become; I was just hoping that she would eventually make it back to Winterfell to be with her family. Well, what was left of her family, anyway. Oh, how naive I was back then.

So, going into this book, I was so excited to see the eventual Arya-Bran reunion, and to see the two of them fill each other in on everything’s that happened in the since they’ve been apart. (Bran would be able to summarize all the interesting things he’s done in one sentence: “I met a wildling.”)

But then Yoren died, and my hopes were crushed, sort of like the Viper’s skull. They were briefly lifted when Arya and her friends managed to escape, but then when they were captured by the Mountain’s men, and my hopes were quickly then stabbed in the throat, just like poor Lommy.

On the bright side, this led to what some of the most gripping story arcin the entire series, so I can’t complain much.

2) The Long Walk, by Stephen King.

This was one of those books that I picked up one day, not expecting anything, then by the time I put it down I had read one hundred twenty pages without even realizing it. Seriously, this book was fantastic. Addictive, a tiny bit depressing, and physically painful to read, but I mean that in the best way possible. And all of that was ruined on the final page.

It’s not about what happened at the end of the book, but how sudden, rushed and confusing the whole thing was. It was like the author realized he had thirty seconds left before the deadline, so he just quickly wrote the final page and sent it in.

3) Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson.

When I first read this book, I was in fourth or third grade, and I’d never read a book featuring a major death like this. Or at least, not a major death so random and sudden as Leslie’s was.

Keep in mind, at this age I hadn’t had much experience with this whole “death” thing. I didn’t quite grasp the finality of it all in real life, let alone in a happy-go-lucky children’s book about a wonderful fantasy world.* So I spent the last third of the book expecting Leslie to show up, hopefully by popping out of a cake, and reveal that she wasn’t actually dead at all. When this never happened, I was pretty upset and disappointed.

Looking back at it now, I realize that had my wish been granted, the book would’ve never been so successful to begin with.

*Or at least, that’s what I thought the book was. In my defense, the movie version of the book had just come out and the trailers were so ridiculously misleading that the movie’s marketing team should be sued for false advertisements.

(Also, I apologize for any typos in this post. I’m a tiny bit sleep deprived at the moment, so feel free to point any of them out for me.)

I Have Another Confession to Make

I used to be rapper when I was young. I went by the name “MattyBRaps” and ended up getting millions of hits on YouTube. I eventually had to dye my hair and move to New York, just to escape all the fame, which was starting to get to my head.

You can watch one of my videos below. Not gonna lie, I was pretty talented.

This would make one hell of an April Fools Joke.

Confession: I Don’t Like Sports

Or more accurately, I am not a fan of watching sports, and I never was, really.

I’ve tried very hard to get into sports, particularly because such a large percentage of my family and friends are obsessed with them, and I was made to feel pretty bad about myself just for not knowing certain (admittedly kind of obvious) facts about the NBA, or the NFL.

Someone would ask me a question like, “Who’s your favorite professional football player?” And I would be thinking Come on come on, think of an NFL player. You have to know at least one. Didn’t Michael Jordan play football once? Not sure if that counts. What about that guy, Ben Roffleburger, I think that’s his name, did he play football? Or was that hockey? Eh, screw it. Roffleburger it is.

“Ben Roffleburger,” I’d say, feigning confidence.

Needless to say, I was made fun of a lot for that mistake. Using the power of hindsight, I decided that for now on, whenever someone asked me who my favorite player was, I’d say J.J. Wilkes. Never heard of him? That’s because he doesn’t exist, or at least, there is no J.J. Wilkes in the NFL, as far as I know.

You see, for whatever reason, sports fans (or at least the ones I know) take an unhealthy amount of pride in their knowledge of the game, so they won’t be willing to admit they don’t know who certain players are. So when I say “J.J. Wilkes,” in an obvious, well-duh-of-course-he’s-my-favorite-player kind of tone, they’ll just go along with it.

To be honest, I think I’ve done a good job at pretending to know what I’m talking about in recent years. In ninth grade, I managed to keep this up for a surprisingly long time with this one guy sitting next to me Geometry. He would always start off by saying something like, “Yooo, did you see the game last night?”

I would read his tone of voice and respond accordingly. “Yeah, I was so pissed.”

“I know right?” He’d then keep talking about the game, while I’d nod and make a bunch of general statements until the class started and we had to be quiet. He eventually figured out I had no idea what I was talking about, but by then it there was only two months left until summer vacation, so I didn’t really care.

Lately though, I’ve been wondering why, exactly, I used to be embarrassed of not liking sports. I guess it’s because of some sort of mental conditioning, in that I’ve been told again and again by the people I grew up with that basically, sports are the greatest thing ever and I’m weird for not loving them. If you were to tell my brother that you preferred to read a book rather than watch a basketball game, he’d look at you in the same way I’d look at someone who just sneezed in my face. It was only a few years ago that I realized 1) my brother is stupid, and 2) you should watch whatever you want, and only if you want to, regardless of what people may think.

Also, sports are really boring to watch. Well, I guess hockey isn’t that bad, but baseball or golf? I’d rather die.

I’d prefer Game of Thrones. Instead of teams we have houses, and instead of ridiculously rich people who throw a ball around for a living, we have a bunch of ridiculously rich people who start wars for a living. It’s better in every single way.

Day in the Life as a Public High School Student (Don’t Worry, This is Interesting!)

So, a lot of my blogger friends have written posts like “A Day in the Life of a Home-schooled Student,” or “A Day in the Life of Private School Student” or something cool like that. And I thought, hey, why I don’t I do the same thing? Sure, going to public school isn’t quite as interesting or unique as going to school abroad or having it at home, but I feel like some people might still be interested.

I mean, not every public high school is the same, so even though some readers may be going to one, they might be surprised to see how another one works. And all you adult readers out there may be curious to see how schools have changed since you were students. So yeah, keep reading.

5:45 AM: I wake up, press the snooze button on my phone.

5:50 AM: I wake up, press the snooze button on my phone.

5:55 AM: I wake up, press the snooze button on my phone.

(This goes on for a while)

6:15 AM: I get out of bed. I don’t have to take a shower because I took one last night (#prepared) and I recently got a hair cut, so bed hair isn’t a problem for me. I sympathize with the long-haired people in the world. You guys have it rough.

6:20 AM: I pour cereal in the bowl and realize that there’s no more milk left. I think back to any terrible deeds I may have done in the past to have deserved this, and can’t think of anything. There’s no time to make anything else, so dry cereal it is.

(Man, my life’s terrible. Feel bad for me.)

6:28 AM: I’m waiting at the bus stop, freezing and half-asleep at the same time. There’s this one obnoxious kid who listens to rap music and raps along with it (loudly) in the morning, but because the sun hasn’t come up yet I can’t seem to tell where he is.

6:40 AM: Bus comes twelve minutes late, and it becomes clear why once I see the busdriver. Oh god. It’s Elvis.

Elvis is a substitute bus driver in our school district, and has been since around for a long time. We call him that because he looks like what Elvis probably did in the last few months of his life. He’s notorious for being a horrible driver and for just generally being an unpleasant person. Personally, I just think he needs a hug. There’s no way I’m going to give him one, though.

Even though Elvis kept hitting the curbs, and he left the lights on, I still managed to spend most of the ride asleep.

7:05 AM: I get to school, stop by the library, get a pass for lunch (because I’ve got physics homework to do, bitches) and then go to the cafeteria to get some apple juice.

7:17 AM: My first class is AP English, with my possibly-murderous English teacher. This class is a breeze, because he basically just talks about symbolism and metaphors and whatnot in this book we’re currently reading, A Separate Peace by John Knowles.

8:05 AM: Pre-Calculus. This class is weird because the teacher simply doesn’t care if the students are paying attention and never checks the homework; she just continues teaching regardless of whether anyone is actually listening, which is new for me. Maybe this is her way of preparing us for college (where apparently, the professors don’t give a shit about you) but all it’s done for me is let me slack off. I spend this time working on my physics homework, which I still haven’t done.

9:00 AM: Financial Math. This is an easy class, with a really obnoxious, uptight teacher. The only way to get her in a good mood is to ask her about couponing. She loves coupons and uses them all the time, and she loves to talk about how much she saves and what she bought with them. It’s weird.

(I apologize to my Financial Math teacher, if she’s reading this. It seems unlikely, being as she should have no idea about this blog, but with my luck she probably will.)

Anyway, she wouldn’t let me make up a test today, because I missed the two days where she allowed us to do it after school. I missed the first day because I had to go to work immediately after school, and I missed the second day because I was unexpectedly sick with food poisoning. Apparently, this wasn’t a good enough excuse.

(To be fair, I made up the whole food poisoning thing. But there’s no way she could’ve known that, which means that given what she knows, she’s intentionally punishing a student for being sick.)

9:47 AM: U.S. History: I get lunch on my way to class, which is usually a turkey sandwich from the cafeteria, some goldfish, and this soda called Switch that tastes weirdly amazing. I always take the cheese off the sandwich, because it is the most appalling excuse for cheese I’ve ever seen.

We played a game of school jeopardy preparing for a test the next day. Not meaning to brag or anything, but we tied. For last place, with zero points. (We bet all in, and we lost.)

10:35 AM: This is my actual lunch period, which I spend in the library doing physics homework. Or more accurately, I spent this on my phone, looking through any notifications (“hey, Nevillegirl just responded to my comment!”) or looking through all the books despite the fact that I have two late books already and I know I can’t check any of them out. I end up sitting next to two friends of mine. One of them made a list on twitter of his twenty best “bros.” The other one, let’s call him John, is upset because 1) he wasn’t on it, and 2) most of the guys on that list are not friends with him at all.

Also, there was a fight in the cafeteria, which I missed. I’m not actually upset about it though, because I’ve never been interested in school fights unless I personally knew one of the kids involved.

11:18 AM: 3-D Ceramics, which isn’t nearly as fun as it sounds. It’s tough to describe the project we’re doing in there, because even I don’t entirely know what it is. Something to do with glue and paper. Oh well, I’m still rocking a 98 average in that class. Somehow. There’s a lot of time to talk in that class, and the primary subject of interest is usually Ebola, and how it’s going to totally kill us all.

12:10 PM: This is my physics class. I hate the subject, but like the teacher. He kind of looks like Santa Clause, yet there are occasions where, for demonstration purposes, he will sprint across the room with a speed you never would have guessed he was capable of running. I have a theory that he is actually Usain Bolt in disguise.

1:00 PM: P.E. class, where instead of actually exercising, we have to take a test on Ultimate Frisbee. What the hell, school? Why do I have to study for a test for gym? I don’t know how it used to be or how P.E. is like in other places, but I think we can all agree that this is stupid.

1:42 PM: Gym ends. A friend of mine in the locker room is selling candy for a school club of some sort. (Fun fact, people in various clubs walk around selling candy to raise money, which means that I can go around spending my money on chocolate bars and skittles instead of, y’know, healthy stuff.)

1:43 PM: I think about staying after school for Physics extra help, but I really don’t want to, so I get on the bus instead.

2:10 PM: I’m at home, and get a surprise text from my boss asking me if I could work today, 6 to 10. This is always a tough decision for me, because on one hand: i hate my job, but on the other hand: more money! Money’s great. They’re like thin green pieces of happiness.

Everything up from 2:10 to 6:00 PM is a bit of blur. I remember watching the season 4 finale of The Wire (saddest episode ever), and later falling asleep and waking up at 5:40 PM, but I don’t remember when exactly that happened.

6:00 PM: I go to work, at McDonald’s, where the customers are weirdly difficult today. Mcdonald’s customers are usually polite, but today they were ruder than I’ve ever seen them. One woman and her son were pissed off because they had to wait more than a minute for their food, and I had to explain to them that 1) the place was extremely busy at the moment, and 2) we were understaffed at the time, so she’d have to wait a little longer than usual. She then demanded to speak to the manager, who told her the exact same thing. The mother interpreted this as him (the manager) giving her attitude, made a huge fuss and then actually called the McDonald’s headquarters or whatever it’s called with the sole intention of getting him fired. Which was upsetting, because he was my favorite of all the managers.

Luckily, for every obnoxious, entitled brat of a customer, there’s another nice one who restores hope in humanity.  A guy who used to manage a Buffalo Wild Wings saw the whole thing and gave the manager his number, so he could be a witness if he ended up getting in any sort of trouble over this, because that’s the type of guy he was.

10:13 PM: I am back from work, exhausted. I get some homework done, came up with this idea for a blog post, wrote half of it, and then went to sleep.

To end this post, here’s a picture of a giraffe.

5 Reasons to Try out NaBloPoMo

I’ve done NaBloPoMo twice before. And while sure, I failed the second time I tried, I succeeded the first time with results that were roughly 507 times better than what I expected. This year, however, I’m disappointed by how few other people are trying it out. Sure, I know two or three bloggers at the moment who will be attempting this, but most of the others I know of are either doing NaNoWriMo or nothing at all.

The good news is: depending on the time zone you live in, there’s still time to participate, and here are five reasons why:

1) Because blogging about your NaNoWriMo progress is boring.

I’m going to be honest, I’d don’t give a hoot about how many words you wrote today, (unless you’re George R. R. Martin), and I don’t really care about any excerpts from your novel you post because the scientific study of probability tells me that they’ll be horrible. It’s not your fault; it’s just that you’re supposed to be writing 1,667 words a day in a project where editing your work is actively discouraged. Not to mention, the first draft of any novel is almost universally awful, no matter how talented you are or how quickly you write it.

When bloggers spend a month on NaNoWriMo, they usually neglect their blogs, and the quality and quantity of their posts always suffers. And no one wants that. Well, no one except that one blogger rival you have, who’s currently looking at your lack of posts and thinking, “Aha! S/he’s not writing any blog posts. Now my blog will reign supreme!”

Do you really want your enemy to laugh evilly as your stats decline? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

2) You might actually succeed.

It’s tough to explain how I felt at the end of last years NaBloPoMo, but I’m going to try it anyway: it felt great.

(Okay, that was easier than expected.)

Seriously, nothing beats that feeling you get when you succeed at something like this; you feel accomplished, proud, and confident in your blogging skills. You feel like a superhero: a sleep-deprived superhero who doesn’t get outside much. It’s great.

3) You will gain followers, no matter how bad your posts are.

Even if you don’t get Freshly Pressed, (like I totally did, no biggie) you will gain views, followers, and best of all, commenters. There’s nothing better than having a reader who consistently comments on your blog. Well, maybe there is, but I haven’t found it yet.

Not to mention, you could write about just about any topic, and chances are you’ll find like-minded people out there who are interesting in what you say, assuming you post consistently on the topic. You could be writing about paint dry, and chances are they’ll be at least one person out there who finds that to be a very interesting subject, and BAM! You’ve gained a commenter.

4) You will undoubtedly experience a huge increase in creativity.

Forcing yourself to write may be hard at first, but if you keep at it you’ll find all those creative juices flowing. It’s like unclogging a drain. Once you wash out all the crap, the water starts flowing.

(In this metaphor, the crap is “writer’s blog” and the water is “inspiration.” I’m not sure if it works or not.)

5) Even if you fail, you’ll still get something out of it.

The same is true for NaNoWriMo. Even if you’re like me, and come down with the flu halfway through the month, you’ll still have at least written a couple posts, posts you wouldn’t have written had you never tried to begin with. And that’s something to be proud of.

More Than I Can Chew: Chapter 13

Another major twist is revealed in this chapter. Intrigued? Good. Keep reading. Click here for the last twelve chapters.

Adrien

Connor looked at me, holding his phone in my hands, like he was seeing a ghost. His past coming back to haunt him much quicker than he thought. He hesitated, then kicked me in the shin—my splinted shin.

I dropped the phone and to the ground, screaming and cursing at the same time. Connor grabbed his phone and shuffled back to his feet. He kicked my crutches out of reach. Then he redialed the number, his deep, nervous breaths slowing down a little as he waited for her to pick up. He was regarding me like I was some type of wild animal. I noticed the side of his lip was puffy and bleeding, and what with the pain in my leg I wished I had hit him harder.

“He knows,” said Connor, panting. “Wyatt’s twin.” I couldn’t hear what she was saying, but I could make out from Connor’s nervous, defensive replies that she wasn’t in a good mood. “Well, what should I do?” he asked, almost yelling. “I have him right here… Yeah, he can’t even walk.” He continued listening, the lines of his forehead getting more pronounced as the conversation went on. “Well, how long is that going to take?”

“Not very,” said a deep voice behind me, one I immediately recognized from earlier today.

“How’d you get here so fast?” asked Connor.

“I was here half an hour ago,” said Diesel. He picked up the crutches and handed them over to me, in what I might have considered to be a friendly gesture if not for all the events of the last six hours. “You’re coming with us.”

“No.” I would not let myself be taken hostage again. Twice in one day was just too much. I looked down the corner where Kathy, Wyatt, and Sean had run off, hoping they’d come back quickly.

“Or I could just take you by force,” said Diesel. “Your choice.”

It suddenly hit me just how stupid this whole situation was, just like when I was five years old and my parents would tell me to do something, I’d say no, then they’d start counting to three. Sure enough, I’d break at the last moment, and I’d always feel weak and inferior afterwards. I always hated that count-to-three game. Why did I even listen?

“Fine,” I said. I’d have end up going anyway. I followed them, using my crutches, making sure to walk as slowly as possible. A middle aged woman walked past us, walking her dog, and I thought about asking for help; tell her exactly what was going on, and hope she calls the cops or something. But the whole idea just seemed ridiculous. Diesel and Connor would just laugh, act like I was their friend, and tell me to stop messing around. If I didn’t look like an idiot I’d just look like a pushover instead.

Either way, by the time I thought this all through, she was already behind us. I looked back down the sidewalk as we turned the corner in the hopes that Kathy, Wyatt or Sean would finally make their way back. But they didn’t. Of course not.

“Why didn’t you help out?” asked Connor to Diesel, as they walked. “When Wyatt was pointing a gun at me.”

“I didn’t know he was in the house,” said Diesel. “I must’ve got here after they snuck in. I was just told to keep lookout.”

Diesel stopped next to an old, scratched and dented car, and nodded at Connor to open the back door. I made a short attempt to get away, but before I got two feet Diesel had grabbed me, one arm around my neck and a hand around my mouth, and shoved me into the back seat. Connor slammed the door shut.

“Am I coming with you?” asked Connor, his voice muffled from inside the car. I tried opening the door—who cares about the crutches? I could hop—but the handle wouldn’t work. Both doors were unlocked but wouldn’t move no matter how hard I pulled.

 Diesel knocked on the door. “The child lock’s on. Don’t even bother.” He turned back to Connor. “Nope, you stay home. Boss said so.”

Connor nodded, looking relieved to finally be left out of this whole ordeal. He said goodbye and Diesel got into the front seat. I briefly considered trying to choke him out from the back, but decided against it.

“Sorry about kidnapping you,” said Diesel as he started driving. I said nothing back. After a lengthy silence he continued, “and about all the injuries. We were looking for Wyatt. I would’ve known you weren’t him, but James is… unstable.”

He tapped his fingers against the wheel and blew air out of his mouth. I was watching him in the same way Connor was watching me earlier, when he was calling back Fiona. I considered, for the second time, whether or not to try choking him out. Not when he’s driving.

“What’s Fiona doing in all this?” I asked. Fiona didn’t seem to have a mean bone in her body. I didn’t think she had it in her to organize a kidnapping.

“Simple, she wants the gum business. Well, mostly the money that comes with it. She asked James to make sure Wyatt was out of his house today, and James took that to mean ‘kidnap him in the middle of the school day.'”

“Why would you go along with it?”

“He’s blackmailing me.”

“Oh.” He didn’t say what he was being blackmailed for, and I didn’t ask.

“Basically,” said Diesel. “James is obsessed with Fiona, in a really obvious way. It would be funny if it weren’t so creepy. And Fiona’s using him to get the money.”

“Why would she even want the money?” I didn’t know much about her family’s financial situations, but I knew she was living comfortable enough to bring an iPad into school, so chances were she wasn’t poor.

“Greed, boredom, popularity. I don’t know. But she’s in way over her head, that’s for sure.” He laughed a little. “I think she’s just starting to realize how insane James really is.”

I looked out the window and realized we were pulling into the parking lot to Walmart. “I’m not going to take you hostage,” he said. He took out his phone. I knew that at this moment I could’ve easily choked him out. He wasn’t driving, and I wouldn’t have killed him; I’d only get him unconscious, then leave the car and get to the nearest phone and call Kathy. Then I could put this whole day behind me, and maybe take a long, twelve hour nap. But for some reason I refrained, and listened as Diesel explained.

“I’m going to call Wyatt,” he said. “Get him over here, where we could talk without Fiona or James interrupting, and convince him to let this all go.”

“He’s not going to do that,” I said. I decided not to mention Wyatt’s gun.

“He will when he realizes how pointless this thing is. I take it he doesn’t know about Fiona yet?” I shook my head. “Well, he’s going to learn a lot of bad news real quick. Good thing that’s a fake gun he has on him or I’d be screwed.”

“Why would he be any more mad at you for this?”

“Well, Fiona being involved isn’t the worst part,” he said. “I’ve been lying to him too, since the beginning. We all have. Wyatt put way too much trust in us, you know, that’s his problem. He thought we’d all just tell the truth and give him the exact commission every time.”

“What, so you lied about your sales, pretended you sold less than you did?”

“No, we actually exaggerated the price,” he said, staring at the wheel. “We’ve been giving him counterfeit money for months now. All of us.”

Click here for chapter fourteen.

Confessions

  • I always vote once on the More Than I Can Chew polls. I can’t help it.
  • A few posts ago, I lied about being Sherlock Holmes. Seriously, I’m not him.
  • Whenever I see someone reading a book in public, or simply carrying it, I always try to find out the title without being too obvious. If the book is a favorite of mine, I’ll immediately start to like the person more.
  • I’m addicted to cough drops. I’ve had about five today and I don’t even have a cold. Should I see help? Nah, I can stop anytime I want. Not that I’d want to…
  • I’m secretly attracted to cheese.
  • I’m not interested in reading Divergent, unlike everyone else in the galaxy. Sure, I read the first two chapters, but I wasn’t really intrigued enough to keep going, (though I’m sure I’ll end up reading the whole series because, y’know, peer pressure). My main reason is that the whole premise just seems stupid. A society where people are divided by their personalities, of which you could only pick one despite the fact that people are naturally much more complex than that? With books like The Hunger Games and The Giver, you can at least see the reasoning behind the society’s structure. But here, it’s like whoever came up with this new system was asking for a revolution. (Although it would be awesome if that was revealed to be the case.)
  • I’m lying about at least one of these confessions.
  • I secretly wish I could host the TCWT blog chain for a month, even though, at the moment, I can’t come up with a decent prompt.
  • I take way too much pride at the fact that if you google “TCWT,” my blog is the fourth link to show up.
  • I’ve been working on a “Fifteen Rants in Less than 1,000 Words” sequel for months now and I’m not even close to done. The problem is, I keep coming up with rants inside my own head while I’m mowing the lawn or taking the test. Situations where I can’t write them down, and then I forget them ten minutes later. It’s a little frustrating when the only thing I can remember about an idea was that it was really good.
  • This post was written because I couldn’t think of anything else. That doesn’t make it any less amazing, however.
  • Here’s a picture of a cat.

NaBloPoMo: A Look Back and A Look Ahead

My monthly stats for this blog.
My monthly stats for this blog.

There are decisions you make in life, that you only realize how important they are long after you make them. And by long after, I mean exactly thirty days.

On November first, 2013, I decided to try NaBloPoMo, with no idea how it would end up. And as you can see from the picture above…

I have to make a confession: I didn’t post anything on November 4th. I did however, post twice on the third, so I don’t know what this means. I still posted thirty times in one month, but I accidentally skipped a day, so I’m not sure whether or not I successfully completed NaBloPoMo. Let’s just pretend I never said anything.

I’m glad NaBloPoMo is over, especially since I’m running out of ideas for blog posts that won’t take me more than a day to write. And with the holidays, I haven’t had much time to write at all. My poor lonely first draft of the novel I wrote in April’s NaNoWriMo still gathers dust in a forgotten shelf in my desk.

Except it’s not actually in my desk or gathering dust, since it’s just a file saved on Google Docs. But still, I’ve been neglecting it, and I’m sure it hates me now. I’ll make up for it this month.

But don’t think I’m going to neglect this blog just because I’m focusing more on my other writing projects. Sure, you won’t see posts every day anymore, but I’ll still be around. And even if I do start slacking, you can count on at least one more post from me, since I’m participating in December’s TCWT Blog Chain on the 6th. I also have a blog party idea I should put into action. And a sleazy clever publicity stunt I’m hoping to pull off.

So to end my best blogging month ever, here’s a link to my three most read posts this month (just in case you missed out):

  1. How to be a Teen Writer Without Making Me Want to Punch You in the Face. This was my Freshly Pressed post, and what made my run at NaBloPoMo such a success. Thank you, WordPress Editor, for picking this post.
  2. What I’ve Learned From Blogging (So Far). I wrote this right after HtbaTWWMMWtPYitF.
  3. A Post About Assigned Books in School. A lot of people seem to agree strongly about this topic.

And even though this wasn’t one of my most viewed posts, here’s a link to I Guess You Could Say This Has Been a Success, because there you could click on the links that lead to everyone who participated in the young adult blog party. The party was a huge success by my standards, especially since I didn’t even have to beg anyone to join.

For those who are upset that November has come and gone, I’ll end this post with a nice quote.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”—-Dr. Seuss.

Update: What does everyone think of the background change? I changed it to black so you could see the snowflakes better.

Ten Things I Learned Today

1) If you’re going to New York City for the day and planning to use that as an excuse for not posting a decent post, then it’s a good idea to actually take some pictures so your followers don’t think you’re lying.

2) Manhatten on Black Friday—not nearly as crowded as you’d think.

3) Street performers are evil people. Clever, really talented people with cool hair. But still evil. I’ll elaborate on this more later.

4) As it turns out, New York City is just as cold as the rest of New England in late November.

5) Cabs have little TVs for the people in the backseat. It not only showed a map of where we were, but it also featured an interview of Josh Hutcherson on the Live with Kelly and Michael talk show. I find that interesting.

6) November has only thirty days in it, not thirty-one, which means that tomorrow’s the last day of NaBloPoMo. I’m glad I’m doing NaBloPoMo, but I’m also glad it’s almost over.

7) There’s Doctor Who advertisements in New York City. Advertisements are cool.

8) The lines in Madison Square Garden are too long. I waited twenty five minutes in one with the goal of getting two things: a bottle of water and a pretzel. They were out of both.

9) There’s a lot of people handing out flyers.

10) New York City’s much more fun in the Summer. The same could be said for Chicago.