Thursday, January 27, 2011

Today is not a good day

Mmmr. My report card will probably look something like this: AP Government and Politics-B, AP English Literature-B, Health-B, Physical Education-B, International Relations-C, French V-C.

So....That's pretty terrible. And the worst part is, I have no idea why. I didn't do anything different this semester than I've done before, have I? What changed? There's a manipulated variable that would cause change, right? What is that variable?
Eugh, and it's been eons since I've worked on art. And my room is a mess. And I still need to, uh, apply to college. And all I really feel like doing right now is sleeping for a month and a half and then maybe running away to Europe. Awesome. That's my life.
I don't think I can really go to college. At all. Like...eugh. This isn't working anymore, and I wish I had someone or something to blame, you know? Like if there was some identifiable issue with me, then I could say "Okay, it's not just me, it's this specific issue" and I wouldn't feel so inexplicably guilty.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

There's too much in my brain

List time. 'tis how we roll.
1. WHY CAN'T I MEMORIZE ANYTHING? It's not a test anxiety thing, I usually test pretty well. But these country quizzes, no matter how much I study, I never ever get it, and that's killing me. I can tell that Mr.IR wants me to do well, and I want to do well and I've been studying and studying but nothing is working. Rage.
2. My morning started off with me finishing a horrendous diorama for French. While I was doing this, my mother offhandedly asks "Did I tell you about that woman who kept a stillborn baby on ice for three days?"
That's a great thought to have flitting back and forth in your brain while you're trying to concentrate on finals. Apparently it's a friend of a friend who may or may not have some mental health issues. Also, that's creepy. And probably had something to do with
3. I had a scary dream this afternoon, while partaking in my standard nap. It was really uncomfortable and it reminded me why I'm better off not remembering the vast majority of my dreams. Ych.
4. Health. Today was the third and final day of sex ed, and I really have to say something about it. This unit made me respect my teacher a lot more. She was kind of blunt about things that she needed to be blunt about, and that can't be an easy lesson to teach. And just because we technically have an abstinence based curriculum doesn't mean that teachers teach like no one is actually having sex or will ever have sex.
5. Add Lee Pace to the list of men who look better without facial hair. And Alan Rickman. I know that these are controversial views, but guys, this is for your own good.
6. 24 hour plays sounds amazing. Like NaNoWriMo, but faster and more fervent and with this great collaboration between all kinds of people and now I'm drooling on my keyboard because it sounds so. Freeking. Cool.
7. Film School? On. On like flapjacks. On like...Ontario, where I will be going at some point in this year. But I already told ya'll that.

Monday, January 24, 2011

In which I seem to be utterly (otterly) insane.

Ahahahah. Just so you know, I'm not nearly as crazy as I thought I was. It's a real thing.
Uh...I needed to blog. So I am. Blogging.
Today was the last real day of gym for my whole entire life. Yay! But really, I liked gym this year. I think I'll miss it a little bit.
But I won't miss Gov. Grr rage gov anger.
Today when I was leaving school one of the parts of the parking lot that's sometimes blocked off with cones wasn't blocked and I tried to drive through it and Mac yelled at me because apparently the cones are there for a reason. Except THEY WEREN'T THERE. YOU MOVED THEM THERE AFTER YOU YELLED AT ME.
Um. This is a terrible blog post.
Do you ever have one of those moments where you wonder what makes you who you are and you realize that, if you woke up in a different life tomorrow morning, you would be a completely different person? And then you feel weird because you realize that you're not actually your own person at all and you're only what other people make you? Yep. Yep. Yep.
In other news, I'm supposed to be finishing typing up that story to send to my editor and studying for gov and making that diorama for French (no, this is not helping me learn French in any way) and study study studying more capitals and countries and agh, shoot me now.
Twelve and a half years of taxpayer funded education, and I am so eloquent. And I still abuse short sentences like it's my job.
Wouldn't it be great if that was my job?
Film School: It's legit happening. I have characters. I have a number of readers. It is so on. On like flapjacks. On like awesomesauce. On like pterodactyls. On like Persuasion and Pythons (the next book in the weird Pride and Predjuce and Zombies trend. It's like Snakes on a Plane. I invented it earlier today)
Also, I found the Zombiecorns story. And I am reading it. And it is effing hilarious. In a way. A weird way.
OH OH MY GOSH I ALMOST FORGOT TO MENTION. I am declaring Feburary first to be New New Years. January has been, to say the least, a fuckup month for me and I kind of want to throw it away and pretend it never happened, so that's exactly what we're going to do. I will have New Year's resolutions and sparkling beverages (like...pepsi) and be filled with a general air of optomism and hope. It will be lovely. Just like you, dear readers.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Non-Fiction Friday?

This is the paper. I promise you, it is really this fantastic in real life. Be amazed.

The Tragedy of Great Power Politics
John J. Mearsheimer

The Tragedy of Great Power Politics by John J. Mearsheimer argues that in a situation of international anarchy, war is inevitable, but is rarer when there are fewer great powers. Therefore, no matter what the circumstances, the world is safer when bipolar than with a multipolar system. Mearsheimer aims to answer the question of why nations go to war by using examples and logic. Through this, he tries to find a way that war can be prevented in the future.

Mearsheimer first establishes his views on the inevitabilities of the international system. States will always seek power, which has held to be true over time. He believes that states pursue power because they fear being left behind other powers. However, since they never know how much power the other nations have, states will just be trying to be stronger, even when they're the strongest power. They use this power in many ways, primarily to protect their state. Once they feel secure, they will use it to expand. In general, nations located on continents are more likely to require vast armies and use those armies to expand their control of the land outside their borders. The important thing is to have the most power relative to the competition, not to reach some point in which a nation would feel confident in their power and see gaining it to be an unnecessary expenditure. International politics is a security competition, not a search for peace. When a nation has more power, it doesn't fear any other nation that may want to attack or expand into their territory. However, this struggle is significantly altered by the addition of nuclear weapons. If there are four great powers and each of them has an unknown number of nuclear weapons, they will all be fearful of each other. They will not invade lesser powers for fear of what their fellow great powers will do in return. They will not attack another great power because they do not know which side has nuclear superiority. In all, great powers that retain an unknown amount of nuclear weapons are less likely to start wars than their non-nuclear counterparts. Although nuclear arms can lessen the threat of a great powers war, they are not a surefire recipe for peace. States use nuclear arms as a way to attain superiority, and superiority is not the same as peace. No great power ever truly aims for peace. In a situation in which one great power is threatening smaller powers, other great powers may involve themselves, but they do not do so simply out of concern for the smaller powers. If a great power is to become involved in a conflict between another great power and a smaller power, they probably believe that the other great power may become a threat to themselves or resources that they value. Even then, entering a conflict as a peacemaker is very risky, given that it is likely to anger the aggressor and if it is not successful, can be disastrous. As few great powers are willing to be martyred for peace, it is rare that a great power will protect a smaller power unless they see considerable rewards involved for them. This section primarily discussed the things that Mearsheimer considers to be basic facts of international relations. The way he manages to use examples from history to support his claims makes it difficult to disagree with him. His points are logical, and it's interesting to see the actions of nations laid out in a way that takes them apart and turns them into case studies to make his views clear.

Mearsheimer then discusses the relationship between wealth and power. His view is simple: wealthier countries have more power. However, there are many conditions that apply to his claim. He separates power into latent power and military power. Latent power is simply how much wealth is in the economy, and military power is the amount of strength in the military. In general, latent power directly correlates to military power, but there are some exceptions. Military power consists of resources, natural and human, and money to invest in military. Latent power also extends into general societal wealth. If wealth is concentrated in a small portion of the population, the latent wealth of the society is not as high as if the wealth was somewhat distributed throughout. Some countries focus solely on latent power because they are not great powers, but smaller powers that are not in danger of being attacked by other powers. Other countries that feel that they are at a high risk of being attacked tend to focus more on military power, disregarding the need for economic influence on the international stage. Power is important if a nation wants to win wars and avoid being crushed by other nations. However, the most powerful nation will not always win. The country that wins in a war will have the best combination of strategy, intelligence, resolve, weather, disease (and lack of), and resources. With this, there have been multiple instances in which the most powerful country in the equation was not the one that left with a victory. Mearsheimer points to the examples of Russia and Napoleonic France as well as the United States and North Vietnam. Between Russia and France, France had significantly more wealth and power, but their army had been fighting for too long and lacked resources. Russia had the weather on their side, and used it to their advantage by letting the French armies freeze before they had the chance to fight. The United States had a huge advantage over North Vietnam in both power and wealth, but North Vietnam had better strategy (one that didn't involve a costly army) and much more resolve.

In the next section, Mearsheimer discusses the importance of land power. He believes that while ships and planes are nice to have around, the real measure of strength is land power, the size of an army. Given that every great power aspires to become a regional hegemon, the ones most likely to become regional hegemons are the nations that maintain armies of considerable size and strength. The United Kingdom proves this point well. Although they were a great power for quite some time, they never attempted regional hegemony because they were stopped by a water barrier and did not have the land strength to expand beyond that. Instead, they turned to colonies as a way to expand power and attain natural resources, without the need to conquer their comrades in Europe. In a modern war, air power can start bombing campaigns and act as the most aggressive part of a military. However, they cannot win a war, and they must be followed by a land army. A navy can be useful in an amphibious operation, but it's collaboration between a nation's army and navy that makes amphibious operations possible. In an invasion situation, a land army is the only force that can topple a dictator and the forces supporting them. In the past, nations have been functioning under the delusion that using special forces to assassinate a dictator would fix an entire country’s problems. This was the idea behind many schemes to kill Fidel Castro during the Cold War. Mearsheimer states that such schemes would not help because the entire government supports the dictator. In addition, it’s quite possible for a country to rally around a fallen leader, which would be counterproductive. Mearsheimer has established very solid claims to the idea that land power is king and all other military merely supports it.
In the section that follows, Mearsheimer explains the different strategies that can be used to retain power. The first is obvious: War. However, it can be controversial and the stakes are high. In addition, it tends to create empires, which are expensive to maintain and generally not beneficial. Blackmail is another strategy, although it rarely works. The bait and bleed strategy is when one power starts a war between to other powers and sits on the sidelines while they bleed each other white. Balancing is when a country avoids war, but insures that their military is adequate, should they be forced into war. Balancing is effective and reigned supreme for most of the Cold War. Bandwagoning, going into war because other people are, and appeasement should be avoided at all costs, as they tend to drag countries into war unnecessarily.
Through his frequent use of examples, Mearsheimer proves his points in a way that makes sense, even to people who have not studied international relations extensively. Although the book is dense and difficult to read, it is very interesting to anyone interested in a historical explanation for the age old question of why nations go to war.

And no, I really didn't have a good reason to post this on my blog.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dramatic Sigh

So...Um...I can't be the only person who, every time they see the word "sigh" they think it says "sign" for a second? Yep. Yep. Yep.
Chris Colfer won a Golden Globe and so did Jane Lynch and Colin Firth and Glee. Yay. But I don't think The Social Network should have won best picture. That belonged to The King's Speech. And Darren Criss? Two months ago, you were famous on the internet. And you were up there, and that was cool. And Chris? Chris reminds me that sometimes, you do get everything you ever wanted. And he's a legit ninja.
I am so eloquent.
Anyway, I've been thinking about my, uh, future. Yeah. that. Basically, I am so done with school right now, and I want to quit. But that's not allowed. You can't go to college if you don't go to high school. What a silly rule. But even then, I'm not sure if college is right and I'm not sure what I'm going to do and how I'm going to do it. It's big and unmanageable and completely terrifying.
I'm not making very much sense now.
I'm on a suicide mission to finish this stupid book tonight.
That was a lie. It's not stupid. It's actually really interesting, but it's just so much information packed into the book that it takes me half an hour to read ten pages. And that's really frustrating.
This monster text explains my current feelings a lot better than I can. Even though I wrote it...but no matter. We were previously talking about superficial crap such as high school and external gratification. "On some level, it really doesn't matter, but when you look at it from the other direction, it matters. Everything matters. I want to be great, and I realize that my chances of not getting everything I want are far higher than my chances of actually getting those things. People tell me that they know that I'll make it, but how do they know? There are people who don't make it. What happens if I become another one of the nameless, faceless masses?" And they responded with something about fame that I would tell you but I didn't ask permission first, so then I said "I don't really know if it's about being famous so much as it's about being great. Like, what if I just try hard and fall into that constant trap of sabotaging any chance I have and then never make it?"
So yeah. That's what I'm feeling right now.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

In which I am incredibly cool

Someone told me that they would be interested to read the blog post I wrote tonight. If the fanbase is built in, then why wouldn't you publish something? So, here goes nothing.
I'm watching Glee. Therefore, this post will be about Glee. Season 1, episode 4. "Give not being homeless a try!" Good episode. And now onto episode 10. Ballads. Schuster needs to find ties that are less ugly. "I could totally sing this song with Finn, but screw him if he thinks he's taking the Diana Ross part from me." That's where the story of PedoWill begins. And Kurt obsesses over Finn, which is hilarious. I also happen to be wearing sunglasses and a beanie. At night. Indoors. It never hurts to be awesome.
I was feeling a little bit of the giddy, hyper, out of no where happiness earlier, and the remnants of it are still with me. I can't stop tapping my feet.
It's official. I'm ditching college and running away to LA to write for my sitcom and later, several romantic comedies. Who needs a degree and a steady job with a paycheck? Why not just be a starving experimental artist?
Party. Woohoo.
I have so much shit to do rage rage rage rage. Should I get a tumblr? No. Should I start writing an epic Klaine (with a little Kurtofsky) fic? Should I laugh my head off at the fact that including Chris Colfer in my ridiculous sitcom webseries was not my idea? Yes. I may have done so.
God, I need to get that novel typed up. I need to type it and edit it and do something with it so I can get it out of my head. And the characterization, the characterization is probably my number one problem. Number two is pacing. I'm sure I'll figure out numbers three to five thousand one hundred seventy two when I the dumb thing.
I have been feeling more musical than normal as of late. I thought you ought to know. I do not have an explanation for this life change.
So, through deep obsession and careful survey, I have concluded that a shittonne of things are named after Dalton (and there was a "Hummel Industries" as well), the school that the Warblers are from. Businesses, mostly. Signs that I can see driving down I-75. And...this is really weird, but last Friday, after my grandma's funeral, when everything was done, we had to go to the funeral home to get some of the flowers and sign papers or something. I was looking at some paper (not the supposedly official paper that was in COMIC SANS) and noticed that under "Casket" it said...erm...this is weird..."Dalton" No longer will I be telling my awesomance partner about every single time I see something that says "Dalton"
If you're a senior who's on my quiz bowl team, you need to get your butt to practice, mkay? I don't want to be one of three seniors at practice again.

Quote of the Month

"We have to do stuff that average people don’t understand because those are the only good things."
Andy Warhol

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What everyone's talking about

I had thoughts of making this post a multimedia adventure (and I would forever refer to it as that) but then I ditched that idea. So...yep. This is the post that everyone's been talking about, so...yay!
On Tuesday (and I really did mean to blog about it on Tuesday) Mrs.AP Euro was supposed to be talking to the France group about Versailles. I wanted to stay, even though I thought I'd seen the powerpoint before. But I had quizbowl, and I had to go. (We're going to Nationals, bitches. And I played a half a game. The game that we won, further proving that we will win every game that I play in.) And then, later in the evening, I checked my blog feeds, and...Delicious.
Yep, I feel like a perv when I say that about something that isn't food.
I have this overwhelming feeling like I'm going the wrong direction in my future, for the past two weeks or so. Like maybe furniture and architecture are both wrong for me, and if I don't do that, then what am I going to do? It's this kind of like...subliminal stressor, always there following me. Agh.
This post needs another picture.*insert random picture from hard drive*
Also, there's this gov project that's showing me that no, I really haven't gotten better at time management since I was ten and yes, I still hate schoolwork. Most scholwork, that is. I happen to have written a very satisfying IR essay during lunch today. Be jealous.

Why, hello, my lovelies

I promise I'll write a real post soon, but in the meantime, I wrote this.
"If Hugo Chavez could stop obsessing over popularity like a Lindsay Lohan stock character, then maybe he could lead the country and bring about change like he was elected to."
It's the best line I've ever written for a school assignment, I do believe.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I just have a lot of feelings

Hey. I haven't blogged in a while. A long while. Merry Christmas. Happy birthday, Justin. Happy New Year. Happy Fiftieth, Dad.

My grandma died.

God. This hurts. But you know, at the same time, it doesn't hurt enough. It should hurt more than this, I want to have some legitimate pain and get it over with and then be able to feel okay again without feeling wrong about it. My brother asked my mom if he could say something at the funeral tomorrow, and she said that it would probably be better if he wrote something and had the minister read it or at least had the minister by him and I said that I would go up with him and then my mom said that I was stoic. Stoic. Like I don't show emotion, which is true. Or maybe, just maybe, all the tears I had were dried up on Sunday. And Monday. And Tuesday. Monday night, when I came back to the hospital after spending the day on great-grandma duty, we just sat there and cried and cried, and I couldn't help but feel fake. And Tuesday, when she died, when her hand got colder and colder and turned pale and then her face went paler and turned a horrible shade of yellow, and she stopped breathing and stopped ticking and my mom took the oxygen mask off, then I cried. But as I was crying, as I was having what was supposed to be some sort of raw emotional moment, I couldn't help but wondering if it was real. If I was really feeling this or if I was trying to feel the way I knew that I was supposed to feel. And yesterday, I watched my grandmother be buried. It was cold, it's not supposed to feel like that. It's supposed to be something personal, but it was a backhoe, putting dirt in a hole. That was it. It wasn't human. And then we drove home, people remarking that Lithuanians seem to always put pictures on their headstones. And they didn't know the way home, they thought we might be there soon when we were at Woodward, and the whole time I was thinking that this isn't happening, this is all some crazy sick dream. And at the funeral? I didn't cry. I got a little teary-eyed at the end, but the one time when you're supposed to cry, I wasn't. I couldn't. And then my mom asked me if I wanted to be a pallbearer and I didn't know why and yeah, I went outside without my coat on and it was cold, but I should have been feeling it more. Just feeling the muchness of the situation instead of feeling out of it and disconnected, and even while I'm writing this, I'm wondering if my brain is crossing over to the fictional side, the side where I write feelings that I want to be real but I know aren't mine to feel.
And then? Then I went and did normal things. I went to my grandparent's house, where my second cousins were all talking to my great-grandma. They didn't really talk to me all day. They've seemed more and more separate as we've gotten older.
And then I went back to the funeral home and back to church and back to my grandparents house and then finally, home. And then I changed.
And I went to the movies. Like things were normal. And I saw The King's Speech, and I was amazed in every way and everything was perfect. And then I went home. And then things felt so normal, but they shouldn't be like that, they shouldn't be feeling normal. And then today, I woke up late and had tea and discussed amazing ideas and did silly things with a camera. Normal. Normal. Normal.
In the meantime, I'm worrying. I'm worrying about crazy things, like the fact that I still happen to be on page eight of Gulliver's Travels and I'm really self conscious of how much I've been eating today and I don't know if it's more or less than normal, and I still have to do that horrible gov project, and don't I have youth group tomorrow, and I still need to email Mr.B back and finish my FAFSA and oh yeah, my portfolio and there's no way I can graduate with a 3.5 now and no, I'm never going to be good enough and the books, they're never going to amount to anything.
I'm disabling comments on this because I don't really want to hear them. I love you, I love every last one of you, but you're all going to say that you're sorry about my loss and I thank you for your condolences and thoughts, but I just need to be alone in my head right now.
If you're one of my friends (and I'm speaking somewhat pointedly at a certain person right now), please realize that I don't always sound this crazy. I promise.