Let Us Take a Trip Through Time


Let’s go back — far back (and I mean faaaar back, like a whole 4 years ago). Look into my crystal ball to see…

Teenage Cappy: writer, high school student and Strokes fan extraordinaire. She had long blonde hair, bangs, and was just learning how to do a cat eye (oh, so young with so much to learn about brow pencil and lipstick).

We’ll zoom in to April 2011, when Cappy was finishing her novella, Dark Blue, which showed promise to be one of the most forgotten works for young adults to date. Though…even I must admit, it was still a better love story than Twilight. Dark Blue told the story of a girl who found out her father had cheated on her mother with the mom of her crush. Confusing? Check. Bizarre and uncomfortable? Possibly. Unique storyline? Admittedly, yes. Maybe. I don’t know. Regardless, it featured some of the most contrived banter-dialogue known to man. See for yourself:

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.38.05 PM

Notice how frequently high-school-Cappy mentions and/or describes hairstyles in this particular excerpt. Classic. Believe me, there was a lot of “disheveled hair-flipping” and probably a few more brooding looks coming from Mack in that chapter, much less in the entire 116 page novella. The reader (whoever that is, unless the NSA hacked into my creative writing computer file) later finds that he was looking at her intently WITH HIS DARK BLUE EYES. OH LOOK, THERE’S THE TITLE.

Skip forward a bit to Bea and Mack realizing their parents had an affair 10 years prior. Slowly (really quickly within the span of about 15 pages) they fall in “love” even though Bea initially thought he was a stupid jock (he was just misunderstood!) and bond over their intense infatuation with The Strokes and other various indie/garage rock bands. Bea argues a lot with her dad (it’s weird to go back and see how much of my own life is reflected in this story) and Mack does something that makes Bea mad. Bea goes on some dates with a British exchange student who ends up only wanting her for sex (he is a total stock character if I ever wrote one) and Bea feels conflicted! OH GOD THE ANGST. Maggie’s character really only exists to serve as a stark contrast to Bea, and so fully embodies the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope that I’m surprised I didn’t actually know that trope existed until years after I wrote her character.

Dark Blue is fun to read over again, because it gives me a little glimpse of Cappy from 4 years ago. She just wanted to fall in love with a boy who liked music and played soccer and had dark hair, regardless of how FLAT HIS PERSONALITY WAS (oh my God it’s almost embarrassing how boring Mack is). It’s nice to see how far I’ve come (I now date jerky guys and pretty girls with long hair, so it’s kind of a step up).

Maybe I can salvage some plot points, rewrite some of the characters (literally every single character) and fix the dialogue (which may take the rest of my life, if we’re being realistic). I didn’t start this post with the intention of ripping apart the story I wrote when I was 17 years old, but it just happened. It’s so good to laugh at myself a little.

To be fair…it’s a damn good attempt. I wrote something with a beginning, middle, and end, and it was 116 pages long and took a year to write, and it made me feel accomplished. It’s better than some actual published books I’ve read (sorry E.L. James, but I still think I was a better writer than you when I was 17 and I didn’t even have to rely on bondage to make my plot at least somewhat interesting). I love going back and seeing where I was, because at least I can point to some new stuff I’ve written and say “I’ve come pretty freaking far.” It doesn’t discourage me from writing; in fact, it encourages me, because it shows me how much I can grow in a short time if I just keep writing.

Am I the first writer to give her own novella a bad review? Probably not. And anyway, I’ll just keep on keepin’ on.

xo

Oh…did I mention that I began each chapter with a song lyric that embodied that chapter? Because I did. The prologue describing Bea’s parents’ divorce started with a Tupac line. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

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4.0


I was not the valedictorian of my high school; various science classes made sure of that. But I always thought it would be fun to make a speech in front of my entire class, mainly in order to force people to listen to my corny jokes, attempts to be deep, and “inspiring” statements. So since I wasn’t able to bless my class with my amazing insight last spring, I’m gonna do it now, online, for the whole world to see.

My fellow Americans (because that’s how every valedictorian speech should start),

High school was really bad. Like, really, really bad. I am personally ashamed of my various hairstyles throughout freshman and sophomore years, the boys I tried to date, and, sometimes, the pants I wore. Someone should have told me to lay off the weird eyeliner, to stop thinking that asshole guy was my soulmate, and to loosen up a little sometimes. But I learned most of those things on my own, though they did take a while. We will all continue to learn things about ourselves, and we will continue to regret certain things we did or did not do. But I guess, as they say, that’s part of life.

Most of us are headed off to colleges. Some will allow us to write Harry Potter quotes on the bathroom walls, and some will clean the bathrooms so often that we will never have the chance to see if those quotes would even be allowed. Some campuses will be small, and some will be so large that we will never stop being lost until the day before we graduate. Some will focus mostly on academics, and some will house more binge drinkers than you ever imagined existed. But the point of college is the same for all of us. To get the hell out of our homes…just kidding. The point is to learn, obviously, about what direction we want to head in, about our innermost desires, and about just how loudly we can play our music without being written up by the RA.

So, with that in mind, let us go forth into the world in peace, teaching others that alumni is not the singular form of a word, but plural. Let us ban Carrot Top from all casinos and other venues across this great nation of ours. Let us be courteous enough to not laugh like buffoons in the dining halls at our respective colleges and intelligent enough to know that socialism is a political ideology not to be confused with the term “social ability.” Let us also remember that the library is supposed to be silent and if you do not adhere to that rule I will personally bludgeon you with an encyclopedia. And finally, let us remember that the valedictorians of our high school will always be better than us, so we might as well all quit now.

You know the slogan (okay, no you don’t, cuz I made it up last night when I was sleep deprived): Valedictorians – We Don’t F Around.

Cheers.

How to Dance


In honor of the many upcoming homecoming dances at various colleges and high schools around the world/country/universe, I have compiled a list of fool-proof methods to help you get your dance on.

I’m not exactly sure that I have the authority to write this since nowadays, with all the fist pumping and booty bumping and krumping (ohhh you kids and your baggy pants!) and whatnot, it’s not so much dancing as it’s having sex in a big heap with your clothes on. But I’ll try my hardest.

1. Don’t try to pull off anything too impressive.
If you’re reading this in the hopes of learning how to dance, you obviously (ish) are a terrible dancer and therefore should refrain from any serious salsa/tango/mambo/chacha moves. Basically, don’t do anything latin or organized, because you will inevitably be crap at it.
If you really want to try any of these don’t take yourself too seriously, cuz you’ll look like a huge fool if you fail.

2. Don’t grind like a twit.
Sure, we all have sexual frustrations and we need an outlet to…frustrate them…but that should be saved for bedrooms/supply closets/bathrooms. Or the set of “Dirty Dancing. ”
Get your passion on, sure, but maybe actually face each other while you do.

3. Don’t be a complete idiot and jump around with your arms in the air the whole time.
Odds are a short person below you will be either wiped with your sweat or elbowed in the head. Let’s be safe.

4. Loosen your joints!
If you’re not actually doing the robot, try not to look like you are. Loosen up, move your hips, don’t look like you’re having a spasm, etc etc.

5. Don’t be a downer.
You know you like to dance. Unless you’re a Quaker  or live in the musical “Footloose,” you’re allowed to dance. You want to dance! So do it. Nobody likes a Debbie Downer.

In all honesty, folks, you should just go out there and have a good time. Dancing is really fun and can be passionate and whatnot and there’s really no point in feeling self-conscious or stupid the whole time. Let your hair down and have fun! After all, I tend to look like a complete fool when I dance and I still manage to have a good time.
And above all, do not, repeat DO NOT, let the DJ play the Cha-Cha Slide three times.

Seduction So Dangerous


I was flipping through the channels the other day at lunch and came across an ad for Degrassi: The Boiling Point.  Many of you probably know of Degrassi (apparently it was popular in the early 90’s) or, if you’re older than that, The Kids of Degrassi Street which aired in the 80’s. Stay with me here, because there has also been a long running series called Degrassi: The Next Generation, which has been running since the early 2000’s. These shows are all apparently related, each subsequent series following a new generation of Canadians in the fictional world of Degrassi Middle School/High School, etc.

I have no clue why this show is still on the air.

The Next Generation, with a name uncomfortably close to that of the good Star Treks, addressed the teenage issues of homosexuality, eating disorders, dating violence, teen pregnancy, and mental disorders, along with a host of other problems. But it seems so unrealistic to pile it all into one television show, especially since so many of the conflicts occurred in the same episodes. The characters lived through some of the most traumatic ordeals I’ve ever come across, whether they be on television, in books or in real life. The point is, it seems as if the writers of this show have gone through just about every problem a child could face in their entire lifetime, not just in the 4 year span of high school. It’s become an extreme exaggeration of real life, and it’s getting pretty heavy.

The show has recycled the same themes for the past 8 or so years, and it’s time it finally ended. Especially since none of the old characters are still on the show and all the new ones creep me out. And look 12. And still make out and send each other dirty photos. I don’t remember doing that at that age…

The trailer for this new 8 episode series, Degrassi: The Boiling Point, shows exactly how weird it’s gotten when the announcer

Learn from this, Degrassi. But you might want to switch out your cast of small children first.

describes the show as containing “seduction so dangerous” that…well, apparently someone might be shot, there will be a war between the gays and straights of the school, or the chick who got pregnant by the ADD-riddled boy (who is apparently popular but looks tremendously awkward) might have a total meltdown. While these issues could be serious in real life, I am totally unsympathetic toward the characters. And I think a lot of it has to do with the “seduction so dangerous” line. It creeped me out.

When is seduction ever that dangerous? my friend asked.

When it runs around wielding a knife.