Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Annoying Qs People Ask The Newly Engaged

One hour after the proposal, people started asking when our date was among dozens of other ridiculous questions regarding dresses, bridesmaids, venues….

Here are some of the over-eager questions that will make you want to pull your hair out during the first hour + of your engagement:

When is your date? Do you have a date yet?
What kind of dress are you going to wear?
What are your colors?
Do you want kids?
Have you thought about a December wedding?
What are your bridesmaids going to wear?
Are you having a church wedding?
Who’s in your wedding party?
How many kids do you want?
When are you shopping for a dress?
Where are you going to live?

I know these people are just excited for us but woahhhhhhhhh woah woah. A girl can’t just go from being a girlfriend to being a bride overnight.  Were these people out of their minds?

Yes. Yes they were.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

How To Have A Successful Breakup In 10 Easy Steps

As I find myself 'Googling' my own name as a part of the beginning stages of another job search (my department is moving to IL and I am not moving to IL. -sigh-. I come across this blog and remember, I actually like this blog. In an effort to post something without actually putting forth much effort at all, I wanted to add another undergrad-written how to =)

Here's to hoping that my unemployment brings many new written successes...and no breakups.

How To Have A Successful Breakup In 10 Easy Steps

As successful as a breakup can be, anyway. 

 By Lauren Izquierdo

Step 1. Make sure breaking up is really what you want to do.

Breaking up means it’s over. If you’re one of those people that have found themselves in an on-again-off-again relationship with the same person for the past two years, then it’s either time to commit or breakup for good – probably the second one.

Step 2. “We Need To Talk”

This is a phrase that can trigger anyone’s upchuck reflexes. Do not call or text a person this phrase before they have to go to work or class. They will spend all class period trying to pull it together, missing every other word of the grasshopper lecture of their entomology class because they were busy obsessing over your four word text.

Step 3. Always do the breaking up in person.

If that’s at all possible, if it’s not possible then do it over the phone. You can’t text message breakup. It’s a heartless thing to do.

Step 4. Fully explain your reasons for wanting to break up:

                - I think we’ve grown apart.
                - Your too controlling and I can’t handle it.
                - The baby isn’t yours.

Step 5. Say everything you need to say.

Don’t let their tears or yours hold you back from saying exactly what you want to say. Speak calmly if you can and avoid getting angry. The relationship is over- there is no point in getting angry now.

Step 6. Avoid saying things that are unnecessarily hurtful:

                - There’s somebody else.
                - Your sister is hotter than you are.
                - You were never good; I faked it.

Step 7. Say goodbye.

A hug might be appropriate. A kiss might be appropriate. Sex is not appropriate; it’s sending a mixed message, especially if you just told them they were never good in bed.

Step 8. Don’t try to be friends.

At least not right away. It rarely ever works. Actually, I’ve never heard of it working. I tried to be friends with a boyfriend and it was disastrous. The ‘friendship’ we tried to work out felt like a long excruciating breakup with lots of jealousy and unwanted advances. Maybe a couple months down the road you two will be able to be friends again, but as long as one of you still has feelings for the other, it will never work out.  

Step 9. Don’t be a jerk.

Unless the person you’re breaking up with is a terrible person and deserves it, in which case you can ignore steps two through six.

Step 10. Go eat ice-cream.

Or go shopping, or go drink at the bar and meet somebody else to go shopping for ice-cream with.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

FB and Suicide Prevention- Just In Time For My Re-Write!

Being launched (I believe next Tuesday) in addition to a "report as spam" and "report as harassment" option on Facebook, users will soon be able to report a status or a comment as a suicidal threat.

WHAT? Is posting suicide notes and threats really that much of a trend on social networking cites?

Why, yes. Yes it is.

How sad that these features are needed, and how cool that they exist!

Once a post is reported as containing "suicidal language," the person who wrote the post is automatically sent an email encouragin him or her to call a suicide hotline number. They are also given a link to begin a Facebook chat with a licensed counselor. This feature will run 24 hours a day.


Lidia Bernik, associate project director of Lifeline says that "...people experience reductions in suicidal thinking when there is quick intervention. We’ve heard from many people who say they want to talk to someone but don’t want to call. Instant message is perfect for that.”


What a good idea, I think a lot of kids (and adults too) would feel much more comfortable talking to someone with the anonymity of the internet world.

Of course, there are some flaws. One big one being, what if the person doesn't check their email? And I wonder if type on a screen would be able to provide the same "your not alone" assurance as a real human voice. But something is better than nothing.

I'm impressed with Facebook for looking out for its community  and using some of its power for good.

What a crazy time for technology.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Old fiction...that could also be nonfiction?

I found this old assignment I did in a 200 level fiction course. It's a not very serious (or is it) how to. I reread it, decided that I still like it, and spruced it up slightly.

Because of my last post regarding stretching the definitions, I have also decided that how to's are nonfiction.

I wrote this particular piece in the fiction mindset. It's content is not meant to be taken seriously, and I cannot verify for sure that following everything in this how to will work because I've never tried it. However, Several things in here are based on what my roommates have actually done AND I am also not claiming that I have tried these steps. Unless, you read that in as an implication of all how to's. BUT these steps very well could work...and I think they most likely would. (let me know if you try it out). And I'm sure that many tested how to's don't work for everyone following them. So, it's fiction. It's nonfiction. It's both? Neither? Coming across a writing that is either both or neither is new territory for me. I think it could be successfully argued either way. It probably goes back to how far you are willing to stretch away from fact or proven fact? or documented fact? and still claim nonfiction.

Anyway, here is what I wrote:

Get Rid Of A Roommate, How To.
It’s better to start out slow with normal, smaller annoyances. Start in the kitchen. Cook big meals without cleaning up after yourself. If someone says something to you about the crumbs they found on the counter, brush the crumbs onto the floor for them to step on. If they complain about crumbs on the floor, suggest that they vacuum. Leave milk in the fridge for long periods of time. Act like you don’t notice the smell.  Eat their food. Tell them someone else did it. Call them a lying, food-stealing whore. Enjoy the fight.
Make desperate coughing noises in the kitchen. Don’t cover your mouth. Leave used tissues everywhere. Tell them you have tuberculoses. If they aren’t sympathetic and say that you’re gross, call them racist. It doesn’t matter if you’re white or not.
Play loud music in the middle of the night. Take out the batteries of the smoke detector so that it chirps. When your roommate replaces the batteries, take them out again. Comment on how the batteries keep disappearing. Blame it on somebody. When  they say they don’t know what you’re talking about call them a lying, battery-stealing whore. Enjoy the fight.
When it’s cleaning day and your roommates request your help, tell them you cleaned last time and you refuse to be their maid. Suggest that there is a mouse running around because no one cleans up after themselves. Buy a mouse and set it loose. Name it Mini Me. Feed it your roommate’s food.
On the weekends, only talk in a Kermit the frog voice. On Wednesdays, talk like Yoda. Leave the heat off when it’s snowing out. Walk around with a huge coat on. When your roommates ask if anyone is cold, tell them you don’t know what their talking about and suggest that they dress warmer. If they turn up the heat, turn it back off and tell them it bothers your tuberculosis.
Get a tape of a crying baby. Play it randomly three times a week. Tell them you have a baby daughter. Never let them see her.  Get a pet, but only if they are allergic. Tell them your grandma left it to you when she died and you can’t get rid of it. Let the pet poop on their rug. Don’t clean up after it.
            Set your alarm for weird times and leave it outside their door. Tell them you don’t know how to turn it off. Let it beep for an hour. If they leave their doors unlocked, invite your boyfriend over and do dirty things in their room. Don’t clean up after yourself. Have parties on week days. Make extra-loud vomiting noises at four in the morning, again at five. Clog all the toilets. Pretend you don’t speak English. If they try to argue that you do speak English, call them racist.
            When their mom comes to visit tell her you love having so-and-so as a roommate, but you’re a little concerned about their frequent drinking habit and drug use. When their phone rings, answer it. Tell the caller that your roommate is in jail and will no longer be accepting calls. Put their phone down the food disposal. Tell them you don’t know why the sink is broken. When their significant other comes over, exclaim, “wow how many boyfriends/(girlfriends) do you have?” Then walk away. Enjoy the fight. When it’s time to pay the rent, offer to turn in their check for them. Throw it away. When they ask what happened, act confused. Call them an irresponsible, rent-avoiding whore.
 Look sad when they leave. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pushing the Definitions

           I’ve been contemplating what constitutes as creative nonfiction and what can constitute as creative nonfiction. 

It’s already been established that creative nonfiction (writing?) 

  • Must be written
The fact that it must be written I think can be pushed…probably because of my learning about multimodal forms of communication and alternative forms of the “traditional written essay” via DR Brown. If audio books can count because they were written first, then audio essays that were not written first might as well count too, right? And that’s as far as I’m going to get into that.

  •  The work represents an accurate account of actual people and places that really exist (can also be pushed slightly if you want to get finicky. But for the most part this seems like a must to me)

  • The work is art (has an awareness of language, sensibility, and complexity)

So how far can we push art? We can take out dialogue and it’s still art. We can take out setting and it’s still art. We can take out characters and it’s still art. Can we take out climax? Can we take out plot? Can we take out the series of events that makes it a story in the first place and still call it a work of creative nonfiction?

                Can it be one sentence? Chekhov's father would say yes.

                Can it be one word?

                Can we reduce an entire work of creative nonfiction to a single word and call it art the way that an artist can reduce an entire painting to a red dot in the middle of a canvas and call it art.

If a urinal can be placed in a museum among “readymades” and be called art, then why can’t a single-word creative nonfiction shake the world in the same way?

And if one word can capture the sensibility, complexity, and the awareness of language that constitutes art, then what word would that be?

I’ll have to get back to you on that.  

            In other news, while contemplating pushing the edges of definitions for creative nonfiction, I’ve written what I think constitutes creative nonfiction in the form of a poem. This is an “I am from” poem. It doesn’t have to rhyme or have any specific form; the only rule in creating one of these is that each line is supposed to start with the words ‘I am from’ but I suppose these things can be pushed too. I encourage others to try it out. Here's what I have:

I am from The Institutions

I am from a town full of family, recently vacated;
I am the only one left
I am from culture passed through generations where, in mine, I'm the oldest
I am from five schools and four mascots that I wear on my clothes
I am from classes of fiction, academia, and theory
I am from church services and values I uphold whether I consent to them or not

I am from Youth

I am from the chase of giggling children into piles of leaves before boo boos are kissed and naps begin
I am from basement bars and pool table games and a dusty keyboard I never learned to play
I am from old couches and the smell and lights of real Christmas trees
I am from where we stopped our games in the woods to catch the breeze
I am from pizza shared and from drinks I’m not allowed to pour or they will end up in my lap
I am from failed attempts of the cliché concept of love,
and from fear and the hope that we got it right this time
I am from pixilized text that replaced the pen where words are heard

Monday, October 31, 2011


A tall, lean, well-dressed man enters the champagne room behind an Essex plaza. His tie hangs tightly from his neck, where the collar of his white dress shirt is buttoned and folded so stiffly that it looks like it might hurt him to breathe. His blonde hair is cut semi-neatly, unlike his facial hair that appears uncertain on whether to settle for scruff or beard. A cord strings from inside his trench coat to a bud in his ear where he periodically places two fingers and speaks. He outlines the room, hands behind his back, watching. He stands serious in the food line.  He touches the bud on his ear, “turkey? Yes sir. Mustard? Okay. Green beans?” He faces the server and holds out a plate, “ Yes, green beans. Thank you.” 

He sits at his table and monitors guests. One gets out of hand, “mam, I’m going to have to ask you to retard your anger.” Though he tries to keep a straight face, his laugh lines are evident behind a pair of dark sunglasses. When she looks away, he pockets her jello shots. When the meal is over, he goes back to his wall. 

Music starts playing and he goes to the dance floor. He bobs his head, touches his ear bud, points, points, bobs. When the next song plays, he does a Russian ditty.   A woman tells him that isn’t how secret service should behave. I tell him to take her out. He reaches into his jacket, touches his ear, and backs away.

                At the end of the night, he runs from the building in a half-crouch that resembles that of a wild cat. As the black car slows, he jumps in next to me in the back seat and we speed away.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Putting The Baby Down For Her Nap

From the lap of her cousin, her sleepy eyes flash open as I walk down the stairs. I sit next to her and hold her hand, wanting to comfort her with familiarity. Her helpless arms reach as she struggles to sit up. She lets out an animalistic and drawn out “EEEeee” as she kicks her legs to establish balance. 

“She wants you,” Michael says. 

                I’m happy that she prefers my arms as her crib, honored that I was the one she reached for; But as a pick her up, happiness is overshadowed by responsibility.  I take her pillow, and position her as she was before: seated facing forward with her puppy pillow on her lap.

                Her curly brown hair is flattened against my chest, where her head is nestled. I’m hoping my heart’s beating will hush her to sleep. Her puppy pillow serves as a blanket. Her right hand mimics mine, slowly grazing over the stuffed puppy’s soft fur. Her left hand reaches over her shoulder and plays with my hair. Before long, the petting stops and the hand that held my hair drops down so awkwardly that I imagine it would be uncomfortable if she were awake.