Recently I visited my alma mater and had a conversation with a friend who will be graduating this coming weekend. We caught up, then he talked about his plans for life after graduation. I told him how surreal it is to attend events as an alumni. Every time I do I recognize less and less faces.
However I have never been to any events specifically for alumni, although they do send me invitations in the mail every other month or so. Often those events are in California or elsewhere, and I can’t afford to buy a plane ticket just to attend. Even when they are in state they tend to be way too expensive. The annual black tie gala starts at $500 dollars a person. Several of my more affluent classmates have already went, but me and the friend I visited with both will not be able to go for many years. Both of us agreed that when we do, we will have to flaunt our success to the other attendees. I’ve decided I will wear a top hat, and possibly other things such as white gloves, tails, and maybe even a cane.
So far my life can be divided into several discernible chapters. Some of them have a predictable beginning and end, others transfer rather abruptly. My teen years were mediocre. I was involved in Boy Scouts and youth group, those were my primary social outlets because I was homeschooled. When I was 17 my mom said “I signed you up for Running Start, you begin classes in September!” and with that a new chapter was abruptly announced. That was 17 years ago, now I am in a transitional chapter that I hope will end as soon as possible.
Here in Washington we have several majestic forests. One thing that makes our forests particularly striking is how the trees are usually covered in sleeves of vibrant moss. Some of the moss species are like wool or carpet, others resemble shaggy fur like that of a mountain goat. Often it is something of a cross.
I think living surrounded by so many beautiful trees may have been part of what inspired me to get into bonsai. Microcosms have always intrigued me, and good bonsai are just that. Yes they are kept artificially small and they are artificially shaped and groomed, but they mimic their (often literal) siblings in nature. I’d love to one day do a bonsai of Washington species with sleeves of moss growing on the branches and trunk. However I’m not sure if that is possible, since bonsai are much more sensitive than free growing trees. Certain mosses are often used as lawn on top of the soil, there is even special bonsai moss spray for that.
I don’t own the picture below, it was taken from a fair use website
As an aspiring writer I’ve always felt a milestone that would indicate that I’ve made it in the publishing world is if there is a Wikipedia article about me. A few times I’ve told people that and they said “I’ll make one for you!” or something to that effect. While I appreciate the thought, they missed the point. The reason I believe having a Wikipedia article is an indicator of success is because it indicates that I’ve made my self well known enough that someone I’ve never met took time out of their day to write an article about me. Especially one that meets Wikipedia’s near indecipherable notability standards. A Wikipedia page about me written by a friend right now would get deleted within 24 hours, probably within a few hours.
I’ve never met any major celebrities per se, but I have met and even known a few people with Wikipedia articles. Here is a list of them in no particular order:
One of the currant bushes in my previous bush died. I’m not upset about this because the other two seem to be doing fine and I’ve only had them for a couple days. Not like I’ve had months worth of labor or more go down the drain. Besides, the cuttings were free and can easily be replaced. One silver lining is now I have a ready to go pot set up for my next cutting.
On Monday I had breakfast with my grandma and told her about by progress with bonsai. She lives a short walk away from me and has been an avid gardener for years. Her yard has a number of current bushes with nice flowers and I realized they could make promising bonsai specimens, so I got three cutting from the best bush and she helped me pot them. If I’m lucky they will take root within a month, but they make take until the end of summer or so. Either way it should be quite a while before they are ready to become true bonsai.
According to TimeHop today is the three year anniversary of being bestowed with an Outstanding Writer Award from my school’s student newspaper. My editors deemed me to be the best writer for my beat, and I was blown away. I had no expectation of winning anything. When I became a staff writer I just wanted to practice my writing, become more connected with campus happenings, plus there was a nice $75 direct deposit for each issue. Getting an award made me think I had potential in journalism.
I was a Senior the following year and between semesters I applied to University of Oregon’s Journalism program. Within a week of sending in my finished application packet I got accepted. Then towards the end of my last undergrad semester I was bestowed the Best News Writer Award. This was even more unexpected. In two school year’s time I went from being a fresh recruit, to being best writer in my beat, to the best writer in the whole publication. Winning Best News Writer made me even more excited to start J School, and I was already pumped.
Hadn’t even finished my Bachelor’s and I was already an award winning journalist. I thought I had a promising future ahead of me in journalism. Within six months I knew I was wrong (check earlier entries for details).
Yesterday I wrote about the criteria for whether or not I will partake in a Daily Prompt. Well today’s prompt sums up why I often won’t. One word tends to be too vague. The old style question prompts weren’t vague at all, they were very specific. However, I will admit that a vague one word response does have greater potential variety of responses than a specific question. That’s my guess on why the change was made.
I will only partake in the Daily Prompt if the word is something I can incorporate into a blog worthy post without sounding contrived. Yesterday it was mallet, and I couldn’t think of anything so I didn’t post. Honestly I miss the old Daily Prompts that were more than one word. There was a question that formed an actual prompt. Those got my creative juices flowing and resulted in me writing a ton of material on topics I never would have mentioned otherwise. The one word prompts just don’t have that kind of stimulation for me, perhaps it’s different for others.
The last multi word prompt occurred on February 28th, 2016 and it was Five Items and asked what five items you would bring with you on a deserted island. A single word prompt appeared the following day, and there hasn’t been a multi word prompt since. I hope one day the Daily Post will scrap the one word prompts, or at very least not have every single Daily Prompt be a one worder.
“What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word –”
Jorge Luis Borges once noted that camels are never once mentioned in the Koran, which proves it is an authentically Arabic book. Anyone who isn’t from the Middle East writing a book set there would feel compelled to mention camels, whether it was necessary for the story or mere tokenism. Reading that Borges essay has given me a critical eye for set and setting, and now any details in a work I examine whether I think they were there organically or to remind you of the setting.
It’s truly astounding how whenever characters go to New Orleans it just so happens to be Mardis Gras or at very least Mardis Gras is gratuitously mentioned, similar with Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. No matter what city a film takes place in, you can guarantee that whatever landmark it is known for will make an appearance. In Ratatouille the Eiffel Tower is present pretty much whenever they are outside, even Linguini’s shitty apartment had a clear view of it. That’d be some prime real estate. I’ve been to Paris and I know first hand the Eiffel Tower isn’t omnipresent, I didn’t even see it on my first day there because my hotel room wasn’t anywhere near it.