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You choose what to think about. And you may not feel that way every day, but the truth is, that you choose what you think about. It’s one of the few things that you can choose and it is—it’s kind of the definition, I think, of being a person. It’s that you have this weird gift of consciousness and you get to choose how you direct that gift. Like, how you direct your ability to think about things. So, if you choose to think about the relative health of the romantic relationships of The Situation, you’re making that choice. MTV is not making that choice for you, The Situation is not making that choice for you, you are making that choice. If you choose to think about astrophysics, you are making that choice. Every second of your definitionally temporary consciousness, you are choosing how you spend something that will not last forever. You are choosing how you spend your life, and it will be spent. And that’s a very serious thing that you have to try to take pretty seriously, even though, of course, much of our lives—because consciousness is kind of a burden—needs to be spent turning that off, which is, you know, why God made television. But we have this responsibility to ourselves, to each other, but also to the people who came before us and the people who will come after us, to think consciously about what we’re thinking about. And that was, in some ways the beginning of The Fault in Our Stars for me, was trying to think about, what I should be thinking about. Trying to think how I should be orienting my life, what should I value, what should I prioritize. And I grew up—and so did most of you—I think, in a world that values a very specific kind of heroism. The kind where you jump on a grenade to save your buddy, or you die heroically because your family says that you can’t marry the girl you want to marry, and you’re fourteen and somehow you think that’s a deal breaker?—which is the plot of Romeo and Juliet, I ruined it for some of you, sorry; I should have prefaced that with a spoiler alert, but if you haven’t read Romeo and Juliet, that’s your fault—or in another of our great epics of heroism, The Odyssey—which I’m also about to spoil for you, but it’s a good reading experience, regardless. There’s this dude, his name’s Odysseus, he does some good warring, top-notch warring, and it takes him a long time to get home, because a bunch of stuff happens, and then he finally gets home and his wife has a bunch of suitors, and the correct response to that situation is to be like, ‘Hey! I was gone for a long time, and there’s no text messaging, you didn’t know I was okay, like of course there’s a bunch of suitors living here, that’s cool, but suitors it’s time to head on out and, you know, find someone else’s house to occupy.’ And instead, what happens is that the palace floors course with blood, and that is your happily-ever-after ending. And Augustus Waters in this novel really buys into that idea of heroism, that idea that the best lives are lived on the biggest possible stage, and that the best lives are lived with an eye toward the grand heroic gesture, whether it be sacrificial or otherwise. That, like, the good life, by definition, is the big life. Well, I’m here to tell you that even the biggest lives are temporary, including the life of Odysseus, including the life of Romeo and Juliet, because, you know, we’re temporary. And if that’s the only way that we orient our lives, if that’s the only thing that we value, we’re doing ourselves, I think, a great disservice. So, I wanted to write The Fault in Our Stars because I wanted to write a story that was about the kind of small heroism that almost all of us are going to have to choose; very few of us will have the opportunity to jump on a grenade and save many, many people. The vast majority of us will have to find tiny ways to take care of ourselves and each other in the best ways that we can figure out how to do. And that’s really what The Fault in Our Stars is about, ultimately. It’s about these two kids and their parents trying to figure out how to take good care of each other and trying to figure out how to leave the best possible world for those who will come after, and also live a life that honors those who have come before.
John Green, on The Fault in Our Stars at the Tour de Nerdfighting Event in Austin, Texas (21 January 2012)
Weird things I think about…

What if… you could take a drug that would make you see all sorts of crazy things about the world- ghosts, monsters, zombies- you name it. Things like in the movies. Heck, even secret societies, government agencies. The catch: it may not be real. Or it might be more real than anything else you’d ever seen. It may be a “gateway” to all the impossible questions about the universe, but it might be complete delusions. There’s absolutely no way to know either way. Would you take it? 

Why I hate Facebook. (just another rant.)

Hating facebook is almost becoming the “hipster” thing to do. Making fun of people who check it multiple times a day is cool. Being “anti-texting” and “just call them! talk face to face!” seems to be the retro-movement lacking any sort of momentum as we sit on the internet day in and day out. So here’s two reasons why facebook seems distasteful to me. 

1. Photosharing is a double-edged sword. Ok, maybe a little over-dramatic, but who doesn’t remember talking about a trip or event and pulling a pile of pictures out of the kodak envelope? You would laugh at some, or hold up others to ask about— now it’s just comments or even worse- “likes,” and most of it, for the world to see. I will admit, it is nice to be able to download that cool picture your friend took… but I do miss the feeling of personally showing people my pictures. (even adding this point I feel like I’m trying to jump on the hipster “face-to-face” bandwagon. But seriously. I liked doing that. It was fun.) 

2. My “monkey sphere" is still only the 20 or so people I see/talk to on a weekly basis. I was whining about facebook one time and my mom mentioned, "but don’t you like catching up with someone you haven’t seen in a while? See what they’ve been doing?" No, actually. I really don’t. Maybe that makes me a super cold person, or maybe I’m too young to have fallen away from someone I really cared about, but I honestly don’t care what Jimmy and Sue from 8th grade are up to in college. People will message me out of the blue, "hey you! Remember me? I see you blah blah blah…." and you have to do the "Hi! How are you doing? yeah I blah blah blah… it’s awesome!" and I feel super fake. Now, I know I’m probably not normal, but I generally don’t like "people." I like to have my space. Spending time completely alone every day, to me, is great. Peace and quiet, my thoughts, doin’ my own thing. Not to say I don’t like hanging out with my friends, but in general, I guess I’m not a people person. I don’t feel really enjoy the superficial "what I’m doing" conversation with someone I haven’t talked to in ten years. What I’m saying here, in a super roundabout way, is that my 200-some facebook "friends*," really don’t mean a whole lot. I don’t think I gain any significance in relationships** from it. And most people like to pretend we do. If we see it as a picture and link sharing device, then sure. If we see it as an easy way to communicate in large-ish groups of people that are far apart? Great. But if we say that we’re closer to the 306 people we graduated high school with because of it? We’re just not being realistic. 

*Also, a lot of people like to have annual “unfriending” or something. Cutting down that number isn’t really what I’m suggesting. 

**That’s all we’re really after, isn’t it? Significance. Hmm. Food for thought…

And because you made it this far, here’s a picture of Neil Patrick Harris. 

Dazz with her find!  (Taken with instagram)

Dazz with her find! (Taken with instagram)

A week and a half until I get to see this pretty girl again!! 

A week and a half until I get to see this pretty girl again!! 

Adorable. 

Adorable. 

Yeah, I’ve definitely narrowed it down enough to decide on one within the next year. For sure. /sarcasm. And then there’s always #6: Hold down some sort of job to barely pay rent while doing parkour and backpacking and traveling and suchlike (not that #1-5 don’t involve those shenanigans, so I guess #6: full-time shenanigans.)  

Yeah, I’ve definitely narrowed it down enough to decide on one within the next year. For sure. /sarcasm. And then there’s always #6: Hold down some sort of job to barely pay rent while doing parkour and backpacking and traveling and suchlike (not that #1-5 don’t involve those shenanigans, so I guess #6: full-time shenanigans.)  

December is for hibernating

Hello everyone! Just an update because I haven’t posted in a while (and I’m sitting in lab looking really productive while procrastinating turning Gigantic Spreadsheets of Numbers into Actually Interpretable Graphs.) 

1. Note to self: warn EVERYONE before dropping off the planet for 4 days. Over Thanksgiving break (if you haven’t figured it out yet) I went backpacking with friends in the Middle of Nowhere. I think warning people would help the transition back to civilization: 17 emails, didn’t count the texts… 

2. Is it bad that I just want the comforts of civilized life (showers, bedsheets, etc) and really don’t want to return to being responsible??

3. I’ve been randomly capitalizing Phrases That Seem Like Titles of Things. Don’t really know where this came from :P 

4. If you want to know if your cats love you, leave them alone in the apartment for a few days. They’ll be crawling all over you when you return! (Also, apparently they like to Knock Over All the Things.) 

5. The end is in sight!! One more week of classes then it’s finals week!! 

6. And finally, December really IS for hibernating— angry rotator cuffs and 40-miles of abuse to the knees requires at least some recovery… 

7. Oh, and finallyfinally: To anyone who actually reads this and I haven’t excitedly told yet, I’m going to London for 6 weeks this summer!!! (I haven’t applied for the trip or any scholarships yet, but I’m kind of planning on being hell-or-high-water stubborn on really going ;) And to answer the obvious questions: yes, it’s study-abroad, two 3-week long classes. But really, it’s study abroad for Parkour, tbh. ha.)