My So-called (Immortal) Life

I love vampires.

I mean, really.

I love high-holy asskickery. I love moral qualms. I love vicious sociopathic killers. I love those looking for redemption. My only criteria seems to be they have the potential for immortal life and feed off some aspect of humanity, be it blood, emotion, or culture.

So, I present to you a thought experiment.

What if you were a vampire?

Haha! Awesome! So cool! I would run really fast and make out with hot guys (girls) and drink so much blood you wouldn’t even believe…hold the phone. That’s not where I was going with this.

What if you were a vampire 300, 400, or 500 years old?

I think you would be bored. Insanely, mind-numbingly bored. Let’s say you were turned at the ripe old age of 26. You have eternal youth on your side, but you’re not a pimply teenager anymore. Face it, stalking and biting humans is not what it was. Maybe once upon a time (maybe, mind you), people had a healthy sense of self-preservation coupled with the fear of constant suspicion that kept them in the house after dark, or safe in herds during the day. That could mean there used to be a thrill to the hunt, but that would fade. Humans aren’t so hard to separate from the back, and, as time passes, we are less and less suspicious of paranormal occurrences.

As a vampire, you rarely see another of your kind. You are completely and utterly alone. Any connection you try to make is gone within several decades, so you would stop making those connections. What would you hold on to? Say you play the piano. You have forever to perfect your art. Would you procrastinate?

Think about human ingenuity in the last 500 years. How would you react to a vastly changing world? Flight, social reform…look at the Internet. MySpace was a blink of the eye. World War II would be “that thing with Germany…you know, the second time”.

Don’t believe me? Let me refer you to one of the most stunning vampire films of all time.

Groundhog Day.

Yep, Bill Murray is a freaking vampire. As long as he is stuck in Groundhog Day, he is immortal. Truly immortal. He tries to kill himself dozens of times. Maybe he doesn’t fit the “feeding off humanity” criteria, but he is sort of a menace to it.

Obsessed with Film writer Simon Gallagher did the math and put the final tally at 33 years and 358 days. Whether you agree or not, this is one of the most interesting psychological looks at immortality.

Not to mention it’s funny.

Now, imagine Groundhog Day for 500 years. Now, that’s a vampire.

The Mark Twain Media Engine

I like social media. Maybe too much. I feel like it’s a great place to reveal our inner ridiculousness, poke fun at ourselves without taking self-deprecation too far, and meet and interact with a whole stratum of people we wouldn’t otherwise have a chance of getting to know.

Where else do I get to say, “What should I do tonight? #amwriting, #amreading or #amthebatman?”

This is a reference to me (obviously) writing, reading, or (not as obvious) playing Arkham City.

I’m an introvert. I love interacting with people on my terms.

But, that’s not what this post is about.

Bait and switch!

The other day, I tweeted a random thought after stumbling on a quote page for Mark Twain and I couldn’t help but think…

“Mark Twain would have been the best Tweeter of all time.”

This started the idea worm, growing and maturing until I had to lengthen the thought into a full blog post.

I think Mark Twain would have solved world hunger through his Twitter feed alone. This man would have started revolutions. He would have been on top of every trend, sarcasm and wit stretched to the maximum. And, considering some of the backasswards things happening to Mark Twain’s books nowadays, can you imagine the kind of storm he would have started?

Remember how censored editions of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer were released this year? Maybe he’d throw out something like this.

“I always read immoral books on the sly, and then selfishly try to prevent other people from having the same wicked good time.”

“Guys, what’s a good river for my main character to raft on? #amwriting”

“My review of @JaneAusten is up. Give you a hint. #meh [URL]”

“Changed my profile pic. I mustache you a question.”

Or what if he checked in on Foursquare?

“Me and @LouisaMayAlcott hitting The Pub.”

Who’s our Mark Twain nowadays? Do we have someone so witty, so sarcastic, so full of piss and vinegar, the Gilded Age never saw him coming?

Okay, I know. I’m wrong. Mark Twain would not have been an awesome Tweeter. He would have started fights, blasted Justin Bieber, and mocked the Friday song. But, weren’t those habits part of what made him such an interesting figure in American Literature?

Perhaps I’ve deified Mr. Samuel L. Clemens. He is a figure of mythological proportions, he suffered through his writing one word at a time, just like every one of us (I hope). He was as much a product of his time, and hindsight is 20/20.

I still would have followed him.

The Greatest Thing About the 90s

I feel I must pay tribute to one of the greatest decades of all time. Despite attending high school and college in the 00’s (how do we say that, by the way? The double oh’s?) I feel like most of my generations fondest memories come from the pre-2000s. A lot of college was spent reminiscing about the good ol’ days, when Stephanie proclaimed “How rude!”

Ah, yes. Girl Power, a prince born in West Philadelphia, and TGIF was the best lineup on television. We didn’t have playlists, we had mix tapes.

But, if I had to pick the one thing that has stuck with me from the 90s is the Jock Rock/ Jock Jams compliations.

A wonderment of audio fantasy. Sure, not all of the songs were from the 90s, but the idea was.

I recently went to a Rangers/Tigers playoff game. They played the beat from “We Will Rock You” at least five times.

Dare I ask: Where are the stadium anthems of today?

Where is the new Final Countdown? Who hasn’t yelled “Aye, oh, let’s go!” and mumbled through the rest of Blitzkrieg Bop while passing beer and peanuts down to that guy in the middle of the row?

My Tamogatchi died, my Beanie Babies are worthless, and the only time I do the Macarena is at wedding receptions. Lame, lame wedding receptions.

In the world of Jock Jams, the 90s are never over.

And, there’s no better way to get pumped up.

They’re Everywhere (who is ‘they’, again?)

Do you know there are 7 guns for every 1 person in the United States?

I have no idea if that’s true. But, someone told me about it this weekend. I’m pretty sure he was a cult recruiter.

I sat at Starbucks, catching up with a friend. We do this once a month, usually Sunday afternoons, a nice leisurely chat. We talk about everything. Culture, books, politics, movies. She was my AP US History teacher and, damn, if I don’t love history. It’s amazing, speaking with someone who holds 30+ years of knowledge and education in her head.

As time wound down, I caught the eye of a stranger sitting at a nearby table. He adjusted his wireless headphones a few times and sucked on his pen, occasionally clicking a few keys on his keyboard.

Middle-age, hair graying at the temples, and astonishingly alert for someone who should have a head bent over their laptop.

He was listening.

At the time, I’m sure we were waxing philosophic (I’m still paying good money for my education, dammit).

He stood and approached our table, pulling the headphones down around his neck.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “But, I couldn’t help but overhear that last part of your conversation.”

My eyebrow cocked of its own accord, as it is wont to do when it hears crazy. You could help it. Turn up the headphones. Stumble across a cat video. Stand closer to the steam wand.

I couldn’t help but overhear means I was eavesdropping because you mentioned buzzwords.

“And?” I asked.

“I’m in charge of an organization…”

My eyebrow lifts higher.

“That is interested in protecting the American Constitution by bringing lawsuits against the government.”

“Mmhm.” By now, skepticism and suspicion oozed out of my voice.

“(gun statistic)”

“That’s interesting.”

The conversation continued, citing statistics of questionable origin. Keep in mind, I was talking to a US History teacher. US History often comes up in our conversations. I’m a writer, she’s a brilliant educator. Creativity loves to hang out with us.

“Have you heard of the Georgia guidestones?”

My eyebrows were back under my control, and I lowered them to a glare. “No.” (They exist, by the way, check them out here)

“They were written by a group you would know as the Illuminati.”

Jackpot. Crackpot jackpot. I love conspiracy theories.

Anyway, by promising to visit his website, I was able to save both myself and my mentor. Keep your eyes open. The Illuminati were more than just a plot point in a Dan Brown novel. If I join, does that make me a Templar…or how does that work, exactly?

Not sure. And that’s not even the craziest thing I’ve heard at Starbucks…

Besides joining a grassroots conspiracy organization, what can I bring to these maybe Templars? Not sure about that one, either, but if I remember anything from Lara Croft, the Illuminati want to control time for NO REASON IN PARTICULAR!!

Maybe next week, I’ll be updating my tumblr from my iPhone on a quest for the Holy Grail. I’m taking a fedora. And a whip.

Books, GoodReads, and Why I’m Still Awake

Aight, peeps, here’s the lowdown, the skinny, the 411, the…you know, whatever.

All of a sudden, I have insomnia all the freakin’ time. I wake up the same time every morning (9am), but it seems like I can’t get to sleep any time before 3am.

What do I do with all this time?

Besides obsessively changing my web page theme in an attempt to find something that doesn’t make me gag; besides listening to hours of New Age music on Pandora; besides applying droplets to my eyes because of all these backlit screens…

I read.

A lot.

Like, 13 books in the last 17 days. That’s non-fiction, adult, YA (no picture books).

What does that mean for you?

I don’t always review books, but, when I do, it’s because I liked them.

I can’t review everything. But, trust me, if I make it through the whole book, that means I liked it.

So, for those of you interested in following my eccentric/eclectic tastes, I’ve decided to be a good little social networker and keep my GoodReads profile updated.

Is this some sort of underhanded, sneaky way of encouraging people to read?

Yes.

But, it’s also some sort of underhanded, sneaky way of encouraging people to talk about books, consider what they like, and find more books that they will like just as much.

Heck, if you see something on my list and trust me for a recommendation, I’ll tell you what I thought.

In private. Because I just might know the author who wrote it :/

Stay thirsty, my friends.

Fake Busy

I’m that sort of busy that’s all kind of fake.

I’ve built up the illusion of busyness, and, it’s so good, I’ve even faked myself out.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

  1. I remembered that I have a library card. This is not a good thing. When I go to the library, I usually have a list already made. Then, I start browsing. What ends up happening is I check out 10-12 books I can’t possibly live without right that very moment. Even though I know I’m at the library and they will be there for my next visit.

    I end up starting this pile a week late and have to scramble to read every book before it’s due. I’ve done this thrice in two months.

  2. I got into Pottermore. While I’m not sure what this entails, I’m sure it will be exciting. For at least fifteen whole minutes.
  3. I turned 25. Hurray.
  4. I started watching X-Files on Netflix. I’m not really interested in the alien parts, but I find the paranormal stuff pretty awesome. I’m a big Fringe fan and definitely see the similarities. Just because I have a special place in my heart for multi-verse theory doesn’t mean I can’t like Mulder and Scully. The history of television owes them thanks.
  5. I saw a slew of movies, none of which are worth mentioning.
  6. I broke 50,000 words on my current WIP.
  7. I received 22 rejection letters in 38 days.
  8. I have listened to Evanescence’s new single “What You Want” far too many times.

So, that’s it. Oh, yeah, and I have a job and volunteer and nonsense like that. So, you know, maybe I’ll pick one of those things and start blogging again.

What have you been up to?