Disclaimer: I don’t intend this blog post to be a blanket statement about people getting erections in public. Oftentimes it’s not personal nor intended. I totally get that. I just think that the details in yesterday’s scenario make it so that this could not have been a coincidence.
Where I work, there’s a grown man who comes in often enough that I recognize him and consider him a regular. I knew his order and always greeted him with a smile, making conversation because I genuinely believed that he was a delightful, pleasant person, but I never (until very recently) took a look at his pants.
How could I miss something so…obstructive??
It turns out that this was not a unique occurrence but rather, a tradition of sorts…
In my mind, I was grossed out. I started panicking. It was disturbing! God damn sir, you’re in freaking public! In gym shorts! There are children at that table! And grandmas!
What even is sexual harassment anyways? Or is this sexual assault, or abuse, or is this all just in my head? I don’t care about some official definition; if something makes me so uncomfortable in my own skin that I get upset at work, it’s sexual harassment to me.
My sister and I used to split up the food that we bought like troops during the war. Three chocolate flavored Rice Krispies for you, and three for me. Actually, I can trade you a chocolate flavored one for a marshmallow flavored one. We used to relish going grocery shopping with the grownups, because as pre-teens, what much else is there to do?
These days, it’s been a few months since I went shopping for groceries. In the midst of life, I have delegated that responsibility solely to my parents and I just walk in and out of the kitchen grabbing what I can find.
Our world, back then, was simple and confined; it stretched only as far as we could travel for two hours or so on the highway. That was the universe that we knew. Continue reading
I could listen to this music for the rest of my life and never tire of it.
As an Asian, many people would probably assume that I watch anime or read manga.
anime: a style of animation originating in Japan that is characterized by stark colorful graphics depicting vibrant characters in action-filled plots often with fantastic or futuristic themes
manga: a Japanese comic book or graphic novel
In fact, I had never watched anime until about two years ago (I am almost seventeen right now) when one of my white friends suggested it to me. Manga? I’ve read one manga (Death Note) and I never even finished it. It was extremely interesting, however.
In regards to anime, I found Studio Ghibli films to be the most popular ones out there, so I started watching some of the originals:
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
My Neighbor Totoro
Castle in the Sky
Whisper of the Heart
Perhaps you have heard of some of these?
These films are comparable to Disney films, except that the method of magic incorporation is extremely different. They’re still, however, delightful.
It’s pretty strange to acknowledge that I technically did not watch these in my actual childhood. I watched them in my adolescence, over the course of a month or so. Needless to say, this month was very happy and light for me.
My favorite anime film is Howl’s Moving Castle. When I heard that Josh Hutcherson had voiced one character in the Disney remake, I decided to watch the “Americanized” version instead.
While the story line was magical, the portion that I am choosing to write about is the music.
In one scene, Sophie (the main character, a girl that has been cursed into being an old woman) and Howl (rebellious wizard) start flying over the ruckus of the town square. Sophie is terrified and overwhelmed by the whole sensation. During the whole scene, a beautiful theme that is playing swells and eventually reaches an apex.
It’s not necessarily my favorite scene.
But the theme? Oh yes, in fact, my favorite lyric-less piece ever. It has made its way onto the list of my “All Time Favorites”.
When I listen to it, I am transported to that time two years ago when I saw life through a very optimistic and childlike lens, each day filled with naive hope.
This is not to suggest that idealistic innocence is the best mentality to embrace a time like this (with college finally becoming relevant to my life), but it’s a wonderful distraction – nay, a fantastic pastime – that I long for.
Just listen to it.
Inspired by the Daily Prompt
Betty Smith is actually one of the most strikingly beautiful women I’ve ever seen.
Daily Prompt: What was your favorite book as a child? Did it influence the person you are now?
So, I suppose that you could say that I’m still a child. Does 16 constitute being a child? Is being a teenager mutually exclusive with being a child? Who knows.
When I was in middle school, I read a book series called, “The Wedding Planner’s Daughter.” It takes place in the twenty first century, and follows the adolescent life of a girl who loves reading. The greatest part about the series was not that actual story, but the fact that the author provided a list of suggested reads at the end of the book. After I finished the book, I skimmed the reading list for a title that caught my eye.
“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith
Isn’t the title at least a little bit intriguing? Not many people agree with me, but I personally became very interested with title. What kind of tree, and what’s so special about Brooklyn? Perhaps that wasn’t my train of thought. Maybe I just asked a friend or did a quick Google search for a summary.
Either way, I ended up reading the book in seventh grade or so. At the time I just really liked the book simply because it had a wonderful story. And that was it, for the time being.
But then as the years went by and my English teachers taught me year-after-year about literature analysis, symbolism, and motifs, I realized that there was no doubt more to the story.
I checked it out again sometime in high school. Ninth grade, perhaps? Eventually I had checked it out enough times for me to decide that I needed an actual copy.
And you know how people operate. You go to new events and they need icebreaker games to introduce themselves, and one of the most commonly asked questions is: “What’s your favorite book?”
In those days, I’d probably say something like the Harry Potter series or some book that I had recently read. While HP and plenty of other books were fantastic, the one that kept coming back to me and calling to me personally was “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.”
So now, I don’t even hesitate when people ask me for my favorite book. I recall childhood memories of hiding under the covers with a flashlight trying to finish this book. Yes, these things actually do happen!
Since learning about literary analysis and the once-alien concept of “annotation,” my favorite book has become all the more personal, filled with markings indicating my favorite passages, with arrows and lines, with explanations of why a certain passage is important.
I also just learned about World War One in my AP Euro class. Although I knew generally what had happened, I hadn’t known the exact position of the United States, but now all of that has been much more contextualized for me. And it helps! I am able to more easily relate with the sentiments of the families who had to send their men to war.
A quick summary: The book plays out in many flashbacks, covering the background story of Frances Nolan’s parents, following Francie through her childhood, all the way to her first year at college. She is born right around the turn of the twentieth century, and as a young lady she sees the indirect effects of World War One on the people that live in her city.
^That summary does not even suffice; I heavily recommend that any girl under 21 who has the ability to read, read this book.
They say that one of the best ways to understand a person as well as their morals and priorities is to read their favorite book. This book touches me because Francie’s character exemplifies how I would like to approach my problems, and the society that I grow up in. Since she first went to school, she’d wanted to be a writer. Her family was comprised of immigrants, and they had endured many hardships and economic struggles to rise out of the poverty that they had continually been confined to. The story follows her from her childhood to the beginning of her adulthood, and depicts changes in perspectives as she becomes continually more mature, and gets increasingly globalized in perspective. These changes build character. I take her personal revelations in consideration, accepting my ultimately infinitesimal role in society. Francie expressed a strong interest in writing, and the method that Betty Smith utilizes to explain why help spark my interest in literature as well. The lessons that I take from the book guide the way I deal with overarching problems.