some radvents

Day 11: What is your personal dream? What would happen if your dream came true?

I’ve got a personal dream I’m working towards right now! But I’m afraid to tell you what it is because I’ll feel super dumb if it doesn’t work out. So I guess the second question I’m going to answer instead is, “What would happen if you told the internet about it?

Fear of failure has been a pretty serious thing in my life. It’s why I almost always take the easiest path, it’s why I never try anything new unless the stakes are really low. But I’ve been attempting to get over that this year, and I have plans to barrel through the fear in 2011 too. Still, though, I’m afraid that if I tell the internet, it’ll jinx it. Well, I don’t believe in jinxing. I do believe that if I tell the internet, I’ll feel dumb if it doesn’t end up happening.

Conquering fear of failure? Going okay. Conquering fear of feeling dumb in front of the internet? Not going okay. Eh, I can live with it.

Day 13: Have you ever just quit something… without regret?

Yes! I had a professional blogging gig once, about the paranormal. It was interesting when I started, but two posts a week about something I didn’t believe in began to get tedious. Posts were due on Friday mornings, so I spent every Thursday night doing lots of procrastinating and bitching and moaning, and a little bit of writing. The only original post ideas I had were things I’d heard about here in Texas, which was fine, but then the head of the site told my fellow bloggers and me that we were writing too many things about Texas. After that I had no ideas.

When our contracts were up and we were each asked whether or not we wanted to continue, I barely wasted half a second before saying no thanks, and then I spent the next two Thursday nights telling everyone how great it was to NOT WRITE ABOUT THE PARANORMAL!!!!!!

Note: I have nothing bad to say about anyone I worked with or for at that site; it was just a bad fit subject-wise, and I should have realized that beforehand.

Day 14: Did you like to read as a child? Do you read more or less now?

Oh, I read like the wind. I taught myself to read at an early age, so once I hit elementary school I was reading ahead of everyone else. The teacher had to give me a special pass to the sections of the library for the older grades so I could pick books from there. I’ve heard friends talk about feeling singled out or ostracized when this happened to them as kids, and I definitely felt that in other aspects of my childhood.

But the reading pass made me feel special. While all my other classmates were at their desks, I’d walk down the hall and give the librarian my pass. Then I’d go back to the 5th grade shelves and choose whatever books I wanted. The library was always deserted when I went, so I could sit down on the floor and look through the books in silence. It was neat.

At some point my mother realized she could use my love of reading to her advantage. Anytime I was bothering her, she’d say, “Why don’t you go read a book or something?” When I figured out that that was her clever way of dismissing me, I started saying, “I don’t want to!” even if I did. What a brat I was.

two questions

1. I’ve been sick (yes, AGAIN) for the past four days, and all this free time with nothing to do besides blow my nose and re-watch all my Buffy DVDs for the 700th time has got me thinking about how I don’t have any good books to read. Even without the sickness factor, I still need to start doing more reading. Can you guys recommend some good books? Here’s a list of some of my favorites, to give you an idea of what I like. Assume I’m aware of or have read the other books by these authors.

The Last Samurai – Helen DeWitt
The Floating Opera – John Barth
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
Geek Love – Katherine Dunn
The Corrections – Jonathan Franzen
The Time-Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Special Topics in Calamity Physics – Marisha Pessl
Empire Falls – Richard Russo
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Michael Chabon
White Teeth – Zadie Smith
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
A bunch of Sarah Vowell and David Sedaris

As you can see, I’m a bit behind on What’s New In Books Lately, so I could use your help.

2. This is the antithesis of books*: in the sixth season of Buffy, when she came back from the dead and was all broke and unemployed, why didn’t she get a job teaching people all her fighting skills instead of flipping burgers at the Doublemeat Palace? I’m sure she could have made a shitload of money showing frightened Sunnydale residents how to fend off the many demons and vampires that lived there.

But I guess turning everyone into mini-slayers wouldn’t have helped her maintain a low profile, would it?

*On second thought, Buffy probably isn’t the antithesis of books. I bet it’s wrestling or “Flavor of Love” or something.