Archive for February, 2007

Creator ::Fantasy: Could It Ever Be Real?::

Posted in writing et all on Monday, February 26, 2007 by dragonsvamp

Andrew recently wrote about his thoughts on ‘realistic fantasy’. It made me think a bit about it. I’ve always had my own criteria on how I judge a book to be good. I’ve always read fantasy and one of my main (come to think about it ‘unconsious’) criteria was that the author must make the reader believe the store could happen. No matter how out of this world the story is if the author is good the story will captivate the reader and make the reader forget ‘reality’ as he knows it and to a certain point believe the reality that is in the book.

A well written fantasy novel, in my opinion, must feel true. Not necessarily ‘real’ but true. That the characters in the book, though a figment of the author’s imagination, are true. That they exist within the authors imagination. Now for a story to feel ‘true’ the author must make an effort to make the story seem plausible. Of course since it’s fantasy the reader will obviously know that it is not part of reality as we know it. However, the author can either make the reader forget reality as we know it or create a new ‘possible’ reality.

All ‘realities’ must have explanations; they must have reasons; and above all the world must be real to the characters. So if you magically were transported into that world everything should make sense around you to a certain point of course.

I’ve never thought of ‘realistic fantasy’ being an oxymoron but now that I think about it I understand how it could be taken that way. As a first impression it could be an oxymoron but that’s just on the surface. We as ‘humans’ can only comprehend things within a limit. So a story that doesn’t explain things so that the mere mortal may comprehend it is a poorly written story. The reader can not know what is going on inside the author’s mind/imagination so the author must go into details on certain things so that the reader may understand where the author is coming from. And ‘fantasy’ doesn’t completely cancel out ‘reality’ from it’s vocabulary.

I must say I’ve read many novels and stories where the author is able to make a completely impossible story seem so real.

AdVENTure ::Tutoring in Wadi Seer::

Posted in Adventures in Wadi Seer on Sunday, February 25, 2007 by dragonsvamp

Yesterday I had a most interesting day.  What with almost getting in a bad accident, cell phone troubles and a full day of tutoring. I had agreed to tutor this kid in Wadi Seer at three thirty in the afternoon (a big mistake to begin tutoring a new student after having a super long day that started at 8:30). 

Let’s see. Background info. I was called a few days before by the kid’s mom. She was asking for me to tutor her second grade son Abdala. I was all okay fine about it until I heard where she lived. Then I was like, I don’t think you can afford me. Though I didn’t say that so bluntly.  But we did come around talking about prices and the minute she heard how much I charge an hour she hurriedly said she’d have to think it over and get back to me if she can work it out. I was like okay, expecting not to here from her again.

Come to find out the kid’s aunt who lives in
Holland is funding his tutoring and believes that he has potential since he’s doing great at school without help from anyone to begin with.  She called me a few days later from
Holland and discussed the matter with me.  Then we arranged it all and I was set to go tutor on Saturday afternoon.

Alright back to the present.  Saturday started out all nice and dandy with my first student being the awesome student he is. Then it got a little worse when my second student wasn’t in the mood to study, but study we did. Poor kid.

Then I had to run around and trade my messed up cell phone for a pretty decent used one (I can’t believe I actually bought a Nokia! I hate Nokia). And that’s when I almost got into and accident.  Though I must say that I was impressed with one of the six taxi drivers I had to deal with.  I needed to stop by an ATM to withdraw some cash before going to the cell place.  I told the driver to stop at a near by place and he did. But that ATM was under construction for some reason so I got back into the taxi and changed my second destination and he was like ‘why?’.  I told him the ATM wasn’t working. He thought the second destination was for another ATM (when it was actually my house) and said he knew of one on the way to my original destination (near the university). That was nice of him and he waited at every stop we made and everything and didn’t act all cranky and whatnot as the taxi drivers usually do.

After getting my cell, I had depleted my wallet so I had to run back home and get some more money and leave again right away to go to Wadi Seer. I was exhausted. I called the lady to get clearer directions and thank God I didn’t wait because minutes after talking to her I accidentally put on the security lock which I had no idea what the password was. That was nerve racking since I had no idea where I was going exactly and the cell felt like a lifeline or something.  But I didn’t need to talk to her because though the directions were clear there were a good handful of ‘white’ houses where she had said she was living. 

There were a couple of kids outside one of the white houses and so I went up to them and asked if one of them was Abdala. To my relief one of them was.

And now the horror begins.

I stepped into the house as a wave of terrible memories washed over me.  They were poor. Though not super-ly so but enough for me to feel so sorry for them.  And their house reminded me of my dad’s parents place in downtown. Rundown and shabby though clean.  I was led to the living room and sat there a few minutes alone. During that time I was almost hyperventilating. I wanted to leave and leave right then and there.I was planning on how to go about quitting.  Then after a few minutes Abdala came in with his second grade school books and sat down. I started talking to him in English expecting him to understand something of what I said. He understood nothing. His face was blank.

I quickly realized how little he knew and how much he was willing to learn. He was quiet and though I would expect he’s probably very troublesome he wasn’t with me. Maybe it’s because I’m knew but I’m hoping that’s not the case. If he stays the way he was on this first day I would more than be willing to go over there and teach him every Saturday despite how much I despise the place.

It’ll be the first time in over two years of tutoring to get a kid who knows almost nothing and whatever he does know is all wrong.  So it should be a challenge and something I am willing to take on to start from the very beginning (like how to write the ABCs).

It’s just sad that most of my ‘kids’ (as I like to call them) tend to from the upper class so they take their learning and my tutoring as a joke more than as something to help them better themselves. I instantly felt this kid to be the complete opposite. And because it wasn’t his parents’ money but his aunt’s he’d have to keep doing well and try hard to keep me as a tutor and to keep his family happy with him.

Even though he’s only seven I could tell that this burden of responsibility weighed on him. That was the main difference I had felt between the children who were wealthy and this kid.

I hope I’m right because if he’s spoiled just like the rich kids he’ll be quite a challenge.

Wish me luck!

Fam ::Bro In A Dress::

Posted in Family on Friday, February 23, 2007 by dragonsvamp

This is what you get when you have eight sisters and you are the only boy (and youngest) in the family.

This is one thing my brother will never hear the end of when he’s all grown up. Poor kid.


 It first started with just his hair but quickly escalated to his clothes.

The finger nail polish he’s had for a while.

Some might even be convinced that he’s a girl.

Poor kid he was ready to get outta that dress even before I was done taking pictures!

Voila! ~Mood Foods~

Posted in Food on Thursday, February 22, 2007 by dragonsvamp

A while back I was reading through some of Dr. Oz’s book (YOU on a Diet, The Owner’s Manual for Waist Management by Mehmet C. Oz M.D. and Michael F. Roizen M.D.) and came across a section that I found interesting. I’ve always known that some foods can effect our moods and that sometimes we eat certain foods because we are in certain moods.  Thing is I never had a compiled list and whatnot so here it is.

So as the book says ‘We binge on different foods for different reasons.’

Now this is not definite but it is the most probable.

If you reach for: –> You’re most likely feeling:

   “1. Tough foods, like meat or hard and crunchy foods–> Angry

     2. Sugars –> Depressed

     3.  Soft and sweet foods like ice cream–> Anxious

     4. Salty foods –> Stressed

     5. Bulky, fill you up foods like crackers and pasta –> Lonely, Sexually frustrated

     6. Anything and everything –> Jealous”

Again, this is not set in stone.  It is meant for what you tend to binge on and not necessarily the food you’d normally eat on a day to day basis.

An Example of Idiocracy ::Sad::

Posted in General Idiocracy on Monday, February 19, 2007 by dragonsvamp

Amino sent this to me today. It’s so worth your time and might even let you appreciate things a little more.

Seriously, take a few minutes out of your time and watch this. Even if you might not want to, you need to.

An Example of Idiocracy ::Standing in Line::

Posted in Jordan Idiocracy on Saturday, February 17, 2007 by dragonsvamp

Last week while I was working on getting my stuff ready and sent to the universities I’m applying to I got into a normal (in this country) situation, which to me is very un-normal. I was standing in a very long line to pay for my transcript. Now if you’ve never been to Jordan this is one thing you won’t know. No one knows how to stand in line. Most of the people cut in front of the ones dumb (or decent-is there a difference?) enough to actually form and stand in a line. I was finally almost at the counter when a girl tried to wedge herself in front of me. Between my line and the line (I will call them ‘line’ for lack of better terms) next to me was a security guard so he wouldn’t let anyone cut in from the right side of the line. She kept bugging him, ‘I only want to ask a question. Just one question please?’ The guy kept telling her no. I used my voice and told her very rudely that I have been standing in the line for half an hour and that it was not fair for her to just barge in like that. She looked at me weirdly because I spoke to her in perfect English (and because I had my sunglasses on in a pretty dark room but that’s beside the point) and replied with a ‘But it’s only a question! It won’t take that long!’ Somehow, she got in front of me and asked the teller the question. But the guard told the teller not to help her since she didn’t stand in line. The guy told the girl what she needed to do (which was pay a JD for some paper she needed) but wouldn’t help her further because she wasn’t in line.

She moved out of the way but still didn’t go and stand in line. Then she asked me if I would do the transaction for her since it only cost a JD. As if the price mattered. It all took the same amount of time to get done. She spoke in perfect English too which led me to the conclusion that she must’ve lived outside for a few years. But anyways, I turned around and told her that if the people behind me were willing I’d do it. So she asked the guy behind me and he refused saying exactly what I had told her. That we were all in a hurry and we all needed to get our stuff done and we all should have to wait our turn. She tried to whine and whatnot but it didn’t work on this guy. Trust me nothing works on him. I had to deal with him in English Conversation Club. But after that she disappeared thank God.

It’s just sad. Just because her transaction was going to cost a mere one JD she thought it was reason enough for her to cut in line. My transaction costs 5JD but it was only one paper I needed as well so it would have taken the same amount of time as hers did. Faulty thinking and reasoning all the way. It’s just really sad.

General Idiocracy ::Valentines Day::

Posted in General Idiocracy on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 by dragonsvamp

Today is Valentines day as you all very well know. I think this day (just like many of the other ‘internationally’ acknowledged days) is a very smart concoction that the business industries have created. Though before when these holidays began to surface it wasn’t because of the industries but because the Christians wanted to convert as many pagans as possible and so they incorporated their holidays and celebrations into Christianity or at least into their calender as well.

But lately (as in the past hundred years) the business industry has realized that these holidays and celebrations bring in the bling bling and so they worked hard to make them something everyone has to celebrate and take part in. And their hard work pays off.

I’ve seen where people are actually looked down upon if they don’t partake in these celebrations. And that only just boosts the industries so much more. To me it’s all brainwashing. What was it? Some quote I heard a while back that says if you can control a mob then you are truly in power.

Seriously. This is so sad. Just the reasoning of this day and other days like Mother’s Day and Father’s day is pathetic. Why make ONE day out of the year the day to tell your loved ones that they mean something to you?

I don’t know but to me it feels like it has become more of an obligation, a duty upon people to celebrate these days instead of something coming naturally out of them. If they loved someone why can’t they chose on their own time and whatnot to tell and show them that they love them or appreciate them?

Besides why follow the mainstream and be like everyone else? I definitely don’t want to be just another regular sheep walking behind all the others going in the same direction. No sir!

Dun Dun! ::Running About::

Posted in University in America on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 by dragonsvamp

I’ve been going to the university since the new semester started; Sunday, Monday and today. I’m finishing up last minute stuff for my applications to the universities in the states. I must say I’m really excited. I sent my transcripts to U of M about two weeks ago, so I should hear from them sometime next week.

On Sunday, I got everything together to send all my transcripts (from high school, two community colleges in California, and my university) to St. Mary’s University. It took practically all day because of the lines and stuff since students were trying to get their things done as well. At the end of the day, I went to the post office with my heavy huge envelope only to find that the computers were down and so nothing was being sent out. A big bummer I know.

That’s why I had to go to the university on Monday. I got there and sent the package off the moment I got there and then ran around trying to get stuff done for the scholarship requirements for UofM. I got my two references I needed for volunteer work and whatnot and I asked the dean of the faculty for a recommendation letter. He taught me three classes over the past two years.

He told me the information he needed and that’s why I had to go today. To give him that information.

Getting recommendation letters and stuff can be a very tedious process, I have come to find out. I’m just happy I won’t have to go to the university again till the beginning of next week to pick up the letter.

Creator ::Over 10 Years::

Posted in writing et all on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 by dragonsvamp

Well Andrew (a new blog I’m beginning to frequent) made a post, a few days ago, about when he first began writing two years ago.  He asked all his readers how we began our different journeys in writing.

So here’s my story.  I started writing when I was about seven or eight.  And the first piece of creative writing I came up with was a poem. A poem about a rock.  I have no idea why I decided to write or anything but I think it was just something spontaneous and random. Not something I planned or thought of before writing.  I just had a pencil and paper on me and since I’m not much of a drawer I just put that pencil to the paper and started writing. I wrote the poem in a few minutes and ran out to show it to my parents.  I might have touched up the memory but I remember it so clearly.  I was so proud of it and it all rhymed!

Now over ten years later (and a handful of short stories, poems, and longer stories under my belt) I must say that I am actually very happy that I do not have an original copy of it but it went something like ‘I walk, you talk, about a rock…’ You get the picture.

But that’s what I needed to spur me on to the path of writing and even if it’s only a hobby right now, I will never stop.

So if you are a writer, or have writing tendencies: Tell us what began it all?