Chapter 3 and 4 of the Stranger by Albert Camus

In completely unrelated news…yesterday I got my first paycheck from paint crew-$156.80! It honestly felt pretty good.

There is definitely a likelihood of spoilers below. 

First I have to say that today on Bloom’s Literary Reference Center, the author of the day was Chinua Achebe, and I had to spaz a little.

I’m still waiting for the senseless murder. Where is it!?! I want it now.

I actually took some initiative and read over the weekend…on my own…in my house. Usually I’m an avid reader, but when I get assigned books it turns to blech.

Chapter 3

Is there significance in the towels, which Meursault doesn’t like in the afternoon because it is soggy? Is life like a big soggy mess that every now and then gets changed out so it can be clean again, only to become moist once more?

Probably not. But you know the drill (I do not condone swearing, this is just how the picture goes):

english teachers

Though I am a fan of reading WAY too much into a book. I do think that this is one of those novels where you don’t read it for the plot line but for the message or theme behind the story. I do like those kinds of books a lot too.

And uh I hope it’s not a typo in my book, that would be awkward, but it says the sky is green. Does that mean something about the surrounding landscape, that it was lush and green and merged into the sky? That’s what I’m assuming.

The whole dog thing made me whimper, because I love my doggy (if you’ve been here before you might have seen his pictures in a previous post). Meursault and his passivity. “Celeste is always saying, ‘It’s pitiful,’ but really, who’s to say?” (Camus 27).

Meursault is so passive it’s silly. I suppose it’s to make a point about one’s place in the universe; perhaps it’s trying to point out that truly we are all passive in the order of things. That could be a good essay topic, come to think of it. Hmm…

Anyway, anyone else notice the juxtaposition of Salamano’s dog and Raymond’s mistress? At least in this chapter. To me it demonstrates the position of women, though I don’t know if that has much to do with what the author was trying to convey.

Chapter 4

This woman is silly for thinking that just because her and Meursault slept together he loved her. Silly silly Marie. Again, more of Meursault passivity when he doesn’t want to get cops because he said he doesn’t like cops, but then again, in that situation, I’m sure a lot of people would be anxious about being the one to summon the police. Funny how everyone just sort of stands there listening to the chick getting beaten.

Probably my favorite quote from the book so far.

“Raymond asked, ‘is that legal, calling a man a pimp like that?'” (Camus 36). I was in work when I was reading this and I burst out laughing.

“He thought so too, and he pointed out that the cop could do anything he wanted, it wouldn’t change the fact that she’d gotten her beating” (Camus 37). This is one of my unsolvable problems with the world. It’s like I’m helpless sometimes. I thought this was a really meaningful quote.

Aw, and then old Salamano really loves his dog. I awed in the middle of lunch break and puckered my lips like a lil puppy dog at this. So sad and cute but really mostly sad. I should read on to find out if he gets the dog back (if it’s mentioned at all again), because I really want him to get his old scabby dog back!

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Month of Motivation: Day 3

“Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward” (Victor Kiam).

Well, I can definitely say I’m moving forward. Oh and look my dog just starting throwing up in the house and, being home alone, I have to clean it. Brilliant.

Last night I was ranting, once again, about my indecision concerning quitting soccer (yes, I’m still brooding over it). I was pouring my heart out to my friend, who I’ve opened up to so much in the last couple months that he has become the person I automatically turn to. Essentially, the conversation came to him telling me that I was going to purgatory to have my eyes sewn shut with metal wire because I gain sinful pleasure from seeing others brought low. I’m going to be punished for my jealousy (his exact words were “It’s just something that is truly done to those like you”).

I have no clue what to do about that. I just started crying. At first I was scared because I thought that meant he was going to reject me for the rest of my life and that I was losing him. Now, I feel like he was a terrible person for scaring me and presenting it to me like that. He could have said it a different way. But then I started thinking about it, and I am a terrible person myself. A part of me realizes that sometimes I do take pleasure in seeing others lower than myself.

Not that I’m trying to excuse this behavior, but I think it relates to my low self esteem. I don’t want other people to be low; I just want to know that other people’s lives suck and that I’m not the only one going through crap like this. No excuse, but some sort of reasoning.

With all those conflicted emotions and crying, I didn’t go to bed until 3:30 am, waking up at 6 am for school. I still feel despondent and melancholy, and though I know it was caused by these events (I had been perfectly content all day yesterday), I’m not exactly sure what is making me the most insane and unstable about the issue. I probably could have fallen asleep around 1 am, when I had calmed down, but felt depressed and thought I kept hearing noises; fearing demons and evil spirits, I kept the light on and read or went on my laptop.

Tumblr eased the pain a little bit. It’s always the little things that reveal a minute but imperative ray of light. While perusing posts with the tag “David Tennant” (it’s hard not to be happier when thinking about that man), I found this:

tumblr beautiful dr tennant

As silly as that is, it made me feel better.

Nevertheless, going to school was a joy because I was both tired, which leads to crankiness and irritability, and hating myself as well as my “friend”, and, well, pretty much feeling anger, hatred, and depression in a jumbled mess. I still feel the same way. I almost started crying in lunch because I couldn’t recieve my yearbook; apparently they didn’t record that I bought one, so now I have to talk about this to my mom. It wasn’t a heavy issue, but it was on top of everything else, and it all piles up after awhile. After I blog I’m going to take a nap before either trying to sort through all of this or doing homework.

So, how can this day of depression have anything to do with my month of motivation?

Simple. Human emotions cannot be avoided: the month of motivation is not aimed to ignore all my issues and feign optimism. Life sucks sometimes, but you have to deal with all the problems or drown. Despite this terrible situation, I’m going to attempt strength, maybe find someone to talk to, and try to figure things out.

P.S. I don’t know if it makes a difference, but I apologize for my over-tagging.

Thank God for Dogs

Today was a fairly interesting day. The morning began when I walked downstairs and into the kitchen. My dad quietly told me to look to the door, where a little baby robin was sitting in the heart-shaped wreath hanging on our backdoor. It was simply sitting there chirping away, and every now and then it’s mama or daddy would fly over to it and feed it some worms. I sat in the kitchen enjoying the cute little scene with my dad.

Unfortunately for my mom and sister, the only thing that remained when they came downstairs for breakfast was bird poo on the door. Early risers 1, late sleepers zero.

For the first time in over a week I wrote in my journal. I have not been keeping up with my journal, mostly because I barely have enough motivation to do the obligatory mundane chores of life, like homework, chores…that’s pretty much it. I should really change that. I’ve been pretty sad lately, so I was happy to rant in my journal for a bit. I should write more tonight.

This afternoon my mom, dad, and little sister went to her soccer tournament. I wish I went, but I told them I “had things to get done”. In actuality I ended up watching the UEFA final between Bayern Munich and Dortmund in between SAT subject test practice tests for biology and world history. To my pleasure, Bayern won 2-1. So many cute Germans, so little time. Plus, I have been to Munich, great city, so many things to see and do.

Anyway, I was home alone and none of the doors were locked. I hear a knock on the door and Demon, my German Shepherd (my mom picked out the name) ran to the door, barking like crazy. It was some guy who I didn’t know who was looking down at Demon, talking to him, asking if he was going to let him in. Demon barked and barked and I bet looked pretty ferocious, because as lovable as he is, he’s still a big dog who doesn’t enjoy strangers, especially strange men. So the man walked away, and I ran upstairs to see if there was anyone else. There was another man and two little girls who all retreated into a black car that had been parked in my driveway and drove away.

Not surprisingly, this scared me, and so I went and locked all the doors before praising Demon for being such a good boy. If he hadn’t been there, well, I don’t know how sinister the men with two little girls were, but it made me feel a lot better that I had Demon there to protect me. Please enjoy a picture or two of my favorite doggy and a cute picture I must have found…er…somewhere.

103_1397a103_1272doggy

Nascar

So one of my favorite birthday cards my dad ever got was, appropriately, about Nascar. On the front it had two hillbilly-ish looking guys and a caption saying “Ever wonder how “Nascar” got its name?”. Inside the car the two hillbillies were looking at a car and their speech bubbles said, “That’s a nas car right there.” and “Yeah, a reeeaaal nas car.”

If you were to call me a redneck or hick or hillbilly for proudly proclaiming that Nascar (and racing in general) is one of my favorite all time sports (up there with soccer, and third would be hockey), I’d thank you because I have no problem with these terms.

I don’t mind, of course, when people don’t like Nascar. It’s like how I just don’t like basketball, for my own reasons (I just find it boring); everyone deserves their own opinion. I tend to get fired up and disagree, though, when people don’t consider it a sport. “Sport” is a very general term (go look it up in a dictionary, why don’t ya?), and if it can include cheerleading, it can include racing. Though they are not the quintessential example of “athlete”, they have the second best reflexes in sports, only after baseball players. They require more mental toughness than in any other sport, considering they are in a car that can reach speeds of almost 200 miles per hour (on the fastest tracks, even on the smaller tracks its still 150 or so) for hours, under the pressure of the G forces and knowing that a single move can, at best, ruin their car and put them out of the race, at worst injure them or take their life, or hurt someone else. As the commercials like to say, “Everything else is just a game”.

Honestly, my love for the sport doesn’t have any sense to it? Why would I waste a few hours just sitting, watching cars go around in a circle again, and again, and again, and again, for 200-500 miles. Essentially, that is all Nascar is.

But is so much more. There is so much engineering and technological genius that goes into these cars, that I guess people like my dad (who is a heavy equipment (crane) mechanic) can relate to. The athletes in Nascar are the most grounded, coolest guys in all of sports.  They make a fair amount, but it is far from ridiculous. They are just typical guys who love racing and cars.

I’ve watched Nascar so intently over my childhood and teenage years that I know most of the drivers by heart, and have my little preferences and inside jokes with my dad. Chad Knaus is probably one of the smartest guys around, and my dad likes to say he could have worked for NASA or something but went to Nascar instead. Whenever they talk about Juan Pablo Montoya, my family always quotes the Princess Bride and say, “I am Juan Pablo Montoya, and you killed my father; prepare to die.” Oh and it wouldn’t be a race without Sam Hornish Jr. wrecking. I’ll even admit to my crush on Trevor Bayne (if you’re out there, I love you, WAIT FOR ME. Sorry, I’m joking of course, but I couldn’t resist).

But most importantly are the wonderful ways it has affected me personally. Nascar just makes me feel good, and relaxes me (even though sometimes the suspense of those few final races kills me). When my favorite drivers win (such as when Brad Keselowski, won the championship last season), it’s as if I just won the race.  It’s exciting.  My dad, of course, works all week and sometimes Saturdays. Nothing beats Nascar season and the assuredness that he will be there watching the race on Sunday afternoon-and I can be there alongside him. We talk and joke about the race and other things too; it’s something that just brings us together, and I will always be thankful to Nascar for the wonderful experiences it has put in my life.

So, come Sunday afternoon, I will be on my couch, probably some tortillas and salsa on the table, with my dad and dog close by, watching the first race of the 2013 season of Nascar: the Daytona 500.