when i get sad


Chapter 5 of The Stranger by Albert Camus

Spoilers are presumably abundant below. 

I haven’t been keeping up with doing these blogs posts about my summer reading book (because it does help me go over the chapter, and I’ll have them to refer back to later), and because Chapter 6 is such a massive, important chapter I’ve decided to do that one on its own and do chapter 5 in a separate post.

Meursault, Meursault, Meursault, what am I to do with you? His passivity kills me sometimes. His conversation with his boss, after his boss conveys he believes life in Paris would allure Meursault, is worth re-writing.

“I said yes but that really it was all the same to me. Then he asked me if I wasn’t interested in a change of life. I said that people never change their lives, that in any case one life was as good as another and that I wasn’t dissatisfied with mine here at all” (Camus 41).

I disagree that people never change their lives; however, it demonstrates existentialism, that people do not really control their lives. As far as one life being as good as another, that is very debatable, and I’m not quite sure what to think of that statement yet.

“…I couldn’t see any reason to change my life. Looking back on it, I wasn’t unhappy. When I was a student, I had lots of ambitions like that. But when I had to give up my studies I learned very quickly that none of it really mattered” (Camus 41).

I believe the key phrase here is when he says “I wasn’t unhappy”, not “I was happy”. Similar to his passive nature, Meursault displays a contentment and “okay” attitude toward life. It might not be great or even good, but it’s not bad. The scary thing is that this sounds exactly like my one friend, and this type of attitude makes me sad.

He and Meursault are quite alike. He is very non-feeling about a lot of things. I hold happiness in the highest esteem, greater than achieving any goals of greatness, and I’m always afraid he’ll never be truly happy. I know most people aren’t truly happy, but they at least have something that makes them joyful on a regular basis-family parties, friends, hobbies, vacations, etc-and he doesn’t seem to have a lot of those. Well, that might be a lie, he does thoroughly enjoy quite a few activities. It’s just that he’s so I-don’t-care-about-myself and I-don’t-want-to-be-a-burden that I feel he’ll never pursue what he loves, which is what I think life is all about.

I’ve found lots of people have lost ambitions and dreams from their youth, and though this also makes me quite depressed, I understand it’s a part of life. Notwithstanding this, many individuals attempt to strive for the best in what they have, and my friend and Meursault are also alike in the way that they do not endeavor in this way.

Marie makes me laugh. But now I’m wondering if I’m like her in a way…

AH scary thought. No I don’t think I’d marry someone who flat out said he probably doesn’t love me. I don’t mind passivity, because I can deal with it and want to be there for my friend, but in matters of the heart, passivity is a no-no. And I don’t think my friend is like that.

Oh yes, so marriage isn’t a very big deal apparently. Didn’t these two just start hanging out?

And uh, what’s with the little old lady and Meursault following her? Stalker much? Just like, you seem someone peculiar, and your first thought is to follow them around for a bit?

More of Salamano and his sad dog story. I was squeaking throughout Meursaults life story.

Another thing that makes me sad is when people marry people and then realize they don’t really love them and end up not happy. I want so desperately to avoid this. As they say in Rent, “I’d be happy to die for a taste of what Angel had-someone to live for, unafraid to say I love you” (Larson). Yanno, hopefully death can be avoided, but I really don’t want to end up in one of those marriages.

I really wonder if Meursault truly feels guilt for having to put Maman in a home. I mean, like he states, it’s the reasonable and proper thing to do, and I completely understand that. But to me it sounds like a situation similar to having to put your dog down-you know it’s what you have to do, but you really don’t want to do it and feel sad about it. I mean, considering his personality, I doubt he does, but I like to ponder.

And now, to end the chapter with one of the saddest quotes ever,

“He [Salamano] gave a little smile, and before he left he said, ‘I hope the dogs don’t bark tonight. I always think it’s mine'” (Camus 46).

Insert doggy sadness here. Any thoughts about the book or any of the quotes or whatever is always welcomed.

MOM Day 29-Inspirational Songs

“Music can change the world because it can change people” (Bono). 

I’d like to share a couple songs that have helped me through times of doubt. Whenever I’m upset or stressed or afraid of failure, this songs help me to keep pushing forward.

This first song, “Determinate”, yes, is from the Disney channel movie “Lemonade Mouth”. Not a fan of the movie, but this song is one of my favorite songs to work out to. I think this year for soccer, when we do our timed 2 mile run, this is going to be my last song on my playlist, sort of as a “hurry up you’re almost out of time” warning. It just puts me in a good move, and I’ll probably be dancing to it as I run.

Second is “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World. No lie my sister and I discovered this song playing guitar hero for the DS. But it makes me remember that, even if I’m not where I want to be now, work is in progress. It doesn’t matter what other people think or say as long as I’m working toward my goals and making myself happy.

Last is probably the most important song of the trio, “Drive” by Incubus. Again, funny story about how I discovered the song…I was watching Kendall Schmidt’s covers on YouTube and he did this song. This is especially imperative to overcoming my self-doubt and fear of failure. I could not be positive and optimistic without the aid of this song. I don’t know how else to express how beloved this song is to me.

MOM Day 21: Why I Love Kids

Today ended surprisingly well notwithstanding a rough start. Tonight was my little sister’s 8th grade advancement, and after the ceremony I worked out then watched TV with my mom and dad. Then my mom proceeded to recall a story that a woman in her work had told them that day, which I found both adorable and motivational.

Apparently the woman’s 7 year old son has an oovoo, and of course my first thought was why on earth does a 7 year old need an oovoo? Anyway, one day she was eavesdropping on his video call, like all good mothers would, and heard him say, “I don’t know”, and then a second time, with more force, “I don’t know!”.

Then he said “because my mom said so!”. Well the mom was of course about to cry, mostly because this meant her son actually listened to her. I was personally moved by his next comment.

“My mommy said that you can’t tell if someone is beautiful until you get to know who they are!”

Honestly, I “awwwed” at this, and silently prayed that when/if I have children, I can instill a similar sentiment in their minds. If a little kid can understand this concept, why can’t we all?

Always the Simple Things

Time to be cliche again. I can’t help it sometimes.

Lately I’ve been “depressed”. I don’t want to say simply depressed because I doubt that its serious or clinical depression, it’s only been a few days, but the past few days have been pretty rough. No significant change to my life, but old problems I’ve tried to avoid have been catching up with me, and thoughts I’ve previously put to the back of my mind crept to the forefront of my consciousness once more.

It started with a dream. I dreamt I was supposed to go back to Austria, with all the same people from this summer, and words can literally not describe the joy I felt in that dream. Then, I missed the flight, and woke up. I knew it was just a dream, but I couldn’t help but allow old thoughts and fears to return to me. When I first came back from Austria, I was afraid I was never going to have an experience as great as that. I hate growing up and want to stay this age forever, because as much as I want to experience new things I cannot let the past go (easily at least).

Things just seemed to spiral after that. For about five or six days, I woke up every morning with a terrible sickness in my stomach that reminded me how seemingly pathetic my life was. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go back to soccer because I feel like I don’t fit in, and I envied my friends who had extracurricular activities where they felt they were among family. I was feeling insecure about my relationships with my family and friends, and was angry that only one could see how depressed I was (which was false, because my parents did ask me what was wrong, and my friend noticed my icky thinking face during school and looked concerned). Everything agitated me and I hated everything.

Today a few things happened. My friend took an interest in what was wrong. An assignment I wasn’t sure if I had written well was praised by my teacher-not just praised, exalted. Her exact words were “Yow!” and she asked if she could cite it for her next class. I went to an after school teacher competition and just had fun, and felt the rush of true competition, even though I wasn’t participating.

But the most important thing was coming home, where my dad was watching old vintage country music videos. Lately I’ve taken a liking to old country. The song that came on immediately was Billy Dean’s “Billy the Kid”, about missing the innocence of childhood. You would think this would deepen my depression, but it didn’t.

It made me realize that everyone goes through growing up and leaving old things behind for new adventures. Everyone loses their innocence and childhood. Everyone has to go through this, and that means I also have to. However, this means that I’m not alone, and whatever issues I have to go through, someone is always going to be there to help me, or to understand what I’m going through.

“We’re dying in America,

at the end of the millennium. 

We’re dying in America 

to come into our own. 

And when you’re dying in America,

at the end of the millenium

you’re not alone; 

I’m not alone. “

-RENT (Larson)


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.

Fizzled out?

Fizzled out? NOPE. Just Chuck Testa.

Well, recently it seems that not as many people have been discovering or reading my blog. But this isn’t gonna be a whining post begging people to start commenting and reading and following.

Throughout my comparably short life, I’ve grown up as a writer, very slightly each year. I used to be terrified to share my work. Some of my work I still won’t share, but I’m less afraid now. In addition, I welcome criticism, because there are only two things it can really do to me: it can make me a better writer or make me laugh because I don’t think they are wrong-I know they are wrong.

It’s only criticism, and just like in everything else in reality, people aren’t always going to agree with you or like what you do.  But that’s a huge part of being a writer, being able to continue to write…and write…and write, even if no one likes it. Writers have to have a certain degree of confidence in themselves in order to make it, and lately I’ve been trying to soak up as much confidence as I can get. I’ve come to believe that a true writer writes simply for the joy of it, and no one should lose touch with that.

On a completely unrelated note, I’m about to embark in NaNoWriMo Month, which is National Novel Writing Month, in which participants pledge to try to write an entire novel (i forget the word minimum) within the month of November. This is great for me because I never have the motivation to write most of my stories, and now I have some.

So wish me luck, and Happy Halloween to anyone out there reading this. =D