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August 11th, 2009

06:47 pm - Reading List

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?

Copy this into your NOTES. Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read. Tag other book nerds.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte - X
4 Harry Potter series
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee - X
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte - X
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell - X
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - X

Total: 5

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott - X
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller- X
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier - X
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien -
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger-X
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger - X
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

Total: 4

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell - X
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald - X
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky - X
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck - X
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll - X
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame - X

Total: 6

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens - X
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis - X
34 Emma-Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis - X
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hossein - X
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

Total: 4

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell - X
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - X
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding - X
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

Total: 3

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens - X
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley - X
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Light - Mark Haddon - X
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Total: 3

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck - X
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov - X
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold - X
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas - X
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac - X
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding - X
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville - X

Total: 6

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens - X
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker - X
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt

Total: 2

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens - X
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker - X
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert - X
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White - X
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom - X
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle -X
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

Total: 6

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad - X
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas - X
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl - X
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo - X

Total: 3

Complete Total: 42!

^ A reading list to complete...my goals are the books that lack an X!
Current Location: Husband's house
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: The news

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July 18th, 2009

01:35 pm - A Real Post
It's a rainy day this Saturday afternoon as the end of July draws near. To my left I can see Lucy sleeping in total comfort directly below the window, where three tall trees against the white wall of our neighbor's building reveal that the rain is falling at a thirty degree angle from the 1 o'clock position. It's been quiet all morning with my husband, Manuel, at work since 7 am. I slept in as late as possible, until about 10/10:30 when the last of a few too many disturbing dreams awoke me at last. I pondered the possibility that anything in the dream might be real; by the time that I convinced myself it was no more than a figment of my sub-concious worries, however, it became obvious that sleep was not going to bless me with its presence any more this morning.

So I got up, ate the second half of my Subway sandwich with the left-over rice&pasta, Colombia-style, from the other day. The silence proved too perfect an opportunity for some much-needed written self-expression to resist. Manuel has been insistent that we spend every second of every day that we're not working together, and he has this terrible inability to keep quiet for any length of time. Either he's talking, listening to music, or watching some video on his computer. The constant reminder of his company is comforting, and I love to be around him; but sometimes I need silence to let my thoughts wander freely throughout my brain. I'm a naturally brooding person who needs a chance to ponder once in a while. Damn it!

With school over now and an abundance of free-time on my hand, ideas for things to write have been flying into my mind almost constantly. All day every day I make tiring efforts to remember all that occurs to me so as to be able to get it down the next time I'm at a computer with a few hours to kill.

Naturally, I have just such an occasion today, but I feel like using the time for other writings. Much like the aged athlete must work his way back to previous form slowly through increasingly difficult sessions, so too must I re-begin at a moderate pace with meager accomplishments. Today is simply warming up the brain, and re-adjusting the fingers to the task of typing on this old keyboard for hours straight. Not that they ever became unaccustomed, thanks to essays in English and History that were being typed as little as two months ago plus numerous resume editions/cover letters this past week; but now they can type with ease, for the pleasure of feeling the way they glide across the keys in an uneven yet smooth manner. It's a relief, finally, not to have to worry about spelling, grammar, or accuracy--in my own world where lax rules reign, the point is to get the idea recorded before it's forgotten. It can always be edited for quality conveyance at a later date!

I'm looking forward to spending the entire day tomorrow with my husband. We both have the day completely off from work and appointments. We can sleep in, relax, and enjoy the entwined nature of our lives. We will probably run if the weather is nice, and make love if Manuel feels recovered from the cold he contracted this week. Hell, even if he doesn't!! He's such a horny little man; and I love it!

My mom also wanted to get together this weekend because she has my tax information and I have her cooler. I will probably call her later today to see what we can arrange.

For now I think I'm going to lay down on the couch for a moment and enjoy the peaceful essence of this lazy afternoon. I have no obligations, for once, except that I have to work tonight at 8. For once I'm not dreading it. It's simply a fact I acknowledge that I have to shower eventually and leave the apartment this evening.

Well, that would be all on this end for now. Ta-ta!!!
Current Mood: lazylazy
Current Music: None

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11:06 am - Reflections on college, as composed by Hellen Keller in her autobiography:

"Gradually I began to learn that there were disadvantages to going to college. The one I felt and still feel most is lack of time. I used to have time to think, to reflect, my mind and I. We would sit together of an evening and listen to the inner melodies of the spirit, which one only hears in leisure moments when the words of some loved poet touch a deep, sweet chord in the soul that until then had been silent. But in college there is no time to commune with one's thoughts. One goes to college to learn, it seems, not to think. When one enters the portals of learning, one leaves the dearest pleasures--solitude, books, and imagination--outside with the whispering pines. I supposed I ought to find some comfort in the thought that I am laying up treasures for future enjoyment, but I am improvident enough to prefer present joy to hoarding riches against a rainy day.
'For, after all, everyone who wishes to gain true knowledge must climb the Hill Difficulty alone, and since there is no royal road to the summit, I must zigzag it in my own way. I slip back many times, I fall, I stand still, I run against the edge of hidden obstacles, I lose my temper and find it again and keep it better, I trudge on, I gain a little, I feel encouraged, I get more eager and climb higher and begin to see the widening horizon. Every struggle is a victory. One more effort and I reach the luminous cloud, the blue depths of the sky, the uplands of my desire.
'There are, however, times when I long to sweep away half the things I am expected to learn; for the overtaxed mind cannot enjoy the treasure it has secured at the greatest cost. When one reads hurriedly and nervously, having in mind written tests and examinations, one's mind becomes encombered with a lot of choise bric-a-brac for which there seems to be little use. At the present time my mind is so full of heterogeneous matter that I despair of ever being able to put it in order. Whenever I enter the region that was the kingdom of my mind I feel like the proverbial bull in the china shop. A thousand odds and ends of knowledge come crashing about my head like hailstones, and when I try to escape them, themegoblins and college nixies of all sorts pursue me, until I wish--oh, may I be forgiven the wicked wish!--that I might smash the idols I came to worship."

Many, if not all, of my creative writing instructors have advised mimicking the styles of other authors in order to learn the intricacies of their style and acquire their profetic talents. Indeed, many other types of artists--painters, for example, I know do this--usually sit in art musems and create exact replicas of famous works in much the same manner.

I admire Hellen Keller not for her handi-caps that she overcame, but for the accomplishments she realized that make my heart pound with envy. She mastered five languages: English, German, French, Latin, and Greek, which she used to read some of the most profound and influential literature of those cultures in their native tongue. I couldn't be more jealous! I always feel a rush of shame whenever someone asks me "How many languages do you know?" and I can only grumblingly reply two: Spanish and English. How embarrassing! What a sin! It makes me ashamed to use my Spanish. It's the ONLY other language I know, I should be completely fluent, right? No accent, no lack of vocabulary, no misunderstandings or misspeakings...only perfection! And yet, lack of perfection is so natural as to be acceptable, even defined optimistically in academic terms as "variation" in one's native language. It's not fair.

To a certain degree I also envy Hellen's luck to have been born to a wealthy family, for surely she would not  have enjoyed the same privledges and thus succeeded to the degree that she did without the opportunities available to her through purchase from her parents' coin purse. At the same, however, I feel conflicted; although she was lucky to have inherited the financial status that her parents enjoyed, they only provided the means for her success. They may have sponsored a great car, but her driving won the Indy 500. It is thanks only to the fruits of her firey ambition, desire to excel, refusal to except defeat, and hours of manual labor that she was able to realize the opportunities her parents' dimes afforded her.

Which creates a personal dilemma. Do I press the anger on my resentment, like pressing a pot on the stove to make the water boil faster, or do I admire and take notes, like jotting down a family recipe that's just too good to be forgotten?

Instead of either of those routes, each of which I consider incorrect and incomplete, respectively, I think I'm going to take after the example my grandmother laid out for me. She was always vivaciously positive about everything. She never directly preached on this, but her exhuberance made it clear that she believed a beaming smile could solve any problem. In other words, I have chosen to consider Hellen Keller's example as one that demonstrates the achievements that can be obtained by the nonable-bodied if given the same opportunities as those people who lack handicaps. Our society tends to think of the handicapped as "broken" people, human beings who have somehow failed or been struck as if for punishment. I firmly believe that these members are  every bit as valuable as their able-bodied counter-parts, which would become immediately more obvious if we made our society more accessible for everyone.

Georgia Kleene, a talented writer who also happens to be blind, once made a comment quoted in a newspaper article that I read. As I have since lost the article, I cannot remember the exact quote, but it was something to the effect of "changes made for the disabled usually benefit the non-disabled population as well." Her example was wheel chair ramps: created for those who cannot step over the curb at a street corner, but also benefitial to people pushing strollers.
I have heard of a tendency that hearing parents possess to cry when they find out their child is deaf, or hard of hearing. I've never understood this. Me, personally, I never wanted to speak English. Eventually I mastered the skill out of necessity to communicate with my like-peers. Now I am fully bilingual between Spanish and English, a talent my parents are incredibly proud of. At least from my vantage point as a student of linguistics, I have trouble comprehending how the case is any different for a deaf child who must learn sign language, not out of any particular desire to be "different" so much as a natural means of expressing himself or herself to others? Why not excitement from hearing parents at the prospect that their children have the opportunity to be bilingual, just as I am? I would like to stress here that I am not criticizing any parents for their natural reaction; it can definitely be a scary thought to imagine not being able to communicate with your own child. I would simply like to pose the questions as a new way of considering the situation. A different vantage point, which will hopefully replace the tears with smiles and pride.

At this juncture I would like to beg the forgiveness of those with handi-caps that are not physical, or visible to the naked eye; I'm sure you must be fuming at me. Please accept my sincerest apologies, as I have not intended to leave you out. Much like the flags on a castle that ultimately receive all the attention and affection as the symbol of what that eddifice stands for, so, too, they cannot be added until the foundation of the castle is built sturdy and complete. I suppose when you add that category of disability to the mix, I technically become disabled as well due to my struggles with depression. Similarly I think one would be hard-pressed to find anyone who isn't "normal" given the addition of this new set of qualifications.

But then again, what is "normal"? Is beauty normal? If so, then what constitutes beauty? When one follows this line of reasoning, and really starts to consider seriously who is normal and why, it starts to become abundantly clear that normal is simply a label, an opinion. And, as Hellen Keller herself once said in her autobiography, "There are as many opinions as there are men". Suddenly the "natural" sense of who is normal and what is desireable becomes so chopped up and blended together that it becomes a tasty smoothy, rich with the flavors of strawberry, banana, raspbery, and blueberry, yet no single sense can determine where each fruit ends and the other begins.
Current Mood: contentcontent
Current Music: "Sailing"--it takes me away

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June 26th, 2009

07:31 am - Hurt. Betrayal. That oh-too-familiar burning puffiness in the eyes from crying all night
Ryan and I got in a big fight last night over moving out, and I'm pretty sure we're not really friends anymore. Which I think is bullshit that he can just throw away 7 years of friendship over something so petty. I would have though that he of all people would have had the capacity to feel just the tiniest bit of sympathy to understand my finanacial situation right now. I can't believe he's really become so selfish and money-consumed to the point that he is blinded by how much this is screwing HIM over that he can't fathom that I wouldn't do this unless it was absolutely the last possibility and I had no other options.

Lindsay and I are still terrific friends with Kimberly, even though she technically screwed us both over by ditching us as roommates and Lucy as a pet in order to go to Russia to study abroad. Were we pissed? Yes. Did that SERIOUSLY complicate our lives? Yes. But our friendship was bigger and stronger than to tarnish it by ripping her a new one for it. It was the best decision for her; and we remain friends to this day. Looking back on that today, I'm more overwhelmed that Ryan couldn't for one second feel the same way considering everything we've been through, whereas I had only known Kimberly for about 2 years and Lindsay just a matter of months!!!! ,,m vvvvvvvvvvvvv bbbbbbbb

Soooo, Lucy and I are here all moved in into Manuel's place, as you the reader can see (above). I can't believe he actually sank to the dastardly level of threatening Lucy! She's just an animal, and innocent creature who has no fault for any of the precarious situation her owner is in. That savage! What was he planning, to throw her out in the monstrous thunderstorm that was ripping through Columbus yesterday?!??! Some animal lover he is! Even to be able to think of such a threat is just dispicable. I didn't say "Take care of Lucy" in the note...just that I would be back for her in a few days once I got provisions to take care of her!!!!

I want to write about it some more later, but I can't right now. I feel like I can't muster the energy...sooo tired from not sleeping last night, and still overwhelmed with the disbelief that he could be such a bastard, hurt, angry, and sad.

I figured it would be more respectful to leave if I couldn't afford to pay, rather than stick around and dain to enjoy the room and amenities for free. Is that what we would actually prefer???

If he really doesn't care at all for me, then I guess he's just not somebody that I want to continue being friends with anyway. Fucking racist snob asshole
Current Mood: depressedin mourning
Current Music: "My Girl" by the Jackson Five--RIP MJ

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June 19th, 2009

01:16 am - Marriage License
^ I got one today, bitches!!!! I am soon to become Megan McLeish-Morales, eternally wed to one Manuel Alfonso McLeish-Morales. It seems like an occasion to write, as this moment does not come many times in one's life. Or does it???

I don't have much profound to say. He's not the "dream come true"; It wasn't "love at first sight"; we're not "head over heals" for one another. And for that, I'm grateful. I've been on those rides before, and they were NOT fun. Jerky, painful, twisting in all the wrong places and ways. Manuel is smooth, dependable, predictable, yet exciting. He fulfills my fantasies without me ever having to lay them out for him in an explicit manner. He's fun, funny, and likes my sense of humor. It always feels good to make someone else laugh--especially when you can do it pretty much on command! :) And he makes me laugh too. Plus, we just have a shit-ton in common: Music, food, taste, morals, general religious philosophy (WHY we believe what we believe), values, goals, alcoholic beverages...the list goes on and on! I decided that I consider common ground the most important aspect of any long-term relationship if it's going to be successful. Each person has to like the same things as the other person and enjoy the same pasttimes as the other person. No wonder sites such as eHarmony are gaining more and more popularity every day!

Actually, no, I take that back. The most important aspect of our relationship is that I'm just HAPPY. All the time. Without much effort! We just...make each other happy.

Under other circumstances, I probably wouldn't consider myself "in love", at least not enough to settle down and get married; however, given my dating history I would say that this is the closest I can expect to get, and I'm more than incredibly grateful and appreciative to have found such a wonderful man who wants to be with me. Every once in awhile I still catch myself waiting for him to turn into the asshole I'm used to dating, half-tempted to pinch myself in case it's one long-ass dream or a very realistic figment of my imagination. He is everything that I have ever wanted in a man, and then some. Bilingual between English and Spanish, taller than me but not too tall, motivated, sexsi, sexual (his appetite for boning almost tops my own!), yet responsible, drug-free, faithful, honorable. He respects me as a person as well as for my intellectual capacity, which is a refreshing breath of fresh air.

Gahhhh, I could go on and on but I suppose that's enough for one night. Especially when I'm so out of shape for such marathons!!! So long livejournal...we'll be in touch.
Current Location: The living room of my soon-to-be-ex-apartment
Current Mood: flirtyengaged
Current Music: The neighbors are playing standard party music...

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March 29th, 2009

04:15 am - These lines of lightning mean we're never alone...
What the fuck does that even mean by the way?????

"I sacrificed the things I wanted just to do things for you
But when it's time to do the same for me
You never come thru" (Karma by Alicia Keys)

Story of my life bytheway there...

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative

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November 7th, 2008

01:27 am - Sex in the City
I am currently in Houston, Texas.

I have a theory that any woman can relate any relationship to one that has been depicted on the show...Sex in the City. At first I thought Manuel was my Berger. You know, the cutie pie that you connect with really well on the talking/personal connection-level that never really goes anywhere. But now I think he might be my Aidan: the guy that you could totally be with but won't because Idk...there is no reason!!!!

(Megan, you need to quit being so drunk. You're not making any sense! You are such a hot mess,



EDIT: Turns out he is my Big: the one you're destined to be with, no matter how many ups and downs the relationship suffers
Current Location: Houston, TX
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: the beginning of Seinfeld in the background

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October 24th, 2008

11:36 pm - "Life" "plans"
It's official: If I don't get accepted to the program at Indiana University, I'm going to kill myself. That's a perfectly accepted time/reason for doing it....My liiiiife will be overrrrrrr oh wahh, whoa is me!

Seriously though, there is no happiness. It just isn't there. And it's never going to be there, ever. For any reason, at any time. I'm just sick of suffering

I'd rather feel nothing than feel pain any more.

Goodnight. That is all

Current Mood: depresseddepressed
Current Music: Baracuda--Guitar Hero

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June 24th, 2008

07:23 pm - It feels weird taking advice from a penny...
My counselor had me flip a coin today to see what I should do about Nic: heads I stay on to continue helping him out, tails I pull out and focus on myself.

It landed pull-out-and-focus-on-myself-side-up.

Only here will I confess that I do still love him. I wish I could fix him so things could work out between us, but I've really learned that is not now nor will it ever be a possibility. Even his own brother is going to start ignoring his calls, maybe even change his numbers so that Nic will stop calling him. Sound familiar?

But somehow it just feels wrong, turning my back on him and the animals. Especially Lucy. Especially now that I know nobody else is willing to step up and take over my role as care-taker. I'm not suggesting anyone who SHOULD be the one stepping up. I understand everyone has a life he or she is trying to live, and Nic won't listen to anybody but his own thoughts. I just hope he's okay. I wish him the best. You all should know I don't pray, but I'm going to pray for his safety as well as that of my kittum and the other animals. There's nothing else I can do at this point.

*Le sigh* :( God speed, little man! You will always have a special place in this heart of mine.
Current Location: In bed, watching the Reds take one in the ass. AGAIN.
Current Mood: drainedhungover
Current Music: Silence is deafening

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June 1st, 2006

05:02 pm - Parents.
A lot of people bitch about theirs, and I'll admit mine haven't done the best job.

But seriously people, fathom raising a child.

Some day you're going to be parents too, and you'll realize how hard it is. Meet them halfway, for fuck's sake. If they're overbearing and crazy, it's because they love you. Think about all the stupid shit you've done in your life...they've probably done it too. They don't want you to make the same mistakes. They don't want to lose you. They don't want you to take stupid risks. They just want you to succeed, and make them proud.

Next person I catch bitching about their parents I'ma pimp smack 'em into next Tuesday...
Current Mood: gratefulgrateful
Current Music: library chatter...

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