Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Fear

Think back to when you were seven years old. Your stupid aunt Kathy would ask you the same question every time she came to visit: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Some kids say astronaut. Some say firefighter. Some say "Corporate Shareholder in a Fortune 500 company." For the most part I said that I didn't know. When stupid aunt Kathy (yes, "stupid" is actually apart of her name) insisted that I give a real answer then I would shoot out the first thing I thought would shut her up. Doctor. Judge. Ballerina. You get the picture.

As you grow up you start to get a picture of yourself. Your decisions in life shape who you turn out to be. As time goes on you start to get closer and closer to knowing what you don't want to be. But the ever elusive answer to the question stupid aunt Kathy used to ask me is still unknown. Maybe she was right to start questioning me all those years ago, because here I am, about to sail out of adolescence and I still have no idea. Should we go ahead and blame stupid aunt Kathy for my over analyzing and paranoia?

Stupid aunt Kathy you B!%&@#! Thanks for setting me up for another 20 years of psychosis.

I hate her.

Where were we?

Ah yes, we were discussing my quarter-life crisis.

Anyway, I'm experiencing what many other people my age are going through: The Fear. The Fear is the state of mind that burrows itself deep in the freaking cerebellum when you realize that people expect you to be a grown up now. Between thinking about school, work, bills, housing, relationships, insurance, and general life-coping skills, I start to panic and wonder how bad sleeping in my parents basement for the next thirty years could really be. My uncle Paul did it and he turned out just fine. He only went to prison a couple of times!

I think back to that the question stupid aunt Kathy used to ask me and my answer hasn't changed in the last 13 years. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

At least I"ve still got spunk.

-Ellie

P.S. I just realized that this whole post is reminiscent of a certain graduation speech given in a recent movie. I guess confusion is a rampant theme in young adult life.


P.S.S. I know exactly what you're feeling after reading this. I think Rhett Butler said it best: "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Blogging The Hunget Games: Part 2 (B)

I know that, for the most part, I like to kid around. I'm the girl who makes a (crappy) joke when she has just fallen out of a tree and broken her arm. And I won't disappoint! I will deliver badly timed, wanna-be comedy, in about 3 1/2 minutes. But before we get to it....

These chapters brought up some interesting questions about love and sacrifice. Katniss' plight in this book really makes you think. She will gladly give up her life in exchange for her sister Prim's. But what about the rest of the stuff she has to do?

If someone asked you, "Would you die for your little sister?" what would you say? Being an older sister myself, I would say, "That's a stupid question. So how do you wanna do this? Should I close my eyes or what? Also, can you tell Alice that if I'm gonna die for her, I request that "A Pocket Full of Sunshine" by Natasha Beddingfield be played at my funeral? You know, for irony's sake!"

But what if someone said, "Would you kill innocent people for your little sister?"

I'm not exactly saying no, but I would definitely hesitate. Where's the line? At what point is the sacrifice for someone you love too great? At one person? Two? Ten? I would literally walk through hell itself for my sister. But what about someone else's little sister? Somewhere out there, there is a girl who loves her little sister as much as I love mine. Would I be willing to kill the object of someone else's love to keep mine intact? And say that my answer to that last question was yes. How many people's little sisters would I be willing to harm before it was too much?

When does Alice's life stop being the most important thing to consider? Does that point even exist?

In our society -well all of them really- we place a great deal of importance on the individual versus the whole. Each life is not equal. The worth of a life is in the eye of the beholder.

So how many lives is your loved one worth?

Blogging The Hunger Games: Part 2


Chapters 2&3
Title: "Suzanne, You Beeaach, You Lied To Me"

Dear Suzanne,
First of all, let me just say that I'm a huge fan! Second, What the heck were you thinking? How could you lie to me like that? I was all ready for Prim to go into the Hunger Games since we don't really need her. Then, Katniss was supposed to use her powers of sabotage and subterfuge (and possibly x-ray vision) to destroy to entire Capitol. Now I'm stuck reading a chapter that keeps making my dog cry. (I certainly did not leave that puddle of tears on my pillow.) Don't get me wrong, you're still a genius, and are poised to become the next Author-Turned-Billionaire. Next time, though, kill off the right person.

Thanks-a-million,
Ellie


So this part of the book starts off with Katniss realizing that Prim's name has been called to enter the competition as a tribute. The chances were I in a million but it happened. ThunderKat pushes her little sister back and runs up in her place as a volunteer. She, in essence, volunteers to die for her sister. The lump in my throat becomes so large that I need to hear Miley Cyrus say that she is "Deeper than most people," to get myself laughing again.


Noooooooooooooooooooo! Katniss don't go. Just get a bow and arrow and slaughter all your foes right here, right now! I can't believe this is happening. I haven't been this sad since they killed off Charlie on Lost.

Since the Capitol forces everyone to treat this as an honor and not a Death March, it is customary that the crowd claps after a tribute is chosen. The crowd, though, is dead silent. It's a silent move that says that what is happening to the girl in front of them is wrong. That they don't condone it. Then, in her own words, "...a shift has occurred since I stepped up to take Prim's place...At first one, then another, then almost every member of the crowd touches the three middle fingers of their left hand to their lips and holds it out to me. It's an old and rarely used gesture of our district, occasionally used at funerals. It means thanks. It means admiration. It means goodbye to someone you love."

Uh, can you hold on a second? My face seems to be leaking. I don't think this is normal. All the leakage just drowned my basement. Crying? No! I just have spastic tear ducts; its a medical condition!

After I picked myself off of the ground, quieted my sobs, and finished my second round of "Hush Little Baby," I continued reading.

They announce the male tribute and it's Peeta Mellark. Yes, he has a stupid name. Yes it's joining Katniss and Chip on the "Names I Like Less Than Spot But More Than Gunther" list. But I'll give him a chance.

Katniss doesn't know him well, but recognizes him for a kindness he showed her when they were younger. Once, when Katniss was about to starve to death, she was rummaging through the trash cans behind the bakery. The Baker's wife told her to get lost. But the Baker's son, Peeta, burned two large loaves of bread on purpose so he would be told to give them to the pig. He was beaten badly for his "clumsiness" but that enabled him to feed Katniss and keep her alive. *Que a round of 'Awwwwws'* She never got to say thank you and didn't think the words would be appropriate now that she was going to try to slit his throat.

Ah, a book where you must die in place of your sissy poo while simultaneously trying to kill the reason you're alive. Good Times! I'm glad the subject matter isn't too deep!

This book is the shiz...and by the shiz, I mean it's awesomesauce...and by awesomesauce, I mean it's bombtastic...and by bombtastic, I mean it's on a groove train to Razzle Dazzle City. I'm thinking about drawing the cover of the book on my forehead in Crayola marker to represent my commitment to the book. (Which is, strong and slightly embarrassing, but not permanent.) That or decorating my room in weaponry and animal corpses. It's a little macabre, but it's so Katniss. I looove that Ms. Collins made our protagonist a killer of fuzzy creatures. She had me at "bow and arrow."


Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go to the local Sheriff's Department and YMCA and explain why my sudden interest in archery is in no way connected to the random attack of the school bully via arrow.


Prediction: I still hold to my last prediction that Katniss learns she has super powers and that she kicks the peacekeepers in the groins using a roundhouse kick that would made Chuck Norris wince.


-Ellie


P.S. If you're thinking of bringing up to your Barista that the reason she's writing Katniss on your cup is because you're honorarily named after the girl "who shoots bunnies in the eye," she may or may not call resteraunt security. Or undercover task-force. Whatevs.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blogging The Hunger Games: Part 1

So as you may have guessed from the title, I will be blogging my way through The Hunger Games. I haven't smelled this kind of fervor since Twilight graced us with it's stench. So, as it is about to be a pop culture phenomenon, I figured I would use The Hunger Games as my next blogging adventure.

My thoughts before reading: Last time someone told me I was in for "an amazing book" they handed me a gigantic book about touching faces with an old, cold, homicidal man. Needless to say I have my doubts about this.
Also, this girl has my last name. So, if she turns out to be cool I can tell people we're sisters. (Nobody will think that it's weird, don't worry.) Is it just me, or does she have kind of a stupid name? That's okay, I have a friend named Chip.

Hey Chip! I think we found someone to bump you down to number two on the "Names that I like less than Spot but more than Gunther" list.

With that in mind, lets press on. Shall we?

Part 1- "The Tributes"
Chapter 1- Well look at that, they don't have titles! Should I make one up? Okay then:
"Katniss 'ThunderKat' Everdeen."

At the start of the book we are introduced to a girl who, doesn't say her name yet, but I assume is Katniss Everdeen. She says she has one sister named Primrose (Her name isn't going on the list, I like it) and a mom. She gets up from bed and the first thing she does is put on her hunting boots.

Whoa! Stop everything! In the last cultural phenomenon novel I read, the first thing the heroine did after getting out of bed was whine about the green, leafy plants that plagued the view from her window. But Katniss is waking up...and preparing to KILL ASSORTED LIFE FORMS? Oh. My. God. Hey Katniss! Um can I call you Kat? Wanna be best friends? If you promise not to kill me, I'll let you win at Super Mario Brothers. I'm willing to do that because I already know that you are wicked awesome.

The next four paragraphs show me that not only am I in for a good story but that my new life ambition is to become Katniss Everdeen. Of course, i say this because I'm comparing it the the last cultural phenomenon novel (which will now be abbreviated to LCPN). In the LCPN, 4 paragraphs taught me that the heroine (if you can call it that) whines. A lot. In four paragraphs with this girl I learn:
In paragraph 1: She hunts
In paragraph 2: She sneaks, ILLEGALLY, under an electrified fence.
In paragraph 3: Her dad died in a mine explosion and now, I'm assuming, she does all the hunting in his place.
In paragraph 4: Her weapon is a bow and arrow.

Maybe you didn't hear me. She kills things with a freaking BOW AND ARROW. I just KNEW Legolas had a long lost sister. She might as well be a Silvan Elf. Why doesn't this book just go on forever?

Okay so she goes out hunting on a day called "The Reaping." She meets her friend Gale in the woods and they start hunting together. Gale, as it turns out, is just as awesome as Katniss. They both hunt to feed their families and take care of business. It is at this point where I started making them capes to wear. After hunting and trading their kill on the black market at a place called The Hobb, they both go home. (If this girl gets any more BA I think the book will be too hot to hold.)

Right before this happens, though, we learn some more details about life in The Seam. Apparently they are so poor that you can trade a tessara of grain in exchange for having your name entered into the drawing for what I assume is the Hunger Games more than it already is. Katniss, who supports her whole family, has her name in 20 times and Gale has his in 42. I guess this is bad. Worse than Heidi Montag's new face.

Yada yada yada they go to the reaping yada yada yada. Then the history of the Hunger Games is read and things get juicy. The Sparknotes version is that there was once 13 districts in the country Panem, ruled from the Capitol. But the rulers were Douche bags so the thirteenth district tried to rebel. Then the Capitol was like, "Oh no you didn't beeyotches," and had them annihilated. So now, since the Capitol has control issues, they make each district send one boy and one girl to participate in The Hunger Games. Over several weeks all 24 kids must participate in a fight to the death. Last person to not get slaughtered, wins.

Oh my. This book is too legit to quit. I just gave it it's own spot on my bed. And a plush new book cover. I wonder if I should sing to it. It deserves a parade.

On the last page, I expect Katniss to be called. I'm about to snicker at the predictability of an otherwise mind-blowing first chapter. I get ready to give myself a pat on the back, but then it shocks me.

They call her little sister, Primrose Everdeen.

Suzanne, you saucy minx! You had me fooled! I thought Katniss was going!

At first I thought, whatevs; someones gotta die. Might as well be the one who doesn't traverse the district, brandishing a bow and arrow (whilst flying?). But then I thought about it. Kat (Again, can I call you Kat) loves her sis more than anything. Kat described her as an angel and as being only 12. I've also decided that she looks like Dakota Fanning in "I Am Sam." What if it were my sister?

My heart just fell through my butt.

So in review:
Bleak dystopian setting...check.
Upcoming bloodbath...check.
BA heroine with BA weapons...check.
Box of Wheat Thins...check

Prediction: Katniss dons her homemade cape and decides enough is enough. She takes her bow and arrow and kills every Peace Keeper in sight. Somehow, her awesomeness permeates the air and Robocop and the Green Lantern Corps show up to defeat the Capitol. The peacekeepers now participate in the Hunger Games. Katniss learns that she can shape shift/fly/see through walls.

-Ellie

P.S. I'm so glad I made these capes in an aerodynamic fashion. Im getting almost no wind-drag while running down the street. I wish my neighbors would put their phones down and stop looking at me so suspiciously. Do you hear sirens?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

We've All Been There


It happens to the best people. They do nice things all day and expect for karma to give them a pat on the back when they get home at night. But no. Karma is on vacation, so that nice person is in for a craptastic evening.

The set up is always the same. The girl gets in bed after a long day and gets ready for the sleep fairy to pay her a visit. She gets under her over-priced blanket and starts to anticipate all of the lovely dreams she will have. But all is not well in Beddy-Bye-Land. Because something bad will happen in 3...2...1.

Our heroine realizes she is thirsty.

I know, right? But it doesn't stop there. Right as she decides to live with being thirsty, she realizes that her lips are chapped.

Now here she sits on her bed, thirsty and chapped.

She has two options:
1) Cave into her more lazy impulses and continue to be fantastically uncomfortable for the next 8 hours
OR
2) Get her bottom out of bed and go to the kitchen.

Don't you just hate being stuck between a rock and a hard place?

-Ellie

P.S. Fun Fact: Whenever you are super thirsty in the middle of the night, NOTHING quenches your thirst like a tall glass of Orange Juice.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Ellie Report: I Have A Panic Attack


Get ready to tinkle in your pants...Sparknotes gave me a series.

THEY GAVE ME A SERIES.

It's called The Ellie Report. At first I was so excited that I could barely stand it. I jumped and danced and skipped and ate pie until my stomach imploded from excitement and berry preservatives. I looked in the mirror and thought to myself, "Self, darling, you are one funny bada#$. You are going to be a blogging superstar. Dan Bergstein will gravel at your feet. Maybe you'll even be as funny as Chelsea Dagger or Auntie Sparknotes. Give yourself a pat on the back kid, you're in the big leagues now."

And then reality set in. Who am I kidding? I can't do this. How the hecksicles am I going to come up with creative articles ALL THE TIME. What if nobody thinks I'm funny or helpful or talented at all?! Everybody is going to rip me to SHREDS. And then Chelsea Dagger is going to have to make up a story about how the area of my brain that makes me even remotely interesting was severed in a giraffe attack, so she had to cancel my series. Then I will weep. And people will rejoice in my suffering. And I will give away my computer because, CLEARLY, I'm not qualified to come near it anymore.

After seriously considering emailing them that I had changed my mind, and to forget about the whole thing, I got a grip of myself. I wasn't as optimistic as I initially was, but I also wasn't on the brink of jumping off of a cliff. I found a more realistic way of viewing things.

I'm just going to keep doing what I love and hope people like it as well. I'm not sure if I can manage to be funny or interesting all the time but I'm going to do my best. If I fail, at least i can say I gave it everything I had. I know that I didn't find a cure for cancer, convince Jake Gyllenhaal to marry me, or finally control my mane of frizzy hair. But, this does mean a lot to me. I LOOOOVE writing so much that it's inappropriate. It's therapeutic and makes me feel like I'm at home in something. Writing is such a beautiful way of expressing yourself. It's amazing to think that by simply having an idea, you can put the right combination of words together and make people laugh, cry, or more likely, hate you.

Now that I sound like Earnest Hemingway's less cool cousin, I'll make my exit.

-Ernie Hemingway

P.S. I know that a serious blog like this is a change of pace, but I thought it might be nice to have a panic attack with you guys around to read about it.