Tuesday, June 30, 2015

You can't Play Soccer with a Football Rule Book

Imagine, for a moment, that you and your friends are enjoying playing a game of soccer. You're at a public field where you are all permitted to be, but before you can finish a game a group of people wave you over.

You take a break from your soccer game and jog over to see what's wrong.

"Excuse me," the leader of the group says, holding up a book, "But you're playing wrong. According to my rule book, you shouldn't be kicking the ball up and down the field. No, you need to use your hands to hold the ball. Cradle it, really. And where is your safety gear? You need helmets and shoulder pads. Why on earth are you playing like this? It's clearly against the rule book."

Confused, you ask to look at the rule book and immediately spot the problem. "Ah, I see what the issue is." You say. "This is the rule book for football! That's a great game, I hear a lot of people like it, but it's not quite for us. We prefer soccer, where kicking the ball is allowed. It's a public field and we're almost finished up, so if you'd like to play football we'll be done soon."

"No, you don't understand!" the person replies. "This is our rulebook and it says that you must play this way. I cannot believe that you're going to continue going against the rules when it clearly states that you cannot just kick the ball back and forth."

Again, you try to explain that you're not playing football. You point out that you and your friends are just enjoying a game of soccer, and you even bring over the soccer ball to show that it's definitely not a football. A friend of yours even happens to have a soccer rule book on hand, which you show the other people.

And yet they're not satisfied. They keep insisting that it's OK if you want to play soccer, but that if you're going to play, you need to play according to their rulebook.

. . .

This is why I celebrate the Supreme Court ruling that made gay marriage legal in all 50 states in the United States of America. If you believe that gay marriage isn't OK according to the rule book you live by, then the simplest answer is to not marry a person of the same sex.

However, remember that not everyone follows your rule book. Many people just want to live and love and be happy and do good, but they're following a different path, and that's OK.

Let's dispel the hate that has filled our country over the smallest of differences. Over skin color, over who we love, over what rule book we think is right.

Because my heart is both full of joy and hurting right now.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Hard Work Trumps Talent

I returned to school after we moved to Tucson, and I'm currently completing my associate of science before I transfer to U of A next fall to study Astronomy and Physics with a minor in Astrobiology.

And no, I’m not super duper smart.
OK maybe just a little.

But I get that a lot. The, “Oh, but you’re just good at math,” from classmates and from people who find out what I’m studying. And you know what? It drives me freaking crazy.

I am not inherently a math genius nor am I the world’s greatest up-and-coming scientist, but I work, and I work hard. When my younger classmates (who knew that going back to school at 26 would make you the oldest in most of your classes?) ask how I pull my grades off I tell them: I. Work. Hard.

I would love to ask the tutoring center on campus to pull up the hours I’ve spent studying in there since Fall 2014.

But the point is, talent and inclination can only get you so far. Just because you picked up on your multiplication tables easily doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to graph quadratic functions without putting a little legwork in.

The same goes for writing. Admittedly, writing really is something that I feel inherently good at, but that doesn’t mean that I get a free pass to ho-hum about and not take my craft seriously. Left unused my words easily become dull and blocky, and plot? What plot?

Your mom wasn’t lying, practice really does make perfect, and if going back to school has taught me anything, it’s that the hard worker will almost always come out ahead.


…which sounds kind of cocky, but whatever.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Caitlin and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Star Rating System

I hate star ratings. They just seem so…unfair. And I don’t mean unfair for the thing being rated, but for the rater.

Sometimes, I like stuff. Yes, just like it. I enjoyed it/it worked fine/it was well-written, but I wasn’t overjoyed and pumping my fists in the air saying, “Heck yeah, best sport score EVER!" (That's a thing sports people say, right?)

I don’t think three stars is a bad rating, because 3 stars mean just that: I liked it. So with that in mind, let’s go on to Confess by Colleen Hoover. And to this book, Ms. Hoover, I give a whole 3 stars. Because I liked it.

We’ve established what 3 stars mean now, right?

Good.

I really liked the premise of Confess, which involves the Dallas-based artist Owen creating paintings based off of people’s confessions and deepest secrets while keeping his own skeletons tucked neatly away in a closet.

And then there’s Auburn, who has a pretty big secret of her own.

Things move quickly as Auburn and Owen are drawn to each other, and every step of the book I felt that there had to be something more to pair’s together but not-together relationship.

And I was correct. When I finally reached the end of the book (*ahem* A whole 2 days later because I may or may not have wanted to put it down until I figured out how those two were actually corrected…), everything fell together more beautifully than I could have ever imagined.


So hey, if you enjoy liking things, check out Confess, it’s worth it.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Blogging Stuff is Hard

"A small cup of coffee" by Julius Schorzman - Own work.
Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
So, according to some people (definitely NOT my doctor or my husband or the people who work at Starbucks), I'm still drinking "too much" coffee.

Or, OR, maybe I'm not drinking nearly enough. I mean come on, the health benefits of coffee have been researched again and again, so scientists agree, guys.

Drink. More. Coffee.

But like any other addict, the research could flip flop tomorrow and assure me that I'll be dead in the next 24 hours if I don't put down my bucket cup of coffee, like, right this instance, and I still wouldn't stop.

But here I am droning on about coffee and most of you are probably scratching your heads and wondering, "Who the hell is this chick"?

Who the hell indeed.

I dropped off the face of the blogging world when we got, oh, about a month and a half's notice that we were moving across the country. Short notice, but (spoiler alert) it turned out to be awesome.

...except I stopped blogging.

Oops.

So my coffee-drinking butt is back, and we're going to get to know each other again. We're going to know each other really well.

Oh...Oh god not like that. I just meant that, you know, we're gonna, like, know a lot of stuff about each other. Like personal stuff and secrets and "I'll only say this during the sleepover so don't repeat it," kind of stuff.

Look just give me like five minutes or something and I'll get back into the hang of blogging.

Maybe.