Voluntary Madness

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Today has been a day filled with computer problems and my nerves are shot, so it's time to play my least favorite game again, a game I like to call "Can Angie Keep Her Sanity Long Enough to Write This Blog Entry?" I just keep reminding myself that as soon as I'm done dealing with this piece of crap computer I will be able to go watch lots and lots of bad TV, and that makes it all worth it.

Today's book, "Vincent's first trip to a mental institution—to which the writing of Self-Made Man drove her—convinced her that further immersion would give her great material for a follow-up. The grand tour consists of voluntary commitments to a hospital mental ward, a small private facility and a boutique facility; but Vincent's efforts to make a big statement about the state of mental health treatment quickly give way to a more personal journey."

Shallow thoughts:

  • I never even paid attention to the name of the author of today's book until I got home, and that's when I realized that she wrote Self-Made Man, a book I read a few years ago which I really liked. I'm very odd when it comes to books that I really like, I rarely ever read a second book by that author because I pessimistically assume that I won't like it as much as the first one. Today I decided to be a optimist reader instead. And I'm glad that I did because I liked today's book just as much as Self-Made Man, although I was quite surprised by the book.

  • And why was it surprising you ask? (Oh dear readers, I love it when you know just the right time to ask those hard questions!) - It surprised me because the book ended up feeling more like a journal that someone had written, more so to understand their own feelings than to enlighten others. Which is fine by me because I don't expect books to do my thinking for me (although I do expect them to do my feeling for me because expressing feelings isn't something that I'm terribly fond of . . . okay, that's an understatement, I would rather carve out one of my organs with a butter knife than have to talk about how I feel.)

  • And now it's that extra-special point of the blog entry in which I admit to things that I probably should never publicly admit to, things that I would be embarrassed to admit to if I had any sense of shame while blogging. Since I have none I think we can safely proceed to me admitting that this book taught me a new word: gawped. Am I the only person who has never heard that word before? Have I just been leading an incredibly sheltered life where people use the word gawk instead of gawp? Tomorrow I'm going to use that word in a sentence at least twice just to see if the other person looks at me funny - if they do I will be filled with a sense of vindication. But, even if everyone else in the world knows that word but me, I'll still be glad, because while I was looking the word up I was reminded of this incredibly dorky thing that I used to do when I was a child and I figured that would give me one more story to force you to have to listen to. When I was in elementary school, I would go to school, come home and do my homework (right after I finished watching Little House on the Prairie, of course), and then I would actually create more homework for myself. I would pick out a book that was filled with big words, assign several chapters that I had to read (by Friday) and then I would make a vocabulary list of all the words I didn't know and then force myself to look them up (in the dictionary which I had asked for as a present for my birthday), and write the definitions down in a notebook. Do you see now why my brother used to make fun of me and call me a dork?