The Very Best Contests to Enter

 

Dear P,

Since you left, the world has gotten gray and stormy and all that. I have trying to keep myself on the up-and-up by trying to improve my whistling. So, naturally, I have been investigating where best to show off my skills.

It turns out, there IS a whistling contest! It’s called the “International Whistler’s Convention“, it is in Louisburg, North Carolina, and it has child, teen, and adult divisions. We could apply, P. The contestant has to whistle both popular and classical music. I think we could do it.

The world of obscure contests does not end at whistling. In my very own town, Austin, TX, there is an official pun contest. It is called the O. Henry Pun-Off and takes place in the O. Henry Museum. It has been going on without our knowledge since 1990.

The world of amazing contests does not end in whistling and puns. You can compete in jump-roping, hotdog-eating, and bubblegum-blowing. Fashion photography, dog grooming, and accents. The possibilities are endless.

Keep competitive,

E

Blasphemy?

Foreward: I am a book lover and an avid reader, I’m not just being a hater.

Dear E,

I want to talk about books that are classics. I hate when people read a book that’s a classic, and then because it’s a classic, they go on about how much they loved the book, even if they totally did NOT love the book. I think I might be guilty of this. (But only to my old English teachers.) Just because a book is a classic, does not mean you have to love it. In fact, it doesn’t even mean you have to read it. Sometimes I find myself starting books that I don’t even want to read, because they’re “classics” and I feel like I HAVE to read them, otherwise I won’t be a well-rounded amazing human being or whatever. I’m going to talk about a few of these books.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

I hated this book. I was forced to read this book my junior year of high school and I aced all my tests by just blatantly memorizing quotes in the book. This book is so boring that my friend JM literally fell asleep while reading this standing up. Standing up I tell you! I realize that it has deeper social commentary on like the superficial nature of our society and Dorian’s fixation with youth and beauty, but like COME ON, did it have to bore me to absolute tears? It’s only saving grace is that it was really short, so it was more of a sprint through hell rather than a marathon. Note: I have nothing against Oscar Wilde; I actually read The Importance of Being Earnest and I thought it was quite comedic.

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

What the actual fuck? (Excuse my language) This book doesn’t even make sense. Faulkner wrote it in 6 weeks and didn’t change a word. I’m pretty sure he was just spewing bullshit, because in addition to being hard to follow and just plain weird, it was not that captivating. There’s a reason that authors today have editors. How is this a classic? I just googled a classic, and although what makes a classic is a “hotly debated topic” one of the criteria is that a classic must stand the test of time. HOW HAS THIS STOOD THE TEST OF TIME?! I don’t really have much else to say except for that I think that Vardaman Bundren is a MANIAC child. Moving on.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

I’m not sure if I didn’t enjoy this book because I had to read it like 5 times, due to academic decathlon or because I had to write countless papers about it, but wow, this book was just so cumbersome. I’ve heard that Of Mice and Men is good but I’m never going to read John Steinbeck again. I just don’t like his writing style, SORRY. (Not like I know anything about writing style, I would just classify his as BOH-RINGGG.) And the ending? I know the ending to this booksis a really memorable ending and is full of tons of Biblical references and spiritual optimism, but I just found it plain weird. #sorryimnotsorry

I could go on but I feel like there’s no need for me to continue to scathingly talk about classics I hate. All of this being said, there are loads classic that I do love–like Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte or A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens or Dante’s Inferno by Dante Alighieri or To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The point of this post is don’t feel pressured into reading a classic if you don’t want to read it. Don’t be pressured into saying you love a classic if you don’t. Even some of the classics can be brought down a notch. So there.

Rant over.

Peace out and happy reading,

P

Austin Trip: P’s Photos

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Dear E,

Sorry it took me so long to post these. I had such a wonderful lovely time in Austin. Thanks for being such an awesome host and a great guide to me in Austin–it’s a killer city.

The last two pictures are my absolute favorite of all the pictures we took and the last one makes my top ten favorite pictures of all time (which is a huge deal).

Miss you and love you loads,

P