This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

thisishowyouloseherAs a queer white girl from Utah, my experience is much different from the experiences and lives described in “This is How You Lose Her.”  However, I really felt the emotion of the book– the ways that we struggle to not fuck up in love and the ways that we inevitably do.  I cried often while reading this book.  I think I just really felt its human-ness; how random life is in the pain and the setbacks it gives us and the brief moments that we feel on top of the world and alight with love and purpose.

Although the book was over 200 pages I read it in two days which is pretty unusual for me– it really was that absorbing.  The novel starts and ends the same way with Yunior having cheated on his current girlfriend with whatever “suicas” he is currently seeing.  (From my understanding of the word, a suica is a woman-on-the-side).  After his infidelities are exposed he feels terrible and does everything he can to get the relationship back, but to no avail.  At the end of the book, Yunior’s best friend Elvis tells him that he should write the “Cheater’s Guide to Love.”

I never quite knew what to feel about Yunior- if he was a dude I knew in real life, I’d probably write him off pretty quickly as being a complete asshole yet in reading him as  a fictional character I had quite a bit of sympathy for him.  He can’t seem to not cheat and yet he feels terribly about it and is sent into deep spirals of depression each time he does. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Geography of Bliss

So I just moved to Portland 5 months ago and am in a very broke place in life.  Every day I apply for jobs but moneys are very low and it’s stressful.  I look forward to the day when I can buy a cup of coffee without thinking of the  financial repercussions.  As a result of my desperate financial state,  I’m always looking for ways to supplement my income.

I saw an ad on craigslist about being paid to take part in a research study about depression.  I have had depression in the past but am actually happy lately in spite of my financial stress.  So I decided to try and fake being depressed.  I made it through the initial screening process and came in for the next appointment where I was asked a series of questions to evaluate my mood.   I tried my best to sound depressed  but after the evaluation, the psychiatrist looked over my answers and said I did not qualify for the study.

So I got kicked out of the study for not actually being depressed.  Oh man, and American psychology is so weird!  He said something like: “Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you’re not depressed.  Just not depressed enough for this study.” Ha ha, oh man!  Even though I was not able to participate in the study and would receive no moneys, I went home and felt happy all day about not being depressed.  It felt like a small victory. Definitely one of the stranger ways I’ve tried to make money! Read the rest of this entry »