myjamandbutter

Hello World

Writing: The New Sliced Bread

If writing were a food, writing would be sliced bread—the greatest invention ever, right? There is reason to think so. You can put just about anything between 2 slices of bread, and hand it to someone else for their enjoyment, nourishment, and a unique sandwich experience. I’ll make my Dad a healthier option by tucking in eggplant, cucumber, and sprouts between wheat breads with cheese on the side while my brother prefers sliced bread when I cake on the marmite with the last avocado—and I can usually tell when it’s time to cater to that kid who can’t deal with anything other than creamy peanut butter and strawberry jelly if the Nutella is out. Either way, properly sliced sprouted bread is universal, only the contents inside need customization.

Similarly, writing can be appreciated as a form of communication by everyone, for any industry, for many audiences.  We shove a lot of different things like poetry, essays, photo captions, blog posts, prefaces, and accounting spreadsheets underneath this blanket term ‘writing.’ And so it is as versatile as sliced bread—not even limited to be used for a sandwich. French toast may be its destiny, or the bready side to a French and Onion Soup. Unfortunately in some households, it is neglected, crafted poorly and left in the drawer to mold. Though, most people can find at least one type of bread to their fancy—at least one type of writing to their use. It’s just important to remember who your audience is, what they’re looking for inside the bread, and whether you want to deliberately switch up that recipe.

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Communicating Through Formatting

zine photo

A full page in a zine is dedicated to an enlarged catalogue-worthy photograph of two or three metallic grey and black corsets with no background to distract from the focus. Centered toward the top in a respectable font is the title reading, “A Nice Victorian Name,” and onto the second line, “For Girls With Victorian Manners.” The fine print etched crookedly into the lower left corner reveals the author’s response, “*Not those snotty, bitchy girls named Esmerelda or whatever other stupid thing they’re calling ‘em these days” There is no period to end their sentence.

The informality and sarcastic attitude that screams out an opinion is something we’re more likely to see in a zine or on somebody’s personal Internet blog than in a textbook, a newspaper, or even a magazine–Because the point of this page is to deconstruct the hype of corsets, and to claim that anyone who speaks of having Victorian manners is inevitably discrediting themselves as they would be making a colorful implication that others do not have Victorian manners–If a deliberate lack of grammar, conformity of ideals, and conventional formatting helped interest, humor, or engage the reader then the author could afford to take the risk and present this argument in this free form, not being required to follow corporate protocol.

Drunk Driving Doesn’t Have to Be A Really Complex Situation

This New Zealand Drug Driving Ad titled, “Legend” promotes road safety with the use of humour and logical fallacies. A young man is shown, debating whether it’s safe for his friend, who is presumably under the influence of alcohol, to drive home. He says that he is, “internalizing a really complex situation in [his] head.” Throughout the rest of the video, it becomes clear that the situation is only complex because his thought process is troubled with several logical fallacies, inhibiting his ability to come to a conclusion right away. He goes through this chain of possibilities: if his friend crashes and dies, than he would be obligated to fill his friends place at his friend’s family’s dinner table, and then he’d be haunted by his friend eating ghost chips next to him for years. It’s a case of circular cause and consequence and also of a slippery slope. And ghost chips aren’t even relevant to his friend’s state of coherence. It seems that the young man is forgetting that the reason his friend shouldn’t drive is because he would be missed dearly by his friends and family.

The commercial uses these fallacies to its advantage. The style is of humor which is a refreshing change and engages the audience well. The humor allows the fallacies to work and makes me think that perhaps fallacies can be valid in certain contexts. Some may agree that the real message of this video should be exaggerated to get the attention of the populace because drunk driving is a serious problem with consequences that unfortunately go beyond ghost chips.

An Infestation of Hurt

Dear friend,

You’re sad, and passionate about being sad, and angry, and upset. You have had it tough, rougher growing up. Concerns about blood-sugar, bills, step-parents, and then your dad yells and you can’t help but scream, thinking, “Why the..?” But a ruminating silence and a brewing fury is only the precursor, oh dear, here it comes. Because caught in the haste is a puppy that catches your foot on the last stair, and there you can only stare in disbelief. Another ankle: puffed, pulled, torn.  The one feeling that you let emanate from your chest spirals out into space. An infestation of hurt.

You put all of your energy towards it. Your Facebook wall is an accumulating pile of negativity summing up into one big theme that there is no grand scheme, life just sucks. Could it really be that horrible? Every day? Every day that you got to attend a National Blue Ribbon High School—every day that our friends laughed alongside you at lunch—every day that the California sun warmed the petals on those beautiful roses whose delicate sparkles you didn’t see, whose aromas—that should cure any ill stresses at best—or if only for a moment if you could just hold it and feel a tickle of a wind that might sprinkle into your heart, to give you a feeling, maybe resembling something pleasant—was all of it always so awful? If only you could focus your mind on the good experiences and let loose an innocent, happy thought. It might be enough to unchain the brilliant girl who once inspired me to do something positive. Why must you keep her just out of reach?

Sincerely,

I’m not a psychologist, but I have known you for four years and I have seen you make things happen.

Bay Area Surfer

Lately I’ve been paddling out, without oars or coxswain. Surfing can be an individual activity as well as an awesome means to bond with good friends.  My buddy and I are beginners, and while surfing has not become my entire identity, I have always felt included in the surfer’s way of life. Perhaps this small bit is in accordance with the stereotypes surrounding the California lifestyle. That’s it though, and here’s why.  I’m from northern California, where the absurdly cold water is less of a hang out spot.  After school or on weekends, my brother would load his board into the van and I’d put on a pair of running shoes. I’d run up the hill, until I could see the tips of the Golden Gate (and Ocean Beach in the far distance if the fog was clear). He’d put on his wetsuit, stare out at the horizon, and catch a few rights. Every surfer has a unique posture. I’ve gotten really good at finding him in a crowd of silhouetted wetsuits.

It’s easy to assume that all surfers are the sort of people who live in the moment, kicking it on the beach all day, maybe working construction on the side. In the Bay Area, surfers are distinguishable, but not necessarily because they surf. They are often business men, and sometimes the top in their field. Maybe they are students getting their degrees, or, in my brother’s case, a kid who was motivated enough to ride his bike, board in arm, to the bus-stop down the hill and make it out to Cron on South 101 when he was too young to take the driver’s test. Getting there by bus isn’t very convenient.  The beach is to some degree inaccessible, surrounded by the coyote bushes and bobcats of the National Parkland (the Golden-Gate National Recreation Area), certainly not the forefront of any beach town. It’s amazing and peaceful, but this also means that the waves are a bit of a drive off of the last Marin County exit.  There’s no extra room on the bus racks once a board and a bike are loaded, so sometimes my brother would have to wait for the next bus if he wasn’t first in line.

It’s just not a convenient hobby. If you surf in NorCal, it’s probably because you’re Dad or someone you look up to introduced you to the sport. It’s pretty cold –People wear sweaters or wetsuits to the beach, not swimsuits—Even if he could get tan and match with the surfer mold, my brother wears so much Zinka for sun protection that you can hardly see his face beneath the white. The ocean is somewhat scary—you can never really see what’s lurking in the dull grey water beneath of you and Ocean Beach has a tough swell. Surfing in the Bay Area requires an appreciation for weather patterns and a decent level of patience.  It’s understandable why not everyone in the Bay Area surfs, but it is definitely odd to meet someone from warmer waters or a beach town down south who doesn’t surf.

Hope to see you in the water!

Annamarie R.

University Excitement

Restless. For the first time ever. Life comes in seasons, and while I usually provide consistency for myself and those around me, this is different. It’s fall already. The leaves are rustling, unable to commit to their designated spots. At any moment, the wind might lift them up to dance to a melody they’ve never heard before.

University is an entirely new experience for me, but it’s familiar– not in terms of memory, rather, in terms of belonging. (Perhaps in less of an immediate social-life sense but in more of an overall community-goals sense); I’ve been speaking with so many amazing people each day that I haven’t had a chance to form many relationships in a depth comparable to those that I have from high school and prior. The list of priorities runs like the line at Starbucks, out the door and around the building—My humble twelve units: math, programming (Computer Science major), and English, followed by gym and surfing and all kinds of student driven clubs along with maintaining in contact with my family members and old friends that are scattered throughout the globe. All of these things are overwhelming in the best way, because they’re what I’m here for. I’m thankful to be able to choose how I get to spend each day, every minute – like having my fingertips dipped into this puddle where ripples of energy travel towards me, absorbing into my wrists, elbows, ankles, knees, shoulders, and righting my neck.

I’m feeling like a leaf, trying the air currents, getting a glimpse of the views, dancing with the wind.