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Posts Tagged ‘reading challenge 2011’

Friday Fun! (Creepy Sprouts Guy)

December 17, 2010 9 comments

Hello my lovely readers and welcome to the new readers who found me through the Mental Illness Awareness Reading Challenge I’m hosting for 2011!

When you take the same public transit to work every day at the same time, you start to get to know the people on your route.  Generally, not through actual names, but you recognize them and their behaviors, and if you’re an Amanda, you start to give them appropriate nick-names.  Stargate Chick. (She wears an SG-1 patch on her jacket. No, I am not kidding). Hot Scrubs Guy (Um, nuff said?)  Fast-talking Latinas (They always talk to each other really excitedly in Spanish, and I am *dying* to know what they talk about every morning).  The most interesting by far though is Creepy Sprouts Guy.

Creepy Sprouts Guy wasn’t always on my route, and I didn’t notice him when he first appeared.  One day I got on the bus and spotted an empty aisle seat in one of those two seat sections.  I walked toward it and just as I was about to sit, I realized that the guy sitting in the window seat had one of those boxes of sprouts in his lap.  But it was open.  And he was eating them.  By the handful.  Without even thinking I went from ass about to sit to ass quickly standing up and walked to the back of the bus and stood holding the bar.  I wondered if I was over-reacting.  I mean, it’s not that odd to eat sprouts directly from the container on the bus, is it?  Wait.  I couldn’t even think that with a straight face.  I mean, you’re not even supposed to eat on the bus, let alone eat sprouts straight from the container.  Maybe he was running late, and it was the only thing in his fridge, I attempted to rationalize.  A couple stops later, I noticed an older gentleman coming onto the bus.  He headed for the empty seat next to Creepy Sprouts Guy and did the exact same start to sit but then change to standing mid-sit move that I had done a couple of stops earlier.  Clearly the creep-factor was not just impacting me.  By the time we got to my stop, the bus was almost entirely full and still not a single person was willing to sit next to Creepy Sprouts Guy.

The next day I got on the bus and saw the same guy.  And people?  He was eating sprouts. Again!  Intrigued now, I’ve been quietly sneaking glances at him every day.  He’ll put his sprouts in the seat next to him and just grab them by the handful, eating while staring out the window or reading a book.  He’s freakishly skinny.  Like, I can see his collarbones and wrist bones through his winter clothing skinny.  I want to walk up to him, grab the sprouts, and inform him that maybe a bagel would be a better breakfast choice.  He’ll deliberately move his sprouts away if he sees someone needing a seat, but no one will sit next to him.  I can’t explain just what is so creepy about the sprouts eating.  It might be the way he does it.  Slowly.  Deliberately.  As if he’s eating the best cake in the world and the rest of us are clearly stupid for not partaking in it as well.

Then, as if he wasn’t already odd enough, in recent weeks right when our bus gets to a certain bridge, he pulls out one of those old-school combs with the wide-set teeth and combs his hair that’s so blond it’s almost white.  This wouldn’t be so odd, but he has a really short haircut, and the hair clearly doesn’t need to be combed.  He’ll give a few slow, deliberate motions as we cross the bridge, then as soon as we’re over the bridge, he puts the comb away and goes back to eating his sprouts.

My confusion and fascination over his behavior is reaching the point where I just might have to attempt to strike up a conversation with him.  Although I have yet to think up an opener besides, “Morning! Nice day for a bunch of sprouts, eh?”

Mental Illness Advocacy (MIA) Reading Challenge 2011

December 16, 2010 30 comments

About the Challenge:
I decided to start hosting the Mental Illness Advocacy (MIA) Reading Challenge in 2011 in an effort to raise awareness, knowledge, and acceptance of mental illness. Reading, both fiction and nonfiction, is an excellent way to broaden one’s horizons and expose one to new ideas and ways of thinking and being. Many reading challenges already exist in the book blogging community to address racism, sexism, and homophobia, but I could not find any to address the stigma faced by those suffering from mental illness. In spite of mental illnesses being recognized by the scientific community as diseases just like physical ones, many still think those suffering from one are at fault for their own suffering. I hope reading and reviewing books featuring characters struggling to deal with mental illness, whether their own or another person’s, will help remove the stigma faced on a daily basis by those with a mental illness. They already have to struggle with an illness; they shouldn’t have to face a stigma too.

Challenge Levels:
Acquainted–4 books
Aware–8 books
Advocate–12 books

Rules:

  • Books read for the challenge must address mental illness in some way.  If it’s fiction, a character has a mental illness.  It can also be non-fiction ranging from self-help books to academic books on the topic.
  • No book read for the challenge may demonize the mentally ill.  They certainly can be presented as 3-dimensional, flawed characters, but absolutely not demonized or presented as “crazy” etc…  That goes against the purpose of this challenge.
  • Books you read for this challenge can be counted for other challenges as well.
  • Be sure to point out what mental illness or illnesses are addressed in the book in your review of the book.  If you use LibraryThing or GoodReads in lieu of blogging, please just note it in the tags on the book or in the comment stating you’ve completed the book.

Reading Suggestions and Review Links:
Check out the official MIA Reading Challenge page to find reading suggestions.  Also use the comments section on that page to post links to your reviews.

Sign Up:
Sign up by commenting in the comments section below with a link to your official sign-up post!  If you don’t blog but use LibraryThing or GoodReads, you can still participate!  Just note that in your comment.

Spread the Word:
Help get the word out on the challenge!  Blog, tweet, facebook, email, whatever you can think of to do about it!  Please feel free to grab the image above to post on your blog as well.  This is a fun way to address an important cause.  🙂