Writer | Editor
Untitled design (7).png

Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

Taken 3: Takin' It To South Korea

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: March 2014

2014 marks the seventh (or maybe eighth?) year that I’ve been writing for Synthesis Weekly. In the beginning it was all fact-checking and source citing, but now that I know that basically the only people who read my column are my parents, that’s all pretty much gone out the window. You might think that I’d be depressed by my low readership, but it’s actually had the opposite effect. Believing I have a low number of readers just makes me feel like it doesn’t really matter what I write, that I can keep treating this column like my personal diary (no boyz allowed!), and that since no one fact-checks me, I can say whatever I want. (On a completely unrelated note, did you guys know that Patrick Stewart wrote Mr. Holland’s Opus, and that Tom Selleck has a mustache-shaped birthmark under his mustache?)

Also, although I tend to get depressed or anxious about really odd, inconsequential things, having a low readership is much too constant of an issue for me to really worry about. Usually I’ll fret about stupid, random things like how uncomfortable it was when I accidentally made eye contact with a girl as I was coughing up kombucha slime (this is something that has happened to me twice. Two times. I’m never prepared for it).

Lately I’ve been worrying about travelling. Specifically, traveling to South Korea. I’m going there for ten days at the end of March, and I’m pretty sure that my plane is going to crash, or I’ll be abducted, or I’ll discover that I’m lethally allergic to a food that they only serve there. If my plane crashes or I die from eating some delicious yet deadly thing, that wouldn’t be too bad. Getting abducted is the one I’d really worry about. I don’t think I’m particularly abduction-worthy, my main issue is that I don’t know anyone that would Liam Neeson their way across South Asia trying to get me back. My only hope would be to prove to my would-be abductors that taking me wouldn’t be worth their while. I’d have to rely on my Sky Dad-given talents of whining incessantly and being terrible at making eye contact to really drive home that point.

It’s stupid, really, that that’s what I’m focused on at the moment. Although, in my defense, it’s hard to be positive when you’re on hold with a government office telephone line. I had to renew my passport for this trip, and although I was sad to see my old picture of seventeen-year-old me wearing a shell necklace (cowry, not puka) go, it is nice to have up-to-date government documents. The downside of this is that I’m currently on hold with passport check line, and a robot voice keeps interrupting the scratchy piano music to tell me I’m nowhere near having my phone call answered, and that it really would be better for everyone if I’d just hang up and use the website or just fuck off (judging by the grumpy tone of their robot). In any case, I’ll keep you (Mom and Dad) posted on how this passport business shakes out. Oh and stay out of my room, but also please bring me soup. Zooey, out.

Arielle Mullen