August 2012

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Sep. 2nd, 2008

So Very Busy

In pink because I'm hopeful that makes my stress and worry lower a bit.  Though to be fair there is a lot of exictment there too.  

  • Saw Kathleen this weekend, for what I thought at the time would be our last face to face for a while.   I'm pretty sure I'm going to see her again for a Dar Williams (here's hoping her new CD with "buzzer" is out) concert though (if you read this before I email yes to you, the answer is yes pending on ticket prices).   Anyhow I'm definately going to miss her, it's a little sad to see our college best friendness be stretched, but I suppose it will be good too.  After all going somewhere new and doing something completely different has to be (hopefully will be) at least as good as it is bad.  Maybe I've totally messed that up though.  Meh.  
  • been helping my brother with all of his many summer reading essays and he's not too bad a writer.  My mom made it sound like he was terrible and, well he isn't.  I guess I should have pulled that from my high marks in English compared to my mother's rather acidic criticque of my own work.  Either way, I'm glad it will be easier on him...even if he does fight me a bit on how much correction is required to make the essay actually meet the ruberic AND fit into your basic thesis formed paper.  It's not entirely his fault they wanted him to cram so much info in one essay, personally I think really there should be a summary paper and a reaction paper as opposed to forcing the two together, but that's just how I do things I guess. 
  • I've noticed how some habits you think are dead really aren't.  A few weeks ago my bf was talking to me about how he'd downloaded all of The Killers because they reminded him of me.  Now I like The Killers, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out why they would remind him of me.  I mean if I were to pick an artist, it would be something less mainstream, like Frou Frou, Loreena Mckinett, Tori Amos, and what have you.  What I hadn't figured in to this equation is that I sing and hum a lot, most often if there is a song to go with like the Killers (which I would be more likily to hear because it is both on my playlist and on the radio as well as on many other's playlists) but I also sing whatever is stuck in my head when I'm happy or when I need filler or when I want cheering up or just because.  I didn't think about that because I didn't think I did that anymore.  My mother hates humming, singing, and whistling.  She always told me I had a terrible voice when I sang that would drive people away (of course none of my friends think this and I have some pretty honest and musically inclined friends, but to each their own).  I didn't want to hear all that so I stopped singing and phased out humming when at home.  Turns out I still do it as long as I'm not at home.  I noticed that at work, since I'm in an isolated area, I'll often catch myself singing out loud and have to stop.  It's just weird to think something like that, which I thought I grew out of is still very much a core little snippet.  I don't know, I guess it just sort of hit me how much I change/shut down when I'm at home. 
  • I've been having really stressful upsetting dreams but when I wake up, there's just that emotion and little snippets of what was going on.  For example, I know that last night's dream was about packing and moving but it was also about hiding from some dream version of Nazis who pretty much wanted me dead.  I know it's just stress from the waking world but it still is unsettling.  I wish the anxiety would leave me be when I'm sleeping.  
  • I'm making a baby blanket for my bf's sister.  I'm trying to hold reiki energy while making it too, but I'm not sure how well that's going to work out for me.  It's hard to be a clear radio as Mrs V woud call it when one is snarking over snarls, tangles and lost loops.  I'll just have to try harder I guess. 
  • My bf started moving into our apartment today.  I know I'm not there and not going to be there for a bit, but I can't help but feel thrilled. The landlady didn't just clean the carpet, but she just put in a new fridge, stove, and dishwasher.  She hadn't mentioned that when we were looking at it (and by we I mean my bf while he kept me informed of course).  I'm glad we stuck with this appartment pick even if the kitched is insanely small. 
  • While talking to Kathleen it occurred to me that I think I really do want to try my hand at getting some of my work published.  I haven't felt this free in years and it's so odd.  I mean on one hand I can see that my slightly emotionally abusive mother has a pretty strong hold on me still because when I tried to tell my bf that I wanted to work on getting published as part of my career goals in WY I lost all basic control to talk and blurted out "what do you want me to do for work when I get there?"  It's the kind of answer I give my parents when they are working on me.  It isn't the kind of answer I should give my bf.  I should be able to just say what my plan is and he should accept it.  Hell I know he supports me, I know he would want me to explore all opportunities I can perceive to the fullest degree and I still choked up in telling him.  It doesn't matter now, I mean I did end up explaining what I meant along with my freeze.  I'm really exicted about the whole chance.  I'm pretty sure I won't get too far, but at least I'll have tried it and seen if it was for me now. I'm going to be posting more about this job and other work related thoughts though, so I'll leave this for now. 
  • I need to throw up a pagan post at some point in time so know that's reserved too. 
  • MUST CLEAN.  Though I'm beginning to see an end, so that's always happy.  I'm thinking about doing the same thing my sister did in regard to packing my clothes anyhow, which will cut all that down immensely.   Still being finicky with books but Gods know I can get through it. 
  • I am THRILLED to give my two weeks on Fri WORK SUCKS.  
  • Saw Barack's speech on Thurs and I soooooo want to be part of his speech team.  Wonderful writing.  Really moving.  
  • Haha McCain you pick poor vp choices

Apr. 28th, 2008

Death of a Salesman Cause and Effect

● No one goes to Willy's funeral because he drove everyone important away from him
● Willy kills himself because he is worth more dead than he is alive and he wants to give something great to his family
● Willy can't make a livelihood because he is delusional and has mixed up values on life, something that is made painfully clear to everyone when Biff tries to break away from his father and become his own man, this will will be the final nail in Willy's coffin
● Biff tells his father the truth because no one has been honest in the family for a while and he wanted to finally get everything off his chest and have a clean start. Biff wants to be loved for what he is and not who his father keeps insisting he could be.
● Biff gets up the gumption to tell his father a dinner off because he sees that his father is miserable living in his dream world so there is no reason to protect Willy from the truth
● Biff sees this when he comes home from his “night out” with Happy to face a furious mother and Willy who is gardening
● Biff goes off with Happy after Willy gets to upset and starts having flashbacks in the bathroom
● Willy is having flashbacks in the bathroom because Biff was trying to tell him the truth and Happy was running interference. They two stories upset him and set him off into his own world
● Happy and Biff go and meet Willy at dinner to “celebrate” Biff's new job
● Biff doesn't get the job because he steals a pen and runs out. He realizes he needs a clean break from Willy and his “destiny”
● Biff is looking for a job because he's just come into town and he needs work
● Biff has come into town because he has nowhere else to go

Lit Themes Journals Part 3

For Strong Women by Marge Piercy pg 182
Woot feminism I love it all ^_^. This is a great poem. I love the repetition of the word “strong” within the course of the poem that seems to reinforce the image of a strong woman standing defiantly in all her glory.
Some of what I like in this poem is that part of what makes up a “strong woman” to the narrator are characteristics that are rarely thought of as those the “strong women” would have. For example, the whole second stanza is about how a really strong woman has a voice in her head repeating discouragement and insults at herself. I think that it is encouraging to other women to know that they are not the only ones with doubts in themselves or what they are doing. The narrator seems to be saying that if a woman, or anyone really can still continue on her course when her own mind is thrown into self doubt, worry, and questioning, than that woman is one with lots of courage an inner strength. It can be hard when other denounce us, but it is even harder to continue a task if we denounce ourselves. In today's world, women are still not equal. There are still things that are frowned on if a woman does, and there are still pay separations and stereo types. No matter how independent one is, one can't help but be affected by society's belief system and wonder, “What am I doing? Why have I spoken up? I should sit down again. Where did I get the nerve?”, to be able to rise above these confining beliefs it does take true strength in a lot of ways.
Another unusually image of strength I enjoyed was where the narrator said “she is not strong as a stone but as a wolf/ suckling her young. Strength is not in her, but sh/ enacts it as the wind fills a sail.” I think that these ideas are unique and beautiful. They show a different kind of strength and one that has a more female mind set than the the idea of being strong like a rock, that is the kind of physical strength that fewer women possess, but many are able to expose themselves to others as a wolf must to feed her young. That takes its own kind of strength. The idea that strength is in a person is a common idea that one either has the ability or one doesn't I prefer Piercy's take on it where strength is not in the strong. Strength is an action that any person can pick up to move things forward. It is a beautiful idea.
I also like the idea of strong people shoveling muck and mire because it is also unusual. When I think of people actively cleaning sewage and other unfavorable jobs, I think of the caste system that used to be in India and I think of the untouchables. People don't often consider the untouchables a strong group of people. They are the lowest of the low and one is not supposed to talk with them or touch them. They have been incarnated to such a lowly station for punishment, they were weak and did something wrong in their last life. One thinks of Brahmans as the strong caste, because they have all the power and they are the most likely to break away from the cycle of reincarnation and reach freedom. However, if you thing about it, I would imagine that it takes more strength to face a terrible fate than a good one. I think it would take more will to shovel sewage for a living then it would take to sit on pillows and meditate. This idea seems to speak that even the lowliest of people can be strong, and that power=/=strength.

“the Market Economy” by Marcey Piercy pg184
Ah a feminist and an environmental activist, my kind of author. I love the message of technology as a price. One needs to know what one is buying. Too often people want or have ridiculous items for no particular reason. It is wasteful to have something one doesn't need, and the truth of the matter is that with the creation of every slight conveniences we have destroyed areas of land to get the natural resources and we have poured chemicals into the air. I like this poem because it shows a direct correlations between being sucked into modern day conveniences one doesn't really need and diseases such as lung cancer. The conveniences start out as just niceties that most people in America today have like color TVs, or plastic cups, which while wasteful are often used. Then what the narrator is offering is just extravagant and absurd such as ten year's worth of frozen dinners , whatever happened to simple cooking. Is one really too busy or lazy for that? I also like how the diseases start a bit far off for my taste, like a baby being born with a crooked spine as a result of a colored TV, I don't think that that actually happens, and it is a bit outrageous. Then a left lung rotted with cancer, is fairly feasible as is the idea of one's colon shutting down, so each thought slowly becomes more and more reasonable.
I also like the narrator's response to the silent reply of “if you don't like it don't use it.” She begins to talk about how so many people have no choice. There is no where else to work and a job is needed. One needs a home and if the only play is under a “yellow sky” no one is going to turn that away. My favorite line has to the be “ Don't read the fine/ print, there isn't any.” I think its funny because it isn't that there is no down side, its that the fine print can be read in the yellow skies and all the sickness around the factory. There is no fine print because the dangers are self evident facts all around us.

“What's That Smell in the Kitchen?” by Marge Piercy pg185
It has a feel of passive resistance to it, tee he a touch of Gandhi or Martin Luther King Junior in it that makes it an interesting poem. All over America, the narrator tells the reader, women are burning their dinners for their husbands. I don't understand why the women don't just get a divorce. IT seems like so much work and if the men can't pay attention to their wives and treat them right then let them make their own dinner and clean their own house. We don't need them.
Still setting side my differences with the poem for a minute the comparision to food is really fantastic. I have cooked quite a few meals before and I have to say I really appreciate the cooking analogy. Its rather interesting. When the narrator says “Anger sputters in the brainpan, confined/ but spewing out missile of hot fat.” I actually cringed while reading that line. One of my favorite things to cook is chicken in the frying pan, and one of its largest downfalls is that oil and meat fat sizzles and splatters on the oven and on the person. It really burns to be hit with even a little hot fat. My mom actually had to go to the hospital once because she got the hamburger meat's juice splattered across her hand when she was cooking it. So this explanation for the anger and how it acts in the brain is really clear, because while it is contained from the men for the most part, the “bits of fat” fly out and burn the men's dinners. I also like the idea of “carbonized despair” because despair, like soda can be explosive when too much pressure is put on it. People in general only can tolerate so much depression before a person snaps and lashes out against themselves or others. Carbonated soda can only take so much shaking and when it is opened it explodes. I think its clever that the narrator works in grilling the husbands, since the women are burning all their cooking they really want to burn their husbands, its a rather clever way to say the whole thing.
I also like the use of the grotesque image of feeding a rat to someone. It has shock value. I think the addition of the bomb really helps to show how strong the feeling of the women are, and it also shows the explosiveness of the situation.
The cooking metaphor is held all the way through, even as the women explain why they are angry. “Look, she says, once I was roast duck/ on your platter with parsley but now I am Spam.” That really illustrates the deprecation and devaluation the husbands have for their wives. To go from such a good meal to such a gross one really help to display the problem. Why would the men take their women for granted in such a way? Why would they just stop valuing their wives? Why would the wives want to be any kind of meal for their husbands, I want to be more than a good dish to the husband I might one day have.

“After Apple Picking” by Robert Frost pg 189
This is an interesting poem. The two-pointed ladder sticking through the tree could be like a stairway to heaven, or it could be like the tower of babble that humans tries to create to get back into the Garden of Edan, but God struck it down and damned the people by making them each speak different languages. I alos wonder if the apple is supposed to symbolize the orginal forbidden fruit and orginal sin, is this waste of the last apples some sort of core sin?
There is a clear change of seasons coming on. It is the end of fall, which could symbolize the end of life. A lot of things give the poem a dream like quality or the thought that the narrator may be falling in and out of sleep. The narrator keeps insisting that he is tired, and he also seems adamant that there is no longer a need to work, though there are still apples in the tree and there is still time to pick them.
Some of the images, could be everyday occurrences or strange dreamlike things. For example “I cannot rub the strangeness form my sight/ I got from looking through a plane of glass/ I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough/ And held against the world a hoary grass.” could just be talking about the narrator scooping some ice that had frozen in the water trough over night out of it and dumping it on the grass. Or the narrator could be in some sort of dream sequence where there is glass in the water trough and once he pulls it his vision becomes distorted and warped? It sounds as if the narrator has worked had, and while there is more to be done, he is too tire, which suggests that he is in an altered state or preparing for his own death. Very rarely would one leave apples left unpicked before the winter, as every little bit would help with food and money. The only reason I think one would not pick the apples were if one were sick or if one were dying.
Other references to this strange state of consciousness include the entrance of the woodchuck. IT is just this random animal thrown into the mix and I'm sure what it is supposed to do beyond confuse everyone. It is interesting and confusing all at the same time.

“My Papa's Waltz” by Theodore Roethke pg 346
This poem is filled with violent images hidden in the facade of surface level playfulness. The father works at lower level job where his hands get “caked hard by dirt”, then afterwards he goes to bar where he drinks until the whiskey on his breathe “Could make a small boy dizzy”, and then he goes home. The narrator is someone who is reflecting on an event that happened in his childhood many times, it is an adult telling the child's story because the language is too difficult for a child to manage with.
The poem makes me fearful. On a literal level one could take the poem to be a drunk father coming home and playing with his kid after work. Since the father is drunk, he has less control over his actions and he tends to accidentally hurt the child and make things fall over. The boy “hangs on to him like death”, I wonder if this is because of a fear for himself or for his father. I'm sure the father comes home too late for the boy to see him on many occasions, and I'm also sure that even at this young age the boy may be able to sense that the father is going to die from his addictions. On the other hand, perhaps the boy thinks that the closer he holds his father, the less likely he will fall victum to a “misstep” or a falling pan. He might just be holding on to his father because he is scared and he wants his dad to protect him the way father's should.
I wonder if the waltzing pair is just knocking down the pans or if the pans are falling on them. If the pans fall on either the boy or the father, they could be hurt, which might be one reason that the mother “can not unfrown herself”. Though its more likely that the woman wants to smile at the father's and boy's antics, but can't because the father is drunk and hurting her son in this rough housing. She wants the scene to be a happy good one, but she can't see it as one as long as the father is drunk.
The father holds the boy's wrist logically because the boy is too small to hold his hand and to help the boy in the waltz. On the other side, the holding of wrist trapped the boy into the waltz. The battered knuckle of the father could suggest many things. It might have come from work, or it might have come from the bar where he got into the fight, or if one choses to look beyond the literal meaning of the poem the battered knuckle could come from the father beating the boy. The boy must be very small or the father very tall for every missed step to make his ear scrape the father's belt buckle. I couldn't help but feel that this line was beyond literal and meant more like every mistake the father made, that lost the family money, the boy suffered the consequences of moving, or going without food, or not having the sort of opportunities that he deserved.
I cringed at the first line of the next stanza. My first though about the phrase “beat time” was to think of marching band. The is this plastic block called a gauk block, which the drum major beats time with a drumstick into to help teach the band the tempo when one is rehersing the moves. I remember seeing the drummajors hands after beating the gauk block, a good hour of it and the hands were read and swollen just from the vibrations, and when they regained feeling the drum major 's hands would ache from the effort. I can remember the band director screaming at the drum majors to bet time harder, and all I could think of is if it hurt the drum majors so much to beat time into a gauk block so much then what would the little boy have felt against his hand when the father beat time on his head. I couldn't understand the last line of why the boy would still cling to the man's shirt, but then I thought maybe he seeks protection from the man who hurts him. Maybe this sick love and abuse is all the boy knows and he longs for what attention he gets. Maybe it really is just a poem about a father who comes home drunk and while he intends to be playful he accidentally hurts the boy and both are pitiable in their plight, though I tend to think that the poem is about the boy's relationship with his father as a whole and how aclohal ruined all the potential good times the two could have shared.

“Sonny's Blues” By James Baldwin pg 404
This was a really interesting short story. I liked how the separation between the two brothers didn't automatically disappear. I want to say that Sonny will stay off heroine but I'm really not so sure. I think that he is doing better, and I think the ending with Sonny playing the piano so well without the drugs is a positive note. Maybe if Sonny stays with his brother and his family things will end up alright for him. I wonder where he ever got the money for heroine in the first place?
I wish that the narrator had tried harder to stay in touch with Sonny in the beginning. He seem so self focused, and uncaring about his brother. I wonder why the two were never close. One would think that in that sort of neighborhood family would really mean something and one would stick together because one knew that he or she could trust family. I know the two of them are very different, but I still wonder how one escaped without any addictions and the other one fell into drugs. Why didn't his brother warn him? Why couldn't Sonny see the problems for himself.
I have a lot of problems with this story in some ways because I am the oldest in my family. My sister, Emma, is two and a half years younger than me and my brother, Kyle, is five years younger than me and we are very close. I stand up for Kyle and I defend. Even now, when I am three hours away from them, I am the first to know what is happening in their lives, and I am the first one that they come to for advice. I talk to my siblings much more than I talk to my mother or father. My sister and I are as different as day and night. I can remember the first time my band director met my sister. I was one of his favorite students, so he was thrilled that he was going to conduct an event where he would meet my sister earlier. When he came back from meeting Emma the first thing he said to me about the meeting is “Your sister is significantly different than you are. Are you two really even related?” I laughed and nodded at him.
My point though, is that even though the narrator and Sonny are very different and they are farther away age wise, there is no reason why the two shouldn't be closer. They could have done so much by pooling together their separate talents and weaknesses. I also don't understand why the mother and father did not speak of the father's brother sooner. I think that would have been something very important to have told both Sonny and the narrator. It shows the importance of brothers and family, and it also tells both of them that they don't have to go looking to get in trouble. It might have helped both of them to understand the importance of sticking together.
There is a serious lack of communication between the two brothers, and that really annoys me. I don't think that people communicate in a clear and meaningful way often enough in stories or in real life. I always try my best to say exactly what I mean in the best and mot frank way possible. Sometimes the situation calls for more tact and diplomacy than complete disclosure would allow but it still is important to speak one's truth. I really think that if Sonny and the narrator had communicated more clearly than things would have turned out better. They might have never seen eye to eye, but at least they would understand one another and be able to better respect the other's challenges and difficulties.
I feel that if I have been able to get my feelings better across to my mother then maybe we wouldn't have the rift between us we do to day. I tried to in as many ways as I know how, but my mother and I are very different people who operate in very different ways. I love her very much, and while I understand what she thinks, how she reacts, and I have reasons towards why, it is much harder for me to get across why I feel and act as I do to her.

“Daddy” by Sylvia Plath pg 350
This is a beautiful poem that I have trouble relating to. My Dad and I have a pretty good relationship for the most part. There wasn't this struggling anger, accusation, or hurt that seems to be in Plath's poem. When I was younger I idolized my dad and I clung to him when he was home. Then he was home less and working more, and I began to hate work for it, how dare they take away my father. After I while though, I understood my father's responsibilities at work and really just learned to appreciate what time we had. As kids, my sister and I would fight over who could sit next to my father anywhere we went. We held his hand when he walked even though we had to run to keep up with his long strides. I did a lot of things that I would have been too scared to do because my father offered them to me and I wanted to be close to him. I also did a lot of boring things for the sake of spending time with my father. I tried to get along so long with my mother for my father's sake. I think that I would have had nothing to do with her a very long time ago if my father did not love her so very much.
My dad and I have always been able to talk easily. We have been open with thoughts and feelings and there is little we don't share. Certainly lots of our thoughts are from complete opposite schools and our opinions on many things hit opposite ranges of extremes. We have fought ugly battles over who is correct and what so of obligations I do or do not owe my parents for raising me, but at the end of the day we can walk away respecting our difference of opinions and compromising on a course of action.
I think the angriest I ever made my father was when I told him that I was not Roman Catholic and that I did not believe that Jesus Christ was our Savior. My father is very religious and our family goes to church every Sunday, I went to Religious Studies weekly , my mother is part of a bible club, and God is discussed in great detail all the time. It was a very big shock for him to find out that I had rejected that particular faith system and was searching on my own for something else. I can still remember the hurt and the betrayal. We talked for hours, weeks, and even years about why I did not believe in Christianity and what I did believe. I know today he is still not really thrilled with this, but we get around it. I go to church with my family weekly out of respect for their beliefs when I am home, and I will hold a discussion on any faith I know enough about to talk on.

“Heritage” by Linda Hogan pg 490
So very interesting and cute. The narrator is talking about what each member of her family gave her. She has her mother's wrinkles, as I have my mother's nose. Her mother taught her to bake bread. She has her father's eyes and a memory from the year that locusts destroyed the crops. Her uncle created wooden carvings she still has, and she learned the old chants from her native culture from him . Her grandfather taught her old supertions and how to fear an inablity to communicate through his own silent ways.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the poem isn't about the traits that the narrator has gained from her family, but the shame she feels that she carries in the family line. Somewhere in her family line, children were had between the native people and white people. The narrator carries that heritage with her in shame. She feels it is a stain on her native culture and who she is supposed to be. She values her heritage and loves all that is Native American about her family. She clings to family traditions and believes folk remedies and learns her old language. It is clear that the narrator's white heritage is a mark of shame to her.
I can't relate to this feeling of shame in heritage. I want to say that one shouldn't be ashamed of one's background but accept it and celebrate what one can of it, though I guess that it should be expected that there is a lot of prejudice and hate against one's heritage if there was a rape one could remember in one's lineage. Its a whole part of being a rape child I had never considered. I had thought about how both the mother and the child could potentially get over the trauma of how the child was conceived and the child could be loved and well cared for, but I have never thought of the child's father. I guess that I thought the child's dad and his heritage would drift off into obscurity, but if the rapist was of a different ethnicity then I suppose it would be easy to fall into the trap of feeling ashamed and guilty for one's background.
It would be especially easy to feel very self consciously away of one's lineage in the late seventy in Oklahoma where one doesn't fit in with either the other Native Americans or the white section. One is discriminated because of one's Native American heritage, but one is not accepted into the Native American community because of one's white blood. I couldn't image what that is like.

“The Mother” by Cwendolyn Brooks pg 583
I know this is a terribly sad poem and I should have more sympathy for the narrator... but I just can't muster it. I am sorry that this has happened to her, but she really did it to herself. It makes me so angry, but I am strongly against abortion. I do think that it is wrong. I don't know, for me abortion never will be a solution, but I respect other's choices to do as will. I try not to judge others for their own choices regarding abortion because it is such a personal topic. I try to avoid conversations about it, but of course it is everywhere, and people do dislike my take on the situation. I don't know, now that I personally know people very well who have had abortions, I struggle more and more with it. I don't like it, it is wrong. In the cases I know of abortion, I don't think I can forgive the person who had one. She was having unprotected sex, what did she expect? How could she just kill that potential? I couldn't watch all that life bleed out of me, I have too much respect for it.
I'm sure there are millions more abortions that have been performed for good reasons, perhaps the child will be born with a genetic disease that will savagely kill it, maybe the mother will die in child birth if she carries the baby to term, or perhaps the mother was raped and can not emotionally deal with the child she is carrying in her. I am sure there are more abortions for this reason than there are because people are irresponsible, but I can't stop from hating the act for the minority.
I don't know this woman's full story. I have no idea why she killed those children and all that potential. I can weep for what could have been with her because I am so conscientious of it as well, but I have trouble feeling sorry for her. I am sorry for her potential children. I am sorry for what the world could have had, and I am angry at her. So many families want children and can't have them, and then there are those who have abortions. There are many mothers who lose their child to miscarriages, who's children don't survive their birth, or who are dead before they are born, and this woman finds write about those she threw away. If I ever get old and try to have children but am unable to for whatever reason, this is the sort of poem that would make me cry in my own frustration while I detested the narrator for her words.
I guess what I am saying is that I am glad that she is sorry about what she did. I am glad that she has sorrow for what could have been. I think I would be angry if I got through this and found a “ham abortion solves everything without regret or mixed emotions”. How could anyone hope to forget a life?

“Two Small-Sized Girls” Minne Bruce Pratt pg 630
I feel bad for the narrator. She shouldn't have lost her children. She sounds like she is a good and capable mother, but the courts did not want a lesbian to have the children. I wonder if the husband is nice. I wonder how people get to a point where they have children and are married, only to realize that they had a different sexual orientation.
I wonder how the husband took it, and I wonder how the family took it. Was it a bitter divorce or just a sad one? Is the narrator allowed to see her children now or are all her rights removed? Does the grandmother know of her daughter's lifestyle choice? How does the grandmother feel? I think the grandmother must know about her daughter's decisions, and I hope she is there for her. She seems to be there.
She gave birth to those children. She nursed them as babies. She taught them how to speak, and now because of one life choice, which has no bearing on her mothering capabilities she has lost her children. That is terrible.
It is interesting how the two girls who grew up as almost sisters became a lesbian couple in their poem. Ones who are going through the same trials to try and keep their children. I don't know what I would do if I have children and they were threatened in such a way. I think I would stay with my husband to keep the children close. Perhaps that would be lying to myself or dangerous to my health, if I have children they will be my primary concern in life.
The corn dolls are sad and I'm not quite sure what to make of them, in the beginning the two girls were making people out of corn dolls, and in the middle they had made real children with their ex-husbands and lost them, then in the third part they burned their corn dolls and all their gardens. Is this symbolic of the girls being unable to keep what they shape. Has society ripped everything from these girls hands that all that is left for them is self destruction? Or is burning the doll a form of control and power over the enemy, a “you took our children, but we won't let you take everything even if it has to be destroyed to keep it from you. I would rather the destruction of my creations than the possession of what I love be in the hands of a stranger.”

“The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams pg 437
That was terribly sad, but I suppose it is a classic Tennessee William thing to do. After all, what is a play without at least two insane women. I love Laura, and I feel bad for her. I like the little world she lives in, I like the fact that she seems so entranced with art and beauty . Her child like wonder is something to be marveled and appreciated. I love the fact that how hard she tries to make her mother and brother happy. I feel bad for the brother, but I feel worse for Laura. I want to know what is wrong with her. Why isn't she working a common laborer job as her brother is? Why is she so shy? How come she seems to be so quickly and easily started. In some ways her sensitivity bothers me a little. I want her to learn to stand up for herself. I want her to love herself. She is too delicate for the world she lives in. In many ways she reminds me of the vulnerable piece of Blanche from Streetcar Named Desire.
The mother was so demanding and bitter. I think she drove her husband away as she drove her son away. She didn't want what was best for her son she wanted what was best for herself. The mother really never stopped to think about what was best for Laura only about trying to relive her own life, only without all the mistakes of her former life. Parents seem to do this so much more than they should. I feel like my mother tries to improve her own perfection through me sometimes and that really isn't any of her business what I do or do not do.
I don't understand why the family stayed stranded up north when the father left. Certainly the mother must have made friends when she settled in the area, and if for some reason she had difficulty making friends, why didn't she go back south where friends and family could have helped her. She should have collected herself for the sake of her family. I wish she could have pulled things together for their sake. I feel like Tom's dreams were crushed before they even had a chance to take off. He was burdened with a crippled sister and an insane overly controlling mother. I don't understand why the mother felt she had any authority over Tom if Tom paid all the bills for the family's existence. She reminded me of Mrs. Readren, who also tried to force her son to take care of the family to his own destruction. It was never Tom's responsibility, and while I don't think that I could have left my sister to starve and suffer as Tom inevitable has, I am glad for him. He has a chance to be happy, and out of everyone in that family, he is really the only one with the chance to be happy. Laura, while I want to cradle her and protect her really doesn't have the resources to become happy. She doesn't have the resolve to leave the house, she doesn't have the drive to do anything. I wish she wasn't to delicate to exist in this world, but she really is one of those glass trinkets that is constantly being cracked and broken by the smallest bump. Both Jim and Tom break her and her will in so many ways and it is so sad that Jim was engaged and could not help Laura out of her shell. I wonder if he is just lying to her about the engagement to not hurt her feelings. I wish that there was someone in the play to relate to Laura, but there isn't. I think Tom comes the closest to really understanding her, and Tom is too bound and gagged by society himself to help Laura. It makes me very sad and hurt. In someways it reminds me of my sister and my relationship. I know she is at home struggling with my mother in many ways similar to those I struggled, and I want to help her, but I can't. I don't know what to say to her, and I don't know how to keep mother off of her. I can't give her success and understanding for her anymore than I could find those sort of things in that house.

“The Running Man” by Loren Eileley pg 335
The mother is a character. I love that she is “stone deaf” and still independent enough to go from farmers house to farmer's house cleaning, cooking, and sewing for jobs. IT only makes it better that she is “paranoid, neurotic, and unstable.” I have to admit in the beginning I laughed at this intro where she was staying with her sister, who took her in out of charity, left to work odd jobs in the farm because she was fed up with dealing with the sister. I also love the lines “It comes to me in retrospect that I never saw my mother weep; it was her gift to make others suffer instead.” I laughed then too. It sounded so much like the typical mother introduction, the one who doesn't cry but just yells has her son(s) and/or daughter(s) about how useless and pathetic they are. “Do you know how much easier my life would be without you?! Do you know what I sacrificed for you? I don't know how yet, but somehow this is all your fault!” I could just here the woman shouting these... though she is def so she probably can't talk either. I wonder exactly how one knew that she was trying to make you bad, I mean all you'd have to do is close your eyes and she would effectively be blocked out from your life. I know so very many people like this in general, not just mothers but group leaders and scared children who don't want to face the reality of life and the responsibility that one day they will have to claim.
The stream of consciousness reminded me much of Faulkner's work, and I found it a little confusing. I know I lost a lot of it in pure confusion and inability relate. I know that his mother died, and I think that his father left him. I get the feeling that his mother and himself were wandering and living outside in the cold wilderness. I think that at one point in time they both almost died in a pile of leaves from cold and pure exhaustion. There are a lot of references to the “American Man” which admittedly I have trouble placing. I wonder if this is him trying to be the all American Man or if this is his way of mocking the American Man.

“The Love of My Life” by T. Coraghessan Boyle pg 612
These kids are retarded. You just don't have sex without a condom or some form of birth control. As crude as the saying is it fits this short story “no glove no love”. I was just so angry at this couple. What were they thinking? Life is not a cliché love movie. One can not expect it to be filled with the wonder and and magic of one. China and Jeremy are so stupid, I hope that both of them got locked in prison forever. The baby wasn't a thing, an it or and alien, it was a person, it was life, it was pure potential in its most precious form.
If she didn't want the kid there was the option of abortion. China's family was friends with her doctor, he would have given her a late term abortion, even her dad had said so. What annoyed me most about China and her family was that the parents weren't really properly upset with China. They were concerned for her, but they weren't angry in the right manner. They didn't seem to care as much as they should have about how significantly she had failed her responsibility.
Jeremy was just insane, how could he take a living, breathing child and look at it in the face before throwing it into a dumpster to never see the kid again. It was his daughter, even as unwanted as the child was, didn't he have some sort of respect for the child and for life and the meaning of life? Didn't he feel any pull of obligation?
By then end of the short story, it was clear that China and Jeremy had lost everything, including their sanity. They were in an immature and unhealthy relationship, where apparently they couldn't talk openly about sex, clinics, what they would do if a China ever did become pregnant. They were school smart, but as far as life knowledge goes, they were children playing privileged adults from their favorite movies. When the events didn't fit the script, they didn't know what to do.
I think one aspect of the short story is where Jeremy talks about how China is selfish and used to getting her way and now he sees and resents her for it. I want to laugh in his face at that statement. She's selfish and childish, what about him? Is he any better? Does act any differently? He should have insisted that she someone to either get an abortion or an adoption. He should have known that not talking about it won't make the baby go away. One can't dispose of a living creature as one can dispose of trash. Jeremy should have used China's fear of exposure to his advantage and threatened to tell everyone about her pregnancy if she did not get an abortion or if she did not come to a realistic plan about what to do.
Their love is a twisted immature love where the two look to the other to support and keep themselves safe. They don't really love each other so much as go through the motions. I think Jeremy might have cared for China as a friend cares for one another, but I think what he liked best about China was the sex in their relationship. As for China, she was finding a man to wave around and show how perfect and how much better than other girls she was. She was obsessed with Jeremy and didn't know what to do or think without him by her side. Her obsession is unhealthy and part of what drives her crazy by the end of this short story.

Jan. 22nd, 2008

Ick

I know I'm a lazy slacker but four plus hours of homework are so not my bag baby. Unfortunately I'm not done yet so my life will have to suck a little more a little longer. At least I have the time on Tuesdays to plow through it though.

And on the plus sides the bf won't be out of class till 9 so there will be NO distractions beyond those I make for myself (like this one). But I'm off to read my life away and hopefully some day soon my prince will come and slay the text book dragon that breathes armor piercing pencils and cynicism.
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Jan. 18th, 2008

Every English Major Should

I know I know. I hate when people start a conversation with "Everyone should", but today in American Lit we went over Allen Ginsberg's "America" and my friend turned to me and said anyone who is an English major living in America should have read Ginsberg, especially "America". I couldn't help feeling that maybe she was right.

On one side the first time some one had even pointed Ginsberg out to me was my Junior year of college, so I'm not one to throw stones. Another thing is that while I value the creative aspect of English, you can major in a more applicable English major and never learn about poets at all. Perhaps the thing I think most important is that what is "great literature" is all about opinion. What is great to me or to critics or to my aunt is all different. While I should sample things that I think I'd like and maybe look at a few things because they are "good" I don't think there are any "musts".

All of that a side I love Ginsberg specifically this poem and if I was going to create an American commentary class this poem would be at the top of the list. I really think that this poem is worth a read and a thought. Always have. For that reason it was hard to say the obligatory "no people don't have to read this poem and it can be understandible of people don't know of Ginsberg".

If you haven't read it, you should.




Speaking of poetry I got my poetry book back. I got an A-. Apparently only some of my poems were "clear and Comples at once....writing about what is important". I was somewhat surprised by his choices of good poems and bad ones. While it was no surprise that he liked Body Songs I was somewhat surprised that he didn't like Dear Reader, a poem he had claimed to really like (that I think is somewhat terrible) earlier in the semester. I made all his suggested changes to it, but whatever. I was really trying to pull a Robert Bly there and for me it was a huge failure, who knows maybe he saw that in it too or maybe he just didn't think the poem fit with the rest of my portfolio as I can be poetic when I feel like it.

It was no surprise top me that he liked Hackneyed. It is possibly the strongest poem I have in my portfolio. There are others I like more or less than this one but I think as far as universal goes, this on probably steals the prize. Though, I was taken a back that he didn't like Quarter Life Crisis so much. I think it's funny and a little cheeky, but over all the theme and the kind of style is very similar to Hackneyed.

I am pleasantly surprised that he liked He Doesn't Know He Plays Too Rough. I was really trying for something that was bouncy but dealing with a more serious topic, so I'm glad that worked and was something he found universal. I'm also glad he likes it because I know in class when he had to deal with poems that brought up women's issues sometimes he was put off by the topic or the whole feeling like there was finger pointing going on. It sucks that we live in a culture that seems to push a one or the other. If a woman is venting about anything sexist then she is obviously blaming men. Maybe she's just venting, or pointing something out that needs to be addressed. It doesn't have to be some kind of personal attack.

However, I am really amazed he didn't like To All The Bastards. One of the things he likes is metaphors and descriptions, of which I thought there was quite a bit in there. Of course I think some of the turn around in the poem is quite clever too and that might just all be perception. I also think that the poem is very universal (as I doubt I'm the only person out there whose been told they are pretty when they cry or that it's sexy when I get angry). Perhaps it just wasn't something he could relate to or maybe I just didn't do as good a job with it as I thought. I know the last line is sort of abrupt and doesn't entirely fit but beyond that, I'm not sure what there is to correct. Maybe this was just too girl powerish for him, I don't know.

Every man I've ever known really likes and in some weird way identifies with Facets. I find this a little odd because this poem is disturbing and about a very specific type of boy to man. The work itself is derived from three men I know in the real world. I'm not exactly sure what my professor thinks the universal theme is here, but maybe he's just refering to how specifically men seem to be highly drawn to this work. Part of it's appeal might just be that I don't have a lot of work that I think would interest many guys. My audience especially in poetry generally leans to a more female venue, which is something I either need to consider more or work on more.

I wonder if Too Late to Be Self Righteous? (f-list locked) is actually a good poem or just a poem he was afraid to not star. I mean the content within the work is very personal and emotional. Often I see teachers give students awesome grades for really touchy subjects because the subject is touchy (the work itself though is often crap). I wonder if this is a spare the feelings more or if this is props for trying something that is hard to tackle. Either way though at this point in my life I find it really counter productive for teachers to score something well because it's personal. If the work is crap I really wish that someone would just tell me. I wrote it when I was upset and in a bad place and I thought a lot about whether or not I wanted to share. I wanted to share it for real critique and work because I think that it could stand up to it and because I do have enough distance now to talk about it, but since that isn't how everyone acts and a lot of people are overly sensitive to a student's emotions, I can't be certain if this is a pity like or not.

Of course he liked Tell You What. My attempt at a Billy Collins-ish poem. It isn't Billy Collins-ish. It's too serious for that and the topic doesn't even end up being a purely happy poem but a sort of bitter sweet thing going on. I really think he likes the comparisons and the classic undertones, but I wonder whether it's just too classic and too overdone. Personally I love it cause it's about my current bf and it suits us very well, but I don't know how universal that really is.

That being said I'm surprised he didn't seem to like Unexpected (f-listed). I mean it's a little racey. A bit of boldly going where many have gone before but where people often crash and burn and where hopefully I'll walk the fine line between class and crass to a stunning success. I suppose maybe it just wasn't a stunning success. I'm kind of biased because obviously I think it's pretty good and because you know it's about my current relationship. Though I've written a third poem about this boy that I wouldn't even post on ij because it is beyond terrible. I don't even know what's wrong with it or how to change it except that it isn't interesting and the description lacks something or other. The difference here is obviously that I think Unexpected is really good and I do think that it's applicable to many different people. I kind of wish he'd given me some more feed back about why this one doesn't stand out to him. Maybe that was just too embarassing for him to do though or whatever.

I really liked Wishes but understand why he might not. Beyond that I'm surprised that Only for the Easily Impressed didn't get a mention and even though I know he doesn't like On Friendship and Other Lamness, I think it's great. Woot poetic differences.
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Dec. 30th, 2007

Happy Post Christmas "Bliss"

Let's do this Cliff Notes Style because goodness knows I have a lot to write and not as much time as I'd like. Turns out I'm ten time busier at home than at school...who'd have thought. (I know I wouldn't)

Couple of notes before I got on. 1. I'm about to intertwine my Internet life and my real life. If the notes don't apply, are boring or are super geeky please feel free to skip them. 2. These thoughts and notes are in no particular order they are all things I just want to either throw out to the community at large or that I just want to jot down. 3. There will probably be a lot of back tracking and the time line is going to be fuzzy. Sorry.

Alright here we go.

  • Since I've been poking around at the ij I now own a ton of awesome icons. I want to take a moment to thank all the talented icon creators here. I think I've got like 136 icons and I love them. Thanks to anyone who helped make this possible I love a ton of the work I've seen and hope to see more of it.

  • Noticed that the [info]asylum_promo became a modded group and I'm stoked. I know or at least recognize all the mods and from their posts I know that they will be fair and come up with some rules that will hope regulate the community. For the record, things I'd like to see change over at the promo include: not pimping something more than once a week, putting any pictures behind a cut, not repeating the same asylum name over and over again in a post cause it's incredibly annoying, and possibly a separate asylum for advertising rps. I like rps and I like hearing about them, but I just think it could do with a separate space.

  • Sorry [info]pagan_times has been so dead recently. Its on my list of things to hit but I've got a large list so excuse me if I don't get it till Tues or Wed.

  • I saw the Golden Compass and LOVED it. Loved it so much I went out and got the book. The book is better, but I've got to say the movie is a really good take and while a lot of the religion aspect is gone, the anti-establishment vibe definitely still exists. But I am So PROMISING a post about the book and the movie with spoiler warnings and ij cuts and what not.

  • I kind of want to do a write up on Beowulf even though the movie was terrible. I'm not sure about that yet. I know it's been like a month and all, but we'll see.

  • My bf did make it out home eventually. There was a huge storm going on and for a while we weren't sure what would happen. I was really really worried for him. But you know a side from a lot of delays and staying overnight in an odd hotel, he didn't get stranded or miss his plane or get hurt, so I guess it all worked out.

    I had the worst nightmares about it though. One of them where a series or worse weather kept coming and then I "woke up" and ran out of my room to answer the door to who I thought was the bf only to realize it wasn't and I should have known better because he was at the airport, but then that person told me the bf had died and I woke up for real with the worst feeling. Of course he was fine and it worked out but that dream was really scary. Then there was the one I had about half a week later where I was the one trying to get a flight and I couldn't seem to catch it and I was so lost and running from a murderer while trying to please my family. Guess I let my anxiety get the better of me on this one. The really funny part of this is that I'm not at all afraid of flying. I like it even cause the flight gives me time to think and prepare myself for where ever I'm going and what I'm doing. I mean I've been on a plane where the turbulence was so bad that the air bags were deployed and over half the plane (including me) got sick, and I never worry twice about flying. I sometimes worry about catching connecting flights, but even then the fear is minimal, so its an odd topic for my subconsious to pick for nightmares.

  • I got home fine too. I was worried that there would be some anger cause of my lack of calling. Family was just happy to see me and I felt a little sheepish avoiding them like that. Sometimes I really wish that this power play my parents and I are locked in wasn't so damned brutal. I mean I don't want to be in a power play with them at all. I'm thinking it's going to have to come to a head soon, and I don't know what I'm going to do if it gets ugly, but one hurdle at a time right?

  • Bf was terribly sick on Christmas and he missed his family ski trip which is really sad cause he loves skiing, especially in Colorado and he doesn't get a lot of chances to do it.

  • My mom was sick for Christmas too and I felt a little bad for her. She's stressed and since she hasn't thrown a fit yet this year I can't help but hope that she's really mellowing. Who knows maybe it really is all my fault she gets all wound up. Go figure

  • Before I left I wrote a third part to Surprise Surprise. I haven't looked too closely at it since I've been home so I don't know if I'm going to keep it. I think it might be better if I cut bits but I'm not sure yet. The meat of the section is a conversation between the hunter (where we still don't learn his real name but do get one of his aliases) and a werewolf pack leader. I currently have some set up with the hunter on the subway getting to his meeting with the pack leader. In it we talk a little history of the pack and how it is different than other packs. We also talk a little about Kiyoshi. I don't know if it's needed. I mean it might come across as boring and also it might just be too jumbled but at the same time I'm really not interested in giving the whole set up in one chapter. I just want to throw out what the audience needs to know.

    Also it isn't funny an in this bit our hunter is finally doing some research. Of course it's possible by now that the audience is ready for a lite something because you know, until now it's been action and some people might want more on what's going on. Besides, couldn't have him hunting down werewolves the whole time without a little research and without showing that he has informants and connections. I don't know though if what I've written creates more questions than it gives answers, which if you're going to throw in section that finally begins to help illuminate the reader on what the hell is going on, then it's really important that it actually does that.

    Another problem I'm having right now is that the pack leader is black and I don't know how to drop that in the story well. Part of it is that I haven't actually had any really detailed character descriptions in the story up till now. Sometimes we'd discuss clothing or facial expressions, but never the whole hair color, eye color, height, skin color deal. Even if I'd been doing that I don't know how to throw in the skin color factor. I guess I could just come out with it...actually I think I'm coming up with a thought on it as we speak. This is really important to me because the story does take place in a New Yorkish city where diversity is a huge thing and since white is the default skin color I want to make sure that I have POC's properly represented and mentioned.

  • I'm going to be posting my poems up soon. Some will be friended and others won't. I would love feed back on them and I'll be sure to put up some warnings with them as several of them are what I consider to be explicit or potentially upsetting.

  • Was given a nativity ornament as a gift and the person was very sheepish about it after learning that I'm not Christian. I wasn't sure how to respond to their awkwardness at the time. I'm not used to family and family friends acknowledging that I'm not Christian. My friends, peers, and the Internet at large knows I'm pagan. I've told my immediate family, who pretend it's a phase, though they have told the extended family on several occasions in an attempt to shame me, but it's never been brought up or acknowledged beyond those awkward instances of attempted shaming. Often I forget that they have any idea and as a result I was unprepared for this kind of reaction that acknowledges that perhaps we don't share a faith and the nativity might not be appropriate. Part of me was pleased that this person had thought of it at all and part of me felt something I can't even pinpoint in my own mind. I don't know, it's just that this ornament was something the person got in Peru for me. The craftsmanship on it is amazing and I have to say whether or not I'm religiously moved, the piece is beautiful. I like it and appreciate it the same way I like and appreciate any other cultural or religious work that is different than my own. I guess the point was that the gift is entirely appropriate even if it isn't appropriate for the reasons that the giver thought they would be. I do like the gift and even if I didn't, that she thought to get me something was nice. I don't know, I guess it doesn't have the effect she hoped and that's why she's sorry, but I think it's kind of silly for people to expect anything religious to hit other people even of the same religion the same way it hits them.

  • On that line, my day made a quiet comment about me going to hell that I didn't pick up until it was too late. I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised by it or even taken aback, but I was a little. I guess I had it coming since I've refused to go to church (though I did go for Christmas mass to humor everyone) and told him that I'm not afraid of evil or the devil. Meh, whatever. I just wish that when he'd muttered "it's a dry heat" I'd picked it up fast enough to say, "I don't worry too much about the temperatures of imaginary places, but thanks for the forecast". It probably would have been in bad taste for Christmas Eve anyhow...though I guess talking about how your child is damned on Christmas Eve is probably in equally bad taste.

  • Christmas sermon was about hope and how hope of the physical was a weak poor man's substitute for hope of the spiritual nature. This got me thinking why is the physical so much less than this nebulous spiritual to so many people of so many differing faiths? Don't get me wrong, I'll prattle on about energy, the astral plane, souls, and purpose as much as the next person. But I've got to say that my primary focus is in the here and now, which very much includes the physical. I'd think that since what is right in front of our faces is sometimes what's hardest to see that we would want to focus on that at least as much as the spiritual. I mean if God wanted his followers to be all about the afterlife and glory eternal, then why create a physical world at all? If we weren't supposed to pay some kind of attention here and for attachments and hopes and dreams and get caught up in the fleeting then why have it at all. I mean if one thing is fleeting while the other is eternal, shouldn't we go after the fleeting thing first, the other stuff will still be there. I don't know though, maybe I'm taking him too literally.

  • While at work I had a thought about mandalas. I was thinking about how traditionally Buddist monks painstakingly make them and then destroy them and how in a lot of ways that 's a lot like doodling. I mean people discard doodles when they're done and what people doodle and how they doodle does say a lot about the kind of person they are and the mood they are in. I mean it isn't as focused as making a mandala is and the level of craft isn't there, but some aspects still remain. Just a thought, silly and fleeting, I figured I would throw it out there. Who knows maybe classes, boring office jobs, and other things that draw people to doodle actually help hone another part of us. Like blocking whatever the thing is that will kill us with boredom actually brings our mind to another frame of consciousness that helps us just show some small piece of the subconscious I do wonder if this could be focused into something more and I do wonder if those doodle trances a lot of people get into where it takes them a moment to respond when someone talks to them is sort of like a pre-meditative state. I know for me there are some similarities, but I don't know about others.

  • Mom and Dad say my work cloths suck and I need new ones. The ones I have are perfectly serviceable They told me everyday this week that I looked nice and then told me on Saturday that I looked old and frumpy and they were going to pay to update my work look. They made a big deal about it being something that "shows who I am" and that it was something "I liked". They haven't entirely grasped that who I am is not an office person and that the clothes I enjoy wearing are not appropriate office wear. Some of the problem I have with picking out office wear is that it's hard for me to get nice office clothes because I think all of it looks ugly (no offense to people who like that look I can see why it would be appealing for the right personality and I am aware that there are many people who wear those kind of outfits very well). I think my dad might have put it best when he said "Office wear doesn't have to be as boring as you think it does, plenty of people wear eclectic fun things to work now a days and you can too. Just that to you that eclectic stuff probably registers as normal." So I know that I don't have the foggiest of what to get for that kind of clothing. It's why my mother or my aunt come with me. They pick out clothes, I try them on, and we get what fits and whatever they think looks best.

    This has been the drill for three years now and suddenly my mom wants to mix it up. She comes with me but she wants me to pick out the clothes. Ok, I work in an office where the youngest person next to me is in their late thirties so I have not office wear role models here to base my picks off of. I know what I'm wearing is apparently too old.....so how the heck am I supposed to go about picking stuff. And then when she gets aggravated she starts picking things and every time I go to take it from her she says "do you like it?" and I look at her in confusion. Then she puts it down and says "if you don't like it we won't get it"--when has that mattered and more importantly why should it matter. "Your office cloths need to reflect you". We spent hours like this with me trying to lie about whether or not I liked the ugly clothes and her repeating mantras of "it would be easier if you looked for yourself and picked something out" "your clothes are a reflection of how far you can go in a job" and "you need this to make a personal statement about you".

    I don't ever want to make a fucking personal statement about me at work. I don't think a lot of my personal information is office appropriate and since a lot of my look outside work is centered around that, I don't see how I should be bringing that into the office. I know what she wants is to show them that I can be put together and that I'm up beat and going places. I think my smile and quick processing ability should do that for me.

    I understand not looking sloppy. I understand accessorizing. I'd understand if she wanted me to wear certain colors or styles, but this fucking bull shit about the office being me is driving me batty. My office me is a persona and one that has very little to do with who I am. Just as my dutiful daughter routine is a persona, though admittedly that one is much closer to the real me that the office one.

    Another thing I resent is feeling like buying me this wardrobe is a power play. I know I should be thankful. Office clothes are expensive and even if I just got some new ones this summer, more new clothes doesn't hurt. But some of it is just the way it's handled. The whole "we will do it now", "we have decided that what you wear is inappropriate so you will change it", "you will go with your mother, you will smile, you will agree, you will think she's brilliant, you won't frustrate her or be pouty or disagree, you are lucky and you will act that way". I mean I don't think I need it and I just don't want any of the stuff that bad. I know I'm being ungrateful and I know that some of it has to be in my head but I feel constantly like I'm in a power struggle with my parents for control of my own life. I feel manipulated and cheated. Part of this is a problem because I am really interested in pursuing a career in reiki and alternative healing and I've been doing a lot to work on that. Some of this including scheduling interviews, email people who have made this work, and networking with other people in this field. I've really just gotten started with all this in the past few days, but it's going well and will be going better when my parents stop trying to distract me with things that I don't need to do like go clothes shopping for outfits that I hopefully won't need in a year or two.

  • Speaking of power play chronicles, my mother offered to pay to get my hair cut, very generous, but now she won't let me get it cut where I want. She said "when are you going to get it done" and I said "Monday or Tuesday" and she said "Since you haven't made an appointment you won't be able to do it then, it's New Years" and I said "I was going to go to Cost Cutters, they'll have time" and she replied "I said I would pay for the hair cut and when I said that I meant a real one. Cost Cutters isn't an appropriate place to go" where I said "Cost Cutters does cut hair and it's where I got my last hair cut. You liked that one or were you lying when you said that?" and she said "No I liked it, but you just must have been lucky". We didn't talk after that about it. I know she thinks she's won, but I figure I'll just go and pay for it myself like I planned to originally. I appreciate her offer but I don't appreciate the second guessing, the judging, and posturing that go with it.

  • And it goes on and on with my fucking hair. When I came home she offered me these sample shampoos and conditioners. I accepted them and thanked her. I've used them and they are nice, but I really like the shampoo and conditioner I'm using already. The original reason I got the product 'm using now is that they were made naturally and I was trying to get rid of a couple specific chemicals used in most shampoos. For a while I was using baking soda and water, then I swapped to natural shampoo and condition at my mother's insistence that my hair smelled (the project started in the winter and when the summer hit there is a legit possibility I needed something more which is why I did go get some product). I love the products I got. My hair has never looked nicer. My curls are nice, the frizz is the lowest it's ever been, my hair is incredibility soft feeling, and I have a really nice shine going on (not overly shiny, just healthy shine).

    There is one problem with the products I'm using and that's the fact that the hemp in the product has made my hair a lot darker. I went from a dirty blond to dark brown. This does make me look a bit paler, but I've always been pale. It also obscures a lot of my natural highlights, but you know what, I'm so happy with everything else about this product that I don't mind the darker hair. To be honest, in some lights the darker hair looks even nicer that the dirty blond did. It's mostly bright light that does that, but hey I love direct sunlight so it's really not a problem.

    This dark hair color for whatever reasons is a huge problem to my mother. She started harping on it over the summer and eventually relented that since the product was so nice for everything else and the dark brown really was pretty in some lights, it wasn't too big a deal. Apparently this was a lie since we had a long conversation about it on Thanksgiving and when I came home she had new expensive product samples for me to try. The products aren't as nice as the ones I've been using and they have the chemicals in them (you know the ones that I was trying to get rid of in the first place)...though my hair has been slowly getting lighter while I've used these products.

    My mother wants to get me these product to replace what I have and I told her no. There's a couple reasons first is the chemical problem, the second is that my other products work better, but the last is that when I was using mainstream brand shampoos and conditioners I had to change what I was using every two or three months because it stopped working and after eight months of use my natural products still work very well. Why would I go to something more expensive, chemically harmful, that would stop working in a few months when I have something that works?

    None of this is her business and here she is trying to throw money at me to control me with so she can have whatever way she wants. I couldn't' believe how rude she and my father were about it either. I get that you think my chemical concerns are stupid, I think your concern over splenda is stupid, but I know it isn't my business and I'm far too polite to go around insulting you for it. Tonight they ganged up on me over the product. My father told me that discounting the color changing properties of my hair products would be like discounting a soap that changed my skin tone. First of all, people change hair color all the time, second of all people do change their skin color with self tanning solution all the time and people do go out of their way to find it in lotion and foundation. In fact I have a foundation that works well and also happens to darken my skin slightly. I got it because it worked well not because it gave my skin a slightly more tanned look (in fact I think I would like it better without the slight tan cause now I have to worry about my neckline and what not), so it looks like I do buy other products that alter my coloration for reasons other than the color changing property and still use them so long as they are flattering. And since both of them said it was flattering over the summer I don't see why it's ugly now.

    A lot of times they let things go when they think it will be a phase though so it's possible and apparent at this point that this was another of the many lies they tell me hoping I'll grow out of something. It would be easier to get me to stop it early on with honest and frank commentary. Now that I've been lied to about it why would I trust your opinion or advice? And now that I'm used to the color and everyone who sees me often is used to it, I don't see how it could or should be effecting me negatively. It looks natural on me and all that jazz. Whatever though, some of this is my fault for not just being blunt and telling them to shut up. Most of the time I just say nothing and continue as I have been. This makes them angry since a lack of reaction makes them believe they've won. All it means is that I want them to shut up and I know my silence does this faster than an argument could. They call this passive aggressive. I call what they do to me manipulate and passive aggressive. I guess my friend is right, I"m not going to be able to live here long after college, it at all. I'm thinking I should add looking for a place to live on the list of things to do, because I'm not going to make it even six months here.

  • Flip side, I've loved spending time with my brother. He's a really good kid and I missed him. I'm glad he's gotten more talkative and his attempts at humor, even when they miss are cute and I'm glad to see him making the attempt. And he's already better at making jokes than Ian is so all is well.

  • Haven't spent a lot of time with my sis. Probably won't

  • Miss my bf, but not as much as I thought I would. I was really lonely for him when I was at college and he wasn't, but being home is enough separation I guess to keep it from being as hard.

  • Am in the process of some reiki contacts and plans will give more details when I have them.

That should cover it. Until my next post. Love you all and hope to be updating more frequently.

Nov. 2nd, 2007

Just trying to post something

It's been a while. I've been really busy at school. Writing a play, a poetry collection, and a screen play at the same time may not have been my brightest idea. Add my research paper, service learning, and career day functions and I think everyone gets the picture.

My mom has been calling me at least once everyday this week. I haven't gotten a chance to call her back because I really can' afford to talk to her until after 9 and she's a sleep by then. I've finally scheduled time in to call today. I know she's going to be angry and I kind of deserve it so whatever.

I've been a little caught up in playing gaia online on the side. Since the game involves pretty much random clicking and what not, its been pretty easy to do while working. I also have a couple of good conversations and thoughts going on there that I'm going to want to write down more about here later. Most of it involves spirituality though instead of fannish things.

I also have a ton of poetry to post in here eventually...not quite sure when I'm going to catch all of that up for everyone (well really for me but its all good).

I haven't had a lot of time to knit...or any and that kind of makes me sad cause I would like to have finished my blanket by now. It was going so well at home when that was the focus of my life.

The boyfriend didn't end up going back with our friend. He owed the school five hundred bucks and had to work the weekend to have the money to pay for it. Turns out that was smart because our friend's car died and he had a couple of real emergency situations. I'm glad my guy wasn't stuck there dealing with all of that too. Plus my boy is very sick right now. He has a hardcore fever and apparently everything is achy. I've been reiki-ing him and giving him throat coat tea. It seems to be helping some because at least he's sleeping a lot (insominia usually stops this). I haven't exactly been at 100% myself. My nose is running like crazy which makes my throat sore, makes me cough sometimes, and on occasions, makes my stomach queezey. It's alright though, I'm much better off than he is.
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Oct. 28th, 2007

MAster Harold and the Boys Cause and Effect

“Master Harold and the Boys” Plot Break Down End to Beginning


● Willie is trying to cheer Sam up because Hally has left and probably ended their friendship
● Hally has left angry because his father is home but more importantly because Sam has said the truth about bringing Hally's father home and making him a kite
● Same has spoken the truth about Hally's father because Hally spit on Willie and made fun of him
● Hally makes fun of Willie to try and push Sam away from him
● Hally wants to push Sam away because he tries to confront him about the return of his father and the shame he feels towards the man
● Sam tries to confront Hally's shame because Hally is making fun of his father and giving up on a dream world of equality they created
● Hally is acting out because he's just gotten a call from his mother saying that his father is home and that he needs to return to the house with the booze locked up as soon as possible
● Before Hally and Sam are dreaming of dancing and equality which Hally predicts will have to be ruined by something
● they are talking about dancing together because Sam has been using the metaphor to explain all sorts of problems in the world as “bumping into each other”, and he feels that “dancing like a champion” will help
● Sam uses this metaphor because they are all talking about a dance competition before
● They are talking about dance competitions because Hally is thinking about using Sam's dance competition as a “cultural event” for his paper
● they are talking about using the dance as a cultural event because Sam has been talking about how he fines dance a beautiful art
● Hally tried to convince Sam that dance is just a sport, but he seemed to convince himself that it might be an art instead
● they are arguing about dance being art because Hally wants them to stop talking about it
● Hally hit Willie with a ruler because Same and Willie were starting to rough house in the store
● Willie went after Sam because he is poking fun of Willie's lack of girl
● Willie doesn't have a girl to dance with because he beats his main squeeze
● When Sam finds out that Willie has been hitting her she wants him to apologize or withdraw
● Willie and Sam are talking about dancing because Hally has left the two to try to do homework
● Hally sends the other two away while he does his homework because Sam is being too smart with him about how easy the assignment should be and Hally doesn't think so
● Sam and Hally are talking about his homework because Hally doesn't want to talk about his Dad anymore
● Hally doesn't want to talk about his Dad anymore because discussing him in crutches hobbling around the home or following either him or his mother around makes him ashamed and because he just doesn't want to speak poorly of his dad
● Hally started speaking poorly of his dad because the doctors have said that he can come home earlier than he thought and Hally doesn't really want him to go home
● before the phone call Sam and Hally were chatting about different fun times the two had in Sam's room
● they are talking bout Sam's room and old times because Sam won't tell Hally why he made the kite for him
● Sam won't tell Hally why he made the kite because all of Hally's story about his drunk dad are lie and Sam doesn't want to crush the illusion
● Hally is talking about the kite because he is telling Sam that it is one of his fondest memories
● they are talking about all these memories and good times because Hally and Sam are creating a little screen play from their lives
● They are talking about a screen play just as something to do with their memories and time
● They are talking about old times because Sam and Hally are talking about how Hally passed exams by trying to out learn Sam
● They are talking about Hally's schooling because he isn't doing well
● Hally is talking about his schooling because he is poking fun at Sam for not understanding Charles Darwin
● all the talk about schooling comes up as a method to distract Hally from the possibility that his father might be released from the hospital
● the talk about the hospital breaks out because of a message Hally's mom left with Sam
● Sam and Willie are fighting before this because Sam is making fun of Willie's lack of partner for the dance competition

Major Barabra REview

Major Barbara

There are a lot of things about a play that really come out when one views it on stage. The viewer really begins to get a chance to scrutinize the dialog, characters, and flow of the play. When I viewed Major Barbara I noticed a lot of things that I wanted to keep away from in my writings.
The first thing that stunk me was how long the characters talked. This may have stood out more for me because I am often too long winded too. Still, I felt like often the characters went on and on about the same things or things that could have been summarized. Timing is really important, and messing it up is an easy way to turn an audience off to your work.
Even in the first scene between mother and son, there are too many words. Some of this can be excused because it seems the mother is always rather round about, but even then I was watching the first scene wishing it would rap up. I found that after the first minute of this kind of speech between Mom and son I didn't really care what was going on anymore, I just wanted the play to keep going.
Another aspect that would have helped to cut down dialog is all the reexplaining that happened on stage. The son and audience learn that dad is coming home and then the children come on stage and learn, surprise surprise, dad is coming home. Why couldn't those characters have already known dad would be home? Why did we need to see an almost non-response from them over this change of events? Wouldn't their thoughts have been clear based off of how they acted when he arrived? Neither of the characters are very stoic.
Something else that got tired fast of the repetition of how “special” Barbara was. I mean if she's that special how come, I as an audience member can't see that on my own or with little prompting. The play is called Major Barbara, do we really need to beat a dead horse by having a conversation at least once a scene about how special Barbara is. This is especially frustrating to me, because as far as I could tell from what was presented Barbara is the regular humanitarian who is blinded to everything except her cause. Nothing about her naivety or passion seems special, unique, or particularly valuable.
We could have also lost all the scenes where differing characters confront Barbara's fiancée about how much he loves her. He always admits it. He always references a time someone else mentioned it and he admitted it then. Why is this important?
These areas move on to the importance of having interesting and relatable characters. Major Barbara's characters were relatable, but they weren't particularly interesting. Charles is funny, but really straight forward. There is no surprise or mystery there. What is most interesting is that the mother tells her son she likes Charles best, but she is always reprimanding him while complimenting Adolphus. Since this thread never goes anywhere though, and Charles remains a nice but oblivious comic relief guy, thre is little to look at.
I liked Adolphus until he became far too wordy in the second act of the play. Part of what I liked was his brevity. It showed he was a truly intelligent man to sum up so many ideas so succintly, when he got so wordy in the second act I lost a lot of interest. Another aspect I like on him was that he was a little amoral. It was clear in the first act that he'd been part of differing religions, and he also showed acceptance of morality when presented in a logical way. Then suddenly he grows concerned about dawning certain moralities or accepting certain ideas. It isn't the same scholar we saw before and he officially becomes boring.
I didn't like how incredibly convenient it was that Adolphus was technically a bastard child. I don't like how everyone accepted it and I don't like how it was just poof, clean story resolution. To me it reeked of deux ex machina. What would have been interesting would have been the son not only realizing that the father's work is brilliant but wanting the plant. It would have been neat to see him struggle to earn it or to see if the father would reconsider. Since the son is so bumbling and self righteous it would have been interesting to watch him quite likely fail and hate himself for working there.
Something else I noticed about Major Barbara is that the play happened over at least three days. Day one is the father's return, day to is the salvation army, and day three is the gun factory. I'm not sure how I feel about that. As the audience I felt the length. I felt like that play was never going to end. I wonder if some of the perception of length has to do with how many different days were in the play and how it stretched across about half a week.
Something else important to consider is theme. Major Barbara is largely a morality play. Since I wasn't a fan of what was being presented, it made it harder to enjoy the play. There are lots of problems with the Salvation Army besides funding, one of which is my strong anti-proselytizing sentiments. Since this is a period piece I don't really expect them to address this, but I feel like a lot of what is going on is out dated in a lot of ways. Since making guns is necessary, same as a garbage man, or a sewer cleaner, I don't see the big deal. War is part of our life and I can't help but be annoyed at the Victorian righteousness against someone who makes the weapons. Maybe that was a big problem for me on a personal level. I really couldn't stand the self righteous airs of the characters or the presumptuous themes offered to the audience. This probably has less to do with this play and more to do with my personal taste. Themes should be wide and open to a lot of audiences, but it is really difficult to make a play that everyone will enjoy or agree with. There is a fine line between a morality play and an entertaining one, for me this crossed the line, but really the lesson here is just to be very careful. Things can get preachy very quickly.
Over all, Major Barbara probably wasn't my style of play. I still learned a lot about things to watch out for and things I didn't want to do, but as a viewer I have to be careful to walk the line between looking at things that did and didn't work and looking at what I liked or didn't like. In some cases this can be the same thing. In other cases I need to be careful to try and acknowledge other's styles and desires. It is important for play writers to make sure their plays don't become too stylized or stuck up in their own personal meanings.

How I learned to Drive Essay

How I Learned to Drive

One of the more interesting things in How I Learned to Drive is how Paula Vogel takes an unsympathetic character like a child molester and turns him into a character with feelings and thoughts. Uncle Peck is more than just a simple good or bad guy in How I Learned to Drive while one can agrue that we see these sides because the victim is telling the story, it still does not explain how this kind of development came about. Careful tracking through the play though helps to reveal little pieces of who Peck is in an order that make our sympathy grow for him until we see the end scene.
One aspect of Uncle Peck's attract is that he can be kind to Little Bit. Sometimes he looks out for her, stands up for her, and in some perverse ways attempts to give her confidence. This is more than we see anyone else in the play do. Little Bit's mother attempts to give her sex advice, but really it's about the mother continually confronting the Grandmother about how she didn't help her enough in that department. When Little Bit most needs her mother's help and protection from Uncle Peck, Mom turns her back on Little Bit, using the same words her Grandparents used on her “I hold you responsible” (913).
Little Bit's Grandfather is a mean old pervert who endlessly insults Little Bit's body. While Grandma scares her with stories about how much sex will hurt and how “a girl with her skirt up can outrun a man with his pants down” (902). The viewers don't know much about Little Bit's Aunt until her dialog where we learn that she knows Uncle Peck is molesting her niece. Instead of protecting her, she blames Little Bit and wants her husband back from her. Even other strangers in the play always seem to be harassing Little Bit by calling her names, grabbing her breast, or otherwise sexually degrading her. It becomes clear through all these scenes that even though Peck is the worst offender, he's also the only one who treats her somewhat kindly when he isn't fondling her. Peck is also the only one who gives her any “choice” in the matter.
Peck isn't perfect though. The first scene opens to reveal a man and a young woman in a car involved in something nefarious. In the beginning I didn't think very well of the male and I noted that the woman was nervous and didn't seem to want to be there. Still, I reminded myself that the was seventeen and probably getting some kind of compensation if she was out here with this man. I wasn't completely disgusted and outraged with just Uncle Peck until I realized that he was the Uncle of Little Bit. Even though these first moment impressions are brief, Vogel is already leaving an opening for people to give a kinder interpretation of Peck. She hangs out the idea of choice by excluding choice information, and later in the play this scene and the idea of choice will repeatedly reoccur. Depending on the scene we may or may not come to be more sympathetic for Peck.
The second and third scene seem to be dedicated to showing us that Peck can be a good person. In the second he tries to stop the family from teasing Little Bit. They are picking on her breast that he moments ago was pawing up and praising. When she runs out of the house, Peck is the man who talks to here and convinces her to come back in. It seems to me that in that scene Peck took on the role of a mother. In some ways it highlights how disgusting and convoluted their relationship is but in other ways it shows that Peck on some level may care about Little Bit's feelings.
The third scene is a celebration dinner taking place between Peck and Little Bit because she has had her first successful cross country trip. Here we view a lot of conflicting information. He really has thought about where to take Little Bit that she might like. He knows that she is interested in history and places with stories and he knows what to recommend for her to eat that she would enjoy. On the other hand he seems to be getting her drunk. It is hard for the reader to tell Peck's intentions when he gets her drunk. At first we assume Little Bit is getting drunk so Peck can take advantage of her, but he doesn't do that. He insists that nothing will happen if it isn't Little Bit's choice. This is really an odd scene because at this point we've decided that Peck is a molester and can not be a good character. Peck has gotten Little Bit drunk and nothing good can come from that. Still, at the same time, Peck has tried to defend her against taunting. Peck has shown thought and concern towards her likes and dislikes, and even though Peck got her drunk he didn't take advantage of her.
This scene where Peck doesn't abuse Little Bit is starkly contrasted with a monologue where Peck seems to make it clear that he molested Little Bit's cousin. This scene chills readers. It makes us wonder how many children have fallen prey to Peck so far. How many more will? Is all his kindness and thoughtfulness an act? Vogel seems to be intentionally making it hard for us to have strong feelings for Peck one way or the other. He is definitely a child molester and he is taking advantage of children, but is he really any worse than everyone else surrounding them?
Another monologue that is very telling about Peck is Aunt Mary. She obviously lovers her husband. She shows him to be a kind and gentle man who sits with her, listens to her, and helps do the housework. Part of my mind wonders if Aunt Mary is telling the truth, but another part feels bad that she does seem to really feel like she's lost a strong presence in her life. We have seen that Uncle Peck does seem to think about the women around him. He does do the dishes for everyone after Thanksgiving dinner. He does agree to stop drinking because Little Bit doesn't like when he does. That he makes this agreement and sticks to it seems to imply that Peck cares about the people around him and he wants them to be comfortable.
Another interesting aspect of Mary's speech is that she mentions that Peck has done this before. Again Little Bit isn't the first, but everything changes after her. Peck's marriage falls apart and he literally falls apart as a person. He drinks himself to death. It is hard to decide if the drinking or if Little Bit's refusal is what ruins Peck's marriage. One could say that Little Bit's refusal allowed for the drink, but it is hard to decide whether or not he is falling back into addiction or he is drinking just to forget. What is interesting though is in Mary's speech she insists that she has a lot of patience and that she will wait for her husband to come back to her, and then she divorces him. She should have been through this before, since Little Bit is not the first, but somehow it seems she is different. Is all the stress and kindness Peck gave her new and different. Are the feelings Peck claims to have for Bit actually genuine? Does that really matter if he's still abusing and hurting Little Bit?
Perhaps the biggest turn is when we see Peck pining for Bit and Bit being almost cruel to Peck. Peck has showered her with gifts and notes and Little Bit doesn't respond. She avoids him whenever she can. When Bit finally meets him, it is to reject his advances. She goes from being reluctantly uncomfortable with his advances to being creeped out and hostile towards them. It is like those months away finally cleared her head and made her realize what was going on was very wrong.
The other side of this is that Peck becomes the weak and pleading side of their relationship. In some ways the viewer feels like Little Bit should have more consideration for Peck's feelings. He is completely exposed in his “love” for Little Bit and she shoots him down. It made me wonder the age difference between him and Mary. It made me wonder if Peck would do the same to Little Bit later if they got married. Mostly though it made me feel a little bad for Peck. I wondered if he wasn't at least somewhat of a victim too.
That's why the closing scene where we see Peck's first abuse of Little Bit is such a shock. It reminds us that he is a sick man. He terrified a girl who trusted him. Little Bit loved Uncle Peck and she defended him against her mother's accusations. She stood by him when others would not, and Peck took advantage of that young girl's trust and innocence. He hurt Little Bit in a way that she will feel for a long time to come.
Peck's character is complex and hard for the viewer to get any definitive feelings on. One would like to hate him and just dismiss him as evil, but Vogel won't allow for this. She shows us humanity and hurt and possibly some goodness in him. Then we would like to consider him more kindly, but again Vogel doesn't allow this, we see Peck abusing Bit, Bit's cousin, and it is implied that there were others. She takes a monster and makes him a man only to shift him back into the form of a monster.

Oct. 21st, 2007

Can't believe that she asked me

We aren't allowed to have pets in the dorms other than fish. I have a hamster. I have had a hamster here for almost a month now. My townhouse mates and I like it. It lives in my room that is completely a single. It doesn't smell (I clean the cage often to gaurentee it) and it doesn't create a mess except for some wood chips on my desk that I clean. No one has allergies to it. In my opinion this set up is perfectly fine.

Obviously the RAs think otherwise. So apparently because this is a small school many people including RAs have heard I have a furry little friend. The RA responsible for my block has never said anything about it or asked. I'm always really respectful towards him and if he asked I'd let him into the room (though Jitters is pretty well hidden before weekly inspections). However RA's who aren't even in charge of the dorm facilities I live in have apparently spent at least an hour talking about Jitters and what to do about him. Because he's such a big deal -.- :rolls eyes:

One of the RA's asked a good friend of mine if I have a rabbit in my room....which is ridiculous because the space I live in would never support a rabbit and a rabbit, even if I cleaned it often, would reek. He told her that he could honestly say no, there was no rabbit here and maybe they should look for something bigger.

This same RA asked me if I had an animal in my room. I said, if you count me there's at least one in there. She got kind of huffy, but she's got no authority to do anything so I just find it amusing. Now were spreading rumors that I have a rhino in here. That will teach nosey authority figures to look for trouble when there isn't any. ^_^
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Sep. 28th, 2007

Oedipyus play production

There are a lot of different things going on in Oedipus Rex that a play production would want to bring to the forefront through different costuming, acting, casting and backdrops. I have never really been part of a play production, so I am not entirely certain how to best put on a play or accent certain themes. Still, there are themes and certain aspects I see a certain way and would like that represented on stage. A production of Oedipus I put on would emphasis a lot of humor and over the top aspects written in the play. I would not attempt to take the play too seriously because in a lot of ways Oedipus seems to have a lot of humorous elements that could be played with.
The setting of Oedipus does not feel to be heavily open to interpretation. There are lots of people who can easily adapt plays or works to be set in modern times or someplace else other than how it is originally intended, but I just see Oedipus happening in ancient Greece. I can't help but picture people wearing togas and some obscure roman columns framing the scene. I wouldn't want the set to be very elaborate at all. Maybe I would just allow the curtain, preferable something either light blue or neutral gray with a roman column or two for the background. I don't think Oedipus was meant to have too much heavy scenery detail. The focus is supposed to be on the actors and the drama they portray, instead of the scenery telling the story.
To that effect, I think that the portrayal of the chorus is very important. How one does or does not work them into the background can do a lot for the scenery. Part of what's always caught my attention about Oedipus is how much he allows to go on in public. To some extent, I think being open and honest with the public is very important, but Oedipus is too open with the public. He releases information and paranoid concerns the the public without any censorship or thought to how that might affect his people. The way he acts in front of his subjects paints a picture of an unstable, though well intentioned king.
To highlight the fact that the play mostly takes place in the public eye I would want the chorus on stage acting like citizens. In the first act Oedipus, the priest and the chorus would be on stage. In this scene the chorus would act like priests or priestess going about in the background lightning incense, or praying and just sitting about to the sides of the action making more quiet gestures of everyday life. I don't want these actions to over shadow the drama and dialog between Oedipus and the priest but I want it to feel like Oedipus is intruding on the temple's routine, and not the other way around.
When Creon enters the scene I want the extras to stop pretending to be involved in their normal tasks and listen to what is going on between Oedipus and Creon. I would like there to be a feeling of the chorus as part of the audience of the drama going on. An “all eyes on Oedipus” sort of feeling to help to accentuate Oedipus' feelings of self importance. The focus on watching and on eyes is also a theme I want to draw out over the play too. We, as the audience, know Oedipus takes out his eyes, and I want to use the visual aspect of the stage to continually draw attention to sight to help to reemphasize the inevitable ending.
I'd like it if the person who played Oedipus was taller than the other actors in the play. It's a small detail, but I want the audience's eyes to constantly be drawn to him. I want there to be an authoritative look that I think having a height advantage might help to get across. I also want Oedipus to be the only person with any color on his costume. Along with a traditional white toga I want him to wear a dark red sash. I like the choice of red because it foreshadows blood, but red also is used to symbolize temper and violence. We know Oedipus is violent because he did kill Laius and five attendants without much provocation, and he later shows these same aspect when he bullies Teiresais. I would like Oedipus to have something in his costume and bearing that echoes this recklessness. I also want the only color on stage continually drawing the audiences' attention to Oedipus. He is the king and the important figure. His sash in some ways also helps to represent this.
At first I wanted to carry the theme of “blindness” and seeing further in Oedipus' wardrobe too, but I was unsure of how to do so without being too obvious. There are a lot of allusions in the script to sight, and I want to compliment these instead of over playing them. At first I though maybe adding some thing that looked like or resembled an eye on Oedipus' clothing might be interesting, but I wasn't sure what I could do that would be subtle and make sense with the Greek costume theme. I considered hiding eyes in the scenery, but then I thought that the combination of the chorus milling around on stage as part of the public and eyes in the backdrop might be too much distracting from what is actually happening in the play. Too much visual is worse than not enough visual.
Instead of altering costumes or backdrops to give more of an eye effect, lighting might be more appropriate. I would see if placing Oedipus in the spotlight when oracles directly address his future or present, might help to drive across both the themes of sight, especially the sight of Divine fates. The spotlight might also be used when Oedipus speaks directly to the chorus in the play to show how he places himself in the public eye.
Another character I would like to have a very specific look is Teiresais. I want him to look very old and frail. If he could be hunched over and heavily leaning on his cane that would be even better. Because he is blind I do want to exaggerate this trait by making the actor look around in different spots when talking or listening. It would be even better if he started forward a few times towards Oedipus, but was moving in slightly the wrong direction. I want him to be exaggeratedly weak to make Oedipus' bullying even more outrageous.
Before Oedipus gouges out his eyes, I want him to remove the red sash. This is symbolic of how he is stepping out of the public eye. The removal of the sash also swaps us over from a symbol of Oedipus' violence to the actuality of it.
When Creon enters and finds Oedipus without his eyes, I want him somewhere in that process to pick up the sash and put it on. This foreshadows the events of Antigone, but it also shows that Creon is taking control and becoming King. Even though earlier in the play he insisted he did not want the scrutiny, he easily subjects himself to it for the good of Thebes, a sentiment that Oedipus claimed to feel earlier in the play.
Over all, one of my main focuses in Oedipus would be to work not to over dramatize what is going on. There is a lot in character and dialog. I would want to draw attention and heighten some aspects, but I would want to leave space for actors, costume designers, and scene artists to do their job and contribute their own parts to what is happening. While I would want these themes and ideas echoed in a production f Oedipus I would put on, I would also rely heavily on other officials to help fill in gapes in my own thoughts and help make my ideas a working success.

Sep. 27th, 2007

Advanced Poetry Poem

This is my first draft of my body song. I think it's really very pretty. I need to go back and correct a few things. Add some punctuation, do a second sweep through word choice, but over all I think its done as it stands.

Sep. 26th, 2007

Uggg I feel like I've been dragging my heels all day

Went to bed at 11:30 and slept solidly till 8. My period is definitely going to kick my ass this time. Man I can't remember the last time I felt this tired....probably my last period.

Sister called on Monday and I haven't called her back...no time.

Missed house yesterday, but its not that big a deal really.

Really still need to read Harold and the Boys.

Forgot to do a journal must remember to do so today. Tomorrow I need to go and start checking out the archives in the library too to start all the backdating entries.

Ug still have a ton of stuff to type up and a bunch of things to transfer over here too....that is going to be a bit of a hassle.

Still have poetry. Kathleen is going to skip so I have to go alone, who will listen while I whine about the class afterward?

Oh well, scriptwriting was good yesterday. And at least then there was no B.O. smell. Might have been all my perfume...but I think it was that the professor opened the windows as wide as they would go to help counter act the class' overall lack of hygeine.

I know this is a bitchy post, but I really am in a pretty chipper mood. Things are just going slowly I guess.

Sep. 25th, 2007

Scriptwriting Assignments




Script )

Attempt at a Monolouge

So yeah I wrote this monolouge as an assignment, but I won't be using it at all in my work later. It's still an interesting piece though, who knows maybe later it will be worth something.


Sep. 24th, 2007

Fiesty

Not going to lie ij, I am unreasonably angry right now.  I hate Advanced Poetry class so much.  My professor gives us writing prompts every Monday and this Monday he didn't realize that he gave us pretty much the same prompt he gave us last week!  Last week we got four prompts one of them was "write a poem addressing as person or other" (with the implication that is should be sort of like a letter).  This week he told us to "write a letter to someone in the form of a poem".  I was pretty annoyed.  More annoyed when he just left it like that.  

Then he gave us a hand out from a book and couldn't tell us what book he had photocopied the pieces from.  Correct me if I'm wrong but that isn't just irresponsible but it also has copy right issues.

Then we reviewed a person's poem today who made reference to Eros and he didn't know who Eros was.  Even if you didn't know there was reference to love, wooing and arrows...not exactly brain surgery there.  

What might have been the topping on the cake for me might have been the choice "critiques" he made on my poem.  Now the first poem I handed in wasn't really good, that he wrote a bad critique is kind of excusable because you know there wasn't much for him to work with.  This poem though, I think there was a lot to work with.  I can think of three or four questions that would have been worth exploring or bringing up (of course I am the author).  

Now IJ, I bring this poem to you.  It isn't long, just 24 lines.  I would like you to read it and see if the comments he wrote up on it were fair.  Because you know, I can't be a good judge of my own work and maybe he does have points (even has a bad teacher) that I should look at. 

My basic thoughts on the work are that it isn't my best, but it isn't my worst either.  I think that there are things to clarify the meanings I intended, but that the basic idea of the poem is clear.  I don't know take a look for yourself and see if his comments are accurate about what I should or should not do.




News for Public Relations

Advanced Poetry Writing Prompt 4

ug I'm so tired

Hello ij this is me reporting and almost 11. I'm exhausted. Didn't try to sleep till 12:3o and then I toss and turned and tossed and turned. Don't think I slept almost at all. Add to that that I have my friend in seven days and somehow complete and utter exhuastion doesn't even begin to describe it. I don't get it either, I've had a pretty good iron intake (anemic need more of it more often) and I still feel pretty shitty. I know I've been keeping odd hours and I know I've probably spent too much time paling around and not enough sleeping, but man I felt like never moving from the bed again this morning.

Then playwriting, the class I love so much seemed like such a chore. On the flip side I think I might have something for my one act. I think I might do a terrorist spoof. I don't know picture them rounding up Suburbia's housewives and putting them on lock down in a white picket fence yard surrounded by barbed wire with you know the token "actually working for the authorities" "woman" (I quote woman because its going to be a dude with a beard dressed in a skirt) trying to figure out which women are part of the terrorist group and which are not. The "terrorist act" is going to be (audience comes to find this out later) that someone destroyed the town's prized garden because the "Gardening Pigs" didn't use all organic products and they cheated by using genetically engineers seeds. I don't know maybe it will just be a dog that got loose in the flower garden at the end..has lots of funny spoof like potential though. I'll have to think on it more later though cause I have tons more class to do now.

Bye y'all.

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