Sunday, December 28, 2008

O, the Weather Outside is...

Yes! Lookie up there and finish the song lyric correctly by singing: "really really CRAZY!?!?!?!"

I'm not exactly a fan of mathematics (if you follow this blog at all, you already know this fact) but I figured the most recent weather pattern deserved a bit o' math anyway.

The "highest" high was 75 degrees. The "lowest" low was 12 degrees.
*that's a difference of 63 in less than a week*

Does anyone know what happens when it swings hot/cold/cold/cold/ hot/warm/cold? (such a big changed over a short amount of time)

People get *sick*...people go to the doctor (or don't go to the doctor)... People (in their miserable state) go to the Pharmacy... AND being as I work in a PHARMACY...

Imagine it all.

"All of a sudden I'm congested and achy..."
*cough snot cough*
"It feels like my head is going to explode..."
*cut in front of people*
"Where's the green shiny pills I took 5 years ago..."
*sneeze*
"Why is my doctor's office closed, I might die?"

"Leave me alone! I want out of here!"
*that one's ME!*

Saturday, December 20, 2008

FEEDJIT update:

As I mentioned in a previous entry (22 days ago, to be exact) I am able to monitor HOW people come to be on Student: Revisited.

Yes, I'm totally imaging people falling from the sky and landing with a *thud* now...

Poetry Saves the Day: (my Forms professor would be surprised)
  • Holiday Survival (poem): Good to know we're all in this together!
  • Gasoline (poem): I wrote/photo'ed that in September. I guess there is a "famous" version out there and people keep clicking on the wrong one.
  • The inclusion of a poem by Katherine Philips: People either search the term "17th century poetry" or specific lines...

Different combinations of "mass" "media" "law" "exam" were terms used by (students?) in North Carolina, Texas, and California. Glad to know I'm not the only who was crazy preparing for finals.

Carrie Bradshaw ("We're so over we need a new word for over!") & The Mona Lisa of the North (could a link be posted somewhere?)...are the favorite women of my blog.

I haven't been as international this "go round"...it was mostly limited to North America, with a few hits from the Middle East thrown in for good measure.

NEW: I can see the Operating System (OS) used by my visitors: Windows XP beats out Vista and they both beat out Apple "OS X"...

*insert a conversation between "PC" and "Mac" here*

~~J

Friday, December 19, 2008

Seven:

Main Entry: nu·mer·ol·o·gy
Pronunciation: \ˌnü-mə-ˈrä-lə-jē, ˌnyü-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin numerus + English -o- + -logy
Date: 1911
: the study of the [deleted] significance of numbers

(according to Merriam-Webster anyway)

Seven. It seems as if my college career might come down to the number (7). I have never been one to "have a lucky number," but at least it all comes to one that traditionally is known as Lucky.

It seems as if I have seven classes to pass in order to graduate. I am taking five this Spring, which leaves two over the Summer session. 5+ 2 = 7

Each class is worth three credit hours (7x3=21) (21/3=7)
2009= 2+9 in reverse is 9-2=7
9
(my birthday) - 2 = 7
I’m on page 34 of my “novella”…(3+ 4 = 7)

Don’t worry, I’ll stop, this is getting a little crazy. Wait! Let me continue Biblically:

The number 7 in Hebrew comes from the root word (Sheh'-bah) to mean "complete" or "full"...seven days...

Okay. I'll really stop now. I think. Of these Seven classes, I know what six will be:

British Literature since 1750 /Studies in American Fiction/ Poetry Writing/ Editing (Journalism)/ Fiction Workshop/ Fiction Workshop/...(yes, twice)

The last class remains a mystery (at least until the classes for the Summer session are revealed).

~~J

Friday, December 12, 2008

Stick a Fork in Me:

(fill in the rest of the cliché)

Thus, the grand "book-packing" began this evening...

Now go ahead and call me crazy *elapse time* but I actually like to keep my textbooks *have some more time here*

Remember that my books now consist mainly of literature anthologies and reference books which shall always be there to read...(or take up a few shelves when I "grow up" and own my own library)

But I started clearing away this semester's books in anticipation of next semester's books. I have permanently taken over half of the dining room table (because I still can't do "homework" in my own room).

While shifting around the "merchandise," I thought long and hard about this semester. I am still awaiting grades (I only know results in two classes) but I am DONE, nevertheless.

AFTER Learning/Writing/Accomplishing:
  • The Canterbury Tales
  • Beowulf
  • several legal terms & ideas specifically concerning mass communications
  • FOUR newspaper length articles (prepared outside of class)
  • THREE "unbiased" features about major political figures (inside class)
  • an Election Day "on campus" story
  • a MAGAZINE length feature story
  • THREE "short stories" (36 pages of original fiction)
  • (which means I read over 30 original fiction pieces by classmates)
  • major figures in 16th century English literature (poetry)
  • nearly 50 new poems (along with studies in formal poetry)

Alongside all I have learned, I have also managed to make several new friends. THIS I did NOT expect. I just assumed I would barrel through my last semesters, NOT taking names.

The complete opposite has occurred.It seems as if I have surrounded myself with several "writing friends" (who double as "drinking friends")...I expect an official "circle" to be created soon!

Now as much as I appreciate my "old" friends, there is nothing like having a conversation about story ideas, plots, writing exercises, grammar, and long lost books with people who LOVE story ideas, plots, writing exercises, grammar, and long lost books.

*more elapsed time to call me CRAZY*

thirty-three more days until Spring 2009 starts...

~~J

Monday, December 8, 2008

25 Holiday Survival Tips:

Now I admit that I was NOT creative enough to come up with this list on my own; it's actually taken from one of the holiday cards I am sending out this season.

The card actually has 99 survival tips...

But I was creative enough to PICK the card in the first place (as well as put little stars * * *next to my favorites)...AND share them with you:

  1. mediate
  2. light a candle
  3. sleep in
  4. swallow aspirin
  5. hide out
  6. eat chocolate
  7. take a deep breath
  8. bake cookies
  9. glow
  10. stretch
  11. shop online
  12. take pictures
  13. take a chill pill
  14. drink good champagne
  15. hibernate
  16. eat more chocolate
  17. buy batteries
  18. learn the words
  19. have some coffee
  20. up the dosage
  21. giggle
  22. wash your hands
  23. moisturize
  24. soak overnight
  25. rinse and repeat

~~J

The Journalism Minor:

Yeah, I can't believe I have completed 15 hours (5 classes) of journalism either! When I read the "class descriptions" I'm pretty impressed with myself (and can't believe I actually "did all that")...and I have only one more this Spring and then the requirements for my "minor" will be met!

~~J

JOUR 1700 - Survey Mass Communication (3)
Social background, scope, functions, and organization of modern communication media, attention to all major mass communication media; philosophy and goals of modern journalism; impact on governmental, social and economic systems.

JOUR 2121 - Media Writing (3)
Basic instruction in journalistic forms and style; use of computer in composition of news reports or articles and in solution of news writing problems; laboratory writing exercises on computer. One lecture hour, four laboratory hours per week. PREREQUISITE: Passing grade on the Journalism Department's English Proficiency Test.

JOUR 2123 - Editing (3)
Practice in headline writing, editing, and newspaper makeup and study of contemporary editing problems. PREREQUISITE: JOUR 2121. **to be taken Spring 2009**

JOUR 3130 - Featre Write/Newspr/Mag (3)
Advanced practice in writing, publishing feature stories for magazines and newspapers; finding and developing publishable ideas; freelance techniques; advanced reporting skills; writing techniques with emphasis on leads, endings, description, effective use of anecdotes and quotations; critiques of student work.

JOUR 4700 - Mass Communication Law (3)
Origin and development of legal principles affecting freedom of expression and provisions of laws of libel, slander, copyright, and other statutes limiting communication in fields of publishing and broadcasting.

JOUR 4702 - Current Issues Journalism (3)
Advanced study of recent, critical problems faced by mass media with exploration of complexities that cause them. [I]

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Filled with Spirit (2):

So I braved the holiday shopping crowds this morning.

Against my will.

But while running through the mall, surrounded by relatively nice and cheery people....I was reminded of one of my favorite parts of the season:

The Festive Adornments.

Don we now our gay apparel,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.

I am a bit sad to announce that I was only fast enough to catch one shopper via my cell phone. There were a lot of santa hats darting around, searching for the perfect Sale. It was tough to capture a non-blurry Festivas Shopas.

But I've been practicing my "quick snap shot" skillz (yes, with a Z). So wear your lovely sweaters, vests, and hats. I'm looking TO POST YOU!

~~J

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Another "Study Avoidance" Tactic:

Recently I found out a way to "monitor" and actually SEE what people are typing into Google or Yahoo (or insert another search engine here) to be directed to my humble little blog.

Mostly it's Sex and the City related:
"I'm a Charlotte"
"Carrie sings Memories"
"Natasha falls and breaks a tooth"
"Mr. Big engagement party"

there are a few searches for "Turnitin dot com"...

Some science:
"Phylum Placoza"
"What are the squiggles on the Spirogyra"

But

the most "searched" phrases pointing people to my blog have to do with ART. Specifically The Girl with the Pearl Earring ("mona lisa of the north") one of Jan Vermeer's masterworks.

They land here from New Jersey, Kentucky, and Florida...and then internationally from Ireland, Portugal, Venezuela, Norway, Canada, and Sweden simply by searching "Mona Lisa of the North" (or some form of it).

Although lately I've gotten some visits because of my inclusion of a painting by John Waterhouse too.

And now back to studying...

~~J

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble Gobble!

May it not be as bad as Chandler's...

~~J

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Student Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness:

(Better known around campus as the SETE)

My answers, in no particular order...for all five classes (professors); no, I won't tell you WHICH is WHICH...

1. I have become more competent because of this course.
SA, SA, SA, A, N

2. I had an opportunity to ask questions in or outside of class.
SA, A, SA, A, N

3. The course was well organized.
A, SA, A, A, D

4. The tests or other evaluation methods adequately assessed how well I learned the course material.
A, A, SA, N, SD

5. The instructor was enthusiastic when presenting course material.
A, A, SA, N, D

6. The instructor was interested in teaching.
SA, SA, SA, N, D

7. The instructor was concerned with whether the students learned the materials.
SA, A, SA, N, D

8. The instructor was knowledgeable about the subject.
A, SA, SA, N, N

9. In general, the instructor was an effective teacher.
SA, SA, SA, N, D

Key: Strong Agree, Agree, Neither, Disagree Strong Disagree

~~J

Monday, November 24, 2008

So Maybe I do Talk *too much*:

But what is *too much* really?

(and YES! I had a Chatty Cathy as a child)

I have report cards from childhood (which will go into a museum, no doubt) in which the comment section always includes something along the lines of:

"Janet is a pleasure to have in class, she is bright, friendly...But her mouth runs at 70 miles per hour"

Punishment for expressing myself (too much verbally) including standing in the corner.

Completely turned around and NOT facing the classroom.

I would always find a way to communicate with my classmates though. No really. I can't make this stuff up!

Fast forward to this weekend. I was "chatting" on Facebook.
(the written equivalent to running my mouth)

(p.s. what did I do before Facebook?--->Myspace?--->AOL?--->MSN?)

I was chatting with a classmate. I was chatting with a co-worker. I was chatting with a family member. I was chatting with a friend. Ya know, people I know and adore. Topics were varied. It was a successful Quadruple Chat Fest.

*just imagine conversations here*

Then I started getting block messages, every time I would "say something" telling me that I had REACHED MY LIMIT. I was about to be BANNED. For what? What did I do? I wasn't telling secrets dealing with national security.

I WAS TALKING (chatting) TOO MUCH! I thought it was a joke. So I continued. In fact, I started chatting more feverishly than ever. Words, sentences, paragraphs were FLYING out of my fingertips.

THEN! It stopped.
I was banned.Completely and utterly banned.
Mid-conversation. Mid-thought.

Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech...BUT FACEBOOK CAN!

It was funny. It was hilarious. I went to bed. Surely in the morning I would be able to...NO! I stared out on the "online" section of Facebook, watching friends (and family members and classmates) sign on and off and on and off.

I couldn't SAY A WORD! I actually had to do homework instead! I sent out text messages (I will NOT be stopped). Friends (and classmates) couldn't believe I was banned. (They were probably secretly relieved)...

But guess what? Last night--I came home from work and tried it out AGAIN just for the fun of it...and I was able to spew forth my verbal (written) thoughts! I was able to CHAT!

I kept the conversation down to ONE person. It was't even a marathon of verbal-wit. It was cool, calm, and collected. I've learned my lesson. When FACEBOOK says, "STFU" I guess I have to listen. Or blog about it accordingly.

~~J

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Poetry from the 17th Century:

(a sonnet I considered writing extensively about, until I found out it was way to obvious and didn't really give way to decent discussion--at least not the type required for my forthcoming paper)

A Married State
A married state affords but little ease
The best of husbands are so hard to please.
This in wives' careful faces you may spell
Through they dissemble their misfortunes well.
A virgin state is crowned with much content;
It's always happy as it's innocent.
No blustering husbands to create your fears;
No pangs of childbirth to extort your tears;
No children's cries for to offend your ears;
Few worldly crosses to distract your prayers;
Thus are you freed from all the cares that do
Attend on matrimony and a husband too.
Therefore, Madam, be advised by me
Turn, turn apostate to love's levity,
Suppress wild nature if she dare rebel.
There's no such thing as leading apes in hell.

Katherine Philips
(1632-1664)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

To Answer the Question:

Thanks for asking, Stephanie!

(according to Merriam-Webster)

Muse
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin Musa, from Greek Mousa
Date: 14th century

capitalized : any of the nine sister goddesses in Greek mythology presiding over song and poetry and the arts and sciences
2: a source of inspiration ; especially : a guiding genius

(this is John Waterhouse's rendition of Lamia, 1905)

Which means a lot to me, because it represents the way I feel. My current Muse looks like this knight (and I feel like the woman depicted--essentially because the "Art" has be on my knees...I can't stop thinking about it).

Dark hair + Broad shoulders + Light eyes = Handsome (Muse)

Now does he know that he is indeed my Muse? I think he may have an idea, maybe (he's no dummy). He [or should I say, his character] is partially responsible for my current explosion of creative writing.

How creative is it, really? I don't know--but it's taking up A LOT OF TIME!

I have a fully-fleshed female character who has quite a crush on a certain male character (originally created by, my Muse--he gave me permission to use or borrow him).

This creative writing/fiction writing/short story collection building has taken away from my OTHER home/class work though. So that's NOT good--but on the other hand I haven't felt this way about "Fiction" writing, EVER!

I was scared to death of this class--now I can't wait to start the Workshopping series of classes!

Now the friendship (Muse-ship) has essentially become the introduction to the series of closely related short stories. I'm moving beyond what is required for the actual class and into the "hey! I'm going to try to get this published realm"...We'll see what happens.

~~J

P.S. and lest we not forget all the other Muses I have been surrounded by lately either. My "sister goddesses" are very relevant as well. It's my "creative" period. Just like Picasso's Blue Period--but mine is shaded more in the Red family.

P.P.S. And my Muse is NOT an English major aka I won't have a class with him ever again. So should I start taking applications for my next Muse-ship? How does that all work anyway? (I assume it to be a very rare state of being)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Lack of Blogging:

[or Branting, thanks Laura Zigman.]

I feel as if I never have enough time. Enough time to spout off lines and lines of beautiful blog worthy prose. My beautiful blog worthy prose has turned into:
  • Three 12-page Fiction Stories (plus more, not required for my current class)
  • Four "Newspaper Length" Feature Stories
and before the end of the month, you can add:
  • a paper comparing/contrasting Sylvia Plath's use of obsessive/open form in her poetry
  • a paper about the sonnet "A Married State" (1646) by Katherine Philips
  • a "Magazine Length" Feature Story

I wish I could explain to you completely the sheer exhaustion my "writing self" feels. [And I basically couldn't be happier about it, either!]

  • I have read (edited/commented on) more than 30 fiction short stories (written by classmates)
  • I have read (studied/learned beyond recognition) enough poetry to make Keats cry.

And all of this doesn't even begin to touch the ten (10) chapters of Mass Media Law I have crammed into my head. My brain could explode. [And I basically couldn't be happier about it, either!]

I have also found a few "writing friends." Do you know how exciting this is? At least three other Creative Writing majors who are not only female--but amazing & talented & inspiring...our little group shall take over the world, no doubt!

[oh! and I've found a Muse! Be sure not to tell anyone!]

I registered for FOUR more class (Spring) this week as well. And I am contemplating my fifth class. So please forgive me for a really, really lacking semester (in the blogging department).

[But remember, I basically couldn't be happier about it, either!]

~~J

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The First-MUTT:

Mutt (circa 1899) is related to Mongrel (15th century) and it comes from Middle English (sounds French to me) but according to Merriam-Webster it's "probably from mong mixture, short for ymong, from Old English" & there are several definitions but I prefer:

2: a cross between types of persons or things

So does Buttercup. Buttercup is my beloved "mutt" (Yes, I went for MUTT instead of Mongrel). She has occupied a space in my heart (and this world) for 5 years now.

She has a few distinct features of the Shar Pei: unique "hippopotamus" head shape, profile and wrinkles...but she is muscular, lion-like and regal with a very smooth coat (and not as much fur--although she sheds like...) like the Chow Chow. She has a blue/black tongue splotch and that stilted gait as well. Her snout protrudes more like the Shiba Inu...(AKC search)

Yeah, I don't know...but I love her madly anyway.

Now I can tell you that SHE...
  • loves "soft" toys (the ones she can "de-fluff")
  • ice in her water (crushed, not cubed)
  • rolling around in the grass (or on my bed)
  • frolicking around like a deer (when she sees a squirrel)
  • laying with her hind legs splayed out...(she's classy)

When I told Buttercup that the First-Family Elect is going to bring a "mutt" into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, she was quite happy. We think it's only fitting. Why have some "pure bred" dog running around? A "mutt" represents us all so much better (and Buttercup agrees).

MUTTS: Shelter Stories

MUTTS: Daily Archive

Yay for MUTTS! Yay for a "first-mutt"...Yay for an "adopted from a shelter first-mutt"...

~~J

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day "Assignment"

Usually the line at Edgar Allan Joe’s pushes and wraps around the lobby of Patterson Hall as students stop to grab their preferred form of caffeine between classes.

However, today the late morning crowd was noticeably thin.

“I believe people are out voting,” said Jennifer Ervin, proudly displaying her red and white Vote button on her apron. “That’s where I think they really are.”

Ervin knows the students who come in and out of the English building well. She works behind the counter as a member of the Tiger Dining Service team Monday through Friday.

Students are milling around the lobby. Speaking in hushed tones over cell phones and checking websites on their laptops.

The conversation in the short line turns to the election. “Did you vote today?” Ervin asks a faceless female student at the front of the very short line.

“Yes. It took about two hours and I had a test in my 8 o’clock class...” she responds and hands over money for her drink.

“It took me two hours this morning too,” Ervin replies.

Two students pass one another, both wearing t-shirts supporting Barack Obama. They might not know each other, but they slow and nod anyway.

Simone Liggins, 21, voted for Obama during the early voting period in Shelby County. It was her first time voting in a presidential election and the experience met her expectations.

“It feels like a personal historical moment,” she said, “I got to vote for a black man, especially after hearing your entire life that it would never happen.”

Although she doesn’t consider herself, a “political person,” she made sure to watch at least part of the presidential debates when they aired, “I didn’t want to make an uninformed decision.”

Also voting in her first presidential election, Amanda Warner, 21, waited until Election Day to cast her ballot.

“When I walked in, they asked me if it was my first time voting. “ She said. “I said yes, and two people yelled, ‘First time voter!’ and started cheering and stuff so that made me feel good.”

Unlike Liggins, Warner voted for John McCain. “I vote republican because that’s the party my morals and ethics line up with. The face of the candidate doesn’t really matter to me.”

She admits to feeling as if her candidate will not go on to become the next president.

“It won’t be the end of the world,” Warner said, “Obama is NOT the anti-Christ!”

Monday, November 3, 2008

Mass Media Law Exam #2:

Introducing The Bart Simpson Method of memorization:

It is illegal to appropriate an individuals name or likeness for commercial or trade use without consent. It is illegal to appropriate an individuals name or likeness for commercial or trade use without consent. It is illegal to appropriate an individuals name or likeness for commercial or trade use without consent...

It is illegal to intrude physically or otherwise, upon the seclusion or solitude of an individual. It is illegal to intrude physically or otherwise, upon the seclusion or solitude of an individual. It is illegal to intrude physically or otherwise, upon the seclusion or solitude of an individual.

It is illegal to publicize material that places an individual in a false light IF
a) the false light in which the individual is placed would be offensive to a reasonable person, AND
b) the publisher was at fault when the publication was made.

It is illegal to publicize material that places an individual in a false light IF
a) the false light in which the individual is placed would be offensive to a reasonable person, AND
b) the publisher was at fault when the publication was made.


It is illegal to publicize private information about a person if the matter that is publicized
a) would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, AND
b) it is not of legitimate public concern or interest.

IT is illegal to publicize private information about a person if the matter that is publicized
a) would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, AND
b) it is not of legitimate public concern or interest.

~~J

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sacré Bleu!

One word game at a time? child's play!

Several games with several different people? better!

And that's where we are today.

One of my absolute best friends and I have started a game in FRENCH.
The kicker?

Neither one of us speaks French!
Neither one of us took French in school!

This is just a completely random ATTEMPT to complete a board in a different language.

Luxe! Toile! Lac! Je! Moi! Oui! Pave! Mie! Soin!

I do not know exactly what I have spewed forth, but it's all over our board! I have an idea!
(Plus, who really knew BOB was universal?)

& notice how I have blanked out my letters...I didn't want my friend to see the ******* letter word in French I'm about to throw down. Okay. So, I don't know a seven letter French word.

& notice that I am currently losing...(I have won all our games in English, I guess I can let her win the French ones)...

This is what the cool people do in the middle of the night on Facebook!

~~J

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin Parcel!

For several years now, my dear friend MELISSA and I have been exchanging Halloween-inspired gift boxes. She lives in Indiana, I (of course) in Memphis.

Originally it was because we are "older" and felt a little silly being sooo IN LOVE with the season, but now we know that it's okay to celebrate & it is super fun getting goodies in the mail!

My BOOTY This Year:

1. the funniest presidential/political/Halloween card EVER!
2) fabulous WITCHY socks (how freakin' adorable?)
3) APPLE foot scrub....should feet smell THIS good?!?!
4) An adorable tin filled with candy...yum yum...and Italian pralines!
5) Does anyone ever get "tired" of Pumpkin candles? NO NO NO!
6) Mini Halloween equipage...I'll have to make bake goodies again for local friends...
7) DUNDER MIFFLIN post-its! THIS IS PAM!
8) ETC., ETC.,

I appreciate this tradition SO very much. I only hope she's half as satisfied with my parcel as I am with hers.

What do you do for Halloween?

~~J

Thursday, October 16, 2008

a little Voting humor:

Married To The Sea
marriedtothesea.com

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

19th Amendment, Y'all! Use it!

~~J

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dear Karen Pulfer Focht:


I do not know you; but the photos you took of Sarabi and her baby girl at the Memphis Zoo last week move me to tears.

They are beautiful and warm.

Simply Put: they melt my heart.

Thank you for capturing such tender moments on film.

~~J

photo credit: Karen Pulfer Focht

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Forms of Poetry (week 7):

Today we discussed Blank Verse: regular meter (usually iambic pentameter), but no rhyme.

First known use in the English language was Henry Howard (Earl of Arundel and Surrey) in his interpretation of the Aeneid, circa 1554.

Famously used by: Christopher Marlow, John Milton

"formal" blank verse contains 10 syllables and is in a natural speaking "voice".

Discovered Tri-Syllabic Feet:
amphibrach (short-long-short)
cretic (long-short-long)
bacchic (short-short-long)

Studied:
Rain by Edward Thomas
Mending Wall by Robert Frost
Night in the Gardens of Port of Spain by Derek Walcott

~~J

Monday, October 6, 2008

Autumn Fallin'

Although this album was released LAST November, I wasn't introduced to Jaymay until this year.

You can hear some of her songs on her Myspace (follow the link above). The album is available via iTunes, Amazon, etc etc etc.

Track listing:
gray or blue
sycamore down
blue skies
sea green, see blue
autumn fallin'
you'd rather run
hard to say
big ben
ill willed person

you are the only one i love


I wish I could put into words the greatness of this album. It's folksy and poetic. It's emotional and raw. It is definitely one of my favorites and is in heavy rotation in my life!

All Hail Last.FM for introducing me to Jaymay!

Last.FM is quite an amazing website. I recommend checking it out...I dare you to create a profile--I bet you'll be blown away by all the new tunes and artists you'll discover!It has led me to several "new" artists (mostly independent)...and I must say this is a GOOD THING!

Jaymay is currently part of a list of rotating artists featured as part of The Hotel Cafe Tour 2008. If she drops by a venue by you, check her out. (I'll be completely jealous!)

And I'm winning you with words because I have no other way...

~~J

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Forms of Poetry (week 6):

Today we studied the ballad/lyrical ballad...including this treasure by William Wordsworth:

A slumber did my spirit seal;
I had no human fears:
She seem'd a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.

No motion has she now, no force;
She neither hears nor sees;
Roll'd round in earth's diurnal course
With rocks, and stones, and trees.

(1800)

Even though it is only two quatrains long, it is jam-packed with a myriad of emotion and skill. It literally blows my mind.

Typical rhyme scheme(s) of the ballad stanza:
abab or abcb

Also studied:
"I heard a Fly buzz" (Dickinson)
"Ballad of Birmingham" (Randall)
"Bagpipe Music" (MacNeice)

~~J

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Turn It In (dot com):

Otherwise known as the place where essays and term papers go to die.

So there is a website that teachers/professors can use to compare alllllll the papers ever written (and turned in) to one another to see if there is any academic dishonesty taking place.

(I saw this mentioned in an episode of Law & Order: SVU once, who knew?)

I had to use this program to turn in my big midterm essay for Brit Lit. I was very curious as to HOW it would read my work/writing/ideas. I knew I didn't copy a damn thing from anywhere and so I submitted my paper last night completely confident--with no WORRY or DREAD whatsoever.

This morning I checked it, just for giggles, and found out that I had 6 words similar to an essay turned in 2 years ago at some prep school. That was IT!

I'm glad to know that 2 years ago, some student at some prep school was 6 words as awesome as me!

But really, as a self-proclaimed Nerdy McNerdster who would rather fail a course than EVER cheat (I know, how honest am I?)...I'm glad to know that even 6 words (in a sequence of 9 words) would raise a little red flag.
~~J

Monday, September 29, 2008

Registered?

As my dear Candidate reminded me:

The last day to register to vote in Tennessee is next Monday, October 6th.

Are you registered? Are your friends and family?

Each and every vote in Tennessee is absolutely crucial on Election Day. But in less than a week, the time for bringing new voices into the political process will be over. You need to be certain that you, your friends, and your family are registered by the deadline -- it's a small step that will have a huge impact on our Election Day results.

This election is too important to leave anything to chance. Make sure your voice is heard!

DECLARE YOURSELF!

~~J

Saturday, September 20, 2008

To Know Her, is to Love Her:


God Bless Geoffrey Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales.

We have spent several class periods discussing various parts/tales in my Brit Lit class. I admit my own ignorance circa ten years ago. Now I can admit that Mr. Chaucer is a genius.

Why? Well, his masterpiece is still discussed in classrooms everywhere. Not bad for something 500+ years old, right?

Taken from something I have written for class:

We are first introduced to the Wife of Bath in the General Prologue. She has a red/ruddy complexion and is a little deaf. We find out that she is a talented cloth maker who’s “cover chiefs” are so elaborate that they probably weighed “ten pounds.”

She is very charitable and gives more on Sunday than anybody else gives. She is very well travelled having been to Jerusalem (three times), Rome, and Cologne (for example). She has been married 5 times and is full of laughter and gossip. She also knows about love remedies.

I will save you from the rest, but I must say that "the whole thing" (the Tales) really lives on today because they reach in and speak personal truths about human nature. GENIUS!

~~J

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pumpkin Bin:

WEEEEEEEE!

My first PUMPKIN(s) "sighting" of the year...

I actually squealed when I stopped to take this picture with my cell phone a couple weeks ago...

~~J

Oh, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun,
The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run,
And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold,
With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold,
Like that which o'er Nineveh's prophet once grew,
While he waited to know that his warning was true,
And longed for the storm-cloud, and listened in vain
For the rush of the whirlwind and red fire-rain.

John Greenleaf Whittier (1850)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

She Knits, She Scores!

All rows: *K1, p1; rep from * across.

Was it Morse code or maybe another special message you just read? Yes, no or maybe? Chances are at least one out of three understood the above instructions, statistically speaking.

According to the Craft Yarn Council of America (CYCA) at least, because nearly 36 percent of American women can either knit or crochet.

In addition, the fastest growing age bracket--just happens to be young women between the ages of 25 and 34. The CYCA says since 2002 this particular set has grown by 150 percent to nearly seven million strong.

When asked about their motivations to pick up the hobby, the women interviewed mentioned friends, family, and one book in particular kept coming up: Stitch ‘n Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook, by Debbie Stoller.

Released in 2003, the original handbook has since been translated into three additional languages (Danish, Dutch, and Finnish). Part history lesson, part mission to “take back the knit,” there are now four books in the SNB series.

Maureen Kenyon, 35, says the original handbook still holds a “sweet spot” in her heart and recommends it to friends and new knitters alike, “No doubt, that’s how I learned.”

About five years ago, Jodi Small, 30, purchased a pair of needles with the intent of teaching herself to knit, and quickly learned the importance of a mentor.

“My office manager was a knitter and she told me to bring them in the next morning before work," she said. "She taught me the knit stitch in about 10 minutes!”

Just like that, Small was casting on and inspiring others to do the same, chiefly an old roommate.

“We spent hours sifting through boxes of tangled, mangled discounted yarn in order to make funky scarves for less,” she said.

The scarf obsession is very typical; most knitters have a good scarf story.

“I didn’t know how to purl until last year,” said Amy San Juan, 33, about her first completed project and so it was “scarves--many, many scarves--all done with cheap yarn and only with the knit stitch.”

Besides scarves, preferred projects range from accessories like hats and purses to wearables like raglan jumpers and cardigans.

“There is no seaming and you can try them on as you go,” said Kristen Collins, 28. Not only does she spend time knitting clothes for her young daughter, but she also manages to sell items she makes through her online store for some extra money.

The most popular item she sells are longies—little wool pants which function as cloth diaper covers; when her store is not hibernating she sells up to ten items a month.

When people find out she knits, the reactions can vary. “They say ‘how cute!’” Kenyon said, followed closely by, “‘can you make me something?’”

Small said some people make “old” lady jokes, but sometimes people come back with, “Cool, me too!”
-----------------------------------------------------------
As turned in to my Feature Writing class.

~~J

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mini Gasoline Poem:

Beginning hours before Ike made landfall
along the Texas coastline,
the lines to the row of pumps snaked
in and out of the parking lot,




and continued throughout the day,




it was something I had never seen before in my lifetime!


~~J

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Forms of Poetry (week 3):

Villanelles! A French verse form derived from an earlier Italian folk song; retains a circular pattern of a peasant dance.

five tercets rhyming aba
followed by a quatrain rhyming abaa
(19 lines)

studied:
"The Waking" (Roethke)
"Missing Dates" (Empson)
"One Art" (Bishop)
"Villanelle for the Middle of the Night" (Osherow)

~~J

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Prescription for Preparedness:

Meet Robbie and Margaret Chambers: as Ole Miss graduates both with their B.S. in Pharmacy, not only do they share the same profession and work for the same company (Wal-Mart), but they have also been married for 16 years.

You could say they have experienced practically everything in their combined 35 years as retail pharmacists.

Then Gustav made its way into the Gulf of Mexico.

“This was my first, I’m a hurricane virgin!” Robbie said over the phone as another tornado warning sounded in the background.

Neither one had direct experience with a hurricane, having only moved from Memphis to the Mobile Bay region of Alabama a little over two and a half years ago.

They took positions at nearby Supercenters, Robbie as pharmacy manager in Bay Minette and Margaret working as a part-time staff pharmacist at the Saraland location.

In 2005, Katrina forced a massive surge of water into the bay, knocking the USS Alabama off its mooring and causing flooding in downtown Mobile.

While both pharmacies are within 25 miles of Mobile Bay, the couple resides--along with their 11-year-old son--in Spanish Fort, which is less than five miles away from the inlet.

As the weekend and Gustav got closer, the Chambers spent time gathering flashlights, fresh batteries, non-perishable food, water and gas for their generator at home.

“Personally, it was a little exciting--but please don’t take that the wrong way!” Margaret said about the possibility of a storm, “Having never been through anything like this, we were not sure of all the things to do to get prepared.”

Both pharmacies saw a sharp increase in volume on Friday, with Bay Minette filling near 500 prescriptions and Saraland topping 650.

“The only thing I can compare it to is the craziness that occurs when snow or ice is predicted in Memphis,” Margaret said, “it’s not just a little increase like the normal seasonal increases. It was like a frenzy.”

Saturday in Bay Minette, the inventory were increased by nearly $100,000 (retail cost) worth of drugs. As mentioned in a conference call it was in anticipation of evacuees but also in case trucks were not able to run their normal routes.

By Sunday evening as the pharmacies closed, there was still no absolute certainty where Gustav would make landfall.

“I had to tarp over all of the prescription bays, in case the roof started leaking. I had to cover all the computer equipment with garbage bags and make sure nothing was on the floor in case of any seepage,” Robbie explained.

Pharmacies were close Monday in anticipation of Labor Day, but Gustav continued on its path to Louisiana.

The Chambers spent the day listening to the rainfall, watching television and paying close attention to the tornado warnings.

They never doubted their decision to move to the Gulf Coast.

“We have always vacationed nearby and fell in love with the area. There is always a chance for some catastrophic event where ever you are,” Margaret said, “at least with hurricanes you have plenty of warning.”
------------------------------------------------------------
As turned into my Feature Writing class.

~~J

Forms of Poetry (week two):

Sonnets! Traditionally a poem of 14 lines, linked by an intricate rhyme scheme.

Italian
broken into one octave and a sestet;
rhyme scheme abba/abba/cdecde

versus

English
broken into quatrain, quatrain, quatrain, couplet;
rhyme scheme abab/cdcd/efef/gg

studied:
"Sonnet 60" (Shakespeare)
"On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" (Keats)
"Yet Do I Marvel" (Cullen)
"The Forge" (Heaney)

~~J

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Full Day Back:

(it went a little something like this:)

830am: I am leaving my driveway...university-bound. Hello morning traffic, how are you?

910am: I have successfully parked at the university. Now it took some time because my "hangtag strip" is still not "activated"....this means I am unable to enter the "priority parking lot" in which I have purchased a space until someone manually releases the "arm" blocking my way.

930am: I have marched all to my first building and found my classroom. Brit Lit to 1750. Woo! Problem? There are NO left-handed desks in sight. This is a required English class, aren't most "English" majors in their "right" brains aka left-handed? I make due by sitting on the far left of the classroom and turning to my right.

940am: Holy crap, this class is FULL! I wonder how many will show up on a regular basis. We read a poem in class and commented collectively. I have to read the first 835 lines of Beowulf by Thursday!

1105am: I shoot out of building #1 like a speeding bullet. I have to find the quickest way to my next building halfway across campus!

1116am: I've made it! I've found my classroom, but it's locked. I look the other students over and realize I might be the oldest one in the class...time for FEATURE WRITING!

1120am: The professor has arrived and we've found our desks/computers--we start going around the room and introducing ourselves. I'm in love with him already ("real, live" Washington Post editor(s)/writer(s)/reporter(s) have this effect on me)!

1220pm: Class is coming to a close (save for a required autobiographical writing assignment)...and I've already made an impression on my professor! I slowly raise my hand when he asked if any of "us" considered ourselves to be "Noticers" (able to notice little details, because that's what makes a good feature writer)...

He calls me "his first victim" and asks if I watched Michelle Obama's speech on Monday night. "YES"...and then he asks me about...what she was wearing! I think I saw his socks literally fly right off his feet as I went into details...

1248pm: Feeling like a champion, I rushed out of the building and took a chance on a "short cut" on the way back to where I started...for my next class...which had been changed to another classroom! FICTION WRITING!

100pm: We're sitting with our desks in a circle, starring at one another when our instructor walks in. We give mini-introductions (name/major/standing). Then we start going over the requirements for the class. At least 10 of us have NEVER been in a workshop class before.

We squirm at the idea of writing & presenting THREE fictional short stories to the class...required length? UP TO 11 PAGES! WHAT? Seriously? I try not to cry. I try to remember my previous "rockstar" moments earlier in the day.

Oh yeah! We have to be "workshopped" as well. This is when you present a copy of your story to everyone in the class. They get to take it home over the course of a week: read, edit, comment, and write about YOUR story! Then we spent about 30 minutes of class time DISCUSSING the story. The author gets to listen...that's about it.

225pm: I am on my way back to my car. I'm trying NOT to hyperventilate from fear of the "short" stories...

315pm: I finally make it home. Way to go TRAFFIC! I guess it wasn't a bad commute.
400pm: Guess who has eaten, changed, and made it to work?

905pm: I'm clocking out. I've survived a very emotional day...and realize I have to do it all over again on Thursday!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Things I Learned Serving as a Juror:

1) someone is always watching you; especially when you don't want them to be (ack!)

2) it's really hard to "just" sit there and LISTEN (but I take decent notes)

3) it's really hard NOT TO EXPRESS THOUGHTS OR IDEAS AND HAVE TO INTERNALIZE EVERYTHING FOR SEVERAL DAYS IN A ROW

4) you become suspicious of every one when you're either guarded by armed deputies or locked in a room 24 hours a day (really)

5) I have the ability to listen to the facts and evidence in a case without judgement (innocent until proven guilty)

6) I can work, talk, and listen to/with 11 OTHER people (aka strangers) while being LOCKED IN A ROOM to come to an important decision

7) I essentially cry about everything, whether I am sad or mad--I cry--that is my emotional release

~~J

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Trial Results:

(in case you were wondering)

We found out from the Judge (after we read our verdict and were released from the actual court room) that the Defendant wanted to plead guilty to 2nd Degree Murder, but the State wouldn't accept his plea.

The State believed they had a "slam dunk case" of 1st Degree Murder and would not back down from the indictment. So the defendant pleaded NOT GUILTY to 1st degree murder (by reason of self-defense).

Oddly enough, we came back with the verdict of 2nd Degree Murder.

T.P.I. -- CRIM. 7.05(a)
-------------------------------
SECOND DEGREE MURDER (Knowing Killing of Another)
Any person who commits second degree murder is guilty of a crime.For you to find the defendant guilty of this offense, the state must have proven beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of the following essential elements:

(1) that the defendant unlawfully killed the alleged victim; and
(2) that the defendant acted knowingly."Knowingly" means that a person acts with an awareness that [his] conduct is reasonably certain to cause the death of the alleged victim.

[The requirement of "knowingly" is also established if it is shown that the defendant acted intentionally.]
-------------------------------
We also asked the Judge what she personally thought about our Verdict. She said we made a good decision and she assumed it could go either way (1st or 2nd degree).

She said that the defendant did not have an extensive criminal background and only had a previous misdemeanor charge (we don't know what that was).

Through her experience, she thought the Defendant was a seemingly nice young man who accepted responsibility for his crime (which are my thoughts as well, since I essentially had eye contact with him most of the trial).

She thought the incident was senseless and sad. We asked the Judge about typical sentences for 2nd Degree Murder. She said that it can range anywhere from 13.5 years to 25 years without parole and service time has to be at least 85%.

The Defendant has already served 2.5 years. He is now 25 years old. The Judge assumes he will probably service an addition 15 years.

Sentencing occurs next month, it is completely separate from us.

~~J

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

When packing...

for an extended (unknown) stay in which I'll be completely shut off from the outside world and have no access to newspapers, television, friends & family, a cell phone or the Internet, I BRING:

1) my best friend's iPod (but once it runs out of juice, I'll probably cry)

2) Travel Scrabble (may there be another Scrabbler amongst the Jury)

3) Sharpie Pens (but OF COURSE!)

4) Steno Pad (personal writing and note taking because a "writer" is always taking notes)

5) comfortable clothes (can't be capris, only "long" pants)

6) I'm going to run out for some "mini" shampoos (etc.)

7) Bare Escentuals (ha ha ha!)

8) Rolling Stone & Cooking Light (I heard books were hard to focus on)

9) Chocolate & Advil (for deliberations)

~~J

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sequestered!

(starting tomorrow)

After spending half of the day as a "juror-in-waiting" something unexpected happened around 3 this afternoon in downtown Memphis. I was chosen as a Juror on a Murder Trial!

About 45 of us were ushered into a court room at 201 Poplar. We were informed of the seriousness of the situation before 18 were called up to sit in the potential jury box. My breathing kept becoming less labored...until I heard my name called.

We were each questioned by the judge as well as lawyers representing the state and the defense. Four of us were dismissed and then the two alternates were chosen. How close was I to becoming an alternate? Technically I was Juror #11. Yes, that close.

I am somewhat interested in this whole process, but the thought of being 1/12th responsible for the outcome of a criminal case is quite nerve-racking...prayer-worthy...upsetting...scary.

Thankfully, it is not a Death Penalty case.

I am EXHAUSTED and have to have my bags packed and be ready to go by morning light for the rest of the week (at least). Who knows when I'll be back from this adventure.

This is quite an interesting way to spend my last week before CLASSES START!

~~J

Friday, August 15, 2008

Female "Buddy" Movies:

(idea stolen from Chris Vernon circa June 2008)

So I got a phone call a couple months ago from my dear friend. She was driving home from work and listening to the Chris Vernon show on ESPN radio. (Yes, we love sports) The topic they were discussing was FEMALE BUDDY MOVIES (in the wake of Sex and The City being released).

She immediately thought to call me (saying I had seen every movie EVER made--which is a bit of a stretch, but flattering nevertheless). I was able to come up with this list, and so I humbly submit it for you as well:

Sex and the City (2008)
Beaches (1988)
The Craft (1996)
Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood (2002)
Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)
Little Women (1994)
Romy And Michele's High School Reunion (1997)
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)
Thelma & Louise (1991)
Boys on the Side (1995)
NOW AND THEN (1995)
The First Wives Club (1996)


I could only come up with 12. Do you have any to add?

~~J

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Go World!



(otherwise known as one of my favorite Olympic commercials, and I really REALLY love Olympic commercials)

~~J

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Favorite Beijing Olympic Moment #2

© FIG Photo
So there they were with Bronze Medals around their necks, but the smiles on their faces were more worthy of a Gold Medal.

But this was their Gold Medal, after all.

A team of first-time Olympians without their two leaders (the Hamm brothers had to withdraw due to injury) & two alternates who didn't think they'd be performing on the world's stage.

Super happy just to be anywhere near the awards podium, let alone near the top of it!

Bust out the WAAAAAAAAA-HOOOOOOOS they are infectious!

~~J

Monday, August 11, 2008

Favorite Beijing Olympic Moment #1

Is there anything that CAN be said that hasn't already BEEN said?

I don't know what's better: screaming, "GO GO GO GO GO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" at the top of your lungs followed closely by, "suck it!"

(directed to the French relay team, who decided to break the Olympic Spirit of friendly competition by proclaiming a "smashing" was their goal)

OR...

Getting a phone call exactly 2.5 seconds (which could be another world record) after Jason Lezak hit the wall, from your old roommate--who can do nothing on the other end of the line but scream and yell...(which is all you can do, by the way).

DEEP BREATH! AWWWWWEEEESSSSOOOOOMMMMEEEE!

~~J

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Write Out Loud!

Dear,

...
I love you. No, really I do. Here is my story:

So I read somewhere recently that the "art of writing" is dead. I mean the ACTUAL art of HANDwriting. I feel the irony, yes, being that I am BLOGGING about the death of HANDwriting...but stay with me on this one.

I like love to WRITE. I've practice my handwriting skills along with my signature (which naturally leads to practicing my autograph so I can hand-sign books effectively one day). I've looked at the samples of "famous" and "infamous" writers. I've tried to analysis my own hand even.

Part of the problem of writing though, is not that I'm left-handed (therefore, right-brained)...although it can be a challenge especially when there is ONE possible desk in a classroom to sit at...EVEN in college--I have issues.

(maybe it is a problem, but you can't help me there)

Part of the problem of writing though (and this is where You come into play, Sharpie), is the actual writing instrument. Working in the medical field, I am usually surrounded by “free” pens until they grow legs and walk out of the building, at least. Some of these pens are wonderful, some are not so great.

Then there is the SHARPIE. I simply adore the classic fine point permanent marker. I've tried to even use it to take notes or write in my journal. However, you know as well as I do that it bleeds through paper…WAIT! There is now a Sharpie pen and it is:

*designed not bleed through paper (depending on the paper)
*smear resistant when dry
*permanent on paper
*quick drying
*water resistant

Watch as I throw confetti into the air and do a little dance!

I was so excited that this afternoon I purchased way too many Sharpie pens (but it is a tax-free weekend)! I also bought a few packages of the classic fine point permanent marker in enough colors to paint the world fantastic. An addiction, I know.

The moral of this little tale-turned-Sharpie commercial? (which may not be not half as exciting as the time Shane Battier asked me about my Sharpie metallic silver fine point pen as he was autographing my Grizzlies basketball)

I can NOT wait to take notes using your pens! I love you, Sharpie!

xoxo,

~~J

Friday, July 18, 2008

Next Stop: The Matrix

So last Wednesday night we were brought into the lovely world of Matrices. Essentially this is a world I'd perfer to NEVER to visit again.

a rectangular table of elements (or entries), which may be numbers or, more generally, any abstract quantities that can be added and multiplied.

Matrices are used to describe linear equations, keep track of the coefficients of linear transformations and to record data that depend on multiple parameters.

WHAT? I will play the game and do some simple operations with them (addition, subtraction, multiplication) but that's where I STOP.

I was too busy NOT even trying to understand because it was:

a) dumb
b) too much
c) our instructor said if we "couldn't get it" NOT to worry about it because we could use any method we'd like to solve the problems
d) did you read what I just wrote?
e) & I kept waiting for Neo to sail through the room, long black coat floating behind him.

Matrix. Har har har! So, there we have it. Super genius, I AM NOT! I'm practical (and maybe just a bit bull-headed).

~~J

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ask Me About:

1859-->
The Origin of Species (Charles Darwin)
Self Help (Samuel Smiles)
On Liberty (J.S. Mill)

or

"Angel in the House" (Patmore)-->explaining "Separate Spheres"-->
The Pankhursts-->Contagious Diseases Act (1864)

or

Winston Churchill as a study in greatness (according to Geoffrey Best) alongside with a history of Imperialism via The Lion's Share (as explained by Bernard Porter)...

In other words, stick a fork in me. I'm done with British/English History since 1714!!!! And after an all essay midterm and final...I am over the moon to report an A!!!!!


~~J

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The NeverEnding Story:

Forgive me so for being sprawled between the vowels, consonants, and the political theories of Hobbes and Locke over the last 11 days. Obviously, it has been difficult for me to maintain equipoise.

This summer session has been flying by at warp speed. My days consist of early morning showers & mid morning traffic. Britain/England since 1714 has thinned out now and typically there are anywhere from 7-9 other souls sharing the spaces in between the pre & postindustrial strife.

New friends: John Locke & Jeremy Bentham
(I don't really know how someone can be friends with old dead philosophers either, but I am)

New obsession: Scrabulous!
(I've not even won a handful of games yet, but I know how to play Qi and Xi like a pro now)

Aside from the world of academia I have been quite busy watching Euro 2008 (as previously mentioned). I don't know what I will do come Sunday evening after the Finals. And just in case you didn't know, GERMANY will be playing...

Speaking of my second favorite country, I was able to test out of the language requirement for my degree! I went in to take my placement exam on a Friday and 12 minutes later I knew my results.

I will have to take another test (and pay a fee) in order to receive the credit for the classes I tested out of...it's cheaper than taking two more classes...it's a NeverEnding Story (not unlike the original story, did you know it was German too?)...

fare-thee-well for now.

~~J

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Back to Class:

(specifically back to where I started, more than a decade ago!)

So I’ve made my return to the “park-like” campus at the University of Memphis. Not only are there are more buildings (and an active construction site), it's a whole lot prettier than I remember.

During my first full week back I've:
1) parked in the same lot, 5 days in a row...
2) settled on 1 specific route to my building
3) visited the bookstore twice
4) taken the most horrible student ID photo in the history of the world
5) helped OTHER PEOPLE find *insert name here* building

My goal was to write everyday after my experiences, but I probably would've offended entire countries along the way.

Ya see, I am taking an upper division history class--England since 1714--and Monday I hated Britain, BUT on Tuesday I loved Britain and then on Wednesday I didn't mind Britain too much...now I'm having issues with Winston Churchill (hahaha).

My entire grade is dependent on only two exams (a midterm and a final). This is the first time in my college career that I will only be graded on two assignments. Also I might also be the only non-history major in the class...which really isn't too big of a deal.

Be looking for specific entries about social orders, the industrial revolution...and a lot of Euro 2008 Soccer!

~~J

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Carrie, Carrie, Carrie (Part Deux):

Throughout Sex and the City (the television series), there are moments which I consider to be so amazing I have to spend a whole entry talking about them.

Especially when they relate to my favorite gal.

Season 1 (episode 3): Carrie tags along for a weekend in the Hamptons with her friend--who happens to be half of a married couple. When Carrie accidentally has a full-frontal encounter when her friend's husband, she is sent packing.

She wonders, "Is there is a secret cold war between marrieds and singles?"

Season 2 (episode 16): Carrie is asked to be a part of a magazine feature highlighting single people in the city. She spends half of the episode assuming it will be “Single & Fabulous!” but when the magazine hits the stands, she finds herself on the cover of “Single & Fabulous?” (Note the question mark).

"That question mark is hostile." The girls decide it is okay to be single.

Season 2 (episode 30): The end of the season brings about the comparisons of The Way We Were and the Carrie/Big relationship. It also features the girls singing Memories over colorful martini glasses.

Carrie gets her own "Your girl is lovely, Hubbell" moment as she asks Big why it was another woman and NOT her after his engagement party at The Plaza.

Season 3 (episode 41): Even though Carrie has started seeing the most wonderful guy in the world (Aidan) she sabotages the relationship by falling into bed with a now-married Mr. Big.

Guess who comes home in time to catch Carrie in her apartment? Mrs. Big…and after a chase, Natasha falls down stairs and breaks a tooth. Carrie takes her to the emergency room and when Mr. Big arrives, another dramatic break-up occurs:

“We’re so over, we need a new word for over.”

Season 4 (episode 65): A tribute to the “old” New York ends the season and Carrie learns Big is leaving the city for the Left Coast. They share an impromptu “twist” to Moon River in Big’s empty apartment, making for one of the most romantic moments of the series.

Season 5 (episode 69): The girls go to Atlantic City for a weekend of female bonding. The entire episode is beset with humor and special moments between the girls.

Carrie is given a $1,000 chip by a man and eventually decides to bet on 36 (her age) at the Roulette table after she asks the dealer what happens “after 36” and he replies, “I guess you fall off the table.” She loses.

It is difficult to pick out just one or two special moments or episodes from Season 6, because there are so many involving Carrie. You'll have to watch for the flying pink carnations, "jack rabbit" sex, the "wedding registry" at Manolo Blahnik and the eventual move to Paris.

"I'm looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can't-live-without-each-other love."

~~J

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Carrie, Carrie, Carrie (part Une):

Just like every other fan of the phenomenon, watching Carrie Bradshaw has always been familiar to me.

"...But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous."



We get to hear her thoughts through the genius of voice overs as well as her column. She is the relationship journalist just reporting on the world in which she lives.

She asks questions. She has doubts. She does her best to solve all the problems while leaving some of it up to fate.

We think we are Carrie. We want to be able to wear what Carrie wears. We love her, plain and simple, because we also love ourself.

"So many roads. So many detours. So many choices. So many mistakes."

There is the Carrie I will never be: five-foot-four and a size 0!

There is the Carrie I am: inquisitive, thoughtful, full of vices & complexities, surrounded by a few really good friends who care, understand, and love me no matter what happens.

There is the Carrie I want to be: True to herself, even if it takes a while to figure out exactly what "herself" is...and always look good doing it!

"When real people fall down in life, they get right back up and keep walking."

~~J

Thursday, May 29, 2008

SATC (the full trailer):

I'm definitely a Miranda:

"Your good friend has just taken a piece of cake out of the garbage and eaten it. You will probably need this information when you check me into the Betty Crocker Clinic."

Carrie's voice of reason and generally the girl who tries to act tougher than she really is, I have always had a soft spot for Miranda Hobbes.

Maybe it is her "single comedy routines" or her fear of dying alone in her apartment and being eaten by her cat, but Miranda seems to live out the most relatable fears and situations for me.

Before going on a date with a detective who was too "hot" for her, she had one too many cocktails to loosen up and HE ends up NOT giving her his card, but a card for AA instead. She even pretended to be "less" than herself (a stewardess versus a lawyer) to date a guy who was actually pretending to be a doctor instead of a sporting goods store manager.

"Go Get Our Girl!"

There is the Miranda I will never be: cat-person, successful lawyer via Harvard with a rigid Type A personality who looks great in bold, bright prints and short hair.

There is the Miranda I am: cynical, sarcastic and most likely to hide or walk the other direction when faced with an ex on the street. Also we both love our sports teams and wearing sweats!

There is the Miranda I want to be: able to handle everything life throws her way with a little bit of humor and grace!

My Favorite Miranda Moments:

Heartwarming: After being completely cynical after Carrie's first big break-up with Big, Miranda meets her at the coffee shop late at night to talk about it anyway AND at their son's first birthday part, Miranda realizes that Steve is THE one and they rekindle their relationship.

Heart wrenching: The fight between Miranda and Carrie in the middle of Season 6 about Carrie moving to Paris STILL makes me tear up as does the episode in which Miranda's mother passes away and she has to walk behind her casket alone, until Carrie joins her.

Hilarious: Miranda spends night after night playing “peek a boo” with a stranger in the building across from her only to find out he is actually cruising the man who lives below her AND Miranda becomes an unexpected participant during a Sex class held in a couple's apartment--she gets a face full of love!

Honorable Mentions: Miranda explains to her new housekeeper what tools a single woman needs (goodie drawer) and doesn't need (rolling pin) AND Miranda becomes addicted to chocolate while on a "sex break" and ends up eating a piece of cake out of the garbage can.

“Maybe it's time I stopped being so angry.”

~~J

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

and I'm a Samantha:

"Practically all the relationships I know are based on a foundation of lies and mutually accepted delusions."

Older, wiser & more comfortable in her skin, Samantha Jones is the resident sex-pert of the four friends. She is lusty, strong and outspoken--but behind her confidence is a soft spot that few get to see (her heart).

There is the Samantha I will never be--head of my own PR company, wearing real fur coats or excessively large earrings!

There is the Samantha I am--fluent in German, able to give straightforward advice to friends (without judgement) and willingly to critic fire fighters for a calendar ANY day of the week!


There is the Samantha I want to be--able to speak my mind or live my life without fear of what other people might be thinking or saying about me...(and throw a drink dirty martini in any one's face--who truly deserves it)!

My Most Memorable Samantha Moments:

Heartwarming: Giving into her own insecurities, Samantha finally allows "Smith" to hold her hand in public AND when she knew Miranda was in desperate need of "alone" time, she came over to watch Brady so Miranda could take her own appointment at a salon.

Heart wrenching: After finding out she has breast cancer, Samantha decides NOT to tell the girls and ruin Miranda's wedding until they FINALLY get her to tell them the truth. AND Samantha decides shave her head before chemotherapy takes all her hair (then Smith walks in and shaves his head as well).

Hilarious: Samantha meets an old "boyfriend" who is now a drag queen who uses HER name in season 2 AND Samantha gets herself (and her friends) thrown out of the Playboy pool party during season 3, after she accuses a bunny of stealing her fake Fendi.


Honorable Mention: Sam Jones (college student) becomes obsessed with Samantha after she finally gives in and sleeps with him AND Samantha decides to do a full frontal photo shoot so she can always remember herself as young and beautiful.

"Men aren't that complicated. They're kind of like plants."

~~J

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm a Charlotte:

(not really, just a little)

“Maybe we could be each others’ soul mates and then we could let men be these great, nice guys to have fun with.”

It was the "Park Avenue Pollyanna" aka Charlotte York Goldenblatt who said these wonderful words and really helped to define the whole series to me.

After watching the last section of "The Agony and the Ex-tacy" of Season 4 (first episode), I started thinking about all the soul mates (best friends), in my own life in a completely different way--more love, more respect and more laughter.

There is the Charlotte I will never be—prom queen, cheerleader, teen model, conservative young Republican who graduated from Smith with a degree in Art (minor in Finance).

There is the Charlotte I am—knitter, Episcopalian (she was), "Mommy" to her lovely four-legged child and absolutely always there for her friends despite difference of opinion.

There is the Charlotte I want to be--"eternal optimist, who always believes in love" (as Carrie pointed out with her book dedication).

Some of my favorite Charlotte Moments:

Heartwarming: it’s a tie between Season 4, episode 1—Charlotte suggests that her and the girls are really each other’s soul mates. AND later during the same season, episode 16—she offers up her engagement ring to Carrie as a down payment for her apartment.

Heart wrenching: Season 6, episode 12—Charlotte suffers a miscarriage after finally getting pregnant after a very long time of trying.

Hilarious: It’s a tie between "The Rabbit" AND the Season 3 opener when Charlotte gets completely hammered on Staten Island ice teas and dances to disco and later proclaims to New York that she’s getting married (even though she has no beau).

Honorable Mentions: Charlotte in the Hampton's (lying about her age) & Charlotte Harlotte in Atlantic City.

Alrighty!

~~J

Monday, May 26, 2008

Let's talk about SEX...:

(and the City)

Plenty has been written about the HBO blockbuster hit Sex and the City (which still lives on in edited reruns on at least two stations).

I've read sparkling reviews and negative critiques about everything from the fashion & friendships, the sex & men and all the relationships (on screen and off). It's all been analyzed to death, if you don't mind me saying so.

Nevertheless, you want MY opinion, right? Especially since the movie will be released at the end of the week (which is why my blog turned pink).

LOVED IT!

First, I do not (past or present) have HBO. I fell into the series when it was practically over. I was tired HEARING about it, but NEVER watching it and so I bought Season 2 circa the summer of 2002.

I was absolutely HOOKED! Less than a week later, I bought Season 3 and while waiting for Season 4 to become available I finally got my hands on Season 1. And I watched all of them over and over again!

I did some crazy things to be able to follow Season 5 (I won't mention them here).

When the final Season was announced, I actually had people TAPE episodes for me & hand them over on Monday...so we could discuss them properly on Tuesday.

Y'all, these were straight MEN that did the taping (so don't even go there).

You get the idea. Obsessed. LOVED! LUSTED!

Do women really talk that way?
Do women really have bonds & friendships like that?
Do women really DO those things?

Yes, Yes, and Yes!

So in honor of my four favorite television ladies (Golden Girls & the Original Designing Women are a close 2nd and 3rd) vaulting onto the big screen--I am going to do a daily dish on each one of them...in reverse alphabetical order.

Tuesday: Charlotte York (MacDougal) (York-Goldenblatt)
Wednesday: Samantha Jones
Thursday: Miranda Hobbes
Friday: Carrie Bradshaw

~~J

p.s. IF ANYONE WANTS TO PLAY TRIVIA....just comment away!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Bible of the Newspaper Industry:

(no really, that’s actually what it says on the front cover)

aka The Associated Press Stylebook, is quite an exciting read. I had a spiral bound copy about 11 years ago (status: missing) and since it is required for at least one class this fall semester, I got another copy as part of my birthday textbook extravaganza.

It’s a fully revised and updated copy of the AP’s rules on grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, abbreviation and word and numeral usage.

(that's what it says on the back cover)

Things I have Learned Today:
3-D is preferred over three-D
use till or until but NOT 'til
gale force winds are from 39-54 mph
do NOT capitalize primary (Democratic primary)
Novocain is a trademark
it's Down Syndrome (not Down's)
faze means to embarrass or disturb
hurly-burly is hyphenated
i.e. is the abbreviation for id est (should always be followed by a comma)

See how awesome this book is?? (I realize YOU might not find this stuff interesting, but I definitely do)

Newspaper Geeks UNITE aka (no spacing is correct) Journalists!

~~J

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