Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
My own twisted version of modern masterpiece theatre.)
Yes. I was on the other side...
You rememory me?
Yes. I remember you."
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I've been looking over the schedules of some of my former classmates.
I have to say that I am impressed.
(We swapped schedules!)
One friend is taking FOUR literature classes.
FOUR (on top of two other classes)...I will tell you right now that I will NEVER be able to take FOUR literature classes in one semester.
I never realized how many "honor" students I know. Technically I would be one as well, if it weren't for the years 1998-1999. But still. SMARTIES are awesome!
Another friend is taking SWIMMING. And yet another is taking FREE WEIGHTS! Maybe those combined blows my YOGA out of the water?
Nevermind the nifty sounding sociology and anthropology classes. Whew! I think I have schedule envy!
What else to tell? I finished the first season of True Blood last week. I have to remind you that I've read most of the books. I have even loaned them out...so my friends are further ahead than I am.
I didn't want to jump on the bandwagon, but I did. AND I love it. I don't have HBO, but it appears that I have a standing Sunday night "watching" place. What's better than being hooked on a show?
(Getting someone else hooked on it as well!)
I learned that the OTHER place to be at 5 o'clock is the post office....in line, waiting to toss mail into the big blue box.
I thought all the cars in the world were at the pharmacy drive thru. I guess only 3/4 of them are....the other 1/4 are at the post office.
Honk if you already knew that!
p.s. Coffee at 10 p.m.....probably not a good idea.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Books I Mentioned at the beginning of the Summer:
Delta of Venus (Anaïs Nin)
Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë)
Wide Sargasso Sea (Jean Rhys)
The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
Atonement (Ian McEwan)
The Reader (Bernhard Schlink)
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Most of the time I feel as if my life is on camera.
Not all of my life, just my worklife.
I'm not vain (justa little), but the situations I find myself in are so ridiculous sometimes they don't seem real.
If I didn't laugh about it, I'd dissolve into a corner and cry for hours. So I laugh, inappropriately instead.
Yesterday I was yelled at by a customer on the phone. This 65-year-old woman morphed into a screaming 14-year-old child and I got to hear the whole thing. She even ended the conversation by hanging up on me.
The nurse from her doctor's office called us about forty-five minutes later and told us the same story. The patient (so ironic, PATIENT!) yelled and threw a tantrum, but this time the nurse actually snickered -- which led to more screaming.
We get complaints on a regular basis from those "stuck" in the drive-thru. By stuck, I mean that they sit behind a car in one lane while the other lane is free and clear. I typically respond with, "That's why we have two lanes."
I get blank stares. Then *ding* someone pulls into the second lane and the person in the first lane is fuming, probably planning my death. Ahh well.
Then there are the people who come rushing in with a crumpled piece of paper, that may have been a prescription at one time -- written three months ago and they sigh and roll their eyes as they find out they have to wait thirty minutes.
"I gotta have this now!"
"Oh? It will be thirty minutes."
I'm not cruel. Acne medication is not an emergency -- especially when the directions clearly state to use the product in the morning or at bedtime and it's two o' clock in the afternoon.
These are the same people that come rushing into the pharmacy at closing time the NEXT night because it's a dire emergency and they need to pick up their prescription NOW!
*insert snickering or eye-rolling here*
Then they proceed to complain about the price of the medication, but pay for it anyway -- only to turn around and pull out a coupon card they got from their doctor and hand it to me.
The card has in bold letters, "MUST ACTIVATE BEFORE USE" so I ask if they have activated the card. "No, I didn't know I had to." I point out the bold lettering. They snatch the card back as I complete a refund at the register so they can call and activate the card.
If I told you at this point that after they activate the card, we run it and find out that it expired the previous month, you're not going to believe me. Or that the patient (ha ha!) now wants their prescription back...
See? This stuff only happens on television or in the movies...NO! This is my worklife.
So isn't that a cool picture up there? I got a slick new compact point-and-shoot camera that has some fantastic features. This picture was converted to "illustration." So I could illustrate the point of this entry.
Cartoon life? In general, yes. I need to watch out for falling pianos or anvils.
Friday, August 21, 2009
New Stories from the South 2009 by Madison Smartt Bell (Editor)
+Which I have been flipping through (mostly to see the writer's bios) and reading parts of it whenever I get the chance. This book has replaced the copy of Jane Eyre that has been jammed into my purse for weeks now. Strangely enough, there is a story included that was penned by my former professor.
The Lie That Tells a Truth: A Guide to Writing Fiction by John Dufresne (Author)
+I haven't had a chance to go through this one yet, but I'm looking forward to it. It seems to have a lot of good advice and it was passed around by my former professor (see the link in the previous section) last semester. Interesting how things run in circles.
Philosophical Writing: An Introduction by A. P. Martinich (Author)
+I'm only going to think positive thoughts. Apparently there is a whole new "form" of writing that differs from strict MLA or AP Style...and I'm going to get to learn it this semester. What was I thinking? WAIT! Positive thoughts!
An Introduction to Feminist Philosophy by Alison Stone (Author)
+The cover reminds me of one of my favorite collections of short stories. The topic is obviously interesting. Maybe I'll be able to extend the paper I wrote last semester and make a better argument. See, I've already gotten a grade on said paper - but I still want to work on it. Nerd or grad school candidate or BOTH?
Okay, so that's the run down for two classes. I have two more books to purchase (for my last two classes). At least I'm up-to-date on some fronts.
I received my parking pass and special "priority lot" sticker in the mail yesterday & tuition is set to be pulled from my bank account tomorrow.
(It's time to break out the peanut butter & jelly and start making sandwiches!)
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
+taking a midday nap -- spending two hours not dreaming
+moments of complete & utter courage coupled with fear
+finding yourself in tears & having to retreat to your room
+forgetting everything, then remembering everything all at once
That was my Monday, but it moved into a rather joyous Tuesday. I guess that's what the psychiatrists call LIFE. I think writers call it, "material."
It is all very scary, daunting, intimidating, frightful...*insert another adjective here*
Most school have several steps when applying:
the application (to their graduate school)
the application fee(s)
the test scores (GRE--sent directly to the university)
the statement of purpose
the transcripts (sent directly from one university to the other)
the letters of recommendation (typically three required)
the assistantship/fellowship/ and financial aid application(s)
& then we have the "writing sample," which is also known as "the portfolio." These are the 20-50 pages of your fiction (if fiction is your genre) that professors get to look over and judge (rip apart or applaud). Lordy.
I can safely say that I have....(checking)...at least
At least I'm writing, even if I don't feel prepared for the rest of the "process." Solution? I NEED AN ASSISTANT! Remember I am applying to more than TEN schools - I've lost my mind.
Being able to funnel emotions into a written form (and edit like a madwoman) is oddly comforting. I'm proving to myself that just maybe I can be a writer, it is quite easy afterall:
just open up another vein and bleed all over the place.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
It's my own twisted version of modern masterpiece theatre.)
"Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever....It had seemed as close as a star to the moon.
Now it was again a green light on a dock."
(F. Scott Fitzgerald)
Monday, August 17, 2009
Since the beginning
of time of (not silent) cinema, there have been scores...soundtracks...songs either written specifically for the film or just used in the film to garner a desired effect from the movie-watcher.
Somehow the good ones (scores, soundtracks, songs) become ingrained in our psyche.
I hummed the Jaws theme as a child in the pool while playing "sharks." I have to strut like John Travolta when the Bee Gees come on the radio. Sometimes I want to twirl on mountain tops like Julie Andrews, just because.
There have been a few "modern" soundtracks that completely move me--which is why I started writing this entry in the first place. To talk about them, especially since I saw a movie last night and promptly bought the soundtrack today.
Several movies have a great song or two, but these entire albums are fantastical!
My favorite "modern" soundtracks:
Romeo + Juliet (1996 was a good year!)
Garden State (bought the day after seeing the film)
The Last Kiss (see above)
500 Days of Summer (see above)
It's hard to pick just ONE song off of either of these to highlight or mention, but I am going to do it...okay, I am going to pick FIVE songs off of each of these...which means you need to find these five songs ASAP!
R+J: #1 Crush - Garbage, Local God - Everclear, To You I Bestow - Mundy, Lovefool - The Cardigans, You and Me Song - The Wannadies
GS: Let Go - Frou Frou, Fair - Remy Zero, Such Great Heights - Love & Wine, Caring is Creepy - The Shins, Don't Panic - Coldplay
tLS: Chocolate - Snow Patrol, Star Mile - Joshua Radin, Ride - Cary Brothers, Hide and Seek - Imogen Heap, Prophecy - Remy Zero
500: Here Comes Your Man- Meaghan Smith, Us - Regina Spektor, Hero - Regina Spektor, Bookends - Simon & Garfunkel, You Make My Dreams - Hall & Oates
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
My Little Pony
Alvin and the Chipmunks
Maya the Bee (in German)
Muppet Babies (in German)
I already have a Dell Inspiron laptop (15 inches) and truth be told, even THAT is too big to cart around on a daily basis. I did take it to one class religiously in the Spring of 2008. I made outlines and took notes and things went swell.
But it has become my "home computer"...used mostly for school work and writing (of course) alongside blogging and surfing the same ten or so sites on a daily basis.
Lil inspri is gonna be my "on-the-go" version of Big inspri! But I bet I won't break the BlackBerry habit no matter what I carry.
(I just realized that I have White, Red...and soon to be Black electronic devices near and dear to my heart....seems so primal!)
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Me: Mmhhmm. That’s right!
A: So specific. Not sore all over, but in twelve places.
p.s. this is "the bow," this is something I cannot do.
But it seemed to illustrate the point.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Notice Adam Durtiz sporting a cane--he had a knee injury (which cancelled the previous night's show)--thank goodness he was ON for us!
I’ll be witness…it was full up on vocals, convulsions, and such.
Jesus Christ, superstar!
Story: I discussed beating them about the head with the aluminum beer bottles; clearly, I was filled with the spirit—and all of this after telling strangers I loved them!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Before heading down to Tunica on Saturday I *tweeted* that mantra and or phrase (no lie) and just a few hours later...
ching ching ching!
We walked the entire floor of the Horseshoe (I asked for directions) looking for my favorite slot machine. "Check the front of the house, honey."
Just because I have a "favorite" doesn't mean I frequent casinos or have a problem, by the way.
My favorite is a video PENNY machine based on The Wizard of Oz.
Typically I can play and play and play
Found Online: The bonus is initiated when an Emerald City Bonus Symbol appears on reels 1,3, and 5. From there, you choose one of the three symbols in order to receive one of the following: the Emerald City Bonus, the Flying Monkey Wild Bonus or just an instant credit reward.
That makes the game sound a wee bit complicated and or doesn't really let the excitement of the "BOINK BOINK BOINK" shine through...(sound of Bonus Symbols).
Then there is the "My magic is very powerful" phrase spoken by Glinda as she appears in her bubblegum pink floating orb--just in time to render some of the reels as WILD!
But let me just cut to last night. We find the desired machines, we wait and wait (only about twenty minutes) for one to open up and I slide in for the kill!
I lose the first two bills I fed into it quickly (nevermind...) I boldly feed in two more...(boldy could be substituted for stupidly any other night)...OKAY! Fine, they were $20s!
I'm down to my last $9.30 and I think my pulse has hit a new "high score" record of it's own when FINALLY it starts happening. I don't remember the order of events:
It was a big blur of flying monkeys and dancing emeralds. Dorothy and the Scarecrow made an appearance and even Glinda swooped in a few times. A crowd was behind me, Allison was helping me make choices...
I remember screaming. I remember making bets and talking through how "far down" I would go before stopping. At one point there was ----->
(notice the poor representation of my smiling face...I look like an idiot in the original)
When it was all said and done, I cashed out a voucher for $37.90 less than this picture...wha wha what?
Oh yeah! The Cashier asked me how I wanted my "winnings" and all I could do was stand there and ask, "What do other people do?"
Like I said, not an expert gambler...Kenny Rogers won't be singing my praises anytime soon!
So we raced to the car....I think I said, "We gotta Cash it and Dash it--that's my version of Take the Money and Run!"...because we had a CONCERT to get to....
The night was so awesome, it's going to get two entries...
p.s. My new found wealth has turned into a much desired and needed netbook!
Saturday, August 8, 2009
from the website: Match sparkling gems three at a time to make them burst in showers of color and points.
Match four or more to create flashy power gems that boost your score and your mood with brilliant cascades and combos.
A lot of people are familiar with Bejeweled! I think it even come pre-loaded on on cell phones now--maybe under a different name.
But my first time with this game was really on Facebook. Someone sent me a link and I was gone. Addicted. Obsessed! I like my Bejewel in Blitz format, which means in one-minute increments.
I can waste hours of time in sixty-second blocks. Perfect! I can finish one game quickly and get back to writing a paper or reading a book (or chatting, or blogging). Of course, I never just play ONE game--that would be too easy.
On Facebook there are weekly tournaments between your friends...the scores reset! You are alerted when someone beats your score--so you can start working to beat their score. It's a competitive lil' game.
OH! And you get cool little "medals" posted on your feed when you break certain levels. Maybe it's the "gold star effect" that keeps me coming back for more...
BUT really I've always been one for "mind puzzles" aka "boring" games. Tetris! Dr. Mario! Even Pacman and Ms. Pacman were just big puzzles...
More from the website: Soar to gem-matching heights in Classic mode, or speed through matches against the clock in Action.
For even more dazzling fun, bump up your brainwaves with multi-faceted Puzzles, or enter the Zen state of Endless play. Every match is high-carat fun!
Ha! Those little snippets make me laugh. This whole entry makes me laugh.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Immerse yourself in stillness and become consciously one with the flow.
Conscious union is yoga.
(before the forward of Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving in Stillness by Erich Schiffmann)
In other words, I am spending the evening writing Yoga paper(s). They are due tomorrow so there is no time like the present.
Yesterday we had a substitute instructor. She was quite fantastic. It's interesting to see how different people handle the same subject.
She was apt to discuss the history of Yoga--which was really interesting. I never actually knew what the word "Yoga" meant--it's a Sanskrit word that is translated to mean "to yoke" or "to join."
To join the mind, body, and spirit (of course).
Ironically enough, Buttercup just came into the office and did a perfect "downward dog." She is such a show-off. She is also *drumroll* a dog, so it makes sense.
I can't believe we'll only have three more sessions left. I'll miss my perfect pose (corpse/sponge) and all the breathing we do. It is something I plan on continuing.
There are several studios around town, and I keep hearing people rave about a couple of them, but Midtown Yoga seems to be right up my alley (and relatively close to the university).
What I've noticed over the last few weeks: lower blood pressure coupled with a new calmness and stillness. But I really should be putting that realization in one of my papers.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
The premise seems simple enough—writes a story in six sentences. Who can’t write just six sentences, right? EASY!
(if you write, you’re laughing already—because you know that a good story in six sentences isn’t exactly child’s play)
I definitely don’t consider myself “good” at this form of fiction (yet), which has actually been around for a while (think Aesop's Fables circa 500 BC).
I had to explain this to a friend who read my piece and said, “Huh?” He said it was a greeting card, not a story. He said it was an unrhymed poem. Then I told him that poems don’t have to rhyme…he said it was too cerebral.
(This, is a compliment—I think)
Definition (according to Wikipedia): Flash fiction is fiction of extreme brevity.There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category. Some self-described markets for flash fiction impose caps as low as 300, while others consider stories as long as 1,000 words to be flash fiction.
Okay. Don’t forget your protagonist or conflict or resolution either. See. Not the easiest thing in the world.
It’s really made me concentrate on words—verbs. I’m learning to save my adverbs for rainy days. I’m trying to be as specific as possible, getting rid of cliché’s...things which should make any of my professors happy.
I'm thankful for my writing circle (mostly of one) this summer for helping me out--editing and mostly encouraging my crazy ideas to be made into written form--and, of course, pointing me toward 6S.
Monday, August 3, 2009
"There is one other thing you need to do and that is return a copy of your signed summary and then you will be set for December graduation."
Thank you, Graduation Analyst! Of course, I need to pass my remaining classes too--but it is nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Light at the end of the undergraduate tunnel. Next stop?
(graduate school?!?!?!) Chuga-chuga-choo-choo!
I refuse to take the GRE until I get a satisfactory score on the practice exam. And by "satisfactory" I mean, to my liking. So. October? Early October?
I also wanted to let the world know that Netflix is the oracle. Really. Today I found out that I like “visually-striking emotional movies,” and “comedies based on contemporary fiction.”
That's the perfect description for me! Also it says I like "TV," "gay & lesbian drama," and "dark movies." Don't scoff at theNetflix. It is all knowing and powerful. I should ask it where the hidden treasure is buried.
(it will probably say, "in your heart")
I'd perfer a treasure map, Goonies-style!
p.s. Are you humming Cyndi Lauper songs now too?