Archive | January 2013

Oh Horror!

I don’t know what happened to me. I got today’s schedule mixed up with yesterdays and thought I didn’t have class until 2:00. So I get a text at 11:40 wondering where I was. ‘Where should I be?’  was the question. It was from the guy who I was working on the group project with, and today was our presentation (he and I were going to open the presentation with a little skit). We hadn’t scheduled an extra practice before class had we? After two minutes of confusion I discovered it wasn’t before class, class was happening right now, and I was home in my apartment reading!

I felt terrible. I hate being late. I hate it so much. I couldn’t believe I had done something like that. And on the day we were giving the presentation! Oh the horror.

So I ran out of my apartment without grabbing my book for the book talk. Or grabbing a coat. That’s okay because I was running anyway. Which, by the way, only got me so far. I’ve never been specifically diagnosed as having asthma, but I’ve always suspected it. Even after I was in class, I was still breathing hard and my chest hurt. And I didn’t even run that long.

But all’s well that ends while. Our group was performing second, so it’s not like we were late presenting. I still felt awful. But on the plus side, our performance of the skit went very well. At least I think it did. I heard laughter, and our group showered praises. It felt good that that went well.

Also I have a date for tomorrow.

So, it was a horrific beginning, but with a happy ending. Yes, even though I had to walk back to my apartment without a coat.

And then there are books

Well, this is my first experience with a paranormal romance and… well, it didn’t exactly exceed expectations.

Actually, I’m not finished with the book, but still I’ve got the feel for it.

I believe there could be a right way to do a paranormal romance. There’s probably one out there I would even like. But… the trick would be finding it. There have been so many since the ‘Twilight era,’ how are you actually going to be able to find the good stuff? Especially when you have to go at it in just the right way for it to be good.

It’s not that I don’t like what I’m reading, it’s just that I have no cause to like it. Especially because character is so important to me as a reader, and I don’t find anything particularly interesting about these characters. Being a witch/vampire/werewolf etc. is not enough to make a person interesting. Just like being an elf/fairy/sorcerer isn’t going to be enough to make you interesting in the fantasy books I read. And the plot/setting isn’t interesting enough to make up for lost ground the characters weren’t able to cover.

So I probably would put it down if it weren’t for the fact that it was homework. I have to read a supernatural or horror book so I can do a book talk on it in my Young Adult Literature class during our group presentation tomorrow. And I’m discussing the issues I have with the book here, because if I discuss them with the wrong person, they can get really defensive. Well, I discuss it with them anyway. But at least here I’m less likely to get that kind of response. I don’t usually get any response. Which is okay too, because then I can still believe that were people who actually read this, there would be somebody who could understand my point of view here. Also somebody who would nod in agreement if I said “I really don’t like vampires.”

I could probably go on a rant about vampires. But what would be the point, you know? Some people like them, some don’t. I don’t.

But I did want to write something here- just to take a break from the reading. Journalling is so therapeutic. I would recommend it to anyone. Except that it’s not for everyone. I wonder what they do when they take a break from homework.

Talents and regret

I considered briefly not going to devotional. I didn’t think about it very hard, but it was a question of whether or not I would get my homework done in time. I did get it done in time, but the problem with writing assignments is that it seems like it could always do with another revision. It wasn’t as wonderful as I would have liked it, but I probably wouldn’t be able to get it to be much better in that hour I would have spent at devotional.

And I’m so glad I did, because I saw my friend from Ballroom Dance class last year. Just to let you know, I do believe in coincidences but I think that they are very rare. I don’t think this was a coincidence. I think Providence takes a hand, even with small things like this. I mean, it’s not like my life was changed just because I was able to see this old friend, but it was wonderful anyway and a nice blessing.

She asked to see my new artwork. Thankfully, I had my clipboard with some of the images I did over the break. And to hear her get excited about my work… it’s lovely, because my past art has already passed out of my mind, but it was brought back with her now able to see it. She even noted that I had improved since last year. And it struck me once again how I keep improving. I keep getting better. Do you realize how exciting that is?

If I stop doing art, I won’t keep improving. If I don’t keep at it, I’m going to lose this talent. I don’t want to lose this talent- not when I’ve gotten so far. I know there is regret when you fail to work on a talent and you become rusty. I have a friend who has an incredibly gorgeous tenor voice. And he was trained in voice at a collage level for two years before coming here. Sometimes he sings for me, but afterwards he will say he is not as good as he used to be because he hasn’t practiced in so long. What’s sad is that I can hear it. Just slightly, but I can hear that it’s a little rough around the edges, even though he still has such a beautiful singing voice. In fact, I never realized how a person can respond so well to singing before I heard him. Who knew the human voice could have such an impact? I didn’t. It really makes a difference when your up close to someone when they sing.

I don’t want to lose my artistic ability, but I wish I knew what I was supposed to do with it. We should use our talents to benefit others, after all. Like the way my friend sang and how it made me happy. I just wish I knew how my art is supposed to benefit others.

The first step

What I should actually be doing right now instead of blogging is getting started on my Art Analysis for my Humanities class. I’ve got some ideas of what I’ll talk about going around in my head, but sometimes it is so hard to take the first step and actually start writing the thing. I kinda wish I had it better formulated in my mind before I start putting stuff down, but it doesn’t usually work that way. It’s like art, you’ve got to put some stuff down before it all starts coming together, and sometimes the hardest thing to do is just to get something down.

Ah words. I am really good at free-writing, just coming up with words spontaneously. Some people have a hard time doing it, so I guess it’s a talent? But I have a much harder time writing formally. I mean, I think what I write is okay, but it usually takes a lot of time and painstaking consideration. Words can be so powerful (think of Shakespeare), but they must be chosen carefully to be effective.

Words amaze me. I can get kinda nerdy about them.

 

 

Kinda concerned about this writing assignment. I want to do well. But analyzing artwork isn’t easy. How do you explain why a still portrait is significant? I think part of the anxiety comes with the fact that this is a fairly substantial writing assignment, and it’s fairly early in the year. I just don’t feel ready. I suppose I should try to find comfort in the fact that a rewrite will be allowed. Still, I’d rather just do brilliantly now.

The rise

I have been contemplating the rises and slumps you get in life. Yesterday was a rise, I watched a good movie (Dark and Stormy Night- I recommend it) and I was singing on the way home, happy with the thought that I wouldn’t need to worry about homework today. This morning, however, I got up late and did little for most of the morning. I felt I was in a slump. Nothing frustrates me more than when I feel idle and involved in petty things when I could do better.

I figure the trick is to recognize when your in a slump, and then figure out how to get out of it. Recognizing you are in a slump does little good if you do not act on it. Not that I’m entirely sure how to do it myself. But I figure if you think about some of the things you do or feel when you are in a rise, it can help you get out of a slump.

Like singing, which I mentioned earlier. I have my own set of songs I like to sing when I’m in a particularly good mood. It helps me to keep those things in mind. Sometimes favorite quotes come to mind. One of mine is from Hamlet; “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dream’t of in your philosophy.” I have begun to feel this way a lot, especially in recent years and with being in collage and whatnot. I don’t think anybody can help but think it when they look at t images from the Hubble Space Telescope (which I currently have as my desktop wallpaper).

 

 

Well, I had a great time with my old roommate. It’s times like these that make me happy. And dance in the shower. It’s great when you feel good, and then you… celebrate that. Be happy because you are happy- increasing the total amount of happiness. May as well, right? I like to think that the increased happiness of one evening can extend out through the week. One can hope, yes?

Well, I

Library! Books! Time?

So I went to the library today! It’s been wonderful having a Young Adult Literature class. Not just to introduce me to new material, but to remind me of the old material that I like. For instance, Luis Sachar- whom I have mentioned before. He wrote the Wayside School stories. I can never quite pinpoint what the charm of those books is. It’s like that with fairy tale retellings as well. So I got out one of his books which I have not read, I got out The Westing Game for my mystery genre, I got out some Night World books because those were the only supernatural books Lori thought I might like, and another book by Gary D. Shmidt. I liked Wednesday Wars, which I read for school, and it’s sequel. But this one that I got out of the library looked like a fairy tale retelling. I’m a sucker from those. And since I liked books by this author…. I thought I’d give it a try.

So I have books! But do I have time? Perhaps tomorrow. But before I read the books I want to read I have to try out a supernatural book for my presentation on Thursday. I don’t know if I’ll actually like these Night World books. Truth be told, I probably won’t mind them. Lori seemed to like them- which isn’t to say I will like them, only that it is more likely.

But for the rest of the time, I have some sociology and humanities writing assignments. My Humanities one is supposed to be a four page analysis. Those are not easy. It takes careful wording, particularly with the thesis. I wouldn’t be nearly so intimidated by the project if it weren’t for the thesis- one of the hardest parts of all writing assignments.

And then there’s that group project I was talking about earlier. As a fun thing I’m going to be watching a spoof of Clue tonight. So that’s fun. I think I’m probably going to end up using that for my sociology write up. How would it be if I just took notes during the whole proceeding?

Tomorrow I hope to visit people though. No homework, just an opportunity to be with friends. Life is going to be wonderful.

Inspiration and creative environment

Your environment really does have an effect on you. It does. And I’ve always loved the idea of living in a creative environment. You know, like writers or artists say they like to collect nick-nacks because that’s one of those things that puts them in a creative environment. Well, I don’t have much by the way of wall decorations or nick-knacks. But I too experience that desire for being in a creative environment. So… I go hunting for a bunch of desktop wallpaper

For the past few weeks, I’ve just used the desktop images that come with the computer. I don’t like it. Nothing stimulating at all. So generic. I wanted something more personal and inspiring.

So I’ve been on the hunt for desktop wallpaper images that might inspire me or put me in a creative mood. For instance, I have an image from Paperman, the animated short at the beginning of Wreck-it Ralph. It is the CUTEST animated short I have ever seen in my life. So darling. And I liked the graphics. So that’s inspiring to me. So is Tangled and Brave. But I also have things like… impressionist paintings. Or american romantic landscapes. Van Gogh’s Starry Night, I’ve always thought that made a cool desktop wallpaper.

It’s fun to kind of reflect and find out what you find inspiring. For me I said Disney. Broadway Musicals. Graeme Base picture books. The Piano Guys. Beethoven’s Last Night. Calvin and Hobbes. Mythology and folklore. Pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope. It is so much to think of these things, and so important. I think that inspiration is something essential in our lives. So it’s wonderful to have that in one’s environment.

Oh the Humanities!

I think I have my resume ready for my Humanities class. I surprised myself with how much I was able to put on. Mostly because of the community work I’ve done thanks to Mom. Particularly as a Kidspace Assistant Director. It even sounds fancy, and it’s great experience for the career I was aiming for, Recreation Worker. Not that that’s what I’m planning on getting into when I grow up, but it did sound the most interesting of the results I got from the assessments

Humanities class should be interesting today, because we’ll be in the Spori Art Gallery- looking at portraits. I don’t consider portraits among my favorite types of paintings, but they might be cool. After all, sill-life paintings aren’t my favorite either, but I went to a Russian Impressionism exhibit once, and those had beautiful still-life paintings. Who knew fruit could look so beautiful, right?

And next week I have to do a group presentation on Supernatural and Horror young adult literature. I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but I’m just hoping we do well.

In the meantime I’ve determined that Huck Finn is really more of a boy’s book. I mean, that should have been obvious, but it’s so long that it becomes all the more obvious. Not that it’s a bad book, mind. But I think that after this I’m going to want to read a book with some romance in it.

Except of course there’s that whole thing where I need to find a Supernatural or Horror book so that I can do a book talk for that group presentation. Oh boy, won’t that be fun!

 

 

I’ve been thinking lately about some of my recent creative accomplishments. I like to think that I’m creative. Not to say I’ve had many big creative accomplishments, like writing a book or doing prize-winning paintings or anything, but little creative things.

For instance, I’ve described my Fates to you. One of them is in charge of wind. Now, you may not think of wind having a big role in the destinies of men, but there are some ways she has her effect. Largely her effect is on seafarers (in a world where ships sail by the wind). She also has a fair bit of sway when it comes to the weather. One’s fate may certainly be changed by a tornado or hurricane. Anyway, back to the winds of Fate (her name is Wisp). There exists in this world wind-children. Wisp’s mortal descendants. One day when I was thinking of them, I imagined a change in an old nursery rhyme. “Rock-a-bye baby in the treetops, when the wind blows the cradle will rock. Mother will catch you, whenever you fall. I embrace the world but you are my all.” So it becomes a lullaby Wisp sings to her children.

And then another of my creative accomplishments was creating a little tune to go with Robert Frost’s poem “Nature’s First Green is Gold.” This I consider to be a fairly good accomplishment, because I have few accomplishments in the realm of music. I’m not the sort of person who generally comes up with tunes. But I did. HAHAH!

It’s fun to think of these things. There may be hope of me doing many creative things yet.

 

I wish I felt like doing homework.

Bookstores

I’m pretty sure there is something about the atmosphere in a bookstore that automatically reduces stress by at least .o5% So I make it a point of going to the BYU-I bookstore every once in a while. I make it a point of going through the MC in general, because sometimes when students set up tables to advertise something, they’ll attach candy to their pamphlets or something. Once when I went to take a test in the MC, I was offered a free cup of hot chocolate if I listened to them talk about The Scroll being online or something. I am always willing to listen to a  sales pitch if I get free hot chocolate. Since that day, I make it a point of going through the MC, and then sometimes on through the bookstore.

The trick is never to bring money with you into the bookstore, unless you’re there for the sole purpose of buying textbooks. This year, most of my ‘textbooks’ were for my Young Adult Literature class. And most of those YA novels I can just get on Amazon with the gift card I got for Christmas. In fact, that’s what I’ve been doing to try to save some money. Not much, but I like to think little things add up. Maybe I’ll even buy my Mom a birthday present, which I usually don’t, but this time I have a tentative idea.

Bookstores have a different feel from libraries. The books are all polished and new, and belong to nobody. Maybe there’s something in the human psyche that makes an object all the more desirable because of that. Unfortunately, there’s also the fact that you have to pay money before you can have it. And I hate spending money, I really do. Even gift cards, I hesitate before my purchases. Oh well.

Sometimes it’s nice just to browse. Just to see what kind of books and music they have. Like once I saw they had Piano Guy’s music. And Disney Music. Or a book of art by Boyd K. Packer (did you know he was a talented artist?). I don’t see that one in the store now. In fact, I can’t find their art books. The section is labeled “Art/Parenting” and all it has are parenting books. Sad, really. I liked the art books. Except for the one about colored pencils. I kept looking at the art and thinking that I liked the way I did it better.

Bookstores are wonderful places. Perfect for those times in between classes. And it was good to go to one today. I’m in a very quiet mood right now. I was so tired this morning. I tried to take a nap when I got back from class. I was so close. I couldn’t keep my eyes open as I tried to read Huckleberry Finn. I have never read that before. But all I managed was to be comfortable and warm and have my eyes closed for a long time. Before I had to get up and do more homework.

Huck Finn seems a fairly good book to me. I get skeptical of books sometimes. I really enjoy literature in general. But sometimes books considered ‘classics,’ or ‘literary’ deter me. So I get cautious. Especially since I recall that Huck Finn has been on and off the banned books list. Now that I read it, it all seems silly to have wondered about it. It’s just an ordinary kids book. I could have read it years ago. It and Tom Sawyer. I haven’t read Tom Sawyer myself, but I recall a teacher reading it aloud to me. I can’t even remember what grade. Before sixth, that’s for sure. I’m thinking fifth.

Yes, I am rambling a little bit. I do that when I’m tired. It’s just so… relaxing to write. To reflect on these little bits of wisdom you collect over the years, like the stress-relieving capacities of bookstores and… classic literature that’s actually worth reading (because I rather suspect that not all of it is worth reading for me). Do you know, I think it is because I journal that I feel I have learned so much over the years. It makes you stop and reflect, you know. I am a big advocate of reflecting. Makes life seem… fuller than it was when you were living in it at the time. Sometimes, anyway.

It’s an interesting dynamic, isn’t it? Like when you realize you had more to say about a friend visiting you than you had to say about Christmas Day. I believe I said that I got two gift cards, Brave, and a game called The Fool and His Money (which I haven’t had much time to play lately). But when a friend visits, or when I read a good book… then I write a lot. It is interesting, as I said. And I will also say that this has got to be one of the more worthy hobbies I have found.

Yesterday off

Well, after dinner yesterday I went up to see my old roommates. I am so glad I did so. It was nice to see them again and to watch Merlin episodes and a movie with my wonderful Health Science major former roommate. Ah, it is so wonderful to visit sometimes. I don’t typically visit people back home. In fact I do very little of going out to socialize back home. Among other reasons, I’ve got a whole family to entertain me (and a lot of other things that would also entertain me). But to see people is good, and I had told myself at the beginning of the semester that I should visit people more. This came mostly from all the positive experiences I’ve had with people visiting me.

You just get to thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could do that for other people too?”

Best thing to do when you don’t have your laptop available to do homework with. Although hopefully that situation won’t have to come up very often once my sister gets a new laptop. Still, I hope I can keep visiting people and that it will make them happy.

I want to make people happy, you know? The trick is knowing how. And doing it.

But school started up again today. I haven’t gone to the interview yet, but that’ll come later today. And then I have to do tomorrow’s homework. I don’t want to be behind. I want to do well, you know? Do well and make people happy. Good stuff.