My Perennial Love

Ever since I caught a pledge drive on PBS, I have been in love with this version of the Anne of Green Gables series. My great-grandmother gave me a copy of Lucy Maude Mongomery's series when I was nine or ten, but they remained on my selves for years. I've always loved the idea of reading the classics, but I only do it when someone makes me, or I've seen the movie.

The CBC, Kevin Sullivan version of the movie is one of the most faithful book-to-movie adaptations I've seen. So often, screenwriters or directors completely rewrite the storyline to fit their ideas. If you've ever seen the British tv series As Time Goes By, you'll watch the author's reaction as his book is butchered in order to make a movie.

Kevin Sullivan remained faithful to the first few books in the series,  but by the third movie everything went awry. Megan Follows is adorable as young Anne. She captures the dreamy, imaginative soul that tried so hard. My heart breaks every time she is sent back to the orphanage, every time she gets put on probation at Green Gables. I laugh heartily every time she breaks a slate over Gilbert's head, and I cheer him on as he subtly wins the little red head's heart.

Anne encourages me whenever I get discouraged with schoolwork. She loses all her friends at one point, but she manages to retain her kindred spirits in her soul. Through poetry and her imagination, Anne can overcome all obstacles. Sometimes her daydreams take her down the wrong path, but she always realizes that and follows her heart back home.

Anne: A New Beginning will be coming out in the near future, but with out Megan Follows as Anne, and it is not based on the books. I'm looking forward to it, but with mixed feelings. The first two were absolutely wonderful, true to the book. The third was still a good story, but it wasn't true Anne. She was reckless and motivated, but it wasn't the imaginative Anne of the books.  Even after becoming a mother and a member of society, she she retained her imagination, and it allowed her to  connect with her children in a way many parents today only dream of.  Despite what Hollywood does to the stories, Anne of Green Gables will always be my hero. I hope my imagination can soar as high.
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    contemplative contemplative

Writing Leads

I'm doing my best to take initiative this semester. As I was sitting in Writing for the Popular Press this afternoon, I decided to use my time wisely. Instead of listening to my prof's story about the KKK (for the third time), I started looking up how to write leads. I've never been in a journalism class, and I don't have time to take one, so it's up to me to learn.

I found this online course for Beginning Reporting. It give a nice brief summary of what is what, and the two kinds of leads, direct and delayed.

The New York Times also has a page for budding writers. While I don't want to be a strict journalist, they have their advantages. I am amazed at the way they hammer out stories left and right.

While these lead ideas are aimed at a younger audience, they still have some good tips, especially if you want to write magazine articles.

Now I've got a little better idea about writing leads in general, but the next step is sitting down and writing the articles! Always the hardest part.
  • Current Mood
    energetic energetic

The Randomness that is my documents folder

Today at work we had our annual pioneer day where we hosted 600 plus middle schoolers at the museum. We had  demonstrations, as well as toys and games for the kid to try. I was stuck with the petting zoo, which I didn't mind, but right now I still smell like poodle. It's days like this that I know that I could never be a teacher.

I'm sitting here staring at the TV, and glancing at The Writer magazine which has totally made me think I need to get back to writing. But my brain is mush and I just want to stare off into space and let the massive headache I've accumulated go away. This has led me to going through my computer folders, because it's end of semester and time to do summer cleaning! I found my old favorites file and I've kept a lot of random stuff, which I shall post here and delete from my computer:

Waitressing Experiences
: I found this two years ago when I was trying to write a story about a waitress in a small-town diner. I got the story written for my creative writing class and I don't think I used anything from here, but it's still kind of fun.

INTJ Profile: My Myers Briggs personality type is INTJ. It means I'm an evil mastermind. It's true, these things don't lie. ;-) Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, Angela Landsbury, and Colin Powell are all INTJs, so apparently I'm in good company. I went through a quiz taking phase and if I remember correctly, this didn't have the annoying registration that does. But it's been awhile so things may have changed.

Mensa Workout: There was an episode of Stargate:Atlantis where the team has to solve a puzzle and John says something to the effect of "There was a problem like this on the Mensa test" and Rodney is all freaked out that John qualified for Mensa and he says something like, "You know we have a chapter on Atlantis." It made me laugh and made me think, hey, I wonder if I qualify. I haven't ever taken the test though.

Learning the Tarot 1 and Learning the Tarot 2: I go through phases. I thought I could learn the tarot at one point in time. I came to the realization that you can really read whatever you want into the cards at times, but the realizations can be creepy. The thing about beleif is that you aren't going to find something out about your future that you don't already know at least somewhere inside. I still use them once in a while to play around with characters in stories.

So this is a start. LOST is on, so I've got to go. The end of the season and all that...

Summer's Here!

School is out! Everything is warm and lovely!

I made it through finals week and now I am strangely without assignments. I keep feeling like there should be something I should read or a paper I should write. I kind of feel like baking, but right now it is too hot. I had scones yesterday and now they sound quite lovely. So much time is free but now I have to work to keep my social circles up and running. Classes are nice for that because we're all together at certain times. Now all of my friends work schedules are all strange and screwy and I almost need my planner again to keep everything straight. All is good though, all is good!

Tales from my First Baseball Game

So last night we had Pack the Park for one of our home baseball games. One of my friends found out that I had never been to a game and was slightly outraged, so the next thing I know, I'm going to a baseball game. We got there early and got some seats in the bleachers although we had brought chairs just in case. The chairs possibly would have been a better idea, because apparently our bleachers are made for tiny, short people.  At the time we sat down, there were only two senior citizens sitting behind us and we figured, hey that doesn't look bad. Well about ten minutes later, four more Sr. citizens showed up. They were all a part of a group; the old ladies sat behind us and the guys in front. The gals were having a hen party, not really paying attention to the game and the guys would scream and cheer at the baseball players. Every few innings there would be a raffle ticket number announced for prizes and one of the gals behinds us would shout "STEVE DID YOU WIN ANYTHING?" And he'd shout , "NO AND YOU DIDN'T WIN ANYTHING EITHER." We had such a hard time not just laughing out loud at them. Well, it was a no score game until the seventh inning when our team finally scored one run. There was all sorts of celebratory commotion, because at this point there had been cheap beer selling for two hours and some of the college students were quite sloshed. This one kid, who was a few seats over and pretty drunk, yells "Aww man. We've got two F***in' more innings to go!"  This angered the old men in front of us. They has a momentary pow-wow and then one of them went over and had a talk with the drunk. The old guy had a death grip on the drunk's shoulder  and  was straightening him out. We couldn't really hear what was being said, but wow. It was amazing. The drunk didn't say another word the rest of the game.

Afterwards we went to Gella's for root beer floats, French-fried green beans, and garlic fries. We usually sit in the bar, but this time around KJ said "Let's just see what fate has in store for us." So we went in the front door and we were seated in the front part of the restaurant.  There was a large party of people sitting next to us and for a while we just ignored them. Then after a bit, the group started quizzing one of the waiters, "Hey, do you know so and so Connor."
"What about so and so Connor, his sister."
"No." And this went on and on and on. Then one says, "Oh we're from Larned,"  which I found funny, because that's where my grandparents are from and that's the sort of thing they do all the time. The group gets progressively louder and we have no choice but to overhear their conversation. They began talking about their son/cousin/brother Chris. So I had to ask KJ is she knew Chris so and so because he lived in Colorado (where she's from). Then the group begins talking to their waitress and trying to set her up with Chris so and so. They were quizzing her about if she was a student and how long she's been here, if she's single, etc, etc.  Then they start saying how Chris is a student too and good looking and all this jazz. One of them jumps up and says, "I've got a picture of him, there's a girl in it, but just ignore that." She brings a digital camera around to our side of the table and puts her thumb over the girl in the picture's face to show of Chris. This goes on for at least five more minutes. The family forced Chris's contact info on her and then one of them went outside. He came back in and said "Chris has been notified." The waitress is back in the kitchen at this point in time and the matriarch of the clan at the table says," Well I found him a nice girl at that restaurant in Amarillo." KJ and I couldn't look at each other for fear of bursting out laughing. KJ said, "I bet Chris is wishing his mother would stop picking up random waitress for him in restaurants."

 The group left shortly thereafter, and we finished our root beer floats. Now when we're at Gella's we have a bad habit of writing notes to our waiter, usually because KJ is pretty drunk, but tonight was an exception. Our waitress was the same as the clan so I drew a smiley-face and heart on a napkin ring and wrote, "We hope things work out with you and Chris." We weighed it down with  the tip and slowly trickled out.  We kind waited around outside the windows to watch her reaction when she picked it up. Well, she didn't clean off our table; the waiter the clan was heckling at first did. He picks up the note, reads it and starts laughing. He goes over to our waitress and shows it to her, and she is all confused. She couldn't figure out who it was from. There was a lot of pointing and gesturing. We couldn't hear anything because we were outside, but soon she got it, and she smiled and laughed.

It was a great night.

The Semester from Hell

Three weeks from semester's end and I finally have time to blog. Taking fifteen hours of classes and working three jobs makes for a lot of running around and not a lot of time for the brain to sit and mellow. I'm crazy though, I'm planning to take the same amount of stuff next semester, but it's spaced out through the week better.

I've finally fallen in with a group of like-minded individuals. It's about time. I'm tired of being a loner. It drastically reduces the amount of time I have to spend on studies, but, hey, I'm good with the studying. The harder the class the better I do. If I struggle with the medium, then I ace the class. If I think the class is stupid, then my grades aren't so good. Crazy things. I finally found geeks on campus, its wonderful. I've been trying to cope too long so I don't quite fit there, but there's always room for growth.

I finished transcribing 52 World War II veteran interviews. I love my boys. I know they're old enough to be my grandfathers, but when they tell their stories they change. They're not wrinkly retirees anymore, but the eighteen-year-olds bumbling off to basic, flying B-25s, driving tanks, parachuting behind enemy lines, and surviving POW camps. They become the people I see everyday, and I'm transported back to the '40s. I would be a WAC in a heartbeat to help my guys. I couldn't be a nurse, but I would do as much as I could. I don't know what I would do if I was drafted in today's day and age. This is not the same country as it was in the '40s. It's playing a much different part. There was a specific threat and overt aggression on Germany's part, but today, I don't know. Geurilla warfare is ugly business. Effective, but ugly.

I've been taking more philosophy classes, Foundations of Modern Philosophy and Philosophy of Eastern Religions. They've been an interesting combination. I'm about as fed up as I can be with metaphysics. I was refreshed when we got to Confucianism, finally something I can sink my teeth into. I completely understand the need for a solid, prescriptive system to be put in place after war and chaos. I appreciate the subjective view which places all the power in your hands. You can't look to some external power to make things right; you have to make the changes yourself.

My English classes this semester have been different, almost to the point of being pointless. You can tell that they haven't had a writing program for very long.  Another part of the problem is that I've been worked to the bone at the Writing Center. I managed to pick the ten busiest hours of the week to be there. I finally figured out the problem with a lot of the ESL student's papers that I've been reading; they don't think in American thought patterns. The subject and the verb are about as far apart as they possibly could be and still be within the same sentence. It's been liberating to come to that realization, but you can't really retrain their brains to think in a foreign thought pattern. There's also been drama among my coworkers and some aren't as dependable as they should be, but what can you do?

I finally bought my very own "Joss Whedon is my master now" t-shirt, in part to piss off one of my elitist profs. Actually he's not elitist, he just really insecure. I should like him a lot more than I do, but when he insults my fandoms when his are just as dorky, if not more so, that's cause for war. He better not pick a fight, because I KNOW I could take him. T-evals, here we come.  But my shirt makes me feel super.

Geez, you shut me up for a semester and then I spew when I get a chance. I better cut it off because I have to paint at work in the morning and then go to class with a hobbit. Fun times.

Finally Back

Livejournal finally let me log back in. It and my Firefox were having conflicts. I would get a screen of HTML babble instead of my login notification. Here's hoping its gone.

I survived finals in fine form but was only able to sell one book back. Blerg. Now I'm trying to get a hold of my texts for next semester, but mostly I have to get them at the campus bookstore. Next semester should be fun though.

I said goodbye to two of my good friends. One moved off to another state to move in with he internet boyfriend of all of two months. She quit her job in her chosen field to run off with a near stranger. My other friend graduated and moved back home to save up money for Grad school. She I'll see again, I'm sure of it. The other one, well, in my dear uncle's words, "She'll be dead within six months". I really hope not, but I'm worried about her.

My brother and wife and baby girl actually came for Christmas. That's a great improvement over not speaking to our mother for two months. Then he gave both of us phone cards, which definitely says talk to me! Woohoo!!!

I'm all caught up with WWII transcripts for now, so now I can do some of the fun things I had planned. I have to go to the library and pick up "To Kill A Mockingbird" and "Animal Farm". I finally watched Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, which my friends have been say I should watch forever. Right now I'm watching Stargate Atlantis Season 1 in Spanish, to work on my Spanish as a Second Language. It's something that definitely keeps my interest and the mismatch of words and mouth movements don't bother me much. Bates is just as infuriating in another language!

This semester is over!

With the exception of finals...But they really don't worry me as much as the papers did. I have some epistemology stuff to review but other than that, whatever. Yesterday was horrid in the Writing Center. I had so many different people through wanting papers read. It was worse the week before Thanksgiving break but not by much. I read a 40-page paper by a Slovak kid in an hour. He was actually very nice about it. I had two other Chinese students and one American appointment wise, and I had a couple of small questions in and amongst. They are generally nice to work with but those were some of the most involved papers I've done.

I only had two classes and I ran to the writing center to file some reports. I ended up taking on a couple of appointments because on of the tutors called in sick. I wasn't going to stay on campus that long but I made another six bucks.

I got home after my last class and was hungry, so I started baking scones. I tried a new recipe and put them under the broiler after they were done, but our stupid oven burned the tops. Oh well, I'll just start eating them from the bottom up!

Two more weeks....

Thank God! I am ready for this semester to be over and done with. I have one more term paper to write, three more days worth of classes to attend and then finals. All I really want to do is take a nap. That could be because I've just finished two nights of our Christmas Open House at the museum. We had 450 people come through, overall, not a bad number but it would have been nice if we'd gotten more donations/memberships out of it. I was the designated runner, checking on people and escorting volunteers and musicians to their designated locations. One of my bosses came down sick so we didn't have to wear the stupid Santa hats, that we washed and accidentally turned them all pink. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting.

One of my dear friends told me last night that she is moving to Kearney, Nebraska to move in with her boyfriend. I am terrified for her. It's such a long way from home and she's only known this guy since mid-September. She met him on the internet, not that that's a bad thing, but good lord, moving in with a guy and hoping to marry him after only seeing each other on the weekends for two months. Yikes! I'm just floored that she would quit her job and move six hours away from family to live with a practical stranger. This guy has come to Hays for her twice, the rest of the time she goes to him. When they go someplace, her interests take second place to his sports fanaticism. But she's already given her landlord notice, and will give her bosses notice on Monday. I honestly was hoping that she was going to tell me that they had broken up. I would have been relieved. But she's desperate to get married and have a family. Desperation is never a good thing. God forbid I ever do anything like this. My family would have me committed, end of story.

On a lighter note, someone stole our garage doors earlier in the week. We were getting them replaced and had promised the old ones to a family friend. Got home after work and we had new garage doors (which are really nice) and started looking around for the old ones. They were nowhere to be found. So Mom called the door company and said "Hey, what happened to my doors?" "Well your guy came and picked them up already." Mom starts" My guy? What guy? I have no guy!" She hung up the phone and Karen and I started cracking jokes about the black market for garage doors. It's hard to picture a guy skulking down the street, trying to hide a garage door under his arm. Karen was thinking about the guys in trench coats you seen in movies, opening one side of their coat and saying " Hey, you need a garage door? I've got a wide selection of quality merchandise." We got such a kick out of it. We did find out that the guy they were going to go to anyway stopped by early and picked them up, but just hadn't gotten a hold of us.