Thursday, October 28, 2010

Oh, the Horror!!

Let's talk about horror. And by that, I mean the genre, not whatever other kind of horror you could think of.
I've posted on facebook the link to Kate Mosse's top ten ghost stories, or something...I've forgotten already. (Side note: I'm hungry, I want to get this midterm over with so I can get on the road to Philly, and I'm blogging to waste time until I can take it. Got talking to my Brit Lit professor and didn't make it to the next class on time so I decided not to go at all.)

But anyway.

Poe, of course, comes to mind. He basically created the genre. Along with the detective story. Stay tuned for my Master's Thesis on the evolution of the detective.

Kate Mosse specifically mentions the Tell Tale Heart in her post. I would also recommend The Mask of The Red Death, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Raven, naturally, and my favorite:
The Fall of the House of Usher.

The Murders at Rue Morgue (you know, the uber famous story) is bizarre, but not particularly horrifying. It's also not a great mystery. It is interesting, and will be explored in above-mentioned thesis, how detective story evolved into mystery. Because really, Poe's and Conan Doyle's (who blatantly thefted Poe) are not good mysteries. The reader doesn't get to play along because there is a decided lack of necessary information, until all is revealed by the detective in the last few paragraphs.

Other horror writers I've read and liked-

Dean Koontz. He's kind of horror/sci-fi/sometimes mystery
John Saul. He's mostly horror/mystery

For the younger set:
Betty Ren Wright. The Dollhouse Murders. I LOVED this book when I was younger. I haven't read it in years, but I'm sure that I would still love it, because it was wonderfully creepy, and a good mystery.

Of course, I have to mention The Picture of Dorian Gray because I love, love, love it and Oscar Wilde. Horrible, hilariously satiric, and beautifully written. Win, win, win.
Oscar Wilde pretty much wins at everything, except maybe his court case.

I'm not really sure how I've avoided mentioning Stephen King until this point. Funnily, he hadn't even crossed my mind until right now, and he's one of the greatest, and definitely most prolific horror writers ever.
Misery- I've read the first was so, well, horrible...that I couldn't continue. The movie ain't got nothing shock-factor-wise on the book.
Pet Sematary- I actually didn't finish this either, because I was much younger, and very creeped out. This was also around the time my neighbor and I discovered just where her cows went when they died.

Off the top of my head, that's all I can come up with. That's a good start, though. It will take you a lifetime to read Stephen King alone (have you SEEN the SIZE of his new book? I think he's competing with the OED...the thing could be a fucking weapon.)
Now, I shall mosey along and take my midterm (on Poe, Twain, Tennessee Williams and some 19th c. Americans you've never heard of) and then I will have a wonderful weekend in Philadelphia with my wonderful boyfriend.

Everyone have a fantastic Halloween!!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gleek Out!

I love Glee. It's a feel good show. You can't watch it and not smile.

I need to go to bed now, because I have to be up at 6 to go to class, but then....I get to go to Philly for the weekend! So excited, you have no idea.

So today's blog post is...

Glee + Rocky Horror = Fabulousness

I leave you with the original Time Warp...which is also fabulousness.

I hope that works. I'm terrible at embedding things. And it's so simple....idk.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chocolate Covered Pretzels are Heaven

It's boring at work. My sales are around $7. Laura's at about $12.
Chocolate covered pretzels are delicious. Especially when you don't have to pay for them. I believe that's called a perk.

I should continue with my homework, but my brain is a little fried after several hours of reading Spenser's The Faerie Queen, so I'm taking a break to bombard you with my rambling.

I meant to blog yesterday about Malloween (Halloween at the mall) but my head hurt, so I didn't do much of anything.

May I present, some General Guidelines for Malloween:

1. No Costume, No Candy.
If you can't put the effort in, why should you be rewarded with sugar? Halloween is not about free candy.

2. The costume contests go from newborn to 12...if you're over 12 and ESPECIALLY if you have no costume, do NOT steal candy from little kids. It's rude.

3. If you're a PARENT do not go around with your teenager and pretend to be collecting for their sister. You're an adult, stealing candy from little kids. Classy.

4. If the hours of the event are 12-3, don't come in at 10 demanding candy. Also- don't come in at 3:05 and be annoyed that I have no candy left. There were about 250 kids ahead of you.

5. If your kid doesn't win the costume contest, don't bring him crying to the judges demanding a consolation prize. Everybody loses, sometimes. All you're doing is teaching your kid to be a whiner, and nobody likes a whiner.
Nobody likes obnoxious parents either, FYI.
Everybody thinks their kid is the greatest kid ever, but odds are pretty good he's not, okay? And if you want him to win the costume contest next year, help him come up with something creative and original.

Despite my griping, and list of suggested guidelines, Malloween was pretty fun. Jamie came closest to guessing what I was when she asked if I was a peacock. I was, as you know, a Phoenix. About half the people I told that to appreciated the costume and the other half stared blankly at me. Classic mythology, with perhaps the exception of christian mythology (although that didn't come out of the classic period really, so it doesn't count anyway), is a dying genre. Along with fairy tales, which is sad.

Also, at Malloween, we saw some really fun costumes. The girl under the big plastic umbrella dressed as a jellyfish was my favorite. And she won a costume contest because it was both creative and original :) I wish I'd had my camera on hand, it was a really well done costume.

And that's Malloween. Now, back to homework.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fair Weather Fans

Very briefly, because I'm tired, and I don't even like baseball.

(I'm rather pleased the Yankees are out of Series though- too many people on Facebook care, and I've had enough Yankee-whining to last a lifetime. Thought! Facebook should invent a way to hide statuses by keywords. For example: Hide all statuses that contain the words, "yankee" and "coors light")

By my mother brought up a good question that I shall repeat here, because it's not just about the World Series, but sports in general.

You follow a team, in this example. Let's use the Phillies, because they're still in the running for the Series.
You follow the Phillies, and when they're winning you say "this is great, we're awesome, we're in the series, woot."
And if they lose, you're like "they suck, they're the worst team ever, they lost, I'm done with them."

Why, are we so shallow that when someone is winning, we're a part of that, but when someone is losing, we have nothing to do with it?
We...They. Us...Them.
People are like that with people, too. Hence the term fair weather friends.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lastly, Laundry

I have a whiteboard FULL of things to do this weekend. And tonight, I don't plan to do any of them. Why, you may ask?

Two reasons- 1. Because procrastination really IS my friend.
2. There are little screamy girls in the house blasting music that is alternately country (which I'd expect, from farm girls) and hip-hop, (pairing Black Eyed Peas and Rascal Flatts is pretty funny)

ohhhh and they've thrown in some Gaga. :D I love me some Gaga.

I will however, recommend a book because...books are kinda my thing.
And I just finished reading a good book for my Adolescent Lit class.

So I present for your consideration:

The Virgin Suicides- Jeffrey Eugenides
He is also the author of Middlesex which I know nothing about except that it's popular enough that I know of it, and it won a Pulitzer, which Google just told me. The Almighty Google also just shared with me via a super cool logo that it is Dizzy Gillespie's birthday. Megan's dad used to call me Dizzy Lizzy. Happy Birthday, from one Diz to another.

Back to The Virgin Suicides.

What makes this novel so good is the perspective from which it's told. It's about the year when the five Lisbon girls commit suicide, which I'm sure you gathered from the title, so I'm not spoiling anything. But it's not told from their perspective. In fact, we know next to nothing about them. It's told by the boys in the neighborhood who are obsessed with these mysterious girls and try to put the pieces together. They never completely succeed. Normally, I don't like a book that leaves gaping holes in the end like this, but I liked this book, because you don't really need to know. That says a lot, because I generally don't like YA- at least, the vast majority of it that sucks and is all the same story- this is different.

It's a refreshingly unique look at that period in our lives, and it's really beautifully written. I never felt like I was reading IN-YOUR-FACE-TEEN-ANGST like I feel reading other things (HP, and Twilight, por ejemplo. Or even something like A Separate Peace. "Finny's so wonderful, and I suck, I wonder if I secretly hate him and want to kill him so I can feel better about myself, or I secretly love him and my repressed homosexuality drives me to kill him because in my post-war society that's frowned on". There you go, you've now read A Separate Peace).

Even the movie version is well done, getting back to Virgin Suicides again. Sorry for the tangents. It's kind of dream-like, in the way the reader is never really sure who the narrator is, and also never really sure who the Lisbon girls are, but it's very real at the same time. I was engaged, and interested.

I'm now going to work on some editing for bit, and then watch Bones and crochet when the little girls go home. And laundry, if you care.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Remember, Remember

Memories are a funny thing.

I was looking for books in the psych section of the college library today and there were shelves and shelves devoted to books on human memory. I wish I had time to read them all. Or even a few of them. I love psych- the human mind is so fascinating.

What really brought up the subject of memory though, was the fact that I walked into my first elementary school for the first time in 13 years this morning. The reason I was there is a long story, let's just say, I was there.

And it was WEIRD.

Because I walk in, and the office is in the same place but the woman sitting behind the desk is about 30 years younger than the woman I remember sitting behind the desk. The funny thing about memory is that I can still SEE that older woman sitting there.

Just like I can see the gym where we'd play the parachute game, even though the doors are closed.

And I know the cafeteria is at the other end of the hall, and that's where the Spoonie Club met at lunch with our dressed up like people plastic utensils.

And finally, especially, the library, which is now called the "Media Center" (it always had a computer lab. It wasn't always the focus. The story corner used to be the place to be- the closer to the front of the semi-circle, the better). Mrs. Rees has been retired for at least ten years, but I could picture her perfectly sitting behind the desk, playing Cat's Cradle with me while I waited for my mom to pick me up, or recruiting me to help with Inventory because it's so much easier for a left-handed person to do.
I loved Inventory time. These are the roots of my book dorkiness.

What's immortalized in your memory?

Monday, October 18, 2010


Why is it that the only way I can feel like I'm accomplishing anything is to make lists and physically cross things off? It's weird. Just finishing things isn't enough. Apparently I'm a very visual person. Which, I knew, but I rarely contemplate the full extent of my visual-ness.

So are you ready for this? This post will be the list of the lists that I need to make (whoa, list-mania!)

I need to make a list of:

-things that I need to do in the next two weeks
-crochet projects that need to be accomplished before Christmas
-non-handmade Christmas presents
-things that need to be done before I go to Philly (this is a possible list. This list will probably be reflected on all the other lists)
-things that I need to bring with me to Philly.

zomg. Can I just admit, to you three that read this (and two of you I already have) ... I'm freaking. out. about all the things that I need to do before this move.
Don't misunderstand. I am SO looking forward to it. I'm just overwhelmed and....I hate change. So it's extra overwhelming for me because it scares me.

All right- I'm getting up off the leather couch now.
Off to making lists!

Friday, October 15, 2010

I Love New York

Really, I do.
Perhaps not all of it, all the time, because we get things like snow and snow and...snow, but the city I adore unconditionally.

I found this article in the New York Times today, and maybe it's the rain, or the weird mood that I was in, but I just think it's absolutely beautiful. Especially the last line.

You will never need a me to be you. You are yourself, always.

Love it. It really touched a nerve, and I feel like that's one of the things that makes the city so special. It just IS New York, and when you're there you can be anything, and you can always be yourself.

Other things that I love about the city-

The energy: I have never felt anything like the energy of New York. It's the ten languages you can hear on a block, it's the constant light and hum of activity, it's the rhythm of the horns and screeching around corners and the yelling. Ever seen the movie Tap? The city has a rhythm.

The abundance of things to do: Upstate, there are about three options. Dinner, dinner and movie, movie. There is also a definite lack of places to eat. You can have fried, Italian, or fried Italian.

The anonymity: This is something that really bugs me about living upstate. It's too small. I mean, I wouldn't mind being a successful enough writer that people know my name. That's cool. But when my neighbors are like "you left for work early today, where'd you go?" That's too damn small. I do not like people all up in my business.
Therefore, I think it's incredibly refreshing to walk down the street and nobody even looks at you. People say New Yorkers are unfriendly. I think we're just honest. 95% of the time, I DON'T give a shit what's happening in your life, why should I pretend like I do?
I'm also kind of a misanthrope. I'm a huge fan of Johnathan Swift's philosophy. I can't seem to find the exact quote but the sentiment is that the individual, he likes, but man as a race, he can't stand. Which is pretty much how I feel. If you're in that small group of people that I care about, then I care, and if you're not, I don't.

And the city has Broadway, because I'm a theater dork as well. Nobody doesn't love Sondheim!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Resolution 540

I don't think I've ever kept a New Year's Resolution. I'm aware that it's not January (and I'm torn between wanting very badly for it to be January, and not wanting it, because of the million things that I have to do between now and then) but, I'm going to attempt a resolution anyway. I ran a mile today, and felt pretty good after a did it, so I'm going to try to remember that good feeling in order to inspire me to run a mile every couple of days. Or, as often as I can. I know that I won't have time every day.

Which brings me to the List of Things I Would Like to Accomplish Today.
I'm posting it here, so the three of you that read this can ask me later how many things I accomplished today, and the idea is that I will do enough to not be embarrassed when you ask.

-finish The Virgin Suicides
-come up with a topic, if not start writing the paper for White Oleander/Virgin Suicides
-Read crappy 16th century poetry for Brit Lit
-order the next two YA books from the library
-assemble Eveline's blanket
-be crafty
-go to Open House at the elm school
-find some Jung essays on archetypes/shadows and start thinking about the Holmes paper that I hope to complete half of this weekend

I think that's a good list. I have all day at work tomorrow to work on the next list.
And now, I'm off to begin.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Where's mah [50 things] bukkit [list]??

As per Lizzie's instructions. 50 things I'd like to do before I die.

1. Own a house in Italy
2. See the world
3. Sell a few books
4. Open a writer's retreat in the Hartwick school (and possible branches in all the other schools that stand empty in this area)
5. Run my publishing company out of above school.
6. Take over Purple Mountain Press when Wray retires and make in an imprint.
7. Open a Montessori school in the Kellogg building.
8. Stay happy.
9. Read all the books I own
10. Read all the books on my enormous list
11. Sell a screenplay
12. Act in a movie
13. redecorate a whole house
14. Graduate with my Master's from the oldest school in the country
15. Learn to play guitar
16. Become more proficient at cello
17. Learn as many languages as I can
18. have a German Shepherd
19. rent a house on Fire Island for a summer vacation
20. Go treasure hunting
21. Go cliff jumping
22. Take fencing lessons
23. Take dance classes
24. Continue with Karate to become a black belt
25. Get published in Glimmertrain
26. get the heck out of Bing
27. Successfully grow tomatoes
28. keep blogging
29. try something sushi-wise that really grosses me out
30. Take my mom to the Oscars
31. donate to Breast Cancer research
32. go surfing
33. go hang gliding
34. take another death defying hike around St. Thomas
35. visit most, if not all, the national parks
36. road trip around the U.S
37. pet a Big Cat- no preference which kind
38. throw a kick ass Halloween party
39. come up with a new, awesome costume every year
40. win NaNo again
41. Make something publishable of a NaNo novel
42. teach a class on Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome
43. Go to the top of the Empire State Building
44. grow roses
45. have a sailboat
46. keep journals to other people
47. train a cat to use the toilet
48. open my chain of bookswap stores with Ashley
49. sell mine and Ashley's co-authored top secret project so we can be millionaires and work on what we really want to do
50. participate in a dig somewhere (Egypt would be cool, as would Mexico)

Some of these are similar....50 things is hard when you're thinking about it. If I wasn't thinking about it, I could come up with 50,000 things I want to do.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Artsy Fartsy

So I was absent because I had a wonderful weekend with my wonderful boyfriend. We did artsy fartsy things in Philly.

Art Museum- pretty cool. We did NOT participate in the touristy taking of Rocky pictures at the top of the stairs. We DID giggle at other people doing that. We also giggled our way through the museum with all the other stuffy people, entertaining ourselves by captioning pictures. It's quite fun. People have the tendency, I think, to take this stuff WAY too seriously. Just because it's in a museum does not mean that it isn't rubbish or that European people hundreds of years ago didn't look like trolls.

Untangle that mass of negatives.

It's a good museum, overall. I was very disappointed that there was only one Chagall in the whole place and that it wasn't even one that I particularly liked.

Second, we went to see a production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest that was sooooo well done! This little theater is fantastic!! They have a really, really solid company (we've seen two things there now, and both were great) and they have a great student discount.

And that was my weekend. Reading Terminal Market was a zoo, as always. The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing and not doing much of anything, which was pretty glorious.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I missed a blog yesterday. Depending on what I get done today, you might get two. But don't get your hopes up. I've been tagged in a 50 things bucket list, so look for that in the next few days.

Today though, as Google brought to my attention (thank you, Almighty Google) John Lennon would have been 70.

Your task for the day: Practice Peace. And believe in your imagination.

Here's some Lennon quotes to inspire you.

I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?

I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It's just that the translations have gone wrong.

If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace.

And finally, even though I'm sure you all know them, here are the lyrics to Imagine, which is one of my all time favorite Lennon songs.

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

All You Need is Love (Everybody!)

I could talk about Glee, which I'm sure I will at some point.
I could talk about afghans, which I probably will at some point.

But both those things require too much effort.

So my blog for today is simply this:

Tell someone you love them.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Practically Perfect

Today, let's talk about perfection.

Why? Because I screwed up a pair of earrings, and was inspired. Also, I had no other ideas for today's blog. I feel like I should blog every day until I get in the habit of doing it, and then I can cut back to two or three times a week, or less, if I have nothing to say. So bear with me for the first few weeks of this when it seems like I have nothing to talk about. It's probably because I don't.

Back to perfection.
It's defined, by because I'm too lazy to go get the Webster from the next room as:

a quality, trait, or feature of the highest degree of excellence.

Now we all know that nobody's perfect, not even Mary Poppins. So why do we strive to be?
It would be horrendously boring to be perfect, wouldn't it? There would be no funny mistakes like typos or Spoonerisms (which, I'm told, were named after a Professor Spooner of Oxford who did that ALL the time).
And also, there would be no reason to do anything, because you'd already be able to do it (let's say play the guitar for the sake of example) the best you ever could. I wouldn't know what to do with my time if I wasn't trying new patterns or doing homework to learn new things. It'd be awful.

Because I am a book dork I have to bring this around to literature as well. I'm just gonna come out and say it, so sit down if you have to:

Beowulf is boring.

Why? Because he's too perfect a character.
þæt wæs god cyning!
That's basically the story in that one repeated line.
He was a good king.

*le snore*'s um...lesson? In conclusion.
Don't try to be perfect. You won't succeed, and you'll be uninteresting if you do.
and Beowulf was a good king. You may now advance to the next section of Brit Lit.

Monday, October 4, 2010

October = Halloween Amigurumi

That's it for today, really. In my quest for something to talk about in addition to the pictures, I consulted my preferred periodical, and found nothing that I really wanted to elaborate on.

Can I just ask: these Tea Party meetings? Do you have to bring your own teabag?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mmmm, Fiber!

I was just gifted a shit-ton of yarn. Really, that is the best quantity that I can come up with. It's much. I'm in heaven.

So I'm trying to find the perfect amigurumi pattern to start with. Yes, I guess I started with the Frog King, but I'm a little bit addicted to them, even though they're completely useless. Look for them on my Etsy in the future, because I'm not going to want to clutter up my house with them. I do have to share though- the best place to get amigurumi patterns are Ravelry and this blog. It's soooo great! Ravelry you have to join to see anything though- do it; it's free!

Also, I was supposed to talk about two more banned books for the last day of Banned Book Week, but Friday was a busy day- lots of flooding going on here, and then a dress rehearsal for the reading of play that I did on Saturday.

Very quickly, before I commence crocheting-

A Wrinkle in Time- Madeleine L'Engel

I love this book. And all the others in the quintet. Just read them.

Another book that I love love love is Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. She's great- she hasn't written anything that I've read that I've hated. Or ever disliked. She's just a really good writer, so read that one too.

I could go on and on and on about banned books, and books in general but you've all got the linkage to the other blog where I do that, so I'll try to talk about other things for awhile on here. Be prepared for much discussion of yarn.