Sunday, February 15, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
I mentioned in a previous post that I read alot. What I haven't mentioned is that I've become completely incapable of reading one book at a time.
Because of my habit, I'm a frequent patron of the library. I've been reading the Southern Vampire Books (HBO used them to create "True Blood"), but I usually have to add my name to a waitlist to get them because they are so popular. And because so many people want them, I can never renew my checkout time for these books, so I'm seriously under the gun. Recently, Club Dead, which is book 3 in the series, became available. So I had to pick that up and add it to the rapidly growing list of books I've been reading.
So far, here's what's on my reading list these days:
"Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte
"Reading Like a Writer" by Francine Prose
"Spike Lee: That's my Story and I'm Sticking to It" by Kaleem Aftab
"Unaccustomed Earth" by Jhumpa Lahiri (short story book, recently completed. loved it!)
"Club Dead" by Charlaine Harris
Yes, that is quite a bit. I'm hoping to clear out of this pile soon, so I can move onto required reading for school, i.e portions of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" and Jane Austen's "Pride & Prejudice." (I give both books an early YUCK. Jane Austen and I don't get along. The movies are fine, but I've yet to get through one of her books) I also have to read "Wuthering Heights", but I think that'll be easier since I saw and loved the movie version with Sir Laurence Olivier. I'm also eager to move onto my copy of "A Mercy", since I'm a Toni Morrison fanatic. *Sigh* I hope my eyeballs don't pop out of my sockets!
(Photo from http://school.discoveryeducation.com/clipart/images/big_bookworm.gif)
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Basically, the story revolves around the idea of Egypt defeating the Roman empire, therefore causing Africans to have European slaves in what is known as the New World (aka United States). The story revolves around Kai, whose family owns a plantation known as Dar Kush, and Aidan, a slave who lives there. Despite the circumstances, the two become friends. The story includes some historical figures like Shaka Zulu. Anyone who has seen the Shaku Zulu movie (the first one with Henry Cele, not the Grace Jones version) hundreds of times like I have will get a kick out of his antics in this book. There is also a sequel, "Zulu Heart", which is equally good.
I mention this book because it introduced me to the 14th century poet, Hafiz. I don't mark up my books much, so when I do, it's got to be a special line. There's a scene in the book where Kai is chatting with his brother's fiancee', also the woman Kai loves. They begin reciting Hafiz, eventually leading to a poem I now know is called "No Other Kind Of Light:" Find that flame, that existence/That wonderful man/Who can burn beneath the water./No other kind of light/Willl cook the food you need. Beautiful! So yes, I underlined page 425 in pen, a clear no-no by my rules.
I did some research and became a fan of some of his other poems that are posted online. He has a timeless poem that I'm sure alot of people can relate to. It is called "Find A Better Job:"
All your worry
Has proved such an
Find a better
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I'll admit it, there are a few dead men that I have mad love for. Actually, I can only think of two or three at the moment, but I'm sure there are more. Let me clarify. I'm not talking about any freaky vampire/corpse stuff. I'm talking about men who are dead now, but have my love just the same. Does that make sense?
Let me start by talking about Bruce Lee. I was always a fan of martial arts movies, particularly the low budget ones that would air at noon every Saturday in my neighborhood. The plots either went one of two ways. First there was the "Don't Mess With My Woman" plot. That story revolved around the movie's Hero who had a relationship, or a crush on, a beautiful woman in town. But the enemy would either rape/attempt to rape or kill said woman, angering the Hero. The Hero would take revenge and by the end of the movie, all the enemies would be gone and the Hero and the woman would ride off into the sunset together.
Second, there was the "Don't Mess with My Friend/Teacher" plot. That story revolved around the Hero who has a good friend or teacher that is just as skilled in the martial arts as he is. Then, along comes the enemy, who uses dirty tricks to kill/maim/severely injure said teacher or friend. The Hero takes revenge, killing all of the enemies in sight and then the credits roll. (Jean-Claude Van Damme is famous for these plots, i.e. "Kickboxer" and "Bloodsport", which are virtually the same movie)
The movies were cheaply made and they had that famous out of sync voiceover for us American audiences. But I still loved it. Eventually, I discovered Bruce Lee and I was never the same. I can't remember the first Bruce picture I saw -- maybe it was "Enter the Dragon" or "Fists of Fury." Either way, I just couldn't take my eyes off of this beautiful bundle of energy that was killing everyone in sight. I made it my mission to see every single one of his movies and I even caught a few flicks with Bruce Lee imitators. I was heartbroken when I learned about the circumstances surrounding his death and I made it my mission to learn as much about him as I could. If I ever decide to visit Seattle, seeing Bruce's grave is at the top of my list. Morbid, I know.
The other day, I was at Walgreen's and I saw a Men's Fitness magazine with Bruce on the cover. (I think it's the April edition) Naturally, I stopped in my tracks. They had several pictures of Bruce -- old and young -- that I'd never seen before. Yummy! I think the article was talking about Bruce's workout routine and what he did each day to sculp that physique. Dude was serious. Oh Bruce, if only we had lived in the same time period ....
Speaking of, anyone ever seen "Somewhere in Time" with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour? Well, I'm about to tell you all about it, SPOILERS and all. The movie is filmed in the 1970s and it starts out with Christopher, a playwright, celebrating his most recent play. This old old OLD woman he never met before approaches him and says, "Come back to me." He doesn't know what she's talking about and she gives him one of those turn of the century pocket watches. The lady leaves and he does some research to learn that she was this famous actress from the 1920s and 1930s. He sees her picture (it's Jane Seymour) and just can't stop staring at it, he immediately falls in love. So he finds this scientist and finds a way to go back in time and meet her. He's transported to her time when both are young and limber and the sparks fly! Of course, something happens and his transported back to his time. He's so heartbroken that he stops eating and drinking an dies. Then the movie shows them being reunited in heaven.
Sorry, I'm rambling now. No, my love for Bruce is not that deep. But it was the only movie I could think of to justify having a crush on a dead man.
(photo from http://images.art.com/images/-/Bruce-Lee--C10104019.jpeg)
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
"What were they doing? Were they changing clothes?" --Coworker's young sibling's response to learning that a politician was found naked in the back seat of a parked car with a woman.
"I only have one penis to worry about with him. But I have all the penises in the world to worry about with you." -- My cousin, explaining to her teenage daughter why her younger brother is allowed to have female company but she can't have male company.
"KH can't believe she has to beg for a ring after 9 years. Either way, if I don't get one by Saturday, I'm gonna be single." -- A high school friend's Facebook update, talking about the father of her child. The next day she was listed as "engaged", the day after that "single."
Monday, February 09, 2009
Either way, thanks for visiting!
Sunday, February 08, 2009
I've mentioned before that I have a friend whom I rarely see. And when I do see her, we get involved in some kind of whack scenario that either involves her kids or we have lunch dates that end with me not eating. I haven't talked to her in awhile, so imagine my surprise when I have an email from her.
Her oldest daughter -- she has two girls, oldest one is the one with the attitude -- is selling $20 tickets for a bowling party they're having soon. It's to fund her college tour trip, or something like that. Anyway, it's coming up soon and they're asking everyone to buy tickets. Now, I would happily just give her the $20 and be on my merry way, especially since I don't know what to expect from this bowling party crowd. Is it going to be teenagers or adults? What kind of adults? 'Cause I've been around her crew before and ... well ... it's interesting.
So, I have to make a decision sometime soon. In a perfect world, I'll say I can't attend, but give her money for the college tour and make "lunch" plans with my friend. (I put lunch in quotation marks because the last time we hung out, yours truly continued to starve) Knowing me, I'll forget all about the email and miss the deadline. But we'll see what happens.
Photo from http://content.pyzam.com/graphics/insults/MJZ1272.gif
But when I called H, she had some bad news of her own. She got laid off from her company and wanted to know if they were doing any hirings at my place of business. Bummer. I had the unfortunate task of telling her about how things have changed here and how the company has its own troubles keeping us on the payroll. Bummer. Then we commiserated about the State of Things and complained and complained and complained. Then we picked each other up and exchanged suggestions for coping. She got a part time gig, may return to school, may even start teaching.
I hope things work out well for H, since she has much more experience in this industry than I do. I’ve been trying to leave this industry for years, but she loves it. Unfortunately, lay offs are contagious. Hopefully, the rest of the year won’t be so sour, employment wise. And I’m talking for the entire country, not just my little space in the universe. Either way, I’ll be thinking positive thoughts and praying for the best.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Thursday, February 05, 2009
The two tasks I'm most anxious to complete is sending out at least three resumes and at least three short stories to various publications. So far, I've sent out one resume for a position that may be worth my while, and two short stories. I've mentioned before how job security is a new worry of mine, so I shouldn't have to explain why I'm trying to get the heck out of there. I'm also toying with the idea of getting a part time job to help with expenses. *Sigh*
On the short story front, I'm going through my box that holds my rejection letters and sending them some new material. The more stories I have circulating, the better my changes are of publication, right? My mom said this will make me a little like Prince. You know how he has 9679454958 unreleased songs, and he releases some at his concerts? Yeah, that'll be me by the time my book gets published. One complete novel and 95475948 short stories. Hah! We'll see how that goes.
(Photo from http://www.idratherbewriting.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/goals.png)
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
So, a couple of people on Facebook have tagged me into doing this note and I haven’t responded. I figure I’ll do it on here and let my Facebook friends wonder about my ‘mysterious’ life.
The rules are that you’re supposed to list 25 random facts about yourself and tag a few people to do the same. Don’t worry, I’m not tagging anyone. So, here you go:
1 My favorite color is red
2 I dislike green, particularly lime green
3 I’m left handed at heart
4 What that means is that my parents took the pen from my left hand and into my right
5 Basically, they did this nature vs nurture thing because they wanted me to be “normal”
6 But my dad was left handed, so I feel like he should’ve fought harder for my left-handed status
7 I do feel a tremendous bond with lefties and often give them my sob story
8 In fact, I find it extremely attractive when I see a man writing with his left hand.
9 No, I can’t explain it
10 Yes, I know our new president is left handed =)
11 I really have trouble with Rapid Leg Movement Syndrome
12 I don’t have the condition, but I can’t tolerate being around anyone who does
13 It freaks me out to watch someone sitting there, their leg just constantly vibrating
14 The thought alone gives me the chills
15 I’m anal about strange things
16 I’m no neat freak, but I refuse to have dirty dishes in my sink (I’ll either be up all night washing them, or I’ll hide them in the microwave or the oven)
17 At work, I absolutely hate it when people dispose of their trash into my trash can. *GRRR*
18 Because they know it irritates me so, my coworkers do it quite often
19 Recently got into comic books again
20 Am not ashamed to admit that I’m a grown Harry Potter fan
21 But I am ashamed to admit that I stood outside in a long line to get Harry Potter book #7
22 Yet I wasn’t willing to do the same on President Obama’s inauguration
23 In my defense, there was an extreme difference in the weather at those two events
24 I’m sure the president understands
25 Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I stuck with that left handed thing
Photo from http://www.themonkeycage.org/obama.jpg
Monday, February 02, 2009
Eventually, things change. Your friends/family realize that they’ve misjudged this special someone. Now, they constantly talk about how wonderful this special someone is, and they even join in on your Thursday night dates. But, things have changed for you. You don’t feel the same way about Special Someone as you once did. In fact, you’ve told a few people that you’ve considered calling it quits. Yet mere talk of a break up sets your friends/family into a tizzy. “How can you do this to us?” “We’ve grown to love Special Someone, now you’re going to jump ship?” “If you don’t love Special Someone, then you don’t love me.”
Folks, I am talking about Grey’s Anatomy.
In the beginning, I was one of the few people in my crew who watched. No one else took an interest in it, thought it was kind of pointless to have yet another medical program on the airwaves. Then my mother became obsessed with it, so did a close friend. Each Friday, our conversations would revolve around the previous night’s Grey’s Anatomy. We loved George. We hated George. We loved Izzie. We hated Izzie. We loved McDreamy. We dropped McDreamy for McSteamy. We loved Denny. We hated Denny’s ghost. We continue to hate Denny’s ghost.
But I have reached the point where I can collectively say: I don’t care anymore. This has truly been the worst possible season for Grey’s. Last year, it started out bad, but got better in the end. This season, I wait, I wait and I wait, but the show has not moved me. In fact, I continuously yell the following phrase at the television: “DIE, IZZIE! DIE!”
Dropping Grey’s would require some shifting on my part. I’m from the old school tradition of excellent Thursday night viewing. From the Cosby Show Days to New York Undercover, I’m used to having a good Thursday TV experience. I do like ‘Ugly Betty’, which comes on before Grey’s, and ‘Private Practice’, which comes on after. So I guess I’ll have to find something productive to do 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday nights. Hmmm ….
At some point, I’ll have to let folks know that Grey’s and I have broken up. I’m not sure who will take it harder, Mom or Dee. But I think they’ll survive.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
I had quite a few last minute offers for Super Bowl parties this year. But because I don't care about either team, I didn't really commit to any of these invitations. I was hoping to go visit my Mom and stepdad and let them indulge me with food. Little did I know, they had other plans.
See, my stepfather is engaged in some hot and heavy Man Love with Cousin Bob. Because my extended family is so large, I only met Cousin Bob a few years ago. Cousin Bob is a nice guy who is in his 50s and each summer, he and his wife throw a huge barbecue for the entire family. I've never gone to these parties (it's the 45 and older crowd) and each time I see Cousin Bob, he chastises me for my absence.
Anywho, during the last few family get togethers, Stepdad and Cousin Bob fell madly in love. They spent most of their time separate from all of us, engaging in the most sacred of Man Activities -- talking about sports, chest bumping, etc. It was cute to see, since Stepdad had two of his best Man Friends die in recent years. He has little tolerance for my uncles, so, in alot of ways, Cousin Bob is all he has.
Tonight, Cousin Bob is having another one of his parties, but this time, he only invited my parentals. They extended the invitation to me, but I politely declined. I'm sure five is a crowd in the Man Love Handbook.
(Photo from http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2362/2451987723_4920565b6c_o.jpg)