Tuesday, August 30, 2005

ENGL-611 Donne's poetry notes

Sept. 13, 2005: I love back dating stuff. I just wish the notes made better sense.

I tried to do homework while on the run from Katrina. I was less than successful.

The Good-Morrow
Passionate love
Life began with discovery of love

A list of impossible tasks ending with if one could do all these strange things and tell about them, you would still have to swear that nowhere lives a woman true or fair.

The third stanza seems to say that the writer would manage to make a true and fair woman false with a visit.

Assuming fair = pretty and true = faithful, the narrator is still very conceited about his seducing capabilities.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Notes by Hand

I took these notes for my blog, since I still haven't gotten my DSL set up. I got the equipment and instructions from Bello South Friday, but I'm still missing a DSL modem. Well that's an issue that will have to wait till I get back. I'm typing these notes and additional ones for the daylight hours at my sister Krista's apartment in Natchitoches.

Friday had something more important, Hurricane Katrina entered the Gulf of Mexico. http://www.weather.com/maps/news/atlstorm12/stormtrack_large.html They were expecting it to hit the Florida panhandle when I left work.

By the time I reached Chad, he was twitchy and Katrina had shifted to the Mississippi/Alabama border. CHad never gets twitchy over hurricanes. He follows all the technical discussions of the National Hurricane Center. He explained that the prediction models are all over the place. But Katrina was only moving at 7 miles per hour and still a small hurricane, so we went to the movies and out to eat.

Saturday morning, we woke up early. There was too much to do. Katrina's projected path had changed too--a direct hit to New Orleans and she was now a category 3. Chad's mother called him in a panic. Her boy had to come home to Lafayette. The western edge of the projection cone was reaching Lafayette, so I can't blame her too much but it sure derailed my plans. We did the banking and I dropped Chad off at site and picked up what of Chad's belongings I'm sheltering. I got the car serviced once I reached the shop behind the gas station. That took a few hours, but I finally got home.

My parents weren't too worried about evacuating; we're on high ground a ways from New Orleans. I was too edgy to write, so I've been listening to the emergency radio and cleaning.

I got the laundry finished, the dishes washed, the kitchen counters and stove cleaned, and the back porch tidied.

Midnight--The head of the National Hurricane Center called the mayor of New Orleans and said Katrina is the storm we've been warned about every hurricane season, the worst case scenerio for New Orleans. They haven't declared a mandatory evacuation for Orleans Parish--which is pretty much the entire metro area of New Orleans.

Katrina is supposed to make landfall Monday. I don't know if we'll get out or not. I've got my clothes packed. I'd need to pack some more supplies and Mustard, but at least the car is ready to go. I'm going to wait for the one a.m. update and then go to bed. We won't be going anywhere until daylight.

12:44 a.m.--Katrina is now a Category 4, 145 miles per hour. She's on level with Andrew and Camille. Making my list of everything to pack tomorrow.

6:00 a.m.--Wake up. Katrina now a Category 5 and her path hasn't changed. I finished cleaning and start on the list I made before bed. After I get dressed and have a lot ready, I went and talked to my parents and see what it was looking like on TV. I decided to get out. My parents were still undecided.

9:30 a.m.--Rough estimate. The mayor of New Orleans issued a mandatory evacuation for Orleans parish. The first time in the city's history that has ever happened.

10:00 a.m.--Car is packed and I'm on the road to my sister's in Natchitoches. I decided to stay off the interstate system, go north up US 51, west on La. 10, go north on US 61 to Natchez, Mississippi, then go west to Alexandria. Once at Alexandria, I-49 straight to Natchitoches. Good thing about this route: I never stopped moving. Bad thing about this route: it took forever. Under normal conditions, it takes 3 and a half hours to get from Pumpkin Center to Natchitoches.

3:45 p.m.--Finally reach Alexandria. Decided to pull over, get some items at Pets' Mart and hopefully let Mustard out of his carrier for a while. He refused to come out. I think it was the tile, he must have thought it was the vet's.

5:00 p.m.--Finally reach Natchitoches. Mustard hates my sister's pets and is currently back in his carrier so he won't destroy the bathroom he's locked in. If this abnormal behavior keeps up tomorrow, he's going to the vet. Trying to get out of the bathroom or get the other animals through the bathroom door I can understand, but he's also trying to get his own tail and that's something he doesn't do.

It's now 7:30 p.m. Can't reach my parents but Chad tells me Tangipahoa parish is now under evacuation orders too. Mom said they'd be going to her aunt in Natchez, but I don't have her number. We've had supper. Mustard seems to have calmed down a little. I'm probably going to curl up with homework or the resource guide that I haven't had time to work on yet.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A brief break

Yeah, I'm supposed to be working on the Resource Guide during this quiet time, but I have to put this link down. Laurie R. King--Mutterings URL: http://laurierking.blogspot.com/

For those that don't know, I'm obsessed with her Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell series. She has created a human Holmes without making him any less Holmes. Having been watching some wretched Hollywood rewrites of the Doyle canon on the classic Mystery movies DVD set I got, I like her Holmes heaps better. Her Watson too. And the last book of the series had Dashiell Hammett as a character. Now I need to read "Dead Yellow Woman" apparantly there is an in-joke.

But finding that she has started a blog has given me hope that maybe, someday, there will be more readers here for me to bore or dazzle with trivialities. Often days, I think there's more boredom than anything else.

*Shrug* Websnark is already taken though, and he does a fine job. I need a place to vent. And I'm not interested in becoming a reporter blogger. A book deal would be nice, but well, *sigh*.... It's really for the best not to continue that thought. Going back to the Resource Guide.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Resistence in this case IS futile

Remember a post a few months back where I did a lousy job explaining resistence? You can go look this should still be here.

Resistence is that balking whenever you start something new. Change is bad, I won't like this, the teacher's a doody-head.

My second semester of graduate studies started Monday. Monday night's class is Introduction to Contemporary Criticism. And I can feel resistence throwing itself around me. I do have some legitiment gripes. There's a crapload of reading and the order wasn't given to the bookstore. The professor is pushing to order them online and save money, only I budgeted and put the money into a school only account that works at the bookstore.

The resistence is I have to have this class for the program, but I think academic criticism is a bunch of hooey that distracts from the actual enjoyment of the text. Which in no way will enable me to pass this class.

And the literature class on Thursday will end up being poetry. Bleah. 17th Century poetry, I shouldn't get tripped up on lesbian love metaphors this time. Yes, there is scarring connected with that statement and I'm not going to explain it.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: A Critical Review

First, I don't think I've done something like this for the blog before. I usually just blather happily and heartily recommend the experience: book or movie. Or heartily don't recommend the experience. But I'm inspired to take it a little deeper this time, especially since as a publishing phenomena one should study Rowling.

Second, I do like the series but I'm not obessed with the series. I have other obsessions *wink*. Seriously, I have no desire to write fanfiction of it, don't want to marry any of the characters--Alan Rickman and Gary Oldman not withstanding--it's just plain fun.

Third, there will be spoilers. If you really hate them, check out this op-ed on the state of American comics instead: http://www.tcj.com/269/e_own1.html.

Initial observations: I finished the book in one day, before my typical bedtime. Read it faster than I have wrote this blog, actually. It is a much leaner book as other critics have said. Rowling has complained about "Goblet" needing editing, but I found "Pheonix" needed it more. I got lost in the big climatic battle between Dumbledore's Army and the Death Eaters which results in Siris's death. Those scenes should have been the clearest.

I also cheated by listening on the fandom's yelling. Whatever evils the fundamentals lay at Harry Potter's feet, having bad mannered fans isn't one of them. I didn't see any flame wars, though the hate mail might be directed right at Rowling. Course, I also stopped looking after a while. If the fans aren't behaving now... *shrug*. So I knew what the book was going to end with, just not how we got there.

Since the book was tighter, it's climax built steadily into one punch, followed by a second one: the murder of Dumbledore by Snape and Snape's defection to the Death Eaters. Granted some readers are making the two events one and the same, but I separate them because of Harry and Snape's interaction.

Now focusing on what we know. Rowling often uses a first chapter to show things in the enemy's camp while the rest of the book is from Harry's POV. In "Goblet of Fire," we saw Voldemort, Wormtail and Voldemort's pet snake kill a Muggle. I don't have a copy of "Order of the Pheonix" to check. In "Prince" we follow Draco's mother and aunt to Snape's house. Draco's mother and Snape go under the Unbreakable Vow with the sole purpose of Snape helping or doing whatever Voldemort has ordered of Draco, whichever came first to keep Draco alive. You get the feeling that Draco is being set up for a suicide run, especially the way his mother is carrying on.

We also learn that Snape has accounted himself to Voldemort and Voldemort is using him as a double agent. Well that's what Dumbledore is using him for, so the real question becomes which side is Snape truly on? A question compounded by the fact that Dumbledore refuses to say why he believes Snape's repenting after Voldemort's fall was genuine. He refuses to tell Harry and the other members of the Order of the Pheonix and fellow teachers like McGongall.

At that chapter, readers are not told what task Draco has been given. His mother and aunt are convinced it will be the death of him. There's no guarantee that Snape will succeed, but it would be closer to a fair fight. And after taking the Unbreakable Vow, if Snape doesn't fulfill his end, the spell will kill him. So why take it? Possibly Snape does like Draco, as much as he can like anyone. Equally possible is it gives Draco's aunt--who really doesn't trust Snape as a Death Eater and thinks he's tricking Voldemort--a damn he's gonna do it tale for the rest of the Death Eaters.

From there, Harry's story unfolds: the school work, the romances, the Quidditch, lessons with Dumbledore exploring Voldemort's past, and Harry's obsession with what Draco is plotting. Harry finds a potions textbook that had notes written in it from someone calling himself the Half-Blood Prince. The altered spells earn him wows from the new Potions master, but alarm Hermoine. She thinks its A) cheating and B) something's wrong with anyone hiding behind titles and creating increasingly nasty jinxes and hexes. She has a point, after all Tom Riddle did the same to become Lord Voldemort. Levicorpus is rather harmless, Harry accidently uses it to pull Ron up into the air by one leg. Lupin says that hex was a popular one while his generation was in school, and in "Pheonix" the readers and Harry saw Snape's memory of being jerked around like that by James Potter, Siris Black, Lupin, and Pettigrew with Lily as a witness. Sectumsempra almost killed Draco, saved by Snape, and unnerves Harry enough to stop trusting the book.

Slughorn, the new Potions professor, taught Lily Evans, Harry's mother, and was constantly amazed by her talents. Snape finally gets the Defense Against the Dark Arts post, which Harry discovers was cursed since Dumbledore refused to give it to Voldemort years ago. The curse still holds by the end of "Prince" as well.

No one really believes Harry's theory that Draco is a Death Eater, even when events look bad. A cursed necklace injures a student and Ron is poisoned by a bottle of mead intended for someone else. Harry overhears an argument between Draco and Snape. Snape keeps insisting that Draco let him help, but Draco refuses saying Snape wants all the glory.

Dumbledore refuses to explain his faith in Snape to Harry numerous times. Hagrid reports overhearing an argument between Snape and Dumbledore. Hagrid didn't know what about, but heard Snape saying Dumbledore takes too much for granted and maybe he doesn't want to do it any more. Dumbledore said to Snape he had agreed to do it and that was all ther was to it. Also Dumbledore said something about Snape making investigations in his house, in Slytherin. The almost last straw for Harry is Professor Trelawney's drunken revelation that Snape overheard the prophecy about Voldemort and the one who would defeat him given to Dumbledore. Harry concludes correctly that Snape told Voldemort what he had overheard of the prophecy and pretty much set-up his parents to be murdered. As if Harry needs another reason to hate Snape.

But Dumbledore's affirmation of Snape needs a closer study. ADD QUOTE HERE

It was the stressing that Lily had a chance to walk away but love wouldn't let her that got my attention. For a while I thought that we were getting a new version of the attack on Harry. Reviewing the "Prisoner of Akazban" showed that I was in error. It's not shown on the movie very well, but when the Dementors make Harry relive his memory of the attack, he recalls his mother's pleas with Voldemort.

Now why would Lily, a Muggle born witch, the very thing Voldemort hates as much as he hates what he is--a wizard from a witch and a Muggle--be given a chance to walk away from interfering in Voldemort killing Harry? James, a pure blooded wizard wasn't given that opportunity.

To help with my analysis: http://blogs.salon.com/0001092/stories/2003/06/24/harryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenixChapter28.html



Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Can't please them all

Well either it's very slow net time right now or everybody hates the comment feature I switched to.

Not much to report on this homefront. Classes start next Monday. Mustard tried to slice off my finger yesterday and it still hurts. Hard to type too without a middle finger.

The bike riding while typing hasn't resulted in any attrocities to the documents. I haven't managed to get a steady schedule going yet. Working on thirty minutes a day, but something usually comes up. And it always does. If I could haul my butt out of bed while it's still dark outside, I'd have more time. But I'd also be more sleep deprived. *Sigh* I have to find time somewhere.

Resource Guide work will be reaching a stopping point very soon. And I have to give a presentation on it for the workshop. Yeah, okay. I guess this means I have to stop referring to it as the "bloody Resource Guide." But honestly, what am I supposed to say? "Hi, I wrote this. Please read it and use it in your classrooms. Thank you." That's not going to last an hour!

So I have some free time at work. And a new short story idea to use it on. Let me get some work work done.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, August 15, 2005

Getting in school

SLU has a streamlined process, made better by strategic planning.

Northwestern--where I earned my bachaelor's--moved all needed departments into the basketball collasieum and then you had to spend the day going around it trying to get everything straight.

Southeastern used to do that. According to our office's student workers, Southern still does that. Don't have a report for LSU. Southeastern had bought a closed elementary school adjacent to their property in Hammond. A little remodeling and Admissions, Financial Aid, Controller's, Human Resources, Textbook Rentals, and some Athletics and classes moved in. So when it's time for registration, you go argue with Financial Aid if you need to or go straight to the Controllers. The Campus Police for parking decals and Student I.D.s set up in a couple of classrooms to handle the rush, and then move back to their offices where only emergencies need to find them. Very efficient.

Now if I could only remember to bring my vehicle registration with me so I don't have to go back to the car. :p

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, August 12, 2005

Horror Doesn't Scare Me

I speaking of the genre here, which makes me wonder if maybe I'm lacking something that makes me effective writer of it.

I just finished up two books by James Herbert "Haunted" and "Ghosts of Sleath." Both are about David Ash, a repressed psychic who is incredible at exposing supernatural frauds but is woefully unprepared for the real deal. The bio blurb called Herbert "Britian's Stephen King." I enjoyed the books, quick, easy reads with a good build up to solid POWS at the end. I'm going to try to watch the movie based on Haunted soon. (I'm prepared, I already found out it has nothing to do with the book and "The Others" actually made a better film of the same theme.)

But I realized after reading these books and after my coworkers talked about horror movies that gave them nightmares, I don't get nightmares from the genre. I don't like the gore fests that the 80s spawned with teen slashers. I'm not completely freaked by Stephen King. Lovecraft can give me the crawlies, but it depends on his word choices. Poe I do get crawlies all over my skin from, but no nightmares.

So looking at what I have written that qualifies as horror: "The Bloody Hand", "Dreams of the Dead", "Elizabeth's Oak", and "Night Storm"--what is missing from the scary equation? Night Storm is a vampire but he wants to be a superhero, so it's a different genre. "The Bloody Hand" was based on a nightmare but the dread factor seems flat.

Herbert and King can make you dread what's coming up. Herbert was very good at that in "Ghosts of Sleath."

Maybe it just goes back to I don't get the everlasting scare out of it.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Making changes

Well I just discovered that Haloscan has been purging back comments. It's a problem that doesn't exist with Alt. BM Site, so I'm guessing it must have something to do with the Javascript for blogging. So I activated the built-in comment feature.

Yes, I have gone through and moved what Haloscan comments I still had. I don't forsee any problems with non-Blogger people posting comments. Now I just need to tweak the look a little. If I can.

Okay, I got it tweaked. I think it looks better this way. And hopefully nothing is going to go poof again. Now on to what I meant to talk about today.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bike experiment a sucess

Well, I rode for around thirty minutes while typing on the resource guide. My legs started to burn, but family stuff conspired to keep me from writing any longer.

But other than having to remember what the Ctrl commands are, I did pretty well.

In other news, trying to finish up all the library books and not check out any more. Have to read for classes.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, August 08, 2005

Less than a month to go

School starts August 22. Resource Guide needs to be finished by the first of September.

So the weekend really started the get off your butt and get things finished drive.

Got the duct-tape dummy finished (See the Garb Closet) and got my exercise bike set up where I can type and pedal at the same time. I'll have to get a photo of that. Scary thing, the stationary bike takes up less room than the big black office chair I had. Got fabric bought for the Granaile garb (see the Garb Closet).

Tonight I have to put in some serious time on writing and dishes. Always the dishes. I'm buying a dishwasher after student aid allotments are made.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Cleaning out a trashed notebook

The spine of the notebook is bent into two different directions, impossible to turn pages and impossible to straighten. So here's the notes I want to keep.

BMFM Songs
Running Blind - Days of the New (?)
Smile Empty Soul
"Love of a Lifetime" - Firehouse
"Feeling Too Damn Good" - Nickleback

Column Ideas
Building a Pirate Crew
Time Traveling - what the heck did I mean by that RenFaire Experience?
Ageism - wrote that one

Subjects for Useless Knowledge
1) Are we having fun? - what did I mean?

Need for Zy's Novel Evolutionary details on:

Writing Tutorials
1) Need more Editing Lessons topics
A) Consult Write Faster, Self-Editing, No More Rejections
2)Grammar Guide
A) Start going through parts of speech
3) Writing Tutorials
A) No shortage there I think but go with No More Rejections

Image Exercise

Green of the trees is always more vivid against storm clouds. It's something I noticed as a child--since Louisiana horizons always provide a green horizon and a rolling black ceiling, especially on a summer afternoon. I never understood why the painters we would watch on PBS always painted mountains when the pregnant lull before the percepitation punctuated with graceful lightening strikes was so more dramatic. The oppression of the air only broken by throbbing thunder. The brief plunge of...

New opening for "Lights"

She han't said yes to getting killed tonight.

WT: Finishing What You Start

Use the quote from the screen writing for Dummies. (Trying really hard not to laugh at this topic since I have so much uncompeleted.)

Jason and Sal
"Run" by Snow Patrol (have revised this idea to be a music video, someday)

Books I Want
Will in the World by Stephen Greenblatt

Comic Goodness to buy
Exploitation Now
It's Roomies
Gaming Guardians

Interesting names
Willis Williams

End of the notebook. Thanks for dropping in.

Read Free!
The BookWorm