Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Interesting post on country music: A Most Ingenious Paradox by Jimmy Akin.

Oh, ((le soja)). I remember what Adrienne Rich poem I love. "Power," about Marie Curie, one of my top role models. (Can you see why I confuse her and Audre Lorde? Their poems even have the same title!)


"Living in the earth-deposits of our history

Today a backhoe divulged out of a crumbling flank of earth
one bottle amber perfect a hundred-year-old
cure for fever or melancholy a tonic
for living on this earth in the winters of this climate.

Today I was reading about Marie Curie:
she must have known she suffered from radiation sickness
her body bombarded for years by the element
she had purified
It seems she denied to the end
the source of the cataracts on her eyes
the cracked and suppurating skin of her finger-ends
till she could no longer hold a test-tube or a pencil

She died a famous woman denying
her wounds
her wounds came from the same source as her power."

--Adrienne Rich, "Power"


I see the Brat coming home from across the street, so it's time to go play.

Oprah's Book Club Status.

Because I know you are all dying to know how my goal of reading all of Oprah's Book Club books is going, here's an update. Not so well, I'm afraid. Books I've read in italics. I've read most of some others, but I guess I haven't "technically" finished them, so I won't mark them.

Italics means I own it.
Bold means I've read it.


The Book of Ruth: A Novel by Jane Hamilton
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard
The Meanest Thing to Say (A Little Bill Book for Beginning Readers) by Bill Cosby
The Best Way to Play (A Little Bill Book for Beginning Readers) by Bill Cosby
The Treasure Hunt (A Little Bill Book for Beginning Readers) by Bill Cosby

Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons
A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons
A Lesson Before Dying : A Novel by Ernest J. Gaines
Songs in Ordinary Time by Mary McGarry Morris
The Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou
The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds
Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb

Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
Midwives: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian
What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage

I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb
Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
Black and Blue: A Novel by Anna Quindlen
Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman
Paradise by Toni Morrison
A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton
Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay
River, Cross My Heart by Breena Clarke
Tara Road by Maeve Binchy
Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes
White Oleander: A Novel by Janet Fitch
The Pilot's Wife: A Novel by Anita Shreve
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, Carol Brown Janeway
Jewel by Bret Lott
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
Open House by Elizabeth Berg
The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
While I Was Gone by Sue Miller
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Back Roads by Tawni O'Dell
Daughter of Fortune: A Novel by Isabel Allende
Gap Creek: A Novel by Robert Morgan
We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir, et al
Cane River by Lalita Tademy
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Sula by Toni Morrison
Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, et al
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
As I Lay Dying/The Sound and the Fury/Light in August by William Faulkner
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
Night by Elie Wiesel

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Why is it so hot?!

I'm a huge dork, if you didn't already know. I've been playing Super Mario World for Super Nintendo the past few days. I've beaten it completely, including all of the secret levels, which I had never done before, so yea!, I'm proud and excited. But now I need more games to play! We only ever had Super Mario World, because we rented the rest. Super Nintendo has always been my favorite system. I don't know where I can buy games, though! I checked the place at the mall, but nope. Sad. : (

I tried playing regular, original Nintendo, but it messes up every five minutes. I broke out my Game Boy and beat Kirby's Dream Land, no exaggeration, about fifteen minutes. I started on Kirby's Dream Land 2, but that screen is so hard to see on! I love Kirby, though. I need to find that game for SNES! Oohh, you know what other game I want? Zelda! I loved that thing. And Donkey Kong! And etc.!!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

_American Idol_.


Yes, I watch American Idol sometimes. I'm not ashamed. And I'm glad I watched it last night, because rarely have I seen anything so funny as Clay Aiken joining his "impersonator" on stage.

During the try-outs for American Idol, one kid proclaimed he was "the next Clay Aiken." Of course, his singing was terrible and he is, by most anyone's account, a geek. Last night he won a "Best Impersonation" award.

Ryan Seacrest asked him to sing, he said he would, and he started singing--v., v. horribly, but the audience cheered for him, because America loves underdogs who get to fulfill their dreams. Then they started cheering v. loudly, and the kid was, like, "Who, me?" because he didn't realize that Clay Aiken had just entered the stage behind him!

Aiken just kind of looked at him for a moment (what a good sport he is!) and then the kid noticed him--omg! Seriously the best shocked reaction ever. I think that kid prob. peed his pants. He was crazy shaking and saying things like "Oh wow" and I just about fell off the couch for laughing so hard. That kid was in so much shock and awe...and Clay Aiken is such an example of how anyone can become famous, because he was that kid (in looks, anyway) before American Idol, except he could sing.

But you know that was probably the best moment of that kid's life, getting to sing on stage with Clay Aiken. Gives you a bit off a warm fuzzy feeling to see people so happy. And, whoah. Clay Aiken sure looks different!

Watch the video here. Or at this post, if it works.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Books I've Read Recently.

Since I'm done with college (for-ev-er), I finally have time to read for pleasure.

Books I've Read Since I've Graduated:

Night by Elie Wiesel
I'm not sure if I liked this novel. It's a memoir about the author's years in the concentration camp, Auschwitz. I don't like the author's style of writing all that much, and I don't know that I like the author in this memoir. I feel a bit guilty about that, because he suffered a lot, but there you go. His writing irritates me. It's like he's continuously trying to shock us. That's something weird of me to say, because it is about the Holocaust, a terrible time, but I don't think the events are presented naturally. It's like "blah blah blah SHOCK," like he has to punctuate the end of every paragraph with something terrible, and it's something he's doing for style, not because things actually happened that way. And okay, at the beginning of the memoir we read about Wiesel's childhood, before the concentration camp (he was a teen while he was at Auschwitz), and he's presented as an exceptionally devout Jew, he's all about religion and God, etc. Then, the first minute he's in Auschwitz, he abandons his faith. Just...okay? What conviction there, you know? * 1/2

The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve
This book made me so angry when I finished. I finished it before bed, so I couldn't sleep after! It's about a woman's quest to discover what happened the night her husband's plane crashed (he was the pilot--it's actually interesting what happened with the plane, but I'll leave that aspect of the plot unspoiled). Along the way, she discovers some things about her husband--such as, oh, he had another family in England (and his second wife actually knew about his first)! This book made me angry because the man was such a bastard to do that to his wife (ajdfgjdfg) and because the book doesn't resolve anything! I hate mysteries, and it's never revealed what the hell the husband was thinking. Did he still love his first wife (the narrator)? Why didn't he just divorce her if he fell in love with someone else? Etc. I hate unresolved or open endings. I think it's either the author being lazy, or the author trying to be "smart," both things I hate. Also? Their daughter was having sex at fourteen. Oh, excuse me, barely fourteen. What the hell?! **

And don't we always have our best thoughts when we're half asleep? I had some great ones about this book after I read it, but I can't remember them! I was thinking something about how the husband-as-pilot was some kind of metaphor about men and women. Also something about how having two families was uniquely a man thing to do. A woman can't pull off that kind of deception. Not because we aren't bastardly enough, but physically we can't do it. Sure we can have affairs, but we can't have two distinct families. If a woman is pregnant, there ain't no hiding that. At the end of nine months, what would she tell her first husband? "Oh, I just got really fat for a while there."

Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
This book wanted to be all mysterious and suspenseful, but it was kind of obvious from the first several chapters that Sister A didn't deliberately kill Sister B, because the author tried too hard to make us think she did. Overall a decent read, though. **

Monday, May 22, 2006

"Pretty Pink."

I must have this dinnerware! The design is "Pretty Pink" by Corelle's Square collection. Isn't it just fabulous? I'm seriously buying it. I love it, love it, love it. I carry around a picture of it in my purse. Yes, I'm that sad. Yea for graduation parties!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

_Grey's Anatomy_; Snow Patrol.

I love Grey's Anatomy. Not only is it a fabulous show, but it has the most kick-ass soundtrack. And, yes, I totally cried during the season finale.

"If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me
And just forget the world?
Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life"

--Snow Patrol, "Chasing Cars"

"World on Fire."

We all know I hate U2. Not neccessariy their music, although past a certain year their songs all sound the same. No, I hate Bono and how he acts like he's some great humanitarian and he's not.

More proof he doesn't put his money where his mouth is (just do a search of "U2" in this journal and you'll read more.)

Do you know it costs $150,000 to make a music video? What a superficial way to spend money, right? I mean, do you really need some high-tech video? And U2 has created some grand videos. Think of where all of that money could go!

Sarah McLachlan did. She decided to make her video of "World on Fire" herself--and it cost her $15. She took the rest of the money she would have used to make the video and donated to needy towns, countries across the world. If you watch the video, you'll see where all of the money would have gone if it were a normal video and where it went to instead. Like $200 would go to a production assistant for a day; instead, it paid for 100 childrens school term in Ethiopia.

You can watch the video (and read the list of donation recipients) here.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Bette Davis.

Bette Davis is the Artist of the Month for Turner Classic Movies. That means that about five of her movies will be played every Wednesday/Thursday this month. Yea! Tonight the first one to be shown is Dark Victory.

Bette Davis is prob. my favorite actress. Hell, she's my favorite woman! That woman was something else. She's the first female actress who didn't take any shit from anyone and went after what she wanted. She's v. empowering for women. And guess what, she isn't one of those fragile, pretty ladies, either. I wouldn't call her traditionally "pretty." It's her personality that makes her attractive. And she wasn't afraid to play the bitch, either. She was a bitch in a good portion of her movies, hell!

Check out her biography at and read the quotes.

The ones about her feud with Joan Crawford? Ouch.

    "Why am I so good at playing bitches? I think it's because I'm not a bitch. Maybe that's why Miss Crawford always plays ladies."

    "She has slept with every male star at MGM except Lassie."

"I'd marry again if I found a man who had fifteen million dollars, would sign over half to me, and guarantee that he'd be dead within a year."

Oh, Bette Davis. You are fabulous.

"Today everyone is a star - they're all billed as 'starring' or 'also starring'. In my day, we earned that recognition."

Go watch some Bette Davis movies! My favorite of hers is Now, Voyager, but that is actually probably not her best performance or movie. It's just my personal favorite. ; )

Stephen Colbert.

If you haven't watched the video of Stephen Colbert "performing" at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, I suggest you do so. Alternately, you can read the transcript.

Stephen Colbert is my hero. This video is a prime example of why he was always my favorite on The Daily Show and why I always said he should have his own show, long before there were plans for him to actually have one. I do love Jon Stewart, sure, but I'm sorry, I don't see him as fearless as Colbert--I can't see Stewart trashing Bush in such a spectacular way to his face. Stewart seems to puss out, to me. Colbert stood at that podium, looked Bush in the face, acted like he truly was a GOP buddy, and then completely skewered him. I felt awkward for Bush, even, and we all know I am not at all a fan. What does Colbert always say on his show? That man has balls.

Apparently Bush and his little cronies were pissed off--some actually leaving the performance. Oh, boo hoo. What did you expect? I'm glad they did, but why would some moron hire a well-known Bush-critic to perform? Probably because GOPs are so out of touch with reality that they actually think Colbert's alter-ego is real.

And these reports that Bush and his twin were funnier than Colbert? Pull the other one. The media is all pissy with Colbert, too, because he wasn't afraid to call them to task, either.

And, yo. Don't be upset that Ken Blackwell won the GOP primary for governor. The man's a nut-job and the worst candidate of the two, but that just means he doesn't stand a chance in hell of beating Ted Strickland for governor come November. Let the Republicans bury themselves by picking Blackwell!

...except it's hard to be optimistic because elections in Ohio are argueably fixed, and who says the vote for governor won't be, too?

Books to Read.

Lately I've been discussing books with people, and I regret that I didn't get together more with my fellow English students.

Since I'll be finishing school soon, I hope to have more time to read.

I'm keeping a list of books I'd like to read someday. A lot of these are by American authors because I never got the chance to take any American literature classes in college, another thing I regret. I'm open to suggestions, too!

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

This Side Of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrisson

Going-Ons. (Or Does Truth Really Matter?)

Unbelievable. I graduate in three weeks. Three more weeks and I never have to go to school again. I can't wrap my mind around it.

These three weeks will be v. busy.

I am, however, in the last stage of my writing portfolio. I am v. relieved. I only have to write the introduction, print it out, and get it bound! The title of the entire portfolio is Analysis and Discovery: Literary Criticism and Journalism. I want to share it with people, but I know no one would be interested in reading 120 pages of my work. What about 60 pages of essays, though? You'll be smarter when you're done, haha.

I had an excellent experience with my portfolio director. Christ. Remember how stressed I was about finding a director six months ago? I need to lighten up. I couldn't have picked a better one, though. I think we made a great team. We seemed good at coming up with ideas and understanding what the other was trying to say. I'll miss this professor, at least! By the way, we're still looking into getting one of my essays published. Fingers crossed! The essay is "Patriarchal Traditions: Gender Privilege in The Left Hand of Darkness."

And, oh! How cool is this little tidbit. A major interest of mine is witness literature. Look into it. I talked about it with this professor some, and she read an essay of mine on it. She told me today that I sparked her interest in the subject and partly inspired her to concentrate a large portion of one of her classes next semester on witness literature. Awesome!

We talk about books some, and she's going to lend me Night by Elie Wiesel (which is witness literature), to see what I think. Her reaction was mixed (at best, probably).

I'm lending her The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, which is one of my top favorite books: "I want you to know why story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth." It revolves around the Vietnam War, but it's about so much more, too. Highly relevant for today, too. Almost freakishly so. And not just because of the war, but because of issues that arose when James Frey admitted that his book A Million Little Pieces wasn't all "fact." How much does the "truth" actually matter when telling your story? If I went through something, what if I could only make you understand how I felt if I told the story in a slightly different way than what actually happened? Is this story "fiction," even though the real "truth" of it was the emotion, not the events? Anyway, read it, kids. Which reminds me, I need to read In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. That's truthful fiction. Or fictional truth. It's too bad I'm leaving school soon, or we could start a book club, haha! Take that, Oprah.

Oh, I am so proud of myself! For the first time in years, I wrote fiction yesterday! Eek. None of it will make sense on it's own, so, no, I'm not showing anyone (although I think it's witty and clever and fabulous! Haha, no, I'm not modest. Except I really am, I just put on a show, I don't really think it's fabulous!). It's just bits and pieces of a larger story. Possibly something novel length? I want to write it so bad. Please don't let this bug go away any time soon, because write now I have to get back to essays I'm writing for school. But this story...I just wanted to write, so if I didn't know the exact word (OR NAME) to use, I just put "____" as a placeholder. Me = huge dork.

I feel like talking. Someone come online! Sarah, why don't we ever call each other! Oh, right. It's ridiculous long distance.

Wasted Energy.

So last week I noticed a $99 charge on my Victoria's Secret card. I don't think I've ever bought one item in my life for that much money (iPod mini and TV excluded), so I was irritated and a bit pissed off because do I have time for that crap? No.

So I called Victoria's Secret, all spoiling for a fight. I said to the woman: "My bill is showing a $99 charge that I never made and I don't want it on there and I'd like it taken off, please."

I said that politely, because I like to give people a chance first, but I was prepared for them to be all "We aren't taking it off [blah blah blah]" and I was prepared to come back with "Do you seriously want to mess with me, bia? Because I am so not backing down and handing over my entire life savings without even getting something in return!" Okay, not those exact words, but I would be expressing the same sentiment (minus vulgarity) .

But she says: "Okay, we'll take that charge off your card and credit your account."


Like I said, I was spoiling for a fight. But they were just going to take the charge off, no problem! So what do you do with all of that pent up aggression and frustration when people just give in?! I was just left sitting there, thinking: "Um."

Actually, I had to call another number to get the whole thing settled. So it was a hassle. And I do hate hassles.

The woman there asked me at one point: "So where are you calling from?"

I was confused, because that's kind of a vague, weird way to ask a question, (the "so" makes it sound like she is chatting me up!) so I said: " dorm room?"

And she started laughing hysterically and said she meant what state was I calling from and she must have been in a call center and I heard her tell whoever was sitting next to her "She just said she's calling from her dorm room!"

...I had to laugh, too.

Super Mechanic = Me.

I'm so proud of myself! Today I fixed a car problem all by myself (after my parents told me what to do, anyway...)!

That dumb "BRAKE" light was showing on my dash again, and it probably meant that I was out of brake fluid. So I popped the hood (let's not mention that I couldn't get it open until my parents told me there was a latch I had to find first--NOT the latch inside the car, I'm not *that* dumb, but one underneath the hood itself, which, actually, was a bit difficult to do because I thought I might smash my fingers....), propped it up with that rod, and poured the brake fluid inside its container!

Yeah, yeah, it's prob. v. easy, but I had never done anything fix-ish with my car, so I felt proud. The "BRAKE" light is off...but it still says "CHECK ENGINE."

...check this, you effing car.