Tuesday, March 27, 2012


1. Babylon by Eula Biss
2. This creative non-fiction piece focused on a woman’s experiences in California. The author jumps from her experiences to stories of Babylon, which share similarities such as: “the hanging gardens were built for a homesick wife. Amytis of the Medes found the flat, dry land of Babylon depressing, and so her gardens were planted on terraces to look like hillsides”, Palm trees were all I could see there for a long time. The palm trees were how I knew I was a long way from home. Both stories exhibit feelings of missing home.
3. The way the story is set up is interesting. The piece jumps back and forth between historic stories of Babylon and the author’s own experiences. It intrigued me that the author did have research and history in the parts about Babylon…and I didn’t get bored reading it! The author wrote just the right amount of history in her piece to keep it intriguing and not boring.
4. Writing upon her own experiences adds authenticity to her piece. Writers bullshit a lot but her piece has facts when it talks about Babylon or why people left LA and also shares personal experiences that would seem hard to make up unless she experienced them.
5. 5 out of 15

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Farther You Go

1. The Farther You Go By Russo

2. Some of the pages are missing from this story but what I understand from it is a couple’s daughter was beaten by her husband and is leaving him. The mother, father, and daughter are all dealing with the ordeal differently: the mother thinks he wouldn’t hit her and shouldn’t leave, the father is more upset that he hit her but doesn’t want to interfere with the marriage, and the daughter just wants to leave.

3. The author’s voice is extremely present in this story. It’s just out there, jumping off the page like Huck Finn’s but the way the characters speak to each other and how they describe things gives a matter-of-factly yet tough guy voice and at some parts the main character reminds me of a protective, yet tough Clint Eastwood, like something out of “Gran Torino”.

4. The story started out hot which is why I chose to read it. It starts with his penis hurting and i believe he has cancer around his pubic area (pages were missing) then it lead to his daughter leaving her husband then TWIST comes around to his affair with a woman some fifteen years ago. And it all tied together, no loose ends. It was a great story to read.

5.4 of 15

Monday, January 30, 2012

Analytical Essay on Rachel Held Evans

“People sometimes assume that because I’m a progressive 30-year-old who enjoys Mumford and Sons and has no children, I must want a super-hip church—you know, the kind that’s called “Thrive” or “Be” and which boasts “an awesome worship experience,” a fair-trade coffee bar, its own iPhone app, and a pastor who looks like a Jonas Brother.” Humorous words from the one and only Rachel Held Evans. Majority of Evans blog posts have this exact kind of humor, yet some still hold seriousness.
Evans is most famously known for her work, “A Year of Biblical Womanhood”, where she committed one year of her life to following the Bible’s instructions for women. This included such extremities such as, referring to her husband as “master”, sitting on the roof for gossiping, making her own clothes, not cutting her hair, and even camping out on her lawn during her period. Her blog drew a lot of attention and stirred up trouble. Is she mocking religion or just showing us the facts? She states, “My purpose in embarking on this project is not to belittle or make fun of the Bible, nor is it to glorify its patriarchal elements.”
In this post (http://rachelheldevans.com/love-orientation) , Evans speaks about homosexual and being a Christian. She starts the post with an attention grapping question, “I get a knot in my stomach every time someone asks me if I think homosexuality is a sin”. As I read through this post, I found just a pinch of humor but mostly sheer passion. Evans reviews a book, “Love is an Orientation,” and uses such descriptive words, “gently coaxing the reader into those uncomfortable grey areas.” Evans word choice grasps onto you and makes you think, “Our goal as Christ-followers is not to try to cram people into whatever our behavioral ideals might be, but to lovingly help people reconnect with God.” One part that made me sit back and ponder was when she asked what would Jesus respond to the question is homosexuality a sin? Her quirky self comes out in her response to that, “I feel a little irked that he didn’t address it directly!”
Overall, this excerpt was powerful. She was passionate about this very controversial topic and wanted to get her ideas out, as well as others. From this writer, I would hope to learn to write a piece that was so widely important yet has my passion and thoughts shine through it. I would also like to have her humor, I’m very envious of her quirky word choice and ideas.

The Black Keys

It’s a reoccurring nightmare. All these trifling items reel in my head as my eyes spring open. The red number of the alarm clock reflects enough light for me to see that no, I am not in the dimly lit concrete room within the bomb shelter. There were no cots surrounding me, housing lifeless, mangled bodies of those who were alive during the catastrophe but only lived long enough to see the aftermath. Each time the setting was different but the scenario was always the same: the world was ending.
I sat there as the credits rolled across the ultrascreen. People began to move behind and around me as they exited their seats, with Brad next to me, pulling on his coat. He died, there was no hope for him, I tried to convince myself, and stood up and pulled on my coat and followed Brad out of the theater.
The worst of these nightmares was one that involved my son. A wave of emotions crashed on me when I woke up because it felt like reality. It starts joyously, sitting on the beach in Coeur D’Alene, watching the sea plane take off and my brother begging my parents to let him drive one, then car alarms start to sound off one by one. The ground is shaking terribly, an earthquake? The ground shifts and a massive hole eats majority of beach, with a crowd running to the hotel. I frantically search for my phone in my bag and quickly dial in Max’s number to make sure Beckam was safe. No response. As the crowd surrounds a TV, the screen flashes a picture of Appleton, Wisconsin. The picture was absolute darkness, Appleton was now a massive hole.
As we walked out to the car, I kept thinking to myself, what would I do if I knew I was going to die? In “The Grey”, the audience knew the men would not survive: they were severely injured, stranded in artic conditions with hardly any food or shelter, and surrounded by killing angst wolves. We hoped just one of them would make but how? Did we expect a helicopter to find them, deep in the woods of Alaska? To come across a cabin on the stream? To come across an abandon gas station with a working pay phone? Realistically, none of these would have happened but it was a movie and we needed someone to survive.
I was wealthy and had a mansion with several Philippine servants. As I handed Beckam off to a young, dark skinned man, I grabbed the keys to my Porshe and drove to down. I had the convertible top down and was enjoying the light breeze as the thin scarf around my neck whipped around. A large bang erupted as the road began to falter. A large machine, one that looked like a transformer, stood in the road, taller than the Wal-Mart that stood behind it. All I had thought at that time was, “where was my sister?” I switched gears and readily pressed the pedal of the Porche, spun in a U turn, and headed toward the high school, a knot forming in my stomach not knowing if she was still alive or if it’d even make it.
Liam Neeson’s character knew the moment he was going to die. Somehow, he ended up in the den of the pack of wolves, bad luck I’d say. His dead wife’s voice overcame him, “do not be afraid”, as he knew that he would not win this fight. Can you imagine that moment? I can’t even fathom it. I have a knot in my stomach just thinking about it. What would I do in my final moments, would I feel sorry for myself and cry? Would I try to imagine the people I love? Would I pray? Neeson, armed with merely those adorable sized travel liquor bottles, starred straight into the eyes of the alpha, was valiant in the dark eyes of death. He fought to the last second of his life, would I do the same?
Black keys. That is one of the items that seem to keep replaying in my dreams. They were two silver keys, etched and aged by their previous owners, each dawned with a large black onyx on the top. The keys were beautiful, ones that a modern house owner would purchase at Gordmans to hang on their black velvet and blush pink Victorian walls. An elderly hand with long fingers with translucent crimson nails dangled the keys above my palms as if she was teasing me to reach. Was she testing me to see if I’d be bold enough to reach at something I truly desire?
Life was worth the grueling and grievance fight, even if Neeson had nothing to live for. I have everything to live for, had I fought for my will to live through my discombobulated dreams? The feeling of hopelessness accompanies these nightmares, producing fear whenever I awake. Then, I go back to those black keys. What if the fear was streaming from my nightmares but from me? I could have seized those black keys and face what followed but I was fearful of what may happen. As the black keys swayed in front of me, my eyes fixating on the black onyx, I would have to make a decision: stare into the dark, black eyes of death and accept the unknown or simply not live. With a look of courage in his eyes, he took his stance, opened his mouth and let out a heroic cry, then sprinted into the uncertainty of death.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Set Fire To The Rain

It hit me how much people rely on Facebook, myself included. I’m on Facebook on my way to school, right after class, while I feed a bottle to my son, before I go to bed, and when I wake up, completely groggy, at 3 am. Our obsession with Facebook is well, crazy. People open up more on social networking sites than in person. Some people open up a little too much, blowing up our news feed with obnoxious posts and pictures. Hence, earning their names of annoying Facebook people, or in my broaden research, the annoying Facebook girls. In a previous post, I had accepted the challenge of becoming an annoying Facebook girl for a week….and didn’t even last that. After 4 days of googling annoying statuses to post, taking numerous pictures of myself to get the perfect one, and leaving eye-rolling comments on people’s walls, I realized how skin deep it was to become an annoying Facebook girl. Not only was I updating my status every other hour to something annoying, I found the annoyance seeping into my real life, along with being short tempered, feistier than usual, more intolerable, and had no means of holding back any words that popped into my head.

From the friends I selected to give me feedback, I had only heard from five of them. I had asked them to explain how my posting made them feel, examples being angry, annoyed, entertaining, sorrow…etc., if they felt like unfriending me, or if they even paid attention to what I posted. Several of my friends told me I wasn’t annoying enough. Good lord, it was like pulling teeth already to post such unintelligent statuses and yet I wasn’t annoying enough? So I resorted to Google. I actually typed right into Google “annoying statuses” and found quite a bit. Some sites not only had annoying statuses to post but had suggestions on what makes an annoying status such as, complaining about life and/or stupid things, being vague, lyrics, and deliberately posting about someone but not using their name…I’m guilty of stealing that last one. In all, I had posted 13 status updates within 4 days, whew. Sadly, 3 to 4 statuses a day doesn’t even measure up to what an actual annoying Facebook girl would post daily.

Two of my friends had asked me if they could join in on the banter. My answer, “You sure can!”. Both would comment on my statuses and drove me to be more annoying. They also drew more attention to my statuses, perhaps because they became more amusing or people were actually intrigued what people had to say on my persistently annoying posts. With their help, I started to feel like a real annoying girl.

As I expected, I had friends who flat out told me I was annoying, but that is what I was going for. No one said I was annoying enough to delete but hated how I was blowing up their newsfeed. Then, I had friends that told me to keep them coming. They found my postings amusing, which I can relate to that because that is how I view annoying posts, as sheer entertainment. It is enjoyable to laugh at how much people crave attention and will post anything to get a few likes and comments.

Overall, this whole experience didn’t go as I had planned. I would have loved to have more input, especially from my male friends. I only had one male that participated while one of things I was researching was if men find these annoying Facebook girls more attractive. This one male did not, thank the lucky stars. I also wish I could have been more of the stereotypical annoying Facebook girl, it would have helped out this experiment even more. There were a handful of times where I would delete a status update or a photo for fear of what Facebook world would think of me. I just wish I was a tad bit more daring.

After this project, I’ve decided to take yet again another break from my Facebook. I have wasted so many hours of my time dedicating myself to the people of Facebook for what? What have I gained from these hours spent on a social networking site? Nothing. Sure, it is a great place to keep in touch with family and post pictures of my beautiful son for all to see but it has also turned me into someone who cares far too much. I have actually gotten a knot in my stomach from viewing a picture, became envious over a simple status update, sabotaged a potential relationship from reading wall posts, discovered a friend’s death through a tag, and learned the most about people through notes.

I’m going to all Gigi on my readers and ask what happened to the days of when “you had one phone number and one answering machine and that one answering machine has one cassette tape and that one cassette tape either had a message or it didn't.” We have slacked as a society by conforming to a social network. When we want to plan a party, we make an event on Facebook. When we want to announce that we are in a new relationship, engaged, pregnant, etc. everyone finds out from their newsfeed. I’ve been guilty of posting a question on a friend’s wall rather than actually calling her and speaking to her. How is it that we are more social on Facebook than in real life? It's because we are faulted.

Hopefully I will rediscover myself after my farewell to Facebook, it seemed to work the first time. I’m going to make it my goal to reconnect with friends through a phone call rather than on Facebook chat. The possibilities are endless of what I can do with the time that isn’t spent on social networking sites and for starters, I’m going to revamp my blog and blog again…I cannot get enough of pounding words out on a keyboard. So now I bid adieu to Facebook and my wonderful Facebook friends. Now remember, just because I virtually departed Facebook doesn’t mean I’m dead.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dance, Dance, Dance

Dance is strenuous. It uses muscles you never fathomed you had. After a demanding stretch and floor exercise, an aching pain surfaced around my inside upper thigh. Whatever I did to stretch it did not work. After class I had asked my dance instructor what could be causing such discomfort and she responded it was my hip flexors. My newly found muscles began to work in my favor, allowing me to go deeper in my splits, leap with more stature in the air, and offer strict and poised legs for pirouettes.
My body would lean and bend in ways a straw could. “Larger, longer!” My instructor abruptly yelled at me as my feet met the wooden floor then just as quickly left. Thudding was not allowed. Dancers are poised for a reason and that is not to sound like a mad cow rampaging across the floor. When a dancer’s feet made a thud that was louder than the music, she would be told to re-do her leaps across the floor as everyone watched. I hated this training and conditioning. I just wanted to dance.
I was built for dance, my body petite and my muscles lean. My own instructor had once told me I had the perfect pointe toe point. Flexibility came fairly easy to me. Everyone would rave in jealously as we stretched our splits and I’d just shyly acknowledge their comments, “I wish I was that flexible”. It’s not all genetics, little did they know I suffered and conditions for several grueling hours to become like that, not just wishful thinking. I spent almost fifteen hours a week training at a gymnastics studio. My coach was coarse but had the biggest heart for every one of us. She pushed us to our brink to only better ourselves. She would deliberating take our front legs while in a side split and hoist it up on a wedge or some of us lucky ones who were more flexible had to prop our leg on the side of the trampoline. She’d shout, ‘Arms up!” and we’d be forced to sink even further into our split.
I loved gymnastics but I didn’t have the body for it. My arms couldn’t support my weight on back hand springs, kips on the uneven bars, and let’s not speak of the vault. That’s when I went back to dance. Dance allows me to express emotions in a way that is so majestic yet powerful. Dance is strenuous but I adore every damn minute of it.

Sweet Disposition

As I ritually scour Facebook before bed, I come across things just make me question humanity. Enthralling as the virtual world has become, I don’t know whether to feel out of the loop or just more sane than the rest of my “friends”. Then, I began to panic, I am going about this wrong? Am I required to give a play-by-play of my day via statuses, post a picture of myself daily with some exceedingly unintelligent lyrics, write on every males’ wall, write inside jokes on female friend’s wall, write egoistic notes, and like everyone’s posting. Do people actually care or view it as sheer entertainment as I do? So, I have decided to accept the challenge of becoming the average, annoying Facebook girl. Just imagine the possibilities that may give way, such as land me a man, make better friends, become part of an inside joke, be invited to parties, or perhaps piss off people. As I ponder how many people would unfriend me or just roll their eyes in front of the bright computer screen, I developed a grand idea: after a week of being the annoying Facebook girl, the friends who hadn’t unfriended me yet, I would make a consultation of their feelings toward me throughout the duration. Ah, here it goes to being that person I hated. Will I be able to keep it up for a week? Probably not, eh we will see. If all else fails, I will do the opposite of those annoying Facebook fools. I will write on no one’s wall, like no one’s statues, post Lonely Island lyrics under all my pictures, write notes about World Peace, and dubious update statuses to keep people guessing what my day is like. Either way, I’ll smugly be mocking society.