Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Monday, February 27, 2006
I thought they said we were bringing some sort of "forward thinking" to Afghanistan.
So season two will be here in a couple of weeks. I'm so excited :)
My high school didn't have one. Only one school in my home county currently has one, and it wasn't formed until after I graduated from college. Much too late to benefit anyone I knew. Since I have graduated, I have learned that there sure were a lot of us queers in high school, and it sure would have been nice to have had some sort of place where we felt safe being out. I mean, come on, we all knew we were gay in high school. Maybe we would have come out a lot sooner if we'd had support at some level. I know the idea of gays coming out freaks out all the fundies, but seriously, it's a good thing. It takes a lot of guts to be who you are, and it seems to me like that's something we actually ought to be encouraging in kids. Plus tolerance and acceptance from the school would really go a long way to reducing violence against queers. I'm all for that.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
This is an oddly funny movie; perhaps sickly funny is a better description of it. It's the kind of movie where things happen that are so bizarre you aren't sure if you should be laughing or not. However, I laughed hysterically all the way through it. The only thing I would change is the end. Although it worked, I would have chosen a happier, funkier ending.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
If you haven't seen it, why are you still sitting here? Go rent it! It's an amazingly beautiful film. The acting, singing, and dancing are all top-notch. It is about a non-traditional family in New York City. There are two on again, off again relationships between couples, one lesbian and one straight. There is also one adorable gay male couple. They're the highlight of the movie, at least they were for me. They were the only ones in the movie who could consistently make their love work. There is also one guy who films all of the other couples in their struggles and also documents the lives of the people in his neighborhood, most of whom are homeless. It is quite a breath-taking movie. Like I said at the beginning, go rent it!
by George Eliot
If you like Victorian novels, you will like this book. The plot is somewhat predictable; however, Eliot leaves some loose ends in the book which I actually very much appreciated. She doesn't give the reader all of the answers.
Another thing I loved about the book was that she favored the working classes above the aristocracy. The aristocracy are portrayed as a bunch of clueless drunkards, and the working class are given the insight in the book.
The book is about a weaver named Silas Marner who finds a little girl whose mother has died. Her father, a member of the aristocracy, does not claim her. Silas raises the girl as his own daughter. At the end of the book, her father decides she is pretty and that he would like to have her again. She chooses to stay with Silas, though, because she has been raised to value kindness over money.
It's a fantastic book. It's also a fairly quick read. I read most of it on an airplane. Now I am off to find more books by George Eliot (who by the way, mr. ignorant radio station personality, is a WOMAN not a man, thank you very much).
I just got done teaching Naomi Shihab Nye's 19 Varieties of Gazelle to my poetry class. This is another book that stresses peace and individuality but in a very different way than A Different War did. I had my students read several of the poems out loud in class, and we talked about how Nye stresses peace by showing real people. How can war continue is we can see our enemies as real people? I don't know if my students got the message. I sometimes felt as though they were reading a very different book than I was, but they read it nonetheless. Perhaps someday they will look back and see real people in those who are so different than they are. Perhaps they too will someday be able to dance instead of dodge bullets.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
2) What posters do you have in your room?: Harry Potter and some postcards of Glacier National Park
3) What do you hear right now?: the hum of my computer
4) If you could drink anything right this second, what would it be?: Iced tea
5) Does anything hurt on your body right now?: No
6) Ever take candy from someone?: No
7) Whats your job position called?: Teaching Assistant
8) What size ring do you wear?: 6
9) Do you own a camera phone?: No
10) When's your birthday?: Yesterday :)
11) What was your elementary schools mascot?: Don't know if I had one
12) Whats your favorite bottled water?: I prefer tap water. It's cheaper
13) What's the next concert/show you're going to and when?: Don't know
14) What were you doing at 9 pm last night?: waiting for my ride at the airport
15) Whats your favorite Starbucks drink?: tall Awake tea
16) Do you exercise as much as you should?: Nope, but I'm working on it
17) Did you attend your High School prom?: Yes
18) Did you go to someone elses prom?: No
19) Would you give your bf/gf a second chance if they cheated?: No
20) Something red within 5 feet of you?: a notebook
21) Your last bag of chips?: salt and vinegar pringles, I imagine, but I don't really remember
22) The weirdest thing you've seen this week?: No idea
23) Ever done the Electric Slide?: Yes
24) How much French do you know?: Ou et le toilette? Ou et le metro? Ou et le fromage?
25) Sparkly things?: No
26) Ever crash a car, been in accidents?: A fender bender here and there
27) Do you look good in yellow?: I think so
28) Do you sing?: Not well
29) Ever sang in front of a crowd?: Yes
30) Do you dance?: I try
32) Least favorite color?: Pink
33) Favorite kind of pizza?: Veggie
34) Ever had Dippin Dots?: No
35) Ever make fun of a homeless person?: No
36) How old were you when you got a cell phone?: 21
37) How old were you when you got your first car?: 21
38) How many driving tickets have you had?: none
40) How many parking tickets?: No idea, too many
41) Do you own your own car?: Yes
42) Do you want to get married?: Yes
43) At what age do you want to get married?: whenever
44) Have you ever been married?: No
45) Have you ever received a restraining order?: No
46) At what age do you want to have kids?: 30-ish
47) How many kids?: 3-4
48) Ketchup or Mustard?: Mustard
49) When is the last time someone deleted you from their space?: Never, I haven't been on long
50) How many times a week are you on Myspace?: Everyday
51) Ever been kicked out of your home?: No
52) Favorite character on Friends?: Phoebe
53) Ever eat Spam?: No
54) Have a crush on a teacher?: Yes
55) Favorite store?: World Market
56) Have a best friend?: Yes
57) Have a boyfriend?: No
58) Have a girlfriend?: No, but I'm looking
59) One place you want to travel to: Pompeii
60) If you could have anything right now what would it be?: I don't know, which must mean I'm pretty content. Although if pushed to answer, I'd probably say a nice girlfriend. Or perhaps a better paying job. Or a better president.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Happy birthday to me.
Happy birthday, dear me.
Happy birthday to me.
I think I might even look 26. I don't quite feel 26 yet, though ;) (Because I won't be for another six minutes or so)
Edited to add that the date should read the 20th because it is the 20th here. My birthday is on the 20th.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
It's been a while since I finished this, and I don't have the book in front of me, so this is an off-the-cuff review:
I liked Prince Caspian better. However, the mystery in this one sustained it. It pretty much follows the journey of King Caspian, Lucy, Edmond, and Eustace to find seven men who were friends of Caspian's father. They sail to several odd islands that include everything from dragons to invisible one-legged hopping things that constantly agree with each other. Eventually, they find the men, of course. Then Reepicheep the mouse rows off into Aslan's country, and the kids are sent back to their home in England. All in all, this one is a pleasant read. I recommend it. My sister says that this one is her favorite of the series. So there is another recommendation for it.
Friday, February 17, 2006
This is a generous rating based mostly on the fact that the dogs are pretty. The story is predictable but heartwarming. Eight dogs get left behind in Antartica, and their owner tries his hardest to get them back. The most interesting thing about the movie, to me at least, was the fact that two of the dogs were malamutes. My current crush has a part-malamute. I never thought I would be interested in a dog person, let alone a person who has a big dog. She's cool, though.
My parents also have movie reviews. My mother's rating: * She thought it was too intense. I have to say, I didn't think it was intense at all. My dad's rating: ***** He wants to own it, although my mother tells him he'll have to watch it by himself.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
I spent this evening watching the Olympics with my folks. I have to admit, I love to watch the female skiers. My gaydar wails the whole time I watch them. It's highly enjoyable. My favorite sport has always been the luge, though. It looks like fantastic fun. I would love to take my plastic orange sled to the top of one of those slopes and give it a go myself.
When I was a child, I was fascinated by the Olympics to the point of wanting to form some event of my own. My sister, my best friend Josh, and I decided to host an annual Pet Olympics for all of the pets in the neighborhood. We spent months planning the event. We made medals and ribbons and a first place trophy. Josh found a big candle to use as our torch, my sister learned a speech by heart and recited it at the opening ceremony, and Josh cross stitched a Pet Olympics flag.
We started the day with Olympics music, the pledge of allegiance, my sister's speech, and the lighting of the Pet Olympic candle. Throughout the day, we put our pets through their paces, which really included us watching them sit and stare and then declaring them beautiful. My neighbor's dog actually had a little bit of talent. It could catch food in its mouth. My sister's rabbit could beg for dandelion leaves. My cat could play fetch if he would only cooperate. Josh's cat would sit in the gazebo and make his displeasure known to the world (he was a siamese, so everyone in the area could hear him). Josh also had very talented goldfish who were actually caught on tape sucking rocks (I think they earned second place in the talent category for that). We were all very serious about the whole event. We added events each year and had pets sign up months in advance. Josh made a styrofoam set of hurdles for the second year, and we watched the pets take turns stepping over them. All in all, we had very talented pets.
Every time I see the Olympics, I remember those days in my backyard with the candle smoking madly, Barney the cat howling loudly, and the three of us walking around with our scoring notebooks. It was marvelous fun.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Here are my Valentines for this year:
My wonderful sister, who I miss terribly. (Are you sure you can't come home this weekend?)
My cat, who is immensely cute and cuddly.
Rennick, who is a great buddy.
I have recently discovered this fantastic networking site and have been reconnecting with some people I went to high school and college with. It's pretty cool. I have also been pleasantly surprised about how many of us are queer. I have started a college queer list. A friend of mine already has a high school one, although I have a couple of names to add to it. The minute I came out to him, he forwarded me the list. It's pretty cool :) All I can say is, yes, of course there are queer people in small Christian farming communities, too.
Monday, February 13, 2006
Another of Hiyao Miyazaki's animated films, this one is another plea for peace and an increased environmental consciousness. It's fabulously done, and I liked it almost as much as I liked Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. I highly recommend it.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
| You scored as Albus Dumbledore. Strong and powerful you admirably defend your world and your charges against those who would seek to harm them. However sometimes you can fail to do what you must because you care too much to cause suffering.|
Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?
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Saturday, February 11, 2006
Will you marry me, Elizabeth Bennett? I LOVE the story of Pride and Prejudice, and obviously Elizabeth Bennett is one of my all-time favorite female characters. Keira Knightley is stunning in the role. Actually, all of the actors in the film did an excellent job. I couldn't have asked for a better film of such a splendid book.
The scenery is breath-taking. The music, which is almost entirely on piano, is also beautiful. It is such a beautiful movie. If you haven't seen it, why are you still sitting here? Go! Now!
As a side note, perhaps of interest, the movie theater I saw it in was completely packed. It's obviously popular around here. And with good reason, I might add :)
by Isabel Allende
The descriptions in this book are magnificent. The characterization of the children and Alex's grandmother, Kate, is also good. My gripes with the book are these: it's extremely predictable and the author is far too conscious of audience. This is Allende's first novel for young adults, and it is pretty obvious. Young adult authors who do well don't tipically write for "young adults." They simply write a good story. Their agents and publishers are the ones who market it for a specific audience. I think Allende will get better if she chooses to continue to write in the young adult genre. It certainly must be a switch after her other books.
by C.S. Lewis
This is my favorite book in the series so far. I finished it a couple weeks ago and haven't taken the time to review it until now. The story is compelling, especially after reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. All of the children from the first story return in this one. It's the last book in which Peter and Susan are able to return to Narnia. It's a very plot-driven book. There is mystery and intrigue. There are also battles over a crown. All in all, it's a very exciting and quick read.
This movie is definitely worth watching. Basically it is about a black lesbian who makes a documentary about a black lesbian actress from the 1920's and 1930's. The actress is fictitious, but as the writer and star of the movie says, "Sometimes you have to invent your own history." It's a great movie about getting to know oneself, also.
Friday, February 10, 2006
| You scored as trombone. Trombone.|
This just means you dont fit anywhere else.
If you were in an orchestra, what instrument would match your personality?
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Thursday, February 09, 2006
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
2. Name someone with the same birthday as you: don't know.
3. Last thing you ate: yellow rice with garbanzo beans
4. For or against same sex marriage: For, most definitely. I want to get married someday.
5. Are you Nah: ???????
6. Do you still watch cartoons on Saturday mornings? No. Do they still have Saturday morning cartoons?
7. Do you believe in God: yes.
8. How many U.S states have you been to: Almost all of them, except for California, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, and Alaska.
9. How many of the U.S states have you lived in: 3
10. Ever lived outside of the US: No
11. Name something you like physically about yourself: My eyes
12. Something non-physical you like about yourself: I am compassionate.
13. What is your moms name: Mom
14. What is your dream car: I don't really have one.
15. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Italy, specifically Venice
16. Favorite type of food: Italian
17. What's you favorite holiday? Christmas
18. Do you download music: No
19. What illegal thing have you done: Ran a red light
20. Where would you want to go on a first date: out for coffee
21. Would you date the person who posted this before you?: Um, no, although she's really nice
22. Has anyone ever sang or played for you personally: no
23. Have you ever cried for no reason: Yes. Hello depression.
24. Do you like president Bush: about as much as intestinal flu.
25. Have you ever bungee jumped: No
26. Have you ever white-water rafted: Yes
27. Has anyone ten years older than you ever hit on you? Yes. I've also had a 42 year old woman hit on me. I was 23. Yurg.
28. Last person you hugged: my cat
29. Have you met a real redneck: I grew up in a town full of them, and I truly hate that word.
30. How is the weather right now? cold and yucky
31. What song are you listening to right now: Law and Order SVU theme song
33. What was the last movie you watched?: Into the Arms of Strangers, I haven't been watching much lately because of my big fiction story. It's done now, though, so I play to rectify that :)
There is no #34.
35. Where was the last place you went besides your house? class
36. What are you afraid of: my thesis defense, although I'm feeling a lot more secure about it at the moment.
37. Have you ever been hit-on by someone of the same sex: Yes, of course :) Have I ever been hit on by someone of the opposite sex? Yes
38. How many pets do you have: 1 fuzzy cat
39. Have you ever loved someone: Yes
40. What do you usually order from Starbucks: tall Awake tea
41. Have you ever fired a gun: No, nor will I ever.
42. Are you missing someone: My sister
43. Say something really random about yourself: I think lower back tattoos are sexy.
44. Do you have an ipod?: No
45. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celeb? No
46. What's your name: VioletEmily
47. Are you comfortable with your height: Yes, I like being short.
48. Have you ever been caught doing something you weren't supposed to? Yes.
52. Favorite flower: sunflowers and lilacs
53. Butter, plain, or salted popcorn: Butter
54. What books are you reading: City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende, Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, oh! I just got Mary Oliver's new book in the mail. I'm so excited. So that, too :)
55. Have you ever ridden in a limo: Yes. It was actually a cab. How weird is that?
56. Has anyone you were really close to passed away? Yes, my grandfather
57. Do you watch MTV: No
58. What's something that really annoys you: people who randomly say to strangers, "Why aren't you smiling?"
59. What are some things you really like doing?: reading, writing, talking about reading and writing, hanging out with friends, going out with the MFA-ers, watching movies, cuddling, kissing, going out for iced tea, going out to dinner
60. Do you like Michael Jackson?: No.
61. Can you dance: No, but I sure try.
62. Favorite basketball team: GWU!
63. Favorite cereal: Cheerios
64. Do you drive?: Yes.
65. What's the latest you have ever stayed out: 4:30 a.m.? Maybe?
66. Last time you went bowling: No idea.
67. Were you ever rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room: No. Let's keep it that way.
68. Who was your last phone call? Mom
69. Last time you were at work: Today
70. Whats your favorite state to be in: North Carolina
Monday, February 06, 2006
I have been exercising a lot, and I'm loving it. I have discovered that if I walk on the treadmill and ride the exercise bike, I don't have to watch where I am going and therefore can read while I exercise. This is terribly exciting, and I am halfway through Isabel Allende's City of the Beasts, my exercise book of choice at the moment.
I started journaling again! I'm very excited about this, and my counselor has given me a few specific ideas to explore in my journal. I kept a very steady journal for quite a while and then stopped for a lot of reasons. I've missed it, though, and took a life-affirming trip to Barnes and Noble yesterday to get a new one. I think journals, like bibles, are something that a person has to pick for herself.
I have made a big decision (well, a big one for me). I talked to my counselor today about dating. I told her I want to date around and see what's out there. I don't want to be committed to one person, and I don't want anything serious at all. I just want to see what's out there. Plus I might be moving soon anyway. She said she thought that sounded like fun and that I should do it. So I'm talking to, well, several very different women, and I want to start going out on dates.
Friday, February 03, 2006
So anyway, my three books:
1. New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver
2. Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
3. Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds
If I had to pick a fourth, it would be Kaddish and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
This movie won the Academy Award for best documentary in 2000. This doesn't even begin to do it justice. The movie is told mostly from the point of view of the Jewish children who were evacuated from Eastern Europe during 1938-39 and sent to live with strangers in England. Many of their parents died at concentration camps.
I had never heard of the kindertransport, which is saying something because I have read far more than I probably should have about the Holocaust and World War II. I first heard about the Holocaust when I was nine and I inadvertantly borrowed a book from the library that held several accounts of those who survived the concentration camps and those who were hidden in people's homes. I was horrified to say the least, yet I kept reading every book I could get my hands on. I could not believe that people would let such a thing occur, and yet it is still occurring in other places in the world. I think this was the first time my eyes were truly opened to the horrors of the world. The story that has stayed with me from that first book is the story of a young man who hid in an abandoned attic and drank his own urine out of fear of coming down to get a drink of water.
For years, I have had terrible recurring nightmares about the Holocaust. In each, I am separated from my family and forced to watch those I love be slaughtered. I have not told many people about these dreams. For a year or two when I was first coming out, these dreams occurred with more frequency. I confided in my friend Andie that I believed that they were related to my fear of persecution as a lesbian. I still believe that because after I came out to my family, the dreams stopped for a time.
A few years ago, I became fascinated with Corrie ten Boom because she lived through such horrors and came out of them with such love and grace. Her story is one of the most moving I have ever read.
Even with the horrors of the Holocaust, I love the stories of those people, like Corrie ten Boom, who could see the need in their neighbors and take care of them, putting their own lives on the line. Kindertransport is just that sort of story. Approximately 10,000 children were sent out of eastern Europe to live with British families who were kind enough to take them in and make them a part of their own families. Granted, not every story is so loving, but most of them are.
If there are others out there who need some hope when times are bleak, this story offers some.
[. . .]
I have been writing a book, not in my native language, about violins and smoke, lines and dots, free to speak and become the things we speak, pages which sit up, look around and row resolutely toward the setting sun."
--Michael Palmer, from "Sun"