March 31, 2005

Implementation B: Second look at Galatea

I am beginning to disagree with the labels I have placed upon the characters in Galatea 2.2.

Lentz, for example, the technologically advanced, and hence stereotypical character of numbness, is not that label at all. Upon discovering Richard looking at a photograph of he and his wife, taken by his son, he responds to him rather poetically:

"Lentz I knew could never have posed for such a shot...'And you're still...?' I didn't know what I was asking. 'There is no 'still,' Marcel. 'Still' is for unravished brides of quietness."

Powers is maintaining his touchy-feeling outlook on events, but there is a hardness creeping in (or was it already there?).

In this section, for example, his sentimentality takes center stage, but with a pessimistic air:

Richard Powers:"It could bump up against word lists forever and never have more than a collection of arbitrary, differentiated markers...We take in the world continuously. It presses against us. It burns and freezes."

While he is constantly reminiscing about his love lost C., he is reaching a new level of pessimism with the rejected experimentations through the alphabet. They are now on G.

Continuing work in mixed mediums. I may work on this for my final project. Hm. Something with film.

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March 28, 2005

A student's muse sings

What you think is yours--
Is mine.
What distress?
It's not your own--
All mine.
Don't take credit for my disdain.
I should be on your works cited page.

I don't take vacations.
I listen to your rantings daily.
Of how You feel. How You endure.

The headaches, eye twitches
Are from my intermittent screams
In your head.
You're twisting a sonnet screw in my thumb.

Can you face--alone--the sting of syllabi,
The timed transactions of thought?
Never without me.

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March 26, 2005

Shifting realities: Fiction and Fact,
Gaming and Pseudo-AI

I don't think I have had so much fun with a scholarly article before. Whoa--never thought that sentence would come out of me.

But this article is not published yet. Dr. Jerz's "You Are Standing at the Beginning of a Road: Examining Will Crowther's 'Advent'" (c. 1975)" is still in the draft stage.

Missing the top line: [Draft, 22 Mar 2005], I silently commended the publishing journal for eing open-minded enough to accept some question marks in the dates displayed. That is, for example, when Eliza was published. However, when I read "by contract" instead of "by contrast" I thought something was wrong. Don't get me wrong, it is a very good draft. Entertaining, especially when talking about the "wumpus". I had to laugh at the irony of talking about a "wumpus" in a scholarly article:

"I smell a wumpus"


Respectfully, I want to note, the entire article style reminds me of something I would read in the Onion, but that is the nature of the study--a serious analytical look at a fun industry.

In any case, draft or final product, I am finally seeing where all of this is going. The description passages, for instance, really helped me hone in on what we are studying.

Interactive Fiction (IF) games do make a player give up the realities of what is there on the screen, and press one to use one's imagination, a quite different medium than television, movies, or video games. It is true that as an IF player, a need for "multiple [sense appeal]" is needed to "intensify the player's collaboration in creating [a] world." I think that is why I like the newer IF games. The descriptions are lengthy of the world, while still permitting the player to think like a reader, rather than a viewer.

As for the format of the IF games, as Jerz notes, "Will was very proud--or more accurately amused--of how well he could fool people into thinking that there was some very complex AI [Artificial Intelligence] behind the game," says Mike Kraler.

It is easy in the newer games to be fooled into thinking there is something amazing at work behind these lines of coding. And there is--in the coding. I am not a professional coder, and I am in awe of the thought behind each line. In Writing for the Internet, I could not believe that some of the students were actually going to take on an IF game. I have it on good authority that it is a very difficult, but rewarding undertaking.

And now for the connections, I have been reading Galatea 2.2. While I do think that it is a bit egotistical and confusing (authobiographical) for the author and the protagonist of the story to have the same name: Richard Powers, I am getting into the story.

The cover art by Michael Ian Kaye is really intriguing. Once side is a clear image of the subject (Galatea?, not really sure, but probably--I tried finding the original--to no avail) and the other a pixelated version of the same image flipped on the horizontal axis. How appropriate for the storyline. Switching from personal aesthetic reflections on his life to his current anesthetic existence at the Center where he works, Richard attempts to bring both worlds together, but one, I predict will prevail. His robot coming to life bodes well for the anesthetic. This attempt to make his robot function as closely to human English analytical processes as possible makes his real life existence all the more sympathetic in his need to capture real human feeling.

While I do know what happens to a point, I will not spoil the story, as I have before. I would like to see who wins out, though--the portrait or pixels.

The mixture of mediums is great in Galatea: English texts-personal (as in Powers), computer dynamics-impersonal (Lentz), the cover art-computerized pixelation of a classic artwork--the original, like Powers' life, is somewhat damaged. It is all coming together in my head.

See what a little Easter Break can do? :-)

Oh yeah, I have time to watch Blade Runner, too. I'll be watching for Metropolis-inspired settings. :-)

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March 24, 2005

Beautiful March Madness

I never did like March very much, but something has changed this year. While I have been crazed with school work, busy with the Setonian, and sleepy from various trips, I have seen these days pass in wonder.

I have to mark this occasion, however. I wrote an eight-page paper on Iraq, created a speech, and studied for a final test in Islam in one day. I am so finished with procrastination.

I've been busy though. You all know about Habitat for Humanity, but as for NYC, I have a few stories...

I arrived a bit late. Um, maybe really late. I got a call at 6:30 a.m. from my pal Diana, wondering where I was--the buses were supposed to leave at 6:00. !!!!!!

After my customary freak out, I realized that I had to stop jabbering oh-my-goshes and get moving. The problem was that I could not reach Greensburg fast enough to get the buses. Oh my. The entire weekend hung in the balance of where I could meet them. Jaimie Steel, amazing activities director at Seton Hill, said that our first stop was in Allentown. Where is Allentown?!! However, I had hope. Where were the buses getting on the turnpike?

Thankfully it was in New Stanton, rather close to where I live. After jetting in my mother's monstrous van (Thanks Daddy for putting your life and mine in jeopardy :-)), I met the buses at the turnpike. I got applause when I stepped on the bus. Not too bad of a reception for the slacker.

My pals thought I was in a car wreck or something because I am ALWAYS punctual. How crazy. That's the last time I set my clock for p.m. instead of a.m. :-D

After about an hour into the drive, the other bus began smoking profusely, and we stopped along the road waiting to see if the bus was a) going to explode into heinous flames or b) tucker out from smoking and just die. The latter proved true. What to do with all of the passengers? Some would stay for a replacement vehicle (filled with drunk people, or so I have been told), and others would go with us onto New York directly. Luck seemed to be on our side when the lottery permitted Chris to join me and the rest of the crew on the non-defective bus. Serendipity (?).

After settling in at the Hotel Edison, we hit the beautiful streets of NY. FYI: I got my wonderful cheesecake from the same deli as last year. Yummy.

We walked everywhere. While we did get a bit lost (we walked the wrong direction for a bit), all was well. What a beautiful city.

On Friday night we got free tickets to the NYC Improv Club. A great show, although it was stand-up comedians, rather than what I think of improv. Nevertheless, I think our group left with sides aching--I know I did.

On Saturday, we walked everywhere again, but this walk took the (cheese)cake--quite literally actually--from our Times Square hotel to Battery Park...and then back again. We walked the entire length of Broadway on the way back. Great exercise. We ate like maniacs that evening. Combos, a hotdog, and an apple (mine) just can't cut it.

Oh, and on the way back from our unfortunate Ellis Island attempt, we passed through Chinatown. Chris and I walked passed a lady and we saw her drop something out of her coat. Much to our surprise, it was a kitchen knife. Even better, she turns around and casually says, "Oh my knife," and picks it up and keeps walking like it is the most natural thing in the entire world to be carrying an unsheathed knife in her pocket. Only in NY...

And now for my mini-gallery. My camera was acting screwy, since a can of ginger ale opened in my bag, but I did salvage some. If you do not like these, oh photography critics, check out the pro's.

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The Ellis Island tour boats sold out early, so we took the alternative route my family and I accidentally took last year: the Staten Island Ferry. Not bad at all for a view of the Statue of Liberty, and in this photo, Brooklyn.
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There's something about cows, dead (leather) or alive (yay for pretty farms!), that I love.
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These dancers were so talented. In this pic, they are doing a midget dance routine.
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He's not the only one who can make wallets...
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Taking a photo break in Central Park. How lovely.

New York City...my second hometown. Not to impune upon my family's fun honor, but it was SO much more fun this time. Thank you for it. :-)

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March 21, 2005

Chatting with familiars

Eliza:

I met Eliza last semester during my Writing for the Internet independent study, but chatting once again was lovely. I kept writing, "I am tired" and I got the typical "Why are you tired? Did you come to me because you are tired?" responses.

However, for this class, I am a bit puzzled as to what I am supposed to be studying. Is it the interactive gaming format aspect? If so, I would have to say that the limited nature of Eliza, though a marvel of early code (created in 1966), does have much to learn from the chatbots of today. I mean, I got my sister thinking that she was actually talking to a person when I showed her some of the bots on IM.

On Adventure:

Adventure looks at the world with technical eyes. "There is a rock with a slit." "There is a forest." The story is not setting based in the fact that it is not the most descriptive in beauty, as a novel would be, but rather, plot based with the idea that the setting is the plot.

Adventure is a starting point for interactive games, and I am happy to see that things have progressed further, though I have issues with interactive fiction altogether.

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March 17, 2005

NYC AGAIN!

I'm off again. Lots of stories and pics to come.

Hopefully better than last year's family version...

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Metropolis and Aesthetic Mediation

Metropolis:

When watching Metropolis, I could not stop myself from thinking how great it would be if everything would burst into Wizard of Oz-type technicolor when the workers unite and begin to destroy the machines. However, in the beginning, I thought it was very appropriate the film to be in black-and-white, and it lends an even more monotonous feel to the film's technology, enhancing the plight of the workers.

Machinery dominates, of course. The workers in the film walk around for the majority of the movie with heads down, walking slowly toward their tasks. This seems to reinforce the idea that in an era of machines, human beings are expendable commodities that may work as interchangeable parts, just as the machine does.

While I was disappointed to find that titles in this silent film were few and far between, I began to really appreciate the actors' expressions, and even black-lipped beauty, as the movie progressed. The aesthetic beauty of the people, albeit 1920's style, made me realize that the same classic features are still sought after; for example, as in The Aviator, Cate Blanchett--a carbon copy of Katharine Hepburn.

The experimental seduction of mechanistic modernism in Eugene O'Neill's 'Dynamo' and the Federal Theatre Project's 'Altars of steel':

A nice long name for an article. Although I had issues understanding the majority of this article, this struck me:

These lavishly illustrated works show the influence of Lang's film 'Metropolis'...not just in the design of urban skyscrapers but also in the manner in which they emphasised teeming masses of humanity moving through the streets--less like blood through networks of veins, and more like a viscous fluid pressed nto tightly regulated streams, lubricating a great urban machine.

I had never thought about this, but it is true that the current skyscrapers of New York and even Hartford (yes, I've been there now), look a lot like the ones in Metropolis. The lines of windows, stretching up in grays and blacks into the sky are very reminiscent of those in the imagined film work of Lang.

The Americanization of Expressionism: The Hairy Ape (1922) and The Adding Machine (1923):

Before reading the Wikipedia entry on The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, I really did not have any idea of what expressionism is. I mean, it does have "expression" in the title, but what is it expressing? The audience....the artist? After reading up, I found that the artist is just expressing one's self without thought to the audience who will (probably?) view it.

I really want to kick myself, because if I had known this concept before my last paper, I could have gone beyond Freud vs. New Criticism.

In this article, Jerz characterizes The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, as

"An unrealistic, nightmarish setting, [with] the director employ[ing] painted cutouts for interior and exterior sets, arranging them asymmetrically, skewing all the horizontal and vertical lines. The misshapen angles, grotesque make-up, and striking lighting effects defin[ing] a visual standard for German expressionism."

When thinking of the scenery in Metropolis, the stages were as real to life as they possibly could be (that is, without special effects). The lab scene, for example, is startlingly well done, considering the minimal film technology for the time. The ellipticals around Robot Maria, for example, could only be achieved by some creative visual effects--revolutionary.

These effects were, according to Wikipedia, achieved with the artist's expression in mind, rather than the audience (relationship to expressionism); but isn't it lucky for the director that the audiences also enjoys scenes like this?

I am not entirely sure that expression in film is a not an oxymoron, especially in the current industry. The almighty dollar takes away from the possibility for the odd, unique, and artsy.

While this film did get really slow toward the end, and the credits were sadly minimal, I have a new appreciation for the expressions of actors and actresses, sound, and finally the portrayal of technology in film, whether real or imagined.

And finally an analysis of the thematic quote:

There can be no understanding between the hands and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator.

Hands: workers, Brain: Federson (big business--man), and Mediator: Federson's son who gets the girl: Maria. What a lovely shot at the end when the white-clad Federson's son holds hands between his father and the worker. If only we all could just get along like that...:-)

On the Ballet (?):
The question mark is to indicate confusion... Though I like the idea behind this musical score (using many instruments in synchronization and it finally being accomplished), I think it sounds a bit more like Daffy Duck falling down a flight of stairs. Sorry--not my ears' cup-o-tea.

I read the background before actually hearing it, and it is a lovely story of overcoming technological medium obstacles and finally realizing a dream, but only twenty-first century creators could put something like this together for real.

On RUR:
I remember in Writing for the Internet my first year, that one of our first assignments was to research the origins of the smiley. I had no idea what a smiley was back then.

However, in RUR, Jerz notes that this is the place where the word "robot" was coined.

Robots now have connotations with them, as do smileys, but this play made me think twice about the clunky piece of machinery image I have in my head:

DOMAIN: Have you ever seen what a Robot looks like
inside?

HELENA: Good gracious, no!

DOMAIN: Very neat, very simple. Really a beautiful piece of work.

Aesthetically-pleasing robots...hm. Just screwed up that stereotype. Sheesh I really have to work on this animating the inanimate habit I have developed. Robot oppression--I am becoming Helena--the robot freedom fighter. :-D

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March 14, 2005

Aethetics and Urbanization: from Walden Pond to Skyscrapers

So many flavors of aesthetic beauty--I felt like I was eating rainbow sherbet on a hot day when I read these:

From Walden: "Sounds" and "Solitude"

Thoreau is one of my favorites. I mean, how can you not love a reclusive who lives by a pond and reflects upon his quiet existence? As a summer lover, I spent my afternoon reading away in dare I say, pleasure? at assigned readings. I think it has me entrance with the beauties to come in a couple of months, in Solitude, for example, images like, "the bullfrogs trump[ing] to usher in the night" or "the gentle rain," I daydream on this frosty night.

In "Sounds," however, I caught on to where the lesson is headed. Media, technology, of course. I think what hinged my mind to this was the placement of predators of nature in conjunction with technology:

Hawks are circling about my clearing; the tantivy of wild pigeons, flying by two and threes athwart my view, or perching restless on the white pine boughs behind my house, gives a voice to the air; a fish hawk dimples the glassy surface of the pond and brings up a fish; a mink steals out of the marsh before my door and seizes a frog by the shore; the sedge is bending under the weight of the reed-birds flitting hither and thither; and for the last half-hour I have heard the rattle of railroad cars, now dying away and then reviving like the beat of a partridge, conveying travellers from Boston to the country.


Through this placement of detail, one may see that his peaceful little world on Walden Pond is being intruded upon by the progress of the era, albeit distant in his time.

And then the urban...this weekend I am visiting NYC again--how appropriate to appreciate the aesthetics of the city before I actually visit. Great timing on this one, Dr. Jerz. Unintentional, probably, but nevertheless, perfect.

Concerning the poem: "The Great Figure" and the painting: The Figure 5 in Gold:
I love looking at artwork, but sometimes I cannot articulate what I see, so I really enjoy it when the written word inspires art.

In many ways the poem, with its sharp lines and lack of punctuation reflects the staccato beat of the city. In the same manner, the painting also indicates this no-nonsense attitude with sharp lines, some confusion--but still orderly composition of Demuth's painting.

McNeill's "Skyscraper Geography":
In this journal article, I was surprised at the timeliness of the information. Not only was Freedom Tower--the new building to replace the Trade Towers mentioned--but also relatively current films, such as Die Hard.

His ideas concerning skyscrapers as both a part of the surrounding area, the skyline of the city, and also an individual mark of human achievement, take on a new aesthetic value.

I always viewed New York City as a skyline, until I visited. When I did walk around, I noted, as McNeill states, these "gargantuan footprints on the urban geography of the city" and stood in awe at their individual demonstration of power. However, McNeill does not demote the skyline; in fact, he states, "Impossible to ever inhabit in its totality, existent in full dramatic form only from a relatively distant perspective, the skyline is nonetheless the most frequently invoked image when considering the impact of skyscrapers on cities."

I have much more to say about this article, specifically concerning these areas, but I will condense:

"Within a lot of architectural discourse, the rather crude 'global-local' construct recurs frequently...This presents particular challenges in the developmental states of southeast Asia that have explicitly adopted skyscrapers and infastructure projects as symbols of national modernization."--I have many, many things to say about this orientalist view of the "Eastern" (?) world. Let's just say Islam with Dr. Dardery has opened my eyes.

As for the cinematic understanding of McNeill, he is sorely lacking in chick flick knowledge. What about An Affair to Remember or Sleepless in Seattle? Hmm. I'll have to say something about that in class...

I particularly enjoyed it when McNeill cited Donald Trump in association with the egotistical and/or phallic. I could not have stated it better. :-)

His quote reeks of the typical egoism that makes me cringe when I see his image: "I like thinking big. I always have."

So much to say about this article, but I really must move on for now.

The poem: "To Brooklyn Bridge":

Dr. Jerz describes this poem as an "urban poem," but it sounds more like a nineteenth century work with anachronistic elements, such as traffic lights and subways, inserted. The combination adds an air of romantic mysticism to the urban life; for example, details such as, "immaculate sigh of stars/ Beading thy path--condense eternity" or "how could mere toil align thy choiring strings!" take the reader into an almost dreamlike state. How easily Crane makes the reader forget the litter and noise of the city.

The aesthetics of urban life can really be appreciated by an outsider from a small town, but to really study and live in NYC (perhaps, I haven't done a bio on Crane) and appreciate it still for its lovely scope is something to read with interest.

Dr. Jerz's WTC page:
One poem struck me:

David Lehman "The World Trade Center" (1996) I never liked the World Trade Center. When it went up I talked it down As did many other New Yorkers. The twin towers were ugly monoliths That lacked the details the ornament the character Of the Empire State Building and especially The Chrysler Building, everyone's favorite, With its scalloped top, so noble. The World Trade Center was an example of what was wrong With American architecture, And it stayed that way for twenty-five years Until that Friday afternoon in February When the bomb went off and the buildings became A great symbol of America, like the Statue Of Liberty at the end of Hitchcock's Saboteur. My whole attitude toward the World Trade Center Changed overnight. I began to like the way It comes into view as you reach Sixth Avenue From any side street, the way the tops Of the towers dissolve into white skies In the east when you cross the Hudson Into the city across the George Washington Bridge.

(From "Valentine Place" [Scribner, 1996]. Originally published in "The Paris Review." [source -- text not verified] )

Perception changes, this poem demonstrates when something monumental happens. The ugly finds its swan within. The towers found their swan, ironically, through tragedy. They reached a new standard of beauty--loaded with meaning of American ingenuity and strength, and finally after the collapse, the ability for America to persevere and save one another. But isn't that the best kind of beauty--when meaning and aesthetic standards finally find a medium?

It's lovely to think that from even ashes beautiful things may come.

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March 12, 2005

Housing the Pics: Habitat for Humanity 2005

As many of you already know, we are back from our Seton Hill University Connecticut Habitat for Humanity trip.

I have many, many pics on the other end of this entry, so beware...you're in for the odd, heartwarming, and lovely.

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Drywalling Divas: Karissa and I loved our drills for drywalling, which we did the entirety of the work days. Window frames are our specialty.

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I dropped about a thousand screws, but it is picking them up that counts. My drill prowess on display :-)

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Darren, SHU's food master chef man and also drywalling superman, takes a well-earned break in the bathroom with a good drywall book.

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Move over Charlie's Angels...

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We inhaled so much drywall. Sheetrock: The breakfast of champions.
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You always need one of these pics--doublechins and all

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We visited Mystic, Connecticut one day. We had a bit too much fun in the toy store. Yeah, that's me--the viking.

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Getting together in front of South Church in Glastonbury where we slept. We showered at the Jewish Community Center in Hartford across town.
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We were pretty bushed by this time--note the slant.

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This is the house we drywalled. We mainly focused on the upstairs rooms, while other volunteer groups worked downstairs.

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Karissa has hot coffee. Don't tell, but it tasted like dirt. I even tried Splenda, and it didn't help. :-)

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Karissa and I finally got some time to spend together.

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Karissa and I together again--albeit covered in drywall dust.

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The toughest part of drywalling at the house was raising the ceilings. I am a bit shorter than some, but I was effectual on a ladder. Karissa amazed us all.

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Our pretty living quarters: South Church of Glastonbury--thank you so much for hosting us!

No matter what we did--we laughed. I can't tell you how great it was to wake every morning with my sides aching.

Though some of us were achy, dryskinned, and sick, I think we all benefitted from this time working for someone other than ourselves.

We learned that the house we worked on is going to be a Cambodian couple's. They have children, which is great because we kept saying that it would be great if this were a baby's room or a bunk bed dungeon for some romping little boys (or girls).

I can't really say what the best of the trip was. Some highlights would have to be the reflections in the evenings when we would get together and do an activity. From sharing stories about the day's work to drawing with markers on tablecloths the "ideal volunteer", I enjoyed this time of peace and sharing. We should have sung "Kumbayah". THAT would have made my week.

We also went bowling (Karissa has those pics) and watched movies galore. Because we got snowed in a couple of times, we had some free time. Huh? Free time?

On that subject, I did read a bit for Media Aesthetics and my proof of the Setonian, but other than that, I had a very relaxing few days. I slept and slept and slept.

Although I missed home and the sweet ones here, this is what break should be--this is what we should be doing all the time.

You look at your house differently. You imagine the people--the effort--behind what you have, and finally appreciate it for every piece of drywall, board and screw in it.

This trip was wicket sweet.

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March 5, 2005

An internet absence

I think I am anticipating the next few days of "roughing it" with Habitat for Humanity by going on the internet every spare moment between packing.

I think I have packed pretty well, albeit more than I had anticipated...as usual. I am not saying that I am high maintenance, but I like to have enough clothes, considering the warmth factor (or absence thereof) in Connecticut.

As for break without the internet, I am going to be tested to my limit. Papers are due and I am going into crunch mode when I return. Somehow, though, I will survive. Just to clear my head for a while with strenuous work. I get some of my best ideas when I am doing physical work.

I haven't really thought about this trip until today. And now...the anticipation is delicious.

It's just the catch-up that I anticipate with scrunched brows.

Have a lovely week, SHUers and beyond. I'm away--meeting and greeting another piece of the world.

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March 4, 2005

Somewhat travelled

Via Sue's blog:

Bold="states I have been to" Underline="states I have lived in" Italicize="state I am in now"

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri /Montana / Nebraska/ Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennslyvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C. / Additional (not a state, but worth mentioning): Mexico

Next week I can bold Connecticut on this list. :-)

I would like to live in a few more states, preferably one with an ocean next door. Maybe North Carolina...

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March 3, 2005

An Indication

I stuck my key in my car trunk lock and turned. It would not budge. I turned again--harder this time. Still nothing. Again, I turned. "It's the ice or a bag obstructing my entry," I thought, turning the key once again. Finally I lifted my head and peered in the windows of my car, thinking that maybe I could crawl in through the fold-down to get in the back.

I was looking at a book with Seton Hill Griffins on the cover. Um, must be something I got from a table in front of the dining hall. Hm....

Then I saw it: the door for gas pumping was practically ripped off. After fiddling with the floppy door, I realized I would keep it as secret as I could from my dad. I mean I have had issues with hitting things. But I don't think it was me...Then I got angry. How could anyone just do a hit-and-run gas door rip-off?

I looked in again, thinking that I should go to the other side and open the door--electric locks. Looking in, something odd struck me--I didn't think that is the color of my upholstery, was it? (The sun was shining in my eyes, so I couldn't get a good look). Then I looked in again.

That was the moment I realized I was trying to open up someone else's car.

It took me approximately fifteen minutes of looking at "my" vehicle to realize that it was indeed not mine. I am a commuter--I should know my car.

Indication no. 1 that spring break has come not a moment too soon.

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March 1, 2005

Shelton coincidence

After reading the excerpt from Shelton Waldrep's "The Aesthetic Realism of Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray" and the entire work while writing my paper, I noticed the idealistic manner in which Wilde approaches his current society.

In this excerpt, for example, Shelton relates that the Hellenic ideal was to be strived for in Wilde's present day in connection to the new aesthetic.

I like his compilation of the two worlds--the old and new; it is perhaps what we should strive to achieve today, that understanding that the old should be just as appreciated as the "new" ideal.

In my paper, I quoted Shelton in relation to the spectator in art. Yes, I finally found a topic for my paper: the importance of the spectator in the communication of art.

While I was a bit rushed in compiling my work for this paper, after reading the text assigned, I will make sure to reread Mr. Shelton, perhaps expanding my topic to the role of Hellenic ideals in Dorian's response to his painting, and in Lord Henry's influence upon Dorian's artful life.

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