May 02, 2006

A farewell to blogs...for now!

Overview: I blog more and more each semester and thanks to Mike Rubino, I finally know how to post links. I got alot of great feedback from classmates on the plays we read and got better at making a thesis statement thanks to to the class in general. My favorite entries were about Truss and Haddon. I had alot of fun with Antony and Cleopatra, too. I think these are my most in-depth blogs yet. There's a wide selection here, enjoy!

Timeliness: Claim, Data, Warrant
Foster Ch. 10-12
Bowers Article
"Disillusionment poem"
I Heart You
Depth: Changes in Antony and Cleo critical essay
Haddon up to 119
Coverage: Diamond Age 1
To the very heart of loss
Comment Primo: I was the first to comment on Kevin and Danielle's blogs.
Comment Grande: Almost all of my comments on Amanda's blogs were super-long especially the ones about Haddon, W;it, and Diamond Age.
Interaction: Diamond Age 3
Is utopia obsolete?
Discussion: The Machine Stops
Sections 1, 3, 5
Foster 19 and 20
Wildcard: Original Sonnet
Comma Addicts Unite!
Haddon 2
Resurrection Blues

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:23 PM | Comments (0)

April 30, 2006

Resurrection Blues 3

This ending wasn't as hoped as I expected it to be but it's still very significant because it marks all the characters different reactions to Charley's going to "heaven." Through their testimonies at the end, the characters all seemed to realize that his death effected each of them differently. They saw their own mistakes, greed, and the importance of love. Charley had to die as Jesus did to make people realize this and it seems that although he made this huge sacrifice you can tell that people are going to go right back to doing the bad things they were doing before, but now they are more aware of their own lives. I think Miller has a very powerful voice in his writing. While it can be bleak and scandulous, it portrays people as they really are. This reading was more than I expected from Miller and he really poked fun at the media which is perfect for what we're doing right now.

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2006

Resurrection Blues 2

I really enjoyed this part of the book. At first I didn't have my hands on a copy but I borrowed a friends and I'm glad I did. Emily reminds me of Pilate in the Bible because he didn't necessarily agree in the crucifixtion and what was related to it, but he went along with it. Emily seems to be doing the same thing. We are often tempted to go with the crowd and I think this issue is prevalent throughout this book. Miller mocks media and actually makes the terrible things that the government (or whoever is pissing us anyone off at the time) does seem funny, kinda like Michael Moore. I am anxious to find out the realness of Ralph. Maybe he'll have a bigger role than we expected. What do you think?

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:12 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2006

The Diamond Age 3

This was actually very hard for me to put down towards the end because the more Nell learned, the more she became her own person and watching the learning process makes me look at my own life. It reminded me of how I am making mistakes and learning from them throughout this semester. I'm learning the importance of being prepared and how to set priorities. This book really reminded me of what we studied in Foster. You may go on a quest looking for one thing, (in Nell's case it was at first about freedom) and end up getting something completely different. Nell learned who she was, what she could accomplish. and how to problem-solve. Miranda had become a part of her life. I think Miranda learned alot to. She seemed sort of apathetic about her life until she realized the value of it by seeing the struggles that Nell was going through just to survive. Everyone must go through roadblocks in learning and this is what captivated me so much about Nell. She was such an individual because she wasn't just settling into a random tribe, but rather learning who she really was first. The theme of individuality stuck with me much more than technology. It was the wonderful technology that was dispensed thanks to Hackworth, Finkle-McGraw, and Dr. Fang. I have to say it taught me to appreciate technology a little more because in the past, present, and future it will save us from many trials.

Posted by ErinWaite at 08:50 PM | Comments (1)

April 17, 2006

"Is Utopia Obsolete?"

This article was very interesting and it brought up alot of good points. The author suggests that Diamond Age society is more of a hybrid of utopia if anything. There are the Victorians in this book and then there are the ways that the first Victorians raised their children. It was so much more refined and strict. Children were not usually running the streets almost wild and neglected as Nell and Bud are in the Diamond Age. Nell seems to grow into the model of a Victorian upbringing when she becomes more and more educated and learns how to become a high-standing member of this society. I believe she wouldn't have the vast education if she grew up in the first Victorian age, but she may have been safer. I liked how the Primer had the potential to save many young girls in the Diamond Age. Without education, even today we would'nt have half as many opportunities as we do. We may not have Utopia, but if we keep learning, it may not seem so obsolete.

Posted by ErinWaite at 11:04 AM | Comments (2)

April 15, 2006

Diamond Age

In the first half of this book, I was a bit overwhelmed at the cultural references and the tribes. I became even more overwhelmed by the technology, but the way it is being used to save Nell's life is starting to reel me in.
“…Miranda never needed much evidence to confirm her belief that rich parents were just as capable of fucking with their children’s minds as anyone.” (136)
The relationship between Nell and Miranda that seems to be developing reminds me that even though there are so many advances during this time, there is sadl, poor children like Nell who have so much potential and are still getting screwed because of their parents. I guess it goes to show that all the technology in the world and the things that we have to save time and make things easier can sometimes ruin the relationships that we are trying to build by using them. I also enjoyed how PhyrePhox (another clever name) was enjoying his torture and seemed to be the one torturing Dr. Fang more. The Dinosaur’s Tale made me think of the relationship between Nell as Dojo (who perhaps is teaching Nell humility) and Miranda as the King. I love watching Nell advance through these books and it would be rather amazing to see our own children get that much out of a book some day.
“He turned away and saw that the young woman was smiling at him. It was not a flirting smile or a silly girlish smile but a calm and confident smile. Judge Fang supposed that wherever Dr. X was on this ship, he must be smiling in much the same way at this moment.” (167) Judge Fang has seen how much the Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer could help these young girls, he begins to understand PhyrePhox and is seeking Hackworth’s value in this situation. While at first I was daunted by the technology, I am now interested in the plight of Nell. This is the first science fiction book I have ever read (I’m embarrassed to admit it), but it’s great because it actually has a plot. It is not all about aliens plotting Armageddon, but a story of human relationships as well. It’s sad that Nell’s mother loves to be tortured and loathes Victorian men, but I am enjoying watching Nell’s progress. When she beat up Kevin on the playground and is reading and making up her own stories, it really shows. I also liked the sign about sending a gun to protect British homes. Nowadays, gun laws are so strict and many people just want them to hunt and protect their families. Sometimes, they are abused and I’m glad they are strict. When I read about children shooting each other in the papers, I want to blame the parents. The importance of parent/child relationships and learning seem to be prominent in this book, what do you think?


Posted by ErinWaite at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2006

Diamond Age 1

I found the technology confusing at first, considering what a loser I am even when it comes to figuring out e-mailing, but I got into the characters themselves. I appreciated Nell's innocence and the fact that she just wanted a bed for her dolls. Still, she is going to be our hero going on this quest, even though her parents seem to be a little unsavory. It seems funny that children always end up compensating for what their parents lack, but I think that's a universal truth on many levels. I also enjoyed the references to makeup that matches emotions, but I think that sadness would mean bad makeup and you don't need technology for waterproof mascara to make you look like a racoon :) Besides the interesting advances, I also enjoyed the witty little character names like Bud and Tequila and Hackworth. Names were always about characteristics and I think it's funny, because half the people I see running around with names like Mercedes and Roman have looks and personalities that don't match their names in the slightest. Overall, as I delve further into this book, I think Nell is who will keep me interested because she is so different than the rest of the people in her time.

Posted by ErinWaite at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

Foster 24 and 25

Chapter 24 was great because it tied in with everything we've been discussing with Christopher. Some of his greatest weaknesses were among his greatest strengths. Who, among us, has that sort of honesty? In Disney movies, it is always the outcasts like the Beast and Quasimodo that have the greatest capacity to love and heal people. I think that whatever their physical scar is kind of determines what their strength will be. If they are blind, they may have a great ear. Some of the musicians are Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles and I think this is because they have to see the notes in their minds and listen to things on a whole different level. The themes that Foster picks out in novels are very obvious, but they are the most important. We need to break ourselves of the conditioned responses we were forced to give in high school and really just enjoy the stories we read for what they are. We do need to consider the plot and setting, but it doesn't always relate to us. Sometimes, a peach is just a peach.

Posted by ErinWaite at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

Foster 24 and 25

Chapter 24 was great because it tied in with everything we've been discussing with Christopher. Some of his greatest weaknesses were among his greatest strengths. Who, among us, has that sort of honesty? In Disney movies, it is always the outcasts like the Beast and Quasimodo that have the greatest capacity to love and heal people. I think that whatever their physical scar is kind of determines what their strength will be. If they are blind, they may have a great ear. Some of the musicians are Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles and I think this is because they have to see the notes in their minds and listen to things on a whole different level. The themes that Foster picks out in novels are very obvious, but they are the most important. We need to break ourselves of the conditioned responses we were forced to give in high school and really just enjoy the stories we read for what they are. We do need to consider the plot and setting, but it doesn't always relate to us. Sometimes, a peach is just a peach.

Posted by ErinWaite at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2006

Truss Ch. 4 and 5

It's funny that I find dashes much easier to grasp than hyphens. Hyphens, as I said on Danielle's blog, remind me of those feminist women who insist on having two last names that sound awful together than just take their husband's name. Truss was a little less capitvating to me in these chapters, but she helped me understand the errors that I make on a day-to-day basis with this - and ---. They both serve multiple purposes. A hyphen is linking. It links nouns to each other. The dash is great for a dramatic pause or when someone is interupted in dialogue. I think I have a better idea, but the dashes are still a little blurry.

Posted by ErinWaite at 10:16 AM | Comments (0)

April 04, 2006

Haddon 2

I found the ending of this book to actually achieve what Christopher had hoped it would, in a way. I actually couldn't put it down, because I find it so interesting to see the world through someone's eyes that are so different from my own. I actually got quite used to the detail that he explained things and I acutally saw alot of similarities between he and his mother towards the end. Like Andy had said, it takes more of a detective to find your mother in such a big city. He really was on the type of quest that we talked about before. I admired his plight so much more because the heroes in most books never get into the details of their weaknesses and I love that fact that because of his personality, it does. His parent's love for him and the way they fanned out their fingers to show their love for Christopher moved me so much. It takes heart to really try and understand anyone's perspectives that are different, so really I think this story did what is was supposed to.

Posted by ErinWaite at 05:51 PM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2006

"Is the dog done yet?" Haddon up to p.119

Note: for those of you who are logically inclined and want to get to the point of all this rambling go straight to * area.
“I do not think you would stick a garden fork into a dog after it had died for some other reason, like cancer, for example, or a road accident.” (Haddon 1).
Since my dog passed away on Friday, I was laughing and crying from the beginning of this novel. This quote made me think of a dog being like a baked potato, poke it with a fork, see if it’s done (I know this is morbid humor, but that’s just how I think). I couldn’t put it down. He writes with humor and when he talked about facial expressions, I looked around at all the dorky faces people in the computer lab were making (I know, I’m a dork too) and wondered if their faces really had anything to do with how they were feeling. Maybe they were just making the “I’m concentrating so hard, I look constipated” face and I shouldn’t analyze. ;) Anyhow, it said that Haddon worked with autistic children who have unusual talents and Christopher certainly does. I noticed also that British Lit (if you call Bridget Jones’ Diary and Roald Dahl books literature, which I do thank you very much, Dr. J!) is much more liberal with toilet humor and curses as well as more vivid descriptions of rather disgusting characters and scene. Can you tell I’m thrilled to not have to digest yet another stale, crusty “Classic” that many others seems to gobble up? No more in-depth analysis of Huckleberry Finn, life is good! Terms like “proper” and “meters” are sprinkled throughout to remind you of setting and I love the way Christopher describes the number of holes in Mr. Jeavons’ shoes since he is so skilled and interested in math.
“…Some dogs were cleverer and more interesting than some people.” (Haddon 6)
Amen, brother! Molly (my dog) was and probably still is smarter than most humans. If people like Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson can be called savvy business women, my dog could’ve have easily been the protagonist of a book, or perhaps have her own talk show, “The Hunt for Rabbits and Fixed Males.” I’m not as crazy a dog person as cat people are with their cats, but I guess this is just my funny way of paying homage to my Molly. What is up with people that wear cat sweaters and have mini-vans with “My Siamese is Smarter than your Honor Student,” anyway (true, the cat probably is and I hate overly proud parents of ANY species)? The same goes for dog people, but I guess my question for everyone is, on a silly note, how much smarter are we really?
*Finally, (I’ve made you work your ass off for it) here’s my thesis: I don’t know if Christopher is autistic or just super-smart in ways that I’m not, but he seems to reveal one trait that we all have. That is, we like logical explanations for things and when we don’t always get them, we can get rather irate. Agree or disagree? Please respond.
“I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.” (Haddon 12)

Posted by ErinWaite at 12:47 PM | Comments (2)

March 22, 2006

Original Sonnet

The air hangs heavy like a cloak over town
The smells and sounds of summer are now here
Barbequeing, children playing outside
Men on motorcycles taking a ride
Women in gardens, happy to work hard
Carnivals, parades, lots of excitement,
a celebration of life for us all
We can only hope this time will go slow
but like all good things, it must come to end.
The wind starts to blow and sun sets early
Leaves begin to fade away so quickly
And children will get the “back-to-school blues.”
Parents rejoice but hate raking the leaves
Anxiously we await the next summer.

Posted by ErinWaite at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2006

Comma Addicts, unite!

We seem to all have trouble with commas as a whole. It seems to be like an A.A. group where we need to learn that moderation is the key in beverages and commas alike. I have so much to blab about that I feel it best to get the main points out in the beginning, while people are still listening. In my Effective Speeh class at good old WCCC, we learned it's important to get the main points out right away. Truss does a great job in demonstrating the right ways of using commas and truly shows comma-phobes and comma-fiends a way to know moderation. Mike brought up a great point that if you say it aloud and pause, then that's where the comma should go. If Truss would've said it all that way, there wouldn't even need to be a chapter 2. Thanks, Mike. Comma-fiends should follow your example.

Posted by ErinWaite at 10:56 PM | Comments (0)

Here are the Noted Changes on the Critical Essay:

I bulked up my thesis simply from discussing similarities between Eve and Cleo, but I also compared Antony and Adam with evidence of their great differences and similarities. My claim was that the snakes were what Cleo and Eve alike, which was just not good enough. There was too much discussion of asps already, so I focused my claim more on the principal of women using their bodies for power as well as their minds. The data I collected was from a bigger variety of sources such as Holland, Frost, Cicero, and old Plutarch. I really enjoyed the stupid movie quote, so try not to knock it too much for its cheesiness. I used a good counter-warrant by stating that Antony was unlike Adam in the way that he was a party-guy even before his woman. I also used the what the Clown in the play said about Cleopatra to bring home the point that Cleopatra was seen as evil. I really tried to make many more connections and show more evidence of my warrant and counter-warrant in this version.

Posted by ErinWaite at 10:39 PM | Comments (0)

Changes in critical essay

From the books of Genesis 1-3, “God created man in his own likeness,” whereas women such as Eve (and in this instance, Cleopatra), were disobedient and led men into temptation. Cleopatra, as a seductress and a manipulator, put Antony under her spell and like Eve, she died by means of a serpent (Witcombe 2).
Cleopatra shows striking similar characteristics of Eve throughout the text as well as Antony, who falls in love with her and gives up his life because of her. The snake or “asp” killed her just as the serpent killed Eve whereas Adam, following a female down the path of destruction just as Antony did in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra.
"The plethora of accounts is confusing but the consistent presence of the serpent, an age-old symbol of healing as well as of evil, has ensured popular preference for this most powerful version. The Clown even says a woman is "a dish for the gods, if the devil dress her not.” (Levin?) The dress part of this may sound like Yoda-talk, but the general idea of Eve and Cleopatra’s similarities has been debated on several occasions without quite saying it. This establishes that indeed the serpent was a symbol and Eve seduced Adam in the way that the Clown speaks for Antony saying basically that Cleopatra is an evil temptress.
On the other hand, Antony had many faults of his own before he even began an affair with Cleopatra.
“If you believe Plutarch, Antony was simple, generous and easygoing, though a bit of a slob. Cicero says his orgies made him "odious," and there's a story that, after an all-night party, he rose to give a speech and threw up into the skirt of his toga while a kindly friend held it for him. Still, he was doing all right until Cleopatra came along, when he was, as Dryden laments, ‘unbent, unsinewed, made a woman's toy.’ ” This shows that Antony had been into “fishing” and “drinking” (Antony and Cleopatra) long before he had met her. Then again, he wasn’t known for being into adultery until her married Octavia and began a torrid affair with Cleopatra (Holland 6).
Money is said to be the root of all evil and a great source of power. In this case, isn’t lust used to establish power? Cleopatra used her body even to seduce Julius Caesar from the beginning when she first had herself shipped in a package of bedding to him. Historian Will Durant once wrote it wasn’t impossible that “she whispered to him the pleasant thoughts of making himself king, marrying her, and uniting the Mediterranean under one bed.” (Frost 2).
It seems that Cleopatra did what many women do daily, but on a larger scale. She wanted to marry for security, peace, and wealth which may not be far from what some women are doing in the present. There was also more to the seduction than just the sexual nature as well. Like Adam and Eve, they were in lust, but they also did “everyday things” that may have contributed to their attraction as well. They had some similar hobbies, unlike Antony and Octavia, his wife.
“She drank and gambled and hunted and fished with him. Sometimes they dressed as servants and roamed the town teasing the natives. “Anyone was buried in delicacies who stood by their kitchen door according to Frost because of Antony demanded a fresh banquet after each round of drinks (Frost 6). Besides their camaraderie, they had similar minds when it came to politics. Plutarch noted her as scholarly, spoke several languages, and was “lustful” in his two versions of her biography. He did find that she was a highly educated queen. Even Cicero, who detested her, admits she was literary and historian Al-Masudi said she was well-versed in sciences and philosophy (Frost 3). Although Cleopatra is like Eve in the way of lust, she is different in the way that she had a greater interest in politics. Yet, both Eve and Cleopatra are both intelligent in the ways that their feminine power was strong enough to steer their men off course.
Of course, as Adam was influenced, so was Antony. Cleopatra felt that Antony should have final responsibility of decision-making and that with a Greek-Roman influence; she could be a co-ruler (Holland 7). Eve wanted to exert power as well and urged Adam to eat the apple. Antony took a defeat instead of an apple for her. Like Eve again, Cleopatra had deserted him at a moment when he needed her most. If she and Eve would have stood by their lovers, perhaps this may not have happened.
Plutarch takes away some of this feeling of similarity when he suggests that the story of the asps may have been a rumor. He said she carried poison in a hollow comb and that there was no poison found on her body according to medical records or an asp seen within the monument (Holland 7).
Then again, Antony still followed her seduction by waging a war in the first place and living a corrupt life. Like Adam, he died with more honor than Eve because although he was a willing participant, he was also simply following the actions of his lover.
Overall, power can be attained on many levels, but women who have the power of seduction are just as able to survive as the men with political power.
“The men may be the head of the house but the women are the neck and they can turn the head anyway they want,” according to a character in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” As cheesy as it is to quote movies, it seems to be fitting when best trying to describe the correlation between women and the true amount of power they have over men simply for being how women were since “creation.”

Posted by ErinWaite at 10:32 PM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2006

Blank Verse Entry

O, Dr. J! I've blogged late, so sorry!
The rhythm is hard to find but I'll try.
Here goes, no one knows quite how to phrase things.
Shakespeare was a man to love and loathe so,
for what he's put us through I loathe him now.
This is like pulling teeth from a small kid.
I've forgotten how to write a sonnet,
I'm ashamed to say, so please forgive me.
So how am I doing so far Dr.?
May I have some points for at least trying?
I know I'm whining, but how'd I do?
I'd give me some points if I were like you.
Thanks for your patience I'm finally done.

Posted by ErinWaite at 11:31 AM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2006

I Heart You

I love the different meanings of "heart" Hall used in her opposing view of the previous article. To the Romans it was about courage in battle and to the Egyptians it meant affection. The cultures overlapped into marriage as another meaning for "heart" and I enjoyed how she described Enobarbus' views as well as Cleo's servant's feeling about her husbands "imaginary nose." She kind of brings up the cheesiness of the whole relationship between Antony and Cleopatra so this was much more refreshing than just reading about politics and she is sure to point out that Antony "hearts" Cleo in the way that he says that Cleo is his "conqueror." Aw, isn't that special?

Posted by ErinWaite at 07:27 PM | Comments (2)

Lucky Duck: Bowers article

Antony, you are the weakest link. Caesar, you are the lucky duck. This article to an interesting angle in an already overdone discussion of the politics in Antony and Cleopatra. The author explains that Caesar "holds all the cards" even though he acts like he is allowing Antony and Cleo some leeway, he keeps them under his thumb by marrying Antony to his sister in what looks like his attempt of keeping the peace (even though he knows that Antony will screw up with Cleo)and makes Cleo think if she sells out Antony she will have some power of her own. This is very sexual like the author said. I couldn't help but think of the triumvirate in a phallic way (Antony might have had one of his testicles for a minute and Cleo put them in her purse and Caesar was just one big sex organ.). Overall, Caesar ended up getting what he wanted even though Antony and Cleo put up a good fight. Caesar also managed to bring the Pax Romana to life, so it pays to be the bad guy. I'm starting to believe that nice guys really do finish last, but in the end they do get the girl.

Posted by ErinWaite at 07:07 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2006

"To the Very Heart of Loss"

"Fortune's association with a globe also suggests her dominance over worldly affairs of every sort. Since the conflict between Antony and Octavius is in fact concerned very precisely with the question of world dominance, there are some forty-three references to the "world" in Antony and Cleopatra"." This article mainly discussed how Cleopatra was like Fortuna the goddess and while she and Antony had many mortal qualities, there was something about them that was very god-like. She could have control over any man she wanted with her seduction qualities. Antony was also concerned with dominance. He didn't mind being ruled by Cleo but Caesar was another story. He wanted to prove to Caesar that he was his own ruler and killed himself to prove that point. There was much talk of power in this and much more talk about symbols. Levin's article was more about politics and this one was about symbols. There were many references to the sea and the world in this one. The sea represents change (the tides) and the world seems to represent wholeness and control. It seems that every character in this play wanted those things but the ways that they went about it made them each contrast eachother in very different ways. Do you think the characters contrasted eachother or were similar?

Posted by ErinWaite at 03:18 PM | Comments (0)

Richard A. Levin

Wow! This article brought up so many good claim/data/warrants, you could write a whole paper on this article alone. Levin brings up points that I hadn't even thought about. It was kind of tedious and I had to skim some parts, but I was intrigued overall.
"If Cleopatra's words are taken metaphorically, she is asking as a defeated leader for instructions from the victor; if literally, she is asking how she should physically position herself so as to be ready to accede to what 'she's forced to'." This made me think of how she seemed to be willing to offer herself to Caesar just to gain some power back but then she realizes that if she does that she'll still be surrendering. It's funny because I think that both her and Antony may have commited suicide for honor. This confirms it:Cleopatra's sarcasm veils what she wants: retention of her kingdom. Cleopatra also hints a path to her goal by alluding to the now lost but once familiar ballad, "King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid," in which a beggar woman marries a king who falls in love with her.[10] Cleopatra is hoping for the opportunity to work her charms on Caesar. That also shows the very sexual nature of the story. In the end, as Foster was discussing, it does end up usually being about sex and politics. Levin also uses the quote about the men paying for what their eyes eat. This seems evident when Antony suffers politically for loving Cleopatra. What do you think?

Posted by ErinWaite at 01:10 PM | Comments (2)

Foster: Ch. 11 & 13

Foster writes about symbols in writing. Yes, there are the general ones like, white is purity, red is war and blood, but there is more to it than that. Different countries also have different interpretations on the same symbols. In China, red means great honor. I think that it is hard to have standard symbols when we all have ones of our own. Certain shoes and songs are symbols to me that absolutely no one else would understand. Do you guys have your own symbols? As far as politics go, I hate talking about them. I will say that Shakespeare was very political in his writing. He wrote about the power struggle between Antony and Caesar as well as the hate between two rich families in Romeo and Juliet. It seems that politics almost always deal with money or power. What do you think of politics in writing?

Posted by ErinWaite at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)

Claim, Data, Warrant

Claim: Eve is like Cleopatra with the snakes and Antony is like Adam, who falls under her power.
Data: "The plethora of accounts is confusing but the consistent presence of the serpent, an age-old symbol of healing as well as of evil, has ensured popular preference for this most powerful version. The Clown even says a woman is "a dish for the gods, if the devil dress her not."
Warrant: This shows that the serpent was indeed a symbol of evil and like Eve seduced Adam into following her destruction, the Clown speaks for Antony in many ways by saying that women are basically evil in the claim above.
Counter-Warrant: There isn't much evidence that Antony was Adam-like except within the play perhaps.

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:58 AM | Comments (0)

Blogging Portfolio

Coverage: I think I covered alot of good material on Foster Ch. 19 and 20 and had alot good opinions on it. I really enjoyed reading these chapters.
Depth:The Machine Stops raised alot of questions and thoughts about how heavily we rely on technology even now, so I think you'll appreciate the depth in this one.
Discussion:Andy and I had a good talk about Antony and Cleopatra in Acts III-V and Amanda and I talked about Foster. Dena and I had a good discussion about "Spring and Fall"
Timeliness:I blogged about "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" so early i didn't even get comments. I also blogged early on Sections 1,3,5
Comment Primo: I blogged first on Brittany's, Mike's, and Danielle's blogs.
Comment Grande: I went in off on Kevin, Andy, and Mike's blogs.
Xenoblogging: I think I made things clear on some of the Foster Selections for Amanda
Reflection: I think that I've gotten much better since last semester blogging and am actually tackling more important issues as opposed to just rambling. I think the blogging has really helped us all in understanding Foster, sonnets, and everything we've been discussing. I'm a full-fledged blogger now, I guess.

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:28 AM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2006

Antony and Cleopatra Acts III-V

The characters all seem to contradict themselves at the end, but then turn out to be very much what you stereotyped them to be at the end. This was such an intense, twisted play and I quite enjoyed it. When Antony is trying to get out his last words and die with honor at his own sword, Cleo is still trying to interupt and draw attentiont to herself. It shows that she is still the drama queen and her love for Antony really was based on the control she had over him. When Antony killed himself, I think he kept his honor. I thought the soothsayer had alot to do with their decision making at first and in a way, Antony did follow the advice. He didn't submit to Caesar. There had been foreshadowing before about snakes in the Nile and look what Cleo used to kill herself. In a way, she died for the same thing that Antony did. She didn't want to submit to Caesar. It's funny that all along, Caesar despised Antony's love for Cleo but in the end, he sees the honor in what Antony did and allows them to be buried together. In Romeo and Juliet, they died together in love. In this play, they died out of honor and their own selfishness. What do you think of this?

Posted by ErinWaite at 11:50 AM | Comments (2)

February 20, 2006

Antony and Cleopatra Acts I, II

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety. Other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies.
This shows that despite that Antony may wish to marry Octavia to form an alliance, he cannot leave Cleopatra because of her strong desire for him. Caesar seems to be the practical one in the group and is tired of Antony neglecting his duties to go "fishing, etc. He seems to be only one that is admitting that Cleopatra is damaging Antony. I love the way Cleopatra is described. She is the one who really rules the triumvirate, because she controls Antony by making him desire her so much. Women tend to use their beauty for power, so this happens alot. This is proven when it says “vilest things / Become themselves in her, that the holy priests / Bless her when she is riggish [sluttish]” (II.ii.243–245).

Posted by ErinWaite at 12:43 PM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2006

The Raven academic article

"He hoped that virtue would win over vice, he hoped that love would defeat hatred so that people could devote their strength to the searching for the truth that would lead them to a true recognition of the power of God." This really put it into perspective for me. I didn't read this much into the poet himself and now that I understand his purpose, I appreciate it more. I think people often forget about God or whatever it is that motivates them and think that all the good and bad in their life comes only from themselves. I think everything happens for a reason and we each have a purpose (sorry to get all preachy). Coleridge recognizes this.

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:41 PM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2006

The Love Song

This poem reminded me of procrastination. Sarah said it perfectly in her blog. It reminded me of myself. I wait too long and don't do things or I do them on impulse and regret them at a later time. I loved the line about the mermaids because women can seduce and also lead you into trouble. It's a tough thing and I feel its better to regret what you did than regret what you didn't in life.

Posted by ErinWaite at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)

Untitled, very rough short story

Note: This is a rough draft of another story I am writing for a fiction class and I’m not sure if I want tp even use it yet, but here it is. I think I want to use something else or change it.

Untitled short story

The sunset is pouring in and stinging my heavy eyelids, I roll over to curl up against Riley and tuck my hand in the sweet curve of her back and I realize there is a screaming empty spot for the fifth day in a row. I rise and startle her shih tzu Wicket, who looks just like an Ewok. At least someone is licking my face at this time. I look like the uni-bomber after days of not shaving, so I bolt away from the cracked mirror and instead look out to see that I’ve slept the day away yet again.
I light my cigarette and glance at the purple bruise of sky with all it’s amber glory. It’s so sad to have a moment this perfect and still with no one to share it with.
“God, what have I done!” I scream and punch the mirror making my reflection a putrid pink with blood. Everything happens for a reason, but I wish God could tell me why this did.

I’ll never forget the day I first saw her. She was a college student and looked like a disheveled hurricane. With a coffee in hand, a dog on a leash, cigarette and keys in her mouth, she was attempting to get into the apartment building we both had lived in. I felt kind of like the creepy playground guy who drives around in a van telling kids he had hamsters for them or something, because of the way I’d been learing through my window at her. She used to say I looked at her like a fat woman at a cupcake. She must’ve not been that creeped out because she always smiled at me showing off her white, cutely crooked teeth and bringing me Maxim magazines (she claimed she read the articles.
“Need some help?”
“No I need you to keep staring at me. I think those Maxims aren’t tiding you over,Jimbo,” she replied shaking her black, messy hair and ashing all over self as always. I hated when she called me that and I still hate the way she could make me blush. Wicket, the dog, noticed me then and decided to pee on my leg as I opened the door (you know you’re obsessed with someone when you don’t notice a sopping wet pant leg and are still trying to hit on her anyway.).
“Chivalry is dying right now, if that’s the thanks I get,” I muttered as she laughed that snorting laugh that annoyed me, but I listen for in the bathroom all the time now.
I got to hear that laugh at least 876 times during our comedic, sporadic, and sometimes bittersweet relationship. As a senior journalism major doing her internship for a women’s magazine that was a pathetic rip-off of Cosmo at best, and me being a 27-year-old mechanic with a degree in Art Therapy that never quite took me anywhere (except as a tattoo artist when I graduated and was too poor to eat anything but ketchup and cracker sandwiches), she decided that I was the perfect candidate for interviews. These were of course on super-important issues such as “What he’s really thinking when he sees you naked,” “What he says about his mother is what he really wants in a woman,” and the very deep “Five quick ways to tell if he’s do-able.” After weeks of these painful interviews, she decided to stop degrading my manhood any further and take me out for beer. At the Bensonville, VFW, while drunk off of Guinness and singing a Johnny Cash/June Carter duet for the annual karaoke contest, Riley grabbed the mike.
“I’d like everyone to give my boyfriend Jake Draven here a big hand, because if we win tonight, he’s buying all of you drinks!”
“So now I actually am somebody besides the bum on the couch you’ve replaced your girlfriends with during Sex and the City re-runs,” I asked, rolling my eyes.
“Why not? I knew you’d never ask and I’m tired of you staring at me like your starving,” she replied taking me by the hand and squeezing it as if we’d always been this way. From that day on, until the day I lost her (one year ago, today), we became one person. I know it’s corny, but there was such a an unspoken bond between us that sometimes I felt that I was talking to myself. Maybe I was, maybe I am.
We married within three months, which was wreckless but needed because she was jealous and I was flat-out, the needy chick in the relationship and there was absolutely no doubt in our minds that we’d ever find anyone else who put up with our “cute”, neurotic habits. I tended to sleepwalk and she to go on rampages when she’d be so passionate with me I had to turn her down and times when she was so angry with me I thought I’d have to sleep with Wickett, but we could make up at the drop of a hat. We married at her campus chapel with my best friend, Mike O’Shea as our priest. We’d both grown up with him and he’d always been the first guy to roll in a keg, so he seemed quite fitting for our deliriously happy, white-trash wedding.
After we read our handwritten vows, hers saying that she would always let me win at x-box and then read me a poem by E.E. Cummings, as everyone cried and mine saying I would always tape Sex and the City reruns for her and singing very poorly a few lines from "Walk the Line," by our favorite man in black. From then on things became more of a whirlwind blur than anything I'd imagined.
Our parents got together and decided they'd give buy us plane tickets to wherever we wanted, despite their being a little surprised of our shotgun wedding. The whole next week we debated, slept in separate rooms, made up, and finally decided to go to Amsterdam, which yes, isn't the most romantic, but Riley had family there and we figured we'd visit Grandma, buy tacky souvineers from the Red Light district, and eat at the little cafes.
"We're here," she chirped pushing me onto the runway. After the 3 changeover flights and the arguing Thai people in coach, my head was pounding.
"Alright, Mrs. Draven, where to," I asked, carrying her across the street.
Suddenly, the sunny streets full of hash bars faded.
I woke up in a hotel room that smelled of curry and had a bloody yellow bedspread. Maybe this was a bad dream.
"Riley, did we take some bad acid, Riley?" I screamed. There was blood all over my hands and as I ran into the bathroom, I found a body. It was my bride, but why, how? Red lights pulsated throughout the room like a bad rave and I heard strange voices. Were they my own, had I gone crazy?
They took me away, these men in black, maybe they worked for Mr. Cash, I'm still unclear. They explained to me that there'd been an accident. They fed me pills and men in glasses spoke to me in white rooms. Someone had drugged us on the plane, we had checked into some hotel, and beyond that they were trying to fix me so that I could put the pieces together myself. What had started out innocently had become a crazy obsession on my part that I'd taken too far or perhaps she'd been the one who put drugs into our drinks, maybe I'd made the whole thing up. Either way, my life was over and I'm still trying to understand who did this. Maybe someday, I'll remember, until then, I'll keep waking up in this room, missing work day after day,and waiting for the answers to come. Maybe they were here all along and I'd been to blinded by feelings to notice.

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:20 AM | Comments (1)

Coleridge "The Raven"

This poem reminds me of Edgar Allen Poe's in the way that the raven was a symbol of death. The raven in this poem seemed to be trying to live peacefully but soon his life was shaken up and like the narrator in Poe's poem, the raven in this one lost his loved ones and became quite bitter. He got his revenge and that was my favorite line despite it being so morbid. It had almost a nursery rhyme quality to it at first like everything was going to fine and then it got twisted.

Posted by ErinWaite at 08:57 AM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2006

Happy Little Poems

I enjoyed all of the poems because they reminded me of the fun and simplicity of being a child. When I was on my swingset (before I broke it when I was 16) I used to think I could eventually fly anywhere if I just kept getting higher. These remind me of Shel Silverstein, who is a great favorite of mine except he can be kind of gross in some of his. I liked "Trees" best because the tree sounds like a beautiful woman put on the earth by God. These are definitely refreshing and easy to interpret. Although the poets may have just made these up to amuse their little ones, there is still a great emotion put into them. Don't worry, be happy!

Posted by ErinWaite at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2006

"Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock"

"...imagination is the power that enables us to perceive the normal in
the abnormal, the opposite of chaos in chaos. It does this every day in
arts and letters."

-- Wallace Stevens
I found this and feel that he explains his own work best. I love the fact that he used "baboons" and "periwinkles" in the same line. It emphasized the dream-like experience he felt more people should have. I think he may have been talking about the lack of romance and simply day-dreaming that we have in our lives. Sometimes it's nice to fall asleep and wake up somewhere in an exotic land. I'm not condoning drug use, but I understand where people are coming from when they say they want to "expand their minds" and go on "vision quests," but there are plenty of people who are creative enough to do this while remaining drug free. Those are the people who know to play their imaginations like instruments and that's why I'm so in love with fantasy. What do you daydream about? Do you think it helps you in your daily life? We wouldn't have poetry and amazing music that runs through our heads if not.

Posted by ErinWaite at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

"Spring and Fall"

I was surprised at how short this poem was but it definitely said everything in a very moving manner. We do feel sorrow when we see things like leaves falling and rejoice in the new growth in the spring and it is the same way in life. We grieve over losses and celebrate baby showers, etc. We say we are sad for that person, but in truth we are sad for ourselves for losing them and not having access to something that gives us great pleasure. This taught me that maybe I need to appreciate the losses because they allow me to cherish the new pleasures that spring up in my life. How did this poem speak to you?

Posted by ErinWaite at 11:32 AM | Comments (2)

February 06, 2006

The Machine Stops

'Here I am. I have had the most terrible journey and greatly retarded the development of my soul. It is not worth it, Kuno, it is not worth it. My time is too precious. The sunlight almost touched me, and I have met with the rudest people. I can only stop a few minutes. Say what you want to say, and then I must return.' This reminds me somewhat of where we could be headed if we keep relying on technology and not so much on developing our own skills and ideas and heaven forbid, waste time doing so. From cell-phones and e-mail, to fast-food and cosmetic surgeries, we've become lazy, fat, and sometimes even less intelligent than we were before there was even a car or typewriter. I have to say I become frustrated that all my assignments are on-line. What's the point of paying such a high tuition and waste gas to attend college when all of the assignments are on the Internet anyway? I might as well go to cyberschool and stay home. I was so excited initially to go to school and now nothing can be accomplished without the click of a button or staying on the Internet for hours, I'm beginning to feel like apart of the machine. Anyhow, I enjoyed this because it really made me think and made me realize that if we don't seek our own intellectual pursuits and get out and enjoy life through experience (and not some on-line discussion that takes days to get going anyway) we lesson our chances of becoming everything we fear in futuristic books like this and 1984. "We created the Machine, to do our will, but we cannot make it do our will now. It has robbed us of the sense of space and of the sense of touch, it has blurred every human relation and narrowed down love to a carnal act, it has paralysed our bodies and our wills, and now it compels us to worship it. The Machine develops - but not on our lies. The Machine proceeds - but not to our goal." That's pretty much how I feel about technology, call me old-school, but unless it's meant to help us learn without making us completely machine dependent, I think we'll just lose intelligence.

Posted by ErinWaite at 01:23 PM | Comments (4)

February 03, 2006

Foster: Ch. 10 & 12

I found both of these chapters to go hand in hand. He discusses how weather can effect or even change the whole story. He explains that rain can have more than meaning. In movies, there's always someone murdering in a fight scene or making vows of undying love. Sun can be dreadful to some, if they are afraid to face the day and nurturing to others who are seeking a new beginning. It all depends on how you look at it. There was a song that went "Sign, sign, everywhere a sign." Who sang it? It reminded me of symbolism. Everyone seems to be searching for a meaning and allegory basically says "there's only one right right answer, kiddo." I write poetry and people each have a different interpretation of it. If anything, I think this helps make any type of art more valuable. If everyone can different symbols in a piece, it can be talked about for ages. Thus, it will always be remembered.

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2006

"To Build a Fire"

I've read this before and the second time through gave me more insight and I felt more emotion. The way he just layed down and accepted his fate was powerful and kind of scary. Could you do that? That's what I asked myself, but I guess killing the dog was his only option and it's sad how the dog just moves on the "next food and fire provider."

Posted by ErinWaite at 04:53 PM | Comments (2)

January 25, 2006

Foster 19 and 20, Agenda Items and essay

"...when writers send characters south, it's so they can run amok." (171) How true!One of my favorite books, The Last Promiseby Richard Paul Evans has a character that moves to Tuscany to escape his past accusations of the murder of his brother and ends up falling in love with a woman trapped in a loveless get the picture. Anyhow, the sensuality of the winery and Tuscany that he lives near has become a place that opens up his own sensuality and allows him to be free from all the distress of his past in the States. The beauty of Tuscany and the thought of intoxication via wine generally gives you that cheesy/good love buzz just reading it. Foster's right setting completely gives you an instant idea of how you think that plot will unfold and puts you in the mood. As for Ch. 20, the seasons are great for song writing because of all the intense emotions they convey. Notice no one writes much about being depressed in the summer, but there are more poems about dead leaves and death in the winter than anything. Fall makes me think of childhood. Playing in the leaves, sipping cider, even people beat up flannel shirts, and the smell of woodburning sparks this for me. Each season itself can set up a different chapter in our lives or in a book.

Posted by ErinWaite at 03:23 PM | Comments (2)

"Bernice Bobs Her Hair"

Agenda Item:"The womanly woman!" continued Marjorie. "Her whole early life is occupied in whining criticisms of girls like me who really do have a good time." I used to say that about girls who would sit and criticize other girls at lunch in high school. I always thought just because those girls didn't have a life didn't mean that they should criticize those of us that did. Now that I've grown up, I've realized that those are the girls who will end up successful later on in life because they are waiting for the right moment to become that social butterfly and once they do other girls will be jealous. I never had many boyfriends in highschool and I'm so glad I didn't because now I am dating a quality guy rather than relying on quantity. The most striking reference though, and this shall be my true agenda item, is the part about how Marjorie said Bernice might have been a victim of her Indian heritage and at the end Bernice "scalps" Marjorie. Whoever said "Nice guys finish last" was full of it. It may take longer for someone to get their social skills in order or even (referring back to Foster)finish their quest, but when they get there, they still manage to overthrow the bad guys (or girls, in the case of Marjorie). “Young boys too shy to talk are the very best conversational practice. Clumsy boys are the best dancing practice. If you can follow them and yet look graceful you can follow a baby tank across a barb-wire sky-scraper." I also liked this quote. I agree because I'm a talker thanks to shy guys, but I still try to lead every time I dance and step all over the poor guy's feet. Oh-well, I enjoyed this story anyhow.

Posted by ErinWaite at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2006

Sections 1-3, 5

"The real reason for a quest is always self knowledge (3)." Foster writes with humor and uses great examples to entertain the reader as well as explain how to view literature. The first section about quests made me realize that the simplest act of looking for missing socks could become a quest that really isn't about the socks but more about finding an answer to solving your problem of being disorganized. Foster seemed to want us to realize that there are subplots and unspoked driving forces that cause characters in literature to act, not always what's made obvious. This goes with analyzing.
"When those two finish swilling and slurping on drumsticks and sucking fingers and generally wallowing and moaning, the audience wants to lie back and smoke." (9) That was a great way of explaining how a word communion has more than one meaning to various groups of people. This showed the importance of understanding definitions and how words can be used to paint a more vivid picture and make the reader feel apart of the text. I love this guy already! He also explained how a story could be about one thing that was consterversial so writers would use a ghost or something else like eating to symbolize lust, which helps to know as you're reading something. We are vampires if we're feeling selfish, kids! In 5 I had deja vu just by reading about deja vu, because all books do usually have a plot that's similar to others in one way or another. Stories really do grow out of others. It reminds me of a drinking night with friends. One person starts telling a story and his spouse interupts him saying "No, it happened at 8," and barges in, adding to or even changing the story. Foster makes a good point when he says if you get clues about morals or mushrooms, you begin to see more. I am always shouting out lines or predicting the ends of movies with my friends and I think that it's "all one story."

Posted by ErinWaite at 03:07 PM | Comments (2)