June 2008 Archives

Black or White.. Purple or Blue.. It doesn't matter!

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Today I was a part of a very interesting, disturbing, and shocking debate.  I'm not going to list names nor am I going to list relations for confidential purposes.  Prepare for a boost into reality; this can and will get very offensive.

A group of seven of us were sitting around a table having some coffee talk, when the discussions turned very political, and very social. How it started, I'm not exactly sure, but the topic of mixed marriages and same sex marriages came up. Now I understand that everyone is intitled to their own opinion, and as a writer I always encourage people to stand up for what they believe in. Nevertheless, I appreciate when people share that same ideology with me as well.

Here are the results of the conversation:

  • 3/7 of the people in the discussion felt that mixed marriages of any sort are wrong whether it be a bi-racial marriage or a same sex marriage
  • 1/7 of the people were for bi-racial/ same sex marriages, with the expection that they should not be able to have children
  • 2/7 of the people felt that there was nothing wrong with bi-racial or same sex marriages, yet said that would be upset if their own kid decided to go down this path
  • 1/7 of the people felt that there was nothing wrong with a bi-racial or same sex marriage...at all.

If you can't tell by the title of this blog entry, or the fact that I'm writing a blog entry about this topic, I feel very strongly that there is nothing wrong with bi-racial and same sex relationships, whether on a friend or an intimate level.  If you fall in love, you can't help that.  You fall in love with the person, not their gender, their color, nor their ethnicity.  Forming relationships shouldn't come with a set of rules.  People should be able to base their relationships soley on compatability.  

I was very upset by the tone the conversation ended up having.  Person 1 screamed at the top of their lungs that I was brought up wrong for thinking this, and that clearly there was something wrong with me.  They even went as far as to say that if I ever chose this path that I would not be welcomed in their house now that they know how I felt.  Person 2 didn't come out and say it, but it was very obvious that they felt the same.  

Person 3 brought up an interesting question to both Person 1 and 2.  He/she asked: 'If you were dieing by loss of blood or of a failed organ, and your donor was black, would you be ok with that?"  Both responded, "I would rather die."

It has/will always be emotionally difficult for me to listen to such racist comments.  I have a very hard time believing that there are still people in this world that don't believe everyone is equal, and others are superior. I'm writing this entry to let you know that racism still goes on this world, even though some of it may be hidden, and some it might not.  I am not gay, nor am I in a bi-racial relationship, but that doesn't mean that I can't speak out against a wrong that I think our society is committing.  As I stated before, it's not the color, the race, the gender or the ethnicity that you'll fall in love with...it's the person. It's the personality. The look in their eyes.  The way they make you laugh.  It's the person, and it doesn't matter if they are black, white, purple or blue.   

 

The below are some links that you can check out.  They include a variety of recommended books you can read if you are interested in race and gender relationships.

-Happy reading; Let me know what you think! :)

New Ride at Kennywood Proves to be a Hit!

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Lord Kenneth Ghostwood and his estate have made their mark on Kennywood!

Yesterday, I went to Kennywood with my family and a couple of friends from school and we decided to try out Kennywood's new ride that has replaced the Gold Rush.  Ghostwood Estate is a pretty sweet ride for all the horror buffs out there, but I must say that I was instantly reminded of The Haunted Mansion at Disney World (a.k.a my favorite ride).  The ride seemed to have def. similarites in the fact that you have an introduction before the ride and what not, but let's be honest with each other.  Nothing can ever top The Haunted Mansion! :)

While standing in line at the 'estate', they are playing creepy music that lures you into the haunting mood.  Before you get into the 4-person buggies, you enter a large, dusty cobwebbed room where Lord Kenneth Ghostwood drops by for a visit.  After his spirit awoke and flew out of his picture above the mantle place, he proceeded to tell us the rules of his mansion, and the horror that has bestowed itself upon the grounds.  Apparently after his death, he wasn't the only one to hang around.  Spirits have invaded the mansion, and it was our job to clear them out with the lazer guns equipped in our buggies.  The spirits all have targets on them, and the more you hit, the more thrilling, chilling, terror you will experience.  Plus getting more points than your friends is always a plus, even though I lost.

All in all, I really liked the ride because it combined two of my favorite things, ghosts and video games. I felt like I was dropped off in Haunted Mansion with Eddie Murphy trying to prevent the house from swallowing me and my friends alive! It was especially cool when I realized that when you hit some of the target, the monsters and spirits fly and jump out at you! I'll admit, I jumped!  It was def. a hit with me, and with the  younger crowd, considering my little brother and his friends loved it as well!  But for those of you interested in the dark and creepy, I would say to def. give it a shot!

         

The Next Jackson Pollock?

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My freshmen year at SHU taught me so much about myself, that I'm still adjusting to my newfound lifestyle.  One aspect that I decided to follow through with was making Art History my major, and main focus.  Don't get me wrong, I love English, but I'm starting to feel that art is becoming my passion in life.  At first, I chose to shy away from art because my parents weren't crazy with me picking it because they thought it would be a 'dead end.'  To their suprise, I landed an internship at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art and shadowed the curator.  The experience was so wonderful and I met so many great people!

This summer, I found myself rummaging through clearnace sales at Barnes and Noble, and Walden Books for art books, and bibliographies.  I grabbed a couple for reference and quite a few for some light reading.  One artist in particular really grabbed my interest though. Jackson Pollock. (If you don't know his work, PLEASE check it out! He's is astounding!)

After reading about his style and life, I thought that it would be interesting to mirror his methods and try to create a work of art myself.  I threw on an old t-shirt and some basketball shorts and headed outside to my backyard with an arm full of acrylic paint, a handful of paintbrushes and my one slab of canvas.  I set the canvas on the ground, far away from anything (haha), and picked out my colors.  I decided to go with black, blue, red, and yellow (gotta love those primaries).  I then proceeded as such:

  1. I decided black was going to be my base, so I took the largest paintbrush I had, and dipped it in.  After this, I stood at a variety of different lengths away from the painting and continued to 'throw' paint at the canvas.
  2. After the base color was put down, and I was pleased, I continued to do the same with the other three colors, but just with smaller brushes.
  3. At the end of expressing myself, I then dipped my hand in the three colors and added in spots of color on the canvas in areas that I thought were lacking.
  4. Now that I was covered in paint from head to toe, I squirted myself off with the hose outside, haha :]

Although this method may seem very unconventional, and incontrollable, it is quite the opposite.  The artist is very much in control because they are placing the paint, and the color on the canvas.  They know/feel when an area is lacking, and therefore take the appropriate steps to fix it.  This method and category of painting is known as gestural abstraction (action painting).

A wonderful reference of this style would be Pollock's piece Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist)

-Oil, enamel, and aluminum paitn on canvas, 7' 3" x 9' 10" / located in the National Gallery of Art, Washington

After a year, Guitar Hero still holds my interest

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This morning I woke up with the urge to play an intense game of guitar hero. After having the game for a little over a year, not to mention playing it with my best friend almost every day in our dorm, the game still holds a rocking place in my heart.  I'll admit that I'm a geek when it comes to video games; I even dedicated one of my summers a few years ago to beating one of the spyro games with my brother.  There is just something about living in that alternate world that gets the juices to my brain flowing, and my imagination started up!  Now for those of you that don't know me very well, I am a HUGE music buff.  I couldn't imagine going a day without listening to it, nor could I go anywhere without my Zune.  Sometimes, I think Guitar Hero was made just for me :]

For those new to the game, Guitar Hero is made to simulate the concert atmosphere for a typical rocker. With tracks ranging from artists such as Disturbed, Pat Benetar, and Slipknot, you're bound to find one of your favorite songs on there to rock out too. The object of the game is to hit the notes on your personal styled guitar in the same coordinates as the song plays. When you hit a certain amount of notes, you get 'star power' and get to throw your guitar up and 'rock out' like Bret Michaels and Journey! Talk about feeling like a rock star! No wonder the game gets addicting! I mean who doesn't want to rock out on stage?

I'll admit that to this day, I still find myself addicted to the game.  I have worked myself up to the expert level, but am no where near as sick as some people are on the game.  For instance, "Through the Fire and Flames" is the hardest level on the game, and there are some people that can play it without missing a note.  Check out this kid and rock on.

 

During my first year at Seton Hill, I was assigned to read Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich.  At first, I honestly thought that I was going to hate it, but I ended up reading it three times because I was amazed at how true everything was.  So why did the book touch me you ask?  Well because I'm a waitress and I can relate to EVERYTHING in the restaurant business.

First off, I would like to admit that I actually do like waitressing most of the time because I like to think of myself as a people person.  But more so lately, I hate walking into work in the morning.  Not only is the business corupt, but with the current state of the economy, you just can't live working part time as a waitress. 

Due to my arrival back at home, I called my manager and they threw a schedule together for me.  When I looked at what they had given me, I realized I was given four days (which I was more than happy with), but they were all swing shifts.  For those of you that are new to how the business works, a swing shift is in essense a double shift.  Normally a waitress that is part time works a five-6 hour shift of either the breakfast, lunch, or dinner rush.  Well in my case, I would be swinging through lunch and dinner. Big deal right? Why should I be bitter?

Well, due to my workplace's lack of staff, I started working 9/10 hours days, and was called in on my day of, etc.  I was treated like a slave, and felt no sense of appreciation for the hours/help that I was putting in.  My last straw the other day was when a fellow employee threw is fist at me, and then proceeded to throw the food at me through the window.  How does this stuff go on? You got me.  Needless to say, I took of my apron and walked out of the store. Nevertheless, due to my lack of money and want to study abroad next year, I let my manager talk me into coming back for a few days.  Thankfully, I picked up a third job this summer and won't have to spend a lot of time there.

Contrary to the negatives, the relability to the book continues.  Waitressing only pays $2.83 and hour + tips.  NEWS FLASH! With gas being 4 dollars and everything else rising in cost, WE CAN"T LIVE ON THAT! I find it really hard to believe that minimum wage can go up, but ours can't? I think our measly 2.83 should at least go up a dollar or so.  But I also have noticed that because of the pricing of the items these days, that people are tipping as much as they should.  I know personally that I had a table of 5 the other day that left a 3 dollar tip! AH THE HORROR! Plus when you're working 10 hours days, and barely have fifty bucks in your pocket, there is a problem. But I digress.

Does anyone else feel that this is an injustice towards waitresses or is my biased behavior towards the industry just catching up with me after three years?

After a Brief Hiatus...

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Ah back to the blogosphere! It is def. nice to be home and back on the internet! I was going absolutley crazy with my internet being up and down and off and on; it was driving me crazy! Props to my wonderful boyfriend who fixed our connection problem and turned our house wireless. Talk about a HUGE relief!

Here are some quick updates about what I'll be talking about this summer:

1. I've picked up 3 jobs this summer, and already have tons of interesting information and stories to share.

2. Movies Movies Movies!!!

3. Book Reviews for all the bookworms out there (if you're shaking your head, stop denying it)

4. Ideas for the story I'm writing!! - I've been throwing ideas around for years about writing a book, and I've decided that if I don't start at least writing a draft of it now that I'm not going to.  So, I'm trying to write a little bit each day, and I'll keep everyone updated!