March 2010 Archives

March 31, 2010

Kellee Maize...not your typical rapper

So I've recently found out about this artist Kellee Maize. She's nothing like I expected at all. From her look she seems like she'd be this sweet little thing, but when she sings (or raps rather) it's far from predictable.

She was recently mentioned on this big deal music blog called Pigeons and Planes. You can either go there or to her MySpace to listen to some of her songs. Her lyrics are really inspiring though, not your typical rap artist. It's nice to see a female rapper with good lyrics to be a role model for younger girls. She's starting out now in Pittsburgh, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this one to make it big.



My faves from her new album, Aligned Archetype, are Say Watcha Want & Eleven 11.



Just found this article online about Kellee from the TRIB ....nice. 

March 25, 2010

But what will we line the hamster’s cage with now?

I have to admit that I’m not going to be too disappointed if newspapers completely go away during my lifetime, which according to Robert Darnton in A Case for Books, might actually happen. At the end of chapter eight he says, “A few have survived but most have been lost, irretrievably lost. Unlike bison and forest, they cannot be revived. The moral of the tale stands as a corrective to the lore of journalists: nothing is more dead than yesterday’s newspaper, except yesterday’s destroyed newspaper” (129).

I actually never thought of the newspaper as dying breed until coming to college. Before college I read our city paper everyday and then got even more news from the television programs my parents watched as I did my homework. I was so engrossed in both forms of news but at the time the paper is what took me away from my homework more because I had to physically sit down with it and take the time to read the articles, instead of being able to simultaneously watch the T.V. news shows and doing other things at the same time. Obviously in today’s society of everyone apparently wanting everything right away (although I know there are a few people out there that are still able to wait for things) newspapers take up too much time.

Although I would say that I like being able to actually hold what I’m reading, magazines do a much better job of getting that done, since they don’t leave ink marks on your fingers when you’re done.

Sex is in the title: now you're going to read this

Well, Calvino is finally getting interesting. I’m kind of upset that the only way he was able to get me interested in is book though was by throwing in a sex scene that seemed out of place. Now I’m not upset with myself, but Calvino. Let me explain.

I want to go into PR because I want to get the ideas that girls have to look and act a certain way to get attention out of every little girls head. What does that have to do with PR? We’re the ones that do all the marketing, all the attention grabbing, all of the little things that reel people in to buy products. I hate that people use sex and the female form as a tool to use for advertising and for attention grabbing tactics. A lot of people say that sex sells, but really sex just grabs your attention. (So do purple monkeys but I haven’t seen that tactic used yet.) It sickens me that we are in a cycle and that Calvino wrote this book around 1979 and used this (considered modern day) tactic.

In his book, If on a winter‘s night a traveler, Calvino enters a sex scene in the section Without fear of wind or vertigo. Not just any sex scene, but a threesome. Gross me out. But it’s not an obvious sex scene to someone like me who is falling asleep reading this book, where I had to go back and reread the details because I didn’t catch on the first time. Which I’m sure was Calvino’s point, was to grab attention, but why does it have to be in the form of sex?

The only part that I liked about this section of reading was a quote a little bit before that sex part where it says, “The truth is that we were all very young, too young for everything we were experiencing; I mean us men, because Irina had the precocity of women of her sort, even though she was the youngest of us three” (78).

Precocity, to be advanced beyond one’s age. Girls today are already so precocious, stop putting sex in their lives and making them miss out on what little childhood they have left.

March 22, 2010

I want Kafka back :(

BAH. Calvino is bothering me in his book If on a winter's night a traveler. It is sort of reminding me of a book I read last year for another class, Kafka on the Shore which was an AMAZING book...unlike what I have read so far of Calvino's novel.

Kafka was a beautifully written book that intertwined two stories that eventually tied together and made a wonderful complete piece, but Calvino is missing that mark. With the "subtle" lines that he makes throughout the work about "The Reader" doing this and by his remarks of saying "You are the sort of reader who is sensitive to such refinements; you are quick to catch the author's intentions and nothing escapes you" (page 25). Well Calvino, I appreciate your compliment, which I feel is really a sarcastic insult, but stop acting like you know me.

This book is annoying. Kafka was at least a fun story; or rather two fun stories, this is just dry and boring text between the times that Calvino tries to claim he knows anything about his readers.

"Ya'don't know me."

The title is very slang-like of me, I know. But that would be the "gangsta" side of me that comes out when I'm trying to make a point, when someone assumes they know more about me than they actually do, especially when they are trying to say I would do something that I wouldn't actually consider. (I've been known to say this a lot, once even to my mom, who clearly, knows me pretty well.) One time I said that to my friend Hannah and she snapped back with random (and some deep) facts about me that obviously proved she knows me quite well.

I'm hoping that's what happens with Italo Calvino's novel If on a winter's night a traveler, because if it doesn't his sly little comments that come between each chapter will bother me and make me disregard this book and add it to the pile of what I would consider lame novels that I have collected over the years, especially since starting college.

For instance, on pages 4 through 5 Calvino goes on a little tangent about how this book came to be in my hands and how I began to read it and how I passed other books on my way to the checkout to purchase this book and so on. Calvino...ya'don't know me. For your information this book was purchased by Megan and I'm borrowing it for the time being and if I had been in a book store and saw your novel on the shelf, I would have actually passed by it and picked out a different book (if this one was not required for a class) because your title is weird and I don't think it is punctuated properly and that bothers me. So there.

And by the way, I am sitting at my desk (page 7) but my feet are not propped up on an open drawer. And my roommates are watching television in the next room (page 3) and I find no need to yell at them to turn it down so I can read your book "in peace"....should I tell the train passing by to quiet down too?

March 18, 2010

Song of the day: Fashion by Lady Gaga

On page 128 in Writing Material, Elizabeth Eisenstein said, "Sixteenth-century publications not only spread identical fashions but also encouraged the collection of diverse ones.  Books illustrating diverse costumes worn throughout the world, were studied by artists and engravers and duplicated in so many contexts that stereotypes of regional dress styles were developed.  They acquired a paper life for all eternity and may be recognized even now on dolls, in operas, or at costume balls."

This reminds me of hmm...myself. I love fashion and finding new trends. But I don't know how I could do that back before magazines and especially the internet became the norm. I think that people must have been even more creative with outfits back then because of the small amount of what they had to work with and things became popular through what they saw other people doing (which is still true today, but not in the same exact ways.)

I know for me if I want to try something new with my style I instantly go online and type in a certain product into the search bar and look up different images of how other people have tried the look and see what I think looks good and then add in my own style and out comes my look. I don't think it was that easy back then with all of those drawings. 

Even now with shows like Project Runway where the designers draw out their assignments, it still makes me "upset" when the outfits don't come down the runway they way I thought they should based on the task they are given and what their sketchs looked like. In Megan's blog, she uses this same quote by saying nearly the same thing - only with books turning into movies. Which is also true when you think about characters in your mind while reading and then the movie comes out and all of your ideas are changed. 

Although it's also easier now to just look through magazines for fashion ideas too, with the even further advancement of technology we can see how television and internet has made access to these ideas even broader and greater than they probably even could have imagined back in the 16th century. 

March 9, 2010

"You're killing me Smalls!"

In Writing Materials, Dennis Baron writes, "Hypertext and HTML allow us to create links between documents or paths within them, both of which offer restructured alternatives to linear reading," on page 48 of his article, From Pencils to Pixels.

I thought this quote was interesting because it reminded me of the electronic literature section that we did in Writing for the Internet. Where with the advancements in blogs and written text online has changed they way people see reading online. With hypertext you are able to expand your subject by adding links to similar subjects and increasing your reader's ability to learn and obviously read up on something, all while still being connected back to your original subject. I love hypertext. I like that some people are able to manipulate it and use it to make different kinds of stories and adventures online.

I also liked the part where Baron mentioned "digital fraud pictures," so I'd like to leave you with a couple I found online after searching through the keywords "digital fraud" and then actually getting some results I wanted when I tried the more appropriate terms by just saying "photoshopped" pictures. Enjoy!


I love big dogs too, but when your dog grows to be the size of your horse, you might have a problem if you try to have a safe home.


This one reminds me of The Sandlot dog, Hercules. Could you image that running after you? 

March 3, 2010

"All of the big shots sit on the steps of St. Patrick's, watching the show go by."

In Peter Elbow’s section of Writing Materials: Readings from Plato to the Digital Age, although from what I understood of his article, he sided with writing as a better and stronger force, I have to continue to agree with a claim I made early in the semester by saying that oral is greater than written communication. Within Elbow’s writing he sets up a perfect argument against himself and in favor of oral communication.

On page 137, “Precisely because speech is nothing but temporary crowding in air molecules, we can never revise it.”

Although I do agree that oral communication is not able to be as lasting as writing can be, I have to disagree when Elbow takes this statement from Roland Barthes to hold against orality. Because, yes, speech is only for a moment and yes, we can never fully revise it once we say something, but I think that is one of the reasons about what makes it so powerful, more powerful than writing anyway. Once you say something, it’s done, it’s out there and the reaction will eventually come out too because of it. With the spoken word, we have the power to say what we mean without a censor and let it be as it is.

On page 138, “Perhaps we fall into the assumption that speech is ephemeral because we live in a blabbing culture.”

I think this statement holds true. I think that people don’t consider how wonderful speech is because it’s so common and everyone does it at some point in some form. But not everyone can be a writer. That’s also true, but not everyone can make people think differently or act differently with their spoken words. A true speaker can however and does which is another reason why speech is so powerful.

Also, Elbow even mentions at the top of page 139 how writers are hesitant and they can stop and think about what they are writing, they can look up what they are going to discuss and they can proofread before letting their work out into the world. Well not only by that time is the written material probably out of date, but also, where is the meaning and the power in something you waited with before it was perfect? With oral communication, we are able to say what we mean right then in the moment without the worry of what people are going to think because they are forming their thoughts on our words as we say them. Written text makes you hesitant and makes you think twice before letting out your feelings it makes you hide behind your words instead of using your words to empower you. (Which is kind of like the idea had about the use of PowerPoint.) But on the other hand, speech puts and keeps you in the moment and makes your words powerful and meaningful. They might be lost eventually, but the hold a greater impact with each time you are reminded of them.