Let's Talk Potty

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A few days ago, on my way to an Eye Contact meeting, I found myself on the Cove end of Sullivan, needing to use a lavatory. And I debated over whether to use the second floor stair-well bathroom in Sullivan or the modern, shiny bathroom of McKenna.
McKenna's is bigger, looks cleaner and more appealing, and in the long run, distance didn't really matter to me.
But in picturing myself in Sullivan's I found myself feeling more comfortable in its rustic decor. So I marched myself to Sullivan's urinals.

And remembered, upon arriving, that Sullivan doesn't have urinals, just the seatless toilets in the stalls without doors.

This reminded me of my elementary school's cafeteria bathroom: these stalls without doors. Except in elementary school, that bathroom had urinals. The stalls were for number two, but no one ever installed doors (until they built the new replacement bathroom).
That was a scary little bathroom, an old renuvated janitor's closet. It had 2 shades of ugly brownish paint along the walls, the constant smell of filth, naked pipes snaking under the ceiling, and graffiti scrawled all over.
The Bat Cave. I remember that inside the entrance.

Then for a while, in the upstairs bathroom of that same school, for a long, long time, each of the six or seven stalls were without doors. They just had shower curtains. I don't know who was too cheap to install real doors.

I used to clean toilets in the retirement home in which I work. Some of those things have arm rests for the people that have mobility problems, but I bet they feel like royalty up there (the toilets there are all pretty high) with their arms out, able to relax.

But I think my favorite bathroom I've ever been in was at a pit-stop we made on the way down to NC this summer. It was literally a HUGE fruitstand, but on a commercial scale (this thing was scurvy's doom). But in the back they had these bathrooms... And they were the exact opposite of what I expected. The floors were cement, but it looked clean enough to eat off of. The walls were decorated with historical pictures of the area. The sink and toilet were clean and shiny and it was just so comfortable in there. I will say this: I was impressed.

I'm also impressed with you, dear reader, if you have willingly read through this post this far. Kudos to you for reading my Potty Talk. Now please, tell me. Where is your favorite toilet?

American Lit Comments... Because I Could Not Stop for the Server

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Alright, so here's the problem: I have work to do and there are these submission errors that are slowing me down.

And I still have work to do. So I'll make my comments to certain pages in this post, and then I'll link to the page so the comments aren't floating completely alone in cyber-space, okey doke?

Response to October 23.
I think that's one of the things literature does: captures the moment of history in which it exists as a reflection of its time.

Response to October 13.
Peaches, you may have something there. But what do you think has changed in history that we are now allowed to read it? Has society relaxed? Why?

Pat and Erin, I'm happy to see people outside of American Lit are engaging in these discussions!
And I think you're both right, we root for the positive outcome, regardless of how it's sparked.

Response to October 13.
But do you think it's imperative to say something new? I think it might be more important (or just easier [with positive results]) to say something in a new way or with a new spin.

Final Blog Portfolio: Look What I Can Do!

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So I ditched HTML for this Kompozer program, which was a step up, but was still very limited in its abilities. Since the last Blog Portfolio, I have completely redone my entire Web Portfolio. I don't have a posted copy of the old draft, but trust me, the new version is much better.

What else have I learned since the last Blog Portfolio? Not much. We've been reading some chapters from the Redish text, but a surprising amount of that book is common sense.


InteractionI had to do some coaxing before I could write this section, but there has been successful interaction on this page!

A heart-felt entry on brand-name notebooks turned into a conversation about PETA, writers and inspiration, pens, pencils, and emotional attachment to inanimate objects.

I blogged about a video game... We're just waiting for the conversation to go a little farther. Sharing thoughs on tech. problems, video games, and old machines.

I haven't written as much this time around because there really wasn't that much time. But I do have a couple to share.

Depth? In one of my articles, I gave the meaning of life, and no one read it! (Or, at least, no one commented on it.) But click here if you want the meaning of life.

This entry doesn't go too long, but I do express my undying love for Moleskine notebooks.

I really wish there was a link on my page to all the comments I made on other pages. That would make this whole section a lot easier.

A friend wrote an interesting narrative. A conversation followed. There was even a couple of jokes.

That same person wrote another interesting piece. A conversation on good, short writing.

Outside Material
I've been playing this game a lot. So much that I blogged about it. But don't take my word for it.

What else do I do in my spare time? I support mean pratical jokes. Have a look see.

If you ripped through my sarcasm, you'd probably find Atlantis.

The title of this entry is one view of my humor.

But if you get past Atlantis, you'll find I'm a pretty deep person. A Timeless Question Gets Answered!

You want convention? How about this webpage I made all by myself! I have working links, original art work (written and visual), and some other things too.

Don't Let the Creeps Win: Play GeoDefense


I don't want to sound like an advocate or an annoying fan, but GeoDefense just might be the best game on my iPad. And I think it was free.

You can take a look at it here.

It's just another Tower Defense game, but it's fantastic, especially if you like those kinds of games. It's a strategy game with lots and lots of levels, so you get a lot for your money (it might have been $0.99, I can't really remember though. If it was, it was more than worth it.)

Whether I need to kill ten minutes or an hour, this game has always been convenient. Especially these last four levels. They're very hard.

"Don't Even Reply"... But At Least Take a Look

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Have you seen this?

Don't Even Reply

Just breeze through it a little, I'll wait.

That guy is a genius. A jerk, yeah, but a genius. This is what he does: responds to want ads as something ridiculous and then just screws with the people until they curse him.

Don't read it if you're easily offended.

Otherwise, it's hilarious. And is good for a while.

Just be careful, it's easy to read through everything in one sitting.

On Moleskine Notebooks


Moleskines are gorgeous. Hardbacks or soft, doesn't matter. They're hand-made, did you know that? (That's what they say, at least).
I remember the first Moleskine I ever had. My cousin got it for me for my birthday. I think we might have bought it on the way to my house. It wasn't wrapped and he handed it to me in a plastic bag. (Not that I cared, I'm a young dude, I don't care if it's wrapped or not). The point it, even if he didn't put that much thought into it, it was the perfect gift. That first notebook was my first time with a Moleskine. I remember reading the little folded history that came along with it. Hemingway, Picasso, some other greats. I was joining a tradition. I was impressed with their durability.
I have found that the Moleskine softbacks hold up better in the long run than the hardbacks. That might have something to do with keeping them in my back pocket.
The problem with Moleskines? They're expensive.
So to be perfectly honest, you can go to Wal-Mart and pick up a Mead for $5.25 and it will be the same basic design and equal quality for less than half the price.
Just be weary of generics. I have a couple that are held together by some threads.
I write a lot.

Looking back, this semester has been pretty good. I've learned a lot about myself and about writing...

Let's see what I've learned:
-Writing for the Internet: I've learned HTML code, a few ins and outs of some things, and some more odds and ends
-History of Western Art: That's kind of hard to say. I have learned a lot, too much to post on a blog...
-Writing About Literature: The problem with being an English Major is I'm not sure how much you actually learn. After a while, it's more about perfecting than learning. It's not like in math where you learn a new formula. In English you might read a new book and you perfect how to argue a point about it or you figure out how to use evidence from the text... (The most you actually learn is about the writers themselves)
-American Literature: Same thing as Writing About Literature
-Writing of Fiction: Characters. I've worked on my characters.

Other Stuff
-I got published a few times! Once online (we've been over this) and twice in Eye Contact.
-I got in shape! Frisbee improved my endurance.


I feel like there should be something more here. But if I included much more, I'd be exposing a little too much of myself than I'd like to do online. Can't hide everything behind sarcasm.

One more thing: I feel in love with Vonnegut's work again. And then I was put off by it. And then I liked it again. Slaughterhouse-Five is taking me out for dinner on Tuesday and I'm so nervous!

What's This All About?

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So, here's that timeless question: What's this all about? Why us? Why here? Why now? What are we doing here?

Stick with me long enough, and I'll give you the answer.

I've got this skin. My skin stretches and heals itself when it gets ripped. I have these appendages. Underneath the skin in my arm, a branch of veins bump through, giving my pale skin some green lines. These veins carry this blood. This blood carries oxygen, something vital for my survival.
There's another thing important to my survival. It's actually most important. It helps me see, hear, taste, touch, smell. It's a complex computer housed in my head.
All of these things are just organs made out of -what? They tell me it all comes down to atoms.

We're an incredible complex of atoms.


Religion tells me its to serve God.
Science tells me it was probably an accident.
I think it's friggin' awesome.

I'm at a university, currently listening to "Closing Time" and my friend and I are still laughing from the last Wierd Al song. My friend is also a complex connection of atoms.

Why laughter? What makes humor? Why do we laugh? Why the "haha" and not sneezes? Why that common physical reaction to a mental impulse? And why do we cry at other people's grief? Why do we feel that kind of connection?

Were we all supposed to be interlinked by other atoms?
Maybe there's an invisible chain linking all of us.

My friend is made of these atoms, but she's unconciously talking herself through a physics equation. Why?
There is(are) a feral cat(s) on campus that seems to be getting along just fine without getting an education. I'm serious. We've (humans) have gotten so far with our atoms, we have to work harder just to keep up with ourselves.
I bet it'd be harder to run out the rest of one's life in complete seclusion than it would be to become president of the United States of America. The point: it's hard NOT to be pulled into all this stuff society tells us we should be doing. Like get an education so you have a better chance of living more comfortably in the future.

This is the society we have to live in. There are no alternatives (outside of cults and small islands).
"What kind of one-way street is that?" (demetri martin)

This brain thing we talked about earlier. That's probably the epitome of the atom's progress. There's this machine in my head that helps me breath for this oxygen for the blood for my appendages. And all of it so I can fit into this -accident- or -way to serve God-.

So I promised you an answer to this whole equation. And I rambled on for a while before I got to this sentence.

Think about all the events that got you to where you are right now, reading this sentence. What did you do today that got you HERE? What about last week? Last year?
How have you and your surrounding atoms influenced your life?

The purpose is this: to question.

Question the here, the why, the how, the when, the there, the then, the everything that shapes anything.
It's in questioning that we learn and it is in learning that we enable ourselves to question further and learn further...
We are complex and the only way we can find peace is to either stop questioning and accept or keep questioning and explore.
And there was another part of this long, around-the-bush answer. Peace. The point of all of this is to find peace, in this accident or this place for God.

That feral cat I mentioned earlier? I stopped a few yards in front of it yesterday, stooped down, held out a hand, and called it over. It came to me, sniffed my hand and rubbed against it. It was a nice cat. Then it passed me and turned off the sidewalk and inched onto the steep hill.
Do cats ask these questions? Are cats at peace? Does the cat have a purpose for itself?

If not, is it because its atoms are more advanced or less advanced?

American Literature Response to Exercise 5: Podcast Reflection

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Response to Alexi Swank

I'm not sure how this was recorded or whether or not this was intentional, but it sounds like we're sitting with Alexi inside a large echoing room, and it's a pretty cool effect. She also does a good job with french language inserts of her selection. She does very well close reading "The Awakening."


Response to Theresa Conley

Wow, what a powerful, honest poem. Good emotional read and line by line analysis. The recording program, obviously, is of lesser quality, but it's not a distraction. Multiple interpretations offered for a delicate topic. I agree with the idea that Doolittle might have been ahead of her time.

Analyzing and Academic Source

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Article: "Say It Again, Jim: The Morality of Connection in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"

Author: Laurel Bollinger


Fact: Sets self up for argument: Huck has strong ties to both Tom and Jim, making choosing between the two of them very difficult. (This is probably something we can easily agree upon)

Opinion: The problem of the ending stems from the consistency of Huck’s moral choices. (Opinion because it does not have any supporting information [yet])

Judgment: Huck cannot call for a doctor until Jim suggests because doing so through Huck’s own will would be personally jeopardizing Jim’s safety. (An informed opinion. Works because it contains and is followed up with evidence and support)

Citation: Bollinger uses sources for supportive quotes and for ideas to build and branch her article off of. (Good method of advancing argument of a paper. She backs everything up with close readings from the original text)

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