Thursday, June 30, 2005

saying goodbye

So I don' t think I can write much tonight. I've had a kind of hard week because things at work have been stressful. There are just those weeks in any job where everyone seems to be stressing out at the same time. I think this week it just happened because we all get a super long weekend because of the 4th of July being on a Monday.

After work today I came home briefly before going out with Sheil friends and in particular my dear friend, Segundo, aka Matt.

He is leaving tomorrow for San Diego where he will be serving our country in the Navy aboard the USS Shiloh. I've known for a year and a half that I was going to have to say goodbye to him when he graduated but when I met him, I didn't know what a good friend he would be. Matt is the kind of guy who has the "worst" jokes which get the most laughs. And groans. I am proud to know him and just pray that God will keep him safe over the next two years of his service.

When I was in highschool, I didn't even imagine I would become friends with people who would serve in the military. I was very close minded about the military and thought it would never be something I would personnally be close to, other than being a citizen of the USA. Which of course is a great lie but that was basically how my anger at Bush and the Iraq war were translated. But now I have quite a few friends serving in several branches of the military - the Army and Navy, a high school friend in the Marines, and another friend from home who will probably join the Air Force ROTC. I no longer think of people serving our nation as strangers to my way of life. They are my peers who may have different opinions and political views than me but they have the same kind of passion which leads me to proclaim my anti-war sentiments and my anger at President Bush. College is a time to change and one of the best educations I am recieving comes from my friends. They are opening my mind every day.

I cried all the way home from Sheil tonight after saying goodbye to Segundo because the few months between now and when he comes to visit in the fall will be full of worry and prayer because our country is at war. I want my favorite propulsion officer to come home safely so I can hear his wonderful jokes and get those fantastic hugs when I'm feeling low. Good luck, Matt!

While we're on the subject of the military, I thought I would update you on my reading list. I finished Agaememnon tonight and am well on my way to working through the rest of the Orestia cycle. I finished reading it when I came home tonight after saying farewell to Segundo so war and such was on my mind. I love Aeschylus and I think Sophocles and Euripedes are going to have to work hard to top his plays. His plays are about personal levels of suffering but more importantly, they are about nation and worldwide suffering and pain. A theme throughout Agaememnon is the precipitation of violence and the unending cycle of war perpetuated by previous actions. Clytemnestra kills Agaememnon who killed Iphgenia in order to make war with the Trojans and kill all of them. Aegisthus helps kill Agaememnon because he is the son of Aesthes (sp?) who killed all of his brother's children (accept Aegisthus) and fed him to him (Thiestes) on a dinner platter and then banished him. In the next parts of the cycle, Orestia will kill Clytemnestra because she killed Agaememnon. If you were able to muddle through that all those greek names, you will have noticed that there is a cause for the brutal violence traced back through generations. Although it appears to just be individuals killing individuals, they represent their nations and subjects. The Chorus constantly reminds us that the acts of these leaders effect everyone down to the poorest slave. It is war and it will continue until one of the players decides to stop the chain, stop the cycle.

I'm not going to draw comparisons because I think the people who read this are smart and can see where I might be going. This is why I fight for peace and nonviolence. We have to start by stopping somewhere.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

a normal post with minimal ranting...

So today I don't have much to vent about because I'm really exhausted from a really crazy day at work, laundry, and then Trivia Pursuit AND Apples to Apples.

I said I was going to write about Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Elektra. I'll start with Elektra. Or is it Electra. I can't remember. Okay, I know a lot of you are going to laugh at this but I thought it was a step in the right direction, to be honest. Elektra is a superhero because of her great skills but she is also definately a woman in her actions and reactions. She is of course very sexy but that is not something that is in the foreground as it is in, say, Charlie's Angels. Yes, the plot needed help and some of the villain "powers" were just out there. But she was the kind of hero I would want my future children to look up to. I almost wrote "future daughter" but then I realized that to truly fit into my ideal transformation of heros in movies, both sexes would be able to find something of a role model in women characters as well.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith was just an entertaining movie. I was entertained enough not to pay a lot of attention to the subtle commentaries on marriage and suburban life. But they were certainly there. Angelina Jolie was an admirable female hero in the way she kicked ass AND the way she interacted with her husband and fellow assassin played by Brad Pitt. There were definately moments where Mr. Smith tried to be dominant and have Mrs. Smith merely be a side kick and Mrs. Smith did not take that sitting down. She proved to her husband in the end that she too was very good at her job and was on equal footing with him. So I'd say this was a positive image of a woman character. Just as Jennifer Garner is very sexy as Elektra, Angelina Jolie does not hide her nice body and big lips. Although this could make a case for men accepting these characters based soully on sexuality, which might be the wrong kind of feminine to emphasize, the sexuality fits very nicely in their entire character in a way that one could not ignore their innate intelligence even if the appeal of these female characters WAS initially the sexuality.

Okay, that was more than I expected to write but as usual I have thought of many more things while writing than I thought I would. And as always, let me know your opinion if you've seen either of these movies because I love hearing other opinions.

Have a good Wednesday, y'all!

Monday, June 27, 2005

A great rebuff

Someone on one of the depression discussion boards I read posted this great transcript from the Craig Fergueson Late Late Show. I think it is brilliant and expresses a lot of the holes in Tom's argument which I didn't even think about. It is not the exact transcript, I believe, but close enough. Enjoy!

"Tom Cruise, is off his medication. Haven't you seen him lately? He's all angry and in your face, yelling, screaming, blowing up at everyone... and he's giving medical advice too. Saying how medications and therapy aren't going to help you, because they just mask everything and that they're just a crutch. He was talking about Ritalin by the way... as a parent, I hope his children don't get diagnosed with attention deficite disorder.So umm, he's going on and on, and I started thinking back to when I was in rehab. Some guy in rehab said how this wasn't going to work, why was he here? This is just a crutch. I thought about it and I said, 'ya know what? You're right, it is a crutch. And I NEED IT!' It's like you see a man walking down the street, leaning on a crutch because he has only one leg. You're not going to walk up to him, yank the crutch away from him and say 'you have one leg, adapt damn you!' No, you're going to leave him alone. Let him get by the way he has to in order TO get by. You don't walk up to a person wearing glasses, snatch away their glasses and say 'you're blind, deal with it!'. No, you let them wear the glasses so they can go about living an ordinary life. Now what I'm getting at here, is not that Tom Cruise is a bad actor, by any means. Or that he deserves no respect at all. Oh he can jump out of planes, he can race around on a boat, he can do whatever... except the last Samurai... that wasn't a good movie.. but that's okay, he's allowed one box office flop. My point is, that there are people out there to give medical advice. They are not called 'actors'. They are called 'doctors', they are called 'nurses' they are called 'care-givers'... If I've been shot and I'm bleeding in the street I don't want some actor running up to me with a bunch of herbs and a purple cloth...I WANT AN AMBULANCE! Ya get what I'm saying. So Tom, stick to dancing around in your underwear, leave the medication and therapy to the MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS." "

So that's that. And I probably don't need to ask you, but here is my humble request.I have a serious request for all of you. Please do NOT go to see War of the Worlds this weekend. I know that not all you are as passionatly mad at Tom Cruise as I am, but please take a small stand agains his rants against the field of psychiatry by showing that his insanity is not good publicity but truly just insanity. (and yes, this is the same thing I have written in my profile.) Pass it on! If you know someone who is considering going to see this, just ask them to wait a week or two so that the opening numbers at least will be low. Thank you!

That's all I have the energy for tonight. I'm still ruminating on those movies I recently saw. So stay tuned!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

An excerpt from Tom Cruise on crack

  • MATT LAUER: Do you want more people to understand Scientology? Is that-- would that be a goal of yours? TOM CRUISE: You know what? I-- absolutely. Of course, you know. And people--
  • MATT LAUER: How do you go about that?
  • TOM CRUISE: You just communicate about it. And the important thing is, like you and I talk about it, whether it's-- okay, if I wanna know something, I go and find out. /Because I don't talk about things that I don't understand. I'll say, you know what? I'm not so sure about that. I'll go find more information about it so I can-- I can come to an opinion based on-- on the information that I have.
  • MATT LAUER: You-- you're so passionate about it. And I'm--
  • TOM CRUISE: I'm passionate about learning. I'm passionate about life, Matt.

The above is the end of the interview from the Today show which can be found on

After Oprah I thought "well, its good publicity but it probably won't hurt his career." Now I'm thinking it might hurt his career because he is a maniac. He could use some "anti-psychotic" drugs. Or the alternate treatments he hints at but never talks about!

Here's what blows my mind about his "arguments"

  1. He talks about reading scientific articles about the issues of psychiatry and drugs etc. But he has not taken the time to site his sources, probably because they are unreliable and not based on actual science. There are tests for how much Ritalin to prescribe, just as there are tests for how much antidepressants to describe. Although these tests are not BLOOD tests, they are scientific tests of OBSERVATION which are a completely legitimate form of science based on many case studies with good controls and scientific methods.
  2. He knows the history of psychiatry? What does he think all of the doctors who are certified psychiatrists have been studying? Most likely the history and the SCIENCE of psychiatry in more depth than Tom Cruise the multimillionaire actor has time to comprehend!!!
  3. He has problems with Matt Lauer bringing up his personal opinion and observations, criticizing him for using the Today Show to promote his opinion. Well then what is Tom Cruise doing?
  4. Okay, he says that even though the drugs helped Brooke Shields and others, it is masking the true issue which Matt would know if he knew this history of psychiatry. SO WHAT IS THAT TRUE ISSUE IT IS MASKING, TOM?!??? YOU KEEP TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE BEING WRONG WITHOUT TRYING TO TELL US WHAT IS RIGHT!!!!
  5. Okay, so #4 is a little angry. I'll try to be calm. This is the last thing I will bitch about and you will all leave comments supporting me about how Tom Cruise must go away and never make any more movies or public statements because he's an ignorant, pompous...fool... He says he wants to educate people about Sciencetology and that he's passionate about it. Yet in this whole issue, I have only heard him tell other people that what they believe is wrong and that he is right. That is not educating people on his "religion" or whatever it is. I think I would be willing to actually listen to the maniac if he decided to explain his viewpoint instead of completely ineloquently trample on other people's personal choices and lifetimes of intense medical study.
  6. I know I said the last one was the last but if you read the transcript, do you notice how many times he says the word "Matt" and speaks in completely incoherent sentences? Sorry. Could not let that go.

Well, that's all for tonight. I was going to speechify on movies i saw yesterday including Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Elektra but I'll leave that for another day. Leave comments! Yay!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

and the search begins...

For those of you who haven't read the comments to my earlier post about Batman Begins, Jacob, my professor and friend who taught me last fall (ie corrupted my mind with brilliant performance theory and liberalism) responded and was able to tell me what that article was! Hooray! It was Laura Mulvey's "Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema," which, as Jacob pointed out, our entire class hated. Now that I had that "aha!" moment the other day, i'm going to have to see if I still hate it as much.

So, I've got a lot more to think about, thanks to Jacob and Frances who posted as well as many others of you who I have chatted with about this.

I want to address a few questions put into my head about the whole subject of masculine vs. feminine in the movies and feminism in general.

I hate the Charlie's Angels movies so that is an example of girl kicking ass i don't enjoy. It fits neither in my catagory of heroines enacting masculinity OR the ideal portrayal I talked about which would be strong women being heros without playing into the hands of masculine stereotypes. I think I need to narrow what kind of movies I'm looking into. Charlie's Angels is an action movie, which would seem to coincide with the genre of Batman Begins. However, it is such a silly movie which does not even try to be taken seriously. Although all of them are strong women in their way, they play into the sexual stereotypes of the men both in the movie and in the audience. But then, as I'm thinking out loud, what makes that any different from Alias, which I have lauded in a past post?

Well, in Alias, Sydney often uses her sexuality to manipulate targets in her multiple disguises and I cannot deny that the viewing audience also thinks she is very sexy. However, I'm going to argue that the focus of Alias is much more intellectual than Charlie's Angels. It takes itself seriously as opposed to the Angels who seem to constantly laugh at themselves and beg for people to laugh with them. There is nothing wrong about laughing at the movies, but because Charlie's Angels is really a satire of a tv era, in many ways, it falls into a comedic action catagory which has its own problems. I think it falls out of the realm I'm really interested in right now which consists in a large part of comic book adaptations and spy stories, action movies which may have humor but are not made for the purpose of comedy. They are hero stories of a different kind.

Jacob also pointed out other types of movies with strong women like Erin Brockovich which I probably misspelled. I saw it awhile ago so I can't comment on it yet but that is a good point. I'm going to rent it again as well as some other movies in slightly different genres to make sure I cover everything. The audience is so different for that kind of movie though that if I do something with my research I might narrow my view down to action movies. Although I would like to explore this in theater too since I am, afterall, a theater major, not a RTVF major.

Well, I'm about out of steam right now. I'm sure I'll have more tomorrow after another night of sleeping on the hard questions in life.

Goodnight y'all!

Friday, June 24, 2005


So I took a sick day today, very unwillingly. But i'm sick and I don't think my congested lungs would like it if I tried to ride my bike up to Noyes in very hot weather and then sit in a slightly airconditioned room for 7 hours. Besides, I don't think my coworkers would appreciate my getting them sick either.

So, quick post for now. Cynthia and I were eating lunch when we started talking about the movie post and we realized that Kill Bill is a great exception to the female as masculine only being popular thing. Because not only is Uma Thurman not a sex object in the way that Angelina Jolie might be, she kicks ass as a woman with very maternal and feminine instincts.

That being said, I'm going to go curl up in the living room and watch Kill Bill 2 with my roomie.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

the ever so cute "Nick" (sp?) Posted by Hello

This is one of the rats which resides in Pasadena with my brother and sister-in-law. There are two other ones but they were not quite as cute as old rat Nick here. He was cooling off (because Lorian and Joseph keep the apartment WAY to warm) in one of the cinderblocks holding up the shelves, taking a little break before exploring the great book next to him, The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide...

This leads me into a post I was going to write ever since I got back from California. While I was at my grandmother's, she found a great editorial for me to read on the Qur'an abuse. If you've read my earlier posts on the subject, you of course know that I was none too happy about even such abuse being alleged. Because even if Newsweek said they were wrong, it doesn't make up for the reaction to the story and the impact it has on the way we view prisoners and war. The editorial I read, which I could not relocate on the LA Times website, was a more "conservative" view on the whole situation. I hesitate to use the word "conservative" though because it is becoming too much of a term for "Bush/war" supporters just as "liberal" has come to equal "Hippie-Pacifist-Bush-Haters." The dichotomy just bothers me. In any case, this editorial was from a view that was not as alarmed by the scandel and urged readers to think about all the prisoners who have abused the Koran themselves in acts of defiance and hatred.

My opinion was definately altered by this article because i realized that there were probably Muslims in Guantanemo who did abuse their own holy book and do other atrocious things. But that did not end up taking away my firm point of view that Americans need to become more educated on Islam in order to eventually end this war and eventually come to peace. (***note: I am not excluding what other cultures need to become accepting from. However, I believe it is wrong for us to try to force others to follow our American ideology but as Americans we can still "be the bigger nation," so to speak, and try to understand the opposing point of view more fully and accept it.) The part of the editorial which lost me was when the writer, who I really wish I could remember, quoted from the instructional manuel of sorts given to the guards at Guantanemo, outlining how to treat Muslim prisoners and thier religious practices.

And the writer took this to prove that the abuses did not happen.

I had a big "AHA" moment when listening to Senator John McCain speak at our commencement ceremony last friday. His speech was on the topic of defending human rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was an amazing speech (although my conservative friends were upset that he was so "moderate" by agreeing to much with democrats...). There were points I shuddered at because I disagreed but for the most part, the message he gave was universal and clear - young people, like those who graduated last week, need to stand up and demand human rights for all people. This does not mean only armed war (although he did say that sometimes it was absolutely necessary). It means standing up for those rights when electing public officials, when interacting with people from other nations, and in educating the children for our country. Human rights are universal and say nothing about being a democratic country or embracing capitalism or other things we might think of "imposing" on other nations, going back to what i said earlier about imposing America's ideology on the world. A lot of it has to do with how we do things on our own soil or how our own people, our representatives act! It was only 50 years ago when there were racist laws in our country treading on other people's human rights! We can't say America's perfect because innocent people are still being put to death for crimes they did not commit, children are being exploited for labor and pornography, and some of our brave soldiers are commiting cowardly acts of abuse such as the prison abuse scandel in Iraq. Although Senator McCain did not specifically mention the Qur'an abuse issue, its what I thought of immediately when he talked about the image we have to create and the fact that we should be angry and take note that it could even be alleged that Americans would do something as horrible as flush the Islamic holy book down the toilet.

Internal change, that's what I'm looking for and what I think we should all help accomplish. I keep thinking about passages from the bible. "Yet ye who is without sin cast the first stone" and "turn the other cheek." On an individual basis it would be wrong for someone who is morally corrupt to get on the case of someone else just a morally corrupt (which is not supposed to imply that America or any other nation in particular is morally corrupt. Its just an example). We have our faults. Let's fix them. That will get the world back on our side. I'm tired of being a "stupid" American to some Europeans or considered "arrogant and snobbish" to others. So I'm committed to personally trying to change that image. I know its an idealistic idea but all change has to start from some where and have people behind it, committed to making it work.

And with that, I will end yet another very verbose blog entry. Summer vacation apparently has made me miss writing papers for professors. So now I get to just to it for fun :-).

a one more thing...

Something I forgot to mention was how maybe the inequality and lack of diversity was there to make a point about the state of Gotham. However, if that was the case, it was not approached well enough to read. So I'm more inclined to think those things were casual by-products of a typical popular action/superhero movie in today's world.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

This might ruin a movie for you. Consider yourself warned...

Yes my friends, I am going to use my blog to write what could be construed as a movie review. If you are one of those people like me who prefers to see the movie before completely judging it, stop now, go see Batman Begins, which is not a total waste of money, and THEN come back here and read my blog. However, if you are unaffected by reading about movies before seeing them (and I don't think I will really be able to give anything away about this one...) then read on. Consider yourself warned...

So yes, I went to see the new Batman movie tonight. I would like to state as a disclaimer that yes, this was my first Batman movie I've ever seen so that might skew my opinion a little bit. I wasn't even planning on going to see this one until I read some really great reviews in the NYTimes and the LA paper. Even Lawrence Topman, our deranged movie review in Charlotte thought it was good. And now, listen closely because this is important, I will admit what my first reaction was to the movie. I'm sure you all have had that moment during the movie where you go "wow, this movie is better than..." or "man, i can't wait to see this again" or I suppose sometimes "kill me now." With all the build up, i'm sure you are thinking that the third option is what I thought. But in reality, about halfway through the movie, after yet another witty line of dialogue and flashy stunts, I said to myself "this might even be a better movie than either of the X-Men movies! Michael Caine sure is funnier!"

So if you didn't heed my warning about reading this before seeing the movie, now would be a good time to stop before I point out some things which have soured the whole experience for me.

Yes, movies are an experience. We pay money to sit in a dark room with strangers and watch people do brave things or fall in love or do things to make us laugh or cry. And in the midst of these actions, we often find reason to relate to the images on screen in a way we have trouble doing in our day to day lives. At the end, we either sit and watch all the names scroll down the screen or else stand up immediately to talk to our friends about "what we thought." So tonight I paid money (well, Matt the bank did but I'm going to pay him back...) to see a movie which reviewers promised would be entertaining and truly it was. But at that moment when I left, all I could think about was how messed up our society is. I would say corrupt but that would imply it has been better in the past.

I'm talking about women and the role of women in society. Yes, I'm going to get on my feminism soapbox now. I've been thinking a lot lately about movies and plays and the role of female energy within various productions. I've recently figured out that the reason I don't like movies such as Gladiater, Troy, or Master and Commander, to name a few, is that we are supposed to cheer at the heroics men, who make up only half of the world we live in. The women are always "supporting characters," added to the story to get a wider audience and I suppose in some cases to "enrich the story." These epic tales are hard for me to relate to because my experience as a woman is not even acknowledged. I don't know if I am making much sense at the moment because I'm basing this all on some performance theory I studied last fall in my class, "Theory, Performance, and Social Justice" which illustrates the dichotomy of masculine and feminine characters.

The basic idea, which I will go back and read about later and find the citations for it, is that although women can be fully entertained by watching characters in the typically "male" roles, men are often only entertained by those characters playing masculine roles. This means they can be entertained by women playing roles traditionally defined as being "male" roles, pretty much doing what a man would do. Have you noticed in war movies or police movies, the female characters are often hyper masculine (I'm thinking Demi Moore in GI Jane or the female police officer in SWAT). These characters are a far cry from what I would like to see more of which is women being women on screen, playing strong roles which do not necessitate an association with masculine stereotypes. Most movies with women in the lead role are considered "chick flicks," especially if there is a love interest involved. Batman Begins, however, has only one female character. In addition, the only "ethnic" characters are Morgan Freeman (who is absent for most of the movie because he's too busy working in the "dungeons") and the multitude of Kung Fu bad guys! I just want to point out that a whole other diatribe could be written on race and the movies but right now, I'm going to concentrate on women.

So there is one female, Rachel, who is the whiny assistant DA who is, of course, a beautiful idealist. She is not in a position of power, seeing as she has a male boss and when she says something "out of line," the men in the movie call her on it and she gets reprimanded. Like all female love interests in superhero stories, she constantly needs rescuing, and when she does get to fight a bad guy, it is with a tazer (don't know the spelling exactly) against a wimpy villian who has a defective "mask." In other words, the "weak" villain who, I hate to say it, might stereotypically be called the "girly" villain. He even had big lips like Angelina Jolie. There were a few white women sitting around at the Wayne Corp board meetings and I think I might have seen a female cop somewhere. But other than that, it was as if the "fairer" sex did not exist. There were several blatently sexist remarks in the movie which I will leave for you to discover.

So here's what i want to do. I am going to go to blockbuster and rent a bunch of movies I've never seen as part of my summer "research." Lara Croft, Elektra, and Catwomen, here I come! I want to watch "action" movies this summer so I can see if I"m really imagining how lopsided the market is. I want to see women kick ass, to be honest! One of the reasons I love the TV show Alias is the fact that Sydney kicks bad guy butt. Performance theory would probably say her role is appealing because she is playing a masculine role but that is where I think that article i read (which I will cite later) is wrong. She uses what she knows and feels as a women to combat evil unabashedly. She is not afraid to take help from men but it does not mean she necessarily "needs" it. As far as stereotypes go, she is not hyper-masculine, she is not afraid to use her "feminine intuition" aka emotions to fight world crime, and she can still have romance without sacrificing who she is and what she does. So where is her character in the movies? Are there movies with characters like her which are just passed off as bad movies? Or is it something we still need more of in the film world. I know Lara Croft had a large male fan base but was that because she was a woman kicking ass or just a nice ass to look at while on screen in very tight clothes. I'll have to see the movie and judge for myself. And you know I'm a fan of judging movies, after this long post.

So to end on a positive not, Bruce Wayne has the best sidekicks ever. The only thing that would have made his sidekicks of Morgan Freedman and Michael Caine better would have been if they were female.

That's all I have to say. Thank you for reading this far and I hope I don't want to take back everything I said above tomorrow. I literally came home from the movie, without talking about it with my friends, and spilled what I thought here. I think its going to occupy my mind for a while so there may be more posts. I hope you'll still read on! Leave a comment if you have an opinion about what I said or the movie in general. I want to know what other people think because that will have an impact on how I form my own opinion. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

BA and CA

Hello. My name is Emily and i am an addict of both books and caffeine. I would like to do better about these two addictions but they are just so fulfilling!!!

Yeah, so tonight I left the apartment with a sum total of $4.84 to spend. The reason? I really wanted some caffeine. I had a Borders gift card. Borders has a cafe. AS you can see, the plot thickens. Not only did I have $4.84, I had $25 that could be spent on caffeine AND books.

Now I am back home and here is the damage report. I spent $27.41 on books at Borders. Only books. So I still needed caffeine. So I went to CVS and got a 2-liter of diet coke and 2 white chocolate Hershey's bars for only $1.75! Wow! How did I feed so many addictions for so cheap? (considering that $25 of it was a gift).

I am such an addict.

But I'm really excited about the books.

So with my giftcard, I bought two books people have been telling me to read. The first is The Spiral Staircase by Karen Armstrong. My great-aunt recommended it and Karen Armstrong is one of my dad's favorite religious authors. I'm looking forward to this book because it is about how she found more spiritual fulfillment in the study of comparative religions than in ther 7 years as a nun. I'm very interested in reading about other people's spiritual journeys because in some ways it affirms that there is still spirituality in this world we live in and it is found in many different forms and religions.

The second book is the Riddlemaster trilogy by Patricia McKillip. My sister has been telling me to read these books (they are all in one volume that I got tonight for 30% off) for a long time and I was looking for some fiction to read.

Yeah, so I bought more books. Now let me really make you realize how silly that was. When I packed up my dorm room, I had 4 boxes of books. 3 of these I put in storage and the other one is here with me at my sublet. I put them on my shelf and I realized that although I have collected these books all year, I have not read most of them. Some I bought with giftcards, or saw on the bargain rack, or had people give to me. Others were for classes that I never got to read because everyone knows its impossible to read everything assigned.

I almost forgot, yesterday I went to the Northwestern Library and got 7 books - a 4-volume edited set of Greek Tragedy, out of which I need to read all the major works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euridipes, and three secondary source books that Bud, my acting teacher, recommended to help us in reading all those greek plays.

So the current list of books/plays I'm reading is as follows (I'll keep you updated over the summer):
Agammemnon by Aeschylus
Why I Am a Catholic by Garry Wills
Anna Karenina by Tolstoy
Books on Islam from my Islam class
and very soon I will add:
The Spiral Staircase by Karen Armstrong
Riddle-Master by Patricia McKillip

But I might drop Why I Am a Catholic for a little while because I'm kind of stuck at this point in a bunch of stuff about early popes which has so many names and weird religious terms that I need to take a break. I love Garry Wills (who just retired from NU this year without my being able to take a class from him. *tear*) and agree with what he has to say about needing to be open to change within the Catholic church BUT right now I'm stuck in all this dry history stuff about Rome and the papacy in the early part of the first millenium that I probably need to either skip ahead or come back to it. Interesting thing about this book, the first section was about how Garry Will's was going to be a priest but how he found his spiritual enrichment by leaving the seminary and becoming a scholar...sounds familiar to another book on my list...

Anyways, I'm so addicted to books and caffeine that writing this post while sipping my diet coke has made me really happy. More on life, the universe, religion, and everything later!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

at the reception! Posted by Hello

So last week I had my little summer "vacation" in California. The day after I turned in my last final, I headed out to Redlands (where my great aunt and grandma live) and Pasadena (where my brother and now sister-in-law live) for the festivities. My sister-in-law graduated Friday morning and then she and my brother got married that evening. I was a bridesmaid and got to wear a lovely wreath as you can see in the picture above, taken at Buca di Beppo where the reception was held. That's my gorgeous sister, btw.

The wedding was beautiful. It was outdoors in these beautiful gardens in the Japanese garden. There is a lot more I could tell about the whole week but I just don't feel like taking the time to write about it here! We went to the beach Saturday, that was fun. We got hauled in by the lifeguards because we just happened to be swimming in this one little stretch with a riptide. I scarily got pulled under at one point so I think it will be awhile before I go swimming in the Pacific again.

Well, I'll update more about my new internship and some political commentary later. Now its bedtime.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

less than a week? You've got to be kidding me!

Wow, the end of the quarter has snuck up on me again, even though it has been highly anticipated! I'm working on my last project, which is an 20-page (at least. it will be longer at the rate I'm going) script adaptation of a story from The Arabian Nights. I'm adapting a comical story called "The Tale of the Sleeper Wakened." The only thing I don't like about this project is the amount of typing I have to do. The tips of my fingers are getting a little tender which is kind of pathetic. This should be no harder than pulling an all-nighter for a 10-page paper! But I guess my general exhaustion doesn't help my fingers.

I'm very close to being done packing! With the help of the company of Cynthia and Zev last night, I was able to pack my puppets, most of my summer clothes, and the rest of my books. I've also pretty much got my duffle for CA packed. I just have to pack all the random stuff on my desk and all those extra pairs of shoes that I might need this summer. Oh yeah, and all the posters on my wall. Fun stuff!

Well, I'm off to adapt and pack a little more before I head up to Sheil for the wonderful Sheilfest extravaganza! We are probably going to be forced to party inside since there is a line of severe thunderstorms headed directly towards us. But as my roommate said, "we can always hope for a sudden strong wind to blow the storms directly north or south of us."

A bientot!