Thursday, July 28, 2005

third times the charm...

I know all of you have been wondering why it's been almost a WEEK since I've posted! IT'S NOT FOR LACK OF TRYING!!!

Monday I had a really bad day and wrote a really sad, garbled post that was so convoluted I decided it would not be understood and was way to personal. It was quite a cathartic experience to just write it down and I of course closed the window before I thought "wow, Emily, you might want to at least save that for you to read later!" Instead, it is gone forever. The basic gist was good though: I have recently forgotton to be good to myself which is probably why when other people tried to treat me very well, I got pissed off. I just wasn't used to being on that side of the "nurturing." It was more complicated than that but I think that's all I've got to write now.

Tuesday night I was feeling much better so I decided to write a nice post about the awesome Theology on Tap discussion we had at Sheil on Sunday night. We had a speaker talk on the topic of "When the Heart Speaks, Take Good Notes: Spirituality in Everyday Life." I had some major "aha!" moments and wrote all about them Tuesday night! Then I accidently hit some stupid shortcut key which "navigated" away from the page without saving, and thus I lost a REALLY long post, half of which was a rehash of the Monday post and the other about spirituality! So the rehash of that post is this: Spirituality is not much if you are selfish and won't let other people in on it. That's a nice colloquial way of putting it, I suppose. Joanne Cahoon, our speaker, quoted one of her Jesuit teachers as saying "we have the right to the Christ in one another's heart." Interesting way of putting it, I thought. How I interpret it is that through baptism, we are joined with all other baptized people in this great community which (in an ideal world/situation) revolves around spirituality and understanding. It is a responsibility of all the community members to share with others and it is a right for all community members to have that information shared with them! That is really not gramatically correct but it is the end of another 12-hour day and I can't put it more succinctly at the moment. I hope how I put it doesn't sound pompous or anything. Its just me trying to figure out what spirituality in everday life means

Which is something else that came up! I actually mentioned my block when discussing with my table because we got on the topic of sharing with others. We decided that in order to grow spiritually, you have to share your ideas with others, listen to their ideas, and then modify as needed. It's basically what I do with my blog. I love to get comments because I know someone else is listening and I also get something else to consider, many times! Even if no one reads this,however, it would still be helping me grow spiritually (as well as intellectually) because writing clarifies ideas in my mind. It is easier to listen to your heart when you..."take good notes..." I go back and read stuff I wrote earlier to try to figure out what I thought or felt about particular ideas and such. There is so much going on in my mind, as I'm sure you can relate to, that it just helps to put it on paper (or computer screen...) to get it out of the mind and make room for some other stuff. It's like defragging your harddrive!!!! I just figured that out!!! You write it down, consider what you wrote, and then put it back in your mind in a more organized fashion!!

In fact, I really could have just summed up the last two paragraphs by saying "share what you know, write down what you feel, and eventually you will be able to run smoother, just like a computer that just went through a defrag program."

Wow, the metaphors I've been coming up with the last couple days are CRAZY! I'll have to see what my CS friends think of my interpretation of defragging though..

So, I think I actually just rewrote the Tuesday post above. What a surprise. I meant to sum it up better but it's late and I like to write.

Here are some other things I wanted to write about (I was planning this post on the El ride home...):

  1. I bought new shoes today. They are RED! I almost got the same style in black instead, since they would obviously compliment more outfits...but I decided to get the FUN color and I'm glad I did. I smiled everytime I looked down at my feet, and they made me feel special in a room full of opera/acting/dancing divas at rehearsal, which is a hard thing to do (notice the word "diva"...) In addition, an adorable little girl with pigtails on the El told me she really liked my shoes. I told her I really liked hers because of the little embroidered daisies on hers. This was after she asked her mom if it was okay to wave at me (Family people: "Ne-ver talk to strange---ers..." it's hard to write that "song" in text only...but I"m sure the four of you got it...hehehe). Oh yeah, and they are definately the most comfortable shoes I own now, other than by Birkenstocks, and they were WAY discounted. All things which make me happy...
  2. At rehearsal tonight, I played the role of "Baron Zeta" and it was fun. I never did get my lines right but hey, it was a difficult song and I"m really not a baritone....I made people laugh though which is always delightful! They found my playing a middle-aged baritone character with a thick "Pontevedrian" accent quite funny...especially since I"m just a lowly ASM...
  3. Carrots are great when you're thirsty.
  4. I finally saw where I'm going to live next year! I love it! I can lie in bed, literally, and just watch the sunset out of my huge window! Yay! Plus I have a real kitchen and a great friend to live with!
  5. I'm going to probably take Psych 110 instead of Arabic in the fall :-( Something had to go if I want to do drama therapy. And it had to be the one class I was not taking for one of my majors. I learn Arabic later! The FBI and CIA pay for you to take it if they recruit you. So I'll just do it then...
  6. I'm in a good mood.
  7. I think that because I'm already up to #7, I should think of a few more things for this long post.
  8. Oh! I am way too attached to books. I had my sister and mom pack up some books to bring me. As my sister was reading me the titles of what she has for me (My complete Oscar Wilde book, Bel Canto, Frankenstein, etc...) I started salivating. Then I caught myself later justifying my failure to read HP6 yet with the fact that (and this is a direct quote from my thought process...) "It just wouldn't be fair to the other books I haven't finished yet if I neglected them for Harry Potter." Yeah. I stopped walking at that point and thought of how my mother is going to laugh at me for that one...
  9. I'm going to World Market on Saturday to get a basket from my crocheting. I have yarn and crochet pieces for my brother and sister-in-law's wedding present all over the apartment and I think it is getting on my roommates nerves...
  10. I miss my tamarins at the Lincoln Park Zoo...I think a visit there is in order. Very soon...

Wow, I commend and thank you for reading this far. Especially after the top ten of random thoughts in my head listed above.


Ciao, y'all. Talk to you soon!


Saturday, July 23, 2005

In America and Drama Therapy

I just finished watching the movie In America which I highly recommend to all. I thought it was going to be more depressing in the end, based on everything I had heard, but it is a really uplifting movie! Granted, it did make me sob, but I feel so much better about life now that I've watched it. Basically I've had a rough couple of days at work and at rehearsal. The director and the playwright keep changing the script for this new translation of The Merry Widow which means a lot of work for me, trying to make sure both sides approved all the changes and then making sure the cast gets all of them. It's a complicated process and quite frustrating. On top of that, there were major problems getting my timesheet in for the new BEHIV job, I had to wait at the sketchy Wilson El stop for almost 45 minutes the other night, and I tore the leg of yet another pair of good pants while trying to ride a bike. That all happened in the last 52 hours so by today, I was exhausted. I wanted to return In America so I sat down this afternoon and started it. The beauty of this movie is in the wisdom of children. I think us "grown-ups" tend to forget how wise children really are and we lose touch with the simplicity of the wisdom we used to have. Children let go of hardship more easily because they have an easier time focusing on the here and now.

It's really funny because I've been thinking about what it was like to be a little kid a lot lately. In the LOW office yesterday, Paige and Colm started talking about how "different" childhood was for the "over 25." I really laughed at them for that (they are both in their early 30s) because my childhood was really not so different from what they were describing and I'm not yet over 25... Here are some of the things they just assumed would be foreign to my childhood (although Paige said that my excuse was that I grew up in the South...which might be true...)
  • I didn't grow up talking on cell phones and waiting for friends to "page" me.
  • Because of the lack of cell phones, we would go playing for hours in the neighborhood and the only way our parents could get ahold of us was yelling really loudly or calling friends houses to see if we were there.
  • I never had a Playstation, Nitendo, or Xbox, and I didn't watch TV all afternoon. Instead, my friends and I played outside on the swingset, had pick-up games of baseball and soccer in the circle or my back yard, and sometimes in the summer we would have huge block-wide games of capture the flag.
  • If it was rainy outside, instead of turning on the TV or surfing the internet, we'd read a book, play card games, or make art.
  • If we got bored, we'd just walk over to a friends house and knock on the door, without our parents walking us there.

I can't think of the other 8 things or so that I connected with on the list. If I find it, I'll post it. But the whole point goes back to being a kid. When I was a kid (as in before teenagehood), I would dance in the backyard and didnt' care if the neighbors could see me, I wore whatever I found clean in my room, and the future and the past were not things to spend too much time worrying about.

The kids in In America are the ones who remember that wisdom of living in the moment and a major theme in the movie is about the kids teaching the parents to let go. I'm not saying the girls didn't feel sorrow or pain, it would be an insult to say that kids did not feel like that. On the contrary they did feel those things but somehow were able to keep living in the present. It was a beautiful thing to watch.

I'm sure there are plenty of other things I could write about pretaining the movie but I'll leave it for another time. Let me know if you have thoughts about this movie too. It really just impressed me and I loved it.

So the other part of my title is "Drama Therapy." I was doing some research the other day at BEHIV about art exhibits for fundraisers, especially those exhibiting art from art therapy patients. In one of my numerous internet searches, I found something about drama therapy! I'm sure most of you have heard of art, music, or dance therapy but like me, drama therapy might be something new to you! I had always wondered if there was such a thing and, surprise!, there is!

It's kind of ironic, "drama therapy," because Bud, my acting teacher, is always reminding us NOT to use acting as therapy because that is not what it is for and we will end up messed up. I completely agree with that. Making a career out of something so you can "feel better" or "figure things out" is not healthy. But there is something therapeutic about being on stage and creating stories and characters! And that's the field of drama therapy! Drama therapists work with many different kinds of groups such as mentally disabled or ill, prisoners, homeless, people with serious diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS, abused children, etc. I'm still just starting to learn about it but I'm interested in seeing if it might be a route I'd like to take with my own education and career. There are only three universities in the US and Canada which have programs accredited by the National Association of Drama Therapy, so it is obviously a small field of graduate studies at the moment. I'm always searching for ways to use what I love, theater, to help other people and this is just one more option. When I took all those silly career assessment/surveys when applying to colleges, the number one career I would be good at was apparently a psychologist or counselor. It always surprised me until my friends started telling me I should go into therapy since I have some weird way of making people feel better. Now with my own depression, I'm starting to see how much passion I have for the subject. I did not pursue psychology in college because I love theater more and I know I want to have a career related to theater in some way. But now that I see there is a way to bring it into therapy, I'm going to see where that takes me. My religion background will be very helpful if I decide to do this, seeing as it helps me understand other cultures and ideologies. This may just be one of my many career fads which gets pushed to the back of my mind as I find other things I want to do but maybe it won't be. It's an extremely interesting subject, in any case, and I can't wait to read some books about it.

I should have saved some of this for another post, I apologize. I just love writing things here because life just makes more sense when you write about it.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

argh (a popular title)

The show is keeping me really busy so I think weekends are going to be when I can update the most... I'm so very tired right now.

I've been doing a lot of reading because I spend at least an hour and half on the El going to and from rehearsal. I still have not let myself get heavy in Harry Potter because I need to finish other stuff first. I don't even know how I'm going to finish all the Greek stuff for Bud (Acting) in the fall. I guess those few weeks before class starts in September will be valuable.

I finally got around to reading the Laura Mulvey article "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" this week. I'm going to find my favorite quotes on the El tomorrow so I can post in more detail. I recommend reading the article if you are intrigued by what I've been saying about movies. I still don't agree with everything she says about the "castration complex" and her analysis of certain films. But it is starting to make a lot more sense.

I was very happy when reading the article to find out I was not completely insane that night when I went ranting about Batman Begins and how my problems with it related to this article I read. The connection is in how hero movies are often written and shot through the man's perspective and the females in the story, although they may have a lot of screen time, are only auxiliaries to the story, put there to serve the protagonist. Movies told from the female perspective often are called "chick flicks." There is a quote in the article of Rudd Boetticher that says "What counts is what the heroine provokes, or rather what she represents. She is the one, or rather the love or fear she inspires in the hero, or else the concern he feels for her, who makes him act the way he does. In herself the woman has not the slightest importance." That's how I would describe the Katie Holmes character in Batman. Mulvey goes on to talk about the "buddy movie' which just puts in a male sidekick so that "the active homosexual eroticism of the central male figures can carry the story without distraction." (Mulvey) A little explanation of the sexual descriptions - Mulvey talks a lot about films in sexual terms, in terms of scopophilia, eroticism, pleasure, castration, etc. She also seems to have a proclivity to Freud which might explain some of this. It is what makes the article a difficult one to digest but essentially very interesting once it can be digested. As I have said before, I really didn't like this article when I read it in class last fall. It's funny how opinions change with experiences.

So that was more than I expected to write tonight. I'll do some more digesting tomorrow and see if I can explain better soon.

Erica's coming tomorrow! Yay! So that means I probably won't have time to even get near my computer again until Saturday or Sunday, when she is out with other friends. I'm looking forward to this weekend. Because rehearsal has been a little stressed due to multiple script changes and a cramped rehearsal schedule. Oh yeah, I dropped a flat on my foot the other night too, so that hurts some. It's really disappointing, though, because it only turned a pale brown instead of an exciting purple and red combination. That would have drawn more sympathy but instead it just looks like a weird foot tan line. Oh well.

That was a big non-sequitor. I like those. But I apologize if it snuck up a little to much on all y'alls (I learned that phrase in "Misss-ippi." Yay for ASB 2005.

Okay, its late, gotta sleep. BEHIV in the morning. Hopefully they will have tons of interesting stuff for me to do. Or enough brainless data entry to make the day pass by.


Monday, July 18, 2005

a new respect

Hey folks. I feel like I've been neglecting you since it has been five days since my last post and longer than that since a particularly interesting one! I'm hoping this week will not be quite so hectic though. I worked 65+ hours this week between my two jobs and that will not happen again hopeful. Well, it will come close but not that close. As you know, I"m now in rehearsal for The Merry Widow at Light Opera Works and am working several days a week at BEHIV. I have considered quitting my BEHIV job but frankly, I feel a sick need to push through this and prove to myself that I can be self-sustaining. I love my LOW job but when I graduate, if I get a job like the one at the theater I have now, I will have to work a second job. So I should get used to it now. Not all stage managers make a good buck after graduation. You have to work your way up!

So I have a new found respect for all those parents who work more than one job to support their children. It is self sacrifice at the greatest. I also have a new respect for people I know who have to work their way through school and occasionally have to change schools or drop out long enough to make enough money to pay for it again. I am blessed in my parents being able to support me through school with the help of the government. Of course I will be in debt for many years after graduation, but that was my choice. And now I know that I can work two jobs to help pay off those loans.

So tomorrow is Monday and I start another long day of work. But I'm excited because it is a full day of rehearsal, and our first staging rehearsal! I've never worked on a show this scale but this is what I'm here to learn! I'm not just an intern anymore, I'm an ASM with a lot of responsibilities and now I get to test them out in the "real world."

I'm still doing a lot of reading, btw. I just bought Harry Potter #6 but I'm not really going to work too hard on that until I finish some of my other reading. I'm picking up "Why I am a Catholic" by Gary Wills again because of some conversations about the Catholic Church and it's "archaic" traditions. I also am almost done with the Orestia (I'm on the Eumenides...) and have almost finished the first book of Riddlemaster. So I'm hoping to tie off some of those loose ends this week on my long El rides. That's the advantage of rehearsal outside of Evanston. I get more time to read on the train! I always try to find that bright side.

Anyways, have a wonderful week and I will try to put some more "interesting" posts (aka rants) up soon. I"m sure things will come up throughout the week.

OOh! That reminds me. I read this morning that 99 Iraqis were killed by a suicide bomber this morning. I read it in the World section of the NYTimes online. It was not frontpage news and throughout the day, I did not see a single news station report on it for more than 4 seconds. I have deep sympathy for the victims of the bombings in London. But sometimes it seems like we ignore the devastion in other countries happening on larger scales, just because they don't look like us or have the same ideological beliefs as the "Western" world we live in. It just made me really sad, just as all loss of life makes me sad. It's why I hate war and deplore the actions of many politicians in our country as well as others. My life is precious to me as are the lives of all those people I love. But its as though we have been desensitized as a society to see other people as not having lives. Of course, the "other side" is guilty of this as well. But that doesn't make our society any less disheartening.

I hope that makes sense and doesn't seem like I'm downplaying the tragedy of recent events on our soil and those of our English friends. That's not my intention. It is all loss of life which is horrible.

Okay, glad I remembered that. More opinions to come soon. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

new office, new boredom

I miss the LOW office. Hanging out with theater people all day and doing theater things is so much more fulfilling for me even though the stuff I did today at BEHIV might be more meaningful. Today was a pretty long day at the BEHIV office. My first project is to call pretty much every theater in Chicago and ask if they will donate tickets for our clients so these people can see shows they otherwise would not be able to afford and, in addition, get out in the community so they don't become isolated, as so many with HIV/AIDS do. So I was actually able to get promises for a lot of free tickets which is wonderful! But I basically was just surfing the internet all day, updating their theater database, and make many dead end phone calls. I just have to keep in mind all those people who will get to experience the joy of theater because of the work I did today. But that's hard when you feel so drowsy you just want to collapse.

If I'm not too tired after the P of P Sing-a-Long rehearsal, maybe I'll add more to this post. Until then, have a good evening.


So it's going to be a tough week, I've already realized that much. I just got home about an hour ago after being gone since shortly before 10am, over 12 hours ago. First Merry Widow rehearsal tonight. It went well. But I was pretty bored because they are just learning music so there is not much for the SM team to do. The ensemble sounds great though so I'm looking forward to seeing what Rudy does with the staging.

I start my new job at BEHIV tomorrow. Full day of that. Then I have the rehearsal for the "Pirates of Penzance Sing-A-Long" Yes, my friends, you read that correctly. It's a sing-a-long. And I am the "stage manager" which basically means I go to the one rehearsal and make sure the crazy directors give the professional Equity actors enough breaks and then I go the performance and just hang out in case they need some troubleshooting. So I'll be tied up doing that the next two evenings but at least that is in Evanston.

I wish I had more energy to write about the weekend. I saw a fun production of Into the Woods at the outdoor summer theater in Wilmette. I also went to Theology on Tap last night and heard an "interesting" talk about Catholic interpretation of the Bible. Most of that talk was more "The Bible for biblical Dummies, aka Catholics" but there was some interesting stuff after that, once we had been taught where to find the story of David and Goliath.

Hopefully I'll have more time to discuss those things later cause I, of course, have a lot to say.

But I'm falling asleep typing now.

And have to be at my new job at 9am. Ugh.

Goodnight, y'all!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Two things for tonight.

First, there are two movies you should take time to see. The first is still in the theaters, Crash. It is a great examiniation of human nature, and in particular, racism. I left the theater wondering whether or not I'm really a "good" person. It also related some to my feminist rants. Everyone in the movie had a little racism which leaked out at times, racism they probably didn't realize they had most of the time or else racism which really didnt' bother them. I think sexism is the same way. It's so ingrained in human nature and society right now that we often let it pass without noticing the harmful stereotypes being reinforced every day. My favorite characters in this movie were the ones who took note of their own prejudice and tried to change it even if they ended up failing miserably in the end. So yeah, go see this movie while it's still out there. Don't wait for the video, it's too long to wait.

The second movie I saw recently was Return to Paradise with Anne Heche, Joaquin Phoenix, and my favorite, Vince Vaughn. This drama was extremely powerful because it dealt with a choice none of us would want to make. Basically the choice is "save your friend from being hung in Malaysia by serving 3-6 years in a third world prison (for a crime you did actually take part in)" or "let your friend die and say in nice safe America." Yeah, at first I thought it would be an easy thing to decide but obviously there are more complications to worry about. Another very thought provoking movie which I highly recommend.

By the way, some of you may be wondering why I am seeing so many movies. Honestly, this is what I like to do during the summer. I hardly ever get out to see movies during the school year. I average about one movie in the theater every three months. I don't see many other movies either just cause of the lack of selection at the campus movie store. So during the summer I get to watch all the movies I missed and then some. My movie intake will diminish in the next couple weeks though because rehearsals for The Merry Widow for which I am assistant stage manager, start Monday and I am also starting a second part time job at BEHIV, a non-profit which provides services like mental health counseling and help finding housing to low income HIV patients (see link to the left). I will be a development assistant aka all around office intern. It's going to be interesting and it pays well.

Okay, so second thing, probably even more fun than any of the above. An amazing website called Tom Cruise Is Nuts! Go to for entertainment and fuel for arguments against die hard Cruise fans. Here is their "disclaimer"

"Our use of the term "nuts" is meant, as defined in Webster's, as a reference to an "eccentric" person. That's all. We do not mean to in any way denigrate or belittle anyone with mental illness. In fact, we take mental illness very seriously, which is why Mr. Cruise's ill-informed rant inspired us to create this website. We don't have anything personally against Mr. Cruise, either. We think he's a first-class actor and a humanitarian. We did used to worry that he was a misguided zealot, but that's all. Now we think he's a dangerous, misguided zealot."

I love that last part. I completely agree - "a dangerous, misguided zealot." I was very sad today to hear about Katie Holmes converting to Scientology and I hope she wakes up from the trance Cruise has put her in (probably using vitamens and exercise) so that she can return to the sweet, normal actress I used to respect.

That's all for now. Leave me comments. Yay!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I will conquer this steel!!! Posted by Picasa

I posted this picture because it reminded me of a great conversation I had with my friend Bekah last night about service and spirituality. This picture was taken on ASB, aka Alternative Spring Break, this spring in Jonestown, Mississippi with my Catholic Sheil buddies. We were working for Habitat for Humanity and in addition, we did some work in town at the carpentry shop and the building which used to be a brothel but will soon be a youth library. In this picture I am doing what could seem like a fruitless act of trying to get a small piece of welded steel off of a larger piece so we could use it to brace the crumbling door frame. While in fact I never did get that damn piece off and we had to use another piece of steel and a four by four (or foh by foh as Tim says), I was ready to rip that steel apart with my teeth if it meant keeping the kids of Jonestown safe from a crumbling wall.

And that's where I find spirituality, in serving others even if I dont' even get to meet those people. In serving others, I feel close to God. As Bekah and I talked about, its a way of finding "samadhi" which you'll recognize from my blog title. It's really hard to explain samadhi but my basic understanding of it is a transcendant form of consciousness where you are concious of everything at once and in a spiritual way. It's kind of a union with the world around you which I interpret to being a good thing because it leads to understanding. So service is one of the ways of trying to reach that state because it is an action relating to a part of the world we so commonly look over or dismiss. And in a very Catholic way, I believe service is what Christ calls me to do and it is a way to become closer to God. A spiritual union not through solitary meditation and prayer but instead through the prayerful assistance to others.

Well, that's enough mysticism for this evening. Just wanted to share. It was a great conversation.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I'm sorry

Oh dear blog friends. I apologize for not posting ANYTHING of interest in the last couple days. I think that my long string of ranting posts got the most of me and now I am ranted out for a little bit. I am about halfway through reading the Laura Mulvey article and it is really interesting how much more I appreciate it then when Jacob made us read it the first time.

Movie update - haven't really seen any new ones. Well, I did see House of Sand and Fog. I didn't like it. It was just too depressing. Too many people died. And the character development was kinda week. Except for the sheriff's deputy guy because I definately grew to hate him more as the movie went on. Jennifer Connelly's character was somewhat interesting - I liked the exploration of depression and the need for support - but the story wasn't strong enough, I felt, to really expand on her character and help us learn something about her personnally.

So, it's July 5th and I'm still surviving in the Chicago summer. Chicagoans do not have a clear conception of heat and humidity from what I can tell. Yes, I have been caught complaining about the heat a few times but that is only because we do not have AC and I always follow up my whining by a submission that the humidity is not half as bad as it is in Charlotte.

So, I had an okay July 4th but honestly, it made me really homesick. It's the first 4th of July I have not spent with my family, in particular my dad. But I had fun going to see the E-town fireworks by the lake. My SM professor, Barbara, had told me where she sits every year with her husband and their daughter Kate so I found them and had a great time listening to the fireworks commentary of the five-year-old Kate. I miss being five. It seems like such a great age (for the kid at least).

Well, I'm going to go to bed now. I have another long day at work ahead of me. With rehearsals starting in less than a week, it is time to get all that wonderful (and honestly, no sarcasm there) paperwork done.

More rants soon, I promise!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

July 4th

I need something to do July 4th. I got a bunch of good veggies and some salmon to make myself a great dinner but I want to do something entertaining. So, here's an open invitation for anyone who wants to go hear live bluegrass at The Celtic Knot with me Monday night. IM or email or call me for details. Yay! Spending the 4th with southern music! Can't get better than that!

Brooke Shields fights back!

Click on the link above to read whay Brooke Shields has to say about Tom Cruise's insanity.

In other news about that, as a religion major I decided it would be important for me to look more into what the "religion" of scientology actually is. I spent a little time last night reading through information on their official webpage (which I believe is and the funny thing was that I saw no mention of God or a higher being or beings, which I was thought was pretty important to being a "religion." I guess it depends on what you define as religion. I would definately qualify scientology as a "belief system" but that is different than religion. Atheism, for example, is not a religion. Agnosticism is also not a religion but a philosophy or belief system. I'm going to do some more reading and let you know what I find out.

Other than that, I'm still doing thinking/reading about the whole women hero movie thing. I don't know where to go after reading the article but I'm thinking I might do some interviews with my friends as well as both younger and older members of the community. I want to see how sensitive the rest of the community is to the issues of inequality and subliminal stereotyping. I was talking to one friend last night about his experience watching Batman Begins and he hadn't even noticed some of the comments which kinda subjugated women to less powerful or weak roles. However, he pointed out a few things I had forgotten about or had interpreted in different ways. For example, he mentioned that the Katie Holmes character seemed to be the one who pushed her boss, the DA, to pursue the Falcon. I didn't really see that because I was concentrating so much on how none of the men respected her or listened to her opinion. I don't know if that is just different interpretations or if I really did miss something. I invite you guys, of course, to comment on how you saw it because I love hearing other opinions.

Well, I'm going to go work on The Libation Bearers and pray for rain. The grass over by the lake is so dry it's like lying on a bed of nails if you want to go have a picnic by the lake. I want my lush green grass back!