Sunday, July 29, 2012

Excuses and Whatnot

I just wanted to publicly bewail the fact that summer has not brought the blogging time, motivation, and inspiration that I thought it would.  I had all sorts of wonderful half-formed ideas, but, well....they're not happening.  Fact is, I'm still doing schoolwork, and by the time I'm done this year I'll be starting next year.  Which is my senior year, which is scary.  I can't imagine a life without tests and textbooks looming over me every hour and poking at my conscience when I ignore them.  Sounds too good to be true.  I guess once school's over one has other difficulties looming over work and money (or lack thereof) and goodness knows what else.  I just want to go on trips, read books all day, and get good at piano.  Is that too much to ask? 
*inner common sense answers "yes, you idiot."*

So, I just now realized that I never wrote the promised review of North and South.  I think that's partly because I cannot form anything more articulate on the subject than asdkfn;sdlfn;s*squee*.   But I shall do that....eventually.  Also, just so you know there's going to be some random (possibly annoying) polls popping up in the near future, because polls are fun and I am too indecisive to figure things out without the aid of the internet (a.k.a. the intelligence-sucking monster of procrastination).  The polls (I made a typo and it said "pools".  Ha.  Hahaha.  That's funny.) will mostly have to do with blog-setup stuff until I get those nagging questions resolved.

Okay...I'm rambling.  I just kinda wanted to write a post but didn't feel like, y'know, thinking.   So...yeah.  Hi.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Of Poodles, Pasta, And Tags

Once again I have been deluged in lovely awards by lovely people!


The Versatile Blogger Award by the wonderful Clare of  Come Further Up!  I've already gotten this award, actually, but I don't mind doing it again.  I shan't pass it on, though, because I'm too lazy and I have seized on an excuse-- because it seems like overkill, since I've done it already.

The rules are to list seven random things about myself.

1.  I can go from long-faced and acting as if I'm under a vow of silence to hyper, talk-till-I'm-out-of-breath in about twenty minutes.  I can compare myself to a rollercoaster with much accuracy.

2.  I rather enjoy writing a lot of my English assignments - interpretive essays, some book analyses, a lot of the essay questions on the tests, etc.  I guess that's weird, isn't it?  One is not supposed to like such things. *grins*

3.  I have a thing for butterflies.  And peacocks, which is kinda awkward considering they symbolize vanity and pride.

4.  I have fuzzy brown hair which has been described by three people as looking like a poodle.  One of these people was my best friend. I now keep my poodle firmly braided or bunned. 
(Yes, I know "bunned" isn't a word -- that is, it wasn't till I made it up just now.)

5.  I can never fall asleep until 11:45 PM, and sometimes not until even later.  I blame it on the Puerto Rican party girl blood in me.  (Note: I am not to be described as a party girl.  Just half of my blood is.)

6.  The Italian half of me likes pasta.  A lot.  As a matter of fact, the Puerto Rican half of me likes pasta too.  All of me likes it.  Pasta is bliss.  I don't think you really cared to know that, did you?...

7.  My dream job is to be a librarian.  I even have the cliche spectacles and top-knot.

I was also given two awards by the Mad Elvish Poet, whom I mentally designate "Mep."  It's the initials of her pseudonym, don't'cha know.

You're supposed to tag five people with these.  Let's see...

Meggy at Magic, Ink, and Dreams (poor Meggy,..I'm always tagging her.)
Emily at Let Beauty Awake
Rosamund at Shoes of Paper ♥ Stockings of Buttermilk (Because I really REALLY love her blog)
The Kindred Spirit at A Trail of Flowers
I can't find a fifth.  Sorry.  Too late at night.  Must get post posted.

All righty then.  I'm done.  Thanks for tagging me, ladies. :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Happy Birthday to R&M!

Well folks, it has finally come.  I HAVE BEEN BLOGGING FOR ONE WHOLE YEAR! *jumps up and down with excitement*  Isn't it amazing?  One year, one hundred posts (yes, I timed it on purpose, and yes, some of them are still drafts), fifty-two followers, and 3,935 pageviews.  You all are so sweet.   I know it sounds cliche, but I really wouldn't have kept blogging without all the awesome feedback I get.  I've discovered all sorts of cool people, too.

So, have I learned anything by blogging?  I think I have.  I've discovered that I really like article-style writing, for one.  I think it's what I'm best at, really.  (I know what you're thinking.  If that's what she's best at...)  I've also realized that it's stupid to apologize for my opinions and tastes.  It just makes me sound rant-y and insecure and who knows what else.  Not to mention, a shocking amount of people actually agree with me, which is kind of awesome.

So, happy birthday to me.  And thank you all for being amazing.  *gives gigantic internet hug*

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Ramble-y Post on *The Scarlet Letter*

 People.  This book.  I thought I was going to hate it, but I don't.  It's full of interestingness and ideas and STUFF, which I will now proceed to ramble about.  Oh, and I must put out a major spoiler alert.  Don't say I didn't warn you.  You won't understand what I'm talking about, if you haven't read the book, by the way, because I'm not going to explain who or what I'm discussing.  I have to do that all the time in real life, and I very much dislike it.

First of all, The Scarlet Letter made me very grateful to be a Catholic.  Catholic confession would have been the saving of Dimmesdale!  He wouldn't have had to struggle with all that guilt and hypocrisy, because his sin would have been cleansed by the sacrament of Penance.  But no, he was a Puritan, and so he had to struggle with his guilt and try to avenge it on his own.  I do feel very, very sorry for him, even if he was a spineless jerk most of the time.  But shame is a horrible thing to bear.  It's not even explainable, it's so ghastly.  So I feel for Dimmesdale, and I wish I could hop in a TARDIS or something and bring him a Catholic priest.  (Do TARDISes go to fiction?  I'm not very well-versed in Who-ology.)  I did like that the author had confession (in a general way) be essential to Dimmesdale's redemption.  Hawthorne didn't just have him say "oh, in my heart I'm sorry for this, and that's all it takes so everything's fine now.  Glory hallelujah."  Also, the author didn't make excuses for the sin.  I mean, the whole book is about the consequences of a couple's adultery.

Random point #2: Pearl scares me.  I know she's supposed to be the living incarnation of her parents' sin and their punishment, but the girl is freaky.  You have no idea how relieved I was to find out that she was "humanized by sorrow" and eventually married and had a child.  I would have liked to see what she was like after her "transformation."  Too bad Nathaniel Hawthorne is dead.  A Pearl-centered sequel would have been interesting.

Speaking of weirdness, I was a bit confused by all the mentions of witchcraft.  Did Hawthorne mean to imply that all the flying about in the sky and whatnot actually happened, or was he just giving  the local opinions?  Very strange.

I found the characterization to be very good.  All the characters were three-dimensional: no one was  all good or all bad, yet the division between good and evil was very visible.  Even revengeful old Roger Chillingworth had his sympathetic moment in the beginning of the story, when he admits that he was wrong to marry Hester.   One almost feels sorry for him at that point.

Well, I'd better wrap this up.  It's nearly dinnertime and I'm too hungry to think anymore.  But I shall make this into a proper review by giving The Scarlet Letter 7 stars out of 10, a PG-13 movie-style rating (for mature themes), and recommending the book for readers age fifteen & up.

Note: I did not give the "mature readers"/"ordinary readers" distinction because once a reader is old enough for the mature themes, he/she is already old enough to be comfortable with the style.  Hope that makes sense. 

If you've read The Scarlet Letter, what did you think of it?  (Seton students, my eye is upon you.  I know you've read it because it's required for 11th-grade English, so I am expecting your comments.  Muahaha.)

Friday, July 6, 2012

In Which I Rant On The Phenomenon Of The Crush

*Warning for male audiences: very girl-oriented post ensues*

Modern parlance is really something.  When a girl likes a boy (or vice versa), we say that she has a crush on him.  Ummm....please tell where this term came from?  The etymology must be fascinating.  For my part, when I hear it I think of cans of crushed pineapple.  Seriously.

I have many levels of distaste for this word (which I will admit I use in daily life because I'm too intellectually lazy to think of a better term), but the aspect which I encounter most often is the all-encompassing meaning of the word, especially when used as a synonym for "like" - which is, incidentally, another rant-worthy topic itself, which I shall not go into at present.  A crush can be anything from "the really cute cashier at Giant" to "Ohmygawsh the actor who plays X (insert fangirled movie character here)" to "that random person I just talked to for three minutes" to "my neighbor/friend/companion-in-hanging-about-after-Sunday-Mass who just happens to be a guy."  All these people (and you know about most, if not all of these situations, I know you do), lumped under the one term: "crush."  I cringe just seeing it, it's so expressive of teenage drama and silliness.  I think some of this very silliness could be dispelled if we called things by more proper terms.  What you feel for the good-looking young man at the grocery-store cash register is just passing admiration of his external features.  What you feel for the movie character is something between the cashier situation and what can only be called obsession.  The guy whom you had one short conversation with has inspired interest.  And as for your partner in after-church socialization (or whatever) - it could be simple friendship, or a sort of infatuation, or maybe, possibly, it could be a liking which will turn out to be much more.

You can easily see that all of these situations are vastly different, and ought to be considered as such.  (And, if I may say so, teasing is always called for, EXCEPT in the pure friendship case.  In the others, it provides a comic relief for overly-dramatic drama.)  I think we girls would be much less confused about these matters if we called them what they are.  Personally, when I was first introduced to the concept of "having a crush" I was horribly muddled and very anxious.  I thought that it was something very serious which one was pulled into against one's will.  I would frantically review every male being I knew and apprehensively try to ascertain if I had a crush on any of them.  My journals from 2007 and 2008 are the most mortifying (and laughable) things you can imagine.   This was one of the few matters in which I wish I had had an older sister to ferret things out and show me what was what.

The other aspect of crushes, intertwined with and illustrated by my first objection, is that of every single guy near one's age being, as my little sister used to put it, "crushed upon."  This is basically what happens to a girl who is called boy-crazy.  Everyone is looked upon as possible crush material when really they should just be looked on as a possible friend.  We girls confuse the two.  Sometimes we decide that we "like" a person when really all we want is to be friends with them.  This is the biggest thing I have had to contend with.  I think that when our feelings start getting carried away, we should sit down, give ourselves a mental shake (and perhaps some non-caffeinated tea) and really think what we want from this person.  Sometimes a so-called crush is just a desire to know more about someone.

Well, I believe I've exhausted my ranting capacity for the day - for two days, actually, since my rambling has now brought me to midnight.  See how much I love you all, to stay up till midnight for you?  Anyway, so, if you've made it down here, what do you think?  Do you disagree?  If you do I'd love to hear about it, with the reasons why you think that way.  I've had some awesome discussions in the comments section - particularly on the Hunger Games posts.  And of course if you agree I'd love to hear that too.  Always nice to know that one is not alone in one's strange opinions.

This is a peace offering in case you were discouraged by what might be construed as cynicism, on my part, about "love." :)

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