Thursday, April 30, 2009

Twitter Foray

So, I was surfing blogs yesterday and found a posting about Twitter at cbethblog. I am aware that Twitter exists, but have never indulged. So I thought, what the heck, I'll go check out what all the fuss is about.

I signed up for a Twitter account and, just like my blog, I may not be nearly as popular as my secret heart desires. The plain fact is that I just don't know that many people. *sigh*

But, if you're into Twitter and you're at all interested you can follow me here on Twitter. It may not be life-changing conversation, or even scintillating. In fact while I'm working it's likely to be a lot of snarky comments about medical transcription (which is a subject I know you're all just dying to hear about...hanging on the edge of your seat, I'm sure).

But maybe I'll manage to slip in some witty asides, or some sage wisdom. You'll never know ulness you come follow me!

Hope to see you there....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Novel First Lines Quiz

If you go to this link you can take a fun little quiz about famous opening lines of novels. It's 13 questions. Unfortunately it's not interactive - you have to write down your answers then compare them to the correct answers at the end. But it's still interesting.

I managed 8 out of 13 correct, but considering I haven't read many of the books, I think that's pretty good!

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Sonnet

I spent part of the weekend sorting through all of the papers I've written while completing my BA degree and putting them all on a flash drive for safe keeping.

One of these papers was a sonnet analysis I did as part of my British Literature course. I chose to analyze the last sonnet in the sonnet sequence: Pamphilia to Amphilanthus. For those of you who are not English majors, this may sound obscure. And it is. The sonnet sequence is 84 sonnets and 15 song appended to a prose fiction work called The Countess of Mountgomeries Urania, published in 1621 by Lady Mary Wroth. I chose to analyze the final sonnet in the series.

The reason I'm telling you all of this is because by the time I finished the paper I was loopy and because the instructor has a sense of humor and I was feeling cheeky, I wrote a sonnet of my own. It matches the rhyme scheme and meter of the original sonnet and summarizes Lady Wroth's concept fairly nicely. So I thought I would share it with you today!

Lady Wroth wrote sonnets about virtue,
And claimed the standard to men should apply.
Pamphilia was a queen, and to her lover was true,
But her lover, with her example, would not comply.
She begged, and cajoled, and pleaded her case,
And, at first, he was not so impressed,
But she continued to love him despite his disgrace,
Until his fidelity he finally confessed.
In the end she tells Love to rest in relief,
And to enjoy this true love forever.
To be faithful to one love is not such a grief,
But a gift to be equally endeavored.
At last Pamphilia, her lover’s true honor has won,
And Amphilanthus is resigned to no more have fun. (ha!)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Your Six Word Poems

Here are the poems I constructed using your collection of six-word lines. I had enough to make two poems.

Bird song wakes the slumbering sun.

Fresh blossoms of hopeful new beginnings,
Would-be flowers exuberated beneath melting snow;
Winter whimpers at spring’s cheerful promise.

Breezes soft, nights cool, dreams aloft.
Sun, wind, water, sand, moon, tide;
Rainy day woolly clad comfortable ease.

Wind blows birds and cleanses me.
Breathing the breezes, winter is done.

Spring brings change, but not enough.

Lawn to mow, golf to play;
Softball Sunday my knees are shot.

Spring nice, but I want summer!

Patio lunching, warmed by the sun,
Beloved late night cakes and friends.

Cherry blossoms blow away a lonesome
Wedding cake, mine too I hope.

I had fun doing this. I hope you did too! Thanks to everyone for participating.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Six Words Poetry

I'm borrowing this idea from some of the women on the International Center for Women Playwrights listserv. It was lots of fun over there, so I thought it would be fun to continue it here.

The idea is that you send me 6 words that typify your current mood, or springtime, or your mood about springtime. Or just 6 words you like. Once I receive enough of them, I will put the groups of words together to form poems. It's an exercise in putting together random thoughts in order to make something meaningful.

Of course, this requires a lot of participation! So post your 6 words in comments, then send your friends over to do the same! If we get enough participation, I'll post the poems next Friday.

I'll start things off:

Winter whimpers at spring's cheerful promise

Send as many as you like, and remember to tell your friends!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Water Still Rising

Just a quick update....the river is higher this morning. It look like it's about 5 or 6 feet from breaching the dike. I'll check it again later this afternoon. Yikes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Flood Pix

Here are some pix of the imminent flooding. It's getting a little scary, though these pix don't do it justice.
Here's hoping the dike holds.

All That Snow Has to Go Somewhere

As some of you may know, we had record snowfalls here in North Dakota. Now that the temps are in the 40s to 60s, the snow is melting fast and has to go somewhere. After dealing with the challenges of all that snow, now we're dealing with the challenges of flooding.

The small town of about 1000 where I live flooded in 1969 and after that the town built a dike and rerouted the river. However, the snow melt and runoff is now filling up the river and is threatening the dike. Several farms and homes outside of town, not protected by the dike, are already flooding. In fact, the school cancelled classes today and bussed the high school kids out to various farms to sandbag. My 16-year-old son is out sandbagging as I write this.

We live in town, so we're not in imminent danger now, but my husband and I drove out to the bridge to check out the river level and it's looking pretty scary. The river isn't supposed to peak until maybe Wednesday or Thursday.

I wanted to take some pix to post, but I have to charge the batteries for the digital camera...go figure. I'll try to get out later today and take some pix so I can post them. I'm thinking it's about time to move anything important out of the basement. Hopefully the dike will hold, and the river won't crest over the dike!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Holiday Ambivalence

I have a hard time getting excited about most holidays. I don't know why, but I tend to be a holiday scrooge.

So, because tomorrow is Easter, I'm forced to face and examine my scrooginess. It actually does cause me angst. I struggle and wonder why can't I just go along with the crowd and happily celebrate the holiday-of-the-day?

So, about Easter.

First of all, I do not count myself a Christian. I do not go to church, I don't read the Bible, I don't acknowledge any authority in the institution of Christianity. That is not to say that I don't believe in God or some sort of higher power, because I do. I just choose not to practice a formal religion.

I also believe that every single person has the right to make spiritual and religious choices for themselves, and since Easter is such an important Christian holiday HAPPY EASTER to Christians everywhere.

The problem I have with Easter, as with most other holidays, is that we all seem to be forced to acknowledge, if not celebrate, it in some way. My kids have both Friday and Monday off from school. For a religious holiday that always fall on a Sunday. Can't we just get it all taken care of on Sunday? Why do we need extra days off? It makes me cringe that Christianity is so deeply rooted in our government and public institutions.

And what if you're not Christian? You have to silently suffer this religious purchasing and celebratory frenzy. New clothes for church! Sunrise services! Easter eggs! Chocolate bunnies! Easter baskets!

Although I find the eggs, bunnies, and baskets humorous because by purchasing these things Christians are indulging in ancient pagan springtime rituals. I think that's ironic.

At our house we color and hide eggs, give the kids small Easter baskets, and we have a nice dinner. But that's the extent of our celebration. We may watch a movie together or play a board game, but we'll also work on homework and probably tidy the house.

I guess the most important part of holidays in our house is not going through the expected motions of whatever the particular holiday happens to be, especially if it's a religious one, but rather it's celebrating and appreciating the time we get to spend together as a family.

Whatever your feelings about Easter, if you plan to celebrate it, I hope you get the joy, satisfaction, peace, and renewal you seek from the day.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Testing My Patience

Today was test day for me. I took a test in Art History that turned out to be easier than I had expected, after I having agonized over a tedious study session on Sunday where I tried to cram moderately interesting and yet completely useless facts about 16th century and Baroque art into my poor unwilling brain. Luckily, I knew all the fill in the blank answers and I think my essay comparing and contrasting Carracci and Caravaggio was pretty strong. Of course if you asked me to recite any of the information now, you'd be sadly disappointed because I only retained the information long enough to spill it onto the test page.

Test number two was a take home test for my History of the US thru Music class. My amusingly psychotic instructor gave us an unbelievably nonsensical assignment. It wasn't even a question. The "big word" for the test was "creolization," and then he presented us with a list a mile long (okay, only actually 36 items) of "helper words" which we were supposed to put together in an "accurate, historically meaningful way." Pffft. The list included social and political events, musical styles, geographical locations, and famous musicians ranging from the early 1800s to the 1990s. Holy crap. I managed to work everything in except Mississippi Delta, which I probably could have worked in, but by the time I got to it I was freaking exhausted and had typed 2 pages single-spaced. I'd darn well better get full credit.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Jazmine Wolff - Musician

If you follow this link you'll find yourself at the myspace page of Jazmine Wolff, who is an awesome musician I know from school. I met her in playwriting class and had no idea until recently that she's a singer/songwriter too.

So go visit and enjoy her music!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Update: Term Paper Subject

For anyone who cares, I sat down with the wacky prof of my Hx of the U.S. thru Music course, and we agreed to a topic for my paper. I'll be writing about why human beings seem compelled to make music, and ways in which they use music. I'm not sure that relates specifically to U.S. history, but I'll discuss ways in which groups of people have used music as a tool throughout U.S. history. Anyway, the prof agreed to it, so I guess I'm good to go. He probably gets sick of reading papers about the same topics over and over again: Elvis, big band, R&B, blah, blah, blah. These are all subjects we've covered in class and I don't want to just regurgitate the info he already gave us. It can be boring enough to write the paper in the first place, so covering some different ground might make it more tolerable.

Anyway, I've always been fascinated by why people need to make music. Is it biological? I just keep wondering why?

Thank you to everyone who responded to my desperate plea for subject ideas. I appreciate your helped to inspire!!! And if any of you is dying for North Dakota tchotchke (that's really the correct spelling - I looked it up) I'll be happy to send you something.