Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ok, I give up on the song thing all the time. When I get off work I am too tired to think...

Sorry. The song thing seemed like such a great idea at the time, but eh. I can just do crappy titles (see above), and if you're still reading this, then who cares, right?

There were so many depressing things in the news today, I don't know where to begin. BP was just given the OK on dumping 50 percent more mercury in Lake Michigan today. Mountain gorillas are being killed in the Congo. Dog fighting doesn't get nearly enough press, and so few people seem to care about it, etc. etc.

Anyway, I don't really have much to say, I just wanted some place to put some random thoughts... And if it sounds like bitching, tough crap.

I'm sick of feeling awkward and not knowing anyone. I may not have had many close friends at OU, but at least I usually had people to talk to. Here, it just gets old. I really, really miss having a best friend. I haven't had one in a while, I don't know when the last time was I had a real, do anything together, always there for you kind of friend. High school, maybe. Probably. And as great as Steven is (most of the time, heh), it gets really depressing after the while. I can't pretend to be care-free and chipper all the time, dammit. The peoiple I work with in AA are great; it's just that... they are all from here, or only two hours away, and they all already have their normal group of friends. You can move on and move out, but it doesn't necessarily change anything.

And so it goes.

Monday, July 30, 2007

It's My Life

Life is settling into routine and patterns. I'm at Borders the majority of my time, and the rest of the time all I really want to do is read and learn how to think again. No, really. Journalism really does that to you -- it robs you of any semblance of intelligence, and makes you a drone so that you may repeat the journalism mantras "truth." "equality." "unbiased reporting." Do you see intelligent diction, research in there? No. So, if you try to use even a relatively complex word, even something like gregarious or gauche, they must be changed to talkative and awkward. No, awkward might even be too complicated for our fifth-grade reading-level audience members -- clumsy.

As I go through and re-read some of my journal entries from high school, I don't remember what some of the words mean. These are words I used on a regular basis in my high school. HIGH SCHOOL. Is this what college does to you? It forces you to speed read literature and text books, so that you memorize fractures of information for quizzes and essays, yet understand nothing. Sure, I was able to read some of the classics in college, and now I can say I read them. But I wasn't able to enjoy hardly any of them, because I was expected to read Jamaica Kincaid in two days; Herman Melville in three. Gee. This must be why children and adults alike no longer quite enjoy reading like they used to. We simply aren't given the chance. Rather than force Shakespeare and Dickens down our throats, why not give students a list of dozens of works to choose from? Let them go out and explore literature, explore the classics and any genre they might be interested in. Maybe then our literacy rates wouldn't be so appalling. Maybe then you wouldn't see I HATE READING in Facebook profiles, or vacant shrugs when asking what someone's favorite novel is.

But, that would be giving us too much freedom, wouldn't it? However would our poor governors rank our schools if not by number crunching and data? If we can't ingest 10 books a year as we choke on them and scrape by on spark notes rather than our minds, what would happen to our fantastic technological advancements? What would happen?

You tell me.

Song: Title, Billy Joel

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Final Harry Potter Installment Will Make a Better Film

Ok, if you don't want to know about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yet, don't read this. But, I finished the book about an hour ago and I have to vent about it a bit.

If any of you thought that Rowling was writing for Hollywood before, maybe you're right, but this book is worse than any of its predecessors. What is the major edge literature has always had, and will always have, over other forms of entertainment? Imagination, of course. Books are able to provide detail, imagery and beautiful language in ways that no other form of media can. Authors can go on for pages about one simple movement and scene. It may only take a few seconds or minutes to play out on screen, but in a book, when written well and played out correctly, a description can suck the reader in so completely, in a way that movies never could. Readers are able to develop personal relationships with the characters and feel as though they're sharing a special secret with the person who brought them all of this happiness and understanding: the author.

Well, Rowling obliterates all of that in her final book in the Harry Potter series. Rowling has never been a spectacularly gifted writer, in some ways. However, she has always used her greatest strengths to her advantage very well. She has a wonderful imagination, and a great part of her success has been in her ability to create such a believable world that she has held reader's entranced for nearly a decade. It doesn't matter if her sentence structure doesn't quite rival Dickens, Wilde or any of the greats of the British Isles. She created immensely sympathetic characters that millions of readers around the world have fallen in love with -- which is why she doesn't do herself, her characters or her devoted fans justice in The Deathly Hallows.

Just spending a bit more time and details on the scenes would have helped. I know she could never live up to our expectations; we all want to much from a series we all feel so strongly about. We wanted, or at least I wanted, a seamlessly tied up story with no loose ends. It didn't have to be a happily ever after, but something maybe a bit better than the last line of "all was well" would have done the trick.

The thing that is most disappointing is how episodic, yet slow, the book feels throughout its 700 plus pages. Readers are more than 500 pages into the book before Harry even finds another horcrux. When she kills off much-beloved characters, she doesn't even sufficiently explain how they have died, or even give very plausible reasons as to why they've died -- other than to add a bit more suspense for Warner Bros. perhaps. She kills off Fred right when he has been reconciled with Percy again. How does he die? Debris falling from the ceiling of Hogwarts. Do we see George after this scene at all, or even hear what has happened to him after the entire Weasley family (or what's left of it) is seen standing over his body? No. There is an epilogue for the "main" characters, albeit an unfulfilling one. I'm not asking for every little detail to be spelled out, but at least to leave out such major characters as George, who Teddy is left living with, and Luna.

Maybe once I have re-read this book, I will feel differently about it. But the whole time I was reading it, I was protesting what was happening. It doesn't sound like Rowling's voice, with characters randomly dying, suddenly, seemingly to add melodrama and suspense. Rather than relying on talent, Rowling expounds unnecessary plot twist after plot twist, leaving readers uncertain as to what exactly the main thread of the book is, other than the final duel of Harry and Voldemort. With Ron, Hermoine and Harry camping for several hundred pages of the book, it's no wonder she tries to add a bit of excitement to the book, but she does so in all the wrong places.

I hope I will feel differently about it at some point. I didn't like The Half-Blood Prince until the second time around, either, but that was mostly shock at the plot, per usual for the series. But with this one, I remain skeptical that I will ever change my mind. There's always a fool's hope...

Song: I know, I know, I didn't do it. Everyone makes exceptions for Harry Potter, though.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Desperate for Changing

There is so much to say, I'm not sure where to begin. It's like Ron says in Order of the Phoenix, "If you feel all of this at once, you'd have to explode." Hermoine replies by saying "Only because you have the emotional capacity of a teaspoon!"

Or something like that.

I am officially moved (to Ann Arbor, in case anyone has forgotten =P). I have been at my new job for two weeks now and I love it. I work with the best people, from my co-workers and managers to people I have met at orientations. Even when the work is somewhat tedious, the people make it fun. And completely worth it. The company I am with now is completely different from my experiences in my New-York internship last summer. There, people either didn't care that I was brand new or didn't realize that I really didn't know the 330,000-person company after working at their headquarters for a week. In Michigan, people have taken the time to really explain things to me. I don't feel like I am stuck in a cubicle by myself, trying to figure things out on my own. And if I don't, too bad. People and help are really accessible here, it's been such a wonderful change. There were a dozens of things and anecdotes I wanted to write about, and now that I have set aside the time to blog, I naturally can't think of many. :-P I wasn't sure I would like the college grad program, but it has been a great experience so far. It's been nice to meet more people my age who have just graduated from college that also may not know too many people in the AA area.

And one of the best things about my job? It revolves around the book and entertainment industry. I get to spend parts of my day discussing Harry Potter, bestsellers and new releases. (Example: last week, I got a free HP7 tote bag. Could things be any more fabulous?). Haha. But seriously, I love it.

Now if only my house would magically unpack itself, life would be nearly perfect in all aspects. Maybe I can find my own Tonks to conjure up a trunk to put hodge-podge stuff neatly way, you know -- the kinds of things I couldn't possibly part with. =P And now, I really should go attempt to be productive. Until next time, then.

Song: "Hanging by a Moment" by Lifehouse -- I don't care how cliched it is, I will always love this song.