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I've kind of abandoned livejournal these past couple months. I think Facebook's microblogging feature was just more attractive for a while. 

Anyway, it's summer and all. I'm reading a lot (Now that I don't have a job and am down one of my three summer classes, my time has freed up considerably). 

I'm currently reading a book of criticism called Our Vampires, Ourselves. I just finished re-reading Shutter Island by Lehane. I saw the trailer for Scorcese's adaptation and it put me in the mood to read it again. 

Am also reading Gaiman's book of short stories, Smoke and Mirrors. (I originally misspelled that as "Smoker and Mirrors," I kind of like that more.) I'm really dying to get The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. That's next on the list anyway.

Currently writing two short stories. One about a road trip (suffering because I haven't quite nailed down the characters). One about zombies. I'm considering rebooting this short story/novel thing that I've been writing since I was 12. It's about angels (see below). 

Having health problems again, but it explains why I've had zero energy lately. Actually it explains a lot of other things too. Anyway...

I've recently decided that, despite years of denial, I actually like broadway musicals. Showtunes. I do. So much so that I think I'm going to try to see the tour of RENT that's coming to town. So there's that. 

I'm currently about four hours into HBO's Angels in America miniseries. It's very good, although not at all what I expected. When there's an angel that claims to have eight vaginas having sex with a man dying of AIDS, well... you just don't expect that. 

I'm currently into an artist I found on iTunes called Mr Scruff. His nautical themed songs have particularly fascinated me. (Check out "Ahoy There!") Also listening to a song on repeat called "Old News" by Dr. Dog. I've heard that E. Costello's new album is fantastic; I'm looking forward to checking that out.

And that's about it. It's hot as hell in FL and I can't wait to buy my ticket to CO. Get out of here for a little while and cool off (in a lot of ways). 






  

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Thesis Reading List

I'll end up adding to this, but it's a start.

Novels: 

Dracula
Carmilla
The Monk
The Castle of Otranto
Steampunk Anthology
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen  Vol. 1 and 2
Horrors of Oakendale Abbey
Love in Vein, I and II.
Vampires, Encounters with the Undead
The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories

Books of Criticism:

Our Vampires, Ourselves
Scare Tactics
Skin Shows

Non-Fiction informative:

Victorian People and Ideas

Individual articles: 

Women and Vampires: Nightmare or Utopia
A Vampire in the Mirror: The Sexuality of Dracula
Vampire and Replicant: The One-Sex Body in a Two-Sex World
Feminism, Sex Role Changes and Other Subliminal Fantasies in Bram Stoker's Dracula
Vampire Gothic
"Kiss Me With Those Red Lips": Gender and Inversion in Dracula
"Dracula": Stoker's Response to the New Woman
"Stalwart Manhood": Failed Masculinity in Dracula
"Dual Life": The Status of Women in Stoker's Dracula



Random:

My professor recommended that I add Poppy Z. Brite's vampire erotica anthologies to my thesis reading list. They're really cheap on Amazon, so I probably will. I'm not quite sure how it will apply to my thesis, but I'll give it a shot. That's the point of the reading list.

Should make for interesting reading, anyway.

And, hey, connecting Gothic literature, Dracula, and vampire erotica might be fun!

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Rather boring updates

It’s hard to believe that the semester is almost over. I feel like it went by very fast. The end of the semester is always kind of stressful because of the sheer amount of shit due in such a short amount of time. I have three papers, three exams, and four novels to read all in the next three weeks. I like to think it’ll be fine.

 

This post doesn’t have a point; I just feel the need to let off some steam and collect my thoughts. So be warned; it’s long, it rambles, and it’s not altogether that interesting.

 

I’ve got about a million things going on besides the current semester and job. My internship ends May 22 (what? I’m not counting the days or anything). I’m applying for another internship that would run September of this year through August of next year. That’s kind of a long commitment but I can deal.

 

Over the summer I plan on finding an online job – something simple, not a lot of hours.

 

I changed my summer and fall schedules yet again.

 

Summer:

Pop Culture and Media something or other.

Literature and the Bible or the Bible as Literature. Something like that.

Special Topics in Psychology: Autism.

 

The latter two are online but are of the longer, Summer C variety.

 

Fall:

British Novel

British Lit Some time period to some time period.

Literary Criticism

Thesis

The Psychology of Women (this begs the question as to whether there is a class called the Psychology of Men. There isn’t. Luke suggested this is because men are simple creatures and women are infinitely more complicated… or something like that.)

 

This brings me to my next point – I’m having thyroid problems again, and I’m not sure if this is related, but I am having some awful memory problems lately. I cannot think of names or places or titles to save my soul. I need a mental band-aid.

 

I’m devoting a large portion of the summer to working on my Honors Thesis. I’m putting together a reading list at the moment. I’ll eventually turn that into an amazon.com shopping cart and order all the books. I plan to get the bulk of reading and research done over the summer, maybe even start some writing so that I will not crash and burn over the fall and spring semesters.

 

I’m also working on a Philip K. Dick paper that deals with the plasticity of identity in his novel, A Scanner Darkly. I’m trying to see if I can work in Cindy Sherman’s photographs somehow. I don’t know what I’ll do with the paper; probably just file it away if I need a future ICFA proposal.

 

My last paper for my Honors seminar is going to be on James Morrow’s novel, Shambling towards Hiroshima. I’m going to work in horror films of different eras and their parallels to the political climate of the time. Something like that anyway – it’s all very nebulous at the moment. I’m going to use the documentary, The American Nightmare, if I can get my hands on a copy in time.

 

I’m working on a story that always gets shoved to the side because of other things, but that’s ok. It’s about this soldier named Levi Clayton and a waitress named Lilly Goodwin. It’s basically a road trip story because I apparently am not ready to leave behind that particular genre or plot device or whatever you want to call it.

 

I’m also about to begin studying for the GRE. Master’s degree grad programs cannot make a unified decision on whether you should take the General exam or the Subject exam so I’m taking both. The Subject exam is a little more intimidating than the General exam just because it seems like you have to be extremely well read to do well. The General exam is more of a verbal/vocabulary type test. There’s math too but I don’t care about doing well on that portion of the exam.

 

I’ve got an interview with Big Brothers/Big Sisters to become a “big.”  It’s something I’ve always wanted to apply for. I miss Molly being a kid that I could do stuff for. I am not cool enough for her anymore. I don’t particularly want to have kids, but I don’t mind other people’s kids (some of them). You have to commit for a year and I know I’ll be around the area for at least that long so I’m giving it a shot. We’ll see how the interview goes.

 

That’s kind of what’s going on in a nutshell. Work is a whole other story but I can’t really talk about anything I’m doing on account of it being government and all. That makes it sound more important than it actually is, but it’s the truth.

 

So what are everyone’s summer plans?

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Why do we expect our electronic devices to be polite to us? Why does the gas pump thank me for my service? Why does the ATM greet me and ask me to “please” enter my PIN? 

 

Can a consumer really get mad at a company because its automated machine (ironically taking the place of an actual [theoretically polite] person) didn’t greet them?

Is the politeness supposed to emulate the aforementioned (theoretically polite) person? The whole point of an automated teller machine is that there isn’t a teller involved. Most people choose to conduct their transactions this way. Therefore, programming a machine to be polite just doesn’t make sense.

 

…something doesn’t compute anyway.

 

This probably doesn’t even matter outside the context of a 7:30am commute.

 

And I have 48 minutes left to kill. Which, damn that feels like a long time. So I will continue a poem.

 

Pessimistic English major who hates you and can’t do math can still knows that sum of your parts is NEGATIVE.

 

Pessimistic English major who hates you and doesn’t understand chemistry stills knows that your equation doesn’t balance.

 

What’s funny is I really can’t do math. I had 38 minutes left. Not 48. And now it’s only 35. Time just went by really fast. Bwhaha.

 

My desk is a mess, I suck at Rubiks cube but I play it anyway because it helps me “think.” I need to take that can of Coke to the kitchen so I can recycle it (hey I’m a good person). Do I really need to take the GRE this fall? Really? That soon? Noooo. It can’t be. Ugh. I’m just kind of out of it today FRED!!

Started watching Fred on Youtube. I can’t decide if he is really annoying or really funny. He is actually both I think. I don’t know if one outweighs the other though. Bo Burnham is definitely funnier. Possibly an asshole in real life, but it doesn’t really matter.

I’m not really thinking of much right now other than how MUCH I want to get out of here. And finish Let the Right One In. If it kills me. Ok I should finish that poem but I do not feel that clever today

 

Pessimistic English major who hates you and doesn’t feel that clever today stills knows this poem is better than your whole personality.

 

How was that. Ok. I don’t’ know what I’ll do with this poem. Or if it’s any good. Who do I hate? I don’t even know that. I have this urge to self-correct as I type so that is why this is not true stream of consciousness. Too many typos! (Fred voice).

 

30 MINUTES.

 

Ok. I should go do something productive, but I think this job is sucking the life out of me. Vampire. SUCKA. I used a Dracula picture for my facebook profile. I need some damn pics of myself on my computer is what I need. I’m not much of a photograph person. Never have been. Don’t get scrapbooking. Pictures, blah. Reminds me of WORK. Ugh. Kill me now.

 

Pessimistic English major who hates you but not quite as much as much as she hates her job would still pick work over you.

 

HA. Who do I hate? I’m just not picturing anyone here. I woke up with this poem in my head the other day. I scribbled it out in my notebook all bleary-eyed. The first stanza is the same, but it was NARCISSISTIC instead of pessimistic and I just can’t be that mean to myself. I’m not a narcissist, right?

 

But anyway the other verse was

 

Narcissistic English major who hates you says Chekhov was a better writer than you and he wasn’t even English.

 

But that’s just not very good, that’s 7:00am talking because I mean Chekhov doesn’t like need to be touted around as something to hold up against bad writing. Or something like that. It’s not a very good verse anyway. 27 Minutes. I really should go work now. But I’m kind of like… if I start something else now it will take like an hour. Which I don’t have. As I just stated, I only have 26 minutes. So that’s not much time to do anything. Except stream of consciousness blog. Or continually refresh twitter.

 

Argh.

 

That was stream of consciousness totally. Oh yeah. I miss those free writing exercises in Creative Writing class where we could not stop writing even if all we were writing was “ I cannot stop writing “. Those were the days, man. I miss taking a creative writing class. At least it would force me to write. But I am still working on that draft. So that is progress. It’s just not really inspiring me like it was. The character got bland, predictable. I should spice him up.

 

Pessimistic English Major who hates you and can’t abide spicy food would still eat jalapeño peppers before she ate you.

 

This poem is really fleshing out now. Look at that. Oh and wow. 25 minutes. That last minute went really slow. Wait now it’s 24. Ok never mind. FRED!!!

Lol. Ok that kid makes me laugh. Even though I want to kill him kinda. Maybe this poem is about Fred.

OK. I am going to go clean out my desk. That will be productive. It’s messy anyway. That’s all for stream of consciousness (not really) blogging that follows the construction of a horrendous poem.

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Yay amazon.com

 I ordered...

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem

The Monk (Gothic novel)

The Living Dead (zombie anthology)

The Castle of Otranto (another Gothic novel)


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Oh.

Summer/Fall Classes

Summer:
Cultural Studies and Pop Arts
I already know this is somehow horror related so I'm there. 

Fall: 

Literary Criticism
When I was looking at the class schedule I saw it was a 4000 level class, so I thought "stay away from that mess." Then: "wait a minute. I'm a senior next year." Yeah. Realizations, people.  

Brit Lit 1616-1780 OR Brit Lit 1780-1900
I will drop one or the other, I'm not sure which at the moment. I signed up for both though so it's my call. They are different profs and time periods so it will depend on whose syllabus is scariest.

Honors Thesis
This isn't an actual class. They hold research seminars and the like to guide you, but it's just three credits for the directed individual study you do on your own. 

The Bible As Literature
This is online. And that is the only reason I am taking it. I hope it is easy. 

Autism
This is an online course as well. It's for my pysch minor. The course is set up like the psych course I'm in now so I already know that the work will be minimal. Easy A.

I am excited about 3/5 of the Fall semester. 

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Where is my infinite free time?

 My sister (15) got her learner's permit today. Holy crap. 

I made it back from IAFA's conference in one piece. My paper went well; there was lots of poolside conversation, interesting panels and just general relaxschmation. 
I'm, in fact, still recovering from the measly amount of sleep acquired over the last seven days, so if nothing I say here makes perfect sense that's my excuse. 

The thing about the conference is that you (well I) come back with all these ideas and things I want to do and read. But then you get back and life and general obligations are waiting and all those great ideas move to the bottom of the pile. 
So I'm left asking,  where did my free time go? 

I'm pretty sure I left it somewhere back between this internship and this semester, but who the eff really knows. 

I'm applying for another internship in the fall but will need to fill the Summer gap somehow. I'm playing with some ideas. I have a Summer A class so travel is out for a little while. I'm thinking about getting some kind of online job (are those legit?) so that I have time to turn some of those wild conference ideas into viable research for my thesis. 

This weekend I have wild plans to do nothing and sleep. 
I have an embarrassing amount of Spanish homework to catch up on (I'm going after that C like nobody's business), so I will probably do that too. Probably. 

Read W.H. Auden for Brit Lit tomorrow. Interesting poems, especially September 1, 1939, because it talks about apathy and war and Hitler. I took some (what I hope are) astute notes because I'm kind of doubting I'll be 100% with it tomorrow in class. 

I have another late night tonight. I'm finishing a paper (which is kicking my ass, because I wanted to use Derrida and, well, he kicked my ass) and studying for a psych test. 

I think I've completely assimilated to internet socialization. Livejournal, check. Facebook, check. Twitter, check. 
I guess that's where my free time went. 

Hmm...

 Not everybody gets corrupted. You have to have a little faith in people.