Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Last Resort... aka Plan Z

Well I've finally hit rock bottom on the job search expedition. It's been over a year now that I've been searching and although I've had a few bites--phone interviews and what not, nothing has panned out. I've been thinking for awhile about turning my resume over to a head hunting firm and just letting them do the work for me. My boyfriend's cousin gave up after a long search and did just that, let someone else worry for her. It only cost her her first paycheck and I'm thinking after all the applications I've filled out I'd be more than happy to turn over my first check for a real job. I guess I am just disappointed that I haven't been able to do this on my own, but I know I am not the only going through these hard times. If anyone else has found a job this way, has any tips or suggestions, or even a firm that found you great results... please share!!!!

Six Wacky Ways to Save Money

1. Stocking up on condiment packets
2. Dumpster diving at cemeteries
3. Getting too cheap
4. Hunting for golf balls
5. Eating less
6. Breaking the cigarette habit

(Found this article on

I've heard of crazy ways in which to save a few bucks, but some of these were actually new--and a tad bizarre even for me. It really makes you think about those things you're wasting your money on, although I'd never go dumpster diving for discarded cemetery wreaths to fund a hobby. Actually, I am still working on becoming a coupon connoisseur (think those moms on Oprah that can fill up two grocery carts full of items and only pay twenty bucks). But as most poor college kids, I am always open to suggestions.

Plan... B?

Just started to work on my film project and I'm ready to throw in the towel. I don't know if it's due to my shaky handed filming, or just trying to splice together so many odd segments of film into some kind of coherent tale, but I am more than overwhelmed. I still have not written a poem or anything to coincide with what I filmed (although I can't say I wasn't inspired by what I did capture) and maybe that's part of my problem. My main concern so far seems to be creating something that others will be able to follow. But now I am starting to think: DOES it have to make sense? Earlier this semester in my Seminar in Writing and Literature class we watched a film that, quite honestly, had little to do with one thing or another, yet still told an interesting story. I started to explore the idea of using stream of consciousness as a writing technique, and now I am starting to think it might be worth giving a shot for this project. I am going to experiment with that thought for awhile before giving up completely and if it doesn't work out--there's always hypertext narrative.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Film Consideration: Two

Have you ever gone to a public place and tried taking pictures? And no, I don't mean pictures of you or your friends, I am talking inanimate objects and scenic views. Well if you're anything like me and those individuals I've traveled with during such expeditions, then you know that if people you don't know think you're taking pictures of them, then they can get a tad bit angry. Such is what happened to a friend of mine when a homeless man thought he was being photographed and began chasing and screaming at my friend. My friend was actually shooting some pigeons that had landed on the ground. Either way, it is from such lessons that I think that I will be sticking to animals and those wonderful inanimate objects for my film. I would love to get some random shots of people--not their faces--maybe just a profile or something, but I am not going out of my way or anything to make that happen. I am also still trying to decide what will be better, color or black and white? I think at this point I have more ideas of what I'd like to either accomplish or try, than any decisions made about, "Yes I am doing this" or "No, I am doing that." But I have a feeling that no matter how many concrete decisions I make, this entire project is going to be a constant "plan" with no identifiable ending which is kind of scary, how will I know if I'm ever really done?

Adventures in Technology

Do you know what's sad? When your grandmother is more technologically savvy than you. Luckily, I have such a grandmother, and I am also lucky that she has a video camera that she is letting me use for our film project. I go over and eat dinner with my grandparents every week before I go to my 8:15 class, so right before I left I got a little "how to" lesson from Grandmom. Her camera is multifunctional, so in a two for one deal I can take film as well as still photos. She was telling me what wire went to what, and I think she was playing a little dumb at certain points to make me feel better, but I got the gist of it and now I need to learn through trial and error of what I am capable of. A lot of trial and error. (The last time I used a camera involved looking for the Blair Witch house in Howard County, but getting lost in Reisterstown where eventually a man offered me and my friends a discount if we bought a pair of red alligator shoes from him. This all happened before my friend drove his car on top of a curb and got it stuck, so you must know that for all I got on film, everything was blurry and shaky as hell.) Either way, I am hoping that when all is said and done, I can quite possibly put a little something together that Grandmom would enjoy watching. I don't think she's ever used YouTube, so it will be nice to teach her a little something for once haha.

Film Consideration: One

Ever since Monday's class I've been a little more attentive to what's going on around me. I am trying to brainstorm the kinds of images and visuals I want to produce in my film, but I tend to keep seeing things the way I do when I take pictures--as unmoving snapshots. I have been thinking about using moving images while integrating still shots throughout my film, but I think that I need to start looking outside of the camera lens--as in I need to start seeing things in motion and figuring out how to capture that motion. I think that concept is definitely going to be a hurdle for me during this project as well as coordinating text to go with those now moving visuals. It is so much easier to write a poem around a still photo, and I have never tried to do so to a "film". But, like I was saying, I think that an easy way for me to transition into this project will not to go totally film, but to mix in what I am already comfortable with using with the new techniques I am learning. Either way I think the end project will be very interesting and hopefully fun to create and fun to watch.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chewy, is that you???

I'd be a liar if I said I didn't enjoy fashion. Who doesn't like to put a piece of clothing on and feel good about themself? That's what I used to think to when I would go shopping, until I saw THIS:

Who in the hell scalped Chewbaca?!?! Okay, maybe I am being a bit dramatic seeing how the furry vest look isn't quite so different than someone wearing a fur coat and was popular in the 60's, but it's just the sheer ridiculousness of the trend. I've seen people walking around with the furry boots, which also look stupid, but I can't see how looking like Sasquatch is alluring to girls and women. Upon viewing a commercial for Old Navy and seeing this new fad, my boyfriend asked a great question: Who decides what's hot and what's not? I have always wondered this myself. Yes they're are fashion designers and those who dress people who are too rich and lazy to do it themselves, but how DO they decide what's going to be something everyone else wants to dress themselves up in for a season or two? As is usually the case, it seems like fashion (and the furry vest) are just another example of consumerist stupidity. And while I, too, enjoy looking "good"--the furry vest has got to go. 

An Acute Case of Writer's Block

I don't know about everyone else, but lately I have been having the worst bouts of writer's block. Oddly enough, it only happens when I have something due for one class in particular, so maybe I'm jumping to conclusions when I throw around the term "writer's block". Apparently I am not having trouble when I write blogs and for my other class (I am taking three in total this semester) but it's really starting to bug me that the problem occurs for that one class. I have ideas, so it's not that. It's just when I start to write I tend to second guess myself. I think the real problem is being scared to turn something in that my teacher won't like, and then I get pissed at myself for thinking that way. I know I am a good writer, all of us are, but it only takes one naysayer to make you start to doubt yourself. Well anyways, after fretting for about two weeks I had a breakthrough yesterday and accomplished both starting and finishing my piece. I reread it and edited it today and feel very confident in it and if my teacher doesn't like it, oh well, I DO. And that's all that matters.

Gettin into that Halloween Spirit

Yesterday me and my boyfriend trekked down to our local produce stand to pick out some pumpkins to carve. I haven't done such a thing in a few years, at best I help my nephew with his each year, so I thought, "Hey, why not indulge my inner child and take part in that autumnal tradition." I had seen some pretty unique ideas on the internet, but unfortunately, my knife skills aren't that slick. So, I decided to branch off of my boyfriend's theme (he decided to build a drunk scarecrow pumpkin) and add my own twist to it, I'd be the pumpkin who drank too much aka the party foul pumpkin.

Monday, October 11, 2010

FINALLY, finished my website today. It was definitely a lot more involved then I thought it would be, as in I can't even tell you how many hours I've spent on it, it amounts to days probably. Anyways, I think that for using a pre-fabricated page (aka Wordpress) it turned out pretty well and is something I can be proud of. I am still a little shaky on probably what others would consider basic web design, but all in all I learned a lot from it but best of all, I learned patience...which I think was the hardest feat of all during this midterm project...

Sam's Website

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Trip to Luray Caverns

This weekend I took a trip with my boyfriend to sightsee at Luray Caverns. I hadn't been there since I about ten, so I was surprised to find that it even though it seemed big then, it definitely felt a lot bigger now. I was also surprised by the amount of people who had also decided that Luray, Virginia was the place to be, but I guess awesome weather will do that. The ride from Baltimore takes about two hours depending on whether you cut through D.C. or take the scenic route, but overall, the ride from city to absolutely no where was worth it. The entire "tour" was a little over an hour depending on how long you stayed in each part of the cave, but I found a lot of interesting nooks and crannies to take photos of which I have included in my website because I was so happy with the outcome. Luray also offers several little museum (car museum and a history of Luray and New Market, Va. museum) as well as a few other little things to get into which I felt were geared more toward children. The only disappointment was that verbal tours are no longer given, that is, you do not walk around with a tour guide, but instead given a headset to listen to as you visit each section of the cavern. I like the idea of being in control of how fast you walk and get info, but I found that a lot of people just kind of stopped in the middle of the walk way when they were listening to their headphones because they couldn't judge that others were waiting to get around them. And personally, I like guided tours as it allows you to ask questions and the headphones do not allow for that interaction. Overall, I would definitely suggest taking a trip out to see the caverns, sometimes there’s nothing better than the enjoyment one gets out of a little natural wonder.

"Southern Baptist Seminary leader says seeking spirituality through yoga is not Christian way."

See full article: Yoga is not Christian

When I think of yoga, I don't think of Christianity, or for that matter, any other religious practice. I think of using the body to find a peaceful state through various stretching methods. I was really surprised to read that Christian and Muslim clerics have either removed or tried to prohibit the practice of yoga used by their religion's members. What a shame. While I do not practice yoga on a regular basis, I have used some of the stretches in a women's self defense class as well as in a few other classes as a relaxation tool. I have not been to a class that uses chanting, and if I had, I would not feel as though it was going against my religious outlook to repeat those chants. I do, however, have several friends who use yoga daily and praise its practice as a means to make them feel calmer and happier, especially when they are stressed due to work and personal issues. And, I have even heard, that it is used to help alleviate anxiety felt by women who are having trouble conceiving children. I guess my real concern is that religious leaders feel the need to implement their viewpoints on what others are doing. I could see the concern if yoga wasn't moralistic, but it is an exercise used to promote wellbeing. I would think that, in that case, these religious leaders would be more concerned about trying to uphold moral responsibility and dealing with those who are searching for self-gratification through immoral ways, then simply trying to find some peace through stretching their bodies.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Shamless Self-Promotion (Help a Sister Out!)

I NEED A JOB! And it's not that I haven't been looking (let's face it, I’ve been on a perpetual job search for over a year now with no luck) it just seems to never pan out in my favor. So I am asking YOU! If you know of any place that is looking to hire, please forward the info my way. I have a B.A. in English (Communication and Technology Track) that I'm dying to use. I also have the wonderful skills attained through our lovely MFA program as well as being an independent, detail oriented, multi-tasking, and organized individual. I can pretty much do anything, just give me some direction or how you want something done. I will buy you lunch if something comes out of this. I can also send/give you a copy of my resume if needed. All help is and will be greatly appreciated!

Time's a ticking away, and I'm not any closer to my destination...

Took a look at my time clock today because I know I've been late a few times while trying to get to work, but because of traffic, rain, and road construction... I've been late fifteen times out of the past eighteen days. The worst part though, is I've been doing the obvious: watching the news to find out delays and leaving earlier than normal and yet NOTHING seems to work in my favor. I will say, however, that I do take a thirty-five minute commute, and that's when traffic wants to cooperate. I guess the most obvious thing would be to leave even earlier, buuuuuuut, I have another idea... (SEE NEXT POST!).

Toasted Skin Anyone?

Now is the time for toasting marshmallows and fall camp fires, but did you know you don't have to leave your home to enjoy that toasty atmosphere? Just plug in your laptop and sit down--no camp out-- for several hours and wallah! Tanned legs and the smell of burnt flesh. Yum! During my daily perusal of news and current events I came across this article on Swiss research pertaining to the overuse of hot objects that are placed on the skin for long periods of time, and when I say long periods of time, I am talking hours upon hours. If you're interested in Toasted Skin and yet another technological worry to well, worry about, and a little dose of common sense, check out this article:

Saturday, October 2, 2010

When Real Life Decisions Appear on TV

I made a post the other day about old TV shows that I've been watching lately, and I found myself with an old Dr. Quinn episode that tied into my struggle as a writer. One of the townsfolk wrote a memoir about the town, used real names and events she had witnessed, and the townspeople got angry with what she revealed because as one of the character's says, it's seeing their true selves that they are having trouble dealing with. Anyways, I found the episode endearing because as a non-fiction major those are the qualms I have on a regular basis, the do I or don't I write this story or even as simply as using real names because of the story's content. So far I haven't changed any names, but as I write and depending on the subject matter, I find myself frequently asking, should I censor certain information? I think as a non-fiction writer I will always be fighting this battle--when is too much, well, too much? Some individuals seem to love being thought of and written about even if others might not see them in a flattering light while others shrink away. So far I haven't come across anyone who wants to remain invisible, but then again I haven't put them or myself out there like that as of recently and I hope no one ever thinks about me as doing them wrong when I do write about them.

Friday, October 1, 2010

"And everything I had to know, I heard it on my radio."

Last week I got Queen's greatest hits which I've been listening to non-stop in my car. I like to think of myself as a music know-it-all because my taste is so eclectic--that and I know a ton of useless information about music. But I was surprised by a few of the songs because I had no idea Queen wrote them. Then, I just happened to randomly see that Sasha Baron Cohen (Borat) was going to be playing Freddie Mercury, Queen's frontman, in a biopic sometime in the near future. I can't help but see Sasha in a neon green mankini, but I have the feeling because he is that ridiculous, he might just be able to pull off the role. Either way, enjoy a little news link from MTV:

The Adventures of Television

"Artie. The Strongest Man in The World."

Lately I've been reconnecting with my inner child and purchasing dvds of shows I used to watch "back in the day". Even though "back in the day" seems like it was yesterday. I started with Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, a show I used to watch with my grandparents on the weekends when I would spend the night there. I love that show because although it is based around historic events, it still has storylines that can be found in modern times. But really, I just like history. I also got my hands on Absolutely Fabulous, my favorite BBC show that used to come on Comedy Central when I was in middle school. Watching it now I have to laugh because what middle schooler in their right mind watched this kind of humor? Sadly, that was me at age thirteen.

A few weeks ago I found myself with the complete Daria series, which took me right back to my days in high school, when I had a lot more time to watch television. And now today I ordered The Adventures of Pete and Pete, and that is really going old school. I haven't seen the show since 1998, or so I assume, because apparently that's when Nickelodeon stopped showing reruns. I sometimes watch Nickelodeon now (not by choice) with my six year old nephew, and I find it surprising how the times have changed and how radically different the shows are from when I was a kid. I don't get the cartoons, and the kid sitcoms? Come on. They have nothing on Clarissa Explains it All or Salute Your Shorts. What happened to the fun shows when a kid could still be a kid and not have to worry about being trendy and technologically savvy? And then I realize, wow, I sound old, because I am getting Which is why I then said thank God for modern technology and the ability to relive my own childhood, one series at a time.