Thursday, July 30, 2009

Random Ramblings...

My blog entries haven't been terribly organized lately. I'm reverting back to the old Sunshine who wrote about whatever was on her mind and whatever happened during the day (circa 2006). I'm still plugging away at Little Dorrit. I know, I've been reading it all summer. Hey, it's a long book. And I took some time off to read Catch-22, which is nothing to sneeze at.

I'm taking a bit of a break from reading, though I intend to get back to it very soon. The plot has really picked up now that I'm about ten chapters from the end. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed what Dickens had to say in previous chapters, but the plot was kinda lacking (sorry Chuck).

Looking back to my most recent post regarding crafts, I have picked up an afghan project again. I'm crocheting the last round (which is quite time-consuming and consists of nothing but picots and single-crochets). But it's almost done! In a way.

As I type this worthless blog post, I'm sipping some green tea. It's Lipton: Orange, Passionfruit, and Jasmine. I first fell in love with this tea in it's iced version with sugar. I'm finding that it is also interesting hot and unsweetened.

Isn't the past an odd thing? I often look back to the past (hey, I'm a creative nonfictionist, so I kinda need to, right?), and I tend to muse far too much. Especially while reading. It's a wonder my mind retains anything I read when it's going the speed of light flashing through thoughts that I'm only barely aware of. I especially enjoy pondering this one: I've noticed that every year I'm a different person somehow. I imagine most people are like this, but I can only speak for myself. I am blessed with a photographic and (I'm not sure this is a coined term yet) a phonographic memory both. I can remember events like frames of a film, if I'm lucky, and like snapshots if I can't remember something in its entirety. Often, a song or a certain phrase will bring these pictures into focus. It's very bizarre. I'm saying all this because, in remembering these various pieces of my past, I have come to the conclusion that I keep repeating myself in variations on a theme. Sure, I'm a totally different person in 2009 than I was in 1999 or even 1989, but let's examine some of the similarities. I was quite the reader in 1989, often taking on books that were too advanced for me at the time, but not being intimidated by them. In 1999, I was listening to a lot of music (I've toned down the music addiction, but I still find myself spouting off random bits of trivia about Billboard chart positions, artists' backgrounds, etc.) My point is, that with each "new" aspect of me that emerges, I retain something of the former me and they get sort of swirled together like finger paint that isn't completely blended. I change from day to day, picking up various hobbies, and setting others aside for a while. I always come back to the ones I've set aside--they're not abandoned. Even blogging. Though I admit I don't blog as frequently in 2009 as I did in 2006, it's been a vast improvement over the blogging I did in 2008. I left crocheting behind for probably five years or better, and reading... well, I had to read SO MUCH for college, that it was about six months after I graduated that I started picking up books to read for fun again. Funny thing the past.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Crafty Musings...

I'm taking Granny to buy some embroidery floss today. Maybe that will put me back in the mood to do crafts. Lately I've been on a reading kick and have been playing far too many computer games.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


It's really cloudy and gloomy outside, but for some reason, I'm not depressed! Usually this kind of weather bothers me, but today I'm feeling cheerful enough. And a little nostalgic.

In the fall semester of 2005 I took probably the hardest college course I've ever had, but the texts were a thrill to read. The course was difficult for me for a number of reasons: #1 I was an undergrad in a graduate course, #2 I was enrolled in five other courses at the time, and #3 I was working two part-time jobs in between classes. Whew! No wonder it was tough! Anyway, this course was Victorian lit, and I remember Wednesdays at the library that semester. Wednesday was my longest day--I was on campus from 9:00 AM to 9:30 PM for classes. In fact, I had four classes that day. After my morning classes, I usually grabbed something to eat at the student union, then headed to the 4th floor of the library (I had a certain area I liked to study in) to the study area near the large south-facing window. If the tables were occupied, then I'd lounge in the soft chairs nearby. I always prayed for seclusion, though that was pretty selfish of me in a university library.

From the time I finished lunch to around 5:30 or 6:00, I was in the library, usually doing nearly a week's worth of assignments for that Wednesday night's class. It's not that I was trying to procrastinate, but this class only met on Wednesday nights from 7:00 to 9:30, and my other five met more frequently. Combined with the number of hours I spent on the job, I usually had time to start the Wednesday assignment sometime on the weekend, then finish it up during my big break on the Wednesday we would discuss it.

Several of my classmates didn't understand how I could spend literally hours alone in the library without going crazy. Many of them wanted to go out with their friends to eat together or go to the bars after class. The last thing they wanted was to be stuck in the library. I didn't mind it.

Being alone in the library gave me a chance to really pay attention to what I was reading, though I usually had to skim the long secondary text articles to save time to read the primary texts more closely. It was an intimate moment with the literature, and great literature it was, too. A few books I remember reading in this class were: Charles Dickens' Bleak House, Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Sign of Four (which is technically a novella). I remember reading much of The Moonstone in the comfy chairs near the window. It was such a cozy spot. I wish I had a cup of hot tea to sip while reading it. Another benefit of reading quietly in the library before class was that everything I read was fresh in my mind for discussion later that night. Yes, I had to do a lot of work for the class, and yes, the semester was very hectic that fall, but by golly, I miss those long evenings of reading by myself in the library.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Catch-22 Reviews (quick overview of book and film)

I finished the book last night, then popped some corn and watched the movie. The movie was good, but not as good as the book. I hate that the moviemakers left out the "Washington Irving" nonsense. That was one of my favorite recurring themes of the novel. I realize, though, that to condense a 500+ page novel into a two-hour movie requires a good deal of editing. Still, it seemed as though the moviemakers took out mainly the humor and satire, which was my favorite aspect of the book.

I love this: three actors who would later join the cast of "The Bob Newhart Show" are in Catch-22. Newhart himself plays Major Major, Peter Bonerz (Dr. Jerry Robinson on BN Show) plays McWatt, and Jack Riley (Mr. Elliot Carlin on BN Show) plays a surgeon. Other funny stuff: Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates on Psycho) plays, of all parts, the Chaplain, Martin Sheen plays Dobbs, Jon Voight plays Milo Minderbinder, Orson Welles plays General Dreedle, and, to my utter shock, Art Garfunkel (yes, of Simon and Garfunkel) does an excellent job of portraying Nately. I was impressed.

Thought Yossarian was a little over the top, even for Yossarian in the movie. There's a lot of line-screaming in this film. I think the movie would have been far move effective had the actors not been quite so dramatic. While reading the book, I pictured the characters speaking loudly and with excitement, but not with that much excitement.

Several of the characters looked as I pictured them. Yossarian fit perfectly, in my estimation. Major Major was a great role for Newhart, also. Once again, Art Garfunkle fits Nately's persona well. All in all, it was an effective and humorous film, but nothing compared to the angry hilarity to be found in the novel by Joseph Heller.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I'm feeling good,
Full of food,
Comfortable in what surrounds me.
I want to write
But try as I might
My muse has not yet found me.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Photography... and reading

Agh. I haven't been able to take the kind of photos I want lately. Either I'm busy doing something, or the lighting is off, or (like today) it's way too humid. Oh I took a picture, alright, but it's all hazy. I'm scared I'll ruin my camera pulling shenanegans like that. I really didn't know it would fog up the lens though, because I didn't realize the humidity was so high. Should've known better though, since the thunder was beginning in the west.

So, since I don't have photos to share at the moment, you get to hear me talk about the four books I'm reading! I've plowed through a few more pages of A Clockwork Orange and I'm now on page 8/175. A Clockwork Orange is a slow-go because I'm constantly looking up the Nadsat words in the glossary provided at the back of the edition I'm reading. I'm really thankful that there is a glossary, because otherwise, I wouldn't have a clue what any of the veshches* mean.

I'm on 248/561 on Catch-22, and holding steady on the other two. This means that with 342/788 on Little Dorrit and 22/783 on Ulysses I'm now to 620/2307 total, or just over 25%. I'm 256/736 or just over 33% finished with the books that are due on July 23, and I'm 364/1571 or just under 25% through the books that are due on August 1. I've really enjoyed Catch-22 so far. I'm planning to watch the movie after I finish the book. I mean, come on, Anthony Perkins, Martin Sheen, Bob Newhart, John Voight, Orson Welles, and Art Garfunkel? This has to be good.


Thursday, July 02, 2009

Reading Update

Well, friends and neighbors, I'm still recovering from the whirlwind that was June 2009 slowly but surely. I haven't taken any photos yet :( but hope to soon. I might be a little late on True Colours Thursday. Not only did I make my bed today, but I got dressed and also vacuumed and wiped down the kitchen and bath. The situation is improving! Anyway, my real purpose here was to update any of you who are interested about the books I'm reading. Thus far I am on 342/788 on Little Dorrit, 32/561 on Catch-22, 22/783 on Ulysses, and 3/175 on A Clockwork Orange. I rarely read one book at a time, as you can see. My main focus is on Little Dorrit since one of my professors has already finished the book, and the other professor I know to be a speedy reader as well, though I don't know where she is in relation to my progress. Catch-22 is next on the agenda because I'm enjoying it immensely, and it's due earlier than some. Then I plan to read A Clockwork Orange because it is also due earlier, and it's the shortest of the four books. Finally, I plan to finish with Ulysses since it's just so long and I have extra time to read it. Think I'll get them all read without renewing? Orange and 22 are both due July 23, whereas Dorrit and Ulysses are both due August 1. Basically, I'm at 399/2307 and it's July 2nd.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Catching Up

It's amazing how one little wedding can throw you off so much. Especially when you're just a guest. Sheesh. I had this thing all planned out last month, and everything kinda went to hell in a handbasket after Thursday. That was the last day of my photography class, and the day before the rehearsal dinner.

Friday was a mess--I had three loads of laundry to wash and dry at my grandma's, had to take my mom's car in for an oil change, and still had to do the last dusting of the Mexican Wedding Cakes for the party later that night. We stayed at the party until about 11, which totally threw me off. I had been in the habit of going to bed at 10ish and getting up between 6 and 7 and starting right in with chores. It was a beautiful thing, while it lasted.

So of course, I slept in on Saturday. Because not only did I stay out till 11 Friday night, but I didn't get to sleep until around 2 Saturday morning. Thus the problem snowballs. I overslept on Saturday and was unable to get any chores done. Seriously, it was all I could do to eat, shower, and get dressed in time to be ready to leave at 2ish to pick up my grandma and co. and head to the church where I could "man my post" at the guestbook.

I wanted to dance at the reception, but I think I already complained about that, so I won't anymore. Yeah, so we got home around 9:00 that night, but once again, I didn't get to sleep as early as I had been.

Then Sunday. After church, Mom and I had a scrapbooking class to attend at the teacher's house/workshop. It was fun, though I'm really not a scrapbooker. I mainly went because Mom wanted to go but didn't want to go by herself. Then, I dropped her off at the store to meet Dad, and I went home to presumably try to catch up on things again. I'm not sure what happened, except that I talked to some friends and decided to go out for pizza with S on Monday. Oh yeah, I guess I did read some on Dorrit and took a nap, also. Real productive.

That takes us to Monday, the day that I met S for pizza. I hadn't seen S in weeks, so we hung out longer than is typically needed for pizza consumption. I was supposed to go out with BJ and Mom and Marigold and Pansy for dessert, but Mom had to cancel because Andre and Scott were opening their gifts that evening. That was okay with BJ because she said Marigold and Pansy couldn't make it that day, anyway. Come to find out, we didn't go to the gift-opening either, because they bumped it back a half-hour and moved the location to Renee's house, which is a good hour and a half's drive from Mom's job. Mom decided to just stick around and play catch up herself.

Yesterday was a frightening blur that I can't seem to account for very well. I know I slept in again. I know I crocheted on my afghan and read some on Dorrit, but other than that, I'm at a loss.

Now it's today, and you'll find me in my pj's past noon, finally caught up on my Word of the Day and not caught up on much else. I have two more lessons to complete for my online class, I need to take care of the 'keets, I need to vacuum, and I need to get a shower. But you know what? at least I made my bed.