11 Aug, 2014
Sarah Jarosz, Shankill Butchers
11 Aug, 2014
One of the downsides to bring an English major is that a lot of your reading is assigned. I honestly don’t think I’ve read a book of my own personal choosing since I worked at Easter Seals. I’ve been in the same place in The Fellowship of the Ring for so long that I think I might have to back a few chapters when I eventually get back to reading it so I can refresh my memory on what happened.
Though, thanks to my father, I finally gave audio books a chance last year and I’ve been listening to the Game of Thrones series, A Song of Ice and Fire for the past year. I’m finally on the fifth book and it’s picking back up again. The fourth is quite dull with very so much of it centering around Cersei and her growing paranoia after the events that wrapped up the third book. You would think this would be interesting, but it’s just a lot of Cersei sitting around thinking. I did love Arya and Brienne’s chapters as usual and Sam’s chapters are interesting, but the problem is that those chapters are always wrapped around Cersei and Jamie chapters and it’s just…UGH! So dull. But now the plot is picking back up again.
If you’re reading the series and haven’t caught up to the fourth book yet, the events of the fourth and fifth books take place at the same time, so Cersei, Jamie, Arya, Brienne, and Sam’s chapters make up the fourth book and everyone else’s make up the fifth. I’m not sure why Martin decided to split them up like that. I do know that the two were supposed to be all one book but it was too long so the publisher had him split it into two, but why he divided up the chapters the way he did I’m not sure.
So, yeah, I don’t normally talk about books on this blog because I have a separate one, Paperback Lover, which is entirely literary focused and it would feel redundant to talk about books and such over here.
Are you guys readers? Are you an escapist or more of a non-fiction reader? Or do you prefer to get all of your information in short bursts on the internet?
10 Aug, 2014
I’ve always wanted to be one of those people with a daily routine. I’ve tried many times throughout my life but something always happens to destroy my blissfully, productive routine and, as with all things in nature, that which was easily destroyed feels like a Herculean task to put back together. Being a student doesn’t help much either since my routine changes with every semester. Neither does the fact that I’m an absolute night owl. In fact, I am convinced that I may have delayed sleep phase disorder but, unfortunately, the best way to diagnose DSPD is by doing a sleep study, which are really expensive and insurance doesn’t always cover them. Basically, when a person has DSPD it means that that person’s natural sleep cycle is shifted so that they feel more awake at night, naturally falling asleep some time after midnight.
For myself, I would be perfectly fine waking up after noon and going to bed after the sun has already risen. In high school, any day that I didn’t have to go to school I would stay up until I heard my father, who is a morning person, moving around in my parents’ room, then I would race to my own room and close the door hoping to hide the fact that I had yet to go to sleep. What’s interesting though, is that I don’t hate mornings, I just hate waking up in the morning. My absolute favorite time of day is that gap of time between around four and seven in the morning. That ethereal span of time when everyone else in the world is asleep in their beds. I love wandering the streets when no one else is there, watching as the sun rises over a seemingly empty city. There’s just something magical about that time of day. The hours after just don’t seem to feel very important, which I guess is why I don’t mind sleeping through them.
But back to the original topic at hand, at the moment I’m really not happy with the daily routine I’ve been forced into. I have to be at work at 9, and in order to get on campus, make my way across the micro-city that is UTSA, and walk into the office on time I have to leave my apartment before 8:30. 9 is about my threshold for waking up without much struggle. For some reason anytime before that and it would be easier for me to break into Buckingham Palace than it is to crawl out of bed on time. The early mornings aren’t helped by my Technical Writing class. Even though the class isn’t until after noon I begin dreading it as I’m driving down the highway to work. Thankfully, as of Friday I’ll be done with Technical Writing and my mind can finally get a break. This class has probably been the hardest I’ve taken in a while. I was trying to explain to my mother why this is, but it’s just hard to explain. I’m just not properly wired for technical writing, too many numbers and having to completely rework everything I’ve learned about writing and research over these past seven years (has it really been that long? Oh Odin, I feel old). Well, just five more days and I can go back to the creative and academic writing that I know and love. Actually, five more days and my entire daily routine will change yet again.
Are you one of the lucky people who can stick with a daily routine or does the Universe seem to live for keeping you on your toes as well?
04 Aug, 2014
Emily Jane White, Hole in the Middle
01 Aug, 2014
Happy August everyone! As I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, I disappeared there for a while. The Music Mondays continued because I queue those up at the beginning of the month so I don’t have to worry about them every week, but everything else kind of fell off the rails there. Basically, I started a work study job at school right as I started with Technical Writing which has been possibly the hardest class I’ve been through in a while.
But now I’m back and I decided why not do one of those blogging challenge things to keep me writing and blogging? It’s worth a shot, right? Well, I found this one last week and thought it would be a good one to do for this month.
So the first “challenge” is to post a self-portrait and five random facts about myself. The self-portrait is one from a 52 weeks shoot that I did but never posted (don’t worry, I’ll post it this week instead).
I tried to come up with random facts that have to do with things that I don’t really talk about outright because they’re just regular things in my life that I don’t really think about but are still significant parts of my life. I don’t know. I tried.
ANYWAYS, here they are:
1. I started “blogging” sometime in high school as an excuse to experiment with web design.
3. I’m a student at UTSA, studying Creative Writing.
4. I originally started school studying photography but changed majors when the program became more technical and enough fine arts.
5. I have quite a bad habit of testing nail polish on my thumb and then not taking it of or painting the rest of my fingers.
Any bets on how far I’ll be able to get in this? I’m so terrible at keeping up with these sorts of things.
Have you tried one of these daily blog challenges or some other sort of internet challenge? Did you make it to the end?
01 Aug, 2014
I was a cradle Catholic. For those unfamiliar with the term, it means that I was born into a Catholic family. My father and his siblings each attended Catholic school until they reached high school. My mother was raised Methodist, but converted when she became pregnant with me and my father’s parents insisted that if my parents were to raise a child they would have to be married in the eyes of the Catholic church, which their courtroom wedding five years prior was not. So my mother converted and wed my father for a second time in a floral maternity dress.
I was raised in the church and was enrolled in Catholic school for pre-k and kindergarten. I went to Sunday school, children’s readings during mass, sang in the choir on and off for a few years, even attended summer day programs at the church during the years my mother taught summer school, and played the angel Gabriel in the Christmas play one year, narrated another.
Despite my up bringing, or maybe because of it, I never felt an overwhelming connection with the church. In fact, in many ways, it was underwhelming. I never felt the holy spirit run through me, I never felt reverence when I heard the word of God, and Jesus on the cross never kept me from committing my various sins. I never questioned it though, and for many years I wouldn’t.
One thing that I did feel devoutly for was nature, the changing of the seasons, the phases of the moon, harvest time and planting season. I felt most in harmony with myself and the world when I was hiking or camping, at the beach or in the thick of the woods. I welcomed dirt and scrapped knees, mysterious pathways and adventures waiting to be found.
In high school I met a group of friends who each influenced me and who I would grow to be, some for good, some for worse, but each in their own way. The number one thing that each one taught me was to never doubt who I am at my core. It was through this collection of people that I began to learn about witch craft which would eventually lead me to Paganism. In the beginning, I merely watched and listened as they talked about chants and meditations, spells and rituals. I read books and looked things up online. As with most teens, it was all very superficial in the beginning; attempts to change eye color and predict future loves, talks of magic while hanging out in dried out creek beds and saving up enough money to buy a tarot deck small enough to fit in my pocket so my father wouldn’t know what I was practicing between classes.
When I graduated from high school, I abandoned religion and spirituality to focus on my own inner demons. It took me several years but now here I am on the other side and I’m ready to look outward again. But now it’s different, before forays into paganism and witch craft were for rebellion’s sake, to protect against the religion of my father and his father before him, a religion I felt had preached nothing but hatred, guilt, and judgement. But now I realize that it was not the church that failed me but its patrons. It was the church goers who clung to hatred, guilt, and judgment, never realizing the damage they were doing. Now I realize that that was never my religion and when I read about all that the church has taken from the pagans of the old world, I am not angry, I am excited because it was while celebrating the holidays and the traditions that I felt the most spiritual while growing up and now I know that it was not because of the church but because of Paganism. It was because, without realizing it, I was celebrating the earth, the universe, I was inadvertently keeping the old world alive.
Which is where I come around to my point; I am a Pagan because I believe in the earth, I believe in the universe. I believe there are energies helping us and aiding us, guiding us in the right direction to live our lives as our fullest and happiest selves, but I believe these energies are tied to nature and ourselves, not to a man sitting upon a throne in the clouds. I believe that we can influence these energies with our own and what we put out into the universe we receive back.
But I am still learning and still growing. The whole idea of rituals and chanting still makes me uncomfortable, though I have yet to decide if it is my upbringing still hovering in the back of my head or if it’s just not for me. It’s the same with potions and spells. I just don’t know yet. But I know that with time I will.
28 Jul, 2014