Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ya, I just love music.

To benefit my grade in this class I wish I felt the same way about writing or reading.

I love music, the way it makes me feel and all that good stuff. Pretty much the same reason that everyone else enjoys it.

I haven't had a chance to discover much music the last couple months, seeing how the school uninstalled my Limewire. Some would call me a hipocrit because I participate in file sharing and I have a love for music and artists. Others realize I'm a broke freshmen.

Well my taste in music has changed drastically over the years. The only musical influences I had as a child were classics such as Pink Floyd, the Beatles, Donnovan, Abba, Johnny Cash, The Rolling Stones and other artists. I can remember my father playing records on our record player and I loved it. He'd tell me all the fun facts about each artist and quiz me about it later. I'm so jealous the decades he got to live through and the concerts he was able to see.

As other girls were listening to N'Sync or Brittney Spears in elementary school, I was proud to say I listened to Snoop Dogg and Puff Daddy because I had two older brothers in high school at the time.

Many people and events influenced what I listened to. As I went to church more with my mom I started listening to cheesy-poppy-christian music. A year in my life I would like to forget is the year I listened to country music. Not real country like Johnny Cash or folk or blue grass, because all that rocks, but more like twangy-lovey-carhart-big-diesel-truck country. I'm so ashamed.

In middle school I went through a HUGE Eminem phase, but who didn't. I liked R&B and rap and what I thought was hard core like The Used. In High School I realized I wasn't a badass and started really finding out what types of music I liked and why I liked them. I realized that every guy I dated was a music fanatic just like me and each one was older and wiser and taught me lots.

Today I still love what I grew up on with many more additions.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving break and school.

Thanksgiving is seriously the best holiday. I like what it represents and its one of the few holidays our society has practiced that actually makes sense to me. Why do we celebrate the fact that were one year older each year? And why is it that each year we put gifts under a tree and pretend an old man with a beard broke into our home and placed them there? The third Thursday of November each year we just get together and eat a ton of awesome food along with your own traditioins. What could be better than that? I love my family and the way we make each other feel on that day. I love food too. Thanksgiving of 2010 was typical. It is my first semester away from home, although nothing seemed to be different than any other year. This year, the Bennisons, Pattersons, Mohrmanns, and Pittmans all gathered together in my cute little grandma's home, just like every other year before. Nonetheless it was a good thanksgiving day.
Returning to Missoula is never a drag for me. Even though I know it means its time to get back to work. I feel like I have a home here along with another home in Helena. So either way I'm content. Compared to previous breaks in school when I dreaded returning, I am excited to keep working and finish this semester. The excitement of switching classes in the spring is my motivator to keep my mind on school. I was already sick of the same schedule about the fourth week in and now I'm so ready to get a new one. I didnt do well in school the last couple years. It wasn't because I tried and failed, but because I didnt try at all, or even go to class for that matter. The days I was in class, well, lets just say I wasn't all there. Having said that, I believe I have made a complete 360 degree turn. I am passing all my classes with A's and B's. I'm excited to prove to my family, friends and myself what I am capable of. I plan on finishing this semester with impressive grades and next semester do even better.
All in all, it was a nice breath of fresh air to go home for the holiday and be surrounded by my friends and family. I'm not gonna lie though, Christmas break couldn't come any sooner.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Waiting In Line

There I was standing in line for my dinner meal at the local food hand out. It was the middle of December and there was three people behind me and more than I could count in front of me. God's Will was located in an indisclosed alley that was only found by the most needy. A rotten stench drifted into our mouths from the sea of garbage all around us. It reminded me that it had been almost a day without food for my stomache.

"Why is this line moving so slowly?" the women behind me complained under her breath. I began to reply untill I realized that wasn't the question we should be asking. I wondered why the line was so long to begin with. Usually the poor weather conditions weed through the crowd, getting rid of those who aren't as hungry as they seem. Leaving food for the most desperate of cases. That wasn't the case that night.

The line of hopeless faces was silent. Each second felt like an eternity. There had been many visitor's that night to God's Will and we all knew that behind those doors the food was running out. With each person only looking out for themselves, we stood in that line with no converstation or contact whatsoever. The line grew tense as another one of us was let inside.

From behind a dumpster came a horrible noise, a noise that sounded through the whole alley and echoed off the old brick buildings. It broke the silence. The last time I heard a noise such as this was in a nightmare I had two nights before that involved demons dragging me to hell. We all watched as two dogs came out from behind the dumpster, thrashing their jaws at one another. Screeching and snarling, they stumbled into our view. A box of moldy Chinese takeout seemed to be the prize of this dispute. Each dog took a bite out of the other one untill there was nothing but a couple of corpses and pool of blood that ran down the ground and met the now, worthless box of noodles. All of us stood there without a word to say. The intense situation in front of us must have proved that we weren't the only ones suffering. You could say we enjoyed it.

Before any of us could give a statement that could hide our true feelings in order for us to seem human again, another noise caught our attention. This time the noise was much more familiar but still not pleasant. It was the scream from a women at the front of the line. She cried out, "My baby, my baby!" followed by, "Why won't you wake up!" The screaming stopped and violent sobbing started. The air was bitterly cold that night.

I turned around and decided to journey to the place I call home. I lost my appetite.

I read Stillwater and The Red Dress. Both entertained me. I read parts of other short stories too. I didn't emulate any of the authors' styles, although they did inspire me. I don't know why I chose this topic but it worked. I decided to pick a setting, then a voice and put myself in that place. Then I imagined the smells and noises that surrounded me and that formed a story. At the same time, I was able to leave some things up to the readers imagination.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Write Well: 5 Helpful Tips

1. Read Often. Reading is the key to discovering new ideas and expanding your vocabulary. If reading is boring to you that means your brain is not trained to fully focus on something and you are not letting your imagination run wild. Train your brain to be able to read and force yourself to actually enjoy it. Eventually it will come easy. I might not take my own advice, but still I know reading is imperative to "writing good." See, I should probably read more.

2. Do Not Procrastinate. Once again, this is another piece of advice that I'm ashamed to say I don't take. Unfortunately I started this blog assignment right before class. Maybe I should just turn this into a don't-take-after-me-because-this-is-what-happens approach, because so far I do no follow the first two tips. Nonetheless, procrastinating doesn't make your writing any better, unless you're a writing genius and can write under pressure. But you probably should not try and find out if that applies to you. Do not procrastinate, because you will start a very nasty habbit that is hard to break.

3. Always Use a Dictionary and Thesaurus. Yes, finally a tip I can follow. http://thesaurus.com/ is my favorite website to have open on another tab while writing ANYTHING. In fact, it's open right now and I'm currently using it. Finding words that are not dull and repetitive is paramount. It adds interest and you sound smarter too. But MAKE SURE you also use a dictionary. If your writing becomes too flowery and has a bunch of words that your unsure of the meaning, you're gonna sound like a fool.

4. Create a Space For Writing.  Even if you are just writing from you're laptob, you should still find a place that is comfortable and brain-stimulating. For me, I like to sit on my bed and have itunes open at the same time. I can't work without sounds or distractions. Such as youtube, my roomate's voice gossiping to me about what our friends from home are doing lately on facebook, and the constant vibrate of text messages buzzing in my lap. Yes these are all things I need in my workspace and Yes these are all things happening as I type this out right now. Seems absurd, but you gotta find what works for you. You probably need the complete opposite, but maybe not. Try different things till one works.

5. Start a Blog, whether it's a blog like this one or simply facebook with all of your hundreds of followers...I mean friends. I believe the thrill of having 'status updates' and 'blog posts' and such is because we all internally love expressing ourselves to others in our own way. Whatever it is, start an online place to express yourself. When it comes time to write a more formal piece of writing, it is much easier to encorporate personality and voice in it when needed, due to the many years of practice you will have under your belt.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2 truths and a lie.

I was born in Palmer, Alaska where I lived for the first five years of my life before moving to Helena, Montana.

I love to sew and I taught a fundamentals of sewing class in Helena to elementary students.

I hate the color pink and I own absolutely nothing of that color or any variation of pink.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


TV. Hmm. I rarely watch TV. Even less so now that I am in college and do not own a TV. But I can remember the days at home. I basically watched cartoons and the series House. I'm almost sure everyone is familiar with this series but just incase...
House is a medical drama with the central character being Dr. Gregory House. He is described as an unconvential and bitter medical genius. He heads a team of diagnosticians in a fictional hospital. House often clashes with the other characters; his boss, his collegue and best friend, the diagnosticians under him, and the patients. Most episodes revolve around a diagnosis of a patient. House tends to find the correct diagnosis seemingly out of the blue, often after an unrelated comment made by another character. The diagnoses range from very common to rare diseases. A significant element of the show is House's addiction to Vicodin due to his leg pain that causes him to use a cane.
Yes there is some enjoyment from watching the team of doctors save patients' lives. And there is enjoyment in learning about crazy unheard of conditions and diseases. But I think the real pleasure I get from this series is watching House belittle and mock everyone around him and the fact he only gets away with it because he is the smartest person in the room. I love the brilliance of the character House. House is simply a great show because the mysteries on the show are thought provoking. Although after watching the first season and familiarizing yourself with the way the show works, you figure out that the patient is diagnosed within the last five mins. But I still cant help but watch as the mysteries unfold each episode. It may seem predictable to some but I still say it is quality entertainment.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Op-Ed Articles

The first article I read was The Spoils of Happiness written by editor David Sosa. The article references a "thought experiement" by philospher Robert Nozick. If it were possible to plug-in to a machine for the rest of your life that would make you believe you were truly happy;  all the good feelings you get when you make a new friend, write a great novel, watch your kids play soccer for the first time, etc., but the whole time you were ignorant, floating in a tank of water. He posed the question: would you plug-in? Sosa explores the question and tries to find what happiness really is. I'd say that the disposition of Sosa's audience was neutral so he created a good balance. He showed a lot of persona (pathos). There was a strong emotional appeal especially since the topic revolved around happiness.

The second article I read, Disturbing the Peace: Smoke and Mirrors, is about the new smoke-free policy being implemented in 2011 here on campus. Jed Nussbaum gave a voice to all of those opposed of the new policy because no one has said anything. Once again a perfect example of balance between the three categories of appeals. He started out with his first assumptions then gave examples of how other people might feel about the subject. He suspended his judgement till the very end.

After the last article I couldnt help but read my third one, Disturbing the Peace: No, really, I get these headaches, another article written by Jed Nussbaum. Basically it is about the sudden illnesses surfacing everywhere that get people their medical marijuana card. I guess I was just lucky to happen apon three very good articles. Because yet again this one had a very good balance. The editor used a lot of logic and reason and made it very entertaining with his emotion. He also saved his personal point of view till the end.