Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: Recital Week

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Jaime Morrow.

What I'm Reading

I've been assigned The Covenant with Black America by Tavis Smiley for class. It's an engaging read. It's different from other non-fiction works I've read in that it is a proposal for a plan of action, on the individual, local, state, and federal levels. Other non-fiction I've read has mostly been "here is this cool true story" or "did you know these facts?" or "you should do this thing here do it based on my opinion no really it's totally the thing you should just do." The Covenant beats all of them out of the park. (Is that the correct expression?)

I also finished The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand. I have a soft spot for angry characters, and Olivia's arc was complex and emotional. She was a character I related to on a more personal level than I usually do. 

At one point, she's being taunted by shades who fling insults at her and demand, "Why can't you be nice?" That hit home for me. There's no room in our culture for girls to be allowed to be angry or respond to bad things that happen to them with outrage. We're expected to be benevolent Disney princesses who smile sweetly in the face of suffering, poverty, and personal loss and deny our own pain because pain isn't attractive and anger isn't feminine. Olivia's mom leaves them and her dad loses everything. They're homeless and squatting in the symphony hall. No, she doesn't have to be nice.

To be honest, I expected some kind of sappy, make up with everyone, look all the problems are fixed now type of ending. What happened instead felt so much more honest and compelling.

What I'm writing

This blogpost. Papers for class. I'm supposed to find time to interview a lot of people. I don't know how this will happen. This is basically a full semester's worth of work crammed into a two-and-a-half week term. On top of this, I am taking another class, I have work, I have to volunteer for 25 hours (outside of class), and I'm supposed to practice the cello for my senior recital on Saturday. In Laura terms, I KNOW it's bad when my recital is the thing I'm LEAST worried about. 

What Else I'm Up To

I'm avoiding sleep. My brain does this absurd anti-logic where it thinks, "Maybe if I don't go to sleep, the next morning won't happen."

I also randomly fainted in the bathroom on Friday and had to go to emergency care. I may or may not have had a seizure as well? I remember twitching, and actually lucid dreaming before waking up. But no one came into the bathroom during the 7 minutes I was unconscious (the first thing I did when waking up was check my phone to see the time and call a friend; thank God for cell phones), so there's no way to tell what actually happened.  

My scans were normal, though. The doctors concluded that some combination of sleep deprivation, lack of adequate food that day, and hitting my funny bone on the door (I broke the skin) caused me to black out. It's called a "Vaso-Vagal episode," which basically means "We don't know why you passed out." Luckily, I could feel something was wrong and knelt down before blacking out. At least I did not hit my head.

What Inspires Me Right Now

Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Wow. Great movie. In some places, they play fast and loose with the laws of physics, even with characters who are not super-soldiers. Despite me sitting there muttering "The Falcon's legs should be broken by that fall" and "That pilot would never fly so close to the helicarrier and anyway he might have passed out from all those g's, I should ask my brother if that move is even plausible but I think not," that is my only complaint with the movie.

I made a bet with my mom that she will cry when she sees it. She doesn't think she will. But she cried in Frozen, so I think I'm going to win this one. Also, I already knew the big plot twist/reveal, and I don't think she does. This should be fun. It's like when I watch Game of Thrones with people who don't read the books. Though lately, that show has been surprising book readers and show watchers alike.

In the meantime, I've been making up terrible Frozen lyrics/Winter Soldier mashups with my roommate.

2 comments:

  1. First and foremost, glad to hear you're okay. I've only fainted once or twice in life, and both were from that getting up too quickly when you've been sitting too long, thing. Fortunately, I was not alone when it happened.

    I've not read any of the fiction you mentioned here. Butyou're probably right about the societal expectation about women and rage. Actually, I personally think that outward anger has been de-legitimized for everyone in our polite, "positive thinking" obsessed culture. If i so much as raise my voice above conversational levels during a confrontation, even though I am not threatening anyone or using profanity, I'm almost always seen as the one out of control. It's an unhealthy position all the way around, but probably is even more pronounced with women. Just like outward sadness. If a woman is sensitive about something, her menstruation is probably to blame, so goes much of the unfortunate thinking these days.

    I will not spoil anything, but did you hear that HBO may have blown a major aspect of the as yet unwritten book in Game of Thrones? Now I don't watch the show nor have i read the books, but it seems there was a very subtle thing the HBO did that may have just given away a future plot point Martin told them about, but has not yet written about in the books officially. If ever I wrote a series that somebody wanted to make into a show, I'd make sure I was done writing it first, or otherwise not tell them what was coming!

    And finally, (and least importantly and only because you wondered about it), the expression is generally, "hit it out of the park". It usually refers to excellence in a stand alone capacity.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks!

      Yes, I've noticed this as well. Society teaches everyone that anger and rage is a no-no, that it's an emotion people just shouldn't experience. So instead of teaching people how to handle, manage, and express anger in healthy ways, people are punished for showing anger and never learn how to express it healthily. Or they feel guilty for feeling angry.

      I haven't heard about the next GoT episode. I know that Martin has been less involved in this season because he is busy writing The Winds of Winter. On the one good: good, he's finally writing and we might get to see this book before I'm out of graduate school. :P On the other hand: bad, because there were 2 major changes/screw-ups that he didn't know about until after the fact. The first was changing the consensual incest relationship to incest rape, which makes no sense because the reason that relationship is so squicky is BECAUSE it's consensual and they're both really into it and passionate and ewwww...And the second, which I've head hints of, is this bit. Which I haven't seen. But I hope it's just foreshadowing? I don't know.

      He told them what was coming in case he were to die before finishing the series. Which, let's be honest, is a legitimate concern.

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