Listen to this episode of my podcast, How-to-College 5-minute Tips, Episode 5 – Registration https://anchor.fm/diane-van-hook/episodes/Episode-5—Registration-e2pql7
I wanted to share the OnlineBookClub.com review I did a few months back, but grad school’s taken up most of my time. Check it out here:
I coasted through the cacophonous spectacle of the changing leaves. The Pennsylvania portion of Interstate 84 carried me East. The shifting colors brought to mind a conductor’s baton, the low waving queuing the bass red foliage to begin the movement.
I wondered how the changing season would sound in concert, despite the amphitheater mountains that surrounded me. The vibrato tones, twanging strings, the percussion laying down nature’s heartbeat set against the whistling wind.
I followed the rhythm of the road. Crescendo and downbeat carried my tires through a silent chorus of trees. The rising melody of asphalt and rubber thumped in my chest, and the baton rose call for the firs to shed. A drum of rain drops began to play its part on my car.
A hanging cloud by no means meant that the concert was coming to a close. Only that it would be a more dramatic piece than I thought. Instead of a soothing ambient lullaby, I would hear the hero’s journey and triumph as I made my way home.
The tacky film gives me Spider-Man’s grip as I hold the treat aloft. The stick holds no reprieve from the sweet slime, but my grip minimizes surface area touched.
Greedy grabbing fingers from the previous owner supplements the words needed to request its return, having finished re-tying her shoelaces. The lollipop is longer than her leg, even after the inch that disappeared in her mouth.
I barely dodge her drum major conduction, indicating the next ride she wants to go. Indulgence is the name of the game, especially on birthdays. Especially after missing so many.
A sticky hand grabs mine and she pulls me forward, hurrying my steps. I’m not the only that endeavors to spoil her rotten, I just have less of a chance to.
The noise of the world (screaming wheels, shrieking children, and wallets emptying) intrudes once more.
I plot to get her a sugar stick as tall as she is before we leave. She won’t object.
Her mother’s going to kill me.
I am a nerd.
I’ve come to the point in my life where I no longer apologize or am embarrassed by the fact that I carry emotional attachments to fictional worlds, whether by the page or the screen. I find it aggravating and condescending that others take my enjoyment in my fandoms as either an insult or unimportant.
And those that are fans of sports, athletic teams, or music artists, are able to proudly able to wear the symbols and emblems of their particular interest without derision or detriment. And yet those like myself, who connect with a book, characters, a fictional existence are assumed to be some sort of basement dwelling, dysfunctional,socially inept creatures to be patted on the head like a errant child that’s covered in something gross.
Let me tell you something about the modern member of a fandom. Some of the pilots, engineers, astronauts that cruise the skies and explore the stars grew up watching “Star Trek” and wanted to make that a world a reality. The tech, the ideals. Science fiction made fact.
Presidents, politicians, athletes growing up, running down to the corner store to pick up the newest copy of their favorite comic book. The Supermen of yesterday’s Halloween are the quarterbacks, drivers, runners of tomorrow.
The “morphin time” mascots become the martial artists of today.
That nerd you made fun of as a child that played with computers could probably rewrite your identity into the biggest criminal in history, or themselves into a digital god. The action figure carrying child becomes the Armed Forces member that fights for your existence.
A fan is a fan is a fan, whether it’s NASCAR, anime, or the Aquabats. So if you are a nerd, a geek, or a dork, flaunt it. So is everyone else: all those people rocking Bulls jerseys, NWA hats, or Monster Truck models, their fandom is not more important than yours, nor yours theirs. Fandom is universal, and historical and enduring.
Instead of focusing on the differences between them, find the common ground. It’s there. All of us are trying to find a unique truth in this world, about the world within ourselves, and the sooner we come together as fans, the faster we can make the changes that make the differences obsolete.
Hubpages post I did a while ago, but sometimes everyone needs a reminders:
I originally started a blog, as an outlet. As a way to express myself with the freedom to be able to voice my opinion. This was a novelty growing up. I also wanted to be able to explore the various fictional worlds I lived, and see who else shared my interest. In a small town, my friends would share a couple at most of my interests.
I want to review. I love reviewing. Delving into the minutia of a fictional world and find my meaning, even if said meaning differed from someone else’s. I love to see what others do when they look at the same thing as me. I love books, movies and TV shows, and as a nerd, if I could capitalize on my near-obsession with certain ones and make a living of that, or become the published author that I also want to be, then that would be a dream come true.
I think that the true reason for my various social media accounts, and this blog was for attention. I’ve spent most of my life feeling invisible, and part of that was deliberate. It was necessary. But I don’t live in fear of monsters anymore, and I feel like anytime I want to step into the sunlight, I get shoved back into the shadows. I want to know that I’m being noticed, that someone sees me. That my voice is heard, and get the confirmation that it matters. Then again, this could become a double edged sword, and my being notice might not work out in my favor.
But living in fear of what could happen as an existence I don’t want to endure anymore. Human beings are evolved to survive, but survival means nothing if there is nothing beyond that. Then it is only a matter of: to be or not to be. And the answer to that question is one we can only hope to answer for ourselves.
Review of both the Audiobook and the service itself:
As the wind up begins, getting ready for final exams, I thought I’d take some time out to reflect on the past year. I have to do an essay doing the same thing for English anyway.
Coming to the end of my freshman year, I look back with no small amount of amazement that I’ve come this far. In the beginning, the time seems so long, and yet at the end, the opposite is true. Am I a different person from the beginning of the year? I’ve never been good at gauging the changes within myself, so an outside opinion would be necessary.
I’m not always good with change, even if it is for my benefit, but then again, who is? Every new step is met with trepidation, and the realization that what once was will never be again, and what is coming isn’t approaching at the speed I think it is.
I look back on the year with a sense of accomplishment, acknowledging that I’ve come farther than imagined, and yet I know I still have much farther to go. The question of will I make is one that I’m ignoring, because the real question becomes: do I want to? Do I have what it takes to reach some ambiguous goal that won’t seem real until I’m there? Can I push myself to keep going, and not quit, trying to take the easy way out, because the only one I can depend on to keep me on track is me?
Going back to where I was is not an option. As much as I might think I’ve grown, I’m not sure I’ve grown enough, that I’m in the place I’m supposed to be. But then again, as the saying goes, “You can’t go home again.”
This was a plinky prompt last week pertaining to this, but I felt this is one better suited here. I think Plinky is good for quick answers, but I needed to expand on this.
I think that most people are of two minds as to whether or not they believe in it.
On the one hand, there is the hope of a grand plan ofr us, that we aren’t arbitrary and our existence isn’t an accident or fluke. That we are meant to be more than what we are. The ancient Greeks believe that their fate was in the hands of three sisters, the Fates who controlled the destiny of all, gods and mortals alike. There are some that believe in the existence in the Akashic Records, where the history of the world and humanity is stored, and souls write out the journey of their own lives before descend to earth for their births. There is also the possibility that when our lives go horribly wrong at certain turns, we have someone outside of ourselves for which to blame. It leaves us with a lessened responsibility as to our mistakes and issues.
On the other hand, the thought that someone other than us is in charge of our lives is abhorrent, something that we would refuse to accept, and go out of our way to oppose and rebel against an authority that we cannot contact or reason with. It has long been in our history to reject those with power over us, dictating our lives for us without our consent or input. We will not be made slaves of others’ whims, whether or not we know they are there.
So the question remains: do I believe in fate?
As with most things, I’m on the fence. Control of my own life has long been in issue with me, and now is no different. But the possibility of being more, of being extraordinary in some way, is something dreams are made of. Then most of the television and movie entertainment that enraptures us is built on the premise of an old Chinese cure: “May you live interesting lives.”
After seeing the review of the book by Geek Crash Course, I decided to investigate. As usual, it was a priority to read the book before I went to see the movie. With not a lot of downtime between school, work and homework, and the fact that I like my sleep, it took me a bit longer than usual to finish.
As it stands, it’s totally worth it, both reading the book and seeing the movie.
First the Book:
The dystopian dictatorship taking place after a rebellion that engulfed and essentially, destroyed the United States, and probably Canada and Mexico, to the point where the borders have fallen, and the resulting nation of Panem spans North America. Introduced to the hardship of the average person, we are enthralled with this image of ourselves, that if an uprising of the masses, would not only not fix the problems we have, but make them worse, is a startling, and shuddering realism about the underbelly that exists within our country. We are forced to face a situation that has not arisen in this country, but is seen in others.
Katniss is a reliable narrator, a 16-year old girl forced to grow up before her time, making her cynical and jaded, past the point of the loss of innocence in the story, essentially taking over as breadwinner and head of household after her father died. Her journey through the Hunger Games, is both heartening and terrifying, bloody and brutal. I can’t wait to pick up the other two books.
Second the Movie:
Nicely stylized, but nicely adapted. The script was nicely cut to movie format, probably because the author of the book was deeply entrenched with the writing conversion, so there was no Percy Jackson Syndrome here. The director walked a very fine line between the violence of the book, and the PG-13 rating of the movie, forcing fast cuts, possibly providing some people with motion sickness, due to the constant movement and whipping around in order to not have to focus to closely on the bloodier, more violent deaths in the story.
Overall, still enjoyable and authentic to the source material, but probably not a movie for small children, considering the violence of the plot. I would definitely go see it again, But I would still recommend reading the book first, as there were things cut from the movie that might leave viewers a little confused.
I’ve officially hit the plateau in the semester where I’m raring for some kind of break. That fact that I’m not doing as well as I want to on some of my course just compounds this feeling.
I keeping asking myself the same question, “Is it worth it? Do I really want this?” Going for a computer science bachelor’s degree is no joke, and some of my gen eds are kicking my ass. Like Pre-calculus. I haven’t this bad in a math class since my freshman year of high school.
Working with computers was so easy in high school, but then again, I was only messing around with the physical components, and less with the programming interface. I could use programs, now I’m working through the building blocks of making programs.
So is it worth it? The hours of feeling like beating my head against the wall because I don’t really feel like I’m accomplishing anything in my current state. But the end result is worth it. And I’m tired of feeling like a failure, or a quitter. The two things that I accomplished, graduating high school, and being discharged from the army with full benefits, I managed by the skin of my teeth, emotionally, mentally, and in the army’s case, physically.
I’m tired. Tired of taking the easy way out, of accomplishing nothing. I want to do so much, but feel I can do so little. So I stay on the hard path, through the sweat and tears, the frustration and pain, to accomplish what I want.
I’m going to hold on, and try my damnedest not to let go.
It’s worth it.
I tend to have a very eclectic mix of music that I listen to on my mp3 player, and have multiple playlists on various internet radio stations.
Sometimes during the day, I’ll have a music craving, and there might be a specific genre or artist or song that I want to listen to, or if I’ve found something new that I want to explore.
My varying taste tend to run towards where I am, who I am around, or what my mood is.
I would be a house cat. I think I have a relaxed nature.
I have always loved cats, and think they probably have the easiest existence in the world, if they are someone’s pet.
Of course, just because I don’t claw you, doesn’t mean I won’t.
When I started my current semester in college and sat down for the first day of class for pre-calculus, a class that is required for working on my computer science degree.
I was asking myself if I really want that degree. But I’m bound and determined not to try to take the easy way out.
I have not only started on one, I’ve been working on one for several years now, and am currently in the process of rewriting. It is the first book in the series, because I could never just write one book, and I have too many characters stories that I want to tell in order to stop at one book.
It started out as a short story project for my freshman English class in high school, and kind of exploded from there. If I can ever finish, I’ll be happy.
It was to help me fill the void when Buffy and the X-Files went off the air, and I had hoped it would be the next Harry Potter, but alas my muse refuses to speak to me. So I’m not sure if I’ll ever finish
A bloated aunt with unhidden scorn
Innocence from him is torn
A Knight transport does he see
A Black heart unwittingly free
Hidden truths and soulless wraith
Betrayals that fill him full of hate
Humans hiding in animal form
A fugitive sequestered in his dorm
Fear formed from unconscious mind
Laughter a weapon to use in kind
Vendettas from years before
A severe teacher tries to settle the score
Flighty teacher envisions doom
Events home to head in shrieking room
Truths revealed far too late
Resigning the just to an unjust fate
Prisoners freed when time is turned
An innocent man on innocent bird
Moon haunted teacher is revealed
Mischief managed becomes unsealed
As his year comes to an end
Back to his reviled kin they must send
The house no better than when he left
He feels abandoned and bereft
Their fear of him keep them at bay
They won’t let his bird fly away
Lack of correspondence fills him with dread
An elf’s warnings of danger ahead
Caged in his room, his dreams go far
His comrades rescue him in a flying car
A magical home, in which he will stay
A peacock with his notoriety will play
A scarlett bullet to bring him home
They miss it because of a solid tome
Flying, falling, a hitting tree
Almost banished from where he wants to be
A hidden Chamber taking life
Spreading mistrust and strife
A serpent speaker he has become
Thought to be the descendent of one
A petrified friend, a memory written
An eight-legged nightmare has almost bitten
For a past crime, a friend is taken
For the present he is again forsaken
A sister stolen to die in vain
So his enemy may live again
A giant serpent he must fight
Death for those who looks in its sight
A fiery bird with healing tears
Destroying a living book, allaying his fears
A mindless man, once their teacher
A fraudulant, conniving, greedy, creature
A sevant freed from his master’s pain
Promised never to save his life again
I am a self-identified nerd/geek, and even I sometimes have a hard time explaining things that I watch and enjoy to non-geeks/nerds. This web show gives you a insider’s look on our views on pop culture, in non-geek speak.
I first stumbled on this site when they, (surprise, surprise), reviewed the TV show “The X-Files”. I ended up checking out some of their other episodes, including ones on things I refuse to watch, like the SAW movies, or haven’t seen yet, like Blade Runner.
Aside from television and movies, they also introduce you to various video games and comic books, hero and villain alike, as well as conduct interviews at places like the NY Comic Con.
You can subscribe to their blog, (I made the picture link back to their site, I think), and also make suggestions for future episodes.
Don’t take my word for it, go to the site and check it out!
A woman of a thousand names
But one that always remains the same
Giving truth to the one she loves
Sending him to the world above
Working for the enemy she thought to fight
Needing to make this wrong a right
Changing sides as a double
She’s not the only one in trouble
With her father on her side
Needing her double status to hide
Hiding the truth from her friends
A handler to help her with those ends
A mother that she thought lost
Returns at an unknown cost
Losing time in her life
Her lover takes another to wife
An enemy freed, her father in jail
She finds this life beyond the pale
A wife’s betrayal, a sister found
Forward her life continues to bound
A lover thought dead, a child to be born
A dangerous enemy takes her form
With her destiny finally unfurled
She finds she has all the time in the world