Friday, April 26, 2013

Lots of Various stuff

Monday I start at my job as a full time employee...woohoo!

* * * * One of my pictures that was taken in 2007 will be in a documentary. It will be a NET Television documentary, Nebraska’s Capitol Masterpiece. It will be about art and architecture of the Nebraska State Capitol. Apparently the sculptor who designed a lot of things for that building also designed the facade of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York City. His name was Lee Lawrie. I will have a credit at the end and everything. It is exciting! St. Thomas Church facade * * * * One of my new favorite shows is "King of the Nerds". The first season recently ended. I started watching it because I'm a huge Curtis Armstrong fan. And although I started watching it for Curtis, I continued watching it for Virgil Griffith. He was one that grew on me, slow and sneaky. The show was actually really cool and I will watch season 2. Virgil won't be there, but I'm glad I got to watch him in action. No, I'm not a cougar.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

All Woman & Springtime by Brandon W. Jones

I’ve read many non-fiction books about North Korea, however, this is the first fiction book I’ve read that dealt with the horrors of North Korea as well as sex trafficking. Although I have some knowledge of what goes on in North Korea, this book gave my ideas breath. The horror embodied in three women gave me pause.

We watch two friends go from families with vastly different circumstances to an orphanage where they become best friends.

The story proceeds to take us on a journey of these two girls as well as others who were sold into the sex slave business. Here it became a little graphic for my taste, although I do understand the necessity to bring to light what occurs in this business. I just felt it was a little over done and a lot could have been said without using such strong imagery.

However, as the story progressed further, it became more interesting as we watch these women grow in friendship, fight for survival and learn how to trust again.

This story’s outcome is bittersweet but satisfying.

I was originally thinking a 3.5 star rating, but the last few chapters moved it up the ½ star. Not the best writing books I’ve read, but one of the most touching books I’ve read in a while.

4 Stars

Monday, April 15, 2013

Thank You

Thanks for the kind words about my new upcoming adventures in scholastica.

Now for some more fantastic news.  After being at my temp job for nearly 2 years, I was finally hired. I will be full time as of March 29th.

My salary has nearly doubled.   I lost my last job in July 2010. I was making decent money.  Then I was on unemployment, and then I lucked out and found this temp job.  It paid about 1/3 less, but I needed anything and hoped that I could 'get in' the door.

Well 2 years later, the door opened.  I was hired and I was the first person hired in about 3 years.

Yes. I feel lucky and blessed.

* * * * *

I've also decided to resurect my writing blog in anticipation of my school writings.

Creativley Writing Me

I have written a lot of things, I just haven't shared any of it.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Reading will drop off

I only put 60 books as a goal for this year in anticipation of something that I wanted to happen and it is happening.  I'm going back to school.  Starting the week of June 3rd, I am going back to get my BA in Letters.  I never got to finish my BA when I started it in 1990, so now that my son is graduating college and my daughter is 14 and going to public school. I will have more time and more money, although financial aid is helping me out here.

Therefore, as of June 3rd I will be lucky if I read 2 books a month.  I'm in good shape though, I've read 40+ books for the year already, so only 20 more books to go.

One of my summer classes is Critical Reading, although I don't think we'll be reading any full length works, and the other class is Writing for self expression.  And in the fall I'll be taking writing research papers and language through critical analysis.

With my past credits I only have about 3 years to go. I will be going full time.  It will be hard getting back into 'school mode' but I can do it.

I was looking through my old transcripts.  I started at one school in 1990 and my GPA was not that great 2.1.  I had to leave in 1991 because I got married and had my son.  I went back in 1994 but left again in 1996, again because of family obligations.  But my GPA rose to a 2.7.  I got mostly B's that time.  Obviously I was growing up.  Now that it is 17 years later, I don't expect to get anything lower than an A.

I still have about 6 weeks of reading to go, and then I can pick up a little in August and then fall off again.

My son graduates in May.  He'll be finished before me!  Oh Well.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness Singing with Others by Stacy Horn

Imperfect Harmony is a non-fiction book that marries a memoir a musical education. Stacy Horn entertains and educates us with the inner workings of a church choir as well as the history of some of the world’s most important musical pieces.

Stacy takes us on her journey which starts with her joining the choir and the reasons behind it. We travel through her years and all the politics behind a church choir that most people, who have never belonged to a church choir, don’t know.

I was able to relate to a lot of the inner workings of her church choir as mine has similar situations happen. I especially liked the part where she said:

“I tried to catch the eye of everyone around me who wasn’t a soprano I. I get it. First sopranos don’t feel this. You hear it, but you don’t feel it. You don’t know that those lowly peasants making a nice vocal cushion for you to step on had parts that were every bit as rapturous as yours”

This rings very true. Many sopranos tend to feel superior, when in truth, all the parts are necessary in the choir. Of course this is something that one who is not in a choir, may not know.

I loved her stories of the people she sang with. Also being a New Yorker, and dealing with very similar personalities, I couldn’t help but to smile.

Another pretty cool thing I learned from this book was that: “…hearing loss starts at high frequencies and slowly progresses downward.”

Now I understand why the older women in my choir are always off key.

I thought this was a wonderful peek inside the life of one woman and her choir. It also opened my eyes to a lot of music I never heard. After reading this, I searched around for many of the music she commented on in this book.

The world is full of beautiful music. Stacy Horn makes it a little easier to find.