Category Archives: November Blog Fest

The Hunger Games: A Mimetic Response to The Twilight Saga

Some really demented and geeky part of me really misses writing papers about literature and theory and discussing books in a seminar session. I know, it’s disturbed. I ate, slept, and breathed those activities for three years AFTER trying to get high schoolers to do the same thing on a much smaller scale for my day job.

Luckily for me, I just finished The Hunger Games Trilogy and am itching to do something academic with it. Double luckily for me, today is the last day of November blogfest and therefore I feel obligated (desiredly obligated) to write something of some quality and promise.

DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING IS A SPOILER FOR THE HUNGER GAMES (Books 1-3)! PROCEED WITH CARE!!!!!

That said, the following is my analysis of the intertextual dialectic I found naturally arising between these two young adult literary series.

Genres:
Both novel series could be classified as love stories, adventure stories, and tales of young women coming of age. Both revolve around a teenage girl, faced with a series of dilemmas. However, while Twilight boasts of a realistic northwestern town in Washington, named Forks, and seems to convey the “normal” lifestyle of a 21st century teen, the books are anything but normal. Therein lies their danger. The society presented is anything but realistic what with werewolves and vampires leaping out of tall forest trees and sky diving off of ocean cliffs. Yet, it gives the illusion to its femme teen audience that a love like Bella’s and Edwards is very normal and to be yearned for. On the other hand, The Hunger Games, which is set sometime after the collapse of North America as we know it, is a future dystopian society that manages to mirror our own, but to a far greater degree of immorality and barbarism. Sure, technology exists that is not present today, and yes, some behavior is rather uncivilized, but it is within reach, within human history. In fact, the novels’ reliance on the Ancient Roman Empire for both character names and its basic plot (children forced to fight in annual “arena” style games) is recognizable to most 21st century humans with even a slight grasp of history. This dystopian setting automatically becomes a place more reality-driven than a forest in modern day Washington state, simply because it speaks of humanity, not lycanthropes and nosferatus. It’s as though The Hunger Games is saying to Twilight, sure, you may be contemporary and you may name characters common monikaers such as Isabella and Jessica, but our Katniss and Beetee are far more common to the human experience, and therefore, more valuable.

In essence, The Hunger Games, in its futuristic science fiction is mimetic, it copies or reflects reality in a way that is immediately recognizable to the reader. Twilight, for all its contemporary contexts, falls far short of anything reflective of actual reality.

Characters:
It’s clear that a connection can be drawn between the teenage Bella Swan and the (albeit somewhat younger) teenage Katniss Everdeen. Both face two love interests, both face life and death decisions, and both struggle with family connections. Unfortunately, Bella’s character is simply an affront to all progress made by females in the last one hundred years, whereas Katniss Everdeen actually champions an egalitarian society. Bella is the archetypal damsel in distress, the helpless maiden, the princess in need of a prince (except that unlike Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, she isn’t even all that pretty and wears oversized flannel instead of shimmering ball gowns). Her last name, Swan, even suggests her frailty and fairy-tale origins. Katniss, on the other hand, is almost androgynous in her abilities to both hunt and heal. However plain she may be, as is Bella, she is easily turned into a sex symbol by the Capitol’s costume crew when it fits their liking. Bella cannot function (remember book two and those empty pages) without either Edward or Jacob, indeed possibly both of them. Meanwhile, Katniss is propelled into action by the loss, or perceived loss of either of these male friends. Bella’s self-deprecation and pouty nature is inwardly-focused and completely self-absorbed, thus making her often a quite unlikable protagonist. On the other hand, Katniss’ self-doubt and self-loathing always hinge upon her disgust at her flaws and the pain they cause others. She is outwardly focused, and so while sometimes her rants are painful to watch, they are, in essence, admirable. This inward/outward dynamic carries even further. While Bella ignites a centuries old battle between blood-suckers and canine-human monsters, the conflict is relegated to the “underworld” and a small pocket of humans in fictional Forks. Katniss, however, becomes a symbol that both sparks and successfully leads a nation to rebel against their cruel and oppressive government. Bella fights for some twisted sense of supernatural love, that in the end really only benefits her. Katniss jeopardizes everything for justice and the salvation of thousands, if not millions of citizens of Panem.

Need I go on? Katniss is clearly a better version of the teenage heroine. She says to Bella Swan, I’ll take your romance and see you magnanimity. What you do for eternal love, I do for humanity. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Once again, in a mimetic sense, Katniss is the character teenage girls should strive to be: courageous, resourceful, strong, compassionate, assertive, and grounded in self-understanding, not needy, whiny, frail, pandering, insipid, and eternally dependent on the male species for a sense of purpose and identity.

Plot:
I suppose you could say both Twilight and The Hunger Games demonstrate the basic power struggle between good and evil. One is just so much more politically and socially deep than the other. Again, Twilight’s focus is very narrow, very inwardly focused, and essentially reflects the shallowness of the characters. The reader gets some sense that the world may be at peril if vampires like James,Victoria, and the Volturri continue to thrive and feast, but mainly you sense that if Bella had never entered the picture, the problem would never have been. On the other hand, Katniss does, yes, spark the rebellion in Panem, but not only was it much overdue, but reflects the secret longing of every starving, brutalized citizen of Panem. She provides strength in a weak world, a world way too similar to our own (both first world and third world realities). In many ways, the current America is a mirror of the Capitol. We are over indulgent, excessive, consumeristic, and addicted to reality tv, no matter how over sentimentalized, seedy, immoral, violent, or gory it may be. The fact that the citizens of Panem watched the hunger games on their televisions as entertainment hits a little too close to home. But there’s absolutely nothing in Twilight that ever once causes me to question my own culpability. There is no connection to be drawn at all really, other than that yes, rain really does fall often in the wet state of Washington.

The Romance:
And then there’s the love triangles. Who are Edward and Jacob really aside from their passionate pursuit of Bella? And who understands that anyways? She’s boring. Homely. And a little on the morose side. Sure Edward is polite and charming and sweet, but so are most guys when they find the girl they love. There’s nothing uniquely noble in that, except that Edward is so far above every guy in that department that he also ceases to be realistic, to say nothing of his chiseled good looks and “velvet” voice. Jacob is the same, only hotheaded and stubborn. Same guy, two different temperatures. What do they do for the world? Besides fight each other? What do they do for anyone besides Bella? Nothing. No thanks.
Now, Gale, he’s a man’s man. He’s sacrificial, passionate, driven, and respectable in a man vs. wilderness kind of way. He leads the revolution forward, he’s a soldier, a fighter. He’s a rebel with a cause. Peeta is equally likable. He’s honest, tender, concerned for the underdog, and probably the most selfless character in the entire series. He’s good with people,camera-friendly, and a great PR guy. And this, folks, is why, despite my frustration, he gets Katniss in the end. Katniss gets what she needs, not what she wants. Here’s where Suzanne Collins did one over on Stephanie Meyers, and me. Edward is the character everyone knows Bella will end up with. Narratologically, the story is structured that way. She falls in love with him at first sight. He gets the most airtime in book one, thus immediately eliciting the reader’s sympathy and fan-base. For those reasons, I assumed Katniss would end up with Gale. He’s the character she is “in love with” or at least confused by, for the first book and a half. It seemed so obvious to me that he was the one she really, truly wanted. Just like how it was obvious that Edward was the one Bella really, truly wanted, even when presented with Jacob as an option. And so, as predicted, Bella gets Edward. Not so with The Hunger Games. Katniss loses Gale. And in losing him at the end of book 3, she makes the greatest realization of her life perhaps. “What I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth insted of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that” (388). This kind of self-actualization only makes Katniss and the love triangle between her and Gale and Peeta that much more legitimized and valuable. She learns, she changes, and she transforms for the better in her journey towards self discovery. Bella, who, ironically chooses ice over fire as well, changes too: into the undead. How remarkable. How truly ontologically deep. Annndddd….how predictably shallow in a gothic fairy-tale kind of way.

I was Team Gale, I’ll be honest. But, I’ll take the honesty, the pain, and the reality that is Katniss getting what she needs over what she thought she wanted anyday. Especially when the other option, as with Bella, is to get what I want, and then totally lose myself in that thing so that the lines between need and want have become so blurred, they’ve melted entirely. The Lion didn’t lay with the lamb, he turned her into one. Bella doesn’t maintain her sense of self AND gain Edward, she loses who she is to his icy embrace. No thank you. That’s no way to live, especially not when you’re living forever.

Conclusion:
And so, I find in every way, The Hunger Games employs the same basic narratological structures in terms of plot, themes, and characters, but in a far superior way. It mimics reality. It gives readers plausible, round, dynamic characters that are not only believable and real, but inspiring. The Hunger Games says, ok Twilight, thank you for playing the mimetic game, thank you for creating 21st century characters and dumbing them down with 17th century gender roles and literary flatness. We show you, instead 24th or 25th century characters with similarities to today, a mimicry of current struggles and triumphs, that our readers may sense the striking similarities, resonate with them, and be enriched.

The Wish List

What started as a funny joke several years ago with my roommates, has become a sort of tradition for me. One year, we decided that the week of our birthdays, we would each create a birthday wish list, a sort of conglomeration of funny and serious, comic and epic and maybe even a little tragic/ironic.

Well, this year is my golden birthday: 28 on the 28th so you know what they say, go big or go home. Also, my birthday is just 3 days after Christmas, so I’ve decided to do a package deal here: a Christmas/birthday list all rolled into one.

What follows is in no particular order, just a desultorily constructed numbering of desires.

1.) A date with John Legend. I wish for this every year, and will continue to do so until it is granted. Or I die. Whichever comes first.

2.) An opportunity to teach all summer in Rwanda at a university.

3.) A check for $40,000 to be promptly turned into a check for ACS to cover 8 years of school debt.

4.) The determination and drive to teach summer school this year and thereby plug away at those $40,000 the good ole’ fashioned Republican way.

5.) A new bottle of Chanel perfume.

6.) The Justin Bieber Christmas album. Yes, I’m serious about this one.

7.) For my newspaper students to NEVER want to do another story about Twilight ever again. Ever. Even a negative one. Ever. So banal.

8.) A new purse. Maybe a mustard yellow one.

9.) A lifetime’s supply of Chic – Fil- A. I’d settle for a lifetime’s supply of just Wednesday night Chic Fil A.

10.) For Joseph Kony to be found, arrested, and tried for his war crimes. For justice to be served in a tangible, highly public way.

11.) To find Mr. Right. This is in the same vein as #1. Til I find him, or die. Or become the crazy dog lady.

12.) To love my chocolate lab puppy without becoming the crazy dog lady.

13.) To make amazing, beautiful, forever to be cherished, lifelong bonds and memories with my roomates. Three cheers for the Kat House!

14.) A new pair of boots. Casual, high, the kind that goes with any outfit and immediately makes it fashion-forward.

15.) An evening dancing and making merry on the night of my birth, preferably in San Diego (my favorite place in Cali).

16.) For 28 to just be a better year than 27, because, to put it bluntly, 27 sucked, BIG time.

17.) For a heart to return to where it needs to be. To find healthiness spiritually, emotionally, and physically. IN that order.

Thanksgiving Part Trois AKA a Kat House Thanksgiving


My house is a brimming cornucopia of dessert for the senses right now. It’s my third Thanksgiving in the last 5 days.

Harry Connick Jr and Michael Buble croon sonorous Yuletide tunes. The smell of french onions atop green bean casserole and garlic herbs marinating on succulent roast chicken wafts through the hallways. New kitchen lights illuminate a room already filled with warm yellow tones as giggles resonate that the color has indeed been well chosen. Condensation clings passionately to a chilled window pane, and sparkling, icy moscato tickles the tastebuds.

It is the annual roommate Thanksgiving Dinner in the Kat House, traditionally held the Monday after the calendar holiday. There are a few new faces in the house this year: one canine and one homo sapien, both very special, with their brunette hair/fur and big light eyes.

We are all in our pj’s, of course, awaiting a meal that is sure to have us giddy and sleepy alike with contentment.

A few months ago, I’d have found something wrong with this picture. But not tonight, tonight I am just quite simply happy, and thankful.

Thank you, God, for your gifts, even when they take longer than I want them to. May the Christmas season, begin, the ultimate season of God’s fulfillment of a long-awaited promise.

…But the Flesh is Strong

I’ve thought for about a week now that I haven’t written this long overdue blog because of laziness. Now I realize, it’s because of God.

I’ve been contemplating the content for this post since last Saturday afternoon as I was running 3.39 miles through mud and gunk, trying not to cough up my very irritated lungs. But today, when I sat down to my Skyble study content, it became apparent that there were several more morsels I needed to marinate in before this post was ready to be served up.

While I was wading through sloughs last Saturday, I thought about my competitive spirit. I thought about how the only reason why I, sick, was willingly running through miles of dirt and obstacles was because of my pride. My pride would not let me swallow $40 and the sense of shame that came with admitting defeat. No, instead my pride forced me to swallow mouthfuls of muck.

I thought about how as a child, I cared didly squat for running, athleticism, or any form of physical fitness. I was a book-lover and a straight A student, and that was all the accomplishment I needed, or cared about at least. Then, I thought how now I’ll go to the gym with a head cold and be annoyed that the boys in boxing class can out -perform me.

“How stupid I am,” I thought. When did I let my competitive streak turn into foolishness? Pride? Envy? And a whole slew of other dangerous vices…?

I guess the answer is when I started strengthening the flesh, and letting the Spirit die. That’s what God taught me this afternoon. I knew last Saturday that it was lame that I would go out and dash through a mud run while sick, but I probably wouldn’t volunteer to serve at church while sick, or help a friend while sick, or even grade papers while sick. There is a seemingly unhealthy balance in my life where the scales are tipped towards outward maintenance (albeit healthy and good) but leaving the inward parts of the heart to waste away and grow frail (admittedly very shallow and short-sighted).

My study this afternoon focused on the symbolism behind the Israelite’s defeat of the Amalekites in Exodus 17 as really being a picture of destroying the flesh. For as long as Moses raised the staff of God in his hands, Israel remained victorious. When it started to fall as Moses grew weak, Joshua’s troops likewise tasted defeat. God was their banner, their shining sign on a hill, providing them with the strength they needed to succeed. And when the frailty of their human leader began to manifest itself, God provided him (and thus the people he led) with a core group of others who lifted his arms up and enabled Moses to hold fast to the “staff of God.” Thus, His people could accomplish the task for which they were commissioned: defeat Amalekite (the flesh).

I’ve let my flesh grow strong,(literally) but simultaneously I’ve dismissed the staff of God. Consequently, the Spirit in my life has grown weak. Paradoxically, while the Apostle Paul says the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, my spirit has been weak because my flesh has been too willing, too strong, too indulged. I’ve made too many allowances for my humanity. Too many days off from church, ironically in the name of “rest,” too many opportunities for poor choices, because I felt like I’d been “good” long enough that I was entitled to some free pass for rebellion. I’ve allowed small, relatively innocent slip ups here and there to feel good, normal, and acceptable. And now, I’ve starved the very part of me that I need to really be strong, to be purposeful, to be the young woman God calls me to be.

That’s why God called Israel to defeat and destroy all of Amalek, including the seemingly innocent women and children. When provision is given for a little bit of harm, it doesn’t stay innocuous, it eventually grows into a harmful threat. And then, it take a lot more battles, and a full scale war to fight the enemy off. Which, I suppose, is why so much of the New Testament is littered with battle imagery and war time symbolism. I just didn’t realize before, the connections between the literal battles in the Old Testament and the personification of the flesh as the enemy in the New Testament. It’s why Paul tells us to put on the full armor of God, to defeat, not the Amalekites, but the flesh.

Ironically for me, the other very strong metaphor in the New Testament for defeating the flesh is the picture of athletic training. In 1 Corinthians 9:25-27, Paul writes, “Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

Ouch. Talk about “muscle soreness.” Ouch. I have been physically running, but spiritually aimless. I have been literally boxing, but spiritually beating mere air. I have been disciplining my body for fitness and health, but keeping the Spirit in a toxic condition of moral obesity and heart sickness. As a Christian, I’ve been losing the race, and not even cared.

Friends, I don’t know where to begin to train harder for this sport called life. I don’t think there’s a regimen of crunches or burpees that can be prescribed, like in the gym, to meet a goal. I don’t even think there is a goal apart from obedience and the hope of heaven.

I just know that I need to train harder. A lot harder. I need to get to a place where I can at least say with the Apostle Paul that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Crawl, walk, run, sprint with me, if you will.

The Bride from 611

I know, I know, another missed blog post last night.

But this smokin’ hot foxy lady was the reason, and I happen to think a pretty good reason, as a group of us stayed out into the wee hours of the morning celebrating her last weekend as a single girl.

One week from tomorrow, my little Gonzo will become a Smith. A Smith! It’s so strange. And exciting. And joyful. And an answer to many of her’s, and other’s deepest prayers.

The Bride-to-be and I moved into our first apartment together as college graduates in 2007 and lived together until the fall of 2010. We were first year teachers together. We were pink slipped together. We were ISP leaders together and Sandalites together and so many beautiful summers off together. We became adults together.

611 (our old apartment) has so many memories that fond, bittersweet, and poignant cannot even come close to being well-fitted adjectives. If our time together as roommates were a perfume, it would stop just short of pungent to be something greater than aromatic without being obnoxious. The kind of fragrance that stays with you, close to your skin, lingering, long after the initial moment of contact. The good kind of perfume, that kind you can smell best when you get within close proximity to someone. The kind that once smelled in a crowded room always reminds you specifically of a time, a person, a place.

It’s the scent of 611. It’s sand and ocean breeze, it’s snow and Christmas trees. It’s Halloween costumes and notebook paper, it’s textbooks and so many pizza boxes later. It’s the sisterhood that was formed in those years. It’s the smile that will spread across my face, and possibly the tears that will trickle down my cheeks as I watch this dear friend marry her love on a chill December evening.

Thank you, Sarah, Gonzo, boo, 611, for all our years together as single sisters. I can’t wait to line up behind you as you embrace your husband, and the rest of your story.

A Backwards Thanksgiving List


I’m not gonna lie, thankfulness has not been an easily adopted attitude of mine these past 6-8 months. In a lot of ways, this post has been painful to think about, painful to journal, painful to write, and now, well, oddly painful to publish too. I guess that’s because it’s about as real and raw and honest on here as I may ever get.

If my life was lived in semesters (and well, in many ways it is) I’d have failed the last two (Spring and Summer), and maybe be getting a C this Fall with the hopes of ending the year with a B, but not an A. I’ve been rejected, broken, denied, lost, and downright depressed. I’ve counted my losses and on a lot of days, at least from my end of it, they’ve outnumbered the wins. I’ve looked at everyone’s life around me and thought, “He or She has a lot more to be thankful for than me.” This has probably caused a lot of people to think I’m short-sighted, blind, entitled, and in the words of one former flame, “spoiled.”

Well, so be it. It’s where I’ve been.

Then, a few weeks ago, I was challenged by a question in a study I’m doing. It stemmed from the time in the Old Testament where God led His people to the bitter waters of Marrah. The question was, “Are there any bitter waters in your life right now?”

I laughed out loud from the sheer, undiluted, obvious irony of the answer. And I realized that MY answer, my real answer, was not something I could scribble out in the 3 notebook lines of space afforded me in my paperback study book.

This called for some serious journalling time. And so, on this Thanksgiving 2011, I’m opening that introspective journal entry up to you. You see, I decided that night that I sat down to journal that I could simply list all the things I was bitter about. But, well, that just didn’t seem very productive, and awfully morbid, more morbid than I’ve wanted to allow myself to be since the summer’s reign of emotional terror. So, I decided that with every bitter confession, I would journal how that same negative, God could use in my life (or, I could allow God to use) as a positive.

In a word, how I could be THANKFUL for the seeming blights on my 27 years of existence.

1.) Singleness. Bam. There, I said it. Didn’t think I’d be single at 27. I thought I’d be popping out babies with the rest of my collegiate comrades. But, then I realized that being single right now, yes, has its complications and shames, but it also means extra time to love on the students I adore so much, to travel the world I have so much yet to see, and extra energy to serve, in some capacity at church, in the community, wherever I guess. In other words, I own myself to a large degree, my heart is undivided, I am what the black rappers call I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T.

2.) But then that brings me to finances. I’m don’t own my own home, I don’t work two jobs to pay all the bills on schedule. I struggle to make ends meet with my one job and I’m stuck paying a ridiculous amount of money on my college education every month for the next ten years. It took a little thinking to pull the silver lining out of this small rain cloud, but at the end of the day, I decided I’d rather struggle financially in my late 20’s than in my late 30’s or 40’s. I suppose learning the ole credit card lesson is something we all have to learn at some point, and better now than when my responsibilities do include husband, kids, and a mortgage. Heck, maybe I’ll even become fiscally savvy at the end of this whole school-loan, credit-card payment fiasco.

3.) I said a whole hell of a lot of goodbyes recently. Best friend. Relationship. Another close friend. Then another good friend. It sucks. Like it sucks a lot. I miss my best friend every day. EVERY day. She is “my person,” as Christina Yang says of Meredith Grey on Grey’s Anatomy. But, since she has been gone, my life has opened up opportunities for me to expand my network of friends. I’ve grown closer to my roommate who helped me through the summer, closer to my colleagues at work who make my job and my extracurricular activities an absolute joy, and closer to friends in other communities like #Novemberblogfest and grad school.

4.) Overall loss of purpose. For some reason, as soul-wearying as grad school was, it occupied my time and thereby my identity. It gave me a goal to push towards, a reason for existence for at least three years. It was the next thing on my checklist that I was working towards. And when it ended, as marvelously relieving as it was, it ended. All of a sudden I reached all my life goals that I could personally work towards achieving. Which, in the end, should feel so tremendously liberating and exciting, but instead I felt imprisoned in my own finality. This has probably been the hardest pill for me to swallow. But, I’ve decided that it just needs to make me a stronger prayer warrior, a more visionary dreamer, and a compassionate Christian opportunist, if there is such a thing.

Whew. That was a lot to let out. But it was good. I welcome prayers, thoughts, questions, and just good old fashioned accountability as I seek to be THANKFUL for things I have been “bitterful” towards.

And now, on to some late night pumpkin pie.

Limos, LA, Ladies Night


I missed blogging again yesterday.

Here’s why. The proof is in the pudding, or the Perry, shall we say. It’s been a crazy week, last night was a crazy evening, to say the least.

White limosine, shifting neon lights
Driving into downtown this LA nite
3 cups, Def Leopard, leopard print
Yardhouse ends the gridlock sprint.

Sprinkles, more lights, candy, glitter
Katy Perry fans and Staples litter,
Two hours of poppy, pretty, pink fun
Thirty chill minutes with a limo on the run

White limosine, fading headboard lights
Driving home on this late late nite
3 stops for a carsick, sick friend
Adele brings this party to an end.





Of Mice and Wolves

I’m going to grant myself permission to meld yesterday’s blog and today’s blog into one since the reason for yesterday’s blogging absences bled into today.

At 8am yesterday morning, I hopped onto a yellow school bus with my principal, coworker, and about 35 high school ASB kids to attend a leadership conference at Disneyland where we met up with the rest of our crew. This is probably the highlight of my school year in terms of scholastic activities.

The reasons why this 48 hours of Fall fun is so spectacular is mainly because my King Wolfpack is just an amazing group of kids and teachers who give off crazy good joo-joo. But, there are so specific traditions that do help keep the weekend an annual favorite:

1.) Peppermint stick ice cream at Gibson Girls on Main St.
2.) Green M &M’s (or in this year’s case, Mentos) held in our hands as we ride the Tower of Terror. This year, when we went to purchase the photo, Disney told us our photo (basically our use of edible props) “did not meet Disney standards.” Poo on you, Mouseketeers.
3.) Space Mountain, all 22 of us in line together
4.) Pranks. This year, a teacher attempted to prank a kid. Sometimes, it’s the other way around.
5.) Inappropriate jokes, sometimes distinguished by cryptic facebook and twitter status updates. Usually they involve certain decor in the trees at Downtown Disney and other ridiculousness.
6.) Catching the last of the AMA’s in our hotel room once we rally all the kids back.
7.) Walking over to Jamba Juice the next morning to scavenge for some real breakfast instead of the half stale bagels set out by the conference peeps
8.) Relaxing while the kids attend the conference

And this year, we added two new tradition to our usual routine: Parkas in the rain and the Grand Californian. Disneyland messed up and overbooked the Disney hotel, so we all got put in the $600/night digs instead. Best mistake Disney ever made. Doubtful it’ll happen again, so we enjoyed for the 2011 season. Rain, come what may, another successful CADA Conference Weekend.



So Much To Say…

So, I have some fairly intense thoughts I want to process externally, but unfortunately just not the fortitude and man power to eek them out right now before exhaustion sets in.

These thoughts sprang from my mud run this morning while hacking up a lung and in the throes of this little flu I’ve got. Which, of course is the ironic reason why I’m too tired to blog my deep ponderings. It’ll have to wait for another day, because it merits more than just my sloppy-right-before-bed pathetic attempts at articulation.

In other news, super thankful for the intimate, low key night that was our Novemberblogfest meet up. I’m really blow away that the simple but profound art called writing has brought so many of us unique personalities together as acquaintances, friends, and confidantes. Some good conversations were had tonight, and some sweet friendly faces were seen again.

I am thankful that writing, while a reflection of one person’s soul, does not have to be done individually, but rather in community.

And on that note, I shall take my weary self to sleep.

Breaking "Down"

A small piece of me just died. I had to inform a student that the famous lines from Twilight, “Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice…” are actually penned by the great American poet, Robert Frost, and not the synonym handicapped, pop fiction wonder Stephanie Meyer.

Dawn broke early for many of my students this morning who attended the long-awaited Twihard release. My heart broke for literature in general about 10 minutes ago.

Here you go, Frost, for whatever it’s worth, a small tribute on this November 18th.

“Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice,
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if I had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.”

That’s all. If I weren’t so sick, I might attempt to offer my literary analysis of this fine poem, but for today, I think this exquisite writer’s words are enough.