Category Archives: Thoughts

little update

So I’ve got some free time. (Not really; I should be studying, but I have to be somewhere in half an hour so I feel antsy and can’t concentrate.) I thought I’d write something here, since I’ve noticed a definite positive result in Google searches since I’ve updated more. XD;;; hahaha.

…Aaaand two hours later, obviously I was too antsy to concentrate even on this entry.

Another hour later … here’s the entry.

I don’t know that anyone is reading this blog regularly, other than Noelle. So the continuity factor of this post will be lost on some people.

I’m almost done with this quarter, just one final (and required studying for said final, which I am avoiding…) tomorrow and then I just have to stick around the rest of the week for … the commencement ceremony! I still have two classes to take next quarter, but I’d rather participate in this ceremony than come back next June. (Although I’m considering going to that ceremony to see some friends, if things work out that way, but that’s another story.)

I’m a little nervous about the ceremony, because I haven’t walked in a ceremony since middle school! That’s over a decade ago! (Yes, I am quite old, aren’t I?) On top of that, there’s no rehearsal or real explanation of what’s going to happen, so I’m going in cold, folks. To add icing to the cake, there are only about a dozen people in the ceremony I know. Previous ceremonies, I’ve known pretty much everyone. This one, there are way more majors and other colleges than the little microcosm I’ve grown used to in my department.

What if I fall on my face? It’ll be in front of all these people I don’t know, along with all their guests. What if I forget to wear pants? What if I have a huge sneeze and smear boogers all over my face?

Then afterwards there’s a reception where everyone can gather. I’d like to talk to my classmates and say, well, good luck to ya, nice knowing you, BYE FOREVER. But I really don’t know how many people there are going to be milling around, and I don’t know how many people that I know will be there. And I don’t know if I’m meeting with my family before then, so how do I deal with 9 people trailing behind me? Or if I don’t meet my family, then I won’t have a camera with me (I don’t want to carry it during the ceremony). What will I do then?

Then after that, we have to figure out where to eat (although I think my parents already settled on Red Lobster down south somewhere). Two of my cousins each hate one of my favorite foods (Japanese and Mexican), so where does that leave me? Once I’ve decided on what type of restaurant I want to go to, I have to take into consideration the budget that my parents have (small, very small), and then there are my aunt and uncle who are nearby who I’d like to invite to dinner (but don’t want to bother them with the ceremony) who are not exactly low budget diners. What then???

But all in all these are just minor worries. What about next quarter? How do I find a job??? Oh noooo!

Thanks giving

I am thankful for…

  • loving family
  • friends
  • education
  • my health
  • freedom
  • heat, clothing, food
  • internet
  • a holiday that reminds me to count my blessings
  • yay it’s time for Christmas now! *grin*

codes

I’ve come to find through my life that I like codes.

This thought came to me earlier today when I was reading Broken Days (the book isn’t really important, but meh). I was looking at the chapter titles. (They bug me, because the first letter is so much bigger than the rest of the word. The difference in type size wouldn’t really bug me, except that the ascender of the lowercase H in both Chapter and Thirty don’t reach up as high as the bigger initial letter. Also, the weight of the character looks heavier than the rest of the word, just because it’s bigger. It should all be the same!! [Omigosh, Monk-ism. o_o] But anyway, enough about typography.)

The titles are set in italic, but the typeface’s italic style is subtle, so I was inspecting it to make sure it was italic, and not just oblique.

That made me think about the words italic and italicized. My teacher told us the words are based on the country’s name Italy, where the swooshy letter styles came from. (Versus Germany’s Blackletter, which is angular and straight and strict.)

I’d never, in all my life (from about elementary school, when I learned how to use Word Perfect [I’m so old] and that there was something called italic), thought about the similarities of the words italic and Italy. But I love it! It was like a revealed mystery to me!

And then I thought, it’s like a code! Language is like code, and other languages are like other codes. Sometimes they can translate, sometimes they can’t.

Reminds me of when I was a kid, and loved codes. Like 1 is for A, 2 is for B, and so on. I’d go off of that and make my own codes. They were simple. I’d reverse the numbers (like 26 is for A, and so on), I’d leave out vowels, I’d stick the vowels at the end (like A is 21, E is 22, and so on), other variations. I even came up with my own written language, or code. It’s based on the English alphabet, so it isn’t anything special.

I think it ties together a lot of my interests. Languages (not really the grammar so much though :x), words, coding, binary and hexadecimal. I just find it so fascinating how something can mean something else, how it can be expressed in a different way.

worth her weight in gold, but not in typography

I finished reading Thousand Pieces of Gold the other day. The story was all right. A bit short in parts. I had to get used to how the book would jump spans of time. No, I’m still not sure I got used to it in the end. But it wasn’t too bad.

Polly Bemis’ story is so incredibly heartbreaking. It’s amazing, all that she went through, and she just kept going. (Well I guess you don’t have any other choice, if you don’t die…)

I don’t know though. The story seems lacking, somehow. I know, being a “biographical novel,” that it tells Polly’s life story, but in a way that makes it more story-ish. But it doesn’t really feel like either a biography or a novel. The beginning started well, the whole thing seemed fairly contiguous, but after being sold to the lady the story got more disjointed and jumped more and more from event to event.

I’ll just have to keep the book and try reading it again at a later time. Like I do with all books that don’t wow me. (The only book I got rid of after reading only once, or not even once, I couldn’t even finish it, was Mary, Called Magdalene. I expected it to be at least as good as Song of the Magdalene, by Donna Jo Napoli, if not better, considering the author, Margaret George, said she did research for her historical novel. But once I read that Mary supposedly heard an iconic idol talk to her, the book just went waaay downhill from there. I stopped reading at Jesus’ crucifixion.)

One part I found interesting, was Polly having to confine her body into special bindings. First her golden lotus, binding her feet so they were smaller. It made me think about other cultures where women had to change their body shape to conform to standards of beauty.

I don’t know much about other cultures and their histories (I am so ignorant. *hangs head*), so the only thing I could think of was corsets in western society. With the golden lotus, girls and women were limited in mobility, relying on servants to move them from place to place. With the corset, the women were free to move of their own accord, although I’m sure they couldn’t run away if their life depended on it. But it did restrict their lung capacity, and fainting couches were commonly used for when they couldn’t get enough oxygen.

And now? In western society women will starve themselves to look like models. I think that’s the most detrimental to health, no? We haven’t gotten much better. And in China leg lengthening surgeries are performed, where legs are broken and slowly stretched to grow more bone mass. Then there are those eyelid glue products in Japan (and other far east countries? I don’t really know) where you have to jab a stick into your eyelid just to get that eyelid line. I don’t know if there are any bad long-term effects with that though.

But back to Polly. Later, while she was still in China, it was mentioned that her mom gave her a bodice that would flatten her chest. I’d never heard of that before, and wondered why that would be a standard of beauty.—Although in Japan, with the kimono and the obi and everything, they had women looking like logs as well. I just don’t get it. But then I do live in a time when “bigger is better”…

Then even later in Thousand Pieces of Gold, Polly had to wear a corset! The unfairness of life! Going from one confinement (which she never quite got over — her feet had been bound for too long before they were unbound, and never fully regained their mobility) to another. I wonder if she willingly wore the corset after she got out of slavery, or choose not to, or felt she had to in order to fit in with other midwesterners.

The photos included in the book were a nice touch. They made the story, and Polly, more real. (I think the last photo of her is so cute!) Because haha, it being a biography doesn’t make it real enough.

Despite all of what I’ve said so far, the only real complaint I have is with the printing. The typeface isn’t a monospace one, but it’s set so large and dark that it feels like one. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Courier or other monospaced fonts like other designers do. I guess code runs deep in my veins. *laugh* But I definitely don’t want to read a book set in any such typeface.

What’s even worse is that I could forgive the typesetting (perhaps it’s meant for an older audience, who have poor eyesight), because there’s a much worse typography sin committed in the book—there are double spaces after every period! Gasp and shock and horror! Since the type is set so large, there is less leading required to make it legible and so it looks to me like it’s 110% of the type size. Nothing wrong with that. But because the type size is so large, the word spacing is also large, and therefore the double spacing is extra doubly large! And I see all these empty areas in the text, and augh I can’t stand it! As my typography teacher said, “You could fly a plane through there!” In this book, there’s more space for planes than at LAX!

I shouldn’t complain though, I got the book at my library for $1. If I do decide to keep the book, I’ll just give this book back to the library (they can make another dollar, woot!) and go find a nicer printing at Borders.

Borders trip and journals

As mentioned in the previous entry, I went with C to Borders. I was going to buy a mag to get one last example of a grid for my art class, but I forgot to check natalieportman.com to see if she was in any new mags. (She isn’t. I guess she’s really busy working now.) Didn’t know if Evanescence was in any magazine out now either. So I didn’t buy any magazines.

I was looking at this one mag, I forget what it’s called… It’s about (I don’t even know the word) modifying/editing/cutting up/accentuating/something your clothes. I was gonna buy it, but it’s $14. ACK! There was also this drawing magazine that looked interesting (despite my lack of drawing as of late), but that was expensive too, $12, so I didn’t get it. *tear*

(I have, or had, $60 allowance [four weeks’ worth, since I won’t be home for a while], I spent $16.08 on a CD with ten songs on it [but it ended up being worth it XD], and I still need to buy Christmas presents. I won’t actually need all my allowance, but I also want to go on a clothes shopping spree since I haven’t really bought anything since spring [tank tops absolutely don’t count], and I’m thinking of spending my Christmas money on a GBA SP since the DS doesn’t play Gameboy games and I don’t like GBA games sticking out at the bottom and I don’t know why but the D-pad on the DS Lite doesn’t work for me. Either it’s too small or my thumb is too fat or maybe there isn’t enough height to it; I just find myself working a lot more to move around than I would on, say, the N64 D-pad. [I think my favorite D-pad would be on the Super NES uber-tastic controller, whatever it’s called, the one with all the little switches on the top. I don’t like the Gamecube’s, just because you have to reach so far over to get to it.] Wow I’m being really rambly and long-sentence-winded. Too much caffeine! O_O But back to the original point of this parenthetical aside, that’s why I didn’t want to buy the magazines. Or what I’m mentioning next.)

After that I looked at the notebooks Borders has (no Moleskines, curse Barnes & Noble!). I really really really like journals … I remember the first one I bought. It was one of those cheap ones with a plastic cover and tabs for a lock to go through. (Apparently at that age, no one would think of just tearing the plastic tabs off.) The pages would fall out after a few turns, too. I bought it at a … thing, I forget what it’s called; it was at my elementary school, where all these cheap (but some nice) things would be brought to the cafetorium for kids to buy for the winter holidays as gifts, and where I would end up spending half my money on myself. XD;;

I don’t think I’ve bought a nice journal for myself since then. (I never used that journal either. I think I wrote a short entry on the first page, but lost interest after that page fell out.) I’ve bought boring notebooks at Staples or whatever office supply store. I bought a sketchbook at Michael’s (made from recycled paper, of course). Also bought a blank “Sketchbook” (with the big “S”) from Borders for a multimedia class (it was required for a journal, but I never kept it up *shame*).

Even so, I’ve discovered that I really like journals. I suppose I’ve said it elsewhere, but I just like the potential of creation that these things symbolize (to me). I’d love to buy a nice blank journal and fill it up with anything that I deem worthy. The problem is I don’t have anything I deem worthy of going in a storehouse of creativity. (“Anything” would be thoughts, doodles, sketches, poems, lines, ideas, anything.) So I don’t buy anything nice. :(

But, I think this Christmas, if I have any money left over, I’m just going to go to Borders and splurge on the start of my journal collection. And I’ll force myself to put something in them. Even just dots. Yeah. Dots are good. That’s what’s used in printing. *nod*

I saw this one notebook today. It has “Desire” on, erm, if not the cover, then on the inside. It’s lined, and it has quotes and pictures in it. I thought it was really attractive. :o Partly probably because of The Sandman and the Endless. XD I’ll buy that if I find it again. But I think the first notebook I have to buy is a Moleskine. Definitely.