Archive | April, 2011

Just. . . Sigh

30 Apr

I wrote my political officials about Planned Parenthood funding, and here’s what I got back:

Dear Laurel,

Thank you for contacting me regarding funding for Planned Parenthood. It is an honor to represent the people of Eastern Washington and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

I do not believe that federal funds should go to Planned Parenthood. Last year, U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) did a study revealing that the federal government’s support for Planned Parenthood has reached billions, a large percentage of which go to family planning services. In 2009, according to Planned Parenthood’s own records, 332,278 abortions were performed. This is unacceptable. The GAO study and Planned Parenthood’s statistics demonstrate that in the last several years, focus has not been on the needs of the county. We need to focus on jobs, balancing the budget, and our national debt. To that end, I supported efforts to eliminate federal funds to Planned Parenthood.

Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue. As your Representative in Congress, I am committed to putting the best interests of Eastern Washington first. I invite you to visit my website at www.mcmorrisrodgers.house.gov for additional information or to sign up for my e-newsletter. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Best Wishes,

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Member of Congress

My response:

Dear Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers,
Thank you for you last e-mail, I appreciate the time you took to share your thought process with me.  Though I am thankful that you shared your rationale, I feel like your logic for the ‘no’ vote was in error.  Here’s why:
Increasing access to family planning services and maintaining current levels of funding for family planning is just plain smart budgeting. For every $1 million cut from family planning, it costs over $4.1 million for new unintended pregnancy care, starting right away.  SB 5912 increases income eligibility for the Take Charge Medicaid family planning program from 200% to 250% of the federal poverty level, finally creating parity between the women whose pregnancy care we pay for through Medicaid and the women who are covered for family planning services!   This bill is simple and common sense, overall it saves money during these difficult economic times by reducing the number of unintended pregnancies that our state pays for.
Not only is funding family planning one of the smartest fiscal decisions we can make with regard to our state budget–especially in times of economic crisis–but family planning prevents unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion.  Cutting family planning simply doesn’t add up; the 2.25 million dollar cut in the Senate budget to Department of Health family planning funds will result in over 9 million in new unintended pregnancy care costs this biennium, starting right away.
It is clear that the cut proposed by the Senate budget will cost much more than it saves in this same biennium.  Thousands of women and families will likely go without services, and such a cut would mean an increase in unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion.
I sincerely hope you can look at the facts and see why Planned Parenthood is a necessity whether you believe in abortion or not.  By the way–the rare abortions that are provided by P.P, are not paid for with federal funding, BUT the easily accessible sexual education, affordable women’s health services (cancer screenings, physicals, and STD testing), and birth control which reduces unwanted pregnancies are.
Laurel

Prequel: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs + Vocab

29 Apr

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

ONCE UPON A TIME

A well-known queen sits sewing at the window and gazing at the snow.  She pricks her finger with the needle and upon seeing three drops of red blood fall on the perfectly white snow, dreams about having an equally ideal daughter with white skin and red lips.  This child was exalted even prior to her birth!  Soon the queen is blessed with an illustrious child that is the paragon of all things beautiful with her snow white skin, ruby red lips, and black hair.  Unfortunately, the queen dies very shortly after and the king remarries a vein and officious woman.

This new queen has a divine mirror that answers her question affirmatively when she asks if she is fairest of them all.  The queen has been accustomed to hearing the felicitation, “You are the fairest in the land,” when she inquires, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”  When the baby, Snow White, reaches age 7, the mirror begins to auger that princess Snow White is fairest of them all.  Habituated to the former response, the queen naturally assumes the abnormal response is in error.  Seeking the familiar adulation, she disputes this fact and the mirror repeats that Snow White is indeed fairest in the land.  Another woman taking her place as the quintessential model of female attractiveness (affable and genial to boot) infuriates the queen and incites her to drastic action.

Severely agitated, with the mirror’s aberrant answers to her quarry the queen is fomented to eradicate her problem.  And she is furious that someone is challenging her pulchritudinous looks, so the queen propositions the huntsmen to take Snow White into the woods and kill her.  The queen is so unyielding in this request, the huntsmen has to choice but to concede to her wishes to censure the pretty princess.

To confirm the assassination, the queen relentlessly requests the huntsman bring the girl’s heart back.  Once in the woods the huntsman’s previously inured heart is warmed by the princess’ winsome looks and innocence.  He admirably takes pity on Snow White and tells her to run away and live cautiously.  To corroborate his tale of murder, the huntsmen brings a deer’s heart to the queen, and still in her inexorable fit of rage, she cooks and eats it.

In the woods, Snow White comes upon an anomalous family of seven dwarfs who offer her shelter in return for her to clean, cook, and sew while they are mining.  As a side-note, the dwarfs whistle while they work producing the most harmonious euphony.  They warn Snow White to be discreet and warn her to be provident about letting anyone in while they are out.  Meanwhile the dictatorial queen is infuriated when her mirror intuits Snow White living peacefully with the dwarfs–and tells her that the princess is still the fairest of them all.

The queen takes matters into her own hands and comes up with a ruse to kill Snow White.  She disguises herself as a peddler selling laces to gain access to the princess then proceeds to wrench Snow White’s dress so tight that she collapses dead on the floor.  The queen, warned by the musical trudging of the dwarfs flees the scene of the crime.  The dwarves are able to revive her.  Her first subterfuge unsuccessful, the queen plots again.  In her next murderous attempt, the queen dresses as an old woman and combs Snow White’s hair with a poison-laced comb causing her to fall to the floor.  Again, the queen is alerted that the dwarfs are on their way home by their pleasant melodies, and she gets out of there.  The dwarves again revive the princess.  In her final attempt to extinguish the girl’s life, the queen dresses as a farmer’s wife and offers an apple to Snow White.  Hesitant and foreseeing possible trouble, after her previous near-death experiences, Snow White demures.  Desperate to finally kill the girl, the queen cuts the apple in half and eats the white portion.  Seeing the apple is not noxious, Snow White eagerly accepts the other half–which is red and poisoned.  She falls dead to the floor and the dwarfs are unable to revive her a third time.

Unresponsive, Snow White is placed in a glass coffin.  A prince comes through town and is enchanted by Snow White’s august beauty.  The dwarfs relinquish the coffin to the love-striken prince and he begins to cart it home.  There is commotion when the coffin goes over some bushes, jostling it, and the poisoned apple is dislodged from majestic Snow White’s throat.  She wakes up and an extravagant wedding with a multifarious and diverse guest list is planned.

The queen’s mirror is asked again who is the fairest in the land and it responds, “You are fair my Queen, tis true, but Snow White is  a thousand times fairer than you!”  Never one to miss a grandiose event, the disgruntled queen attends the wedding, that is unbeknown to her, for the prince and Snow White.  The other guests show their disapproval that the queen impugned Snow White.  While there she is ostracized for being a demagogue and as atonement for her wrong-doing, is made to wear hot, iron shoes and dance until she dies.

And Snow White and the prince lived happily ever after. . .

THE END

for more (non-Disney) fairytales

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1VofBE/thatguywiththeglasses.com/articles/sand/13761-t10odf

 

Breaking Down Issue Topics + GRE Study

29 Apr

1.

+Being a parent is imperative to understanding humanity.

-However life without a child can be just as meaningful and enriching.

-A full life can be realized without raising children–just look at Oprah’s success and philanthropy.

-People who do not have children have greater freedom to expand their horizons and fulfill meaningful aspirations.

2.

+The introduction of the internet has made libraries antediluvian and unnecessary.

-Though the internet has provided a plethora of easily accessible information, libraries are still an important resource for scholarly materials.  Address the research and the use of land

-The internet is widely available and simple to use, but this advantage can be its downfall because the information gleaned from the computer is not always complete or accurate.

-Demolishing libraries in favor of more efficient public purposes would be a tragedy, because not only does it destroy a n important part of our history, it would take away materials not found elsewhere and librarians ready to help find the appropriate books.

3.

9:55 AM

+Studying noncontmporary forms of expression is unnecessary.

-It is important to understand noncontemporary subject matter to gain perspective on current themes.

-Current art, philosophy, and literature draws on past works so it is important to study the past.  And there is no evidence these items are antiquated–where would we draw the line between old and new?

-An appreciation for culture is inchoate when students study the way things used to be.

-Noncontemporary items have impacted the world in more ways then we realize, so it is imperative to know these so we can look to the future in an enlightened way.

10:03 AM (8 min)

4.

10:03 AM

+American patriotism is best expressed by the phrase, “Any means necessary.”  Not the best topic to choose, b/c it features no points to agree with or refute.

-Liberal-minded citizens that believe in compromise and compassion are just as patriotic as those who are jingoists.

-The impassioned cry of, “any means necessary” implies a bellicose point of view that is aggressive in nature, which does not equate with love for the United States.

-America is recognized for our broad views and acceptance of everyone, and taking such a drastic approach to running the country is detrimental to those important values.  Freedom is a tenant of America and this view violates it.

-In taking such a hard stance, these self-proclaimed patriots marginalize those who are not as zealous, and that is not what America is all about.

10:14 AM (11 min)

Federal Funding Debate + GRE Issue Essay Practice #2

28 Apr

3:34 PM

Brainstorm:

“As long as people in a society are hungry or out of work or lack the basic skills needed to survive, the use of public resources to support the arts is inappropriate—and, perhaps, even cruel—when one considers all the potential uses of such money.”

Point:  Supporting the arts is irresponsible if there is need in society which is the most basic and exigent place to spend public resources.

Opposing:  Though the arts don’t put food on the table, having them available to the majority is valuable to society.

+When we have to chose between a child getting fed and clothed verses funding extraneous culturally enriching activities, it is a no-brainer which should receive priority funding.

+People camping in tents on Skid Row could benefit in a tangible way from money wasted on unnecessary art.

+When people in this country are in dire poverty, it is not just those individuals that suffer.  Our productivity as a nation suffers, as does our global image.

+Addicts who lack the basic skills to survive, impede the happiness of everyone in society.  They are regularly participating in crime, engaging in unsightly activity in the streets, and using up enforcement, judicial, and incarceration resources.

+ We have a responsibility to care for those less fortunate than ourselves in society–giving money to the upper-echelon while lower classes suffer would be a travesty.

-Without the arts, life would be austere and boring.

-The arts enrich our lives by fostering creativity and outside-the-box thinking.

-Who is to say funding the arts is hurtful to society?

Take a Stand:  

Though I think funding the arts in times the economy is doing well is important to foster creativity and asthetics, society has to err on the practical side of things when money is tight.  We could not in good consciousness allow a child to go hungry while giving extraneous endeavors, whatever they may be public funds.

3:54 for brainstorming (20 of 45 min)

4:04

“As long as people in a society are hungry or out of work or lack the basic skills needed to survive, the use of public resources to support the arts is inappropriate—and, perhaps, even cruel—when one considers all the potential uses of such money.”

The issue of where to spend tax money is a controversial one, just look at how our politicians struggled last week to decide on the final budget.  They almost shut down the federal government because they could not come to a decision!  Every advocate and organization can present a good case as to why they need more funding.  Food benefits, unemployment pay, and job training are all practical ways for the country to spend public funds.  On the other side of the coin, galleries, parks, and music education are important for enjoyment and recreation and enrich us as a people.  In the final analysis however, I support the more tangible benefits gleaned from spending tax payer money in practical ways such as welfare programs, rather than giving what little money we have to extraneous sources such as the arts.

My difficult decision which favors giving money to people in need over handing it to culturally enriching programs is simply prioritizing who needs the money more.  For instance, when weighing hungry children with youth eager to learn an instrument, I have to side with the basic necessity of food.  In addition, looking at spending resources on people who just got laid off from their job trying to make ends meet verses spectators wanting to look at art in a museum for enjoyment it is evident that I have to side with the needy people of our country.  As a third example of prioritizing needs, I would have to choose funding shelters for the homeless rather than parks for the public to enjoy.  Sure, artistic endeavors are beneficial for society.  They help people think outside of the box, foster creativity, and lend asthetic appreciation of culture.  When times are bad and people are suffering it is more imperative that we help people struggling to survive.  Just like our political leaders, I do not want to have to make choices, and would prefer to fund both the  necessary and the enjoyable, but in bad economic times, I have to choose the most dire.

Aside from being a bigger priority, funding need awkward!  does not just help the individuals benefiting from the public resources.  When the streets are free from homeless addicts and petty theft is minimized we are all better off.  To illustrate:  Having a Skid Row costs us money in the long run.  Enforcement for petty desperation-driven crimes ends up costing the taxpayer money.  Maybe if these people had shelter, they would not be engaging in prostitution on the streets.  Certainly if people were given enough food and trained for employment, they would not have to steal to meet their most basic of needs.  When drug addicts are arrested and go through the court system, it again, costs the tax payer money.  Institutionalizing people in mental health facilities and incarcerating them in prisons also takes away public funds.  Giving money to the arts instead of cleaning up Skid Row is detrimental to our entire country.

A second grade boy looks at his dingy sock poking through the hole in his tattered sneaker as he walks to the bus stop in the crisp morning air.  He is wearing his ripped jeans, his mother’s least favorite, because she was still at her second job when he left the apartment.  As the little boy waits for his ride to school his stomach growls furiously. . .  We have a responsibility to assist those less fortunate.  Clearly, children should not be forced to miss a meal because it is a greater priority of our society to fund artistic programs.  It is a blight on America’s overall productivity, not to mention global image when we have destitute people living on the streets, while the upper classes enjoy art.  We cannot in good consciousness pour money into unnecessary pursuits while our future generations starve.  As a union, we need to make sure everyone’s basic needs are met before putting any public funds into organizations pandering fun.  Redundant I side with giving public funds to those that need to meet their most basic of needs before giving it to extraneous, though culturally-enriching arts programs because I have a responsibility as an American to do so.  State a clear and specific example instead of reiterating my generalization.

Though we really enjoy the benefits of art, love having recreation available in the form of public parks, and are creatively indulged when learning and listening to music, it is more important to make sure everyone in the country reaches a certain minimum threshold of survival before giving funds to the fun stuff.  Though I feel the arts are important, I do not think they are exigent when people are faced with a lack of shelter, food, and work.  If ever there is a plethora of funds, by all means let’s increase funding to the arts, but until then we have to prioritize as a country and help the lowest end of the spectrum just eek out a survival first.

4:46 PM (4 min? over time alloted)

No time to read over and edit

Requiem and Possible Character Motivations Part II

26 Apr

By the time the movie get rolling, all four of our main characters are already suffering from addiction.  Sara is addicted to television, bad food, and eventually a combination of amphetamines for weight loss and depressants to sleep.  The three other characters consume heroin, cocaine, pills–pretty much whatever they can get their hands on.  Each character is consumed by their drugs–getting money, obtaining the product, and enjoying the fix.  They spend the entirety of their time caught in the cycle of searching out drugs then doing them for the duration of the movie.  We don’t really know what they were like prior to their selfish drug use, and we are not explicitly told how each of them reached out to drugs in the first place.  I want to theorize why each of them turned to drugs to better understand the film itself.

Sara Goldfarb (played by Ellen Burnstyn)

The character wears a matronly wardrobe, sits home alone watching TV in her antediluvian apartment, and gossips in the sun.  These clues lead us to believe she is the embodiment of a typical housewife that is stuck in the past.  Sara’s husband has died, leaving her alone, and she cannot move past this.  Focusing on the infomercial and dreaming about being on TV are ways for Sara to escape the reality that her life is not that way she had imagined it would be.  We see her watching the same infomercial peddling weight-loss pills continuously portraying her sense of apathy toward her situation.  Sara is most likely using the television to distract herself from her problems, rather than dealing with them.

And the biggest problem is that Harry is not only a full-on heroin addict, but stealing from her to get drugs, and dealing as well.  Characteristic of an enabler, Sara loves her son so much that she repeatedly bails him out (buying the TV back again and again is one example).  She also ignores signs of trouble, and avoids confronting him about his drug use.   She can’t see that the reality regarding Harry is far different than her hopes for him.  As a mother, Sara wants her son to be successful (employed), have his own family, and treat her with decency.  There is a disconnect between what Sara wants to see in Harry and what behaviors he displays around her.

As Harry’s drug abuse becomes more and more evident, Sara’s denial becomes more pervasive.  Instead of addressing Harry’s heroin use head on or even acknowledging it–she prefers instead to believe in her own hopes for her son.  To further distract herself from the truth, Sara’s addictions start to aggrandize.  She becomes fixated on fitting into a special red dress and getting on TV.  This new endeavor is all-consuming.  I would guess Harry’s addiction has played a part in her own new amphetamine/depressant addiction.  Sara is really attempting to forget that she has no real relationship with her son.

Harry Goldfarb (played by Jared Leto)

By the time we meet Harry there is nothing left to his personality but the hunger for drugs.  He does not care about his mother’s feelings, as evidenced by the repeated pawning of her beloved television for drug money.  The reasons why Harry got involved with drugs are especially unclear.  While his mother is devastated with the loss of  her husband, Harry doesn’t seem particularly sad about the death of his father.  We also do not have a clear idea of Harry’s emotional woes that may have led him to addiction.  The audience gets the impression he may well have been the first of the four to get involved with illegal substances.  He is the farthest out of control of any of them, and has no goals, and seemingly little remorse fro his actions.

His best friend is merely someone who helps him concoct schemes to get drugs and money–the relationship is superficial.  The audience isn’t told how the friends met, but it is safe to assume it had something to do with the drug underworld.  Sure, Harry bails Tyrone out of jail, but is it because they are close friends, or because Tyrone has the connections to the drugs?

Harry’s relationship with his girlfriend is also far from deep.  He is seen encouraging her to pursue a garment business, but never addresses her drug-fueled capriciousness that is counter to that goal.  He has some spacey talks with Marion, but the film does not show any common interests the two share aside from their drug use.  Harry doesn’t seem to entertain the thought of marriage with Marion–it seems like she is just another person to do drugs with, and later a resource for getting the scare drugs.  Harry does not have any aspirations beyond getting a big enough score to make a lot of money.

Part of being an addict is a certain selfishness–the drugs take over the personality entirely–and Harry’s character seems to fall in line with this.  His feeble attempts at redemption include an empty promise to visit his mother more, a new TV bought out of drug money, and apologetic mumblings to his girlfriend.  Aside from being a source of disappointment, longing, and hope for Sara as well as a catalyst for Marilyn’s fall into prostitution, Harry doesn’t have a big role in the movie (despite being the center character that connects everyone else).  In the climactic scene of the movie, the viewer learns that Harry has (stupidly) been shooting up in the same site on his arm the whole time, and now the flesh is necrosing.  Even his end consequence seems extraordinarily avoidable, and is a relatively light punishment.

Tyrone (Marlon Wayans)

His character is not exactly fleshed out either.  We know little of his dreams or aspirations, and even less of the girl he is seen having sex with.  We do not not if she’s a one night stand or his wife.  She seems much less important to him than the drugs or money.  Mostly, Tyrone is portrayed as Harry’s helper.  It may have been Harry to introduce Tyrone to drugs even.  The film shows Tyrone engaging in the physically hard labor of pushing a TV down the sidewalk a long distance with his friend.  This symbolizes how he has pushed his dreams aside and is pushing drugs with Harry which is pyysically taking its toll.

The fact it is Tyrone that has most of the drug connections could mean that Tyrone has been involved in the drug underworld the longest.  He might have racial and economic motivations for starting drugs in the first place.  As a black person, he may have grown up in a bad neighboorhood.  He might have missed out on opporotunities, because of his skin color.  We never see a father figure, or anyone in his family aside from Tyrone’s mother.  She may have had to work long hours to support his when he was younger, and he could have gotten involved with drugs at that time.

The fact Tyrone reminisces about his mother who loves him just the way he is gives us insight into his personality.  It shows his loyality, which is displayed in the drug world, and with Harry time and again.  It also portarys a certain immaturity.  A drug user is said to stop maturing once they begin using, because the drug is the quick fix for all problems.  The user stops using any coping skills, instead turning to the drugs for support and happiness.

While Harry’s character feels empty, Tyrone seems to be slightly more conscious of impending doom (because of ethnicity).  It is he who sees firsthand a prime (Asian) drug dealer get shot in the head.  He seems to be in the middle of the race wars between drug dealers on the streets.  When the boys head south to find drugs, it is Tyrone who suffers the racial consequences of that trip.  He is clearly marginalized in the hospital waiting room, and this continues in prison.  The guards taunt and abuse him because he is black.  In the climax of the film, Tyrone is shown doing hard labor in prison while detoxing–a symbol of all the overabundance of African Americans put in jails for drugs.

Marion (Jennifer Connelly)

The first scene where Marion and Harry sneak onto the rooftop, and where she pulls the fire alarm for thrills captures her reasoning for messing around with drugs and with Harry–boredom combined with rebellion.  Her privileged upbringing is mentioned numerous times, and it seems she does drugs to fight against that lifestyle.  Marion mentions that her well-to-do parents tried to shower her with money and gifts rather than fostering an emotional closeness.  She was probably left feeling empty, then had the means to buy drugs.  After meeting and becoming infatuated with a full-on addict, Marion became more immersed in the drug.  In her altered atate of mind she may have even thought she was in love with Harry–despite a fairly superficial relationship with him.  She couldn’t possibly be close to him, nor him to her because each of their number one priorities was obtaining the next fix.  Soon, Marions drug-use most likely went from recreational activity to habitual cravings, until there was no turning back.  Her dissent into prostitution to feed the growing drug craving will be addressed in my third and final analysis of the film–“from feminine perspectives.”

Vote Against Women

26 Apr

Who are these “Democrats” voting against funding for Planned Parenthood?

By the tenets of the Democratic Party, each individual has responsibilities toward society and the nation. Each one of us – by Democratic point of view – has the obligation to respect human life, to respect the rights of others, to be tolerant, to be honest, to have self-control, to respect property of others, and to participate in the democratic processes of this nation.  I thought democrats were supposed to be liberal and progressive?  They are always touted as such–though I am suspicious of any partisan activity at all and prefer individual analysis of what is best for the country.  That said, liberals are quick to attack republicans, and as I expected it’s patriarchy in general that is to blame–not (entirely) the ultra conservatives.  Apparently those democrats are not immune to capitalistic pressures to renounce women’s best interests.  Democrats, by voting against education, birth control, health care, and easy access to female care in general, these politicians are violating the rules of their party.  And no matter your feelings on feminism, education is never a bad thing.  The continuing trend in voting against education will come back to haunt us as a nation.

I’m callin’ you out–you are a disappointment to Democrats politicians that have integrity (is that an oxymoran?) in the United States, and I hope you are voted out of office promptly!   I am looking at you:

Mike Ross of Arkansas

Daniel Lipinski and Jerry Costello of Illinois

Joe Donelly of Indiana

Collin Peterson of Minnesota

Mike McIntyre and Heath Shuler of North Carolina

Mark Critz of Pennsylvania

and Nick Rahall of West Virginia.

“Veterinary is an Adjective”

21 Apr

I heard this from a vet at work last week.  It was directed at me because I answer the phone:  “*insert 3 worded long name of business* veterinary, this is *my name*, how may I help you?”  Already quite a mouthful if you ask me.  The vet was dictatorially policing my grammar infringement when she said it to me.

I just stared for a minute, trying to decide whether to call her out on her douche-baggery in trying to correct my solecism in the first place, explain my reasoning for omitting the noun in the phone tagline, or simply disengaging the situation and providing no response at all.  I choose the middle option–to explain how yes, I know veterinary is not the end of the sentence, and I realize I omit the noun of said phrase, but for what I believe to be good reason.  One:  to shorten the greeting (even if just a little) and Two:  Because clinic–which is the legit name for our business has a negative connotation, so I don’t want to say it.

Clinics invoke the image of a weekend crash course of shoddy medicine on the cheap.  We’re talking spay/neuter clinics just so people will castrate their pets at all, quick dentals to drum up more business in the long run, or some sort of transient specialist practicing medicine one day a month to fulfill the needs of several rural communities.  A clinic is economical, fast, and maybe doesn’t have the most knowledgeable staff or exceptional facilities–not us by a long shot.

I guess my particular veterinary ____ (see how I’ve purposely omitted the noun, but show I know it SHOULD be there with my blank line) is named that way, because the owner’s husband is a human physician and got all irked that a lowly veterinary practice should not assume the name hospital–as if it’s like the legit human hospitals in town.  Stupid, but clinic is on the sign.  So this veterinarian tells me to say hospital if I want even though it isn’t on the business cards or sign and may lend to some confusion.

Aside from the ‘adjective describes a noun’ and ‘clinic vs hospital’ debate, I would like to instead focus on the practice of correcting grammar and spelling.  My desired rejoinder to that doctor is to tell her to leave my speech patterns the fuck alone!  Maybe if she spent less time scrutinizing my grammar and more time writing her charts, or organizing her work space, or even seeing clients in a timely manner a lot of everyone’s (important) problems would be solved.  Who cares about how I answer the phone?  People can tell where they are calling, and it still sounds professional–no harm, no foul.  If I was writing a formal essay I would use the name as written.

Sometimes I think (to myself) that a person portrays themselves with ignorance when they use words improperly or write stupid shit that sounds illiterate–but I do not mention this to that person.  What could they riposte with this information?  Will it make them want to learn to do things correctly–or will it just make me look like a picky bitch?  What result are those grammar police really expecting–yeesh!  That, and I know it could easily be me making the mistake next time.  You better not correct someone else unless you yourself will never make their same mistake.  After correcting someone if you make some sort of error you will look like a hypocrite and a dummy.

As happened to this particular vet on my Facebook page.  She responded to a picture but the script was nonsensical because she forgot to type a word–humorously enough. . .  The noun.  The ever important, previously mentioned noun.  I have no idea what she said, because she subject was omitted.  Karma???  I wanted to retort with some snide comment so badly, but instead chose the (semi-mature) route of leaving it alone and blasting her on a different forum.

Just beware, loyal readers, nobody wants to hear it–keep your English-teacher-harping to yourself.

Superficial Overview of “Requiem for a Dream” Part I

21 Apr

The movie is an aesthetic and unflinching look at addiction.  As an avid viewer of “Intervention” I thought I would be desensitized my the material in the film–not so.  Though the word “heroin” is never explicitly mentioned, the implicit consequences of its use is pervasive in the film.  The artistic cutting of the scenes with help from the tasteful instrumental soundtrack lends a dramatic and edgy truth to the four characters portrayed.  The syncopation of both the jerky scenes, illusions of being right opn the action, and irregular melodies of the music focuses the viewer’s perceptions right on the drugs.  Instead of preaching about the deleterious effects of drugs the film leaves this message unuttered.  The tacit “drugs are bad” message is effective because of just that fact–it is implied and evident.

A brief (and superficial) overview of main characters:

The son steals his mother’s beloved television (repeatedly) to pawn for drug money.  The primary motivation is satisfying his constant (selfish) craving for drugs.  His only true long-term aspiration seems to be making a big score to get a lot of money.  He engages in a plot to get more drugs, the machinations to buy his lonely mother a TV, and a vague scheme to become close to his girlfriend.

The mother is lonely despite being shown sunbathing in front of the apartment building with the close-knit community of other aging gals.  She constantly watches a motivational infomercial on TV and wishes to get on TV.  Her main plan is to fit into a red dress–but she must lose weight to achieve this end.  She finds a doctor to prescribe diet pills after a chance mention of a friend who lost weight this way when she was sidewalk sunbathing.

Like our main character, the best friend is a wholly devoted sybarite–interested mostly in the next fix.  He regularly reminisces about his own mother’s love, while getting more and more invloved in the business of the drug underworld.  He is caught up in the drama on the streets and ends up in jail temporarily.

The girlfriend’s parents have masses of money, yet she langors into addiction with the rest instead of whole-heartdly pursuing her garment business.  It seems she is seeking out some mercurial entertainment in her relationship with the main character–and with drugs.  Her capricious behavior quickly pushes her towards using her sexuality to garner drugs.

These four are a phalanx of desperation at the end of the movie.  The last scene is one of the most powerful in all of film–the director is obviously an expert.  Being somewhat of a connoisseur of addiction media, devouring television, documentary, and blockbuster films as well as real life news articles, I was still left just sick to my stomach from this film.  It is one of my favorite movies, yet it just makes me feel (for lack of better word) icky after I’ve taken it in.

Back Up Plan

18 Apr

If this veterinary thing doesn’t work out, I need to have a “big girl” career option.  I can’t choose a back up plan!  If it’s not veterinary medicine, I am not really interested. . .

Well, I do have an interest in feminism.  But how does that translate to a paying job?  I could see myself teaching Women’s Studies at a university.  How do you qualify for such things?  Do you need an actual PhD or will a Masters do?  What are the criterion for furthering my women’s studies education, and where are possible locations to do this?

So far I have more questions then answers–I don’t know if this is a viable back up plan for me.  If anyone has these answers I would greatly appreciate your insight!

GRE Prep

17 Apr

In trying to gear up for my GRE test (a mere 5 weeks from now!) I have been trying to study in 4 hour blocks.  All quantitative because I’m worse at it, and fairly slow with it.  I haven’t really found a method of time-keeping for the math section that I love.  If I try to do a few problems and keep an eye on time, then I waste even more minutes trying to figure out time per problem and what I have left.  In trying to time each problem, I think I probably waste seconds keeping a close watch on the clock.  Anyone know of quant timing hints?

Aside from my time situation, I think I’m on track with my preparation.   I can manage to sit and study for the necessary length of time, have my tips and tricks arsenal in place, and am burning through the vocab flashcards.  I need to practice for the writing sections a little more and take a full-length practice test, and I think I’ll be ready.

Sample Issue Topics:

http://www.ets.org/gre/general/prepare/sample_questions/analytical/issues

Sample Argument Topics:

http://www.west.net/~stewart/gre/aa_sampl.htm

Oh, and take a drive to the test site so I can time how long that takes and be confident about the location.  I don’t want any extra stress on test day.

Wish me luck, share any tips 🙂