The Sound and the Fury

If you are familiar with William Faulkner, you know that he sometimes wrote using the "stream of consciousness" technique. While this sort of writing makes for a very effective way of letting the reader know the characters, it is not as reader friendly as other techniques. It doesn't allow for a quick read, but instead, the reader must work to gather the story and it's details to create the aggregate. This is surely the case with The Sound and the Fury. After I read the first 20 pages or so, I felt completely overwhelmed with several characters and details I couldn't bring together as a whole. "I should take notes," I thought to myself. I ended up using Cliffs'. This is the 1st time I've actually used the aid of Cliffs Notes and amazingly, I used it to supplement my reading of the novel rather than the more oft, last minute use of having the novel supplement it. (As a side note, while making a trip to the car mechanic, I took the book and Notes with me to help pass time if needed. One of the mechanics remarked, "Cliffs Notes, eh?" to which I answered, "Have you ever read The Sound and the Fury? You've got to have the Notes to read it!" The mechanic followed up with "Never read it, never will.") This book takes work and, if you're willing, you get to experience literature probably like you never have before. Faulkner tells the story of the Compson family. A family living in Mississippi during the turn of the 20 century. Throughout the book, the reader learns through various events how selfishness, insecurity, and cowardice materializes in everyday life activities. Part of the reading experience is trying to sift through it all and figure it out. This book is one that you need to read more than once to catch Faulkner's vision. And if you're like me, you may need some supplementary material.


Tuna and a Movie

Last weekend, we went to see Dark Knight, the latest Batman film. Since it was opening night, a lengthy line had formed to get into the theater; still, we arrived early enough to guarantee us a seat at least 10 rows from the front. Good planning, we thought to ourselves. But the guy in front of us was one step ahead. Sure, he was one position in front of us to get into the theater, but he had also brought his movie treat from home, wrapped in tinfoil, hidden from theater staff in hopes of successfully getting it into the theater. Forget big coats, carrying a light jacket, or limiting yourself to using just pants pockets, this guy had his food stored under his high-riding baseball cap. See below:

Midway through Dark Knight, I began to smell tuna. That's what must have been in the tinfoil.

Haven't we all tried to sneak some food into a theater before? I mean, movie treats sold at the theater (and even movie rental places) aren't all that great and they certainly aren't worth the increased prices. My brother used to say that robbing a movie candy delivery truck would be smarter than robbing a armored bank vehicle because the goods inside were worth more. I remember once, my friends and I had the great idea of bringing a whole meal to a movie. We planned to bring everything in, from party potatoes to punch, and then some. When it came time to execute our plan, we ended up ordering a pizza and putting the hot slices into plastic zip-loc bags and then into our coat pockets. Yep, we were successful in getting them into the theater, but once we pulled our slices out, they were soggy and cold. I wonder what the pizza would have tasted like had we used tinfoil.



Before the wild weight loss protein craze, before the Atkins diet, before the bunless Burger King burger; my mom emphasized the importance of protein. Not as a weight loss mechanism, but as a healthy part of the human diet, required by everyone because muscles need to be fed. Throughout my growing up years, my mom always made sure my siblings and I were getting enough protein in our diets. Protein was best for sustaining the full feeling and it kept our energy high.

One protein-filled item I remember is the egg & cheese toasted sandwich. Not only is this item high it protein, it isn't low in triglycerides either. My mom made me this breakfast every morning I had a big event at school, namely AP tests. I attribute my passing all AP tests to this very sandwich (whether I received a 3, 4, or 5 on said tests is another matter). The sandwich consists of scrabbled eggs made with milk and cheese plus a little season-salt, placed between two pieces of generously buttered wheat toast. Ahhh, it is (and was) delicious. Best when my mom made it. It is a sandwich you can sink your teeth into. And the butter squishes out of the toast and mixes with the cheesy eggs to create an excellent meal that lasts until 1pm in the afternoon. A full 2 hours after when I usually start to feel hungry.


New Shoes

Well, I finally did it. I bought a new pair of running shoes. My old pair has been with me longer than 4 years. Yes, I know 4 years is a bit over the recommended running shoe lifetime (sources say you should get new running shoes every 300-500 miles, which, for a runner running 3 miles about 5 days a week, is in about 6 months), but boy, did I love these shoes. I've been through lots of different things these past 4+ years, all while owning and running in these shoes, and to tell you the truth, I'm having a hard time thinking of getting rid of them. I took these shoes with me during one of the craziest/most memorable/bitter sweet cruises I've ever been on. I've hiked in these shoes amidst the greatest landscapes around, from Southern Utah to Oahu, Hawaii. I've run the streets of my college campus, the roads through my neighborhood, the park trails where I made my first big move, and the sandy paths of Europe. In these shoes, I enjoyed time with family, digesting conversation, racing go-karts, taking afternoon walks, chasing nieces and nephews, finishing a 5k. Yep, I'm having a hard time switching. It's great for the knees but hard to separate myself from the shoes (they're shoes for pete's sake!). Still, I'm taking a liking to my new pair and I have high hopes for what they'll join me in.


The Bourne Identity - the book

I saw the movie and liked it a lot, so when I found the book on our shelves as one of the only books I had not read (excepting textbooks), I decided to give it a try. At first, it wasn't much of a page turner, interesting, but nothing more. To stay entertained, I'd think back to movie scenes (one of which is when Jason Bourne is explaining to Marie that he's memorized the license plates of the cars parked along the street but he doesn't know why). However, once I got going with the story, the book alone kept me involved. I wanted to know what was going to happen next: if Jason was going to get caught, if Carlos the assassin would be identified, and if Marie was ever going to be bothered that her latest boyfriend was a renegade (By the way, she never did. What can I say? She was in love.). Usually, I don't enjoy books where silencers are mentioned often and a character's wife is actually a spy, but because I walked down the streets of France that the author describes when I read the book and the memory of the movie assisted my read, I liked it. Indeed, the movie is similar to the book but not fully true to it, which didn't hurt either one. It actually made it fun to notice the differences and imagine up some movie scenes that could have been.


My old office at work

A while back, a very friendly coworker, who works on a different project than I but has an office down by the first office I occupied, saw me in the hall. "I haven't seen you in a while," she said to me surprised, "I started to wonder where you went when our group started using your office as a closet." Yep, my old office is now a closet. Hmm, at least it was my old office.


How do I make a picture collage?

A while back, I posted a collage of photos and was asked how I did it, so here it goes.

Now, there are obviously many ways to do it, especially if you have a photo software package (e.g. Photoshop), but if you don't, there's still a way. If you are a blogger, then you are probably already familiar with Picasa, Google's photo organization software. It doesn't have tons of options, but it provides the basics, one of which is making a collage.
  1. To make a collage, first you have to have Picasa downloaded on your computer (which is free from Google).
  2. Then download your photos into Picasa.
  3. Choose the photos you want to use in the collage by pressing "Ctrl" and selecting the desired photos with your mouse.
  4. Click the "Collage" icon on the bottom of the Picasa screen. There are a couple of types of collages you can make. The square collage with lots of pictures does require a squared number (yes, this is painfully obvious, but worth making note of), although, if you only choose 12 photos (instead of 16 for instance), it will still make the collage but there will be 4 repeated pics.
  5. There you have it, you've got a collage.
And now it's time to collage-ify.


What's gone is back again

Living in Belgium for 6 weeks was a definite good time (see the 19 post previous). Now we're back in the U.S. and getting into the swing of things. Our apartment experienced a bit of flooding and we had some dead species in our kitchen, but after spraying everything down with bleach and treating our carpets with baking soda, things are back to normal.

Just yesterday, I went to the store to stock up our cupboards with the basics. Upon leaving the store, I ran to the car. It was raining. Between leaving the store and getting to my car, I lost my phone. You see, I had put it in my front pocket which was already taken by my wallet (my other pocket contained my car keys), and I don't think the pocket was made for items larger a stick of chapstick. As soon as I discovered my loss, I went back into the store and asked the employees, "Has anyone seen or turned in a phone?" Nothing. I walked the path from the grocery store counter to my car several times. Nothing.

As soon as my husband got home, we used his phone and started calling mine, again and again to annoy whoever had my phone or to get someone to pick it up, but we got nothing but voice mail. Finally, after about 20 calls in quick succession a man answered. My husband responded, "This is my wife's phone," he explained in a surprised voice, amazed someone actually answered, "and we'd like to get it back." He then proceeded to try to get an address from the man, who, for some reason, could clearly state the numbers to his home, but not tell us his street. We then explained to him that we were at the grocery store and, if he could give us directions to his house, we were more than happy to pick it up from him. "I'll bring it to you," he said, "I'm in a green van." What a nice guy, I thought to myself. Two minutes later a tan van showed up. The man handed over the phone and then made a request, "Give me ten dollars for gas." What happened to the nice people out there, who you could offer $5 to without expectation? And last time I checked, gas was $4.06 a gallon. Nice guy. But still, I'm glad I got my phone back.