Saturday, October 6, 2007

Fall Break Beginerate! (or a book rant)

Finally it’s fall break. I can get caught up on some of my classes, clean my train wreck of a room, finish setting up my darkroom and do some reading. Yesterday I paid a visit to the BN (Barnes and Noble bookstore) and got myself a few books. Three books actually. Two by Don DeLillo, and one by Jack Kerouac.

The Don DeLillo books- first off, he is one of my favorite authors. The book White Noise I recommend to every one that I can. However, if you are looking for crazy plot twists and action and suspense, he is not for you. Frankly the plots in most of his books are pretty lame. If you are looking for a little more between the lines, he is a must read.
The things that make him flat spectacular are his ability to put words into images, and development of the characters. In White Noise he used a disaster to separate the characters from their normal environment, a bit of a tool to put them in a position to confront their mortality and inner/outer demons. Excellent book. And the new one I bought called Falling Man is promising to be almost the same, except instead of a natural disaster it’s in the aftermath of 9/11, and addressing different issues as well. I also bought a short “novella” he wrote called The Body Artist, which is shaping up to be a promising one as well.

The Jack Kerouac book- I also procured On The Road. It is a road trip novel I have been curious about for a while, just never got around to reading it. The book mostly sparked my interest because a lot of famous musicians and contemporary authors cite it as an inspiration. So I guess I am looking to see where it all came from.

That’s about enough for a book rant today, and now back to work. I’ll keep every one posted on my fun-doings this week.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

FYI and R&R

Well folks, I’m back. I know I haven’t blogged in a long time, but I had the choice of keeping my nose in a book or in front of a computer, and the scholastic circumstances forced the former. And now for the results of the studying:

Calculus III- the quiz went well, again I don’t think 100%, but a satisfactory grade is expected.

Modern Optics I & II- the mid term was today, and it was a monster. Actually, that is an understatement. It was an abomination to all that is just and holy. I spent 4 days studying and reviewing till my eyes deflated and my brain was fried night after grueling night. You think it would pay off? Yes, but not in the way you would assume. We (the class) had 50 minutes to take the test. There were 7 questions. Not ONE person finished the entire exam. The professor had to call tome ant tell everyone to put down their stuff. Seems ridiculous right? That’s what I thought too. But the upside is that what I was able to do I know I did right, and after talking with other students after class I think I did better that most every one (there was one question in particular, worth a lot of points, that every one complained about and I got right. I know I did). And since there won’t be any perfect scores, that means the curve will be lower. Hello good grade! (Most likely any way, I will keep all of you posted on the results as well).

Other things of note- going well I suppose. I have not been able to do much outside school due to the above mentioned situations. My buddy Steve-O is going to be putting a dark room in his basement, and he has requested my expertise in the doings-so. Aside from just being a good friend and helping with the construction, he said that he would let me use his facilities. Why would this interest me, since I already have my own dark room? Simple: better equipment. He inherited (from the former tenant in his duplex, who couldn’t take it with him) a very nice color filtered enlarger with a custom mounting system, several nice enlarging lenses (my Nikon 50mm is still nicer however) and medium format negative holders. I might have lost most every one there, but that’s just me geeking out. Mostly I am excited to see what we can do with this enlarger, and I might be able to construct something similar out of mine (the advantage to this enlarger is that it can print up to 16x20 and larger). He also mentioned that he might be selling some of it to buy a digital (I don’t blame him, those are getting pretty good) and if he does I might put down a bid or two on some of it.

From Russia with Love is well, working hard and hardly working like the rest of us.

And for the rest of the night: work. But at least I don’t have to study my brains out my ears. I brought my Walt Whitman book, and plan on enjoying some damn good poetry in the wee hours of the morning when my shift ends.

And on another note, I think I will share some of it (so you will know why I like it soooo much):

"Now I pierce the darkness, new beings appear,
The earth recedes from me into the night,
I saw that it was beautiful, and I see what is not the earth is beautiful.

I go from bedside to bedside, I sleep close with the other sleepers each in turn,
I dream in my dream all the dreams of the other dreamers,
And I become the other dreamers.

I am a dance-play up there! The fit is whirling me fast!

I am the ever-laughing… it is new moon and twilight,
I see the hiding of douceurs, I see nimble ghosts whichever way I look,
Cache and cache again deep in the ground and sea,
And where it is neither ground nor sea."

- from The Sleepers, W.W.

Good night all.