“The Medium is the Message” Week 1 Blog

In the book Conergences they talk about message, method, and medium. That gets me to think about what, why, and how we communicate.
When you talk about the message of something it is normally considered to be the point the person is trying to get across. “The medium is the message” is a phrase by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. I do not believe that this is always true. I could write a letter to someone and they would get the message. I guess if I was to use certain words and make it sound a specific way when received then maybe I could see that.
The method of something someone is trying to get across is how it is being done. For an instance let’s take this painting by Franz Von Stuck.

 

sin

The name of the painting is “Sin”. The message would be “the ultimate sin”, as you have a naked lady tempting you and the snake being the devil in temptation. The method is the painting itself.

Using this art piece as an example again, the medium to me would be the actual paint that was used and what material the frame (that is not in this picture) is made out of. Also what the artist used to create the paining.

Advertisements

Week 6 Blog

In the book Kindred, the author uses “gender” and “color lines” in the book a lot. Dana is the main character in the book and she is a young modern African-American woman. When she slips back in time at crucial moments helping Rufos. Rufos is a young boy at first in the book and we get to see him change and develop into a man (if that is what you call it).

The first time I recall something happening because of gender would be in my opinion is in the prolog of the book. When she is laying there with her arm missing and being questioned. I believe if Dana’s husband was the one with the problem Dana would not be asked by the police what happened nearly as much as they questioned him.

Many times in the book color comes into play. A good example would be when Rufos thinks that being white makes him better than the others and tries to take what he wants. Even when what he wants is a black woman that is in love / relationship with someone else. He put himself on a pedestal higher than everyone that his father and the time in history told him should be. Not correct in any way but that is a sad part of history.

Restaurant review – The Old Spaghetti Factory

The Old Spaghetti Factory.
I know this is not fine dining restaurant but I expected more. When I first walked in the place seemed a little bit dark. Not a romantic dark but a gloomy kind of feel. The front desk lady was very polite and seated us in a not so busy restaurant in about 15 minutes. Seemed to take a little longer than I thought it should. As my party and I sit at the table I notice that half of the utensils were missing. Some of the ones that were at the table had a lot of watermarks and fingerprints on them. The waiter arrived just a minute or two from sitting down to take our drink order which was nice.

After we ordered our food I decided to use the gentlemen’s room. The location of the bathroom was rather ridicules. I had to walk up 2 flights of stairs, down an empty balcony overlooking the entire restaurant, and then down another hall to the entrance. It smelt as if they did not have someone clean the place all day. The stalls seemed to look clean and the sink area was nice other than the water that was splashed on the counter. One of the paper towel dispensers was empty but at least it looked as if someone took the trash out.

Our server brought bread and salads in a timely manner. Looking at the salad I noticed that it was very poorly put together. A bowl filled to the max with lettuce (in bigger than bit size pieces), a huge dollop of dressing in the middle, and a few half bits of over hard croutons. For the customer would it be that hard to chop or rip the lettuce into bit size pieces and then toss the salad in a bowl really fast to coat it? How did they expect me to mix an already almost overflowing bowl of large chunks of lettuce up?

When the main course came everything seemed to look fine other than the portion size. We ended up taking home about a 1/3d of all the food that was served. The broccoli and other vegetables were nice and fresh and well cooked. The sauce on the fettuccine alfredo pasta was really smooth and rich. Unfortunately my pasta was slightly undercooked.

At the end of the meal they offer 2 different types of ice cream that come with the meals. A nice little treat to finish off a meal if the ice cream did not have freezer burn on it. They scoop out each portion into small bowls then place them on a rack in a freezer for easy access.

Conclusion: If you are expecting to go out to eat and don’t care much about a lot of little things that are not (correct) perfect then this is a nice place. A hearty meal at a reasonable price. Personally it felt a bit too much like a sit down fast food joint then a nicer restaurant. You can’t expect much from large chain restaurants from what I have learned. On par with Applebee’s and Red Robin for fast food feel and lackluster food quality.

I would give the Old Spaghetti Factory a 3.5 out of 5 starts

Final Post

Analytical writing was a very interesting and learning experience for me. I am not a big reader of books and I do not have very much writing skills but I would like to think I have learned a lot from this class. I really do like how I was shown how to analyze some ones writing and art. For example trying to understand who the artist is and what they are trying to say with the different elements of the work is exciting. By no means am I saying I am good at analyzing but I have a greater knowledge base on how to.
I know this class will help me a lot in the future with reviewing restaurants and creating meals/new recipes. It has helped open my eyes on what people are possible trying to tell by what they do. I think that a small amount of analyzing something is guessing or assuming. Unless you have the change to read what the artist says it means or hear it from them can you really know the true meaning of why they did what they did?
The trip that we took as a class to the Frye Museum was very eye opening. I did not realize that so much still is focused on race, racism, and slavery. I know that we should never forget our past but it is almost like some people use that to blindly judge the present and future. There was an art piece there that had a police officer on the ground that looked like he was bleeding and holding a riot shield. There was also many coffee cups on the ground by him and hanging in midair all around him. The cups had names of all (most) known non-white people that have been killed by cops. I found it slightly raciest in the fact that why would they not put everyone? Corrupt people killing others is not just about race. I don’t know the numbers on how many of each race have been killed by cops but I do know that many white people have also. No matter who or what color you are you can’t expect to put someone in a position to save their life or let you take it to just let anything go. I could go on for a while about this kind of stuff.
I liked this class a lot and learned a good bit from it.
Thank you

The Frye Art Museum

The Frye Art Museum is a quaint little museum with modern twist. Quaint in the fact that there is a large room dedicated to the Frye’s who made this fantastic museum open and free to the public. It is modern because it is a newer building and they show off a lot of newer art. A great mix of old and new with a nice flow through the building makes it easy to see most of the art without getting lost or confused. They constantly change the art around different artists are featured at different times.

With free parking and admittance makes this place a must go to in King County. I love the calming ambiance of the place making it a nice break from the loud and crazy city of Seattle. Personally about the art I do not care for all of the race items. I think there is still a problem with race in some places of the United States but is there not really anything else to focus art around? I did find some GREAT work in the Frye’s personal collection. One bigger artist that has some interesting paintings there is Stuck, Franz von.

A must go to for anyone interested in Art.

Kindred review

Author: Octavia E. Butler

First Published: 1979

Publisher: Beacon Press – February 1, 2004 (25th anniversary edition)

Format: Paperback Length: 287 pages Genre(s): Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction

 

Summary: Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stays grow longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana’s life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

(From the back cover)

Octavia Butler begins this book with a very attention grabbing line “I lost an arm on my last trip home.” (Kindred). After starting this book I really did not want to put it down. I am not an avid reader but this book is very entertaining. I found it interesting she started with a prolog in this book but it did help grab my attention and raise many questions that I did not wish to wait and find out.

This book is written in the first person of Dana. At first I get the feeling that she is not a very bright person and not aware of much. The traveling back and forth is a unique way of telling a story about history and the progression of characters. Although I do not see how the actual time travel plays a huge part in the book other than the fact that it’s somehow tied to Rufus.

I like how the different chapters are basically something big and new that happens. Like turning a page in a history book and trying to live through it. Dana finds herself dealing with slavery, violence, passion, love all while trying to figure out why this is happening to her. When she is called back to the past it does not matter on bit that she is a modern black woman. She bears a huge burden of learning to survive on a plantation.

This is a very moving and strong story. There is many plots and ideas in this book that will get you thinking for hours. I found an interview with Octavia Butler were she said ““I was trying to get people to feel slavery. I was trying to get across the kind of emotional and psychological stones that slavery threw at people” (Snider). I feel that she diffidently accomplished that in this book.

Kindred is a book that covers many bases: Fiction, fantasy, Historical fiction, mystery, passion, love, power, and violence. I highly recommend Kindred to anyone interested in any of those subjects.

 

Works cited:

Snider, John C. “Octavia E. Butler.” Www.scifidimensions.com. N.p., June 2004. Web. 13 Sept. 2014

Butler, Octavia E. Kindred. Boston: Beacon, 2004. Print.

Week 8 – Similar position

If I was to be able to be zapped into the past or future I would prefer the past. There is a very horrifying event that I would have loved to make not happened. To keep her name anonymous I will call this person Tania, she is the most amazing person I know to this day I consider her my best friend and that will never change. About 15 years ago I joined the military and she stayed in our home town of Santa Rosa California. Always having a close bond with her it was hard but at the time I thought I had to go into the military. I was sent overseas and away for just over 2 years.
I come back home to find out that while I was away someone at a party took her off to a side room and raped her. If any time in my life someone that I care about needed me it would have been then. Of course you can’t tell what would have happened if I never joined but I know I could have stopped it and protected someone I love. I think that scenario would have called me because it made a huge impact in a bad way on her life.
The mental and physical problems that are forced upon someone when things like that happen is uncalled for and no one should ever have to deal with that. While reading the book Kindred it gave me a little bit of a flash back and infuriates me whenever someone destroys another’s life like that. I know I would not have been like Dana in the fact that she helped Rufus. If I could not have the situation avoided then I know I would have destroyed the person if I could not get the situation to never happen.

week 5 blog about the author Octavia Estelle Butler

Octavia Estelle Butler born in 1947 was an American science fiction writer. She was raised by both her mother and grandmother in Pasadena, California. Her father died when she was at a young age. Being raised in a Baptist hose hold and living in a racially mixed neighborhood she was around a lot of diversity and culture. She was very shy and a daydreamer and her main outlet was science fiction. She is unique in the way that she excelled and graduated college along with taking other classes and being diagnosed with dyslexia.

The disorder did not slow her down. She would love reading her science fiction magazines and knew that she could do better. She ended up being a multiple recipient of both the Hugo and Nebula awards which are I great feat as a writer. She was also the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Fellowship award which “show exceptional merit and promise for continued and enhanced creative work”  (Wiki). One of if not the most significant awards that can be given to an author.

Knowing a about her helps you understand the novel Kindred more.  With her father dying while she was young and being raised by her grandmother would give me a reason to think about the past and were I came from. The time travel idea most likely came from what she knows about science fiction.  A very creative writer and the curiosity of her past could have inspired Kindred.

 

Work cited

“MacArthur Fellows Program.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 30 Aug. 2014. Web. 04 Sept. 2014.

Analyze how Butler uses structur to unfold the story.

In the novel Kindred by Octavia Butler uses time travel in her story about a young black woman named Dana. She gets dizzy and travels back in time to the 1800s. Each time she travels back she goes at a later time and you can follow the progression of the past. In the beginning of the book she uses a prologue in the book instead of starting with chapter one.

The reason for using a prologue instead of starting at the beginning gets my interest more in the book. Making me want to read more and find out what is going on and why she lost her arm. A fairly dramatic beginning also makes you think that this is going to be a very dramatic and action packed book. I think that she started with a prologue for those main reasons. To suck you into the book and make it interesting without all of the typical chapter one introductions type stuff is a great idea. I also like that it is told in first person and you learn more about the characters as the story goes along.

The time travel is unique because it gives you some information or the present and then you get to see another side of her as she gets deeper involved into the past. Dealing with slavery, he own issues, and the fact that this is happening to her gives you a great story with a unique way of telling it. Also the author is known for American science fiction. So if you know her it is not a typical book on family and slavery.

 

fairy tales and urban legends and the elements of narratives

There are many things in a novel or movie that you can look into too figure out what the elements of narratives are. You want to look at Themes, Characters, Plot, Structure, Setting, and Point of view as it is being told. When talking about Fairy Tales and Urban Legends there are some thing that are similar and some things that are not quite.

dragon

Fairy Tales is typically a short story that features fantasy characters, such as dwarves, elves, fairies, gnomes and sometimes magic and or enchantments. This is normally a farfetched story or tall tale that is not just not true but could not possibly be true. On the other hand some places, people and cultures believe in witches and demons. Therefore fairy tales may merge into legends, then becoming perceived both by teller and hearers as being grounded in historical truth.

bigfoot

An Urban Legend is a form of modern folklore consisting of stories that may or may not have been believed by their tellers to be true but often believable to the target audience. Urban legends are sometimes repeated in news stories and, in recent years, distributed by e-mail or social media. People frequently allege that such tales have happened. So unlike Fairy Tales, Urban Legends appear as if they could be true.

There are so many different ways to understand more about the elements of narratives that no matter what kind of book the elements are all there (in most cases).