Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Folk cultures are really only found in primitive parts of the world. They are classified by living in rural areas or small towns. They are old-fashioned and not influenced by modern technology. Most folk cultures are self-sufficient and value strong traditions and rituals. Most importantly, they have strong relationships and a high emphasis on family.
Our wretched, but unavoidable, pop culture (my teacher has just informed us that we are not a waste of human flesh even though we are part of pop culture) is defined by being urban. We value leisure, and depend on mass production to get things. Sadly, family relationships are not as strong.We have tons of relationships, but they are weaker. Change is rapid. -- Are you beginning to understand why I detest pop culture? -- and we are more mobile and less attached to the land.
I like to think that I am a blend of both. But that really isn't true. I am a part of pop culture - with folk culture dreams. [My teacher just described a situation I find myself in quite a bit. He was describing watching someone sit at a keyboard and sticking out their index fingers. Immediately you want to pick them up and set them aside and say, "Here, let me." So true, I have the hardest time watching anyone who types slower than 75 wpm. That's what I type, on my worst days. Sometimes I can get up to 90 wpm. I'm not bragging - I'm just saying. I have a hard time watching slow typers.]
I hate change. But I love having the latest technology...sort of. I would love to have an iPhone, and a Mac Pro or whatever...even though I don't know how to use Apple products. I would like to have them. Oh man, I wish I had a nice digital camera. I love driving. I like leisure time. I use my weekends as a mini-vacation. Rarely do I use the weekend to actually WORK. *shudder* But I do value my family. I wish I were more self-sufficient. I think I would like to garden and sew. Maybe... I wish we didn't move around so much. I think I would be completely content living down the road from my parents and siblings. And grandparents, and cousins. I like the idea of living on a large piece of land surrounded by family -- with no one leaving. Hehe. It sounds fabulous. Of course, then I wouldn't have my friends from California, Utah, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Colorado, Idaho... get the picture? Our economy doesn't allow us to live in a folk culture, and I don't think we would really enjoy going back...
But I am sick of the trends that roll through that are just retarded. I hate that our country worships celebrities. I am so disgusted with the lowering of standards, the widely accepted lifestyles that 50 years ago were taboo. I know that these lifestyles have been around since the beginning of time, but pop culture has allowed it to flourish and to be part of the norm. Since we can't revert back to our folk culture ways, I think we need to embrace some of the traditional aspects of a folk culture and start to ignore it idiocy of pop culture.
Monday, January 26, 2009
I typically get lost. That is just how it is. However, in the last week, I've gotten lost SEVERAL times when I was going somewhere I've been before. I went last weekend to IKEA to purchase a chair. I've been to IKEA several times and have never had a problem finding my way, or getting home. Yet, somehow, I managed to find myself completely lost, in the dark. I still am not sure where I was, though I think it was just at the base of the mountains in Salt Lake somewhere. Where ever it was, I was sure I was going to end up in Wyoming. I didn't, in case you were wondering. I thought I was in Magna, but I looked that up and I wasn't there either.
Part of my routine in the morning is straightening my hair - if just my bangs. Also part of the routine is turning said straightener off. In the last week, I've managed to leave the straightener on 4 or 5 times. This is abnormal. Also, I typically respond to reminders - and yet, Ashley has reminded me over and over again, and I keep doing it.
I have NEVER left my lights on. And yet, in the past 3 days, I have forgotten to turn them off 3 times. On Friday night, Ashley told me that my light was left on in the car (I don't really think it was that time because...well because my car actually started when I came out the next morning and the switch was in proper position). I didn't go check, because I forgot. But then, when I got home late Saturday night, I checked to make sure my lights were off and went into my apartment. When I woke up Sunday morning, my car was dead. Apparently, I had not checked my lights. They had been left on all night. In my haste to get to church, I left my KEYS in the ignition and caught a ride when a couple of girls from my ward. After spending 45 minutes recharging my battery, I headed to American Fork for a mission farewell and open house. At the open house, someone announced that MY car had its lights on. Seriously.
I don't speak well. Usually I pride myself in having fairly intelligent speech. The last few days my tongue has been tied in knots. I hardly know what I am saying anymore.
All of this proves that I am losing my mind. I am sure that there are those out there that would tell me to get more sleep...well, I have no reply. Perhaps I am not losing my mind, and in fact, just killing it from lack of sleep.
Is there a thing called Fatigue Stupidity. I think I have it.
The Time of Aspen Falls is a plotless love story set in modern day Albuquerque, New Mexico. It revolves around Aspen Falls, a twenty something book store clerk and her ultimate dream guy, Rake Locker, who happens to be the very essence of what a real man should be. If the storyline redeemed the choice of names, I would have forgiven MLM, but there simply is no story.
Aspen and her best friend Gina are supposed to be twenty-something-year olds who seem to have their own apartments and jobs, but still spend time sitting in a tree that they have played in since they were little girls. They are ridiculously silly and their dialogue is reminiscent of speaking to my 91-year old grandmother. They enjoy watching Leave it to Beaver, who as a 23-year old, I have never watched a full episode and doubt very much that my peers would enjoy such a show. This horrible habit of Marcia Lynn McClure's, that is mentioning song titles and TV shows, is perhaps a personal preference, but I like my stories to be timeless. And when such specific mention of Actresses, current fads, etc. are mentioned, it bugs me. Not to mention that Aspen and Gina were drooling over an 80-year old man (who turns out to be Rake's grandfather) and Sean Connery. The current 20-something-year old, especially the younger versions, probably do not even know who Sean Connery is! Other mentions of iPods, Angelina Jolie, and Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books were not only unnecessary, but oftentimes ridiculous.
If I had been able to read the Author's Note before purchasing the book, it might have changed my mind as to whether or not I paid for it. Marcia admits that there is much of herself put into the story. I don't have a problem with that, except Marcia isn't 20-something, and it shows through her characters that she doesn't seem to know how a real 20-something-year old actually speaks and what their interests are. Her use of the word "cool" was just silly at times, and trust me, there was a lot worse. The obsession with the Balloon Fair was over done, the mention that Rake wears white underwear made me throw up a little in my mouth, and Gina's fetish with UPS guys was completely unfathomable and uncomfortable.
MLM's hero and heroine is patented. They are basically all the same in all of her books. There is a reason I have read all of her books - it works. However, in The Time of Aspen Falls, Rake was just too perfect. Except his name. Rake Locker. Rake Locker? I wanted to throw my book across the room in disgust when I read his name. And unfortunately, I came across that feeling more than once as I read. The costume party where he dresses up as "Rochester Darcy - the vampire" made me want to scream at somebody. The fact that he was a Victorian Cowboy (professional rodeo champion, by the way), that wore Nike (again with the modern-day mention of a brand) basketball shoes while running, was the perfect physique and still had perfect manners, morals, and standards, was too too much. Not to mention is was a Master Clockmaker, and a pretty successful one at that. Of course he was. His family was perfect. He was perfect. He disgusted me.
Their relationship was something incredibly perfect as well. Apparently they were mutually attracted to each other for weeks - from the moment they laid eyes on each other, they knew that they were going to fall in love. It took a crazy phobia attack to get them to finally meet, but then after that, it all moved so quickly. They were immediately in love, even though they didn't really know each other. Throughout the story there is mention of past heartbreak, a name attached to it even, but no real explanation for any of it. Gina's story is even more ridiculous - it leads to a make-out session on the day she MEETS her dream guy.
Over all, I wasted a few hours of my weekend reading this book. Worse, I wasted money I didn't have buying this book. I knew that The Time of Aspen Falls was going to be cheesy and typical. But I enjoy MLM's Westerns and Regency books (at least they leave Donny Osmond, UPS, and Edward out of it)and have liked a FEW of her modern ones; though, they tend to get increasingly worse. If she would leave out her personal convictions and work on developing the characters, while allowing for a little flaw in her hero and a little more confidence in her heroine, she would do a lot better.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
We had to laugh at a kid in class today.
We are talking about one of my favorite topics in my Population Geography Class today and this kid raises his hand and the following ensues:
Kid: I'm sure you've heard of this, heck, you've probably studied it already. But have you noticed that when New York loses power for a week, nine months later women are popping out babies?
Class: *stares at him, with mouth gaping*
Me: *trying not to giggle*
Kid: I mean, have you seen a connection with natural disasters or something like that and an increase in population? Did people have babies during the black plague?
Snotty guy that makes too many comments: We're here! (Implying that YES, people did have babies during the black plague.)
Teacher: Goes into lengthy discussion about how, really, those things to not have such a huge affect on population. Not when it comes to trends and transitions.
Kid: And what about when war is over? I mean, with all the soldiers coming home?
Me: *trying not to snort*
Class: *faint giggles and guffaws*
Snotty guy: It's called the baby boom.
Teacher: Are you married?
class: *mild laughter*
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Why I should like to travel to the
Geography 348 – Tourism: Patterns and Analysis
Professor James A. Davis
As the assistant of the director of brand and marketing communications for an international corporation I had the opportunity to assist my boss in creating a travel plan that involved flying from
I fell in love with geography, the class, in seventh grade; but I had fallen in love with history, different cultures, and all things European long before that. Despite my passion for studying and reading about different times and places, I have never had the opportunity to leave the
There are several different types of tourism, and since I do not discriminate, and really wish to participate in anything and everything I possibly can, I have a hard time making any sort of set decision of what I would actually like to see. If one fancies adventure tourism, then
All of these things sound brilliant and entertaining; however, my interests lie in cultural and historical tourism. Since I have never been outside of the
As the capital of the county, as well as one of the founding cities in
While there is certainly enough to keep a tourist entertained for weeks and weeks in
When most people think of vacation, their minds wander to that of sun, sand, and sea. The
I would be absolutely distraught if I went to the
Throughout the world there are all sorts of historical places and places of exotic beauty and grandeur that should be seen. It may seem a bit strange to pick the
Websites of Interest:
**United States is an awesome place to travel. It is, of course, why we get so many tourists from all over the world. However, part of the assignment was writing about a place we'd never been. Granted, I could have written about the U.S. and a place where I've never been (Oregon, New York, Maine, etc.) but I didn't think it sounded nearly as interesting. We are very lucky to have all the cool things we have in our backyard, as Carla put it.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Sounds like the easiest, best assignment in the world. Right? WRONG!
How am I supposed to pick just one? How am I supposed to sit and research exactly what I would do in said country, and then NOT get to go? I am reminded of when I had to plan my boss' trip to EMEA (I can't remember what that stands for anymore, Europe something...something) and where she would go on her down time. What a horrible sort of torture to inflict upon a geography major that has NEVER left the country. (And isn't likely for some time...) For a week I researched all the things that you could do in Austria. They had a grand time.
I can't even rank the countries that I want to go to most. I could try...but really, the priority changes depending on what book I'm reading at the moment, or whose accent I accidentally overhear.
Top 10 to visit in Europe (not ranked in any order...)
- UK - Britain, Scotland, Whales
- Czech Republic
Top 10 in Asia-Pacific
- New Guinea
- New Zeland
- ALL of the Islands
- South Africa
- Costa Rica
- Cuba (hehe)
- Dominican Republic
- All of the Islands
- more Islands
- There are lots of Islands
- I'm not kidding - Sun, Sand, and Sea...awesome
- New England
- New Orleans
- New York
- More California
- The South
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I was thinking, as I climbed the stairs, that it was cold. Dang cold. But I was grateful, for once, that I was not in Ohio - because I hear that it is even colder in the midwest. Still, I was anticipating getting back inside, or wishing that I had never left the warmth of my car. And then I thought, "At least my boots match my coat." I'm not sure how that justified the cold, but it did. Because I hadn't taken my coat off all day. In fact, I had completely forgotten what I had chosen to wear yesterday because I had not seen the outfit all day. So I thought, "Heck, why do I dirty my clothes then? I could just wear absolutely nothing under my coat - save my self the chore of doing laundry (which I hate) and spending money on laundry detergent and softner and bleach." I contemplated that for a full 10 seconds and further realized that I have to wear clothes underneath, if simply for the layers. Layers are what make the coat work after all, I think. Whether or not that is true, you are advised to wear layers in the cold. So dang, guess I won't be going freestyle under my coat.
In related news, I found a cute jacket that I bought last year, maybe the year before, but I haven't worn it since I bought it. Because it was in the truck of my car, I had forgotten about it. I finally pulled it out, washed it, and now I am wearing it. Too bad that I'll leave my house, put on my coat, and no one will see it until spring.
I am grateful I'm not in Ohio right now...it's freezing there. Or at least, that is what I keep telling myself.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
- "From the point of view of the mythical Grim Reaper, Americans are most elusive at ages 10 and 11 when only one in every 5,000 people dies, and most vulnerable at age 122 when virtually everyone is harvested." - Population: A Lively Introduction*. Population Geography**
- "The effect of the weather on the inhabitants of Provence [France] is immediate and obvious. They expect every day to be sunny, and their disposition suffers when it isn't. Rain they take as a personal affront, shaking their heads and commiserating with each other in the cafes, looking with profound suspicion at the sky as though a plague of locusts is about to descend, and picking their way with distaste through the puddles on the pavement. (If he weren't talking about the French, he most certainly would be talking about our apartment...) If anything worse than a rainy day should come along, such as this sub-zero snap, the result is startling: most the population disappears... But what did everyone else do? The earth was frozen, the vines were clipped and dormant, it was too cold to hunt. Had they all gone on holiday?...It was a puzzle, until we realized how many of the local people had their birthdays in September or October, and then a possible but unverifiable answer suggested itself: they were busy indoors making babies. There is a season for everything in Provence, and the first two months of the year must be devoted to procreation. We have never dared to ask." -A Year in Provence, Peter Mayle. Travel Geography
- My teacher, Dr. Hardin, is the "best darn apologizer in the world!" -GEOG 211 Syllabus. Map Use and Analysis (I thought I had a list of things from the syllabus that I thought was hilarious, but I think it was just what he told us in class.)
**This is the class that I was doing homework for when I encountered these gems of knowledge. Just for proof that I am studying ALL of my classes, whether I like them or not.