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i’m living up to my blog name

“Why don’t we write each other love poems? / Look at me collapse into babysobs and bare need, me, / sturdy and self-sufficient.”

“Inevitable Postcards” Ellen Doré Watson

This (two star, written) assignment required me to share a quote I’ve read and explain why it interests me. I have always really enjoyed this quote, how sweet and purely pleasant it is- but considering the name of my blog, y’all probably aren’t surprised. Right below are pics of the poem that I took, since I couldn’t find a copy online, in case you’re interested in reading the whole thing.

you can rlly tell which half of the poem i prefer lol
(hint: its this one)

Part of what interests me about this quote is how, within the context of the rest of the poem, it’s almost surprising, like she was all of the sudden overwhelmed with affection for her significant other and just couldn’t keep it in. It’s a marker of a huge tone shift between the first and second half of the poem, the shift is just so noticeable, and I love it, but I’m interested as to where that came from. Additionally, I really like how she contrasts her general sturdiness and self-sufficiency with “babysobs and bare need”, sort of showing how even Very Strong People can go crazy go stupid (emotionally). That there is nothing wrong with having big, huge, uncontrollable emotions and that it is okay to have outpourings of those emotions. Its a really nice, refreshing outlook to read about. The other incredibly interesting thing about this quote is its intro, “why don’t we write each other love poems?” Its, as I stated earlier, very sudden and kind of a shock given the prior content of the poem. The way its almost talking to the reader, treating the reader as her lover, is a Hot Take that I generally really enjoy seeing in poetry. Not to go too English professor on here, but there is also some fun alliteration with “babysobs and bare need” versus “sturdy and self sufficient”, that is fun to think about, the effects and implications of that alliteration. Overall, this is, to me, a really powerful quote that speaks volumes about the nature of love and its un-ashamed-ness (that’s a word, right?).

Now for the “reflect on the assignment” part! This was a nice way to ease into the ds106 assignment flow after taking a (probably foolish) weekend break from it. The most difficult part about this assignment for me was choosing which quote to write about, for I recently got into poetry and thus have a lot of highlights and markups in my Ellen Doré Watson book (which, btw, 10/10 recommend if you’re into poetry). I decided on the cheesy romantic one partially because of my blog name- romanticism cliche- and partially because I was just really feeling a light-hearted and cutesy moment. After I settled on Watson’s cheesy love quote, I took some time to figure out what really draws me to that quote, and then wrote that down!

xoxo! -liz

important ps: any poet/poetry recs? def doesn’t have to be romantic/cheesy!

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Assignments

ALIENS

This (written) assignment entailed writing a story, on anything you wanted, writing in your normal writing style, and then rewriting it using “The Up-Goer Five Text Editor“, a software that you can type into that lets you know when you use any word that isn’t top 10 hundred most used. This was really fun because it allowed me to be creative with no parameters, and then challenged me to be even more creative! Following is the first draft of my story, with whatever words I wanted to use included!

The princess lived in a beautiful, big castle full of servants and food and all the activities she could possibly want, yet she was still unhappy. Materially, she was completely provided for, they made sure of that. However, they could not risk her knowing any of her kind, lest she realize how poorly they treat her and then try to escape. However, isolating the princess only served to strengthen her resolve to get off of the spaceship. When she turned 18, she was finally permitted to know why they needed her, and why she was living, alone, in this castle for her entire life. The answer was shocking. A mass catastrophe, they said, unavoidable, had hit the earth. And there were only 30 humans left in the entire universe. It would be enough to rebuild the population with limited biological damage (meaning: inbreeding would not be an issue), but only if each person made as many biologically different children as possible. Fortunately for the princess, the aliens had an abundance of high-tech machinery that could be used to speed up the birthing process, so it was much shorter than nine months and much less painful. The princess, a bisexual lady, was really hoping everyone else was kind and nice and attractive, because if there were only 29 other human beings, she wanted to like them. She asked the aliens when she would get to bond with the other humans, but was merely brushed off. “When you and all of them are all healthy, then we’ll have a mixer.” This went on for weeks, until the princess was certain that everyone else was either healthy or dead. So she asked again. And this time, she was introduced to another person. A man named John who had also been inconveniencing the aliens. And although it sounds like a match made in heaven, John was sent to the brig for his loud and quite rude comments on any and everybody who walked into his castle space. So the princess was, essentially, punished for her curiosity. She sat through her time with John and then promised to stop asking questions, although she would have said anything to get out of that cell with him. One day, the princess snapped. She was sick and tired of being alone in her cell and talked down to. So she high-jacked an escape pod off of the ship and flew away. From the escape pod, she could see the deforestation brown covering the planet, the deep blue of the melting polar ice caps, and the cement grey of what should have been ruins of skyscrapers, but as she got closer and closer to the planet, she saw something even better- neon lights, flickering and enticing patrons to come drink, airplanes flying through the sky, and, best of all, a Starbucks. It was good to be home. She knew those aliens were full of it from the start. What they wanted from her, she will never know, but she was just thrilled to be back on Earth with her loved ones.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Only using the most used 1000 words!

The woman of power lives in a beautiful, big house full of help-people and food and all the fun she could ever want, yet she was still not happy. She was completely taken care of, they made sure of that. However, they had to make sure she did not know any of her kind was still not dead, in case they realize how bad they have it and then try to escape. However, making alone the lady of power only made stronger her want to get off of the up-goer. When she turned 18, she was finally allowed to know why they needed her, and why she was living, alone, in this house for her entire life. The answer was shocking. A big bad happening, they said, could not have been stopped, had hit the big round land ball. And there were only 30 humans left in the entire star and big land ball place. It would be enough to make more humans with only a few bad body side things happening (bad bodies would not be a problem), but only if each person made as many different children with different parents as possible. Good thing for the woman of power, the not-land ball-people had a lot of things that could be used to fast up the baby making steps, so it was much shorter than 9 months and much less pain-causing. The woman of power, a woman who thinks men and woman are beautiful, was really hoping everyone else was kind and nice and pretty, because if there were only 29 other humans, she wanted to like them. She asked the not-land ball-people when she would get to meet with the other humans, but was brushed off. “When you and all of them are all not dying, then we’ll have a party.” This went on for weeks, until the woman of power was sure that everyone else was either not dying or dead. So she asked again. And this time, she met another person. A man who had also been bothering the not-land ball-people. And although it sounds like a match made in the place where God lives, he was sent to a space for bad people for his loud and mean comments on any and all who walked into his space. She sat through her time with him and then promised the not-land ball-people to stop asking questions, although she would have said anything to get out of that cell with him. One day, the woman of power snapped. She was sick and tired of being alone in her cell and talked down to. So she took an escape-goer off of the big goer and flew away. From the escape goer, she could see the no-trees brown covering the land ball, the deep blue of the going-away ice blocks, and the sad grey of what should have been broken tall work houses, but as she got closer and closer to the land ball, she saw something even better- bright lights, lighting and trying to get people to come drink, big sky cars flying through the sky, and, best of all, a coffee store. It was good to be home. She knew those not-land ball-people were full of it from the start. What they wanted from her, she will never know, but she was just excited to be back on the land ball with her loved ones.

This actually wasn’t as difficult as I expected it to be, the editor makes it really easy to tell which words are unacceptable, and then its just a matter of what word (or words) I should use to replace it. I had a really good time with this actually, because I do tend to speak in a somewhat unconventional manner, using odd words and language, so being able fully commit to talking funny was quite fun. I started out by writing my story in the editor, completely ignoring all the red lines and messages of disallowed words. I actually ended up writing so much that I got an error message! I ignored that too though, because the squiggly red lines were still popping up. After my story was finished, I started from the beginning and edited out anything with a red squiggly line, finding an appropriate replacement word or phrase to put in its place. Once I was red line-less, I copy-pasted the entire thing into this blog post and went to sleep! The next morning, I woke up and rechecked the story for unusable words, copy-pasting in smaller chunks so as to avoid the error message, and all was well!

There is very limited reasoning as to why I chose aliens; I was going to a traditional princess story, but two sentences in decided to make a sort of Rapunzel with a twist (the twist being ALIENS!). The space and alien theme does sort of tie into the Space Race, which was a part of the Cold War, which was coming to a slow end in the 80s, but that’s a little bit of a stretch. My other 2 assignments for this week are sufficiently 80s (although I suppose I’m not the one who gets to decide that), so I just let myself have fun. I did have a lot of fun giving the princess and escape route, and even more fun nixing the idea of her being saved/having a male suitor to help her- my active revolt against that trope in the 80s (see: Night of the Comet). All in all, a really fun assignment, and will be playing with this editing thing in my free time.

10/10 recommend! -liz

Categories
Assignments

buzzfeed? more like buzzkill!

ft! some spoilers to the Heathers movie (& musicals because they follow the same plot)!

ft: triggers ( brief mentions of murder, suicide, bombs)

The assignment? make a buzzfeed personality quiz relating to our theme! I decided to stick with the movie Heathers because it makes me happy, is just super interesting, and reminds me of this other Top Notch assignment I did! The characters I chose to include as results for the quiz were Veronica, Heather Chandler, Heather Mcnamara, JD, and Betty Finn. I left out Heather Duke because she is essentially just a mix of the other two Heathers and thus not worth including (disagree? lemme know!).

So I tried installing a plugin to get the quiz embedded but it didn’t work so here’s a link plus a screenshot of my funky-fresh Buzzfeed quiz

This was a really fun one because I, like many, am fascinated with Buzzfeed quizzes and finding out what kind of pop-tart (smores), or barbie (80’s fitness barbie), or candy (twix) I am, especially when I have other things to be doing- like writing up my latest ds106 assignment! One thing that I did struggle with was trying to come up with more positive characteristics for each person; some characters, like Betty Finn, are complete sweethearts and its easy to come up with a pleasant ending. Other characters, like JD, who killed 3 people and tried to blow up the school, are harder to find redeeming qualities in. I ended up going with a “glittering generalities” -type vibe with some of the more irredeemable characters, still basing the description off of their personality, but breaking down their personality into bare essentials that are nicer than “pyromaniac and also murderer”.

Another thing I struggled with what figuring out what questions would logically lead to each character. And although I know the favorite color question is overrated and doesn’t really tell anybody anything about personality, its such an integral part of the Heathers motif and vibe that i just had to. And I do not regret it. Thus, the questions end up being a little bit jumpy, some are deeper, asking about humanity and life goals, whereas some are shallower, asking about favorite colors.

To make this quiz, I started by deciding how many and who would be my end result characters. I chose Veronica because she is the protagonist and I love her, JD because he is an integral part of the story and has a very distinct personality, Betty Finn because she is one of two purely and truly good characters in the films (the other being Martha Dunstock), and Heathers Chandler and Mcnamara because of their distinct personalities. From there, I just brainstormed questions until I felt good about my number (enough for a reasonable quiz, not so much that it became boring) and then started coming up with answers! The Buzzfeed quiz-making set-up is very nice to use and makes the whole process super smooth, 10/10 recommend. The only issue is that today (Friday, January 24, 1am) I cannot figure out how to embed the actual quiz into this post. Alas poor Yorick. We’ll see if I figure it out. If not, anybody have any ideas? If you do, pls share im desperate

kisses! – liz

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Assignments

heather, heather, heather (and veronica !)

That’s quite the mouthful, isn’t it? If only there was a shorter, more efficient way to refer to the three of those ladies who all have the same name! Well fear not, my fellow classmates! Such a word does, in fact, exist! The goal of the (visual) assignment I completed today was to use this non-translatable word generator to choose a word from a different language that does not translate into English, and then insert that word into an image that better defines it. Interested? Check out the original assignment bank post here!

My word was “naamgenoot”, which is Dutch for “people who share the same name.” The image I selected stemmed from the fact that I had recently watched the 1989 Heathers movie, and have been a big fan of the soundtrack for a while now (its “Big Fun” amiright?), so the moment this word popped on the screen, my brain was filled with echos of “♪ Heather, Heather, Heather, and someone♪” on loop. However, I decided to table the musical for the sake of sticking more accurately to our 80’s theme. The final product ended up looking like this:

and I am pretty pleased with how it turned out, although I do wish I could have figured out how to recreate the gradient sort of look (any ideas?). It definitely takes a little bit of somewhat niche knowledge (or at least that’s what my mother said when I showed her), but I think once the plot of Heathers– heck, once the names of those three lovely ladies down the side are revealed (I’ll give you a hint: its Heather!)- the meaning of “naamgenoot” becomes pretty clear. To create this, I started out with the 1989 Heathers movie poster.

thx for the inspo poster New World Pictures!

I then opened it up on Gimp (Photoshop but free!) and started editing the photo. First, I color dropped the navy blue and painted over the orange letters that were on the navy blue chalkboard thing. Then I did the same thing with the parts of the background that were black. From there, I chose a font that looked similar to the one in the 1989 poster, and bing bang boom, she was complete! However, this was not the first iteration of my Heathers-but-make-it-naamgenoot poster. This was.

Come on, doesn’t that just scream “people who have the same name” to you? To explain myself, I was attempting to mimic the colors each Heather wears, and was going to add some croquet mallets (which I was originally spelling “crochet”) to give a more abstract feel. I actually spent upwards of an hour and a half trying to make this idea work, without fruition. It probably didn’t help that this was my first time ever using Gimp (or any software similar to it). But all’s well that ends well!

Dance Love GIF by Lisa Vertudaches - Find & Share on GIPHY

Overall, I really liked the way the over-the-top 80’s style and aesthetic meets underlying crisis that I was referring to in my earlier post (this one!) in the movie Heathers. Heathers does contrast to the other 80’s media I’ve noted in that the strong independent female protagonist does Not end up a mellow mother/housewife (*ahem* Regina from Night of the Comet). To me, this piece highlights the way each Heather in the film is essentially interchangeable. When one falls, another will take her place and everything will remain exactly as it were. To the world, they are the exact same person, and this word is a convenient way to lump them all together while sounding scholarly, rather than just straight-up rude.

-liz