The Bologna Blog

a blog about all of the "bologna" in our minds that lead to writing.

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The End is Near

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As the semester ends and I sort though what I want to keep and want to throw away and never use again, I find that I’m going to miss blogging. Something about knowing that people can read my thoughts comforts me, even if they don’t care enough to comment. That’s probably why I want to be a novelist–something about people reading my thoughts and ideas, even though I probably won’t personally know the people who read my books, gives me pleasure. I like the thought that someone could be inspired by what I write, as I was inspired when reading one of the many books I’ve read over my life.

Blogging is the one thing I feel that I’ve learned in this class with Professor Wolffe. He’s got great ideas and is a great teacher, I’d love to take him again, but my connection with technology has never been great. I probably picked that up in my early years with no computer and no TV. Books are, and always will be, my first love. I tend to handwrite most of my projects. But blogging holds a certain charm for me, even if I’m just going on about something no one cares about.

It could be because no one can tell me to be quiet. Motormouth–as I’m fondly known as–, Nina Tales and Stories (tales are worth 5 to 10 minutes; stories, at least 15), or just talking and then realizing no one is listening is something I’ve dealt with my whole life. And learning to be quiet leads to even more questions–are you okay? Why aren’t you talking? Blogging I can talk to people and the ones who want to listen can listen, and those who don’t care for what I have to say don’t read them.

Maybe I’ll keep blogging and talk about my stories, my journey as a writer. And if I do, I can only hope it’ll help someone out there and not be just for me. At least I learned that something I can take back with me this semester could be useful, if not enlightening.

Written by iread2manybooks

December 14, 2009 at 12:38 AM

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We Feel Fine.org

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Okay, so when Professor Wolffe showed us this website, I was in awe. Not because of the content, but because of the layout. It was beautiful. Tons of colored dots swirled around, and when you push on a color dot, a quote from someone’s blog, or facebook, or twitter, or whichever website they are using, comes up and you can see the word feel. Or you can try to single is down by gender, age, weather, words, month, day, and so on. Of course, you don’t always get what you’re looking for, but it doesn’t really matter. It was the fact that you could actually DO it. And the fact that the colored dots were really really pretty and I got distracted.

But the second time I went on the website, what got to me was more the content. Do people know about this? I’m sure I used feel in my statuses on facebook without realizing I was being put on a website for everyone to see. But that’s not the point…or is it?

And that led me to think that maybe the point was for people to feel–pun intended–closer because everyone feels. It’s a human thing, and so we’re all together and connected on this one thing. We all feel. And this website shows one persons desire to bring us all together.

Either that or he was just feeling bored and creative one day.

Written by iread2manybooks

December 8, 2009 at 4:28 AM

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What it’s like to have a best friend who’s an English Major

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As a writing arts major, I can say this: I can’t spell.

Whatever. I know I can’t spell, and I’m doing the best I can to make sure that people can still read what I can write. And, no, my homeschooling childhood has nothing to do with this particular shortcoming. It’s mostly my inability to retain things like i before e and words like supercalifragiliciousexpealidocious. Is there even a right spelling of that word?

Of course, I have accepted this shortcoming. I mean, that’s what spell check is for, right? Unfortunately, one of my best friends has NOT accepted this. Why? Because she’s an English Major.

I have nothing against English Majors. They seem to be great people, even if they are so nerdy that they can tell you the difference between literature and novels, or why we should all learn important life lessons from the Producers and how their idea of light reading is all of Shakespeares plays. But the problem I have with them is when they start to read my writers.

It’s like I’m back in high school, with pen markings all over my writing. But the worst part is: it’s not even about the writing.

No, it’s about the spelling. And the grammar. Like the fact that apparently I still write in fragments or don’t have commas in the right place and somehow managed to spell wierd wrong. Again.

And next time I give her something I wrote, it’s going to happen all over again, the next time I give her something. It’s probably my fault, but I can’t help having an innate sense that she’s going to finally get that I don’t need more grammar mistakes pointed out–after all, I went through high school like everyone else–I just want to know whether or not the plot works or if my characters are believable. But she can’t help being an English Major any more than I can help writing.

Don’t even get me started on what happens when you tell a math major you’re failing an elementary statistics course…

Written by iread2manybooks

December 8, 2009 at 4:13 AM

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Twilight Times

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Okay, so I’m going to be ‘brave’ and talk about a topic that is pretty widely debated, and not really in a good way, around colleges and high schools. Of course, some people like it, but unfortunately for me, not many people I know like Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. And why not? The idea of vampires and werewolfs–I’m sorry, ShapeShifters–is one that many writers tend to go for, if you look in the young adult fiction section of Barnes and Noble. So why do I know people who claim that Twilight is a cult? I mean, if you go to Australia, you can study the Way of the Jedi. How is that any different?

I’m sure that most people are well aware of the arguments between twilighters and non-twilighters, since this series has blow up to be almost–almost–as big as the Harry Potter series. Lucky Stephanie Meyer. So I’m not going to waste your time and talk about the arguments. No, I’m trying to point out that arguing about it is completely pointless. If there’s one thing I learned from being a catholic in a Baptist School for four years, it’s that arguing with someone who has a closed mind isn’t going to do squat.

And why does it matter is people are getting fangs or trying to be paler? Is this different than when my friends planned a Harry Potter party, complete with Butterbeer and Ice Mice? Or the fact that I have two lightsabers, all the Star Wars movies and the books in my room, and a clone trooper picture on my wall? So, please, what makes Twilight different? Are guys threatened by Edward, a fictional character? Are girls killing themselves because Jacob isn’t real? No, people are just acting the way we always act when there’s a new star and a new plot to follow. It’ll die down.

So, please, no more twilight arguments. And no more judging people who read them–if I hear one more “You’re one of them?” while I’m trying to finish Breaking Dawn, I might hurl the book at them. And that’s no joke, not when 754 pages are coming your way.

Written by iread2manybooks

December 8, 2009 at 4:11 AM

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The Great Network, or The Great Distraction?

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So I had to select someone outside of class to observe and write about the people they follow on Twitter. Being new to Twitter, I found my options formed a rather short list. Then, my lady friend tells me about how her sister is on Twitter and how she is so into it that she gets updates automatically sent to her phone.

I was intrigued and interested in who these people were that she followed and found a need to be connected by the purse. From knowing her, I kinda knew what to expect. And I was spot on.

Outside of her circle of friends, the list of people she follows goes something like this:
Nick Jonas, Adam Lambert, Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake, Jesse McCartney, Taylor Swift, Perez Hilton, Ashley Tisdale, Ellen DeGeneres, and a handful of other lame celebrities.

This is my gripe with Twitter. It gives a local girl next door with a handful of friends this unfathomable connection to a playground of celebutards where she stalks and watches and grasps on to every last tweet the Jonas brothers thumb from their Twitterberries.

Am I being a bit harsh? Hardly. Case in point: This same girl logs on to Perez Hilton’s blog twice a day to get the inside scoop on all the celebrity gossip of the day.

This girl is pre-med. Intelligent. Bright. Distracted.

Who am I to knock another person’s interests? I imagine not everybody gives half a shit about things I’m interested in, like boxing and music that never sees the top 40 charts. I follow a guy by the name of R.A. The Rugged Man… yeah, seriously, that’s his name… I follow him because he’s an abstract hip hop artist and a boxing enthusiast. But at the end of the day there is a difference between a legitimate interest and a celebrity infatuation.

I should have never chosen this person to write this post about being that I have a deep-rooted, underlying annoyance for tabloid gossip junkies, but then again this is my space to write within.

But I’m a nice guy sometimes. To make up for my negative rant, I would like to add in a bonus Twitterer observation by going back to Mr. Rugged Man. As I mentioned, he is an abstract hip hop artist and a boxing enthusiast. If you browse through the people he follows on Twitter, you will find a majority of boxers and up and coming artists. This is where I point to the silver lining in the the clouds.

I don’t know how many times I have pointed out the pros and cons of social networking over the course of this semester. The truth is, it is all in how you use what is offered to you. There’s the option to use them to connect with people of like interests (and career paths) and build networks virtually rather that in the actual physical world, and there’s the option to go star-crazy and let your brain turn to a mushy, gossip laden paper weight. You can be professional about it, or you can be disillusioned and distracted. The choice is ultimately up to you.

Written by cor24leone

December 4, 2009 at 8:59 AM

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Twitpic

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So I looked over the millions of applications available for Twitter and I have to say I was quite surprised. After scrolling through what felt like the first ten pages of them, it became perfectly clear that people really do give a shit about Twitter. I have to say most of these applications didn’t interest me. All of them had something to do with “making things easier through Twitter.” But since I really don’t care much for Twitter, this didn’t apply to me very much. However, I saw an application called Twitpic that changed my opinion a bit. Here’s why…

In my Writer’s Mind class, we had to start a Twitter account earlier this semester. This kind of benefited me because when we had to do it in this class, I already had one. But when we started it in the other class, we were also required to start a Twitpic account as well. The concept of this application is pretty much self-explanatory where it allows you to upload pictures onto your Twitter account. It’s a very simple process, so I decided to use it for this “Twitter Review” assignment.

For anyone who has a Facebook, it’s pretty much the same thing. You take a picture on your digital camera, upload the picture onto your computer, and when you want to put them on your profile, you simply click the “Browse” button and voila! You’re good to go. Twitpic pretty much has the same browsing links and similar to Facebook, the only prerequisite towards doing that is taking a picture and uploading it onto the computer.

I would try to include a picture or something here, but there’s really no visual way to describe Twitpic. There are no pictures used to give someone a better understanding of it because Twitpic is just a collection of your own pictures.

Written by halld76

December 2, 2009 at 1:26 AM

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The Yin and the Yang of Facebook

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For every yin, there is a yang. For every good, there is a bad. It is the natural balance of life.

Facebook and other forms of social networking are just the same. Sure, they offer a networking database to connect old friends to new friends and colleagues to associates; but there comes a point when we must become aware of just how much we blend our personal and professional circles.

Hot off the AP wire is an article that tells a story of a Canadian woman who lost her benefits because of pictures she posted on her Facebook page. However, this is not the first time such an instance has been brought to the forefront.

Teachers have been warned, fired, and harassed for similar issues in the U.S. as well. It has now become an issue of privacy and professional respect for a person’s personal life.

Employers have been given the means to track the lives of employees while outside of the workplace, as millions of users participate in the social activity unaware.

There are privacy settings that users can set to limit who can see what, but more than half of users pay no mind to them. Even then so, if you become a “friend” of a co-worker, you become susceptible to infiltrations of privacy.

When I created a Facebook account years ago, it was to keep in touch with friends who went away to school. Now, it has become a pop culture phenomenon that spans across multiple generations.

I’ve gotten add requests from aunts, uncles, cousins half my age, my mother, my crazy ex-girlfriends, co-workers… people outside of my social circle who find a need to be a part of it, to condone or disapprove of my friends and colleagues and any tidbit of my personal life.

While I am conscious of privacy settings, many of my friends are not. They post pictures of me without my approval and tag me in them so they are added to my page.

Who knows who will see those pictures of me? It’s not that difficult to dig for dirt on somebody if you know how to finagle your way through the network. Who’s to say that employers don’t hire specialty web surfers for HR purposes.

Pictures your friends may post of you half drunk at your birthday party may keep you from getting that job one day. You might not even have a Facebook account, but you are still susceptible to this public spy network.

Written by cor24leone

November 23, 2009 at 5:28 AM