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Friday, March 31, 2006

2006 English Idol

Oh my goodness....just got back from the 2006 English Idol finals. Most hilarious experience ever. I really wish I had had a tape recorder and/or notebook to record every word. Here's some of what I can remember:

The Judges:
Troni Grande, acting as persona "Paula" -- the "nice" judge
Gerry Hill, as himself -- supposed to be insulting but bland overall
Nick Ruddick, as himself -- the "insulting" judge, complete with a genuine English accent
Natalie Meisner, expertly acting as person "Randy" -- cool black guy?

The Contestants (12 in all):
Carl
Julie-Anne
Megan
Ben
Chris
Cavin
Natalie
Jen
and some other people

Carl gives his recitation and interpretation. We'll skip over that.

Julie-Anne gives her recitation and interpretation.
Jules: "I really identified with this poem, being from rural Canada--rural Manitoba..."
Assorted cheers and boos from audience
Chris (last year's English Idol) accidentally knocks over his trophy. "Saboteur!" someone hisses at him.
Someone down in the Ad-Hum pit is whistling loudly

Nick: "So you're from rural Manitoba?"
Jules: "yes"
Nick: "huh. I didn't know there was an urban Manitoba."
(booing from the audience; Mike looks irate)

Troni: "You really held your place well, Julie-Anne. You took the boos from the audience, you took the previous English Idol's blatant attention-drawing; you did well."

Randy: "I thought you really had somefin' goin' here. Man, I could picture you out huntin' and eatin' those antelopses and Dutchmens. And you managed to get someone down in the pit to whistle -- I don't know how you arranged that, man, it was cool though."

Some girl gives her recitation and interpretation.
Girl: "And then she talks about the nature, the bees, on her face. Well, I think this means that women are generally more receptive to having nature on their face than men."

Randy: "the nature on the face, man, I was there with you, totally."

Cavin (a.k.a. Mayor of Dog River) gives recitation and interpretation. Pretty entertaining but we'll skip over that.


Megan's preamble: "I just want to say, that my Mom always told me that a girl has to use her assets, and shouldn't be afraid to put herself into uncomfortable positions."
Megan gives recitation and interpretation.
Megan: "Well, this poem reminded me of my Dad, because when I was little, he wandered off into the prairie" (pretends to cry) "and we never saw him since. Some say he went to Alberta..." (continues with interpretation) "...My mom was a big Star Trek fan, so I have a Star Trek name. It could be an elegy, there's the prince of space...so that's what this poem is about: suffering and Star Trek....And the mountain becoming an arrowhead, that's just kind of creepy. It's like this big arrowhead by his house, waiting to fall and pierce his heart. And I'd just like to say that with my mom, and my family, and my rack, nothing's gonna pierce this heart."

Nick: "I think that's fantastic that you're using your assets, and are comfortable being in uncomfortable positions. It'll get you far in this field; it's what I look for. So, there's a Research Assistant position available, you start tomorrow."

Troni: "I like how you put yourself into the performance, I think you could have put yourself into it even more, like the arrowhead...right? the bush...I also lost my father, so I sympathize with you."
Megan: "can I just get a hug?"
Troni: "uhh...no, I don't think so."
Gasps from the audience.


Chris gives recitation and interpretation, adopting a Martin Luther King-esque voice.
Chris: (long preamble to audience)
"Friends, where do I begin?" (I wish I could remember more, but I can't. There was a lot about rejection letters from prospective PhD universities.)
" And literary theory" (meaningful look at Nick) "is the Devil. This man was born along the Nile, then he was sold into slavery. He grew up in the Euphrates."

Carl holds up sign: "Isaiah 2:16"

Chris: "Then he was shipped to the Congo. Okay, I made that part up. But he was sold into slavery."

Cavin holds up sign: "WWMD: What Would Marx Do?"

Chris: "This poem is about suffering. And just like the poet say....said -- yes, that's how you conjugate that verb -- we need to rise up and unite,"

Cavin: "Swing low, brother, swing low!"

Chris: "We need to get out of that muddy river, and end this sufferingTHANKYOU BROTHERS!"

Troni: "It's not about the muddy bosom of the river, Chris. It's about the golden bosom."

Cavin holds up sign: "Muddy bosom & Moby Dick; what's with that?"

Nick: "Nine rejection letters, Chris? I don't understand. I wrote you a reference for that. Actually, I have a copy of my reference letter here" (produces sheet of paper) "'To whom it may concern: I have known Chris for many years. His self-acclaiming histrionics, excessive verbosity, and sexual peculiarities should not bias you against him.' ...
And if literary theory is the Devil, then that would make Troni Grande the Bride of Satan."

Ben (with a waxed moustache and in a voice that echoes off the Ad-Hum pit three floors below) gives his recitation and interpretation.
Ben: "Friends... How does one speak to one's peers, one's betters, and a handful of washed-up graduates? I wanted to rise above the bottom of the barrel. And so, I have adopted this voice of oration. I do not wish to appear before you as some 'orating nerd'--which, you may note, is an anagram of 'Troni Grande.'"
Ben's interpretation was hilarious, but I'll skip over that too for brevity's sake.

Troni: "The orating nerd comment hit me, Ben. That was cold. But at some point in your recitation, I surrendered to you: to your outfit, to your orating.."

Ben: "to the moustache"

Troni: "above all, the moustache."

Someone in the audience: "the nature on his face."

Randy: "The shirt is bold, that's good. The moustache is bold, also good. But I gotta stop it at the pants. They're agressive, know what I'm saying?"


Natalie gives her recitation and interpretation; her recitation involves an interpretive dance. Skip all that.

Troni: "I liked the yoga with the poetry...the yogatry. But you used the same gesture for the word 'woman' three times, lying on your back. I don't know if I can support that."

Natalie: "isn't that where they belong?" Gasps from audience. (later, during her finalist's speech, Natalie said, "I take back my earlier remarks. Women belong on top.")


Jen requests Brit's aid in her recitation (Brit's arms become Jen's, and Brit makes Jen's hand gestures). Jen gives recitation and interpretation. Skip most of that.
Jen: "And the stars in the sky, are kind of like, starry starry night, you know, Van Gogh... I met him once and she explained it all to me."

Troni: I think you need to do some gender-bending, I think we need more of that in this interpretation. That will get you far in this discipline."

Randy: "The he-she Van Gogh thing, I dig it. We can all cut off our ears, men and women, we got rights. You didn't have to go that far, and you didn't. I liked the extra set of hands, it was like some sort of Indian goddess, you know, what's the one with all those arms?"

Random audience members: "Vishnu! Shiva!"

Randy: "Yeah, Vishna, Vishnu, Quazno..."


Somebody gives recitation and interpretation of a poem about boats.

Troni: "I liked your actions, but when the poem talks about clenching, you need to clench more. Be the clenching."

Randy: "I agree with Paula [Troni], you gotta do some clenchin', you know? I liked your interpretation of the boats, cause you know that's what we all want. We all want a big-ass boat."

Nick: "You mentioned that the poet's name was 'Marilyn,' and then you kept saying he this and he that. Now, Marilyn may be butch, but come on!"

Winner: Megan

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Augh! English! How I hate it so--even though I'm only taking one relatively easy English class this semester. Summer will be excruciating, with three English methods classes. But then... it will be over forever!

My English prof always writes comments on our essays. I always get a little resentful and can't help thinking of angry replies to each comment:

Prof: Seems like a list--adjust punctuation?
Me: Why don't I just adjust your FACE with my FIST??

Prof: Maybe cut back on the modifiers by a quarter.
Me: Maybe YOU should cut back on your comments by HALF!

Prof:
Rhythm too regular at the end of this sentence?
Me: Your comments are too freakin' regular, ever think of that?!

Prof: How does sentence 2 follow sentence 1?
Me: It doesn't have to, that's how!!

Prof: What "threat"? (referring to my sentence including "this threat")
Me: Oh, I'll threaten you! Just you wait!

Prof: Quite a high dash count in this essay. Be careful.
Me: Quite a few crappy comments. You be careful!

Prof: Wonderful fluency and skill to your writing.
Me: Oh yeah?? Well....oh, that was a compliment.

I hate the Bortputer!! It took eight minutes--eight!--to boot up today (actually, first it took several failed tries to start it, then eight minutes).

On the upside, I have recovered my book-beginning.
On the downside, it's been about four years since I looked at it, and after rereading I'm still debating whether it is a crovel or a crook.

“I would advise you to keep out of our affairs, menaced the Captain. “Otherwise, you may find yourself upstream without a paddle!” He looked meaningfully at a nearby lifeboat and removed a paddle for emphasis.

I've been trying for years to sell my growing herd of llamas. Since I no longer live on my parents' farm, they're encouraging me to cart the llamas off to an auction so they don't have to take care of them any more. The last time I sold llamas at an auction, one of them went for $10. Back in the day when I first bought them they were worth at least a couple thousand dollars. But seeing as they're so cheap these days, everybody should get a llama....want a llama? Or several? I know of someone who might be willing to sell one...

I should have invested in bees. My Dad used to keep bees before I was born. I don't know what it is about them, but I find bees hilarious.

If you had to have one of the following afflictions for the rest of your life, would you rather:
a) talk like Yoda
b) breathe like Darth Vader
c) be as hairy as Chewbacca

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

music, mobs, meteorites, and morons

Presentations in my Music class started today. You'd think it would be easy to show 5 people your project--one of those "I'll just dim the lights and read the exact text on the slides to you" sort of thing. Except my natural ineptness at presentations and speaking in general took its usual toll. It doesn't help that I have to ask the prof to repeat everything he says twice before I understand it--not because I'm deaf (though that seems to be partially true) but because of his crazy accent. Two more presentations to go...

One of my old highschool buddies forwards me spam at least twice a day--surveys, forwards, whatnot...things that have been forwarded ten times and have subjects like "FW: RE: FW: FW: etc...". She's been blocked from my msn for at least half a year now. Ironically, her name is Sam and I always called her "Spam" in highschool. I guess this is her revenge.

Big news of the day: not a meteorite. My Dad will be devastated when I tell him. Perhaps I won't. How do you describe a meteorite to someone? Personally, I told someone it looked "like a meteorite," and my Dad added "you know, kind of like the Moon, only smaller."

Today at work someone asked me if I could read Roman Numerals for her. Yesterday I impressed someone with my knowledge that "ye" was actually pronounced "the," the letter was not a "y" but a "thorn." Finally, my English major and Classical minor have proved themselves useful. And, they have probably served all the usefulness they will ever have.

Also today at work, I got the following phone call:

Me: Luther Library.
Caller: (silence)
Me: Hello?
Caller: Huh?
Me: Luther Library.
Caller: Huh?
Me: Can I help you?
Caller: Huh?
Me: Hello??
Caller: Hello?
Me: Yes?
Caller: Yes, yes... *click*

Apparently, I'm running a free essay-proofreading service. I didn't get around to reading the 12-page crap essay that a Viking gave me to read, because an Asian highschool kid asked me to read her English essay and correct the grammar at work today.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Graduation a-coming

I managed to bully the English Department Head into granting me an exemption in order to graduate after this summer. Actually, I didn't really bully him (I doubt if I could bully anyone. I'm more of a bullyee than bullier), I just asked and he said "Of course." It pays to be on a first-name basis with profs, I guess.

At any rate, I shall finally be graduating with a BA in English, with minors in Classical Studies and Music. I actually have more than the necessary classes for a History minor as well, but they told me I'm not allowed to have more than two minors. Who do they think they are, anyway? I should be able to major in minors, if I want to.

So, I'm just about finished the last writing class I'll ever take--and as I leave that class I'll simultaneously forfeit my lifelong whim of writing a book someday. After all, that was mostly because of a promise I made someone when I was in grade 6, that I would someday dedicate a book to said person. In my last writing class, we had to make crummy little homemade poetry books, and I dedicated mine to said person (and my prof said that such a dedication counts, when I asked him about it). So, no more book. It's taken me years to write just the first few chapters anyway, and books tend to need plots.

But that's enough ranting for one day.