Friday, December 3, 2010

When Will My Reflection Show Who I am INSIIIIIDDDEEEEE

If you don't know what this title is referencing, I am so sorry click here. As to the actual reflection/evaluation of this class, I am not going to express THAT in song. You wouldn't want it hear it, I promise.

When I signed up for this class, I was determined to get the 'right' course. My roommate had signed up for it last semester, but dropped it after the first night, having been terrified to hear of everything media-y she would have to do in the class. As she told me about it, however, I thought it sounded really cool and wanted to take it immediately. There are two different sections for Digital Storytelling, and I went to the first night of the other one, unsure of which one I needed to be in. Clearly, I found the right one. =]

I was excited to create my own website (though it wouldn't be the first time, it had definitely been several years) and even though I didn't completely understand everything Jim Groom talked about, it sounded interesting. I immediately began thinking of ideas for my digital story. Vague notions of following the rest of the NASCAR season floated through my brain, as did ideas of photography or image editing. Seeing as I lacked the needed equipment, I finally decided to take on cooking. But that part of the semester hadn't quite come yet, and instead we were reading articles and blogging about them.

The articles we read were one of the few areas of this course that I think could be improved. I think there were three in a row, and I understood about 15% total. To have those assignments right at the beginning I don't feel like gives a good image of what the rest of the course will be like, and therefore I think we lost some students in the process. Looking back at them now, I still don't completely understand some of the concepts, but I don't really know what concepts to ask questions about either. I think spreading them out a little more through the semester, while giving less of an informational introduction to the class, would be better for general understanding. I can relate more/understand more than I did at the beginning of the semester, and I think we could have gotten more out of them if we had encountered them later in the semester, once I had a little more knowledge.

The next few assignments had to do with images and photography, and I really enjoyed those. The daily shoot assignment was challenging, but it really made me think about the prompts and look at my daily life a little differently. I wish I had kept up with it through the rest of the semester because I think it really impacted how I looked stylistically at my surroundings. And, the six frame story was just hysterical. It was a little challenging, but I think it introed well into the 'story' idea and outsider perception to your work.

The uninteresting story assignment was hell for me, but only because audacity kept crashing and I had a terrible time getting anything salvageable. I know some people really enjoyed this assignment, but I wasn't a huge fan of it in general. It was just a bunch of people talking about boring things, and as hard as most of us tried, I still thought they were still kind of boring.

Similarly with the video commentary, while I enjoyed rewatching my favorite scenes of one of my favorite movies, I didn't feel as if other people's videos did much for me, especially if I hadn't seen the movie to begin with. I was a really good assignment to get comfortable with video editing and analysis, and I think overall it is a good technical assignment, but the content wasn't as interesting to me. Also, I had to use several programs to get the right file forms and everything, and that was both confusing and time consuming. However, just because an assignment isn't super easy doesn't mean it shouldn't have happened, and I think this one was a good precursor to our mashup.

The mashup project was probably one of my favorites, if not my number one favorite of this class. It took me a while to think up my idea and I was frustrated for a while because I felt like there were just too many options and wouldn't be able to decide on one that was good. But, that is something I actually really liked about this class - the complete and utter freedom involved in each assignment. I think by allowing us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in things we really enjoy both made us more excited about doing it (and therefore less upset if it took a lot of time to do) and also let us show other people our interests. If we had an assigned topic for an assignment, some people might like it, but others wouldn't. Sorry professor, but if you told me I had to incorporate zombies or sharks into something, I doubt I would have enjoyed it much. ;] The creativity aspect of this semester was sometimes difficult to handle in terms of coming up with ideas, but I think it was incredibly beneficial and a lot of fun. My mashup turned out a lot better than I expected and I am really proud of it.

Our individual projects were a good idea and I think most people feel the benefited from them, but I don't know how much each person's project really added to/helped/educated everyone else. By having my own individual projects, that I formatted, outlined, and carried out, I think I was able to have some flexibility in how/when I did things and know the expectations set out before me all semester. And, since I got to pick the topic, I knew it was something I would enjoy and benefit from personally. I have eaten some amazing food this semester, and it feels good to say that I cooked it myself. Cooking was a good choice for me and I am really glad I did this project. I learned a lot about something I was interested in, and even though I know I have a lot more to learn, I can now feel comfortable going to the store and coming up with a meal for myself. What does that have to do with Digital Storytelling? Maybe nothing, but I also feel as if the point of the class was to teach us ways to teach ourselves things that we can apply anywhere. I have used the technology I encountered in this class in several other outside assignments already just this semester, and I don't know what I would have done without it. That being said, as much as I enjoyed my own project, I don't know how many other people have actually attempted cooking the meals I posted here, or really even learned that much other than what the food is supposed to look like in the cooking process. Some other people's projects were interesting to me, and I tried to comment on them, but sometimes I just wasn't interested in what they were saying. =/

I know I have skipped a few assignments here, but those are the ones I have a real opinion about. But, as to the group projects, I have already given my thoughts on those in class yesterday. To sum up, I think they were really beneficial, for several reasons - they helped us get to know our classmates better (sometimes commenting is easier when we get to know the people we are talking to), we could turn to each other for help, and it was nice sometimes to break up the class by doing something new.

Clearly, I really enjoyed this class this semester. I know I have learned a lot that I will undoubtedly use in the future, and I had a lot of fun doing so. It was great to be able to fulfill assignments using subjects I was interested in and have expectations set for me that were challenging, but not unattainable. A friend of mine used this quote in a paper recently, and I think it really applies to this class:

We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist . . . using technologies that haven’t yet been invented . . . in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet. — Richard Riley, Secretary of Education under Clinton

So, to end, as we have invested time in so many different kinds of media and my first assignment also had to do with Matilda, I can honestly say my feelings towards this class feel somewhat like this:

Also, Prof Groom, if someone had asked me if you had a bald spot before you just talked about it, I probably would have just said "errrr. I don't think so?" hahaa.

Monday, November 29, 2010

FanFiction I wish I could pull off...

So a friend of mine posted this on someone else's facebook wall last night, and I have watched/listened to it countless times since then. Harry Potter rocks my world, and this song just makes it SO AMAZING! haahhahahah!!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I posted about loving weddings, and so for my fanfiction I have decided to do a little research about different weddings in the world. =]

Italy > Weddings in Italy usually start on a Sunday (Never Friday or Tuesday, because that is considered bad luck). Or, if you are a widow, you get remarried on a Saturday. If your veil gets torn, that is considered good luck, and the bride and groom usually walk to the chapel rather than drive there. After the ceremony, the couple smashes a glass or vase and the number of pieces it breaks into represents the number of years they will be married. The usual wedding gift? Money. Cassshhhh.

China > Brides wear red wedding dresses with gold embroidery, and usually pick several to wear throughout the day. Sometimes they have 10 or 12 course meals, and then see the lion dance, where performers dress as lions and lionesses and dance to drums, gongs, and cymbals.

Mexico > Brides usually wear brightly colored Flamenco-esque dresses and during the vows, the priest wraps a lasso, a rosary, or a band of flowers in a figure eight around the couple (if they are religious, of course). The wedding cake is made with nuts and dried fruit, and soaked in rum.

Morocco > Moroccan weddings tend to be yellow or green (to ward off evil or for good luck), and temporary henna tattoos are very common. As the bride and groom leave their wedding, the do so under a shower or figs and raisins. Candy-covered almonds are frequently served and belly dancers are common entertainment.

Wedding Trivia (copied&pasted from
1. Hey, brides, tuck a sugar cube into your glove -- according to Greek culture, the sugar will sweeten your union.

2. The English believe a spider found in a wedding dress means good luck. Yikes!

3. In English tradition, Wednesday is considered the "best day" to marry, although Monday is for wealth and Tuesday is for health.

4. The groom carries the bride across the threshold to bravely protect her from evil spirits lurking below.

5. Saturday is the unluckiest wedding day, according to English folklore. Funny -- it's the most popular day of the week to marry!

6. Ancient Romans studied pig entrails to determine the luckiest time to marry.

7. Rain on your wedding day is actually considered good luck, according to Hindu tradition!

8. For good luck, Egyptian women pinch the bride on her wedding day. Ouch!

9. Middle Eastern brides paint henna on their hands and feet to protect themselves from the evil eye. Find out about Muslim wedding rituals.

10. Peas are thrown at Czech newlyweds instead of rice.

11. A Swedish bride puts a silver coin from her father and a gold coin from her mother in each shoe to ensure that she'll never do without. Learn more about Swedish wedding traditions.

12. A Finnish bride traditionally went door-to-door collecting gifts in a pillowcase, accompanied by an older married man who represented long marriage.

13. Moroccan women take a milk bath to purify themselves before their wedding ceremony. See more Moroccan wedding customs.

14. In Holland, a pine tree is planted outside the newlyweds' home as a symbol of fertility and luck.

It's Got a Ring To It
15. Engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was once thought that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart.
16. About 70% of all brides sport the traditional diamond on the fourth finger of their left hand.

17. Priscilla Presley's engagement ring was a whopping 3 1/2-carat rock surrounded by a detachable row of smaller diamonds.

18. Diamonds set in gold or silver became popular as betrothal rings among wealthy Venetians toward the end of the fifteenth century.

19. In the symbolic language of jewels, a sapphire in a wedding ring means marital happiness.

20. A pearl engagement ring is said to be bad luck because its shape echoes that of a tear.

21. One of history's earliest engagement rings was given to Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII. She was two years old at the time.

22. Seventeen tons of gold are made into wedding rings each year in the United States!

23. Snake rings dotted with ruby eyes were popular wedding bands in Victorian England -- the coils winding into a circle symbolized eternity.

24. Aquamarine represents marital harmony and is said to ensure a long, happy marriage.

Fashionable Lore
25. Queen Victoria started the Western world's white wedding dress trend in 1840 -- before then, brides simply wore their best dress.
26. In Asia, wearing robes with embroidered cranes symbolizes fidelity for the length of a marriage.

27. Ancient Greeks and Romans thought the veil protected the bride from evil spirits. Brides have worn veils ever since.

28. On her wedding day, Grace Kelly wore a dress with a bodice made from beautiful 125-year-old lace.

29. Of course, Jackie Kennedy's bridesmaids were far from frumpy. She chose pink silk faille and red satin gowns created by African-American designer Ann Lowe (also the creator of Jackie's dress).

30. In Japan, white was always the color of choice for bridal ensembles -- long before Queen Victoria popularized it in the Western world.

31. Most expensive wedding ever? The marriage of Sheik Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum's son to Princess Salama in Dubai in May 1981. The price tag? $44 million.

32. In Korea, brides don bright hues of red and yellow to take their vows.

33. Brides carry or wear "something old" on their wedding day to symbolize continuity with the past.

34. In Denmark, brides and grooms traditionally cross-dressed to confuse evil spirits!

35. The "something blue" in a bridal ensemble symbolizes purity, fidelity, and love.

Food and Family
36. In Egypt, the bride's family traditionally does all the cooking for a week after the wedding, so the couple can…relax.
37. In South Africa, the parents of both bride and groom traditionally carried fire from their hearths to light a new fire in the newlyweds' hearth.

38. The tradition of a wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where revelers broke a loaf of bread over a bride's head for fertility's sake.

39. The custom of tiered cakes emerged from a game where the bride and groom attempted to kiss over an ever-higher cake without knocking it over.

40. Queen Victoria's wedding cake weighed a whopping 300 pounds.

41. Legend says single women will dream of their future husbands if they sleep with a slice of groom's cake under their pillows.

42. An old wives' tale: If the younger of two sisters marries first, the older sister must dance barefoot at the wedding or risk never landing a husband.

Show Off at a Cocktail Party
43. In many cultures around the world -- including Celtic, Hindu and Egyptian weddings -- the hands of a bride and groom are literally tied together to demonstrate the couple's commitment to each other and their new bond as a married couple (giving us the popular phrase "tying the knot").
44. The Roman goddess Juno rules over marriage, the hearth, and childbirth, hence the popularity of June weddings.

45. Princess Victoria established the tradition of playing Wagner's "Bridal Chorus" during her wedding processional in 1858.

46. The bride stands to the groom's left during a Christian ceremony, because in bygone days the groom needed his right hand free to fight off other suitors.

47. On average, 7,000 couples marry each day in the United States.

48. Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve are the two busiest "marriage" days in Las Vegas -- elopement central!

49. The Catholic tradition of "posting the banns" to announce a marriage originated as a way to ensure the bride and groom were not related.

50. Stag parties were first held by ancient Spartan soldiers, who kissed their bachelor days goodbye with a raucous party.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010


I haven't updated about this here in a while, but just so you guys know, I have updated my latest few recipes to Recipes Redone. I still haven't finished the Halloween Brownie post because I need to scan in the original recipe, but the post is ready and waiting. I am cooking more this weekend, will post that, and then I am going to do a documentary/film edition for the week of Thanksgiving. Probably none of my own cooking, but my grandma can outdo Martha Stewart and I LOVE IT, so that will show up soon too! =]

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Soooo . . . . obsessions. I tend to have quite a few of those, depending on my mood and the time of year. I am probably going to do a shortened list.

1) Harry Potter. Clearly. I started reading the books when I was about 9, and have been in love ever since. Midnight book premiers, daily quoting, movie marathons, Halloween costumes, yeah I do it all. As you might expect, I AM SUPER BEYOND EXCITED THRILLED ABOUT TO POOP MY PANTS WITH ANTICIPATION for the next movie release tomorrow night. Yes, I will be attending the midnight showing and I have had my tickets for weeks. My current fb status and profile picture both have to do with the movie release, and I have a grey and yellow striped sweater that makes me feel like I am in hufflepuff that I wear to make me happy. =] Here is where my super nerdiness comes in; I have already spent hours with Harry Potter fanfiction. I have always loved reading, and with a world as expansive and diverse at Harry Potter, there are some amazingly written, superbly detailed fanfictions out there. Me gusta mucho.

2) Chipotle. I know it's a restaurant, but you don't even understand the number of times a day the thought 'I want some chipotle, mmmmmm' goes through my head.

3) Weddings. Maybe this one is a little weird, but I just love weddings. I love going to weddings, I love looking at pictures of weddings, I daydream planning my wedding. They are just so much fun, and really, the ultimate outlet for creativity, in my opinion. =] My favorite TV show is Say Yes to the Dress and until this current season, I think I have seen every episode. I also really like Four Weddings, Bridezilla (for shits and giggles), and any movie that has a wedding in it. Basically. The Knot is one of my favorite websites and sometimes I watch wedding videos if I am in a bad mood. Creepystalker? Maybe. But I just love love. =]

4) Chicken. Have you ever eaten chicken? Enough said.

So, technically, only one of those is the 'book/film/movie/art/music' that we were told to post about, but judging from the number of thoughts I have and the percentage of which those four take up, I would definitely consider them all obsessions. =] End gushing here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Captions Galore

Morrgan and Jessica

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="I told you not to text and walk at the same time!"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="Boy, you farted again!"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="when they said we'd be getting high, I didn't know they meant like this!"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="Modern Day Abbey Road!"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="I be gettin mah Halloween candy early this year!"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="ultimate walk of shame"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="SHE'S NOT PREGNANT!"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="Dat biatch tol me it was gunna rain today!"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="Hay boi haaaaaaayyy!"][/caption]