Saturday, September 23, 2006

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

In the process of creating this blog, I was "googling" (interjection: what an interesting verb) banned books and organizations related to it, and I came across an article on a "Christian" web-site about book-burning. As I read it, I was surprised to discover that it wasn't speaking about the dangers of destroying knowledge by fire, but it was advocating it! I sat in rehearsal with my sister's laptop in front of me, and I couldn't take my eyes off of the words on the screen. It was like a graphic, bloody movie that you can't stop watching. It displayed the most ignorant, self-righteous, frightening closed-mindedness, that I sat like an idiot in the Arena Theatre with tears in my eyes.
I felt so angered and saddened and terrified, I didn't even know what to do! I felt so helpless. I thought about e-mailing the webmaster with my comments, with examples of scripture on how the glory of God is intelligence, but on principle I don't participate in Bible-bashing and furthermore, it's impossible to have an intelligent conversation with someone(s) so closed-minded and I doubt they would listen to my ideas anyway. I suppose that in a way I'm as guilty as those who run this ridiculous web-site, by assuming that my own ideas are completely right. But I can't bring myself to the conclusion that all of the things that I KNOW must be true actually aren't. The ideas and truths that I've come to know and accept and use to guide my life I've come to by a long, intellectual and spiritual process. They are truths that have withstood the tests of time and history and prayer. How can those things be false after all?
My intention for this blog was to inform my readers of National Banned Book Week. That is still my intention, but my motivation has been tripled and changed in nature. In my deep-rooted belief that humanity is inherently good at heart, I don't often think about how corrupt we are also capable of being. Opposition in all things, eh? Those things and peoples capable of the greatest good are also capable of the greatest evil. Although Banned Book Week still has a "Bohemian Rebellion" appeal to me, it now carries an even greater importance. Since I can't Bible-bash, since I can't present arguments that closed-minded people will listen to, since I can't extinguish all of the fires that destroyed the pages of books over all the centuries, I'll have to fight this intellectual battle by doing the very thing that has been condemned by fanatic Christians and power-hungry governments for years upon years. I'll have to read forbidden books.
This is a list of the Top 100 Most Banned Books, from the American Library Association. I'm proud to say that I own or have read at least half of them. If you'd like to participate in Banned Book Week, it's NEXT WEEK, and all you have to do is read a book or two from the list. You can also check out what your local public library or school is doing to participate, make a T-shirt or button saying that you read banned books, write an essay on freedom of speech and press, join a group on Facebook. I'm basing this on the assumption that most of you who read this blog are fairly open-minded, but I urge you to participate. It seems like such a stupid, pointless thing to do, but I'm going to do it because it's important enough to me, and I feel like I've got to do SOMETHING.

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
The Color Purple, Alice Walker
Ulysses, James Joyce
Beloved, Toni Morrison
The Lord of the Flies, William Golding
1984, George Orwell
The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
Lolita, Vladmir Nabokov
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
Charlotte's Web, EB White
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce
Catch-22, Joseph Heller
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
Animal Farm, George Orwell
The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner
A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
Winnie-the-Pooh, AA Milne
Their Eyes were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison
Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
Native Son, Richard Wright
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
On the Road, Jack Kerouac
The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
The Call of the Wild, Jack London
To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
Go Tell it on the Mountain, James Baldwin
The World According to Garp, John Irving
All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren
A Room with a View , EM Forster
The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
Schindler's List, Thomas Keneally
The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
Finnegans Wake, James Joyce
The Jungle, Upton Sinclair
Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Frank L. Baum
Lady Chatterley's Lover, DH Lawrence
A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
The Awakening, Kate Chopin
My Antonia, Willa Cather
Howard's End, EM Forster
In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
Franny and Zooey, JD Salinger
Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
Jazz, Toni Morrison
Sophie's Choice, William Styron
Absalom, Absalom!, William Faulkner
Passage to India, EM Forster
Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
A Good Man is Hard to Find, Flannery O'Connor
Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Orlando, Virginia Woolf
Sons and Lovers, DH Lawrence
Bonfire of the Vanities, Thomas Wolfe
Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut
A Separate Peace, John Knowles
Light in August, William Faulkner
The Wings of the Dove, Henry James
Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
A Hithchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs
Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
Women in Love, DH Lawrence
Look Homeward, Angel, Thomas Wolfe
In Our Time, Ernest Hemingway
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein
The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett
The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer
The Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys
White Noise, Don DeLillo
O Pioneers!, Willa Cather
Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller
The War of the Worlds, HG Wells
Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad
The Bostonians, Henry James
An American Tragedy, Theodore Dreiser
Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather
The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
The French Lieutenant's Woman, John Fowles
Babbitt, Sinclair Lewis
Kim, Rudyard Kipling
The Beautiful and the Damned, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Rabbit, Run, John Updike
Where Angels Fear to Tread, EM Forster
Main Street, Sinclair Lewis
Midnight's Children , Salman Rushdie

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"I always wear my watch. It protects me from the bad luck I incur from doing silly things."

So here I am in cozy, fun-filled, and steadily-growing-colder Rexburg, now fully adjusted to life away from the Playmill. The fact that I'm in rehearsal every night helps. And almost the entire cast was at the Playmill this summer. PS: I got cast as Miz Effy Krayneck in the fall musical "The Spitfire Grill"--hooray! It's a fun part, and the music is a blast to sing. Work will be great, I'm sure it will be. I've been having the time of my life with my new gift subscription to NETFLIX. But a picture's worth a thousand words, so here are a few photographic examples of fun in Rexburg.

Home sweet home! It's official name given to it by us is "The Hawmps." Isn't my house darling? It's actually 3 stories...the manager lives upstairs, girls live in the basement, and we live in the middle (up the porch steps). I slept on that porch for the first two weeks I was back, before it got friggin freezing. But I love living here. "Rather small...and nicely cramped, so that there's hardly any room between one adventure, and the next."

This is Brad, AKA "B-Rad" who is our friend and neighbor and pretty much our roomate. And Beckah. On our couch.

Another couch-shot. With Rebekah in it. That's my roomate Eileen asleep against that endearingly gorilla-ish fellow, Tim.

Look look look! Beckah and I found a shopping cart labeled "Ben Franklin"! We found out later that its the name of an actual grocery store, but the fact that the nearest one is in Idaho Falls still makes it fabulous!

I just noticed that I only have an hour before I have to be at rehearsal, so I'm going to wrap it up. Hugs and high fives from Liz, and stay tuned for a video blog in the future!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Diversions for merry, yet disturbed youth.


Simply because I would like to post something new, shake things up a bit, pull a little switch-a-roo, but I don't think I really have much to say, I thought I'd do a little online quote-book tribute. Sometimes you just need a lift, a smile, or a laugh, and what better source is there for laughter than the absurd and wonderful things that people say? So read and enjoy, my friends!

"Just because I'm thirsty doesn't mean you have to coddle me!" --Beckah

"My wife does not like to talk about a store." --The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra

"My gosh! Kimri knows more people than Santa Claus!" --Jenny Mae

"I am continually looking for my underwear." --Ben

"Ken is the biggest dandy of a doll that ever lived." --Jeff

"If I was a kid, this would be a really cool place to play with action figures. [pause] What that actually translates into is 'I really wish I had some action figures right now.'" --Curtis

"Those rocks up there look like they'd be really fun to jump off of. And those rocks down there look like they'd be really fun to die on." --Dad

"I done did give Daddy his Bible." --Maggie (age 5)

"If someone seems perfect, then either number one, they're Jesus, or number two, they have something to hide. Most likely number two, though." --Ben

"That was stuck on your arm for a while, but I was too tired to tell you." --Kyra

"I'll ask for a second opinion if it's something I don't normally a top." --Meredith

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to chew on your face." --Kathleen

"It smells like baby chickens and death." --David

"You don't want to go to Bangkok. They eat bugs there." --Curtis' mom

"God created grapefruit to measure the size of tumors by." --Roger

"My father was the Shaman of his tribe, okay? And my mother was the High Priestess, okay?
[Then why the hell did they move to New Jersey?]
I don't know, they're so stupid." --The Birdcage

I hope you are merrily diverted! Love to all!

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

This is one of my favorite pictures from the entire summer. Curtis and I are actually pointing to a dead bat we found in the parking lot of the Do-It Hardware Center in West Yellowstone. Don't you think we're cheerful? It's at a funny angle cause we were trying really hard to get both our faces and the bat in the picture without actually laying down on the pavement.

Well, here I am back in Rexburg. I don't have a lot to report, because I still haven't quite found my footing here yet. I'm waiting for many a call-back about an interview at several potential places of employment. I'm waiting for my audition for "The Spitfire Grill" and subsequent casting list. I'm waiting to get to know my so far easy-going roomates. I'm waiting for my 21st birthday and related party this Friday.

It's so bizarre and fairly boring to not have a show or two every night. The first couple of days this week felt like sunday. This whole summer, sunday's been the only day I didn't have shows. So in my subconscious mind, if I didn't have to be at the theatre, it must be sunday. I think I'm going crazy, but I'm too tired and bored to really analyze it or do anything about it.

It's fairly surreal to be in between lives right now. In between Playmill and whatever else this semester holds for me. I think I need some chicken noodle soup. One of these days--probably the next time I blog--I'll do an audio post and tell some funny stories. But in the meantime, I'm going to eat some supper and prepare for my audition and think about how fun and completely different it is to be rooming with my sister.

Hugs and high-fives from Rexburg.