Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Reality of Hell

False Salvation

                Sacrament – a divine promise, authorization from Jesus Christ and a physical sign, said the sixteenth century priest, monk and teacher, Martin Luther. However, is baptism nothing more but a declaration of where you stand as a believer, a confirmation to the world that you follow Jesus Christ and not the world?

                Placing the fundamental law of God in place which is separation from him because of his divine perfection and our rebellion, we see that our salvation isn’t granted to us until we are judged. Do Christians stop sinning once they are baptized?

Reality of Hell            
                John Edwards thought that God was like a friend. The first time you ditched this friend, you felt bad and feared their reaction but as soon as they showed grace you repeatedly took their love for granted and continued to ditch them. Similarly, once Christians figured out that God loved them, they took his love, put it in their back pocket and continued living to please themselves and the world. 
               Jonathan Edwards's sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" was originally preached to scare his audience in to repentance. The sermon starts by stating God’s strength, power and dominion over mankind and the only reason why he doesn’t send the “wicked” into hell is merely because his will doesn’t care to do so. “Men’s hands cannot be strong when God rises up… He is not only able to cast wicked men into hell, but he can most easily do it.”   
                Edward’s then states that man is a petty thing, a pile of dirt, compared to God’s righteousness and that because of God’s divine law of justice men is deserving of death (hell). “They deserve to be cast into hell; so that divine justice never stands in the way, it makes no objection against God’s using his power at any moment to destroy them… justice calls aloud for an infinite punishment of their sins.” Which I believe is correct. The punishment for sin is death. Edward’s called it a “sentence of condemnation to hell.” Which is absolutely true, you are born to sin so there is no way of avoiding eternal damnation outside of Christ. “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” What we see from scripture mirrors Edward’s statement that we are born to death, “whoever does not believe is condemned already.” Every time a child is born, they are not born innocent but are rather born prisoners… chained to misery… slaves to sin. John 8:34-35, “…everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be freed.” Romans 6:20-23, “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
                Edward’s follows his fear igniting statements by writing that Hell holds the wrath of the universe’s most dominant being, God. “They are now the objects of that very same anger and wrath of God, that is expressed in the torments of hell. And the reason why they do not go down to hell at each moment, is not because God, in whose power they are, is not then very angry with them; as he is with many miserable creatures now in hell, who there feel and bear the fierceness of his wrath.” Edwards also makes a brilliant statement of the longevity of Hell and that the reason why God doesn’t just strike down wicked beings is because Hell is eternal. “So that is not because God is unmindful of their wickedness, and does not resent it, that he does not let loose his hand and cut them off. God is not altogether such an one as themselves, though they may imagine him to be so. The wrath of God burns against them, their damnation does not slumber; the pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive them; the flames do now rage and glow.” Hell is real; it exists and has been in service since God invented it.
                The next paragraph in the sermon is extraordinary… remarkable. The way he uses the devil in his speech only makes you wonder where the devil is right now, what he is doing and if he stares at you at night. “The devil stands ready to fall upon them, and seize the as his own, at what moment God shall permit him. They belong to him; he has their souls in his possession, and under his dominion… the devils watch them; they are ever by them at their right hand; they stand waiting for them, like greedy hungry lions that see their prey, and expect to have it, but are for the present kept back. If God should withdraw his hand, by which they are restrained, they would in one moment fly upon their poor souls. The old serpent is gaping for them; hell opens its mouth wide to receive them; and if God should permit it, they would be hastily swallowed up and lost.” He notes that the devil is under God’s authority… therefore not at war against one another which kills the notion of God wanting us to love him and the devil wanting us to fall so he can devour us.
                 The last section of the sermon is about mankind trying to escape hell either by their “good works” or by being over confident fools in believing that they can cheat God’s divine laws. “Almost every natural man that hears of hell, flatters himself that he shall escape it; he depends upon himself for his own security; he flatters himself in what he has done, in what he is now doing, or what he intends to do. Every one lays out matters in his own mind how he shall avoid damnation, and flatters himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his schemes will not fail. They hear indeed that there are but few saved, and that the greater part of men that have died heretofore are gone to hell; but each one imagines that he lays out matters better for his own escape that others have done. He does not intend to come to that place of torment; he says within himself, that he intends to take effectual care, and to order matters so for himself as not to fail. But the foolish children of men miserably delude themselves in their own schemes, and in confidence in their own strength and wisdom.”

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Ephesians 5:17-33

Contemporary English Version (CEV)
17 Don’t be stupid. Instead, find out what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t destroy yourself by getting drunk, but let the Spirit fill your life. 19 When you meet together, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, as you praise the Lord with all your heart. 20 Always use the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to thank God the Father for everything.

Wives and Husbands

21 Honor Christ and put others first. 22 A wife should put her husband first, as she does the Lord. 23 A husband is the head of his wife, as Christ is the head and the Savior of the church, which is his own body. 24 Wives should always put their husbands first, as the church puts Christ first.
25 A husband should love his wife as much as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.26 He made the church holy by the power of his word, and he made it pure by washing it with water. 27 Christ did this, so that he would have a glorious and holy church, without faults or spots or wrinkles or any other flaws.
28 In the same way, a husband should love his wife as much as he loves himself. A husband who loves his wife shows that he loves himself. 29 None of us hate our own bodies. We provide for them and take good care of them, just as Christ does for the church, 30 because we are each part of his body. 31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother to get married, and he becomes like one person with his wife.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I understand it to mean Christ and his church. 33 So each husband should love his wife as much as he loves himself, and each wife should respect her husband.

I read this when I got out of class.
Lord knows why...

Our God... who is love, order, creator etc... perfectly gives us instructions. Husbands, love your wives. Wives, respect your husbands.

Be an example for your kids. Project Christ through your marriage. 

close your mouth

While I jogged at the park on Tuesday night I inhaled odors of a decaying animal and swallowed a spider when I jogged past its web with my mouth open.

U.S. Border Patrol

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

not a fan of jesus

Monday Night at Destino we were asked, "What have you learned from Not a Fan?"
I answered, "I think I am more reflective of my actions."
I always have been but I have been catching myself while I'm being a brat and immediately stab my stupid fits.

For example, Sunday night I bought myself some steak because I have been feeling pretty crappy physically. I wake up and feel knots in my throat... I feel every ounce of starch hugging everything I eat and keeping it there with it. Anyway...

I go home on Monday and see that most of it was gone.
They cooked my meat.
They didn't ask me.
They didn't cook any for me.

There I was at home also thinking to myself, "I bought these stupid expensive bowls and they're using them as damn waste baskets?" So I grab my bowl and dump everything in it onto the sink.

Wait... I'm an adult... I can cook for myself. They're my family... they shouldn't have to ask... and it is just meat... it is just food...

Fighting against my pride... against my inner selfish brat... I grabbed the pineapple from the sink... every soggy cinnamon toast crunch and put it back... I washed the dishes everyone ate from. I washed the pan they cooked my meat in... and it made me happy.

I shouldn't expect my mom to cook for me... I should be cooking for my mom.

I've learned something from Not a Fan.
I learned that love defeats everything.
I learned that God blesses us and it is up to us to use those blessings to bless other people.

I learned that I need to stop feeling like I am deserving.
I learned that I need to stop feeling entitled to His gifts and share.


Really tired of school.
Tired of not understanding.
Tired of feeling defeated.

I have two exams tomorrow and I haven't started on my study guide that consists of over 200 historic terms of John Milton's life because I have been working my butt off to try and understand logic... but as of now, it seems like I have been wasting my time because

I don't understand.

I hate being worked up over school because at the end of the day.... it is just school.

Exams determine where you are... what you need to work on... I'm going to remember that... these moments or days before the exam, that make everyone nervous, are just a time for preparation... training to kick ass at your competition... practice to be prepared when you're out on the hardwood.

I want to get this over with.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


I used to think that I didn't have to listen... take in lessons from bad teachers... but 
then I would convince myself that they were older... that they were wiser 
and that pride was preventing me from learning... 

It's a bit vague but I can apply it in every aspect of my life. From church to basketball... I don't know when that changed though. Because it did... I talked about not being able to learn from people I didn't have faith in. I can't learn from people who seem intellectually parallel to me. 

On Friday the 13th, I sat in class with all of my fellow classmates while we went over our logic homework. I stormed out of class because I was upset... upset that I didn't know what was going on because the professor was allowing students to be wrong... I don't like that. I HATE THAT. I don't want to be someone else's guinea pig... a tool for someone else's benefit... I don't want to be a student who sits down and is fed a bunch of bull until the one trying to teach, figures out a way to succeed... my reason for that is because I get so damn confused and I am trying to learn too.

This came from my Professor saying that we will learn when we try to teach one another... WHAT THE... I thought that was a great idea until I figured out that I can't sit down and let someone try to teach me if they aren't sure they know what they're teaching... 

But I don't want to say I'm not teachable... I don't want to say I am not coachable... because I am... my "teacher" has to establish some sort of credibility in my mind before though.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


inspiration's been everywhere today... including school.

i was invited to try and figure out some logic homework at moonbeans by jocelyn. 
i went and we kind of were all over the place. our logic skills are... man. we need tutors... 

"i'm gonna get this thing i got last time... it's so good. it tastes like fall."
"like what?"
"it tastes like autumn! what are you gonna get?" she asked.
"a muffin."

on monday we were asked to get together with someone we really knew at destino and tell each other's blindspots... so we could grow... well... i partnered up with one of my old pals from my familia group. he said i needed to seek out friends. to pursue. what does jocelyn say to me today? "pursue friendships..." she then gave me a rundown of my personality. she said she told one of our pals, "you need to have one on one time with adan to get a sense of who he really is." she is right about that. i shut off when there's a lot of people... and i become aware of it so i go super analytical and i lose myself. 


"Friend, I know you," she replied.

"Agh, I feel like I've pursued... everyone... and no one cared," I said. 

Well. I. Pursued. The. Wrong. People. 

I came to the conclusion that I am going to be in serious prayer about 1 on 1 discipleship. 


I was reading this blog... and the guy was saying things that made me question the church... all churches. The writer brought up true statements like, "God is omnipresent therefore he is everywhere. In everything. And people experience him in different ways." I understood that but where he was going with it was something I didn't get... 

He said that not everyone sees God at the church... and are they bad for that? are they bad for straying from the church because they experience God elsewhere. For example, being alone. Praying alone. Praying... worshiping because YOU want to and because it is an intimate connection with God. i felt so much judgement too, he basically said people should do most things alone because that's how a personal relationship with God works.... ? it isn't influenced by someone else... because you wouldn't pray because everyone else is praying. Scripture says to pray/fast on a more personal/secretive fashion, right? 

I don't see a lot of things wrong with it but what I do think is that I couldn't do it. I know where the guy is coming from but I think people ultimately need guidance. Because

I need guidance. 

I need accountability. 

I believe in community even if I don't live in community. 

Anyway, I feel like I would say his whole blog (an argument) was valid... even after his premises were true (I agreed with over 96%)

ARGUMENT = Valid but unsound



"Christ calls us to be the salt of the earth. But what happens to salt when you keep it in a container? It starts to stick together and becomes a useless clump. This is what happens in too many of our churches. We clump together as Christians, only serving each other and our building, instead of spreading ourselves out as we were meant. We are the salt of the earth. Not the salt of this particular block."

Conclusion 1:  "We clump together as Christians, only serving each other and our building, instead of spreading ourselves out as we were meant."

Conclusion 2: "We are the salt of the Earth. Not the salt of this particular block."

There's the hole. His Argument would be Valid and sound if he said, "We are the salt of the Earth, and the salt of this particular block." 

serving and loving one another (our church) is being useless? we are building each other up. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Adan 2.0

I think I'm going to start putting more effort into everything that I write.
I want meaning behind every word or it will be cut out.

"common to mankind"

1 Corinthians 10:13

New International Version (NIV)
13 No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Isn't that crazy! Just yesterday I blogged about always thinking I'm dealing with things alone and being the only one in the entire universe who has no one to talk to... always saying, "this is a unique kind of loneliness..." haha, what was I thinking. 

I went to Logos Summer Bible Study today and we went over this verse. We talked about sexual sin mostly but my head was analyzing myself because I'm self-centered like that. Pastor Josh said, "you aren't special... you aren't the first to ever be tempted... Jesus was tempted!" Man... am I burned or what! 

Anyway... my head was all over the place today. 

I went to school. I got to class just on time and Logic seems really difficult - I'm going to have to study my butt off. We were let out early and I went to my John Milton classroom and logged onto the computer... just as I was about to see my grades my professor walks in and I shamelessly logged out and walked to my desk... He then told me to use the computer... :) he told me about 5 times until I listened and checked my grade for summer 1... A! 

I want to know how and why though... I just turned in my papers the last day and I want to know how I can improve or what this literary figure thinks about my Essay skills... or my reading analysis...  

My professor is so cool. He is extremely nice.... really tall and an obliviously awkward nerd. He's awesome. He said things that made everyone laugh and he didn't know why... he's just awesome. However, his lecturing skills are just.... he's very enthusiastic and what not but I think he forgets he's talking to English majors, primarily, and he overwhelms us with historic junk, which is important, I understand, but some of it is seems useless... but like I said, he talks about all this in a very natural way... I do not sense any arrogance from him (for a change!) I was kind  of scared and thought about dropping to take another self-paced class but I want to learn from different professors.

I picked up my sister and my nephews. I brought them over... I spelling quizzed my nephews and I feel bad. I really want to help them. They're my new summer project. They're going to be little geniuses. 

That's me and my friend Nataly. She can sing. She can write. She let's me sing really loud. She's awesome. 



There's been an infestation of little roaches at my house for the past week! It's never been like this... I guess that is what we get for always joking around about one of my sister's old apartments. Haha, I remember we would make sure to go through her luggage and dust off every item in it before it entered our house... we were horrible. 

Anyway, I jogged today. I tried jogging on Friday and Saturday but I gave up so fast... Today though... I jogged for a whole hour and was kicked out of the park at exactly 1:00 hour into running... isn't that funny? Its actually not funny... not funny at all is what I would have told anybody if they used the silly "isn't it funny" small talk question. 

I'm only writing this down because it is the first time I reach my 4.0 mile jog. I've done 3.0... just once but I felt invincible today. I fought through the first 2.0 miles wanting to stop but afterwards... it was easy... my legs felt numb or accustomed to the pain and my lungs were doing a great job... I need to remember about that first 20/30 minute hurtle of pain. I'm no olympic runner... I ran extremely slow but I don't care. I set a new personal record and that's all that counts...


I have a problem with wanting what others have... I've always stopped going to the park because I've always hated when the Gazelle regulars passed my miserable Rhino short sprints that were full of exhausted puffs...  but they don't matter... it is not a race. Why compete with people who aren't even aware of a competition? How silly of me. 

I often thought, I want to be a runner... a runner like them... a fast runner who runs nonchalantly. A runner who runs fast without breaking a sweat or dying for air... like that dude in the movie, Land of Women. 

I also thought about being one of those joggers who jogs at a particular slow and steady pace... A jogger who is overlapped by a short distance jogger or runner and then comes back to win.... WIN! what? Win what? 

This is all foolish gibberish. I'm just trying to map out my thoughts... I'm sorry, I'm just trying to figure out what my spirit is trying to tell me... these thoughts of constant comparison and jealousy. 

I need to repent for being so envious of people. 

I need to learn how to be happy for people. 

I have to stop being a bitter being. 

If I'm so happy about being alone all the time why am I bitter at the friendships that I see... everywhere? Why do I hate T.V. shows where certain characters have multiple friends? 

Why do I take things away from people when they are trying to relate to me? For example I constantly talk about loving solitude or being friendless with different people and as soon as they try to relate I try and steal that title away from them... because it is mine. (me, me, me, me... Adan's world... self-centeredness.)

I feel like I am the only one who is alone and I don't like sharing that with anyone. With some, it is almost as if I take pride in it because I see that they get to have a bond with at least one person while I open up very little here and there... and then with others I feel like they say, "I'm anti-social" or "I'm socially awkward" to be cool... It isn't cool. 

To anyone who's ever said they were anti-social/socially awkward, it isn't cool, its a damn curse. 

And to those who are genuinely honest, I am sorry for stealing the one thing we may have ever had in common away from you... I promise I will be a better listener. I promise I won't compare my level of loneliness to your level of loneliness because loneliness sucks sometimes and I don't want to make anyone feel lonelier which is what I do when I reject someones emotions... 

Alone time is a blast... but dosages should be taken wisely. 

School Starts Tomorrow.

I'm taking a John Milton course and a Philosophy (Logic) course. I still haven't received my grade for my short story & novella class... This professor has been hiding from me. 

Call 9566054..

I was going to do a "lost dog" but he tells people to google him the first day of class... and... I am registered to take another course with him... well saying I was going to do it is the same, now isn't it... 

I'm just mad because I showed up to meet with him and he didn't show up. I waited for 75 minutes. I called. I emailed. Bull. We read Joyce's The Dead and we discussed Gabriel Conroy's douche-ness. He was late. He bragged. He was completely full of himself... it is really comical. You should read it. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

turn to you

"Using an adjective, describe your faith." "Simple," I said. 

"Describe how you want it to be." "FEARLESS."

Jesus is awesome. 

I never open up to anyone so I don't have an idea of what I have in common with... anyone.

I notice that I feel most comfortable talking to anyone... one on one and today I had one on one time with one of my old familia group members. It was sweeeeet. No one was cutting me off and no one was cutting my friend off either. We're great listeners. It was probably one of the smoothest conversations I've had in years. I've been opening up these past weeks and it is probable that the reason why I haven't bonded with anyone is because I haven't been completely vulnerable with everyone... I've been vulnerable with several people but that limited my chances of having things in common with my brothers... 

I understood everything he was saying and vise-versa and our "blind spots" were identical.

We prayed about being strong and being confident. Confidence... I wrote a blog about that word last week isn't it awesome! I need to remember the words I write. I do need to be confident. I need to remember that God is using me and will always use my life for a greater purpose. I have to stop being afraid. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Literature vs A Contemporary Writer

I have just, for the first time, realized what the difference between a great writer and a random contemporary writer is. I think there can be many contributing things but one thing you can certainly count on is trust... I think you can trust literature to be literature... you can trust that whatever is in your anthology, for example, is great because there is a reason why a short-story, a novel, a poem and heck, even a play is relevant today. 

I never even cared about reading ancient books but after reading Henry James and James Baldwin this past week, I see what literary geniuses they really are... or were? vs. how plain and weak the works by contemporary writers are. 

The only reason why I am writing this is because when I am in school and am forced to read things... I have these cravings to read what I want to read... and now that I have time to read... i tried reading some books i bought at the thrift store months ago.... and they were utter crap. I got through 2 chapters and you know what... it was entertaining... but it was basic storytelling... nothing else... I didn't like that I second guessed if the writer had intentionally written what I understood... 

I liked that there was so much depth in every single word that I read in Going to Meet the Man by Baldwin... I liked that if I read it quickly, I wouldn't understand it. I liked that it makes you stop and think about what you just read and figure out every alternative interpretation that the writer has cleverly put in.

"You can read any book by a great author and find new things that they purposely wrote in. If you re-read  most of the junk that is just coming out now, you are wasting your time because it doesn't matter how many times you read Twilight. It doesn't matter how many times you read the entertaining Harry Potter books. You will always come to the conclusion that it is about a boy who is "the chosen one" that comes to save the universe from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. It is stolen junk... Read the story of Jesus. There is depth in the gospels." 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

New Project

I have this small novel I've been working on but I'm stuck.  

The Friday Night Lights TV show is what I'm looking forward to model it after. 

I'll post up the opening paragraph of what I have, and hopefully, of something else I add to it in an hour. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Henry James

 The Turn of the Screw and Daisy Miller: A Study

In Daisy Miller and The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, readers are obsessed with the vagueness James leaves for the readers to interpret. I think that is what sets Henry James apart from other writers. I understand why people love to talk about how he structures his sentences but I think most of the time the sentence is so poetically put together that it doesn’t matter if you read half a page worth of a sentence. I’m not saying I loved reading so much of nothing because at times I believed it to be completely pointless. For example, when the governess sees the intruder for the first time, there is a sentence that goes on forever just detailing the tower and how marvelous it looked and how it was exactly how Mile’s sister described it earlier that day. I felt like, “is this girl going to ask the intruder anything? Is she going to run?” but nothing happened she just stared into his eyes and he suddenly walked away and vanished.

Is the governess a lunatic or does Henry James provide something to save her sanity? I think James plays with our minds and throws the governess under the bus when he makes her look crazy, "...instead of returning as I had come, went to the window. It was confusedly present to me that I that I ought to place myself where he had stood. I did so; I applied my face to the pane and looked, as he had looked, into the room. As if, at this moment, to show me exactly what his range had been, Mrs Grose, as I had done for himself just before, came in from the hall. With this I had the full image of a repetition of what had already occurred. She saw me as I had seen my own visitant; she pulled up short as I had done; I gave her something of the shock that I had received. She turned white, and this made me ask myself if I had blanched as much. She stared, in short, and retreated just on my lines and I knew she had then passed out and come round to me and that I should presently meet her. I remained where I was, and while I waited I thought of more things than one. But there's only one I take space to mention. I wondered why she should scared." I think this has loony written all over it! She doesn't remember how long she waited for the visitor to reappear so it is certainly for a long while, "I gave him time to reappear. I call it time, but how long was it? I can't speak to the purpose to-day of the duration of these things...” Even after she stared right into Mrs Grose's eyes from outside of the window, she stayed watching her like the visitor had stared at her.

It is exactly like the chapter prior where she just stays staring at the visitor for a long while instead of screaming for help or asking anyone if they knew who he was, "He did stand there! - but high up, beyond the lawn and at the very top of the tower to which, on that first morning little Flora had conducted me... An unknown man in a lonely place is a permitted object of fear to a young woman privately bred; and the figure that faced me was - a few more seconds assured me - as little anyone else I knew as it was the image that had been in my mind... We were confronted across our distance quite long enough for me to ask myself with intensity who then he was and to feel, as an effect of my inability to say, a wonder that in a few seconds more became intense... Well, this matter of mine, think what you will of it, lasted while I caught at a dozen possibilities, none of which made a difference for the better, that I could see, in there having been in the house - and for how long, above all..." James goes on and on about how she doesn't know how long she stared at this figure but it was long enough for her to think about every possibility of who he could be. I think its scarier to look at someone claiming to see someone than actually seeing a ghost. Imagine this twenty year old governess just staring up at the gothic tower, just creepy.

Certainly, Henry James throws her under the bus by the following writing entry, "I somehow measured the importance of what I had seen by my thus finding myself hesitate to mention it. Scarce anything in the whole history seems to me so odd as this fact that my real beginning of fear was one, as I may say, with the instinct of sparing my companion... Of course I was under the spell, and the wonderful part is that, even at the time, I perfectly knew I was." Henry James makes our only source to the story, the governess, have doubt of what she has seen and then he also implies that she is just out of it. James is just brilliant. He obviously knew what he was doing (House of Fiction) when he creates this super unreliable narrator. Which is the same "problem" with Daisy Miller, Winterbourne cannot tell us whether Daisy is or isn't as pure as her name tries to tell us. This "window" that James talks about in the House of Fiction, is what allows us to have so much fun interpreting his work he says there are millions of other windows but he provides just one and I enjoy it.

In Daisy Miller, thinks about the young American girls confidence, "He thought it very possible that Master Randolph's sister was a coquette; he was sure she had a spirit of her own; but in her bright, sweet, superficial little visage there was no mockery, no irony... He had known, here in Europe, two or three women - persons older than Miss Daisy Miller, and provided, for respectability's sake, with husbands - who were great coquettes - dangerous, terrible women, with whom one's relations were liable to take a very serious turn. But this young girl was not a coquette in that sense; she was very unsophisticated; she was only a pretty American flirt." So Winterbourne comes to the conclusion for a while that she is only a flirt but I don't know if James did that so that it could be okay for Winterbourne to pursue this girl. The whole story is about the innocence of Daisy and many question her purity because James kills her at the end of the story but I believe he only kills her because she was a brave young girl who wasn't afraid to stare into the eyes of European men.


What is the point in having a good singing voice if you only like singing when you're alone? The same thing with drawing, painting, writing, baking... you name it!

I promised I wouldn't take down any of my posts when summer began. I stayed true to what I said but then I deactivated my facebook and I felt like I was writing to myself and trying to figure out life by myself and I don't like that. I want people to know what I am thinking sometimes and I desperately want advise.

I had 55 views in two weeks

I reactivated my facebook and I have doubled those views in just two days. Now, I don't know if anyone's been actually reading my half-assed blogs but I don't particularly care right now. I cared two weeks ago and its only a matter of time before I sit my butt down and write about relevant things. School is almost over, long lost reader of mine.

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Mark Twain

There isn't anything I can write about Mark Twain that someone hasn't already written about, so whatever I write will (more than likely) echo your feelings about America's best writer. I'm ashamed to say that after reading Huck Finn, I assumed that everything he wrote would be centered around ignorant white and black people but I was wrong. I read Extracts from Adam's Diary and Extracts from Eve's Diary, and boy are these two short stories hilarious. He creates stereotypical scenarios about men and women and makes them comical.

The opening paragraph has tons of sarcasm, "This new creature with the long hair is a good deal in the way. It is always hanging around and following me about. I don't like this; I am not used to company. I wish it would stay with the other animals." The way Twain structured his sentences is like he is mocking Adam's speech. It also tells us how annoyed he is by Eve's lack of leadership or by the responsibility of being a husband, "But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God." 

Twain also writes about the annoyance most men have when girls don't shut up and does it in such a comical way, "Built me a shelter against the rain, but could not have it to myself in peace. The creature intruded. When i tried to put it out it shed water out of the holes it looks with, and wiped it away with the back of its paws, and made a noise such as some of the other animals make when they are in distress. I wish it would not talk; it is always talking." 

Twain makes fun of women who are obsessed with their reflection via Eve and the pond, "She fell in the pond yesterday, when she was looking at herself in it, which she is always doing. She nearly strangled, and said it was most uncomfortable. This made her sorry for the creatures which live in there, which she calls fish, for she continues to fasten names on to things that don't need them and don't come when they are called by them, which is a matter of no consequence to her, as she is such a numskull anyway; so she got a lot of them out and brought them in last night and put them in my bed to keep warm, but I have noticed them now and then all day, and I don't see that they are any happier there than they were before, only quieter. When night comes I shall throw them out-doors. I will not sleep with them again, for I find them clammy and unpleasant to lie among when a person hasn't anything on." Isn't that the funniest thing ever?

Twain writes about the selfishness and laziness of men and how we like to control women when they are doing things out of kindness, "She will be useful. I will superintend." 

In Extracts from the Diary of Eve,  Twain mocks the talkative nature of women, "When I found it could talk I felt a new interest in it, for I love to talk; I talk, all day, and in my sleep, too, and I am very interesting, but if I had another to talk to I could be twice as interesting, and would never stop, if desired." I don't understand where Twain was going by constantly implying that men are dumber than women or that women learn quicker than men but after Eve talks just hours after being created, Adam couldn't further more, he writes about the possessive nature of women too when Eve takes over Adam's house, naming the animals, places etc. Also, he writes on how women tend to lie to men so that they don't feel insecure,"...I study to be useful to him to him in every way I can, so as to increase his regard. During the last day or two I have taken all the work of naming things off his hands, and this has been a great relief to him, for he has no gift in that line, and is evidently very grateful. He can't think of a rational name to save him, but I do not let him see that I am aware of his defect. Whenever a new creature comes along I name it before he has time to expose himself by an awkward silence. In this way I have saved him many embarrassments." 

I love how Twain uses his intelligence and wit. I don't know how I've wasted my time reading things by local writers before Twain. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

James Baldwin

Going to Meet the Man

I've read Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston but I think Baldwin is the King of Black literature. What I just read has changed the way I view literature. I think James Baldwin is a genius for creating such ugly and gruesome characters like Jesse and every white character in Going to Meet the Man. I think he wanted to make people see how ugly white people were and by the end of the story I think I'm even a little scared of them.

The story begins with Sheriff Jesse and his wife Grace trying to have sex but Jesse is too tired from overworking. However, he then begins thinking about arresting a black woman and gets aroused by that but then catches himself and is disgusted at the thought of a black person. Baldwin then goes on this epic rant about Jesse and his feelings of the blacks which I think is Baldwin at his best, "He felt that he would like to hold her, hold her, hold her, and be buried in her like a child and never have to get up in the morning again and go downtown to face those faces, good Christ, they were ugly! and never have to enter that jail house again and smell that smell and hear that singing; never again feel that filthy, kinky, greasy hair under his hand, never again watch those black breasts leap against the leaping cattle prod, never hear those moans again or watch that blood run down or the fat lips split or the sealed eyes struggle open. They were animals..." (The rant is much longer) The hatred for these black people is so... I don't know how else to express it other than to state that it is unlike anything I've ever read. James Baldwin made them entirely evil. Not even Jesse as a kid is shown to be entirely innocent - he becomes overwhelmed with joy when they are chopping off the man's privates, "His father's face was full of sweat, his eyes were very peaceful. At that moment Jesse loved his father more than he had ever loved him. He felt that his father had carried him through a mighty test, had revealed to him a great secret which would be the key to his life forever." Also Baldwin writes, "He began to feel a joy he had never felt before. He watched the hanging, gleaming body, the most beautiful and terrible object he had ever seen till then." Right after the lynching party, the white folk go on over to have some food. It’s ridiculously evil and unsympathetic.

                In two instances, he writes as though a character is possessed by something evil. First, is Jesse's dad whose tongue and eyes look different the day Jesse is taken to the "picnic," "They were looking at something he could not see. His father's lips had a strange, cruel curve; he wet his lips from time to time, and swallowed. He was terribly aware of his father's tongue; it was as though he had never seen it before. And his father's body suddenly seemed immense, bigger than a mountain. His eyes, which were grey-green, looked yellow in the sunlight; or at least there was a light in them which he had never seen before." Later in the story, he writes, "He thought of the boy in the cell; he thought of the man in the fire; he thought of the knife and grabbed himself and stroked himself and a terrible sound, something between a high laugh and a howl, came out of him and dragged his sleeping wife up on one elbow." I envisioned demons possessing bodies and I know possessions are big in Pentecostal churches. Baldwin was a preacher at a Pentecostal church, so I think he incorporated that into this story.

                Another observation I made about Baldwin's writing is the way he wants the readers to know the innocence of the blacks. He makes it appear as though they were Christ like in various occasions. One of them was when the blacks praise God and tells Him to forgive the whites, "they were singing for mercy for his soul, too." which reminds me of Luke 23:34, "Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots." A second one was the complete humiliation of death, "All his weight pulled downward from his hands; and he was a big man, a bigger man than his father, and black as an African jungle cat, and naked."

                James Baldwin's story is a memorable one but I want to note on something minor that I find in many minority writers which is being extremely specific in their themes and I think that can sometimes be a downfall because it lacks the excitement of vagueness that we find in the works of Henry James. Sometimes readers don't like to be limited when they are trying to interpret the art they read. I think Perkins Gilman incorporates the right amount of mystery in her most famous work The Yellow Wallpaper while not forgetting her purpose of writing which is writing about her frustration about male-domination.

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy

The Mayor of Casterbridge

I can’t say that when I read Thomas Hardy I was inspired to write but what I can say is that The Mayor of Casterbridge, is a perfect example of karma and I think that Hardy does a great job in the momentum he creates for the downfall of his flawed character, Henchard. It reminds me of the James Joyce short story we read in class, The Dead, where Gabriel is just getting hit below the belt constantly. Thomas Hardy does the same thing but at a much slower pace. In the beginning of the novel, Henchard sells his wife and daughter. However, Henchard then achieves this great social status after he promises God to stay sober for twenty years. I think Hardy throwing in hundreds of biblical illusions throughout the book was placed in strategically to make the reader remember the oath.

Hardy creates the fall of Henchard when the wife he sold in the first chapter, Susan and their daughter, Elizabeth Jane, come to look for him in Casterbridge. Perhaps a little after because he remarries Susan and you think everything is going to be peachy perfect in this Victorian society but Hardy makes everything go haywire for Henchard. First, Susan dies. Second, he learns that Elizabeth Jane, his real daughter died and the one living with her looks like Mr. Newsom, the sailor who purchased them.

But then things begin to look bright for Henchard. Lucetta, the woman Henchard was planning to marry right before Susan and Elizabeth show up, forgives him. Elizabeth begins to appreciate Henchard and Donald Farfrae is Henchard’s best friend. Then the third negative sequences of events begin for Henchard. He doesn’t like that the townspeople like Farfrae more and he hates that Elizabeth Jane took a job at the hotel and helped Farfrae at the beginning of the novel. Then Lucetta falls in love with this Donald Farfrae guy. Things are completely horrible for Henchard.

To make things worst, he dies when Elizabeth Jane decides to forgive him.

Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens is looked up to by many because of his in depth realism in his work, his extremely memorable characters and his unique technique. I agree with most but I think he was over the top too often and for a long stretch and I couldn't find any way to appreciate it. I don't know why. Perhaps it is because he attempted to be humorous? Anyway, I will go on to back up my gut and say that it is a flaw of the greatest Victorian novelist. Another thing I want to mention is his failed attempt to make the rich donate to the poor which was his primary motive in writing A Christmas Carol.

If an author is looking for ways to start a significant movement, he/she has to have the audience in mind. An author fails when he/she tries to convert his/her audience into a religion, go vegan, or motivate them to eat healthy because a true fatty at heart, like myself, will never pick up a diet or exercise book. Likewise, there is not an atheist I know that will pick up an inspirational or spiritual book unless they themselves make the choice to participate in the experiment. The intentions of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens were to motivate people to give. Throughout the story, Scrooge was a jerk to everyone. In the ending paragraphs of stave four, he says, "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!" Through the events that occurred throughout Scrooge's life, a reason why he wants to change is because he feels guilt - transforming him to a new "christmas giving spirit" Scrooge. If Dickens wished for people to change, guilt isn't a correct reason to. If one's heart isn't willing it means nothing. You can only give out of guilt for so long. At the end of the day, philanthropists will be the only ones jumping on board with Dickens. Charles Dickens's is still great though I just want to point out that if anything, he just informed people about the real world and he conveyed it perfectly in A Christmas Carol. I don't believe it influenced anyone to give all it did was make Dickens himself prosper.

In Oliver Twist, I think Dickens went way overboard with Oliver's fate in the opening chapters. I believe the beginning ten chapters are filled with nothing but complaining. I don't want to say that I don't care about orphans but there's was just something that I couldn't connect with in Oliver's story. I'm going to blame it on the way it was written because I think one of the reasons was that I was just so sickly overwhelmed reading about this heartbreaking orphan for so damn long. 

David Copperfield made me appreciate Dickens for what he did. I like that it was Dickens's most autobiographical novel because he constructed everything for what it was, or it seemed. I know there are many unparalleled scenes but I liked that I didn't feel pressured (unlike Oliver Twist) to like David. I liked how hard he worked. 

If I was writing my own novel, I could steal many things from Dickens... even though I didn't like Oliver, I'm sure I will remember him forever... just like Scrooge and Marley. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Final week

Five essays due Friday. I'm getting ready to start on them.

First essay: James Baldwin's "Going to Meet the Man." 
About the author: America hated him. He was black and was famous for supporting Malcolm X and Martin Luther. Baldwin grew up with an abusive Christian step-dad. He later too became a preacher at a Pentecostal church. 
The Story: The story begins with the Sheriff, Jesse and his wife, Grace, laying in bed and for some reason Jesse is "too tired" from overworking to have sex. However, this douche bag states that he thought about a black prostitute and he was excited about that... but he was grossed out at the same time by thinking about this "beast" looking woman... the hatred portrayed by Baldwin is so good. No wonder America hated him.

Second essay: Thomas Hardy's "The Mayor of Casterbridge."
About the Author:
The Story: The story has it's up and downs and I believe Hardy's biggest theme that plays throughout the The Mayor of Casterbridge, is karma. Henchard sells his wife and daughter. Wife and daughter come back to find that he is now the Mayor. Henchard and wife remarry. Wife dies. The new dude from Scotland is being respected more by the townspeople. The daughter had actually died so this new daughter isn't even his. He's an asshole to her. He tries to get back with his other girl but she falls in love with the Scot. He's no longer mayor. He's poor again. He dies when his daughter decides to forgive him.

Third essay: James Joyce's "Dubliners."

Fourth essay: Mark Twain's "The Diary of Adam" and "The Diary of Eve."

Fifth Essay: Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea," "A Movable Feast," and "The Snow of Killimanjaro." 

Sixth Essay: Faulkner's "As I lay Dying" and "Light in August."

Seventh Essay: Nathaniel West's "Miss Lonelyhearts."

Eighth Essay: Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse," and "Mrs. Dalloway's party."

Ninth Essay: Walt Whitman's "A song to myself."

Monday, July 2, 2012

all i can say

"Lord I'm tired
So tired from walking
And Lord I'm so alone...

And this is all that I can say right now
And this is all that I can give

And didn't You see me cry'n?
And didn't You hear me call Your name?
Wasn't it You I gave my heart to?
I wish You'd remember
Where you sat it down

And this is all that I can say right now
i know it's not much
And this is all that I can give
yeah that's my everything

I didn't notice You were standing here
I didn't know that
That was You holding me
I didn't notice You were cry'n too
I didn't know that
That was You washing my feet"