Monday, 25 January 2010

I know it screams geek

But I'm ridiculously happy to find Steinbeck finally available on ebook!  Well, legally anyway, which tend to be better since half the scanned versions, the software messes up the words, switches words, screws with the spelling, and formats horribly.  The other half are hard to see cause they're picture scans which don't work well on anything but a computer screen, therefore I can't use them on my reader.

Now to find a copy of Canterbury Tales with a parallel translation, and Beowulf...well... Anglo Saxon's still a bit on the uh.. can't read more than a word here or there side of things, so a main translation would be super, with the Anglo Saxon at the back so I can read it and giggle like the nerd I am.

I've also added several books to my reading list (aside from more Steinbeck and Canterbury Tales, which I'm not sure how I managed to get this far in life without reading...) after taking the sample GRE Lit test.  I know I won't ever catch up to half the stuff on there, because poetry and I will never EVER get along, but there were things like Heart of Darkness and Frankenstein that came up, and I really was rather appalled, much like the whole Canterbury Tales thing, that I've never gotten around to reading them.  Kinda wish I hadn't used up my 100 free books on Gothic stuff I've already read (though I really do love Jane Austin and the Brontes... they're worth it...) and Shakespeare... wait, no I don't.  I just want more books, and I wish they weren't so stinking expensive.  The Sony store has them fairly well discounted, and obviously I can't possibly get hard copies of all the books I want right now - really am a fan of the Penguin classics editions though... I like that they're all the same height.  It makes them easy to sort on a bookshelf.

I digress.  Anyway, I know which books I'm likely to get with the rest of my Christmas money (thank you Aunt Tracy!!), and yay for Penguin (see, good publisher!) compiling Steinbeck's shorter novels in one package.  It's 11 bucks, but each book separate is over 5, actually I think The Perl was 8... Grapes of Wrath is not included, obviously, but, yeah.  I also want to get The Stand (Stephen King) cause now I'm interested in it.  It's loosely connected to The Dark Tower series, and he wrote it before he started on the whole rabbit trail he's gone after with the last few books (*le sigh*).  I really... I can follow it, I can respect it for its creativity and the way it ties everything together... I just don't like it.  It stole a lot of the magic of the series for me.  I still wanted to cry reading it last week, and had to stop until today after Zeke died cause I knew I'd cry again cause I really do love (most of) the characters.  I don't like fantasy and magic neatly tied up.  It irks me.

Wow, I really can't stay on one topic.  I need to write my "brief summary of why I want to attend a graduate program."  Here's a quicky:

I currently teach English as a foreign language in Japan, and I want to pursue my career goal of post secondary education in English Literature.  I am also interested in English as a language and the historical context of when and how it has been used over time.  I expect to broaden my knowledge of literature in English, particularly in periods and genres that I am weakest in, as well as gain a better understanding of how to analyze it.

That was lame.  I know it's good to talk about your strong points, but as far as what's considered "literature" (I actually do hate that lump term, rather how it's used... isn't anything written technically "literature"?) all I've got are the British Gothic writers, and only a few of them at that.  Dickens and I, not friends.  Kinda like poetry and I... though I can deal with Dickens a bit better... he's just long winded and boring.  Good stories though.  At least I can understand what he's trying to say.  I don't know what else to write!!  I need to stop putting this off.  I need to work on that (I literally thought it up as I typed that - first draft, promised myself I'd do one before bed), and take the GRE Lit (at least it's not the general test...), which as far as I've seen, they're more concerned with the scores as a benchmark and a sign of ability to succeed in graduate studies... which is good cause I was getting the analytical questions right, just not the identification ones. 

I also need to do my income tax report, overseas income thing that I have to send to the IRS so they don't think I'm scamming them, which means I have to dig out my pay stubs (glad I kept them, but I'm missing my last one - they never gave it to me -... I have the stamp in my bank book from the wire though) and play with a calculator... several times cause somehow I always manage to add things up wrong.  I also need to print those forms... note for work tomorrow.  Then I need to fill out the FAFSA, and can you believe I paid almost $6,000 in interest alone on my loans last year?  Seriously, how does the Japanese government expect me to pay them over $400 a month with that?  I'm really really hoping that I can get some sort of grant, cause I really don't want to take out more loans, unless they're subsidized so I'm not responsible for the interest that accumulates while I'm a student, but even then... no more loans for me.  I was actually a bit shocked when I saw that report from the loan company.  I never did the math, mostly cause it depressed me.  Had I been able to get a decent job while in school, I might have been able to pay off the interest before it got as bad as it did.

Money's stupid.  That's my conclusion.  Speaking of money, I bought myself lots of fruit today.  Apparently my body wanted it, cause my brain shut off till I was at the register.  The apples were on sale though, and kiwis weren't too obscene.  I have strawberries in the fridge from the other day, and some kind of weird apple pear hybrid, so I think I'm going to get up a little early and make myself a fruit salad for breakfast.  I'll probably be digging into my comfort cookies at work (bought last week on my terrible horrible no-good very bad day) cause that's not going to last till lunch, but it'll be amazing!  Add cranberry juice and mmmm!

I ramble a lot, don't I?  Are you guys actually managing to follow?  Cause I've been told my topic jumps are a bit confusing sometimes.  I can't imagine what I sound like when I talk and ramble.  At least in print, my grammar isn't atrocious, and sometimes I do actually look back at what I wrote and wonder how much sense it made.  Not that I often change what I wrote, but at least I can if I need to/want to/feel inclined to.  How do you not end a sentence with a preposition?  I'm so glad that rule has changed.  It would require the rethinking of the entire structure of pretty much every other sentence!  And I'm glad firefox has the spell check thingy now.  I kept spelling sentence with an "a," and apparently my spelling is worse than I thought... though I had no idea that "waive" did not mean the flailing motion with a hand... Gah, how am I an English teacher?  And why are water currents and flailing motions spelled the same?  That makes no sense!

I'm going to bed before this becomes a short novel.  Night!!

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