Friday, February 13, 2015

So, What's Going On?

I did say I hoped to be back by January. January is over. So now what?

I started Dark and Brite for to encourage myself to write something every week. But now I'm writing a thesis: I definitely have enough writing to fill my plate.

Also, I've never been satisfied for the way Dark and Brite has showcased my writing ability. Not having time to edit posts led to tons of typos. And I got into the mode of delivering a certain flavor of content on Dark and Brite. I think it was a fun flavor, but to my mind, it got old after a while.

I've had time to think about all this while I was on my sabbatical. For the time being, I'm going to stop posting here on Dark and Brite.

I'm still writing. If you're interested, I'm starting a little tumblr blog. Also, I'm still on Medium (my upcoming post with insite uses material I originally destined for this blog, so I'd encourage you to check it out when it goes live this weekend).

I hope you find these other things diverting. Until further notice, I'm signing off here. Thanks for sticking with me until now.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sabbatical Announcement:

               Hello, dear readers.

               There was no post last week. Again.

               Here’s the thing, I never have enough time to write posts for Dark and Brite. That’s why the posts I put up every week (like clockwork) often have egregious typographical errors; I barely have time to click “post” much less proofread something.

               But lately, I’ve encountered an even worse problem: I haven’t had time to come up with posts. I’m so swamped with all of everything. And it’s harder than you might think to come up with something to write about every single week.

               So, no more! Which is to say, I’m going to take a break, try to get my life more or less in order, and hopefully get back to blogging late-December or early-January.

               You can still catch me occasionally on Medium, if you like that.

               Thank you, and I’ll see you this winter.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Grocery Shopping:

               Occasionally, the mood strikes me; oftentimes it does not.

               I was out last night, helping a friend shop for groceries. We have an event coming up, you see, and the food must be impeccable. He’s organizing the event and it’s a weight on his mind. I’m organizing the event, but it weighs on his mind enough for both of us, I think.

               So we were grocery shopping. He had a neat little list with rows and columns and abbreviations and everything else you could want on a neat little list. We got the fruits and vegetables first: when he tried to grab some leeks, the produce misters attacked him with a blast of icy water. He dodged the blast, but it got me in the end—I had to get recently doused Rosemary; it froze my hand while I tried to make a place for it in the cart.

               I also had to fetch sweet onions. Being uneducated in the culinary arts, I have no idea what differentiates sweet onions from the ordinary variety (I suspect it has to do with sweetness). But the list demanded sweet onions, and I had to follow the list! Fortunately, the bag of onions I grabbed was labeled, “Sweet Onions.” As I seized it, I noticed that little flies were playing on all the other onions. But not the onions I wanted; flies must not like sweet things. A brought the onions back to my friend and said, “These say that they’re sweet onions, but they’re clearly not; there were flies on all the other food over there, but not on these. If they were really sweet, I think the flies would go for them. Have fun with the onions that are so far from being food not even flies will eat them.” He, meanwhile, continued to buys things and check them off the list.

               I opposed the purchase of cheese on account of the fact that I personally am extremely opposed to the taste of the substance. Also, the cheese we thought to buy was actually cheese-honey spread. But the deciding factor was the expense—cheese costs a fortune.

               My friend seemed skeptical when I offered to get the bacon; he thought it took discernment to find thick cut bacon. I seemingly impressed him when I brought back a package of exactly what he wanted, despite the fact the label read, “THICK CUT”. Literacy is boundlessly useful.

               There were some disagreements: I wanted to spend the entire event budget on ice cream for myself, he thought that was an untenable plan. In my mind there was altogether too little popcorn. But our shopping trip went well, overall. I insisted on higher-quality orange juice and cider; he insisted on higher-quality tomatoes and chocolate. We bought generic brand butter and tableware.

               Then came the affair with the rice vinegar. Rice vinegar was on the list, but it was one of his responsibilities. I was off looking at fancy soda when he bought it. Or, rather, when it slipped his mind. We had no rice vinegar! We both had copies of the list, but he also had a pencil and was checking his off. I had no way of knowing that the rice vinegar had slipped through our fingers. Fortunately, he had the presence of mind to double-check the list while an overwhelmed cashier scanned our veritable mountain of supplies. He sent me to fetch the rice vinegar. I had to walk two aisles, but I found the rice vinegar. Then, I reported back to the cash register only to find we had slightly exceeded our budget and had to not buy the rice vinegar. It was a tragic moment: I put the bottle on the candy shelf by the register in the hopes that some other shopper would take it home and make it happy.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Shakespearean Sonnets:

               I like Shakespearean sonnets.

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

   Isn’t the form delightful? Let’s take a closer look at it.

               So, Shakespearean sonnets (as opposed to Italian sonnets? I think that’s right…) use iambic pentameter—which mean every line goes: duh-DUM-duh-DUM-duh-DUM-duh-DUM-duh-DUM. I’ve heard that this is the natural cadence of English speech. That’s poppycock! Nobody talks like that. I’ve also heard that iambic pentameter corresponds to a heartbeat. I think hearts sound more like DUM-duh than they sound like duh-DUM. Also, if your heart beats five times, then pauses to change lines, I would recommend calling your doctor. Still, iambic pentameter can be beautiful.

               But the Shakespearean sonnet is so much more than the pentameter. Look at the rhyming-scheme. There’s a simple ABAB pattern, but the last two lines are a rhymed couplet. There’s a reason for this (and this may well be the most exciting part about these sonnets): the rhyme scheme changes because to signal the sonnet’s story arch.

               Traditionally, Shakespearean sonnets open with a question (stated or implied). The first three stanzas serve to develop the question, and the final couplet resolves it. You’ll this more or less holds true for the sonnet above. Ingenious, isn’t it?

               This is what I like about poetry generally—the ability to work within strict forms. Free verse is beautiful, but I’m tempted to classify it as poetic prose. These old, structured poems are the true verse. And working with the structure gives the genius of Shakespeare the opportunity to draw attention to certain lines by briefly departing from the structure. So the presence of structure makes occasional departure from the structure more meaningful.

               Ok; I’m done. I apologize to anyone who actually knows poetry and is pained by my amateur understanding. But at least I’m better than by grammar checker—it’s try to correct Shakespeare’s word usage! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Yet Another Random Limerick:

There once was a fellow named Bryce,
and terror of death was his vice.
That’s why when he perished
his mem’ry was cherished,
but his body was interned in ice.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Generic Dark and Brite Post:

               Something inspiring. Or rather, it would be inspiring. If you could get past the fact that there is clearly come sort of problem with the blogger’s mental health. Is he ok? You wonder after him for 46 seconds.


               The same as the above, except minus the inspiring part. This blogger sounds depressed. Why do you read this?


               A short story. Actually, more of a short concept; there’s not much of a plot to speak of. But, boy, there are some nifty ideas. Too bad no one put them in an actual story.


               An incredibly random thing. How does this guy even come up with this stuff? Sometimes it’s funny too, but that’s largely because it’s so utterly random.


               An excuse for why there isn’t more of a post. It’s self-satirizing. That makes it artsy.


               A picture. One the blogger drew with Paint, or something. It looks really bad, but at least it glows.

Did I cover them all?