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All posts for the month September, 2014

Meet Rachel’s ex-boyfriend, Jacque Lopate

Published September 29, 2014 by accentsmagazinekeanuniversity

Rachel Behar and Jacque Lopate in better days

(Rachel and Jacque right before they broke up.)

Meet Jacque (pronounced Jack) Lopate
Age: 46
Nationality:  American born to Israeli parents
Major: BA in accounting and finance from Theopolis College, class of 1994
Occupation:  real estate broker
Religion:  Jewish
Race:  Sephardic Jew/Caucasian
Gender:  male

Rachel first met Jacque at Hebrew school in the town where they both grew up.  Jacque is a couple of years older than Rachel, but he knew a good thing when he saw it, and he wanted Rachel.  She, in turn, wanted nothing to do with Jacque, since he was a scheming, conniving, good-for-nothing, as far as Rachel was concerned.

It wasn’t until after her high school graduation that Rachel ran into Jacque at the party of a mutual friend.  By all accounts, Jacque seemed to have changed into the most wonderful human being Rachel had ever known.  They dated throughout Rachel’s college years, but broke up before she received her M.S. in Genetic Engineering because Jaque’s true colors started to show again.  He was deceitful, scheming, and all around evil, which was just too much for Rachel.  Besides the fact that Jacque loved to hunt and had the “trophies” all over his apartment–which she despised–Rachel found out that he was cheating on her, and he was also bilking millions of dollars from his own mother, while he “cared” for her after being debilitated by a stroke.  His siblings filed charges against him, but his mother died from the complications of the stroke before Jacque could be prosecuted, ultimately getting away with all of her money.  Rachel never wanted to see Jacque again.

A few years later, Rachel is perusing her Facebook page one evening and sees a photo on a friend’s page, which she can’t believe is real.  It is Jacque, who now goes by Jacqui, and is trans-gendered.  What is the most startling thing is that Jacqui bears a striking resemblance to the Theopolis College President, Cadence MackArthur!  Jacqui’s nose is a little different, but looks so much like Cadence that they could be sisters!!!  Rachel thinks that Jacque is hiding out as a woman, because he probably bilked money from someone in the Mob, and he’s waiting to be placed into the Witness Protection Program.  Rachel knows Jacque’s true nature, and there is no way that she will ever believe that he is trans-gendered!  He’s definitely hiding from someone, or something.

Cupcake Royale2

Seeing Stars

Published September 23, 2014 by accentsmagazinekeanuniversity

God's eye nebula

While reading and listening to “Like Stars in a Clear Night Sky” by Sharif Ezzat, several things came to my mind.  The voice in the introduction had a lyrical quality about it, which was very soothing and reminded me of being in a yoga class (even though I didn’t understand the language without the subtitles), with the yoga instructor’s voice reminding me to take a breath and be calm; this is the kind of effect the voice had in the beginning of the story.  The repetition of saying “I am full of stories” and “shall I tell you” makes the reader want to know what these stories are and is ready to listen.  We are all full of stories—some memorable and some not so memorable.  The stories in “Like Stars…” are the memorable ones (or at least seem to be the memorable ones) of the story teller.

The background music sounded like wind chimes—the really big bass wind chimes—I’ve dreamed of owning one day.  The deep tones of the chimes also have a relaxing effect throughout the readings.  The volume of the chimes does not interfere with the reading, but rather helps with the relaxing theme.  Though I prefer to read in silence, some background, white noise is often agreeable with my reading habits.  The wind chimes’ tone was a nice touch to add to this collection of stories.

There appeared to be no particular order to reading the stories—after I figured out that the blue stars were where the stories were stored.  The randomness reminded me of a visit with my grandmother, when she would reminisce about various members of the family or her random thoughts on life.  Her stories would sometimes just be facts and places, but most often had some kind of lesson to be learned.   “Like Stars…” stories were of similar nature to my grandmother’s telling of stories.  The uncle’s story had the anecdote at end about the man who married an evil woman, and the man wept at his wife’s funeral to the amazement of his neighbors.  This anecdote was used as a moral at the end of the story, since the uncle seems to have had a similar story.

I think my favorite story in “Like Stars…” was the one about the stars responding slowly¸ because it sounded most like a fable, and I love to read fables and fairy tales.  It was almost like reading of a particular culture and its belief of how stars are created.  I believe it mentioned that the stars are like eyes looking upon the world.  In another class (Dr. Chandler’s Creative Non-Fiction Writing) just this past week during the class, we were given the task of closing our eyes and trying to recall a dream we remembered.  Somehow I could not summon a dream, but saw instead the “God’s Eye Nebula” and the stars behind the nebula opened up like eyes looking at me.  Reading this particular story after having had that vision is a little coincidental, don’t you think?  The story telling is the key, like a master telling an apprentice precisely how to tell a tale to make it have great meaning to the listener and also make the stories memorable to the reader.

Twelve blue what?

Published September 15, 2014 by accentsmagazinekeanuniversity

If I had to describe what it was like to read “Twelve Blue,” the first thing I’d say is that it was very difficult.  The words weren’t difficult, but the font size and the coloration of the background—royal blue—combined with the text color—light blue—made it extremely difficult for my eyes to adjust.  I had to start and stop about every 10 to 15 minutes, just so my eyes could recover from the hurt while reading it.  (Remind me to NEVER make that color combination on any e-lit I may write!)  About 6 or 7 screens into it, I highlighted a word so that I could cut and paste it into my browser for a quick definition search, and found that the act of highlighting turned the text to white, and so, I highlighted the remainder of the pages, which made it a lot easier to read.

After I got past the poor color choice of background and text and highlighted the text to reread parts of it,  I found that the stories seemed a bit all over the place, without any cohesion, other than the color “blue” is mentioned quite often, as well as words like “float” or “flow” and some mention of a body of water, be it a river or creek, etc., and words associated with water, like oyster, saline solution, watery, and jellyfish, etc.   I had hoped that the story would have had some relevance to a place I knew of, since various landmarks were given, which sounded familiar—Rt. 9, Poughkeepsie, etc.   I was a bit disappointed that I did not enjoy reading this/these story/stories, as I felt that it had no meaning, other than random stories put together into one website, albeit with multiple pages and lots of blue.

E-lit, it’s more than just a story

Published September 8, 2014 by accentsmagazinekeanuniversity

This blog was created during my 6 weeks in this past summer’s CLMOOC.
It was quite an experience and one which I hoped wouldn’t end.
I’m recycling this blog for Dr. Zamora’s Electronic Literature class.

After reading through almost all of the Electronic Literature Collection I and II, I found that the ones I enjoyed the most were the ones I didn’t necessarily have to read through, but instead were interactive with letters, sounds, and motion.  “Strings” by Dan Waber is probably my favorite, since it is simplistic in nature and fun to watch.  Even though “Inanimate Alice” is images and music, I found the music to be irritating, and the vibrating words were hard to decipher.  For the most part, all of these electronic designs had a story to tell.

It’s fun to think that electronic literature can be more than just words being read off of an electronic device.   Each creative piece has a special something about it, even though I didn’t care for it all, though “Strings” was worth finding in among the collections.  Just to have thought of making a piece of string move back and forth, creating words as it moved across the page, was amazing to watch.