LR #8


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Lit Reviews | Posted on January 27, 2014

When looking at the poem “Between Two Wars” was very interesting. With a title like that, the last thing a person expects to read is “honey sweetened chocolate.” The poem goes from talking about losing beautiful women and trying to find them, to all of a sudden talking about the judgment of people. Who is management? Why is the person all of a sudden be judged as lost, mad and immoral? And after the judgment, it leads straight into death and coffins. This poem is confusing and hard to understand but I love it. Its imagery allows for so much room for the mind to wander.

M #5


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Music | Posted on January 27, 2014

“Santa Cruz” – The Thrills: Dublin, Republic of Ireland

The song is not directly about love for Santa Cruz, but sings about it as a great place that multiple people can come and visit. Besides that I found that this song is hard to interpret because of the way each section is made up. And to be clear, does cos mean with in Galician?

“Santa Monica” – Everclear: Portland, Oregon

This song seems to be singing about a girl who he left, he packed up his bags and moved to Santa Monica. Only to find once he got there, that though he didn’t want to be with her anymore, it is lonely when you have to watch the world come to an end.

“Summertime Thing” – Chuck Prophet: Whittier, California

This song is basically about the perfect summer for anyone. You have friends and family coming by for the bbq’s and parties, the kids go down to river and jump in the cool refreshing water. One thing I loved about the song is that he didn’t focus on just the beach like image that California has but instead says river to show that you don’t have to live by a beach to get the sun and a nice river to jump in.

“Goin Back to Cali” – Notorious B I G: New York, New York

Notorious B I G sings about the stereotypical star lifestyle in Los Angeles. He is singing about the best girls, the best parties, the best weather, the best drugs, and overall on how great of a place California is to visit, well at least for the rich.

Compare: Chuck Prophet’s “Summertime Thing” and Notorious B I G’s “Goin Back to Cali” both sing about the stereotypical California that people who aren’t from here imagine is California year around.

Contrast: “Santa Monica” talks about the world in a negative few and though Santa Monica is a place to go to, a person needs to swim out far to avoid being a part of the world’s end. “Summertime Thing” doesn’t just focus on the stereotypical Los Angeles scene but uses river to show that not everyone has to be at a beach to get sun in California; and also the song doesn’t specifically point out California as the place he is singing about.

Most Relatable: The most relatable song was “Summertime Thing” by Chuck Prophet because it reminds me of the 4th of July fireworks show in my hometown. The weekend before 4th of July, Cameron Park lake holds a firework show to celebrate 4th of July and everyone shows up. There are house lining the lake full of bbq’s and families coming together to celebrate and watch the show. There is a swimming hole for the kids to go and swim at, and everyone just seems to be in the best of moods under the warm sun shine.

M #4


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Music | Posted on January 26, 2014

“Shores of California” – Dresden Dolls: Boston, MA

I don’t understand stand this song all that much. From what I could get, it’s a very over the top song about relationships. The song when listening to it has a nice melody to it, but a lot of the verses caught me off guard. For example: “And that is why a girl is called a tease; And that is why a guy is called a sleaze; And that’s why god made escort agencies; One life to live and mace and GHB.” It starts with the stereotypical views on the two sexes, but then moves on to mace which has the connotation of woman having them to defend themselves, and GHB which is a drug commonly used as the date rape drug; it went from stereotypical to two extremes.

“California” – Dr. Dog: West Grove / Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Dog in his song “California” has two different interpretations. The first is that the song is literally about California and the love people have for it. The second interpretation is that the song is singing about love, relationships, and marriage. Out of the two, I found the second to most compelling through out the song. Dr. Dog uses verses such as: “solemnly swear”, “till death do you part”, “bells keep ringing”, and finally “we’re sitting on a real celebration.” All these terms and a couple more through out the song are associated with marriage, and a church which makes a compelling case that the song is in fact about marriage.

“California” – Josh Ritter: Moscow, ID

Josh Ritter is singing about the trips to California, and how when he is there he feels the warmth and loves the weather but no matter where he is or who is around, he feels lonely. He also mentions a couple main streets of Los Angeles, so most likely he is speaking about traveling to LA and everything he encounters.

“California Dreamer” – Wolf Parade: Montreal / Victoria, Canada

This is another song that I found has two different interpretations. The first being that somebody, most likely a girl ran off to Los Angeles, California to be a star leaving him behind. He will visit but that’s all it will be because she had planned for something to happen that hasn’t and most likely won’t. The second interpretation is that he is singing out to the general people to not just get up and leave everything behind for this false image of California. All the people who think California is this magic place untouched by changing seasons and cold oceans, are wrong according to Wolf Parade. And I have to agree with them on this, people who come to California with this image are 9/10 let down by what they come to find.

Compare: The Dresden Dolls’ song “Shores of California” is similar to Wolf Parade’s “California Dreamer” because it focuses on the negatives of California, and California people.  The song “California” by Dr. Dog is similar to Josh Ritter’s “California” because they both speak about the warmth and beauty and love they have for California.

Contrast: The song “Shores of California” by Dresden Dolls is very different from any other songs in a couple of ways. The song focus’ on the negatives of relationships and just simply the extremes that could happen if people aren’t careful. Josh Ritter is different because he doesn’t want to stay in California, he just wants to continue visiting California for its beauty. “California Dreamer” is different because it strictly focus’ on the false images that are associated with all of California.

Relatable: The song that I found most relatable had to be “California” by Dr. Dog. This song is relatable because I love California and who doesn’t want a ‘California girl’. And though there is only a couple great times to get married, getting married in California with the right weather would be a perfect wedding.

M #3


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Music | Posted on January 26, 2014

“California” – Joni Mitchell: Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada

This song by Joni Mitchell gave me too different meanings. When initially listening to the song, I figured she was literally singing about traveling the world but no matter what, nothing compares to how much she is in love with California. Another interpretation I got while reading the lyrics is that she is talking about a man form California. She seems to sing about multiple men she has been with in different parts of the world but no matter what they do for her or offer her, nothing compares to the man from California.

“Lodi” – CCR: El Cerrito, California

CCR is singing about the ups and downs of the American Dream. There is so much involved in the dream and though it is always in reach, it always just a little too far. And for the CCR, leaving Lodi was that dream but every time they get out of town, something happens and they are pulled right back to Lodi. Leaving Lodi is just something that will never happen as the CCR describe it.

“California Dreaming” – The Mama’s and the Papa’s: New York, New York

This song seems to be a comforting song to people who maybe have left California and want to remember the warm sun of L.A. Though it may not always be warm and sunny, it brings comfort to someone walking around in a bleak day to think of that warmth and sun of Los Angeles.

“Sausalito” – Connor Oberst: Omaha, Nebraska

This songs seems to be playing on the fact that Sausalito is a little simple town where life is great. It makes a person want to run away to Sausalito, buy a house, buy a boat, and just live. When looking up Sausalito on the internet, I found that he may be right about it being a great place to live. But the fact is that Sausalito is anything but simple and cheap (which usually includes problems). Was Sausalito that different in 2008, only 6 years ago?

“Pasadena Girl” – Nellie Mckay: London, England

This song is singing about the classic relationship struggles that a ‘Pasadena girl’ goes through. It seems that through out the song she is looking for her man to step up and really show her what he’s got. But every time, her response to him is more and more negative. It started with a simple understanding that relationships aren’t all that and progresses to her completely wanting to be alone as a “Pasadena girl.”

Compare: “California”, “Sausalito”, and “California Dreaming” all have the same idea that California is this wonderful place that can never be replaced in their hearts. It is the typical California myth that has kept people coming to California for decades. “Lodi” and “Pasadena Girl” though not very similar, both speak a little on the negatives of California but know that California is their true home. Another comparison is that “California” and “Pasadena Girl” both speak about relationships and California as an intertwined entity almost.

Contrast: “Lodi” and “Sausalito” are speaking on complete opposite sides of the California dream. CCR is talking about a California town as almost a hell that a person can’t escape from. While Oberst is singing about a California town that he and everyone should want to live at. Another contrast is between “California” and “Pasadena Girl”, even though they both talk about relationships, its on the opposite specter. “California” seems to sing about a man she wants to go back to, while “Pasadena Girl” seems to want to get away from any kind of relationship.

Most Relatable: The one song that I found most relatable was “Sausalito.” In my eyes, “Sausalito” does not actually have to mean the town but a place to escape to. A place where no shoes, no shirt, no problems is the memo. It will most likely, and hopefully be a place like “Sausalito” that I get to retire, with the good weather, and a nice boat.

M #2


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Music | Posted on January 26, 2014

“California Love” -Tupac: Harlem, New York

While singing about California, Tupac goes into detail to describe the cities of California as great cities, while in fact some are not good neighborhoods that should idealized. Tupac also sings about the “life of a Californian” which includes sex, drugs, partying, and a little crime.

“Going to California” – Led Zeppelin: London, England

This particular song by Led Zeppelin is a love song for the typical idea of a “California girl”, though maybe the California girl image is no longer the flower in the hair, everyone wants a California girl. It was the idea that though you may be down on yourself, come out to California, find a good life and a good “California girl.”

“California” – the Weekend: Scarborough/Ontario, Canada

While listening to this song, I found a different couple meanings. The first was a literal meaning, that she is missing the love of her life, a man who got away. And the other is that the love of her life is California and she yearns to be there.

“Los Angeles, I’m Yours” – Decembrist: Portland, Oregon

Decembrist song is about the love/hate relationship that he has with Los Angeles. Los Angeles is a place with full of negative people and cultures. But even though the city may be full of these negativities, it is a place that he is still and will always love.

Compare: While listening to all the songs, I found that though all the songs were similar in the idea that they have love for California. But out of the songs the most similarities were found between Tupac’s and the Decembrist’s songs, and then the similarity between Led Zeppelin’s and The Weekend’s songs. Tupac’s and the Decembrist’s songs include negatives which does not turn them away from California, the songs show that they are still very much in love with California. While Led Zeppelin’s and The Weekend’s songs are written as somewhat as a love story to a particular person, which in turn can be represented as California.

Contrast: A couple of the differences that the songs have are first, Tupac’s song glorifies some of the negatives of California. The second song by Led Zeppelin, is a love song that compliments and talks only on the positives of California.

Most Relatable: The most relatable song to me had to be Los Angeles, I’m Yours”  by the Decembrist. This song, though in the wrong location for me speaks a lot about the love/hate relationship that some people, like myself go through every once in awhile. While I may not enjoy every culture and thing a person does to stay ‘hip’, and it may actually bother me, California is my home and I love it. I would never change anything about, unless I could kick some individuals out of the state.

M #1


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Music | Posted on January 26, 2014

1. “California” – Rogue Wave

Where: Oakland, California

Message: The message that I think Rogue Wave is trying to portray is the fact that California may have its superficial, fake people that care about themselves and maybe even hard-hearted people who won’t change their thinking (“ice that will never melt”).

2. “I Remember California” – REM

Where: Athens, Georgia

Message: The message that R.E.M. is portraying is that California is not all that it is cut out to be. R.E.M. shows that there are a lot of things about it that cause people to be distressed. A lot of traffic, a Trident submarine, and the looming threat of natural disasters (earthquakes).

3. “California” – Rufus Wainwright

Where: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Message: At first, I thought that Wainwright was talking good about California, but as I read and listened closer, I got a hole different message. The message I got was that California was good but it’s kind of a joke. Through out the song he seems to making sarcastic remarks towards California; such as when Wainwright says:

“California, California

You’re such a wonder that I think I’ll stay in bed.”

4. “Another Letter Home” – Del Amitri

Where: Glasgow, Scotland

Message:  This message, like the song before started out sounding like it was praising California but as the song continued, it seemed to get sarcastic and more focused on the negatives of California. There are good parts that Del Amitri brings up, but for the most part he is talking negatively about California; the fake people, the high cost, the big buildings, and the materialistic nature of people.

Compare: When looking at all the songs, one thing that seemed to be in common with all of them were some of the points they focused on for the negatives of California, and also some positives. These negatives that were portrayed mostly go along the lines of people being materialistic, fake, and not a good place for too long (paradise can only last so long). Some of the similarities when talking about the positives that the songs had were the weather, the idea/dream of California, and some of the friendly strangers.

Contrast: The songs are different in a couple ways. The first song by Rogue Wave is the most different because though it talks bad about California in some cases, it still talks about California being home, unlike the other songs. Song two, by R.E.M. has a little bit different of a meaning for being worried about California, it’s not just the people but also the earthquakes that cause is him to worry.

Most Relatable: The most relatable song is the first song, “California” by Rogue Wave, because it spoke to how I feel about California some times. When I think of California, I don’t have the false image that tourist may have. I have lived here all my life and though I may hate some of the things about it, I will always love it and call it home.

LR #6 Tortilla Flat


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Lit Reviews | Posted on January 20, 2014

When looking at chapter 1 of Tortilla Flat, the first theme I found was loyalty, which is mostly the case for Danny. Danny had loyalty to his grandfather which earned him the land, and then there was the loyalty to his friends.  He feels loyalty to not leave his poor friends behind and to pay his debts to those he cares about. Chapter 2 helps show this when Danny and his friends all move into the nice house, where they eat and drink, and fall asleep at. Chapter 3 shows a little of Pilon’s selfishness through out the chapter. He uses Danny’s house, doesn’t pay rent and then places the debt onto someone else. Again in the next chapter, Pilon is just worrying about himself. Danny is involved with a women and Pilon does not want that because a man with a girl wants to buy her things, and that cost money which Pilon owes Danny for rent. And as soon as rent is brought up, Pilon gets angry, walks away, finds money, and then will probably buy wine and drink it again. Chapter 5 is a major screw up for Pilon when they leave a candle burning and through a series if unfortunate events, end up burning down the house and sleeping in the woods to avoid Danny.

LR #5 Ferlinghetti


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Lit Reviews | Posted on January 17, 2014

“I am waiting

for forests and animals

to reclaim the earth as theirs

and I am waiting

for a way to be devised

to destroy all nationalisms

without killing anybody

and I am waiting

for linnets and planets to fall like rain

and I am waiting for lovers and weepers

to lie down together again

in a new rebirth of wonder…” (pg 2, Ferlinghetti).

This is a strong statement because it goes against the growth of people. It instead supports the fact that animals, and forest are the things that are actually in control on the earth. Every part of the earth was originally controlled and owned by nature, and nature will hopefully one day become a bigger part of our decision making, and hopefully nature will reclaim the earth. The last part I took literally; a wish that everyone can live together without hate, and people will help each other.


“I am waiting

to get some intimations

of immortality

by recollecting my early childhood

and I am waiting

for the green mornings to come again

youth’s dumb green fields come back again

and I am waiting

for some strains of unpremeditated art

to shake my typewriter

and I am waiting to write

the great indelible poem…” (pg 4, Ferlinghetti)

This statement by Lawrence Ferlinghetti spoke strongly to who I am as am in individual. Even though I am only in my early twenties, I feel a sense of getting old and I want to let loose every once in awhile to still act like a teenager who has no worries, just like when I was a kid. But when thinking of my childhood, I think of getting up in the morning to play sports and walking out and seeing nature all around me. No housing developments yet, no paved road, just our house and nature. The last part I took as writing a life story, rather than a literal poem. I am waiting to look back at the poem/story that I hope will be an amazing and indelible.

R #4


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Reflections | Posted on January 17, 2014

The trip to San Francisco was amazing. I think my favorite thing about the whole thing though was walking down Broadway Street. The professor had told us about Big Al’s and told us some history about how it was one of the first big topless bars in the city, and what surprised me was right next door was the Condor Club which was also a topless bar. Put two right next to each other? Must have been a lot of lonely men living close to Broadway Street in the 60’s.  The signs for them are both awesome and make me think of action cop/mobster movies, Dirty Harry for example. Besides just the interesting buildings and the interesting people, one other thing happened that I found pretty strange. When walking around, we ended up walking past Big Al’s and the Condor Club, and about 15 minutes later we found ourselves again walking right up to the Condor Club and Big Al’s. All the best routes seemed to take us right back to where we started. Is this a coincidence or just the perfect location?USA_San-Francisco_Big_Als

LR #4 The Maltese Falcon (2)


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Lit Reviews | Posted on January 14, 2014

“The boy walked over and stood close to Spade, a little in front of him, but not directly between Spade and the door. The boy’s right hand was inside his coat over his heart. The corners of his mouth twitched. Spade essayed his sixth step. The boy’s leg darted out across Spade’s leg, in front. Spade tripped over front. Spade tripped over the interfering leg… The boy drew his right foot far back and kicked Spade’s temple… he tried to get up, could not, and went to sleep” (pg 130).

The boy has a lot of confidence in himself, and he is finally able to best Spade. Even after being shown that Spade is the alpha male in the chapter before when Spade was able to grab, toss around, and disarm the boy. But when the boy gets a chance to take a little revenge on Spade, he does so with eagerness. The “mouth twitch” makes it seem like the boy was trying to hold back a smirk like he knew he was going to knock out Spade, so is Spade the alpha male he portrays himself as?


“Spade pulled his hand out of hers. He no longer smiled or grimaced. His wet yellow face was set hard and deeply lined. His eyes burned madly. He said: “Listen… You’ll never understand me… When a man’s partner is killed he’s supposed to do something about it…” (pg 213).

Though Spade may not want to, and he may truly love this woman, he feels an obligation to turn her in. It was not just some thief that she killed but in fact killed a good man, a good partner. Spade starts the disconnection from her by starting with the extremities (hands), then moves deeper and deeper into his soul till the decision was made.

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