Introducing Aeon!

The beginning of August is ushering in a lot of change for Special Collections and University Archives! One of those changes is Aeon, our new registration and materials request system.

Patrons will create a user account online, saving time and paperwork when visiting the reading room. You can also make requests to see materials in the reading room or have them copied by filling out the forms online. This can even be done straight from the library’s quick search catalog or from CARDinal, the database of our special collections and archives finding aids.

Screenshot from Library’s quick search results
Screenshot from CARDinal search results

One of the exciting advantages of using this system is that Aeon keeps a history of what you have requested for you to revisit in the future. No more hanging on to the pink piece of carbon paper to try to write your citations later! You can also save a search without requesting if you may want to look at something in the future but don’t need the material now.

We will be publishing tutorials to help you navigate Aeon in the coming days on our LibGuides. Of course, we’re always available to answer questions at archives@iastate.edu.


Aviary for AV

We are pleased to announce the availability of Aviary–a cloud-based platform for publishing searchable audio and video content. Aviary allows users to sync captions with audio, use closed captioning, search transcripts, and navigate to the exact place where a term is found. In line with the Library’s commitment to accessibility, the platform will enable us to provide all users with meaningful access to our rich audiovisual collections.

Here’s a sneak peak from our COVID-19 Stories project (click on image to open):

As of today, eight collections are available via Aviary. They include:

College of Veterinary Medicine Oral Histories
Oral histories conducted with professors in the College of Veterinary Medicine. 

COVID-19 Stories
This project seeks to record how faculty, students, staff, alumni, and others are responding to and dealing with the effects of COVID-19.

HIST 489: The World at War: The Vietnam War, Fall 2019
Interviews conducted by students as part of Professor Amy Rutenberg’s class HIST 489: The World at War: The Vietnam War, Fall 2019.

Mary Jean Logan Sweet Curtiss-Wright Engineering Cadettes Records
Oral history project done with participants of the Curtiss-Wright Engineering Cadettes Program. Sponsored by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation, this was a nationwide program designed to ease wartime labor shortages, and also included more than 700 female students. The program at Iowa State was an intensive course in aeronautical engineering. The students received a certificate upon completion of the ten-month course (February to December 1943), and were then hired by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation for the duration of the Second World War. As they completed the course, the Curtiss-Wright Corporation paid for the students’ room and board, and provided a salary of ten dollars per week.

Voices in Color
This project seeks to document, preserve, and share the history of racial and ethnic diversity at Iowa State University through the lens of communities of color, inserting these stories into Iowa State’s historical narrative and archival record.

Voices from the Land
Oral history project done in conjunction with the Iowa Women’s Archives at the University of Iowa documenting women involved in agriculture and farming, with the exception of Fred Kirschenmann.

WOI-TV News Clips
WOI-TV was the first television station owned and operated by an institution of higher learning in the U.S., beginning in February, 1950. At that time, the station was the only one to televise a regular schedule of programming into central Iowa, until 1954. The station was truly unique in that as an educationally owned television station, WOI-TV was also granted a commercial license by the FCC. WOI-TV’s pioneering activities in applying television to education helped stimulate support for the institution of educational television across the United States.

Women in Chemistry Oral History Collection
The Archives of Women in Science and Engineering (Iowa State University Library) sponsored an oral history project focused on women who have devoted their careers to the study of chemistry in the post World War II era. The project, funded by the ISU Library, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, and private donors, documents the careers and experiences of women in chemistry and chemical engineering to illustrate the critical role of women in science.

More collections will be added when ready. For more information please contact us at archives@iastate.edu.


Voices in Color now online

We are happy to announce that fourteen oral histories conducted as part of the Voices in Color Project are now available online. Featuring searchable captions and synced audio and text, the interviews are available via Aviary, a cloud-based platform for publishing searchable audio and video content.

Voices in Color seeks to document, preserve, and share the history of racial and ethnic diversity at Iowa State University through the lens of communities of color, inserting these stories into Iowa State’s historical narrative and archival record. Launched by Rachel Acheson, Assistant University Archivist; Harrison Inefuku, Scholarly Publishing Services Librarian; and Petrina Jackson, former head of SCUA; this project has two goals:

  • Document, preserve, and share stories of communities of color at Iowa State University through the conduction of oral history interviews and the creation of a project website;
  • Provide opportunities for networking, socializing, and community building for Iowa State faculty, students, and staff of color by facilitating gatherings to launch and celebrate the project.

Two organizations have been selected for oral history interviews thus far—the Black Faculty and Staff Association and Lambda Theta Alpha. Additional project partners include the Division of Diversity and Inclusion, Iowa State University Digital Press, and University Library Digital Scholarship and Initiatives.


Rare Books Highlights: Black lives in Early Modern Spain

As part of ongoing efforts to diversify our holdings in Special Collections and University Archives, about a year ago I purchased the book Historia eclesiastica, principios, y progressos de la ciudad y religion catolica de Granada by Francisco Bermúdez de Pedraza, published circa 1638 or 1640. An English translation of the title reads, Ecclesiastical history, principles and progress of the city, and the Catholic religion of Granada.

Image of an engraved title page. Book title is within an architectural archway motif. Two archbishops sit at the top of either side of the arch--the left one labeled St. Es Fon, and the right one labeled SHIS Cio.Standing in front of either column are San Tiago and San Cecilio. There are additional features of heraldry and decorative elements.

Engraved title page of Historia eclesiastica. It was created by Ana Heylan, one of only a few women engravers working in Spain at the time.

I purchased this book for a couple of reasons: we do not have many Spanish language rare books in our collection, and–as highlighted by the book dealer who knows his market–the book contains positive representation of four people of African descent living in Granada. Many academic libraries, including ours, are interested in developing more inclusive library collections, and the book dealer knew to highlight this aspect of the book in his description. And while it is true that this book sheds some light on the history of Black people in Early Modern Spain, I think it behooves me to acknowledge that this book helps to diversify our collections in only a limited and inherently compromised way.

The first critique that I can make of this book as a window into the experience of Black people in Spain is that it is written by (as I presume) a non-Black author. Biographical information available online seems to indicate that Francisco Bermúdez de Pedraza was a white Spaniard from Granada, who studied and practiced law, was later ordained as a priest, and was always very interested in the history of his native city. Given this assumption, his portrayal–positive or otherwise–of Black men and women in Granada is inherently a white gaze. We are not hearing directly from those Black people about what their lives were like.

Secondly, let’s take a look at the historical context in which this book was written. The year of its publication, 1640, was almost 150 years following the end of the Reconquista, or Christian “reconquest” of the Iberian Peninsula from the Muslim kingdom of Al-Andalus. A number of Arab or Berber rulers out of Northern Africa ruled parts of the Iberian Peninsula from around 711 to 1492, until Emir Muhammad XII of Granada surrendered to King Ferninand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile in 1492. The Treaty of Granada of 1491, in which Emir Muhammad XII surrendered the emirate to the so-called Catholic Monarchs, also granted Muslims living in the territory the right to practice their faith free of molestation. (The same rights were not granted to Jews living in the territory, who were forced to convert to Christianity or leave.) It did not take long for the Spanish authorities to break the terms of the treaty, however. By 1499, the second Archbishop of Granada, Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, began the practice of mass forced conversions of Muslims. When this led to an uprising, the Catholic Monarchs revoked the treaty rights, and beginning in 1501, Muslims in Granada were forced to convert or be expelled, or even executed. Some moved to Northern Africa, but others remained and converted.

This book was also written 150 years into the Spanish Empire, begun under the very same Ferdinand and Isabella, who you may recall, sponsored Christopher Columbus on his voyage across the Atlantic, seeking a shorter trading route to Asia, and ultimately leading to Spanish colonization of the Americas. In 1640, the Spanish Empire included some outposts along the North African coast as well as the colonies in the Americas. Closely bound up with the empire was the Iberian slave trade, in which Spain and Portugal, under the same monarch until 1640, were the first European powers to transport African captives across the Atlantic to be sold as enslaved people in the Americas.

This history reveals a relationship between Spain and Africa in which Spanish officials persecuted Muslims of African descent and in which Spanish slave traders committed atrocities against Black Africans–severing them from their homes, communities, and cultures; de-humanizing them; and commodifying them for the ultimate enrichment of the Spanish monarchy. I cannot see but that this context must have some influence on how a Spanish writer would represent individuals of African descent in their community.

Let’s take a look at the mentions of these Black men and women in the actual pages of the text. It is a short passage, spanning a couple of pages. Outlined in red in the images below, you can read four names:

  • Juan Latino, a professor at the University of Granada
  • Cristobal de Meneses, a priest
  • Licenciado Ortiz, a lawyer for the Royal Court
  • Catalina de Soto, an artist and embroiderer

Image of text on a page in an older Spanish. The name Juan Latino is outlined in a red box digitally added to the image. The name Juan has an archaic spelling of I-U-A-N.

Entry on Juan Latino.

With the help of Google Translate, I find that Bermúdez de Pedraza describes Juan Latino as “a dark black man” (negro atezado), that Latino was raised in the house of the Duchess of Terrano, and that he was a scholar of rhetoric and Latin in both prose and verse. (What does it mean that he was raised in the house of a duchess? Was he enslaved, or the son of an enslaved person? Was he a servant, or son of a servant? I am no scholar of Spanish history, and so I have no idea.)

Image of a page of Spanish text with red boxes added to outline three names: Christobal de Meneses, Licenciado Ortiz, and Catalina de Soto.

Passage mentioning Christobal de Meneses, Licenciado Ortiz, and Catalina de Soto.

Bermúdez de Pedraza’s discussion of three more prominent Black people continues in the second column of the page. He writes that Father Christobal de Meneses belonged to the Order of Santo Domingo and was also Black. He was a good priest and preacher with a graceful and agreeable conversation.

Third is the Lawyer Ortiz, who was the son of a Black woman and a military man. (Though part of the sentence is unclear, it seems that Ortiz is attributed with saying something along the lines of something being due more to my mother who gave me a good father, than to my father who gave me such a mean mother.)

The fourth of the “black prodigies” (negros prodigios) is Catalina de Soto, who deserved for her illustrous parts to be queen of Black women, was of a gentle body and a well-liked face, and of the best hands of labor in her time, was the first needle of Spain to knit and embroider and draw,…

(Here I have recorded loose translations Bermúdez de Pedraza’s descriptions, taken largely from Google Translate, but with some interpretation of my own. Some portions of the text were less decipherable due to the combination of my elementary Spanish knowledge and the archaic quality of the text. Any misinterpretations are due to that dangerous combination.)

These descriptions of four Black residents of Granada are largely positive, but they also clearly portray that white gaze, which I see especially apparent in the use of the term “black prodigies.” It also hints at social hierarchies, norms, and biases that someone with more familiarity of the history and culture of that place and time would be better able to parse.

For a broader context on the representation of Blacks in Spain from a Black scholar of Spanish and the African Diaspora, check out this article: Nicholas R. Jones. “The Legacy and Representation of Blacks in Spain.” Black Perspectives, June 1, 2018, https://www.aaihs.org/the-legacy-and-representation-of-blacks-in-spain/.

Work Cited:

Francisco Bermúdez de Pedraza. Historia eclesiastica, principios, y progressos de la ciudad y religion catolica de Granada, corona de su poderoso reyno, y excelencias de su corona. Granada: Andrés de Santiago Palomino, 1638 [ie, 1640]. Call number: BX1588 G7 B4 1638


Tell Your Story – Natalie Kelly

Today’s post is from Natalie, the forth and final post in her series of the “Tell Your Story” project.

This past week I celebrated my 22nd birthday, which was something I have been looking forward to since our world was thrust into this pandemic. While restaurants and retail locations have been open here in Minnesota since the beginning of June, I decided to spend that day outdoors and ordering takeout for dinner. I always make sure to wear my mask and respect social distancing guidelines, but something about wearing a mask on my birthday just didn’t seem ideal, so I decided to stay home and enjoy the comfort of my family! I went for a walk around the Minneapolis Rose Gardens, where a plethora of roses, peonies, and other gorgeous plants were blooming. It was a friendly reminder that there are still beautiful aspects of life in a time of such stress and unease. Spending my birthday this year with my close family and boyfriend reminded me to be grateful for the people I have in my life, and to appreciate everything that I have.

I have been on a bit of a nature kick recently, and traveled to Willow Falls State Park in Wisconsin to go for a hike. I am still living at home with my parents, and still deem gathering in large areas/indoor spaces a risk as my father is immune-compromised. Finding new spots to explore outdoors has been great for my mental and physical health, and I have gotten to see some pretty amazing places I would have never visited before because of the COVID-19 outbreak. I have been able to stay on track with my fitness goals, and have come a far way in terms of strength since the beginning of ‘quarantine’, and I am very proud of that. My experience with weight training and eating healthy has made me a much more disciplined and motivated person, and I am thankful for the time that quarantine has given me to reach these goals.


Tell Your Story – Mason Porter

Today’s post from Mason in the “Tell Your Story” project is the twelfth and final post in his series.

June 29, 2020 through June 30, 2020

I woke up on Saturday mid-morning. My sister and I went to our parents’ house to continue working on the records. After lunch with our dad, we finished getting the rest of the records that we had sorted into letter-based piles filed into the proper boxes. After that, I worked on last week’s blog post. After a while, I took a break for supper. After supper, my sister and I went home, and I got back to work. After I finished working, I continued watching that TV show. I went to bed a little before nine in the morning. 

On Sunday, I woke up at three in the afternoon. I spent the whole day watching that TV show. I went to bed a little before four in the morning.  

I woke up at noon on Monday. I continued watching the TV show until a little after six at night. That is when my parents showed up. My sister and I invited them over for supper. They left around ten, and I went back to watching that TV show. I went to bed just before one in the morning. I tossed and turned most of the night and barely got any sleep.  

I got up on Tuesday at six in the morning. I did this because I am starting a new job on Wednesday and my shift starts at seven, and I wanted to try and get in the groove of getting up that early. I watched the TV show until ten in the morning. After that, my sister and I got ready to go back to our parents’ house to continue to work on the records. After lunch with our dad, we sorted the rest of the unsorted records into letter-based piles. When that was done, we took a nap. Once our parents’ both got home from work, we had supper and then went home. Once I got home, I started working on this blog post. After I finish this, I plan on watching more of that TV show until I go to bed around ten or eleven.  

This experience has been unforgettable. Both going to school and working during this pandemic has been a unique and incredible experience. As a history major, it was fascinating to be able to live during this worldwide catastrophe. Doing this blog has also been an unforgettable experience. Having to pick apart everything that I did every day was both challenging and interesting. At first, I dreaded having to do this, but after a while, I started to enjoy it. Doing this kept me alert and attentive during a time where I probably would have just sunk into an endless expanse of doing nothing otherwise. This was an amazing experience. For the last time, that is all for today.  


Tell Your Story – Taylor Tomlinson

Today’s post in the “Tell Your Story” project comes from Taylor. This is the fourteenth and final post in his series.

The End 

This is the last time I will be writing this little COVID thing. It was an interesting experience and I know a lot of it wasn’t directly about the virus, but you can get that stuff from the news. I figure it was supposed to be about my experiences during the pandemic and I tried to be as transparent and true to reality as I could. My camping trip starts tomorrow and if everything goes according to plan, it should be really fun, but I doubt nothing will go wrong.  

I am mostly worried about camping spots, since we are doing walk in camping, we cannot reserve it online nor see if there’s anyone there already, and the campground we are going to only has 6 walk in spots. Not to mention that all reservations for every campground in the area are taken for at least one of the days we are going to be out there, so it is proving to be a pretty popular spot. I think our saving grace is going to be that it’s supposed to rain a lot which I’m hoping will deter people from coming. I do wish we could go when there was no rain but more than a couple months in the making and we really don’t have another option now. Here’s to hoping that, even with the rain, it will be a fun trip and that there won’t be too many people nearby. I’m not sure how close the reservable spots are to the non-reservable, but I personally think it kind of defeats the purpose of camping to have a little camping community. There’s something fun about being isolated. Also, while we are opening up, we are still in a pandemic and while I have gone out often, I’ve been trying my best to stay away from people and wear my mask, though I’ll be the first to admit I forget to wear it sometimes. I need to be like my friends and just keep it in my wallet. Speaking of contact with others, I’m getting my first haircut today. I was really pushing it back, but it’s pretty bad and no one at my house will do it so I’m just going to bite the bullet and get it done. Perhaps while I’m out I can get some last-minute supplies as well. Also, I think sometime today we should formulate a backup plan, since a lot of things will have to go right for the trip to work. Though, everyone’s schedules are just different enough that we probably won’t have everyone to plan with until tomorrow. I guess we’ll see. 

In the meantime, I am going to go for a walk. I’ve been seeing a lot less people out lately, I wonder what changed that caused them all to leave. Less than two weeks ago, it was another person every minute or two, but now I can finish the entire walk and not see a single person.  I am glad I’ve made a habit of walking every day. It’s a dull way to stay active but it’s more than nothing. It’s also just a good way to think and get away from the screen.  

I’m not sure what else to talk about. I know this wasn’t that great of a finale, so I suppose I will talk about my plans for the future. After I’m done writing this, starting next year, I plan to declare my major in English, possibly with a minor in linguistics since I’m kind of on my way there already. It has taken me awhile to find a major and at this point, I think I should just pick something I like and if it doesn’t work out it doesn’t work out. After I graduate, I am planning on moving out of Iowa. I don’t really want to say where to because everyone I’ve told just makes fun of me or tells me I’m not actually going to do it, so I just won’t even say. I’m not really sure what job I want exactly, I have some ideas, but my parents seem to be disapproving of every single idea I’ve talked about, and I’ve been talking about possible jobs for a long time. Maybe there’s a reason I’m so indecisive about declaring a major and finding a job. I don’t know, whatever happens, happens. I’m sure I will accomplish some things and fail at others. 

Anyway, I think that’s all from me. I hope these have been at least halfway interesting to read if nothing else. I hope that COVID starts to die off, though now that we’re reopening, I think we are going to see a huge resurgence in cases, which is already seeming to take place. Finally, I hope that the world becomes a better place. A lot of terrible things seem to be happening lately that have got me really bummed. A lot of stuff just feels pointless; hopeless. So, I hope against hope that things will get better.


Saying goodbye to a “special” place

This is a guest post by one of our long-term student workers, Andrew, who not only worked in SCUA as an undergrad, but continued working with us while earning his MCRP (Master of Community and Regional Planning). Student workers are vitally important to the work we do in SCUA, and we couldn’t function without them. If you’ve ever looked at a finding aid or used any of our collections, you have benefited from their hard work. 

Andrew has been by far the longest running intern in our department. He has made a lasting impact, far beyond the work he has done for us. I thank him for his years of dedication, and look forward to hearing what great things his future brings! 

– Rosalie Gartner, Lead Processing Archivist


There’s a kind of grieving that people go through when they lose a “place.” Our sense of place and the emotional importance of one’s surroundings might not be as widely discussed as grieving a lost loved one, but just like how we all lose people in our lives, we all lose places too. Whether it be our parents finally selling our childhood home or moving across the country to an entirely new city never to return, we all encounter moments in our lives where we mourn the fact that we may never experience a certain environment that holds so many memories for us ever again – or at least not in the same way we once did. It is this type of sensation that I currently have for Iowa State’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives.

I came to Iowa State in August 2014 as a freshman, and in May 2020, I graduated with my master’s degree, finally completing my academic journey and nearly six years of calling Ames my home. And throughout that entire time, Special Collections has been my rock. I began as a Student Assistant in the Department in September 2014 and – being someone who collects antiques and holds a deep interest in history – I remember being ecstatic that of all the on-campus jobs offered, I managed to find my way into the Archives.

Picture of Andrew with photo boxes behind him.

Me in the backroom of the Archives indexing the University Photographs collection (January 2016).

Having not worked during high school, that position served as my first real job, and somehow every time I would leave, I would always find my way back. Throughout the past half-decade, I’ve earned two degrees, traveled to other parts of the country and world, gained and lost friends, experienced new relationships and love, witnessed family pass and new members come, been diagnosed with and beaten cancer, finally tackled my mental health, and in general saw some of my highest highs and lowest lows. College can be a tumultuous time, where nothing seems certain, permanent, or stable, yet I always had Special Collections – my job and the people there – to return to. That is not to say that Special Collections was stagnant – plenty of new staff and student faces have come and gone, policies have changed, setups and physical spaces altered, etc. But the place itself, the job I was doing, and the atmosphere surrounding it all remained.

My time at the Library saw me learn skills and take on tasks I never thought possible. I handled, researched, indexed, organized, filed, and described likely tens of thousands of individual pieces of history. From forgotten photo negatives, to all of the university’s blueprints and architectural plans, to artifacts and scrapbooks, I found myself diving into projects big and small. And no matter how monotonous the task, everything I did in the Archives felt like it had an important purpose in making history accessible and remembered. There is something magical and exhilarating about opening a box of photos or documents that was hidden away in somebody’s attic for decades to search for lost treasures or missing pieces to existing historical puzzles, and it truly made me feel like I was part of something bigger – even if the majority of my job was indexing and organizing. And those organizational skills and care for the physical objects of the past are likely to stick with me and prove invaluable in everything I do going forward.

A desk with tightly rolled architectural plans stacked on it.

Some of the largest organizational undertakings (like the University Architectural Plans collection) fell to me, as I enjoyed turning huge amounts of unprocessed materials into usable collections (February 2017).

Finally, Special Collections became the unlikely source of most of my closest college friendships, as despite the Department attracting student employees from all colleges and majors, something about working there fostered love, support, and a mutual interest in preserving and protecting the past for the generations of the future. Because of the staff and students there, Special Collections always felt like a safe place to discuss anything, to have a laugh, and in general to experience an environment where interesting work was being done. Student employees would go out of our way to welcome and talk to new students so they did not feel isolated, engage with full-time staff and the work they were doing, and in general saw the Archives as something important rather than just another job. I am so thankful to the Department and the lifelong friendships that came from it – my time at Iowa State would not have been what it was if it were not for all of the people that came into my life through Special Collections.

Five and a half years later, and the day I am finalizing this post is my last day as a student employee at Parks Library – a fact that is quite bittersweet considering the state of the world right now. Even through this raging global pandemic, however, Special Collections has still been something of an island of normalcy, as although we are all working from home, I still get to spend time working with historic materials and talking with familiar faces – even if it is through a screen. I am happy to have hopefully left a mark on Iowa State’s history through I work I completed in those years, and am equally glad that I managed to leave a piece of myself – a folder full of personal photos, writings, and accomplishments – in the Alumni files (RS 21/7/1) before the Department shut its doors to weather the crisis. If Iowa State is my second home, then Special Collections is my room within it, and will be what I miss most about my years spent in Iowa.

 


Tell Your Story – Mason Porter

Today we hear from Mason in the “Tell Your Story” project. This the eleventh post in his series.

June 20, 2020 through June 26, 2020

On Saturday, my sister and I met my parents at my grandparents’ house to celebrate Father’s Day. We had lunch and then opened presents. The party got over around two in the afternoon. After that, my sister and I walked around Target for a while. After we left Target, we went to Petco, didn’t find anything, and then decided to go to Game Stop. At Game Stop, we found a few cheep games for our Xboxes. After that, we went home. Around five, I started working on last weeks blog post. I finished that around ten or eleven at night. Then I got on Netflix and watched that until I went to bed around three or four in the morning.  

On Sunday, my sister and I came over to our parents’ house to celebrate Father’s Day with our dad. We watched TV and played board games. He opened a few more presents and we had supper. Then we went home. I stayed up until noon the next day watching TV.  

I woke up on Tuesday at like four in the afternoon to a text from my sister saying that we need to stop using as much internet because we were only a third of the way through the pay period and had used two thirds of our data for that period, so I turned off the Wi-Fi on my phone and spent the whole day on TikTok. At some point that night, my sister came to my room and told me that her pet dwarf hamster had died. After that happened, she decided to just go over to our parents’ house after our parents get off of work to bury her hamster in our parents’ pet cemetery in the front yard instead of going over before lunch to spend the day working on my dad’s record collection on Wednesday.  

On Wednesday, I got up around four in the afternoon and then my sister and I went over to our parents’ house to bury her hamster and to celebrate our parents’ anniversary. After that, we went home, and I started watching a TV series that I have on DVD. I went to bed around ten thirty in the morning.  

On Thursday, I got up at two thirty in the afternoon and watched that TV show the whole day. I went to bed around nine in the morning.  

I woke up Friday at two thirty in the afternoon to a text from my sister telling me to help her boyfriend rearrange the apartment so that some of my sister’s friends could come over and we could all have a board game night. We got the apartment rearranged. I also took a shower. After my sister got home from work, the three of us went to the store to get stuff for supper and snacks for game night. A few minutes after we got back, my sister’s friends got there. My sister’s boyfriend cooked supper while my sister and her friends picked out some board games to play. After supper, we played board games until ten at night, and then my sister’s friends left. I watched a few more episodes of that TV show before going to bed around three in the morning.


Tell Your Story – Taylor Tomlinson

In today’s post we hear from Taylor in the “Tell Your Story” project. This is the thirteenth post in his series.

Waiting

The last week has been a lot of waiting. Waiting to go camping, waiting for people, waiting for repairs and packages. A lot of waiting means a lot of downtime, and to try and keep myself entertained, I have consumed so much media, or at least, so much more than I usually would. I don’t know what changed exactly, but my motivational rut has seemingly been reversed, now I want to do everything, instead of nothing at all. I picked up a new book and I’m more than halfway done, though it is not very long. The one thing I will say is that, though I think the author is really good at character dialogue and thoughts, the setting is usually briefly described if at all and she will transition from one area to the next without explicitly stating that the setting has changed. Also, some of the pacing is weird, but I like it. I’ve watched a handful of movies, some were surprisingly good and some I thought went in one direction and as it turned out, they went in the exact opposite. Rocketman for example, I knew it had music in it but I thought it was sort of grounded in reality, where they would only sing when they were singing on stage, but then it turned out to be a musical. Not knowing that beforehand, it was a little jarring when the characters stopped talking and started a little dance routine. I did like the central story behind Rocketman, with Elton John and his fame and struggles, but I don’t think the movie was for me. Not to say it was a bad movie though. Side note, I really liked the costume designs and the way the story was structured. Another movie I watched was Baby Driver. Now, I went into it expecting to just be a time waster, but it was a lot more interesting than I had expected. It was a lot goofier than I had anticipated, which isn’t a bad thing, and the characters were very enjoyable.

The ending was silly, but it was also the only conceivable way to get the characters out of the situation they were in I suppose. All in all, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Kevin Spacey’s character was by far my favorite, which is sad knowing what we know now. The last movie I’d like to talk about was Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was the weirdest movie I watched and was pretty much exactly how I had imagined it. Tim Curry as Frank N Furter is one of the best casting decisions I have ever seen. Some things I will say are that the story is very broken and things happen that are very random, including some plot points that feel like they were put in at the last second to pad the running time. However, the nature of the movie is so silly that it does work most of the time. The way my friend described it, it’s a very enjoyable movie, though not necessarily a good movie. I could agree with that. Somewhere, there’s a picture of me and friends with Barry Bostwick, who plays Brad in the movie, though I don’t know where it is, or if anyone still has it. The package I mentioned last time showed up, it is a VR headset. So far, it has been very enjoyable, though my brother and sister seem to agree, so I haven’t been able to use it nearly as much as I’d like. I think it’s kind of funny that my sister’s favorite thing to do with it is to watch YouTube, just regular YouTube. I think the biggest problem I have is that it starts to hurt your face after a while, and sometimes you can get really motion sick, but it is really fun to just mess around with stuff. I tried VRChat with a friend and we walked around and listened to people talk to each other. It was kind of hard to find each other sometimes and the game kept breaking, but when it did work, it was fun. I am eager to get some more games for it. This is probably my second to last entry since I will be going out of town soon. Hopefully,I will have something interesting to end it off on. Anyway, hopefully everyone is staying safe and informed as we transition back into society. If anyone was interested, I’ve been listening to a lot of Joan Jett and Skating Polly this last week Tomlinson 2The ending was silly, but it was also the only conceivable way to get the characters out of the situation they were in I suppose. All in all, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Kevin Spacey’s character was by far my favorite, which is sad knowing what we know now. The last movie I’d like to talk about was Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was the weirdest movie I watched and was pretty much exactly how I had imagined it. Tim Curry as Frank N Furter is one of the best castingdecisions I have ever seen. Some things I will say are that the story is very broken and things happen that are very random, including some plot points that feel like they were put in at the last second to pad the running time. However, the nature of the movie is so silly that it does work most of the time. The way my friend described it, it’s a very enjoyable movie, though not necessarily a good movie. I could agreewith that. Somewhere, there’s a picture of me and friends with Barry Bostwick, who plays Brad in the movie, though I don’t know where it is, or if anyone still has it.The package I mentioned last time showed up, it is a VR headset. So far, it has been very enjoyable, though my brother and sister seem to agree, so I haven’t been able to use it nearly as much as I’d like. I think it’s kind of funny that my sister’s favorite thing to do with it is to watch YouTube, just regular YouTube. I think the biggest problem I have is that it starts to hurt your face after a while, and sometimes you can get really motion sick, but it is really fun to just mess around with stuff. I tried VRChat with a friend and we walked around and listened to people talk to each other. It was kind of hard to find each other sometimes and the game kept breaking, but when it did work, it was fun. I am eager to get some more games for it. This is probably my second to last entry sinceI will be going out of town soon. Hopefully,I will have something interesting to end it off on. Anyway, hopefully everyone is staying safe and informed as we transition back into society. If anyone was interested, I’ve been listening to a lot of Joan Jett and Skating Polly this last week.