Thursday, October 25, 2007

Outside Reading Post 5b


Cupcake and Tommy continued using even though there was a shortage of money in their family. The physical effects began taking a larger toll on the two but because of the addiction, neither Tommy nor Cupcake could quit using. Cupcake would swear she'd get her life together but end up getting high again the next day. Cupcake's father gets her to go to one rehab session but as soon as he stops forcing her to go and encourages her to go alone, she quits. This is only one of the two things that cause her father to move out. The second event that upsets Cupcake's father so much he moves out is when Cup steals from him. He has to travel to Tennessee for his father's funeral and before he leaves he tells Cupcake there is $500 under his bed. He tells her not to touch it but send it to him if he calls. As soon as Cup and Tommy get back from dropping him off at the airport, they take all the money and use it to buy dope. When Cup's father gets home from his trip, he announces he's moving out because he can no longer trust Tommy and Cupcake. Shortly after Cupcake's father moves out, she leaves Tommy. Mona and James agree to let Cup stay at their appartment as long as she quits using and doesn't get drunk in their house. She agrees and follows the rules for the first few days but then begins smoking in her room, stuffing a towel under the door so the smoke can't escape. Cupcake becomes so miserable she decides her only choice is to commit suicide. She decides she'll get AIDS and die from that as her way of killing herself. Shortly after, Mona kicks Cupcake out of her house and Cupcake lives behind a dumpster spending all her remaining money on dope and only coming out from behind the dumpster to turn tricks or buy drugs or alcohol.

Outside Reading Post 4b

Cupcake's life is going good. She moves in with Tommy her boyfriend and their friend Nancy who offers to pay for some of the rent each month. Soon after they move in, Cup discovers she's pregnant and gets an abortion without letting Tommy know about anything. Although Cup and Tommy love each other, Tommy soon becomes jealous of any man that looks at Cupcake and becomes abusive towards Cup. Cupcake searches for different jobs over the next few months and one day Tommy asks Cupcake to marry him. She agrees and Tommy's mother flys in from out of town to arrange the wedding. Cupcake is hired as a legal secretary trainee for a two-attorney law firm of Jack Baker. The people in the office quickly adapt to Cup's lack of experience and she picks up tips from many of the office employees. After working at the firm for a few weeks, Cupcake begins to realize she might have a smoking addiction so she approaches Tommy and suggests they quit smoking for a year. Cupcake and Tommy have their wedding, but because of Cupcake's addiction to booze and drugs, she's in a blackout for the whole wedding and doesn't remember any of it. After a few months of being married, Tommy gets more and more abusive and Cupcake, growing up on the streets, fights back. Cupcake convinces herself it's okay but one night when it gets bad, she calls the cops and ends up staying at her friend Mona's house. Cupcake quits her job at Jack's firm and her dad moves in, helping pay the rent. Cup gets a job interview at a firm for a man named Ken and quickly is hired as a secretary. While Cup is still roaming the streets, getting busted for drugs, a certain Cop that goes by the name of "Preacher" takes a liking to Cupcake and tells her he believes in her. That she can change her life if she just tries. Cupcake brushes off his advice and doesn't listen to him, assuming he's crazy.

Outside Readin Post 4a

"I sat there in bewilderment. And I listened. I hung on to every word she said because I understood every word she said. I felt every word she said." -Cupcake Brown (page 353)

Her whole life after her mother died and she lost her family, Cupcake wasn't able to relate to anyone. She didn't listen to anyone. When she was finally able to admit she had a usage problem and admitted herself to rehab, she met Venetta who showed Cup that she's beautiful the way she is. V taught Cupcake she could be happy if she just let herself and she didn't need drugs to do that. I chose this quote because it represents the time in her life that Cupcake Brown feels understood. She feels moved by what she's hearing, and it helps her change her life. This is a very important part of the book because Venetta changes Cup's life.

"I felt my anger at God returning..." "...That meant we were even- I didn't owe Him and He didn't owe me. Good. I'd go back to hating Him." -Cupcake Brown (page 154)

Cupcake loses faith in her "God" after her mother dies. She feels God picked on her and hated her, and for that he took her mother's life. Cupcake blames God for everything that happens in her life that she doesn't agree with. After a few years of trying to change her life around, Cupcake begins to regain her trust in God, thinking that if she makes deals with Him, He'll help her make it through all her hardships. When Cupcake goes to visit her Grandmother at a nursing home, her Grandmother passes away. In an instant, all the hatred rushes back into Cup's mind. She blames God for everything and anything wrong in her life and vows never to trust Him again. This is an inportant part of the book because now Cupcake must find something to believe in to help her through the rest of her life.

Outside Reading Post 3b

Journal Entry:

So far, every page in this book has taken me by surprise. Now that I'm almost halfway through the book I can just assume things aren't getting better for Cupcake Brown because of all the previous tradgeties. First her mother's death, then being shipped away to live with an abusive foster mother, you don't think things can get worse. I think it's truely amazing that Cupcake can push through everything going on with her life. For instance, if her and I switched places, I'd have given up chapters ago. I feel like every chapter in this book is like a new disaster starting in her life. I hope Cupcake will be able to stay close with her family, although her father just moved away again. She's getting older and after all the time she spent on the streets, Cupcake seems like she can handle taking care of herself. The way this memoir is written; with all the scenarios and different events, I don't think I can relate to this book at all. Cupcake Brown is a strong person. She has taken what she has and turned it around to better suit her. By the end of the book I think Cupcake will have turned her life around. Changed everything for the better. Made her life what she always wanted it to be.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Jean Dominique-Bauby's Diving Bell and the Butterfly was truthfully probably my least favorite book I've ever read. I have absolutely nothing against memoirs, infact I enjoyed the books Running with Scissors, A Piece of Cake, and Me Talk Pretty One Day but The Diving Bell was not of interest to me. Although writing an entire 131 pages by blinking with your left eye is quite an accomplishment, maybe Bauby should have written about something more interesting. Locked In syndrom doesn't necessarily mean you have to lose you're sense of imagination, just your movement. There was almost nothing positive written in this book and I find that books are more intriguing when they have something to look forward to read, as apposed to almost a journal-entry style of writing. Not only did I find this book uneventful, but it was also filled with metaphors, making it hard to comprehend at times. I felt this book lacked a message, or lesson besides the obvious, "be thankful for what you have" theme which is announced with every pitiful sentance written.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Outside Reading Post 3a

In this section of the book, Cupcake is working at her new job as an alarm moniter. She meets a man named Rich who lives in her appartment building and sells marijuana. Rich becomes an older brother-type figure to Cupcake. One night when Cupcake wakes up in pain, screaming, Rich begins to comfort her and takes her to the hospital where she finds out she must be rushed into surgery to have the IUD removed, a form of birth control that had been left in Cupcake's body for too long. Shortly after, Cupcake quits her job and begins her work selling drugs to people around the neighborhood. Cupcake again, gets pregnant and has yet another abortion. Cupcake moves in with her father who is also selling drugs and providing a home for local prostitues. Cupcake gets a call from her birth father, Mr. Burns and yells at him, cussing him out. Cupcake begins having blackouts where she loses her memory for a few hours or sometimes a few days. After one of her black outs, Cup finds herself pregnant for the third time. Although she doesn't know whos baby it is, she has another abortion. Cupcake meets a woman, Dot, who is friends with her daddy and together they create a plan to shoplift many items from different stores and they get away with it until Dot gets greedy and tries it on her own, getting arrested. Cupcake's father gets tired of the life filled with drugs and prostitutes and tells Cup he wants out. Shortly after, he moves back in with Lori, his late wife. Cupcake is accused of having a drug problem and cup denies it.

Cupcake Brown:
Now a very sucessful attourney for one of the 25th largest law firms in the nation, Cupcake Brown's life was not easy. Cupcake suffered through the death of a parent, moving from house to house, losing her family, rape, abortion, teen pregnancy, prostitution, abuse and drugs. Luckily, Cupcake was able to overcome most of the tradgeties in her life, but not before her life was changed drastically many times. After all the struggles in her life, Cupcake Brown graduated college without a highschool diploma or a GED and recieved many scholastic awards. Cup is now an autor, a role model, and an attourney.

Outside Reading Post 2

1. Waking up in a strange place, Cupcake realizes she's in a hospital. The nurse informs her she had gotten alcohol poisoning and Cupcake flees the hospital when the nurse leaves the room. After Cup recovers for a few days, she continues partying. One night she meets a man, Tim who she falls in love with after spending hours talking to him. Police find her in a park and return her to Diane's where she finds she's pregnant. Cupcake is switched to a school for pregant girls and when she's six months pregnant, Diane gets a few of the foster girls to beat her up, killing the baby and causing Cupcake to have a stillbirth. With all the anger towards Diane, Cupcake decides to try and poison Diane and when that doesn't work she runs away again. While hitch hiking, Cup adds another drug to her arsenal- crystal meth. Cupcake returns to Lancaster to live with her Aunt Becky and four of her cousins. The oldest cousin, Ka'son alsto known as Fly, teaches her about the gang life, and she shortly after becomes a Crip. During her time in the gang, Cupcake gets shot and is put in the hospital but recovers quickly and moves back with her Daddy in San Diego and gets a job as an alarm moniter.
-Love (pg. 80)- Shows Cupcake's strong liking for Hollywood in this story. The author uses it because Cupcake enjoys her life in Hollywood greatly. The word love has a positive feeling.
-Druggie (pg. 89)- Classifies a person as someone who is a heavy drug user or dealer. The author uses it because Cupcake "hangs around druggies" and has close friends who are concidered "druggies". The word druggie has a negative feeling.
-Evil (pg. 87)- Describes Diane's personality and the way she acts towards both Cupcake and the other foster children. The author uses it because Cupcake is treated unfairly by Diane; she feels Diane is evil. The word evil has a negative feeling.
-Comfortable (pg. 89)- Shows Cupcake's feelings towards Tim and the way he affects her. The author uses it because Cupcake knows she's safe around Tim and it makes her comfortable. The word comfortable has a positive feeling.
-Wimpy (pg. 107)- Describes Fly's feeling of Cupcake's name when she's in the gang. The author uses it to show the gang is tough and wants Cup to get a name that better describes her. The word wimpy has a negative feeling.
-Favorite (pg. 126)- Describes the opinion of the color red through Cupcake's eyes. Red is her favorite color and the author uses it to show this. The word favorite has a positive feeling.
-Nigger (pg. 133)- Shows the disrespect for people of the African American race. The author uses it to show disrespect between Cupcake and the cop when they get in a fight. This word has a negative feeling.
-Hated (pg. 142)- Explains Diane's feelings about being called "Momma" by her foster children. The author uses this loaded word because it shows how Diane has changed since Cupcake was last in Lancaster. This word has a negative feeling.
-Trust (pg. 144)- After Cupcake ran away again, she didn't trust anyone and didn't hang out with anyone she didn't know. The author uses this word to show Cupcake has changed from being a completely "out-there" person to not talking to many people at all. This word can have a negative or positive feeling.
-Grandma (pg. 154)- The name Cupcake calls her mother's mother when she goes to see her. The author uses this loaded word to express the respect and tradition in the name Cupcake uses. This word usually has a positive feeling.
3. I think in these chapters, the opposite of what I predicted would happen, happened. I didn't think life would go downhill for Cupcake although she feels more welcome, safe and happier with the gang, she's making bad decisions that will affect her later in life. When she goes to visit her Daddy I thought she would have to leave again but it sounds like she's there to stay for a while even though she's still drinking and doing drugs, she's only 16. If I was in her position, I most likely never would have made the same decisions as her. Cupcake is tough and is learning to fend for herself and I think by then I would have just given up but she has perserverence and I admire her for it.

Outside Reading Post 1

1. January 1976, Cupcake Brown woke up to find her mother dead on the floor in her room. Although this was a tramatic event for Cup, it was only the start of her hell. Because of Cupcake's mother's death and the fact that her parents were seperated, her family was forced into court to determine the legal guardian of Cupcake and her brother Larry. This courtroom meeting was when Cupcake and Larry learned their biological father was not the man they grew up with calling "Daddy", but a complete stranger by the name of Mr. Burns. The judge and social service workers decided the legal custody would go to Mr. Burns. After temporary good-byes to her Daddy and Uncle, Cupcake and Larry rode off with Mr. Burns in a silence. Shortly after the car ride begun, Mr. Burns announced to Larry and Cup that he wasn't ready for children in his house and until he was, they'd be going with a woman named Diane Dobson; a foster care mother who was immediatly rude and disrespectful to Larry and Cup. Diane lived with her daughter Connie, and her son Peter in Santa Ana. During the first few days Cupcake was at the foster home, she was forced to clean the house and was pushed around by Diane. One night, Peter gives Cupcake alcohol then rapes her in the bathroom. Luckily for Cupcake, six new foster children move in taking Pete's focus off Cup for a while. Only a few days after she arrived, Cupcake decides her only way to survive is to run away, so she escapes out the window one night leaving her brother Larry and the six foster children to fend for themselves. When Cupcake had run as far as she could, she stopped at a park and met a woman, Candy who introduced her to the idea of selling yourself for money, in other words, Candy was a prostitute. Candy and her "pimp", Joe explain life on the streets to Cupcake and introduce her to alcohol and marijuana. Feeling scared and not knowing what to do, Cupcake ran from Candy and Joe and was caught by a policeman on a highway. He returned her to Diane's where she continued to get emotionally and physically abused by Diane and her daughter Connie. After a while, Diane enrolled Cupcake in school where Cupcake skipped class in order to smoke weed with her "druggie friends". Once again, Cupcake decides to run away and leaves in the middle of the night. She hitchhikes to a place called Thousand Oaks where she calls Uncle Jr. and they figure out a plan for him to send her bus money to make her way back to San Diego. When Cupcake gets to San Diego, Uncle Jr. takes her to her Aunt Pam's where they find whip marks from Diane's abuse. They call the police to report the abuse and Cupcake is taken to another foster home called Hillcrest where she feels safe and at home. While living at Hillcrest, Cupcake finishes elementary school and graduates, then moves to yet another foster home in east San Diego where she lives with Mr. and Mrs. Bassinet. Mr. Bassinet introduces Cupcake to cocain and takes advantage of her, having her perform sexual acts for him. This goes on for a few months until Mrs. Bassinet finds out and has the police take Cupcake back to Hillcrest. Cupcake is moved back to Diane's despite the physical evidence of abuse, where she runs away again. Cupcake makes it to Ventura where she's caught trying to steal alcohol and is escorted back to Dianes. This quickly becomes a pattern; running away, getting high, hitch hiking and getting caught, then back to Dianes.
2. The life Cupcake lives is unbeliveable. All this is happening before she's even 15 and it's truely amazing that this would ever happen to anyone. I think Cupcake will find a way to leave Diane's for good and live on the streets for a while. Maybe she'll meet someone who'll take her in and she'll try to go back to her previous life.