Tuesday, May 20, 2014

100 Readers of Solitude

The first time I read One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, I was mesmerized. I stumbled at first when trying to tell the characters' similar names apart, but each one was so colorful that I found even stumbling through the names, constantly referring back to the family tree in the front of the book, irresistible. Márquez had a way of exploring humanity with his words. He captured love, failures, struggles, beauty, and ugliness, and he wove it into magic.

I found out about an event in my area called "100 Readers of Solitude." It was an event at which 100 volunteers would read from Márquez's pages in a tribute to his life and body of work. I decided to go on a day that rained in torrents. One of the readers quoted a passage about rain, saying "The air was so damp that fish could have come in through the doors and swum out the windows, floating through the atmosphere in the rooms." My favorite reading was about Remedios the Beauty, the character who makes men go mad (literally), pays no attention to "manners" or other norms for females, sews herself a cassock, shaves her head, and ascends into heaven. I myself even got up to read. I left my book and had no idea what I was doing, but I got on the small stage and let fate decide which passage I should read out of a stranger's copy. I think it turned out pretty well.
from the reading (source)
I am currently making my way through Love in the Time of Cholera, and I have a challenge for those of you who have either never read Márquez or who need an excuse to read more (I know, why would you ever need an excuse?). I want One Hundred readers to pledge to read something written by Gabriel García Márquez. It can be a novel or a short story. Now, I know that I do not have even 100 followers, but I am still hoping to get 100 pledges (even if they're silent pledges and I never hear from you). Even if I can't quite make that number, I know it was worth the effort to get even one new reader to honor this author.

Let me know what you think in the comments. Please tell me of your experiences reading Márquez.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Haunted Hospital Investigation

A couple of weeks ago, my ghost group, HGWI,  trekked down to have a paranormal investigation at Taylor Memorial Hospital. When we arrived in the small town, the old sprawling building just sprung up out of nowhere. When we set everything up, we toured the building and listened to some history. After sunset, we initiated our investigation. 

The town really prized this hospital when it was built in the 1930's, and you could see the craftsmanship put in to it. There were high ceilings, long hallways, and remnants of marble floors in some areas. It fell in disrepair after the hospital relocated to more modern facilities in the 1970's. There was a man, they say, who acquired a large sum of money to renovate the old building, but he abandoned the project (they say because of the amount of paranormal activity he had witnessed). A nonprofit group called People Helping People United now owns the place, collecting money by hosting investigations in order to restore the building, which they hope will house facilities to help families in need. 

Some of the activity that was described to us included objects moving, or flying rather, as if they had been picked up and dropped, or even thrown. They also report a considerable amount of shadow activity. With this in mind, we looked forward to seeing what we could find. Even though we had this information, we tried to be as objective as possible. 

After we split into two groups, we investigated the entire building until the sun rose. One thing that remains in my head is the expansiveness and interesting rooms. There was an old elevator shaft now filled with water that contributed to the eeriness. However, despite the ominous look of the building, it was not very active. There were a couple of interesting things that happened though. One of these occurred when we all walked down to the basement for the first time. Just past the stairs, there was a large piece of wood propped against two open doors, blocking off the rest of the basement. The women who showed us around told us that this was not the case earlier, and that they had no idea who would have put it there. There were a couple of times where we heard some knocking, but it was most likely mundane. And although this last bit is not paranormal , I thought I'd share something interesting. Some of our group members found a piece of newspaper from the 1930's stuck to the ceiling. We read it, and at the bottom, the newspaper had a story saying, "Amelia Prepares for Oversea Voyage." It was Amelia Earhart, and that voyage would be her last... Overall, I had no ill feelings about the place, especially towards the end. I honestly could have slept by myself in the building with no trouble. Even though the activity was lacking, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and expect to go back eventually.

If you want to check out some pictures, I've copied a couple from the website: