Wednesday, May 31, 2006
It is because Comcast cable internet is taking me for a ride--a long, frustrating ride where I, being the consumer, and Comcast, being the we-don't-give-a-flying-monkey's-ass-about-your-happiness internet provider continue to struggle for control of the steering wheel.
Comcast is run by greedy, corporate Nazis. The internet comes on for three minutes and then disappears for four hours. My livelihood is supplemented by this thing called the internet. I guess Comcast thinks it and its powerful conglomerates have no need to serve me in any way possible other than yanking my chain and telling me to restart the computer.
Oh, I will restart, yes, indeedy. I will restart with wireless internet. And I will do so with pleasure.
And while I am on the subject of things that bug me (literally): Why is it that cockroaches in the South have to be so bloody persistent? They're over a foot long with a wingspan twice that size. They lumber through the living room in a highly desultory fashion, as if saying, "Yes, hello, I'd like to watch 'Friends', now." One of these gigantic freaks found its way into the home, sat in the darkness of the pantry, and waited for me to open the door. Upon doing so, the cockroach flew--flew, mind you--at my head, in a great flurry of wings and legs. I screamed and hopped and shook, and then Michael spent the next hour chasing the behemoth down. With the help of Delilah, pointer cat, Michael found it and squashed it. It quivered and asked in a voice reminiscent of Marlon Brando's role in 'Apocalypse Now' what it had done to deserve this death by WD-40. We didn't have much of a reply, since I was close to fainting and Michael's skin was still crawling from the whole episode.
Believe me. The cockroach manifesto may very well have begun, but I will not permit those suckers the glee of winning. And don't you know this will be coming up as I try to renegotiate my rent for the next 13 months?
Monday, May 29, 2006
Please go away. Today,the temperature was over 90 degrees and I do not do well in the heat. I am of Northern European descent. No, I do not think I am superior to anyone despite the fact that I am naturally blonde with chameleon colored eyes and sturdy bone structure. In fact, I am learning that I am weak, nay, sickly, in this heat. I melt. I get a headache. I get a stomachache. I dream of golden showers. No, wait. Just showers. I dream of showers.
It has not rained for about five days. It is too hot. Everything is wilting in the humidity. How can it be so humid and not rain? How can I still be sweating when my thermometer in the apartment is reading 67 degrees? And WHY did we buy leather furniture? I am sticking to every inch of dead cow, and I am coming away from the furniture with a 'squelch' sound. It's rather icky.
In other news: Michael and I have reached a conclusion. There has to be some kind of additive in popcorn--especially the microwave variety. We hate the popcorn. The popcorn gets stuck in our sad gums. The popcorn lodges in our throats. The popcorn falls into the sofa. The popcorn is dry and dull. Yet, we eat the popcorn.
The popcorn is trying to kill us.
In closing, this could be possibly the dullest entry I have made in...well, a matter of days. Yes, sir, we have no imaginations.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
I wrote back, "WHAT package?" in an excited way. (Yes, I can type enthusiastically.)
I found out 'what' package when I went to the leasing office of my apartment complex that kindly didn't inform me I had a package. All this service for just $950 a month.
Anyway, I got home and had Vanna help me display this package. I shook it gently. It rattled gently. I took a picture:
After opening this package of wonder, we stared in excitement. "What could it be? What could it BE?"
There was a lovely card and a terribly kind bit of words for Fritz--and I quote:
Dearest Fritz, Thank Heaven for you! You help bring out the best in me.However, she did not explain why Michael had half of his hand cleaved off in the process of opening the package. Don't worry--I knitted him a new one.
Happy Birthday! Love, Muthana (SG)
In the end, I found a lovely bouquet of daisies--a flower representing innocence and hope. I am touched beyond belief. What a wonderful friend I have in Spinning Girl. I feel another ode shall be written. She has a heart of gold, and a knack for making me cry. Thank you, my dear Arachnae-Athena-Aphrodite.
You helped make my birthday a wonderful one.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
In the stillest moments—when God introduces
The breath and the stars—
All is true; all is isolation
What is visceral and bone
Moves us to understand our plasticity
Our existence through these limbs, and flesh, and tears.
We are temporal beings, set alight in the creation
Exhaling our cells to the heavens.
The interim of existence is completed
By vocalizations or thoughts or pressures within
And the depth of a soul is flung
To the wide, wide ocean of unknowing.
Even then, we wrap into the other,
Silently studying the ceiling, the hair upon my arm,
The wrinkle of your brow.
In this smallest sliver of being
We have seen the plains and seas of the world
And that starry, starry night.
We have convalesced;
There is no other answer for us.
Bound as we are by these bodies
We are celestial beings awaiting our lift
Into the Atmosphere.
I am sheltered within
The crook and being and net
Of your flesh—let me go only
When the skies have called us forth
To swirl endlessly under the roof of stars.
my starry night.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
I want to breathe you in my dreams
and embrace all that glimmers in your eyes
I want to be a snowflake
falling with you melting with you
You are my Rainbow
So beautiful wanting to touch and keep forever
I can recall your softness, and those quiet nights
when we felt each other close just being together
You will never be alone now
Do you still feel my hands reaching for you
in the stillness of night?
You are my love
You are my life
You make me breathe from the darkness that once was
Now I have light.
I love you!"
I really don't need anything else for my birthday. That poem says it all. So, I'm crying a little when I read this next email from Michael:
"Today, wake up, grab some Coffee maybe a little treat from you favorite Starbucks.
Knit for a little, maybe nap a bit
Take a long hot shower
Turn on the Hot rollers
Your new skirt and a pretty top
Blind fold from (adjective I won't repeat) drawer but don’t put it on just yet.
Michael will be home to wisk you away for an early treat @1pm but you will not see."
Then! Tits McGee sent me this really wonderfully scary birthday greeting. In her own words, it's CRAPTASTIC.
Michael also showered me with gifts. I received:
"The Aristocrats" DVD.
Dove shower lotion.
Vanilla Nut Coffee
Stitch N' Bitch--volume one
A Barbie Bag. Barbie. My favorite.
Let's not forget the generous and gorgeous gift of yarn from Stuntmother (thank you again, dearie).
And let's not forget to ultimately thank Mother Life, who's letting me live another year, despite my motorcycling, cigarette smoking behavior.
It's my birthday, folks. Drink some coffee and think of me.
I'm 27 today.
Post Script: Another wonderful birthday present, from Spinning Girl, my Arachnae, my Athena, my soul-sister. To what do I owe the honor? I love you, S.G.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Why do I keep a blog?
This is a rhetorical question--don't bother trying to answer for me.
I mean, the informational world is spinning around us like so many grains of sand--why should I bother putting one more grain in that big fat dust cloud of electronic space? I don't even understand how internets work. It has something to do with space and time and energy and telephone wires. Or satellites. Or DSL. Or cable modems, or something run by wee little men in spandex running suits.
Wait, that's The Blue Man Group.
And then, there's this larger issue with the blog. Other than it getting me fired. No, it has to do with popularity of blogs. I've read a blog where 146 people on average are commenting. 146, I say. That puts my blog to shame.
There's political blogs.
There's satirical blogs.
There's fashion blogs.
There's knitting blogs.
There's 'insane people keep blogs' blogs.
There's 'watch my kids grow up' blogs.
There's music review blogs.
There's inanely boring blogs.
I think that's the one my blog falls under.
Half the time, I don't even edit these entries before I click 'post'. I guess I'm torn. Part of me doesn't care.
"This is my mundane, dull blog about my mundane, boring life! If you don't like it, then fine!" (But more realistically, no one's reading it).
Then, there is the other part of me.
"I want to be popular, too!"
I want publishing companies to send books my way to review, simply based on my reputation as femme fatale blogger. I want 'The Washington Post' to keep its eye on me. Hell, when I had 50 homeschooling parents attack me by the electronic jugular and shake me around like a rawhide bone, I was thrilled. My stats shot through the roof. I was in blogger-popularity heaven. Like hungry red ants, however, my blog was devoured in two short days; the homeschoolers have moved on to the rainforests of South America, eating unknown species by the bucketful.
Simply, my blog is my amusement for the time being. There's nothing new written here. Sure, I talk about getting older, and how much I love Michael, and what it means to be me. But here's the truth: I'm really not all that fascinating. I don't know how to frame words as hubris. I haven't got a grasp of grabbing readers and thrusting them into my mundane life as others do. It's frustrating. I find going to a grocery store a challenge. The people! The carts! The selection of coffee! Overwhelming.
How am I supposed to keep you amused when that's the highlight of my day? Going to the grocery store? Fighting off shiny Lexuses (Lexi) with 'Bush' stickers while I drive down this strip-mall ridden street? Watching the same shows you watch at home? Eating the same food? Doing the same things that everyone has done, except with a Fritz edge? Edge--hah! More like a dulled plastic knife. That's what I do--I slowly bludgeon my readers to death with a spork. It's like reading Tolstoy, without the pleasure of saying, "I finished War and Peace!"
I think my blog is as angst-y as my poetry from high school. Horrible, really. Terribly cliche. Gratuitously predictable.
But it's my blog, dammit. And I'll stab it death with that spork if I wanna. I'm on this really long path to individuality. It seems like this blog isn't so much about blog popularity, but the grayness of existence. Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose?
And even there: dull, dull, yawn, vomit. That's something we've all asked, yes? Every moment, we're asking that of ourselves. "Why?" So, even in my quest for enlightenment, I'm about as thrilling as yesterday's wet socks. And then--even if I REACH enlightenment, it's going to be the same enlightenment that everyone else has reached, and that's kind of...ordinary. It's like the house brand of existentialism. It's watery and silly; just add jello powder and I'll jiggle. Philosophically, of course. With chunks of tangerine stuck in my ego.
No, no. Don't bother consoling me. I know I sound like that dratted robot Marvin, from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. So be it. This is my frivolous blog.
And I'll cry if I want to.
In China, a Marine is walking around thinking about his wife...
...who is somewhere in Wisconsin or Illinois....
And just gave birth to a baby girl.
Whose name is Anne Gordon Doring.
(Gordon is a family name--something rich people give their children generation after generation).
While Anne Gordon is eating her birthday cake, she gets her first labor pains. Ages later, she gives birth to a hugely oversized daughter who was supposed to be born in April but didn't get the memo. But that's a story for tommorrow.
Meanwhile, Anne Gordon, my mother, turns 61 today. She looks like she's 45. Probably because she doesn't smoke. And is thin. And gorgeous. And funny. And nice and sweet and wierd and loudmouthed and she drives my dad nuts.
Say 'Happy Birthday' to my mom. She deserves it.
Go take a peek at a link about her and her artwork. It's amazing stuff.
Monday, May 22, 2006
And then! For turning 27, I was graciously rewarded with four skeins of GORGEOUS Mohair yarn, thanks to my mother--Madame Fritz. She purchased it at a quaint yarn store, along with some other tools. As you can see, I have begun a simple shawl, and it will be enhanced with ladder yarn throughout, to give it a diaphanous, fuzzy look. And where will I wear it? On the beach. At night. In September. ON MY HONEYMOON.
Nota Bena: Mohair is goat hair. It comes from the Angora goat, not to be confused with Angora, which comes from fluffy bunnies, or cashmere, which DOES come from a goat, but only the stomach of a goat. Who wants to try that for a living?
Anyway--THANK YOU, Madame Momma Fritz! I am knitting away, and really enjoy working with such lovely fabrics.
And here is one ball of my varigated wool. It's probably going to make its way into a cardigan, if I ever figure out how to actually knit in the round.
DISCLAIMER: This WAS an insightful/mundane/attempt-to-be-amusing blog. I fear it will become a knitting blog. I do not mean to disappoint my readers, but I am currently obsessed. I'm in a pit of needles, patterns, yarns, hopes and dreams. Forgive me--I'll return, soon. I hope.
So does Michael.
Friday, May 19, 2006
This is a scarf. Made completely and wholly by yours truly.
This is the very first knitting project I've ever done, and I have to say...I'm pleased. Yes, it's rough. Yes, it's a bit crooked. Yes, the gauge of the yarn is completely different from the pattern and looking back, the color choices were rather Christmassy. However, this is all self-taught, including crochet.
You're wondering...will it stick? (My knitting, not the butterfly).
The answer: I'm already planning the next project.
Now: What in the hell am I gonna wear this with?
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The article highlighted Nasrin Alavi's book We are Iran: The Persian Blogs. I haven't blogged for a few days because of this article--because it was so moving.
Our words are so important. Our creativity, or mundane thoughts, or personal diaries, or our lists of things done and left undone is what makes our blogs so wonderful. Everyday, we sit down and write, and we leave those words out there in hyperspace. We do not fear our words being stripped away from us. It is not something with which we concern ourselves. We are free with our language and our opinions and our beliefs. Somewhere in all of this freedom, we forget the importance of words, grammar, speech, metaphor.
I am such a terrible writer compared to these souls in Iran.
In Iran, it is illegal to have a blog. Should one have a blog and voice dissent about the current political and religious mores, one is considered a treasonist, and capital punishment is allowable in such circumstance. To have a blog in Iran can be a death sentence. Yet, these people take that chance to be heard, and to voice opinions that do not echo those of the current government.
In Iran, it is illegal for women to wear makeup or show their hair. Many of these brave women do so, anyway, because until 1979, Western dress was the norm. Then, rights were slowly stripped away. Lipstick is commonly removed from a woman's face with a razor.
In Iran, it is illegal to dispute the law of Islam. Individuals voice their cynism of the religious leaders loudly on their blogs, risking arrest and possible bodily harm. But they do it--because they have their words.
In Iran, it is illegal to show public affection with one's mate. Holding hands is frowned upon. Kissing is absolutely off limits. Yet, the power of love between two will shake and rattle this decree; on any given night, Iranian couples are hugging in the dark, between shadows, hiding from the police forces made up of young boys.
And these composers of thoughts--thoughts that are illegal to possess--manage and construct their ideas with such fluency and beauty. Every story they write, every missive they relay, is one of introspection and careful wordsmithing. It is because their words are so precious. Their words are jewels in a dry, dusty desert of literature. It becomes evident that every Iranian who blogs is a literary master. Even the most mundane accounts related by the writers have a deeper connotation. It does not take a Rhodes scholar to hear the truth about Iran through the lines of these blogs.
When we write, or blog, or sing, or laugh out loud, we are living. If these rights are stripped from us, then we simply survive. But life, as we all know, persists. It persists in these illegal blogs of Iran. It persists when a young woman dons a head scarf just a little too far back from her brow, showing a sleek cap of hair. It persists when a man decides to skip religious services and drink coffee, instead. It persists when a husband tells his wife how much he loves her.
Think about your words. Craft them--nurture them to the best of your ability. We write because so many cannot. Let us not forget this liberty; let us hone our freedoms into writs of history.
I leave you with the brief excerpt from the article:
October 29, 2003:
"My daughter wanted to get her nose pierced. I resisted and told her
that she was bound to regret it and that she should wait until she was a bit
older and then decide for herself. She looked at me then and said:
"Piercing your nose is no big deal. Maybe I will in the end regret it, but
that's not the whole world. It is a small wish. By banning it,
you're turning a small wish into my ultimate dream. Why do you want me to
have such insignificant dreams? If I can fulfill these small wishes and
not grow up with such trivial dreams, don't you think I will have a better life
waiting for me?"
We too had such insignificant wishes, and even when we grew up they didn't
come true. There were so many times we wanted to go somewhere, and they
wouldn't let us, and it became a dream. So many times they even stopped us
from running. It came to the point that we weren't even allowed to take
This is Iran"
Monday, May 15, 2006
I'm trying not to be careless with my sneezing. I'm calling off for the day in blogging. The pollen has attacked. The Benadryl has responded, and I've been caught in friendly fire. I will return just as soon as I stop snuffling into my shirtsleeves.
This is only reason #891 why one should not move south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Friday, May 12, 2006
Since I'll be turning almost-ancient on the 24th of May, I thought I'd do a little pictoral of my wishlist. You know, because no birthday is complete without a wishlist.
A Pleather Corset
A Black and Pink Dread Wig
Crystal Palace Wool
Pink and Black Gas Mask. For the Bird Flu
The end result?
1. First name? Gwendolyn (no, it's not, but my first name is so dull, I thought I'd use something else. Elizabeth is the right answer)
2. Were you named after anyone? No.
3. Do you wish on stars? No
4. When did you last cry? Sunday. Michael was gonna go to Kentucky. He left, and then an hour later, he came back. Because he didn't want to leave me.
Yeah. Sick, ain't it?
5. Do you like your handwriting? If I didn't, what could I do about it?
6. What is your favorite lunch meat? Sliced children, with a hint of mesquite
7. When is your birthday? MAY 24th. That's right. It's coming up. Start shopping!
8. What is your most embarrassing cd? J-Lo
9. If you were another person would you be friends with you? As long as I stayed on Zoloft, I would be friends with me. I don't like this question.
10. Do you have a journal? I keep a list of all the sins I've commited and then try to make up for them. Oh, wait. That's a TV Show
12. Would you bungee jump? No.
13. What is your favorite cereal? Does sliced children count?
14. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? My mother does this. Therefore, I cannot.
15. Do you think that you are strong? Strong enough to open the fridge door
16. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Cold Stone Creamery. The whole store.
17. Shoe Size? My feet were bound as a child; I think I'm a size two
18. Red or pink? Pink.
19. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? Eating sliced children. It makes me feel guilty.
20. Who do you miss the most? Father Schultenover, my theology professor
21. Do you want everyone you send this to to send it back? No one has to do anything on account of me (read Catholic guilt: everyone must send this back to me or else I will eat more sliced children)
22. What color pants and shoes are you wearing? Gray comfy pants, bear feet. My size two feet come with claws and fur and pads and everything.
23. Last thing you ate? Like you need to ask! I had filet of child on an English muffin, drizzled with Hollandaise sauce.
24. What are you listening to right now? A screaming child in my closet
25. If you were a crayon what color would you be? Lung cancer yellow
26. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? A hospital administrator, about a client. 28. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex? His gravitas.
29. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Incredibly. She baked me a pie.
30. Favorite Drink? Coffee
31. Favorite Sport? Sliced Child Derby
32. Hair Color? Ding-bat blonde. There aren't many of us natural idiots left.
34. Do you wear contacts? No contacts, no glasses. Does squinting count?
35. Favorite Food? Sliced Child Souffle
36. Last Movie You Watched? Good Night and Good Luck (but I fell asleep, so I don't know if it counts).
37. Favorite Day Of The Year? MAY 24th. It's my birthday. Send me money.
38. Scary Movies Or Happy Endings? Scary movies.
39. Summer or winter? Winter.
40. Hugs or Kisses? Depends. Where are you going to kiss me?
41. Favorite dessert? (sigh)--sliced child fingers, with a pastry wrap and a dollop of whipped cream.
42. What's On Your Mouse Pad? A mouse, stuck in a trap. He's chewing his leg off.
43. What Did You Watch Last night on TV? The last part of The Office, where Jim gave Pam an outstanding kiss.
44. Favorite Smells? Sliced children cooking. And coffee.
45. Favorite Sounds? That kid currently screaming in the closet.
46. Stones or Beatles? No, thank you. I have to drive.
47. What's the furthest you've been from home? England.
48. What books are you reading? Terry Pratchett's Monstrous Regiment.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
My relationship with Michael is the first (and last) true relationship. Before Michael, there were lots of dumb dates and silly three month bouts of torture with one idiot or another. But Michael and I are the 'real thing' (hence: upcoming wedding).
One thing I always worried about with these full-time relationship thingies is the chance that people might get bored with one another. How dull! Living with the same person, day in, day out, sharing their space--putting up with those annoying ticks others possess. (Not me, no. I have NO ANNOYING TICKS whatsoever, and if you think differently, just ask Michael).
I am finding that this consistency with Michael is far from boring. He doesn't have any annoying ticks that drive me to rage. He does turn on the television on Saturday mornings, but slowly, I am breaking him of that. And besides, it really doesn't bother me. But what I am finding is that a person is much more complex than I ever imagined.
There are some days, sure, when I know exactly what's going to come out of his mouth.
There are times when we complete each other's sentences, or find ourselves humming the same song with no prompting from the radio. There are times when I know he will leave his socks on the carpet, and I am sure he knows I will have a cigarette after dinner, or not help with the dishes, or be depressed.
And then, there are openings that I've never seen before. Like the other day, while I was knitting, Michael took some self-portraits. We reviewed them, and in some pictures, I asked out loud, "Who's THAT guy?"
There's all sorts of unfoldings that will take place while we walk through life's park together. We get to spend a whole lifetime examining one another, becoming experts about the other, falling in love all over again, unexpectedly.
And all that time, I thought it would be dull. What did I know?
A yellow flower
(Light and spirit)
Sings by itself
A golden spirit
(Light and emptiness)
Sings without a word
Let no one touch this gentle sun
In whose dark eye
Someone is awake.
(No light, no gold,no name, no color
and no thought:
O, wide awake!)
A golden heaven
Sings by itself
A song to nobody.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
I have become a little bit fascinated with knitting. In fact, this new obsession has allowed me to re-discover certain things about myself. We should avoid labels, and this applies to ourselves, as well.
It is okay to scrapbook. That is something I do, and I enjoy it. I love working with my hands. Even if I am not exceptionally gifted artistically, it is nice to 'grow' something of my own, and watch it unfold. I think this is what started me on my quest of knitting.
I've never knit before. When I was a little girl, I would watch my grandmother crochet, but never succeeded on my own. As I peruse the many sites dedicated to knitters and see the Stitch n' Bitch books at the bookstore, I'm a bit enthralled. Here are a group of people making a very old, very quiet pastime something...COOL!
So, I've taught myself to knit. And may I say?...This is utterly Zen. Knitting is Zen. No wonder so many are hooked (pune-or play on words). The repetitive motion, the loss of directed thought, the self-awareness and un-awareness of how the hands work in harmony with little direction. Knitting is a different kind of Zen from motorcycling, where one is open to the present. Knitting is the seclusion of the soul, and the wonder of its quietness, trapped within flesh and bones.
Slowly, the yarn blossoms, and something is stitched out of nothing.
Sidenote: I will never purchase acrylic yarn again. It sucks.
Delilah is the proverbial cat with yarn.
Monday, May 08, 2006
While I am so pleased to have become the new host of Homeschooling: The Next Frontier, I would like to remind everyone about Etiquette and Manners.
- 1. I have none, but I expect you to have lots when you come to my blog.
- 2. Yes, it is a blog, and criticism is also healthy. So is tofu. Or wheat germ. I rarely ingest either.
- 3. Some of you have not laughed in a very long time.
- 4. Some of you sound like crazy people.
- 5. Some of you people should just do your own thing and not worry about other people's opinions.
- 6. To the butthead who said "And you've got to be kidding about the tone of these posts! These are mild retorts....": You hurt my feelings, you didn't read any of my other posts, and you are not allowed near me within 25 feet. Besides, who made you Blog Critic for the New Yorker? Phhbbbbbbtttttt....
- Some of my opinions about homeschooling have changed, but that doesn't mean my opinion about some of you has.
- Mom X was certified nuts. Take it from a nutty social worker; I know what I'm talking about.
- If you have found this site to be the new 'Let's Discuss Homeschooling' site, let me redirect you AWAY from here to SOMEWHERE else where it is more appropriate and I can go on smoking cigarettes and planning the distastrous future of my unborn children.
- And as always, it's been a pleasure!
Friday, May 05, 2006
A client of mine is a young girl home-schooled by her mother.
I have never been a defender of home-schooling; while public schools run amok with standardized tests and fisticuffs and courtesy officers willing to tazer students, I believe public schools are important to the growth and development of the average child. If a family is fortunate enough to afford private school, then I hope it isn't one of those crazed church schools where sex education is a dirty word, and Bible class is the epitome of education. The alternative to these two options is this notion of home-schooling.
Home-schooling is the equivalent of repressive parents continuing to repress their children. Why someone who never went to college is permitted to be responsible for her child's education is beyond me. And in this particular situation, I fail to understand how one woman could possibly be able to provide the specific education necessary for a child with special needs. Yet, some parents claim it is a safer, truer, and more hands-on approach to the social stifling necessary in rearing a healthy, repressed, narrow-minded individual.
The loudest argument of home-schooling parents? "It's my right to teach my child as I see fit."
But getting back to specifics: This client's mother is a bit loopy. The first time we met, I was lectured on God's amazing grace and the Power of Heaven and all that good stuff. Mom X was also open in telling me about her ex-husband, who was possessed by evil spirits and took to abusing prescription drugs. He left the family and withdrew any rights to be with his children. This is very sad. I felt very sorry for the children; two of the three possess that charming 'Leave it To Beaver' friendliness, with manners that would make Miss Good Housekeeping smile.
Yesterday, I perched on the sofa of this woman's home and talked about her daughter, who has taken to some rather anti-social behavior. She picks her nose in public and ingests the results. She is fourteen years old. She is doing this on purpose, said her mother, to embarrass her siblings.
Yeah, I'm thinking, anything to be different.
And as we sit, discussing this child's behavior, the youngest daughter comes in and takes a book off the shelf. It is Anne of Avonlea. I mentioned to this young girl how impressed I was to see her reading such a light classic.
This young girl said to me, "Well, I would like to read some of the Harry Potter books..." when she was interrupted by Mom X.
"We don't read trash in this home."
Mom went on to explain that her children were only permitted to read 'the classics'. Any book that was written before 1960 is permissible.
She said, "But because the 60's ruined our culture, and perverted our sense of literature, and raped the ideals of America, I will not permit my children to read anything published after 1960."
FIRSTLY, I would suggest that the "Anne of ...." series is hardly considered a classic series in keeping with what makes classics, classics.
SECONDLY, I believe that true classics (The Brothers Karamazov, A Tale of Two Cities, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Great Gatsby) are all works of reveal, and all articulate a social import. That is: classics are considered classics because they introduce important social concepts to the world. We read classics because they show evolution in our culture.
THIRDLY, can she REALLY suggest that Jack Kerouac (even though I hate him, I respect him), Allen Ginsberg, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and Harper Lee did NOT contribute to the society?
FOURTHLY, Edith Wharton writes about suicide in her book Ethan Frome. Is this, then, appropriate reading material for gentle, innocent babes? Nay. But the classics are rich with violence, intrigue, sin.
I sat there, with my nose piercing and my tattoos, and wondered how a woman just into her forties could assert that nothing good has come out of the last forty years of social change in this country. I called my parents after this episode and relayed the whole thing.
In short, I am so fortunate to be raised among the true literate elite, where just about any book was better than no book, and a book that questions norms, mores, and accepted fact is a catalyst for growth. I just hope Mom X and her children will one day come across Catch-22, A Separate Peace, or The Lord of the Flies. And I hope these classics will make a mark on this family as they've made marks on me.
It frightens me to think what Mom X is teaching her children. It scares me to think of their isolation. I think I shall begin an Underground Book Railroad for them, and the Hardy Boys will not be included.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
SleepGoblin started it, Spinning Girl helped prompt it, and a number of my friends have fueled it.
I'm thinking about becoming a teacher. I've taken these stupid Praxis tests for the subject matter part of it--I obviously know just enough history and geography to become a social studies teacher. Combined with my worthless Social Work B.A., I'm qualified.
Interestingly enough, the test given to measure one's capability of passing the information on is the one that I scored the highest in--like the top tier.
So, I may not know what I'm teaching, but I'll know how to teach what I don't know.
I should fit in quite well with Georgia's education system.
Here are the things standing in my way:
Indecision: Is this the right path for me? What about writing? What about becoming a lawyer or a therapist?
Laziness: I have to complete nine billion steps to get certified. BORRRRRINNNNNGGGG.
Oh, yeah. That other thing:
I HATE TEENAGERS, but I'm qualified to ONLY teach grades 6-12.
Dirty-hippy coed bloggers
I don't have anything interesting to report or link or expound on. However, I would like to know WHY the gentleman who owns the ExXon down the street from me does not accept coupons for cigarettes.
I have about forty coupons that take a buck seventy-five off the top of the cost of a pack of smokes. That is a really decent coupon! That's like almost forty percent! Why won't he take the coupon??
Doesn't he know that coupons keep smokers smoking, and that, in turn, keeps them coming back for more smokes?
I told him that I am saving up my Camel dollars for an iron lung. He failed to see the irony in this.
How can a store not take manufacturers' coupons?
Monday, May 01, 2006
That one person whom I refer is myself: Elizabeth Anne. Not Fritz. Elizabeth Anne.
Elizabeth Anne is outside, having a cigarette, while Michael slumbers, and she can see him through the window, his chest rising and falling silently. There are windchimes on the balcony; the wind is coming in little,distinct exhalations, and only one chime is being struck, over and over, like a bell signaling a coming or going. Elizabeth Anne is fighting back tears as she watches Michael breathe in and out, as the chime rings again and again.
People die all the time. People have died today. You did not know them. They died in car crashes, or they were murdered, or they were blown to bits in a far-off country. Some died in hospitals, some died at home. Some died alone, clutching their chests or their heads. Some committed suicide. Some died of loneliness. But Elizabeth Anne knows one thing for sure: one day, she, too, will die.
What will it be like? Will it hurt? Will she cry? Or, will she simply let go, and float into nothing like a vacating bird from its nest?
Will she be missed?
Elizabeth Anne wonders these things, and mourns a little bit for herself, because she knows that all her life, as she comes and goes and pays bills and calls friends and dreams her dreams, she knows behind all of these doors and options, there is only one final answer, and the answer is: Death.
Michael snores a little bit, and Elizabeth Anne hears him through the screen. One day, he will also die. This hurts more than any kind of death Elizabeth Anne can imagine.
Once, when Elizabeth Anne was ten, she started to cry as she watched her mother apply lipstick in the bathroom.
"What is it?" her mother asked.
"You're going to die!" Elizabeth Anne said, weeping.
"Shhhh," her mother said, wrapping her arms around her child, "Hush. I am not going to die for a very long time."
And this made Elizabeth Anne feel a little bit better, but not much, because the imminent fact was still true. And this fact still scares Elizabeth Anne very much.
One day, our loved ones will die. It is something we do not always think about. When Michael tells Elizabeth Anne each morning, "I'm going, now. I love you," Elizabeth Anne does not always wake up. What if Michael does not come home? Does that mean his last words were never heard? Will he know how much he will be missed? Does Elizabeth Anne understand what those last words will mean if he dies?
She wonders if this is something one discusses openly. Is it kosher to ponder death?
Mostly, she hurts for herself. To think! One day, her mother and father will die. Then, her husband. Perhaps, a child. Definitely a best friend. Maybe someone who attends aerobics with her. Certainly, herself.
As she puts out the cigarette, she realizes one thing is true: it isn't death she fears. It is being forgotten that hurts the most. It is forgetting that proves the greatest pain. How one would smell, or feel. The wrinkles on Michael's face, or that mole on his neck. They could become cloudy, and then--poof! disappear from her memory, all together. Gone. What about the timbre of his voice, or his jokes? What about how he always asks where the toenail clippers have got to, because Elizabeth Anne moves them all the time? Would these things be forgotten?
What about Elizabeth Anne? Would she be remembered, or liked, or falsely adored? Is that important? When a sparrow falls from its flight, and plummets to the ground, is it mourned?
Is a hymn put forth for its demise, or do we blithely step around its shattered wings?
Elizabeth Anne cannot help but cry, and listen to the chime and the sound of Michael's breath, and after a time, she goes inside, and dims the lights, and wraps herself about Michael's back, and listens to the surf of his lungs that holds him to the Earth, and she is just so very thankful that she has this day, and this timid time with her beloved.
Because one day, she will not have him, and that day shall be the day that all the sparrows fall from the heavens.
Location: Detroit Rock City!
Where the weak are killed and eaten
Click here to find out
Teach me, Arachnae
A Woman for All Seasons
Somewhere in Middle America
Super Uber MILF
Death Wore A Feathered Mullet
Miss Kendra's Golden State
Corley's Blue Texas
Sysm's Systemic Statements
A Dude and His Dogs in Detroit
My husband might sue me for HIPPA violations.
Upon Finishing A Shrug
Well, that's Poopy
We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. Through the unknown, unremembered gate When the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning; At the source of the longest river The voice of the hidden waterfall And the children in the apple-tree Not known, because not looked for But heard, half-heard, in the stillness Between two waves of the sea. Quick now, here, now, alwaysâ A condition of complete simplicity (Costing not less than everything) And all shall be well and All manner of thing shall be well When the tongues of flame are in-folded Into the crowned knot of fire And the fire and the rose are one. -T.S. Eliot "Little Gidding"