Sunday, September 27, 2009

Don't You Forget About Me

Class of 1984.
Watertown High School, Watertown, South Dakota.
Dear Mr. Principal...we accept
the fact that we had to sacrifice a
whole weekend in detention for
whatever it was that we did wrong ...
what we did was wrong.
But we think you're crazy to make us write this
essay telling you who we think we
are, what do you care? You see us
as you want to see the
simplest terms and the most
convenient definitions. You see us
as a brain, an athlete, a basket
case, a princess and a criminal.
Correct? That's the way we saw each
other at seven o'clock last Thursday morning.
We were brainwashed...

But what we found out, after a couple of
sultry September days twenty five years
later, is that each one of us

is a brain...

...and an athlete...

...and a basket case...

...a princess...

...and a criminal...

Does that answer your question?
Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I don’t know much about my family’s history, but I am fairly confident in assuming we never had any “help” around the house. More than likely, we were the help, but that’s pure speculation, as well. So it is not as though I could actually relate to any one of the characters in this book, although I could certainly fall in love with a few of them and loved to hate a few more!
The Help is a delicious story of a tiny, unexpected band of Southern women trying to change the world as they knew it in the early 1960’s. One little slice of chocolate pie at a time. It is not a deep piece of work nor an earth-shattering one. But it is a fun, moving, heartfelt story that tapped into all of my emotions and left me chortling and sobbing simultaneously.
When they make this delightful tale into a movie, and I am sure they will, I will happily attend the first showing bringing my best gal pals with me because there is nothing better than sharing a secret ... a laugh ... and a few tears with a friend!

Farewell, Old Friend

Here's to Amy, who wagged her whole body whenever she saw me.... She's in excellent company now, but will be sadly missed by those of us who loved her......

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Keep America Beautiful

I live in a gorgeous, tree-filled neighborhood in southern Maryland. We have a lot of land and foliage and breathtaking views that make me want to stay home more often than not. But, while it is a heavily wooded area, it is still a neighborhood and we do have paved roads and the occasional street sign (see Walking Small 06/03/08). I like to take long walks on these winding roads through the trees and woods with small creeks and trickling water guiding the way. I like to be alone with nature and my thoughts.
It is a perfect 71 degrees today with low humidity and a happy little breeze to carry the scents of the coming fall weather to my eager nose.
However, I became increasingly saddened on my walk today. It seems some very disgusting people think my neighborhood woods are simply a dumping ground for their excessive trash.
Did that weeping Native American dude in the early 70’s teach us nothing?
Why is it easier to drive out into the woods in the middle of the night with all your garbage than to simply roll it to the curb like the rest of the good citizens of the world?
They eat a lot of fast food, these dregs of society, and apparently buy their six packs still attached by those plastic rings we used to use as handcuffs when I was eight. And while that curious little memory occupied my mind, I became even more depressed by all the small game that apparently did not make the trek across the road.
So, so sad.....
So I began looking up while still attempting to glance down, because while I didn’t want to see anything, I certainly didn’t want to step on anything, either!
After about 45 minutes, and after a headache and stiff neck began to set in from the strange tilt of my head and scissor-crossing eye movements, I spied an open cardboard box next to the road. Inside were stacks of insurance papers. Unused forms still in the plastic wrappers. Who disposes of office supplies in such a manner? So strange.
A few more steps and I spotted a child’s backpack on the side of the road.
Oh dear, said I.
I’ve never seen any kids on this road.
Is that because a clown saw them first?
Do I need to go searching for a child in the woods? A child whose affairs are not in order due to lack of insurance forms on hand?
I’m not dressed for that!
Why does this have to happen on MY walk?
Why don’t private investigators and police officers take walks on this road?
Then, a few more steps, and a pair of slightly used surgical gloves ....

You know, I used to be quite a little track star in high school, perhaps I should go ahead and JOG home!
And, by the way, who runs over turtles? Honestly, how does that happen? Did it dash out in front of you while you were dumping cadavers and cans of Coors Light?

.... I’m beginning to understand the whole Crystal City Concept!

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

From time to time, I will take my laptop and a movie to my room and go to bed before the sun does. I usually take something sappy or deep. Because there is no one in my womb - I mean room - to see me weep or cheer or whatever other emotion I may conjure in my solitude.....
This week, I chose The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.


The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a little short story of a film set in World War II Germany. A short story that packs a powerful, jolting wallop.
This film is character driven, for which I am extremely thankful, because the images my mind invoked were horrific enough to stay with me long after the final credits rolled across the screen.
That being said, however, the cinematography was amazing and even beautiful. The images were subtle and powerful simultaneously.
What I loved about this film is what it didn’t show. What it didn’t have to throw in my face. It gives the viewers credit for being intelligent, educated people who know what went on in our recent history.
It is the story of two eight year old boys who form a tentative, unlikely friendship - between the barbs of a concentration camp fence.
It is the story of a woman realizing her husband is neck deep in something she cannot believe in. And justifiably fearing for her children.
It is the story of living. And dying. And continuing to live in spite of it.
It is tragically sad.....

... and I feel numb ....

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

My inaugural impression of this opuscule was that it was merely composed of a colossal abundance of perspicacious nonrhythmic literature.
And I was afraid for my loathsome, uneducated self.
But I was wrong!
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery is a clever, witty, effortless book filled with the musings of our two protagonists, Renee and Paloma. The plot is very nearly nonexistent, yet powerfully meaningful. Could it really be that simple?
Through the hilarious observations of these two seemingly different women (I use the term women loosely, as Paloma is only twelve and a half years old), could we really discover the meaning of life?
Again, could it really be that simple?
Love something!
Love your friend (but choose her well). Love Art and Literature. Love the flowers on a hill, the stars in the sky. Love ... Purple.
Love your dog.
It doesn’t really matter what you love or how, just find something in your life to truly love and you will love yourself.
Look beyond the thunderclouds and see the colors in the sky. Look beyond the flesh and see the beauty in a soul. Look beyond the obvious and see glorious depths that exist.
In everything.
And most of all ...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009