Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
1) Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii
2) The kid from the cover of Nirvana's Nevermind Album
3) Shayne Lamas dumps the guy from "The Bachelor"
Why these articles? Well, the Talula one is just funny and, as someone who taught high School English for five years, I can tell you I have seen my share of unusual names; just nothing that unusual. Besides that, I am very entertained by discussing unusual names in general- so, I hope, like me, you get a kick out of that one.
As for the "Nevermind" album, I can't believe the naked baby from the cover is 17! I was starting college when that album was popular. I definately remember the collective mourning from the direction of the boys' dorms the day Kirk Cobain was found dead a few years later.
As for the third article, I must preface this by saying celeb gossip is of no interest to me. I don't even subscribe to cable television so only explorers in antartica could be less connected to the goings on of the Hollywood jet set. You're safe in assuming I do not watch reality television and I have never even watched one episode of "The Bachelor". This article caught my eye, however, when I saw the name "Shayne Lamas." As soon as I saw that, I thought, "Shayne Lamas, you mean the one who used to sit in the back of my English classroom giggling with her friends and applying copious lip gloss, Shayne Lamas?" Now I shouldn't be surprised, I knew even then that her father, Lorenzo, was some hot shot soap opera star. There's just something funny about seeing a kid's name at the top of a Romeo and Juliet essay one time and seeing it in the news headlines the next.
With this article as well as with the Nirvana one, the single thought that reverberates is, I am that old? Yes, I am old enough to have taught Shayne Lamas as a high school freshman (not even a senior) and my friend, Julie, taught Shayne's older brother A.J. just down the hall. (He dated Lindsey who?)
So yes, as lame as I think celebrity gossip is, the lamest news of all is that I am that old and aging. Oh well, with any luck maybe those celeb kids will be this age some day, too.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
1) I cannot write about J. Peterman without mentioning Tracy, my friend who introduced me to it in college. In my attempt to look Peterman chic, I came out wearing a second-hand argyle sweater and some cords. Tracy told me I looked like a PTA mom (in her completely unoffensive, honest way). Tracy was right. She is a true friend.
2) The best part about the J. Peterman catalogue: it is simultaneously free and priceless. Click here to sign up for yours.
3) This is not a paid advertisement- though I'm starting to think it should be.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Sacramento summer days can be hot, but the the nights are mild with soft, fragrant breezes. It's weather that compels a person to sit at on the back porch at dusk and listen to the drowsy chirp of cicadas.
In contrast, summer in Lake Havasu, my home town, is god-forsaken. The months of June, July, and August are so hot and withering few living creatures survive and the ones that do wish they could die. In fact, Havasu claims the distinction of being the hottest city in the 48 contiguous states rivaled only by Death Valley for its overall heat records. Needless to say, instead of lush, green lawns and flowering trees, Havasuvians landscape with gravel. My husband and I have started calling the popular landscaping of the area, "the Havasu lump." This refers to the fact that all yards here consist of the same basic plan: a base layer of neutral colored gravel raked out to cover the entire yard that is then spotted with occassional "lumps" of gravel in a contrasting color. Any variety of objects might be sticking out of/sitting on top of these mounds. It could be a cluster of short palm trees, or a rusty farm implement, or a crafty lawn (or should I say gravel) ornament, or a wooden fence post. . .the possibilities are endless. Strangely enough, due to the overall lack of water and the triple digit temperatures all summer long, people in Havasu do not generally have lawns.
When temperatures reach 115-125 degrees, it is hard for me to not feel slightly envious of my Sacramento relatives. When I see children running through sprinklers on the concrete in their parents' driveways, I do ocassionally question why on god's green earth do I live here? When I describe Havasu to someone who has never visited before, this is how it generally goes, "Havasu is a place with a history that dates back as far as the invention of central air conditioning and then to give the town an air of history and antiquity, they imported the London Bridge."
Despite Havasu's peculiarities, there is a stark beauty to the rugged desert terrain. The land is so unembellished that the beauty of the desert is found in shape and contrast rather than in rich, rolling earth. The lake itself is scintillating in the sunlight and, in the heat of the afternoon, looks vast, deep, bejeweled, and luxuriant. Perhaps the beauty of Havasu can be found in what we don't have. Only in this landscape could the thorny ocotillo or the stately seguaro be considered beautiful.
My relationship with this town is like that of a mother and her ugly child. She can point out his lopsided ears or his too big nose, but if anyone else criticizes, the fight is on.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
2) crossing the threshold- Max sails from his room to the Wild Things island
3) rebirth- Max sets afoot on the Wild Things island
4) road of trials- Max feels threatened by the Wild Things until he tames them
5) apotheosis-Max is made king of the Wild Things
6) refusal of return- Max and the Wild Things party down
7) rescue from without- Max smells good things to eat
8) crossing the threshold- Max returns home to find that his dinner is waiting for him
9) master of 2 worlds- Max is forgiven for his bad behavior at home and is the king of the Wild Things.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Maybe it's because I'm 33 and my miserable junior high days are long past, but it seems that the world has become a kinder, softer place for nerds. I remember when, in junior high, I was the butt of many jokes because my English teacher complimented me publicly on my superb grammar. Even my best friend (a nerd herself) poked fun at my propensity for large words by teasing me that I wanted a dictionary for Christmas. (Later, as a college student, I did request a personal copy of the Oxford English Dictionary- which I never got, by the way). All pettiness aside, I was a nerd in junior high. I was open in my worship of L.M. Montgomery and Edgar Allan Poe; I played violin in the orchestra, and worst of all, I only wore thrift store clothing. OK I wasn't the worst of nerds, but I definately qualified.
Shortly after I graduated from high school, it became cool to wear "vintage" clothing- a trend that seems to have never completely gone away. Thanks to J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer teens of all social echelons are now reading really long books. Teens text, blog, and hang out online at fan sites and social networks. All of these activities that seem so mainstream were, at one time, considered "nerdy." It seems that because of the internet we nerds have found a favorable environment to proliferate, flourish, and diversify.
The term "nerd" itself has transcended the 1980's stereotype of the guy with the glasses and pocket protector. In fact, the term is no longer deragotory and it has come to include kids who engage in role-playing games, kids who play video games, kids who hack computers, kids who write morbid death poetry. . .the list goes on and on. What are goths, emos, and indies? Tough nerds, sensitive nerds, and nerdy nerds. It could quite possibly be that the nerds are no longer the minority. Perhaps the world is coming to recognize what we've known all along: we're more than nerds, we're avant-garde.