Thursday, June 23, 2011

Come Live With Me and Be My Love

Part of the blog challenge I was doing was to write a letter to someone that you would never send. This isn't really something I wanted to do, seeing as how it seemed quite personal, but I think I've got it figured out. I'm going to write Jon Krakauer a love letter.  I just finished reading Into Thin Air by Krakauer, and another of his books, Into the Wild, has been one of my favorite books for years. Into Thin Air (read the Times review here), is Krakauer's personal account of the disaster on Mt. Everest in May 1996. There is something about the way that Krakauer writes that makes me want to do the most insane things -- yesterday, I thought, well, maybe I could climb Everest. And after I read Into the Wild 7 years ago, burning all of my money and hitchhiking to Alaska sounded like an amazing time, even if the experience might end with me frozen to death in an abandoned van.

I grew up with an ambition and determination without which,  I would have been a good deal happier. I thought a lot and developed the far-away look of a dreamer, for it was always the distant heights which fascinated me and drew me to them in spirit. I was not sure what could be accomplished by means of tenacity and little else, but the target was set high and each rebuff only saw me more determined to see at least one major dream through to its fulfillment.
                                   -Earl Denman, Alone to Everest, quoted by Krakauer in Into the Wild

But I don't just love Krakauer for the crazy ideas he puts in my mind, I love him for his vocabulary. Into Thin Air is 374 pages long. Contained in those pages were 51 words that I did not know the definition of. Well, I knew the definition to some of them, but not the exact definition.  I could figure out the meaning of the rest because of the context and not knowing the exact definition did not hinder my reading in any way.  But this is not good enough for me. I have a sick fascination with words, with the written word, and with the people who get to string them together for a living. I looked up the proper definition of all 51 words, typed them into a Word document, folded this paper in half and placed it inside the book for the next reader.  While I already knew generally what loquacious, ebullient, and vertiginous mean, I needed to know Mr. Webster's idea of what those words mean.  In addition to the words I knew, I learned a handful of new words to work into my vocabulary -- peripatetic, mellifluous, parvenus, crepuscular, prevarication, carapace, and mirabile visu, to name a few. Sometimes it's nice to be reminded that I don't know nearly as much as I think I do.

I guess I never got around to actually writing a letter, but I think you get the point.

Is it not a joy to learn? And to practice and share what you have learned? -Kung Fu-tze

On a related note, I want this book.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

"There are 3 stages in a man's life: First, he believes in Santa; then, he doesn't believe in Santa; and finally, he becomes Santa."

Happy Father's Day to my Santa Claus (and Beckett's, too!)

If I know anything about cars, it's because of you. I think we both know my knowledge is limited, but I do know Chevy is better than Ford.

I own and love The Outlaw Josey Wales because it's your favorite. And I have a special place in my heart for all things Clint Eastwood because you love all of his movies (except The Unforgiven, which I have never seen).

I can't go to any antique mall, thrift store, or other store where there is furniture without thinking of almost every piece, "It's nice, but why would I pay for it when my Dad could make it better?"

I love my Auburn Tigers, but I have a soft spot for the Georgia Bulldogs. That's all your fault.

I know every word to every Garth Brooks song. You guessed it: you did that, too.

And if I have every been described as outgoing, talkative, or funny (my favorite things about me), it's because I get those things from you.

Thanks, Dad.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Sadness in My Heart Like Stone

Those of you who know me even the slighest bit know that I love to read.  I just finished Diary by Chuck Palahniuk (which was not my favorite of his) and am in the middle of Beloved by Toni Morrison (good, but I think I liked The Bluest Eye better) and Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Also, I am rereading The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (who I love, especially Loose Woman). 

On other fronts, the move to Newnan (for me at least) has been very slow. I just brought another car load of my things to the new apartment and there are probably two car loads left to bring.  I spent the better part of today hanging pictures and putting books on shelves -- basically making my room my home.  It may sound materialistic, but I like my things. I mean, really like my things. Or maybe what my things mean.  I found hundreds of old pictures, my first drivers license, cards, wedding invitations, and a myriad of other things I've collected in 27 years.  I found a scrapbook my best friend made for me when I moved from Dothan to Montgomery when I was 13, my senior yearbook, the ticket from the Dave Matthews concert we went to the summer we were 18, my Auburn student ID, and a bunch of Beckett's baby pictures.  Recently, I've been feeling, well, out of it. I wouldn't say depressed, just maybe not like myself.  These things were a great reminder of what a great life I've had.  It's a reminder I desparately needed and welcomed whole-heartedly.  A reminder of 27 years of people who have loved me, and more importantly, who I have loved.  You all know who you are, from high school to college to law school.  I have been a tremendously lucky girl.  If I had a scanner near me, I would post some of the pictures here, for they contain the most wonderfully hilarious memories (maybe that will happen soon). 

Now, onward to that blog challenge I have so gracefully avoided...

Day Twelve: A Picture of Something You Dislike

I got a lot of problems with a lot of things, and now you have to hear about them. Or read about them.

First and foremost, I am big on table manners. They are very important to me and I will not hesitate to judge you if your mama didn't teach them to you. Or if you weren't smart enough to figure them out for yourself.

And then there's the issue of grammar.  I have no idea why the difference between your and you're, or there, their, and they're is so difficult to master, but apparently it is.  I also take issue with the use of the following abbreviations: Ur, plz, cuz, etc. But I'm the girl who punctuates and capitalizes text messages, so what do I know?

There are, I'm sure, a million other things that I dislike. But in an effort to get me out of whatever funk I've been in lately, I'm not going to dwell on the negative any longer.  Those are two things I dislike without having to think about it, and that will suffice for today.

I think I've posted this poem before, but I love it so much.  It's by Sandra Cisneros and appears in Loose Woman, which was given to me by one of my favorite women (and oldest friends), Hillary Ballant Ryan, who you can find here.

There's a poem in my head

like too many cups of coffee.
A pea under twenty eiderdowns.
A sadness in my heart like stone.
A telephone. And always my
Night madness that outs like bats
across this Texas sky.

I'm the crazy lady they warned you about.
The she of rumor talked about -
and worse, who talks.

It's no secret.
I'm here. Under a circle of light.
The light always on, resisting a glass,
an easy cigar. The kind

who reels the twilight sky.
Swoop circling.
I'm witch woman high
on tobacco and holy water.

I'm a woman delighted with her disasters.
They give me something to do.
A profession of sorts.
Keeps me industrious
And of some servicable use.

In dreams the origami of the brain
Opens like a fist, a pomegranate,
an expensive geometry.

Not true.
I haven't a clue
Why I'm rumpled tonight.

Choose your weapon.
Mine--the telephone, my tongue.
Both black as a gun.

I have the magic of words,
the power to charm and kill at will.
To kill myself or to aim haphazardly.
And kill you.
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