Monday, February 27, 2012

In the teen section of Barns and Noble

Beautiful girls stare blankly at me.

Their faces are tragically glamorous, yet pained. Many seem washed out, depressed, I feel emotionally drained just looking at them. Others are raging infernos of anger and my blood boils with them. Blood too is a central theme, is drips from the wrist of the girl limp in the bathtub, slips down the pale necks of several, drops from the smiling corner of a mouth, splatters across a mystic-looking butterfly. Dark colors and bold Gothic print. Short one line titles like Twisted, Withered, Tangled, Perfect, Tricks, Fever. Words like "wicked", "Love", "Heartbreak" fill in the longer titles.

Oh yes, Vampires are everywhere. They are hot boys in school you wish would bite you, the inconvenient thing that happened to you. They are fat, loud, quiet, thin, young, old, male, female, heroic, tragic, harmless, bloodthirsty, and rarely it seems, evil.

Catch phrases like, "You always hurt the ones you love", or "You never should have broken up with me" draw the eye and elicit a sympathetic tug of the old heart strings.

The whole world is pain, and sex, and monsters, and more pain. It's what we think, feel, write. It's what the young people want to read. Where is Shakespeare now to write of love and loss. The happy go lucky books of fairytale endings are over. The new rule is nothing ends happy. Or starts happy. Or has very much happiness anywhere in it. Something that makes us happy should also cause us pain - like Bella's love for Edward. And if we're too happy to notice the pain, it should hurt people around us until we notice.

Life lesson? Life hurts. And just when you think something good is happening, that hurts too. Don't expect much, and don't stress over what will happen - que sera, sera.

In other news, I wonder why teens are depressed? or anorexic? or bulimic? or suicidal? or promiscuous?

When adult women are as turned on by the characters and plots of teen novels as anyone is it still a teen novel? What topics are too much?


Kids deal with this stuff anyway. So why not let them simmer in it in every moment and aspect of their lives? After all, no one reads "wholesome" anymore. No one wants happy endings or good values and morals. We want temptation, the carnal flesh revealed, reveled in, and presented as normal, unavoidable passions of life.

C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, and George MacDonald are men of the past, their style of writing and their values are of the past too. It's time to move on. To embrace an apocalyptic future written for us by the J.K. Rowlings, Stephanie Meyers, and L.J. Smiths of this world.

Dark things are coming. . . I guarantee it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

does anyone smell dust???

Wow it's been awhile since I've been here.
Been several other places though.
Canada, Germany, Hungary, and Ukraine since last we spoke.
I didn't really miss you, and I won't apologize for that.
I'm not going to promise to be more faithful either.
I've realized that we're growing apart.
Nothing I do is going to keep us together.
I hope you know I'm not doing this to hurt you.
It's just that with everything else in my life, I don't have the energy.
I can't be there for you the way you want me to.
Let's not thinking of this as ending a relationship.
Let's just take a break, move to the friend zone.
I'll check in now and then, and who knows?
Maybe someday the time will be right for us again.
I can see that day coming.
But not today.
Or any time soon.
So for now,

Thursday, May 26, 2011

manuel labor and other happy thoughts

For some reason I have always found manuel labor to be a pleasant thing. From digging in the garden, to laying tile or lament flooring, to rearranging my apartment, nothing is quite so basic, cleansing, or enables me to think like getting my hands dirty and sweating a little.

Yesterday I spent several hours sanding away on pieces of my great grandmothers rocking chair which I stole from my mother, disassembled and began refinishing a couple of years ago. Unfortunately I haven't had much time for it since then, and its been sitting in the basement for awhile now. I have decided that this will be the summer I get it finished, and I'm off to a good start.

About half the pieces are sanded (by hand) to my level of satisfaction -- that is to remove all the old coats of varnish, etc. Once I finish the rest of them, they will get a fine sanding to make sure they are smooth, then a coat of stain - depending on the results possibly another coat - then a coat of varnish, a light finishing sand, and a top coat of varnish!

I can hardly wait to see how it turns out, and even though my arm hurt so bad last night I could hardly get to sleep, I'm anxious to get back to it. Hmm maybe I can perfect my left-handed sanding technique. I know it summer when I finally quit feeling like I have unfinished homework and start looking for projects to do.

My only worry is what will I do with the finished chair? That is, until I can return it to my mother.

In other news, Tiff and I rearranged our dinning room, I fixed all the loose kitchen chairs, the trap door to the fire escape, and the unbalanced floor fan. We've finally organized the bathroom, cleaned out (to a degree) the hall closet, and generally become more organized. Thanks in large part to Christianna and Laura staying with us the summer. While finding them places to live we have been forced -- quite happily -- to condense, clean out, and organize. My rooms even clean! Amazing.

What will we do next? . . . . We're thinking of adding on to our 2nd fl apt by expanding off the back porch.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

life in color vs basic black

Especially in the spring, when colors abound, I find myself associating them to various moods and personalities.

Some people are all yellow -- with bubbling, sunny personalities. Some are sky blue, with mellow, happy, peaceful smiles. Some dark blue -- like the sky threatening rain -- these people I worry about, and remove all sharp objects from their reach.

But others of us, we are the greens and browns of the color spectrum. We are reliable basic black We blend, we fill in the background. And we are quite happy to do so. We are the emerald lawn you didn't notice because the lilies were waving at you in the wind. We are the last few leaves of autumn, found in stairwells and other strange places, that you wonder about then sweep away. We are that dratted muddy hill that you slipped on yesterday.

Yes we may not be interesting, like those blood-red tulips, or the neon orange tiger-lilies, but we are essential. And we know it. And we are a bit smug in that knowledge.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


These days my sense of danger and adventure finds outlets in the little things, like eating food from the fridge that borders on expiration.

"How old is that Alfredo Pasta?"
"I don't know. And I don't care."

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Sometimes I think we're like the candle's flame,
Which burns so brightly
Only to drown itself in melted wax.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

a little something to entertain you Part 3 of 3

“Where would you find such a man?” the second man asked in wonder. The first man looked sadly out the window, where the world still burned. “There has not been an Everyman on earth for a long time.
But,” he said, as he leaned closer to the window and his eyes grew a little brighter, “I know where to find the next best thing.” “What is that? And where do you find it?” asked the second man earnestly.” “Why it is a Man.” Said the first. “Like that one there,” he pointed an old man picking up garbage in the street. “And there,” he pointed to a group of young men pouring water on a blazing fire. “There,” he whispered pointing to a group of children picking up the groceries of an old woman, “There.” a woman tending to the dying.
“They are everywhere. They might not have the potential of an Everyman to save the world, but given a proper chance they will change the it. They will make it better. All they need is opportunity. For they already have the Dreamer's vision, and the Knight's virtue and courage, and they even have a little of the Everyman's heart. Give them a chance, and you will see.