Some of the somethings.

Things? They are going well. Swell, even! I got a job and moved to Madison, all in one swift (though not necessarily graceful) motion. It’s a beautiful summer and I am healthy. Today my faltering hobbies were discovered and nursed back to life, or at least what could be the beginning of new life. I am home for a visit, and my ever-faithful dog greeted me with fits of jubilation and is now lying peacefully at my feet. A certain someone terrific got his plane ticket for August, the month at-bat, which happens to be the best month of all–did you all know that?? Currently I am homeless, but grateful to those members of my family who are allowing me their bed. That is very nice of them! Soon I will be 25 years old. I think that God is very good to me. Cool!

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Second grade feminist.

The other day I mentioned that I’ve been reading Ramona and her Mother. Last night I was close to finishing, and in the final chapter Mrs. Quimby mentions to her daughter that Mr. Quimby is going to be starting school at Portland State. The school that rejected me! For some reason this made me feel a little bit of something, I’m not sure what.

Continuing the tradition of being a 2nd grade girl, I have these bottles of American Girl shampoo and conditioner (a gift!) and besides smelling incredible, they also offer young girls bits of advice on the back label, advice regarding “real beauty.” Most likely these are meant to be inspirational, if not empowering, but it occurred to me during a recent shower just how far off the mark they actually are. For example, on the back of the shampoo bottle reads, “Real beauty is thinking before you speak.” What? Shouldn’t that say, “Real beauty is speaking your mind”? Or “Real beauty is speaking the truth”? Or something that doesn’t sound like a 17th century chauvinist wrote it? Sure, there is something to be said about prudent speech, but there is also something very unnatural about prudent, well-spoken girls. Girls are supposed to express themselves! Or maybe that’s what the American Girl people where trying to say with “Real beauty is wearing your favorite color.” Girls, look nice and don’t talk. That’s the real message of American Girl. Ramona would not approve.

My seldom is like no one else’s seldom.

I think I’d like to go back and visit my 14-year-old self and pat her on the shoulder and say, “Girl, everything will turn out fine.” 

Sometimes I wish my 34-year-old self would go back and tell present-day me the same thing.

 

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These days I have really been missing Pepper, our cat who passed away this past March. We have some pictures of her posted on the refrigerator, and every time I see them I kind of crumple up inside, remembering how precious she was. She doesn’t exist anymore, and that is something that I haven’t quite accepted yet. I really loved her. Grief is a slow walk.

 

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I’ve started listening to more public radio and less music. I think I might give up painting and focus on writing. It’s not as if I’ve painted in the past five months anyway, and even then I was never terribly good. I would like to finish reading more books, and improve my vocabulary, or more importantly, my ability to access that vocabulary while speaking. I would like to learn something again. 

The purpose of any of these changes is not to pose as an intellectual–that’s what my glasses are for–but to return to that neglected side of my brain which requires THOUGHT and not INSTINCT. I almost always favor instinct, and perhaps it is time for a change.

Sometimes I don’t remember what a brain is, anyway.

Today at lunch I had a hamburger and read two chapters from Ramona and her Mother. When I draw I will use my left hand.

 

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    Breena Wiederhoeft
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